Slacker Radio is a popular radio service that has done really well on the Windows Mobile platform and all indications are that success is carrying over to Windows Phone 7 (we'll have a review up shortly).
To help celebrate the launch of Windows Phone 7, Slacker Radio and WPCentral are going to giveaway six, three-month subscriptions to the radio service. All you've got to do is head on over to the WPCentral Forums and, in this discussion, let us know what you would like to see Microsoft include in the first Windows Phone 7 update.
We'll let the conversation run through 7:00pm CST on Thursday, November 18, 2010. We'll then randomly select six posts as winners. You do have to be a registered member and that simple process can be found here.
So, head on over to the forums and tell us what you think and good luck to everyone.
We mentioned Neurons awhile back. It's a video streaming app dedicated to science and features TED Talks, Fora.TV, Science Dump and The RSA. Designed by Justin Angel, it's quite useful and nicely laid out.
It's free, available now and quite impressive. Unlike the TED app which I covered last week (see here), this will work over 3G, making it much more practical. It's open source, meaning anyone can improve upon it if they wish and integrates with the Music & Video hub nicely (i.e. previously watched material shows up).
The program is solid and has some nice pizazz to it. Highly recommended for those interested in all areas of science.
Don't like the picture that is showcased in your Pictures Hub tile? You know you can change it?
The process is painless and easy. Just go into the Pictures hub and tap/hold the screen above the displayed pictures. A pop-up menu will then appear with two options; "Change Background" and "Change it for me".
If you choose "Change it for me" your background and tile image will be randomly selected from all the pictures on your Windows Phone. Choose "Change Background" and you can browse through you picture galleries to find just the right photo.
Just one more way to personalize your Windows Phone.
We've already seen how on LG and Samsung phones, accessing the diagnostic menu can allow one to enable USB tethering. Now it is becoming evident that we can run unmanaged, native code on our phones too. Well kind of.
First, unmanaged, native code just means direct access to the software systems e.g. phone, email, etc., not just Silverlight applications that 3rd parties use. Second, the requirement here is you need to be able to sideload apps and only developers who pay the $99 fee get access to that feature. However, we've already heard from one of our sources that the whole "unlocking" business is tied to a single registry edit, meaning it may not be hard to circumvent at all.
What this all means is this: we may, at some point, be able to load custom software that not only is not approved by Microsoft, but changes fundamental restrictions on the device as well. In addition, changes to Metro UI may be possible. Of course, we won't be able to distribute these through the Marketplace, so you'll have to have the iPhone-model of a Cydia-like store. Cydia is the non-approved Apple App store where all the "hacks" and non-approved software are distributed. We so no reason why this won't happen eventually for Windows Phone either.
All of this comes back to what happened today with Australian developer Chris Walshie who was able to run unmanaged, native code on his device. The file modified “Microsoft.Phone.InteropServices” which may allow COM access in the future. By being able to modify that and write into a program, he was able to do something that only Microsoft, carriers and OEMs could do. In other words, today was the 1st day and 1st big step in "freeing" our phones.
Just when you thought we had heard the last of Microsoft's Kin One and Kin Two, they find a way back into the news. Even after their death, we saw not only one update but two updates. Now it appears their absence may be short lived.
The Kin is listed as coming back as early as this quarter on a Verizon device guide, identifying the target audience being young adults/teens. Could this simply be an attempt on Verizon's part to liquidate the KIN inventory that's collecting dust in a warehouse or an effort to revive the Windows Phone?
If it's the latter, Verizon will have to work on device and service pricing. The units will be harder to sell to the younger crowd if they are priced along side other smartphones. We felt that the Kin phones were nice but not for everyone. A step above featured phones but they didn't rise to the level of what we expect from a Windows Phone.
If Verizon can market and price the Kin with that in mind, they might actually sell more than handful of units this time.
Much like the Samsung Focus and Omnia 7, the LG Optimus 7 has also been shown to be able to USB Tether as a modem. Once again, it's a bit tricky, requiring some drivers to download and tinkering with a diagnostic menu, but overall is pretty straightforward.
Directions are posted after the break.
There's a good chance that the LG Quantum will be able to do the same, seeing as they are essentially sister devices. Considering how cheap the Quantum is going for on Amazon Wireless (that'd be 1 cent), it might be a good investment.
Okay, not really. But WP7 did get another product placement last night when Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan received an important text message during an interrogation.
Once again, it was LG that received the honor of placement, much like last week on The Vampire Diaries and earlier this week on Hawaii Five-0. We're not sure how they get all the promo spots, but hey, seems to work.
What show will our trusty new OS appear on next? Stay tuned!
While we like to showcase the "big" apps here at WPCentral, we can't forget the thousands of indy develoeprs out there.
WikiRand is one of my new favorite apps due to its simplicity and feeding on my unsatiiable quest for odd knowledge. The program adds a Tile to your start screen and it randomly downloads articles from Wikipedia. It then displays the image from that article and title, giving you a sneak peak.
The app automatically updates, though I'm not sure how often (looks to be every hour) and wile you can turn that on/off, you can't set the interval. It doesn't use much data as the article is only downloaded if you click the tile. It can take a few seconds to load over 3G but it's fast over Wi-Fi. Other than that though, for $0.99 (Try-before-you-buy is available) you can't beat it.
Out of an online poll of 42,000+ respondents, a whopping 76% responded in the negative AT&Ts question on whether they would buy a Windows Phone 7 device.
Considering how well Windows Phone 7 works with Facebook and Microsoft's deep connections to the social site (via Bing), those sure are some high negatives. Microsoft certainly has their work cut out for them, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. I'd also make some joke about teenagers and Facebook, but I think there are more older folk than younger ones these days. Could also be that they're thinking of Windows Mobile, not WP7.
[Related note: everyone who sees my Samsung Focus is pretty blown away by it]
One of the more anticipated Windows Phone 7 releases was the Samsung Focus. The black slab phone gained appeal with its 4" super-AMOLED screen and thin form factor making it one of the more anticipated Windows Phone 7 releases.
The tell of the tape has the Focus measuring in at 4.8" tall x 2.5" wide x .4" thick and weighing a meager 3.88 ounces. The Focus sports a glossy black and gray finish with chrome accents. It feels solid in the hand with just enough curves to eliminate a boxy feel.
Join us after the break for more on the Samsung Focus.
Using that coupon gets you to $74.99 which is ridiculously low. What's unclear is the order of the pricing: is it $99 after the $25 coupon or before? I'm leaning towards before, making this a heck of deal. We'll update as soon as it becomes clear.
Update: Indeed, the price is just $74.99 after doing the above! Great time to pick up that HD7.
Title says it all. Till Monday, you can grab yourself a new HTC Surround or LG Quantum (no Focus, sorry) for a low one-cent with a new contract. You'll have to "add to cart" to see the price: LG Quantum, HTC Surround. Of note is that the Surround is the #2 best selling phone, followed by the LG.
Part of Amazon's running deals, including a few other phones like the LG eXpo. Seems like a great deal to us.
In the on going saga of the Venue Pro, Dell finally had to come clean on the matter. Faced with shipping delays, lack of availability and Wi-Fi connection issue (can't connect to secured networks), the hardware maker is not off to a great start despite much customer anticipation.
The Wi-Fi issue stems from an error during production, which seems sort of obvious at this point. Devices purchased at the Microsoft store can be exchanged for new ones starting at the end of next week. Likewise, some of the Venue Pros were sold with mislabeled batteries, stating that they were "engineering" i.e. not for retail versions.
No word on whether production can or will be ramped up or whether you'll be able to get your hands on one anytime soon. We already mentioned the delay at Clove UK and it seems that at least for a few months, Venue Pros will be tough to come by. Hopefully Dell can get this all figured out as the Venue is one slick looking device.