Motorola Q – Crippled Bluetooth

{side note for search engine visitors: If you’re here looking for info on getting DUN working on the Q, head over to}

For the most part, I’m very happy with my new phone.  It’s nice to have my calendar, to-do lists, and all the PDA’ish information available when I’m running around, and I’m starting to get in the habit of actually typing stuff in when I remember it.  I’m not nearly into the GTD zen mode yet, but I’m taking baby steps.

My first major gripe with the phone is that Verizon has once again crippled some of the most awesome capabilities that this phone could have had.  The Motorola Q Website clearly indicates that the phone supports the following Bluetooth Profiles: SPP, FTP, OPP, DUN, GOEP, HSP, HFP, BPP, A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, HID, and BIP.  I have no clue what half of those are (you can look them up here), but the one I really want to work is SPP.  I have a Pharos GPS unit with the iGPS-BT dock, and it works over SPP.  If SPP would work, then I could use Virtual Earth Mobile, or Pocket Streets and Trips, and actually have a constantly updating moving map. 

I spent a half-hour on the phone with Motorola tonight, and the tech basically said that Verizon has disabled the SPP profile so that they can sell services that serve the same purpose using the built-in GPS (or aGPS?) capabilities.  This drives me mad.  The device is capable, the OS is capable, the software is there, but Verizon is making business decisions that cripple some awesome uses of the Q.

Motorola & Microsoft need to wake up and start leaning on Verizon to stop this nonsense.  I understand that Verizon is just trying to make a buck for their shareholders, but they’re doing so at the expense of the brand images of the Motorola Q, and the Windows Mobile platform. Motorola has had the public’s perceptions of several of their phones (V710, E815) dragged through the mud by this Bluetooth crippling nonsense.  One of the key benefits of the Windows Mobile brand is that people assume that they will get a similar experience across devices.  My Axim X50v knew how to pair up with a SPP device under both WM 2003 SE and with WM 5.0.  I know that the code is in WM 5.0 for Smartphones in order to do the same thing.  Bill Gates always talks about the power of the platform, and in this case, Verizon is sawing one of the legs off the Windows Mobile platform.

I guess that’s the end of my rant.  Really, I’m still quite happy with the phone.  Just wishing it could live up to it’s potential.

Updated Info Here

Updated Info: HOW-TO: Use a Bluetooth GPS with the Motorola Q

Motorola Q Mini-Review

This is far from a complete review, but I figured I’d post my first impressions.

I love the size of the Q.  It fits comfortably in my hand.  Surprisingly it wasn’t too awkward to talk on.  With the exception of a short stint with an Audiovox SMT5600, all of my phones have been clamshells.  My Bluetooth headset (Motorola H500) paired up just fine.  My wife complained a bit abou the sound quality through the headset, but it may have been the fact that the phone was sitting withing 4 feet of two wireless routers, and my PDA and Tablet, with all of them using the same 2.4GHz spectrum that the Bluetooth uses.  I’ll follow up whith impressions when there’s no chance for interference.

The keyboard is very functional. Some characters are a bit hard to find, but that’s more a matter of learning than anything else.  I tried to dial a number that was listed with letters and numbers (1-888-BLUE-???) and ended up opening Skype on my handheld to find a dial-pad to decode the letters.  It’s not often that I need to dial “letters”, but for the cases when it’s necessary, a software solution that would let me hit the ALT key and then the actual letters would be cool.

Web browsing worked great over EVDO.  Dslreports showed a good 600k+ download rate.

The screen is bright, although the default timeouts are way too short.  I guess they’re trying to save the battery.

I’m going to have to do a bit of reading with the instructions manual to figure out the bells and whistles, but overall I’m happy so far.  If you have any specific questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Microsoft and Google in a Race for Brand Dilution

I used to know what Google stood for. The brand was so clear, that the company name even turned into a verb that means “To Search”. No longer. Google could mean search, email, instant message, book search, rss reader, the list goes on and on.

Whenever a company stumbles into a really popular brand, they go through stages. The first involves building the brand, making sure that customers know what to expect. The next is to protect the brand. Here a company rejects uses of the brand that don’t meet the original brand image. After a while, companies start viewing the brand as an asset to be exploited. That is where Google appears to be now. I’ve even stopped paying attention to their never-ending stream of beta service releases. I don’t know what Google stands for anymore.

Microsoft, in their apparent desire to “beat Google at something” has taken the fast track to brand dilution with their services. meant something when it was just and RSS enabled portal. I was still on board when they decided to bring search, mail, and IM under the header too, but a recent flurry of announcements has left me wondering “What does really stand for?” I thought Microsoft would have known better after they all but buried the .Net brand, but they are making the same mistakes again.

If you have a brand that means something to consumers, the worst thing you can do is attempt to leverage the brand for something that doesn’t mesh with the original image. This erodes the understanding and trust that your customers have in your brand.

Monetizing the Blog

I’ve always hated having ads on my site, but I also hate hosting bills, so I’m experimenting with some ideas for balancing my distaste for ads with making a few bucks to help with the hosting costs. I’m hoping that the ads will be contextual enough to be of value to the visitors to this site.

Right now I’ve got a reading list with Amazon associate links, and a small Google adsense banner at the top of the blog. I’ not sure if my traffic levels are going to turn any of this into real cash, but every little bit helps.

I’ll be experimenting with how the different ad vehicles work, and with placement, so if you have any opinions, feel free to pass it along. If you really want to help out with the hosting bills, and you’re in the market for a really expensive watch, here’s an ad just for you: