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4 years ago

Microsoft Updates UI Design and Interaction Guide to 2.0--we review it

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We don’t know about you, but we’ve pretty excited about this Windows Phone 7 thing. The closer we get to that October(ish) release, the more desperate we get for all the juicy details on what to expect from Microsoft’s new mobile OS. Most of the information that we have on Windows Phone 7 up to this point has come from developer resources and documentation. The Microsoft UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 is an attempt to communicate Microsoft’s design and UI principles to developers in the hopes of maintaining some level of consistency. The full guide is available from Microsoft (PDF link).

We’ve gone through the guide for you and broken out some of the guidelines/specs that we either haven’t heard or at least haven’t had confirmed. Get all of the details after the break and then let us know what you think in the comments.

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4 years ago

Bing developers show off...Bing for Windows Phone 7

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After all of those tech-previews of Windows Phone 7, if you're like us you already feel you "know" the new OS in and out. Likewise for Bing on board, which while currently lacking turn-by-turn directions (boo) promises to build off of what looks to be a solid search platform.

Heck, even the Bing folks think so as they posted a few screen shots to gaze at. Credit is due: it sure looks real nice and we're excited to make daily use of it and finally ditch Google-everything.

Other than that, nothing new, just preetty. See more shots here at the Bing blog.

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4 years ago

Marketplace Spotlight: Citizen Alerts

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4 years ago

More Windows Phone 7 device-names from HTC?

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He may be retiring, but not without a parting shot to HTC. Conflipper has gone ahead and posted some more HTC device codenames, some of which are presumably for Windows Phone 7.

Now, before we get all giddy over these, it should be noted that even CF is not 100% if these will see the light of day, rather all he knows is that they were at least one time planned--whether or not they get through development and production is always up in the air until they are announced.

Some other bits he posts:

Looking at WP7 device Mozart, being a dance, Salsa, Tango, and Swing, are all dances, HTC likes to name devices under same category.

Maestro looks to be Worldphone, (CDMA + GSM), Swing is a GSM, Swing#C CDMA, Salsa is GSM, Salsa#C is CDMA, Vienna and Vienna#C

How do these fit in with those previous WP7 device-codenames e.g. HTC Gold_W (Sprint)/Gold, HTC Mozart/Schubert, Mondrian and HTC Spark_W? Heck if we know. While we're excited HTC evidently has a whole slew of devices coming for WP7, for FSM's sake can we get at least one leaked image of what they'll look like already?

[via Twitter]

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4 years ago

Microsoft updates the KIN

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Microsoft updates the KIN

Microsoft's KIN may be dead but it keeps on ticking. Microsoft has released an update for the KIN that offers minor functionality changes. Not enough for resuscitation but the update is reported to include the following:

  • Twitter avatars showing up in the KIN Loop
  • Changes to Twitter status appearance
  • Re-tweets by contacts show up in the Loop
  • Twitter contact profiles show up
  • Twitter contacts can now be pinned to Favorites.

Rumors were circulating that Microsoft was working on a KIN update to give it more functionality that included better Twitter integration. This may have been the last item on the KIN Team's "to do" list before they turned off the lights completely.

The software version is 1.0 build 2814.0 and can be accessed through the KIN's Over-the-Air update system.

[read: wmpoweruser.com]

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4 years ago

AT&T Second Quarter Report: Not too shabby

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AT&T has released it's second quarter earning report and life over at the wireless company is looking pretty good. AT&T experienced positive revenue growth during the quarter with consolidated revenues totaling $30.8 billion, up $194 million from last year's second quarter. AT&T can also boast a 25.9% boost in EPS (earnings per share) of $.68 compared to $.54 last year.

Wireless service revenue increased 10.3% and Wireless data revenue experienced a 27.2% growth, up $936 million compared to year-earlier quarter. Apparently the new data plan structures haven't been that bad.

Total wireless subscribers rose to 90.1 million, a 1.6 million net increase, setting a best-ever second quarter mark. The other wireless highlight was, despite "antennagate", AT&T set a company record by activating 3.2 million iPhones.

Confidence is high over at AT&T heading into the second half of the year. As a launch partner for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, AT&T should be at the forefront this Fall when WP7 hits the shelves. It will be interesting to see what impact the new Windows Phone will have on future earnings.

You can read the full press from AT&T here.

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7: Calendars

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Windows Phone 7: Calendars

Paul Thurrott does a nice job of breaking down how calendars work on Windows Phone 7, specifically the trade off between simplicity and ability.

Windows Phone 7, via Live and/or Exchange, can sync up your calendar events. You can also add external sources like Google to the mix. All of these can by synced to the phone is a very easy fashion, the problem though is syncing back as you can only have one "source" that gets synced too.

Then there is the issue of multiple, nested calendars that are "subscribed" too within a calendar e.g. 'weather' within Google calendar--those don't get synced.

Granted, this is v1.0 of calendar support in WP7, but obviously some "power users" will have a tough time swallowing those limitations, while for us with not much to do in our lives (ahem, raises hand) it won't be a big deal. As Thurrott notes:

...you can’t be both simple and full-featured. Microsoft has opted with Windows Phone, in v1 form anyway, for simple. This is arguably the right choice, but the limitations of this choice will appear in multiple places all over this system. And this is just one basic example.

Indeed.

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4 years ago

AT&T to get 8 million Windows Phone 7 devices; So will 90,000 Microsoft employees

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Fun Twitter day for rumors and Windows Phone 7 news as it looks like two big fish have bought into the next generation Microsoft OS.

The first, well, is obvious. Microsoft evidently believes in their new mobile system so much, they are giving all 90,000 employees a free phone. Nothing like that to get your own employees on board, eh?

It's even better news for MS employees, as reportedly their boss will no longer pay for their phone's service plan if it is a non-Microsoft OS (e.g. Blackberry, iPhone, WebOS), at least according to 'Business Insider'. So one hand taketh, the other giveth.

The second is less confirmed, but comes from a trusted source of a trusted source--namely Michael Gartenberg, who is a heavy when it comes to the tech world and writing on it. According to his inside person, AT&T is poised to get "8 million WP7 devices".

What exactly that means is hard to say--long term trend? Single device or multiple? We're going with the obvious and betting that they will have two maybe three Windows Phone 7 launches within a short period and combined, they expect to order 8 million.

Regardless of the details, if true, that is still a heck of a huge number to order. Now, will they sell?

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4 years ago

Twitter currently not integrated with Windows Phone 7; 3rd parties to the rescue?

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Back a few months ago, when Windows Phone 7 was first announced, there was talk about how there won't be a separate, native Twitter application when launched. Instead, Microsoft talked-up their Live services which could access and pull down your Twitter feed for you.

Sure, it wasn't a direct route but if you use Live, you had a one-punch solution to social integration on WP7.

Now we're getting word that's just not the case as Twitter as changed their Terms of Service back in June (which explains why it was missing as of late) and have blocked companies like Microsoft from accessing via that method. To be clear, Microsoft is working with Twitter to come to a solution, but it seems Twitter has Redmond by the Rocky Mountain Oysters on this one and since the end of June, it hasn't be restored.

Of course there are a few of third-party solutions, including Twikini, Seesmic and even some up and coming developers who will have clients out the gate at launch--and lets be honest, when it comes to Twitter clients, the free market has made bigger, better and more fully-featured Twitter programs. The Android and iPhone software community are testimony to this approach.

On the other hand, full, native integration is pretty sweet. Can Microsoft, perhaps, pull off a last minute coding trick to get back Twitter or should the Market just have it instead? (Hint: we think Twikini and Seesmic are much better options anyways, so long as they fully integrate in the OS, including contacts).

[via Pocketnow; thanks Stephen]

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4 years ago

More coding wars: Android compared to Windows Phone 7

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We've already seen one 'showdown' between coding on platforms: the iPhone vs Windows Phone 7, and now we have what is perhaps the more important one, where Android takes on the new comer.

Android is perhaps more important than the iPhone because at the rate at which it is gaining, it will pass Cupertino sooner than later (they just hit 70,000 apps, nearly doubling the 38K mark in April). In fact, due to the plethora of hardware variations and carrier support, Android is quite the formidable opponent. 

Now, in fairness, this is but one person's comparison between coding on two platforms so nothing is definitive--only the free market will decide such things in the end. Still, it's nice to know that when Microsoft says it's going all out to help out and support developers, it just isn't PR spin-- a lot of them agree.

New to the scene is Mishkin Faustini, who is a fan of Windows Phone 7, so that bias should be considered, but he does a nice job of comparing and contrasting the two platforms finally mentioning that

...the dev tools for Android are laughable at best in comparison to the beauty and elegance of Microsoft dev tools

Well, we'll see when WP7 hits and how the developer community responds as a whole, talk about uphill battle, sheesh. But hey we'd rather hear good news than bad news these days about WP7's future.

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4 years ago

'Conflipper' retires from Windows Mobile community

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Bad news, everyone. Conflipper, ROM cooker and bearer for all things about HTC, has decided to retire from the community, though we think for understandable reasons.

For the last few weeks, he's been going back and forth with HTC over his controversial website 'Shipped ROMS'--they claimed infringement, he claimed that he was just re-hosting what is already in the public domain.

Conflipper has been a staple around the Windows Mobile community for the last few years and has provided many sites (including our own) with lots of 'inside' information on the workings of Microsoft and specifically HTC. He never sought famed, preferred to remain anonymous and was always just flat out reliable.

While he chooses to go on hiatus from the scene, we wouldn't be surprised if he returns at some point, providing some great Windows Phone 7 information--but like in the past, you'll rarely know that it's actually coming from him. A loss for the community, we totally know how feels about getting to close to the industry and we know whatever he chooses to focus on next, he'll end up all right.

Read his full statement, replete with his entire fascinating history, right here. Good luck CF!

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4 years ago

Book for programmers: Windows Phone 7 Game Development

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Sometimes, we folks around here wish we had the skills to actually write software for our phones as opposed to just report on 'em, but alas we know our lot in life.

For some of you though, you're a bit smarter and can handle all this stuff and we've been trying to cover the developer community rallying around Windows Phone 7 for awhile now. 

Programmer and writer Adam Dawes has a nice lil' book coming out around December for writing games on WP7 (games we''re really looking forward too). We won't get into too much detail but if you program and like WP7 and like games, we'll just drop this link here for your perusal.

[Thanks, Adam, and good luck!]

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4 years ago

Review: Astraware Police Range

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 Technical Preview recap

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Technical Preview units of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 have landed in the hands of a number of tech writers. The hands-on time these writers spent with the Technical Preview devices provided a good bit of insight on Windows Phone 7. After spending most of the day reading their observations, a few conclusions quickly come to light.

Throughout the reviews the positives and negatives on the Technical Preview units were fairly consistent. We found a lot of what we already knew, some affirmations on what we suspected and a few new things.

Follow the break to see what we pulled from the hands-on time these fortunate few have shared with us.

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4 years ago

Humor: Reality distortion field remains strong w/Steve Jobs after antennagate

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 Wow. What is this I don't even...

Okay, we're not even sure how to categorize this outside of it's from Taiwan, uses computer animation with Darth Vader references and taking a metaphor to a whole new level. It hails from NMA News, who has made a reputation for themselves by making computer reenactments of current events, practically as they happen, including Tiger Woods and the Leno/O'Brien controversies.

It's not even in English but you'll get all of it, including some of the somewhat tasteless Foxconn jokes. Still, the "solution" for the antenna/reception issue? Hilarious. Not completely SFW either!

Edit: Got the translated version from TiPB!

[Big thanks to Eric Chang for sending this!]

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