Droolworthy 3: ‘Ultimate’ – a new range of stunning Windows Mobile devices from i-mate

 Though the most number of new devices announced at the 3GSM were running Windows Mobile, the whole range of phones – right from the Toshiba’s G900 to HTC Vox are all looking dull, boring and very predictable. They differ just in screensize and the application processor they are running. Suddenly Windows Mobile devices started looking less appealing. The Ultimate range

Not for long. Enter the old war horse, i-mate. The Dubai based company has become an OEM (in that they no longer procure their devices from ODMs like HTC or Techfaith) and started manufacturing devices to their own specifications and design. And the first range of mobile devices called ‘Ultimate’ look very appealing. These mobiles will be sporting the recently launched Windows Mobile 6 and comes in five different form factors.

I especially like the flip phone – the model which will be called the 8150. After carrying bulky Windows Mobile devices like the Krome Spy and O2 Mini S for long time, a flip form factor is a welcome change. While the above devices only exist on paper today, i-mate says that these will be launched in Q2 2007, which means they are only a couple of months away from seeing their light of the day. Welcome back i-mate to the Windows Mobile club. We almost wrote you off after you broke your ties with HTC!

More pictures at Engadget.

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Newsgator Alternatives?

As I noted in a previous post, I was happily using the newsgator web front-end/Netnewswire and their pocket pc client for my RSS reading purposes. ‘Newsgator Go’ recently came out of beta and the trial version that I installed on my Pocket PC is about to expire in a few days. I have no intentions of buying ‘Newsgator Go’ as it is heavily over priced at about $30. I personally feel that a simple RSS reader like Newsgator Go does not demand such premium. I will be surprised if anyone pays that much money for this piece of Software which can be written by a school student in a week’s time. Moreover, NG can hardly be called a feature-rich client as freeware alternatives like pRSSReader (my previous favorite) can beat NG handsdown in any side-by-side comparision.

My only reason for using NG was its ability to sync with Newsgator Online. It helped me to keep my feeds ‘in Sync’ irrespective of where I am at a given time.

So what are the alternatives? Create a new feedreader from scratch that can sync with bloglines/Google Reader? Well, I am too lazy to do that. Can some one suggest some good alternatives? I am not too keen to use the bloglines mobile interface as it is slow. I would like to cache the content on my PDA and then read it, rather than clicking on a link and then wait for the page to load.

htcfans.com launched!

(ShamelessSelfPromotion:begin)

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Here is my new ‘semi-professional’ blog: htcfans.com! Much of the Windows Mobile content that I am writing very irregularly at My Two Cents will now move to htcfans.com and will be featured regularly. The site will be regularly updated with Articles and news on Windows Mobile devices.

So come, register in the forums and join the fun!

(ShamelessSelfPromotion:end)

Windows Mobile Tip 1: The Storage Card2 problem

One fine morning you wake up and find that your pocket IE is not working. Cursing Microsoft, you launch Newsbreak to check your latest news articles and get annoyed that this application too is not working. Worse, even your pocket Outlook has gone for a toss. You start blaming Bill Gates now.

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Well, the problem really is because of all the tweaks that you made on the Windows Mobile OS. In order to free up the Program memory and storage, most geeky users edit the registry to store data in the Storage Card – the IE cache, rss cache, outlook mails, PIM data etc., You edit the registry and change storage locations to something like "Storage Card\IECache" and the like. Well, there is nothing wrong in it and it is a good idea indeed. Unfortunately, if there is some error in the Storage Card, your Pocket PC or Smartphone may not be able to locate this folder, and so it automatically creates a folder by name "Storage Card" in the memory! When your SD card is inserted back or restored, your phone or pda gives it the name Storage Card2, since there is a folder already by name Storage Card.

Solutions:

If this happens, all the shortcuts/launchers for applications that are installed in the Storage card will stop working, though you can still launch them by going to the respective folder in Storage Card2. You cannot delete "Storage card" folder because some applications may be using files from here. The solution? Rename the folder! Once you rename, immediately do a soft reset. Once the OS boots again, quickly locate this renamed folder and delete it. Now you can insert your SD/CF card back and you will see it being properly named as Storage Card. Peace.

 

PS: This is my first article in a series of tips and tricks that I am going to publish for Windows Mobile users.

The TyTN is here!

HTC TyTN

 

It is just two months since I started using the HTC Wizard (O2 Mini S) and an upgrade is already announced! The HTC TyTN is going to be one of the first Windows Mobile Smartphone that will be branded and sold as HTC itself. HTC earlier used to market the phones under their own brands called as QTEK and DOPOD (and possibly KROME too. The owners of KROME remain a mystery) along with plenty of other Operator brands like O2, Orange etc.

The TyTN has pretty impressive specs. Being a 3G phone with HSDPA, it sports a dual camera for video calling. It is one of the few phones which support 3G and EDGE on the same device. The most interesting aspect of the phone is a Blackberry-like jog dial which can be used for scrolling. The rolling jog-dial is touted to be one of the reasons why Blackberry is so popular among managers. The only other Windows Mobile based smartphone which possesses a jog-dial is the iconic Motorola Q. Another marked improvement of TyTN (I hate these Moto-ish names, BTW) over the Wizard is the 400 MHz processor. While the maker of the CPU is unknown, it is definitely an improvement over the 195 MHz TI OMAP processor on the Wizard. The TyTN carries a microSD slot as opposed to miniSD on the Wizard, which is bad news for many Wizard/Magician owners- they now have to shell out more money to buy a large microSD card. The phone sports other regulars like Bluetooth, WiFi and Windows Mobile 5 with direct push email.

So all the Wizard owners- give a big hand to the HTC TyTN and get ready to go bankrupt when it gets released by end of July.

Nvidia: MobileMedia Platform for Windows Mobile

There it is, finally!

Now Windows Mobile devices can have high end graphics, which effectively means there is a new competitor for PSP and the DS. While it may take a few more months for actual devices to ship with this GPU, this news sort of confirms some of the rumours that we heard about the Portable gaming device that Microsoft is working on.

For game developers, Windows Mobile based gaming devices are a great platform because of the excellent tool support offered by Visual Studio and the much familiar Win 32 platform. It may also become easier to port many of the Windows based games that are in the market today. So, the coming days are going to be really exciting for everyone – developers, users and the analysts.

More about the Nvidia MobileMedia platform here