It shouldn't be a surprise when someone comments that your Windows Phone is a great communications tool. From using the Phone as a phone to call friends, family and associates to checking your email to updating your Facebook Status, your Windows Phone keeps you in touch. While the abilities and capabilities of communications is tremendous during day to day life, it can also be very helpful in times of crisis. I personally discovered how useful my Windows Phone can be during recent events in my home State.
On April 27, 2011 the Southern States experienced a severe weather outbreak of historic proportions where storms produced a record three hundred twelve tornadoes. Alabama experienced a tornado outbreak that the State and possibly the nation has never seen before. One tornado tracked on the ground for over one hundred thirty miles in North Alabama destroying everything in its path. Another traveled over eighty miles destroying communities in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. While property damage was extensive and catastrophic, the greatest loss was that over 300 perished in these storms.
That day started for me around 5:45am when the first line of storms came through my neighborhood and produced a tornado with winds reaching 120mph. We lost power as these storms tossed trees around as if they were match sticks. With no power, my Samsung Focus became my only means of communication. While I can't say that one application was more important than the next, my Windows Phone helped me stay in touch with family, check on the severe weather, and make it around the house when night fell.
Continued after the break
This week’s Xbox Live title is Enigmo, a physics-based puzzle game. Enigmo sort of blind-sided us as we hadn’t heard about it coming to Windows Phone until recently, but now we’ve got some concrete details to share with you.
Enigmo was originally developed by Austin-based developer Pangea Software. It debuted on the strange and foreign Mac platform before making a successful run on iPhone. It’s also been released on the Windows Mobile platform – anybody remember that one?
We’ve already seen a physics-based puzzler on Xbox Live in the form of iBlast Moki. Enigmo is a little bit like that, but the goal is to direct streams of liquids into the appropriate receptacles using various gadgets. The Windows Phone version of Enigmo features sharp 3D graphics and 50 puzzles to solve. It was developed by Chaotic Moon Studios, also located in Austin, and will cost $2.99.
Head past the break for our exclusive reveal of Enigmo’s Xbox Live Achievements and the game’s debut trailer.
We recently covered Microsoft's incredibly entertaining Touch Studio for Windows Phone 7, which allows one to create scripts that take advantage of the API's and access available on the OS and hardware. The app has now been updated to 1.1 (beta). The changes are listed below:
Although boasting about the size of one's app store has its place--really it's the quality of the apps that matter and nothing beats those "big titles" that people want and use.
Victor Cao, an artist from Vietnam, has created some concept designs for a Sony device running what appears to be a vision of Windows Phone 8. What's eye-popping about the design? The specifications of course, unfortunately we still can't wireless synchronise with microwaves and ovens but the proposed 1080p screen with a 12MP camera coupled with HD video capturing would be pretty nice.
Only issue I have with it is the UI, it's taken the simplicity of Metro and thrown in some gradients with glass effects. While I think the device looks promising (and the specification is on par with advancements), the prediction of WP8 looking as it does in the designs isn't my cup of tea. Check out some more images after the break.
UIstencils has released a Windows Phone 7 stencil kit coupled with a sketch pad, and it looks damn impressive. The stencil itself works precisely with the pad thanks to the involvement of the Windows Phone internal design team.
The sheer brilliance of this product will allow not only developers/designers to create hundreds of concepts with minimal effort, but it may appeal to any end-user who may wish to redecorate their house without the approval of their parent(s)/wife. What's included in the stencil kit?
You can grab the Windows Phone 7 kit for $24.95 and the pads are available at $12.95 each. Check out more photos after the break.
Daisy Fuentes (model and TV personality should you not know -- anybody remember her on MTV?) has recently tweeted about Windows Phone pledging to donate $500 to the Nancy Davis Foundation, should she publish a tweet and attach a photo. Which she (thankfully) has done. And we're perfectly OK with her doing so without actually showing a Windows Phone.
It's Nice to see Windows Phone (and Microsoft) back organizations such as this, especially after Bill Gates set up his incredible charity.
Oh, and after the break, a picture of an actual Windows Phone, just to cover all the bases.
The AdDuplex team has posted an interesting article on their blog that goes into how some clicks aren’t registered in the system to maximise the user experience. Alan Mendelevich, a developer, explains:
If you’ve used a competitive OS to Windows Phone 7 that features an on-screen keyboard (notably Android and iOS) you will surely agree with me when I say that the keyboard present on our WP7 devices blows everything else out the water. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s close.
Microsoft Research has published an article that provides a fantastic insight into the keyboard and how it has been developed to adapt to users with how the habit of typing isn’t entirely accurate (for some key presses we may place our finger on the top-right of a key almost touching a neigh-borough key). Read on after the break.