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4 years ago

Thurrott interviews Charlie Kindel & Greg Sullivan of Microsoft about WP7

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Paul Thurrott (SuperSite for Windows) is busy writing a book on Windows Phone 7, specifically its deepest, darkest secrets. Actually, it's not so much a dirty exposé as a thorough treatment of the fledgling OS. In doing so, he's spending some time in Redmond, toying with the new OS and gathering data for his book. It's there he was able to sit down and talk with Microsoft partner group program manager Charlie Kindel and senior product manager Greg Sullivan.

When those folks talk, you listen. And truth be told, they actually give some solid answers to plaguing questions like copy and paste, Mozilla and Skype skipping the initial release and even tablets with WP7 (see our resolution/DPI discussion).

We won't spoil all the answers as they're actually quite thorough, so you should read the whole thing. However, in response to all the naysayers and those lodging a lot of complaints, we will leave you with the main gist of Microsoft's position on such criticisms:

We have to have focus. And we made a decision around what we would focus on for this turn of the crank, for the first version. We knew this would create difficulties for certain third parties to build on. It's impossible to build a high performance race car on a mountain bike frame. They're good for certain things only. But we made the decision to focus on things we will do really, really well. For those that we didn't, we feel that we're better off waiting until we can do them really, really well.

Apple took the same approach: nail the basics, don't take shortcuts and build off of a solid core. Sure, when Apple did it, the marketplace was vastly different--they had time to kill. Then again, Android took the exact same approach and it paid off too. Will the market be as forgiving towards Microsoft and Windows Phone 7? We're not sure, but to be honest, we rather like this slow, deliberate approach that they are taking. Lets just hope it pays off.

Read more at SuperSite for Windows.

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4 years ago

Pharos announces rugged Windows Phone

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Pharos is showing off their newest Windows phone, the Pharos 565. It's a ruggedized Windows phone that meets Industrial IP54 standards (can survive drops from 4-5 feet).

The Pharos 565 claims to be the first rugged Windows Mobile 6.5 phone (the iMate 810 runs WM6.1) and sports a 3.5" 240x320 TFT touchscreen, 624mhz processor, 512mb ROM/256mb SDRAM as well as GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.  The 565 measures 5.7" (L) x 3.1" (W) x 1" (D) and is powered by a 1880mah battery.  No word on how hefty this phone is but it does have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The tough Windows phone is listed for $529.95 (MSRP) on Pharos website.

Read: SlashGear.com

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4 years ago

More Windows Phone 7 apps written in Silverlight

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More Windows Phone 7 apps written in Silverlight

  

The other day we mentioned how beneficial it will be for programmers to be able to write Windows Phone 7 applications in Silverlight (see "DroppyPop"), specifically we can run them in a web browser to demo them first or as an expansion.

Today we have a few more apps to show from the blog by Sigurd Snørteland. Even the code is provided in case others are curious about writing apps Silverlight. Sigurd weighs in on the whole process by stating thus:

To make it clear right away: Silverlight development of WP7 is incredibly easy and fun. If you have coded a little silver light before you are productive from the start. Virtually the only difference from the normal Silverlight development is that you use any other visual studio templates, and that you get access to some new APIs such. gps, accelerometer, camera, etc.

Here are the programs below (World Clock, CoverFlow, Weather and Solitaire) and read more from Sigurd here.

Also check out some of the cool apps featured on Fuze Mobility.

[via Mobility Digest]

 

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4 years ago

Windows Phone sales dip slightly

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Windows Phone sales dip slightly

Gartner Inc., a technology and research advisory company, has released it's first quarter 2010 numbers on smartphone sales and the numbers on Windows Mobile have declined a bit.

Compared to Q1 2009, Windows Phone sales dipped slightly from 3,738 units to 3,706 units (units in thousands). While Symbian has the largest percentage of the market at 44.3%, Microsoft is fifth on the list at 6.8%.  Symbian also tops the list in units sold with 24,069 units (again, in thousands).

In a similar report from IDC, another technology research center, has Nokia leading the market in smartphone vendors for Q1 2010 with 21.5 million units shipped. The only Windows Phone vendor in the top five was HTC who placed fourth moving 2.6 million units. There was no break down on how many of these units were Windows Phones or Android.

The decline in Windows Phone sales isn't all that surprising since new releases have been at a virtual stand still. We've seen only a handful of new phones, led by HTC's HD2 and Mini, while the Windows Phone transition builds up to the release of the Windows Phone 7.

All is not lost.  We are seeing more interesting news coming from the Windows Phone 7 development and the jury is still out on how successful the KIN will be.  It will be interesting to see how these two Windows Phones will affect these numbers.

[via Engadget.com]

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4 years ago

Higher resolution support in Windows Phone 7: DPI 262?

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One question has been bugging me ever since the Windows Phone 7 reveal back a few months ago and the revolves around screen resolution and quality.

We know that the preferred resolution is 800x480, which today is considered on the high end but within a few months will be closer to the norm in smartphones. This raises the question: what resolutions will WP7 support say in 12 months or 24 months out? Surely 800x480 won't be the bees-knees in two years from now. Heck, the 4th generation iPhone ("iPhone HD") is dropping this summer with an expected resolution of 960x640

We're pretty positive that Microsoft have some sort of upscaling plan in the works and the first hint of this may have just been found from one of the recent WP7 ROM dumps.

Specifically mention of a DPI 262 (DPI= dots per inch). Historically, Windows Mobile has supported DPI 192, 120 and 96. Windows Phone 7 supports 96, 131, 192, 262 and according to Da_G, WP7 resolution is scalable to just about anything.

Now DPI isn't resolution, but rather effects how dense the image is--the larger the screen, the less dense the pixels, you up those and your screen image is smoother looking. With DPI 262, Windows Phone 7 can (a) look better on current screens if enabled (b) work on larger screens e.g. 5" tablets and up. (c) be easier to read, think fonts/text and smoothness.

Hopefully this a positive sign of things to come.

[via XDA forums]

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4 years ago

Even more LG Panther (Windows Phone 7) Photos + hands on

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Well this is certainly more exciting!

While details and specifications are still not confirmed, ElectricPig got their hands on the sweet LG Panther prototype with Windows Phone 7 on board.

They note some dramatic improvements over the last version a few months ago, stating:

We’re much more excited seeing that unusual homescreen bursting with info this time round (in an amusing, if impractical touch, a smiley faces turns to a frown the more unread texts you have) and we have to say, it’s certainly much nippier now, with a working calendar that can detect addresses in text and proffer up speedy Bing maps, and frankly astounding looking Office support that puts Google Docs access on mobiles to shame.

The screen on the LG Windows Phone 7 model is also a vast improvement on the poor display on the original Windows Phone 7 prototype shown at Barcelona, and it really felt like a finished product on the outside at least, with a sturdy sliding mechanism and decent landscape keyboard.

That's what we like to hear. Head over to see all 18 shots of the LG in action.

Update: CNet UK also had a hands on and positive things to say too. They note a 5MP camera,  that the screen is a little small and focus on Office, with lots of great photos.

  

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4 years ago

XdaRoms.com adds membership options

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XdaRoms.com adds membership options

XdaRoms.com has added a membership system to their website. XdaRoms is a relatively new website repository for custom or cooked Roms.  As the inventory of roms build, it may very well become a one stop shop to satisfy your cooked rom appetite. 

XdaRoms membership gives you the ability to post roms and news. We have also been told by the website creator, bowpay, that in the very near future XdaRoms will have a few more new features.

The features include Rom Favorites which will alert members when an update to your favorite rom is posted; Rom Reviews which will give those shopping for roms a feel for what's out there; and Carrier Integration which will tie each rom to the various carriers. It is hopeful that these new features will give romaholics (or the casual flasher) more resources to choose a compatible rom and avoid bricking your Windows Phone.

 

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4 years ago

Landscape in Windows Phone 7: where is it?

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Sometimes, when you post all of these stories you miss the obvious...

Luckily there is someone else out there to do just that and in this case, David K at Mobility Digest did by asking what's the deal with WP7 and landscape?

Case in point, a few shots of the not-sexy-but-functional LG Panther were featured yesterday, including at least two with the keyboard extended.  Funny thing though, neither picture shows the orientation changing with the landscape out.

Come to think of it, have we ever seen WP7 in landscape orientation? So what's going on here: early beta/feature not available; or, no it does not support orientation switching (but it does in the emulator)?

We're betting, nay hoping that since the emulator clearly allows landscape switching for certain apps, we'll see this in the final release. Actually, from our Zune HD experience, orientation switching is only allowed when 

  1. the program purposefully calls for it e.g. a game when you are "forced" switched
  2. a text-entry field is present and you rotate the device (optional)

However, this may mean that you cannot just willy-nilly switch orientation, like we do now in WM6.x  for every app just because you want too. In the above shots, there are no text-entry fields and the programs clearly don't call for -landscape=on, ergo, no landscape.

Thoughts? Feelings? Rant away...

[via Mobility Digest]

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4 years ago

Seesmic shows off their Twitter app for Windows Phone 7

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Here's a bit of surprise, Seesmic, developers of one of the most popular desktop Twitter clients, has just demoed their upcoming app for Windows Phone 7.

Now considered to be a launch-partner by Microsoft (see also Foursquare and Netflix), Seesmic's Twitter app look quite classy. In addition, they have a Sliverlight plugin-platform/SDK which will allow external applications easy integration e.g. Bing maps and encourages 3rd parties to interact with their program with ease. That means we should see tight integration with Seesmic and other apps like RSS readers to quickly share links; smart idea.

This will be the first Windows Phone client from Seesmic who already have ones for Android and Blackberry. Between Seesmic and Twikini, looks like early-adopters will have their Twitter needs covered by the best in the biz.

Edit: turns out this was actually posted two months ago and we missed it, so not exactly breaking but still it was news to us at least ;-)

Edit 2: Not for nothing, but our timing was good. Seesmic just announced the availability of Seesmic Desktop 2 (preview), now based on...you guessed it Silverlight and featuring plugins for Foursquare, Buzz and Facebook.

[via Mashable]

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4 years ago

Microsoft KIN Video Overview

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Microsoft KIN Video Overview

We have received review units for the KIN One and Two and over the next few days we'll be taking them out for a test drive to see what these new Windows Phones are all about.

In the meantime, we put together a brief video overview on the two KIN phones. The initial impression of the KIN series is that if your a heavy Facebook or Twitter user, the KIN might be right up your ally. I wouldn't consider it a replacement for your Windows Mobile Phone running Windows Mobile but rather an alternative for those who don't need as much.

Note: In the video it is mentioned that the KIN doesn't have any Function Keys. The KIN does have a function key (the green key) that will allow you to key in numbers and characters. What it doesn't have is function key shortcuts to launch apps such as the browser or email.

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4 years ago

Zune HD apps update: Landscape keyboard, Hearts and Spades

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For the handful of you who are using the Zune HD (myself and Phil are diehard fans), you'll be pleased to know of a few updates to the Zune Marketplace.

For one, Twitter gets a landscape keyboard in v1.2, which makes it that much more useful (or useless, depending on your view). You must enable "keyboard tilt" under the settings in Twitter, it's off by default. Facebook gets bumped to v1.1--not sure what the difference is there and yours truly is MIA on that social network.

In addition, a few new card games including Hearts and Spades, which we suppose look fun (see below).

Load up your the Zune Marketplace to download these freebies.

  

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4 years ago

Pocket Informant also not on board Windows Phone 7

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WebIS Inc's. head honcho came out a few weeks ago, responding to a Twitter question, stating very boldly that they too have no immediate plans to develop their popular PIM client, Pocket Informant, for Windows Phone 7:

At the moment we do not expect to support Windows Phone 7. Its simply missing too much foundational for us. It could be done, but we'd hit a dead end at version 1.00 and it would be slower than people would like due to having to write all the recurrence/calendar code in C# without a good backend to help speed things up (like on BB).

So I'd like to make it official. Based on the current beta Windows Phone 7 SDK, we will not be making a Pocket Informant for Windows Phone 7.

His reasoning comes down to what others have said: access to native code and limitations on the current API environment. They could make a PI application, but he suspects it would be slow and lacking in major features/integration with the OS. However, like others, once the OS matures and/or sales end up being really good, they'll reconsider.

All of this comes on the footsteps of Mozilla and Skype essentially saying the same thing. While unfortunate, lets not forget a couple of things: Mozilla failed to deliver a usable browser after two-years of development, Skype's WinMo client was really never that good and Pocket Informant has always been a giant, slow, heaping mess (with a ton of features that some swore by).

Maybe we're just being flippant, but some of us won't be missing some of these companies' mobile offerings all that much, judging from their past performance. Case in point, Alex came out nearly 4 weeks ago with this announcement.  Who noticed? That's not to say we don't wish them luck, we certainly do, but in the end, sometimes you have to make some breaks and let a new-class of developers step up and innovate.

Are we being too harsh? Comment!

[via Information Week]

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4 years ago

Samsung Windows Phone 7 device spotted too (Omnia HD, again?)

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Well, it was their turn, right?

Samsung's WinPho 7 (can we say that?) prototype has made a sneaky, teaser appearance from Microsoft France as they gear up for ReMIX. We've seen a WP7 offering from Samsung back when WP7 was announced.

Turns out yesterday was a big day for some lucky Microsoft PR types as they all received the latest WP7 devices on their desk.

Officially, we know LG (Panther) and now Samsung have working prototypes floating around to demo the OS but no such luck spotting an HTC device, which is odd. We give it 48 hours.

Back to Samsung, not much is known in terms of specs or really anything. But if we had to guess, this is just the same old Omnia HD running WP7. See above comparison shot. So nothing to get too excited about.

[via MobileTechWorld]

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4 years ago

T-Mobile HTC HD2 ROM update now official

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T-Mobile HTC HD2 ROM update now official

If you missed it a few days ago, before HTC pulled it, you can once again grab youself the official HD2 ROM upgrade.

Simply hop here http://www.t-mobile.com/wmupgrade/ and type in your IMEI to download the latest ROM.

Couple of things, for the 15 digit IMEI: if you have 17 digits, just leave the last 2 off. Second, yes, this is the exact same ROM as the "unofficial" one from a few days ago: same size, same numbering, no reported differences in performance. So if you're already flashed, no need to do it again.

Read all the details in the press release right here.

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4 years ago

Paint Now! Mobile: excellent image editor (freeware)

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For those who like to do some pretty basic editing of photos before you ship them off to your Facebook, Twitter or email, you'll want to take a look at this great little app by XDA member 'menos'.

Think of it as analogous to MS Paint. 

You simply run the program, open an image (.png, .jpg, .bmp) and from there you can crop, draw shapes e.g. circle, speech bubbles (very cool), eye dropper for color sample, resize and it even has an undo button.

The buttons are sort of tiny, so while it worked on my 3.2" eXpo, it was a little difficult. However, devices with 3.6" or larger screens should have no issues.

Overall, considering the price (free, but donation encouraged), this app can go up against the much more pricey "professional" competitors on the market. We give it a big thumbs up as it made my Chinese rice-monster very happy.

Head to XDA forums to download.

 

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