3 years ago
Developer Interview: Mike Newman of Penguin
This week we have Mike Newman, an independant app developer for Windows Phone, for an insightful interview. Mike is the developing power behind Penguin and Fireworks. Head on past the break for the interview.
3 years ago
Dell quietly ends AT&T and T-Mobile Dell Venue Pro partnership?
Speaking of September 15th, the AT&T branded Dell Venue Pro was suppose to re-launch on that day. Speculation at the time implied that perhaps it was to re-launch with a Mango update of its own. That would have been welcomed too because to be honest, we're using that phone as our daily driver (and we have about five to possible choose from) and it's pretty great.
However, when we just zoomed by the Dell page to see what did happen, we were surprised to note that there are no AT&T nor T-Mobile contract phones available for purchase at all--they're completely gone. The only option is for the unlocked version, which is still a heck of a deal.
So what gives? We're not sure and Dell is pretty quiet about these things. Perhaps this is just temporary while Microsoft and Dell regroup for Mango? On the other hand, could we be seeing the continued winding down of Dell from the Windows Phone camp? So far, no new Mango phones from them have shown, despite their earlier leaked roadmap. We hope that's not the case, but we have a bad feeling.
3 years ago
Orange France memo confirms September 15th was "Mango day"
We reported back at the end of August that Microsoft had just pushed back the Mango update to September 15th. We really did not know what that meant at the time, but saw quite a few other clues to suggest that indeed on that day, something big was afoot.
Of course, we all know what happened. September 15th came and went and Microsoft made no announcement at BUILD, nor updated their site to show us "Where's My Update?" or anything really. Finally, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore came out and said it was just a rumor and "we've always said fall". Since then, we've seen some major apps and Xbox LIVE games get updated, Taiwan roll out the update and imploring devs to update their apps to boot. We still maintain that something was to happen on September 15th and now that seems to be confirmed.
In the leaked Orange France memo, which is too detailed not to be real, the very first paragraph states:
"A partir du 15 septembre 2011, nos clients utilisateurs des mobiles WP7 Orange pourront bénéficier de la mise à jour en WP7.5 (intitulée Mango). Les mobiles Orange concernés => HTC Mozart / LG Optimus 7 / Samsung Omnia 7"
"As of September 15, 2011, our customers WP7 Orange mobile users will benefit from the updated WP7.5 (called Mango). Orange mobiles concerned => HTC Mozart / LG Optimus 7 / 7 Samsung Omnia 7"
What seems to have happened is there as a last minute decision to forgo Sept 15th as the "launch" day (even if it was a limited rollout), hence why Belfiore didn't just dismiss the rumor days ago (which would have been easy enough to do). Instead, it looks to be pushed back by about a week...more on that later.
3 years ago
Orange France will disable WiFi sharing, Group MMS and Visual Voicemail in Mango update
In an interesting internal-memo obtained by Smartphone France, the carrier evidently plans to disable Wifi Sharing, Group MMS (which we covered as being potentially pricey) and Visual Voicemail.
Perhaps WiFi sharing, something we've seen earlier , shouldn't be too much of a surprise--after all, it's expensive, especially for those carriers that don't have a built in billing system. So while a downer, not exactly shocking--in fact we expect more carriers to follow. Group MMS seems benign at first, but we documented how this "feature" can be very expensive. In short, it's labeled as "Group Messaging" but instead of SMS it use MMS in order to keep all the messages threaded. Sending out dozens of MMS messages can be very pricey for some services.
Finally there's Visual Voicemail, which is instantiated in a unique fashion in Mango. As a result, carriers seem limited in their ability to integrate the Mango VV with their own system, hence why we probably will, once again, see this on more carriers as well.
While not the end of the world, it's good for Orange customers in France to be aware of what they are and are not getting with Mango.
Source: Smartphone France, via WPSauce
3 years ago
PingMe cross-platform messaging app coming for Windows Phone too
In case WhatsApp and Kik aren't enough, there's also PingMe headed our way to Windows Phone. Though no ETA is given, on the PingMe page, wihich prominently shows the iPhone, Android and Blackberry, we get a nice little "coming soon" for Windows Phone. Sure, we're not the first, but it's actually kind of nice to see Windows Phone listed on new services, it's almost if companies are finally taking note of the platform, ya know?
Anyways, here are some of the features of PingMe:
- Cross platform
- Real-time message receipts
- Group chat
- News feed (from friends)
- Push notifications
We'll keep an eye out for any news with this one, but it should be a nice addition to our IM offerings. Thanks, Amir, for the heads up!
3 years ago
AT&T bound Samsung Focus S clears FCC
Although there isn't too much information about the phone (nor too much we don't already know about it), the FCC just gave the Samsung Focus S aka SGH-i937 a big thumbs up for passing its tests.
What does this mean? Well, just that once AT&T clears it for their network, have enough in stock and we're praying, actually have an advertising campaign, they can actually sell the darn thing. AT&T says this will be out "in the fall" and thanks to Belfiore, we all know when that actually starts--so a few weeks to save your pennies?
Source: FCC, via Engadget; Thanks, John M., for the tip!
3 years ago
7 states join the fight against AT&T and T-Mobile merger
California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington have all jumped on the Department of Justice's bandwagon to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T. Echoing the concerns expressed in the DOJ's lawsuit about the deal killing compettion, New York Attorney General, Eric T. Schneidermen explained in a statement how his state would be affected: "This proposed merger would stifle competition in markets that are crucial to New York's consumers and businesses, while reducing access to low-cost options and the newest broadband-based technologies."
AT&T responded to the news of the new plaintiffs in a statement of their own:
It is not unusual for state attorneys general to participate in DOJ merger review proceedings or court filings. At the same time, we appreciate that 11 state attorneys general and hundreds of other local, state and federal officials are publicly supportive of our merger. We will continue to seek an expedited hearing on the DOJ’s complaint. On a parallel path, we have been and remain interested in a solution that addresses the DOJ’s issues with the T-Mobile merger.
We remain confident that we’ll reach a successful conclusion and look forward to delivering the merger benefits of additional wireless network capacity to improve customer service, expanded LTE deployment to 55 million more Americans, $8 billion in additional investment, and a commitment to bring 5,000 wireless call center jobs back to the United States.
Though AT&T may be hoping to settle with the Department of Justice, it will be more difficult now that the seven states have joined in. An initial scheduling hearing has been set for September 21 where a date for the trial will be set. The DOJ is pushing for a March 19 start, while AT&T is looking to begin January 16.
Source: Reuters; Via: PhoneScoop
3 years ago
Beards & Beaks version 1.1 update and Parachute Panic Mango update
The rash of Xbox Live game updates continues, with Windows Phone-exclusive strategy title Beards & Beaks (review) receiving a nice little update today. It’s good to see the game being supported on top of its post-release DLC.
Beards & Beaks version 1.1 release notes:
- We’re listening to our users- the biggest issue reported is people not understanding how to swipe the map. The fix: we added a finger icon, indicating [where to] swipe [in order to scroll the map]
- Added support to always show tutorials when restarting
- Minor bug fixes associated with edge cases
- Preparation for Mango title update
If you enjoy the game’s look inside the battle between gnomes and crows, be sure to read our interview with Adam Isgreen of Microsoft Game Studios.
Speaking of Mango updates, Parachute Panic (review) from FDG Entertainment has now been properly Mango-fied. The recent update (which is only visible to Mango users) adds fast resuming support and increases the frame rate to 60 FPS. That should ease the doomed parachutists’ lives a bit.
Beards & Beaks and Parachute Panic both cost $2.99. Pick up the former here (Zune link) and the later here on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Windows Phone FaceBook page changed for Mango
Windows Phone has updated their FaceBook page for the arrival of Mango, inviting folks to "Meet 7.5." The revamped page features a video tour of Mango by Beth Goza, Senior Manager of Windows Phone Marketing. The tour captures key concepts of WP7, such as People, Communications, Apps, and Internet. It goes over the basics of the Start screen, Live Tiles, social network integration, gaming, and the newly-empowered Bing. Nothing Earth-shattering here, but it's a nice introduction for those unfamiliar with Windows Phone and the upcoming Mango enhancements.
Check it out.
3 years ago
Garmin Streetpilot goes Mango
Garmin Streetpilot (here's our review) was updated today and now is Mango-ized. While some of the changes are obvious, others are not.
The pre-Mango version is version 7.2 with the Mango version being 7.3. There is a decent amount of design changes put into place but the only noticeable feature change is the addition of a Contacts Tile on the "Where to?" page that opens up your Windows Phone contact list.
Streetpilot does have a little more zip to it and the fast-resume feature of Mango. The settings are identical but also experienced a slight make-over. Should we discover more changes, we'll update the post. And should you run across any, feel free to share in the comments section.
There is a free trial version of Streetpilot available with the full version running $34.99. You can find Garmin's Streetpilot here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Mixtapes - App Spotlight
Keeping with the music theme of the day, Mixtapes is a free music app for your Windows Phone that is powered by 8tracks. We mentioned the official 8tracks Windows Phone app earlier (Mango app) and just to cover all the bases, 8tracks is a music site where members can up upload their own music mixes to share with others.
Mixtapes is a Windows Phone 7 app that taps into the 8tracks music mix collection much in the same way as 8tracks does. You can log into your 8tracks account from Mixtapes and the app's layout highlights pages for new mixes, hot mixes, and popular mixes.
You have the ability to filter mixes by tags but there is no genre or artist search or the ability to play music in the background as you'll find on the 8tracks app. You still have the wide range of music that 8tracks offers just in a more basic, scaled down package.
If you're a music fan, Mixtapes is worth looking into. It's a free, ad supported app and you can find Mixtapes here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Supermusic jumping on the Mango train
It seems as if it was yesterday when Supermusic and Free Music Downloader hit the Windows Phone Marketplace. We have now been told by the developer that a Mango update for Supermusic has been submitted to Microsoft for certification and should be available in the coming days.
The music download app allows you to download music files from a wide variety of free music sites. You can create playlists from the downloaded tunes and the Mango update adds background music play and downloads into the mix.
The list of apps being updated continues to grow and based on Joe Belifiore's earlier tweet, Fall can't get here quick enough. There is a free trial available for Supermusic and the full version will run you $1.29. You can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
Free Music Downloader, the free ad-supported version of Supermusic, is expected to be updated to Mango sometime next week. You can find it here at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Obama signs, and MS supports, patent overhaul bill
Today President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that is being touted as the biggest reform to patent law since 1952. The America Invents Act changes the way the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hands out patents from a convoluted, drawn-out process of researching who the inventor of a technology was to a first-to-file approach. This will shift the burden from the PTO to the inventors, greatly reducing the time it takes to get an idea patented. The America Invents Act also augments the process of challenging patents that have already been granted, and allows the PTO to patent-related fees. Speaking of the importance of the bill to both innovation and the floundering economy, Obama had this to say:
“Somewhere in that stack of applications could be the next technological breakthrough, the next miracle drug. We should be making it easier and faster to turn new ideas into jobs.”
Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing, said in a blog post that the AIA:“will ensure that innovators in our troubled economy can benefit from a predictable and rational patent system, with new tools to eliminate patents that should not have issued and to speed the processing of patents that should be issued." He went on to say that "a fair, balanced and effective patent system is indispensable to promoting R&D investment, job creation, and economic growth.”
Gutierrez's comments are not surprising given the obscene amount of patent-related squabbles and acquisitions in the past year, which have included Microsoft, Apple, Google, HTC and others. The potential of companies using patents as weapons has also been credited for recent billion-dollar business moves, such as Google's recent purchase of Motorola Mobility.
Hopefully, with a more streamlined system and better review process, the patent world can gain a little sanity, while perhaps simultaneously giving the economy a lift in its step.
Source: SeattlePI; Photo: AP(Jacquelyn Martin)
3 years ago
8tracks - A Mango app review
3 years ago
Weather Live v3.0 with new Mango features [Video]
Our favorite weather app Weather Live (previous coverage), is about to hit the big v3.0 today. This new version is for the Mango peeps out there, bringing some excellent new functionality to the Metro themed weather program. New features include:
- Multiple locations with secondary tiles (in paid version).
- Display location, next forecast (today or tomorrow) and alerts in the back tiles.
- Background Agent to automatically update locations when you are on the go (in paid version).
As you can see in the video hands on above, the new tiles add some excellent options to the mix and with fast-app resuming and improved Mango scrolling, the app is better than ever. Expect version 3.0 to appear today or tomorrow. You can pick up Weather Live here in the Marketplace (both paid and unlimited trial).
Show More Headlines