Posts by Steve Mueller

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    One of the great advantages of Windows Mobile is its media capabilities, and the Motorola Q is no exception. Not only does the Q include Windows Media 10, but it has a 1.3 megapixel camera that can take stills and videos. Today I'll cover Windows Media, and my next entry will cover the camera and photo applications. Windows Media 10 first came out on Windows Mobile 2003 SE. However, it wasn't available when WM 2003 SE first launched, so it was made available as an upgrade in some cases. I believe Windows Mobile 5 is the first version with Windows Media 10 integrated on every device. As ...

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    As promised, I'll look at Pocket MSN on the Q today. Pocket MSN lets you run MSN Messenger, connect to your Hotmail account, send E-mail using Hotmail and go to the MSN Mobile Home page. MSN Messenger was added to the Pocket PC 2002 operating system and is still around today. Like most Smartphone programs, though, MSN Messenger on the Q seems more limited than on the Pocket PC. For example, you can control your privacy using Allow and Block lists and set your presence state (Online, Busy, Away, etc.) on the Pocket PC (at least on Windows Mobile 2003), but not on the Q. Another strange ...

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    As promised, I'll look at Internet Explorer on the Q today. If I get a converged PDA/phone, Web browsing is probably the one thing I would do the most. E-mail access is nice, but I don't really want to read, and especially respond to, E-mail while I'm out. However, there are many times I would love to browse the Web — to compare prices while shopping, to look up facts during a conversation, to answer those trivia questions people throw at me sometimes, etc. For me, the Web is the killer app for converged PDA/phones. Internet Explorer on the Smartphone works a bit differently than on the ...

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    One of the benefits of smart phones is that you can access the Internet away from your PC. You can do that with a WiFi device, too, but coverage is usually a lot more limited. There are three main applicatons for Internet access on the Q — Messaging, which does E-mail (and text and MMS messaging); Internet Explorer, which obviously does Web browsing; and MSN Messenger (hidden inside of Pocket MSN), for instant messaging. In the next three blog entries, I'll look at each one of these. With Messagaing, you can sync your Q with your PC and get your Outlook E-mail, which is easy to do. You ...

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    WARNING! This is a rant! While this doesn't deal with the Motorola Q directly, it does deal with issues involved with using the Q (or any Windows Mobile 5 device). When Microsoft introduced ActiveSync 4.0, I thought about installing it. After all, the latest ActiveSync should be an improvement right? And it was required to sync any Windows Mobile 5 devices, which was a long-awaited upgrade, and something I wanted to check out. After all, the Dell Axim x51v and the HP iPAQ 2795 looked pretty sweet. However, I still had an iPAQ 5550 running Windows Mobile 2003, and Microsoft themselves said ...

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    Motorola says the Q is a phone first, so how well does it work as a phone? So far, pretty well. I haven't had any problems with the audio quality, although calling my VOIP phone at work and putting it on the speaker seemed to have a hollow sound. However, as I was standing a few feet from the phone, maybe there was some feedback. In general, the people I've spoken to didn't seem to have any problems understanding me, and the sound at my end was usually good (although once with a Bluetooth headset, I did seem to get some choppy audio, but that could have been from the other end). As alluded ...

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    One of the most important things about a PDA, but one of the least often considered before purchasing, is battery life. Many of us like to focus on the processor, memory, screen, operating system, media capability and so on, but none of those matter if you can't use the device because the battery is dead. This is especially true for a converged PDA, which also serves as your phone. It's one thing to be without your PDA, but it's a whole lot worse to be without your PDA and your phone. The Motorola Q comes with a 3.7 Volt 1130 mAh lithium ion battery. But what does that mean in day-to-day ...

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    Monday was an exciting day for me — I got a Motorola Q! Well, technically, our friends at Verizon Wireless sent me a review unit, but why ruin the excitement? So for the next few days (or, with luck, weeks), you'll be seeing my impressions of one of the most coveted Smartphones yet released. Before I get to the good stuff, let me set out my biases. The Q is a triple whammy for me — my first converged PDA/phone, my first Windows Mobile Smartphone and my first Windows Mobile 5 device. This means that it may be hard for me to identify whether something was changed due to WM 5 or being a ...

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    Seen at the Computex computer convention, could the ASUS A639 be the best Pocket PC ever? Well, with the following specs, it just might be: Windows Mobile 5 (that wasn't specifically stated, but the picture implies it) Intel XScale 416MHz CPU 1 GB flash memory (yes, one gigabyte!) 64 MB RAM QVGA screen (no mention of the size, though) 802.11b/g Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate -- up to 2.1 Mbps) SiRFstarIII GPS It's not perfect, of course. A 416 MHz processor seems a bit slow in a non-phone system where battery life isn't such an issue. Maybe ASUS feels 802.11g WiFi is enough of a ...

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    Before it's even been officially unveiled, there's a review of the Motorola Q on Microsoft's site. There's also a main page describing the Q which links to the review and a very limited specs page. The reviewer, Kevin Ebi, seemed to love the device. He was especially impressed with the vibrant screen, the scroll wheel, the included voice recognition and the media capabilities. With all the buzz about the Q, do you think the device will be sweet as honey, or do you think users will get stung? Share your thoughts in the discussion.

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    A company called Eye-Fi has announced a product called Eye-Film designed for digital photographers that combines a 1 GB SD memory card with 802.11g WiFi. Sure, SanDisk offered a combined SD memory/WiFi card years ago, but this looks better for four reasons: It has 1 GB memory instead of 256 MB. It has 802.11g WiFI, not 802.11b. It looks like it's the size of a normal SD card, not an extended card, so it can fit more easily into various devices. It's supposed to be preconfigured to connect to hotspots more easily. As I mentioned, it seems to be designed for digital photographers who want to ...

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    According to Engadget Mobile, the long-awaited Motorola Q may be introduced on May 22. Verizon and Motorola have scheduled a joint news conference in New York on that day, so this could be the end of the wait. Are you looking forward to the Q or have other devices caught your attention by now? Share your thoughts in the discussion.

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    Handango InHand is giving $15 off of four software titles if you use their mobile client to purchase the software. If you have the mobile client installed on your Pocket PC, update the catalog and visit the Check out these sweet savings area. The programs eligible for the discount include: Pocket Informant, the ever-popular PIM software by WebIS eWallet, the popular encrypted wallet software by Ilium Software MyPersonalDiet, by VidaOne Multiplayer Championship Poker, by Realdice Have you tried Handango InHand before? If so, what did you think? Share your thoughts in the discussion.

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    A developer has just discovered a new registry hack to restore full Bluetooth functionality to any Verizon Wireless Pocket PC Phones. This is something everybody has been waiting for! It does require a registry hack, so break out your favorite registry editor and add the following key/value pair to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINETelephony as a DWORD value:: Uncripple 0x0401 Voila! Bluetooth should be working like you want! Unfortunately, I don't have a Pocket PC Phone to test this on. If you do, let us know whether or not it worked in the discussion.

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    HP announced the iPAQ hx401 today. It seems like the PDA everybody has been waiting for -- the successor to the hx4700, only better. Here are some specs: Intel XScale 624 MHz processor Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC with AKU2 288 MB Flash ROM (224 MB available) 128 MB RAM 4.0" 480x640 VGA screen GSM with EDGE 802.11g WiFi (yes, 54 mbps) Bluetooth 2.0 SiRFStar III GPS with TMC traffic data receiver Fingerprint scanner SDIO slot MiniSD slot The form factor is supposed to be similar to the hx4700, so it's probably meant to be used as a connected PDA, not a true phone, although with ...

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    I walked into my local Verizon Wireless store Friday to check out the xv6700, but look what I found. Yes, it's the Motorola Q! I had heard rumors that it might be released in April, but this beat the rumors by one day. Here are some specs and things that I like so far: Awesome 1.3 megapixel camera Phone: CDMA RAZR-like styling Internal antenna (no lumps sticking up) Lighted QWERTY keyboard Form factor: Candy bar Operating System: Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphones Only 0.47" thick Landscape 320x240 2.4" QVGA screen Storage: 64 MB Flash ROM, plus MiniSD slot I bought one on the spot. Are ...

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    PC Magazine has reviewed the Verizon XV6700, and their conclusion is that power users should go to Sprint and use the PPC-6700. Why? Well, I'll let a quotation from the review tell it all: "Boo. Hiss. Verizon's XV6700 could have been the best PDA/phone on the market today, with a great balance of small size, robust features, and decent call quality. Unfortunately, Verizon's decision to cripple the gadget's Wi-Fi abilities should send power users running to Sprint, which has a better version." They also rip Verizon for crippling Bluetooth Dial-Up Networking and not having a modem plan ...

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    HP has announced the iPAQ hw6940 Mobile Messenger on their Web site. The 6940 combines cell phone, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS capabilities, making it one of the few consumer devices to do all four. Here are the specs: Windows Mobile 5.0 Phone Edition with Messaging and Security Feature Pack Intel PXA270 416 MHz Processor 45 MB available for persistent user storage (a bit low, I think) 64 MB SDRAM for running applications 3.0" transflective 240 x 240 64K-color display Integrated alphanumeric keyboard Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE 802.11b Wi-Fi (why not 802.11g?) Bluetooth 1.2 Integrated GPS receiver ...

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    As reported on C|Net, Mark Nelson, owner of about 8% of Palm stock, wants Palm to consider selling itself to a company like Research in Motion, Dell or Hewlett-Packard while it can get good value. He argues that Palm will have trouble competing against larger companies that are getting into the Smartphone business. However, Gartner analyst Todd Kort thinks Palm's independence can be an asset, allowing it to move more quickly than rivals. They don't have to worry about a bunch of devices like Nokia or Motorola do. Personally, I can't see HP buying Palm. HP already uses HTC to design Pocket ...

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    If you like the Sprint PPC-6700 (AKA HTC Apache) but have Verizon Wireless service, you're in luck. Verizon has released the UTStarcom XV6700. Just visit Verizon Wireless and pay $449.99 with a one-year plan or $399.99 with a two-year plan. When I visited, I also got an offer for $20 off select phones with new service, so you might even be able to get this for less. Here is the list of features on the phone from the Verizon press release: Windows Mobile 5 64 MB RAM / 128 MB Flash ROM MiniSD Card expansion slot Bluetooth (with support for the wireless headset, hands-free accessories, file ...

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    Sling Media has announced SlingPlayer Mobile, a Pocket PC client for the Slingbox video place-shifter. It appears that it will work with most newer Pocket PC phones and Pocket PCs with WiFi. I'm not sure how accurate the press release is, though — they claimed support for Windows Mobile 4 (does that even exist?) and Windows Mobile for Smartphone (but didn't mention any Smartphones, only Pocket PC phones like the Palm Treo 700w, Motorola Q, Samsung i730 and UTStarcom PPC6700). Windows Mobile 2003 support wasn't listed. SlingPlayer Mobile should be available this quarter. Pricing and ...

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    In more SD card news, if you don't like having to put your SD card into your computer or PDA just to see how much memory is left, A-Data may have the solution for you — a card with an LCD display built-in. When you plug the card into a card reader, it charges the display. They claim the display will be maintained until the card is plugged into a reader again, which seems optimistic for cards that you don't use for a long time. The cards come in 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB and 2 GB capacities and 80x speed. Now if only they'd combne this with SanDisk's built-in USB connector, we'd ...

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    The SD Card Association announced they're working on a new high-capacity Secure Digital format, SDHC. This will break the 2 GB memory barrier (didn't I just post about a 4 GB SD card yesterday?) and guarantee a minimum speed suitable for MPEG-2 video. The specification is expected to be finished "in early 2006". They have also announced three other SD specifications which seem to be for content protection (DRM, oh joy): SD-Audio, SD-Video and SD-Binding. The first two are obviously for audio and video, but the last is intended to allow cell phone carriers to bind downloaded content to a ...

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    No need to drool about the Palm Treo 700w. You too can have your own! Just visit Verizon Wireless and pay $549.99 with a one-year plan or $499.99 with a two-year plan. When I visited, I also got an offer for $20 off any phone, so you might even be able to get this for less. Are you planning on picking this up? Share your thoughts in the discussion.

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    eCost is selling the Transcend 150x 4 GB SD card for $209 after a $25 rebate. There will be a minimum of $9.94 for shipping and handling and sales tax in some areas. Even so, this seems like a pretty good deal with 2 GB SD cards still costing $110 or more. This is especially true with this being fairly new technology (unless I missed the availability of 4 GB SD cards much earlier). You may want to check the compatibility of the cards with your devices, though, as it may be limited. For example, my 2 GB SD card works fine in my iPAQ 5550, but isn't recognized at all by my Mobile Crossing ...

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