HTC Leo shown on video, Multi-Touch capacitive screen in action

That’s right folks. The first ever Windows Mobile Smartphone with a capacitive screen is the HTC Leo running WM 6.5. Check out the video showing the pinch gesture to zoom-in/out in the HTC album app. The lucky boys at PocketPT.net are saying that multi-touch is working in the browser, picture/video aaplication ans Maps.

Source: PocketPT via WMPoweruser

First in-depth review of the Zune HD

Zunegiz
The boys at Gizmodo are the first to have posted an in-depth review of Microsoft’s Zune HD and they seem to like it a lot. Here’s what they said about the browser:

This is a serious surprise, after seeing the similar Sony X-Series’s browser crash, burn, and then explode shards of awful all over me, but the Zune HD’s internet browser is awesome. The narrower 3.3-inch widescreen isn’t as spacious as that of the iPod Touch and pages definitely load a little slower, but besides that it’s a full-featured, fast and responsive browser. The accelerometer is very quick, panning is smooth and easy, and the standard multitouch gestures (pinch, drag) work nicely. Unfortunately, the Zune HD does not support YouTube or any other Flash video, which would have been a nice feature for quickly listening to new music.

And the final conclusion:

The Zune HD is the best touchscreen PMP on the market. It’s got the most unique vision, the most impressive hardware and the most stylish software. It’s priced fairly at $220 for 16GB and $290 for 32GB, though I’d call the $90 dock a required accessory.

But I’m not sure that’s enough. PMPs like the Zune HD and Sony X-Series try to advance the genre with new and impressive media playback features, but the success of the iPod Touch shows that that media playback alone isn’t necessarily enough anymore. People seem to want pocketable computers, either in smartphone or near-smartphone form, or simpler, smaller devices like the iPod Nano and SanDisk’s Sansa line. So it’s not going to steal sales from the iPod Touch, but it should make some Samsung and Sony executives pretty jealous.

I’m left wishing Microsoft could get its Zune team to work with (read: boss around) the Windows Mobile team to put together a media phone. The Zune HD is a great PMP, but it could have been a jaw-dropping, unbelievable phone.

What was said at the very end it what I’ve been saying for a long time now. WM7 has to come out ASAP.

Source: Gizmodo

Windows Mobile 7 mentioned in Cobrand Guidelines

windowsmobile7
Once again Microsoft can’t help it and has to tease us with some Windows Mobile 7 info. Nothing really exciting this time around though. It just kinda confirms that Windows Mobile 7 phones are going to be sold alongside Windows Mobile 6.5 devices (WM7 comming much later though). In a document (found by UXEvangelist) labeled Windows Phone Cobrand Guidelines aimed at partners to teach them how to sell Windows Phones, in a particular section called “Communicating to Customers” you can see this:
wm7cobrand

WM7 for the high-end and WM6.5 for the low-end I guess..

Source: Microsoft via UXEvangelist

Zune HD IE Mobile browser compared to Windows Mobile IE 6 Mobile hands-on Video

patterson-409585220-1249942683
Matt Miller of Zdnet has just uploaded a nice video hands-on of the Zune HD browser compared to the IE 6 mobile version shipping now on Windows Mobile 6.1 phones (contrary to what Matt says in the video,the WM6.5 version is an updated version with a new UI and tap to zoom among other features):

Unfortunately the Zune HD is always defaulting to the mobile version of the web pages, hopefully Microsoft will give users the option to select which version they want to browse in a future firmware update. The highlight is that the Zune HD version is just miles ahead of the Windows Mobile version in terms of rendering speed and smoothness. It obviously lacks many features available in the WinMo version,but damn it’s fast!

Source: Youtube

Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 priced through the roof

Xperiaof2

Last we heard, SE was expecting poor sales of the newly announced Xperia X2. Well here’s a tip for them, don’t price your phone at €590-€600. According to a Sony Ericsson rep who answered Solopalmari.com this is going to be the price of the device without a contract.

Source: Solopalmari via WMPoweruser

Microsoft updates the contacts app in latest Windows Mobile 6.5 build 23412

Another Windows Mobile 6.5 build has leaked, build 23412, and this time it’s the contacts app that’s been updated. As you can see in Pocketnow’s video above, it is now more finger friendly. Makes you wonder where WM7 is givin’ all the resources poured into all those WM6.5 updates lately. What’s up Redmond ?

Source: Pocketnow

Opera Mini 5 Beta is out

Operamini5
Opera Mini 5 beta is now availalbe for you to try it out. It looks to be packed with new features. Still no flash based support like Skyfire though.

Innovative and Easy-to-use

Living up to our vision of providing the best Internet experience on any device, Opera Mini 5 boasts a powerful new user interface. Merging the best from our desktop browser together with new innovations for mobile phones, Opera Mini is advanced, yet highly intuitive to use.

Tabs

With tabbed browsing, you no longer need to interrupt one session to start another. Use your Web mail in one window, Facebook in another, Twitter in a third and all that while checking the latest sports results. With Opera Mini, you can easily identify the different tabs and jump between them.

Password manager

No more hassle with those hard-to-enter usernames and passwords. Opera Mini 5 will remember your credentials, and you can log on to your favorite Web sites with just a single click. The passwords are stored on your phone for your convenience.

Full Web in your palm

When visiting a Web page, Opera Mini displays the overview of the page and suggests where to begin your reading before you zoom in. Opera Mini also detects when on a Web page designed for a mobile phone and displays it optimally.

Touch & Keypad

The user interface has been designed for both touchscreen- and keypad-style mobile phones. With a touchscreen, you can enjoy even easier navigation with our new zooming and kinetic scrolling.

Speed Dial

Get your favorite Web page with just one click. Speed Dial is a set of visual bookmarks you see when you open a new tab, like a dashboard for your on-line life. To add a new page, simply click on an empty Speed Dial slot, and Opera will make suggestions based on your browsing history and bookmarks.

Built for speed

Time is precious. Opera Mini compresses pages by up to 90% before being sent to your phone, meaning faster page-load times than in other mobile Web browsers.

Find things faster

The new Opera Mini lets you search for text within a Web page, so you can get to the information you need even more quickly than before.

Power scrolling

Scroll at warp speed using your phone keypad or by dragging the page on a phone with a touchscreen.

Head over here for additional info and download links.

Update: I’m trying it out on my old HTC Trinity (still running WM5!) and it is,to put it simply, AWESOME! I’ll try to make a video hands-on if I can.

XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions updated with Zune HD support

xna
Even though the new Zune won’t have a third-party appstore, Microsoft just released an update to the XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions SDK with support for the Zune HD:

-The ability to target and develop for the Zune HD media player.
-The addition of new Touch APIs to the XNA Framework for use on the Zune HD.
-The addition of new Accelerometer APIs to the XNA Framework for use on the Zune HD.

You can download it here

Update: heres’s video of a simple app made with the XNA 3.1 Zune HD Extensions

 
Source: XNA forums via msmobiles

Android 1.6 SDK released, packed with new features

donut

The Google boys just announced the availability of the Android 1.6 SDK aka Donut. This new version is packed with new features like framework-level support for additional screen resolutions, like QVGA and WVGA, new telephony APIs to support CDMA, gesture APIs, a text-to-speech engine, and the ability to integrate with Quick Search Box. Phones running Android 1.6 are expected as early as October. Could this be the Motorola CLIQ and HTC Hero on Sprint ?

You can find more info here

Source: Android dev Blog

Other touch-screen Zune players coming ?

zunetouch
Here’s something interesting. The following sentence can be seen in the Zune HD A/V dock manual:

An HDMI cable (included) and a high-definition TV are required for high-definition viewing. Zune HD and other touch-screen Zune players also work with the composite A/V cable (included).

Microsoft has already publicly said that there is one more Zune player in the in the works, could this be a reference to this upcoming device? Or is it a European/Worldwide version of the Zune HD without the HD radio? Remember that the Zune Hardware Team no longer exist and is now part of the Windows Mobile Hardware team since the begining of the year.

via Engadget