Friday, October 31, 2008

Smartphone Apps for the Rest of Us

Information Week has an interesting little article on their website about how non-iPhone users can obtain new software for their smartphones.
"Sure, iPhone users have access to the iPhone Apps Store, but where are the rest of us supposed to get great content for our cell phones? Turns out, all over the place.

Long before the iPhone Apps Store was a gleam in Steve Jobs' eye, each major wireless network operator offered up numerous third-party applications to their customers through a variety of storefronts.

The carriers have their own developer programs, application testing procedures, and delivery systems to get apps into the hands of users. InformationWeek took the time to speak to the carriers and get the scoop on how you can find games, music, and location-based services applications for your phone. "

Keep reading Smartphone Apps for the Rest of Us...

Other Sources of Software

While you can go through your wireless carrier's portal for software, there are even more places you can go for software.

Palm Software Connection... (Palm OS, Windows Mobile)
PalmGear... (Palm OS)
PocketGear... (Windows Mobile, BlackBerry)
Handmark... (Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iPhone)
... (Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian OS, Android)
MobiHand... (Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian OS, iPhone, Android)

Don't forget the vendors! Many software developers sell their software directly from their own websites. If you really like a vendor's software, buying it directly from a vendor's website ensures that they get the most compensation for their work.

An anonymous Smartphone Fanatics reader has pointed out another great source for mobile software,

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Live Mesh: Here, there, Nowhere...

Earlier today was reporting that Microsoft had released Live Mesh for Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1-powered devices along with a Mac OS X client (whoa!!).

However, I received a much different picture when I went to the Microsoft Live Mesh blog. It seems that after the rollout, Microsoft discovered a bug with the installation process, prompting the company to post a warning about attempting to install the software.
"Since rolling out the latest Live Mesh release this afternoon, a number of customers have reported trouble installing the Live Mesh for Mobile software. We have identified the problem and are currently working on a new build. We don’t yet have an estimated time of availability, but we will post updates here, on the blog, as we know more.

In the meantime, please do not try to install the Live Mesh for Mobile software on your mobile phone because installation will fail in most cases.

Thank you for your patience as we work to get this issue resolved quickly."

Visit the Live Mesh blog for updates...

Rumor: Microsoft Working on Windows Mobile 6.5

Brighthand's Adama Brown has an interesting article posted on the mobile computing website. Mr. Brown's article reads, in part:
"The interview focused on the news that Motorola would be dropping both Symbian and its in-house Linux/Java platform in order to focus on devices running Android and Windows Mobile (read more). While commenting on the user experience aspect of smartphones, Jha noted that:

"Windows Mobile 6 has not delivered the experience that I think Apple has been able to deliver, but as you look at the plan that is Windows Mobile 7 and even 6.5, I think there are significant new added features which will help the platform."

This reference to an upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 is the first such information about its existence made available to the public. Previously the next known upgrade to Microsoft's mobile platform was Windows Mobile 7, a major overhaul which was has been repeatedly delayed, most recently until the second half of 2009."

Read the full article on

Potential Upgrades

Unlike desktop operating system upgrades from Microsoft, or even Apple, smartphone operating systems need to be tweaked for the hardware it will run on. Because of that fact, we won't be able to obtain any upgrade directly from Microsoft. Rather, mobile device manufacturers like Motorola and Palm will need to obtain the software, modify the code, and then have the new software stack certified by each wireless carrier who will carry the upgraded phone.

Long story short, don't expect every Windows Mobile 6.0 or 6.1 device to get an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Palm, InStyle Vibrant Rose Centro Giveaway

Looks like Palm and InStyle are giving away the new Sprint edition Vibrant Rose Centro smartphone to 10 lucky winners.

Fill out the online entry forum over at and then sit back and wait for the drawing on November 30, 2008.

G1 and Removable Storage

I was just reading an article by Brighthand's Editor-in-Chief, Ed Hardy, that says the new T-Mobile G1 handset powered by Google's Android operating system can only use a memory card for additional storage.

Mr. Hardy writes:
"The first Android-based smartphone debuted this week, and users have discovered what many will consider a significant flaw: all applications have to be stored in internal memory.

This means that all third-party software has to fit in the 70 MB of internal storage that the T-Mobile G1 has set aside for this. The device comes with a 1 GB removable memory card, and it supports at least 16 GB ones, but none of that storage capacity can be used for holding applications.

The storage card is used only for holding files, like music and video."

Personally, I welcome the Android users into to the proverbial swimming pool. Palm OS users also have to wrestle with this issue. I do hope that Palm OS customers get some relieve in 2009 when Palm is scheduled to release the successor to Palm OS 5, Palm OS II/Nova. I would also like to see Google roll out an update to Android that adds the ability to run apps of a card in the near future.

Read the full Brighthand article...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BlackBerry Bold Headed for AT&T on Nov 4th

In a press release issued earlier today, Research In Motion announced that the new BlackBerry Bold will be launching on AT&T's 3G wireless network on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

"The BlackBerry Bold smartphone's design and performance live up to its name. The elegant smartphone features a lustrous black exterior, satin chrome-finished frame and stylish, leatherette backplate with a stunning half-VGA (480 x 320 at 217 ppi) color display for eye-popping visuals and a newly designed full QWERTY keyboard for exceptionally fast and easy typing. On the inside, the BlackBerry Bold features built-in GPS and Wi-Fi®, a powerful new 624 MHz mobile processor that provides impressive performance, more storage memory than ever before — 1 GB on board and up to 16 GB via its microSD/SDHC expansion slot — and a rich set of multimedia capabilities, including an advanced media player for music, videos and photos and a 2 megapixel camera with built-in flash, zoom and video recording, as well as an optimized Web-browsing experience with desktop-style depiction."

"The BlackBerry Bold is the best BlackBerry smartphone ever, backed by the nation's fastest 3G network and the hands-down best international coverage of any carrier," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility. "The BlackBerry Bold is the complete package, providing customers with an absolutely outstanding mobile experience whether doing e-mail, browsing the Web, viewing streaming video or simply making a phone call. And it is being introduced in the U.S. only from AT&T."

The new BlackBerry Bold will sell for $299 with a qualifying 2-year service agreement that includes voice and data.

Read the full RIM press release...

I have to say that I'm really interested in the BlackBerry Curve, and what can only be it's successor, the Bold. What I like most about them is the hardware keyboard and the navigation ball on the face of the device. Being a long time Palm Treo customer, I really rely on having that hardware Qwerty keyboard. I just can't seem to get used to the soft keyboard that has been implemented on Apple's iPhone and iPod touch. I'm all about the keyboard.

The other feature that I really like is the placement of the trackball. With the older BlackBerry devices that I've used, I really hated the fact that the scroll wheel was always on the right side of the device with me being left handed.

Gizmodo: T-Mobile G1 Software Update Hits Tomorrow

GadgetsOnTheGo has a link to an article on Gizmodo that T-Mobile and Google are rolling out the first update for the G1 tomorrow. Man that was fast!

"Gizmodo is reporting that T-Mobile will be releasing the first software update for the T-Mobile G1 tomorrow. It will be sent to all G1 devices over the air. The update is expected to be minor, addressing some bug fixes and light "enhancements"."

Get all the details on the G1 goodness here...


Dell Inspiron 910

Ok, so we all know that I've spent waaaay too much time obsessing over the Foleo. I can admit that. But today I ordered the device that I hope can replace my desire to have a Foleo, the Dell Inspiron 910; aka the "mini 9".

So that is the good news. The bad news is that because the ultra-light/UMPC market is so hot right now, the expected ship date for my black Dell mini 9 isn't until 11/19/08!!

I'll keep you posted.

T-Mobile G1 Specs

  • Size: 4.6 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Included battery: 1150 mAh Lion
  • Talk time: up to 5 hours
  • Standby time: up to 5 days
  • Band (frequency): 850 MHz;900 MHz;1800 MHz;1900 MHz
  • Easy access to Google applications
  • IM/Text/Email*
  • 3MP Camera
  • Video playback
  • Touch Screen
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Bluetooth® wireless technology
  • One-click Google Search
  • Real web browsing capabilities
  • 3G Network and Wi-Fi access

The full list of features can be found here.

The G1 will go for $179 with a new two-year service agreement.

T-Mobile's G1 Goes Live Today

The first Google Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, goes live today.

I'd post some more details about the G1, but T-Mobile's site appears to be getting hammered as I can't load the Buy Now page.

More details will follow as the day goes on.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Palm Centro Reivew

I was working with my sister's Centro today, and the following is a review of the white hot selling consumer-oriented Palm smartphone. I use a Palm Treo 755p and Treo 750 and will be comparing the Centro with those two devices.

Operating System

The Centro runs Palm's Palm OS operating system, version 5.4.9; which is the same version that Palm is using in the latest Palm OS Treo, the 755p. The Centro that I am working with has already been upgraded to the latest software maintenance release, 1.07, which can be downloaded from the Palm website as a free download.

Because the Centro runs Palm OS, you can run the thousands of existing Palm OS application that are available today. If you are upgrading from a Palm OS Tungsten or Zire PDA, your transition to the Centro should be a smooth one. If you have an older Palm OS PDA, the transition to the Centro is possible, however, I encourage anyone who has installed third-party application software to upgrade to the latest release before doing so to make sure that all of your software is compatible with Palm OS 5.

The Hardware

The Cento is smaller than previous Palm smartphones. Althought the size difference is not dramatic, the rounded edges of the Cento make it seem smaller when you are holding it in your hand. Slipping it into and out of the front pocket of a pair of jeans will be ease.

Unlike the Treo 750 and 755p, the original model Centro smartphones do not have the rubberized soft-touch paint. In my opinion, this is one of the few negatives of the Centro. I really like the soft-touch paint as it helps me keep a firm grasp on the device while I am using it. Starting with the newest Sprint Centro models, olive green and vibrant rose, Palm has returned to using the soft-touch paint.

As with previous smartphones, the Centro also includes a full Qwerty keyboard. The keys on the Centro are smaller than those on the Treo, however, the jelly style key caps make it easy for people to type on the keyboard, even if you are used to the Treo's keyboard or if you have big mits like me.

Nesseled in between the bright touch-screen and the keyboard are the standard hardware buttons Palm's customers have come to expect: Phone, Calendar, Home, Email, Call Send/Recevie (the green button) and Call End/Power (the red button). The center button, which is used to navigrate around the screen and select objects, is right in the center of the device and easily accessible with your thumb. Along the top of the device is the ringer switch for silencing your phone quickly; a feature I wished more people would us during meetings.

Rounding out the hardware features of the Centro is the digital camera on the back of the device mounted along side of the speaker. The 2.5mm headset jack, sync and power ports can be found on the bottom edge. An IR port has been placed on the right side of the body, and on the left are the volume up and down buttons and the Voice Memo button.

Each of the application hardware buttons can be reprogammed by using the Buttons control panel which is found in the Prefs application. (Press Home, and then tap or select the Prefs application in the Palm OS Application launcher.)

The Centro does come with a stylus, but I'm not excited about it. The stylus is an anemic piece of brittle plastic that feels like it will break if I hold it too hard. The bottom third of the Treo 750 and 755p is metal, but I long for the days of the Treo 650 and 700p when the stylus was mostly metal.

The Centro uses a 1150mAh battery that held up well while I was using it. (I had the device for about 90 minutes.) During that time, I was constantly checking email, downloading software updates, and browsing the web. If you plan on using all of the phone's features (phone calls, email, organizer applicaitons, and Office documents) you will likely need to charge the phone up everynight. Casual users, who don't talk on the phone alot will be able to get a few days out a single charge. Milage will vary.

The Centro also has a microSD card slot, which unlike the Treo 750 and 755p, is only accessable by removing the battery compartment door. This won't be a problem for most Centro owners unless they have multiple expansion cards that you need to swap in an out.

The Software

Centro comes with all of the software you would expect to find on a $99 phone and then some. I was really happy to see that Palm was including all of their standard Treo software on the Centro. In addition to Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Memos, standard fare for a feature flip phone, the Centro also includes a web browser (Blazer 4.5.8), an email application (VersaMail 4.0.1) and the ability to read/write Microsoft Office files (DataViz Documents To Go 10.0 Professional). From a software perspective, there isn't anything a Centro can't do that a Treo 755p can. When you buy a Centro, you are buying a full featured smartphone compared with the other devices in the Centro's price range ($79 - $149).

Pricing, Colors

The Centro, available from Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and unlocked, typically sells for $79 - $99. However, deep discounts and mail-in rebates either from Palm or your wireless carrier, and with a new 2-year service agreement can bring the price of the Centro down much lower.

As indicated earlier, the Centro does come in a variety of colors, however, not all of the colors are available to all of the wireless carriers. The Sprint edition Centro I was able to use was ruby red. Centro is also available in cobalt blue, electric blue, obsidian black, glacial white, olive green, vibrant rose, and pink.


The Centro is a full featured smartphone that isn't hard on your checkbook. It is a great phone to upgrade to from a feature phone if you are looking for a better web, email, and text messaging experience. The call quality is good as was the signal strength in my neighborhood.

There are some aspects of the hardware that I would have changed, however, I don't think that they are reason enough to pass up on this phone. The inclusion of the full install of the Palm OS means, and all of Palm's bundled productivty and entertainment software, gives you the same functionality as Apple's iPhone without the added cost.

For more details on Palm's wildly popular Centro smartphone, visit Palm's Cenro website.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Palm Backup Program Ending

The Palm Backup beta program for Palm OS smartphones is coming to an end on January 16, 2009.

In an email to current beta testers, Palm writes:
"Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your participation in the Palm Backup Beta program. Palm is discontinuing this service on January 16, 2009. After this date, the beta will be closed and the data you have stored
through this service will be purged and no longer accessible. We want you to have a smooth transition. Please remove the Backup Beta application from your Palm device.

For information on how to delete an application, please visit:

If you need more information and support visit:

We look forward to providing you with mobile computing products and

The Palm Team"

Palm customers who where partcipating in the beta should check the mail address they used to register with for additional details.

Even with the Palm Backup beta closing, there are still back up applications for your favorite Palm device.

Customers who use a Palm OS device (PDA or smartphone) that has NVFS memory, including the Palm Tungsten E2 and T5, the Palm TX, the Palm Treo 650/700p/755p, and the Centro can download the freely available NVBackup by Alex Pruss. Resco Backup is another great commercal backup application. Windows Mobile Treo users can use Sprite Backup, which can be installed from their Palm software CD and can upgrade to the latest version directly from Sprite's website.

Treo 750 Windows Mobile 6 Upgrade Offer Ending

Palm customers who are using the Treo 750v (Vodafone) or the Treo 750 (AT&T, Unlocked) are being reminded that October 31, 2008 is the last day to download the free upgrade to Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0.

There are a number of enhancements in this upgrade, including:

  • HSDPA support for faster data network connections
  • Improved support for the Calendar application
  • Enhanced support for HTML based email messages
  • Microsoft Windows Vista compatibility
  • Internet connection sharing
  • Better security and IT policies support
  • USB cable charging

Customers using the Treo 750 from AT&T can download the updater here. Customers using an unlocked Treo 750, or a Treo 750v can download the update here.

Please do keep in mind that the update can only be downloaded once, so when you enter your device's serial number, download everything to your computer's hard drive and then make a backup copy to CD, DVD, or a USB flash drive before you do anything else.

Related Articles
Treo 750 to get Windows Mobile 6 Upgrade
Windows Mobile 6 Upgrade for Treo 750v
Windows Mobile 6 Upgrade for Treo 750 (AT&T)
Treo 750 Windows Mobile 6 Upgrade Recovery Tool

Friday, October 17, 2008

Diet & Health Manager Promotion

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important and iambic wants to help people to eat well and be healthy.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires both determination and motivation. With that in mind, we are having a special 8 day sale to provide that extra help you need to achieve your desired weight goals. For one week only, when you buy any mobile version of Health & Diet Manager (Palm OS, Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone), iambic include the Windows Desktop version absolutely FREE!

iambic's Health & Diet Manager, "comes with an extensive food database that includes menus from popular eateries (such as McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, etc.). This database is customizable and offers a straightforward way to add food items as well as whole meals. For those on diet programs such as WeightWatchers, Health & Diet Manager provides a convenient way to track point balances and map points to meals."
To learn more about this promotion, visit the iambic website...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Palm, Sprint Update the Centro

Looks like the Palm Centro for Sprint is about to get a holiday makeover. In a press release issued earlier today, Palm unveiled the Centro refreshes that were alluded to in the September quarterly conference call.

The two new additions to the Centro family, currently only available for Sprint, feature:
  • Two new colors; olive green and vibrant rose
  • Soft-touch paint; similar to that used on the Treo 750 and 755p
  • 128MB of user accessible memory; increased from 64MB
  • Facebook for Palm OS preinstalled
  • Google Maps with My Location support
The new Centro smartphones will begin to roll into select retail outlets on October 19, and will be come available at Sprint retail locations and online at and starting on November 2.

Palm is also relasing a trio (not Treo) of Cento accessories to compliment the new phones in the way of a new leather slide case, leather flip case, and car charger.

According to Palm's press release, the new smartphones will also have a new lower price when you agree to a 2-year contract, including a data plan that is $25 a month, and after a $100 mail-in rebate. When all is said and done, you can pick up a new Centro for $79.99; previously retailing at $99.99 at the Centro's initial launch.

There is a lot of like about the new Centro smartphones. I'm glad to see that Palm is actively marketing multiple colors for their smartphones. I also like that face that Palm has returned to using the soft-touch paint as it one of my favorite features of my Treo 755p. But the best part about this pair of devices is that Palm is pushed past the 64MB mark. There have been plenty of time where I wished my Treo had 128MB on board.

For more details on the pair of new Centro smartphones, check out the Palm Centro website.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Editorial: Palm Needs an App Store

The 1SRC Editorial is back. This week I write about how Palm needs to build an App Store for Palm OS II/Nova powered smartphones.

Palm is in the midst of a corporate transformation, that, if successful, will put the company back on the map as a mobile computing innovator. Palm executives have outlined the three-step plan as being: People, Design, and Platform. This week we take another look at “Platform.”

In previous 1SRC editorials and podcasts, I have talked about Palm’s transformation and the possible products and services that might coincide with it. We’ve already seen the ramifications of “People.” Palm has been steadily recruiting top technology talent to help drive innovation across the organization. That recruitment process continues today. We have also seen the results of “Design.” The new Treo Pro is a radical departure from the smartphones that have their roots in the Treo 600 design. The last leg of the plan, “Platform,” refers to Palm’s efforts to develop a mobile operating system that will be the successor to Palm OS 5.

We know that work on Palm OS II/Nova is still on going and that devices running the new mobile operating system my not appear in the market place until as late as June 2009. Palm OS II/Nova, I think, is as much a means as it is an end. Yes, when Palm OS II/Nova finally does ship on a Palm smartphone, many people will breath a sigh of relief. Many people question Palm’s ability to deliver a new mobile operating system at all. Having already created five mobile operating systems, I think Palm can handle the creation of a sixth. What is of more long term strategic importance to Palm is the value added services that will be launched alongside of Palm OS II/Nova powered devices.

I have already talked about the possibility of Palm moving to a cloud computing solution to replace the current versions of Palm Desktop and the HotSync Manager for Windows and Mac OS X. A “Mobile Me Too” solution that Palm develops will be a boon for small business users and consumers. Even after the portal shutdown, I still think that a cloud solution is in the works. Device backups will be another popular cloud service that Palm may provide. The Palm Backup beta, also closed, showed how easy device backups can and should be for people who do not fancy themselves as geeks.

The last piece of the puzzle has to be an application marketplace and application delivery system. This concept is not new to Palm. Palm’s partnership with Bluefish Wireless to provide AddIt on Palm OS devices has been around since 2003. AddIt masquerades as My Centro and My Treo on many of Palm’s recent smartphones and offers customers a means to demo and purchase software from their phones without the need for a desktop computer. Apple’s App Store has no doubt popularized this feature. As Palm prepares to wrap up development of Palm OS II/Nova, they will need to have a new mobile application store ready to go live at the same time.

When Palm OS II/Nova enters the market place, Palm’s competitors will be implementing similar solutions. Apple’s App Store is already online. Microsoft, RIM, and Google have all pledged to deliver similar on device shopping experiences. If Palm wants to be taken seriously as a mobile technology innovator, then Palm OS II/Nova will need an App Store of it’s own.

The frustrating thing for many customers is that Palm already has an under utilized solution with AddIt. We know that the web will play a major role in Palm OS II/Nova, and it stands to reason that a cloud solution makes sense. The trick for Palm, and their developer partners, who will populate the new digital storefront with software for us to buy, is to rework what they have. Palm will no doubt leverage their existing relationship with Bluefish to develop a new front-end client to the backend solution that would be delivered by the new PocketGear. (For those not in the know, PocketGear, formerly associated with Motricity, is the outsource partner that runs Palm’s online software store, Software Connection.) I’m a big fan of leveraging what has already been developed, and it would seem that Palm already has a relationship with business partners who can help create a new solution in short order without having to throw everything away.

In conclusion, I believe that Palm OS II/Nova represents more than a new mobile operating system that will be installed on smartphones from Palm. As I have attempted to demonstrate before, I believe that Palm OS II/Nova will be foundation for new products and services that are likely under development in Palm’s software labs.

The proof will be in the pudding as the saying goes. To that end, Palm should be taking advantage of CES in January and the Mobile World Congress in February to generate excitement with their carrier partners and in the developer community about a new on device software purchasing and delivery solution. Having a strong third-party software ecosystem will be essential to driving the success of Palm and Palm OS II/Nova just like it was when Palm introduced the Palm Pilot some ten years ago.

Friday, October 10, 2008

T-Mobile G1 Hands On "Review"

I saw this over on EngadgetMobile this morning and I wanted to share it with all the G1 fans.
"Oh sure, you've already read over our (and Ryan Block's) brief one-day impressions of T-Mobile's G1, but one lucky (lucky!) user over at AndroidCommunity has been able to handle one for more than just a few hours. As a precious gift to the world, he's penned a nice list of pros and cons along with a Q&A, and it seems that the "review" is actually growing with time. Right from the top, he notes that the G1 is lke a "SideKick on massive steriods," albeit one with a minty fresh OS"
Via EngadgetMobile...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

End of the Palm PDA Era?

Kris Keilhack over at has an interesting article posted called "New Palm Accessory EOL Notifications."
"After several quiet weeks following the launch of the new Treo Pro, Palm's Channel Source ResellerPro portal has posted a few tidbits of information regarding product EOL status as well as Palm's new Education Purchase program.

After being announced barely five weeks ago, Palm has unsurprisingly decided to EOL one of the Treo 800w's Palm-branded peripherals. The 3291WW Vehicle Power Adapter with micro USB plug has received its EOL notification. We covered this item's release back in late August and discussed the unnecessarily overlapping SKUs . Presumably, Palm will be updating their remaining micro USB car charger, 3437WW, to reflect its compatibility with the new Treo Pro as well as the older 800w."

Read the full PalmInfoCenter article...

Interesting. So Palm is going to be refreshing some accessories as we head into the holiday shopping season. In and of itself, that information is not surprising.

However, I have to wonder about the graphic (above) and the announcement that the educational purchase program is changing. In the past, the education purchase program favored Palm's traditional handheld devices like the Palm Tungsten E2 and TX. Is the changing of the educational purchase program the early warning sign that Palm's PDA business will finally be coming to an end at the end of this year?

During the most recent conference call, Palm CFO Andy Brown reported that "[Palm] saw handheld sell-though fall to 166,000 units representing a 49% decline year over year and as we
look ahead, [Palm] expect[s] this trend to continue. Inventory held by our channel partners was 7.5 weeks at the end of the quarter. "

About a year ago, on a similar quarterly conference call, Palm referred to their PDA business as a jet liner coming in for a soft landing. From last months sales and inventory figures, and this months EOL activity, it would seem like it is just about time to turn off the fasten seat belts sign.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BlackBerry Storm Round Up's Kevin Michaluk has done a great job of rounding up all of the latest news about RIM newest BlackBerry due out later this year.
"Wow. I don't even know where to begin. Fall asleep on the couch for an hour, wake up just after midnight and the Internet has gone BlackBerry Storm'n mad!!! You now have a WHACK LOAD of information about the BlackBerry Storm to browse through and digest... it's crazy, and it's good."
Dive into it...

Handling Sensitive Smartphone Data

Clemens Schuchert, executive producer and host of Germany's PUGcast - Sync Your Ears, has written a new article on securing your smartphone.

"Data is sensitive, regardless whether it is personal or business related. You neither want anybody to know your bank transaction codes or PINs for the cellphone, credit card, etc. nor to know which customers you serve. Thus, data is sensitive and needs to be protected. Who of you really take care of data protection?

From my experience in all regards of enterprise security issues, I may say that the most important security feature is the user himself, which often is left out in a pretty well designed enterprise security stratgey. This is fatal because the user is vital part of the strategy!

There are severel protection levels, which make it quite secure to have all sensitive data on your smartphone.
In general, there are five protection levels:
(01) device based
(02) user based
(03) application based
(03) file based
(04) disk/card based (for expansion media)"

Keep reading How to Handle Sensitive Data on Smartphones...

RIM Introduces the Blackberry Storm

Not wanting to leave Apple alone in the "Uber-Cool Touchscreen Phone" market, Research In Motion (RIM) along with their US and European launch partners, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, officially introduced the BlackBerry Storm smartphone earlier today.
"Designed to satisfy the needs of both consumers and business customers, the BlackBerry Storm smartphone combines the powerful communications features, global connectivity and personal productivity advantages of the BlackBerry® platform with a revolutionary touch-screen technology that dramatically enhances the touch interface and enables easy and precise typing. The world's first “clickable” touch-screen responds much like a physical keyboard and also supports single-touch, multi-touch and gestures for intuitive and efficient application navigation."

“We are proud to introduce the first touch-screen based BlackBerry smartphone together with Verizon Wireless and Vodafone,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-chief executive officer at RIM. “The BlackBerry Storm is a revolutionary touch-screen smartphone that meets both the communications and multimedia needs of customers and solves the longstanding problem associated with typing on traditional touch-screens. Consumers and business customers alike will appreciate this unique combination of a large and vibrant screen with a truly tactile touch interface.”

“The BlackBerry Storm offers our customers more ways to stay connected to both their personal and professional lives – whether in their communities or around the globe,” said Mike Lanman, vice president and chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless. “The BlackBerry Storm combines the reliability of our 3G network with the dependability and network efficiency of the BlackBerry platform to deliver our customers the ultimate wireless experience – all in one of the coolest smartphones available on the market today.”

Moving touch screen aside, this new BlackBerry does have some great features packed into it, including:
  • DataViz Documents To Go
  • 3.2MP digital camera
  • Built-in GPS receiver
  • 1GB of built-in memory and a microSD card slot for up to 16GB of extra storage
  • 480x360 resolution display
  • Removable 1400mAh battery

Read the full RIM press release here...

The "clickbable" touchscreen sounds like an interesting gimmick. When you press down on the screen, it is suppose to have a little bit of give in it that gives you tactile feedback much like you would get if you where pressing a mouse button or typing on a keyboard. We'll get back to you on that when the device is in wide distribution to figure out if this feature is a boon or a bust.

At this time, RIM has not announced a release date or pricing for the Storm with or without new service contracts with Verizon or Vodafone.

For more details about the new BlackBerry Storm, visit the RIM BlackBerry Storm website.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Name, Expanding Smartphone Coverage

Today is both an ending and a beginning. After long and careful deliberation, it is time to say goodbye to "Foleo Fanatics." In the year since Palm canceled the Foleo Mobile Companion it has become increasingly evident that the Foleo, in it's original configuration and name, will never be released.

The Foleo unit that I was able to use, even for a short while, showed amazing potential and I'm still looking for something to replace it.

However, the time has come to look beyond the Foleo and, starting today, Foleo Fanatics has become Smartphone Fanatics.

Smartphone Fanatics will continue where Foleo Fanatics has left off, providing you with the same great coverage of the Palm user community. We also plan on expanding our coverage beyond Palm's products. Moving forward, look for increasing coverage of Windows Mobile devices from great vendors like High Tech Computng (HTC). We will also be covering the exciting new BlackBerry smartphones coming out of Research In Motion (RIM). And, lastly, we also plan to cover everybody's favorite entertainment device, the Apple iPhone.

Welcome to Smartphone Fanatics!

Alan Grassia

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Passwords Plus Updated

DataViz, the makers of the award winning Documents To Go, today released an update for Passwords Plus that adds support for Microsoft Windows Vista and Apple Mac OS X 10.5.

Passwords Plus 1.007 adds the following updates:
  • Support for Windows Vista and Palm Desktop 6.2 or higher
  • Support for Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard)
  • Minor bug fixes
Passwords Plus 1.007 is a free update to all registered customers and can be downloaded from the DataViz website. Passwords Plus can be purchased for $29.99 from DataViz's online store.

The one thing that this update does not address that I wish it would is the Windows Mobile version of Passwords Plus for ActiveSync and Windows Mobile Device Center for Windows XP and Vista. A few years ago, DataViz chose to stop selling Passwords Plus for Windows Mobile/Pocket PC. With more Palm OS users migrating over to Windows Mobile devices, bringing back Passwords Plus for Windows Mobile seems like a win-win solution for DataViz and their customers.