The Wall Street Journal's review of the Sprint HTC Touch Diamond came out today and it's more of a knock of Windows Mobile than the phone itself. And as HTC attempted to cover up the OS's lesser liked features, it succeeds in some regard, but mostly falls short.
Hot on the heels of Google's Android Market confirmation comes word that Microsoft are planning their own on-device download system currently codenamed Skymarket. A number of job adverts - since pulled - outlined their plans, including a Fall rollout along with Windows Mobile 7. The system, similar the Apple AppStore, would result in revenue sharing for Microsoft and a way for users to bypass the multiple software stores that support the mobile OS.
The S740 smartphone is a distant cousin of the HTC Diamond, featuring a similar sleek front and faceted back along with a similar feature set. Unlike the Diamond, the S740 does not sport a touchscreen and powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard.
Apple sets the tone for touch devices, and now almost every handset manufacturers are putting at least some sort of effort to improve touch screen device experience. Philips unveiled its own touch handset today called X800, a tri-band GSM/GPRS Windows Mobile based handset.
At HTC's London event this morning, the company announced their latest smartphone, the HTC Touch Diamond. With a casing made up of multiple angled facets, the handset will be the first to feature HTC's new TouchFLO 3D, with an animated 3D touchscreen interface meaning that the Touch Diamond can be operated with just one hand. As for connectivity it will have HSDPA/HSUPA 7.2Mbps, and for imaging a 3.1-megapixel camera.
Android phones are starting to slowly come out of the woodwork with no official production ready models being announced yet. However there is an event in London involving HTC on May 6th, a company that vowed to release the first Android phone. They are also known for making some of the best Windows Mobile handsets that are on the market. So the question is, how does Microsoft feel about this, and more specifically, how will manufacturers like HTC keep the peace within their own companies?
It just wouldn’t make sense for mobile phone manufacturers like HTC to make the exact same phone twice just offering your choice of Android or Windows Mobile, it would kind of be nice, but exclusive handsets tipped to one OS or the other are what really moves units. For example, would the XPERIA X1 be such a big deal if it wasn’t running the next generation of Windows Mobile software? Maybe, but I’d guess not.
Windows Mobile 6.1 has lots of new features, let’s start with the new version of Internet Explorer that comes with the bundle and offers up the ability to view full-sized web pages and even multimedia on the web pages. The browser has technologies from IE6 built in alongside support for H.264, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Silverlight.
HTC have made a name for themselves with capable, business-friendly smartphones, and when back in March 2007 they first suggested they were turning their hand to the UMPC market there was no shortage of interest. Boasting full Windows Vista support, as well as a cut-down quick-start SnapVue interface for basic tasks, QWERTY keyboard, touchscreen and multiple wireless options, the HTC Shift was hailed by some as likely to be the first decent UMPC. The subsequent journey from announcement to actual launch - a point first estimated for Q3 2007 - has been punctuated by delays, wavering interest and more than a little criticism of how competitive its specs are in light of the latest competition; HTC sent over the new CDMA version of the Shift, complete with Sprint EV-DO support, for SlashGear to see whether time has been kind to the UMPC.
Do you remember that semi-formal roadmap we saw not too long ago that pretty much stated that Microsoft had seen the error of their mobile ways and with 6.1 they were going to fix a lot of things and make a move towards higher useability? Well I don’t know if that’s come true or not, but word is that we’ll find out on April 1st.
Supposedly April 1st is the release date for the new version of Windows Mobile which is rumored to include a newer, better, web browser that allows for zoom and scrolling with ease. It also will offer up a more Vista-like UI, copy/paste from IE, new fonts, a task manage more similar to its desktop siblings, WiFi indicator, and auto-configure in ActiveSync for your email.
It only works with Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6, but it works almost exactly how the Palm Foleo was supposed to. The only sad thing is that the Foleo worked with both WinMo and Palm’s mobile OS, why couldn’t they pull that off with this notebook?