HTC Excalibur picture leaked

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Jul 312006
 

Curious to see what that HTC Excalibur we told you about about ten days ago looks like? Mike Temporale of Smartphone Thoughts was lucky enough to find a pre-production picture in his inbox earlier today. And he has a few other details: The Excalibur is a couple millimeters thicker than the Samsung i320 but two millimeters shorter. It will also come with an innovative touch jog strip. Sliding your finger down on this, and it scrolls down, slide up and it scrolls up. Touch the top to activate the Start menu, or the bottom to go back. The Excalibur is also supposed to be a quad-band device and will also support WiFi.

The Motorola Q competitions is certainly starting to look interesting.

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Microsoft unveils computer-smartphone hybrid prototype

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Jul 312006
 

Last week, Microsoft unveiled the FonePlus, a prototype cell-phone operating system that can also serve as a low-cost computer. The idea is that a cell phone running a version of Windows CE (a stripped down version of Windows Mobile for example) could also be plugged into an external display and keyboard to act as an inexpensive computer. The FonePlus would be intended for emerging markets where Microsoft suggests that the poorest often don’t own electronics other than a TV and, increasingly, a cell phone.

The FonePlus would let users to use email, surf the web, access online content and use productivity software such as the PocketOffice suite.

There was no word on if or when the FonePlus would see production.

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More Zune news

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Jul 302006
 

Zune

Since I last mentioned Zune, there have been a number of new developments.

Microsoft has since confirmed that Zune is coming ‘zune’ (Ouch!). You can now subscribe to the Zune newsletter. It has also confirmed that it will invest hundreds of millions and lose money into 2008 (a strategy used in the past for the XBox) in order to ensure that Zune becomes a commercial success. The plan is to develop a model that combines hardware, software and services, again, much like with the XBox and its Live service. The Zune line-up will grow next year to include different types of players and will also expand to other geographies.

On the rumour front, the Zune may come preloaded with some content although details are sparse.

Stay tuned! The Zune news and rumours will continue to pick up pace over the next few months!

Shoe organizer becomes gadget organizer

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Jul 302006
 

Gadget organizer

If there is a downside to being able to buy all (or most or even some) of the latest gadgets, it is that we need to then find a way to put them all away. One enterprising gadget collector came up with the idea of using a plastic show holder that fits over a door as his gadget organizer. All his toys are put away yet remain very conveniently easily accessible. Genius!

Source: Gizmodo

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HP iPAQ hx4700 Pocket PC Series ROM Update

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Jul 302006
 

HP iPAQ hx4700

HP has released a new ROM update for the iPAQ hx4700. THe new version comes with one fix and one enhancement. It fixes the issue where certain CompactFlash (CF) memory cards and I/O cards do not respond. The ROM update will also improve overall performance.

Note: The ROM update will replace the current ROM image and will erase partnership and all user data and programs on your iPAQ.

And another important note: After this ROM update has been installed, it is also necessary to install the HP iPAQ hx4700 Pocket PC Series Firmware Update for ROM Version 1.10 to restore the extended battery capacity value to its original, setting. If the Firmware Update is not currently available for your language, please do not install this ROM update if you are using the extended battery.

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New HP iPAQ hw6500 ROM Update

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Jul 282006
 

HP iPAQ hw6500

Back in early June, HP released a ROM update for the hw6510c, hw6510d, hw6515, hw6515c, hw6515d, hw6515e and hw6515f models of its hw6500 family. Now, it has released a version for the hw6510a and hw6515a. The update comes with a number of enhancements including the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) Radio firmware version 2.12.00, Bluetooth software version 1.7.0.2900, Quick GPS Connection driver version 2.03, TODAYPANEL Lite version 2.20, the Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) is set as default for the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Authentication setting. It also renames the secure digital (SD) and mini-SD cards to “Storage Card.”.

A number of fixes are also included: A fix for the issue where a step-down in CPU clock speed affects normal phone operation, a fix for the issue where the GSM Radio resets during an active voice call, a fix for the issue where the HP iPAQ Mobile Messenger does not resume from Suspend mode when Bluetooth is enabled and others.

The same fix for the hw6510b and hw6515b models is available here.

Note: The ROM update will overwrite the current ROM image and to erase the partnership and all user data and programs on the iPAQ handheld. Be sure to backup your data before doing the update.

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iTunes Kiosk coming soon?

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Jul 272006
 

First came the iPod vending machines. Now, Australian company 22Moo is hard at work on the PodBuffet, an iTunes kiosk that will offer up iTunes content in places such as airports, train stations, hotels, shopping centres and other public spaces. The current prototype is powered by an Apple Intel based Mac Mini and 15-inch TFT touch screen with virtual keyboard for user input. To accomodate the many models of iPods, the PodBuffet will feature various dock connectors, USB and FireWire ports. The kiosk will connect to the iTunes music store using a wireless internet connection.

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BoxWave announces Electraspan – High Capacity Extended Battery

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Jul 272006
 

BoxWave has announced The Electraspan – High Capacity Extended battery, designed so that you run out of phone calls or things to do before it does. It comes with a capacity of 2400 mAh (approximately twice the capacity of standard batteries). This lithium ion battery is speficically designed for a number of devices and comes with the appropriate battery cover. Devices for which the Eletraspan is currently available include the Cingular 8125, HTC Canary Smartphone, i-mate Phone Edition, O2 XDA II Pocket PC Phone, the HP hw6500 series and many others.

The Electraspan – High Capacity Extended Battery is available for $59.95 USD directly from BoxWave.

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Spb Weather update

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Jul 272006
 

Spb Weather

Spb Software House has released an update for Spb Weather, a weather forecast Today plug-in that lets you customize weather views, skins and weather forecast data sources. The new version extends the cities database to over 4000 (using GisMeteo) and comes with an improved download engine. The new source GisMeteo replaces weather.com but it does not come with as extended a forecast. In most cases, you will get 5-7 days instead of up to 14 that weather.com provided.

Spb Weather is available for $14.95 USD from our affiliate PocketGear. A trial version is also available and it is a free upgrade for current 1.x users.

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HD video coming to your iPod?

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Jul 262006
 

ATO iSee 360

Can’t wait for Apple to bring HD to their iPods? If so, California-based ATO could have your answer. The company, maker of the iSee 360 video sleeve, is promising that it will release a high-definition video player sleeve in about 5 months. Like the current iSee 360, the iPod will slip into the sleeve (an adapter may be required depending on the iPod model). The sleeve comes with a built-in LCD screen.

Presumably, the HD version will work the same way as the iSee 360 which partitions the iPod’s storage so that you have one area for regular content and one for iSee content. The player will support MPEG 4, Divx, HD.264 and other video formats. The player will have its own battery and it last about five hours.

The player will sell for between $199 and $250 USD.

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iTunes adds video content from Warner Brothers

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Jul 262006
 

Apple

New content on iTunes is quickly becoming non-news. This time, it’s the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group adding TV shows such as Friends, Babylon 5, some of the most popular sketches from MADtv as well as older animated shows like The Jetsons and The Flintstones. One interesting episode that is now available is the never-before-seen pilot episode of Aquaman, a new interpretation by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar of Smallville fame.

Pricing for the new shows is the same as usual: $1.99 USD per episode.

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Canalys: Mobile device market growth is steady

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Jul 262006
 

Research firm Canalys reports that the trend from traditional handhelds (lacking cellular-wireless capabilities) to converged devices (smartphones and cellular-enabled handhelds) strongly continues with shipments of the latter rising 73-percent year-over-year while handhelds slid 33-percent. Overall, the smart mobile device market grew at 55-percent with Nokia leading the charge with shipments of over 9 million Symbian-powered devices.

Among the top five, Motorola finished second, thanks to more than a million Linux-based smartphones shipped in China and a strong start for the Windows Mobile Motorola Q. RIM, Sharp (with over 3700-percent year-over-year growth in shipments!) and Palm top out the top 5.

Shipments in the the traditional handheld market shrank to 1.4 million (compared to 2.2 million in Q2 2005). Palm continues to lead this segment (actually growing its share by 4-percent) from HP, Dell and Mio Technology.

On the OS side, Symbian continues to lead with a 67-percent share, followed by Microsoft at 15-percent and RIM at 6-percent.

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Egress 3.0 RSS reader now available

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Jul 252006
 

If you’re hooked on RSS feeds and would like to read them on your Windows Mobile device, Egress from Garish Kernels might be worth checking out. Egress is an advanced yet easy to use application which displays your favorite RSS/ATOM feeds directly on your PocketPC. Version 3.0 has just been released and it comes with a complete UI redesign and d-pad navigation. This latest version can also cache web pages for later display using a different browser; the RSS parsing has been completely recoded for improved reliability and speed; support for digg RSS extensions has been added; and there are plenty of smaller enhancements and bug fixes. It is compatible with PocketPC 2002, 2003/2003SE and Windows Mobile 5.

Egress can be purchased for $12.95 USD from our affiliate PocketGear. The purchase includes lifetime updates. A trial version is also available.

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Google Mobile now with traffic reports

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Jul 252006
 

Google Maps on your mobile phone just got even better with the addition of real-time traffic updates. If you live in one of some 30 major US metropolitan areas (including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago among others), the new service will let you see where the congestion is and how much longer your commute will be. The latest version will also let you save favourite places and routes.

Google Maps is a service that combines directions, maps and satellite imagery to help you find and get to the places you are looking for.

Note: A Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile device with data plan is required. To download Google Maps, visit http://www.google.com/gmm using your mobile phone’s web browser.

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Motorola announced MOTO K1 KRZR

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Jul 252006
 

MOTO K1 KRZR

On the heels of the FCC approval comes Motorola’s announcement that the MOTO K1 KRZR will ship in the second half of the year. The K1 KRZR measures 42 × 103 × 16 mm and is more than a centimeter thinner than the RZR (in width). It will come with a 2MP camera, stereo Bluetooth audio, an updated phone directory, new messaging applications, a microSD slot and a 176 x 220 pixel screen.

It will be available in both GSM and CDMA. The latter will come with touch-sensitive music controls, advanced EVDO data services and location-based services capabilities.

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