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There’s just so much happening today, thanks to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, that I have decided to have another news article. So if you’re looking for a good place to keep yourself updated, you’ve come to the right place.

Starbucks Switches To AT&T

So long T-Mobile but fret not T-Mobile customers because you will still be able to access the internet through your T-Mobile data plan, thanks to an agreement between Starbucks, T-Mobile and AT&T. No news yet on how the charges will change at this moment. [via mocoNews]

MSN Direct Comes To Windows Mobile

For users of this service (hands up if you are one), you’ll be glad that it has finally arrived on the Windows Mobile platform. It is free for now (no news whether you will be charged in the future) and what it does is provide you with weather, stocks and news through your data connection. I have yet to give it a go but I just might in the next few days. Those who have, what are your thoughts on it? Download here. [via jkOnTheRun]

iPhone Has A Long Way To Go

With Windows Mobile selling almost 15 million phones in the last 6 months, it sure looks like Apple has their work cut out for them. Then again, I guess they knew what they were getting into. And with rumors that Apple has again cut back on production for the iPhone, one can’t help but wonder the future of the iPhone. [via Engadget]

Have You Downloaded Iris?

I mentioned earlier today that Iris is a new browser that is based on WebKit rendering engine, the same one used in the iPhone. While I said that it was not available, I stand corrected because there is now a preview version out there. Be warned though that because it is still new, it will contain many bugs and flaws but if you are interested to see what the hype is all about, grab you copy here. [via GigaOm]

Boingo Now Supports Windows Mobile 6

If you are an avid hotspot surfer with your Pocket PC, you might want to consider Boingo. For $7.95 a month, you could connect to any of the 10 000 hotspots worldwide that has a partnership with Boingo. If you are a frequent traveller or do not want to shell out money for your carrier’s data plan, do check Boingo out. [via The Mobile Gadgeteer]

Qualcomm Launches New Line Of Chips

Among them, the ability to interface with Qualcomm’s Universal Broadcast Modem (UBM) solution for MediaFLO, DVB-H and ISDB-T mobile broadcast TV support. These chips will be made available later this year and it I could only dream of the capabilities of the devices that manufacturers using these chips will be able to come up with. [via Engadget]

Catch The Mobile World Congress 2008 Press Conference Live

If you’re up to it, you can catch the event live. It starts at 2.00pm GMT. For those on Eastern Time like me, that’s 9am and those on the Pacific Time, it would be 6am. The event itself is slated for 3 hours though no word on the actual agenda at this time. For those interested, you can catch it here. [via PocketPC Thoughts]

Last Chance To Win A Copy Of FunContact 2

To cap off the news for the day, I thought it would be apt to let you know that the VITO FunContact 2 giveaway will be coming to an end at the end of today (February 11th 2008. I will be drawing and announcing the winners some time tomorrow. It’s still not too late to take part (well it actually depends on when you read this) so head over here to do so.

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Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-12 02:30:23

It’s important to know that MSN Direct can currently only be installed on Smartphones, no Pocket PC!
I’ve read several announcements about MSN Direct but only Werner mentioned that it can’t be installed on PPC’s at the moment.

It’s good that you mention that it’s unknown if people will be charged for this in the future since it’s called a Technology Preview - so who knows what will happen if the Technology comes out of Preview stages…

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-12 10:32:49

Thanks for pointing that out. I did not know that was the case as I did not try it out. However, I am surprised because from Windows Mobile 5 onwards, Microsoft mentioned that Smartphone applications could now be supported on the Pocket PC version. I guess there are still some kinks to be ironed out.

Comment by maceyr
2008-02-12 16:46:58

Yeah, when I originally read news of the MSN direct, I was saddened to hear it only supported WM Smartphone edition and not Profession edition aka Pocket PC.

The Iris Browser, I also read via some forums that it was so slow in loading so I didn’t feel that I wanted to try it out to confirm that. So far, I find both Netfront and Opera are great. Unfortunately Netfront would periodically give me some error and I have to exit and restart it again. I think it has something to do with scripting. But, it was nice to be able to view sites without being directed to the stripped down mobile sites though.

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-12 17:43:31

I tried the Iris browser and was rather disappointed. But then again, this is a preview version so I guess they will polish it up a lot more before it is released.

Comment by PJMDS
2008-02-12 17:54:21

Only Opera can give us the browser we need, trust me :cool:
Qualcomm Chips seem to promise cool things, let’s hope that those chips don’t waste much power :mrgreen:

Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-13 01:44:34

In the end I never sticked to any other browser than PIE. Quite often when I install a program that does something that the device also does (but a lot worse) I do end up going back to the built-in solution. I never used PI for more than a month probably, I never purchased Opera, I never used PhatNotes/PhatPad more than two weeks, etc. So I guess Opera just didn’t do it for me and I´ll wait and see what is the favourite browser among the PPC users in a couple of months…

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-13 11:00:45

I use PIE but very seldom and that’s when I am facing problems with Opera Mini and Opera for Pocket PC (which is very rarely). I can’t wait to see how Opera 9.5 handles in real life.

Comment by PJMDS
2008-02-13 09:48:49

I prefer to turn on my laptop or desktop than to use PIE or other browser on the PPC, the main reason for that is the screen size, to small but also the lack of support for flash applications, I can view flash videos on the PPC most of the time but still prefer to use other device.

Comment by maceyr
2008-02-13 11:16:38

I’m anxiously waiting for the Skyfire to come out. I’m not in the States so I’m not eligbile to test the browser. Opera is nice but it isn’t free but they may change that like they did with the desktop.

Anybody tried the Skyfire browser?

Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-13 11:19:19

Would be nice if Opera would be free, but it seems that they can bundle it with phones, and I guess they get money for that. I don’t know anything about the history of Opera though! (my guess would have been that Opera used to be free and they just made the PPC version commercial)

Comment by maceyr
2008-02-13 13:24:21

I remember a few years back when a lot of browsers were paid versions. Netscape (I bought the first version on a floppy disk in Hong Kong) was one and when Microsoft decided to come up with their Internet Explorer and killed all paid version browsers since it was free. Opera back in the early days was also paid. Okay, they had an ad supported (free) version and a paid version without the ads. And there’s many more that I can’t remember.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-13 13:30:03

The browser war is coming a bit after the Contacts applications and SIP war, but that also didn’t stop Vito Technology from releasing FunContact and ZoomBoard, which are both commercial software. Obviously what Vito does doesn’t have to be the same as what Opera does - in fact I hope that Opera does make the PPC browser free. The fact that the PC browser and Opera Mini are free does speak in their advantage! :grin:

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-13 14:04:14

Yeah there sure are a lot of wars happening in the Windows Mobile world. There’s also the Device Lock wars though I think S2U2 is the winner (in my opinion at least).

Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-13 14:10:14

Which others do you know of? I do know of S2U2, and my personal favourite: DeviceLock by Armstrom on the XDA-developers forums:

It doesn’t have a fancy interface but it simply lets me map the unlock functionality to a hardware button. There are also some other settings in a control panel applet but I’ve removed then since I don’t need those settings. Makes it even more lightweight! :cool:

I’d love to know about the other alternatives that were part of the war though! (Might even be worth a place in a seperate post on the frontpage instead of here in the comments, to make it read more, also by those who don’t want to make money in a week or 2-3 ;) )

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-13 14:15:18

There’s the one that you mentioned, and then there’s iPhone Slider which is very similar to that of S2U2. Then there are other options from some time back as well and now we have applications like Home and GoodWin which integrate the locks into their lineup. There sure are a lot of options right now if you ask me.

Comment by spmwinkel Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-13 14:25:09

That brings me to another example of wars: “homescreens”. Spb Mobile Shell, S2U2, PointUI, etc. Perhaps things like that are going on all the time, and to think that these are exciting times are just an illusion. But at least to me it appears to be quite exciting to see these developments - also taking into account the iWindowsMobile applications such as the SMS-Chat program, which is a gap that hopefully will be properly filled in WM 6.1.

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-13 14:30:06

Oh yeah that’s true. Come to think of it, these wars only started heating up after the iPhone was announced but no one’s complaining. I wonder what will be next after the browser wars.

Comment by maceyr
2008-02-13 17:03:56

Yes, we all have the infamous iPhone to thank, regardless of your view, although it has spawned many wars from many fronts.

It does look like the focus is now on bringing the media to the smartphones via the browser. It seems that every day goes by and there’s a new browser or something multimedia related that is expecting to stream to cell phones. Novarra just come with a news release on their Vision Mobile web and multimedia platform not to mention others. So, this space is definitely heating up.

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-13 18:04:35

Another browser? That sure is a lot of browsers introduced in the last couple of days thanks to the World Mobile Congress. I wonder which one would come out tops. My bet is on Opera Browser 9.5. Skyfire looks good but I have yet to have any hands on with it so I can’t comment. Yours?

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-02-13 11:25:23

Nope, I have yet to receive my invite. I am not sure if they will ever offer it free if they are the leader of browser. Maybe in the future when there a lot more competitions and Opera’s edge is removed, they just might.

Comment by maceyr
2008-02-13 13:22:56

Here’s to hoping. But, the horizon is looking good though, now that many more are focusing on the web browsing experience and coming up with a browser that is something close enough to the desktop. Thank goodness because I’ve been so disappointed with the browsing experience, especially on the Palm OS side with the Blazer browser. You really can’t do much with that sad browser. Even Pocket Internet Explorer is so much better than Blazer.


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