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.
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.
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.
I mention the usage of HTC ExtUSB (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one) in my reviews because I generally prefer to have a standard 3.5mm headset jack on my mobile phones so I can listen to music and podcasts with my own Ultimate Ears headphones. MobileCrunch questioned HTC and received a response that most HTC devices launched after the HTC Hero will have a 3.5mm headset jack. Devices already announced, like the Touch Pro2 and myDash 3G, will still have the ExtUSB port. There has been one device I know of that previously launched with a 3.5mm headset jack, the HTC Touch HD, but I think that is it. While I think the majority of people will be pleased with the strategy of using a 3.5mm headset jack moving forward, I can also see the validity of using the HTC ExtUSB port.
A couple weeks ago T-Mobile announced the myTouch 3G for release in August. This morning in New York HTC and T-Mobile held a launch event (check out Engadget Mobile's coverage) and unlike last year when the T-Mobile G1 was launched I was unable to make the cross country trip for this device. Similar to the launch event of the T-Mobile G1, existing T-Mobile customers can now pre-order the myTouch 3G for $199.99 with a two-year contract and be guaranteed delivery by August 5th (maybe the 3rd since that is also listed on one page). Last time, T-Mobile delivered my G1 just as they said on the availability date, but you must pre-order by 28 July.
I tried using the fBook client that was available early on the T-Mobile G1 Google Android device and all that application did was provide a way to access the Facebook mobile website. I then purchased very lame FriendMobilizer client hoping it would give me a better Facebook experience and it is actually more limited and less useful than the mobile website. Last night I read about Babbler on the jkOnTheRun site and after checking out their website I immediately paid the $1.49 to get the application onto my T-Mobile G1. I also ran across the new Bloo Facebook application for Android devices that also looks quite promising.
I wrote up my review of Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments when it was launched on June 14th. Now that the iPhone 3.0 update and iPhone 3GS units are available people asked for cut, copy, and paste across the new OS. DataViz was quick to respond and today you can download version 1.1 of their Documents To Go products that includes this functionality. So now any place where you can cut, copy, and paste in the OS and applications you can now put that content into your Word documents as well.