redfly

Sure while everyone is taking pot-shots at Windows Mobile and market share hub-bub, people are using it left and right to get things done in the world.  The latest group to do so is not some fly-by night company but the United States Army.

Launching their Go Mobile Gear, designed for the modern, tech savvy solider (who would be laughed off the battle field for having a pansy iPhone), the U.S. military has approved a handful of  "...communications and conferencing devices that can fit into a soldier’s pocket while going easy on the service’s pocketbook."

Soldiers can use these devices to access "...the Army Knowledge Online portal, a repository of online information, distance learning tools, e-mail and other resources for 2.6 million Army users. The Web-based service is now part of a broader service known as Defense Knowledge Online."

So what does the military consider to be solid devices for the troops?

(Funny, I have half of that stuff....Army here I come!)

The whole kit (we imagine only one phone of course) can be had for about $1,000.  It's a pretty huge endeveor too by the military, which states:

Each piece of the Go Mobile kit has to meet stringent Defense Department information assurance requirements," Parker said. The project is getting ready for its first phase of deployment for garrison training. The next phase will be the tactical environment, which will require hardening of the equipment to military specifications, including both Mil-Std 810-F and Mil-Std 810-G requirements.

And joking aside, the military is evidently "tech agnostic" as they do plan to look at and roll out iPhone and Android sometime in the future.  But for now, it's all WinMo baby.

[Government Computer News via Federal Computer Week]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...


The folks at Celio, makers of the REDLY Mobile Companion, just dropped a note in our forums saying that they've updated the beta drivers for the Mobile Viewer. For those keeping score at home, Mobile Viewer basically lets you hook your Windows phone up to your desktop PC and control it from there, monitor, keyboard and all.

Build 192 brings the following:

  • A new feature called Event Notification is now available. If you have your phone connected to your laptop and RMV running and connected to your phone, any phone call or SMS text message you receive will pop-up a small dialog in your system tray with that notice.
  • A new feature called Network Sharing is now available. This feature is not yet working for all smartphones we support, but when it is enable on many phones, you may choose via a setting in the Options dialog whether to use your PC network connection in the Mobile Viewer or instead isolate that connection and communicate outward through your phone's data plan.
  • Several small issues with scaling the viewer console window have been corrected.

Learn more about the REDFLY Mobile Viewer here, and get the new drivers here.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

The idea of the Redfly goes thusly: Take the netbook form factor and then turn your smartphone into that form factor by "tricking' your it into thinking it has a larger screen, full keyboard, and mouse. It's an idea that we've been pretty fond of, but frankly we're not the sort to leave the laptop behind.

Enter Redfly Mobile Viewer, which takes the same basic idea and jettisons the Redfly hardware in favor of an app on your Windows PC. Think SOTI Pocket Controller with an added twist: instead of merely duplicating your smartphone on the PC, it actually convinces Windows Mobile it's running on different hardware.

Actually, never mind the details – the upshot is that you can have a window on your PC that is your smartphone – only enhanced with a 1024x768-sized screen, your PC's keyboard and mouse.  It might just be a nice solution for some Mobile Accomplishers out there who want to keep as much of their work as possible on the smartphone and/or who don't want to bother tethering.

It is a Beta, however, so it's still a little twitchy here and there (see: browsers).  On the bright side, Redfly has announced compatibility with 18 more smartphones and also sped up its software a bit.

The Beta is free and just might be worth a shot. Learn more over at CelioCorp.com.

Update: Phil takes the Mobile Viewer for a spin after the break.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

 

We've heard from a few of you out there asking when the Ceilo Redfly mobile companion would be compatible with the Opera Mobile 9.5 beta browser. Folks, your day has come. And, more important, Celio has heard you. The latest drivers build fixes the following:

  • The Opera 9.5 beta release of the browser (which ships natively with many of the phones above) is now supported.
  • USB performance and speed has been significantly enhanced.
  • A potential conflict between WiFi and Bluetooth can occasionally cause connections to be dropped. There are multiple things that affect Bluetooth connectivity and signal strength. This has been partially resolved.
  • Basic support for Direct Draw has been added to the REDFLY driver which now means that applications that used those interfaces will render properly on the REDFLY in most cases.
  • REDFLY.exe has been re-factored now to be a service under the OS for improved stability.

And things they're still working on:

  • This release does not support the HTC TouchFLO interface at this time. If this setting is enabled in the phone, REDFLY attempts to turn it off programmatically when you connect with the REDFLY, and then turn it back on when you disconnect.
  • The Sony XPERIA Panels Choice menu doesn't work when connected to REDFLY -Panels themselves scale and work, but the Choose Panel window doesn't.
  • The Sony XPERIA Phone Dialer window is cut off such that you can't see the number you are dialing.
  • Samsung Themes 1 and 2 are not supported with the REDFLY.
  • The Samsung Today and Samsung Widgets must not be checked (turned on) in the Omnia Settings menu.
  • If in portrait mode when connecting to the REDFLY, the dialer application on the Omnia will not render correctly. Connect while in landscape mode and this is not a problem.
More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

 

As it did the year before, the Smartphone Round Robin needed to go into overtime again this time around -- but we're finished now!  If you haven't been following along, here's what you missed:  Each of the editors of our five Smartphone Experts sites swapped phones for a week or so, reviewing and leanring what it's like to wear another smarphone user's shoes.  The result is the entire series of articles you see linked on this handy page, the Smartphone Round Robin of 2008.

What will you learn there?  You'll learn that there was no single smartphone that 'won' the Round Robin -- but that's by design.  There's no perfect smartphone out there, but there just might be the perfect smartphone to fit your needs.  If you're looking to get a new smartphone soon, think about what you need it do to and then hit up these articles -- you'll find that depending on what each of us care about, we'll give you a useful perspective on whether a given smartphone matches up. 

Actually, we explain it all pretty well on this page. Oh, yeah, one more thing, we are giving away fabulous prizes:

Find out who the winners are, after the break!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
16

Smackdown: RedFly vs Netbook (MSI Wind)

 

The title says it all. Which is a better mobile solution: RedFly (see Dieter's full review) or MSI Wind Netbook (see Laptop Mag's full review)?  To be honest, the question is a bit unfair as they are technically different device genres with different puposes. But alas, people have spoken and want to see a head-to head. So here’s a brief rundown of their pros and cons. (For the record, I’m using the older version of the RedFly). Curious about my experience with both?  Then read on and ask me any questions you may have, since I surely did not think of everything.
More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

After seeing this post at jkOnTheRun, I hot-footed it over to Mio's booth to check out their new device -- which is a Mobile Internet Device running Windows Mobile Pro 6.1.  It's still very much a prototype, they're still deciding on final specs, and they're not even sure that they're going to bring it to market.  Price, final RAM, even whether or not it will have a SIM card slot for connectivity are all up in the air.

Nevertheless, it's one sweet piece of kit and the best Windows Mobile device I've seen at CES.  Find out more after the break and check out our hands-on gallery!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Celio, the group that brought us the REDFLY Mobile Companion, reportedly is at work on some more goodies - one hardware-related, the other software.

Engadget reports that the REDFLY PC Software will let you essentially run Windows Mobile on any XP- or Vista-based computer. Real-life scenario: You've got a netbook or laptop but no WiFi. You've got some major blogging to do but don't want to bash it out on your smartphone. The REDFLY PC Software would let your laptop control your phone, data connection and all, with a much more reasonable keyboard.

Also on tap is the hardware-based Smartphone Dock (above). Think of it as a BYO keyboard and monitor sitution. Plug in your phone and you've got desktop-sized Windows Mobile goodness. Why do that instead of just using the desktop computer? Security could be one reason. Easy access to your contacts and e-mails when you're on the go could be another. Anyhoo, this is just in the concept stage right now. And the price would need to be very competitive to make sense.

Update: Wondering what that PC Software might look like?

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Celio is updating their line of Redfly Mobile companions. There are two new models that replace the original C8: The C8N and the C7.

The C8N is pretty much identical to the original Redfly with a one important difference. They've added a “Media Port” which, with a $20 cable (you have to buy it separately) will allow you to use the Redfly as a screen for an iPod, Zune, or whatever else you've got with a composite video out (that's the 'yellow plug'). The cable also has another USB port on it for charging. Otherwise you're looking at the same 8 hours of battery life and an 8“ 800x480 screen. The price for this model is $299.

They're also introducing a newer low-end model called the C7. It's the same Redfly you know and possibly love but they've reduced costs by dropping the screen down to 7 inches (though it's still 800x480 screen resolution) and also by reducing the size of the battery to 5 hours instead of 8. The two changes combine to cut a half pound off the weight of the device. The price here: $229.

Both models also feature a slightly redesigned keyboard (though it's still not full sized), wherein the OK has been conveniently placed next to the arrow keys and the function keys at the top have been reordered. They're also both now a much more conservative black color. Overall, we're not entirely sure that it's a great idea to take a product that already requires some explanation and further muddy the waters by adding two different models. On the other hand, both models are better than the original in their own way: pick a media port or pick reduced weight.

You can get the full skinny on how the Redfly works by checking out our full review of the original Redfly. Speaking of that original, it's still keeping that reduced $199 price at the WMExperts Store until stock runs out.

One thing we had to keep close to the vest here: for our Smartphone Round Robin we're giving away an HTC Fuze and a Redfly. What we didn't tell you is that the Redfly we're giving away is the new C8N. That's right, every day you comment in an official Round Robin post or forum at WMExperts you're entered for another chance to win this great package -- check out all of our updates to the Round Robin here.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
4

Celio Redfly Temporarily Reduced to $199

We've just received word that Celio and the WMExperts Store have reduced the price of the Redfly to $199.95. It's a temporary price reduction through the rest of September and October and they're telling us that the deal will only last as long as they have supplies of “seed units.” What Celio is aiming for is getting the Redfly into the hands of users, they mentioned at CTIA that they really feel that once they get enough of the devices out there, the gadget's popularity will grow. Here's what they told us:

Celio has found that a REDFLY device in the hands of media, developers or mobile enthusiasts has tremendous viral marketing benefit. Therefore, we have budgeted a limited amount of REDFLY devices for placement at $199 until October 31, 2008*

So does their 'seed program' plant a seed in your mind? Interested in a Redfly? You can buy the Redfly right now for $199.95. You can also check out the Redfly Developer Forum in our forums if you have any questions.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
2

REDFLY Winner!

We reviewed the Redfly. The folks in our store dropped the price on it down to $399.95. We opened up Developer Forums for y'all to speak to the folks at Celio about the Redfly directly. Now, we're announcing the winners our our Redfly Giveaway contest!

Big Congratulations go out to waldo15, whose post was drawn randomly from all the entries and who now is going to have a Redfly shipped out, courtesy of Celio:

Redfly will help me in many ways:
- I can now ditch my laptop when traveling for leisure. Seriously, when on vacation my phone is perfect for doing what I want: email, web browsing, casual gaming
- It can help me type longer emails and maybe a document or two, I mean there's only so much one can handle typing on a Tilt keyboard...
- I will finally look at Lolcat pictures in my phone in high resolution glory!

We also have ten runners-up, who each will receive a Redfly long-sleeve t-shirt. We'll list them after the break. Congratulations to all of our winners (check your inboxes and maybe your spam boxes, since “WINNER!” tends to set those filters off).

(Update and a p.s. - if you're looking to score more Windows-Mobile-related software, hit up our buddies over at Tilt Mobility - they're celebrating their grand opening. Welcome to the blog-o-tubes, guys!)

Runners-up:

  • orbeyonde
  • nitestrike
  • Freak4Dell
  • dtaylor
  • Palm_forlackofchoice
  • Rockyjay79
  • rustw
  • gksmithlcw
  • rickbaynes
  • cindyhauff

Congrats again!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

There's only a few days left for you to enter to win a free Celio Redfly -- you'll want to go do that, then, right? Right. In addition to the Redfly itself, we'll also be sending out 10 runner-up prizes: long-sleeve Redfly T-Shirts.

I recently received the Beta drivers for the Treo Pro, so I'll be giving those a shot with a Redfly this weekend. Meanwhile, if you missed it, check out our full review of the Redfly here.

Big ups to Celio for sponsoring the contest!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
5

REDFLY Price Drop: Now $399.95

One of the things that bummed us out about the Redfly was the price, as we mentioned in our review. Looks like Celio has helped out with that little issue: starting now the Redfly is $399.95. The price drop is reflected on the Redfly at the WMExperts Store -- the folks who run it tell me that they'll be issuing credits to the folks who bought it after we first announced retail availability last week (sound familiar?).

Meanwhile, we're still giving away a Redfly to one lucky user who comments in our new Redfly Developer's Forum -- get the full details here.

Last but not least, the Redfly now supports an expanded list of devices (see them here) and there is a small firmware update for the Redfly. One small piece of cool: you actually install the firmware onto the Redfly from your Windows Mobile device. Installation of both the Windows Mobile driver and the Redfly firmware update is simple and available OTA, at http://celiocorp.com/install/.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

The Celio Redfly, aka “the mobile companion” for your Windows Mobile phone, is now available for $499.95 in the WMExperts Store! Don't remember the Redfly? It has been a little while, but we did lay it out in our review:

What the Redfly does is connect to your Windows Mobile phone over USB or Bluetooth and “trick” it into believe it has a large, 800x480 screen and a near full-sized keyboard instead of a tiny 320x240 screen and a chicklet keyboard. So the Redfly itself stores no data and has no processing power, it all stays on the smartphone.

Basically, it takes your Windows Mobile phone and turns it into a NetBook, so you don't have to muck around with syncing your data since it's all on the smartphone already.

In addition to the retail availability, Celio has also let us know that they've expanded the compability list! Full list (drivers will be at http://celiocorp.com/install by Friday) after the break!

One more thing: Celio is also sponsoring a giveaway -- a free Redfly! Details are here.

Available Now:

  • HTC Mogul
  • AT&T Tilt
  • Verizon XV6800
  • Treo 700 w/wx
  • Treo 750
  • Samsung SCH-i760 on Verizon

Available Friday (or possibly even Thursday night):

  • Samsung Blackjack II
  • Motorola Q9c
  • Motorola Q9m
  • Motorola Q9h
  • T-Mobile Dash
  • Sprint Touch
  • HTC Touch (Original GSM)
  • Treo 500
  • Treo 800w

You can check out the WMExperts' full review and photo gallery of the Redfly here.

Redfly in the WMExperts Store ($499.95)

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

In addition to the expanded compatibility and retail availability of the Redfly, we're also happy to announce that Celio is sponsoring a giveaway. Yes, folks, we're giving away a free Celio REDFLY. Heck, Celio also tossed in 10 T-Shirts as runner-up prizes as well.

One more piece of news: there's now an Official Celio REDFLY Developer Forum, where you can go and get questions about the Redfly answered by the WMExperts community and by the folks directly at Celio. Which apps work with Celio? Which ones dont? How long does the battery last? What graphics capabilities does the Redfly really have?

Contest details after the break!

How to win a Celio REDFLY

  1. Comment on this post or head to the associated thread new Redfly forums at WMExperts
  2. Answer the question at the top of the thread, namely “How will the Redfly help me or my business?
  3. While you wait patiently for September 1st (the date we'll announce the winner), read our review of the Redfly or check out the compatibility list.
  4. On Sept 1st, we'll pick the winner and 10 runners-up randomly from all the posts in the thread (one entry per person).

More Rules

  1. Not open to Smartphone Experts employees or contractors (Sorry, writers!)
  2. Only one entry per person from the thread will count towards the drawing, but you can enter as often as you'd like.
  3. Not really a rule, but remember that the Redfly has a limited (but growing) compatibility list, check it out here.

Thanks again to Celio for sponsoring the contest!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0

Hands-on with the Redfly - CES 2008

When we wrote about the Redfly mobile companion last week, we said that it was still as flawed by the Foleo in the headline - but that’s not really what we meant. It’s just flawed in one aspect: price. Other than that, the Redfly looks pretty sweet.

We got a chance to get a hands-on with the Redfly last night and listen up: You’re almost surely going to want one. After the break, some details on how it works, our impressions, and of course a small gallery!

What the Redfly does

Unlike the Foleo, they Redfly is a completely inert object when it’s not tied to a smartphone. The Redfly is almost literally nothing more than a screen, keyboard, battery, and graphics processor. That’s right - no internal memory, no internal processor as you’d typically think of it. It’s a dummy terminal for your Windows Mobile phone.

You connect up your Windows Mobile smartphone via USB or Bluetooth. USB is slightly preferred because its faster and also charges up your smartphone. Then Redfly’s magic software takes over - it basically turns off all input on your smartphone and then tells Windows Mobile :

Hey, I know you think that you’re loaded on a Mogul, but not anymore. Right now you’re powering a Redfly. You used to have a 320x240 screen, but not anymore — now you have an 800x480 screen.

…and so on. Instead of using a touchscreen the Redfly gives you a trackpad mouse to move around to mimic the action of tapping the screen.

Specs

The Redfly gives your Windows Mobile smartphone the following:

  • a 800x480 screen, a full keyboard (with several nice shortcuts to common functions)
  • a spare USB port to use to read USB Memory sticks (they’re mounted directly just like a memory card) or for an external mouse.
  • VGA out at 800x600 (though it has to “letterbox” it to 800x480)
  • 8 Hours of battery life (the Redfly lasts 8 hours and charges your smartphone to boot)

The Redfly is 1 x 6 x 9 inches and weighs 2 pounds. It has an 80 key QWERTY keyboard that is, tragically, not full size. As you can see in the gallery below, it still might be usable. That would take some time to tell, though. It will work with pretty much any Windows Mobile 5 or 6 Smartphone, Standard or Pro, though they’re starting small with compatibility with just a few of the most popular smartphones.

Impressions

The hardware quality is good but not superb - the units on the show floor may have been pre-production (we hope) as a couple rubber grommets fell off our unit as we toyed around with it. The latch is sturdy and it feel great to hold.

It’s a bummer about the keyboard not being full sized, but we’ll hold off final judgment until we’ve used it for really real. As for when that will happen, it should be this quarter sometime.

The other bummer is the price - $499. Now, the folks at Celio (who make it) said that it was just the initial price and that it might eventually be released in a less expensive version. This version, like the Foleo, is being targeted directly at hardcore executives.

Other than the above 2 caveats, the Redfly really impressed us. We’re absolutely on board with a dummy terminal for our Windows Mobile phone. It’s a powerful operating system, there’s no reason you couldn’t use it as a mini-laptop. Add in the fact that you won’t have to muck around with syncing anything ever and the Redfly might be a winner.

…For about $250 less than its initial price. ;)

Also in the gallery below, a little bitty Redfly that lacks the screen and keyboard - it basically allows you to plug your smartphone directly into a projector/monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Definitely not as cool, but a neat idea.

Gallery

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

So this Redfly thing made the internet rounds yesterday and we didn't post it because, well, we can't post everything. If you missed it, it's a “Smartphone Companion” that's designed to give you a full keyboard and a (relatively) expansive screen to work with when you're on the go. All your data lives on the smartphone. In shorts, it's darn close to filling the curious absence left in the wake of the Foleo cancellation.

Like we said, we weren't going to comment on it, but TreoCentral just weighed in on it, and that got us to thinking: It looks like the Redfly gets right what the Foleo got wrong in every aspect but one - price. What the Redfly appears to have gotten right is that the way to quickly construct a “mobile companion” is to make it just a “dummy terminal” to your smartphone. A glance at what little information is available seems to imply (though we're not sure!) that the Redfly is meant to work directly with Windows Mobile and to give WM a larger resolution (as in - hey, Windows Mobile, you know how you think you're working on a 240x320 device. Ignore that, we're bigger now).

IF that's how it works, then that's smart. It eliminates the need for complex synchronization software. However, if that's in fact how it works, then why on earth is it priced at $399 (or perhaps 499?)? Gah! Anyhow, like the Foleo before it, we want this. Should be available in March.

The REDFLY Mobile Companion is a sleek clamshell design that includes an 8“ display, a full function keyboard, and a touchpad mouse. Measuring just 1x6x9 inches and only 2 pounds, the REDFLY Mobile Companion offers over 8 hours of battery life and boots instantly! It also adds three new features - instant VGA output, access to USB flash drives, and the ability to charge your smartphone via USB.
REDFLY is very unique - it changes the resolution of your smartphone display so that applications, web sites, email, and attachments all have more room to play!

Read: treocentral.com >> Stories >> Commentary >> Redfly Mobile Companion Similar to Palm Foleo

Update: GerardoDada is on exactly the same page: a dumb terminal to your smartphone is the right way to go. We still wish it wasn't so darn expensive.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...