Progressive cellular company CREDO Mobile (web site) told Kevyn, over at Glance and Go Radio, that they will be adding a WP7 handset to their lineup later this year. While they did not specify exactly what models they will be offering, the HTC Arrive is a likely candidate, as CREDO is a reseller of Sprint's network, and not a carrier themselves. Still, we could see the CDMA Trophy or even perhaps a new Mango device as well.
For those of you unfamiliar with CREDO Mobile, they are a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) who donates a portion of their proceeds to non-profit groups such as Rainforest Action Network, Project Vote, Human Rights Watch, and the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Every year, members nominate what groups they would like to support and then vote on how much funding each group gets. You can see a list of organizations that they currently support here.
In addition to supporting social change groups, CREDO also plants 100 trees per ton of recycled paper they use, offer solar chargers, recycle old phones, and work with Carbonfund.org to offset their own electricity usage. And if doing good for the world weren't enough, they also offer contract buyout credits and phone number porting for prospective customers.
Being that Sprint seems to be giving up on the Windows Phone for the time being, it's wonderful to see that the HTC Arrive could get put to some good use.
A rather depressing way to finish off the weekend, but it seems as though the HTC Surround is being discontinued at more than one source. On AT&T and Telus, both websites report that the Windows Phone handset is no longer available, although AT&T simply removed the product page with a substitute notice of unavailability. This news is almost as sad as Sprint deciding to use the HTC Arrive as a "handset recycle" example for the iPhone 4S.
What can we hope to see in the near future? Nokia, HTC and Acer to name but a few should look to push the platform harder in the US (with Microsoft's marketing support) as well as on a global scale. First-generation handsets appear to be the old with Mango devices ready and able to take their place.
Note this as a strange, but useful app. See Through Messaging for Windows Phone allows the user to create SMS messages and emails on an overlay on top of a real time view of what's behind your handset via the camera. Basically, you can type while looking through your phone.
We've seen this before with TransparentTXT, which runs for $2.49, but See Through Messaging goes for the low, low price of free. (And of course LG users have had 'Look N Type' for free for ages through their app store).
Should you find yourself on the move while contacting other people, See Through Message could save you some embarrassment when not paying attention to what's in front of you. Only downside we noticed was there's not auto-correct nor word suggestions, which means your texting perambulations will be filled with errors, unless you're careful.
It seems as though Microsoft isn't taking the platform's position in terms of marketshare seriously as they've missed a prime opportunity to promote Windows Phone at CTIA, according to Jessica Dolcourt, Senior associate editor at CNET. Dolcourt explains in-depth how the software giant could have used CTIA to capitalise on Google and Samsung's delayed announcements for the Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Galaxy Nexus. Heck, we were expecting Samsung to show off the Focus S, finally, at the big event but alas, it was no where to be seen as confirmed by our own folks who were there.
While a lot is banking on what's to be unveiled at Nokia World later this month, the team should use more resources for advertising and promotion at events and stores across the world. Relying solely on manufacturers and carriers is going to prove tough with the iPhone and Android locked in battle for the front display and this report is an interesting read to say the least.
Head on over to CNET to read up on Dolcourt's review of Microsoft's marketing efforts.
Nothing new is revealed outside of some future promise of deep integration, which is the most obvious outcome of the billion dollar acquisition:
"Together we will bring innovative technology to friends, families and colleagues everywhere. And now the future possibilities for our customers are even more exciting. We will enable more people to connect in more ways that transform and enhance their lives. And this is just the beginning."
A dirty open secret about Twin Blades (see our review), even after it returned to the Marketplace, was that it didn't work on phones with Windows Phone 7.5--it literally would crash upon launch. That made it the first (and to our knowledge only) game/app that would completely die in Mango.
Now with version 1.3, all of that seems to be behind us as the game now works in Mango. We say works in Mango but it is not, we repeat not Mango-ready. Yeah, super lame. No fast app resume here folks. Although a somewhat repetitive game, it's well worth a trial run and you can grab that here.
[Correction: Hey, look at that. For some reason our fast-app resume was not working but now it is. So yes, looks like Twin Blades is Mango ready--so that's something.]
Likewise PAC MAN CE DX version 1.1 got updated but there's no clear indication of what was fixed, so we'll have to try to find out for you. You can pick up that game here--and as far as Pac Man games go, that one is pretty great (see our review). But at $6.99 and no fast-app switching, ouch, we think waiting for a deal-of-the-week may be apropos here.
We're reaching out to both companies to try and pry a full change log from their hands and will post if there's anything significant regarding achievements or bug fixes.
We're kicking off this week's summary with Dave Blake listing hot discussions you could be missing out on over at our Windows Phone forum. If you're residing in the UK and are an owner of a Windows Phone, have you heard about the new review section at the official Windows Phone UK website? A small competition is being ran which we're helping to judge! Simply review your experience and be in with a chance to win. Head on past the short break for the full summary.
It's always kind of cool when Microsoft updates that back-end of Bing Maps because you don't need to, you know, do anything. Sure, it's not better voice-navigation nor Ovi Maps, but the changes are not exactly subtle either. Instead, what we have in the mobile version of Bing Maps more closely matching the desktop version.
Most of the changes deal with the color scheme of roads, with purple denoting major highways, blue secondary roads and grey for back roads. Text looks a bit easier to read and perhaps its just us, but the app seems to handle downloading and caching maps a lot easier, resulting in faster scrolling. Other than that, we're not noticing too much else but we're betting this may be a regional thing too.
Shout out in comments if you noticing anything and we'll add it.
Love it or hate (we're the latter, but whatever), Groupon is big and their official app just got the Mango treatment is rightly deserves. So for those of you who have it or for those who didn't know about it, you'll want to go and get this admittedly nice looking app a spin.
Hitting version 2.0, the developers went beyond the usual fast-app switching which is automatic for a Mango app. Instead, they've embraced a bunch of Mango features, making this quite a worthy update:
"You can now browse, purchase, and redeem Groupon Now! deals, as well as pin any division or Groupon Now! to the home screen as two-sided live tiles. We've also updated our push notification service so that you get notified when deals are available for you!"
Yup. That's pretty much in line with everything else we've been hearing about Nokia's offerings for their Windows Phones. But there are some anomalies, like the Cortex A8 which we don't think goes to 1.4 GHz and the Java/Flash part certainly doesn't fit. But perhaps those are just fillers or errors.
Want more proof? The Nokia 710 has shown up on Occasional Gamer's game stats page, which collects data from Windows Phones running some of his twelve different games in the Marketplace. So this seems pretty solid.
To make the Windows Phone situation even sadder on Sprint than it already is (seriously, they pretty much tie Verizon), Sprint is now using the HTC Arrive, arguably one of the better Windows Phones, as the example for their buyback program. In short, when you go to the iPhone 4S page on Sprint, scrolling down reveals the Sprint Buyback program and the HTC Arrive, a phone that is just six months old, is wrapped in age-inducing ivy.
It's as if Sprint is digging the knife in a little deeper. Sure, we could hope that this is because they're getting ready to reveal one or even two new Windows Phone for the holiday season, but honestly, it's been pretty quiet on the rumor front so far.
The Labs project has one goal:"......to allow hobbyist developers to install, run, and debug unsigned applications on their personal Windows Phone". That is, it's a way for you, the regular user, to toy around with some advanced tools without breaking the bank and while being sanctioned by Microsoft. And now that day is nearly upon us, meaning you can soon join the homebrew community to side-load some apps on to your Windows Phone.
Here's how the process will work when launched in a few weeks:
You'll need a Windows Live ID (it can be different from your Windows Phone Live ID)
Purchase an "unlock token". Cost is $9.00 via PayPal and is good for infinite unlocks per single phone.
Download and install an unlocking too, which is similar to the official AppHub registration one
Your phone will be placed in a queue to be unlocked and that's it!
All in all, this will provide a great opportunity for those who aren't full-time developers nor those who can't afford to pay the regular $99 to unlock their phones. It should also expand the hobbyist and homebrew community significantly, giving Windows Phone users a new avenue to explore as well as apply new ideas.
The team is wrapping up the final preparations now and we can look for an official launch in a few weeks. We'll of course keep you abreast of all and any new developments.
Read the full details from the ChevronWP7 Labs team right here.
The new site is described as "the official voice for Microsoft Studios’ Xbox LIVE Arcade and Windows Phone games" and looks to be a neat little place to get the latest info on gaming as well as interacting with developers and Microsofties. They've been on Twitter for awhile, linking to other gaming sites, but now they have a home of their own.
The site looks nice enough and features exclusive articles on new and upcoming games. And while our own Paul Acevedo often gets the scoop first, it's always nice to see what the official team has got going. Plus, you can probably gripe to them (instead of us) about missing Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone. We keed, we keed...
So head to their websitexbla and follow 'em on Twitter here @PlayXBLA. (Thanks, TheWeeBear, for the heads up!)
It's been a busy week for Windows Phone navigation apps. First we see NAVIGON released that brings on-board maps to your Windows Phone to eliminate the need for a data connection for route calculations and maps. Now we see GPSTuner, developer of Outdoor Navigator and Turn by Turn Navigation, release a new version of Turn by Turn that also includes offline maps.
But wait, the original version of Turn by Turn had downloadable maps. True, but the process was a little cumbersome and the original version still required a data connection for routing and for the times you strayed from the map shot you downloaded.
The new version of Turn by Turn Navigation allows you to choose regional maps to eliminate the need for a data connection. This also allows you to minimize storage requirements by allowing you to choose what maps are downloaded. If you never stray from the Western US, why should you tie up storage with East Coast maps?
The app itself has changed very little (you do have a new search function) but the performance is noticeably improved with the addition of on-board, offline maps. To see how Turn by Turn Navigation US + Canada managed the open road, move on past the break.