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5 years ago

FCC Approves Kaiser. Be Still My Heart

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FCC Approves Kaiser. Be Still My Heart

More evidence that the Kaiser is definitely coming to AT&T: FCC approval. Now FCC approval in and of itself isn't necessarily a guarantee that AT&T will pick up the device, but in this case I feel pretty confident. Why? Because HTC actually got three versions of this wunderphone approved:

  • The Kaiser 100 is a camera-less version (think business use)
  • The Kaiser 110 has one 3mp camera
  • The Kaiser 120 has two cameras - the big one in the back and the little one for video conferencing on the front.

The 110 is the one to pay attention to here. Just as with the Blackjack, AT&T (well, it was Cingular back then) took in the single-camera version, as having two cameras sort of makes it a little too obvious that their network isn't all it could be. Why would HTC bother making a less-powerful, short-a-camera version of the Kaiser if not for AT&T to snap it up? That pitter-patter sound you hear is my heart.

The Kaiser is a full-fledged Windows Mobile 6 Pro slider (flip-up, no less) with 3G, built-in WiFi, and built-in GPS. Please hurry. I'm getting tired of Sprint's Mogul being the hottest thing on the block. The rumor used to be "late July", but we're just about fresh-out of July, so I'm thinking mid September (i.e. after the Sept. 8th FCC confidentiality agreement expires). Which is funny, because I'm also thinking AT&T will finally bequeath Windows Mobile 6 unto the Blackjack, 8525, and the Treo 750 around that time. Heck, AT&T, you may as well do it all on the same day - and as long as you're at it, throw in a free pony.

Read: WirelessInfo.com via Boy Genius

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5 years ago

Newsgator Online RSS Reader

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Newsgator Online RSS Reader

The Internets are all a-twitter over NewsGator's new Mobile RSS Reader, designed for that other phone. That's all well and good, but I'm excited for me. Why? Because of the little reminder that NewsGator has had a mobile portal for the rest of us. I use Newsgator for my RSS needs (NetNewsWire on the Mac), and I like it. More to the point (and I'm sorry about this, NewsGator), I don't much like NewsGator Go!. I don't like it partially because of the extraneous Yahoo-esque! exclamation! point! but mostly because I find it relatively slow and cumbersome.

I'm here to say that although the iPhone version (which you can only see on an iPhone) is really cool, the regular old NewsGator Mobile portal is nice too. That is, once you go through the curious hassle of entering your "mobile pin" (which, so far as I can tell, you'll never use again) in your NewsGator settings.

Also - the mobile version is free with your NewsGator account. Just saying.

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5 years ago

New To Me: Windows Mobile Has a "Run" Dialog

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I have written before (and will surely write again) about how I'd like something like Quicksilver for Windows Mobile: A simple text entry field that I could enter short, simple text commands into do Get Things Done.

I'm imagining a text field on my today screen, or barring that a little app that indexed contacts, favorites, applications, and settings via Windows Mobile 6's Smart Search (which also works on email, hint hint). Being able to put a "s" in front of a search would make it go search the web for your terms. Or "t joe I'm on my way" would send Joe a text message that I'm on my way. You get the idea. You can see I want this. I'm not the only one.

Enough background. I came across this sweet, hardcore (in a good way) Windows Mobile development blog and was largely mystified. Until I saw that you could do this: "tap and hold down the ‘Action’ key while tapping and holding the stylus on the clock shown on the nav bar." "Action key" is your center button. This'll work on a Pocket PC / Pro edition phone (but not, strangely, a Treo 750). What pops up is essentially the same as Desktop Windows' 'Run' dialog.

Within this dialog you can enter the path to any executable, as well as any required command line parameters.

Examples you may like to try out are as follows:

calc.exe
iexplore.exe
ctlpnl.exe cplmain.cpl,4,0

Read: Windows Mobile Development » Blog Archive » Windows Mobile Tip: Accessing the Run dialog

Yeah, it's not what I dream of. It's not even all that useful given that it's tough to get to and it doesn't auto-complete or search all the places I'd like it to. But there you go, Windows Mobile has a flavor Run dialog. nom nom nom.

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5 years ago

WMExperts Contest - Win $25 to Spend on Accessories!

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That is right - two new announcements rolled into this here post:

  1. Every week day from now through the end of August, we are giving away one $25 coupon good at the WMExperts Store. Contest rules and suchlike are here. To enter, just sign up for our newsletter.
  2. We're going to be sending out a newsletter (see how #2 here follows from #1?) every two weeks or so, which will feature our top stories as well as special deals from our Accessory Store. To sign up, just punch your email in on the new box you see over there on the right.

Obviously we're not evil, so you can unsubscribe from the newsletter (and still be eligible) anytime by clicking the handy link you'll find at the bottom of it. Also in the "we're not-evil" vein, we never ever ever ever give emails out to 3rd parties. We can't believe you ever doubted us. We're hurt, really.

I'll tell you something else (though I'm sure you could figure this out on your own), we're choosing winners randomly from the pool of people who have signed up, naturally. If you think about it, though, that means your chances of winning are better the earlier you sign up, because there will be a smaller pool of people you're competing against in the early days.

...We're also working on a few other neat new features for the site which should be popping up in a few weeks, so stay tuned.

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5 years ago

Amp'd Deathwatch: Start Choosing Pallbearers

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Update 2: Yeesh. The Q and A now says July 31st. But customer service supposedly is done for. So if you are an amp'd customer, go find a bill with your account number and then get your current mobile # ported asap. How long until we start titling these posts "amp'd zombiewatch" instead of "deathwatch?"

Update: The Consumerist says "Port your number" to another carrier right now. We agree. Here's their helpful how-to.

So Amp'd is selling off assets, perhaps to help with that bankruptcy. And while that might unsettle subscribers, here's the real excitement - It might shut down ENTIRELY tomorrow. That's per a Q and A on Amp'd's site:

Is Amp'd going out of business?
Amp'd is potentially suspending US operations on July 24th.

How long will customer service be provided to help with issues such as ports or credits?
Customer Service will not be available after July 23rd.

Will Amp'd be bought by another carrier?
Amp'd is currently in discussions with several parties.

When I decide on my new wireless service provider - can I take my phone?
Yes, if your service provider of choice uses CDMA.

Read: Amp'd Mobile | Questions And Answers via engadget mobile

Engadget mobile also points out that Best Buy is dropping Amp'd like a bad habit. If you're a subscriber to Amp'd, my condolences. It's looking like a firesale to Verizon is your best hope right now. Actually, your best hope is to take that little CDMA device you have there and see if you can talk Sprint or Verizon into activating it on their network directly.

Previous Deathwatch articles: Amp'd Declares Bankruptcy, CEO Peter Adderton Ousted, and Brief Stay of Execution. Turns out that stay was very brief.

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5 years ago

SMS Turns 15 Years Old

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SMS Turns 15 Years Old

That's the whole story, right there in a nutshell. SMS is 15 - I would have guessed it was older, but maybe that's because I can't imagine my life without it. Now I don't want to say that SMS is a little, er, stunted in the growth department, but .... You'd think after 15 years SMS would be a mature technology, wouldn't you? One that didn't require you to punch in a specific carrier when you're sending from a web page. One that allowed you to forward messages (without the aid of an application always running on the phone). Heck, I'd settle for 200 (or so) characters instead of 160. Just saying.

I know that much of SMS' success is that it's stayed simple in an age of ever-increasing complexity and I'm happy for that, so far as it goes. Seriously, though, who do I have to kill so I never have to configure an email gateway on an unlocked phone again? 'Cause I'd do it, man.

The mobile phone industry is today celebrating the 15th birthday of the Short Message Service Centre (SMSC), the principal application behind text messaging first brought to market by Acision in 1992. The first ever SMSC was introduced as a product designed primarily to deal with the demands and improve reliability of a developing mobile industry, and in that year the first of many deals was signed with Telenor.

Read: 15 Years of the SMS (via ppcaddict)

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5 years ago

ATT Video Share Launches, We Tap Feet Waiting for WM6

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AT&T's new video share service isn't available for Windows Mobile... yet. When they announced that they'd be launching it last month, we noticed a little something something. The leaked BlackJack Windows Mobile 6 ROM had a Video Share app built in. Which means two things to us, given the news from Mobility Site that AT&T has finally, officially launched the service:

  • WM6 on Blackjack, 8525, and the Treo 750 should be right around the corner (I think they're planning on releasing all 3 at once) and
  • At least one of those (the Blackjack) will have Video Share.

Now for the bad news - AT&T apparently doesn't trust its bandwidth enough to allow for two way video - it's one way video and two way audio. Oh well. I guess that's the way it has to be since US carriers and phones with front-facing camera get along like vampires and garlic. Not well.

AT&T Video Share enables one-way live streaming-video feeds that can be seen by both parties while they are participating in a two-way voice conversation. Once the parties have initiated a Video Share call, either one can be the one generating the video stream for the other to see.

Read: AT&T Video Share Arrives in Nearly 160 Markets Nationwide

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5 years ago

TomTom to buy Mapmaker Tele Atlas, NavTeq in Play?

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Let me start by saying that I love TomTom on Windows Mobile - it seems to be the least-resource-intensive among the full featured GPS apps and that matters to me. So I'm inclined to be happy that they're planning on buying up the company that makes the maps they use - Tele Atlas. Supposedly TomTom will be able to gather data from its users to improve the maps. Sure, that's cool.

What's more interesting is that, really, there are two big players in the electronic mapping business these days - Tele Atlas and NavTeq. NavTeq makes the maps for Windows Live Search (swoon) and Notable Calls suspects they'll be snapped up soon as well. That would please me a bit, as it would mean that another mapping client like Google's or WLS's would get more full-featured, but it would also cause me some fear.

Why fear? Well TomTom's purchase is a good case study. They say that TeleAtlas will still be providing maps to other companies, but that decision is pretty much up to the whim of the TomTom management now. Given that TomTom still has the single most annoying GPS software activation process known to mankind, I don't have faith in their commitment to openness. Seems to me what we need is a full-featured, open source, wiki-style map. Hm. Maybe it's time to go contribute to OpenStreetMap, just in case.

Dutch navigation systems company TomTom plans to buy its main map supplier, Tele Atlas, for 1.8 billion euros ($2.5 billion), hoping tight integration of maps and products will give it an edge over competitors.

Read: NavTeq Should Move On Tele Atlas Buyout By TomTom - Seeking Alpha. Thanks to Mike for the tip.

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5 years ago

Qualcomm Chip Ban Continues

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Qualcomm Chip Ban Continues

We just reported that Verizon got fed up with the Qualcomm chip ban and just settled with patent-owner Broadcom directly.

(I guess Verizon figured that they could trust Broadcom since Broadcom had the sense to get rid of co-founder Henry T. Nicholas a few years ago - who has been implicated not only in some stock option tomfoolery but also stands accused of building a secret lair for sex and drugs(!) under his estate. Yes, that's only tangentially related to the story here, but some things are just to juicy not to link. Thanks to Joe for the scandalous tip!)

Anyhow, seems like Verizon made the right decision, as things aren't going so well for Qualcomm:

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dismissed Qualcomm's request for a stay of the ban, saying that it can't consider a stay until a presidential review period is over. U.S. President George Bush has 60 days following the U.S. International Trade Commission's decision from June 7 to overturn the ban.

Read: PC World - Qualcomm Chip Ban Upheld via engadget mobile

So it's looking like it really is going to take presidential intervention to keep Qualcomm's chips flowing into the US. Somebody throw Qualcomm a bone - they're having a rough time of it lately.

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5 years ago

Toshiba G900 Sleep Issue Patched

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Toshiba G900 Sleep Issue Patched

Bully to you, Toshiba! As much as I take guilty pleasure in super-phones not living up to expectations (mostly because I don't actually own said super-phone), I'm happy to see that you have released a patch for that pesky sleep issue. As Arne at the unwired mentions, it's just a patch (get it here) and not a full ROM update - so if you are one of the lucky owners of this superphone, be sure to store it in a safe place.

As mentioned before, Toshiba was expected to release a software patch for the Portégé G900's idle problem and here it is - just released in time: This patch is designed to resolve the issue of G900 devices failing to return to standby mode from deep sleep mode correctly, which some users have experienced and should only be installed by those who've encountered this specific problem.

Read: the::unwired - FIX: Toshiba released the expected Portégé G900 software patch

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5 years ago

Verizon Makes An End Run Around 3G Chip Ban

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Ah, Lawyers. At once both the cause of and the solution to all of life's problems (or maybe that was beer). Verizon apparently got fed up waiting for the President of the United States to help them and decided to help themselves. The problem was that Qualcomm 3G chips infringed on a Broadcom patent, so the International Trade Commission put the kybosh on any imports of new devices with the chips. Not good.

Instead, Verizon is just going to give Broadcom their blood money license fee - to the tune of 6 bucks for every handset, with some caps. Qualcomm is probably crying on the lawyers and in their beer, because it means that in order for any carrier to buy their chips, one of two things needs to happen now:

  • They need to pursue the lawsuit against Broadcom's patent on their own and win
  • Any carrier that wants to use their chips has to pay an extra fee to Broadcom.

Or, of course, those carriers could just go to some other chipmaker. Gee, what other chipmaker besides Qualcomm have I mentioned in this story?

Under a licensing agreement, Verizon will pay Broadcom $6 for every handset, PDA, or data card that uses EvDO (Evolution-Data Optimized) mobile broadband technology. The carrier will make the payments up to a ceiling of $40 million per calendar quarter and a lifetime maximum of $200 million. As part of the deal, Verizon also will drop an effort to overturn the ruling. Other terms are confidential, according to a statement released by the two companies.

Read: Verizon-Broadcom deal via jkOnTheRun

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5 years ago

HTC Vogue (that's a CDMA-Touch) gets FCC Approval

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We figured it was coming because of that leaked roadmap and now we have further proof - the FCC has approved the HTC Vogue, which is the CDMA (meaning higher-speed EVDO, huzzah!) version of the HTC Touch, with which I'm so smitten I can't put it down long enough to write up a review of it, choosing instead to make video comparisons with the iPhone.

Now T-Mobile in Europe has the GSM version of the HTC Touch, but I haven't seen much in the way of rumblings that it will make it onto T-Mobile in the US. Still and all, I'm pretty surprised to see that we'll be getting a CDMA version officially before we get the now available GSM version. But whatever, the more itty-bitty Windows Mobile 6 devices out there, the better. Verizon or Sprint? I don't know, but my hunch is Sprint. Just saying.

Thanks to the characteristically loose-lipped folks at the FCC, it looks like HTC's making good on the rumor that a CDMA rendition of the Touch was in the pipeline

Read: HTC Vogue sees FCC approval - Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Treo 750 Audio Alerts Update

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Treo 750 Audio Alerts Update

Boom! I've experienced this issue and always chalked it up to WMW (Windows Mobile Weirdness), but apparently it's just straight-up tomfoolery from Palm. See, with the Treo 750 (and yes, I also had similar issues with the 750v), sometimes alarms, alerts, and rings would just not happen. It was annoying and whenever I'd discovered that I'd missed a call it would send me on a two hour bugfix rampage that would make me feel better about myself and my (then new to me) platform but wouldn't actually fix the problem.

Well Joy - Palm has released a patch in the form of a relatively small .cab file. Note that it's not a ROM update, so you will need to remember to reinstall it if you do a hard reset. And really, aren't we better off that Palm didn't try to roll out a ROM update anyway?

One assumes that if Palm and AT&T ever get around to giving us that promised Windows Mobile 6 update, this'll be rolled into it as well.

Go getcher update here, complete with the sad story explaining why the error was allowed to happen in the first place.

An Audio  Alerts software update for the Treo 750 smartphone from AT&T is now available. Occasionally the Treo 750 can enter a state where sounds are lost for phone calls and notifications. This can result in missed calls and notifications.

(via Mobility Sitee)

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5 years ago

Microsoft Throwing Gobs of Cash at Online Live Services

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LiveSide reads the tea leaves from Microsoft's most recent Earnings Report. What might look like bad news, a posting of a big loss, actually bodes well for the future:

According to the report, the Online Services Group, which includes Windows Live, lost 732 million dollars this year, way up from the 74 million that they lost the previous year.  Now, what could they have spent 658 million extra dollars on this year.  Luckily for us, they let us in on that too.  The report sites, "increased data center costs in our Online Services Business," as the reason for the extra losses.

LiveSide notes that Microsoft has talked about building massive data centers in the past. All this spending could mean that we can expect even more beefed up Windows Live services, including online apps, in the near future. They call it Windows Live Core, we call it a good opportunity for the mobile space. A good opportunity, that is, if people can figure out just exactly what "Windows Live" means in the first place.

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5 years ago

Motorola Posts Loss - 2nd Quarter Pounded Them, With Cheese

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It's been a rough quarter for Motorola and the result is that they posted a loss of $28 million for the quarter. I'm not at all surprised by the loss. Take a gander at all of the hijinks that they've been though in the past few months:

And that's just the coverage here. Now, Motorola has said that they're hoping the smartphone space will help save them and they may have a point there - the only bright spot in their report is that "Enterprise Mobility" is doing just fine, thanks. Must be those nice guys from Good Technology that got brought into the fold. My advice to them - keep your head down and keep on keepin' on.

In the second quarter, Motorola reported a net loss of $28 million, or 1 cent a share, down from year-ago profit of $1.38 billion, or 55 cents a share.

The mobile unit also posted an operating loss of $264 million, compared with an $804 million gain a year earlier.

Motorola's third major segment, called Enterprise Mobility, saw a 42% jump in sales to $1.9 billion. Operating profit rose to $302 million from $252 million.

Read: UPDATE: Motorola Turns To Loss As Mobile-phone Sales Fizzle Abroad

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