Archive for September, 2006

By September 20, 2006 Read More →

O2 Germany announce XDA Cosmo & Orbit

O2 Germany have announced that they will release the XDA Cosmo (the HTC Excalibur which is a Windows Mobile Smartphone and has WiFi, Bluetooth, a QWERTY keyboard, QWERTZ in Germany, and a 1.3 Megapixel camera) and XDA Orbit (HTC Artemis which is a Windows Mobile Pocket PC and is the first HTC device to feature their trackball for navigation and has integrated GPS, it also comes bundled with TomTom 6 and has WiFi, Bluetooth and an FM radio). Theseare two great additions to the Windows Mobile family so get ready to sign up to O2 Germany!

XDA OrbitXDA Cosmo

Head over to MSMobileNews for more.


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Posted in: Phones
By September 20, 2006 Read More →

CamerAware 1.0 is now available

Our good friend Paul from MoDaCo has just announced that his safety camera software ‘CamerAware’ has now been released.

We have seen a few beta versions over the past months and this looks like being a killer app!

CamerAware Screenshot

CamerAware is an application for your Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone / Pocket PC that works in tandem with an internal, wired or Bluetooth GPS to monitor your position as you drive, and alert you when you come in range of a ‘Safety Camera’.

By checking your position every second against a database of known cameras, CamerAware can help you be a safer driver, and of course help protect you against fines and penalty points for inadvertently speeding past a Camera.

Get on over to MoDaCo and check it out!

Review coming soon!


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Posted in: Apps & Games
By September 19, 2006 Read More →

Celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day with Astraware!

Arrrrr! Celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day with Astraware!

THE MIDLANDS, UK – September 18th, 2006 – Avast me hearties!!! Tuesday 19th September is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and the Astraware Team is celebratin’ once again! ARRR!

We’re dressin’ and talkin’ like a pirate the whole day and when the workday is done we be bowlin’ like pirates too (photographic evidence will be here soon)!

A word from our fine captain, Redbeard Tomlinson: “Arrr, now’s yer chance to get a bit piratey – and if we don’t get at least an Arrr out of ye, it’ll be twelve strokes of the cat and no internet access for the rest of the day! A-harrr.”

Seven Seas ScreenshotTradewinds Screenshot

If ye want to join us in a bit of pirate fun, why not get your PDA or Smartphone shipshape with a copy of Tradewinds or Seven Seas. You can even get a few dubloons off the price! Visit our special piratey promo page for more information here:

The fine shipmates at Marie Curie Cancer Care are also joining the pirate fun for the day, and in cooperation with Popcap Games and Sandlot Games we’ll be donating the booty from both games to them at the end of the month.


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Posted in: Apps & Games
By September 18, 2006 Read More →

HTC TyTN Review

EDIT: If you are looking for the HTC TyTN II/ Kaiser review you can find it HERE.

I know there have been a few HTC TyTN reviews over the past few weeks and many of you will have already seen my Orange SPV M3100 reviews. Obviously there are a great number of similarities between the HTC TyTN and the M3100 so I’ll focus upon a comparison.

Just before I get going I should point out that I’ve used quite a lot of images throughout the review so load times could be relatively high. Click on any of the images for a larger version. The larger version uses low compression to keep the quality high so again load times may be higher than normal.

HTC TyTN Review

Box contents for the TyTN are much the same as with the M3100. You don’t get any different toys with one that you don’t get with the other.

There is an immediate difference between the TyTN and the M3100, the colour. To begin with I wasn’t so keen on the silver finish of the TyTN preferring the black chassis of the Orange version. However, over the weeks I’ve become used to the silver TyTN and now like that better also the silver doesn’t show the finger marks as much.

HTC TyTN vs M3100

The other main difference is with the joypad and surrounding keys. The M3100, which is the HERM100 version of the HTC Hermes, has much rounder buttons that are raised and fairly close together. On the other hand the TyTN, which is the HERM200 version of the HTC Hermes has much squarer buttons that are flush with the front of the case. The buttons on the TyTN are spaced out much more which some people will find much more user friendly.

HTC TyTN Joypad

The case design of the TyTN is more angular than the rounded edges of the M3100 but they both feel the same in your hand.

HTC TyTN beside  Orange M3100

Button locations and keyboard layout are exactly the same on both devices as is the USB connector that we have all come to loathe!

There has been a large number of people reporting issues with ‘lazy’ keys on the keyboard. My own M3100 has problems with the ‘Y’ key, it requires a bit more pressure to make it work than any of the other keys which results in the ‘Y’ often being missed out from some words! I have been told that these ‘lazy’ keys do get better the more you use them. Fortunately the TyTN I have was not affected by the problem.

HTC TyTN Keyboard Open

As I mentioned in the review of the Orange SPV M3100 my previous device was an HTC Wizard variant. I really liked the Wizard but as time went on the common screen alignment issue became worse and worse. The first TyTN’s released were said to have this problem, in fact HTC have a returns policy in place for those affected. I can’t comment on the alignment issue first hand as the TyTN I have doesn’t seem to suffer.

I’m also pleased that the HTC Hermes devices continue to have the Email and Internet Explorer buttons above the screen. This is something that I find to be very useful.

HTC TyTN top buttons

On to using the TyTN. The first thing about starting up the TyTN is that is doesn’t have any annoying operator customisation like the Orange M3100 does. The first thing most people do when they get their M3100 is take off all the Orange customisation. No need to do anything like that with the TyTN.

The TyTN has the usual HTC green colour scheme that we have come to expect from HTC devices. It makes a nice change from the standard Windows blue colour.

HTC TyTN Screenshot

The other thing that the TyTN beats the M3100 on is that it comes with MSN Messenger installed. Many people were quite upset to find Orange had chosen to remove it from their build of the M3100.

In terms of the rest of the software installed on the TyTN by default there really isn’t anything much different to any other WM5 device.

There has also been a lot of talk about the stability of the M3100. Indeed my own M3100 seems to suffer from the same issue that many other owners have – it crashes and requires a soft reset once or twice per day. I haven’t been able to decide what it is causing the problem, sometimes it crashes in-call and others for no apparent reason.

I am pleased to report that the HTC TyTN does not seem to suffer the same fate. I have been using it heavily as my main device for several weeks. Despite having exactly the same software installed on the TyTN as I have on the M3100 the TyTN hasn’t crashed once!

One niggle that I have with the TyTN is the scroll wheel. In every day use I found it to be really jumpy and unpredictable. It would scroll through menus line by line then suddenly jump several places in one go. Unusable really.

I don’t know if this is a common issue with the Hermes scroll wheel, I’ve not seen any other reports, my Orange M3100 isn’t perfect but is better than the TyTN in this respect. Anyone else having this problem?

HTC TyTN Scroll wheel

The 2.0 mega pixel camera on the TyTN is naturally the same at the M3100. I must say that I have been quite impressed with the pictures from the camera, definitely the best that I have seen from a phone camera.

HTC TyTN Camera

No review would be complete without mentioning that USB connector on the bottom. Now I can understand the reason why HTC chose to add a proprietary connector, making one socket perform more than one function does save space. However, I do find it really annoying. I’m never going to use the headset that comes with the device, it’s just not good enough for music and if I want hand’s free I’ll use bluetooth. Time to hack another headset I think!

HTC TyTN Bottom

I must say that I have been very impressed with the HTC TyTN. Overall I like it much more than the Orange M3100. Sure the M3100 is the better looking of the two but the stability problems that I have been experiencing with the M3100 have finally got the better of me. I’ll be very sorry to give the HTC TyTN up, so much so that I certainly will be looking to purchase one!

HTC TyTN review end


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Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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By September 17, 2006 Read More →

SPV C700 (HTC Breeze) appears in Orange Catalogue

The Orange SPV C700, Orange’s version of the HTC Breeze, has shown up in the latest Orange catalogue that you can pick up in an Orange shop.

HTC Mteor (SPC C700)

According to WM247 – it appears the device is not available for purchase yet, due to “ongoing performance issues with the handset”.

Watch this space for a review of the HTC Mteor coming soon!


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Posted in: Phones
By September 16, 2006 Read More →

Microsoft Zune Phone?

Could there be a mobile phone future for Microsofts Zune?

Microsoft Zunephone

Rumours currently circulating the web suggest that a Zune Phone could be available sooner rather than later

Chris Stephenson, GM for Zune, told the press, “A Zune phone is definitely part of the future of this brand.”

Looks interesting but lets hope that it’s not just a reworked version of a bog standard WM5 device.


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Posted in: Rumours
By September 15, 2006 Read More →

HTC Mini USB Splitter

The good news is that HTC will be releasing a splitter for HTC Hermes devices that will allow you to connect a headset as well as charge the device using a MiniUSB cable.

Hermes headphone splitter

The splitter is available to pre-order on Expansys.

Unfortunately this will not allow you to connect standard 3.5mm headphones but you can use my headset hack! 🙂


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Posted in: Phones
By September 15, 2006 Read More →

Hermes USB Socket

Just a quick follow up on the information I’ve been posting about the mini USB (EMU) socket on the Hermes devices as I’ve had a number of comments/questions emailed to me.

Firstly let me reiterate that the socket on the device is double sided. There are 5 connectors on one side for USB data and 6 on the other side for audio.

Standard mini USB plugs are also only single sided. This means that you cannot hack a normal mini USB cable into a headphone adapter.

The headset that comes with HTC Hermes devices has an Enhances MiniUSB (EMU) plug on it. However. This is also single sided and only has connectors on the audio side of the plug. This therefore means that you can hack the headset into a headphone adapter but you cannot turn it into a headphone AND charge cable, as there are no connections to the USB data side of the socket.

Hope this helps clear a few things up!


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Posted in: Phones
By September 14, 2006 Read More →

Hermes cases?

I had a question this morning from Matt Morris. Matt wondered if I could recommend a case for his M3100.

We know there are a few leather and aluminium cases out there from the likes of Brando but as I haven’t actually seen any of these in real life I can’t say what’s good and what’s not.

Can anyone offer advice?

Secondly, we have heard rumours that the aluminium cases are causing problems with signal strength on some devices. Does anyone have an aluminium case that can tell us what they think?


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Posted in: Phones
By September 14, 2006 Read More →

MicroSD card competition winners

Our MicroSD card competition is now closed and I am pleased to announce the following winners selected at random:

  • First Prize (1gb MicroSD) – Fabien Peyrot
  • Runner-Up (512mb MicroSD) – Jamie Maynard
  • Runner-Up (512mb MicroSD) – Ken Blum
  • Runner-Up (512mb MicroSD) – Kevin Hung
  • Runner-Up (512mb MicroSD) – Paul Scott
  • Congratulations to the five of you listed above and many thanks to all of you that took part. We had almost 100 correct entries.

    We’ll be running another competition very soon!


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    Posted in: Competitions