28 Ağustos 2008 Perşembe

Google talks Android Market app store

Android's gaining a head of steam as it heads towards release -- Google just posted up some details on the upstart OS's app distribution system, Android Market. Just like Apple's iPhone App Store, Android Market will run on Android phones like the HTC Dream and allow users to browse and install apps, as well as comment on and rate apps they've already purchased. (Somewhat terrifyingly, Google describes the rating and comment-system as "similar to YouTube," but we're hoping the reference is to user-generated ratings in general and not the grammar and language catastrophe that is YouTube comments.) Unlike Apple's store, however, Android Market will be open to all -- Google wants devs to "have an open and unobstructed environment" for their apps, and it'll only take three steps (register, upload, describe) to put content on the service. The first Android handsets will come with a beta version of Market that supports free downloads only, but a version that has app sales, versioning, and other features will arrive soon after launch -- given the number of mediocre apps that have somehow passed Apple's vetting process, it'll be interesting to see what shows up in Google's store with no filters at all. More screenshots after the break.

Could There Be a CDMA Version of Palm's Treo Pro?

Last week, Palm announced the Treo Pro, a Windows Mobile-based smartphone for business users. This device is designed to work on GSM networks, and an unconfirmed report indicates there will be a CDMA version, too.

Palm Treo Pro vs. Palm Treo 800wBut there's a small wrinkle in this; some would say there's already a CDMA version of the Treo Pro. It's the Treo 800w, which was released by Sprint earlier this summer.

The two have much in common. The 800w was Palm's first Windows Mobile device with a 320-by-320-pixel screen and its first smartphone with Wi-Fi and GPS, while the Treo Pro also has these features. Both also have the same general shape (see image at right).

Nevertheless, a report in the China Economic News Service says a CDMA version of the Pro is in the works. This hinges on one of the primary difference between the 800w and the Pro: they are manufactured by different companies.

Specifically, the Treo Pro is reportedly being assembled by HTC. And CENS says that Palm has asked HTC to produce a CDMA version of this device, too.

This will come as good news to some CDMA users who prefer the Treo Pro to the 800w. Because, for all their similarities, there are some differences. The Pro is thinner yet has a higher-capacity battery. Also, its sleek black-and-silver design has impressed people who weren't thrilled with the 800w's blue-and-silver color scheme.

The CENS report doesn't say when the CDMA version of the Treo Pro will be released. The GSM version will debut in Europe and N. America in September.

Also left open is which carrier(s) will offer the alternate version of this smartphone, though Verizon Wireless is an obvious possiblility.

Android 1.0 Will Have Bluetooth, Won't Have GoogleTalk

Google and the Open Handset Alliance, the group behind the Android OS, have given a status update on two features in this upcoming mobile operating system.


There have been some rumors going around the Web that the first Android-based devices won't offer support for Bluetooth.


A post on the official Android Developers Blog tries to squash these. "The 1.0 version of Android and the first devices will include support for Bluetooth; for instance, Android will support Bluetooth headsets," writes Dan Morrill, Developer Advocate.

However, the initial version of the developer tools will not include a Bluetooth API. This means third-party software won't be able to directly access the Bluetooth functionality.

But that's not the end of the story. Morrill's post promises "We absolutely intend to support a Bluetooth API in a future release, although we don't know exactly when that will be."


Google is the driving force behind Android, so it's no surprise that smartphones running this operating system will be tied in to many of this company's services.

However, there will be one popular service that won't be included: GoogleTalk.

Morrill says the decision to cut this instant messaging app from Android was based on concerns about security. "GTalkService has some fundamental security problems... in the end, the Android team decided to pull the API instead of exposing users to risk and breaking compatibility with a future, more secure version of the feature."

More About Android

Android will be based on the open-source operating system Linux and offer robust multitasking.

Along with the OS will be a suite of mobile applications. The OHA will strongly encourage third-party development.

The initial smartphones running Android are scheduled for release later this year. The first of these will be from HTC and T-Mobile USA, but this will be followed up by devices from a variety of companies and wireless carriers.

Verizon XV6800 Gets EV-DO Speed Upgrade, Windows Mobile 6.1

Even though the Verizon XV6800 debuted last year, a new operating system upgrade pushes this model back to the leading edge.

XV6800Along with the jump to Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro -- the latest version of Microsoft's operating system for smartphones -- this upgrade adds support for Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A network, which offers faster data transfer speeds than the original version of EV-DO.

Other enhancements include a threaded SMS client, an updated MMS client, and support for 16 GB microSD cards.

In addition, its built-in GPS receiver now supports the VzNavigator application.

This upgrade is available now, for free, on the UTStarcom website.

More About the Verizon XV6800

Many who overlooked this smartphone before might be more interested in it, thanks to the improvements this upgrade.

The XV6800 offers a variety of wireless networking options. In addition to EV-DO there's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The highlight of this device's design is a landscape-oriented keyboard that can be hidden behind its QVGA touchscreen.

Still, many have criticized this model for being light on RAM, as it has just 64 MB.

What's a ROM Update?

The ROM is where the operating system and built-in applications are stored. Changes made to the files in ROM are permanent and will survive the device undergoing a hard reset.

Updating the ROM will erase everything that's on the smartphone, so it's important to back up any files before installing the new version of the operating system. This doesn't apply to files that are on a removable memory card.

How to Take screenshots on your iPhone 3G

Apple has added this functionality right into the 2.0 software update. When you are on a screen that you want to capture, you simply press and hold the Home button and then press the the power/sleep button.

Your screenshot will then appear in your photo gallery on your iPhone where you can send it or sync it as you desire. I plan to use this functionality when writing software reviews and am pleased it was included in the update. I now need to test it out while playing games and using applications where pressing in on the Home button may affect the program. Cool & useful!

iControlPad iPhone gamepad case prototype surfaces

We saw a couple versions of the iControlPad iPhone gamepad surface back in May, but it looks like the clever add-on is getting close to reality -- check out these case prototypes that just popped up. Yeah, it's not, uh, small -- good thing the target price is under $30. Touch Arcade also has some other pictures of another iPhone gaming accessory that looks like it slides open, check it out at the read link.


Epoq EGP-PP01 KIRF projector phone now shipping

Sigh. We're still stoked about phones with built-in projectors, but we're not at all okay with the first commercially-available unit being the nasty Epoq EGP-PP01 iPhone clone -- yet we've got to hand it to China King for being the first out the gate with a handset that'll beam a 30-inch VGA image on the wall for two hours off the built-in battery. Of course, that doesn't mean we think anyone should actually drop $550 on this uninspired piece, but if you've absolutely got to show off your witty texting banter to the entire bar, this is your only option.

Motorola's Blaze ZN4 and Rapture VU30 in the wild

Hey, Verizon customers, you're feeling a little warm to the touch over there. Could it be that you have -- be still our hearts! -- Motorola fever? As Motos go, Verizon's currently signed up to get two of the hotter upcoming models in the next few weeks, the ZN4 Blaze and the VU30 Rapture, both of which have been spied in the wild once more (looking basically ready for retail launch this time around, may we add). The VU30 is a fashion flip that takes some cues from its GSM-based U9 cousin featuring a glossy translucent shell, fat external display, and according to the latest rumors, a September 9 release date. The Blaze meanwhile looks more or less the same as the last time we saw it, leaving us to wonder what possessed Motorola to keep rolling with that eyesore of a giant, red-ringed medallion on the hinged lid. It's also rumored for a September date with destiny, though the exact day is unclear at this point -- and honestly, Motorola, if you want to push that back a month or two to make the badge less obnoxious, be our guest.

27 Ağustos 2008 Çarşamba

BlackBerry Bold unboxing and hands-on

We've been waiting to get our smudgy digits on RIM's BlackBerry Bold seemingly since before the Earth's crust finished cooling, and finally, Canada's Rogers Wireless lent us a hand. In a few words, the screen is striking, size is actually pretty comfy to hang on to, the keys are fairly easy to use, and we're kinda digging it. As a quick refresher, the Bold has tri-band HSDPA, quad-band EDGE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 1GB of onboard memory, and a 2-megapixel cam that can take advantage of the GPS for a bit of geotagging tomfoolery. The integrated media player seems to get the job done with a pile of supported formats -- including DivX, some support for XviD, H.264, MP3, WMA, and a bunch more -- the OS 4.6 looks slick, and have we mentioned the frickin' screen? We'll be back right quick with a deeper dive into the Bold's capabilities, but for now, enjoy the pics.

Palm Treo Pro Sized Up Against Competition

Most of us can size up the functionality of a phone from its spec sheet, but a phone's practicality, usability and enjoyability falls to a whole other series of factors. Form factor is a biggie. In this clip, you'll see the Treo Pro literally sized up against the smartphone competition (including the Palm Centro, Motorola Q9H, the BlackBerry Bold, the iPhone 3G, the HTC Touch Diamond and more. If you're at work and can't play the audio track, just turn it off and you'll still get most of the effect.

HTC announces S740: because two keypads are better than one

ooking for the Touch Pro in a slightly less conspicuous package? HTC (who else?) thinks it has the answer in the S740, a pretty thorough revamp of the S710 of old. The basic concept is the same -- wrap Windows Mobile Standard into a candybar package with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard

read more | digg story

First Android Release Will Have iPhone-Style Crippled Bluetooth, No Google Talk

Over on the official Android Developers Blog, Googler Dan Morrill has news of what won't be making it into Android 1.0—a full featured-Bluetooth stack and data messaging via Google Talk API. Android 1.0 will work with Bluetooth headsets, but won't do other things like send files or link up to a PoGo printer, just like the iPhone. Google Talk will be missing completely. Thankfully, the reasoning behind both decisions seems to make sense: Google Talk's security is nowhere near where it needs to be in order to function as the core IM service for a huge mobile platform as intended, and a full Bluetooth API simply isn't done yet, but both should show up in future iterations. Apparently any frameworks in the 1.0 SDK would be impossible to greatly change down the road, so it sounds like Google's taking the smart route and not rushing out inferior code.

Windows Mobile 6.1 Comes to the AT&T Tilt

HTC and AT&T have just released a free Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade for the AT&T Tilt. This brings the latest version of Microsoft's operating system to this widely-used smartphone.

Among the enhancements are:

* Threaded SMS
* Microsoft Voice Command
* OneNote Mobile
* PTT Button now reassignable

HTC TiltThis ROM upgrade is available now on HTC's website. It is a free download.

More About the AT&T Tilt

For the benefit of those who are now interested in learning more about the Tilt because of this upgrade, this smartphone is practically loaded down with features.

Among these are 3G cellular-wireless networking and Wi-Fi, a GPS receiver, a built-in landscape-oriented keyboard, and a 3 MPx camera.

What's a ROM Update?

The ROM is where the operating system and built-in applications are stored. Changes made to the files in ROM are permanent and will survive the device undergoing a hard reset.

Updating the ROM will erase everything that's on the smartphone, so it's important to back up any files before installing the new version of the operating system. This doesn't apply to files that are on a removable memory card.

25 Ağustos 2008 Pazartesi

Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X1 reviewed in breathtaking detail

If you're looking for pictures from every conceivable angle of Sony Ericsson's first foray into the danger-fraught tar pit that is Windows Mobile, well, here you go. In fact, Smape goes so far as to take a look at both the black and metallic versions of the X1 (but don't get to attached to the metallic one just yet, seeing how it might have gotten the axe in some markets), noting that they're assembled exceptionally well and exude a premium look that's rarely seen in the WinMo realm. Unfortunately, they've dinged the keyboard for the same crappy feel observed elsewhere, something we're all hoping gets fixed by the time it hits production in a couple months' time. With that wild panel interface, you might expect some pretty miserable performance when you have the thing going at full tilt; fortunately, though, Smape reports that lags occur "only occasionally," which is better than "frequently" or "always" as far as we're concerned. Camera performance is said to be better than the Touch Pro's, though both HTC and Sony Ericsson (via HTC, ironically) still have plenty of time to tweak that via a well-placed firmware update or two. At any rate, we're definitely looking forward to seeing this thing finally materialize so the Touch Pros and X1s of the world can start duking it out in those rough, dog-eat-dog professional trenches of the world.

Nokia launches the N79 and N85

Nokia promised us two new handsets today, and just as we heard last week, it's the N85 and N79. Not a lot of surprises with the N85 since it popped in the FCC database a couple weeks ago and started appearing in the wild: 2.6-inch AMOLED screen, GPS, five megapixel cam, N-Gage compatibility, 8GB of microSDHC storage, WiFi, and a 28-hour music playback battery life. The N79 replaces the N78, similarly bumping the cam to the big five em-pees with a dual-LED flash, GPS, 4GB microSDHC storage, WiFi, swappable back covers, and a 24-hour music playback battery life. Should be out in the UK as of next month, but we're hoping to see these hit our fair shores posthaste. N79 pictured after the break.

24 Ağustos 2008 Pazar

Android UI looks far better than Iphone p4

TAT company which is specialized UI developer for mobile pho

read more | digg story

HTCExtFun - Changes your Keyboard Automagicly

This is for those of you that have the HTC Touch Diamond or Touch Pro. Those devices have a sensor in the Stylus slot that senses whether or not the stylus is slotted or not. This software allows the device to change keyboards on the fly depending on whether the stylus is out or not. When it’s out, it assumes you are using it. (What if it’s lost) Here is a nice demo video of this software in action.

XPERIA X1 to come in black only?

We're hoping beyond hope that Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X1 is actually nearing a launch date, but astute reader Kingsley just pointed out to us that SE's US web site no longer lists silver as an available color choice, only Solid Black. That's notable only because we've only mostly seen silver editions of the X1 until now, but a limited color palette's not going to stop us from snapping this one up as soon as it hits -- what about you?

Nokia N96 gets Indian pre-launch

Nokia's Indian outpost has announced that it'll be offering the hotly anticipated top-of-the-line N96 there starting next month, and in the meantime, about 2,000 stores across the country have been authorized to start accepting pre-orders. By and large, this N96 seems to be the same one everyone else will be getting -- but one India-exclusive feature will be Wave Secure, an S60 app designed to give owners some semblance of peace of mind by backing up their data to the cloud and enabling device tracking if their precious payload is lost or jacked. It's a hot phone, no question about it -- 16GB of onboard storage plus the capability for microSD expansion is nothing to sneeze at -- but without a 3G network to latch onto, seems like it could be a tough sell if the price isn't right.

Palm chose HTC over Inventec for Treo Pro?

We thought it was funny in a nerdy, chortle-quietly-to-ourselves sort of way when we realized that HTC would essentially be competing with itself this fall in the very upper echelon of the Windows Mobile market by releasing the Touch Pro and making the X1 for Sony Ericsson. Now it seems that they're adding at least one more player into the mix -- just for sport, we suppose -- if DigiTimes' claim that the contract for Palm's Treo Pro has gone to HTC is correct. Recently, Palm has favored Inventec over HTC for many of its models -- though the on-again, off-again relationship with Peter Chou's company stretches all the way back to the Treo's early days, so there's definitely some precedent. That, and the fact that HTC seems to really know what it's doing lately.

BlackBerry Bold 9000 unboxed on video

We can't help but feel the BlackBerry Bold 9000's much-anticipated launch ended up being just a tad bit anti-climactic. Maybe it's a Canada thing, or maybe we're just haters. Or maybe we hate Canada. While we mull that over, you might as well have a look at CrackBerry.com's video unboxing of the new phone, complete with some comparison shots and, um, unboxing. Oh, there's an iPhone versus near the end, so don't go anywhere! Video is after the break.

22 Ağustos 2008 Cuma

Nokia 5800 Tube - EXCLUSIVE specs and launch window

Here it is. Nokia's iPhone fighting Nokia Tube is the isht! Check out the specs and live pic of the Nokia Tube here.

read more | digg story

LG's KC910 takes over where Viewty left off, packs 8MP camera

Nah, it ain't the Prada II or anything, but who's to argue with an 8-megapixel camera? You heard right -- LG's followup to the Viewty is the KC910, a touchscreen-based handset that checks in at 14-millimeters thick and supports quad-band GSM / 7.2Mbps HSDPA. Furthermore, you'll find Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi, a 3-inch 400 x 240 resolution display, a microSD expansion slot, Xenon flash (alongside a Schneider-Kreuznach lens), video recording, TV output, a multimedia player (with DivX and XviD support, we're told) and built-in GPS. This feature-packed device is bruited to be on track for an October launch, though we've no idea how costly it'll be (nor what regions it will invade).

Glofiish V900 Hands-On

We uh... fished around for a Glofiish V900, got one, and thought we'd take a handful of shots for your perusal. It's certainly a beast - Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, Samsung's new-ish S3C6400 CPU at 533MHz, 128MB RAM, 256MB ROM, a microSDHC slot, an accelerometer, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, an FM tuner, an FM transmitter, TV-out, a 3.0-megapixel auto-focus camera with flash, and a gorgeous VGA touch screen that isn't recessed. Oh yeah, there's also quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA connectivity, along with DVB-T/H and T-DMB/DAB support for all that OTA TV goodness. Plenty of accessories in the box, too. Sheesh, that's a mouthful, huh? Hopefully, we didn't leave anything out.

Sony Ericsson C902 overview

C is for Cyber shot!!!

The Sony C902 claims to capture memories for you to share with your friends and family…surely most mobile phones do this? How do the great camera features on this phone compare to others?

Well perhaps it the 5.0 mega pixel camera and video; but this is a common feature of mid-range Sony Ericsson mobile phones. The C902 is set to revolutionize camera phones with face recognition, Bestpic and Photo fix applications using the camera hidden by a sliding lens cover.

Ok so maybe this phone is a digital camera with a mobile phone attached? With the amazing camera features, have other features been compromised?

This mobile boasts 160mb internal memory and functions such as track ID, Google maps and HSDPA support, taking 3G to a new level.

With its lightweight, compact structure it is a great step up from earlier models and users will be glad to see the old keypad replaced with a four way navigation pad. With the 2.2 inch screen, the eight touch sensitive keys surrounding the case bring this phone up to speed.

If you’re in the market for a camera phone this is a fantastic option! As an alternative, opt for an earlier version such as the K850i as you will get the same camera features minus the fancy touch sensitive camera keys!!!

HTC Touch Pro Review

Following on from the release of the HTC Diamond, the HTC Touch Pro (Raphael) is as much high end as you are going to find at the moment. The price tag does match its status and to prove itself as value for money it has to be near perfect...

read more | digg story

21 Ağustos 2008 Perşembe

Samsung i900 Omnia turning up in UK

The Windows Mobilicious i900 Omnia from Samsung definitely qualifies for the upper echelon of 2008's crop of smartphones, thanks in no small part to a 5 megapixel cam, capacitive touchscreen, and a UI that seems to do a bang-up job of concealing WinMo's ancient visuals. That's all well and good, but most of us don't live in a locale where the Omnia has launched on a carrier -- which is precisely why we should all be nice and jealous of our British friends righ about now. It seems the 16GB handset is now available through O2 over in those parts, and what's more, it's straight-up free if you sign up for a £35 (about $65) plan. Hey, American carriers, you guys paying attention here?

iTreo 800p available on eBay: L@@K

Well whaddya know? The iTreo 800p is finally selling on eBay! We thought the day would never come that we could actually get our hands on this totally sweet -- and absolutely real -- phone. Man were we wrong. Sure, the listing says you're selling off a Treo 800W, but given the large amount of completely reassuring blue text, scrolling text, and large font text, we'll happily accept that we will, in fact, receive the device pictured above via UPS Next Day Air. So, yes. Yes. We will "buy it now" for $349.99, safe in the knowledge that by this time tomorrow, we'll be the only guy on our block busting out the iTreo 800p at parties, pool halls, and any place else where all the happenin' stuff happens. Thanks "naseemajid" -- you're A+++++ in our book.

Analyst says first Android phone will ship in November, possibly without Exchange

The HTC Dream may have already cleared the FCC, but at least one analyst that has actually seen the very first Android-based device, Moe Tanabian of IBB Consulting, says that it will only be hitting stores around Thanksgiving in November, and not September or October as many were expecting. He also says that its "unclear" whether the phone will support Microsoft Exchange or not (at least right out of the gate), and that users may have to rely on Gmail if they want to receive push email. Among other tidbits, he also confirms that the device will have access to T-Mobile's own App Store-like service, and that it'll come with Google's advertising software pre-installed, which he says could not only lower the cost of the phone, but allow for lower monthly service fees as well. Of course, you'll have to take that with all the usual analyst caveats for the time being, but we're sure we'll be hearing plenty more to back it up or shoot it down before the September / October / November launch.

Samsung Omnia review

No longer does Windows Mobile alone a capable smartphone make. The platform's core is as relevant, powerful, and well-supported as ever, but that's not the problem -- the real issue is that it's just plain hard to look at. The days of WinMo looking even remotely modern in its stock form are long gone, and top-tier manufacturers clearly recognize that; everyone from ASUS to HTC has taken matters into their own hands to craft custom skins that kill off as many of the ancient visuals as possible while still holding onto everything that makes Windows Mobile great.

Enter the Samsung i900 Omnia, a phone that submits to design direction forced upon the industry largely by the iPhone -- full touchscreen, no keyboard, you know the drill by now -- and does pretty much everything in its power to overcome WinMo's limitations to make it competitive in the year 2008. Did Sammy succeed? Read on.


Video: Android SDK v0.9 hits the internet looking almost ready for primetime

It's an interesting day for the folks at Google. Not only do we see the supposed GPhone (AKA, the HTC Dream) get trotted out to the FCC, and hear new rumors about the device's release date, but now there's a brand-spanking-new release of the Android SDK available. The version? 0.9 -- a number which puts this dangerously close to a number that most would consider non-beta. Meanwhile, the new version of the mobile OS has been significantly changed, adding a new widgetified (big old clock: present!) and flickable homescreen, a handy (and speedy) tab to pull up your apps, plus a media player, camera, and handful of other noticeable design tweaks. Don't believe us? Check out the video after the break showing it all in action.

Update: We've included a gallery of screenshots as well. Check out the sync contacts option. Sweet! Also, you may note that it asks you to "open keyboard to compose message" in the SMS screen -- almost like it's made for a device with a slide-out keyboard.

The Treo Pro makes its video debut, inches towards launch

Now that the Treo Pro's been uncovered, the sleek black handset just can't stay out of the spotlight -- it's popped up today in several more high-res shots, a quick hands-on video, and even what looks like official press photography. Specs are still up in the air -- we're hearing there's a 400MHz processor and 128MB of RAM behind that 320 x 320 screen and original Xbox-looking exterior, but we won't know for sure until this thing gets official, which we're guessing will happen within the week. Video after the break.

20 Ağustos 2008 Çarşamba

HTC gunning for top-five worldwide phone marketshare

HTC's already done a terrific job of going from anonymous Asian ODM to a major name player in the cellphone game, and it sounds like the company's aiming for the next level -- in an interview with the Commercial Times, CEO Peter Chou said the goal is to become one of the top three to five handset makers in the global market. That's a pretty aggressive target for a smartphone manufacturer -- competitors like Nokia and Samsung crank out millions of low-end dumbphones every quarter, and while there's no denying the appeal of devices like the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro, it's going to be hard to match those numbers. Still, with Android and the Dream on the horizon, anything's possible -- and HTC's definitely got the chops to pull it off.

Palm's Treo Pro gets official

Well you can't say you didn't see this one coming -- between the leaked shots, more leaked shots, and those -- yes -- leaked press materials, this was only a matter of time. That's right: Palm has gone and gotten all official with its latest and greatest smartphone, the now-familiar Treo Pro. The new Windows Mobile device is being sold unlocked (!), and features an HSDPA cell radio (tri-band UMTS, quad-band GSM), GPS, 802.11b/g, a 320 x 320 touchscreen display, 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, a 2-megapixel camera, support for microSDHC cards up to 32GB... and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack! No word on price or actual street date, but we can't imagine that's too far off. Hit the read link and take a tour of the new device, or watch the totally radical -- and long, and detailed -- video after the break.

Official Windows Mobile 6.1 ROM Update for Motorola Q9h

"Mike, who'd previously let us know about that leaked out 6.1 update has been watching Motorola's site like a ravenous hawk hovering over a field mouse. That mouse has finally popped out of its hole: head on over to Motorola's site for the official Motorola Q9h 6.1 Update. You're going to need the standard complement of update tools before you get going: Windows XP or Vista, internet connectivity (the software just might be calling home to check to see if your Q9h is legit), and a full backup before you update. Like all ROM updates, this one will wipe your device, so get prepared."

It is time to start backing up all of your data! Motorola has finally come around to giving the Q9h the old update treatment. For those that have not had a chance to use the sliding panels before, they are actually quite fun. Light years ahead of the incredibly plain coma inducing default homescreen that came equipped with Windows Mobile 6 and below.

Opticon Releases Two Ruggedized Windows Mobile Smartphones

The Opticon Mobility Group announced today that their H16 Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional smartphone was just certified by AT&T and they are currently seeking certification of their H19 Windows Mobile 5 Professional smartphone, for a September release. The smartphones are compatible with AT&T's GSM and GPRS networks. Certified AT&T and Opticon solution partners include Telenav, Corrigo, Salesforce.com, and Sybase iAnywhere. Opticon smartphones offer superior scanning abilities with a competitive price point, making them stand out over any other product. The H19 was recently recognized by AT&T as the Best New Network Compatible Device at the CTIA Wireless Tradeshow."

While I wouldn't expect to see these in the hands of your local Wal-Mart employees, businesses who need to combine a barcode scanner with a ruggedized smartphone can check out these offerings from Opticon. The Opticon H19 uses Windows Mobile 6.0, and offers communication through WiFi (802.11b/g), quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE, and Bluetooth. The H19 also includes integrated GPS capability (SiRF Star III) and a 512MB ROM. The Opticon H16 uses Windows Mobile 5.0 and also includes the same communications options of quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE, WiFi and Bluetooth and as seen above, features a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard, but lacks the GPS capability. Either phone offers either a laser barcode scanner, or 2D CMOS imager.

The Android Wars: The Battle for Smartphone Users Begins!

As I am sure all of you have heard the release of Google's open source operating system is right around the corner. As Jon posted yesterday, T-Mobile is having some weird special event pre-sale to kick off the release of the first Android device, the HTC Dream, and T-Mobile subscribers can expect to pick up this new handset for a mere $150USD. This is an amazing price for a touch screen smartphone.

As some of you have probably heard me say before, as of the last Android SDK release, the operating system felt more like a collection of stuff rather than a useable mobile platform. With the recent release of the Android SDK we can see a lot of that "hobbyist" feel that usually accompanies most things open source start to peel away from the device as Google shapes Android up to a viable iPhone killer.

Now I know what you guys are thinking, "Geez, here we go again! Once more we're talking about something other than Windows Mobile!" You know what? I totally feel your pain and you're right. Unfortunately Microsoft is still being incredibly tight lipped about the successor to our current generation of mobile operating system and everyone is getting antsy; especially me. I don’t know if you guys have realized this, but I’m pretty impatient. It isn’t just me either, lately I could just feel the anxiety in the air as we all sit around hoping that someone up there in the land of Redmond is taking notes and listening. And while it is fun to sit around with a head full of wishful thinking while we keep our fingers crossed and wait for better days, there are two very important things wrong with having crossed fingers all the time.

Crossed fingers make it harder to type… a lot harder.
Crossed fingers do not make very entertaining news stories.

So since we are hearing nothing from the Microsoft camp at the moment about what to expect of the future of our favorite operating system, I decided it would be a great idea to at least take a look at where the future of mobile devices are headed. Some could argue that the future of mobile devices came around with the release of the iPhone, and you would be totally right, but the truth is Apple has always been a closed ecosystem and there is too much control wrapped up in the hardware and software that as a consumer you will never really have "choice". You either get what Apple says you want or you get nothing and lets face it, as long as Apple has a stranglehold on the iPhone, it can never go head to head with any mobile operating system. Google offers us something completely different while giving us an open source operating system that will encourage its users to tinker and innovate and this operating system can - and will - be installed on a slew of handsets similar to what we see now in the Windows Mobile world. If there was any operating system that posed a serious threat to Windows Mobile or even Symbian, it is Android.

Will Google's operating system be good enough to eat into the consumer base of Microsoft's Windows Mobile or even Apple's iPhone platform? That remains to be seen. So while we all sit around and wait for something exciting to happen, and for the love of all things mobile and good I hope that it happens soon, I threw together this little video of me dinking around with the Android emulator. As always let us know what you think about this new fandangled operating system. Enjoy!

Coming soon: 'wallet phones' from Japan

Japan will start an aggressive push to market abroad its mobile technology, especially the nation's popular "wallet phone," a government official said Tuesday.

Japan plans to launch an aggressive global push to market its cell phones, such as this prototype from Hitachi.

Although Japan boasts some of the most sophisticated cell phones in the world, delivering high-speed Internet connections, digital TV broadcasts and video downloads, the nation has failed to make its handsets, wireless technology and mobile services hits outside of Japan.

The latest initiative spearheaded by the government with an industry group of Japanese carriers and manufacturers is an effort to help Japan catch up in wooing global users, said Masayuki Ito, official at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Among the wireless innovations Japan hopes to peddle is the wallet phone. The technology relies on a tiny computer chip called FeliCa, embedded in each cell phone, which communicates with a reader-device at stores, train stations and vending machines for cashless payments.

FeliCa was developed by Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. Such technology is more common in smart cards, popular in Singapore and parts of Europe. But Japan hopes to market the technology abroad for cell phones.

In Japan, wallet phones have been available since 2004, introduced by top mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo. Most recent handset models here have the wallet function.

Older Japanese technology had compatibility problems with other global standards, but new third-generation technology allows new products to be used outside the country, and can be more easily adapted to overseas products.

Japan leads the rest of the world in 3G cell phone proliferation, with nearly 104 million 3G handsets in use, or about 90 percent of cell phones being used in Japan.

Japan also hopes to promote overseas other kinds of wireless technology, including 3G mobile phones with GSM, or Global System for Mobile communications, which allows the same phone to be used in most countries.

Ito acknowledged that wireless technology must adapt to differing social needs around the world. Wallet phones have been hits in Japan because of the omnipresent convenience stores and vending machines, as well as the relative lack of credit card use here. But conditions in other nations may differ.

"Some critics say Japanese mobile technology tends to be quirky like the Galapagos Islands," he said, referring to the isolated Pacific islands reputed to have averted evolutionary changes in a reference of the incompatibility of older Japanese cell phones and their quirky services.

"But Asian nations such as Taiwan and South Korea have for years expressed great interest in Japanese cell phones," he added.

Other technology Japan hopes to promote abroad are more futuristic such as fourth-generation wireless, Ito said.

Details and budget plans for the government effort are being outlined in the next few months, but a proposal was approved at a ministry meeting last month.

The ministry is planning international missions and seminars to spread the word about Japan's technology, he said.

19 Ağustos 2008 Salı

HTC Touch Pro unboxed (exclusive!)

Ever since the HTC press conference announcing the HTC Touch Diamond three months ago people have been asking "Where's the one with the Keyboard?" Well finally, thanks to Clove Technology we've been able to get our hands on an HTC Touch Pro review unit.

HTC Touch Pro specification:
* Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
* Qualcomm MSM 7201A @ 528MHz
* 512MB ROM / 256MB RAM
* 2.8" VGA screen
* WiFi
* Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
* eGPS
* 3.1MP Camera with flash
* Forward facing VGA camera
* G-sensor (same as the Diamond)
* FM Radio
* TV-Out feature
* microSD card slot (thank goodness!)
* 1350mAh battery
* 51x99x17mm
* 165 grams

17 Ağustos 2008 Pazar

A release date and price has been set for UMPC contender Gigabyte's MID M528, a diminutive portable computer with a slide out keyboard, according to the folks over at UMPC Portal. A product page on Gigabyte's site put the cost at $689 and availability on Sept. 17. The page then disappeared, but not before intrepid internet surfers could get a nice screen grab.
The M528 contains a 4.8 inch screen with a 800 x 480 pixel resolution, a 800 Mhz Intel Atom, 512 MB RAM, roughly 4GB of storage space, and an 11 hour battery in a case that weighs about three quarters of a pound. It also boasts 3G, which makes it a possible replacement for the Nokia N810 if you think 3G's worth paying over double for. [UMPC Portal]

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BlackBerry 8350i May Be Coming to Sprint's iDEN Network

When Sprint acquired Nextel, it also acquired its iDEN network. This carrier has continued to introduce new iDEN devices, but usually long after it has released similar models for its CDMA network.

As a case in point, an unconfirmed report indicates that Sprint is going to release its first device in the BlackBerry Curve series for iDEN users.

The BlackBerry 8350i won't be a "dumbed-down" model. It will supposedly have Wi-Fi, a GPS receiver, and a 2 MPx camera.

According to BGR, this smartphone will run BlackBerry 4.6, the very latest version of RIM's system software.

The 8350i will supposedly hit the market during the fourth quarter of this year.

iPhone 3G Issues: The Plot Thickens

The iPhone 3G’s problems are a hot topic of discussion these days, with everyone trying to figure out who’s to blame. Is it the fault of the carrier? The software? Or the chips inside the device? While I have a feeling this is really a witches’ brew of all three, the explanations only add to the mystery.
Users are complaining of four basic problems. And notably, they are the same ones that handset makers and carriers in Europe and Asia had to deal with when they started to roll out 3G systems in those regions:

1- Speed of the 3G network is often not as fast as it should be.
2- Switching between the EDGE and 3G networks leads to broken web sessions.
3- For some, the switch between the networks leads to dropped calls.
4- Weak battery life.
A report on BusinessWeek.com today sheds more light on the issue, though there is still no official comment from Apple. According to the report, the problem is impacting 2-3 percent of iPhone traffic. BW cites an unnamed source who notes that considering 1 percent of AT&T calls get dropped, this is a problem, but not a catastrophe.

AT&T: Network Is Fine

AT&T, displaying a classic head-in-the-sand attitude, issued a statement that said, “Overall, the new iPhone is performing just great on our 3G network.” Right, and overall, the Yankees are on target to win the MLB World Series! If it’s performing so well, why are so many people complaining?

Ask anyone in San Francisco or New York and they will make your ears bleed with their tales of iPhone 3G woes. When we asked our readers about their experience, a majority said they were getting speeds only marginally better than the original iPhone. BW offers some clues as to what the problem might be:

Part of the role of the Infineon chip is to check whether there’s enough 3G bandwidth available in a given area. If 3G isn’t available or there isn’t enough bandwidth, the iPhone will be shifted to a slower network. One source says Apple programmed the Infineon chip to demand a more powerful 3G signal than the iPhone really requires. So if too many people try to make a call or go on the Internet in a given area, some of the devices will decide there’s insufficient power and switch to the slower network—even if there is enough 3G bandwidth available.

Apparently this is resulting in problems in areas of high iPhone density — aka San Francisco, Boston etc. — the very markets where Apple has both a strong retail presence and higher-than-average mind share.

Antenna & Weak Signals

Meanwhile, Swedish magazine Ny Teknik is citing unnamed experts that have come up with yet another theory:

… the most likely cause of the 3G problems is defective adjustments between the antenna and an amplifier that captures very weak signals from the antenna. This could lead to poor 3G connectivity and slower data speeds.

And when I tried to test their theory, it made sense. I currently have three 3G handsets — Nokia E71, Nokia N78 and Sony Ericsson U750a — all of which are optimized for the AT&T 3G network. The speeds on those phones are much faster. Similarly, if I pop a 3G SIM card into one of the USB modems, the speeds on AT&T network are quite fast.

Its the 3G Stupid

Finally there is our friend Mike Puchol, who explains how wireless networks work and outlines some of the problems associated with 3G technologies. In his view, the problem is shared bandwidth:

…key issue to remember is that the download rate is “per tower”, not per user. So, if two users using HSDPA are on the same tower, they will each get a maximum throughput of 3.6Mbps. Divide even further, and the more users you have the worse experience everyone gets.

His explanation also makes sense, and ties in with an earlier post of mine in which I looked at the backhaul problems facing U.S. 3G networks and asked whether or not they’d be able to withstand the iPhone 3G stress test.

15 Ağustos 2008 Cuma

Android delayed, HTC Doubting the Almighty Google?

"The word from Half Moon bay is that Google’s 'GPhone' cell-phones, being built by various handset makers, could be delayed from an end-of-year introduction to sometime later in the first quarter of next year, according to Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research. Among the issues causing the apparent delay are the following: Handset maker High Tech Computer (HTCKF) is 'having structural problems to incorporate Google’s demanded feature set'; HTC is 'demanding a guaranteed minimum revenue surety from Google', from which Chowdhry concludes that 'Probably HTC does not think there will be enough demand for GPhone.'"

When Google's operating system was first announced I was incredibly excited. The more competition there is, the better the products get for us consumers over time. Though after taking some time to play with Google's Developer kit every few months since it was released, I became less and less impressed with it over time. Sure it does some cool things but just like Google's Internet presence, Google's operating system feels like bits and chunks services thrown together into a big pile of Beta. This might work for the web but I cannot see this working for the average consumer. It seems as though the Powers That Be at HTC are starting to have their doubts about Google's operating system as well, but their doubts come from a different problem that I never even thought about; will there really be that much of a demand for a Google phone? What do you guys think?

Palm Treo 850 Leaked, Renamed to Treo Pro

Oops, Palm let one slip. What you see above and after the break are snaps of a Treo Pro (aka Treo 850) Flash demo that was hosted on Palm's very own website. Like the 500 and Centro, the Pro opts for a sleeker look, which we think is a step in the right direction. It includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IR, HSDPA, a camera, an expansion slot, and a Micro-USB connector, which we'd normally disapprove of if it was anything like HTC's ExtUSB; but Palm isn't HTC. They've done a good deed by including a 3.5mm headphone jack for all your audio needs.
Unfortunately, no word on a price or release date, but the moment we know, we'll let you know.

Police turning to GPS to track cars more than ever

t's no secret that the police have been using GPS to track cars for some time now, often without a warrant or court order and, as The Washington Post now reports, it looks like the practice is only getting more and more commonplace. That is mostly due to the fact that courts usually side with the police in the resulting cases that arise out of the use of GPS trackers, with them agreeing with the argument that it is essentially no different than having an officer physically track a car themselves. They also cite a 1983 Supreme Court case that allowed the use of "beepers" that relay a car's location to police. Of course, others, like attorney Chris Leibig, have an entirely different opinion, saying that, "tracking a person everywhere they go and keeping a computer record of it for days and days without that person knowing is a completely different type of intrusion." Given that at least some state courts, like Washington state, side with that position and require a warrant for GPS trackers to be used, it would seem likely that this matter could eventually wind up being decided in the Supreme Court as well.

Sprint readying a red HTC Touch Diamond?

We won't even front with you -- we have some serious doubts about this one, but with all those other red handsets that have emerged on Sprint over the years, we suppose that image above has a sliver of credence. We've no details whatever outside of two more shots of the red HTC Touch Diamond (or Victor, to be proper) in the read link, but these could very well be someone's best shot at using Photoshop to gain 15 minutes of internet fame. What say you, dear readers? Real or fake?

Multilingual Talking Dictionaries Available for iPhone/iPod Touch

Paragon Software Group has launched a series of multilingual dictionaries for iPhone and iPod touch. Featuring the PONS Advanced English, PONS Advanced French and PONS Advanced Italian dictionaries, the underlying SlovoEd engine allows users to take advantage of the iPhone's user interface to increase look-up speed and use over other electronic and paper dictionary options.

The dictionaries contain over 111,000 entries, and are compressed to take up as little space as possible while still remaining quick and easy to use. An audio module option contains over 40,000 entries spoken in native dialects to aid in learning native languages.

The PONS dictionaries are compatible with version 2.0 and later of the iPhone operating system. The series is available from the iTunes App Store for $24.99 (19.99 EUR).

12 Ağustos 2008 Salı

Motorola Atila gets leaked: think Alexander sans QWERTY

While legend has it that the Alexander possesses a beauty that only a mother could see, Motorola's Atila looks pretty sharp from here. The codenamed handset is said to be Alexander's non-QWERTY counterpart, boasting quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE, tri-band UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA, a 2.8-inch QVGA (320 x 240) display, 802.11b/g WiFi, Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional and a Qualcomm 7201A chipset. Mum's the word on a price or release date, but we'll be sure to keep you in the loop.

iPhone experiencing GPS problems after 2.0.1 update?

While some complaints after any firmware update are to be expected, there seems to be a decided uptick in the number of reports of problems with the iPhone's GPS (ranging from general wonkiness to all out failure) after the most recent 2.0.1 update. As the responses on the MacRumors forums indicate, however, the problems are far from across the board (or confined to the iPhone 3G), and GPS problems haven't exactly been that rare of an occurrence before this latest update either. So, we'll open it up to you, dear readers -- have you had any newfound iPhone GPS problems?

HTC Touch Pro hands-on

After spending a few minutes with it, there's no question to us that the Touch Pro is HTC's most impressive handset to date (even if you count the Xperia X1). Okay, the phone is still a bit thick (roughly the same as a Tilt), and there's no 3.5mm headphone jack, but it's got a very small footprint and a very comfortably proportioned keyboard. We can also really definitely appreciate the lengths HTC is going to trying to make Windows Mobile a bit less doggish these days -- but were they to spice up the Touch Pro with a capacitive touchscreen and Android, HTC might just have a game-changer on their hands.

8 Ağustos 2008 Cuma

Windows Mobile Quick Reference Guide

Designed for the beginner, this is a great resource to start being able to Experience Mobility.

Learn about the Windows Mobile Standard and Professional:
1. User Interface
2. Navigation
3. Customizing

Free for individuals!

Download the Windows Mobile Quick Reference Guide PDF