November 2006


Windows Live Search for mobile beta

Jason Landridge’s blog describes Windows Live Search for mobile beta as… [giving] you fast access to local search and maps, driving directions, and even local traffic information. When you get your search results, you can click to call the phone number of the place you found, or even look at a satellite photo (on some phones) to find the best parking nearby!

However, after looking at its FAQ and  learning that this app started life as a J2ME (Java) client app, I’m not even going to try to install it a device. My experience with Java apps for Windows Mobile devices has been uniformly horrible so far. They either don’t install, don’t run, run slowly, or simply look bad on a Pocket PC or Smartphone. There is a cab file download for Windows Mobile devices on the site. But, I’m still going to pass on this one. Especially since its website doesn’t even indicate if the installer is for a Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition or Smartphone.

Mobile Devices
Windows Mobile

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Opera Mini 3.0

Opera Mini 3.0 is a free feature-rich web browser available for many different smartphones and PDAs (including Windows Mobile based ones).

The features new to 3.0 are: RSS feed reader, photo sharing to blogs, content folding, secure connections (https, I’m guessing), and a faster user experience created by maintaining an open connection to the web server.

I haven’t tried this myself. So, please let me know your experience with it.

 

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA
Windows Mobile

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Google Mobile Transcoder & Google Pages

Two Google items I noticed while browing the Official Google Blog.

http://google.com/m takes you to Google’s web transcoder that transforms non-mobile friendly web pages into mobile device friendly ones according to the blog item Viewing the web through a mobile lens.

The blog item titled Simplicity and power talks about recent enhancements to the Google Page Creator (as in web page). One of the new features is called Pages for mobile and is described like this: This feature has an awesome power-to-complexity ratio: Now, every Google Page Creator site automatically has a mobile edition. So when people visit your site from their mobile browser, they will see it optimized for their particular phone.

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA

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Why Do Techie Sites Give Up on Mobile Formatting?

I read a lot of web-based news sites on either a Smartphone (240×320 resolution) or Pocket PC/Phone Edition (480×640 resolution). Over the past year or so general news sites seem to have really redesigned their websites for mobile devices to optimize readability and navigation. Three in particular come to mind.

MSNBC http://www.msnbc.msn.com/

Time Magazine mobile site

Time Magazine at http://mobile.time.com/

USA Today http://wap.usatoday.com/

A number of tech sites, on the other hand, seem to have erased their mobile formatted sites in the same time period. Computerworld, PC World, and Wired come quickly to mind. I’ll guess that the rise of RSS awareness and tools may be used as a reason. But, anyone who uses their phone or PDA to frequently view the web knows that RSS is a great adjunct. It is not a replacement for interactively viewing a web site well designed for viewing on a mobile device.

Mobile Devices

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Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) 3.01 Firmware Upgrade

Sony released the Sony PSP 3.01 Firmware upgrade just days after the 3.0 release. The stated reason was to address a security vulnerability. I’ll guess this translates to the 3.0 was cracked by PSP enthusiasts who like to run their own apps on the PSP.

Many of the new 3.0.x features tied into the recently release Sony Playstation 3 game console. It also adds the ability to access online (via WiFi) manuals for both the PSP and PS3.  Support for a Sony USB camera is also in this upgrade. But, the camera is not available in the US as far as I can tell.

The most surprising thing about the upgrade to me is how long the download took over its 802.11b WiFi connection. I didn’t time it with a stopwatch, but I believe it took well over an hour over a relatively fast broadband connection.

Mobile Devices
Portable Gaming

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US Copyright Office Gives Cell Phone Users the Right to Take Their Phone to a New Carrier

GSM users (e.g., those with service from Cingular or T-Mobile) have been able to get their phones unlocked reasonably easily to let them put a SIM card from a different carrier to change their service. CMDA phone users (e.g., those with service from Sprint PCS or Verizon Wireless) don’t have SIM card that contain their identify and have had a more difficult time in moving their phone from one service to another.

CNN reports that…

Cell phone owners getting new rights

…that this is changing now that the Library of Congress Copyright Office ruled that Cell phone owners will be allowed to break software locks on their handsets in order to use them with competing carriers under new copyright rules announced Wednesday.

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones

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