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5 years ago

Microsoft trying to avoid 99-cent apps

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Microsoft threw a little dev camp yesterday at the mother ship in Washington, and there was some interesting discussion regarding app prices in the upcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

Said Loke Uei, of Microsoft's Mobile Development Experience team (and a fan favorite around these parts) as reported by Techflash: [via Engadget]

"It's up to you play your pricing, but we would definitely want to promote that you make more money selling applications than selling your application in a dollar store. ... I know, 99 cents is interesting — yes, consumers like to pay 99 cents for applications. But 99 cents, come on, I think your app is worth more than that."

We've had many a drag-out fistfight rational discussion with our counterparts at The iPhone Blog over this one. (And their argument for a premium app store is worth discussing.) Consumers certainly win when apps are priced at 99 cents. Developers? Not so much. And when one app is priced at, say, $4.99 and a very similar app is priced at 99 cents, well, it's easy to see who's going to win that battle. Price doesn't necessarily point to an app's "worth."

One thing that certainly will be different with Microsoft's app store (and, yes, we're going to be repeating ourselves yet again here) is that a large number of the apps available at launch already are available today, and not at 99-cent price points.

Take Kinoma Play, for example. At $29.99 it's one of the more expensive Windows Mobile applications we've bought — and worth every penny we paid. We have a hard time imagining the price dropping to $1 or even $5, just because it's in Microsoft's app store. (That said, some sort of Marketplace launch discount shouldn't be out of the question.)

Microsoft's point is this: Developers' works are worth more than 99 cents, and they should be going for quality (as in greater revenue) over quantity (selling as many copies as possibly cheaply). And that's why the Race to Market Challenge will have two winners in the paid category: one for most downloads, and the other for total revenue generated.

Should Microsoft concern itself with app pricing in the Marketplace?(answers)
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5 years ago

Friday fune, er, we mean fun

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5 years ago

Custom ROMs for the Touch Pro 2!

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Custom ROMs for the Touch Pro 2!

It's time, boys and girls. The tireless folks at XDA Developers have released the Hard SPL package for the HTC Rhodium, aka the Touch Pro 2. And that means custom ROMs can now be loaded on the Touch Pro 2.

Now's the time when we tell you that if you're going to be flashing ROMs, radios and bootloaders, you need to take extra care, read all the instructions, and don't blame us if you skip a step that leaves your phone a smoking pile of plastic and shattered dreams. That's unlikely, though, 'cause you're gonna read the directions, aren't you? (And also give a read to our own George Ponder's experiences with flashing ROMs.)

Now, head on over to XDA Developers and get flashing!

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5 years ago

Review: GPS Weather Radar

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Review: GPS Weather Radar

We ran across a nifty weather application called GPS Weather Radar that's been developed by XDA Developer's Forum member avs777. It may very well be one of the most useful weather radar applications I've run across.  If you travel and need access to the weather, this is one application you may not want to leave home without.

Follow the break for all the details on GPS Weather Radar.

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5 years ago

Summer giveaway from Trinket Software

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Summer giveaway from Trinket Software

Our summer giveaways continue, and we're blowing it up this week with the folks at Trinket Software. They're the makers of the Twikini Twitter app; PowerSMS, which enhances the use of text messages; No Calls, which sets profiles based on time, who's calling, etc.; and Fake Call, which can can generate fake calls on a schedule or on demand, to get you out of those awkward situations you seem to always find yourself in. (Or is that just us?)

Anyway, we're giving away a whopping five licenses for each of those four apps. (That's 20 licenses total. Yeah, we like showing off our mad math skilz.) Check in after the break for what you have to do. We're gonna make you work for it this time around.

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5 years ago

HTC Whitestone passes the FCC

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HTC Whitestone passes the FCC

OK, it's time to quit teasing you with that render of the Verizon-branded HTC Whitestone and get down to brass tacks. What we're expected to become Verizon's version of the Touch Diamond 2 has made it through the FCC, bringing it that much closer to a store near you. It's still a little up in the air whether it'll be a world phone with CDMA and GSM radios, but it's probably more likely than not.

We'll pause, now, as your excitement builds.

FCC via Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile 6.5 and 7, and their tag-team match with Android and iPhone

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Things are getting a little cloudy in the Windows Mobile world, and we're welcoming the stormy skies. First, a refresher:

  • We're expecting Windows Mobile 6.5 to be released in the coming weeks.
  • We're pretty sure there's a Windows Mobile 6.5.1 waiting in the wings. We've seen but can't share (yeah, that's not fair, but them's the breaks) early — repeat: as in some time ago — screen shots of the purported build. The leaked ROMs we've seen recently (Exhibits A and B) appear headed in that direction but actually aren't quite there yet.
  • We're expecting the as yet still unannounced Windows Mobile 7 early next year, and it (hopefully) will be more along the lines of what we're seeing on the Zune HD than what we're used to on our current (and even upcoming) devices.

Now, fast-forward to the present, specifically the latest from Digitimes. They're giving an Oct. 1 date to the 6.5 "release" - quotation marks ours because you're probably not going to be able get a carrier-sanctioned upgrade at midnight or anything. Windows Mobile is still Windows Mobile, and carriers is carriers.

Digitimes also reports Microsoft plans "an upgrade version with a touch interface in February 2010, the sources indicated citing Microsoft roadmap." That's also right in line with what we've heard (but admittedly have have not second-sourced) regarding Windows Mobile 6.5.1. What phones will get 6.5.1? We're hearing the HTC Touch Pro 2 and Touch Diamond 2 — specifically the AT&T versions, which would lend credence to recent musings by Engadget that we'll finally see the keyboardless phone on the same network at the iPhone.

Then there's Windows Mobile 7, which Digitimes says will co-exist alongside Windows Mobile 6.5 when it's launched sometime in Q4 of 2010. As in, more than a year from now. The idea, Digitimes says, is to take on Android from the 6.5 front and the iPhone from Windows Mobile 7. (Sorry, Android. You get the second string offense, apparently.)

Now, we're among the first to take news from Digitimes with a big 'ol helping of salt. So what should you take out of this?

If you're not stoked about Windows Mobile 6.5, that's cool. We're pretty sure bigger things are in the works, starting with Windows Mobile 6.5.1, and really getting going with Windows Mobile 7. Look no further than the Zune HD for evidence of what Microsoft is capable of.

It's going to require some more ... what's that word? ... Patience.

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5 years ago

The courting of developers continues

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5 years ago

Watch the WinMo Dev Camp live

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5 years ago

Garmin-Asus nuvifone M20 finally launched

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The long-awaited Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M20, which we got our hands on way back at the beginning of the year, is finally getting some launch love, but don't expect to see people roaming the streets with it anytime soon in the States. The M20's been launched on Taiwan's Chunghwa network, marking the first phone to run Windows Mobile from the alliance between the GPS guru and hardware manufacturer.

Presser [via Engadget Mobile]

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5 years ago

Review: BlueAnt Q1 Voice Controlled Headset

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Review: BlueAnt Q1 Voice Controlled Headset

Voice commands have made life a lot easier. They offer a level of convenience and while driving makes life a little safer. We've enjoyed voice commands native to our Windows Mobile phones for some time now and thanks to BlueAnt, we now can enjoy them on our Bluetooth headsets.

Enter the BlueAnt Q1 voice-controlled headset. On the surface, it looks like your typical thin, compact Bluetooth headset. Start using the Q1 and you can't help but smile when the headset asks what you would like to do and listens.

Follow the break to see how well the Blueant Q1 listens to your commands.

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5 years ago

Turbo mode in T-Mobile build of Opera Mobile (Update 2: Kinda, sorta, not really)

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Update 2: Matt checks back in and lets us know that while there is a check box for "Turbo," it doesn't enable a proxy like in the 9.7 beta.

Original: One of the main features of the Opera Mobile 9.7 beta is the "Turbo" feature, which basically switches the browser to a proxy mode, rendering the page elsewhere and piping it to your phone. Bottom line: It's faster, but with more security concerns.

But it turns out the Turbo mode is available in the build of Opera Mobile 9.5 found on the recently released T-Mobile Touch Pro 2. Matt Miller (of Nokia Experts fame and his own ZDNet blog) discovered such and shares the details:

  1. Type opera:config in the URL box.
  2. Scroll to User Prefs
  3. Choose "Turbo Mode" and hit the checkbox to enable it.
  4. Scroll down and hit save.

Matt also details a couple of other tricks, such as setting Opera to be the default browser in TouchFLO 3D, and increasing the number of tabs possible in the browser. Check it all out here.

Update: Our pal Gregory, who reviewed the Telus Touch Pro 2 for us, er, tells us that the Turbo mode is available in the Canadian version, too.

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5 years ago

T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 for $149.99

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5 years ago

East Texas Rocket Docket in full effect as Microsoft hit with multiple patent suits

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The silly season is in full effect, when legitimate companies and patent trolls file lawsuits against much, much bigger fish.

First came i4i's suit in which a federal judge in Texas ruled that Microsoft must stop selling its Word software because it blatantly and willingly infringed on an XML patent. And Microsoft must pay $240 million.

Now, EMG Technology has filed federal suit in the same East Texas district that will hear just about any patent case, it seems, taking on Windows Mobile, an online brokerage firm and an airline. Reports Information Week:

EMG, meanwhile, contends that Microsoft's Windows CE, PocketPC, and Windows Mobile products infringe its patent for viewing Web content on a mobile device. EMG also lists investment broker Scottrade and Southwest Airlines in its complaint.

The patents in question are 7,441,196 (Apparatus and Method of Manipulating a Region on a Wireless Device Screen) and 7,020,845 (Navigating Internet Content on a Television using a simplified Interface and a Remote Control).

TG Daily translates for us:

EMG alleges that Microsoft breaches the patents in operating system software including Windows CE and Windows Mobile. Scottrade is alleged to have breached the patent by providing financial and stock market information on mobile devices. Southwest, it's said, breaches the patents by allowing customers to book travel and cargo services reformatted for a small screen.

Welp, folks, that's it for Microsoft. Stick a fork in 'em. They're done. Let's all buy iPhones. No way they'll survive th- ... Wait, what's that? More money than who? Oh, OK.

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5 years ago

HTC Leo's version of TouchFLO 3D

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HTC Leo's version of TouchFLO 3D

You gotta hand it to the cats at HTC: They can sure skin the heck out of Windows Mobile, and they're getting better with every build. We've already seen Manila 2.5 (aka the next generation of TouchFLO  3D). Now Manila 2.6 has been outed from the upcoming (but still unannounced) HTC Leo. And it's a beauty.

Gone are the drab white icons, instead completely replaced by the colorful images we've come to expect on Android devices. There are more bells and whistles for homescreen shortcuts, too. Expect to see this cooked into custom ROMs any day now, and let's hope we see it in an official release soon.

Peep Pocketnow's video of the build after the break.

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