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  • Remember Windows Mobile 6.5–Unfortunately I do

    Posted on March 18th, 2011 Andy Parkes 2 comments

    Having just read Richard Tubb’s post called Remember Windows Mobile 6.5? I felt compelled to write this. You should probably go and read Richard’s post first….go on, I’ll still be here when you’re done. Winking smile

    In summary, Richard has a HTC HD2 running Windows Mobile 6.5. He loves the device and HTC use their HTC Sense software to hide a lot of the Windows Mobile 6.5 side of things, so much so that when his contract runs out he has no plans to upgrade it yet.

    I remember feeling very envious of Richard’s HTC HD2 when he first showed it to me. I’d only had my HTC Touch 2 a few weeks and when I spoke to my operator (T-Mobile) for my handset upgrade I was told the HTC Touch 2 was the only Windows Mobile 6.5 they had and there were no plans in the pipeline for any more in the near future…the HTC HD2 was announced by T-Mobile a few weeks later – how annoyed was I?

    image

    My contract is also coming around to upgrade time and I’ll be honest I can’t wait.

    See my phone doesn’t come with HTC Sense. It has something called HTC TouchFlo which is basically a today screen plugin which is useful in some respects but lacks the integration of Facebook, Twitter, mail, texts and contacts that HTC Sense has.

    This means I have to interact with Windows Mobile 6.5 a lot more which I’ve just had enough of.

    6.5 was very much an upgrade from 6 meaning there are some areas of the operating system which really are still suited to a stylus and while the phone comes with one I don’t want to keep switching between that and my finger so generally end up selecting the wrong option and spending ten minutes on a text message trying to use the on screen keyboard.

     

    If I steal copy use Richard’s list for inspiration

    • My Touch2 isn’t particularly fast and it frequently will grid to a halt. Whether is down to the device or the software is probably open to debate.
    • The camera is ok, but not good enough that I use it a lot.
    • Battery life is one of the plus sides. I can get a day’s heavy use out of it quite easily and if i turn off wireless, bluetooth and direct push when I’m not using them I’ll get three or four days use easily.
    • E-Mail works great with Exchange and GoogleMail and Hotmail (with an additional Microsoft application installed)
    • GPS – The specs list an internal GPS antenna but it’s never worked when I’ve needed it.
    • Social Media is only available through apps or a web browser. I’ve not found a Facebook app that works well. m.twitter.com was my default option until recently but something has changed which means my browser frequently locks up on the site so I’m now using the excellent moTweets.
    • You can’t switch from portrait to landscape mode easily (that I can tell!). Sometimes when I’m reading some text it would be easier to have it in landscape.

    I’ve also had some weird things going on with the phone recently.

    The big one is that it’s been losing time. I noticed that it was about ten minutes slow so reset the clock. Within a couple of days it had fallen behind again and it’s been a feature ever since. This is a pain in the neck, especially since I rely on it for the time (I haven’t worn a watch on a daily basis since I started carrying a mobile phone)

    Text messages have been arriving in batches. My phone will beep and I’ll notice two or three that have been sent over the last hour. I had a situation recently why Mrs P sent me a text while I was still in the office asking me to pick something up on the way home. I didn’t actually get the text until I’d arrived home. This isn’t helpful when your married to someone who relies on text messages.

    When opening a text sometimes it will half open and then lock up and I end up frustratingly stabbing at screen with my finger and when i finally catches

    Sometimes if I miss a call the phone doesn’t become useable for a few minutes as the caller display seems to hang.

    You probably get the point….

    Based on experiences with my previous Windows Mobile I probably need to reload and start from scratch.

    So which handset should I go for?

    I really don’t know if I’m honest.

    I don’t particularly want an iPhone (the reasons for which are long enough for their own blog post). As Richard also said I’m also not that interested in a Blackberry which means the choice is either an Android or Windows Mobile 7.

    The other thing is that I find it really hard to get excited about mobile phones in the same way as I would other gadgets. I remember when Windows Phone 7 was launched, one of their Facebook status updates asked who’d be queuing up to get one. Straight away I thought “not me, I’ve got another twelve months left on my contract!”

    I don’t know how it works in other countries but the norm here is that your handset is subsidised by the network so we’re just not used to buying devices. This means if I sign up for a contract (which has gone up from 12 month to 18 months to 2 years now) that’s the device I’ve got work with unless I want to buy another device myself. Some people do this by selling their first device to fund the new device but I can’t be bothered with that!

    This means when Apple, or Nokia or Microsoft or whoever release their latest and greatest I just can’t get excited as it’s only applicable to me for a very short period of time. It means I can only be interested in what’s available when I’m in a position to upgrade.

    imageI mentioned on Facebook earlier about one my favourite phones from years gone by…the Nokia 7110.

    I’ve still got it, maybe I should just use that instead? Smile

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    Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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    2 Responses to “Remember Windows Mobile 6.5–Unfortunately I do”

    1. Andy – great post, and I understand where you’re coming from. As I said in my own post, I’m no WinMo fan-boy and indeed I was all set to go iPhone (gasp!) when upgrading from my old Windows Mobile 5 device, when the HTC HD2 came out and changed my mind.

      I decided to give WinMo one more chance based on the HD2, and didn’t regret it but when I look back at what we put up with on other Windows Mobile handsets… I do shudder!

    2. […] had a moan recently about my current mobile phone, a HTC Touch 2 running Windows Mobile 6.5 and that I was counting the days until contract […]

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