July 2007


Call History Left-Right Nav Key Use

Try this on a Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone or Pocket PC (Standard or Professional Editions). Bring up your Call History list. Navigate to a call to/from a person who you know to have multiple phone numbers in your Contacts list. Then press the Left or Right navigation. It should rotate through the phone numbers for that contact. You can settle on one of the alternate numbers and call it instead of the number originally called from.

It worked on WM6 devices but did not seem to work on a WM5 Pocket PC Phone Edition.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Pseudo-Sync Word Mobile & Word Excel with Google Docs

Google Docs

I’ve had issues with ActiveSync and WMDC in the past like many other people. So, I’m always looking for ways to avoid using AS (in Windows XP) and WMDC (in Windows Vista). If you are of a like opinion, you might find Google Mail (Gmail) and Google Docs might be a big help in moving Word Mobile and Excel Mobile files around.

Just mail the Word or Excel file to your Gmail account. It will auto-recognize the file type and give you the option to open the file in Google Docs. There is a brief period needed to transform the file to HTML. After that is done, you can edit the file in a Google Docs web app. If you want it back on your Pocket PC or Smartphone, just email it back to an address your Windows mobile device knows about.

Google Docs doesn’t understand every Word or Excel formatting feature. But, if you keep your file formatting simple, you should be able to get a lot of mileage using your Windows Mobile device with Google Docs. And, you don’t need ActiveSync or WMDC at any point.

BTW: Google can display PowerPoint files on the web too. Editing is supposed to be in the works, but I don’t know when that feature will be available.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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HTC Advantage Flash Photos

HTC Advantage 7500 flash photo

A number of Windows Mobile camera phones have so-called camera flashes. But, that is a misnomer for the ones I’ve seen so far. They do not flash for a brief period to light up a photograhpic subject like real camera flashes. Instead, they light up and stay lit up until you manually turn off the light. In effect, they are flashlights. These camera flashlights do not have much of an effective distance. They do not do much good on objects more than a foot or two away. They can be useful sometimes, however. The photo on the left was taken in a relatively well lit restaurant using available light. The photo on the right was taken a moment later with a HTC Advantage 7500’s Pocket PC Phone Edition’s flash turned on. I think I instintively moved the Advantage a bit closer to get the light to shine as best as possible on the ice cream.

Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Windows Mobile

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Yahoo! Go 2.0 for Windows Mobile

Yahoo! Go 2 Wide Beta Release

The earlier releases of Yahoo! Go 2 for Windows Mobile only worked on a small number of devices. However, if you visit the new…

Yahoo! Go 2.0 page for Windows Mobile devices

… you will find a huge number of supported Windows Mobile PDAs and Smartphones. I installed it on a Windows Mobile 6 Professional Edition (Pocket PC) and a Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone. The over-the-air installation directly to the device using the direct installation site…
http://us.get.go.yahoo.com

…went smoothly. The initial application startup was very slow. I suspect it is because Yahoo! Go attempts to cache as much as possible before displaying the initial screen. What they should do is cache 2 or 3 of the most used initial features (probably email, maps, and news), display the screen, then continue caching other content. The app seemed much faster than previous beta releases. However, they retain the same non-intuitive (from a Windows Mobile user point of view) GUI interface. Menus are navigated from the bottom-up instead of the top-down menus that most WM apps use. The side-scrolling menu on a Pocket PC is even more puzzling because choices are relative rather than direct: If you tap an icon 2 icons away from the center icon under focus, the menu just moves 1 icon in the direction your tap occured instead of selecting the icon you actually tapped.

The mostly text http://wap.oa.yahoo.com/ web site is much faster to use and as a lot more content available. But, Yahoo! definitely deserves brownie points for making their app available in native binary form for pretty much every modern Windows Mobile devices out there.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Windows Mobile View Menu Options All (or mostly all) at Once

Example menu list view

The list of Window Mobile video size options in yesterday’s blog entry reminded of something that may not be common knowledge to Smartphone (Standard Edition) users: The Smartphone often presents single line scroll lists that let you scroll up and down in a single character high text window to select an option (say the reminder period for a calendar event). The next time you see one, try pressing the select button instead of scrolling up or down. There’s a good chance you will see the option expand to a full screen size showing you as many of the options as possible on the screen. You still need to scroll, but it lets you quickly scan and decide which of many options to choose.

Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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T-Mobile Dash Video Recording Limits?

T-Mobile Dash video file size options

Today’s question from the YouTube mailbag is from mstakkrid who asks: anyway how long is the video running time for this phone?! does anyone know?

The screen cap of the Dash’s video recording limits options screens shows you the recording limit options available. Basically, you only need to set this if you do not have a microSD storage card in the Dash. If you have a reasonably large microSD card (I see a Kingston 2GB microSD card for $22.99 with free shipping at Amazon), you can consider choosing the No Limit option I use. The 3 minute 49 second raw AVI file I posted on YouTube as a video demo (after converting it to WMV) is 12.8MB. You can get much smaller video files by using the higher compression MPEG4 format. However, you won’t be able to use low-end tools such as Microsoft’s free MovieMaker to edit those files.

Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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