Merlion NG v1.61 creates its own milestone

Ever since I started building the new series of Merlion Leo ROM, I started to see more interest probably because it’s based on the new Windows Mobile 6.5 platform. Lately, I have updated the ROM with newer version of drivers and the necessary configurations,  and that  was a huge performance booster!

There must be some correlation between the number of clicks the ROM download link got, versus the performance of the ROM. Within 2 days of release, it got more than 200 of clicks. Okay, not a great deal for the mainstream  ROMs like Miri or Energy, or the actual download is approximately just 3/4 of of the clicks. Regardless,that’s a significant milestone for Merlion NG series in my humble opinion.

The demographic of my user base is pretty much expected. Since I have build the Chinese Simplified Input/Display support, I would naturally anticipate most of the users to come from a Chinese populated location. So users from Singapore & China made up close to 60% of Merlion NG series total user base. What’s interesting is I do have users from the Europe & Middle East countries.

If you have not flashed the latest Merlion NG series ROM (v1.65), you should because you never know what you have been missing until you have tried it. Some had even described the ROM to be on steroid,  or on drug cocktail!  Don’t believe? See the below performance chart of the NG series ROM performance.

If the chart above does not give you much context, just imagine this. A stock (i.e. official) ROM would only achieve a total SPB benchmark index of 1590. In comparison to the latest release of Merlion NG series, the latter is 2 times faster! Even for the first generation of Merlion series, v2.68 is generally one of the better performing ROM among the rest of HD2 custom ROMs, so I will not be surprised, if we were to put a ranking table to compare the performance of all the custom ROMS in xda-developers or htcpedia, Merlion NG series should be in the top ranks, if not right at the top 😉

ShowTraffic with Google Map Traffic

ShowTraffic SG has been updated to release 1.2. It fixes some bugs, and introduce a new feature to support Google Map Traffic, which enables one to go directly to Google Map from Show Traffic application.

You can download from here Update on 28th Jan: version 1.3 has been released to fix a bug and also added two new camera points.

Show Traffic for Singapore (v1.1) with kinetic scrolling

Kinetic scrolling is essentially a new improved way of scrolling a page, or a list, and is finger friendly and visually more pleasant. It was first found in iPhone user interface, but more and more applications in other mobile platform, such as Windows Mobile, Symbian, are following suite. In Windows Mobile, there is no SDK exists, to my knowledge, to enable developers to add this new scrolling feature to the application without substantial development work.

Last weekend, I managed to reverse engineer this feature and included it in my latest Show Traffic application. Check out the video, and you know what I’m talking about!

You can download the latest version from this link. Version 1.1 is now “skinable” (yay! my first skinable appy) and is compatible to both Q(W)VGA and (W)VGA Windows Mobile devices.

To skin the application, you have to modify the following image files

  1. BG_selector background image of the item
  2. BG_highlight background image of the selected item
  3. BG_spacer background image of the spacer between items
  4. BG_title background image of the title bar (at the top of the application)

Additionally, if your skin is a white/light-color based theme, then you need to change the foreground and background colour so that the text can be readable on your light-color based theme. This setting can be found in the registry path (HKCU\Software\Zenyee\ShowTraffic) You can download this zip file for a sample light-based skin with the appropiate registry.

Show Traffic – Another Windows Mobile quicky app

TrafficCamYou may like to call it an iPhone app clone. I got to acknowledged, that iPhone apps, less those mind-less ones, have been churned to serve a purpose in one’s daily life. Traffic CAM SG is one of them, which displays the road traffic in Singapore highways.

However, other than a more intuitive interface as a result of the iPhone UI, there isn’t really a breakthrough functionality that can’t be offered outside of iPhone. The live traffic, is afterall taken from the local authority website (OneMotoring), and I decided to bring this capability to Windows Mobile world.

That said, the Windows Mobile SDK doesn’t really offer gesture-based interface, unless you work in the native C++ environment. Since this application is meant to be a “quicky” one (as I cannot afford to burn my weekend just for this) so I have to design and build based on what compact .NET framework could allow me. This is built in less than half a day, including creating the graphics and the testing of the links, so please pardon this appy for its very basic interface.

Note:  Traffic images and contents are sourced from Intelligent Transport System Centre of LTA (Land Transport Authority). You may go to this OneMotoring link for the online version.

You can download the beta from here (only WVGA/VGA supported at the moment)

New hack to disable HTC’s messaging application

HTC has, since manila 2.5, designed and developed a completely new text messaging application (HTC Messaging App) to replace the old Windows messaging application for the entire SMS/text messaging functionality. Some of you may not be affected by the poor performance of HTC messaging app. But for me, it’s so poor that despite trimming my text messages to just 200, every operation (open message, compose a message, etc) takes a few seconds at least, and it is just not usable for me. It looks to me as if HTC has designed, developed and tested with just a handful messages in mind.

So I did some investigation, and found out a way to disable HTC messaging app, and revert back to the original Windows messaging application, i.e. pocket outlook, for text messaging. Technically speaking, it’s a combination of registry tweak and a small patch utility I wrote to overcome a bug/problem as a result of disabling HTC messaging application.

Screen03

Installation process will automatically apply the hack and install the patch utility

You need to restart your device to have the changes effect

You need to restart your device to have the changes effect

Uninstallation will undo the hack automatically

Uninstallation will undo the hack automatically

You can download from here

Back your favorite people up!

Last Sunday, I told myself that I would spent 10 minutes to do something productive. I did, and ended doing more.

“Back FavPeople Up!” is the latest software I have created for Windows Mobile devices that sport HTC’s touchflo 3d user interface. Basically it is a backup utility tool to manage the  favorite contacts found in the touchflo’s “People” tab. The challenge here is not so much about building the application itself (as I have found out building using managed code speed up the development cycle tremendously). It is really the effort to find out how and where HTC embeds its favorite contact information. After scanning through the entire windows registry and hundreds of manila files (HTC’s custom xml files), I figured out that it must be in the PIM database, where all the contacts, appointments, etc are stored.

The hack requires some understanding of the POOM (Pocket Outlook Object Model), and contact is one of the objects in the model. After some trial and error, I finally found out that the information are saved under the property set in the contact object

For download of the utility, you can go to xda-develoeprs to download