Regular readers know that I personally enjoy using Windows Mobile devices even if they aren't the flashiest and most user friendly devices currently available because they don't limit what I can do on the go and are highly customizable to my preferences for maximized efficiency. iSuppli's latest report and data shows that Microsoft may reclaim the number 2 position in the global market, behind Symbian, between 2010 and 2013
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
I am reminded of the good old days of the competition between mobile software on my Palm devices when I see developers like DataViz and Quickoffice going back and forth with updates and improvements. We are seeing this same competition take place on the iPhone as one takes the lead and then the other comes out with an update that passes the other one by, until the other updates yet again and retakes the lead. Today, we see that DataViz has released Documents To Go version 2.0 that adds support for Excel on the iPhone. This is a FREE update for existing owners. We now have both apps supporting Word and Excel on the iPhone and it looks like the next hurdle is PowerPoint.
We constantly hear how many thousands of applications the Apple App Store has available, yet the quantity of apps and the race to the bottom mean little to me personally. While choice is nice, there are probably too many applications available for people to even begin to find all the best and filter through the junk. Steve Litchfield posted an article over at All About Symbian talking about how most people can probably have a great mobile experience with just a few selected apps rather than loading hundreds and hundreds of them on their phone. I consider myself something of a power user and generally have 25 to 35 apps and games loaded on my devices. Can you get by with just 3 apps and if so, what are they?
One of my favorite applications from way back when I had Palm OS devices was BugMe! This application allowed me to capture handwritten notes and set custom alarms. Today, we see that Electric Pocket released a version of BugMe! for BlackBerry devices and brings that same functionality we saw over 10 years ago, along with improvements reflecting today's technology. BugMe! for BlackBerry is available in the BlackBerry App World store for $2.99 and there is a free "3 note" trial available.
T-Mobile was the first US carrier out of the gate with the HTC Touch Pro2 and priced it at $350 after instant rebate and 2-year contract. While this is higher than just about every other subsidized smartphone today, I personally find it to be worth this price and have no regrets or bad feelings about paying this for such a powerful and customizable device. Sprint was next up with the Touch Pro2 and also had the subsidized price at $350, followed by Verizon at just $199.99. According to The Boy Genius Report Sprint will be dropping the price of their Touch Pro2 down to $199.99 starting tomorrow, 1 October.
Andrew was lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the Motorola CLIQ a couple of weeks ago and I was thinking about picking one up since I am a T-Mobile customer. Today, T-Mobile announced that existing customers could pre-order the CLIQ starting 19 October by visiting the new CLIQ website. This pre-sale runs from 19 October until 1 November and then starting on 2 November new customers will be able to pick one up for $199.99 with a two-year agreement.
Yesterday was a pretty big day for Palm Pre owners with the release of WebOS 1.2 as described on the Palm blog. There are a number of significant and worthy updates that make the update a must have for Pre owners. However, you may want to exercise just a bit of caution as James Kendrick over at jkOnTheRun discovered that the Palm Profile server had gone down so backup and restore was not working. The server is back up now so it should be fine to perform the update, but for those that did it before the server went down you may have found a few things that didn't come back (theme customizations for one) and none of your homebrew apps will come back. This just goes to show that syncing to the cloud isn't always a fail safe solution.
One of the premier developers of Windows Mobile software is Spb Software House and over the past couple of years they have created a package that gives device owners complete control over customization of their devices. Today, we see the release of Spb Mobile Shell 3.5 and I have to say Spb Mobile Shell has completely replaced the HTC Touch FLO 3D interface on my T-Mobile Touch Pro2. While TF3D is a nice UI that most people will probably enjoy using, Spb Mobile Shell caters to us "tweakers" who like to fully optimize and customize our devices. This capability is a strength of Windows Mobile and as you can see in my image gallery and in the video walk through.
Back in the days when I had a dedicated Grafitti area on my Palm OS devices I discovered an alternative text entry method (2002 to be exact) that was designed with overlays that you placed on top of the Grafitti area. This text entry method was optimized for stylus entry to minimize the distance you had to travel to enter text since QWERTY keyboards are designed for two handed computer entry. Exideas developed the MessagEase form of text entry that has allowed me to enter text accurately and quickly on various Palm and Pocket PC devices over the years. They have now developed and launched an iPhone solution in case you want to use something other than the default QWERTY keyboard provided by Apple.
James, Kevin, and I spent the entire time on this week's MobileTechRoundup show #183 talking about Windows Mobile and what we think about the future of this platform. All of us have used Windows Mobile for quite a while and I am still an active user with my T-Mobile Touch Pro2, but I am also frustrated by their slowness to respond in the mobile world.