What I’ve Learned about my Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone


Ok, I know I just raved about my new phone like every other MS employee. No, they are not just dropping them off at everyones door.  Yes, they do give us a pretty good discount on them. I spent a lot of time over the last few days trying to learn everything I could about it and have been wanting to write this post to share the things I’ve found with others and have as a personal reference for myself.  And I haven’t even started writing any software for it. 

  1. Backing it up: Before I really started playing around I wanted to back up the functioning phone I had already setup to synch with my mail. A bunch of people raved about it, so I purchased Sprite Backup for Smartphone and it worked as expected.  Now I’m safe to play around a bit more.
  2. Task Switching: I found it a bit disturbing that most of the default applications don’t have a shortcut or menu item for “close” or “exit”.  Even the manual says something like “if your phone starts slowing down please open the task manager application and shut down some applications”. That just seems wrong.  The default task manager also seemed cumbersome for switching applications.  One of the top Smartphone downloads is a application called “Xbar” so I paid a few bucks for that.  Now I have a clock on the Icon Bar, easily switch to and close applications, and even see the temperature on the back of the phone!
  3. On Gaming: I’ve been able to run several smartphone games, SNES , NES, Atari, Sega, and Gameboy emulators.  They all look great. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a great input mechanism of the phone for gaming that lives up to the performance of the screen.  Forget any sort of action game or something that requires simultaneous button pushes. I’m still trying to find the best version of Tetris, but so far Worms is my favorite. The graphics are great, the controls are simple enough for the phone, and it’s just fun to blow up other worms with a sheep bomb. I’ll take any other recommendations.
  4. Activesynch Remote Display is cool for entering in a lot of text and even better if you learn the additional shortcuts.
  5. Media: My phone came with photo contacts/callerID software. Music and small video files seem to play great, but I’m really waiting for my 512 miniSD card to try out something like this and get podcasts/video right onto my phone. I’m really looking forward to getting all the video highlights from MLB games next season on my phone.
  6. Writing custom home screens. This is the best information I could find.  I just wonder if something is updated for the Smartphone 2003 OS since this doc was for the 2002 release.
    1. Personally I just wanted to make some tweaks to the default screen. I’m not done, but see below for what I have so far. You can Download my XML.
  7. Home_Restore: If you want to play around with some of the complete themes for your smartphone you are going to want to read this post and download the home_restore cab. It will change your extra screens back to the default.  
  8. Community: There are some really great smartphone user communities out there. I would recommend coolsmartphone, airfagev, smartgamer, and especially the modaco forums.
  9. The battery: I learned that having it sync all my mail every 15 minutes drains the battery pretty quickly. I’ve changed this to 60 minutes during peak times (I have unlimited data) and only every 4 hours in off peak time. Since I make this change the battery doesn’t seem to drain as fast and I can always manually start a synch.

Of course I’m still looking for a bunch of stuff.

  • A good RSS reader with autosync options and homescreen integration.
  • More games that work well with the input available.
  • A good weather plugin for the home screen.
  • Web pages designed for a higher end mobile device. My problem with most of the default links on the device is that the sites were clearly written for a phone that couldn’t show pictures or download a lot of date. For example: I keep having to click “More” on the mobile ESPN links. Why not just download the whole story?  Some “full” web pages work well, but not any complicated ones.
  • Anything else you guys think is cool????
Comments (29)

  1. cburrows says:

    hey josh, as for games, i recommend popcap game’s smartphone pack 1. popcap makes the addictive little yahoo-games-ish games that typically involve lining up pieces of the same shape or color in some way. from the pack, i’ve become addicted to "mummy maze," which is actually a really good (and occasionally frustrating) puzzle game. anyway, you can try them for free before you decide to buy.

    http://www.astraware.com/wmsp/

    – chris

  2. This Tetris looks and works great on my SMT5600: It’s called KevTris and available at http://www.angelfire.com/indie/caywen/.

  3. Josh Ledgard says:

    Thanks for the links guys. Once I get a few more I’ll update the entry.

  4. Steve Barron says:

    http://mobile.stevebarron.net

    I put these games together in VB.NET a couple of months ago, originally from a quick port of a Windows Forms-based VB.NET. They are mostly poker variants.

    As you mentioned, fast user interaction is a pain. I started writing a space invaders style game but I couldn’t respond to a move and fire at the same time, so I gave up.

    I’ve also experienced the problem you mentioned where "mobile" sites are too simple and standard sites are too complex. This is exacerbated by the fact that many browser detectors think this is not a mobile device so you end up with the full site.

  5. I like iNoah and iPedia (http://www.arslexis.com/sm/index.html). But that’s probably because I wrote them.

  6. jledgard says:

    Someone sent me a good weather link:

    http://www.connectedbits.com/Weather.htm

    Free and it works great.

  7. Josh Ledgard says:

    I don’t have a bluetooth headset yet, but this will probably come in handy when I do.

    http://www.modaco.com/index.php?showtopic=99493

  8. Bill says:

    Josh or any other viewers, have you had any issues with dust under the screen? I purchased a 5600 this week and have just now come across several forum posts about dust under the screen (search on Google for audiovox 5600 & dust & screen). I do not currently have this issue, but will return the phone within the 30 day period if it happens. Hope not, I love this little phone.

  9. josh ledgard says:

    From what I’ve heard this problem was most prevalent on the first production run of the phone. Apparently, most people that recently purchased one, will have one from after the point when an adjustment was made to eliminate the issue.

  10. Dan Bartels says:

    Here is a podacast client (under development)

    http://www.equin.co.uk/ipoddersp/

    and this is the best RSS newsreader I have found…

    http://www.iliumsoft.com/site/nw/nb_ss2.htm

    (it can do alerts, but no homescreen integration yet… as far as I can tell)

    Enjoy

    Dan

  11. wackyjackie says:

    so far i only got what it came with, jawbreaker and solitaire! though i play these two about one million times daily cuz i’m a loser like that, i do wish i had chess. it would improve my life tremendously

  12. Kevin Harder says:

    I have a new cell phone, again. My previous one was provided my by last employer, and so I had the good…

  13. Kenneth says:

    I wonder if this phone works with 512 mb mini sd card and whether it comes with a touch screen.

    These are important factors for me to consider buying it.

    I had bad experience with TREO650 and SE P910 and would not want it to happen again.

  14. Jason says:

    Gotta agree with Rohan – Kevtris is pretty sweet. Some of the other clones are good too, but this one is free.

  15. James says:

    Hey!!

    Are the games downloadable by comp and synchable via USB?

  16. MSDNArchive says:

    As far as I know… yes.

  17. James says:

    Awwww!! You cannot use MP3s as ringtones >_< That’s cheap 🙁

    All this functionality and it can only play midi tones for ringers? I can’t even find the ringtone storage area. Awww I have spent so much…*cries*

  18. JL says:

    Actually you CAN use MP3 and WMA ringtones… just drop your MP3 or WMA file into the "StorageApplication DataSounds" folder.

  19. James says:

    JL…..u are my savoir!!! lmao

    This phone is now officially the best phone I have had yet. Sanyo VM4500…eat your heart out!!! This 5600 is untouchable! (so far ^_^)

    Translated: Thanks! I was about to return it 🙂

  20. Paul says:

    Great Chess game for our wonderful phones! and its Free!

    http://www.valil.com/chess2/

  21. Michael says:

    Hi I had been to your blog before to get useful information. I am back now b/c my smt5600 won’t charge up. I have replaced the battery but it won’t turn on or take a charge. I have also tried three different chargers. Any thoughts? Do i have too bad batteries or did my phone break when I let the battery completely die.

    Thanks,

    Michael

  22. MSDNArchive says:

    Hi Michael. Sorry to say that since I don’t work on the smartphone I really can’t help you. My guess would be two bad batteries, but I have no real idea what your problem might be.

    One time mine refused to turn on for a while… I took the battery out and let it sit on it’s own (sort of a "timeout" for my phone) overnight and then put the battery back in and it miraculously worked again.

  23. Doug says:

    everything that i have downloaded for my smt5600 has not worked. I get a message saying "not a valid windows ce app…and everything that I download is based on users’ experience, such as on this site. Somtimes the message" not from a trusted source…do you want to continue?" precludes the ‘error’ message. CAN SOMEONE HELP ME?

  24. Jonathan says:

    Great website.

    Do you have any tips for making the phone faster – sometimes I have a big lag when switching between pages (i.e. press the button….wait wait wait….then the phone responds). Is this a memory buffer issue?

  25. MSDNArchive says:

    Sorry, no tips that I know of… I do restart my phone every other day or so just because I know that some 3rd party apps tend to stay running and consuming memory/proc time in the background of WM 2003.  Restart ensures they are cleaned out.

  26. alex says:

    i am loving this 5600, but i cant seem to accept files that people are trying to send me throught the bluetooth option. has anyone encountered this also? help please!

  27. DSPL says:

    I just received my 5600… I’m having a hard time customizing the sucker…  I’ve seen lots of pictures on the net of the 5600 with nice home screens and different colors.  Mine is blue and there is nothing I can really change.  Is this something I have to download?

  28. Simeon Foti says:

    Hey thanks for letting me fully access all the goodness of the 5600. Had a question though. I installed a few things on my storage card rather then my phone to save space. Is there a way i can have a shortcut in my programs files for it. I have created a folder in programs files and put the shortcut inside of it but it doesn’t work. If you could tell me how to sync my phone with an exchange server that would be great too. You rock!

  29. John K says:

    This phone has been great since I unlocked it but the only thing I don’t like is after every call, instead of going to the home screen, it stays on "View Calendar".  Annoying.  I also have the Bluetooth tranfer issues.  All in all.  A great phone.