While everbody awaits what we expect will be the announcement of Windows Mobile 6.5 at Mobile World Congress in just under a month, we here at WMExperts know from long, hard experience that with Windows Mobile the announcement of a new version of the OS comes well before that OS is actually available on devices. Even if Microsoft does announce that they've shipped it off to manufacturers, it takes awhile to bake it in to a device, customize it, and get it finalized for a launch.
So this DigiTimes report [via] claiming that we'll see 6.5 devices in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2009 comes as little surprise, especially since the report also claims that Microsoft won't ship the OS to manufacturers until "Mid-2009." From "Mid '09" to a 3rd quarter launch of a 6.5 device is actually quite fast, so perhaps that will mean that the cool new 6.5 interface we saw surface back in November will be enough to convince phone makers that they don't need to take the time to re-invent another skin to slap on top of it.
To be filed under the category of “Rumors that we really hope will become a reality”, the folks at VideoLan have given us hope that VLC will be coming to a Windows Mobile handheld near you. Jean-Baptiste Kempf of VideoLan used verbiage on his Blog that indicates that a port to Windows CE could be in the works. While that’s not a sure thing, I’ve definitely got my fingers crossed for some WM love.
VLC is a popular, open-source media player that is popular on most desktop operating systems. In addition to featuring playback of most popular media type natively, VLC features the additional ability to stream video across a network.
Ever since TCPMP (The Core Pocket Media Player) development was ended and Core Player was released, Windows Mobile has been lacking a free media player with as much functionality. If VLC is truly coming to Windows Mobile then that particular hole should be filled nicely.
While the Sprint Treo Pro has been getting quite a bit of attention lately, the Sprint Touch Pro is still my device of choice. I've found that I am much happier with it now that I've built a cache of some basic accessories to deal with things like the lack of a 3.5 mm headset jack and a touchscreen that almost begs to be scratched. So let's take a look at several accessories that you may want to add to your carry on bag the next time you take a trip or simply to make life a little easier while at the office.
We're not likely to see this in the U.S. anytime soon, but the HTC Iolite is headed to O2 in Germany as the XDA Guide, with a pretty big focus on navigation (natch), but no major surprises.
What's under the Diamond-esque hood:
Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional.
Qualcomm 7225 processor at 528 MHz.
Quad-band EDGE/dual-band HSPA.
Bluetooth 2.0 w/EDR.
256MB RAM/512MB ROM.
Missing from the OS is TouchFLO 3D, with the phone instead sporting the less intensive TouchFLO 2D. Making up for that, however, is the "Footprints" button, which lets you take photos directly from the TouchFLO interface. If GPS is available, location information can be tagged to the photo, as can some comments. TomTom navigation software also is on board and has a dedicated hardware button.
While we reported earlier this month the HTC's revenue was up 29% for 2008, HTC is now lowering their expectations for 2009 revenue growth. Taiwanese based Commercial Times is quoting HTC CEO Peter Chou as saying that HTC expects double-digit 2009 revenue growth as smartphones gain popularity globally even amid a global downturn. Chou continued, "The visibility in 2009 is extremely low, so things could be a bit worse in the short term. But we still expect to maintain double-digit growth (this year)." Back in October of last year, Chou predicted 20% growth in 2009. While not providing a specific number for projected revenue, HTC seems to be optimistic with the positive reception they received at the 2009 CES. Looking at the leaked HTC lineup one could easily understand HTC's optimism in predicting "double digits," we just hope it's closer to 20% than it is to 10%.
An anonymous tipster has sent in some slides from a Sprint document detailing the specs and functionality on the Treo Pro, including some head-to-head comparisons against Sprint's other smartphone offerings. We do have some new information here too, including the procesor speed and storage. Frankly, we're hoping that the bits about the RAM are wrong, because it's listed as 512 storage, 32mb RAM. That's ....low. While the previous Sprint Treo--the much maligned 800w--only offered 256 MB of user memory, it boasted 128 MB of program memory, four times that of the specifications listed for the Treo Pro.
More details and slides -- including why that RAM shouldn't be taken as gospel just yet, after the break!
[Thanks to the anonymous tipster and to Gabriel for the guest post!]
We've long raved about the merits of Windows Live Search Mobile and why it's our favorite free piece of navigation software. (Read the full review here.) And Microsoft is very much keeping pace with that other app — and that in itself is something to celebrate.
So without further ado, join us for WMExperts' top five reasons why we love Windows Live Search Mobile, and especially some of the more recent updates.
So it seems like a whole bunch of people got themselves into a tizzy over the recent New York Times piece that said Microsoft was scaling back the number of Windows Mobile phones. Us? Not so worried. We always figured it was a quality-over-quantity move, and not that Microsoft was losing interest in the mobile market.
Still don't believe us? TamsPPC [via] got 'hold of Microsoft Austria and heard back from the Mobility group:
We are always working on new versions of the OS and always looking for ways to improve our products with our partners. Microsoft will be focusing on building out the quality of the Windows Mobile experience, investing more in working with its partners to ensure the best hardware-software integration. While this may result in fewer phone models, Microsoft will continue working with our partners to innovate on the Windows Mobile platform.
The MS statement goes on to say that The New York Times piece was just plain inaccurate in its implication, and that "Todd Peters stated that Microsoft would be focusing on building out the quality of the Windows Mobile experience."
There you go. Quality over quantity. Or, as we like to say around here,
Nothing beats walking the links on a sunny, fall day with a slight breeze rustling the fallen leaves keeping things cool but not cold. There’s a certain satisfaction of hitting your tee shot solid, sending it long and straight down the middle of the fairway. Then reality hits you and you realize you’re at work, day dreaming about playing a round of golf instead of tackling the pile of work growing on your desk. Golf fanatics don’t worry; there is an escape available to temporarily curb your golf addiction that is as close as your Windows Mobile phone. Golden Tee Golf and Par 72 Golf might just satisfy your itch to play eighteen long enough to get you through that pile of paperwork. To see if these two games are on par, read on after the break.
Nearly a year ago I reviewed Seidio's OEM sized 1650-mAh extended battery and was fairly impressed. The advantage of that battery is that it was the same size as the one that shipped with the PPC-6800/Mogul; the disadvantage is that even though it delivered on its promises and what it was designed to do, it did not offer a massive improvement to the battery life.
Seidio now also offers a higher capacity battery that has the potential to make a real difference, but the trade-off is that it is a larger battery, giving your PPC-6800 that hunchback look.
Anyone who owns a PPC-6800 knows that the default 1500-mAh battery that came with the phone often can't make it through a busy day. With the Seidio 3500-mAh extended battery, you will be giving yourself a 133% increase in battery capacity on paper. But how does it really hold up? When I first installed the new battery and looked at the extra 5-6 millimeters it added to the back of my phone, I thought there was no way I was going keep this battery unless it really knocked my socks off. So I decided to test it out.
With Seidio's OEM sized 1650-mAh extended battery I could usually make it through a day OK, but I certainly could never forget to charge it each night. So I wanted to see how long I could go without charging the Seidio 3500-mAh extended battery. Two and half days later (roughly around 60 hours), it finally hit the 5 percent mark. During that time I had 69 phone calls, talked 2 hours and 39 minutes, kept Bluetooth and push ActiveSync on, typed and sent over 45 emails, downloaded multiple large attachments from my emails, browsed the web for about 20 minutes, kept my screen between 80-100 percent bright, and drove in several low-reception areas hours at a time.
Needless to say that I was more than a little impressed.
Keep in mind that with the extra depth to the phone, it may not fit in a cradle, windshield or vent holder, or in a hard case, unless they are designed to support an extended battery.
I am on the road a lot, so I am always trying to find an outlet at an airport, making sure my phone is charging while driving, etc. Now it's nice to know that I can make it more than two full and long days without having to scramble to find an outlet or USB port to charge my phone. All of a sudden that hunchback hump on the back of the phone started to look like a small bump.
So, is the Seidio 3500-mAh extended battery worth the money and the extra 5-6 millimeters of thickness to your phone? If you're having problems with your current battery making it through the day, then the answer is, "Yes it is certainly worth it."
Just the Facts
3500mAh - More than double the capacity of the original.
Includes a black extended door with our soft-touch "rubberized" texture to improve grip.
Works with both Sprint and Verizon versions.
Extends the thickness of your phone by only 5-6 millimeters.
Ratings (5 out of 5)
5 stars out of 5
Extends the battery life to several days (relative to individual use).
Comes with a molded back for the phone to fit the extra-sized battery.
Increases the thickness of the phone by 5-6 millimeters because of the extended battery "hump" with a battery that is physically larger than the original.