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All posts tagged "windows mobile"

Monday, May 5, 2008

Homebrew ROM Updates Over The Air via AppToDate?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"Microsoft has built Windows Update into the OS and nobody uses it, and everybody blames everybody else for the fact that today, we still can't keep our devices up to date without tethering with a PC... While the people who supply us our devices decide who takes responsibility for deploying our updates, and as scores of users take to trying 'Cooked ROMs' to get the features they want, why not develop an OTA (Over The Air) update method of our own? It sure is possible using the work already done by others on custom bootloaders, and the work i've already done with AppToDate."

I was incredibly excited when Windows Update was announced for the Windows Mobile platform. Logic fooled me into thinking that if Windows Update was being included with our new devices then Microsoft most have cooked up a plan to issue us system updates without the need to flash our devices - and risk something going wrong and bricking our handsets - or even distribute updates to software packages like Office Mobile or Live Search Mobile. Unfortunately at this moment in time I cannot think of anything that was distributed via Windows Update at all. This is why I love the idea behind AppToDate. The whole concept behind this application is so simplistic and beautiful that I am completely baffled as to why a system such as this is not included with our handsets!

As the video above shows it is perfectly within our grasps to issue complete system upgrades over the air without the need to connect our devices to our computers. Personally I would never feel comfortable upgrading a device in such a way, but it can be done! Read more...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

DivX Mobile Player 0.90 Released for Windows Mobile

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 04:15 PM

"DivX Mobile Player 0.90 makes installation easier through signed packages, improves battery life with better power management, supports alternate screen orientations for the Motorola Q and Windows Mobile phones, and is now localized for Spanish and Portuguese. Windows Mobile 2003+ and Symbian OS 9+ downloads are available from the DivX Mobile Community homepage. Please note that you need to subscribe to the DivX Mobile Community group to access these downloads. Subscription is open and free."

I spent a few minutes playing around with this today and I have to say, I'm pretty impressed. The previous version of the DivX Mobile Player that we reported on was pretty buggy, slow, and severally distorted your screen layout on landscape devices such as the Motorola Q and the Samsung Blackjack upon exiting the application. From what I saw in the brief bit I time I spent playing with version 0.90, all of the problems have seemed to have disappeared and video playback on my Samsung Blackjack was speedy and showed no signs of lag what-so-ever. I have only had time to play around with the included demo videos but I will attempt to play some of my own DivX videos later tonight to see how far along this application has really come. For those curious to give this application a test drive you can download copies of both the Windows Mobile Professional and Standard version here.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Skyfire Beta v0.6 Now Available For Download!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 07:00 PM

"Skyfire is a free, downloadable mobile web browser that makes browsing on your phone exactly like browsing on your PC. Now, you can use the web from your mobile phone with unprecedented speed and simplicity. For the first time ever, you can watch any web video, listen to any web music, stay connected on any social network and browse whatever you want. Anything you can browse from your PC, you can now browse from your mobile phone. We’re talking about full-featured PC versions of your favorite web sites. Skyfire gives you speedy page loads, full audio, video, images, dynamic Flash content, advanced Ajax, Java and more – just like your PC."

I received an email a few days ago informing me that Skyfire Beta v0.6 Internet browser is now available for download. According to an email, I would receive a SMS message within 24 hours with a link to download the newest browser. Unfortunately that still has not happened yet. For those of you that are a part of the Skyfire Beta, I would be on the lookout for this new version! If you're not a part of the current Beta and are interested in being a part of the second Beta program for the Skyfire browser you can do so by registering here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Spb Mobile Shell Updated to v2.1

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Software" @ 09:00 AM

"Spb Mobile Shell introduces the next generation user interface while keeping all advantages of a Windows Mobile device. Spb Mobile Shell is the first program a Windows Mobile user needs to install. It dramatically improves the standard user interface and adds features that most users expect from a modern PDA phone."

Spb Software House has updated Spb Mobile Shell to v2.1. You'll find mostly bug fixes in this new release, although there is a new data connection indicator on the Professional Now Screen, along with support for voicemail, hardware keyboards, and 320 x 320 screens. If you've got v2.0, this is a free update. Otherwise, head over to our affiliate software store to try or buy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sprint discontinuing Voice Command on July 1st

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 09:00 AM

"Sprint's not going out of its way to make a big fuss about it, but its long-standing Voice Command service will soon be no more. The service, which allowed Sprint-Nextel phones to dial two buttons and then give voice commands to place calls, will be discontinued on July 1st, 2008, meaning that all your server-based contacts will soon be inaccessible. Aside from removing the VC fee from your monthly bill, Sprint's advising users to download and print their contact lists, and better still, it's encouraging users to rely on handset-based voice-activated dialing (or pick up a new phone if their current one can't pass muster). So long, Voice Command -- we can't imagine too many folks actually missing you."

I'm not sure if any of our Sprint readers take advantage of their carrier based Voice Command service, but if you do it would be a good time to back up all of your contacts now! It turns out Sprint is pulling the plug on this service on July 1st, 2008 and whatever you do not backup will be sent to the vast CDMA heaven up above. To be honest, I'm surprised they didn't pull the plug on this service a few years back when it started becoming more popular to use the VC services on the handset instead of via the network. Better late than never, huh?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tellme It's Not True: Microsoft's Voice Search on Blackberry Before Windows Mobile

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 01:17 PM

"Windows Mobile does have and support voice-enabled functions, but this is an interesting twist. Due to better support for Java, Microsoft's Tellme subsidiary is offering its voice search for Blackberry devices before it goes live on Windows Mobile handsets. Tellme keeps track of where you are through your phone's GPS radio so your search results are local to where you are... Device owners can tap a button and speak their search query; in return, Tellme will offer local results using the Microsoft Live Search engine."

You know what? I'm not really too broken up about this. Don't get me wrong, I think the idea is pretty cool in theory but to quote Lawrence Peter Berra - "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not". As amazing as Microsoft's Voice Command service is on our handsets the one major drawback I have always encountered is that it just does not work very well at all if you are not in a quiet room. Same thing goes for voice enable telecom services! Every time I try to use anything voice enabled and there is any noise in the background whatsoever then the service flat out fails... unless I yell my command into the microphone but then you just end up looking insane. This is the exact reason why I have stopped demoing the Voice Command feature for people who are interested in learning more about my phone.

Who knows, maybe this is a Trojan horse for Microsoft to make all Blackberry users look crazy while they shout into their handsets - aggravating them to the point where they switch over to Windows Mobile devices.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Acer Outlines Smartphone Plans

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC News" @ 07:25 AM

"Acer will likely launch its first smartphone near the end of this year or early next year and it will be a Microsoft-based device, the president of the company said Wednesday. Smartphones will represent as much as 10 percent of Acer's revenue in the next few years, said Gianfranco Lanci, president of Acer, at the company's first quarter investors' conference in Taipei... Acer's quick entry into the smartphone market comes largely due to its NT$9 billion (US$297.3 million) agreement last month to purchase handheld device maker E-Ten Information Systems of Taiwan. E-Ten has developed and sold several smartphone models over the past several years, including its Windows Mobile 6.0-based Glofish smartphone with GPS (Global Positioning System), in addition to other handheld electronic devices such as GPS devices and pocket PCs. Acer plans to focus on smartphones. E-Ten has already stopped selling PDAs, and GPS is already becoming a standard part of other devices instead of just on stand-alone gadgets, said Lanci. E-Ten has only sold its handsets directly to the retail market in the past. The boards of directors at Acer and E-Ten have already approved the deal, but they still face shareholder votes and approval by government regulators. The companies expect the deal to close in the third quarter of this year."

I cringed toward the end of this article. Either Lanci had his information wrong, or InfoWorld misquoted him. E-TEN hasn't stopped selling PDAs yet. Two new models, the M750 and M810, have just hit the market, and the V900 is still on track for a second half release. On top of that, the company's products certainly haven't been limited to direct retail market sales only as the article otherwise suggests. Nitpicking aside, Acer is hoping to complete the acquisition of E-TEN by the end of Q3, and have a new Windows Mobile phone out the door by early '09. Its specs is anyone's guess, although I sure hope they focus more on functionality and less on turning it into another Ferrari.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

AT&T Mobile TV Launch Date and Price List Revealed

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:04 PM

"In our post last month containing live shots of AT&T’s MediaFLO on the LG Vu and Samsung Access. We also told you that the service would launch in May, but further details were under lock and key at the time. Thanks to an anonymous source inside AT&T, we now have all the details you need about the live television service we’ve all been waiting for. First and foremost, the service will launch on May 4 and will be rebranded as AT&T Mobile TV... That’s right people, real deal broadcast TV on your mobile with no buffering time... In terms of what you can expect all this to do to your battery life, Mobile TV will be roughly equivalent to an active voice call."

This is fantastic news! Hopefully now we will finally be able to see the HTC Foreseer (pictured above) finally crawl its way out of the great big Windows Mobile heaven in the sky. The chances of us actually seeing the HTC Foreseer again are pretty slim to none since AT&T has opted to use Qualcomm's MediaFLO technology to broadcast real-time television to their handset line-up instead of the European DVB-H standard which the HTC Foreseer utilized. All is not lost though, with HTC's big announcement coming up on May 6th there is still a chance we could see a MediaFLO Windows Mobile Smartphone or Pocket PC in our future!

For those itching to subscribe to AT&T's new MediaFLO service, it is scheduled to launch on May 4th, 2008. The current subscription price list is as follows:
  • Mobile TV Limited - $13/month: Includes four channels; Fox Mobile, CBS Mobile, NBC, and NBC News
  • Mobile TV Basic - $15/month: Includes 9 channels; Fox Mobile, CBS mobile, NBC, NBC News, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, CNN Mobile and ESPN
  • Mobile TV Plus - $30/month: Includes the nine channels listed above as well as an exclusive Sony Pictures channel

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Stranger in a Strange Land: A Windows Mobile Guy Meets iPhone

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"My brother, the cinematographer, is a MAC kinda guy. So, naturally he packs an iPhone of which he is very proud. While visiting me last week he was showing off the virtues of his iPhone with a bit of a smug air and a tinge of superiority. He quickly established that the iPhone makes phone calls, surfs the Web, does email and SMS, takes pictures (but has no flash), and it does it all on a really cool, high-resolution, finger-friendly touch screen..."

Over at Mobility Site, Tim Hillebrand has brought us one of the most amusing articles I have read this week. I was hoping to post this earlier in the week, but with our server woes I decided to push this back to Friday to give you guys and gals a good chuckle before the weekend. Tim goes through the list of all of Apple's good qualities that was packed into their little device that could and than in classic 1980's buddy comedy fashion the article takes a turn for the comical going through everything you would think this fancy high end device should/would include in its repertoire list but doesn't. It just goes to show us that Apple's handset has as many growing pains to conquer as Microsoft's cellular device offerings and also that Tim's brother is a good sport for letting him write this article about him. ;)

Super Friday Contest Time: Win A Copy of Astraware Casino!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:00 AM

Happy Friday everyone! Not only is the weekend quickly approaching, but we have another awesome contest to help the day pass more swiftly. The good folks over at Astraware have given us 4 copies of Astraware Casino to give away to our readers. Two of the copies will go to our wonderful Smartphone users and the remaining two copies will go out to two lucky, and equally wonderful, Pocket PC users.

As some of you might remember, I reviewed a copy of Astraware Casino a couple of weeks ago and I have to say, this is one of the more enjoyable games I have played on my Windows Mobile device. To enter our Super Friday Contest, all you have to do is reply to this message and let us know which version you would like - Smartphone or Pocket PC. It wouldn't hurt to tell us how much you missed us while we were gone as well. Remember, flattery will get you everywhere! (I'm totally kidding by the way! Just let us know which version you would like to win!)

The winners for this contest will be announced on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008. As always, we will only accept one entry per user and all entries most be entered by 11:59PM PST on April 15th, 2008! Good luck!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard and Professional Reviewed!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 12:00 PM

"The latest Windows Mobile upgrade brings minor, but very welcome additions to the platform. In this article, we'll cover both the Standard (non-touchscreen) and Professional (touchscreen) editions and show you what's to love about the Windows Mobile 6.1 update. Now, you'll notice this is not a full version upgrade, but just a ".1" upgrade so you know you can't expect a full overhaul. It really feels like just a quick update intended to fill in a couple of gaps between the Windows Mobile and Apple iPhone functionality. You'll notice some similarities between the Standard and Professional operating systems (such as the Internet Explorer and Text Messaging updates), but you'll also notice some odd differences. Read on for our thorough rundown of the next version of Windows Mobile to hit your phone!"

[Windows Mobile 6.1 in the flesh! From left to right - Standard and Professional] has brought us a quick review of Windows Mobile 6.1. This review contains a ton of screenshots and two videos of WM 6.1 in action on both the Standard and Professional handsets! All in all, I'm really excited to get my hands on either a device that is equipped with this new update or a Windows Mobile 6.1 ROM image for my Emulator. Oh man, good times! You guys have no idea how relieved I am that this didn't turn out to be a huge April fool’s joke from Microsoft!

You can see the videos (I promise it isn't another Rick Roll) for the Standard platform here and the Professional platform here. Enjoy!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Viva La Resistance! Software Developers Leaving Handango?!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 12:01 PM

I just received some breaking news from a very trusted and reliable source. It turns out that Handango's recent atrocities against software developers will not be tolerated! For those of you that are unaware, a few months back Handango decided that it was only fair to rape the wallets of the software developers that actually keep their foolish company afloat, raising their revenue shares to a drastic 50% of all software sales! It was bad enough that our beloved Windows Mobile developers were already paying companies such as Handango a fairly adequate size of their software sales revenue but this is downright ridiculous!

These actions are so outrageous that I just received an email from one of my most trusted sources, who I will refer to as Batman from here on out, stating that SOTI - the creators of the highly popular Pocket Controller Pro software - are getting ready to call it quits on Handango and pursue options with other vendors! Below is a copy of the email I was sent. I would also like to point out that I have changed all of the names in this email to better suit my sources secret identity. Enjoy!

From: Bruce Wayne
Sent: March 27, 2008 11:00 AM
To: 'Lucius Fox'
Subject: Handango Direction
Importance: High

Hi Lucius,

I am writing to let you know that I and many other developers are not very happy with the direction Handango is taking these days in terms of the increased revenue share (now at 50%). As a result of these changes SOTI is now at a crossroad and seriously considering switching off HCE and moving to another company to process sales. Developers are talking to each other, and there is now a growing consortium of developers looking to dump HCE, I do not think this is the direction that Handango wants to go in. I hope you guys see the light before it is too late.


Bruce Wayne | SOTI Inc. | Office +1 905 624 5555 x 228626 | |

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Introduction to Connected Applications with Windows Mobile 6

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:58 PM

"Did you know that there is an Encarta encyclopedia bot that you can talk to on Windows Live Messenger? That’s just one of the tips I wrote about in this new article on’s Windows Mobile website area."

Todd Ogasawara has posted some fantastic tips and tricks on the Windows Mobile site. I had no idea that you could chat with an encyclopedia bot on Windows Live Messenger. Usually for some basic information like currency conversions, weather data, and even transit times - I use Google based web services. To read about other handy applications that can be used to keep yourself connected to the digital world, head on over to read Todd's article!

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