February 2007

Windows Mobile 6
Indicating the increasing importance of smartphones in its mobile strategy, Microsoft chose the 3GSM congress in Barcelona to unveil Windows Mobile 6, the newest version of its mobile software platform. WinMo 6 improves usability and adds support for Microsoft Office features previously available only on PCs, attemtping to deliver to the small screen more of the familiar Windows experience. Mobile versions of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint have all added capabilities once available only on the PC versions. All WinMo 6 devices include Direct Push Technology for up-to-date email delivery and automatic synchronization of Outlook calendars, tasks and contacts through Microsoft Exchange Server. There is improved device security and the capability to remotely wipe all data from a device should it be lost or stolen. We'll do a detailed overview. For now, check Microsoft's press release on Windows Mobile 6 -- Posted Thursday, February 15, 2007 by chb

Syware adds WinMo smartphone support
Syware announced a beta release of Visual CE that supports Windows Mobile devices without touchscreens, such as the Motorola Q and Samsung BlackJack. Smartphone-supporting beta releases of Visual CE are now available for free to most registered users of Visual CE 10.x. Contact sales@syware.com to request a copy. Final releases will be available in about sixty days. Visual CE Personal Edition, with full forms design, relational database, and synchronization capabilities, is $129. Visual CE Professional Edition, which includes all the features of the Personal Edition as well as royalty-free distribution rights, is $399. -- Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2007 by chb

The first iPAQ smartphone
HP introduced the latest iPAQ at the 3GSM conference, Spain. It's an iPAQ like none we've ever seen, a sleek and small smartphone. Hewlett Packard calls the new 51X line "Voice Messengers." The iPAQ 5000 Series is appropriately svelte so it can compete in this space. We're talking 4.23 x 1.84 x 0.64 inches and a weight of 3.95 ounces. It runs the Windows Mobile 6.0 - Phone Edition platform on a 200 MHz TI OMAP processor, has 64MB of RAM, 128MB of Flash ROM, a microSD slot, and has a micro-reflective 2.0-inch TFT display with 176 x 220 pixels. Attractions, in addition to WinMo 6.0, include Voice over IP capabilities (yes, it has both WiFi and Bluetooth) and a beefy battery that provides up to six hours of talk time. [Read our detailed overview of the iPAQ 500 Series] -- Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 by chb

Neonode reveals N2 with NeNo on top of WinCE

After a rather lengthy gestation, Neonode finally revealed the N2 at the 3GSM congress in Barcelona. As insiders know, Nenode has been using a unique "zForce" touch screen technology based on a grid of IR beams for years. Operating the phone is via a simple, intuitive set of finger swipes using what Neonode calls the Neno user interface, sitting on top of Windows CE (for a detailed explanation how Neno works, read our Neonode N1 review), so you can use ActiveSync with it. The 3.05 x 1.85 x 0.58 inch device weighs just 2.5 ounces. It has a 2-inch 176 x 220 pixel 65k color display, a 2 megapixel camera, MPEG4 playback. The phone is a GSM quadband 850/900/1800/1900 with GPRS for data. Storage is via a MiniSD card. The N2 contains most of the standard apps expected from a modern smartphone, and there's also a Web Radio Recorder, providing access to the half million or so web radio channels out there. Comms uses Bluetooth and USB. The N1 used the NeoMagic MiMagic 6 application processor and we were fairly certain the N2 would be based on the MiMagic 6+ processor capable of simultaneously handling H.264 video decoding, audio decoding and high-speed 3D graphics (see Pen Computing report on NewMagic), but at this point we're not sure what it's based on. The N2 offers a lot. It is smaller and lighter than the other iPhone wannabes and, unlike them, it actually developed and pioneered the enabling technologies. It's also much more attractive and contemporary than its predecessor, and it is unlocked. However, it doesn't appear that the N2 is a broadband device designed for mobile television and other next gen apps. Now that would have packed a punch into David's slingshot against the iPhone Goliath.
-- Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 by chb