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4 years ago

Multitasking coming to WP7; Pandora can multitask now (Updated!)

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Updated: Say it ain't so! Looks like Network World got the quote wrong as Michael Scherotter ask them to make a correction noting: "Great article but with a slight correction; built-in software like Zune can play music in the background. Pandora cannot at this time."

The issue of multitasking in Windows Phone 7 has been nearly beaten to death but there is light at the end of the tunnel. One app that is frequently held up as an example of why multitasking is needed is Pandora--the music streaming app that chooses songs based on your likes/dislikes. Not being able to run Pandora in the background seems painful, as anyone who used an iPhone (pre-iOS 4) could attest.

Well, it looks like those fears may be unfounded. According to Network World, at the Sprint Developer Conference held Tuesday, Microsoft’s Michael Scherotter mentioned that Pandrora is an exception. More importantly that multitasking is coming to Windows Phone 7, just no firm date;

Scherotter said while a few major apps will be able to multitask, such as Pandora, the music streaming app that will play in the background while the user is doing something else, independent apps will not, for now. Scherotter said that eventually, independent apps will be multitask-capable, but he wouldn't say when that would be.

Good news for Pandora (presumably soon to be available in the Marketplace) and we're confident Microsoft will deliver on the multitasking front, once they design an elegant method to do so. Does this make anyone feel a bit better about their potential future investment in the OS?

Source: Network World

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4 years ago

Xbox Live Extras rolling out for Windows Phone 7

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Microsoft is starting to roll out a Xbox Live Extras update for Windows Phone 7. Extras will allow you to view, access and launch your game library from one easy-to-navigate hub on your phone. Xbox Live Extras is only available in the United States, United Kingdom, India, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. More Countries will be added to the list as things progress.

There were a few bugs reported when it was first released a few days ago, such as the Xbox hub hanging on a black screen and then returning to the Start screen. It was also taking some time to convert Avatar Props for the Windows Phone. Those bugs were quickly addressed by Microsoft and the update should be hitting the Marketplace now.

If you start to tinker with Xbox Live Extras on your Windows Phone and still encounter any issues, you can report them here.

via Twitter (@mklucher)

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 and Zune "Rock Your World" Sweepstakes

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Microsoft's giving away free Windows Phone 7 device and 12-month Zune Pass subscriptions.

All you have to do is head over to the "official" sweepstakes website and complete the registration form. Or you can enter through Twitter by following @windowsphone and tweeting the phrase "Zune on Windows Phone 7 Rocks My World! Official Rules http://bit.ly/aO7WmS".

You are limited to two entries per day (one via the website and one via Twitter) and you can't use multiple emails to increase your chances.

There are five Entry Periods with the first starting on October 27th, ending on November 2nd and the winning names drawn on November 3rd. One Grand Prize (the phone and Zune Pass), along with five First Place Prizes (one month Zune Pass) will be given away during each Entry Period.

Good luck and let us know if you're one of the lucky winners!

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4 years ago

Opera Mini saving consumers a boat load of cash

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Opera latest State of the Mobile Web Report is showcasing that the mobile web browser Opera Mini saves consumers worldwide more than $2.2 Billion each month on their mobile data bills. The benefit comes by way of Opera Mini's compression technology that reduces the size of web pages up to 90%, thus lowering the amount of data consumed. U.S. consumers could save $141 on average each month.

The Mobile Web Report provides information on the top global trends affecting the mobile web. Asides from the estimated savings, Opera makes note of the following global trends:

  • In September 2010, Opera Mini had over 71.2 million users, a 7.1% increase from August 2010. Since September 2009, the number of unique users has increased 100.1%
  • Opera Mini users viewed over 36.9 billion pages in September 2010. Since August, page views have gone up 9.0%. Since September 2009, page views have increased 147.2%
  • Opera Mini users generated over 535.3 million MB of data for operators worldwide. Since August, the data consumed went up by 9.4%. Data in Opera Mini is compressed by up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 4.9 petabytes of data in September. Since September 2009, data traffic is up 135.8%.

In the U.S. market, Opera is reporting the following growth:

  • Page-view growth since September 2009: 60.1 %
  • Unique-user growth since September 2009: 19.6 %
  • Data transfer growth since September 2009: 65.0 %
  • Page views per user: 331
  • Data transferred per user (MB): 8
  • Data transferred per page view (KB): 24
  • Google.com, Facebook.com and Youtube.com are the top three mobile sites visited in the U.S.

I'm not sure about the $141 in savings but Opera's mobile browsers have been busy over the past year. You can find the full report here as well as Cost-Savings Calculator and growth snapshots for the countries where Opera products are used.

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4 years ago

Nokia: "No plans" to adopt Windows Phone 7

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We haven't been covering the Nokia "will they or won't they" rumors about them adopting Windows Phone 7 to either replace or augment their Symbian/MeeGo lineup, but in the case we will because we find it quite definitive.

In an interview with CNet Asia, Niklas Savander, Nokia's executive vice president and general manager for Markets, said this about using other platforms:

Currently, we don't think the platforms out there which we are not using--Android and Microsoft--offers an incremental opportunity for us to add value that would sustain a competitive advantage over somebody else. So, no plans.

Sure, maybe he's just being coy on the issue, but we have a feeling that this is pretty legit. It would have been nice to have Nokia on board, but we'll survive without them.

Source: CNet Asia

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4 years ago

[Tip] Enable call waiting on Windows Phone 7

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We don't know if this is just restricted to Telstra in Australia or all GSM WP7 devices, but evidently on at least some Windows Phone 7 devices, call waiting is not enabled. Odd, eh?

Over at Chris Walsh's blog, he demonstrates how to enable this seemingly important feature and it's far from difficult:

Just type *43# into the dialer, then press "Call"

Of course there is nothing unique about that code per se, as they are just part of the GSM feature codes which are universal. Anyone else confirm whether or not this is disabled on their WP7 device?

Source: Chris Walsh (blog)

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4 years ago

Samsung's Super AMOLED looking good in the sun

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We've mentioned before, the one big reason to consider the Samsung Focus (here on AT&T) or the Omnia 7 (rest of world) is the screen, featuring Samsung's Super AMOLED technology. It's hard to see in pictures at times, but in person, it really is outstanding and yes, a reason to possibly choose it over other devices.

In the picture above, you can see how the screen fairs in direct sunlight. There has been debate about whether or not Super AMOLED is superior in the sun compared to a traditional LCD, but at least in the case, the Omnia 7 appears to hold up pretty well.

Source: Twitter (@stefanvicentic); OLED-Display.net

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4 years ago

Can't make it to Microsoft's PDC '10 this year? Stream it. Download the WP7 app!

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For you developers out there, Microsoft is holding their Professional Developers Conference on October 28-29th, starting at 9am PDT, where they will have numerous presentations on developing apps for Windows Phone 7 as well as other tidbits about the platform.

If you can't make it (and it sold out awhile ago), you can watch it online or attend a "local" event near you to make it a more interesting (and nerdy) experience. In addition, you can see the list of events here to better plan your schedule. Alternatively, all events will be able to be downloaded 24hrs after broadcast, making it even easier.

And if you already have a Windows Phone 7 device, you can download the app from the Marketplace, which has the schedule and video content. Noyce.

Source: Microsoft, Steve Clayton

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4 years ago

Microsoft's Tag Reader coming for Windows Phone 7 real soon

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While we were just talking about how MS Tag has passed the 2 billion mark for number of tags made, the question came up what about Windows Phone 7?

The reader is currently available on Windows Mobile, Android and even the iPhone but at launch, no client for Windows Phone 7 has been announced. Well, as you probably already read in the Tweet above, Microsoft has not only finished the Tag Reader app but it's being tested/approved as we speak, meaning it's just a matter of time before release.

Heck, there's even already source code to make a MS Tag generator. Looks like everything's covered here.

Source: Twitter (@microsofttag)

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4 years ago

Staff Picks: Windows Phone 7 apps (George)

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Staff Picks: Windows Phone 7 apps (George)

Windows Phone 7 is right around the corner and the Marketplace is already full of 1,000+ apps to choose from. But what do you choose first? Do you go with titles that have carried over from Windows Mobile or do you start from scratch?

We've seen applications being added to the Windows Phone 7 line-up over the past several months and over the next few days, we'll share which apps will end up on our Windows Phones first.

Follow the break and find what my top seven apps for Windows Phone 7 will be.

Oh, speaking of applications, we'll start posting Windows Phone 7 software reviews shortly. There will be plenty of apps out there to keep us busy but if there's a particular title you'd like to see reviewed, feel free to suggest it through our Contact form.

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4 years ago

Software Review (Windows Mobile): Aqua Lines by XIM

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4 years ago

AT&T announces 5th Annual Developer Summit

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AT&T has announced its Fifth Annual Developer Summit. The January 5, 2011 event will cover four key areas; technical, marketing, emerging devices and sponsor presentations. Keynote speakers include AT&T President/CEO Ralph de la Vega, AT&T Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher and AT&T Mobility President Glenn Lurie.

While the Summit will cover a wide range of smartphone platforms, based on the tentative schedule, there is a lot of concentration on cloud-based services which is right up Windows Phone 7's ally. Sponsors for the Summit include Microsoft, HTC, LG and Samsung.

The Summit is being held in Las Vegas and will lead into the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. You can find more information at 2011devsummit.com and follow the break for the full press release.

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4 years ago

Microsoft Tag's growth passes the two billion mark

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Microsoft Tag has announced that over two billion Tags have been printed since the 2-D bar-code system launched back in January 2009. More than 100,000 Tag accounts have been set up and since August, Tags have been used in more than 100 million magazine issues.

Not too shabby for the colorful little square.

Aaron Getz, General Manager of Microsoft Tag, stated,

“Consumers are rapidly embracing smartphones, which opens a new marketing channel for savvy businesses. Microsoft Tag gives brands and their agencies a powerful way to engage this growing set of connected consumers and create immersive experiences that connect the digital world to the physical world."

Microsoft Tags are a bar codes of sorts that connects almost anything to your Windows Phone. When you scan a Tag using the free Tag Reader application on your Windows Phone, it will automatically open a web page, add a contact to your phone, display a message, or dial a number.

Follow the break for the full press release from Microsoft and you can find more information on Tags at Microsoft's Tag Website.

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4 years ago

Asus shying away from Windows Phone 7, "focusing on Android platform..."? (Updated)

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We're not sure how to take this and perhaps this one of those that Garm-Asus could 'walk back', but evidently Steven Tu, marketing manager at ASUSTeK South Africa, said in regards to that "mystery" Asus device we saw awhile back:

As always, Garmin-Asus seeks the best for our consumers either on Android platform or on Windows platform. However, we see the potential of Android platform devices, so we are focusing on Android platform currently,

Sounds like Asus is stepping back a bit from deploying its wares for Windows Phone 7, which is even more evident since they were completely absent from New York City on October 11th. This also backs up news from yesterday about Garmin-Asus splitting up. It will be curious to see if Asustek corporate responds to this or clarifies the matter. 

In brighter and related news, South Africa is expected to get Windows Phone 7 devices in time for the "December holidays", according to Microsoft SA. No word on which devices though.

Update: Sure enough, Asus has sort of confirmed the above/what we already know. In an interview with Forbes Jonney Shih, the Chairman of the Taiwan-based electronics maker, says: “Regarding Windows Phone 7, we haven’t yet decided yet we would like to do”. He also adds they will introduce a device sometime in 2011 under the Asus name.

Source: MyBroadband.co.za

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4 years ago

Microsoft not fairing well on Wall Street

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Even though Microsoft appears to be on the cusp of a revolution of consumer devices e.g. Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Kinect, Wall Street seems to be having cold feet when it comes to recommended them for investment.

Seeking Alpha is reporting that just this month FBR, Goldman, Janney Capital, Pacific Crest and Barclays have all issued a 'cut' for Microsoft. Most of this has to do with the news of PC sales leveling off this last quarter, which seems to be negating the other news of Windows 7 being the fastest selling OS in history.

Not all is bad though, as the feeling on Wall Street seems to be that MS is just performing flat for awhile, though we'll see what they have to say come Thursday when they report their earnings.

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