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3 years ago

AlphaJax creator praises Windows Phone 7 development [Video]

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Keith Patton aka the man behind AlphaJax (and a few other New Zealand based apps) was interviewed recently where he discussed development on Windows Phone 7 as a platform.

The interview is quite technical, meaning developers (both new and experienced) will get the most out of it as we understand Keith shares some tips on techniques, framework, workarounds and improving performance.  But the takeaway message from Patton is when he says that working on WP7 is “probably one of the most enjoyable phases of my development career" and that it's "fun" to write on WP7 as it should be.

Ben Gracewood conducted the interview and you can read more about his thoughts too on his site.

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3 years ago

AlphaJax gets a major update, free version now available

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One of our favorite games on Windows Phone just got a major update/overhaul: AlphaJax (see review)

First up, for those who don't want to throw down their hard earned money, there's now a free, ad-supported unlimited trial version available. Having all the same features as the paid except for some ads, this free edition should allow a lot more people an opportunity to play the game. Of course a paid, no-ad version will stick around for those of us who don't like them there ads, so no worries on that end.

The second big update are user statistics. While it's no Xbox LIVE support this is clearly the next best thing as now you can keep track of your stats, the top games, the top players and even the top moves in the AlphaJax universe. Oh and starting a few days ago, you can now play up to 30 simultaneous games--which is just pure insanity.

The update is in the Marketplace now and you can grab it here.

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3 years ago

HTC Mozart coming to T-Mobile? [Rumor]

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HTC Mozart coming to T-Mobile? [Rumor]

Our friends at TmoNews are reporting form one of their trusted sources that the HTC Mozart may be coming to T-mobile rather soon.

The device has that aluminum uni-body design, giving it one of the most solid builds we've experienced of any Windows Phone. It also features a rather impressive 8MB camera with dual xenon flash, 3.7" capacitive screen and a super bright LED for charging (seriously, it's blinding). There's also hints that it may come int 8GB and 16GB versions, though more details are needed. 

Anyone looking to pick up this bad boy? From our usage of it (sans U.S. 3G) it's one of the most svelte phones we've handled. Peep the video above of Dieter taking our Mozart for a spin...

Source: TmoNews; Thanks John C, for the tip!

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3 years ago

MIX11 app for Windows Phone now available [Developers]

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For those of you attending this years MIX11 in Vegas aka the annual conference "...for web developers and designers at which Microsoft showcases upcoming web technologies", you'll be pleased to know you can get the app now for your Windows Phone. MIX11 will be important for Windows Phone developers--we're expecting a big turn out this year and a heavy focus on Microsoft's new mobile OS.

Featuring the full listings of the schedule (eventually), speakers, sessions, maps, extras and even a way to favorite things (for quicker access), the app is beautifully written with a focus on minimalism, speed and has the ability to update over 3g. It should be fun to see everyone walking around with their Windows Phone using this come April.

Grab the app here in the Marketplace.

 

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3 years ago

Prevent Facebook contacts inclusion [How To]

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Prevent Facebook contacts inclusion [How To]

Have a lot of friends on Facebook? Do you have people added on your contact list that you don’t know, possibly residing in a different continent? If you don’t contact them via the social giant, why would you want them accessible on your phone?

Although Windows Phone 7 performs extremely well with integrating with Facebook, some of us just wish to have a more personal experience with our phone should our social network contact list be rather large. Many potential WP7 users are asking (and have previously asked) about turning the synchronization feature within the People hub in the OS off.

While you can’t completely turn it off without removing the Facebook account, there’s an easy and simple setting within the People configuration section that sets between “Show all my Facebook friends” and “Only add Facebook information to existing contacts”. To achieve the desired alteration, go to the following location:

Settings > Applications > People

If you’d like to have your Facebook friends added automatically again, simply reverse the change. Personally, I began kicking people off my friends list and kept my phone synchronizing everything.

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3 years ago

Gmail WP7 synchronization issue

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Gmail WP7 synchronization issue

Windows Phone 7 owners are experiencing an error with synchronizing mail with their Google email accounts. Receiving the error code 85010001, no one seems to have a concrete understanding as to the cause of the problem, or a possible solution.

The error prevents Gmail from synchronizing your mail (whether it be automatic push or regular checks) and for those who leave their phone on during the night to catch emails in the more, this can become extremely frustrating. 

A thread over at the Google Support forums has produced some potential solutions that have reportedly worked for some but not for others. If you experience this problem repeatedly, try the below steps:

  1. Reboot device.
  2. Change your language from English US to English UK; reboot and change back again (US only).
  3. Check if you have any stuck outgoing mail or draft messages.

The team at Google are attempting to reproduce the problem, but are having slight difficulty. I, myself, haven’t hit this issue yet and the problem seems to be not local, but worldwide. If you have a potential fix that has worked for you, head on over to the thread linked above to publish your findings, as well as letting us know of the outcome so we can update this post.

Are you experiencing this problem with your Gmail? Join in the conversation over at our forum. We will – of course – keep you posted with any updates we come across.

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3 years ago

Cloud based SDK for WP7 released

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Cloud based SDK for WP7 released

Microsoft has been busy on the researching side of the border for some time with their mobile platform. It has yet ceased to halt at its lightning pace. An interesting update with this path is the release of a Software Development Kit (SDK) for cloud services on WP7, which is designed to aid with Project Hawaii

“Our current platform consists of a Windows Phone 7 smartphone and several cloud services, including existing Microsoft offerings and some prototype services. The existing Microsoft offerings include Windows Azure for computation and data storage, Bing Maps for mapping services, and Windows Live ID for user identification.”

This all sounds quite interesting, and would be great to see how WP7 can interact with Microsoft’s cloud – imagine having the processes and services that take majority of your smartphone resources to be carried out on a remote platform.

The Hawaii team is working on speech-to-text, OCR in the cloud that allows photos to be taken and any text present in any given image will be returned as a Unicode string, and more. You can check out the SDK, which has been released here.

Source: ZDNet

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3 years ago

LG's augmented reality app Metro Scanner is pretty cool

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Say what you want about LG but their custom Windows Phone software is hands down the best of all the OEMs today. Between offering $30 worth of apps for free (including the amazing Weave) and their homemade stuff like Voice to Text, ScanSearch and Metro Scanner (and a bunch of other tools, like panoramic camera), they really offer quite the one-two punch to HTC and Samsung.

ScanSearch and Metro Scanner are great because they are so-called augmented reality apps. Basically they take advantage of the phone's accelerometer, compass and camera to show you things you can't see, like bars, restaurants, or in the case of Metro Scanner, subway stations in your local city.

Metro Scanner works "world wide" and while we couldn't vouch for that it did a swell job in New York City. You launch the app, it grabs a GPS fix (can take a few seconds, though it has a progress bar, natch) and then it shows you where the nearest subway is in relation to you. Holding the phone flat  gives you a map with compass, holding it up uses the camera to show you where it is as if you could see through all the buildings. Tapping the station gives you directions.

Metro Scanner was just updated to v1.2 to fix a compass bug and all we have to say about the app is that it's pretty darn cool, LG. Our next hope? Microsoft releases those camera and compass APIs so 3rd party developers like Layar can join in on the fun.

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3 years ago

Independent survey contradicts Microsoft's claim on Windows Phone 7 satisfaction

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Polling and survey data will always be controversial--there are means, averages, sample sizes, how questions are phrased/framed, etc. resulting in multiple ways of interpretation. Recently, Microsoft's Greg Sullivan went on record with some internal survey results on Windows Phone 7 user satisfaction stating that customer satisfaction for Windows Phone 7 is at 93% and brand awareness is increasing, up 22 points to 66%.

This of course sounds real good, but we're going on Sullivan's word here and cannot verify those numbers. Now ChangeWave, an independent survey group, has come out with their own numbers and while Windows Phone is improving in status and satisfaction, they are nowhere near as high as what Microsoft claims. ChangeWave's survey involved 4,050 participants which is a very sizeable number. Here are some of their results (reprinted from NetworkWorld):

  • 5% have their "sights set on Windows Phone"--which is an increase from the previous 1% and is the only smartphone with a boost in demand
  • 44% of Windows Phone 7 owners consider themselves "very satisfied" (big improvement from Windows Mobile's 18%) as of Dec 2010

By way of comparison, Android has a 58% approval rating and the iPhone still tops out at 72% being "very satisfied". NetworkWorld expects those Android numbers to go up with Froyo 2.2 on Android as it "solves" many of the previous problems on that OS. Although, one could also claim the same about Windows Phone after our next few updates scheduled for this year.

Still, the point being that as of now 44% is a stark contrast to Sullivan's claim of 93%. Both sides are a little obscure on their methodology, though we can say that ChangeWave is certainly more transparent with hard numbers than Microsoft is on the matter (plus you can at least purchase ChangeWave's data). But without knowing which questions were asked, it's hard to make a direct comparison. But, reluctantly, we're less believing of Microsoft's stats than ChangeWave's for what should be an obvious difference in biases.

So which is it audience? What we want to believe, what seems more likely or both are wrong for X reason? Share in comments...

Source: ChangeWave (private); via NetworkWorld

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3 years ago

GDocs brings Google Documents to your Windows Phone

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Great news for you Google folk out there--you now have a Document reader for your Windows Phone--best part? It's free*.

Actually, the real best part is how nice the darn thing is--seriously, it's fast, gloriously smooth and just a pleasure to use. Sure, as of now you can only view docs (no editing) but this is v1.0 and the developer seems keen on adding features. But we're just happy with this first attempt as it's really one of the nicer 1.0 apps we've tried around here (and we've tried a lot, thank you). Features include:

  • Viewing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and forms.
  • Offline (no internet needed) viewing once downloaded.
  • “Download all” option allows you to have all your files available for offline viewing on the go.
  • Very responsive and intuitive user interface.
  • Your password is encrypted before saving. All communications with Google is over SSL (secure channel)

All we have to say is bravo, Tasbir inc. Combined with Flory and GooNews and we're nearing in on some seriously good Google-focused apps. Now go grab this freebie in the Marketplace here.

* Update: We justgot word from the developer that is is only free for a limited time! So grab it now.

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4 years ago

Microsoft publishes KB article on upcoming WP7 update

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Everyone loves the Microsoft knowledge base, rebooting your PC after a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) to look up potential causes. We now have an article based around the process in updating Windows Phone 7 that has been published.

Although this sign is a positive move by Microsoft in displaying their continuous effort to ensure customer satisfaction with maintaining a good self-support system, one can't help but hope that this KB article will never be accessed. Containing the usual error code descriptions, there is also information present that covers the installation of Zune software. 

What's exciting about the approaching updates (and ones in the far distant future) is the ability for Microsoft to update devices directly, something that Android has been criticised for.

Excited about the upcoming updates? What are your thoughts on how the OS will develop after the first half of 2011?

Source: Microsoft; via: wmpoweruser

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4 years ago

Update: Flory IM client coming soon for US Market

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In a surprising turn of events, our new favorite app Flory (see here) which handles Google Talk instant messaging (plus ICQ and FIM via jabber), is nearly ready for a US release. The developer Florian Seffert, who we understand is doing this all on their own, just told us in an email:

The en-US translation is nearly done and I'll release the US market version next week.

Timestamps will work then! ;-) And btw... you don't need to logout... Flory take care of all messages even when your phone is offline.

Another nice feature: all transports are secured and 256 bit encrypted... so no one can read your messages while you are writing messages on a public network.

We liked every single word in that statement and are pretty excited about having this hit the US. Anyone see this as becoming one of the top apps very quickly?

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4 years ago

ScoreMobile Update rumors

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ScoreMobile Update rumors

ScoreMobile hasn't been a part of the Windows Phone Marketplace for long and we're now hearing rumors of what the first update will entail.

It is our understanding that developers are wanting to add Live Tile functionality to ScoreMobile. Maybe a tile that will display your top three favorite team scores?  Maybe notification when a score for a favorite team changes?

Another addition should be to increase the sports leagues the app will monitor. Other platforms cover a wider range of leagues and one glaring omission with the Windows Phone 7 version is Major League Baseball. ScoreMobile plans to add MLB and a few other sports leagues in their next update. Hopefully, in the nick of time for Spring Training.

So...if you could bend the ear of SportsMobile developers, just in case they're listening, what would you like to see added?

Thanks goes out to Alan for the tip!

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4 years ago

Flory first to bring GTalk to Windows Phone (Video + Guide)

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First the good news: Flory is a free instant messaging app that supports Google Talk, has push notifications and a live tile. On top of all of that, it completely works, allowing you to be signed in and receive messages "in the background". Huzzah!

Now the bad news: It's in German and therefore only in the German Marketplace for Windows Phone. [Update: Flory is coming to the US Market very soon. See here for more info]

Yes folks, those crafty Germans have had this app for awhile unknown to us while we patiently wait for IM+. We've been running it for the last day and it's behaved like a champ. Sure, the menus are in German but you can still finagle your way through the logins.  The app works through a service called Flory, which then enables you to login to Google Talk. Incoming IMs are pushed to the device via Toast Notifications (the ones at the top) and/or the Live tile. The delay is no more than that of an SMS message, that is, it's fast and has been very reliable for us.

So how do you get this on your phone? We'll go over three options after the break...in the meantime, check out the video hands on.

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4 years ago

Canada gets a new Windows Phone -- HTC HD7 coming to Bell

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Good new for our friends in the North, Bell Canada is set to launch the HTC HD7 on February 10th. Full retail price is a steep $599, but that appears to be a place holder, meaning no finalized prices with plans have been decided.

The HD7, coming in with the largest Windows Phone screen at 4.3" will be also packing 16GB of memory, which is a good amount for music fans. In addition, Bell will have a bunch of cases and accessories available when the HD7 finally hits stores.

So any of you up past the border excited about the HD7 or are you still waiting on something else?

Source: MobileSyrup

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