We just snagged some more hands-on time with Windows Phone 7 Series (can we just call it WP7 yet?). Don't pay attention to the hardware or even the occasional slowdown. The hardware is just a dev unit and not what we'll see. The software has plenty of time to simmer a bit before it's pre-holiday 2010 release date.
What you should pay attention to is the fluidity of the interface and how nice it is that the device can pull in from multiple sources to multiple places. Instead of thinking "I want to go to facebook to look at pictures from my friend," you just open the Pictures hub. Hubs and not apps.
Also, looks like there's at least one unannounced feature here - some sort of voice search. About 2:20 in the video (which is after the break, by the way), the voice search pops up and, well, isn't quite ready for prime time. We're ready for it, though, and here's to hoping it's ready by launch.
What do you need to know about Windows Phone 7 Series? It's not Windows Mobile as you know it - the re-branding from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone Series 7 is completely appropriate. Here's the big changes and some (very very early) impressions.
Read on for our early take of this early build of Windows Phone 7 Series
Windows Phone 7 Series is official, and so ends the Windows Mobile era. You undoubtedly have questions, and we have answers. So here we go.
The usual suspects are lined up around the block for Windows Phone 7 Series, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, and manufacturers Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc.
Manufacturers include Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc.
The first phones are expected to be available by the 2010 holiday season.
Xbox Live and Zune are coming to the phone. But don't even think about calling it an Xbox phone or a Xune phone.
The Zune ecosystem is going international (finally!), as is the desktop software.
The Windows Phone 7 Series experience is based around a series of "hubs." The hubs include "People," "Pictures," "Games," "Music and video," "Marketplace" and "Office."
Sorry everybody, but it looks like the list of things that 6.5.3 can do (or will be able to soon) that Windows Phone 7 Series (as we assume it's known) cannot currently stands at one:
So reports Phone Scoop, who quoted Adobe as saying "Microsoft and Adobe are working closely together. While the newest version of Windows Phone won't support Flash at initial availability, both companies are working to include a browser plug-in for the full Flash player in future versions of Windows Phone. More details will be shared at Microsoft MIX next month." Lest you be tempted to think this was a mix-up, Engadget has confirmed the story independently.
We're hours away from Microsoft's big announcement - stay tuned and be sure to keep an eye on http://twitter.com/wmexperts for more updates!
Here we are, folks. It took a couple of tries, but we're on the ground in Spain at Mobile World Congress and will be on hand for Microsoft's big event today. We're all expecting the launch of Windows Mobile 7, at least, and it's a big day, indeed.
So, to celebrate, we did a late-night (in Barcelona, anyway) kickoff podcast with myself, Dieter Bohn and CrackBerry.com's Kevin Michaluk. Listen in as we discuss the first-day hijinx, and what we think we'll see the rest of the week.
Showing up on various forums, the .cab and service is actually very, very polished. It is the official version, but SlackerRadio themselves have not published it on their site yet.
No compromises here as you get album images, lyrics, band bio, reviews and a wide selection of music to choose from. Audio quality is also extremely good, trouncing Pandora's 64kb stream. Plus they got that whole "let me power off the screen without disrupting the stream" thing.
Two negative's we've noticed: landscape support is not there and we've had a few songs cut out towards the end for some reason (not uncommon with Pandora either).
Of course, there is the free "basic" version which limits you to something like 6-skips per hour while the program steers you towards the "full" version with upgrade notices in parts. Likewise, you don't get all those lyric bonuses in the free version.
If you want the subscription, it's $4.99 per month (on a month-to-month basis) or $3.99 a month on a 12-month plan (billed monthly). You can also try out the subscription for 7 days for free. We suppose if streaming is your thing it's not a bad deal: the quality of the product is quite top notch. If you just like streaming your own music (as opposed to the jukebox, random streaming), give nanoGroove a shot.
Edit: Whoops! And just as fast Slacker Radio has remotely pulled the plug. The app currently doesn't work and we have to wait for the fine folks at Slacker Radio to drop this app "officially". Sigh. [Here's their official reasoning]
And when you dive a little deeper, the nuts and bolts line up nicely with that leak Gizmodo scored last year. You can clearly see it's manufactured by Sharp, which, as we all know, also manufactured the Sidekick, which Microsoft later purchased.
We really shouldn't joke about something as serious as this, but the lead-up has been so long and winding -- years, actually -- it's kind of hard not to.
Yes, Microsoft undoubtedly will debut Windows Mobile 7 in some form Monday at Mobile World Congress. We've been saying that for a long, long time now (November, actually). Now that the likes of the Wall Street Journal is saying it, well, then it must be officially unofficial.
At a wireless industry conference in Barcelona on Monday, the company plans to publicly show a new version of its cellphone operating system, Windows Mobile 7, for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter. The operating system sports a revamped user interface that resembles the look of Microsoft's Zune HD music player, people who have seen it said.
As luck (and Delta) should have it, we'll be at that "wireless industry conference," also known as Mobile World Congress. More on that over the weekend. But suffice to say, big things are in store.
To say the third annual Smartphone Round Robin was a blast would be a gross understatement. We got to see the best and brightest of the major smartphone platforms, and wee what our friends and colleagues thought of Windows Mobile.
But let's get to the really important stuff. In addition to 30 one-on-one videos and 30 platform reviews were the hundreds and hundreds of forum comments you left for your favorite SPE editors. And with each post you were entered to win a Windows phone of your choice.
And so without further ado, it's time to name that winner. But first let's recap all the major platforms: There's Windows Mobile, of course, and the iPhone. And then there's Android and webOS, and of course, BlackBerry. Nokia was the new addition to the group this year and certainly gave us all a run for our money.
Now before we get to who actually won a free Windows phone, let's talk about what the Round Robin's really about: You guys and your comments, forum posts, e-mails and ...
OK, OK. Kidding. And the winner is ... (after the break, of course):
This is some pretty big news: it appears that HTC is getting in on the e-Book business. Watch out Apple iPad?
The latest version of Manila/Sense 2.5 (2012) features a tab dedicated to reading e-Books that can be purchased by Boarders or, evidently, though Adobe. No word on Amazon.com at this time.
HTC Reader 1.0 is the name of the program that will render the e-Books and overall it looks pretty great. It follows the usual UI/UX that HTC has laid out with their other tabs, which includes a directory for browsing, book art, and of course reading the book. There does seem to be some scrolling action needed, in addition.
The other big news is that this latest ROM comes from a Chinese Rhodium Shipped ROM. To translate and as we mentioned in the last podcast, this is coming from a Touch Pro 2 ROM that is ready to market. That HTC, they never rest.
Does this mean the reason for the Sprint WM6.5 ROM update is taking so long is so they can get their hands on this version? We have no idea and zero indication that is the case, but that notion has at least entered the realm of plausible. Keep your fingers crossed.
In the mean time, you can expect some custom ROM action to start including this latest build as it spreads through out the community.
[Big thanks to tek818 for the screenshots & info!]
To refresh, Flash Lite is what Mobile Internet Explorer has been using for at least a year already (Microsoft really doesn't get enough credit for that fact). It's not full Flash, but it will allow you to watch YouTube and some other embedded videos within the browser, which is a start. In fact, due to the aging OS and standard hardware, doing full Flash would really drag the device down.
Other fixes/changes include:
Flash Lite 3.1 support (disabled by default)
Complete bookmark sync in Opera Link
BIDI support also for language extensions
phone numbers in plain text are converted to links
support for background sound
general bug fixing (stability, UI)
That's right Standard users, you finally get keypad support! Looks like Opera didn't forget you exist. To turn on Flash Lite, since it is off by default, go to Tools --> Settings --> Advanced and set Plug-ins to “On”.