Fail HTC iPAQ OrangeUK Uncategorized Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade #Orange #Fail

Well, what a difference a day makes. Sad to say I have reverted to Windows Mobile 6.1 on my Touch Pro2 phone. Whilst the ability to get a better signal is really good, and the new interface is more colourful there were 2 major fails in the upgrade for me. And then things got more interesting…

So what’s wrong with WinMo6.5 over 6.1

Item 1: WiFi
In 6.1 there is a useful checkbox on the WiFi setup that says “disable wifi after signal is lost”. This is designed to prevent you wasting battery life hunting for signals when you leave the house/office. However in my situation I deliberately leave this unchecked as I work from home, and the WiFi signal drops out briefly between house and the barn, and also in some areas of the house (early 19th Century brick walls attenuate WiFi quite well).

What this meant for me was that I would have to knowingly switch off WiFi on leaving the house (and back on when returning), but it protected me from the signal dropping out and then reverting my phone to GSM data and then potentially going over my data allocation and incurring costs. This could mean £££ to me.

Worse still – when 6.5 loses WiFi, it sometimes drops the icon, and sometimes doesn’t. I also found that the WiFi icon could still be on the taskbar, but in fact WiFi was off, and therefore GSM data was being consumed. This is, quite frankly, unacceptable. There is no excuse for a system that informs you that you are not spending money, when in fact you are.

Item 2: Application status.
My method of using the phone for work is not especially demanding (I think), but of pretty high importance to me.

These days I use RSS feeds and Twitter to get a shedload of data to me, and consumed (or ignored!) without spending too much time on it.

So Working Practice number 1 is to have a Twitter reader (Twikini at first, but now moTweets) open and then either a) jump to referenced URL’s or b) email the tweet to myself or others. As soon as the tweet is dealt with, move on the next and so on. It generates a bit of firehose data for my inbox, but it traps information and enables me to go back to it or search later.

Working Practice number 2 is to use Google Reader (as there is not RSS reader for WinMo that allows me to read across all feeds in date/time order) and likewise email links to me or others, or mark as favourites. Again, as soon as the email is done I like to go back to IE/opera and read the next blog entry

Well, after the upgrade to 6.5 the applications I use no longer retain context and status. In a horrible foreshadowing of Windows Phone 7 Series the applicatations (moTweets, Opera, Twikini) restart when I switch back.

So for Twitter apps – they refresh, and I lose my place
For a browser it goes back to my home page.

This utterly destroys the way I work. The phone became an expensive paperweight almost immediately.

Bear in mind that I\’ve been a adopter of Windows Mobile since the original iPAQ came out, and have stuck with it until (with 6.1 on the Touch Pro2) it acheived a capabilty that was finally good enough, and one I feel i can unabigously evangelise.  So to want to revert, or have a paperweight phone was not something i felt good about.

Then it got interesting.

Orange Fail
En route to my parents for the Rugby matches yesterday I rang orange business support and after some umming and erring, and a discussion with senior tech support I was called back within the hour (good!), to say – yes this was by design.

So I asked to revert to 6.1, could they send me the URL to the correct ROM and therefore I’d put the time in.

At this point Orange said that they could not do this – because of licencing with Microsoft, HTC and Orange were “not allowed” to provide the means to go back in operating system levels. Indeed Orange say that if you send in a 6.1 phone to them, they will upgrade it to 6.5 for you before shipping back – appaling news to hear. They also said that there were no legitimate means to do this, and although I could use XDA developers or similar, I would lose support.

I fumed.

Then I got to my parents and got on the net. Looking here I found that what might be Touch Pro2 Orange Windows Mobile 6.1 ROM (it’s the Orange_UK file dated 2009-09-28). I downloaded it before it could be removed (!) and applied it to the phone. To my delight no warning about downgrading the phone was shown, and after a couple of reboots my 6.1 phone was back.
The extra bonus for me is that I have a fairly recent email from Orange Support that says for the Touch Pro2, any file from HTC is supported – so if I have a problem I can qute that and have Orange continue to support my phone

Albeit after that I needed to connect to Exchange and My Phone to get most of my data back, and then re-install applications.

But – I can work as before; and I have acheived something Orange said could not be done. 

My thanks to HTC for keeping the ROM builds up there

By P J Bryant

Ramblings of a freelance IT Consultant working for some nice SME's, large organisations, resellers and the usual friends and family! Bit of

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