Unfortunately, Windows phones have largely been left out of the mix, though that is starting to change and we hope we see a big push with Windows Phone 7.
Zenitum, a South Korean company who specializes in digital entertainment and the kind of reality/digital mixing found in augmented reality apps, has recently demoed their iKat software. Think Tamagotchi, but its on your phone and walking around, interacting with the real world, as seen in the video after the break.
Now granted, this seems pretty useless, unless you are really bored and/or a 12 year girl. But remember, this is just a demonstration of a their new framework called D-Track (see video). What are the possibilities for useful augmented reality programs for mobile? That's a good question. Sound off in comments with your ideas.
Microsoft didn't dance around the subject at their Windows Phone 7 Series presentation at Mobile World Congress. When asked if WP7S would have Flash, Steve Ballmer promptly replied that WP7S didn't yet have it, Microsoft wasn't against the idea.
Shortly thereafter, Adobe announced it no longer was pursuing development of Flash 10.1 for Windows Mobile 6.5 and would instead concentrate on working on Flash for WP7S. Makes sense.
This commitment to bring Flash to the Windows Phone 7 Series OS was reaffirmed recently on the blog of one Mike Chambers, Adobe's Principal Product Manager for developer relations for Flash. Writes Chambers:
"One thing I wanted to clarify as it may have been lost in some of the other news is that Adobe and Microsoft are working together to bring Flash Player 10.1 to Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Phone 7 Series. I don't have an eta or other specifics right now, but it is something that both Adobe and Microsoft are working closely together on."
It appears Adobe wasted no time at jumping at the opportunity, and now we ask, will Flash 10.1 be in place by the anticipated Holiday 2010 launch of WP7S? And if not, will it be missed?
Our brother editor Rene Ritchie of TiPB fame is still out at GDC 2010 in San Francisco, and he's caught up with Microsoft's Loke Uei to talk a little more about developing for Windows Phone 7 Series, and what's coming up. Check it out after the break!
Appropriately called Expo/IQ Tweaker, it consists of a large list of fixes and options that you simply check to enable or disable certain features. We'll just highlight the big ones that really make a difference:
Improve screen sensitivity and touch response
Enable in-call recording
Increase IE performance/scrolling
Enable auto-rotation in all programs
Fix missing sounds and notifications
Increase KB backlight time
The most important one is the screen sensitivity/touch response, as the screen is a little laggy compared to traditional devices and is by far the biggest complaint about the eXpo. I'm happy to report that these registry tweaks greatly improve the screen in that regard. Likewise, fixing the sounds and notifications was the other big issue and that too works brilliantly here.
The excitement over T-Mobile bringing the HTC HD2 to the U.S. Market is increasing. To add to this excitement, unboxing photos of the Windows Phone have surfaced, and T-Mobile customers may be treated to a slightly earlier release.
The unboxing pictures are just enough to whet your appetite. Modestly packaged, the contents aren't that much of a surprise and include the phone, battery, charger and stereo headset. While the packaging also indicates 16 gigabytes of memory that will be the included microSD card with the Transformer movies (part of the entertainment package) preloaded. Shame it couldn't be 16GB of on-board memory.
With regards to a possible early release, MobiTV (a featured application on the HD2) tweeted confirmation that the mobile television app would be on the HD2. In the same breath the tweet mentions a release date of March 23 (as opposed to the early indication of a March 24 release).
This may be a simply typo, but we know T-Mobile is planning a launch party on March 16 for VIPs and the press. It should be that big of a stretch to see the T-Mo HD2 on store shelves a seven days later instead of eight.
Whether it's the 23rd or 24th, T-Mobile deserves kudos for bringing the HD2 to the U.S market. Now if we could only get the other carriers to follow suit.
XNA Game Studio 4.0 is the latest iteration of Microsoft’s developer tool set for Windows PCs, Xbox 360 and Zune. With Version 4, XNA Game Studio gains support for Windows Phone 7 Series, but nixes support for the Zune HD. XNA and Silverlight are the two major new development platforms (new to Windows Phones, anyway) that we will be seeing a lot of going forward, and the two platforms are being discussed in-depth at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this week and MIX10 next week. (Look for more from us on that front from TiPB's Rene Ritchie.)
What this means for Windows Phones is that we can expect 3D gaming to be the rule, not the exception. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard that before; but between the high level minimum specifications mandated by Microsoft’s reference chassis, Xbox Live integration and the introduction of XNA Game Studio 4 early enough that developers can get a jump on the Holiday 2010 release of Windows Phone 7 Series I would say that this is pretty much a sure thing.
Throwing that much firepower at the gaming segment makes you wonder if Microsoft is not just targeting the iPhone/Android market, but also homing in on the PSP/Nintendo DS segment. If Microsoft is able to get similar 3D performance from a Windows Phone as competing mobile gaming consoles, it would have a major leg up because of the media playback and connectivity with other Microsoft services. One thing is for sure: It’s a good time to be a Windows Phone user. [via ZDNet]
Every once in a while, you come across a killer app (or service) that you cannot believe that you’ve lived without for so long. I’m sure many of you have been using Evernote for some time, and will find this review a day late and a dollar short; if so please head straight to the comments. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing what Evernote has to offer, keep reading.
All but confirming what we've been telling you for what seems like forever, a "Sprint Small Business Catalog" mailer posted at PPCGeeks shows the Touch Pro 2 "software update coming in March." Seeing as how we're about a third of the way through the month, we should be seeing it any time now. Or not. We're not going to count our chickens on this thing until the update's in hand.
And the question remains: Will we see Sense 2.5, like on the HTC HD2? Or just the regular flavor? [PPCGeeks]
Thanks to Mr.X, with a simple .cab file you can be up and reading various books on your WVGA device with a standalone version of HTC's eReader. (Scan the MS Tag below for direct download).
Going further, Patcat007 over at XDA has compiled 300 free books from ePub. Just download the five .zip archives with all the books, extract to your device and use the free indexer to sort and browse your files.
According to a PPCGeeks forum user, Big Red is aiming to update its Touch Pro 2 (again) with a build of Sense 2.5. However and perhaps not surprising, there are no Documents, Footprints, Programs or E-Reader tabs on board.
The ROM itself is not yet available (officially or unofficially) and is only Windows Mobile 6.5. Release is expected "soon" which bodes well for Verizon's customers.
Now we know where this is going and what you are going to ask: What about Sprint?
Sprint has still not yet released their WM6.5 update, which is really starting to push the boundaries as far as timeliness. We reported here a few weeks ago that HTC had made a CDMA ROM with Sense 2.5 on board for a Chinese carrier, so this Verizon news is not that shocking. What this also might mean is the reason why Sprint is taking so long, is to get Sense 2.5 (and one can hope. WM6.5.3) cooked in, which would be a nice touch.
Either way, it's nice to see companies like Verizon going that extra step for what is one of the most popular Windows phones to date.
As March 24th slowly gets closer, the anticipated T-Mobile HD2 release date, we are now seeing images of this new Windows Phone. TmoNews has captured a series of photos of the HD2, complete with T-Mobile branding, and they look good. Sporting Sense 2.5, you can see the Blockbuster and Transformer movie shortcuts that are a part of T-Mobile's mobile entertainment package.
Upgradable or not to Windows Phone 7 Series, the HD2 is an impressive piece of equipment and is sure to attract its fair share of customers to T-Mobile. One can only hope that other carriers will spread the joy and offer the HD2.