The iPhone definitely sets the bar when it comes to a slick UI while devices like the Nokia N97 show that a manufacturer can pack it all into a single device and still not appeal to everyone. Here in this consolidated article I will take a quick look at the premier touch screen devices running each mobile operating system, even if that device has a keyboard as a major part of the device. You will see lots of articles comparing feature lists and people often shoot off to me that feature lists do not matter as much as the user interfacace. Do touch screen smartphone buyers have to pick one over the other or is there a mobile operating system and a device, or devices, that can give you both a slick UI along with all the latest specifications?
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.
One of the slickest and most convenient functions of the Palm Pre (see my review) was the ability to sync seamlessly with Apple iTunes. As CNET reports, the latest iTunes 8.2.1 update breaks the Palm Pre iTunes synchronization. This wasn't really unexpected, but it is a bit disappointing if Apple created this update just to break the Pre sync capability. They could have just left it alone and let those few Pre owners enjoy and continue to purchase and support iTunes.
I took a look at both the BlackBerry Bold and Curve 8900 and thought each were excellent devices at the time. The new RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 takes the best of both of these and provides Verizon Wireless and Sprint customers with an outstanding BlackBerry smartphone that is tough to beat when it comes to forward facing QWERTY devices.
All of the primary mobile operating systems have on-device application stores, except for Windows Mobile. We have been patiently waiting (we seem to do that a lot with Microsoft's Windows Mobile products) for the launch of Windows Marketplace for Mobile and today we at least have some news that the launch is getting closer. Starting on 27 July, developers can submit applications to the Windows Marketplace for Mobile from 29 supported countries. The launch date is still vague with a time frame of Fall 2009, but at least it looks like it will launch with applications ready and available to download and install.
While I think the upcoming HandMarket Apps store on Windows Mobile device is looking great, I agree with Stacey over at GigaOM that carrier-branded and online distributor stores may present more confusion in the mobile application market and we could end up back where we started with several software distributors, except now on your phone rather than on the desktop. I think Apple is successful with the App Store because it is the only way to get apps on your iPhone/iPod touch and the process is made extremely easy for the consumer. Others are trying to model this success, but I don't think a fractured market is the way to do it.
Readers here know that I enjoy using Windows Mobile devices even though they don't seem to be popular with the crowd. Their Exchange support is fantastic and they are highly customizable. I was reading Smartphone Thoughts and thoroughly enjoyed the 16 minute YouTube video interview (embedded below) of Naughty by Nature's Vinnie Brown talking up Windows Mobile. It isn't that often that you hear famous people talking about Windows Mobile and after listening to Vinnie I think he knows as much about Windows Mobile as I do.
Apple kicked off the trend of on-device user friendly software stores with the App Store, but now just about every other mobile operating has one too (read our discussion on how they compare). Microsoft is the last one to the party with their upcoming Marketplace for Mobile, but we still have yet to hear of any release date for this service/application. Handmark is a developer and online retail location where other developers distribute their applications and they have taken Windows Mobile into their own hands (much like HTC does with the OS) and they are now beta testing Handmarket Apps with a planned launch date sometime in July.
I posted my review of the T-Mobile Dash 3G back on 30 June. The Dash 3G can now be purchased from T-Mobile and as you can see on the T-Mobile site the full price is $349.99 and there is a $180 instant discount for new lines of service. A reader sent me a note that there is a Costco coupon that runs from 13 July to 2 August where new customers can save even more and even existing customers may get a great deal.
I never thought I would leave T-Mobile since we had the five phones on the family plan, but as I said in MobileTechRoundup show #177 we decided to switch everyone to AT&T and save ourselves about $85 a month by reducing my service to a single carrier. James, Kevin, and I discussed the Google Chrome OS announcement, myTouch 3G, iTunes App Store first birthday and tethering with the iPhone. We briefly talked about the Sony Vaio W too. Kevin shared a freeware of the show for the iPhone called RunKeeper that is perfect for those working out this Summer.
Apple is approaching its first birthday of the App Store tomorrow and with something close to 60,000 available apps there is something for everyone. I received a press release today for an application that I thought would be useful to those in the customer service industry and may also be interesting for others in the business world. Disney at Work: Magic Kingdom was written by J. Jeff Kober (check out his Disney at Work blog) to provide businesses with information and tools on how to improve their organization internally and externally. The application is available on iTunes for $4.99 and works with the iPhone and iPod Touch.