3 years ago
Microsoft looking to maintain Marketplace quality, notes four areas of concern
We all want to see quality apps and games in the Windows Phone Marketplace. With that in mind Microsoft is working to beef up the enforcement of existing policies to keep the "quality bar" high with the Marketplace. While policy compliance will be expected across the board, Microsoft notes four areas where the concern is slightly higher.
Trademarks: While trademark complaint investigations find that the violation is unintentional, most can be avoided. Microsoft reminds developers to do their due diligence in researching any potential trademark issues. Resource suggestions from Microsoft include the Marketplace's content policy and the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office.
Bulk Publishing: We've seen plenty of bulk publishing where developers submit hundreds of similar apps with slightly different titles. While Microsoft has reduced the number of titles a developer can submit per day, they are still seeing violations.
Developers are submitting the same app to multiple Marketplace categories (a policy violation). Microsoft's position, if a developer submits the same app to multiple categories, the app will be pulled from the Marketplace.
The other issue on bulk publishing that Microsoft brings up is duplicating the Marketplace title image with closely related apps. The title images can not be duplicate or near duplicates of each other. They use this as an example of what isn't acceptable title images.
Keywords: Marketplace policy allows for a developer to submit five keywords for an app. The keywords are short phrase or word to help describe the app and helps with... well... keyword searches.
Some developers are violating this policy by submitting more than five keywords. Microsoft is beginning to enforce this policy not only with the number of words but also the relevancy of the words (for example using Skydrive for a recipe app). Any app with more than five keywords will have all the keywords deleted. Any keyword not relevant to the app will be deleted.
Content Policy: This may be the most challenging area for Microsoft to control. What some may see as acceptable, others may see it as inappropriate. Here's Microsoft's approach:
Our content policies are clearly spelled out: we don’t allow apps containing “sexually suggestive or provocative” images or content. What we do permit is the kind of content you occasionally see on prime-time TV or the pages of a magazine’s swimsuit issue.
Microsoft will begin reviewing Marketplace apps with respect to icons, titles and the content of the apps. They will be looking for more "subtle and modest" imagery and wording. Here are a few tile images that would pass certification:
Content not meeting the standards will need to be modified or pulled from the Marketplace. Microsoft will begin reaching out to developers with more specific details on how to get apps within compliance.
It's nice to see Microsoft continue to take steps to maintain the quality of apps and games we find on the Marketplace. Should you run across Marketplace listings that violate Marketplace policies, you can report them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the URL with details of the issue and Microsoft will investigate.
Source: Windows Team Blog; Thanks, Sabita, for the tip!
3 years ago
Windows Phone App Review: iClone
3 years ago
Windows Phone App Review: WeeMee
3 years ago
Folders for Windows Phone version 1 released (Homebrew)
Windows Phone Hacker has published an announcement on the blog detailing the version 1.0 release of Folders for Windows Phone, a homebrew app that enables users to create folders for apps, and more. We previously looked at the app while it was in development, starting off as a concept that took off with community interest.
Some notable changes in version 1.0:
Bug fixes / UI changes
One application for all - enable root privileges for application selection, otherwise Marketplace searching will be used
Added tilt effect in folders
Pin folders to your start menu (root only - experimental)
Check out the video below for a quick introduction. You can download Folder for Windows Phone from the Windows Phone Hacker website.
Source: Windows Phone Hacker
3 years ago
Windows Phone Summary of the Week: April 23 - 29 2012
It's Sunday, which means it's time for the WPCentral Windows Phone summary of the week. In this weekly recap we cover the news that matters most to you and combine all the headlines into one digestible article. But before we head into the summary itself, we've got a few WPCentral related headlines to advertise. First up is our Windows Phone community. The forums is a superb place to meet other owners and join in the latest hot topics.
After purchasing your shiny new Windows Phone; what apps are worth downloading for photo editing and whatnot? Our George Ponder takes a look at the top photography apps for your handset. Episode 144 of the WPCentral Podcast has gone live, which has our Daniel Rubino, Jay Bennett, and Rafael Rivera discussing stormtroopers and the cloud. Enough of us, head on past the break for the full summary.
3 years ago
Nokia Lumia 900 Dicota case giveaway
We've got three Dicota Hard Shell cases for the Nokia Lumia 900 sitting around collecting dust and felt it was time for a giveaway contest.
Keeping things simple, if you are using a Lumia 900 and have a case to recommend, sound off in the comments. Be it a belt case, shell case, one of those bumper cases that Nokia is offering or if you prefer pocket carry, let us know that as well.
We'll give it twenty four hours (May 1, 2012 at 9:00am CST) and then randomly pick three comments as winners to receive the Dicota hard shell case. You'll need to be registered to be eligible to win and that easy process can be found here and there are no residency restrictions.
Good luck everyone!
3 years ago
Monday Brief: WWDC Sells Out, Waiting for BlackBerry World, the Galaxy S3, and more!
3 years ago
From the Forums: New applications this week
We are taking a look at some of this week’s new applications posted in our Applications Spotlight forum. What are these spotlight forums? They are our forums area we dedicated to developers. It’s a place for developers to pimp their new apps.
Gym PocketGuide - 70+ workouts all with HQ guides from Bodybuilding.com - This is what Dominic_W has to say about his app:
“Hey everyone, I recently found a passion for making WP7 apps so I thought why not combine it with my other interest, going to the gym. I wanted to make a quality app for fellow users so I contacted Bodybuilding.com to seek permission to use their high quality workout images (which I received).”
This is a nice app. It includes Programs for different body types, workouts for target areas and even includes stretches to help you get warmed up. You’re going to be listening to Zune music while you work out, right, so why not have an app on your phone to help you with your training?
AppVegas, a new marketplace browser/app finder! - Now this is a fun title. It puts the Windows Phone Marketplace on a slot machine that pays off every time. You shake your phone to start the fun. Then the app gives you a not so random app selection from the Marketplace where you can then tap on the selected app to get more information or shake again to get something else. This app is a fun way to search the Windows Phone Marketplace. This is what SelesGames has to say:
“We released a new app just a couple days ago, it's called "AppVegas" and it is a fun way to find apps and games for Windows Phone. The idea for the app was inspired by UrbanSpoon on the iPhone (for those who haven't used it, UrbanSpoon uses a slot machine interface to find local restaurants). We've *coughstolencough* that concept and used it for finding WP apps and games - a more noble cause if you ask us! Please try it out and let us know what you think!”
Right Size for WP7 - This app added to the Spotlight by Krestor costs $.99 in the Windows Phone Marketplace and it does have a trial version. This app has an easy to use interface as you just pick a flag for your country then the flag for the country you are buying clothes in (Odd, it seems that I am larger in every other country in the world) Krestor has this to say about their application:
“Right Size is a clothing size conversion tool supporting US, UK, European, Japanese and Russian standards. If you cannot take your body measurements right now, you can enter a size you know and the application will convert it into all global size standards. With Right Size, a trip abroad, online shopping or buying a surprise gift for your significant other will be so much easier!”
These are just some of the applications posted this week in our Applications Spotlight forum. There are hundreds more available for you to check out and even give the developer some direct feedback.
3 years ago
AT&T HTC Titan II on backorder from Amazon Wireless
Despite being the phone of choice for a few of us here at WPCentral, the HTC Titan II on AT&T with 4G LTE, a 4.7" screen and 16MP camera has not been the hottest selling phone. Due in part HTC all but ignoring it (from a marketing standpoint) and it largely being overshadowed by the "hero" Nokia Lumia 900, the Titan II may go down in history as the least appreciated Windows Phone.
So it's a bit surprising to see it backordered on Amazon Wireless with a 8 to 9 day wait on the phone where it is selling for $150 on a two year contract, $50 less tha direct from AT&T.
Perhaps sales are better than expected? Probably not. The phone is sitting at #76 for top selling across all carriers and #23 on AT&T indicating that the device is not exactly pushing massive inventory.
Our cynical speculation on the matter is that HTC may be redirecting production capacity towards their Android phones, especially their One X and One S series which are gaining a lot of positive feedback and seeing high demand. Of course it could also be Amazon Wireless just not stocking properly although that seems to be along wait for something just out of stock.
For now, if you want the Titan II you'll have to either get it from AT&T direct where it is still in stock or wait for Amazon Wireless to get in a new shipment.
Source: Amazon Wireless
3 years ago
Microsoft, Barnes & Noble settle litigation, form massive new partnership
This morning, Microsoft announced a new partnership with Barnes & Noble for their eReader business having settled the previous litigation on claimed patent infringement.
The new subsidiary of Barnes & Noble called Newco (not the real name, just a placeholder to be determined later) will focus on the digital and college business of the company. Microsoft is investing $300 million into the venture and will maintain a 17.6% equity stake in the new company.
Of course it should come as no surprise that a NOOK eReader will be one of the first priorities of the nw partnership with a client for Windows 8 in the works. Barnes & Noble commented on the newly announced deal noting:
“The formation of Newco and our relationship with Microsoft are important parts of our strategy to capitalize on the rapid growth of the NOOK business, and to solidify our position as a leader in the exploding market for digital content in the consumer and education segments,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “Microsoft’s investment in Newco, and our exciting collaboration to bring world-class digital reading technologies and content to the Windows platform and its hundreds of millions of users, will allow us to significantly expand the business.”
Although lots of pundits like to criticize Microsoft for "patent trolling" others would claim that the company is looking out for their shareholder's interest by defending what they see as their intellectual property. Despite this, some saw in B&N as standing up to Microsoft, fighting them publicly in the matter. Instead, B&N made a deal with the devil perhaps even angering Google along the way (Android powers the new Nook eReader).
Either way, Microsoft's strategy seems to be paying off for although B&N does not have to admit any guilt for the claimed violations, they clearly were forced to the table for what looks to be an exciting deal for both companies. In fact, this could be the lifeline the fading book retailer needs in its life and death struggle with adversary Amazon.com.
No mention of a Windows Phone client has been announced which has been missing since Windows Mobile and the HTC HD2. However, rumors suggest that Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are based on the same kernel and have large amounts of overlapping code. As a result the announcement of a Windows 8 client may in fact be a dual one for Windows Phone.
Regardless, you can imagine B&N will be getting some favorable treatment from Microsoft in the future. Something that Apple and Google will have trouble in matching. For this, we' very excited by this deal (even if we're Kindle fans here).
Full press release after the break...
3 years ago
LG focusing on Android with no new Windows Phone planned
This morning LG Electronics reported to the Korea Herald that they have no immediate plans to introduce new Windows Phone to the market. Instead LG are focusing on Android for their future smartphone releases noting that "The total unit of Windows Phone sold in the global market is not a meaningful figure."
The company claimed that the partnership between it and Microsoft remains good but the plan to focus on Windows Phone, announced in 2009, has not worked out for them financially. LG ended up losing money for seven straight quarters and only recently turned a profit. As a result they lost a lot of market share, especially with HTC and Samsung having a winning portfolio of Android devices.
Regarding Windows Phone specifically, a spokesperson for the company told the Herald that they will “continue research and development efforts” on Microsoft's mobile OS.
This news comes on the heels of an announcement of Steve Ballmer headed to Seoul Digital Forum on May 22 where he will be meeting with various business and developers. Though LG claims to not know his business schedule the implication is that Ballmer may meet with LGE for some damage control regarding their recent smartphone decision.
One can claim that LGs offerings for Windows Phone have been extremely lackluster with only the LG Quantum (review), limited to AT&T and a few regional carriers, showing any real innovation. And despite being only one of two hard-keyboard Windows Phone devices it never sold well anywhere. Even the LG Jil Sander phone was a bomb having its price constantly cut, in fact when we got our hands on it we panned the phone as feeling cheap and unexciting.
While prototype devices like the E740 remain floating around (we'll have our mini-review of it later today), the phone is a far cry from anything interesting and would do nothing for LG or Windows Phone were it to be released. It's one unique feature, NFC, has very little support in most major markets in 2012.
Clearly LG is facing stiff competition, poor R&D and they are feeling the pressure from the Microsoft-Nokia partnership which they commented on in 2011. Perhaps they will use this to leverage a favorable deal from Microsoft if Ballmer meets with them later in May. While it could look bad to lose a major OEM like LG, we're not exactly too saddened either.
Clearly Nokia, HTC and Samsung are the future of Windows Phone.
Source: Korea Herald
3 years ago
Like electricity? Hack wireless charging on to your Nokia Lumia 800
If you have a few minutes you can watch the video above of reader Oli Gill bravely modifying his Nokia Lumia 800 to enable wireless charging ala Palm/HP and their Touchstone charger.
There is no doubt that any of us, especially with the more high-end Lumia 900 would love to have this feature in our Nokia Windows Phone. In fact, we wonder if and when Nokia will take the big plunge and be the first Windows Phone OEM to do this officially. After all, if there was one hardware company that could do this on a wide scale it'd be Nokia (though HTC and Samsung are fully capable too).
We're not going to lie though, this mod is quite advanced and we're pretty sure we won't have the time or skills to do this. But we also know a lot of our audience is highly educated and love to do things like this, so for you folks, here you go!
Oh and Oli, if you ever want to start a small side business, we're sure many of us would gladly send you our Lumias to have this warranty-voiding hack. Anyone else?
Thanks, Oli, for the tip and video
3 years ago
Bring back Windows Phone Marketplace in Zune with simple registry addition
Microsoft removed the ability to browse or purchase new apps for Windows Phone in the Zune Desktop app last week causing a stir amongst users. While Windows Phone users can still get podcasts, videos and music, the only apps available are for Zune HD users (who have no other method to get apps). Instead, users are instructed to use the Web Marketplace or the store on their phone, which is how most users are doing it anyway.
We reported on an interesting hack the other day to bring back the Marketplace but it was a bit convoluted requiring a server intercept of a config file.
Today though, reader Thomas W. sent us a simple registry trick on your PC that can instantly bring back the Marketplace. All it requires is adding a new Key with a new DWORD and you'll be good to go. If you have a registry editor on your PC, simply do this:
Create KEY: FeaturesOverride
DWORD: Apps = 1
Now restart Zune Desktop and in a flash, your Marketplace is back. Of course such a trick will disappear when Microsoft updates Zune or they somehow permanently disable the feature. But for now, we were able to successfully trial and purchase apps just as before.
While we personally have little use for this method of purchasing apps, you're needs may be different, so here you go!
Thanks, Thomas, for the tip!
3 years ago
Developer Interview: David Hamilton, CTO and co-founder of Pepper
3 years ago
Nokia Lumia 900 listed on Amazon.com UK, Clove drops their price a bit
While the Nokia Lumia 900's release in the U.K. has been slightly delayed, we're seeing signs that the May 14th date is holding firm. The black Lumia 900 has popped up on Amazon.co.uk for pre-order. The Windows Phone is being offered Sim-free for £479.99 (about $780 USD). The cyan or white models of the Lumia 900 are not listed.
The shipping information notes that the Lumia 900 is due to be released on May 14, 2012. We're not sure if the phones will ship on the 14th but delivery in the U.K. is free with Amazon's Super Saver Delivery.
Amazon U.K. joins Clove in offering the Nokia Lumia 900 for pre-orders. Clove's pre-order price for the unlocked Windows Phone is a little more attractive at £458.40 (about $745 USD) which is down from the original price of £486. Clove is still indicating the first stock of the Lumia 900's is expected on May 16, 2012.
Originally slated for a April 27th release in the U.K., the Nokia Lumia 900 was pushed back to May 14th due to high demand in the North American markets. While delays are never comfortable with consumers, for those waiting patiently for the Lumia 900 we think you'll find the new Windows Phone was well worth the wait.
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