3 years ago
WPCentral Podcast 126
Dan and Jay finally return after a brief hiatus (due to Jay's moving to London) for an all new Windows Phone podcast! Join them for another in depth discussion of the Mango update, Nokia phones and various new apps and games as well as answer your questions.
Full show notes after the break...
3 years ago
In ten days 20% of Windows Phones have been updated to Mango. Android pales in comparison.
For those curious, the world-wide attempt by Microsoft at updating Windows Phone to version 7.5 aka "Mango" seems to be hitting a steady pace of about 1.5% per day. Using the app 'I'm a WP7!' which has data sampled from a massive 83,527 users, we can see that Mango (builds 7720, 7721) is now on 20% of devices the world over (17% in the U.S.).
If you throw in the developer and beta builds of Mango, we're at nearly 30% of those 83,000 users, putting us up about 12% from a week ago.
While that official number of 20% may seem low, remember that Microsoft is doing a controlled update process, meaning only a small percentage of users will actually get an update notification. That number has increased this week, but we imagine it will still be another 10 days before we hit 50% of users on Mango. What we are seeing though is a consistent and steady daily increase in those upgrading to Windows Phone 7.5, much faster than any previous build.
Want some perspective via our competition? Android's latest version of the OS titled 'Gingerbread' (2.3x) was released in December of 2010. As of yesterday, they are hovering at about 38% devices world wide on that OS build--that's 10 months out. Microsoft, meanwhile, has managed to get 20% of its users on their latest version of the OS in 10 days. Clearly, we see who the real winner is here.
Edit: We should point out that it's not so much about numbers of users here that's the difference between Windows Phone and Android, but the model for update distribution is vastly different. Microsoft has taken a much more direct approach to ensure that those 10 devices on 50 carriers world wide were all on the same page at the same time. Scale matters, but the update model here is the key differentiating factor between the two platforms. If you threw in a million HD7s to the mix, it would change very little since that same update is still approved for a million phones. We're just saying, we're not the Samsung Infuse 4G.
Grab 'I'm a WP7!' for free here in the Marketplace to add your stats.
3 years ago
AlterEgo - App Spotlight
AlterEgo is a retro styled game for your Windows Phone that reminds us of Ilomilo. AlterEgo is a multi-level, platform game where you navigate around platforms, obstacles and monsters to collect jumping pixels.
You have an alter ego or phantom twin that mirrors your moves from across the screen. When you hit a dead end, tap the switch box at the bottom of the screen to trade places on the screen with your alter ego. To move around the screen, you tap/hold the screen and a virtual joystick appears. This can be a little tempermental and stopping on a dime can be tough.
You have a limited number of switches per level and once you've collected all your jumping pixels, you advance to the next level. Levels get a more challenging and complicated as you progress through the game. For some, the retro graphics with AlterEgo may be an acquired taste but they fit the game well.
If you are looking for an entertaining, challenging game to pass the time with AlterEgo is worth checking out. There is a free trial version available to let you try before you buy. The full version of AlterEgo will run you $1.29 and you can find it here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace.
3 years ago
HTC Ignite and Prime coming this month? [Rumor]
We took a look at the rumoured HTC Ignite and Prime earlier in the year, which were two very slick Windows Phone handset concepts published at XDA China. The issue we had with the rumours were the low specifications that were tied to the handsets. The Ignite was to sport a 800Mhz processor, and things just didn't feel right.
The two mysterious handsets did appear on The Phone House, a Dutch retailer, in mid-2011 but have since vanished from view. Fortunately we can now see them on Typhone, another Dutch retailer. They have the expected dates set at October '11, but HTC has just recently launched the Titan and Radar so it would seem odd that two more devices would be on the way. Take it with a grain of salt, but looking at the image above, we can only dream.
Source: Typhone HTC Ignite and Prime product pages. Thanks Sebastiaan for the heads up!
3 years ago
WP7 Featured List knows what's featured and is willing to share
Karios Games, makers of MonsterUp and Galaxium, has released a new tool for PCs that detects whether a game or app is a Featured Item in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
As American gamers who can't buy Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and British gamers longing for the free Xbox Live Sudoku know, the contents of the Windows Phone Marketplace varies by region. That goes for Featured Items, too. WP7 Featured List can display all of the Featured Items from the Marketplace of a single region or every region. Or if you’d simply like to find out whether a particular app is featured in any region (useful for developers checking on their own apps), add it to your Favorites list and it’ll check that too.
WP7 Featured List is a developer-oriented app that some regular folks may find interesting as well. It’s a small download and free, so what have you got lose? You’ll find it at the Karios Games website.
3 years ago
sleepPhaseAlarm helps you get the right Zzzzs
When not spending my time writing on this site, my real job is that of a medical sleep technologist (yes, an odd but fun career), so lets just say I have an unhealthy interest in the science of slumber.
Napping, while essential for healthy cognitive performance, can be done rightly or wrongly. In short, we have about 90-minute sleep cycles (varying with age), consisting of numerous stages of sleep N1, N2, N3 and REM. Waking up between the sleep cycles leaves you feeling alert and awake, while waking someone up in REM or N3 can be jarring--hence why it's avoided during sleep studies. In real life though, it's hard to know what stage of sleep you're in since no one is monitoring your EEGs (brain waves). A quick rule of thumb though is nap for 90-minute increments, plus add on X-minutes to fall asleep. While not perfect, it'll put you in the ballpark of a healthy, refreshing nap.
sleepPhaseAlarm is a Mango/7.5 app that basically calculates this for you and sets an alarm. With a simple interface, you tell it you want to go to sleep now (and then pick what time-frame works for you) or you set the time you need to get up (and it tells you what time to go to bed). The app is well designed and since it's Mangofied, the alarm is set and runs in the background (a true "set it and forget it" app). We gave it a quick spin and have to recommend it for those frequently needing catnaps during the day or a healthy night of full sleep.
There are two version: a free, fully functional trial (no settings) and $0.99, which allows you to set amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and choose from five-different alarms. You can pick it up here in the Marketplace (Zune) or the Web Marketplace here.
3 years ago
Android steals the Titan from Windows Phone
Though we're remiss to post Android-specific news here for obvious reasons, we thought it was interesting that today HTC showed off the Sensation XL featuring Dr. Dre Beats Audio on board. The Sensation XL, as you can probably discern from the above photo, is 100% through and through the HTC Titan but now for Android--same screen size, resolution, CPU, camera and design, but in white.
So it looks like we had the exclusive Titan design for all of 3 days? So much for hardware advantage. While we understand why HTC would do this (saves money on production, plus it's a killer design), we're a bit more excited now about Nokia making exclusive handsets for Windows Phone--something that won't be assimilated by the Android Borg so quickly.
Read more at AndroidCentral for their hands on with the Sensation XL.
3 years ago
Microsoft refreshes Where's My Phone Update list, Omnia 7 now in testing
Although lots of folks have received the update for the Samsung Omnia 7, officially at least it's still not available--or rather the firmware that's tied into it is not as easy to get (you can still force-update to Mango, but not get the firmware).
We got word now that Microsoft has updated the "Where's My Phone Update" list and whereas before it said "Except Samsung Omnia 7 models" it has now changed to the more favorable "Except Samsung Omnia 7 models, which are Testing at this time."
Hey, baby steps. At this rate, we're thinking by the end of October sounds like a plausible date for actual release. We'll keep an eye out. Thanks, Gary M., for the heads up!
3 years ago
LG Jil Sander E906 launching October 7th [Updated]
We've covered the Jil Sander E906 handset, which is a Windows Phone handset with a minimalistic design, with press photos and passing through WiFi Interoperbility certification. Powered by Mango and a 1Ghz processor, this Jil Sander handset is perfect for anyone who's either a fan of simplistic fashion or follows the trend of the this designer.
A quick recap on some other features include a 3.8-inch WVGA display and a 5-megapixel camera capable of shooting 720p. A Jil Sander app is bundled with the device which allows users to browse clothing collections and more. The handset is set to go on sale in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and the UK on October 7th.
Update: Today's the day, the handset is featured on the Jil Sander website (Mobile > Phone) and check out the official video below:
Source: Pocket-lint, LiveSide; Thanks, Stuart M., for the tip!
3 years ago
Content Shield promises to store and protect information
One of our readers, David (aka SilverSharkDev), as informed us about a Mango app he’s been working on called Content Shield. The purpose of the app is to store various kinds of data and protect it should someone else get hold of your phone.
Content Shield stores the following kinds of information:
- Passwords – Store various kinds of passwords so you don’t forget them. Categories include Facebook, Twitter, etc. Passwords can be copied and then pasted directly into the phone’s web browser.
- Jokes – Add text jokes of your own or download them from the developer’s Twitter feed.
- Agenda – Add items to your to-do list, categorize them, and then move them to the Completed page when done. To help remind users of uncompleted tasks, the most recent task appears at the top of the Content Shield Main Menu. Tapping on it jumps straight into the Agenda. The number of incomplete tasks also appears on the app’s Live Tile.
- Shopping – Create shopping lists in various categories, including groceries and birthdays. Any item in your list can be instantly searched for in the web browser. Don't forget to buy Christmas presents for the WPCentral staff!
The protection aspect of Content Shield comes down to password protecting individual sections of the app. Create a password and a reminder, and then assign it to anything or everything so that other people can’t view or change things. Me, I simply rely on my phone’s lock screen password to protect my stuff, but this could be useful for people who share their phones for whatever reason.
The developer promises to add more features over time. Content Shield will appear on the Marketplace soon, and it will be free.
Head past the break for a second video preview that demonstrates Content Shield’s Agenda and Shopping functions.
3 years ago
App updates: Poynt, Subsonic streamer, GroupMe and Mehdoh
We have another app-update round up for you to catch up on. We probably missed a few, but here's what we have for now.
- Poynt v2- See review. For those who don't have Local Scout or just prefer to have an alternative, Poynt received a nice Mango update. The new version features weather on the Live Tile and pinnable sub-sections, like restaurant, gas, movie, weather, business, or people search. You can also add info to Contacts now, though it's fairly limited at this point. It evidently also uses Bing Search now, which is a nice touch. Overall, the app is quite sharp and free though we think scrolling could be improved a bit. Grab it here in the Marketplace.
- Subsonic Streamer v5 - Yet another music streaming app, but this one streams from your home PC as opposed to an online service and features local-storage (for when offline). Once again, since its Mango-fied, it now has background playing, streaming, downloading and fast app switching, making this app really useful now. Of course, it's $3.99 but for those who need it, they love it. Grab it here in the Marketplace.
- Mehdoh Twitter v1.2 - Mehdoh has the distinction of being one of the only Mango-fied Twitter apps in the Marketplace (see video hands on) and its already had two updates since its release. The latest version brings the ability to double tap the header to scroll to the top of the list, tweet the title/artist of the currently playing track, auto complete @, live tile updates for direct messages and the option to choose start up list. We really dig the ability to Tweet your currently playing song as we have seen a Twitter client offer that yet, plus with notifications and the Live Tile, we really dig this app. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.
- GroupMe v1.2 - Though still in "preview" mode, GroupMe has taken a big step in the right direction by offering live tile notifications and photo sharing. Though Groups in Mango sort of makes GroupMe redundant, we're sure there are a few of you who need this free app. Get it here in the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Microsoft releases seven new mini-commercial spots for Windows Phone
Looks like the "short but sweet" version of some new Windows Phone ads have been put up by Microsoft. The spots, timing in at about 15 seconds each, demonstrate various features of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, including:
While just shorter versions of that nice, long commercial we saw a few days ago, hopefully we'll start to see these play...you know, on TV or on the web somewhere so that folks can actually see the phone.
3 years ago
Samsung AllShare DLNA workaround patched?
Just a few days ago we published a how to that allows Samsung Windows Phone owners to use AllShare, the OEM DLNA app, even though it may not "officially support" the handset (Focus and Omnia 7). It involves exiting the app just before an error appears on-screen and then resuming the app via multi-tasking control.
We've now received reports from readers that this workaround no longer works, thus meaning Samsung has released a patch to prevent use of the app on unsupported handsets. I've attempted to perform the steps in our how to after re-installing AllShare and it does indeed still work, but the time limit we have to press the home button seems shorter. As soon as the transition effect appears on screen when you open AllShare, this is when you must press the home button, before the splash screen.
Let us know if you're hitting a brick wall or can still get around the stupefied error message. Before I forget, here's AllShare for the PC, should you have require the software. As an alternative, may we suggest onePlayer for your DLNA musings? It works exceptionally well for us and has a free trial.
Thnaks everyone who has tipped us on the issue!
3 years ago
ComScore: Android increases lead from Apple, Microsoft falling slightly
Global research firm comScore has released a new market share report that show Android increasing its lead from Apple, which remains in second place. Looking at the figures above, we can see Android almost hitting 44% of the U.S. market, with Apple on 27%, RIM at 19% and Microsoft at just under 6%.
RIM experienced a massive 5% drop since the previous report earlier this year. Microsoft (combined OSs) has fallen .1%, which shows the continued extinction of Windows Mobile and the rise of Windows Phone. August, being the month before Mango will hopefully show different results to what we will see in comScore's next report. Let's see a rise in market share for the software giant!
Source: comScore, via: SlashGear
3 years ago
DigiTimes: WP7 and Android to capitalise on iPhone 4S
Summarizing our iPhone 4S summary - the handset lags in terms of innovation and improvements that many Apple fans were hopeful of, especially a new design. What's positive from the keynote is what this means for manufacturers on Android and Windows Phone (as well as other platforms). HTC, Samsung, Nokia, Acer, Dell and the rest now have the opportunity to push forward beyond the reaches of the iPhone in this brawl.
DigiTimes has learned from industry sources that the iPhone 4S is now lagging behind mainstream smartphones:
"The iPhone 4S comes without a larger display and with a download speed of only 14.4Mbps for HSPA, and does not support LTE and NFC technologies although it is powered by a more powerful processor and comes with more advanced camera and video functionality, the sources pointed out.
Although Apple also launched an entry-level 8GB iPhone 4 and cut the price of its iPhone 3GS, the effectiveness of such tactics will be limited as iPhone fans will still prefer to buy new models and the low-priced iPhones will not be able to compete with Android phones in the entry-level segment, commented the sources."
We only have to look at HTC's beast of a handset - the Titan - to see how far behind the iPhone is. Not only does the HTC Windows Phone boast an incredible screen with a simple, but elegant UI, but it's not featuring immense horsepower that drains battery. Simply because it doesn't require it (although having dual core will of course improve games and multi-tasking).
It's all down to Nokia and other manufacturers now to shows consumers what they've got up their sleeves.
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