Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Microsoft pushing new Windows Phone update in 3 days to address "bricking" issue?


Looks like our initial assessment of the first Windows Phone update was a little rosy for some users, specifically those of Samsung phones (even a few Focus users are having problems). For a handful of unlucky folks, the Windows Phone update is actually "bricking" their phone after Step 6 of the update. However, it's not universal as many Omnia users are updating fine--in fact, the errors almost seem random, with no clear pattern yet as to the cause.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sprint 7 Pro is the HTC T7575; What's the Samsung GT-I8703?


Some info we received seems to confirm that the upcoming Sprint 7 Pro goes by the model number HTC T7575. This comes from the breakdown of the ROM, which yielded some interesting, but still cursory information. For instance, it will have

- Qualcomm and Broadcom chipsets on board
- Broadcom 802.11 DHD Network Adapter ("with 11nmode disabled")

Kinect hackers give us iOS-friendly dodgeball and Human Tetris


Remember that Microsoft Rally Ball demo from a few days ago that showed Windows Phone 7's integration with Xbox? Well, the gang at Supertouch has stolen a bit of Ballmer's thunder with a new Kinect hack that lets you hurl digital orbs at your Kinect-controlling friend using an iOS device instead of a WP7 handset.

Acer jumping on the Windows Phone 7 bandwagon this fall?


One manufacturer who has not boarded on the Windows Phone train to commerceville is Acer, who is certainly all over when it comes to Android. Why no WP7 love? No word on that front, but we're told that may be changing this fall. The company is reportedly looking at releasing one or more handsets for the platform to coincide with the first major Windows Phone update, currently given the saucy nom de guerre "Mango." That's right about when we're expecting our first Nokia WP7 handsets, which means things could be getting interesting in Microsoftia this September.


Existing Nokia Developers Get Free Windows Phones


Members of Nokia's Launchpad Developer Program may have felt a little shafted with the news that Nokia will be switching their platform to Windows Phone 7. After all, I'm sure they've put a lot of work into their applications using Nokia's development tools. Of course, Nokia wants to make sure their developers are happy so today members of their Launchpad developer program recieved an email saying that they will get a Nokia E7 phone in the near term, a Nokia Windows Phone when they're available, and admission to the next Nokia World/Nokia Developer Summit free of charge.

Nokia CEO: cheap Windows Phones can come 'very quickly'


We'd raised our own concerns in interviews with both Stephen Elop and Microsoft's Aaron Woodman in the past week that Nokia could have difficulty pushing the Windows Phone platform low enough to fill the holes left by Symbian's departure in the bottom rungs of the market, but the Nokia CEO is making it very clear that he thinks that won't be a problem.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Samsung holds strong support for Microsoft & WP7


With Nokia deciding to partner up with Microsoft and jump onto the Windows Phone 7 runaway train with other leading manufacturers, one would consider the possibility that the partnership between Nokia and the software giant could enable them to receive favorable treatment over other manufacturers. At worse, this could cause issues including handset makers pulling support for WP7 or doubting their investment because of favoritism (extremely unlikely but worth the minute consideration).

Peter Chou on Nokia Partnership, HTC will benefit


One of the big concerns expressed when Microsoft and Nokia announced their partnership was if the move would alienate Microsoft’s current stable of OEMs (see LG's reaction); in particular HTC. The biggest reason for concern was the rumor that Nokia would be allowed to alter the Windows Phone 7 UI, something that HTC has traditionally done across all of their devices on Windows Mobile and Android with the Sense UI.

Windows Phone 7 in 2011: Multitasking, Twitter Integration, IE9, More


Steve Ballmer hit the keynote stage at Mobile World Congress to talk about what's new with Windows Phone 7. If you remember, it was one year ago that he first announced Windows Phone 7, squashing rumors that the next mobile product out of Redmond would be Photon, or Windows Mobile 7.

For 2011, a lot is happening with Windows Phone 7.

Developers show interest in Nokia-Microsoft tie-up


A burst of activity in Windows Phone 7 projects may be a sign that developers see promise in a Nokia-Microsoft tie-up, according to analytics firm Flurry.

Even before Nokia and Microsoft revealed late last week their proposed deal for Windows Phone 7 on Nokia phones, speculation about it apparently led to a surge in developer interest. Tracking the mobile platforms based on new projects started by developers, Flurry said it had seen relatively flat numbers for Windows Phone 7 for the month or so prior to last week.

Why I want a Nokia Windows phone


Nokia is wonderful at hardware. But like Motorola, another veteran of awesome industrial design, Nokia is not terribly strong on the software front--once upon a time it was, but it proved unable to shake itself loose from the now-outdated software of its glory days.

The Nokia E7 is a prime example. It really is a thing of beauty (I like a proper keyboard, me) but I don't want one because it runs Symbian.

Nokia's Windows Phone 7 Concept


Wow! Look at what Engadget dug up! Here's what they claim to be a concept design of a Nokia Windows Phone 7. You've got a very thin profile, smooth tapered edges, and a few interesting color choices. We have no idea when a Nokia branded Windows Phone 7 might appear on the market, but how do you like the direction they're taking with these concept renderings?

Friday, February 11, 2011

IE9 Coming to Windows Phone's Mango Update


Mary Jo Foley of ZDnet has been hearing rumors that a verions of Internet Explorer 9 will be appearing on Windows Phone 7 as part of the "Mango" update expected to appear later this year. The release candidate of IE 9 for Windows 7/Vista was actually just released today. You can download it here if you'd like to try it, and I highly recommend that you do. There are some very impressive performance and usability improvements as well as security and standards support, so you can imagine how some similar improvements might make their way into Internet Explorer for Windows Phone 7.

Official app launches for Windows Phone


As previewed back at CES in early January (along with Flickr and Bank of America), the official app is now out for Windows Phone 7. The app will allow users to browse the popular shopping site without having to use the web, enabling ease of access to 1-click ordering, Wish Lists, package tracking, reviews and related items. Combined with the Kindle app, Amazon looks to have embraced Windows Phone, giving customers plenty to do on their devices.

Surfcube 2.0 is now live in the Marketplace


Hopefully you've seen the Surfcube 2.0 preview vid from few days ago. If so, you're probably as excited as we are that the 3D spinny browser has hit the Marketplace. (Remember to do the force-update trick to grab the new version). Featuring tabs (yusss!) and a new navigation mechasims (the joystick), the new version is quite worth the wait (and price).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Official app released for Windows Phone


For those of you who know about, you'll be pleased to know they just published an official app for Windows Phone. Machinima is basically a top-rated gamer site, that features news, reviews and general entertainment, including some humor--all nicely laid out and professionally done. The Windows Phone app, likewise, is also extremely well executed.

Operators Worried About Nokia's Direction; They Want WP7


While rumors about Nokia adopting Windows Phone 7 surfaced way before Redmond actually launched the platform, we know that the Finnish company is preparing an upcoming strategy shift.

Analysts have stated that the manufacturer needs Microsoft's mobile platform and we even tossed a few ideas and opinions around Nokia adopting Windows Phone 7 in our latest PocketCast (that is Episode 2 at 13:15).

Tiki Towers is the Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone game of the week


Looks like for some reason we're down to just one title a week on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone. Perhaps Microsoft wanted to burn through those 50 titles as quickly as possible and now we're on the "regular" schedule. Either way, this weeks title is a puzzler type game from GameHouse called TikiTowers.

Zune Desktop Update Foretells WP7 NoDo?


Windows Phone 7 developers already have their mitts on Microsoft's first update to its mobile OS, adding in support for copy-and-paste. What about the rest of us, then? We had heard that maybe we'd get the update on February 7, but that's clearly come and gone. A new Zune Desktop update is going out now, and it may be tied to the imminent release of the new WP7 software.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Last.FM to require a monthly subscription, except on Xbox and Windows Phone 7


Bad news if you enjoy on your "iPhone, Android device, Logitech Squeezebox, Sonos system, Revo AXiS, Ikon, Domino or Heritage device, Roberts Stream 63i, 205, Colourstream and 83i radios, Teufel machine, Onkyo AV receiver and Denon and Marantz AV receivers"--your will now require a subscription service.

Good news though if you use on Windows Phone 7 and Xbox--it's still free for our side. Oh snap.

Chicks n Vixens: Working its way through Beta


A week or so ago, Jabborworx released the Windows Phone 7 game Chicks n Vixens. The game was released as a Beta and while the first version of the game was a little on the rough side, two updates have polished the Windows Phone game up nicely. Graphics have improved, load times quicker, and overall performance is better. Additional updates are in line that will add more features and clean things up even further.

Multi-XAP installer brings mass installation to WP7 [Homebrew]


Probably in the near future, Windows Phone 7 ROM developers (yes, there will be some) will be needing a method by which to mass install their homebrew apps back on to a newly flashed device--or even those of us who do a hard reset.

Mengow over at XDA has solved one little problem by making a mass-XAP installer, allowing you to just drag-n-drop your collection of apps.

TouchXperience Beta Coming to WP7; No Jailbreak?


Julien Schapman has been hard at work on his TouchXperience program for Windows Phone 7, previously releasing a beta version for Windows Mobile. Schapman says that Microsoft contacted him about official homebrew support - as a result he pulled the Jailbreak function from his application.

Windows Phone Device Manager is a desktop-side application, which serves to allow more control over your device. WMDC brings many new features to the WP7 platform such as on-device file management, adding and managing custom ringtones, integration with windows explorer, and a shared clipboard between the device and PC. Schmapman also states he will implement device backup if Microsoft allows it.

Flory IM now in English, adds integrated Facebook messaging


We told you v1.6 was coming and sure enough, the new Flory is now live in the Marketplace.

The biggest change is of course the availability in English (and Italian) which should make the program more accessible for many out there (we love how it still says "googles" though). The other addition is it now has built in Facebook IM, which acts through the Flory servers bringing direct, pushed chat right to your phone. Combined with the already featured Google Talk and this is one powerfully IM app.

Windows Phone 7 Update: No love for the camera


For the most part, the camera hardware on the new Windows Phone 7 devices perform really good (save the HD7's pink color cast). The biggest headache the Windows Phone 7 camera presents is on the software side. Tweak the settings and when you exit the camera, the phone reverts to the default settings.

MobileTechWorld recently put the latest unlocked emulator through the ropes (which reflects the pending WP7 update) and discovered that the update doesn't address this feature. Camera settings continue to revert to the default settings when you exit the app.

Samsung Focus Registry Hack Increases Speed, Fixes Issues


As anyone who has looked into upgrading their Windows Phone 7 device's MicroSD card has discovered, Microsoft did not intend for these cards to be removed or swapped out until WP7-certified cards have been released. Those who tried anyway ran into a range of issues such as rebooting, data loss, and poor performance.

Microsoft updates WP developer tools, makes getting a dev phone easier


If your a developer, you've probably already received word about the new "January refresh" to the Windows Phone developer tools. The main feature is of course copy and paste in the emulator, allowing devs to dry run their apps with the new function (in fact, here are the directions on copy & paste for those curious). In addition to copy and paste, the tools also include "...updated reference assemblies, a new version of the Windows Phone OS emulator image, and several minor bug fixes", which should keep devs busy poking and prodding for awhile.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yahoo! Points Finger Back at Microsoft over Windows Phone 7 "Phantom Data"

Yahoo!: "It ain't our fault"

We first heard in early January that some users of Windows Phone 7 devices were experiencing higher than expected "phantom" data downloads. Some users sat helplessly as their smartphones ate through 30 to 50MB per day of data (even with no user intervention) -- some even experienced higher data utilization.

Microsoft would later blame the anomaly on a "third-party solution", and the company yesterday confirmed that Yahoo! Mail was the cause of all the phantom data problems.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Analyst insists Nokia must build a WP7 future


While Microsoft and their platform are slowly expanding grounds, Nokia is continuing to travel down a negative path with sales plummeting and revenue decreasing. Compared to the glory days when the company’s brand was used to describe mobile phones as much as the term mobile, at present a radical change is required for them to continue within this competitive market. Analysts know this, consumers know this, and more importantly so does Nokia.

Along with countless reports and articles covering a potential join of the hands between Nokia and Microsoft, an investment analyst, who has sent a memo to the CEO of both companies urging them to work together and create Windows Phone 7 handsets, has provided a huge push in a positive direction.

Official Flickr app for Windows Phone 7 now available


Sure, it's a couple days late, but what's that between friends? Yes folks, the official Flickr app from Yahoo! has finally arrived and it is as glorious as you expected it to be.

We won't go into too much detail now, just run and grab it in the Marketplace as we think it was worth the wait.

Microsoft On Hacked Windows Phone 7 And Live Services

If you're following the news you most probably heard that Microsoft's latest mobile platform was ported successfully to the HTC HD2 and more recently the first two Windows Phone 7 custom ROMs have seen the light of day. You also heard of the certain "workaround" for activating the Live Services (such as Zune, Marketplace and Xbox Live) on smartphones that are not legacy Windows Phone 7 devices, but what you didn't hear was Microsoft's word on all this.

We couldn’t help but speculate on the copyright issues related to both the platform and the services and ask ourselves what will be the stance of Redmond related to all the above, knowing the way Microsoft chose to "ignore" custom Windows Phone/Mobile ROMs in the past. With the new platform wearing the number seven, Microsoft started from scratch and outed a mobile operating system that was intended to be more locked down in order to maintain control over -- or at least try to limit -- the impact of possible future security related issues.

App Folders to WP7? Not any time soon


We've been tipped off about an interesting bit of polling going on at the (they're a lot like us, but French!) regarding something that all Windows users are all too familiar with. Folders!

The question raised, "Would you like to be able to categorize your applications?", has caught some attention from their more organized readers. Users who've downloaded a lot of Apps were quick to remark that they don't like having to scroll so much to find the ones at the bottom of the pile.

Netflix WP7 App Exclusive to T-Mobile For Now


One of our readers named "CLS" noticed that the Netflix for Windows Phone 7 app was no longer available in the Marketplace. I looked on my T-Mobile HTC HD7 which already had it installed and noticed that it was certainly still in the Marketplace for me. After sending the link to an AT&T Windows Phone 7 we noticed that it certainly was not accessible from other devices. So it looks like for now the excellent Windows Phone 7 Netflix app is only available on T-Mobile.

Yahoo apologizes for draining your data


While it has been confirmed that Yahoo! email was the rascal that sucked the data out of your Windows Phone, Yahoo! is now apologizing for their part in the situation. In a written statement, Yahoo! shares,

"Tens of millions of people check their Yahoo Mail from their mobile device each day, and we know they want their mobile mail experience to be fast, rich, and real-time. While our default settings on all mobile platforms realize this approach, we have determined that an inefficiency exists in the synchronization of e-mail between Windows Phone Mail clients and Yahoo Mail, which can result in larger than expected data usage for some users."

Samsung: carrier unlock your Windows Phone, void your warranty?


We hate writing posts ripping on Samsung because we're generally big fans of their Windows Phones (who isn't)? So it kind of pains us to write how, at least through the Twitter Canadian support channel, they're telling a customer that his Windows Phone's warranty is now void since he carrier unlocked it. Specifically, Colin B. has an AT&T carrier branded Focus that he wants to work on Fido. He has to have data-roaming enabled even though it is carrier unlocked so he asked Samsung about it...hence their response: "Hi Colin. Your warranty is void. Please contact Fido if you have issues with data usage."