Back to Basics: Cameraphone Sports Mode Setting


Generally speaking, the cameras on most phones are much slower than even the slowest of the first generation consumer digital cameras back in the 1990s. So, I’ve never really expected to get much in the way of action shots with my cameraphone and ignored the so-called Sports Setting the camera configuration. However, while waiting for my daughter at her gym today, I decided to play with that setting to while the time away.

You can see one of the photos I took using the Sports Setting using my T-Mobile Dash (AKA HTC Excalibur). On this particular phone, this setting reduces the resolution to 640×480 (which makes sense) and takes three (3) photos in succession after pressing the selection button. You can adjust the number of photos it takes per squeeze in the configuration menu.

I’ve shrunken the photo from the original 640×480 to make it blog-friendly. It won’t make anyone throw away their Digital SLR. But, the result was better than I expected. I guess I should try some of the other camera phone settings too now.

Back to Basics
Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Windows Mobile Voice Command, Alarms, and Bluetooth

The T-Mobile Dash running Windows Mobile 6 has one really annoying bug: Once you set the phone to vibrate profile, event notifications always vibrate even if the profile is set back to normal. However, there is a workaround if you use a Bluetooth speaker or headset. The Dash comes with Voice Command in firmware. If you set it to send voice notifications to the Bluetooth device, the darn Dash will still vibrate for event notifications, but it will provide a text-to-speech notification via the Bluetooth device.

Back to Basics
Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Sigh… My Dash Looks Very Sick

My T-Mobile Dash (Windows Mobile 6 smartphone) started acting oddly about 6 weeks ago. I turn it off each night and it started taking a while to cold start in the morning. It started cycling through the boot process repeatedly every now and then about a month ago. It locked up last night (WiMo screen visible but unresponsive to any button presses. I had to pull the battery to shut it down. Placing the battery back in and starting it up (pressing the power button works), it started cycling through the boot process but never completed. After pulling the battery and repeating this process a few times, I pulled the SIM out and tried it with two other phones. The SIM works with both phones. And, the Dash shows the same power cycling power without the SIM it. So, the SIM is not the problem.

The odd thing, though, is that both phones show me as roaming even after verifying that I’m on the T-Mobile network. Not sure what is going on there yet since I’ve never seen this happen when switching to unlocked phones before.

Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Windows Live for Windows Mobile Not Available Until May 15


Hmm, the Windows Live for Windows Mobile (Windows Live Hotmail, Contacts, and Spaces) download is unavailable until May 15. I wonder why???

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Skyfire Beta: Ho-hum Browser Alternative


I received a text message about the Skyfire beta a few days ago. It had been so long since I applied for the beta that I couldn’t remember what Skyfire was. A visit the site reminded me. So, I clicked on the link in the text message and downloaded the CAB file for my Dash smartphone. Skyfire is definitely a work in progress. It is incredibly slow and took forever just to start up. Once started, it was slow to render sites and didn’t seem to do anything more than what Opera Mini 4 already does. And Opera Mini does it better and faster. Bringing it up subsequent times resulted in either it not being able to detect my net connection and exiting without letting me retry or telling me my phone was out of memory (it was not) and refused to start.

Totally unimpressed, I uninstalled it from my Dash after struggling with it for a day. I tried to test the touchscreen (Pocket PC) version. But, it wanted me to apply for the beta again. Forget it. I’ve lost interest in Skyfire. You might want to wait for something closer to a 1.0 release before testing it out on your Windows Mobile device.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Microsoft Windows Mobile Connection Site for Mobile Industry People


The Microsoft Windows Mobile Connection site says it is a community site for anyone who sells mobile phones or works in the mobile industry. It looks like a social network for people in the Windows Mobile industry. It let me sign up with my Passport account even though I’m not affiliated with any mobile firm.

Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Tiny Twitter for Windows Mobile

Tiny Twitter on an HTC Vox SmartphoneQuick! Name a web service that is as flaky as a bowl of breakfast cereal that doesn’t seem to generate hate even though it seems to be down half the time. Did you say Twitter? I learned about Tiny Twitter from Mobility Site’s Jack Cook. There are versions for Windows Mobile (native code) and Java-enabled phones. So, I downloaded the Windows Mobile Smartphone (Standard Edition) version (there’s a separate download for Pocket PCs — Classic/Professional Edition) and tested it on an HTC Vox smartphone. The one thing that might bother you at first is that you don’t see your own tweets in the display as you do on a desktop or even Twitter’s mobile web site. You do, however, get a richer Twitter experience using this freeware client than you do with Twitter’s mobile friendly website.

Mobile Phones
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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Windows Mobile’s Weak Week View

What happens when a bunch of Windows Mobile enthusiasts (my fellow Windows Mobile MVPs) get together? Well, there’s a lot of talk about mobile devices (no surprise). And, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Windows Mobile calendar gets a lot of discussion time since it is probably one of the most used applications on a Smartphone (eithre more or less than Contacts depending on who you talk to). One common complaint is the near uselessness of the Calendar’s week view. I tend to mostly use the Agenda (list of appointments) and Month views myself. The Week view is just, well, weak. Apple must feel the same way since their iPhone/iPod touch calendar doesn’t even have a week view. The week view would be more useful to me if it didn’t assume that a week is defined as starting either on Sunday or Monday and ending on Friday or Saturday. I’d prefer a rolling-week view myself where the view starts on the current day and pushes out a week in advance. Why? Because by Wednesday or Thursday, I’d like to see Saturday and Sunday at the same time without advancing an entire week just to see the Sunday after the coming Saturday. For me, the weekend is a unified pair. It is not two days split across two weeks.

I think AgendaOne and Pocket Informant (as well as other add-on products) let you see a calendar week view in this relative fashion. But, it would be nice if the built-in Windows Mobile Calendar just let us see a week either in the traditional paper fashion or in a relative fashion.

Apple
Mobile Devices

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