Archive for October, 2008

>More Zune News

October 25, 2008

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I was at a Zune party last night at a trendy Lower East Side bar in New York City. Zune was in town as one of the primary sponsor for a music festival call CMJ.

I spoke at length with Rob Greenlee who heads up Zune’s podcasting initiative. I queried about future iterations of the Zune, and found his thoughts illuminating. Zune seems content to do its own thing, and while it realizes it is a David to Apple’s Goliath in the mp3 space, it is trying to set itself apart differently from Apple. Microsoft is first and foremost a software company, and it is to those roots that Zune appears to be focusing on. Zune wants to build itself more as a software platform rather than a device platform. It envisions itself converged, much like Apple is doing now, on Windows XP/Vista, Xbox 360, and Windows Mobile. Zune will be about music discovery, and its Social, which although in its infancy has a lot of potential. I also found the target demographic for the Zune to be interesting. Zune is targeting the urban young. Zune is actually a top 20 recognized brand in the Latino community.

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>The Blackberry goes Adult

October 25, 2008

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Are you kidding? That’s the last thing I want to see; businessmen viewing porn on their Blackberry devices.

Pinota is looking for beta testers and will offer free subscriptions to videos, pictures and sex blogs for interested BB users.

>First Impressions of Sprint’s HTC Diamond

October 19, 2008

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I spent some time with the HTC Diamond from Sprint last week. Here are my initial impressions.

The phone is everything bloggers and critics say it is – it is small and powerful. What really astounds the first time you see the phone, especially if you’ve accustomed yourself to a 320×240 display on last year’s HTC phones (Touch, Mogul, XV6800, etc), is the sharpness of the display. The colors are incredibly rich and crisp. I maneuvered to the device’s YouTube app and opened a random video and was amazed at how great the video looked.

I actually had a chance to play with an unlocked GSM version of the HTC Diamond before seeing Sprint’s version. One difference between the GSM and Sprint’s CDMA version is the back cover. The original GSM version of the Diamond has this faceted back meant to simulate the surface of a diamond. Sure, it was a fingerprint magnet, but I liked it. The Sprint CDMA version has a smooth soft-touch burgundy back. Some might like the new back, but I favor the original back better. The Sprint’s HTC Diamond phone is rounded and just a tad thicker. The phone is still tiny, but not as small as the original GSM version. It’s all a matter of preference but I find the original GSM version of the Diamond to be slicker; all black design, etc.

The new 3D-Touch Flo works fine. The unlocked Diamond had some lag issues as reported by CNET, but Sprint seems to have taken care of these problems. One should remember that underneath all the glitziness of the new GUI is still Windows Mobile 6.1.

I recommend the Sprint HTC Diamond for heavy multimedia users. Without a full qwerty keyboard, business users may want to wait for the Touch Pro, although MoDaCo reported in one podcast that the HTC Diamond’s touchscreen keyboard isn’t bad and works reasonably well (for an all touchscreen device). That being said, CPG is more a fan of sliders, and waits patiently for the HTC Touch Pro.

>Storm Leaks

October 7, 2008

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There’s been a ton of leaked news about Verizon’s newest phone on all the cellphone blogs.
On the train ride home I listened to a British podcast about cellphones call “MoDaCo”. The podcaster was surprised he wasn’t more thrilled about the HTC Touch Pro, which is the slide-out version of the HTC Diamond. He made the comment that maybe “slide-out” purists will stick to that form factor, but he liked having a smaller device, and found typing on the next generation of touch-screen phones to be acceptable. I wondered how the Storm will be accepted. Will it be a largely consumer group that buys this, or will business power-users forgo a tactile qwerty keyboard for a touch keyboard ala the Apple iPhone?

>Push email for Windows Mobile

October 6, 2008

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If you own a Windows Mobile Device you might envy the email capabilities of Blackberry smartphones. There are solutions that allow push-email functionality on your WinMo device.

There are two solutions for push-email for Windows Mobile users. The first is to get a hotmail email account from hotmail, and use Windows Live for push email. The second is to use an online host service.

There are almost no free hosted exchange services left. However, the cost for most host exchanges are reasonable considering the benefits and convenience of push-email. Here is a list of some of the best services (source: WMExperts):
http://community.seven.com/forum/main.php
http://www.reliablehosts.org/
http://www.4smartphone.net/
http://www.mailtoweb.co.uk/
http://www.qorefunctions.com/

>Acer Aspire 5315-2698 versus Celio Redfly

October 4, 2008

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A few days ago I caught a profile of the Acer Aspire One on the podcast “Gadget Pron”. I must say, I am intrigued.
The Acer Aspire 5315 is a netbook, and is considerably smaller, and less fully featured than a more expensive laptop. But, it is the price point that has put the Acer Aspire 5315 on my radar. It is selling for about $330.

It is not as powerful as a full featured laptop, but then again, you aren’t paying as much. It is ideal for a road warrior type who wants internet access and the ability to edit documents.

I was looking at the Celio Redfly, but considering the price difference I think I am getting a better bang for the dollar with a netbook in spite of Celio’s price reduction. In the future, perhaps, there may be a software option that will allow me to link my smartphone to any netbook or laptop. That would be really cool.