Sunday, 29 June 2008

Vodafone 1615

I thought I would put a few of my experiences down for my future reference and maybe it will be of some help to others.

I wanted to upgrade my phone and PDA to a single unit which could browse the internet, send and receive e-mails, take photos (ideally geotagged), have an inbuilt GPS for Google Maps, TomTom, Anquet, etc, have normal PDA functionality with notes, calendar and contacts, and of course make phone calls! Not a lot to ask. Oh, a sliding keyboard would be nice as well. But I also wanted to stay with the Vodafone network as it gives me the best coverage where I live and also in the Lake District.

So off I went to the Vodafone shop in the Mall one day and put the question to them. They hadn't heard of geotagging, but they recommended the Vodafone 1615 which is the HTC TyTN II, which had TomTom installed so I guessed it had a GPS. However, they hadn't got one in to show me. So I went to PC World and found a Vodafone salesman and he agreed that the Vodafone 1615 fitted the bill. They had got one in and I signed up for one there and then.

There is a long story which I won't go into about how I switched telephone numbers so I could use my old mobile number of the new phone. Anyway, that was successful eventually and I needed to switch the SIM cards over.

That was several weeks ago now and I have been having fun ever since trying to see how to use different sofware. People might be interested in each of them and the problems I have been having and in most cases the solutions.

Windows Mobile
I found that Windows Mobile 6.1 is now available from Vodafone (see here). I am always keen to upgrade software wherever possible as the latest software is usually an improvement - better functionality and fewer bugs. You need to back up the whole of the contents of the phone's memory (not the card) or be sure you can recover the contents by synchronizing from your PC Outlook, files and programs, etc. This can be a pain but is not a bad idea from time to time as it gives you an opportunity of throwing out files or programs you don't use or need. The only problem I have had with the new version is that the GPS Photo function was turned off. I found that you can turn it back on by hacking into the registry using Mobile Registry Editor and changing a value. See here.

The latest version is 4.5 and it still has problems with large amounts of data. I have had a problem with certain error codes when synchronizing. I have a large number of contacts, e-mail folders and calendar entries. I think the problem was down to the e-mail folders. (Typing in the error code got a number of threads. These were not complimentary to activesync and WM6, but seemed to point to e-mail synching.) I have disabled synchronizing e-mails as I can get e-mail directly from the phone. However, I had to reduce the folders and re-establish a new connection before it worked properly. I have since increased the number of folders with no problem.

Pocket Anquet now works properly on my machine. I have been in e-mail correspondence with them to solve some problems. Even though this is a phone, I needed to load the PocketPC version of Anquet. I have managed to get the GPS to talk to Anquet and obtain a GPS position and tracklogs by using GpsGate (see below). The tracklogs can be uploaded to Anquet on a PC, saved as a .gpx file and uploaded to EveryTrail.

Google Maps
This is a relevation. I can see where I am using Google map and satellite views. It would be good if this had a tracklogging facility.

Anquet suggested that I needed something like Franson GpsGate so that multiple applications could use the GPS data. I have installed this. It has the additional functionality of creating an NMEA logging file on the phone (and even on a website, so that your movements can be tracked by someone else - sounds useful for trekking!). Also, an NMEA file can be read by EveryTrail.

This is also a relevation. With the GPS Photo option, you can add information to a picture which records where it was taken. If you upload the photos to Flickr, for example, Flickr (limit 100Mb per month) can show the pictures on a map (a Yahoo map) exactly where they were taken. You can load them directly to EveryTrail as well and show them on your tracks. Picasa can also show photos on a map (limit 1Gb), but this time it is a Google map, which is much better, but it doesn't seem to be automatic - you've got to place them by hand - and they can't be imported to EveryTrail.)

Here is my first tracklog with photos on Everytrail using the phone: My wish is that Anquet will be able to do the same thing on an OS map using their new MARS system when it has been launched.

Microsoft Money
Microsoft do not support a Pocket PC version which can be synchronized with old versions of Money. Shame on them! So the only way I have found to do it is using Ultrasoft Money. I am trying this out on trial and it looks as though it does the same as Pocket Money.

TomTom Navigator
This program comes free with the phone. However, you can only get one free map (in my case I downloaded Bath which includes the Bristol area). Anywhere else you have to pay for.

ActiveSync 4.5 assumes you want to sync Media files. This takes a very long time and requires a lot of space. Unless you want to use your phone as an mp3 player or view videos, I would disable this and only copy across files you want manually.

Another 'nice to have' feature is to be able to blog from the phone. I have used Mail-to-Blogger, and this works, but Vodafone doesn't support blogger mobile (sending messages to

This seems to be the weakest link. With the GPS on, the battery was 50% down after 2 hours use. It takes a long time to recharge as well. I have got an extended battery which doesn't seem a big improvement. It adds to the thickness and weight of the phone. I have been told of iDOL which I might consider at some future date.

No comments: