Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Evernote For Windows Phone 7.5

April 24th, 2012 No comments

Evernote For Windows Phone 7.5


Have you ever been in a situation, when you took several notes on your cellular phone, and after a while, when came time to reset your phone for various reasons sudden amnesia along with a lost phone, took your precious information away? If you are that person, then fear no more. Gone are the days when information is stored exclusively on the device. If one has been lying under a big rock, for the past couple of years, then I am here to assure, that the entire world of consumer electronics, is making big steps towards moving precious user content to the cloud! If you can name certain ones, who haven’t made the switch yet, be sure that they too will evaporate into the cloud, very promptly, just like H2O at it’s boiling temperature. Let’s talk about the app.

In Layman’s terms, Evernote is a note taking app, which allows you to take notes in form of a text, pictures or voice. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, the real magic starts when those notes are pushed to the cloud, or simply saved online for future access, editing and sharing. This is why I recommend Evernote, and use it on daily bases. Being a geek that I am, and also a student, I find Evernote to be particularly useful due to it’s cloud capabilities. Text editing is very nice, too, but the biggest advantage is in the fact that, once the notes are taken and saved, they can be accessed from anywhere, not only the phone. Nice folks at Evernote, have though of, literally, any platform, in this case. After signing up for a free account, one can access the notes from their Windows, Android phones, Android Tablets, as well as their iDevices (aka iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad). The list doesn’t stop there; there is also a Windows and an OSX version of the app. And finally, if you just don’t like apps on your computer, you can access your stuff, navigating to through your browser. In terms of sharing options, it is logical to assume, that Evernote users can share their notes with others. It is indeed the case. Evernote allows it’s users to collaborate and edit notes as they are created. This feature is only available to premium users, which must pay a premium, that comes with several other neat features. to name a few, there is OCR, there is also indexing of PDF with ability to search for text in those documents. Head on over to for more information about their premium services. When sharing a note, you can set the permission parameters that way that the person, who will see the note, could also make modifications to it (premium version). That is indeed a very compelling reason to find an alternative to Google Docs, which is first and foremost non existent on the Windows phone platform, for a very versatile and simple app.

People of various professions, material level and status will find this service very useful. As soon as the note is taken, it is synchronized to the cloud either via your data plan or Wi-Fi, making it instantly available for a download or editing on any of the aforementioned platforms.

Now, that we have taken a look at various advantages of Evernote, let’s turn out attention to the interface and the usability.

1) Live tiles. First thing that was unique about the Evernote on Nokia Lumia is the presence of live tiles. It is possible to pin a live tile of a note to your main screen, as if you were to pin a note to a board.

2) Audio, Photo, Text Note Creation. Evernote will allow the user crate notes in nearly all possible media formats. The site service will also allow for automatic text recognition, where a picture file can be converted into text.

3) Notebook Organization. All of the notebooks are organized and synchronized to the server on the same layout. Notes to self can be made of the phone and edited further on a computer or vice-versa.

4) Geotagging. Notes can be geo tagged as they are taken, to save to location information as well.

With rapid proliferation of mobile devices, which were at some point called PDAs for a reason, our productivity possibilities are increasing exponentially. Several years ago, a person could’ve only dreamed about a freely available unified multiplatform application, which would allow it’s members to remember everything in any way imaginable. Now, with Evernote, it’s possible. We no longer have to worry about backups, because they are done at instant. Users no longer have to think about a possibility of losing their precious information with a phone loss, or being away from a computer. Cloud storage based solutions will dominate the world in the near future, and any progressive individual must be able to find means for online content creation through collaboration. That just makes things faster and simpler. All of that is possible with Evernote and that’s the reason I like this service and would highly recommend it.


The full version of this post is also available in a nice PDF brochure format right after the break. Please post comments about the article and suggest what can be do to improve the quality of future posts.

Evernote for Windows Phone 7

Unofficial HTC HD2 Guide

September 21st, 2010 18 comments


The HD2 Hardware Guide

The original image of HTC HD2 was referenced from

In the rapidly evolving world of telecommunication, things change very rapidly. Several months back, HTC introduced a flagship device named HD2. It’s been crowned to be the direct successor of the HTC HD. Among many features, this “monstrous” device offers a 1024 MHz Qualcomm processor, 576MB of RAM and a 4.3” display with about 2.5x the resolution of the iPhone 3GS. Besides the amazing hardware the phone offers a great amount of features, which are expanding every day. There are so vast, that in this guide you will only learn about some of the few most interesting ones. More information will follow in future. Stepby-step instructions in this guide will make it’s usage of HD2 easier, more interesting and productive. In fact, vast majority of elements discussed here will not be found in your manual. Consider this guide your unofficial “missing manual”. Have fun learning about this fascinating piece of engineering and direct your comments or feedback to us below, after the break.

Voice Commands

Imagine having your own personal assistant, who will perform all of the common tasks such as phone calls, get calendar information, start programs and even play or control your music. Well, Windows Voice Command, which is a state-of-the art speech technology, transforms your mobile device into a personal assistant and helps manage your digital lifestyle more conveniently. The only thing you have to do is press and hold the call button, in order to activate the Voice Command feature! Below are some common Voice Command features you could benefit from.

Spoken e-mail notifications

You can now configure Voice Command to speak the subject and sender of incoming e-mail messages and the content of SMS messages as they arrive.

Spoken caller ID

Windows Mobile smartphone users can take full advantage of incoming caller ID without ever looking down at the screen. Incoming call information is announced as calls are received. Users who think they may have missed a call can simply ask, “What calls did I miss?” and Voice Command will recite the time and phone number of missed calls.

Have a voice-controlled, hands-free phone

You can simply say any name from your contact list with the appropriate command. Voice Command will even announce incoming calls.

Use a Bluetooth headset for a better hands free experience and for enhanced privacy

Place phone calls to people who are in your address book by using

your voice

Just say “Call Nancy Anderson” to place a call or include “at home,” “at work,” or “on mobile” if there is more than one phone number listed. Voice Command will even tell you which numbers you have for Nancy Anderson and let you decide.

Dial your phone by voice using the phone number

If you need to call a number that is not in your contact list, just say the phone number; for example, “Dial 425 555 0137.”

Call back or redial the last caller

Use “callback” to call the last person who called you and “redial” to call the last person who you called.

This feature simplifies returning calls to people who are not in your contact list. Missed calls are announced by name or number with a single command: Ask “What calls have I missed?”

Use your voice for contact and calendar lookup

Voice Command makes it easy for you to view your contacts with one command. If you want to view the details for a contact named Nancy Anderson, say, “Show Nancy Anderson.” Similarly, you can easily view your calendar by saying, “Show calendar.”

Have the subject, time, and location of upcoming appointments read to you

As you are running out the door, you can easily have Voice Command read the details of your upcoming appointments out loud so you do not have to look at the screen to find out what is coming up. Check the time and location of your next appointments by saying, “What are my appointments” You can ask about your next appointment by saying, “What is my next appointment.” Or, have Voice Command read your appointments for tomorrow by saying, “What are my appointments tomorrow.”

Control your media player with your voice

Use your voice to choose the music that you want to play from your collection by album, artist, or genre. You can select the music that you want to listen to the way you think about it. You can even ask Voice Command to “play everything” in your entire music collection, turning your smartphone into your own personal DJ. You can say “Play artist” or “Play album,” and Voice Command will list all of the artists or albums that are on your device and let you choose one of them to create an instant playlist. You can choose to control your music with your voice or use the button interface. If you are listening to new or unfamiliar music, you can ask “What song is this,” and the name of the song and artist will be read to you.

Use utilities with spoken commands

With Voice Command, you can use spoken commands to start any program that is on the Start menu or in the Programs folder, such as Inbox, Calculator, or Solitaire. You can even start additional programs that you added to your device. Use one button to start any application with a single quick voice command, including signal strength, battery level, time, and date. You can even set ringer level and low-battery alert by voice. * Voice Commands were obtained from

For more information and video tutorials consult


The HD2 features a 5 Megapixel camera with dual flash. The LED flash is so bright that it’s impossible to miss a shot when you take a picture in the dark. Make sure to enable that feature from the camera menu.


To access the latter, tap the “Camera” icon, then make sure the little lightning icon is enabled and doesn’t have a line thought it.

Picture Adjustments

All of the rest of the adjustments can be done through the settings icon, located on the right lower corner. Things such as, shutter sound, resolution, contrast, saturation and many other settings can be adjusted hrough the camera settings menu.


It seems that taking photos and sharing them with ones who matter the most is very easy with the HD2. After he photo is taken, tap and select via which service you want to share the photo.

Bluethooth Sharing

This feature is probably one of the most useful ones. When you want to share a photo via Bluetooth, go to tart > Multimedia > Pictures & Videos, from the dropdown, select the “Media Card” and voila, “long pressing” on the desired photo, will allow you to beam the picture or a video via Bluetooth! Note, that by selecting “Share”, you will get additional sharing options such as “Windows Live”, “My Phone”, “Flickr”, “Myspace”, which will not be seen through the Sense UI!

Manual Focus

Manual focusing can be achieved by launching either the camera or the camcorder, and while holding the hone in camera position and tapping on the object on the screen. This feature is particularly useful when trying to ocus either on the foreground or the background of the shot. It’s amazing how much of a professional look one can achieve just by using this feature on the spectacular HD2 camera.


Several months after the release of the HTC HD2, Microsoft announced a new version of their search engine, which offers a turn-by-turn voice-prompted navigation. It’s the new “Bing” app for windows mobile. At the time when this guide was written, the most recent firmware upgrade from T-Mobile (version 2.13.531.1) didn’t offer new Bing integration. Here you will learn how to install it. The process is fairly easy. The app is now on the Windows Marketplace.


1) Go to Start > Marketplace.
2) Type “Bing” in the search box
3) Tap on the black “Bing” icon
4) Read the description and install the app.


The RSS is the industrial standard for news distribution on-line. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. This type of a new feed allows the end user to subscribe for new articles from their favorite websites. The news can be in form of a text, audio or video. One will benefit from this kind of a distribution by being able to ubscribe for news feeds from several sites simultaneously. Current laptop and desktop computers handle RSS feeds by means of an integrated RSS reader add-on in the browser. Almost all big name web sites and browsers support this types of aggregations. Luckily for it’s owners, HTC HD2 comes with an integrated RSS hub, which does all of the abovementioned functions right on the mobile device. It actually takes it to the next level of convenience by providing RSS feed search right inside the client. That means, that one can simply type the name of the site, or it’s URL in the search box inside the RSS client and get all RSS feeds relevant to the search criteria. For exambple, if is searched, the RSS Hub will allow the user to subscribe for the news feed. All that can be done without leaving the app. The second great feature, which is a huge selling point for the app, is the fact that video and audio podcasts are also supported. Thanks to multi-format support of the built in Windows Media player, which is several steps ahead of it’s competition, almost all video and audio feeds are playable on HD2.

The RSS Hub can be found under Start > Tools. It should look like so:


Below is the sample of the interface. So-called new feed subscriptions are displayed on the front section.


In the menu option, the user can set the frequency of updates. As the news arrive, they will be displayed in the notification bar at the top of the screen. When tapped, all of the most recent updates will be indicated in bold. As you can see on the image at the very right, even the video podcasts can be downloaded. I recommend saving larger video and audio files on the SD memory card, which can also be done in the settings menu. For your reference, I will provide you with all playable formats for video and audio.

There are as follows:

Supported audio formats:

.aac, .amr, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .mp4, .qcp, .wav, .wma

* Supported Video formats:

.wmv, .asf, .mp4, .3gp, .3g2, .m4v, .avi

* Supported bitrates vary. With podcasts there aren’t subjects of a concern.

Adding Adobe Flash Functionality

Over the past several years, Adobe Flash has become increasingly popular on the interweb’s horizons.  Computer users can access video, audio, and game content from their web browsers, using a simple plug-in from Adobe, called Adobe Flash Player (formerly known as Macromedia Flash Player). As mobile devices with an Internet access became very abundant, and the devices became more capable of doing things pretty fast. The general public began seeing a need in having access to the same content in their mobile phones. Formerly, due to the lack of performance, developers haven’t thought of integrating Flash in mobile browsers, however now, with proliferation of smarter and more capable devices, it seems that things have taken a different turn. At the time when this manual has been published, Opera browser which comes preinstalled on every HD2, got an upgrade to a beta version named “Opera 10”. It supports Adobe Flash Light as a pre-installed plug-in. If you would like to give it a spin, follow the instructions below, to install Opera 10 on your HD2 and enable Adobe Flash Light. Firstly, because it’s beta software, it will not yet be available on the Windows Marketplace. In order to download it, we are going to have to refer to

Here are the steps:

1. Open your Opera Browser

2. Go to “”

3. Tap on “Other download options”

4. Select “Opera Mobile 10 for Windows Mobile, touch


5. Select “Download Opera Mobile 10 for Windows

Mobile, touch phone”

6. Select, “Save”

7. Then click “Save”, again

8. Double-tap at the “”

9. Select to install on the “Device”

10. After the installation, go to Start > Opera Mobile 10 to

launch the browser

11. After it launches, select the wrench on the lower right

corner, and go to “Settings”

12. Select “Advanced”

13. And make sure “Plug-ins” switch is at “On” position

That’s all, now you can enjoy faster browsing and Adobe Flash Light support.

Optionally, the user could also scan the QR code, provided below, in order to download the Opera Mobile browser.


Considering that the software is still on the experimental stage, it may lag and be unstable, however it will definitely get the job done. During testing, no issues were noticed, except for some dropped frames when watching a Flash video, but that’s normal, because the videos are optimized for a desktop computer experience and not for a smartphone. When watching a Flash video, the user can double-click on the video to bring it up to a full screen. Also note, that Opera 10 isn’t optimized for multi-touch, which means that, so far there is no pinch-to-zoom support when zooming in or out on a web-page. In order to illustrate the installation process, below are step-by-step screen grabs of the entire process (going from left to right).

Full Technical Specifications*

Operating System: Windows Mobile 6.5 Processor Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon Internal Memory ROM: 1GB;
RAM: 576MB Compatibility *
Wireless: WiFi: 802.11 b/g* GPS/AGPS
Email: One Exchange, up to 6 POP/IMAP
Dimensions: 122x67x11mm Weight 157g (with battery)
Display: 4.3-inch HD touch-sensitive screen with 480 x 800 WVGA resolution
Technology: GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
WCDMA/HSPA: 1700 MHz (AWS) / 2100 MHz Battery 1230 mAh
Talk Time: 380 min (GSM)
Standby Time: 490 hours (GSM) (The above are subject to network and phone usage)
Speakerphone: Built-in microphone, speaker
Built in Camera: 5MP, including widescreen capture, digital zoom and 2x LED Flash
* Windows Media® Player
* Albums
* Pictures & Videos
* FM Radio
* Audio supported formats:
.aac, .amr, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .mp4, .qcp, .wav, .wma
* Video supported formats:
.wmv, .asf, .mp4, .3gp, .3g2, .m4v, .avi
I/O Interface: Bluetooth® 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate, WiFi: 802.11 b/g
Expansion: microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible) (up to 32GB) Antenna Internal Antenna In Box Content
Other Features:
Travel Charger User Interface * HTC Sense user experience *Capacitive touchscreen with pinch-to-zoom and haptic
capability * G-Sensor * Proximity sensor * 3.5 mm headset jack *micro USB support
*Technical specifications were obtained from

Thank you for reading this post. I hope that you’ve extracted something new and useful for yourself. Leave a comment and tell us how useful this was and what do you think about your HD2.

T-Mobile WebConnect Laptop Card Review

February 6th, 2010 13 comments

Very rapid proliferation of mobile devices onto the mainstream market brought about vast amount of changes into consumer habits. Competitiveness of cellular communication providers has gone to a completely new level. In ever changing world under the pressure of the global economical crisis, every single mobile communication company is struggling to prove itself the best, and earn a place under the sun. This costumer demand, along with rapidly evolving technological progress forced T-Mobile to finally snatch out that notorious 1700 MHz patent frequency last year, and roll out the high speed 3G network. Coming in last on the US market, T-Mobile has taken some very rapid and ambitious steps in presenting consumers with 3G capable devices and the first in the history of the company, 3G web connect USB Laptop Stick.
Applying my own observations, I have decided to uncover some of the technological nuances, as well as certain terminology that will help some of the readers understand how this machinery operates.
In particular, depending on the level of “savvyness”, one will either review or learn the “Data Bandwidth” concept, and see how it applies to real life situations, looking at my field test results.

So, what is that Bandwidth that all are talking about?
Bandwidth is an amount of data transmitted to and fro during the data connectivity. In other words, how much information was sent and received by your computer during the time when you enabled the Internet connection. Be sure to distinguish the difference between downloads and uploads. For example: When a web page address it typed and requested from the browser, the request is being uploaded (sent out) to the server, which triggers a response in form of a download. During conventional web browsing, hundreds of requests and responses are produced. Every time the end user does that – data transmission occurs, which is taking away from the entire bucket of 5GB, that is allowed by the internet service provider or ISP.

Why is limiting the bandwidth necessary?
“Many ISPs engineered their facilities in the 1990s to use dynamic capacity allocation to serve multiple bursty users. Each user is expected to use high speed transmission for only a short time, for example to download a megabyte web page in less than a second. When use is continuous, as for file sharing or Internet radio or streaming video, a few users who use the connection at high rates for hours at a time may seriously impair the service of others. The concept is most relevant in wireless internet, particularly mobile internet, where both the core network and the access network are shared and total network bandwidth is relatively narrow.
One type of bandwidth cap, administered by an Internet service provider (ISP), simply limits the bitrate or speed of data transfer on a broadband Internet connection. The purpose of bandwidth capping is to prevent individual users from consuming the entire transmission capacity of the cable, a shared resource.” Experts like to call it “Network Domination” (Wikipedia, Link)

We will look at possible network domination scenarios, and provide you with some interesting data, that we were able to acquire during field-tests. Then, we’ll look at the tools that the end user can use for preventing possible overages.
Before we get any further, I would like to show you how fast does the card really work. Tables below (click to enlarge) demonstrates approximate speeds for various activities, beginning from loading web pages and downloading a file, and ending with an upload of a photo to an online Picasa album. The signal strength during the tests was -70 dbm, which can be denoted as 5 bars. Although its more like 4-4.5 bars. The main idea that we were trying to extract from this activity, is to test how fast does the connection operate compared to conventional 2.5G (EDGE) GC89 card. Having almost full service, the connection speed was measured to be 722Kbps for downloads, and about 347Kbps for uploads.

I hope, that by now you can distinguish between the two. Just remember that the upload speed will always be lower that the download. That’s, just how things work. According to some reports on the web, some people who tested the card in New York, were able to achieve a spanking 1000Kbs = ~1Mbs with our data card. At this point, the speed is dependent upon the maximum possible speeds offered by the provider. The actual theoretical speed is much higher. The table #2 in the gallery demonstrates how does the new webConnect match up with the older Sony Ericsson GC89 card. Back when the GC89 was tested in the same experimental conditions, we weren’t able to push any further than 191kbs for downloads and 74kbs for uploads. The table above shows the significant benefit of the 3G technology over the 2.5G.

Overall, at the moment when the article was published, the webConnect data card was offered at a $49.99 price point, for anybody, who is willing to sign up with T-Mobile on a 2-year contract. Realistically, we believe that at this price, with the added ability to use the card overseas and a micro SD card support, the data card offers good performance for the buck. Considering T-Mobile’s firm presence on the international market, signing up with this carrier provides a great value.

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