3 years ago
Seamless Computing and the Windows Phone
You may have heard mention about seamless computing but a presentation at Microsoft's TechEd Australia 2011 really brings the concept home. Nsquared is an Australian software development company that specializes in surface applications. Their keynote presentation at TechEd utilized various platforms that included Windows Phone 7, Surface, Windows 7, Kinect and Silverlight to demo the potential seamless computing has.
We've seen such technology concepts used in movies and television shows and seeing the technology used in a live demo definitely ups the coolness factor. Everything used in the video is commercially available and it will be interesting to see what mainstream applications for seamless computing will surface in the near future.
3 years ago
Kik on WP7 boosts iOS and Android growth
This is interesting indeed. Kik, the cross-platform messenger, has seen a pretty neat ROI (return of investment) from investing in Windows Phone 7 since being released earlier this year. Not in terms of revenue, but user registration on iOS and Android. Yes, you read correctly - Kik for Windows Phone is reportedly boosting the user growth on other platforms.
Looking at the chart above we can see the point where the WP7 app was launched with the user count line for both iOS and Android. Notice the sharp increase? Can this be mere coincidence, or is it because WP7 users are now using Kik with friends on competing platforms that don't currently have an account?
If we look at the small graphic to the right, we can see how WP7 has been boosting the growth for iOS and Android by around 22%. While Microsoft's platform might not massive in terms of market share, it's certainly a socially connected OS and users are more connected.
Kik Interactive CEO, Ted Livingston, concludes:
"Windows Phone users may be a small segment of the whole, but they bring with them all their friends on other mobile platforms, creating a huge and unanticipated spike in Kik activity.
It’s time for cross-platform apps to start paying attention to Windows Phone 7."
Some strong words there. The future certainly is looking bright and this is exactly what we need prior to the launch of Mango.
3 years ago
Tasks app by Telerik gets Mango update
We've previously covered Telerik's Tasks app that shines as a perfect example of Metro UI implementation and of their RadControl software for Windows Phone 7 (and now Mango too). It's a free app available to download from the Marketplace and serves as an in-depth checklist of things the user should accomplish throughout daily usage. Tasks has recently been updated to receive Mango goodies.
What makes the app stand out is the colour usage and how fluent the design is, not to mention functionality. There is room for improvement however, users have requested synchronisation with Outlook and GMail which is said to be coming soon. For now, we have the following changes in the Mango update:
- Live Tile support with number of incomplete tasks.
- Ability to deep-link pin an individual task category to the home screen.
- Orientation lock implemented.
- Minor bug fixes.
Not at all bad, right? You can download Tasks (Zune link) from the Marketplace for free.
3 years ago
WPCentral Podcast 124
This week Jay Bennett is joined by Phil Nickinson from our sister site, AndroidCentral, and who is sitting in for Daniel. Sit in an listen to all the latest news on Windows Phone, apps, Microsoft and Phil's take coming from the Android side of things!
Show notes after the break...
3 years ago
Official Your Shape: Fitness Evolved companion app for Windows Phone released
So a few months ago we picked ourselves up a Kinect for our XBox 360. We then grabbed ourselves Ubisoft's awesome 'Your Shape: Fitness Evolved' game, which we'll admit, kicks our butt while making us believe that "OMG, we live in teh futures!1!" at the same time (seriously, Kinect is pretty amazing). Your Shape: Fitness Evolved also has an online component--you register for the site and you can upload, share, analyze and take with you your information from the Kinect game which is kind of neat.
Now, Ubisoft has gone ahead and read our minds by releasing an official Windows Phone 7 app.
"...the Your Shape mobile app allows you to keep in touch with your profile, check your stats, learn more about the game, get the latest news and videos". Even if you don't own the game, discover the breakthrough technology used by Your Shape, check out our videos and meet our experts!
And if you do already own the game, you can check your daily stats and profile, see your fitness level in an instant and discover our tips to help improve yourself everyday. More features to come!"
The app itself is very polished, smooth and fast. Sure, it doesn't work directly with Kinect (yet). Instead it uses Ubisoft's website as an intermediary. But for one, we know Kinect integration is coming down the line and two, we're just psyched that for once, Microsoft and Ubisoft saw the obvious market here: Kinect owners may own a Windows Phone and vice versa, or what marketing hacks call "synergy".
If you haven't yet seen what Your Shape: Fitness Evolved looks like after the break. Not only is it a great game and source of exercise, but you can get crazy Gamer Points as you burn calories (50G for burning 2,000, huzzah!). We like where this app is headed and look forward to these "More features". Pick up the app here in the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Microsoft shows off new Metro Start Menu for Win8
We all know Microsoft is embracing Metro UI on Xbox and the upcoming Windows 8--the question is what form will their iconographic, non-chrome UI take?
In a video posted on Microsoft's "Building Windows 8" blog, we can clearly see their newly designed Start Menu, which is completely flat/non-3D, uses our familiar Metro icons along with simple text using a high contrast color scheme. In addition, we see some type of gadget to the left displaying the time, date and various system stats.
Compared to the Start Menu on Windows 7, the new Metro-style Win 8 screen looks simple and elegant--exactly what we're expecting from Microsoft now on.
Source: Building Windows 8; via WithinWindows
3 years ago
Missing Mango feature "Find on Page" in IE9 to return, someday
Yes, for some reason Microsoft in their wisdom of refining and streamlining IE9 in Windows Phone Mango, removed the "Find on Page" feature aka the ability to find text loaded on the HTML page you were viewing. Obviously this feature is quite useful, especially when trying to locate pertinent information on a lengthy and wordy site.
The good news is Microsoft has heard the complaints, of which we've heard quite a few too, and they do plan to bring back this lil' feature that could. Knowing that IE9 is technically upgradable independently of the OS, Microsoft could theoretically push it out along with some other IE9-updates if they wanted to, but to be honest, we're not holding our breath. Instead, this looks like we'll have to wait six months for "Tango" to hit in order to bring this back. Kind of a shame and hopefully Microsoft won't forget to brink this back.
Source: Windows Team Blog; via WMPU
3 years ago
Reminder: Fuse RSS reader is now live in the Marketplace
We gave you a sneak-peek of Fuse RSS reader just a few days ago and now it's live in the Marketplace. The RSS reader really wowed us due to it's highly elegant UI, of which you currently have three choices in designs: Ribbon, Ipsum and Square. The app designer, Rudy Huyn, also let us know that two more themes will be rolling out soon as well.
Some of the main features are:
- Three Applications In One - Fuse has three unique themes for three different user experiences. New themes are already under development and will be available soon for free - Ribbon : displays your feeds in the form of ribbons, for direct access to information - Ipsum : a clear and clean theme based on typography, use gestures to manipulate news - Square : a dynamic and unique theme. Retrieve your news on the move with an unique and visual experience.
- Google Reader integration- If you have a Google Reader account, you can easily import your favorite feeds. You can also import your directories in two ways : - a virtual directory that will automatically synchronize with your Google reader account - an unified feeds consolidating all items into an unique feed. Finally, Fuse is the only RSS reader to respect the sort your feeds, change it in Google reader, Fuse will be automatically updated.
- Work Offline - Fuse allows you to use the app even when there is no internet connection. All data and images are stored by the application so you can download feeds online and use those later when you are offline. You can navigate among groups, feeds, subscriptions and view articles in preview mode without connection.
We could say more, but check out our early-hands on video to see it in action, or just download the free trial to give it a spin. If you like, it's a fair $1.29 to keep it. Download hit here in the Marketplace. Thanks to an excited-it's-finally-here, masterrachow, for the heads up!
3 years ago
NumberTap - give your brain a workout
Everyone loves mathematics. Everyone loves to be better than everyone else at mathematics, so here's NumberTap, the answer to this desire in your pocket. Object of the game? To answer numerical questions inside a time-limit, building up your score and moving up in the highscore leaderboard.
This title is courtesy of Luke Lowrey (the magic behind Phonealytics) and TBODA. It's a free, ad-supported, game that proves to be both highly addictive and entertaining. Fatures sported include:
- Fast paced maths action
- 2-minute rounds identical across the world in real-time
- Global leaderboards and stats tracking
- Cool metro theme that matches your settings
If you're familiar with Phonealytics from Luke, then you'll notice immediately the incredible Metro UI look that's used throughout the game (which isn't by any means big in size or depth). The simplicity is refreshing and you'll be coming back for more with the longevity and competitiveness being tops.
You can download NumberTap (Zune link) from the Marketplace for nothing at all.
3 years ago
Nokia 703 Windows Phone joins the 800 and Nokia taking suggestions for names of US phones
The stable of Nokia Windows Phone numbers keep growing--we have the SeaRay (number unknown), the 800 and now the 703. The latest showed up on the app "I'm a WP7!" by Scott Peterson (v2.6 just passed certification), which collects user model data and he kindly aggregated for us.
Of course we still don't know if these are all separate models or just variants e.g. a CDMA version, etc. We're actually leaning towards the idea that these are all different models, seeing as they have completely different categories i.e. this isn't a Nokia 801 vs 803. Still, we don't want to be premature on the issue but Nokia may be getting read to hit us big with Windows Phones.
Speaking of, they are also allowing us to vote on what the new Nokia Windows Phone series should be called in the U.S. In a tweet from Chanse Arrington, Nokia Head of Developer Marketing, North America, he linked to a poll where you can choose from a select set of names for their new phones. The choices are
- Suggest your own
So far, "Other" and "Suggest your own" are leading the pack, which doesn't bode well for the rest. Whether or not these names are binding remains to be seen, but kudos to Nokia to reaching out to the public for some interaction on the matter. You can vote right here: http://polldaddy.com/poll/5450687/
via: MyNokiaBlog, I'm a WP7! (App); Thanks, Just Visiting, for the heads up!
3 years ago
Book your rooms with Meeting Rooms
Here's an interesting app for your Windows Phone. Meeting Rooms is a utility that allows you to check the status of your company's meeting rooms and reserve them from your Windows Phone.
Setting up the app is a little on the hit/miss side but it appears that you'll need to configure the app to your company's server. Then you add the meeting rooms that are available for scheduling. From there it is a simple process of finding the date and time of your meeting and seeing what rooms are available.
It's a shame this app isn't compatible with the dry-erase board that I use to reserve conference rooms. But, if you have a meeting reservation system on your company's server, Meeting Rooms might give you an advantage in locking down that conference room.
Meeting Rooms is a free application that you can find here (opens Zune) over at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Windows Phone ROI Calculator [Developers]
Sheeds over at Windows Phone Down Under has developed a Windows Phone Return on Investment calculator to help developers on the financial end of app development. The calculator is used to estimate app revenue streams, for paid apps, based on a number of variables.
In a nutshell, the calculator takes into account your development costs, taxes and Microsoft's cut. Then based on different price points and monthly sales projections it will show you how many months it will take for you to break even. According to the calculator's description,
"The calculator is an Australian tool to help calculate U.S. and Australian taxes, Microsoft's revenue share and local developer costs to develop (time and money) in order to help the Windows Phone developer determine profitability and return on investment (breakeven) for various scenarios."
Naturally, there is a disclaimer to all this. The calculator is used to estimate your returns and there is no guarantee your monthly sales will match the projections used in the calculator. Still, it looks like a nice tool to bring the financial end of app development into focus.
You can download the Windows Phone 7 ROI Calculator here.
3 years ago
Mango-only LED app White Light shows us the way
Even though devs supposedly don't have official access to the camera LED or notification APIs, that hasn't stopped developer davepermen from giving it a go. The app, White Light, uses your screen as a flashlight but also takes hold of the camera's LED flash, giving you twice the lighting power. Huzzah! Tapping the screen turns it white to black, but keeps the LED on.
We ran that app on on Samsung Focus and as can be seen above, it works like a charm. Not so much on our Dell Venue Pro though. The app is free and ad-free too. We didn't yet try it on HTC only because they already have an official LED flashlight app. Grab it right here in the Marketplace. May only work on Mango devices, but let us know in comments.
3 years ago
Gears - App Spotlight
Gears hit the Windows Phone Marketplace a short bit ago and if you like puzzle games, you've gotta check it out.
The game premise has you completing the connection between two gears and provide power to the bronze gear. Sounds simple but you have a limited number of various sized gears to work with and at times you are required to turn the bronze gear a certain way. To add to the challenge you have this pesky little thing called gravity that won't allow you to place your connecting gears just anywhere.
The game screen has your connecting gear inventory displayed at the bottom, a reset button and your current level. Once you accomplish connecting the two gears, you advance to the next level.
Gears has one hundred levels of play, with more on the way, and the only nit I can find with Gears is with how the levels are displayed. As is, the screen looks crowded and you need a magnifying glass to read the numbers.
Regardless, Gears is an entertaining, addictive, well presented game. Graphics are great, sound effects nice and the game ran smoothly.
There is a free trial version available for Gears that has the first twenty levels of play available. The full version of Gears will run you $1.99 and you can download either here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
From the WPCentral forums...
This week we are talking about Mango, what’s there and more importantly what’s missing. It seems that the 500 improvements that are coming with Mango just aren’t enough. One of the biggest areas to improve upon are notifications. What are we missing? We have started a list, now tell us what you think should be done. Maybe you don’t think Mango will save Windows Phone. Are we doomed or are we just over-reacting because our personal favorite thing is missing from Mango? What will save Windows Phone? I know you have an opinion on this one, let’s hear it.
With so many webOS migrants joining the forums, "How many of y'all came from android" is what we want to know next. We also want to know who you are or if you just want to know who is hanging in the WPC forums. In "Freaking Windows Phone 7", this guy says Windows Phone ruined his TouchPad. How could this be?
Don’t forget to stop by our Applications and Games Spotlight forums to pick up some free apps.
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