Windows Mobile Weekly Roundup

by Todd Ogasawara

Here's the weekly summary of a mix of Windows Mobile and general mobile tech related items from my personal blog.

Yahoo! Mobile: The Unsung Mobile Portal Page

Yahoo! MobileYahoo! Mobile gets no respect (with respect to the late Rodney Dangerfield). But, it should. Google Mobile gets a lot of press like most Google products. Microsoft's Live Mobile is in a design transition phase (and it really needs to sync up with MSNBC's mobile solution while it is at it). Yahoo! Mobile has a few beta-stage components. But, for the most part is a mature, simple to navigate, and content rich mobile portal site. It has much more content formatted for the small screen than either Google or Microsoft's mobile portals. It also has a simple and fast news interface that makes it easy to go from story to story even on a relatively slow GPRS or EDGE connection. It's only shortcoming compared to its two major competitors is that its web cookie does not stick properly on a Windows Mobile device. My login/password seems to be forgotten much more quickly after leaving the Yahoo! Mobile site. To be fair, Microsoft's Live Mobile seems to have a similar problem. Only Google's Mobile portable has the right amount of session stickyness. So, I find myself rarely using it on a QWERTY-less Smartphone while using it quite a lot on a Pocket PC (where login/password entry can be performed much faster).

If you haven't tried Yahoo! Mobile, head over to the following URL on your phone:

ActiveSync Info for an Old Pocket PC
Reader Phil Smith (in a comment to a previous blog item) asks: My wife has an HP IPAQ 1910 PDA, running the older version of ActiveSync that allows backups and restores. The battery died and it lost everything. Can you tell me what is the latest version of ActiveSync that includes backups and restores. Also, what is the extension on the backups. I have to hook up an old hard drive to find the backup and don't know what to look for.

I thought the response to this might be of enough general interest to merit its own blog item. So, here are my responses.

  • The most current production ActiveSync 4.2 actually provides Backup/Restore functions for pre-Windows Mobile 5 devices. It does not provide it for current generation Windows Mobile 5 devices though.
  • The extension for backup files created using ActiveSync's Backup/Restore feature is .stg. In fact, unless you chose something different the default backup filename is backup.stg.
  • Click -> ActiveSync 4.2 web page for the current version. Veresion 3.8 seems to have disappeared from Microsoft's site. So, if 4.2 doesn't work for you, you can find version 3.6 here -> ActiveSync 3.6.

US Copyright Office Gives Cell Phone Users the Right to Take Their Phone to a New Carrier
GSM users (e.g., those with service from Cingular or T-Mobile) have been able to get their phones unlocked reasonably easily to let them put a SIM card from a different carrier to change their service. CMDA phone users (e.g., those with service from Sprint PCS or Verizon Wireless) don't have SIM card that contain their identify and have had a more difficult time in moving their phone from one service to another.

CNN reports that...

Cell phone owners getting new rights

...that this is changing now that the Library of Congress Copyright Office ruled that Cell phone owners will be allowed to break software locks on their handsets in order to use them with competing carriers under new copyright rules announced Wednesday.

Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) 3.01 Firmware Upgrade
Sony released the Sony PSP 3.01 Firmware upgrade just days after the 3.0 release. The stated reason was to address a security vulnerability. I'll guess this translates to the 3.0 was cracked by PSP enthusiasts who like to run their own apps on the PSP.

Many of the new 3.0.x features tied into the recently release Sony Playstation 3 game console. It also adds the ability to access online (via WiFi) manuals for both the PSP and PS3. Support for a Sony USB camera is also in this upgrade. But, the camera is not available in the US as far as I can tell.

The most surprising thing about the upgrade to me is how long the download took over its 802.11b WiFi connection. I didn't time it with a stopwatch, but I believe it took well over an hour over a relatively fast broadband connection.