Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

iPhone SDK & 3rd Party Apps


Wow…some very cool details that Apple has released about the iPhone SDK (beta) today. I won’t go into the details since you can read them yourself (link below). The most important thing: an iPhone software update enabling 3rd party apps will be released in June, 2008. So, it looks like we have a few more months to go before we can start buying and installing 3rd party apps w/o jailbreaking our iPhones.

There were some very cool demos shown at the press event, too.

[via AppleInsider]

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Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Smartphone

It’s official: iPhone will support 3rd party apps!


Ah, finally…Jobs has stated that Apple will be releasing a SDK in February, 2008. Man, I’m psyched! Hopefully, I’ll see SplashID (or an equivalent) come out for the iPhone early next year.

Jobs announced it on Apple’s Hot News section of their website – here’s an excerpt:

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Software

Apple to allow 3rd party apps on the iPhone in January?


BusinessWeek has an interesting article that says Apple may offer a SDK for the iPhone in January, 2008 – i.e., at MacWorld.

Hmm, very interesting.  Personally, I think it’s only a matter of when Apple will official support and allow 3rd party apps to run natively on the iPhone.

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Software

Windows Mobile 6 for T-Mobile Dash coming on May 4?


wm6_tmobile.jpgRumors have been circulating that T-Mobile will be releasing a Windows Mobile 6 Standard ROM upgrade for T-Mobile Dash owners on May 4.

If it does drop next week, I would caution that you make sure all of your 3rd party apps are compatible with WM6 before upgrading.

[via Smartphone Thoughts]

Filed under: Cellphone, Microsoft, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Rumors, Smartphone, T-Mobile, Windows Mobile, Wireless

Microsoft Deepfish: a new concept for mobile web browsing


Microsoft Live Labs has created Deepfish – a new approach to web browsing on your Windows Mobile device that is very similar to how Safari will work on the iPhone (remember Steve Jobs’ demo from MacWorld?). Instead of loading a web page and only being able to see a small section of the page, Deepfish takes a screenshot of the web page so you see the entire page as it was designed (as opposed to the page’s header, sidebar, etc. being displayed all jacked-up). When you want to zoom-in on a specific section, click the center/joystick key to bring up a small gray focus box, move the box around the page with the directional keys, then click the center key to zoom-in. If you click the center key a third time, you’ll see an arrow cursor so you can click on buttons, links, text fields, etc.

Deepfish is in pre-beta and you need an invite if you want to try it…which is fine by me because the last thing I want to do is install buggy/unstable software on my smartphone and have it crash/reboot on me when I need to make a call.

Looks like Windows Mobile users will have a similar web browsing experience as their iPhone counterparts.

There’s a demo on the Live Labs website and there’s also a video of Deepfish in-action on a Palm Treo.

Filed under: Microsoft, Mobile Software, Web Browser, Windows Mobile, Wireless

NewsBreak: a Windows Mobile RSS reader for $8 (limited time)


newsbreak.gifIf you’ve been looking for a great RSS reader or news aggregator for your Windows Mobile Smartphone/Pocket PC, look no further. I’ve been using NewsBreak for about 3 months on my T-Mobile Dash and it rocks.

IliumSoft – the makers of NewsBreak – just released version 2.0 and is selling it for a limited time price of $8. That’s a 60% discount since it retails for $20.

If you bought NewsBreak after December 6, 2006 (like I did), then the upgrade is free (woot!). If you bought NewsBreak before December 6, you can upgrade for $8.

Update:  Btw, NewsBreak v2.0 allows you to download and listen to podcasts and search for new feeds via Microsoft’s Live Search.  Geek.com has a positive review, too.

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, Mobile Software, Smartphone, Windows Mobile

Will you be able to upgrade to Windows Mobile 6?


Answer: it depends.

In the past, when a new Windows Mobile version was released, the manufacturers and carriers (i.e., T-Mobile, Cingular/AT&T, Verizon Wireless, etc.) had several hurdles to overcome in order to offer you the upgrade (which is why they never did). The carriers had to: 1. pay Microsoft a license fee for the upgrade, 2. customize it for their devices, and 3. test it.

For Windows Mobile 6, Microsoft has eliminated hurdle #1. Per Smartphone Thoughts:

“We’ve just learned that Microsoft has given a free license to vendors who will upgrade their devices. So I think it’s clear that Microsoft understands the frustration that all of us feel when a new OS is released and are trying to change things. It’s expected that HTC will offer upgrades for any device with a keyboard – as all of you Dash/Excalibur users are already aware. Unfortunately we don’t know what Motorola or Samsung plan to do about this. The ball is in the carriers and manufacturers court. Let’s hope they don’t drop it.”

I know, if you’re a Samsung BlackJack or Motorola Q owner this doesn’t tell you if you’ll be able to upgrade to WM6 but now you know what’s involved with an upgrade.

Filed under: Microsoft, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Smartphone, Windows Mobile

CNET Review of Windows Mobile 6 (Rating: Very Good)


wm6-standard-homescreen.jpgCNET has posted a review of Windows Mobile 6 and they gave it a 7.0 out of 10. This review is a bit more in-depth than the Pocketnow review I linked to in my ‘Windows Mobile 6 for T-Mobile Dash‘ post (the author could’ve done a better job differentiating the features between WM6 Standard and WM6 Professional). Here are some of the highlights:

  • Outlook Mobile can now display HTML email
  • Outlook Mobile supports email searching (you just type the letters and it will filter your emails)
  • Call history is associated with your contacts (see screenshot)
  • Calendar now displays a ribbon at the top of the screen so you can easily see your free/busy time (see screenshot)
  • Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition now comes with Mobile Office, which allows you to view and edit Word and Excel files but only view PowerPoint files (on Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone Edition you had to install a 3rd party app to view these files). However, the editing capabilities are pretty thin: (who actually does massive edits on a smartphone, anyways?)

“We should note, however, that the editing capabilities are pretty light. In Word, you’re pretty much restricted to adding and deleting text and formatting type (such as bold, italic, underline, and highlight); while in Excel, you can insert rows and columns, sort, perform basic functions, and so forth.”

One thing that does not seem to be fixed (*sigh*) is that when you “close” an application Windows Mobile hides it instead of closing it. When an application is closed, it should be closed (just like it is in Windows XP/Vista). Why does that matter? Well, when an app is hidden it still utilizes memory and when you don’t have enough free memory the performance drops and you can encounter memory errors.

Even though WM6 has some room for improvement it sounds like it’s worth an upgrade. Heck, since it’s free for T-Mobile Dash owners, I’m definitely upgrading. If I had to pay for it, I most likely wouldn’t (thanks to the iPhone!).

Filed under: Microsoft, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Reviews, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

Daylight Savings Time for Windows, Windows Mobile 5, and Mac OS X


In case you haven’t heard, the U.S. Government changed when we change our clocks for Daylight Savings Time (DST). Here are the deets of the change: (I copied it from Sun Microsystem’s Sun Developer Network)

“The United States has planned a change to its DST observance beginning in 2007. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandates that DST will start on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November. In 2007, the start and stop dates will be March 11 and November 4, respectively. These dates are different from previous DST start and stop dates. In 2006, the dates were the first Sunday in April (April 2, 2006) and the last Sunday in October (October 29, 2006).”

Due to this change, everyone with a computer, smartphone, PDA, etc. will have to install a software patch to account for the change. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass and Microsoft doesn’t make it easy for you to determine if you need to patch your system (Apple auto-includes it in the Software Update). So, I thought I’d make it easy for you all and just tell you what you need to do:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Daylight Savings Time, How-To, MacOSX, Mobile Software, Software, Vista, Windows, Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile 6 for T-Mobile Dash


T-Mobile DashPocketnow is reporting that, in the next few months, T-Mobile will offer T-Mobile Dash owners the option to upgrade from Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone Edition to Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition (the new name for WM Smartphone).

This would be a very nice benny. Hopefully, this is true and the cost to upgrade will be none to minimal.

Btw, Pocketnow also has a review of Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition with a handful of comparison screenshots between the two. Their conclusion: WM6 is just a refresh that makes the user interface look a lot more polished. However, I noticed there is one new feature: Outlook mobile now supports HTML email.

Update: (2/16/2007) Gizmodo is hearing that T-Mobile will allow existing subscribers to upgrade to WM6 for free. Still no exact date but they think it will be within the next few months.

Update: (4/26/2007) Rumors are circulating that T-Mo will release the upgrade on May 4th.

Filed under: Microsoft, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Rumors, Smartphone, T-Mobile, Windows Mobile, Wireless

Google Maps Available for Windows Mobile


Google has finally released Google Maps for Windows Mobile PocketPCs & Smartphones. I’ve had Google Maps installed on my BlackBerry 7290 (my company gave me the BB – I wouldn’t buy a 7290 with my own money) and it’s pretty sweet. Not only do you get Google maps & satellite images but you also get live traffic updates. Oh, and it’s also GPS-enabled so if you have a PocketPC or Smartphone that is GPS-enabled, Google Maps will display your location on the map. The one drawback: the maps are a little slow to load when using the GSM EDGE network (aka 2.5G).

You can download and install the app directly from your mobile phone. Just go to www.google.com/gmm on your mobile phone.

Filed under: Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless