Mogul Cell Phone
It is no secret I have always wanted internet access in my car. With small piece I could turn my car computer into a streaming audio and video playing machine. If you have never listened to free shoutcast internet radio stations then you are missing out. Now imagine having all those stations with you where ever you go. This prospect has been on my mind for years but there were 2 problems; cell tower based broadband is not very fast and its too expensive.
Well thanks to Sprint I am finally on board the cell broadband wagon. After talking to them on the phone for quite a while I got unlimited internet access on my phone for $15 / month. This includes unlimited 'phone as modem' (more on that later). That took care of the price. What about the speed? Spint has been steadily rolling out their EV-DO Rev A network. Traditional EV-DO Rev 0 is good for 400 - 700 kbps download. To put this in perspective modems operate at 56 kpbs while most cable broadband is in the area of 6 mbps (~6000 kpbs). EV-DO Rev A on the otherhand is good for 600 - 1400 kpbs. Its still not as fast as the broadband you have at home, buts its no sloutch either.
The only issue with EV-DO rev A is that your phone must support this new standard. As of the time of this writing the Mogul (HTC PPC-6600) is the only cell phone that supports rev A. There are plenty of broadband cards for laptops that support this speed but if you want it on a phone, then its time to get a Mogul. Hence here I am writing about the mogul.
Let me first say that I was perfectly happy with my Sanyo cell phone- it was free with my plan 4.5 years ago. I didnt really care about all the fancy features of the Mogul, I just mobile internet access I could share with the car computer and the ability to call people. Now that I have the Mogul I am blown away by all it can do, and all the software out there for PPC based devices (like the Mogul). I have had it for 2 weeks and I already cant remember what I did before it.
- QVGA display (320x240) touchscreen
- EV-DO Rev A support
- Built in GPS (not just for 911 support, can be used for user apps)
- Built in WiFi (802.11g)
- Runs Windows Mobile OS
- MicroSD expansion slot with support for MicroSDHC (it came with 512mb microSD card free!)
- Read the full stat list
My Main Uses for the Phone
- Listening to streaming internet radio over my car stereo
- Making phone calls
- GPS navigation and directions
- Answering random questions immediatly thanks to anywhere access to wikipedia / google
Here is a list of the aftermarket software that I have found useful. I will probably not keep this list up to date in the long run but it reflects what I am using after a month of owning the phone.
The best interface on a program for playing internet radio. The main screen gives you 10 presets you assign to your favorite stations. It also has a full list of probably 100 stations built in. You can import your own radio stations if its not already in their list.
Resco Radio will turn off the display after a configurable amount of time, saving battery power so you can stream music longer. It also supports authentication for pay based premium internet radio sites. So far I have not used this feature.
HTC Home Customizer (top 1/2 of screen shot)
This plug in for the PPC desktop (aka Today screen) gives me lots of useful options. In this picture you can see my favorite contacts. You can tap them to call them. This program also has a clock display, quick links to see email messags, text messages, or missed calls. It also has a weather plugin, app launcher, integrated controls for a built in media player, and last but not least, one touch access to set the phone ringer settings (i.e. vibrate, ringer loud, silent, etc).
This thing also supports numerous themes for the clock and the icons. By having this software installed I almost never have to hit the start menu on my phone, everything I need is 2 clicks away.... one to get to the right tab and another to activate it. I especially love the favorite contacts callings feature.
Ultimate Launch (bottom 1/2 of screen shot)
Ultimate launch is a very flexible application launcher. Normally to launch an application you have to click start, click programs, then scroll the pageto find the right applicaion, then click it to launch it. This is way too much work, especially when you are driving on the highway and use the Mogul one handed , double clicking with your thumb. In Ultimate Launch you can define a variable number of pages with any number of apps on each page. You get all the options you would expect, display text next to icons, text size, icon size, etc. What I think really makes Ultimate Launch shine is that you switch pages just by dragging the page to the right or left. It is very easy to use and works great even when using your fat thumb as a pointer.
Overall I would say that this program was easily worth the pricetag. All the applications I might ever want to use (still a small subset of all the apps on the phone) are on seperate tabs. It did take about an hour to setup Ultimate Launch but since then it has saved me loads of time.
Vito Screen Capture
This software lets me take screen shots of the Mogul's desktop from my PC. All I do is connect the Mogul to my PC, launch Screen Capture and press capture, then I get a screenshot of whatever is displayed on my Mogul. It can save the images to bitmap, gif, or jpg. Like most screenshot programs, I can capture a screenshot of the camera user interface but not what the camera is capturing. Oh well.
Best web browser that I have found. Other people have written far more in depth reviews than I have so I wont waste your time here.