I may have been a bit harsh on Microsoft regarding Windows Mobile 6.5, but the long time frame until release is extremely frustrating for someone like me who enjoys using Windows Mobile devices. While Microsoft stumbles through getting the operating system and services up and running, the manufacturers keep innovating and launching some cool products. We saw the rumored HTC roadmap and as I mentioned in that post the HTC Maple is one of the devices I am personally most excited about seeing released this year.
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.
Google announced that priced applications would start appearing in the Android Market almost two weeks ago and now that I am back from my vacation I spent some time browsing through the Android Market on my T-Mobile G1. Paid apps started actually appearing just about a week ago. Once you are in the Android Market you simply press the Menu button and select Change view to toggle between all, free, or priced applications in both the Applications list or Games list. There are currently 227 applications (ranging from 99 cents to $34.99) and 148 games (ranging from 99 cents to $9.99) for a total of 375 priced applications in the Android Market.
I was reading through my feeds and stumbled upon the Mobile Tech Review post on Gameloft games coming to Android devices. According to the press release, 20 games will be available from them on the Android Market. While this is great news for the T-Mobile G1 and future Android devices, until Google or the manufacturers (currently only HTC) fix the problem with only installing applications on internal memory you won't be able to actually load up many of these games without getting constant low memory warnings. I see this error/notification every single day now with just over 50 applications loaded on my G1. Maybe I should try to uninstall some of these applications.
Even though I have mobile phones with powerful web browsers, such as the G1 browser and S60 browser, I still go back to using Opera Mini the majority of the time. I like that I can login to my Opera Link account and have the same bookmarks on every device I use with no real effort on my part. I also find the speed to be excellent and the shortcuts and viewability to be extremely useful and attractive. On my G1 I can cache data to the storage card while the integrated browser consumes all of my onboard memory. Opera just released their latest State of the Mobile Web report for January 2009. Usage of Opera Mini went up 12.2% to 20 million unique users.
The line between feature phones and smartphones continues to blur and in some cases we are seeing feature phones that are more powerful than smartphones. T-Mobile and Samsung now have the Memoir available for US$249.99 after mail-in rebate (US$50) and T-Mobile contract of minimum service. The major distinguishing feature of the Memoir is that it has an 8 megapixel digital camera with Xenon flash and if you look at the phone you may actually think it is a camera more than a phone. I have been playing with the Memoir for a few hours and post some thoughts on it below, along with a small image gallery and video of the new phone.
As I mentioned shortly after the Android Market was up and running imeem Mobile was, and still is, one of my favorite Google Android applications. I had an update notice on my G1 this morning, this is provided in the latest firmware update, for imeem Mobile and after that received a press release announcing this latest update. This new version of imeem Mobile includes MyMusic, "Favorite" stations, and the ability to share songs with a friend.
The Pantech Matrix Pro was just recently announced and is already available for purchase from AT&T. Both Brighthand and Mobile Tech Review have reviews of the device posted already to give you personal perspectives on using this new Windows Mobile Standard (non-touch screen) device. The Pantech Duo launched in early 2008 as a low cost touch screen Windows Mobile device so it is interesting that the follow-up device moves to a non-touch screen model. Both have the interesting dual slider (keypad in portrait and QWERTY keyboard in landscape) that makes these devices quick unique and also a bit thick.
I posted about the Quickoffice viewer for the Google Android G1 device and was disappointed that it is currently only a viewer application. Dieter had a chance to swing by the DataViz booth and saw Docs To Go and RoadSync on the Google Android platform demoed. Documents To Go has editing for Word and Excel documents and is targeted for release in March.
One issue many people have with the iPhone App Store is the lack of trial versions that force you to pay for an application even if you are not sure it will do what you need or want it too. Many developers have created Lite versions that act as trial versions and are available for free. According to Android Central the Android Market's new paid applications can be purchased and used for 24 hours with a return policy if the application doesn't live up to expectations.
We knew that DataViz was going to demo their Documents To Go product at MWC for the Apple iPhone and Dieter Bohn had a chance to sit down with them and get a live demo of the product in action on an iPhone. At this time Word document editing is working with Excel editing still not quite there yet. Their product will provide Word and Excel support along with PDF viewing. They also do have cut and paste support within the application.