Thursday, September 15, 2011

Telstra Mango approved as well


We recently covered Vodafone announcing that they've completed Mango testing and are now awaiting Microsoft's green light for the roll-out to begin. We've now caught wind of Telstra being prepped and ready to release the major update to customers too. So let's throw this news into the cauldron with Taiwan's HTC store upgrade and it could almost be mistaken as a dream. The 'Spring' ETD almost had our eyeballs roll across the floor.

Ballmer: Windows Phones aren't selling very well, but we're not worried


Microsoft's Steve Ballmer was his usual frank self when he met financial analysts yesterday, admitting that the world isn't yet as keen on Windows Phone as he'd hoped. To be precise, AllThingsD reported him as saying: "We haven't sold quite as many as I would have liked in the first year." His cunning plan? Well, that's easy: make it all Nokia's problem. Or, as he put it: "With Nokia we have a dedicated hardware partner that is all-in on Windows Phones." Indeed, the Finnish manufacturer has now staked far more than Microsoft on the success of this "third ecosystem" and, if its imminent Mango handsets fail to turn things around, we may eventually see Stephen Elop standing behind that silent cash register.

Taiwan launching Mango on September 16th--update only through shops though


Yesterday morning we mentioned that Windows Phone users in Taiwan are supposedly scheduled to get WP7.5 Mango on the 16th and sure enough, that's true. What's also true is that the update won't be coming via their Zune software but instead they need to take their phone to a supported shop (with an appointment) to have a tech flash the phone. Estimated wait time: 20 minutes.

One such place is the HTC flagship store, which will be opening and taking in people to flash their phones to the Chinese-build of Mango, but users will have to have their phone backed-up themselves. While this may not be the most elegant method, it's a method where Microsoft's infrastructure is obviously still being put in place. And hey, what AT&T user here wouldn't go down to the store tomorrow if it meant getting Mango, amirite?


Xbox Live - Collapse! finally falls onto the Marketplace


Logic puzzles, physics puzzles… It’s been a while since we’ve seen a straight up match-3 puzzle game released to Xbox Live. That changes today, now that Collapse! - the game that sent some of our more hardcore readers into fits of rage - is now available on the Marketplace.

In GameHouse’s Collapse!, lines of colored blocks slowly rise from the bottom of the screen. Players simply tap groups of three or more same-colored blocks to clear them, which in turn causes other blocks to fall or… COLLAPSE!!!1! I’m not being sarcastic; I just wanted to type it that way. Exclamation marks in titles get my adrenaline pumping, ya know? Anyway, the game’s tap-tap rhythm makes it easy to pick up and play on the go. Gamers who need goals and variety aren’t out of luck, as the extensive Adventure mode contains all kinds of twists on the standard gameplay.

When's Mango Going To Get Here?


Is Windows Phone 7.5 Mango nearly upon us? Some developers think so, and reports have been circulating about instructions from on-high that hint at Mango distribution in what's possibly the very near future.

An anonymous source contacted WPCentral to inform the site about some e-mails he has received from both Microsoft and the unnamed Windows Phone manufacturer whose hardware he had been testing. According to him, the message asks users of the device to back-track to an earlier pre-Mango test version of the phone's software, so that once Microsoft could see how the devices would perform trying to retrieve their updates from its servers.

New Windows Phone 7.5 commercial nails it. Touts Metro Design, elegance. (Plus eBay Live Tile)


Microsoft finally looks to be hitting their stride. This new web-commercial for developers shows off the elegance, simplicity and drives home the Metro interface. We really like the look of this, even if it's for devs and not necessarily consumers. Still, we could see Microsoft editing this or redoing some parts for TV and they really should--it's a good start to show off their new UI. After all, it's going to be everywhere soon.

HTC Radar Arriving On October 1?


It looks like Mango could be nearly upon us, with rumors suggesting Microsoft could officially launch the OS any day now. Once that happens, we can expect the floodgates to open and start to see the arrival of all the new Windows Phone hardware we've been hearing about for months and months. One such model will be HTC's Radar, which we've already seen described as "coming soon" to a carrier. Now we may be able to put a date to its release, with one retailer announcing plans to carry the phone beginning October 1.

The UK's Phones 4u made a statement today concerning its sales of the just-announced HTC Sensation XE Android, and its plans to carry the phone in white starting October 1.

Nokia's First Windows Phone To Ship In One Month? [Update]


The first Nokia Windows Phone -- we just assume it will be the SeaRay but we've heard names like Nokia 703 and 800 too -- is going to ship in the middle of month October, according to recent reports. We initially heard that Nokia is planning a Europe-only launch limited to six countries this year and one month from now allegedly seems to be the date.

The American market will get its Nokia Windows Phone treat around March 2012 and Australia doesn't seem to be in luck either, as Q1 2012 is the timeframe Nokia made public.

Of course, the phone shipping in Europe mid-October is still just a rumor as we've heard nothing official from Nokia. We didn't even hear anything official from Microsoft either, but a Mango launch announcement is expected really soon (tomorrow, according to some rumors).

Belfiore, Watson implore devs to update apps as Mango draws near


We've been talking about September 15th for awhile now as being the official date for Mango and this morning we had some solid news to confirm that indeed, the launch is close.

Now Microsoft's Joe Belfiore and Brandon Watson are asking devs to upgrade their apps ASAP using the v7.1 SDK--simply recompiling the app using these tools will enable fast-app switching (multitasking) for the huge OS update.

Of course, if Watson and Belfiore are asking devs to do this now, really stressing the timing, it can only mean the update is close. And we have an odd feeling that tomorrow will bring some official announcement on the matter. Stay tuned...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Microsoft’s YouTube app breaks


I never use Microsoft’s own YouTube app, it being merely a shortcut to Google’s mobile web page and some underlying code to pipe the video stream to the media player.

That would explain why I never noticed that it is no longer working, and according to the tweets above for at least a few days now.

We know some bad blood exists between Google and Microsoft after the later refused to allow Microsoft to build a much better dedicated YouTube app. It seems Google has now managed to break even Microsoft’s limited effort.

Samsung GT-i8350 to be no speed slouch


In so far as we can trust WP Bench data (which is clearly not always the case) the Samsung GT i8350, which is believed to be the European successor to the Samsung Omnia 7, appears to be a pretty fast device, and significantly faster than the other new 1 Ghz Mango handsets like the Fujitsu IS12T or Acer M310/W4.

The Samsung GT-i8350 or Samsung Omnia W, with a 3.7 inch screen and 5 megapixel camera, is believed to be a relatively low-end handset, but maybe it has some surprises in store for us after all.

Windows Phone 7 Optimism or Delusions ?


We recently did an article on Windows Phone 7 exceeding the market forecasts. The questions now being asked by market analysts are that if such reports are justified and hold any such expectations or is it simply an oversight by the company ?The reports foretasted by researchers Gartner and IDC, expects a market share of about 20 percent in 2015, however according to Achim Berg, head of Windows Phone marketing they were said conservative. We would expect a company executive to offer public optimism about a product. But the idea of Windows Phone seizing more than 20 percent of the market is a little bit startling, considering the aggressive competition offered by Google Android and Apple’s iPhone, keeping in mind Microsoft’s current smartphone market share, which most third-party analysts believe is on the decline.

Mango update coming from carriers in 2-3 weeks?


If this screen shot of a conversation with an O2 rep can be believed, the roll-out of the Mango update for Windows Phone 7 may start sooner than we expect.

While we know at the moment that Mango the OS itself is ready, and we have heard from HTC that their customization itself is ready also, we all expect that carriers will be the big stumbling block, delaying the release by months. If the screen shot above is any indication, Microsoft may have finally gotten the carrier’s ducks in a row and may start and finish the roll-out pretty rapidly.

We shall of course cross our fingers.

T-Mobile Samsung Omnia 7 I8700XXKH2 ROM


SamFirmware has released two unofficial ROMs for the Samsung Omnia 7, one for NoDo and the other for Mango. Check out the listed known features in this post for more info and remember that you flash your Windows Phone at your own risk.

Firmware: I8700XXKD1. (NoDo)
Filesize: 196+/- MB (.rar file)
XX = Europe
K = 2011
D = April
1 = Version
Firmware: I8700XXKH2. (Mango)
Filesize: 355+/- MB (.rar file)
XX = Europe
K = 2011
H = August
2 = Version

Microsoft responds to camera tracking claims

In a recent law suit Microsoft has been accused of using the camera app to upload device IDs and location data of Windows Phone 7 users, even when they decline the service.

Microsoft has remained relatively silent following this accusation, but has now issues a statement to IBTimes, pleading their innocence.

They say:
Because we do not store unique identifiers with any data transmitted to our location service database by the Windows Phone camera or any other application, the data captured and stored on our location database cannot be correlated to a specific device or user. Any transmission of location data by the Windows Phone camera would not enable Microsoft to identify an individual or ‘track’ his or her movements.”

Mango Multi-Task Toggler in the Works


Windows Phone 7.5 Mango features new multi-tasking and fast-app switching that will help you quickly switch between recent applications as well as allow certain things to keep running in the background. While there is a spot in the settings for you to selectively choose which apps can run in the background, these new features could still affect your battery life. XDA-Developers user "GoodDayToDie" has decided to make a home-brew Mango app that toggles the multitasking features on and off.

GChat brings Google Talk to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango


GChat is a Google Talk IM client for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango developed by Luis Hector Chavez which supports:
- Push notifications for messages
- Pinning any of your contacts as a secondary tile, with independent unread message count.
- Off-the-record conversations, with special and delicate handling.

Pre-order HTC Radar & Titan on Clove


Clove is offering the HTC Radar for £285 (ex. VAT) and the Titan for £498 (inc. VAT) with pre-orders for international shipping. It states that first stock is due early October, which confirms the 15th date set on Amazon. Among the feature icons found on the product page is DLNA, FF camera and more. Looking good!

On a quick funny note, it seems as though one can pick up the Radar for £0.00 including VAT. So the taxation of the product is actually rein-bursting the customer the price. We know it's a mere error but still caused a few giggles.

Navigon for Windows Phone 7 Supports Offline Maps


If you're a smartphone user that likes to travel a lot, then a decent GPS navigation program that supports offline maps for decreased data usage and increased battery life is probably important to you. Sure, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango comes with a sort of okay GPS navigation program, but Navigon plans to release something much more feature-rich and useable. A new version of Navigon for Windows Phone will support offline maps, as well as offer an "augmented reality function Reality Scanner, which provides an instant and effortless way of identifying nearby destinations while on foot; an option to select address information directly from the phone’s contact list; and the ability to save a favorite or home address as a shortcut on the start screen."

HTC Confirms Windows Phone Internet Sharing; How Will It Arrive?


One of Mango's many new features went largely unnoticed for the operating system's beta period, only coming to light about a week ago. That's a shame, because it's one that many WP7 users have been hoping for: internet connection sharing via WiFi hotspot. Now some new information has come out which confirms the feature's presence, but it's not the best news for everyone.

HTC commented on Windows Phone internet sharing, revealing that it will be present in the just-announced HTC Radar and HTC Titan. We wouldn't be surprised if carriers ultimately restrict access to the function, but that's not on HTC's back.