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Archive for the ‘Smartphone’ Category

It’s good to be back. For a while I have been using a BlackBerry Bold 9700 to see if it could replace my Xperia Ray. The answer is a unanimous yes. So far it has been my music with better control and less volume steps than the Xperia Ray (with the XVolume Xposed module installed). Typing is far easier as I can actually hit the keys I intend to press more often than on the Ray. The extra width and near edge to edge keys are what make this possible. In fact, this entire post was created on the 9700. Only ones that can beat this are the 9000 (not enough RAM) and the 9900 (battery is too small). As for web browsing, Opera Mini covers that very well. Aside from a small bug with Google+, I have no issues. Email will have to be handled using either the Gmail mobile site or via the BIS and the Messages application. The calendar will be handled by the preinstalled calendar application and will be synchronized with Google Calendar using One Media Hub from Funambol Inc. Aside from those niggles and the odd stuck key, everything works well on the Bold 9700.

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I finally got a new Motorola Milestone from the Telus store in the mall where I work. That however was on Sunday. It’s now Saturday and so far I’m truly enjoying the phone. It is heavy, solid and big especially with the OtterBox Commuter Case purchased for it. The great 3.7″ LCD screen is wonderful the look at and at a resolution of 480×854, it beats out the HTC Hero by over 2-1. The keyboard while good, has me wishing for a dedicated numerical row and a pipe symbol key combination. The camera is a great 5 MP unit that takes great pictures compared to other smartphones. It would even best a three year old Canon provided that the lens is absolutely clean. The Milestone proved to be an excellent phone when needed especially after I changed the CrystalTalk setting over to clear. Almost everything works as it should. As for my opinion on the OS, the phone is a blast to use with Android 2.0.1. Great as it is, there are issues that Motorola needs to address in the 2.1 update for Canadian Milestones on Telus:

  1. Audio playback skips when either the GSM radio switches protocols, a text message is received or data is being transferred. http://bit.ly/d72Lbc
  2. Failure to detect the USB cable when it’s plugged in. http://bit.ly/cd6u5A

Aside from these three bugs, the phone runs rock solid on Android 2.0.1. I use this phone in lieu of my MacBook when I’m out and about which is saying something.

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Although this may be old news to many that are in the know and if this is so, please this post. If not, then read on since this may just become part of the future of smartphones as we all know it. In this thread at the XDA Developers Forums here and on this page here, dzo (Martin) posted that he got Google’s Android to work on a HTC Touch Vogue running Windows Mobile using the Handheld Reverse Engineering Tool or HaRET for short. I’ve played around with it myself and I must say that both this OS and OpenMoko are set to go way beyond what Windows Mobile has accomplished in the few years it has been around. I unfortunately can’t post up any videos or pictures of this slick, Linux based OS running on my device. Hopefully I can do so in the future as well as make calls and connect to the data network once better hardware support is added.

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Sorry about the late post but I needed to finish everything first before posting
I’m now starting the iExperiment and will be doing the reviews as I go along. I first started off by hard reseting my HTC Touch.
After the device rebooted, I had to pull the battery to prevent Telus’ modification program from running, thus leaving me with the windows default today screen. I then went on to change around the default settings to suit and installed Schap’s Advanced Configuration Tool v2.1 as well as PHM’s Registry Editor; tweaking the settings as I saw fit in there too. After that Quick Menu 2.7 was installed to replace the default start menu.
I’ll post more as I continue to update my device. For all those attempting this as well, all .cab files as well as some .exe files are meant to be run on your PocketPC or Smartphone. The developer will normally state as to whether or not an exe file is meant to be run on the device or in Windows on your computer. For more programs and tutorials by many a talented person, visit http://www.xda-developers.com.

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As much as I would have liked, I’m not doing a lot of software reviews in a short time frame. Instead, I’m starting the iExperiment. I will be posting updates along with screenshots hosted on Flickr. I’ll try and keep these reviews within the KISS philosophy as the more words I add, the less time I have for editing and updates. Also look towards my other blog ‘Supporting the mobile as I’ll be posting updates on the computers I’m using to gather and organize the software I currently have and in the near further develop software for smartphones. Be back soon with an update on the iExperiment.

P.S.: Filed under, ‘Why didn’t I think of this before?’: Card Export for Windows Mobile (for it’s built-in drivers)(Card Export download) + WM5torage (an excellent application)(WM5torage download) = Working USB Mass Storage Device! No more card reader!

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Yes everyone, you have read correctly. After only a few months with my HTC Touch I feel like I really am ready to swap it in for something else. The reason being that this PocketPC’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. It runs Windows Mobile and just like Windows on the PC, I can’t stand it except for certain tasks. The Touch isn’t slow when it comes to running said OS, but the touchscreen is another problem I’ve encountered with the device. The only good SIP (Standard Input Panel) that I’ve used so far TouchPal by CooTek can be quite hard and annoying to use as my thumbs are quite large and thus end up hitting the wrong keys. I could do better with practise, but these methods of input coupled with the cumbersome menus and programs that I’ve used from time to time (Outlook’s Calendar, Outlook’s Contacts especially) make this an uneasy experience. Using the device for messaging was for a while quite easy if not slow (stupid big thumbs!) but then I just dropped it since it took so long to tap everything in not to mention that I needed to add words to the dictionary for every fews words of IM speak. The Touch for me was great for a time but in order for it the improve my productivity, I need it to sprout a hardware keyboard (and no HTC, the Touch Dual or S720 aren’t gonna cut it). Plus it needs proper J2ME support. So for now I’ll be doing my software reviews until I have enough money to upgrade to a BlackBerry Curve 8330. Why the 8330? The 8830 is way too big for my hands plus the lack of a 3.5 mm headset jack, a camera, and space between the individual keyboard keys would make it hard to live with. The 8130 on the other hand while small and sporting a 3.5 mm headset jack, camera, and GPS (!) has the same 20 key keyboard layout that the TouchPal and default SIP have on my Touch and has too small a screen for my liking. Thus I’m going for the BlackBerry 8330. It has a full keyboard with enough space between the keys that I may not hit wrong keys, a 3.5 mm headset jack and like my current PocketPC a QVGA (this one being 320×240 instead of 240×320) screen and best of all PROPER MIDP 2.0 support. The last thing I like (and this is the same for all BlackBerries) is that they can do so much with just a few megabytes of RAM and ROM (although the OS does have its own set of quirks to deal with). I’ll be taking mine in silver please.

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