3 years ago
Microsoft shows off 'Mango', announces new Dev Tools, Skype, Layar and more
Las Vegas, April 13th...
Microsoft today showed off the next version of Windows Phone, coming this fall, called 'Mango' as well as announced new developer tools what will give devs a chance to go deeper with the phone.
The improved dev tools include "a performance profiler and sensor stimulation, enabling developers to build more intergrated and high-performing applications". In addition, devs get:
- Application multitasking for background processing,, audio and file transfer, and fast app switching
- Deeper phone intergration so apps can, for example, take better advantage of the versatility of Live Tiles
- Access to the camera and Motion Sensor library so devs can build apps that incorporate device hardware and build augmented reality experiences
- All of these new tools will be available starting in May.
In addition, Microsoft showed of the next version of Windows Phone called 'Mango' including new apps such as Skype (!), Spotify, Layar, Quantas, Amazon Shopping and Kik Messenger
So there you go folks. Expect more throughout the day, including videos and more info. But darn it all, Microsoft is listening and look to be delivering. Shout out in comments on your thoughts!
3 years ago
MIX11 Windows Phone Keynote Liveblog and Livestream!
Although yesterday had some interesting news from Microsoft: IE9, IE10 preview, dev wall, Kinect and Surface news and there were plenty of Windows Phone session, but only on "current" software and development.
Today the gloves come off.
First up, we have a nice hour and half Keynote today, which we know a big part of will be on Windows Phone. Joe Belfiore along with Scott Guthrie will be talking about the future of Windows Phone, specifically about 'Mango' and we expect new developer tools and access to APIs (see our "rumor" coverage). While that may sound dull, it's actually quite huge as it'll really unleash the hardware for devs, who can write a ton of new software.
Follow that right here as we have our live blog of that event, where you can join in the chat too. We've also embedded the livestream if you're able to watch video. It all starts at noon eastern, 9 pacific.
The rest of the day are "Sessions", which are 45 min talks dealing with, yes, Windows Phone 7. Some of those talks today which we'll be going to are listed here. These "secret" sessions had no titles/descriptions until it leaked yesterday, that's because they deal with features/things not yet announced--until this morning's keynote, that is.
So stay tuned here as we'll have some video of the talks, photos and we'll see anything else that we can dig up. But in short, we're expecting a big day around here, so stay tuned.
3 years ago
Still Nogo on the Nodo Update
Microsoft has released its latest update on the Windows Phone 7 update. Briefly put, there are no changes since the last update.
Eric Hautala is taking it on the chin this week by saying that AT&T is expected to finish update testing in early April. Apparently nobody pointed out to Eric that today was April 13th, a date many consider well past early April.
We're eager to share progress. But these tests are important, and they're just not quite done. I expect to have more to say soon—so please stay tuned.
Blah, blah, blah. Microsoft needs to stop making excuses for delays that carriers are creating and light a fire to get these updates to consumers. We know the tests are important but why is everyone else making progress while others aren't? Are AT&T engineers that much slower than others?
The only saving grace is that the current version of Windows Phone 7 is running great. Sure, copy/paste would be nice but it'll get here one day. Thankfully this isn't a critical update needed to correct major problems with system stability.
What concerns me is how Microsoft seems to be surrendering the update process to the carriers. Wasn't Windows Phone 7 supposed to be a more controlled environment? If Microsoft can place requirements on Windows Phone 7 manufacturers and developers why can't they put requirement on carriers with respect to update? A requirement stating testing must be concluded 45 days after the update is released to the carriers?
This is the first update for Windows Phone 7 and maybe we should cut Microsoft some slack. However, if Microsoft can't get a handle on the update process, it will only create more problems down the road with future updates. Problems that will only hurt Windows Phone 7's chances for success.
Just as a reminder, you can check the current status of the Nodo update through Microsoft's Update Page or from your Windows Phone by using the "Dude, Where is my update" app.
3 years ago
Xbox Live: Harbor Master and Centipede now in the Marketplace
An amazing two weeks ago, we brought you the news of this week’s Xbox Live releases and their prices, and now our prediction has come true. Harbor Master and Centipede are finally available on the Marketplace.
Harbor Master is a line-drawing game from Imangi Studios in which players direct incoming ships to port. Once the ships unload their cargo, they must also be sent safely on their way. It features seven levels with cool hazards like pirates and sea monsters. For more information, check out our exclusive preview.
Centipede is a faithful emulation of the hit 1980 arcade game from Atari (the Windows Phone port comes from Krome Studios). Players control a garden gnome who fends off invading centipedes and other vile bugs. Centipede is also the first Game Room title for Microsoft’s mobile platform. These arcade ports include bonus content like 3D recreations of the original arcade cabinets as well as historical data. WP7 Game Room games share Leaderboard data with the Xbox 360 and Games for Windows Live (PC) versions.
Both games costs $2.99 and have free trials. Grab Harbor Master here and Centipede here (Zune links) on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Carneyvale is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week
It’s time for the Meal of the Week! What’s that, you already ate? Let’s do the Deal of the Week then. This week’s deal is Carneyvale: Showtime from Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Man, that’s a mouthful. Anyway, the game is on sale for $1.99, down from the regular price of $2.99.
In Carneyvale, players launch a clown into the air, dodging obstacles and trying to send him through a flaming hoop. Prior to debuting on Windows Phone 7, it won all kinds of indie awards. Our review praises the level design and replay value of the game. Be warned that it’s got some tough Achievements, but they should be attainable with practice.
Carneyvale Showtime costs $1.99 on the marketplace, but just for one week. There is a free trial, though it doesn’t show the more interesting levels that come later in the game. Try your hand and win a prize by grabbing it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
MIX11 Fun: Controlling a hover drone with Surface & Kinect
At one of the talks today at MIX11, the focus was Natural User Interfaces (NUI) and their future. A lot of the talk was philosophical but there were also some cool demos of things not yet seen.
One of them was the use of a Surface 2.0 interface for a hover drone. Sure it has nothing to do with Windows Phones, but we're suckers for awesome gadgetry. Basically the Surface became the controller and it worked quite well. Next, was perhaps even cooler as the same hover drone was controlled via full body motion with the Kinect SDK. While perhaps not very practical, it goes to show how powerful NUI can be even for awesome remote controlled helicopter thingys. Sorry about the volume, can't help those things. (And yes, we want to be Jedis)
3 years ago
3 Xbox Live titles updated, now with better Achievement support
When WPCentral reviewed Women’s Murder Club, a launch Xbox Live title from I-play, we lamented the title’s general bugginess and its requiring a Wi-Fi internet connection in order to view and unlock Xbox Live Achievements. Imagine this reviewer's surprise then to find these problems rectified in a software update this week. Not only that, but I-play’s other Xbox Live games, Bubble Town 2 and Fast & Furious Adrenaline have just been updated as well.
All three titles are now version 1.1 and share identical release notes:
General Bug Fixes and Achievement Updates
We don’t know exactly which bugs got squashed, but the Achievements improvement is readily apparent: users can now view and receive Xbox Live Achievements without being online. The online requirement was never really a deal breaker, but it’s still terrific to see it go.
Women’s Murder Club is a hidden-object game with mild puzzles. Read our review here. Bubble Town 2 is a Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble clone - in other words, a fast-paced puzzle game. Fast & Furious Adrenaline is a 3D racing game that is overshadowed by the superior Need for Speed Undercover.
Grab Women’s Murder Club for $2.99 here, Bubble Town 2 for $2.99 here, and Fast & Furious Adrenaline for $4.99 here on the Marketplace. All three games have free trials.
3 years ago
Wordscape - Review
3 years ago
Woman Calendar - App Spotlight
Men, read no further. This Windows Phone 7 application is for the ladies. Woman Calendar is designed is a feminine calendar designed to track moods, cycles, ovulation and other statistics unique to our lady readers.
Woman Calendar features include:
- Future period dates, ovulation and fertile days calculation
- Adjustable period length used for predictions
- Track twenty one moods (complete with cool looking smilies) and twenty four symptoms
- Enter notes, track temperature and weight
- Discreet name and Tile icon
Recent updates to the application includes charting and daily horoscopes. There is a trial version available for Woman Calendar with the full version running $1.99. You can download both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
Update: We just learned from the developer that this app is being discounted to $.99 through the end of May.
3 years ago
7 Tab Browser - App Spotlight
Do you have a handful of websites you like to keep in touch with while on the run? Need an easy way to switch between those sites on your Windows Phone? 7 Tab Browser might be just the Window Phone 7 app you've been looking for.
7 Tab Browser is a new, innovative web browser, which enables you to quickly move through tabs to browse the web. The seven tabs takes advantage of Windows Phone 7's metro design where your sites are laid out on seven pages that can be navigated around by swiping or tapping the tab number that is at the top of the screen. While Microsoft's Internet Explorer has the index page, some may find having the tabbed browser to be more efficient in switching from site to site. The numbering is set up where I can go from tab one to seven in one tap.
7 Tab Browser supports bookmarks and has a dual mode where your Windows Phone is split in half so you can view two web sites at once. Future updates will include tab notes and auto refresh options.
There are two versions of 7 Tab Browser available at the Marketplace. You have an ad supported free version (ad banner runs across the top of the screen) and an ad-free Pro version that runs $.99 (links open up Zune).
3 years ago
Global screenshots available soon on WP7 [Homebrew]
While there is still no sign of the feature to allow global screenshots to be taken on your WP7 device, Smartphone France has posted a sneak peek at a solution (for those with registered/unlocked devices) that doesn't require the emulator to be used.
Using the Windows Phone Device Manager, developed by Julian Schapman, in conjunction with his app 'TouchXperience' one is reportedly presented with the ability to take screenshots on their device. Requiring the form of multitasking, this is a fantastic feature to bring to the homebrew table. The guys at Smartphone France proved their word by taking a bunch of screenshots on their LG Optimus 7 (some posted above).
Currently the Windows Phone Device Manager and TouchXperience for WP7 are both in active development and closed beta testing (only donators are eligible for enrolment). We will keep an eye on the development of the tools and apps, along with the features made available to users and keep you in the loop.
Source: Smartphone France
3 years ago
Remaining Windows Phone 7 sessions at MIX'11 revealed
Microsoft has updated the list of sessions where the majority were TBA, leading meany to believe they were 'Mango' and/or new dev tool related. We previously covered the rumoured announcements not so long ago and here is the updated session list covering all the goodies of Windows Phone 7 to be presented at MIX'11 this week.
- What’s Coming Next to the Windows Phone Application Platform
- Going Mobile with Your Site on Internet Explorer 9 and Windows Phone 7
- Mini-Session: Get Ready for Fast Application Switching in Windows Phone
- What’s New in the Windows Phone Developer Tools?
- Windows Phone Multitasking
- Multitasking in the Next Version of Windows Phone, Part II: Using Background Agents
- Sensor Access in the Next Version of Windows Phone
- What’s New for Windows Phone Development with Silverlight?
- Windows Phone Architecture – Deep Dive
- What’s New for Windows Phone Development with the XNA Framework?
- Enhanced Push Notifications & Live Tiles for Windows Phone
- New Data Access Features Coming to Windows Phone
Today's keynote was very IE orientated so all WP7 viewers hunting desperately for news and presentations were left lost and forgotten. But it seems both tomorrow and the 14th will be two big days for WP7 (namely 'Mango') and the above list should hopefully only be what it's meant to be - a summary. Of course we'll be at these and since they won't be streamed, we'll record as much as we can ;-)
3 years ago
Microsoft shows developers gratitude with "wall"; hands out Windows Foam 7s
Never one to forget about their devs, Microsoft had on a display a pretty cool "wall" featuring a good chunk of apps (we didn't count, but maybe we'll do some maths later). While nothing ear shattering, it's a nice way to both show thanks and the huge amount of apps in the store (now well passed 13,000).
The wall is part of the Windows Phone 7 booth here at MIX11, which also has MS employees handing out tee-shirts and 'Windows Foam 7' toys, which are pretty cool, even if it's just a sticker on a cheap figurine.
Also, it was kind of fun seeing Nokia here. Though they only had their Symbian devices on hand (very nice, btw), they stuck to their "in 2012" mantra for new Windows Phones. Still, nice to see they're part of the family now.
3 years ago
NoDo causing color banding issues, temp fix for unlocked devices
For some who have rolled out the NoDo update, they've begun to notice a color banding issue, causing color gradients to be less than smooth, to say the least (see the above image).
Why this change was made and what's being done to alleviate it is currently not known (though we may ask around today/tomorrow). Needless to say, having a reduction in color depth and smoothness from getting an update may upset a few (this is noticeable on the HD7).
A fix has been found but unfortunately it requires a dev unlocked device and since NoDo broke most ChevronWp7 jailbroken devices, not many can take advantage of this trick. Still, for those with legit dev unlocked phones, here you go:
HKLM\Drivers\Display\Primary\PrimBPP dword 32
HKLM\Drivers\Display\Primary\bpp dword 32
HKLM\Drivers\Display\Primary\PanelBPP dword 24
If you have this issue and access to this fix, let us know if it works for you. Oh and we're told via Android Central that this issue is common to Android as well. Still doesn't make us feel any better...
Source: XDA; via wmpu; Image: thanks, Robert Varga
3 years ago
Microsoft using Xbox Kinects for keynote presentations; Kinect SDK tomorrow?
Tipped off by Chris Walsh, we noticed a few Kinect sensors on stage for the MIX11 keynote talks. Three of them can be seen in the above photo and we're told that there are five in total (we think they're in front, near a speaker).
How are these Kinects being used? We're not too sure, but it's kind of neat knowing that these things have like a billion uses. Oh and we hear from WPSauce (Rahul Mathur) that the Kinect SDK gets released tomorrow. Stay tuned for more on that as it happens.
Edit: There's actually six Kinects, maybe even seven Seems Microsoft has some big Kinect news for tomorrow.
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