For those of you who ordered the elusive Dell Venue Pro and were hoping for an early holiday gift, looks like you'll be waiting even longer.
Though the device was set to launch in November, it was then pushed back two weeks only to have defective devices ship to a few dozen people. Then came the actual order date and the device were expected to ship by December 15th. Well, one day out from that magical day and no signs of any stock moving, in fact quite the opposite. When Dell support was contacted, varying answers and run around were given but the short of it is the device won't ship till January 5th:
I received a call this evening (5:30pm CST) from Dell - some random call center in India - stating that the delivery of my order has been delayed to January 5, 2011. I ordered the 16GB, off-contract, on Dec 1 at 8am CST
Of course January 5th is if you can take Dell's word and at this point, we're not sure we can as they are seriously burning some bridges with potential customers. No official word from Dell.
While Windows Phone cameras are improving, so are the photography apps that let you edit the pictures you take, such as Thumba Photo Editor. Thumba is a basic photo editing application for your Windows Phone that offers a respectable amount of processing tools.
Thumba Photo Editor is a very stable application with no bugs, glitches or crashes experienced while testing the application out. The tools available are very similar to a desktop editor only lacking a print button for your images. Thumba gives you the ability to turn a so-so picture into a nice picture.
To read more on Thumba Photo Editor, ease on past the break.
In the spirit of Jack and the Beanstalk and the Three Little Pigs, DiNoGames is offering Beanstalk Tale over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.
The fairy tale oriented platform game where you play the role of a pig who is trying to bounce his way to the top of the beanstalk. You bounce from leaf to leaf by tilting your Windows Phone left or right.
You can speed things up by catching a ride on a balloon but be careful not to run into a hornet. If your balloon bursts you can land safely on a leaf and continue bouncing your way up the beanstalk or fall to your demise.
Ease on past the break to see what impression this Windows Phone game left with us.
Curious how well you can bet the odds? Psydian Interactive Ltd. is working on a Windows Phone 7 app, MyBookie, that will let you bet on real sporting events, with real odds but using fantasy cash. The app has been submitted to Microsoft for approval and barring any unforeseen complications, the software developer hopes to have the gaming app available later this month.
According to the press release,
"Sports fans and gaming enthusiasts alike have a lot to look forward to, as live scores from both professional and collegiate events are interwoven into a fantasy world fueled by virtual currency."
The app includes Facebook integration where you can compete against your Facebook friends to see how large of a fortune you can amass. A Facebook version of the MyBookie is also in the works.
MyBookie mobile features include:
League support includes: NFL, NCAA Football, NBA, NCAA Basketball, MLB, and NHL
Daily/Weekly event schedules, place your virtual wager days in advance
Live game scores and information including current Vegas odds
Multiple betting scenarios including: Game Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under, and Parlays
Wager history and analysis across multiple sports for an entire year
Player interaction with constantly evolving virtual characters
It looks like an interesting application and once it hits the Marketplace, we'll get a review worked up. For the full Press Release, just follow the break.
The latest Windows Phone ad from Microsoft showcases BING, voice commands, and those pesky moving walkways at airports.
While the ad pokes fun at anyone who has tripped on the moving walkways, it highlights the convenience of Windows Phone 7 nicely. Just a few button pushes, a voice command and BING jumps into action without tripping you up.
Source: YouTube thanks goes out to Just Visiting for the tip.
While Windows Phone 7 doesn't have nearly the customization features Windows Mobile has, you can make your Windows Phone your own by using custom wallpapers on the lock screen.
Windows Phone 7 comes preloaded with about eighteen photos that can be used as your wallpaper plus a hand full of solid colors. You also have the option of using one of your images as the wallpaper. You can find your wallpaper options in the Settings Menu under "Lock & Wallpaper" or you can set a picture in your Galleries under the options menu for the individual image.
WPCentral.com member Melk has started a discussion over in the forums asking everyone to share their wallpapers. As Melk mentions, a discussion we haven't seen much of. We've pulled a few from the discussion above and share Melk's curiosity.
So, head on over to this discussion and share your wallpaper or comment on what others are using.
Telus made some headlines for offering a free Xbox 360 with a new Windows Phone 7 purchase back a few weeks ago, but they only had like 100 and it was limited to Toronto. This time, however, things are different.
For four days only, December 15th through the 19th, people looking to get a new contract or upgrade to Windows Phone 7 will all get a free Xbox--across Canada. Though the stores may not have them in stock, they will ship them to you as an alternative means.
Of course in Canada, they have those crazy three year contracts, meaning you are really committed to them and that rule applies here to qualify. But hey, for a free 360, we think we might commit.
Looks like a lot is happening with the homebrew community these days, so here is a brief update to keep you in the loop:
XDA member sensboston has coded up an LED flashlight app that works on the Samsung Focus. Up till this point, we've had to use the "white screen" method to illuminate a dark room (see overview here), which although works is not as preferable as the LED. You do need to have your device unlocked to use this, so be warned. We imagine someone could code one up for the Marketplace, if MS were to allow apps that accessed this feature to pass certification--we're not holding our breath though, not till 2011 when they revise their requirements. [Note: this may work on other device like LG too, we have not tested to verify. Also, this works by accessing the video feature, hence the sound. We have not noticed any side effects of this, but there could be some.]
The second update is of less interest for now but still important. ChevronWP7 has an app limit--actually developers have an app limit of 10 programs per device. This means that unlocked phones (both jailbroken and legit) can only install 10 sideloaded apps at a time. This "feature" was to prevent developers from flooding the market with cheap apps but it also puts a kink in the homebrew community. Now developer Thomas Hounsell has modified ChevronWP7 to lift that very limit, which will be important in the future as the community grows.
This morning on Bill Reiss's blog, Silverlight Games 101, he makes some pretty good and in our opinion, even handed, criticisms of the Marketplace, specifically in relation to indie games and competing against the big Live titles.
Reiss is the developer of Popper 2 (see review) which was launched pretty early in the Marketplace. But now with developers finally having access to their numbers, he noticed just how lackluster his game was doing: 600 downloads/156 sales, even though he notes it is "...the 20th highest rated overall for all apps and games on the phone". At a $1.29 a sale, we can see that he's not exactly rolling in money from this game.
In turn, he goes through and lists a range of reasons as to why he thinks this may be the case (and he's far from the first developer to say such things). The reasons range fro the Xbox Live "filter" which gives higher precedence to those games over indie apps, no ability in the marketplace to sort by popularity, "featured" games and more, For developers, he gives a few tips on how to better increase presence, including offer a free or lite version, social networks, etc. If we were a developer, we would think this to be a solid read.
From our perspective as consumers, "games" on Windows Phone 7 are almost too bountiful and we agree--with no real way to sort games by ratings/popularity, it makes it hard. Take for instance Decimation X2 which we covered here--by all means not selling well, though it's my #1 game by a long shot. It was discovered by accident on my part. Combined with increased users and early adopters, social networking, sites like ours for reviews, etc. we hope that developers will be able to profit. But then again, even Apple's App Store tells a similar story with the biggest, most popular apps being free and with over 300,000 programs available, we imagine most get lost in the crowd. Agree or disagree with Reiss's comments? Discuss in comments.
Windows Phone is just over a month old and most, if not everyone, has completed their first billing cycle with the new phones. Have you checked your data usage to see how Windows Phone 7 compares to the previous months?
Are you seeing a considerable jump in data usage? We knew that Windows Phone 7 was more data dependent than Windows Mobile. You've got Live Tiles, support for multiple email accounts, Zune Marketplace and Xbox Live all of which can consume a heck of a lot of data. My guess most have seen a spike in data usage since going to Windows Phone 7.
The increase in data usage may settle down but my guess, with all the capabilities of Windows Phone 7 it will level off but remain higher than Windows Mobile data use was. Which poses the question, with tiered data plans slowly replacing the older unlimited plans, is two gigabytes enough?
We took a look at our data usage since moving to Windows Phone 7. Follow the break to see if we were able to stay under the 2GB threshold.
Looking for that last minute gift for the Windows Phone user in your life? If they haven't upgraded to one of the new Windows Phones, any one of the Windows Phone 7 devices would be on the top of our list. But for those who have already upgraded to Windows Phone 7, there are plenty of accessories and applications to choose from that would be great gifts.
We have put together a short list of recommendations on apps and accessories. If you're stumped on gift ideas for your Windows Phone user, follow the break to see what we would make for great gifting ideas.
The title says it all, but let us get into some details about the closing of Microsoft's KIN Studio, which was the backbone in the cloud for the device.
Evidently, come January 31st, people with KINs (all two of you) will lose the ability to do everything over-the-air, except use your Zune Pass over WiFi and email. What exactly is everything? Check it:
Feed Reader will stop working
Search Near me will stop working
Posting Photos to social sites will no longer be possible
Most pictures currently on Kin will only appear at thumbnail resolution
Posting to Social Networks will no longer work.
No comments from the loop
Social network contacts will disappear.
Loop will stop to work
Kin Spot will only send to emails.
Social networks only accessed from web browser.
So outside of making phone calls and playing music, the KIN is really, truly dead. Why even bother after that last, half attempt at a re-launch? We have no idea either. But Verizon is trying to make things right by letting users know now to back up their data now and going one step further, allowing them to pick a 3G phone of their choice for FREE. Offer is valid only through March 31st. Attached are some images from the pamphlet that Verizon is sending out to KIN customers. More can be found here.
We've been waiting on it for two weeks but late tonight (morning for most of you), the Beezz update finally happened. [See our earlier hands-on video]
A cursory look of the app shows no major changes to the UI, but the big new feature is the ability to receive Direct Messages and Mentions as pushed "toast" notifications (those at the top of the screen) and Home (live tile) notifications, which gives you a counter of how many new Tweets have happened since your last check in. (Also, search now works as well).
Overall it seems to be working very well--it's quick to push the messages/alerts and we're quite pleased. Along with GoVoice (Google) and everything is coming along nicely on WP7 just one month out. Of course the app is still free and you can download it here (opens your Zune desktop).