Weatherbug uses both Microsoft products in their website development and is having success moving Weatherbug over to WP7. Developers see using Bing Maps and Silberlight offers them more detailed maps, easier code to transfer to WP7, and takes a lot of the worry out of developing these applications.
This is encouraging news to see a popular Windows Mobile developer transitioning to Windows Phone 7 with such ease. The only downside to the interview comes when Weatherbug demos their WP7 app and the video abruptly ends without showing anything.
Windows Phone ownership represents 19% of the market. A recent survey by Nielson still shows Blackberry leading ownership with 35% and Apple firmly in second at 28%.
The survey reflects smartphone ownership for a three month period ending in late March. Overall smartphone ownership increased from 21% to 23% compared to the previous three month period.
The surprise stat in the survey is likely Android's placement. While gaining two points, Android is still well behind Windows Phones with only a 9% share of the market. With the popularity of Android devices and all the doubt surrounding Windows Phone's future, one would think the numbers would be reversed.
Flip2Mute for Windows Mobile has been released which will allow you to silence your Windows Phone when it is face down.
The application, designed by x86shadow, is similar to the native features on various HTC Windows Phones such as the HD2. Your Windows Phone needs to be running Windows Mobile 6.5.xx, have .NET CF 3.5 installed, an accelerometer, and be a WVGA device.
Along with silencing your phone, you can set Flip2Mute to turn off the screen or set the phone to vibrate. This works out great for those who are constantly in and out of meetings and need a simple way to mute their Windows Phone. Simply turn on Flip2Mute and set your Windows Phone face down on the conference table. The only bug I experienced in testing Flip2Mute was that occasionally the phone stayed on silent even after being turned face up.
Flip2Mute is a free application and if your interested in giving it a try, you can download it here.
We'll admit that we're not hip to all those popular Flash games on the internet these days, but evidently one is being ported over to Windows Mobile this month due to its popularity.
"Learn to Fly" is about a hapless penguin who is determined to overcome his flight-challenged biology. Its has bold graphics, silly achievements and it's indeed addicting. In fact we would have written this up sooner but we're playing the online Flash game for the last hour.
We'll keep you posted on the actual release and hopefully it's as smooth as the online one. If you want to waste the rest of your day at work, go here to play the free Flash version. Apologize to your boss in advance for us, thanks!
According to a Microsoft spokesperson, developers working on WP7 can unlock and use the phones with no extra cost. While this makes sense, it's surprising in that other phone developers (such as Android and Apple) have to purchase the rights to unlock the phones.
Developers can unlock up to five units and dispose of the phone's security walls, making WP7 a little more attractive to them than perhaps other platforms. In addition, this will include side-loading of applications and running unsigned applications, something which consumers are not allowed to do.
Such methods are required for developers but also lead to advanced system modifications like on the iPhone ("jailbreaking") or flat out custom ROMs like Android ("rooting"). It's not clear what will happen with WP7 at this point, but holes in the system can be exploited--that's just a fact.
Not much news here, but it's always fun to see a software developer get a chance to see their work on actual hardware.
As we've been reporting, new Windows Phone 7 developers are stuck using their computers for demonstrations or even paper cut-outs. This will be changing in a few weeks as Microsoft reveals plans for developers to get their hands on actual devices to better gauge performance (currently, the emulator uses your PCs graphics to simulate a phone--not exactly a great metric).
Five Windows Phone 7 devices from HTC are rumored to have found homes with various wireless carriers.
Conflipper is reporting that the HTC Gold_W is headed to Sprint (the "_W" refers to "World phone" i.e. CDMA & GSM, like the Touch Pro 2), the HTC Schubert and Mondrian are headed to Telus (Mondrian going to Rogers as well), and the HTC Spark_W is being picked up by Bell Mobility and Verizon. Finally, another device, HTC Scorpio aka HTC Olympian is also going to Verizon/Bell Mobility.
The speculation on the carriers is likely based on carrier codes much like our earlier report that the Moderian was headed to AT&T. While we are familiar with the Mondrian, the other phones are a bit of a mystery. As we pick up more on these phones, we'll pass it on.
AT&T has been tapped the fastest mobile network in the nation by PC Magazine. The publication took a snapshot of six mobile network providers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, Cricket, and Sprint 4G) in eighteen cities. Voice quality, dropped calls and coverage areas did not enter into the equation.
The testing conducted focused on mobile internet performance. Approximately 1,000 rounds of testing was conducted in the test cities totaling more than 10,000 individual tests. The results were totaled to reflect the national leader as well as regional leaders in network speeds.
AT&T led the way nationally as well as in the Southeastern, Central and Western regions. T-Mobile was tops in the Northeast. To see how your carrier ranked in this study, you can find the full report here.
The LG Fathom has surfaced from the depths at at time when some believe the Windows Mobile Windows Phones (we really have to work on these names) have all but dried up. The Fathom offers a Snapdragon processor along with Windows Mobile 6.5.3. It's being offered through Verizon Wireless for $379 without a contract or as low as $149 with a two year commitment.
The first impression from the Fathom is positive. The build quality feels solid and the phone rests comfortably in the hand. Beyond that, the Fathom is a little bit of a mixed bag lacking flavor in many areas.
For more on the LG Fathom, you know the drill, just ease on past the break.
Until then, a hybrid-approach can be used. Such method is used by companies like iSkoot where instead of using the data connection to make the free call, it re-routes the call to a local call center which then makes the call for you over the internet. It's like Opera Mini vs Opera Mobile--in the former, the "hard work" is done off the phone remotely. However, iSkoot hasn't updated their Windows Mobile software in sometime and they haven't said anything about support for Windows Phone 7.
Step in Voxofon who operates in a similar manner. They seem to be supporting all the new OSs in town, including pushing big into Windows Phone 7. So kudos to them for taking that market seriously. Now unlike Skype-to-Skype calls over true VOIP, you are charged for making calls on Voxofon. This is done like Skype where you can buy credits and they are linked to your account. Luckily, rates are very cheap making it an affordable option for making inter-continental calls: (1.3 cents per minute).
The software looks quite nice--it's a separate dialer app that log ins to your account, displays your balance and tells you the rate per minute before you call. It's no true Skype solution, but at this point we'll take what we can get.
Oh China, you crack us with your flaunting of copyright law, IP and even just flat out copying hardware.
We're not really sure why you want WM6.5 in a cloned (i.e. fake) Motorola Droid and that's not a knock on WM6.5--have you tried a Droid? They keyboard is awful what's with that d-pad throwing of the centering? Blech.
But say you really wanted this, you should be able to get one out of China for about $220. It features:
One thing we know as of right now with Windows Phone 7 is that customization will be drastically limited. At least until the folks at XDA figure out to root and mess with the OS.
An example of what customizations you can do will be the use of "themes" which is a generous description for changing some font colors and accents. Yeah, basically it's not much. One example is in "Pivot" (below) the other "Panorama" (above) which are two of the formating options for programs by developers.
Still, it's better you know now what you can and can't out of the gate then later. So commence logging your complaints in comments...now.
One area we have not heard much about in regards to Windows Phone 7 is sound. And why would we? It's a handheld device, usually a single speaker and basically all we care about is how the speakerphone sounds. Everything so far has been about the visual but not the audio.
...which could simulate sound coming from behind you, on the side of you, as Windows Phone 7 devices have a concept of audio emitters and audio listeners, and based on where you position those you get different sound.
Randolph said that "you can use that to create different effects" in only "a dozen lines of code, part of the XNA framework and usable by Silverlight."
It's too early to know just how good it will sound in real life, but we're pretty stoked that hardware manufacturers and software developers can at least attempt to exploit this under-appreciated yet essential output for our increasingly busy "phones". Perhaps we'll even seen hardware manufacturers use high-end speakers to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Bose-mobile, anyone?
Check out the rest of the interview for more developer feedback (page 2 and 3) at iTWire.
The other side of the coin. While it's not a huge surprise that software development for Windows Mobile has dwindled, especially with the clean break of Windows Phone 7 around the corner, it is a bit shocking at how fast it fell. (See the other study today about number of apps users have by mobile OS).
According to iGR, last year Windows Mobile was "by far the most popular" in terms of number of developers writing apps for it. Flash forward one year later and it's now dead last.
The iPhone of course is number one with 53% of developers writing programs for it. Perhaps more telling is that more than half of those who currently aren't making iPhone apps, plan to do so within in the next year. Yowza.
Blackberry was number two, ahead of Android which was sort of interesting, though we imagine those two will swap positions very soon as Android has received lots of momentum in the last 4 months. No word about Windows Phone 7 and developer plans, though judging by the attendance at the Microsoft ReMix events, it's looking very good.
Unfortunately, we don't have access to the raw numbers which would tell us more.
For those who are looking for some "mobile security" or at least the illusion, F-Secure just went ahead and made their Anti-theft for Mobile free for Symbian, Android and even us Windows Mobile users.
The software is a little of 2MBs in size to download and you need .NET CF 2.0, which should be in ROM already. The install was pretty basic and overall, very easy to setup and configure.
The app itself does the following:
SIM control (if SIM swapped, device locks, sends you their #)
Sure, some of this you can do already with Microsoft's MyPhone, but this ain't a half bad solution either. We've been running it on our trusty Treo Pro (yeah, it even does that resolution, go .NET) and it seems to handle like a champ. Maybe we'll even try it sometime to see if it, you know, works.