Looks like some of the big sites managed to get a hold of some tester Windows Phone 7 devices (luuuucky!) and the consensus overall seems to be quite solid. The hardware is a Samsung Taylor SGH-i707 with 480 x 320 (HVGA), which is a bit odd although reportedly it looks really good. The Taylor also has a 5MP camera, speakers plus microphone on the top and bottom for both and a non-functional front-facing camera. There's even a dedicated camera button that works if the device is locked.
Engadget points out the great on-screen keyboard, camera and even browser, and finally concluding that WP7 is a work in progress, a promising one, but not quite there yet.
Paul Thurrott also does a fantastic tour of the device and is quite impressed with the OS. Although we have to experience Windows Phone 7 vicariously through him, we usually agree with his insight and highly recommend the full read.
There's also Matt Miller of ZDNet (and of Nokia Experts) who has a nice 8-page review, concluding that the "...current experience is amazingly stable and fluid and I am quite impressed with what they have done".
Anyways, we'll let their reviews stand for themselves. Read 'em and comment back here if you're more or less excited now.
We're getting word, confirmed though two sources, that anything and everything KIN gets sent back to...wherever...starting tomorrow. What happens to them is anyone's guess.
That's right folks, we may be on the verge of a fabled E.T. game situation for the KIN-they will perhaps be dumped in a big landfill, where 20 years from now, rare NIB KINS will fetch for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The geek inside of us wants to run out and buy one to keep next to our big-head Han Solo action figure; the analyst in us sees Microsoft trying to erase this mistake from history and think that's OK.
As some of you may have heard, Apple held a press conference today in an attempt to get ahead of the ongoing 'antennagate' controversy surrounding the iPhone 4 (see TiPB's ongoing coverage here). Basically once Consumer Reports did their story, all heck broke loose and the usual Apple-friendly media turned a bit on Cupertino.
Here, Steve Jobs cites the Samsung Omnia 2 on Verizon (see our full review) as having the same reception/grip issue. While not exactly the poster board Windows Mobile phone (that would easily be the Touch Pro 2 and HD2), the Omnia 2 is a decent piece of hardware, despite being pretty much forgotten by most of the world, including the WM community.
Any validity to Jobs' claim? A cursory search of various forums and sites would suggest that the Omnia 2 (both on GSM and Verizon's CDMA) is not the best of the world, but neither is it the worst. In fact, it doesn't come up even as a recurring problem or complaint. Having said that, we did find this video of the Omnia HD (i8910), which basically demonstrates the same phenomenon, lending credence to the claim by Jobs.
Bottom line: Windows Mobile and Windows Phone may suffer from such occasional hardware inconsistencies (CDMA Palm Treo Pro is just awful for reception, see this doozy of a fix), but having multiple devices for consumers to choose from, instead of just one-flagship phone, gives consumers options. If you're going to put all of your eggs into one basket, you better make sure that basket is 100% perfect or nearly so. Kudos to Apple for giving away those free cases, but we think that this problem should have never had happened in the first place.
See Omnia HD i8910 reception video after the break.
Call it excitement, curiosity, or just simple interest the development community is taking note of Windows Phone 7. From the get-go, the development community was a key component to the success of WP7. Based on the numbers that component appears to be very healthy.
Being that we're not programmers ourselves, we have to live vicariously through others to discuss the subject at hand: which platform is better to program for--iPhone or Windows Phone 7?
Over at 'Don's Blog' (Don Burnett), we get a nice coding comparison between the two platforms and lo-behold, WP7 wins. The reasons revolve around newer coding language (C# vs Objective C), faster tools and just generally easier programming tools.
Actually, you can just watch Don's slick slide presentation after the break to get all the facts from his viewpoint, including timing differences and you can read his blurb right here.
We won't call this a "review" since last we checked the Windows Phone 7 OS has yet to be finished, nor are there any consumer phones out there to evaluate.
Despite all of that, someone at InfoWorld managed to cobble enough words together to almost form a coherent rant about the direction Microsoft has taken with Windows Phone 7.
Look, we get it--some people really like the 'Metro' UI and some don't. That's cool. But basing your whole critique on your personal aesthetics and then going ahead and predicting failure months before release is a bit, ahem, shortsighted and naive.
Considering no functionality or cloud services like Xbox, Zune store, Sharepoint, Office, Skydrive, Live Phone, Outlook, Bing was even mentioned, let a lone discussed, we have to say that this "piece" fairs only slightly higher than "angry message forum rant" and pretty much fits the notion of internet trolling. That and only that is where "Windows Phone 7: Don't bother with this disaster" accomplishes its goal and to you, Mr. Gruman, a golf-clap.
So if you're excited about a craptacular read, click away. Otherwise, lets all move on...
Looks like someone has some time no their hands as they went through that Long Zheng WP7 emulator video and "ripped" the audio for the ringtones and alarms, then trimmed them into individual files. Whew!
Now a couple of caveats: these aren't the most exciting ringtones/alarms, in fact they all have a similar theme to them. Second, there's no way to know if these will be the "final" tones on board Windows Phone 7, indeed, it's probably a safe bet that they're not.
But hey, they're new, they're free and they don't sound half bad, so go for it. Grab 'em here.
Many of us these days have our contacts spread all over the place: Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Exchange, etc. It can be quite a pain.
Starting with Windows Phone 7, Windows Live will take a front and center role with the device, requiring you to use a Live ID to "sign in" on the phone to access your Xbox account, Zune profile, Hotmail/Live Mail, MSN Messenger, Phone Live, etc. This is quite similar to how an Android device requires a Google mail account, which also accesses all of Google's services.
One neat feature that will help simplify things is using Windows Live Contacts (http://contacts.live.com/), which will allow you to import your contacts from
Windows Live Hotmail
Yahoo! Mail (CSV)
Those last two options are quite important for many of us and using the CSV export/import system is really quite easy (Gmail --> Contacts --> Export --> Outlook CSV). Likewise, the 'Add People' feature is quite nice, allowing digital import and constant syncing between the following services:
Finally, you can use the Manage --> 'Clean up contacts' option in Windows Live Contacts to find and delete duplicate information, saving a lot of time. Likewise you can use the 'Merge' feature if you have many lists to import.
Seeing as we'll all need to be on this system in the near future, might as well take the 15 minutes to get the ball rolling, eh?
Astraware is one of the few companies who put out some solid games for Windows Mobile, including Classic Collection, Casino, Bubble Shuffle, Bejeweled/Bejeweled 2, Sudoku, etc. So it's nice to see them still put out a few games in the twilight months of our beloved OS.
The first game is Police Range ($4.99) and is a police shooting range-type game. Seems kind of fun and the graphics aren't too shabby.
The other is OddBlob ($4.99), a strategy/puzzle game that should be good for those who like the Bejeweled series and goofy graphics.
Both are for touchscreen devices, preferably the 800x480 type.
We'll try to get a review up on both of these sooner than later.
The big question is are Schubert/Mozart just swappable code names--one being the general device ('Mozart'), the other the carrier specific version ('Schubert') or are they two separate devices? Too early to tell and like most WP7 device leaks, no hard info to really get excited about.
Hopefully we'll see some real hardware, real specs and something tangible soon.
When running the emulator on a computer, as Long Zheng did at iStartedSomething, the first thing you'll notice is just how fast the OS has become. Remember, this is independent of your PC's performance (for the most part) as the earlier builds were much slower to respond. Now things like Mobile Internet Explorer and even the regular menus all instantly respond to input. Also worth a note is ringtones and alerts are now included, which while not earth shattering we do dig the overall tone/theme-- it sounds sort of futuristic, far from bombastic.
We have to admit, we're starting to get real excited, especially seeing this on some serious hardware come the fall. Check out both videos after the jump.