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Friday, October 12, 2012

Farewell, and Thank You For Everything!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Status Updates" @ 11:59 PM

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

Twelve years ago today, when I made my very first post on Pocket PC Thoughts, I couldn't possibly predict the journey I was taking the first step on. What an amazing, fulfilling, character-defining dozen years it's been! I'm so deeply indebted to all the people along this journey I've befriended, talked with in our forums, and yes, even gotten into rip-roaring arguments with. It all brought me here. So where is "here" exactly?

Back in September of 2011, I shared that I had taken a job with HTC, was moving from Canada to the USA, and was selling the Thoughts Media Network. Over the past year, I've had a truly amazing time working at HTC. It's a wonderful job - it's really amazing the things you learn/realize working on "the other side" of the blogger/OEM equation - but it's also all-consuming. My multiple attempts to sell this network all failed, partially due to my lack of time to really follow through. I won't bore you with the details, but let me give some advice to any business owners: when someone offers you a nice chunk of money for your business, and you're ready to sell, don't drag your feet on the paperwork - you never know when that offer will vanish! Oh, and sell when your revenue and momentum are at their peak; don't hold on too long. Evidently these are lessons I needed to learn the hard way. Lessons to teach my son I guess. :-)

So where are things at now? This won't come as a surprise to anyone who has watched what has happened to most of the sites in our network over the past year: all six sites across the Thoughts Media Network will go into a permanent state of hibernation effective tonight. This is the final post you'll see on all of them. I care deeply about all of the amazing content the Thoughts Media Team collectively created over the past dozen years, so my plans are to keep the sites online for as long as possible. One week from now, I'll shut down the forums so no new posts can be made. Right now only comments can be posted if you already have an account that has posted in the past - we've had to lock things down in that way to prevent spamming. If you have a message to share with me but don't have a forum account, please send it to me directly.

I'd be remiss if I didn't give one final thank you to the amazing team of people I had the honour of working with over the past twelve years. I don't want to list names, because I'll doubtless forget someone. Suffice it to say though that I've been humbled and blessed by the generosity and effort people put into this community. From the words you've read, the videos you've watched, the spam-free forums you've read through, to the designs of the pages and the code and server loading them when you visit - none of that could have been done without the gifted volunteers who collectively helped me create everything that these sites were. I'm deeply indebted to literally hundreds of people who walked with me on this awesome journey over the past decade. THANK YOU!

Also, a big thank you to the community itself. All you who came back here, day after day to read and watch our news and reviews, rants and raves. Thank you for your comments, your clicks, your shares, your views. None of this would be possible without you. Remember too the part you play in the success of any Web site: you matter, so support the sites you love so they can keep doing what you want to see.

And so, this is the end. If you'd like to keep in touch with me, please reach out on Twitter (@jasondunn) or check in on my personal blog now and then. What an amazing journey this has been...thank you!

Dark Once More

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android Thoughts Site Updates" @ 09:27 PM

In June 2003 I bought a T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition and began frequenting Pocket PC Thoughts. The highly knowledgeable and personable community drew me in, and one of the most satisfying days of my career came in early 2005 when Jason Dunn invited me to join as an editor. In the 7.5 years since I've been proud to serve these communities. While commitments have kept me away from active duty over the past months, these sites have and always will be filled with fond memories and Thoughts.

Until we meet again!

Tags: update

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mobile Devices on a Plane Revisited: Yea or Nay?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 12:00 PM

"Will the familiar warning for airline passengers to "discontinue the use of all portable electronic devices" become a relic of the past?


Every so often the FAA reviews its policies limiting mobile device usage on airplanes. They're at it again, but it must be mentioned that this particular study does not include the use of mobile phones while in flight - that's the FCC's domain. The FAA claims (in a study performed "last year") that they have 75 documented cases of consumer (passenger) electronic devices interfering with on-board systems, and the new study group aims to either confirm or debunk the current conventional wisdom that mobile devices can interfere with instruments, specifically during takeoff and landing. Skeptics point to the fact that tablets and laptops may be used by the crew, during these critical times, but not used by passengers. The study goal is to determine the what, where, when and why for the existing rules and regulations. While I do think that the rules are a bit one-sided in favor of the airlines, I'm not really that inconvenienced by having to turn off my laptop/phone/tablet during takeoff and landing. Safety trumps convenience in my opinion. How about you?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Do Apps Look Better On iOS or Windows Phone?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 05:00 PM

"A while back, Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak said about Windows Phone that "I'm kinda shocked how every screen is much more beautiful." So we thought it would be fun to look at a few popular iOS apps and how their Windows Phone counterparts compare in the looks department."

Here is a delightfully fun little exercise. Hit the Read link and test whether you like the look of a selection of popular apps on an iOS device or Windows Phone better? This is an unscientific test, but as you look at each image ask yourself to consider things like typography, clarity, ease of use, and overall appeal. Do you suspect people tend to like the look of apps on their own device platform simply because they are more familiar with their style, or do you think they actually do think they look a bit better? It's subjective, but I do like to the look of this OpenTable app on Windows Phone.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

HTC Commits To Ship Windows Phone 8 Devices Later This Year

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:33 PM

""HTC is committed to Windows Phone more than ever and we are excited to be bringing new Windows Phone 8-enabled smartphones to customers later this year," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation."

HTC has announced its commitment to bring Windows Phone 8 devices to market later this year in a press release made available today. No word yet on how many devices or specs.

Friday, June 15, 2012

EyeEm Photo Sharing App Hits The Marketplace

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:36 AM

"EyeEm is a photo sharing & discovery app that connects you with like-minded people through the photos you take."

EyeEm photo sharing app is an Instagram like app that allows users to share photos. Currently the app comes with 11 photo filters and allows updating to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare and Tumblr. Overall the app seems to have pretty good review and the interface seems pretty slick.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Positive Windows Phone News From China?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"Going by Microsoft's Greater China COO Michel van der Bel, the launch of Windows Phone in China is off to an auspicious start -- enough to give Apple the shakes. He claims that devices like the Nokia Lumia 800c have helped Windows Phone reach seven percent of the Chinese market, or just enough to get past the six points of the iPhone."

The tricky part of this news item posted on Engadget, as they point out, is confirming the market share numbers. That being said, it has to be somewhat encouraging for the Microsoft team. Could 2012 turn out to be a stellar year for Windows Phone? Only time will tell.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Sign Of Improving Times For Windows Phone?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"Microsoft's mobile platform has not been the blockbuster success the Redmond, Washington-based technology giant was hoping for thus far. Google's Android OS and Apple's iPhone are still dominating the smartphone space by a huge margin in the United States and abroad, while Microsoft's share of the global smartphone market has continued to decline. According to a new report from market research firm Kantar WorldPanel, however, Windows Phone is finally showing signs of life in several key markets."

While Android and/or iOS are continuing to gain market share as reported in most market share analyses we have been reading for the past year or so, we certainly haven't seen much progress from Windows Phone. Until now, it seems. The bottom line is that Kantar's research indicates that since Nokia's Lumia smartphone launches Windows Phone’s market share has doubled to 6% in Germany, and the platform’s share has increased in the U.S., U.K., France and Italy to between 3% and 4%. These numbers are unlikely to scare the market leaders, but they have to be encouraging for Microsoft and its partners as they battle to maintain and expand a market presence. The Read link has additional details.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Illuminating the Lumia -- The Nokia Lumia 900

Posted by Don Tolson in "Nokia Windows Phones" @ 08:00 AM

Product Category: Windows Phone 7 Smartphone
Manufacturer: Nokia
Where to Buy: Expansys [affiliate]
Price: $765 USD (unlocked, no contract)
System Requirements: Comes with Windows Phone 7 Mango+ (8107) installed.
Specifications: 1.4Ghz single core CPU, 16Gb internal storage, 512Mb SDRAM; 4.3in WVGA (480 x 800) Super AMOLED screen; Quad band (850/900/1800/1900) GPRS, Tri band UTMS (900/1700/2100), HSPA+, LTE 700, 1700/2100; GPS; 8mp rear colour camera w/autofocus + LED flash, 1mp front-facing camera, 720p HD video recording; BT 2.1 EDR; 802.11b/g/n; 3.5mm stereo audio jack; microUSB 2.0; G-Sensor; 128mm (5.03in) x 69mm (2.7in) x 12mm (0.47in); 160g (5.6oz). Full specs are available at the Nokia site.


  • Rogers first LTE-capable WP7 phone!
  • Solid construction and feel;
  • Call quality is excellent.


  • No replaceable battery;
  • Access to the microSIM card is difficult.
  • Wi-Fi doesn't see the 5Ghz band;

Summary: There has been a lot of buzz (and sales activity) about Nokia's introduction of their premiere WP7 phone to the US marketplace, the Lumia 900. I was fortunate to pick one up the second day they came available through Rogers here in Canada. Now, after a week or two of working with it on a day-to-day basis, let's see how it stacks up. Read more...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nokia's Ready.Set(){Code}Challenge Kicks Off On 5/12

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 08:07 PM

"Headphones on. Tilt the seat back. Just steady codin' as the keys get tapped. Get ready, because Nokia Developer is about to turn your town into Dev City with its Ready.Set(){Code} Challenge."

Nokia's Ready.Set(){Code} Challenge will be kicking off on 5/12/12 in Ohio and continue through 6/15/12. The challenge will be held in 13 cities through out the U.S. and Canada.

The event will include hackathons and app creation. You can compete either individually or in a team. The opportunity to win prizes are pretty good since they will be awarded at each of the 13 challenges.

Prizes will be awarded for the following categories:

- Top 3 created apps

- Top student created app

- Most Nokia-branded developer

App winners will be judged on creativity, usability, technical difficulty and app presentation.

The prizes are:

- 1st place: $500 gift card & Nokia Lumia 900

- 2nd place: $250 gift card & Nokia Lumia 900

- 3rd place: $100 gift card & Nokia Lumia 900

- Student Winner: $150 gift card & Nokia Lumia 900

- Most Nokia-Branded Dev: $100 gift card & Nokia Lumia 900

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