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Category Archives: WP7

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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Nokia Launching Windows Phone 7 Devices Next Week


Nokia will be launching its Windows Phone 7 devices next week, Microsoft’s Andy Lees has revealed.

The news comes via Engadget, which said that Lees – Microsoft’s Windows Phone chief – hinted of the launch of the Nokia Windows Phone devices next week at the AsiaD event.

He said that the Finnish handsets manufacturer will have “differentiating hardware and software” at its Nokia World 2011 event in London.

The Nokia World 2011 event will begin on October 26.

Furthermore, Engadget quotes Lees:

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“Nokia will announce its rollout plans with Windows Phone, among other things. It made an evaluation early on, and saw our roadmap for this year and next year, and it decided to bet the whole company on Windows Phone based on that. We’ve seen that other hardware makers have seen this occurrence as an accelerant, which in turn helps both Microsoft and Nokia. I’m also excited about naming some new OEMs that will be coming onboard [with WP7].”

Industry observers have been waiting for Nokia to release its own crop of Windows Phone devices since it announced in February that it will be using the Microsoft platform instead of its Symbian platform in future smartphones.

Source: http://socialbarrel.com/nokia-launching-windows-phone-7-devices-next-week/24933/

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Microsoft, Nokia, Symbian, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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AT&T’s Windows Phone 7 lineup: HTC Titan, Samsung Focus S & Focus Flash (first look)


Summary: Will these Windows Phone 7 “Mango” phones from AT&T make it to a stocking near you this holiday?

Microsoft’s Phone President Andy Lees showed off  three AT&T-branded Windows Phone 7 (Mango) phones at the All Things Digital Asia conference in Hong Kong this morning.

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While you may be able to recite the features of Mango by heart, you probably couldn’t tell these WP7 handsets apart, especially when they’re all displaying the same ‘Metro’ home screen (see right). Well, consider this as your cheat sheet to AT&T’s upcoming WP7 offerings: the HTC Titan (left), Samsung Focus S (center) and Samsung Focus Flash (right).

HTC Titan

True to its name, the HTC Titan from AT&T has the biggest display of the bunch at 4.7 inches, which beats yesterday’s largest phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, by 0.05-inch. According to the Window Phone Blog, it has a 9.9-mm profile, a 1.5 GHz processor under the hood, an 8-megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash (plus a front cam), and offers a brushed aluminum back with the curves (and build) that HTC phones are known for.

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Samsung Focus S

The Samsung Focus S may be the middle child in AT&T’s WP7 portfolio but there is nothing middling about the phone. It serves up Samsung’s specialty: a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, powered by a 1.4 GHz CPU that is capable of 4G speeds, along with a 8-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front camera, in a svelte 8.55-millimeters package. What’s not to like about these specs?

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Samsung Focus Flash

It’s easier to differentiate the Samsung Focus S from the Focus Flash as the latter has a more modest 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, sharper lines and a slightly slower 1.4 GHz processor under the display. It’ll likely be the most budget-friendly WP7 from AT&T so bargain hunters should keep their eye out on the Focus Flash rather than its flashier brothers.

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AT&T has yet to announce a ship date or pricing for these phones so no need to lineup at your local store for now. There’s still plenty of time until the holiday.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/at-ts-windows-phone-7-lineup-htc-titan-samsung-focus-s-focus-flash-first-look/27934

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in HTC, Mango, Samsung, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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Integrating SharePoint social features in Windows Phone 7 apps


“Windows Phone is designed to help you be productive right out of the box,” says Microsoft. One of the ways the software giant hopes to do this is through the integration of a SharePoint social feature into Windows Phone 7 applications which can help most businesses “work better on a people level”.

At this year’s Tech*Ed Africa, founder and director at Aptillon and SharePoint expert, Matthew McDermott discussed some the ways in which Windows Phone 7 users can use SharePoint web services to work with social data.

SharePoint collaboration software helps simplify business intelligence, content management, search, and sharing for intranet and internet sites.

At the moment, MacDermott explains that smartphones running Windows Phone 7 are the only ones that use a web browser or third-party app to connect with SharePoint. “This helps users share and stay connected to documents you need on the road, with support for full-fidelity viewing (online or offline), editing and syncing PowerPoint, Word, and Excel documents.”

“The SharePoint social and search web services allows developers create Windows Phone 7 applications that can find users and profile information and other social data including news feeds and comments. Creating social applications or integrating social data into a Windows Phone application can help users stay connected and informed,” says Microsoft.

McDermott explains that developers can replicate many of the features that SharePoint My Sites offer in a Web browser with their mobile application.

“The flow of the application will consist of a panoramic page with list boxes for Recently Viewed People, My Newsfeed, My Activities and My Colleagues. Anywhere a user selects another user’s image, the profile of the user they select will open in a new page. Search results will be presented in a list box, and selecting a user will display the user’s profile,” he explains.

One major benefit that McDermott focuses on is social data through Push Notification:

* Persistent notification service
* Push from a external application to the mobile device
* Allows an application to respond to external events without requiring the application to be in the foreground
* Notification-aware applications can subscribe to notifications

Push Notification does require a constant connection to the internet and the applications “must allow” users to opt in, which means users are able to unsubscribe. Devices are limited to 30 subscribed applications per device and notifications may be suppressed in low battery scenarios, so users are not guaranteed of delivery to device. There is also limit of 500 notifications/day/subscription for unauthenticated unless a TLS cert is used.

By integrating SharePoints social features into the applications developers can provide push notifications that alert users when SharePoint list data, or social data has changed. With such socially integrated lives on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, developers can use these external sites to compliment the social functionality of their application.

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Social networking requirement

* Network connectivity is required
* Checks for network connectivity must be implemented
* Authorisation is performed with the OAUTH protocol
* A web browser is used to authenticate users
* You must sign up for an account with the social network you wish to integrate with
* Signing up for an account provides you the keys you need to authenticate you application
* Custom controls may be used to send data to social networking sites

The argument, is that in the age where social and mobility drive productivity and collaboration the integration of social data to SharePoint social features to Windows Phone 7 is a logical step for Microsoft.

Source: http://memeburn.com/2011/10/integrating-sharepoint-social-features-in-windows-phone-7-apps/

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Windows Phone 7 App, WP7

 

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Windows Phone 7, Day 30: WP7 ‘Mango’ Is Ready for Prime Time


30 Days With Windows Phone 7: Day 30

Another 30 Days journey comes to an end. For me, the 30 Days With Windows Phone 7 has been the most enjoyable and enlightening of them all so far.

The first time I experimented with Windows Phone 7 there were some things I liked about it, but overall I found it disappointing. It took Microsoft another year and two major updates, but with “Mango” I can honestly say that I think Microsoft has a solid mobile OS worthy of competing against iOS and Android.

My son recently drowned his iPhone 3GS and chose to replace it with a Motorola Atrix 4G. It is fine and he likes it. Both the Motorola hardware and the Android OS seem capable enough. The couple times I have played with it, though, I have felt like it is a cheap knock-off of the real thing–like having a Pepsi instead of Coca Cola, or eating at Burger King instead of McDonald’s. It’s OK, but I already have the “real thing” in my iPhone 4.

Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” is a whole different story. It is a unique mobile OS that delivers a different experience that doesn’t simply try to imitate iOS–more like having a Red Bull instead of a Coca Cola, or eating at KFC instead of McDonald’s. It’s not that I like it better than iOS per se. I like it about the same but for different reasons.

When Microsoft first launched Windows Phone 7 and ran the marketing campaign about how it’s time for a phone to save us from our phones, and how Windows Phone 7 is designed to get you in, and out, and back to life, I thought they were a little silly. I mean, even with Windows Phone people will still be surfing the Web, checking email, texting people, etc.–so how exactly is that different?

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The fact of the matter is that it’s not–at least not at its core. I do still use Windows Phone to accomplish the same things, but there is actually something more to the Windows Phone ads than just marketing hype. The way Microsoft has integrated functionality into the Hubs, and seamlessly merged different features and services together makes it more streamlined and really does enable me to accomplish what I need to do and get back to life…if that is my goal.

I won’t bother recapping all of the things I like or don’t like about Windows Phone 7. You can feel free to peruse the whole 30 Days series and get those details. I will sum up by saying I was more than pleasantly surprised by “Mango”. Frankly, I was shocked at how awesome it is, and how much I really like it.

As I wrap up the 30 Days With Windows Phone 7 series, I can honestly say I found myself torn between Windows Phone and iOS, and seriously considering moving from my iPhone 4 to the HTC Titan when it becomes available from AT&T. In the end, though, I ended up sticking with iOS and pre-ordering the iPhone 4S.

It was a tough call. I use a Windows PC, and I rely on Microsoft Office, so a “Mango” smartphone would be a natural fit to some extent. But, the changes coming next week with iOS 5 and iCloud, and the seamless syncing between my iPhone, my iPad, and my Windows PC–combined with my existing investment in iOS apps–make a compelling case for iOS…at least for me.

I can’t stress enough, though, that you should take a look at Windows Phone if you’re in the market for a new smartphone. It is a very capable mobile OS and I am confident that you will not be disappointed. You owe it to yourself to at least check it out and seriously weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/241544/windows_phone_7_day_30_wp7_mango_is_ready_for_prime_time.html

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Android, iOS, Mango, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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Steve Ballmer still disappointed by Windows Phone 7 sales


We’ve been reporting for quite some time now that Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 has been quite the disappointment in the smartphone industry. In an era where the iPhone is conquering the world with its unparalleled retina display, camera and usability, it’s hard for another company to even compare to the Apple giant.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at the company’s financial analyst meeting on Wednesday and expressed disappointment of the Windows Phone 7 sales. “We haven’t sold quite as many as I would have liked in the first year. … I’m not saying I Love where we are, but I am very optimistic on where we can be,” he said during the meeting.

The Windows Phone 7 made quite the name for itself when it came to marketing and advertising ploys but lacked the fan following that Google and Apple are often accustomed to. Interestingly enough, Samsung and HTC embraced the WP7 platform and plan to launch devices using the next version of WP7. Mashable says that these mobile enterprises have the majority of their chips invested in Google’s Android, which makes for most of their smartphone sales. Nokia is the only dedicated hardware partner for Windows Phones and who really uses Nokia phones these days anyways?

We’re crossing our fingers that Nokia will be able to show some sort of result for the slow-rising WP7, but we won’t be holding our breath. I’m sure I’m not the only one that can’t get enough of the iPhone, or even Droid phones for that matter.

Source: http://www.businessreviewusa.com/technology/software/Steve%20Ballmer%20still%20disappointed%20by%20Windows%20Phone%207%20sales

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Google, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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