Palm releases webOS 1.0.4 update for Pre

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Jun 302009

Palm has released an update for the Palm Pre and its webOS. Version 1.0.4, a 12MB download, addresses several security issues and does not contain any new features or applications.

Palm Pre owners should be receiving the OTA update shortly (if not already). You can also use the built-in updater application to speed the process up if you have not received the notification yet.

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Mozilla Firefox 3.5 now available

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Jun 302009

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox 3.5 is finally out! The Mozilla Foundation released it only hours ago and it’s already nearing its first million downloads.

Firefox 3.5 comes with a number of new features including a new and faster JavaScript engine, HTML5 support including audio and video tags for native support for Ogg Theora encoded video and Vorbis encoded audio, location-aware browsing, and support for downloadable fonts. Among the new security features are improved anti-phishing and anti-malware technologies, a new private browsing mode and a *”forget this site” option.

Firefox 3.5 is available for free directly from Mozilla.

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Steve Jobs back on the job

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Jun 292009

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has returned to work after taking a medical leave at the beginning of this year.

“Steve is back to work,” a company spokesman said. “He’s currently at Apple a few days a week and working from home the remaining days. We are very glad to have him back.”

While on leave, Jobs underwent a liver transplant. The Tennessee hospital where the operation was performed reports that Jobs “is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis.”

Welcome back, Steve!

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Skype 3.0 for Windows Mobile now available

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Jun 292009


Skype 3.0 for Windows Mobile has left beta and the final version is now available. New features for version include the ability to send SMS via Skype (useful if your plan does not include SMS or you are abroad) at Skype prices, file transfers to other Skype users, and a new Dial Helper. There also a number of bug fixes and improvements.

Skype 3.0 is compatible with Windows Mobile 5 and 6.x (Professional or Standard). The installation requires 12MB of free storage memory on your device or 6MB free on a memory card.

As with previous versions, Skype 3.0 is a free download.

Source: Windows Mobile Dev Team via Twitter

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What Windows Mobile could have looked like

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Jun 292009

Windows Mobile 6 concept

Few know that much of the Windows Mobile user interface was designed by the Microsoft Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Studios in Beijing, China. Their last project was Windows Mobile 6.5 and a new team is now working on Windows Mobile 7. A number of concepts that ATC developed have now been posted on a Chinese site to promote the upcoming site (launching on September 9, 2009 at 09:09) for Robin Zhu (who likely worked for ATC).

The concepts show what Windows Mobile could have looked like under different circumstances. It would also be interesting to know why some of these concepts were not used and how Microsoft came to the decisions that have given us the user experience we are familiar with.

Windows Mobile 6 concept

Note: The ‘More information’ link is in Chinese. [Google translation]


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HTC TouchFlo 3D 2.5 revealed in leaked screenshots and video

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Jun 282009

With the news of HTC’s new Sense user interface, one might wonder what will happen to TouchFLO, HTC’s user interface for Windows Mobile devices. It would appear that it’s been full steam ahead on the next version. Over the past few days, a number of screenshots and a video have surfaced confirming the existence of Manila 2.5 (Manila being the codename for TouchFLO).

The video and images show that TouchFLO 3D continues to take on more and more of the Windows Mobile functionality. It has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a launcher application. The Homescreen features a revamped look with some new functionality as do many other tabs. Windows Mobile settings appear to all have been moved to the Settings tab as well. There is also new Footprints tabs, bringing the functionality over from TouchFLO 2D.

The video mentions the HTC Firestone early on, suggesting that it could be the first device to feature the latest version of TouchFLO 3D. It’s not clear at this point if it will be made available to current models such as the HTC Touch Diamond2 and Touch Pro2.

And what about Sense? It looks set to replace TouchFLO even on Windows Mobile devices. If so, could TouchFLO 3D 2.5 be the last version before the switch?

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Sprint ad for Palm Pre takes on Apple iPhone

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Jun 282009

The gloves are coming off as Sprint takes a shot at Apple’s iPhone in a new ad. The ad is aimed at first generation iPhone users who are coming to the end of their AT&T contracts. The ad highlights the facts that the Palm Pre can run multiple applications at the same time and could save users about US$1200 on a two year contract.

Sprint ad for Palm Pre

Do you think we will see an Apple ad taking on the Palm Pre?

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Palm webOS SDK leaked

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Jun 282009

Palm Pre

Palm’s plan was to launch its webOS SDK to the public in late summer but that may change now that what appears to be a legitimate beta copy has leaked out. It appears that someone who was recently accepted into Palm’s early access program decided to share it with all.

It’s not clear how Palm will react to the leak. For example, Palm could (and likely will) block applications developed by unapproved developers. It may also go after sites hosting the leaked SDK but it may be too late already as it appears to have spread far and wide. If the SDK is still beta, Palm will still need time to put the final touches on the final version, meaning that they may not be in a position to release the SDK earlier than they had planned. We’ll just have to see.

Since the initial leak, the SDK has been made available in several places. You should not have too much trouble finding it (one hint: visit Use caution as this is an unofficial release.

T-Mobile UK to launch HTC Hero as T-Mobile G1Touch

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Jun 272009

T-Mobile UK G1 Touch

T-Mobile UK used Twitter to announce that its second Google Android device will be the just announced HTC Hero. T-Mobile UK as opted not to offer the HTC Magic as T-Mobile USA is doing (as the T-Mobile myTouch 3G).

In a series of tweets, it revealed a number of details including that it will use the new HTC Sense user interface and will feature 7 homescreens. It will be available in black.

The G1Touch will be available starting in mid-July from and T-Mobile UK stores. It will be available for free with certain plans (including an 18-month Flext £40 contract).

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Mozilla releases second alpha version of Fennec for Windows Mobile 6

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Jun 272009

Mozilla Firefox Mobile

Mozilla has released a second alpha version of its Firefox Mobile (codename Fennec) browser. Among the enhancements in this latest version are:

  • An improved use experience with a new theme
  • Improved performance and responsiveness
  • Revamped Add-on installation process and download manager
  • Built-in JavaScript error console
  • Numerous bug fixes

Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional or greater is required for this latest alpha release. Alternatively, you can try out the desktop version.

Mozilla has also released Fennec 1.0 Beta 2 for Maemo.

Note: Proceed with cautions as these are still early development versions and come with (un)known bugs and incomplete functionality.


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HP unveils HP Mini 5101 netbook

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Jun 262009

HP Mini 5101

Hewlett-Packard unveiled its latest netbook today. The HP Mini 5101 promises to be a a stylish, yet durable fully functional companion PC.

The Mini 5101 comes with an anodized aluminum display enclosure with a black, brushed finish and lower case made of magnesium alloy. It is powered by an Intel 1.66GHz Atom N280 processor and 945GSE chipset. It comes with a 10.1-inch LED display (WSVGA or HD resolution), 1GB RAM (expandable to 2GB), Wi-Fi, an integrated 2MP webcam, a spill-resistant keyboard and a trackpad with buttons below it (unlike many other HP netbooks) and an SD card slot. There are also optional HP un2400 EV-DO/HSPA Mobile Broadband, 802.11 a/b/g/draft-n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 modules and a six-cell battery. Different hard drive capacities from 160 to 320GB will be offered as well as 80 and 128GB SSD options. Windows XP Home, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, and FreeDOS will be offered as operating systems.

The HP Mini 5101 will be available in late July with pricing starting at US$449.

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HTC to focus more marketing on U.S. market

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Jun 262009


HTC is looking to grow its market share both in the U.S. and in China. According to company president and CEO Peter Chou, we will see additional marketing efforts to support this goal.

In the U.S., HTC wants to maintain its annual shipment growth of over 50 percent and has set the goal of shipping six million units in 2009. It is planning to introduce 6 or 7 new models in the second half of the year. All will bear the HTC brand (something we are already seeing with recently announced models such as the HTC Snap and HTC Ozone) rather than carrier branding.

HTC is currently ranked third in the U.S. market in the smartphone segment, behind RIM and Apple.

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Palm App Catalog records one million downloads

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Jun 252009

Palm Pre

The Palm App Catalog which launched with the Palm Pre on June 6th has recorded over one million downloads. This is quite remarkable considering that only about 30 applications are currently available in the catalog. Assuming that about 150,000 Palm Pres have been sold to date (based on estimates by RBC analyst Mike Abramsky), this translates to more than 6 downloads for each Pre user in the space of 18 days.

The public release of the webOS SDK (expected at the end of the summer) should dramatically help grow the contents of the Palm App Catalog and accelerate download rates (especially if Palm can address Palm Pre supply issues as well).

In comparison, it only took one day for Apple to reach the same milestone with its App Store. In fairness though, the Apple Store launched with 16 times more applications and 26 times more devices already in the hands of customers.

Source: The Boy Genius Report

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Verizon Wireless launches HTC Ozone

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Jun 252009

HTC Ozone

Only days after all the details leaked out, Verizon formally announced the HTC Ozone, the CDMA variant of the HTC Snap. Details are pretty much what has already been reported.

The HTC Ozone will be powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard. It will come with dual-band xRTT/EV-DO Rev. A and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity, a 2.4-inch QVGA display, a QWERTY thumb keyboard, 128MB RAM and 256MB ROM, built-in GPS (VZ Navigator capable), 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, a 2MP camera with auto-focus, a microSD slot (supporting cards up to 16GB), and a 1500mAh battery. A SIM card with Global Support Kit (enabling international calls over GSM networks) will come pre-installed.

The HTC Ozone will be available for US$49.99 after a US$70 mail-in rebate and a two-year service contract. It will be available starting on June 29th at or by calling Verizon Wireless. It will be available through Verizon Wireless Communications Stores starting on July 13th.

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Apple iPhone 3GS coming to TELUS?

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Jun 252009

Apple iPhone 3GS

A rumour has surfaced suggesting that TELUS could be offering the Apple iPhone 3GS as early as October. If this is true, it would appear that Rogers Wireless’ iPhone exclusive will either have run its course by then or is not quite as exclusive as expected. A less likely scenario would be that Apple will release a CDMA-based iPhone.

TELUS is a CDMA-based carrier but it is moving over to HSPA. Earlier rumours suggested that it could launch its HSPA network as early this October. That seems to line up nicely with the launch of the iPhone 3GS.

There is no corroborating evidence on this rumour so take it with a grain of salt. Hopefully, new details emerge soon to confirm this story.

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