Windows Phone News

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First! (Windows Phone 7 now on sale)

According to Brad Bor, this is the first person to buy a Windows Phone 7 device as the new OS and phones have officially gone on sale...in New Zealand!

Don't worry folks, only a few more weeks till that sweet November 8th. Until then, you'll have to be like us and continue to read about it.

Congrats to this young man and his fine, fine purchase. Let the Windows Phone 7 era begin!

(Okay, there's no real way to know if he's really the first, but symbolically, he's it.)

Update: His name is Robert Paulson. His name is Robert Paulson....errr... His name is Jourdan Templeton. His name is Jourdan Templeton.

Source Twitter (@bradbor)

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Now here's a bold challenge: Joost van Schaik has demonstrated how easy it is to code Google Maps into a Windows Phone 7 application (taking advantage of Bing Map Control to do so; The image above is a Google Map satellite layer on top the Street layer, done with actual coding).

He dares Google to make a Google Maps application, suggesting if they don't, someone else will and they'll do it quickly.

While the rest of the post is coding-nerd material, the gist is obvious: Google Maps, if that's your thing*, should come to Windows Phone 7 by choice or by force. So which will it be Google?

* Yeah, I know. Who would want to use Google Maps when Bing kicks so much butt? Actually, the one pro for Google doing something official is the promise of Latitude/Buzz, which Microsoft still needs a competitive solution for...

Source: .NET by Example; via @SilverlightNews

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We ran across an interesting app that's headed to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Board-Express is an app that allows you to connect to thousands of internet forums.

Board-Express will allow you to view, post and receive PM messages from about 8,000 different forums. There will be three versions of Board Express available for Windows Phones:

  • Board Express (free): Allows you to read from the forums but does not have the ability to post or access your PM messages.
  •  Board Express Pro ($2.99): Allows you to read, post, distinguish new threads and send PM messages.
  • Board Express Re-branding (for forum owners): This allows forum owners to publish a customized version with their own logo, name, splash screen, etc.

Board-Express has a search function to allow you to sift through the thousands of participating forums and the ability to tag your favorite forums. Board-Express uses the Tapatalk plugin which is currently installed on more than 8,000 forums including XDA Developers, HTC Mania and our personal favorite, WPCentral.

Board-Express will be available over at the Marketplace when Windows Phone 7 launches. It looks like an interesting way to stay in touch with all your discussion forums.

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Verizon has updated it's Network Extender to offer 3G data coverage. Earlier models offers slower data connections but the updated version allows you to surf the web, download applications, send/receive text messages, and check your email at five bars of 3G speed.

The Samsung network extender will cost you $249.99 and provides up to 40 feet of coverage. There is no additional monthly charge for using the Verizon Wireless 3G Network Extender. According to the FAQ Section on Verizon's website,

"There are no additional costs to use just the Network Extender. You can simply purchase the unit and enjoy the benefit of enhanced in-home coverage. All rates and policies associated with your chosen calling plan will apply when connected to the Network Extender."

Which is a round about way of saying that the data and voice calls made through your Network Extender will eat into your package minutes and data plan.

If you live in an area that has poor coverage, these extenders are worth every penny. You can find out more about the Network Extender at Verizon and follow the break for the full presser.

via AndroidCentral

 

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We had a chance to chat with Jonah Sterling, Group Creative Director for IdentityMine, for a quick Q&A regarding their company, the software they have developed for Windows Phone 7 and their views on the development platform that Microsoft has laid out so far.

Being responsible for the official Twitter app on Windows Phone 7 (which does allow photo uploads despite earlier reports, more on that below), Graphic.ly (comic viewer), IMDb and SBB (train schedule), IdentityMine is at the forefront of some of the biggest name titles for Microsof'ts new mobile OS. If you want to know why they were chosen, please read on, as the interview is chock full of information and you may find yourself wanting to work for them--I know I do.

Take a coffee break and cozy on up for our 10 questions with IdentityMine after the break!

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The Morodo Group has announced that their VoIP app, MO-Call, is now available for Windows Phones running Windows Mobile.

According to the Press Release,

"MO-Call is free to download and new users receive free credit to trial the service. After the trial is over, MO-Call customers only pay for the minutes they use. MO-Call’s low international rates start from as little as 0.7p per minute and can save customers up to 90% compared to traditional mobile and telephone network operators."

In looking at local rates, calls within the United States will run you $.01 per minute. International rates range from $.03 per minute to the United Kingdom to $.14 per minute to Tanzania.  VoIP to VoIP calls are free. You also have the capability to send SMS messages over Mo-Call.

Mo-Call can also be accessed through fixed line phones and your computer.  For the a listing of all the compatible Windows Phones, download information and rates head on over to Mo-Call.com.

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All things much change and according to Major Nelson, the Xbox.com website gets a big overhaul tomorrow (here are a few screen shots) .

While there are many changes, the biggest one is the ability to play web games over LIVE will be available. And if you or associate happens to have a Windows Phone 7 device, you can play them over the web. Boy does that sound like a time-killer at work.

Other notable changes are:

  • Browser based Avatar editor: Edit your avatar and preview avatar items before purchase
  • Combined views for messages, friend and game requests
  • Improved notification of your account subscription
  • Leverage Family Reports to understand what your family is doing and how they are using LIVE
  • Marketplace: More powerful search and more intuitive ways to browse and filter

 

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While  we got the first look at the Dell Venue Pro here in the States and were expecting it here before anywhere else, guess we were wrong. Looks like Clove in the UK are set to receive the portrait slider phone on November 8th--SIM free/unlocked, no less. No word on how much internal storage though (8GB or 16GB) as that area under specs is oddly left blank.

Unlocked/SIM free though is not cheap: at £375.00 (£440 including VAT tax), the phone will run around $590 ($692 including VAT). Still, you could presumably order it now and have it sent here if you wanted to be extra cool.

Hmmmm....(looks down at wallet)

Source: Clove; via Tracy & Matt

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The new Windows Phone 7 devices are headed to AT&T and to help sweeten the deal, AT&T is offering a free entertainment pack for a limited time.

The entertainment pack includes the XBox Live puzzle-game "Ilomilo", a 30 Day Zune Pass, and a free month of AT&T U-Verse Mobile. The $29.95 valued freebie will be available to AT&T customers who purchase a Windows Phone between October 25, 2010 and December 31, 2010.

You can find all the fine print on the offer over at AT&T's website.

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It looks like Verizon is going to go through with tiered data plans but they aren't adding too many tiers or getting rid of the unlimited plan.

Strong indications have the new rate plans going into effect on October 28, 2010 and the data plans for 3G Smartphones will be as follows:

  • $15 per month for 150mb
  • $29.99 for unlimited data.

Overages to the base plan will cost you $15 for an additional 150mb. Existing customers can stick with their existing plan or migrate to the new plans.  AT&T has the better base deal offering 200mb at the $15 price range but eliminated their unlimited plan.

Verizon will also tier data plans for 3G Tablets; $20 for 1GB, $35 for 3GB, $50 for 5GB and $80 for 10GB. Overage fees are $10 per GB except for the $20 base plan, which will run you $20 per GB.

via AndroidCentral.com

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Lest we forget our valiant HD2 on T-Mobile, it appears HTC is set to roll out a nice ROM update tomorrow. This will bring the software version to 3.14.531.1, will reportedly fix a lot of bugs, improve stability and introduce some new apps including Shazam and Amazon MP3. The following issues will be fixed with the update:

  • Browsing Facebook photos is slow
  • White screen while browsing the internet
  • Cannot delete GMAIL messages from the preview screen
  • SMS sends to the wrong person
  • Twitter errors
  • Cannot unlock the phone
  • Cannot unlock the phone with the correct password
  • No space bar on company directory keyboard
  • Can’t hear Visual Voicemails
  • Speakerphone stops working after using the Call Assist app to call 611

Dang, those are some serious bugs! Users can navigate to www.t-mobile.com/wmupgrade or receive a text message of the update automatically. Very cool and good luck HD2'ers!

Source: TMoNews

 

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Pictures Lab is headed to Windows Phone 7. Developed by Shulte Software Development, Pictures Lab is a photo effect editor. It allows you to manipulate, adjust and add special effects to your photos.

The feature list includes:

  • Twenty-one advanced effects including; Seven different vintage and hipster-like effects, Tilt shift, Lomo, Soften, Auto Adjust, Sharpen, Comic, Bulge, B&W Conversion, Sepia, Saturate, Edge Detection, Night Vision, Negative filter and Bitmap.
  • Editable effect parameters with ready to use default values.
  • Multi-touch manipulation for certain effects.
  • Images can be saved at full resolution to allow printing straight from your Windows Phone.
  • Supports landscape and portrait orientation.
  • Trial version includes complete functionality with only the save feature disabled.

Pictures Lab is available over at the Marketplace for $1.99. After the break, catch a video demo of this interesting photo effect application.

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Although some of us were able to see that eBay app shown off in NYC last week, most of you were stuck with static images. Well, here's the app in all its glory in an official video by eBay and Microsoft.

Want to see the awesome eBay app for Windows Phone 7 in action? Just watch after the break. It's worth it once you see the effort and design that went into making it. Oh and for the record, it really is that fast over 3G--that's no trickery.

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While we have been hearing for sometime now from developers about writing apps for Windows Phone 7, one of the biggies, Fandango has also thrown their hat in the ring in agreement.

In an interview with ComputerWorld, Darren Cross, head of business development at Fandango had this to mentioned that they  "...built a WP7 app from the ground up with two internal developers and outside contractors over a three-month period".

He also noted that it took about the same time to develop the app as it did for Android, but no surprise, Android is proving difficult with all the different devices and UI overlays--something with which WP7 will avoid due to its strict uniform hardware requirements.

Having been using the Android version for awhile now (it just hit 2.0) and also recently having played with the Windows Phone 7 version in NYC (see above picture), I have to say that Fandango has great ideas when it comes to mobile and users should be quite happy with the final app.

 

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Pageonce, who makes software to live monitor your accounts, announced support today for Windows Phone 7. The software looks a lot like what Quicken or Microsoft Money was for Windows Mobile years ago, but goes further with the ability to evidently access and live update your accounts: credit card, bills, banks, etc. It also sounds like it will get its own Hub too on the Start screen, allowing quick access to all of one's finances.

The software should be available in November for free and will feature the following services:

  • Account Monitoring:  A quick and simple snapshot of available cash, credit card balances, upcoming bills, and investment values.
  • Transaction Insights: Ability to dive deeper and look into daily financial transactions and spending behavior
  • Bill Tracking:  A comprehensive look at bills, when they are due and how much is owed
  • Spending History: A monthly spending history and trends across all accounts
  • Real-Time Alerts:  Notifications and updates deliver important account events and help users avoid fees, penalties and suspicious activity

While simple "bill keepers" are one thing, the ability to live-sync to your accounts on the go sounds real good and stuff we should be able to easily do in 2010.

Check out the full YouTube demo after the break--it really looks pretty snazzy and we normally hate financial stuff.

Source: EarthTimes

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As the Asian stock currencies started the week, HTC took a big fall of 6.9%, the large drop since January 27th. Apple Daily (no relation to Apple, Inc) reported about the delay in their paper, though being a Hong Kong daily, sourcing it is pretty difficult. Specifically, it says "Apple Daily reported the company may face a delay in shipments of the Windows Phone 7." No other details given.

Bloomberg goes on to mention that "Chief Financial Officer Cheng Hui-ming and Maggie Cheng, a public relations representative, didn’t answer calls to their mobile phones..." regarding the news.

We're not really sure what delay they are reffering to, nor why Windows Phone 7 was called out. There have been reports that the HTC Desire HD and Z may be delayed due to testing, but this is the first we've heard of Windows Phone 7 in the mix.  We're not sure if this is a "HTC is shipping devices late" or "HTC can't sell devices because Microsoft tooking longer than usual" type situation. We'll keep an ear out for any more info.

Update: This may have something to do with a bug with the HD7's proximity sensor, which resulted in the screen sometimes not shutting off. Read more here at ZDNet.co.uk. Thanks, BCH, for the tip!

Source: Bloomberg, Financial Time; intoMobile

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We know the date: November 8th (in the U.S.). We know the money: (supposedly) half a billion dollars; 100 million on adverts. The only question is when? Specifically, when will we start to see some WP7 ads on TV, the bus, annoyingly before your $13 movie?

Answer: late October

According to TWICE, who spoke with AT&T on the matter.

AT&T’s advertising will include national TV, print and online ads, a spokesman said without disclosing details.

For its part, Microsoft’s marketing campaign will include “a mix of TV, print and digital, allowing us to go direct with a broad group of people at time and targeting niche audiences at others,” a company spokesperson said.

No word on T-Mobile's plans, though they had a big bachelor party for the HD2, so we'd imagine they would do the same for the HD7.

Source: TWICE

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Curious thing about the "official" Twitter client we saw a few weeks ago. According to CNet, that version does not support access to the Photo Hub ergo uploading photos was not possible. That was a huge dent in the social network app, especially since many of us like to take pics and well...Tweet them.

Arne Hess, of the::Unwired fame, has been jonesing for a decent Twitter app for his Windows Phone 7 Samsung device (and we don't blame him).

Tonight was his night as Seesmic (see demo) was finally released to the Windows Phone Marketplace (it's of course, free). He immediately Tweeted from said client and sure enough, Seesmic supports photo uploads from his WP7 device (as evidenced above). Very exciting.

What does this mean? Well, it may mean the developers of the Seesmic app had native-code access and worked closely with Microsoft.  Well, that's just our hunch.

Update: Arne just mentioned this as well: "Features not (yet?) supported in @ for Windows Phone 7: Notifications (new tweets, @, DMs), landscape, predictive text, in reply to"

Source: Twitter (@arnehess)

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Adobe Acrobat PDF support has been available on Windows Mobile for years now, but until things like Text Reflow became supported and adopted, it was rarely a fun experience (plus slow load times). And while Microsoft Office is covered in Windows Phone 7, the fate of Adobe and PDF has been unsure, until now.

Today, Adobe announced Acrobat X solutions, including Acrobat, Reader and Suite. More importantly, they announced support for Windows Phone 7:

Expands PDF access to mobile devices with free Adobe Reader X for Android, Windows(R) Phone 7 and Blackberry Tablet OS. Safer viewing of PDF files with new Protected Mode security capabilities in Reader X.

Curious, no iPhone support? (snicker)

The whole shebang is expected to ship "within 30 days" although it is unclear if that means we'll see an Adobe Reader X in the Windows Phone Marketplace at the same time. Lets just hope its pretty and works well.

Source: Forbes

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Although Windows Phone 7's first generation is clearly aimed at consumers with a few bones thrown at enterprise (though lets not knock Mobile Office and Skydrive), it does have some holes in it that may cause some companies to hesitate to deploy upon launch e.g. no side-loading of custom enterprise software.

One of those holes looks to be filled, at least by a 3rd party company called Odyssey Software who make the Athena remote device management program for large corporations. Odyssey supports iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and now Windows Phone 7, bringing a bit more control for those companies who can integrate the tech into their servers. Such features are as follows:

  • Live, remote control of devices in the field
  • Device software, application and patch provisioning and installation
  • Comprehensive software and hardware asset information
  • Location based data via GPS (current and bread crumb)
  • Detailed phone and messaging information and stats
  • Security to protect sensitive data (device lock & wipe)

While we're no IT people and know little about this end of the technology spectrum, that sure sounds like some powerful software over corporate deployed phones. It'll be even better if and when Windows Phone 7 starts to support this stuff directly, but until then at least there is this solution.

Source: TMCnet (press release)

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