‘Tis the season for Windows Mobile 6.1 updates. Following closely on the recent updates for the HTC Tilt and the Verizon VX6800, Samsung has decided to bless us with a little 6.1 love for the Blackjack II. The specs should be old hat for you by now, but in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past several months, the new firmware brings threaded SMS, a new paned home screen, better power management, and more to the WM Standard device. The update can be downloaded effective immediately, and while the process is not exactly painless (all of your data will be wiped) we can’t think of a good reason not to make the jump.
UPDATE: It looks like Samsung has pulled the download page for the time being. No word on when it might return, but we’ll keep checking and keep you posted.
By Robert Hamilton, Product Manager, Google mobile team
A few weeks ago, we launched a plug-in for Symbian devices that put a Google search shortcut onto the phone’s home screen. This shortcut reduces the time it takes for you to get answers from Google by eliminating the initial search steps (e.g. finding the browser application, opening it, and navigating to Google.com before entering your query). The same plug-in has been available for BlackBerry devices since last December. Today, we’re making this available for Windows Mobile devices too.
If you’re a Windows Mobile user, browse to mobile.google.com on your device to download the plug-in and start searching faster than ever. Once you do, we think you’ll find it so much faster and easier that you’ll start conducting more mobile web searches than you ever had before. How do we know this? Well, when we look at the combined usage numbers for BlackBerry and Symbian versions of this plug-in, we see that users are able to get Google search results up to 40 percent faster. And, BlackBerry and Symbian users with the plug-in installed search 20 percent more than those without it.
We saw something similar after we launched an updated interface for Gmail on the iPhone during MacWorld earlier this year. Lots of iPhone users tried the new interface (hence the bump in Gmail pageviews between January and February), but they didn’t stick around like we hoped they would. Over the course of the next few weeks, we made some tweaks to drastically improve the speed of the product, and Gmail pageviews on the iPhone not only stabilized, but began to rise, as the graph below shows:
This link between increased usage and a faster user experience — be it search or mobile Gmail — reinforces something we at Google have known for a long time: Fast is better than slow. With mobile applications, we’re seeing that fast is much better than slow. Although this may seem pretty intuitive, it’s always nice to see new data backing this up. Moving forward, we’ll continue to focus on bringing you the fastest and most compelling mobile experiences that we can. So stay tuned!
Speaking of Windows Mobile 6, if you’re really in a rush to get the new OS onto your T-Mobile Dash, hit up the link at the end of the post to grab it. It’s the official T-Mobile release, so there shouldn’t be any compatibility problems from having another device’s ROM. And since it’s the official release, it probably has the T-Mobile branding in there as well.
Reader Jimmie tells us that he installed it just fine and his phone hasn’t been bricked. Nice work Jimbo. Now try and find the official MDA upgrade as well.