Geeky/Programming Product Reviews

Windows Phone 7 App Gap

I am pretty into tech and gadgets, all kinds, mobile too. I have an iPhone (I’ve had all since 2G), Android (had a few, Dell Streak, Atrix 4g, now a Samsung Galaxy 4G), and Windows Phone (Samsung Focus WP7). People ask me about the differences between apps and devices and OS’s. Big thing with WP7 (which the OS is great), is the “App Gap”. I went through my iPhone and looked at the important apps, minus games, I use, and if there are equivalents on WP7. I downloaded them, etc, but made a list of ones that aren’t there yet. (interesting enough, I took notes for this post on OneNote from my WP7 device)

Apps Missing

  • Cisco VPN (yes, it’s a service, but it’s not really there on WP7)
  • Disqus – has api
  • Flipboard
  • Google Plus
  • Hipporemote
  • Intonow
  • LogMeIn
  • Mint
  • Oink
  • Pandora
  • Path
  • PayPal
  • Posterous – has api
  • PS express
  • Skype
  • Sportacular

Apps There But Not Official or Website only

  • Instagram (instacam)
  • Untappd (website)
  • Pinterest (Pinspiration)
  • YouTube (it is native but MSFT made and mobile website wrapper)
  • Tumblr (not free 3rd party)
  • LinkedIn (3rd party app)
  • Google Voice (GoVoice, GV for Windows Phone, etc)
  • Digg (Digg7, Digg Reader, etc)
  • Dropbox (some readers, etc)
  • Google Authenticator (some 3rd party apps)
  • Google Latitude (some crappy 3rd party apps)
  • Google Reader/reeder (some crappy 3rd party apps)
  • RDP Client – some 3rd party clients
  • VNC Client – 3rd party clients
  • TFS Clients – couple 3rd party clients
  • Google Translate – some 3rd party apps, Microsoft Translator, etc

As you can see, pretty big list. Many of the 3rd party apps just don’t cut it. Even some of the apps that are there, they just don’t compare to iOS or Android. Microsoft needs to overcome this App Gap to gain and/or stay relevant, in my eyes.

Product Reviews

Waze – Social GPS Navigation

This last week I have been using Waze on my iPhone. What is Waze? Well, it is a free “social” GPS turn by turn app. Since iOS doesn’t have built in turn by turn, it is left up to the market to fill the gap. There are the big players out there TomTom, etc but then Waze comes along. I have heard/read about them for a while now, but never got around to trying it. Pretty cool. Nice interface, and it’s social.

How is it social? Well, people can report slowdowns, accidents, police, etc and it will show up on your map as you drive. You can see other wazer’s on the map as you drive. They also gamify it by giving you points for miles and little rewards when you hit milestones, pretty cool. Works for me. The product becomes better as more people use it, and I assume as your friends or groups you are in use it more.

Check it out at Looks like they have apps for more than iOS as well.


Morning Question: What Mobile Phone Do You Use, and Why Do You (Or Don't You) Like it

I have had countless mobile phones over the years. Starting with a Nokia 5125 back in like 97, moving up the Nokia chain, then to Sanyos when I worked for Northern PCS (A Sprint Affiliate), then Windows Mobile Phones (6601, etc), then a T-Mobile Dash, and now the iPhone. I have to say the iPhone win’s hands down, can’t even compare with WinMo. I’d like to get an Android phone to compare (G1 Developer Edition – Santa please?)

I’d say with iPhone the one thing that is severely lacking is copy/paste. Other than that, I can’t complain much. When you aren’t on 3G or Wifi it kind of stinks, but it is usable.

What mobile phone do you use and why? What are the pros/cons? Benefits?


GPS Update

Well, If you look at the right side of my blog, I have an update. I have been working all day on getting the GPS stuff to work. I made an app to sync with my Bluetooth GPS, and upload the coordinates in decimal to my website. Then I read it and create a Google Map. There is a lot more to come, but it is pretty good for  2 for 1’s at G Allen’s outside (of course, the GPS works). Check it out!


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Geeky/Programming Life

T-Mobile Dash + GPS + Mologogo = Debacle

I have my cool new T-Mobile dash, and my Pharos Bluetooth GPS, but I just want more.

Currently I can see where I am on the phone using Windows Live Search Maps,  but I just want more.

I want to be able to post up my coordinates every minute or so, save them or map them or what have you.

Mologogo seems to be the answer to that, but there are always issues. First off, the site can’t seem to stay up for more than 10 minutes at a time. I did some digging and found the IP address, so I added that to my host file

Second, the SmartPhone version seems buggy, not feature complete like the other versions, etc. There doesn’t seem to be a place to set up a remote URL feature so I can post up the coordinates to my own server, which is really what I want to do.

Also, I am looking into GPS.Net again. I will play with the trial, #1 because the final version is 250 bucks, and previously I could never get it to work right. Maybe if I get something going I will just use that and forget mologogo.

Hopefully I can get something going here this weekend, I want to be able to track my coordinates as well as take a picture, upload to flickr or some URL and save it with the waypoint. Then I want to create .kml files for Google Earth so I can track where I have been, and photo tag them. Tall order for this weekend , but we will see. I will be on vacation in Seattle/Portland starting middle of next week and I want to track my vacation, like where I go, etc. We will see 🙂

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Geeky/Programming Product Reviews

Mobile GPS: Google Maps for Mobile vs. Live Search for Mobile

This evening, I hooked up my Pharos Bluetooth adapter with my Microsoft GPS and synced it to my T-Mobile Dash. I hopped in my Vibe and cruised around town, so I could test out the GPS capabilities. In the past, I have used Pocket Streets and Trips (I don’t think newer versions of Streets and Trips have the Pocket Version anymore though, I have an older version – I have used the laptop version with the GPS, it works well), and Virtual Earth Mobile. As I don’t have those installed currently, I decided to try two new products. Google Maps for Mobile and Live Search for Mobile.

I’ll start off by just saying, that getting the Bluetooth GPS working can be tricky. I paired it with my Dash, then set up a COM port so I could utilize it within applications.

Live Search for Mobile was pretty easy to set up. In the settings, there is a place to pick the COM port, I chose the one I set up, and then went to the maps, and chose an option for “Center on GPS”. In a few seconds, I was watching myself (as a little red arrow) on the screen. The road maps are good, slightly out of date, but the aerial maps are really bad. Black and white even. On to the next test.

Google Maps for Mobile: the maps are nice. The aerial maps are really good for Central MN, but the thing is, as much as I tried, I couldn’t get the GPS to start within the application. There must be something funny with the way it looks for the GPS, so in all reality, I didn’t test much with GMM.

Now that I have my GPS paired, I want to get mologogo working again, but their site is down, something with a DNS issue. Has been down for a week or so. Once I get that up, maybe I will make a page here again or a sidebar widget that shows my current location. The one goofy thing is, the charger for the Bluetooth unit is kind of wacky, if I remember, my PSP charger worked better, I will have to dig into that. My car has 112V plugin, so that is cool.

I can’t wait for the day when you can get 3D GPS like Virtual Earth 3D or Google Earth, or even Bird’s Eye on your mobile, sync’d with GPS, you will never get lost.

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T-Mobile Dash – Tethering

Last week, I wrote about how much of a debacle it was to tether a blackberry. Well, I decided to see how hard or easy it would be to tether my new T-Mobile Dash.

I read this post, which just seemed to come at the right time. My wi-fi keeps dropping, so I figured next time it dropped, I would test tethering. It just dropped about 20 minutes ago. I took a USB cable, connected to my phone, Activesync fired up on the computer, said I was connected to sync. On the phone, got to the Internet Sharing app, hit connect. 10 seconds later, the computer was on the net. No real extra setup for tethering. They are making it way to easy 🙂

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Blogging from Mobile

Last night I blogged about and mobile browsing. This morning I am trying out more sites. This postis written from my mobile using 🙂
Update: The mobile blogging, I forgot a title, so I added that through the web. Must have missed it!

Geeky/Programming Mobile Browsing Proxy

Read about this on Mashable! tonight. Its a site that is a proxy for social networking sites so you can browse them on your mobile.

I tried it out tonight on my Dash and yeah, its sweet. Can finally get to MySpace and Wikipedia on my mobile (Facebook already has, but I will check that out too).

If you mobile browse alot, check it out.

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Exchange ActiveSync Error 0x80072F0FD – Windows Mobile

Recently, at work, we redid our Exchange 2003 server. After the change, ActiveSync on my Windows Mobile Pocket PC 6700 Sprint Phone stopped working. Previously, we used a homegrown certificate, so I had to copy it to my device and install it. But during this change, we switched to a third party cert. This is where the problems started.

Internet Explorer, Firefox, and other applications keep a list of known valid trusted (and untrusted) root cert authorities. Every so often they update their lists to add new root cert authorities. Easy enough.

The cert we were using was from a newish root cert auth. IE7 had it listed and worked fine going to Outlook Web, no cert errors. Firefox on the other had would give a message saying that it couldn’t figure out what the cert was all about.

On the Pocket PC, if I went to Outlook Mobile Access (OMA), I would get the same type of error, where it couldn’t validate the cert. Also, because of this, the over the air (OTA) ActiveSync stopped working, and I was getting error 0x80072F0FD, saying that the certificate was invalid. (But – it wasnt!!)

Needless to say, I couldn’t just register the cert for our server, I had to register every cert in the cert path, which ended up being 3 certs. By doing this, my device knew that the root cert auth was valid and then allowed me to sync.

Really, Microsoft should be sending out these updated trusted root cert authorities in updates to the device or for ActiveSync, or at least make it easier to find info on it and know what is going on. A lot of time was spent troubleshooting an issue that shouldn’t really have taken as long if the information was readily available.

On the geek note, after I got ActiveSync working, I hard reset my device, and then installed the AKU3.3 hacked upgrade patch in USB bootloader mode (make sure to go into bootloader mode – hold down record and power button and do a soft reset). Sprint might or might not release it, but it has a bunch of bug fixes and speed performance tweaks. Also, once I did that, when the device came up, and before the Sprint bundles started to install, I did a soft reset. What does this do for you? Well, #1 you don’t get any Sprint bundles, and also things they disable are available to you. The one thing you need to do to make your device fully functional is add an ISP connection to #777 so the EV-DO works.

And then, finally, I installed the WM6/Crossbow theme and the Vista dialer pad skin. Sweet! 🙂