In the above video you can see a demo at TechED 2011 in New Zealand for Microsoft's Lync, which is the inter-office communication and VoIP system. The app is slated for a Q4 release and will also be coming to iOS, Android and Symbian with Windows Phone said to receive the first and best. Other platforms will receive a fully featured app with integration, not just a mere port.
A question from the audience was greeted by a fairly exciting response with the final goal in WP7 being to integrate Lync into hubs in favour of a stand-alone application. Communication will be handled by the messaging hub and anything from the cloud will be handled in the Office hub. Voice and video will be dependant on the handset and OS.
You may also have noticed in the video we hear some talk surrounding front-facing cameras on Windows Phone handsets, which further confirms our recent article covering Skype and the secondary camera support. Are you excited for FF cameras, or wont you use them?
Just one day after spotting an Asus WP7 phone with what looked like a front-facing camera, Windows Phone NZ is now reporting that Microsoft has confirmed at Tech Ed New Zealand that Mango phones will indeed come equipped with them. Furthermore, it was also said that Skype integration will be coming soon and that it will make use of them.
Front-facing cameras have been one of the features that users have requested the most and we've seen hints in the developer tools before. Now that it has become a reality, will we see them on all, most or some of the new Mango handsets? With Microsoft's semi-standardization of hardware across manufacturers, we are willing to bet that most of them will. It will be an integral part of WP7 competing with the allure of Apple's Facetime application.
Looks like Mango still has a few hidden surprises. As you can see to the right, that's an official instantiation of Internet Sharing on a Samsung Focus running Mango.
That's the good news, that and it "works like a charm". The bad news is it reportedly eats a lot of battery life. Our bet is this is hidden on some devices and builds and will presumably be a carrier option.
More info as it comes in...
Update: Justin says this is Mango 7720.68 but that his device has been flashed by someone at Microsoft. Insert thriller movie music here.
Update II:Rafael Rivera notes "Confirm ICS is baked into my Mango phone (e.g. Ics*.dll, HKLM\Comm\InternetSharing). My guess is requires carrier "update" to enable."
It was just announced that Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple and...well you know who he is, is stepping down from that position, presumably due to health concerns. Stock trading for the company has been halted pending the news and Tim Cook has taken over as CEO.
CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
We're certain the board will keep him on and he'll still serve in some capacity at Apple. Say what you will of the man, he has certainly earned his place in history, making Apple one of the most profitiable and influential companies iin the world. We wish him the best of luck and good health.
And now for something completely different. Next week’s Xbox Live title is Fight Game Rivals from Dutch developer Khaeon GameStudio. It’s a strategy/fighting game, which is indeed a thing.
How many quality fighting games can you name for mobile phones? There’s iPhone Street Fighter IV and…. That’s it. Touch-screen controls and fighting games are difficult to combine effectively, much like beer and ice cream. That’s why Khaeon went the strategy route for Fight Game Rivals.
Players choose one of six fighters (each with a real-world fighting style) and participate in tournaments against other burly dudes. Up to five Fighting Skills (moves) can be taken into each battle. During the fight, selecting a skill initiates a touch-screen minigame. The better players do at the minigames, the more damage they dish out. Minigames determine whether opponents’ attacks are blocked as well. Once either pugilist runs out of health, the fight ends. Credits obtained from winning fights can be used to unlock skills, locations, and outfits.
Fight Game Rivals is extremely unique - just like each and every one of us except for Rich Edmonds - and we’re looking forward to trying it out. It will cost $2.99.
Infinite Flight has been updated to version 1.9 which will add the Boeing 747 and A-10 Warthog to its flight line. The popular flight simulator for your Windows Phone has also added a flight planning system, runway landing paths in the maps, and your flight plan information appears in the mini-map.
The 747 and Warthog join an impressive line up of aircraft that includes the Space Shuttle, Cessna 172SP, the French Airbus A380,and the Boeing 737. It doesn't appear to be any combat missions available for the A-10 but maybe with the next round of updates? Maybe a little target practice?
There is a free trial version available for Infinite Flight with the full version running $4.99. If you like flight simulators, Infinite Flight is well worth the price of admission. You can find Infinite Flighthere (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
I wouldn't be surprised if one day soon the only news that will require reporting will surround lawsuits and patent infringement. Today the Rechtbank 's-Gravenhage (a Dutch court in the city of The Hague) issued an injunction against the Samsung smartphones (Galaxy S, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy S II) and that they should be retracted from import and sale by October 13th. The Galaxy Tab was not included.
The patent in question is owned by Apple ("Portable Electronic Device for Photo Management") and covers the way photos are displayed on a mobile device. The Netherlands plays an important role with Samsung's import into Europe. This injunction will prevent the shipping to the UK, France, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, Sweden and Switzerland. But let's not get carried away, Samsung has welcomed the ruling and published a statement:
"Today's ruling is an affirmation that the Galaxy range of products is innovative and distinctive. With regard to the single infringement cited in the ruling, we will take all possible measures including legal action to ensure that there is no disruption in the availability of our Galaxy smartphones to Dutch consumers."
Looks like Apple doesn't have a victory and Samsung will attempt to prevent any disruption to the shipping of their smartphone handsets. I expect Google will ensure an update is mirrored to other brands just in case Apple decide to take on other Android manufacturers. According to Samsung in court, the fix is as simple as updating the OS to version 3.0, which doesn't infringe the patent.
We recently covered the announcement of HTC's upcoming Windows Phone based event, which will be held in London on the 1st of September. We have now learned of three more locations around Europe that will house the same event which include Madrid, Berlin and Paris. If you are thinking on attending, be sure to visit the respective Facebook page and RSVP.
Here are the details from each Facebook page (please double check times and locations):
London - 18:30 - 23:00 at Victoria House, Southampton Row entrance, 37 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4DA (Facebook)
Madrid - 19:30 - 23:00 at C/ Jorge Juan, 99, Puerta D del Palacio de los Deportes (Facebook)
Berlin - 20:30 - 23:00 at Spindler & Klatt, Köpenicker Straße 16, 10997 Berlin (Facebook)
Looks like whomever is testing these phones sure likes to broadcast they're doing so. The popular, free and fun "I'm a WP7!" which recently had a major revision (see here) obviously collects interesting data from users and the developer, Scott Peterson, shared them with us. The info is an "...aggregate of over 46,000 devices, in over 150 countries worldwide." Yowza!
First, as you can see above, many of the new "Mango" devices that we've been reading and writing about have recently come "on line". That date is when they were first spotted. For those wondering, the Asus Galaxy6 is actually a very, very old Windows Phone 7 device that never got past some development work. Interesting to see it show up though. We also see the usual suspects:
LG-LS831 (still unknown)
Toshiba Tsunagi (TG01 developer device)
Missing from the list? Any Dell device. There was one spotted back in May with a missing "device name", but other than that, it looks like Dell may not have anything further, confirming the idea that they're out of the mobile phone biz.Then again, perhaps they're just really disciplined and secretive.
Finally, Scott tells us he's seen a new build of Windows Phone, which would be Tango 8310. The previous version was 8200, seen here.
Interesting stuff and hopefully we'll have more on the way. Pick up "I'm a WP7" here in the Marketplace, it's worth a spin.
Just a quick extension to our previous article covering some Mango device names popping up on WP Bench where they're being tested. We've received word from the app developer, Robert Varga, that a HTC Radiant has appeared on the list and is reportedly running post-Mango/7.10.8004.
Could this be Tango? Certainly looks as though we may not be seeing this device for a while (if at all). Let's see what's announced at the upcoming HTC event in London. The image above shows the HTC HD7, just in case any of you attempt to catch us out on that.
Does Google Analytics skew data for web owners with traffic using Windows Phone? Not quite. While there is no clear categorisation between iPhone/iPod, PC and WP7 the data is being collected and it's available for viewing. With the list of operating systems in the filter, one can select screen resolution as a secondary dimension to compare the OS and resolution numbers.
An article, posted back in June, over at Mobility Digest saw them go into some depth with their analytical data while calculating the percentage of visits between the mobile platforms. This article publishes detail for Android, Windows and iOS - note "Windows" and not "Windows Phone". Doug Simmons then took a further look into the numbers as he thought WP should be reporting higher values.
I too was interested so I took a quick look at my personal website (since it doesn't receive a whole lot of traffic it should be easier to break down the data) and filtered through the visits recorded in Google Analytics. The majority of my traffic comes from WPCentral with redirects from Twitter and other locations that involve Microsoft's platform, so I predicted that a healthy portion of the mobile traffic should be using WP handsets.
In the image above you can see the screen resolution and OS filters enabled. It's quite clear that Windows Phone is being picked up by the tracking code, but is merely being categorised as "not set" (one of the resolutions paired with Windows is also 480x800). I'm actually fairly surprised seeing how the platform has been out for almost a year, Google has had ample time to fix this issue of Windows Phone not being recognised as well as Windows Mobile.
MSIE 9 will count for both the mobile and desktop hits and the only way to accurately guess as to how much traffic is on Windows Phone lies with the screen resolution and browser/OS filtering. It's not much but at least we're not being ignored. It's just a massive negative for web owners who would never see Windows Phone while looking at mobile traffic data. We're not that small Google!
Guess what folks? It's silly season. And Windows Phone Mango is so close.
The image you see to the right is from the excellent app WP Bench (Zune link) and it lists no less than 8 devices that are presumably new Mango phones (or variations) that are in people's hands, evidently being tested against each other. The relevant ones from the list:
Some of those are familiar, but the LG LS831 seems new, the Omega gets a number (C110e), the i937 from Samsung seems active, who knows what the "Na Na" and the "Nokia XXX" are. Anyways, nice to know these devices are getting into people's hands. [Note: LG C900x, Asus E600, Samsung GT-I8710, HTC PC93100, T8697 are older phones for developers or on the market already]
Big thanks to developer Robert Varga of WP Bench., for the screen shot!
It's no secret around here that as far as indie weather apps go, WeatherLive by Hyperise is one of our favorites due it's heavy use of Metro and its simplicity. Since returning after being briefly pulled, the app has done very well for itself as it's the top selling in its category.
So we're excited to give you a sneak peak of what v2.0 is bringing as we're pretty positive it's going a long way to add all of those features that you've demanded. The app is currently in beta and should be coming out soon-ish (we'll let you know). The price is expected to go up slightly to cover the costs of the new features, but if you buy the ad-free version now ($0.99) well you'll of course get the upgrade for free.
But on to the new features!
Info provided by Weather Underground
Daily and hourly forecasts with Trends
Alerts with Toast notifications
Shows moon when it is night and the sky allows
Last but not least, current temperature along with condition on the tile
And you can of course see these new features in above (you can see the "moon" and current temp) and below screenshots. We're pretty excited to get our hands on this version as it looks to be our favorite Metro-themed weather app--heck, it should be a part of the OS as a default Live Tile, but that's just us. We'll keep you posted when the app goes live. For those who want to give it a go now, the app is completely free (with ads, endless "trial") or $0.99 ad-free. Get it here in the Marketplace.
Cro-Mag Rally, the first kart racer on Xbox Live, is kind of rough around the edges. Chief among its problems are the tilt controls. Currently, the game requires players to hold a virtual accelerator button while also steering by tilting the phone, unlike every other Xbox Live racing game. It’s a clunky control method and hard to get used to. On the plus side, the game is affordable and has easy Achievements.
Citizen 12, the developer who handled the Windows Phone port of Cro-Mag is taking its criticisms seriously. They’ve provided WPCentral with full release notes for the game’s upcoming patch as well as a heartfelt apology to gamers. Yes, this means I can no longer teasethem about being tight-lipped.
Head past the break for the full scoop as well as exclusive screens showcasing the game’s new camera angle.