Update: There's a $0.99 version which also features a Live tile/counter, seen above
We reviewed Send to WP7 a few weeks ago, the little app that allows you to send links and text to your phone through your browser, but now a new competitor is in town: Browser To Windows Phone 7
Although the theory and setup is the same, Browser to... goes further as far as options. For one, it divides up text vs links. Second, doing a long press on the text or link allows you to "act on" the information in a much more useful way. Specifically:
After link is sent , you can:
navigate the link with Browser
send the link via SMS
send the link via EMail
After selection/custom text is sent, you can:
search text with Google
search text with Bing
send text via SMS
send text via EMail
delete a text
Of course, Send to WP7 could enable those features too, but for now, we like the more robust features in Browser to Windows Phone 7. Seems like a real great way for saving information "offline" for later use. The app is free and can be found here in the Marketplace and here is the developer's page for more info.
United Nations News is a free app by developer Justin Angel (see "Neurons" video) that pulls down all the top news right from the United Nations, including articles, video, radio and pictures.
Although many people don't follow the U.N. directly, this app makes a strong case to get you to do just that due to its excellent user experience and UI layout. In short, it's just darn nice to lookat (even if the news is a bit sullen).
The app is of course free, open source and now award-winning. Those are three reasons why you should give it a spin, plus, it might make you a better global citizen if you know what's going on in the world. Just sayin'. Grab it here in the Marketplace.
Have you ever wanted to hop into a canon and blast yourself through a flaming hoop? We've all been there, obviously. Not all of us have ever had the chance to follow through with that lofty goal but we can at least live vicariously through Slinky the clown. As Slinky, the ambitious big-top star of Carneyvale: Showtime, you'll be able to live the dream.
See how high into the ranks of Carnival fame you can blast yourself to in this addictive vertical scroller. Video and full review after the jump.
Although WP7 can support many characters (we had an email written in Thai read just beautifully), full-on language support is a whole other issue. Microsoft is busy at regionalizing WP7 for Asian markets and we can expect that in the second half of 2011. Until then, developer "kaorun" (Kaoru Nakajima) is in the early stages of bringing Japanese to Windows Phone 7 through his app called FlickPad X2.
The app is distributed via XAP file and he plans to publish it to the Marketplace in the future (whether or not it gets through is another issue). Evidently, you can do email and web searches in Japanese as well as other functions. Seems good to us and we're pretty impressed.
Check out the video after the break to see it in action.
While Windows Phone 7 devices are available in many countries the access to the Windows Phone Marketplace isn't. According to an online petition, the Marketplace is only available in seventeen countries and Windows Phone 7 owners want that to change.
The petition is directed to Microsoft and simply asks:
"We would like to ask you to allow access to the international marketplace worldwide or, at the very least, for customers in all the countries were the phones are available, as soon as possible. In case there are objective reasons why this is not possible we would kindly ask you to inform the general public of the issues involved and a roadmap for the worldwide availability of the marketplace."
The request sounds reasonable and it would be depressing to have a shiny new Samsung Focus with no bells and whistles. Granted in Microsoft's defense there could be trade restrictions, currency exchange issues, and other hurdles to overcome.
If you're interested in joining the cause and signing the online petition you can find more information here. As of this posting 416 signatures have been obtained.
Now it looks like they are moving on to app #2, those custom Accents. As can be seen above, developer Justin Angel has a custom "black" theme rocking on his device, something that looks like the rest of us will get a shot at soon. While we enjoy our current hue selection, we think a few more wouldn't hurt, right? We know Orange UK (HTC Mozart) has their own carrier theme, so why not us?
One of the most useful apps out there, ShopSavvy (see earlier coverage) is finally now live in the Marketplace. The barcode-scanning shopping assistant allows you to scan any UPC label out there for price-checks against the web. For example, scanning a book's barcdoe will bring up prices on Half.com, eBay, Amazon, etc. You can then hop to the site or "share deal" with others. In addition, if any local deals are found, it'll show them on a map based on your location as well as any reviews for the item.
After giving it a spin for ten minutes, we were left impressed. And seeing as it's free, there's no reason to not try it, especially if you like bargains. Grab it here in the Marketplace.
While "Sense 3.0" on Windows Phone 7 is a bit underwhelming (although that weather update helps), HTC is still interested in developing it further for our new OS. What exactly that means is anyone's guess because evidently, they're not talking.
In an interview with Forbes, HTC's head of UX, Drew Bamford said the following about Sense and WP7:
We have a good relationship with Microsoft so we’re continuing to work with them to figure out how to enable a Sense experience without breaking their model...Our expectation is that we will be able to do more over time.
Well, maybe even they don't know. But from an earlier report, HTC did talk about how they "...will innovate differently to improve the experience and to get some HTC unique and differentiated experience on Windows Phone 7 in the future." Once again vague.
So we'll continue to wait but to be honest, while we dig their mini-apps, we're not looking to replace our new UI anytime soon. But hey HTC, we'll see what you can do.
Billed as the world's best news reader exclusively for Windows Phone Weave has some big shoes to fill. Sele Games has put together a very comprehensive, easy to navigate around, stable news reader for Windows Phone 7.
Weave pulls from sources such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, and USA Today. You can also add feeds by topic or specific websites. Weave also includes Facebook and Twitter integration.
Weave is priced at $3.99 and to see if it's worth the bucks and fits the billing, ease on past the break.
Windows Phone 7’s launch in Thailand yesterday was a monumental success, selling out immediately. Microsoft, partnering with HTC and Dtac, released the WP7-powered HTC HD7 to eager consumers, making Thailand the fifth country in the world to have WP7. [Well, maybe they count countries differently in Thailand, but last we checked, WP7 is in over 30 countries right now -ed]
HTC offered the phone at a price of 22,900 baht (about $760) with a 3GB monthly plan for 799 baht (about $26.50). According to HTC’s Nattawat Woranoppakul, the Surround was originally considered, but passed up for the HD7’s larger screen, better speakers and smaller form factor.
As we reported previously, Microsoft will not be providing WP7 Asian Language Support until the second half of 2011, so in the meantime, the HD7 is using an HTC application which makes Thai language support possible.
Do you like racing? Do you like racing through endless tunnels while rotating around at high speeds, losing all sense of up or down, while inducing nausea?
Then "Descent" by RH Computing is for you.
Just released to the Marketplace and fetching for $0.99 (+ trial), the game is a load of fun and will test your skills as you try to dodge obstacles, gain energy orbs and ramp up your speed. Make no mistake, not only is it a blast but it will take time to get good at it. Plus the graphics are nice and smooth as you can see from the video above. Hey, for a buck, we can think of worse things to spend your money one, so maybe give this a shot.
Grab the demo here in the Marketplace. Hit us up in comments for your thoughts on the game.
Windows Phone 7 custom ROM development got a big boost today with the advancement in two areas:
Custom ROM Image Editor (by AnDim)
Mixing of HTC ROM images & different radios (by ansar.ath.gr)
The former is what you see above and is basically a simple GUI for manipulation of ROM images, making custom ROM development that much easier. Basically it allows for the "...extraction, replacement, addition, removal" of ROM files. This is still in testing and therefore limited (only read and extract functions) but it's a big step in the process.
The other news comes by way of XDA member ansar.ath.gr. A few days ago, he garnered some attention by successfully swapping ROM images from one HTC WP7 device to another. Today, he has gone further by manipulating radio images as well. He notes:
This is a custom ROM not signed with the new and yet not completely hacked MS WP7 signer. If this is true for all operators and spl's then the game just started.
...Now there is a way to flash only the radio from other operators
Once again, for practical matters, this means little for even those who are itching to flash a new ROM. What it does mean is that progress is being made to allow custom flashing of different regional ROMs, radios and mixing and matching. Although significant, we have to wonder just how much improvement will come down the pike from such maniuplation. Still, it's fun to watch as we know these guys will keep at it, no matter what obstacles they face.
We knew from a few months ago that SHAPE Services, the developers of the popular instant messaging utility IM+, were committed to a Windows Phone 7 client. Since that time, we have not heard much more about it, but at least according to one report, it's far from dead.
I just got word from my person at Shape Services. They are testing IM+ for Windows Phone 7 internally, so it's not vaporware, and are planning to drop it on us in "January-February." Horray!
While not an official statement from SHAPE Service, it looks like it will have to do until we hear more. Nabil also speculates about some of the (well known) issues that IM developers may face when building for WP7:
Currently, WP7 doesn't support independent sockets. What that means is that you can't just connect to ports and services. WP7 supports HTTP and HTTPS connections right now. Until we get socket support, we can't connect to the actual IM servers. We need to connect to a proxy server first.
The rest of the story is that Microsoft is, according to reports from various blogs, releasing the API during the first round of updates, so possibly in January, but more likely in February.
He also notes the same issue applies for Skype and Pandora (although Slacker Radio and IheartRadio seem to be doing just fine). Regardless of the reason, we're fairly confident that early 2011 will bring lots of radical improvements through those "several updates" in the next couple of months.
Break.com, that site with an endless supply of "viral" videos, first came out with their Windows Phone 7 app in October. Unfortunately, most reviews weren't so hot. Good for them that their v1.1, released today, seems to working quite well. The app has a Live tile, but it's one of those "for aesthetics only" types where it merely downloads a new video image. Still, we like variation on our Today screen, so we'll take it, thank you very much.
There's still no way to search (boo) or share videos (boo x2) but for just watching silly viral clips, it gets an 'A'. Even over 3G the vids look buttery smooth on our end, making this very useful on the go. We'll also say that their UI design is quite swanky for a freebie.
Hey, we're always up for wasting time on our mobile, after all what is a 3G enabled smartphone for but to distract us from life's mundane rituals? So we'll give this app a "recommend", especially if you like to laugh at stupid stuff. We sure do.