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All posts tagged "windows phone 7"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

[APRIL FOOLS] Microsoft Announces Xbox 360 Connect for Windows Phone 7 Series

Posted by Darius Wey in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:01 PM

Wireless controllers out of battery? Too lazy to untangle that wired controller? Enter Xbox 360 Connect for Windows Phone 7 Series. Microsoft's latest innovation will allow you to connect your Windows Phone to your Xbox 360 over Wi-Fi (you'll need that pesky Wi-Fi adapter, of course) and use it as a wireless controller. Its touchscreen controls are sized appropriately for your digits and have been optimized to support multi-touch. In addition, it uses your phone's vibration feature, so the next time you get caught in the crossfire in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, you'll feel it. Microsoft has stated that Xbox 360 Connect will be available as soon as the first Windows Phone 7 Series device hits the market. Hooray!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Windows phone 7 Zune Software Walkthrough

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 06:30 PM

Curious about the Zune software experience in Windows phone 7? This video shows how it's going to work - I can't wait! Windows Media Player Mobile has been a useless piece of software in need of a complete re-write for years, so I'm happy to see it completely going away. Zune FTW! :-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

HTC HD2 Running Windows phone 7

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 07:00 PM

"Microsoft might have lost a lot of friends when it finally announced the HTC HD2 would not receive an update to Windows Phone 7 Series, but its loss is Tom Codon's gain. A fixture over at the HTCPedia forums, Codon looks to have become the first person to port WP7S over to the HD2."

I guess it was only a matter of time before someone got down to the task of making Windows phone 7 work on an HD2. Here's what I'm kind of curious about though: when he's on the list of programs and he swipes downward, a scroll-bar appears on the far right...that looks like a UI element from Windows Mobile 6.x, and not something that should be a part of Windows phone 7. Because of that, I'm not entirely convinced this is legitimate, but I could be wrong. What do you think? One more video after the break. Read more...

Windows phone 7 Developer Q&A: Lukas Lesko,

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 07:00 AM

In part two of our ongoing series of Windows phone 7-focused developer articles, this is part two, with Lukas Lesco, Support Manager for Resco has made some superb Windows Mobile applications over the years, so I was curious to get their take on what Windows phone 7 brings from a developer's perspective.

WPT: Looking at what Microsoft has announced at MIX10, what's your general impression of their development platform for the Windows phone 7? On one hand we are looking forward to finding out more about the possibilities that this new platform brings. On the other hand, we are afraid of the restrictions that will be revealed. For example, the limited multi-tasking could bring more available resources, but on the other hand it can limit cooperation between applications. Also, the Marketplace could bring applications closer to users and bring better user feedback, but we are afraid that it will end up like the Apple Store; that is, filled with simple applications like games with no added value. Read more...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Windows phone 7 Developer Q&A: Alex Kac, WebIS

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 10:00 AM

We've had some intense discussions in our forums around the development story for Windows phone 7, but not being a developer myself, I don't have the insight required to understand how the radical changes Microsoft is implementing will impact the applications, and developers, that we're familiar with. This is part one of a short series of Q&A interviews I'm doing with some of the top Windows Mobile developers in this space. First up, we have Alex Kac the Founder/President of Web Information Solutions (WebIS).

WPT: Looking at what Microsoft has announced at MIX10, what's your general impression of their development platform for Windows phone 7?

WebIS: I'm pretty impressed by the development toolset and I think Microsoft has definitely made some good choices in their platform vision here. I'm really excited to see how far we can go with the tools and APIs. I understand that right now the APIs are pretty weak because you have to start somewhere and its really designed for consumer/feature phone type apps, but the foundation is really good so long term that's a good thing. Read more...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

CNET Windows phone 7 Overview

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 03:00 PM

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Quick Copy/Paste Q&A with Ex-Windows phone Team Member Mel Sampat

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 06:00 AM

There's been a lot said in the past week about the fact that Windows phone 7 won't have copy and paste functionality at launch - and even more was said (in a rather loud tone of voice) once Microsoft statements came out that this was by design because most people don't "need" copy/paste. While it's not a feature that every user would use regularly, it's one of those features that is important to have in certain scenarios - and even if you might only be in one of those scenarios once a month, without copy and paste, odds are you can't accomplish what you want. We've had some high-spirited discussions about copy/paste in our forums, with some members saying that they think implementing copy/paste should be "relatively easy". Having watched Microsoft closely over the years, and watched as seemingly simple features took years to come to fruition, I disagreed with the idea that implementing copy and paste would be as simple as some people think it is. I'm not a developer, however, and can't properly explain the challenges.

Image Credit: Julian Cole - Adspace Pioneers.

In light of this, I figured there was one person I could turn to: Mel Sampat, formerly a member of the Windows phone team, and now on his own at Mist Labs. He wasn't a member of the shell team - the team that would handle copy/paste - so he's neither representing Microsoft here nor is it trying to explain or justify the decisions of the shell team. He was, however, on the Windows phone team until a few weeks ago, so he has insight into what it takes to implement features on Windows phone 7. Check out the interview after the break. Read more...

Microsoft Details Windows Phone Marketplace Experience for Developers

Posted by Darius Wey in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 02:20 AM

"On Monday, I wrote about how the Windows Phone Marketplace provides a different kind of shopping experience from a customer point of view. Today I wanted to describe how the Marketplace experience helps application and game publishers improves discoverability, monetization, and long-term customer connection. We've learned a lot from our experience with the Windows Marketplace on Windows Mobile, and listened to feedback from over a thousand developers that informed the design and experience of the Windows Phone 7 Series Marketplace experience."

Microsoft has published the second part of its Windows Phone Marketplace guide with a discussion on discoverability, monetization, and customer connection - all key topics of interest for both developers and publishers. If you're in that crowd, be sure to give it a read.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Will Not Initially Offer Copy and Paste

Posted by Pete Paxton in "Windows Phone News" @ 05:30 PM

"Here you go, folks, an official statement from Redmond itself on the perennial Windows Phone 7 Series / copy-and-paste discussion. First and foremost, from the onset, there will be no copy and paste in the traditional sense; Microsoft is hoping to bypass the issue by integrating into the OS contextual, single-tap instances for viewing an address on a map (let's hope it has some good recognition algorithms here), doing Bing searches based on highlighted terms, dial a phone number, and so on. But the book isn't entirely closed here, apparently, as the statement goes on to say the company "will continue to improve our feature set over time based on what we hear." We've also got a statement regarding the hacked emulator, to which a representative told us, "we have been very clear that [it] is based on early code and is not reflective of the final user experience," which is a nice way of saying don't get your hopes up on those fun little surprises (task manager, anyone?). Full statements after the break."

What I find interesting is the statement "will continue to improve our feature set over time based on what we hear." So do they really not hear us shouting that we want copy and paste? Perhaps as we use the new OS we won't find we need copy and paste but I really don't think that will be the case. With all the hype and attention lately, this is a golden opportunity for Microsoft - I hope they don't blow it. So as you post your comments, how important is copy and paste for the Windows Phone 7 series? Shoots In-Depth Video of Hacked Emulator

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 01:22 PM

I'm sure this isn't how Microsoft wanted to show off most of Windows phone 7 - in a broken, dysfunctional emulator-based way - but they put out an emulator with this functionality, opting to hide some of the functions, so it's not surprising that someone figured this out. Check out the video for more of what Windows phone 7 is all about, though keep in mind this is unfinished software.

WP7 Simulator Unlocked. New Features Discovered (including Voice Control)

Posted by Eriq Cook in "Windows Phone News" @ 10:30 AM

"Many of us who tried out the Windows Phone 7 simulator were disappointed to discover the simulator didn’t contain a lot of the functionality that was being shown off at Mix10. It turns out Dan Ardelean has published a modified or ‘unlocked’ version of the simulator that contains virtually everything that was displayed. The front page is now full of apps that work, the settings menu is a long list of options for those apps."

Australian tech site,, recently posted two video simulations of WP7. The first video (about 10 minutes) shows different apps in action, while the second video goes through many of the settings screens.

One item that stood out to me was a Speech setting. I was worried if VoiceCommand may not make in WP7 (at least at launch) and was pleasantly surprised when I saw a Speech Settings option under General Settings (near beginning of second video).

While Microsoft hasn't officially announced that voice control will be available in WP7 (they may obviously still be working on it), I now have hope that this feature will make it at launch.

Hit the Read link for the videos and let us know your thoughts. What stands out to you?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Mobius Files: Will "App Lock-In" Slow Adoption of Other Platforms?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 04:00 PM

I read an email on the Mobius list where the idea was that because consumers have already adopted the iPhone in droves, they won't be interested in Windows phone 7 came out. Here was my response (with some added thoughts).

Consumers are fickle creatures; they change their minds all the time when it comes to phone contract renewal time. HOWEVER...I wonder if "app lock-in" will play a role in moving to other platforms? As in, you're Joe Smith and you have an iPhone and you've spent $200 on apps over your two year contract...that app investment, will it make you feel like you need to stay with your iPhone even if there's another phone you like more? I wonder...

The reality is, of course, that the majority of users don't yet have smartphones - so in that sense the market is wide open - yet I think the biggest adoption blocker remains the costs of data plans. If you want your phone to do more than make calls, sent texts, and MMS, you're increasing the monthly outlay by a fair bit - especially if you're a light phone user with a small minutes plan, it can easily double the monthly cost of your phone bill (it does in my case). Until the carriers start to want all these people on their data networks, I think data plans will remain expensive, and the bulk of the population will stay away.

Windows phone 7 Promo Ad

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 01:00 PM

Damn, I wish the phone had that pop-up holographic display - wouldn't that be cool? Even cooler than having copy and paste? ;-)

Microsoft Windows phone 7 Team Member Leaves Create Windows phone 7 Apps

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 07:00 AM

"All naysaying aside, people are pretty excited about Windows Phone 7. Our readers are excited for it. I'd be outright lying if I said I wasn't excited about it, too. Know who else is excited? The Windows Phone 7 team - but perhaps not for the reasons you'd expect. With a few years of work finally coming to a head, some of the folks on the Windows Phone 7 team are taking a step back, looking at the fruits of their labor... and leaving. Not because they're ashamed, and not because they're being poached by the competition - but because instead of making Windows Phone 7, they want to make things for Windows Phone 7."

Going back a few years, anyone remember Two Peaks software, headed up by Mel Sampat? I always liked Two Peaks software - in fact, I'm still using FlexWallet to this day, despite it being replaced by eWallet, and always like what Sampat did for users in terms of creating really superb software. He went to work for Microsoft a few years ago, and I kept in touch - in fact, at one point we had a conference call about what a pain that stupid birthday alarm triggering at midnight problem was. I'll have to find out if that lunacy has continued on into Windows phone 7 - I kind of doubt it, but then again, I never thought after 7+ years the same problem would continue to cause problems. But I digress... Read more...

Early Concepts of the Metro Visual Design for Windows phone 7

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 05:00 AM

Long Zheng has some really cool screen shots on his site, apparently of what early mock-ups looked like for Metro, the name for the visual design that Windows phone 7 is made up of. Well worth checking out - some of them I like more than how Windows phone 7 looks today!

Attack of the Show on Windows phone 7

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 02:00 AM

"With breaking news about the Windows 7 mobile apps from MIX10, Chris Hardwick talks to Engadget's Joshua Topolsky about what Microsoft is bringing to the table, from Xbox gaming on Windows 7 phones, a preview of their new apps and more."

Sure, there are more than a few things that some people aren't too happy about right now with Windows phone 7, but there's one very important thing that Microsoft has done with the announcement of this new version: they've put themselves on the map in a way that hasn't happened in a very long time. More from me later on this topic, but I think it's really important to acknowledge that fact.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Series -- Yes, it can make a phone call!

Posted by Eriq Cook in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 08:30 PM

"Sure, we've been pushing Microsoft hard for Windows Phone 7 Series details like copy and paste (no) and multitasking (no), but we just realized that we've never actually seen a 7 Series device... make a phone call. A little running around later and we've got two demo handsets calling each other..."

With all of the recent video coverage of WP7, no video has shown a WP7 device make an actual phone call. Engadget recently posted a short video of two WP7 devices making a call between each other (and please don't call the number shown out of respect) that demos how the phone experience will work overall.

One glaring issue to me is how easy it'll be to respond to a call by applying accidental pressure to the Answer or Ignore buttons with incoming calls. HTC solved this problem in their most recent TouchFLO 3D interface by requiring users to slide a graphic control knob left or right to answer or ignore a call. I LOVE this feature in my Touch Pro2, and Microsoft should learn a thing or two from HTC when it comes to specific features like this, since "butt dialing" has been an epidemic problem with touch-screen smartphones for a while now.

While it's difficult to know WP7's phone features in detail at the moment, what are you thoughts and/or questions about the phone interface so far? Personally, I'll miss having dedicated physical answer/end buttons (it's great when your fingers "know" exactly where specific functions are) and I wonder if voice-dialing (VoiceCommand) will make it in WP7...

More Hands-On Time With Windows phone 7

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 07:00 PM

"We just spent some quality time with the MIX10 build of Windows Phone 7 Series running on the same prototype hardware sourced from Garmin-Asus that we saw at MWC -- and apart from a few Murphy's Law-style demo hiccups, we loved what we saw."

I'll say this much: anyone who thinks that this is a copy of the iPhone clearly isn't paying attention. Well worth watching - lots of great stuff in the video. Love it or hate it, Windows phone 7 is full of little things that, when taken together, make for a very different experience than anything else out there today.

Rumour: Copy/Paste Coming to Windows phone 7 Eventually?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 05:16 PM

"Contrary to the controversial report out of Microsoft MIX10 this week that Windows Phone 7 Series will not feature copy & paste functionality, a person close to the den explained that copy & paste is definitely a scenario and feature that the team is putting a lot of thought about and hope to bring to the platform soon after initial release."

This echoes what I know about the topic and have been trying to say in our very lively discussion on the subject (between the weeping and gnashing of teeth). If this rumour is accurate though, Microsoft has done itself a huge disservice by trying to spin this as a by-design feature rather than telling us "Look, we know you want it, we want it, but we just couldn't pull it off in time - but we're making a commitment to do it as soon as we can." Honesty is always better than trickery. This whole thing has made this a day I want to end soon (that photo above is how I feel right now).

No User-Replaceable Storage on Windows phone 7 Devices: Please Proceed With Your Screaming and Yelling

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 03:28 PM

"We found out from Todd Brix of Microsoft that Windows Phone 7 Series will eschew user-replaceable memory. Memory cards may still be used by manufacturers and OEMs, but those won't be easily or readily accessible to the end-user. This will allow, as Microsoft puts it, for a better user experience on the device, and we're not sure that the primary motive for locking down storage memory is for a better experience - we're guessing it has to do with DRM though the strategy would go well with Microsoft's move to remove a file management system."

Although I tend to put a memory card in my phone and leave it there - rarely if ever taking it out - I've always like the idea of removable storage because there are two constants in the flash memory world: first, that the cards will always grow to have more storage, and second, that they'll get cheaper. I railed on Microsoft for not putting removable storage card slots in their Zune products, because it would have been a key advantage over the iPod, and now Microsoft is taking a step backwards in my opinion by removing the option for OEMs to offer removable storage cards. According to Todd Brix, this is due to wanting to offer a "better user experience". I call bunk on this point - any modern program not designed should automatically scan both local and removable storage and present the user with the content they want to see. If the user options up the photo application, it should show the user all the photos on their device, and their card, seamlessly. Anything less is just lazy programming and not caring about the user experience.

If HTC and the other OEMs offer devices with decent storage options (up to 32 GB, maybe even 64 GB if they want to rock the house), I personally won't care about this too much - but I know it shuts off a lot of scenarios for some people, and I wish Microsoft hadn't gone this route. I think in this respect, they're trying a bit too much to copy Apple - and that's not a good thing.

And since we're getting all the bad news out of the way this week, there's also no file system. I think the file system is a poorly-suited concept on a mobile phone and creates too much complexity for average users, but I know power users love having a file system.

You may now proceed with getting angry at Microsoft and swearing you'll move to Android.

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