It has been a couple of years since we last saw a Toshiba Pocket PC, but as the popularity of Windows Mobile continues to dramatically increase we are seeing old and new manufacturers launching devices. Toshiba looks to be starting off well with the G900 that looks a lot like an HTC Hermes or Apache device and runs Windows Mobile 6 Professional. Toshiba's other entry is a Standard device with a slider that reveals a phone keypad, similar to a Nokia N80 device. These Toshiba devices are slated for release in Japan so I don't know if we will even see them in the U.S.i-mate also revealed a couple of new devices and upgrades to the existing JAQ3.
The Mobile Gadgeteer
Professionals are doing more today on the go than ever before. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile gadgetry such as iPads, Android tablets, cutting edge smartphones, portable gaming,
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
HP has had Pocket PC Phone Edition Mobile Messenger devices for a couple of years, but they have never really seemed to have taken off. HP continues to try to compete in the mobile market and is launching their HP iPAQ 500 series Voice Messenger. The Voice Messenger is a Windows Mobile 6 Standard device (aka Smartphone) and looks to also have a 1.3 megapixel camera. The HP Voice Messenger is capitalizing on the increasing popularity of VoIP and includes capabilities and integrated WiFi for this functionality. HP is also including a powerful voice command system that actually allows you to reply to email by dictating and sending a voice response without the need for any typing. GSM/EDGE and Bluetooth radios are also included on the device. The new HP Voice Messenger should be available this Spring, but you can check out our image gallery in the meantime.
Microsoft was forced to unveil their new operating system, Windows Mobile 6.0, last week due to a breach of NDA by a media source and today they posted the "official" press release. A couple of exciting bits of news that can be found in the press release that were not revealed last week are that future T-Mobile Dash devices in the U.S. will come with Windows Mobile 6 and existing owners like myself will be able to upgrade our devices to Windows Mobile 6, Orange will deliver the SPV E650, and SoftBank Mobile Corp will offer new devices from Toshiba and HTC in mid-2007. Yes, that's right it looks like Toshiba is coming back to the world of Windows Mobile and hopefully we'll see more details about the hardware soon. Look for lots of hardware details soon from 3GSM in Spain.The first Windows Mobile 6 hardware revealed at 3GSM is the Samsung SCH-i760 and a couple photos are included in this post. I saw this unique Windows Mobile 6 Professional device at CES, yet it did not have a battery so I didn't get to see it in action. The Samsung SCH-i760 has an original phone keypad with an offset directional pad on the bottom left with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
The lines are becoming blurred between the different categories of devices as you can see in the image gallery with some of the key differences in the new Classic, Standard, and Professional classes being a much more powerful Office Mobile application suite that allows you to create documents on a Professional or Classic device, Remote Desktop Mobile in the Classic/Pro models, stupid basic calculator on the Classic/Pro devices while the Standard device actually has a new, fresh calculator designed for non-touch screens, ability to setup your own home page in Internet Explorer Mobile on Classic/Pro devices, and external storage card encryption support on Classic/Pro devices. Check out the 42 new actual screenshots from a Windows Mobile 6 Professional device, including the Windows Update sequence.
Nokia announced that users of other select S60 and Windows Mobile 5.0 devices can now also download maps over-the-air for free when they are connected wirelessly. Support for other S60 devices, S40 devices, Linux, and other Windows Mobile devices is planned for the future. Their smart2go maps provide worldwide coverage and allow for mapping in routing in over 150 countries. I have been using Google Maps quite a bit for finding locations when I am traveling, but will definitely be trying out the Nokia maps because I can now pair my devices with a Bluetooth GPS and get satellite navigation functionality. There is a desktop client to download maps and store them on a storage card in case you are traveling to an area without wireless carrier coverage.
If you are a Treo fan then I highly recommend you check out fellow ZDNet blogger and mobile gadget fan Marc Orchant's recent post linking to his Treo-focused podcast. Marc recorded the podcast with David Spark on The Communications Insider for Sprint show. Marc starts off with the top 3 things you should do when you take your Treo out of the box and I completely agree with his valuable tips, especially regarding Agendus. Marc then goes on to chat about all kinds of great tips and tricks that can be valuable to users of all kinds of mobile devices. Check out this 25 minute podcast now.
Microsoft was expected to reveal their new Windows Mobile operating system, previously codenamed Crossbow, on Monday at the 3GSM event in Spain. Events suddenly changed and the NDA was lifted a few days early so stayed up much later than planned to give all of my readers here my first take on Windows Mobile 6 since I have been using it for the last month on a Windows Mobile Smartphone device. Check out over 33 actual screenshots with more from the Professional device to come in another article. Windows Mobile 6 offers lots of user experience improvements and a fresh clean look. Stay tuned for Windows Mobile 6 news at 3GSM next week.
I LOVE desktop search tools like Google Desktop and Windows Desktop Search and remember talking with Microsoft about bringing this search functionality to mobile devices. Microsoft has a integrated search tool in Windows Mobile devices, but it has never been a very strong utility. I just read the Nokia press release announcing the release of Nokia Mobile Search that brings powerful search functionality from the desktop to the device. Nokia Mobile Search allows you to search emails, text messages, calendar entries, videos, music files, and more. Nokia Mobile Search indexes your compatible device for faster search results. I could not find any information on whether external storage flash cards or hard drives, like the 4 and 8 GB drives on N91 devices, are indexed. I would think this is where the real power of device search would be as storage cards get larger and larger in capacity with more and more files being stored on them.
pb Software House develops some of the best mobile software and they just released a new application for Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Edition devices called Spb Mobile Shell. Spb Mobile Shell significantly improves the main user interface on these touch screen devices by providing important information on a single screen that is easily navigated with a finger tap. I especially like the looks and functionality of the Spb Menu Actions where your programs appear as large button links and then actions such as New Text Note can be initiated all from quick taps on the display without having to dive down into the programs.
As promised last week, I want to keep informing readers of the availability of the latest Carnival of the Mobilists issue since there really are some great pieces of writing in every weekly newsletter. This week Wireless World Japan hosts Carnival #61. The Carnival takes on a Japanese theme with articles this week falling into the carnival themes of behind the scenes, music, magic, floats, gods, food stalls and 3GSM Barcelona. Is the mobile phone market a two horse race between Nokia and Motorola? As I talked a bit about when the iPhone was announced, do people prefer buttons on their phones? How can you optimize your use of Opera Mini? The answers and discussions to these and many more topics can be found in this latest edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists so visit and enjoy the articles.