Category Archives: Mobile

Generally Windows Mobile, but could be phone, gadget or device related

SharePoint Online (O365) and Windows Phone

I LOVE the ability to view my SharePoint calendars in Outlook right with my Exchange calendars.  This is one of the greatest features ever in my opinion.  The problem now is that I expect to be able to do the same thing on my smartphone devices – but cannot.

Playing with the Windows Phone (pre-Mango) tonight and was hoping to be able to display a SharePoint calendar in my phone’s calendar view.  You’d think if anyone could do it, it should be the MS device but no go. 

Here’s the official post/statement:

Ok.  It’s lame, but Mango isn’t that far out, so we’ll just wait and see. 

Sad smile

To be fair, I haven’t found a way to get this to work on the iPhone/iPad either, though there are a number of 3rd party apps available to assist with access to SharePoint sites.  On the iPad, the screen is big enough to actually navigate to the calendar site itself, which is better than nothing, but I still would like the one-stop-shop available with Outlook. 

Bamboo got close at one point – it looks like a product called MashPoint actually allowed some functionality for ‘real’ SharePoint servers for 2007, but nothing is available for 2010 or the Office 365 solution (sandbox solution).    

If Mango can pull this off – major points to them.  It still won’t solve the problem of my wife wanting to access our family SharePoint calendar on O365 though… Her employer doesn’t allow browser access to O365 – #FAIL. 

OneNote Needs Mind-Mapping

I recently saw a post about a Microsoft-hosted event called the 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum, which reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post – a request to Microsoft:

Please add mind-mapping functionality to OneNote. 

That’s it. 

It really should be there – here’s why:

  • Kids are using it – It just makes sense to them because it’s the way we all think.  My second grader came home from school and showed me his ‘research paper’ that included what he called a ‘web’. It was a mind-map. Kids are already being trained to use this method for learning, organizing their thoughts and working from them. Fantastic. 
    Now, bear in mind that our kids to to a STEM school, so all public schools might not be using mind-maps yet, but they should. They used a tool called Kidspiration / Inspiration.  They weren’t sure which one. 
    I picked up the Home and Student version of Microsoft Office 2010 which includes OneNote and the kids are all over it – they love it.  Adding the mind-mapping capability just seems to be the next step. 
    Kids today are the future of your software market.  Yea, I know it’s a cliché, but it’s true and there are more of them than there are of us – so it’s a good investment.      
  • College age students would use it too – I can’t imagine how different my note-taking would have been with a mind-mapping tool and the right hardware that’s available now. 
  • Adults are using it – More and more I’m seeing people in meetings using some sort of mind-mapping software to take notes, which I think is fantastic.  I use a tool on my iPad right now called iThoughtsHD which is pretty good and is supposed to sync with client apps, though I don’t have one yet. In the meantime I just use the e-mail method which sends a list view of the content along with an image of the map. 
    For the same reason that it works for kids, it works for adults too – it’s a tool that’s consistent with the way we think. 
  • It makes sense and is an extension of the other note-taking that people want to do.  Let’s get it in the right tool.  If you step back and think about it, the core functionality seems to align with what’s already available in Visio for managing shapes and relationships, but the user scenarios are more aligned with OneNote.  Students and kids aren’t going to buy Visio. 
  • Once it’s built into OneNote, let me have the other Office integration features that we’re used to: create tasks that link to Outlook and SharePoint.
  • Let me add people as nodes – people pulling from my Outlook, the SharePoint Profile Store or Exchange.  
  • While you’re putting that together – make an iPhone and iPad version of it that syncs to the Cloud…  Smile 


Oh, and meanwhile, Kid #1 comes up to me one morning and asks “How can I get access to my OneNote at school?”.  Smart little bugger. Now I need to get them set up on Live

Thanks for listening. 

idubbs Blog Site Update

Started out with some routine maintenance and wanting to do a little enhancement: Update the blog engine to the latest version while adding twitter link capability to posts.  Ended up doing a bit more for fun.  Smile 

  • Backed up the WordPress site files and content (db).  You don’t really care about this, but I needed to do it before upgrading anything…  There are some more elegant methods and tools available, but I just did it manually this time around.  
  • Upgraded the MySQL and PHP engines.  You don’t care – no biggie. What is cool about upgrading this and the mySQL engine is that they were both done really easily due to the way WestHost has their site management set up – kudos to them. 
  • Upgraded the WordPress software.  Again, you don’t care, it doesn’t change the way anything looks.  Again, what is cool is the way that WordPress has their updates now – all automatic via the administration interface.  Slick.
  • Added the Tweet This plugin to allow users to tweet posts and post facebook statuses.  (cool)  This you might care about – if you’re able to find anything useful here and want to easily share it with others.  I hope you do…
  • Added a plugin to change the mobile experience, which works really well for iPhone users.  This – is really cool.  Thanks to @AndrewWoody for the heads up on this one – very slick for iPhone users to access the site.  WPTouch plugin.   
  • Adding another plugin to improve the experience for Windows Mobile users.  Thanks to @bsimser for raising the issue for WP7 users (since I’m not one yet) and @AndrewWoody again for ID’ing the fix – WPSuperCache plugin

And now, back to SharePoint…

OneNote for the iPhone (and iPad)

Microsoft finally released a version of OneNote that is available for the iPhone platform.  Right now it works for both the iPhone and iPad, but is really an iPhone app.  I’m hoping that they get back to work and come up with a real iPad version that takes advantage of the platform.  Until then, this is at least a step forward. 

First of all – it’s free for a ‘limited time’.  So go get it now.

You need to log in with a Windows Live ID before you can use the iPhone client version, which at first seems a little limiting but it comes with what I consider one of the coolest benefits: The notebooks and notes are automatically sync’ed with your Windows Live SkyDrive

Now, I’m not going to get into all of the features of the clients or server capabilities, but with the latest and greatest of these products the integration is pretty cool.  Once your notes are sync’ed up to the SkyDrive you can use the 2010 web applications to add/edit notes right in the browser or open them up in your OneNote 2010 client application for the full-featured experience. 


And of course, you can create new notes both in the browser or on your client which will then sync up with your iPhone device. 

I realize that Evernote has been doing the multi-platform thing for quite some time, but I prefer the rich capabilities of the OneNote client when I have it available – so I’m excited to take a step down this path. 

Now, to figure out how to incorporate SharePoint in the mix… I’m pretty sure I can get it there – maybe with SharePoint Workspace…

Have fun!

Windows Mobile 6

Went to the MLB09-TLC presentation on the top 10 features of Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 yesterday.  I don’t think it was as much a ‘Top 10’ as much as it was a good overview of the new product, lots of new devices and highlighting some of the new features and capabilities.  Don’t get me wrong, it was cool.  I’m most likely going to be picking up or ordering a new device this week for one reason or another.  The things I ended up focusing on are:

  •  SEARCH – holy cow, this rocks.  I’m comparing the search capabilities that you had in XP and going to Vista with the search capability of Mobile 6 as it compared to version 5.  There is so much more value here.
  • The two versions have changed names.  Where there used to be SmartPhone and Pocket PC versions, now there are Standard (for SmartPhones – no touch screen) and Professional (for the Pocket PC devices with touch screens)
  • Professional has spell checking
  • There are increased security features and policies available
  • You can encrypt the SD Card (but not the on-board memory)
  • You have the ability to set up a device wipe if logon password is repeatedly entered wrong
  • You may have the ability to wipe the device remotely if the device is lost (this won’t wipe the SD card)
  • Amongst other features, you have the ability to set and manage Out of Office settings. 

And much more, but those are the highlights. 

Windows Mobile and Daylight Savings Time

Make sure your Windows Mobile device is updated to deal with the upcoming DST changes going into effect this weekend!  From the T-Mobile site, though I’m guessing it applies to any Windows Mobile device:

From your PC:
Go to using a computer that is connected to your device with a USB cable. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the update.

From your phone:
Select Windows Mobile ( from your list of favorites. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the update.

T-Mobile was nice enough to text message me regarding this.  🙂 

What happened to e-books on Amazon?

Where did the e-books on go?  When did they stop offering them?  What the heck?!?! 

I loved the ability to find all the books I was looking for and then having my choice of formats – no longer. 

The only thing I can find in reference to any change is this page:

It looks like they’ve outsourced to Mobipocket.   

Some of the other larger vendors out there are:

But I’d still like to know what Amazon’s reasons were for bailing on the format.  🙁 

Windows Mobile Phone

Earlier this year, I picked up a T-Mobile MDA with Windows Mobile 5.0 – finally allowing me to consolidate phone and PDA hardware after using Palm OS devices since 1998 or so.  I originally wanted to write about it then, but life got away from me. 

One of the only problems I had been having with the device prior to the OS upgrade is that every so often it would lose network connection and take forever to reconnect – usually making me do a soft-reboot after which everything was fine, but irritating.  Supposedly, the new OS takes care of this issue. 

So, this past weekend I updated my ROM – from v1.8.10.104 to v2.26.10.2 (I think – I also see in some places).  This effectively wiped everything out and allowed me to start over.  So, I’ll catalogue a few things at this point. 

I had a number of apps installed and wanted to move things around a bit, mostly getting as much as I could off of the main memory space and on to the storage card.  So far I’ll be loading the essentials:

eWallet – Password storage (encrypted)
Voice Command – Hands-free functionality
Sudoku Master – yea, yea… 

Other general notes:  With the ‘full’ keyboard, messaging is SO much easier.  I’ve never been a huge text message user, but the first day of Tech Ed this year I realized how much I was going to be using this option and called T-Mobile to upgrade to a messaging plan.  They were very helpful in allowing me to upgrade and absorb all the messages I had already used (aka – gone over my limit). 

more later…