Windows Mobile Weekly Roundup

by Todd Ogasawara

Ilium Screen Capture Tip for Smartphone Users
Ilium Screen Capture
Small tip for Windows Mobile smartphone (uh, Standard Edition) users who use Ilium Software great (and FREE) Screen Capture utility. The default capture key for the smartphone version (it also works fine on a Pocket PC/Professional Edition) is the asterisk (*). However, if you have a non-clamshell phone (T-Mobile Dash, Vox, etc.), the key sequence to unlock a keyboard locked phone is Left-softkey Asterisk. So, if you forgot that you have it running, you can't unlock the phone after locking the keyboard (press and hold the End Call key). Fortunately, Ilium provided options for this utility. If you press the Menu key (right soft button), thre is an option to change the screen capture key. I set it to the pound sign (#). But, you might prefer something else. This optional change also seems to stick. So, you only have to make the change once.


Cell View Tip for WM6 Standard Editon (Smartphone)
Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition Excel Mobile cell view
Excel Mobile for Windows Mobile Standard Edition (formerly Smartphone - no touch screen) is quite different from the Professional Edition (AKA Pocket PC Phone Edition). In general it has much fewer features than the Pocket PC version. However, it does have a few unique and useful features.

For example, if you navigate to a cell that contains more text (or numbers) than the cell can display, just press the phone's select button on the navigation rose and it will pop the entire contents of that cell into a zoomed highlighted cell view.


Thinkoutside Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard Works with WM6 Standard Edition
Just a quick note. The Thinkoutside website doesn't specifically list the HTC Vox Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition (AKA Smartphone) as a supported device for the Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard for PDA. But, I installed the WM5 Smartphone driver for the keyboard on the Vox this evening and it seems to work fine.

The configuration utility even dealt with the incompatibility between the built-in Bluetooth HID profile and let me disable from a menu. It then enabled its own profile and let me setup usage with the keyboard.

I sent a test email over WiFi (no SIM card in the Vox to make sure it didn't go out over EDGE instead) with the Bluetooth connected to the keyboard to make sure that both those radios could work simultaneously while using the keyboard.

Glad to see all this works with Windows Mobile 6.


Enterprises Just Don't Get It
My little rant about Gerardo Dada's MSDN blog item about Windows Mobile email support (or lack thereof) in business environments came to mind again when I read this item in InfoWorld...

Mobile workers still struggling with security

The issue of mobile device support (or any kind, not just Windows Mobile based ones) is, in the mind of many businesses, it seems reminiscent of the mindset surrounding the Apple II (1977) and IBM PC (1981) timeframe through, well, now in many cases. You still see businesses without any desktop/notebook disaster recovery/business continuity plans (or even regular backups of their desktops). And, you still see a total lack of mobile technology policies, support, and integration in businesses. Email, of course, is a huge part of the mobile device infrastructure. If you ask a Blackberry user, it is the only reason to carry a mobile device.

But, for a lot of us, it is not just email. There is value in the Contacts list, Calendar list, documents and other files stored on the mobile device. Does your firm have a remote device kill process in place if you device is lost or stolen? Does it have a continuance process replace your device and keep you working on the go? What about device encryption policies?

Sure some of you can raise your hand. And, you'll probably grumble about the need to enter a PIN everytime you want to you your device (I'm not a fan of that either). But, I'll guess the vast majority of us still buy and own our own mobile device and have no practice in place for our work related activities on this device. I tend to keep my day-job related items off of my WiMo phone... um... except for contacts, calendar, tasks, and, oh well... Welcome to 1980... Hey, that VisiCalc thing on the Apple II looks really cool. Wonder if would be useful in the office...


Google Mobile Summer Traffic Rises 35%
The MobileCrunch article...

Unexpected Surge in Google Mobile this Summer

...reports that Google mobile traffic went up 35% this summer instead of down as it (and regular Google traffic) normally does during the summer (vacation) months. I wonder if the Apple iPhone (which automatically uses some Google mobile services) is a big factor in this rise. Whatever the reason, it is good indicator that mobile data use is on the upswing.


Once Again: The Value of a Camera Phone
Camera phone photo
I took part of the afternoon off to attend a function for parents and students at my daughter's school. And, sigh, I forgot to bring my digital camera (a Canon PowerShot A710IS). Fortunately, I always carry one or two Windows Mobile devices with integrated cameras. Today I had an HTC Advantage Pocket PC Phone Edition that happens to have a pretty decent lens and a 3 megapixel resolution. So, I was able to squeeze off a couple of photos at the school.

Now, are these photos as nice as ones that a decent point-and-shoot like my Canon would have taken? Not really. Are they better than nothing and pretty decent looking (good enough for a 4×6 print)? You bet! Thank goodness for cameraphones.


A Tale of Two (USB) Cables
USB cables
According to Wikipedia, USB 1.0 emerged in 1995 and 2.0 in 2000. You would think after all these years, its operation should be dirt simple and flawless (although I guess you would think ActiveSync/WMDC would have its act together after 11 years too). So, USB's finickyness always amazes. Take the two cables pictured above. You would think they would be pretty similar. And, in fact, for the most part they are. The exception is when I try to use the white cable with an HTC Vox smartphone and try to sync it to WMDC on Windows Vista. Windows reports that it sees a USB device but can't identify. Switching to the black cable solves the problem. And, yet, the white cable works for other functions and devices.

And there's more USB-wise. Most of us know by now that there is a difference between powered and unpowered USB hubs. Windows Mobile users also generally know not to use any hub at all when upgrading firmware (plug in directly to the PC's native USB port). But, did you know that the front ports sometimes deliver less power than the rear ports? This makes a difference to devices that draw a lot of power (e.g., USB hard drives powered through the port).

So, if you run into sync or other USB related issues, be sure to check all the variables you can: Cable, port position, unpowered vs. powered hub, front port vs. rear port, and whatever other USB variable you can manipulate.

2 Comments

james
2007-08-28 01:14:01
Excel Mobile for Windows Mobile Standard Edition .where can i buy this. i have SPV500.
Todd Ogasawara
2007-08-28 01:21:00
James: Excel Mobilefor Windows Mobile Standard Edition comes integrated into Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition and Professional Edition (Classic also) smartphones. It is not an add-on product.