Mobile News Blog

What’s New With Mobile Technology

Dvorak for Mobile Phones?

I am a fan of the Dvorak keyboard and alternate between it and Qwerty at home. I hope someone comes up with a cell phone that can give me the same capabilities in a mobile phone. With all the texting and typing we do these days, it would be good to avoid muscle stress from unnecessary keyboard strokes, which is what the Dvorak keyboard is designed to provide…less tired muscles. The QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow typists down because in the first typewriters, fast typing jammed the machines. Now the QWERTY layout is working against all of us.

I tried to find a Dvorak app for my G1 but did not succeed. I then went to the official T-Mobile forum and read a short thread in which I learned that so far a Dvorak keyboard is not available.

To change to Dvorak on your computer in a Windows operating system, follow these steps:
Start Menu
Control Panel
Classic View
Regional and Language Options
Details
Text Services and Input Languages
Add
Keyboard layout/IME
Select Dvorak
OK
Close Control Panel

If you are a true touch-typist, you will not need to buy a special Dvorak keyboard, or a Dvorak skin for your QWERTY keyboard. One frugal alternative, if you must look at the keys, is to pop off the plastic keys on a QWERTY and put them back on in the DVORAK layout.

Dvorak Keyboard

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Cell Phones | | Leave a comment

Imagine a World Without MicroSoft…can you?

Bill Gates had a dream: a PC (with Windows installed) on everybody’s desk. Instead, the computing world is taking a different turn: computers are smaller and smaller, and people are getting used to carrying them around.

More and more people today are using laptops, and since a Windows operating system is just too big and bulky to work on a laptop, people are instead installing GNU/Linux (specifically, Ubuntu) on their laptops. It doesn’t matter if you can’t play many games on it, it’s much much faster, it doesn’t get attacked by viruses and Trojans every other minute, and it’s free. When Dell atarted offering GNU/Linux laptops (and then expanding the product line), this made a huge difference to the GNU/Linux market.

Things are changing so quickly in the world of microprocessors that soon it will be
a computer in everybody’s PDA, not everybody’s lap. Now we have Netbooks, which are ultra-portable sub-notebooks, a whole new class of portable computing devices. They are tiny low-cost machines that can be used to browse the web, write letters, and answer emails.

To sum up, the world in 2011 has a good chance of being very different than what it’s like today. People’s phones/PDAs will run Android. Their sub-laptops/netbooks/sub-notebooks will run Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Their gaming machine of choice will be a Playstation or a Nintendo one (hopefully, Microsoft will run out of money to pour into the XBox). Their PCs will be collecting dust on a glorious desk, turned off for weeks on end. Their full-size laptops (if they have one) will run Vista or Ubuntu. They will be able to exchange ODF documents with their office and their friends, and they will be using OpenOffice and Firefox.

Microsoft has very few weapons to fight this: Windows XP for sub-notebooks will be a joke, compared to a fully-featured Ubuntu Netbook Remix (which comes with OpenOffice); Windows Mobile will put them to shame when compared to Android, which will eat up the already small share Windows Mobile has managed to acquire in 11 years of existence; and while there might well be a computer on every desk, well, it will be the “old” computer, hardly ever turned on. Maybe for the kids to play with, and strictly not connected to the internet. So, it’s going to be interesting. Let’s just watch out for patent laws which might turn this dream future into a small nightmare.

April 19, 2009 Posted by | Open Source Computing | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

PDA or Smart Phone – What’s the Diff?

PDAs are handheld computers originally designed as a type of personal organizer. PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistants. They are sometimes regarded as palmtops or pocket computers and have become much more versatile over the years.

Personal digital assistants have many uses. It can be a calendar and clock or calculator. It can be used to access the internet, play computer games, receive and send emails, or type in word processors. You can also record videos, play music files or store contact numbers and addresses.

The latest PDA features include both audio capabilities and color screens, suited as a web browser, mobile phone or portable media player. One of the most important characteristics of a PDA is the touch screen. The typical one can function as a fax sender, cellular phone, personal organizer and web browser. Unlike a portable computer, most types of PDAs began as pen-based, using a stylus rather than a keyboard for input.

Although numerous early PDAs have no memory card slots, most have either a compact flash slot or a secure digital card (SD). The newer models can be inserted with usb flash drives for external memory.

A significant function of PDAs includes synchronizing data with a computer. It prevents losing information stored on it, in case it is stolen, destroyed or lost. The transferred data will serve as a backup.

If the Palm OS PDA began the age of electronics and mobile communication as well as organization, the Blackberry Personal Digital Assistant caught up quickly. Both have internet abilities and email. Blackberry PDAs are designed for short text messages, while higher-end Palm OS PDAs pose as a convergence device, often doubling as a message and phone server.

When buying such a device, determine the amount of money you are willing to spend. Both operating systems that come in PDAs vary a lot in price. Determine your main need for a PDA. It could be for email, calendar, wireless internet access or other organization needs. It is possible that a simple Blackberry can meet your needs for a lot less money compared to a more highly developed Treo unit from Palm.

Make notes throughout an average day and see which function of your PDA you use the most. If you frequently send larger email, Treo is the better option.

Research the products of both Blackberry and Palm and then decide which of the two best fit your lifestyle. Both are undoubtedly good brands or they would not sell so well in the marketplace. But no matter how many reviews you read regarding these two brands, it will still boil down to your personal needs, preferences and way of life.

Use the information you collected in testing PDAs and base your choice on the most essential functions it offers.

March 7, 2009 Posted by | PDA | | Leave a comment

What’s a Cupcake?

I just had to laugh at the name for the latest update to the Google phone G1. Where do these names get thought up at? When I was out doing an internet search for the latest google phone accessories to keep my readers informed of any new cool gadgets, I kept bumping into information about the Cupcake upgrade, mainly being blogged about by European bloggers.

I saw a whole bunch of comments complaining about how the video recording really didn’t work, and then supposedly google employees added to the comment threads stating they were not finished with the code…

Well when it is finally done being beta tested it is going to be great to have that capability.

March 3, 2009 Posted by | Cell Phones | , , | Leave a comment

HTC + Android = Success

HTC, the Taiwanese mobile phone vendor, is bucking the current trend of falling profits and massive job losses so prevalent in the technology sector. Some speculate that is due to HTC’s decision to move into the Android market. HTC actually increased its workforce size.

Prior to developing the now hugely popular Google G1, the world’s first Android-powered handset, HTC had released a range of handsets which although technically impressive, ran a relatively clunky operating system in the form of Windows Mobile. Despite attempts to improve the user experience with the introduction of TouchFLO, their own user interface which ran on top of Windows Mobile, reviews were mixed and HTC just couldn’t seem to match Apple’s iPhone for overall appeal.

All of that changed with their decision to use the Android platform. The G1 handset was released in October 2008 as a T-Mobile exclusive with a sales forecast of 1 million units by December. By the end of the first month, pre-order sales in the US alone had reached 1.5 million. Several months on, and according T-Mobile UK, the G1 now accounts for 20% of all contract sales.

In the run-up to this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, HTC was still the only manufacturer to have actually launched an Android phone with a network provider, and speculation was rife that many manufacturers were set to announce their own Android phones. For the most part MWC was a let down in this regard with the exception of HTC who announced their partnership with Vodafone to launch their second Android phone, the HTC Magic. Although similar to the G1, the Magic is a pure touchscreen phone as it’s lost the G1’s QWERTY keyboard for a much sleeker and lighter design. According to the specifications, battery life (a known issue with the G1) is also improved with a 1340 mAh battery versus the G1’s 1150 mAh. If the G1 is anything to go by, the HTC Magic is certain to be one of the top Android phones on the market.

2009 is definitely going to be the year of the Android phone as manufacturers like LG and Samsung have indicated that they will be releasing phones on the platform this year. There may even be some surprises in the form of phones from Dell and Acer but a lot of that is speculation at this stage. Whatever the case, HTC continues to be the company to watch as industry experts expect another 4 Android phones from them this year. While there may not be that much to choose from right now, in a few months we’ll have more for choice.

Speaking of choice, I am hoping for more of a choice when it comes to Google phone accessories, such as a Google phone plastic case and G1 phone pouches that actually are custom made for the Google phone. It seems as soon as a new mobile phone hits the market a slew of “one size fits all” generic mobile phone accessories will suddenly appear, but will be labeled as G1 accessories, for example. These same items are also marketed as iPhone accessories, you get the picture….. Perhaps HTC could expand into custom fit mobile phone cases that really fit the phone you have?

March 2, 2009 Posted by | Cell Phones | , | Leave a comment

Choosing the Best Cell Phone Deal

The modern cell phone has evolved into one of the most important parts of our daily life. Most businesses require their officers to have a cell phone. Even individuals need cell phones while going about their daily lives. Finding the most reasonable cell phone plan is one requirement in choosing cell phones intelligently. Because of the very large number of network services in this country, it may help to research and assess numerous offers before deciding on a cell phone plan.

Before you decide to buy a cell phone, you may want to decide first whether you want a prepaid cell phone service or a traditional cell phone plan. If you decide on a prepaid cell phone service, then no problem, no credit check, you just need to pay outright and immediately you have your phone. Some cell phone companies even offer a free cellular phone unit when you acquire a prepaid cell phone service from them. However, when you want a cell phone plan, you may need to choose from by-the-minute charging or by-the-second charging. Both charging process have positive and negative points. You need to assess your usage frequency and requirements before you decide on a cell phone plan.

You may also want to research the performance, such as ample towers to reach you wherever you are. There are different cell phone plans for family and national use. There are also cell phone plans for regional use. All of these have their own benefits although there are also unique disadvantages. For prepaid cell phone plans, there are cell phone units that may not have the capability for such a variety of connection.

Families and small businesses can make good use of “family plans.” In these plans there is free access for emergencies. In addition, it is cheaper to call the other cell phones included in one billing. There are also discounts for the airtime usage of family members using this cell phone plan. In national plans, free long-distance charges are often included. Another plus is the lack of roaming charges in most national cell phone plans. Regional cell phone plans may require you to pay long-distance charges but the airtime rates may be cheaper.

So assess your intended usage and choose accordingly. Also, check in with the carrier you do use on a regular basis to ask for any new specials or plans that might be available.

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Cell Phones | | Leave a comment

Mobile News Blog

Welcome to Mobile News Blog. This is our first post. We are going to be reviewing all kinds of mobile technology, especially cell phones, to help you stay on top of the news with these technological wonders. Right now our favorite smart phone is the Google G1 Phone, so you will be reading a lot about that here. One thing that is hard to keep track of is the Google Phone Accessories and Google Phone Applications that just keep coming and coming!

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Cell Phones | , , | Leave a comment