Lots of news coming out of the Mobile World Congress.
Big news from Microsoft is the Windows Phone 7 Series announcement.
Throwing everything that has gone before, everything is brand new, and from first impressions this appears to be a good move from Microsoft and a response to the iPhone (and possibly Google’s Android too).
No more Start button, no more replicating the Windows desktop on a mobile device. I never thought that replicating the desktop on a mobile device was ever a sustainable idea. Yes those familiar with the desktop interface *may* find it comforting, but as I did with previous versions of Windows Mobile, once you get going with the mobile device the limitations of a desktop interface start to annoy you.
Apple decided with their iPhone (and with the new iPad) to specifically not replicate the OS X desktop interface, but use a new interface, one that works well and for most people is pretty intuitive.
So what else does Windows Phone 7 Series offer. It’s interface has many similarities with the Zune (the Microsoft music player that isn’t available in the UK). It’s been kept very simple, no gloss here, no shine, though transitions are smooth and elegant.
The world hasn’t passed Microsoft by, they have realised that the Xbox is popular with gamers and that social networking is quite a big thing. As a result both these features are embedded into the phone.
So how will this fare in the competitive marketplace for modern smartphones? We’ll have to wait and see…
Engadget, the gadget blog really doesn’t like Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system.
Still, some of us at Engadget (well, one of us, at least), feel like the folks in Redmond missed the mark by a longshot. Instead of demonstrating its technical prowess and vast resources, Microsoft limped out a half-hearted rehash of an OS we’ve seen all too much of, and managed to blind most onlookers with a storm of big time partnerships and bloated PR.
They go on to give ten reasons why Windows Mobile 6.5 misses the mark!
Read the article in full.
I will say that I am not a great fan of Windows Mobile, for many years I used an iPaq as a PDA, but recently (an Acer c530 for GPS and Satnav aside) I have been using either my Nokia phone or an iPod touch as my personal organiser.
I have been using Evernote for a while now.
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.
Now what I like about Evernote, is not only can you use it online from any web browser, they also have clients for OS X and Windows. If you have a Tablet PC you can even use your “Pen” to make notes too.
They also have a Windows Mobile client and one should also be available for the iPhone (and so the iPod touch) soon.
There is this video which helps explain things a little better.
Now from a learning perspective this could have real potential for learner in keeping all their electronic notes in one place. They won’t need to worry about if they are learning at home, in college, at work, whilst mobile or wherever they are.
Pen support means that those learners who prefer to write notes can, whilst those that prefer to type will be able to.
You can even add audio notes.
Well worth checking out, it use to be invite only, but as of yesterday it is now an open beta which means anyone can sign up.
Evernote is now in open beta! No more invitations required. Tell all your friends.
Find out more.
Adobe announced today that:
Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) today announced that Microsoft has licensed Adobe® Flash® Lite™ software, Adobe’s award-winning Flash Player runtime specifically designed for mobile devices, to enable web browsing of Flash Player compatible content within the Internet Explorer Mobile browser in future versions of Microsoft Windows Mobile phones. Microsoft has also licensed Adobe Reader® LE software for viewing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) documents including email attachments and web content. Both Adobe products will be made available to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide, who license Windows Mobile software.
Read the full press release here.
As part of our Glossy Project (part of the MoLeNET programme) we are looking at the differences between learners using their own devices and the college providing devices.
One particular lecturer was interested in using PDAs with GPS capability. After difficulties in finding a suitable product, in the end I went for a “cheap and cheerful” product, the Acer C530, this is a Windows Mobile device with GPS capabilty built in (through a large external aerial).
Summary of features
- 300MHz processor
- 64MB SDRAM / 128MB ROM
- 2.8 inch, TFT-LCD Touchscreen display with 320 x 240 QVGA resolution
- 108 x 58 x 16.8 mm / 122g
- Bluetooth® 1.2 / Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
- Integrated SiRF Star III LP GPS receiver
- CoPilot 6 Navigation Software with Full Maps of UK, Ireland & Western Europe
- Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system
- Full MS Office Mobile Suite
- Includes Window mount, AC & car charger, case
- EU map coverage: including UK and Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Benelux, Italy, Scandinavia (up to 100% coverage), Spain and Portugal, Russia (detailed coverage in Moscow and St. Petersburg).
The key thing with this device is that it has a rather small screen for what is quite a bulky device.
I was impressed it came with Pocket TV which is a much better application for playing back video than the included Mobile Windows Media Player which comes as standard with Windows Mobile.
So far all I have really done with the device is charge it up (well once I remembered to put the battery in it).
I have not yet managed to get the GPS working, but I know that is because I am indoors and GPS can be so flaky when you are indoors. In a previous life I had a TomTom GPS unit I used with my Sony Ericsson P910i phone and that never worked until I took it outdoors.
It’s raining, so I am not going outside.
The problem with GPS is that it kills the battery fast, so it’s nice to see that the box comes with an included car charger (not that our learners will be using that) but also that it can be charged via USB.
As for expandability it comes with a SD card slot which means at least I am not going to need to find another different memory card format as I seem to be having to do with phones.
Alas it doesn’t have sound recording capability which would have been nice, but then at the price it was much cheaper than more powerful PDA GPS options, currently £176 at Amazon which includes VAT.