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.

Happy New Year! Get Organized & More Out of Your PDA!
Fellow Microsoft Mobile Devices MVP Jaap van Ekris has an article to help you get started with 2007 on his site...

Get more out of your day using a PDA

The article focuses on maximizing what you get out of the PIM (Personal Information Management) and Communications features of your PDA.

After reading Jaap's article, you might want to consider visiting an article I wrote for last year...

Get Organized with Windows Mobile

In it I point you to some third party applications you can add to your Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone to organize your life in 2007.

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!

MobileViews iPod Troubleshooting Reference Page
Way back on May 11, 2006 (forever in Internet time), I posted a blog item on the MacDevCenter asking...

Cause for iPod nano Spontaneous Reset?

Although the cause of the problem is now known and resolved, this blog item continues to attract questions from people with, apparently, all kinds of iPod issues. It doesn't seem appropriate to use that blog item as some kind of general iPod issues forum (especially since there are other sites better suited and more focused on that topic). So, I put together a page here (look at the left side bar area under Pages) titled...

MobileViews iPod info help people find iPod troubleshooting information and discussion areas.

I've listed a small sampling of the questions my original blog item attracted on that page and will, as time permits, provide specific pointers for some or all of them. Hope this helps the various people with iPod issues that posted to my old blog item.

Flickr Popular Cameraphones List Missing Phones without Exif Data
If you scroll to the bottom of...

Flickr Camera Finder will find a list of popular cameraphones used to take photos submitted to Flickr. In a list of 5 there are 2 Nokia phone models and 3 Sony Ericsson phone models. One would guess that these phones are listed because they all have good cameras (for a cameraphone). But, I began to wonder why there were more Sony Ericssons since Nokia claims to make the most digital cameras in the world. Shouldn't Nokia have a slight edge just based on total cameraphones sold? Ok, maybe not. The next question was why no Windows Mobile Smartphone had made the list. They seem to be selling well. I submit photos from my Windows Mobile Smartphone (a T-Mobile SDA at the moment) to Flickr. So, I know it can submit photos.

One possible reason may be that many popular cameraphones do not provide EXIF data in their photos. I took a look at photos from a number of phones I've used over the last couple of years and noticed that photos taken with the Nokia 3650 (Symbian), Motorola MPx220 (WM2003), and T-Mobile SDA (WM2005) all lack EXIF data in the JPEG files. Photos taken using an i-Mate JasJar and i-Mate K-JAM Windows Mobile 5 Phone Edition devices did have EXIF data in their JPEG image files.

So, it may be this lack of EXIF photo identifying information may be the reason why some very popular phones will never be listed in social network sites collecting camera model information. Too bad.

Akihabara News Mobile Display Format is Back
Akihabara is the part of Tokyo known as Electric City where nearly every floor of every store is crammed with electronic goodies.. Every gadget geek should try to make a pilgrimage there at least once in a lifetime. You'll see things in Akihabara, and Japan in general, that never get outside of Japan and is miles ahead of what we see in places like the U.S. A good way to keep up with the goings-on there is to read...

Akihabara News

...which has news and commentary in the English language. A recent redesign lost the PDA formatted pages. But, fortunately, a tweak to their new design restored it. And, the announcement specifically states that: AkihabaraNews Mobile was designed for Windows Mobile 5 (and previous versions). Just use the link above on your Pocket PC Phone Edition or Smartphone. It automatically detects the PIE browser and reformats the page appropriately.

You can find an article I wrote for O'Reilly's MacDevCenter about my trip to Japan back in 2005 to get an idea of what a tech geek can expect when visiting that amazing country.

Japan Primer for the Mac Techno-Tourist

Windows Mobile Email: Which One Works Best?
Windows Mobile Pocket PC (Phone Edition) and Smartphone users have at least six broad techniques to work with email. The problem is finding one that works the way you do (or would like to).

  • Microsoft Outlook Sync: This is the way most of us used to deal with email on Pocket PCs in the old days. Unfortunately, this tethers us to the PC running Outlook. There was some relief in the ability to use ActiveSync over WiFi until that option was removed with the introduction of Windows Mobile 5 and ActiveSync 4.
  • Microsoft Exchange Server: If you are fortunate enough to have a mobile-enabled Exchange server and support staff help you with your device, this is a pretty good option. But, I suspect that this is not an option for many of us. There are some web/mail host services that provide Exchange Server services to individuals, however.
  • Proprietary Client: A number of these are popping up these days. Good Technology for enterprise solutions probably comes to mind. But, there are also add-on clients from Google and Microsoft itself. I'm not a fan of this solution. It is just one more piece of software to take up valuable RAM space on my Pocket PC or Smartphone. And, it is redundant since we already have Inbox.
  • Webmail: This is an if-fy area. Some work, some kind-of work, and some just don't work at all. Of the big three (Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!), I like Yahoo!'s mobile web email solution the best. However, it is also the only one that does not have session persistence. So, I am forever slowly and painfully entering my account name and password.
  • POP3: Windows Mobile Inbox retrieves POP3 email fairly well. The problem is that email maangement doesn't seem to work (at least for me). Deleting email does not delete from the server (though some people say it deletes things they want to keep). Sent mail is not saved. And, if you like to keep lots of email on the server, don't try to send email from Windows Mobile Inbox using SMTP. Everytime you try to send email, Inbox will try to check all the POP3 email first (hundreds or thousands of messages) before sending email out through the SMTP gateway. Google's Gmail provides POP3 support. Yahoo! provides POP3 support if you upgrade to Yahoo! Mail Plus for $19.95/year. And, I still have no idea what happened to Microsoft's Hotmail/Live Mail. It kind of sort of works with Inbox. But, it doesn't look like POP3 to me.
  • IMAP4: This work moderately well though delete and savings sent mail doesn't work for me. However, sending mail using SMTP works as expected (mail goes out without rechecking the server's incoming mail again). This is my personal preference for Windows Mobile email service.

GSPlayer: Free Audio Player for Pocket PC
I'm going to try to find and mention at least one freeware or Open Source application each week. No shareware, trialware, etc. Just no strings attached stuff (maybe an online registration required now and then). Here's the first one for 2007...

GreenSoftware GSPlayer

This Open Source audio player for the Windows Mobile Pocket PC can play a number of formats including MP3 (of course), Ogg Vorbis, and SHOUTcast streaming. It also has a 10-band equalizer for MP3 playback and a sleep timer among other features.