wm6.5

While we know many of you love using Audible whenever you can, support from them has been....lacking to say the least. Even their interface with Kinoma is dun broke, despite Kinoma's best effort to work with/around them.

Lately, Paul Thurrott has been keeping the flame going, with both hopes of support for the Zune HD (unlikely, evidently supported, indirectly) and Windows Phone 7 (more likely). Audible dropped a possible hint in a conversation with a listener that a WP7 app would be ready "within the month", but alas, it appears they may have been talking about WM6.x:

Thank you very much for contacting Audible.com about the upcoming Windows 7 Phone. As of right now, there is no information regarding the release of this application for the Windows 7 Phone. However, the version will eventually be supported once we have resolved the current issues with the Audible Air Application for 6.0 and 6.5. This being said, there is no estimated time frame or release date for this device.

Oh Audible, we want to love you but seriously...you need to get your act together on this already :-/ Well, at least their may be hope for you Windows Mobile users who will be sticking with the platform for a bit. Silver lining?

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17

Sprint Samsung Intrepid hands-on

Here was the big surprise today! The Sprint Samsung Intrepid is basically the Jack but for CDMA.

The keyboard was pretty good on it, though there is no space between the keys, so it is a bit cramped. The screen is a bit odd at that resolution, but it seems to work. The Start menu has four rows, allowing it a lot to fit on the screen.

The device was speedy to use and seemed like a nice middle of the road front-facing QWERTY device. Will it beat out a Treo Pro? Tough call, but I do like the minimalist look of the Treo Pro better. Still, this seems like a compelling device and Samsung has been quite successful with this line so far.

This particular Windows phone will be available Oct. 11 on Sprint.

More pics after the jump!

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Hands on + Video: Toshiba TG01

The good: Wow. What a device. If there was one phone that blew me away it would be the massive TG01.  The combination of a huge 4.1-inch screen and 1GHz Snapdragon was an experience to witness.

When Windows Mobile 6.5 hits 1GHz it becomes something different.  It is so fluid, fast and quick to the touch it changes the game.  And that screen was just this big, bold, beautiful source of visual goodness--I was like a moth staring at the spotlight.

It was a little strange surrendering all hardware buttons--even the Phone/Send and End keys are part of the screen, but all in all it works just because it is so huge.  Now I see why HTC made the HD2, they must have played with TG01. Man if this phone had a capacitive screen, it would be the Zune phone that everyone wants.

The bad: Well for one, there is no promise of this thing coming to the States, so this may have been my only chance.  Number two, the soft keyboard was awful.  Perhaps the screen sensitivity could be tweaked or there are other versions to be made, but I literally missed every other letter when typing.  Maybe they can license HTC's fantastic soft keyboard.  Finally, there is no 3.5mm headset jack.

Availability: Now, import only. Price varies.

Want to see this beast in action? Take a look after the break! Trust me, it's worth it.

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5

Sprint announces the Samsung Intrepid

Sprint this morning announced the addition of the Samsung Intrepid to its Windows Mobile lineup as a follow-up to the Ace. Here's what's we know thus far:

  • Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional.
  • 2.5-inch touchscreen at 320x240.
  • WiFi b/g.
  • 3.2MP camera.
  • World Phone.
  • Microsoft's Tell Me service is on board!

Other rumored specs were a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, with 512MB ROM/256MB RAM.

The Intrepid will be available Oct. 11 for $149.99 after contract and rebate.

Full presser after the break.

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Say it ain't so!

Trinket software, developers of the extremely popular Twitter client 'Twikini' notes that their app will stop working in a few days. Worse still, there are no plans to "fix" the problem.

Evidently, Twitter is changing authentication protocol required for third party programs on August 16th, 2010 which will result in slowdowns till D-day, August 31st when the plug is finally pulled. Read more on that here.

Now most Twiiter apps will be or already have updated their authentication method to use the new protocol. But Trinket software has basically "moved on" from WM6.5+ to Windows Phone 7 (see here) and in turn, won't be delivering any updates to fix the problem.

Sorry guys, with the shape WM 6.x is in, we've moved on to other projects. Twikini will be back on WP7.

Grrrr.

In a twist, Trinket is considering making their Twikini code open-source, meaning the community can then fix the problem as well as...well keep adding things we suppose. To that idea, we say 'Yes please!' as it'd be the right thing to do (and the least) for all the loyal users who have bought the application.

Update: We just go word that MoTweets (see review) is already updated and should be fine August 16th; unfortunately TouchTwit has not been updated for the new protocol (yet); PockeTwit is currently working on an update.

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Geez, we're wondering if Microsoft was ever going to update that 'Windows Mobile 6.5. upgrade' list on their site, specifically the AT&T Samsung Epix (here for the full review, in case you forgot).

Actually, jokes on us as Microsoft hasn't updated that list since March 4th. C'mon guys...seriously?

Anyways, the real news here is that the Samsung Epix has finally received a proper WM6.5 ROM upgrade. So what if AT&T stopped selling the device months ago, all of those current owners will be pleased to get the update. But we do have to shame AT&T and Samsung here a bit: nine months post-WM6.5 is just a wee bit too little, too late, fellas. Start the Samsung super-complicated WM6.5. update here.

[Thanks, badcat160, for the tip & Wireless_Guru for the pic!]

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Oh China, you crack us with your flaunting of copyright law, IP and even just flat out copying hardware.

We're not really sure why you want WM6.5 in a cloned (i.e. fake) Motorola Droid and that's not a knock on WM6.5--have you tried a Droid? They keyboard is awful what's with that d-pad throwing of the centering? Blech.

But say you really wanted this, you should be able to get one out of China for about $220. It features:

  • 533M Huawei Hisilicon K3 chip
  • 3.7 inches 800×480 display
  • 256MB ROM/256MB RAM
  • 2-megapixel camera
  • GPS, Wi-Fi

Good luck with it!

[via Cloned in China]

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Confession: we here at WMExperts, unfortunately, know jack about Linux, their distros (sounds like a fun party) nor how to really do anything in the OS.

Still, we imagine there are a handful of you who want (but can't) sync your trusty WM6.5 device with your favorite Linux OS. TrueFalse? We dunno.

Luckily Linux pro 'Feedsbrain' (ahem) has written a nice tutorial on how to just that.

Now to us, his directions are written in an alien language, but for your linux-experts out there, we're pretty sure this will make sense.

Now go read and let us know if this was remotely helpful!

"Synchronize Windows Mobile 6.5 and Linux Box"

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Wow, look at that.  Not only did the Ozone get its official update, but so didn't the Verizon Touch Pro 2.

That sort of came out of nowhere!  We like it.

Changes include:

  1. OS Upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5
  2. Updated drivers to support Global VZ Navigator
  3. TouchFLO 3D Enhancements

Get your download on right here!  And big thanks to Biglcny for noticing!

Update: Yes, this does have Sense 2.1 w/ the Weather clock.

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Geeez, when it rains it sure does pour.

While Verizon official released their Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade for the Touch Pro 2 and Ozone today, looks like some fancy cats have found the shipping ROM for the T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 update.

Of course, soon there after it was pulled down by HTC and then, shockingly, mirrored everywhere (here are a few).

Changes include:

  • Windows Mobile 6.5
  • HTC Sense 2.1
  • Fix: Browser favorites in the TouchFLO menu are not user customizable / editable.
  • Fix:TouchFLO SMS shows that there is one new message but there is not. 
  • Fix:HTTP links and phone numbers embedded in SMS messages are not actionable in the TouchFLO screen.
  • Fix:The weather displayed in calendar events will show as New York as default and user must change the default location in the World Clock application in order to change
  • Addition of Visual Voicemail Application
  • Addition of Mobile Backup with Opt in and On Demand Sync option
  • Client enhancement from Telenav to improve the billing
  • Addition of Microsoft Application Store
  • Addition of My Phone (Web based Mobile Backup Application)
  • MSN Widgets
  • Facebook
  • UI Improvements (Today Screen, New Themes)
  • MSN Mobile Messaging Improvements (Conversation View)
  • Send key change from white to green
  • End Key change from white to red
  • Home Key change to Microsoft Flag

Read more here!

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Sure we told you about the official build of for the Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade for the venerable HTC Ozone on Verizon (see review) leaked a few days ago, but what about an official release?

Looks like Big-V pulled the trigger and you can now get the upgrade directly from PCD, their 3rd party support channel thing-a-majg.

And yes, it's the exact same build number as the leaked, so if you did flash with the earlier version, no need to re-do it.  Need to see an over-view of the upgrade?  See our earlier coverage with some screen shots.

(And yes, we're having an official contest on how many times we can say officially.  Meow).

Upgrade here.

[Thanks, Al Zieba, for the tip!]

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Well, speak of the devil.  We were just lamenting how devices like the Ozone have seemingly been left out of the Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade fest, without even a release-window scheduled.

And soon after that we get word that XDA member udK has posted the shipping upgrade ROM for the Ozone (v2.16.605.15)  How convenient! (See our full review of the Ozone here)

Running WM6.5 build 21845 and with about 67MB of RAM/64MB ROM, it sure seems zippy enough when we loaded it up on our phone.  Overall, it looks exactly the same as the WM6.1 version, but it does have some little graphic enhancements (Outlook), is snappy as all heck, has MyPhone/Marketplace and even features a new home-screen customizer (see below) which is quite nice. The customizer allows you to enable/disable panels and even move them up/down to your liking.

Then there's all the internal stuff: new kernel, better battery life, performance enhancements, better Exchange support, etc.

While not as drastic as a change from WM6.1 to WM6.5 Professional, we do think the Ozone (one of our favorite devices in 2009) definitely deserves this update.

Of course, being an unofficial/official update, we have to throw out all the warnings and caveats as needed.  But if you're cool with it (and we did it ourselves), then you can download right here.

[thanks, Ronnie, for the tip!]

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Looks like the Samsung Epix (see full review), a phone that is now well over a year old, is slated to get its official Windows Mobile 6.5 bump sometime in February, at least according to Microsoft's updated list. (Though all the cool kids have been running it since September)

We suppose one convenient aspect of that list is the ability to keep shifting dates around and we have to admit, we're getting quite far out now from that October Windows Mobile 6.5 announcement.

Still, better late than never, and it sure beats the Ozone/Snap duo, which are still listed as "Date Not Available" -- luckily both of those have custom ROMs too. Guess we know where WM Standard is sitting on the priority list.

[thanks Akshay!]

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No surprise with Microsoft calling for December/January release time-frames for WM6.5 updates that there will a ton of announcements in the next few weeks.

Recently we got wind that India's Touch Diamond 2 had been blessed with their official update (available here), which could please a few million users we suppose.

Likewise, Orange has released their WM6.5 upgrade for their Touch Pro 2 (available here).

Finally, Australia's open-channel Touch Pro 2 is also eligible for their WM6.5 upgrade. Open-channel is down-under speak for non-branded versions aka not on Telstra. Get that update here.

While having cooked ROMs is a blast, using official released base ROMs is even better for stability, plus not everyone has time for customs.  So if you're one of the few who needs these (and you do), go get 'em.

[via XDA , WMPoweruser, Windows Mobile for Australia]

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Take this with a big grain of salt, but TMo news has received word that T-Mobile's Touch Pro 2 (see review) and Dash 3G are to get their WM6.5 updates on Jan. 6, 2010.

While the exact date could be question, one doesn't have to look far to see that even Microsoft is calling for December/January WM6.5 updates for the Touch Pro 2 (more provoking is how Dash 3G is listed as "Date not yet available").

We'll keep following this rumor to see if it has any teeth, but hey ... you know it is coming sooner than later.

[via T-Mo News]

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Acer, who entered the smartphone market this year, has launched ten phones so far: nine for Windows Mobile and one for Android (that would be the Liquid). Not too bad.

However, in 2010 Acer is looking to "balance" their offering, meaning more Android and less for WinMo (they will continue to offer between 8-10 devices).

No doubt, as the article points out, Android has a lot of momentum going behind it right now (cough, marketing, cough), so we can't really blame Acer for scaling back and going where the money is flowing.

Still, Acer is taking a nice, measured approach to the business and not biting off more than can chew.  Windows Mobile doesn't so much need more devices as a few really good ones--so we'd rather see a company like Acer concentrate on that latter part.

Plus lets not kid ourselves, while WM6.5 is a decent upgrade, it's really the calm before the storm that is Windows Mobile 7 late in 2010.

[Android Central via Reuters]

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7

Windows Mobile 6.5.x explained?

Just yesterday we were mentioning the latest leaked build of WM6.5, build 28004, which is branched off as WM6.5.3.

This is the latest in a series of builds by Microsoft that continues to make things more finger-friendly, that much is obvious. What is not obvious is where exactly this fits in with Microsoft's plan in regards to WM6.5 and WM7, and whether this ever see the light of day in an official capacity. (Even the much-heralded HTC HD2 is running older builds.)

Looks like the folks at MoPocket have, off the record, spoken to a Microsoft representative at a trade show, and they asked directly about what all of these builds were about.

In short, it is about the coming wave of capacitive devices. According to the rep, capacitive screens are much more responsive but far less accurate than resistive. (But you already knew that.) In turn, things need to be bigger to touch (and this is also why the iPhone does not have handwriting recognition). 

As a result ...

"Windows Mobile ... is a UI designed to be able to tap with nearly pixel accuracy. As it stands, the top bar and bottom bar of WM6.5 aren’t tall enough to be able to have clickable buttons without a resistive display."

And what about the HD2, you may ask? After all, it has a capacitive display.  Indeed and HTC had to do a lot of in-house work to make that happen, because it's not actually enabled by Microsoft in the OS. That's something we've asked about before on the podcast, and Microsoft is working to make it easier for the OEMs by building it into the OS.

So there you have it. WM6.5.x is real, but looks to be designed for next-generation capacitive displays and might well not be an upgrade for current WM6.5 devices. (Though it could well point to the availability of  more capacitive-display phones before the launch of Windows Mobile 7.) It also probably won't be called WM6.5.1 either, just another special variant for specific devices.

Read more mopocket 

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And the leaks keep coming...

For those who are staying abreast of all the recent WM6.5.x builds, 28004 just hit the streets today.  No major changes are evident, though there are some graphic and speed improvements as usual.

WM6.5.3 is the latest branch off from the various "COM" builds, which look to be the testing grounds for new improvements to Windows Mobile.  The main feature of these latest builds appear to be making the OS very finger friendly, incorporating gesture support, moving the Start menu to the lower left corner, enlarging all menus and redoing certain sub-sections like the address book (see above).

What no one knows as of yet is what is the end goal? I.e. what will this final branch look like, what is the expected finish date, etc?  Build 28004 is from November 19th, meaning it features some of the latest changes.  By comparison to WM6.5, these latest builds of 6.5.x are as fast if not faster, feel more modern and are quite stable.

Look for your favorite chef's to update their ROMs.

For those on Sprint with Touch Pro 2's, feel free to try my custom build of this ROM along with HTC Sense 2.1 (weather-clock), Office 2010, Opera 10 and some graphics improvements.  Get it here or directly download here and thanks to SSK for the kitchen.

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17

Spruce up sliding panels on WinMo 6.5

Although many like to use HTC's TouchFLO3D, using the Sliding Panels (aka Titanium on WM6.5) is sometimes preferable — in fact I often find it more efficient and revealing, which is why I'm taking a well-deserved hiatus from HTC's design.

Case in point, there are lots of really good 3rd party plug-ins that can be added to the sliding panels to augment their functionality. Sure TouchFLO3D may have lots of eye candy, but as far as speed of access, Titanium is faster.

In this post, I'll share with you three which really improve the usefulness of the default WM6.5 home screen: Twitter (Titanium Artesea), Favorite People (AppStar Titanium) and Weather (Showaco TitaniumWeather*).

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If you're anything like us, you've been mad flashing your CDMA Touch Pro 2 left and right with every new custom ROM released. But do you ever wish you could just change that one thing? Maybe add a program or remove one from ROM that you'll never use?  

Fear not, as Scott Crosler of SSK (Scott's Simple Kitchen) has released his combo of Kitchen and starter ROM package for you Verizon and Sprint peeps.  Don't really know what you're doing (and you're not alone here)? He also has a swanky PDF guide to show you how it all work (see release thread).

In short, you can now make your own ROMs off of his starter builds.

And simple it is. It's commonly referred to as a "visual" kitchen, meaning it's actually easy to navigate and operate with just picking and choosing what you want and what you don't. Want the Sprint version of TouchFLO? Done. Don't like that and want the HTC Sense version instead? Just as easy.

The kitchen comes with two starter ROMs: WM6.5 (21854) and WM6.5.1 (23037), the former is rock-solid while the latter is an older, early beta of WM6.5.1, so fun to work with but quirky. From there Scott has included a bunch of commonly used programs, e.g. latest versions of Bing, Google Maps, CHome Editor, etc. which you can add or remove from your custom ROM.

Of course, nothing is risk-free. But if you're ready to move beyond flashing other folks' custom ROMs, then SSK is a great place to start.  (We had our ROM customized and flashed within 15 minutes--didn't even read the guide!  Huzzah.)

Go here for the goods.  See further discussion at PPCGeeks.

Like always, remember to support these developers if you want these projects to continue.

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