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5 years ago

FCC Approves HTC Libra (aka the CDMA HTC Vox)

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A Tip'o'the Hat to Smartphone Thoughts, who note that the FCC has just approved the HTC Libra, which is the CDMA version of the coveted HTC Vox. Go ahead and see the proof that it won't melt your brain in the link below. The Libra is expected to have EVDO and arrive sometime this summer, just like every other phone I want. Insert "heavy sigh" here.

Read: OET List Exhibits Report 'NM8LIBR100'

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5 years ago

WM6 "Hack" to Create New Documents

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WM6 "Hack" to Create New Documents

I've complained about Microsoft's boneheaded decision to keep WM6 Standard Edition from being able to create office docs natively before. Why on earth would they allow that to happen? Well, Jason Landridge offers this little tip:

Just create a blank document on your PC for Word and Excel and copy them into your My Documents folder.  You can then open these documents and Save them As something else...

Ok, that works. But still, will somebody tell me why it's so difficult to just add "new document"? Is it just a decision that's based on a desire to keep the "Pro" edition more "pro"? In any case, it's a nice tip. Here's a better one, just use Documents to Go instead of the built-in doc editor.

Read: Jason Langridge's WebLog - MR Mobile! : Windows Mobile 6 Standard - can't create new documents?

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5 years ago

RIM Announces "Virtual Blackberry" Software for WM6

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The "announces" in the title is industry code for "It's not available yet." But later this year RIM is going to release software for Windows Mobile devices that give them Blackberry capabilities. More than the already-available (for some devices) Blackberry Connect software, the new stuff will actually make your WM6 device into a virtual Blackberry, interface and all. PC World writes:

The software will appear as an icon on the screen of a smartphone and will have the same interface as a BlackBerry. Users will be able to toggle between the Windows Mobile and BlackBerry interfaces, the company said.

Sadly, more details aren't yet available, but USA Today offers this tidbit:

RIM said it was unknown whether there would be a charge to download the software, or if it might come free with a subscription to BlackBerry service, [...] Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-chief executive, said the company's corporate clients made it clear that they would prefer to standardize around a single mobile e-mail platform, but not be confined to BlackBerry devices, "which seemingly was a paradox."

It's not a "paradox" to me. With slim and sexy handsets getting made for Windows Mobile seemingly day, it's easy to imagine. What is a paradox to me is why they're going through the effort of making an entire interface rather than using what WM already has. Now, I know a few people who dislike WM's interface, but is it so bad that it needs to get replaced? With the Blackberry interface?

Also, has anybody told these executives that, ah, they probably already have an Exchange server that supports push email with no extra fees? Or that RIM's email sometimes, er, fails completely?

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5 years ago

Review: Lubix UBHS-NC1 Stereo Bluetooth Headphones

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5 years ago

First Look: Lubix UBHS-NC1 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

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First Look: Lubix UBHS-NC1 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

I have a new favorite pair of Bluetooth Headphones - the Lubix UBHS-NC1. Terrible name, but a great headset for music. There will be a full review up a little later in the week, but here's a video first look in the meantime. Download the video in WMV format for your phone or check out the YouTube version below:

(Yes, the audio sync is off in the YouTube Video... Re-uploading and shaking fist right now.)

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5 years ago

Friday Videos: Wing and Vox

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Friday Videos: Wing and Vox

After the jump: Two YouTube videos sure to make you jittery with anticipation this Friday afternoon. Previews of the upcoming T-Mobile Wing (though there are rumblings implying the name will change) and the HTC Vox.

Still no firm dates on when either of these will make it to the states, though the rumor is we should see the Wing at the end of May for only $249 (I can't believe that!). The Vox on Orange's network sold out already across the pond, so even importing and unlocking isn't an option right now. So while you wait, go on and watch some nice shiny phones after the jump.

Here's the T-Mobile Wing / HTC Atlas, courtesy of MyMobile911

...And the Vox:

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5 years ago

MS Turning Up the iPhone Smacktalk

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MS Turning Up the iPhone Smacktalk

c|net sat in on a press conference with Chris Sorensen, who is in charge of MS's Asian smartphone strategy. His knocks on the iPhone are the ones you'd expect - no physical keyboard means it might not work for messaging (jury's still out on that), no Office means no business users, no 3G means pretty much the same.

Then again, everybody's pointing out that MS scoffed at the original iPod.

Basically I think that MS's intuition is right, the iPhone won't grab hold of business users, but it's going to be a huge shift in the consumer market. Whether or not Microsoft can maintain the progress they've made in that space remains to be seen. Let's see: by the end of the summer we'll have the iPhone, a bevy of WM6 devices, and the announcement of Palm's super-secret 3rd-type of device. Damn if it isn't a great time to be writing about smartphones.

"However, it's a closed device that you cannot install applications on, and there's no support for Office documents. If you're an enterprise and want to roll out a line of business applications, it's just not an option. Even using it as a heavy messaging device will be a challenge," the executive added.

Read: Microsoft: iPhone lacks business savvy | CNET News.com

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5 years ago

Inrix Traffic - Better Than Realtime Traffic?

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Realtime traffic from the likes of Windows Live Search or Google Maps will tell you what traffic is like now. But honestly, what you really want to know is what traffic will be like when you're in that spot. Enter Inrix, which just released a consumer traffic client that puts regular traffic clients to shame.

Got a trip you're going to be making this weekend? Inrix knows whether there'll be a big basketball game or road construction on that route and will be able to guess that you don't really want to go through that particular part of the city on Saturday. Nice. Compatible with WM5 and 6, both Smartphone and PPC (erm, Standard and Pro for WM6), it's 40 bucks at Handango.

Basically, it gathers data from thousands of various sources and then runs Bayesian statistical analysis models to identify traffic patterns. Based on this data, it is possible to actually predict where the congestion will take place, allowing a user -that's us- to circumvent the traffic. It also analyzes
event data (such as sports games, exhibitions, etc.), school schedules, weather forecasts, and more.

Read: Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine Expert: Alan Zaks - I wish I'd brought it to CTIA!

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5 years ago

HTC Offering Free WM6 Upgrades to Carriers in June

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Italian Language site solopalmeri had an enterprising user in the forums find this HTC Europe FAQ (PDF) detailing their plans regarding Windows Mobile 6. The short of it is that HTC is making upgrades free for the following devices:

HTC Advantage
HTC TyTN
HTC S620
HTC P4350
HTC P3300

The bad news is it's still up to the carriers in Europe to decide to offer them. Those who have purchased these devices direct from HTC will be able to get the upgrades, free, sometime in June. No word yet on what will make it over to the US (besides the already announced T-Mobile Dash, Treo 750, Cingular 8525, and Samsung Blackjack upgrades), but it looks good. If HTC is willing to do the legwork, I don't think it's too much to ask for carriers here to give us the update.

Read: SoloPalmari - Ufficiale: HTC rilascia gratis WM 6, ma non per tutti i PDA; Google Translation here

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5 years ago

Motorola Mea Culpa

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Motorola Mea Culpa

Motorola's conference call for financial analysts yesterday had precious little good news except this: CEO Ed Zander knows it's going badly for Moto, and intends to "do better." Motorola could do worse, but I'm not exactly sure how. Hopefully the Moto Q9h will help them out on the high end. I'm also waiting to see what they're going to do with their purchase of Good Technology. As I said when the acquisition was announced, the best thing they could do is use it to offer dead-simple push email solutions to the average, non-corporate consumer.

Of course, Zander claims the best is yet to come and to keep an eye on aught-eight. Well, he said 2008, but I like the sound of aught-eight better.

Motorola chief executive Ed Zander offered a litany of "we'll do better" in response to the company's many missed opportunities and mistakes over the past year,

Read: Motorola's Zander Promises to Do Better

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5 years ago

PPC-6800 in the Wild

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PPC-6800 in the Wild

Phone News points us to a forum thread where a lucky devil got some face time with the upcoming Sprint PPC-6800. It was a prototype, so some things may change. My vote for one of the "things that may change" is definitely the bit about the OS - it's running Windows Mobile 5. FIVE? That's so last year.

Anyway, look forward to getting rid of the antenna, spring-loaded slider (going the other way), and.... not much else. Processor and Memory look to be about the same as its predecessor, the PPC-6700. Ok Ok, look forward to the pretty, because this thing is a lot less bricky than the 6700, thank the gods.

Windows Mobile 5 AKU 3.3
qualcomm MSM7500 400 MHz processor
173.63MB of storage memory
48.54MB of Program memory

Read: PPCGeeks.com :: View topic - Sprints HTC-6800 Prototype Seen! (Pix and some specs inside)

Update: Here's the Telus version for you Canadians - which is called the HTC P4000, for those of you keeping track.

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5 years ago

Blackberry Network Went Down Last Night

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Blackberry Network Went Down Last Night

I'd say this is a good opportunity for WM users to crow a bit about how much better using an Exchange server for syncing is - but Exchange servers can go down too. Nevertheless, it looks that US users of Blackberry's email service didn't get emails for awhile and that RIM is currently working it - email should be back up, but they're going to push out the blacklog slowly so they don't crash again.

Oh, what the heck, I'll do it. I got email last night, neener neener!

The BlackBerry wireless e-mail service from Research In Motion Ltd. appears to have suffered a widespread outage that started last night in the U.S.

Customers on the BlackBerry Forums discussion board complained of having no service starting at about 5.15 p.m. PDT yesterday.

Read: Update: BlackBerry service hit by widespread outage in U.S.

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5 years ago

MotoQ9 now MotoQ9h. Same Phone, Different Name

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The folks at Smartphone Thoughts must be hitting "refresh" on Motorola's Q9 page every couple minutes in anticipation of its pending release. Which is why they seem to be the first to notice the name change from Motorola Q9 to Motorola Q9h:

*When did Moto change the strange name of its upcoming Q q9 to an equally strange Q 9h? The good news is that the specifications haven't changed. *

Lord, who could possibly guess what goes on in the brains of people who name these devices? Why 9? No idea. Why h? My guess is support for HSDPA. Why now? My guess is that it must get really boring for the dude who has to name these things for a living. Especially at Motorola, where they're not even allowed to use vowels.

Read: Smartphone Thoughts - Daily news, views, rants and raves

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5 years ago

US Internet Radio: Doomed

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US Internet Radio: Doomed

Fairly soon I'll be moving to a place where the standard FM Radio fare will not offer anything I want to listen to. Sadly, my plan for music in my car took a big blow yesterday as the Copyright Royalty Board denied the last ditch motion to stop the coming royalty rate increase for internet radio stations. The BBC has a good article on it.

If these rates stand... I believe we'll see a virtual shutdown all of US webcasting," wrote Kurt Hanson, CEO of AccuRadio, on the SaveInternetRadio.org blog. "That will be bad for listeners, webcasters, musicians, and the record industry alike."

(Note - rather than try SaveInternetRadio.org, which appears to be dead and camped by nobodies right now, try savenetradio.org instead). The new fees include a $500 base fee and then a per-song/per-user fee. They pretty much represent the death-knell not only for independent internet radio stations (like my favorite somafm.com) and also deal a heavy-blow to non-profit Public Radio internet feeds.

One of the great things about Windows Mobile is that it has built-in support for most internet radio stations - just click on a feed link in Pocket IE and up comes the media player, streaming away. It's an under-utilized and under-reported feature that will likely be pointless this time next month. Hopefully this petition and letters to Congress people will help, but I'm not hopeful.

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5 years ago

Rumor: Dell Taps Quanta to Make WM6 Smartphone

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Rumor: Dell Taps Quanta to Make WM6 Smartphone

Think of Quanta as "HTC Lite" - They design and manufacture smartphones for the likes of HP and Orange, but they lack HTC's brand and HTC's ambition to sell HTC phones as HTC phones to help build their brand. In any case, the rumors surround Dell's plans in the aftermath of the Axim's demise keep swirling. Earlier in the week the rumor was Dell would buy Palm, which caused me to snort in derision so hard I fell backwards over the back of my chair and therefore didn't post it.

This rumor, though, seems much more likely:

the Dell PDA handset project, codenamed "Fly," will develop a model using the Windows Mobile 6 Professional platform and supporting HSDPA. It probably will feature a QWERTY keyboard, though feature details have yet to be determined, the sources said.

Read: Quanta may be developing PDA handset for Dell

...as I said in the TreoCentral Treocast on Monday, if I were Dell I'd probably just focus on making computers and finding ways to fix their margin there instead of trying to make every gosh darn widget that can plug into a computer. Then again, who am I to complain about another WM6 smartphone? Nobody, that's who.

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