iphone

In a new video on YouTube, it's alleged (and seemingly demonstrated) that the HD7 suffers from an antenna/reception issue similar to the Apple iPhone 4--namely if you grip it a certain way, it has a noticeable effect on the reception, up to the point where calls and data are dropped. This so-called "death grip" problem dubbed antenna-gate by many is related to having the antenna near the bottom of the phone, which is a design choice to keep the antenna (and radiation) away from the head.

At first, we were skeptical of the evidence found in the video, noting that in general, T-Mobile's coverage and reception is worse than AT&T and to put it bluntly, the HD7's overall signal reception was not the best to begin with. In turn, we tried to duplicate the situation numerous times and in the video above, you'll see our results which came as a surprise. In short, the HD7 does appear to have a death-grip problem--even to the point where data can be held up.

By way of comparison (not in the video though) the Samsug Focus seems to be just fine.  Combined with the "pink camera" issue, the HD7 to looks have a few notches against it. Feel free to chime in with your experiences in comments! See the original YouTube video after the break.

Source: YouTube, via: Geekword; Thanks, Muhammad A., for the tip

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Recently, in a jocular back and forth between Matthew Mller (ZDNet), myself and Chad Garrett of TiPB, Chad suggested that we're enjoying just old ports of iPhone games and therefore nothing special when it comes to things like Assassin's Creed.

But after reading John Gruber's excellent article on Where Are the Android Killer Apps? I realized that Microsoft has done something that Google/Android have not: taken away Apple's exclusivity on various games and killer apps. Sure, we don't have nearly as many and are still lacking some big ones, but isn't that just a matter of time? Here's Gruber's quote on the matter which sums it up perfectly:

A final thought, regarding Android’s relative weakness as a software platform. iOS’s exclusivity for a bunch of big-name mobile games — Need for Speed Undercover, Star Wars: Battle for Hoth, Monopoly, Tetris, The Sims, Assassin’s Creed — has been broken. Not by Android, where none of these games exist, but by Windows Phone 7, a one-month-old platform.

That really is huge. Why, despite how popular Android is, have they failed to get many big titles? Why no killer, exclusive apps, except the closely held "Google experience" ones (e.g. Gmail, Google Talk)? We already know about why there's no Netflix (poor security, fragmentation).

Of course we know the answer: Microsoft puts a lot of emphasis on courting developers, even throwing money at them to cover the cost of development. Sure it's brash, perhaps uncouth but it works. Remember, this about the ends (consumer experience) not so much the means (save it for you business ethics class). Fact is, at this pace, Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 will have more quality big-name offerings than Android, who's big sellers instead tend to be ones that modify or fix the OS.

Sounds a lot like our old Windows Mobile, aka the past.

So yes, Apple, we'll take your ports and exclusives and any apps that make your platform "unique"--you'll loose that  and a reason for people to choose your product over Windows Phone 7.

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When people talk about smart-phone platforms, the two that stand out to people (for better or worse) are iPhone and Android. There are a lot of reasons for this; usability, ecosystem (apps, services), and just sheer popularity are all factors. It makes you wonder why a brand-spanking-new platform like Windows Phone 7 would get a popular app like NetFlix before one of the two 300 lb gorillas in the room (Android); and if you really think about it, the Windows Phone 7 app was demoed at the Mix conference (March 15-17) before it was available for the iPhone (August 26). So what is it about Windows Phone 7 that makes a company like NetFlix choose a fledgling OS as their starting point for mobile over the more established platforms?

It turns out that the answer comes down to security (ironic, considering this is Microsoft). According to Wired (via @joebelfiore), Android doesn’t offer a secure enough DRM system to make Hollywood happy. With all of the concerns about piracy digital rights, Microsoft has been able to get a leg up on the competition by building Windows Phone as a secure platform.

Now before I start getting hate mail from the Android faithful, I recognize that NetFlix is coming to Android; but the current plans are for limited device support (can you say fragmentation?); not a full-fledged roll out.

So what does this mean to Joe Consumer? Microsoft is making every effort to make app developers happy and successful with Windows Phone 7 as a platform. This will serve to help the Windows Phone ecosystem (apps and services) grow and mature; which is great news for you and me.

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The last time there was a 'browser war' with Internet Explorer/WP7 (vs the iPhone 3Gs), WP7 didn't fair too well. Of course, the comparison was not as ideal as one would have liked, but when given lemons...

Luckily, the fine folks over at Pocketnow have done a more proper comparison between the iPhone, LG GW910 (unfinished build of WP7) and Android 2.2 ('Froyo'), loading a few different websites in the process.

Conclusion? Well, for being "unfinished" and a near v1.0, Mobile Internet Explorer actually holds it own. One could only imagine it will get better with the final release and then hopefully some occasional updates. But overall, it looks quite usable and even smoother than Android.

Watch the full 10-minute video after the break!

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Eck. It was bound to happen. Someone put up an iPhone 3GS up against the prototype Samsung 'Taylor" Windows Phone 7 device in a mini-browser war.

Although a lot of press have been giving Mobile IE a 'not bad as we thought' review, it still pales in comparison to Apple's HTML5 based browser.

Now in fairness, Mobile IE may not be finished yet and in fact, is probably not, so we should expect it to perform better by release. On top of that, we know Mobile IE can be updated independently of the whole OS, allowing, in theory, frequent updates to improve the browsing experience.

Having said all of that, who here would not have liked to see WP7 beat the iPhone 3GS out? It sure would have been a nice ego boost and headline grabber. And without 3rd party browsers being available, at least for awhile (Microsoft has said they may be willing to work with companies to offer browser alternatives, if demand is high enough), we won't have much choice. Come on Mobile IE team!

Watch the full, somewhat painful video, after the break!

[NewsGeek via 1800PocketPC; Thanks Saijo]

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Programming: Windows Phone 7 vs iPhone

Being that we're not programmers ourselves, we have to live vicariously through others to discuss the subject at hand: which platform is better to program for--iPhone or Windows Phone 7?

Over at 'Don's Blog' (Don Burnett), we get a nice coding comparison between the two platforms and lo-behold, WP7 wins. The reasons revolve around newer coding language (C# vs Objective C), faster tools and just generally easier programming tools.

Actually, you can just watch Don's slick slide presentation after the break to get all the facts from his viewpoint, including timing differences and you can read his blurb right here

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Microsoft has been busy updating their Bing service, adding Zune store support, access to social sites like Twitter and overall just making it a real solid competitor to Google's platform.

Recently at that Cannes Lions advertising conference, Bing on Windows Phone 7 was demoed and it brings the same search plus all that new stuff as well. Some of these advanced features are the following, as detailed by 1800PocketPC:

  • Twitter and Facebook Search about the keyword with one click – It looks like you can also drill down to results by your friends only.
  • Share with your Friends
  • Barcode and CoverArt Scan and Bing gives you info on that product

Interestingly, a lot of these same features are already available on another mobile OS--yeah, that one. On June 22nd, Microsoft rolled up a nice update for the iPhone/iPad which included all of the above, including that bar-code scanner feature which rivals Google's Shopper/Bar Code apps on Android.

While we're pretty excited to see Bing and Zune get front and center on Windows Phone 7, we're still hoping that Microsoft hasn't forgotten WM6.x and will update their Bing software soon, you know for the rest of us. If and when it comes, you can bet the above feature set should be included.

Check out the video here, specifically at 9:10 and 14:03.

[Thanks, Saijo]

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Gee, that new iPhone 4 sure is shiny, with its high-resolution, 326-dpi screen. But you know what? It's not the first to cross the 300-dpi threshold. That news comes from from an Android guru, actually. Tim Bray, who joined Google earlier this year and knows a thing or three about this business broke it down today on his blog. The Windows Mobile-powered Toshiba G900 and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 (remember them, folks?) both packed in the pixels back in their day. Of course, neither was a big hit in the United States, so we'll forgive you for not counting their pixels. Check out the whole hubub over dots per inch at Tim's blog. [TimBray.org]

Edit: Getting a high DPI is easy when you double the resolution but *don't* increase the size of the screen, which is what Apple did with the iPhone 4. Fact is, 3.5inch for the iPhone is on the small side these days for smartphones as HTC has made 3.2"  small, 3.6" the medium and 4.3" as large. 

Had Apple made a 4.3" screen to compete with the HD2, their DPI would drop to a less impressive 268

Incidently, the AT&T Pure is about 291 DPI, which while lower than the iPhone 4, is still in the ball park despite having a lower resolution. Why? It only has a small 3.2" screen. The Xperia X1 was over 300 DPI because it only had a 3 inch screen.

While a high DPI is nice, having a larger screen can be just as preferable, especially for reading on-the-go.

--Malatesta

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Spent the afternoon checking out the iPhone 4.0 announcement at TiBP.com, and a few upgrades have been, erm, "borrowed" from Windows Phone 7, it appears. Basically, the iPhone's new multitasking works in much the same way, saving an app's state before hopping out of it and into another one. Hardly revolutionary, Apple.

One thing we are a little jealous of, however, is the ability to sync with multiple Exchange accounts. That's something Windows Mobile never managed to so, and Palm finally managed to do it with the Pre. So there's one with have to give to Cupertino. There's also improved enterprise (read: business) support. We'd expect Microsoft to be on the forefront of that, too, with Windows Phone 7, given that depth of Exchange in business. So, no biggie there.

All in all, an interesting show, but nothing to make us really worry about Windows Phone 7 being dead before it gets off the ground.

Update: Oh, and how did we forget this: Folders?!?!? Really, Apple? That's so Windows Mobile 5. And "intelligent naming"? What does that even mean?

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Heads up, folks. I'll be invading The iPhone Blog's live podcast tonight to talk up Windows Mobile, talk about the Smartphone Round Robin and maybe (just maybe) get Rene Ritchie & Co. to admit that the iPhone isn't the coolest thing since the Newton. Here are the deets:

 

  • Time: 8 p.m. EDT tonight. (That's 5 p.m. for you guys on the West Coast.)
  • Topic: Windows Mobile, Windows Mobile, Windows Mobile. (And maybe some iPhone.)
  • Where: Click here.

I expect to see each and every one of you in the chatroom.

 

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What could we possibly have to say about Apple and the iPhone that hasn't been said countless times already? Plenty. Given that Apple has spent the past year largely consolidating its power in the mobile space, and Microsoft has spent the past year making many wonder if they're going to continue in the mobile space, it's fitting that we take a look at the two here in the second week of the third annual Smartphone Round Robin.

There will be no talk of iPhone killers.

There will be no talk of the death of Windows Mobile.

OK, there may be a little. Keep reading for more.

Update: Addendum

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"Wow, that's a lot of apps." Those were some of the first words out of my mouth when I sat down to take a look at the iPhone. You know, the platform that has single-handedly killed off every other smartphone known to -- oh, wait. We're all still here? Good.

So, to get the discussion going, I've started a thread in The iPhone Blog's forums. And I expect each and every one of you go post in it. Often. Oh, and each time you do, you have a chance to win a smartphone of your choice (up to $1,000). Plus there's the whole thing about keeping the Windows Mobile end up, and that's important, too.

Hit up the video after the break, where Rene Ritchie, editor at The iPhone Blog, learns me a thing or three about the iPhone. And be sure to check out all the other goings on in the third annual Smartphone Round Robin.

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Windows Mobile has taken another hit in the PR department. In a report coming from comScore, Microsoft now sits in third place behind RIM and Apple in regards to devices that are currently in use. ComScore, a research firm, conducted a monthly poll in which the inquired of respondents which type of phone the own. According to FierceDeveloper.com, comScore found that 14.9 million respondents use a Blackberry phone. iPhone was listed in second place at 8.9 million users, while Microsoft came in third at 7.1 million for Windows Mobile. Upwards of 196 million reported that their phone did not use a proprietary OS.

While polls of this nature aren’t perfect, this is consistent with what we’ve been hearing from other realms. One doesn’t have to search very hard to find multiple reports of the demise of Windows Mobile as a platform.

My primary question is how much of this is due to Windows Mobile being weak in the brand recognition department? Many people don’t even realize that they are using a Windows Mobile phone, much less what flavor of the OS it is running. Without a doubt, Microsoft has a high bar to shoot for with Windows Mobile 7, not the least of which is a release date that doesn’t slip into the distant future.

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Well, look at that. Somebody over at Microsoft just won $20, 'cause they managed to get the Bing application into Apple's App Store, making it available for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

I gave it a quick run-through and found it more or less acts the same as Bing on Windows Mobile. Can't speak to whether it suffers from the same complaints we've seen recently.

More screen shots after the break, and more at The iPhone Blog.

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Vodafone is/isn't ditching the HD2

There's a little bit of confusion regarding whether Vodafone is letting the HTC HD2 die on the vine as it prepares to launch the iPhone 3GS.

A report from Electric Pig (and picked up by Engadget) says that Vodafone wouldn't be restocking stores in order to deal with a current backlog of orders. And that's just the case. Not that Vodafone is "ditching" the HD2. Not that the iPhone 3GS has anything to do with anything. Subsequent forum posts from Vodafone spell it out:

We just wanted to update you all on the current situation with the HD2:

We haven't recalled or stopped selling it, at the moment we have simply ran out of stock. When our next batch of stock arrives, this will be used to fulfil our outstanding back orders but we won’t be taking any additional orders via Telesales.

Now everybody simmer down. You Vodafone customers should consider yourselves lucky to be on the same continent where the HD2 is selling! :-/

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iPhone gets a taste of spyware

Just a few months ago we reported on a pretty ingenious and frightening program called PhoneCreeper that could seriously compromise security on your WinMo phone.  Of course people went into a tither of it and rightly so, even though this was more proof-of-concept.

Now the iPhone is getting a taste of the future with SpyPhone. SpyPhone can steal all sorts of things, including "... geolocation data, passwords, address book entries and email accounts information, images, Safari Browsing history, youtube, keyboard logger, etc.".

Now the truly frightening part: it works on Jailbroken and "virgin" phones alike. It just uses the public API offered by Apple to use it's own features as exploits. Acting like a trojan, the app will steal and send out your data.

So much for the "jailbroken = security threat" meme.

This is just another volley it what is sure to be an ongoing problem with the mobile internet age, though for once Microsoft might not be the number one security target.  Point is, we know this can already be done on Windows Mobile so folks will need to keep their ears perked.

[via Taranfx]

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It's been no secret that Microsoft has been trying to get iPhone developers to hop on board the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and we're starting to see some very similar apps emerge.

After the break, we take a look at Flight Commander for Windows Mobile (available for $6.99 in the Marketplace), along with video of the gameplay.

Update: In the course of this review we'd contacted Firemint, maker of the iPhone Flight Control app (see more of that after the break) to see if they'd developed Flight Commander under a different name. Looks like we've poked the bear, as Firemint has replied and says it has nothing to do with this app and "will be investigating further and taking all appropriate actions."

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Yes fellow Windows phone lovers, we have hit a milestone today: we have been blessed with our very first gaseous joke application, dubbed MyFart for a bargain price of $0.99 in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

No more shall we be envious of the iPhone crowd, though they still out number our flatulent vaporware (snicker), we have finally struck back with our own puerile program and we assure thee iPhoners, this is just the beginning, for we smell victory.  Prepare for the fartocalypse! 

(Too much on the last one?)

Update: See George's earlier review of a similar app called, wait for it, Jack the Ripper.  Brilliant.

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