Software

Are you starting to get the idea that third party applications are a major part of Microsoft’s strategy for Windows Phone 7?

Microsoft has released a video on their Channel9 site that gives brief demonstrations of Netflix and Twitter applications as well as offerings from Flixter, OpenTable, and Travelocity. Netflix we saw fairly early at the Mix Conference, an official Twitter app is new (though we have seen a Twitter client from Seesmic) and the other tools are new as well.

Head on over to Channel9 for the video (direct link). Individual videos after the break.

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In addition to the final release of the Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools, Microsoft has provided an SDK (Software Development Kit) to enable developers to create ad-supported applications. The SDK allows you to create text or banner ads, and uses Microsoft’s Mobile Ad Exchange to monetize your applications. The Ad Exchange is “the first bidded ad exchange for mobile.” Additionally, the SDK is integrated with Micrsoft pubCenter, which gives you reporting on how different ads are performing within your applications.

Nice to see Microsoft integrating and emphasizing all of their established services, which should be a strength of the Windows Phone 7 platform.

[via Windows Team Blog]

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Although we've seen Seesmic's Twitter app for Windows Phone 7 demoed before (see here and here), this looks to be their finalized, polished up version complete with video tour.

Considering it's looking less and less likely that Windows Phone 7 will support Twitter directly (though see here for contra), Seesmic's app looks to be a winner.

Like all Seesmic Twitter apps (e.g. desktop, Android), we can expect this to be a free offering as well. Can't be that.

Best part in our opinion? The ability to customize the look/layout of the program, followed by the solid and evidently seamless integration with the OS.

[via TechCrunch]

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CleanRAM Updated

The popular utility CleanRAM has been updated to version 2.3. The memory cleaning utility is a favorite for cooked and standard ROMs to free up valuable Windows Phone memory.

Along with a few performance tweaks that makes CleanRAM more stable, the new version includes:

  • Adds language strings: "Show Black Curtain", "Wisbar advance desktop" and "Infinity"
  • Support for Ageye Infinity GUI and Wisbar advance desktop cleaning
  • The option to drop a black curtain over your screen while the app cleans things up.

You can download your copy of CleanRAM v2.3 here or if you're already using CleanRAM, go to the CleanRAM configuration menu and tap "update".

via: pocketnow

 

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AddressBookOne launched

If you're looking for a solution to pull your contacts from various sources under one roof to manage, AddressBookOne might do the trick.

AddressBookOne went live this afternoon and offers members the ability to pull contacts from various sources (connectors) including Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Exchange, and Plaxo. There are efforts being made to add Twitter, Yahoo and Windows Live to the list.  AddressBookOne creates a single point of management with the ability to merge multiple instances of the same contact. 

You have two levels of membership, Free and Premium. Free membership allows you to connected to up to three contact sources and manage/merge your contacts. Premium membership runs your 19.95 British Pounds (about $30 U.S.) annually and gives you an unrestricted number of connectors plus direct synchronization with your Windows Phone.

We're going to take AddressBookOne out for a test drive over the next few days and will get a review up shortly.  In the meantime, for more information about this new service, head on over to AddressBookOne.com.

 

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While the rest of the world is focused on Windows Phone 7, our pals in Norway haven't forgotten about Windows Mobile.

Today, Opera released an updated version of Opera Mini, bringing the version up to 5.1 and adding some new features including:

  • The ability to set Opera Mini as the default browser
  • Support for devices with high-resolution (high DPI)
  • Improved page layout and font rendering
  • Support for auto-rotation/accelerometer support
  • Advanced configuration support for power users

While its big brother, Opera Mobile, gets a lot of attention, Opera Mini has gone a long way since its days of needing a separate Java client, making the differences between the two less obvious. Having said that, we've always liked Mini a bit more than Mobile just for its sheer speed. And no, Opera has not said anything about Windows Phone 7 support, though we know native browsers are a no-go for at least v1.0 of the new OS.

Anyways, you should be able to grab version 5.1 today by navigating to m.opera.com on your phone. Check out some of the screen shots below and the full press release after the break. Sound off in comments on your thoughts after you tried it!

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For those of you lucky enough to have the T-Mobile HTC HD2, you may have been surprised to see that your Barnes & Noble eReader received a nice and much needed update.

User Jason M was kind enough to send us his report of the update and its new features noting 

I opened up my Barnes and Noble eReader tonight and noticed an alert for a new update. I allowed it to install on my HD2 and noticed new features such as an option for a nice looking grid view of the book covers, access to the Lend Me function, a huge number of addition settings (font changes, background colors, day/night themes, dictionary lookup, etc), and finally bookmarks! Basically, the HD2 version has been brought in line with what is offered on other platforms. This is good news since Amazon is ignoring Windows Mobile completely.

Indeed! The 'Lend Me' feature is one the most coveted updates as it basically allows you to share your eBooks to a friend for a short duration--think controlled DRM. This is something that Amazon is sorely missing, but as Jason points out, Amazon so far as given a cold shoulder to Windows Mobile with no Kindle access for us.

Lets hope Barnes & Noble and Amazon both bring some eReaders to Windows Phone 7. (BTW, small plug: been using the Kindle 3 for the last few days and it's great, but it needs a 'Lend Me' feature ASAP).

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Friday Fun: Fart Piano coming to WP7

Windows Phone 7 may not have cut/paste yet but it will have a fart piano!

We've seen snippets of applications under development for Microsoft's new operating system and this one definitely stands out. Developed by Herm's Software the fart piano delivers tunes in an assortment of tones including the short fart, the escape, the bubbly, the beans and the wet one.

Herm's Software already offers a variety of light-hearted applications for Windows Mobile phones.  It was only a matter of time before their influence was seen (or should I say heard) with Windows Phone 7.

via: Mobility Digest

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Okay, we think we understand what Warnygo is and coming for Windows Phone 7 soon, and we'll try to explain it.

Basically it's a way to send out "alerts" based on certain categories and using geolcation. Some of those categories are:

  • Accidents
  • Actors
  • Weather alerts
  • etc.

So lets say you're in midtown Manhattan and you notice a building is on fire or something really important happening, you can send a "warny" out and people using the same network and in the area will get the notification/alert on their device. You can also subscribe to your favorite "zones" or areas of interest, for example if you want to follow any "warnies" in your hometown while you are away.

It's like a localized Twitter feed which you don't have to subscribe to or follow. We can totally see this taking "social networking" to another level (and even have socio-political implications). The big question though is will it catch on? (Anyone who has tried Google's lame 'Open Spot' will know how lonely this can be) Too early to tell, but it's an interesting idea and coming to WP7 soon.

See the video of the app in action after the jump.

[via Twitter]

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Yesterday we showed you Trines 'Appointment & Task Mover', which seems to be a great solution to a complicated problem.

Going forward, Trines seem to be set on programming for Windows Phone 7 as well and they showed off two new apps: Hangman and Lightning Timer.

The first is just the classic game with customized backgrounds. While nothing extraordinary, it is certainly done with style and looks quite nice.

The second is a method to determine how close a lightning strike is to your location based on temperature, speed, etc. We're sure you weather fanatics know how it all works.

Check the video after the break to seem them in action.

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HTC Peep Dead, For Now

Been using HTC Peep to keep up with your Twitter feed? Been having troubles getting logged in to your account? That would be because of the whole Twitter OAuth change that has claimed the lives of other Twitter clients including a WMExperts favorite, Twikini.

The basic gist of the problem is that Twitter changed their authentication protocol to OAuth, which allows users to approve an application without sharing their password. Twitter announced these changes back in December with an original target date of June which was later pushed to August 16.

What Twitter client do you use? Is it still working? Let us know in the comments.

Shameless Plug: If you need some folks to follow on Twitter try @wmexperts, @backlon, @philnickinson, @malatesta77, @coppertop004, @tferrill.

Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

Update: HTC says via Twitter that they know about the issue and they're working it. No indication about when to expect a fix.

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Follow-up: AT&T Tilt2 ROM Official Update

Yesterday, AT&T and HTC released an updated ROM for the Tilt2. Earlier this summer, a leaked version of this ROM surfaced over at XDA Developers. Asides from maybe a little fine tuning under the hood, the "official" version and the "leaked" versions are basically the same thing.

The update ROM is built on Windows Mobile 6.5 and Sense 2.5. This is probably the last hoorah for the Tilt2 and it would have been nice to see HTC and AT&T take the plunge and build this update on Windows Mobile 6.5.3. You do get a new radio version (4.49.25.95) which I have found to be a solid performer.

Like the "leaked" version, the updated ROM has some zip to it. Sense tabs flow smoothly, apps load without delay, and the overall feel is improved. Also like the "leaked" version, AT&T choose not to include the most recent versions of essential software. The most notable outdated version is likely .NET Compact Framework. Sure, you could always install the current version but it's odd that AT&T would release a ROM with outdated software. Right?

The "official" update also has the customary AT&T bloatware installed. You have the AT&T Navigator, Media Mall, and an assortment of trial versions pre-installed. If you need to free up the space these app take up, you can always turn to third-party apps such as Crud Scraper to clean things up.

In using the "official" update, it appears to be stable with no freezes, crashes or bugs experienced.  Overall, as with the leaked ROM, I think the update is an improvement over the original. If you're running the original ROM, this update is worth considering. I don't think this ROM is strong enough to lure those running custom ROMs away from their chefs. But I have seen some really nice custom ROMs built off this update.

For me, it's the little things that are missing that could have helped this be a better update. Little things such as a Task Manager icon on the menu bar or having "mark all as read" as an option on the email menu. You do have a Twitter tab but what about Footprints, Documents or Facebook tabs?

It is nice to see AT&T give the Tilt2 one last update before it's likely to be replaced with an assortment of Windows Phone 7 devices, but I can't help but think they could have done more.  You can download the official updated ROM for the Tilt2 over at HTC's support website.

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Evidently in those LG E900 videos that came out today, a new app was spotted on the device called 'ScanSearch'.

'ScanSearch' is developed by Korean Software Company OlaWorks and is basically a Google Goggles app but looking even more advanced. It allows you to scan just about anything commercial (store logos, books, CDs, etc.) and then fetch more information on the interwebs.

Besides Google, Microsoft is also working on such technology for Bing, so we can expect an official version of this technology sometime in the future.

Unfortunately, we can't see what the WP7 version looks like, but after the break is a iPhone-demo of the same app in action (albeit in Korean).

[via MobileTechWorld]

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Well this should be fun.

Looks like software developers Magmic, who have Rubik's cube officially licensed, are bringing the app over to Windows Phone 7. Magmic makes a bunch of Windows Mobile games, including Peggle, NY Times Crossword, Worms, etc.

The game has recently been released on the iPhone/iPad and even features 3D puzzle solving.

The Windows Phone 7 version will evidently feature the following:

  • Four different sizes of cubes
  • “Free play” or the more challenging “Timed mode”
  • A timer to keep track of your best solution times
  • Variations like “CRAZY cube” and “Picture cube”
  • A solution guide to help you learn how to solve the puzzle
  • Anaglyphic 3-D mode (3-D glasses not included)

Sounds good to us. No word on release date. You can check out the iPhone video demo after the jump to get a rough idea of what to expect.

[via Global Nerdy]

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We've heard this complaint a lot from people who travel and while we can't verify its level of annoyance, it seems it is pretty high on the list.

Basically, for some of you power people in the world, you require the ability to "shift" all (or a large chunk) of your appointments and/or tasks to different times or days. Certainly a tedious task by any standard and there is no easy way to do it, regardless of PIM choice.

Long story short, a retired IBM 'er had this recurring problem and asked a programmer to write up a solution. The result? Trines Appointment and Task Mover, available in the Marketplace for $9.99.

While a bit pricey, the solution itself seems elegant enough and hey, if this can shave some frustrating work on such a boring task, it could be money well invested.

The app is demoed in the two videos below, so you can get an idea of how it works and what to expect. More info can be found here. Feel free to share your solutions in comments, if you share a similar problem and we'll see about getting a proper WMExperts review up of this app sometime soon, if you folks want it.

[Thanks, Jochen, for the tip!]

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Sigurd Snørteland, that young software developer, has been turning out all sorts of cool apps for Windows Phone 7, including this latest one that is dedicated to just Channel 9 aka Microsoft's video repository of new tech and gizmos.

'myChannel 9' runs brings up the latest Microsoft info and streams the Silverlight content right to your device.  Basic yet very functional, seems like a great app to get when available. Like his other apps, he'll be publishing the source for others soon.

Very cool stuff. Make sure you check out his other offerings, like his Wall Street app.

[Thanks Sigurd, for the tip!]

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File under: Possibly interesting for a slow news day, we suppose

Starting the first week of October, Microsoft will start accepting applications into the Windows Phone Marketplace for review, presumably for that late October release.

We've seen what the store looks like already and we know about those Xbox LIVE games, but for those who really want the details, the full list of app categories has been finalized.

In a lot of ways, this is just obvious stuff but for those of us who are itching to try the new system and see how it all works, we'll take all we can get.

See the full list after the jump. There are 41 categories/subcategories total, making it pretty exhaustive. The best part is we can easily expect a few hundred apps on launch to fill the store, making this list quite more than wishful thinking (unlike the current Windows Mobile Marketplace, ahem).

[via Blogus Maximus]

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For all intents and purposes, MIX10 was the real coming out party for Windows Phone 7. That was the first time we really got an extensive look at the future of Windows Phone. One of my personal favorite moments from MIX10 was the quick look (tease is more like it) of what XNA was capable of with The Harvest. What we didn’t know at the time is that The Harvest is going to be one of XBOX Live titles from Microsoft Gaming Studios available at launch. Windows Phone UK has posted several videos showing off what the game is capable of and what we can expect from this third-person shooter. First impressions, this is an awfully good start; at least as good as anything available for iPhone or Android, if not better.

What do you think about The Harvest? How much gaming do you think you will do with your Windows Phone? Let us know in the comments. Videos are after the break.

[via: MobileTechWorld]

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Heads up FourSquare users: the Windows Mobile client 'WinMoSquare' from Touchality just got a nice bump with new features and bug fixes.

This is technically a 'beta' update, but if you're a big user of the service (we are), you'll want to go ahead and grab the update right here: 

http://www.touchality.com/winmosquare.cab

The software requires .NET CF 3.5 on the device and is free to use. Presumably the official release will be rolled out to the Marketplace once finalized.

The list of all the updates and fixes is after the break since it's so long...

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BlueAnt Firmware Updates

One of the nice features on many of the newer Bluetooth accessories is the ability to update the firmware. BlueAnt Wireless has a handful of Bluetooth headphones and speakers that can be updated reducing the need to replace your Bluetooth accessory.

We recently reviewed BlueAnt's S4 Bluetooth Speaker (which is firmware updateable) and discovered that BlueAnt had released an updated firmware version. Firmware Version 1.6 is reported to enhance the integration with BING-411 and newer phones and improve voice prompts.

The update process for the S4 is similar to that for BlueAnt's T1, Q1, V1, Z9i and Z9.  Curious how the update process went? Ease on past the break to learn more about BlueAnt's update process and how the latest update effected the S4.

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