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Telecom New Zealand Apache Pocket PC gets AKU2.2

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-May-2006 15:23

It is official now: the Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 2.2 update for the Telecom New Zealand Apache Pocket PC Phone Edition (a.k.a. Audiovox PPC6700, Verizon XV6700) is coming to the public very soon.

I don't know the details yet (date and URL for download), but it should be out very soon, since I just got an e-mail with links to the final version and a document with all the information about this new release.

I have been using a previous beta version for about 45 days now, and it comes with lots of features and fixes. It's hard to categorise these, but I will list in the same order they are in the document:

1.Today screen: an updated today screen now brings a "Lock Device" plugin so you can lock the device while not in use.

2.Connection Manager (image below): You can now turn on/off all the wireless features from a single program: CDMA cellular data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth. You can also turn on/off ActiveSync, Direct Push (more on this later) and disconnect from the CDMA data session:

3.Network Time Sync: the Apache now offers an option to synchronise its internal clock with the cellular network.

4.Smart Dial: entering a few numbers in the dialpad (Phone Application) will lookup contact information using predictive input.

5.Voice Speed Dial and ZIP Manager: you can train the Apache to dial with voice commands, and it also comes with a ZIP program so you can zip/unzip downloaded files and e-mail attachments.

6.MSFP: If your organisation runs Microsoft Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 then the MSFP (Messaging Security Feature Pack) built-in this AKU2.2 release will allow many new functions:

a) Direct Push E-mail: e-mails can be sent to your Apache Pocket PC automatically, without the need of manually initiating an e-mail checking;

b) Global Address Lookup: find a contact on-line in the Exchange GAL (Global Address List);

c) E-mail security: you can now sign, encrypt, decrypt e-mails directly on the Pocket PC, when using Digital Certificates;

Not listed in the document is the Security Policies: through the Exchange administration interface it is possible to force the Pocket PC to require PIN, specify a limit of failed attempts, and even remotely erase the contents of the main memory in case the device is lost.

You can read a lot more about the AKU2 in this article.

Not all is fixed though: a problem I found existed in the original Apache release (the device sometimes fails to turn on when there's a miniSD card in the slot) is recognised by HTC (the manufacturer) as a fault, but the fix is not scheduled until the next release.

Sixth Annual Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine Best Software Awards

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-May-2006 18:17

Once again I am one of the judges in the Sixth Annual Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine Best Software Awards.

Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine’s Annual Best Software Awards helps users select software that best suit their Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone needs by honoring companies that produce outstanding software. In 2005, 90 Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine Board of Experts judges nominated 768 Windows Mobile products in 130 Pocket PC, Smartphone, and Developer categories to determine finalists and winners.

You can check a brief summary for each one of the judges on this page:

Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone experts from throughout the world have agreed to judge and select winners for each software category. These experts are authors of Pocket PC books, Pocket PC magazine contributors, Microsoft Pocket PC MVPs, Pocket PC magazine Support Forum helpers, and associates of top Pocket PC Web sites.

The list is being updated as more judges confirm their participation.

Access Netfront 3.3 Beta for Windows Mobile is out

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-May-2006 18:29

The best web browser for Windows Mobile is now compatible with Windows Mobile 5.0. Access Netfront 3.3 is available as a trial (limited to 45 days) and the full version should be out by the end of May.

This browser is really nice. It supports Javascript, Java, Macromedia Flash, and a lot of other functions, including tabbed browsing.

Highly recommended if you are into browsing on your Windows Mobile device.

I am not going to Microsoft Australia MEDC 2006

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-May-2006 21:10

I was quite happy I could be attending both the I Microsoft Australia MEDC 2006 (Mobile and Embedded Developers Conference) in Melbourne and the Windows Vista Lab happening in Singapore, 26 - 27 May 2006.

But the airline companies don't want it to happen like this. I was planning to fly from Wellington to Melbourne on 24 May, attend the MEDC 2006 25 May, flying to Singapore 26 May at 1am. My fligh back would be on 28 May, Singapore to Wellington with a stop in Auckland.

But Air New Zealand can't issue tickets from Melbourne to Singapore, even though these are on a Star Alliance airline partner, Singapore Airlines. Their suggestion was to purchase Wellington to Melbourne one-way on Air New Zealand, Melbourne to Singapore one-way on Singapore Airlines, and Singapore to Wellington one-way on Air New Zealand. Yeah, right...

The total cost for this would be 100% over my budget for the air part of this trip.

A cheaper option would be to get a return ticket Wellington to Melbourne, and a return ticket from Melbourne to Singapore. It would add a stop in Melbourne on the way back though plus the accommodation costs there.

I think I will have to leave the MEDC 2006 out of my plans this year. Shame...

Reinstalling Sprite Backup on Windows Mobile 5

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-May-2006 17:48

You should (in theory) have no problems reinstalling any software on your Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone. But as it happens, this is not always true.

I tried to install Sprite Backup 5.1 on both my TNZ Apache and i-mate Jasjar, both of which had Sprite Backup 5.0 previously installed. While it worked fine on my TNZ Apache, it didn't work quite well on the i-mate Jasjar.

It seems that Windows Mobile 5.0 has a bad habit of sometimes failing to remove some software. It happened to me a couple of times: tap to remove a program, the uninstall starts on the device, but stops with a message stating "it was impossible to remove the software".

I tried manually removing Sprite Backup 5.0 from my i-mate Jasjar and encountered this error. And from that moment I couldn't install the new version:

After a couple of e-mails with Kevin at Sprite Software, he called me here at the Geekzone HQ to guide me through some stuff to clean up the failed uninstall. A few minutes later I had Sprite Backup 5.1 installed:

If you don't know, Sprite Software is based in Auckland, New Zealand. As far as I know, they are the same folks who originally developed Ghost, later sold to Symantec and branded as Norton Ghost. So they know a thing or two about backup...

For the record, make sure that after removing the program through the Remove Program applet you don't have any Sprite folder under \Program Files and \Storage Card\Program Files. Also, remove any sprite file (including spriteinit.exe) from \Windows. And last but the most important part, remove the HKLM\Software\Sprite
Software key.

This software is highly recommended...

Mobility Guys Podcast

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-May-2006 09:38

A few fellow Microsoft MVP (and friends) have just introduced a project that was under wrpas but in development for some time: the Mobility Guys podcast.

Chris Leckness (, Don Sorcinelli (, Jack Cook (, and Steven Hughes ( are now producing a podcast program about mobility, and Windows Mobile specifically.

I chat with Chris almost every week through Skype, and the project sounded really good when I was told about it. In one of the last calls he was testing the recording gear during our call and that was fun.

I might appear in the show later, but nothing is scheduled - so you have to subscribe to their RSS feed.

ActiveWords for Windows Mobile is coming

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Apr-2006 12:11

I use ActiveWords on my Tablet PC and it's a great time saver. It's a mix of handwriting recognition, gestures, shortcuts and macros. You can invoke programs, replace text, automate tasks, etc. Really cool stuff.

The man behind this program is Buzz Bruggeman. I met Buzz in a Microsoft sponsored Windows Vista and session, during the CES 2006. I had exchanged a few e-mails with him before, but should really had spent more time. Now that he is in Seattle, perhaps during the next MVP Summit when I am there again?

A short definition of Buzz Bruggeman? He's a connector. Just read this interview, published on Naked Conversations, a book by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.
In the Blogosphere, the Connection King is Buzz Bruggeman, and no one who has met him has ever wondered why he’s called ‘Buzz.’ He works rooms at tech conferences, keeps an ongoing email dialog with scores of people, each of them influential in their own way, totes a bag filled with an array of the latest beta devices and software for distribution to friends and industry insiders. In the case of this book, he connected Microsoft’s Andy Ruff who thought of it and its two authors. He's likely to have been that “informed source” in a recent tech-related article. In short, when you really want to know what’s going on, what’s hot and what’s not in the PC industry, Bruggeman is the go-to guy.

Why am I posting about ActiveWords and Buzz Bruggeman? Because he has just posted on his blog that a version of ActiveWords for Windows Mobile Smartphone is being planned.  And the folks at Omega One are probably going to participate in this project:
The other day I met up with Andy Haslam of Omega One. I was introduce to Andy as a guy who we might team up with to build ActiveWords for Windows Mobile 5 smart phones. We had a great time talking, I learned a lot about the Windows Mobile 5 market, and as in all things, good stuff begins with a conversation.

Good stuff: more smarts on a smart device is what we need!

Troubleshooting Direct Push (Windows Mobile and Microsoft Exchange Server)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Apr-2006 10:23

If you are an IT administrator you could probably be facing an interesting task at the moment: deploying Microsoft Exchange Server SP2 and making the new Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) work with Windows Mobile devices, including security and Direct Push e-mail to Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphones.

We have quite a collection of articles about this topic here on Geekzone, including configuration tips for Windows Mobile AUTD (the original version deployed with Windows Mobile 2003), an overview of Windows Mobile MSFP, and an end-user view of Windows Mobile Direct Push and other features introduced with AKU2.

If you want more detailed troubleshooting steps for Windows Mobile MSFP, I suggest you check this blog entry Direct push is just a heartbeat away.

Exchange 2003 introduced the Always Up To Date notification feature (AUTD) that kept devices up to date by sending SMS triggers to the device. The triggers were sent from the enterprise as SMTP messages to the SMTP front end at the mobile operator. They were then sent through the SMS gateway as SMS messages to the device. This approach had some limitations since not all mobile operators did the SMTP to SMS conversion. Even when they did, there was latency involved with SMS messages and there were end-to-end reliability issues. Also some mobile operators charged for each incoming SMS message so that added an extra dimension to the cost of staying up to date. To alleviate these issues, Exchange 2003 SP2 introduced Direct Push.

Direct Push is a client initiated HTTP connection to the server where the device opens a connection to the Exchange Server and keeps it alive for a duration known as the heartbeat interval.  Basically the client sets up the connection, chooses the appropriate heartbeat interval and tears down and reestablishes the connection if and when necessary. The server sends notifications about new items over this connection and the client synchronizes to get the new items.

The blog post contains useful information about server configuration, device configuration, log analysis and more. Worth a read if you are an IT administrator planning or running a Microsoft Exchange Server installation.

Application debug on Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Apr-2006 08:41

I am testing a new OS version in one of my Pocket PCs here and I found that after a few hours the Pocket PC would be unresponsive to the on/off button, only coming back to life with a poke into the reset hole.

I removed a couple of applications I thought could be causing this problem (task manager, battery meters, etc) but the behaviour was still there.

Next step was to remove all software - short of a hard reset, and the Pocket PC in question is working fine since then.

What is really annoying is that a second Pocket PC (another model though) works perfectly well with the same mix of software.

I am now going to reinstall one by one and see when the problem happens. It may be a slow process, since the lock up used to happen only two or three times a day.

Does anyone know of a better way of finding the culprit?

Step-by-step Direct Push Deployment for Windows Mobile and Exchange Server 2003

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Apr-2006 08:57

Now your organisation is running Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and after much study the IT Gods agreed that deploying Windows Mobile devices makes sense because a push e-mail solution is available without the need of third-party platforms.

Cool. But where do you start then?

A great place to start is by visiting the "Step-by-Step Guide to Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2 Mobile Messaging with Windows Mobile 5.0-based Devices", downloading the document and start planning from there.
This document is designed primarily for Information Technology (IT) professionals who are responsible for planning and deploying mobile messaging systems that use Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Microsoft Windows Mobile-based devices that have the Messaging and Security Feature Pack.

This document is divided into two main sections that describe the following:

• The essential elements of a mobile messaging system, including requirements; a summary of deployment procedures; an overview of the features of the Messaging and Security Feature Pack; and best practices for networking, security, and device management.
• The guidelines and resources for the deployment of a mobile messaging system, including updating Exchange Server 2003 SP2, setting up Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for mobile access, creating a protected communications environment, and procedures for setting up and managing mobile devices.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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