January 2008

Pharos Trips & Pics
Here’s a great combo application that has so many possible uses that it is only limited by your imagination. Have you ever wished that you could identify some of those pictures you took years ago and never got around to labeling? With Pharos Trips & Pics, you can snap away to your heart’s content and the device creates a GPS log and time stamp of your photos so that with supplied software you can pinpoint each shot on Google Maps or Microsoft Streets and Trips. [Read Tim Hillebrand's report on Pharos Trips & Pics] -- Posted Thursday, January 31, 2008 by chb

iPhone Open Application Development Rough Cuts Version
There are programmers and there are geniuses. Jonathan Zdziarski is one of the latter (we know; we use his software) and he has written iPhone Open Application Development. The book will be released by O'Reilly in March, but it's already available via "Rough Cuts." When you buy a book on the Rough Cuts service, you get access to an evolving manuscript. You can read it online, download as a PDF, or print. Once you've purchased a Rough Cuts title, you have a chance to shape the final product - you can send suggestions, bug fixes, and comments directly to the author and editors. [See iPhone Open Application Development: Rough Cuts Version] -- Posted Thursday, January 31, 2008 by chb

Review: Pharos Drive GPS 250 Navigation System
At the Pharos booth at CES the sleek design of this navigation system attracted me like the A-dog in a litter. It stood out and beckoned to me. I couldn’t wait to receive a review unit, which just arrived, and now I have a couple hundred miles under my road-testing belt. [Read Tim Hillebraand's review of the Pharos Drive GPS 250 Navigation System] -- Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2008 by chb

Pulse smartpen integrates Vision Objects MyScript reco
Vision Objects, provider of handwriting recognition software announced the integration of MyScript technology into both the Pulse smartpen and the Livescribe Desktop application. By using MyScript, students and professionals who regularly use pen and paper to take notes will enjoy the possibility of searching for words in handwritten text, and increasing their productivity when converting handwritten text into digital information and sharing it with friends and colleagues -- Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2008 by chb

HTC Shift: does this "hybrid" solution show the future?
HTC's finally released ultra-mobile PC offers a fascinating look at hybrid technology that combines full Windows Vista with a Windows Mobile variant that offers instant-on and access to push email and PIM data. Vista is powerful but has short battery life; the "SnapVUE" Windows Mobile mode offers only essentials but can run as long as ten days. There are two processors and separate memory, a 1280 x 800 pixel 7-inch touchscreen, and an innovative slide-and-tilt QWERTY keyboard lets you use the Shift like a little notebook. [Read full description and specs of the HTC Shift "hybrid" ultra-mobile PC] -- Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2008 by chb

Patent awarded for One-Handed Finger-Vowel Digital Texting Method
Prevalent Devices announced the issuance of an affiliate patent that covers a novel method of communicating with one hand simply by bending the thumb and fingers. Unlike other finger spelling methods, the Phraze-It Finger-Vowel Digital Texting Method does not make you learn a lot of ambiguous and difficult to form hand signals. Uses include electronic gloves, virtual reality gestural interfaces and educational and assistive technologies. The patent is the fourth in a portfolio of text input patents and is available for license. Prevalent Devices also offers Phraze-It Keyboard 2.0. [Read paper on The Phraze-It Finger-Vowel Digital Texting Method] -- Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008 by chb

More from CES
Pen Computing contributing writer Tim Hillebrand is back from the CES megashow in Las Vegas earlier in January, and he's still digesting all the cool stuff he saw there. [See what impressed Tim at CES] -- Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008 by chb

Resco releases Resco Suite for Palm OS
Resco announced a new product combining together all its best-selling applications - Resco Suite for Palm OS. Resco Suite consists of five essential applications - Explorer, Viewer, Backup, IDGuard and Neeews - and added bonus - Resco Sudoku. A 14-day trial can be found at http://www.resco.net/palm/suite/. The
cost is $59.95 USD.
-- Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 by chb

Skyfire browser beta for Windows Mobile
Skyfire unveiled a new mobile browser that makes browsing on a smartphone just like browsing on a PC. Smartphone users can experience the "real Web" to access and interact with any Web site built with any Web technology, including dynamic Flash, advanced Ajax, Java and more - at the same speeds they are accustomed to on their PC. Check the skyfire.com website for the private beta that supports Windows Mobile phones, both touchscreen and non-touchscreen, in the U.S. The company will introduce a version for Symbian smartphones in the coming months and other platforms and geographies are on the product roadmap. -- Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 by chb

What's wrong with the iPhone
As far as I we're concerned very little, and that will likely be addressed soon enough, but David MacNeill, Editor-in-Chief of PersonalMediaReview.com and a diehard Apple fan, has some gripes, and a big one in particular. And no, it's not whining over EDGE. Read his column What's wrong with the iPhone? -- Posted Friday, January 25, 2008 by chb

Fujitsu updates tiny touchscreen Lifebook
Fujitsu released a technologically updated version of its tiny touchscreen notebook, the LifeBook P1620. The 9.15 x 6.6 x 1.36 inch notebook convertible weighs just 2.2 pounds, has a 8.9-inch wide screen with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, and is now motivated by a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 chip. Ancillary circuitry has been updated as well, and the P1620, which comes with Vista Business, is now available with an optional Solid State Drive. [Read description and full specs of the Fujitsu LifeBook P1620] -- Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2008 by chb

GETAC introduces Intel A110-based lightweight rugged Tablet PC
At DistribuTECH 2008 in Tampa, Florida, GETAC introduced a compact, lightweight rugged Tablet PC slate based on Intel's ultra low-power A110 processor. The E100 measures 11.1 x 7.2 x 1.26 inches and weighs just over three pounds. The 8.4-inch touchscreen display is available with a 800 nit daylight-viewable option. Using a magnesium housing, rubber bumpers, shock-mounted hardware and extensive sealing, the E100 is ruggedness-tested to MIL-STD-810F standards. Geared towards field and customer service applications, the system is available with "mission boxes" for customized market applications that use RFID, barcode and magnetic strip readers or digital cameras. [Read description and specs of the GETAC E100 ruggedTablet PC slate] -- Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2008 by chb

Added two new rugged Windows CE devices
We added detailed descriptions and specs for two interesting new Windows CE devices. The Metrologic SP5700 OptimusPDA is a compact rugged handheld running Windows CE 5.0 on a 520MHz PXA270. It has an integrated scanner or imager. The Data Ltd DLI 8300 is a tablet that can run any number of operating systems, including Windows CE 6.0. It is powered by a 500MHz AMD LX800 Geode and can have screen resolutions up to 1024 x 768. Both devices are IP54 rated and can take a beating. -- Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008 by chb

Apple announces iPhone software rev 1.1.3
Apple announced a free software update (rev. 1.1.3) for its revolutionary iPhone that allows users to automatically find their location using the redesigned Maps application; text message multiple people in one message; create Web Clips for their favorite websites; customize their home screen; and watch movies rented from the new iTunes Movie Rentals right on their iPhone. [Read iPhone Rev. 1.1.3 press release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2008 by chb

Some favorites from CES
"As one of over 140,000 attendees at CES," Pen Computing contributor Tim Hillebrand says, "I sometimes felt as if I were a lemming going along with the flow from one exhibit to another mostly in awe at the whole extravaganza. If there was any cohesive theme it had to be centered on the concept of digital integration. It was evident in the inter-connectivity of devices in lifestyle and environments for the workplace, home, and automobile." [Read Time Hillebrand's report from the 2008 CES] -- Posted Monday, January 14, 2008 by chb

MobileDemand introduces sunlight viewable rugged Tablet PC
MobileDemand introduced the xTablet T8700, a compact, rugged Tablet PC slate based on a reliable platform that has seen duty in various vertical markets for years. There are significant technology enhancements in the new model that make the versatile tablet more practical than ever. The latest version of the xTablet is faster, especially with the optional Solid State Drive, and even handles Windows Vista efficiently with its Intel Core Duo processor and generous 2GB base RAM. The machine has an integrated numeric keypad, and is available with a mag stripe reader and scanner/imager. And the sunlight viewable dual-digitizer display is a big productivity enhancement for those who use the machine outdoors. [See our detailed review of the MobileDemand xTablet T8700] -- Posted Monday, January 14, 2008 by chb

Electrovaya releases Scribbler SC 4000 Tablet PC
Electrovaya announced the launch of the Scribbler SC4000 series. The sleek new Tablet PC slate combines an Electrovaya 70Wh Lithium Ion SuperPolymer battery, a 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7500 ULV CPU, fingerprint security, a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/g WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, a 60 GB SATA 5400 rpm hard drive (upgradeable up to 160 GB) and 1GB RAM (upgradeable to 4 GB). It includes a TPM security module and there is a sunlight-readable screen option for the wide viewing angle 12.1-inch display. The Scribbler SC4000 weighs 3.3 pounds and is less than an inch thick. The Scribbler SC4000 comes with Windows Vista or Windows XP Tablet 2005. [See Electrovaya SC4000 spec sheet] -- Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 by chb

Neonode N2 attracts attention at CES
Two months after Pen Computing published a detailed review of the Neonode N2, at CES the rest of the world also caught up with the little multimedia touch screen phone that almost no one had ever heard of. It's different from anything else on the market, although since the advent of the Apple iPhone no longer quite as different as it once was. The N2 is cute and tiny, runs the novel Neno interface on top of Windows Mobile 6.0 (so it can use ActiveSync), has a 2-megapixel camera with video and offers completely one-handed operation via its zForce touch screen. It is an unlocked quad-band GSM/GPRS phone with Bluetooth and a miniSD card, but no 3G, GPS, or built-in email client. We're taking a very detailed look at this speedy little marvel that pioneered the use of touch screens on phones, and whose operation remains unique. Is the N2 just a cute conversation piece, or much more? [Read full review of the Neonode N2] -- Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 by chb

Everex CloudBook -- $399 Ultra-mobile PC using gOS Linux
Everex announced the Everex CloudBook, a rather unconventional notebook running the gOS, a Linux distribution based on the popular Ubuntu Linux. The CloudBook has a footprint of 9.1 x 6.75 inches and is 1.16 inches thick. It weighs just two pounds. It uses a 1.2GHz VIA C7-M processor, has 512MB of RAM and a 4200RPM 30GB PATA hard disk. Everex will sell the CloudBook through Walmart which is already selling inexpensive Linux-based Everex desktops. [Read description and our opinion on the Everex CloudBook Ultra-Mobile PC] -- Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 by chb

NeoMagic releases smartphone manufacturing kit
NeoMagic, whose MiMagic 6+ applications processor powers the Neonode N2, announced the availability of their Windows Mobile-based Smart Phone Manufacturing Kit. The kit is designed for OEMs that wish to significantly reduce development and design time, enabling them to put feature-and-application-rich smart phones in customers' hands in approximately six months rather than the typical 18 month process. The kit comes with a complete software package, and includes a form-factor reference design, schematics with walk-through documents, the board layout with a layout guidelines document, a full BOM, the Windows Mobile BSP, a software design guide, a user's guide, complete download utilities, optimized GSM/GPRS image code, all drivers and codecs. -- Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2008 by chb

Myvu introduces new personal media viewers
Myvu debuted a new generation of myvu personal media viewers with myvu shades and myvu crystal. Both new viewers turn portable media players into hands-free, private cinemas. The myvu shades costs US$199.95 and the myvu crystal which has full VGA resolution runs US$299.95. They run up to four and ten hours, respectively, and work with portable media players, including all iPod with video models, Sansa-View, Microsoft Zune, many mobile phones, portable DVD players and various game consoles. -- Posted Monday, January 7, 2008 by chb

Synaptics adds "Pinch" and "Momentum" to TouchPad gestures
Synaptics announced availability of “Pinch” and “Momentum”, gestures on its notebook TouchPad that are designed to enhance the notebook user experience. Pinch translates multi-finger input (two fingers moving apart or together on a TouchPad) and performs zoom-in and zoom-out capability in a variety of popular applications, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, Internet Explorer, Google Earth and others. Momentum gives trackball-like functionality to a TouchPad. By flicking a finger across the TouchPad, the cursor coasts across the screen with an inertia-like behavior that mimics a trackball. “Momentum” opens up possibilities for expanded use of games on notebook PCs since many games require the use of external mice or trackballs for optimal game play. [View Synaptics release on Pinch and Momentum] -- Posted Monday, January 7, 2008 by chb

Trimble now support CDMA-based BlackBerry GPS smartphones
Trimble announced the availability of three of its GPS phone software applications for CDMA-based BlackBerry smartphones with built-in GPS, which include the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition and BlackBerry Pearl 8130 smartphones from RIM. The AllSport GPS, Geocache Navigator and Trimble Outdoors applications from the Trimble Outdoors family of GPS-on-cellular products and services provide BlackBerry smartphone users with the on-the-go lifestyle solutions. [View the Trimble Outdoors website -- Posted Monday, January 7, 2008 by chb

The iPhone on the road
If you're like me, you shlep with you an assortment of electronic stuff whenever you leave the house, and a good deal more when you go on a trip. I mean, one does need a decent laptop, a digital camera or two, an iPod, one or more phones, and then all the power bricks and cables that go with it. So things can get a bit crowded and tangled in your bag, and then you need to keep track of what goes with what, which weapon to choose for what, and making sure the whole gaggle remains charged and ready to go. Well, on a trip over the recent t holidays I found that often I really don't need more than just the iPhone. [Read iPhone on the Road] -- Posted Sunday, January 6, 2008 by chb

How to Customize SPB Mobile Shell
You have no doubt heard the aphorism “be careful what you wish for because you just may get it.” Well, my first encounter with SPB Mobile Shell (SMS) was as a pre-installed bonus on a Pharos 600 GPS unit. [Read Tim Hillebrand's How to Customize SPB Mobile Shell] -- Posted Saturday, January 5, 2008 by chb

Article: Managing mobile devices in the field
Considerable investments are being made in a growing number of corporations today on products that enable the enterprise helpdesk and IS departments to manage and maintain company resources. Read David Yeaple's article on existing investments for managing smartphones and mobile devices in the field. -- Posted Friday, January 4, 2008 by chb