Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Amazon released Kindle e-book reader

Amazon just announced that they've developed and are selling their own e-book reader, a device aimed at providing a truly book-like experience reading e-books.

The most in-depth review so far is here in Time Magazine.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Make a recharger from Gatorade and an onion

Can't resist posting this: How to recharge an iPod (or presumably other devices) from Gatorade and an onion:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

HTC TyTN 2 review and differences

There's an interesting review of the HTC TyTN II here:


It's also now been announced by AT&T in the USA, called the AT&T Tilt, here:

Looking at the high points, the basic specs are:

TyTN II Hardware Specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6
  • Tilted 2.8” 240*320 QVGA touch screen
  • Sliding QWERTY keyboard
  • built-in GPS
  • 3 mega-pixel auto focus camera
  • VGA camera for 3G/UMTS video-calling
  • HTC Home menu screen
  • Tri-band UMTS with Quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge
  • HSDPA up to 3.6 Mbps HSUPA
  • ROM 256MB and RAM 128MB
  • 360 degree 3 way jog wheel paired with OK button
  • microSD card slot
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g , Bluetooth 2.0
  • TouchFLO Technology

The biggest differences from the HTC TyTN (first model) seem to be GPS, TouchFLO technology (although not as complete as on the HTC Touch), Windows Mobile 6, improved camera (3mp with autofocus), faster data connectivity (HSDPA/HSUPA), and the keyboard tilt.

IMHO, the most important of these are GPS, TouchFLO, and camera quality. GPS is simply nice to have, the the review goes into some detail there. Camera quality is important, since I've written before that the TyTN has limitations as an always-with-you camera. As for TouchFlo, it's not clear now much they've included, but any improvements to the interface are good.

Enjoy! Comments welcome, especially links to additional info on the new device!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New TyTN 2 video from another blog

This just in from Tracy and Matt's blog, a good blog for early coverage of new projects:

The new HTC TyTN 2 has arrived to the market.

This video doesn't show it being used, but shows what it looks like coming out of the box.

I'll post more here when there's coverage of the device in action...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

HTC TyTN 2 details released

HTCclub released specifications (here) for the HTC TyTN II, but then took them down at HTC's request.
But bloggers such as MobilitySite write (here) that the device will include the HTC Touch's TouchFlo technology, and built-in GPS.
Other less important features (in my opinion) include a 3mp camera and a business card scanner.
Looks nice!

Funny parody of Microsoft zunePhone

Very amusing, thought you'd all enjoy this...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Second iPhone look: one-handed multi-touch

I just posted a second iPhone clip on YouTube here. While the speed and graphics still seem amazing to me, it's worth noting the difficulty I had with multi-touch when using one hand.

Bottom line, I'll stick with my TyTN for now. Although I'm curious about a future HTC Touch with touch interface on a TyTN... (come on, HTC, let's see it...)


Sunday, July 08, 2007

A TyTN-user's perspective on the iPhone

I saw an iPhone last week in an Apple Store in the USA, and I have to say I'm impressed. But not interested in buying one.

I put a short video clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN1ngdB3S5g

Technically, the biggest deal about the iPhone is the quality of the graphics, not just the resolution, but the amazing speed of response. Scrolling feels like scrolling, 3d effects look fantastic. Screen response is instantaneous. And let's face it, on my TyTN and on other Windows Mobile machines I've seen, it's nowhere near as good.

Most other cool features are a consequence of this -- multi-touch, touch-and-rub scrolling, and so on. The soft keyboard is very cool with pop-up balloon-letters showing what you've typed. And the zooming browser is nice. All are consequences of blinding-fast high-resolution graphics.

But I'm not interested in buying one, because I like the TyTN's keyboard too much, and also like 3g connectivity too much. But if HTC can come out with a version of the HTC Touch with graphics as high-resolution and quick-response as the iPhone, with the HTC-style keyboard and 3-g, I'll be very tempted.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yahoo OneSearch - very good but not revolutionary

I just tried Yahoo's OneSearch mobile search system at http://m.yahoo.com

In general, it seems like a decent mobile search system. But it doesn't seem anywhere near as revolutionary as they describe in articles like this and this. When I put in a search query, I got a list of links. It was a well-structured list of links, roughly 3 screens of scrolling on my TyTN, combining web links, mobile web links, pictures, etc. But it wasn't what they claim, which is "instant answers with no need to sift through a bunch of links."

To be clear, I bookmarked it, and I think it's a good mobile search system. But when they build it up with the "get answers instead of links" kind of pitch, it's disappointing when they don't deliver what they pitch, even if what they delivered is good.

The URL above also has links to Yahoo's other mobile systems, such as mail, address book, calendar, directions, financial info, etc.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mobile webmail on TyTN and other Windows Mobile devices

I've been impressed lately with the improved quality of webmail interfaces for the TyTN and other mobile web browsers.

For my primary e-mail account I definitely prefer POP3, but for other addresses that I don't use as often, or if I want to selectively delete messages from the server, the mobile browser based webmail systems are getting much better.

Yahoo: http://us.wap.yahoo.com/p/mail?_dm=0
Hotmail: http://www.hotmail.com (redirects)
GMail: http://gmail.com/

there's also mobile browser access to MSN messenger and other MSN services at:

Getting better and better!

Comments welcome...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Yahoo Go now on TyTN and other HTC Windows Mobile 5 devices

Yahoo and HTC just announced Yahoo Go mobile application suite for HTC Windows Mobile devices. An article from NewsFactor is below.

More information about Yahoo Go is available by clicking here.

News articles claim that the biggest use will be for e-mail. I use Yahoo e-mail through my TyTN's regular POP mail client, and while I've thought of using another client, I'm curious what advantage there will be to reading Yahoo e-mail through Yahoo Go.

Comments welcome.

Yahoo and HTC Ink Windows Mobile Deal
By Elizabeth Millard - March 7, 2007 9:50AM

Yahoo's partnership with HTC, the result of which will put Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 on millions of Windows Mobile smartphones, will come as great news for those looking to access Yahoo while on the move. Of all the Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 services, it is likely that the most compelling will be e-mail, said IDC senior analyst Chris Hazelton.

Yahoo has struck a deal with High Tech Computer (HTC), a Taiwan-based provider of Windows Mobile smart devices. The partnership will lead to HTC preloading and distributing Yahoo's mobile software on millions of HTC products.

Yahoo's mobile services include mail and search, as well as Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0, an application that lets users personalize their devices with Web content. Customers using the HTC devices will be able to create personal channels for e-mail, maps, news, sports, finance, photo sharing, search, and entertainment through the use of widgets.

In addition to announcing the deal with HTC and effectively landing on many Windows Mobile-based devices, Yahoo is aggressively touting the benefits of its Go 2.0 software.

Go Go Gadget

The company noted that expanding the service to Windows Mobile will allow consumers to use it on 75 different devices from various manufacturers. In total, the service will be supported by more than 175 mobile phone models, according to Yahoo.

Earlier this year, Yahoo noted that it had inked deals with other mobile handset makers, including Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and LG Electronics.

Consumers have been asking for Go 2.0 for Windows Mobile devices since the service launched two months ago, said Marco Boerries, senior vice president of connected life at Yahoo, in a statement.

Key features of Go 2.0 include oneSearch, an application designed to recognize the intent of a search query and produce results grouped by subject. A Local & Maps widget gives access to directory information for U.S. businesses, and a Flickr widget lets consumers share photos more easily.

Mail Call

Of all the Go 2.0 services, it is likely that the most compelling for consumers will be e-mail, said IDC senior analyst Chris Hazelton. "Mobile e-mail has been more of an enterprise play, but with this move by Yahoo, it will be pushing e-mail to consumers," he said. "Mobile e-mail for consumers has become the killer app."

Currently, on mobile devices, users can get e-mail by accessing the Internet, he added. Yahoo's service will allow consumers to get e-mail pushed to them directly rather than having to go through those extra steps. E-mail could also become more popular for consumers who are avid about text messaging, Hazelton said.

"Text messaging is a whole other animal," he said. "Often, users are getting charged per message, if they don't have unlimited plans. That's something mobile operators are not willing to reprice because they're making so much money. But for users, doing e-mail is a way around that."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sundance short films made for mobile devices

The Sundance Film Institute commissioned six independent film makers to create short films made specifically for mobile devices. The films were released last week at the 3GSM conference in Spain.

A promotional video for the project is here, and a CNET article on the project is here.

Sundance set up a system for downloading the films to mobile phones by sending an SMS message with the word "FILM" to +44-762-480-7811. But when I tried this from my TyTN, I was unable to download the films over the link that I received in return. If anyone is able to access the films through Sundance's system on their TyTN or other Windows Mobile device, please post details as a comment to this message.

After a little effort I found the following URLs for accessing the films directly, which you can enter in your device's browser:

A Slip in Time: http://e-clips.mobi/zr/videos/A_Slip_in_Time_15471.3gp
Learning to Skateboard: http://e-clips.mobi/zr/videos/Skateboard_15479.3gp
La Revolucion: http://e-clips.mobi/zr/videos/La_Revolucion_de_Iguodala_15475.3gp
King Tiny (dog): http://e-clips.mobi/zr/videos/King_Tiny_15474.3gp
Reno: http://e-clips.mobi/zr/videos/Reno_15478.3gp

But do try their SMS system also, and tell me in a blog comment whether it works for you.


Monday, February 05, 2007

GPS built-in but deactivated on TyTN ??

As this comment points out, it appears that HTC TyTNs (and other devices as well) include some of the hardware needed for GPS (location tracking). Several tech blog groups are actively working on getting this working, but so far it appears that it can't be done as the devices exist.

The most active discussions on this appear to be:

If anyone knows more about this, comments welcome!

How to delete e-mail in WM5 (TyTN etc)

Following up on my previous messages about deleting e-mail on my TyTN, I've now confirmed how to handle e-mail on a WM5 device without accidentally deleting mail off the mail server.

To recap the problem, if you use your WM5 device like I do, to read e-mail on the road that you generally read over webmail, if you delete e-mail on the device but want to keep it on the server (eg, if it's not something you can read or handle on the device, do you want it out of your device's inbox, but still want to read/handle the message over webmail when you're on a computer), it will be deleted from the server when you empty your deleted items folder on the device.

THE SOLUTION: Never empty the deleted items folder on the device. Instead, if you set your mail on the device to only show messages received in the past X days (I set it to 7 days), periodically go into your deleted items folder and move all messages older than X days back to your Inbox, then do a send/receive. When you do the send/receive, the messages will be removed from your Inbox because they're older than X days old, but they will not be deleted on the server, since they're still in your inbox. I've tried this, and the messages definitely disappear from the device but not the server. But never empty deleted items, that will delete them off the server.

The right solution, of course, would be for Microsoft to have a setting whether or not to delete from server when emptying deleted items folder, like they do on Outlook and Outlook Express.

The other solution is to use another e-mail client on the device. I plan to try this, since I'd also like an e-mail client that shows HTML e-mails (rich text), but I haven't tried any yet. If anyone has e-mail clients to recommend, please post them here as a comment.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cute Google Labs sites run well on TyTN

I just came across a very cute system developed by Google Labs called Google Sets, at http://labs.google.com/sets Basically, you type in a few examples of something, and it gives you suggestions of other things that are similar. The interface is simple and looks very good on a TyTN-sized screen, and runs well over Wi-Fi or 3g. (Presumably it'll be equally good on a K-JAM or other cellular PDA.)

As a test, in a video rental store I typed in Mission Impossible, Die Hard, Beverly Hills Cop, and Star Wars, and pressed "go." It gave me back recommendations of Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, Terminator, Top Gun, and more. Some were less appropriate, like Friday the 13th, but most were in the ballpark.

Yes, I know that there are other sites for movie recommendations. But this seems to be built to do recommendations of anything (in theory), and it's done very well for a TyTN-sized screen and 3g bandwidth.

They also have a version of Froogle, their shopping system, running on cellphones, at http://wml.froogle.com/ Comparison shopping is near and dear to my heart, since I developed the first comparison shopping system (BargainFinder) years ago. So you can compare prices on your TyTN or other cellphone on the road. (But it's less useful to me here in Israel.)


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Answer regarding my e-mail deleting problem

Regarding my problem of e-mail deleted on the device being deleted from the server (here and here), I got the following answer from someone at Microsoft, on a newsgroup:

Unfortunately there is no way to achieve this in WM5. We are considering
this feature for future releases.

The closest you can get right now is to use Empty Deleted Items = Manually, but of course deleted messages pile up on your device, and they will be deleted from the server once you try to remove them. It sounds like you've already tried this and it's still unacceptable.

Hopefully this doesn't make your device completely useless...

Have you considered some of the 3rd party email clients available for WM5?
Power users such as yourself might enjoy the finer grain customization
possible with some of these 3rd party apps.

The best bet seems to be a third-party app. I wonder if any third-party e-mail apps also support HTML e-mail etc. If anyone has one to recommend, please leave a note here as a comment.

In the meantime, I understand that I can delete things on the device and they'll be fine as long as I don't empty the deleted items folder. I think that I can then move all deleted items older than 7 days back to Inbox, which I've set to show only the past 7 days, and they should disappear on the device without being deleted on the server. I'll have to wait 7 days to try this, I'll let everyone know then how it works. (IT WORKS, READ MY FOLLOWUP HERE.)

Monday, January 29, 2007

More on TyTN deleting email from server

This is really bad. Based on some hunting around the web, I tried emptying my POP email deleted items folder when disconnected, and then connecting and doing a send/receive, and when doing the send/receive it deleted from the server all the messages that had been purged when disconnected.

I use webmail for my main e-mail use, and only want the device for remote access. That said, I want to be able to look at an inbox of significant items without seeing dozens of things that I want to read only on the Web. I need the ability to delete from my device's inbox without deleting from the server.

Any ideas anyone?

Deleting e-mail on server!

I just discovered that my TyTN is deleting mail on my mail server whenever I empty the deleted items folder on the TyTN.

This is an option that can be turned on or off on the regular Outlook client, but I can't find a way to turn it off on the TyTN.

I think that this is absolutely crazy. Since the TyTN will never be my primary e-mail reader, I certainly don't mean for anything I do on my TyTN to delete mail on the server. I delete something on the TyTN whenever I don't want it on the TyTN, not necessarily when I don't want it anywhere.

If anyone knows anything about this, particularly how to turn this feature off, PLEASE leave a blog comment!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Register article on YouTube and TinyTube

It's always fun to scoop the Register, since they're usually up on things that are happening. They've just now reported what I wrote a few weeks ago, about YouTube blocking TinyTube because of the Verizon deal.

In the meantime, there are other systems out there for converting YouTube and Google videos to mobile format. But none are as easy to use as TinyTube.

(Note: if you like this blog, you can subscribe at http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=148293 )

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

TyTN (WM5) software I'm planning to check out

Here's the top of my list of software to check out soon on my TyTN:

  1. The new updated version of Skype Mobile (version 2.2 beta)
  2. CoolCamera program for better video capture

Anyone tried either of these? Anyone know of other software for the TyTN that should be on the list? (Serious and very useful stuff only) Feel free to leave blog comments here.

I'll post reviews of these after I try them out, hopefully soon!

NOTE: While I'm writing, I'll mention that you can now receive updates to this blog by e-mail, by subscribing at http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=148293


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

YouTube confirms YouTube mobile was broken, and now fixed

I just got two messages from YouTube support, in response to all my complaints about YouTube Mobile not working, saying that it was indeed broken but is now fixed:

It seems like the issue you were having was related to a temporary problem with
our website. Mobile uploads should be working correctly now.
Please try again now, and it should work just fine!
Aaron T.
The YouTube Team

We did have some issues regarding mobile uploads and these issues should have been fixed. You may want to try uploading again and if it continues to fail, you may also want to try creating a new mobile upload profile.
If you continue to experience problems, please reply to this email and let us know! Please also let us know who your cell phone provider is.
Best Regards,
The YouTube Team

This fits my experience that YouTube Mobile is now working.

Of course, this happened before that it was broken, then fixed, then broke again, so I hope it keeps working this time!

Bottom line, submitting videos directly from a TyTN or other connected PDA should work fine. Enjoy!


Friday, January 05, 2007

YouTube Mobile working again (for now...)

After being down and back up and then down again, YouTube Mobile appears to be working for e-mail video submissions. As I said before, it's great when it works, but with all the up and down, it's hard to believe it will last long.

ESPECIALLY because after sending in lots of messages to their support team, I received today messages about all my submissions in the past 2 weeks, saying only that they'd been received. On my account I see all three are there, with two marked as duplicates of the first which is in the system. No message acknowledging a problem and saying it's fixed.

So for now, enjoy it while it works...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

YouTube Mobile still not working

As I said earlier, YouTube Mobile isn't working when videos are submitted by e-mail. I've submitted this several times to YouTube help, with no response.

Several blog readers have commented to me that it's not working for them. Is it working for anyone? Has anyone tried it via MMS?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

TyTN WLAN WEP 40 or 128 bit

I've been using my TyTN on a wireless network with security (WEP) based on a 40 bit key (10 hex characters) for months, but just now tried to connect to an office wireless lan that uses 128 bit security. I can't get the TyTN to connect. Has anyone else managed to connect their TyTN with a 128 bit key? I'm not sure if the problem is with the key or with something else.

Thanks for any comments that anyone can add about this.