Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pre-Order your Sprint HTC Touch Diamond here

(Click on the image above to view larger)

It is now confirmed that Sprint HTC Touch Diamond phone is coming to Sprint in September. You can pre-order yours here (it seems more like a notification than a pre-order).

UPDATE: The content of the link above has changed now but the screen print still shows you what it was a few days ago.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Leaked Pictures of first Google Andriod phone

A number of websites are displaying leaked pictures of first Google Android phone from T-Mobile. The phone body doesn't look very sleek and appealing but based on the demo videos, this phone should have a great user interface.

More pictures are here, here and here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Video of Unresponsive Touch Screen of Sprint Instinct phone

Only the touch sensor seems to have failed. If I press the voice command or the camera button, they both work but no features requiring the touch screen work. In other words, something related to touch sensor (both the screen and the 3 touch buttons) failed. Apparently, the local repair stores only work Mon-Fri 8am-5pm and will not be doing any repair work until after labor day so no phone for my wife until then. I did show her how to use voice command to make call in case of an emergency. Because the touch screen is not responding, she can't answer an incoming call even though the rest of the phone "technically" works but is still practically unusable.

Today my wife's Instinct phone froze on the Speed Dial screen. It is not responding to any touch on the touch-screen and the touch-buttons (the home, back and dial buttons). There is no way to reset because touch screen and lower three touch buttons are not responding. They need to be working to reset the phone according to the user guide.

I have removed the battery a number of times (for as long as an hour) but on turning the phone back on, it comes to the speed dial screen and is not responsive on the touch screen or the three touch buttons at them bottom.

My wife is pretty upset with this phone. Few days ago her Instinct camera was giving the memory card not found error. She only uses this phone for calls, text messages and pictures. She doesn't even use her phone browser. We bought our phones on 6/21. Maybe they are from a batch with faulty chips or something. Mine crashes on browser and GPS Navigation application crashes after using it for a while too.

The gently cared for phone has been unusable since this afternoon. Here is a video:

This is what my wife said:

"I want a reliable phone and this isn't one of them!"

So more than likely we will be switching phones within the next month or so! At the moment she is without a working cellphone and pretty upset about it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How to download the latest version of Pocket Express on Instinct

Here is the direct link to download the latest version of Handmark Pocket Express application for Instinct if you have not received an upgrade notification yet:

Version before upgrade
Pocket Express 1.0.8

Version after upgrade
Pocket Express 1.1.5

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Inventor of Visual Voicemail sues Verizon, Google and Others

The inventor of visual voicemail, Klausner Technologies Inc., has sued Verizon, Google and others for patent infringement. In anticipation of the lawsuit, Verizon filed another lawsuit in advance asking Klausner's patent to be invalid. Apple had settled a lawsuit with Klausner earlier.
Sprint played it safe and signed a licensing deal with Klausner for visual voicemail on Samsung Instinct even witout getting sued. Interestingly, Sprint Intinct visual voicemail is included in the standard Instinct plans while Verizon is charging $2.99 per month for something they are not even licensed for! Another reason to stay with Sprint (Verizon and AT&T plans for comparable phones cost too much if you consider their extra charges!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blackberry Bold video review

Here is a video review of Blackberry Bold 9000. Looks nice but no touch screen on this one either.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Samsung Omnia Review

MobileTechReview has a detailed review of Samsung Omnia phone. This phone looks very good but not for US at the moment. When it hits the US market (maybe later this year), it will most likely be with AT&T. Sprint better get Opera Mini 4.1 browser working on Instinct soon or people are going to defect!


65K color TFT flush touch screen, 3.2". Resolution: 240 x 400, supports both portrait and landscape modes (can use accelerometer to automatically rotate the screen).

1440 mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 2G claimed talk time: 5.8 hours, standby: 500 hours. 3G claimed talk time: 4 hours, standby: 400 hours.

624 MHz Marvel PXA312 processor. 128 MB built-in RAM. 256 MB Flash ROM and 8 or 16 gigs internal flash memory storage.

112 x 56.9 x 12.5mm (4.41 x 2.24 x 0.49 inches. Weight: 122g (4.3 ounces).

GSM quad band unlocked 850/900/1800/1900MHz with EDGE for data. Euro-only 3G (2100MHz).

5.0 MP camera with autofocus, macro mode, face/smile detection mode. 2x digital zoom and LED flash. Camcorder: VGA max resolution at 15 fps, QVGA at 30fps.

Built in speaker, mic and Samsung blade connector audio jack with headset dongle that has a 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack. Voice Recorder and Windows Pocket Media Player 10 included for your MP3 pleasure. DivX certified.

Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR.

Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional with Samsung's TouchWiz UI. Opera 9.5, Outlook Mobile (email, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks), Microsoft Office Mobile (Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile, OneNote Mobile), Internet Explorer Mobile, Windows Media Player 10 Mobile, Notes, Calculator, Solitaire, Bubble Breaker, Internet Sharing, , Task Manager, Java VM and Google Maps. Samsung applications: Touch Player, Media Album, Photo Slides, Smart Converter unit converter, world clock, touch-friendly phone book, Digital Frame (photo frame style desk clock), ShoZu, RSS reader, Streaming Player, TV out, Video Editor, business card reader, Enhanced GPS, DivX codecs, vibration and accelerometer settings. ActiveSync 4.5 and Outlook trial version for PCs included.

1 microSD card slot, SDHC compatible.

SAR rating
0.671 W/kg.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

HTC Touch Diamond - slow response?

According to this comparison review of Apple iPhone, Samsung Instinct and HTC Touch Diamond:

HTC Touch Diamond:

"The phone's Microsoft Mobile 6.1 OS offers a mini-Windows experience. It's the smallest of the three phones, the slowest to respond and the warmest in your pocket. It has the best 3.2-megapixel digital camera, is EVDO-capable for fast Internet and has four GB of memory built-in, a good start, as well as an external Micro SD slot.

Unfortunately, the smaller screen accommodates a cellphone-like keypad that shares two letters on each screen button, so typing speed is diminished.

The phone has four push buttons and a four-way centre push navigation wheel, which essentially does what the touch screen does. It's strange to have an older analogue-style navigation wheel on what could have been a larger touch screen on the same-size phone. The magnetically stored stylus helps.

Still, the screen is the sharpest in this group and the mobile browser is second only to the iPhone's. There are more than 22,000 Windows Mobile applications you can download. The included Teeter game shows off the phone's ability to sense its screen orientation."

My previous Windows mobile phone was great in terms of applications but it was slow to respond and the user interface was nothing like iPhone or Instinct. By reading this review, it seems that HTC Touch Diamond might be suffering from the same Windows mobile response issue. Until the release of Windows mobile 7 or the version with all the nice touch-screen support, I might have to pass Touch Diamond if it suffers from the slow windows mobile response issue (despite HTC's nice touch interface on top). I will see when I get a hold of one. Next 12 months should be pretty exciting for the touch-screen mobile phone market!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another great GPS Maps app that you can't use on Sprint Instinct due to Java keyboard issue

Here is another good GPS/Maps application that can't be used on Instinct because of missing Java keyboard. It is called Mobile GMaps. You can view more details here:

Is Sprint management aware of Instinct's missing Java keyboard disappointment?

Saw this in one of the Sprint baw forums:


I know as much as you do about the release date for the Java Keyboard issue. I do know it is not scheduled for 'the end of the year', but later. I don't know what later means - I've always guessed September sometime, but I could be wrong. (not speaking for Sprint - personal opinion there).

If the phone does not do what you require it to do, then you are free to cancel your contract. Can you get out of ETF fees? No idea. That's up to retentions.

If you are a Java developer who has a killer million dollar app waiting on the keyboard, I can certainly understand your frustration. However, as a Java developer, you'll surely understand that it's more than tweaking a batch file to enable the keyboard and have it work reliably in all situations with all applications in all conditions. I'm sure you'd rather have a fully functional working keyboard than a half-baked slap-dash patch that crashes half the time.

If more information is made available, I or another of the Sprint team will be posting it here.

And I can promise you that this concern has been made visible to all levels of the development and marketing team for the Instinct.

Will England

Buzz About Wireless Admin
Sprint Nextel "

Please note that this is just the personal opinion of Will and not Sprint's official response or policy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Disappointing news - No Java keyboard on Instinct for a while

As thousands of Samsung Instinct users wait patiently to have a working browser (such as Opera Mini 4.1) on their phones that doesn't crash on numerous websites (Instinct's default Obigo browser is useless on many sites because it crashes back to the speed dial screen), their hopes of getting it are delayed until later this year (and not August as was expected earlier).

Here is the latest update on this:

Subject:LCDUI Update
Date:2008-08-20 at 03:26 PM CDT

Want to give an update on getting LCDUI support in the Samsung Instinct handset. We have been working with Samsung to get this scoped out, and have this targeted for a release later this year (will not be August as we had hoped - I can't give any more timelines or information on this) In the meanwhile we will continue to provide support for the Samsung Instinct Widget Library including developer guides, sample apps and another future revision of our Sprint WTK to support some features developers have been asking for (ex: virtual keyboard support, etc) We continue to invite you all to provide all the feedback you can/want as we continue to submit this back into the Instinct team to evaluate for future enhancements.

Sprint ADP Team"

This is very disappointing news because now Sprint Instinct users are left hanging with a phone that makes it mandatory to have a higher-priced data plan but has a slow and partially usable web browser (crashes on a number of sites - hundreds of forum posts from disgruntled customers confirm this). Any hopes of getting an alternative Java Browser anytime soon are dashed.

It is sad that Sprint with its multi-million dollar Instinct marketing budget couldn't get this fixed sooner when all it would require is some good software developers at their Java software vendor (Qualcomm?) making this a priority.

If you are disappointed because of lack of a decent "working" browser on this phone, you could vent in the comments here or contact Sprint or Samsung to let them know how you feel.

Some options if browser is extremely important to you:
  • Stick it out without a working browser (Instinct browser crashes on numerous websites after you use it for a while) while paying full monthly fee for data and envy the iPhone users.
  • Call Sprint Retentions to give you a discount.
  • Sell Instinct on craigslist or eBay to cover early termination fees and buy an iPhone (apparently 1-2% iPhone 3G users are having connectivity issues but my friend who has one hasn't had any problems with his new iPhone)
  • Call Sprint Retentions to allow you to upgrade to upcoming HTC Touch Diamond at an upgrade/discounted price (afterall Instinct is defective, browser crashes, I would volunteer my phone to confirm this)
  • If T-mobile has good service in your area, check out the upcoming HTC Dream phone based on Google Android software and switch when this phone is released so you get a full iPhone like webkit browser.
  • Hope (right!) that Sprint will sign-up a deal with Opera to make Opera Mini 4.1 work on Instinct by using Instinct's SIWL widgets. Opera developers have so far mocked this phone for not following the basic MIDP 2.0 standards and refused to create a custom version of Opera Mini 4.1 browser for Instinct.

    If nothing else, you could at least vent in the Sprint Developer forum here to let them know how you feel about this delay while you are paying full price for the service!

Palm announces Treo Pro and promises new phone in 2009

Image: Palm Treo™ Pro

Palm has promised a new phone in 2009 with an entirely new platform and a new hardware. Not to long ago, Palm had hired a former Apple engineer (Jon Rubinstein) who was involved in the creation of the iPod, as its head of product development.

To buy time until the release of the new phone, Palm has announced the Treo™ Pro smartphone. The device will sell unlocked for $549 which is kind of high for carrier subsidized US phone market. The specs for Treo™ Pro are here. The details of new Palm phone are not available yet.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sprint Instinct voicemail upgrade

While this has been available for past few days (during small windows of time every day), it seems that the voicemail update is now available to more people. To get the update, go to Main tab and then click on Voicemail and then click on a phone number in your voicemail list to listen to a voicemail. It will then prompt you saying that:

An upgrade is available for this application. Upgrade Now?

Later     Upgrade

When you click on Upgrade, it takes you to "Upgrading..." screen that takes about half a minute or so and brings you back to Voicemail screen.

The latest Voicemail version now is VN.

Sprint HTC Touch Diamond coming for $299.99 after rebates?

According to this September launch presentation slide, Sprint HTC Touch Diamond phone will sell for $299.99 after rebates:

Suggested Retail Price: $549.99
2-year contract : $150.00
New Price : $399.99
Mail-In-Rebate : $100.00
Net Price : $299.99

Steve Jobs responds by email - says iPhone app crash fix in September

According to Apple Insider:

"An AppleInsider reader has received one of Steve Jobs' characteristically brief and rare personal responses, assuring them that his company is aware of the problem and has a solution."This is a known iPhone bug that is being fixed in the next software update in September," reads the one-line message from the Apple co-founder.The email provides an end date to problems that have become increasingly apparent in Apple's support forums and elsewhere. Many report the iPhone 2.0 firmware suddenly failing to load non-default apps regardless of their nature, briefly loading them before abruptly jumping back to the home screen.The bug occurs both with freshly downloaded software and with updates..."

This sounds similar to Instinct's browser crash on some web sites...

Sprint Instinct Music Store update available now

You can get the Sprint Instinct Music Store update by going to Fun tab on your Instinct phone and then Music button followed by the Store tab. It will prompt you with a message:

Update Available

There is a new update available for the Sprint Music Store! Would you like to download this free update?

Warning: You will need to download this update to continue using the Sprint Music Store.

Exit Sprint Music Store

Version Before Update
Name: Sprint Music Store
Version: 2.2.38 : 131622
Vendor: GrooveMobile

Version After Update
Name: Sprint Music Store
Version: 2.2.39 : 131623
Vendor: GrooveMobile

Monday, August 18, 2008

Google announces beta release of Android SDK

Google recently announced the beta release of Android SDK (software development kit). This will allow application developers to build apps for mobile phones based on Google Android software.

Don't forget to check out this demo video of a phone based on Google's mobile platform. With in next 12 months, phones based on this platform will kick iPhone's butt! By the way, Android uses the same Webkit browser engine used by iPhone.

Make sure to watch the last 30 seconds of the video

Also check out this video:

HTC Dream Phone (based on Google's Android software) documents on FCC site

Here are the HTC Dream phone documents on FCC website:

T-Mobile is likely to be the carrier of this phone which is said to be based on Google Android software.

Another related document can be found here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shortcut to Sprint Instinct user guide

Here is a shortcut to Sprint Instinct User guide online. Now you don't have to go searching for that printed guide or the PDF file:

Are these the pictures of Sprint HTC Touch Diamond?

Are these the pictures of Sprint HTC Touch Diamond? You decide...

I guess we will find out soon.

Status of 4G mobile networks

Here is a good summary of the status of 4G network deployment of various US mobile operators.

While Sprint is far ahead of others in terms of the deployment start (supposed to be this year vs. much later for other carriers), it is also going alone with WiMax. Most of the other carriers have decided to go with LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology. Sprint has a tough challenge ahead of itself with massive amount of debt from botched (paid too much for too little) acquisition of Nextel. Let's see how the WiMax deployment turns out.

Friday, August 15, 2008

NYT has more details on Google's android phone

Check this out:

It seems that the phone's release is dependent on FCC approval. While Sprint was also known to have been working with Google on Android phone, T-Mobile HTC phone is expected to be the only Android phone available in the United States this year. Google had also organized an application contest and had received more than 1,700 entries!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Latest version numbers of Sprint Instinct apps

Here are the latest version numbers of Sprint Instinct applications as per the Sprint Administrator at baw forum. We should be receiving them in the next few days.

This is the latest app version numbers, post update:

Java Apps:
o TV / Radio (MobiTV) version 3.0.47

o Push Info Services (Handmark) version 1.1.5
o Music (Groove / Livewire) version 2.2.39

BREW Apps:
o Navigation (Telenav) version
o VVM / Mobile Sync (Core Mobility) version
o E-Mail (Seven) version

Details of latest Sprint Instinct Updates

Here is the summary of latest Sprint Instinct updates according to baw forum post:

As you have noticed, the application updates for the Instinct were turned on recently. We are pushing updates to improve your experience with Picture Mail, the web browser, Sprint TV and Radio, Sprint Navigation, Sprint Email, Sprint Music Store, Visual Voicemail and Mobile Sync.

Not all apps are updating at the same time – but we have released the ‘go’ signal to the vendors. As you run each app, you will be prompted to upgrade – all the upgrades will be over the air. We’ll keep you posted as new information comes out about this and future updates to your Instinct phone.

---- Update Aug 14 - what's changing:

Picture Mail

• Reduce system busy errors for large picturemails
• Reduction of "408" timeout errors when sending large picturemails

• Optimized vending machine shopping experience
• More robust and user friendly access to Yahoo, Hotmail, Best Buy, YouTube
• Remove feature that sent browser back one page with camera button

Sprint TV/Radio
• Optimizations to resolutions for streaming video playback
• Reductions of pausing. freezing and "flashing" during streaming video playback
• Greatly increased start up and channel change speed

Sprint Navigation

• Session will no longer run in background, preserving battery life

Sprint E-Mail
• Ability to save email address from favorites menu

Sprint Music Store
• Eliminates skips when listening via Bluetooth headset
• Eliminates periodic timeouts for Websync of music
• Eliminates changing of tracks when turning on screen from sleep mode
• Eliminates periodic failure of skip button
• Eliminates play/pause stopping after 30 - 35 minutes of music play

Push Info Services/Pocket Express
• Increased ability to play video clips
• Content for movie listing displays correctly
• Eliminates periodic error for movie details/review

Visual Voicemail/Mobil Sync
• Handle and present voicemail notification when out of data service
• Eliminates "choppy" playback when dragging progress bar
• Contact picture/image now shown correctly in playback form

Please keep in mind that these applications are updated by the vendor, and the vendors set their own schedules. For example, they may turn it on for one hour per day, updating 1/24th of the handsets in service per day. You will be automatically notified of the update when you launch the application.

Message Edited by InstinctAdmin on 08-14-2008 03:55 PM

So there you have it. I haven't received any updates yet other than Email and SprintTV. This is how it is supposed to work according to InstinctAdmin Sprint Administrator:

"Handmark, the vendor for Weather, News, Sports and Movies on your Instinct, released this information today:

[Handmark is] planning to rollout the upgrades of the Express Instinct services in phases. We can control the % of users getting an upgrade notification by the length of time the upgrade notification is ‘on’ in our server. So, we will turn it on for one hour today (which should equate to 1/24th of the active user base). We will monitor to ensure there are not customer care issues raised for the next few days. If all goes well, as we expect it will, we will turn it on for 2 hours next Monday (1/12th). Assuming all is still OK we will turn it on for 4 hours (1/6th) next Wednesday. If all continues to go well we will turn it on and leave it on the following Monday.If you hear of any care incidents related to upgrades during this timeframe, please let us know.

If you have any problems with the Handmark apps - please post a note or send an email to Customer Care from your Sprint account. "

Rumor - Google's Android phone on T-Mobile soon?

According to this, Google's Android phone could possibly be out next month on T-mobile. It might have a 5″ long by 3″ wide touch screen (that's too big if you ask me! So i am not sure...), and a slide out Qwerty keypad. It might be released in black, white, and brown color options with a 3MP camera. It is supposed to require a GMail account.

I remember seeing a demo video of some andriod phone prototype and the browser was sweet (I think it uses the same webkit engine as iPhone browser)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Additional updates - Voicemail and PocketExpress?

Some users are reporting that they received additional updates (in addition to SprintTV and Email) for Voicemail and Pocket Express (news, weather, etc.) applications.

My Pocket Express is still at 1.0.8 but some got upgraded to 1.1.5. My Voicemail is still at VN. but some got upgraded to VN.

It seems that Sprint must be doing staggered updates to prevent server overload that recently plagued Apple servers with iPhone/iPod Touch app update.

Detailed review of Samsung Instinct Canada

CTV Canada has an interesting review of Bell canada version of Samsung Instinct. Sprint Instinct users will be puzzled with the way Instinct plans are set up in Canada (I like Sprint's plans much better). Some highlights:

  • Unlimited data plan for a mere $10 per month
  • 2GB memory card, stocked full of music from BMG Canada
  • $8 per month extra to use Windows Live Instant Messenger or e-mail (Hotmail) - What???
  • $8 per month to unlock the GPS navigation - What???
  • $8 monthly again for Live TV and again for video clips, and once again for satellite radio. - What? What?? What???
  • The 226 “free” songs included on the memory card are also locked and cannot be played or used until you sign up for a $15 monthly music store subscription. - What???
  • E-mail is designed to handle one e-mail and instant messaging system only. Once you activate the Windows Live as your option, you can't go back to add another account or choose a different e-mail provider. And you can’t remove the accounts without wiping the entire phone. There isn’t a notification system for incoming messages so you have to check manually. - This is totally different on Sprint Instinct with Seven's email application that allows multiple providers/accounts and a lot more flexibility.
  • Browser seems the same and is awefully slow.
  • A selection of digital voices on GPS Navigation including ones that you can purchase.
  • Bell Canada's website says Instinct can tether via USB to a computer to act as modem, but there are no driver files included with Bell Mobility Connect software. Maybe this will be available in the future.
  • YouTube and Facebook app icons are just shortcuts to web sites.

CNet covers iPhone 3G problems

CNet is another leading technology site covering the iPhone 3G issues. The article starts with the story of a fellow who switched from iPhone 3G to Verizon blackberry due to connection problems with AT&T's 3G network. According to the article:

"Users say the iPhone 3G will switch between 3G networks and EDGE networks even when the device is sitting still. They'll lose reception in the middle of a call while traveling through a 3G-rich environment. Friends with other 3G phones on AT&T's network are not reporting similar problems. And the issues don't appear to be confined to AT&T's network: iPhone 3G users in other countries report similar problems with their new phones."

So while AT&T is charging $10 per month extra over the iPhone 2G data plan, the users are having problems utilizing the faster speeds of 3G. Check this out:

"The hand-off between the two networks is supposed to be seamless: 3G calls should automatically switch to EDGE when the 3G signal gets too weak. But the iPhone 3G seems to be hanging when it switches from the 3G network to the EDGE network, dropping service altogether in some cases. Apple technicians who examined Shaw's phone found that 36 percent of his calls had been dropped."

Now this is not expected of a device from Apple which is known for great user experience and thus able to command huge markup on its products!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

BestBuy will start selling iPhones from September 7th

According to the varous news reports, BestBuy will start selling both 8GB and 16GB versions of iPhone 3G starting September 7th.

This means more competition for Sprint Instinct. I haven't seen a working demo model of Sprint Instinct at my local BestBuy stores (only the plastic non-working display unit like most other cell phones).

On the other hand Apple has a dedicated area in the store for various computers. I wonder if Apple will make them put some working display units in this area or just let them stock the iPhone in the mobile phone area with a plastic display unit...

Yes, iPhone 3G has problems too!

Ars Technica has listed a number of problems with iPhone 3G since the launch a month ago. Many of them are not expected of a company the reputation of Apple. While Sprint Instinct was rushed and has minor (mostly) issues, Apple's device is the second revision and had plenty of time to mature. Maybe part of the problem is due to sleeping with AT&T (very expensive phone plans and poor 3G network).

Some of these problems originated with the activation nightmare and others are about the poor quality of iPhone shell (already showing real cracks on many phones). Many others are probably from the spotty 3G coverage on AT&T's network.

People are experiencing a number of iPhone GPS issues even in the open areas along with slow response times. The keyboard is not always great and phone presents very slow response times leaving you confused if you tapped an icon or not. iPhone 3G sometimes switches from 3G to slooow EDGE network even at short distances apart and sometimes right at the same location.

So iPhone 3G problems can't be ignored but it still has a beautiful browser which is mostly reliable.

New Instinct app updates - SprintTV and Email

There were two recent application updates:

Updated on next use. Updated from version 3.0.44 to 3.0.47

Optional update. When you go to email application and check for update, it shows a screen that says:

Optional Upgrade
An optional upgrade is available. Would you like to upgrade to the new version?

New Version:



(previous version was

I haven't seen any information on what was fixed in these updates.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Samsung Instinct Canada - price comparison with iPhone

Here is a comparison of Samsung Instinct and Apple iPhone plan prices in Canada:,380731

Another Samsung Instinct, Apple iPhone and LG Dare review


Summary of review:

Battery life: LG Dare, Samsung Instinct
Camera: LG Dare
Navigation: Samsung Instinct
Response: Apple iPhone
Size: LG Dare
Touch control: Apple iPhone
Web browsing: Apple iPhone

Verizon now offers visual voicemail for $2.99 per line!


Verizon announced the launch of visual voicemail on LG Voyager phone. Verizon Wireless customers can find the Visual Voice Mail application on the Messaging menu under option 6 on their Voyager by LG phones. Visual Voice Mail is available for $2.99 monthly access, per line, plus airtime or megabyte charges and messaging fees, depending on a customer’s plan.

No thanks, I will stick with my Sprint Instinct's plan (it is included in the plan, no extra charge).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Confirmed iPhone has remote App kill switch and iPhone app sales - $1 million per day!

According to a reuters report, Apple sold an average of $1 million a day in applications for a total of about $30 million in sales over the month, Jobs told the paper (The Wall Street Journal).

If sales stay at the current pace, Apple stands to earn at least $360 million a year in new revenue from the App Store, Jobs said.

"This thing's going to crest a half a billion, soon," Jobs told the journal adding that it may be a "$1 billion marketplace at some point in time."

Jobs confirmed that iPhones routinely check an Apple Web site that could, in theory, trigger the removal of the undesirable software from the devices.

He told the paper that Apple needed the capability in case it inadvertently allowed a malicious program to be distributed to iPhones through the App Store.

This confirms the earlier reports about Apple's tight control on things. I would rather have companies less control than more control on a device that I paid for and is not leased to me for a fixed duration.

Sprint considering a sale of Nextel's iDen network?

According to a Reuters report:

"Sprint Nextel Corp is considering a sale of the Nextel wireless network it bought in 2005, but may have trouble finding a buyer for an asset whose value has plunged about 80 percent to an estimated $5 billion.

Sprint has struggled to integrate Nextel's iDen network, used by public safety and construction workers, with its own services and has lost millions of customers since paying about $35 billion for Nextel Communications three years ago."

Talk about bad investment! They have so much debt that they need a lot of cash to keep things moving along smoothly...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Coverage of Canadian launch of Samsung Instinct

Mobilie Magazine has some coverage of Samsung Instinct's canadian launch.

And here are the details of Bell Canada version of Samsung Instinct:


  • Dual mode, dual band digital phone (1.9GHz & 800MHz)
  • Operates on both the Bell core network and the Bell high speed mobile network
  • Integrated digital music player (MP3) and access to Bell's Full track Music downloads
  • External memory card slot allows you to store and carry additional pictures, videos and music up to 8GB
  • Quick access to popular content including Facebook, News, Sports and Weather highlights
    GPS turn-by-turn navigation
  • Windows Live™ Messenger and Windows Live™ Hotmail
  • HTML Mobile Browser™
  • SMS/Text messaging capable* with full qwerty keyboard
  • 2.0 megapixel camera, with 4x digital zoom
  • Video camera
  • Picture/Video messaging capable*
  • Mass storage tool to transfer MP3s, pictures and videos to and from your PC
  • Backup Manager support
  • Bluetooth 2.0 enabled.
  • Profiles supported:
    A2DP (Stereo Headset)
    HSP (Headset-mono)
    HFP (Hands-free)
    DUN (Dial-up Networking)
    OPP (Object Push)
    OBEX (Object Exchange)
    FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • Download ringtones, screensavers, games and applications*
  • Dial-up networking/USB tethered data*
  • 3.1" 262K TFT colour display
  • Speakerphone
  • Languages - English & French

    *Dependent on the content & network availability, additional charges may apply.

Some things to note that it seems to have direct button for Facebook and Youtube. It also has Windows Live Messenger! And they are officially allowing mobile connect (tethering or Phone As Modem)!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Running over the Instinct

What were these guys thinking??

Apple receives a patent for Remote Streaming - seems like

According to a new patent granted to Apple, this will allow:

"Remote access of media items" from a remote device, like an iPhone (or even an iPod). The remote device would sync the metadata associated with your music library at home—titles, album art, file size, etc.—but not the files themselves. This would allow you to have access to gigs upon gigs of media sitting on your home machine without filling up all the space on your iPod or iPhone. "In this manner, the virtual capacity of an electronic device may be increased," writes Apple in the filing.

When you want to play a song, your device would establish a connection with your home computer, either over WiFi or through the mobile network...."

This sounds surprisingly similar to Orb which I confirmed works great with Sprint Instinct to stream media, iTunes podcasts, streaming online radio and TV from your home PC or from online streaming sites. Hopefully this won't allow Apple to stifle innovation from others and as far as Orb is concerned, I would think that that is prior art. They have it working even before Apple filed the patent!

July - Top 10 selling phones


TOP-10 selling phones in July 2008

1. (1) Apple Iphone
2. (5) Nokia 3109
3. (3) Nokia E51
4. (4) Nokia 6300
5. (-) Sony Ericsson C902
6. (-) Sony Ericsson C702
7. (7) Nokia N95 8 GB
8. (8) Sony Ericsson K810i
9. (9) Sony Ericsson K530i
10. (6) LG KU990
() = Last month’s position.

The list is based upon the number of pieces of model specific mobile and smart phone cases that have been ordered from Krusell during July 2008. Krusell's list is unique due to the fact that it reflects the sales of phones on six continents and in more than 50 countries around the globe.

I am taking this with a grain of salt because I haven't even seen their cases for phones like Instinct at nearby stores.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Does Apple iPhone have a remote app kill switch?


"Apple yields ultimate control over applications running on your iPhone. If it doesn't like an app it flips a "kill switch" that zaps an unpalatable iTunes App off your iPhone in a heart beat. At least that's the buzz today in the blogosphere about a line of code found inside Apple's iPhone 2.0 software by independent iPhone developer Jonathan Zdziarski. "

While this may or may not be true, most of us don't like any company to have so much control on the device. Once it is sold, I should be able to do whatever I want with it unless the company is leasing it to me (like a cable box for about $5 per month!). Mobile phones are not leased (you don't return them back when you cancel your service). But I think that all phones should have this option of remote wipe with an owner password. So when I buy the phone, I can set up a password through the company's website and if my phone is stolen, I can key in that password on the company's website and remotely wipe all my personal information from the phone. That would be nice but something like that only exists on blackberrys and maybe a very few other devices..

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

HTC Touch Diamond (HTC Victor) on Sprint

According to various sites, Sprint is rumored to start selling the best Windows Mobile touch phone (HTC Touch Diamond or HTC Victor) in early September. This phone might give iPhone a run for its money (not sure why they chose 2.8" screen though even though it is much higher resolution than iPhone's 3.5" screen)

A version of the same phone will go on sale in Canada very soon. Check this out:

(some software will differ on Sprint's version)

I expect a physical keyboard version of the same phone to follow.

It is likely that Verizon will sell a slightly different version of this phone too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Apple's Steve Jobs says MobileMe Launch not their finest hour!

According to the an email from Steve Jobs to Apple employees:

"The launch of MobileMe was not our finest hour"

"MobileMe was simply not up to Apple's standards – it clearly needed more time and testing."

"It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store. We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence."

"We are taking many steps to learn from this experience so that we can grow MobileMe into a service that our customers will love. "

"The MobileMe launch clearly demonstrates that we have more to learn about Internet services."

This shows that software applications when rushed (due to unrealistic deadlines set by marketing and management) don't always work as planned!

Some more "UNOFFICIAL" information on Instinct software updates

Here are some more UNOFFICIAL updates. Don't rely on them too much for dates because things are still in the process of being decided:

(Customer Care Specialist)

"I attended a conference call with Samsung last week and as far as the date of the new release, all they would say is August. We attempted to pin them down on a date and time frame (Early August, Late August, Mid August, 10 days, etc.) and they would not provide a hint as to specific date. In general the software update is to address some issues with mobile sync, visual voice mail, and other applications on the device.

Currently they are investigating:

- Why the word Microbrew freezes the device when it is typed in a text (my personal favorite)
- Visual Voice Mail Notification is not working properly
- Data error codes "Reject Ambiguous user", 46957, 1012 and 403 (however, I know how to fix the 403 error)
- Browser unable to access high security web sites
- No SMS signature feature available while the user guide states it's available
- Complaint due to not providing end-user option to delete recent history of SMS
- End-users complaining due to phone's inability set starting menu on (currently phone defaults to speed dial menu on boot)
- End-users are wanting to use MicroSD card as storage media; however, phone will not recognize files saved on to MicroSD card using PC.
- Inability to receive call during data usage.

Some of this, just need to be ok'd by Sprint, such as the 128K browser and the SMS signature, while others need to be investigated for a root cause."

(Sprint Administrator)

"Nice Info!

That's more complete than what I have. Poking around to see if I can find more.

Will England

Buzz About Wireless Admin
Sprint Nextel "

(Customer Care Specialist)

"The initial updates will focus on "inconveniences" (ie Mobile Sync, VVM, bugs, known issues). As far as adding the same options as the Canadian version, I personally have not heard anything regarding that, but I will ask if we get another conference call scheduled.

Regarding who is running the show, the official Sprint answer, I don't know. What I have seen? We all in this thing together! I'm just glad someone spoke up and changed the original name from Minerva to Instinct!"


(Sprint Administrator)

"Sprint has a team of technical, project management, UI design, etc gurus. Samsung has a larger team of coders and developers making changes to the firmware code. I'm not sure where the dividing line is, or who does what specifically.
Will England

Buzz About Wireless Admin
Sprint Nextel


(Sprint Administrator)

"You're right - we don't have all the information. We're on the wrong side of the wall, and if we were in product developement, we'd be bound by wicked tight rules on what we can and can't say. I skate a thin line here ...

About the updates: There are two. One is definitely in August. I wouldn't count on the second till after Labor Day, but that's just me speaking, and like I said, I'm on the wrong side of the wall.

As soon as I get hard confirmed information I will post it or forward to the Instinct Admin to post.

Will England

Buzz About Wireless Admin
Sprint Nextel "


So that's it for now. Remember that in the software world, dates change because of unexpected problems and tight deadlines. Even Apple isn't immune from this - see here.

Sprint Champions Courtesy with National CineMedia

Sprint and National CineMedia , operator of the largest digital in-theatre network in North America for cinema advertising, alternative entertainment and events, have entered into an exclusive, multi-year agreement to promote courtesy in movie theatres through a series of public service announcements reminding moviegoers to silence their cell phones and refrain from texting during feature films.

The new Sprint courtesy campaign will be created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and placed through Mindshare/Kinetic in New York. The spots will be seen on more than 14,300 screens in over 1,100 AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings Inc. , Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group movie theatres – the three largest theatre operators in the U.S. – beginning in October 2008.

his multi-year commitment follows Sprint’s recent cinema success with the Sprint Instinct from Samsung movie-themed campaign, which included a spot running in National CineMedia’s FirstLook digital pre-feature program, highlighting a trailer-style clip promoting Instinct: The Greatest Product-Placement Movie of All Time, a film that promised "no plot, no romance, just phone."

Full details here

Monday, August 4, 2008

Some iPhones reported to be showing cracks!

Some iPhone 3G (mostly white model) users are reporting cracks on their iPhones and people are upset!

Check these out for more pictures:
(this one has a bunch of pictures - 25 page thread at the moment!)

CNET Review - Samsung Instinct vs. Apple iPhone 3G

Check out this 5-round match-up of Samsung Instinct vs. Apple iPhone 3G:

Total points:
Samsung Instinct: 60
Apple iPhone 3G: 69

Winner: Apple iPhone 3G

This is a no brainer but they compared Instinct's TV quality to iPhone's video which is like comparing apples and bananas! Instinct can play higher quality video than highly compressed TV stream from Sprint. If iPhone had TV, it probably would look worse on higher resolution screen. That's probably why Apple didn't even include it!

And Instinct's Navigation is much better than iPhone Navigation which is nothing but Google maps. Instinct has true turn-by-turn voice GPS Navigation. And if you are not satisfied, you can download Google Maps on Instinct.

To top it off, AT&T's comparable iPhone plans are $20-$50 more per month than Sprint Instinct's plans and provide less services (No TV or turn-by-turn voice GPS included)!

And funny that according to their judges, LG Voyager beat original iPhone! Hmm....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More LiMo (Linux for Mobile) handsets on the horizon


LiMo Foundation (a global consortium of over 50 mobile companies - founder members Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Samsung Electronics, and Vodafone ) announced another wave of handsets using the LiMo Platform™ (open handset platform based on Linux for Mobile).

The seven new devices from Motorola, NEC and Panasonic Mobile Communications are:

  • MOTOZINE™ ZN5 from Motorola;
  • FOMA N906i, FOMA N906iμ, FOMA N906iL and FOMA N706i from NEC and
  • FOMA P906i and FOMA P706iμ from Panasonic Mobile Communications.
While none of the current LiMo handsets truly impress me (not even sure if they have any decent web browser like WebKit browser on iPhone), this platform should grow over time.

In a blog post regarding Mozilla Firefox mobile browser on LiMo, Jay Sullivan says:
"We intend to participate actively in all aspects of the LiMo platform that relate to Web browsing, Web widgets/runtimes and security."
(a version of mobile Firefox browser runs on Nokia N800/N810 Linux-based tablets and is awesome! Some day similar browser will show up on mobile phones...)

Update on Sprint Instinct's browser crash issue

Here are the latest responses on the Sprint Developer forum regarding the Instinct browser crash issue:


Subject:re: Instinct Browser Crash - Confirmed BUG
Date:2008-07-29 at 11:59 AM CDT

Bradskey, et al., This is to thank you for the information shared on this topic. We have been able to reproduce this issue and are looking to understand its source, which is the first step to developing an effective resolution. Due to the nature of these items, we do not presently have a timeline or more details to share but a commitment to address at the earliest. As always, we greatly appreciate your assistance and please feel free to continue voicing your experience and recommendations.

Raymond Reeves
Sprint ADP Team


Subject:re: Instinct Browser Crash - Confirmed BUG
Date:2008-07-29 at 05:49 PM CDT

All, As we research the replicated behavior, should you feel comfortable, please share in this thread the ESN for devices experiencing this issue. Again, we greatly appreciate your support in this effort.

Raymond Reeves
Sprint ADP Team

BestBuy website says Instinct can be used for Phone as a Modem

(Click on the image for full-size view)

When I bought my Instinct phones from BestBuy, the sales guy had told me that with my talk/message/data share plan, I could use Instinct phone as a modem. I was disappointed when I found out that Sprint had it disabled on the Instinct phone.

It turns out that BestBuy website still (as of 08/03/2008) says:

"Use the included USB cable or Bluetooth wireless technology to connect to a PC and use the phone as a modem for Internet and e-mail access "


Copy and paste from BestBuy website as-is (highlighted to show that phone as modem feature is listed):

Product Features

  • Operates on CDMA 800/1900MHz networks; EVDO technology; Bluetooth-compatible

  • 3.1" LCD screen (240 x 432 pixels) displays photos in up to 262,000 colors

  • Sprint Power Vision network provides Internet and e-mail access along with text-messaging ability; Sprint Music Store-enabled for easy music downloads and streaming music; Sprint TV-enabled so you can watch live TV on the go (additional fees may apply)

  • * Phone activation required before use

  • Built-in microSD card slot for additional storage capacity (2GB microSD card included)

  • Digital camera captures images at up to 1600 x 1200 resolution; supports video recording

  • Identify callers instantly by downloading ringers and assigning them to each number in your phonebook

  • Use the included USB cable or Bluetooth wireless technology to connect to a PC and use the phone as a modem for Internet and e-mail access

  • SMS text messaging and wireless e-mail enabled

  • Visual Voicemail lets you quickly and easily decide which voicemails to listen to

  • Download images to use as screen savers or assign them to your phonebook for instant caller ID; Sprint PCS Picture Mail lets you shoot, share and print high-resolution digital photos with ease

  • GPS-enabled, so you can receive audible and visual turn-by-turn directions, map your location or conduct local searches on the handset (additional fees may apply)

  • Hands-free speakerphone eliminates the need to purchase a hands-free kit for your car; speaker-independent voice dialing

  • Wireless Mobile Sync backup services restore your contact information if your phone is lost, damaged or stolen (additional fees may apply)

  • Preloaded digital content includes Bejeweled, Brain Challenge, EA Sudoku and Midnight Bowling demos

  • Up to 5.75 hours talk time (with each included lithium-ion battery; 11.5 hours total talk time)

  • Includes 2 batteries, charger and USB cable

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Google's response regarding Google maps on Samsung Instinct

Here is the response from Google Maps Guide Ravi regarding Instinct:

"Samsung has been promising some updates for the Instinct and hopefully this should alleviate the issue and you'll all be able to use a touch enabled version.


If you want Google maps to fully work on your Instinct (with GPS), please post your request stating:

"Hi Google, please integrate the Google maps for mobile application with Sprint Instinct's GPS. Thanks!"

in this google groups forum:

The more, the merrier!

Motorola finally working on touch-screen phone?

Motorola has been steadily losing market share on mobile phones without any blockbuster phone since Razr! Their stock has dropped more than 60% since 2006.

But it seems that they are finally working on some new touch-screen phones:


"Brown (Motorola CEO) said he expects to roll out about 34 new phones by year's end, more than double the number introduced in the first six months of the year. That’s likely to include an answer to Apple Inc.’s popular iPhone, a Web-friendly phone with a touch-sensitive screen. The phone is now in its second generation, accompanied by look-alikes from most rivals, except Motorola.

Brown said new phones in the second half of the year will have “capabilities that will include touch and messaging . . . and we’ll be looking to enhance our smartphone portfolio.”

Asked whether such a phone will be in U.S. stores by Christmas, he said, “That’s a reasonable expectation.”

Apple kills iPhone as a modem option, then resurrects it and then kills it again!


"Apple has apparently put the blocks on an iPhone application that turns the device into a modem for a PC. Macrumours reports that Canadian software company Nullriver Inc. released the application, called NetShare, yesterday through Apple's iTunes store, but it was withdrawn within hours."

And then it was available again! And then it disappeared again. Nice yo-yo!

According to the developer Nullriver's website:

"Update 2: Apple has taken it down again, with no explanation yet again. Update: NetShare is now back up and available from the AppStore! We're not quite sure why Apple took down the NetShare application yet, we've received no communication from Apple thus far. NetShare did not violate any of the Developer or AppStore agreements. We're hoping we'll get some feedback from Apple today. Sorry to all the folks that couldn't get it in time. We'll do our best to try to get the application back onto the AppStore if at all possible. At the very least, we hope Apple will allow it to be used in countries where the provider does permit tethering."

Here is Nullriver's NetShare direct download link on iTunes:
And here is a tutorial on setting phone as a modem with iPhone and NetShare for those that grabbed it before Apple removed it from their store:

Here's how Sprint can entice those disgruntled iPhone customers - why not officially allow Instinct to be used for Phone as a modem option (5GB monthly limit) with all plans costing $99 per month or more including simply everything plan and talk/message/data share plans?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Third-party calendar syncing coming to Sprint Instinct?

According to the user bdroad on baw forums (my guess is that he/she is an employee of Seven - see here and here) :

"I have seen a lot of threads asking about calendar syncing with exchange and/or domino with the Instinct.

Being that I work for the company that created the email application on the Instinct I can tell you that it is under development. Engineers are working on a completely separate calendar from the local calendar located on the Instinct. This is to avoid all of the limitations with the local calendar. This is to insure that you get full access to editing Notes, to do list, appointments, etc. Basically the same calendar that would be found on a full blown PDA device.

While I do not have an exact ETA, I can tell you that we are looking to get it released before the end of the year.

If you have any questions about this, post here and I can answer them.


and this:

"Sorry to confuse you guys. I do not work for sprint. Unfortunately there is no place that would tell you what developers are currently working on, well... except in this thread. =)

I can tell you a few features that are in development for the Instinct:

- Full calendar support for Exchange and domino
- The option to edit your account settings on the fly (incoming and outgoing servers)
- HTML email support

If you guys have any other questions, feel free to ask."

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