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All posts tagged "wp7"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Are The Number Of Apps WP7's Weakness

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 01:22 PM

"When I consider which phone to buy or recommend to friends, I'm quick to rule out Windows Phone 7, but not because of apps. The platform's lack of multitasking and HTML5 support are much bigger drawbacks."

Macworld UK has posted an article stating Microsoft's slow adoption rate is not due to the lack of apps but a lack of multitasking, HTML5 support and other features. In fact, they believe the biggest bright spot of WP7 is the amount of quality apps in the Zune market.

An interesting note is that many of the missing features cited by Macworld UK are ones that were not present on the iPhone when it was released and yet it has seen phenomenal success. Of course this is by no means an excuse for the lack of them but it does give me some comfort knowing that if a product and interface is solid, the lack of features may not be crucial to the average person. Coupled with NoDo's release and Mango coming soon it will only be a matter of time before WP7 will be in parity with iOS and Android.

Tags: software, , apps, wp7

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Windows Phone 7 Update Saga Continues

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 06:30 PM

"In a Channel 9 interview on March 25, Joe Belfiore made a few statements regarding the whole update mess that is plaguing Windows Phone 7 that saw quite a bit of backlash right across the tech blogosphere, including my post on the subject. It turns out that Belfiore has been reading many of those posts and comments; along with the Windows Phone management team, and as a result he left a long comment on the original Channel 9 post addressing what people had to say about his statements in the interview."

Microsoft planned for what it thought would be a relatively seamless update process for its Windows Phone 7 platform. Many users view this as a critical process as they want to have and see the latest and greatest operating system features delivered and available on their phones as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there have been a few snags getting this working effectively. The update experience seems to be varying from "not happening at all" to "it didn't seem to go to well" to "it was great". Microsoft has been trying to figure out why there is variability in the process. Information has been unfolding, and parts of the blogoshpere are up in arms about what appears to be a significant amount of control the cellular service operators are having over the testing process. To make matters worse, Joe Belfiore, who is Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone Program Management, recently gave an interview that indicated his lack of understanding or knowledge of the extent of the issues customers have been having. Steven Hodson over on the siliconANGLE website has made a number of good points about the impact of Microsoft's platform updating procedure (we are at the mercy of the operators) and Belfiore's attempt to apologize for his misunderstanding of the situation. It is well worth reading. This is a saga that is going to play out for some time to come.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Should Microsoft Pull a Google And Offer a Nexus Style Line

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 11:06 PM

As I sit here looking at Microsoft’s “Where’s My Phone Update?” web site, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if Microsoft were to pull a Google and released an unlocked unsubsidized phone in the vein of the Nexus line. Allow me to explain …

When Microsoft introduced their new mobile operating system, one of their promises was that the updates will come directly from them. By controlling the updates, all phones will be updated at the same time and no one will have to worry about fragmentation as seen with the Android operating system. Microsoft ensured us all their premier carrier partners had agreed to the update scheme because they understood the importance of having all WP7 phones on the most recent version of the OS. However, as history has shown, Microsoft has missed several ship dates and there is evidence pointing the delays as the fault of carriers playing their usual games. Even today, none of AT&T’s three phones have seen an update. In fact, according to Microsoft’s U.S. and International update status table, the only phones that have received the updates are in the category “Open Market Phones.”

In a way, WP7 has moved away from Apple’s way of updating and towards the Android way where certain phones receive the update first then other phones eventually follow. So if we are already following in the footsteps of Android because of Microsoft’s inability to convince carriers to allow updates to be pushed at a timely manner, maybe Microsoft should take the initiative and pull a Google.


Tags: hardware, , wp7

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rhapsody App Now Available for WP7

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Windows Phone Software" @ 05:00 PM

"Rhapsody continues strengthening its position as a go-to music streaming service in the U.S. In the wake of offering an extended 60-day trial of its services, Rhapsody has now launched a Windows Phone 7 app."

Rhapsody is looking to bring some serious competition to the streaming audio industry. Not only do they offer a $9.99 monthly subscription, they now have a 60-day free trial so you can decide if you like it or not. All of this is now available on Windows Phone 7 in the Zune Marketplace.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Telstra Launches the HTC HD7

Posted by Darius Wey in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 08:45 PM

"Telstra today joined with HTC Corporation and Microsoft to launch the HTC HD7 smartphone - the latest Windows Phone 7 to arrive in Australia, which will be available from March 29 exclusively on the Telstra Next G network. The HTC HD7 embodies a stand‐out design with a large 4.3" high-resolution screen and flipout kickstand for an epic viewing experience. The handset is perfect for customers looking for the ultimate multimedia experience, from interactive gaming to the 720p HD camcorder that allows high definition capture and playback. The HTC HD7 has a simple, easy to use interface and access to a range of fun and useful applications that all perform brilliantly on the large screen."

If you avoided the Mozart because you decided to patiently wait for Telstra to deliver the HD7, your time has come. From March 29, the long-awaited device with the big 4.3" screen will be available at a RRP of $768 AUD, either outright or on a contract of your choosing, both online and direct from Telstra stores and partner stores.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Selena Gomez To Help Celebrate Microsoft Store Opening With Free Concert

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 11:30 PM

"When we open our Microsoft Store in South Coast Plaza, get there early to score tickets to the special performance by actress of Disney's Emmy- Award-winning Wizards of Waverly Place and platinum recording artist Selena Gomez! Selena takes the stage on Saturday, March 26th at 2 PM to help us celebrate our newest store."

There is now more information available regarding the upcoming grand opening of the South Coast Plaza Microsoft Store in Costa Mesa, California. The store will have its grand opening on March 24th and is located near Theory. The mall door next to the Microsoft Store will open at 6AM for people to line up. The grand opening itself will be at 9:30AM. To celebrate the opening, Microsoft will be holding a concert on March 26th with Selena Gomez as the musical artist.

The first 150 people in line on March 24th will get two tickets to concert plus get a chance to meet Selena. The next 800 people will also get a pair of tickets and get to walk the red carpet. Gift bags will also being handed out on grand opening day. For more details regarding the grand opening and concert click the read link.

HTC Arrive For Sprint Reviewed

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 05:00 PM

Matthew Miller of ZDNet generally likes the Arrive - it's a solid piece of kit marred by a few flaws, not least of which is the spotty landscape support in WP7. It seems HTC did some work on improving the keyboard, as the Arrive's impresses compared to the 7 Pro's, the Arrive's GSM cousin. The Arrive will be available for $199.99 on Sprint from March 20.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Manage The Presentation of Your Web Site With Viewport Tags

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:23 PM

"As web browsing on mobile devices continues to grow in popularity, it's more important than ever to design mobile web sites that match the look and feel of native applications. One of the features provided by the browser in Windows Phone that helps with this task is programmatic control over the browser layout viewport."

Image courtesy of

In the beginning, mobile surfing meant wap browsers. As devices gained horsepower with ever increasing screen sizes and faster connections, web sites have transitioned from the aforementioned wap browser to mobile versions to desktop view. Users now have an expectation that when they go to a web site on their mobile device, the page will look like it does on their desktop and not be overly compressed. There is also an expectation that the page will re-flow smoothly and format correctly when transitioning from portrait to landscape view.

Fortunately for web designers, WP7 OS and its browser allows for programmatic control over the layout viewport. When a page is rendered in the WP7 browser, the default layout viewport width is always 1,024 pixels. The browser then determines the appropriate zoom level to fit the screen. Click read to see how you can use viewport to control the layout viewport width.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Windows Phone 7 Sessions List For MIX 11 Announced

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:50 PM

"Some of the MIX11 Windows Phone 7 sessions have just been announced a few minutes ago. Keep in mind that this isn't the full list yet and more are going to be announced shortly."

MIX 11 is quickly approaching. For those of you lucky enough to be attending the conference at Mandalay Bay this April 12-14th, the Windows Phone 7 sessions list have just been announced. Hit the read link to see the list of sessions being offered to assist developers and would-be developers get the most out of Windows Phone 7.

Friday, March 11, 2011

WP7 Just 60 Apps Away From 10,000 Marketplace Apps, Hits That Milestone Faster Than iPhone or Android

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:30 AM

"The excitement is palpable as the number of apps in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace edge towards 5 figures. reports nearly 1200 applications have been added in the last 2 weeks, which is an acceleration on the usual 1000, and should guarantee we pass over the 10,000 mark today."

This is quite an accomplishment, and definitely bodes well for the future of Windows Phone. Only 4 1/2 months since it was released to the public, and developers have showered us with great applications faster than we could have imagined. I think the smartphone war is going to heat up significantly over the next year or two.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

False Alarm: Sony Ericsson Windows Phone 7 Device Just a Failed Prototype

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Other Windows Phones" @ 09:30 AM

"Get your hopes up about that Sony Ericsson Windows Phone 7 slider that surfaced over the weekend? Well, then we're afraid we've got a bit of bad news. According to Mobile Review's Eldar Murtazin, it's just an "old prototype that was canceled last year." "

Well, we should have known it was too good to be true. They have been denying any interest in Windows Phone for a while. It would be nice to add another major manufacturer to the fold, but it may take a few years of growing success to convince them to adopt Windows Phone. In due time, right?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

HTC Pro 7 Reviewed

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 08:00 PM

"The HTC 7 Pro is a little delayed for some tastes - while it's still the first in the UK to offer Windows Phone 7 with a full QWERTY keyboard, it's still months behind the HTC HD7 and Samsung Omnia 7. However, the 7 Pro comes with some cheeky little extras over the standard Windows Phone 7 offering, taking Microsoft's mobile OS to the next level."

I hesitate to call this a review as it's so brief that you barely get a feel for the device. Having said that, Gareth cuts right down to the meat of matter - this baby's got copy and paste right out of the box, which raises some interesting questions regarding what's holding up the NoDo update for everybody else. On the flip side, the keyboard's apparently below HTC's usual standards, which makes the trade-off of having it against the extra weight you have to carry less appealing.

MobileSync Pro - Sync, Share, Backup, and Protect

Posted by Danny Simmons in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Retina-X Studios, LLC announced today the release of MobileSync Pro, a cross-platform mobile phone freeware for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows smartphones. MobileSync Pro is the most versatile and feature-rich mobile software utility yet to come out from Retina-X Studios, which has bundled a 4-in-1 solution by incorporating backup, theft-protection and file sharing solutions, besides its key function as an all-purpose sync solution."

Most mobile phones have built-in synchronization for your contacts, email, calendar, etc. But what happens if you want to change platforms. How do you move your data if you want to ditch your iPhone to try out Windows Phone 7? Or move from BalckBerry to Android? In most cases this would not be an easy process. MobileSync Pro is a free application that can do this for you. It also adds the capability of sharing your data with others. They offer 200 MB of free storage. They are also currently working to offer support for Windows Phone 7 and other platforms that should be finalized in the coming weeks. Curious? Check them out here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Second Look Analysis of the Microsoft-Nokia Alliance

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 08:00 AM

"Now, stepping through a second take on this announcement, I'd like to offer up some thoughts about what this means, and how I think this will impact Windows Phone going forward."

Paul Thurrott has written a very insightful and well thought out analysis of the Microsoft-Nokia Strategic Alliance and concluded by stating, "Windows Phone is the most innovative smart phone platform on earth. Hopefully adding Nokia to the mix will only make it better. My guess is that it will."

I agree with Paul that Windows Phone is the most innovative smart phone platform on earth and adding Nokia to the mix could potentially make the platform better, my biggest concern is the whole fragmentation issue. Paul mentions the fragmentation between WP7 devices in its current state as a luxury device and potential future entry market devices by Nokia. But, the fragmentation I'm mainly worried about has to do with the fact Microsoft's initial strategy with Windows Phone 7 was the baseline OS would be controlled by Microsoft itself and customizations were limited to added on apps and/or hubs. Thereby allowing OS updates to be pushed to each and every Windows Phone at the same time. A strategy that has been hugely successful for iOS as it avoids the fragmentation problem that currently plagues Android OS.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Would WP7 and Xbox Kinect Integration Look Like?

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 02:30 PM

"The ability to control aspects of a game on your handset is an interesting concept. The video shows multiple user support for Windows Phone 7 and Kinect integration. The users control objects on the screen with the touch of their WP7 device, giving the player a unique and real-time experience with Kinect."

From day one, Microsoft emphasized the connection between Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7. From the looks of this video, (courtesy of Microsoft) that connection is about to get even tighter. It'll be interesting to see what developers can come up with when they get access to this API.

Tags: wp7, kinect, xbox360

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

HTC 7 Pro On Pre-Order At UK's Clove

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 12:30 AM

It's almost here! UK vendor Clove Technology has the 7 Pro on pre-order at a price of £360 ex-VAT, with a free BT headset thrown in to the bargain. Unlocked and with 8GB storage, a 5MP camera and (best of all) 5-row QWERTY keyboard, the 7 Pro is a nice addition to HTC's WP7 offerings.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Use 'Em and Leave 'Em: 26% of App Uses are One Night Stands

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android News" @ 04:00 AM

"The resulting analysis shows that for customers using an app for the first time between January and March, about 22% of them never open the app again. In the second and third quarters, the rate of one-time usage is flat at 26%. One-time usage grows to over 28% in the fourth quarter, but some of those customers may still use the app again in early 2011."

Admit it - you've used an app once and then never bothered to click again. We all do it, although it's interesting to see the data presented here. I suspect we aren't seeing significant differences between those rates above, and I also wonder how much of this depends on app segment. One thing is for certain, it's a lot nicer to have app stores now that let us try before we buy and give us comments and ratings. I recall my early WinMo days of "that looks cool, buy it". I probably spent around $100 (over 3 years) on apps I never used more than 3 times.

Friday, January 14, 2011

HTC HD7 Pro Hits European Shelves Next Week

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 01:00 AM

HTC's HD7 Pro is the first landscape slider model in the WP7 line-up, and is due to hit the streets in Germany next week. Unlike the pic above, O2 Germany's version will sport a QWERTZ keyboard, and will be offered for €22 with two year contract, or €599 unlocked. Here's hoping the rollout goes global soon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mortgage Miser App Now Available!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Software" @ 05:30 PM

"Use Mortgage Miser to calculate the total cost of a Fixed-rate or 5/1 Adjustable Rate (ARM) mortgage. This app lets you see the total cost over the entire term of the mortgage. It's fun to play with, and you'll learn a lot just messing around with the numbers. If you're shopping for a Mortgage, it's not a bad app to have for quick questions like "How important is 0.25% less of an interest rate?" or "Why do I want a 20 year instead of a 30 year mortgage?"

So I'm probably a bit biased here, but when you're proud of something simple, you like to tell people about it. Mortgage Miser, my first Windows Phone 7 program, is now available in the Marketplace. It's free, and can be a fun tool to play with even if you're not in the buying-a-home mode at the moment. What's really interesting is seeing how the change of perhaps 0.25% can affect the total loan cost! So go grab the app, support the research of myself and my co-author (through ad impressions) and enjoy learning about the largest purchase you might ever make!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Remotive Turns Your WP7 Device Into A Media Center Remote Control

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Windows Phone Software" @ 04:30 PM

"If you've been looking for a way to easily control your PC's music collection with your new Windows Phone 7 handset, have a look at the Remotive app created by Sharkfist Software. The $1.99 app allows you to remotely navigate your music collection on your Windows Media Center PC (requires the installation of Remotive Server for Windows Vista/7). With this app, users can browse by album/artist/album artist, select music, and see what's currently playing. A future update will bring remote volume control."

Remotive looks to be an awesome and easy-to-use Windows Media Center remote application for your Windows Phone 7 device. With it, you can control your music anywhere in the house--or even all over the world--from your home machine to your handset. It's attractive and fits with the Windows Phone 7 / Zune aesthetic, and it all seems to be fairly snappy. A server application (free from the developer's website) installs to your Windows Vista or 7 PC and handles all of the setup for you, with a few extra tweaks needed if you want to use Remotive over your cellular data network. Albums display with thumbnails and can be grouped by artist, and just as in the Music app a long press will give you options to play or add to quick list. Volume control and search features are coming in a future release. For more info, James from the Digital Media Zone gives a good walkthrough in this YouTube video. The app is $1.99, but a free trial which limits control to the first 50 albums/artists will give you a sense of what the app can do.

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