wp7

Yesterday, HP's CEO Meg Whitman made the public announcement about the future of WP7's competitor webOS, and that announcement set the world into a downward spiral of emotional charges, cheerleading, Nostradamus-like predictions and opinionated blog posts (though the only ones you need to read are those at our sister-site PreCentral.net *ahem* WebOSNation.com). Still, we haven't tackled the issue that stands in front of us today as a result of this decision - how will an open sourced webOS affect Microsoft's rising efforts with WP7?

As Derek Kessler has stated,

"Open sourcing is the middle road between killing webOS outright and selling it. In essence they’re giving it to the community that has cared about it and ensured that it continued to exist to this point. But how long webOS will continue to exist and be relevant after this point? That all depends on the almighty hardware."

As of right now, HP's decision to open source webOS has very little affect on WP7, if any at all. The affect that it could have is completely dependent upon the "almighty hardware"; hardware that has yet to be designed and built with OEM's that have yet to decide whether they want to use the platform. Also considering that it will still take time before webOS is actually open sourced (legal issues, you know), WP7 fans should have no worries about what could happen within the next year, or longer.

That said, webOS would be joining Google as one of two major open source operating systems (the term "major" meaning released worldwide to several million users). In some parallel Universe, and possibly this one, webOS will someday make it into all popular manufacturer's hands and dozens of smartphone handset models (which would turn into millions of users worldwide). But there is also the possibility that HP will just let webOS squander in the shadows before finally kicking the bucket without a single care from the world.

Bottom line is, we just don't know what will happen, and saying otherwise is only speculation. Of course, an open sourced webOS could bring some positive things to the WP ecosystem as well; we all know that friendly competition and technological innovation is good for everyone, no matter which side of the court they're playing on.

Read more about Open Source webOS at WebOSNation.com

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People of Armenia, lend me your ears. Nokia's Official Representative in Armenia, Vazgen Bakhshetsyan, has made the news pretty official - you will be getting the new line of Nokia Lumia WP 7.5 devices by the end of this year. That's right, before the US and most of the rest of the world has any dates for their release of the brand new Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, you now have a good excuse to start preparing for the coming Mango-powered phones. There are only two months left until the end of this year, so it won't be long before many of you anxious gadget-geeks of the small EurAsian country will have your thirst quenched and your hunger satisfied.

Source: PanArmenian.net

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We last reported on ChevronWP7 last month where the team announced the release of the service was to be within a few weeks. Fast forward three weeks and the Chevron Labs page has been updated with a login via Live ID button. The site is going live as we speak, so if you have any errors logging in, just give it some time as they finish updating the site to full-release mode.

The ChevronWP7 Labs will enable users to unlock their handset(s) for a fraction of the cost for the official developer membership. It will allow Windows Phone owners to have fun with homebrew apps without breaking warranty on the device and being hunted down by Microsoft. The process is fairly straightforward:

  • You'll need a Windows Live ID (it can be different from your Windows Phone Live ID)
  • Purchase an "unlock token". Cost is $9.00 via PayPal and is good for infinite unlocks per single phone.
  • Download and install an unlocking too, which is similar to the official AppHub registration one
  • Your phone will be placed in a queue to be unlocked and that's it!

So by show of comments, how many of you are going to be unlocking? If you do, don't forget to take a look at some of our past Homebrew coverage to get started.

Update: The tools have been temporarily pulled till two issues can be resolved.

Source: Chevron Labs, thanks H3ALY for the tip!

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Funny how different things can be in two yearsr on the mobile front.

Early last year, Palm was still Palm, teetering under competition, but then got a life-saver by being purchased by HP. Of course that turned out to be a disaster and now Palm, webOS and that company's legacy seems to be sentenced to irrelevance. Symbian was still controlling large swaths of the market as was RIM, makers of the enterprise-friendly BlackBerry.  In fact, just two years ago, RIM was sitting in first place with a whopping 42% of the device market. Now in late 2011 in the US? Just 9% according to the latest numbers from Canalys.

Things are so bad for RIM right now that its stocks, valued at US $18.91 a share, just dropped below their book value of $18.92. Book value roughly translates to "cash, inventories, real estate and intellectual property minus its liabilities" (according to the Sydney Morning Herald). Yup, the stock is worth less than what the actual company is valued at. And even that valuation, especially in patents, may be over-stated according to some, due to their age.  RIM does supposedly have a trick up its sleeve: BBX, its new mobile platform. But all signs point to it not only being delayed but underwhelming as well, much like the PlayBook.

Microsoft was and some would say still is, in a precarious situation analogous to RIM. But Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 just over a year ago and by all accounts, it's a critical success (that has yet to materialize into solid market share). But it also has a successful ecosystem with Windows, Office, Exchange, Xbox, Kinect  and its myriad of cloud-services. In other words, Microsoft can literally afford to lose money until the world wakes up and their mobile OS takes off. RIM? Not so much as they have no other source of income.

So in that sense, it's no surprise to hear calls for RIM to be chopped up and sold off, like a foreclosed home to the highest bidder (see CNet) There is no faith that RIM can pull itself out of this hole, catch up and over pass Microsoft, who now have spiritually become the third major mobile OS. The tone has shifted in the last few months, can you hear it? It's due mostly due to the successful launch of Windows Phone 7.5 aka "Mango"--people now mention Windows Phone in the same breath as Android and the iPhone. BlackBerry or webOS? Not at all. A year ago, we had to wave our hands to get attention from the big developers, but no longer. Remember the blitz this summer? And with Nokia and Skype on board, things are only looking better.

Sure, two years from now we could see another massive restructuring of the players involved. But we're betting Apple, Google and Microsoft will be the only three names mentioned in mobile, with RIM retired along with webOS and Symbian. From RIM's failure to successfully compete comes Microsoft's entry as the third-way. What's more, Microsoft is poised to go even further in the next few years as its "three screens and a cloud" vision becomes a reality. Here's looking at you, 2015. We can't wait.

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We know for a fact that Microsoft was using the Toshiba TG-01 aka Tsunagi as a developer device for Windows Phone 7. Heck, we even have one of the rare birds in possession (see above). The device was ahead of its time when released over two years ago, sporting an ultra thin body, large LCD screen and a 1GHz CPU. But fast forward to 2011 and it's quite the clunker.

Now over at XDA, developer Nokser has been successful in porting WP7 to that device for those who only have Windows Mobile 6.5 on board. We say successful, but it is full of caveats and lots of early bugs, so this is more a proof-of-concept than a ready-to-install for the masses release. Still, it's a big step in the right direction, even if WP7 is pretty awful on it due to the Tsunagi's resistive touch screen.

Some drawbacks, should all two of you be interested are: no camera, potentially very low memory, poor reception, inability to zoom in on maps and photos, etc. These issues are expected to be fixed, so we'll see where all of this goes soon.

Source: XDA (thread); Thanks, Ross "H3ALY" H, for the tip!

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Wow, just last night we posted about Screen Capturer v2, which allowed one to use take screen caps on their device in Mango--a first without being tethered to a PC. Then Windows Phone Hacker patched it so that you didn't need to have to be interop-unlocked, which cuts down on the requirements.

Now version 3 just hit and will you be impressed:

  • Full English version
  • Redesigned UI with Metro interface
  • No interop-unlock requirement
  • Use camera button to take screen caps (!)
  • Prevent Capture Task auto run: Capture Task uses BackgroundAgent to run and wait for Camera button event, BackgroundAgent may auto run in some case, enable this option to stop auto capture.
  • The Capture Task duration: How long will the Capture Task run before it stop to accept Camera button event.

We just loaded it up and it works like a charm--so simple and easy to use, plus you can keep the "task" open for a few minutes, allowing you to take numerous screenshots without having to reenter the app. Simply brilliant and a must have for anyone who is dev unlocked.

Grab the app here at XDA.

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Core77, an industrial design and development magazine out of New York City, has teamed up with the Windows Phone 7 people at Microsoft to host a new contest for the WP7 developer community. It's targetted at young and aspiring designers that are looking to get their portfolio moving, show off their design skills and even get their app ideas developed by those experienced with the platform.

The contest, called Fast Track to the Mobile App, beckons app designers from all walks of life and regions to put their skills to the test and compete for some pretty decent prizes. 130 winners of the contest will win prizes that include:

  • Free Windows Phones
  • XBox 360 (with Kinect)
  • 1-year App-Hub subscriptions
  • App Development Deal (with revenue sharing options) to bring your design to life

For developers and designers that are already well established in the field, this might not be the best contest to look into. But if you have ideas for an app and can design one to look better than other entries, you could win some pretty cool stuff, not to mention get an app put in the catalog with your name on it. Want more details? Hit the link below to get the full scoop on how to enter, and win, this contest.

Source: Core77 Contest Details

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It won't be too long before WP7 Mango is updated on every available device available, no matter which carrier they're on. According to an announcement on T-Mobile UK's customer support forums, the service provider is already working to bring Mango to the current lineup of devices.

The update isn't expected for a couple of weeks, but if you're a T-Mobile customer in the UK, at least you have something cool to look forward to. We're pretty happy with what Mango has brought already, and there's no doubt that you will be as well, in the coming weeks.

Source: T-Mobile UK Support Forums; Via: Twitter (@topleya)

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After yesterday's news that HP is discontinuing all webOS mobile devices, many members of the very passionate and loyal webOS community, including myself, have been shocked into wondering what we are supposed to do next. While I'm not saying that I've already jumped ship to Windows Phone 7 from webOS already (I still love my devices and the community behind them), it's not uncommon to see that many of you are already planning your trip to the store to pick up a new smartphone to replace the soon-to-be-antiquated HP Veer, Pre 2 or even the original Sprint Palm Pre (what we back at PreCentral call the Pre-Minus). Let's get this straight, because I know how loyal you guys are to your platform, switching to a WP7 device is not abandoning the webOS platform - but HP has made it very clear that they're not making phones anymore, so what else are you supposed to do? 

I've been using WP7 on my Dell Venue Pro for a little while now, and even though it's not a shiny new HP Pre 3 running webOS 3.0, it does have a whole lot going for it. If I absolutely had to make the decision tomorrow (which I don't and I'm not... yet), it would be very easy for me to make Windows Phone 7, and WPCentral.com, my new home in the smartphone universe. Let me put it to you this way: If you're thinking about switching to another platform from webOS, WP7 is one of the best options, if not the best, out there for you to choose today.

It's easy to say all of that, though without backing it up; but that's why I've come to WPCentral today to help ease the pain and make things a little more comfortable for those of you joining this community. The webOS platform had a whole lot going for it as an operating system built on mobile devices. Synergy, Just Type, Multitasking, Touchstone Charging, Exhibition Mode, non-interrupt notifications system and other great features (just to name a few) made webOS wholly unique and intuitive - but to say that WP7 isn't already pushing forward with many of these concepts (and even jumping ahead in a few) is to be ignorant of the facts.

To be quite frank - WP7 over any other platform is probably the most similar to webOS as being intuitive and market-changing, and even though many of you might choose this platform simply because it isn't iOS, Android of Blackberry, you should also be choosing it simply because it's a great operating system to use.

Here, by popular request, is a guide to help your transition from whatever webOS smartphone you might be using over to a Windows Phone 7 device. Written by someone who has loved webOS since the day it was announced and will stick with it until the day that it is finally put to rest. 

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Remember that rare Toshiba TG01 we covered last week? Someone had it up for a private sale and evidently it didn't sell very well as it's now up on eBay for your bidding.

Starting bid is 110 Euro (or about $157). Now remember, camera no-worky and we can't guarantee that this will get updated to "Mango" anytime soon (though it is plausible that someone can hack it). This may be your only chance to own such a collector item, but are you really that geeky? From the auction description:

  • This is the auction for the TG01 with Windows Phone 7
  • The device is in perfect working conditions with a stable post RTM Windows Phone 7 ROM.
  • Camera does not work in this ROM.
  • Device is shipped only with battery, without any accessories.
  • For more photos and video check the following link:
  • http://photobucket.com/tg01wp7 (updated link)
  • For shipping costs to Europe or overseas/rest of world please send a me a message before bidding.
  • If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Good luck, if any of you go for it.

Source: eBay, Thanks, Steve M. for the heads up!

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Following in the steps of our announcement yesterday from Gamehouse about five new games coming to Xbox Live on WP7, we've found some more gaming news from the world of XLIG (Xbox Live Indie Gaming). After being nominated for awards at Indie Games Uprising, three great Indie game development teams; EversoreITA (Doom & Destiny), iO (KamiCats) and Phoenix Game Studios (T.E.C. 3001); were all interviewed by WP7Connect to get the inside scoop on what might be in the pipe for Windows Phone 7 users, and we aren't disappointed by what we've learned.

Over the next several months, not only will these games be continuing their success as Xbox Live Indie Games, but they'll be bringing that success and fun to WP7 devices as well. Whether you're into racing around the world as a quick-paced robot in T.E.C. 3001, jumping from platform to platform as a catwarrior in KamiCats, or going oldschool with a Zelda-esque game as four young heroes in Doom & Destiny; these three titles are sure to give many of you that special gaming fix that only Indie Games have a way of satisfying.

While there haven't been any specific dates set for when we'll start seeing these titles, all three companies have made statements that they'll be coming to your phones over the next several months. Check out some gameplay videos (from the Xbox360 versions of the games) after the break and keep checking back here for more info on when these games are released. We'll be sure to get you more info and reviews first here as soon as they can be gotten.

Thanks, Carl P. and Matthew M., for the tip! Videos after the break!

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HTC Ruby: WP7 or Android?

There's been reports of a mysterious handset appearing in some HTC Flyer tablet shots. The handset can be seen via reflection on the screen of the HTC Flyer. What's interesting is that we can only see the rear of the device, so to comment on what OS it's packing inside the shell is impossible from the viewing angle we've been given.

It's an interesting design, whatever it may be. HTC has kept the same look for a while now on every platform it covers, so to see something new that could stand out is refreshing. I remember my HTC Hero being unique against the standard black-curved HTC handsets. What do you guys make of the photos? Does it look too much like an Android design?

Check out some shots after the break and the full album of shots over at Flickr (link below).

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Windows 8 UI on Android Tablet [Video]

This is a pretty neat video of not only the Windows Phone 7 lock screen for Android, which is being worked on by the guys at WP7Android, but they have managed to build a Windows 8 live tile look too with Desktop Visualizer and ADW EX on a Galaxy tablet, running Honeycomb 3.1. Apart from the stock Android style clock and icons on the bottom left (which I cannot stand personally) what they've managed to achieve with the tiles is really impressive.

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IM+ was submitted to the Marketplace today, and we are all excited for it’s arrival (see our hands on video tour). It just cannot get approved quickly enough. But the developers, Shape Services, announced today that it will not have Windows Live Messenger support. The reason? Microsoft doesn’t allow it. They are seemingly taking Apple’s approach, and not allowing apps that they think will duplicate functionality. Of course, that functionality doesn’t exist yet, so maybe there is something else going on that we don’t know about. It is worth nothing that IM+ for Windows Mobile also doesn't support Windows Live Messenger, so it's not an OS thing.

On one hand, we all know that WLM will be one of the built in services in Mango, so the support will be seamless, and most likely excellent. On the other hand, it sure would be nice to be able to use the service now. Although Skype has more users, Windows Live Messenger is no slouch, with an estimated 330 million active users, more than AIM or Gtalk (at least, according to Wikipedia). The sooner those users see feature parity with iOS and Android, the better.

Source: Tej Palladino Peters (Facebook); via: WMPoweruser

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As a Windows Phone 7 user, you shouldn’t be jealous of Apple’s iCloud service. Most of the functionality in iCloud is already baked into your phone via SkyDrive and Hotmail. The good folks from the Windows Phone Team posted a story to show us how it all works together. It’s a great primer for SkyDrive/Hotmail integration in general (if you don’t already have a Push capable email account, they link off to explain how to forward your current email to Hotmail, which does), and to sweeten the deal they have included screenshots of the improvements we mentioned a week ago. Those features include:

  • Share photos stored on SkyDrive by way of email, text messages, IM - "SkyDrive lets you store thousands of pictures in the cloud. You can show them off to friends on your phone in the Pictures hub, and now you can share SkyDrive photos with anyone over email, text, or Messenger/Facebook."
  • Share videos on SkyDrive - "With Mango, all the goodness you had with photos has been extended to videos. Once you’re finished shooting your video, you can caption it and share immediately on SkyDrive, and the upload will happen in the background while you move on to other things."
  • Browse and search documents stored on SkyDrive - "Windows Phone lets you view folders and files directly on your phone, so when you group things on SkyDrive, you know they’ll be available with the same folder structure on your phone."
  • See what’s been shared with you - "More than 70% of the folders created on SkyDrive are shared with other people, which makes it all the more important to see everything shared with you on your phone. This pivot view will show you the complete list of documents shared with you, letting you open and edit in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint."
  • Search your SkyDrive documents - "If you store a lot of stuff on SkyDrive, being able to do a quick search is important. In the Office hub, you can easily search across your SkyDrive for the document you need without having to wade through your folders and other files."

Overall, a nice little package. Of course, it's already been mentioned by Micrsoft themselves that Skydrive will probably fold into the general LIVE services, including Xbox. So this is just the beginning of Redmond's big "cloud push".

Source: Inside Windows Live

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Microsoft "Flattered" by Apple

Joe Belfiore posted another interesting pair of tweets late yesterday, reminding people that quite a few of the features that Apple is including in iOS 5 are already available or announced in Microsoft Products, either Windows Phone 7 or Windows 8. He tweeted one yesterday, mentioning just the camera button.

Today, he took it a bit further, and listed off several items that Apple has seemingly taken from Windows phone 7, or Windows 8. In Apple’s defense, the Windows 8 thumb keyboard was announced last week, but the rest… You can decide.

Slide on past the break to see how the similarities break down.

Source: WinRumors

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I'm a WP7 - App Spotlight

Curious if you're the only Windows Phone user in your area? There's a way to find out. I'm a WP7 is a free application over at the Marketplace that will let you see Windows Phone users and developers who are in your area.

Key features of the app include:

  • Register by Location, Postal Code, or “In the Cloud”
  • See the latest WP7 Users and Developers
  • If you're a WP7 Developer, you can provide your Company Name to make it easy for WP7 Users to access your apps
  • Search anywhere in the world to see other WP7 users
  • Surprise Me button to pull up random locations, world wide, to show you the WP7 developers and users in that area
  • See WP7 developers in your area, and automatically search the Windows Phone Marketplace for their apps
  • Send messages to WP7 Users directly around the globe

There's no registration required and once you give the app permission to use your Windows Phone's location services, you're set. You can customize your profile within the app or keep it to the default settings that simply identify you as "WP7 User".

Once you download I'm a WP7, remember the title has "..." preceding the "I'm a WP7". It will show up at the top of your application lists (as opposed to mid-way down in the "I" listings).

You can download your copy of ...I'm a WP7 here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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In a funny Tweet from @abhinaba, developer in the .NET Compact Framework (Windows Phone 7) team, gives details how the WP7 group was naming the 'Mango' milestones. In short, they were doing an A, B, C thing but with mango names. Kind of sounds like a certain Google/Android tactic with their dessert fetish going on.

Only problem: there's not enough mangos to keep the list going :-/

Source: @abhinaba; via @longzheng

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PocketNow has published a video comparing the different implementations of copy & paste (including old skool WinMo) that takes us through the variations and shows how it's all extremely similar, yet indifferent. A great watch for all your copy & paste lovers. The devices used in this demonstration include the Blackberry Torch, Samsung Galaxy S (4G), iPod Touch and Nokia N8.

Which platform performs the function best for you, and what would you see improved for your choice of platform? Let us know below.

Source: PocketNow

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MIX'11 Keynote covering IE9 and WP7

Dean Hachamovitch, Windows Internet Explorer Corporate Vice President, is keynoter tomorrow and after eight platform previews, one beta, one release candidate and one final version of IE9 it's going to be a must-see.

As well as the above, Joe Belfiore, who oversees Windows Phone Program Management, and is responsible for the design and software product definition will also keynote MIX. He will be accompanied by Scott Guthrie, who is head of Microsoft's .NET Developer Platform and manages the teams who are responsible for Silverlight, Visual Studio and .NET framework technologies.

If nothing else, it's going to be huge and we're going to be right there amid the presentations. We'll be following up this post soon with coverage and discussion to allow your opinions to be voiced.  The Keynote is slated to start at 9am PST on Tuesday and you can check the full MIX11 schedule here.

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