DioDict is a multi-language, dictionary app for Samsung Windows Phones. It's a free app available from your Samsung App Zone but was plagued by poor formatting. Words were cut off in mid-sentence and picked up on the next line of text.
While I'm sure the update contained performance tweaks, the most noticeable improvement is with the text formatting. Words are no longer broken up and definitions are justified to the right. The update gives DioDict a much cleaner appearance and it does appear to have a little more zip to it.
If you're a Samsung user, check your Marketplace app for the update.
We will be the first to raise our hands in support of Windows Phone 7 having the ability to capture screenshots. Not only does it make reviewing applications a lot easier, it gives you the ability to share images from your Windows Phone screen with others. There are alternatives such as capturing a screenshot through the desktop emulator or taking a picture of the screen with a camera. But not everyone has access to the applications XAP file and video screens aren't the easiest thing in the world to photograph.
Microsoft's Director of Mobile Communications, Aaron Woodman, was asked if screen capture abilities was on the short list of features to be added to Windows Phone 7. His answer,
"I have never sat in a user group--and I sit in a lot of user groups, a lot of retail groups--I've never heard an end user go 'why can't I take a screenshot of that?'"
Just in case Mr. Woodman reads this post, let me be the first. Why can't I take a screenshot with my Windows Phone? Microsoft gave the KIN the ability to snap a shot of the screen and Windows Mobile had the ability. So why not Windows Phone 7?
Woodman points out there could be copyright issues with allowing users to capture screenshots.
"The reality is, we have a DRM requirement for our marketplace, which makes things like HDMI and those types of things out, more difficult. We've made a choice to have a more protected set of content on the phone and available to consumers, so we do have restrictions within that."
While Microsoft's desire to protect copyrights is appreciated, not every use of a screen capture will result in such a violation. I just don't see an outbreak of copyright violations occurring if Microsoft gives us the ability to capture screen shots.
Even with Microsoft's reservations, restrictions could be put in place to protect certain protected material such as movies played on your Windows Phone. Woodman does give those longing for a screen capture utility a ray of hope in saying that such a feature could end up in a future build of Windows Phone 7.
Unfortunately for now, we'll just have to learn to live without a screen capture utility on our Windows Phones.
Whoa, where did this come from? Even though the Daily Show is openly pro-iPhone, looks like they are showing some Windows Phone 7 love as MTV Networks (Viacom) just released an official app for the show.
From the description:
"Get the Quote of the Day and video clip for the most recent episodes. Share them on Facebook and Twitter. Search the entire archive of videos by category or topic. Drag topics together to narrow results to an interesting combination."
That's the good news. The bad news is it costs $1.99 and there's no trial available. Oh Viacom, you greedy devil you. And you just know you won't be able to watch the whole episode. Torn between our love of Jon and dislike of corporate media giant.
There's been successful attempts at modifying HTC Accent colors aka "themes" on unlocked developer devices, but up until now, Samsung phones were left to watch in envy.
Now Dave Amenta of Send to WP7 (Desktop) fame, has gone ahead and released a simple and effective app for Samsung phones that will allow you to easily modify all of your themes to any color you like. The beauty in it is you don't have to mess with those silly #FF339933 codes, but instead just use a color/shade slider. Easy as cake. But yes, your device needs to be developer-unlocked.
As you can see, we changed our Focus to a nice blue-grey theme and we feel pretty happy about it. Except now we want to go try every other color, so we're gonna go do that now, kthxbai!
Update: The app now works on LG and HTC devices too. See here.
While Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst (see full review) has mutant freaks, Zombie Defense from Rush Forward has plain old zombies. The Windows Phone 7 game has you defending your neighborhood from a parade of the living dead.
The multi-level tower defense game offers ten types of zombies to defend against and three different tower weapons. Zombie Defense is an entertaining game for the Windows Phone but to see if it's worth the $.99 price tag, you'll have to follow the break.
Like word games? Wordish is available for Windows Phone 7 that is a blend between scrabble and solitaire. It's an entertaining app for your Windows Phone that has you finding four words from stacks of letters.
Each letter is assigned a point value and the game ends when no more words can be created. No Springs Studios, the developer, has put together a nice package with Wordish and to find out more, hop on past the break.
While Seesmic received a nice update, the official Twitter client still at 1.0 and Beezz doing alright, we're pretty excited about having ol' moTweets around again. Considered one of the top Windows Mobile Twitter apps (save Twikini, RIP), moTweets should be a pretty stellar app from this experienced company.
To see if it works we tried it ourselves and sure enough, it does what it was meant to do. Most of you won't have a developer unlocked device to do this and the ChevronWP7 loop hole will be patched soon, plus there's the whole thing that this is technically stealing LG's software and one of their device selling points (though everyone seems okay with loading WP7 on their HD2s, with no concern there--double standard we guess). So you know, we don't recommend you do this, even if you could, which you probably can't.
Word has it that the LG Quantum (aka Optimus 7Q) will not be heading across the pond to Europe. According to Pocket-Lint, James Choi, marketing strategy and planning team director for LG Electronics Global, told them, “Unfortunately, the Quantum will not make it to Europe. It’s an exclusive handset for AT&T in America." He did not elaborate much, simply attributing the move an "internal issue."
We're sure Microsoft and their Tell-Me system will add this feature to all Windows Phone in the future, but for now, LG has it all to their own. That's because they're using Nuance Dragon Diction to do the actual speech translation and it works quite well.
Supporting Twitter, SMS, email and memos, the LG-only app is a shining jewel for their Quantum (see review) and Optimus 7 phones and something to consider when buying your device.
Bonus Tip: saying "period", "exclamation point" or "question mark" will do punctuation for you. So cool.
One thing that seems to be missing from all of the audiobook apps in the Marketplace is the ability to easily bookmark your spot in an MP3 and return to it.
XDA member, dbroome, has developed AudioBookMark, which as the name implies, does just that. AudioBookMark not only remembers which MP3 file you are listening to, but where in that file as well. And in case you are someone who likes to skip from title to title, you can select from a list of your books and dive right in where you left off on each. You can use the built-in transport keys to speed to a certain point of an MP3, or manually enter HH:MM:SS to jump directly to the juiciest parts.
Chitika, a search-targeted advertising network who serves over 2 billion ads a month (thanks Wikipedia!), has their December results in where they parse down traffic by operating systems. The results? Windows Phone 7 did grow from 0.4% to 0.44%.
Yeesh. While technically improvement with the holiday season behind us we would have expected a sharper, more significant rise in reported traffic. Now granted, Chitika's numbers are but one ad-provider and probably don't tell the whole story (lots of factors at play here), but had the number jumped to 1% we'd probably be reporting it as positive too, so to be fair... They finally conclude with:
It’s still got a long way to go, and it’s nowhere near a threat to Android and iPhone yet, but it is growing.
For anecdotal results, TheNextWeb took a look at their traffic and found that WP7 is growing and doing pretty well, considering the competition:
I took a look into our traffic numbers here at TNW, and it seems that, at least from our vantage point, Windows Phone 7 is in fact growing much more rapidly than what Chitika reports.
They note that being a tech site, their numbers are pretty skewed, but it goes to show that Chitika's numbers are but one way of looking at these things.
In a recent interview, James Choi, marketing strategy and planning team director of LG Electronics global, shared some thoughts on the Windows Phone 7 launch and at least they're honest. In short, they were expecting a bit more visibility of the launch and for it to catch on more:
From an industry perspective we had a high expectation, but from a consumer point of view the visibility is less than we expected.
LG has been closely collaborating with Microsoft from the beginning. What we feel is that it is absolutely perfect for a huge segment out there. What we feel is that some people believe that some operating systems, mainly Google, are extremely complicated for them. But Windows Phone 7 is very intuitive and easy to use...
No one should necessarily be surprised at those comments. The launch for Windows Phone 7 has been a critical success but publicly it is a bit on the down-low now, especially with Android and now the iPhone (once again) stealing all the news. But all is not doom and gloom for LG as they truly believe in Windows Phone 7 both as a vialble OS and a way to balance the plethora of Android devices in the market--something they say their vendors are looking to balance as well because there's just too much Android. As to the solution?
There is a lot of scepticism at the moment, but once Windows Phone 7 handsets that are mid-tier to low tier start appearing the market share will grow. Right now it’s only exclusively present in a high tier, because of its hardware requirements, and that’s limiting growth.
Sounds about right to us. Microsoft has the right pieces, just a matter of time.
Branching off our previous look at Windows Home Server (codenamed “Vail”) coming to the Windows Phone platform, there has been an app already available in the Marketplace for some time that can accomplish a streaming ready connection between your home server and your mobile phone. So, what does this handy little tool have to offer?
Apart from the obvious feature of streaming music and media, WHS Phone brings with it server health and disk space of mounted drives clearly displayed, a list of connected clients on the network, with the addition of being able to browse through local shares, managing users and resources is also present. A welcomed ability to upload photos directly from your phone will interest those who love to capture every moment.
Though not an official release from Microsoft, this is a fantastic effort to bring functionality, which (in the eyes of some) should have already been officially included. It also makes the wait for an official app more bearable. Have you already got this app installed and running? If so, what's your experience with your home server?