Astraware is one of the few companies who put out some solid games for Windows Mobile, including Classic Collection, Casino, Bubble Shuffle, Bejeweled/Bejeweled 2, Sudoku, etc. So it's nice to see them still put out a few games in the twilight months of our beloved OS.
The first game is Police Range ($4.99) and is a police shooting range-type game. Seems kind of fun and the graphics aren't too shabby.
The other is OddBlob ($4.99), a strategy/puzzle game that should be good for those who like the Bejeweled series and goofy graphics.
Both are for touchscreen devices, preferably the 800x480 type.
We'll try to get a review up on both of these sooner than later.
The big question is are Schubert/Mozart just swappable code names--one being the general device ('Mozart'), the other the carrier specific version ('Schubert') or are they two separate devices? Too early to tell and like most WP7 device leaks, no hard info to really get excited about.
Hopefully we'll see some real hardware, real specs and something tangible soon.
When running the emulator on a computer, as Long Zheng did at iStartedSomething, the first thing you'll notice is just how fast the OS has become. Remember, this is independent of your PC's performance (for the most part) as the earlier builds were much slower to respond. Now things like Mobile Internet Explorer and even the regular menus all instantly respond to input. Also worth a note is ringtones and alerts are now included, which while not earth shattering we do dig the overall tone/theme-- it sounds sort of futuristic, far from bombastic.
We have to admit, we're starting to get real excited, especially seeing this on some serious hardware come the fall. Check out both videos after the jump.
In an updated slide presented by Steve Ballmer during WPC10 the other day, HP was notably absent from the "launch partner" list for Windows Phone 7.
Unless they were just forgotten, it's sort of a big deal since HP was initially listed months ago as being one of the big OEMs to release a WP7 device this fall. Of course with their acquisition of Palm and specifically their WebOS, it's probably not a huge surprise that they've cold feet--even if they don't consider smartphones 'hard' or their main focus. Then again, they are stilllisted as a Microsoft slate-partner, even though they've said they would do a WebOS slate, possibly this year. Going further, this seems to contradict earlier reports that HP was "committed" to Windows Phone 7--even though they never actually stated as much.
Of course, while we're always excited about Microsoft working with as many OEMs as possible for design innovation and just general competition reasons, HP has not exactly lit the world on fire with their WM6.5 push in 2009 and we can't say we're too sad not to see them not listed.
For some reason on Monday, the keynote on Windows Phone 7 at 2pm during WPC10 never aired--presumably "technical difficulties" but alas the video is now available to watch in its entirety right here or just click the 'Read the rest of this entry' below.
Some interesting tidbits of the nearly hour long video focus in on Office, Outlook, pictures, contacts, maps and basically the core aspects of the phone. What's real interesting is how much is done on the phone without "launching" any applications--so much of the foundational programs are just built in, linked to each other in an--to borrow their phrase-intelligent way.
Overall Windows Phone 7 looks incredibly easy to use without any fuss--just to the point productivity. Below are also a few screen grabs of their slides, nothing huge but still interesting.
Weeks passed and we're worried if we would ever hear back and finally we did. Some good info in here but alas, my fellow Expert-tiers, you seemed to have gone for the gold and asked him a few questions that were met with the traditional terse no comment or similar canned responses.
Hey, we can't blame you for asking and can't blame Brandon for not risking his job, so golf claps all around.
The big news is probably the idea that Microsoft still has a "set of consumer features" that they have not yet announced, but will be doing so soon. (Putting pipe in the mouth): Interesting....any guesses?
Finally, no doubt some of his responses will set off some heated discussions, so flame on and sound off in the comments. Hit the link for the full set of questions and answers!
Special thanks to MobilityDigest for organizing this event & Brandon Watson for his time. Follow Brandon Watson on Twitter and his blog here: blog: ManyNiches.com | twitter: @brandonwatson
For those of you who are programming or looking to get into developing for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft will be hosting a series of four online, live and completely free sessions on writing programs for the new OS.
Starting next Tuesday, the events look to be a great way to get a foot in the door if you're a beginner or to learn some new tricks if you're more advanced. All you need to do is register and watch it from your computer--sounds easy enough.
Windows Phone 7 Jump Start: Session One – Getting Started with Microsoft Windows Phone 7 and Silverlight
Join us on July 20 2010 at 8.00 am PDT for an three-hour Office Live Meeting broadcast.
Windows Phone 7 promises to be an amazing mobile phone operating system given its innovative user interface and functionality, as well as its great development platform upon which you can quickly and easily build games and applications.
This course is organized into four virtual instructor-led sessions that are of 3-hour duration. They will be presented by forthcoming MS Press authors and MVP’s, Andy Wigley and Rob Miles. It will provide developers a jump start for developing Windows Phone 7 applications. Labs will be completed offline with office hour access to the instructors.
This session is the first of 4 sessions. Please register for all 4 in order to complete this training.
July 20th Session Two: Programming Game Applications with XNA
July 22nd Session Three: Programming Applications with Silverlight Session Four: Review and Wrap Up
Microsoft has announced a new companion site for Windows Phone users, Windows Phone Live. The new service sounds a lot like the KIN Studio but with more gusto. The "Find My Phone" resembles the security features "MyPhone" has but are slated to be free. MyPhone currently charges if these services are used.
"..the new Windows Phone Live companion site that gives people a central place to see pictures they’ve published, view their Windows Live calendar and contacts, exchange OneNote files and access other information shared between the phone and the Web. The site will offer 25GB of SkyDrive and host the Find My Phone service, which allows people to find and manage a missing phone with map, ring, lock and erase capabilities right from your PC – and all for free."
There is a question of when Windows Phone Live will become available. Windowsphone.live.com is already an active URL. However, when you sign into the site with your Windows Live ID you recieve a notice that "No Windows Phone 7 Detected", then redirected to windowsphone.com. This is a good sign that the services should be available when Windows Phone 7 launches later this year.
We had a hell of a WMExperts Podcast Monday night. If you missed the live show, well, you missed it. Because of a technical glitch (erm, or somebody -- erm, me -- pushing the wrong button), all but the first 10 minutes were lost. And while the first 10 minutes were pretty good, it's the middle half-hour where we really got going, and the last 10 minutes that were set to make us all stars. Really. They were that good.
So our apologies as you have to go another week without your dosage of Malatesta and yours truly. As soon as Mal recovers from the shock of losing the greatest podcast in the history of podcasts and is able to feed and bathe himself again, we'll be right back atcha. (Chances are that'll be by next Monday night at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT.) See you then.
One of the first accessories that I purchase for any smart phone that I’ve ever owned is a case to protect my new investment. I’ve mentioned before that choosing a case for your phone is very similar to the process of choosing the phone itself. A large part of the decision is based on your lifestyle and how you use your device.
OtterBox makes some of the most rugged cell phone cases on the market, though they sometimes sacrifice in the portability/usability department. The OtterBox Commuter Series case makes a reasonable compromise between protection and usability.
AT&T wireless customers are getting complimentary Microcells? It sounded too good to be true but we were seeing reports over the weekend that AT&T was handing out the Microcells to a few fortunate AT&T customers. Apparently, letters were sent out thanking customers for their patronage and invited them to the local AT&T store for a FREE 3G Microcell.
Speculation as to why AT&T was giving away free Microcells ranged from an attempt to retain customers with soon to expire contracts to attracting iPhone customers to stick around in light of the persistent rumors another carrier will get the iPhone.
Curious as to how one would go about getting on such a mailing list, we received an official statement from AT&T that reads,
"AT&T's 3G Microcell is designed for the very small percentage of our customers who have wireless voice coverage challenges inside their home. While the product is now available to customers nationwide, we are conducting trials in two markets on the most effective way to introduce this product to customers for whom it was designed."
Just as with the initial trials, it appears that these lucky customers are simply part of a marketing research group. No conspiracy to get contracts renewed or entice iPhone owners to stick around, just marketing research. Regardless of the reasoning, the free Microcell does serve as a nice bonus (it works like a charm) for those who received the letter.
Update: Just got word from AT&T that the free Microcells are being sent out on a very limited basis. According to the revised statement, "AT&T's 3G Microcell is designed for the very small percentage of our customers who have wireless voice coverage challenges inside their home. While the product is now available to customers nationwide, we are conducting very limited trials on the most effective way to introduce this product to customers for whom it was designed." Not much new with the updated statement other than the odds of getting a free Microcell just greatly reduced.
Mozilla's Director of Developer Relations, Christopher Blizzard, sat down with Gizmodo to discuss Firefox's mobile browser (formerly known as Fennec). Blizzard took the opportunity to reaffirm the company isn't developing for Windows Phones. This isn't anything new but it's more so how Mr. Blizzard make the affirmation that caught our attention.
"[On Windows Phone 7] they said, 'You can use stuff in Silverlight if you want, but you have to come through our app store, and we get to veto.' We're not going to bother. They're gonna ship some version of IE, which is gonna be terrible..."
We will assume "they" is Microsoft. In referring to Windows Mobile Blizzard said,
"We were going to do Windows Mobile because Windows Mobile really needed a good browser, but they shut down their platform.".
We can't blame for Mr. Blizzard presenting Mozilla's mobile browser as the best thing since sliced bread but there are good browsers out there for the Windows Phone. Skyfire and Opera come to mind.
So, can a Windows Phone 7 ever survive without Mozilla's mobile browser? Are the current crop of browsers on Windows Mobile that bad? Personally, I think Mr. Blizzard is well off the mark. How about you?