Due to having no sockets support, multitasking or the ability to run native code, companies like Skype and Viber are sitting on the sidelines, preventing any true VOIP application on Windows Phone 7. So leave it up to someone at XDA to try and do it themselves instead!
Developer Jefis posted this today about the project:
Hello there fellow developers. I recently made quite a progress in developing skype for WP7.
I want to share my current progress with you, so maybe someone will want to join this little project, which, in future will be released for free, and probably with source code .
I'm not designer, as you will see from the screenshots, but, if you are, and want to join this effort in making skype, contact me asap.
Current status of project: Working contacts + ability to chat. Nothing more.
Sounds like along way to go, but even offering direct Skype chat via a client would be a welcomed addition to the homebrew community. The project is still in early stages, but we know people have been hacking away at sockets support in the community, so anything is possible.
On the one hand, we hate concept videos only because they seem to promise more than they can deliver--it's like a big tease. On the other hand, it's nice to think big and push the boundaries a bit as it stirs innovation, design and hopefully real applications.
The above video, which is extremely well produced, was a project by Luca Trinchero (who sent this in to us) and Gianvito Toscano at the Polytechnic of Milan in 2010 and it's of a concept app called 24 Seven (catchy!). It looks like a combo of Groupon and ShopSavvy, presenting deals to you on the go, the ability to scan barcodes for price comparison and evidently a way for your roommate or partner to update your grocery list remotely (that last part is pretty darn brilliant).
Finally, the app appears to total your groceries (because you were scanning each one) and you pay using the phone. We're already seeing something like that at Stop & Shop here in the States, where they let you scan, bag and pay for your items all on your own--so very feasible. The would-be developers do tell us "..maybe we will develop it, stay tuned!"
Designed by Lee Whitington, there are three choices: black icons with transparency, color icons solid black, or color icons with transparency (see above). To get the transparent ones, remember you'll need to email them to yourself and not save to the device, but use as Wallpaper directly.
An obvious next step for the app would be for Xbox LIVE support--after all it already has great asynchronous game play/multiplayer support, push updates and is just a solid app. But not many games have gone from non-Xbox status to Xbox LIVE certified--actually we can't think of any. That's because to get that coveted status, you need to do a lot of collaboration with Microsoft and meet their very high standards to get access to the LIVE universe.
Will AlphaJax be the first to transition? We don't know but on their Facebook page, they strongly hint at the possibility. When asked about Xbox LIVE support they responded with "stay tuned...!"
Oh we will, we will. Thanks, Ricardo Dawkins for the tip
One current limitation of Windows Phone 7 is the inability to download and manage podcasts on your device over-the-air. Awhile back we reported on a free app called simply Podcasts! which at least allowed you to stream any podcast, though not save. The app worked very well, but if you didn't want to use your precious 3G data minutes, then you were out of luck.
BringCast ($1.99, trial available) gets around this by finally allowing you to download audio and video podcasts. The selection of 'casts is limited but that's fine as you can request your favorite to be added and more importantly, you can type in the RSS URL or OMPL file to import your selection.
The app worked flawlessly on our end, though sometimes it was a bit stuttery on screen transitions. Still, for a v1.0 app we really have no complaints--the download screen is nice, it integrates with Zune's history and we dig the "what's new" screen. Pretty solid. The trial is fully functional except you get a nag screen on 1st launch and you are limited to any three feeds--but that's more than enough to tell you if it's worth the $1.99. Grab it here in the Marketplace.
The team is of course under an agreed to non-disclosure agreement (NDA) so whatever details they can share are somewhat vague. But here's what we know:
They're "genuinely excited by many of the forward-looking presentations. We can only hope they come to fruition as soon as possible."
ChevronWP7 "...will work with Microsoft towards long-term solutions that support mutual goals of broadening access to the platform while protecting intellectual property and ensuring platform security."
And perhaps most importantly, we know that the unlocking tool will be disabled with the upcoming NoDo update--but they are "collaborating with Microsoft on an interim solution that will continue to support homebrew developments after the update.". No details were given on what exactly that means, but will be forthcoming. Some other information gleaned: no, your Xbox LIVE accounts won't be banned for using and unlocker and Rafael Rivera at least seems confident that we'll like the "short term stuff".
In addition, the team was able to play with and test the new update, confirming that the unlocker doesn't work and managed to receive some Asus E600 developer phones for their trouble.
In summary, while we only have some vague notion of feelings on the matter given from the team, it as least sounds as if they are satisfied and that Microsoft is working on some sort of "solution" to the homebrew question, something we vigorously support.
When we first mentioned AlphaJax, a scrabble-type word game for Windows Phone 7, there were a few comments suggesting we take a look at another word game, Spell It!. Well, who are we to shy away from a request.
Over the past few days, we took both out for a test drive to see if there was a clear cut choice between AlphaJax and Spell It! The game premise of both are virtually the same but are there enough differences that may give one an edge over the other? To find out what we thought, ease on past the break.
Can't decide between WP7 and Android? Thanks to some of the minds at XDA, now you don't have, if you have an HTC HD2. Due to limitations in both operating systems, WP7 will reside in NAND memory and Android will be booted from an SD card.
Here's what you will need for the recommended method:
16GB microSD card (this will be your everyday card)
8GB microSD card (this will be used to create a second partition on the larger card)
One thing people love doing is turning their phones into virtual Swiss Army knives and one way of doing that is making it an bedside alarm clock.
Nite Buddy caught our attention because it's free (ad supported), automatically fetches weather (GPS), has adjustable brightness, colors and overall looks pretty nice. Plus it just works so well with the HD7 or Surround's kick-stand feature. Of course when running, it will keep the screen on, so make sure you're plugged in if you want to make it till morning.
Have you ever considered the possibility of a comedy sketch covering Blackberry, Orange, Apple, Windows and the Xbox 360? The One Ronnie, a fantastic British comedy sketch show from the BBC with Ronnie Corbett has done just this. Turning 80 in December 2010, Ronnie is a comic legend and has appeared alongside the top names in the industry.
In one clip, he is joined by Harry Enfield. Doing what they do best, they cover the technological category of personal computers and mobile phones. Although Windows Phone 7 isn't mentioned (probably for the best), the sheer comedy value of the amusement the products from Microsoft, Apple, RIM and Orange play host to is worth every second.
It's already been noted and made aware of, that Microsoft has poorly established their Windows Phone 7 and Zune services around the world (lucky for some, eh America?). To easily display how limited some countries are with support of Microsoft's mobile platform-based services, Andrew Birch has produced a matrix displaying what is available where.
It's actually fairly disturbing once you have a good read through the table (click the image to enlarge it). The US has complete access to all features offered, which is understandable being the land of Microsoft. UK and France are next up more access than the compared list. However, podcasts and TV is presented to be solely available to the American user base (strange when podcasts are freely available). Let us not even dare to analyze poor Canada.
This seems pretty confusing for many, sure the platform is still new and coming together nicely, plus some advancements in international monopoly may occur around the time of the proposed software update time of arrival, but I can't help thinking "why release a system that many can't use properly?". To prevent more negativity presenting itself in the harshest way, Microsoft really needs to combat their Zune, WP7 and Xbox Live deployment across the globe.
But what am I saying? Competitors have this problem, and many companies in other markets experience the same barrier. It will take time for services and features to open up. It would make sense if Microsoft were waiting for demand to reach minimal levels before taking the leap, but how would the demand rise if services aren't readily available for hardware to take advantage of?
MyBookie has been available over at the Marketplace for about a month now bringing the world of sports betting to your Windows Phone. There is a trial version available, the paid version will run you $1.99 and now there is a free Lite version available.
The Lite version has all the functionality of the paid version except it's ad supported and you have a lower daily betting cap. The Lite Version shares the Facebook integration, just like the full version, allowing you to compete against your Facebook friends, access the game through Facebook and share your bets for payout bonuses on your Facebook Wall.
Hundreds of thousands in virtual cash have been wagered on real world sporting events through MyBookie since its release. We liked what we saw when we reviewed MyBookie and found it to be an entertaining way to dabble in sports wagering without loosing your shirt.
If the $1.99 price tag has you sitting on the fence, the Lite Version might be the solution you're looking for. You can download MyBookie Lite here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace.
Previously, we looked at how one can getting touch about Microsoft and provide feedback about their Widnows Phone 7 experience. There hasn't been a clear located channel for the community to focus suggestions and feedback, but a survey has popped up from @windowsphone on Twitter.
The first question you are faced with is (quite obviously) querying if you actually own a Windows phone, and if so what platform you currently use. Selecting Windows Phone 7 will bring you to a table where you rate (out of 5) the level of influence that particular feature had on your purchase decision.
The beauty of this survey comes after you have selected the choices and move onto the second half of the form - "What, if anything, would you change about your Windows Phone 7?” As many have stated over at the XDA Developer forum, this is a perfect opportunity to release the ranting anger inside of you about some missing functions and features. As much detail as you can provide, or a simple list will suffice.
Once complete, you receive a love note from the big MS "Thank you for taking our survey. Your response is very important to us.", you're very welcome. Take this survey at surveygizmo.
We've had a few requests to take a look at Twitt 2.0 a newly updated Twitter application in the Marketplace. Reason? There are two: it costs $0.99 when most Twitter apps are free and there's no trial. So naturally people want us to trial it for them and we're more than glad to take a bullet for you folks (cough, Daily Show app, cough).
The short of it is: it has pros and it has cons and whether or not it's right for you will depend on what features you feel are important. Vague, eh? Just watch the video and you'll see what we mean.
Twitt can be bought through the Marketplace right here.