Archive for June 4th, 2009

By June 4, 2009 Read More →

HTC Touch Pro2 review (Part 2)

HTC Touch Pro2 review Part 2 – The Business use review

Ahh.. the Joy of remote Admin capabilities on a phone!

I admin a few servers, and I chose this one because I don’t limit it in any real way. I enforce a strict pass code policy, SSL and that’s really it.

This is a NAKED install. The Touch Pro2 has NOT been configured for anything. All its doing is sitting here, fresh from a hard reset.

This is a "step by step" and a review of sorts combined! It’s a bit long and there are lots of pictures as well… I warn you now! Click on any image to make it full-size.

Don’t forget to also check out Matt’s HTC Touch Pro2 unboxing video for a more general look at the handset.

 

Systems:

  • HTC Touch Pro2
  • Small Business Server 2008 x64 Premium, including Exchange 2007
  • Windows Vista x64 Ultimate
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
  • One Note 2007


Active sync:
You have to LOVE the fact that the new devices come "pre-installed" with graphics. It makes life so much easier.

WMdev-new

A quick click on "setup your device" and the next page appears…

Async2 Async3

All pretty simple… I tick everything!

Next up is the Exchange server window. Again, pretty simple. Just enter the details that you got from your administrator… A quick check.. and ready to name your device.

exchange details checking naming

A note on Names… If you get to choose be inventive, but not obscene! The admin can always see these names! There is nothing worse than seeing "Steve’s phone" as the name of a device, when I have 3 Steve’s all with phones!

and the PC screen should show you the initial sync page!

firstsync

Meanwhile.. on the phone… Its telling me I need to enter a password. Just for fun, I flipped the screen allowing me to use the wonderful QWERTY Keyboard

policy settings password horizontal

As soon as I have entered the password, I get greeted with my main screen with all the info I could need…

home-horizontal home-vertical

home2-verticalhome-horizontal2

Those eager eyed people will notice that the clock cannot be minimized in horizontal mode, however the appointments do scroll in batches of 3!

So.. what are the advantages of Exchange vs. "regular" outlook synching? The first is ease.. All your contacts are updated across ALL machines LIVE. If you meet Bob at 2pm, enter in his details and your phone dies at 2:15, your webmail has his contact details. So does your work PC. The same goes for appointments. You don’t need to play with your contact settings or calendar. Although.. saying that DO NOT use PIMbackup to restore your contacts BEFORE you sync with Exchange the first time. Exchange does not ignore double contacts. So basically all you are ensuring is a HUGE headache deleting doubles!

The other thing it adds is access to the company directory if it is enabled by your administrator.

home-horizontal-menu home-horizontal-menu-closed

Clicking the little icon in the bottom left opens up the menu…

Navigate to People:

Setup your contact card: (Facebook???)

contact-card contact-card-facebook

facebook-login facebook-login-2

Finally, a real reason to update my Facebook Profile with all my info, even if it’s just the once! Saves a hell of a lot of typing!

facebook-details facebook-done

And all info is inserted, including facebook photo, and status updates!

(OK, so not exactly Exchange, more HTC, and you will see it in the detailed review as well… But still nice because that info about the birthday and anniversary and stuff will ALL be synchronized into your Outlook, as well as the photo!)

All-People

Now my Phone book is up to date, time to start doing business:

company-directroy

The "greyed out" Company Directory opens up a whole new secondary phonebook. Unfortunately, for you guys, I couldn’t get any of my clients to allow me to show you their deepest darkest secrets, and my Directory on my small business server contains so much information about clients that is confidential, it was reduced to blur heaven.

Status-Updates

The People Centric communication that was so raved about by HTC is so apparent here. The tabs at the bottom allow you to view updates from everyone. If only it supported Linked-IN instead of Facebook it would be ideal. Scrub that.. BOTH!

You can see it has scanned my address book and found 16 possible matches. I know I have over 100, but my freaky filing system in Outlook is to blame for that!

facebook-match

Sorry for the red all over the place, but hey… I respect my mates privacy as much as they do mine!

Now.. Back to the essentials of Exchange…

 

SECURITY

We have all lost a phone in our time… or 2! Either you left it on the bus / in the bar / Next to the bin where you woke up/ Airport (delete as applicable) or some light-fingered so & so "relieved" you of your burden.

The security features built into the device are superb. Basically your exchange admin can force a length of password, and how many times you enter it wrong. If he wants to make your life hell, he will choose a super complex password, and 2 times entry. I choose simple PIN, and 5 tries. That way even when drunk exhausted, you should be able to manage it. After the 3rd try of 5, comes the "are you a thief, drunk exhausted, or did you forget your screenlock" Test…. I entered the code it asked for, and still tried to enter the wrong code a 3rd and 4th time… 5th and final time is looming, and it gives you a VERY severe warning….and another monkey test….a1b2c3 entered.. and the password screen comes up again!

lock-1 lock-first lock-third lock-5

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!

We are trained professionals… and I tried it at home first out of curiosity… See that warning that states "all information"? IT MEANS ALL INFORMATION… Memory card, sim card, phone reset to factory defaults (albeit WITH password again!) basically an expensive brick! Before you attempt entering the password again.. contact your admin! They can go into your account on their server and access a "password reset" code unique to your device.

Forgot-password reset-screen

By the way.. Admins… If you ever have to "remove" someone from your organisation.. you can remote wipe the device as well. You should know how to do it, if not, Exchange help will tell you how! Oh.. and for those clever enough to remove the SD card, it encrypts it… Admin wins again!

Interestingly remote desktop for windows mobile is NOT included on the Touch Pro2. A quick Google search showed a thread on an official Microsoft site (http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsmobilehelp/thread/221a4420-0b8d-4582-89d0-6b34d7d8d581) pointing to it for download, albeit NOT from Microsoft. I am not going to recommend downloading it, nor will I advise against it, as I am not sure of the legalities.. all I know is it IS very useful to have installed on your device! For the same reason I am NOT going to post the superb interface or screenshots of me accessing a server and using the touch screen in Horizontal mode like a tablet PC whilst I connected. Nor will I show you the benefits of Auto resizing the screen so it fits the device, and allows you to copy and paste between the storage card and the server.

Microsoft DO offer this component to all Windows Mobile 6 device manufacturers, and carriers. It is up to the individual companies to include the cab / install or not. It seems that HTC did not for some unknown reason.. Shame really, as Microsoft do NOT offer it for download from their servers directly.

What I can tell you is that if you connect in portait mode, it doesnt auto rotate into landscape mode, and its as slow a walking through TAR on a 3g connection!

 

OneNote Mobile.

I LOVE OneNote. A client of mine that "thinks so far out of the box that he’s not even in it anymore" recommended me to a few others, based on me recommending this tool! I use it when I can instead of the normal notebook because of the ease or synchronisation, and the amount of things it can do..

Basically it’s a bit like Word, but with knobs on…. and a LOT better than notepad!

Format in Bold, Italic, Strikethrough, underlined or a combination of all of them.

Insert bullet lists, or numbered lists with ease,

Insert Pictures or recordings, either from the galleries, or "on the fly"

onenote-menu onenote-menu-format onenote-menu-list

And then sort them all on your PC, and synch them to your Laptop, or integrate them into Outlook. If you haven’t used this tool, and you have Office Professional, then take the time to use it. It costs less than 30 GBP from the web if you don’t already have it in your office package, and worth EVERY PENNY!

 

Conference Calling

New to this model is the conference call mode.

conference-call conference-call2

The little button in the right hand side corner switches between normal call and conference call mode. Now.. I KNOW I can (and do!) make 2 calls at once. This function makes it a joy to use. By switching the toggle, it adds check boxes next to the names in your address book / recent call list. I don’t know if it is limited to just 2 lines from the carrier, or if you need special provisions, but hey… I will test it and let you know in the full review.

 

The Speakerphone

I Love the way you can flip this thing onto a table and have a Speakerphone. I Love the mute button placement on the rear of the device (pics in the full review!).. I don’t love the audio quality that much.. .but to be fair I haven’t really given this bit a full blown test yet, rather a 2 minute call with a guy that speaks 30000 words per minute! I will be covering this in MUCH more detail in my full review!

 

WorldCard Mobile

This is one of the MOST useful tools I have fund on the device for daily business use! It takes a photo of a business card, and "reads" the information into a contact. I gather a ton of business cards when I am on seminars and business trips, and I hate having to type them all into my phone, so much so I have a shoebox full of cards. These could be valuable business contacts, if only I had the numbers on me when I need them!

I chose a contact card that I picked up here in Malta, admittedly a bit worse for wear, and buckled and has a few coffee stains on it…Sorry Adrian!

Fire up the tool, Hit start, and position the shot… The resulting photo is as follows…. You can see the options at the top of the screen. My version only supports English, and I don’t know if it supports other languages, feedback appreciated!

worldcard businesscard card-inserted recognize

analysis detailled-card cortis

 

The interface is simple, either rotate the card, magnify or recapture, and of course recognize. This is a real world test.. So I am just going to hit the recognize button. It whirs for a second, then I get greeted with the recognized text.. It’s not perfect, but as you can see… It did a really good job, and I can assure you that "editing" the info is a heck of a lot faster than typing it all out. Hitting the browse button shows you the fields recognized, and the text it read… And apparently it "learns" with the more cards you input! A simple click on Export, and the info is saved to the address book… Thank you Penpower.net !!

 

JetCet Presenter 5

jetcet-prog JC-open JC-1 JC-2

My mate Charley sends me PowerPoint presentations on a daily basis. He is the sort of person that likes to send his "friends list" a ton of these (normally music filled) bundles of joy. I selected a typically hefty one to really test the power of the phone. We are talking a 5mb musical extravaganza of sight and sound! The program opens ppt and pps files, but interestingly doesn’t display both types at once! Here you can see one on my storage card, this time in German called DieKraftderBerge.pps (the power of the mountains!)

I barely had time to blink, and it was open and displaying the slides in all their glory! Now.. this is a PPS file, not a PPT. What’s the difference?? Not a lot actually! A PPS is a PowerPoint Slideshow, and starts playing as soon as you double click it. A PPT is a PowerPoint Template, and editable when you open it through PowerPoint. How do you convert a PPT to a PPS?? Rename it! That’s it, no trick or magic converters… If you have an PPS file and want to edit the content, rename it to nnn.ppt and go right ahead! But I digress,….

As you can see, this exemplar has 30 slides. And I can edit them in FULL on the PPC. I can edit transitions, text, slides and everything I can normally do on the full blown PowerPoint. I can even run the show, and use the touch screen to mark things in pen, or use the pen as a virtual laser pointer! So how does this differ from PowerPoint Mobile? I can edit stuff, and then display it on the fly. The guys at Richmond didn’t include that bit of PowerPoint when they compressed it down for the handheld devices! Combine this program with the AV / TV Out cables from HTC, and you have everything a conference needs! Maybe I need to have a chat with the site sponsors… Hint Hint!

So there we have an Business use round up… Not the most detailed, but enough to whet your appetite…

Questions, comments or suggestions in the comments please… I will answer all those I can in the full review due in a couple of days!!

Head over to Part 3 of my HTC Touch Pro2 review or go back to Part 1.

 

Review by: Piero (MVP)

Posted in: Reviews
By June 4, 2009 Read More →

CNET take a look at the Palm Pre

image Well respected tech site CNET have put together a detailed review of the Palm Pre and a look around video which is worth checking out. They sum it up as a bit of a mixed bag but the positives seem to out weigh the negatives:-

The good: The Palm Pre’s multitasking capabilities and notifications system are unparalleled. The smartphone features a vibrant display with multitouch functionality as well as a solid Web browser and good multimedia integration.

The bad: The Pre’s keyboard is cramped. Battery life drains quickly and the smartphone can be sluggish at times. Lacks expansion slot, video-recording capabilities, onscreen keyboard, and Flash support. .

The bottom line: Despite some missing features and performance issues that make it less than ideal for on-the-go professionals, the Palm Pre offers gadget lovers and consumers well-integrated features and unparalled multitasking capabilities. The hardware could be better, but more importantly, Palm has developed a solid OS that not only rivals the competition but also sets a new standard in the way smartphones handle tasks and manage information.

Video after the break.

Posted in: Phones
By June 4, 2009 Read More →

HTC Snap video unboxing

DSCF2003 The long awaited successor to the MDA Mail, HTC S620 or T-Mobile Dash is here and we have done our usual quick unboxing video for you to enjoy.

This phone is a little beauty for email and texting due the amazing keyboard, the best I have used on a front facing QWERTY device and its rocking with 3G HSDPA with download speeds of up to 7,2mb/s.

We will be testing this over the next few days so expect a full review really soon.

Video after the break.

Posted in: Phones