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.
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.
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.
Vista was launched and MobileTechRoundup show #89 contains lots of discussion of this latest Micrsoft operating system. James, Kevin, and I are all installing Vista on our devices with James trying it on the Fujitsu P1610 and Kevin and I on the Samsung Q1 UMPC. Drivers are being released by many manufacturers, although Samsung hasn't released any for our Q1s yet so we have had to brute force a few aspects. Kevin is happy to have Sammy back and told his readers that Sammy is looking for a new home so contact Kevin if you are interested. EV-DO Rev. A is rolling out from Verizon as well and I am having good experiences with Sprint. Kevin is testing the Netgear SPH-101 Skype phone and it sounds good. Google Maps is available for free for Windows Mobile and Palm devices so make sure you download it now.
PenCommander 2.0 has been launched around the Vista release and includes support for Windows Vista, which is timely since I plan to put Vista on my Q1 this weekend. PenCommander 2.0 also includes an updated scripting engine to allow for new user-level functions and improved performance, new customizable user interface for Visual PenCommander, new PenCommander skins, ability to select a handwriting recognition engine (important if multiple languages are used), and the ability to make the input panel semi-transparent so you can work on applications with PenCommander sitting on the desktop. IMHO, a gesture/shorthand command application like this is essential for UMPC and Tablet PC users as it improves productivity and makes using the pen a much more enjoyable experience.
Google released a Google Maps Mobile for Windows Mobile devices application today so you no longer have to have a Java client and use the Java utility to find directions and locations on Google Maps. You can visit the Google Maps for Mobile website, download and then install the .CAB file now for your Windows Mobile device. I just installed it on my Dash and like it even better than the Java client because the fonts are cleaner, the navigation is better integrated, and I don't have to go through all those Java midlet authorization screens. You can use it to show traffic status too and it is available for free. Make sure you have an unlimited data plan though before downloading map data to your device.
Verizon Wireless announced their rollout of EV-DO Rev. A wireless broadband network. EV-DO Rev. A gives customers upload speeds five to six times faster than their standard EV-DO rates. Verizon stated the enhanced network will launch in the Boston area, Richmond and Hampton Roads, Virginia, Chicago and its suburbs, Salt Lake City and other cities in Utah, and throughout the state of Florida. There may be other areas with undocumented coverage as well and the two devices with EV-DO Rev. A capability will be available online tomorrow.