Microsoft unveiled its new Windows Phone Live website, a companion site that will be integrated into its upcoming Windows Phone 7 handsets. Similar to Microsoft’s MyPhone service unveiled as a beta in May 2009 for Windows Mobile 6.x handsets, the new Windows Phone Live will offer 25GB of SkyDrive storage space and will let Windows Phone 7 users sync contacts, calendars, OneNote files, pictures and more between their handset and the web. The website will also host the Find My Phone service which provides users with the ability to map, ring, lock and remote wipe a missing handset. Microsoft also confirmed that Windows Phone 7 is on track for a global launch in time for the holiday season. At launch, Windows Phone 7 handsets will support five languages including English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and the Windows Phone marketplace will go live in 17 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and United States. More →
Gmail users get excited as Google has added two new features to Gmail that will make your emailing life a little bit easier. First and foremost is a new drag and drop ability that allows you to drag a document from your favorite file explorer and drop it on your email to add an attachment. No convoluted steps, no browsing for files, just a basic drag and drop which is so simple, it is genius and we can’t believe we’ve lived without it all this time. Next up is a new calendaring feature that allows you to send a Google calendar invitation directly within Gmail. Not only can you compose the invitation within Gmail, the feature allows you to see your invitee’s calendar so you can select the optimal time for your event. Once the invitation is sent, the event is added to both your and your recipient’s Google calendar. Sweet.
A sometimes overlooked feature that has been made incredibly simple on the iPhone is the ability to subscribe to a variety of calendars. Many are familiar with CalDAV as it adds a quick and easy way to keep your iPhone or iPod touch in sync with your Google Calendar, but did you know you can also add a wide range of publicly available calendar subscriptions in a matter of seconds? One of the more common subscriptions is the US holidays calendar but you can also quickly and easily add TV show schedules, network premier schedules, sports team schedules, movie releases, concert tour schedules and plenty more to your iPhone calendar. Hit the jump to find out how.
Up until this morning, we would have confidently put big money on Gmail maintaining its beta status for the next hundred years. Seriously… Has a more widely used and reliable service ever held onto its beta tag for so long (that was rhetorical)? To our shock and amazement however, Google has officially removed Gmail from beta status along with Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk. Both consumer and enterprise Google Apps categories are now out of beta in fact, and the latter is certainly the motivation for the change. With 1.75 million companies currently utilizing Google Apps, the beta tag seemed a bit ridiculous at this point and Google finally concurred. Are there any exciting new features to report along with this news? Nope, but you know how Google loves to churn out new features and we doubt the absence of “beta” will slow the company down a bit.
Following a promise made to the always impatient Interwebs, Mark/Space has stayed true to its word and issued a public beta version of Missing Sync for the Palm Pre. The web-famous sync utility that always comes to the rescue for Mac users is now at version 1.0b but it’s (nearly) fully functional and of course free to try. So what can you sync? Contacts, Music, photos, ringtones, files, calendar items, videos and podcasts are all covered in this release. Soon to be added to this generous list is Safari bookmarks, though the forthcoming MyBookmarks app is a prerequisite so we’re not quite there yet. As has become expected, Missing Sync for the Pre does include proximity sync, which will sync up your Pre when it is detected on the same network as your Mac. Sweet. Requirements include Pre OS 1.0.2+, OS X 10.5.6+, iTunes 7.4+ and a few other notes depending on what you want to sync. Want to buy it after you try it? $40 gets you in the door and gets you the release version as soon as it comes out.
In a recent interview with Roger MacNamee of Elevation Partners, Sarah dug up some pretty great features of webOS that had gone relatively unnoticed until now. No, the interview she did isn’t new, but all of the hype flying around at the time let some pretty awesome and intutive functionality go unnoticed. We’ll let MacNamee do the talking here – from the interview:
But better than that, it does stuff for you. So when you wake up in the morning, it has taken your calendar — if you ask it to — and downloaded the maps for you whole day, it’s downloaded the wikipedias for the people you’re going to visit and the companies you’re going to see… Why is it on PCs you have to go and do all that?
And when you’re late — get this — when you’re late it — remember, this things has GPS, it has a clock, and it has your calendar. So it not only knows where you are, it knows where you’re supposed to be and when; and so when it realizes you’re going to be late, it says “Hey, not only are you going to be late, but I can take care of it for you. I’ll send an email to your assistant or to the people in the meeting, which would you prefer? And oh, by the way, here’s the map.” This is the beginning of a new wave.
Pretty smooth Palm, pretty smooth. This is actually a great interview and if you haven’t watched it already we highly recommend you do so. It’s refreshing to see an investor who is actually not only knowledgeable when it comes to to the industry, but also incredibly enthusiastic about a portfolio company and its products. As an aside, we still find it amusing that people ‘in the know’ refer to the HTC G1 as the “Google Android”. Ain’t no branding like Google branding… Hit the jump for the full interview.
If you’ve logged onto your Sprint account recently, you might have noticed that glaring red print under your “Online Tools” tab. So, if you relied heavily on your PCS Mail or Calendar for productivity, it’s all coming to an end apparently. It’s not news that mail is being discontinued – just consider this a friendly reminder. It was announced over the summer that all addresses ending in @sprintpcs.com will be shut down for good so save those messages before you’re locked out forever! What is new however, is that they’ve decided to shut down the PCS Calendar. Again, much like mail, there is no particular reason why they’re doing this, but we’re sure you can all use your imaginations and hit us with comments like, “Sprint is dying and they’ll soon be gone.” The more likely reasoning is simply a matter of some overdue Spring cleaning. Is anyone going to miss these services come December 31?
Thanks, Roger A!
We think there might be one or two people out there still using various Yahoo services as opposed to jumping on the Google train. You know, the same people who used to wear spiked dog collars in high school and get angry when their favorite Emo bands started to get popular. Well rebels, you’ll be glad to know that Yahoo has finally decided to end its decade-long hiatus in terms of calendar development and it is now testing out a shiny new Ajax-based online calendar. Honestly, the new drag and drop based interface is definitely sexy. No question. The Flickr integration is also very smooth and attractive. In terms of true added value above and beyond competitive offerings however, meh. This will basically be a nice add-on for those already swimming in the Yahoo pool but don’t expect the masses to come rushing over so they can enjoy, umm, pictures on their online calendars. If you’re a resident of the US, UK, India, Taiwan, or Brazil and you want to check out Yahoo’s new calendar beta, hit the read link and let us know what you think.
Zimbra, an open source messaging and collaboration suite, announced this week the availability of Zimbra Mobile for the iPhone 3G. Zimbra users sporting the latest iPhone have enjoyed full two-way OTA synchronization of email, calendars, and contacts as well as a photo sync feature that allows photos associated with iPhone contacts to sync with the Zimbra Address book. New features added to this latest release include improved push email performance and OTA syncing with multiple calendars and address books. Very cool for you iPhone 3G/Zimbra users if you haven’t taken the plunge with MobileMe or Exchange.