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4 years ago

Microsoft Street Slide gets demoed, coming to WP7?

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Most of us are familiar with Google’s Street View and Bing’s  Streetside. These tools allow you to virtually walk down a street in your browser; jumping between panoramic images and allowing you to get a feel for the street or location you are viewing instead of giving you impersonal lines on a map. While Street View is an amazing technology, the jumps between panoramas can be fairly significant; making the prospect of locating a small shop or building somewhat hit or miss.

Trust Microsoft to push the envelope with their services. Street Slide is Microsoft’s latest effort to make experiencing a location from the street level as seamless as possible. Using multiple perspectives to blend between different images, Microsoft presents a letterboxed view of the street. In the unused space above and below the image of the street, you are presented with street numbers that correspond with the buildings you are viewing, as well as navigation controls and corporate logos for individual businesses.

A YouTube video of the demo is after the break, and though Windows Phone 7 isn’t mentioned (some other smartphone is) it doesn’t take much of a stretch to see this coming to Microsoft’s upcoming mobile platform.

[via Engadget]

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4 years ago

Multitasking in Windows Phone 7: it can be done...kinda

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In an interesting twist, it seems that at least for some types of programs written for Windows Phone 7, multitasking or rather, the simulation of multitasking is completely possible.

Over at clr-namespace.com, the author whipped up a stopwatch application which you can start, then "minimize" then return to the app and it appears to have be running the whole time.

Of course in reality, it's not. It's "tombstoning" the application, which is a process by which

...the operating system maintains state information about the application. If the user navigates back to the application, the operating system restarts the application process and passes the state data back to the application, where the user will be able to continue seamlessly from his last interaction point with the application

In this case, the stopwatch does pause, but when restarted it counts back up from the original start time, giving the illusion that it has been "counting" while paused. This all happens without the user even knowing, making it a bit of a kludge, but a good one for this application.

How can this be applied to other programs? We're not really sure but it goes to show with some ingenuity, programmers can get around some of these "limitations".

[clr-namespace via Silverlight Show.net]

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4 years ago

LG: Definitely coming to U.S. for Windows Phone 7 (Updated: by September?)

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Of course everyone knows LG is named as a launch partner with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7, their 'Panther' has been seen everywhere and LG has been trying to enter the Windows Phone/U.S. market more significantly as of late. But whether we'd actually see a WP7 LG device this year in the U.S. was a question, up untill now. (Another example: Asus--no U.S. presence, yet).

According to Forbes, LG's push into the U.S. market is still pretty limited for their non-smartphones, mobile app store, Android phones and tablets.

The one exception seems to be Windows Phone 7. Like these other bits of good news lately (mostly AT&T related), we're not sure if this means one, single LG phone on "a" carrier or multiple devices with multiple carriers. LG earlier this year tried to 'wow' people with their LG eXpo and pico-projector combo, but while critically it held its own it never made a large splash in the market (but it's still one of our favorite phones of 2010).

We actually like LG and find their Korea-launched phones to be quite compelling. or at the very least, interesting (plus their cameras are actually top-notch, looking at you HTC). Here's hoping to see some more of their offerings in 2010 State-side.

Update: PCWorld has LG on record saying they'll have their first WP7 phone out by the "end of September", which puts us right at that October time frame. They also plan to have "a few" devices by the end of the year.

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4 years ago

AT&T: "We'll be the premier carrier for Windows Phone 7"

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Here's an interesting quote from an AT&T spokeswoman to PC World:

"We'll be the premier carrier for Windows Phone 7"

Like the "AT&T is getting 8 million Windows Phone 7 devices" rumor, we're not exactly sure what this means in reality, all we know is we like the sound of it.

Sprint and Verizon had no comment in regards to their Windows Phone 7 plans, outside of being named "partners" which as the article points out, means they could be more committed or less when the actual launch happens.  T-Mobile didn't reply.

The fact that the nation's largest carrier (love 'em or hate 'em) is standing firmly behind Microsoft is a great sign. Probably a good idea for AT&T too since it gets them away from the Apple-collusion controversy, just a tad.

 

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4 years ago

AT&T Tilt2 update surfaces

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AT&T Tilt2 update surfaces

AT&T Tilt2 owners are in for a surprise.  A new ROM has surfaced over at Shipped-ROMs that appears to be a Windows Mobile 6.5 update for the Tilt2. On top of the ROM surfacing, over at XDA Developers, a new radio has also surfaced from AT&T (included in the ROM update).

After downloading the 230mb file, I took the plunge and flashed my Tilt2. The ROM is definitely branded AT&T and is likely a pre-release test ROM. AT&T has done this before (with the Fuze) and if the time table stays consistent, we should be seeing an "official" release in a few weeks.

Just skimming the surface of the "leaked" version, it is built on WM 6.5 (build 21887) and is running Sense 2.5. It does have the customary AT&T bloatware and it will be nice when the chef's at XDA can cook something up without all the AT&T junk. Just scratching the surface of the "leaked" ROM it appears to be more responsive and looks very clean. The new radio also has a little more pep to it.

If your comfortable flashing ROMs you can download it here and if you prefer to simply update your radio, you can find it here

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4 years ago

AT&T One Cent Sale

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AT&T One Cent Sale

Need a Windows Phone cheap?  If so, AT&T is offering their Windows Phone line-up for a penny.  We have no clue how long this fire sale will last but you can pick up a Samsung Jack, HP Glisten, LG Expo or Tilt2 for one penny.  Could AT&T be making room for a rumored Windows Phone 7 launch?

The penny sale doesn't come without a hitch.  You'll have to sign up for a minimum $15 data package and a two year contract.  Still, if you're looking to upgrade that HTC Fuze or Samsung Blackjack these deals are hard to ignore.  You can check out the sale information over at AT&T's website.

Thanks goes out to Cornelius Whitaker for the tip.

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4 years ago

Four-part video series with Windows Phone 7

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While this isn't a whole lot of 'new' in this video series, it's still quite informative and easily one of the best quality videos we've seen (Hello full HD and multiple angles! Too bad about the audio difficulties...).

In this series shot by www.magnus.de (Weka Media Publishing GmbH, Germany), Greg Sullivan, Senior Product Manager Windows Phone, goes through and gives a tour of Windows Phone 7 while talking up the philosophy behind it quite a bit. It's nearly a half-hour in total length, so it's broken up into four parts:

Part 1: Design, usage, the idea behind hubs
Part 2: The peoples hub, social networking
Part 3: The pictures hub, office hub, games hub
Part 4: Zune, voice command, Bing integration, strategy

At the very least, it certainly qualifies for phone pr0n and if you have time to kill at work today, take a looksy.

All four parts loaded after the break!

[Thanks, Stephen M, for the tip!]

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4 years ago

Blueant T1 Bluetooth Headset

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Blueant T1 Bluetooth Headset

 

The BlueAnt T1 Bluetooth Headset is a durable, reliable Bluetooth device that has been designed to give high quality audio in the most challenging conditions.

The T1 is the first BlueAnt headset to feature Wind Armour Technology™ and to offer caller name announce, so you will always know who is calling because the T1 will read out the name of the incoming caller.

The T1 is available over at the WMExperts Store for $77.95 and we should have a review up in the coming days.

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4 years ago

WMExperts Podcast Episode 105

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4 years ago

WMExperts Podcast Episode 104

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WMExperts Podcast Episode 104


May well be the shortest WMExperts Podcast (unless you were listening live, in which case it might have been the longest). But we're back, we're talking the death of Kin and how it affects Windows Phone 7, and other Microsoft news. Listen in!

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4 years ago

U.S. Gov't legalizes 'jailbreaking' but what does it mean for Windows Phone 7?

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One of the biggest changes to the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem is the installation of applications: you can only install them via the Marketplace and all programs need to be approved by Microsoft.

A lot of anger was directed against Microsoft for this decision, but we actually see why they would want to do this: consistency (security & performance) and a one-stop place to get software (simplicity). And at least unlike Apple, they promised to be much more transparent during the approval process.

Still, with so called no "side loading" of applications (only available to developers), some users are weary of going down the Apple route, even is Redmond is not as Puritan, well, except for 'suggestive' material.

Yesterday, the U.S. Government added new exemptions to the 'fair use' policy allowed by, the some would say draconian, Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Amongst these exemptions, the one gaining all the headlines relates to how it is basically now legal to 'jailbreak' your iPhone and install third-party programs. In response, details on how to install 'Cydia' (an unofficial iTunes app store) have been posted on tech-blogs, previously a verboten topic.

What does this mean for Windows Phone 7?

It is safe to assume that Microsoft will go ahead with their current Marketplace plans and to be honest, we're okay with that as we think for most consumers, it will be perfect. For one, it has try-before-you-buy built in, something that the Apple App Store lacks--this missing features does drive some to install Cydia or Installous (the later is even more verboten)--so the necessity to "get around" Microsoft will be attenuated. Second, Microsoft promises to be more transparent and less-restrictive than Apple-ergo less motivation for a 'unofficial' Marketplace.

But, it also means that Microsoft can not legally try and shut down alternative app stores for Windows Phone 7 (and still win in court), but they still can try to block those who try to install third-party software or use their code.

This seems to be  a big victory, in theory, for the open-source and modding crowd e.g. XDA, who presumably could release their own WP7 store. But really, a lot of this will depend on if Microsoft decides to play hardball with the 'fringe' developer community (Apple), embrace them (Android) or take the middle ground as they usually do i.e. don't condone it, but aren't being jerks about it either.

Needless to say, it'll be quite interesting to see how all of this plays out in a few months, but we may be looking at a much more interesting Windows Phone 7 future.

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4 years ago

Marketplace Spotlight: Hunting Lite

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4 years ago

HTC phone featuring Windows Phone 7 finally appears, meets expectations. Sense coming eventually?

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We've been hearing about the code-names for awhile and now we finally get to see one. We're of course talking about Windows Phone 7 on an HTC device and this one is reportedly for Verizon (and presumably Sprint).

Rocking some current-high end specs, the device features:

  • 3.7" SLCD screen (Sony's 'Super TFT LCD', nothing big)
  • 3 touch-sensitive lower buttons (similar to EVO)
  • 8MP camera (No dual flash, not even a single one!)
  • 1GHz Snapdragon
  • No HTC customizations in sight

Too early to tell if this will be a release device, what it'll be called and where it fits in with HTC's planned offerings (maybe this is an entry level device, not their flagship?)

Our take: it's exactly what we'd expect from HTC and in that regard, it's a bit underwhelming although we think it'll get the job done admirably. Still, we're sort of hoping for 'an HTC EVO moment' where we really go 'wow' instead of 'meh'.

Are our standards and expectations too high? Yup, and we're okay with that as Microsoft needs to wow us.  Your thoughts?  Is that Dell Lightning looking better yet?

Edit: Windows Phone 7 hardware specs require a flash for the camera.  Hmmm...

The other big story is that HTC does plan to offer 'Sense' or something similar to it. Quoting HTC

"Microsoft has taken firmer control of the core experience [in Windows Phone 7], but we can still innovate," Drew Bamford, who heads HTC's user experience design team, told Forbes.

"We won't be able to replace as much of the core Windows Phone experience, but we will augment it," he said

We're down with that. Now lets see what that actually means.

[Via Engadget and FierceWireless; Thanks, Stephen, for the tip!]

 

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4 years ago

HP drops Windows Phone 7

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HP drops Windows Phone 7

Let us flashback to the 2010 Mobile World Congress with Steve Manser, HP's Senior VP, saying, "HP is working even closer with Microsoft to develop signature phones on the Windows Phone 7 Series that offer an entirely new consumer experience.”.

Apparently, times have changed and we've seen indications that HP is no longer on board with Windows Phone 7.  The latest confirmation of such came in a CNBC interview with HP Personal Systems Group VP Todd Bradley. Bradley left no room for doubt when he said, "I think it's clear to say, that we're very focused on the customer, and giving the customer the experience that's important to them. We won't do -- will not do a Linux / Android phone. We won't do a Microsoft phone.".

Instead, HP will concentrate on using WebOS (a.k.a. Palm) for the company's smartphone lineup. With such a strong position on Windows Phone 7 it would appear that the HP Glisten might very well be HP's Windows Phone swan song.

So, does HP's departure from the WP7 represent a great loss or a void easily filled by another company?

[via: Precentral]

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