Author Archive: Mark McKenna

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By October 18, 2007 Read More →

Windows Live Local / Virtual Earth 3D – Major update

OK, so this perhaps isn’t what we’d normally be talking about on Tracyandmatt, but I’ve used “Live Local” for quite a while, and I think this update is definately worth a mention.

While Live Local has been around a while, and even things like the ‘birds eye’ views are well known now, some features were missing from the 3D applet. Not anymore.

Microsoft have lined up all the bird eye view scenes into the 3D world. It’s not an easy thing to describe, so have a look at the screenshot to see just how good this is:

The white box contains the birds eye image data, but with the update, the 3D engine tints and zooms the standard aerial mapping/road map to line up with the higher quality box out. You still have all the functionality to zoom/tilt/pan, and can view the specific bird eye view from another angle (all automatically adjusting the surrounding areas to line up)

I’m still not explaining it very well, but go take a look at Windows Live Local, and install the Virtual Earth engine by selecting 3D in the top left corner. This also works in Firefox, as well as Internet Explorer.

Posted By: Mark

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Posted in: Apps & Games
By October 18, 2007 Read More →

HTC Touch Sprints across the pond

Big news for HTC, and their aging mass-market device – the HTC Touch

Although the device has been available worldwide for a considerable time now, including the US, it has until now failed to make a connection with a operator.

However, shortly Sprint will be offering the device exclusively, with the device subsidised depending on contract terms. Heres the blurb:

With an easy finger swipe, Touch by HTC, exclusively from Sprint, offers both business and personal essentials with an easy-to-use interface

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and BELLEVUE, Wash. — 10/17/2007 — Combining a dynamic touch screen experience with industry-leading network speeds, Sprint (NYSE: S) and HTC Corp. (TAIEX: 2498; “HTC”), today announced the upcoming availability of Touch by HTC, a full touch screen wireless phone integrating Windows Mobile 6 with advanced entertainment features. Operating on the Sprint Mobile Broadband network, the stylish Touch by HTC brings together email and other essential business applications with Sprint’s exclusive multimedia content including over-the-air music downloads, live TV and more.

With a nearly 3-inch display, Touch by HTC features integrated TouchFLO technology, developed by HTC, leveraging smooth navigation through menus with a finger swipe. In addition, the innovative TouchFLO cube brings a 3D cube interface allowing quick access to entertainment, communication tools and a “Dial-by-picture” photo caller ID screen.

Touch by HTC leverages the broad functionality of Windows Mobile 6 with Outlook Mobile for smooth email integration, Office Mobile, Windows Live and the ability to run thousands of third-party applications. It also allows users to surf the web with Internet Explorer, send and receive emails, chat on Messenger and send files to their own web space through Windows Live. The home screen provides one-touch access to email, text messages, calendar appointments and contacts, as well as current weather conditions and forecasts for hundreds of cities around the world.

Versatile and compact, Touch by HTC provides quick and easy access to Sprint-exclusive content, including:

  • Sprint Music Store(SM), powered by Groove Mobile, which allows users to browse and wirelessly download full-length songs directly to their phone from a selection of more than 1.8 million songs
  • Sprint Exclusive Entertainment (SEE), the industry’s only made-for-mobile sports and entertainment video programming network
  • Sprint TV(SM) with more than 50 channels of live and on-demand video and audio.
  • More than a dozen streaming radio stations , including Sprint Radio and SIRIUS
  • On-Demand with up-to-date information on sports, weather, news, money and more customized by zip code.
  • (Standard data charges apply to all downloads from Sprint.)

    “Our customers appreciate the ability to have one device that seamlessly balances both personal needs and business demands,” said Danny Bowman, vice president of product development for Sprint. “Touch by HTC is unlike any other wireless device because it brings together the power of Windows Mobile with easy access to our entertainment applications. This attractive device easily lets you watch news as it happens, respond to email, download your favorite songs and stay connected with the office, family and friends.”

    “This device provides a broad set of consumers with the benefits of a smartphone with the style and ease of use they demand,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer of HTC. “Touch by HTC presents a new, more intuitive touch experience that simplifies access to the most commonly used smartphone features such as dialing, messaging and Web browsing. It also improves the video and music experience with the addition of Sprint TV and the Sprint Music Store.”

    “People want an easy-to-use companion in a mobile phone, freeing them up to leave the office or home and get more done while on-the-go,” said Pieter Knook, senior vice president, Mobile Communications Business, Microsoft Corp.” The Sprint Touch is the result of the strong relationship between Microsoft, HTC and Sprint and offers customers a fun user experience, the power of Sprint’s network and the ease-of-use of Windows Mobile which makes it easy to browse the Web, send email or enjoy your digital entertainment.”

    Touch by HTC offers MicroSD card slot that supports up to 4GB – a 512MB card is included with the device. Additional features include a 2.0 MP camera/camcorder with up to 5X zoom, advanced stereo Bluetooth and Voice-activated dialing.

    Touch by HTC measures 4.0″ x 2.4″ x 0.6″ and weighs just 4 ounces. This device will be priced at $249.99 with a two-year subscriber agreement and a $100 mail-in rebate. Standard data rates apply for music and other content downloads.

    Touch by HTC will be available on November 4 in all Sprint channels including and 1-800-SPRINT1. Customers can register to be among the first to purchase Touch by HTC at

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: News
    By October 17, 2007 Read More →

    Samsung i620 – released and in stock

    The Samsung i620, the small slider smartphone with full qwerty keyboard is now available from Expansys.

    As you can see, this one is a bit of a looker – at least in the world of Windows Mobile! The spec sheet is mixed, but if Samsung manage to get a deal with the major operators, I can see this being a big seller.

    Here is the blurb from Expansys:

    The Samsung i620 Smartphone has a compact slider form factor, with a slide down QWERTY keyboard. Use the 5-way navigation keypad to access applications quickly. For prolonged use, like replying to emails, the keyboard is there for easy input.

    Weighing just 105g, this light weight smartphone has great communication options and runs Windows Mobile Standard (WM6). You can connect to the Internet with HSDPA (3.5G). It also boasts a 2 Mega Pixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0 and a Micro SD slot.

    Samsung i620 Specification

  • Network: HSDPA / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Display: Type TFT, 65K colors, Size 320 x 240 pixels
  • Memory
  • Phonebook 1000 entries, Photocall
  • Call records 30 dialed, 30 received, 30 missed calls
  • Card slot microSD (TransFlash)
  • Data GPRS: Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps, HSCSD: No, EDGE: Yes, 3G: HSDPA, 1.8 Mbps
  • Bluetooth: Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
  • Infrared port:No
  • USB:Yes, v1.1 miniUSB
  • Messaging: SMS, EMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
  • Browser: WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, RSS feeds
  • Camera: 2 MP, 1600×1200 pixels, video, flash; secondary VGA videocall camera
  • Additional Features

  • Java MIDP 2.0
  • WMV/3GP/H.263/MPEG4 player
  • WMA/MP3/AAC/AAC+/OGG/ASF player
  • Organiser
  • Document viewer (MS Word, Excel, PPT, PDF)
  • Built-in handsfree
  • Dimensions: 113 x 59 x 11.8 mm; 95 grams
  • Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: News
    By October 16, 2007 Read More →

    First HTC Touch Dual review live have just gone live with what is probably the first full review of the all new HTC Touch Slider.

    There are two versions of the HTC Touch Dual, one has a 16-key phone-style keypad with number keys and the other has a 20-key QWERTY style keypad (similar to the Blackberry or Sony P1i) where each key has two letters associated with it. This review deals with a pre-production version of the 20 key variant

    Hopefully, we’ll be getting our hands on a 16 key production review device shortly, but for a head start, head over to CoolSmartPhone’s review

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: News
    By October 16, 2007 Read More →

    Live Search – with voice recognition!

    Just a very quick post, to add to our earlier news regarding Live Search, the free download from Microsoft.

    It actually supports GPS (if you have the capabilities), and also voice input/recognition.

    Just to show off, or genuinely useful?

    To download the application visit the Live Search website here.

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: News
    By September 13, 2007 Read More →

    VITO Voice2Go updated

    VITO Technology have announced a new version of VITO Voice2Go – their voice control application that allows you to manage Pocket PC with voice commands! VITO Voice2Go understands any language and any pronunciation without the need to touch your Pocket PC again!

    VITO Voice2Go

    With VITO Voice2Go you can start other applications, access system settings, call contacts or set off a chain of stylus taps with voice command recorded by you. The so-called magic words (special voice commands) allow for completely hands-free control. So, starting say Calculator looks like this: you say a Magic Word and then a previously recorded command for calculator and it launches.

    You can also optionally accept or cancel the recognized command by saying special “yes” or “no” magic words. When the Magic Word mode is turned on Pocket PC is constantly listening to hear your Magic Word to start recognition process – this way you never need to touch your Pocket PC!

    This new version of VITO Voice2Go features the Today plug-in for toggling the Magic Word mode or starting recognition process right from Today. You can also initiate recognition with a hardware button: just press the assigned button and say your command. Another feature makes VITO Voice2Go listen more attentively to the Magic Word and ignore all other words that just sound like the Magic Word. Other goodies include ability to delete previously recorded macros (series of stylus taps performed with a single voice command).

    VITO Voice2Go is available at for $29.95 and as a trial. Updates are free for customers who purchased VITO Voice2Go within a year’s time.

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: Apps & Games
    By September 11, 2007 Read More →

    Vodafone annouce Christmas(!) lineups!

    Vodafone Group today announced its range of Christmas 2007 consumer handsets offering the widest choice of exclusive and Vodafone branded handsets ever. The line-up includes the latest premium models from leading handset supplierss such as HTC, a range of open system devices enabling easy downloads and a compelling set of Vodafone branded handsets.

    In the UK Vodafone has also announced its range of handsets for Christmas as well as MusicStation, a new, unique and exclusive music service from Omnifone, the UK based mobile music company. This offers customers unlimited music downloads direct to the mobile from all the major record labels, as well as leading independents, on a raft of new handsets for Christmas. The service will work on Vodafone UK’s new handsets as well as current 2.5 and 3G mobiles.

    The Group selection of handsets offers customers further choice of stylish, easy to use mobile phones which deliver best in class internet services as well as the best in music and entertainment at prices to suit everyone’s needs. Handsets are also smaller and lighter with longer battery life. By closely working with handset suppliers, platform and application providers, Vodafone is on track to deliver fast and easy access to the internet this Christmas.

    Some more details on what to expect:

    Highlights include:

  • Three premium 3G broadband (HSDPA), handsets – the Nokia N95 8GB, the Samsung SGH-F700V and the Sony Ericsson W910i – will offer customers the opportunity to experience high speed internet services, access their online digital communities and enjoy a range of music and entertainment services on a selection of user-friendly and stylish mobile phones
  • Two sleek and slim BlackBerry® handsets from Research In Motion® (BlackBerry® Curve™ 8310 and BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8100) now positioned to appeal to consumers as well as business customers, featuring Vodafone live! services with news, music and entertainment on the move, including an exclusive version of the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8310 with built-in GPS
  • A broad range of open system devices customised for Vodafone will deliver excellent browsing, internet services and message support, including two new Microsoft® Windows Mobile® handsets as well as a range of six devices based on the S60 platform
  • Six exclusive 3G handsets from leading suppliers, tailored for Vodafone customers looking for value and quality. Three new Vodafone branded handsets, featuring stylish designs as well as the latest features and services
  • 13 3G broadband (HSDPA) consumer handsets allowing faster access to data services, offered at appealing prices
  • The range of internet ready mobile phones will meet a variety of customer preferences, from advanced mobile phones such as the premium touch screen Samsung SGH-F700V or the Samsung SGH-i640V to mid-tier priced handsets in classic ‘candy bar’ design such as the Nokia 6120c .

    The Christmas line-up also includes new Vodafone branded 3G phones. The Vodafone 810 is a stylish slider in luxury metallic-silver finishing and packed with latest multimedia features. The Vodafone 720 comes in a modern clam shell design with an innovative hidden display and super flat keypad.

    For customers looking for some of the best music devices, the Vodafone exclusive Sony Ericsson V640i will be available in a fresh new candy bar design offering 3G broadband (HSDPA) to support faster downloads of music services.

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: News
    By September 10, 2007 Read More →

    OQO Model 2.1?

    I’m currently finishing a review of the OQO Model 2, but apparently it’ll already be out of date by the time its finished!

    OQO have annouced UK specific modifications to the standard setup.

    The newer version has a 1.6Ghz processor (up from 1.5, and the basic model will come with a 40GB hard drive, rather than 30GB. The mid range model now has an 80GB drive, up from 60GB.

    There will also be a 120GB model, alongside a 32GB FLASH drive(!) which should up the battery life.

    There is also rumours of a price cut, and the addition of 3G, which would add massively to the genuine usefulness of the device.

    Posted By: Mark

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    Posted in: Laptops
    By September 6, 2007 Read More →

    Largest-ever iPAQ expansion announced

    HP’s decision to name anything they sell that isn’t a desktop. laptop or printer as an iPaq may be a little confusing already, but thats not stopping them officially annoucing another selection of devices.

    This one caught my eye. QWERTY keyboard, scroll wheel, HSDPA, 3mp autofocus camera, fast 520 MHz processor, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi and, AGPS (Assisted GPS for faster GPS fix)! Quite a spec sheet eh, and I’ll be sticking my name on the list to review this as soon as we get a review kit!

    Thats not the end of the story though, because HP have also annouced a huge expansion program for the iPaq brand. Heres a brief round up of what we’ve learnt today, and what we’ve got to look forward to:

    Largest-ever iPAQ expansion

    Five mobile devices, five mobile software programs, 12 mobile services and almost three dozen handheld accessories are among the 56 handheld-related products HP introduced. Highlights include:

  • HP iPAQ 900 Series Business Messenger – 3G phone with QWERTY keyboard;
  • HP iPAQ 600 Series Business Navigator – A two-in-one 3G phone and navigation device;
  • HP iPAQ 300 Series Travel Companion – Handheld GPS device for business and personal travel featuring graphics acceleration and available 3D maps;
  • HP iPAQ 200 Series Enterprise Handheld – Powerful, large screen PDA with Wi-Fi that is well-suited to run a broad range of business applications;
  • HP iPAQ 100 Series Classic Handheld – Big screen, simple synchronization with personal content and Wi-Fi connectivity make this sleek, affordable PDA an ideal phone companion;
  • HP Enterprise Mobility Suite – Provides mobile device management capabilities that ease device deployments and management within the enterprise;
  • HP iPAQ Custom Touch – Small lot iPAQ customization conveniently preloads iPAQ devices with custom applications, themes and settings for enterprise customers;
  • HP iPAQ location-based services – A web destination where users can personalize their trip plans, map content and update device software;
  • HP Total Care – A suite of services to help iPAQ customers design, manage and implement business mobility, with application mobilization, one-stop help desk, and leasing and lifecycle management;
  • HP iPAQ Mobile Broadband Connect – Access the Internet on an HP notebook or PC through a tethered iPAQ 3G phone for high-speed mobile broadband connectivity.
  • Click here for more

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: Phones
    By August 30, 2007 Read More →

    TomTom Introduces New High-End Model: TomTom GO 920 T

    The worst kept secret in the satnav world is out…

    TomTom, the world’s largest portable navigation solutions provider, today revealed its new flagship model, the TomTom GO 920 T. It comes preinstalled with complete maps of Europe* and USA & Canada on the 4 GB internal memory. The GO 920 T includes the new Enhanced Positioning Technology which results in a more continuous navigation experience. An RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver to receive up-to-date traffic information is included in the box. The TomTom GO 920 T features a slim high quality design with soft-touch finish, and a new metallic colour scheme.

    “The new flagship TomTom GO 920 T offers the best in satellite navigation,” says Harold Goddijn, chief executive officer at TomTom. “Pre-installed maps of multiple continents combined with innovative technologies such as the new Enhanced Positioning Technology, TomTom Map Share™ and plug & play traffic information offer outstanding quality and performance. The TomTom GO 920 T is the most advanced navigation solution on the market today.”

    Most complete set of maps

    The new TomTom GO 920 T offers a seamless map of 41 countries in both Western and Central Europe and the most-up-to-date maps of USA and Canada preinstalled on the 4 GB internal memory of the device. This makes the TomTom GO 920 T the personal navigation device with the most complete set of pre-installed maps available in TomTom’s entire navigation solution portfolio.

    Best navigation with Enhanced Positioning Technology

    TomTom’s new Enhanced Positioning Technology uses movement and gravity sensors to calculate drivers’ positions when GPS signals are unavailable. TomTom GO 920 T users will have a much more continuous navigation experience as the Enhanced Positioning Technology ensures the device continues to navigate to its destination, even in circumstances where there may not be a direct line-of-sight connection to a satellite. For example, when driving in a city with tall buildings, underpasses or bridges. In addition, the TomTom GO 920 T comes with the latest version of TomTom’s award winning software and all the features of the current TomTom GO 720 and TomTom GO 520. This includes TomTom Map Share™ Technology to make easy changes to the map and to share map corrections with other TomTom customers so that users always have the most up-to-date maps available.


    An RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver to receive up-to-date traffic information is also included in the box.

    Remote control

    The TomTom GO 920 T comes with an improved Bluetooth™ remote control that is the same colour as the device. This way drivers can operate their device safely from anywhere in the car without having to reach to touch the screen.

    Extensive set of features

    TomTom GO 920 T replaces the current TomTom GO 910 and offers the best in navigation and performance. On top of all new and exclusive features that the TomTom GO 920 T includes, the model comes preinstalled with the latest navigation software and features, such as: –

    Large 4.3 inch touch screen with high quality graphics, an intuitive user interface and building footprints for a better overview of drivers’ surroundings.

    TomTom Map Share™ Technology: allowing users to instantly correct maps, share changes with other users, and benefit from improvements made by other users.

    TomTom RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver to give users the most-up-to-date traffic information (RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver comes in the box)

    Speech recognition: voice address input to easily direct drivers to millions of cities and street names; Enhanced hands-free kit with high quality sound system to allow drivers to keep their eyes firmly on the road whilst making phone calls in the car

    Extensive safety features including ‘Help Me’ menu to give drivers direct access to emergency services and roadside assistance

    Built-in FM Transmitter to play music and navigation instructions over the car stereo

    Clear voice instructions and text-to-speech, to enable street names, places, traffic alerts and SMS messages to be read aloud as part of the spoken instructions

    New smart & fun extras to personalize users’ devices, including recording your own driving instructions, view documents, exchange positions via SMS and Bluetooth™ wireless technology and select a favourite car icon on the screen

    TomTom desk dock to easily charge the TomTom GO 920 T and connect to a computer and TomTom HOME, TomTom’s free software application, to access ready to use online services such as Safety Cameras, Traffic and Weather


    The new TomTom GO 920 T will be available in the last quarter of 2007.

    Product technical specifications

  • 4.3” widescreen 16:9 format LCD (WQVGA: 480*272 pixels)
  • CPU 400 MHz, 64MB RAM
  • 4GB internal flash memory
  • SD card socket
  • High sensitivity GPS receiver
  • Compatible with RDS-TMC traffic information receiver and TomTom’s subscription based traffic service
  • Integrated FM transmitter
  • Bluetooth™
  • Lithium-polymer battery (up to 5 hours operation)
  • Optimised integrated microphone and speaker for high quality hands-free functionality
  • Dimensions: 118 mm x 83 mm x 24 mm
  • Weight: 220 grams END
  • Posted by: Mark

    We’ll hopefully have a review device here soon, and you can always take a look at our TomTom Go 720 review as well.

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    Posted in: GPS/Sat Nav