July 2009

Microsoft high on upcoming WinMo 6.5 browser
According to ZDNet, Microsoft's entertainment and devices division president Robbie Bach is enthusiastic about the browser in the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5: "It will give you access to more websites than you will be able to get to on an iPhone that will work actively and work well. It really is a much better experience." Our take: Best of luck with that, especially the "better experience" part. -- Posted Friday, July 31, 2009 by chb

Portable multifunction GPS display for aviation and more
No, it's not another guess at what the rumored Apple tablet might look like (though this would suit us just fine) -- it's the new AV8OR ACE, a GPS for airplanes. The ACE has a 7-inch sunlight-viewable touch screen with 800 x 480 resolution and is designed to eliminate paper charts for general aviation pilots (though it has optional automotive functionality). The 4.8 x 7.6 x 1.1 inch ACE can be used in conjunction with XM and traffic receiver, and can also do multimedia. Cost is US$1,999. [See product page for the Honeywell AV8OR ACE] -- Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 by chb

Phatware releases WirePad Pro for iPhone
Phatware, the folks behind one of the original handwriting recognition engines (Paragraph) released WritePad Professional Edition for the iPhone. It is a combination of three previously released applications – WritePad Affairs, WritePad Notes and WritePad Events, and also includes voice notes. The data can be organized in multiple folders, which can be sorted by type, name, and color. WritePad Pro uses the WritePad text editor developed specifically for iPhone. WritePad Pro features handwriting recognition input for cursive, print, and mixed handwriting styles, in addition to an iPhone soft keyboard. -- Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 by chb

1.6GHz Atom 270 vs 1.6GHz Atom Z530
The carrier board/system-on-module approach, popular in embedded system design, separates the CPU, chipset and memory from the carrier or solutions board. This approach, which reduces time-to-market and allows for quick customization, is also used in many rugged systems. We benchmarked two new Intel Atom-based COM-Micro/COM-Express boards from Advantech, one with the Atom Z530 and one with the Atom N270. See review, benchmarks and specs] -- Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 by chb

Unitech bundles prepaid data plan with rugged handhelds
Unitech and RACO Wireless, a provider of wireless data (via T-Mobile) to the M2M and telemetry industry, have partnered to create an out of the box mobility solution. Two of Unitech’s mobile computers (the PA600 PE and the PA968) now come bundled with a 6-month prepaid data plan that customers can activate right away with a RACO Wireless SIM card.
-- Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 by chb

Advantech PWS-8033M rugged PDA
Need a 3.7-inch VGA display and more connectivity ever thought possible in a PDA, PLUS IP67 sealing, a 5-foot drop spec, and a speedy 624Mhz Marvell PXA270 in a reasonably compact package? Check out Advantech's PWS-8033M. [See description and specs of the Advantech PWS-8033M] -- Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 by chb

Palm webOS 1.1 released - iTunes sync back on
Palm released the webOS 1.1 update with support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), including remote wipe, PIN/password requirements, inactivity timeout, improved certificate handling, and more. Version 1.1 also includes goodies such as emoticons in the messaging app, the ability to set “person reminders” in the contacts app, and also re-enables Palm media sync. -- Posted Friday, July 24, 2009 by chb

Synaptics ClearPad 3000 takes multi-touch to a new level
Expanding its portfolio of ClearPad solutions, Synaptics introduced its advanced multi-touch ClearPad 3000 Series capacitive touch sensor solution that combines Synaptics' ClearPad sensing technology with the company's design-in services that help to make it easier for OEMs and ODMs of mass-market mobile handsets and other handheld devices to integrate high-resolution capacitive touchscreens with advanced multi-finger gesture capability into their products, bringing them to market faster and with less risk. [See Synaptics ClearPad] -- Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 by chb

From the touchscreen front: Cirque and Ocular team up
Cirque Corporation, the inventor of the first commercially successful capacitive touchpad and a subsidiary of ALPS Electric, has formed a strategic relationship with Ocular, which is into display-centric solutions. The stated goal is to advance the state-of-the-art of touch display screens and a first step is incorporating Cirque's capacitive touch controller into Ocular's Crystal TouchT line of capacitive touch screens. All of these developments are important as we get more into touch-oriented solutions. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 by chb

Full review: Datalogic R Series vehicle computers
The Datalogic R Series is a trio of vehicle/fixed-mount computers with 7.0, 10.4 and 12.1 inch touchscreens. All three models are fanless, extremely solid, extremely rugged, run the Windows CE operating system, and provide access to a vast library of Windows CE applications and utilities, as well as leveraging customer investment in software and development tools already in use for CE-based handhelds. RuggedPCReview.com takes a detailed look at the Datalogic R Series. [Read full review of the Datalogic R Series of vehicle computer] -- Posted Monday, July 20, 2009 by chb

Apple dumps (Pre) cuckoo
In its latest iTunes update, version 8.2.1, Apple ditched the ability of the Palm Pre to use iTunes for syncing by pretending to be Apple hardware. One could argue iTunes should be open, and one can argue that it was uncool of Palm to use someone else's popular software for its product. Apple, not surprisingly, was of the latter opinion and cryptically remarked that the latest update addressed an issue with verification of Apple devices. -- Posted Thursday, July 16, 2009 by chb

Motion nows ships C5 and F5 tablets with the Hydis AFFS+ display
Motion Computing announced that the F5 Rugged Tablet PC and C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant now include the Hydis AFFS+ (Advanced Fringe Field Switching) display as a standard feature. That's an excellent move as the Hydis AFFS+ display, thanks to its brightness and perfect viewing angle, is hands-down by far the best display for Tablet PCs. [Read Motion press release on the Hydis AFFS+ display in the C5 and F5] -- Posted Monday, July 13, 2009 by chb

Electrovaya SuperPolymer batteries in electric car
Electrovaya, whom we covered for years as a pioneer in Tablet PCs with their own long-lasting SuperPolymer batteries, is now making headlines in electric cars. The company reports the launch of the Maya 300 electric car, powered by Electrovaya's lithium Ion SuperPolymer battery. -- Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009 by chb

Unitech releases RFID-enabled PA600 HF rugged PDA
Unitech, the world's third-largest provider of rugged PDAs, announced an addition to its PA600 family of rugged PDAs. The PA600 HF is a Windows Mobile-based rugged handheld with both a 1D/2D imager and a 13.56MHz High Frequency RFID reader that supports ISO15693, ISO14443A and ISO14443B standards in a single device. [See description and specs of the Unitech PA600 HF] -- Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009 by chb

Added: Data Ltd DLI 8500 vehicle-mount computer
Data Ltd., Inc., is a Laporte, Indiana based manufacturer and reseller of rugged wireless data collection devices. The DLI 8500 is a tough vehicle-mount machine with a 10.4-inch indoor/outdoor touchscreen, excellent connectivity, and the ability to run multiple simultaneous wireless radios. Depending on the intended application, the DLI 8500 can run Vista, XP Pro, XP Embedded, or even Linux. [Read description and specs of the Data Ltd DLI 8500 vehicle mount computer] -- Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009 by chb

Mark/Space releases The Missing Sync for Palm Pre, for Mac
Mark/Space, creator of award-winning desktop and handheld synchronization software, announced availability of Release 1.0 of The Missing Sync for Palm Pre, for Mac. Synchronize contacts, calendars, music, ringtones, photos and more between a Mac and the new Palm Pre phone. And, a Windows Vista and Windows XP version is in development. -- Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009 by chb

InfoWorld Deathmatch: Palm Pre vs iPhone
InfoWorld did a "deathmatch" between the Palm Pre and the Apple iPhone. There is good discussion of each platform's features, and the final result is close. [See InfoWorld's Deathmatch: Palm Pre versus iPhone -- Posted Monday, July 6, 2009 by chb

Neonode announces Selected Area Touch
Neonode, the Swedish company that pioneered touch-operated smartphones but now concentrates on providing touch screen solutions, announced SAT (Selected Area Touch). SAT uses part of the touch area for touch activation and dramatically reduces the cost for typical applications. SAT is based on Neonode's zForce optical touch screen technology. -- Posted Wednesday, July 1, 2009 by chb

Palm Pre sales brisk, may top a million for its initial quarter
According to Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder, Palm Pre sales in June 2009 were over 300,000, on top of about 70,000 in May. Palm is making about 15,000 a day, and total shipments to Sprint for the first quarter of the unit may top a million. Anyone betting on Palm has made a lot of money since the beginning of the year when Palm was practically a penny stock. It's now at US$16.50. -- Posted Wednesday, July 1, 2009 by chb