August 2007


Google Mobile Summer Traffic Rises 35%

The MobileCrunch article…

Unexpected Surge in Google Mobile this Summer

…reports that Google mobile traffic went up 35% this summer instead of down as it (and regular Google traffic) normally does during the summer (vacation) months. I wonder if the Apple iPhone (which automatically uses some Google mobile services) is a big factor in this rise. Whatever the reason, it is good indicator that mobile data use is on the upswing.

Mobile Devices

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Enterprises Just Don’t Get It

My little rant about Gerardo Dada’s MSDN blog item about Windows Mobile email support (or lack thereof) in business environments came to mind again when I read this item in InfoWorld…

Mobile workers still struggling with security

The issue of mobile device support (or any kind, not just Windows Mobile based ones) is, in the mind of many businesses, it seems reminiscent of the mindset surrounding the Apple II (1977) and IBM PC (1981) timeframe through, well, now in many cases. You still see businesses without any desktop/notebook disaster recovery/business continuity plans (or even regular backups of their desktops). And, you still see a total lack of mobile technology policies, support, and integration in businesses. Email, of course, is a huge part of the mobile device infrastructure. If you ask a Blackberry user, it is the only reason to carry a mobile device.

But, for a lot of us, it is not just email. There is value in the Contacts list, Calendar list, documents and other files stored on the mobile device. Does your firm have a remote device kill process in place if you device is lost or stolen? Does it have a continuance process replace your device and keep you working on the go? What about device encryption policies?

Sure some of you can raise your hand. And, you’ll probably grumble about the need to enter a PIN everytime you want to you your device (I’m not a fan of that either). But, I’ll guess the vast majority of us still buy and own our own mobile device and have no practice in place for our work related activities on this device. I tend to keep my day-job related items off of my WiMo phone… um… except for contacts, calendar, tasks, and, oh well… Welcome to 1980… Hey, that VisiCalc thing on the Apple II looks really cool. Wonder if would be useful in the office…

Mobile Devices

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Thinkoutside Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard Works with WM6 Standard Edition

Just a quick note. The Thinkoutside website doesn’t specifically list the HTC Vox Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition (AKA Smartphone) as a supported device for the Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard for PDA. But, I installed the WM5 Smartphone driver for the keyboard on the Vox this evening and it seems to work fine.

The configuration utility even dealt with the incompatibility between the built-in Bluetooth HID profile and let me disable from a menu. It then enabled its own profile and let me setup usage with the keyboard.

I sent a test email over WiFi (no SIM card in the Vox to make sure it didn’t go out over EDGE instead) with the Bluetooth connected to the keyboard to make sure that both those radios could work simultaneously while using the keyboard.

Glad to see all this works with Windows Mobile 6.

Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Cell View Tip for WM6 Standard Editon (Smartphone)

Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition Excel Mobile cell view

Excel Mobile for Windows Mobile Standard Edition (formerly Smartphone – no touch screen) is quite different from the Professional Edition (AKA Pocket PC Phone Edition). In general it has much fewer features than the Pocket PC version. However, it does have a few unique and useful features.

For example, if you navigate to a cell that contains more text (or numbers) than the cell can display, just press the phone’s select button on the navigation rose and it will pop the entire contents of that cell into a zoomed highlighted cell view.

Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Ilium Screen Capture Tip for Smartphone Users

Ilium Screen Capture

Small tip for Windows Mobile smartphone (uh, Standard Edition) users who use Ilium Software great (and FREE) Screen Capture utility. The default capture key for the smartphone version (it also works fine on a Pocket PC/Professional Edition) is the asterisk (*). However, if you have a non-clamshell phone (T-Mobile Dash, Vox, etc.), the key sequence to unlock a keyboard locked phone is Left-softkey Asterisk. So, if you forgot that you have it running, you can’t unlock the phone after locking the keyboard (press and hold the End Call key). Fortunately, Ilium provided options for this utility. If you press the Menu key (right soft button), thre is an option to change the screen capture key. I set it to the pound sign (#). But, you might prefer something else. This optional change also seems to stick. So, you only have to make the change once.

Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Raise Your Hand if Your IT Dept. Supports Windows Mobile

I read Gerardo Dada’s MSDN Blog item titled Windows Mobile eMail Troubleshooting with the hope of getting some insight on topic. Then, I read the key sentence:

If step 2 fails then you need to chat with your IT department.

Um, say what? Let’s think this through. From my observation, the vast majority of Windows Mobile device users do not have an IT department to consult with. And, for the ones whose organizations do provide them a WiMo device, their IT group is probably so busy with Windows Server, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and a bunch of server and desktop applications that they are not really focusing on WiMo support.But, let’s say I’m wrong. Let’s say that 80% of all WiMo users are part of an organization that handed them a WiMo device and supports it fully. Why would those people need to read a blog to fix their email problem? Wouldn’t they just go to their IT department first? And, what about the other 20% (which is probably more like 95%) of WiMo users? Let’s say that there are 10 million WiMo units out there in use. If 80% is enterprise supported, that still leaves 2 million people without support of any kind.

I think a reality check is needed here. The vast majority of people I have spoken or emailed with over the past 10 years do not have an Exchange Server or are not allowed to connect to it with their WiMo devices. So, we really need some non-Exchange based ActiveSync/WMDC/email support. Even those of us who do work for large organizations often (usually) do not have WiMo support (there may be Palm OS or Blackberry support though).

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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