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All posts tagged "mobile"

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

APRIL FOOLS: Microsoft Reveals Windows Mobile 7 - Dubbed Photon!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 08:47 AM

"As CTIA kicks off today in Las Vegas, Microsoft revealed the new version of their mobile operating system, Windows Mobile Photon. This new version of Windows Mobile is lighy-years more advanced than previous versions of Windows Mobile. Equipped with a full standards compliant web browser as well as front facing cameras on all devices for video conferencing!"

[Windows Mobile Photon shown on an HTC S730!]

Well not only does Microsoft release the much anticipated Windows Mobile 6.1 today, they have also revealed the next version of Windows Mobile, dubbed Windows Mobile Photon! My only guess is that Windows Mobile 7 was a confusing codename since they are already creating a Windows 7 operating system for the desktop. I for one dig the Photon name a lot more! As you read above, the new device will sport a complete standards compliant web browser. On the Windows Mobile Standard devices, you will be able to zoom in and out on web pages using the volume up and down keys. Very smooth in the video presentation that was shown. Also it was noted that all devices will include one front facing camera for video conferencing! Now that is what I call neat!

Watch the video of the announcement here!

Monday, March 31, 2008

APRIL FOOLS: Nokia Ventures Into New Territory: N97w Powered by Windows Mobile

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 11:20 PM

Later this afternoon, Nokia will announce a May release date for its first Windows Mobile handset, the N97w. It resembles the N96 in many ways - similar form factor, 128MB RAM, 256MB ROM, 16GB of storage space, a microSD slot, A-GPS, an FM radio, DVB-H, and TV-out - but it does pack some newer and extended features such as quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA connectivity, 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 support, and a 7.1-megapixel camera featuring Carl Zeiss optics and a dual-LED flash. It also has a 2.8" 262K-colour, QVGA touch screen, fit for displaying Windows Mobile 6 Professional in all its glory. There's no denying it - the N97w has a list of specs that would make any HTC device weak at the knees. A price has yet to be announced, although expect to receive details later this afternoon. Now, who wants one?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Coming Soon: Turn Your Windows Mobile Handset Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 06:00 AM

"New software from TapRoot Systems can make a 3G smartphone become a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing you to connect a laptop or other Wi-Fi-equipped hardware to the internet. The software, called WalkingHotSpot, is compatible with Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile smartphones. It will work with both HSDPA and EV-DO, but will allow voice calls to come through while using the data connection only on HSDPA phones. A free beta demonstration will be available for consumers to test soon, but TapRoot intends to sell the software directly to carriers, allowing them to provide it as a service. It doesn't intend to sell the software directly to end users."

The first thing that should be pointed out is that your HSDPA or EVDO Windows Mobile handset will need Wi-Fi capabilities in it for this service to work. The demo version of WalkingHotSpot, which will be available through TapRoot's website, will only support one Wi-Fi connection at a time… which I feel is pretty lame. If I wanted to connect just one laptop or computer to the Internet through my phone, I would much rather follow the steps in Ed Hansberry's Internet Connection Sharing story which was posted yesterday. At least with Internet Connection Sharing, I would not be limited to a Wi-Fi enabled handset and would be able to utilize my aging but high-speed enabled Samsung Blackjack.

The real magic however lies in the full version of the WalkingHotSpot, which will only be marketed to carriers in the hopes that they will in turn sell it to us consumers as a subscription based service. Carrier supplied versions of TapRoot Systems' software should support simultaneous Wireless Fidelity connections from a single handset and would even allow you to receive voice calls while using your data connection through AT&T's HSDPA network! While I hate subscription services like TeleNav, this program would be way to cool to just pass up.

Windows Mobile Shakes with Fear: Microsoft Hints at Office and Voice Recognition Applications on the iPhone and iPod touch

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Competition" @ 12:25 AM

"The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is already the largest software developer for Apple's Mac platform outside of the Mac maker itself, with Fortune's Big Tech blog estimating that its Mac Business Unit generates revenues in excess of $350 million and profits of over $200 million each year. Add to that the firm's expertise in its proprietary Exchange email protocols and business email systems, and it's almost a certainty that Microsoft will be among those bearing fresh wares for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch a bit later this year, Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Specialized Devices and Applications Group, told the business publication. "We do have experience with that environment, and that gives us confidence to be able to do something," he said. "The key question is, what is the value that we need to bring?" Gibbons' team of Mac developers, which actually resides in Mountain View, Calif., just a few miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, is reportedly weighing its most viable options for an initial native iPhone application, which appears as if it will fall within the Office family of productivity applications."

It wasn't too long ago that Apple announced Exchange support for the iPhone and iPod touch. The implications here have yet to be seen, but come June, we'll likely see the two devices consume a reasonable chunk of Windows Mobile's market share. What about Office? It's always been one of Windows Mobile's biggest selling points. The iPhone and iPod touch lack it, but that may soon change, and if it does, it has the potential to be huge. Add in Tellme and a host of other applications and Microsoft will need to find new ways to make Windows Mobile as popular as it once was.

Monday, March 24, 2008

AT&T, Verizon, and Google Chime in on FCC Auction Aftermath

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 08:00 PM

"Win or lose, all the bidders wrapped up in the so-called Auction 73 for precious spectrum in the 700MHz band are still under tight FCC-imposed gag orders in an effort to stem any funny business, but it looks like they're at least ready to come out and dip their toes into the PR waters. Verizon, the biggest winner having claimed the big, wide Block C prize, says that it's "pleased with [its] auction results"... and that they're now better positioned to lead the way with new services and devices. Meanwhile, AT&T seems happy with its purchase, too -- but then again, it's not like any of these companies would be issuing immediate statements expressing buyer's remorse, we guess."

Verizon and AT&T both made out like bandits in the recent FCC spectrum auction. As noted above, Verizon came out on top with the coveted C Block and following behind with nothing but smiles was AT&T, which completed successful bids for the B Block. Along with AT&T's recent purchase of Aloha Partners, the largest owner of the 700MHz spectrum, AT&T can now boast that it covers over 95% of the U.S. population! The real winner of this auction though is Google. Even though Google did not come out of this auction with a pocket full of spectrum, it is safe to assume they accomplished exactly what they set out to do - force the bids high enough to ensure that the 700Mhz spectrum will be open to all devices, as well as keep over $4.6 billion dollars in the bank, and in their shareholders’ pockets.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Windows Mobile Set to Invade MIDs

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC News" @ 10:35 AM

"Microsoft has brought on a new hire - a former founding member of Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie's Iris Associates - to help the Redmond software company port the Windows Mobile operating system to new form factors. Len Kawell, whose title is "Distinguished Engineer in the Mobile Communications Business Group," is charged with "defining the application model for occasionally connected rich Internet applications in the mobile environment," according to his biography on Microsoft’s Web site. Kawell is also working on scaling Windows Mobile to "new kinds of devices with larger screens and faster processors - also known as Mobile Internet Devices, or MIDS," his bio adds. Microsoft hasn't talked much (if at all) publicly about MIDS; instead, the company has been championing ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) as the form factor most likely to occupy the space between notebooks/Tablets and cell phones. But Microsoft’s processor pal Intel has been touting both UMPCs and MIDS. Intel distinguishes the two by noting that MIDS tend to be smaller (five-inch screen size) and not providing the ability to monitor "office apps.""

Windows Mobile on a phone? Great. Windows Mobile on a Mobile Internet Device (MID)? I'm not sold. Part of the appeal of an MID is its larger, high-res display, and if the hardware and software are integrated well, it should provide that advertised rich Internet experience. Now, these devices have been shown to work great with Windows and Linux, and because these operating systems offer a great set of browsers, frameworks, and plug-ins, they usually have no problems delivering that core experience. What about Windows Mobile? It's instant-on and favours batteries a little better, which is great for a device of this form factor. However, plain and simple, Internet Explorer Mobile sucks, and most of you know it. Microsoft can't possibly use this as a selling point for an MID. There would need to be radical changes to the browser in order for it to be successful. Otherwise, you'd be better off sticking with an iPhone or iPod touch. Smaller screen size, but at least Safari is a heck of a lot better at rendering pages big and small.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Silverlight for Windows Mobile Demo Videos

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 05:01 PM

"Although we briefly mentioned Silverlight for Windows Mobile a couple days ago, we added the fact that it would be arriving this Spring (specifically, “Q2”). Want more proof? Check out these Demo videos of Silverlight's UI abilities. They're pretty low-rent looking, but what's engaging is that it appears that Silverlight developers will be able to take advantage of them without much complex coding."

Video: Silverlight Mobile Demo - MIX

This is not the greatest demo in the world, but it is nice to see that the Silverlight platform is starting to mature into something that is usable, especially on the mobile front. Now if only Microsoft would stop teasing us with news and video demos and give us the actual software to play with. I for one am excited by the notion of creating fancy rich media applications!

Google Makes Search Plug-In Available to Windows Mobile

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 11:57 AM

"If you're a Windows Mobile user, browse to on your device to download the plug-in and start searching faster than ever. Once you do, we think you'll find it so much faster and easier that you'll start conducting more mobile web searches than you ever had before. How do we know this? Well, when we look at the combined usage numbers for BlackBerry and Symbian versions of this plug-in, we see that users are able to get Google search results up to 40 percent faster. And, BlackBerry and Symbian users with the plug-in installed search 20 percent more than those without it."

It pleases me to see that more and more companies are showing our Windows Mobile handsets some love as of late. First we get MSN Direct, then Google Gears and now a dedicated Google Search homescreen/today screen plugin. Installing this application couldn't be easier. Just point your mobile browser to and select the "Search (Download)" link to start a download of the plugin. After it is installed the program should send up a message to inform you of whether or not the plugin can work with your existing homescreen. If you are using an incompatible theme, Google Search will offer to automatically switch your theme to one that does work. Like I said, this plugin couldn't be simpler to use. Hats off to Google!

Dell Eyeballs Windows Mobile... Again

Posted by Darius Wey in "NEWS" @ 05:00 AM

"Dell reportedly plans to resume its handheld device business and the company may team up with Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to develop Windows Mobile-based handheld devices, according to market sources in Taiwan. Dell has been reorganizing its team for handheld devices since it hired Ron Garriques, a former executive vice president at Motorola in charge of its cell phone division, in early 2007, the sources indicated."

If you've been keeping a close eye on the headlines since Dell gave up its Axim line early last year, there's no doubt you'd have heard about claims that the company had its sights set on releasing a string of new smartphones, which would be a first for the company and also mark a welcome return to the Windows Mobile market. Sadly, the majority of these claims have remained unsubstantiated. Not today, it seems. In a report published by DigiTimes, it's been said that Dell and Foxconn are set to shake hands and work together to produce GPS-enabled PDAs and smartphones branded with the Dell logo. And if this turns out to be true, all you Dell fans (and we know there are a lot of you out there) will have a reason to rejoice.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New FindMe Location Sharing Service Keeps Friends Connected using Smartphones and Facebook

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 01:37 PM

"Electric Pocket, developer of mobile media and media applications for Smartphones, today introduces FindMe for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices. FindMe enables users, their friends, family and colleagues to share their current locations automatically and securely through their BlackBerry or Windows Mobile Smartphones without needing GPS. FindMe offers the opportunity to “tag” commonly visited locations, such as home, office, soccer field or favorite bars and restaurants, and post those locations on their Facebook profiles."

This is probably one of the coolest applications I have seen come out in a while. There really isn't much to say on it as the program itself is pretty basic. In a nutshell, what you do is install a tiny application on your Windows Mobile device. This application grabs information about the cell tower that you are connected to and allows you to assign a tag to that location. Then the application uploads your current location to Facebook which in turn allows all of your friends to see where you are. The only downside of this application that I can see is it will make a bit harder to hide from those individuals that you do not want to hang out with.

If you're a Facebook user then I recommend giving FindMe a download to play around with this simple, yet fun, program.

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