Well, this week was eventful to say the least. The Mango VIP Preview turned out to contain all the right answers for many consumers and developers, while some felt slightly disapointed with Steve Ballmer stating that there'll be 500 features included into Mango yet only a handful have been in the media.
Let us kick-start this weeks round-up with our developer interview. This week we had the peasure in having Waheed Bhatti (Software Architect at Irtiqa) answer some questions about his view on Windows Phone and what projects both himself and Irtiqa are working on. Also, remember how last week we got excited about our app being released? Well, as you're more than aware of, the submission was rejected. Both myself and Jay went about fixing the issues and the official wpcentral app is now available (Zune link)! It has been receiving great feedback and positive reviews, so we thank you.
Back to Steve Ballmer announcing the 500 new features, you can check out our Mango VIP Preview event wrap up for the juicy gossip, videos and more.
Our George Ponder gave a quick run through of the top apps on the Marketplace just as the stat counter reached 20,000 on number of available apps and games. To further improve the experience of consumers and provide developers with more reach for their apps, a web version of the Marketplace was detailed to be in the works allowing purchases to be made through the browser on any OS.
Gaming was in the spotlight at the VIP event on Tuesday with the announcement that the Xbox hub will receive some aesthetic work. The tedious Xbox Live Extras will be replaced by including all Live enabled features within the hub itself, so you'll be able to see your avatar and communicate with your friends in no time at all. Hydro Thunder GO made an appearance kicking off the six weeks of must-have games and the RPG category of games for WP7 has finally seen a title; Dungeon Stalker.
Moving onto a somewhat serious note, Lincolnshire Police are using Windows Phone in a new fingerprint technology trial, while Rudy Huyn spent a few hours having fun with the new improved live tiles in Mango by turning them into his own Tetris playground. Shazam is back on the Marketplace and is still priced at a laughable $5.99 for the paid Encore version.
ZTE, a Chinese handset manufacturer, is planning to bring their first WP7 device (running Mango) to the table in Q3 this year. The Verizon Trophy is available everywhere, while being sold out in places. Newegg currently have it priced at $99. Speaking of new devices, we got our hands on AT&T's HTC HD7S.
A few entertaining stories to round off your weekend includes the demo of Mango improving heavily on speech recognition and control (voice-to-text etc) and the showing off of a new "I Love Windows Phone" design. The orange colour based theme in Mango will be renamed as the fruit in the next update and emotions will actually be displayed as emotions instead of text. Who would have thought the wall of tiles exists?
For developers we have some goodies. Mango development tools have been released and developers are expected to receive Mango prior to release. Should you just need that slight kick in the right direction with regards to your motivation, Elbert Perez shows that hard work pays off with WP7 by reporting his earnings of almost $30,000. If you need a slight helping hand then we have found a cheating sheet for you should you not be on top of things design wise. If you're after more information about advertising within your app, did you know you can use multiple AdUnits with pubCenter?
Oh, don't forget to check out our TVShow app giveaway contest!
Carry on through the break for the highlights.
- Now available: the official WPCentral app for Windows Phone 7
- Ballmer states Mango will contain 500 new features
- Mango Preview Event, wrapping it all up
- Windows Phone Marketplace Top Apps
- Windows Phone Marketplace hits 20,000 apps
- Joe does Mango: Belfiore shows off Windows Phone update highlights
- More detail on WP7 Web Marketplace [Updated]
- WPCentral's TVShow Giveaway Contest
- Mango Games hub and Xbox Live improvements revealed
- Hydro Thunder GO is now available on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone
- Pirate's Mind free for a limited time
- Dungeon Stalker brings dungeon crawling to Windows Phone
- Lincolnshire police using WP7 in new fingerprint tech trial
- Demo: LiveTris shows how powerful the new Mango Live Tiles can be
- Shazam finally returns to the Marketplace--same price for Encore
- ZTE to bring Mango devices to Europe in Q3
- Verizon Trophy now $99 on Newegg
- AT&T's HTC HD7S - First Impressions
- Windows Phone screen comparisons: Surround, Focus and HD7S
- Verizon Trophy's micro-SD card revealed
- Mango does Voice to text and vice versa
- Microsoft shows off new 'I Heart WP' design, makes a sticker for the Focus
- The Wall of Live Tiles exists
- Mangos are orange and "orange" is now "mango"
- Emoticons get an overhaul in Mango too
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.