moTweets Review

So, in my never ending search for the perfect Twitter client for Windows Mobile I’ve been through most of them, finally settling on Pocketwit and TouchTwit. Ultimately having bought it TouchTwit let me down and started hanging the phone a lot again so that left me with Pocketwit.
I had another look around as I liked the layout of TouchTwit and came up with Panoramic moTweets, it has pretty much the same layout as TouchTwit, hasn’t hung once, loads quickly and looks nice.
Its features list include:
# Support for multiple Twitter accounts
# Ability to upload pictures using your device’s camera or from the photo album
# Post your location manually or by using your device GPS
# Tiny URL and Support
# Three (3) skin colors
# View Trends, Lists  and Conversations
# Finger friendly, kinetic scrolling menus
# Translate Tweets and Search Twitter topics with ease
# ReTweet, Follow, Unfollow, Direct messages, Replies, Favorites and much more!
For me it pips Pocketwit at the post for supporting lists, and the upload to Twitpic is working properly, and the favourite, retweet and @ response quick  buttons in the post. I’ve been using it for three weeks now and remarkably its now the only Twitter client on my phone, that must mean its good as its ususally got three or four on it!
It comes in two flavours, the free version is ad supported, it displays a small advert at the top of the screen, personally though I think its so good its worth paying the £2.69 they want for the ad free version on the MarketPlace ~ look at the reviews there to see why its got to be the best client so far!
You can follow Panoramic at @PanoramicSoft

Fring Review

Ever since Skype announced they were dropping support for Windows Mobile I’ve been looking for an alternative. I don’t use Skype heavily on the mobile, just occassional use but it bugged me they were dropping it as a paid up user. In fairness the client was a massive install, it used a tonne of resources and didn’t do anything especiallly well. Their press release says:
“Unfortunately, Skype Lite – a version of Skype for your mobile phone – and Skype for Windows phones are no longer available for download from our site. We’ve chosen to withdraw Skype Lite and Skype for Windows phones because we want to offer our new customers an improved mobile experience – much like the version that has proved so popular on the iPhone, and which is now available on Symbian phones. Our focus is on providing a rich user experience that allows you to enjoy free Skype-to-Skype and low cost calls as easily on the move as you do at your desktop. We felt that Skype Lite and Skype for Windows phones were not offering the best possible Skype experience.”
In the past I had tried Fring. At the time that was also pretty useless, locking up most of the phones I’ve had, but I decided to give it another go. The new version had been through a number of versions since I had used it last but I was pleasantly surprised when I found it still retained my username, so no new account setups required.
For those that don’t know about fring its a multi platform (Symbian S60, iPhone/iPod touch, Android, Windows Mobile, J2ME & Linux devices and operates on any available mobile internet connection (3G, Wi-Fi, GPRS, EDGE &WiMax). (Android released just in time for my pre ordered HTC Desire!!)) VOIP client. It currently supports Skype®, Facebook, MSN® Messenger, ICQ®, Google Talk™, Twitter, AIM® & Yahoo!™. It also has a number of add in’s such as LastFM, WeFi SIP, ICQ, etc, that can be activated to get those feeds and contacts imported as well.
Its feature list includes:
  • fring friends list
  • free calls via VOIP
  • fringAdd-on applications
  • live chat instead of SMS
  • SkypeOut or SIP calls
  • friends’ profiles
  • call history
  • invite friends
  • video calls
  • send & receive files
  • WIFI auto-roaming
  • fring tones
and testing these out they all work very well over both 3G and WiFi. Have a go and try the test call out, you’ll be amazed at the quality, and at the worst it can only reduce your mobile bill if you are using Skype out or making VOIP calls to Skype or MSN!

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Phone Choice Time!

It’s my favourite time of the year, and for once everything seems to have fallen into place for me. Yes, you might not have guessed it but its Contract renewal time on the mobile! For the last 5 years I’ve been using Windows Mobile smartphones on a variety of operators from Vodafone (who could barely hold a signal for me at home or work, and at the tim eoffered no sensible data plans) to T-Mobile (who were great on signal and had the innovative Flext tarrif that suited me for 3 years) and now I’m with Orange (again, excellent signal but slightly high call plans)
I’ve been with Orange for the past year really for one reason alone, my excellent HTC Touch HD. It was the only company offering it at the time and was also the only company that still had a sensible 12 month contract. Now I still love the phone but with the recent developments with Android and HTC announcing some fantastic new phones at the MWC it looks like my time with contract phones will have to end.
I’ve been considering four new phones really:
1. The SE Xperia X10 ~ Android
2. The HTC Bravo, now renamed the Desire (and the OEM version of the Nexus One, aka Google Phone) ~ Android
3. The HTC Legend (new version of the Hero) ~ Android
4. The HTC Touch HD2 ~ Windows Mobile, and rumoured to get WM7 Phone edition when released
You may have noticed three of them run Android. After about 7 years using WM devices for work I’ve decided that its time for a brief change. I’m not even considering an iPhone due to the contract lengths and the lock down on software, and tuth be told I’m getting a bit fed up with seeing interesting products being realsed for iPhone and Android with not even a mention of a WM release. So whilst it looks like an amazing phone unfortuntrly  the upgrade to a Touch HD2 won’t be happening. That leaves me with three to choose from, all Android:
Xperia X10
Was the first phone that made me really consider the move, its got a massive screen with loads of intersting widgets and frankly looks the business, especially in white. It has a customised UI, everything you’d expect in features and connectivity. The trouble is the realease date keeps moving and its being realesed with 1.6, although SE have promised to upgrade it as soon as possible. Looks like its also going to be £549 on release, which is a bit steep although could be subsidsed with a contract through T-Mobile who are rumoured to be taking it in the UK.
HTC Desire
Essentially looks like the Touch HD, amazingly fast, gourgeous massive AMOLED screen and riddled with every feature you could ask for. Coupled with the latest version of Android and the customised Sense UI from HTC it looks simply stunning, well actually it doesn’t it looks a bit bland for me and as I said far too much like my current phone! On pre order at £449 at Expansys
HTC Legend
Then comes the legend…. the Hero when it was realeased got me interested in Android phones, now theres not much more I can say about the Legend, its just got the lot for me. Looks sooooo good, got everything I need, latest Android, Sense UI, longer battery life than the Desire (but its got a smaller screen) and its cheaper, I guess mainly due to the slower processor, less storage space and smaller screen! Still for me its a hands down winner. Pre Order at Expansys at £399. The trouble is it looks like Vodafone have an exclusive for a while on it, and theres no way I’m going with Vodafone!. So it looks like a SIM free Legend wll set me back £399, but I’ll go onto a rolling 30 day SIM Only contract with T-Mobile for £20, giving me a massive amount of minutes, texts and unlimitied browing ~ its still a good deal and I can sell it when I want and move contracts as often as I need, and will cost me far less than the Touch HD has done over the year and an upgrade to the Touch HD2 will do.
Both Desire and Legend due out in the UK on the 12th April, so still time to change my mind and go for the Desire, but I doubt it will happen


So I’ve started to have a play around with QR Tags some time ago just for fun as it seemed they were appearing more and more in articles and magazines here, I even got one on a business card given to me. They make saving a contacts details bliss compared with entering all that text on a phone keypad or into Outlook to sync.

Then came along Microsofts more colourful version called Microsoft Tag which looks much more fun and can be customised into virtually any design as long as you have the imagination and keep the basic layout of the dots it produces. These however also come with the added benefit of being able to track the stats of how many hits your tag has generated. Say you place a tag on an article or a sticker, the MS website actually logs each time its scanned giving you instant stats on each tag.

Anyway for both types you’ll need software on your phone to decode

For MS Tag you can grab the software from here

For QR Codes there are a few alternatives, on my WM6 HTC Touch HD I use QuickMark , both are free and so is the creation of tags.

and now you can create MS Tags on your WM phone using LunaTagGEN from Luna Developments, from the couple I’ve tried it worked really well to create instantly distributable contact details.

Here are the two basic versions, the QR Code being in black and white and the MS Tag in colour, use the software above, scan the image and you’ll get instantly sent back to this site!

I’m going to try developing so custom image MS Tags in the next few weeks so I’ll update with some results later

Here’s a little video demonstration