Archive for the 'Applications' Category

Exchange Support for the Sidekick

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Exchange support for the Sidekick LX 2009

T-Mobile announced earlier today that Exchange support for the Sidekick has finally arrived! It comes in the form of an application named Sidekick Sync, which you’ll need to grab from the Download Catalog. It’s not live yet, but when it is, it will have a recurring fee of $4.99/month and of course requires a data plan. It will support “real time push email, attachment viewing, full sync capabilities, full read and respond functionality and configurable sync schedules”. In addition to all the email handling it will also sync contacts and calendars from an Exchange server. Like some of the other new software features of the Sidekick LX 2009, this one was outsourced to another company, this Remoba was behind development of the Sidekick Sync app.

T-Mobile says that Exchange support was requested by a number of users and I’m sure this will please the handful of you out there that want to get your corporate email on your Sidekick, but how many of you guys out there are actually using a Sidekick for corporate work that requires an Exchange server? How many people actually know what Exchange is? 🙂

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 Questions Answered

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Over the past few months most of our Sidekick LX 2009 questions have been answered in one way or another. But now that the device is here and actually in the hands of people it’s time to fill in the holes of the questions that haven’t been answered. Exiva was one of the lucky ones who got his Sidekick LX 2009 early. Because he’s awesome, he has agreed to answer whatever questions you have about the device.  This is your chance to ask someone who is actually holding the new Sidekick in their hands.  Here we go!

How does the keyboard feel?
-It’s a harder rubber than the LX. Same style, feels nice. There’s definitely a difference though.

How does the OS look/perform?
-It looks gorgeous on the new LCD (everything does though.) It performs really well. I haven’t noticed any slowdowns yet.

How does it compare to other sidekicks in all areas?
-It’s much lighter than the LX was, It feels more sturdy than the 08 in the few times I played with it. I haven’t tested battery life yet, so I can’t comment on that. The speaker is significantly louder than the LX’s, which is nice.

If you had ringtones on a previous sidekick, were they transferred over?
-Not sure, I never bought any ringtones.

Can we use sounds as ringtones saved from emails?
-Yes, as long as they are 100kb or less. So to get any length in the mp3 the quality will be pretty crummy. You can record on the device up to 20seconds.
Click through for more questions…

New batch of Sidekick LX 2009 Screenshots

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Appletech over at PoweredByDanger has posted up a new batch of screenshots of the Sidekick LX 2009, and we’ve collected them for you.

Lots of screenshots of the updated Microsoft Live Search application, as well as the Twitter and Facebook applications.

Photobucket App is Free!

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Photobucket App is Free!

If you’ve been hesitant to download the Photobucket application because of the price or the recurring fee (or both), the option to try the app out for free has come! If you download the application by 4/30, you have a 30 day free trial period to test it out. This means you can use the full version of the application, risk free for 30 days and then decide if you like it or not. This is a great option and may be what changes people’s opinions about the product. Remember that the application is free only for 30 days from the time that you have downloaded it. After the 30 day free trial period is over, you will be charged a monthly subscription fee of $1.99, which will be billed to you each month until the item is discarded. Check out the information in the Download Catalog for more in-depth information. Download and try it out from the Catalog now!

Record More Video with Video Recorder

Friday, March 27th, 2009
Video Recorder for the Sidekick

When the video recording capabilities for the Sidekick arrived, many people were disappointed by the limitation of only 20 seconds of video capture. Cramped Thumbs, a new Sidekick applications developer, decided to do something about that and have released Video Recorder, a Sidekick application that lets you record up to 50 seconds of video. Why is it still limited to only 50 seconds? Apparently recording and encoding video really pushes the Sidekick past its normal capabilities. So until we get a new powerful device *cough*sidekickblade*cough* enjoy recording at least more than twice as much as your other Sidekick friends. The app costs $1.99 and is available in the catalog now.

Here’s an example video shot with a Sidekick LX:

You’ll need Quicktime to view the embedded video.

Microsoft Live Search (aka Maps) Application Available on Sidekick

Friday, March 27th, 2009
Sidekick Maps and Directions via Microsoft Live Search Application

I’ve been waiting a long long time for mapping software to come to the Sidekick. For many years all that was available was either slow and tedious web-based mapping or the Google Maps developer app that was only available to developers. Finally the cries of many a lost Sidekick user have been answered. MSDanger has released the MS Live Search app (built by Requiem Software Labs) into the catalog on 4.x devices (2008, LX, and Slide) today. It takes care of all your mapping and searching for local businesses needs. You can do street mapping, aerial views, get directions, and even view traffic. You can also search for businesses and types of businesses near an address, movies, and even find the cheapest gas near you. And the best part? It’s totally free and there are no monthly fees!

For all you Sidekick 2009 Blade junkies out there, this is big news too. Remember when I posted about the next Sidekick having “Microsoft Live Local Search and Maps”? Well here it is. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that these maps would work hand in hand with the GPS capabilities of the Sidekick 2009. And the fact that the app is free makes me think it’ll come standard on the Sidekick 2009

Here are some screenshots:

Zune Software Possibly on the Sidekick?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Ever since Microsoft bought Danger there’s been much speculation on the marriage of the Zune line with our familiat Sidekicks. While there haven’t been any official announcements on whether or not we’ll ever see these two technologies merge, it’s still interesting to think about. In a recent talk with Steve Ballmer he made some comments about the future of Zune and Microsoft’s vision for smartphones:

SB: “We’re going to keep going with Zune”. It’s two things: Service and a device. The Zune service, that’s going to fan out its footprint. Hardware will continue to improve. “The question is whether even if we flog them heavily, is their profit upside”. We’re going to keep going “I won’t say full steam ahead, because that implies acceleration of investment, but we’re going to sustain our investment.” We like it and the future may be the software/ecosystem on other devices.

On to smartphone market:

SB: Smartphones will go from 10% to 70 or 80% of market next few years. So what will people want? Good experience built in, w/out downloading stuff. You want good price range. iPhone is very expensive phone, without a keyboard. Some people can’t afford them. Sweet spot is phones that cost $150 to $200 to make — forget retail price. iPhone is about $500. We want to provide vendors with ability to make Windows phones up and down the price scale.

Unless you assume Apple and BlackBerry are going to sell the lion’s share of most phones, which I don’t, I think the play for us is to provide broad innovation at many price points.

A $500 phone is not going to work for everybody in every market. The most popular phones in China and India cost about $25 to build. We can’t get our software on that.

SA: Do you care about “touch” on phones? The blogs say you are.

SB: Windows Mobile 6.5 has touch on it. The way Apple does touch drives cost. They way they do it on the iPhone is not an inexpensive component. We’ll do it in a way that you can afford to do it on most phones.

My first thought was “No, please don’t replace the DangerOS” but was then it was pointed out to me that the Zune software integrated into the DangerOS, replacing the current MediaPlayer could be a nice change. This is something that we won’t see for the Blade for sure, but it’s an interesting possibility for future devices. Steve comments on the sweet spot for prices on smartphones gives hope that the next Sidekick may not cost a fortune. Here’s hoping! If you want to check out the full Q&A with Steve Ballmer, here’s the article.

via engadget. Thanks Mike!

Photobucket App for Sidekick Available

Friday, March 20th, 2009
photobucket_mobile

Do you use Photobucket to share photos? You’ll be happy to hear that there is now a Photobucket application for the Sidekick that will let you send photos directly to the service and manage your account from your device. Rumors about the Sidekick Blade said that this app would be available, and here it is for existing devices (Slide, LX, and 2008).

The application will set you back $1.99 to purchase, and then a recurring fee of $1.99 each month thereafter. So it looks like this is geared more towards hevy users of Photobucket. To get it, just check out the Download Catalog. Here are some screenshots of the app:

More info on Photobucket’s blog post. Screenshots are via PoweredByDanger’s post.
Thanks to everyone that sent this one in

Sidekick Users to get MyFaves Interface for Free

Monday, February 23rd, 2009
Sidekick 3 MyFaves

Want to use the MyFaves interface on your Sidekick to make it quicker and easier to get in touch with your top 5 friends? Well, rumor has it that T-Mobile will be releasing the MyFaves interface to all Sidekick users for free come March 10th. Remember though, that this is just the MyFaves interface, it’s NOT the MyFaves rate plan where you get unlimited calls to your “Faves”. You’ll be charged the same rates for contacting these friends if you don’t sign up for MyFaves. For those of you that don’t know what the MyFaves interface has:

“The Faves home screen provides customers the advantages of a simple and convenient one touch connection for calling, texting, or sending photos to the people they (you) care about most.”

via CellPhoneSignal

…and cue comments about how this isn’t Sidekick 2009 news in 3…2…