Windows Phone 7 Launch Event in NYC

This morning’s Windows Phone 7 Launch Event, while appearing in a somewhat subdued fashion, ended on such a very high note that I considered the launch a rousing succcess!  

The lack of an impressive Microsoft presence in the Windows Mobile field over the last few years has kept the fanboys and girls from becoming overly excited at the event, like Apple fanboys are with just about any Steve Jobs announcement.   Heck, even Antenna-gate showed a lot more Apple fan enthusiasm than this launch event.   However, I really think that Windows Phone 7 is such a different OS that it will quickly gain mindshare with consumers who have yet to purchase an iPhone.   It *may* even convert a few existing iPhone/iPod users.

I also appreciated Steve Ballmer’s enthusiasm, and Ralph de la Vega provided some very interesting details on AT&T’s future device line-up!

Joe’s presentation, with all the demos and live interaction was a complete joy to watch.   I especially enjoyed watching his bravery and true faith in taking a second shot at connecting to the Tell Me servers to complete his online search for Alaskan Airlines flight number 7.  VERY IMPRESSIVE.

In all honesty, I can truly say that I cannot wait until November 8 to get a new Windows Phone 7 device!

Week1: Getting to know my AT&T Fuze…

Yesterday, I didn’t even bother trying to adjust my new Fuze.  I spent the remainder of the day (and so far today) just getting to know the new device and seeing how it operates.   There are so many new things to play with on this device.

It is a totally wonderful device, and has pretty much everything that I could ever want.   It certainly has absolutely everything I want now, but I phrased the previous sentence that way because there’s always the chance that I could discover that there is something else that I want but that this device does not provide.  I’m sure there will be a few, but I doubt they will be all that important to me.

So, I’ve already read the manual twice over, and there is so much stuff on this device that the manual barely scratches the surface.   I’m going to have to do some serious digging…

The Touch Flo 3D (TF3D) interface shown on the commercials really is that good, but is completely alien to me since I came from the standard “Today” screen interface, so this will likely prove a very illuminating experience for me…

I finally picked-up an AT&T Fuze (Touch Pro)

After a lot of soul searching, I came to the conclusion that while I could not afford to buy an AT&T Fuze on a financial basis, I also discovered that I could not afford to keep my original HP iPAQ h5555 and put-off buying the AT&T Fuze until later. 

The HP iPAQ h5555 has outlived it’s usefulness for me.  It has WM2003 as the OS (putting me five versions behind the current OS), 128Megs of memory, no VGA, no Phone (so I have to carry a separate cell phone), no GPS (so I have to carry a separate GPS receiver), no slide-out keyboard, and no data plan to be able to surf the Internet from anywhere.

For example, I most certainly need a newer mobile device in order to continue to be able to provide useable technical support to users in the Windows Mobile Total Access forums.  Almost all of the new users in those forums have a newer device with Windows Mobile 5, or the newer WM6 and WM6.1, so it becomes infinitely harder to provide technical support when you don’t have the benefit of owning a newer device yourself. 

Yet again, I most certainly need a newer mobile device in order to be able to provide technical support to users in the GPS Tuner forums.  This device, like a lot of other devices that GPS Tuner users own, provides users with a built-in GPS radio, so that I can use 3rd party GPS Navigation software right on the device.  GPS Tuner also makes use of various online maps (Google Maps, Topo Maps, etc), so having a device that is capable of using an Internet data plan will go a long ways towards helping me troubleshoot additional capabilities of the program.

As a Microsoft MVP for Mobile Devices, it helps to have a newer mobile device in order to compare notes and professional opinions on the very same newer devices that my peers own and use on a daily basis.

As a Product Reviewer and Writer at MobilitySite, it helps to have a more recent mobile device in order to properly evaluate 3rd party programs and software, since most of the newer programs won’t even install on older PDAs.

And finally, as a Mobile Technology Enthusiast, Professional Writer, and Independent Consultant, it helps to have all the best tools available in order to help you perform your job, no matter where you might find yourself.

So, I bought the AT&T Fuze, and I’m ever so happy that I did!   I expect to continue delving into this device for at least the next month or so, as this is my first modern day device in the last 5 years.

More to come in the following days (presuming I remember to come up for air).

I applied to be on ETEN’s Beta Test team

Well, I was invited to take a survey and see if I "qualified" to be a part of ETEN’s  Beta Test team.  

I am certain that I qualify on the technical front, but I am unsure if I’ll get the role since I was pretty hard on them in the survey that they asked me to fill-out.  Some of the questions appeared to be geared to see if I had high-expectations of the company and their products, and since I said yes to all of them, I will likely be passed-up.   Oh well.

It would have been fun to work with them!   And if I could only get them to up the ante on their SD RAM offerings, every device they made would be top-notch.  This was the Achilles’ Heel of the X500+ that I reviewed a while ago.

Here’s hoping….

I want the new HTC Touch Diamond

touch_diamondI want this new device, the Touch Diamond from HTC! 

The fact that this device has VGA resolution, a GPS chipset, and 192MB of DDR SDRAM is absolutely kick-ass!  The 4GB of internal storage infers this product is meant to have a Multimedia capability that should rival the iPhone.  You can see all the details at their new device website, including some YouTube videos that leave me drooling every time.

I copied the specs below, because I find it rather mysterious that several details are left out, or are covered in generic terms.

Specifically, the fact that there appears to be no external memory slots on this device for SD Cards or otherwise…

Additionally, the GPS section says merely "GPS and A-GPS ready", which tells us nothing about the GPS chipset and standard that they are going to be following.   I have a lot of respect for SiRFStar and their SiRFStar III chipset, so I am hoping this will be the chipset that is eventually chosen for this device.


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AT&T launches the GPS-enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone

clip_image001Workers and consumers on the go can now put away their maps but still easily navigate the fast lane.


AT&T Inc. and Research In Motion (RIM) today announced the launch of the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 SmartPhone, which includes built-in global positioning system (GPS) support for location-based applications and services. Combined with navigation and mapping applications such as AT&T Navigator, the handset provides turn-by-turn voice and on-screen directions with colorful 3-D moving maps that can be used in vehicles or while walking. AT&T Navigator also alerts users through voice and on-screen prompts to traffic slowdowns and incidents along their programmed travel route, and it provides customers with the option to choose an alternative route.

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What features do you want in a PDA Phone?

Smartphones generally favor the smaller form-factor: smaller screens that generally have no touch-sensitivity on the screen. But those of us who use PDAs prefer the opposite: a larger screen sizes that are touch-sensitive, but still have voice and data connectivity.
With that thought in mind, I think that the bulk of society only needs basic PDA functionality (Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, etc), and would be best utilizing them on a SmartPhone. This is obviously the reason for the prominence of SmartPhones. But what about those of us who are power users, who desire more of an actual PDA with more features than just a SmartPhone? Let’s discuss the benefits of what programs or technology are best kept relegated to one platform or another. Here are the basics that I see in each of the two categories at this time:

SmartPhone (where smaller size is better) for most of Society:

  • WM5 or WM6,
  • Regular PIM Functionality (Contacts, Calendar, Tasks),
  • E-mail,
  • Mobile Media,
  • Cell/PCS Phone,
  • Data Plan.
  • Bluetooth 2.0

PDA-Phone (where larger screen is better) for the Techies among us:

  • Larger Screen size (3.5″ – 4″), preferably VGA resolution of 640×480 (or better),
  • Much Larger Memory capacity: 1GB ROM and 2GB Flash RAM minimum,
  • SDHC Card slot,
  • Biometric Finger-Print reader for added Security,
  • Mini USB connector for data exchange and charging.
  • Should meet all of Rad’s Laws (tip of hat to Radimus).
  • All devices should charge via USB (where possible).
  • All devices should have more than one function or interface with other devices
  • Bluetooth LEDs are at least 50% too bright and should only be lit when an error is present, when searching, or when charging.
  • Full QWERTY Keyboard (Slide-out)
  • Regular PIM Functionality (Contacts, Calendar, Tasks),
  • WM6 (or better) with PDF & Office for PDA + Image Viewer native.
  • E-mail, preferably via WebIS’ FLEXMAIL application.
  • Mobile Media Player with support for all the known media formats (including AJAX and Flash),
  • 3G/4G/GSM Cell/PCS Phone service available through your favorite Carrier,
  • 3G/4G/GSM Data Service capability available through your favorite Carrier,
  • WiFi A/B/G/N with Quick-Connector for External Antenna,
  • Consumer InfraRED, with Bundled TV Remote software,
  • Bluetooth 2.0 w/EDR (enhanced data rate), full support for Stereo Audio
  • GPS (SiRFStar III or better), with bundled “on-road” and “off-road” Applications for getting you from point-a to point-z.
  • Barcode scanner, with bundled Database manager (for your DVD/CD collection).
  • 3MP+ Camera in back for quality snaps & video, and a 2MP front-facing camera for Video Conferencing/Calling, with built-in Flash.
  • Video Out connectors (for Video presentations, etc).

What else would you like to see added to either phone category?


Miscellaneous Stuff:

  • ActiveSync 4.6 (or whatever version#) w/OTA WiFi Synchronizing for non-Exchange (i.e. Single user Outlook) and Sync’ing w/Mac systems.

E-TEN Glofiish x500+ Reviewed!

I had the pleasure of reviewing this incredible PDA, the E-TEN “Glofiish” X500+, which has added features like a 640×480 VGA, GPS via SiRFstar III, and a wonderfully useful application set.


When I first heard the rumors about the E-TEN “Glofiish” X500+ back in late 2006, I was smitten by the initial specifications!  This device sounded like it could very-well be my “holy grail” PocketPC: a converged device that featured a Cell-phone, Full PDA, Integrated Camera, Integrated GPS, and most of all, a VGA screen, all in one device!  Woo-hoo!

I was overjoyed to confirm later in February 2007 some additional facts, such as:
1.) The X500+ would come with Windows Mobile 6 Professional,
2.) It’s GPS would be SiRFStar III, and support TMC (Traffic Message Channel).
3.) The Camera would be CMOS based (not CCD!), have a 2-MegaPixel capacity, as well as a camera Flash!
4.) The addition of an integrated FM Radio and stereo earbuds that would act as the Radio antenna.
5.) Support for both WiFi “b” and “g”, as well as Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate).

You can see the whole review here.

When will I get this kind of convergence?

There are many PDAs out there with Telephony services, a camera, and other features, but they are always lacking something: like integrated GPS, VGA, or sufficient base RAM memory.

When will some company create a PDA with these features?

  • Cellular (GSM & 3G) plus Data (GPRS/UMTS/Edge).
  • 4″ VGA (640×480 minimum) screen.
  • Faster Processor (624Mhz PXA270 or better).
  • More SDRAM (128MB minimum, 256MB preferred).
  • SiRFstar III GPS (AGPS would be cool).
  • 3MP Camera, + 1MP front-facing Video Conference
  • Wireless WiFi b & g, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR.
  • SDIO or MicroSD (SDHC compatible).
  • Barcode scanner & Inventory Software.

So far, the Psion Teklogix “iK�n” PDA Phone that Breley alerted us to last week is the closest match to date, but even the iK�n is lacking in a few areas, namely a 2MP camera instead of a 3MP camera, no front-facing camera for Video Conferencing, no AGPS (minor actually), no 3G capabilities, and a 3.7″ screen.  Also, it appears the Barcode scanner/imager is “optional”, so it looks like it may be an “add-on” module.

Next closest is the E-TEN Glofiish X500+, but it too lacks a lot: 2.8″ screen, 64MB of SDRAM, no front-facing camera for Video Conferencing, and no Barcode Scanner.

Can anyone else suggest a device that comes close to offering these same specifications.   I’ll draw the line at UMPCs because I’m still looking for a regular PocketPC.