Archive for February, 2009

By February 24, 2009 Read More →

Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast No 26

image Our latest podcast is now available to download, in episode 26 we discuss the aftermath of Barcelona MWC 09, Microsoft My Phone, Marketplace and 6.5 coming Quarter 4 with Windows Mobile 7 much later, Palm Pre coming to the UK, but when, listener questions and much more.You can subscribe via iTunes, RSS or download the mp3 file here. Full show notes after the break.

Posted in: Podcast
By February 24, 2009 Read More →

Celio Redfly adopted by US Police

Remember we reviewed the Celio Redfly Mobile Companion last year? Although the Redfly didn’t work properly with my HTC Touch Diamond at the time, due to their not being a Diamond-specific driver, I was still impressed with the technology and thought it was a great solution that would certainly suit a lot of people.

Today I was having a mooch around the net and I came across the press release below. I thought it was interesting to learn that Memphis Police had just deployed 1,200 of the Redfly units as an alternative to in-car laptops.

From the press release:

Celio Corp today announced that the Memphis, Tennessee, Police Department (MPD) has purchased and deployed 1,200 REDFLY Mobile Companions to officers in the field as an alternative to in-car laptops. The REDFLY is a smartphone terminal with a large screen and full keyboard that lets officers use their Windows Mobile-compatible smartphones as if they were full-blown PCs. The REDFLYs save hardware costs while increasing productivity and also improving the quality and the accuracy of the officers’ field reports.

The REDFLY links to the smartphone via a USB cable or wireless Bluetooth connection. REDFLY enables users to comfortably use email, read attachments, view Web sites, and use applications that reside on their smartphones for greater mobile productivity.

Prior to the REDFLYs, the Memphis PD was using smartphones to gain access to sites and applications such as the Watson Field Reporting Suite and the MPD’s own web database. However, it quickly became apparent that working and typing on the smartphone’s small screen and keyboard limited the officers’ ability to effectively use the databases and applications to aid in their jobs.

“We noticed that when officers use only their smartphones, reports had typos and the quality of the narratives were not as detailed as they needed to be,” said Major Jim Harvey. “The larger screen and keyboard has given our officers what they need to bring up mug shots and individuals’ information from our databases, as well as implement a new Paperless Reporting program to submit incident report narratives. Now they can do their jobs more effectively and are very comfortable using their smartphones to file their reports.”

The purchase of REDFLY has enabled the Memphis PD to improve incident report narratives. The officers now have much larger screen real estate and a larger QWERTY keyboard provided by the REDFLY’s eight-inch display and keyboard.

Harvey continued, “We want to provide our officers with the best technology, while being good stewards of the taxpayers’ money. This is a good investment.”

“The Memphis PD’s decision to use the REDFLY Mobile Companion is a tremendous example of the efficiency and cost savings this technology can provide,” said Kirt Bailey, president and CEO of Celio Corp. “They are showing organizations of every size how to get the most out of their mobile technology investment.”

For more information about the REDFLY Mobile Companion, visit www.celiocorp.com.

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Laptops
By February 23, 2009 Read More →

Resco Contact Manager released

image Resco announced today the availability of the brand new application, Resco Contact Manager. After a great demand from users to develop an application which would allow quick access to and management of contacts and text messages, Resco is proud to welcome its latest addition into its application family.

Resco Contact Manager is fully touch-optimized while offering superior tools in order to manage your contacts. The application allows you to easily navigate, search quickly by letter navigation, view text message conversations in a chat-like view and much more. More after the break.

Posted in: Phones
By February 23, 2009 Read More →

HTC Touch Pro ROM update

image HTC have released a new firmware update for the Touch Pro, the update is said to fix the following problems:-

1. The display of TouchFLO 3D sometimes may appear cracked.

2. When taking a picture, the auto focus function may malfunction in some circumstances.

3. In some circumstances, the preview screen will become black after taking picture.

4. In some circumstances, the device may hang while loading TouchFLO 3D.

5. When hanging up a phone call, there may be a delay in the display response.

You can get the upgrade from HTC here.

Posted in: Phones
By February 23, 2009 Read More →

Windows Server File Cluster help needed!

I hope you’ll all forgive my unusual approach here but I’ve been having major problems with a file cluster we built a few weeks ago. Naturally I’ve been trawling around the net for a solution but so far I’ve not found anyone else having the same problem.

The problem I am having is with a network name (or Alias) that I’ve assigned to my file cluster so if you are a cluster expert perhaps you could read on and offer some advice?

To everyone else, I’m sorry for the interruption to our normal technology coverage!

Posted in: Editorial
By February 23, 2009 Read More →

HTC Touch 3G review

HTC have been making high end mobile devices from many years now and the Touch 3G is one of the later models in the ‘Touch’ range. Overall the design is minimalist, stylish, beautiful even! It’s very well thought out and loaded with powerful features.

If you like the look of the HTC Touch 3G, don’t forget our exclusive Touch 3G offer where you can get a free car kit and free delivery. Check out this post for mre details.

So it has the looks, it has the specification, but how does it drive?

 

What’s in the box?

The phone, Mains charger with USB output socket, USB data / charging cable. Ear phones with Call Answer/End button and volume control, manuals, Utility CD and trial of Outlook 2007. Check out Matt’s HTC Touch 3G unboxing video for more information.

 

HTC Touch 3G Specification:

  • Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
  • 102 mm X 53.6 mm X 14.5 mm
  • Weight: 96 grams with battery
  • Processor: Qualcomm® MSM7225™, 528 MHz
  • RAM: 192 MB
  • ROM: 256 MB
  • 2.8-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with QVGA resolution
  • HSDPA/WCDMA: Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz. Up to 384 kbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds. Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for stereo wireless headsets
  • 3.2 megapixel color camera with fixed focus
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery with a capacity: 1100 mAh
  • Battery Standby: Up to 365 hours for GSM
  • Battery Talk Time: Up to 400 minutes for GSM
  • User Interface: HTC TouchFLO™
  • Chipset: GPS and A-GPS ready
  • Expansion Slots: microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
  • I/O Ports: HTC ExtUSB™

 

Physical Layout:

From the top; The front of the phone has the speaker grill, a flush fitting 2.8inch, QVGA touch screen. The display is bright and very sharp. A call button with green LED a four way control with centre button and the End call/ Cancel button with red LED.

HTC Touch 3G front view

HTC Touch 3G front view

 

On the top, simply the On/Lock/Off button.

HTC Touch 3G top view

HTC Touch 3G top view

 

On the left side a Volume up/down rocker switch.

HTC Touch 3G left side

HTC Touch 3G left side

 

On the right just the stylus.

HTC Touch 3G right side

HTC Touch 3G right side

 

On the bottom the HTC ExtUSB™ socket – an extended specification Mini USB socket for Charging/Syncing and Headphone use with HTC Headphones. Its also possible to buy a USB to 3.5mm adapter to use standard stereo headphones.

HTC Touch 3G bottom view

HTC Touch 3G bottom view

 

On the back there is the hands free speaker grill. A 3.2MPix camera and hole with internal hook to connect a lanyard strap.

HTC Touch 3G back view

HTC Touch 3G back view

 

Access to the battery, Sim card and MicroSD expansion card is via a simple pop off back cover. The reset button is also under here.

 

General:

User Interface:

HTC Touch Flo integrated with Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1

Satellite Navigation / GPS:

Built in A-GPS (Assisted – Global Positioning Satellite receiver). Works well with the preinstalled Google Maps. Possible to purchase full Sat Nav software like Tomtom.

Email:

Excellent support including POP3 / IMAP and Microsoft’s Direct Push for Exchange.

Internet:

Supplied with Opera as the default browser and Internet Explorer for those that need or prefer it. Opera works very well however even on this small screen as its full VGA and touch driven. Broadband 7.2Mbits where available.

Screen:

Super sharp and bright QVGA. Only available in portrait mode, would be nice to support landscape mode especially for web browsing.

 

Highlights:

  • Powerful features integrated into a tiny and light design
  • Easy to fall in love with
  • Touch Flo interface
  • Very sharp and clear screen

Lowlights:

  • Screen needs to be lit for music playback
  • No Haptic feedback
  • Portrait screen only

 

Review:

It seems that this phone offers one of three format offerings from HTC; The Touch Pro, the Touch HD and this the Touch 3G. They all sport more or less the same processor power, memory, aGPS, and Touch Flo interface, the difference is in the packaging, the Touch 3G and Touch HD are essentially the same but the HD has the larger and higher resolution screen for multimedia use, the 3G has the smaller and lighter dimensions for people not interested in video playback or intensive web browsing. The Touch Pro is similar size to 3G but is thicker and heavier due to the physical slide out keyboard. The Touch 3G replaces the HTC Touch, which has been very popular so I expect this slicker version to be like wise.

The Touch Flo interface adds extra software (on screen) keyboards. These are very similar to the iPhones on screen keyboard. Not perfect and a little tricky to use on the small sized screen, but still great ways to input text. The only thing missing that I wouldn’t mind is Haptic Technology on the keyboard. Haptic technology is simply some form of physical feedback when the keys are pressed, like a little buzz or sound bleep. Other devices I’ve tried have it and it makes data input much easier in my opinion. Nokia’s new 5800 implements this very nicely. Of course there is an adverse effect on battery life to consider.

While I’m on about onscreen keyboards I should mention remarks I’ve heard about Windows Mobiles (WM) touch screens being compared to the iPhones touch screens. With WM screens one needs to push slightly to ‘hit’ the key or activate a button, where as the iPhone keyboard / screen only needs to be ‘touched’. This is because the WM screens are ‘touch’ sensitive and the iPhones are ‘capacitive’. The iPhones are lighter to use but because they rely on the static electricity of the human finger. But they cant be used with a stylus for the same reason, and loose precision input. Hence iPhones don’t support handwriting recognition like WM devices. This is also why iPhones have a glass screen and WM have flexible plastic. Both have benefits. And btw HTC touch screens are much better than many other phones out there (and no I don’t work for HTC J)

[Matt’s unboxing video (or a link to a previous HTC review) shows the Touch Flo interface very well.]

The Touch 3G runs Windows Mobile 6.1 which is the latest version. With a HTC customised front end, called the Touch Flo interface. A criticism of the Touch Flo has been that it doesn’t do enough, requiring users to enter the standard Microsoft Operating system to perform some functions. True enough the raw Microsoft Operating System hasn’t changed much in the last 4 years and really requires the stylus to navigate with, most people agree that by itself its too clunky to compete with today’s devices. Microsoft have recently announced an up[grade to version 6.5 is due and I would expect the Touch 3G to be upgradable. Personally I find the HTC solution a very nice combination. The Touch Flo is extremely nice to use and deals with most functions very well. When I needed to do something a bit more in-depth I have the familiar layout of the standard system. Its true that when writing an email one needs to use the standard Outlook client, but that didn’t present any problem for me, simply I typed the message and hit send and I’m back with the Touch Flo.

But the other area that HTC improved drastically over the standard MS OS is with the finer touches, like a wide range of pleasant ring tones, and alarm chimes. Adjusting the volume control is now possible with a large on screen touch control / slider, with gentle auditory feedback. It was so well implemented I would sit around sliding the volume up and down just for the fun of it! Much to the amusement (disbelief) of my colleagues! Another excellent and practical application was to get the screen to lock as soon as a call is connected, a touch screen phone held to your ear with the screen live can cause all sorts of problems!

I could go on praising this phone all day, but I don’t really needs to, other than to say that as the trial went on I was continually impressed with HTCs efforts to make this Windows phone a dream to use. Almost every issue with the raw OS has been resolved or greatly improved. Well done HTC! I loved it and highly recommend to anyone.

 

Conclusion:

If you want or need a fully featured phone / device but don’t need to input a lot of text this is a fantastic light and small phone that you will love owning.

If you need a larger screen or a physical keyboard look at HTC’s Touch HD or Touch Pro.

 

Review by: Daniel des Baux

Posted in: Reviews
By February 22, 2009 Read More →

Windows Mobile Marketplace coming to existing phones

image Scott Rockfeld, director of Windows Mobile whom we recently interviewed on the msmobiles podcast has been talking about Windows Mobile 6.5 to the Boston Herald. In the interview he reveals that we won’t see 6.5 until the 4th quarter of 2009 and that it isn’t even in beta yet. The on device Marketplace application will launch before the release of phones with Windows Mobile 6.5, so existing Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 users can access new applications.

"We’re doing a lot of things — some people would say catch-up — that appeal to the person who also wants to do some work with their phone," Rockfeld said. "We are at a big inflection point in the market right now."

"We understand the changes in the market," Rockfeld said. "When it switched from business-only to consumer and business, that happened pretty quickly."

You can read the full article here.

Posted in: Phones
By February 22, 2009 Read More →

HTC Magic video tour

image Engadget have a put together a great video of the recently announced HTC Magic Android phone announced at MWC. This Android phone will come with the cupcake update already installed. The software keyboard can be seen and the settings beneath as well as the video recording functions, if your interested in the latest Android phone take a look at the video after the break as well as the full device specifications.

Posted in: Phones
By February 22, 2009 Read More →

Blackberry Curve 8900 unboxed

We haven’t reviewed many Blackberry handsets here in tracyandmatt.co.uk before having really only had a brief look at the Blackberry Bold before. When Orange sent me an email a few weeks ago and asked if I would like to review the new Blackberry Curve 8900 on a Pay-as-you-go contract I thought that sounded like an excellent idea!

Many people are referring to the 8900 (RIM Javelin) as the new smaller Blackberry Bold and looking at the handset its easy to see why. The 8900 is in fact a new Curve model though.

8900_front

The Blackberry Curve 8900

 

My initial impression of the 8900 is that it’s an extremely neat handset which is small and light enough for every day use and not just business use. The screen is extremely clear and sharp thanks to the 480×360 pixels being packed in to just a 2.4" diagonal screen. The resolution and OS setup are the same as the Blackberry Bold.

We’re going to be setting the Curve 8900 up with a PAYG SIM and using it over the next couple of weeks. Please take a look at the unboxing video below where I take you on a tour of the handset a quick look at the OS.

 

Blackberry Curve 8900 unboxing video

 

The review will be here soon!

 

Blackberry Curve 8900 specification:

  • Dimensions: – 109 x 60 x 13.5 mm
  • Weight: – 109.9g
  • Display: – 480 x 330 pixels/2.4 inch
  • Network: – GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 (Quad-Band)
  • Camera: – 3.2 mega-pixels (auto-focus)
    – 5 x Digital Zoom
    – LED Flash
  • Video: – Video Recording
    – Supported formats: DivX, XviD, MP4, H.263, 3GP & WMV
    – Video Streaming
  • Music: – Supported formats: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+ & WMA
  • Messaging: – SMS
    – MMS (with video)
    – E-mail (POP3, SMTP, IMAP4, MS Exchange, BES, BIS)
    – Instant Messaging
  • Memory: – 256MB (internal)
    – microSDHC (external)
  • microUSB
  • 3.5mm Audio Connector
  • Bluetooth (2.0)
  • Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11g)
  • GPRS Class 32
  • Navigation: – AGPS
    – BlackBerry Maps

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
By February 21, 2009 Read More →

TealOS – Palm Pre on your Palm OS phone

image While everyone is waiting and watching (and drooling) for the chance to get hold of a new Palm Pre, Tealpoint Software is staying old school. Palm users are familiar with great apps from Tealpoint: TealLock, TealScript, TealBackup, and others. A name Palm enthusiasts have come to know and trust, Teal is stepping out of the crowd to show that the old Palm os (Garnet) is not quite dead yet. For a limited time, you can purchase TealOS for $14.95 (expected to soon go to $19.95), and give your Palm Treo or Centro a facelift and feel closer to the new face of Palm and WebOS.

If you have watched any of the videos demo’ing the Pre, you’re familiar with what it looks like, and the basic operation. Either it didn’t take the developers at Tealpoint long to copy the look/feel, or they had some inside knowledge as to what to expect. Take a look at the video after the break its pretty darn good.

Posted in: Phones