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3 years ago

Brandon Watson has a mystery Windows Phone with an "amazing" screen

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This is just one of those tease posts since we don't have much to go on, but earlier today, Microsoft's Brandon Watson was able to play with some new Windows Phone. His impression was quite enthusiastic, to say the least, especially in regards to the screen. The worse part about his job is of course he can't share details with us, just yet:

"You know what I hate? Holding a phone I want, but cannot buy and cannot talk about. The worst part about not being able to talk about this #windowsphone is I can't talk about how amazing the screen is. Holy mamma jamma"

Our first guess would be the rumored Samsung Galaxy SII device, shown off by Microsoft a few weeks ago and seen above. That phone, if the specs remain the same, will sport a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen aka the latest screen tech from Sammy. We've actually played with one of those phones back in Barcelona and indeed, it's very impressive. Then again, it may be something else. Twitter'r @ShakeWhyBake asked "4.3 inch OLED? at least give us the size!!!..." to which Watson responded "@ShakeWhyBake If size were all that mattered, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. "

We're still leaning towards the Super AMOLED Plus story here, but Professeur Thibault believes it may be a new screen resolution, speculating on his blog that it's a Super AMOLED HD (1280x720). While that would certainly be awesome, we've heard Microsoft specifically state that 800x480 is all there will be for sometime and we're inclined to believe them. But hey, we like a little mystery too.

Source: @BrandonWatson; via Professeur Thibault

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3 years ago

HD7 with early build of Windows Phone "Tango" for sale on Facebook

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Interestingly, the other day we saw what was thought to be the first screenshot of Windows Phone "Tango", the next iteration of the OS coming after "Mango". Starting with build 8200 and higher, "Tango" is still a bit of a mystery, seeing as "Mango" hasn't even rolled out yet. Yesterday we saw mention of it as a low-cost option for Microsoft.

Now from a Slovakian Facebook page, we have an individual supposedly selling an HD7 with "Tango" on board. That's the same area of the world where we saw the last "Tango" sighting. Translated from the page:

"HTC HD7 16GB (T9292 Schubert) for sale. You can select from three builds of Windows Phone - 7.0.7392, 7.10.7720 (Mango), 7.10.8200 ("Tango"). The first two are stable and functional build, third is dev build (not stable and to continue with official builds you have to flash it using RUUs). Price starts at 150€, you can contact me on my mail which I have on the forums, only through mail, highest price wins, delivery is not included in the price (only express delivery, not post office). In mail, write down which version of the OS you want, RUUs are not included. All accessories, slovak distribution, arrived today :)"

So like the Toshiba TG-01, here's your change to have a one of kind device. Though we'll stick to local sales in the States for now, you know, just in case.

Source: Facebook; Thanks, wictory, for the info!

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3 years ago

Samsung Omnia 7 running Mango RTM ?

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Samsung Omnia 7 running Mango RTM ?

A tipster over at WPSauce sent them a screen shot of a Samsung Omnia 7 sporting WP7 version 7720, which is the RTM version of Mango.  We saw this same version number on the Mango-toting HTC Mazaa that was awarded to a student developer yesterday and is expected to be made available to current WP7 devices this fall.  File this one under "iffy," as the picture cannot be verified and no details have been provided for its context.

In fact, the closer we look at it, the more fake it looks.

Source: WPSauce

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3 years ago

Neil Stevens offers a glimpse of Skype's future

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Neil Stevens, Skype's Vice President and General Manager of Products and Marketing, spoke with Forbes yesterday about what is in store for the video messaging platform after its purchase by Microsoft in May.  Stevens described that when it comes to Windows Phone, Skype wants to go above and beyond just a simple app, they want to one that “that doesn’t feel like an app,”  but rather like a part of the device itself.  That can only be achieved by accessing "deeper levels of the OS," which Skype will have by virtue of the fact they are now a division of Microsoft.  He went on:

“A Windows Phone app, if done well, can show people what a really great Skype experience is like when there are no hardware or vendor limitations. We’re disadvantaged against [Apple’s video-chat service] FaceTime because of this closed environment."

Getting access to the internal workings of the operating system would allow for things like video processor and address book integration.  A FaceTime-like WP7 experience sounds great, but we are left wondering if there will be some kind of interim solution in the meantime.  Will we see a Skype application for our current or Mango phones?  Do we have to wait until Apollo?  That all seems to be up in the air for the moment.

Stevens went on to talk about Skype's plans for Facebook, which he said will be kicking off in coming weeks.  He described that webchat will come first, then outbound calling from Facebook to phones, and from Skype into Facebook.  Somewhere down the line will some a Skype/Facebook mobile calling app and group video chat. Stevens explained that Skype and FB do not have a “one-time, one-product” relationship.  “We have a plan to build out a number of products with Facebook...We’ll be Facebook’s key partner for communications.”

Of course, much of this is still in the hands of regulators.  While the FTC has approved the deal in the United States, European authorities are still reviewing it.  Thier approval is expected to come later this year.  All of this bodes well for Microsoft, who not only owns Skype, but has a %1.6 share of Facebook.  The tight integration of the three giants is one more piece in the grand scheme to grow the Windows Phone platform to compete with Android and Apple. 

Source: Forbes; Via: Liveside

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3 years ago

Student developer wins HTC Mazaa from Microsoft

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We've talked about the Microsoft sponsored student contest here and here before. The winners are to be given brand new Mango devices, which of course raised all sorts of questions e.g. what phone, is Mango RTM'd, etc. Well, we now know the answer to all of those.

Turns out at least one student managed to received the HTC Mazaa, a device mentioned a few times in the past as being the latest "dev phone" for Microsoft employees and we imagine software partners. Featuring a gyroscope for those Mango APIs, the device is similar to the Trophy in many ways.

Over at XDA, one of the student winners has posted a screen shot of his about screen to prove it is what it is. Not bad kid, not bad at all. The phone is even running Mango 7720:

"For those who might be interested. I was one of the 50 lucky winners in the ongoing WPAPPITUP student developer competition, and was promised a Mango phone about a week or so ago. To my surprise I arrived home to find a package from Microsoft waiting for me. Open it up and I find my self a brand new unlocked HTC Mazaa, running Mango 7.10.7720.500.

First impressions the phone is fast, whether it just be the new Mango build or the phone itself I'm not entirely certain. But it runs circles around my HD7. On the same note comparing it to the HD7 it's a lot smaller. It also only has 8gig of internal not upgradable internal memory, which doesn't really cut it for me. However, beggars can't be choosers, and I'm glad to have the phone either way."

Hopefully some more info will be coming forward about this new phone, specifically that Adreno GPU. Very cool.

Source: XDA; via WPSauce

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3 years ago

ESPN Goals app coming to WP7

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ESPN Goals app coming to WP7

Fan of football or what we like to call soccer? Then you may be excited about ESPN's Goals app coming soon to Windows Phone 7 (as well as every other mobile OS). From the app description:

"This season football fans can watch video clips of all the goals* from every Barclays Premier League match – completely free on the ESPN Goals app. The ultimate Barclays Premier league app includes live scores, video highlights and clips of every goal, for all 380 games – within just minutes of it taking place."

  • The essential football app for fans of the Barclays Premier League will feature:
  • Video of goals and match action from every Barclays Premier League match all season long
  • Live scores and match stats
  • Fixtures and results from around the league
  • Additional video including match previews and weekend round-ups
  • Video alerts: Alerts for goal videos, match highlight clips and Weekend roundup clips.

We're not too familiar with any of that but we're going to guess that some of our UK friends will enjoy getting this as soon as it hits. The service which we're told normally goes £30 but will free for the season, which seems like a good deal no matter where you're from. Might as well pick up Pro Evolution Soccer while you're at it.

Source: ESPN; Thanks, Tahiti Bob for the tip!

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3 years ago

Video purportedly shows new Nokia Windows Phone, looks suspicious

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A video has shown up on the YouTubes via MyNokiaBlog that looks to be some type of internal Microsoft/Nokia commercial. In the video, some renderings of supposed Nokia phones running WP7 are shown in full motion, along with some old footage from Microsoft videos recycled for good measure (e.g. from September 2010)

Is it real? Fake? Someone having a goof, we have no idea. But overall it does seems a little suspect and we don't believe that those phones are real in any sense, though perhaps they are planned. Either way, it makes for some nice pondering on what Nokia may have in mind though we're not sure it's that exciting.

PS Original video was pulled, now it's back up. Ta-da!

Source: MyNokiaBlog; Thanks, Abhi, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Samsung's GT-i8350 running Mango inches closer to release with BT cert

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While we don't know much about the Samsung GT-i8350, we do know it's a Windows Phone running Mango and looks to probably replace the Omnia 7 in Euroland. The phone has evidently received its Bluetooth certification, sporting BT v2.1 with EDR which while not the most exciting news of the day, at least means that (a) this phone still exists and (b) it's on its way to release, to which we say "yaaay!", because we like ourselves some Sammy.

Source: Bluetooth; via Pocketnow, Blog of Mobile

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3 years ago

Minesweeper and Sudoku are now available for free on Xbox Live

Tired of playing Flowerz, penniless Windows Phone Xbox Live gamers? Then today’s your day! Minesweeper and Sudoku are both on the marketplace costing nothing at all.

Minesweeper and its kid brother/dance partner Sudoku are the games many of us know and love, but they do include some fancy new additions to get the cerebral juices flowing. There’s the snazzy/maybe a little plain Metro UI design, a leveling system, and powerups that can ease the pain of challenging levels. To learn more about the powerup system and future plans for these titles, check out our mini-interview with Babaroga, the developer. Both games are free and ad supported, so their Achievements are only worth 50 GamerScore a piece - 150 less than a standard Xbox Live title. But hey, free GamerScore is free GamerScore, so let’s not get bogged down with numbers.

Logic puzzle loving gamers can find Minesweeper here (Zune link) and Sudoku here on the Marketplace.

Update: Games only available in the U.S. as of now, may show up in other regions later. Maybe not.

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3 years ago

Pro Evolution Soccer is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Goal!!!!

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Sports fans who haven’t bought Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (the only sports title on Xbox Live so far) for some reason are in for a treat this week. Konami’s premiere soccer game is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week at $2.99!

PES 2011 is a surprisingly accurate recreation of the sport, with realistic tactical game play, licensed European teams, advanced A.I. and numerous authentic animations. Can you kick a soccer ball into some guy’s junk if you want? Not quite that realistic, but I digress.

Pro Evolution Soccer’s 3D graphics contribute to the realism as well. The player models, detailed stadiums, and weather effects all make for a very console-like presentation. The game features multiple control options: simple accelerometer and touch-screen controls or a virtual pad and buttons. It’s also got some very grindy Achievements, so prepare to be in it for the long haul if you want the full 200 GamerScore.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is on sale for $2.99 (down from $4.99) for one week only. Get it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace, football fans!

(Yes, this does mark the second of Konami’s three Xbox Live games to go on sale. We’re that much closer to a Castlevania Puzzle deal!)

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3 years ago

Motorola now "completely open" to Windows Phone but with a catch

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Motorola has had quite the ride, first being on board with Microsoft and Windows Phone then shunning it for an Android-only approach to now, evidently reconsidering using the OS. In between those two position shifts, Moto's stock has steadily declined over the last year (see our salty editorial, or their stocks above), demonstrating that going it alone with Android isn't enough anymore. Fact is, everyone has an Android line in the mobile biz which is why Nokia went with Windows Phone--easier to differentiate yourself as a brand.

Now we're at a point where Moto CEO Sanjay Jha, speaking at the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference, said "I think we're completely open to the notion of Windows as a platform" which is a big change from "I don’t envision us using Microsoft. I would never say never but it’s not something we’re entertaining now." just six months ago.

Still, despite being sued by Microsoft, Jha is still angling for a sweet deal like Nokia has received, gaining more freedom and sway over the hardware and software. To that last notion, we chuckle only because Motorola, you're no Nokia. But hey, we like the change of heart, Jha. Maybe we'll be seeing something in late 2012 from you folks after all. Or not, whichever.

Source: FierceWireless; via ZDNet

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3 years ago

Cnet's Molly Wood takes WP7 for a spin

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Cnet's Molly Wood takes WP7 for a spin

Last week or so, Cnet's Molly Wood was lamenting her experience with Android on her Twitter account. Brandon Watson noticed and like Scott Adams, offered her a Mango device (HTC Trophy) to try out. If she doesn't like it, then he'll donate $1,000 to her choice of charity.

Since then, she has received the phone and in her first video on the issue, she shares her thoughts. Now at first take, we wanted to roll our eyes at some of the complaints, but then we remembered to step down from our tech-riddled high horse and treat her criticisms as valid--because if anything, her initial experience is what you would expect your non-techy friends to be like, warts and all. So while it's true that 'Words with Friends' is not available on Windows Phone but we do have 'Words by Post', not everyone will see them as the same. C'est la vie.

We're not sure if we're going to cover all of Molly's thoughts on Windows Phone, but it is interesting to see her perspective. And before you laugh her off, remember, she's more like your average consumer than not.

ps If the right video doesn't play, just go to the Cnet. Their player is a bit...lacking.

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3 years ago

INRIX Traffic gets an update, looks into the future

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We mentioned INRIX Traffic last month (here's our video overview) when it was released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It's a nifty little app to show you where traffic problems are occurring in your area. INRIX Traffic pulls traffic information from commercial fleets, in-dash GPS units and other consumer devices (over 5 billion data sources). INRIX Traffic users also contribute to the data stream by sending anonymous "GPS Speed" data to the INRIX servers which is digested to determine traffic flow.

Well, tomorrow (8/10/2011) INRIX is set to release an update for INRIX Traffic. Version 2.0 will not only tweak things under the hood but also add the following features to the mix.

Traffic Forecasts: Look up to 8 hours ahead to see what you can expect when you hit the road. This features helps drivers determine the best time to leave based on how traffic conditions are expected to impact travel times.

Quick Reporting: Report accidents and police activity along your route to help improve the system's reporting and to help other drivers avoid congestion, save time and travel safely.

Landscape Mode: Now you won't be stuck in the portrait frame of mind. With the update, INRIX Traffic will have landscape support to add to the versatility.

For those already enjoying INRIX Traffic, look for the update sometime tomorrow.   If you need help with avoiding traffic issues, INRIX Traffic is worth checking out.  INRIX Traffic is a free, ad-free app and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Traffic and Travel UK available and updated

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Planning a holiday to the United Kingdom anytime soon? Based in the UK and just need some help in avoiding traffic headaches? Traffic and Travel UK is available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that may help you get around the UK a little easier. Billed as the most comprehensive app for finding information on Road, Train and other travel disruptions throughout the United Kingdom.

Traffic and Travel UK was recently updated to version 2.1 bringing traffic cameras in Wales, improvements to the push notifications to the apps Live Tile, and with the Quick Traffic feature you can see a listing of traffic instances in order of distance from your current location. Additional features of Traffic and Travel UK include:

  • The only app providing specific and detailed travel information for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, London, and Sheffield area.
  • Road maps and lists detailing traffic information in the UK.
  • Live Tile Push notifications displaying traffic updates from your selected region without opening the app.
  • View specific Traffic and Roadworks information for UK roads by Motorway or A road.
  • View Traffic Cameras in Scotland, Northern Ireland (Belfast Area), Wales, and Sheffield area.
  • London Traffic information selectable for each area of the city including roadworks and congestion charging information.
  • Access Transport for London ‘s 182 CCTV cameras on major London roads.
  • National Rail disruption information, UK Stations Map, and find your nearest by distance to current location.
  • London Underground and DLR line status and delays information for now and the coming weekend as well as maps of stations, and distance to current location.
  • Searchable list of 850+ Private Hire Taxi firms in greater London area with details of each company.
  • View map of piers, and timetables for Thames Riverboats.
  • UK ferry port map.

There is a free trail version available for Traffic and Travel UK with the full version running $1.29. You can find both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Dan for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia to make Windows Phone 7 the main focus of new devices in North America

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In a big gamble by the Symbian-based smartphone giant of the world, Nokia is planning on making some pretty amazing changes in their emerging US market in the near future. According to an interview with AllThingsD, Nokia's plan is to shift all interest in the US and Canada from manufacturing and selling their current lower-end devices and feature phones, to creating a market that revolves around all things Windows Phone 7 and the accessories that go with it.

It's all done in an attempt to restructure the major brand over the next several years to become a superior manufacturer of Windows Phone 7 devices, and from the words of a Nokia spokesperson, it sounds like it'll be one of the final shots the company will have at regaining some footing in the US (and later the world). "The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do (elsewhere)."

We've already seen some of the work that Nokia has been doing with WP7 devices in their upcoming (and yet to be announced) "Sea Ray" line, but it looks like we'll soon be hearing a lot more as Nokia is also preparing a marketing blitz to announce upcoming launches. With the largest marketing budget that the company has invested to date, they're looking to rebrand themselves as leaders of not just WP7 devices, but smartphones as a whole.

Of course, Nokia won't be ignoring where most non-smartphone users come from, and rumor has it that WP7 "Tango" is being released with Nokia's low-end smartphone consumers in mind. At ZDnet there is some well-founded speculation on the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft in making these new devices. If Nokia can win over the masses of low-end smartphone owners with a less expensive WP7 device, Microsoft wins too - as writer Mary Jo Foley puts it, "Tango is “all about Nokia” and focused on hitting the lower-price point for Windows Phones that Microsoft and Nokia execs have been promising." This makes sense too since, for the most part, the vastly un-penetrated non-smartphone market is just waiting for cheaper prices to arrive for these mobile computers.

The changes will also include moving their sales force to Sunnyvale, California; which is much closer to the Microsoft Research Campus in Mountain View than their previous locations on the East Coast of North America, but that won't be finished until early next year. For now, get ready to hear more news from Nokia's North American branches. It looks like they'll be bringing us something big to talk about in the near future.

Source: AllThingsD and ZDNet; Via: Engadget

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