Windows Mobile Weekly Roundup

by Todd Ogasawara

HTC Advantage Flash Photos
HTC Advantage 7500 flash photo
A number of Windows Mobile camera phones have so-called camera flashes. But, that is a misnomer for the ones I've seen so far. They do not flash for a brief period to light up a photograhpic subject like real camera flashes. Instead, they light up and stay lit up until you manually turn off the light. In effect, they are flashlights. These camera flashlights do not have much of an effective distance. They do not do much good on objects more than a foot or two away. They can be useful sometimes, however. The photo on the left was taken in a relatively well lit restaurant using available light. The photo on the right was taken a moment later with a HTC Advantage 7500's Pocket PC Phone Edition's flash turned on. I think I instintively moved the Advantage a bit closer to get the light to shine as best as possible on the ice cream.
Pseudo-Sync Word Mobile & Word Excel with Google Docs
Google Docs
I've had issues with ActiveSync and WMDC in the past like many other people. So, I'm always looking for ways to avoid using AS (in Windows XP) and WMDC (in Windows Vista). If you are of a like opinion, you might find Google Mail (Gmail) and Google Docs might be a big help in moving Word Mobile and Excel Mobile files around.

Just mail the Word or Excel file to your Gmail account. It will auto-recognize the file type and give you the option to open the file in Google Docs. There is a brief period needed to transform the file to HTML. After that is done, you can edit the file in a Google Docs web app. If you want it back on your Pocket PC or Smartphone, just email it back to an address your Windows mobile device knows about.

Google Docs doesn't understand every Word or Excel formatting feature. But, if you keep your file formatting simple, you should be able to get a lot of mileage using your Windows Mobile device with Google Docs. And, you don't need ActiveSync or WMDC at any point.

BTW: Google can display PowerPoint files on the web too. Editing is supposed to be in the works, but I don't know when that feature will be available.
Call History Left-Right Nav Key Use
Try this on a Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone or Pocket PC (Standard or Professional Editions). Bring up your Call History list. Navigate to a call to/from a person who you know to have multiple phone numbers in your Contacts list. Then press the Left or Right navigation. It should rotate through the phone numbers for that contact. You can settle on one of the alternate numbers and call it instead of the number originally called from.

It worked on WM6 devices but did not seem to work on a WM5 Pocket PC Phone Edition.
imity Pocket Radar?
Anyone try this imity Pocket Radar? It is a kind of mobile social networking tool that uses Bluetooth on phones to identify nearby people with like interests. Unfortunately, its website does not seem to have any information about which devices (phones) are supported by this J2ME app. And, I'm too lazy to email them this evening :-)

It was released as an Open Source project. So, perhaps when I'm not feeling so lazy, I'll wander over to Google Code and check it out.
How to you Feel About Windows Mobile Upgrades?
I was just reading Jason Langridge's blog (Microsoft's Mr. Mobile) about a bunch of devices that have had announcements about the availability of an upgrade from Windows Mobile 5 to 6. One of the announcements was for the very cool HTC TyTn. But, apparently the upgrade is only available to HTC e-Club members who claimed someplace in or around the EU as their homebase. If you joined as a US-based member, no update is available. I'm guessing it has something to do with FCC clearances or some other such red-tape type reason. Fair enough.

But, it made me wonder what people think about regarding Windows Mobile devices and whether or not an upgrade is available. For example, I bought a T-Mobile Dash after the WM6 upgrade was announced for it. But, there is little hope for a WM6 upgrade for my i-Mate K-JAM. And, there is no hope for an upgrade for my T-Mobile SDA. Dell used to be pretty good about providing an upgrade path for at least one generation. HP was pretty spotty. For example, the iPAQ 2215 (the last iPAQ I bought with no plans to ever buy another HP iPAQ device) never had an upgrade path.

If your device is less than, say 24 months from its release (not necessarily when you purchased it), do you expect an upgrade path for it? Just wondering.
everythingiPhone Wiki: An iPhone Website You Can Contribute To
everythingiPhone wiki
I don't have an iPhone. I think what I really want is just an "i"... everything except the Phone part of the iPhone. That said, the iPhone is definitely a cool device. If you have a hankering to contribute to a website focused on it, here's one to take a look at...

everythingiPhone

It is built using the Wetpaint Wiki web service. So, I logged in with my Wetpaint account and, yep, I was allowed to edit pages that weren't locked.