Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Plazes - a small step towards location-based mobile presence

I just started checking out Plazes, a small company that Nokia just acquired. In general their service is about the same as Twitter, giving the ability to enter (by web or SMS) a quick update of what you're doing. The difference is that they work hard to tag each update with a location.

Yesterday I sent in an SMS update saying "Playing with plazes @ STRI" where STRI is the shorthand for the office I work in. Within a few seconds the following appeared as my status:

It had my status as "Playing with plazes" but more importantly gave me a location: It parsed out the location after the @ sign, compared it to the locations that I had defined previously on the Web, and gave me map coordinates in a town in Israel.

For some reason there's no map of that town at the resolution they're showing, but that's another thing. The key point here is that they've geo-tagged me from a simple SMS.

I assume that this feature will soon be incorporated into other mobile blogging systems, including Twitter, Facebook, and Blogger. In the meantime, check it out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sony Ericsson rumored buying HTC

Rumours of a Possible Sony Ericsson Purchase of Taiwan's HTC

There are a series of unconfirmed reports that Sony Ericsson may be about to announce the purchase of Taiwan based smartphone manufacturer, High Tech Computer - or HTC. The reports are selective, ranging from a short article in a Swedish newspaper, Elektronik Tidningen to various reports of meetings with HTC being cancelled at short notice and without explanation, and although business meeting cancellations are not uncommon an excuse is usually provided.

HTC is best known for its range of smartphones and being an early developer of Windows based smartphones, although the history of how it leapt into that market is controversial. The company, which initially focused on operator branded handsets has been building up its own profile recently and started selling phones directly under the HTC brand name. The company is also reportedly working on an Android-based phone, dubbed the Dream, that will be on the market by the end of 2008.

HTC has denied the rumours, saying that they "have no truth". However, early last year, Peter Chou the company CEO did say that he thought that Sony Ericsson would make for a good partner should an acquisition occur.

Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1 will be manufactured by HTC - and will be the company's first Windows Mobile smartphone. The company has traditionally stuck with Symbian based smartphones.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

HTC Touch Pro pictures

HTC Touch Pro - announced but not yet available

Touch Pro Press release
HTC Touch Pro Bridges Mobile Work With Mobile Play

Taipei, Taiwan - June 4, 2008 - HTC Corp., a global leader in mobile phone innovation and design, today unveiled its advanced next generation business phone, the HTC Touch ProTM. Bringing a beautiful new angle to mobile business productivity, the HTC Touch Pro utilizes similar styling and functionality of the highly anticipated Touch DiamondTM and introduces a variety of business-focused enhancements that make getting work done on the go quick and easy.

“The HTC Touch Pro and Touch Diamond have created a new generation of HTC touch devices that make the promise of the one-hand, one-touch mobile Internet a reality,” said Peter Chou, president and CEO, HTC Corp. “HTC Touch Pro is for those customers that demand the ease of use and enjoyment of TouchFLOTM 3D and want the styling of the Touch Diamond but also need the powerful mobile business experience that HTC delivers.”

A New Dimension To Touch - One hand, one touch

HTC has taken a great leap forward in touch screen innovation with its 3D touch interface called TouchFLO 3D. TouchFLO 3D provides a stunningly intuitive way to zip through common tasks like messaging, calendar appointments or making calls with just one touch. Delve a little deeper to find that your music, photos, contacts and surfing the web are also responsive to the touch. In addition, the Touch Pro includes a new innovative touch-sensitive control for device interaction.

Making The Mobile Internet Useful and Fun

With the introduction of Touch Diamond and Touch Pro, HTC delivers an entirely new mobile Internet experience that utilizes broadband-like speeds with HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA wireless connectivity. Committed to improving Web browsing, HTC provides a new customized mobile Web browser that enables easy viewing and effortless navigation of Websites in the way they are designed to be viewed on a PC. As part of this browsing experience users can zoom and pan Websites with one-hand and automatically view optimized content that has been specially created to fit the display. Turning the device sideways automatically rotates the web page view from a portrait to landscape view.

In addition to Web browsing, the Touch Pro includes an HTC-developed, YouTube application for watching a variety of user generated video content as well as including Google Maps for mobile for mapping and traffic data.

Unmatched Style With Complete Productivity

Like the Touch Diamond, Touch Pro is crafted with precision to fit comfortably in a user’s hand and brings together elegant touch screen response with the direct precision of HTC’s trademark sliding keyboard design. Introducing a new five-row QWERTY keyboard layout that makes typing-intensive tasks like composing email or working on Microsoft Office® documents quick and easy. Built-in TV-out functionality means users can deliver the perfect PowerPoint® presentation from the Touch Pro.

Bursting with Innovation

The Touch Pro delivers an unrivalled combination of features and functionality. The 2.8 inch display provides near-print quality viewing that enables beautiful Web browsing and viewing of photographs. The built-in camera includes an optical auto-focus lens that ensures the photos you take will be clear and consistent. Advanced wireless and auto sensor screen pivoting are just a few of the features that make the Touch Pro experience a stand out.

AvailabilityThe HTC Touch Pro will be available to customers across all major European, Asian and the Middle East markets in late summer. The North American and Latin American versions of Touch Pro will be available later in 2008.

Key HTC Touch Pro Specifications:

  • Size: 102 x 51 x 18.05mm
    Weight: 165 g
    Connectivity: WCDMA / HSPA: 900/2100MHz. HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA
    Operating system: Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
    Display: 2.8-inch VGA touch screen
    Camera: 3.2MP, with video calling
    Internal memory: 512 MB flash, 288 MB RAM
    Expansion Slot: microSDTM memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
    Keyboard: Slide-out 5 row QWERTY keyboard
    Bluetooth: 2.0 with EDR
    Wireless: WiFi 802.11b/g
    Interface: HTC ExtUSB (mini-USB and audio jack in one; USB 2.0 High-Speed)
    Battery: 1350 mAh
    Talk time: GSM: up to 8 hours
    Standby time: GSM: up to two-weeks
    Chipset: Qualcomm® MSM 7201A 528MHz