Werner Ruotsalainen's blog

MWC: Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 to come with WM 6.5?

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The, for leaking information on forthcoming mobile operating system versions (remember Windows Mobile 6? WM5 AKU3?) pretty much (in)famous Mobile-Review has just published their roundup of Sony-Ericsson phones (note that the article is in Russian; if you don't know the language, use Google Translator or Babelfish.


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MWC: a really-really great e-paper & WindowsCE- based (!) phone & reader from Polymer Vision: Readius – the first foldab

You may already have heard of the really revolutionary E Lnk e-paper and the dedicated book readers using it. The most important in-production ones are, currently, as follows. (If interested, see the full list / a full comparison chart HERE; note that the matrix doesn’t contain the very important effective resolution; I’ve fixed this in the short listing below as the value after the slash. Note that, in order for quick accessibility, I’ve also listed the grayscale levels supported in here too.)

iRex iLiad - in my opinion, the best ebook reader, mostly because of its high-resolution (XGA,1024*768) screen and the quality material. (resolution: XGA / no effective resolution given (but, in Landscape mode, it’s only a little bit narrower than 1024 pixel); 16 grayscale)

Sony LIBRIé (resolution: SVGA / 754 x 584, 4 grayscale)

Sony Reader PRS-500/505 (a somewhat enhanced LIBRIé for the U.S. market; it’s smaller (no keyboard) and features a dual Memory Stick PRO Duo/SD slot to augment the memory) (resolution: SVGA / 754 x 584, 4/8 grayscale in 500/505)

Cybook Gen3 (resolution: SVGA / no effective resolution given, 4 grayscale)

And the latest device, the much-criticized Amazon Kindle (resolution: SVGA / 450x550; 4 grayscale)

Now, there’s a new player on the scene: Polymer Vision.

They have demoed a very promising prototype of their phone + reader combo called Readius. Some shots (all taken by me) follow:




Why you may be interested? I’ve talked to the Polymer Vision folks and found out the following:


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MWC: more S-E Xperia X1 shots & info; it'll be based on the Qualcomm chipset?

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Today morning, thanks to Hal Goldstein, I was let in to the Mobius meeting. The Xperia X1 was also there – switched off. I’ve made some additional shots.


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MWC: more S-E Xperia X1 info & photos

As you all may already know, so far at MWC, hardware-wise, the multimedia- and gaming-friendly, high-resolution Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1 has generated the biggest stir. A lot of folks all over Windows Mobile forums have started discussing the new device. Many even called it the HTC Kaiser / AT&T Tilt-killer.


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MWC Report Part I: Opera Mobile 9.5 pics, i-mate, Nokia, MS Press Conference, MSN Direct news etc.

Let me welcome all my readers to the first part of my Mobile World Congress reports. Note that I’ve started writing this report yesterday evening but, having no Wi-Fi at my hotel and Vodafone Spain’s problems, I couldn’t post it right away. Therefore, in order for the most important news to be presented right at the beginning, I have broken up this article to a brand new conference report (see the first few paragraph) and, then, a more complete description of what has happened yesterday. It’s the last section that elaborates on the Showstopper party yesterday, with a lot of info & screenshots on Opera Mobile 9.5 and several other technologies.

Today, first, I’ve met the great folks from Spb Software House. Vasily demoed the latest Spb Mobile Shell, which I plan to review some time in the future, along with all the other shell enhancers, including those of the XDA-Developers folks.

i-mate news

After this, I had the pleasure the meet top i-mate folks. The first question I asked, of course, was the recent DigiTimes / Pocket PC Thoughts news on i-mate’s switching back to HTC. I told the i-mate folks that, with the major problems with the HTC Qualcomm video drivers and HTC’s refusing to fix the problem, how disappointed the WinMo folks have become with HTC.

The major and indeed REALLY-REALLY welcome news is that i-mate is NOT returning to HTC but keeps on bringing out their own handsets. Great news!

I’ve also asked about cancelling the, compared to the latest Marvell PXA310/320 CPU’s, already-dated PXA270 series in their later models and (even silently, just like for example Dell did with the Dell Axim x5) upgrading to the PXA310/320. They stated they’re investigating all these things and the possible upgrade. This is pretty much promising.

Nokia with WinMo devices? Not now

Third, I’ve met John Starkweather from Microsoft. My first question was, of course, the talks with Nokia reported by several sites. My previous remarks, over at PPCT, on a Nokia-manufactured camera / gaming / GPS / entertainment machine are worth checking out to see why I’d welcome Nokia to re-release the N95 or the N82 with Windows Mobile on them if and only if they provide the same high quality add-on software enhacing these devices on Symbian.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing to report on. That is, in the future, it’s highly unlikely Nokia comes out with WinMo phones. But this doesn’t certainly mean this won’t change in the later future.

However, the Sony-Ericsson folks have just announced a multimedia-friendly WVGA touchscreen device, the XPERIX A1, of which you can read more at, for example, on our blog or at PPCT and at XDA-Devs. I'll post other, related threads too when I have the time.

I’ll definitely pay a visit to the S-E booth here to see whether they have the device in here. If they do, I definitely post some comparative pictures in here.

Microsoft’s press conference

Microsoft’s press conference took place at 3PM local time in Hotel Catalonia Plaza, which, fortunately, is just at the other side of the Espana square, facing the entrance of MWC and is, therefore, easy to get there. In addition, it has a more or less working Wi-Fi network, which isn’t really the case with the press section of MWC, where I’ve wasted at least one hour desperately tryng to access the Internet. (Finally, I had to use a local PC and transfer files to be uploaded by a storage card). Pretty much stone-age, I know.
This event will surely be thoroughly covered by other mags, so, I only very shortly sumarize it. First, the most important announcement was Microsoft’s announcing they would invest far more effort on gaming and entertainment. (For the platform’s gaming capabilities, they’ve used the Amiga Inc. game I’ve reviewed some days ago and also called very cool.) I really hope this indeed materializes – at least via the non-HTC players; most importantly, Sony.

They have also announced having acquired Danger. This, however, won’t mean Microsoft starts producing hardware like the T-Mobile Sidekick.

MSN Direct

The MS press conference has also shown MSN Direct in action. After the conference, I’ve also had an appointment with the MSN Direct folks so I could learn a bit more about it.

It’s like a fully-fledged RSS client with the following goodies:

  1. It uses some kind of a push protocol, which, while being really bandwidth friendly, still promises updates in realtime
  2. It integrates nicely into the MS Smartphone today screen.

Note that, currently, only the MS Smartphone (WM6 Standard) platform is supported and the client is in no way can be installed on a touchscreen Pocket PC. The sole reason for this is the programmatic difference between accessing the Today screen on the Smartphone and the Pocket PC platform. Nevertheless, they promise a Pocket PC version very soon, which I’ll also announce when it becomes available.

Should you have a Smartphone, you might want to check out ne.msndirect.com


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Misc news: Opera Mobile 9.5, SPB Mobile Shell 2.0, Sprite Archie etc.

1. Opera Mobile 9.5 announced!

The most powerful and standards-compliant Web browser for Windows Mobile has, finally, been updated!


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Games / emulator news (02/06): another FPSEce 0.010 video; 40% Revival/ Spb AirIsland / etc. rebate!

1. There’s another, new demo video (thanks to the PocketPlayers Reloaded folks) of the forthcoming, kick-butt FPSEce 0.010 Playstation emulator:

Coolboarders

(See THIS and THIS for the earlier videos)

2. Mobile2Day.de has some GREAT game rebates until 02/10; most importantly, the brand-new Revival (see reviews linked from HERE), Spb AirIsland and the great multiplayer title Explode Arena. You can save about 40% of their price – don’t hesitate to go and purchase! (I’ve already purchased Revival for Pocket PC in there: yes, I’ve saved some 7 euros compared to, say, the current ClickGamer price.) Note that the portal is German-only; please see THIS for more info if you don’t know the language.

The titles offered:

Revival: 11,95 euros (PPC version) / 7,95 euros (MS Smartphone version)

Mahjongg Deluxe 3D: 5,95 euros

Explode Arena: 5,95 euros

Spb AirIsland: 12,95 euros

Chess Professional: 5,95 euros

(news source: PocketPlayers Reloaded)

Note that the pretty much recommended Arcade Park 1.4 (from the same folks as Revival) is also sold at a some (8,88 euros instead of 10,45) discount – it’s also worth at least giving it a try.


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A StowAway / iGo driver (multiplatform) compliance test report

Upon my fellow blogger Tim Hillebrand’s report and because I’ll need to quickly enter a lot of info at MWC (and I don’t want to lug around my desktop replacement and, therefore, pretty heavy IBM Thinkpad a31p just for inputting text), I’ve installed the latest StowAway / iGo Bluetooth drivers on all my mobile devices (even non-Windows Mobile ones) to find out whether the drivers available HERE are (still) compatible with the latest operating system / firmware versions. I’ve found out the following:

Windows Mobile

Pocket PC’s (a.k.a. WM6 Classic / Professional):

HP iPAQ hx4700 (WM5 AKU 3.5.2; selecting & using the Widcomm driver, NOT the MS one); HTC Universal (WM6), Dell Axim x51v (WM5 official A12 (AKU 2.3) ROM with the MS BT stack), HTC Wizard (mfrazzz’ XDA Mobile 6 Release 5 FINAL) and the WM2003 HP iPAQ 2210: all work OK with the factory, default driver.

(Note that, as far as mfrazzz’ XDA Mobile 6 releases are concerned, version 3 was a no-go at all: it didn’t even try to connect. Pressing the Disable built-in HID support doesn’t help at all – unlike with all my other test devices or the same Wizard running Release 5.)

Smartphones (a.k.a. WM6 Standard)

HTC Vox / s710 (factory WM6 Smartphone ROM); no native driver; therefore, I tested it with the s620 / Excalibur / MteoR driver (they’re the same – actually, it seems ALL HTC Smartphones have the same drivers, unlike with WM5 and pre-WM5 Pocket PC’s): OK

HTC Oxygen / s310 with the above MS SP drivers (no native driver): the config app doesn’t even load (“Keyboard driver not functioning!â€); then, after closing it, I started to get system errors about the keyboard driver DLL not responding.


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Games / emulator news (02/02/2008): new FPSEce 0.010 videos; new Prowler Studios games

1. Yesterday, I reported on the new FPSEce 0.010 videos. The Pocketplayers.info folks have just uploaded two, brand new FPSEce 0.010 videos well worth checking out:

Rayman
Wipeout XL

It seems FPSEce 0.010 will indeed be a BIG hit, particularly for 3D game fans with a Dell Axim x50v / x51v: it’ll really be able to run the well-known PlayStation classics without any problems. Make sure you donate to the developer (I’ve already done so) :)

2. A quick overview of Prowler Studios' games

Prowler Studios is a newcomer to the Windows Mobile gaming scene but has already released several titles. Of these, I review the three most expensive ($12.95 each) one (assuming most expensive means the best). Note that they're all Pocket PC only (not compatible with MS Smartphones - I've tested) and support all operating systems starting with WM2003.

a. Toe 2 Toe Boxing Championship is (or, at least, tries to be) a 3D boxing game. I don’t recommend this title. While it tries to be 3D, it in no way utilizes existing 3D acceleration hardware (tested this on the Dell Axim x51v). The in-game sprite animation is also VERY bad: it only has TWO phases. Taken the high price of the title into account, I in no way can recommend this game even for a quick try. I know there aren’t any boxing games for Windows Mobile (quickly checked this at Clickgamer in addition to the Sports category of the PPCMag encyclopedia). Therefore, I recommend going for emulation. The home computers / home consoles had WAY better boxing games; for example, Boxing Legends of the Ring for Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES; George Foreman's KO Boxing for the same two consoles; Riddick Bowe Boxing (which is very similar to Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing for Genesis and GG) for SNES, Gameboy and GG. Make sure you check out my emulation-related articles / Bibles in the Emulators category of my blog. Or, if you don’t necessarily want boxing, just a very similar arcade game, give a try to, for example, Garou (Fatal Fury): Mark of the Wolves under the excellent NeoGeo emulator FinalBurn Alpha. (Note that I haven’t tested the title under FinalBurn. It may NOT work. If it doesn’t, you can still look for another action game to run.)


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Games / emulator news (02/01/2008): some GREAT, new FPSEce 0.010 videos; Dark Street etc.

1. Some GREAT, new FPSEce 0.010 videos released!

I’ve long been waiting for the long-announced, 0.010 version of FPSEce, the one and only PlayStation emulator for Windows Mobile, which will deliver MASSIVE optimizations and GREAT speed enhancements, especially with PDA’s with the Intel 2700G 3D graphics accelerator.


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Misc news: new Jbed / Jblend distros; PDA controller / Web browser news, Revival out

1. After publishing my review of VirtualCE 4, there have been some changes:

  1. a new MyMobiler version has been released, implementing, for example, manual screen rotation and the ability to hide the Today screen icon
  2. some of the bugs of VirtualCE 4 have been fixed (for example, BMP24 crashing). Hope the developer also finds a way to completely (even from the bottom taskbar) hide the main selector / controller screen as is asked in the above-linked HowardForums thread
  3. Pocket Controller 6 has turned out to support LAN discovery and hiding the connection “bubble†upon TCP/IP connection (as opposed to the ActiveSync one).

2. I, after more than a week’s waiting (see my previous post HERE), still haven’t received any feedback from the Strategy Analytics Inc. folks regarding the lack of Opera Mini in their 5-Star Safari Leads Mobile Browsing Experience, which, in many Windows Mobile users’ (including me) opinion, is the most useful / quickest Web browser for the Windows Mobile platform. And, for other mobile platforms too – on my Symbian Nokia N95 and BlackBerry 8800, I almost exclusively use this browser to access the Web. Not including it in the test makes the entire report pretty hard to depend on – it’s like completely ignoring, for example, Ferrari (a top-performing car) when evaluating the cars of Formula-1.

And, of course, I’ve already elaborated on the bad ranking of Nokia Web (running on Symbian S60 3rd edition devices – that is, NOT on Windows Mobile) and, particularly, Opera Mobile (running on all major mobile platforms). Again and again, if you do learn the dialpad shortcuts and/or, with Opera Mobile running on a dialpad-less Pocket PC, use a third-party tool to assign its key functionalities (accessing favorites, current tabs, back etc.) to Pocket PC hardware buttons, they both become quicker and easier to operate than Internet Explorer. It’s clearly at this point (in addition to the lack of Opera Mini) that Strategy Analytics Inc.’s report severely lacks – it’s evident the test folks didn’t really make an attempt at learning the dialpad shortcuts / configure Opera Mobile for easy and much quicker access / use.


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Nanobotz, a decent Worms & Atomic Cannon-remake, released!

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I've already reported on Moregames Entertainment’s NanoBotz. It has just been released and is available HERE for download / purchase.


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REVIEW: just-released VirtualCE 4 – another great PDA controller alternative!

Last Summer, upon the release of the brand-new, 6-series of SOTi Pocket Controller Pro and the free My Mobiler (click the links for a review!), I’ve already pointed out the “let’s control your Windows Mobile device from your desktop!†scene is really thriving.

Since the above reviews, here have been major upgrades. First, My Mobiler has been greatly enhanced (for example, TCP/IP connections have been added) and the bugs I’ve elaborated on in the review have all been fixed – while still maintaining its free status. In this article (and the accompanying chart), I also thoroughly elaborate on these changes.

Even more importantly, the, for long-time Windows Mobile users, known VirtualCE has been greatly upgraded and enhanced.

As VirtualCE has been written by the same developer as the well-known and very fast PQV and SmartGear – one of the best titles in their respective categories (picture viewers and pre-SNES home and handheld console emulators). I wasn’t disappointed: while there is indeed some missing functionality in the new version, its price, CPU usage and, at times, speed, speak for themselves. It’s evident it has been written by a Windows Mobile & C / assembly language guru that knows how to optimize code and, therefore, reduce the CPU (and memory) usage.


(The main interface screen and an example of remote controlling a HTC Vox / s710. The latter displays the VirtualCE client on the handset.)

VirtualCE is, feature-wise, somewhere between the free My Mobiler and the pretty expensive, albeit VERY capable and highly recommended SOTi Pocket Controller. In some respects, it’s definitely more capable than SOTi’s app (for example, see the parallel multicontrol feature, which is only present in the even more expensive Enterprise version of SOTi’s app; also, the much lower CPU usage should be mentioned); in other respects, it’s inferior to even My Mobiler (see for example the complete lack of handheld / handset -> desktop PC clipboard synchronization).


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Misc news: the HP iPAQ 21x; new apps, games & emus; anyone coming to Barcelona?

  • As many of you already know, the long-awaited, high-end, albeit “disconnected†HP iPAQ 21x series is out - currently, the only (standalone) PDA to have a 4", good-quality (if they use the same, excellent screen as in the predecessor, the hx4700 – that is, not a cr*ppy one, heavily suffering from severe polarization issues like the one in the Dell Axim x50v/x51v) VGA screen – at a pretty nice price point, compared to the high-end PDA phones of, say, HTC.

    Some (not all – see for example THIS) of the initial discussions talked about the new, high-end, 210-series being based on the PXA320 CPU, the best of the new, Marvel PXA3x0 series. This is why I really was looking forward to this device - after all, it would have been the very first VGA device to sport a PXA320.

    Currently, there is only one Windows Mobile model out there with the PXA320, the LG KC1, but it's just an, in my opinion, pretty much mediocre QVGA phone - really nothing to write home about (no 4†VGA and it’s Korean and WM5-only – and I don’t know of “hackedâ€, “cooked†ROM’s making it English – albeit I haven’t searched XDA-Devs for more info), except for the high (806 MHz) CPU clock, which can come VERY handy when running for example emulators like Masterall's excellent FinalBurn, the various SNES or GBA emulators or Mplayer playing back HTTP RealAudio streams, all requiring as much processing power as possible.

    Using the new PXA320 instead of the 310 would have been a decent decision. Not only because of the higher CPU clock (and, therefore, the higher maximal speed) and other goodies like the large(r) cache, but also because of the seemingly superior video decoding capabilities, which help a lot with decoding for example full (not just “plain†640-wide VGA), that is, PAL/NTSC-resolution (720 pixels wide) H.264 videos (please consult the just-linked H.264 Bible if you don’t but would like to understand this paragraph). Incidentally, the H.264 PXA320 is so powerful that it’s even rumored to be able to decode 720p (that is, 1280*720) H.264 videos on even an underpowered Pocket PC (!!) without problems. Quite a feat, isn’t it? Not that there would be any point in watching 1280*720 videos on a 640*480 (or, at most, 800*480) screen – let alone the huge storage requirements of these x264 files, which, in many cases, exceed the file size capabilities (4096 Mbytes at most) of the FAT32 file system used on current cards (because, initially, they were designed for NTFS or other file systems capable of much bigger files).

    However, HP’s decision for going with the clearly worse 310 is pretty much understandable (considering the price difference between the two CPU’s) and acceptable – as long as you resize & reconvert your H.264 videos to be no wider than 640 pixels. Then, assuming CorePlayer (the premium video player for all major mobile platforms) indeed, as is promised HERE, receives support for WMMX in version 1.2, you’ll see a dramatic increase in decoding efficiency of at least inferior video formats like MPEG-1 and MPEG-4 Part 2 (a.k.a. DivX / Xvid; not to be mistaken for the much more advanced H.264 / AVC!). This subject, by the way, is also thoroughly discussed HERE – I really recommend sonichedgehog360’s posts in there.

    Note that, currently, the CorePlayer folks only promise WMMX support (which, again, doesn’t help with decoding H.264). That is, no hardware H.264 decoding support has been announced. They have stated they will announce if and, if it’s possible at all, when this kind of support is added to CorePlayer after the release of CorePlayer 1.2. This means don’t run out to purchase the new iPAQ if you’re a H.264 buff: CorePlayer may not receive H.264 hardware decoding support at all.

    Of course, even if no H.264 hardware decoding support is added to CorePlayer, the new CPU platform is still vastly superior to the old, PXA270 platform. Just take a look at THIS and THIS (the PXA310 and PXA320 specs, respectively). Note that some of the online comparisons are plain useless. For example, the PXA310 quick summary HERE doesn’t even mention WMMX2 or H.264 hardware acceleration support (as opposed to the PXA320 quick summary HERE). The above-linked PDF files, on the other hand, contain much more dependable information.

    Otherwise, the device is pretty nice and the fact that it is no longer based on a touchpad (as opposed to the predecessor, the hx4700) makes it much more usable in everyday situations (for example, gaming, e-book reading or Web browsing using the D-pad). It also sports USB host capabilities, which, unfortunately, is a very-very rare feature among current Windows Mobile models and was REALLY useful on the Fujitsu-Siemens (RIP!) Pocket Loox series (for example, the most versatilye WM2003SE device ever, the Loox 720) and some other models like the Toshiba e750+ - and some current ones like the (otherwise, isn’t that nice) Toshiba G900.


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Emulation / gaming news (01/20/2008): great Worms / Atomic Cannon clone NanoBotz; Realms free; ScummVM updated etc

  1. Moregames Entertainment’s NanoBotz will soon be released!

    If you’re a fan of Worms and its clones and/or Atomic Cannon (of which I’ve reviewed the recently-released version 3 HERE), or, just like the previous titles of the developer (most importantly, Enslave, Azgard Defence and


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Emulation & gaming news: SmartGear with greatly enhanced NES compatibility; a Civ clone etc.

  1. I think it was worth asking the developer of SmartGear to go commercial; his excellent emulator has been further enhanced after the major upgrades (the touch screen tap zones) in the previous version reviewed HERE. Now, almost all the NES mappers (more on this in the NES Emulation Bible) have been implemented, resulting in tons of previously incompatible games becoming playable.

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1 GHz Qualcomm CPU in future handsets & coming Nokia N810-killer?

I'm not really into writing hardware news (I don't have the time for something that other tech writers / bloggers also elaborate on - instead, I prefer spending my time on tutorials, software reviews, Bibles and unique, genuine hacks instead), but the latest hardware news (reported on by Geek.com) is indeed pretty interesting and certainly shows there will be some REALLY exciting Windows Mobile devices in the (unfortunately, not very near: late 2008 / early 2009) future.


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The first generic answering machine for Windows Mobile released!

A lot of Windows Mobile users have been asking for answering machines for years. While it has long been available on competing mobile smartphone platforms (for example, Best Answering Machine for the pre-S60v3 Symbian), for Windows Mobile, so far (see THIS), there wasn’t a generic one - that is, one that wasn’t shipped along with a specific Pocket PC model only. (For example, the GIGABYTE gSmart i128 has such an answering machine.)

Of course, there have been many attempts at extracting the above-mentioned gSmart answering machine or the one in the O2 XDA Flame (I’m not entirely sure about the latter – see THIS) – without any success. Also, standalone answering machine development attempts (see for example THIS) have all failed.

Now, this seems to be changing: the first “real†answering machine has been released for WM Pocket PC’s. It still doesn’t seem to have a real homepage – for example, Google has found no occurrences of it anywhere. It’s only via a blog comment that I got known of it. The About screen (x51v screenshot HERE) only lists an email address of the author; that is, you’ll need to use e-mail to get more info.

Two screenshots of the incoming, recorded calls:


(HTC Universal)


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Great sound enhancer SRS WOW HD released for all Windows Mobile devices!

Anyone having had a O2 XDA Flame have already seen SRS WOW HD, which helps at both widening the stereo (a particularly useful technology on handsets with stereo speakers like the Flame, the HTC Wizard or the HTC Universal) and enhancing / modifying the sound in other ways as well. For example, it adds the, for lon-time audiophiles / Hi-Fi geeks, the well-known loudness-based bass control.

One of the reasons I love the Nokia N95 are the built-in, loud speakers with extremely good frequency response. In the N95, the built-in Music Player has a dedicated stereo widening mode, which can be en/disabled from inside the player:

Its results, when used together with the built-in stereo speakers, are simply phenomenal. It really widens their stereo, making listening to music via the built-in speakers a true pleasure (also taking the very good quality speakers into account, unmatched by any Windows Mobile device so far). This has been one of the main strengths of the N95.

Up until now, there wasn’t a generic, non-OEM, similar solution for Windows Mobile-based devices, except for the built-in applet in the already-mentioned O2 XDA Flame. The multimedia players available haven’t really supported stereo widening either, the only exception being Conduits’ excellent Pocket Player, which does support stereo widening at External Pitch/Echo/Stereo Wide DSP (listed as “DSP Stereo Example”). While it lets for the settable widening of the stereo:

it’s in no way as good as on the N95. It certainly makes the stereo a bit wider. No effect at all on mono sounds (as opposed to Nokia’s widening). (Note that, in Pocket Player, there’s another, similar DSP, but it doesn’t do any widening, just makes the center far quieter than the two sides. It’s, strangely, a bit more useful than the first DSP with the built-in speaker.)

Now, the plug-in that has only been available for the Flame has been released for the entire public. It can be installed on any WM5+ Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Edition. I’ve tested it with the following Pocket PC (phones):


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TUTORIAL: Listening to XM Radio on mobile devices

It was yesterday that I’ve explained how you can listen to Sirius, North America’s one of the two most widely listened-to radio network.

Listening to XM Radio, the other major US-based radio broadcasting company is equally easy on all mobile platforms (Windows Mobile, Symbian, Blackberry, iPhone etc.) Let’s take a look at what we have at our disposal.

1. If you have WMA playback support (currently, Windows Mobile only)

... then, just fire up your mobile browser (any browser capable of invoking external applications: Netfront, Internet Explorer or Opera Mobile; Opera Mini or Thunderhawk will NOT work!) and navigate to http://www.xstreamxm.com/mobile/. There, just fill in your login data, select the channel you’d like to listen to, the bitrate and click Go at the bottom:

after this, you’ll be shown the currently playing song title (the Web page is automatically refreshed every 5 second so the artist / title / album metadata is always kept up-to-date) and the default WMA player (by default, on Windows Mobile, the built-in Windows Media Player) is invoked in the background:


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