If HP spins off its PC group along with the webOS bunch, phone maker HTC would be a great fit to pick up the phone/tablet business.
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With news of more than 10-billion internet capable non-PC devices already online and suggestions that this number could double by 2014 my thoughts wandered to the security of my new best friend; my HTC Desire.According to the report published on ZDNet Asia, our TVs, digital photo frames, Blu-ray players and PVRs are now all potentially at risk, defenceless without the anti-virus protection afforded to PC users worldwide.
While all the hype around video calling on the HTC EVO 4G centered around Qik, it was actually Fring who was able to bring us free video calling first. As a bonus, the Fring client serves up the video calling via the Skype network so you can place and receive calls between an Android and desktop PC.
One aspect of the HTC Droid Incredible that people seem to be quite interested in is the official Mobile Broadband Connect utility found on the device. You will need a cable to connect your HTC Incredible to your PC and now we see the available pricing options for this new Android device. The two options are $10 or $25 per month for 5GB of data and depend on the voice and email plan you have setup with your device.
Lenovo has reportedly emerged as the leading candidate to buy Palm after HTC bowed out, but would the PC maker really pull the trigger? Logic dictates that Lenovo is an unlikely savior.
I load up quite a few 3rd party applications on my mobile devices and a few stick around and appear on all of my devices because I find them essential for my daily life. One application that I tried several years ago on my Palm Treo was SplashMoney from SplashData. It has been a few years since I used a Palm OS device as a primary device, so I was quite pleased to hear of the recent launch of SplashMoney version 4.0 for Windows Mobile devices. My T-Mobile Shadow is found in my pocket most of the time so I quickly loaded it up with SplashMoney's non-touch screen version. I also loaded the desktop client on my Fujitsu U810 and the touch screen client on the HTC Advantage. They also now have a Mac desktop version, but that does not sync to Windows Mobile devices. You can see just over 20 screenshots of SplashMoney on my two Windows Mobile devices and a PC in my image gallery.
So I was using the REDFLY Windows Mobile Smartphone Companion a bit more with the HTC Advantage and a thought came to me that the REDFLY solves the problem I had with the Windows CE Handheld PCs of the old days. I was a big fan of the Handheld PCs, like the Jornada 680, because they gave me a large keyboard and display to write, surf, and be productive on the go with a long battery life. The major reason I stopped using the Handheld PC devices was that the operating system grew a bit stale since Microsoft stopped updating the OS and the browser would not let me visit the websites I needed to access. The REDFLY can be paired with the latest and greatest Windows Mobile devices and as long as Celio Corp continues to roll out drivers/utilities for the operating system I can use the REDFLY as a modern day Handheld PC that stays as up to date as the devices I connect it with.
The HTC Advantage (check out my review) is one of my all-time favorite Windows Mobile devices and I am using it more and more as an ultra portable PC. There are lots of different Today screen plug-ins available, but I find a lot of them slow down the device or are not easily accessible with a quick finger press. Spb Software House develops some of the best applications for Windows Mobile devices and I tried using Spb Mobile Shell 1.5 last year on the Advantage, but when I loaded the RealVGA utility to take advantage of this beautiful high resolution display I ran into some compatibility issues and removed it from the Advantage. I was very pleased to see that Spb Mobile Shell 2.0 was just released yesterday and am happy to report it works well with RealVGA running on the HTC Advantage. I have been playing with this application for several days and you can check out just about every screen in the application in my image gallery as well as view the application in action in my video below.
I am in the process of working on a full review of SoftMaker Office 2006 for Pocket PCs in my qwest to turn the HTC Advantage into a full blown portable computer. However, I'll have to adjust my review now since I just received a note that the public beta of SoftMaker Office 2008 for Pocket PCs is now available as a free download for you to try out on your device. The free trial works on Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Classic and Professional devices (not on the non-touch screen devices) and will work until 31 March 2008. An updated beta or the full version will be available after this date.
I was given a trial account of Boingo Mobile to use with Nokia Nseries devices here at Mobile World Congress 2008 and it is a great way to get connected for only US$7.95 per month for unlimited worldwide access. Boingo announced that they have updated their clients to now run on Windows Mobile 6 and UIQ devices so now even more mobile users can enjoy low cost WiFi while on the road. I plan to download this latest client to the HTC Advantage and my T-Mobile Shadow to give it a try here at MWC. If you travel or live in one of the many thousands of areas covered by Boingo Mobile then I highly recommend you check them out as a good alternative for connectivity. FYI, the US$7.95 access is for access from a mobile device and is not the same plan as if you access the Boingo network from a PC (prices starting at US$21.95/month) as I found out at the Newark International Airport.
HTC announced the Shift ultra portable PC at CTIA in March 2007. Since that time there has been a few videos and reviews of test units that made it into the wild. You may actually be able to find the device in Europe now (I couldn't find it available anywhere online thought) and the full specs are available on the HTC website. According to Unwired View the HTC Shift has finally been approved by the FCC so it should be coming to the U.S. soon. Most every site I checked out, like Mobile Planet and Dynamism, show a late February availability of the device.
CES 2008 kicks off in a couple of days and companies are already making announcements. I plan to check out what is coming in the ultra-portable/Tablet PC market in 2008 as I look for a device that helps me work on my daily train commute. At this time, I am using an HTC Advantage for most tasks, but I do find I really could use a full computer to be most efficient. Lenovo announced their IdeaPad laptops in 3 sizes and that 11-inch model seems most attractive to me as I look for a smaller device. I then read about the newly announced HP Pavilion tx2000 on jkOnTheRun and this device moves to the head of the line for my consideration.
James, Kevin, and I recorded MobileTechRoundup show #119 just before Christmas and talked about the HTC Touch Dual, usage of the HTC Advantage on the go, the WiBrain UMPC that Kevin is evaluating, the Dell Latitude Tablet PC, and the OS 2008 update for the Nokia N800. We had a couple pieces of freeware we talked about as well that you may want to try out. We'll have one more show before we try to record again at CES in Vegas in January so stay tuned for that final 2007 episode.
I have been enjoying the mobile office functionality of the HTC Advantage (see my review) and am always on the lookout for other powerful mobile devices that can help me work where I want to be. One of the devices I have been keeping my eye on is the Fujitsu LifeBook U810 that looks a bit like a big brother to my old Sony CLIE UX 50. I just read on jkOnTheRun that the Fujitsu U810 is now up on the Fujitsu website and available for US$999 or US$1099. The only difference between the two is the version of Vista (Home vs. Business) and the inclusion of Microsoft Works or Office. Compared to other devices in this ultra-portable PC category these sound like very good prices and definitely have me interested.
I have a stack of shiny high-def discs, a Windows Vista PC, and a new combo drive that plays both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. Here's how I went from bare metal to home theater in 60 minutes or less. And the best part of all? No Vista DRM. Yes, you read that right. I've got the details right here.
I'm very fond of my T-Mobile Vario II pocket PC smartphone thingy, which is also known (branded, whatever) as the HTC TyTN. Well, I think I know what my next handset might be - the TyTN II, available now.
It has been almost a full year since we last heard of the HTC Libra Windows Mobile device and it looks like it is finally available from someone in the U.S. I left Qwest Wireless a few years ago due to the limited selection of devices, but since they have partnered with Sprint they have been able to get the latest and greatest into their lineup. The Qwest Fusion HTC 5800 is available now for only US$199.99 and is a full Windows Mobile Professional device with touch screen and the full Pocket PC operating system. You will notice the device looks similar to the HTC Vox with a standard phone keypad on the front and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, but the major difference is the touch screen display and full Pocket PC operating system.
HTC (High Tech Computer) is the premier manufacturer of Windows Mobile devices and back in March they shocked me a bit with the announcement of the HTC Shift ultra-portable Windows PC. Hugo Ortega is one of the luckiest gadget enthusiasts in the world as I believe he is the first guy to get his hands on the device and posted a very informative and thorough video over at GottaBeMobile.com. It also came to light that the HTC Shift is not only a full Windows Vista PC, but also a Windows Mobile 6 Professional device and there is a quick switch button to toggle between the two operating systems. Hugo stated you can get a mind-blowing 7 days of battery life out of the Windows Mobile side, but we'll have to see that tested for me to truly grasp that number. It looks like HTC is entering the ultra portable PC game with a bang and all the other manufacturers will definitely want to take a good hard look at the device as it appears that the Shift sets the new standard.
We didn't initially plan for MobileTechRoundup show #108 to be a single focus podcast and it rarely happens, but James and I have had the chance to play with the newly released HTC Advantage and have lots to talk about. Kevin asks some great questions and we all chat about the many strengths and couple of weaknesses of the most powerful Pocket PC Phone Edition (aka Windows Mobile 6 Professional) device currently available. I actually just left the Gnomedex 7 conference today after using only the HTC Advantage to keep all my conference notes, manage my calendar, follow and post Twitter feeds, and more. The Advantage performed like a champ and I am finding it more and more useful as I continue to evaluate the device.
I was pretty impressed with the GPS receiver on the HTC Advantage, but the Google Maps application isn't that functional for routing and navigation compared to other dedicated 3rd party applications. As I stated back in February, Nokia made their new smart2go mapping solution available to owners of S60 and Windows Mobile Pocket PC devices. I just loaded it up on the HTC Advantage to try it out and while the fonts are not sharp on the VGA display, the program provides many more options than seen on Google Maps. Again, I was able to get a fix in my basement rec room within a minute or so and see lots of points-of-interest near my house. What is your favorite mapping application that you recommend I try on a Windows Mobile device?
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 Windows 10: You've got questions, I've got answers
- 2 Perfectly legal ways you can still get Windows 7 cheap (or even free)
- 3 Hands-on with Windows 10: Installing the latest Technical Preview
- 4 31 ways to improve your iPhone's battery life
- 5 How much does an iPhone 6 really cost? (Hint: It's way more than $199)