Archive for May, 2009

InvisibleSHIELD for the Sidekick LX 2009 Released

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Sidekick LX 2009 Screen Protector

If you’re like me, you’ve been taking extra special care of your brand new Sidekick while waiting for the InvisibleSHIELD to come out so you can protect it. Well wait no more, theInvisibleSHIELD for the Sidekick LX 2009 is out!

For those that aren’t in the know, InvisibleSHIELD makes the best screen and full phone coverage protectors on the market. They’re super thin, clear, and easy to apply. They say they’re made out of military grade plastic and I’ll vouch that none of my devices have ever gotten a scratch on them when I had an InvisibleSHIELD on them.

Go grab yours now over at Sidekick Shopper and get a 15% discount for HIptop3.com readers:

Sidekick LX 2009 Screen Protectors @ SidekickShopper.com

If you need any proof to it’s effectiveness, check out this iPhone abuse video:

Sidekick LX 2009 Coming to Canada

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Globalive Wireless

Remember how sad you were when you found out Fido was dropping the Hiptop? Well cheer up buttercup, it looks like you may want to keep an eye on Globalive if you live in Canada. Some leaked slides show that the Sidekick LX 2009 will be available to “Global Wireless” customers. We’re assuming these are slides for the not-yet-launched Globalive’s Wireless division. No word on prices for the Sidekick LX 2009 yet, but they should be coming at launch along with 14 other handsets. Launch is scheduled for Q4 of 2009 or Q1 of 2010 so you still have a bit of a wait unfortunately. Oh and one more tidbit, apparently when you are on roaming in the US you’ll be on T-Mobile.

More info (and plan prices) over at howardchui.com and original leaked slides over at HowardForums. Super blurry spy shot below:

Globalive Wireless Sidekick LX 2009

Thanks Antonio!

Sidekick LX 2009 Community App Reviews

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Even though a lot of people have purchased their Sidekick LX 2009’s, there are still quite a few people waiting to see if it is worth upgrading. One of the main thing that the device boasts is having powerful “Social-Networking” applications, such as Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. We’ve gone ahead and went into the depths of these three, free applications, to bring you the pros and cons of them. We’ll give you all that you need to know, including functionality, issues we’ve encountered, and much more. Remember, we love the applications, but we are providing the most neutral review possible. Let’s dive into it.

Myspace

The Myspace application is basically a port of their version from the older OS. We see much of the same functionality, and the 3G service just makes it run a bit smoother and faster for us. Since a lot of this application is the same as the old version, we won’t be commenting much on it, just giving features.

You have the ability to view all aspects of your profile, including photos, blogs, comments, and your main profile. The profile editor is very nice, as you can place html code in the sections you wish; you may not be able to view these changes in the application, but you can still edit it all. Definitely a very desktop-like editor for your profile. Not only can you upload your photos straight from the album, but you can also upload videos to your profile. In addition, you can set alerts to just about anything that you would need to be notified about in the application. Most of these won’t need to be set, but still nice to have.

Some of the things we wish that existed are the ability to view profile videos and listen to profile music. We understand that this would require a complete update on Myspace’s side, but using RTSP streams, they could have tried to make this possible. Otherwise, the application is pretty complete. There is yet to be a fully powerful mobile Myspace application on any device, but this application is pretty great for an avid user. Overall, it’s pretty stable, and the application auto-reconnects if there is ever an abrupt log out.

Facebook

The Facebook application is a very nice and intuitive app that gives us the best of Facebook. The application pretty much takes the standard mobile edition of Facebook, and turns it into an updating app.

The splash screen is very nice, showing you not only that you have an alert, but actually gives you a newsfeed preview of the latest friend status and Facebook activity. We also like that you can refresh the home, which will give you the latest activity. The image icons and previews come up pretty fast, even just on EDGE.

Viewing a friends profile, you can easily comment, poke, or even message them. Composing a message is much like the email application, but it’s still within the app. You can also comment on statuses, and upload photos directly from your photo album. You can update your status with no problem, and view all messages, friend statuses, and search Facebook; all of these options reside in their own tab.

The ability to “Like” a status does not exist in the application, which is somewhat of a downer, considering we sometimes don’t always like to comment on a status. It also would have been nice to see the ability to upload videos to your profile, or watch videos from other friends profiles. We would have like to have seen a version of Facebook chat as well; we’ve seen it on other devices, and it would have been a great addition to the app if you could use this feature.

Aside from a few flaws, it a pretty great application, and saves you from having to keep using the browser. An app built in keeps everything Facebook related very organized; Facebook users will spend a lot of time in this app.

Twitter

Finally, you can have a Twitter application on your Sidekick, that interacts with the site just the way you want it to; the mobile website doesn’t always have the ability to perform certain tasks, but this application definitely performs.

The splash screen gives you a preview of one or two tweets, and tells you when it was posted. Inside of the app, you can see A LOT of tweets that have been posted by people that you follow. In addition, you can easily update your status, with a text field that has a ticker counting down your 140 characters. Scrolling over a person’s tweet, you can send then an “@ reply”, send them a direct message, see their timeline, and view their profile. You can also choose to stop following that person, or mark the tweet as a favorite. You can delete a tweet you made, follow new people, and update your location.

The problem with this app is that you are forced to choose between intervals of automatic updating, which tend to be either too fast and burn battery, or too slow and not update enough. We wish there was a manual update action, that could force an update. Also, we wanted to see the tweets to be updated after you send a tweet, showing your message and updating the timeline. Another feature that we find missing is Twitpic, or photo posting functionality in general. This is one of the very popular trends when adding something to view in a tweet. Sure, you can go ahead and post it to Photobucket and drag the link in, but direct Twitpic functionality would be ideal. Also, updating your location is more of a manual process; it would have been nice to see it fetch your current location upon request.


Hopefully these reviews give you a great idea of what to expect with these social applications. Here are some additional screenshots of all of the apps in action.

Sidekick LX 2009 Launch Party Was a Blast

Friday, May 15th, 2009

DJ Jazzy Jeff

Last night we headed out to the Mezzanine in San Francisco for the Sidekick LX 2009 Launch Party. The place was packed with people! There were other parties in other cities and upstairs you could hop on a laptop and use Skype to chat back and forth with partiers in different time zones. There were also screens showing the red carpet in LA. If you’re wondering what celebs showed up, PopSugar has a good photo gallery.

Downstairs on the big screens the party in LA was being broadcast while DJ Morse Code spun tunes. The bars were open and I think T-Mobile paid me back for a few months of data service. The highlight of the night in San Francisco was DJ Jazzy Jeff showing us all that he still has skills on the turntables. But perhaps even bigger news was from the LA party where Blink-182 reunited and performed a “surprise” set, their first in over 4 years. They only played a few songs but there’s already video up on YouTube:

I took a couple pictures with the new Sidekick LX 2009 and was pleasantly surprised by the quality in such low-light. You can check them all out here. All the photos are without a flash. I attempted to take a couple of videos and uploaded to YouTube, but after I got home I noticed that the audio had been corrupted somehow. :( There are some videos available though, and my favorite is the one where DJ Jazzy Jeff takes you back to Bel-Air:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you have the chance to go to a T-Mobile party, take it.

Sidekick LX 2009 Launch Parties

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

What’s a Sidekick launch without official parties? Of course T-Mobile isn’t going to give up the opportunity to throw a party, so they’re having launch parties for the new Sidekick LX 2009 tonight! Rumor has it that there will be simultaneous parties in several cities across the country tonight: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston and Baltimore are on the list.

I’ll personally be hitting up the San Francisco party tonight, listening to tunes spun by DJ Jazzy Jeff and DJ Morse Code. And of course I’ll be twittering it live with my shiny new LX 2009 Carbon. You can follow the official hiptop3.com Twitter account at @hiptop3, or my personal account: @edrabbit. We may even give some live video a shot and upload it to YouTube.

Sidekick LX 2009 Themes For Free

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Sidekick LX 2009 Themes
The Sidekick LX 2009 has hit the streets and a lot of people are already looking to customize their devices. While themes for old devices from sites like sklxthemes.com or sk08themes.com kind of work, there are some changes plus a higher resolution screen to take advantage of!

So a new site has launched dedicated to free Sidekick LX 2009 themes: sklx09themes.com. Head over there to grab some free themes for your Sidekick LX 2009 or use the Theme Generator to create your own theme from your own images. For those of you that are experienced theme creators there’s also info on the new theme elements.

Sidekick LX 2009 Officially Available to All

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. The Sidekick LX 2009 is available to everyone through T-Mobile. For those of you living under a rock, it’s the first 3G Sidekick, with a beautiful new high res screen, great new 3.2MP camera, new social networking apps, and GPS + maps. You can pick up your Sidekick LX 2009 Orchid or Carbon from T-Mobile now!

Sidekick LX 2009 OrchidSidekick LX 2009 Carbon

Double Unboxing of the Sidekick LX 2009

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Crazyforkicks, a frequent commenter on hiptop3.com (and the epic 400+ comment thread) got two Sidekick LX 2009s from UPS today. An Orchid one for his wife and a Carbon one for himself. So he busted out the double unboxing. Remember guys, “when you kick it, you gotta kick it good”.

Microsoft Lays Off Danger Employees

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

We’re hearing lots of rumors left and right about some lay-offs of Danger employees by Microsoft (who purchased Danger). There is a lot of hearsay and speculation about what this means. While Microsoft did announce a general across-the-board series of layoffs, we can’t help but wonder how much harder the Danger group was hit for a variety of possible reasons. There’s been rumors of Danger employees being moved to the secretive “Pink” project that Microsoft is working on. (Supposedly the Pink project is very similar to Danger’s back-end service) The Sidekick LX 2009 is days from launch and so a lot of employees that were needed for that might have been let go. Or they could have just pulled names out of a hat, who knows. Lay-offs are never an easy thing.

It doesn’t look like it was the entire Danger team, but definitely sounds like more than one or two. We’ve gathered up some posts to Twitter about the lay-offs. The below are either a) from a Danger employee, b) from a previous Danger employee, or c) directed at a Danger employee.

@ceejbot: Oh look, muscled goons walking around the building: layoffs today.

@ceejbot: My officemates all just got laid off. It doesn’t make any sense.

@ian: WTF? Microsoft is laying off awesome people from Danger.

@Perigosa: @jag Ugh. I am so sorry (for everyone else too).

@dangermikeb: Rough day at the office

@ahpook: Condolences to dangersoft peeps affected by layoffs, directly or otherwise.

@dangermikeb: The end of a crappy day at work.

that sucks about the danger layoffs. msft really had no clue what they wanted out of that, i guess. 🙁

@akrasia: Suffocating sadness with a load of cookies.

@tuony: Condolences to Danger peeps who were laid off today. It’s never fun, however you may be considered the lucky ones after all is said and done

To add to this information, there was also an interesting comment conversation posted on an Engadget review of the new Sidekick LX 2009. No idea who “Aenar” is or where he is getting his information from, but he provokes some interesting conversation:

Aenar @ May 6th 2009 12:45PM

Enjoy the last sidekick. MSFT just fired the remaining SK staff with armed guards and only made this thing to avoid a lawsuit with TMobile.
Roz Ho congratukated the staff and then fired the employees for making it. MSFT just wanted the IP for WinMo anyway.
Now you get a seriously debilitated “PINK”device from MSFT as your next “upgrade.” From what I have heard, it’s a joke. No PIM apps and no 3rd party development system. A typical MSFT consumer product. Copy,rush to market and FAIL.
No street cred-get the iPhone

aenar @ May 6th 2009 4:47PM

30-40 people were let go. The UI team, media teams, hardware and some associated PMs with the Sidekick. Shocking since Microsoft is mostly Political Project Managers with chips on their shoulders.
The remainder of the SK team that the PINK team needs to write in CE(not java or NetBSD) was moved to PINK or WINMO months ago. So the people who shut the lights off on the Sidekick were thanked in an email by the Roz “Dragon Woman” Ho and fired promptly. Then, to keep employees from going apeshitzz, they had the stormtroopers from Securitas(with arms this time) walk the halls and maintain control. Sort of like the Stazi.
So,
a) No more sidekicks. The people that made them are fired or working on the mirage of PINK,
b) Microsoft tried to weasel out of Danger’s contract with TMobile but were threatened with lawsuit
c) To make schedule, MSFT had to ship the Sidekick as designed at that point which was NetBSD and Java. VP of PMX was said to have cried at that announcement.

That’s it. No more Sidekicks.
Naming sources? Do you work for the Dragon Lady-why would I call out these sources. So I can get more people fired? The information is 90% public domain from public feeds anyway.

We don’t want to cause anyone to panic, so we’re not going to make any rash assumptions about the future of the Sidekick. Just wanted to toss the information that’s flying around up for you guys. Feel free to speculate in the comments and if you have any hard and fast info, please email admin@hiptop3.com.

Sidekick LX 2009 Manual

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Sidekick LX 2009 Manual

Want to take a peek at Danger’s official Sidekick LX 2009 manual?