As buying and renovating a house has been my biggest concern for the last couple of years, Christmas presents have mostly consisted of dishwashers and carpets! So this year was a pleasant return to getting lots of gadgets.
I finally got a digital camera, a Panasonic FX-01, mostly for the 28mm equivalent lens. It’s gonna take me a bit of getting used to as until now the only digital camera I’ve had experience with is my Dad’s Canon EOS 350D SLR.
The other major gadget I got was the new XDA Orbit. The motivation for which primarily being the Windows Mobile Queen rather tactlessly telling me my XDA Exec was a big old brick in front of Robert Scoble! The fact that she was dead on is here nor there of course!! 😀
I don’t quite know how I’ve coped for the last year actually, the XDA Exec, whilst having a large, hi-res screen and an excellent keyboard really was very slow and bulky. Sometimes it took upwards of 3 seconds to answer the phone. In contrast the Orbit is fairly slight for a Windows Mobile 5.0 device, coming in close to the size of the ubiquitous HTC SmartPhone, it’s also snappy and has a Sansa-esque dial and trackball in place of the usual 4-way navigation controls.
That is all on top of the Orbit’s main selling point. It has a built in GPS receiver. It unfortunately drains the battery quite severely, but apart from that it’s seriously cool. I’ve installed TomTom Navigator 6 and have used it a couple of times to and from work to get to grips with it and I have to be honest I like it. I only ever need a GPS when I’m going to new places on my own (not that often) or if the traffic is so bad on my commute that I need to go cross country, so having the option to turn it on when needed is excellent.
Since I only got TomTom Navigator 6 recently I was searching the web for a free Windows Mobile 5.0 GPS program as you get nothing with the actual phone that can do it. It’s because of this that I found one of the best idea’s for a mash-up app seen. Virtual Earth Mobile uses the Microsoft Virtual Earth API to bring the mapping technology to the Pocket PC and SmartPhone, but more importantly it also has the ability to use an attached GPS to sync the program to your current location. There is something seriously cool about being able to get an aerial photo of your current location at the tap of a button!