Ah yes. The long-awaited update for Microsoft's mobile operating system (OS) is finally here. The updates that come with Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.5 are aplenty, and we see a paradigm shift for the Redmond-based giant. Focusing on not just the user interface, the new Windows Mobile 6.5 will also take a huge leap into the online and applications market with the unveiling of the My Phone application and the up and coming Windows Mobile Marketplace for Mobile.
The stylus is going the way of the dodo over the past few months. For one, manufacturers have slowly departed from the stylus approach by not including a stylus holder on the device. And in the months to come, HTC will be introducing the Touch HD2 that utilizes a capacitive touch screen. Needless to say, it's high time we see a more finger-friendly approach on the Windows Mobile OS
Enter Windows Mobile 6.5, with a revised approach to how you interact with your mobile device. When it comes to speed, the new Windows Mobile 6.5 is faster in a few ways. For one, you gain access to the features you need just from one place: the Today screen. Secondly, we noticed an actual improvement in navigation speeds on the devices showcased with Windows Mobile 6.5. One might argue that these new devices have more advanced specifications to go along with the new mobile OS. But that's far from the truth, since even the newest Acer and HTC devices will be sporting Qualcomm processors with similar speeds to its predecessors.
While manufacturers are welcoming the latest Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade with open arms, there are those such as HTC who took it one step further and gave the OS another look with their customized interface such as the HTC TouchFlo 3D.
One of the biggest highlights that comes with the new mobile OS launch is the introduction of Microsoft's very own mobile app store - Windows Marketplace for Mobile. As of launch, the Windows Marketplace for Mobile has a total of 246 applications that covers a range of use such as productivity, gaming and social media. While it might seem a tad too late and a lot of catching up to do, Microsoft is still plowing ahead and hopes to have a bite of the app market. This will probably be done through sheer numbers with the proliferation of its Windows Mobile device. Time will tell if this strategy would work out for them.
Over-the-air data synchronization has become a necessity for mobile devices. With Google Sync and Nokia's Ovi making the first move in this area, Microsoft is now answering the call with something of their own - My Phone. However, it's not just simply data synchronization that comes with this service.
The My Phone service is also integrated into the popular social networking sites that include Windows Live, Flickr, Facebook and MySpace. This means you can simply take a photo from your mobile device, use the My Phone app and post it straight onto your social network accounts.
Data security is also part of the offering from the My Phone feature. Or in this case, phone tracing. For those who have found themselves at their wit's end over a lost phone, they can turn to My Phone and trace the phone's last synchronized location. A premium package for the My Phone feature is also available for free until 30th Nov, and will cost US$4.99 for a 7-day access after the free trial period. Some of the premium features, such as immediately locating the phone's current location on a map are available only in the States. Nonetheless, there are more useful features which allow you to remotely lock a phone, post a message to alert the finder to return the phone and ringing the phone even on silent mode to locate the said device. The last resort, erasing all the data on a stolen phone, is also available, but as we've said, it's a last resort.