It's been longed rumored that Microsoft was going to make the Zune software compatibile with Apple's desktop OS, but the question still remains when? While we still don't know the answer to the latter question, we now know officially that Microsoft is making the Zune software Mac friendly syncing possible between Windows Phone 7 and a Mac (see Update 2, below).
In a Tweet that was posted (and quickly deleted), Oded Ran, Head of Consumer Marketing, Windows Phone, UK, basically announced that Mac users will be able to use Zune on their computers with "more details soon" as a tease.
Offering such compatibility between Macs and Windows Phone 7 is important to take the fight to Apple, we suppose, though it's unclear how many Apple fans will really ditch their iTunes/iPhone mini-closed empire for the "enemy's offerings". In that sense, this move is probably more symbolic than strategic in the long run, but it's one of those things that is very symbolic. Plus we know there has to be a few Apple fans who want Windows Phone 7, right?
Update: Evidently Microsoft decided to reveal a little bit more stating "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."
Update 2: And it's not Zune software, according to Thurrott, but a way for Mac users to sync content to their devices. Ah, the finer differences in life.
Still, the Omnia 7 is a quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G phone, so technically you can import one if you really want its squareness over the more svelte Focus. And in our conversation with Samsung yesterday, they said they are in talks with all U.S. carriers, so hope is in the air for some CDMA love in the spring.
In the meantime, take a look at GSM Arena's comprehensive review of the I8700 Omnia 7. They "...walk away impressed" with the hardware, reserving any criticism for the now familiar "limitations-of-the-OS" arguments. Getting back to the hardware they say this:
To summarize the review in one sentence – the hardware is perfect, it’s the software that lets the phone down on occasion.
Like all current Samsung devices (Galaxy S series), their strength is simply their screens featuring Super AMOLED, which really is quite impressive with it's "wet" blacks and rich contrast. That's the take away message of why Samsung's WP7 offerings may be a better choice for some of you.
The HTC 7 Pro made a surprise appearance at yesterdays Windows Phone 7 launch and is headed to the Sprint network next year. We are now hearing rumors that it will also be headed across the pond to the United Kingdom.
Tracy and Matt are reporting that while they demoed all the HTC Windows Phone 7 devices headed to the U.K. they were told that the Pro 7 would also be included in the mix. Speculation has the Pro 7 being available to all networks in the U.K. and will be available Spring of 2011.
Curious what your Windows Phone 7 Start Screen will look like with your contacts and pictures? The Windows Phone Facebook page might help satisfy your curiousity.
Microsoft has put a Windows Phone 7 demo on their Facebook page that runs through the new system with generic contacts and pictures. But if you allow access, you can populate the demo Windows Phone with your Facebook pictures and contacts.
The demo is not interactive but gives you a decent feel for what to expect from your Windows Phone 7.
The LG Quantum is headed to AT&T Wireless and Phil was able to spend some intimate time with the phone during the Windows Phone 7 launch.
The 3.8" screen looks really responsive to the touch. The side-sliding QWERTY appears to be on the narrow side but when you're used to the five row keyboard of the Tilt2, a lot of keyboards appear narrow.
You can hear Phil's thoughts on the Quantum, as well as the other Windows Phone 7 devices he dropped handled during the Windows Phone 7 launch, in this week's Podcast.
The HTC HD7 is heading to T-Mobile and we were able to spend a little hands-on time with the Windows Phone 7 device during the Windows Phone 7 Launch.
It's an impressive phone with an impressive boot time. Helped by the 1ghz processor, the HD7 takes about twenty seconds to boot. That's lightning fast compared to some Windows Phones running Windows Mobile.
For those of you who have not yet joined the Zune network, Microsoft is giving away 3 months of it for free if you pre-order a new device with Windows Phone 7.
In the U.S. (where this offer is only valid, sorry ROW), this adds up to a savings of $45 ($14.99 a month) and is a great way to give the Zune music and video marketplace a trial three months. As mentioned numerous times here, a Zune Pass allows unlimited streaming and downloading of music to your phone, Xbox 360 and PC, plus you can "keep" 10 songs a month (MP3).
According to Microsoft:
Sign-up to be notified to pre-order the new Windows Phone, and we’ll give you unlimited music for 3 months with a Zune Pass—FREE*. Just give us your email address. When Windows Phone is ready to pre-order, use the same e-mail address you sent to us, and when your Windows Phone ships, we’ll send you a 3-month Zune Pass, free.
Not a bad deal if you ask us (especially since we're huge Zune Pass fans, but you knew that already).
HTC was in the thick of the Windows Phone 7 launch and has added three new videos highlighting three of their WP7 phones. You can find the video on the HTC HD7, Trophy and Mozart over at HTC's YouTube Channel. The twenty second videos don't offer any specs on the phones but showcases them nicely.
While the Trophy and Mozart are headed to overseas markets, the HD7 will land at T-Mobile next month. Still not sold on the kickstand but that 4.3" screen does look nice.
Ease on past the break to see the videos on the Trophy and Mozart.
Yup, of course we got to play with the Dell Venue Pro (an odd name) aka the 'Lightning'. Featuring a 4.1" screen with 8GB of storage, the device felt pretty solid in our hands. It was a bit top heavy with the keyboard out, but nothing serious. Speaking of, the slider is fantastic--you really feel the springs and quality with this one.
The keyboard itself is also quite nice, though a bit cramped (being a portrait slider, this is natural). Here's a funny thing though: yeah, the onscreen keyboard is really, really as good as everyone says it is. Seriously. Phil and I were both banging away on the HD7 and were shocked at the speed and accuracy. All of this almost, almost makes the hardware keyboard feel redundant. Still, we know some of you want this bad boy and we don't blame you--it's a sold device.
In fact, all the phones today feel fast, smooth and top quality. We like these new hardware restrictions as we get consistency for once.
The Dell Venue Pro will be on T-Mobile, features a 5MP camera and Gorilla Glass for the screen. A few more shots after the break!
Okay, lets get some of this confusing stuff out of the way: the Samsung Focus has "only" 8GB of storage available. In talking with Samsung, their position was basically so much of this phone is "cloud based" that 8GB may be sufficient for most people. However, they're more than glad to suggest that 16GB and higher are probably on the horizon.
Having said that, the Focus does have removal storage (see the above shot), but it's tricky. Basically you can any size card you like, but you can't remove it without hard-resetting the phone and it's not clear that the card would be re-usable if you do remove it. So essentially, if you add a 16GB or 32GB card, that's it, you got your shot. This has to do with how WP7 uses memory--basically it mirrors/spreads it across any added memory.
But hey, our EVO came with a 16GB card and we've never removed it either. Seems like once you go that huge (or larger), you have little need to keep swapping. So to us, this sounds like a win-win situation, at least for what we're working with here.
Ebay has announced the availability of it's first Windows Phone 7 application. The Ebay App will allow you to bid, buy and check Ebay buying and selling activity from your Windows Phone 7. The app supports push notification to provide real-time alerts.
Other features include:
Scroll through the panorama to quickly engage in Daily Deals, popular searches, my eBay activity – bids, items won, selling or watching, messages – and reminders
Personalize the shopping experience with saved searches, sharing favorite items with friends and unique background themes
Use “Best Offer,” eBay’s fastest growing way to buy, where users negotiate the price of a particular item, with real-time notifications when an offer is received and finalized
Quickly pay for items with PayPal in just a few clicks
The Ebay app will be a free application through the Marketplace. It's just one more example on how Windows Phone 7 will keep you in touch. Follow the break for the full press release and another screen shot.