While we don't normally like to throw stones, especially at the competition which pretty much decimated our OS marketshare, who can resist pointing out some of the problems with the new iPhone 4? Sure, when mass-launching such a complicated device, issues are bound to pop up and no doubt 'quality control' is a tough thing--heck Microsoft lost a billion dollars on the Xbox RROD. Holla.
But here are the major ones for the iPhone 4, most of which can be expounded upon by our sister site TiPB.com:
While this sounds extremely obvious, up until now you had to buy into the "points" system of Microsoft, which like Xbox, would allow you to transfer those for songs. Yes, it is overly complex and at times leaves you with a useless 'balance' of points, requiring you to purchase more points in bulk.
Of course Zune Pass users won't notice any changes but for the soon to be throngs of users who are new to the Marketplace, it will be a big step. Yahoo News also notes these interesting figures in terms of marketshare: Zune is at 2.6 percent to iTunes’ 69.1 percent and AmazonMP3’s 7.6 percent.. Got a long way to go baby.
Anyone else really dig the ad-free lyrics service in Bing provided by LyricFind? We would still love to see this implemented directly on Windows Phone 7 and Zune HD.
The first is about how social network buttons can be implemented in third-party applications in Windows Phone 7. This is something that Android and the iPhone do quite well--they allow you to share your media, scores, basically anything, with social-networking sites. The app can call up the API and it then allows you to send it via that app to a service like Twitter.
Yes, turns out Mel is quite the Apple fan even owning an iPad. (Wait, yours truly owns an iPad too, but that's different). Anyways, we'll begrudgingly wish Mel the best of luck with his dating site and hope he still has plans to bring some of his unquestionable talent back to the Windows Phone 7 side (we need all the help we can get).
In case you've been living under a rock, there's been a new phenomenon taking place at the World Cup, a tradition unknown to us, which is the vuvuzela horn. Need more? See this Discovery story on it and you'l be caught up.
The other annoying fad is replicating that aforementioned 'experience' on smartphones. The iPhone has 'em, Android has 'em and yes, now Windows Mobile.
JDB software has made a freeware app (like anyone would pay for this function) and it's actually pretty top notch. It works on all WM6.x touchscreen devices, all resolutions.
The UI design is very-much Windows Phone 7, which we like. You also get choices in the size of the horn and sound-type (traditional or euphoric) as well as skinning the horn with you're country's colors, 'cause nationalism is still very en vogue these days.
Probably the most, dare we say, fun part is the ability to play it by traditional screen-tapping or by blowing in the microphone. Okay, that's kinda cool.
Grab it here and apologize to your friends/family for us in advance.
Wish we could tell you that there was something new or amazing in this extensive look at Windows Phone 7 being demoed last night in New York City, but alas it's just more eye candy. InToMobile did a good job though and at least the video is top notch.
We do get to see some pink tiles (WP7--for her) and how they can be moved around as well as the general guided tour. We wonder if WP7 has a native picture editor in it, sort of like the one in Windows Mobile, you know to crop, resize and do some basic fixes--we're betting on no.
The financial analysis website has compiled a listing of companies they see as not making it to 2012. Other companies joining T-Mobile on the list include Blockbuster, Reader's Digest, KIA Motors, and Radio Shack.
While we're not holding our breath on this prediction, the opinion is based in part because T-Mobile is the number four wireless provider and will face competitive challenges that will either force the company to merge or collapse. Profits have declined over the past year which will make it difficult for T-Mobile to develop. The analysis points out that "it (T-Mobile) has to begin to offer 4G service to compete with Sprint’s new WiMax service and LTE-based products from AT&T and Verizon." and T-Mobile is likely not to get either complete before the competition offers such service.
It is yet to be determined how many new customers took advantage of their recent "Mother of all Father's Day" sale where every phone was free (two year commitment required) and the company is rumored to get the new iPhone 4. On the Windows Phone front, T-Mobile has seen some success in offering the HTC HD2 and we still don't know what impact Windows Phone 7 will have on the market. So all may not be as bad as 24/7 Wall St. makes it out to be.
So, what do you think? Is T-Mobile's goose cooked?
For those who don't know, the Zune Marketplace went offline today and users were only given a few hours notice. As of this writing, they're still offline (6pm) and it could take all night before they're done.
But done doing what? That's the cryptic part here as there was no pre-announcement, but as ZDNet did some digging, they found out that Microsoft is arranging a marriage between Bing and Zune.
In fact, you can kind of see it working now. Go to Bing.com, search for your favorite band and you'll get a bunch of info on them plus songs which can be played (see the little 'play' button?). Of course it doesn't stream right now and instead you get the image to the right, but we think by late tonight it'll be a different story.
Nice to see Microsoft taking Zune to the next level and putting these two services together, it just makes sense. To what extent though these features overlap remains to be seen. It would be nice to have a Bing search launch my Zune software and add it directly to my Zune HD or, come November, my Xbox and Windows Phone 7.
Google Voice has been out for about a year now and up until today, you had to request an invitation to use this service. Today, Google has announced that Google Voice is open to the public.
It’s still only available to residents of the United States but offers you free call, SMS messages, voice mail transcripts, and having one number for all your phones. To get your Google Voice number simply log into voice.google.com with your Google account and follow the set-up wizard.
There is a slight charge for International Calls (here's the rate schedule) and while there's still not a Windows Phone mobile app for Google Voice (hopefully that will change), you can still access things through your mobile browser at google.com/voice/m .
There's been some criticism over AT&T Microcell polices that has overshadowed what the Microcell brings to the table. Some do not agree that AT&T should charge minutes and data used through the Microcell against your package minutes or data. There are also concerns that the hardware is priced too high.
While these concerns have merit, if you are in a location that has poor reception, the Microcell is a welcomed sight. The Microcell rolled out to my area recently and having poor signal coverage at the house, I jumped at the opportunity to get five bars of coverage.
Follow the break for more details on the installation of the Microcell and how it performs.
UPDATE: There is some relief for those concerned about the price. AT&T is currently offering a $100 mail-in rebate on the Microcell. The one catch (and you knew there would be a catch) is that you have to sign up for the unlimited voice package ($20 a month) to be eligible for the rebate.
Spotify is quite popular in Europe already and for those who are unfamiliar, its a bit similar to the GrooveShark service: users are allowed to stream music to their device, but instead of Spotify hosting the music files themselves, it relies on a peer-to-peer model. So perhaps it's more like Limewire but without the permanent status.
Reportedly it looks great on a 480x800 device and has the following features:
Save offline audio files to phone, or storage card
Multi resolution support
Multitasking support – Yes you can run Spotify in the background and play Bubble breaker at the same time
Sounds good to us. We'll keep you posted on the release and have a review to boot. Oh and one downside? So far Spotify has yet to launch here in the States, so the availability of this program and service...well it may be limited unless you use some proxy-trickery.
You can never have too much power. As Windows Phones become more versatile, the need for power becomes more critical and sometimes the stock battery isn't enough.
We use our Windows Phones to surf the internet, text, email, watch videos, listen to music, play games on, and in between those activities we make a few calls. While power management has improved greatly with Windows Mobile sometimes the standard battery isn't enough.
For those needing a little more staying power with their Tilt2, the HTC Extended Battery and Cover may be just what you're looking for. You know the drill, to read more on HTC's extended battery and cover, follow the break.