Nick's .NET Travels

Continually looking for the yellow brick road so I can catch me a wizard....

Windows Mobile Device Center - Just a couple of tricks

<rant>

Last night I spent a frustrating hour or so messing around with a HTC TyTnII and the Windows Mobile Device Center under Windows Vista.  You would think, brand new Windows Mobile device (running WM6 of course) + Windows Vista (with all the latest updates installed) would be able to connect, sync and browse the internet via the USB connection. Think again.  Unfortunately, despite continual discussions between the community and Microsoft we don't seem to be making much progress in making this easy for the end user.  Yes, I know there are forums out there talking about all the things you need to try before sending the device back to the manufacturer but the reality is that as a consumer experience this SUX.

</rant>

Anyhow, instead of just ranting about the evils of the WMDC (which increasingly reminds me of searching for WMDs in unstable territories....) I thought I'd list a couple of the tricks I use to try and get things to play ball.

Q: I've plugged my device in and opened the WMDC but it never seems to connect.

A: Try any of the following:

  • Look out for "Connecting" on the device - for some reason WMDC can be really slow to detect the device and can take upward of a minute in some case (long enough for you to think it hasn't connected).  When the device shows "Connecting" on the ActiveSync screen it is actually trying to establish the connection - when this stops it should read Connected at the bottom, if not, you have a problem.
  • Try unplugging and plugging it back in (obvious step - see the first point though as you may be unplugging it before WMDC has done its thing)
  • Try a different usb port.  I've found that sometimes WMDC gets all confused and refuses to communicate through a specific usb port.  Simply changing to a different port can be enough to get it to work.  Funnily enough in most cases I've found that you can then change back to the original port and it works fine - go figure!
  • Try adjusting the Connection settings on wmdc - Change the "This computer is connected to:" value from Automatic to Internet and click Ok.  Quite often this is enough to convince the WMDC to drop existing connections and re-establish them. Again I don't know why, but this does seem to work.

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  • Kill the WMDC process - Task Manager is your friend - open it and kill the wmdc.exe process.  Make sure you disconnect your device from the usb port first just to be sure.

Q: My device is now connect to WMDC but I can't browse to internet sites on the device.

A: My first response to this is to get yourself a decent data plan and then to use that instead of using the internet connection on your computer but I understand that this isn't a great option for people using "expensive" carriers ;-).  As such here are some pointers to get this to work using the WMDC.

  • Make sure you are running the latest version of the WMDC.  No this doesn't mean looking in Windows Update as for some reason it doesn't show up there!  Go to the Windows Mobile Device Center for Vista website, scroll down and select the appropriate update. Note: The filename of the download is "drvupdate-x86.exe" - please make sure you rename this so you can find it later - don't spread the plague of rubbish filenames!

image

  • Disable advanced network functionality on the device.  Go to Settings--> Connections and select the "USB to PC" icon (first picture below).  Then uncheck the "Enable advanced network functionality" option.  Whilst this might be advanced functionality under ActiveSync, it generally just causes problems using the WMDC.

 image image

Ok, so if you are still having issues it might be worth getting hold of your local Windows Mobile MVP and asking them what you can do.

Before I go, I'd like to talk through how I have my device setup.  Firstly, I don't sync anything with by local machine, everything is sync'd to Exchange 2007.  Instead of managing our own mail server all my SoftTeq mail goes via a hosted service (http://www.myhostedsolution.com/) - for $10 (US) a month I get as much storage as I want and never have to worry about maintaining/backing up.  It also gives me the ability to not only sync to as many devices as I want, worldwide, it also gives me the ability to control my devices (remember that Exchange 2007 has the ability for the user to self manage their devices - it ability to remote wipe etc), and of course has webmail access.

The next thing to note is that I recently moved across to the 3 network.  Whilst their coverage isn't great outside the metro areas (and data is painfully expensive when it falls back to GPRS), inside the metro area I have found the reception to be good and the data is still the cheapest on the market. I have a device (the HTC Touch Dual) without WiFi as I found it frustrating to use WiFi because you don't have the ability to have Push Email and it just drains the battery. The result is that all my syncing is done via the 3 data plan.

Now talking of battery life, the HTC Touch Dual battery life royally sux.  If I had to use the device without charging I think it would last less than a full day.  That said, I'm never away from my computer for more than a day, so I'm just in the habit of carrying my usb to device sync cable with me.  This is the only way I charge my device.  Unfortunately the default settings on the device will mean that even if you are religious about plugging your device in every time you sit down, you will still see the battery gradually diminish.  The reason for this is that by default it is setup to sync to the WMDC (or ActiveSync) upon a Usb connection being establish.  This means that the device is periodically brought out of standby and never seems to return to standby.  Even with the backlight set to dim, this will drain the battery almost as fast as it is charging via usb.

Since I don't actually sync through my computer, I actually disable the sync with WMDC (within ActiveSync on the device, select Menu, Connections and then uncheck the "Synchronize all PCs using this connection:" option - see image below).

image

Now when I connect my device, I hit the power button to make sure it stays in standby - for some reason connecting the usb cable will wake up the device even with the sync option disabled.  The device will remain in standby, optimising the recharge speed - it's typically back to full power in 10 mins or so.

The downside is that with the sync option disabled, you can't connect to the device using any of the developer tools.  So to do development I have to disconnect the device, toggle this option and reconnect - how frustrating, but better than lugging around a brick when the battery runs out.

 

SideNote: The device images on this post were taken using the SOTI Pocket PC Controller which is available via YouPark.

Device Performance - Is Windows Mobile fast enough?

I've often wondered why with all the processing power that's now in these devices do they still feel sluggish.  Recently I've used the HTC Touch, TyTnII and now the Touch Dual and all three could really do with more grunt.  It's not that they are particularly bad, it's just the occasional 1 or 2 second lag when you power out of standby or when you have 10 or so programs all running - unfortunately despite Windows Mobile being capable of evicting programs, the OS doesn't really do this very well so you still suffer performance degradation before you decide to force closure of some applications.

Anyhow, across at MoDaCo, Paul has an interesting post that talks about the fact that HTC haven't included the appropriate device drivers to really get the most out of your device.  I took a look at the response by HTC and thought to myself - well that's the last time I buy a HTC device!  Honestly, if they can't do the right thing by their customers in terms of releasing a ROM update which includes the drivers (or better still, just sell the devices with the right drivers in the first place) then they don't deserve all the positive feedback they get from the likes of Paul.

OpenNETCF Community Site for Leading Windows Mobile Developers

The OpenNETCF Community Site has a good series of technical articles that discuss various aspects of developing with the .NET Compact Framework.  The most recent article is on the Performance implications of crossing the p/invoke boundary and is definitely worth a read.

Other articles include:

- An Introduction to WCF for Device Developers

- Getting a Millisecond-Resolution DateTime under Windows CE

- Using GDI+ on Windows Mobile

- Sharing Windows Mobile Ink with the Desktop

- OpenNETCF Mobile Ink Library for Windows Mobile 6

- Improving Data Access Performance with Data Caching

- Developing Connected Smart Device Applications with SqlClient

- Debugging Without ActiveSync

- Image Manipulation in Windows Mobile 5.0

- Don't Fear the Garbage Collector

All of the articles are available online at:

http://community.OpenNETCF.com/articles

Competition: Buy a new Windows Mobile 6 device and see the World!

For one of the first times in my life I visited the Windows Mobile area of the Microsoft Australia website.  I want to share an announcement that's on the main page about a competition where you could "win a trip for 2 to your choice of one of the 7 wonders of the modern world, valued at $15,000".  So, what do you have to do?  It's easy, simply purchase a new Windows Mobile 6 (Palm, HTC, Motorola or i-mate) between 1 Nov, 2007 and Feb 29, 2008.  Then visit the competition website and follow the link to submitting your entry.

Application Restart on Windows Mobile

Over the last week or so, fellow Microsoft MVP, Rob Farley has been getting familiar with my HTC Touch device. One of his biggest pain points is that applications frequently get closed when they are not in use to free up memory for other applications. Unfortunately this seems to be a little known fact about Windows Mobile - that when it is memory constrained it will go through the background applications requesting that they close. 

There are two sides to correctly handling this scenario from a development point of view.  Firstly, at an application level you do get an opportunity to refuse closure.  For example if the application is in the middle of downloading updates or refreshing content then it can hold off closing until it has completed.  Bearing in mind that this will of course slow down the running of other applications and may prevent new applications loading during this time.

The second point to note is that from an end user perspective they shouldn't care if an application is running or not.  When they click on the application icon it should always go to where they were in the application the last time they used it, regardless of whether the application has had to open or just show itself.  In fact this is one of the reasons that currently Windows Mobile doesn't have a built in Task Manager (other than the Running Programs item under Settings->System as such.

An example of applications that don't restart well, and is really annoying because it always shutdown when placed into the background, is Google Maps.  This application insists on showing you their disclaimer splash screen every time you run the application - in this case it is particularly bad because while the application is active it prevents the backlight from dimming or the device going into standby (which of course drains battery life very quickly). 

Google Maps V's Live Search for Windows Mobile

A week or so ago I got my latest development device, the HTC TyTnII.  Since then I have moved networks from Optus to 3 in order to get economically priced data.  My only complaints about the HTC Touch was that it didn't have either a keypad/keyboard, nor HSDPA support*. Now that I have a data capable device I have started to play with a number of applications that take advantage of mostly-on data.

Being relatively new to Sydney one of applications I've found to be particularly useful is Google Maps for Mobile. Without a data capable device this application is all but useless as it crashes if the network fails or is not available.  Now that this isn't an issue (well for the most part - except of course if your device starts to roam in which case you either loose the network or loose an arm and a leg when you pay the next bill) I have started to use this application quite a bit.

The other feature of the TyTnII that (occasionally) is useful in conjunction with Goolge maps is the in-built GPS.  I say occasionally because picking up a signal is a bit of a lucky draw.  Yes, I know you need to have satellite line of sight but honestly to not be able to resolve the location in the middle of Sydney is not a great story! 

Lets start with looking at how Google maps deals with the GPS:

image image

In the first image you can see the currently white dot at the centre of the screen, which is the current location of the unit as determined by the GPS signal and it alternates between white and blue so you can clearly make it out (select "Track Location" from the menu to start GPS tracking). In the top right corner you can see that there are currently 2 active satellites that the unit can communicate with.  Unfortunately if this number goes to 0 for an extended period Google Maps gives you the prompt in the right image. Worse is that if you click cancel it stops looking for the GPS signal and removes the last known location from the maps - OMG who programmed this!

image image

The next scenario is getting directions.  Google Maps makes this as easy with a "Directions" menu item.  You then have an option of selecting the GPS location or entering a location (left image). After it has determined the directions it presents a summary (right image) giving the distance and time estimate (which I must admit is quite accurate).

 image image

When you hit ok you are taken to the map with the starting point selected (green diamond), way-points marked (yellow diamonds) and the route in purple (left image).  You will also not that the on-screen buttons have changed to include a forward and backward arrows.  These will move you between the way-points along the route.  Despite the instructions on the splash screen that you should not operate while driving, this makes the maps very easy to use while you are driving!  Clicking the zoom in/out buttons will give you a visual indicator of the estimated area to be covered by the new zoom size - zooming is always done around the centre of the map.

 image image

Searching for shops and restaurants is easy with Google Maps - Click the Search soft key, enter the type of food or shop you are looking forward and qualify with a suburb (left image).  The results will be displayed using numbered pins on the map (right image).

 image

The last feature that is quite neat (albeit not very useful) is the aerial view which can easily be toggled between from the Menu.

Mid last week I was convinced to give the Live Search for Windows Mobile a try.  Unfortunately my reaction has not been at all positive.  Let me try and articulate why. I suspect most of it comes down to Live Search wanting to be too much and not delivering on anything well. 

image image

The opening screen (left image) is very portal like and is not immediately intuitive that you need to enter an address (second line) - otherwise you end up with all your results coming from a random location in the US. Once you have done this half the functions (Traffic, Movies, Gas Prices, Categories, Shop/Restaurant Search) still don't work as they are only enabled for the US.  Luckily the maps and directions both work.  Unfortunately for some reason it always seem to default to an zoomed out view of Sydney (right image).

image image

It isn't immediately clear how you can zoom in/out (if you recall Google Maps has a + and - on-screen interface!).  By pressing the d-pad you get a zoom interface (left image).  You can also use the d-pad to scroll the screen whilst in this mode.  In order to accept the new location/zoom you simple stop pressing buttons and after a short timeout it refreshes the screen. From the menu you can also select "Center on GPS" and assuming that a satellite can be connected to you will see the unit's currently location (right image).  Unlike the Google interface this doesn't indicate the number of satellites that it is currently connected to.

imageimage

To get directions you need to leave the Map (did anyone really think about how this app would be used???) and select Directions from the Live Search home page.  This presents you with a dialog where you can enter a location (left image).  Well actually you can select a previous location or select new location.  Selecting a new location gives you a number of options as to where to get the location information from - I particularly like the Contacts integration!

 image image

Once you have determined start and end locations the route information is presented as a summary list but no totals (left image)!  Clicking Map will again take you to a zoomed out image (grrr how annoying!) as shown in the right image.  What I do like is the on-screen prompts saying what to do at the next way-point.  This is much better than the bubbles that obscure the map in Google Maps.  Moving between way-points is also easy - although the left/right arrows are small you can click anywhere on the left/right side of the prompt to move forward/backwards in the way-point list.

imageimage

The last point I would like to make is a comparison between the presentation of mapping data.  These two images are at approximately the same zoom and both are centred around the same GPS location.  Personally I find the one on the left (Google Maps) much easier to read than the right image (Live Search).  I think it is a combination of the width of the streets, the colours used, the positioning of street names and numbers.

 

* For those interested in HTC Touch I would highly recommend looking out for the HTC Touch Dual that is soon to be released.  This will have HSDPA support and has a slide down keypad! Warning: this model will not work on the Telstra NextG network as it doesn't support their frequency. There is likely to be another model early next year targetting this network explicitly.  Note that this is not an issue for the TyTnII that supports all the frequencies.

Windows Mobile v's iPhone

A recently conducted survey by Markitecture discussed here at Mobility Today provided some interesting insight into the smartphone wars that are about to begin (or in some cases are already at large). In actual fact the results that 6% of those surveyed would buy an iPhone was imho not a surprise and I'm not sure that this necessarily directly correlates to market share. If you follow the link through to the source at MacWorld there is an arrogant quote by Steve Ballmer about iPhone not getting market share - given how widely Microsoft missed the web boat, can they really afford to be this arrogant in another emerging market.

What I find interesting is that there is an assumption that these phones all play in the same market. There has never been any secret that Windows Mobile devices are focused on the enterprise market where synchronisation of email, calendar and contacts are essential.  Further they have a well established set of developer tools and apis that can be used to build rich applications, that can be deployed within an organisation to better equip their mobile staff.

The question remains as to where the other players fit.  In the case of Blackberry it is again easy as it is almost entirely enterprise customers.  Nokia and Motorola have for the most part been focused on the consumer space but increasingly we are seeing devices, such as those running Symbian S60 or Windows Mobile, that are capable of being used in the enterprise. Lastly the iPhone - well given the distinct lack of developer apis or programming model it can hardly be considered a true smartphone but it does have the standard POOM feature set for managing contacts, calendar and email so it could be used within the enterprise.  It appears from the marketing campaigns by Apple that they are going for consumer buy-in which they are hoping will put pressure on the enterprise market for adoption.

Going back to the post at Mobility Today the first comment struck me as it is basically flaming Microsoft for poor product quality.  Windows Mobile is similar in a number of ways to any other version of Windows - Microsoft creates the operating system, then hardware manufacturers have to build appropriate drivers/customisations to suit their hardware.  In the case of Windows Mobile this often leads to the introduction of bugs (such as this issue with the notification broker on the JasJar) which unfortunately reflects poorly on the entire platform.

Further Microsoft have had their own set of ongoing issues relating to synchronisation with/through the desktop - you would have though after years of negative feedback on ActiveSync they would think to invest the time/resources to getting it right. Unfortunately they don't seem to have acknowledged that there is still an issue, and to make matters worse they keep removing features! First they removed synchronisation via ethernet as it was a security risk (why not just fix the issue!) and now with the Windows Mobile Device Center they seem to have removed even more features. Being a developer using Vista I am yet to be able to get the emulator to consistently connect via WMDC so that I can debug my application without using a real device.

Having said all this, the Windows Mobile platform rocks in terms of being a developer platform.  The extent of the managed apis, the .NET Compact Framework, Sql Server Compact Edition (and synchronisation via RDA or Merge Replication) and other developer frameworks (the Mobile Client Software Factory and the Smart Device Framework) make it an awesome platform for building occasionally connected rich applications!

When is a Storage Card an SD Card or a CF Card on Windows Mobile

A discussion I was party to alerted me to an interesting issue when writing file to a Storage Card on a Windows Mobile device. On most devices a storage card will appear as "\Storage card" both in File Explorer and via code.  However, apparently this is not a rule that you can rely on and that on occasions the storage card might be called "SD Card", "CF Card" or even "CF Card 2" (this is not an exhaustive list of all the options). 

So, you might ask - how do I locate the storage card?  Well you can do this my iterating through the folders at the root of your device.  For example (thanks to Ilya Tumanov from Microsoft for this code snippet):

For Each directory As String In Directory.GetDirectories("\")
  If ((New DirectoryInfo(directory)).Attributes And FileAttributes.Temporary) <> 0 Then
     Console.WriteLine("Found storage card: {0}", directory)
  End If
Next

Windows Mobile Security Explained

Ever wondered why your device prompts you when you attempt to run an application?  Or perhaps what those Microsoft folks are on about when they talk about 1 and 2 tier security models?  Well as a follow up to my previous post about the Device Security Manager, here is a post by Reed Robison that gives a great introduction to the Windows Mobile security model.

Windows Mobile Security for Developers

Before I get into the talking about a tool that windows mobile developers will find useful I thought I'd start off with a tool for the end users who are worried about loosing their precious device.  Earlier this week I was sent a link to the Shadowmite Hacker Team which had an interesting utility for locating lost or stolen devices.  Like the look of SecurIt, which is available via XDA developers, as it is simple and has a single function:

Basically it watches your simcard’s IMSI at every boot to see that it’s the same, and if so, just play a “OK” chirp. But if the sim has been changed it locks the phone up while also sms’ing a preset number the new number and imsi right from the new numbers account.

Now for developers: One of the cool features of Visual Studio 2008 is the Device Security Manager (accessible from the Tools menu), which allows you to examine the security configuration of your device (or emulator) and to be able to reconfigure your device to a particular (or one of the predefined) security configuration.

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If you are building mobile applications you don't need to wait until Visual Studio 2008 to be able to change the security configuration of your device.  There is a tool called the Security Configuration Manager that ships with the Windows Mobile 6 SDK which has the same functionality, although arranged slightly differently. This tool is a little hidden as it is not installed by default.  After installing the Windows Mobile 6 SDK go to c:\Program Files\Windows Mobile 6 SDK\Tools\Security\Security Powertoy and run the installer SecCfgMgr.msi.  This will install the Security Configuration Manager so that it appears directly under All Programs in Start menu.

security configuration manager

One of the biggest annoyances of working with a real device, over an emulator, is that they are usually set to One-Tier Prompt security (for Pocket PC devices at least). When you build, deploy and run an application from within Visual Studio you will get prompted to confirm that each assembly is ok to run.  If your application has a number of assemblies this quite quickly gets very frustrating.  By changing your device security back to "Security Off" you can eliminate the prompts and hence get your work done quicker. 

There are strange parallels to the whole "developing as administrator" discussion as to whether this is a good idea in the long run, since most device you ship to will probably have security enabled.

HTC Reaches that Sweet spot with Windows Mobile Device

I've mentioned in a previous post that HTC are continuing to innovate with the HTC Touch and the HTC Kaiser.  Well I must admit that I'm now hanging out to get my hands on the HTC Kaiser following Paul's indepth review.  As is clear from the review there isn't much missing from this device and with a 3M primary camera it could make this device particularly appealing to your average consumer.  Of course weight is always an issue but for a device that you can really take on the road with you this might hit my sweet spot!

Voice IM Client for Windows Mobile and Symbian S60

I just followed Neil's post to the beta of Palringo - not sure why I need yet another IM client but I do like the way it handles Voice.  Instead of trying to be a full blown VOIP solution it allows you to send bursts of sound (be it voice, background noise, music etc).  Worth having a play with but not sure whether I'll be hooked.  If you're trying it out feel free to add me to your contacts (nick @softteq.com).

Blacklisting Applications on Windows Mobile

Ever wondered how you can stop someone from changing the time on a Windows Mobile device?  No? Me either, but I have heard a number of enterprises ask how they can lock down their devices to prevent certain applications from running.  There are a number of 3rd party applications on the market that can be used to limit device functionality and there are some other clever tricks for preventing applications from running. 

Jason Langridge and Rabi Satter have the details on one such method that can be used to effectively blacklist applications so that the Windows Mobile operating system won't allow them to run.  Rabi also lists a configuration service provider (CSP) that can be used to set a variety of security settings on the device - CSPs are a great mechanism for ensuring multiple devices are configured the same way throughout an enterprise.

Why Windows Mobile Device Center Is Broken?

Last week I posted that the WMDC had replaced ActiveSync and that you should upgrade to the latest version.  This week I'm seriously considering downgrading back to Windows XP just so I can run ActiveSync again.  On my way to work this morning I decided to grab a cup of coffee and write this post on Joel's recent visit on my K-Jam.  Unfortunately when I got to the office and sync'd with my laptop I couldn't open the note that I had written.  Under XP/ActiveSync all you had to do was drag the Note (which is a .pwi file) from the device onto the local machine and it would be converted by ActiveSync.  Now when I do that it transfers the pwi file as is to my machine and when I go to open it with Word I get:

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Now I'd consider myself slightly more than the average user and would suggest that if I can't work out how to transfer notes to my Vista machine then there is something BROKEN with the Windows Mobile Device Center (unless of course I'm missing something obvious....).  Seriously Microsoft is it that hard to ship a version of ActiveSync/WMDC that actually works?????

Update for Windows Mobile Device Center

Most of us Windows Mobile users will have at some stage cursed ActiveSync, affectionately known as ActiveStink as it is IMHO one of the most unreliable products Microsoft have ever released.  With Vista, ActiveSync is no longer - instead we have Sync Center (part of Vista) and the Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC), which unfortunately is an additional download.  Although the user interface is quite different anyone who has spent any time with ActiveSync will feel right at home as most of the usual functionality is there.

Mel has recently announced that an updated is available for the WMDC.  The details of what is included in the update are in the post which can be downloaded here.

Blackberry, bringing an Outage to a Windows Mobile near you!

Well the title is a little far fetched but as the response to Mr Mobile's (aka Jason Langridge) post points out you can see that the timing of this RIM's announcement is not very well thought out.  For those of you out there who didn't hear about the outage: basically, RIM had a massive outage on their North American Blackberry network which meant those addict users had to go without their hit for around 8 hours. Jason has more information in his follow up post regarding the event.

Ok, so with that in mind RIM has come out and announced that they are going to have a version of their application deployment and device management software that will run on the Windows Mobile 6 platform.  Hmmm, ok so let me get this straight - I'm going to invest in a Windows Mobile device and then sign up for a service which might not respond for 8 hours, and when the network operator realises that there's an issue they issue a "sorry for the disturbance" message?  I couldn't think of a worse time to make this anouncement.

The other thing to think about is that RIM is definitely not the first to play in this application deployment (for mobile device) space:

And if you widen the scope to looking at device support there are a whole host of players such as i-mate that have their own device management suites.  Of course in Exchange 2007 we now have self-service device lock and wipe which in a large propotion of cases is half the battle!

Long live Windows Mobile 2003 SE!

In a flash back to a couple of years ago I decided to find my old Dell Axim X30 and see whether it was up to the job.  I seemed to recall trying one of the early Skype Pocket PC clients back on one of the old HP iPaq devices so I guess I wasn't surprised that Skype have a version of their client that works on this device.  When you download the client the file name includes "LowCPU" which I guess implies that this version is designed for a low power CPU and that there is a high CPU version (although given battery life is a major concern I'm not sure I would ever go with this verison).

The experience is actually quite good, audio quality seems to be reasonable and there was almost no lag. You may need to alter the microphone gain (Start->Settings->System tab->Microphone) and you may need to enable the echo cancellation option in the Skype Settings.

You will notice that I discovered how you can use the skinning feature in Pocket Controller to give you that professional look during presentations and demos (they have skins for virtual every device I could think of).  Pocket Controller is also able to connect via a network connection (which is more than can be said for ActiveStinkSync.

In the last of these screen shots you will see that there is an "Echo/Sound Test Service" item in the history.  This is a contact that appears in your contacts list when you run Skype on the device and enables you to place a call, record yourself talk and hear it played back - if you think about it this really tests most features of placing a call!

Yes, I'm almost free of my mobile phone.  Bring on the Skype Challenge

Windows Mobile Resources

With the announcement of Windows Mobile 6 now behind us it is time to get serious about looking at just what this new platform is going to give us.  As usual I'm less interested in the changes made to the overall user interface and more interested as to what the platform gives us as developers.  Yesterday I was doing a search for an MSDN article on building Today screen plugins that former MVP Neil Cowburn point me to. In the process of finding what I was after but did come across some interesting reading:

Windows Mobile 6

So I'm not the first, and won't be the last, to blog about this but I just thought I'd add the appropriate links:  Windows Mobile 6 has been announced which of course will come with a whole set of new features. In case you were wondering here are a couple of people from within Microsoft who have more on what you will expect to see: Jason and Loke