Saturday, May 10, 2008

Topics I Never Got Around to Blogging About

I found a list of things I had planned to blog about, but never got around to. I'm not going to blog about these things now, but I thought I would at least include the list and let you Google them yourself if you are interested in finding out more:
  • goes mobile
  • Melodis mobile music search app
  • AOLmyMobile
  • Vlingo
  • Vtap
  • nuTsie
  • SnapMyLife
  • Hulu mobile
  • Monsoon multimedia + Sling Media
  • CallWave
  • Visual Voicemail
  • Jott
  • Kyte Mobile
  • Jaiku
  • Shozu
  • Melodeo
  • Grand Central

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Little Help?

I will be leaving i wireless May 16, and will be moving outside of i wireless' service area. If there is anyone out there who would like to take over this blog, please get in touch with me.

Phillip Luebke
Inventory Manager
i wireless

Friday, April 25, 2008

Some More Tips for the HTC S620

I know I'm a little heavy on HTC S620-specific posts here on my blog, but that is simply because that is the phone that I carry. Sorry.

A few weeks ago, predictive text quit working on my S620. I was pretty sure it was a result of something I did, but I wasn't sure exactly what. I have been pretty bummed out about it too, because that was one of the reasons I liked WM 6.0 better than 5.0. Well, tonight I had a chance to research my problem, and thanks to an anonymous post on the HTC Smartphone Wiki, I now have my predictive text back. If you have encountered this problem, here is how you get it back:
  • Create a text message.
  • Press FN then SPACE.
  • Select XT9.
  • That's it.
If you don't like the predictive text, select ABC and it is turned off again until you do a hard reset of the phone.

The other crazy thing that happened to me today with my phone was that it somehow switched over to line two (I knew this because there was a "2" at the top of the screen by the EDGE "E"). Nokia phones have a keypad shortcut that allows you to switch lines quickly. I'm guessing that HTC has that too and I must have activated it by accidentally pressing the keypad. Many of you are probably surprised to learn that your phone has two lines and might be wondering why being on line two would be a bad thing. It's pretty simple, really. Line two (on i wireless anyway) does not allow outgoing calls. If you only get incoming calls on your phone, it doesn't matter, but if you want to place calls on your phone, it needs to be on line one. In the event that you ever find that your S620 has switched over to line two, here is how you get it back:
  • Go to Start > Settings > Phone > Call Options
  • For "Current outgoing line:" select "1."
  • Press "Done."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

i wireless Launches Nokia 2760

i wireless launched the Nokia 2760 (in silver/black color scheme) today. Key features of the 2760 are:
  • Elegant, modern design
  • Digital VGA camera (4x zoom) and video recorder
  • MP3 or polyphonic ringtones
  • External display
  • Bluetooth
  • Large user memory
  • Space for up to 1000 phone book entries
  • SMS, MMS, and Nokia Xpress Audio Messaging
  • FM radio
The 2760 is also rated M3/T3 for hearing aid compatibility (HAC), and at the time of this posting it is believed to be exclusive to i wireless in the markets i wireless sells to.

The 2760 will be available at all i wireless retail stores, the i wireless website, 1-888-684-0500, and from all i wireless authorized dealers tomorrow.

Monday, April 21, 2008

i wireless Launches the Nokia 6085 in Three Colors

i wireless launched the Nokia 6085 today in three colors: Blue, pink (pictured) and piano black.

The 6085 features:
  • Built-in music player and FM radio
  • VGA camera and video recorder
  • Enhanced voice commands
  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Expandable memory
The Nokia 6085 is also rated T3/M3 for hearing aid compatibility (HAC).

The 6085 will be available at all i wireless retail stores, the i wireless website, 1-888-684-0500, and from all i wireless authorized dealers tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Microsoft Announces Which Phones Can Be Updated With Windows Mobile 6.1

Microsoft has released a short list of smartphones that can be updated with Windows Mobile 6.1. The bad news is that none of the devices on the list are models that i wireless carries. "What's the point in releasing this interim update if most users won't be able to take advantage of it?" I ask.

Some new smartphone models are supposed to be shipping with 6.1 later this year, but for those of you who aren't ready to upgrade your hardware just yet, you may have to wait until 7.0 is released and then treat yourself to a new device with 7.0.

i wireless Launches Samsung SGH-a436

i wireless launched the Samsung SGH-a436 in both black and red today. Key features of the a436 include:
  • Bluetooth® wireless technology
  • Integrated camera
  • EDGE GSM quad-band
The a436 will be available at all i wireless retail stores, the i wireless website, 1-888-684-0500, and from all i wireless authorized dealers tomorrow.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

i wireless Launches the MOTORAZR2 V8

i wireless launched the MOTORAZR2 V8 today. The V8 takes the impossibly sleek and thin RAZR profile and makes it even slimmer. It packs a powerhouse of features into a strong stainless steel structure, including CrystalTalk™, which improves the clarity and intelligibility of speech while you are in a noisy environment.

The V8 will be available at all i wireless retail stores, the i wireless website, 1-888-684-0500, and from select i wireless authorized dealers.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No Joke. i wireless Monthly Billed Customers Can Now Call to Over 220 Countries!

Effective today, i wireless monthly billed customers will have the ability to call to over 220 countries worldwide at rates as low as $0.20/minute! Customers may be subject to a credit check to allow this feature. Check rates for the country you want to call here.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sony Ericsson W200 Now Available in Mono Blue

The Sony Ericsson W200 is now available from i wireless in a fourth color. Mono Blue launched today and will be available through all sales channels tomorrow.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

FREE $20 Hy-Vee Gift Card With Every Activation

Beginning this weekend, i wireless will be giving away a free $20 Hy-Vee gift card with every activation. Some restrictions will apply of course. See store for details.

Windows Mobile 6.1 Release Just Days Away

According to Pocket Lint, Microsoft will be releasing Windows Mobile 6.1 April 1, which happens to coincide with the start of CTIA WIRELESS 2008. WM 6.1 will sport a fresh look, but one of the new features I think I am most looking forward to is the addition of copy-and-paste capabilities. I do not know how quickly the upgrade will be made available to existing Windows Mobile users. When 6.0 was released it was months before HTC made it available to HTC owners to download.

The Boy Genius has posted screen shots of the new version on his website.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Google Search From Your Windows Mobile Home Screen

I may have to take back what I said on my last post already. Earlier this week Google released a plug-in for Windows Mobile that puts a Google search shortcut onto the phone's home screen. This shortcut reduces the time it takes for you to get search results from Google by eliminating the initial "clicks" (e.g. finding the browser application, opening it, and navigating to before entering your query). This makes it so much quicker and more convenient for me to go back to my old habit of looking up movie showtimes through Google. I installed the plug-in on my phone yesterday, and I am already wondering how I lived without it. You can download it yourself here.

Google had previously released plug-ins for Symbian and BlackBerry.

Disclosure: In the interest of integrity and transparency, I will be making a concerted effort moving forward to disclose when I write about a company that I own stock in. Google is one of those companies.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Movie-Goers in Iowa City/Coralville and Cedar Falls/Waterloo Can Check Movie Times on Their Phones

I usually use "(ZIP code) showtimes" in Google to look up movie times, but tonight the newspaper just happened to be laying open on our table, so I checked the movie listings 'old school.' While doing that I noticed what looked like the address for a mobile website for Marcus Theaters (, so I checked it out.

The site is simple and easy to use. It allows you to look up movies times either by theater or by movie title, and it provides the movie title, rating, run length and showtimes. And if you are looking up movie times for some future date, you can do that too. It looks like it has info for dates up to a week in advance.

I like Google, but Marcus Theaters' mobile website cuts to the chase. I have bookmarked it, and I will probably go there first next time I need to look up movie times.

Follow Your Team Through the NCAA Tournament with MySI Mobile

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED DIGITAL and Action Engine Corporation announced the launch of MySI Mobile, the beta version of a subscription-free, downloadable mobile application that delivers personalized sports content from on Windows Mobile devices. MySI Mobile allows sports enthusiasts the ability to select and track the scores, schedules and standings for their favorite teams, view popular SI photos, read the latest sports news and set calendar alerts for upcoming games using their phone.

The features of MySI Mobile, as touted by Action Engine Corporation, are:
  • Personalized Home Page – Personalize the application home screen by selecting your four favorite teams to track. Then access scores, schedules and standings for each team with just one click. Teams can be selected from: Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), College Basketball (NCAA) and College Football (NCAA)
  • News – Receive timely news feeds about anything and everyone in the world of sports.
  • Calendar Alerts – Never forget game time again. MySI Mobile integrates with the calendar on your phone to make it easy to add game and sporting event reminders to your personal calendar.
  • Photo Gallery – View the best photos of the week, from cheerleader photos to action shots from March Madness games, all chosen by the editors of SI.
The calendar alerts are the most intriguing feature to me. I will have to see how that works. So far I am unimpressed with the rest of this application. It seemed clunky and slow on my HTC S620, using both WiFi and EDGE. I maxed out my personalized home page without including all of the teams that I am interested in following. It may give faster and fuller access to information on the teams that I care about most, but I will need some convincing that I should fire up the MySI Mobile app rather than visit next time I want to know what is going on with "my" teams.

The MySI Mobile application is available as a free download here. If you are an i wireless customer, you will want to scroll down to the bottom of the page and use the appropriate generic CAB file for the version of Windows Mobile that you are running.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

i wireless Expands Coverage & Upgrades Network

URBANDALE, IA — i wireless continues its regional network expansion program, adding 110 sites in 2007 and plans to add 100 plus sites by year end. i wireless has invested over $90 million to expand coverage and have upgraded the network to EDGE data technology improving data speeds up to 3x faster.

New sites have been added in 52 counties in Iowa and Illinois, including infill sites to enhance coverage in Burlington, Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Iowa City and the Quad Cities area. i wireless has expanded in the following Iowa counties: Adair, Appanoose, Benton, Black Hawk, Butler, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clay, Clinton, Davis, Des Moines, Dubuque, Franklin, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Marion, O’Brien, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Scott, Sioux, Story, Tama, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Washington, Winnebago, Worth and Wright. Illinois expansion includes Henderson, Jo Daviess and Rock Island counties.

"Our recent investments in EDGE data technology deployment as well has adding 307 cell sites across Iowa and Illinois since 2005 and plans to add another 100 plus in 2008, demonstrate our commitment to a great customer experience,” said Michael Haskins, i wireless CEO/COO. “Plus, our partnerships with T-Mobile and AT&T provide the best nationwide coverage on the most advanced network.”

i wireless Opens Two New Stores in Sioux City

URBANDALE, IA — i wireless announces two new retail locations in Sioux City, making shopping for wireless services more convenient. The new i wireless store locations are: 3143 Singing Hills Blvd (next to Monterrey Mexican Restaurant) and is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Sunday, Noon – 5 p.m. The second location is inside Hy-Vee at 2827 Hamilton Blvd with store hours Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 9 a.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Grand Opening celebrations will continue throughout the month of April.

Both store locations will offer a complete range of i wireless products and services including the latest camera, MP3, and smartphones from Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericcson, and HTC. Plus, their exclusive MEGAtalk unlimited 24/7 talktime and mobile web options requiring no contract, credit check or deposit; MY5 unlimited free any-number, any-network, any-where calling; Low-cost nationwide individual & family calling plans; and Unlimited Nights & Weekends Calling starting at 5 PM.

"i wireless is pleased to open two new company retail locations in Sioux City, providing customers new convenient access to all of our services,” said Scott Ohlweiler, Director of Sales, i wireless. “i wireless has a strong commitment to providing the best customer care with 20 company retail stores – and over 250 convenient locations.”

In addition to two new company stores, i wireless has seven Authorized Dealer locations in Sioux City.

i wireless Opens New Store in Iowa City

URBANDALE, IA — i wireless announces a new retail location in Iowa City, making shopping for wireless services more convenient. The new i wireless store located inside Sycamore Mall, at 1660 Sycamore Street, will be open Monday through Thursday, Noon – 7 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. Grand Opening celebrations will continue throughout the month of April.

The Sycamore Mall retail location will offer a complete range of i wireless products and services including the latest camera, MP3, and smartphones from Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericcson, and HTC. Plus, their exclusive MEGAtalk unlimited 24/7 talktime and mobile web options requiring no contract, credit check or deposit; MY5 unlimited free any-number, any-network, any-where calling; Low-cost nationwide individual & family calling plans; and Unlimited Nights & Weekends Calling starting at 5 PM.

"i wireless is pleased to open our new company retail location in Sycamore Mall, providing customers convenient access to all of our services,” said Scott Ohlweiler, Director of Sales, i wireless. “i wireless has a strong commitment to providing the best customer care with 20 company retail stores – and over 250 convenient locations.”

In addition to the Sycamore Mall Iowa City location, i wireless has a retail store in Coralville at 2439 Second Street, Ste. 6.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Winning Iowa Lottery Numbers on Your Mobile

I'm a day late and $276 million short, having forgotten to buy my Powerball ticket yesterday. For those of you who did buy a ticket, but don't live in West Virginia, you can use your data-enabled i wireless phone see if any of your numbers match at

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Facebook and MySpace Are Mobile!

(This may be old news. In my absence I kind of lost track of which popular websites still had not launched a mobile, off-portal version.)

For you kids out there that can't get enough of Facebook and MySpace in the many hours you spend in front of your computer, you can now get your fix on your mobile phone. MySpace can be accessed at and Facebook at As I don't reside in the demographic sweet spot for these social networking sites, I can't really tell you much about what you can or can't do on the mobile sites that you can do on the regular websites (Sorry!). I can tell you that Facebook prompts you to update your status as soon as you log in, so all of your friends -- real and imagined (like my readers) -- can know what you are doing when you are mobile. This makes a lot of sense. I imagine the stereotypical user makes plans with his/her friends on these websites before they head out to the bars and night clubs, but what happens if plans change once everyone is out and about? That friend with the night class that was going to meet up later gets left behind unless you have access to a computer, which is not likely in a bar.

I'll stop pretending that I know how today's teens and twentysomethings use Facebook and MySpace. It's just making me sound old. I would like to make the observation that the "" format appears to be winning out as the standard address format for mobile websites. I'm glad. It really makes the most sense to me. Most companies already have a ".com" domain. They shouldn't have to buy a ".mobi" domain as well. It also makes it easier for consumers to check if a company has a mobile website. All you have to do is replace the "www" in the company's web address with an "m" to get your answer. The "m" is also short, which is great when you are on a mobile device. Who wants to type the longer ".mobi" suffix -- or worse -- an address with a slash and even more letters and numbers beyond that?

Okay, I am way off on a tangent now. I need to go to sleep.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Daylight Savings Time Bug?

This morning I woke up and looked at my S620. There was the message I expected to see about my clock being automatically updated for Daylight Savings Time, but when I looked at the time, it seemed a little early for as refreshed as I felt. Sure enough, when I checked another clock, I confirmed that my phone was still on Standard time.

Anyone else have this problem? I have the Daylight Savings Time patch, so I'm guessing that the network time may be off, as I have the automatic time update enabled.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

More Local/Regional Media Offer Mobile Websites

In previous posts (here and here), I noted a number of media outlets from the i wireless market area that had launched mobile websites. Since then, a few other newspapers and TV stations have joined the fray, some of them quite good. Here are the new ones that I'm aware of:
Leave a comment if there are any others out there that I've missed.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Free Tetris Clone as Addicting as the Original

Having tired of the Bubble Breaker and Solitaire games on my S620, I went looking for a new, fun, challenging free game a few months ago. I was pleased to find Kevtris. My college roommates hooked me on Tetris back in the day (on the original Nintendo game system, wasn't it?). Kevtris is a full-featured, fully developed, bug-free clone. It's been a while since I played Tetris, so my memory is a little fuzzy, but I think it's even better than the original. In addition to three levels of difficulty, Kevtris 2.0 offers the following game variations:
  • Classic (self-explanatory)
  • Wacky Blocks ("non-traditional" Tetris shapes)
  • Slider (when an arrow falls instead of a shape, it lets you "slide" blocks around)
  • Wacky Slider (mix of Wacky Blocks and Slider)
  • Custom Game (mix and match the other available options)
The game also tracks the untouchably high scores online if you allow it to. Perhaps one of the best features is the ability to pause your game, which allows you to play during any little bit of downtime that you have.

You can download Kevtris 2.0 to your computer at or download the CAB file direct to your device here.

Nationwide Coverage Map Updated

i wireless updated the nationwide coverage map earlier this week.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

To Get EDGE Speeds You Need An EDGE-Capable Device

While i wireless's Phone Wizard is a nice way to narrow your choices in selecting a handset that fits your needs, it doesn't let you search by data speed capabilities. For those of you that care about things such as this (and based on past comments, there are a few of you out there who do), here is a list of the phones currently offered by i wireless that are EDGE-capable:
  • HP iPAQ 510 Voice Messenger
  • HTC S621
  • HTC Touch
  • Motorola RAZR V3-06*
  • Motorola W510
  • Samsung SGH-a226
  • Sony Ericsson Z310a
  • Sony Ericsson W300i
  • Sony Ericsson W580i
...which leaves the following phones that max out at GPRS speeds:
  • Motorola RAZR V3*
  • Motorola RAZR V3i
  • Nokia 2610
  • Sony Ericsson W200a
  • Sony Ericsson Z550a
* The RAZR has had such a long life that Motorola has "refreshed" the model a few times. The current version is the V3-06, although you won't find it called this on the phone or its packaging. If you want to make sure that you are buying an EDGE-capable MOTORAZR V3, make sure it is listed on the packaging.

Receive Emails on Your i wireless Phone

I'm going to go way back for this posting, although I'm sure that many of you are not aware of this fact.

If you want to receive emails on your phone, but you do not have a phone with an email client or you do not subscribe to the necessary data services, you can still do it...and i wireless customers have been able to do it for years. You just need to give the person or people who want to email you your address. Emails will arrive on your phone as text messages. "So how do I know the email address for my phone?" you may be wondering. Just add a "1" to the front of your phone number and "" to the end of it and you have your mobile email address. For example, if your phone number is (123) 456-7890, your email address would be

Please note that depending on your phone model, these emails may be broken up into multiple text messages 160 characters in length. Also - It works best if the person sending you the emails sends them to you in plain text format. HTML and Rich Text emails may not go through, and if they do, they are usually pretty hard to read with all of the extra formatting instructions that are sent as part of the message.

For those of you that have the advanced data services and other email solutions, this information may still come in useful if you ever want to sign up for text message alerts (for bill payment reminders, weather alerts, etc.) and i wireless is not listed as one of the supported carriers. Typically there will be an option for "Other carriers" or to sign up for traditional email alerts. Both should work as long as you know your email address.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Read This Blog on Your Phone

If you want to read this blog on your phone, it is available in two more mobile-friendly formats, thanks to winksite and mdog. I personally like the look and format of the blog better at my mdog site, but that's probably because it is designed for smartphones. If you have a phone with a smaller screen and less-robust browser capabilities, my winksite will probably work better for you. One downside to the mdog version is the long URL, so make sure you save it to your favorites, so you don't have to type it in.

Let me know what you think. I'd like your feedback on how well these work on different phones.

LinkedIn Launches Mobile Website

Okay. So I discovered a while back that LinkedIn (the leading social networking site for professionals) had a mobile version of their website at, but I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't accept my email and password. Now it makes sense. Apparently, they hadn't officially launched it yet. The Guardian has reported that LinkedIn launched their mobile service this past Monday after six weeks of testing.

I have not had the opportunity to explore it extensively yet, but it appears that it has all of the basic functionality that one would want out of a mobile LinkedIn site, including access to your own profile, contacts and recent updates, as well as the ability to search for contacts and even invite co-workers and business partners to your network.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

i wireless Launches HTC Touch

I'd like to apologize once again for my lack of postings for the past several months. We are almost done putting our house back together (Anyone with drywall finishing experience interested in doing a little mudding, taping and skim-coating?) and I expect to resume more regular postings in the next month or two.
Since there seems to be so much interest in the HTC Touch, and I happened to be up at this ungodly hour, I felt I needed to throw up a posting announcing the launch of the HTC Touch. This device is now available for sale on the i wireless website and in company retail stores. It will be available in select, high-volume dealers on Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Coverage Map Updated

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