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iPhone 3G vs. Windows Mobile (HTC Touch Dual)

July 14th, 2008 2 comments

photo I bought an iPhone 3G yesterday and it’s been an interesting experience.  My last several phones have been Windows Mobile (of the touchscreen variety) and I’ve gotten quite used to that Phone OS warts and all.  I’ve only been using the iPhone for a day and am still learning how to use it but will start sharing some of what I like and don’t like about the phone.  These are not in any sort of priority order.

One thing I’ve noticed for sure is that AT&T’s 3G coverage is not great.  I get 2 bars of 3G reception in my office at work, if I turn the 3G radio off I get 5 bars of normal/EDGE reception.

Also, the bluetooth handsfree with my car doesn’t seem to implemented well.  I have a terrible echo that makes it hard to have a conversation and can’t control the gain on the microphone.

Like Don’t Like
Innovative use of the accelerometer – I’ll get used to the phone turning itself off when near my ear real fast, love that No copy and paste
Screen quality is nice, easy to read in all types of light You can’t toggle email messages as read/unread in the mail client.
Exchange integration is ok and a start.  Not enterprise ready though. I could be wrong but I can’t sort email by sender or size, or anything besides date received
App Store integration is really nice, fluid and easy to use. I want the home screen to actually have some data (like my next appointment, the actual weather) instead of just a launcher for applications
Integration of different apps on the phone is nice, like saving a picture from the web and then making it your wallpaper Battery life is so so (as expected)
Eye candy.  What a pleasing user interface to look at, easy to use with a finger and easy on the eyes. Keyboard is hard to use when typing URLs or email addresses because the fancy auto correct can’t help in those situations
  Can’t search the the whole device – consolidated search on email, contacts, notes
  Can’t send outgoing meeting invites
  Quality of applications on App Store are still early beta type software (as expected, this can only get better)
  Can’t click on the conference call dial-in # in a calendar invite to initiate a call.  Have to memorize the number and the meeting id!

Yes, the don’t like list is longer right now mostly because I’m comparing the phone to my Windows Mobile experience.  We’ll see how this goes with greater usage.  My favorite Windows Mobile application (Iliumsoft’s eWallet) is still not out for the iPhone and they won’t allow syncing of my existing data till August!  How will I survive?! 🙂

Categories: iPhone, Mobile, Review, Technology Tags:

Goodbye Kaiser, Hello Touch Dual

February 3rd, 2008 Comments off

htctouchdual_141x440 In my never ending search for the perfect cell phone and PDA I think I spent the least amount of time with my HTC Kaiser (aka Tytn II aka AT&T Tilt).  I recently sold it and got a new phone, the HTC Touch Dual.

So far I really like the Dual, it gives me the right balance between a full PDA with touch-screen and a phone that is small enough to carry in a breast pocket in a pinch.

Things I like about the Touch Dual:

  • Touch screen seems much improved, much easier to use TouchFLO as well as general thumb-driven applications.
  • Very small.  For a windows mobile phone.  Reminds me of my old (very old) i-mate JAM.
  • Comes with a 20-key keyboard (like a Blackberry Pearl) that once you use it for a couple days is really quite nice.  I’m not having any trouble typing out words without looking as the predictions are spot on.
  • Great battery life, so far frankly seems like better battery life than the much larger Kaiser.

Things I miss from the Kaiser:

  • Slightly larger screen
  • Integrated GPS.  I didn’t use it often, but when I needed it, it was handy.
  • I don’t miss the WiFi as I never used it.
  • Full size keyboard – as nice as the 20-keyboard is, I could thumb type much faster on the full size Kaiser keyboard.
  • And that’s about it!

All in all, I think I’ll stick with the Touch Dual for a while.  Improvements I’d like to see in the next generation include GPS and a side slide keyboard instead of the orientation now.

Categories: Mobile, Review, Technology Tags:

Windows Mobile 6 for HTC P4350 (Herald)

August 21st, 2007 Comments off

p4350 I upgraded to HTC’s official Windows Mobile 6 release last week (though it seems to have officially been released this week).

After the first week I can say that my phone is literally running twice as fast as it did with Windows Mobile 5. I was previously overclocking my phone to 204 Mhz (using OMAP clock) and now I’m not doing anything and the phone still seems faster.

It’s much more responsive and quicker on redraw when I open the keyboard and flip from portrait to landscape.

Overall I haven’t explored all of the new functionality (calendaring, e-mail) but it really seems like a worthwhile upgrade.

Also, I use IMAP on Windows Mobile for my personal mail and it seems like the IMAP implementation has improved on WM6 because the mail sync is occurring much more quickly.

Link: HTC Windows Mobile 6 Upgrade for P4350 (requires registration)

Categories: Link, Mobile, Technology, Windows Mobile Tags:

Things we don’t like about Apple’s iPhone

June 30th, 2007 Comments off
  • The keyboard
  • Uncertain Microsoft Exchange support
  • No MMS client
  • Can’t sync To Do items from PC
  • No Bluetooth sync
  • No custom applications
  • No GPS
  • Speed of EDGE downloads
  • No type ahead contact lookup
  • No file transfer or file system access
  • Limited capacity (for the price)
  • No instant messaging clients
  • Did we mention AT&T?
  • No memory card slot
  • No voice dialing
  • Battery not removeable
  • Can’t capture video with built-in camera
  • Can’t open Powerpoint files
  • No cut and paste between applications!
  • No file management on the phone

Many of these will probably be addressed in v2.0 of the iPhone so we’ll just have to wait 🙂

Update:  Added a few more 🙂

Link: Thanks to Prem Sundaram for contributing!

Categories: Link, Mobile, Technology Tags:

HTC Kaiser – my next phone?

June 27th, 2007 Comments off

I think this thing is a little bigger than my phone but it has integrated GPS and I love the flip up screen! Video review provided by MyMobile911.com.

Categories: Mobile, Technology, Video Tags:

Windows Mobile 6 for HTC P4350 (HTC Herald)

June 24th, 2007 Comments off

I’ve been waiting for HTC to release a Windows Mobile 6 ROM upgrade for my P4350 cell phone.  HTC had originally said they would release something in June but I inquired this week and now it looks like July 🙁

Here’s the official word I got from their customer service:

Thank you for contacting HTC Europe regarding Windows Mobile 6.

For further information on our Windows Mobile 6 update strategy, including which devices will receive the update, please see the following link.

http://www.europe.htc.com/z/pdf/press/WM6_statement_v6.pdf

Once released, they should be available for download from the support section of the HTC website.

Provisional dates are as follows.

Athena (X7500/Advantage) – Middle of September
Excalibur (S620) – Middle of September
Hermes (TyTN) – End of July
Herald (P4350) – End of July

Other devices dates are still being finalised.

These updates will require Registration, and will be only available for genuine HTC branded products. Network branded and Co-Branded devices are not included in this launch. For those devices please see the network or point of sale for updates.

Categories: Mobile, Technology Tags:

PVR for your phone calls

September 6th, 2006 Comments off

Mobility Today has a story on “PVR” software for your phone. Softtrends LivePVR software lets your record and rewind/fast-forward thru a buffer of voice calls that you make. Similar to a Tivo it records all the time in the background. I’m going to try it out and will post a review of what I think of the application soon.

Update – I tried this out for a while and it really sucked.  It’s a smartphone app which I missed out on when I first read about it :-)  Doesn’t work so well on my Pocket PC phone.

Categories: Mobile, Technology Tags:

Qtek 9100 starting anew

August 16th, 2006 Comments off

I downloaded the latest ROM for my phone (HTC Wizard) from xda-developers today. This is version 2.26 and I have to say it’s a big improvement in stability and speed so far. My phone is running I’d say on average 1.5x faster that it was before. The screen refresh is significantly better as well. It surprises me that there can be this much of an improvement from software alone since my hardware is obviously not changing. I guess this tells me how poor the original ROM was on this phone!

Since I had to go thru the trouble of re-installing all of my applications, here’s a list of everything I use:

  • Spb Pocket Plus (adds a bunch of features that Microsoft should just include out of the box like application launching and a better close button)
  • Spb Diary (this is another one of my favorites, it really makes my Today screen versatile. I’m trying out a v2 beta now)
  • Spb Imageer (image management and manipulation)
  • Tom Tom Navigator 5 (for use with my Parrot CK3300 kit in my car for GPS navigation)
  • Microsoft Voice Command (works suprisingly well with no training)
  • Ilium Software’s eWallet (one of my favorites!)
  • Resco Explorer 2005 (very handy, gives you a better file explorer, a registry editor, ftp abilities and more)
  • MemMaid (better memory management of arcane things like the Notification queue, etc.)
  • SearchToday (to search the web directly from the Today screen)
  • TodayTime (gives you one line ability to put in the date and time on the Today screen. Follow this link for the english translation.)
  • JETWare Bluetooth Hands-free Extension (helps tremendously with syncing contacts, signal strength and battery level to my Parrot kit)
  • OMAPClockPlus (I run my processor at 240 Mhz for much faster response.)

This ROM includes most of the registry hacks that I use to optimize settings, but there are still a few left out:

  • Enabling the GPS control panel. I documented this one in an earlier posting.
  • Using Voice Command with a bluetooth headset. Documented here.
Categories: Link, Mobile, Software, Technology Tags:

Another way to improve the Qtek bluetooth stack

May 18th, 2006 Comments off

I saw a post on the Parrot forums about installing a piece of software from Jetware Mobile. I put it on my phone and it seems to be working better with the Parrot CK3300. I can now see signal strength and battery level on the Parrot display which I couldn’t see before. Disappointing that the Microsoft bluetooth stack is so feature-less.

Categories: Mobile, Technology Tags:

Parrot CK3300 / Tom Tom 5 / Qtek 9100

January 6th, 2006 Comments off

I have a Qtek 9100 PDA phone (similar to i-mate K-Jam) running Tom Tom 5. I have the CK3300 unit. I’ve managed to get the GPS working every time without having to repair the phone and handsfree kit every time. I’m still not able to sync contacts, hope that Parrot is working on it.

Here’s what I did:

1) You need to edit the registry on the PDA to allow the GPS control panel to show up. I read about this on xda-developers.com.

From that web site:
STEP 3 : ACTIVATE THE GPS CONTROL PANEL
Fire up a registry editor (eg http://www.freewareppc.com/utilities/ph … itor.shtml )
Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINEControlPanelGPS Settings
Delete the DWORD marked “hide”
Add a DWORD called “Group” and give it the value of “2” (dec)
** AudiS4 – I also deleted an entry marked ReDirect.
** Had to soft reset my phone twice after doing this registry entry. Make sure you exit the regedit program properly.
The GPS panel will now show up in your connection settings.
** Go to Start/Settings/Connections and you will see the GPS control panel there now.

2) Go to the GPS control panel.
On the Programs tab, select (None) in the GPS Program Port selection.
On the Hardware tab, select (None) in the GPS hardware port selection
On the Access tab, deselect the Manage GPS automatically box (no check box)

3) Install Tom Tom v5.21 available here:
http://www.tomtom.com/support/category. … p;FID=3361
You should not have Tom Tom installed previously, this is not an upgrade, it’s a full install that will actually work thru ActiveSync unlike 5.1 or 5.0.

4) Pair your Phone and CK3300 via Bluetooth.
When you get the option make sure that “Handsfree” and “Serial Port” are both checked.

5) In Bluetooth Settings, go to the COM Ports tab, and click on “New Outgoing Port”
Select Parrot CK3300 (or whatever you named the pairing)
Select a COM port, on my phone I only had a choice of COM6 or COM7. If these are your choices, definitely select COM6 as I had trouble with COM7.
Finish and save this change.

6) Launch Tom Tom.
In the menu select “Change Preferences”
Find “Show GPS Status” and select it.
Click on Configure.
Find Other Bluetooth GPS and select it.
Pick the COM port you set in step 5 (in my case COM 6).
Click Done.

After this everything worked for me. My Tom Tom found the GPS device, and after the Parrot got a GPS fix, the software worked perfectly. After exiting Tom Tom and turning my car off, I came back after a couple hours and tried it again but just turning on the car and launching Tom Tom, and everything reconnected and worked fine. If you do have trouble, just repeat Step 6 to tell Tom Tom where to look again.

Will be curious to know if this works for the rest of you that have a K-JAM / Qtek 9100 or similar HTC phone. Good luck!

Categories: Mobile, Technology Tags: