Friday, January 30, 2009

What we can expect from T-Mobile this year

Vice president of engineering and operations (and newly elected chairperson of 3G Americas’ Board of Governors), Neville Ray, recently sat down for an interview with Fierce Wireless during which he shared some juicy morsels of information as to what we can expect from T-Mobile this year. T-Mobile is looking to double its 3G reach in 2009. Ray divulged his company will keep its primary focus on the consumer market by introducing a “significant number” of smartphones, particularly G-series devices. We should be seeing the first of the 2009 series within the coming weeks and months, I’m assuming at MWC.

Dell's new smartphone

Dell has been said to have a smartphone or two in the works for quite some time now, so it came as no surprise when the Wall Street Journal ran an article over Dell's leap into the industry. The WSJ reports that “people familiar with the matter” are claiming Dell has been working on a full touchscreen as well as a slider. The two prototypes have been tested on the Google Android and Windows Mobile operating systems. The Silicon Alley Insider also chimed in on the matter speculating the new device will be known as the “MePhone” which is hopefully its codename. The Dell phone is expected to be released on Sept. 9, but we are still unsure whether the company with be unveiling the device next month at the Mobile World Congress or later at CTIA.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Apple 3G lawsuit filed

My friends and colleagues are constantly complaining about their 3G iPhones switching over to the EDGE network. But who do we blame: Apple’s software or AT&T’s network? Well, Jason Medway took it upon himself to file a 14-page complaint on behalf of thousands of customers in a Northern California courtroom. This lawsuit claims Apple was aware of a defect that prevents them from maintaining a signal on AT&T’s 3G network and ignored requests to fix the problem. This “broken promise” over the device’s transmission might end up costing Apple over $5 billion. Apple has created updates to allow better reception for the 3G device, although some updated users are still experience network flip-flop. So who is going to come out on top here: Mr. Medway’s attorneys or Apple?

Sprint Treo Pro to support simultaneous voice and data?

Sprint has semi-officially pushed back the launch date for its Treo Pro until late February, but that’s actually good news for Sprint customers. The company has decided to issue a $25 account credit to anyone that pre-ordered the device, but what’s even better is the little rumor that the Treo Pro could be the first device on the Sprint network to allow for simultaneous voice and data usage. So what does this mean for you?

Well, this capability brings you two amazing options (that most of you on a 3G network are currently enjoying.) For instance, I have this friend who always calls and I never answer because there is simply no polite way to stop her from talking. I mean she will just go on and on and on. After about five missed calls I bite the bullet and give her some excuse that generally pertains to how incredibly busy I am. Simultaneous voice and data usage allows me to put her on speaker phone and surf the Web while throwing out an occasional “uh-huh.” An option that I find quite attractive, might I add.

My favorite option however, is now all of my Sprint Treo totin’ friends will be able to enjoy real time mobile Caller ID with Privus Mobile. You see, Privus Mobile must be able to access its database on the Internet while the call is coming in. My favorite thing about Privus Mobile is after I choose not to answer the hairy Sasquatch (see commercial below), I can immediately save their number into my contact list for future call-screening pleasure.

I can just hear all of you Sprint readers rejoicing right now!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Apple v. Palm

The onslaught of reality television has proved the general public’s obsession with juicy real-life drama, and it appears the smartphone industry’s latest storyline is getting fiery hot! If you’ve been following the Apple/Palm drama you know that Apple’s patent was approved, which could prove the demise of the Pre before we even get our hands on it! Don’t just take my word for it though, check out this post from Engadget that gives us the nitty-gritty from an actual patent attorney. While we see this kind of thing happen all the time and it is generally just chalked up to the forward movement of technology, it appears Apple doesn’t want to be the big-kid on the playground; it wants to be the only kid on the playground.

Acer to launch smartphone next month

People have been speculating for a while now that computer manufacturer Acer would be introducing a smartphone, but no one knew when. Acer will be holding a press conference at Mobile World Congress, and the invitations specifically announced the company will be launching a smartphone on Feb. 16 but gives no further details. Seeing as how Acer bought E-Ten last year, we can assume the device will run Windows Mobile. Well our feelers are up now and we’ll let you know all about it on Feb. 16.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rumor Mill: Beta version of Fennec to be released next week

The quest for a great Windows Mobile web browser marches on, and next week Fennec might be showing us what it’s made of. The new Firefox mobile browser is said to begin testing on the HTC Touch Pro. I think the giant question here is will Fennec have all the bells and whistles to match Safari? One can only hope.

Bumpy smartphone launches are the "new reality"

After The Wall Street Journal’s recent article over the bumpy launch of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie went on to say that “buggy” software is part of the “new reality” of making complex cellphones in large volumes. In some sense it’s refreshing to see a CEO being up-front and honest, but at the same time we’re so used to the “please forgive us” act, it’s a little jarring. 

BlackBerry has received a lot of flack in the blogosphere, with posts touting the high number of Storm returns and lower reported sales than expected. The timid response seen from consumers (whether deserved or not) should tell manufacturers to take more time to test software and risk backlash before the release rather than afterwards. It’s harder to recover “buggy” software after 500,000+ devices are sold. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rumor Mill: New Samsung devices making some waves

Rumors of two new Samsung devices are stirring up quite the frenzy, probably because one is rumored to be running the new Windows Mobile 6.5 OS. The Samsung Pivot and Louve are expected to be introduced at Mobile World Congress next month along with the highly anticipated (and long overdue) Windows Mobile 6.5.

The Samsung Pivot is said to be a QWERTY-armed Wi-Fi device equipped with an HTML browser, GPS and a 5 megapixel camera with flash. Essentially, the Pivot is an update to the i780.

The Samsung Louve will run on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional has a sliding QWERTY with a titling screen and a 3.2 megapixel camera. The Louve will feature a widget interface that will be customizable, similar to the Omnia. No word yet on pricing or carrier support.

Android "Cupcake" update drawing near

More details emerge concerning the highly anticipated G1 “Cupcake” update, which only means we are getting closer to a release. While Boy Genius is reporting rumors of an “end of January” release, I’m not putting my money on it. Talk Android spills the beans about what is currently being worked on as well as provides us with some tasty eye snacks (a.k.a. screenshots). Click the jump for details and pretty pictures.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama gets to keep his 'Berry

Newsbreak: This just in. Obama proves his top notch negotiation skills by convincing the NSA to allow him to use his beloved BlackBerry while not wearing his “presidential hat.” Those conversations will be conducted on an aforementioned far-from-sexy device of the NSA’s choosing. As if Obama doesn’t have enough to celebrate already, we’ll just say a big hearty “congrats” to our commander in chief for getting to hang onto that ‘Berry!

Verizon Hub HomePhone

Seeing as how most people use their cell phones for the majority of their talking, landline phones seem to be reserved for those pesky telemarketers. As if landline wasn’t dead already, Verizon announced its Hub Home Phone today and nailed the coffin shut. The Hub is meant to replace landline telephones and act as an accessory to wireless service. 

The Hub comes with a 7-inch display screen from which you can navigate to maps, directions, traffic, weather, movie times, calendars, etc. The device uses a broadband connection and provides VoIP-based services. Of course, it syncs calendar appointments and contacts with any Verizon Wireless handsets added to the Hub. The Hub can receive text messages, chaperone service pings, and can even send driving directions to handsets. Genius!

Customers will have to live in an E911-capable area, will cost you $200 after a $50 mail-in-rebate and will require an additional $35/month subscription. The monthly fee however, gets you unlimited nationwide anytime minutes and unlimited messages to/from the device. How flippin’ cool is that?!  

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rumor Mill: Verizon to Cut Prices

Apparently Verizon has decided to increase mail-in-rebate $20, and to those of you thinking it only applies to ho-hum phones of little interest the rumor says “No!”  If you’re thinking about getting a new device from Verizon anytime soon, take a look at the list and see if there are any you have had your eye on.

  •           BlackBerry Storm
  •          BlackBerry 8830
  •           Casio G’zOne Boulder
  •           LG VX5500
  •           Samsung U810 Renown
  •           Motorola W755
  •           Motorola Vu204
  •           Motorola Vu30 Rapture
  •           Motorola Krave
  •           Motorola Adventure
  •           Motorola Z6c and Z6cx
  •           Verizon Cdm8950
  •          Verizon Blitz

HTC announces new Windows Mobile Touch Cruise

HTC announced its new smartphone, the Touch Cruise. Coming to North America sometime this summer, this Windows Mobile 6.1 device will cost you anywhere from $500-$600 for an unlocked version. The Cruise features new software called “Footprints,” a geo-tagging feature that automatically names the images with the general location or area the picture was taken. Footprints is being marketed as a way to better record family memories (that is assuming you take all of your family photos on your camera phone), or make sure you can find places you previously visited. Another sexy feature of this new HTC device is the TouchFLO 3D skin that sits atop the ever-dated Windows Mobile 6.1. The Cruise will also come with a car cradle adding to the GPS functionality. If this tickles your fancy then read on for the specs.

  • Quad-band GSM/EDGE
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS/a-GPS
  • 3.2 megapixel camera (autofocus)
  • 2.8-inch display
  • MicroSD Slot 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sprint “Emergency Responder” proposal seems like a final attempt to save its iDen network

After Sprint found itself unable to find any buyers for its iDen network during this cloudy economic downturn, the company is apparently looking to the government for a piece of the $825 billion bailout pie. In a recent letter to the Obama transition team, Sprint proposed $2 billion to provide first responders with an emergency interoperable wireless communications network capable of responding to emergencies anywhere in the U.S. within four hours. This emergency responder team will use fleets of trucks equipped with satellite backhaul and pre-programmed push-to-talk mobile devices (Sprint’s iDen devices, of course!). Sprint also claims its National Emergency Response Teams (NERTs) will be equipped to provide 4G capability for emergency communications deployments, without mentioning what 4G technology is being leveraged. Hmmmm… the company no longer has direct control of its WiMAX assets (they are now wholesaling those services back from Clearwire).

A large problem with this proposal is a mobile broadband network won’t be provided, that is unless more money is shelled out. Moreover, it’s unclear how Sprint would deploy that capability. These first responders need this network to do their job better everyday, not just when a major disaster occurs. Bottom line: there are too many holes in this proposition. It looks like a mere attempt to save Sprint and its iDen network, not a solution to the problem at hand. Isn’t that how we got into this mess to begin with? Looks like Sprint should just put all of its eggs in the Palm basket. I think that would be a better bet for them.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

BlackBerry App Storefront to come in late Spring

RIM is now accepting BlackBerry applications from developers. Those wishing to submit applications can do so via the RIM Web site. Of course, you have to agree to the terms and conditions to be accepted into the developer program. RIM anticipates launching the storefront later this spring. 

Microsoft looking to the ‘cloud’ with Windows Mobile 6.5

It appears that Windows Mobile users now have something to get excited about. Sources close to Microsoft are saying Windows is planning to take the wraps off a trio of cloud-based offerings next month at the Mobile Word Congress. Looking to compete with Apple’s MobileMe and App Store, Microsoft’s new mobile solutions will provide more all-inclusive offerings compared to its current PIM-centric Exchange services and app-hunting options. Allegedly codenamed SkyBox, Skyline and SkyMarket, details are as follows:

SkyBox – Remote mobile synching of contacts, Email/SMS, calendar items and images along with automatic backup and restore services.

SkyLine – Similar to SkyBox but tweaked for enterprise. SkyLine includes Exchange integration and custom domains.

SkyMarket – A mobile marketplace to compete with the likes of the App Store. 

We hope these services deliver, but we also hope that Microsoft has some surprises up its sleeve for the MWC next month. We know Microsoft can catch up to the innovation we have seen from Apple, and maybe even surpass them. Windows loyalists, rejoice! 

Rumor Mill: Nokia N97 to launch March 31?

I think a lot of us expected to hear word from Nokia at CES concerning the anticipated N97, and much to our dismay we heard not a peep! We are hoping for some official news next month out of Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress, but in the meantime, has given us some information to talk about. 

When looking at their list of devices, specifies that it’s going to release the N97 on March 31. The listed pre-order price is 480 pounds (roughly $700) for a contract-free device. The release date doesn’t sound too ridiculous, but I think we are all wondering when we will hear some official news from Nokia.

(photo credit: boy genius report)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Circuit City Gives Up

Circuit City, who recently filed for bankruptcy, is seeking permission to liquidate all assets. The company was hoping for a buy-out, but no firms have emerged. Circuit City finds it impossible to pay off creditors. The company will permanently close all remaining 567 stores and cease operations. The sale is expected to start tomorrow and will run until March 31. I would start scoping out your local Circuit City now for some possible deals.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Palm Pre Gets Exclusive with Best Buy

When we caught wind of a $399 dollar price tag for the Palm Pre we thought it might just be a death sentence, but PCMag’s Sascha Segan reported the Pre could be yours for $200-250 with a Sprint contract. This is good news!

Best Buy is also said to have an exclusive deal with Sprint for the Palm Pre release. This partnership makes sense seeing as Sprint also launched its Samsung Instinct exclusively with Best Buy last summer. For 60 days Best Buy will be the only place you can get your hands on the Palm Pre, besides Sprint of course. I know I can’t wait to get hands-on with the Pre!

(photo credit: phonescoop)

Rumor Mill: Dell Releasing Touchscreen Phone

Rumors of Dell diving into the smartphone pool have been circulating for quite some time now, and these rumors are resurfacing as the Mobile World Congress draws near. Apparently Dell’s decision to bring on Motorola power player Ron Garriques as president of consumer business is only fanning the rumor-flames. For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Garriques, he was the force behind the success of the RAZR. Dell’s strong existing relationship with Microsoft means the phone could run on the Windows Mobile operating system, and everyone else has a touchscreen so why not Dell? What do you think about the idea of a Dell touchscreen running Windows Mobile 7?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Obama might get a BlackBerry replacement

President-elect Barack Obama has gone on the record stating how hard it will be for him to hand over his BlackBerry as he moves into the White House. He is pretty high up on the national government power-chain, so it would stand to reason the same government that makes super-cool, tricked-out spy gadgets (or is that just in the movies?) would have a secure BlackBerry replacement for our beloved commander in chief. I don’t know how 007 this phone is going to be, but I guess the good news for him is that he gets one! The NSA has approved a combination phone-PDA from General Dynamics called “Sectra Edge.” It’s a pretty thick device resembling the Palm Treo that connects with GSM and CDA networks and Wi-Fi using interchangeable modules. It’s a Windows Mobile device that allows top secret calls, emails and web browsing. 
This phone is water and dust proof, and can also withstand a four-foot drop onto concrete. I’m not quite sure if withstanding a small fall is that fantastic though. I’ve dropped my cell down three flights of stairs and it still works. Granted, it shuts off every once in a while on it’s own, but that’s normal, right?

Moving on… if Obama isn’t happy with his Sectra Galactica, L-3 is now working on “The Guardian” and we’re hoping it is a little more James Bond-ish.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

National Safety Council Calls for Banning of Hands-Free Devices

While a 16-year-old texting or Mr. Important fidgeting with his BlackBerry while driving generally causes a small irritation to motorists, such as swerving or halting traffic when the light turns green – there is always that possibility the distraction might cause a major accident. Many states have already placed restrictions on hand-held devices in some form or fashion, but apparently the National Safety Council thinks these laws should include a ban on hands-free devices as well.

Really? The National Safety Council believes that hands-free devices are merely giving drivers a “placebo effect,” when in reality these devices don’t cause safer driving at all. The group also seems to be taking particular aim at businesses, saying that calling while driving can increase costs and even open up employers to liability.

The CITA went on record with a rebuttal stating, “Safe, sensible and limited use of a cell phone when you’re behind the wheel is possible,” and that if someone is ”driving irresponsibly because of cell phone use, they should be cited for that. And under current law, they can be.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, CITA. Now, what do you think?

HTC Lolite

It appears HTC is releasing yet another Windows Mobile phone in 2009. The Lolite is aesthetically pleasing, and judging from the specs, it fills the gap between the Touch 3G and Touch Diamond.

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional 
  • HTC TouchFLO 3D menu interface 
  • HTC Foot Prints button 
  • Qualcomm MSM7225, 528 MHz processor 
  • Memory: ROM: 512 MB / RAM: 288 MB 
  • 2.8-inch touch screen with a screen resolution of 240 x 320 pixels 
  • 3.2 megapixel camera MicroSD memory card slot 
  • 3G HSDPA / HSUPA with download speeds up to 7.2 Mbps 
  • Quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz 
  • Built-in GPS receiver including A-GPS 
  • Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi

Monday, January 12, 2009

Good news for Alltel Customers

The Verizon/Alltel deal was finalized on Jan. 9, but Alltel customers won’t see any changes until the second quarter of this year. Alltel customers can expect a letter to come to their mailboxes within the next couple of weeks explaining their options for transitioning to Verizon. Word is the “vast majority” of Alltel customers will be able to keep their current phones, and should be able to retain their current plans (including MyCircle). They also mentioned “billing changes”, that once complete, will enable mobile-to-mobile calling minutes between both Verizon and former Alltel customers. Sounds like it’s not as bad as we originally thought!

LG 'Renoir' Spokesman Loves His Job!

You may or may not know by now, but I am a sucker for funny videos. I saw this little gem on the engadget blog and just had to pass it on. I hope this LG Renoir spokesman’s enthusiasm permeates through your screen and latches onto you. We could all use a little dose of enthusiasm while at work, couldn’t we?

More Palm Pre News

It should come as no surprise that the Palm Pre was voted "Best In Show" at the recently completed CES. Palm did a wonderful job of maintaining momentum going into the event (and keeping tight-lipped while doing so). We expected greatness from them, and they certainly delivered. Palm’s goal was seemingly to provide its users with an intelligent device that is simple and user-friendly. The app store is now official and will be called "App Catalogue" in keeping with the theme of simplicity. No flashy names for Palm?!? Our only critique’s thus far are the small QWERTY keyboard and choice of carrier service. Sprint needs an exciting touchscreen device to heal the wounds of getting beat up by AT&T’s iPhone, Verizon’s BlackBerry Storm and T-Mobile’s G1. Who knows, Sprint and Palm just might save each other. Awwwwwww, how adorable!

Friday, January 9, 2009

HTC releases 2008 earnings

2008 was definitely a good year for High Tech Computer (HTC). The company has posted their 2008 earning reports, reaching $4.61 billion for the financial year backed by almost 27 percent one-year growth. HTC’s pre-tax net income comes in at $0.86 billion, with a net earning per share of $1.4 billion. This comes as no surprise, as it released devices left and right in 2008. Of course, there was the highly anticipated G1, as well as the Fuze and Diamond. 

HTC is setting the bar high for 2009, aiming to increase revenue by 20 percent by introducing 10 new devices (both Windows Mobile and Android devices). HTC has gained a stellar reputation, thanks to the quality devices released in 2008 and has successfully transitioned from being an OEM manufacturer to a household name. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Rumor Mill: Palm priced steeply at $399

After Palm’s CES keynote yesterday we were left with a new device and a matching shiny new operating system, but two big selling points were left out of the equation: pricing and timing. We know Palm signed the dotted line and made it official with Sprint (much to our dismay) and we expected the Palm Pre to be competitively priced to fall in line with the iPhone 3G. According to Mobile-Review’s sources, the Pre will launch with a heavy price tag of $399! Say it isn’t so! I sure hope they are wrong, otherwise I say the carrier and price tag will be the cannonball that sinks Palm’s ship-of-hope to the ocean floor! Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

E63 Making its way to the U.S.

Not HUGE news here, but for all of you devoted Nokia users who have been crossing your fingers since November in hopes that the Nokia E63 would make it’s way over to the U.S.- this your lucky day! Today Nokia announced the device will be available with support for the 3G networks. You can have it in your hot little hands sometime this quarter, unlocked, for $279!

CES 2009 Day 1: Microsoft and Palm

Oh yes, it’s that time of year; CES is upon us once again. Lots of announcements and new devices, so we’ll stop with the dilly-dally and get right to the good stuff.


I must admit the excitement mounted in me as I read Palm pre-CES announcements of a new operating system and a shifted focus with its s
martphones. They were the instigator of the smartphone as we know it today, so a Palm revival aroused excitement in us all. 

Palm’s new operating system, simply named Webos, looks really slick. Webos has the same flick navigation as the iPhone. A cool feature of the new OS is the quick view that organized data into “Cards” that can be rotated with your finger and you can shuffle from card to card. So basically, if you’re checking your email but you want to change the song you’re listening to you can just flick back to your music card, switch the song, then flip back to your email card. I really like the “Synergy” feature (even though I thought that word died from over-use a couple of years ago). Synergy pulls contacts from all of your social media sites (Facebook, Gmail, AIM, etc.) to gather and organize them into one coherent list on your Palm Pre. Threaded SMS is still included in Web OS, but now you can send IMs from the same window. 

(engadget has some great hands on photos here)

Now let’s move onto Palm’s new flagship device; the Palm Pre. I am the kind of girl who likes to type on actual keys, so the slider QWERTY is a big plus for me. Here are the specs: 
  • 3.1 inch 480X320 touschreen 
  • Slide QWERTY keyboard (which can be used for more than text or emails. The Pre has a predictive-text feature that will bring up menus and apps based on what you type. It then cross references your input based on what you have on your phone and presents the info almost like search results. It will also integrate your query with Google to bring up related Internet sites if needed. Palm calls this universal search)
  • 3 megapixel camera with an LED flash
  • Gesture navigation
  • Micro USB (USB mass storage support)
  • 3.5 mm Headphone Jack
  • Ability to charge wirelessly (look for more on this in a later post!) 

Everything looked and sounded fantastic, and then it was announced that Sprint would exclusively carry the new Pre (record player scratched to a stop). Maybe I’m wrong though, maybe the new Palm will succeed on Sprint’s CDMA network, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The Instinct was a great phone and looked what happen to it. I guess only time will tell.


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced Windows 7 would be available in beta form for download tomorrow, Jan. 9. The total download should take about 45-minutes total, and Microsoft will cap the data at 2.5 million downloads. Ballmer says Windows 7 is “the best version of Windows ever… with a combination of simplicity, reliability and speed,” and we’ve heard similar things from those already in the Beta. 

Miscrosoft is also upping its research and development expenditures in the coming year to over $8 billion, focusing on Windows 7 for the PC, Windows Mobile, and XBOX, Media Center and Media Room for the TV. They did discuss quite a bit about some of the new features and capabilities of Live and how this would create a seamless integration with your PC, Windows Mobile device, Xbox and media room. Microsoft’s been on the forefront of delivering digital content to consumer electronics (here’s to you Netlfix and the 360) so here’s to hoping they come out with a fully revamped and sexed up version of Windows Mobile with some new, expanded features. Palm’s certainly handed them a healthy bit of competition with their new OS and it will be interesting to see how they respond with windows 7.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rumor Mill: Nokia pulls the plug on N810 WiMAX Edition

Nokia has yet to announce this move publicly, but rumors are flying about the abrupt move to discontinue production of its N810 WiMAX Edition Internet tablet. Apparently, the device has been pulled from inventory systems and distributor locations have been given instructions to return any current stock to Nokia. As of now, the N810 has yet to be pulled from the Nokia USA site. WiMAX switch issues combined with the slow roll out of the device are speculated motives for the recall and it is unclear whether or not the Nokia plans to re-release the N810 at a later point in time or if they have additional WiMAX-enabled devices in development. Seems like a pretty costly mistake and I’ll be interested to hear what Nokia has to say about it.

LG announces noise-cancellation technology for mobile devices

Scenario 1: James is sitting at a noisy and packed bar with the after-work Happy Hour crowd. He’s chumming it up with the ole’ chaps from the office and his phone rings. Uh-oh, it’s James’ wife and he knows how much she hates him going to Happy Hour after work instead of rushing home. He ignores the call which always tips her off as to his whereabouts and only heightens her frustration with him.

Scenario 2: James is sitting at a noisy and packed bar with the after-work Happy Hour crowd. He’s chumming it up with the ole’ chaps from the office and his phone rings. Uh-oh, it’s James’ wife and he knows how much she hates him going to Happy Hour after work instead of rushing home. James has the latest LG phone with “DSE” (noise cancellation technology) so he answers the phone and tells his wife he is working late crunching numbers at the office. Now all he has to do is pop in a piece of gum for the drive home and he is smooth sailin’! 

LG’s new noise reduction uses dual microphones in the phone to digitally filter out background noise. The company’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Woo Paik, showed off the new technology in a demo reel that features a man in a quiet office calling his wife on a busy street corner (but we like our scenario much better). Hopefully, LG has a demo at their CES booth this year so we can get the scoop on how well it works - or doesn’t.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Privus Mobile’s Caller ID Service Now Available in Handmark Online Store

Privus Mobile’s cell phone Caller ID solution is now available through Handmark desktop and on-device mobile web stores. As the only cross-carrier, real-time Caller ID solution in the world, Privus Mobile has helped thousands of mobile users achieve the same level of Caller ID service that landline phones have had for years and now is available through the robust Handmark smartphone application store. Available for Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Palm devices, Privus Mobile’s solution offers Handmark customers a revolutionary service with unparalleled reliability unlike any other offering in the marketplace.

“Our users are constantly telling us how surprised they are after downloading the demo and seeing how quickly they adapt and depend on life with Privus Mobile,” said Privus Mobile President Greg Smith. “I think this is largely due to the fact that people don’t realize cell phones only display the caller name if you’ve already programmed them into your phone book unless you have Privus Mobile. We look forward to bringing this same experience and enlightenment to Handmark customers.”

As the global leader in the development and distribution of mobile media, Handmark was the logical choice to serve as a provider for Privus Mobile’s full-ranged Caller ID solution. Privus Mobile joins the elite team of content creators Handmark features that are driving the mobile media industry. Privus Mobile will leverage the global-tiered distribution platform and go-to-market speed Handmark offers to ensure everyone has quick and easy access to its patented real-time Caller ID service.

“Privus Mobile’s service is a great addition to the Handmark catalog of mobile applications,” said Eric Pfeifer, Director of Partner Marketing. “Caller ID for cell phones is a trend we see having significant potential and we are proud to partner with Privus Mobile to offer their solution to our customers.”

Privus Mobile is specifically designed for smartphones. A full list of compatible devices can be found on the Privus Mobile site or through the Handmark store. Interested parties also can download a free trial of the software through the Privus Mobile site. The three-month license is available from Handmark for the Windows Mobile (smartphone or PocketPC) version or the BlackBerry version as well as through the Privus Mobile site. 

Motorolla SURF officially announced

Motorola officially debuted three phones this morning, one of which actually gets our attention. The Motorola SURF A3100 is a Windows Mobile 6.1 device featuring 2.8 inches of touchscreen goodness with a custom Moto-designed skin (side note: device comes with a stylus for all you old-schoolers out there), triband 3G, 3-megapixel autofocus camera, AGPS, and support for micro SD cards ramp its memory up to a whopping 32GB. The device’s radio is fully equipped for some sweet North American action; however, no stateside launch is mapped out just yet. Looks like the Asian markets will see this sleek little beauty before the quarter is out.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Rumor Mill: AT&T EDGEing out 2G?

We’ve been watching the rumor mill, and word is AT&T has been quietly reallocating its EDGE service to its weaker 1900MHz band, which means weaker coverage. According to AT&T, this move is supposedly reinforcing 3G and strengthening its HSPA services. While AT&T isn’t technically phasing out its 2G service, it is essentially doing the same for many customers (especially those already having trouble with their AT&T service.) While this won’t effect many customers in urban areas, those of you further out will likely have to purchase a 3G device to retain data coverage.

I know there are hoards of EDGE-loathing, first-gen iPhone users out there, who for one reason or another haven’t upgraded yet and still rely on the ‘archaic’ network to deliver data. And what about those Bold and 3G iPhone users out there who have seen your devices switch back to EDGE constantly? AT&T should strengthen the 3G network before taking the legs out from underneath all its ‘rural’ EDGE users. Clap your hands and say "Yeah!" if you agree!

Palm's Flagship Phone rumored to be a QWERTY slider Touchscreen

Even though CES is next week, we just can’t help but report leaked details about Palm’s up coming flagship phone. The new handset will supposedly be a slider with a full QWERTY keyboard and a portrait touchscreen. It will have full PIM support, email support and media playback capabilities. The phone is said to come loaded with applications and the new OS is said to be “amazing.” This year is make or break for Palm, and we’re excited to see what they’ve got up their sleeve.