Posts Tagged 'HTC'

My Mobile Phone Experiment, Part Three – Thoughts on Android

After reluctantantly saying goodbye to my HTC HD2 Windows Mobile 6.5 device earlier this year, I started an experiment. Grabbing a SIM Only Deal from mobile carrier, Three – I would, in turn, use an iPhone, a Windows Phone device and an Android device for a few weeks at a time each, using them in anger as my sole device for day-to-day activities, both business and leisure.

You can read about my original motivations for this experiment here.

You can read part one of this experiment – my thoughts on the iPhone here.

You can read part two of this experiment – my thoughts on the Windows Phone here.

HTC SensationAt the start of September, my friend Steve Silk at Staffordshire University provided me with a HTC Sensation running Android 2.3.

So how did I find it? Read on!

Firstly, this experiment isn’t about the handsets themselves – it’s more about understanding the capabilities of the various Mobile Operating Systems out there. That said, the HTC Sensation looks beautiful – with a large bright 4.3” screen, very thin design but comfortable enough in the hand – plus a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, making it really fast in use, and an impressive 8 Mega-Pixel Camera.

I initially felt uncomfortable using the catch to take the back of the case off to insert the SIM card, as the case does feel plasticky and flimsy, but got used to it over time. The Micro-USB charging slot is on the left hand side, which feels awkward too – and the power button on the top of the device doesn’t feel comfortable initially as it’s too thin, but again, you get used to it. You’ll hear that phrase “I got used to it” a lot…

The Sensation boots up quickly… sometimes. I’ve gone from pressing the power button to entering my SIM PIN and being at the home screen in as little as 5 seconds on most occasions, yet on others it inexplicably takes 30 seconds or more from the SIM PIN to arriving at the home screen. It’s still faster than most other Smartphones I’ve tried though.

Through the setup stage, and no surprise here, you’ll need a Google account. Everything revolves around a Google account, so if you’re going Android, get used to using Google.

imageOn the home-screen, HTC have placed their HTC Sense interface on top of the usual Android UI. As a fan of HTC Sense, I quickly got to grips with this and was swiping left and right between the numerous home pages you’re offered to install Widgets and App shortcuts.

Talking of Widgets, which are small “always active” apps on the Android screen, HTC bundle a load of them out of the box – from Calendars to Agendas to something HTC call “Friend Stream”, a Twitter-like display of all your friends Twitter and Facebook updates. I found myself using it a lot. There are also a ton of widgets you can download for free. The home-screen may not look too impressive at first glance, but you can customise it to your own specifications very quickly.

Android gives the ability to create folders on a home-screen to contain Apps, but it’s far from intuitive to do this. I had to ask a fellow Android user to show me how. Once you’ve got it, it’s simple. Likewise adding App shortcuts and moving them between folders is simple, but clunky. This was the start of a number of indications that Apple’s iOS is simply easier to jump right in and get working with when compared to Android, but that Android is more customisable. Another running theme in my findings.

Google+ ScreenshotGetting back to Social Media, and I was blown away by how well Android and HTC Sense integrates with not just Twitter and Facebook, but LinkedIn, Google+ as well as Exchange, GoogleMail, Flickr, Foursquare and seemingly anything else you wanted to use. Once you’ve setup an account for each of these platforms, the HTC Sensation pulls all the updates and any other information from them and presents it in a unified fashion within your contacts screen. It *can* get messy, the Sensation occasionally got confused with duplicate GoogleMail and Exchange information – but on the whole it’s fairly amazing to be able to see all your friends latest Facebook updates, their Mobile numbers (whether pulled from Exchange or Facebook), Flickr pictures, Twitter updates and everything else in one location. Of course, you can use the individual apps for Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. as normal – but if you’re a heavy Social Media user, then you’ll love Android.

Android is hot on notifications. It’ll automatically notify you of new e-mails, voicemails, SMS, Facebook messages, Google+ updates, software upgrades, patches and… just about anything it can. All of these are present in a non-obtrusive way in the notification bar at the top of the home screen, which you slide your finger down to open and view. Initially, all these notifications can become a distraction – constantly sat winking at you from the top of the screen. Over time I learned to quieten the Sensation though – turning off notifications and learning to resist the temptation to act upon others. Android is *very* customisable from this perspective. Out of the box it can blow your mind with all the info it presents, but as you become comfortable you can tailor it to your own liking.

As you’d expect, GoogleMail is supported very well under Android. It’s very easy to setup and you can easily archive messages, read HTML messages, and do just about everything you’d do in GoogleMail.

Microsoft Exchange support was just as easy to setup, and reading and responding to e-mails was a pleasure within the Android GUI. Frustratingly though, Android (like iOS and WP7) doesn’t support Exchange Tasks and Notes. Again I’ve got to ask, if Windows Mobile 6.5 supported these features years ago, why don’t modern SmartPhones? Bizarre. There is a 3rd Party app called Touchdown which brings Tasks and Note support into Android, but it feels a standalone app rather than integrated into the Android experience, and so I couldn’t find myself comfortable using it. Google – as well as Apple and Microsoft – please support Exchange Tasks and Notes in your Smartphones!

The SMS client was very easy to use, with threaded messages and the ability to forward SMS to other contacts. I did notice that Android grouped together conversations though, so if you sent a group SMS – then your inbox would show that conversation separately, but not under individuals SMS threads. I’m guessing this can be changed, and I can see why this would be of benefit to some people, but I occasionally found it confusing.

Wi-Fi is a breeze to setup. You’re instantly notified (see the pattern here?) when an Open Signal is available, and it’s a few clicks to setup your favourite Wi-Fi connections. Once you’ve set a number of Wi-Fi connections up, Android automatically and seamlessly connects to them as you move around. However… this hammers the battery something rotten. I found that using the HTC Sensation as a web browsing device killed the battery life, and it wasn’t unusual for me to require a charge after 90 minutes or so solid use. Not good.

Green Power Battery SaverAs with all the shortcomings in Android though, there are workarounds. I installed an app called Green Power Free that turns off Wi-Fi when the device isn’t in use. It helped, but the battery life on the Sensation is still really poor – I couldn’t get a full days use of it without some charging in between.

Getting back to Apps though, and this is where Android excels. The Android Market isn’t quite as nice an experience as Apple’s AppStore, but it is packed full of apps – some good, some shockingly bad. Whereas Apple vet all apps that appear in their appstore, Google don’t place the same restrictions on. This becomes self-regulating though as you find yourself using apps based on Word of Mouth recommendations or the ratings other users have given the app in the Market.

I couldn’t find a single App that I used on iOS missing from the Android Market. What’s more, I found a few Apps that I would have loved to have used on IOS but couldn’t find, available on Android. Overall, I think I prefer Android’s Open policy to Apple’s vetted apps policy as it allows more variety.

You might think that all these 3rd party apps (especially the poor ones) affect stability. Well, during a months use the Sensation crashed and rebooted just one time. Throughout the rest of the time I noticed one or two inexplicable slow-down’s, occasionally, but overall the platform was really robust.

Moving between Android Apps is fairly easy – pressing and holding the Home Button on the HTC Sensation brings up recent apps for you to browse through, and pressing the back button sometimes takes you back to your previous app. I say sometimes, because other times it didn’t seem to work and I had to manually go and find the app to re-visit it. With full multi-tasking support for all apps though, this wasn’t a problem as every app was presented in exactly the same state you left it.

Web Browsing is a great experience (battery life problems, as we’ve discussed, apart). I installed the free Dolphin Browser HD to replace the built in web-browser, and didn’t look back. It’s a pleasure to use, with the ability to pinch and zoom in on screens with text being wrapped automatically, and share content with any of the Social Media sites integrated into Android.

Android supports Adobe Flash, and there are great apps for both YouTube and BBC iPlayer. If the HTC Sensation had a more resilient battery, you could easily use this as your one and only media device.

The HTC Sensation has a physical Search button, and was context sensitive. Press it from the home screen and you’re presented with a Google Web Search box. Press it within Facebook, and you’re presented with a Facebook friend search. Very neat.

There is no physical camera button though, which is irritating if you’re a Social snapper like myself. The camera app is pretty amazing though, taking good quality shots and offering you the ability to easily tidy them up with crops and auto-enhancements, before sending them directly to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter or any other 3rd Party app you’ve installed. It doesn’t just blindly send the picture either – the Facebook app allows you to tag people, the Twitter app allows you to add Hashtags – just a really good experience.

Google+ Android App ScreenshotOne feature that did have me going “Wow” was the Google+ app feature that automatically captures and uploads any photos you take on the camera to a private location on the web, and then easily allowing you to share those pictures on Google+. A great way to both backup your snaps and share them.

Again, if you’re a Social Media person, you’ll love Android.

You don’t really need a PC to use this ‘phone, as it sets up out of the box and it’s easy to install apps and run Android updates over the air. However, if you do connect it to a PC then you can browse the device as a drive, or install software to use the PC’s Internet connection from your ‘phone – a useful feature I used whilst avoiding Roaming Data charges in Europe during the test.

Doggcatcher ScreenshotI didn’t play a lot of games on the Android, but there are tons to choose from. Likewise, I only used the Android to listen to Podcasts (using the great Doggcatcher app) and the occasional tune via the integrated FM Radio rather than lots of music, but it was intuitive to use, and I felt comfortable leaving behind my iPod Touch in favour of an all-in-one device like the Sensation.

By this stage you’re probably getting the impression I liked Android. You’d be right. It isn’t as intuitive as iOS, nor does it have the clean style of Windows Phone, and for that reason I didn’t pick up the ‘phone and become instantly “Wowed”. But for every irritation I came across, I found that Android’s customisation ability allowed me to overcome that irritation. What’s more, time and time again I came across instances where I thought “It’d be nice to be able to do this…” and investigation showed that Android allowed me to do that.

You’ll gather I think that Android’s Social Media integration is incredible. I thought iOS was good in this area, but it can’t hold a candle to Android – which offers an amazing choice of options to remain connected and share content.

It’s been a month since I began using Android, and a strange feeling has come over me. Unlike Apple iPhone users, or even Windows Phone users, I don’t feel voraciously defensive about Android. If I’m asked how Android is, I won’t staunchly defend the Android platform against the sticks and stones of others. I just smile and say “Well, I like it”.

Unlike the Apple iPhone – it doesn’t “just work”. It takes a bit of time to get used to, and for the non-techy this will be a challenge, but once mastered, you can customise it to the hilt to do everything you want, exactly as you want it.

Unlike the Windows Phone – it doesn’t blow your socks off the first time you see it. But it feels very much like Windows Phone in that it’s challenging the way you’re used to doing things, and offering you new, more efficient ways of doing stuff on a day-to-day basis.

But you know what? After a month, it feels comfortable and it works just how I want it too – both as a business device and a consumer device for a Social Media addict.

I really don’t want to give the HTC Sensation back. If I had a choice of which Mobile Operating System I’d like to use tomorrow, it’d probably be Android, but oddly I’m sure I’d begrudgingly live with a Windows Phone or an iPhone too.

I’m aware the HTC Sensation is a pretty kick-arse handset in terms of capabilities and has a ton of HTC customisation goodness to it. To this end I’m going to grab another lower spec HTC Android handset to see how that performs, and I’m also going to grab a non-HTC Android handset (the Samsung Galaxy S2 springs to mind) to see what the non-HTC Android experience is like.

Since I started the experiment, Windows Phone’s latest update – Mango – has also been released. As promised, as the next part of this experiment I’m going to revisit the Windows Phone platform with the Mango update to see what has changed there.

Despite having tested the three main mobile O/S from Apple, Microsoft and Google – this experiment is far from over. I think it’s fair to say you can see my clear favourites emerging though.

Watch this space. Smile


Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.


My Mobile Phone Experiment, Part Two – Thoughts on Windows Phone 7

After recently saying goodbye to my HTC HD2 Windows Mobile 6.5 device, a few weeks ago I started an experiment. Grabbing a SIM Only Deal from mobile carrier, Three – I would, in turn, use an iPhone, a Windows Phone device and an Android device for a few weeks at a time each, using them in anger as my sole device for day-to-day activities, both business and leisure.

You can read about my original motivations for this experiment here.

You can read part one of this experiment – my thoughts on the iPhone here.

A couple of weeks ago, I put my iPhone away in a drawer (more on how long that lasted, later…) and thanks to my friends at Staffordshire University, got my hands on a shiny new HTC Pro 7 Windows Phone Device.

HTC Pro 7 HandsetNow as I’ve stated before, this experiment isn’t about the handsets themselves – it’s about the mobile Operating Systems. Which is just as well, because the HTC Pro 7 is heavy and felt like a throwback from 2003.

The reason it’s heavy is it has a built in QWERTY keyboard. I used this keyboard once during my time with the ‘phone… and then went back to using the on-screen keyboard – which is excellent, even for use with my “pound-of-sausages” like fingers. As somebody who bemoaned the loss of a QWERTY keyboard when I moved to touch-screen only devices, I’m shocked at this – but I found sliding the keyboard out and using it much more hassle than simple typing quickly on-screen. The mechanism for sliding the keyboard out and using it felt awkward and a touch delicate too – I was fearful of snapping the keyboard off.

That side note apart, let’s move onto the real reason for this experiment – to find out more about Windows Phone 7 (or WP7 to its friends).

I liked the interface, which consists of a number of customisable “tiles” on the home-screen (or Start screen, to use official terms) which you easily add or remove. The tiles are, for the most part, “live” – meaning that they reflect at a glance information – number of e-mails waiting, number of SMS messages unread, and in the case of the “People” tile (your mobile phone contacts) constantly rotating between mini photos of all your contacts. You can add just about anything to your home page as a tile – you simply “pin” a web-page, contact, application or anything else to the page. It’s a neat interface and one which I liked.

Jumping right in, setup of the device was very simple.

Firstly, you absolutely need a Windows Live ID to use this device. No problem here, as I already have a Live ID I use every day.

Charging is done via a USB cable. Thank goodness. Can we all standardise on USB please? (I’m looking at you, Apple).

Connecting to a Wi-Fi signal was simplicity itself, as when WP7 detects a new Wi-Fi signal it gently tells you so in it’s notification area at the top of the screen. Unlike Windows Mobile 6.5, it does this is a non-intrusive manner though. You’re aware of the info, but if you choose to ignore – you can.

Once you’ve setup a number of Wi-Fi signals in different locations, WP7 automatically and seamlessly connects to them as you move around. What’s more, leaving Wi-Fi turned on all the time didn’t seem to hammer the Battery life too much. I got a full day out of the ‘phone without having to re-charge. Very impressive.

My e-mail is hosted with Microsoft BPOS Hosted Exchange and Google Mail, and both of these were easy to configure through the e-mail connector. I have more than 2,000 contacts in Exchange, and these were synchronised extremely fast – I liked how WP7 gave me status updates on the progress of synchronisation too.

Windows Phone InboxUsing Google Mail, there is no support for additional features such as one-touch archiving of messages in the WP7 e-mail interface (as there is on the iPhone) and no ability to “send as” as alternative address. There was also no Google produced App for GMail either.

There’s no consolidated e-mail inbox, which I enjoyed using on the iPhone. Apparently, this feature is coming in Mango. Remember that phrase, we’ll be using it a lot.

But overall the e-mail interface was a pleasure to use. It’s clean and bright, it allows easy scrolling through messages – I happily used it day-to-day to read and reply to e-mails. My only irritation was that after replying to an e-mail, I was dropped back to my inbox – which meant if I wanted to delete the e-mail I’d replied to – I’d have to open it again to do so.

Incredibly though, there was no support for Microsoft Exchange Tasks or Notes. This was an active feature in Windows Phone 6.5, so this is a step backwards in my eyes. When I asked around about such integration, I heard a phrase that I’d become very familiar with during this experiment – “It’s coming with Mango”. Mango being the next update for WP7, due mid-September 2011. Much more on that later…

The SMS client was easy to use. It provides threaded SMS conversations, so you can easily see who said what to who and when. I didn’t find any way of forwarding SMS’s to new recipients though, and deleting all the messages from certain recipients (in my case, Spam SMS) left their details on the SMS screen but with zero messages underneath. Odd.

The Calendar was decent, and it was nice to have my upcoming appointments shown on the Home screen – a feature badly missing from my iPhone. No ability to categorise Calendar appointments as say, personal or business though – a feature WinMo 6.5 again used. There was the ability to flag Appointments as “Private” though, which I use a lot.

My two favourite features of WP7 were the physical “Back” and “Search” buttons.

The Back button allows you to step backwards through the last applications you used. So if you’re reading a web-page and an SMS comes in, you can read the SMS, then press the back button to return to your web-page. At least, you could if WP7 supported multi-tasking – which to my amazement, it didn’t. Well, not for every application anyway. Many of the “native” applications, like E-Mail, Contacts and Web Browsing *did* support multi-tasking. But many others, like Twitter and Facebook, didn’t – so if you were reading Facebook and then read an SMS that came in, when you wanted to return to Facebook you’d have to load the application from scratch.

When I asked around as to why multi-tasking wasn’t supported, the answer I got was, surprise, surprise, “It’s coming in Mango”.

The Search button is context sensitive, so if you press it from the home screen it’ll pop up a Bing web search box. If you hit the Search button in the Contacts screen, it’ll allow you to search all your contacts. Use it within Marketplace, and you can search for Apps. Very useful.

Windows Phone 7 is quick in use. I saw no lags at any time, and no applications crashing either.

At this point I’d been happy to use WP7 but had seen no “WOW!” features. The closest I got to this was the Speech Recognition. Press and hold the Start button, and after a few seconds you’ll be prompted to speak. Say something like “Call Richard Tubb, Mobile” or “Open Facebook”, and low and behold WP7 will action your request. I was pleasantly surprised to find this worked for all my contacts, and all my applications – even 3rd party installed apps – regardless of how unusual the name was. Very impressive indeed!

There is integration with Xbox Live from WP7, which I was looking forward to seeing. Sadly, I was distinctly underwhelmed. Apart from my Xbox 360 avatar and contact list appearing on my ‘phone – I couldn’t see what was cool about it. I’m told there are games that you can carry from your Xbox to WP7, but I asked around and nobody had used them. The games I did play were fun, but I didn’t see much evidence of being able to share the gaming experience with friends. Clearly, I didn’t “get it” – but I’d be open to taking a second look if somebody could help me to understand the features.

Windows Phone Lock-ScreenThe music player aspect of WP7 is very good, it just works and works well. I liked that when playing a tune and locking the ‘phone, the Lock Screen allowed you to pause or resume the tune and adjust the volume. Neat.

Talking of the lock screen, I loved it! As well as displaying my next calendar appointment, at a glance it showed me how many outstanding e-mails and SMS I had.

There are some lovely integration surprises throughout WP7. For instance, the camera (which was excellent on the HTC Pro 7, and had a Hard Key to wake up the camera and take shots) is connected to Windows Live Skydrive, so you can upload snaps to store in the Cloud, and keep private, share with certain friends or everyone. There is also integration for photos to send directly to Flickr, or e-mail. There was Facebook upload support too, but I never got it to work – but this was easily circumvented by using a Facebook e-mail upload.

Whereas the iPhone requires you to open specific apps to get to information, with WP7 you had access to information through multiple avenues. I like this a lot. An example would be that Contact entries show the person’s latest Facebook status update (Twitter integration coming in, you guessed it, Mango) their FB photos and a link to Bing Maps to their home or work address.

Bing LogoThat’s twice you’ve heard me mention Bing now. It’s no surprise that Microsoft have made their own search engine the default for WP7, but I saw no way of changing this to another Search engine of your choice. If you don’t care for Bing, WP7 isn’t for you.

Likewise, I’ve mentioned Windows Live Skydrive but there is no support for Windows Live Mesh (that I’m aware of) and to use Dropbox requires a Paid-For 3rd Party App. For this test, I found myself having to e-mail myself certain files to get them on the WP7. Yuck.

Which leads us onto the sticky (and I’d find out, emotive) subject of Apps.

I’m of the belief that nowadays, a Smartphone without Apps is merely an expensive Mobile ‘Phone. 3rd Party Apps make a device so much more than just a ‘phone – and it’s this feature that makes so many people fall in love with Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Android O/S.

The good news is – the WP7 Marketplace is a vast, vast improvement over WinMo 6.5 – for a start it has a good variety of apps, and they are much easier to find.

Microsoft are very proud of the fact that the Windows Phone 7 platform got to 25,000 Apps faster than Apple’s iOS, and twice as fast as Android.

The trouble is, WP7 is still a distant 4th behind iOS, Android and even Blackberry in the minds of 3rd party app creators.

Skype LogoThis statement is going to open up an absolute storm of protest from Windows Phone fans, but I’d argue it’s true. There is no Skype, many of the popular Zynga Casual Games (such as Words with Friends) are not available on WP7. The Time Out travel guides can’t be found. The Trainline and Laterooms app isn’t available. I could go on. This isn’t an iPhone vs WP7 comparison, but it’s undeniable that many, many of the 3rd Party Apps that made me fall in love with the iPhone and overlook its failings were not available on WP7.

The fact is, there are simply not as many apps as iOS and Android, and the apps that are available feel more expensive. The abundance of free and 79p apps on iOS make it more likely you’ll explore new apps. Games and apps on WP7 marketplace tend to be £3 and upwards. This price difference made me reluctant to casually buy interesting looking apps as I would on iOS. That said, there are a lot of “try before you buy” trial options for Apps – but I’d still argue apps are overpriced compared to iOS and Android.

It’s at this point that my fun with Windows Phone stopped. I’d decided that it was a functional but unspectacular device. If I was marooned on a Desert Island (that inexplicably had Wi-Fi available) then I’d happily live out my days with WP7 as it does everything I need a business device to do, but none of the exciting stuff that my consumer facing iPhone friends had.

I missed my Apps, badly. I got bored of WP7. I put it down, and found my hand creeping to the iPhone. I couldn’t go without my apps for a fortnight.

For a few days during this experiment, I’m ashamed to say I returned to my iPhone to get my fix of all the stuff I was missing on WP7.

If this was a movie, I’d fade the screen to black at this point…

… before the black screen brightens again and you see me using a Mobile Phone, and it is a Windows Phone 7 device!

Determined that I wasn’t giving WP7 a fair shake of the stick, I sought out advice from the very passionate Windows Phone 7 community (My thanks to Andy Parkes, Richard Gibbons and the many other folks in the Windows Phone 7 Community who helped me get to grips with WP7! I appreciate your help!)

To my surprise, I was pointed in the direction of a plethora of Apps that would help me make more of WP7.

imageI found 7PassFree, for my KeePass Password management. MoTweets for my Twitter use. BBC News Mobile (a 3rd Party app, not affiliated with BBC News). Last FM for music. Poynt and Yelp for location services. and the DC Comic book reader. An Amazon Kindle e-book reader. FlashCards for learning from, and many games such as Pac-Man DX, Pro-Evolution Soccer 2011 and others.

My Smartphone became Smart again. I could use it to do more than make calls, browse the web and read e-mails. I could use it to do all that consumer stuff that has become so important to me nowadays.

I even used it to fire off an e-mail to my friends at Staffordshire University asking if I could possibly keep their handset for another week or so to do some more testing!

My conclusion with Windows Phone 7 is that it’s a great platform which I could see myself using, but it needs to mature. Ask any WP7 fan and they’ll argue that the iPhone and Android went through these same troubles (lack of multi-tasking, lack of 3rd party apps) before they fixed them – but my response to that would be. Yes, they’ve fixed them. They are fixed. Am I supposed to cut Microsoft, a behemoth of IT, slack because they were late getting to the party?

If I had a straight choice between an iPhone and a Windows Phone 7 device today – right now – then I’d be hard pressed not to choose iPhone.

imageHowever… that phrase “It’s coming in Mango” does have some merit to it. Many of the 3rd Party App developers I’ve spoken to have promised versions of their apps when Mango arrives. Mango will fix the multi-tasking issue, and add Twitter integration. Mango adds MS Exchange Tasks and Notes support. Mango brings some *very* cool Speech Integration tools with it. What’s more, Mango has been RTM (Released to Manufacturing) and so should make it to the market by mid-September 2011.

Today though, here and now – I couldn’t see myself using WP7 over iPhone (and I suspect, Android – which I’m testing next). It’d just be too frustrating.

I’d be very interested in getting hold of a Mango device when they are released and then using it in anger. A Samsung Omnia or another thinner, lighter, sexier Windows Phone may improve my view of WP7 further – I’ve simply no need for the HTC Pro and it’s bulky QWERTY keyboard.

I suspect, I *strongly* suspect – that if I did this experiment again in 3 to 6 months time, once Mango has been released, I’d end up saying Windows Phone 7 would be my platform of choice.

But I’ve still got an Android handset to play with. Thoughts on that coming soon!


Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

My Mobile Phone Experiment, Part One – Thoughts on the iPhone

Regular readers of this blog will know I’ve been a long-standing fan of the Windows Mobile Smartphone. I’ve always owned Windows Mobile devices, including my last phone – a HTC HD2. Unfortunately, with that device dying a death and Microsoft slowly killing off support for Windows Mobile, it’s now time for me to upgrade. But to which device? Android, iPhone or Windows Phone?

A few weeks ago I started an experiment. Grabbing a SIM Only Deal from mobile carrier, Three – I would, in turn, use an iPhone, an Android device and a Windows Phone device for a few weeks at a time each, and use them in anger as my sole device for day-to-day activities, both business and leisure.

You can read my original blog post on the “experiment” here (go on, have a read – I’ll wait here for you).

For clarification – and to head off the hundreds of e-mails I’ll get about using an iPhone 4 instead of an iPhone 3GS, and a HTC HD7 instead of a HTC Pro, and any one of a million Android devices instead of the one I choose… the idea of the experiment is to get a feel for how each of the mobile Operating Systems looks and feels in day-to-day use. It’s not a handset –vs- handset comparison, more an OS –vs- OS round-up.

With that in mind, for the past three weeks I’ve been using an iPhone 3GS. How did I find it?


iPhone 3GSOne of my main justifications for resisting the iPhone for so long is the “Apple Tax”. In terms of comparison with other Smartphones – you pay a lot for both the handset and network carrier tariff to own a new iPhone.

My way of avoiding the “Apple Tax” for this experiment was to procure an old iPhone 3GS. Yes, I know the iPhone 4 is faster, slimmer, sexier – but remember that I’m testing the O/S, not the handset.


Setting up the iPhone was simplicity itself. I was connected, making and receiving phone calls and text messages, hooked up to Wi-Fi, sending and receiving e-mail and installing Apps really quickly.

My only niggle here is the fact I could only do this once I’d hooked the iPhone up to my PC through the frustrating iTunes software. But for simply installing the ‘phone and syncing the odd update and Podcast, iTunes did it’s job.

I like the fact you can start the device without having a SIM card present (I’m still using the iPhone without a SIM as a glorified iPod Touch at the moment) but hot-insert a SIM and you’re on-line. I’d have preferred a more convenient mechanism for getting to the SIM holder than having to carry paperclips around with me to pull the SIM slot out with, but this is a niggle.

In-Car Use

The ability to hot swap SIM’s was very useful to me during the experiment when I needed to return to my HTC HD2 briefly for certain things – such as using a Sat Nav. I tried using Google Maps on the iPhone as a Sat Nav, but I found the 3GS screen too small to use in-car and so I yielded to temptation and used my HTC HD2 with Alk Co-Pilot for journeys, before swapping back to the iPhone when I had reached my destination.

In-Car use with the iPhone was also frustrating due to the fact the iPhone has no quick access to a Bluetooth Switch. If I wanted to use my In-Car Bluetooth Hands free kit with the iPhone, I needed to go into Settings > General > Bluetooth to do so. It was frustrating and could have been made easier by having an app that allows one touch on/off of Bluetooth – but apparently Apple forbid this in their Terms of Service, so no 3rd Party app is available to do this. So I was constantly forgetting to turn Bluetooth off and so it was draining my battery life.

Battery Life

Talking of Battery life. The plus side of the iPhone is that because it’s so versatile, with so many cool apps and features – I was using it a lot more than any Smartphone before it. In fact, I was using it a worrying amount. iPhone addiction? The downside is, as a result of this constant usage and without regularly hooking the iPhone up to an external power source, the battery depleted before a full days use.

Being the party animal that I am, from a full charge at 4pm, and with a night out on the town including taking photos of friends, checking in to Facebook places, updating Twitter, taking and receiving the odd phone call and sending the odd SMS – by 2am the iPhone had run out of juice. And it’s not like you can pop in a spare battery as the battery compartment is sealed.

I know there are ways around this, and I’ll give a nod to the iPhone 4’s increased battery life – so this goes down as handset failure rather than an O/S failure.


iPhone AppsTalking of cool apps – the iPhone has them. In spades. This is where I fell in love with the iPhone and started to find myself overlooking all of its niggling shortcomings. The ability to carry around all my passwords securely, check train times, search for flight prices, scan barcodes, do price comparisons, read the latest news, buy stuff on eBay, read Kindle e-books, sync files, make Skype calls and play cool casual games (I’m virtually addicted to Words with Friends now) all made the iPhone much more than a mobile phone. As I said, I felt almost addicted – trying out new ideas (I’m now using FourSquare and other Geo-Location apps, for instance) due to the vast amount of free and cheap (79p) apps on offer, and then using them a lot.

I appreciate this will come as no surprise to anyone who’s used an iPhone, but I can tell you know that having come from the Windows Mobile platform where there are virtually no cool apps – this is a revelation.

(I can also give you a peek into the future of this experiment and tell you that a few days into using a Windows Phone, and I’m pining for my old apps which simply aren’t available on that platform)

E-Mail and Productivity

Using e-mail on the iPhone was enjoyable. E-Mails loaded quickly and were easy to read. I use Microsoft Exchange for business e-mails, and GoogleMail for personal e-mails. Both were very easy to setup, and I like the iPhones support for GoogleMail features – such as allowing me to Archive off old e-mails easily.

The ability to see both e-mail accounts in a single unified mailbox was a nice touch too. It made scanning e-mails simple.

Replying to e-mails (and SMS, for that matter) was easy, the iPhone on-screen keyboard simple to use and very good at correcting mistakes and predicting words.

I did miss the ability to “Send As” an e-mail address from the iPhone. I have a number of personal e-mail addresses in Googlemail, but the iPhone didn’t allow me to choose which mail to send messages from. I found workarounds for this, but they were clumsy and kludgey.

imageI also found the iPhone Calendar fairly slow and unintuitive, and the lack of support for Exchange Tasks and Notes was frustrating. Again, 3rd party apps exist to bridge the gap – but it’s really surprising that this isn’t natively supported by now. When out on the road, I found the iPhone an incredibly good device for consuming information – but for creating it? Not so much. I found myself e-mailing myself ideas, notes and appointments rather than using the familiar Tasks and Calendar – and then when I got back to my Desk I was putting them into Outlook “properly”.

I also found the iPhone Contacts navigation slow and clunky. With over 2,000 contacts in my Outlook address book, what I really wanted to do was tap the screen and start typing a name to be found – but the “All Contacts” screen didn’t have a dedicated search option unless I’m being dumb and overlooking something obvious – EDIT: Thanks Hilary and Bryony for pointing out that there is a search feature in Contacts, top right hand corner of the screen!  I’d still like to start typing a name and for it to appear, as this would feel more intuitive, but at least I’m able to search now!

Call Quality

Then there’s using the iPhone as an erm… phone! Compared to other handsets I’ve used, I found call quality a little poor at times and the ‘phone getting hot against my ear during long calls.


At this stage you may get the impression that I didn’t like the iPhone. I’ve acknowledged that it has many shortcomings, and doesn’t seem to be “Best of Breed” in any particularly category other than it’s 3rd party app support.

But the reality is – I loved using the iPhone. It is simplicity itself to start using and I like the way that it “just works”. It does have lots of niggles, and due to Apple’s locked down attitude – you can find it hard to work around those niggles. But you know what? None of those things are show-stoppers. I found nothing wrong with the iPhone (perhaps other than Battery life) that would stop me using it as my main phone on a day-to-day basis.

My thinking is that owning an iPhone is like falling in love. In most new relationships you start off deeply in love, often overlooking your new beau’s shortcomings because you like so much else about them. But then, over time – you get used to those new features, they become expected – and then you start to get irritated about the shortcomings.

Ok – so I’m not going to be writing for Mills and Boon anytime soon, but my gut feeling is that I’ll be this same way with the iPhone – overlooking its shortcomings for now, but as time grows on finding they become more than an irritation.

For now though, I’m in love. And I can secretly tell you that a few days in to using the second phone in my experiment, a HTC Pro handset running Windows Phone 7, all I can think about is the iPhone…

Thoughts on Windows Phone coming in a couple of weeks. Smile


Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

iPhone, Android or Windows Phone? My Mobile Phone Experiment

Anyone who read my recent rant blog on the shoddy treatment I received from UK Mobile network T-Mobile, or has been following my frustrations via Twitter on how Talkmobile couldn’t even take my order successfully will realise that I’m a little bit frustrated on the mobile ‘phone front lately.

My beloved and reliable HTC HD2 has reached the end of it’s life and is so no longer beloved or reliable, and with Microsoft having retired Windows Mobile 6.5 I’ve therefore decided not to simply swap like for like.

But when it comes to choosing a new mobile phone – there are dozens of options. In fact, if you ask a dozen different people for their mobile ‘phone recommendations, you’ll get a dozen different answers on why their preferred ‘phone is best. Even if you don’t ask for recommendations, you’ll have them volunteered to you! It’s fair to say that people are very loyal to their preferred platform – reminiscent of the “format wars” of Atari –vs- Commodore in the 1980’s (and for the record, everybody knows Atari was better).

So I’m going to try an experiment.

iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devicesI’ve acquired a SIM Only deal from Three and over the next few weeks will, in turn, grab an unlocked iPhone, an Android device and a Windows Phone and use each of them as my only mobile phone for a few weeks at a time.

As for my requirements, the line between a Consumer device and Business device has blurred so much in recent months that it is now barely distinguishable. Three years ago I used to have separate mobile ‘phones for day-to-day business work and out-on-the-town with friends. Now, one device allows me to do everything I want – do business, and have fun.

So what am I looking for in a device? Here’s a rough guide:-

  • The ability to connect to Microsoft Exchange and have a good client experience for e-mail, calendar, contacts, and especially tasks and notes.
  • To install and run the Open Source software KeePass or equivalent, granting me access to all my logons and passwords wherever I might be.
  • The ability to conditionally Call Forwarding (i.e. on “Busy”, on “Unavailable”, etc)
  • A decent camera – with ability to quickly and easily upload pictures to both Twitter and Facebook.
  • To be able to connect to Google Mail and use  “Send As” functionality for the various personal accounts I use.
  • Strong Bluetooth Connectivity to my Bury CC9060 Hands-Free Car Kit
  • One-Touch Bluetooth On/Off for when I’m in/out of the car
  • Excellent apps for Twitter, Facebook, eBay, LinkedIn, Barcode Scanner/Price Comparison, Google Latitude and Amazon Kindle
  • The ability to purchase a Brodit Pro-Mount Car Holder kit for using the ‘phone when driving.
  • The device must run Alk CoPilot Live or another equally good turn-by-turn off-line Sat-Nav app
  • The ability to create favourite contacts, and to send Group SMS messages
  • Nice to have – Micro USB connectivity (to match my Kindle and other gadgets)
  • Also Nice to have – A Skype client, and Windows Live Mesh and/or Dropbox app

There are other features that are a “given” (good call quality, HSDPA, etc) and no doubt I’ll fall in love with other features as I begin my experiment.

I’m starting off the experiment by turning off my HTC HD2 and dropping it in the drawer to gather dust, whilst I use an iPhone 3GS for the next fortnight or so.

Let the experiment begin! Smile


Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

HTC HD2 Water Damage Indicator

To be filed under “Every day is a School Day!”.

During a chat about Mobile ‘Phones, my good friend Matt Barton over at Ostrich IT pointed out to me that my HTC HD2 mobile ‘phone was showing the “Water Damage Indicator” on its battery.

This was news to me, as I didn’t know such an indicator existed! A quick Google Seach shows that most ‘phones now feature this indicator, which turns from White to Red if the ‘phone suffers “Water Damage”.

As seen in the image below, the battery on the left has a White indicator – and so is ok. The battery on the right has a Red indicator, which shows water damage.

HTC HD2 Batteries with Water Damage Indicators

I’ve certainly not let my HD2 get wet, but as the spare battery that is affected lives in my laptop bag – I guess it could easily have gotten damp at some point.


Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

5 awesome Windows Mobile 6.5 Apps you may not be using

Windows Mobile LogoIn my last blog post, I wrote about my intention to stick with the Windows Mobile 6.5 platform on my HTC HD2 mobile phone for a while yet. Yes, I know the end is nigh and WinMo 6.5 is a dead O/S – but if there isn’t a compelling reason to move to another platform yet, why change for the sake of change?

It appears I’m not alone, as I received more than a few Tweets and messages from other Windows Mobile 6.5 users who are doing the same and not upgrading until they feel compelled to do so.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few apps for WinMo 6.5 that I’ve stumbled upon in the past few months and which have made my day-to-day Windows Mobile 6.5 experience even better.


Screenshot of moTweetsFor accessing the Social Networking site Twitter, HTC’s in-built “Peep” application for the HD2 is fine. But I’ve noticed it slows down the ‘phone when running scheduled updates from Twitter, and is none too rich in the features department. Panoramic Soft’s moTweets is a vastly superior Twitter interface. There is a free version, supported by advertisements, and an Ad-Free version which is only a few pounds in cost.

Featuring an efficient interface that is easy to use and customise, moTweets supports multiple Twitter accounts, support for URL shorteners (such as and TinyURL), uploading media such as pictures and videos, geo-tagging Tweets with GPS co-ordinates, and providing easily searchable Twitter topics, users and lists.

I love the way that moTweets touch-screen interface allows you to access all the relevant info within a Tweet (Users, URL links, Hashtags, etc) simply and easily.

I couldn’t live without moTweets now – and if you’re a WinMo 6.5 Twitter user who is not using it, I’d urge you to try it out!


Opera 10

Opera 10 ScreenshotThe HTC HD2 comes with both Internet Explorer mobile and the Opera 9 web-browsers as standard. Both are fine browsers, but for the best browser experience on WinMo 6.5, why not download and install the feature rich and free Opera Mobile 10 browser?

Featuring a much slicker and faster interface than IE or Opera 9, with a “Speed-Dial” home page, I’ve found Opera 10 simply a great browser to use. With multiple (and easily navigable) tabs for web-browsing, and a feature to compress downloads (useful if browsing whilst outside your standard data tariff, say, whilst roaming abroad) it feels clean and snappy in use.

It also has a feature to synchronise settings (including open pages, speed-dials and search engines) between Opera on different phones and on your Desktop PC.

There are a lot of other features worth investigating too – but suffice to say, once you download and start using it, you’ll not look back.


Sprite Terminator / Lookout Mobile Security

A bit of a cheat here – as I suggest two apps with a common theme.

Sprite Terminator ScreenshotThe first – Sprite Terminator – I’ve been using on my Windows Mobile devices for many years. Costing just a few dollars, very simple to setup, and unobtrusive whilst running, Terminator runs in the background on your WinMo 6.5 device and stays quiet until you need it.

If you lose your ‘phone, or worse, it gets stolen – Sprite Terminator comes into its own. From any paired ‘phone (you can either set Sprite Terminator to accept SMS from any phone, or specific pre-paired and trusted phone numbers) you can send your ‘phone a specially worded SMS message containing a specified password and a command, and without the ‘phone acknowledging it has received an SMS (you’ll hear no beep and it won’t show on-screen) you will receive an SMS message back with a URL link to Google Maps with the latest GPS location of the ‘phone, a list of recent calls the ‘phone has made, or you can remotely lock or even wipe the ‘phone via SMS. Very powerful indeed!

In the same vein, but with a slightly more friendly web-interface for owners and a richer feature list, Lookout Mobile Security provides a free version that installs on your WinMo 6.5 device and then runs quietly in the background. Providing protection from Viruses, Malware and dodgy app, Lookout Mobile Security also provides a backup feature – regularly backing up the contents (Call List, Pictures, Videos, SMS – just about everything) of your ‘phone to a secure web-storage facility.

Lookout Mobile Security ScreenshotJust like Sprite Terminator, if you lose your ‘phone then via the Lookout Web site you can send a request to locate it via the ‘phones GPS function. Once you’ve found the device, there are two very cool features.

The first is Remote Wipe – effectively nuking your device to protect the valuable and confidential stored data. Some users of Microsoft Exchange will already be familiar with this feature.

The second is SCREAM! If you suspect your ‘phone has been stolen, you can send a remote command that once received by your ‘phone, causes it to emit a full volume high pitched screaming sound that will un-nerve the thief and cause more than a few stares. Smile

Personally, I run both Sprite Terminator and Lookout Mobile Security on my HTC HD2. I’ve noticed no performance reduction in doing so, and they give me peace of mind should I ever lose or have my HD2 stolen.


File Explorer Extension

File Explorer Extension ScreenshotsA small free app from Japan, but one that once installed, you’ll be stunned you managed to live without it!

File Explorer Extension does what it says on the tin and extends the File Explorer included with Windows Mobile 6.5 to includes some very cool features that you’re left scratching your head as to why they weren’t included in the O/S originally.

For instance, it allows you to open files with a specific application – great for occasions when you want to study a .HTML files code within Notepad, for instance.

There is a picture preview function, you can view the properties of a file, there is an improved explorer interface, the ability to easily copy and move files between folders – basically, all the things you’re used to doing on a Desktop PC, but are inexplicably missing from Windows Mobile’s native file explorer.

A no-brainer install – go do it!



MagiCall Screen shotHave you ever wanted to filter unwanted telephone calls or SMS to your mobile phone from certain people or organisations? If you ‘phone your network provider, they may tell you it’s impossible, or that they can do it for a certain ridiculous fee. MagiCall from Mobiion allows you to create a smart rule-based filter to block unwanted callers and SMS.

It’s hardly the most intuitive of interfaces, but it is very powerful! You can setup filters by specific telephone number or contact, performing a number of actions if this specified number calls or sends you an SMS.

For instance you could program the number of a nuisance caller, and anytime that person rings you – your ‘phone answers and then drops the call, all without being displayed on the screen of your ‘phone. Or you could give the caller a busy signal, or send them straight to voicemail without your device ringing.

For SMS, you could mark the SMS and read and move it to a different folder. Or delete it. Or reply back with pre-defined text. Basically, a number of different ways to deal with calls and SMS, from both wanted and unwanted callers.

As well as specified numbers, you can use it to block “Number Withheld” or “No Number” for those irritating overseas call centres calls.

There is a logging feature so you can check activity later if you choose, or in the case of malicious calls or SMS, just make them “go away”.

There is a 10-day trial of MagiCall and it costs $24.95 to buy. The first time it saves you being bothered by an unwanted call, it’s money well spent!



So there you have it – five (ok, six…) apps that I use on my Windows Mobile 6.5 device and which I think are very cool!

As a final note, and if you’re a HTC HD2 owner like myself, I have to point out the XDA Developers Forum which has a number of sub-forums with amazing advice and guidance for HD2 owners. I’d particularly draw your attention to the “Boost Performance Tips” thread, which contains a load of really effective tweaks for WinMo 6.5 such as increasing the number of tabs the Opera web-browser allows, enabling the HD2 to turn on Bluetooth automatically when connected to a car charger, and many others. Check it out!


Richard Tubb is an Independent Consultant who works with IT companies to enable them feel more in control and to grow their businesses. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL). You can e-mail him at or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

Remember Windows Mobile 6.5?

Like many Mobile Phone users in the United Kingdom, I signed up to a long-term monthly subscription contract with a network operator in exchange for a heavily subsidised version of the coolest, latest mobile handset. It’s pretty much a form of Hire Purchase.

HTC HD2 HandsetFor me, in late 2009 I signed a two-year agreement with T-Mobile to pay £25/month+ in exchange for a bundle of cross-network minutes, SMS, MMS and a shiny new HTC HD2.

At the time of it’s release the HD2 was not only the best Windows Mobile 6.5 handset on the market, but one of the best handsets on the market full-stop. With it’s very large 4.3inch display, 1GHz Processor, and strong connectivity features, it was a strong competitor to the iPhone – and back in 2009, most people had never even heard of Android.

This was all *despite* the fact that it was a Windows Mobile 6.5 device. Let me make one thing clear – I’m no WinMo fan-boy. There’s no doubting that Microsoft’s Operating System for Mobile devices, from it’s earliest versions onwards (all of which I’ve had the horror of using) was far from perfect. Clunky, un-intuitive, and ugly – it could be a real chore to work with WinMo.

The HD2 bucked this trend, thanks to HTC who did a bang up job of hiding the majority of WinMo 6.5 with their HTC Sense interface. This is the same sort of interface you’ll see on most HTC devices today – a touch-screen interface that focuses on making most tasks intuitive. You occasionally see a horrible WinMo 6.5 error message or user prompt to remind you that it’s still there, being ugly in the background – but for the most part I love HTC Sense, and lots of other people do too.

Fast forward to 2011, and my contract with T-Mobile is at an end and in exchange for a new long-term contract, I’m now able to pick and choose a shiny new handset to play with! There is so much choice – with latest iPhone, a slew of Android handsets, and even Microsoft have gone a long way to helping us forget earlier versions with the sexy new Windows Phone 7 OS, written from the ground up.

So which one am I going to go for? The answer. None of them – I’m sticking with my HTC HD2.

For me – mobile Operating Systems have come a long way in the past two years, but the HD2 still remains competitive to them all. There is no doubt that the iPhone looks fantastic, and is very intuitive to use. Likewise for the Android, which I’ve tried and is a joy to use. But neither of them add a “killer feature” that I’d trade up my HD2 for.

  • My HD2 is *fast*. It’s rare that it crashes or I get frustrated with speed.
  • The HD2 has a great high resolution camera, which I use often.
  • Battery life isn’t perfect, but I get a full working day out of it and it’s easy to carry a spare battery and swap them over quickly.
  • The e-mail interface links with Exchange and GoogleMail (my e-mail hosts of choice) flawlessly.
  • It has a strong built-in GPS device, which I use with both my very responsive Sat-Nav and Google Maps.
  • It has great connectivity to Social Media, so I find it easy to use Twitter, Facebook and Flickr from the HD2.
  • My HD2 has a lot of memory, so I can store and listen to MP3’s on the go.
  • It has a built in Wi-Fi Router, which has come in handy more than once for getting laptops and other devices on-line using 3G.

In comparison – After seeing Windows Phone 7 in action at WPC in Washington, DC last year – I had high hopes for it. Whilst I’m not discounting it as a potential choice in the future, everybody I’ve spoken to who is a WinPhone7 user now bemoans the lack of some feature or other that is promised in a future update. I’ll look at it again in a few months time when it’s had chance to catch-up with those updates.

And what of Blackberry? Well, let’s just say that in the same way I no longer use Teletext to get my information anymore – I prefer the Web – I’ve never “got” Blackberry.

Moving swiftly onwards – there is an area where I’m tempted by both Android and iPhone handsets, and that is with 3rd party Apps.

Windows Mobile 6.5 has the Windows Marketplace for Mobile – which is almost (but not quite) a waste of time, with so few Apps for WinMo 6.5 available through it, and missing most of the best compatible Apps you can find out on the web directly.

Apple have a TON of apps available, and Android are fast catching up. My heart does sink every time I see a cool new App and know it’ll *never* be released for WinMo 6.5. But at the moment, all these apps are cool – but they aren’t must have for me.

At the moment…

Windows Mobile 6.5 is pretty much a dead Operating System. The more time goes by, the less 3rd Parties are going to support it – both for new Apps (hardly any of which we see already see!) and for updating existing apps.

So there will come a time in the very near future I will be tempted (or forced) to move from Windows Mobile 6.5 to Android, iPhone or Windows Phone 7 – but it’s not just yet. For now, I’m going to seek out a SIM only deal to save myself quite a few quid each month, and continue to use my HD2 handset.

Are you still using Windows Mobile 6.5?  Are you tempted to upgrade, or like me, sticking with WinMo for the moment?

My next blog post will cover the applications that I use on Windows Mobile 6.5 – which if you’re a WinMo 6.5 user, many of which I’m guessing you’ll not have come across before!


Richard Tubb is an Independent Consultant who works with IT companies to help them feel in control and grow their businesses. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL). You can e-mail him at or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.


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