Since the introduction of Windows Phone 7 Series, there have probably been more questions than answers, especially around the notion of multitasking, notifications, application development, etc. Microsoft has stated that the majority of that will be addressed next month at MIX10, a conference dedicated to development on Microsoft's various platforms (which are becoming more and more interlinked).
To steal some of that thunder are a few documents that reportedly show exactly what developers can expect, and what they can and can't do.
First up is confirmation of preemptive multi-tasking, which is a very good thing. But now the catch: not all applications and programs will have access to that feature. From what it appears, developers will have to get their applications approved for use of multi-tasking features: the public will have access to managed API's and upon approval, access to native APIs.
Think of it as a compromise between the current "no multitasking" on the iPhone versus the wild west approach of the past Windows Mobile platform. Of course the success or failure of such an approach depends on how fair Microsoft is in granting such permissions.
The other thing to note is what WP7 is built on: XNA, Silverlight and .NET CF. XNA UI is for event-driven XAML based application developtment, whereas XNA is better suited for gaming (see XBox programming).
Overall, it looks to be a great strategy, offering developers low-cost access to well know development tools that have been tried and tested in the past and at the same time, setting rigid, but on request flexible, guidelines to guarantee a certain level of performance and adherence to the "3 screens" (Computer, TV, PC) vision Microsoft is putting forth.
If you haven’t noticed, one of the biggest things that I look for in a new game for my phone is how well it translates to the mobile platform. There are good reasons that my favorite game genre (First Person Shooters) haven’t made a big splash in the Windows Mobile arena; that is because there are certain controls that lend themselves to that type of game. Card games traditionally require a minimal amount of effort from the user to accomplish what they are trying to do, making them a good candidate for a mobile platform.
One developer that has made an effort to offer a number of different card games for reasonable prices is Panoramic Software. In addition to their card games such as Panoramic FreeCell and the subject of this review, BlackJack; Panoramic also offers other applications such as their Twitter client, moTweets.
To see if Panoramic BlackJack lives up to the standards that we have come to expect from Panoramic Software, hit the jump.
Clean interface. Tutorials. Supports various card counting techniques.
By Dieter Bohn, Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm EST
We are outie-5000 from Mobile World Congress, folks. There are a couple straggler posts we'll catch up on, but in the meantime listen in for our thoughts on some BlackBerry news, yeah, but also HTC's big announcements. Listen in!
Acer has announced two new Windows Phones that will be running Windows Mobile 6.5.3.
The Acer Neotouch P300 is a sliding-keyboard designed Windows Phone that will sport a 3.2" WQVGA touch screen. The Acer NeoTouch P400 is a "black slab" Windows Phone that is powered by the Qualcomm 7227 600mhz processor.
The P300 is listed as being available in March of 2010 while the P400 is expected to hit the market in May of 2010. Both will likely hit the European market first, with the potential of eventually finding the U.S. market.
Dieter and Phil hope to get some hands-on time with these two Windows Phones but in the meantime, for more on the available specs and pictures of these Acer phones, ease on past the break.
For you fans of SPB Mobile Shell out there, we're pleased to report that good things are coming in Version 5.0. They're not quite ready for you yet, but they're coming this year. The 3D animations are as smooth as butter, and the video doesn't do justice to how nice it looks on a screen as large as the HTC HD2. Peep the video after the break.
Toshiba still has some of the biggest and most elusive (at least in the U.S.) phones around. Case in point: The TG02. This 4.1-inch monster sports the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB of ROM/256MB of RAM and SPB Mobile Shell running atop Windows Mobile 6.5.3.
Nothing too crazy about that (and we couldn't get them to answer on the whole "waterproof" thing we saw in early leaks. But this is one of the lightest phones you'll ever see -- especially for something with a 4.1-inch screen. It's crazy light. If you were to drop it, it'd probably just float back to Earth. It's that light. It's also pretty darn snappy, thanks to, well, Snapdragon. See for yourself after the break.
We had a much more quiet look at Windows Phone 7 Series today at Mobile World Congress, and it really brings the upcoming Microsoft operating system into a new light. (See our previous hands-on.) Yes, it still looks like it's based on the Zune software, but it's really so much more. And we heard a few of you still calling it a Zune phone, and we're calling you out as soon as we get back.
Check out our latest hands-on from Barcelona after the break.
Let's just get this out in the open: The Sony Ericsson Aspen left us wanting. Maybe we were blinded by our desire to see a new front-facing QWERTY Windows phone with a touchscreen, just like mama (erm, Palm and others) used to make. Instead what we got was a so-so keyboard with a touchscreen-optimized operating system on a 2.4-inch diagonal screen. Even those of you with small hands would find hitting the tiny icons on the screen a little ridiculous.
Still, the name of the game with Sony Ericsson this week has been "Think small" -- at least in the physical size of its phones. And that definitely was achieved here. See what we mean after the break.
We actually got to handle the Toshiba K01 a lot more than you'll get to see in this hands-on, and it's an interesting little (erm, huge, actually) phone. It has a 4.1-inch screen, 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a full four-row QWERTY keyboard. But darned if it's not light as a feather and pretty speedy to boot, even in its unfinshed, "No, you can't video it it yet" form.
Like the TG01 and its follow-up, the TG02, it's unlikely we'll see it in the United States. But we've got you covered with more after the break.
Marketplace will be getting "World View" (previously known as Geo Selector) which will allow Marketplace users to browse and purchase applications from different geographic catalogs. Application prices will show up in the users local currently.
Microsoft will also be allowing Marketplace users to install applications downloaded from the Marketplace to their storage card.
Marketplace will also see a few changes with regards to independent software vendors (ISV), Marketplace. ISVs will no longer have to pay a $10 fee for submitting applications to additional markets. The ISV registration process is to be simplified by offering different registration paths based on the type of ISV (company, individual, student).
Marketplace will be expanding to the Russian market both for consumers and ISVs. Users in Russia will be able to access and purchase apps via credit card and ISVs will be able to register with Marketplace.
Lastly, changes are being made to existing Marketplace application acceptance to allow VoIP apps that use carrier networks unless there is a prohibition by a mobile carrier. Networks will be able to dictate if VoIP apps are acceptable on their networks.
We've shared the announcement news on the HTC HD Mini and we've shared some hands on time with the new Windows Phone. HTC now has the HD Mini listed on their UK website detailing the full specs on the phone. Along with the specs already listed in the announcement, the HD Mini will have GPS, Wifi, Proximity, Light, and G Sensors.
The specifications also indicate social networking capability with Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. There is also an interesting feature listed that automatically lowers the ringer volume when you pick the phone up and increases it when the phone is in a case, pocket, purse, etc. Keep in mind that these are the European specs and if this phone lands in the U.S. it may vary slightly.
Ease on past the break to see the promotional video that HTC is offering on the HD Mini.
We've known for some time now that the HD2 is headed to T-Mobile. Today at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, T-Mobile announced the creation of a comprehensive mobile entertainment experience for the HTC Windows Phone. The Entertainment Package will be pre-loaded on the T-Mobile HD2 that will include:
Barnes & Noble eReader
Blockbuster on Demand (Blockbuster’s first-ever video download application on a smartphone)
Paramount Pictures "Transformers" and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"
Gogo Inflight Internet Services (six month trial for inflight wifi services on over 2,500 daily U.S. flights)
The Paramount Pictures movies are reportedly loaded on a pre-installed 16gb microSD card. The Entertainment package is designed to highlight the multimedia features of the HD2.
“T-Mobile is committed to offering innovative solutions to connect, inspire and entertain our customers through the power of mobile technology,” said George Harrison, vice president, marketing product innovation, T-Mobile USA. “By combining leading innovation in the world of entertainment with the large screen and processing power of the HTC HD2, we’ve created a unique and powerful mobile entertainment experience.”
The T-Mobile HD2 is expected in stores this Spring.
The HTC HD Mini: Same massive Windows Mobile power (or nearly so), in a smaller -- or at least more normal-sized than the HD2 -- body. The HD Mini sports Windows Mobile 6.5.3. Full pictorial after the break.