3 years ago
Infinite Flight - Review
3 years ago
Turn-by-Turn directions, Voice to text, Bing Audio/Vision all coming to WP7 Mango
We kept emphasizing at MIX11 that the information revealed there was geared for developers, not so much consumers and that we expected more details to come forward over time. Combined with the fact that Mango/WP7.5 is not yet finished nor finalized, it's feature-set is still in motion but becoming more solid as we get closer to it going 'Gold'.
On the Windows Phone Developer Podcast, a plethora of new features were announced that will really bring Windows Phone up to par with the competition:
- Bing Audio: Think Shazam, but built into Bing and we bet of course Zune Marketplace. Country support is initially limited to the U.S., Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
- Bing Vision: A full blown image scanner using your camera. It can detect, identify and search using barcodes, Microsoft Tags, QR Codes, CD’s, DVDs, Books, and text using OCR (see here for history)
- Turn-by-turn navigation: “voice guidance during driving directions” (we heard about this awhile ago)
- SMS Dictation: Using Microsoft's TellMe service, you can use voice-to-text for SMS messages by tapping a microphone near the bottom
According to Paul Thurrott, who detailed the above, there's a lot more to the podcast, so take a listen. And your thoughts in comments: does this change things?
Update: See info regarding Windows Live Messenger, Skydrive & more in WP7.5 here
Source: Windows Phone Dev Podcast; via Windows Phone Secrets
3 years ago
Ener-Jewels - App Spotlight
There are a few "bejeweled-like" games available over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. One such is ImproviSoft's Ener-Jewels.
As with most "bejeweled-like" games, the object is to create a vertical or horizontal combination of three or more of the same jewels. Ener-Jewels has four game modes,
- Infinity: A never ending game mode.
- Power-up: As you create the combinations, you obtain power to move to the next stage. The power-up meter is at the bottom of the screen and when it fills, you move to the next level.
- Time Race: You race against the clock to score as much as you can. The more combos you create, the slower the countdown timer runs.
- Burst: You have sixty seconds to complete each level. Fail to do so and the game's over.
As you power up, the levels become more challenging. Should you get stuck, there's a hint button just below the power bar to help you out.
Ener-Jewels shares the same addictive quality that the original Bejeweled possesses. Graphics are crisp, sound effects nice, and with the multiple gaming modes there's plenty of game time available.
Ener-Jewels comes in two versions. You have Ener-Jewels TGIF, a free, ad-supported version and if you don't like the ads, there's a paid version without ads that runs $1.99.
You can find Ener-Jewels TGIF here (opens Zune) and Ener-Jewels here at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Windows Phone Summary of the Week: May 2-8, 2011
Welcome to our first summary of the week (SOTW). We will be publishing a weekly collection of the top news, reviews, games and other useful tid-bits, just in-case you've missed out on anything.
There's your round-up of this week's news! Be sure to stay up-to-date with our posts via Twitter, RSS and of course by checking the site regularly.
3 years ago
Windows Phone selling poorly? Not necessarily.
There has been a fantastic, insightful article published at My Nokia Blog today, which summarises how Windows Phone 7 is doing as a platform in the competitive market against the likes of iOS, Android, Symbian etc. We get to look at what countries are currently targeted by Microsoft's marketing campaigns, how a few major languages are supported, estimation of handset sales, marketshare predictions in the US and more.
Microsoft reported it had sold 1.5 million handsets to carriers in mid-December, in late January however they reported a total sale of 2 million units to carriers.
So in about a months time Microsoft managed to sell another 500,000 units to carriers. Why would carriers buy another 500,000 units (a full third of the amount bought a month ago) if the OS was a failure?
Looking at the above quote, I agree. If the OS was a flop, carriers would be extremely cautious - they hate to see any loss, right? We even heard Samsung had to use alternate memory modules to keep up supply with the Focus. Surely the investment would have been made due to the proposed marketshare gain, and at the end of the day this is Microsoft. "OS" is pretty much in their name, so one would assume if anyone could tap into the smartphone marketshare, it would be Microsoft.
The ending conclusion is a fair take on the current state of Windows Phone. It's a new platform and while it's not making a huge impact to competitors, it's certainly not a flop by any means. The post is a must read though, truly recommended.
Source: My Nokia Blog
3 years ago
iPhone dev praises Windows Phone SDK, prefers it to Android
One of Microsoft's angles for leveraging better smartphone market share is to lure iOS developers to Windows Phone (see their API mapping tool). Although they would prefer such devs to completely switch, just getting them to co-develop would be a 'win' in many ways.
In that case, it'a always interesting to see Windows Phone development from the iPhone side. We've seen this before in a head to head developer contest (see here) and now we hear it form Steve Troughton-Smith, who makes numerous apps for the iPhone, including Orbit, Stack, Grace, Lights Off, SameGame, Speed, Nuker, Chalk and Doom. He even helped crack Airplay for third party apps a few months ago. In other words, he's rather prominent.
Via a recent Tweet, he's evidently toying with Windows Phone development and had this to say on the matter:
The more I make things with the WP7 SDK, the more I like it. I feel safe writing all the XAML from scratch
...I'd certainly prefer it to Android's SDK
We're sure that's the exact response Brandon Watson and his team would want from an iOS developer, so it's good to hear. It's also good to hear that such a developer is tinkering with WP7--judging by his past releases, we'd love to see what this man can do on our platform.
Source: Twitter 1, 2; Thanks, Rene Ritchie of our sister-site TiPb, for the heads up
3 years ago
Create a full Portal 2 theme on your Windows Phone [For Science]
A few weeks ago, we covered those sweet Portal 2 wallpapers which combined the awesome transparency effect with an awesome game. Now, thanks to the site Conflicting Gamers, you can go further with that whole Portal 2 look.
There are two parts to this theme:
- Pin a favorite image (from a website) to the Start Menu
- Set background image for your Photos hub
The first part we covered in our tutorial here--basically you zoom on an appropriately sized image, pin to Start screen and you now have a pretty pic on your phone. The second just involves setting the default pic as your background image for the Photo hub, also covered here in the past (neat trick that many don't know about).
The downside of this? Well, at least for part 1, you're basically creating "dummy" tiles that don't do anything except look cool. For some of our more OCD-inclined readers, that's a no-go. But hey, if you can look past it this one time, your phone will look as snazzy as the pic above. The second part has no side effects outside of making you look like a gaming dork, but we're okay with that.
After the break, check our Conflicting Gamers video on how to do the Start tiles. You'll want to have their article on the topic opened on your phone to play along (linked here and below).
3 years ago
Press shots of Verizon HTC Trophy get leaked
Although we've seen actual pics of the Verizon Trophy in use, including screen shots of the OS, these leaked but "official" press shots of the upcoming Verizon HTC Trophy just back up the idea that this baby is close to launch. What with the Best Buy mention, reorganizing of their forums, employee training and then it finally popping up online, you know it's just around the corner.
In fact we're still hearing May 12th as the date for either the launch or shipping, something PocketNow has evidently corroborated. Of course, like all things, it can slip a bit, but we've never seen this phone come so close before. Few more days. folks, just a few more days.
Source: Pocketnow. Thanks, Maxwell, for the heads up
3 years ago
'Walshed' Phones potential cause and fix posted by user
A registered member over at the XDA Devloper forums has posted a potential fix to the problem caused by the Chevronwp7.Updater, which leaves devices in an un-updatable state. This has been posted by a user who has no other posts on the forum, it hasn't been recommended by Chris Walsh and isn't an official response from Microsoft. We must urge you guys who are still awaiting the fix to hold off from attempting the below explanation. But for conversations sake, we saw the need to share.
To see what ahodes posted in the thread, head on past the break.
3 years ago
Phonealytics Live Tile [How to]
Whether you're a web developer with multiple websites or an avid blogger who enjoys stalking your readers, Analytics by Google is a fantastic offering for statistical analysis. Phonealytics for Windows Phone 7 is a great tool to use while mobile and no computer is at hand (since WP7 doesn't support flash to render graphs etc.)
I've been using this app since late last year and I really enjoy the features and UI - it's really intuitive with the Metro usage. Not only this, but it features live tile support (yay!), which I use very heavily for quick glancing at any set website profile I wish to keep a close eye on. Sometimes the tile doesn't work or update properly and I had a hard time understanding why until I pinned the problem to my Google account not signing in. Should the live tile cease to work, have a look at the in-app settings to see if you're logged in to Google.
An easy 3 step guide to configuring the live tile:
- Open Phonealytics, press the cog icon (settings) in the menu bar.
- Check "Login Status" to make sure your account is logged in.
- Swipe to the left to configure the live tile and turn it on.
Should you need to check your login status if the tile isn't updating or working, simply go to settings and press "Login" if your login status is reporting "not logged in".
3 years ago
Train Travel app now sports a live tile
The National Rail app (Train Travel), which is perfect for any commuter in UK, has been updated to 1.5. The changelog lists live tile support and Twitter integration as the two alterations in this version, coupled with improved help and tutorials.
The live tile can display any journey you've planned by saving any given timetable. The depart time (and date) is then displayed as well as the station codes. I did a test run with Shoeburyness (SRY) to London Fenchurch Street (FST) and the tile updated within moments as well as displaying the time we expect to arrive at the destination.
The app can be downloaded for a hefty £4.99, but is surely worth it if (like me) you use the trains a lot. Head on over to the Marketplace to purchase Train Travel (opens Zune).
3 years ago
Red Gate Software's WP7 competition winners announced
The winners (and 5 runners up) have been announced in the Red Gate Software's developer competition sporting $10,000 per winning developer as prize, while runners up earned an impressive $1,000 each.
Richard Fennell's TFS Build Status Monitor is first listed as a winning application, which enable users to keep tabs on their Team Foundation Server. Simon McKenzie's MapSnap GPS is next up, which allows users to turn any picture into a GPS-enabled portable map. Finally, Pocket C# by Mark Rendle is the third winner, this app gives C# developers the ability to manipulate code using WP7.
Runners up were as follows:
- Jason Doucette for Decimation X2, a retro shooter game;
- Sergei Golubev for the marketplace-monitoring AppTracker;
- Rudy Huyn for a design-rich RSS feed reader called Fuse;
- Stuart Lodge for the Ruby language scripting app Iron7; and
- Gergely Orosz for Cocktail Flow, a cocktail recipe app.
Co-CEO of Red Gate, Neil Davidson commented that they're "delighted by the response from the .NET development community and thank Microsoft for its support in promoting and helping to judge the competition. The third ecosystem Microsoft is building provides a huge opportunity for .NET developers to use their skills to develop mobile tools that the community will love."
Congratulations to all entrants and the winners listed above.
Source: Red Gate
3 years ago
AT&T: Windows Phone 7 is "doing fine"
Jeff Bradley, AT&T senior vice president of mobile devices, answered a few questions to PCMag and what was said about Windows Phone was fairly positive, including the comment that WP7 is doing fine. While predictions for the platform are looking great and skeptics remain skeptical, it's almost comforting to learn that a massive carrier are pleased with how WP7 is performing.
"Mango will be the next event. With the timing of when [Windows Phone] came out and the timing of Mango, it didn't leave a natural period in between when we could introduce an interim round of devices. We're working very, very actively with the ecosystem and Microsoft."
AT&T have the HTC HD7S coming soon and Bradley mentions that their next wave of devices will feature Mango and new hardware specification. Of course, all current Windows Phone are upgradeable to 'Mango' but they will lack some relevant hardware like a gyroscope and new CPU make.
So, mixed reactions from manufacturers and now a somewhat positive answer from AT&T, what do you make of this? Typical PR or speaking the truth?
[Skeptic alert: You have to wonder if WP7 wasn't doing fine, whether Bradley would say so publicly. Our immediate thought would be 'no' and he would say something generic like it's "doing fine". Reason being it would sour the relationship with Microsoft, obviously. Of course without any sales numbers to go by, we still really don't know anything, do we? -dpr]
Source: PCMag, via: WMPU
3 years ago
Application Certificate Requirements Updated
When the platform was in it's early stage of deployment the beauty of the Marketplace on the Windows Phone system is that it seems to have superb quality control when accepting apps and games into the catalog. Forcing developers to test their apps and make sure that enough development has gone into not only the backend cog-work, but the aesthetically pleasing UI implementation too.
While we still haven't become anywhere near as fragmented as Android and iOS (LITE/LIVE apps anyone?), the Marketplace is beginning to show signs of growth with the inclusion of apps that just aren't up to the high standards of others. If anything, 4th & Mayor is a fantastic app that could be used as quality control, which developers would need to target. Check the Application Certificate Requirement changes after the break
3 years ago
Japanese-only app 'Wakamurasaki' bypasses Marketplace restrictions?
Speaking of East-Asian languages...here's one that is only Japanese, which is probably confusing a lot of our readers who are probably none-too fluent in that language. The app is called 'Wakamurasaki 'and is a 2Ch.net reader (found here).
It's not the app per se that's interesting, but rather the fact that it seems to violate Marketplace app requirements that state an application must support one of the five languages: English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. This is from section 4.4 which states "An application must be localized in at least one of the supported application languages for Windows Phone Marketplace.".
Evidently, using the phrase "Attention: This application is displayed in Japanese" on the app is what is creating the loophole.
Why that's interesting is because it means basically developers may be able to submit apps with specific, currently non-supported languages to the Marketplace, giving an interesting "work around" until official support comes down the road. As far as the font goes, we're told it's using a freely redistributable Japanese True-Type font called "MigMix", which is including in the XAP. Very cool.
Of course this raises the question: is this truly a loophole in the Marketplace or just a fluke? Only one way to find out we suppose...
Big thanks to tezawaly, from Nanapho.jp, for the all the information
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