3 years ago
U.S. Cellular to offer first WP7 phone tomorrow - the HTC 7 Pro!
It was just days ago that we reported that U.S. Cellular would be offering their first WP7 phone, an unspecified HTC device, "between now and the end of the year." Well, it turns out that it would be less than a week later, on June 14th, that customers will be able to get an HTC 7 Pro (aka, HTC Arrive--see our coverage here) sporting Windows Phone 7. The 7 Pro is available for $199.99 with a Belief Plan w/Data and/or a new 2-year contract. The final price is also after a $100 rebate in the form of a Visa debit card.
Today's press release hyped the 7 Pro as a great device for multi-taskers and multi-media/gaming enthusiasts who are looking to "simplify their busy lives and have fun too." It's not clear why the initial forecast was so murky, but the sooner the better for Microsoft, who is trying to break into a smartphone market dominated by Android and iPhones. It's a good sign that another carrier is bringing WP7 onboard.
You can get yours here.
3 years ago
Windows Phone Team shows off new Skydrive in Mango
As a Windows Phone 7 user, you shouldn’t be jealous of Apple’s iCloud service. Most of the functionality in iCloud is already baked into your phone via SkyDrive and Hotmail. The good folks from the Windows Phone Team posted a story to show us how it all works together. It’s a great primer for SkyDrive/Hotmail integration in general (if you don’t already have a Push capable email account, they link off to explain how to forward your current email to Hotmail, which does), and to sweeten the deal they have included screenshots of the improvements we mentioned a week ago. Those features include:
- Share photos stored on SkyDrive by way of email, text messages, IM - "SkyDrive lets you store thousands of pictures in the cloud. You can show them off to friends on your phone in the Pictures hub, and now you can share SkyDrive photos with anyone over email, text, or Messenger/Facebook."
- Share videos on SkyDrive - "With Mango, all the goodness you had with photos has been extended to videos. Once you’re finished shooting your video, you can caption it and share immediately on SkyDrive, and the upload will happen in the background while you move on to other things."
- Browse and search documents stored on SkyDrive - "Windows Phone lets you view folders and files directly on your phone, so when you group things on SkyDrive, you know they’ll be available with the same folder structure on your phone."
- See what’s been shared with you - "More than 70% of the folders created on SkyDrive are shared with other people, which makes it all the more important to see everything shared with you on your phone. This pivot view will show you the complete list of documents shared with you, letting you open and edit in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint."
- Search your SkyDrive documents - "If you store a lot of stuff on SkyDrive, being able to do a quick search is important. In the Office hub, you can easily search across your SkyDrive for the document you need without having to wade through your folders and other files."
Overall, a nice little package. Of course, it's already been mentioned by Micrsoft themselves that Skydrive will probably fold into the general LIVE services, including Xbox. So this is just the beginning of Redmond's big "cloud push".
Source: Inside Windows Live
3 years ago
PlusPoints - App Spotlight
HopNet Software has an interesting Windows Phone app on the Marketplace design to help those looking to lose a little around the middle. PlusPoints is designed to track your diet by a point system, the same point system used by Weight Watchers in their PointsPlus Program. To complete the Weight Watchers tie in, if you use the Weight Watchers eTools, you can access Weight Watchers' mobile site (Weight Watchers account required) from within the app.
For those not enrolled in Weight Watchers, you can still take advantage of the PlusPoints app by tracking your dietary points. Points are based on the fat, carbs, fiber and protein content of food. There is a calculator within the app that can be used to determine a food's points. Daily recommended points are calculated from your sex (male or female), age, height, and weight. From there you simply keep track of your daily intake, trying to eat within the daily point allowance.
PlusPoints is a free application (ad supported) and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. If your dieting and need a way to track your calories, PlusPoints might be worth checking out.
3 years ago
Verizon HTC Trophy - First Impressions
Verizon Wireless Customers had to wait a while to get their first Windows Phone 7 device, the HTC Trophy. It finally hit shelves just a bit ago but was it worth the wait? We've gotten our hands a review unit of the HTC Trophy and the first impressions are good.
The Trophy sports a 3.8" screen, 5mp camera, 16gb of storage, along with all the typical Windows Phone 7 specs. Speaking of the screen, the Trophy's screen seems to have a little more pop to it. Maybe it's the red theme.
Compared to other HTC Windows Phones, the Trophy is most comparable to the HTC Surround. The Verizon Trophy is a touch shorter and thinner than the Surround but very close in weight.
The Trophy makes a nice first impression and we'll get a full review up on the site shortly to see if that impression lasts.
3 years ago
Screen Technology Showdown: HD7s vs HD7 vs Focus
If you've read our AT&T HTC HD7s review, we gave the phone fairly high rankings despite the let-down of Super LCD--the one key difference between it and it's brother, the HD7, on T-Mobile.
Since that review, we've managed to get a side by side between those two devices to get a better idea what, if any, the difference in screen quality there are present. In short, while the Super LCD on the AT&T HD7s is a little punchier and bolder, it's only slightly better than the HD7 and is still dwarfed by the Samsung Focus Super AMOLED, which is brighter, punchier and works better in sunlight.
Still, the HD7s looks good "in charcoal" as opposed to the chromed-out version on T-Mobile and they seemed to have fixed the loose volume rocker, which was present (and annoying) on the T-Mobile version.
The biggest disappointment though with the the HD7s/Super LCD is the "screen ghosting" (seen after the break) which we though would be fixed with the newer screen technology (the HD7 suffers from the same distortion). In conclusion, if you like the HD7 you'll like the HD7s as it slightly improves things. But if you were not sold on the HD7 before, then the HD7s willl not convince you to change up. And we really doubt and Focus owners will drop the Super AMOLED for Super LCD. And just think, this fall, Windows Phone users stand a good chance of getting a taste of Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus tech (see PhoneArena), leaving Super LCD even further behind.
Hit the break for some more "versus" photos and see for yourself. *Note: Brightness on every device here was set to 'High'.
3 years ago
Samsung to overtake Nokia as top smartphone maker
Nokia has been the largest producer of smartphones in the world since 1996. However, a recent Reuters article says that is going to change very soon, as Samsung is poised to supplant the Finnish powerhouse by the end of the quarter. And if that news wasn't alarming enough for Nokia, projections by Nomura analysts point to Apple becoming #2 on the list as soon as Quarter 4, and HTC landing in a virtual tie at third sometime in 2012.
This signals what analysts say is a shift to Asian manufacturers gaining more and more ground. Nokia will remain the largest overall cellphone maker through all of this, but it is clear that smartphones is where the industry is heading, with the exception of emerging countries. If they continue to decline in the smartphone market, they may not be long for this world.
It is no secret that Nokia is putting all its eggs in the WP7 basket, which it hopes will arrive in Quarter 4. The company has been steadily losing marketshare, but has really been fighting to tread water since partnering with Microsoft, seeing it's stock prices dwindle amongst other things.
Source: Reuters; Via: TechWatch
3 years ago
Strategy: Windows Phone is Microsoft's only solution to portable gaming
Depending on your view of things, this will either be great news or bad news--but evidently Microsoft is 100% committed in driving Windows Phone as their gaming platform, meaning we won't be seeing a "portable Xbox" system anytime soon.
According to Dennis Durkin, Microsoft’s chief operating and financial officer of the company’s Interactive Entertainment Business, who spoke with Pocket-lint recently at E3, Microsoft just does not see stand-alone portable consoles as a viable option these days:
"In a term of a dedicated handheld there are questions of the viability of that business model..."
"People have been asking for a long time about handhelds. It’s a really interesting time in that market. Look at the Nintendo 3DS, it’s been a slower start than analysts and others had expected, but it’s a super-competitive space. Any dedicated portable device like a camera, or a portable gaming device like the 3DS has a tough time."
Going further, Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox LIVE noted that at least on Windows Phone:
“Today on Windows Phone, Xbox Live games make up less than 1 per cent of the number of games that are on there. They are over 30 per cent of the units of the games downloaded on the phone, and they over 70 per cent of the revenue. That’s because consumers value the experience and integration of the game with Xbox Live.”
We certainly see why revenue is higher, as they charge more, a lot more in fact, than 3rd party developers. Evidently though, people are buying them, despite some issue in pricing and those broken achievements in a handful of games.
For us Windows Phone users, in our opinion this is good news as it means Microsoft will concentrate only on our platform for game development and not create an even more fragmented system (PC, Xbox, Phone and then portable console). Surely we are years from making current 360 games truly portable, so any handheld system would have to be an in-betweener Phone vs. Xbox 360. Plus, as pointed out earlier, it's all about in convergence is key here: people want one device aka "the phone" to do their games, bills, email, music, etc.
Speaking of convergence, WinRumors spoke with Microsoft about that whole Xbox 360/Kinect/Windows Phone tie in we saw months ago at Mobile World Congress: ETA is sometime "next year" as they're currently developing and testing a few games. All we know is this feature can't come fast enough.
Source: Pocket-lint; via WinRumors
3 years ago
Mango vs iOS5 with features
In the aftermath of the "iOS5 has copied features from other platforms while they sue manufacturers for copying them" drama going around since this year's WWDC one has to look at the features in both iOS5 and upcoming Mango.
For everyone who's in the loop with WP7 and how the OS is very young in comparison to Android and iOS, it seems rather odd that one of the older standing and more established platforms would copy WP7 after it has been continuously struck down for lacking too many features. My personal favorite is copy & paste. According to a select minority, we still don't have copy & paste. It's as if NoDo never came around (unfortunately for some this is still the case).
Windows Phone 7 Center have compiled a table comparing features between the iPhone, iPad and WP7 and it's interesting to note what WP7 has built in. To me this proves how iOS is simply a stand for apps, whereas WP7 is more integrated and offers a more complete solution without the use of apps for basic features. What I do find odd about iOS5 is the Twitter integration, where's Facebook? Surely if you're going to implement social media into your OS you'd also use the largest social networking website?
Check out the table after the break.
3 years ago
Yearly major release cycle for WP7 confirmed by new job post
Seems Microsoft is planning to keep to their promise on hitting the nail with major releases for Windows Phone 7, which will be occurring on a yearly cycle. In the job vacancy post below we can clearly see the position being heavily involved with updates between a yearly schedule.
What do you think about this and how well do you believe Mango will be deployed?
See the job post after the break.
3 years ago
Broken Xbox Live Achievements on Windows Phone
For many gamers, Xbox Live Achievements are the Windows Phone platform’s main selling point. They provide primary and secondary goals to strive for in games. They also make it easy for other people to see what you’ve accomplished. Earning Achievements contributes to GamerScore – an overall score that quantifies a person’s accomplishments across Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Games for Windows Live games. It’s a brilliant and addictive system.
Except when something goes wrong. Despite the apparently rigorous testing that games undergo during the Xbox Live certification process, sometimes a game is released with one or more with unobtainable Achievements. We call an Achievement broken or glitched when it is impossible for gamers to unlock through any means.
Why are glitched Achievements a big deal? As I said, people get addicted to earning Achievements. Obsessive compulsive types eat them up. People who really buy into the Achievement system sort of calculate the full 200 GamerScore into a game’s purchase price. They feel ripped off if they can’t get the full 200 no matter what they do. Even for less compulsive gamers, it can be frustrating to go through the effort to satisfy an Achievement’s unlock conditions and find that it didn’t unlock.
Head past the jump for the full list of broken Xbox Live Achievements and what’s being done to fix them.
3 years ago
Doodle Jump - Review
3 years ago
Best of Smartphone Experts, 12 June 2011
- TouchPad coming July 1st, $499.99 for 16GB and $599.99 for 32GB
- New promo videos show off TouchPad, webOS 3.0, reborn gesture, keyboard, Synergy, Just Type, multitasking, notifications, and how to be truly wireless
- Veer commercial targets the youngins, HP pays for Veer to be top trend on Twitter
3 years ago
Windows Phone Summary of the Week: June 07-12, 2011
Another fairly quiet week on the Windows Phone 7 front while the hype for Mango increases, but the WPCentral app is back in black with version 1.2, which is now available in the Marketplace. The Windows Mobile 6.5 web accessible Marketplace is going offline as well as the MyPhone. Fancy a WP7 device?
Microsoft has released more updates on the updates, which should have updated the devices that required updating back in the update designated month of "update February". Focus users are told to remain vigilant while Microsoft battle hard to get things sorted. Switching to future mode, Mango is to receive new features in SkyDrive and the Zune Pass along with some WP7 dedicated services are planned to be expanded beyond UK and US.
For all you trigger happy gamers, Glyder is this week's Xbox Live Deal and geoDefense is readily available on the Marketplace. Worship WP7 so much that you'd do anything to see your Xbox avatar have one as a prop? Now you can for free!
Unfortunately, something that wont be able to be exploited for free is using SkyDrive for music streaming, although the Zune service should be sufficient enough for all your music needs. Bing Audio (which will be replacing the likes of Shazam) is reported to dynamically analyse music for more responsive matching.
Microsoft has brought a new bargain to the table with selling select WP7 devices for just a penny (on contract of course) while U.S. Cellular jump onto the steam train for their HTC device roll-out later this year. The HTC HD7s on AT&T is backordered already, could this be due to low stock or the fact that the device is highly desired? Staying on the HD7s, you can pick one up for $50 at Best Buy.
With Apple in the news through copying Microsoft, Google, RIM etc. with features added into iOS5 (while they actively sue anyone for calling the round green/red shaped fruit an apple), Microsoft is flattered by their competitor implementing features already found in WP7. Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, has been interviewed (over Twitter, of all means of communication) about his usage of WP7, specifically the Focus and Trophy handsets.
Should you feel as though you need to do more to protect your device, why not check out some awesome homemade Windows Phone bags? To close off our "fun" highlights of this week, Xbox Live Extras for Mango accidently appeared in the Marketplace. It's all laughs and jokes, right?
Developers, or should I say Android developers? Anyway, Microsoft has released a mapping tool which is much like their iOS tool that they previously released. Fancy developing for our platform? Now it's even easier.
Allow Scotty to beam you up past the break for the highlights.
3 years ago
Qmadix BoostPac - Review
3 years ago
Get Orb for free on Monday
Palladium Power has a deal for you. On Monday, June 13, 2011 you can download their Windows Phone game Orb for free! No strings attached. The development team over at Palladium Power tells us they are so pleased with the recent update for the game, they want to celebrate by giving everyone a chance to download it for free.
So now you ask, what is Orb. Orb is a fast paced Windows Phone game that has you race a rolling ball across tiles and avoid falling off the course or crashing into obstacles or other dangers. You have fans to help you jump across large gaps and boost fields to speed things up a bit. In playing Orb just for a brief period, it's well animated, challenging and entertaining game for your Windows Phone.
There is a free trial available if you want to try it before Monday and after the free Monday offer, the game will run you $1.29. You can download the game here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
Thanks goes out to Jonas and Marcus for sharing this with us!
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