3 years ago
Steve Ballmer hits back at Android and praises the iPhone
Google's User Experience Director for Android, Matias Duarte, said about Windows Phone being too forceful everything into a constrained look and feel. While he says that he offers the web, there's no denying that Metro is a beutiful UI and effectively provides content with no pixels wasted to chrome. Even Android took some pointers from Windows Phone (as well as other platforms).
Steve Ballmer, being the legend that he is (see the above image), has lashed back at Android but praises the iPhone to keep it from being a targeted attack. Ballmer mentioned that Android is simply difficult for the user to get into from the off.
"You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone and you do to use and Android phone ... it is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones."
Android fans have taken what he said the wrong way, which is easy to do with words used. Ballmer is talking about the lack of a central design or theme across apps and the system as a whole. It looks like a giant jigsaw puzzle that is built with odd pieces. iOS has a fluid, chrome rich, interface while Windows Phone is the opposite with content, content, and more content wrapped in Metro lingerie.
This sums it up perfectly:
"Both [an iPhone and a Windows phone] are going to feel very good in your hand and both going to look very beautiful physically, but when you grab a Windows phone and use it your information is front and centre and you don’t have to scroll through seas of icons and blah blah blah."
Ballmer goes on to say that the team understands the launch of more competitively priced handsets is a must, but with the Omnia W pricing announced and Nokia coming up shortly, there might be a short wait. Good on you Ballmer, good on you sir.
Source: The Telegraph
3 years ago
Grantophone - Mango App Spotlight
Looking for a neat musical instrument for your Windows Phone? Take a gander at Grantophone.
It's an expressive musical instrument that incorporates your Windows Phone accelerometer to control the vibrato and to measure strike velocity for articulation. There are thirteen tones to choose from on Grantophone ranging from Laser to Flanger to Resonant. The keyboard is a 4x13 grid with associated notes displayed at the bottom of the screen.
Now I have about enough musical talent and know how to fill a thimble so I won't begin to get into the instrumental capabilities of this app. I will gladly defer to the developer in the above video to describe the finer points of this neat little app.
The sound is a little bit techno and at times reminded me of a light saber duel. The only nit I can see with Grantophone is that the control to switch from tone to tone is a little cumbersome to manipulate making it a challenge to switch tones on the fly.
Grantophone is a free app and if you want a cool, unique way to play music from your Windows Phone it's worth checking out. You can find Grantophone here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Grantophone is a Mango app so you'll need to have updated your Windows Phone to 7.5 before you'll be able to rock the house.
3 years ago
Phonealytics updated for Mango with flipping tiles
Phonealytics has been updated for Mango goodness and is every bit more awesome than the NoDo version. What's new? Fast-app switching and flipping live tiles, which solves the issue in having data (visits, bounce rate, etc.) cramped into a small space. Other than that, we have some performance improvements to make the app more stable.
V1.7 change log:
- Pin live tiles for multiple sites. The tiles updated with a background task every half hour and should be much more reliable than the previous system.
- Quickly jump between accounts on the "all sites" list by tapping the account name.
- Improved animation, performance and reliability.
You can download Phonealytics from the Marketplace for $1.99, be sure to check out our review. An ad-supported free version is available too.
3 years ago
Nokia 800 SeaRay press shots emerge
Although not exactly revealing, these high resolution renders are supposedly the final look of the Nokia 800 aka SeaRay, which is expected to be announced officially next week in London at Nokia World. The SeaRay, sporting a 3.7" AMOLED screen with a 1.4GHz CPU and 8MP camera, is expected to go on sale in various European countries as early as mid-November.
The renderings here don't show too much new outside of Nokia Navigation and Nokia Musik apps on board, which should be great OEM offerings to those who like the Nokia brand. Other than that, the devices look exactly like the Meego N9, including the same three color schemes of pink, grey and blue.
3 years ago
Nokia's NAVTEQ-Bing mapping car spotted in Surrey, England. Sporting lasers?
This should make some people excited. In Surrey, England Nokia's NAVTEQ car loaded with cameras and sensors on top, was spotted driving around, presumably mapping the terrain.
This is cool for two reasons: one, it says Bing on it, clearly showing the close partnership between Nokia and Microsoft and two, this looks like Nokia may be engaging in some type of NAVTEQ roadview, analogous to Google Street View. The car actually looks a lot like what Google uses to drive around photographing streets in a 360 degree panorama.
Going one step further, it reminds us of this Gizmodo story from 2010, where a similar vehicle had "a mount with seven cameras and 64 lasers to see everything better, in 3D" resulting in the ability to "...scan everything within view, capturing 1.2 million points of data every second. The result is all kinds of terrain data that is not possible using just cameras". Well, that sounds pretty awesome.
We know Nokia and Microsoft have big plans for NAVTEQ but this could mean some Google-level and beyond maps for Windows Phone in 2012. Sign us up!
Update: Yup, looks like it's part of Bing Streetside:
"Microsoft is partnering with NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of digital map, traffic and location data, to collect Streetside imagery. NAVTEQ will use their expertise in efficient data collection to staff and operate the collection vehicles and manage data logistics. Microsoft will apply industry-leading image processing and privacy protection techniques to create data products for both Bing Maps and NAVTEQ commercial customers."
Thanks to Yousuf K., who tipped us the photos using our app!
3 years ago
App Hub for China and Marketplace for India
The Windows Phone team has published some exciting news for both China and India. With India finally getting some handsets being made available this month (the HTC Radar, Samsung Omnia W and Acer Allegro), owners of these devices will be able to purchase and download apps from the Marketplace. Speaking of the Marketplace, improved search has been introduced with developers being able to tie up to five keywords per app or game to increase reach in searches.
China unfortunately still has no Marketplace, but now has App Hub coverage for developers who reside in the country to put their talent to good use with submitting games and apps to the Marketplace. For those who are still awaiting App Hub availability, remember that Microsoft has the Global Publisher Program that will be able to help.
Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog
3 years ago
More awesome wallpapers for Windows Phone
We've posted a bunch of wallpapers for Windows Phone that required cropping from larger-than-480x800 sizes, but these are some beauties by VladStudio, and as an added bonus they don't require cropping. Larger sizes require purchasing, but Windows Phone compatible sizes are free to download. Head on over to VladStudio to download these superb wallpapers.
Source: VladStudio, via: 1800PocketPC
3 years ago
Samsung Omnia W priced in Italy at €349
We've just got word of pricing information for the Samsung Omnia W in Italy. We previously reported a leak that saw the handset to be priced at $569. TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) has the Omnia W up on their website for €349 ($480/£305), which isn't too bad considering the device comes packed with a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 1.4Ghz processor and a 5MP rear camera.
India has also launched the Omnia W at Rs 19,900, only slightly cheaper than Italy's pricing, so this could be a good indication for us Euorpeans.
Source: TIM, via: Windows Phone Italy (Google Translate)
3 years ago
Three Screens, Metro and a Cloud is the future
We lightly touched on the three screens dream of Microsoft back at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles earlier this year. CEO Steve Ballmer wrapped up his speech with a slide that showed the tight integration between products, seen above. For a good example of the "three screens" vision, check out the RC-AirSim demo.
Tim Carmody at Wired has published a superb write up of the integration we are starting to witness between Microsoft's product line. He spoke about the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone that Microsoft’s Derek Snyder demonstrated. Derek created a scenario where you are watching an animated film on the Xbox but can't put a name to one of the voice-actors. The first call would be to get out a smartphone and search on Google or IMDB. With the Xbox Companion app, you can see all the relavant information about that film you're watching right in your hands.
"What’s more, it doesn’t just do this over Wi-Fi, if the Xbox and WinPhone are on the same local network. It can do it completely through the cloud, using the common Windows Live ID on both devices. If the Xbox had 3G/4G cellular data like the Windows Phone does, you wouldn’t even need a local router."
We're getting away from the central workstation with file browsing and one means of input. Metro will enable more intuitive ways to browse files, apps will integrate with each other to pull photos as well as other media, which will make the system appear less layered and more fluid. Why keep visiting Explorer to find files when apps can pull the content for you in one place?
There's no central hub with Microsoft's "three screens" philosophy. Windows 8 (tablet and desktop), Windows Phone, Live and Xbox will be connected, not only by service and information, but by interface. There's nothing different. Someone who's never used a Windows Phone before, but is on a Windows 8 desktop on a daily basis, will feel right at home with the familiarity of Metro. Personal information, contacts, social networking and everything the consumer needs is all synchronised between Live enabled systems.
And with Skype on board, this really is Skynet. Check out the full article at Wired, it's worth the read.
3 years ago
Developers: Geo Augmented Reality Toolkit (GART) now available for Windows Phone
We mentioned the Geo Augmented Reality Toolkit (GART) it back in September. The toolkit was designed by some folks at Microsoft and aims to make it extremely simple for developers to make augmented reality apps for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. As we wrote back in September:
"The best part about these tools, once again, is Microsoft's emphasis on simplicity. With as little as six-lines of code, developers can begin to make their own AR layers to existing apps. All the sensors are handled for them and there's a "drag and drop" design"
The tools have finally been reviewed internally and v1.0.1 is now available for download. So what say you, developers? Can we have some kewl new AR apps? Get those creative juices flowing and make us a proud.
Source: Codeplex; Check the demo video after the break...
3 years ago
Microsoft Stores offering a free Windows Phone with a $499 purchase
We've heard of this deal before but now we can see the flyer for itself to verify: if you live near a Microsoft Store and you spend $499 or more, presumably on a new desktop or laptop PC, you can pick up a free Windows Phone, carrier free.
Eligible phones include the discontinued HTC Surround, LG Quantum, HTC HD7 and Dell Venue Pro. No word if this will extend to cover Generation 2 devices, though we'll keep an eye out for anything. Here's a list of all the Microsoft Stores to see if you live near one.
via: Fat Wallet; Thanks for everyone who tipped us in the past on this
3 years ago
Jet Car Stunts on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone now available
We mentioned it yesterday that Jet Cart Stunts was coming to Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone and sure enough, the game has landed.
"Jet Cart Stunts is an award winning, over the top, addictive, 3D driving game, with massive jumps, mid-air hoops, floating platforms, spiral roadways and outlandish maneuvers in impossible environments.
Jet Car Stunts is not your typical driving game, the challenge isn't to race your opponents, the challenge is the insane stunt courses themselves. It's not just about driving, it's also about flying. To reach the finish line, you will need t one your skills."
The game features 70 levels and three different game modes (Platforming, Time Trial and Freestyle) and runs for the low price of $2.99 which seems quite fair for that many levels. Of course, it has a free trial, so just grab it here in the Marketplace and hit us up in the comments on your thoughts.
PS Did we mention this game is already Mango 7.5 ready? Because it is...sweet, sweet fast-app resume it is!
Also make sure to read our interview with the developer!
3 years ago
Rumor: Windows Phone Tango and Apollo to finally offer new screen resolutions
File this under rumor, but one that makes sense. Back in the day, we heard about three chassis requirements for Windows Phone. And while Chassis 1 (800x480 screen, 1GHz CPU, 256MB RAM etc.) has come to fruition, Chassis 2 and 3 have not been seen. When we asked Andy Lees back in February, it was clear that Chassis 1 was the focus:
"We haven't announced any details on when that form factor is coming out. We are seeing is more interest in larger screens as opposed to smaller screens...but that doesn't mean we're not going to do it but we haven't announced anything yet."
Now MS nerd, who often gets some good information, has leaked some supposed details. For one, adding Qualcomm's Scorpion CPU (Cortex A8), gyroscope and front facing camera constitutes Chassis 1.5. Chassis 2, long thought to be the front-qwerty/BlackBerry style device, will reportedly offer 480x320 resolution in the "Tango" release as well as LTE support, sometime in early 2012. Finally, Chassis 3 will add dual core CPUs as well as 1280x720 resolution, but not until Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo" sometime in late 2012.
- Chassis 1.5 ("Mango") - Scorpion CPU, front-facing camera, gyroscope
- Chassis 2 ("Tango") - 480x320 BlackBerry style design, LTE support
- Chassis 3 ("Apollo") - 1280x720 resolution, dual core CPUs
And Lees recently spoke about LTE and dual core support, so clearly they are on the roadmap--the only remaining question was when, which this rumor seems to answer. Finally, MS nerd writes "Tegra & OMAP are targeted for #Win9" which seems to imply that Windows Phone and Windows OS finally merge in Windows 9.
Take all of this with a grain of salt of course, but there's nothing there that is exactly too crazy to be unbelievable at this point.
Source: @MS_nerd 1, 2
3 years ago
Android's User Experience Director takes jabs at Microsoft's Metro UI
We mentioned Google's User Experience Director for Android, Matias Duarte
as he had just showed of 'Roboto', the new design-language for Android 4.0 which will hopefully make it less geeky. A noble challenge.
Not too surprisingly, he has some choice words both for Apple and Microsoft in terms of UI design. We were under the impression that Microsoft's approach was unique, stunning and generally pleasing. And you folks certainly go critical if an app we cover is not authentically Metro enough. But not for Duarte, he's no fan. In an interview with This is My Next/Verge, he had the following pot shots at Metro:
“There’s this thing that’s happening right now in user interface design that I find kind of shackling. The faux wood paneling trend, and the airport lavatory signage trend.” He laughs when he says this and pulls up a slide on his computer, a split screen of an Atari 2600 and… airport lavatory signage. It’s an obvious dig at both Apple and Microsoft.
But what about Microsoft and their “authentically digital” design? “The problem with going too starkly systematic, forcing everything into this completely constrained, modernist palette, for both of them, you’re not leaving any room for the content to express itself.”
“Instead, I offer the web. Here there’s beautiful examples of very customized, very different feeling websites.” Matias flips through slides in his deck, a variety of websites, some news-focused, others which are services or shopping sites. “These look completely unlike each other, but people understand how to use them because the right things are standard conventions, and other things are flexible.”
Of course, we beg to differ. With Metro, all we get is straight content with no unnecessary and distracting flare aka "chrome". That's the best part of Windows Phone: straight information, video, photos, without cartoony graphics or something that looks like it came from a cheesy 80s sci-fi movie. Because sorry, but that's what Android looks like.
Source: This is My Next
3 years ago
Windows Phone and SkyDrive featured again on TV's Hawaii Five-0 [Video]
We received numerous tips that Windows Phone and SkyDrive were shown off, prominently, on Hawaii Five-0 recently. So we went ahead and found those clips for your viewing pleasure. Turns out they used it twice, with what looks to be the HTC HD7 and while the exact usage of Windows Phone is suspect, we suppose it can't hurt to show off some of those features, eh?
This is the third time, at least, that Windows Phone has appeared on Hawaii Five-0. See earlier last November here and here.
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