apple · ipad · podcast

Apple iPad Announcement Podcast Posted

Apple has posted the podcast of the iPad announcement from last week. You can download the video to your Mac, PC, iPhone, or iPod by subscribing to the Apple Keynotes podcast feed.

I skipped watching the iPad event as a streaming video so I can download the event to my Apple TV so I can watch it in my living room on a 42-inch TV. If you can’t see Apple’s keynote events live, then a TV in your living room is the next best thing.

microsoft · windows mobile

Microsoft Makes Windows Mobile Noise

First it was Windows CE. Then it was Pocket PC. Next came Windows Mobile. Now Microsoft is talking “Windows Phone.”

According to Electronista.com, Microsoft is going to be talking about some new details about the next version of Windows Mobile at Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona. The February European mobile event is just as geeky at January’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Will Microsoft finally give us some real details on the next version of their mobile phone OS or will they talk about some release of Windows Mobile that will sit between Windows Mobile 6.5 and 7.0?

[Via Electronista.com…]

android · eris · google

HTC Droid Eris

Last week I came back to my office to find a present waiting for my on my desk: an HTC Droid Eris smartphone!

Since this phone is being issued to me as a corporate asset, I’m required to use the phone for business purposes only. That means that the phone can only be used for business phone calls and email only. (If I need to make personal calls or send personal email, I’ll have my Palm Pre for that.)

So here are some pictures of the Eris being unboxed. The first thing that I noticed when I took the Eris out of the box was how thin and light it felt; something that I will appreciate since I will be required to carry two phones most of the time. The Google Android OS is on par with Apple’s iPhone OS and Palm’s webOS. The Verizon edition of the Eris ships with Android 1.5 installed. If some of the rumors on the Internet are to be believed, HTC and Verizon are working on an Android 2.0 update, however, the ticking point is the porting of HTC’s custom Sense UI to the Android 2.0 platform.

Unlike the Motorola Droid that I recently reviewed, the HTC Eris lacks a physical keyboard. I’ll have to get used to that, but it is the price you have to pay to get a thin device.

I’ll have some more thoughts and impressions on the HTC Droid Eris as time goes on.

apple · ipad

First Impressions of the Apple iPad

Just saw that Jimmie over at GadgetsOnTheGo.net has a cool graphic of the iPad posted with a compact specs block.

The iPad looks really cool, but I’m not sure I’ll buy one before I get to play with one at Best Buy or an Apple Store. Ya, let’s make that until I play with one at an Apple Store. Sure it’s an hour to the nearest Apple Store, but you kinda have to visit “the holy land” if you’re going to play with the newest Apple hardware and software and talk to someone who really knows the product inside and out.

Regardless of what I do, I don’t see myself buying one of the cellular service editions of iPad. I really don’t want to have to put more money in the pockets of the phone company. I’ve been doing fine with my Wi-Fi enabled iPod touch. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m willing to bet that hi-def TV shows and movies, which I do watch often on my iPod touch, are going to look great on this thing.

And while we’re talking about the “phone company,” it looks like Verizon is out in the cold again as Apple selects AT&T as their 3G cellular edition iPad partner. I mean why not? It isn’t like AT&T’s wireless network is getting over run by iPhone users as it is.

Now for the part that is going to put me in the dog house for a few weeks: the price! How am I going to walk around the house toting this tech without my wife getting suspicious, checking the bank account, and finding out that I’ve dropped $600-700 on a new “toy” that I don’t need?!

[Images courtesy of GadgetsOnTheGo.net, and Engadget.com]

apple · ipad

Jobs Introduces the iPad, Fanboys Go Insane

At long last, the new Apple tablet computer has been unveiled and Apple fans go nuts!

I have purposely been avoiding any leaked news about the iPad for the last few days because I like surprises. If you haven’t seen Jobs’ keynote address yet, you can watching a streaming video from the Apple website. I’m going to hold out for another day or so to see if it shows up in Apple’s keynote podcast feed so I can download it to my MacBook and then sync it up to my Apple TV connected to my 42″ TV.

In the mean time, you can check out all the specs and gallery pictures over on the Apple iPad website.

pixi · sprint · web os

Palm Pixi Hands On Review

The Palm Pixi is the Palm’s low-cost, consumer friendly Palm Centro replacement. I have been test driving the Sprint Palm Pixi for the last two weeks. The following are my impressions of Palm’s new webOS powered smartphone.

[Editor’s Note: Starting today, January 25, 2010, Verizon Wireless will begin selling the new Palm Pixi Plus. The Sprint Pixi and the Verizon Pixi Plus are identical phones with the exception that the Verizon edition hardware includes a Wi-Fi 802.11b/g radio.]

The Hardware

I was really impressed by the size and weight of the Pixi when compared with other phones from Palm. The difference is noticeable as soon as you pick it up. The Pixi seemed much lighter than my Palm Treo 755p. I was also impressed by the thickness of the Pixi. Compared with my 2G Apple iPhone, the Pixi was the same high and thickness. The Pixi is slightly more narrow than the iPhone. The physical keyboard on the Pixi is completely usable, however, I found the Palm Pre’s keyboard to be more roomy and also felt more sturdy. The Pixi keyboard’s tactile feedback was good, and you know that you pressed a key, which is something you don’t get from an on screen virtual keyboard. If you plan on sending a lot of email or text messages, you will appreciate the Pixi’s hardware keyboard.

The Pixi’s 320×400 pixel screen measures 2.63-inches. I found the screen to deliver a sharp, crisp image and I had no trouble reading the screen. Viewing photos, watching video, or even surfing the web was easy on the eyes.

Starting with the Pixi, Palm has chosen to remove the center button that appeared on the Sprint edition Palm Pre. If you have never used a Palm Pre before, you will never miss the center button. To zoom out of the current application card on the Pixi, simply flick your finger upward from the gesture area to the screen. To zoom back in, tap the card you want to bring to the foreground.

For the Pixi, Palm included an EVDO Rev A CDMA cellular radio, a GPS receiver, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and A2DP support, 8GB of storage space (about 7GB is available for use), and a 2MP camera with LED flash. The You won’t however, find Wi-Fi or an microSD card slot in the Pixi.

The Palm Pixi has an 115mAh removable battery. During my test period, I was able to use the Pixi for about about 14-16 hours before I started to think about where I could plug in the phone to charge up. I had the Pixi checking 5 different email accounts on varying schedules, I referred to my personal and business calendars frequently, snuck in the Smartphone Fanatics Facebook page and Twitter accounts, and surfed the web. During my day, I don’t spend much time talking on the phone. Milage will vary with your usage pattern. In my opinion, if you like to talk, send a lot of text or email messages, or surf the web constantly, you will want to carry a charging cable or a spare battery with you. (I recommend the same thing for Pre owners.) I did like the rubber microUSB port cover. I am always concerned that I am about to break the door off my Palm Pre each time I connect my Pre to my MacBook to access the USB storage partition. Thanks to the Pixi’s rubber door, I wasn’t worried that I would break the phone.

The Software

The Palm Pixi is the second smartphone from Palm to run their new Palm webOS operating system. My demo Pixi was delivered to me running Palm webOS 1.3.5.1, the same version of webOS that I am running on my Palm Pre.

Palm webOS is a modern mobile operating system that retains all of the ease of use that made Palm OS devices so easy to use. Synergy, the data synchronization technology built into webOS, keeps all of your data organized and in sync on your phone. You will be able to easily access your corporate Microsoft Exchange account, Google Gmail account, Yahoo account, as well as your Facebook account and standard POP/IMAP email accounts.

Universal Search is another major improvement over the search feature in Palm OS. Universal Search will not only sift through your contacts, but also searches your email, the applications on your phone and offers to continue the search on Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia, or Twitter if the search term can’t be located on your phone. Universal Search is a powerful feature that I use every day to quickly locate information on my phone or to launch applications.

For those folks who like to have all of their stuff with them all the time, the Pixi comes preloaded with useful applications for taking pictures, playing music and audio files, accessing Facebook, and viewing Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat documents. Today you can only view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on the Pixi, however I understand that DataViz is working on a full version of Documents To Go for Palm webOS. Palm has done a good job writing the Synergy interface with Facebook. When you login to your Facebook account after downloading the client from the Palm App Catalog (think Apple’s App Store), Synergy downloads your contact information in the Pixi’s local contacts database. I’m hopeful that a more feature rich version of the Facebook application will be released by Palm soon. While the Facebook contacts integration does work well, and the status feed is OK, there are many other features of Facebook that you simply can not access from the webOS client. Heavy Facebook users will want to access the mobile Facebook site, x.facebook.com, if they want to do more than just update their status or comment on their friend’s status.

Conclusion

After spending a few weeks with the Sprint Palm Pixi, I am convinced that it is a good low cost, consumer smartphone that can do double duty as a business phone. The Pixi’s small candy bar form factor means that you will carry it with you all the time. The lack of Wi-Fi on the Sprint edition Palm Pixi shouldn’t be a deal breaker for most people as the Sprint EVDO network is fast enough in most cases. Depending on how you use your phone, battery life could be an issue.

Pricing and Availability

The Sprint Palm Pixi is available now for $99.99 when you purchase it directly from Sprint after a $200 instant savings and a $100 mail in rebate when you also sign up for a qualifying 2-year service agreement. The Sprint Palm Pixi costs $399.99 when you purchase it without a service plan. You can save yourself some extra money if you shop around for the best deal on a new Pixi. For example, Amazon is selling the Pixi for $24.99 when you sign up for a 2-year service plan.

For more information about the Palm Pixi for Sprint, visit the Palm website.

pixi · pre · verizon · web os

Palm Pre Plus, Pixi Plus Go On Sale Today

The new Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, introduced during this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vega goes on sale today for the Verizon Wireless cellular network.

Verizon Wireless, the company with the largest and most reliable wireless voice and 3G data network, announced today that Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus will be on store shelves and ready for purchase. The Palm Pre Plus will cost $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, and the Palm Pixi Plus will cost $99.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, each with a new two-year customer agreement. Buy a Palm Pre Plus or a Palm Pixi Plus and get a Palm Pixi Plus free after a mail-in rebate through Feb. 14.

Both Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus come travel-ready with a built-in 3G Mobile Hotspot – a Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared among five Wi-Fi-capable devices. The 3G Mobile Hotspot is the perfect family vacation companion, and at $40 for 5 GB and 5 cents per megabyte overage, it provides an allowance big enough for sharing with the entire family for downloading games, Internet access and more.

Paired with Verizon Wireless’ new Nationwide Talk or Nationwide Talk & Text plans and a $29.99 monthly data plan, Palm Pre Plus is the perfect tool for the busy family manager, while Palm Pixi Plus is the perfect complement to a youngster as part of a Family SharePlan. Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access and Nationwide Talk & Text Plans begin at $59.99 monthly access. Nationwide Unlimited Talk Plans and Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text Plans are available at $69.99 and $89.99 monthly access, respectively. Nationwide Unlimited Talk Family SharePlans start at $119.99 monthly access for the first two lines, while the Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text Family SharePlans are $149.99 monthly access for the first two lines of service.

In addition, Palm Pixi Plus customers have more options for personalizing their phones with the new color Pixi Touchstone Back Covers. The covers will be available in pink, blue, green, orange and black for only $29.99 each at www.verizonwireless.com and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores.