New England Mobile .NET Developers Group#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At tonight’s meeting Mike Bluestein stopped by to tell us he will be kicking off a new user group in Cambridge at the NERD center focused on mobile development. If his name sounds familiar he has been involved with the community including speaking at the latest Code Camp at the Microsoft building in Waltham and is also the author of “Learning Monotouch”.

His meeting will take place on August 24th from 6:00PM-9:00PM at the Microsoft NERD Center. The group will focus on cross-platform .NET development,across all the major mobile platforms: Windows Phone, iOS, and Android.

For more information on the event and the group head here.

08/17/2011 21:39:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Evernote Comes to Windows Phone 7#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

One pinnacle must have application that Don and I have both been waiting on for the Windows Phone platform has finally arrived in the the WindowsPhone Marketplace

EVERNOTE !

winphone_evernote panorama

Evernote has been committed to building native desktop, web and mobile versions. In the past three years, we’ve build over 13 different versions of Evernote for just about every major platform out there. Today, we’re adding another. Say hello to the much-anticipated Evernote for Windows Phone 7!

Evernote for Windows Phone 7 lets you save and find your ideas and memories any time, anywhere. As you would expect, it seamlessly syncs with every other version of Evernote you use, but there’s so much more. In fact, this is the most feature-rich debut we’ve ever had. Not only is it packed with capabilities, but it’s also beautiful—taking advantage of the innovative Windows Phone 7 Metro interface and its Pivot panels. And, as always, Evernote for Windows Phone 7 is free and available now from the App Hub.

For more information on this monumentous release check out their blog post here on all the features packed into this long awaited app.

Note:

If you are previous user of Evernote and have many notebooks already setup be sure to connect via Wi-Fi first and sync your notes or you will experience the white screen of death.

06/16/2011 20:34:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

BOA Bank of America App for Windows Phone 7#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Bank of America announced some time ago during CES and again at Mobile World Congress that their application would be coming to the Windows Phone platform and it has finally arrived in the Marketplace already at version 3.0.92.

Bank_of_America_App

 

The free app, is only available to Online Banking Customers (you can create an account here), you can check your account balances and Account activity, transfer money between accounts, pay bills (through optional Bill Pay), and locate ATMs and banking centers via GPS. Bank of America ensures your privacy - "Feel secure with our industry-leading mobile security and our Online Banking Security Guarantee"

The app uses the same double authentication features found with the online application and adds your phone to the list of trusted devices by answering a security question.(Paris, please don't use your dog's name Tinkerbell here). For another level of security don't check the box to save your Online Id when logging in.

The app an be found in Marketplace here.

05/04/2011 21:48:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile and The Enterprise: What’s Next?#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

As many of you might have already heard, Microsoft has plans for the current version of Windows Mobile (6.5) beyond the launch of Windows Phone 7. Microsoft is bringing Windows Mobile operating system under the control of the Windows Embedded Business (“WEB”) group. This group has previously been responsible for the Windows CE business and works closely with OEMs focused on specialized hardware for business.

Microsoft is fully committed to the Windows Mobile operating system as well as the associated application development tools for the long term, which is great news for enterprises that are heavily invested in Windows Mobile hardware; “Great news” at least on the surface. There is, however, a looming concern for certain types of enterprises as the launch of Windows Phone 7 draws closer. A little elaboration is in order here.

As is the case with most of Microsoft’s operating system businesses (exceptions include Zune and Xbox), Microsoft relies heavily on hardware manufacturers (the OEMs) to choose and license the operating system. Traditionally, the WEB group has partnered with OEMs either focused on specific vertical markets (healthcare devices, for example) or use case scenarios (field service technicians, military) for using the Windows Embedded platform to create highly specialized solutions. Now, Windows Mobile does fit nicely into one aspect of the current business. For enterprises requiring a more “generalized” operating system (versus highly-customized), an enterprise application development platform (think .NET and .NET Compact Framework) and device durability, Microsoft’s partners like Motorola/Symbol, Intermec and Honeywell fit quite well. They will continue to be key partners in supporting Windows Mobile as it moves forward. There is, however, another key enterprise customer here that these devices do not address. Take, for example, the following hypothetical enterprise customer (when I say “hypothetical” here, many of these types of customers do exist; I am just generalizing the type rather than stating by name):

My company currently has hundreds/thousands of Windows Mobile devices deployed throughout our organization. We chose Windows Mobile for several reasons, including:

  • Custom Line of Business applications.
    Our organization has developed (at great expense) applications that integrate with our enterprise infrastructure. They have been built using the .NET Compact Framework and are capable of occasionally-connected scenarios thanks to Microsoft SQL Server CE. These applications used by personnel throughout our company (including key decision-makers) are now considered “mission-critical” to our business.
    Windows Mobile also provides us with a variety of application deployment options, including OTA download and install via device management solutions.
  • Device configuration and customization.
    The Windows Mobile operating system provides us with the capability to tailor configurations and settings to meet both corporate and user requirements.
  • Security.
    Windows Mobile provides us with the security features to meet our business and regulatory compliance needs.

The most important factor with this type of customer as it relates to hardware is that they typically do not need or wish to pay for a ruggedized solution. These users are “information workers” that are highly mobile and best benefit from the smaller form factors a consumer-oriented device provides. So, what can this type of enterprise user of Windows Mobile expect in the near future?

While the Windows Mobile operating system will be alive and well for these customers, the big looming question is – Will there be an OEM continuing to build “consumer-like” Windows Mobile devices once Windows Phone 7 ships? If one looks to the WEB group, there is cause for concern here. This group has traditionally (and rightly so) focused on specific verticals and “blue collar” scenarios for partners. My hypothetical company example just isn’t their business. Now while I acknowledge that it is not Microsoft’s roll as the operating system vendor to force OEMs to develop for a platform or market, they should at least promote that market. My concern – I don’t see that happening. Instead, I fear these enterprises will be branded as “consumers” and considered simply a Windows Phone 7 target. REALITY CHECK – they simply are not for the following reasons:

  • Windows Phone 7 in it’s initial incarnation is not targeted to meet many Line of Business application needs.
    The sandboxed application model, no database engine for storage of large and complex data structures and new programming tools platform (Silverlight) make this a “no-option” for many enterprises. One could come up with workarounds to overcome the obstacles, but even those would require extensive application rewrites.  
  • Lack of device control by the enterprise.
    Whether talking about application deployment, device configuration or device customization, Windows Phone 7 just is not an option. This is a very controlled platform, once again leaving enterprises needing that functionality out in the cold.

So, what is our hypothetical company to do? Well, we’ll stay on Windows 6.5 of course. But what happens after Windows Phone 7 launch when new employees are hired, or phones break, are lost or stolen. Simple we go by new ones from… uh-oh. You see, this isn’t about the operating system or the development platform. It’s all about the hardware.

All of this leads me to the two following pleas:

  1. Microsoft – Please consider promoting the case for Windows Mobile consumer hardware to OEMs. There is an identifiable and quantifiable market here – you don’t have to make numbers up. Simply do the math on break/replace rates and look at enterprise adoption numbers.
  2. OEMs – Please consider making these types of devices. Think about it this way… If you are the one company that steps up to the plate and makes this commitment, imagine the large and quite captive audience you will cater to.

Outside of this happening, the only advice I can give to enterprises like the one described in this post is – start hording devices now to build up inventory in advance of the coming hardware “famine”.

04/22/2010 10:16:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

.NET CF Lesson: “SNAPI Fast, ActiveSync Not-So-Much”#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I thought I would pass along a “good news/bad news” experience I recently had with regards to Windows Mobile 6.5, the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 and ActiveSync. Hopefully, it might serve to help someone in avoiding some coding and testing frustration.

I have been working on a project that requires responding to new incoming messages on Windows Mobile 6.5 devices. Fortunately, the State and Notification Broker API (“SNAPI”) made this simple enough. Now, my C# code needed to play a sound if certain conditions were met. Simple enough – the System.Media.SoundPlayer class in the .NET CF 3.5 would do the trick. Once the code was written, it was time to test.

The first test went according to plan. Use an emulator, deploy in debugging mode, set a breakpoint to ensure that I was hitting the correct branches in application logic and run with it. Sure enough, everything performed as expected. The next test was essentially the same, with the exception being connecting an actual Windows Mobile 6.5 device for testing. Again, there were no problems.

For the next test, I decided to remove the breakpoint in Visual Studio. I run the code and… no sound. My intellectual response - “WTF?!?!?” ;-)

I’ll keep the story brief here, omitting all the second-guessing and testing that went on up until my finally figuring out the root cause of the problem. The issue, as it turns out, is that -

  • SNAPI and the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 work very well. By “well”, I mean “fast”, especially when running on the latest hardware with Windows Mobile 6.5.
  • ActiveSync runs… well… about as fast as it always has on Windows Mobile, despite OS and hardware improvements.

Keeping in mind that ActiveSync and my application run on different threads, here is what I was able to determine:

  • ActiveSync begins a synchronization operation. As part of this sync, a new email arrives. Based upon device settings, ActiveSync prepares to play a sound and grabs resources.
  • At around the same time, my application receives the notification from the broker about a change in the unread email count changing. My logic has to do quite a bit of processing, but still managed to get to the point of playing a sound while ActiveSync still had a hold on resources. Result – my sound wouldn’t play.

“Fine”, I thought, “This is strictly a timing issue.” When I was in debugging mode, the stepping through the code and the latency associated with running in debug mode gave enough time for ActiveSync to complete. As a result, I decided to add code to pause my code to give time for ActiveSync to release resources. Here is where the real surprise came into play.

I spent quite a bit of time tinkering with the amount of time my application had to sleep in order to be able to play my sound. It took upwards of ten seconds for ActiveSync to release the resource I needed. When you consider the fact that ActiveSync had a “head start” on my code (AS was the cause of the SNAPI event firing, mind you), the amount of time from start to finish for AS was, well, A LOT. Ten seconds?!? Needless to say, I was very surprised and disappointed. This wouldn’t have surprised me a few years back, when slower hardware and slower network speeds could be the culprits. But today? With faster hardware and networks?

I guess the moral of this story is… If you are coding for Windows Mobile with a dependency on ActiveSync, NEVER assume performance. Code for the worst case and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

12/11/2009 09:19:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Resco Announces Support for Windows Phone, Dynamics CRM#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

For any mobile solution provider, keeping up with change is always a challenge. When you are a provider of not only end-user products but also developer tools, the challenge is even greater. Resco is one developer addressing these changes, and is even going further…

Resco MobileForms Toolkit now optimized for application development for Windows® phones

Bratislava, Slovakia — October 20, 2009 — Resco, a supplier of advanced developer components and tools for mobile devices, announces that its popular suite of Microsoft .NET Compact Framework components called Resco MobileForms Toolkit now supports development of applications for Windows® phones

Resco is pleased to have the opportunity to optimize its widely used suite of components for mobile applications development for the new Windows phones.

“The majority of users, when buying a new cell phone, consider the basic parameters of the device, such as its design, operation system, new functionalities,” said Radomir Vozar, Resco Developer Tools & Enterprise Division Director. “Much more important, especially for development companies, is the development environment and here the dominance of Microsoft and Microsoft Visual Studio is more than evident.”

Thanks to Resco MobileForms Toolkit, all developers familiar with Visual Studio have a great opportunity to develop Windows phone applications that fully compete in attractiveness with platforms like iPhone or Android.

“We’re pleased that Resco is helping developers reach the millions of people using Windows phones by offering the the Resco MobileForms Toolkit,” said Jason Lim, director of ISV and developer experience at Microsoft Corp.

The complete press release can be found at the Resco web site.

If that isn’t enough, Resco is also steeping in to fill the Microsoft Dynamics CRM void. If you are unaware, Microsoft recently announced that they are discontinuing Microsoft Dynamics Mobile. Resco has stepped up to fill that gap, however…

Resco announces support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Resco SFA and CRM solutions will be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Bratislava — October 20, 2009 — Resco, a supplier of advanced developer components, tools and business solutions for mobile devices, announces that its popular SFA and CRM solution Resco MobileBusiness ESP will be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Although there are many mobile CRM solutions available in the mobile market, most of them are either a thin client, or end-user applications with limited customization opportunities. On the other hand, Resco MobileBusiness ESP is a developer platform that can be used by developers from all around the world as a base for their own mobile CRM and SFA applications.

“Since the release of Resco MobileBusiness ESP there’ve been many concerns from the integrators about the option to integrate it with Microsoft Dynamics CRM,” said Ivan Stano, Marketing & Sales, Resco Enterprise Solutions. “That contributed to our decision to create a tool for integrators to help them develop their own Dynamics CRM mobile extensions.”

The Resco MobileBusiness ESP solution is a developer platform for mobile business applications that work in off-line mode and allow, when it is needed, synchronization with server database. Thanks to the support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Resco MobileBusiness ESP will enable synchronization of mobile client data with Microsoft Dynamics CRM database.

“We realize the miscellaneous ways of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM usage in various companies,” said Miroslav Pomsar, Resco MobileBusiness ESP head developer. “Resco MobileBusiness ESP will solve multiple basic scenarios with customization opportunities embedded directly into Microsoft Visual Studio.”

Resco MobileBusiness ESP for Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be supplied with well-commented C# source code. Thus, it will be possible to perform elaborated adjustments that can lead to significant changes of the solution’s nature. Furthermore, the nature of the Resco MobileBusiness ESP solution as a developer platform and its licensing policy allow the developers creating solutions under own brand and with royalty-free distribution.

The first release of MobileBusiness ESP for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is expected to come in December 2009.

The complete press release for this announcement can also be found on the Resco web site.

All in all, Resco has really stepped up in supporting the Windows Pnone enterprise and developer communities.

10/20/2009 13:07:33 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

SBSH Releases Facade 2.0#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I have often written and spoken about my personal favorite enhancements for Windows Mobile devices. Always high on this list has been SBSH Mobile Software’s Facade. It is truly one of the great home screen enhancements for Windows Phone non-touch screen devices. While Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 have improved upon the home screen concept with the “sliding panels” approach, Facade continues to provide amazing additional functionality. Even better – a great product now looks even greater with the release of Facade 2.0 -

facade2

October 19th, 2009 - SBSH Mobile Software is excited to announce today the Facade for Windows Mobile Standard major update to version 2! SBSH Facade 2 for Smartphone is the ultimate front-end solution for WM Smartphones! Combining vital phone features and agenda, all in one professionally designed display, visible and accessible each time you power on your phone!
SBSH Facade 2 is powerful and optimized for mobile use like never before! Including new Home Panel with date and clock, alarms, profiles, pending counters, weather, appointments and tasks!; Custom home screen plugin integration, with multiple plugins in a single Facade panel; Integration with all major PIMs; Category colors and icons; Easy skin packaging and installation and much more!


 SBSH Facade 2 Highlights

  • Home Tab - Date and time, alarms, profiles, pending counters, appointments and tasks - all in one screen display!
  • Custom Plugins - Host any custom home screen plugin within Facade panels
  • Appointments and Tasks - Powerful combined display including both appointments and tasks in a single section
  • PIM Integration - Special integration with all major PIMs: SBSH Calendar, Pocket Outlook, Pocket Informant, AgendaOne and Agendus
  • Category Icons and Colors - Use category icons and colors as part of your agenda display! Includes automatic use of SBSH Calendar category icons and configuration
  • Monthly Calendar - Monthly calendar tab shows the days of each month within a Facade tab
  • More Weather - Integration with SBSH PocketWeather revamped, including new forecast weather buttons and current temperature
  • Skin Packages - Designers can now create installable layout packages, simplifying skin installation to a single file
  • MRU Buttons - Most recently used button shortcuts now available
  • Windows Mobile 6.5 - Fully compatible with Windows Mobile 5 through 6.5 devices

You can find out more about Facade 2.0 at the SBSH web site. Facade is also offering a free upgrade for users who purchased the previous version after July 1, 2009. In addition, all registered Facade owners who purchased prior to this date are entitled to an upgrade discount! You can find out all of the details at the Facade upgrade page.

Congratulation to SBSH! The new version looks even better than the old (and that is no small accomplishment).

10/19/2009 12:48:33 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile 6.5 Coming October 6th, 2009#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well it is better late than never. The Windows Mobile group has been working hard on releasing the latest version of Windows Mobile 6.5 aka Windows phone 6.5 since it was announced at Mobile World Congress back in Feb. 2009, to keep parity with the crowded Smartphone marketplace. Microsoft also announced that on October 6th, 2009 (which we assume to be at CTIA WIRELESS I.T. & Entertainment)to accompany several new phones and the latest version of the mobile operating system it will be opening up its long awaited App Store called Windows Marketplace for Mobile and popular free My Phone service.

wm6_5

In just five weeks, you’ll have a bunch of new Windows phones to choose from. But before we show you some of the cool, new phones that will be coming out, I want to explain how we’re trying to make phones even better with Windows.

When we started work on Windows phones, we met with people all over the world who were likely to buy a Smartphone and talked with them about what’s important to them in their phone. Looking at the U.S. market, for example, we found that about 15 million people in the next year will buy a new smartphone.

Of the people we talked to, 74% listed productivity as the top feature they value in their Smartphone. We took this feedback to heart, making the user interface more touch friendly and improving notifications and updates from e-mail, text and calendar items. We also included the latest Internet Explorer Mobile browser and added free services like My Phone to help protect data in the event of a lost phone and Windows Marketplace for Mobile for access to a wide variety of applications for direct download…

On Oct. 6th, you’ll see new Windows phones designed for a variety of tastes, needs and price points - with or without keyboards, with or without touch screens, as well as your choice of GPS, accelerometer and high resolution camera. There are a lot of great options and we can’t wait to show them to you. Until then, keep an eye on our partners as they announce details on new Windows phones and where you can find them this fall.

· In North America: Mobile operators AT&T, Bell Mobility, Sprint, TELUS and Verizon Wireless, and phone manufacturers HP, HTC Corp., LG Electronics, Samsung and Toshiba Corp.

· In Europe: Mobile operators Orange, Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc, and phone manufacturers Acer, HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba

· In Latin America: Mobile operator TIM Brazil, and phone manufacturers HTC, LG Electronics and Samsung

· In Asia Pacific: Mobile operators NTT DOCOMO Inc., SOFTBANK Mobile Corp., SK Telecom, Telstra and WILLCOM Inc., and phone manufacturers Acer Inc., HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba

(more on the press release here.)

We can only surmise what devices will be receiving the Windows Mobile (Phone) 6.5 update, but with Sprint announcing that their version of the the HTC Touch Pro 2,which looks very similar to the CDMA version of the Touch Pro 2 by T-Mobile will be getting the Windows phone 6.5 OS since it will be available 2 days after the October 6th announcement by Microsoft. Other versions of the Touch Pro 2 are also expected on other carriers in the same time frame as well from AT&T and Verizon. Many are hoping that existing devices will be getting the Windows Mobile 6.5 update. According to the deal posted on wmdeals it states that both the Dash 3G and Touch Pro 2 from T-Mobile will be getting the Windows phone 6.5 update.

wmdeals1 wmdeals2

Hopefully to appease current customers as well as attract new customers to T-Mobile's lower 3G data rates it will be made available for download on or about the 6th. No official word yet so lets keep our fingers crossed on that one. Other rumors are that some other devices will be getting the Windows phone 6.5 update. We already know that the Samsung Jack will be getting the Windows phone 6.5 as announced in May on AT&T, hopefully there will be more announcements in October.

Many are already guessing what phones will be coming to which carrier many are hoping for a new version of the popular OLED equipped Samsung Omnia HD,SnapDragon equipped Toshiba’s TG01,  or LG’s new phones which have committed to make 50 different Windows Phone devices by 2012. The first handset probably to take advantage of the deal will be the LG GM730 touch-screen Smartphone. LG will be layering its S-Class user interface on top of the operating system, which is a cube-based layout that provides customizable one-touch access to music, Internet services, videos, and other features. I am really curious what HP will bring to the table, will it be the same devices that had limited exposure in Europe with the Ipaq Data Messenger and Ipaq Voice Messenger or an entirely new phone. I can’t wait to see!

09/01/2009 22:46:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

SureLock Studio: Kiosk-Mode Lockdown for Windows Mobile Devices#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I am frequently asked by enterprise IT groups about ways to control user access on Windows Mobile devices, restricting use to only “business-critical” applications. While there are any of a number of ways of managing this, having a “kiosk-mode” type functionality that only displays shortcuts would typically be the easiest implementation from a device management perspective. Software company 42Gears recognized this fact, releasing a new application named SureLock -

surelock_small

“In recent times Windows Mobile has become quite popular among companies to deploy and run their business applications. Windows Mobile is a generic operating system and therefore provides opportunities to employees to use the device for entertainment and gaming purposes (browsers, audio players, games, phone etc) which results in wastage of crucial working hours. Besides, accidental corruption of device settings by employees can cause critical business applications to fail.

SureLock Studio helps enterprises avoid above problems by locking down Windows Mobile devices into kiosk mode. As configured SureLock allows the employee to launch and use only the "approved" Line of Business applications.”

If kiosk-mode is what you desire, you should check out the SureLock product page. There is even a free trial download to evaluate it for yourself.

08/21/2009 12:08:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile Widgets 101: Presentation and Example Code Available for Download#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I really enjoyed delivering my presentation on “Windows Mobile Widgets 101” this past Wednesday at the Boston/New England Windows Mobile User/Developer Group. The goal was to show just how simple it was to get started with widget development. With the Windows Mobile 6.5 Developer Toolkit now available for download, now is as good a time as ever to get ahead of the game.

I have put my presentation deck (as PDF) and samples together into a single ZIP file for download. Enjoy!

06/20/2009 08:56:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Twikini Not just another Twitter App#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are familiar with the many Windows Mobile twitter applications like PocketTwit, ceTwit, TinyTwitter, Twoble, etc. - it usually requires additional downloads like .NET CF 3.5, Java, etc. to work and it takes a while for the application to get started and sometimes they crash or your Twit post gets lost in the ether of the internet never to return. The folks at Trinketsoftware have a new one for you called Twikini 1.0, which was just released out of beta and after a few quick changes from comments made to the developer via Twitter in a day it quickly jumped up to version 1.1. It has been my Twitter client on my various Windows Mobile devices for a few months now. I used to use PocketTwit, but it was way to bloated and would occasionally crash, but it is also a twitter client with a lot of features, that has pretty large memory and processing requirements to run smoothly.

 ScreenShot1

Twikini is only a 110K download and takes up a mere 240K of space on your device and it runs pretty quick since it is using C+.Twikini offers a powerful and efficient way to use Twitter on your phone, but still is very simple and easy to use. It allows you to quickly update your favorite twitter feeds in the background, and leverages the camera, GPS, media, touch screen, keyboard, graphics and storage capabilities of your device. Also the same code runs on both touch and not-touch screen phones and is very easy to use on both platforms.

Main Features

  • FAST! Unlike other Twitter apps for Windows® Mobile, Twikini is written entirely in native C++ code for maximum performance and the fastest load time possible.
  • Simple, uncluttered, and customizable user interface. Choose from a variety of themes for the best reading experience. (Screenshot 1, Screenshot 2, Screenshot 3)
  • Post tweets using a full screen editor. Optionally, set your location (either manually or using GPS) along with your status updates. (Screenshot)
  • Twitpic integration to post photos with your status updates. Select existing photos or click new ones from your device's camera.
  • Read status updates just like browsing a web page. Quickly reply, retweet, favorite, or email other people's tweets. (Screenshot 1, Screenshot 2)
  • Windows Media Player integration. Automatically tweet the song and artist you're listening to.
  • Single download that is compatible with all Windows® Mobile devices - both touch and non-touch.
  • And lots more...

Using Twikini:

ScreenShot6 ScreenShot2

The controls are very simple - up and down on the directional pad (d-pad) allows you to scroll between your twitter follows with a highlight of the tweet post you are on. To retweet someone's Tweet all you have to do is move your d-pad to the right, to respond to a tweet click on the left d-pad it’s pretty simple really. In your response you have options to add a Picture; Shorten URL with a choice from several services like Bit.ly, Digg, and TinyURL;Add GPS Coordinates and Add GPS Location to your message.

ScreenShot4

Under Options ->Tools - You also have some other options as well such as Tweeting your Song Info of music playing over Windows Media Player,(which may bother some if its quite frequent, but people want to know what you are doing right?)

  ScreenShot12

You also can go to the selected User, which will bring up their twitter information – followers and who they are following as well as their twitter bio information such as webpage and location. Here you also have the option to Follow/Stop Follow this person, send them a tweet, DM (direct message), view a larger picture or view their current given location on a Google map.

ScreenShot11

You can also view their updates via the left soft key.

ScreenShot18

I really like the built-in Twitpic integration, which never is displayed correctly in Internet Explorer Mobile and would only show up in something when redirected or rendered like when using Skweezer or another browser like Skyfire or Opera. It would be nice in future versions would support some other future picture formats that others use like Ping.FM that I see regularly pop-up in Tweets, but TwitPic is pretty much becoming the standard. An option I would more like to see would be automatic Skweezer redirection for quicker render of links in tweets and shortened URLs as an option to the user.

Some of the cool things is that Twikini does is support multiple accounts and allows you to switch between them, there is no timeline merge and personally I kind of like that so you can keep things separate. It would be nice to have them running at the same time, but with some sort of notification bubble, sound or toast of a DM (Direct Message) and allow it to tell me which account it was sent to.

ScreenShot9

Another thing is that when the Twitter timeline refreshes it now keeps your current position in the timeline. However when you tweet, RT aka retweet or respond it still automatically places you back at the top of the Twitter stack and you have to scroll down to where you left off and if you are not quick enough you may be caught in another refresh.

Another feature request I would like to see would be the ability to have search of topics aka # as something added to the timeline as well as separate like how it handles multiple accounts. Another would be the automatic filling in of those you have messaged in the past as soon as you type the @ sign it will give you suggestions like a spell checker, which may be another added feature, but most of the time people are shortening their tweets with abbreviations and text-speak.

Configuring Twikini

ScreenShot13 ScreenShot14

Under Options->Tools you can customize how you use Twikini. Under Timeline display you can adjust the Font Size-small, medium, large; Theme for general appearance; and how you display the name either Full Name or Twitter Screen name. I am using the HTC Black Theme you have several of those (7) to choose from as well so the interface is slightly customizable to your liking – Windows Default, HTC Black, Summer,Seattle, Cheesecake, Cool Winter, and Lounge.

ScreenShot17

Under Automatic Refresh you can change the refresh interval from disabled so you can manually choose when it refreshes, or have it automatically refresh in intervals every 2, 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes or every hour. Here you can also choose a notification sound of new Tweets and not to auto refresh when you are roaming.

ScreenShot15

Under Data Download you can choose to download images as well as how many tweets. The default is 20 with other choices of 50, 100, and 200 –which is the slowest and had problems rendering the screen when refreshing. Best sweet spot was 50 with no lag and 100 was good when you check it fairly infrequently.

ScreenShot16

The last option allows you to clear Twikini’s Cache folder, which it stores for 3 days to increase performance and decrease data download.

You can also check for updates of the application by going to Menu->Twikini->Check for Updates and it will go to a webpage and compare your version with the latest version available and if its older a link to update. It would be nice if had ApptoDate support so you would be automatically notified when updates became available. However, the application is very stable so far, but the developer pushes out updates with new features fairly frequently and following @twikini on Twitter is the best way to know of updates. :)

Summary

Overall, Twikini has won the spot on my device as my preferred Twitter application due to its quick response and overall stability, plus it doesn’t kill the battery on my phone if I leave it on all day. You can get your copy of Twikini for any Windows Mobile device from here with 14 day trial and for with a starting price of $4.95 it won’t break the bank.

05/31/2009 22:38:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

SBSH Releases GoNews Touch – News Reader for Windows Mobile Professional#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

SBSH has released GoNews Touch, a touch-friendly news reader for Windows Mobile Professional. While you might think RSS when you read the phrase “news reader”, GoNews Touch takes things a bit further…

May 25th, 2009 - SBSH Mobile Software is excited to announce GoNews Touch release! GoNews Touch is a news reader application that brings the latest news directly to your smart-phone, aggregating only headlines of your interest based on your personal configuration. GoNews Touch is the first touch-designed news reader application, allowing you to browse through all headlines using only finger navigation!

GoNews Touch Highlights
Powerful News Reader - Supports RSS, Full Text articles using template-parsing, article images and more!
Offline Aggregation - Grab news of your interest and read it even when you're offline
Touch Designed - Designed specifically for use with Touch devices leaving your stylus far behind

gonews_touch_capture

If seeing is believing, then check out the YouTube video from SBSH demonstrating GoNews Touch features -

GoNews Touch is available from SBSH for $14.95, and a 14-day trial version is available from the SBSH GoNews Touch product page.

05/25/2009 10:47:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

TechEd Online Video: What’s Hot About Windows Mobile 6.5#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

So, you’re wondering what’s new in Windows Mobile 6.5. Maybe you haven’t had a chance to see some of the new features in action. And what about those new applications and services?

If you had the opportunity to get all of the latest Windows Mobile news and announcements in person, then you’re one of the fortunate ones. If not, there is still a way to get an overview of Windows Mobile 6.5 thanks to TechEd Online.

TechEdWM65

Friend, fellow MVP and co-worker Chris DeHerrera has teamed up with another old friend in Dale Coffing (longtime Pocket PC users may remember Dale from his Pocket PC Passion website) to talk about the new capabilities of Windows Mobile 6.5 in this 12-minute video. Be sure to check it out!

05/15/2009 12:46:03 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

TechNet Video: Exchange 2010 Updates for Windows Mobile#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

With all of the recent news about Windows Mobile 6.5 in and of itself, there is even more news when it comes to Windows Mobile in conjunction with Exchange 2010. If you haven’t heard the news yet, Exchange 2010 has a LOT to potentially offer for Windows Mobile users, including -

  • Conversation View for email;
  • Ignore/Move for email conversations;
  • Voice mail preview;
  • Get free/busy;
  • …and more!

But why should I tell you about this – Adam Glick with the Unified Communication Team at Microsoft has a 12 minute video describing all of the enhancements on TechNet. Check it out for yourself!

05/14/2009 09:44:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile Facebook Application#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

New from Windows Mobile: a Facebook application for your phone! Download the new Facebook application for Windows Mobile and:

  • Send messages to any of the people in your Friends list.

  • Take pictures and videos on your phone, then upload them right to Facebook.

  • Send messages or call people in your Friends list.

  • Manage your profile and post anytime, anywhere.

scr_facebook01 scr_facebook04

Keep up with the latest news and posts with Facebook on your phone. Now your status updates can be up-to-the moment accounts of what you’re doing. Photos and videos are about as close to live-action as you can get. Show your friends what you’re up to, while you’re out and about.
Connecting and sharing on Facebook just got a lot livelier!

I have been using it for a while now and have found that its best to only run it when you have a full charge or you will quickly run out of power depending on how active your friends are.

You can download it directly to your device here.

05/07/2009 18:32:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 Released#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Spb Software, one of our favorite mobile software companies, releases the long anticipated next version of one my favorite software applications Spb Mobile Shell 3.0, the next-generation user interface for Windows phones. Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 accounts for two different smartphone use scenarios: at work and at play. The application offers distinctive 'professional' and 'lifestyle' desktops, integration of picture contacts with Facebook, account-sensitive email indicators, handsome time and weather screens, widgets, responsive kinetic scrolling, signature 3D animation engine, and other appealing assets that change the way a Windows phone is used altogether.

 

Previous versions of Spb Mobile Shell were shipped by a number of innovative phone makers, such as Acer, O2, Pharos, Sony Ericsson, and Toshiba, have won numerous awards, and have been the choice of millions of customers. "It was challenging to design 3.0, as customer expectations are quite high," - comments Yaroslav Goncharov the Spb Mobile Shell Product Manager and CTO at Spb Software - "On the other hand, this level of success gave us confidence in our basic ideas and design philosophy, and we certainly feel that Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 has all it takes to be the strong foundation for a host of new and immensely popular Windows phones."

Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 Main Features

  • Professional and Lifestyle home screens (for work and for play)
  • Widget-based photo contacts with Facebook integration
  • Widgets
  • 3D carousel and hardware accelerator support
  • Ringtones, Contacts, Profiles, and Wireless management
  • Many integrated tools such as Weather, World Time, etc.
  • Highly customizable for the needs of phone makers and mobile operators

Pricing and Availability

Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 is available in 24 languages, is compatible with Windows phones running Windows Mobile 5 and later Professional platforms, qVGA, VGA, Square QVGA, and WVGA screen resolutions are supported. A free, 15-day trial can be downloaded, or Spb Mobile Shell can be purchased for 29.95 USD from www.SpbSoftwareHouse.com. Users of any 2.x versions of Spb Mobile Shell are welcome to upgrade to Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 for just 14.95 USD. According to Spb Software's upgrades policy, all Spb Mobile Shell users who have purchased the product within the last 90 days, are invited to exchange the previous version of software for the newly released one, for free.

I have been using it for a few days and really like the Facebook integration of being able to change your contact/call pictures to ones in a persons Facebook profile. I would have loved to see more integration with Facebook and possibly Twitter in the future. I will be posting up more detailed review soon. Check out Remo Knops Step-by-Step over at MobilityMinded.

04/21/2009 21:44:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Vito’s “Tuned In Package” – 3 Great Apps at 1 Low Price#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

With all of the great work Vito Technology has done with the finger-friendly products that can be found at iWindowsMobile.com, I sometimes forget about some of the other long and successful products that make up their portfolio. The latest offer from Vito Technology, however, brings some of these applications back to mind -

Vito_logo

Vito Technology wants to inaugurate spring with a new offer for its customers. With its newly created 'Tuned in Package' customers, buy 2 applications and get 1 free.

The Tuned in Package includes: audio bestsellers AudioNotes, SoundExplorer and RingtoneEditor for $14 instead of $21. All information can also be found on Vito technology’s new offers page where users can get up to date with current offers by VITO Technology and enjoy them. 

So go and get Tuned! Make your MP3 notes filed and send them around via mail or MMS with AudioNotes, create your own ringtones and share them with your friends with RingtoneEditor and... more get your player and audio recorder onto your phone with SoundExplorer. All for the price of $14 instead of $21.

Still in need of more info? Here you find a detailed description of applications' main features: 

RingToneEditor allows you to make ringtone of any MP3 file. You just need to start the app choose the MP3 file that starts playing press the "Start" button and then "Finish" button. The Ringtone is ready, now you may save it or set as a default ringtone immediately.


AudioNotes is for making audio notes. You may just with one tap (firstly assign the hardware button) start recording with the help of your WM device in any situation. Or if your device doesn't have any restrictions for calls recording then you may record important calls to have this information at your device. 

SoundExplorer  is for not only recording your notes and lectures it can be a great tool for reproducing your notes using different speeds of playing and creation of playlists. Besides it reproduces different formats like mp3 and wav. It also has equalizer and VAS. You may edit ID3 tags and even convert wav files into mp3.

Any of of these three products is well worth the $14 price. All 3 for $14 – that’s a real deal!

04/02/2009 08:17:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Sprite Software “Enters The Cloud” with Virtual Mobile for Windows Mobile#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Anyone who knows me knows I have been a longtime fan of Sprite Software and their products. Some of their offerings (Sprite Clone, for example) were way ahead of their time. Now, Sprite Software once again provides a solution leveraging the power of the Internet in Virtual Mobile.

Virtual Mobile is an online service allowing you to backup and control your whole mobile life. It allows you to securely remote control your mobile device and its data from any computer with an Internet connection. Virtual Mobile is a combination of all our award winning software. Secure your mobile device online with our new integrated Backup, Device Management and Security solution.

Virtual Mobile can back up:

  • Contacts
  • SMS
  • Photos
  • Calendar
  • Call History

You can also remotely lock or wipe your device, and can even remote control your device!

Virtual Mobile is currently in beta, and is free for the beta period (no word yet on release or pricing). To learn more or to sign up, visit the Virtual Mobile page.

In an aside: It will be interesting to see how Virtual Mobile (and other similar products) will fare and compete with Microsoft’s MyPhone offering, scheduled for release in conjunction with Windows Mobile 6.5.

04/01/2009 08:25:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Mobile Manager for Netflix#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At CntrStg we got to see and play a little with a new application for Windows Mobile in a presentation by Greg Sullivan called Mobile Manager for Netflix.

netflixwm home netflix02

Not only can you get all the usual information on the movie, you can even view small trailers of the movie you want to add to your queue so you can sample if you really want it or if it is appropriate for your family and add it to your queue.

Windows Mobile now offers a mobile application for Netflix. The new Netflix application for Windows Mobile phones makes it simple to manage your Netflix experience from a mobile device. You can search the entire Netflix library for your next film, get complete movie details, and even manage your DVD queue. Easily update your queue by moving films up, moving films down, or removing films from your queue.

A feature exclusive to Windows Mobile is the ability to play previews right on your Windows Mobile device. After watching a preview, you can then add the movie to your Instant Queue so you can instantly watch the movie on your Xbox 360.

Managing a Netflix account while mobile has never been easier, thanks to Mobile Manager for Netflix and a Windows Mobile phone.

You can download it from here.(Note you will need a Live ID / Passport account and agree to the Terms of Service to do so and it is very hard to install on your device if you are using PIE- how come Microsoft can’t make their own Windows Mobile website, Windows Mobile Friendly?)

02/05/2009 13:00:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Google Maps Mobile 2.3 now with Street View#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

One of the coolest applications for you phone is Google Maps, which works with and without a GPS based on cell tower approximation. Not only can you get traffic directions, but you can also get transit directions, phone numbers and addresses for local businesses. Google has just updated Google Maps for mobile and it now includes Street View imagery at each turn when you are driving or walking.

GMM-start GMM-fenway

Street View is currently available for BlackBerry and some Java-enabled phones. Watch the video to see a demo of it in action.

Google also increased their coverage of the US that has Street View. From the Google Blog:

Today marks our biggest launch of Street View imagery to date: we're doubling our coverage in the United States. Several states — Maine, West Virginia, North Dakota, and South Dakota — will be getting the Street View treatment for the first time. We've also added imagery for Memphis, Charleston (SC), and Birmingham, and we've filled in lots of gaps across the country.

(before)

(after)

Be sure to visit m.google.com/maps on your phone or head to Google here to download.

It is really cool!!!

12/11/2008 10:25:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

The official Windows Mobile 6.1 SMTP fix is here#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

For many months now we have had problems with the SMTP functionality of the POP and IMAP accounts on the Windows Mobile 6.1 devices. Due to changing towers and service, from provider to provider it would mess up the SMTP functionality within Windows Mobile 6.1. There were some small fixes around which would help(or not) temporary. Thanks to the MVP community Microsoft was brought to the attention of this problem and came out with this fix:


http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=d9d71b2e-d2dd-44f2-86e5-1e53aad7fb7a&displaylang=en&tm

Hopefully this will solve all these problems. Time will tell.

11/10/2008 19:53:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Making the Most of Mobility When Traveling – Your Suggestions#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

For those who could not attend our last Windows Mobile User and Developer Group meeting last Wednesday, our featured presentation and discussion was entitled “Making the Most of Mobility When Traveling”. We covered a lot of ground on this topic, which was very all-inclusive and discussed items like the packing tips, hardware, software and accessory considerations and ways of staying connected. I have put the presentation up in PDF for download if you are interested in looking at it. Please keep in mind that the PDF was not intended to be the “Bible of Mobility Travel”, but instead facilitate discussion and interaction.

This leads me to the following thought – What do you think (and do) when it comes to leveraging mobile technologies for travel? Are there any favorite tools you use? Hardware? Power options? Software? Web sites? I would love to get a broader discussion going on the topic, and our Comments section (at the bottom of this post) is the perfect way to continue the discussion online.

Let’s hear it, folks! I am certain there are some great tips out there waiting to be popularized :-)

10/21/2008 12:24:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine Announces 2008 Awards Winners#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine Annual Awards concluded a few weeks ago and the Winners, Finalists and Nominees are now available for viewing online.  Again I was a Judge this year and as always its a very intensive and exhaustive process testing many different titles in several categories making sure I used and evaluated each title thoroughly and fairly. Eighty members of the Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine Board of Experts judged 936 Windows Mobile products in 194 Pocket PC and Smartphone categories. Winners are also listed in the Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine 2009 Resource Guide first seen late November.

sppc 2008 winners

This year there for some reason took longer than some previous years to judge due to the high quality of nominees across both Windows Mobile platforms.  The nominees and winners are broken down into Pocket PC Apps — touchscreen devices, Pocket PC Games — touchscreen devices and Smartphone software– non-touchscreen devices

I just want to give very special thanks to Hal Goldstein, Nate Adcock, and Noah Ouellette from Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine and Kerry Baker and the folks from Handango for working very hard on conducting these awards each year. It’s alot of work.  Also note that you get a 15% discount on all Windows Mobile software through their exclusive VIP site until Decmeber 31, 2008, when you purchase their Knowledge Bundle, which contains the 2009 Resource Guide (last issue) with Awards Winners & Finalists, GPS, How-tos and Accessories sections, 100-page How-to Guide, Back-Issues of Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine.

10/02/2008 17:46:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Zune 3.0 Fall Update News#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well rumors have flown across the Internet for some time now on the the release of the new Zune units the new blue 8GB Zune, 16GB Zune,  and the big daddy of Zunes the 120GB Zune! Microsoft has released an official release here.

ZuneFallUpdate_lg

Some notables to take away from this that the Zune 3.0 firmware will be available for all Zunes on September 16th and the price points of the various sizes; the first 30GB, 4($129)/8($149)/16($199) GB Flash units, and newer 80($229)/120($249)GB hard drive units. Notice there is very little price margin between models phasing out the older models as they are slowly removed from retail, which I see coming in at even lower prices this Holiday season or maybe on Woot!

- It gets a Clock in the upper right hand corner- yeah great for runners and those who don't wear time pieces.

- Some free games “Hexic” and “Texas Hold ’Em”

- Option to purchase or download from FM radio via RDS+ data depending if you have Zune Pass or not

- Link to the Social via hotspots that don’t  require internet browsers to agree to TOS.

- Support for audiobooks including content from audible.com and overdrive.com

There is a great summary of what was added over at the insidecircle.net by Neville Williams.

A few other Zune MVPs have even posted videos worth checking out.

Zune Gaming and Wireless Song Purchasing Experience over at ZuneThoughts

Texas Hold ‘em and Hexic from ZuneLuv

Zune Software Features- Zune Fall 2008 from Microsoft at the Zune Insider

Zune Fall 2008 Wireless Features

Zune Fall Update: Channels

Zune Fall update: buy from FM

 

Over at Kombo rumor has it that MS has purchased some air time on the g4TV network on September 25th and should be announcing the following:

- Free DLC (Down Loadable Content) for Halo 3, and paid DLC for Mass Effect and GTA IV

- Six free Xbox Originals for download - we all love some of those Xbox original games

- A partnership with Sirius Satellite Radio (please be free for existing customers)

- 12 new exclusive titles, including 2 Halo games (as well as the supposed Peter Jackson Halo project, and the game Bungie was supposed to premiere at E3)

- A new music download service or some gaming music

Hopefully there will be some truth to these rumors, we will have to just wait and see.

According to Engadget it looks like Xbox Live Music Marketplace and Video will be shared with Zune according to Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore and legal measures had to take place in the background before we see a merge of the two services in the future.

According to this job post it looks like Windows Mobile will also be in the Marketplace mix as people have begged and hoped for.

“The Zune team is embarking on the mission to create a “Connected Entertainment” experience, realized through the Zune service, that spans multiple devices such as Zune, Xbox, PC and Mobile phones...Do you dream about having a mobile phone based entertainment experience powered by a unified entertainment service across devices such as Zune, Xbox and PC?”

So if you are looking to compete the tri-fecta of Microsoft technology: Windows Mobile, Zune, and Xbox it looks like the new $199 price for the Xbox Arcade looks pretty good for the bedroom or spareroom.

Also If you would like to win one of the Blue ones Chris Leckness   is giving one away over at GotZune. :)

Note: You also get 20% off any Zune Accessory and $20 off this Speaker Dock at Amazon with this Code: ALTECSAV

09/09/2008 12:16:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Review: Hexic for Windows Mobile#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

In our household next to Zuma, Hexic is a very popular game that my entire family plays on the Xbox 360, their computer via MSN games. Thanks to the folks at Astraware it is now available on both the Smarthone platform aka Windows Mobile Standard and Pocket PC aka Windows Mobile Professional and Classic from Astraware for Microsoft. The game plays like other versions using the directional pad to move around the screen and rotate your gems in search of the elusive Black Pearl which is done by creating a flower to earn a starflower piece, then you use starflower pieces to make another flower and earn the elusive black pearl when you make a cluster or flower out of black pearls you win the game.

After downloading the installable executable I ran it and encountered an install error that didn't install the application onto the Windows Mobile Standard device I had connected to my computer.

install

I was able to find the CAB file under the Program Files->Games->Carbonated Games->Hexic for Windows Mobile Smartphone directory.

pc_capture1

I then copied the CAB file to my device and proceeded to install it from there.

pc_capture2

The game requires 2796KB of storage space and I opted to install it onto my memory storage card.

On the Pocket PC aka Windows Mobile Professional, I downloaded the executable installed without any issues.

ppc install

It did ask for what version you are running, so be sure to install the right version for what version of the Windows Mobile operating system you are using.

 

pc_capture3

The game is installed in the Games directory on both the Standard and Professional/Classic devices.

pc_capture4

The application launches pretty quickly with three different modes of play to choose from: Marathon, Timed, and Survival. The only difference between the Windows Mobile Standard and Professional versions is that the Professional version allows you to use a touch screen in as well as directional pad.

pc_capture5

Upon launching any of the modes you will be prompted to register or play Timed mode up to 3 times.

pc_capture6 pc_capture7

After entering in your registration code you are ready to play.

pc_capture8

Right after you pick your difficulty level.

pc_capture9 pc_capture10

The controls are explained to you as well as how to undo your mistakes.

pc_capture11

The game starts off paused to make sure you are ready to go.

pc_capture12 pc_capture14

 

On the Smartphone/WM Standard device you move around the screen by using the numeric keys or directional pad.

pc_capture18 pc_capture22

pc_capture24 pc_capture26

As you can see I moved up in levels pretty quickly with new things to look out for and score points with.

 

pc_capture13

If you want to continue and click on a game mode instead of the Resume softkey, you will be asked if you want to delete a saved game with the option of Done or Cancel. Its kind of confusing,but if ya got a game going and want to continue playing it hit Cancel, if you want to start a new game hit Done.

I wish Hexic for Windows Mobile could be tied to XBOX live so I could continue where I left off at home or on my mobile. Perhaps in the future. This is another game that would work well for the Zune.

Overall Hexic is one of those games I can play over and over and over, just like Tetris this game on your phone is great for times on long elevator rides, long waits in line,commutes, boring slow-moving meetings, or anytime you have some free time and a need for gaming.

Hexic was developed by Astraware for Microsoft's Carbonated Games studio and can be purchased at Astraware for $9.99 . To try and learn more about Hexic head here.

09/08/2008 08:02:56 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REVIEW: VITO Technology Winterface#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Introduction
I recently posted on my personal blog about making the Windows Mobile user interface more aesthetically and functionally pleasing at the application level. In that article, I commented on the great work that a number of third-party companies have already started doing in this regard, as well as some great work at the top-level user interface (shell) level as well. In it, I made mention of VITO Technology's latest UI application - Winterface. While I had tried out and regularly used some of the other replacements for the Windows Mobile Professional Today Screen, I had not yet had the opportunity to see what Winterface had to offer. I quickly decided to change that, and have given Winterface a very thorough run-through. During this time, I was pleased to once again be reminded that there is no single formula for presenting an alternative to the standard Today Screen offering. Winterface's approach to interacting with you and your Windows Mobile device is effective in an entirely different way than other similar products.

Features

  • Simplified icon-based approach to navigation for a Windows Mobile Professional device;
  • "Finger-friendly" navigation and selection of applications and device settings;
  • Intuitive methods for customizing the user interface to your liking.

Installation
Winterface can be installed by using either a CAB file directly downloaded to the device or via a desktop installation executable. I had no issues with the installation itself. Once installed, Winterface does require a fair amount of space on your device at close to 1 MB, so be prepared. Additionally, as a shell replacement, Winterface needs to be installed to device memory (vs. a storage card) for reliability and performance.

One minor irritation occurred after the installation. As a UI shell replacement, I expected Winterface (or a settings screen at the least) to appear following the completion of installation. This did not happen, and made me (falsely, mind you) believe that the installation did not succeed. Once I navigated to the Programs folder on the device, however, I found the Winterface icon and selected it. THe UI then appeared. One "wish list" item I would like to see in a future release is for the UI appear after installation.

Usage
Winterface takes a more minimalist and simplified approach to the UI shell in a fashion similar to the iPhone. The UI is icon-based.

winterface02   

Winterface comes with some specialized icons for functions like mail, phone battery and memory. These icons change to match varying states. The Email icon, for example, will display the number of unread messages, while the battery icon shows current battery capacity.

The "dots" at the bottom of the screen represent the total number of "pages" of icons available. Moving between pages can be performed with simple left-to-right and right-to-left finger gestures across the screen.

winterface03   

How you choose to organize your icons, including which icons should be added or removed, is entirely up to you. For arranging or removing icons, tapping and holding an icon puts Winterize into a form of "customize mode". This mode places an "x" on each icon, allowing for removal, and provides the visual queue of "vibrating" all of the icons on screen. I found this to be a unique and obvious way of informing the user of the application state without any text.

winterface09 

Tapping the "x" will delete an icon, while tapping and moving the icon will place it in a new location. You can move and icon between pages in this fashion. If you move beyond the current last page, Winterface create a new page for you. Simply release the icon to place it in its new location. Pressing the center of the Directional Pad on the device ends this customizing mode.

To add new icons to Winterface, you will need to access the "Menu" icon. This brings up an Options screen.

 winterface05

The icon / application types you can add to Winterface are nicely broken down into three categories:

  • Applications. These are applications whose shortcuts can be found under the Programs folder (and subfolders) on your device.

    winterface06 
  • Settings. These are the items typically found under the Settings folder on the device.

    winterface10
  • Contacts. These are the entries found in your Contact list.

    winterface08

In all cases, the information provided is in a very organized and easily scrollable format, allowing you to scroll up and down the screen using your finger. The scrolling is very smooth and adds a nice touch of style to the selection process.

When you find an item you wish to add, simply tap on it. A checkbox appears next to it.

winterface07

You can select one or more items for any of the categories before completing the process by selecting the large "check" symbol at the bottom of the screen. These items will then be added to the interface, where you can use the customizing function to place them where you wish.

I chose to create a third page on my device to add my most frequently called phone numbers.

winterface04

If you add contacts to Winterface, tapping on them opens a very nice finger-friendly screen with detail information.

winterface11

From here, you can dial or e-mail the selected contact.

I quickly found the UI approach that Winterface takes in presenting navigation to be quite nice and effective. While I did miss the details of upcoming appointments not appearing on my home screen, I found that it was not a huge issue. In addition, exiting from Winterface is easily accomplished from the "Menu" button.

One usability problem I did find more of an issue with relates to Winterface serving as a "Lock Screen".

winterface01

When the screen wakes up, Winterface provides a nice mechanism for unlocking the screen by sliding the lock symbol from left to right. My problem did not occur with regards to the mechanics involved; I could do this quite easily. My problem related to the fact that some notifications from the device did not override the lock screen. Reminders, for example, often ring but do not appear to allow me to dismiss them. New e-mail notifications often did the same. I have seen this behavior happen with other UI shell applications, but the lock screen complicates this a bit more. In order to dismiss the reminder, I must:

  • Unlock the screen;
  • Tap the "Menu" button in Winterface;
  • Close Winterface;
  • Bring up the notification in the default Windows Mobile Today screen;
  • Dismiss the notification.

Finally, I could find no way in this release of Winterface to turn off the lock screen functionality. This was definitely an area of frustration for me, and took away a bit from the many positives that Winterface has to offer. I believe this is definitely one area that needs improvement for future releases. 

Overall, I came to appreciate  the different approach that VITO Technology took toward user interaction with Winterface. I found the interface pleasing to view as well as to work with, the screen animations for fluid scrolling and page transitions to be consistent and perform well, and the ease of getting to my information (minus the Lock Screen shortcomings) to be quite refreshing. I do not think that the "Winterface Approach" to the Windows Mobile shell is for every user. However, I can definitely see a significant audience that would benefit from Winterface from the point of style, substance (or both).

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unique and effective Today Screen alternative for both organization and navigation;
  • Intuitive interface makes customization easy and with little training;
  • Nice UI style as well as substance.

Cons

  • No post-installation setup or initialization;
  • Lock Screen can cause extra steps to deal with notifications.

Pricing and Availability
A trial version of Winterface is available for download from the iWindowsMobile web site and from VITO Technology. Winterface is available from teh iWindowsMobile web site for $19.95.

Conclusion
There are any number of ways that a developer can make a given user interface more effective for the user. Winterface is yet another great example of this principle. By providing a visually pleasing, easy to customize and friendly to navigate alternative to the standard Window Mobile Professional Today screen, VITO Technology has once again proven their ability to "think outside the box" with their latest product offering. I encourage users looking for a simple but effective way of interacting with your Windows Mobile device to give Winterface a try. But be careful - you may not want to return to your old Today Screen if you do.

07/20/2008 17:07:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REVIEW: Electric Pocket FlipSide#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Introduction
While many people look at some of the new and innovative user interfaces for mobile phones as a way of adding "sex and sizzle" to their devices, I tend to look for applications that make my interactions more efficient, friendly or just plain fun (without adding complexity, of course). While the iPhone and HTC's "Manila" interface tend to grab a lot of the headlines, there are any of a number of smaller and more focused applications that are also very useful and aesthetically pleasing.

One great example of providing a friendlier face to a Windows Mobile application is Electric Pocket's FlipSide. As someone who uses Windows Media Player on my Windows Mobile phone quite frequently, I have to say that the "drill-down" approach that Windows Media Player uses to get to my music can be quite frustrating and, well, bland. FlipSide provides a finger-friendly and visual way of interacting with your music collection.

Features

  • Visual and intuitive way of interacting with music on your Windows Mobile device;
  • Extra functionality for album art and artist information.

Installation
FlipSide is available for installation as both a CAB file for direct installation from the device, or as a desktop installer. FlipSide requires the .NET Compact Framework 2.0. For Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional devices, the .NET CF 2.0 is pre-installed and should not pose a problem. Electric Pocket's FlipSide download page does provide additional links and instructions if a .NET CF 2.0 installation is necessary.

Installation was simple and straight-forward. An interesting note - as a result of leveraging the .NET Compact Framework, FlipSide itself is small; very small. Taking up only 127K for the actual executable is rather impressive, especially considering the functionality FlipSide provides (more shortly).

One final note - as an application focused on the touchscreen interface, FlipSide is intended for Windows Mobile Professional / Pocket PC devices. While the FlipSide web site states that FlipSide supports all Windows Mobile versions, I did not test this application against a Windows Mobile Standard device.

Usage
Basic Functionality
When you first open FlipSide, you will immediately be reminded of the media interface seen on the iPhone and iPod Touch. The application scans for music and album art already installed on the device to build its own index of information. This process does not take very long and is visually represented by a very small progress bar at the bottom of the screen. The positive to this approach is that you can still interact with the application while the metadata is being captured. One big "pet peeve" I have had with the Windows Media Player interface for quite a while is the need to navigate menus to build the library and having to sit and wait while the library is built. Kudos to Electric Pocket for allowing me to move forward while work is performed in the background.

FlipSide presents your library organized by album.

screen01    

Using gestures across the screen from left to right (or vice-versa), you move between the various albums. A nice fluid animation scrolls you from album to album. You also have the ability to use the left and right portions of a directional pad to perform the same actions.

When you find the album you wish to listen to, simply tap on the album art and the track list is displayed.

screen02

You can then select the first track you wish to hear by tapping on the title. I must admit that this can be a bit difficult with the large fingers possessed by yours truly, but if all else fails the stylus works well too.

Once music is selected, the track information is displayed and a progress bar designates the play progress.

screen07

You can fast forward and rewind within a track by touching the progress bar.

FlipSide works in both portrait and landscape modes.

screen08
This functionality does bring to light one of the shortcomings of FlipSide. Many common interactions are mapped to keyboard keys. While this works well for devices with QWERTY keyboards always displayed, it does not work well for devices like the AT&T Tilt that has a slide out keyboard. Actions like pause and play, for example, are mapped to the spacebar. If you do not wish to slide out the keyboard, you can choose to leave full screen mode by tapping near the bottom of the screen. This will bring up the default menu bar.

screen03

From this view, you have access to more functionality and a few features. I do hope that a future release of FlipSide will allow for hardware button mapping, as this would greatly reduce the keyboard issues.

As far as playing music goes, FlipSide had no problem playing my Windows Mobile music. No more so, that is, than Windows Media Player itself :-) Sound quality and performance were the same as if using the Windows Media Player directly. Of couse, that also means that the limitations imposed by Windows Media Player (no equalizer, no cross-fade) were also in place.

Enhancement/Features
FlipSide provides some nice and useful features in addition to the user interface functionality. They include:

  • Downloadable album art. If your music did not have album art or perhaps not the most recent art, you can choose to download art from the Internet.

    screen09

    You will be reminded that the Internet will be searched and data charges may apply.

    screen10 

    If located, the album art will be displayed.

    screen11 

    As you can see, the album art might not always be the the most pleasing to the eye, buy hey - it's better than no art at all ;-) You also have the ability to remove album art if you choose.
  • Artist information. At any time, you have the ability to locate (from the Internet) artist information using the Find Extras menu option.

    screen04

    This option opens a browser window that presents biographical information and related information, all nicely formatted for a mobile device and powered by Last.fm.

    screen05

    I found this feature to be very useful and a lot of fun as well (trivia buff that I am).
  • Shuffle
    FlipSide does provide shuffle functionality, either at the album level or for all music.

    screen12
  • Playlist functionality.
    FlipSide provides the ability to work with playlists on the device, including the ability to create and/or modify playlists.

    screen13

Overall, the additional features for FlipSide serve as a good "icing on the cake" to enhance the overall user experience.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Visually pleasing user interface
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Informative and useful extra features

Cons

  • No custom keyboard mapping
  • Some finger functionality difficult in the limited screen real estate

Pricing and Availability
FlipSide is available for a trial download at the FlipSide web site. FlipSide is available for purchase from the FlipSide web site (partnered with MobiHand) for $19.95.

Conclusion
By providing a combination of an aesthetically pleasing interface with intuitive user interface functionality, FlipSide adds a new and fun level to playing music on your Windows Mobile device. The additional Internet-related extras provide a great way to enhance the experience even further, making FlipSide a great enhancement to your Windows Mobile-powered device. I strongly encourage everyone to at least give FlipSide a try; it is worth the effort.

07/16/2008 09:53:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Adding Sizzle to Emulator Demos with SOTI Pocket Controller#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I haven't had the chance to mention things here, but I recently fired up a personal blog at Sorcinelli.net. My goal is to cover - well, anything I don't think might be of direct relevance here at BostonPocketPC.com. You may find things of a more personal nature, technology items outside the realm of Windows Mobile / Microsoft mobility technologies, .NET development (including device, desktop and web) or anything else, for that matter.

As an example of what I am talking about, I did just post up an article regarding demo, screenshots and videos involving the Device Emulator for Windows Mobile. I've been asked on a number of occasions how to "spice up" the bland emulator skin. While you could go down a path in creating custom skins for the emulator, a simpler and more powerful solution can be found in using SOTI's Pocket Controller Professional. There are a few steps to follow in order to get things running, but the results are well worth it. You can check out my complete tutorial here.

Emu_PocketController

P.S. - if you are interested in Sorcinelli.net for only some of the content, be sure to check out the RSS feeds by category (on the lower-left side of the home page). You can subscribe to only what you want. I expect many to filter out my "personal side" ;-)

05/09/2008 13:39:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Happy Birthday, VITO Technology!#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

VITO Technology has turned 7 years old. In "Windows Mobile Years", that's... well, REALLY old :-)

To celebrate, VITO is passing on some really incredible savings to everyone -

19th February, 2008 - VITO Technology celebrates its 7 years of success in the mobile market with a HUGE DISCOUNT on all software titles. During 7 days all VITO products at http://iwindowsmobile.com and http://vitotechnology.com are available for as much as $7*.

After 7 successful years in the market VITO Technology has so far released over 40 programs for Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Smartphone, and Symbian phones. The range of programs stretches from GPS navigation to multimedia, including communication and utilities.

Practically all VITO software titles - VITO AudioNotes, VITO SoundExplorer, VITO Voice2Go to name just a few - have become winners of the annual Best Software Awards held by Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine. You can find all these prize winning best sellers at www.vitotechnology.com and www.iwindowsmobile.com AVAILABLE JUST FOR $7* FOR 7 days. We celebrate our birthday by offering you the best of the breed mobile software for Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone that give you truly boundless opportunities with your mobile device.

You can use VITO Technology software for GPS navigation, for voice dialing, for controlling your device with voice, for audio playback and recording, for remote controlling, for creating ringtones, for various sports activities, for star gazing, not enough? The brand-new sparkling software at iwindowsmobile.com allows you to control your device just with fingers: scroll list of contacts in FunContact like on iPhone, indulge yourself in threaded SMS messaging with SMS-Chat, type with fingers on ZoomBoard, launch and manage tasks with finger-friendly GoodWin, and even more...

Make sure you get your slice of VITO's 7th Birthday Cake - $7* for 7 days only at www.iwindowsmobile.com and www.vitotechnology.com!

*for PayPal and Google Checkout purchases at www.iwindowsmobile.com and www.vitotechnology.com. The offer expires on the 26th of February.

It looks like a birthday party is in order. That is, if you define "birthday party" as "buying really good Windows Mobile apps at a great price"!

02/21/2008 09:46:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Gmail and Google/a IMAP accounts work now with WM6#
Post By Johan van Mierlo
Since Google launched IMAP for Gmail and mail for Google for your own Domain there where many problems with the WM6 devices where the body of most of the e-mails were blank.


But with some changes on the Google servers evrything should work now.


01/28/2008 11:29:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

VITO Technology Releases FunContact 2.0#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

How on the heels of the initial release of FunContact (and a subsequent review by yours truly), VITO Technology has released FunContact 2.0. Some of the enhancements are definitely spot-on in my opinion -

VITO Technology releases a new version of FunContact. Managing contacts on your Windows Mobile Pocket PC has become easier and more fun! New features on top of finger friendly and stylish interface make FunContact a truly irreplaceable contact manager. Now even more visual effects!

The new sliding out keypad allows you to easily dial numbers missing from your contacts. All it takes is tapping the red arrow, and here you are dialing the number you need. T9 contacts look up is also possible on this keypad like on smartphones.

New version of FunContact provides its own contact editing. It has become possible to edit or add new contacts without going to the default WM contacts. Forget about default contacts with its old-fashioned looks and awkward editing. Now you can easily edit your contacts right from FunContact, delete, add new fields, etc. You’ll find out that editing contacts is fun as well!

The calls in call history are now grouped by the type of calls (missed, incoming or outgoing calls) and by the date. All types of calls for the same contact are grouped separately for each day. This way you will see only one record in the list even if you got several calls from a certain contact: only the last one is displayed.

Once you started using FunContact it’s difficult to come back to the default contacts. You simply enjoy managing your contacts with finger. Clinton Fitch, the well known MVP says: "Having used FunContact for several weeks now it is hard to see myself not using it going forward. It has made contacting those on my contact list quicker and far easier with the ability to SMS or e-mail them with only a tap or two versus using the native Windows Mobile applications."

FunContact 2

You can find out all of the details and download a trial version at iWindowsMobile.com. Previous FunContact owners should note that FunContact 2.0 is a free upgrade.

01/01/2008 15:30:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REVIEW: VITO Technology ZoomBoard#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Introduction
The recent success of the Apple iPhone in the consumer market has created an interest in many Windows Mobile users to find ways to leverage the touch-screen interface of Windows Mobile Classic and Professional devices to gain a "finger-friendly" approach to interaction. HTC has introduced the "Touch FLO" approach with the HTC Cube and a specialized Today Screen, and other software vendors and developers have been experimenting with redesigned user interfaces. One such vendor moving to the forefront of this new user experience is VITO Technology. VITO has put together 3 specific applications in an attempt to "iPhone-ize" the Windows Mobile experience in FunContact, GoodWin and ZoomBoard.

In my first of 3 VITO product reviews, I found FunContact to be both fun and productive. I then reviewed GoodWin, which added both style and substance to navigating my applications and program launching. This left me with the task of ZoomBoard, which (according to the iWindowsMobile.com web site) "is a high-tech onscreen keyboard for quick and accurate finger typing on Windows Mobile Pocket PC". Would this be the case?

Installation
ZoomBoard uses a desktop installer for device installation. I did not encounter any problems during the install, but it is important to note that in order to ensure proper installation, a soft reset should take place after the install completes. This is due to ZoomBoard being added as an input method to the system.

Usage
Once installed, ZoomBoard is accessed and made active by tapping on the input icon on any screen requiring input (the input icon being the icon that looks like a keyboard at the bottom-center of teh screen between the two soft keys.

pc_capture1

When selected, the first thing I noticed was that ZoomBoard did not appear much different than other keyboards.

pc_capture2

While the buttons were slightly larger, there was not a significant difference in size. As I mentioned in my previous 2 VITO Technology reviews, I have (written in a modest tone) slightly larger than average fingers.

My previous attempts to use a keyboard on-screen that allowed for finger touch were only successful if the keyboard occupied the entire screen (or close to it). Of course, that meant there was no ability to see the underlying application that I was working with. For me, this simply was not acceptable. If ZoomBoard did not take this approach and left the keys at a smaller size, how could I possibly work for me? The answer was found quickly.

ZoomBoard allows you to touch and press the keyboard, moving your finger until finding the correct letter. While moving, the "zoom" kicks in. This is view, similar to a magnifying glass, that appears just above the keyboard on the screen.

pc_capture3

As you move your finger, the magnifying glass updates.

pc_capture4

What does all this mean? Well, the challenge with using your finger on small surfaces is seeing where you are actually pressing; your finger is blocking the view. By using the "magnifying glass" approach, ZoomBoard allowed me to see what I was actually doing. Before I tried using ZoomBoard, I wasn't sure what the benefit of the application would be. The first time I navigated using my finger and the magnifying glass showed me my progress, I "got it".

ZoomBoard, like GoodWin and FunContact, takes some getting used to. Because of the straight-forward nature of this application, however, ZoomBoard is more about getting comfortable with a very different way of doing a very common task. I liken it to purchasing a new desktop keyboard with a slightly different layout. While it is still functionally the same, it takes a while for your mind to adjust.

From a functional standpoint, ZoomBoard delivered as advertised. I found the animations to be smooth and accurate, and overall performance to be very good. From a reviewer's standpoint, ZoomBoard was a rather rare type of application to review. It is focused on something very specific, thus focusing my review time. As a result, I found myself saying "is that all" fairly quickly. For ZoomBoard, that is a good thing; it does what it is supposed to do well.

Pros and Cons
Pros
- Allows keyboard input using fingers without a full-screen keyboard;
- Nice graphics and animation serve a purpose as well as providing style;
- Accurate reporting of finger location for accurate typing.
Cons
- None to report.

Availability
You can find out more about ZoomBoard and download a trial version at iWindowsMobile.com.

Conclusion
ZoomBoard does what it is advertised to do, plain and simple. It provides a finger-friendly input method that does not require a full screen keyboard, yet still provides a means of inputting text with accuracy. If you are looking for a way to use your finger to input text without sacrificing screen real estate, ZoomBoard is a first-rate option.

12/23/2007 10:57:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REVIEW: VITO Technology GoodWin#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Introduction
The recent success of the Apple iPhone in the consumer market has created an interest in many Windows Mobile users to find ways to leverage the touch-screen interface of Windows Mobile Classic and Professional devices to gain a "finger-friendly" approach to interaction. HTC has introduced the "Touch FLO" approach with the HTC Cube and a specialized Today Screen, and other software vendors and developers have been experimenting with redesigned user interfaces. One such vendor moving to the forefront of this new user experience is VITO Technology. VITO has put together 3 specific applications in an attempt to "iPhone-ize" the Windows Mobile experience in FunContact, GoodWin and ZoomBoard.

In my first of 3 VITO product reviews, I found myself very impressed with VITO FunContact, which provides a "finger-firendly" interface to Outlook Mobile contact information. My next step was to try out GoodWin, a product that serves as a program launcher (and a bit more) using the same touch approach.

Highlights
- Easy access to applications, settings and common functions;
- Large, readable text;
- "Wow-factor" screen animations.

Installation
Installation of GoodWin is very straight forward, with a desktop executable that installs the application in seconds. I encountered no issues.

Usage
Once installed, GoodWin is started from a standard application icon. When initially started, GoodWin presents a sort of "home screen" with current date and time, as well as indicators for battery, profile/volume and carrier. VITO once again has excelled in making these icons large and legible for the average user. In a nice bit of functionality, GoodWin also provides a "screen lock" function to avoid inadvertent screen touches while the device is in a pocket or holster.

pc_capture1

As the imagery on the screen suggests, simply use a finger to touch and drag the lock icon and unlock the screen.

Once the GoodWin screen is unlocked, the main functionality of GoodWin is exposed.

pc_capture2

GoodWin breaks down application launching into several main areas:

  • The very top of the screen provides access to general phone information. You can press the power icon to see detailed battery information. Pressing the second icon allows you to change between ring, vibrate or silent settings. Pressing the signal strength icon will provide signal and carrier details. While all of these icons try to be finger-friendly, I must admit last "digitally-challenged" (read "large-fingered") people like myself had a bit of a problem here.
  • The first set of buttons at the top of the screen provide access to commonly-used functions. You have access to SMS, mail and the phone. Unread messages counts are displayed if available. The clock icon will bring you back to the time and lock screen. All of these buttons were easily accessible to a finger touch and behaved as expected.
  • The "Favorites and Running" section of the screen displays what it advertises; currently running applications and applications selected as "Favorites". For each of these applications, a simple press with your finger will switch to or launch the application. What is not obviously apparent, however, is that pressing and holding on an icon here (or in the general "Programs" section) will bring up a large and finger-friendly context menu. The menu options are sensitive to the application, and provide such options as "Run", "Close" or "Remove from Favorites". I found this menu to be highly useful when managing applications in memory.
  • The "Programs" section provides access to applications installed on the device.Here is an area in which GoodWin shines, especially for people with a large number of applications. Each application icon is clearly displayed with a large and easily touched icon. Pressing and holding an icon brings up the context menu, allowing you to run, add the icon to favorites, close or even uninstall an application (if you had installed it versus a default device application). If you have a large number of applications, scrolling on the screen is performed by using a sweeping motion using your finger across the screen.

    pc_capture3 

    The scrolling animation was smooth on my device. As I mentioned in my review of FunContact, a small learning curve exists to make certain that you do not press on an icon (as thus launch an application). Within a matter of seconds, however, I was effortlessly scrolling up and down on the screen.

    One limitation of GoodWin (in my opinion) relates to how it builds the list of applications for the "Programs" section. I am someone who commonly uses a file explorer application to create folders under the \Windows\Start Menu\Programs folder on the device. I then move icons from the Programs folder into these subfolders, thus making for less clutter in the Programs folder. Unfortunately, GoodWin does not leverage this organization, instead searching all the subfolders for applications and simply adding them to the "Programs" section. I would like to see some option in the future that would allow a user to honor this organizational method and allow for less scrolling.
  • The "Settings" section of the screen provides access to the Settings applications for the device, again allowing for easy finger taps to launch.

    pc_capture4 
  • A menu button is located at the bottom of the screen, providing access to help information and a way of closing the GoodWin application.

    pc_capture5 

    From a usability standpoint, this was a minor annoyance when wanting to shut down GoodWin, as I had to scroll quite a ways to get to the button at a time where I simply wanted to close the application. However, the cool scrolling animation generally offset the extra work ;-)

Overall, the application performance was very good, and navigation to icons was fast and efficient. If I was not someone who used subfolders for application organization, I am certain the GoodWin would be a far faster way of launching my applications than the standard forms of navigation.

Pros and Cons
Pros
- Highly usable finger-friendly application launcher;
- Context menu provides faster access to certain tasks (application uninstall, for example) than standard methods;
- Nice animations and graphics.
Cons
- Program section does not honor use of folder organization of applications if it is used on the device;
- Closing the application can require significant scrolling to access the close function on the menu.

Availability
You can find out more about GoodWin and download a trial version at iWindowsMobile.com.

Conclusion
GoodWin does a really solid job of providing a finger-friendly interface for application launching and management. If you are looking for faster access to all of your applications and a sexy and "iPhone-like" interface complete with scrolling navigation, then GoodWin is a very solid option for your Windows Mobile device.

12/22/2007 11:33:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

LingvoSoft Suite 2008 Released#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

We've long covered the great language products for the Windows Mobile platform provided by LingvoSoft. The only thing better then a number of individual products focused on language translation is to bring them together - The LingvoSoft Suite 2008! -

logo_suite

LingvoSoft Suite 2008 is a fully integrated solution which combines all our major language-learning tools.
This essential set of software includes:

·  Bi-directional Talking Dictionary with an extensive 400,000 word vocabulary

· Talking PhraseBook of 14,000 travel-related phrases divided into common situations you may encounter while abroad;

· Flashcards language learning application to help you memorize new vocabulary as you play.
Taken together these applications deliver instant translations, offer quick and easy search functions, and supply valuable educational games - instantly turning your PC or PDA into your own personal language learning and communication assistant.

You can find out more about the LingvoSoft Suite 2008 at the LingvoSoft web site.

12/18/2007 20:48:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

It May Be Cold Outside, But... IntelliGolf 8.5 Ships#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Well, I must admit as I sit in Orlando, FL (on business) that golf in December *does* exist in parts of the world. What better time than now for the release of IntelliGolf 8.5? -

IntelliGolf, Inc., leaders in ‘Sports Enhancing Software’, today announced the shipment of its new IntelliGolf® version 8.5 software for Microsoft® Windows Mobile 6.0-based Pocket PCs and Palm® OS-based handhelds. Version 8.5 adds support for Windows Mobile 6.0, embedded GPS, rotating/landscape-based screen displays (e.g. AT&T Tilt, HTC Ty Tn II, etc), and wireless access to 24,000+ signature course scorecards. Version 8.5 is also shipping for the latest Palm OS-based smartphones (e.g. Treo 700p, Treo 755p, etc). Both operating system versions are immediately available from resellers listed at www.intelligolf.com. SRP: $29.95-$59.95.

“Version 8.5 is for golfers on the go...” said Craig A. Schmidt, President/CEO of IntelliGolf, Inc. “It supports wireless access to over 24,000 signature courses, embedded and Bluetooth-based GPS receivers, and various screen formats.” he said.

Product Overview
The IntelliGolf software replaces pencil and paper golf scoring, wagering, and statistics gathering on the golf course. Users enter their scores, wagers, and club selection on their smartphone. IntelliGolf totals all scores, tabulates all wagers, and synchronizes with the included Windows desktop software (Birdie and Eagle editions). From the IntelliGolf desktop software users can view performance graphs, approximating their handicap, and evaluate their Dream Round™. The IntelliGolf Eagle edition adds support for Bluetooth and GPS. This allows customers to view distances to the 200, 150, 100 yard/meter markers, front, center, and back of the Green, and up to three custom fairway points (e.g. creek, oak tree, sand trap, etc) using industry-leading GPS receivers.

IntelliGolf is the only golf software to include all seven S’s of golf: Scoring, Shot tracking, Satellite GPS, Sharing, Sidegames (35+), Statistics (250+), and Signature course (24,000+) scorecards. IntelliGolf is available for Windows Mobile-based Smartphones and Pocket PCs, Palm handhelds, RIM’s Blackberry, Java-based smartphones (e.g. Nokia, Sony Ericsson, etc), and Windows-based PCs in over 125 countries.

ig_rot76_ppcE

For more information and ordering, check out the IntelliGolf home page. FORE! ;-)

12/18/2007 20:41:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

HanDBase 4.0 Released#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

If you're looking for staying power in the mobile application world, look no further than DDH Software. Ten years of Palm, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Symbian and RIM development. If you're looking for a great Windows Mobile database application, you also need look no further than DDH Software and HanDBase. Version 4.0 is now available -

DDH Software, Inc. is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the announcement of a major update to its HanDBase relational database application for all top mobile platforms-including Windows Mobile. Version 4.0 includes a host of new synchronization features, a deeper level of security, and a myriad of user interface and database design enhancements, plus updates specific to the Windows Mobile platform.

True to HanDBase's long reputation as a leading innovator among mobile databases, the new version includes a wide range of new enhancements, including the ability to synchronize databases stored on a memory card. HanDBase also now includes a "Smart Date" filter that enables users to view data in ranges such as "This Week," and "Next x Days."

With data security risks such as identity theft and business intelligence loss, the security of mobile data is of utmost importance. HanDBase is once again in the lead with its tight, yet practical and easy-to-manage security measures. In addition to 128 bit Safer-SK encryption, HanDBase 4.0 now offers an inactivity auto-close feature and encryption password caching, with HanDBase optionally remembering and recalling passwords for subsequent saves/closes of the database. This feature reduces the likelihood of users entering an incorrect password when re-encrypting and is also far more convenient.

Versions of HanDBase that support custom forms will find a host of new actions and features to make designing and using custom forms much more powerful. From adjustable form scaling on different devices, to the ability to make large paper-sized forms that scroll, to the ability to add images such as logos, backgrounds and even buttons, the list of new power and functionality is extensive. Finally, the addition of a forms design wizard in the newly redesigned HanDBase Forms PC Desktop enables the flexibility and sleekness of forms to be more accessible to even novice users.

New features specific for Windows Mobile include support for the 5-way navigator on Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6. Further, HanDBase 4.0 offers Windows Mobile 5/6 menu optional support, giving users the ability to display menu items using the newer soft key style or the traditional toolbar format.

"HanDBase 4.0 again sets the standard for mobile databases, with features deep enough for power business users in a wide variety of fields such as medicine, inspections, and education, yet easy enough for anybody to create and manage lists for their own needs," said David Haupert, president of DDH Software. "HanDBase is still the most flexible and inventive program available for handhelds--and it is always amazing to see the ingenious uses of HanDBase as users create their own mobile applications."

handbase4proppc

For more information and pricing, check out the HanDBase for Windows Mobile home page.

12/18/2007 20:34:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

MERGER: FlexWallet Upgrade to eWallet#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

Today WebIS is proud to announce a new partnership with Ilium Software to bring a renewed focus to the Wallet Market. this year we spent some time with Ilium and found a very strong renewed focus on eWallet going forward and with our focus on FlexMail and Pocket Informant and our work on the Blackberry we have decided to team up with Ilium and turn FlexWallet 4 into eWallet 6.0! This provides many great improvements that I'm sure you are going to love and we've made it easy for you to upgrade from FlexWallet to eWallet 6.0. eWallet 6.0 combines the best of FlexWallet and eWallet with a renewed focus that brings greater security and features to all of our users!

eWallet 6.0 brings the following major improvements:

  • iPhone/Web version currently in beta.
  • Sync your info where you want - to any PC, Windows Mobile or Palm OS device, USB thumb drive, a laptop, even your server at work - there is no limit
  • Stronger security - AES FIPS and 256-bit encryption
  • Encrypted file attachments
  • Sync securely to remote locations using SFTP and other remote syncing options
  • Access your data from remote computers using Iomega iStorage
  • Prevent intrusion by locking your wallet after a certain number of failed login attempts
  • Make online purchases safely! With eWallet's SmartCopy your credit cards and personal info won't be left in the clipboard for keyloggers to find
  • Fill in passwords online without typing using AutoPass - protect yourself from keyboard logging in an easy and secure way
  • Personalize your cards with background images
  • Customize the card design with options for displaying icons on the card, square or round corners, card borders, and more!
  • Use eWallet on your U3 USB Smartdrives
  • Get Step-by-Step Instructions for basic tasks with the eWallet Companion
  • Four free icon packs

For more info you can go the WebIS site

12/17/2007 17:37:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Sling Media Goes SOLO with New Slingbox, Symbian S60 Player#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Well, the announcement of EchoStar's acquisition of Sling Media hasn't slowed down what has already been in the works for some time. Sling Media today announced the release of a really slick-looking new Slingbox and support for Symbian S60 platform with SlingPlayer Mobile -

Foster City, CA September 27, 2007 Sling Media, Inc., a leading digital lifestyle products company, today announced the retail launch of the new Slingbox™ SOLO, a freshly designed new Slingbox that can connect to a standard definition or high definition set top box and features increased streaming performance for less than $200. Slingbox SOLO transforms PCs, laptops, Macs and a variety of smartphones into personal, portable TVs and builds upon the goals of the original Slingbox – giving consumers the freedom to view their home cable, satellite or digital video recorder (DVR) programming on a wide range of devices anywhere they can access the Internet. Slingbox SOLO is available in retail stores and at www.slingmedia.com for a suggested retail price of $179.99.

”Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of place-shifting their favorite TV and DVR programming, and are demanding products that are both attractively designed and future-proof as they look to upgrade their TV service from standard definition to HD in the coming year. Slingbox SOLO has all of the right features built-in, making it an ideal fit for a wide range of customer needs,” said Blake Krikorian, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sling Media. “The Slingbox SOLO fits the digital media needs of both new and existing customers, giving them the flexibility and capability to enjoy personalized content from any of their home entertainment devices - virtually anywhere.”

SOLOprofile SOLOfront

Slingbox SOLO is designed to meet the varied requirements of today’s multi-faceted TV-viewing households. The product includes standard (4:3) and widescreen (16:9) video support and increased streaming performance (full VGA resolution, up to 8Mbps around the home). Slingbox SOLO accepts inputs from either standard definition or high definition set top boxes, giving customers the ability to connect virtually any Audio/Video device via component video, S-Video or composite video connectors and features integrated looping outputs for each input.

Slingbox SOLO will be available nationwide through Sling Media’s retail partners, including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Buy.com, Circuit City, CompUSA, Fry’s, J&R and Micro Center as well as www.slingmedia.com for a suggested retail price of $179.99.

Sling Media also announced a new version of its SlingPlayer Mobile software today that is compatible with smartphones that run S60 software on Symbian OS™ including Nokia Nseries and Eseries devices. Customers who purchase an N95 receive a free version of the SlingPlayer Mobile software, a $29.99 value. For a list of compatible smartphones and more details on the Nokia N95 offer, please visit www.slingmedia.com/go/nokia.

Nokia_N95_Opened

I like the thinking on the feature set and price point for the SOLO. Position it between the AV and the PRO, provide built-in component connections for high definition and price it in an attractive fashion. All this and just in time for the holidays :-)

I wish I could take this as an indicator that things will not change now that Sling Media is a part of EchoStar (as I mentioned in my post earlier this week). However, both the SOLO and the S60 SlingPlayer Mobile have been in the works for quite a while. I still hold the hope that EchoStar's acquisition does not result in a change of direction for Sling Media's independent hardware. The ability for Slingboxes to work with just about any other piece of hardware out there has always been a huge plus for the consumer.

09/27/2007 08:13:57 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

EchoStar to Acquire Sling Media#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Upon receiving the following press release from Sling Media last night, I felt my heart sink a bit...

EchoStar Announces Agreement to Acquire Sling Media, Inc.

Combination Will Create Industry-Leading Digital Media Solutions Provider

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. and FOSTER CITY, Calif., September 24, 2007 – EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) announced today that it has agreed to acquire Sling Media, Inc., a privately-held digital lifestyle products company. EchoStar, through its DISH Network®, is the third largest pay-TV provider in the United States. The transaction values Sling Media at approximately $380 million and is payable in cash and EchoStar options. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Established in 2004, Sling Media has been a leading innovator in the digital lifestyle space through the introduction of the internationally-acclaimed, Emmy award-winning Slingbox™ and SlingPlayer™ software. Sling Media’s product line is distributed in over 5,000 retail stores in 11 countries.

In 2006, Sling Media created the Sling Entertainment Group with the mission of developing entertainment experiences and business models that reach beyond the Slingbox. The group also fosters and manages relationships with content creators and owners. Its first initiative, Clip+Sling™, dramatically changes the way consumers socialize around TV by enabling users to clip and share limited segments of their favorite television programming.

“As an early investor in Sling Media, EchoStar has been pleased with the progress and commitment the company has made establishing Sling Media and the Slingbox as powerful and beloved digital media brands,” said Charlie Ergen, CEO and co-founder of EchoStar. “With today’s increasingly mobile lifestyle, EchoStar’s acquisition of Sling Media will allow us to offer innovative and convenient ways for our customers to enjoy their programming on more displays and locations, including TVs, computers and mobile phones, both inside and outside of the home. This combination paves the way for the development of a host of new innovative products and services for our subscribers, new digital media consumers and strategic partners.”

“We are psyched to make this announcement. We have worked closely with EchoStar for more than two years, and have come to realize that both companies have similar entrepreneurial cultures and mutual dedication and passion for creating empowering experiences that benefit the consumer and the media industry,” said Blake Krikorian, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sling Media. “By combining strategies, resources and technologies with EchoStar, Sling Media will be able to rapidly expand our open multi-platform product offerings, not only for DISH Network subscribers, but for digital media enthusiasts around the globe.”

If the folks at Sling Media are happy, then I am happy for them. I can only hope that this new chapter for Sling Media is one that benefits all Slingbox users. I have found myself becoming cynical in recent times regarding acquisitions that supposedly benefit both consumer parties, yet result in only bettering the side of the consumer who happens to own technology from the company making the purchase. Here is to hoping that this acquisition changes my perception.

09/25/2007 08:31:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Cingular 8525 now becomes the AT&T 8525 with some added updates#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Good news for all you Cingular 8525 owners out there waiting for an update to your phone to actually use that push to talk button. More good news your Windows Mobile 6 update will be available soon... I have a review of the 8525 in Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine available here in case you missed it.

Today AT&Tannounced today the availability of a re-branded and upgraded version of its popular Cingular 8525 now called  the AT&T 8525 Pocket PC (you may have seen the new branded unit in several television comercials for other products like DHL - the one on the golf course)— boasting additional services that will appeal to business customers and consumers alike. 

Now, the AT&T 8525 also comes with AT&T Push to Talk functionality pre-installed as well as the latest multimedia music and video services from AT&T.  AT&T boasts the largest Push to Talk network in America and its PTT service includes several differentiating features, including "availability" icons, quick group-calling and the ability to easily switch a PTT session to a regular wireless voice call.

To turn downtime into playtime, the AT&T 8525 provides access to AT&T Mobile Music — an integrated, on-the-go music experience that delivers "your music, your way" by providing simple access to the most robust collection of music content available today, including XM Satellite Radio, which comes pre-loaded on the device. 8525 users can easily access and enjoy 25 commercial-free music channels from XM Satellite Radio through the XM Radio Mobile service.

With AT&T Mobile Music, AT&T 8525 users can connect to a one-stop shop for everything music on the handset, such as full-track songs, music videos, ringtones, music news, MusicID, music chat rooms, streaming music and more. AT&T is the first U.S. carrier to offer subscription music to the handset, including music from leading online retailers, Yahoo! and eMusic.

The 8525 will also feature AT&T’s on-demand streaming video service, Cellular Video. Customers can watch a large selection of video clips of their favorite television shows, sports, news and weather, entertainment and premium content, including such hit HBO programs as “The Sopranos,” “Entourage,” “Sex and the City,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and exclusive mobile content from World Wrestling Entertainment.

Those customers who own an existing Cingular 8525 can download the same software upgrades found on the AT&T 8525. The software upgrade can be found at: www.america.htc.com/products/8525/default.html. The AT&T 8525 will also be upgradeable to the latest version of Windows Mobile, Windows Mobile 6, later this year. 

“Our enhanced version of the AT&T 8525 Pocket PC provides an exciting new array of features that will allow our customers to do more during both work time and downtime,” said Cathy Quaciari, director of wireless B-to-B devices for AT&T. “The lines between work and personal lives are blurring, so end users now not only need a device through which they can access their work e-mail or other corporate applications, but also they want something that has music, video and other entertainment capabilities as a way to unwind at the end of the day.”

The first UMTS/HSDPA-enabled PDA in North America, the AT&T 8525 still features Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 with Direct Push Technology — which allows users to retrieve their important information in the familiar environment found on most desktop computers. 

In addition to Microsoft Direct Push e-mail for business customers, the AT&T 8525 also supports other popular wireless e-mail solutions, including Good Mobile MessagingTM and AT&T Xpress Mail. 

The AT&T 8525 provides users with both domestic and international 3G capabilities.  In the U.S., customers can use the AT&T 8525 on AT&T’s BroadbandConnect network in more than 165 major metropolitan areas with seamless access to AT&T’s nationwide high-speed EDGE network outside of 3G coverage areas. When abroad, customers can use the AT&T 8525 in 125 countries where UMTS/HSDPA, EDGE or GPRS networks have been deployed.

“AT&T and HTC continue to bring the best of mobile hardware and software innovation together with one of the most advanced wireless networks in the world,” said Todd Achilles, vice president of HTC America. “With the addition of Push to Talk and the latest multimedia services from AT&T on the 8525, customers are able to get the most powerful, fastest 3G-connected phone experience available anywhere in North America, Europe or Asia.”

Pricing and availability

The AT&T 8525 Pocket PC will be available exclusively from AT&T for as low as $399.99 beginning May 14, in Cingular (now AT&T) retail stores nationwide, select national retailers, http://www.cingular.com/, and through AT&T’s B-to-B direct sales team.

05/09/2007 15:42:18 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Ding Dong the PMC is dead...#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Now this is very sad news. I was reading Jason Tsang's blog at lunch today and read this from a post he found in a post by David Bono, a Microsoft employee in the Microsoft newsgroup microsoft.public.windows.mediacenter.portable, that the PMC (Portable Media Center) platform has met its demise and will no longer be licensed. This comes as no surprise since Microsoft is pimping its new portable media platform the Zune, which is based on the PMC version 2.0 OS.

Its a sad day, but we kinda new it when we didn't see all the new PMC units shown off at CES 2006 (LG and Tatung) except for the Toshiba Gigabeat(which the Zune is based on) come to fruition as well as Creatives early bail after the original Zen PMC (which I have two of). This also points more to the dedication to the Zune platform and hopes for a thinner, smaller unit with more storage and functions in version 2.0 of Zune.

Here is the full post from the newsgroup:

Microsoft is no longer licensing the PMC software. Here is an announcement that was sent out last year to our PMC partners:

In early 2006, Microsoft released the second version of Windows Mobile for Portable Media Centers to our partners. The second version of the Portable Media Center software enhanced the end user experience and enabled partners to build smaller, less expensive and more competitive devices.

As part of the ongoing review of our product investments, we have decided to take what we have learned from our investments in Portable Media Center and focus our product and marketing resources on building media experiences on connected Windows Mobile powered devices.

With the re-investment of resources in media experiences on connected Windows Mobile powered devices, Portable Media Center 2.0 is the last version of our Portable Media Center software under the Windows Mobile brand. We do not plan any future Portable Media Center software upgrades or marketing activities.

Thank you for all your support- Microsoft is proud of its work, the work of its partners and the devices and services delivered as a result of those relationships. We will continue to work with existing Portable Media Centers licensees to ensure that devices they are developing come to market.

 

05/09/2007 15:02:20 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Spb Software House Releases Spb Phone Suite#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Spb Software House has always been known for applications focused on extending device usability. Their newest product, Spb Phone Suite, is focused on filling the gap in functionality between Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition devices and their Smartphone siblings -

Spb Phone Suite improves phone experience on Windows Mobile Professional (Pocket PC Phone Edition) devices.

The two Spb top utilities still miss one part of Windows Mobile that needs to be improved - using the device as a phone. This gap is now filled up with Spb Phone Suite:

- Spb Pocket Plus: the best service pack for adding missed features
- Spb Mobile Shell: improves device usability
- NEW! Spb Phone Suite: improves all phone related scenarios

Although Windows Mobile is a very powerful platform it still misses some important phone features that can be found in most modern mobile phones. These are features like profiles, call filtering, missed call notification, dialing with photos, etc. Spb Phone Suite adds these and more phone features to bring Windows Mobile to a level expected from a modern mobile phone.

** Main Features **

- Profiles

- Missed call notifications
- Unread SMS notifications
- Call filtering
- Reject & reply with SMS
- Photo speed dial

- Photos in call log

- Wireless manager
- Automatic profile
- Wireless settings in profiles
- Customizable Today plug-in

You can find out more about Spb Phone Suite at the Spb Software House web site. Also - I am currently preparing a review of Spb Phone Suite, so stay tuned!

04/24/2007 11:53:02 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Spb Software House has released  Spb Diary 2.5, an update to the award winning Pocket PC PIM Today plug-in. Spb Diary is a feature-rich Today plug-in for your Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, Notes and Messages providing users with the highest level of functionality and usability. 



The new version provides more than 40 improvements requested by users during the last months. The most noticeable changes are the ability to put any Today plug-ins in a form of Spb Diary's tabs and the new horizontal tabs, which made it possible to show all your PIM information in full screen while keeping the rest Today plug-ins one-click accessible. Other improvements cover many different usage scenarios making this upgrade of use to every user of Spb Diary.

Further information regarding Spb Diary 2.5 can be found at the Spb website.

What's new in Spb Diary 2.5 head here.

04/19/2007 14:16:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CBS to be "Sling"ed to Mobile Devices#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

CBS Corp. announced today that it has signed a new deal with Sling Media to create the CBS Interactive Audience Network along with several other significant companies including AOL, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Brightcove, Netvibes, and Veoh.   This announcement is set to position CBS as the most widely distributed professional content provider online. Can you say a move in the right direction?

Sling Media’s role will be to distribute free, ad supported, full length as well as clip-based video content from CBS via Clip+Sling and enhanced SlingPlayer software, which will be launched for both Slingbox and non-Slingbox customers this summer. In addition, Sling Media plans to integrate the same CBS content into additional platforms including its forthcoming SlingCatcher.

"We are excited to extend our business relationship with CBS by offering our current and future audiences access to great long form programming from CBS that covers the spectrum from drama and comedy to sports and news," said Jason Hirschhorn, president of the Sling Media Entertainment Group. "CBS is proving they are a leader in the digital media space by embracing new platforms for content distribution. The announcement is an example of true ubiquity as evidenced by the cast of both new and established partners. We are proud to be working with them on this endeavor."

I can see in the future other Viacom entertainment properties moving in this direction as well like MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1,etc. Content will not be no longer be available as live only, but this brings a whole another direction to place-shifting television and Video on Demand. I have been watching "On Demand" CBS content on my Comcast cable box and I am assuming the same content will also be available. Me and my wife were able to catch up on the whole series of Jericho (a season and a half)in a single weekend and we watched it in HD!  I can't wait to see more and via my Slingbox optimized for my Windows Mobile device no less!

04/12/2007 15:31:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Have you heard of ZenZui?#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I received several emails asking what ZenZui - (where Zui is short for Zooming User Interface) was after it was mentioned by Peter Knook at CTIA a few weeks ago. Some are asking is this Deepfish on steroids? It may be, but it looks more like some of the same technology which also heralds from Microsoft Live Labs technology with very similar code that looks to be used in both Deepfish and Windows Mobile Live Search for their maps and directions currently in beta. ZenZui is a Microsoft backed startup that looks to deliver content to subscribers with mild advertisements geared toward the consumers interests that they indicate via a web portal.

I have yet to use it in person, but the video on YouTube I have seen looks interesting as well as playing with their flash demo here. The opening screen shows a flower-like ZenZui logo, with petals corresponding to the number keys on the phone. When a user presses a number, a corresponding collection of tiles appears and each subsequent keypress zooms the user into more detailed tiles or links to a specific Web site. The cool thing is that the tiles aren't just websites, but can be linked to applications like widgets and gadgets for weather, traffic, sports,etc; games and other media rich content. There can be a maximum matrix of as many as 36 tiles that serve as portals for content partners including Avenue A | Razorfish, Kayak.com, Traffic.com, Nike and the Fox Network (like The Family Guy). The company hopes to offer as many as 1,000 content partners in the coming months, allowing users to go online to pick their favorites and personalize their handsets.

It has an open API and they are looking for developers both large and small to partner with. The way it works is that applications can be suggested as well as sent and received in a "viral" fashion from other ZenZui users, and since everyone's getting paid based on the ad revenue their tiles generate. Could this be the next revenue stream for music and digital content where everyone gets paid? Its also an untapped market for large companies that have mobile advertising dollars, but don't know where to spend it. A few hours to program a ZenZui widget could prove very profitable for them and even a nice revenue stream.

From their products page they encourage developers:

If you’re a developer, bring your coolest mobile app ideas to life using our SDK (available summer 2007), and publish your best Tiles into the ZenZui Ecosystem. If it’s hot, it’ll get sponsored, and we’ll pass along a share of the advertising revenue (we believe in sharing the love). Or, if you’re not out to make a buck but just want to flex your talents of self-expression, just select “Ad-Free” when you publish, and we’ll pair-up your Tile with a message from a non-profit. That way, you can help us create a new mobile channel for community awareness and support charitable giving. At ZenZui, we believe good karma = good business.

The differences in Deepfish and ZenZui is that ZenZui is target toward websites that have been designed to interact with it and have specialized "tiles" of information. Deepfish technology actually allows mobile users to access existing Web pages in their original layout with Zoom,Pan, and a cue map functionality as well as interactivity with links. Basically ZenZui does away with complicated url strings and focuses on content the user is interested with a simple interactive iconized UI.

ZenZui's goal is to reshape the way people interact with and use their mobile devices by marrying the power of the Internet with the personalization of the mobile phone. ZenZui tiles transform the handset and give users the power to acquire information, conduct transactions and share experiences quickly and easily. More information on ZenZui is available at www.ZenZui.com.

Renata Almeida, a spokesperson for Microsoft at Waggener Edstrom, said that the ZenZui technology will be available this fall after a limited, invitation-only beta test.

John SanGiovanni the founder of ZenZui also has a great podcast that is also worth listening to called "sangiocastshere.

There are alot of other cool technologies percolating over at the Microsoft Live Labs, a research partnership established in January 2006 between MSN and Microsoft Research. Some that look really cool are Photosynth, (which is something I have been waiting for since I saw the demo at SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston check out the cool video here or download the tech preview here) a tool for compiling large numbers of photographs into zoomable 3D images; Seadragon, a project designed to optimize the way information is displayed on screens, regardless of their size-yes desktop and mobile devices; and Entity Extraction, a technology already built into the Windows Live Toolbar to help surfers find information related to the web page they are currently viewing.

04/12/2007 14:58:55 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Reference Guide #
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are still wondering what is new with Windows Mobile 6, the folks at Microsoft have provided a pretty sizable description in just under12MB in a very thorough PDF document illustrating the fine details of the new OS as part of their partner program. This product guide is geared to educate Microsoft Partners and help generate the new sales and support opportunities in order to generate revenue as well as information on developer tools as well as resources to help you get up to speed on the new platform's improved features and usability (is that enough as wells for you?). It is also a great reference for end users as well.

The Windows Mobile® 6 Product Reference Guide provides information about the exciting new features included in the release of Windows Mobile 6. This document can be used in two ways: first, to provide a full understanding of both the positioning and messaging as well as the features of the Windows Mobile 6 release, and second, as a reference guide to help understand new features.

You can download the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Reference Guide in PDF format from here.

04/12/2007 13:07:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Animate Your Today/Homescreen with V2R Active UI#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

If you are looking for a livelier Pocket PC Today screen or Smartphone Homescreen, the folks at V2R may have something you are looking for (and for free, nonetheless) in Active UI

V2R Active UI has been developed as a Todayscreen plug-in (for Windows Mobile Pocket PCs) and Homescreen plug-in (for Windows Mobile Smartphones) with a standard V2R icon- and animation-set.

The V2R Active UI plug-in allows users to access the most wanted applications, settings or documents directly from the Today-/Homescreen. The standard version, which is for free, is shipped with predefined templates for animations, designs and functionalities. On the V2R Web page users can find more animations, designs and functional plug-ins which will feed all the different user needs. In the future, V2R will regularly release new free and payable plug-ins for the V2R Active UI with different plug-in sizes, animation styles and functionalities.

Features:
The V2R Active UI is available, straight from the Pocket PC Todayscreen or the Smartphone Homescreen. As long as the plug in isn't focused, the icons of the plug-in are in the original (reduced) size to provide more space for other Today- and Homescreen plug-ins.

As soon as the plug in gets the focus, the icon size is increasing in a smoothly animated manner.
The user can easily navigate through this new menu structure by using the D-Pad, joystick, stylus or even the finger.

Clicking or tapping a selected icon opens the submenu or assigned appliction.

• Quick start your favourite programs
• Dynamic menu and sub-menu structure
• Finger, stylus and D-Pad control
• High speed graphic animations
• Many different animations are available for free
• Many different icon packs are available for free
• Easy to use menu
• V2R offers to build your personalized animation and design

You can phone the Pocket PC and Smartphone versions of Active UI from the V2R web site.

04/04/2007 08:29:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

OnCourse Navigator 6 Released#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Word comes from MobilitySite of OnCourse Navigator 6 finally being released. As someone who (from time to time) has relied heavily on a Windows Mobile GPS solution to "get from Point A to Point B", OnCourse Navigator offers some pretty compelling features:

  • Plug & Go - Insert the included memory card into your device, OCN6 will automatically launch, installed in a few seconds and you are ready to GO!
  • Easy to use - Simple and intuitive menus give you the perfect navigation experience.
  • Stunning 3D - Impressive 3D navigation view with smart zoom to automatically zoom in for each turn and zooms out right after you made a turn.
  • Detailed maps of USA and Canada pre-loaded - Seamless navigation across North America, for example Los Angeles to Toronto.
  • Choice of 3 or 12 million POIs packages - Easily locate restaurants, hotels, gas stations and more. POI database covers a huge 3 millions listing on OCN6 Deluxe edition and 12 millions listings on OCN6 Premium.
  • Zero Risk: 30-day, 100% no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.

MobilitySite has a short video overview available, and the OnCourse web site offers a video demonstration as well.

MobilitySite also mentions discounted pricing between now and April 10th, and is also having a contest with the prize being OnCourse Navigator 6 and a Bluetooth GPS unit. Chris Leckness is definitely a busy boy these days ;-)

03/29/2007 08:21:28 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Hudson Mobile Releases Phone Dashboard 2.0#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Well it's been a while, but word comes direct from Hudson Mobile has released a new version of their great product Phone Dashboard -

We know it has been a while, but Hudson Mobile is very pleased to announce the availability of Phone Dashboard 2.0, the leading utility for Windows Mobile-based phones.

Phone Dashboard helps save you money because it keeps you from going over your monthly minutes. Phone Dashboard also saves you time by allowing you to easily view, sort and export your calling history for expense tracking.

A recent review in Pocket PC Magazine called Phone Dashboard "darn near perfect" and we think you'll agree!

Phone Dashboard 2.0Phone Dashboard allows you to:

  • Keep track of your phone and text message usage at a glance on your Today Screen
  • Configure alerts based on your cell phone plan so you are warned of potential overage charges
  • Simplify expense tracking by exporting your phone's call log to a spreadsheet
  • Easily review your past call history through graphs and a flexible call log
  • Check the current network status and signal strength
  • See if you are headed for a large monthly bill with projected usage statistics

With release 2.0, we extend Phone Dashboard to track SMS and MMS message usage as well as call usage - a feature that has been in popular demand. Other new features include more options to customize your phone plans including flexible weekends and call rounding, and improved logging, usability and performance. Now more than ever, Phone Dashboard gives you a complete picture of your phone usage.

For a limited time, Phone Dashboard 2.0 is available at a 25% discount from the already low retail price of $14.99. Just put Phone Dashboard in your cart on Handango (link here) and enter promotional code 88ABC493.

If you are a current, registered user of Phone Dashboard, the upgrade can be downloaded for free and your existing registration code will continue to work. (instructions here) We recommend that all users upgrade to the latest software version.

If you are a user of IP Dashboard, and have since purchased a Windows Mobile phone, now is a great time to trial Phone Dashboard. You can download a risk-free trial of Phone Dashboard here.

We'd like to thank all of our reviewers and loyal users for the wonderful feedback we've received on Phone Dashboard. Please keep your suggestions and product ideas coming!

03/28/2007 12:41:09 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Getting Your 'Hands on' Windows Mobile 6#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At our last meeting we talked about the decision making process of choosing the correct Windows Mobile device and new naming conventions for Windows Mobile 6 and the differences between Classic, Standard and Professional. If you get confused one of our members came up with a simple mnemonic for remembering the differences P->Professional=Pocket PC Phone, S->Standard=Smartphone, C->Classic=Is just simply that, a Classic Pocket PC. I know its helped me remember which was which. There is a great breakdown of the differences of WM5 and WM6 that we disscussed at the meeting with images here and the PDF is posted up by Jason Langridge here

Now to get you hands on using and testing an Windows Mobile 6 device is a bit hard now a days since there are no devices shipping with it yet. To see the new features of Windows Mobile 6 you can use the Windows Mobile 6 Flash demo to get a handle of the new features, UI and how it works. If you want to test your applications you will have download the Windows Mobile 6 Software Development Kits and if you are developing for both the Smartphone, I mean Standard and Professional (includes Classic) there are two separate SDKs to download. Here is the breakdown of the emulators included in the SDKS:

  • Windows Mobile 6 Standard SDK
    • Windows Mobile 6 Standard (176x220 pixels - 96 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Standard Landscape QVGA (240x320 pixels - 131 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Standard QVGA (320x240 pixels - 131 dpi)
  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional SDK
    • Windows Mobile 6 Classic (240x320 pixels - 96 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional (240x320 pixels - 96 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional Square (240x240 pixels - 96 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional Square QVGA (320x320 pixels - 128 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional Square VGA (480x480 pixels - 192 dpi)
    • Windows Mobile 6 Professional VGA (480x640 pixels - 192 dpi)

In order to install the Emulators unlike in the past, this is not a stand alone install and requires Visual Studio 2005 even though some blogs said it was, you will also need to install the following:

  1. Device Emulator 2.0 Beta
  2. Compact Framework 2.0 SP1
  3. Windows Mobile 6 Professional SDK (Standard, Professional or both)

So make sure you have Visual Studio 2005 with SP1, the programs will even prompt you if don't have it and will help you along. Note this will not work with Visual Studio Express. Hopefully a newer emulator will exist that is standalone, but I wouldn't count on it coming soon. I am hoping something will be available after MEDC. Also if you are installing it to a Vista machine you may encounter the following: 'Getting Installation Issue --> Could Not Access Network Location Common7\IDE\ProjectTemplates.' Frank Zandona has a solution by re-registering the VBScript.dll:

regsvr32 %SystemRoot%\system32\vbscript.dll

With the SDK there are some very cool tools included here are some of them: CabSignTool signs a .cab file and all its executable content; Cellular Emulator v1- emulates voice and data connections; Device Emulator v2 - new and improved SDK emulator, FakeGPS & GPS Settings-allows you emulate a GPS from a text file of NEMA data, Hopper- for stress testing; Local Server Framework- allows development of test application servers that run locally over localhost on the device;

Also for more information on developing applications for Windows Mobile 6 be sure to read this fabulous whitepaper: What's New for Developers in Windows Mobile 6  and check out the Windows Mobile Developers Wiki.

03/28/2007 09:27:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile 6 Coming to Cingular/the new AT&T Windows Mobile Devices#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At CTIA Wireless 2007 keynote Microsoft's Peter Knook announced that Cingular aka "the new AT&T" will provide free updates to new and existing customers to three of their Windows Mobile Devices from Windows Mobile 5 to Windows Mobile 6. The devices that will be getting the free update will be 3 of their newer and popular devices: the Samsung Blackjack, Cingular 8525, and the Palm Treo 750. Palm made their offical announcement here.

The update will be a downloadable update (you will need to flash your device) with a projected date of availability being around 2H of 2007. All new devices sold after proper testing is performed will ship with Windows Mobile 6. So if you were waiting on which devices will be supported this may make your decision making process a bit easier. For more CTIA 2007 coverage and pictures of some nice phones and devices revealed be sure to check out the blogs provided by Jason Dunn here and Chris Leckness here.

03/28/2007 07:29:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

LingvoSoft Spring Sale - One Week Only!#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

This week, LingvoSoft is offering a 25% discount on their wonderful assortment of dictionaries, phrase books and flash cards for Windows Mobile devices. If you have been holding off on translation software before that trip abroad, now is the time to purchase.

In addition, this limited-time offer can be used in conjunction with other discounts at the LingvoSoft web site. So don't delay!

03/26/2007 18:41:23 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

IntelliGolf 8.2 Ships for Windows Mobile#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

There are moments when I think about how long we've been covering Windows Mobile news here at BostonPocketPC.com. I had one of those moments today when I received news of IntelliGolf 8.2 shipping. It reminded me that we were excited to hear news of IntelliGolf shipping for the Pocket PC 2002 OS. Where does the time go?

Today, Karrier Communications announced the shipment of its new IntelliGolf version 8.2 golf scoring and GPS software for all existing platforms. These include Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and Smartphones, Palm and Treo handhelds, Java-based smartphones (e.g. Sony Ericsson, Nokia, etc), and Windows-based PCs. A RIM/Blackberry version of IntelliGolf will be shipping in the coming months.

IntelliGolf version 8.2 adds support for Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system, GPS keep-alive on handhelds/smartphones, RCGA (and USGA) handicap posting with Member ID, IntelliGPS course designator, and continued free access to over 23,000 digital scorecards for use with IntelliGolf version 8.x. Other companies charge up to $59.95 in annual subscription fees or up to $19.95 per course download for similar course access priviledges. IntelliGolf is the leading "Golf Scoring and GPS Software" in 125+ countries worldwide.

You can find out all about the new (and existing) features of IntelliGolf at the IntelliGolf website.

03/26/2007 18:34:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Shape - "The Real Architectural Pocket CAD"#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I can't seem to recall how many times I have been asked by folks about the availability of CAD software for Windows Mobile devices. Well, word came to me of Shape, a CAD application for Windows Mobile devices from OMNI DATA. Shape provides the ability to create CAD drawings on a Windows Mobile device, as well as the ability to export the drawings in DXF format, making the result highly compatible with desktop CAD packages.

You can check out more information (including lots of screenshots) at the Shape home page. The web site lists Shape at $99 USD, but a trial version is available (the trial version is fully functional expect for export abilities).

03/25/2007 09:27:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

What's New in Windows Mobile 6#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you are wondering what is new in Windows Mobile 6, Jason Langridge has a great writeup on some of the new features with screenshots called Windows Mobile 6 - What's Cool and What's New. Jaap van Ekris also covered a few things Jason left out in his article, What will Windows Mobile 6 bring for the highly mobile people? over at Modern Nomads. Chris Leckness has put together a pretty good video that is definitely worth checking out at MobiltySite on Windows Mobile 6.

Geek.com and Pocket PC Thoughts have some great gallery of shots and screen captures of the OS in action. Also Darius Wey has found some great news pertaining to the new imate ultimate devices and Windows Vista Sideshow, in that they can be used to display video as Windows Media Center Extenders with special docking stations.They will also be utilizing the AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) band, which T-Mobile took the lionshare of in last year's spectrum auctions.

There are a smorgasbord of new devices coming out on the Windows Mobile 6 platform. Some were covered very well by Engadget, MobilitySitethe::unwired ,  Jason Langridge, GearDiary and others from HTC, imate, and others. There is also a great video with Derek Snyder from Microsoft at on10 covering all the new mobile devices in all their glory. It is great to see so much choice of Windows Mobile Devices. A few years ago you couldn't even purchase one in the United States now I am wondering if too much choice may confuse many and cloud the market for some consumers.

Either way there is much more to come...

02/13/2007 14:11:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Opera 9 Goes Mobile#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Opera Software announced plans to upgrade mobile Web browsing by developing Opera 9 for mobile phones in all major platforms. Opera 9 has enriched Web use on the PC with new technologies, and now the leading browser innovator will deliver the same groundbreaking functionality to mobile phones. The upcoming Opera Mobile edition includes the latest in PC browsing features such as Widgets and Intelligent Zoom.

Opera for Pocket PCOpera 9 on mobile phones will add completely new dimensions to navigation. Users can seamlessly alternate between viewing modes to get a birds-eye perspective or dive into the content they want. Users have the choice to see an overview of a Web page or adapting the page to the width of the screen. As first seen with the Opera browser for Wii, Intelligent Zoom allows users to then zoom in directly to a selected area.

Widgets will also debut on mobile phones with the upcoming release of Opera Mobile. These small Web applications running outside of the browser allow users, manufacturers and operators to create and personalize services derived from Web content such as weather and traffic information, news and e-mail. Widgets offer Web applications that are instantly accessible on the phone without having to launch the Web browser, presenting dynamic and engaging content directly to users.

"We are impressed with the constantly evolving experience of browsing the Web," says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "Bringing Opera 9 to mobile phones will present new capabilities in mobile Web services that will be exciting to see defined."

Opera's JavaScript and rendering engines are built for speed while enabling dynamic AJAX-based applications. Driving standards compliance, Opera Mobile has full DOM support and can smoothly run advanced Web applications on mobile phones.

Opera Mobile is currently shipped on more than 50 million phones from major manufacturers such as Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. For more information, visit
http://www.opera.com/products/mobile/.

02/13/2007 13:21:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

DataViz' Documents To Go Fills Editing Gap for Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone Devices#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

DataViz officially released a version of Documents To Go for Windows Mobile 5 Smartphones.  This application allow users of Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone devices to view, edit and create Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on their devices and in their native formats. In addition, users can view Adobe® PDF files and decompress zipped e-mail attachments.  Other features include support for password protected Word and Excel files and the ability to view, edit and create Excel charts.

Documents To Go on Motorola Q

Documents To Go, will now allow users of Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone devices to view, edit and create Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on their devices and in their native formats. In addition, users can view Adobe® PDF files and decompress zipped e-mail attachments.  Other features include support for password protected Word and Excel files and the ability to view, edit and create Excel charts.  Documents To Go is available for a  wide variety of Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone devices such as the Motorola Q, Samsung BlackJack, T-Mobile Dash, T-Mobile SDA, Cingular 3125 and Cingular 2125, to name a few.

"We are pleased to see DataViz bring its industry-leading mobile Office suite, Documents To Go, to the Windows Mobile 5.0 platform," said Will Pinnell, Senior Director of Content, Handango. "As the leading provider of mobile content, we recognize the increasing consumer demand to edit Office files on Windows Mobile Smartphone devices, which lack this functionality out of the box.  Documents To Go provides a reliable and robust after-market solution.”

“We are excited to expand our product line to include Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone devices,” said Danny Tu, Product Manager, DataViz, Inc.  “Documents To Go provides an effective and reliable document editing solution which retains 100% file formatting with InTact Technology™. Users can have complete confidence when editing and emailing Office files such as a sales contract or year end reports right from their devices.“

DataViz’s commitment to developing Office compatibility for a wide variety of mobile devices began in 1999 with Documents To Go for Palm OS and has since been extended to support Symbian UIQ, Series 80 and now Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone devices.  In addition, Documents To Go is currently available on all shipping versions of Palm OS devices and most recently on Motorola’s enterprise device, the MOTO Q PRO running Windows Mobile 5.0.  

For more information head here.

02/13/2007 13:16:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

smart2go Beta#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well, the smart2go beta is now live and you can begin downloading now. About a year ago I had reviewed smart2go for both the Pocket PC, Smartphone and System 60 phones and met with the folks bringing it to the United States before it was acquired by Nokia. It was pretty good and loved the natural zooming in and out as you made turns and the small footprint of the maps. The next version so far is free (Navigation upgrades and guides look to be $7.99) and it now has updated maps and a cleaner UI. It has the same Find See Do, City guides available as well.

 

It is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for an affordable GPS system. You can download it directly from here.

02/13/2007 13:06:04 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Daylight Saving Time 2007 Update for Windows Mobile and Windows Computers#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

An idea Benjamin Franklin came up with more than 200 years ago and wrote the saying “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” and was later implemented by William Willett, in1907 and has been changed several times up to 1966, when the Uniform Time Act was passed in the United States. Well  Congress has changed the dates for Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the United States under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 starting in 2007 (If you are in IT this is the new Y2K dubbed Y2K7). Canada has adopted similar DST dates. DST dates in the United States will start three weeks earlier (2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March) and will end one week later (2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November).These changes could cause clocks and Microsoft Outlook calendar appointments on Windows Mobile-powered devices to display incorrect times for March 11 – April 1, 2007 and October 28 – November 4, 2007 and again in subsequent years.

You can prevent these problems by installing three Microsoft files on your device and/or PC:

  • Microsoft Windows Operating Systems Update
  • Daylight Saving Time 2007 Update Tool
  • Outlook Time Zone Update Tool  

All users in the United States, Canada and Mexico should immediately install these updates. Users in other countries should install these updates if they travel to the United States, Canada and/or Mexico or if they make calendar appointments that include attendees that are based in the United States, Canada and/or Mexico.

Be sure to follow the step by step directions here.

 

If you use Microsoft Outlook to synchronize your calendar, download and run the Outlook Time Zone Update Tool.

If you do not use Microsoft Outlook to synchronize your calendar, connect your Windows Mobile device to your PC, then download and run the Daylight Saving Time 2007 Update Tool.

If you are unable to connect your device to a computer you can download and apply a CAB file directly to your device from here:

IMPORTANT: For the tool to properly update the Daylight Saving Time settings, you must manually change the time zone on your device. To properly update the Daylight Saving Time settings, you need to manually change the time zone at least once on your device.

For a Pocket PC:

  1. Go to Start > Settings > Clock & Alarms > Time tab.
  2. Change the current time zone to any time zone other than the one that is currently selected.
  3. Tap OK and tap Yes to save changes to the clock settings.
  4. Change the current time zone to the one you want to use.
  5. Tap OK and tap Yes to save changes to the clock settings.

For a Smartphone:

  1. Go to Start > Settings > Clock & Alarms > Date and Time.
  2. Change the current time zone to any time zone other than the one that is currently selected.
  3. Click Done.
  4. Change the current time zone to the one you want to use.
  5. Click Done.

Here are the directions for the 2007 time zone update for Microsoft Windows operating systems so update your computers too!

For more information on how daylight saving time changes may impact other Microsoft products, visit the following Microsoft Web site:  Preparing for daylight saving time changes in 2007

02/13/2007 09:45:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile 6#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

You may have seen some information on various sites indicating that the next version of Windows Mobile dubbed Windows Mobile 6 is coming. Microsoft was waiting to make the big announcement on Monday at the 3GSM World Congress on Monday in Barcelona. However someone released their story early and stole some of their thunder, so they have allowed some of the information to be released.

Here are some screenshots courtesy of the Hive:

Windows Mobile 6 - Home ScreenWindows Mobile 6 - Email Message

Windows Live Messenger on Windows Mobile 6Windows Live Mail in Windows Mobile 6

Word Mobile in Windows Mobile 6

If you notice some of the screenshots give Windows Mobile a "Vista like" UX(User Experience). There are several added features as well as a change as to what Windows Mobile devices will be called and referred to in the future.

  • Email in Rich HTML Format.
  • Live links to SharePoint sites.
  • Windows Live for Mobile included in Windows Mobile 6.
  • New Security features such as remote wiping capablities if your device is lost or stolen.
  • Enhanced Windows Vista Syncronization through Windows Mobile Device Center.
  • Calendar ribbon gives you your important appoints quickly.
  • Contacts with context – call records now attached to individual contact cards in Windows Mobile 6.
  • .NET Compact Framework and SQL Server built in to Windows Mobile 6.

You get three flavors of Windows Mobile 6 depending on what kind of device you have. Pocket PC's without phone capability are Windows Mobile 6 "Classic". Smartphones are Windows Mobile 6 "Standard" and Pocket PC Phones are Windows Mobile 6 "Professional". In Windows Mobile 5, phones without touchscreens (Smartphones) were a bit more limited than their high end Pocket PC phone brothers. In Windows Mobile 6, certain changes were made regarding making those limitations less of a problem. Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile work on phones without touchscreens for instance.

There are some other new enhancements and we will cover it all in detail after the offical announcement at the 3GSM World Congress on Monday in Barcelona.

02/09/2007 13:39:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Astraware Announces Open Season on Gnomes with Hammer Heads#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Astraware and PopCap Games are excited to announce that it's open-season on gnomes with the release of Hammer Heads for Palm OS® and Windows Mobile® for Pocket PC Smartphones and PDAs.

Hammer Heads is a frantic fun-fest for anyone with an aversion to those pesky creatures that live at the bottom of your garden. As the gnomes rise from their holes, just tap the screen to bash them with your hammer! Meet several types of gnome, each with their own unique quirks, collect power-ups to aid you in your quest, and earn special speed bonuses if you're handy with your hammer! A visit to the Tower of Gold can earn you extra cash to spend on special hammer and life upgrades available at the in-game Shiny Shop.

"For each problem there's a solution, but when the solution involves a hammer, you can be sure that it'll end up being rewarding to the soul," said Howard Tomlinson, CEO of Astraware. "What could be better for testing your reactions and tapping accuracy than teaching those pesky gnomes a lesson!"

Hammer Heads features 2 game modes - Classic Bash - progress through 25 challenging levels and defeat the Gnome King, earning special achievement trophies along the way; and Marathon Bash - a never-ending gnome-bashing extravaganza!

Hammer Heads has been one of the most popular PC and online gaming titles of 2006, and now fans of the game can take it with them on the move.

Hammer Heads is available for devices running Palm OS 5.0 and higher, and Windows Mobile for Pocket PC 2003, 2003SE and 5.0, from the Astraware website: http://www.astraware.com/hammerheads. The game is priced $19.95 with a special release discount for Club Astraware members.

02/09/2007 13:38:53 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Spb Software House Releases Spb Mobile Shell#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Pocket PC user interface has not been significantly changed for the last six years. Originally the Pocket PC was a PDA designed for stylus navigation and long but infrequent periods of general use. It has since evolved into many things, including a phone. Along the way, though the people who use a Pocket PC and the tasks it is made to perform have changed, the main interface has not. The goal of Spb Mobile Shell is to close this gap between the old Pocket PC interface and one people should expect from such a smart, modern and powerful device.

Spb Mobile Shell consists of three main components:

  

Now Screen
The most important information at one screen.

Spb Menu
Phone style menu gives instant access to all device features.

Today plug-ins
Big dynamic tabs, weather forecasts, world time, photo speed dial and more.

Spb Mobile Shell introduces the next generation user interface while keeping all advantages of Windows Mobile. It dramatically improves the standard interface and adds features that most would expect from a modern PDA phone. This program is designed for ROM and it will not be a surprise if in a little while most Windows Mobile devices will bundle this operating system upgrade taking the Pocket PC user interface to the next level. Therefore, Spb Mobile Shell is the first program a Pocket PC user should install on a device running plain Windows Mobile.

Spb Mobile Shell preserves values of an open platform, which is more difficult than creating a closed vertical platform. A few operators and OEMs have tried to customize their devices to look like a consumer phone, but this left some third party applications and built-in system features unusable (for example, adding a full-screen Today plug-in would crowd out other Today plug-ins).

Features:

* The most relevant information is displayed on one screen

* Phone style menu

* Weather forecasts

* Photo speed dial

* World time

* Launcher

* Big dynamic tabs on Today

* Color based themes

* Smart contact search

* Auto-hide mode for Today plug-ins

Pricing and Availability

Spb Mobile Shell is currently available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Polish and Traditional Chinese languages. A free 15-day trial, or the full version of Spb Mobile Shell for 29.95 USD, are available at www.spbsoftwarehouse.com.

*** Further Information and Downloads ***

Further information regarding Spb Mobile Shell can be found at the Spb website:

http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/mobileshell/

A free 15-day trial can be downloaded from:

http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/mobileshell/download.html

Spb Mobile Shell together with Spb Diary makes a perfect Today screen. Look at this examples:

  

1. "Classic"
This is the easiest way to configure the integration with Spb Diary.

2. "Diary Addict"
Spb Mobile Shell is in drop down mode and Spb Diary takes the rest of the screen.

3. "Diary Tab"
Spb Diary can be inserted as a tab in Spb Mobile Shell.

Note: Spb Mobile Shell is compatible with Windows Mobile 5.0 only! Spb also has a special offer for Spb Diary customers. You can buy new Spb Mobile Shell with 40% discount for $17.97 (normal price $29.95).

Spb also released a new version of Spb Weather 1.7 with special integration support for our new product Spb Mobile Shell.

02/09/2007 13:38:30 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

PhatWare Releases PenCommander 2.0#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I am a little behind on this one but check out the link and the press release below. The folks at Phatware are at it again updating their software to add more functionality and ensure that it is compatible with the most current operating systems. They released PenCommander 2.0 last week. This software is for the Tablet PC or the UMPC. It also supports the new Windows Vista.

Check out this PenCommander page for features, pricing and upgrade info.

PhatWare Releases PenCommander 2.0

Upgraded version now supports Windows Vista and provides users with new PenCommander skins and an improved scripting engine

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, January 31, 2007 - PhatWare Corporation, a leading provider of software products and professional services for mobile and desktop computers, announces the release of PenCommander 2.0 for Windows Vista-based Tablet and Ultra Mobile PCs. PenCommander is a system utility application that features a powerful scripting technology and is now enhanced to support the Windows Vista operating system.

PenCommander allows users to employ the pen to call up commands that can control Tablet PCs and UMPCs in almost limitless ways, such as editing documents, inserting often-repeated text into documents and launching applications. PenCommander scripts are executed by writing a PenCommand name on the PenCommander input panel. PenCommander is the best tool for entering repetitive data, accessing frequently used applications and documents, inserting time, date and signature, and overall extending Tablet PC functionality and user's productivity. It provides a simple and fast way to access functions that typically take longer to complete.

“Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system will create a platform for the next generation of user experiences, and we are excited to see the industry come together like never before around these products,” said Brad Goldberg, general manager for Windows.  “By working closely with partners such as PhatWare, we are able to provide consumers worldwide an experience that is easier, safer, more entertaining and better connected whether at home, at work, or on the go.”

PenCommander 2.0 now supports Windows Vista and includes an updated scripting engine, which allows for new user-level functions and improved performance. Commonly used keyboard shortcuts and PenCommands can now be assigned to single stroke gestures. The application supports 32 gestures. PenCommander also provides users with the ability to select a handwriting recognition engine, which is useful if multiple languages are being used.

PenCommander 2.0 has a new customizable user interface for Visual PenCommander, which provides an IDE-like environment for creating and testing new PenCommander scripts. PenCommander's input panel can be made semi-transparent, allowing a user to view other applications' windows under the panel. New skins are also available for PenCommander 2.0.

“We always strive to leverage the latest technologies to give our users the ability to take advantage of the newest features on the market. As Tablet and UltraMobile PC users upgrade to Windows Vista, PhatWare is excited to have the opportunity to help them control their devices in nearly endless ways with the recent PenCommander improvements,” said PhatWare President Stan Miasnikov.

PenCommander 2.0 for Tablet PCs and UMPCs is priced at $29.95, and it can be purchased directly from the PhatWare Web site or any of PhatWare's network of authorized retailers. Registered users of previous versions of PhatPad can upgrade the product at no cost. For more information about PenCommander 2.0 or any of PhatWare's other productivity solutions for mobile and desktop computing, visit www.phatware.com.

02/04/2007 21:25:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Google Maps for Mobile#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I saw this over at jkOnTheRun yesterday and gave Google Maps for Mobile a quick go on my trip home with one of my bluetooth GPS units. It worked pretty well and is more designed for a co-pilot or navigator to use than a driver. Since there is no voice direction. It requires an always on data connection like Windows Live Local and Virtual Earth Mobile.

Directions work well with data provided by NAVTEQ and TeleAtlas for the GoogleMaps that many love with live traffic updates. You are represented on the map as a blue icon. GMM also lets you know how many satellites are fixed on you in the upper right-hand corner.

To start using a GPS just select Menu->Track Location(GPS). Here is what it looks like before it gets a fix inside of a building on an overcast day. :(  (If I can screen cap an image outside I will update it) It then downloads the map for your current position and lays it underneath.

You can choose to view with either the map or satellite like in Google Maps.You can Zoom in fairly close and can move around the maps with your directional pad. The center directional pad brings up directions if you placed them in before.

Here is a satellite view of Boston.

A little closer.

Maximum resolution of Fenway Park.

What Google Maps Mobile is really designed for is finding things on a map.

Here is a quick search for pizza around Fenway.

 

You get detailed information on the place including an address and phone number to call for reservations.

You can also look up other things like Location, Nearby Businesses, Directions based on GPS location, address,etc.

Under the options button you can even lookup contacts.

So far Google Mobile Maps looks pretty good for free.

To download it to your Windows Mobile device go here and it will sniff your browser and give you proper CAB file to download. For more info on the project head here.

02/02/2007 11:28:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile Device Center 6 for Windows Vista Released#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well WMDC is finally out of beta and is called Windows Mobile Device Center 6 for Vista in both 32 bit and 64bit flavors. (If you do install the wrong one it just won't work. Just uninstall and install the correct version and it will then work, well this worked during the Beta 3 version).

The WMDC update didn't appear in Windows Update like I would have hoped when the device was connected as a recommended update.

It is a 10.6MB download  for the 64bit version and installs after you remove your older version. I had cancelled and removed the previous version before continuing. Here is a screen shot if you don't remove it first and attempt to install it.

However it didn't seem to work with my 64bit laptop. I am assuming a reboot is needed... That didn't work. So I should have read the Troubleshooting Guide and it said to try again with the device connected ...hmm I would have hoped it told me that earlier.  After RTFM of the Troubleshooting Guide and finding for 64bit version you have to have your Windows Mobile Device connected during installation I performed take 2.

The Windows Mobile Device Center doesn’t work on my 64-bit PC – If you installed the Windows Mobile Device Center on 64-bit Vista, and have previously used the Windows Mobile Device Center, you may need to manually reinstall the Windows Mobile Device Center a second time to successfully update it.

To manually install the Windows Mobile Device Center: 
1. Connect your device to your PC
2. Install the Windows Mobile Device Center from:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/devicecenter.mspx
3. Disconnect and reconnect your device
4. The Windows Mobile Device Center will reinstall and launch

So I reinstalled it again this time with my Windows Mobile Device connected.

Now I have two listings for WMDC in my Programs and Features Unistall or change program directory.And it still doesn't work. So I uninstalled everything. Reinstalled the 64 bit WMDC beta 3. Then uninstalled it, then installed the new 64bit version with the directions above. It still doesn't recognize my Windows Mobile Device. I even tried a repair under Uninstall or change a program and it still didn't work.

UPDATE:

Hopefully you won't have to do this, but I got it to install. I don't think all the drivers were updated correctly on the first install so I ran one of my favorite command lines for botched installs: sfc /scannow from the Start Search/Run. I also restarted for safe measure. If you aren't familar with sfc, this command will immediately initiate the Windows File Protection service  to scan all protected files and verify their integrity, replacing any files with which it finds a problem. I don't know if this fixed it or not.

I then went to Windows/WindowsMobile and ran the setup again hoping at least it would install, but moreover I was hoping I could uninstall and try to reinstall again. So I still had my device connected and ran the setup.

And guesss what it worked!

This is the version that was installed.

This is not a good user experience and the Beta version seemed to work MUCH better than this one actually I had no problems what so ever. I am putting this up in case others fall into this same problem. It looks like another problem with 64bit drivers...very frustrating.
 
The Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center enables you to set up new partnerships, synchronize content and manage music, pictures and video with Windows Mobile powered devices (Windows Mobile 2003 or later). The Windows Mobile Device Center is only supported on Windows Vista.
 
The Windows Mobile Device Center combines an efficient business-data synchronization platform with a compelling user experience. Windows Mobile Device Center helps you to quickly set up new partnerships, synchronize business-critical information such as e-mail, contacts and calendar appointments, easily manage your synchronization settings, and transfer business documents between your device and PC.

The Windows Mobile Device Center simplifies managing media between your Windows Mobile powered device and your PC. With the picture acquisition wizard, you can easily tag and transfer all of the pictures from your Windows Mobile powered device to your PC’s Windows Photo Gallery.

 

More info on Windows Mobile Device Center 6 for Windows Vista  is available here.

02/01/2007 14:47:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Spb Software House Releases Spb Kiosk 4.0#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Spb Software House has released an update to their popular enterprise-oriented application Spb Kiosk with version 4.0.

The Pocket PC is a feature rich device with many built-in programs, games, multimedia features and so one. However, in the enterprise world most of these features are not needed and very often must be disabled. The main goal of Spb Kiosk is to lock Pocket PC to applications required by an enterprise, thus converting a generic Pocket PC device into a specialized enterprise tool. Spb Kiosk is used by more than 250 big companies all over the world, including Microsoft, HP, Shell, UPS and others.



New version brings Spb Kiosk to a new technology level. It uses advanced low-level techniques to work with system drivers and to intercept API calls. Now a device administrator has true control over applications running on the devices: only explicitly allowed executables can be started. This technology effectively prevents all known attacks like using remote tools, malicious programs started via memory card autorun etc.

Whats New

Spb Kiosk 4.0 introduces a number of new features:

 - Full Windows Mobile 5.0 support
 - Improved performance and battery life in kiosk mode
 - Precise control over allowed Control Panel applets
 - Battery indicator
 - Kiosk Start menu
 - Customizable icons and background in Kiosk Switcher
 - URL Filter
 - True full screen mode for Terminal Services Client
 - And more...

Spb Kiosk Editions

Spb Kiosk Engine comes in 3 editions, each providing kiosk mode for a different type of applications.

Spb Kiosk Explorer provides kiosk mode for Pocket Internet Explorer. With Kiosk Explorer enterprises can create kiosk solutions based on web-applications.

Spb Kiosk Terminal provides kiosk mode for Terminal Services Client. Kiosk Terminal allows creating kiosks that run an application from a Windows Terminal Server.

Spb Kiosk Engine can run one or several custom Pocket PC applications in a kiosk mode and provides means to switch between them.

For more information and for a virtual tour of the product head here.

02/01/2007 10:45:20 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Join the Club Astraware Points Party!#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

We all know Microsoft has a points system as a way of purchasing songs for Zunes and games on Xbox Live, but they aren't the only ones issuing points. Club Astraware bursts has started using their version of Points through a Point-popping Party! Everyone can join in and get points for all kinds of things, from purchases,  high scores filling out surveys and much more! And what do these points get you? Free games and discounts from the Astraware store, now that is pretty cool.The Points Party runs until the very last day of February 2007, and they've added lots of new ways to earn points!

To claim your points, all you'll need is the email address that you registered the software with. Simply ask us to add this email addresses to your Club Astraware account. Once they are added, check your products list in Club Astraware, and if all your purchases are listed, claim your points!  Remember, this is a one-time special event which offers long-term Astraware customers a chance to get all the points they would have earned in previous years.

Club Astraware is free to join and only takes a couple of minutes. There are also extra ways to earn points on your account including:

-2500 points just for joining

-Points earned from purchasing games from the Astraware website (1 point for every cent spent)

-1000 points for submitting you highest game scores

-2500 points for recommending a friend join Club Astraware

AND we've now added two NEW ways of earning extra points:

-Submit a post you've written on your personal blog about Astraware and you could get 2000 extra points - everyone likes being talked about!

-Complete our Points Party survey and we'll give you 1500 points. Your opinions matter to us!

Our Points Party survey is available on the Astraware website from 26th January to 28th February 2007 and EVERYONE who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a special edition Palm Z22 PDA with Astraware Sudoku pack - Club Astraware members also get the special bonus of the extra points in their account. Visit
http://www.astraware.com/promo/pointsparty for more information

01/31/2007 16:12:04 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Cut' N Paste on a Windows Mobile Smartphone#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you have a Windows Mobile Smartphone, one of the glaring aspects missing from it is the ability to cut and paste. Well you have to suffer no more there is a cool new third party program out there that allows you to perform these actions and more with just one hand called Scissors Mobile. The Edit Menu works with Outlook Mobile, Contacts, SMS, Tasks, and their own version of Notepad Mobile.

scissors mobile for Windows Mobile Smartphone and Pocket PC

Based upon the revolutionary editing technology from Notepad Mobile, the world's first notes solution for Windows Mobile Smartphone, you get a simple, easy, and robust one handed editing solution. To select text, simply enable Mark mode and highlight a selection. MarkEdit™ has been fine tuned to work the way you expect, it automatically turns off Mark mode when you cut or copy text, and provides a convenient context menu when you press the action button.

Notable Features

  • Edit menu with Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo and Redo
  • One handed operation for Smartphone and Pocket PC
  • Visual indication of Mark mode with BoldMark
  • Select entire words with a single button press with WordMark
  • Fully integrated into Outlook Mobile

To try and buy this great new piece of software head here.

01/30/2007 14:25:14 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

LingvoSoft Releases PhraseBook 2007 for Pocket PC#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

The development group at LingvoSoft has to be one the most prolific groups I know. They have managed to produce an enormous amount and variety of applications related to language translations over the years, and they never seem to rest. The latest result is LingvoSoft PhraseBook 2007 for Pocket PC -

For use by those who need to communicate immediately in a second language but with no previous experience they are available in both talking and non-talking versions to suit every need and budget. And the wide array of languages available mean that everyone will find just what they are looking for.

Featuring advanced speech recognition, crystal clear native speaker voice output and a fully customizable interface they are the most user-friendly applications ever designed to help you get the most out of your foreign travel experience. So do yourself a favor and put one of the hottest applications of the New Year on your device and say goodbye to misunderstandings forever!

You can find out all of the latest information at the LingvoSoft web site.

01/24/2007 10:24:23 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

V2R Announces Multi-Desk for Windows Mobile Pocket PC#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

For those who feel the need to "freshen" their Pocket PC Today screen regularly with new themes, or for those who wish they could have multiple Today screens containing their favorite plug-ins for different situations, V2R (the makers of Photo Dialer for Pocket PC and Smartphone) may have the perfect solution - Multi Desk! Multi Desk allows you to create multiple Today screen configurations that you can then switch between right from your Today screen (using the Multi Desk Today screen plug-in).

Multi Desk's features include:

  • Support for having multiple Today pages
  • A Multi Desk navigation plug-in for your Today screen
  • Ability to add your favoured Plug-ins for different Today screens
  • Selection of specific themes for each Today screen
  • Selection of different background images for each Today screen
  • Easy navigation through all Today screens
  • Fast stylus animation
  • Support for all Microsoft standard and 3rd party designs and plug-ins

More information, screenshots and ordering information for Multi Desk can be found at the V2R Multi Desk product page.

01/22/2007 12:51:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Audible.com and AudibleAir: Direct Downloadable Audio Content#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

It has been a while since I posted about Audible.com's AudibleAir application being ported from the Palm OS to the Windows Mobile platform. At that time, the port was to the Smartphone version of the OS. Since then, Audible has released the AudibleAir component for the Pocket PC as well.

If you are not aware, AudibleAir allows you to access and download your Audible.com content (audio books, subscriptions and podcasts) directly to your Windows Mobile device. Previously, users had to connect their device to their PC and use the combination of Audible Manager and ActiveSync to copy content (note - this option still exists for those that prefer or must use it).

 
AudibleAir Subscriptions View

 
Subscription Details

For downloading purchased audio book content, the ability to only download a segment of the book (like on the desktop with Audible Manager) can be useful from storage, bandwidth and time perspectives.

 
AudibleAir Online Library View

 
Selecting a portion of a book.

As a very long-time Audible subscriber, AudibleAir is perhaps the most significant enhancement for Windows Mobile users to come along since the initial release of the AudiblePlayer for Windows Mobile devices. As always, there is still room for improvement in the Audible.com platform, especially from a Windows Mobile perspective. My "wish list" includes -

  • Ability to purchase content easily from my device. A mobile-friendly web front-end is really all that is needed here.
  • Either:
    • Windows Media Player Mobile direct support (i.e. - Janus DRM support), or
    • Continued improvement to the AudiblePlayer application.

If you have yet to check out Audible.com, now might be the right time.

01/03/2007 11:43:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

A Workout On Your Phone - PumpOne Mobile#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Here's an interesting idea for the traveller who wants to stay in shape, but needs the guidance that a personal trainer provides -

PumpOne, the company that first developed visual personal training programs for the iPod, nano and other image-ready handheld devices, is about to revolutionize the way people use their cell phones. The new service, which is available starting today, is called PumpOne Mobile, and offers the first complete visual personal training workout programs for cell phones making it possible to instantly receive expert fitness advice, wherever you are and whenever you want it.


By combining PumpOne's expert workout programs designed by Exercise Physiologist Declan Condron, with the very best digital photography, interface design and cellular technology, PumpOne Mobile provides over 80 complete workouts, not just exercises, that guide users toward their Weight Loss, Strength & Flexibility fitness goals. "The iPod is a great vehicle for anyone to access PumpOne Trainers," says Craig Schlossberg, President of PumpOne, "and now by using PumpOne Mobile's easy cell phone delivery technology, consumers have even more options to instantly access expert fitness advice in the most portable and affordable way."


PumpOne Mobile works: Users can access the PumpOne Mobile site 3 different ways:
1- Go to PumpOne.mobi on a web browser-enabled cell phone, or
2- Text PUMP to 94444, or
3- Enter a mobile number at
www.PumpOne.com & get PumpOne.mobi `pushed' to their phone
Once at PumpOne.mobi, the user can choose from Gym workouts that use gym equipment, or Traveling workouts that use their own bodyweight, hotel furniture, water bottles & luggage for those who are traveling or can't make it to the gym.
All workouts are categorized into the fitness goals: Weight Loss, Strength or Flexibility, to help refine the perfect workout search.


PumpOne Mobile is designed for everyone, from beginners to fitness enthusiasts, teens to seniors, with various fitness goals & levels that eliminate all excuses for not working out. PumpOne Mobile offers over 80 workouts including total body conditioning, complete abs & core sculpting, cardio cross-training, swiss ball core, hatha yoga, pilates mat, full body stretching, and hotel room fitness. Text your Workout-Anytime/Anywhere.
Press and users can access a free complete workout at the PumpOne.mobi home page!
Three flexible pricing options give users convenient direct-to-cell phone billing:

  • $2.99 - One workout accessible for 24 hours
  • $4.99 - All workouts accessible for 7 days
  • $14.99 - All workouts accessible for 30 days
01/03/2007 09:30:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Netwasp Acquires KamWare's ThemeMaker#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I used to be an absolute Pocket PC theme addict - making them, downloading them, and constantly switching between them. So imagine my surprise to hear that Netwasp, owner of PocketPCThemes.com and "FlashThemes" had acquired KamWare's "ThemeMaker" -

Netwasp is very pleased to announce the acquisition of the software business “ThemeMaker” from KamWare, including all ThemeMaker versions (ThemeMaker X, M, SE and SP), branded versions of ThemeMaker (such as “ThemeMaker McDeb”, “The PocketPCThemes Toolkit” and others yet to be released) and the web sites ThemeMaker.biz and WMThemes.com.

“ThemeMaker is widely recognized as the best Windows Mobile theme creation tool available today”, says Jim Hunt (Netwasp CEO), “so we see this as a fantastic opportunity to extend and enrich our position as the largest PocketPC themes publisher in the world!” Hunt goes on to say “it is our intention to continue the high quality of innovation and design shown by ThemeMaker and we already have plans to extend the current application suite adding more value to our customers. Plans include support for animated themes, becoming Windows Mobile 6.0 ready and, of course, continuation of the high level of customer satisfaction both KamWare and Netwasp have provided to-date”.

About Netwasp

http://www.netwasp.com

Netwasp is a UK based software development company formed in 1998. Netwasp, a Microsoft Certified Partner, began developing software for Windows Mobile devices in 2002 when it first produced the enormously popular animated theme application “FlashThemes”. In 2003 Netwasp launched the first animated theme editor application “The FlashThemes Generator and went on to produce several other PocketPC based applications including “FlashThemesPro” & “FlashThemesPlus”.

Netwasp further strengthened its position in the Windows Mobile theme domain in 2004 by acquiring the number one PocketPC theme community web site www.pocketpcthemes.com. Today this site has a user base of over 180k users; has over 250k free PocketPC themes supporting all flavors of PocketPC screens and device types; and has a page impression rate of approximately 4 million every month.

In 2004 Netwasp went on to develop “PhoneThemes” the first animated theme player both for Windows Mobile and Nokia Series 60 SmartPhones. This technology was showcased at the launch of Windows Mobile 5.0, forming part of Bill Gates keynote speech in Las Vegas, at MEDC 2005. Netwasp has continued its strong support of the Windows Mobile platform and has worked directly for Microsoft on several related projects.

Congratulations to Netwasp!

01/02/2007 21:23:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

All content © 2017, Don Sorcinelli
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