Sony Xperia X1

X1_Slider-with-Keyboard

Check out the new go:XPERIA site.

There have been a whole heap of new phone announcements over the past couple of days, but only one has really caught my eye. Sony’s new Xperia phone looks like a lovely replacement for my ageing* Nokia E70.

The device looks incredibly slick, and is definitely the nicest looking side-sliding qwerty I’ve ever laid eyes on.

The Xperia runs the latest version of Windows Mobile, but Sony have done well to disguise it. I am extremely skeptical that the interface will respond as smoothly as is represented in the video, but we can live in hope:

*Heck, my E70 it’s only 18 months old, but it’s taken a beating. But it is after all the greatest phone in the universe.

RIP PalmOS

We interrupt your normal broadcasting with this special bulletin from our reporter in the field..

For over 5 years now I’ve been a PalmOS developer working in three different companies, developing a series of interesting and cutting edge products in this niche market. I’ve developed on PalmOS devices from the Palm Personal to the Treo650 and it’s been a roller coaster ride I’ll admit, getting particularly exciting at the end as PalmOS 5.4 (aka Garnet) has had more and more functionality bolted on and the devices have became more shoddy and bug ridden.

But I’m now standing at the exit turnstile…with a fading grin and vague nausea. As of May I am no longer a PalmOS developer.

PalmOS is dead people. Whatever glimmer of hope was left for the OS flickered and died in the last three years when it became clear we were never going to see a PalmOS 6 (aka Cobalt) device released. Palm Inc. are clearly distancing themselves from the OS with the release of the Windows Mobile Treo 700w device.

By the time we see an embedded Linux product with a ‘Palm layer’ on it nobody will give a crap.

We’ll all be using Windows Mobile Treo devices.

Microsoft Origami

Microsoft OrigamiAstroturfing* like the best of them, Microsoft is drip-feeding information about the codenamed ‘Origami‘ project. So far we have some images that Engadget picked up, and now a nice flash video of a device. Call me cynical, but I’m betting that neither of these are accidental finds, rather some ‘insider’ mailed a ‘scoop’ to a selected not-quite-A-list blog.

So what is Origami? Looks like a portable media center with bluetooth keyboard. No wait. After viewing the video this thing looks like a full-powered tablet PC. It better be, because give the size of the thing (think large paperback about 3/4 inch thick) you’d want it to be seriously powerful. Something this size, with a full power Core Solo processor and a properly touch-sensitive tablet screen would be pretty slick. If it’s an ARM or Xscale based Windows Mobile 5 device then sorry but meh… grow some innovation Microsoft.

*Wikipedia: Astroturfing.

Sony Ericsson M600

Sony Ericsson M600Call me callous, but I really have lost the love I once had for Symbian smartphones. This new Sony Ericsson M600 doesn’t really make me feel any more amourous. Sure, it’s a non-flip incarnation of the good old P900 series (more specifically the P990), but it looks like a brick, and uses yet another proprietary Sony memory format.

I’m sure the business users will love the range of connection options and the ever lusted-after ‘push’ email (but since when was a premanently open http connection ‘push’!?), but I’ll be skipping it.

Fun With ActiveSync and SSL

HTC ApacheNew phone, new hassles. Same old same old. Due to a corporate discount opportunity, I’ve picked up a nifty little HTC Apache PDA/Phone attached to the local monopoly carrier’s EVDO system. Sweet, I thought, MS Exchange activesync over EVDO will mean I’m never out of touch.

Activesync under Windows Mobile 5.0 is streets ahead of PocketPC 2003SE (the previous OS), allowing for clean syncronisation with multiple ‘partners’, and remote sync with Exchange 2003 over SSL. Great stuff, except the SSL sync does not allow for wildcard SSL certificates. Crazy as it sounds, corporations that use a wildcard cert (e.g. *.corporation.com) to cover multiple SSL sites (e.g. mail, webmail, activesync) will not be able to provide mobile sync support to WM5 devices.

Thankfully there is a workaround. As long as you have permissions on your device, you can modify the registry such that Activesync will not check the validity of an SSL certificate before commencing an SSL connection. The security implications of this are obvious, but as long as you trust your system admins, and bank on the fact that no one will hijack your server’s sync DNS address, then it should be fine. So, grab your PPC registry editor of choice, navigate to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Activesync\Partners\, determine which of the ‘Partners’ subkeys is your mobile exchange server (hunt through and you should see your mobile Exchange URL under one of the keys), then add a DWORD value named ‘Secure’ with a value of 0. Bingo.

Ugly hack, but it worked for me.? Unsure if this is a WM5 global thing, or just for HTC devices, or even just for this one HTC Apache.