3 years ago
Four big name apps for Windows Phone present at Microsoft Acceleration Week
Last week was Microsoft Mobile Acceleration Week 2011 in Israel, where inneractive, an app monetization exchange, helped judge an app development contest for the week. This contest saw not only indie developers creating apps in the tight time frame, but big names were present also. Three winners, who also have apps on other platforms, included Doat, Touch Apps, and Babylon. All three received the Nokia Lumia 800 as prizes. Runner up was WorldMate, a well known cross-platform travel app.
From the app descriptions written by inneractive, who reported on the event:
Doat - "A mobile app that will change the experience of searching on your phone. Instead of presenting non-optimized links as search results, Doat offers your HTML5 apps based on your search query. The UI of the Windows Phone app is beautiful and actually very different than the same app on other competing platforms."
Touch Apps - "A less well known developer, Touchapps has seven apps all together on various platforms and spent the week developing one of their top apps called Makeup Girls. Yes, I know how it sounds, but it is actually kind of brilliant. Maybe me or you are not the target audience, but the ability to choose a picture and apply makeup as you see fit appeals to millions of girls across the world, as the app’s download numbers have shown. Well, now Makeup Girls, following in the footsteps of iOS will be available to Windows Phone users."
Babylon - "As the leading name in text translation, it was only natural that Babylon would transition over to mobile devices. And so they did. Already available on iOS and Android, Babylon for Windows Phone allows you to translate any word, in any language, to the language of your choice, in real time. Of course, there is a lot more to the app including a currency converter, since presumably you will be using the app when traveling. The UI is super simplistic and hence very intuitive and does exactly what it is meant to do, how it is meant to do it."
This follows the four major apps unveiled at Microsoft Mobile Acceleration event in New York. Sure, while these apps aren't unique to the platform or a major game changer, it's good to see quality choice coming to Windows Phone, which will slowly dissolve the problem potential buyers have with Microsoft's OS - the lack of big name apps.
Source: inneractive; Thanks, Amir, for the tip!
3 years ago
Sloppy AT&T store uses original Focus for Focus S display
We're pretty sure if you took a tour of the thousands of AT&T stores across the country, you will find tons of sloppy displays, errors, etc. Anyone who has ever managed retail knows the difficulty in trying to control appearance, which is why chains employ internal checks, secret-shoppers, etc.
In that case, perhaps this AT&T store in Florida is not that different and we're just picking on a single case. But using the original Samsung Focus as the display phone for the brand new, much praised Focus S is a bit much (we're forgetting for a second the lack of display card too). And while mistakes and sloppiness like this are sure to happen on occasion, Windows Phone simply cannot afford to have instances like this occurring.
Update: Reader Justin A. sent us this photo from another AT&T store. Here they are mixing up the Focus S for the Flash. Sigh.
Big thanks to Jack F. for the photo!
3 years ago
Nokia Lumia ad shows up on Xbox 360 Dashboard
In what seems like an obvious venue for pushing one of your flagship partner's phones, Microsoft and Nokia have evidently begun displaying Lumia ads on the Xbox 360's Dashboard.
The adverts appear to be localized, meaning if you're in the States you'll be hard pressed to find them. But at least in Europe and perhaps elsewhere, there's a good chance you could catch it.
Advertising Windows Phone on Xbox 360 has always seems like the most logical way to ramp up sales of the slow, but growing mobile OS. The Xbox is one of the top selling consumer devices (with the Kinect holding a world record), so riding on its coattails just comes across as the best choice. And while we think this is a right step, it is really just the beginning of what we think Microsoft should do with Xbox and Windows Phone.
Our advice? In every promo image or advert you have, place a Windows Phone next to it.
Source: @alextaylornet; via TheNokiaBlog; Thanks, @XB_Mod, for the tip!
3 years ago
Bank of America app updated. No new features but it works again!
The Bank of America app received a minor update yesterday, but it gives one new major function: it works! Yes, for nearly the last month, you've been rightly complaining that the BoA app would error out when you tried to log into one of your accounts, making this app pretty useless (less you just need an ATM finder).
While the app didn't add anything new and is still not Mango ready (c'mon folks, it's not that hard), at least its main function has been restored. From the changelog
The same special characters (such as “/”) that are allowed in Online Banking Online IDs and Passcodes are now also accepted in Mobile Banking
Pick up the new version here in the marketplace.
3 years ago
Native-code access "on the radar" for Windows Phone developers
We have what looks like great news for current and potential Windows Phone developers. Now that Microsoft has made great strides with Windows Phone 7.5, they appear to be turning their attention to native access for developers, at least in some form. Up till now, developers have had no access to certain aspects of the OS, including telephony, codecs, graphic engines or deeper file access. Reasons for such restrictions were thought primarily to revolve around OS-stability and security. Now, Microsoft seems to be seriously considering opening up some native code to developers--either as part of a reconsideration of the policy or perhaps just being able to focus on implementation.
Stemming from a discussion on the Microsoft WPDev Feedback site, one of the most requested features is native development. In a subsection titled "How can we improve the WPDev application platform?" a suggestion of a Native SDK is sitting in the 4th spot with 1,000 votes. The thread is quite revealing as devs discuss how the current limitations of the platform are hurting their work. One example comes from an iOS developer who states "I want to do DSP on WP7. My DSP algorithms in Tunepal (my app) take fractions of a second on IOS and Android (written in C++) and about 10 seconds to run on WP7." Likewise, others discuss the need for 3rd party gaming engines e.g. Unreal or Unity, both of which are currently not allowed in the OS.
Cliff Simpkins, Senior Product Manager for Windows Phone 7, posted a response to the native SDK request and didn't pull any punches:
"...we are interested in providing developers with more options to develop great apps for Windows Phone, and native is one item that is high on the radar."
The goal of his post, dated just three days ago, is to solicit specific feedback on what exactly developers want most e. g. C++, third-party gaming engines, etc.. As he points out, while it would be nice to give developers everything, Microsoft is on a fixed schedule needing to prioritize any such opening up of the platform. Clearly Microsoft would need time to develop the SDK, APIs and do what they do best which is make premium, easy to use developer tools. Putting that aside, it seems quite clear that Microsoft wants to open up the platform to developers, resulting in more feature-complete apps and games for consumers.
Microsoft's only hesitation at this time seems to be: What parts do you want now and what do you want later?
Source: WPDev Feedback/User Voices; Big thanks to Amir, for the tip!
3 years ago
Xbox Live Developer Interview: SEGA, makers of Sonic CD
As our review indicates, I’m a big fan of Sonic 4, the first Sonic game released on Windows Phone. SEGA is now gearing up to release Sonic CD, a new and improved version of the classic Sega CD game, for Windows Phone and other platforms. In the latest installment of our Xbox Live Developer Interview series, we grill Ken Balough, Brand Manager at SEGA, about the upcoming Sonic CD remake.
3 years ago
Dan Lyons enjoys the design and feel of both the Lumia 800 and the OS
Dan Lyons, known across the bloggersphere for "Fake Steve Jobs", was comparing the "two best phones on the market" - the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Lyons took both handsets for a spin, but turned out to fall for the underdog. The Nokia Lumia 800, powered by Windows Phone Mango, took the fake Steve Jobs by surprise with how great the device looks and feels, as well as the Metro UI.
"Recently I had a Nokia Lumia 800 running Windows Phone in the mix — and every time the phones rang, the Nokia was the one I picked up. The design is just really nice, and it feels great in your hand. I’m doing an interview with the head of design at Nokia next week, and I’m anxious to talk to him about the Lumia 800. It really is a gorgeous device, and the Windows interface is really fresh and different."
Not a huge deal, but interesting to see a look at two competitor handsets (and platforms) turns out to bring Microsoft on top. Head on over to Dan Lyon's blog for the full read through.
Source: RealDanLyons, via: WPSauce
3 years ago
Samsung Omnia W popular on Telenor
The Samsung Omnia W, a second generation Windows Phone, is proving to be pretty popular in Sweden on Telenor. The carrier has the device listed on their "most popular" page joining the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Nokia N9 and HTC Sensation. We've only just covered the Omnia W arriving to Telenor, so this is a positive sign of the demand for a Mango handset.
Source: Telnor, via: Wingadget.se thanks Peter for the heads up!
3 years ago
Windows Phone Game Review: LineBirds
3 years ago
Developer Interview: Gergely Orosz
This week, for our series of developer interviews, we're joined by Gergely Orosz who is an established developer with the likes of AppFlow Cocktail Flow and Flashlight 7 under his belt. Head on past the break for the interview and to read up on his advice and thoughts on the Windows Phone developer experience as well as the platform itself from a consumer perspective.
3 years ago
Windows Phone Marketplace works...pirated software promptly removed
An interesting thing happened yesterday which we chose to not cover in detail. In short, someone published an app to the Windows Phone Marketplace that was pirated. Specifically it was a popular GPS navigation app which cost a good amount of money. The person responsible presumably ripped the original XAP from the Marketplace and simply re-submitted it, pawning it off as their own.
Did they try to make money from it? Nope, they did something possibly worse--they offered it for free.
3 years ago
Windows Phone app makes fives times more than iOS version - A developer case study
We like single case studies. You get exceptional detail and that personal touch. We also know you can't extrapolate the result to every similar situation, but they are useful for drawing some conclusions. For example, a few months ago, we wrote about about a Mortal Kombat guide for Windows Phone versus its Android version (Part 1, Part 2), with the former having a higher return in ad-revenue. Now we turn to a case with iOS.
The story is told by Anlock, who specialize in child-learning apps for mobile platforms. They make the same apps for both iOS and Windows Phone except that the iOS version is "more enhanced". They were making only iOS apps but were persuaded to try their hand at Windows Phone--since they had all the content, porting was easy. On both platforms their apps received the same 4 and 5 star reviews and both were even featured at some point in the Marketplace and App Store. The only difference between the two, really, was Anlock tried an "extensive advertising campaign" with iOS (that failed) whereas on WP7, they had no out-of-pocket advertising program. So what was the outcome?
"In terms of ranking, our WP7 app has been number 1 in the US in the Kids + Family category for the past three months in the Marketplace. As for the iPhone app, it has been ranked in the top 400 in Games\Educational for more than 2/3 of the entire time frame, reaching the top 100.
The end result? As said, FIVE time more sales of our WP7 app vs. our iPhone app."
The next question of course is, why the difference?
3 years ago
Is AT&T dialing back 4G speeds on Windows Phones?
There's an interesting discussion going on in the WPCentral Forums concerning HSDPA speeds on the AT&T HTC Titan. Forum Member gtg465x is witnessing faster bandwidth speeds on Android based phone than his HTC Titan. Speeds of 2-3Mbps are being witnessed on the Titan while the Android phones are experiencing 3-4Mbps. In areas where there is advanced backhaul in place the Titan tests at 4Mbps while Android jumps to 8-10Mbps. Likewise, Rob41664 & jawesome are reporting faster speeds with the Focus S over their Titans. According to the discussion,
After extensive testing, I'm quite positive AT&T is artificially limiting network speed on their version of the Titan by limiting the HSDPA feature set to category 8. The phone hardware of course is able to support HSDPA category 10 features.
Turns out AT&T has a history of doing this, specifically with the LG Thrill, a "4G" phone set at category 8. People evidently bumped it to 10 and nearly doubled their data throughput. The theoretical maximum throughput for category 10 is 14.1Mbps. The theoretical maximum throughput of category 8 is 7.2Mbps.
So the question is: What is the HSDPA category of AT&T's Windows Phones? We can't actually know, because unlike Anroid, we can't see let alone alter that information. Still, we wanted to see if the Titan was slower than the Focus S.
Dan (NYC) and I (Alabama) both tested out AT&T Titans up against the Samsung Focus S and T-Mobile's HTC Radar (we don't have any Android's here). We both used Bandwidth for the testing and the tests were conducted indoors with the phone untouched during testing. Here's our test results (first number is download speeds, second is upload speeds).
2.29 / .91
2.39 / .57
2.18 / .46
3.73 / 1.01
2.06 / .84
2.34 / .54
2.46 / .42
3.86 / 1.10
2.23 / .88
2.45 / .78
2.63 / .47
4.33 / .47
From these results, we so no difference between the Focus S and the Titan--the main concern of the original forum thread. It might not have been a fair fight comparing the Radar with the AT&T Windows Phones but it is clear that AT&T's "4G" speeds pale in comparison to T-Mobiles--important if you're considering a new network. Moreover, it is obvious that AT&T "4G" Windows Phones don't really get very fast speeds, whatever their settings may be.
However, if Android devices are testing at 8-10Mbps, or even 4Mbps, could AT&T be dialing back bandwidth on Windows Phone in general with a lower HSDPA category? Or is it something else?
Thanks goes out to Tommy for tipping us on this!
3 years ago
Garmin StreetPilot on sale? Say it ain't so
Looking for a good navigation app for your Windows Phone? Do you want to save a few bucks? Take a look at the Garmin StreetPilot navigation app for your Windows Phone. We were just tipped that the price fell ten bucks from $39.99 to $29.99.
You may not have on-board maps as you do with Navigon but StreetPilot is an excellent navigation app within its own right (here's our review). There is a trial version available to let you try it before investing in the full version.
StreetPilot was recently updated to mango so you'll need to be running Windows Phone 7.5. You can find Garmin StreetPilot here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Thanks goes out to Dan for the tip!
3 years ago
Metrowe - keeping track of moochers
We like ingenious apps around here and Metrowe fits the bill nicely. It's an app to keep track of how much money you owe or are owed. But it's not a bill manager for credit cards or businesses, but rather a tool for keeping track of personal expenses with friends and colleagues. For instance, say you lend someone $20 or pick up dinner one night, you can enter that info in Metrowe for easy record keeping. Vice versa, you can add in money you owe others, including noting what it was for.
The app has contact-integration, meaning you can really personalize entries with no effort. It also has a Live Tile that keeps track of your net value (owed vs owes) and flips over to show you your latest entries. On top of each entry, it records a history of transactions for individuals and allows you to 1-touch email them as a reminder--once again, very slick.
The app is very well designed (lots of Metro), slick and pretty darn useful. We love the Live Tile and contact-integration as it really makes it feel native. But if we're going this far, perhaps the dev can add camera integration too--so you can photograph that dinner or drinks that you bought everyone, why not? Shoot, even location info would be a good addition too. Regardless, as is the app is quite good and we highly recommend.
It fetches for $1.29 in the Marketplace and has a free trial.
Show More Headlines