T-Mobile no longer has the exclusive market for Android devices in the United States with Sprint coming out with a real winner in the HTC Hero that passes up both of T-Mobile's offerings. The HTC Hero from Sprint is the US CDMA version of the Hero that launched on GSM networks overseas in a form factor more like the T-Mobile myTouch 3G. I've spent over a week with the Hero and can say it is the best Android device I have used yet and my statement about the Hero meeting both user interface and functionality needs in a single device looks to be quite accurate.
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.
You may have seen my review of the Samsung Behold feature phone last December. I received an email from my T-Mobile contact today announcing the Samsung Behold II (SGH-t939) and I almost discarded it as just another update to a good feature phone. However, as I read down further in the press release I quickly noticed that this isn't just a feature phone update, but a whole new device powered by the Google Android operating system. Yes, the Samsung Behold II is a Google Android device and this will be the fourth Android device available from T-Mobile with the T-Mobile G1, myTouch 3G, and Motorola CLIQ rounding out the lineup.
AT&T jumped the gun a bit and today announced the HTC Pure and Tilt 2, both running Windows Mobile 6.5. I have an HTC Pure here in my hands under evaluation, but cannot post my full review until early Tuesday morning when the embargo on Windows Mobile 6.5 lifts. In the meantime, you can check out the official press release and even visit your local AT&T store as I understand many of them are actually selling the HTC Pure now for just $149.99 after $50 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract.
Last week we heard the news that BlackBerry Desktop for Mac was coming soon and then a few days later RIM download this new Mac client. BlackBerry Desktop for Mac supports syncing contacts, calendar, tasks, and notes with your BlackBerry running OS 4.2 or later. The Mac applications it works with include iCal, Address Book, Microsoft Entourage and others. BB Media Sync is also included for iTunes syncing functionality.
Last week we spent the entire show talking about Windows Mobile and we did not start recording MobileTechRoundup show #184 with the intent to again focus on just one topic, but the Sprint HTC Hero that James and I are playing with is an amazing device and Kevin, James, and I just couldn't get off the topic. One thing I mentioned was the Exchange experience and I posted an article on this functionality just a short while ago. The Hero is a compelling device and if there was one on T-Mobile USA I would be all over it right now.
One of the reasons I keep going back to Windows Mobile devices, like my T-Mobile Touch Pro2, is because the Exchange experience has always stood out from the pack. The iPhone and Palm Pre offer Exchange clients, thanks to licensing Microsoft EAS technology, but there are still a couple of capabilities lacking (meeting with attendee creation for one) that keep me going back to a WM device. I am testing a Sprint HTC Hero (review will be here Monday) and discovered that the included Exchange experience on this device is better in some respects than what a Windows Mobile device can offer, but a few key capabilities still hold it back. As I stated back when I was trying to figure out if one device could meet our desire to have a slick UI and all necessary functionality I chose the HTC Hero to be that devices and now as I get more and more hands-on time with it my statement seems justified. Let's take a look at why I think the Exchange experience is better for many people on the Hero than on other mobile devices.
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
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.