SPB Mobile Shell 3.5 now available

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Sep 302009

SPB Mobile Shell

SPB Software has released the latest version of SPB Mobile Shell, its user interface for Windows touchscreen phones.

By encapsulating support for gravity sensors and 3D hardware accelerators, the new version offers a thrilling, easy and fun to use interaction model with eye-catching 3D visual effects. For example, browsing email and text messages unfolds an intuitive animation offering both natural and engaging user experience.

Among the new features you will find in SPB Mobile Shell 3.5 are:

  • Improved SPB Carousel design (e. g. added reflections and some additional interaction gestures)
  • Gravity sensor support in the SPB Carousel
  • 3D email viewer
  • 3D SMS viewer (with contact pictures)
  • New widgets including Tasks, Picture Frame, Facebook Status, Twitter Status, and four instant wireless switches (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Flight Mode, Phone Switch)
  • Improvements to a number of existing widgets, including new skins
  • Support for multiple or single home screen
  • Support for Windows Mobile 6.5
  • Still a lot more…

Spb Mobile Shell 3.5 for Windows Mobile touchscreen devices is available for US$29.95 from our affiliate Clickapps. A trial version is also available.

Note: Spb Mobile Shell 3.0 users can upgrade to 3.5 for free.

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New details about Microsoft Courier tablet

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Sep 302009

Microsoft Courier

New details have emerged about the new Microsoft Courier tablet first revealed last week. According to Mary Jo-Foley at ZDNet, Courier could be out as early as the middle of 2010 and could be offered by Microsoft itself rather than a hardware partner (think Microsoft Xbox model).

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 7 could be the operating system behind Courier. The interface and its journal concept were inspired by Microsoft OneNote and how it could look if designed specifically for tablets. A new video obtained by Gizmodo also shows again how the interface would work, this time in a more realistic manner. A library also keeps track of things like subscriptions, notebooks and applications.

The concept is very exciting but it remains to be seen how well it will translate into real life. We might just know sometime in 2010.

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BlackBerry Atlas revealed (Updated)

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Sep 302009

A new BlackBerry device has been spotted. We’re still learning all the details but pictures are giving us a good idea of what this device could be all about.

Originally suspected of being a CDMA variant of the BlackBerry Curve 8900 (codename Javelin), the latest information suggests that it will be another GSM device (or a dual CDMA/GSM world phone perhaps?). The back of the device identifies it as a Bold but it will come with EDGE only (ie, no 3G) and its keyboard is based on that of the Javelin. Other known details are that it will have a camera flash and use a trackpad.

There is no word yet on availability and pricing.

Update: Salomondrin has landed new information that suggests that the Atlas will be a Bold device for the China and East Asia markets. It may have been known as the Driftwood earlier.

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T-Mobile announces Motorola CLIQ availability and pricing

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Sep 292009

Motorola CLIQ

T-Mobile has finally announced just when the Motorola CLIQ will be available and for how much. Everything will kick off with a pre-sale for existing T-Mobile customers on October 19th.

Customers who order the CLIQ during the pre-sale period, Oct. 19–Nov. 1, will have an opportunity to be one of the first in the U.S. to experience T-Mobile’s latest Android-powered phone, which automatically syncs and streams social messaging updates, text messages, and work and personal e-mail directly to the home screen. Devices ordered during pre-sale will be shipped to customers as orders are received and will include a complimentary car charger.

The Motorola CLIQ will be powered by Google Android 1.5 with the MOTOBLUR interface. It will come with quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band (900/1700/2100MHz) WCDMA/HSDPA connectivity, with a 3.1-inch HVGA touchscreen display, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, built-in GPS/aGPS with a digital compass, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, a microUSB port, a 5MP camera with auto-focus and geotagging, a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card slot (supporting cards up to 32GB), and a 1,420mAh battery.

The Motorola CLIQ will be available for US$199.99 with a two-year service contract during the pre-sale. On November 2nd, it will become available to all at the same price (and again with a two-year contract).

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The i-mate saga: End at last?

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Sep 292009


Welcome to the next installment of the i-mate saga. According to an interview between Jim Morrison, i-mate’s CEO and ArabianBusiness.com, i-mate is no more although this might only be true in Dubai.

Asked if i-mate would reopen, Morrison said it would not, adding that once the company had been legally wound down he would look to open a new company in Dubai.

Another report indicated that i-mate had been acquired by “Hillfoot Limited” and would continue to operate in Australia, Taiwan, the U.S., and the UK. Unfortunately, the report from Mobile Europe is no longer available. On top of that, the i-mate web site is down as I write this.

Morrison explained that the recently uncovered case of fraud cost i-mate about US$15 million, including a personal loss of about US$6 for Morrison himself. Combine that with a report that disgruntled employees are apparently holding on to some cheques, and Morrison indicated that i-mate was unable to pay the salaries of its 40 employees in Dubai. As a result, the company closed its doors.

I have a feeling that this is not the last that we will hear of i-mate.

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Vodafone UK will also offer Apple iPhone

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Sep 292009

Apple iPhone 3GS

On the heels of Orange UK announcing that it would begin to offer the Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS shortly, Vodafone UK made a similar announcement.

Vodafone and Apple today confirmed that they have reached agreement to bring iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to the UK and Ireland in early 2010.

Pricing and availability will be announced in the future.

Preregistration is now open in both the UK and Ireland.

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HTC Desire gets FCC approval and Wi-Fi certification

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Sep 282009

We first learned about the HTC Desire earlier this month. Little is known about the device codenamed Predator but FCC approval and Wi-Fi certification (PDF link) have shed a few new details.

Courtesy of the FCC, we have learned that the HTC Desire is likely headed to Verizon due to the fact that it supports CDMA/EV-DO connectivity. This would support earlier rumours. The Wi-Fi certification confirms 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi.

There is no word yet on additional specifications, availability and pricing.

Source: The Boy Genius Report

Palm releases webOS 1.2 update for Sprint (Updated)

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Sep 282009

Palm Pre

Palm has released an update for its webOS mobile operating system. The widely expected version 1.2 which had been leaked earlier this month comes with quite a few updates. Among these are the following:

  • The App Catalog application will now let you store credit card information in preparation for the debut of paid apps. Support to reinstall purchased applications has also been added. Purchased applications will also require that you accept an end-user license agreement.
  • AmazonMP3 songs can now be purchased over a phone network connection.
  • There are some improvements to Bluetooth including improved support for car kits.
  • The Calendar, Clock, Contacts, Email, Media Sync, Memos, Messaging, Music, Phone, Photos, Tasks, and web browser applications have all been enhanced.
  • Sprint Navigation now pulls Google contacts from the phone, as well as Exchange and Palm profile contacts.
  • A number of system and security improvements are also included.

Sprint should begin to push the update out to users shortly. You can also check to see if it is available manually by using the Updates utility.

Update: The webOS 1.2 update is also available north of the border for Bell customers. Interestingly, the update log for the Bell version does not make mention of the App Store improvements. I hope that this is an omission and not a sign that paid apps are not coming to Canada.

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Apple App Store tops 2 billion downloads

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Sep 282009


Apple announced today that its App Store has now topped 2 billion downloads. The store now has more than 85,000 applications available to the more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch customers.

“The rate of App Store downloads continues to accelerate with users downloading a staggering two billion apps in just over a year, including more than half a billion apps this quarter alone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The App Store has reinvented what you can do with a mobile handheld device, and our users are clearly loving it.”

Is it any wonder that so many competitors have launched application stores of their own?

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Apple ends iPhone exclusivity in UK

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Sep 282009

Apple iPhone 3GS

O2’s exclusive on the Apple iPhone is about to end in the UK. Orange announced today that it has reached an agreement with Apple to offer both the iPhone 3G and 3GS to Orange UK customers starting later this year.

Orange, which has the largest 3G network covering more people in the UK than any other operator, will sell iPhone in all Orange direct channels including Orange shops, the Orange webshop and Orange telesales channels, as well as selected high street partners.

The Apple iPhone helped O2 gain more than 1 million subscribers during its two year exclusivity. Meanwhile, Orange already offers the iPhone in a number of other countries.

Orange UK has yet to provide details on pricing and availability. But it has launched a pre-registration site at www.Orange.co.uk/iPhone.

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After the CRTC hearings into Globalive ownership

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Sep 272009


This week, CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) hearings took place to determine whether Globalive’s ownership structure meets Canadian regulations. Globalive is the company behind WIND Mobile, a new wireless carrier hoping to launch its services in Canada before the end of the year. The CRTC review was triggered by a request from TELUS. At the heart of the matter is the fact that Egyptian-based Orascom Telecom Holding SAE owns a 65 percent stake in the new venture despite owning only a third of the voting shares (the other two thirds are owned by Anthony Lacavera, chairman of Globalive Holdings).

Two days of hearing took place on September 23rd and 24th with the second day consisting of in camera sessions. In attendance and making presentations were Globalive, TELUS Communications, Rogers Communications, and Bell Canada.

Interestingly, just before the hearings kicked off, Globalive announced some changes to its shareholder agreement. Orascom has given up its right to buy out Lacavera’s share and Lacavera has agreed not to sell his stake for at least three years. Instead of co-chairing the Globalive boards with a past Orascom employee, Lacavera will chair with the other co-chair taking on the role of vice-chair instead. Finally, Lacavera waived his ability to separate the wireless business from his other Globalive telephone business (Yak and OneConnect). Whether this is enough to satisfy the CRTC remains to be seen.

With the hearings completed, the CRTC will now take one month to complete its review of the company’s ownership structure and issue its decision. We’ll know then whether WIND Mobile can begin operations this year.

Weekend fun: Spb Quads

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Sep 272009

SPB Quads

SPB Software has released its latest game. Spb Quads 1.0 is a new arcade game for Windows Mobile touchscreen devices.

The player’s goal is to reveal and mark rectangles’ corners of the same colors in a field filled with color bricks. The two modes in the game (time-limited and endless) effectively create two different scenarios of playing.

The game comes with two game modes, 6 different bonus types, online high scores, and a finger-friendly interface supporting all the modern resolutions of touchscreen devices. It is compatible with Windows Mobile (WM2003 and higher) devices with a touchscreen.

SPB Quads is available for US$9.95 from our affiliate Clickgamer. A trial version is also available.

New features added to Google Mobile App for Windows Mobile

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Sep 262009

Google Mobile App

This week, Google updated its Google Mobile App for Windows Mobile with some new features. Among these are:

  • My Location lets you perform local searches without having to type in your location. Your privacy is protected by encrypting the data and only keeping track of your current location. You can also completely turn off this feature.
  • Google Suggest which provides suggestions and can complete your queries.
  • Search with Maps works with Google Maps. When you make a local query, you can click on the red pin of a suggestion to launch your search inside Google Maps.

To download the new version of Google Mobile App, visit m.google.com from your phone.

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Not the end of the road for i-mate?

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Sep 252009


It would appear that it’s not all over for i-mate just yet. Earlier this month, a report emerged that the company had gone out of business. Now, it appears instead that the company remains in business but is dealing with a major fraud incident.

Jim Morrison, i-mate’s CEO, has indicated that a “major fraud” committed by a senior employee was uncovered in late August. As a result, i-mate is in even worse financial shape and unable to pay employees. As a result, it has had to lay off the majority of its workforce. In the meantime, the police is investigating the fraud report.

It appears that this incident could not have come at a worse time for the company. According to Morrison, i-mate was just about to unveil a new line of devices. But he indicated that i-mate was not done and that “everything about i-mate will continue.&quot

He said: “We are keeping the brand, we are putting out products, and we will be looking for more funding of course. There is a lot of good stuff happening.”

And the saga continues…

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Public Mobile announces plans and first phone

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Sep 252009

Public Mobile

Public Mobile launched their new site today. With it comes information on their plans, devices and coverage. BMV Holdings, the company behind Public Mobile, spent about CA$52 million to win the “G-block” spectrum auction covering the Windsor to Quebec City corridor in Ontario and Quebec, giving it access to about 19 million potential customers.

When it launched its new brand, it promised an unlimited flat-rate talk and text package, with no term commitment, no credit checks, no fine print and no surprises. Its one and only plan delivers on that promise. For CA$40 per month, customers will get unlimited voice and text. There will be no contracts and no credit checks.

So far, it has also unveiled one phone. The ZTE C78 is a candybar feature phone with basic functionality such as a 2-inch display, stereo Bluetooth, and VGA camera.

Public Mobile plans to launch in late 2009 in Toronto and Montreal. Additional cities in the Windsor to Quebec City corridor will be added in 2010.

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