Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Download & Read eBooks on Your Mobile - Download eReader for WM for FREE!

If you'd rather spend your down time reading books instead of playing games or browsing the web, eReader's Windows Mobile software may be just the thing for you. It allows you to download and read your eBooks whenever you want and wherever you go. The latest version now includes an interactive over-the-air shopping experience. You can access the entire eReader catalog as well as your personal bookshelf right from your mobile device. It's available from the eReader website as a free download (although the titles aren't free) and is compatible with the following Windows Mobile versions:
  • Windows Mobile 2003
  • Windows Mobile 2003 SE with at least 889K free memory
  • Windows Mobile 5
  • Windows Mobile 6

Friday, October 12, 2007

Watch YouTube Videos and Other Streaming Media on your HTC

I couldn't sleep the other night, so I was checking out the latest and greatest things to add to my HTC S620. I decided I was going to find a way to play RTSP (real time streaming protocol) video on my phone. I came across, and downloaded HTC’s Streaming Media Player (SMP), which is apparently pre-installed on the latest Windows Mobile 6.0 devices. To test it, I went to YouTube Mobile and was able to successfully view a number of videos* there. Since then, I have had occasional problems connecting to the streams. The SMP will launch and the screen with say "Connecting..." but it will not start buffering. I don't know if this is a Streaming Media Player problem, a YouTube issue, or is network-related, but access to streaming video some of the time is better than access to streaming video none of the time. One other note: Video can be degraded when watching at EDGE speeds. I connect to Wi-Fi for optimum viewing.

* I'm not much of a YouTuber, so I may be a little behind the times, but I watched a couple of videos from Potter's Puppet Pals on my phone and found them to be absolutely hilarious. As a parent who has been reading the Harry Potter books to our eight-year-old every night at bedtime for months, I wanted to share the video with him, but I found only one of the videos to be marginally appropriate (Ron finds a pipe bomb in "The Mysterious Ticking Noise" and swear words are bleeped out in "Wizard Angst").

Handango Introduces "Free App Friday"

Beginning today, Handango is offering a free, premium mobile application every Friday (CST) on its website. Today's offering is mundu IM for Smartphone, which I reviewed in May of this year. Click here to get your free app.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Windows Mobile 6 and Yahoo! Go 2.0 Available for HTC S620 for Free

If you have an HTC S620, you can now upgrade to Windows Mobile 6 Standard with Yahoo! Go 2.0. Register for an HTC e-club account if you haven't already done so, then login and download the FREE upgrade to unleash the power of Windows Mobile 6 and Yahoo! Go on your phone.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

EDGE in Cedar Rapids

I know I'm supposed to be too busy to be blogging, but I had to pass this along.

I was at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids tonight with my kids, watching the Cedar Valley Trail Riders Motocross. At one point in the evening, I looked down at my phone and was surprised to find that there was an "E" (for EDGE) displayed on my screen instead of the usual "G" (for GPRS). I don't know if EDGE is turned on permanently in that area, or if I just happened to look at my phone during a test run. My phone went back to "G" after we left Hawkeye Downs and unfortunately, it stayed that way all the way to my termite-infested home in Iowa City.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Microsoft Updates MSN Mobile

Microsoft has updated the MSN Mobile website at mobile.msn.com. I have to admit that I don't remember what the old site looked like, but the newly redesigned site is clean and user-friendly, and features icons and photos formatted for the small screen.

Opera Mini 4 Beta Released

The beta version of Opera Mini 4 is now available for download at http://mini.opera.com/beta.

Plaxo Mobile is Now Free

For those of you that use Plaxo, but have not sprung for the premium version, I have great news: Plaxo Mobile is now available for free at m.plaxo.com. With Plaxo Mobile, you get all of the following with nothing to download:
  • Search-based access to all your contacts
  • Full access to your calendar
  • Weather, tasks, and notes
  • Plus your network feeds!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

YouTube Now Mobile

YouTube's exclusivity arrangement with one of those big wireless companies is up, and you can now access some of YouTube's best videos on your i wireless phone at http://m.youtube.com. Please note that you cannot access all videos currently on YouTube, just "a selected library," although YouTube claims that they try to make the "best" videos available on mobile.

You do not need to download any applications to be able to view the videos, but you do need a handset that supports streaming video (RTSP/3GP with H263/AMR). Apparently Windows Mobile devices do not. I tried it on my HTC S620 to no avail. According to Adam Jackson's Daily Tech Talk, "YouTube did the best they could by working on a codec that every handset maker uses but Windows mobile only supports variants of wmv." I'm sure there is a workaround or a compatible media player that I can download, but I haven't looked into it yet. If and when I find a solution, I will post it.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Now Your Mobile Phone Can Help You Save on Gas

With gas prices at record highs, you need all the help that you can get. Now you can use your i wireless phone and GasBuddy.com to help you find the cheapest gas around. There are two ways to get gas prices on your mobile device:
  1. With your mobile browser, go to GasBuddyToGo.com and search for prices by City/State or Zip Code (e.g. "Iowa City, IA" or "52245")
  2. Send an MMS or email to gas@gasbuddy.com (for gasoline prices) or diesel@gasbuddy.com (for diesel prices) with the City/State or Zip Code as the body of the message (leaving subject field blank). A reply will be sent to you shortly with the 5 lowest gas or diesel prices from the area that you requested.

i wireless Transitions to HTC S621

i wireless has started selling the S621 variant of the HTC "Excalibur." The only two differences that I have noticed between the S620 and S621 so far are:
  • The S621 has symbols (in blue on the keys) more commonly used in the U.S. vs. the more European-centric symbols on the S620. The “J” and “L” keys have the symbols for the pound and euro on the S620. These are replaced with the “@” and “=” on the S621.
  • The S621 has predictive text. The S620 does not.
Don't know which one you have? Look underneath the battery, in the lower, left-hand corner of the IMEI label. The S620 says “EXCA200.” The S621 says “EXCA100.”

More Free Games!

GameJump provides access to free, ad-supported mobile games and applications. My HTC S620 is not among the phone models supported, but there are plenty of other phone models sold by i wireless that are. Go to http://gjmp.tw from your mobile phone to start downloading games and having fun.

Free Your Photos From Their Cameraphone Prison!

According to research from mobile imaging provider Ontela, over 90% of cameraphone users are interested in a service that lets them upload pictures to their PCs. Despite this interest, 75% of users failed a test to see whether they could transfer photos from their cameraphones to a popular online photo-sharing service. If you are one of the many people who have taken photos on your phone but can't seem to get them out of your phone, you will want to check out radar. Once you sign up for a free account, all you have to do is send your photo to a designated email address via MMS (picture messaging) or your email client, if your phone has one. Your photos are instantaneously posted on your own page on Radar, complete with a title (if you included one in the subject line) and date and time you sent each photo. If you want to make your photo private, all you have to do is precede your title with a "p." How easy is that? Granted, you still need to know how to send an MMS or an email from your phone, but it's obvious that Radar understands how to make a complex process simple.

I'm All A-Twitter!


Twitter lets you broadcast what you are doing to anyone who is interested anytime and anywhere. As a member of Generation X, I think I'm a bit older than the target market for Twitter. I've heard that John Edwards uses Twitter to update potential voters on his whereabouts, but I can't imagine there are too many people who want to know what I am up to RIGHT NOW...or RIGHT NOW...or RIGHT NOW. My life is just too boring, and all of my friends are too preoccupied with their own families to worry about what I am up to. But based on the level of addiction my step-kids had/have with instant messaging, Facebook and MySpace, I can see the attraction for those of you younger that me. Try it out on your mobile phone at http://m.twitter.com.

Smartphones to Account for 22% of All Handsets Worldwide By 2012

According to Berg Insight, global shipments of smartphones will increase from 10% today to 22% by 2012. Symbian OS was the leading smartphone operating system in 2006 with a market share of 63 percent. Linux was the second largest platform, followed by Windows Mobile. Microsoft’s performance in the smartphone segment is consistently improving, even though Windows Mobile is still far from threatening either Symbian OS or Linux for the top market positions. The once popular Palm OS has virtually disappeared from the market and is now being converted into a version of Linux. Apple’s OS X will become a new entrant on the smartphone operating systems market this year with the launch of the iPhone.

Access Your Google Calendar From Your Mobile

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I am a huge fan of Google and their mobile applications. I have a Gmail account, I use Google Maps when I travel, and I try to stay on top of all of my family's activities with Google Calendar. Well, now Google has designed their Calendar offering for the small screen, and for me, it is love at first sight. The layout is simple, pleasing to the eye, and makes sense. Navigation is simple enough, but a tad slow with GPRS. The "Quick Add" feature makes adding an event to your calendar on a mobile phone painless.

To experience it for yourself, go to

http://calendar.google.com/. If you don't already have an account, you will be prompted to sign up...and of course, it is free.

Bank of America Launches Mobile Banking

If you are a Bank of America customer and have an Online Banking ID and passcode, you can now do your banking from your mobile phone, including:
  • Check balances on your checking, savings and credit card accounts, as well as mortgages and home equity lines held with Bank of America.
  • Pay your bills and e-bills.
  • Transfer money between accounts and to other Bank of America customers.
  • View transactions for checking and savings accounts, mortgages and home equity lines, including posted and pending transactions.
To get started, go to http://www.bofa.mobi/

Receive Your Voice Mails As Text Messages or Emails

I have held off on blogging about two similar, compelling services that I learned about at CTIA Wireless 2007 because I have not been able to successfully test either one yet. SimulScribe and SpinVox both take your voice mail, transcribe it into text, and send it to your device. SimulScribe offers a free trial of their service, but i wireless is not currently listed among the supported carriers, and the test messages I left on SpinVox's trial voice mailbox never came back to me as text messages.I like to try things our before I recommend them, but the Wall Street Journal just published a nice review of these two services, and I'd like to share the article with you while WSJ is providing free access to it.

If anyone out there gets either of these to work, let me know. If the transcription works well, it's a service that I could really get used to.

Norton & Symantec Coming to a Windows Mobile Phone Near You

According to PC World, Norton will begin selling two smartphone security suites for devices running Windows Mobile on May 29. Norton Mobile Security for Smartphones is intended for the average consumer and Symantec Mobile Security 5.0 is designed for enterprise users. Included will be antivirus, antispam, firewall and data encryption capabilities. Unfortunately, a VPN (virtual private network) component will be sold separately. If there is one thing that I took away from Andrew Seybold's Wireless Data University at CTIA Wireless 2007, it is the growing importance of having VPN on your mobile device.

Symantec currently offers free trialware downloads of their Symantec Mobile Security products here. You may want to check the site May 29 to see if they offer a trialware version of these latest products.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"inside the i" is Now Mobile

I know it should not have taken this long, but thanks to Winksite, "inside the i" is now available in a more mobile-friendly format. Be sure to save this URL in your mobile device: http://winksite.com/philadopolis/insidethei.

Vote for Your Favorite Portable Utilities & Applications

Voting has opened for CNET's Webware 100 Awards, and there is a category for apps that bring the web to your mobile device. Vote for your favorite or simply learn about the 25 finalists. Some of them I have blogged about here, while others will have to go on my ever-expanding list of apps to try.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

i wireless Coverage Map Updated

i wireless has updated its local coverage map. A larger version can be seen here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Listen to Streaming Music (Internet Radio) on Your i wireless Phone

This is my new favorite application! With Mundu Radio, you can listen to streaming music on your Symbian, Windows Mobile or Palm-based mobile device. According to Mundu, there are over 50,000 radio stations broadcasting on the internet. You can listen to any of these stations through Mundu Radio if they stream in MP3 format. I listened to a number of the 50 stations that come with Mundu Radio "out of the box" and soon discovered for myself what Mundu's FAQs would have told me: At GPRS speeds, you want to make sure that you are listening to stations streaming at 24 or 32 kbps or you will encounter breaks as the Mundu Radio client rebuffers the stream. Finding stations broadcasting at that bit-rate takes a bit of trial and error, but once you know which stations you have to choose from, listening to them is enjoyable enough. If you have a phone with Wi-Fi (like the HTC S620), you can listen to stations with higher bit-rates over a Wi-Fi connection. There were a few streams that I was unable to connect to, such as Sporting News Radio, but with over 50K stations to choose from, I can probably get my sports news elsewhere.

If you would like to try this application out for yourself, you can download it for free here.

Most of You are Men Under 35

According to research from comScore and Telephia, 30 million (or 17%) of 176 million US internet users were accessing data from their handsets. The most frequent mobile internet users are men under 35.

Microsoft's Mobile Browser for Windows Mobile


Microsoft has been limiting the distribution of their Deepfish beta, but I finally had an opportunity to try it out recently on my HTC S620.

The idea behind Deepfish is to make the mobile browsing experience more similar to the desktop computer web-browsing experience. While Deepfish does preserve the formatting of web pages, I found the navigation clunky and unusable as my daily browser. Web pages initially load zoomed waaaaaaaay out so you can't read any of the type, then you move a rectangle around to show which areas you want to zoom in on. You can read text and click on hyperlinks, but you still have to do scrolling left and right and up-and-down sometimes to read body copy, which I find annoying.

I'm sure web designers and advertisers like the idea of their designs reaching mobile users in the format that they intended, but at this stage in the life of the mobile web, what people really care about is content, not presentation. Google figured this out a while ago, when they started reformatting full-sized web pages for the small screen.

I do applaud the fresh approach to the problem at hand. I might be tempted to keep Deepfish on my device in case I ever want to see a webpage in its entirety on my mobile device, but will continue to use Internet Explorer or Opera Mini as my primary browser.

I don't know that this link will work, but if you want to try Deepfish out yourself, you may be able to do so through this link.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Who Are You?

Curiosity has gotten the better of me, so forgive me while I turn the spotlight on you, my readers, for a moment...

Stats provided by sitemeter indicate that 14% of recent visitors to inside the i had the domain dohrn.com. The next nine domains represented based on number of visits were all internet service providers (which are usually near the top), and the remaining domains each had less than 1% of all visitors.

So, for whatever reason, it appears that this blog is really, really, really popular with employees of Dohrn Transfer Company. Why it appeals to employees of one particular trucking and warehouse company, I haven't a clue. I'm hoping someone out there can help me out.

Want to Work at i wireless?

i wireless is hiring a Data Specialist! This person will be responsible for conducting industry research, coordinating and facilitating the development process of new and existing revenue generating data services from conception to point of sale, and developing and conducting comprehensive staff training. Here is the full job description. If you are interested, fax (515.258.7400) or e-mail your resume to IWS-resumes@iwireless.com (be sure to mention what position you're inquiring about in your e-mail).

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Listen to Your iTunes Music Collection on Your Mobile Phone

Avvenu Music Player is another compelling mobile application I learned about while at CTIA 2007. I guess this would be considered a place-shifting technology (a la the Slingbox). With Avvenu, you can stream your iTunes playlists from your home computer to your Windows Mobile 5 smartphone. You can also share your playlists with your friends.

For the Avvenu Music Player to work, you need to download an application to both your host computer and the WM 5.0 device that requires you

Once you sign up for a free Avvenu Music Player account, you simply need to install the Avvenu Connector software on the PC with your Apple iTunes® music collection and install the Avvenu Music Player to your mobile device. Then you will launch the Avvenu Music Player on your PC (which runs within an internet browser) and select which songs or podcasts you want to be able to listen to on your mobile device. The beta version of the Avvenu Music Player includes Anytime storage of up to 250 music tracks.

I was initially disappointed that I was not able to get this to work right away, but soon realized that Avvenu needed to upload my selections. Since my computer was not on and connected the entire time, this took a couple of days. Once I had filled up my 250 track quota, though, it worked as advertised. It was pretty cool to hear the songs I had stored on my computer emanating from my S620, and yes, it even worked when my computer was turned off.

Once I got beyond the initial "Wow" factor, I realized pretty quickly that this application just isn't quite ready for prime time yet (which makes sense, as it is still in beta testing). It takes a few minutes for my playlist to load when I start up the application on my mobile device, and while longer before I could get it to play my first selection. Once the music does start streaming, there is a good 60 seconds of silence in-between tracks as well. I don't know how much of these delays can be attributed to network data speeds and how much to attribute to this being a beta version. Only time will tell.

I guess if you really want to be able to listen to your iTunes collection on your phone, this application will do, but as a music lover I find the dead silence between songs annoying enough that I will probably be uninstalling Avvenu from my device soon.

Instant Messaging for Your Windows Mobile Device


It has been a while since I posted anything about instant messenger applications available for your mobile device. Geodesic is one of a number of companies I talked to while at CTIA 2007. They have developed a mobile application that they call mundu IM. This application is interoperable with all the major IM services (AIM, Yahoo, MSN, GTalk, Jabber and ICQ), and you can be logged into all of the services simultaneously. I recently took advantage of mundu's 5-day free trial and was impressed.

Although I don't regularly use IM, I do have a screen name for five of the six services, so I entered in all of my information, and when I started up the application, I had no problems logging into any of the services. Mundu IM is fairly intuitive. All of your contacts are viewable with an icon next to them, showing which IM service they are on, and you have the option of sorting your contacts by the groups (folders) they are in or the IM service that they are on. There are a number of other user-customizable options as well, including the ability to set a different presence status for the different IM services and you can choose whether or not you want to see your offline contacts. You can even access saved chats (although I'm not sure how long they are stored) and mundu IM will tell you if you have unread e-mail if you have active e-mail accounts with any of these services.

As I stated earlier, I'm not a big IM user, so I didn't put mundu IM through extreme testing with multiple chats going on at the same time (although I think it has that capability) but it worked well enough in the 1-to-1 chats that I tried. The application did not run incredibly fast, but it was noticeably faster than EQO (Although, to be fair, I tested EQO last Fall, and it was on a Motorola KRZR. They may be due for a retest). I'm sure as our network data speed increases and the processors on these mobile devices get faster, mundu IM will run faster as well.

I know software versions can sometimes be misleading, but Geodesic brags that mundu IM is v4 (EQO is still in beta). It does have the refinement that comes from a more mature product. Geodesic sells a lifetime license for mundu IM for $11. If I was a bigger IM user, I would not hesitate to buy it.

Currently mundu IM is only available for Palm and Windows Mobile, but they promise to soon have versions available for Symbian and Windows Mobile Pocket PC.

Just Launched: HTC P4300


i wireless just launched the HTC P4300. For those of you that were disappointed that the Qtek 9100 came and went so quickly, this is the device for you! Key features of the P4300 include a slide-out QWERTY keyboard (with much bigger keys than the S620) and a touchscreen (yes, a touchscreen!). The HTC P4300 runs on Microsoft's Pocket PC Phone Edition.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

i wireless Launches More New Phones

I know I'm a bit behind, but i wireless has added a number of new handsets in the last month or so:
  • The Nokia 2610 is the successor to the Nokia 6030 (which is the successor to the Nokia 6010). All three phones support data, but their smaller screens make navigation a bit arduous and the lack of Bluetooth, infrared or a data cable port means that you have no way to connect your phone to your computer. If you want to use data services, I recommend skipping the low-end phones and going for a model that is a little fuller-featured.
  • The Nokia 6126 is a thinnish phone with a push-button flip (Anyone out there remember the Ericsson T28 World phone?). This is a great choice if you are going to do any browsing of the internet or viewing images on your phone. The size, color, resolution and brightness of the screen is incredible! It's been a while since I tried it out, but I believe it also has some auto-complete features that remember websites that you have visited in the past, so you don't have to repeatedly type in those long URLs again and again.
  • The Sony Ericsson W710i Walkman is a great choice for anyone that is active, loves music and does not want to be weighted down with multiple devices when you go on your morning run. Even if you haven't side-loaded your entire CD collection to the phone, you can still listen to music, as it has an FM radio that will even autoseek the strongest stations in your area. Any the W710i comes jam-packed with extras included in the box: A USB cable, an arm-strap and holster, even a removeable memory card! From a data standpoint, I am a huge fan of Sony Ericsson. Sony's success in gaming (PlayStation), imaging (CyberShot), audio (Walkman), and video (Wega) has really started to show through in SonyEricsson's entire mid-to-high-end handset lineup. Navigating the web is almost a joy on a Sony Ericsson, ranking right up there with the Motorola RAZR.
  • The Sony Ericsson W300i has many of the features that make the W710i great, but is more of an "everyday" music phone at a more affordable price point.

We have also added new colors of some existing models are anticipating a few more new phones in the coming weeks. Hopefully I will have some time to tell you about those later. If not, keep your eyes on http://www.iwireless.com/phones.asp for any new arrivals.

HTC's Model Naming Convention

I haven't been able to confirm this independently, but I think I have figured out HTC's new model names. If you have an HTC device with a model number that starts with an "S," it runs on the Smartphone Edition of Windows Mobile. If you have an HTC device with a model number that starts with an "P," it runs on the Pocket PC Phone Edition of Windows Mobile.

"Well, that's all fine and dandy"you say, "But what happens now that Microsoft has changed all the names with Windows Mobile 6.0?" Conveniently enough, this still works out: The Smartphone Edition becomes Windows Mobile Standard and the Pocket PC Phone Edition Windows Mobile Professional.

Again, this is just a theory, but it makes sense, doesn't it? HTC (with U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, WA) has pretty close ties with Microsoft (with HQ in Redmond, WA).

I'm Back!

Regarding recent comments...

No need to get nasty, loyal readers. I didn't realize that I had so many people waiting with bated breath for my next post. :) I have tons of great things to share with everyone, but I simply have not had time (or made time) to blog about them. I maintain (poorly, apparently) this blog in my own personal time. Unfortunately, much of my personal time has been taken up lately by work and other priorities and projects I have going on at home. Right now I am sitting in a waiting room which happens to have a computer connected to the internet in it, which is why I am able to write this post.

And as for EDGE...
As I have said before, as an i wireless employee, I am not going to make public any non-public information. That includes timelines for upcoming product/service launches. If you want to know when you will have EDGE in your area, I would suggest keeping your eyes and ears open for an official announcement from i wireless. You might also want to keep an eye on your phone's display. When the little "G" changes to an "E" - voila! You have EDGE.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Roaming Data Speeds

I am roaming on T-Mobile right now and noticed that the "G" on my screen (for GPRS) had switched to an "E" (for EDGE). So far, I haven't noticed much of a difference in speed, but I will be roaming on T-Mobile for most of the week, so I will continue to check it out and report back.

Sony Ericsson GC89 Price Drop

You won't find it on the i wireless website, but i wireless does sell the Sony Ericsson GC89 Wireless LAN PC card. With this card in your laptop and a Mobile Connect data plan, you can access the internet anywhere you can pull an i wireless signal. And now the price of the GC89 has just been slashed! You can now buy this wireless data card for $132.95 with a 2-year agreement.

HTC S620 Now More Affordable

i wireless has increased the rebate on the HTC S620 from $50 to $100. Get it here.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Free Games

Hovr offers free ad-supported games for your phone. Unfortunately, my phone is unlisted, so I have not been able to try it out. If anyone has any reviews, please post here.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Freeware for the HTC S620

DashApps is a page that provides downloadable freeware for the Dash (S620). It is where I downloaded SKToolsLite from for my "phantom alarms" problem. I just downloaded SnoozeAlarm from there and will be trying it out next.

HTC S620 Alarms Multiplying Like Rabbits!

For the most part, I like my S620, but there are some things about it that make me want to throw it out the window. One is the alarm.

I made the mistake of setting different times for the alarm, as I needed them. Little did I realize how under-designed the alarm feature is with Windows Mobile and/or the HTC S620. I now have alarms going off at all different times of the day, with no apparent way to deactivate them. Thanks to the HTC Wiki and a free download from SKKV Software, I think I may start hating my S620 a little less now.

I found and followed the directions below to clean up my unwanted alarms. It appears to have worked with my multiple 5:55 AM alarms. I will know by this time tomorrow if it worked on all the other alarms.
  1. Download, install and open SKToolsLite (Clean up and uninstaller utility)
  2. Select View -> Maintenance -> Notifications Queue
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the list and you should see multiple entries already checked for “Clock.exe” (these are the alarms in the notification queue).
  4. Select Action -> Delete marked
  5. Do a soft reset (turn off then back on).
BTW, this issue is apparently referred to as the "phantom alarms" issue. That's a little too benign for me. I don't consider an unwanted alarm that wakes me up every morning at 4 AM a "phantom." A "nightmare" is more like it. But misery loves company. There is a thread on Howard Forums if you'd like to read about others who feel your pain.

Great Resource for Finding Quality Mobile Websites

I just stumbled upon Wap Review, which is a blog that appears to be doing a much better job of finding, reviewing and categorizing mobile websites than I am. If you are looking for any information on a mobile website, I heartily recommend it. They also have a Mobile Site Directory (mobile and PC versions) as well as a mobile version of the blog.

I was going to say that WAP Review doesn't have the local edge that I can offer, but they had a posting about the Iowa City Press-Citizen's new mobile website the same day I wrote about it.

CNN Relaunches Mobile Website

Some of you may have noticed in my previous posts listing the top ten mobile websites by visits that the CNN link (wap.cnn.com or mobile.cnn.com) did not work. That is because CNN has made their mobile website available only to customers of their network partners (i.e. the big carriers).

Well, the world's second-most watched TV news source appears to be changing their strategy. I learned via MediaPost that CNN has re-launched its mobile site as a free service supported by ads. The site (at cnnmobile.com) allows you to sign up for breaking news alerts via SMS, and will feature a searchable news archive and correspondents' blogs. There is also a two-minute video news update each hour. It's supposed to be "mobile-friendly" but I receive the message "your handset does not support this video format" when I try to view it on my HTC S620. If anyone has any luck with this, please post a reply in the comments.

CNN's parent company, Time Warner, apparently plans to roll out mobile sites for their other media properties throughout 2007.

Have You Applied the Daylight Savings Time Update to Your Windows Mobile Device Yet?

Update your Windows Mobile powered device now! Due to Congress' Energy Policy Act, you'll need to remind your Windows Mobile device that clocks will be set forward this Sunday. To update your device now, visit
http://www.windowsmobile.com/daylightsaving/ and download the necessary updates.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Verizon Buys i wireless Roaming Partner, Plans to Convert Network to CDMA

i wireless roaming partner West Virginia Wireless has been purchased by Verizon Wireless. Verizon has announced that they will convert the network to CDMA over the next 15 months. The impact on i wireless' roaming coverage will be minimal. To see West Virginia Wireless' native coverage, click here.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Top Seven Trends for 2007 in the Smartphone Market

Handango, the world's leading provider of smartphone content, makes these top seven predictions for 2007:
1. Smartphones Will Go Mainstream
2. Mobile TV Will Hit the Small Screen in a Big Way
3. GPS-Enabled Location Based Services (LBS) Will Be Killer Applications
4. Smartphone Adoption in Europe Will Continue to Explode
5. Over-The-Air (OTA) Downloads Will Grow at a Faster Pace
6. More Professionals in Vertical Markets Will Rely on Smartphone Content
7. Large Consumer Brands Will Create Content for Smartphones
To read more, go here.

Iowa City Press-Citizen Launches Mobile Website

In a previous post, I had mentioned some Iowa media outlets that have mobile-friendly websites. i wireless mobile web customers who live in Johnson County (or are just interested in what goes on there) will be pleased to know that the Iowa City Press-Citizen has just launched a mobile website. Point the web browser in your mobile device to http://m.press-citizen.com

Monday, February 05, 2007

Google Maps Now Available for Windows Mobile Devices

Stop using that Java application on your Windows Mobile device. Google Maps is now available for Windows Mobile devices! Download it for free here (you have to download it to your computer first, then move the CAB file to your device.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Windows Mobile flaws could crash phones

Trend Micro has found security bugs in Microsoft's Windows Mobile Internet Explorer and Windows Mobile Pictures and Video. Viewing a rigged Web page or malicious JPEG image file on a Windows Mobile device will cause it to fail. The problems affect Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0. Microsoft is aware of the issues and will provide an update to hardware makers for distribution to people who use the Windows Mobile devices, if needed.

For more information, read this CNET news article.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Podcast About Web2 from i wireless

If you prefer to listen to information about Web 2 from i wireless, Backslash Technologies addressed this topic in a November 10, 2006 podcast of TechTalk, available here.

The Weather Channel Mobile Exands Offerings

The Weather Channel's mobile website now features traffic data for 24 metro areas including speed overview maps, incident level reports, accident mapping and construction information. The company also added national severe weather alerts, Spanish language information, and detailed hourly forecasts including temperature, weather icons and chance of precipitation.

Choose Your Own Phone!

In a previous post, I addressed the fact that you do not have to choose from the limited selection of GSM phones that i wireless sells. Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Samsung all sell unlocked GSM phones on their company websites. This New York Times Article provides more detail on the issues involved with buying new, unlocked GSM phones, and some suggestions for customers who want more choice in the one device that comes with them wherever they go. Additional distribution outlets mentioned in the article include the manufacturers' company-owned stores and independent retailers such as CompUSA. If you do choose to go this route, you will need i wireless' GPRS & MMS settings so that you can properly program your device once you buy it.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Qtek 8500 No Longer Being Sold

The Qtek 8500 is no longer being offered for sale by i wireless.

.mobi Internet Domain for Mobile Devices

For those of you who are interested in knowing more about the .mobi top-level domain I mentioned in a previous post, here you go...

The .mobi domain is intended for sites that are designed to be used on wireless phones and other mobile devices. The Internet's governing body, ICANN approved the creation of the ".mobi" domain suffix in 2005. mobile Top Level Domain Ltd (mTLD), a joint venture of mobile technology companies, is the global registry for the .mobi top level domain. It has contracted to provide the registry service for .mobi for ten years.

As part of its contracts with companies that use the domain names, mTLD will require they follow a style guide that includes requirements such as the ability to use a site on a low-bandwidth connection. The company sees phones eventually appending the ".mobi" suffix to site addresses automatically, saving users the trouble of entering it via a numeric keypad.

To see what .mobi sites are already up and running, go to http://showcase.mtld.mobi/information.html.

mTLD's investors include Ericsson, Google, The GSM Association, Hutchison, Microsoft, Nokia, Orascom Telecom, Samsung Electronics, Syniverse, T-Mobile, Telefónica Móviles, TIM and Vodafone.

Web developers: mTLD provides a free "Mobi Ready checker" to analyze your website's mobile-readiness, using industry best practices & standards. Many of the tests performed are based on the mobileOK work performed by the Mobile Web Initiative group of the World Wide Web Consortium. I ran the i wireless website through the checker and ironically, the site received a score of 1 out of 5.

A Better Small-Screen Experience

Since moving to an HTC S620 I have become less cognizant of the plight of those of you with smaller screens and phones that provide a more restrictive web-browsing experience. This post is for you.

If you are having trouble accessing a website on your phone, or getting it to load in a format that you can read and navigate, I have some tricks that you can try:
The well-designed websites out there will automatically detect whether you are on a PC or a mobile device and automatically redirect you to the appropriately formatted website. I consider this a "best practice" for web developers, but apparently there is some debate in the developer community about whether there should be "One Web" or two webs -- one for PC users and one for mobile users. Based on my own personal experience, the automatic detection and redirection method has not been universally adopted.

I am not a web developer, so if there are any web developers out there that want to clarify, correct, or expand on my post, please feel free to add a comment.

Wachovia Offers Mobile Banking to Users with Windows Mobile 5.0 Devices

I'm not a Wachovia customer any more, so I haven't been able to test this, but Wachovia is now offering mobile banking to its customers with Windows Mobile 5.0 on their wireless device. Here is how the company describes this service:


Wachovia Mobile is a new service providing access to your online account information through your Internet enabled wireless device. Devices using the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system with Pocket Internet Explorer can:

  • View and monitor account activity
  • Check account balances
  • Transfer funds between eligible accounts

While you will have the optimal Online Banking experience using Windows Mobile 5.0 with Pocket Internet Explorer, you may have success with other browsers and operating systems as well. However, display of your account information and online functionality may vary depending on the device and operating system used. In addition, you must use a browser enabled with 128-bit encryption.

Top Ten Mobile Websites Visited in November

According to NPD, the following were the top mobile websites visited in November:

  1. Yahoo! Mail
  2. The Weather Channel
  3. ESPN
  4. Google
  5. MapQuest
  6. Yahoo!
  7. CNN
  8. MSN Hotmail
  9. eBay
  10. Gmail
Google climbed a couple of notches at the expense of Yahoo! and Google's Gmail (which I use) broke into the top ten, knocking out AOL Mail.

Friday, January 05, 2007

i wireless Launching EDGE in Iowa

I thought I would take this opportunity to address some questions posted by shawn.

While I am quite confident that i wireless will eventually launch 2.5G (EDGE) and/or 3G technology, I have no dates or specifics to share. As an early-adopter (or wannabe-early-adopter) myself, I understand the interest in this, but as an i wireless insider, I am not going to leak any of i wireless' future plans on this blog.

Same goes for the international roaming question -- Probably will happen at some point, but I can't say for sure.

I would like to point out that you have always been able to take select i wireless phones with you and use them in overseas GSM markets. First, make sure that you have a phone that operates on 900 & 1800 MHz (typically referred to as a "quad-band" phone, because it works on four bands total, including 850 & 1900, which is what is used in the U.S.). Then all you have to do is buy a prepaid SIM when you reach your destination and slip it into your phone.

It's been years since I've been outside the U.S., but I've been told that prepaid SIMs are readily available in most major international airports and many are more economical than what you would probably pay for international roaming with a U.S. carrier. Of course, you won't have your same phone number, but I guess you have to decide what's more important to you.