3 years ago
Developers: Pitch Microsoft your app at CTIA, win big prizes
CTIA is just around the corner and Microsoft will be there doing what they do best: getting new developers to their platform. This year, they're having a "fast pitch contest" whereby you have 10 minutes to "sell" your app idea to a panel of judges. It doesn't matter what stage your app is at, from "idea" to "ready to ship", they want to hear it.
So, what could you win? Seems the Grand Prize is pretty darn grand:
- An invitation to participate in the Windows Phone Depth V2 program
- $30,000 (USD) in co-development and marketing funds.
- Two (2) Windows Phone redemption codes, approximate retail value $1,000.00 (USD)
- One (1) annual App Hub membership
Approximate retail value $31,100 (USD)
That sounds pretty huge to us and worth your 10 minutes, no? The runner up prize is a free phone, free AppHub membership and an Xbox 360 w/Kinect. The winning app is judged on 30% Originality (Is this a new fresh idea?), 30% Creativity (Does this address a common issue in a different way?) and 40% Use of Windows Phone features (Does the application taking full advantage of Windows Phone platform? ). Read the full contest rules here and good luck!
3 years ago
Microsoft putting Windows Phone 7 on promotional tour...in France
Well, who says Microsoft isn't trying? Between the ads, TV show placements, developer out reach and evidently now putting the phone "on tour", Microsoft at least seems to be trying to get the word out.
From March 16th to May 7th, they'll be going around France giving demos of the phone and even raffling off an HD7 to a few lucky peeps. We suppose it's a good idea that can't hurt, but lets see if it drums up sales.
Source: Microsoft France; via Monsmartpone
3 years ago
Sprint Arrive gets some software updates, Sprint Radio now live
Although the HTC Arrive is yet to come out, looks like Sprint is pushing some updates to the few carrier apps that are on board (seriously, it's sparse). Both the 'Sprint Zone' and 'TeleNav GPS Nav' programs received some 0.1 updates with, of course, no change-log to be noted. However, we can now at least use TeleNav as before we were unable to register the device, so perhaps that's the fix.
'Sprint Zone' is the carriers "hub" for the phone, offering software, tips and other Sprint news delivered to the phone (see it in our video hands on), whereas TeleNav GPS is a full-featured turn-by-turn navigation system (works in landscape too, woohoo).
Interestingly, it looks like Sprint is still finishing up some apps for Windows Phone as the Sprint Zone lists 'Sprint TV & Movies' but it's not available. However, 'Sprint Radio' ("powered by mSpot") is and it delivers "over 60 channels of crystal-clear music in all genres" and is free with your data plan (eat that, AT&T). Of course there is also 'Sprint Radio Extra' which you can pay $5.95/month for, zinger. Sprint Radio Extra is commercial-free and has ABC News, Fox Sports, NPR, etc. with customizations. It's like Pandora. We'll have more on Sprint Radio later.
3 years ago
Marketplace Spotlight - Word Tangle Free
Word Tangle Free is a word puzzle game being offered over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Reading from the Marketplace description, "The scoring is dynamic while the graphics and sound effects are second to none. This is not your Grandpa's Boggle, so dont expect it to be! Try to get as many words possible within the time limit (that you set). Same word is allowed more than once as long as it's built differently each time."
Word Tangle Free features include:
- Multiple dictionaries (US/UK English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Swedish)
- Multiple player profiles
- 4x4 on up to 8x8 letter game board -Multiple time limits
- Tilt the phone to rotate letters
- Shake the phone for a new game
You can download your free copy of Word Tangle Free here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Simple WP7 app creation with FollowMyFeed
The majority of us are by no means tech savvy and we are sometimes found to be stuck at a wall when attempting to accomplish something that requires some technical knowledge and/or skill. To name a specific situation - bloggers or website owners who wish to publish an app that allows readers (and visitors) to use the website or services through a customised environment, instead of the web browser.
This is where FollowMyFeed comes into play for Windows Phone 7. Any website owner who wishes to feature an app, one can simply input their RSS feed into the system, which then creates an application based solely on that feed. Very handy for end-users with the included availability of faster loading times, offline usage and a Metro UI feel. The only perk is you will need to be able to submit the application to the Marketplace, which requires an annual subscription of $99 over at the App Hub.
There have already been successful implementations similar to this idea on other platforms. Invision Power Services, who specialise in community software (namely IP.Board), introduced means for forum owners to use the official app on the iOS platform that took advantage of the mobile template offered and allowed for a more enjoyable experience for end-users.
FollowMyFeed is a great option to aid sites and blogs with easily creating an app for the platform quickly and effectively. While not perfect by any means, and not entirely comparable to full personalised apps with huge lists of features, it’s a step in the right direction for more exposure with the growing Windows Phone 7 community.
Source: Go Microsoft; via 1800PocketPC
3 years ago
HTC 7 Pro (Europe) 'NoDo' ROM leaked on XDA
Although the Sprint HTC Arrive (aka CDMA 7 Pro) comes with 'NoDo' built in, thankfully avoiding any needed "updates", the European 7 Pro which came out a a few months ago, obviously does not.
Keeping up with the unlocked HD7, Trophy and Mozart leaked ROMs, the 7 Pro evidently now has it as well. According to forum member Football (who hails from Moscow and seems to have a solid rep at XDA), this ROM version has a filename of:
Not much in the way of feedback yet as far as any other HTC "fixes" or improvements, so we suggest you watch the thread for a bit to get some feedback before proceeding. Either way, looks like HTC devices luck out again, avoiding the Microsoft/carrier machine.
Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, Ali at Aliwaqas, for the heads up!
3 years ago
Facebook App experiencing intermittent crashing
The official Facebook application, brought to you by Microsoft, is experiencing some odd crashing issues with some users. Checking the Marketplace for the application and reading some reviews featured on the app summary page displays a clear indication as to the scale of the problem.
We have attempted to reproduce the issue ourselves, and were only able to report one instance (Samsung Focus - another Focus worked however) that experienced crashes when running the Facebook app. It appears (at this early stage) to be randomly tripped with no apparent cause(s) being identified.
Reading the reviews back to the beginning of March, it seems as though it suddenly sprung on unsuspecting users, who are now understandably frustrated. Much like the Youtube offering from Microsoft being a complete flop, this is a serious concern that must be addressed soon to prevent further negativity clouding the WP7 experience and continuing the painful reminder of the pre-NoDo update.
Are you familiar with these recent issues? There is a temporary workaround for posting statuses and commenting on friends updates via the built-in integration the Windows Phone 7 platform sports. At least we have some way of spying on people we dislike while the official gateway to social goodness is unreliable or simply not working.
Thanks mk for the tip!
3 years ago
Debugging WP7 apps [Developers]
Den Delimarsky has posted a great video over at DZone that runs through some steps which can be carried out to debug Windows Phone 7 apps while they run with no debugger attached. Without one present, it proves to be increasingly difficult to track down every exception present.
3 years ago
'4th & Mayor' Foursquare app coming to Windows Phone 7 soon
We mentioned developer Jeff Wilcox the other day making his own Foursquare app...one to not only "fix" the broken one we have now but to go beyond. Jeff is on the verge of launching the app with it in final testing stages and launching a new site to promote it. And it's name? As you can guess, it's '4th & Mayor'.
We're actually in a good position to judge how good it is since we've been running it for the last 24hrs and our verdict: pure winning. The app is gorgeous, smart, fluid and very fast. The options here go further than the current Foursquare app and it has a better, more minimalist look to it--very Windows Phone 7. We'll have more on it later, maybe even a video hands-on.
In the meantime, check out his site and the images there and get ready for some mega-checkins.
3 years ago
Clove getting Dell Venue Pro on March 26
After a plethora of delays and limited availability through Dell, Clove's blog reports that they will be receiving SIM free stock of Dell Venue Pros for the UK on March 26. The vertical QWERTY slider will sell for £350.00 straight-up, or £420.00 with VAT. Clove admits that the long-awaited Venue Pro "will not be available in huge quantities at launch," so order soon if you are sick of waiting.
3 years ago
Google releases AdMob WP7 SDK Beta
Yesterday Google released AdMob Windows Phone SDK Beta for download. The SDK, which includes HTML5 support, allows developers to "easily integrate advertising into their applications, control where the ads appear, and what types of ads are shown in their apps." Text and banner ads can be linked to websites or directly to the Marketplace. The SDK maintains the same look and feel as WP7 and allow users to click on an ad, then smoothly return to their current application.
AdMob WP7 SDK can be downloaded by current AdMob members by logging into their account and adding the Windows Phone 7 site type. Google has also updated their iOS and Android SDKs to include new features, such as enhanced HTML5 support.
Source: Google Mobile Ads Blog
3 years ago
Sprint Arrive vs Sprint Touch Pro 2 - In Pictures
This post is for you old school kids still using the near legendary Sprint HTC Touch Pro 2--a device hacked and ROM'd to death and which approached perfection (if it weren't for that under-powered CPU). Anyways, the new Sprint HTC Arrive (aka 7 Pro) is basically a Touch Pro 3--the devices feel very similar, are nearly identical in size and quality. Still, we figured we get some close up glamor shots for you people who are curious about jumping to the new guy in town (we vote: yes, do it).
More pics after the break...
3 years ago
Zune hardware biz developer: "I'll be going to work tomorrow"
Microsoft has responded to the "Zune (hardware) is dead" meme that has taken off like a hurricane ever since the Bloomberg article the other day:
“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device -- but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.”
That sure doesn't sound like a denial, lending more credence to the Bloomberg claim from "sources familiar". Now, Dave McLauchlan, who does business development at Microsoft for the Zune HD, has now responded in the Anything But Ipod forums, where he's been a member since 2006. While not revealing anything too specific, it sure sounds as if the story is more...complicated...than Bloomberg has made it out to be. We'll just quote the meaty parts of his post:
"I've had tweets, emails, PMs and phone calls. People offering condolences, checking in on me, etc... etc... Stop, stop, stop!
The Bloomberg article is NOT an official statement from Microsoft (apart from the quote above). The headline is purportedly from a "person familiar with the matter" - which of course tells you nothing.
Here's what you should know - ALL consumer electronics products have a lifespan, and the Zune HD is 18mo old. We were completely frank about this year's Zune hardware being the WP7 phones, and we continue to both sell and fully support the Zune HD line of products. And as I've promised - we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform. More of those are in the works, I promise you.
I manage business development for Zune hardware, and I still have that job. Our PR folks released a statement today that included the text: "We’ll share more information about the evolution of the Zune entertainment service and Zune hardware as future plans develop."
To be 100% clear - NO information about our future plans, no matter what the incarnation, has been shared. Until then treat with healthy skepticism anything you read. That's probably a good general rule actually.
So for those who tweeted or emailed asking what I'm "going to do now" - I'll be going to work tomorrow, working on Zune hardware bizdev. And when Microsoft announces news that is actually news, you'll hear it from us directly, and I'll be sure to pass it on immediately. Only then should you take it as gospel."
We're not 100% sure what to make of this outside he still has a job working on Zune hardware and evidently it's not as black and white as everyone seems to be thinking it is. Of course if Zune hardware is dead, it forces the question of why Microsoft, and now McLauchlan, are pushing backing looking to clarify the matter. Like we said, we think there may be more to this story than what we know so far.
Source: Anything But Ipod Forums; via ZuneBoards; Thanks, @hallucinogen52
3 years ago
'Rocket Riot' gets 2nd price drop to $2.99 - Xbox Deal of the Week
Just a few weeks after dropping from $6.99 to $4.99 (and 36 hours since I just bought it, grrr), Rocket Riot is getting another price cut to the ultra-low $2.99. That's a really, really good price for a game that fits easily in my top five for Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone. As mentioned in our earlier post: "Rocket Riot is a side-view shooter with retro-inspired graphics. It controls exceptionally well for a touch-screen game and is just plain fun."
Seriously, it's a fun game with what could be the world's most catchy theme song--I dare you not to get it stuck your head. Give it a go and grab it for this low price. No word if this is the "Deal of the Week" (we're pretty sure it is though) nor how long it will last, but if you were holding out before...grab it here.
3 years ago
Hands on with the Sprint HTC Arrive
Yes, our Sprint HTC Arrive has showed up and we're liking it so far. The device is the final production model headed to stores this weekend and it rocks the latest build of Windows Phone 7, 7389 with NoDo on board.
For those curious, no sign of the MicroSD card though it may be under a tiny metal door--more on that later. But sporting 16GB of memory should be enough for a lot of folks. The volume sliders appear to changed slightly--while not raised too prominently, they are very wide, making volume adjustments a breeze. The Arrive is comparable to the Touch Pro 2 in size, though noticeably thinner.
Overall, first impressions matter and ours is the Arrive is a winner. The screen is better than the HD7s', the keyboard is better than the LG Quantum and the design is quite stellar. Look for our review shorty by George Ponder and smaller follow up review by Daniel Rubino.
Have questions you need answered now? Fire off in comments and we'll get to them later tonight.
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