In shor this is an IM and VoIP client. It works with Skype, MSN Messenger, Twitter, GoogleTalk and SIP services, all logged in at the same time. The only problem here is that you don't have a way to logoff from each service individually.
Installation is very easy: you enter your mobile number in their website, and you will receive a SMS with a download link. No need for cables, or a PC - simply download over the air.
The Services Configuration is a bit strange, but I guess you only really need to change those things when adding or removing a service, really. SIP works ok, with a bit of delay on WCDMA, which I was expecting really.
It also works well with Skype, which is great, since the original Skype client will simply crash on my Palm Treo devices.
I had a problem with my password, which had a "+" somewhere in it and was ok with the original software, but stopped working after an update. There's no login at Fring, so I submitted a support ticket, and the good folks at Fring changed my password after proper credentials were established.
I also just realised the Fring account is your phone number plus user name, so I now need the password reset for my second device (the Treo 700wx).
This is the first SIP client that works on my Palm Treo devices. The X-Lite software is great on Pocket PCs, but it doesn't like the 240 x 240 pixels square screen on the Palm handhelds.
The software runs on Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.
When the device was released I had a meeting with the then Vodafone New Zealand Product Manager (who left Vodafone now) and by the Palm Australia Sales Manager that we should expect a ROM update for the Palm Treo 750v enabling the faster HSDPA 3G standard. The expected date was around January 2007. I even wrote this in my Treo 750v review with their blessings.
Then January came and I was told instead of having a ROM update to enable HSDPA and then another update for Windows Mobile 6, Vodafone was planning to do a single update for both.
Now the product manager has left the company, and when I asked about this missing update I am told that an update for Windows Mobile 6 is coming, but there are no plans to enable HSDPA on this device anymore.
Frustrating. Our friends on Telstra can use their Palm Treo 750 with HSDPA, but Vodafone don't think it's for us.
Here is a bit of Alex Kac's open letter to warez sites:
Myself and a band of software devs here have found a *very* large pirate warez site which I will not link to. They have cracks for almost everything imaginable. They have our software on there with download ratios in the TENS of THOUSANDS. In many cases I find more downloads of our software on the warez site than I see on our own download servers. I've calculated that even if we only lost 10% of those downloads that could have been sales its a pretty major hit.
The fact is that companies like ours and most other WinMobile devs operate on a shoestring budget. Most of our software sells at a break-even point, some at a loss until it breaks even 2-4 years after introduction. For the amount of money I've "lost" I could have *easily* created a Pocket Informant for Desktop or BlackBerry or heck other major applications or improvements. I could have hired an extremely high paid developer for a year or two averagely paid ones. For a company that has only 3 full time developers that's a fairly major loss.
The fact is that piracy hurts those who pirate. They want our software obviously. Some just use it for a "test", but we offer a two week trial and with a bit of work you can probably get 2-3 months free usage of our products a year. And we don't sell for a large amount of money. Just wait and you can usually get our software for a steal - without actually stealing. I don't think paying $9.95 is such a huge issue if you need an app like VoiceMinder. Its barely a lunch and drink. But the reason piracy hurts those who pirate is because they are like vampires slowly killing the company that they are sucking the applications off of.
Who here would care if there was never a VoiceMinder, FlexWallet, FlexMail, or Pocket Informant upgrade again? I have personally had fleeting thoughts of selling WebIS or just closing it down because even as this market has grown the software market has not and while I'm not naive enough to think its *all* about piracy, I know that it just makes me depressed. And no, we're not closing down and yes there will be major upgrades of everything. And yes, piracy has been part of the software business from the very beginning but that doesn't mean I can't ask you to stop.
And therein lies my plea to you. If you actually use our software please pay for it. When you don't you personally are contributing to the financial downfall of a bunch of people who are working hard to make good quality software for you. If you don't want to think of piracy as theft, think of it as stiffing us. Would you stiff the waiter of a tip? How about the guy who built your house? How about the plumber or the electrician? Or the Taxi cab driver? And yes, software does cost money to make. I pay electric bills, Microsoft dues, travel expenses to meet with MS devs, trade shows, advertising, not to mention salaries. So if you wouldn't stiff the waiter at your favorite restaurant his 15% (or 10% if you're money concious) tip, why stiff us the few bucks we ask?
WebIS has always been extremely liberal in our licensing as well. We don't use activation (we've thought about it), we don't lock our license to your username, we don't do anything to make licensing hard. We let you run our software on as many devices that you personally use and we use the honor system. Heck, we even make 2-3 versions of our software in most cases and let you pay for one and get them all.
This is an important issue. A lot of people hack their creations and distribute for free. Others create their applications and sell them because it's their way to pay for things in life. Try to undersdant this.
From Mac Rumors:
Revolutionary Mobile Phone
- Dial any telephone number with the touch of a finger
- Create and manage a list of telephone numbers you call most
- If you choose to answer the call, the video will pause and resume once the call ends
- iPhone syncs contact information from the computer to iPhone (from Address Book on a Mac or Outlook or Outlook Express on a Windows PC).
- Built-in speakerphone
- iPhone lets you carry on a phone conversation while you simultaneously browse the Internet or send an email.
- There is a vibrate mode.
- Sync photos from Mac or PC
SMS Text Messaging
- SMS text message button shows how many new messages are waiting
- Threaded conversations
- Hear an audio alert for new messages
- Error correction and prevention in the keyboard. Only displayed when you need it.
- iPhone users will not be able to conduct IM conversations with instant messaging users
- Does not support MMS messaging for photos or videos
Music and Video
- All videos play in landscape mode
- If you prefer your widescreen content to take up the entire screen, you can double tap the video and iPhone will automatically scale the video to take up the entire screen
- Sync music with iTunes just like any other iPod
- Select how to display music: by playlist, artist, songs or more.
- Media Net, MobiTV, or Cellular Video are not available on iPhone
- Rich formatting
- Support for IMAP and POP3
- Yahoo! Push Mail
- Automatic address completion
- Double tap an object to make it fill the screen, and double tap to zoom out
- Can have multiple websites open at once and switch between them
- Websites you have bookmarked on your computer will be transfered to your iPhone from your Mac or PC
- iPhone will not support the TeleNav solutions currently offered by other AT&T devices
- GPS is not part of the iPhone feature set.
Yawn... It is interesting how some people get all excited and list vibrate mode as a "revolutionary" thing. I thought vibrate mode was standard in most "smarter" devices anyway?
People, let's be realistic. All those features (and more) are present on Palm OS, Symbian and Windows Mobile devices. And those devices do not use proprietary voice mail services that chain you to a specific mobile operator.
That's the thing in marketing. It seems the key is to make any feature sound as it is only available on that specific product.
Some of the key updates:
Windows Mobile 6 feature support:
- Information Rights Management activation - Automatically configure the Windows Mobile 6 device to open IRM-protected documents and files
- HTML mail – Set up your Windows Mobile 6 device to sync HTML-formatted mail
- Certificate Enrollment - Acquire certificates through the PC the Windows Mobile 6 device is currently connected to
- Allow data connections on the Windows Mobile 6 device when connected to the PC
- File synchronization for smartphones – Synchronize files with your Windows Mobile 6 devices, including both touch screen and non-touch screen devices
- Automatic device authentication - Connect the Windows Mobile device to the PC without the need to enter the device-lock PIN every time upon connect
- Product Registration - Register your Windows Mobile device and get connected to information and offers available for your device
For example, this is the kind of self-explanatory message I received before:
This is not as bad as what Ed Hansberry has experienced though...
Fear nothing for a NEW version is coming out soon, according to the official Windows Vista Blog. Which is not early enough...
You see, this first version of WMDC causes so much problems that I plug my Palm Treo to my laptop once a month, or less, depending if I need to install a new program. I am glad all of my PIM data (Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, E-mail) is synchronised to an Exchange Server, so I don't really need to plug the device. There was a time only one in four attempts would actually see the device communicating with my laptop.
Sharing this view are James Kendrick (a Microsoft MVP Tablet) and Darius Wei (like myself a Microsoft MVP Windows Mobile). I am sure Ed Hansberry will be happy, as others who also have problems and are crying for an update...
How is that? Until now PDAs and smartphones (from now on mobile devices) were PC companions, that is, users would synchronise their information (PIM, files, programs) to a PC. At the end of the day everything on a mobile device would just be a replica of the same kind of information present on a user's PC.
The Palm Foleo changes this by actually being the companion to a mobile device. Its main features are actually the large screen, full size keyboard and the ability to synchronise with a mobile device. Note that in this case the main repository is the mobile device, not a PC - although you could have a mobile device synchronising to a PC, and the Foleo synchronising to your mobile device.
Below is a short two minutes video I created from the press material distributed by Palm, with some more information, directly from Jeff Hawkins, founder, Palm Inc:
Why would anyone want this? For many users the most important things are really e-mail, attachment handling (office documents) and a bit of browsing. Not every user needs a PC for heavy 3D gaming for example. And not everyone wants to carry a heavy laptop when going out of the office, just to "keep in touch" with e-mail.
I believe some business users would really like the ability to have a device with a bit more "room" to work than a mobile device - a larger 10" screen, decent size keyboard and longer battery life (the Palm Foleo seems to be able to work for up to five hours with its standard battery) are very appealing.
The Palm Foleo comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Want to browse the Internet? You can do so with its built-in Opera Browser (including Flash support), via Wi-Fi. If no Wi-Fi is available you can use Bluetooth wireless to connect to the Internet through a Palm Treo.
It also uses Bluetooth to synchronise information with your mobile device. Note that what you see on a Palm Foleo is what you have on your mobile device. It is like an extension, a keyboard/monitor combination that is not constantly connected to its main storage.
Initially you must have a Palm Treo smartphone, but Palm says it will work with other Windows Mobile devices with little or no changes and possibly other smartphone platforms (Symbian?) with small modifications.
The entire system is open, based on a Linux platform, and Palm is making all the APIs available.
Palm Foleo is being launched with a street price of US$ 499 (after a US$ 100 rebate). Wasn't this what UMPCs should have been? Forgive me, but the way I see it the US$ 500, long battery life UMPC ended up being a US$ 1500, short battery life sub notebook. And the Palm Foleo might as well take its place.
Another important point to consider is Palm's history of creating and supporting developer communities. This will be a major factor in having a wider acceptance for this product. The Palm Foleo comes with Opera Browser, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Datavix Documents-to-go, and we can expect a lot more by the time it reaches the market.
While still early to give my final impression on this (let's wait until I can play with one), I think this new class of devices promises to be ground breaking. I certainly would use one, but I would like to see its price come down, to about US$ 250.
Ilium Software are the developers of some fine software for Windows Mobile and Palm - eWallet is the only program I've used since my early Palm days, migrated across to Pocket PC OS and Windows Mobile. I have it on my desktop and can't live without it.
Watch their blog too...
You see, some of the "tools" were removed, and a robust 64 bit server was added.
A bit of history: Groove founder, Ray Ozzie, created Lotus Notes. After Microsoft's acquisition of Groove Networks Ray Ozzie replaced Bill Gates as Microsoft's Chief Architect. This is no easy task.
But this post is just to say that I'd really like to see a Groove Windows Mobile client. And after some searches I found this is not completely a crazy idea. An article on Infoworld says
HOW DO YOU PORT 5 million lines of Win32/COM code to the Pocket PC? That was the dilemma that Groove Networks faced when considering how to bring its ultrasecure peer collaboration technology to mobile devices.
The first release, due later this year, will wrap SOAP/WSDL interfaces around the core elements of the Groove architecture: accounts, identities, contacts, shared-space membership, and presence. It will also encapsulate the most common tools used in shared spaces: Discussion, Files, and Calendar. To export access to these Web services, a SOAP server runs alongside the Groove client.
In fact, another article on Infoworld tells us that
Indeed, Groove will use a PDC keynote to demonstrate alpha code of a Groove application running on a Pocket PC device.
Microsoft gets a sexy new pervasive application built with the just-shipping .NET Compact Framework, and Groove goes mobile with rapid development tools that leverage .NET's SOAP services-processing architecture and Pocket PC 2002 support for Windows Messenger, VPNs, and 802.11b wireless.
This was back in 2002. Since then a lot changed... I am not sure we will see a Groove client for mobile devices now.
Check this post in thw Windows Mobile Team blog about Windows Mobile Security White Papers. You will find out a lot in two booklets avaialble online, Security Considerations for Windows Mobile Messaging in the Enterprise and Security Model for Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows Mobile 6.