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3 years ago

UX and perceived performance in WP7 apps [Video]

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The above video features Jobi Joy, UX Architect at IdentityMine (see our interview), who discusses some of the problems he was faced with (and overcame) while working on the popular (and highly successful) IMDB and Twitter apps for Windows Phone 7. What's interesting to note is the topics covered, which include "perceived performance" and how he put together the framework for panorama controls.

Source: Channel9

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3 years ago

IM+ preview pics go live

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IM+ preview pics go live

Even though a preview/beta released was suggested for April, we're fast approaching the end here with no sign of a pending release. But as a sign of good faith, Shape Services has gone and posted a few screenshots of their much anticipated IM+ instant messaging app.

Not too much can be gleaned in terms of features i.e. we don't know if it has a Live Tile/push notifications (though you would think that's a requirement for such an app), but the layout looks nice enough and it appears to embrace the Metro design, which is always nice.

Hopefully we'll be getting this in our hands sooner than later.

Source: IM+ Facebook; via WPSauce

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3 years ago

WP7 Developer Wiki [Developers]

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WP7 Developer Wiki [Developers]

Ever wanted to dive into coding for the Windows Phone 7 platform and needed a helping hand? Why not check out the WP7 wiki which targets experienced or newly acquainted Silverlight, WPF and WP7 developers? The wiki walks one through many sections covered, ranging from Silverlight controls to navigation and globalisation/localisation.

With the sheer number of resources publicly available today, it almost rivals iOS and many are arguing that WP7 has a more feature fluent process, which will be so should Xbox and WP7 come more integrated. Fancy looking through some quick pointers to refresh memory or receive aid in your "start out" phase of learning, head on over to the WP7Dev wiki for a gander. 

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3 years ago

Escaping Lava - App Spotlight

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Escaping Lava - App Spotlight

Escaping Lava is a jumper game of sorts for your Windows Phone. You play the role of an archeologist who is exploring a volcano. While your searching, the volcano begins to erupt and, you guessed it, you have to escape the lava flow.

You have a wall with various protruding rocks and instead of jumping your way to the top of the screen, you use a grappling hook and rope. You shoot your grappling hook by tapping on the rock you want to swing to.  You then use your momentum to swing to the next rock, working your way up the screen. The higher you climb, the greater the score.

It sounds easy but some rocks explode, some give away to your weight and you can out stretch your rope. Then there's the lava. If your momentum pulls you too low, you run the risk of being overtaken by the lava.

There is a free trial available for Escaping Lava with the full version running $.99. If you like jumper games but are looking for a new twist to the concept, Escaping Lava might be worth a try. You can find the game here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

WP7 manufacturer marketshare estimation

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This is more eye candy than anything else. The chart above states the obvious with HTC owning the WP7 marketshare (along with everything else) by releasing a horde of products. Samsung closely follows behind, surprising since they only offer a single device in America and Europe (Focus and Omnia 7 respectively) - albeit both devices are popular. ASUS is shown to have the smallest chunk of strawberry pie with their limited deployment along with Dell (although is Dell's position down to the hardware/software blunders?).

The chart below shows a device breakdown of popularity, HD7 being the most commonly owned product, followed by the Omnia 7, whey Europe! interesting to see how the hype of each product introduction correlates to the popularity post-deployment. Please note that these charts are estimates only and are by no means accurate.

Source: AdGAC, via: MobileTechWorld

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3 years ago

Telstra HD7 offer free return flight in Australia

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Remember when we gave a shout out about a fantastic offer for Telstra customers? Well, believe it or not, we've come across a more exciting deal. Fancy winning a free return flight to a mystery destination in Australia?

The offer closes on the 31st May, requires a $10 booking fee as well as the usual proof of purchase by registering your details. This is a great deal from Microsoft and their marketing will never fail to surprise us. So if you fancy jetting off (for free) to the amazing Sydney, tropical Cairns or a range of other destinations, get the HD7 on Telstra.

Source: Microsoft WP7, via: istartedsomething

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3 years ago

Get GAL lookup working post-NoDO

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Get GAL lookup working post-NoDO

One of perks of NoDo that pertains to the enterprise world is the ability to look up contacts on your Exchange server's Global Address List for Exchange 2003.  However, just applying NoDo might not do the trick.  In order to get the GAL look-up option to show up, you might need to do this:

  1. Delete your current Exchange account on the phone
  2. Reboot your device
  3. Set up your Exchange account again

Once this is done, you can then go into the People Hub and search for a contact.  You will then see the option to "search Outlook directory" as well as the other search options available.

Thanks, Amir for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia and Microsoft deal finalized, ahead of schedule

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And that's that.

Today, Nokia and Microsoft sealed the deal of the decade (in our eyes, at least) finalizing Nokia's commitment to the Windows Phone platform. Not bad for two months.

The good news is that not only was the deal finalized ahead of schedule, but work by Nokia in cranking out their first Windows Phones is progressing rapidly--however, Microsoft is still projecting "volume device shipments in 2012" but they also note in another blog post "the pressure is on for first delivery in 2011",

Nokia and Microsoft also announced significant progress on the development of the first Nokia products incorporating Windows Phone. With hundreds of personnel already engaged on joint engineering efforts, the companies are collaborating on a portfolio of new Nokia devices. Nokia has also started porting key applications and services to operate on Windows Phone and joint outreach has begun to third party application developers.

Some other highlights from the announcement are not really knew, but at least offer some clarification:

  • Nokia will leverage mapping, navigation, language support and work on cameras; Microsoft gives Nokia Bing, gaming, ecosystem
  • Windows Phone developer registration free for all Nokia developers.
  • Nokia will open a new app store for all their software, including Windows Phone, giving their devs easy access to all of Nokia's customers
  • Nokia will also leverage their operator billing, expanding Microsoft's reach

There is also the bit about Microsoft receiving royalty payments from Nokia starting with their first phones shipped and Nokia receiving payments from Microsoft "measured in the billions of dollars" i.e. things we've heard earlier. While a delay or roadblock was not really expected between the two giants, it's great to see the partnership finally cemented.

Now lets see some phones already. Entire Press Release after the break

Source: Microsoft 

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3 years ago

The Home Depot releases an official app for WP7

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It's always cool when "official" apps hit the Marketplace and tonight we have pretty big one: The Home Depot. Sure, they're not the first company that springs to mind when we think of smartphone apps, but truth be told it's actually pretty slick:

  • Search the store (all departments)
  • Make purchases
  • Store locator
  • In-store map (!)
  • My Account & My lists
  • Deals/Featured products

Yeah, that's not too shabby at all and the layout is up there with other apps like Amazon's. So if you like to spend time the Depot, you'll want to pick this up.

Available here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Amir, for the heads up

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3 years ago

'Text My Location' now free in the Marketplace

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The app 'Text My Location' is an oldie, having been on the Marketplace since early November of last  year. It's a fairly basic app that finds your location and allows you to send it via SMS, Email, Twitter or Facebook. What's more, it gives you options on how to send that info: short address, full address, map link, etc., making the best of both worlds: simple yet robust. Heck, you can even edit the address if it's a bit off.

It always fetched for $0.99, which was a fair price but now it's even better: Free. We're not sure if it's a temporary change (probably) or permanent, but either way, we like it and think you should lock it for that price. There's no ads either, just a straight up smart app for telling friends where you are at this moment.

Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 7 in space (revisited)

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Windows Phone 7 in space (revisited)

We covered the Atmospheric Science Through Robotic Aircraft (ASTRA) group of University of Southampton awhile back, when they sent an HTC Trophy into the stratosphere attached to a weather balloon. The experiment showed the durability of the HTC device as well as the great ability for Windows Phone to merge micro-processing, cloud computing (via Azure) and GPS tracking all in a tiny device for a fraction of the cost it took years ago.

Now there's a cool video documenting their experiment for your viewing pleasure. Watching it you really grasp just how neat this setup really was and what a tough device that phone is, surviving -58C (-72F) weather is no small feat. Science: awesome stuff.

Source: Segoz.co.uk; via: Techie-buzz

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3 years ago

Game stats reveal some new WP7 devices in the field

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The blog Occasional Gamer, by Elbert Perez (who makes a ton of games for Windows Phone), has listed the stats of devices running his games. Like the app "Dude, where is my update?", we can gain some insight into unreleased and upcoming devices for Windows Phone--or at the every least, get an idea of some of the things being tested.

The chart above shows a few of the devices that caught our eye from Occasional Gamer and we'll try to break 'em down for you:

  • HTC Mazaa: reported as a Sprint HTC Trophy, some of us actually believe is this is the finalized Verizon device instead. Reason? With 98 devices running Perez's games, that seems more like a device in tester hands, ready to be rolled out rather than in development--and we know the Verizon Trophy is out in the field, being tested. And we find it odd that a Sprint Trophy would be in more hands at this point than a Verizon version.
  • Samsung GT-I8703: We still don't know what this phone is--possible variant of the Focus Omnia 7
  • HTC-MWP6885: likewise, we saw this earlier too and still have no info on this device ID
  • DELL Advist: this is new and may one of the reported Dell devices from the leaked roadmap back in February
  • HTC MSM7x30: clearly this is HTC testing out Qualcomm's latest chipset (see Engadget), which was just approved for the Windows Phone 7 chassis specs. Good to know that this will becoming probably in the fall
  • HTC-PC40200: reported by the FCC as a CDMA Trophy--possibly for Sprint or just an earlier, pre-production model still floating around

See anyting we missed? Hit us up in comments. Have any insight as to these device's real IDs? Likewise!

Source: Occasional Gamer

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3 years ago

Hacked the NoDo update and think you're safe? Think again

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Back amongst the chaos of complaints, rants, tantrums and media surrounding the NoDo update process, Chris Walsh released a tool that forces a Windows Phone 7 device to update to NoDo - this hack was later regarded as a life-saver for all users who were impatiently awaiting the update notification.

Since then, there have been numerous reports and articles suggesting the tool (if used to forcefully update your handset) could cause problems down the road with future updates from Microsoft. Again, we have the above capture of a tweet by Brandon Watson reiterating Microsoft's stance on the whole shebang - users wont get past build 7390 with Walshie's tool. 

So if this runs true, who has to work for a fix? Microsoft, or will Walsh be continuously called upon by his faithful following to create more workarounds?

Source: Brandon Watson, via: wpsauce

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3 years ago

Seesmic 1.5 now reads your tweets out loud and more

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Seesmic, the free Twitter/Facebook app, received a major update today. Watch out! With all these new features, it's only a matter of time before the app outgrows its human oppressors.

Seesmic version 1.5 changelog:

Improved user experience: We worked hard to improve the user experience with the context menus, and we hope you'll agree that the experience is slicker than ever before.
Saleforce Chatter: We improved the UI to make navigation more intuitive.
Speak a tweet: Yes, tweets read outloud to you! We are not kidding!
Trend integration: Check out "What The Trend".
SMS Integration: Send a tweet via SMS.
Hyperlinks: You choose how you would like to open hyperlinks, either in-app browser or Internet Explorer.
Spring cleaning: Yes, we got rid of a few pesky issues in Facebook timelines and complications with Twitter logins.

The Speak a tweet option is the most promising new feature. You just click on a tweet, expand the menu at the bottom of the screen, and choose ‘Speak.’ Seesmic then reads your tweets back in a frightening robotic voice, but it’s still a great idea. I’d like a Speak button to join the Reply, Retweet, and Favorite buttons at the bottom of the screen instead of having to expand the menu first. The feature seems like it would be most useful while on the road or when your hands are otherwise full, so less clicks is better.

Seesmic is a great way to tweet and check your Facebook feed and messages. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Gridd -- new side shooter for Windows Phone [Video]

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We like our "arcade" style games around these parts, call us old or whatever, but there's something fun about these types of games. Gridd is fairly basic: you have a ship, you tilt the phone, it auto-shoots and you dodge or destroy on coming enemies.

For us, it's like TapSlosion + OMG mixed.

The game fetches for $1.99, which is a bit higher than the $0.99 range we usually see such games fall in. It lacks global leader boards and the tilt sensitivity needs to be increased (it's a bit sluggish). Having said that, the graphics and sound are pretty top notch and we like the design--heck with an update or two, it can be a real break out game. So although we like it, we'll have to recommend you give the trial a go (user feedback suggests it doesn't run on the Surround, for be forewarned)

Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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