Tag Archives: AT&T

My New AT&T Tilt 2 by HTC – Windows Phone 6.5

Note from 2010:  For those of you still on Windows Mobile 6.0 or 6.5, I highly suggest you look into installing a custom ROM on your phone.   The carriers release these phones to market and rarely go back and provide updates.  As a result, your operating system is stuck at a point in time and VERY out of date. Plus, a custom ROM gives you a “purer” experience without all the junk from the OEM and the carrier.  Even though the Tilt 2 is not my primary phone anymore, I still apply a current ROM on occasion to get the latest version of the 6.5.x code without the HTC and AT&T crapware.

Of course I recommend you proceed at your own risk.  Anytime you flash a device you could brick it.  Although, I have flashed my Tilt 2 dozens and dozens of times without issue. I recommend the NRG ROMs.  He keeps his ROMs updated and offers various flavors.

By the way, this is what I carry now.

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I’m not a phone geek but on the other hand I don’t want a clunker phone. I want a good phone that will last a couple of years. After having an AT&T Tilt (made by HTC) for nearly three years I decided it was time for a new phone. This was a good phone that has seen several crashes on the ski slopes, a drop here or there, and most impressively my two young boys. Getting a new phone now is good timing since Windows Mobile 6.5, now known as Windows Phone 6.5, was just released. I compared several phones including the Pure and Tilt 2. (BTW, I’m stuck with AT&T since that’s the carrier my company has selected.) The two phones were comparable with slight differences:

  • The Tilt 2 is a little larger than the pure.
  • The Pure has a 5MB camera and the T2 has a 3.2.
  •  The T2 has a very nice speaker phone, I’m not sure what the Pure has but it wasn’t obvious.
  • The T2 has a physical keyboard, the Pure does not. This contributes somewhat to the larger size of the device, but they did a good job keeping the keyboard as thin as possible. This obviously makes the Tilt 2 thicker than the iPhone.
  • The T2 seems to have a nicer screen than the Pure.

Although I don’t use the physical keyboard much anymore on the original Tilt, I went with the Tilt 2 over the other devices I considered. It felt good in my hands, the screen was one of the best I have seen, and believe it or not, I use the speaker phone.

So how does the new Tilt 2 compare to the original Tilt? It’s night and day:

  • The old Tilt had Windows Mobile 6.0 or 6.1, the new one has Windows Phone 6.5 which is basically the same OS but with a much needed face lift.
  • Included in 6.5 is a vastly improved mobile Internet Explorer.  I can’t even begin to describe the improvement here.
  • The Tilt now feels like a brick in my hands compared to this sleek ergo device.
  • The new Tilt has a radio. Haven’t tried it yet.
  • The screen, as I mentioned before, is amazing on the T2. At the time, the Tilt screen was nice but we’ve come a long way.
  •  The Tilt had no accelerometer so the only way to change the orientation was to slide the keyboard out or hit an onscreen button. The T2 does have an accelerometer but it is very underused with the bundled software. The bundled game Teeter does an excellent job demonstrating the capabilities.

I wasn’t sure I would like this phone at first, but after I removed some proprietary HTC/AT&T stuff I am thrilled with my decision. Namely, I removed the TouchFlo 3D and enabled the default 6.5 UI. The TouchFlo interface is nice looking and great programming but it’s not that efficient or useful. You can flick photos and emails all around, but it seems more for show and selling phones in the store than it does for actual use. The TouchFlo interface quickly becomes a nuisance and gets in the way. On the other hand, the native 6.5 UI is efficient and very natural to use.

Note: Even though Windows Phone 6.5 was officially released just last week (as of this writing on 10/21/09), there are already rumors and leaked builds of 6.5.1 (or 6.51).  I’m sure there will be an HTC upgrade in flash ROM format when this is officially released. HTC did this with the original Tilt providing a ROM upgrade from Windows Mobile 6.0 to 6.1.

Here are a couple of screen shots of the TouchFlo and the native Windows Phone 6.5 interfaces.  Both have a nice look in these screen shots, but you can’t get a sense of their usefulness until you get your hands on the device.

 HTC TouchFlo 3D Interface Windows Phone 6.5 Native Interface

How to disable the HTC TouchFlo 3D interface:

Start > Settings > Today > Items. Now uncheck TouchFlo and check “Windows Default” – This will give you the new 6.5 UI. I really like this interface, it is very Zune and/or Windows Media Center like. (Don’t get me wrong, there is room for improvement in 6.5.1 and the complete rewrite of Windows Phone 7.) Alternatively, if you prefer the WindowsMobile 6.1 look, you can select your own items for the Today screen. However, I find the 6.5 interface very useful and efficient.

How do I remove my Microsoft Live or Hotmail account?

This isn’t exactly obvious, but if you set up a Live or Hotmailaccount and want to remove it, follow these steps: Start > Windows Live > Switch LiveAccounts This will remove all emails and account settings which you previously entered.

How to create your own Windows Phone 6.5 Theme:

I haven’t done this yet, but it looks simple. Simply go the site, select your phone, select your preferences, and if desired supply a background image. You’ll then get a link sent to your phone to install the theme: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/downloads/theme-generator.mspx

Remaining questions I am working on. Can you help?

  • The phone came bundled with some software I can’t remove. Specifically, how do I remove Opera Mobile 9.5? I like Opera but I prefer to use 9.7. Skyfire is also a very good browser that supports Flash.
  • How do I remove the “Getting Started” menu item? This problem is solved HERE!
  • How do I add/remove any item in the Windows Phone 6.5 menu?
  • Why is there a preinstalled YouTube app but no shortcut?  Most users will never find this app buried in the folder structure.