3 years ago
Manage your sounds with Media Volume Settings
There's s little app in the Marketplace that could be of use to many: Media Volume Settings by Andrea Sabbatini. Version 1.2 just landed and it comes in two versions: trial (fully functional, free but with ads) and paid ($0.99, no ads).
The app is simple enough: on Windows Phone 7, when you go to play music, videos or games, the "media volume" is separate from system volume. That's why in some games, like my favorite Decimation X2, they have a separate slider for "music" which you can lower or raise. This aps gives you global control over that setting, allowing you to choose a default level. This is great in case you want to sneak a game in somewhere but don't want the music to blare through the speaker, announcing your universal boredom with the people around you.
The app has just five settings: Mute, Soft, Middle, Loud or Max plus technically one more--custom, whereby you adjust the slider to your liking. We've tried it on a few devices here and it seems to work quite well. Seeing as you can have it for free, it certainly can't hurt to give it a go. Grab it here in the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Samsung: carrier unlock your Windows Phone, void your warranty?
We hate writing posts ripping on Samsung because we're generally big fans of their Windows Phones (who isn't)? So it kind of pains us to write how, at least through the Twitter Canadian support channel, they're telling a customer that his Windows Phone's warranty is now void since he carrier unlocked it. Specifically, Colin B. has an AT&T carrier branded Focus that he wants to work on Fido. He has to have data-roaming enabled even though it is carrier unlocked so he asked Samsung about it...hence their response: "Hi Colin. Your warranty is void. Please contact Fido if you have issues with data usage."
We've actually seen this before with the MMS issue. There, Samsung said there phones are meant for specific networks only and do not support reconfiguration. Of course that was sort of nonsense as they had a semi-working app in their App store for that purpose. They then updated it to fix the MMS configuration error.
Carrier unlocking phones is a pretty standard practice these days, especially with places like Europe considering it a consumer right. So it's odd to see Samsung wiping their hands of the matter with a customer who has an issue. What do you folks think--Samsung being fair and within their rights or just poor customer service?
Source: Twitter; Thanks, Colin, for the info
3 years ago
KIN Studio is now completely dead, long live KIN Studio for Windows Phone
Just as promised, this morning at 3am Microsoft officially killed KIN Studio--the online media management network--for all active KIN users. The announcement was first made in December and sure enough at 3am we got word the site when offline, making KIN almost useless (though they still do make calls and SMS).
We also heard that the Zune pass, which worked over 3G and WiFi would only work on WiFI afterward, but so far it is still clinging for dear life to cellular--but for how long? Everything else though, whether it was social networking, photo sharing, search near me, posting to photo sites, commenting, etc. are all gone, effectively killing the KIN.
While we never understood the strategy by Microsoft on this one, it's still sad to see it go out like this. However, there are two happy areas: all current KIN owners are eligible for a free new phone from Verizon and the KIN Studio team has been folded into Windows Phone, resulting in some killer media-cloud services---some day. As reported in the Seattle Times, Aaron Woodman, director of the mobile communications business at Microsoft noted that some KIN Studio features will make their way to Windows Phone: "We have a very, very small baby step with Windows Phone Live...It's definitely part of the road map to have enriched services that make the phone more meaningful, and the Web more meaningful."
Thanks, Conflipper, for the heads up
3 years ago
International Transaction Fees fixed down under
Australian's can now sleep easy knowing that their Marketplace purchases will no longer be messed up by un-necessary fees. If you recall, through billing errors some Australian Windows Phone users were charged an International Transaction Fee (101% of purchase) on top of the cost of the Marketplace app.
The root of this problem was where the billing was being processed (Singapore) that didn't recognize Marketplace charges as a local purchase. So that $.99 game began to cost Australians $1.99.
To avoid this issue from re-surfacing, Microsoft has established a transaction processing center in Sydney. So to our friends down under, you can now make your Marketplace purchase with confidence that a local purchase will be processed as a local purchase.
3 years ago
Body Glove Soft Shell Case for Samsung Focus review
3 years ago
Jabra Stone 2 Bluetooth Headset - Review
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Body Glove Snap-On case for Samsung Focus - Review
3 years ago
Fruit Ninja - Review
3 years ago
Read Comic Books! - How to for Windows Phone
Comic books! Everyone has read a comic book at some point in their lives. Comics were a fundamental part of many kids' lives and are still very much a part of some adult lives. I loved comic books as a kid and still do. The format has changed a great deal since I was a kid though. I rarely read a graphic novel on paper anymore. Digital delivery applications across dozens of platforms and superb net-based readers have become the industry standard. Scans (literally meaning a scanner was used to make a digital backup of a comic book) and drm-free fan-produced e-books have become the anti-industry standard.
I have a fairly decent sized digital library of comics and graphic novels but I never get to read them when I'm well and truly bored. Like when I'm stuck on a train with just my phone. You guessed it, "Until Now!" Read on to see the ins and outs of not just reading comics on your WP7 device, but how to get 'em on there.
3 years ago
Confirmed: Yahoo! email is responsible for data bug on Windows Phone
It's been whispered about and openly discussed at XDA for some time, but it has now been confirmed that Yahoo! email is the so-called "data hog" culprit on Windows Phone. To refresh, some users were reporting large amounts of data traffic being sent from their phones, resulting in some people approaching or going over their capped data limit. Yet others saw no such behavior. Microsoft finally investigated and found the source themselves but refused to name them publicly, instead they tried to address it behind doors.
Now Raphael Rivera, part of the ChevronWP7 team, has gone ahead and created some sophisticated tests to nail down the offending app. Yahoo email has been suspected by many for some time (see here and here) but now seemingly concrete proof has been demonstrated. To sum up the technical by Rivera, Yahoo appears to be sending around 25 times the amount of data that it needs to, which is quite an increase. As a result, Rivera recommends the following for Yahoo! mail users:
To workaround this, I strongly recommend Yahoo mail users reconfigure the phone to not transmit data via a cellular connection (Settings –> Cellular –> Data roaming options). As an alternative, you can set your Yahoo account to only Download new content only on manual trigger (Yahoo Mail –> Settings –> Sync Settings).
Sounds like sage advice. Seeing as Yahoo is the culprit here, this seems to explain why some of us did not ever experience such behavior, while others did. This also means that it's not WP7's fault but rather something on Yahoo's end that needs to be addressed. Read more on the nitty-gritty on Rivera's page here.
Update: Microsoft is now officially acknowledging the issue: "Microsoft and Yahoo! have worked together to identify a fix, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks.". There also is a rare problem with Exchange Active Sync (EAS) which should be fixed in a software update.
3 years ago
Free apps outperform paid equivalents on Windows Phone
Alan Mendelevich, a Windows Phone 7 developer, has carried out a small experiment involving his Tic-Tac-Toe 3D app to see which performs superior in terms of downloads and usage out of a free or paid offering. Before getting into detail with his findings, one would think that the free app would come out on tops with usage compared to the paid version, and one would be correct.
The graphs above (visits) illustrate just how large the difference can be. But what causes this, and why are people more likely to download an app that's free as opposed to a trial? It's psychological. Like any software store or marketplace, or even searching for software through a search engine, majority of people will attempt to find a free (or next to nothing) offering.
Microsoft has implemented a trial system as opposed to Apple's mass Lite invasion. You literally get swarmed with duplicates upon duplicates of apps and games on the app store, which can prove to become a slight annoyance. This is something the Marketplace does not suffer from, but not everyone is fully aware of trials, and look for either a Lite or free version.
If they can, they will avoid venturing down the paid route unless it's an absolute must. What’s more, trials are generally associated with set time allowance until it ends or have some (or major) functionality removed. In Alan's test, he witnessed a whopping 40x increase in stabilised traffic for the free version of the Tic-Tac-Toe 3D app, which aids in proving the theory mentioned earlier. However, although the traffic may be greater, the revenue generated may not reflect the usage statistics.
Alan moved on to explain, "Despite huge difference in usage the economics of both versions could be pretty similar. The paid version sold 22 copies in 7 weeks which is about $15", which isn't too bad for what the app is. In comparison to the above earning, the free version of his app displays adverts that accumulated around 23,000 views in seven weeks. This would earn him "$23 which is comparable to the revenue from the paid version" he concludes.
So even though downloads of a free app may over shadow a paid counterpart fairly effectively, the revenue a developer can potentially earn isn't much different. Does the trial API work, or should we expect more "Lite" apps in the Marketplace?
Source: Ailon; via @AdDuplex
3 years ago
LinkedIn updates for PeopleHub [How To]
Do you use LinkedIn for networking with colleagues and co-workers? Would you love to receive updates from this social platform on your phone in PeopleHub, alongside Facebook? Good news – this is easily achievable in just a few steps.
Ensure your Live account is synced to your Windows Phone 7 device before we proceed. To get linked in (get it? heh) on your phone, follow these steps:
- From your computer, log-in to your Windows Live account and scroll down to “Messenger Social” on the dashboard/main page, click Add.
- Select LinkedIn from the list and fill in your credentials in the newly opened window.
- Configure the settings to your preference as to what is to be synchronized between your Live and LinkedIn accounts.
- Hit Save, and we’re done!
Simply open PeopleHub on your phone and any status updates from your friends on LinkedIn will now populate the list as well as Facebook. Before you begin experiencing horrid thoughts about your contacts list being imported from the social platform to your phone, fear not, this only synchronizes status updates.
3 years ago
Netgear CEO tackles Microsoft WP7
Netgear CEO Patrick Lo has shared his opinion on Apple and their closed development environment, as well as taking a dig at Microsoft's mobile platform. Our friends at TiPb have covered the criticism directed at Steve Jobs and his iCompany, so we shall cross over the bridge and highlight the Windows Phone 7 remark.
“Microsoft is over - game over - from my point of view” Patrick goes onto say, suggesting that Microsoft is both late to the monopoly game board and hasn’t got the platform to compete with the likes of Android and iOS.
Voicing a rational blow against WP7 is either a display of short sightedness into the smartphone market, or a sign that companies outside of the mobile industry have their own opinion of WP7 – albeit slightly negative. It’s interesting to compare the remarks made by LG about how the launch and first few months of life for WP7 has been somewhat disappointing, to the failed-to-elaborate tantrum of a loud-mouthed CEO.
Although Patrick is not representative of the majority views on Windows Phone 7, nor does his opinion really matter, it’s a crushing look at an external view from a respectable company. Especially since Netgear is behind the networking of companies and online properties (I’ve even used them in a datacentre rack), and a good number of server technicians I know use Android.
One should not listen to Mr Lo however. I mean, how is he to know anything about the mobile platform when all he can comprehensively understand is how to open up ports on his malfunctioning Netgear router. What do you think of his comment about WP7?
3 years ago
We're on Facebook. Again.
Just a small heads up to you social-networking fiends out there: we're back on Facebook. Though the old WMExperts one is still out there, floating around like refuse in the ocean, the new site is up, running and pulling down our RSS feeds of all our latest stories.
So if you would like to friend us, or whatever it's called, you can do so right here. (Next week we'll tackle Friendster. That's still popular, right?)
Oh and if you're a Twitter user, we now have over 6,100 followers--so if you're not one already, you can do so right quick by going to @wpcentral.
3 years ago
Could the PlayStation Suite come to Windows Phone? Sony says maybe...
The future of Sony in the smartphone market has two major considerations for Windows Phone:
1) Will Sony make a Windows Phone 7 device?
2) Will Sony push their PlayStation platform on other mobile OSs?
The answer to the first is maybe. More specifically, Sony is keeping the door open to make a Windows Phone in the future, but as far as anyone knows, there's nothing immediately on the horizon. One reason for that is that some speculate Sony would not embrace a phone that makes the Xbox 360 its centerpiece. After all, this may seem to downplay Sony's own efforts in mobile gaming.
Sony though seems to be taking a mild mannered approach to the issue, suggesting that they are in fact, hardware/software neutral when it comes to their mobile PlayStation suite (prominently launching on Android). In a press event, SCE CEO Kaz Hirari stated:
We're focusing first on Android... There's also Windows [Phone], iOS and so forth, but we don't have the resources to make it compatible with everything from the start.
The statement is an echo of a recent meeting where Sony previously described the PlayStation suite as "hardware neutral". This seems to take out the argument that Sony won't ever do a Windows Phone either due to fears of competition in mobile gaming. In fact, we could imagine Sony doing a Windows Phone featuring Sony mobile gaming on it. But now the ball is in Microsoft's court: would they allow such a deal and partnership to go forward? This could be an interesting next few months and we'll try to grill Sony on this issue at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks.
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