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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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Windows Phone 7 To Get Price Cut


Microsoft wants to reduce components costs, lower phone prices, and gain market share.

A Microsoft official said the company and its partners may reduce the price of Windows Phone 7 devices by as much as 50% in some cases in order to boost demand for the system, which significantly trails Apple and Google-powered phones in the smartphone market.

“We are supporting componentry that that will allow us to go below $200,” Windows Phone head Andy Lees told Bloomberg. Lees said Microsoft is counting on higher sales volumes to make up for lower margins that would result from a price cut.

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Carriers like AT&T already offers some Windows Phones, such as the Samsung Focus, for as little as $50, but unlocked devices from retailers like Amazon sell for $250 or more. Microsoft currently holds about 5.7% of the U.S. mobile OS market, according to the latest data from ComScore. Google leads the pack with about 43.7%, while Apple is second with 27.3%.

In addition to price cuts, Microsoft hopes the release of Mango, or Windows Phone 7.5, will boost sales. Mango adds more than 500 new features to the Windows Phone platform, including multitasking, 4G support, and the ability to work with rights-protected email.

“It leapfrogs the competition in many areas,” said Lees, while speaking on stage at the All Things D conference in Hong Kong.

On Monday, Microsoft and AT&T introduced three new phones that come with Mango pre-installed–the HTC Titan, which features a big 4.7-inch display, the Samsung Focus S, which boasts 1.4-GHz processor, and the budget Samsung Focus Flash, which has a 3.7-inch display. AT&T has yet to announce pricing for the phones.

Microsoft is also counting on its alliance with Nokia, still the world’s largest seller of phones by volume, to significantly boost market share. Next week, the Finnish company is expected to introduce its own line of Windows Phone 7 devices at its Nokia World conference.

“They are going to be investing very aggressively,” said Lees. “They’ve bet the success of the whole company on Windows Phone.”

Microsoft also recently struck a deal with handset maker Samsung under which the two companies will jointly invest in smartphone research, development, sales, and marketing. “You’ll see that ramp up in 2012,” said Lees.

Lees also announced that Microsoft plans to start selling Windows Phone 7 devices in China next year.

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/231901442

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Apple, Microsoft, Windows Phone 7

 

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Top 5 Windows Phone 7 deals


Know Your Mobile brings you the list of top 5 mobiles which are powered with Windows Phone 7 OS

Android has been flavor of the season. But this month Indian mobile users will get to taste another unique flavor – Mango. We have seen the launch of quite a few devices powered by Windows phone 7 in India. If you are looking to dip your hands in ‘Mango’ here are our top 5 picks:

Samsung Omnia W: Samsung Omnia W is Samsung’s first Windows Phone 7 Mango in India. This handset has 3.7-inch super AMOLED display. It is equipped with dual camera, 5-megapixel-rear and VGA front facing camera. The phone is powered with 1.4GHz processor and it runs on the 512MB RAM. It has the power to capture 720p HD videos. It is a 3G handset and it supports the Wi-Fi direct, GPS, and has a microSD card slot. The best price of this phone is Rs. 19,990.

HTC HD7: HTC HD 7 has a 4.3-inch S-LCD Capacitive touchscreen display and it is equipped with 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and dual LED flash. This handset is powered with Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz processor and it can support the HD video playback. It has a 16GB internal memory and 576MB RAM. Besides all this it is a 3G phone and it supports the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and GPS. The best price of this phone is Rs. 18,999.

Dell Venue Pro: Dell has also launched its first Windows phone 7 in India. equipped with a 4.1-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with WVGA resolution, the display of this handset is protected with Gorilla Glass. It is a slider phone with QWERTY form factor. It has 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash. The handset is powered with Snapdragon 1GHz processor with Adreno 200GPU, and 1GB flash ROM. It is also equipped with 512MB DDR RAM and sports 16GB of internal memory. Disappointly the phone doesn’t have any microSD card  for memory expansion. It is a 3G handset and it supports Wi-Fi, GPS and micro USB. The best price of this phone is Rs. 23,999.

LG Optimus 7: LG Optimus 7 is expected to be LG’s first Windows Phone 7 in India. The phone is speculated to arrive by next month. It is equipped with 3.8-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen with 800 x 480 pixel resolution. It is also equipped with 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and has the feature of capturing HD video at 720p. It is powered with 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and it sports 16GB internal memory. Its other features include digital compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor and an accelerometer. The price of this phone is expected to be around Rs 30,000.

HTC 7 Mozart: HTC 7 Mozart is also launched along with the HTC HD 7. This handset is equipped with 3.7-inch S-LCD capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 800 pixel resolution. It has 8-megapixel camera with Xenon flash capabilities. This handset is powered with 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It can capture 720p HD videos. The device also  has 8GB internal memory and 576MB RAM. It doesn’t have microSD card option. Also a 3G phone it supports the Wi-Fi, and GPS connectivity. The best price of this phone is Rs. 18,599.

Source: http://news.in.msn.com/technology/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5528509

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in HTC, LG, Samsung

 

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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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