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3 years ago

iPhone dev praises Windows Phone SDK, prefers it to Android

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One of Microsoft's angles for leveraging better smartphone market share is to lure iOS developers to Windows Phone (see their API mapping tool). Although they would prefer such devs to completely switch, just getting them to co-develop would be a 'win' in many ways.

In that case, it'a always interesting to see Windows Phone development from the iPhone side. We've seen this before in a head to head developer contest (see here) and now we hear it form Steve Troughton-Smith, who makes numerous apps for the iPhone, including Orbit, Stack, Grace, Lights Off, SameGame, Speed, Nuker, Chalk and Doom. He even helped crack Airplay for third party apps a few months ago. In other words, he's rather prominent.

Via a recent Tweet, he's evidently toying with Windows Phone development and had this to say on the matter:

The more I make things with the WP7 SDK, the more I like it. I feel safe writing all the XAML from scratch

...I'd certainly prefer it to Android's SDK

We're sure that's the exact response Brandon Watson and his team would want from an iOS developer, so it's good to hear. It's also good to hear that such a developer is tinkering with WP7--judging by his past releases, we'd love to see what this man can do on our platform.

Source: Twitter 1, 2; Thanks, Rene Ritchie of our sister-site TiPb, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Create a full Portal 2 theme on your Windows Phone [For Science]

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A few weeks ago, we covered those sweet Portal 2 wallpapers which combined the awesome transparency effect with an awesome game. Now, thanks to the site Conflicting Gamers, you can go further with that whole Portal 2 look.

There are two parts to this theme:

  1. Pin a favorite image (from a website) to the Start Menu
  2. Set background image for your Photos hub

The first part we covered in our tutorial here--basically you zoom on an appropriately sized image, pin to Start screen and you now have a pretty pic on your phone. The second just involves setting the default pic as your background image for the Photo hub, also covered here in the past (neat trick that many don't know about).

The downside of this? Well, at least for part 1, you're basically creating "dummy" tiles that don't do anything except look cool. For some of our more OCD-inclined readers, that's a no-go. But hey, if you can look past it this one time, your phone will look as snazzy as the pic above. The second part has no side effects outside of making you look like a gaming dork, but we're okay with that.

After the break, check our Conflicting Gamers video on how to do the Start tiles. You'll want to have their article on the topic opened on your phone to play along (linked here and below).

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3 years ago

Press shots of Verizon HTC Trophy get leaked

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Although we've seen actual pics of the Verizon Trophy in use, including screen shots of the OS, these leaked but "official" press shots of the upcoming Verizon HTC Trophy just back up the idea that this baby is close to launch. What with the Best Buy mention, reorganizing of their forums, employee training and then it finally popping up online, you know it's just around the corner.

In fact we're still hearing May 12th as the date for either the launch or shipping, something PocketNow has evidently corroborated. Of course, like all things, it can slip a bit, but we've never seen this phone come so close before.  Few more days. folks, just a few more days.

Source: Pocketnow. Thanks, Maxwell, for the heads up

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3 years ago

'Walshed' Phones potential cause and fix posted by user

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A registered member over at the XDA Devloper forums has posted a potential fix to the problem caused by the Chevronwp7.Updater, which leaves devices in an un-updatable state.  This has been posted by a user who has no other posts on the forum, it hasn't been recommended by Chris Walsh and isn't an official response from Microsoft.  We must urge you guys who are still awaiting the fix to hold off from attempting the below explanation.  But for conversations sake, we saw the need to share.

To see what ahodes posted in the thread, head on past the break.

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3 years ago

Phonealytics Live Tile [How to]

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Phonealytics Live Tile [How to]

Whether you're a web developer with multiple websites or an avid blogger who enjoys stalking your readers, Analytics by Google is a fantastic offering for statistical analysis. Phonealytics for Windows Phone 7 is a great tool to use while mobile and no computer is at hand (since WP7 doesn't support flash to render graphs etc.)

I've been using this app since late last year and I really enjoy the features and UI - it's really intuitive with the Metro usage. Not only this, but it features live tile support (yay!), which I use very heavily for quick glancing at any set website profile I wish to keep a close eye on. Sometimes the tile doesn't work or update properly and I had a hard time understanding why until I pinned the problem to my Google account not signing in. Should the live tile cease to work, have a look at the in-app settings to see if you're logged in to Google.

An easy 3 step guide to configuring the live tile:

  1. Open Phonealytics, press the cog icon (settings) in the menu bar. 
  2. Check "Login Status" to make sure your account is logged in.
  3. Swipe to the left to configure the live tile and turn it on.

Should you need to check your login status if the tile isn't updating or working, simply go to settings and press "Login" if your login status is reporting "not logged in".

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3 years ago

Train Travel app now sports a live tile

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The National Rail app (Train Travel), which is perfect for any commuter in UK, has been updated to 1.5. The changelog lists live tile support and Twitter integration as the two alterations in this version, coupled with improved help and tutorials.

The live tile can display any journey you've planned by saving any given timetable. The depart time (and date) is then displayed as well as the station codes. I did a test run with Shoeburyness (SRY) to London Fenchurch Street (FST) and the tile updated within moments as well as displaying the time we expect to arrive at the destination.

The app can be downloaded for a hefty £4.99, but is surely worth it if (like me) you use the trains a lot. Head on over to the Marketplace to purchase Train Travel (opens Zune).

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3 years ago

Red Gate Software's WP7 competition winners announced

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The winners (and 5 runners up) have been announced in the Red Gate Software's developer competition sporting $10,000 per winning developer as prize, while runners up earned an impressive $1,000 each. 

Richard Fennell's TFS Build Status Monitor is first listed as a winning application, which enable users to keep tabs on their Team Foundation Server. Simon McKenzie's MapSnap GPS is next up, which allows users to turn any picture into a GPS-enabled portable map. Finally, Pocket C# by Mark Rendle is the third winner, this app gives C# developers the ability to manipulate code using WP7.

Runners up were as follows:

  • Jason Doucette for Decimation X2, a retro shooter game;
  • Sergei Golubev for the marketplace-monitoring AppTracker;
  • Rudy Huyn for a design-rich RSS feed reader called Fuse;
  • Stuart Lodge for the Ruby language scripting app Iron7; and
  • Gergely Orosz for Cocktail Flow, a cocktail recipe app.

Co-CEO of Red Gate, Neil Davidson commented that they're "delighted by the response from the .NET development community and thank Microsoft for its support in promoting and helping to judge the competition. The third ecosystem Microsoft is building provides a huge opportunity for .NET developers to use their skills to develop mobile tools that the community will love."

Congratulations to all entrants and the winners listed above.

Source: Red Gate

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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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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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