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3 years ago

Microsoft workshops starting up on Australia's east coast [Developers]

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In Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, Microsoft are kick-starting workshops simultaneously today (October 8th) to aid potential and current Windows Phone developers with improving knowledge, skill and experience. The two day training course will sport presentations by the likes of Chris Walsh (ChevronWP7) and Shane Morris (Automatic Studio), feature lunch and a competition provided by Nokia, and will cover the following areas of Windows Phone development:

  • Introduction to the developer environment
  • Navigation and App Life Cycle
  • Launchers and choosers
  • Alarms, Reminders and other Extensions
  • Device Features and Hardware
  • Tiles and Push Notifications
  • Multitask and Background Agents
  • Local Database Access
  • Marketplace tip and tricks
  • Game development with XNA and Silverlight

You may have noticed above that we stated Nokia is running a competition at the workshops, but what's the prize? Whoever can create the most popular app over the next two weeks from the workshop will win Nokia's yet-to-be-released handset - exciting stuff! 

Source: WPDownUnder

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3 years ago

Official WordPress app for Windows Phone hits v1.3 for Mango but disappears from Marketplace?

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The official WordPress app for our phones has also got a Mango makeover with v1.3. Considering how huge WordPress is to the blogosphere, it's always great to see a well done official app out there for our users. The app hit v1.2 only in August, where it finally received landscape support. Now v1.3 looks to extend that by adding some Mango features. Besides the automatic fast-app switching, users can look forward to these new additions:

"Now with Mango support! You can now share pictures directly from your photo album to a new post in the app, as well as pin your blog to the start screen for quick access."

Sounds good to us. Now we have received a complaint from reader ron_from_RIFAS that it looks like the app has been pulled from the Marketplace. And indeed, if you search for the app, you'll be hard pressed to find it. Even the WP7Applist site has its red-banner warning that this app is not available. But we assure you it is there and you can download and install it just fine. Reason? It's listed as "Private" in the Web Marketplace. Why? We have no idea...

Update: Evidently the developer, in comments, lets us know that there's a bug in v1.3 so to hold off until a fix is released: "It's marked private because we found a large bug in the app and wanted to submit a fix for it before publishing. ...The new one should be out in a few days pending certification from Microsoft."

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3 years ago

Microsoft's Push Notification Servers acting up for Live Tiles?

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We're getting a few isolated reports, ourselves included, that some Live Tiles are not updating their images properly or just general strangeness with notifications. While this was common on NoDo with Mango it's been very rare, if ever, that we've had failures occurring.

The most popular culprit seems to be the official Foursquare app, which for many now features a blank tile instead of your local rankings. In addition, we've see our GoVoice app stuck on "1" and even our own WPCentral app not have the back-tile update. Dave Amenta (interview), developer of Send to WP7, confirmed with us that he too is experiencing these problems.

For now, all we can think of is some hiccups with Microsoft's push notification servers, which handle a lot of this back end stuff. We'll keep an eye out and give a shout out in comments if you're Tiles are not refreshing or other craziness.

Image credit: puredrive07, from our forums

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3 years ago

Last.fm for Windows Phone finally goes to Mango

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Good new everyone! Last.fm, everyone's favorite radio scrobble service has finally gone to Mango with version 3.x. You can now minimize this bad boy in the background and enjoy your radio with multitasking Mango goodness. In addition, you can pin your favorite radio stations to the Start screen for easy and quick access.

We've only played with it for a little bit but darn it all, it's a nice app--fast, smooth and great work on the integrating "Sharing" option. And considering this service is built into the Xbox 360 (for Gold Members), this a great extension to your phone. Grab the free app here in the Marketplace.

Thanks, Lerimer S., for the heads up!

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3 years ago

MetroGridHelper: A visual aid for designers and developers

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This is for all developers and designers out there who strive to produce only the best looking apps for Windows Phone. Jeff Wilcox, developer of 4th&Mayor and Senior Software Development Lead for Windows Phone, was discussing design principles with two members of the Windows Phone design team when he was introduced to a grid the team has been using on the platform. The grid is a set of squares 25×25px, offset 12px from one another, and all contained within a page padding of 24px.

Wilcox decided to create an overlay developers can use in emulator debugging to ensure text and content is aligned to perfection (see image above for example of misaligned text). This is best used with tweaking designs and the UI. Screenshots can be taken with the overlay active on the emulator and then shared with clients or the designer for feedback and critique.

MetroGridHelper can be installed with NuGet. For more information and installation details, head on over to Wilcox's blog (link below).

Source: Jeff Wilcox

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3 years ago

SkyMap - Mango App Spotlight

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SkyMap - Mango App Spotlight

Good news for the star gazers in the house. The Windows Phone app SkyMap was recently updated to version 1.5. The update adds Mango features into the mix including fast app switching and a point to sky mode that uses the Windows Phone's compass sensors.

For those not familiar with SkyMap (here's our review) it provides interactive sky maps for any time (between 1900 and 2100), viewpoint and location on Earth. The app displays the different names, coordinates, magnitude, astronomical rise and set times plus additional information for over 110000 stars, messier objects, planets, sun and the moon.

If you're an avid star gazer or just wanting to learn more about the stars above, SkyMap is worth checking out. There is a free version of SkyMap available (ad supported) that you can find here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace. An ad-free version is running $1.29 that you can find here at the Marketplace.  Remember, the update to SkyMap requires you to have Windows Phone 7.5 running on your phone.

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3 years ago

Four new Windows Phone Mango Bing adverts [Video]

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We've seen the new Windows Phone adverts Microsoft seems to be pushing out to their YouTube channel as well as other places and they've caught our attention for all the right reasons. Probably due to Brandon Foy being hired? The adverts and videos we've seen thus far have focused on highlighted Mango features. There was one thing missing - Bing.

Microsoft has solved this by releasing four new videos where viewers can enjoy a presentation of services including Vision, Local Scout, and web search. Still upbeat, still beautiful. Check out the video above and three more after the break.

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3 years ago

No new Dell Windows Phone 7.5 devices as they take a hiatus

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A few days ago, we ran an odd post about the Dell Wrigley, a reportedly updated Venue Pro which we first saw on a leaked Dell roadmap back in February. But later in May, Dell was noticeably absent from the list of hardware partners. The story we recently ran suggested that at least in India, this device was oddly on the way to market. We say odd since Dell as been MIA from the Windows Phone device scene for months now.

Unfortunately, we confirmed though a higher up at Dell that the Wrigley is no more and won't be released. We're not even sure if the device ever left planning stages, to be honest. But more importantly and as expected, Dell will not be having any more "Mango" devices to offer this year or next. Sure, they'll continue to support the Dell Venue Pro, no worries there, but it looks like they are taking a break for now.

The good news, if any, is that they may (we stress may) be back for Apollo aka Windows Phone 8, presumably after they clean up and make some changes internally to better meet the demands of their client. (We should also note that Dell seems to have also pulled or reduced support for their Android line as well, making this more a mobile-division issue than Windows Phone specific.)

Thanks, Malcolm, for the info and guidance

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3 years ago

Exchange 2003 issues identified in Windows Phone 7.5

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Windows Phone 7.5 users are reporting some quirks with how it interacts with Exchange 2003 servers.  Firstly, when replying to an email using an Exchange 2003 account on a Windows Phone, the original message does not get included in the reply.  What the recipient sees instead is just the header information from the original message (pictured above). 

Another issue identified by Exchange 2003 users involves forwarded emails.  When forwarding a message to someone, the original content gets sent to the recipient as an attachment (pictured below). 

It's unclear why exactly this is happening, but it's certainly causing people frustration.  It's likely due legacy technology Exchange 2003 , which has since seen two newer iterations, Exchange 2007 and the latest, 2010.  Still, given that Exchange 2003 is clearly outdated and that it behooves companies to upgrade, the fact of the matter is that a brand new Microsoft product should interact flawlessly with another Microsoft product.  To add some fuel to the already justifiable fire, let's consider that Microsoft's competitors, namely Android and iPhone, do not have the same bugs.  Microsoft, you have some explaining to do.

NOTE: One commenter on the user voice page says that they are using Exchange 2003 SP2 and they are not experiencing the issue.  The tests I ran where I did have problems were on the same version of Exchange, so perhaps there is some update out there that fixes this. 

The Exchange ActiveSync Client Comparison Table on Microsoft TechNet does not list anything prior to Exchange 2003 SP2, so if you have WP7 working with anything older, then a hearty congratulations to you.

ANOTHER NOTE: This issue is being reported in some places as an Outlook issue, which is not the case.  The problem here has something to do with how the phone OS itself and the Exchange server communicate, which does not involve an email client like Outlook.  Though to be fair, when setting up an Exchange account in WP7, the option you choose is called "Outlook."

Source: Microsoft (Thanks for the tip, Mike!)

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3 years ago

European Commission approves Skype acquisition

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The European Commission has approved Microsoft's acquisition of Skype (for $8.5 billion), which we reported on earlier this year with gaining the approval of the FTC. What does this mean for Windows Phone? We've now got front-facing cameras on Mango handsets so we can definitely expect to see Skype coming to the platform in the future and since Microsoft now owns the video calling service, it should be one service implementation to look forward to.

Check out the official statement from Microsoft on the decision:

"REDMOND, Wash. – Oct. 7, 2011 – The following is a statement by Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Microsoft Corporation, regarding the European Commission’s decision to approve Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype:

We’re pleased that the European Commission has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. This is an important milestone, as we’ve now received clearance from both the United States and the European Union. We look forward to completing soon the final steps needed to close the acquisition, bringing together the employees of Microsoft and Skype, and creating new opportunities for people to communicate and collaborate around the world."

Source: Microsoft

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3 years ago

NES titles still being sold in the Marketplace with new ones added [Updated]

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Remember last week when we covered the situation surrounding ROMs being sold on the Marketplace using an emulator that has been dead for a while? Microsoft still hasn't acted yet by removing these ROMs that shouldn't be sold or even made available for purchase. The games in question are Golf, PunchOut, Metroid and now Zelda, which was added only yesterday.

So not only are the ROMs still available on the Marketplace, but new ones seem to be being accepted without question and the developer behind the submissions is racking up the sales. Hopefully by the time Microsoft deals with this problem the revenue earned will be moot and account rights revoked. Don't hold your breath however. We were tipped soon after publishing the previous article that the team has been informed and are looking into removing the offending apps. Fast-forward a week and here we are with new ones being approved and old ones being updated to join already published ROMs. 

Update: We've received word from a reader who got in touch with Brandon Watson about the legality issues surrounding these ROMs being sold on the Marketplace. We're told that while Brandon understands the cause for concern, they can't remove the apps in question from the Marketplace without Nintendo's request. So for now the developer can continue to launch and update these poorly ported ROMs as he so pleases and earn revenue from purchases.

We will look to get in touch with Nintendo and bring this situation to their attention.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone officially launching in India October 12th

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Although phones such as the Dell Venue Pro and the HD7 have been available in India for sometime, official support for the OS, including the Marketplace, has not been available. Now, come October 12th, Microsoft looks to be kicking off the Marketplace and other services in India for the first time, opening up the gates for HTC, Samsung and LG to start seriously pushing their devices in what is an admittedly huge market.

The news comes way of an official press conference to be held in New Dehli on October 12th. Evidently Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India, will also be there, making this quite a big event.

via: I Love Windows Phone!

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3 years ago

theCHIVE and VEVO apps get a Mango overhaul

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Another morning and another round of app updates that feature some Mango goodness. Today we have two apps that feature some big internet media sites: theCHIVE (site) and VEVO (site).

  • theChive - The popular photo and video humor site has an unofficial/official app for Windows Phone and the new v1.2 features fast app switching, optional toast notifications for new posts, optional 2-sided live tile with picture and title of latest post, new search function and your regular mix of fixes and speed improvements. TheChive app is of course free (ad supported) and you can grab it here in the Marketplace. (Web Link) (Thanks, Jason J., for the heads up!)
  • VEVO - The trendy music video site has a really nice app for Windows Phone (seriously, check it out) and it just hit v2.0 bringing some awesome Mango features including creating custom playlists, pin any artist/video for quick access to your favorite music, music hub integration and fast app switching. It also has music trivia before each video, which is kind of cool. You can pick up VEVO here in the Marketplace for free. (Web Link) (Thanks, Daniel, for the tip!)

Make sure you check out all our Mango app updates and reviews right here!

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3 years ago

Camera comparison: HTC Titan vs HD7

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A reader has notified us of some photos uploaded that show a visible difference between the camera in the HTC HD7 and the monstrous HTC Titan. The HD7 features a 5 megapixel camera with auto focus and dual LED flash, while the Titan sports an 8 megapixel camera with F2.2 lens, dual LED flash, and BSI sensor for better low-light capturing.

You can view the original images on Flickr - Titan / HD7.

Thanks Peter for letting us know about the images!

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3 years ago

Deutsche Telekom's Mango update for Omnia 7 coming in early November

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A support representative from Deutsche Telekom told users via a reply on Facebook that the Mango update for the Samsung Omnia 7 will not be coming until "early November."  It's not what Omnia 7 owners wanted to hear, but it's better than not knowing at all, right?  DT first pushed out WP 7.5 updates to HTC devices on September 26, with Samsung ones said to follow, but it was reported the next day that the Omnia 7 would not be included.  Deutsche Telekom and the Omnia 7 are no strangers to update delays, so the news is not terribly surprising, though disappointing nonetheless.

Thanks for the tip, Tobi!

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