HTC Touch Diamond: Windows Mobile 6.5

Scoring twice with the same product. Apple did it again. First they launched the iPhone, and two years later they release a firmware update that contains all important functions – which are standard in most mobiles – that the iPhone lacks. To be honest, when I saw my twitter account full of tweets of happy campers who upgraded their iPhone with the latest firmware, I was jealous.

For over a month I could test an Android G1, but as I had to give it back, I was stuck with my HTC Touch Diamond again. I didn’t like the Windows Mobile 6.1 / Touch Flow anymore, so why shouldn’t I try to flash the ROM?

Some trial and error later: tadaa, a HTC Touch Diamond with Windows Mobile 6.5!
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The Home screen

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The start menu

You can hardly operate a Windows Mobile 6.1 device without having to use the stylus. With a WM 6.5 this is much less the case. As you can see in the picture below, the menu options are much bigger, which makes it less difficult to operate it with your fingers. No more fiddling with the stylus anymore if you want to use the basic functions (taking a call, checking your mail, etc.)

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How to upgraden?
http://forum.xda-developers.com/ is the place to be!

1) Create a free account. You’ll need it to be able to download attachments.
2) Read this forum post and carefully follow the instructions!
2.1) Upgrading to HardSPL
2.2) Upgrading Radio
2.3) Flashing a ROM (see point 3)
3) I used this (BsB 6.5L Black) ROM

Android On A HTC Diamond or Raphael

If you have a HTC Diamond or a Raphael and you want to experience how Android feels like, you should check out the Android ports of Connect-UTB. The installation is very easy and doesn’t need any tweaking nor configuration. Just download the package, copy it to your HTC, do a reboot and click on the executable.

What you get to see is what Android looks like. Unfortunately it’s far from functional and besides opening some simple applications or moving widgets you can’t do much with it. You can’t even make a phone call. Although making an outbound call is possible, you can’t hear eachother.

It lacks a decent soft-keyboard which is pretty needfull since the Diamond has no onboard keyboard. It’s fun to play with, but that basically it. Don’t use this port to judge Android, because “the real deal” rocks big time! Just see it as a teaser.

Android on HTC

Android on HTC

Google Launches Google Voice

A few days ago Google launched Google Voice. It’s an incredible smart solution for he who uses a (mobile) phone. So basically: everybody. Unfortunately it’s not yet opened for everybody, and currently only in the US.

Google Voice can do lot’s of things you didn’t even know you would ever need. First of all you only need one number for all your telecom devices. You can select which phones need to ring when someone tries to reach you on your Google number. You can block calls, forward calls and reroute calls. You can text sms’s make calls and ofcourse receive calls. You can even do a listen in: before you decide to answer your caller you can listen to what he’s is telling you on your voicemail. I think I would be a great fan of that function.

Your voicemail has also some other very interesting features, like voicemail transcripts (get an email with the text what your voicemail says) and personalization greetings. Say “hello” to your boss and “Wazaah” to your friends.

It can even do more: you can set up conference calls, record calls and switch from device while you are calling. And all of this for free! I can’t wait until this is available in my country.

HTC Touch Diamond External Storage

The HTC Touch Diamond is equipped with 4GB internal memory only. It has no extension ports for external memory like SD or micro SD cards. It has a mini USB port however, and thats something we might be able to use to connect any USB device.

To try this out, I grabbed some stuff together:

The HTC Touch Diamond, a USB B mail to a USB A female and a 2GB Sony micro Tiny Vault

We plug the memorycard into the USB adapter.

We connect the USB adapter, with memory cart to the HTC.

Tadaaa: external memory for a HTC Touch Diamond!

Ok, blink your eyes, because things don’t look what they are. The pictures are real, no post processing is done on those. The screen of the HTC is real as well. But the screen that is shown is a manipulated screenshot shown as an full screen image. Currently it’s not possible to connect a USB device to the USB port of the HTC Touch Diamond as it is lacking the USB Host possibilities (no USB Host chipset) That’s why you can’t use any connected USB devices with the HTC.

Via WMPowerUser.com I red an article that HTC is using some kind of a USB connector to flash their devices without the need of a computer. While booting you’ll have to press a certain key combination and that’s how you would be able to flash the device with a ROM that is stored on an external SD card, connected to the HTC via a Y cable. That Y cable is needed to foresee the USB port from power as this isn’t available from the device. Something that won’t be needed with a real USB host, as those are providing power to the USB devices by themselves.

There are also some other XDA-Developers busy experimenting with all kind of cables and drivers, but it seems that it was not very successful after all.

Except maybe for Zeno and his USB Host Drivers. It seems to work on some devices, but I already tested it on my HTC with no luck at all. I think we have to admit, if the hardware isn’t present, it will never work.