In my opinion, the best stuff at CTIA this year, besides the prototype gadgets of course, was definitely the software. Read on for the list of what I found to be the highlights...
Of course, the big software news is that Windows Mobile 06 will be available on all Treo 750s (and here's the photo we took of it), Cingular, Vodaphone, or otherwise. Palm has not talked about availability or price as of yet, but you can expect an update from us as soon as we know.
We have talked to Yahoo! Go team and they confirmed that Yahoo Go will be available on Windows Mobile Treos soon. Currently it's only available on "tall screen" Windows Mobile Smartphone Edition phones, such as the T-Mobile SDA or the Cingular 3125. Other screen sizes shouldn't be too far off, though we were unable to obtain an ETA. The folks at Yahoo! Go have "thought about" a Palm OS version, but wouldn't confirm or deny plans.
SimulScribe were able to give us a demonstration of their software service that transcribes voice mail to text, emails it to you, and includes the voicemail as a .wav in case you wish to listen to it. It looks very nice and is available now on a multitude of carriers. Exciting advanced features are in the works and should be available for Blackberries, Windows Mobile, and Palm OS.
Upon entry to the MobileFocus event, we got a very thorough demonstration of the capability of Kinoma Player 4's Directory Service. Although they apparently hadn't planned for it to be one of the more compelling features of the software, it definitely is. The directory service was intended instead to be a demonstration of the mobile content that is available free over the internet. However, they've been receiving so many submissions of content since the launch of their latest Kinoma Player 4 EX, it's really become a key feature.
Pinger was there and their social / business collaboration software is very cool. We have reviews for it coming up soon -- Treocentral's from Jay, WMExperts's from Dieter.
EA Mobile, at the MobileFocus event, confirmed plans to release games for Windows Mobile as early as this year. Game releases for Palm OS were mentioned as a definite possibility; iPod games are already a reality. The representative was unable to comment on Apple iPhone games.
Nuance Communications, whom you may recall from a somewhat popular T9-vs-speech-to-text YouTube video from a few months ago, demoed a version of their VoiceControl software on PalmOS at Palm's larger booth. You can assign a button to initiate a request on PalmOS, the service will encrypt, upload, and convert your voice to search, perform the query, and return the results to your mobile device. The software requires a data connection to operate; and can support a rather large amount of queries and open the appropriate applications.
Emtac, early Bluetooth GPS pioneers, will have version 3.5 of their EMTAC Navigator GPS software available in the next couple of months, which will include 2007 maps from Navteq. Their recently revised Mini S3 GPS receiver should be very affordable as well.
In all, it was a decent conference. I was surprised by some of the no-shows: Jabra, T-Mobile, and Verizon, but I was also pleasantly surprised to see all of the gadget fun. See you next fall!