Tag Archives: windows mobile

My 13-year mobile phone history

I’ve been described by some as an Apple fanboy of late, which is amusing for me given that for many years I avoided anything emblazoned with their iconic logo. It’s had me think back through my 13 year mobile phone history.

Of the 9 generations of phones I’ve used, and six generations of smartphones – only two come from the Apple estate (out of a total possible of four). At least one more probably will – but I’m hoping that Android will catch up by the next time I’m due for an upgrade. Anyway, for those curious, here’s a quick run-down.

The picture spin quiz!

nokia 5110220px-Nokia_7110_openert29mpx200big_spv_e200  3gs   iphone4t-mobile-mda-vario-ii-2T-Mobile-G1orange-SPV-C600

  • 1999 – Nokia 5110 – free with my first mobile contract, with Orange. Basic candy bar phone. Introduced me to the joys of Snake.
  • 2000 – Ericsson T29 – I’d really wanted a flip phone, and this was a free upgrade at a point when cash was sparse.
  • 2001 – Nokia 7110 – after the Matrix, the click-flip action of the 7110 was an exciting thing indeed. I took great pleasure in answering calls and making them, and this remains one of my favourite phone form factors.
  • 2002 – Orange SPV – the first Windows smartphone. Slow and unresponsive indubitably, amazingly poor battery life perhaps, but I discovered and grew to love pre-emptive dialling, Windows synchronisation, internet on the move and experimented with using the very first apps available for phones.
  • 2003 – Motorola MPX200 (2 months) – A desire to have a clamshell phone and a newfound love for the Windows Mobile OS (as well as a budget requirement to not pay any money for an upgrade) sent me here, and I did quite like it – but it proved fragile and when it died, Orange offered me a higher spec E200 in its stead.
  • 2003 – Orange SPV E200 – spiritual sibling to the original SPV but with a faster processor and significantly better performance. Bulky as ever but much improved.
  • 2005 – Orange C600 – my last loved Windows Mobile device. Everything from the SPV in a smaller and more elegant form factor. My last phone on Orange for a while.
  • 2007 – T-Mobile MDA Vario 2 – this broke me. Resistive touchscreen that was slow and unresponsive, massive phone… it nearly despoiled me of the touchscreen experience in its entirety. But then I tried the…
  • 2008 – T-Mobile G1 (2 weeks trial)… and I knew touch screens would be OK. But there were a number of niggles; HTC phone construction still wasn’t quite there, feeling slightly non-responsive and clunky, and Android didn’t feel as ready as I’d like after years of struggling with the not-quite-there Windows Mobile. So I finally decided to cough up the cash, move to O2 and buy the…
  • 2009 – Apple iPhone 3GS… and I finally understood the fuss. As software upgrades made the phone more unwieldy, I eBayed it and put the proceeds towards a shiny new…
  • 2010 – Apple iPhone 4… which is still doing well but will probably be replaced with an iPhone 5 when that launches – my excuse is that Amanda is now in need of a smartphone (largely for my benefit, so she can share moments with Em with me more easily).

(I may have missed one, but it clearly wasn’t that memorable!)

Breaking it down:

I’m on my 9th generation of mobile phone in 13 years, and I’ve been using ‘smartphones’ for six of those generations.

  • 5/11 phones – Windows Mobile
  • 1/11 phones – Google Android (1.5)
  • 2/11 phones – iOS
  • 2/11 phones – Nokia/Symbian
  • 1/11 phones – SE proprietary / Symbian


  • 2/11 -Nokia
  • 1/11 – Ericcson
  • 5/11 – HTC
  • 1/11 – Motorola
  • 2/11 – Apple

It may be slightly dubious to count the G1 trial, but it was my phone for two weeks and the MPX 200 only lasted marginally longer in the grand scheme of things (before it died and Orange replaced it with the SPV E200).

Where to next? Who can say. What’s your record? Are you a phone a year person? Any obvious biases/trends come up when you look at your mobile history?

Features I want to see in iOS5

Dear Mr Jobs (and also FAO the nice folk at Google).

Five months into my iPhone 4 and a few days ahead of the release of iOS 4.2 (which I don’t imagine will fix any of this), here’s some things I’d like you to do in iOS 5.

1) Fix the on-screen notifications. One notification at a time only? With a multitasking phone with push notifications on dozens of apps? BORKED.
2) Swype. Android and Nokia do it for text input, and its pretty awesome.
3) Proper Gmail client. Y’know, again, like Android. Your threaded conversation is ok, but not great. Google, don’t be petty about the platform. Plenty of loyal Google users use iPhones, get over it!
4) Proper Gmaps client. Y’know, again, like Android… with turn-based Nav and other good features. As above to Google folks.
5) Pre-emptive dialling. This was the only thing I missed from Windows Mobile 6.x (and earlier) – where you typed in a number and it used pre-emptive entry to work out who you wanted from your address book. Much easier than searching for a name in the contacts…
6) A more dynamic home screen. This time its Windows Phone 7 that has stepped up its game.
7) Speed up Appstore browsing. It’s a little slow.

I’m happy for you to leave out Flash. It sucks, and the sooner the world realises that HTML5 is the way to do things, the better.

Well, that’s it from me for now. What do you think needs changing in iOS?

Goodbye Windows Mobile…

So I’ve been a faithful user of Windows Mobile since 2002 or so and the SPV 100 first launched, an underpowered but otherwise apparently well specced and capable phone. For me its ease of use, the instant familiarity of the OS and the fact it synched with my desktop were all strong motivating factors, and I was especially fond of the pre-emptive dialling feature, where you typed a contact’s name in numbers and it found it for you and let you dial them from the homescreen… Making it useful as a phone as well as a primitive Internet device – astonishing at the time.

Today, despite having used a succession of ever better designed devices, I bid it farewell. Despite the fact that the HTC Touch Dual, my last phone, was the first phone i haven’t immediately retired on becoming eligible for upgrade, it was no longer up to the job. It wasn’t really geared up for touch, had lagged behind with its Internet capabilities and the newest incarnations have shown little improvement (WM 6.5… Really?) so I’ve had to jump ship. The fact with hundreds of different Windows Mobile devices and millions of handsets, both the iPhone and Android are ahead in mobile Internet access kind of underlines the point, as does the fact that most of this post was drafted on the bus on the way to work using the new handset, the iPhone 3GS, with a WordPress app. Outstanding.

I’m not an Apple fanboy (seriously, I resisted this purchase like you wouldn’t believe), but for now, this fits my purpose. If Microsoft start innovating again (and not just relying on their hardware vendors to fix the problems in the underlying platform with innovative ‘skins’) then I will look at them again (Zunephone, please). But I suspect that both Android and Apple have stolen a lead that MS will never recover from…

Windows Mobile 6 Caller ID not working – how to fix

I had this problem when my phone came back from the repair shop rebuilt and managed to find a solution (with the help of Oly from Admiral).

Here’s the problem:

1) If you have your numbers saved as +44 7xxx xxxxxx – caller ID works for text but not calls
2) If you have your numbers saved as 07xxx xxxxx – caller ID works for calls but not texts

You need to download a Windows Mobile Registry editor (like this one) and then find the following in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER bit:
HKCU\Control Panel\Phone\CalIidMatch

Then double click the ‘CallIDMatch’ and change the number in there – in the rebuilt phone I was sent it defaulted to 12 digits, it should be 10 for the UK.

So far, seems to work. Thanks to this MS forum for the advice, and hopefully I’ve made this slightly more Googleable for anyone else troubleshooting the same issue,