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Old 02-22-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
nonanon
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Posts: 45
Karma: 21900
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Utah
Device: iPad, Nook Simple Touch
Witstech A81/W1060 New UI and firmware

Wirelession has firmware updates for the A81 device. The latest is listed as v3.0c but inside it's actually v1.8.7c. They don't have any description of new features and I didn't notice anything major, but the Silverlight UI has been improved and it's part of the firmware download.

It looks like the Silverlight is just an interface to win ce which may be good or bad depending on how you feel about wince. It offers an on-screen clock and an icon to quickly access wi-fi settings. There are three windows, one for settings and two for program groups. You can drag and drop icons from window to window and to new positions within a window but the last part is still buggy, making precise organization difficult. Creating new program icons is easy, just click on a blank part of the program screen and fill in the boxes that pop up.

The clock now displays the correct device time in analog format but a digital clock would be easier to read due to the layout of the analog clock.

Browsing with Internet Explorer is faster but I frequently got low memory messages that required a hard reset. The reset button didn't work so I had to hold the power button until the A81 reset. You could remove the battery also but you'd lose time settings. This is still not an ideal internet device but it does shine in other areas so I'm being patient and hopefully a firmware update will correct this. The browser itself appears different with zoom and control icons that won't go away. On some pages data entry and scrolling was almost impossible as the icons block the right-hand side of the screen.

Overall, I didn't find a compelling reason to upgrade if you have the 1.8.7 firmware unless you want to try the Silverlight interface. I think wince is speedier but it's often hard to get the on-screen keyboard to pop up in some applications. We're still waiting for Android or Linux to be released for the A81 and that may solve the few lingering problems, possibly by the end of February.
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