Smartphone


Podcast 27: Celio Redfly Terminal for Windows Mobile – Conversation with Colin Kelly Jr.

Although I’ve been a vocal critic of the Celio Redfly dumb terminal device for Windows Mobile smartphones (I own the original C8 model), Celio’s Marketing Communications Manager, Colin Kelly Jr., was gracious enough to accept my invitation to talk about Celio’s various Redfly products for this podcast. We discussed a couple of upcoming products too including:

– Redfly Mobile Dock
– Redfly for BlackBerry
– Redfly for Android

The podcast is 40 minutes and 30 seconds long.

– You can listen to the podcast right now from your web browser by using the embedded player above.
– You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or this RSS feed.
– You can also point your smartphone’s browser at mobiletoday.podbean.com to listen to or download the MP3 file over the air to your phone.

Pocket PC/Phone Edition
podcast
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Microsoft’s Loke uei Tan Demos HTC Snap’s Quick Photo Taking Ability

Anyone who has ever used pretty much any cameraphone has experience the huge delay between bringing the camera app up, pressing the “shutter” button and actually taking the photo. However, based on this brief video demo by Microsoft’s Loke uei Tan, it looks like HTC has solved this issue in the upcoming HTC Snap (Standard Edition – no touch screen).

I giving a lot of thought to replacing my T-Mobile Dash with either the HTC Snap or HTC TouchPro2. Hmm.

Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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T-Mobile Dash 3G Available on July 1?

dash3g_fromtmonews
Photo fragment courtesy of TmoNews

If you look at the photo of the T-Mobile product information sheet on TmoNews…

Visual Voicemail Coming!

…you’ll note that the T-Mobile Dash 3G (which presumably replaces my personal favorite Windows Mobile non-touch screen smartphone – the T-Mobile Dash) has a launch date of July 1. I have to admit that I’m torn between buying the Dash 3G and the TouchPro2 (Windows Mobile touchscreen device). I guess I have a month or two before I need to make that decision.

Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Google Sync Error on Windows Mobile Smartphone

Google Sync is working fine (so far) with my iPhone. And, I thought it was working ok with my HTC Vox (Windows Mobile Standard Edition). However, it is not working ok with the Vox today. ActiveSync reports 108 calendar items need syncing (seems a bit high since it synced ok just a day or two ago) and then fails after syncing exactly 44 items during each attempt..

The support code reported is: 0x80004005

Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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T-Mobile Dash Batteries Seem to Have Short Lifespans

My first T-Mobile Dash battery went bad after about a year of use. This was around last March or April (2007). I bought a new replacement battery through T-Mobile around that time. Today, I noticed that my battery was at 2% charge after turning it on. I had fully charged the battery the night before and turned off the phone after the battery was charged. I fully charged the battery after noticing this and then used it like I normally do. The battery was down to about 50% at the end of the day (night). Normally, the battery is between 70 and 80% capacity after a 14 hour or so period.

This sudden drop in charge capacity is very similar to what I saw in the original battery when it started to go bad. However, this time the second battery went bad in less than 7 months of use. That seems awfully short to me. I’m not going to buy a third battery, however. My T-Mobile G1 (Google Android) phone should arrive sometime next week. So, I’ll either switch to a different phone or muddle along with awful battery life for another 10 days or so.

Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Back to Basics: Never Use Windows Mobile Messaging Automatic Email Settings

Google’s IMAP4 email service was so slow that it drained my Dash’s batteries 4% everytime it checked for mail. So, I removed it from the Dash’s Messaging (email) app last year. I decided it was time to check again. But, instead of the Dash, I decided to try using a TyTn (Windows Mobile 6 with a recent update from HTC) touch screen smartphone. Just for fun, I decided to say yes when asked by Messaging’s account setup if I wanted to have Windows Mobile to check if it knew how to configure the account automatically. I have never seen this thing actually find settings. So, I figured it would fail as usual and then move on to the manual configuration windows. I was shocked when Messaging reported it had found settings and had applied them to the account.

However, when I had Messaging try to get mail from Gmail, I knew right away that another miserable Windows Mobile failure was in progress. It was grabbing hundreds of email messages (or so it said) but not displaying anything. After spending many minutes going through this process (I had to grab a power supply so the TyTn wouldn’t power down or drain its batteries), absolutely nothing was in the inbox list despite the fact that I had mail as recently as a few minutes previous to starting the Messaging process. Why did this happen? Because Windows Mobile Messaging is clueless about Gmail’s IMAP4 service and configured it for POP3. Moreover, Windows Mobile Messaging’s POP3 interface is broken. It has been broken from the first day it rolled out of a Visual Studio on someone’s desk and remains broken today.

The moral to this story is NEVER NEVER NEVER bother to use Windows Mobile Messaging’s feature to auto configure and email account. It has never actually found anything for me until today. And, now that is has finally found something, it turns out it didn’t actually know how to configure the so-called “known” mail service correctly.

Back to Basics
Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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RedFly Windows Mobile Companion Now $399. Still Too Expensive IMHO

Back when Windows Mobile was Windows CE (Windows Mobile is actually a shell on top of the previous Windows CE 5 generation), the Handheld PC was referred to as a PC Companion. Celio’s RedFly turns the tables on this old concept by looking like a mini-notebook PC but is actually an unintelligent companion to your Windows Mobile smartphone. At $499 it was much more expensive than your subsidized Windows Mobile smartphone. But, with a price drop to $399, oh wait, it is still much more expensive than your subsidized smartphone. And, what do you get for $399 (plus shipping and maybe tax)? A bigger screen and QWERTY keyboard, basically. Yes, WiMo’s Internet Explorer is no longer a pinhole view of the web. But, it is still can’t deal with AJAX or other complex Javascript-ed sites. It still renders many non-AJAX sites incorrectly. It is still basically Internet Explorer 4 with a few tweaks.

Don’t get me wrong, though! Conceptually, I think the RedFly is a good idea. I just think it is way overpriced when I can buy full-blown netbook like the Acer Aspire One for $379 get gigabytes more of storage, multicard reader, and full-blown versions of apps like the Firefox and OpenOffice. And, if I move from a WiMo phone to a Nokia, Apple iPhone, or one of the Google Android boxes, I haven’t wasted $399.

If the RedFly were priced somewhere in the $175 to $225 price range, I think it would be interesting to me as a possible purchase. At $399? Well, let’s just say I’m ordering an Acer Aspire One later today.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Back to Basics: Email Key Sort


I cannot believe I did not know about this until yesterday. You all probably know that you can search through contacts and recent calls by typing a string on a Windows Mobile smartphone keyboard. Type O-G-A and my full name shows up as part of the search results of people in your contacts list, for example. But, I didn’t realize this also works with Email. In the example illustrated above, I tapped the keyboard letters P-B. As you can see, the email messaging client found this two letter sequence in both the From and Subject lines and highlighted the string. I am kind of embarrassed that I didn’t know about this useful email filtering feature until now. I wonder when it first appeared? It works on both the Standard (non-touch) and Professional (touch) Editions of Windows Mobile.

Back to Basics
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Watch NBCOlympics.com Video Clips on Your Phone (iPhone too!)


Everyone probably knows about the Microsoft Silverlight-powered NBCOlympics.com site. But, did you know you can access its information AND videos on your smartphone too? Yep, head over to…

mobile.nbcolympics.com

I tested video playback on my iPod touch and found that it works fine. So, iPhone users will not be left out of the Olympics this summer.

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

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HTC S710 (Vox) Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone Firmware Update

I noticed there was an update for my HTC S710 (Vox) Windows Mobile smartphone on the HTC Support site. The upgrade does NOT move the phone to 6.1. However, based on the changes in version numbers, the update may be fairly important. My ROM version went from 1.15.405.2 to 1.34.405.1. The radio version went from 4.1.13.37_02.83.90 to 4.1.13.54_03.10.90. Windows Mobile itself remained at version 6.0 (not 6.1).

Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Microsoft Live Mesh Mobile Web Interface


Microsoft Live Mesh is one of several cloud storage services offered by Microsoft (along with Skydrive and Office Live Workspace). One interesting feature of Live Mesh is its web interface for mobile devices. I looked at it from both a TyTn (Windows Mobile Professional Edition 6.0) and iPod touch (2.0 firmware) Both allowed retrieval and photo upload (but not the uploading of other file types). However, when I tried to upload a photo from my TyTn, it was unable to see any photos on the storage card. It could only see files in system RAM rendering this feature near useless. However, I uploaded one of the sample images left in system RAM. And, it did indeed get uploaded to Live Mesh and was visible on my PC.

Apple
iPod
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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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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