Alan Zaks's blog

HTC Touch Released- MiniView Coming Soon

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HTC just launched a new Windows Mobile Professional
(nope, I refuse to remind you guys again that Pro is the new WM 5.0 Pocket PC Phone Edition which is the new Windows Mobile 2003SE which is the Pocket PC 2002 which is the...no...not funny?)
which set the industry on it's ear.

Well, not exactly.
That would be the i-that-must-not-be-named-phone.


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Wing Crashes and Burns?: T-Mobile Wing

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Well, you lucky ducks, Hal just gave me permission to post a my review of the Wing that will appear in the next issue of the magazine. So, below you'll find a slightly edited copy...As always, your feedback is welcome. Enjoy!

T-Mobile is on a roll, recently announcing a Windows Mobile 6 Standard upgrade program for its Dash Smartphone users and then North America’s first ever WM6 Professional device—The T-Mobile Wing. T-Mobile’s focus on style is evident in the devices it sells, and the Wing fits in with the Nokia 8801, Blackberry Pearl, and other smartphones it offers.

Wing1


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Next Generation...Traffic?: 3rd Dimension’s Video Cellmate

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I hate traffic. So do you (I think).

Unfortunately, there is very little we can actually do about it; the only effective action we can take against traffic doesn't really stop it- we can avoid it. The problem is how do we know when and where it will take place? You can, of course, use applications like INRIX traffic, or Google Maps and Windows Live Search to display visual indication of estimated traffic lockups or real-time accidents.


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Simply Scosche: Bluelife IBHPK

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Like Parrot, Scosche Industries hopes to take over your life with their Bluetooth products. Selling Bluetooth accessories, their line is not as expensive as Parrot’s or other high end manufacturers, but is positioned just above ANYCOM’s line.

At CTIA, we stopped by the Scosche booth for a bit, and looked at their Bluetooth product line, which encompasses car kits, home stereo adapters, and headphones.


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Absolut ANYCOM: BSH-100 and BluNa package

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ANYCOM (yet another Bluetooth oriented company) introduced the FIPO at CTIA. Basically, it’s a little gizmo that you can place into an iPod socket for Bluetooth stereo streaming. It took me a few seconds to grasp the concept here as well- in other words, you put the FIPO (which has an iPod jack) onto a device (like an iPod cradle or car transmitter), and then pair it with a Bluetooth streaming source-an iPod with a Bluetooth adapter, your A2DP compatible cellphone, or any A2DP source.


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Boom...boom...boom...it's the: Parrot Boombox

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A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) is the latest buzzword in the portable music industry. Why do you care? Because your mobile device (especially if it’s a Windows Mobile device) probably has it built in. And if it does, that means that after hitting the "Read More" link, you are about to learn about an entire new world of wireless music.

Boombox Main


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Around the world with Mobimate's Worldmate i10

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MobiMate’s Worldmate was one of the first traveler oriented programs released for mobile devices back in 1999. Since then, Worldmate has become a catchphrase of sorts in the mobile travel business- with real-time “Flight Status” information being their claim to fame. But in fact, Worldmate does much more than that. Billed as a “Swiss Army Knife” for travelers, Worldmate delivers updated currency rates, clothing size conversion, weather information, and time zone changing from one easy to use screen.


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Not Just Another Bluetooth: BlueAnt's Supertooth Lite

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As you have seen, many of the consumer products displayed at CTIA involved Bluetooth technology in some way. Another upcoming player in the Bluetooth field is BlueAnt Wireless. The name BlueAnt was derived from the ‘Blue’ of Bluetooth and the ‘Ant’ in Antennae. BlueAnt is a 4 year old Australian based company who entered the North American market in mid 2006.

Although they announced two new products at CTIA, I only looked at one of the two.


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Is Bluetooth Making You Blue Too?: Parrot 3400LS-GPS

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Like most of you, I imagine, I have been using Bluetooth earpieces for quite some time now. At first blush, the BT headset is the ultimate in wireless- true handsfree conversation. And, aside from its convenience, I find it an essential part of driving as it eliminates the dangers and risks (not to mention driving tickets- here in NY, it’s illegal to talk and drive) associated with talking while driving. I have long lamented though, that these ear pieces tend to become uncomfortable after extended periods of time, causing me to take them off; thus effectively defeating
their purpose. So, what to do?

ScreenP


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Not Just Another Flash Drive: Kingston DataTraveler

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Announced at the PMA Expo just a little before CTIA, the DataTraveler Reader is a joint memory card reader/flash drive. Technically an SD only card reader (it doesn't read Mini or Micro without an adapter) with a built in flash drive, when used in combination with a Dual Adapter pack (also from Kingston) the potency of this combination is increased. I find it has replaced my old flash drive’s place of honor in my bag, since with the DataTraveler, I have been able to drop the SanDisk SD card reader and standalone flash drive.


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Conferencing in the 21st Century: Parrot Conference

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Parrot Technologies is one of the foremost manufacturers in Bluetooth related accessories today. Based in France, they pump out innovative yet tested and stable products on a regular basis. At CTIA, they launched 3 brand spanking new products- the “Parrot Conferenceâ€, “Parrot Boomboxâ€, and “Parrot Photo Viewer 7â€. Parrot also updated part of their existing product line.

The updates announced at CTIA were the:

1) 3200LS-Color PLUS (Adds BEAMFORMING technology and a detachable screen to the 3200- for more on BEAMFORMING, check out the forthcoming MK6000 post).
2) CK3000 and CK3100 colors changed to black (Is it just me, or is the entire mobile world going black)?

Parrot was kind enough to send the Boombox and Conference my way to look at, as well as two of the older products, the MK6000 and 3400-LS. In this post, we will look at the Conference, and how it interfaces with you, the Windows Mobile user.

When I first saw the Conference concept at Parrot’s booth, it took a while for me to wrap my head around it. I couldn’t figure out why someone would need or want to use something like it- either use the cellphone’s built in speaker, or, if available, a fixed landline. After thinking about it, however, and using it for a bit, I “saw the lightâ€. Well…not really, but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That is, while I personally didn’t find much use for it (although I’ll not say that I think it’s completely useless), I can certainly understand where and when many may find a use for a tool like this. Hit the jump for some Windows Mobile info on this and more.

PC Main


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Heavenly Handmark Hit: Pocket Express (4th Version)

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Handmark is one of the leading developers in the Windows Mobile arena today. Producing content for the mobile platform since late 2000 (formerly known as Palmspring), they have successfully marketed numerous mobile computing centric applications. While some of you may have heard of and used their popular Pocket Express program (a.k.a on Sprint devices as "On Demand"), others may be familiar with their Zagat or MobiTV titles. Handmark also markets many of their titles for the Palm, Blackberry, and Symbian platforms.

Handmark had a cute booth at CTIA, and I had the opportunity to sit down with the nice folks from there (that means you Andy and Erica:)).
After talking for a bit about their new program, “Pocket Express- Fourth Editionâ€, and where they were trying to go with it, I felt I just had to take a closer look at it. As it turns out, I was able to test drive it last week (the first external copy, I'm told), and I must say that many of my issues with the previous version seem to have been addressed. Please note that this version was an alpha, and therefore the usual pre-release mumbo jumbo applies (for more info on mumbo jumbo, look up mumbo jumbo on Dictionary.com). In this piece, I am going to focus on the differences/upgrades between the new and old versions- if you are looking for a full review of Pocket Express, head over here for many wonderful and comprehensive overviews.

PEX v. 3

The screenshot above was pulled from Handmark's site, and is the old version. Read on to find out what improvements Handmark made to warrant a Best of CTIA...


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PocketNow.com Coverage of CTIA 2007

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Pocketnow.com, a fantastic Windows Mobile resource for reviews as well as news, recently posted up an overview of several products that caught the
eye of their representative, Jeffrey Swerdlow.

While their description of each of the products may not be so verbose,
they promise a fuller review on many of the items mentioned. As Pocketnow's reviews tend to be quite comprehensive, I am looking forward to their perspective immensely!


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I wish I'd brought it to CTIA: INRIX Traffic

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One of the most amazing concepts that I had a chance to hear about at
CTIA was Inrix’s "dynamic predictive traffic" system. I wish I'd brought it to CTIA- traffic in and around the Convention Center was bumper to bumper.

Although Inrix mainly develops and distributes their data for the B2B sector, they recently developed a Windows Mobile client for the end user that is compatible with both Smartphone and PPC platforms. Basically, it gathers data from thousands of various sources and then runs Bayesian statistical analysis models to identify traffic patterns.


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Voicemail- RELOADED: SimulScribe

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For those of you who are lucky enough to live in a blissful, non-rushed lifestlye, the following ingenious and long overdue technology will probably hold no allure. Yet, for those of us on the other side of Shangri-La, (NYC, for example) it may well save you hours per week, at a bare minimum of time and effort.

Called SimulScribe, it utilizes advanced speech-to-text technology to transcribe your voicemail. Upon transcription,
(generally 2-3 minutes after the caller hangs up) the SimulScribe server sends an email of the message to your selected address.


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Video, meet Ringtone: Vringo

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One of the neatest ideas I saw in at CTIA is Vringo. Although the idea of Video Ringtones may seem fairly unexciting at first blush, once you take a closer look at Vringo I think you'll appreciate my enthusiasm. Vringo has implemented the concept in a refreshingly fun way.

Imagine Jake and Katie:

A hardworking but fun loving twenty something year old ambitious photographer. Jake is happily married to Katie, his wife of three years. Unfortunately for Jake, he's gonna be stuck on this work trip for a day longer than expected- again.


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Best Of CTIA 2007

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Well, the dust has settled from the mad dash that is CTIA and the rush is finally over. I had a blast at CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association), meeting with many purveyors of emerging technologies in the general cellular world, as well as some of the latest released and unreleased applications for Windows Mobile. After sifting and sorting through all the new stuff, I bring you the (IMHO) "Best of CTIA 2007".


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