The Hiptop software is designed by the company Danger, Inc., now owned by Microsoft, located in Palo Alto, California. The original Sidekick hardware was designed by Danger and manufactured by Flextronics. The Sidekick 2, 3, iD, and LX are manufactured by Sharp Corporation in Japan and designed, respectively, by Danger and then Danger in partnership with Sharp. All versions of the Sidekick were developed in close partnership with T-Mobile. Danger provides the Hiptop OS software and back-end services for the device. These include a catalog of downloadable software applications, email hosting, instant messaging and web proxies.
The original Hiptop was unique compared to all other hardware versions. All the units, from the beginning, have featured "Menu", "Back", "Jump" and other keys accessible even when the unit was closed. The Hiptop also featured a speaker which is used for device sounds but not telephone. Along the top edge of the phone bezel is an infrared transceiver. The headset jack serves a dual purpose, as it is also used for the accessory camera. A later revsion of the Hiptop upgraded its screen from a monochromatic LCD to a color LCD viewable with or without the backlight on (unique to Hiptop models until the LX). It is slightly bigger than any other Hiptop, also much older. It is very hard to find.
Danger moved the D-Pad (directional-pad) to the left side of the Hiptop (from the inside where it was previously found), along with top-left and top-right shoulder dials, volume up/down and power on bottom of phone. The Hiptop 2 also features a VGA camera, and the addition of page-up/page-down buttons on the top and bottom of its scroll wheel. The line-by-line scrolling feature is notable to the Hiptop brand of products and is not featured most other multi-function cell phones. The line-by-line (ability to scroll one line at a time rather than just page by page) scrolling feature is consistent in all applications, as are the "Jump" and all other hardware buttons.
The Hiptop 2 has two speakers; The phone speaker built into the D-pad, and a speaker on the back of the unit (near the VGA camera) for sounds, alerts and speakerphone calls. The microphone is located near the end-call button, right side of the phone there is a power jack, a mini-USB port (usable only by developers, not for the general public) and hands-free headset jack. Scroll Wheel Still the same place.
Another important feature of the Hiptop 122 is the ability to easily view the screen even without a backlight. All units until the LX model had this feature. Most other manufacturers utilized an LCD screen that was not visible without backlight. Hiptop and Palm Treo units (Treo 600 and later) utilized a Trans-Reflective display that worked with and without the backlight, making the IM, mail, and all other messages readable even in bright sunlight, and without picking the unit up.
The dimensions of the Hiptop 2 are 133 mm x 66 mm x 23 mm.
On October 9 2006, The Australian Hiptop 2 was released through Telstra. The Australian version is practically the same as the Hiptop 2 in the USA but re-constructed for the Australian audience - it has MSN built-in as the default messenger and Yahoo which is downloadable from the catalog (the US version has Yahoo and AIM).
Released July 10 2006, the SK3 manufactured by Sharp was smaller than previous versions, measuring 130 mm wide x 59 mm high x 22 mm thick. All features, including the line-by-line scroll feature remained the same.
Software remained basically the same, but with the addition of more applications.
The industrial design was changed as well as a new color scheme to a dark gray shell with silver trim and gloss black buttons. The scroll wheel was replaced by a multicolor led lit six-direction trackball replacing the D-pad as the indicator light. The keyboard was also changed to a rigid plastic keyboard differing from the rubber keyboard of previous models known to peel away from the unit (although easily replaceable).
New features were introduced including a removable 3.7v 1500 mAh removable battery, a miniSD slot capable of up to 2GB of flash memory storage, a 1.3 Mega pixel camera capable of 1280 x 1024 an improvement from the sub-megapixel VGA 640 x 480 camera, and a built-in 1/16" audio jack for the newly included mp3 playback software. The MiniUSB functionality was changed from allowing access to the Hiptop's internal communications to only allowing access to the MiniSD card over a USB v1.1 port. The built-in storage allows for end-users to store files for .mp3, .wav, and .aac playback, camera, user customizable themes and other catalog application's uses.
The T-Mobile Sidekick 3 was made available in three limited edition models which only differed in cosmetic color changes:
The Sidekick LX was released on October 17 2007 for existing T-Mobile customers via the Internet and five special locations. A week later, on October 24 2007, the LX was released to new T-Mobile subscribers. The Hiptop LX is available in two different colors, Midnight Blue and Espresso Brown. In addition to the two color selections, the LX includes a wider, higher-resolution screen, an upgraded keyboard (much like that of the 2), blue LED mood lights on all four corners which coordinate to the user's settings, downloadable music and backgrounds, a lighter weight, MMS messaging, a Micro SD card slot with a 128mb card included (over the 3's 64 mb MiniSD card), and an updated operating system. On July 16, 2008, T-Mobile released a limited edition Tony Hawk Edition Sidekick LX which includes video recording. The LX was never released in Australia but instead after the Hiptop 3, Telstra started selling the Slide, the 3 is now being phased out.
This device is named by the manufacturer (Motorola) as the Q700. In Australia it is marketed as the Hiptop Slide and in The US as the Sidekick Slide. It was first released on November 5 2007 through Telstra in Australia. The T-Mobile USA release followed two days later, on November 7 2007. It was later released in the UK and Germany by T-Mobile (as opposed to the Sidekick LX only being released by T-Mobile USA). The Sidekick/Hiptop Slide offers the same features and services as every other Danger device and an update to Danger's latest OS version (4.0). Like the LX, this Sidekick for T-Mobile USA adds the Multimedia Messaging application and provides support for T-Mobile MyFaves plans.
The Sidekick/Hiptop Slide, although less expensive than the LX, provides various hardware upgrades. These upgrades include 128MB RAM and 225 MHz TI OMAP 850 processor, as opposed to the Sidekick 3 and LX's 64MB RAM and 200 MHz OMAP 331 processor, and a second speaker which is located on the back of the device, as opposed to the Hiptop 3 and LX's reliance on the D-pad speaker for both calls and music playback.
T-Mobile USA suspended sales of the Sidekick Slide on Friday evening, November 16, 2007 after Motorola confirmed that some devices inadvertently powered off when the slide door on the front side of the phone was opened or closed. Sidekick Slide owners that reported the power issue received a free exchange to a blue Sidekick LX with free express shipping.
On November 21 2007 Motorola stated the failures were triggered by poor battery contacts; sliding the screen out to type on the keyboard sometimes loosened the contact and forced the device to shut off momentarily.
The sidekick slide is being eliminated for consumers now, only at specific places can be purchased in websites like : ebay, etc. But the sidekick slide is still available to buy from T-Mobile website in the UK.
On July 30, 2008, T-mobile launched the Sidekick. This device features interchangeable faceplates, with custom faceplates available for purchase. This version also functions as a 2.0 megapixel camera. The Sidekick is also able to download music and background images. It comes with a 512MB card for its Micro SD card slot. This unit is smaller and lighter than its predecessors, at the cost of a reduced screen size.
The Sidekick allows the user to select all web browser features for on or off states. The Sidekick is also faster to display a webpage than stand-alone smartphone browsers due to the host server doing the heavy lifting first and then downloading the page to the unit.
The Sidekick also allows line-by-line scrolling capability built into the hardware interface and a physical 5 row qwerty keyboard.
Part of Danger's business model included an a la carte menu of features, which allowed the carriers to choose which programs were on the devices sold to their customers. There were, at least initially, two web browsers developed, a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) browser and an HTML browser. T-Mobile chose to only provide the HTML browser, a bold move since all mobile browsers up to that point were WAP-based. Until the release of the iPhone, Hiptop remained the only mobile browser-enabled phone that could not display WAP pages.
GET / HTTP/1.0 Accept: text/html, text/xml, application/xml, application/xhtml+xml, image/png, image/jpeg, image/gif, text/plain, */* User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Danger hiptop 3.3; U; rv:1.7.12) Gecko/20050920 Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5 Host: www.example.com Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7 Via: 1.0 stbl10.dngr.org:3128 (squid/2.5.STABLE14) X-Forwarded-For: unknown Cache-Control: max-age=259200 Connection: keep-alive
The Hiptop email client supports multiple outside mail accounts at the same time, as well as the vendor-provided one, and can display attached images, PDF files and Microsoft Word documents.
The client supports POP3, IMAP, Yahoo!, Gmail and all other mail accounts in addition to the T-mobile account. Email is constantly pushed to the device (this is unique and user selectable and can also be done manually) for all accounts and pulled for IMAP accounts. Aim will not be featured on this phone
You can use the Email Client or Bluetooth to send picture messages and saved web pages if the user does not possess a Hiptop/Sidekick LX, seeing as how previous versions did not carry an MMS feature.
The Sidekick/Hiptop offers AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Messenger, and Windows Live Messenger clients. The Yahoo client was not built into the Hiptop 2, but was available as a download from the Download Catalog. However, the Yahoo client, along with AIM and Windows Live Messenger, are built-in on the Sidekick 3, and all three are supported by the iD, Slide, LX, and the '08. The AIM client can also connect to ICQ (also owned by AOL), and it has hidden support for AIM chat rooms. A user logged into AIM from a Hiptop has a miniature Hiptop device as their icon, rather than the standard mobile phone-shaped "mobile" icon.
Due to the large and easy to use five-row QWERTY keyboard, The Sidekick (in all versions) has become closely associated with the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community, and has been used by many who are unable to hear/speak. Because the Sidekick was the first cellular phone to include an integral AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) client, it quickly became the dominant preferred device for the Deaf. The device has replaced the use of many standard TTY/TDD machines (providing the Deaf with a telecommunications tool for use both inside and outside the home), due to its versatility in being able to communicate via unlimited text messaging (SMS), unlimited instant messaging, e-mail and web browsing. The Sidekick's dominance in the Deaf community was further solidified in March 2003 when it became the first cellular phone capable of placing unassisted TTY and Relay Operator calls (see Telecommunications Relay Service) through the phone's web browser using a system developed by Jon B. Sharpe at Lormar Logic Company (www.TTYCALL.com). Sharpe and Lormar Logic enhanced the TTY/Relay Operator system in August 2003 by developing a means for the Deaf to place calls through AOL Instant Messenger. MCI Relay followed two months later with a Relay Operator system accessible through telnet. MCI Relay and Hamilton Relay both released AOL Instant Messenger relay systems in July of the following year. By 2005, at least four Relay Operator providers (Hamilton, MCI, Sprint, Sorenson, and i711) were providing direct Relay Operator access from the Sidekick, and two companies (Lormar Logic and i711) were providing direct TTY access. The software for these is provided at no additional charge in addition to the normal data plan. The free Lormar Logic service also provides the Deaf with direct encrypted calling to the United States Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. The i711 client provides extra services to the Deaf at an additional fee (such as AAA roadside services, and finding Open Captioned movies, etc). Many Deaf users sign up for the "data only" package, saving the money normally spent on voice time. Some local Deaf non-profit groups in the US will either pay all or part of the cost of the device/monthly service fees for the user to keep them "connected". Some groups have even set up a "discount" program (in place of the non-profit group paying for the service), where if a certain number of Deaf users sign up, each will receive a discount on the cost of the device and a discount on the monthly service fee.
The Hiptop operating system is largely based on Java. For hiptop development, Danger has its own proprietary APIs. Danger introduced support for J2ME, the Java language optimized for mobile devices, to its hiptop OS with the release of OS 2.3.
To aid third-party software design, Danger has released a comprehensive Software Development Kit (SDK) that contains a Hiptop simulator, development installation utilities, and Danger API information. The SDK is available without charge from Danger's development website, and is supported on Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux.
There isn't a way to add applications to a standard Hiptop device without the use of the Download Catalog (also called the Download Fun catalog on Sidekick II devices). This is ostensibly done to ensure only tested and compatible software is capable of being installed on a production device.
Application developers can bypass this functionality by using the included programs in the Danger Hiptop SDK to install user-written applications to the hiptop device directly. To do this, you must apply for a special software key known as a Danger Developer Key. The Danger Development Key is a special security certificate that is provided by Danger that enables the device to be used as a Development Device. This will allow the installation of user-written applications to the device, but will void any software warranty provided by Danger and/or your wireless carrier. Any applicable hardware warranties should still apply.
While the hiptop OS uses .jar files for applications, they are uploaded to the device in special files called "bundles". Bundle files have the extension '.bndl'. Each bundle file is encrypted to a specific operating system version and build number. For example, a bundle file for v3.4/155053 (T-Mobile Sidekick 3) would be denied installation on a v3.3/149695 device (T-Mobile Sidekick iD). Installation of bundles require a developer key to be installed on your device if you are using a Production OS. Internal OS builds do not require developer keys.
THOMPSON ON HOULLIERS WISH LIST - End Game Plays out with Big Two Still in Running; (1) Thompson: Sidekick (2) Still a Runner? Sam Allardyce Relaxes with His Wife in Barbados Yesterday. Is He Waiting for a Call from the FAI
Jan 19, 2008; Byline: PHILIP QUINN GERARD HOULLIER has lined up Phil Thompson to be his right-hand man ifhe delivers a knockout blow to Terry...
Reminders! is alarming software for DOS and Windows. (includes related article that provides product information and an evaluation summary) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
Nov 01, 1991; Reminders! 3.01 An appointment scheduler and pop-up alamr that takes just 8K from DOS programs and also works with Windows 3.0....