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5 years ago

CTIA: We Love to Hate 'em but Still Love that Conference

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Let's get one thing clear: we're fond of this CTIA Wireless conference we're headed to. Fond because it's a hotspot of Mobile gadgetry and, just as importantly, a hotbed of people who think clearly and deeply about what mobile gadgetry can do for our lives. It's all sponsored by, naturally, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, which is essentially a trade group representing all the heavy hitters in the mobile world.

There's a rub there, though, and it's not that we're filthy Communists who hate all corporations. We just have a love/hate with certain corporations because they so often limit the way we can (and should) use our mobile devices. The term here is “Walled Garden” and we've been railing against them basically since WMExperts has been founded. CTIA does bequeath a great conference unto us and does manage to do some lobbying for good for the companies that they represent -- but they also do lobbying for evil.

Evil you say? Then why truck with evil? Answers to both questions after the break.

Bad CTIA, Bad

Imagine if your ISP loaded a bunch of crapware onto your desktop and it was required for you to get online? Or if they actually kept your computer from being able to, say, use your preferred music program? Or kept it from using USB because they want to make sure you access your peripherals via a program they sell? Or replaced your Start Menu with stuff pointing to their for-pay services? This sort of thing is standard procedure in much of the smartphone and cellphone world, and it stinks.

Now What?

But WMExperts, if this makes you so angry, why don't you just boycott the conference? Good point -- but we're going to the conference for the same reason we use Smartphones -- there's just so much compelling stuff that we either put up with or find ways around the bad stuff. More importantly -- we go because we get to talk to other people about how the “bad stuff” is crap and think about ways to make these companies change.

The good news is that we're making progress. Both Verizon and then later AT&T have both found it necessary to open up (or at least claim they're opening up) their networks to a wider variety of apps and devices. Unlimited everything plans are a great step toward making your smarthphone's relationship with the internet identical to your computer's -- i.e. you pays your money and you gets your internet, you can buy services from your ISP if you like, but you don't have to.

So CTIA: we hate to break it to you, but the day is coming when the companies you represent are going to have to give up all these nefarious ways to add more revenue streams. They're going to have to become “dumb pipes.” And we can't wait. Meanwhile, we're happy to come to your house and eat your food. Yes, it makes us hypocrites and we do feel a little bad about that, but while we're at your house, eating your food, we'll be telling your kids that there's a better way to act.

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5 years ago

HTC "Manilla" aka "WM Celebrity Makeover" rears its pretty head

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Well BGR got a sneak peak at "Manilla" which is HTC's v2.0 attempt to add beauty to the beast that is Windows Mobile. We saw a bit of Manilla already, so this is just a bit more.

For those familiar with HTC's previous homescreen workin's (and the hacks to customize, natch), this newer version continues delve deepr, customizing the dialer, call history, in-call screens and some multimedia action to boot.

The screenshots, as noted, are from the VGA HTC Advantage, so don't get too worked up over that smoothness just yet. More interestingly, this version of "Manilla" (can I stop saying that yet?) is from an as-yet-unknown and upcoming HTC VGA device...ooooooo!

Love the "running programs", reminiscent of MagicButton and boy, that in call screen looks mighty familar...ahem.

Take a moment to look over BGR's gallery and then hit up XDA if you want in on the early action, though QVGA probably need not applly...just yet. :-(

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5 years ago

Dashwire Mirrors Your Phone's Content Over the Web

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So I'm checking my email as usual and I see an email from Dashwire saying my phone is ready for their software. I'd like to think my phone was ready all along and it's just that their software was ready for my phone. Anyway, I have the Treo 750 so I decided to give it a try and am already loving it.

The basic idea is it will invisibly back up much of your smartphone's content to their servers with little to no interaction on your end. The thing I love about it most is the fact that it syncs your contacts, photos, text and even videos to an online web site wirelessly. Now you never have to worry if you uploaded that last picture or if you added that contact to your friends list.

The best part is that it

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5 years ago

LightPole- Location Based Ads

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5 years ago

Treo 800w Watch: July on Sprint?

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Treo 800w Watch: July on Sprint?

Thanks to Vyruz Reaper via SprintUsers, we have what appears to be the release chart for upcoming Sprint devices and lo and behold, the Treo 800w is smack on there for a July release (crosses fingers).

Could we at least get a new mock-up already? Yeesh...

Welp, looks like my dreams of WM 6.1 have been shattered (sheds tear) but all the other rumored features are still there:

  • WM 6.0
  • EvDO Rev A
  • WiFi
  • Autonomous GPS
  • Camera & non-camera versions

(Edit: although you do have to wonder...the date of the chart, according to the source who leaked it is actually Feb 19th, so this might not be the latest info. Wm 6.1 might not be ruled out since this pre-dates any official announcement by MS--stay tuned!)

Anywho, hop back in our contest and get the EXACT date right and you may just win one ;-)

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5 years ago

WiMAX WaTCH: India's Tata Communications Beats Sprint to the Punch

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Sprint's XOHM WiMAX network might still be on track to reach 100 million people, but even 100 million people is chump change compared to the size of the market in India. If Sprint is looking for a little inspiration for how to properly roll out WiMAX, they need look no further than India's Tata Communications:

India is about to become the frontier for high-speed, mobile Internet connections. On March 4, India's Tata Communications, an emerging broadband player, announced the countrywide rollout of a commercial WiMax network, the largest anywhere in the world of the high-speed, wireless broadband technology.
Already 10 Indian cities and 5,000 retail and business customers use the product, and by next year Tata will offer service in 115 cities nationwide. The folks at Tata can hardly contain their excitement. “WiMax is not experimental, it's oven-hot,” says Tata's Prateek Pashine, in charge of the company's broadband and retail business. - [Open Gardens]

We've about reached the point where 3G has penetrated the majority of the US on the majority of carriers (apologies to T-Mobile and to, uh, my hometown, which is still EDGE-only), so it's only natural that we're looking ahead to WiMAX and the GSM-based LTE, to say nothing of the new spectrum that Verizon and AT&T just snapped up. Still, wouldn't it be nice if the roadmap for where and when we'll see these lightning fast mobile speeds was a little clearer?

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile 6.1 Cooked for BlackJack

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Windows Mobile 6.1 Cooked for BlackJack

Engadget Mobile points us to TXCaesar's Rom Kitchen, where Da_G has cobbled together a build of Windows Mobile 6.1 for the original BlackJack. We waited and waited (and waited some more) for Windows Mobile 6 to be officially available for the BlackJack, so it's a safe guess (if a depressing one) that we'll have to do the same for 6.1 on the BlackJack. That's assuming, of course, that it will be made available for the sweet little guy in the first place. He has a newer, cooler brother in the BlackJack II (which will see 6.1 for sure), so it doesn't feel like a safe bet that 6.1 will appear on the original.

The ROM looks to occupy the netherworld between

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5 years ago

Vital CTIA Gear

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Vital CTIA Gear

Here's a portion of some of the gear we'll be using to cover CTIA next week - where we (still) fully expect Windows Mobile 6.1 to be announced. We're fervently hoping it will even be released, but don't get your hopes up.

The big day will be Tuesday, when we will Live Blog Robbie Bach's keynote and then hit the show floor like the Incredible Hulk with a sledgehammer. This year, we expect Windows Mobile to be front and center at CTIA: Android isn't ready, Apple stays away, and Palm ain't got nothing but the Centro.

You can follow most of the action on our main site - but if you're a junky you can also follow us on Twitter and also keep an eye out on our Flickr page. Both of those places will sport stuff from our CTIA experience that isn't technically news - but hey, it's Vegas, right? Should be some stuff to take pictures of. :)

Our primary tool for covering CTIA is, of course, a Windows Mobile Smartphone. Our weapon of choice for this task is the Motorola Q9h (see our full review here) - 3G, 2 megapixel camera (with flash), and the best keyboard on any smartphone available today makes this little sucker ideal for keeping connected to WMExperts and to you, dear reader.

Ideal enough to make this very post happen - it was posted directly from the Q9h (and yes, tweaked a little via the old ways after the fact).

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5 years ago

TeaShark: Another Browser Lurking in the Waters

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5 years ago

Motorola to Split in Two - Updated

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Motorola to Split in Two - Updated

Update: Engadget has posted an insider's letter detailing just how badly Motorola has been mismanaged. Must read. Boy oh Boy, things look bad -- A split didn't work out so well for Palm, it might not work out so well for Motorola. Is this company screwed?

Looks like Carl Icahn has had his way - Motorola switched from dipping their foot in the spin-off waters to diving in completely. They're splitting in two - one company for handsets, another for enterprise services and the like. No word yet on what the two companies will be named - one hopes that the Moto brand, complete with vowels, will continue to be applied to their handsets.

They are also looking for somebody to head up their handset business -- so polish up that resume, because the way things have been going at Motorola lately, anybody could head up that company and do a better job than ZNDR (Erm, Ed Zander), the guy who pretty much ran them into the ground before the new CEO, Greg Brown, started cleaning house with a broom in one hand while fending off Carl Icahn's “activism” with a epee in the other.

Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has commenced a process to create two independent, publicly-traded companies. Today’s decision follows the Company’s January 31, 2008 announced evaluation of the structural and strategic realignment of its businesses and represents affirmative steps to position its Mobile Devices and Broadband & Mobility Solutions businesses for success, while creating value for all Motorola shareholders.
- press release

Ah well, at least we have the Motorola Q10 to look forward to.

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile 6.1 to Arrive April 1st? - Updated

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Windows Mobile 6.1 to Arrive April 1st? - Updated

Update: Looks like BGR received yet another one of those mysterious Q9s with WiFi. This one has what appears to be a finalized version of Windows Mobile 6.1 with a few new features. Go check it out.

...That's the prediction from Pocket Lint [via Gizmodo]. Sounds pretty good to us. We would normally be a little gun shy about this sort of prediction, especially since we whiffed our prediction it would be unveiled at MWC2008. However, CTIA just happens to start on April first. And Head-of-The-Division-That-Contains-Windows Mobile Robbie Bach just happens to be giving the keynote. And WMExperts just happens to be planning on heading over to Las Vegas for the show.

So file this one under “Very Likely.”

Speaking of CTIA: expect wall-to-wall coverage. We'll live-blog Bach's keynote, we started up a Twitter feed for WMExperts, and heck, we will even post up direct from the show floor via our trusty Motorola Q9h.

Windows Mobile 6.1, if you'll recall from the many leaks, features a much-improved Today screen experience and (FINALLY) native threaded SMS, among other improvements.

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5 years ago

Review: Blueant Supertooth Light Bluetooth Speakerphone

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5 years ago

Review: Monaco Rubber Trim Case for Cingular 3125

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5 years ago

Treo 800w to Sport Micro USB?

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Treo 800w to Sport Micro USB?

We might have to wait until freaking August for the Treo 800w to land, but when it does we won't be stuck using that annoying “Athena” connector. Although we knew that Palm was ditching their horrible connector for something else, we'd been hearing various reports on what the bottom connector would be on the Treo 800w -- USB, HTC's wacky mini-USB + Audio, or something that was “like USB but wasn't.”

Well, we can put that little argument to rest now. Signs point to Palm using micro-USB. What signs? Well, micro-USB is to be the new mobile standard as per the Open Mobile Terminal Platform. Why else? Check this, try a little search for 3291ww and see what pops up: the “Palm 3291ww Vehicle Charger Micro USB.” Could be a mistake or a coincidence, but if so, it's an awfully widespread one. We're going out on a limb and calling this one: Micro USB.

The fact that accessories for the Treo 800w seem to be out there for purchase many months ahead of the scheduled release of the device itself is perhaps a bit disheartening, though. Dare we suggest that this implies that we're looking at a delayed device?

Goodbye Athena, you were a horrible connector, but at least you were consistent (on Treos) for a few years. Hello Micro USB.

(p.s. yes, we're completely and totally obsessed, but at least this rumor has more substance to it than a sighting on a Bank's website.)

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5 years ago

Asus m536 aka "Treo Killer" Hands On

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Asus m536 aka "Treo Killer" Hands On

Tam Hana got one-on-one time with the Asus m536 (as well as every other Asus device, see our earlier post) and shows off some of the unique features e.g. the bizaro "5 way" control, which is certainly...err...unique (check out the vid below).

In fairness, for the wonky controller you are also granted a very cool fingerprint reader, a security feature that is finally starting to make its way onto mobile devices like this one, allowing you to feel very Jason Bourne-esque before you go and stream some Youtube.

And check out those "ok", "email" and "start menu" flush (touch sensitive?) buttons in the black....

Specs

  • WM 6.1
  • 2.4" 320x320 screen
  • 256mb flash
  • GPS
  • tri-band GSM (boo)
  • HSDPA

What's with the wasted screen space above? Gah. Unfortunately we won't see this one in the U.S. anytime soon but hopefully Asus will break into the market State side sooner than later (an issue disccused here in our forums).

Click the link below to see the super quick video of the odd 5-way in action!

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