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3 years ago

AT&T: Windows Phone 7 is "doing fine"

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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

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3 years ago

Application Certificate Requirements Updated

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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

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3 years ago

Japanese-only app 'Wakamurasaki' bypasses Marketplace restrictions?

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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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3 years ago

East Asian language pack for WP7 'Mango' gets detailed

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Over iStartedSomething, Long Zheng goes into some detail about the East Asian language pack coming to Windows Phone 7 in the fall via Mango. Specifically, what it means in terms of the Metro design when showing such languages as Chinese, Japanese and Korean, amongst others. As you can see in the image above, taken during MIX11, East Asian languages will for the first time be using the vertical plan as opposed to just horizontally displayed words and characters. The reasoning for this should be obvious as systems such as katakana and kanji require a little more...space.

Evidently, this change is not just for the lock-screen, but for the native hubs and panoramas throughout the OS, adding a unique expansion of the Metro UI design ethos. However, it looks like at least for now, third-party apps won't be able to emulate such design expansion--though we imagine that may be just temporary until the team comes out with the proper dev tools and standards.

Finally, Long Zheng correctly hints that the Metro team is still at work evolving the UI, something we also heard in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress. Considering Microsoft has expanding Metro from Zune to Windows Phone to parts of Windows 8, there's little doubt we'll be seeing some interesting changes in the UI over the next few years.

Source: iStartedSomething

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3 years ago

Walgreens now has an official WP7 app --uses camera to refill Rx

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We've seen quite a few major outlets and stores get an official Windows Phone app lately, including Home Depot and Bank of America. And even Walgreens (store link), "The pharmacy that America trusts", now has a swanky new app for your usage. But this is actually way cool as it features "Refill Rx by Scan"--what's that you ask?

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3 years ago

WP7 to overtake Android by 2015?

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WP7 to overtake Android by 2015?

Pyramid Research's Senior Analyst and Practice Leader for Mobile Devices, Stela Bokun, has compiled the firm's latest Smartphone Forecast, which reveals some interesting predictions.  The percentage of smartphones sold to end users is expected to rise from 27% of the cell phone market in 2011 (1.46 billion devices) twice that at 53% in 2015.  The growth is attributed to high demand of cheap Android smartphones in developing parts of the world, like Africa and the Middle East, and parts of Western Europe, Asia and North America.

Despite the fact that Android will be the mobile OS at the center of surge, Bokun reports that Windows Phone will actually continue to gain marketshare, until it finally replaces Android at the top in 2015.  You read that correctly.  She asserts that by 2015 Windows Phone will be the #1-selling mobile OS in the world.  While the exact reasoning is not clear, it's a safe assumption that the MS/Nokia deal and Nokia's push to lower pricing on WP7 devices will play a key role.  We've already seen WP7 catch up to the struggling WebOS and expectations that it will overtake Blackberry, though the latter forecast had WP7 at 17.2% to RIM's 16.5%.

Source: BGR

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3 years ago

Xbox Live services now out for WP7 [Update]

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We all thought the worst was over after the Marketplace outage yesterday with scheduled maintenance, but now it seems Xbox Live is having an issue on multiple WP7 devices with backend Windows Live services. If you head on into the Xbox Live hub and await for the automatic update process to start, you should be left with a forever hanging "Updating..." at the top.

Both myself (Omnia 7) and our Daniel Rubino (Focus) have reproduced the error so it looks like it's not directly affecting a single location and multiple Live profiles are confirmed to be affected. Hopefully Microsoft will get the system back up to speed. For the time being they have stated on Twitter that "It’s a new issue that users are unable to access Xbox LIVE features at this time." Are you experiencing this issue?

via: WinRumors

Update: We've just had news (and have confirmed) that the Xbox service on WP7 is now back online. Thanks ash755 for the heads up!

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3 years ago

MetroTwit and Rowi "Nesting" together

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Developers of MetroTwit, a Windows-based Twitter client, and WP7 Twitter client Rowi, have teamed up in an exciting new venture.  'The Nest', as they have named it, is a cloud-based framework that will allow users to sync data between both applications across platforms.  The first iterration will focus on column configuration and unread tweet state, though more features are expected to follow.  Another benefit to users is that since state data will be synced, The Nest will also serve as a client backup of sorts for multiple installations or reinstalls. 

The great thing about this partnership, aside from just being a straight-up cool idea, is that it takes development to new level.  While most developers either specialize in a single platform or try to own them all, The Nest let's each stick to what they are good at, while offering a great solution to the end-user.

Source: MetroTwit; via: IStartedSomething

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3 years ago

Password Manager - Review

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Password Manager - Review

One challenge most of us will face is keeping up with all those blasted passwords. You could choose one password for everything but one size doesn't always fit all and experts say that's not the moset secure practice.

Password Manager is a simple application for your Windows Phone that comes with Dropbox Sync functionality and PC sync. Password Manager allows you to store internet passwords, banking information, credit card information or miscellaneous passwords/info.  If you have serial numbers you need to maintain, Password Manager would be a good option for that as well.

Continued after the break.

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3 years ago

I'm a WP7 - App Spotlight

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I'm a WP7 - App Spotlight

Curious if you're the only Windows Phone user in your area? There's a way to find out. I'm a WP7 is a free application over at the Marketplace that will let you see Windows Phone users and developers who are in your area.

Key features of the app include:

  • Register by Location, Postal Code, or “In the Cloud”
  • See the latest WP7 Users and Developers
  • If you're a WP7 Developer, you can provide your Company Name to make it easy for WP7 Users to access your apps
  • Search anywhere in the world to see other WP7 users
  • Surprise Me button to pull up random locations, world wide, to show you the WP7 developers and users in that area
  • See WP7 developers in your area, and automatically search the Windows Phone Marketplace for their apps
  • Send messages to WP7 Users directly around the globe

There's no registration required and once you give the app permission to use your Windows Phone's location services, you're set. You can customize your profile within the app or keep it to the default settings that simply identify you as "WP7 User".

Once you download I'm a WP7, remember the title has "..." preceding the "I'm a WP7". It will show up at the top of your application lists (as opposed to mid-way down in the "I" listings).

You can download your copy of ...I'm a WP7 here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Orange UK May Webinars

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Orange UK May Webinars

Orange has two upcoming webinars which they are inviting developers (and interested potentials/students) to get in the know on how with submitting apps and developing on Windows Phone 7. The first webinar is to be held on the 10th May at 2:00PM (early doors for our American friends) and will look at effectively submitting apps into the Orange App Shop while looking at Orange Partner Connect.

What's more interesting for us is the second webinar that covers the Windows Phone 7 platform and ecosystem. This webinar is planned for the 17th May at 2:00PM. Pretty interesting to see one of the UK carriers taking a diving look at the WP7 platform from a development point of view. We'll keep eyes on the sessions and will relay anything interesting. To sign up for either (or both) webinars, check the link below.

Source: Orange, via: Twitter

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3 years ago

EA buys Firemint

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EA buys Firemint

Electronic Arts, Inc. announced in a press release Tuesday that they will be acquiring mobile software developer Firemint.  Financial details about the deal are not being provided by either party, but it has been made clear that maker of popular games like Flight Control and Real Racing will continue to operate out of Australia.  In a post on their website, Firemint CEO Rob Murray, had this to say to those concerned about the acquisition:

I would forgive people for believing that we didn’t exist before Flight Control, but we’ve been in business since 1999. Before Flight Control and Real Racing, our greatest success was achieved making games for EA Mobile, games like Madden, Sims DJ and Need For Speed Most Wanted. We learned our skills working with the same people that we are partnering with today.

Murray also added, "we have an exciting slate and I think people will be pleasantly surprised with our games this year."  Though Firemint has made games for past versions of Windows Mobile, they have not produced in the WP7 department.  However, given EA's prolific work with Microsoft, this could very well change.

Electonic Arts recently acquired Mobile Post Production Inc., "the worldwide leader in high quality cross-platform development and porting of games for smartphones."  Coupled with the news able Firemint, EA is clearly throwing a huge hat into the mobile gaming ring.

Source: EA, Firemint; Via: AndroidCentral

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3 years ago

DigitalRune Game UI alpha version released [Developers]

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The guys over at DigitalRune have released their game UI package that include .NET packages, which will aid developers in handling device input and creating GUIs in XNA. The libraries are supported on Windows, Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 and can be manipulated using mouse, keyboard, gimped or touch input.

The UI will allow one to create a simple in-game menu for a project on the 360 or WP7, but can also be used by the more experienced to craft complex user interfaces that are found in Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). The video above acts an example to show how the GUI can be projected on not only 2D UI, but 3D surfaces too. Battle on past the break for feature rundown and download links

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3 years ago

Orange UK now offering alternative Marketplace payment gateway

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If you're on Orange, some good news for you. They have opened up a new gateway for all your app, game and music purchases in the Windows Phone Marketplace. You can now choose between your account credit card and your Orange phone bill. 

While this is a fantastic new way to easily populate your internal storage, we recommend caution - try not to go overboard or you'll receive a nasty surprise at the end of your contracted month. Are you on Orange, and are you interested in using your monthly bill to pay for apps etc.?

Source: MyKindofPhone

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3 years ago

Microsoft gives an explanation for yesterday's Marketplace outage

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As many of you probably remember, the Windows Phone Marketplace was down for a quite a few hours yesterday, resulting in an error message ‘Can't get this info right now. Check back in a little while.’, It was quite frustrating for a lot of us, but alas, these things happen. Microsoft quickly caught wind of the downage and claimed to be working on it and sure enough, within a few hours everything was peachy.

The odd part, confirmed by Chris Walsh of Chevron, was that it only had an effect on NoDo devices.

This morning, Microsoft updated their blog post with the following explanation as to the ultimate cause:

"The problem was the result of scheduled maintenance being performed on Microsoft’s infrastructure during the night. The root cause of this issue has been identified and steps are being taken to help prevent future disruptions to the Marketplace service.”

So bumps in the road but it looks like it won't be happening again, at least from this identified "root cause".

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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