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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Microsoft reveals Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone 7


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Microsoft just might be finally getting into the smartphone market and today they announced a cool app that will help you control your Xbox right from your phone.  The Xbox Companion app will help you control your Xbox and interact with some games, plus the app will let you search video and audio content that you’d like to watch via your Microsoft Xbox 360 console.  Once you have searched for something to listen to or watch, your smartphone will then turn into the remote control allowing you access to features that let you play, fast forward and pause the content.

The app is sort of neat and maybe an easy way for Microsoft to test out the app development side of their new smartphones, but the app will not be doing much more than you can do with your original remote control.  Not that an update couldn’t add more features in the future, but the app in its original form is not all that impressive according to what can be found online.  Once the app is able to control the Xbox the possibilities are endless, but it might take some digging around in the technology department to come up with something creative.

The app was revealed at Nokia World 2011 this year and watching some of the demo videos the app looks pretty neat.  The app is tied with Bing for the search feature which isn’t a real surprise.  Windows Phone powered smartphones have been able to interact with Xbox Live online since the first one launched, but the functions are quite limited.  A gamer can play games on the smartphone through Xbox Live and gain achievements and add to their gamer score at the same time, but that is about it.

Games like “Full House Poker” and “Fable Coin Golf” are a couple of games that you can play on your WP7 powered smartphone and by playing them you can impact the Xbox 360 versions of the games.  Watching a video online about how the WP7 smartphone can be used to control the Xbox Kinect system certainly gives you the idea that the app can really be updated to add some really nice functionality.  A user will be able to transfer information from the phone, to the Xbox console and back in order to keep up with what is happening on certain Kinect games.

Source: http://www.mobilebloom.com/microsoft-reveals-xbox-companion-app-for-windows-phone-7/226209/

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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Microsoft, WP7, Xbox Live

 

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Windows Phone 7 App of the Week: Fix Up Your Photos With Photo Editor


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It’s the elephant in the room – the Windows Phone 7 marketplace’s selection of apps is a little threadbare compared to its counterparts. So, for other phone users, a basic photo editor might not be anything to look twice at, but for Windows Phone 7 owners, it should be a nice tool to add to your collection. With Photo Editor, you can open up all of the photos you snap with your phone, and proceed to crop, rotate, adjust brightness and contrast, and use a few preset effects. You can also use the paint and doodle tools to add a personalized touch, adding a little of that Japanese Purikura photo booth flair. The Photo Editor costs $0.99, but you can try it out for free, first.

Source: http://www.chipchick.com/2011/10/wp7-photo-editor.html

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 7 App, WP7

 

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6 Great Windows Phone Mango Features For Business


Microsoft’s big Mango update to Windows Phone brought the platform to version 7.5. It has over 500 new features, most aimed at the consumer, but some of these features will also help professionals.

1. Connecting to a hidden SSID: Some people use a hidden SSID under the illusion that it provides some level of security, even though it doesn’t. Windows Phone 7 originally wouldn’t connect to a hidden Wi-Fi access point at all. Now it will, but there is a caveat. The manufacturer or carrier also has to ensure the phone is running an updated Wi-Fi driver. If you have Mango and still cannot connect to a hidden SSID, contact your carrier. Mango has the capability and Microsoft has done all it can on this front.

2. Threaded email conversations: This is one of those love it or hate it features and some people love it. If you fall into that camp, then do nothing. Mango enables this by default. You can easily turn it off on a per-mailbox basis though.

3. Linked inboxes: If you have to manage multiple mailboxes, you can now see them all at once. Mango keeps the databases separate, but visually it looks like one big mailbox with all of your mail. A reply is sent from the mailbox it was sent to and all preferences are kept separate, so things like how long an email is retained and signatures are on a per-mailbox basis. You can link all, some, or none of your mailboxes, depending on your preferences.

4. Better live tiles: Live tiles in Windows Phone 7 were nice but didn’t always function properly, especially third-party tiles. The more you had enabled, the more likely you were to run into problems. Once you had 15, you were maxed out. Additional live tiles were static. Mango upped the limit to 30 live tiles and improved the performance of all of them. They work best when a third-party developer redoes its tile to support multitasking. So feel free to add as many inboxes, people, and weather tiles to your homescreen. Having multiple weather tiles, with apps like WeatherLive, makes traveling easier as you can see the weather conditions at all of your travel destinations at a glance.

5. Contact history: This has been greatly improved. Simply pull up a contact in the people hub, or tap on a person if they are pinned to your homescreen, and swipe to the history section. You will be able to see all of your recent interactions with them via phone, SMS, and email. Tapping on any of those will bring you to that item. You could reply to an email right there, for instance. An additional swipe to the What’s New section will show you their social interactions on Twitter and Facebook, including things like @replies to you.

6. Task switching: If you are like most professionals, you are doing multiple things at once. Twitter, email, checking out an Excel document, looking for directions, etc. Now you can seamlessly move through these by pressing and holding the back button. A task window showing thumbnails of recent apps pops up that will allow you to go directly to any of them. This works with all apps, but the experience is faster and more likely to return you to exactly where you were if it has been rewritten to support this feature. If you have ever used or seen the app-switching cards in WebOS, then you know exactly what this looks like.

This barely scratches the surface, but it gives you a hint of some of the improvements in Mango that makes the life of a professional, especially one that travels, a bit easier.

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/blog/mobility/231901839

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Mango, Windows Phone 7

 

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