Mobile World Congress 2009 kicks off in Spain in just over three weeks and the press releases are already starting to appear as companies get ready for big announcements and product showcases. One of the first releases concerns the nominees for the Global Mobile Awards. MWC is a mobile show focused on world markets so you will see many services that are provided outside the US in the list of nominees. I was pleased to see two of my personal favorite devices, the Nokia E71 and T-Mobile G1 appear in the Best Mobile Handset or Device category along with the INQ1, LG KS360, and BlackBerry Storm 9500.
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.
The T-Mobile G1 (see my full review) is currently the only Google Android device on the market and is available only from T-Mobile. There are a couple of rumors surrounding the G1 that I am trying to verify with my T-Mobile contacts. The first one concerns a possible US$20 price drop for the G1 and the option to purchase one and activate only a data plan for US$34.99 with no voice plan. The second rumor is that T-Mobile is sending new batteries to current G1 owners.
I write a lot about all the great functionality and power of today's smartphones here on the blog. I spend a lot of time showing off my devices to family and friends, including the services and 3rd party applications I use on a daily basis to get things done. I followed a link from the IT Facts blog to the BBC news site that quoted a study that said 85% of users reported they were frustrated by the difficulty of getting a new phone up and working. As a mobile enthusiast who has been using PDAs since 1997 it is easy for me to get wrapped up in mobile technology and think everyone should be as familiar as I am with these devices. My friends and I are often found looking for the latest and greatest and wondering why a certain device has this or that feature missing. In reality, I think those people who don't read this blog and have cellphones just want a few basic features and could care less about the high powered features I care about.
I previously discussed whether or not copy and paste were needed on the iPhone and after several months of using other devices I emphatically believe it is needed. I actually had to switch back to my Treo Pro a couple of times because I needed copy and paste to get some things done, primarily copying content and email addresses to put into another email message on several occasions. I just read where Michael Gartenberg stated copy and paste is now here for the iPhone and iPod touch. I followed the link to the source and see that it is truly now available for jailbroken devices.
AT&T and the iPhone brought the visual voicemail feature to the forefront of the mobile discussion and people are starting to look for it in new devices. The Sprint Samsung Instinct has it and Verizon Wireless offers it on devices as well. The Boy Genius Report posted some screenshots of the official RIM visual voicemail service that is rumored to be coming soon to select BlackBerry devices. Visual voicemail should be coming as an OS update, 18.104.22.168, on the AT&T BlackBerry Bold.
It has been a few weeks since Kevin, James, and I have been able to get together for a podcast due to the holidays, CES, and other travel. We are now back in action and kicking off 2009 with a shorter, more focused plan for our podcasts. In this first new format podcast we spend most of the time talking about the big news at CES 2009, the Palm Pre and WebOS. We also mentioned the new Nokia N85 device I purchased over the holidays and the Agora Pro that will not be coming as the second Google Android device.
Last year RIM announced a $150 million development fund and then we heard about an upcoming BlackBerry application storefront. RIM just sent a notice to developers that they are now accepting applications for this new storefront so if you are a developer check out the Vendor Portal and get your application in. RIM will contact you regarding the results of their evaluation and the next steps to take.
My mobile device history dates back to 1997 with my US Robotics Pilot 1000 and I still have a few Palm OS applications that I enjoy using. If you have Palm OS applications that you still need to run and now have moved onto S60, UIQ, or Windows Mobile you can use StyleTap and still use most Palm applications. The Symbian (S60 and UIQ) version has been in closed beta for some time and according to the Symbian Guru the S60 version was just made available for trial and purchase (US$49.95).
I am a big fan of the Evernote clients and service and cast my vote for them in the recent Crunchie contest they won so I was particularly pleased to see that they keep improving the Windows Mobile client right along with the iPhone client. The latest release for Windows Mobile brings a host of new features that I can't wait to try out on my Palm Treo Pro and HTC Fuze.
The last we heard from a Microsoft source was that you would need to buy a new Windows Mobile device to get the Internet Explorer Mobile 6.1 web browser. WMExperts posted on the rumored Sprint Diamond ROM update that shows MSIE 6.0 in the list of new/different features. If the Sprint Touch Diamond can support IE Mobile 6 then there are a host of even more powerful devices (Touch Pro, XPERIA X1, etc.) that should be able to support it too with an update.