4 years ago
GoVoice 2.0 hits bringing better push-notifications, live tile support
We love some good competition around here and GoVoice, the original Google Voice application for Windows Phone 7, has gone 2.0 this morning making it quite attractive for those who rely on Google Voice services.
The big change is the use of GVMax, a donation-supported service that will handle the "pushing" of Google SMS and voicemail notifications to your phone (here's an overview of the service by LifeHacker). In conjunction with the live tile counter, GoVoice is the most full featured Google Voice app currently on the market (though we imagine the similarly named GVoice is going to try and play catch up real soon). You'll have to take a few minutes to set up GVMax, but it's quite painless from our experience.
The program is currently $2.99, though the developer, Nick Yu, is aiming to make it free while the push-service will cost $1.99 a year.
We'll be doing a review roundup of all the Google Voice apps currently available shortly. Stay tuned. Click here to open Zune Desktop to grab the free trial.
4 years ago
Samsung WP7 homebrew app fixes auto-network reconfiguration, MMS
A few days ago, we detailed an ongoing problem with some unlocked Windows Phones, namely that MMS would not work when a new SIM card was placed into the device. On most phones, either the device will auto reconfigure itself or the user can manually input the MMS server settings. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, some Windows Phones don't have the first option, Automatic Data Configuration (ADC), enabled and no Windows Phone has the second ability. In turn, phones sold as unlocked by carriers are not fully functional.
In response, Samsung noted that their phones do not support this function by design. Although in comments to our article, an unverified person named Young Shin claims that they work for Samsung and had this to say:
I'm from Samsung's Windows Phone 7 team. Initially, the Network Profile application was designed to detect network reconfiguration on Samsung WP7 open market devices, it is not possible to reconfigure a carrier-locked device. Currently, Samsung is working on a modification which will enable the unlocked devices to be reconfigured to any other network. This application update should be available in WP7 marketplace by the end of this month. Thanks.
All we can do is wait to see if this is true but until then there is now a homebrew option, developed by "kuerbis" who gave WPCentral an early look. In short, it is Samsung's own Network Profile app (available in their app store) that he has modified to support network and automatic reconfiguration. Of course, you'll need to use ChevronWP7 to jailbreak your phone first, then load this app. And yes, it will even load the correct MMS gateway settings for users.
You can grab the homebrew Samsung Network Profile app by "kuerbis" here. We'll keep track of Samsung's official app as well.
4 years ago
Transparent wallpapers are all the rage
A few days ago, a hobbyist developer named keyboardP did a proof-of-concept trick using a modified PNG image as a lockscreen wallpaper for Windows Phones. The result is a transparent effect whereby you can see through to your homescreen. Kind of neat if you want to check the temperature without unlocking the phone.
The first one he did was simple: claw marks that made it look like someone had torn your screen.
Since then, members over at XDA have started to create many different variations, coming up with some real unique designs. Over at keyboardP's site, he has also accumulated a mini-gallery that is growing as users submit them.
Now, there are three things to know about doing this: one, you must email yourself the PNG file as syncing won't work (Zune only recognizes JPGs), two, the trick only works once you "touch" the screen and three, it won't work if you have your device password protected. Other than that though, it's pretty sweet and easy to do. You can see in the picture here that I went for a very simple all black that goes smoky when activated. Anyways, if you're bored, give it a go. Feel free to discuss and post your creation here in our forums.
Source: Phone 7, Gallery, XDA Forums
4 years ago
Microsoft looking to fill 40 positions for Windows Phone 7
Microsoft is looking to fill forty positions on their Windows Phone 7 team. The positions include software engineers, public relations managers, and hardware engineers. The positions are based out of Microsoft's Headquarters in Redmond.
The focus of these positions range from working on Xbox Live game integration to leading the design of features built for Windows Phones. The job descriptions seem to re-affirm Microsoft's commitment to Windows Phone 7. For example, in the listing for Program Manager, Sr - Windows Phones opens with,
"Microsoft has deep investments in the development of the new Windows Phone and related backend services. Mobile is a critical area for Microsoft to re-build its brand presence, and win customers back with compelling and highly integrated features and applications. This is an outstanding opportunity to help build from the ground up a new mobile ecosystem that will be a highly competitive offering from Microsoft."
If your interested, the positions can be found over at Microsoft's Career Website. Just do a keyword search for "Windows Phone" and you can sift through the various openings. I just wonder if these new positions qualify for the free Windows Phones Microsoft is passing out to employees.
Source: Microsoft Phone Careers; via: Forbes
4 years ago
Windows Phone 7 fix list
It's not that we think Windows Phone 7 is broken. But with the first update due sometime in Januaryish of 2011 if you could bend the ear of Microsoft Developers on what needs fixing, what would you suggest?
WPCentral.com member Thanos911 has started a discussion on this very topic going in the WPCentral Forums. Just to highlight a few of the suggestions already tendered:
- "There is no way to configure advanced email settings such as ports. You can specify SSL, but no way to specify non-standard ports that I have been able to figure out."
- "SkyDrive documents aren’t readily accessible through the office hub. You can go through the internet, log into SkyDrive, and then open up a document, but why the extra step?"
- "Universal Inbox or quick email switching. At least having the option to consolidate all your emails under one area, or a way to switch between accounts would be a plus."
We all have our thoughts on how Windows Phone 7 could improve with the first update. Cut/Paste is probably the most common addition requested. Custom Ringtones or expand the list of what can be assigned an alert. We've also seen a few requests for screen captures to allow users to show off their new phone or application.
We've already asked you what your impressions are of Windows Phone 7 after having it for thirty days, but what do you think needs to be fixed? What's not working just right that could benefit from an update?
Head on over to the forums and share your thoughts on the subject in this discussion. We'll sticky it up to the top to make it more visible. Who knows who might see it.
4 years ago
Windows Phone 7 - How's it look after thirty days
Windows Phone 7 hit the U.S. Market just over thirty days ago with the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround landing at AT&T and the HTC HD7 hitting the shelves at T-Mobile. The new Windows Phone lineup would eventually be joined by the Dell Venue Pro at T-Mobile and the LG Quantum at AT&T. As far as hardware is concerned, the new Windows Phones have their own strong points but what about the OS?
Microsoft choose not to upgrade Windows Mobile, instead deciding to start with a clean slate and build a new OS. We saw more design and development controls were put in place to bring uniformity to Windows Phone 7.
So how does it look after thirty days? Are you satisfied with what you've experienced so far with Windows Phone 7? Did Microsoft hit the nail on the head and exceeded all your expectations? Or do you feel the need to run screaming back to Windows Mobile or another system all together?
Feel free to share your thoughts on the first thirty days with Windows Phone 7 in the comments sections. After the jump, you can see some of our thoughts on the first thirty days with Windows Phone 7.
4 years ago
Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst scheduled for release on December 15th
The long awaited and highly innovative Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst, which utilizes Bing maps, geolocation and asynchronous multiplayer support for some good old tower defense, is finally coming to our phones this month. Specifically, December 15th, according to Karl Stricker who works for Microsoft on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone7.
For many, this game should really show off some hitherto unseen gaming support on Windows Phone 7, bringing a new level of creativeness to mobile gaming. This will be one of the first games to highly interact, by way of achievements, with a console game on Xbox 360 (Crackdown 2: Deluge). No word on pricing.
4 years ago
Developers can now get their Windows Phone 7 app download stats from Microsoft
Quick word to our readers who are also developers for Windows Phone 7: you evidently can now grab your download stats for your application from Microsoft's APP-HUB website.
For context, recently a few developers became vocal at the lack of analytic tools available to them regarding app downloads. In turn, they did not know if their app was selling and as a result, whether they should invest time and money for "push" services. Microsoft had been candid with developers in this regard, noting that payments and these tools will come "later" understood to be February. Perhaps in response, it looks like Microsoft may have decided to get those tools out now.
4 years ago
Bubble Town 2 and Star Wars Cantina dropping today for WP7
Just a quick note: get ready to have some more Xbox Live fun on your Windows Phone today. Word is that Bubble Town 2 and Star Wars Cantina will be arriving, worldwide, in the Marketplace.
Bubble Town 2 looks like a Snood clone (ZOMG), which basically means you fire little critters up at a wall of other critters--getting 3 or more in a row removes them (trust me, it's addicting). Star Wars Cantina, on the other hand, has been described as Diner Dash + Star Wars which sounds quite the combo. No word on pricing but we image in the $4.99 range would be about right. Both are Xbox Live titles meaning try-before-you-buy will be available along with achievements and leaderboards.
4 years ago
Microsoft not discussing sales numbers of Windows Phone 7--yet
Two high profile Microsoft figures, Joe Belfiore and Charlie Kindel, director of the Windows Phone program and GM of the Windows Phone 7 Developer group respectively, were recent guests of two separate tech events. They were there of course to discuss Windows Phone 7, the smartphone market and the challenges that Microsoft is facing in relation to their competitors.
The big news, for some at least, is that when both were asked about early sales numbers and both refused to provide any details. At D: Dive Into Mobile conference in San Francisco, Belfiore said it was "too early" to talk numbers, whereas Kindel, in Paris at Le Web 2010, only mentioned that they planned to "sell a lot" in 2011.
Many are taking this evasive posturing as signs that Microsoft's sales numbers are either lower than expected or simply not worth talking about--after all, anything less than yhe oft cited 200,00+ daily activations of iPhones and Android devices will be seen as a failure. It seems to us that what bothers many in the media about Microsoft's position is not so much the possible sales (or lack thereof) but the denial of a sensational story for the media (a narrative that could only hurt their image). Yet even then, we still have to mention it.
Microsoft's position, for many, is bewildering only for their lack of self aggrandizement--they know they are the underdog here and while they are proud of their OS they know that this will be a multi-year challenge, not an overnight success. That sort of realism should be respected, but in this day and age of tech cynicism, it is met mostly with surprise. Fact is we, nor Microsoft, expect Windows Phone 7 to post any real significant market numbers till at least the end of 2011, giving them a 12 month window to get their OS recognized. We think that since currently only 20% of mobile phone sales are smartphones (Gartner, 2010), they have time and room for maneuvering. While not exciting, that's the reality.
Source: D: Dive Into Mobile, Le Web 2010 (U-Stream)
4 years ago
Is Microsoft re-locking jailbroken phones? Probably not.
There's some hub-bub going over at XDA about whether or not Microsoft is remotely re-locking jailbroken phones. In order to understand the process, we need to step back for a second.
ChevronWP7 worked by installing a security certificate on the phone in addition to the program--basically it's spoofing, making it look like it is a developer device by looping it back to the PC. Once they pulled the program they also pulled the certificate and people's phones were relocked again. XDA member Cendaryn managed to grab the certificate and now we can manually install it on the phone thereby re-enabling the process.
Now, a few users are receiving warnings to uninstall homebrew apps when they are run, leading some to think that Microsoft is revoking the certs from people's phones ergo re-locking them. (For the record, my Google Maps is working just fine). However, co-developer of ChevronWP7 Rafael Rivera has Tweeted that "Microsoft is NOT remotely locking your phone. Don't panic..." and that he'll clarify in a bit.
So in short, no Big Brother issues, no Microsoft bringing the hammer down stuff. Probably just a quirk of how the developer-systems checks for a valid certificate.
Update: The developers of ChevronWP7 respond here. In short, after 2 weeks the device checks in with Microsoft to see if it should be unlocked. If it is not validated, it re-locks automatically (but it can be unlocked by the same process again). Short of it is Microsoft is not targeting devices to be re-locked.
[Image credit: Windows Phone Hacker]
4 years ago
Belfiore outs Windows Phone Tablets?
Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore was interviewed today at the D: Dive into Mobile Conference by Walt Mossberg (of Mosspuppet fame) regarding Windows Phone and Microsoft’s renewed foray into the smart-phone market. There isn’t much new information to be gleaned; confirmation of the early 2011 update to include copy and paste, the Marketplace reaching 3000+ apps, Walt stating that Windows Phone 7 doesn’t compare with iOS and Android (like I said, nothing new).
What IS intriguing is Belfiore’s response to Mossberg’s questions about Microsoft’s tablet strategy, namely the fact that Microsoft is pushing Windows 7 (a desktop platform) as it’s tablet OS; whereas Apple, Google, and even RIM (Blackberry) are all using touch-based platforms for their tablets.
Walt: But why not just scale up WP7? You have a modern touch based interface. Why isn’t that your tablet platform?
Joe: We’re 4 weeks out of introducing this new thing. We’ve tried to help our partners do a great job. Forward looking, we’re going to focus on what our customers want most.
Four weeks (tomorrow) would be the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where a certain Steve Ballmer will be giving the opening keynote. Last year at CES was when Ballmer announced the "Slate" form factor, which hasn’t moved ahead much in the past year. Could Microsoft be readying a tablet based branch of the Windows Phone 7 OS? I’ve got my fingers crossed, how about you?
4 years ago
Alien News - dedicated Reddit client for Windows Phone 7 - First Look
Biased post alert: I'm a huge Reddit fan and if you're into politics, science, humor or just learning neat stuff, all wrapped in a bacon blanket of a vibrant social community (while riding on a narwhal), then you should be too.
Alien News, by CH3 software, is a dedicated reader for the site, which encompasses users posting links to news articles, discussion of said article and voting up or down (aka upboats/downboats) of all content. The program comes in two versions: one completely functional, free and ad-supported the other ad-free for $0.99.
We gave the app a test run and came away impressed. It's smooth, fast and intuitive. There's some room for improvements e.g. voting needs to be more clear, but overall for an early release, we're pleased. Thankfully, we can now get our F7U12 comics to go. [Note: We incorrectly state in the video that the developer has an Android version]
Alien News can be found here (launches your Zune Desktop) or with Microsoft's Tag Reader from your Windows Phone, after the break.
4 years ago
Google feels threatened by WP7, announces update for Android
Google yesterday released the SDK for version 2.3 of the Android OS (AKA Gingerbread). There are a number of new features offered for both developers and end-users including basic UI and speed improvements, better power management, Near-field communications, and support for SIP (voice and video chat).
Increased support for gaming is one area that Gingerbread has received a lot of attention recently, in part due to the oft-rumored PSP phone. Android 2.3 does a number of very geeky things in the background to increase performance, as well as allowing developers access to additional sensor events. Additionally, new video drivers and native graphics management will give Gingerbread applications improved graphics quality.
For all of the flak that Microsoft has received over their re-entry into the Mobile segment with Windows Phone 7, it’s worth noting that Xbox live is currently the most complete mobile gaming platform on the market. No other device on the planet offers the same combination of graphics, performance, communication technologies, and social gaming that can be found on a Windows Phone. Google and Apple are only recently turning their focus towards gaming with Apple’s Game Center and increased features for developers on both iOS and Android, but no other platform can compete fully right now with Xbox live on Windows Phone 7.
4 years ago
Microsoft not supporting Bing for Windows Mobile outside the U.S.
As is common knowledge, no company nor division is limitless in resources, not even the mighty Microsoft. That, however, won't help out non-U.S. Windows Mobile users who rely on Bing and its free turn-by-turn navigation. In an effort to refocus talent and resources, Microsoft has basically turned away support for Windows Mobile 6.5 outside the United States. In a statement they noted:
In July 2010, mobile customers using version 4.6 or older of the Bing app for Windows Phone, received a notification that the Bing app is no longer available on their device. Bing is committed to delivering a mobile strategy that rapidly evolves to meet the needs of customers, and as a result has decided to optimize the Bing app for the newer Windows Phone devices to ensure the best mobile search experience.
Of course that was in July and we're not just hearing about it, which not to sound glib, raises the question: who the heck noticed? Why is this becoming an issue now, five months later? We have no idea as we were under the impression that navigation serves like TomTom, etc.. were more popular than Bing.
Whatever the reason, there's your explanation. It would be nice to have indefinite support for Bing in Europe and we suppose 10 months from its release is a little early.
Source: Winrumors; Thanks, Ryan S., for the link
Show More Headlines