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4 years ago

How I (might) stop worrying and learn to love the Start Experience

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LAS VEGAS -- I want to noodle a bit about the Start Experience in Windows Phone 7 series, but before that happens I need to get something off my chest as a way of opening the conversation: I have an unhealthy obsession with notifications in Windows Phone 7 Series. There are two reasons for this.

The first and most important reason is that Microsoft is following Apple's cue by suggesting push notifications can replace functionality normally handled by third-party multitasking. If you remove the ability to multitask, you better make damn sure that your push notification replacement system works well.

The second is that we already have two mobile operating systems that do an excellent job handling notifications -- Android and webOS. Both allow notifications to appear without interrupting you, both let notifications "stack," and both offer a unified place to view and manage your notifications. Knowing that there are two systems out there for handling notifications well makes me want to see a similarly elegant system from Microsoft. Despite what I wrote in a recent tweet, WP7S does have a way to manage (some) notifications -- but it's going to require a shift in how users think about their messages.

Read on for more on notifications and how they relate to Start.

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4 years ago

Live from the T-Mobile HD2 event

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4 years ago

No copy-and-paste for Windows Phone 7 Series

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Just got the bad news from another session at MIX10 in Las Vegas: There won't be any copy-paste action going on, at least at first, as apps are going to be pretty well sandboxed.

That's the long and short of it. Whether you really need copy and paste is one of those things that'll be debating until the end of time -- or at least until it actually comes to WP7S. So strap in, everybody. It's gonna be a long ride.

Also gleaned from this afternoon's sessions is that despite Silverlight crawling all over the operating system, it won't actually be baked into Internet Explorer. That means you won't be able to take advantage of the usual Silverlight fodder you find online.

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4 years ago

Sprint Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.5 update may come this week

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For all of you who have kept on us about the Sprint Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.5 update, well, good on ya. We now may finally (FINALLY!) have an answer, courtesy of a post at ppcgeeks. What you see above purportedly is an internal Sprint memo that points to March 19 as the day of days. "Sense UI enhancements" are mentioned, but it's still anybody's guess as to whether we're talking Sense 2.5 or what. So stay tuned, folks. [ppcgeeks]

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4 years ago

A look at the WP7S Metro coffee table design book

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So there's that Windows Phone 7 Series "Metro" coffee table design book thingy that Dieter and I were just talking about in the podcast, and istartedsomething's Long Zheng has gone and photographed the whole darn thing for the world to see.

Taking pictures of a physical book and posting them online -- kinda gives a new definition to e-reader, huh? Check out istartedsomething for the entire slideshow.

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4 years ago

WMExperts Podcast Episode 92

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4 years ago

Yes, there's a WP7S emulator; No, you can't have a ROM yet

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Before we all wet ourselves over this supposed "leak" of a Windows Phone 7 Series ROM, let's clear a few things up:

  • It's not a "leak," unless by "leak" you mean a public download straight from Microsoft.
  • It's not a "leaked ROM." Hell, it's not even a ROM.

What's happened is the folks at XDA are furiously ripping apart the code from the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator that's part of Microsoft's developer tools. And there are plenty of reasons to be doing this (and not just "because it's there"). They should be able to find out some interesting things.

But this is not a ROM. It's not going to be a ROM. And while we may, someday, see WP7S ported onto existing hardware (and I'm not going to bet on it), we're still a very long ways away from that.

Don't believe me? Try this, then, straight from XDA:

All you guys asking when and how and if we can have a ROM.....

We can't yet.

This is simply the emulator tools designed to run on x86 compliant hardware. This is by no means a ROM or will it ever be a ROM in this form, let's not clog the thread with continuous useless requests to have this converted to a ROM or 'how can I get it on my device ASAP'... We need to be patient.

That's right. Everybody chill out a little.

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4 years ago

Opera Mobile 10 final build now available

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4 years ago

WME @ MIX10: Day One Recap

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WME @ MIX10: Day One Recap

When Microsoft said we would learn more about Windows Phone 7 Series at this weeks MIX10 Conference, they weren't kidding. Phil wore out two keyboards yesterday doing a fantastic job of delivering all this info to you.

A lot of information on Windows Phone 7 Series was offered to the developer community and in the process, the non-developer community learned more about the new operating system as well.  There was enough material and information being thrown at us we felt a recap of the highlights was in order.

After the break you can catch the highlights from the day plus a walk down memory lane with what we learned from this year's Mobile World Congress as it relates to WP7S.

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4 years ago

WP7s Apps: No Sideloading, (virtually) no background multitasking

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We've confirmed what Sascha Segan reported earlier: Windows Phone 7 Series is leaving a lot of power-user functionality by the wayside in the name of stability and battery life, to wit:

  • "True" multitasking. 3rd party apps simply can't run in the background - the only crack in this policy is that some apps will be able to take advantage of the built-in hub services to run - the touchstone case is Pandora in the Music Hub but Microsoft also mentioned photo sync a few times.
  • Sideloading. The only way for consumers to get apps on wp7s is to get them through marketplace. The only exceptions: developers, developers releasing beta versions to a limited number of testers, and enterprise apps distributed within a corporation.
  • Removable storage

Microsoft maintains that they're just balancing user demands and there's no doubt that nixing the above simplifies and improves the overall experience for many - if not most - users.

To make up for the lack of multitasking, Microsoft is following in Apple's shoes by offering push notification as a substitute for the vast majority of apps. One problem: although they're not interruptive like on the iPhone, they just appear and go away and there's no unified place to view all notifications.

To make up for the lack of sideloading, Microsoft has promised radical transparency for the app submission process to their marketplace. Good news: Microsoft has no problem with competing web browsers, email clients, map clients, and the like. They're all welcome. The bummer is that it doesn't appear right now that you'll be able to change your 'default' apps - for example, tapping on an address in email wouldn't be able to be set to open Google Maps. 

To make up for the lack of removable storage, well, we have the excellent Zune client. However it looks like there won't be a common file area that all apps can access - each app will have access to its own file storage area and be able to use high level APIs to access stuff like music, photos, and the like. So in addition to there not being removable storage, it doesn't look like you'll even be able to access the on-board storage directly as a USB disk. It all goes through the Zune client.

That's a lot of doom and gloom above, so we'll back off a bit and say that the apps really do look great and nobody can accuse Microsoft of only going halfway towards their vision of rethinking what a mobile platform and mobile apps should be. Until the phones are out there we won't really know how much the above limitations will chafe.

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4 years ago

Multitouch and Windows Phone 7 Series

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Multitouch and Windows Phone 7 Series

Now that Windows Phone users will have to get used to having capacitive touchscreens (see what we just did there?), let's take a look at exactly what's supported, including multitouch. We'll start with the most basic gesture -- the tap. A single touch on the screen. Or, as Microsoft describes it in the Windows Phone Design and UI Interaction Guide, "Finger down on a single point within a bundled area and back up within a short period of time."

That whet your appetite? Of course it did. Join us after the break for more.

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4 years ago

Microsoft says what we all knew: No upgrade for the HD2

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Microsoft finally came out and said it (again) today at MIX10 -- No Windows Phone 7 Series upgrade for the HTC HD2. Sorry, it's just not gonna happen. And that news comes a mere 24 hours or so before T-Mobile throws a little wake party for its latest and likely last Windows Mobile 6.5 device. (Oh, and we'll be there, so check back in Tuesday night.)

So we'll put the question to you: Now that it's really real that the HD2 won't be getting an upgrade, will that affect your decision to get one on T-Mobile?

Do you still want an HD2, even though it won't be updated?surveys
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4 years ago

Samsung joins the Windows Phone party

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It's not all software at MIX10, as Samsung has slipped a slate Windows Phone into the mix. It's the second actual device we've seen Windows Phone 7 Series on (we're not counting the ASUS prototype device), following the LG slider.

We don't really know what's inside this Sammy phone -- it's said to have a great camera and screen. But the exact specs of either (is it a Super AMOLED screen, perhaps?) aren't known. Check out the video after the break. [via Neowin]

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4 years ago

Meet the new Windows Phone Marketplace

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I've gone on record several times as saying that the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which debuted last fall alongside Windows Mobile 6.5, felt rushed at best, and half-baked at worst, at least as far as the user experience goes.

You can cast any such feelings aside, it appears, with Windows Phone 7 Series. The Windows Phone Marketplace ties right in with the Metro interface and finally -- at least in appearance -- seems to be worthy of the operating system on which it resides.

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4 years ago

Microsoft serious about design continuity

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One of the things that's new (and long overdue) in the new Windows Phone is better control over how apps look and feel. By now we have a pretty good look at the whole "panoramic" theme going on, as content flows easily from east to west and back again.

How's that all being done? Microsoft spells it out in its Windows Phone Design and UI Interaction Guide. Think of it as a "how-to" for application developers. [pdf link]

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