3 years ago
Metro UI invades Windows 8
Microsoft turned its attention from the little screen of the Windows Phone to the big screen of the PC today and demoed Windows 8 at the 2011 BUILD developers conference. And it looks awfully familiar.
Microsoft took center stage at the Anaheim, California event highlighting Windows 8 and the new Samsung Windows 8 tablet. Windows 8 is another major overhaul for a Microsoft OS and will offer focus on a touch-based UI that is optimized for tablets and looks really nice.
Steven Sinofsky, President of Microsoft's Windows Division stated in his keynote,
"We reimagined Windows. From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise."
Windows 8 follows the Metro user interface we all have become familiar with through our Windows Phone and the Xbox 360 console. It lines up the PC with the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem rather nicely and will connect the three through Windows Live and Skydrive. Even the lock screen shares the same features of your Windows Phone by displaying the date/time, any upcoming appointments, and unread message summaries.
The Metro UI supports both mouse and keyboard navigation and if the Metro style isn't your cup of tea, you can revert to a more traditional Windows 7 interface.
Microsoft didn't share a release date for Windows 8 but it's our understanding that we should see it sometime mid-2012. A Developer Preview for Windows 8 is expected to be available later this week. It should be interesting to see Metro on the big screen.
Source: Microsoft News Center
3 years ago
HTC Titan shows up for pre-orders
The HTC Titan has popped up on the buymobilephones.net website for pre-order. The 4.7" Windows Tablet...err...Phone is up for pre-order on T-Mobile (Europe), O2 and Vodafone.
Package deals have the Mango phone ranging in price from FREE to 219.99 pounds (about $347 US dollars). While we'd love to see an availability day, the best the website offers is "Stock due soon".
Earlier this week AT&T announced they would be adding the HTC Titan to their Windows Phone line-up and hopefully, "Stock due soon" or similar will be showing up on AT&T's website in the near future. Better yet, I wonder if anyone will be offering it for free here in the States?
Thanks goes out to alexb8 for tipping us via our Twitter page @WPCentral
3 years ago
NoFoto - Mango App Spotlight
Today's Mango App Spotlight focuses on the camera. NoFoto lets you discretely take pictures by replacing your camera software view with a blank screen. To take a picture, just tap on the screen.
NoFoto will then focus the camera and snap the shot. The shutter sound is muted and to confirm the shot, your Windows Phone will vibrate once the picture is taken. A number indicator will appear in the upper left corner of the screen showing how many photos have been taken.
An instructional screen will appear when you fist launch the app. From there you just tap "okay" and start taking photos. If you don't tap okay in a timely manner, the app will shut down. In taking NoFoto out for a short test drive, it works as advertised. If questioned, all someone will see is a blank screen giving your Windows Phone the appearance of being turned off. There were a few times it took the camera a little longer to focus so you have to be care not to move your phone too quickly.
The downside to this Mango app is that there isn't a trial version available for NoFoto. The upside is that the app can come in handy and only costs $.99. You can find NoFoto here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
WhatsApp teasing for Mango release [Updated x2]
Lets face it: there's no real reason why WhatsApp, the super popular proprietary, multii-platform IM system can't come to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. None. They get their database/contact access, runs in the background, push notifications, fast-app resume--everything they need. And with Microsoft going out of their way to woo developers and services, it's not exactly a stretch to think a WhatsApp client is coming this fall.
So when the official WhatsApp Twitter account tweeted "Did you know that mangoes account for approximately half of all tropical fruits produced worldwide?", it's not hard to read between the lines.
Sure, it could be a coincidence. Perhaps they were feeling irreverent today or their Tweet manager has a thing for mangoes, but c'mon, this was a wink and a nod, especially that BUILD is happening right now.
Update: We should note that Bill Cox (Sr. Director of Communications at Microsoft for the Windows Phone Division) and Joe Belfiore have re-Tweeted the @WhatsApp tweet. So there you go.
Update 2: And look at that. In the media section of WhatsApp's website, they have a new "teaser" image up. What's new there of course is the Windows Phone logo. So lets just consider this open/shut. WhatsApp is nearly here. (Thanks, Plaffo.com, for the tip!)
Thanks, michelloyen and Rob, for the heads up
3 years ago
Bing increases search engine market share, ever so slightly
Comscore has released its latest search share data reports and while Google is still tops, they lost a little ground while Bing experienced slight gains.
For the calendar year, Google's market share has hovered around 66% but from July 2011 to August 2011, the share fell 3%. Bing on the other hand peaked in February at 16.1% and experienced a 3% bump between July and August.
Other key points from the Comscore report includes:
- Month of August 2011: U.S. explicit core search was up 9% y/y for the month of August a deceleration from +10% y/y in July. Google search was up 8.1%, Yahoo! up 2% and Microsoft up 44%.
- September Quarter (Quarter over Quarter) Pacing: We examine how the search quarter is pacing after the second month of the quarter. We define pacing as taking the reported period (month of July and August) and dividing it by the monthly average of the previous quarter. To that end, U.S. explicit core search is pacing up 2.7% q/q for 3QTD (vs. +2.8% as of July), with Google up 1.9%, Yahoo! up 4.7% and Microsoft up 5.2%.
While there is definitely room for improvement, the one positive Microsoft can take away from these reports is that there is some growth and Google's share for the market appears to be stalled. I'd be curious to see how much influence our Windows Phones have on Bing's numbers? As Windows Phones starts to muster larger market shares, could Bing see similar increases?
3 years ago
WP8 to share same kernel as Win8, voice integration for email
Stephen Chapman over at ZDnet did some investigating into some Microsoft job postings and employee résumés. What he found was evidence pointing to the possibility of both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 being built on the same kernal.
Résumé of a former Program Manager:
The responsibilities included program managing software update features to provide device update technology that enables end-users to update Windows Phone OS with a new set of phone features including bug fixes. In this role, I delivered a set of functional requirements specifications for the major update components to enable image updates for the next generation Windows Phone OS (aka Apollo). They are Packaging System, Imaging System, Flashing System, Update OS, Update Validator and Update Application. Also drove and tracked early investigations for the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 OS convergence to create Mobile SKUs.
Résumé from a HTC Senior Product Planner:
Owned the advanced planning relationship with Microsoft; drove Microsoft “Apollo” product planning discussion and led HTC cross-division feedback. Identified high potential partners and technologies; initiated/participated in new partnership discussions; ensured the relevant technology integrations and strategic alignment.Restructured communication channel between the planning and field communication team; greatly increased the sell-in material accuracy and increased the overall update rate by 50+% Spearheaded the 2012 Windows mobile phone product roadmap.
Chapman doesn't stop with the above, here's another résumé quote that will be of interest to many users:
Design and development of new features for Windows Phone-8. Implemented the ‘Voice-Compose’ (STT) and the ‘Read-Aloud’ (TTS) features for native email-clients.
Finally, we have a quote from a résumé that lists Windows Phone updates:
Launch readiness for account within region of responsibility (e.g. Mango, Tango1, Tango2, Apollo, etc.)
While the above quotes aren't concrete proof that any of it is true, we can at least speculate that Microsoft are pushing for a unified ecosystem where PCs, tablets and phones all run the same kernal and UI, that they intend to bring voice control to emails and we're already aware of the Tango update being minor so two minor updates seems a possibility.
Source: ZDnet, via: MobileTechWorld
3 years ago
HTC: iPhones are for old people
Now this is pretty interesting, acting president of HTC America, Martin Fichter, said that the Apple iPhone is for old folk at the Mobile Future Forward conference in Seattle. Fichter took an informal survey at his daughter's domitory to see what her friends thought of the iPhone:
"None of them has an iPhone. 'My dad has an iPhone.' There’s an interesting thing that’s going on in the market. The iPhone becomes a little less cool than it was. They were carrying HTCs. They were carrying Samsungs. They were even carrying some Chinese manufacturer’s devices."
While many will dispute this with the iPhone being cool and trendy, I must say that it can be accurate, depending as to where you live. I remember commuting to work daily; bankers and businessmen on the train had iPhones, young women had Blackberries and everyone else had Android handsets. A large proportion of school girls use Blackberry devices, for BBM more than anything else.
What do you think? Are iPhones loosing its 'cool' for the young market?
3 years ago
Palringo app for Windows Phone finally in the works
Users of Windows Mobile will be glad to know that the developers of Palringo have finally acknowledged that they indeed have a Windows Phone app in development.
In a tweet from @sedl23 (who tipped us, thanks!) asking them directly, they responded with an affirmative "Hi, yes we do have a windows phone 7 Palringo app in the works" which is nice and clear, just the way we like it. Of course, there's no mention of a release time frame though maybe we can pry it from them...even if just a guesstimate.
For those wondering what the heck is Palringo, it's a very popular IM service that is both proprietary but also connects up to Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Live Messenger, Jabber, ICQ, iChat and Facebook IM. It even has a "local" feature, allowing you find other Palringo users and since the app is available on Windows Mobile, OSX, iPhone, Android and even Blackberry, it shouldn't be too hard to find peeps.
We're psyched but we'll be even more excited when we hear more--after all, the last time we heard from these guys they said a WP7 port was "likely". But that was in November, 2010.
3 years ago
Early look - Mehdoh Twitter client for Windows Phone 7.5 [Mango]
Although we know a lot of the big Twitter clients out there will be going "Mango" soon, Mehdoh is a completely new Twitter client from developer Chris Field that is Mango-ready out the gate. The app is in the final approval stages for the Marketplace now, meaning it should be showing up any day now.
Mehdoh is a fairly impressive v1.0 client. Featuring background checks for mentions (every 30 minutes), Toast Notifications, flipping live tile (shows your profile pic, along with number of mentions) and adherence to the Metro design, we're quite impressed with this minimalist, yet highly functional app.
In addition to the above, it features a "report spam" selection, conversation view, super smooth scrolling, fast app resume, reTweet with comment and the ability to view web links and images inline with the Tweet--something that is highly useful.
The app does take a little while to update, mostly because it pre-downloads a lot of data, however Chris is looking to tweak this and we can expect it to change upon final release or soon thereafter. Mehdoh will fetch for $0.99 upon release with a free trial. A free, ad-supported version is planned, but not until a decent ad-service for Mango apps can be had in the UK. We recommend for the Mango users out there to give Mehdoh a look, as it's pretty sharp for a v1.0 release from an indy developer. Check out our video preview to get an idea of well it works.
3 years ago
WPCentral Podcast 125
Dan and Jay are back to discuss AT&T's new lineup, Mango madness, new apps, AVG and more. Join us for another exciting podcast.
Full show notes after the break...
3 years ago
Demonstration of Augmented Reality Starter Kit promises easy tools for devs
We're pretty stoked about Mango for many reasons, but a big one is the ability to use augmented reality. LG has already done a great job of doing this last year but their apps are only for their phones. Now with Mango and the upcoming AR Starter Kit, third party developers will get access to all the tools to enable them to create some killer apps.
The best part about these tools, once again, is Microsoft's emphasis on simplicity. With as little as six-lines of code, developers can begin to make their own AR layers to existing apps. All the sensors are handled for them and there's a "drag and drop" design. What this means for consumers is obvious: more apps of higher quality. Devs won't have to spend hours thinking of how to implement AR but rather can focus on other things, like design, utility and execution. We can't wait.
The kit will be put up on Codeplex as soon as some internal review process is complete.
Source: YouTube (jbienzms); via @mckhendry
3 years ago
Nokia Windows Phone still on track for early 2012?
While release dates for the Nokia Windows Phone have never been set in stone, the strong school of thought has been to look at early 2012 for the Sea Ray to hit the market. This line of thought was confirmed recently. In an interview with the Australian website WP7R, when questioned about the release of the Sea Ray Nokia in Australia replied,
"We won't be releasing a Nokia on Windows Phone until Q1 of next year. Can't be more specific than that sorry!"
This joins the long line of indicators pointing to 2012 that include Nokia CEO Stephen Elop stating, "We'll be shipping in volume in 2012" and Nokia tweeting similar. We still have the where and with whom that has to be answered. Plus it would be nice if eventually the Q1 2012 time frame could be narrowed down a bit.
Regardless, this latest blip seems to confirm that Sea Ray fans still a have a bit of a wait to endure.
source: Wp7r Thanks xlri for the tip!
3 years ago
Timer - Mango App Spotlight
Here's a handy utility for your Windows Phone. Timer is a Mango App over at the Marketplace that allows you to create and set countdown timers that will run in the background on your phone.
The interface is straight forward with two preset, customizable timers already present. You can modify each timer by tapping on the display and edit the time duration and/or description. To add more timers, tap the "+" button at the bottom and create away. Once your ready to use a particular timer, just tap the toggle switch and go about your business. The alarm will ring, regardless of your phone's volume settings, and give you the option of snoozing or dismissing the alarm.
Timer is a simple app that can be used in a bunch of ways. Need an exercise timer? In the kitchen, would multiple timers help keep track of everything on the stove? Trying to limit the kids video game time? Need to time yourself during practice exams?
Timer is a free application and you can find it over here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. Keep in mind, this is a Mango app and you'll need Mango on your phone to use it.
3 years ago
HTC considering buying OS of its own
HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang told the China's Economic Observer that the device manufacturer is considering purchasing a mobile phone operating system that it can use as its own. The possibility is there, but it is nowhere near becoming a reality. “We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse,” Wang said in an interview.
It may come as a surprise that a company which has seen so much success building devices with third-party operation systems (Android and Windows Phone) would be possibly seeking to obtain one of their own. However, if you follow recent trends of Nokia pairing off with Microsoft and Google buying Motorola Mobility, HTC might be looking for a little insurance that they won't be left out in the cold as a manufacturer with no OS. Even Samsung, whose bread and butter is Android and Windows devices has their own proprietary operating system, bada.
If HTC does decide to go the route of their own OS, it's still unlikely that they will completely drop the third-party ones that have rocketed them to the heights of the mobile phone market. Still, it might be cool to see a "HTC Sense" phone, or the acquisition of webOS by a company that could actually make it successful.
Source: Focus Taiwan; Via: Mashable
3 years ago
HTC Radar shows up on Orange UK
The HTC Radar has made its way onto UK mobile site Orange UK in the "Coming Soon" section. While no timeline is given for availability, it is a good sign that release is imminent. With a 3.8" screen, 1GHz processor, and 5MP camera, it is meant to be a lower-price point to its overgrown counterpart, the Titan, and was shown to be a little behind it when the two were put through their paces recently. That being said, the Radar still proved to be a pretty nice addition to the HTC WP7 lineup when we took a look at it hands-on.
Source: OrangeUK (Thanks for the tip, Alex!)
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