In addition to meeting up with friends and developing relationships with mobile application developers, carriers, and manufacturers my favorite part of these trade shows is getting hands-on time with products. I was able to try out several that interest me, including the Samsung OMNIA HD, Nokia E75, Nokia N86, HTC Snap, HTC Touch Pro2, and HTC Diamond2. You can check out my image gallery and thoughts on these devices below. The order of my coverage below is from my personal favorite to least favorite.
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 have been disappointed by the lack of Android hardware news at CTIA, following the lack of news at Mobile World Congress, and am starting to wonder why it is taking so long for manufacturers to get on the Android train. There was one shining bit of news though that had me purchasing another application on the Android Market this morning. DataViz announced Documents To Go Standard and RoadSync beta for the T-Mobile G1 and HTC Magic. You can check out their new products and download both from the Android Market.
The one device that I have not yet had a chance to see in person was the Palm Pre and all of that changed at the Mobile Focus event last night. Kevin Tofel and I were able to corner Matt Crowley, Palm product line manager for the Palm Pre, and he ran through some things on the Pre for us. I asked particularly about 3rd party applications because I haven't yet seen any in action. He showed us Fandango, NASCAR, and Amazon Music on the camera and then we also heard more about Pandora. Check out the video below to see these apps in action and then a walk through some of the other main features of the Palm Pre.
The T-Mobile Dash remains one of my favorite smartphones of all time and after I get home from CTIA I am going with my wife to pick up a new all black one for her for $50 at T-Mobile since she broke another one. She LOVES it and won't go to another device, even after several of my failed attempts. That may change though if she saw what I get to see this week here at CTIA. HTC announced the Snap Windows Mobile non-touchsreen device that is the true successor to the T-Mobile Dash/HTC Excalibur. One key feature of the Snap's new QWERTY keyboard is the offset arrangement of the keys since QWERTY thumb keyboards really should not have their keys all lined up as most of them are, but offset to make text entry more accurate.
We knew the BlackBerry App World launch was coming soon and rumors had it for 1 April. While in a conversation with fellow writers at the Showstoppers event an email appeared on my phone that the BlackBerry App World was available and ready for installation. I pulled out the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 and quickly installed the new application suite to give it a run through. Check out several screenshots in my image gallery and the video below, as well as my more in depth thoughts on this new application store.
To kick off the CTIA news, Microsoft announced some official support for Windows phones as well as a change in policy, for the better, in regards to developers and the Windows Marketplace. The policy for developers to be charged for updates after the seven-day window has been updated and developers will be able to make updates to their applications throughout the application lifecycle with no additional charges. It is great to see Microsoft listening and responding quickly to feedback from the community.
Surprisingly, there has not yet been a dedicated (non-Java) Twitter client for the S60 platform even though S60 leads the world in market share. There was a very tightly controlled private beta of Gravity going on for a month or so, but I didn't get a chance to try it myself. This morning Gravity went public and I immediately downloaded and installed it on my Nokia 5800 XpressMusic device. After about an hour of usage I can say this application gives me the BEST Twitter experience on a mobile device. I have tried several iPhone and Windows Mobile applications, but find the speed, animations, functionality, multiple client support, and more to be so much better on the 5800.
My new iPhone 3G (2nd one after returning my original last Fall) is on the way after finding a deal on a new one at HowardForums. I also have been using the T-Mobile G1 since last October, but as I mentioned in my first Clash of the Titans article I am going to discuss the HTC Magic since it is the Android device without the keyboard and I am trying to stick with touch screen only devices if possible. I wanted to clarify that I am putting these articles together as a reference resource that lays out everything we currently know about the devices and operating systems running on them. This is the method I personally use for most all high value devices I purchase and I thought it would be helpful to share my process with you all. As you saw in my iPhone vs. Pre article, I didn't reach a full conclusion because that is impossible without actually using the Pre. Some people may question why I even post these articles at this time as it may be premature, but this is the process I am going through as device release dates approach so if you think it is too early feel free to skip the articles and wait until I get a chance to get my hands on the device and post full reviews because you know I won't be able to resist and will end up with at least one of the devices in a few months.
My ZDNet Mobile Gadgeteer blog has thousands of RSS subscribers and I noticed that this still rather young Smartphones & Cell Phones blog has just a few of you subscribed to the feed. Thus, as a weekend public service announcement I wanted to make you aware that you can subscribe via RSS using your favorite client and know when I post new articles. Did you know you can also sign up for email alerts if you don't use RSS?
Kevin finally sent back James' original Kindle, but only after first buying his own Kindle 2. In MobileTechRoundup show #167 we started off by chatting about how the Whispersync technology makes the Kindle a compelling product for iPhone ebook fans. The official announcement was also made last week for eReader beta for BlackBerry devices. Om Malik broke the news that Skype may be coming to the iPhone next week at CTIA and Kevin and I will be there to find out first hand and maybe make some test calls between our iPhones. We didn't get into all the details of the iPhone OS 3.0 update, but we did discuss the implication of push notification and whether or not other will follow Apple's lead in using this type of system. Opera Mobile 9.7 also gets a Turbo boost and James and I talked a bit about why we like this browsing solution.