New Freebies Include YouTube App; More on Windows Mobile 6.5

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It’s been a long time coming. You can now download an app from YouTube to watch YouTube videos without the workarounds or commercial app that we’ve mentioned in the past. Also, this week we’ll note a new version of Skype, an article on how to use your phone for laptop Internet access, and the release of more details on Windows Mobile 6.5.

Free App for Watching YouTube Videos

From what I’ve read, recent HTC devices have an excellent YouTube application built-in. But if you don’t have such a device, you can now download a free app from YouTube for viewing YouTube videos.

According to discussion online, only English regions are supported, so if you live somewhere else, you may want to select English. As always, the video streaming will likely work best via Wi-Fi. An Edge connection will typically entail some buffering.

To download the application, point your mobile browser at m.youtube.com.

This early review, however, greatly prefers the commercial CorePlayer to this free app.

Skype 3.0 Beta Includes SMS, File Transfer

It’s nice to see Skype for Windows Mobile continuing to move ahead. Skype, as you likely know, is the most popular application for making free computer-to-computer calls via the Internet, and for making low-cost long-distance calls to landlines.

The most recent beta offers SMS messaging and file transfers. SMS lets you use Wi-Fi to send text messages to other phones rather than via your carrier, but Skype does charge a small fee for this. The file-transfer feature lets you transfer photos, music, or other files to other Skype users. Skype 3.0 also has a new user interface.

See this web page for more info and a demo video that gives you a good sense for how this app works.

Using Your Phone for Laptop Internet Access

Microsoft has posted a helpful article on how to use your Windows Mobile phone as a wireless modem. This could come in handy if you’re not in the vicinity of Wi-Fi or would rather avoid paying the sometimes pricey fee for Wi-Fi access. Also, you can typically purchase a device from a cellular network to use as a wireless modem, but the service usually costs around $50 per month. So why not simply use your phone as a wireless modem?

More on Windows Mobile 6.5

As we’ve discussed, Windows Mobile 6.5 is coming soon on new devices, and Microsoft is continuing to release more details.

A recent post on their blogs tells more about the new software as a widget platform. The post nicely defines a widget as a “portable chunk of the web.” Basically, it's a small dedicated application that grabs Internet content and serves it up efficiently in a nicely formatted fashion.

Also, an article on Ars Technica describes some changes made to the new honeycomb interface, mainly the size of the icons and the way scrolling is done.

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