Windows Phone News

1

Foursquare updated

If your a fan of Windows Mobile FourSquare from Touchality, then you'll be interested to know that it's been updated.

Version 1.3 is now available over at the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. The update addresses the check-in bug many were experiencing as well as a few other fixes and tweaks.

You can download the updated cab file here or get through your Windows Phone via Windows Marketpla

[via: Touchality on Twitter]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

We keep hearing various time-frames for the release of Windows Phone 7. Usually "holiday season" is tossed around, which here in the States stretches from mid-October (if you count Halloween) through January 2nd.

Some of us have been hearing October as the big month, but we're not even sure if that's just announcing products or actual release date. For instance, we can see Microsoft back here in NYC at their "Open House" event kicking off WP7 with a bunch of OEMs and developers, but not releasing till...well later.

Ballmer today is India, once again doing what he does best, giving speeches and pep talks, much like an impromptu Chris Farley. In response to a question about WP7, Ballmer reportedly had this to say:

We have to deliver devices with our partners this Christmas...We have got our work cut out on Windows Phone 7, but we are good competitors.

We suppose this isn't really news if they do "deliver" by Christmas, after all that is still the Holiday season.  But we can't help but wish it was more October-ish? And to throw in a zinger, he also reportedly said this

One of our competitors seems a little confused, has come out with two operating systems that I cannot tell the difference between.

Ahem, not sure if he should be throwing stones on such a day as this one, but okay.

[via @nimishdubey@cellpassion]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Pharos is offering a free swap-out program for those who purchased the company's Windows Phone, the Traveler 137. Pharos will ship for free, replacement phones that will lack the power management issues and faulty power button issues the early production models developed.

According to a company spokesman, some of the Traveler 137 units would require a soft reset or removing the battery to power down the phone. The phone would then operate normally for a few days and then go on the fritz again.

In addition to swapping the problematic phones, Pharos will upgrade the replacement phones (which ran Windows Mobile 6.1) to Windows Mobile 6.5. A nice plus seeing that the current Traveler 137 models are shipping with Windows Mobile 6.5.

[read: twice.com]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is in Singapore today to help promote the launch of Office 2010/Imagine Cup Awards Ceremony, nothing too surprising there.

Evidently Steve took some questions from the audience and on Windows Phone 7, he reportedly had this to say:

We're focused on putting Windows Phone 7 in phones, no plans for tablets.

With the cancellation of Courier, the uncertain future of HP's Slate and the likes of Bach and Allard leaving, what exactly is Microsoft's strategy for tablet computers going to be? We know WP7 can scale up to large resolutions and evidently has a robust enough DPI to handle a high-resolution tablet.

So was he just being cagey or legit? It's not like he would just announce a Windows Phone 7-Tablet initiative in such an offhand way. Then again, MS has made some boneheaded moves in the past, and not taking advantage of WP7 + tablets could be one of them.

Speaking of shakeups, regarding the latest to the E&D division, he also reportedly said (paraphrasing)

There will not be further changes in mobile and entertainment strategy after management shakeup

That's a relief. The whole web seems to be crackling with 'WP7 FAIL' predictions after yesterday's news.

Update: In a video interview with Fortune, Ballmer clearly states they are going with Windows 7 and not Windows Phone 7 for tablets. Can Windows 7 answer the craving for instant-on, low power, low heat and fast mobile OS that consumers demand?

[image via @hyperous]

 

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Looks like the folks at MobileTechWorld got to play with the Samsung Omnia HD modified for Windows Phone 7.

They note that the processor has been updated from the lackluster TI OMAP 3430 to a Snapdragon (presumably 1GHz) and that this device probably won't make it to production, for obvious reasons.

Their impressions? Very positive noting 

As you can see in the video below everything is running smoothly with no sign of lag or stuttering and everything was functional on the handset (GPS, data, and even camera). It’s the smoothies mobile experience I have ever witness (on par with the iPhone) and it definitely feels a lot better when used on a real handset compared to the desktop emulator.

That seems to be the consensus lately on anyone who gets to play with one of these prototypes, which is a great sign considering finalized hardware and software is still months away.

Also, the video game 'Twin Blades' by Press Star Studio was shown off. The game is currently available on Xbox Live Arcade (400 points) and was ported in under 2 weeks by one programmer. It's already fully integrated with Xbox including achievements and this will be available when WP7 launches. Sweet--going to download to XBox right now.

Both videos after the jump.

[via MobileTechWorld; Twin Blades]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Another day, some more demo Silverlight apps beings built for Windows Phone 7. We've been stating for awhile now that the combo of Silverlight and XNA as a development platform for the OS would be huge and so far, developers seem to be loving it.

First up is "Paper Ball" by Jimmy Interactive, which looks stylized enough to be something on an iPhone. Think of it as literally paper-football, where the paper are people cutouts. You direct your offense/defense by drawing their plot and then watch what happens. Looks to be a fun little time-waster and the graphics are just superb. Also check out his other game "Frog Log". Video demos after the break!

The other notable app is one for the London Tube which shows you their current status and pushes notifications to your phone if there are delays or problems. Similar programs exist on the iPhone for the NYC subway, so we look forward to others using Andy-Team G's code to use as a starting point.

Once again, while apps like London Tube are nothing revolutionary, the fact so many developers are making these mini/widget programs with in so little effort, bodes well for when Windows Phone 7, you know, actually comes out five months from now.

[via @jamesfdickinson and @andy_gore]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
4

Shakeup at Microsoft?

The eminent Wall Street Journal is reporting late last night that Microsoft may be significantly altering its corporate structure around the division focused on videogames, mobile phones and other consumer devices (e.g. Zune, Ford Sync).

As we reported earlier, J Allard is sadly still expected to be leaving Microsoft. The WSJ is also backing up the story that his departure is a result of the Courier cancellation.

Likewise, Robbie Back, who oversees the Xbox Live and Mobile division, may also be part of the re-organization process, reportedly as a result of Microsoft's continued poor performance against Google and Apple. This is especially evident as we are on the eve of Apple surpassing Microsoft for the #2 spot on the S&P 500, which though not ultimately important, is certainly symbolic and revealing.

This may also just be routine with Microsoft preparing for the emergence of Windows Phone 7 and Project Natal in the fall. Either way, we hope it works out.

Update: Robbie Bach is retiring in the fall; J Allard is leaving; transition plan detailed

Update 2Leadership Profiles: Andy Lees & Don Mattrick. Andy Lees, who will lead the Windows Phone 7/KIN teams, will report directly to Ballmer starting July 1st

Update 3: Ballmer's letter to the employees about the changes (via ZDNet)

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

We admit, you don't need to fasten your seatbelts to view this application. While not the most exciting thing to grace mobile devices, so-called 'time' or 'project management' applications are very important for those who actually need them.

A few French friends got together to make this program for some competition but now they're committed to releasing it to the Marketplace and overseeing its continued development.

Following the minimal-design principles laid about by the Metro UI, Ahead is not flashy but does enable quick access to basic project management sections including: tasks, time tracking, projects, accounts (funding), clients and settings.

But less talk more action. The developers have made a great demo video which walks you through everything. You can watch that after the jump to get an idea of just how polished the program is at this early stage in Windows Phone 7 development or just go to their website to see it all in action: Ahead--manage your projects on the go

     

[via @ahead_app]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

For those who don't follow Android news, about a week ago the HTC Wildfire became official. One cool trick that HTC added was the ability to jump to different screens in Sense via multi-selector screen, instead of sliding all over the place. (See Tracy & Matt's hands on at 0:42)

And anyone who's used Sense 2.5 on WinMo can know the feeling of having to slide the tabs all over the place to just find that one you're looking to use right now. It can be frustrating.

Well combine those two ideas and you have HomeScreenJump from XDA member dotcompt!

Simply install the HomeScreenJump.cab and tap the icon to run and there you go.  Want to go the extra step? Install two more .cab files and now you can map it to your Start button as a long press.  Now you can call it up wherever, whenever.

Our thoughts? We highly recommend this mod. And do map it to the Start key. This method makes it very fast, efficient and darn it all it just works well. You now have quick-access to your Home, People, Messages, Mail, Weather, Twitter and Programs tabs.

[XDA forums via PDA.pl]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

AT&T has proposed a settlement that will end several class action lawsuits that surrounds the software locks on most AT&T phones. These locks are put in place to prevent AT&T phones from operating on other compatible wireless carriers.

Each of the four lawsuits, in some shape, form or fashion claim it is improper for AT&T to sell phones that have been programmed not to operate on compatible services and that this restriction hasn't been properly disclosed to customers (still scratching my head on the latter claim).

The proposed settlement allows customers owning eligible phones who have completed a minimum of 90 days of active service with AT&T and be in good standing, upon request, receive an unlocking code. Phones that have an exclusivity sales contract with AT&T of ten months or longer (e.g. the iPhone) are excluded from this settlement. Phones with an exclusivity sales contract of less than ten months the exclusive period mush have expired before the unlocking code is released.

Customers are limited to five unlock codes per year and AT&T will pick up the attorney's fees, on the litigation, up to $5.7 million. The settlement proposal now goes to those suing AT&T to allow anyone not interested in the proposal to opt out or object to the terms. The Court will determine whether or not to approve the settlement on July 2, 2010. 

No word if this includes or excludes Windows Phones such as the Tilt2, Samsung Jack and Pure. While these phones are offered by other carriers, the name is unique and possibly exclusive to AT&T.  While one can hope that this might lead the way for more unlocked phones to appear in the U.S. market, one also has to wonder if this development is related in any way to AT&T recently increasing their early contract termination fees?

[read: attlockinglawsuits.com]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Conflipper recently posted some info about two HTC devices slated for 2010:  Huashan and Hengshan, named after mountains in China.

Sinces these reference-names are Chinese and not very Western e.g. Mondrian, Rhodium, Whitestone, it's a pretty good indication that these are devices that we'll never see here in the U.S. or Europe for that matter. Well that and they're on Dopod's release schedule.

Going further, Engadget are calling these Windows Phone 7 devices which is incorrect (WMPoweruser was savvy enough not to make this mistake). The following reference is inside the files:

Microsoft Internet Explorer Mobile 6

5.2

In case you forgot, this is Internet Explorer Mobile 6 (5.2), the same one that debuted with WM6.1.4 and is in WM6.5. That browser is quite at odds with the Windows Phone 7 browser based on the IE7 and IE8 Trident rendering engines. Just going by screen resolution (480x800 and 320x480) tells you nothing meaningful to differentiate between the two OSes.

So here's the deal: HTC and other lower-tier manufacturers will continue to churn out WM6.5 "Classic" devices in certain markets, namely Eastern as a low-cost alternative to the high-end Windows Phone 7 experience. Sure, both of these new HTC devices could be bumped to Windows Phone 7, but right now there is zero evidence that they are currently planning it. In fact the 320x480 device is probably just a HTC HD Mini spin off.

In other words HTC Huashan and HTC Hengshan: nothing to see here

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Looks like that LG Panther (GW910) is getting around these days. 'Innovative Singapore' received not one but two of the prototype devices to actually start developing their WP7 software. If you recall, we reported on how Windows Phone 7 devices will be going out to developers soon and sure enough, that time has come.

Not only do they show more images of the phone, but they have some of the not-yet-finalized packing and even a sample shot from the camera. Their brief hands on is repeated verbatim below.  Needless to say, developers must be getting excited at the prospect of using actual WP7 hardware. We know we can't wait.

  • This is definitely still a prototype device, and there are still quite a few rough edges to be fixed. The device OS is still being updated with new builds almost every other day.
  • Even the packaging and box is expected to be different before the final product ships. For example, the current box is not even using the correct Windows Phone 7 logo.
  • Despite it’s prototype status, the phone appears to be more or less feature complete and incredibly responsive and fast. The animations are all very smooth.
  • For the time being, you need a special build of the desktop Zune software (Dorado) to sync with the device; the current released version of desktop Zune software won’t work.
  • The camera works pretty well, and the resulting photo is sharp, as you can see below:

[via Innovative Singapore; Thanks Jonathan!]

 

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Verizon today announced the LG Fathom, a 3.2-inch horizontal slider running Windows Mobile 6.5.3. The Fathom will be available at business channels on May 27 and in stores June 3. It will cost $149.99 after the usual two-year contract and $100 mail-in rebate. Monthly plans begin at $39.99 for voice and $29.99 for unlimited data.

Other specs of note:

  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor.
  • WiFi 802.11b/g/n.
  • Bluetooth 2.1.
  • MicroSD up to 16GB.
  • 3.2MP camera.

Full presser after the break.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Bitstream has recently updated it's Windows Phone browser, Bolt, to version 2.1. The update adds support for HTML 5 Video and throws in a little Facebook integration.  The Facebook integration in Bolt 2.1 allows users to paste links directly to Facebook accounts and work the Facebook's instant messaging.

Bolt 2.1 continues to utilize the server-side rendering of pages to speed things up. Version 2.1 has a little more zip to it than previous versions. The first 25% of pages does take a few seconds to load, then the remaining portions load in a flash. Also, remember that Bolt is a Java App and will be installed within your Java program.

The layout still needs some work (fonts still a little on the small size even when set to XXLarge) but the speed is definitely present. You can download your free copy of Bolt 2.1 by going to http://boltbrowser.com/bolts2.jad from your mobile browser. Additional installation instructions can be found at the Bolt Browser website.

[read: jkontherun.com]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

In regards to the latest ROM update to the T-Mobile HTC HD2, people's reaction fell into two camps:

  1. It made it better
  2. It made it worse

Guess who won? 

T-Mobile has pulled the ROM update due to complaints, one of which is that touch-sensitivity starts out very high but then degrades to the point where you have to mash the screen to get it respond. Another is dialing 611 reportedly screws up the speakerphone till you soft reset. Others complain of freezing and general instability (see this thread at HTC.com)

It is unclear when T-Mobile will release an updated version or what they plan on fixing, but most of seems to focus around Sense 2.5 and areas of customization. We'll keep you posted on any changes.

[via T-Mo News]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

One area that is crucial for Microsoft's success with Windows Phone 7 is in the browser. As the iPhone has demonstrated and Opera fans know, if you have a good browsing experience, you'll have a dedicated following.

Mobile IE has never really been great and while it's better on WP7 e.g. containing

...four-point multitouch fully enabled, zooming in and out by a pinching finger gesture on the screen, so-called "deep zoom" for extreme, high fidelity closeups, a remarkably clear typography, and very smooth, fast operation

...well, it doesn't inspire that much confidence. In fact, with greater enthusiasm for the desktop IE9, the mobile version (based on IE7, little bit of 8) seems like last-year's technology (and that's being generous).

Luckily, Microsoft may have a trick up their sleeves. It was revealed in the comments on the Mobile IE Team blog that the browser can be independently updated of the whole OS i.e.firmware.

Q:Will the browser in Windows 7 get more updates more frequently than only with full firmware updates?

Hi Tom,

Yes, we are building in the ability to update the browser independently of firmware.

-joe

While we knew OTA updates for the OS were a big deal, selectively upgrading just the browser can give Microsoft more flexibility in getting Mobile IE current. Of course that doesn't guarantee that those updates will give us a killer browser, but hey...options are good.

[via MobileTechWorld]

 

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Yesterday at IndyTechFest, William Steele of Microsoft held a session on "Building Applications on Windows Phone 7 with XNA" which was recorded on UStream for all to watch.

While geared for developers, there were a few nuggets of information made available that many of you may find interesting.  And once again, we'll save you the hour with a summary of the new information:

 Development

  • Regarding orientation, Silverlight is portrait by default; XNA is landscape, though of course they can be altered
  • XNA games are limited to 30 FPS, but that's also the limit on the physical screen's refresh rate
  • Only Silverlight can use on-screen keyboard; not yet available for XNA but you can write your own custom keyboard in XNA
  • Games built on XNA 4.0 will NOT run on the Zune (there's a "real reason" and one they're telling us publicly. Hmmm...)
  • Silverlight app shows up in the Apps Menu; XNA apps shows up in the Games Menu or some special hub
  • XNA is obviously geared towards gaming; Silverlight is "user event driven", but both can basically do the same things

Marketplace

  • For buying software, Windows Phone Marketplace will be in dollars; Xbox Marketplace will be Points ("funny money")
  • Two separate markets (Xbox and Windows Phone Marketplace), meaning you'll have to buy the same game/different platform twice, no way to link (?)
  • "Featured" area of Marketplace = paid promotion of application by developer
  • Trial-ware will provide link to buy, pause game, hop to marketplace to buy and then continue game (like Xbox)
  • No in-game purchasing yet (e.g. bonus levels, avatars, etc.), but definitely something they are looking at

Some revealing tidbits there.

We're not at all thrilled with the purported fragmentation of the Marketplace between Xbox and Windows Phone. While developers will only have to write the software once for PC, Xbox and Phone (the first two go to one market, the latter to another) there seems to be no way to connect purchases for the consumer. That seems like a bad idea. It's also baffling as to how you can't purchase the two together but they can interact across platforms (we suppose it has to do with the backbone "cloud services"). We suggest one solution would be for developers to offer "redemption codes" to consumer who buy on one platform, to "purchase" on the other. That system already exists on Xbox, though it could be a hassle.

We also now have confirmation that the Zune HD appears to be locked out of all of future development, despite being able to run XNA 2D (and unofficially 3D with some tricks). Evidently Microsoft has a real reason, which they are not telling the public--we speculate that it's because the Zune hardware has an expiration date.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Pages