3 years ago
More Windows Phone 7.5 features: SmartDJ & disable camera sound
On Sunday, when the Windows Phone Dev Podcast aired, co-hosts Ryan & Travis Lowdermilk mentioned they had a few more screen leaked shots of Windows Phone 7.5 aka 'Mango'. However, instead of just releasing them, they wanted to verify and go over them a bit.
Flash forward to today and they've posted new pics depicting two new features which should make folks happy:
Smart DJ - Found on the ol' Zune HD, it's described as thus "If you have a Zune Pass, you'll hear a mix of music from your collection and from the Zune catalog if you're near a known wireless network. Otherwise, if you don't have a Zune Pass or if you aren't near a known wireless network, the Smart DJ mix will just include songs from your own music collection.". Basically it rivals iTunes Genius and is something us Zune'ers have been wanting for awhile. (For a good 'versus' article, see Gounce's iTunes vs Zune piece).
Disable the camera shutter sound - pretty self explanatory, we can finally disable the ever so loud (and annoying) camera shutter noise. Hooray for spy shots!
Combine with all the other features we've heard so far, Windows Phone 7.5 seems to be going a long way in fixing/augmenting the OS in all the right ways.
Source: Windows Phone Dev Podcast
3 years ago
The 'USA Today' devs talk about their new WP7 app
We mentioned the official USA Today app a few days ago and really liked it's graphics--it's bright, eye catching and just plain nice to look at. Currently sitting with 4.5 stars in the Marketplace, it's also been getting rave reviews from regular users like yourself.
So it's nice to see that the developers speak on the process and what it was like making the app. As it turns out, USA Today didn't farm out app development but did it all in-house by USA Today.com TechLabs:
My group is particularly proud of this launch because the app was conceived, designed and developed entirely in-house. The designers and developers on this project spent a lot of time trying to get our app to feel just right with the unique but compelling Windows Phone "Metro" interface. We think we got there and, in the process, became quite enamored with the platform. Who knows, there may be more apps coming soon on this platform ;-). [Emphasis, ours]
The Windows Phone 7 development experience itself was an enjoyable one. Our Digital Development group has primarily been a C# ASP/.NET shop over the years. As we approached WP7, we were able to hit the ground running thanks to our familiarity of the Visual Studio development environment. The Silverlight for Windows Phone toolkit and the fast emulator that comes with it made it easy to get up and running with little Silverlight experience.
They also go on to praise the Siverlight community and overall seem really pleased both with the process and the outcome. Perhaps a lesson for other newspapers or companies? Oh and you can download said app right here.
Source: USAToday.com TechLabs; via Steve Clayton (Twitter)
3 years ago
L.A. Noire wallpaper and theme for Windows Phone
We first made mention of Conflicting Gamers when they introduced the Portal 2 Transparent Wallpaper for the Windows Phone. They have now released another lock screen and theme based on the new Xbox 360 game, L.A. Noire.
There are eight wallpapers in the L.A. Noire collection and you can download them all here. From there all you need to do is unzip the file, email the wallpapers of your choice to yourself, open the email on your Windows Phone and download the image. From there, just tap to open the image, touch-hold and choose "use as wallpaper".
Along with the transparent lock screen, the L.A. Noire theme also includes live tiles and picture hub backgrounds. You can use the live tiles to customize your Windows Phone just like we saw with the Portal 2 tiles. You can find out more on the tiles and picture hub background here.
I have admit the gangster/detective theme does look nice.
Thanks goes out to SeNiLe911 for the tip!
3 years ago
Tonido - App Spotlight
Ever have the need to access your computer files from your Windows Phone while on the go? If so, Tonido is being offered over at the Marketplace that might be of some help.
You'll need to download and install Tonido for Windows on to your PC (there's also a USB Portable Edition as well as a Mac version). You then establish a username and password on your computer, install the Windows Phone app, and then you'll have access to your computers files, photos, and media content.
Key features include:
- Browse your folders and files in your PC, Mac, Linux Computers from everywhere using WP7 Smartphones
- Stream Music from your PC to WP7 SmartPhone
- Open many popular file formats like like Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF
- Quickly browse your pictures
- Download Media Files and Play Offline
- Tonido gives you direct access to your files and doesn't upload anything to the cloud.
Tonido is a free application and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Organise your start screen live tiles [How To]
We have come across some seriously awesome images that have been pre-made and are ready to rumble. One can save these images on their Windows Phone 7 as tiles and then organize them in such a way that tiles could appear to be grouped. A simple idea and quick edits that can make a huge difference. The default template is provided by David McCanless and Roger Peters.
This follows on from our tutorial on how to save pictures as seperate tiles on your device, along with coverage on apps in the Marketplace that perform this operation without any manual editing. If you check our tutorial you could even take this one step further with the arrangement and categorization of your home screen with changing the text, colours and whatnot.
To make things even more "OMG THIS IS L337!" for you, we have edited the images and added colors to the text which match themes loaded on the platform. Feel free to download the live tool separators and go wild.
3 years ago
Get free advertising for an app [Developers]
Fancy getting some free advertising from Microsoft for an app you've developed? Simply publish five new Windows Phone 7 applications to the Marketplace by June 30th with the entry code you receive from entering this competition and you will receive 25,000 impressions of free mobile advertising for the app of your choice (from the ones you submit).
The 25,000 impressions equal to approximately 60 days of promotion and the prize limit is 200, so be sure to enter quickly and get your apps submitted. Please note that this is only available for the US. You can receive up to four prizes so you could end up with 100,000 impressions available (25,000 for four of your apps). If you receive more than one prize, one app will have it's 25k worth of promotion each month from June onwards.
Source: WindowsPhone7 Event, via: WMPU
3 years ago
Windows Phone Summary of the Week: May 9-15, 2011
This has been a relatively busy week with some huge announcements being published - namely the purchase of Skype by Microsoft coupled by an analyst confirming the prediction of WP7 taking over Android by 2013. We've been following the Verizon Trophy with hawk eyes and have been relaying the teasing changes made at Best Buy's website and Xbox releasing the theme and gamer picture pack.
Gaming wise we've seen some issues with the Marketplace not updating quick enough for gamers to take advantage of the Harvest's sale and price drop of Monkey Ball. Oh, and Pac-Man is coming soon, or do you fancy Lunar Lander more?
More information has arisen surrounding Mango, specifically Bing and Windows Live Messenger and the rumor that Microsoft will bring video voice mail to the platform. Ah, aspiring Developers have also been in the spotlight for some love from an MVP and some hackathons/meetups being arranged.
Advertising wise with PPC/CTR, things have been looking up for publishers who take on in-app advertisements to gain some revenue with the click through rates for banners being above all other platforms. This still remains to be debated against charging for the app upfront, however. So a good week for our beloved OS, the only way is up, up and away.
Head on past the break for links to our highlights.
3 years ago
Parcel Tracker gets a Live Tile/Notifications for your shipments
Last we covered the app 'Package Tracker' a simple but colorful program that allowed you to input a package tracking number and then enabled you check its status. We gave the app some great praise, mostly due to the UI and ease of use (plus, you can basically use it for free if you track less than 3 packages at a time).
However, its competition, 'Parcel Tracker' (see review) has added a killer feature: push notifications and a live tile. That makes Parcel Tracker a more "set it and forget it" app because now it'll notify you every time the shipment gets updated.
We've been using it for the last few days and it's worked pretty solidly for us, giving us a nice counter for missed notifications and in general, makes tracking our packages that much easier. Parcel Tracker is also better for international users because it has way more carriers available (of which you can disable for a shorter list, natch).
The app does fetch for $1.29 so we still like 'Package Tracker' for those of you who only use these kinds of things on occasion. But for those of us with Amazon Prime (hallelujah!), you'll probably want to give 'Parcel Tracker' and its push notifications a trial. Keep in mind though, the developer of 'Package Tracker' has said live tiles/notifications for his app may come as well. We'll keep an eye out. Grab 'Parcel Tracker' here.
3 years ago
More WP 7.5 features: Lync, Threaded and pinned email
We're digging this pattern of leak on Sunday, more news on Monday thing, in regarding our super-massive Windows Phone 7.5/'Mango' update coming this fall.
As if yesterday's news wasn't enough, yes there's more as revealed today by the Windows Phone Blog called "Productivity takes a big step forward in Mango". The post highlights a few new business/corporate features that will sure make users even more happy, including:
- Pinnable email folders: Pin a folder to the start screen for quick access. This could be an email folder for a specific project, from a specific group or person (like your boss), or an RSS feed you’ve set up in Outlook.
- Conversation view in email: Emails in your inbox are organized by conversation, bringing replies to a thread into a consolidated view so it’s faster and easier to stay on top of the conversation.
- Server search: Search your email server (e.g. Exchange Server) for older emails no longer stored on your phone, giving you ready access to all of your mail.
- Lync: Lync Mobile brings the Lync experience to Windows Phone customers by delivering Unified Communications capabilities, including instant messaging and the ability to see the presence of your co-workers. The Lync app will be a free download from Windows Phone Marketplace and will be enabled with support from your business organization.
- Complex (alpha-numeric) password support
- Information Rights Management
- Support for access to hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks
And guess what? They're still not done with all the new features in WP7.5, meaning we can expect further info coming in the next few months. Plus we're getting a "VIP early look" at Mango next week, with hopefully some hands on...
Source: Windows Phone Blog
3 years ago
Microsoft set to buy Nokia? [Rumor] [Updated]
I wonder if we could have a drum roll implemented which would start as soon as you read an article such as this. This is to be treated as a big fat, yet juicy, rumor. Eldar Murtazin (a well respected leakster - see his rumor for Nokia to use WP7) has just landed one helluva mind blow with the claim that Microsoft and Nokia could look to merge.
According to Eldar, both parties are to sit around a table with jugs of gin and discuss the potential takeover, which is said to be desired ASAP by Nokia. People believed that Skype was a massive deal, wait until they see a concrete seal between the largest software company and the giant in mobile hardware, if it happens. Note that both are currently in a partnership with Nokia to provide hardware for the WP7 ship.
On a more hypothetical note, this would be an incredible advancement for WP7. If anything, Microsoft could begin tailor making their own branded device(s) for the operating system. Not sure how that would play out with other manufacturers still on the WP7 bandwagon who have given Microsoft the momentum they needed with the launch of their platform, not to mention how committed they are.
So what do you think of this rumor, and the possible merge? Check the source below for a translated version of the original article.
Update: And here's a biggy, Mark Squires who's Nokia's Comms Director, has actually responded: "We typically don’t comment on rumors. But we have to say that Eldar’s rumors are getting obviously less accurate with every passing moment." Ba-zing. That is certainly a rebuke and raises the question of why anyone would listen to such a hack like Murtazin in the first place? (Oh right...we can't retract this whole post). Thanks, dropqube, for the heads up
Source: Eldar Murtazin, via: PocketNow
3 years ago
Get your WP7 developer unlocked for free
We've covered quite a few events, tutorials and whatnots where Windows Phone 7 owners are able to get their devices unlocked - be it through homebrew or via the official channel with developer subscription. We've now received word from a reader who explained how signing up to DreamBuildPlay will provide you with a year developer trial, which you can use to unlock your device once you've passed authentication.
We've just tried this out for ourselves, but unfortunately we weren't given a redemption code to use for a 12 month trial with AppHub. While this competition has unfortunately filled up its redeem code limit, we urge everyone to keep the lookout for other events that offer a free developer subscription, should you be looking to unlock your device without paying the $90.
Thanks for the tip TrentTech!
3 years ago
USB storage tool turns your WP7 into an accessible storage device
One of the joys I had with my HTC Hero was the data storage functionality presently available right out the box with Android - something I would have missed at that time in Windows Phone 7 should it have popped up. We have now learned of a tool by MarcHoover, which allows both locked and unlocked devices to register as storage devices and enables users to drag-and-drop files.
The beauty of this tool is that (as stated above) it doesn't require any manual registry hacking and is reported to work on locked devices. So, even if you choose not to go down the Chevron route a while back, you'll be able to reap the benefits here while still being restricted with further access. Check out the development thread for support and more information.
Source: XDA Developer Forum, via: WMPU
3 years ago
Best of Smartphone Experts, 15 May 2011
3 years ago
Occupied - App Spotlight
Here's an odd little game for your Windows Phone. Occupied has you assuming the role of the Head of Restroom Optimization. You need to direct patrons to the appropriate airport restroom before their flights depart.
Just drag the male/female symbol to the respective restroom for that particular gender. Sounds easy enough, right?
To help add to the games difficulty, there will be times when the restroom signs switch around, children symbols will begin to wander on their own into the wrong restroom, as well as that pesky timer that you are up against. Occupied has five difficulty levels; Impossible, Hard, Normal, Easy and Girly. As you progress with the levels of each difficulty the game, naturally, becomes more challenging.
Occupied is ad-supported with a small banner ad running along the bottom of the screen. In tinkering with Occupied for just a short time, I found it to be an entertaining, frustratingly addictive game. A game that really requires your undivided attention.
Occupied is a free game for your Windows Phone and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
The Onion 7 - Review
Show More Headlines