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3 years ago

WP7 Sliding Keyboard heading to Marketplace

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While we previously wrote about how Swype could look to move onto the Windows Phone platrform with Nokia heading up the show, this is some pretty interesting development by Invoke IT. The above demo of the app Sliding Keyboard is performed by YouTube user hermitd31.

This app is standalone and allows the user to swipe instead of type. The keyboard is a slight shade of blue to differentiate between the stock keyboard and should the user tap in the text area while Sliding Keyboard is active WP7 will take over with the default popping up. One is able to swipe and save to the clipboard for import in other apps.

You can download Sliding Keyboard from the Marketplace for a mere 79p and while the majority of reviews are somewhat negative, it's good to see a Swype alternative that's readily available.

Via: WPSauce

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3 years ago

Apple's patent battle against HTC causing OEMs to reconsider Windows Phone

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An initial ruling against HTC by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) is evidently starting to have ripple effects. The case was brought by Apple, who is accusing HTC of infringing upon 10 patents of which the ITC found HTC to be violating two. Two caveats: the ITC's ruling is preliminary and not final but, Apple just needs to win on one patent infringement claim to potentially halt imports by HTC into the U.S. [Read Nilay Patel's excellent piece at ThisIsMyNext]

The patents in question seem specifically tied to the Android OS and other firms seem to be taking notice. According to 21st Century Business Herald, based in China:

"Some of these vendors worry about the risk of becoming embroiled in patent infringement due to adoption of Android, and have drawn up three strategies to cope with potential impact. The three strategies are enhancement of support to Microsoft Mango operating system, promotion of smartphone customization by mobile telecom carriers for protection through binding common interest (especially carriers partnering with Apple and Microsoft), self-development of own operating systems, the source pointed out. China-based smartphone vendors Huawei Device and ZTE have planned to adopt Mango, the source indicated."

That's a very interesting paragraph. For one, Huawei is not yet a key partner of Microsoft for Windows Phone--so that's potentially new (even though it will matter more for Eastern markets). Second, we're evidently starting to see OEMs start to make contingency plans if these lawsuits continue to go forward. The reason why is because Google does not offer any protection against claims of patent infringement, contra Microsoft who will defend the OS in court to the chagrin of the OEMs. Combined with those continued licensing fees for Android and the speculation of further legal threats, Windows Phone is starting to look ike a good choice right about now.

Source: Digitimes/21st Century Business Herald; via Electronista

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3 years ago

Microsoft evens out Australian Marketplace conversion

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With the recent AppHub re-launch, we are seeing some alterations with app pricing in some countries. Australia, being a worthy example, are used to having $.99 apps costing them around $1.25 (AUD$1.18). With a recent change, more accuracy between the conversions is now present with that same price tag only setting the buyer back by $1.05 (AUD$.99).

According to a reader at 1800PocketPC, Switzerland is also witnessing a slight reduction. Have you noticed a drop in price (or re-calculation) where you reside? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Chris Walsh, via: 1800PocketPC 

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3 years ago

Fan concept II: What if Windows Phone had folders?

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Yesterday we ran a story on a fan concept that gave the ability to shrink down the program tiles on the Windows Phone Start screen. The post turned out to be wildly popular, with over 80 comments from you folks where you actively (and cordially) debated and discussed the merits of such a proposed UI. Very impressive and some great ideas too.

Today, we have a follow up to that, asking the question "What if Windows Phone had folders?'. This was the route taken by Apple and their iOS as a means to organize programs. While Windows Phone has a "jump list", it's the Start menu where users can customize and organize. It's that latter part where we've seen users create iconic separators to help better tidy up.

WPCentral member Sebastien "ArtSooby" Bruneau has posted up a few shots of what he thinks would work, namely those folders. His idea is take off of the current People Tile, where you have little photos flashing around of your contacts. But instead he envisions having a "Folder tile" with the apps inside flashing in the same manner. Once again, an elegant idea as it is keeping within the bounds of Metro's design principles. We could imagine that tapping on a folder tile will expand to show it's contents, allowing a quick selection (we'll leave the mechanics to Microsoft, ahem).

In the image above and to the left, you can see a tile called "News". In the second image, how a second menu option can be added called "Pin to folder' from the jump menu and finally in the third shot (the right), we can see how they would populate the "News folder". Looks good to us.

So like yesterday...sound off in comments on why/why not this would be a good solution!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Marketplace gets updated categories

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Here's a cool little update: Microsoft has pushed out, seemingly in addition to the AppHub features, changes in categories to the Marketplace for Windows Phone.

Simply launch your Marketplace and head to Apps. You'll see a few changes including replacing "and" with "+" signs, making things surprisingly easier to read. In addition, we now have a dedicated "Books" and "Business" category (we're not too sure if the latter is new).

We bet this has something to do with the AppHub's "private beta market" launching tonight as well as MS just wanting to further divvy up their 26K apps they have available. Let us know if you find any other little changes that we missed in comments!

Edit: Games too, have new, more detailed categoreis as well, including things like "shooter" "classics", "strategy + simulation", etc. Very nice.

(Thanks, Tahiti Bob, for the heads up!)

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3 years ago

Breaking: New video of Nokia Sea Ray prototype running WP7

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Look at what we have here, leaking clearly out of a development factory in either China or Hong Kong (forgive us, it's 2am), we get a nice clear look at the Nokia N9, cough, 'Sea Ray' for Windows Phone 7. We can finally see the buttons near the bottom, putting to rest the "virtual button "speculation from earlier.

Watch as halfway through the video the device even boots up with a new "7" logo screen and it pops in a build of Mango (check out the Mango lock screen, natch). The camera also boots up quickly and we get the first glimpse of what that will be like.

Updates: We also have word that this version of Mango is RTM aka release to manufacturer, meaning this may be pretty close to final for everything. Specifically it is build 7710 (Thanks, anon).

By the looks of it, no front facing camera. In fact, in the camera app we should see the camera toggle, like here.

Source: WPXAP; Thanks, Talan1314, for the info and Rafael Rivera, for the assist!

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3 years ago

WPCentral Podcast 118

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WPCentral Podcast 118


Hooray, the WPCentral Podcast is back for week #4. Join Daniel Rubino and Jay Bennett for another exciting podcast where all things Windows Phone and Microsoft are covered. This week, we have another long one in store for you, seeing as it was such a busy last seven days. Download now! Show notes after the break.

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3 years ago

AppHub re-launched. New reports and private beta marketplace [Developers]

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For our developers our there, you may have noticed the Microsoft AppHub was down today for some maintenance which included the addition of "new features".

The Hub came back up in the last hour and devs seem to be impressed with the changes:

  • Updated layout
  • New crash reports
  • Export of download/purchase details
  • Private beta Marketplace

The last one is pretty huge as it allows devs to privately distribute their app to select users, without them having to "sideload" the app. In short, that means devs can expand their testing pool to beyond those with developer unlocked devices, as well as "manage" the software including pushing updates. It should be a powerful tool the community and developers to get better apps to the Marketplace for final release.

Update: Another new feature for devs is "edit application details". From Manan at Techi-buzz:

"The...feature makes it easy for application developers to make changes to the application’s listing in the marketplace and description without having to submit a new version. The developer can the edit applications category, artwork and category."

Oh and yes, developers in Hungary and presumably numerous other countries can now register too. (@vbandi)

Source: AppHub

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3 years ago

Microsoft Tags Porsche

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Microsoft Tags Porsche

Porsche has begun tagging their automobiles. Tagging them with Microsoft Tags that is. You know, the multi-colored, triangular Microsoft Tags that can be scanned to pull up all sorts of information from your Windows Phone.

Porsche has begun adding the Tags on cars at dealerships in five States to test the waters. Porsche's hopes is to make their products and dealerships more accessible. When scanned (with your Windows Phone or other Microsoft Tag capable smartphone) the Tag will send you to mobile sites with more information about the particular model along with videos, photos and sales contact info.

In addition to tagging their cars, Porsche is including Microsoft Tags in the print ads. Initial reactions, according to Porsche, are good with customers liking the "cool" factor the Tags bring to the table. Now if they can just do something about the price tag on Porsche.

If you haven't already installed the Microsoft Tag Reader to your Windows Phone, you can find your free copy here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Source: Microsoft Tag

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3 years ago

Microsoft expediting Samsung Update

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The most recent Windows Phone update from Microsoft is indicating the Samsung Focus v1.4 update may happen sooner than later.

Eric Hautala is reporting that v1.4 has been tested by AT&T and Microsoft is now expediting scheduling. It is expected in the next 24 hours Microsoft will be able to tell consumers when to expect to see the update alert on their Focus.

Once alerted, you will receive two back to back notifications. First will to install the 7008 update and then you'll move to the 7392 update (which includes the 7390). If you need to refresh your memory on updating instructions, Microsoft still has the Update Central site up and running for help and how-to directions.

Source: Windowsteamblog

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3 years ago

Cellfire available for WP7

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Cellfire available for WP7

For those who aren't familiar with Cellfire, it's a service that provides users with an easy and less cluttered way of using coupons for groceries, restaurants, entertainment and more. The team have recently announced their submission to the Windows Phone Marketplace, we covered the app when it appeared on WinMob. Note that Cellfire is aimed at US residents only.

So if you enjoy saving money and wish to use coupons when you're out and about, let your WP7 handset do all the work for you. Clip the coupons to your grocer's savings card and away you go or simply show the sales person the coupon on your device. You can download Cellfire from the Marketplace for absolutely nothing at all.

Source: Cellfire blog

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3 years ago

71% higher ad yield with Microsoft Advertising than AdMob on WP7

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There are a few options available for advertising on WP7, our George Ponder ran through a shortlist not so long ago. According to Microsoft in a recent blog post on the Microsoft advertising website, using the Microsoft Ad SDK with Windows Phone applications, developers are likely to earn more revenue from usage compared to Google AdMob. When making such a bold statement such as this, one would need to provide evidence of findings, correct?

Herm Mogilevskiy, developer of the Paper Toss app, and Jeff Weber, the developer of the Krashlander app both took part in a test to demonstrate the effectiveness of Microsoft Advertising. Using both ad networks (Google and Microsoft) on a 50/50 rotation between June 2nd-20th, both apps accumulated almost 2.33 million impressions (or ad requests) covering both networks.

As you can see in the chart above, Microsoft Advertising brought in more revenue through a higher fill rate and eCPM (estimated Cost-Per-[1,000]Impressions). Jamie Wells continued with:

"While these results are very encouraging, we’re really just getting started in building out what we believe will prove to be the world’s most advanced monetization engine for mobile apps. We’ve got some exciting news coming in the next few months on the international front, so stay tuned to this blog for the latest on the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7."

Herm Mogilevskiy had this to say about the SDK:

"Owning my own app development company keeps me on my toes about platform fragmentation and app monetization opportunities. I was interested in testing the two leading in-app ad solutions for Windows Phone 7 and was impressed by Microsoft’s performance. At a 50/50 test, Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Ad SDK outperformed in every single metric... delivering higher yield and fill rate than from AdMob"

Jeff Erber added his $0.2:

"Developing apps has been a passion of mine for some time now and the ability to make money doing what I love is very important. This test indicates to me that not only is the Windows Phone 7 Ad SDK less buggy than AdMob’s Windows Phone SDK, it also earns me several times the revenue over equal time periods."

Exciting stuff indeed. What do you make of these findings and what are your experiences (as a developer) with both of these advertising networks?

Source: Microsoft Advertising

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3 years ago

'Weather Live' has now been pulled from the Marketplace [Updated]

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Here we go again. The rabidly popular 'Weather Live' app which we reported on last week has disappeared from the Marketplace. The app, which started off at 3 stars quickly rose up in popularity, even bumping the #1 in News & Weather WPCentral app to #2--a first since we released our app months ago.

Now, despite receiving an update or two (we forget), the app is gone from the Marketplace without a trace. Was it the pulling weather data from an un-credited source? Did it violate the Marketplace rules? We're not sure but we hope it returns and soon as it's one of our favorites. The current version still works on your device though, so don't uninstall. This is one of numerous apps that have disappeared recently, including the Colbert Report, MTV News, Kayak, Project Sunburst and Cartoon TV (before it returned, gutted).

We've reached out to the developer for comment and we'll hopefully post a response if/when they get back to us.

Update: We've heard back from the developer--

"The app is using the undocumented (but very popular) Google weather API and late yesterday, there was a major outage at the back end. As such, all live tiles stopped working at the time. I suspect it is because Google blocked my server's access since I have ~1500 queries per hour on the hour...

I made several changes to alleviate the peak load and fortunately they seem to unblocked me this morning. So live tiles started working again. To hopefully ensure users are not subject to the downtime any more, I pulled the app from marketplace.

I do want to come back as this project is really a worthy one to me. However, I am trying to find a good source of data. As you may know, many of them prohibit use by mobile applications."

(Thanks, @Sogeman, for the heads up!)

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3 years ago

U.S. Army testing Windows Phone, Android and iOS--will choose only two

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The U.S. Army is wrapping up a six week testing of three major smartphone OSs: Windows Phone, Android and the iPhone, with hundreds of devices and even some tablets.  Evidently no BlackBerry or WebOS love. The point is for the Army to "anoint" two OSs approval for usage by soldiers who are deployed or just currently in service. They won't support more in order to keep development costs down as the Army is set to have their own app store for soldiers. In addition, the Army hopes that the variety will help ward off cyber-attacks as well as giving soldiers ample choice for personal preference.

The military is going with commercially available hardware/software in order to keep costs down, plus as they point out, today's commercially available smartphones are pretty powerful:

"It's a computer; it's a display unit; it's a video-out unit," he said. "Since it is a computer-based utility in a 7-ounce package, we just started realizing there was a vast amount of potential."

Of course, deployment into the battlefield may take some time as no platform currently has encrypted transmissions, but that is something the military hopes to overcome later in the year.

Of note, the iPhone has problems in desert grounds i.e. reception issues between AT&T's coverage and the iPhone's less than stellar performance. Also at least one Android device had to be replaced:

"One popular phone from Samsung Electronics failed to connect to cellular networks and had bugs in its Android operating system, McCarthy said. So Sprint Nextel exchanged it for a different Samsung model, he said"

However, Android and iOS were "well received" so it remains to see how Windows Phone stacks up and if it makes the cut. If Windows Phone does make it into Army hands, it will be a solid boost for the fledgling OS and a vote of confidence by a pretty well known organization. We'd like to think the iPhone and WP7 make the cut while Android, due to its fragmentation, Market security vulnerabilities, poor battery life and app crashing will keep it out of the final choice. We'll keep you posted.

Source: CNN; via GeekWire

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3 years ago

Yalla adds paid app support [Developers]

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Good news for developers outside the loving arms of Microsoft's AppHub: Marketplace submission proxy, Yalla Apps, has added a few services to make your lives easier.  First and foremost, devs can now use Yalla to submit paid apps and collect money from sales in the Marketplace.  They have also begun offering payment via MoneyBookers, making payment to international developers much more convenient. 

In addition, Yalla has changed their charging structure.  For an annual subscription price of $99, users will be able to submit unlimited paid apps and up to 100 free ones.  They will also receive a free device unlock, which normally costs 100 credits. 

"Our aim is to enable people to have easy access and availability to technology, to give them the means to use their skills. The new enhancements made on the Yalla Apps platform are the perfect way of making the platform even more accessible to developers in the Middle East and Africa region, with further ways for users to make revenue from their creations and get their apps out on the market using Windows Phone 7 Marketplace," said Gustavo Fuchs, Microsoft Mobility director, Middle East & Africa.

This news is hopefully some consolation to those who learned in March that they would have to go through a third-party to submit apps to Microsoft.  There was a fair bit of controversy, as Yalla's terms of service state that apps published through them will include the tag: "Brought to you by Yalla Apps on behalf of [Your Developer Name]."  Furthermore, parent company, Prototype Interactive, develops apps themselves, leading some to see this as a major conflict of interest.

Source: ITP; Via: WMPU

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