It appears we are using our Windows Phones and other cell phones more for data applications than voice calls. In a New York Times article, the wireless industry association CTIA reports that in 2009 the amount of data in text, e-mail, streaming video, music and other services surpassed the amount of voice data in calls.
CTIA has witnessed a decline in voice data over the past two years with the call duration following suit. The average length of a local call was 1.81 minutes in 2009 compared to 2.27 minutes in 2008.
Conversely, data usage has increased. Text messaging alone increased almost 50% since 2008. Phone design is also becoming more data friendly with more QWERTY keyboards popping up.
So, are you part of the data crowd who text's short messages to your spouse, friend or family member instead of making a short voice call to them? Do you rely more on email than voice calls?
Of most interest for the tech-savvy (e.g. tweakers, ROM chefs) would be the one pertaining to devicecustomization. Perhaps of little surprise to our audience, but Windows Phone 7 evidentlyhas a registry for manipulating many areas of the OS (startup screens, languages, start tiles, default ringtone, camera modes, etc.).
This may mean at some point an on board registry editor might be able to manipulate these values to do what we do now: customize the UI to our liking, at least within certain limits. However, there could be one obstacle: the registry might be locked down or inaccessible. Still, assuming access, Microsoft has done all of the work for us already by documenting these changes and showing their relative parameters--as opposed to the current "hunt and peck" method that we've been using for years.
The material is dated by a few months, so information has probably changed. Still, it provides some useful data for those who want to know.
HTC seems to have some Neo-Plasticism art fans under their employment.
In possibly one of the more clever wink-nods in phone-naming history, the "HTC Mondrian" (see story below) seems to take its influence from famous Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, whose work you see above.
If you don't see the visual influence between one of Piet's most famous pieces and a certain 'Metro UI' then we don't know what to tell you. Or just a coincidence?
Evidently, the first leaked ROM from a true and true Windows Phone 7 device has made its appearance.
We say evidently, but perhaps it should be supposedly since as of now, we don't have any proof of anything besides a file. This does come from a Chinese site and spoofs (cough, HD2 running WP7, cough) are a plenty these days. So grain of salt, lets not all believe it quite yet, yadda yadda.
Information is sparse at the moment as the XDA folks sort through the information and decide what the next step will be.
What is known so far is this:
NBH_WM7_AKU_6176_WWE_for_HTC_MONDRIAN Model: HTC Mondrian (Cingular USA) AKU: WindowsMobile_7_AKU_6176 Language: 0409_WWE
So no shocker there that HTC will probably be the first to market with a WP7 device. AT&T may be a surprise for some, seeing as they have not been exactly embracing of anything Windows Mobile as of late.
Download-mirrors for the ROM can be found here, though we're betting they won't be of much use to many. And no, porting this to your Touch Pro 2 or HD2 probably won't be an immediate possibility, so don't get your hopes up just yet.
After further examining the file, there is indeed an IMGFS inside, the D000FF format appears to be a new "store" type of .bin, will need to figure out the format for it to pull out imgfs (because just cutting in a hex editor gives you some invalid data)
Also, IMGFS is compressed with XPH (rather than XPR or LZX as we're used to)
In a move that may console some of your concerns about the future of Windows Mobile 6.x, Microsoft has updated its Bing application. While the version numbers don’t seem like a big jump (5.1.2010.3290 to 5.1.2010.5040 is what we’re seeing on our phones), there is some new functionality that a lot of people have been pining for.
Bing (and its predecessor, Live Search) have offered minimal navigation options in previous iterations, but as of today Bing offers voice guided turn-by-turn directions. (Huzzah!) Settings include the choice between the fastest or shortest route, avoiding toll booths, avoiding traffic, and voice guidance. Get the latest and greatest version from http://m.bing.com/download/. More information is available at Microsoft's Bing Community Blog.
More screen shots after the break. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
They are seeking to halt importation and sale of the iPhone, iPod and iPad, which as we all know probably won't happen. The rest of the press release (after the break) is mostly an ad for HTC with little substance about the case or complaint.
Apple is fighting at least two major phone manufactures now: Nokia (see coverage at TiPB) and HTC. Needless to say it feels kind of good to see HTC fire back at Apple, but whether or not they have actually have a case to be made or they are tying up the courts on tit-for-tat litigation remains to be seen.
(it) is on the roadmap, the question is how quickly we’re going to get to it. We feel that we are best best deployed on other operating systems (for now) and we’ll see how the space evolves.
Now for the mixed bag part. One of MobileTechWorld's commentators was in the audience at the time and can lend some context, which is always important when bombshell quotes are dropped:
Hi, I was actually at the briefing yesterday and support for windows phone 7 was my question to Dan (being a HTC Touch Pro user currently).
Initially Dan was defensive and indicated there would be no support for the platform as the company was focusing on other opportunities (getting a proper iPad client out the door) however when pressed as to why Windows Phone 7 wasn’t even on the horizon for Skype, he backed down slightly and indicated (reading between the lines) that Skype would be reviewing Windows Phone 7 support after the platform launches and seeing how the market develops.
We explore rigorously opportunities presented by new mobile platforms, and Windows Mobile 7 is no exception. However, we don't discuss future platform developments, and have no further information to offer at this time.
Bottom line is this: so far Skype is not rushing to embrace WP7 by any means, but they certainly don't seem to be slamming the door shut either. Best bet is the usual one: let us see what happens.
Over at "Doug's Blog" (you all know Doug, right?), he's taken the time to write a very detailed article on multitasking and Windows Phone 7.
A lot of the article is insider baseball, but it's more architecture than programming, so it's okay for even the part-time geek to understand . He focuses on how WP7 handles memory, background operations, suspending and resuming software, etc.
Really interesting stuff.
The big news though is what he reveals as possible with WP7. Some choice quotes to demonstrate:
"The Windows Phone team made waves when the platform was introduced by indicating that, at least initially, Window Phone would not multitask 3rd party applications. The answer sounded pretty absolute. The actual implementation isn’t."
"So, while true multitasking doesn’t exist on the Windows Phone, applications can ‘borrow’ some background processing time as long as the system is lightly loaded."
Whether or not such "worker thread" caveats can be exploited by developers and get by the certification process by Microsoft remains to be seen. Overall though, it's a great read and a must for any of you enthusiasts out there.
As we delve deeper into what current Silverlight programmers are up to in exploring Windows Phone 7, a few things are becoming evident:
Generally speaking, they love it
There's lots of development and excitement amongst the community
Case in point is this "sample" app (e.g. something someone whipped up in very little time to explore the framework): geoGallery.
geoGallery is a photo app that pulls pictures from Picasa to your device based on your current location. Pretty cool. It's even more cool knowing that developers are turning out programs left and right so easily and enthusiastically.
We're confident in stating that WP7's development framework is going to give a huge kick in the pants to software offerings in the Marketplace. In other words, we haven't seen this much interest from developers since the iPhone and Android SDK days.
Okay. So there's no such word as a ROMaholic but I've come to the conclusion that I'm hooked on custom or cooked ROMs. I just haven't decided if that's a good thing or bad.
It took me years to finally take the plunge and flash my first cooked ROM. After what felt like months of research, soul searching, tarot card reading and conquering the fear I would brick my Windows Phone, I flashed.
I've since tried cooking from various chef's (personal favorite is NRGZ28) and tinkered with various radios. All in an attempt to get the perfect Windows Mobile variation and best radio performance available.
Where the addiction comes into play is when I have a perfectly good ROM installed I find myself flashing again when the Chef releases a new version whether I need the updated version or not. It's not so much an issue of never being satisfied but rather a curiosity on what the new ROM contains. Whether it is the latest version of Bing added to the recipe or a new version of the CoOkie's Home Tab, I feel compelled to flash.
So, for those who do flash cooked ROMs on their Windows Phone, how often is too often? Do you jump on board right away or wait and see if the new versions have any bugs? Or do you carefully study the change log of the new ROM to see if it's worth the effort?
For the last few years, HTC has been to Windows Mobile what Michael Jordan was to the Chicago Bulls in the early 90's; they haven’t been the only piece to the puzzle, but without them it just wouldn't be the same. HTC's growth into a major player in the mobile arena is one of the big success stories of the last decade.
HTC's marketing department has been very busy recently in creating TV ads for devices such as the T-Mobile HD2 as well as some of their Android offerings. HTC as a brand is really in the early stages of development, with videos such as "The Quietly Brilliant Story of HTC" giving a nice introduction to HTC’s history and progression into a company that is mentioned in the same breath as heavyweights such as Apple and Google.
Want to know all the details about Windows Phone 7's 'Push Notification' system? Since 3rd party multitasking is officially a no-no on our new OS, Push Notifications (PNs) will play quite a role in how our after-market software interacts with the internet.
Luckily Microsoft's own Developer Blog has detailed everything from defining what is a PN (and perhaps more importantly why they went with them), how they work and how to use them on a WP7 device.
The articles are written for the developer and even consumers who will be able to make sense of material, so don't be afraid if you have 30 minutes to kill to jump right in. (Okay, the last two parts get very technical) Quite a few interesting nuggets of info await!