October 2007

EQO mobile internet phone app for WinMo smartphones
EQO Communications announced the release of a native Windows Mobile beta version of its mobile VoIP, text and IM application. EQO is a free mobile application that lets users call anywhere in the world for rates as low as 2.3 cents USD/minute (1.2p) and also features inexpensive international text messages and free access to popular instant messaging services, including MSN, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, ICQ and Jabber. [See the EQO Windows Mobile VoIP/text/IM page -- Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 by chb

Microsoft introduces System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008
Microsoft introduced the Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, a new mobile-dedicated server solution that helps companies manage Windows Mobile phones similar to Windows-based laptops and PCs. With Mobile Device Manager, companies can deliver new applications to phones over the air as well as connect people via Mobile VPN with security-enhanced access to critical data such as expense reports or customer information Microsoft says that more than 30 Windows Mobile phones have been announced this year. [The Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008] -- Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 by chb

Study: Business-grade PDAs have lower failure rate, lower TCO
Socket Communications announced findings of research into the real lifetime cost of mobile computing products used in businesses.A study by Venture Development Corporation shows that consumer-grade handhelds result in up to 23% higher Total Cost of Ownership than business-specific durable devices, such as the SoMo 650 business mobility solution from Socket Mobile, when used in a working environment such as healthcare or field service. Companies frequently underestimate the hazards mobile devices will be exposed to and that most organizations fail to do effective TCO analysis before selecting a mobile device. As a result, organizations select consumer devices based on lower upfront costs, but eventually pay for their decision with shorter product lifecycles and lost productivity. [See our full review of the Socket Mobile 650 business handheld] -- Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 by chb

Four new WinMo 6-based i-mates
i-mate launched its new "Ultimate" range of wireless devices -- the Windows Mobile 6-based Ultimate 6150, 8150, 8502, and 9502. The high-end devices include video out that can drive video onto a plasma screen and the fastest radio connection of any Windows Mobile device in a variety of form factors. The Ultimate 6150 uses a PDA form factor with a 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen, while the Ultimate 8150 features both a VGA touchscreen and dial keypad with T9 for simple and convenient text entry. The Ultimate 8502 has a 2.6-inch touchscreen and full QWERTY keypad, and the Ultimate 9502 offers a 2.8-inch sliding VGA touchscreen with a full QWERTY keypad. All have 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, Tri-Band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA, 2.0 and 3.0 megapixel cameras, GPS, WiFi 802.11b/g/e/i, Bluetooth v2.0 EDR connectivity, and a microSD card slot. The 6150 and 8150 use a 520MHz Marvell PXA270 whereas the 8502 and 9502 run on a 400MHz Qualcomm MSM 7200.
-- Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007 by chb

How do we like the iPhone after three months?
We've been using the Apple iPhone for a few months now here at Pen Computing. Has it lived up to the considerable hype? Do we still think it changed the world? How useful is it in real life? Is it more than just a pretty conversation piece? Does it get scratched? Does the screen get grimy and smudged easily? How's the oft-maligned AT&T cellular and data service? How is battery life? Is the Safari browser really THAT good? Read our assessment in The Apple iPhone -- 3 Months Later. For our full initial review of the iPhone, see The Apple iPhone -- Apple changes the world, again. -- Posted Monday, October 22, 2007 by chb

Full review: Motorola/Symbol MC35 -- PDA, phone, camera, scanner, GPS all in one
The durable, pocketable Symbol MC35 from Motorola is a true mobile EDGE GPRS/GSM voice and data communicator running the Windows Mobile 5.0 Premium Phone Edition on a 416MHz Marvell PXA270 processor. The MC35 also has image capture and bar code scanning capabilities via a 2-megapixel digital camera that can instantly scan and process any 1D and 2D codes. An integrated GPS module supports a wide range of location-based services and applications. Bluetooth 1.2 supports wireless modem communication, printing, synchronization and more. An internal 802.11b/g wireless LAN allows for fast data connectivity and also, via third party applications, "walkie-talkie" Voice over IP connectivity. [Read our full review of the Symbol MC35 Enterprise Digital Assistant] -- Posted Friday, October 12, 2007 by chb

51,000 sold in a day
51,000 - That's the number of Garmin nuvi 250W GPS navigation systems with 4.3 inch screen TV retailer QVC sold in a single day after the little Garmin was featured in one of QVC's shows. Who says TV is dead as an advertising medium? -- Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2007 by chb

The Fast Pages - our favorite iPhone portal
We're big iPhone fans, so we were glad to find The Fast Pages, a free mobile web directory with fast access to thousands of mobile-friendly websites and touch-to-dial phone numbers. TFP is particularly helpful for new iPhone users who find the keyboard a bit challenging. With just a flick of a finger, iPhone and iPod Touch owners can access thousands of newspapers and magazines, animated weather, flight delays, traffic reports, emergencies, WiFi locations, all airlines, restaurants, local movies, embassies, maps, directions, travel, ATM locations, health, stock market, weather alert, Netflix, sports, best gas prices, package tracking, tickets to everything, best search engines, local search, translations, flight tracking and so much more. Try it at www.thefastpages.com" on a PC and mytfp.net on the iPhone (or other smartphones! (Or click on the iPhone image to the left to see a full demo!) -- Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2007 by chb

Seagate starts volume shipment of hybrid drives
Hybrid technology -- combining two complementary technologies and using each for what it does best -- is hot in automobiles, and now it has arrived in disk drives. Seagate, the world's number one hard drive maker, began shipping in volume hybrid notebook disc drives that combine disc storage with flash memory to deliver more power efficiency, faster boot-ups and greater reliability for the laptop PCs. The new 80/120/160GB Momentus 5400 PSD (Power Savings Drive) puts commonly used hard drive data onto a 256MB Flash for faster boot-up, lower power consumption, and reducing wear on the drive. Access speed is improved by putting frequently used data onto Flash. Windows Vista deliver native support for hybrid drives, and we're likely to see the seemingly very sensible technology. [See Seagate Momentus 5400 PSD page] -- Posted Monday, October 8, 2007 by chb

HTC unveils three new devices
&Once known just as the Taiwanese maker of early iPAQs and such, HTC has developed into perhaps the primary innovator and manufacturer of avant-guard handhelds. The company announced three new devices, the HTC Shift, HTC S730 and HTC P6500. The HTC Shift is a small 8x5x1 inch Vista-based Windows machine with a 7-inch 800 x 480 touch screen. The HTC S730 is a Windows Mobile 6 HSDPA/UMTS GSM/GPRS/EDGE smartphone with a 2.4 inch screen, a 400MHz Qualcomm processor, and a QWERTY keyboard that slides out on the side. The HTC P6500, finally, is a Windows Mobile 6-based PDA phone with a 3.5-inch screen, a 3 megapixel camera, fingerprint scanner, WiFi and Bluetooth and two SDIO slots. [;a href="http://www.htc.com/press_room/03-press-071001_02.htm" target="_blank">see HTC news release] -- Posted Friday, October 5, 2007 by chb

Nokia plans to buy Navteq
Finnish cellphone maker Nokia said it plans to buy digital-map supplier Navteq for almost US$12 billion. This comes after navigation device maker TomTom recently said it plans to pay about US$2.5 billion for Navteq's only serious rival, Tele Atlas. So instead of having two independent digital mapping companies supplying their maps to device makers, they will be owned by device makers. What will that mean for the competition? -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 by chb