All Articles by Phil Nickinson

WMExperts Podcast Episode 96


Not a lot of Windows Phone news this week. But we make up for it by making fun of Malatesta's recent shopping transgressions.

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Microsoft's 'Pink' phone grabs a sneak peek

See that thing there on the table? No, not the laptop. The other thing. That reportedly is one of them newfangled, non-Windows Mobile "Project Pink" phones that we're betting will be unveiled by Verizon tomorrow. Not much to see, mind you, though it looks like it's inside some sort of charging cocoon. Anyhoo, check it out, and speculate all you want in the comments. [YouTube] Thanks to everyone who sent this in..

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Foursquare implements 'cheater code', solves world problems

Ah, Foursquare. Either you love it or you think it is even more dumb than Twitter. Either way, the fledgling social service which is now available in the Microsoft Marketplace and soon for Windows Phone 7, has updated some of their code to prevent people from cheating on 'check ins'.

See, the more often you 'check in' with Foursquare at a specific location, the better chance you have at being the number one visitor. Upon that amazing (or sad) achievement, you are awarded badges or the most coveted 'mayorship'. Yes, yes, it's also silly and a bit odd for adults, especially if it's a place of ill repute to indulge in your lascivious ways.

As bad as all that is, evidently people were cheating to get those awards by spoofing their location. For shame people. Well, Foursquare wants you to know they frown upon such behavior and have attempted to put an end to your evil-doing ways.

So there, neener-neener.

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'That screen is pure sex'

Can't say we disagree. [via Android Central forums]

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Verizon also has an announcement Monday: 'Lets get social'

As if we needed more confirmation that on Monday, Microsoft is set to unveil their Project Pink phones (Turtle and Pure) which will be sold in partnership with Verizon, we have this little nugget seen above.

The language and timing is more than obvious: "It's time to share" and "Lets get social" are right from Microsoft's own invite and it sure is a coincidence that it's the same day as Redmond's big reveal.

At least we now know that it is a Verizon exclusive, at least for some time. The only real interesting thing here is we guess those detailed rumors saying that Project Pink was beyond dead and terrible mismanaged were...a bit off? [Berry Scoop via Android Central]

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iPhone 4.0 borrows multitasking from Windows Phone 7, upps Exchange

Spent the afternoon checking out the iPhone 4.0 announcement at TiBP.com, and a few upgrades have been, erm, "borrowed" from Windows Phone 7, it appears. Basically, the iPhone's new multitasking works in much the same way, saving an app's state before hopping out of it and into another one. Hardly revolutionary, Apple.

One thing we are a little jealous of, however, is the ability to sync with multiple Exchange accounts. That's something Windows Mobile never managed to so, and Palm finally managed to do it with the Pre. So there's one with have to give to Cupertino. There's also improved enterprise (read: business) support. We'd expect Microsoft to be on the forefront of that, too, with Windows Phone 7, given that depth of Exchange in business. So, no biggie there.

All in all, an interesting show, but nothing to make us really worry about Windows Phone 7 being dead before it gets off the ground.

Update: Oh, and how did we forget this: Folders?!?!? Really, Apple? That's so Windows Mobile 5. And "intelligent naming"? What does that even mean?

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HTC selling T-Mobile HD2 for $99 flat (2 year contract)

For those still on the fence about the HD2 (we imagine Hulu would look great on that screen), HTC Shop America, their direct sale store, is pimping the phone directly with a T-Mobile plan for $99. No rebate, no waiting.

Rumor also has it that this deal may not last, but who knows with these things (that 35 percent Bing cashback is still available as is the Wirefly deal). And considering how often T-Mobile is running out of stock/replacing stock on this device, we take it to mean it's selling quite well.  Go here to get started.

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WMExperts Podcast Episode 95


Windows Phone 7 Series is dead! (Erm, at least it's not longer a "series." Also, a whole bunch of your e-mails. Listen in!

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Microsoft has a big announcement on April 12th -- Our bet? Pink phones

So evidently Microsoft has sent out invites for a big announcement on April 12th in San Francisco. What is it revealing that day? Courier? Natal? Project Pink? More Windows Phone 7 information?

Not much is known outside of the theme "It's Time to Share," a green motif and some younger folks featured. Actually, if we had to bet we'd go with those 'Project Pink' phones Turtle and Pure.

Reasoning?

Although it would be amazingly awesome if Microsoft were to drop the Courier, even a teaser, so soon after the iPad (btw, played with one today, not impressed), alas we'll have to settle for these high-end feature phones which will probably not be on your carrier.

More info as it comes in ...

[via Engadget]

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Zune HD 4.5 software is out; brings new codecs, playlist features

The Zune HD is as close as you can currently (and officially) get to Windows Phone 7, and it's now even closer, thanks to a new firmware update released today.

What dost thou receive with the update? Smart DJ Mix, currently only available on the desktop software, is now available on-device. You also can get personalized music recommendations directly on the Zune HD, browse the Zune Marketplace while the Zune HD is connected to your TV and expanded video codecs.

So if you've got one, plug 'er in and let us know how it goes. [Zune Forums]

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T-Mobile iPhone/HD2 Trade-in Plan

T-Mobile apparently has a trade-in program that may help those who can't decide what to do with that old iPhone. From April 1 through May 19, you can trade in an iPhone for up to $350 credit towards a new HTC HD2.

Participating T-Mobile dealers will be authorized to give a minimum of $100 credit (max $350) to those trading in their iPhones. The iPhone must be functional and in working condition; screen not broken, damaged or leaking; and no liquid damage or corrosion present. According to the details, activation is not required with the credit being applied to the fully priced HD2.

The HD2 is already priced extremely well and for those who have an iPhone lying around collecting dust (we're looking at you, CrackBerry Kevin), the trade-in program makes the HD2 even more attractive of an offer. [via tmonews]

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Development interest in Windows Phone 7 Series increases

It looks like things are picking up on the development front with regards to Windows Phone 7 Series. Appcelerator, a company that makes cross platform development tools for mobile systems, recently polled developers on WP7S.

Appcelerator polled 1,028 developers in January to see what operating systems they were interested in developing for. In January 13% expressed an interest in Windows Phone development. The same group was polled gain in March and the good news is that interest in Windows Phone development almost tripled, increasing to 34%.

The bad news is that the Windows Phone is still trailing behind Apple, Android, and RIM systems.

Still the news is encouraging. The March poll was conducted on the heels of the MIX10 Conference where developers learned more about WP7S development. Microsoft has recently released a Developer Training Kit which will increase the exposure of WP7S and might boost these numbers further.  You can find the full survey report here.

[via: wmpoweruser.com]

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Windows Phone 7 Series changes name back to 'Windows Phone 7'

Praise the lord and pass the ammunition (hey, that's what they say in these here parts) -- Microsoft has dropped the "Series" and is now just going with "Windows Phone 7" as the branding for its reboot of Windows Mobile.

Now don't get us wrong -- that's a good thing. But it's something that Microsoft never should have had to do and is an obvious misstep in what needs to be a flawless campaign for the rebirth of its mobile brand. Now we're curious about the trickle-down effect: How much rebranding will have to be done -- commercials and the like -- and how will affect Microsoft's roll-out strategy.

Either way, Windows Phone 7 Series is one mouthful we're more than happy to get rid of. [Twitter]

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Windows Phone 7 devices: no Zune connector, OEMs make the call

For those curious, the Zune connector i.e. the sync/charge interface cable from the Microsoft Zune series, won't be used at all with Windows Phone 7 Series devices.

That's the good news, since said Zune connector is a little large and more than a little proprietary.

The bad news is that the WP7s chassis specifications don't require any specific sync/charge format, meaning OEMs who make our next-gen phones are free to use Mini-USB, Micro-USB or even their own proprietary format.

Now we hope OEMs have learned their lesson in regards to that last one, so we don't think we'll see many of those. Still, for those wanting a definitive decision with regards to Micro or Mini USB ... looks like Microsoft is going to let the old free market decide. [via Windows Phone Secrets]

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Yeah, sure, it's 7 on an iPhone ...

Sure. We get it. It's Windows Phone 7 Series on an iPhone. On April 1. Funny. But not funny "ha ha." The other kind of funny. So stop it. Just stop it. Thanks for nothing, everyone who sent this in. :p We don't do April Fool's jokes here. Only, we just did. Oh, bother.

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Turn the HD2 into a metal detector

One of the many creative minds over at XDA Developers may has come up with a way to turn your HTC HD2 into a metal detector. XDA member 6Fg8 has created an application, Metal Detector 0.2.0.0, that works under the premises that the built in compass on the HD2 relies on the earth's magnetic field to calculate the deviation from magnetic north. If you put a piece of metal near the compass, it deviates from the natural deviation.

There are still a few bugs to work out in the application but for the most part, it performs as advertised. Yet somehow I don't see scanning the beach with an HD2 looking for buried treasure.  However, if that screw you dropped blends in too well with the carpet, this application might be of some use. [via 1800pocketpc.com]

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WMExperts Podcast Episode 94


We're back from CTIA, where we saw the T-Mobile HD2 and just a smidge of Windows Phone 7 Series.

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Windows Phone 7 Series possibly (and unofficially) running on HTC HD2

Update: Added video above. Level of skepticism still fairly high.

Microsoft has said that the HTC HD2 won't be getting an official upgrade to Windows Phone 7 Series, but that's never stopped anybody before, has it? Tom at HTCPedia says he's got the WP7S Metro UI running on the HD2, and most of the big bells and whistles are up and running, including WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth. There are issues with the graphics drivers, he says, causing some lag.

Let's hope we see some video from boot to actual use pretty soon, to help shore up this one a bit, cause we all know how easy it is to be duped by pics. And speaking of pics, there are a few more after the break. [HTCPedia via Redmond Pie]

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Hands on at CTIA with the TerreStar Genus Windows Mobile 6.5.3 satellite phone

Once a year or so we get another look at a Windows Mobile satellite phone, and such is the case with the TerreStar Genus, billed as the world's first smartphone with 3G and satellite capability. Unfortunately there's no hand-off directly from 3G to satellite, so you effectively have to throw a switch from one to the other.

But is that really something we worry about? Heck, no! It's a feakin' Windows Mobile 6.5.3 satellite phone! It's running the 850/900/1800/1900MHz bands, so you'll be rocking it on AT&T. It sports a 2.6-inch 320x240 QVGA touchscreen, 100MB of "end-user memory," a 1400 mAh battery, H.264 video playback, a 3MP camera, microUSB, microSD, GPS, WiFi b/g, USB 2.0 (Class 2 only, though) and ... oh, yeah, it talks to satellites.

Not exactly the sort of thing we expect to be using, but if you're up in, say, Alaska, you're gonna want one of these babies.

More pics and hands-on video at CTIA after the break.

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Chance of Skype coming back to Windows Mobile? Maybe for Verizon users

So we all know the brew-ha caused a few weeks ago with Skype pulling support for Windows Mobile. They basically said that the application was not good enough and paled compared to the iPhone.

Fair enough.

Then came word about Verizon striking an exclusive deal with Skype, which went into effect today for certain BlackBerry's and Android devices. People did the math and figured the Verizon deal must have had something to do with it and sure enough, we heard this quote from Verizon recently on PhoneNews:

The fact that we’ve partnered with Verizon and the fact that we’re withdrawing these apps are related only to the extent that they’re part of our drive towards a better Skype mobile experience. What we’ve announced is that we’re withdrawing the Windows Mobile and Lite apps from our website. If you already have one of them, you’ll be able to carry on using it.

Now a tipster at our sister site, PreCentral, has sent an internal memo (see above) regarding today's launch. At the bottom it mentions:

Stay tuned for more detail in the near future about Skype Mobile on more Smartphones and platforms such as BREW, WinMo and Palm.

So it sure sounds like, at least on Verizon, Skype will be coming back. None of this should be surprising in the least, but it's nice to have more confirmation. Plus, last we checked, WinMo carrier-exclusive programs don't stay exclusive for very long...

[via PreCentral]

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