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3 years ago

OpenXLive offers indie WP7 developers their own social gaming network

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One of the obstacles for Windows Phone 7 game developers is getting their app noticed--competition with the Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone games is fierce and tipped in their favor. While we have seen some social, multiplayer, social gaming form individual developers (e.g. AlphaJax, SpellIt, Broiled Earth, Haypi Kingdom), there's no indie Xbox LIVE alternative for software companies to work with and through, until now.

OpenXLive by by Fulcrum Mobile Networks, Inc appears to do just that, offering a comparable system to the iPhone (who until recently lacked any official gaming support) and giving developers an easy way to offer online, social gaming. By giving software houses the ability to add leaderboards and achievements, it at least offers more bang-for-your-buck when buying software.

For the end users, you just create an account and your username will follow you with every game that uses the OpenXLive network. Hopefully this idea will catch on and we'll start to see more developers taking advantage of this system. Of course while this sounds good for us, we're not sure how developers will like the terms and service, so we'll have to wait and see if they embrace.

Source: OpenXLive; via 1800PocketPc; Thanks, Saijo, for the tip

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3 years ago

Official Flickr gets updated, Picture Hub integration added

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The Windows Phone Flickr app received a nice little bump this morning to version 1.1 with a few significant updates. Not bad for only two weeks of release.

First up is Pictures Hub integration, allowing near seamless mixing of Flickr and the default, but powerful Windows Phone picture management system--basically now you can direct upload from your photo selection without launching the app. Second is the always welcomed "better performance" update. We always tend to see this after the big "1.0" push, so nice to get it here (it really needed it).  Finally the less exciting but crucial to Flickr "tags" are now supported for photo uploads.

You can grab the update here in the Marketplace; Thanks, @depper2k, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Upcoming Windows Phone 7 multitasking shown on video

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We talked extensively about the upcoming multitasking feature in Windows Phone 7 both in this post and in the podcast, but see it for yourself in this demo video from the Ballmer keynote speech here in Barcelona.

For us, we're quite happy with the implementation as it offers both speed, convenience and preservers battery life. We look forward to see how the code evolves as the update nears completion.

via: 1800PocketPC

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3 years ago

ROM for upcoming Sprint 7 Pro leaked?

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ROM for upcoming Sprint 7 Pro leaked?

The website 911HTC, a sort of well known and more underground site, has posted what appears to be the Sprint ROM for the upcoming HTC 7 Pro. The site generally has a very good track record for these releases so we're betting on legit here. It's also not too uncommon to find ROMs of unreleased devices making their way onto the 'nets due to HTC's FTP servers, which host the ROM files (something for which they're trying to combat).

The ROM's name is: [WP7]RUU_Gold_C_Sprint_WWE_1.25.651.01_1.51.00_RELEASE.exe and what is significant is the "RELEASE" part which usually implies a finalized build.

No, there's nothing in the ROM that mentions a release date, but it is a good sign that we're inching closer to the phone making an official appearance  (something that looks to be not happening here in Barcelona).

Source: 911HTC; via WindowsPhoneHacker

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3 years ago

Mobile World Congress Podcast - Day 1

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3 years ago

Asus still considering next move with Windows Phone 7

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It's well known now that Asus has had an odd relationship with Microsoft and Windows Phone 7. The OEM was committed early on to make a Windows Phone and to be one of the first to market, yet they seemed to have pulled out, nearly disappearing form the scene. Forbes has a recent interview Benson Lin, Asus' corporate vice president and the general manager of its mobile devices unit, where details are finally shared as to what happened with Asus, Microsoft and the E600.

In short, Asus was constrained by their Garmin partnership (which eventually soured), limited production ability, little access to the U.S. market and essentially being hesitant on whether or not WP7 would be supported by carriers and more importantly, consumers. So they did get cold feet. The reason why the Asus E600 even exists is because Asus went to production and made 5,000 of them before pulling the plug. Now those phones serve as developer devices by circumstance, but not by design.

Regarding their future, Asus is using Mobile World Congress to evaluate whether or not to jump back onto the Windows Phone bandwagon. That's actually not uncommon as we've heard in back channels that MWC is where next year's deals are all made--where people place their bets on new technology. That's why the Nokia deal is so important as we're hearing carriers are ecstatic over the partnership. That gives WP7 a lot more momentum going forward and while Asus says that match up won't have an effect on their decision, we can't but think that it will.

Source: Forbes

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3 years ago

Cook WP7 custom ROMs in the kitchen

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Cook WP7 custom ROMs in the kitchen

A ROM Manual Kitchen has been released to allow developers and technically savvy folk to create and develop custom ROMs for WP7 devices. Haseeb Ahmed, a senior XDA member is behind the first ROM kitchen to be released into the WP7 realm, and a GUI based version is planned to be developed, but hasn't been 100% confirmed.

The archive contains a HTC ROM Image Editor with HV Edit and IMGFS packaged with a few .BAT files to make it all possible, and simple for not-so-experienced personnel. Haseeb provides easy-to-follow instructions that are listed after the break.

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3 years ago

Is Mango Windows Phone 7.5?

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Is Mango Windows Phone 7.5?

Now that Microsoft has officially mentioned a major update in the pipeline, we can start up the rumor mills full force.

We’ve discussed the new features that "Mango" will bring to the table; but the timeframe (other than a 6-month window) and official name remain nebulous. A number of media outlets are conjecturing that the Mango release will be significant enough that it could be dubbed Windows Phone 7.5, which would fit with past naming conventions like Windows Mobile 6.5. The speculation is that the update will be something of an interim release between the current iteration of the Windows Phone OS and the alignment between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Stay tuned here for any updates, we’ll be keeping you posted as news breaks.

Source: WinRumors

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3 years ago

Official Groupon app with Live Tile coming to Windows Phone 7

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Besides showing off the new hubs, multitasking, IE9 and Skydrive support coming later in 2011 (and those were only the announced features, there's evidently a lot more), there was one surprise app that we saw: Groupon (see their site)

For those who haven't been following, Groupon is the biggest "deal" website on the 'net, helping consumers find the best offers and lowest prices for a variety of items and services. They're also known for turning down a $6 billion offer from Google to buy them out. Yes, we said billion.

Anyways, this super service is coming to Windows Phone in an official capacity sometime soon--and it even features a Live Tile with updated deals (similar to that just-as-awesome Slick Deals app available now). All we know is this is great news for WP7 to land yet another major brand.

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3 years ago

Microsoft's Andy Lees answers a few questions on languages, Chassis 2 and microSD cards

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Following up the Ballmer keynote, Andy Lees, President, Mobile Communications Business was available for a few questions regarding the recent announcements and more importantly, things that weren't mentioned.

First off, Windows Phone 7 will be getting greater language support by year's end--specifically they'll have 88% of all languages covered, which is large jump from the current 45% (give or take a percent or two). That should be welcomed news for those who have been struggling with not having their native tongue supported. In addition, we're told that keyboard character issues related to specific languages e.g. Polish, will also be fixed this year.

Next up we asked about the Chassis 2 aka the Blackberry/Treo style of Windows Phones with a smaller landscape screen but dedicated front keyboard--what's the progress on that?

We haven't announced any details on when that form factor is coming out. We are seeing is more interest in larger screens as opposed to smaller screens...but that doesn't mean we're not going to do it but we haven't announced anything yet

So in short, the Chassis 2 spec is still planned but as of now, the focus and consumer demand seems to be on larger screen devices so that is evidently where their resources are being concentrated. C'est la vie.

We did ask a few people, including Any Lees and even Sandisk about that microSD compatibility list and there seems to still be some confusion (the Sandisk rep was unaware) but both parties are going to get back to us on details on how that "certified" system is coming along, stay tuned...

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3 years ago

Kinect on Windows Phone 7 [Video Demo]

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One of the handful of new features heading to Windows Phone 7 is Xbox Live Kinect interface. The interface turns your Windows Phone into a companion for the Kinect gaming system. The above video demos the potential this integration has. No time frame on when such integration will be available was mentioned during Microsoft's Keynote Address at the 2011 Mobile World Congress.

The new feature will definitely expand the Windows Phone 7 role with Xbox Live and make Kinect gaming a lot more interesting.

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3 years ago

New features heading to Windows Phone 7: Multi-tasking, IE9, Skydrive and more

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While many didn't expect much from Microsoft's Keynote Address at the 2011 Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer and company did find a way to surprise us. While the first part of the presentation was a re-cap of the progress Windows Phone 7 has made, the Microsoft CEO also touched on how well the new phones are being recieved by consumers. Nine out of ten Windows Phone users would recommend the phones to other and many feel that Windows Phone 7 is the easiest and most delightful to use.

Building phones that people love and that are operator friendly is the top priority at Microsoft. Ballmer also mentioned that the first update for Windows Phone 7 is only a few weeks away, being release in March and will include the copy/paste feature and overall performance enhancements. No surprises there.

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3 years ago

Multitasking support for WP7 detailed & updated with more information

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The Microsoft keynote at Mobile World Congress definitely didn’t disappoint those of us that have been hungry for more details on the direction of our platform of choice.

One of the main things that Windows Phone 7 has gotten knocked for is the lack of multitasking for third party applications. The big news of the day is that Microsoft has committed to deliver multitasking support for Windows Phone 7 during the 2011 calendar year.

During the keynote, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore demonstrated how multitasking would work. Part of the multitasking interface is seamless. If you navigate away from an application and come back, the application will not only pick up where it left off, but it will do it quickly and efficiently. Belfiore also demonstrated an early view of the task switcher for Windows Phone. Pressing and holding the back button launches the UI (which looks like a poor man’s version of the WebOS card-based interface). We did not see a demo of killing apps.

One of the best things about multitasking for a lot of people is what this means for third-party music apps like Last.fm or Slacker Radio. During the demo we saw Slacker Radio playing in the background while reading email and otherwise using the phone in a normal manner. Additionally, it appears that third-party music apps can be controlled using the playback controls which appear at the top of the screen when the volume buttons are pressed.

All-in-all, this looks to be a big year for Windows Phone 7. Any thoughts on multitasking for Windows Phone? Is this a key feature for you? Talk it up in the comments section!

Update: Hi all, Dieter Bohn here. Tim has broken it down pretty darn well above based on what Microsoft presented today. On top that that, we have a few more details on how multitasking will work on Windows Phone 7 - join us after the break!

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3 years ago

Steve Ballmer Mobile World Congress Keynote Liveblog

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We are live at Mobile World Congress, but you knew that. Steve Ballmer is set to give his keynote at 4pm local time, which equates to 10am Eastern in the US. We hope we're going to hear details on the next version of Windows Phone, but with Steve, anything is possible. We're at the Keynote viewing party at Microsoft's digs at the Catalonia hotel, where we will not only watch the Keynote stream but also hit up Microsoft folk for questions after the event. Join us after the break!

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3 years ago

Ten ways to improve Windows Phone 7 - a developer's perspective

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Since its inception, suggestions have been scouring the internet on how to improve Windows Phone 7. We ran across an interesting list of suggestions that come from a developer's perspective. While recognizing that Windows Phone 7 is a "modern, well-throughout and refreshing OS" the article concentrates on technical and strategic changes that would help with WP7's longevity.

Along with UI Virtualization and Hardware Acceleration, here are some of the suggestions offered that an end-user might agree with:

Fix Push Notifications: From capping the number of apps that can receive push notifications to the overall reliability of push notifications, this area needs improvements.

Improve the Home Screen: I've grown fond of the Home/Start Screen with Windows Phone 7 but, as suggested on the list, the design comes at the expense of application discovery and usability.  Sometimes it just takes forever to swipe down to the app you're looking for.  We've heard mention of folders but what about having multiple sets of tiles? Have a Home Screen Hub of sorts?

Update the Back and Search Button Behavior: Change the Back Button functionality to only navigate within the context of an app. Then add a long press that would take you to the previous application. It is also suggested that the Search Button should be contextual to the app running. A long-press would pull up BING and pressing the Search Button on the Home Screen would search your device. These suggestions would help eliminate the accidental presses that send you completely out of an app.

The author also touches on the need for a companion Windows Phone 7 tablet. A tablet allows you to scale up Windows Phone 7 and allows for developers and Microsoft to tap into a secondary market.

I agree with one of the closing thoughts in that Windows Phone success is a matter of execution and strategy. Microsoft has a very good foundation and next month we'll see how the first step in its growth takes shape.

Source: Orktane

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