Installing software under Windows Mobile 5.0

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Sep 302005
 

Pocket PC Thoughts has posted an article that shows how installing software on your Pocket PC device will differ under Windows Mobile 5.0. Aside from a new process, you will also not be able to install programs to RAM, everything will go in the Flash ROM or on storage cards.

Screenshots demonstrate the complete installation process. The process is much more intuitive but could still be more user-friendly (I’m thinking of the security warnings specifically). At least we’re moving in the right direction.

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Firmware Update for the iPAQ hx4700

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Sep 292005
 

HP iPAQ hx4700

HP has posted a firmware update for the iPAQ hx4700. Here is what is included:

  • Fixes issue where the handheld fails to reconnect with a WPA-TKIP encryption network
  • Fixes issue where the handheld is unable to connect with a WPA-PSK encryption network with Cisco access points
  • Fixes issue where “Turn on flight mode” option is not available under the Connectivity pop-up window
  • Fixes issue where the sound quality of a recording is not normal after an alarm event
  • Fixes issue where a third-party audio application stops responding
  • Enables auto execution after a hard reset.

Note that this is not a ROM update but a XIP update. The ROM version will not change but you can confirm that the XIP update was successful by confirming that it shows up as version number 4.21.15045.7 in the HP Asset Viewer.

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Proporta iPod nano screen protector

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Sep 292005
 

Proporta has launched a new site, www.proportamusic.com, to focus on digital music and accessories for digital audio players such as the iPod family, the Creative Zen Micro and many more.

Among the iPod accessories is a screen protector for the iPod nano. With all those stories floating around about how the screens can scratch easily, this might be a good investment at $9.95 USD.

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iPAQ hw6500 coming soon to Cingular

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Sep 292005
 

iPAQ hw6500

Cingular has posted a page that announces that the HP iPAQ hw6500 will soon be available for order. If you’re interested, you can sign up and Cingular will notify you when the unit is actually released.

It is unfortunate that HP has confirmed that the iPAQ hw6510 and hw6515 will not be upgradeable to Windows Mobile 5.0. I suspect that there will be a few lost sales as a result.

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SanDisk introduces 4GB Flash storage card

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Sep 292005
 

SanDisk introduced a new storage device called iNAND today. The iNAND is an alternative to micro drives that uses NAND flash storage. Advantages over mechanical hard drives include better performance, lower power consumption, better durability and smaller size and weight.

SanDisk iNAND will work with existing removable card slots and will incorporate SanDisk’s TrustedFlash DRM technology.

Capacity will start at 256MB. We should see 1GB and 2GB iNAND cards in the next couple of months and the 4GB version should appear in March 2006.

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Handmark releases Express Version 2.0

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Sep 282005
 

Handmark has released Express version 2.0. Express is a bundle of wireless content services (News, sports, weather, etc) for cell phones, smartphones and wireless PDAs. The upgrade adds a sleek new interface, location-based services, more news and photos, real-time sports scores, and improved mapping features.

Handmark also announced that Express would be available for the upcoming Treo powered by Windows Mobile 5.0 when they come out in early 2006.

Different subcription plans are available. For example, the monthly plan costs $6.99 USD. Yearly plans with different content are also available. The upgrade is available for free for current users.

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Finalists announced in Fifth Annual Best Software Awards

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Sep 282005
 

The finalists in Pocket PC Magazine’s Fifth Annual Best Software Awards have been announced. Some 700 software titles for both the Pocket PC and Smartphone were nominated earlier this year from a pool of over 3000. The 80 members of Pocket PC magazine’s Board of Experts have voted and winners will be unveiled in the the 2006 Smartphone & Pocket PC Buyer’s Guide magazine that will be available in early November.

Congratulations to all the finalists!

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Spb introduces UniThemes

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Sep 282005
 

Spb UniThemes

Spb Software House has unveiled UniThemes. They are complete sets of skins that will work with both Spb applications as well as other Pocket PC applications that support skinning (like Windows Media Player). According to Spb Software House, it is all about design. See how much effort device manufacturers and OEMs put into the design of a new system? But all their work seems to stop when it comes to the software they actually put on their devices. So Spb decided to do something about it.

Four UniThemes are now available and Spb plans to release more than 10 by the end of the year. Best of all, UniThemes are completely free!

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Update about SanDisk preloaded content

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Sep 282005
 

In followup to yesterday’s story, SanDisk’s first release for its grūvi preloaded music microSD cards will be A Bigger Bang, the Rolling Stones’ latest album. The card will come with all of the album’s tracks and buyers will also be able to preview and purchase other Rolling Stones music directly from the card and through a PC or supported mobile phone. As expected, the card will carry a suggested retail price of $39.95 USD, a hefty premium over CDs or iTunes where the album costs $13.99 USD.

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Apple responds to nano screen concerns

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Sep 282005
 

Apple has confirmed that there is an issue with a limited number of iPod nanos. This is a real but minor issue involving a vendor quality problem in a small number of units. Our figures show this issue has affected less than 1/10 of 1 per cent of the total iPod nano units that we’ve shipped. It is not a design issue. Apple has confirmed that it will arrange for free replacement units for customers with affected nanos.

In regards to complaints about the nano screen scratching easily, Apple indicated that the nano uses the same polycarbonate plastic as fourth-generation iPods and that customers should use a case or screen protector if they are concerned about scratching the screen.

With this response, Flawedplayer.com considers the issue closed.

Looks like I will be getting that nano after all.

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New N500 and N520 from Loox

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Sep 282005
 

LOOX N520

Mobile-review.com have been playing with a pre-production LOOX N520. Although there are strong resemblences to the LOOX 420, the N520 will come with integrated GPS, Windows Mobile 5.0, a more powerful 312MHz processor, the front buttons and d-pad backlight in pale blue, 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM and 802.11g WiFi. Their initial conclusion is that the LOOX N520 is a nice middle-range Pocket PC device: You should have a closer look at the model if you need the maximum functional PDA with an attractive design (remember the CPU is easy to speed up to 520 MHz), and do not care about the screen and a memory card slot.

The N500, also expected in late October or early November, will come with 64MB ROM instead and without WiFi. Pricing information is not available yet.

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iPAQ hx2000 Windows Mobile upgrades in Canada

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Sep 272005
 

If you’re in Canada, you can now order the Windows Mobile 5.0 upgrade CD from HP’s online store. Oddly enough, there are both french and english kits for the hx21/2400 families but only the french kit for the hx2700 family. I suspect we will see the english version show up shortly.

The upgrade costs $49.00 CAD.

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New BlackBerrys to use Intel

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Sep 272005
 

At the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment conference, Research In Motion has confirmed that future BlackBerrys will use Intel processors. The new devices will make use of Intel’s XScale PXA9xx processor, code-named Hermon, and will run on EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution). Intel’s processor will give the devices added horsepower without compromising battery life.

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Updated Mac minis coming

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Sep 272005
 

Mac mini

The Mac mini is scheduled to be updated in the next few days. According to AppleInsider, the 1.25GHz and 1.42GHz processors will make way for 1.33GHz and 1.5GHz ones. They will ship with Mac OS X 10.4.2 and faster 5400 rpm drives. The mid-range and high-end models will also get ATI’s Radeon 9200 64MB graphics card with AGP 4X support. The high-range model will also get a revised Airport Extreme and Bluetooth combo card and an 8x dual-layer SuperDrive.

Prices are not expected to change.

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iPod nano screen issues surfacing

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Sep 272005
 

iPod nano

So I finally decide that it’s time that I buy that iPod that I have been wanting for so long. And the iPod nano seems perfect: It has a colour screen, a clickwheel, enough capacity for me. Unfortunately, there seems to be an increasing number of complaints about fragile LCD screens (They scratch or break too easily). Even CNET picked up the story. I think I will need to take a field trip to a Futureshop or Best Buy and see for myself before I make my purchase (I want to buy from the local reseller up my street). I’ll keep you posted!

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