One of the more interesting and useful apps in development for Windows Phone 7 is "My MediaCenter Remote" which integrates with the Windows Media Center (an under-rated features of Windows 7). Well, it's useful if you don't want to splurge $10 for a physical remote, ya cheapskate.
The latest version by dgaust is near beta, although like other developers he's anxiously awaiting a physical device to actually run it on. The features so far completed are as follows:
View and play Recorded TV - done
View and play back tv stored by myTV - done
View music, and create album playlists - done
Remote control media centre - done
What's left is tweaking up some of the graphics, which are a bit dull or just missing at this point (placeholders). Overall though, considering we are still six months from the release of WP7, it's nice to know we should have some advanced media center functionality right out the gate. But we can't help but wish this could actually stream our content instead of just being a remote for it.
Check out the full video of the program's UI in action after the break
Free wifi isn't a new concept but did you know McDonalds offers it at select locations? It was news to me the other day and have to admit it was nice to use my Windows Phone via wifi while feasting on my Big Mac.
McDonalds isn't alone in providing customers with free wifi. Starbuck's offers free wifi for AT&T customers (two hour limit per day), free AT&T wifi is scattered across the nation at various airports, and you can find hot spots at select Barnes and Noble stores.
And free wifi seems to be spreading. Just checking my neck of the woods on OpenWiFiSpots.com, asides from the local motel/hotels Buffalo Wild Wings, T.G.I. Fridays, and Panera Bread are other national chains offering free wifi. AT&T recently announced they are launching a pilot program to offer free wifi in New York City at Times Square to see if it can lighten the load on their 3G networks. If successful, it may spread to other downtown centers.
So, when you're out shopping or enjoying a hot cup of joe or a plate of hot wings, do you take advantage of the free hot spots with your Windows Phone or laptop? It's a great way to speed things up and if your on a limited data plan, a good way to save on your data usage as well.
Well, here's the real story: it was actually 32 million.
But that's all Windows Mobile devices (WM6.5.x) and not Windows Phone 7, which it has made no analysis nor predictions about. In fact, IDC said it won't be able to do any forecasting on Windows Phone 7 till it actually ships and they can do their own research by talking to vendors and operators. Makes sense.
So now your task is clear: undo this damage and spread the word--Tweet and reTweet!
And IDC--yeah, sorry that you had to go through all of that.
While we knew some of the details about the LG Panther (GW910), we didn't have all the little nitty-gritty bits.
Granted, this is not the sexiest phone we've ever seen, but functional? Heck yeah, it seems like it'll do quite well with our new OS. The other thing is this is not final and LG might be apt to change or modify things before launch. Of note is the 720p video recording, something which is becoming more and more the norm these days.
But currently, it's not so bad, though we're hoping to see what HTC can bring to the table. Come on guys, leak something already...
In what could be a smart move to both lock in a game developer and spur more development on Windows Mobile (yes, we still talk about it), Microsoft is commissioning Touch Dimensions, a recent gaming startup from Singapore.
Known for creating "natural" interfaces for gaming and having knack for those sweet little simple games that people on mobile phones often prefer, Touch Dimensions has been tasked with bringing roughly twenty games to the Windows phone marketplace and they all will be free for the consumer.
These casual games will range from "...a digital sketchpad to a Whack-A-Mole-type game that lets you smack mosquitoes to oblivion".
Competition is hot these days in the music-download biz and Microsoft's $14.99 a month Zune Pass may instead get chopped down to $9.99, according to senior product manager Terry Farrell in an interview with Business Week.
While Phil and I think the $14.99 a month price is fair (you get to purchase 10 songs a month with that $14.99, in addition to unlimited downloading), others in the industry, notably Amazon and Rhapsody, offer a similar service for $10.
Microsoft does need to position itself here carefully: they want to make a profit and find that sweet spot, but they also want to make sure when you buy an upcoming Windows Phone 7 device, you take advantage of the Zune Marketplace.
Finding just the right combo could be killer, because while Amazon has some presence on mobile (notably Android), Rhapsody is less straight-forward and has less presence. (Plus in comparison, Zune Marketplace is a better experience than Amazon's on Android). This is still the one area that Microsoft can really exploit against Apple, who still don't have a monthly pass subscription.
And while they're at it, we'd like to see Microsoft implement some type of Zune Video Pass, which was rumored to be coming. The idea of having unlimited video streaming/downloading on my Windows Phone 7 would be fantastic.
So what was fixed? Evidently nothing. In T-Mobile's forum they blame the last ROM yanking on server issues. Yeah.
Due to overwhelming demand, some customers experienced slow download times when attempting to access the HTC HD2 software update from the T-Mobile Web site. As a result, we temporarily removed the link from our Web site to ensure the best possible customer experience.
Now that we have solved our server issues, we are happy to announce that the software update for the HTC HD2 is now available on the T-Mobile Web site for customers to download and install on their HTC HD2 smartphone.
If you have already downloaded and installed the software update to their HTC HD2, please continue to use your device as normal. You do not need to reinstall the software.
Just can't wait for a Windows Phone 7 device? Here's the next best thing: use this paper cutout made by Swedish software developer Jayway. Simply download and print out the .pdf file (other formats available) and off you go.
Now on a serious note, this was actually made by a developer for developers so they can get a better idea of how their program would look like on a "life-sized" device instead of a 24" high-resolution monitor. In this case, the Jayway team was interested in font size. Basically you can print out your images of your test application and smack them on. Or even cut out slits and have a pull-through panorama style experience.
Microsoft Tag has moved out of the Beta stages with the release of Version 1. The new release also comes with a new Terms of Service as well. According to Microsoft, version 1 improves the Tag Reader, adds a Heat Map report, and makes it available in Italian, French, Spanish, Turkish and Simplified Chinese. The basic services for the Tag Reader will be offered for free.
The new ToS seems to simply transfer any tags created during the Beta program over to the ToS of the Version 1 release. You can find out more information on Version 1 at the Microsoft Tag website as well as downloading the Tag Reader directly from here.
In looking at the Microsoft KIN, we've taken a look at the design of the KIN and the KIN's software. In this last part of the review, we pull everything together and look at the KIN's performance.
As was mentioned at the start, while the KIN is a Windows Phone I don't think it was ever intended to take the place of a Windows Phone running Windows Mobile or Windows Phone 7. However, after using the KIN for some time now, it is a good alternative for someone wanting more than your standard feature phone but less than a Windows Phone running Windows Mobile.
After the break, we'll run down the KIN's software, camera, phone, and overall performance.