Hotmail Adds Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) Support

It’s been on the cards for a long time, however Microsoft on Friday last week, US time enable the global rollout of Exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail accounts on mobile devices.

For users of Outlook you will still need to use the Outlook Connector as Exchange via Outlook will not connect.
EAS for Hotmail allows Hotmail users to have over the air syncing of emails, calendar and contacts from your Hotmail account to your phone.

This is great because this gives you all the features of a corporate Exchange server with your own personal email.

When using the Outlook Connector for Hotmail in Outlook which does real-time syncing and updating of the inbox, calendar and contacts and the EAS features on Windows Mobile you can now fully live the two screens and the cloud mantra of Microsoft, with your notebook or desktop, your mobile device such as a Windows Mobile or iPhone device and the Hotmail web experience all fully synced with none of this IMAP or POP3 rubbish.

Android is not being officially supported by Microsoft due to on-going testing, although some users are reporting successes with it.

If there is a flaw to this momentous occasion for Hotmail users it is that as a Windows Mobile 6.5 user, I can still only sync one Exchange account which means I’m stuck using the existing Windows Live application until Windows Phone 7 is out allowing multiple Exchange accounts as I need to sync my corporate email via EAS already – For me its ok though because I find the email syncing of the Windows Live application acceptable.

Connecting to Hotmail EAS is simple:

Server Address: m.hotmail.com
Username: Your Windows Live ID (Email Address)
Password: Your Windows Live Password
Domain: Blank

For more detailed instructions and the gotchas on some devices follow the link to the Windows Live page for configuring Exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail: http://windowslivehelp.com/solution.aspx?solutionid=46bd910c-ed99-497d-80d7-ab8b11237ed0

Endomondo for Windows Mobile Review

This context for this post began as a dispute between me and my brother – Or rather my brother disputing me, but either way, I wanted a way to verify the distances being tracked by my Nike+ Sportband pedometer.

By accident whilst crawling the Windows Mobile Marketplace for free applications (I don’t like paying for them) I spotted Endomondo, a free community driven GPS running application for Windows Mobile.

I downloaded the application to my phone and over HSPDA it installed in less than a minute. You can use the software by itself without registration or you can signup online. I signed up online to see what it was all about and it’s really nice.

My phone has internal GPS which is a must for this to work (I wouldn’t recommend carrying a Bluetooth GPS module too). I normally use my Microsoft Zune to listen to music while running however fortunately my HTC Touch HD is the same size as the Zune so I was able to use my Zune armband to hold the phone.

By creating a profile on the website you allow for a couple of things to take place:

  1. An online log of your runs
  2. Calculation of calories burnt
  3. Instant upload

One and two are the norm for me using Nike+. My online profile requires me to complete some information about me and as a result it can calculate my estimated calorie burn although not precise as there is no corresponding heart rate information.

Three however makes this really interesting. Firstly, I have a data package for my phone is is needed unless you want to find £2.50 per megabyte or whatever the price these days attached to your phone bill. As the GPS data is gathered the phone displays in nice big text the time run and the distance travelled along with the satellite status (Green for OK and Red for No Signal). In real-time the data is uploaded to the website, which means if I wanted to for example, I could leave a PC with the website for Endomondo open and allow people to see my progress on the run. Although gimmicky to me, I’m sure someone such as a personal trainer could find a powerful use for this.

I returned to my PC after the walk and logged into the website and as expected the data was already there:

image

As you would expect from a GPS tracking product, it shows exactly my altitude, my speed and my route all visually on the screen using a Google Maps API to provide the mapping.

It’s scary really because I’ve only ever been used to the information provided by Nike+ and it’s quite bizarre to be able to see exactly when I crossed the road and exactly what path I took around a roundabout.

All in all, I think this is an excellent product made even more excellent by the fact that it’s free, however I won’t be using it regularly for a couple of reasons:

  1. I’m terrible at keeping my phone charged which means I would end up wanting a run but being stopped by my phone.
  2. Windows Media Player on Windows Mobile is clunky. The buttons aren’t easy to press while walking let alone running, and finger gestures aren’t very well accepted for swipe to change track or tap the screen to pause.
  3. My phone only has 8GB of capacity for all my apps plus music, where as my Zune has 80GB for all my music.
  4. I want to be able to use Zune as my music service/device so that I get the tracked play counts etc.

My primary use of Endomondo today was to allow me to calibrate my Nike+, however a 10km event I’m entering in Ropley near Winchester later in May might prove an interesting outing for Endomondo to see the how effectively the GPS tracks the altitude change as there is a large hill in the course.

If a version of the Endomondo application becomes available for Windows Phone 7 once released later in the year with it’s native Zune integration then count me in.

Windows Phone 7 + Zune Integration + GPS Running + 32GB microSD card = Success.

UPDATE: I just found a section on the Endomondo website titled Live Map. From here, you can use a feature called Peptalk which allows someone at a PC to type a message which is then converted through text to speed and played out of the headphones / speaker of the persons phone meaning this product is defiantly suitable for Personal Trainers to up the ante.

SIP VoIP for Home and the Day of Sadness

Today is a sad day, because yesterday I came up with an evil super plan, however today I realise that it just cannot be.

My evil super plan was this. To purchase a SIP line from an ISP, configure my Cisco 2651XM with CME and have the SIP line trunked into the router. From here, I was going to replace our existing Windows Home Server with Windows Small Business Server 2008, which I would install Office Communications Server 2007 R2 onto.

The combination of SBS and OCS would give us the ability to use Unified Messaging (UM for Exchange) and would allow us to use the Office Communicator client on the desktop and Office Mobile Communicator on our Windows Phone devices. I would then have configure the 2651XM and OCS to trunk the SIP line between each other using guides available online for configuring OCS and CME to talk so that inbound calls on the SIP line would be routed to the OCS server.

This just gets better now, because the second part of the plan was to configure a hunt group in OCS which would group both me and Nicky together. If someone were to ring the home phone, it would ring both of us simultaneously and then the first one to answer receives the call (that’s the hunt group at work). If nobody answered then the caller could leave a voicemail on the OCS server which would be delivered to both me and Nicky to our SBS Exchange mailboxes using UM.

Just stop for one minute to think of the power and the feature set am talking about here?

  • Imagine being able to answer your home phone anywhere in the world from either your PC or mobile?
  • Imagine being able to receive voicemails left on your home phone from your inbox anywhere in the world via PC, mobile or Outlook Web Access from an Internet cafe?
  • Imagine making phone calls to numbers anywhere in the world just like using a normal telephone but at the fraction of the cost?

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Sky Remote Record for Windows Mobile (and BlackBerry)

4943510[1] Remote Record is one of those excellent features which Sky offers but doesn’t flaunt anywhere near enough not helped by the fact that Sky are loving the iPhone and ignoring Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android and BlackBerry in the process.

In the past I spent a long time looking for a Windows Mobile application for Remote Record, and I managed to find one which was a Java hacked version of the application which was previously available for the Orange SPV however as this was a non-touch screen device the UI was clunky on my touch screen device to say the least.

Needless to say, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered an article on wmpoweruser.com at http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=10795&cpage=1&mobile=1 about Remote Record for Windows Mobile which was posted in November 2009.

The application looks like something genuine that Sky would have produced, however it appears via the website of a software design company called Wecomm who seem to specialise in mobile application development. Even more surprising is that all this development seems to have been done without Sky ever officially releasing the product to the market.

Hitting the link to http://p.wecomm.com/prov/prov.action?releaseId=10 will give you a list of mobile manufacturers (including RIM for BlackBerry owners) which then takes you to a list of models. Once you have selected your model the site will provide the appropriate download link.

I downloaded the version for HTC HD2 which has the same resolution as my HTC Touch HD and installed the .cab file.

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Windows Phone 7 Series

Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona saw the unveiling of Windows Phone 7 Series, or Windows Mobile 7 as a lot of people with undoubtedly refer to it as, Microsoft’s latest browser OS.

This is something that the blogosphere and tech communities have both been waiting for, for a long time, hearing about for a long time, rumouring about for a long time and holding breath for too.

windowsphone-everything-top-1[1]

Windows Mobile 6.x was always about business productivity. Windows Mobile 6.5.x tried to bring Windows Mobile to the consumer and user centric markets, however was met with a lot of critique (not from me by any means).

Looking to capitalize on the success of Windows 7 and hoping 7 was their lucky number, Microsoft have announced Windows Phone 7 Series, which looks set to change all of that with a totally re-written from nothing to something (awesome) mobile operating system and not just a refresh like previous versions.

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Sky+ HD Multi-Room Shared Planner

I got some anonymous information last night from a friend about a service Sky are considering introducing here in the UK.

The service looks as if it’s going to be called Sky+ HD Multi-Room Shared Planner – What a mouthful.

The premise of it is that you have multiple Sky+ HD boxes in your house, and you can share recorded TV amongst those boxes throughout your house. The service also touts that you will be able to connect to your Sky+ HD boxes via your PC and access that content also.

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Gold, Gold

If your remotely attached to the world of technology, you will know that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 went into gold build status (GA) jut over a week ago.

This week it’s the turn of Windows Mobile 6.5 to go gold.

I’ve been using Windows Mobile 6.5 for quite some time now and it’s great – A serious improvement over Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 and a much welcome UI refresh and polished approach.

For anyone that’s interested, I use Miri’s WWE 6.5 ROM from here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=493911

The most recent available 23017, and much to my dismay I have been unable to confirm if this is the gold build announced this week, however Miri recompiled the ROM on the 3rd of August so it is highly likely.

Things I’m looking forward to are seeing the Windows Marketplace as this has been missing from previous WM 6.5 builds, and to see if Live Mesh works properly (see my bug https://connect.microsoft.com/LiveMesh/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=481053).

As for the remainder of the week? Well lots of people on the blogosphere and the Internet have been posting about Windows 7 RTM and changes etc – Some people have only just caught up 🙂

Me? I’m holding out for Friday when TechNet customers are going to be able to officially get their paws on the product (that’s me) so that I can rebuild to x64.

I’m sure I will blog about my experiences with the RTM build of Windows 7.

OneNote Mobile 2010

I’ve been a OneNote user for some time and namely with OneNote 2007 and it’s lack of Ribbon UI.
When I originally got my old O2 XDA Orbit (HTC Artemis) it came with OneNote Mobile as part of the office applications, however I was not a user at this point in time.

As time moved on and I began to use OneNote, I had upgraded the ROM on my phone which meant I no longer had OneNote.

I was left in the same situation with my Touch HD as the Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM I am using doesn’t include OneNote, however when I attached my phone via USB today so that I could flash the Radio and the ROM with fewer builds, I noticed a popup from Office 2010 which 2007 never showed.

(I have attached the phone via USB before, but it’s always been with Office 2007 installed not 2010 like now)

OneNoteMobile1

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WWDC 2009 Apple Vs. Microsoft Showdown

Today’s Apple’s WWDC show, where they launch there best yet. Now that the big announcements are out and all the Mac boys have oohed and aahed at them, how to they really stack up against Windows?

I’m not going to cover everything as I’m not going to get into hardware etc. All of the quotes are taken from Engadget on this thread: http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/08/phil-schiller-keynote-live-from-wwdc-2009/

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Update on Windows SideShow in Windows 7 RC

So as I said earlier today, I emailed the Windows SideShow team for information about what’s going on in Windows 7, and here’s the response I got:

Richard,

Post-beta, we made a change to help reduce clutter in Control Panel and improve the user experience by only showing items that were relevant to the user’s current configuration.  Because Windows SideShow is a hardware dependent feature, we felt it was best to only show it when appropriate hardware was installed on the PC (other Control Panels behave similarly).  If you went to the SideShow control panel in the beta build, you’ll notice there’s really not much you can actually do there without a device installed.

Rest assured, Windows SideShow is still there!  As soon as you connect up a SideShow-compatible device (such as our latest Device Simulator) the control panel will go back to where it belongs.

I was sceptical at first because my device (HTC Touch HD) was paired with the PC running 7, however it was showing no Windows SideShow service available in the Bluetooth properties.

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