Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween 2006 In Your Pocket

BallShooter.com proudly presents a new edition of Fast Swapper game. This limited edition is prepared espesially for Halloween 2006 - it's a special version of their popular game with a lot of new features and abilities....and it's free! 

2006 features:
1. The goal of the game is changed! Now you have to match all items on the board to beat the level.
2. Level-to-Level progress. More than 10 different levels available.
3. The most profitable move is highlighed automatically after a few seconds.


Are you an aspiring artist?

While "surfing" the net today, I saw this item about Pencil Box Deluxe on PDABlast and it really caught my attention. 

So I went to Mental Motions to check it out and I was impressed.  For $11.99, it looks to be a terrific bargain and after looking at some of the drawings that have been submitted, this could be a terrific program to have for the person that does more than the average "doodle". 

Introduction from the Mental Motions site:

Ever thought about drawing with pencils while travelling by train? Now it is possible - Pencil Box Deluxe allows you to draw almost everywere! The only requirement is your Pocket PC and possibility to switch it on! (Don't draw under waterfall or while driving your car :-)

HTC Adds Close Button To Its Devices

Ed Hansberry from Pocket PC Thoughts posted an article today based on a post from MoDaCo.  They were reporting that HTC is giving users what they want on their devices, a close button that actually closes applications. 

Of course, for many of us, this is a BIG item and yet, for a long time, what we have asked for we just never got from Microsoft.  There are a variety of reasons and justifications but folks wanted it ... so finally, we will get it ... on an HTC device.  Maybe, just maybe, we will start to see this task manager option on ALL Windows Mobile devices.

Although some sites posted the news from MoDoCo, no one wrote a compelling article to read except for Ed.  He took the time to put together some well thought out comments that are well worth the read.  In part, Ed said:

... Users can choose to enable the close feature and have it closed either by a tap or a tap-and-hold. Microsoft has maintained for years that users simply don't need to close applications. They really don't want to, they just want the application to go away, and so MS has refused to enable the close feature short going through the 7 tap process via the Memory control panel icon and close it there.

This is a terrific piece that you can read here at Pocket PC Thoughts.  Nice job Ed!

NTT DoCoMo Formulates New Terminal Specifications to Enable Any OS or Application to be Added

NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today new terminal specifications, developed jointly with Intel Corporation, that will enable mobile phones to be customized with additional desired operating system or application.

The specifications provide an open domain, which is separate from the phone's default domain containing the preinstalled operating system and applications. A controller enables switching between the domains.

The open domain will enable a company, for example, to install an original browser and scheduler, and set an internal security policy for the terminal. Individuals will be able to install their own personalized game software.

The domain controller ensures that switching between domains is always possible, so the user can access the phone's default domain even if a technical problem causes the open domain to freeze. The controller also ensures that call functions are always available, regardless of which domain is active. If a call is received while the open domain is active, the user can easily switch to the default domain to take the call.

DoCoMo and Intel terminal architecture teams worked together on various elements of next generation cellular terminal requirements to come up with this specification document.

DoCoMo will publish the specifications at 3:00 pm Japan Standard Time on November 1 at:


Click read more below to see the full news item

Halloween Treat from Microsoft for your Xbox

Did you know that you can NOW download a free system update that provides more than 85 new features and enhancements, including support for native 1080p games and movies, faster Arcade game list display times, and even more choices when it comes to video playback options.

This free update for Xbox 360™ will be distributed via Xbox Live® to all members (Xbox Live Silver and Xbox Live Gold) with no disc or hard drive required. If you don't have an Xbox Live account, you can easily sign up free by connecting your console to a broadband Internet connection. Once online, downloading the update is fast and simple, and provides instant access to many new features.

Expanded HD Display and Video Playback Options

  • With 1080p resolution, you now have the ability to enjoy both game and video content in the best high-definition resolution currently available.
  • Expanded video playback options increase the ways you can enjoy video content on Xbox 360. It is now possible to stream WMV video from a Windows PC running Windows Media Player 11 or Windows Media Connect.
  • You can now play video files from data CDs and DVDs, as well as from storage devices like USB 2.0 flash drives and Xbox 360 Memory Units.
  • Xbox 360 will support 50hz HDTV display modes, providing a much greater choice in how you watch DVD and HD DVD content.

Xbox Live Arcade Enhancements

  • Keeping up to date on Xbox Live Arcade games is now even more convenient with the ability to automatically download newly released Xbox Live Arcade trial games. This eliminates the need to manually search for new downloads on Xbox Live Marketplace each time a new game trial is released.
  • With the fast enumeration of games, see the games in your Xbox Live Arcade collection appear almost instantly. Get in and play right away.
  • With so many games to choose from, Xbox Live Arcade added new sorting options such as "Recently Played" and "By Category." These enhancements make managing Xbox Live Arcade collections faster and easier than ever.
  • A new expanded friends leaderboard within Xbox Live Arcade lets you compare yourself directly against friends and view leaderboard details of your top 10 friends.
  • A new expanded Achievements View within Xbox Live Arcade lets you view your full Achievement details for your Arcade games including descriptions, icons, allotted Gamerscore, and more, right from the Xbox Live Arcade dashboard interface.
  • The "Play Now" launch feature has been streamlined. Selecting "Play Now" after downloading a game in Xbox Live Marketplace now bypasses Arcade and takes you directly to the game.
  • Xbox Live Arcade now offers a "Tell a Friend" feature. Select this from the game info screen to send any friend on your friends list a message telling them about the Arcade game.

XNA Support

  • Amateur game designers will be able to test and play the games they create using XNA Game Studio Express on Xbox 360 systems when it launches later this year (separate download and subscription required).

These features are just some of the enhancements gamers and developers can expect as part of the fall update.

Check out the complete list of updates here.

Click read more below to see the full news item

The Domino Effect

Very often as I am looking for news items to post about how you can Experience Mobility, I run into a variety of really cool things that have nothing to do with Mobility but are too cool not to share.  I saw these guys a short time ago on Letterman and when I saw it today on Google, I just had to pass it on.  Take the time to relax and enjoy this video...who knows, maybe you're video will appear on the net.

George Strompolos from the  Google Video Team said recently:

A good viral video sets off a chain reaction that continues until nearly everyone has seen it, including your mom (or even Agent 2 ½).

The mad scientists known as EepyBird know a thing or two about chain reactions. They first rocketed into viral video fame by turning the explosive act of mixing Diet Coke and Mentos into an art form. Today they're back with a chain reaction like none other: 500 liters of Diet Coke and 1500+ Mentos, all triggered by the pull of one string.

Don't miss The Domino Effect -- a Google Video exclusive. In addition to being very fun, it demonstrates another interesting application of our Sponsored Video program -- this time with user-generated content. This helps producers like EepyBird earn revenue by pairing them up with our advertising partners.

We're excited to help compensate these independent producers for their creativity, and we can't wait to see who the next stars will be. If you have very compelling videos and are interested in this program,please get in touch.

Check out this very cool video here!

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty....

As you Experience Mobility, sometimes you run into the unexpected...

Jennifer Williams caught this unlikely character as she was walking the cliffs of Montana de Oro near Los Osos, California.

Sybase iAnywhere Enhances Core Components for Convergence

New Versions of Core Components Provide Interoperable Mobile Email, Device Management, Security and Enterprise Application Enablement.

Sybase iAnywhere today announced new versions of two of the core components in its Information Anywhere Suite, a portfolio of products that provide the essential building blocks for enterprise mobility solutions. Information Anywhere Suite is designed to help organizations address the converging requirements for mobile email, device management, security and enterprise application enablement.

The delivery of Afaria 5.5 and OneBridge 5.5 completes the updates of all products in the Information Anywhere Suite. These updates enable interoperability across technologies to optimize wireless communications, simplify IT requirements and improve mobile user experience. Information Anywhere Suite is a key extension of Sybase's Unwired Enterprise strategy.

"Customers today are looking at mobility in a strategic manner and seeking out comprehensive solutions beyond single-purposed applications," said Stephen Drake, Program Director for IDC's Mobile Enterprise services. "Savvy mobile software providers that deliver an integrated set of mobile enablement application capabilities, messaging and mobile device management and security within a suite offering are delivering on customers' strategic mobility goals."

Recent Information Anywhere Suite product updates of Afaria, OneBridge, M- Business Anywhere, SQL Anywhere and Unwired Accelerator include improved interoperability across components and further leverage a common technology infrastructure requiring fewer resources from the communications network to increase battery life and improve the overall performance and user experience on a mobile device.
Information Anywhere Suite Capabilities Include:

— Heterogeneous Mobile Email Delivery — OneBridge provides a powerful out-of-the-box solution for push delivery of data such as email, calendar, contacts and tasks to mobile workers in real time.
— Mobile Device Management — Afaria allows companies to centrally manage and support devices, applications, data and communications regardless of the available bandwidth. It creates a bridge of system control, user support and information flow between the frontlines and the enterprise.
— Mobile Device Security — Using Afaria, companies can protect data, mobile devices, applications and remote users against unauthorized access and other security vulnerabilities with methods like wiping data, disabling access to lost or stolen devices and encrypting data transmissions.
— Mobile Enterprise Application Enablement — Developers and IT professionals can leverage OneBridge, M-Business Anywhere, SQL Anywhere and Unwired Accelerator to build mobile solutions that extend existing enterprise information sources (including databases, application interfaces and services, messaging servers and intranets) and applications (including SAP, Business Objects and Remedy) directly to mobile devices.

"The last few years have brought major advances in wireless technology and converged mobile devices, but organizations still face challenges in two key areas: securing and managing mobile data, applications and devices; and extending enterprise applications to their mobile environment," said Terry Stepien, president, iAnywhere. "Recognizing that these challenges are interrelated and need to be addressed holistically, Information Anywhere Suite empowers organizations to take a strategic approach to their enterprise mobility deployments."


Click read more below to see the full news item

Spb Software House Announces the Third Annual Spb Pocket PC Survey

Spb Software House, Developer of the Year 2006 (Handango), announces the 3rd Annual Spb Pocket PC Survey. Every year it helps to gather and process the information about the current Pocket PC community's status and compare it to the previous survey results.

The first two surveys, conducted in 2004 and 2005, provided priceless information about the whole Pocket PC community and had a great response. This year the survey should show even more quantitative and qualitative changes in the community concerning rapid Pocket PC market growth, which will define the subsequent condition of the branch. According to the figures of the year 2005 the Pocket PC market increased by 75.1% and continues to grow.

All survey participants will get a collection of five excellent ringtones.

The first Survey, conducted in September 2004, provided extensive and priceless information to the whole Pocket PC community and had a great response. The Second Annual Spb Pocket PC Survey helped to compare the two-year results and to draw a conclusion about the Pocket PC market evolution.

The Second Annual Pocket PC Survey conducted in 2005 uncovered the most important changes in the whole Pocket PC community:

  • Users have three times more phone editions than a year ago
  • HP iPAQ lost almost a half of its market share in connection with the growing number of Dell Axim and phone edition devices
  • The average storage card size is 1.16 GB, which is 3.5 times more than a year ago
  • 85% users use Pocket PCs to connect to the Internet. It's a more important thing than games now

You can find full comparative results of the Surveys 2004 and 2005 using the following link:

The most interesting question is - what changes are expected this year?

Spb Pocket PC Survey is a part of Spb's good will strategy to contribute to the Pocket PC community. This strategy also involves activities such as organizing the Pocket PC Developer Network website and developing the Spb Benchmark application. Spb Software House is confident that the results of the survey will be both interesting and relevant to the Pocket PC community

The survey will take place from October 31st to November 14th. This year the survey is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese languages. You can complete the survey now using the following link:

No, it's not Family Fortunes (dire UK game show), it's the results of the SPB Pocket PC Survey. SPB conducted the survey amongst 10,000 Pocket PC users and came out with all sorts of interesting statistics about our usage, buying habits, family members attitudes to our Pocket PC's, etc. It's a pretty extensive list of results, but if you've ever wanted to know the average shoe size of a PPC user, SPB are probably the best people to ask!»

About Spb Software House

Spb Software House is a software development company, specializing mainly in Windows Mobile software for Pocket PCs. Founded in 1999, the company offers advanced software solutions for use in a wide range of applications.

Click read more below to see the full news item

Do you have a Slingbox and a Mac?

If you do then you might like this one!.  Sling Media has released SlingPlayer Mac for OS X via Public Beta

Chris Leckness over at Mobilitysite posted VERY EARLY this morning that Sling Media announced the immediate availability of the SlingPlayer for Mac OS X. Great post Chris!

This is a software download for Slingbox customers who want to use their Apple Macintosh computer. If you are a U.S. or Canadian customer, you can take full advantage of this public beta, now, free of charge, from the following two URLs:

Source: MobilitySite

New iPod Shuffle on Friday

Caroline McCarthy reported today that Apple has made the official announcement that the NEW iPod Shuffle will be available on Friday.  In part, Caroline said:

Apple Computer announced on Tuesday that the second generation of its iPod Shuffle will be available globally on Friday, Nov. 3. The 1-gigabyte screenless iPod, which retails for $79, has been the subject of much fan speculation because of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' claim that it's the world's smallest digital-audio player--it's half a cubic inch in volume.


Source:  CNET News.com

Automatically Update Your Phone Contacts

  ....all this for an additional fee of $4.49 a month....NOT!

I certainly can appreciate providers offering services to make their service up to date and better than the next guy but here has to point when a service offering is part of the package.

A little bit here, a little bit there all coupled with the initial service and data plan ... it adds up...BIG TIME!

The service takes your computer-based contact lists from your e-mail systems (like Outlook) and sends it to your device.  Gee, now I can pay $4.49 a month for something that ActiveSync does..duh.

And you STILL have to choose which names to copy over....dumb!  Ok, so there are some phones that you can't use Outlook (or another program) on.  If you have that many contacts, you most likely have a significant number of calendar entries...I think I'd reconsider what device I'm using.

Original Release here: Verizon to offer automatic phone contact updates

...and for our friends north of the border

Canadianwebhosting.com Now Offering Customers Email Protection from Barracuda Network’s Spam Firewall

Canadianwebhosting.com has completed implementation of Barracuda Network’s Spam Firewall to scan all inbound and outbound emails. Installation started in late September and has taken just over one month to complete. All customers on the shared hosting plans will be automatically added to the email spam firewall free of charge.

Canadian Web Hosting is now processing more than 1,00,000 emails each day, blocking up to 95% of the messages as spam per day. The Barracuda Spam Firewall provides comprehensive protection against the most current email-borne threats, including:

•     Anti-spam
•     Anti-virus
•     Anti-spoofing
•     Anti-phishing
•     Anti-spyware (Attachments)
•     Denial of Service

For more information about Canadian Web Hosting visit: http://www.canadianwebhosting.com

Monday, October 30, 2006

SoftMaker Office 2006 for Pocket PCs

SoftMaker Office 2006 for Pocket PCs is ready for release. They are just kicking the tires a bit more to make sure everything works smoothly....and it will work smoothly! 

In the meantime, you can already place your orders for the Pocket PC versions of SoftMaker Office, TextMaker, and PlanMaker 2006. They are doing everything to let you easily move from the beta version to the released software.

Watch the big announcement soon, and consider placing your order
quickly: Orders will be processed in the order they come in.

Read more:



(Special thanks to Neil.  His comment reminded me to post this)

Thinnest E-TEN - The X500

Chris Leckness over at Mobilitysite posted this story on a slick new device from E-TEN, the X500.  You want to check this one out because it is sporting some very nice features. In part, Chris said:

glofiish X500 Delivers GPS and Wi-Fi® All-in-One

E-TEN Information Systems has released details of the company's Upcoming plans for the Pocket PC Phone market. Highlights of the announcement include an all new case design that is considerably thinner than current products; upgraded communications with support for faster protocols and standards; and the ability to combine both GPS and Wi-Fi® capabilities in a single device.

Checkout his entire story here at: MobilitySite

The Nokia 330 Hits Europe

Doug Smith from Mobilitysite posted a neat story on the the Nokia 330 Auto Navigation hitting Europe.  In part, Doug said the following:

Nokia today has announced a very cool, dedicated personal navigation device, the 330 Auto Navigation. With a 3.5 inch screen and a preinstalled 2GB memory card, the 330 will handle all our friends across the pond map data with visual delight.. Nokia plans to release the 330 in Europe by the end of the year at 360 EUR, plus tax.

Check out the story and the full news release here at: MobilitySite

Smartphones ... Why have they not taken off?

The CNET and CNET Asia staff talk about some Sleek and sexy smart phones with big brains today.  Showcasing five devices that combine the characteristics of a cell phone and a PDA in one unit.  However, the C/NET folks are wondering WHY Smart phones have not taken off.

Well, if you look at these five smart phones, all having great features, such as Wi-Fi, you just might change your mind.

It a nice piece...check it out here: Sleek and sexy smart phones with big brains

WorldMate and the New HP iPAQ Travel Companion

The Leading Travel Application to Be Embedded in the HP iPAQ rx5000 Series

MobiMate Ltd. announced that WorldMate Standard Edition 2006 will be pre-installed in the HP iPAQ rx5000 Travel Companion.

WorldMate 2006 Standard Edition provides a host of travel related services such as weather forecasts, daily currency exchange rates, measurement converters, world clocks, and more.

The program will be pre-installed on the HP iPAQ rx5000 series and ready to go right out of the box. Customers will have the option to upgrade to WorldMate Professional Edition 2006, which provides several enhancements including flight schedules for over 800 airlines, real-time flight status, and enhanced weather services.

For more information about WorldMate, please visit http://www.mobimate.com.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

OnTheRun with Tablet PCs #31


WOW...has James been busy "talking" this weekend!  Not only do we get to listen to MobileTechRoundup 75 but as an added bonus, we get to listen to OnTheRun with Tablet PCs #31 with Marc Orchant and James Kendrick.
I just downloaded it and expect to listen to it this evening as I spend a few hours on duty with my local fire department.  This was perfect timing for me...we had a big storm this weekend and were hit pretty hard with the wind.  So duty calls as a volunteer fireman and off to pull a shift at the department 
Discussion on Vista and a little on how James loves Internet Explorer 7 on his UMPC will start this discussion.  James will also tell us how to get the ability to use the TIP in web forms back and Marc shares a method to get Hotmail Plus email into Outlook without all those pesky notifications.  
BTW, James and Kevin Tofel are celebrating over 3 million visitors to jkOnTheRun and James leaks some information about a big giveaway coming up. 

Source: jkOnTheRun

75 and counting....MobileTechRoundup 75

James Kendrick, Matt Miller and Kevin C. Tofel are at it again with another terrific MobileTech Roundup Podcast.

There are very important topics this week like  "Where in the world is Matt and why does Hawaii have interstate highways?"

Of course there are other topics in a more serious note like the winner of the “Name Matt’s Samsung Q1 UMPC” contest! and you will hear how Matt feels about T-Mobile’s new UMA offering.

It's another terrific offering from these guys...CLICK HERE to download the file and listen directly.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dual Speaker Coolness ... Plus More!

I'm not sure if it is Rose Kim from Aving that takes these pictures but if it is you Rose, they were terrific.  You definitely want to click the Aving USA link below to check out this new device from Bluebird.   

Bluebird soft is releasing 'BM300' a 13.8mm-thick T-DMB PDA in November in Korea market through its online shopping mall.
It features 2.8-inch QVGA LCD, Intel PXA 270 520MHz CPU, Windows Mobile 5.0 premium OS, 802.11 b/g WLAN, and Bluetooth connectivity; so, users can use MS office program with a keyboard or a mouse. It runs on Window media player 10 mobile for PMP.
It has 512MB internal memory and it also supports 4G flash memory that allows users to record movies for around 26 hours.
Other features include MP3P, photo viewer, e-book, game, dual speakers as the first in PDA markets, 2.5π stereo plug, IR communication, and 24-pin port.


61 Very Happy People

T-Mobile is giving away a Dash a day, for 61 days ... That will make 61 people very happy!  The Dash is a slick device and I would expect that this give-away will draw some serious attention.

In addition, the winners will get 3 months of free data and voice service so that will sweeten the desire to win! Consider marking this site as a favorite so you can go each day and and sign up for the drawing.......winners will be selected each day between now and December 25, 2006.

Very special thanks to Smartphonethoughts for this tip!

Enter and win here: T-Mobile Dash

Unhappy with the battery life on your iPod?

If you are, Daimaou from Akihabaranews.com found an outstanding solution for you that looks very cool. 

Sonnettech offers in Japan a 2100mha battery pack for iPod that goes directly on the back of your iPod. It offers 16h of autonomy for video and 80h for music. The battery pack measures only 51x111x26mm.

If you click on the link below, you will go to the Sonnettech site.  Scroll to the bottom and view a very descriptive picture of the battery pack.

Link to Sonnet | Volta ボルタ

Friday, October 27, 2006

Windows Defender - FREE Protection

Windows Defender is a free program that helps you stay productive by protecting your computer against pop-ups, slow performance and security threats caused by spyware and other potentially unwanted software.

Windows Defender no longer supports Windows 2000 as mainstream support ended in June 2005.

This is the most current release of Windows Defender. If Windows Defender informed you that an update is available, you are running an older version. We encourage you to upgrade to this version. You can check your version of Windows Defender by clicking the down arrow next to the help icon and choosing ‘About Windows Defender’.
This release includes enhanced features that reflect ongoing input from customers, as well as Microsoft’s growing understanding of the malicious software landscape.

To download the x64 version of Windows Defender, click here.

Specific features of Windows Defender include:

  • A redesigned and simplified user interface – Incorporating feedback from our customers, the Windows Defender UI has been redesigned to make common tasks easier to accomplish with a warning system that adapts alert levels according to the severity of a threat so that it is less intrusive overall, but still ensures the user does not miss the most urgent alerts.

  • Improved detection and removal – Based on a new engine, Windows Defender is able to detect and remove more threats posed by spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Real Time Protection has also been enhanced to better monitor key points in the operating system for changes.
  • Protection for all users – Windows Defender can be run by all users on a computer with or without administrative privileges. This ensures that all users on a computer are protected by Windows Defender.
  • Support for 64-bit platforms, accessibility and localization - Windows Defender supports accessibility and 64-bit platforms. Microsoft will release localized versions including German and Japanese soon after the availability of the English versions. Please be sure to use WindowsDefenderX64.msi for 64-bit platforms.
  • Delta definition updates - Windows Defender now downloads smaller delta definition updates when possible which reduces the time required to download and install definition updates. Customers can expect shorter download times when updating their definition updates.
  • Free Limited Support - As a part of our commitment to the security of our customers, free support for installation, configuration, definition update, detection and removal errors will be available for a limited time after download and installation. Please refer to the Windows Defender support policy for more information.
  • WGA enforcement - There are significant risks to running non-genuine Windows. Only genuine Windows customers can receive product downloads, Windows updates and special offers. Windows Defender will validate that your copy of Windows is genuine before installation. Furthermore, Windows Defender will only remove Severe threats for machines that are not genuine. Low, Medium and High threats will be detected, but not removed unless your copy of Windows is genuine. For more information, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/genuine

Learn more and Download  Windows® Defender here

Click read more below to see the full news item

Get the October 2006 DirectX End-User Runtime

Microsoft DirectX is a group of technologies designed to make Windows-based computers an ideal platform for running and displaying applications rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3D animation, and rich audio.

DirectX includes security and performance updates, along with many new features across all technologies, which can be accessed by applications using the DirectX APIs.

DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer 

The Microsoft DirectX® End-User Runtime provides updates to 9.0c and previous versions of DirectX — the core Windows® technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on the PC.

Get it here: DirectX End-User Runtime

Cell phone takes security to new heights

Yuri Kageyama, an AP Business writer, posted a story on a new mobile phone in Japan that takes security to a different level.

It can recognize its owner, automatically locks when the person gets too far away from it and can be found via satellite navigation if it goes missing.

Why would you want this extra security?

The extra security is handy because, like other recent Japanese phones, the P903i can be used as a credit card or a prepaid cash card.

Check out Yuri's article here.

Synaptics MobileTouch - Very Cool Concept

Patrick Hoffman had an interesting article posted on eWeek entitled "An Alternative to Typing Text Messages".  He talked about California-based Synaptics introducing its MobileTouch FlexPad for Pantech Wireless' PG-2800 mobile phone.  

So what's cool about it?  You can text-message others by drawing out characters with your fingers on the numeric pad with the end result of simplified character entry and navigation.

The phone is only available in Russia at the moment but it is a very cool concept and one that I would expect to be integrated in phones worldwide.  Check out the FLASH DEMO and then imagine this technology integrated in YOUR device.

From Synaptics:

Synaptics' MobileTouch™ solution replaces mechanical buttons and switches with a custom-designed capacitive sensor that translates gestures for scrolling, selection and cursor control for on-screen navigation. The sensor thickness, size, and shape are customizable and can be located anywhere on the phone, thereby adding compelling navigation capabilities while eliminating the need for mechanical buttons and rockers.

The MobileTouch interface differentiates mobile devices through rich customization options and provides OEMs with intuitive features and functionality, resulting in a compelling interface that drives the use of mobile applications and services.

Some of the key features and benefits include:

Advanced Features: MobileTouch solutions can enhance the end user's experience with intelligent sensing features--speed-sensitive scrolling (finger speed controls scrolling speed), finger gestures for performing designated actions, and more.

Durable and Rugged: MobileTouch sensors are virtually immune to moisture, dirt, and surface scratches. There are no moving parts to wear out with repeated use.

Thin and Lightweight: MobileTouch solutions are substantially thinner than comparable mechanical devices--making them ideal for small, handheld devices.

Design Flexibility: MobileTouch solutions can be located virtually anywhere on the phone, and can be combined with mechanical or capacitive buttons, or LEDs to illuminate the buttons or scrolling.

Check out the FLASH DEMO here


Click read more below to see the full news item

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The iGo Think Outside Stowaway Sierra Bluetooth Keyboard

A perfect Bluetooth keyboard solution – AGAIN!

Several years ago after I had acquired my first iPAQ, I decided that even though it was terrific for those routine tasks, large amounts of text entry was tedious. It was then that I found my first Stowaway keyboard with a built-in connector for my iPAQ. It worked very well for extended text entry. Eventually I upgraded my iPAQ to the 3900 series, and I was pleasantly surprised that Think Outside had made an adapter for the keyboard enabling me to continue to use this terrific piece of technology.

Time went on and new devices came my way so I eventually retired my keyboard and started to use alternative methods of software based text entry. I was happy but never quite as satisfied as I was with my keyboard. Then Think Outside introduced their Stowaway Infrared Wireless Keyboard which was an almost perfect solution. It had an integrated cradle and you could adjust the IR wand to get the best connectivity. It was good ... no ... at that time it was great, but the best was yet to come.

With the advent of Bluetooth and its widespread adoption, Think Outside introduced the perfect solution for your smart phone, PDA, Tablet, or notebook with a very hot new product - the Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard! It was sleek and had an incredible design that still impresses me after all the time I have used it. Its unique design allowed me to take it everywhere and when I needed it, it opened to an almost full sized keyboard to easily enter text.

 As great as it was (and still is), it had one issue that always plagued me and that was only four rows of keys. This meant that in order to deal with numbers and special symbols, you needed to use a combination of strokes with special function keys. Don’t get me wrong, you do get used to it and the size and portability make that sacrifice well worth it. There is NO question that the Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard was and is a perfect solution.

But that missing fifth row has always been a rub for many of us and I am sure that folks let Think Outside know that they wanted a keyboard that had that 5th row. Well, they listened, evaluated, designed and placed into production another superior Stowaway Keyboard that is a perfect addition to your road warrior bag to complement your SmartPhone, PDA, Ultra-Mobile PC, Tablet, or notebook. In fact, almost any Bluetooth supported device can utilize this incredible new product and of course what is very cool is that it opens up to a 5 row full-size keyboard that has 19 mm spacing and 3mm key travel … most likely it is exactly like the one you use on your laptop.

For me, the introduction of the iGo Stowaway Sierra Bluetooth Keyboard could not have come at a more appropriate time. Recently I acquired my first tablet, a Motion LS800. It is truly a device that has changed how I Experience Mobility. And yes, I know that a tablet is meant to be used without a keyboard. And yes, I know that there are those that might say that it is blasphemy to even want to use a keyboard…after all, that is why you have the TIP (Text Input Panel) but frankly, the longer the article I write, the worse my handwriting becomes … sometimes it is even illegible to me! So how can I expect the TIP to translate what I can’t read? A keyboard is a needed accessory for me if I want fast and efficient text entry.

When I first got my tablet, I immediately paired my Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard. It works fine, no, it works flawlessly but ….that missing fifth row was now even more evident. When I use the keyboard, the tablet is always in a cradle and the cradle has several USB inputs. I had decided that I was going to buy a new wireless keyboard that uses a USB adapter but the problem was finding one that would allow for easy portability in my bag. After spending some time researching the different wireless keyboards out there, I had pretty much decided which one I was going to get but then I was “saved by the bell” because Mobility Electronics, announced the launch of the NEW Stowaway Sierra keyboard. They advertised it as the “next generation portable Bluetooth keyboard designed specifically for Smartphone users” but I believed that it was the next generation portable Bluetooth keyboard designed specifically for Jack Cook and his new tablet!

 Without any hesitation, I ordered my keyboard and when it arrived, I was impressed! Of course, like all Think Outside products, the packaging was terrific. I was very impressed with the listing of information that was neatly placed around the box. The right side had a complete list of compatible devices; the left gave the specs, dimensions and system requirements. It was encased in a see through plastic that was reasonably easy to open, although I did have to use a knife to cut through the plastic. Inside there was a quick start guide, a CD, a cleaning cloth, a zippered case for the keyboard, the Sierra Keyboard and a battery! Yes, batteries were included (well, only one)!

As you hold the folded keyboard for the first time you do notice that its weight (10.7 oz) is significantly more than the smaller Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard (5.6 oz). However, the added weight is not significant enough to be a concern especially considering the fact that this is a true full size keyboard. The sides are metal with a shiny chrome finish ... now you know why they included a cleaning cloth … fingerprints!

The keyboard opens by pressing a release button located on the side. As you press the release button, it opens revealing four sections. Laying the keyboard flat, there are two locking slides that when you gently push on them will lock the outer sections with the inner sections. The center seam is still “loose” however it has no effect on operation either on your lap or on a table top.

Once the right slide is engaged, not only does it lock that side but it also turns on the keyboard (assuming the battery has been inserted). There are two spring loaded locking mechanisms that keep the either slide firmly in tack to prevent unwanted opening (and in the case of the right side, shutting down the keyboard). The battery compartment located to the left of center is easily accessible for insertion of a single AA battery.

Well, the keyboard is open, the battery is inserted and the sides are locked so I was now ready to see if it worked. I decided to try my Motion tablet first so I set the keyboard in pairing mode by pressing the discoverable button located at the top of the keyboard. Pressing it for a second, the pairing light began to flash so I added the device to my tablet. With in seconds, a new device was discovered, it recognized what it was and found the appropriate drivers on my tablet. In a very short period of time it was done and I was typing … I was impressed!

I performed a variety of typing tests and was quite pleased with the results. There is no discernable delay in text appearing after a key is pressed. If I let the keyboard sit for a while, it will go to sleep but a simple press on any key will bring it back to life within a few seconds. As an aside, I really like that feature because it extends the battery life. After two weeks of daily use of up to 10 hours a day, I am still on the first battery but then I expected that. Battery life on Think Outside products has always been extraordinary.

For several days I used the keyboard with terrific results. I have been impressed with the feel of the keys while I type (although it is a slightly different feel than my PC keyboard). If my tablet was off, upon turning it on the keyboard would immediately connect with a simple press of a key and a two or three second delay … I liked that! So it works and it works well.

There are some special characters that are on some of the keys specifically for use with Windows Mobile devices such as a key for “OK”, the “X”, Programs, Settings, and Today. Curiosity was now getting the best of me so it was time to pair the keyboard with some of my devices.

I decided to try it with my iPAQ 4700 first. Rather than use the included CD, I went to the Think Outside website and it automatically detected my device and chose the appropriate driver. It downloaded, opened, installed and then reset my device. When the connection process began, it found that my 4700 had two Bluetooth components so I had to choose which one I wanted. After picking one, it easily set up my keyboard and I was typing within a few seconds.

Next I tried the HP rx4540. Again, it was a fast recognition from the Think Outside website, a quick download and within a few minutes, I was entering text but I really felt that the 4540 was “outclassed” with this keyboard. The diminutive size of the 4540 compared to the full size Sierra keyboard was too overwhelming. So I immediately took my older (and much more size appropriate) Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard, connected it and was entering text in seconds.

Lastly, I tried my Palm 700W which ended up being the fastest install of all. Again, Think Outside recognized the device, download the appropriate driver and the install was flawless. Of course I was able to enter text but more importantly, I was able to use ALL the special keys including those for phone functions. Not that I would ever use them, it was just neat to see them work.

Interestingly enough, as much as I thought the keyboard overwhelmed the iPAQ 4540, I did not feel that way with my Palm 700W. I actually could see myself using it with the Palm on an as needed basis. For me, the name of the game is to be able to Experience Mobility at its fullest potential and having the NEW Stowaway Sierra keyboard will allow me to do that with my Motion LS800 Tablet.

When using my tablet, I have a cradle for it to rest in so it is easily viewable but you might ask how would you “prop” up a small device. The answer is simple, use a small stand. Oh, where are you going to get one you ask? The engineers at Think Outside thought about that too. They designed a nifty collapsible stand that is integrated into the back of the keyboard. When you need it, just turn over the keyboard and remove the stand. It springs open with a back support for your device to lean against and has a rubber rest for the bottom of your device to sit on preventing it from slipping. When you’re done, it folds easily and snaps back into the rear of the keyboard. I am glad it is removable so you can adjust the position that you place your device to suit your needs.

The construction is what you would expect from a Think Outside product - Superior! Quality materials, perfect alignment of parts, smooth operation of working components, well written manuals and excellent software. There is not much more about it that I can say other than the fact that it is very cool. It even looks terrific folded up and sitting next to my tablet. They designed one edge to be flat so when the device is closed, you can have it sitting next your device just waiting to be used.

If you are looking for a means to comfortably enter text into your Bluetooth enabled device, I give this device my highest recommendation. I expect that this device (like so many other Think Outside products) will provide years of perfect service. However there is just one little problem. Now there are two perfect solutions for text entry with your Bluetooth devices; the Stowaway Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard and the Stowaway Sierra Bluetooth Keyboard. The problem you will have is deciding which one to use.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Think Outside has been acquired by Mobility Electronics, Inc., a leading provider of innovative portable power and computing solutions. Mobility Electronics’ products are available at www.iGo.com as well as through leading resellers, retailers and OEM partners. What is nice about this acquisition is that both companies have a shared vision for developing innovative connectivity products. The end result is that we will continue to get innovative, high quality components that will increase our productivity and maximize our device enjoyment so we can truly Experience Mobility at a high level.




Superior construction

Easy installation

Convenient automatic driver download

Huge range of compatible devices

Automatic Power Saving mode



Polished exterior difficult to maintain (but it can act like a mirror)


COST: $ 129.99

RATING: 5 out of 5

Visit iGo to find out more information about the iGo Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard at http://www.iGo.com

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