While the Windows Phone Marketplace is available in many countries at launch--17 in all to be exact--last we checked the world is still a bit larger. If you're one of those with no access to the Marketplace, but are able to import an unlocked GSM device, then you may be interested in this ability to switch your Marketplace region documented by E's Phoneblog.
We'll post the directions after the jump--it's actually very simple to do and only has a few steps. But before we do this we should point out something: This is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. So while this works, you can't undo it later, meaning that in the future you can't just easily "switch" to your country's Marketplace, not without having to create a whole new LIVE account. Caveat emptor.
Still, for those with no immediate prospects of a localized Marketplace (we feel for ya), this may be your best bet.
Almost twenty-four hours later, Google is still leading the pack but look at Microsoft! The Windows Phone has more than doubled Apple's vote percentage.
Granted this isn't the most scientific of polls but it does show that Microsoft has a decent following. Either that or someone's figured out how to vote more than once. We're not sure if when voting will be cut off for this poll but if you haven't voted, it might be worth checking in on.
The Windows Phone Marketplace is quickly approaching 1,000 apps which has a large contingency of gaming titles. Gameloft has posted a video over at their Youtube channel highlighting a few of their HD titles that will be available for the Windows Phone 7.
The teaser video highlights Earthworm Jim, UNO, Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles, Brain Challenge and The Oregon Trail. All look really good, especially Assassin's Creed.
The dust is finally settling here at WPCentral (previously known as WMExperts). The site still has a few bugs here and there and but we're working on them daily and making great progress. So send us a note if you find any.
Our latest change comes from us updating our Twitter account from @WMExperts to @WPCentral. If you were following us before, no need to do anything as you were transferred over to the new account. If you're not following us on Twitter, well now is the chance to do so!
This isn't the last of the changes around here either as we still have some big ideas and cool features we'll be bringing over the next few months. Stay tuned.
While the Windows Phone Marketplace continues to grow day by day (see the 777 threshold), an ambitious statistics...dare we say...geek...has taken it upon himself to break down the Marketplace distribution by app category, price and release date.
As we mentioned previously, most apps are in the low end for price, with the overwhelming majority at $0.99 and 90+% $2.99 or lower. Only one app is $9.99 (Panoramic's super calculator app). Overall this seems like a lot lower price point than the Windows Mobile marketplace.
Likewise, we can see the largest distribution by category has apps falling into the gaming category (215), followed next by Tools (95), Entertainment (81) and News & Weather (42). This seems to solidify the notion that not only with WP7 be a strong consumer contender but a nice gaming platform too (contra Android and its dismal gaming offering, except for Angry Birds).
The Wall Street Journal's "Question of the Day" is, "Who makes the best mobile operating system?". The choices are limited to Apple, Google (a.k.a. Android), Microsoft, Palm, RIM, and the formidable Other.
Currently, Google is putting everyone to shame with Apple coming in a distant second. Microsoft and RIM are neck and neck. While Palm is a nostalgic favorite, it's barely beating out Other.
Not sure how long the poll will stay up but seeing that it's a question of the day, it's doubtful it'll last long. So now's your chance to cast your vote for Microsoft and maybe, just maybe, we can overtake Apple and give Android a run for its money. You can find the poll here.
Thanks goes out to johnny03c for sending this in on the tip line.
Though the launch for Windows Phone 7 has been mostly positive than negative (777 apps so far but supply issues in Europe and Australia), there are a few holes left in the OS that are keeping certain developers from entering the WP7 field.
Two of those companies are Fring (past coverage) and Layar. The former is a VOIP/IM solution familiar to Windows Mobile users (they offered the best Skype experience before their falling out) and Layar, offers an "augmented relaity" app for finding local happenings.
The issue for both of them is lack of access to the camera: Fring for video calls, Layar for its camera/GPS combo that allows you to "see" locations in your surroundings. For Fring, they don't need the camera, but after entering the video chat market big time with the EVO 4g, not having access "cramps their style" and of course with no camera, there is no Layar. Layar had this to say about the issue: "On our side, we don't really understand what this means or why [Microsoft is] doing this" and Fring was also as direct: "We need the ability to get to all the different parts of the device. We need to have that freedom. There have been standards set by Android and the like. When the cards are held too tight, it cramps our style and we can't deliver the value that consumers want and expect from smart phones."
Evidently, Microsoft is mum on the issue. Is it because the API is not ready? Do they plan on addressing this soon in a developer tools update? Or is it verboten indefinitely? We'll keep following the story for any changes.
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.