Developers, Developers, Developers! Microsoft’s mantra has been one of the key elements to promoting Windows Phone 7. We’ve seen the developer tools in the Beta and Release Candidate stages, but now as promised we get the full version available today. Though currently the release is English only, more languages will be coming in the next couple of weeks.
The timing of the release gives developers a couple of weeks to finalize their apps before the Marketplace opens for submissions. New features include the promised Panorama and Pivot controls, as well as a Bing Maps control. The free download includes all of the development tools in one package; Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, the Windows Phone Emulator, Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone, and XNA Game Studio 4.0.
Are you starting to get the idea that third party applications are a major part of Microsoft’s strategy for Windows Phone 7?
Microsoft has released a video on their Channel9 site that gives brief demonstrations of Netflix and Twitter applications as well as offerings from Flixter, OpenTable, and Travelocity. Netflix we saw fairly early at the Mix Conference, an official Twitter app is new (though we have seen a Twitter client from Seesmic) and the other tools are new as well.
In addition to the final release of the Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools, Microsoft has provided an SDK (Software Development Kit) to enable developers to create ad-supported applications. The SDK allows you to create text or banner ads, and uses Microsoft’s Mobile Ad Exchange to monetize your applications. The Ad Exchange is “the first bidded ad exchange for mobile.” Additionally, the SDK is integrated with Micrsoft pubCenter, which gives you reporting on how different ads are performing within your applications.
Nice to see Microsoft integrating and emphasizing all of their established services, which should be a strength of the Windows Phone 7 platform.
A recent tweet has us positively giddy at the thought of being able to tether Windows Phone 7 devices over USB without additional contract costs. Granted this is an unsubstantiated rumor, but it isn’t entirely farfetched either.
The tweet states:
Official word--Windows Phone 7 will support USB tethering, carriers can NOT charge extra, above the data plan.
Update: The source of the original tweet, Richard Dudley of ComponentOne, tells me that his source is one of the Windows Phone 7 FireStarter events. Have any of our readers attended one of the FireStarters?
Update 2: Apparently, there was a misunderstanding of some kind. Mr. Dudley tweeted this morning that tethering "is not official, may not happen." Chances are that this will be something that carriers can optionally enable at minimum, though I like the way that Microsoft has been throwing their weight around.
It appears that Verizon is close to launching a new subscriber service called Mobile Recovery. The service will allow Verizon customers using smartphones to locate their device via GPS, sound an alarm on their phone, remotely lock or wipe their phone.
The service will be a free add-on for those who subscribe to a Total Equipment Coverage (TEC) plan and will be compatible with Android, Windows Phones, Palm or Blackberry phones.
If you are already on a TEC plan, you can go to MyMobileRecovery.com for details on how to enroll in Mobile Recovery. There is no word yet if non-TEC customers will be eligible for the service.
HTC held its London Event today where first speculation had the company showing off the HD3 Windows Phone 7 device. As the event drew closer, speculation turned into wishful thinking.
While it would have been nice to have seen the HD3, there was really no way HTC would unveil a Windows Phone 7 device before Microsoft officially released the OS. So, instead the the London Event turned out to be an Android Event where HTC announce the Desire HD and Desire Z.
While the event made our friends at Android Central happy, the Windows Phone 7 crowd now will turn their attention to October 11, 2010 and New York City. Where it is expected that Microsoft and its partners will introduce Windows Phone 7 (and all the soon to be available devices) to the world.
Asides from the new phones, there was one other interesting announcement. HTC announced they were working on HTCSense.com. Much like Microsoft's MyPhone, HTCSense.com provides online backup of data and security features (remote wipe, lock, etc.).
Right now, it looks as if this will be an Android feature and won't make it to Windows Phone 7 or the tons of HTC Windows Phones in circulation that are running Windows Mobile. Still, there is the remote possibility a creative chef will find a way to incorporate into a custom Windows Mobile ROM.
File this under:whoa, don't even know because there's so little to go on
Reportedly what you see above is Sprint's first Windows Phone 7 device from none other than LG and it's supposedly 4G ready. Those cats at WebOS World say "Our source had only a quick opportunity to take a this snap."
Really, that's all the info given. That's assuming what you see above is even a phone, or from Sprint, or running Windows Phone 7.
Going for a huge stretch, we could even postulate that this is the LG 'Apollo', something we reported back in January (with a bunch of other erroneous information) But back then that device seemed unrealistic and today it doesn't seem all that more real either. Then again, Sprint has wowed us before with the likes of the HTC EVO and heck, the HTC HD7 rumored specs aren't that far off from these, so who knows. A refresh on those supposed 'Apollo' specs from January:
The HTC HD2 will forever hold a special place in Windows Mobile lore. As one of the best pieces of hardware in the pre Windows Phone 7 era, there are a lot of people that view the HD2 as a way of extending the life of what many consider a superior platform (Windows Mobile 6.5).
To make your device last as long as possible, you want to get a high quality case that is going to take the abuse for your phone. Nobody makes rugged, usable cases like OtterBox. The OtterBox Defender Case for the HD2 not only meets the high standard the OtterBox is held to, it exceeds them.
Rugged, yet functional. Protects every aspect of your case.
The Pew Research Center has released a study where a sampling of 2,252 adults (age 18 or older) and 800 teens (ages 12-17) were interviewed on how they use their Windows Phones and other smart and non-smart phones. The survey was conducted from April 29, 2010 through May 30, 2010. While the survey still indicates teens text more than adults, the adults seem to be holding their own.
The survey found that 82% of adults own a Windows Phone, iPhone, Blackberry, Android or other device that is also a cell phone. 72% of adults text and send/receive a median of 10 text messages a day. This is significantly less than the teen population (87%) who sends/receives a median of 50 text messages a day. However, 5% of the adults send/receive more than 200 messages a day. This pales in comparison to the 15% of teens that send/receive more than 200 messages a day.
With respect to voice calls, the survey found that the median number of calls for both teens and adults were equal at 5 per day while the mean (average) number was slightly higher for adults (13.1 compared to 10.7 per day). The heavier text usage is in line with other reports showing data is outpacing voice.
A few more interesting statistics generated by this survey include:
Women tend to make slightly fewer calls than men
90% of parents are more likely to have a cell phone than adults without children under 18 at home
91% of cell phone owners feel safer with the phone
The number one reason offered by those surveyed (adult and teen) as to why they call or text: just to say hello or chat
57% surveyed reported receiving spam text messages
65% surveyed sleep with their cell phone
"Sleeping" with your cell phone was qualified as "adults who have slept with or near their phones". Something I am sure isn't all that uncommon if you have teenage children.
So, how does your phone use compare to a teenager? How do you compare to the adults sampled in the survey? Do you sleep with your Windows Phone?
As the launch of Windows Phone 7 gets closer, more photos are surfacing of the new phones in action. Danish website TV2 has captured a few shots of the LG E900.
The black slab device looks really nice. The 3.7" screen isn't too big or small in the hands. While there weren't any new revelations from the Danish review, the LG did receive good marks. The reviewer commented, "It gave the kinds of butterflies in the stomach, as we saw for the first time since we did play with the iPhone or Windows 7. Wow, it’s delicious it here!".
I'm not sure about the butterflies but the more we learn and see of Windows Phone 7, the more the anticipation builds. I am sure we all are looking forward to a little hands-on time with these new phones.
Thanks to Brian H. for sending this end on the tip line.
If you're looking for a solution to pull your contacts from various sources under one roof to manage, AddressBookOne might do the trick.
AddressBookOne went live this afternoon and offers members the ability to pull contacts from various sources (connectors) including Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Exchange, and Plaxo. There are efforts being made to add Twitter, Yahoo and Windows Live to the list. AddressBookOne creates a single point of management with the ability to merge multiple instances of the same contact.
You have two levels of membership, Free and Premium. Free membership allows you to connected to up to three contact sources and manage/merge your contacts. Premium membership runs your 19.95 British Pounds (about $30 U.S.) annually and gives you an unrestricted number of connectors plus direct synchronization with your Windows Phone.
We're going to take AddressBookOne out for a test drive over the next few days and will get a review up shortly. In the meantime, for more information about this new service, head on over to AddressBookOne.com.