Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

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]

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

Samsung BlackJack owners will get free upgrade to Windows Mobile 6


wm6-logo.gifGood news: AT&T has publicly stated that all Samsung BlackJack, Treo 750, and Cingular 8525 owners will get a free upgrade to WM6.

Bad news: the AT&T/Cingular spokesperson would not commit to a specific date and only said, “later this year.”

If I owned one of these phones, I wouldn’t mind waiting since I bet a lot of 3rd party software is not yet compatible with WM6.

[via Brighthand]

Filed under: Cellphone, Cingular, Mobile Phone, Samsung, Smartphone, 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

Daylight Savings Time bug with Google Calendar’s API


There is a bug with Google Calendar’s API – their API doesn’t account for the changes to Daylight Savings Time (DST). This is making life hell for anyone who uses 3rd party software to sync Google Calendar to their Outlook, Windows Mobile, etc. calendars. Don’t get me wrong, I love Google but they royally screwed-up on this one. According to Google Support, they’re hoping to fix this in April – April?! WTF!

I noticed this because I use GooSync to synchronize my T-Mobile Dash to Google Calendar. Things were working perfectly until the changes to Daylight Savings Time (DST) took effect on March 11. Post March 11, when I created an appointment on my Windows Mobile 5 device and synced it to Google Calendar, the time of the appointment would show up correctly. But, on a subsequent sync, it would push the appointment time forward by one hour.

If you’re a GooSync user, here’s the link to the post about the DST issue in GooSync’s support group. I gotta say, it’s nice that GooSync posted this note because I’m sure they got a lot of people bitching at them – thinking it was GooSync’s fault (at first, I thought it was their fault, too).

Filed under: Calendar, Cellphone, Daylight Savings Time, Google, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

Upgrading to NewsBreak 2.0? Backup your RSS channels


I just upgraded to NewsBreak 2.0 and everything went smoothly. However, backup your list of RSS channels before upgrading. Even though Ilium Software calls it an “upgrade,” it’s more like a reinstall because none of my settings were preserved and, at first, all of my RSS channels were gone. Here’s how I got them back:

  1. After the “upgrade,” I went to Menu –> Options –> Data Storage
  2. I checked the “store data & podcasts on card” checkbox
  3. Upon doing so, NewsBreak displayed a message stating there is already a list of channels on the storage card and asked if I wanted to overwrite those channels – I chose “no.”
  4. Then, all of my channels were back

Apparently, NewsBreak just needed to be pointed to the location of my RSS channels. Thankfully, it didn’t automatically overwrite the data on my storage card during the installation. Now, I’m not sure if NewsBreak would overwrite your channels if you had them stored on your device so backup your channels *before* you upgrade to v2.0. I received confirmation from Ilium Software that the reinstall will not overwrite your channels that are stored on the devic. But, I would still recommend backing up your channel list – just in case if the upgrade/reinstall fails.

So, when upgrading to NewsBreak 2.0, you need to do two things: backup your channel list and, after upgrading, reconfigure all of your settings under Menu –> Options.

The page where you download the 2.0 installation file contains instructions on how to install the upgrade but it doesn’t tell you how to get your RSS channels back. I’ve emailed this feedback to Ilium Software so, hopefully, they’ll add some verbiage to this page.

Update (3/19/2007) Post has been updated since Marc, from Ilium Software, has confirmed that the reinstall will not overwrite any RSS channels that are stored on your device. Thanks, Marc!

Filed under: How-To, NewsReader, RSS, Smartphone, Software, Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile 6 demo in Flash


Microsoft has released a 38 MB Flash-based demo of Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition for download. Interestingly, the demo shows a T-Mobile Dash/HTC Excalibur. It’s worth a quick look if you want to see WM6 in action instead of screenshots.

Some cool things the demo shows are:

  • Ability to send a Contact card via text message
  • Calendar ribbon
  • Viewing call history in Contact cards
  • Support for HTML e-mails
  • Search your device by simply typing the search terms
  • Viewing/editing Word & Excel files.

FYI, this demo is targeted to business users so it also shows a good amount of corporate-related features such as: out of office status, searching Exchange Server mailbox, ability to remotely erase data on the SD card, etc.

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

GooSync: Synchronize Google Calendar with your mobile phone


If you have a Google Calendar and want to synchronize it with your cell phone or PDA, then GooSync is something you should check out. GooSync does a 2-way synchronization between Google Calendar and your mobile phone. So, any appointments you make on your celly or PDA is synchronized to your Google Calendar and vice versa. Cost: free (for sync’ing 1 Google calendar). If you want to sync multiple Google calendars or shared calendars, you’ll have to pay £19.95 (GBP) for 12 months of service, which is $38.30 (USD)…too bad GooSync is a British company! 😉

To use GooSync, all you need to do is create a GooSync account and grant GooSync access to your Google Calendar (don’t worry, you can do this without giving your Google login credentials to GooSync). After you create your account, you select the type of cell phone you have and follow the instructions on how to install the GooSync software on your phone. For Windows Mobile devices, all you have to do is download and install a .CAB file. The installation varies depending on your phone type (and GooSync lists A LOT of supported phones). After the software is installed, you enter your GooSync login credentials and press the “sync” button. After 10 – 20 seconds, your calendars are synchronized.

I installed GooSync on my T-Mobile Dash (Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone) tonight and it works as advertised. Here are my pros/cons:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Calendar, Cellphone, Google, Reviews, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

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

Free Extended Battery for Samsung BlackJack Owners


samsung-blackjack.jpgHave a Samsung BlackJack with poor battery life? Well, surprisingly, Cingular is offering a free extended battery to *some* BlackJack owners. BlackJack owners who have an IMEI serial number between 352794010030189 – 352794012269959 are eligible for this offer. If you qualify, all you have to do is fill out a form on this website and Cingular will send you the extended battery.

Engadget Mobile got the deets from the Cingular BlackJack blog. If you own a Samsung BlackJack, you might want to check out that blog.

Filed under: Cingular, Mobile Phone, Samsung, Smartphone, Windows Mobile, Wireless

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