Microsoft has released the first update for their Windows Phone Developer Tools. What's in the update? According to the release notes:
Windows Phone Capability Detection Tool – Detects the phone capabilities used by your application. When you submit your application to Windows Phone Marketplace , Microsoft performs a code analysis to detect the phone capabilities required by your application and then replaces the list of capabilities in the application manifest with the result of this detection process. This tool performs the same detection process and allows you to test your application using the same list of phone capabilities generated during the certification process.
Windows Phone Connect Tool – Allows you to connect your phone to a PC when Zune® software is not running and debug applications that use media APIs.
Updated Bing Maps Silverlight Control – Includes improvements to gesture performance when using Bing™ Maps Silverlight® Control.
The Windows Phone Marketplace has been steadily adding apps for the last few days (see yesterday's flood) and to quantify that, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore Tweeted that they hit a whopping 777 apps yesterday.
That surely is quite a feat for any new mobile OS on launch (and for us in the U.S. that launch is still 2 weeks away). Will they hit the magical (and arbitrary) 1,000 apps or more for the States? We think they can do it. Either way, when we log in on November 8th, we'll have a nice selection of apps from the big studios to the indys. Can't wait!
Though we know Microsoft built Windows Phone 7 1.0 around consumers first, it sure has a lot to offer businesses as well. To get that message across, Microsoft just put out a "Small Business Mobility Kit" which consists of one PowerPoint file and one PDF documenting in detail how and why Windows Phone 7 will work for you. They even have a new website focusing just on this area: www.windowsphone.com/business.
The main thrust is of course Office, Shareppoint and the new Office 365 (cloud service). At the very least we know Microsoft hasn't forgotten about their bread and butter that is enterprise. We'll be watching to see adoption rates over the next six to twelve months to see if it pans out.
Add Windows Phone 7 to The Weather Channel's mobile weather app line-up (well, we saw it yesterday, but now it's "official"). The ad-support application is free and available at the Marketplace. Claiming to provide the most reliable, accurate weather forecasts available, The Weather Channel app features:
Animated, interactive maps can be customized by weather layers such as radar and clouds, temperature, wind speed and recent precipitation
Detailed weather data in hourly, 36-hour and 10-day forecasts, as well as current conditions including temperature, wind, humidity, UV level, dew point, visibility, sunrise and sunset
A panoramic view screen and background weather images, the app is visually attractive and takes advantage of Microsoft's new user interface capabilities
Traffic cameras for local roads and highways (for supported markets)
Share weather information via e-mail to keep friends updated on weather effects
Save favorite locations for quick access to the most relevant weather
Video center with local and regional forecasts featuring TWC on-camera meteorologists
A severe weather center with updates on tropical systems, winter weather and more.
Future updates for the mobile weather app include a hurricane central section with tropical tracking info, integration with The Weather Channel's iWitness Weather Community and support for Spanish, German and French languages.
It will be interesting to see how this app compares to the Weatherbug app that will also be available for Windows Phone 7.
Although yesterday was the big day for Australia and the Windows Phone 7 launch, not all is peachy on that side of the globe. Reports are coming in that there are some severe supply constraints going with various devices and that potential customers are none to happy about it.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, telco's like Telstra are selling the HTC 7 Mozart in 11 stores and that some of those are sold out already. Supplies are expected to be replenished next week and the LG Optimus 7 goes on sale on November 9th, to possible make up for shortage.
Vodafone also failed to put the 7 Trophy from HTC on sale, saying it will do so next week instead. Likewise mobile carrier Optus wont' start selling till next week (Samsung Omnia 7, LG 7 Optimus) and they expect limited stock.
On the plus side, demand seems to be strong but such tight supply on launch does not look good either. Just the other day, HTC was denying any shipment delays witht their lineup, yet that doesn't look to be the case now that things are on sale. Granted, OEMs are probably stretched thin between their Android lineup and now WP7 and supplying "globally" (or close to) within 3-4 weeks is always tight. Still, lets hope we don't see the same sort of thing play out in the States.
Well looky here! Evidently Microsoft has introduced some new plans for the Zune Pass. Whereas before it was just a monthly pass for $14.95 and included 10 song purchases, you can now do 3-month ($44.97) and more importantly, annually for $149.90.
The annual plan is the sweet one as $149.90 works out to $12.50 a month, which is a nice savings (basically get "2 months free").
You can sign up or upgrade now and may be something worth considering when you get your Windows Phone 7 device. As for myself...already went annual, not even a question.
Microsoft Windows Phone 7 devices are already landing in stores overseas and are just around the corner from hitting the store shelves in the U.S. We are now seeing reviews surface across the web on the Samsung Focus, HTC Mozart, HTC Surround, and HTC HD7.
We will soon add our own reviews to the growing list but in the meantime, we thought we would offer up a little roundup of what others are saying about these new phones.
Ease on past the break to see what others are saying about the new Windows Phones.
We've mentioned Seesmic before and now a walkthrough is available for the social networking app. Seesmic has put together a nice introductory tour on Seesmic's blog site that summarizes the applications features.
The app will allow you to stay in touch with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. On Twitter, the app gives you the ability to update your status on multiple Twitter accounts, access your profile, upload links, picture or geotags to your posts.
With Facebook you can view feeds, read and post comments or "likes", as well as sharing photos. Seesmic puts everything under one roof rather nicely.
You can find Seesmic over at the Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 and if you follow the break, you'll see a video walk through.
We're waking up to a ton of new apps flooding the store as we speak (we checked yesterday and there were over 160 games available, including 15 LIVE titles). Some of the big ones to make an appearance are:
...and more. Plus all of the indy apps and games, a lot of which are free. So far even for the "big" titles prices are in the $4.99 or lower category with a few feteching $6.99 for the high LIVE games. But most of the above is $0.00. Ahh...now if we could only have our phones here in the U.S.?!
Finally, what looks to be a solid demonstration of Slingplayer for Windows Phone 7 has made its way to YouTube.
The app itself is exactly what we expected--except the part where resolution is "4 times that of previous Winodws Mobile devices". We like the sound of that and indeed the picutre is so sharp that this video almost looks simulated, no?
No release date, only a "coming soon" teased at the end. Looks close to us though! Peep the video after the break!
A few days ago we had covered how to create and combine an Xbox Live account and Zune account by using one powerful all-encompassing Windows Live ID - the ringleader that ties all of these services together. We've noted that if you don't currently use any of these services, or use just one of them, that you should create a Windows Live ID first. Yes, the term Windows Live ID is synonymous with Hotmail account so if you've got a Hotmail account, you've in tern, got a Windows Live ID. Many people are already using either an Xbox live account or Zune account without them being linked to a Windows Live ID. This is easily remedied if you have only one Windows Live ID you'd like to use for each service but gets pretty complicated if you want to combine multiple open accounts.
I got on the phone with Microsoft's Technical Support staff and went through their chain of command to get some definitive answers and to see what these users should do when they get a Windows Phone 7 device.
Read on after the break for our discussion with Microsoft and multiple accounts!
In one of the most ambitious and interesting advertising campaigns for Windows Phone 7, the "Old Spice Guy" is doing his thing to sell the new OS. Although this ad campaign seems isolated to Australia, we're pretty sure these things will go viral, as they should.
Anyways, the Old Spice Guy appeared on NovaFM 96.9 with Ricki-Lee (sorry, not familiar) and he made quite the impression.
T-Mobile has announced pricing for the HTC HD7 and based on a twitter post, the Windows Phone will be in stores on November 8th. So much for AT&T's exclusivity rumors.
The HD7 will runn $199.99 after contractual discounts. If you would like email notifications on the HD7, you can sign up for those as well over at T-Mobile's HD7 webpage. Hopefully, the "available November 8th" on the web page and "in stores" on Twitter mean the same thing.
We knew that Microsoft was working on Windows Phone 7 compatibility with Mac. Microsoft stated, "Later in 2010 Microsoft will make a public beta available of a tool that allows Windows Phone 7 to sync select content with Mac computers." It now appears that "later" is going to be sooner than expected.
Electricpig.co.uk has been testing the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac and has been pleased with it's performance. The Connector, once loaded on to your OS X machine, syncs your iTunes content and playlists with your Windows Phone through iTunes. There is no support for Wifi as of yet.
It's not Zune for Mac but it's a start. Speculation is that a Beta of the Connector will be launched on October 24. We'll keep an eye out for the Beta and keep you posted.