PDA


Windows Mobile Gets No Respect: iPhone Gets Credit for Touchscreen Revolution

Information Week trumpets…

iPhone: Catalyst For Touchscreen Revolution

Never mind that Windows CE/Windows Mobile devices have been continuously providing touch screen devices since 1996. And, of course, the Apple Newton essentially defined the concept of PDA in 1993.

But, hey, I’ll give credit where credit is due. Apple did the touch screen right. I know that I much prefer to use my iPod touch for a variety of information retrieval tasks (web browsing, reading email, etc.). But, I still prefer to use my Dash smartphone for writing email, creating a calendar event, or entering contact information.

Apple
iPod
Mobile Devices
PDA
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Alton Towers Theme Park: PDA’s Banished To Oblivion This Half Term


Just read about this on Slashdot and went to see the site myself…

PDA’s Banished To Oblivion This Half Term

While I can appreciate the reason for the apparently opt-in ban, it doesn’t make sense to me. I think it is a good idea for kids and parents to all carry phones to keep in contact when separated (either by design or accident). I also use my phone’s camera a lot. We’ve always had fun at theme parks with phone, digital camera, GPS, and all kinds of other e-gear that have actually enhanced the experience IMHO.

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA

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kwiry: Text or Email a Topic to it and Retrieve Search Results on the Desktop

I usually don’t mention a service I haven’t tried yet. But, I’m almost ready to hit the sack and don’t want to start playing with anything just now. And, yet, this service seemed interesting enough to blog it as a kind of reminder to myself to try it out tomorrow.

kwiry (which I suppose is pronounced “query”)

…is a free service that helps you jot something down from a phone and lets you retrieve the results from a desktop web browser. They push the idea of text messaging queries to the service. This caused me to lose interest at first. However, reading on I noticed it also lets you send the query via email too. My phone plan only includes a handful of free text messages. But, my email is free (unlimited data). So, that is a much better fit for me.

It apparently somehow ties in to Twitter (another favorite of mine) and other social network services. So, I’m definitely going sign up and take a closer look at it tomorrow.

Good night, all!

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA

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Zoho Creator Mobile: Simply Amazing

Zoho Creator Mobile
I wanted my first 2008 blog entry here to be a positive one. Well, I’ve got a lot of positive things to say about…

Zoho Creator Mobile

…which is part of the Zoho suite of web applications that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, note taker (somewhat like OneNote), wiki, and numerous other web based business ready applications. Zoho creator lets you quickly create web-fied database applications. The mobile aspect of this web service was announced back on November 19, 2007. But, thinking it would take forever to configure a test database for testing on a mobile device, I didn’t take a look at it until now. I definitely should have taken a look at it back in November. I probably could have increased my mobile productivity significantly if I had done that.

Here’s what I did this evening. I already have a Zoho account. So, I logged in on a Windows-based PC and went into the Zoho Creator module. I was surprised to see that there was a simple drag-and-drop box area on the creation phase that said I could drop a number of client-side data objects including a selection from a live Excel spreadsheet. I opened a spreadsheet containing possible topics for my blogs, selected the range of entries in it, and then pasted it into the Zoho Creator web box. The pasted data looked like a textual mess. “This can’t possibly work,” I told myself. However, when I moved on to the next step, Zoho Creator had correctly identified the header information and associated rows and columns. I wanted to add a new field (column) to the data to test the drop-down box selection feature. And, yep, Zoho Creator let me quickly (within seconds) add a field with pre-defined selection options for the drop-down menu. I saved these changes and moved over to a Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone (Standard Edition) and went to the Zoho Creator Mobile site to see what it looked like there. You can see part of the record entry screen in the figure above.

After filling out a few (but not all) of the fields, I saved what I had and moved back to the desktop. Back on the desktop, I filled out a few more fields and saved the result. Back on the Smartphone, I took another look at the record and saw the updated information.

I turned on my iPod touch and went to the Zoho Creator Mobile site to verify that it worked with the Safari browser which, of course, it did (the Safari browser is far more capable than the Windows Mobile Internet Explorer browser). This is a huge win for iPhone and iPod touch users since it lets us easily enter and retrieve data that is instantly available on PC or Mac (or Linux box for that matter).
BTW, Zoho Creator is not a one-way data ticket. It can also export its data in variety of ways. I chose to export the data back to an Excel spreadsheet including the newly added column (field). This process worked fine. I’m really impressed by Zoho Creator Mobile and will probably use it quite a bit in the near future. The entire Zoho Office suite is far ahead of anything Microsoft or Google have to offer in terms of web services. Zoho even one-ups Google by supporting the Google Gears offline feature that Google Docs doesn’t provide yet.

Apple
iPod
Mobile Devices
PDA
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Dell is Still the #4 PDA in Sales???

If you look at the chart in the IDC report…

IDC Worldwide PDA Sales

…you’ll note that Dell is the #4 worldwide PDA seller. Since Dell got out of the PDA business earlier this year, this can’t be good news for the PDA industry.

Mobile Devices
PDA

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Dslreports.com Speed Test for Mobile Devices

DSLreports initial window

One of the interesting developments that came with the Apple iPhone launch was that AT&T Wireless bumped up the EDGE downstream speed just before the iPhone launched. If you want to find out what your smartphone downstream throughput is, try out DSLreports’ Mobile Speed Test found at:

http://text.dslreports.com/mspeed

The results below are from a Pocket PC Phone Edition on a 802.11b WiFi connection. My¬† T-Mobile EDGE speed test returned a respectable (for EDGE) 115Kbps. I suggest using one of the larger download payloads (200 or 600Kb) if you have an unlimited data plan. My Phone Edition’s browser locked up with the 1MB test payload.
DSLreports results window

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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HiRISE Mobile: Images from Mars

HiRISE Mobile site

The University of Arizona High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment has some spectacular high res photos of Mars on their website. And, I was surprised to find that they have pages formatted specially for mobile devices too. You can find it at…

HiRISE Mobile (http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/togo/wap.php)

Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
PDA

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Yahoo! oneSearch Mobile

Yahoo! oneSearchYahoo! seems to be trying to provide more than one way for us to use their services from a mobile device. The client software for Yahoo! Go provides an attractive interface but was very slow on my Pocket PC and wasted too much screen real estate IMHO. Recently, it looks like they took the content from wap.oa.yahoo.com mobile web portal and moved it to…

m.yahoo.com

This mobile web portal has the same lightweight and lightning fast mostly-text interface from the wap design and added the oneSearch feature that provides a mixed result page that reminds me of Google’s SearchMash site. oneSearch returns results categorized as Web (all of the web), Mobile Web (results of pages that look good on a mobile device), and Web Images.

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA

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Tumblr.com is Mobile Format Friendly

Tumblr is a free web tumblog (sort of a minimalist blog format) service that lets you quickly post text, links, photos, videos and other data. I just noticed the other day that it also provide a mobile device display friendly format. Just add a /mobile after a tumblog’s URL. You can see the mobile display version of my tumblog, for example, at:

http://mobileviews.tumblr.com/mobile

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA

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Twitter Mobile

Twitter for Mobile BrowsersDo you Twitter? It seems like everyone is either Twitter-ing or Jaiku-ing these days. And, those who aren’t, seem to be life-casting. But, sharing your life via text seems a lot cheaper and easier to do than videocasting your life. The one exception may be those who chose to use Twitter via SMS and found a large text messaging bill the next month (unless they had unlimited SMS service, of course).

Twitter has a new mobile browser friendly site at…

http://m.twitter.com/

…that lets the rest of us (assuming a decent mobile data service bandwidth) twitter on the go using a mobile device with a web browser.

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA

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BusinessWeek’s Mobile Experiments

BusinessWeek Mobile Web Sites
BusinessWeek appears to be trying out two different approaches to providing content to mobile devices. Their original Handheld Edition (right side of image) found at http://pda.businessweek.com/ has a simple clean interface that provides a lot of textual content per click (think Google). Their newer dot-mobi site found at http://www.businessweek.mobi/ looks somewhat graphically richer (think Yahoo or MSN) but provides much less textual content per click. You need to make a lot of clicks and endure download pauses to read a whole article. Essentially we have form-over-content (the dot-mobi site) vs. content-over-form (the PDA site). I hope BusinessWeek maintains both presentation options since it is pretty certain that both will appeal to different types of readers. We can only hope other content producers follow BusinessWeek’s lead in experimenting with mobile content presentation.

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA

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GrandCentral Adds Mobile Interface

GrandCentral, the free web voicemail system (among other features) added a mobile web interface to let you check on voicemail from your phone or PDA. You can it at:

http://grandcentral.com/mobile

Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
PDA

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