Mobility Digest has graciously organized a Q&A with Brandon with various supporting sites, including our own.
How this works is simple: post yourquestion about Windows Phone 7 in the comments of this post by Friday, 5pm EST.
Out of all of the questions, a total of 20 will be chosen from the participating sites to be answered by Brandon (since he can't possibly answer them all, plus there will no doubt be redundancy). In about a week, the results will be posted.
Now what we're going for here is new stuff--not the usual why no copy-paste or why is the OS the way it is kind of thing, but rather advanced, detailed questions that we haven't heard yet. So put on those thinking caps! As a good primer, maybe go watch/re-watch the interview with Brandon to get some ideas.
Back a few months ago, someone on a Chinese site (QQ.com) published the supposed specs for the HTC HD3.
We didn't really cover it, because
Sure, it's HTC anything is possible
There's no real proof
Flash forward six-months later and the situation is still the same, but the technology landscape has changed a bit. For instance, 1.5GHz processors are now real and ready to roll, so that's possible. WiMax is out now (HTC EVO) and even 8MP cameras are legit. But yeah, we also know that 1280x800 is not a supported Windows Phone 7 resolution and a 4.5" screen was always suspect (plus just getting ridiculous; then again, hello Dell Mini 5 'Streak'!).
But still, suppose HTC does make a HD3--not really a stretch of the imagination, is it? Lets take a guess: it'll be a big black slab, three capacitive buttons on the front, 8MP back camera, 1.3MP front, WiMax (or LTE) and a 1.5GHz Snapdragon. The screen will be 4.3", give or take. Slap and HTC logo on there, sell it off to Sprint and AT&T and we're good to go. Are we close?
So the phone featured in this fake video-promo for the supposed HD3? Probably still fake, but also likely pretty close to whatever the actual HD3 will be, since this isn't rocket science. Go ahead watch, get your drool bucket and put that Sprint EVO order on hold for a few months.
Check the "video" (really just still shots and HTC logo) after the break...
File this under 'rumor' but technically very plausible.
We know Windows Phone 7 will be locked for advanced OS options and privileges and that developers will have access to these. And like the iPhone and Android platforms, presumably after the device is "rooted" or "jailbroken", the modding community can have a real go at the OS.
What we don't know is exactly how much of the 'Metro' UI can be changed or modified, but for a lot of folks, they're hoping that most if not all of it can be replaced.
Justin Angel, a former Microsoft Silverlight Program Manager involved heavily with software development in Windows Phone 7, said recently in a tweet:
OEMs (phone vendors) can replace Metro completely, but they won't. It'll be easy to jailbreak WP7 into another theme though.
OEM get to ship 2 themes (OEMLight and ORMDark). A Theme _can_ customize anything, including control templates.
OEMs will have an advanced tool set not available to the public (how long before those leak) which gives them access, to among other things, the phone-radio and evidently the UI (though one wonders what WP7 would "look like" without 'Metro'?). The good news is something we expect to here more of: once the device is jailbroken (which won't take long), people will be able to modify the UI to their liking.
Weatherbug uses both Microsoft products in their website development and is having success moving Weatherbug over to WP7. Developers see using Bing Maps and Silberlight offers them more detailed maps, easier code to transfer to WP7, and takes a lot of the worry out of developing these applications.
This is encouraging news to see a popular Windows Mobile developer transitioning to Windows Phone 7 with such ease. The only downside to the interview comes when Weatherbug demos their WP7 app and the video abruptly ends without showing anything.
Windows Phone ownership represents 19% of the market. A recent survey by Nielson still shows Blackberry leading ownership with 35% and Apple firmly in second at 28%.
The survey reflects smartphone ownership for a three month period ending in late March. Overall smartphone ownership increased from 21% to 23% compared to the previous three month period.
The surprise stat in the survey is likely Android's placement. While gaining two points, Android is still well behind Windows Phones with only a 9% share of the market. With the popularity of Android devices and all the doubt surrounding Windows Phone's future, one would think the numbers would be reversed.
Flip2Mute for Windows Mobile has been released which will allow you to silence your Windows Phone when it is face down.
The application, designed by x86shadow, is similar to the native features on various HTC Windows Phones such as the HD2. Your Windows Phone needs to be running Windows Mobile 6.5.xx, have .NET CF 3.5 installed, an accelerometer, and be a WVGA device.
Along with silencing your phone, you can set Flip2Mute to turn off the screen or set the phone to vibrate. This works out great for those who are constantly in and out of meetings and need a simple way to mute their Windows Phone. Simply turn on Flip2Mute and set your Windows Phone face down on the conference table. The only bug I experienced in testing Flip2Mute was that occasionally the phone stayed on silent even after being turned face up.
Flip2Mute is a free application and if your interested in giving it a try, you can download it here.
We'll admit that we're not hip to all those popular Flash games on the internet these days, but evidently one is being ported over to Windows Mobile this month due to its popularity.
"Learn to Fly" is about a hapless penguin who is determined to overcome his flight-challenged biology. Its has bold graphics, silly achievements and it's indeed addicting. In fact we would have written this up sooner but we're playing the online Flash game for the last hour.
We'll keep you posted on the actual release and hopefully it's as smooth as the online one. If you want to waste the rest of your day at work, go here to play the free Flash version. Apologize to your boss in advance for us, thanks!
According to a Microsoft spokesperson, developers working on WP7 can unlock and use the phones with no extra cost. While this makes sense, it's surprising in that other phone developers (such as Android and Apple) have to purchase the rights to unlock the phones.
Developers can unlock up to five units and dispose of the phone's security walls, making WP7 a little more attractive to them than perhaps other platforms. In addition, this will include side-loading of applications and running unsigned applications, something which consumers are not allowed to do.
Such methods are required for developers but also lead to advanced system modifications like on the iPhone ("jailbreaking") or flat out custom ROMs like Android ("rooting"). It's not clear what will happen with WP7 at this point, but holes in the system can be exploited--that's just a fact.
Not much news here, but it's always fun to see a software developer get a chance to see their work on actual hardware.
As we've been reporting, new Windows Phone 7 developers are stuck using their computers for demonstrations or even paper cut-outs. This will be changing in a few weeks as Microsoft reveals plans for developers to get their hands on actual devices to better gauge performance (currently, the emulator uses your PCs graphics to simulate a phone--not exactly a great metric).
Five Windows Phone 7 devices from HTC are rumored to have found homes with various wireless carriers.
Conflipper is reporting that the HTC Gold_W is headed to Sprint (the "_W" refers to "World phone" i.e. CDMA & GSM, like the Touch Pro 2), the HTC Schubert and Mondrian are headed to Telus (Mondrian going to Rogers as well), and the HTC Spark_W is being picked up by Bell Mobility and Verizon. Finally, another device, HTC Scorpio aka HTC Olympian is also going to Verizon/Bell Mobility.
The speculation on the carriers is likely based on carrier codes much like our earlier report that the Moderian was headed to AT&T. While we are familiar with the Mondrian, the other phones are a bit of a mystery. As we pick up more on these phones, we'll pass it on.
AT&T has been tapped the fastest mobile network in the nation by PC Magazine. The publication took a snapshot of six mobile network providers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, Cricket, and Sprint 4G) in eighteen cities. Voice quality, dropped calls and coverage areas did not enter into the equation.
The testing conducted focused on mobile internet performance. Approximately 1,000 rounds of testing was conducted in the test cities totaling more than 10,000 individual tests. The results were totaled to reflect the national leader as well as regional leaders in network speeds.
AT&T led the way nationally as well as in the Southeastern, Central and Western regions. T-Mobile was tops in the Northeast. To see how your carrier ranked in this study, you can find the full report here.
The LG Fathom has surfaced from the depths at at time when some believe the Windows Mobile Windows Phones (we really have to work on these names) have all but dried up. The Fathom offers a Snapdragon processor along with Windows Mobile 6.5.3. It's being offered through Verizon Wireless for $379 without a contract or as low as $149 with a two year commitment.
The first impression from the Fathom is positive. The build quality feels solid and the phone rests comfortably in the hand. Beyond that, the Fathom is a little bit of a mixed bag lacking flavor in many areas.
For more on the LG Fathom, you know the drill, just ease on past the break.
Until then, a hybrid-approach can be used. Such method is used by companies like iSkoot where instead of using the data connection to make the free call, it re-routes the call to a local call center which then makes the call for you over the internet. It's like Opera Mini vs Opera Mobile--in the former, the "hard work" is done off the phone remotely. However, iSkoot hasn't updated their Windows Mobile software in sometime and they haven't said anything about support for Windows Phone 7.
Step in Voxofon who operates in a similar manner. They seem to be supporting all the new OSs in town, including pushing big into Windows Phone 7. So kudos to them for taking that market seriously. Now unlike Skype-to-Skype calls over true VOIP, you are charged for making calls on Voxofon. This is done like Skype where you can buy credits and they are linked to your account. Luckily, rates are very cheap making it an affordable option for making inter-continental calls: (1.3 cents per minute).
The software looks quite nice--it's a separate dialer app that log ins to your account, displays your balance and tells you the rate per minute before you call. It's no true Skype solution, but at this point we'll take what we can get.