As is common knowledge, no company nor division is limitless in resources, not even the mighty Microsoft. That, however, won't help out non-U.S. Windows Mobile users who rely on Bing and its free turn-by-turn navigation. In an effort to refocus talent and resources, Microsoft has basically turned away support for Windows Mobile 6.5 outside the United States. In a statement they noted:
In July 2010, mobile customers using version 4.6 or older of the Bing app for Windows Phone, received a notification that the Bing app is no longer available on their device. Bing is committed to delivering a mobile strategy that rapidly evolves to meet the needs of customers, and as a result has decided to optimize the Bing app for the newer Windows Phone devices to ensure the best mobile search experience.
Of course that was in July and we're not just hearing about it, which not to sound glib, raises the question: who the heck noticed? Why is this becoming an issue now, five months later? We have no idea as we were under the impression that navigation serves like TomTom, etc.. were more popular than Bing.
Whatever the reason, there's your explanation. It would be nice to have indefinite support for Bing in Europe and we suppose 10 months from its release is a little early.
Everyday we learn something new too and this was one of those things either we knew and forgot or just never knew, but evidently you can only have 15 apps on your device with push notifications.
Mind you, push notifications are those things we barely have right now but they do drive "live tiles" to update. And seeing that there are maybe seven apps that we know of that do push updates (Flixster doesn't count as they can't figure out how push updates work), we don't see this as an immediate problem.
But still, we imagine six months from now, a few of you will have 15 apps pushing notifications (and getting 2 hours of battery life--kidding) who will want to install that 16th app. Well, when you try, you'll be met with a "InvalidOperationException(Channel quota exceeded)" error. Of course, developers can code around this by letting the user know they should uninstall one of their other apps, but still...kind of an odd limitation. Though we suppose nothing is infinite, right?
Luckily, Microsoft has some time to push an update to change this should it become a problem, though we're not convinced yet that it ever will be for normal users.
Update: Developer Dave Amenta lets us know the following: "I have lots of tiles updating and there appears to be literally ZERO impact on battery (one updates at least every 10min)". So maybe we do want 16 apps pushing? ;-)
Update 2: Microsoft's Jamie Rodriguez responds. He notes that MS could change the limit in the future and they are constantly evaluating userr habits and needs. Doesn't contradict previous information.
We just couldn't narrow down how early, "early 2011" meant. Could it be by the end of the first quarter or sooner?
According to a one sentence post over at Windows Phone Secrets, the "early" means January. Not much detail beyond that and it will be interesting to see if the Trophy can beat the iPhone to Verizon's lineup.
The good news is that once we all survive the Holidays and College Bowl season, January is right around the corner. If we hear anything sooner, we'll be sure to pass it on.
In an interesting competition recently held at the Budapest New tech Meetup, developers from three platforms--iOS, Android and WP7--had a "live coding event" (hey, nerds have to have their fun too).
The goal was simple: they had 1.5 hours to write "...an app that allows users to rate presentations at a meetup". The coders had no knowledge in advance of the project and it had to "display the names of the presenters, the title of the presentations, some summary and of course, find a way to actually do the rating."
The gist of the competition is that the Windows Phone 7 trounced everyone. Whereas the iOS and Android groups had created one page of the app, the WP7 team created "...a mostly working application with most features implemented". In addition, the Androiders had problems with Compiz (a Linux window manager), which kept crashing.
Overall an interesting story and although real-world developers don't have these constraints, the fact that the WP7 group was able to write a full app so quickly, without even writing any code (they used Expression Blend’s Sample Data feature i.e. mostly drag and drop) is pretty impressive. See previous "coding war" coverage here and here.
Wild rumor turned into fact today as copy and paste is being slowly pushed out to certain developer devices.
The OS update bumps the version number to 7.0.7338 from the current 7.0.7004.0, which is also probably not the final shipping version. In fact, Conflipper noted back in November that they are internally up to the 7.0.75xx level already--so this is definitely early/incomplete. No other new features are noted with the OS upgrade, so this may be just an early tester version to get feedback on usage and stability from developers.
Of course once you finally see it in action, you're left a little crestfallen---almost a "that's it?" kind of thing. After all, this is pretty basic and boring stuff here. Still, such a small feature will go a long, long way for PR with our new OS.
Glow Artisan was first released in December of 2009 as DSiWare for the ubiquitous Nintendo DSi handheld gaming device. It was received with fantastic reviews from nearly every critic and gamer to give it a go.
If anything, Glow Artisan is a bit overwhelming and fantastic. Powerhead Games has constructed a puzzle game with such depth and scale that every other game within the same genre has been put to shame. I mean, there are puzzle games and then there's Glow Artisan. A puzzle game's puzzle game. Now that Glow Artisan has been ported to WP7 as part of the library of Xbox Live Arcade games we'll have to see how well this puzzler translates to a single screen. So far, things look fantastically overwhelming.
Dave Amenta has brought the popular Google Chrome to Phone Android application to Windows Phone 7.
Chrome to WP7 (now called Send to WP7) allows you to push a web address to your Windows Phone from your desktop browser. The URL will appear in the Chrome to WP7 app where you can either email the link or launch the URL via your mobile browser. To see how well the Chrome app transitioned to Windows Phone 7, hit the break.
Update: As of Dec 10th, the app is now called Send to WP7
While the rest of us have moved on to Windows Phone 7, there once was a killer device (sans CPU) called the Touch Pro 2 running Windows Mobile 6.5. And although some of us have forgotten it, it looks like Verizon and HTC have not as they just released a maintenance package, MR3, on November 30th. It's last update was in June.
Unfortunately, no change log is present though we may get some feedback from fellow readers on any changes. Good on Verizon and HTC for keeping with those updates.
Have you experienced this problem? You get your new Windows Phone, you sync up your contacts and then you add a few to the Start screen, using those nifty dynamic squares. And then you notice it: the terrible, crappy resolution and blurriness. You think to yourself: "That's not how it looks on the commercial!"
Well, we think we figured it out. It's not Microsoft's fault and it's not a bug. We're going to bet you sync with our frienemy Google, right?
That's the culprit. Google. Don't believe me or think we're alone? See here and here for starters.
What happens is when you take a photo on your phone, add it to contacts and then it syncs back to Google's servers they then downsize the photo and resync it back to you. Awesome, eh?
What is the solution? There are two and we'll detail both after the break...
Update: Pandora is walking back the earlier Tweet a bit as can be seen above. Like always, we need to treat Tweets as extension of customer service, but not necessarily the company line. Here's to hoping that Pandora has something in the works.
In a nasty blow to Microsoft and despite their wooing, it looks like Pandora is going to sit on the sidelines for Windows Phone 7--that is until demand makes it hard to ignore.
In a recent Tweet, the developer said that "they don't have any plans for a WP7 app" which is sort of strange since they were announced as a launch partner. One would think that no-background play may be an issue, but they certainly had no problem kowtowing to Apple over that one. We also know Microsoft often offers to pay for the development of high-demand apps, so we don't know what went wrong here.
Alas, the saving grace is there are alternatives on the market e.g. Slacker Radio. Once Windows Phone 7 gets "Smart DJ" functionality, we'll see less need for Pandora anyways.
While the Asus mystery device has been solved, a new one featuring HTC is now afoot. Called the HTC PD29130, the phone completed testing on November 10th but just received approval this morning.
Featuring AT&T 3G bands, it is more than likely headed to that carrier though the question remains: what is it? CellFanatic thinks it is the AT&T branded version of the HD7, which is certainly plausible. Another likely candidate is the 7 Pro, which although it is headed to Sprint soon also has a GSM variant.
Either way, it looks like AT&T is getting ready for that second wave by late winter/early spring. Sounds good to us.
A few months ago, we saw a pic of some mystery Asus device as well as some video of it being used. At the time, we speculated that it was headed to AT&T and while that's not 100% confirmed, it's looking more likely. The phone, now called the E600, was spotted at the FCC recently sporting your typical Windows Phone 7 specs:
Overall, the device looks quite slick. It would be tough competition between that and Samsung Focus, though we think the Focus may edge it out just a bit (larger battery, great camera, super AMOLED, etc.). It also looks like Asus is going ahead, without Garmin, with their Windows Phone 7 launch, though who knows how committed they are. No confirmation on dates or pricing, though we imagine this will hit with the "second wave" of releases, starting with CDMA phones.
IronSun Studios is offering Ionball over at the Marketplace. Ionball is a Breakout styled game that is presented, as described by the developer, in a unique SteamPunk style.
The game play itself isn't anything new. The object is to destroy the tiles by bouncing a ball into them. You keep the ball bouncing by virtue of a paddle board at the bottom of the screen. Miss the ball with the paddle and you loose a life.
To see if Ionball is a breakout of a game, ease on past the break.