Archive for August, 2008

>Verizon Blackberry News

August 31, 2008

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Verizon Wireless is having a promotion sale of its entire Blackberry line. It got me thinking. Is it trying to rid itself of its Blackberry Worldphones and Curves in its inventory before the new Blackberries arrive?

If you are a Verizon Wireless customer and always wanted to get a Blackberry, I’d wait a month for the new Blackberries. If you absolutely can’t wait, then I’d recommend the Blackberry Curve 8330.

>Jott.com

August 30, 2008

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Jott.com is a speech recognition app that allows voice to text dictation on your phone. You dial 866-JOTT-123, and tell Jott where and to whom you want a message to go to, and it transcribes your voice to text and forwards the SMS or email to your recipient. You can also send a reminder text to yourself.
Basic Jott service is free, and worth checking out if you own an iPhone or Blackberry. Point your desktop or mobile browser to http://www.jott.com.

>October 2nd?

August 29, 2008

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Blackberry users of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your old Curves and Worldphones.

AT&T to release the Blackberry Bold on October 2nd. (from BoyGeniusReport.com)

>Android Developer Challenge

August 29, 2008

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CrazyPhoneGuy salutes the winners of the Android Developer Challenge.

To encourage developers to write for Android, Google sponsored a challenge awarding $10,000,000 of prize money for original apps written using Android.

A winner of $275,000 wrote Cab4me. Utilizing GPS, Google-maps, and your contact list, this program allows you to call a cab to any location worldwide. http://cab4me.com/

Another winner of $275,000 wrote Compare Everywhere. Using the camera on your phone, you scan a barcode to gain immediately access to reviews of the product on your phone. It also integrates with GPS to find stores nearby that carry the product. http://compare-everywhere.com/

I commend Google for their innovation, and its new open source mobile programming platform. It looks promising, and may give Windows Mobile a run for its money if it catches on.

>Blackberry TouchScreen Phone

August 28, 2008

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I don’t know how BoyGeniusReport.com does it, but this is a leaked picture of the packaging for the new Blackberry Touchscreen iPhone challenger.

(pictures from cellfanatic and engadget)

>Bose Pairing

August 28, 2008

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I use these headphones with my Verizon Blackberry Curve (8330) and Zune 80, and they sound great. I bought the headphones at the Apple store on 5th avenue for $139.

>Sociology 101

August 27, 2008

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WHAT does your mobile device say about you?

Living in New York City I walk past thousands of strangers on a daily basis. Every morning on the subway I notice more and more people hunched over their mobile devices texting, and reading emails.

I was at a screening of The Dark Knight at the Regal theater on Broadway and Union Square near NYU. All around me were students and young people. I started to wonder if I could infer something about these people on line. Could I guess their occupations based on the phone they carried? Was I Henry Higgins?

The young, cool, and hip buy the iPhone. Clean cut looking college grads,with plum corporate jobs, carry Blackberries. Savvy publicists carried LG EnVs, and Voyagers. The upwardly mobile wear on their their belts, Palm Treos and other WinMo devices. The younger urban set favor the T-Mobile sidekick.

I have been surprised. Once, a disheveled man sat down next to me. I did not pay attention to him until he took out a Nokia N-95 phone. My jaw almost dropped; I mean the Nokia N-95 sells unlocked in the US for almost $650. You can make assumptions, but sometimes you can’t judge a book by its cover.

The way we dress, the car we drive, the people we hang around with all make a statement about who we are. With the great variety of cellphones on the market, it is possible to choose something that represents you.

What does your mobile device say about you?

>Palm’s Comeback

August 26, 2008

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Palm has its enthusiasts and supporters; however, it has not kept up with the times, and most recently has been left in the dust by new innovative smartphones from cellphone manufacturers such as LG, Samsung, Motorola, RIM, And Apple. The closing of seven out of eight retail stores and 26 Palm airport stores also did not bode well for Palm.

In January of this year, Palm hired Apple alum Mike Bell to head up product development and to breathe new life into Palm’s product line. Palm’s newest smartphones seem to be the beneficiaries of Bell’s efforts, and look great. The Palm Centro came out on the Verizon network on June 13th, and has been well received. Similarly, the release on the Sprint network of the Treo 800w gave Sprint a shot in the arm, and many stores were reporting sold out inventories. But, the latest offering from Palm that has many a hearts fluttering is the Palm Treo Pro. It is suppose to come out in the fall (unlocked!) with AT&T potentially picking it up.

>Zune – not so social?

August 25, 2008

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I tried to send this picture to a total stranger over the weekend.

I own a Zune 80, and have the ability to share songs and pictures with other Zune users. Zune owners are part of the “Zune Social”. Zune devices are all equipped with WiFi, which allows “squirting”.

Why would Microsoft create such an unfortunate term for something as cool as sharing music or pictures wirelessly? How about “Zune-ing”? or “Zapping?” Squirting, Ugh.

I was on the subway. It was late, and there were about thirty riders on the train. I just finished listening to a podcast, and just for fun, I turned on the wireless; I usually keep it turned off because it is a battery drainer. Two names popped up when I went to the “Social”. I don’t know why, but I felt daring. I decided to try the “Social” feature on my Zune 80.

Here is what I did – I opened the picture above, and clicked “send”. Oh, by the way, we actually have to name our Zunes as part of the registration process; mine’s Zeke. The other Zune would get the message “Zeke wants to send you a picture – accept?” If he or she clicks okay, then our Zunes connect, and content is shared wirelessly. The whole process takes about 15 seconds.

My “Squirting” attempt was was unsuccessful; I was actually relieved. Remember, I live in New York City, and most of the time, people mind their own business. To have a total stranger try and “squirt” you a song or picture could be seen as an invasion of personal space!

Maybe among high school students and friends being “Social” works; sharing with a total stranger in a large US city is an entirely different proposition.

I’m not sure what Microsoft had in mind when they came up with the Zune Social – all people united in harmony via their Zunes? I don’t think I’m ever “squirting” again.

>First Smartphone..first love

August 24, 2008

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They say you never forget your first smartphone. Mine was the Samsung SCH-i760.

I absolutely adored this phone. I got it from Verizon Wireless, and was taken in by the design of this phone, right from the beginning. I loved the look, feel and heft of the phone. Some of my friends would make fun of it, but I didn’t care. If the iPhone is the cool rich kid, then this phone is the nerdy kid, who plays chess and helps out on the AV squad.
The SCH i760 is not all looks. It packs a zippy 400Mhz processor that makes it an overachieving smartphone. Being a Windows Mobile device, the SCH i760 is customizable. I had Spb Mobile Shell installed, which improved the UI on the phone, and made the phone a better touch-screen device. I hardly used the stylus. The voice command feature was just amazing. I would press a key on the side, and say “play music”, and the phone would ask “which album?”. I would say “Saturday Night Fever” and “Stayin Alive” would start playing.
The full qwerty keyboard was the best. I loved the feel of the keyboard. I was able to type long emails on the bus or train easily. It did take a few days to get used to typing certain symbols like the ampersand (you have to press a function key). Overall it was a great keyboard, and I miss it. The Samsung SCH-i760 comes with Windows Mobile Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint), and is useful for anyone who has to compose articles, letters, memos, etc. while on the move. The white backlight was brilliant and made it possible for me to compose emails even in the dark.
The Samsung SCH-i760 isn’t “perfect”. The synching cable provided doesn’t charge the phone. That was annoying. Being a Windows Mobile device, there was a learning curve, especially for a newbie like me. To make the phone really shine, you have to tweak, mod, adjust, and give it a lot of customizing love. If you are a gadget hound, then this phone is for you. I would recommend buying a micro-SD card to give the SCH-i760 an extra 2Gs of storage space for your files and music. It didn’t come 3.5mm standard for headphones, so if you want to use fancy headphones, you have to get an adapter.
I have a weakness for underdog phones that work well but are not as popular in the marketplace. I have to say this phone really did it for me. It looks great, has awesome functionality, and is an all around useful and fun smartphone. Being the CrazyPhoneGuy, I did have to move on, but this was the first, and it will always occupy a special place in my heart.