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5 years ago

Qualcomm Exec Sanjay Jha named Co-CEO of Motorola Handset Business

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Sorry, Mr. Block, Motorola has decided to take their handset business in another direction. To wit: they've named Sanjay Jha their next CEO of their mobile devices business, he'll serve as Co-CEO with Greg Brown. Jha, we assume, reads email directly on the computer (unlike, according to rumors, his Co-CEO), as he's formerly of Qualcomm. There's a tiny twinge of irony here since Motorola recently ditched Qualcomm chipsets in favor of Texas Instruments. Then again, given Jha's Qualcomm roots, one could be forgiven for secretly hoping for Motorola devices powered by Snapdragon (Jha's understandably fond of the platform).

Jha headed up Qualcomm's CDMA technologies unit - which we take to generally be a good sign for Motorola if only because he will probably have experience navigating US law after all that 3G chip ban and patent fight craziness that went down last year.

Eventually, if all goes according to plan, Jha will be a CEO minus that “Co-” part, as Motorola still plans on spinning off their handset division into a separate company.

Good luck to you, Dr. Sanjay Jha. As I mentioned on my appearance on the T4 show last night, the Motorola Q9h is still my favorite smartphone of the past year or so; I still believe Moto has the chops to release another favorite. In the meantime, we wouldn't complain if you cleared up the mysterious disappearance of the Sprint Q9c.

Read: Cellular News

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5 years ago

Touch Diamond coming to Sprint this month?

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Touch Diamond coming to Sprint this month?

The HTC Touch Diamond is coming to Sprint. We know this. We've just been waiting to find out when.

But those of you/us who have been patiently waiting to get your hands on an honest-to-goodness U.S. version may not have to wait much longer.

A Bloomberg article (via Engadget Mobile) notes in its final sentence that HTC "will begin selling the handset through Sprint Nextel Corp. in August."

Why, that's this month! Engadget Mobile also has reports that both Best Buy and Radio Shack are getting the Diamond in this month -- Best Buy on the 17th and Radio Shack on Sept. 2nd.

Other questions remain. Will it have the multi-faced "Diamond" back? We'll see. Pricing? Remember that Canada's Telus is offering the Touch Diamond for $149. That's in Canadian dollars - and with a three-year contract, which is the norm up there. It's going for $349 with a two-year deal. Do your own extrapolating from there.

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5 years ago

Microsoft Releases WM API Scanner tool

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Microsoft Releases WM API Scanner tool

Over at the WM Team Blog, msaffitz writes up the details on a great new tool for developers (and maybe power users): the Windows Mobile API Usage Tool. The basic idea is that it will scan a .cab file and then spit out all the APIs (the tools that programs use to interact with the core WM operating system) that program uses. Why is this useful? Well, not all APIs are created equal -- some are more efficient, some are better supported, and some are scheduled for the chopping block in future versions of Windows Mobile.

Definitely a must-download for any WM developer looking to keep their app up-to-date and potentially fun and interesting for enterprising power users who want to figure out which apps are doing what on their devices.

[via Smartphone Thoughts]

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5 years ago

IBM spending $360 million on the cloud

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IBM spending $360 million on the cloud

We're big fans of cloud computing here at WM Experts, be it Google and the myriad ways to sync to it, Microsoft and its new Live Mesh, Dashwire, Yahoo Go, Apple's Mobile Me or any of a number of other ways to keep your data stored safely off your device and in the ether.

Friday's New York Times brings word that IBM (you've heard of them, right?), is spending $360 million for one data center in North Carolina and another in Tokyo to offer cloud services to corporate types.

Writes Steve Lohr:

The I.B.M. statement says its North Carolina facility will afford its lucky customers “unparalleled access to massive Internet-scale computing capabilities while gaining the cost and environmental protection advantages of I.B.M.’s industry-leading energy efficiency data center design.” Yes, yes, a veritable technological second-coming.

The future. It's coming. Eventually.

Read "Commercializing the Cloud"

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5 years ago

Congress will HANGUP on In-Flight Cell Calls

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WME has discovered through the WWW that the HTIC of the USHR approved the HANGUP Act this past Thursday. If you can decipher all of that, then you too could be a U.S. Congressman.

Seriously though, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives approved the "Halting Airplane Noise to Give Us Peace Act. Dont bother with the calendar, its not April 1st. Thats really the name of the proposed law.

According to IT World.com the HANGUP Act would make permanent the long standing ban on such calls by the FAA (thats the Federal Aviation Administration) and FCC (the Federal Communications Commission). Flight Crews and USAM (United States Air Marshals) would be exempt from the ban. Indeed, the House of Representatives' Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved the act already.

While the alphabet soup seems to be over abundance in this story, the bill would stop in-flight cellular calls despite developing technology that would make such calls possible. Cellular calls while in-flight have been a illegal for some time due to concerns about interference the signals may have with on-board navigational and communications equipment. While other countries are moving forward to such services, Congress appears to be shutting the door on it.

Technology asides, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon and co-sponsor of the bill) states that there is another concern about in-flight calls. In a statement released by DeFazio, he states that, Polls show the public overwhelmingly doesnt want to be subjected to people talking on their cell phones on increasingly over-packed airplanes.

Opponents of the HANGUP Act agree that in-flight calls can be impolite but feel that you cant legislate courtesy.

The bill wouldnt ban internet access, email or text messaging in-flight. American Airlines recently launched wi-fi service in-flight and Virgin America plans to offer the same service by the end of the year. It will be interesting to see if you can use your wi-fi enabled cell phone to access this service or if you will have to pay a fee to use one of the airlines devices.

There is a ray of "hope" for would-be chatterers, though: DeFazio also added in his released statement that, With Internet access just around the corner on U.S. flights, it wont be long before the ban on voice communications on in-flight planes is lifted. Unfortunately he added, Cash strapped airlines could end up charging some passengers to use their cell phones while charging others to sit in a phone free section of the plane.

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5 years ago

Review: IM+ for Windows Mobile Standard

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Review: IM+ for Windows Mobile Standard

I love to chat. In person, I sometimes have a hard time actually involving myself in a conversation. I am able to complete thoughts more easily behind the buffer of my chat program. Having the ability to chat on my BlackJack is a great tool as well, the

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5 years ago

Live Search to get a Rebrand?

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Live Search to get a Rebrand?

Seems like every time we mention Microsoft's Live Services here we always start with the complaint that the branding is confusing, mixed, and/or just plain wacky. There's been a plan in the works since at least February to rebrand some of these services to clear up just what refers to what. According to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, that plan is still in motion.

First up, Live Search, Microsoft's straight-up search competitor to Google. It looks like Microsoft has begun asking users what they think of several new names, the leading contenders being:

  • Bing
  • Hook
  • Kumo (which means either “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese, depdnding on which Kanji characters are used)

Again, these are being floated strictly (we think) to rebrand the actual Search in Live Search and not necessarily the Live Search client, Live Mesh (Mac client for that is out now, by the way), or any of the other various services called “Live” out there. Ok, honestly we don't know, but that's our best guess. What we do know is that the URLs for all of the above are already taken and, really, it wouldn't exactly be a tragedy if Microsoft went another direction. Then again, they're all better than “Cuil.”

Here's our suggestion: Wythwo. As in: “Wish (that) Yahoo Thing Had Worked Out.”

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5 years ago

Take your smartphone for a swim, if you dare

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Monty Python fans, help us out here. If the iPhone floats, it's a witch, and it should be burned at the stake, right?

OK, OK. Maybe that's a bit harsh.

Making the rounds is the Golden Shellback splash-proof (or dunk-proof, apparently) coating, which appears to protect your device not just from the occasional spill, but from total immersion in water.

It appears to work just fine in these demonstrations, though it's not yet available to to the public. Don't believe us? Just watch the unholy iPhone work under water in the video above. And check out a demonstration from Thursday morning's "Today Show" after the jump.

And in the meantime, why don't you try out one of the great weatherproof cases in the WM Experts store (nudge nudge, wink wink).

All kidding aside, this could totally open up a new market to pirates, SCUBA divers, and those crazy dudes crab fishing in the Bering Sea. Because if it's on TV and the Internets, it's gotta be true.

Via

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5 years ago

AT&T Disallows Peer to Peer on Your Smartphone

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You already (should) know that your 'unlimited data' isn't actually unlimited in terms of sheer bandwidth -- every carrier has either official or unofficial data caps. Transfer more than, say, 5 gigs of data and you might be looking at a nasty call and an unceremoniously cancelled account. Add another limitation on to that there 'unlimited' plan: the type of data you're allowed to send or receive:

[AT&T] told the FCC on Friday that if they catch you using their mobile broadband network for P2P, they'll nuke your account. Specifically, senior VP of dealing with the government Robert Quinn said that “AT&T's terms of service for mobile wireless broadband customers prohibit all uses that may cause extreme network capacity issues, and explicitly identify P2P file sharing applications as such a use.” - Gizmodo

Exactly what qualifies as “P2P” is sadly (and expectedly) vague -- just apps on the phone, P2P on your laptop via a tethered connection, all are likely up for grabs. We're guessing that AT&T is feeling the pain of a 3G network that doesn't have the capacity for serious, heavy use by a large population, especially on the upload side of things. Yes, we probably have the iPhone to blame thank for AT&T sudden vulnerable feelings.

Thanks to Rene for the tip!

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5 years ago

Skype for Windows Mobile Now Compatible with 6.1

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Skype for Windows Mobile Now Compatible with 6.1

Skype's mobile client for Windows Mobile has been updated to 2.2, it now is compatible with Windows Mobile 6.1. GSM Arena put it through its paces and found it to work well over WiFi, over 3G not so much. Otherwise you're looking at a pretty full-featured client, with support for calls, Skype-out for calling regular numbers, Skype's text-chat, etc.

One downside that GSM Arena notes is that, unlike when making normal calls, the screen stays on during a call and is therefore likely to get “cheek taps” that might accidentally end your call. 'Course, that's not a problem for WMExperts' readers, because y'all know about the clever software that just turns your screen off with the push of an assigned button.

Download Skype 2.2 for Windows Mobile [via Gear Diary]

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5 years ago

NuevaSync: Exchange Conduit for Google Calendar and Contacts

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I've long been looking for a personal holy grail: using Windows Mobile's built-in support for Exchange Active Sync Push to access my information on Google. I had hoped that it would be MailShadowG, but it turns out that service is a desktop-only client that talks only to Exchange. Forwarding gmail to a 3rd party Exchange server is an option, but it's a hassle and doesn't usually provide a very good sync'ed up experience.

Enter NuevaSync [via], a free service that offers an Exchange server that is automatically synced up to Google Calendar and Contacts (Plaxo too, but let's leave Plaxo aside, eh?). They don't have email support yet, but they're working on it and it looks like they're going to do it right -- which is to say they'll be doing it via an IMAP gateway for proper folder sync.

Anyhow, once you've set up your NuevaSync account and connected it up to your Google account, the last step is to set up Exchange on your Windows Mobile phone, you can find those instructions here. Syncing Google's PIM to your device is well and good, but you'll need to also get that info synced from your desktop to Google -- we'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

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5 years ago

Verizon faces Labor Strike -- Updated: Not wireless

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Update: WME-a-culpa: the below story is about Verizon Telecom, not Verizon Wireless. Bob writes in to let us know that Verizon Wireless is actually almost completely non-union and thus not involved with Verizon's labor problems. In fact, the two companies don't actually have all that much to do with each other. So Verizon Wireless customers: move along, nothing to see here. Verizon Telecom customers, read on.

The question “Can you hear me know?” may have a different answer for Verizon customers in the coming days. A strike by 65,000 union workers for the communications provider is looming if a labor contract is not agreed upon by midnight Saturday.

According to various news sources including the Syracuse.com and the Boston Globe major unresolved issue between the unions and Verizon is the preservation of jobs and health care. According to reports, Verizon has been outsourcing jobs to other countries. Adding 1.5 million subscribers is all well and good, but it's not too helpful if there aren't employees around to support them.

The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers have members who are involved in installation and maintenance of the Verizon Network. Verizon, one the country's largest providers of communications services, earned $5.52 billion last year, down from $6.2 billion in 2006. A company spokesperson informed Syracuse.com that a contingency plan is in place should a strike occurs but would not go into detail what those plans are.

A similar strike occurred in 2000 resulting in a backlog of phone repairs and installations nationwide.

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5 years ago

Samsung Omnia - Hardware Hands-On

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Samsung Omnia - Hardware Hands-On

Samsung Omnia: HERE. Sure, sure, we've mocked the 'me-too' nature of the form factor, the somewhat strange 240x400 screen resolution, and the fact that we don't actually know when it's going to hit AT&T (we're still holding out hope for September). Here's what we haven't put enough emphasis on: the sucker is armed to the teeth with features:

  • 3G, WiFi, FM Radio, GPS
  • 5 Megapixel camera with Flash
  • 16gig of onboard storage
  • Accelerometer
  • Speedy 624 MHz processor
  • Respectable 1440 mAH battery
  • DIVX video supprt
  • Yes, that higher screen resolution
  • Opera 9.5 on-board
  • Surprising good software enhancements

We'll get to those 'surprisingly good software enhancements' in our next piece. For now, just know that our mantra of “don't throw features at a phone and assume it will be good” still holds and it looks like the Omnia has a decent chance of passing that test.

So check out the video above, check out the photo gallery after the break for more images and head-to-head comparisons with other Windows Mobile devices, and check back again very soon for a more in-depth look at the Omnia.

Samsung Omnia

Omnia and Sprint Touch

Omnia and HTC Diamond

Omnia and AT&T Tilt

Omnia and Samsung BlackJack II

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5 years ago

Microsoft misses 20-million-license goal

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Microsoft misses 20-million-license goal

The good news: Microsoft sold more than 18 million Windows Mobile licenses in the last fiscal  year, which ended June 30.

The bad news: That's 2 million short of its 20-million-unit target.

Of course, it's all a matter of perspective. Worldwide, only Nokia and its Symbian OS is outselling Windows Mobile. Senior VP Andy Lees noted that Redmond's market share rose nearly 2 percentage points, to nearly 13 percent of the world smartphone market.

And Lees dumps some of the shortfall blame on device manufacturers, saying that some devices went to market later than expected. But he was mum on who the slowpokes were.

"The OEMs give us predictions as to when they'll ship the devices, and I don't want to put them in the dunk tank, if that's a phrase, by implying that they didn't stay on time. That's confidential conversations that we have."

Being as this is the sort of thing investors worry about, Microsoft stock (MSFT) was down just a tick at 11 a.m. EDT, at 26.20 a share.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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5 years ago

Google Maps for WM Hits 2.2, Gets Transit Info

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The arms race between Google Maps and Live Search continues. The latest salvo comes from Google, who have finally given Windows Mobile a feature they released awhile ago on BlackBerry: directions for mass transit. Check the video above to get a feel for it (yes, sadly, demoed on a BlackBerry). They have around 50ish metro areas covered (see a list here), limited currently to the cities that are “forward thinking” enough to bother getting their data to Google in the right format. In other words, the list is California-heavy and has some startling omissions like New York City(!) and some strange bits like including Duluth, MN but not the Twin Cities. Fortunately, more cities are coming.

[via Pocket PC Thoughts]

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