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All posts tagged "wp7"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Synchronize Tasks Between WP7 and Exchange

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 06:00 AM

"The application allows you to synchronise your Tasks list with Exchange Server 2007 and later so you can add and update your tasks on the go and always remain in-sync with your Exchange mailbox. It uses the same ActiveSync protocol as the built-in Email and Calendar applications to efficiently and securely synchronise directly with your server over any network type."

A new app from APPA Mundi allows you to keep your tasks list in sync with your Exchange mailbox so you can update your to-do list on the move and see the same status in Outlook when you are back in the office or at home. Functionality includes the ability to create new tasks and edit existing ones, including marking tasks complete as you finish them. Additional options include:

  • filter your task list by Status
  • sort your tasks by Status, Priority, Subject, Start Date or Due Date
  • create new tasks on your Windows Phone
  • edit and delete existing tasks
  • synchronize with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and later

A trial version allows entry of up to 4 tasks so that you can get a feel for the application.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

HTC HD7 - Ready to Take On the iPhone? Really!

Posted by Doug Raeburn in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 10:00 AM

Product Category: Windows Phone 7 Smartphone
Manufacturer: HTC
Where to buy: T-Mobile
Price: $199 USD with contract
Specifications: From HTC site


  • High quality look and feel;
  • Large responsive capacitive touchscreen;
  • Windows Phone 7 provides a unique and easy-to-use user interface;
  • Wireless synching of calendar and contacts through Windows Live is included.


  • No slot for memory cards;
  • Mobile Office apps (particularly Word) are short on features;
  • Weak external speaker affects speakerphone performance;
  • Wireless synching of calendar and contacts can be complicated to set up;
  • No "cut and paste" or third-party multitasking.

Summary: With the game-changing introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Microsoft saw its position as a consistent midpack player in the smartphone market begin to decline. Attempts to update the legacy Windows Mobile (WM) OS and UI to provide a more "iPhone-like" experience met with indifference in the marketplace. The MS product planners came to the inevitable conclusion that the only way to compete with the iPhone (and the up and coming Android platform) was to introduce an all-new platform specifically designed to target the newcomers. That platform is finally here and it's called Windows Phone 7 (WP7). Long-time partner HTC has introduced the HD7, a phone with state-of-the-art specs running WP7. Does HTC's WP7-powered flagship model have what it takes to once again establish Microsoft as a player in the current marketplace, in the face of smartphone "superstars" like the iPhone 4 and the MyTouch 4G? Read on as we consider that question...


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wolverine's WP7 Lock Screen!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Software" @ 07:30 AM

"YouTube often has the Wikipedia effect. I visit for a specific reason and end up on a completely unrelated subject and never leave bread crumbs to find out how I got there. Well, today I was on YouTube watching some physics videos and ended up with a trip down memory lane with the X-Men cartoon intro. With the theme tune on loop in my head whilst working on an app, I was inspired to take a break from development and update my lock-screen wallpaper on my device. I had an idea of creating (Wolverine-inspired) claw marks as part of the lock screen. All the wallpapers I've seen for Windows Phone 7 contain no transparency. I thought it would be cool to be able to display the home screen ‘through' the claw marks."

Imagine having that image above as your Windows Phone 7 Lock Screen image, and being able to see your start screen below where the "rips" are! Apparently it's do-able with the wonders of a PNG file with transparency. If you're not into the claw effect, this could be a great way to let you see just the information on your live tile without even having to unlock your phone! Quite cool!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

VB for Windows Phone 7 Goes RTW!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 09:30 AM

"Back in September, we released the CTP of Visual Basic for the Windows Phone Developer Tools. Today we're pleased to announce the immediate availability of the RTW version of the Visual Basic add-on. You can immediately download VB support for the Windows Phone developer tools. The big news is that you can now build and release Silverlight applications and games for Windows Phone built in Visual Basic to the Windows Phone Marketplace. In addition, we've spent time beefing up our VB for WP sample code. Check out new VB versions of our released samples on MSDN. We're extremely excited to officially add support for Visual Basic to Windows Phone, and we can't wait to see all of the new apps and games you'll create with it."

The VB Haters out there might not like it, but VB can now be used for Windows Phone development in a more polished form - Microsoft has released the RTW version of Visual Basic for Windows Phone! So all you VB coders, get your game on and code up some WP7 goodness!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why Won't Rogers Wireless Sell Me a Windows Phone 7?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 05:34 PM

I'm not sure what the launch of Windows Phone 7 has been like in your part of the world, but in Canada I'm finding myself extremely frustrated with how hard it is to get my hands on one of these new phones. I've been with Rogers Wireless since 2008, originally getting a Samsung Jack (Blackjack II), and am due for a hardware upgrade. I've been using the HTC HD2 since this time last year, chugging along at 2G speeds (yeah, feel my pain!), and after using the prototype Windows Phone 7 hardware a few weeks ago, I desperately want to move to the new platform. Read more...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creative Microsoft Ad Illustrates WP7 As Part Of Ecosystem

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 06:00 AM

"It's one thing to read about utopian use cases for the Windows 7 and Windows Live ecosystem, but nothing beats watching real people putting it into use to create something amazing. From the same director of the recently popular Blu-ray PC vs Mac ad, Keith Rivers also produced and directed this 2:30min spot featuring the entire family of Microsoft's consumer offerings - Windows 7, Windows Live Essentials 2011, Skydrive, Office Web Apps and Windows Phone 7."

Windows 7 Cloud + Andrew Belle from Keith Rivers on Vimeo.

A clever ad for Microsoft's ecosystem of consumer products illustrates how Windows Phone 7 can fit it. Director Keith Rivers portrays the life cycle of Andrew Belle writing a song through to performing it on stage, all the while collaborating and communicating with friends, musicians, and fans along the way. This is nicely done and quite effective. If you have a few spare minutes of time watch the video and enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Jailbreaking Progress?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 07:00 PM

"Just weeks after the launch of Windows Phone 7 around the world, the inevitable attempts to jailbreak the operating system is yielding some interesting results. Today, Australian developer Chris Walshie was successfully able to prove a method to run "native" unmanaged code on a retail Windows Phone 7 device."

A jailbroken phone offers the potential to unleash wild new capabilities for your smartphone, although there are legal and support issues to consider. Nevertheless, many users are waiting patiently for progress reports such as this one on I Started Something's blog. The blog article unveils the clues that led to unlocking some of the platform's restricted potential, and it seems we will only be days from additional breaches being reported.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What You Can and Can't Do With Storage Cards in WP7

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

"If your Windows Phone 7 device contains an SD card, you should think of it as a permanent component of your phone, not as removable storage. The Windows Phone 7 operating system treats the SD card as an integrated part of the phone. This is in contrast to other devices, where you can use an SD card to increase the memory available to the device at any time or to transfer files to other devices"

It's all a blob to Windows Phone 7, your storage that is. Add an SD card (if you have a slot) and you get more storage (just please use a card a bit bigger than the one shown above - can you believe they still sell those?!?), but gone are the days of popping multiple cards in or out on a whim. So there you have it partner, straight from the Microsoft Knowledge Bases' Mouth.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hands-On with the HTC 7 Mozart

Posted by Darius Wey in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 11:30 PM

Choice is good. No, choice is great! But in looking at HTC's Windows Phone 7 devices, you could be forgiven for thinking that the paradox of choice is entirely applicable. Specs-wise, they're almost the same. That makes decision-making inherently tough. But there are features that differentiate each from the other, and perhaps the most defining features on the HTC 7 Mozart is the 8-megapixel camera with Xenon flash and the 3.7" display, which, being the second-smallest of the bunch, makes for some pretty impressive pixel density. How does this beast look and feel in the flesh? Read on to find out!


Surrounding the Surround With Reviews!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 07:30 PM

"Of all the Windows Phone 7 launch devices, AT&T's HTC Surround is likely the most curious. It's a landscape slider built on the same basic internals as the rest of its platform siblings, but there's no keyboard under that screen -- the quarter-inch slide reveals an aluminum speaker bar and integrated kickstand, which combine to create a tiny little stereo system of sorts. Mix in Windows Phone 7's heavy Zune integration, add in a dash of Dolby Mobile and SRS Wow "virtual surround" audio processing, and top it all off with 16GB of internal memory, and you have what might be the ultimate phone for on-the-go media consumption. But does the Surround live up to all that promise? Read on to find out!"

News abounds on the HTC Surround, this cute little package that makes sound it's claim to fame. Engadget has it covered, so does PCMag, Phone Scoop, and Adam over at Pocketnow! So if you're interested in getting some serious audio enjoyment out of a device, take a look at any or all of these to get the first impressions of this unique Windows Phone 7 device!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Developer Two-Day Events!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Events" @ 11:30 AM

"The speculation is starting to run a little hot about when Windows Phone 7 will be in the market. We can confirm that the phone is coming. To celebrate, we are launching a series of two-day Windows Phone 7 Developer Launch events across the United States specifically for developers. The events are meant to cover technical topics, as well as marketplace topics, to ensure that you have your apps ready for sale, and can participate in the Windows Phone 7 excitement. The first day covers application development, with a heavy focus on the design language of Windows Phone 7. You will learn about how to make amazing and incredible applications, and deliver experiences on Windows Phone which are not available on other phone platforms. The second day is an app-building workshop. There will be plenty of resources on hand to help you get your idea from your brain to the phone. Be sure to check out the agendas for the events."

Microsoft is planning a number of two-day Developer events around the country focusing on WP7. The big get is that Day 2 actually includes an app-building workshop. I'm planning on attending the events in NYC - it should be a great time!

Tags: events, developer, wp7

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Visual Basic Comes to Windows Phone 7

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 01:30 PM

"That wait is over. You can now download the Visual Basic CTP for Windows Phone Developer Tools. Provided in this download are all the templates, designer support, emulator (and phone!) support and IntelliSense for Visual Basic. We're not formally announcing the schedule for when Visual Basic will be fully supported. We're giving VB developers early access to the Windows Phone 7 platform so that they can start thinking about what amazing apps they want to build."

Most programming languages aren't super difficult to learn. Visual Basic is super difficult to remain ignorant in. While often the punchline of a joke regarding programmer's abilities, VB does provide a nice atmosphere to rapidly create apps, some aren't even that bad! And now it's coming to WP7. Not a bad thing for the smaller app writer looking to jump onto a platform.

Friday, September 17, 2010

WP7 Developer Tools are Final!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 05:00 AM

"When the Windows Phone 7 OS went gold two weeks ago, the Windows Phone ecosystem began the final preparations for the upcoming launch. OEMs and mobile operators have begun final testing of their handsets, but developers have had to wait just a little while longer to complete apps and games. Today, that wait is over. The Windows Phone Developer Tools have gone final, and we have released to the Web. This release is English only, but we will be releasing the French, Italian, German and Spanish language versions in the next couple of weeks."

Lots of great information in Brandon Watson's post - most notably that the "Final" versions of the WP7 developer tools are now available. English only for now, but this means that developers can finally build their apps in the completed environment. Good timing too - while no one knows for sure, launch can't be too terribly far off!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Silverlight and Good Performance Can Peacefully Coexist?

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 03:30 PM

"As you've probably read, here and elsewhere, Windows Phone 7 constituted a dramatic shift for Microsoft. For this release, we decided that the core principle would be about delivering outstanding phone based experiences to end users. This principle guided everything we did, and was the basis for all the prioritization decisions that were made. It meant in many cases we had to focus, and not do as much as we've historically done in a single release, (focus has not been a strength of ours), but the things we did, we wanted to be outstanding."

If you're still kinda leary about going to Silverlight versus the native controls you've had access in the past for performance reasons, this short blog post might help ease your mind and give you a starting point to see if it really is as bad as you think (Who knows, it might not be!). If you've already jumped head first into WP7 development, you may still find a gem you've missed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Let Us Now Start Wild Speculation Regarding Launch Date

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone News" @ 03:00 PM

"Microsoft UK has announced, via Twitter, a "special event" on October 5th in London for developers in which the company will talk about "Windows Azure, Windows 7 and the soon-to-be-released Windows Phone 7 and IE9". Interestingly Steve Ballmer will introduce the opening keynote for the special event and it will be held in the large International Conference Centre (the G20 was held there last year and Microsoft has used the venue before)."

Want some rampant rumor and speculation to add to your Tuesday? Here's a twitter post that's got some sites a flutter wondering if we're going to hear Fearless Leader Steve B. say something about the launch, or maybe announce the launch, or maybe use the word launch, at this MS Tech Days event. WP7 is about the worst kept secret at this point, with ads coming out and devices given to a select few. So does it really matter when the "launch" announcement comes? What I think we all want to know is "When will I be able to walk down to the store and buy one?!?"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Samsung Cetus i917 for AT&T

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Samsung Windows Phones" @ 11:00 PM

Engadget has (a few) exclusive pics of the new Samsung Cetus i917 with WP7, said to be destined for AT&T this holidays season. As usual we're light on specs, though again it shouldn't be hard to guess. My first impression is that all that glossy plastic will be a huge fingerprint magnet, and there's not a whole lot in terms of looks to distinguish the i917 from say, Samsung's Galaxy S line - it's all going to boil down to the OS experience.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WP7 on HD2 a Bit Harder Than Thought

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 03:00 PM

"So, how different is CE7/WP7 from that model? (Which is the model we have now in CE5.x/WM6.x) - The mARM AMSS provides a different interface and initialization proceedure. That means any of the WP7 drivers from a donor device we might port from would not work at all with our current AMSS. Which in turn means no boot without re-writing the drivers/kernel or AMSS. So to compare it to a desktop PC once again, we need to write a BIOS, a Hardware Abstraction Layer, and a set of drivers for each component on the system (likely a good deal of the drivers would be usable once the rest is done) Do I sound jaded yet? Yes, yes I am It's probably a factor of 10 more complicated than I thought it would be initially."

Remember when I said half-baked WP7 on an HD2 was a bad idea? Well those who are attempting to port WP7 over are finding it a bit tougher than they initially thought to even get it on the device, aside from the performance concerns I raised. Also putting aside the legality (which isn't vague - the HD2 isn't licensed for WP7, so you'll find no one arguing that the device should have WP7 running on it), I think this is further evidence that WP7 marks a radical shift in Windows Mobile development, away from what we've had in the past. It's no wonder that no existing device got an upgrade, despite the pleas of the users!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

HTC Gets WP7 Orders from AT&T, Orange

Posted by Jon Westfall in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 04:30 AM

"Taipei, Aug. 10, 2010 (CENS)--High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC), a world-caliber supplier of smartphones, has reportedly received orders from AT&T and Orange for its newly debuted Windows Phone 7 phone, which will be launched in the U.S. and some European countries in the fourth quarter of this year, in an effort to cash in on year-end sales booms, according to industry sources. In fact, Microsoft`s chief operating officer Kevin Turner has confirmed that the world`s first WP7 phone will be available in the U.S. and Europe in October or November, implying that among WP7-powered hardware developers as HTC, Asus, Samsung, LG and Dell, who have been engaged in development of such phones, some have been set to ship out their models."

I'm a bit concerned that we've heard too much about AT&T carrying WP7 and not enough about T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint carrying it. Could this mean they don't actually have plans to carry WP7 at launch, or do they simply have an easier time keeping their leaks in check? Is WP7 doomed if only 1 major carrier per country carries it?

Tags: orange, htc, at&t, wp7

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Brit Calls WP7 A Genuine Contender

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:00 AM

"Perhaps best, however, is the control Microsoft have put in place regarding adapting and skinning Windows Phone 7. HTC may work magic with Android and their Sense UI but some of the lesser offerings from Sony or LG could do serious damage to Windows Phone 7's slickness. What is most likely is developers and manufacturers will make their mark on a handset by building apps that sit on the home screen rather than slowing the phone down with heavy UI changes. It shouldn't be long now before we start seeing some of the many manufacturers associated with Windows Phone 7 showing off their handsets. From the looks of it Microsoft have built a genuine contender with Phone 7 and if the release hardware is up to scratch could have a shot at topping iPhone sales at Christmas."

Hunter Skipworth at the Telegraph published a pretty nice write-up on Windows Phone 7's preview release, and he appears impressed. It's good to see some journalistic reaction from outside North America this positive. He calls WP7 a 'genuine contender' - now let's just hope it's a genuine contender that can turn the world of premium smartphones back into a 3-horse race!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Speech is Going To Change Everything?

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone News" @ 10:00 AM

"Microsoft is raising the bar for mobile device interactions with the development of Windows Phone 7. Speech has been seamlessly integrated into the phone experience, for functions such as search, navigation and dialing."

I hate talking to people on the phone when strangers are near by. I don't even like doing it when friends are near by. And despite what Zig Serafin says at SpeechTEK this week, I doubt I'll want to start talking to my phone. In fact, the only time I ever talked to my phone was when I drove quite a bit and used a VERY finger unfriendly mobile OS (e.g., Pocket PC Phone Edition, circa 2003). Now a days it's much easier to peck out a few things here and there, rather than speak to the phone. While I've used Google speech-to-text on my Nexus One a handful of times (and always with good results) I just can't get into it. Are you excited about a WP7 phone you can talk to? Or will it be a waste as I suspect it will be for me?

Tags: software, speech, wp7

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