Microsoft’s Windows Phone team is making a few changes to how users are able to acquire apps on their devices but luckily, they probably won’t affect most of you. Starting today, users can no longer get apps from the Zune desktop software (the app store will remain for the Zune HD, as shown above), so they’ll need to browse via the website or directly on their phones, which Microsoft says the majority of users were already doing. The other change is that in the next few weeks, any users who have not upgraded their handsets to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango will no longer be able to download, update or review apps. Since the update is available for all Windows Phones (Android, we’re mostly talking about you) this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and any laggards will regain their access after upgrading.
On a final note, the developer blog mentions the software needed for hardware partners to create phones for Bahrain, Israel, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, UAE and Vietnam and that there will be more news on these storefronts “in the weeks ahead.” With these moves, the squad has culled any reason to open a heavy memory hungry desktop program just to install some new apps from a PC (iTunes, we’re completely talking about you) and devs can write off supporting users still running on old platforms guilt-free. All that in one day? We bet they didn’t even have to use their AK — those old zune:// links however, will be missed.
Looking to pick up a Windows Phone handset on Big Blue? You might want to sit tight for a few days. AT&T has just confirmed to us that the HTC Titan II will be hitting the carrier’s U.S. stores on April 8th, the same day that the Lumia 900 is set to ship. HTC’s flavor will retail for double the price of Nokia’s new flagship, priced at $199.99, and takes the award for highest megapixel count, thanks to its 16MP backside-illuminated sensor with an f/2.6 AF lens in tow. It also includes a 1730mAh removable battery and a familiar design that’s nearly identical to its predecessor. We were quite impressed with that camera during our test at CES, however, so if you’re looking to replace your first-gen Titan with a very capable cameraphone, this may be your best bet. Jump past the break for our hands-on.
Just over one month after crossing the 40,000 app-submission threshold, Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace has hit another milestone: 50,000. According to analyses done by All About Windows Phone, the Taj Mahal of tiles has seen developers submit just over 50,000 applications for review — 42,655 of which are currently available in the United States. What may be more telling is the rate at which developers are submitting their wares. Over 17,000 apps have been submitted to the Marketplace in the last 90-days from over 13,000 different publishers (an average of 265 per day). With Apple’s iOS App Store and Google’s Android Market sitting firmly atop the mobile-app-ecosystem totem pole, Microsoft is looking to close the gap and put distance between itself and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry App World. Hopefully, the gang from Redmond can keep the positive momentum going through 2012… even with its next major mobile OS revision being a minor one.
As expected, Microsoft has made its new and improved Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone available to coincide with the latest Xbox dashboard update — what’s not so expected is the iOS app that also rolled out today. Dubbed My Xbox Live, the iOS app (optimized for both iPhone and iPad) is expectedly a bit more limited than its Windows Phone counterpart, but it will let you read and send messages, edit your profile and update your avatar, manage your friend list, and keep an eye on your achievements (and those of your friends). The new Windows Phone app, on the other hand, brings with it a decidedly more integrated experience, including the ability to search for games, music and movies available through Xbox Live, and view second screen information while you’re using your console. Hit the appropriate source link below to download the app of your choice.
Still tempted by the fruit of another? If you’re looking Microsoft’s way, but aren’t quite ready to toss your adoration for iOS or Android aside, the coders in Redmond are giving you an alternative to quitting cold turkey. By visiting http://aka.ms/wpdemo on one’s iOS or Android browser, you’ll be immediately tunneled into a emulation of Windows Phone 7. We gave it a test run here at Engadget HQ, and it seems that every tile and swipe save for Apps runs properly. Can’t say the fonts and such looked as smooth on our Galaxy S II as they do on the Radar, but it’s a solid effort that’ll definitely serve you well if you’re considering the switch. Just don’t try to flip the demo horizontally — that’s clearly a no-no.
Windows Phone 7 emulator within Android 2.3′s web browser
Thousands of smartphones pass through New York City’s Herald Square each day, but few tower higher than a few inches, or run Windows Phone 7.5. In celebration of three new Windows Phones hitting stores — the Samsung Focus S, Focus Flash and HTC Radar 4G — Microsoft has constructed a monstrous six-story “Windows Phone” just a few feet away from the world’s largest Macy’s store, right in the middle of one of the city’s more popular outdoor picnic areas. The gadget sure is huge, but it’s not a phone in the traditional sense — enormous tiles display video feeds transmitted from a control room, and move out of place to accommodate live stage performances. We dropped by for a midday calisthenics session, which surprisingly appeared to be a hit with locals and tourists. There were functioning devices on hand as well, in a makeshift showroom, though those were far less popular than the 55-foot behemoth front and center. Jump past the break to see it in action.
A top Nokia exec just confirmed the much-rumored schedule for the next Windows Phone update, codenamed Apollo. Michael Halbherr, Executive VP for Location and Commerce, told us that it’ll launch in mid-2012 and be a “very different game” to Mango — hinting that Apollo actually refers to Windows Phone 8 rather than any mere decimal increment. What do we know about Apollo at this point? Well, not a great deal, but Halbherr also revealed that he’s been pushing Microsoft to integrate NFC and a “positioning framework” to make its mobile OS work better with Nokia’s Navteq mapping platform and thereby provide new location-based services. Sorry HTC, Samsung, but everything points to a more ‘Nokia-fied’ OS.
We’ve already seen Tango video calling demonstrated on a Windows Phone Mango handset, and the company has now confirmed that it will indeed be the first video calling service available for the OS. The app is slated to roll out on November 7th, and it will include both some tight integration with the operating system (aided by some input from Microsoft) and hardware acceleration for smoother video calls. It will also apparently come pre-loaded on at least some of the forthcoming Mango-based handsets, although Tango isn’t ready to specify exactly which just yet. Naturally, all of this now puts some considerable attention on Skype, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year for the tidy sum of $8.5 billion, but it still has some catching up to do with Tango on the Windows Phone front — a spokesperson tells Forbesthat it “does not have anything to announce at this time regarding Skype on Windows Phone.”
Nokia’s Lumia 710 Windows Phone announced alongside the 800, hitting select markets by end of year (Video)
You didn’t think Nokia would go through all this hoo hah just for one handset, did you? Nope, the potential audience is far too big to be satisfied with just one device at one price point, so here comes the Lumia 710. It takes advantage of the same 1.4GHz CPU found in the Lumia 800, offers a 3.7-inch ClearBlack display and comes in “stealthy black” and “crisp white,” with replaceable back covers. Look for the 710 to be priced around €270, or $375. For availability, you can expect to see the Lumia 710 hitting France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in November and then Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan by the end of the year, with additional markets in the first part of 2012.
We recently heard that Windows Phone would be getting dual core processors next year and also support for LTE, and now Microsoft’s Andy Lees has shared some more information about Microsoft’s plans for Windows Phone in 2012.
Speaking at the Asia D conference, Andy Lees has confirmed that Microsoft will also be bringing NFC (near field communications), to future Windows Phone devices in 2012.
He also detailed more information about future plans for the Windows Phone platform with regards to hardware, at the moment Microsoft tightly controls what hardware can be used in Windows Phone devices, the main reason Microsoft did this was to stop fragmentation, and it would appear that they may give their hardware partners more control over the choice of components used in Windows Phone next year.
Source This is My Next
Microsoft has announced that it will be making the latest version of Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7.5 available to ‘nearly everyone’, and update notifications should start to roll out to Windows Phone handsets.
Microsoft has said they are also still working with specific mobile carriers like Orange in Europe to resolve a few technical issues, and once those issues are resolved the updates should start rolling out.
Hello everyone. When we kicked off the global rollout of Windows Phone 7.5, I told you we planned to balance quality with speed. And for three weeks we’ve been watching quality while sending update notices to a growing fraction of phones.
It’s gone well. So today we’re fully opening the spigot —slightly ahead of schedule—and making Mango available to nearly everyone in the current delivery pool (see Where’s My Phone Update? for the details).
You can find out more information about the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update over at the Windows Phone Blog.
We knew as soon as we first clapped eyes on this hulk of a phone that it’d make a brave purchase. It’s not just the 4.7-inch screen that requires a leap of faith, but also the Windows Phone operating system, which is presented here in all its Mangofied glory but is still very much an early adopter’s ecosystem. After all, if you love the Titan’s hardware but prefer a more established OS, you can always wait for the Sensation XL, which is essentially the same phone running good ol’ Android and which should have a similar £480 ($750 converted) SIM-free price tag. The question is, do you have the guts to make that jump to something more exotic? Yes? Maybe? Then read on before you begin your run-up.
It’s raining Mango, Hallelujah! Windows Phone 7.5 is now officially ready to get pushed to existing devices, and in a big way. Taking lessons Microsoft learned from the update debacle that was NoDo, the company’s eager to do a much more efficient (and quick) job of rolling out its latest revamp. While Redmond didn’t offer any exact details on which phones would be the lucky recipients right away, it’ll be keeping the masses posted through its “where’s my phone update” page. If your handset is listed, hook it up to your computer, load the Zune client and there should be a lovely message waiting for you. As always, don’t feel too discouraged if your device isn’t available right away, since these rollouts have a habit of taking a bit of time to get to everyone.
In addition to the rollout, the Web Marketplace will also make its debut, giving Windows Phone users the opportunity to do what Android users already enjoy — the ability to surf for apps online and have them downloaded directly on the phone with no sideloading required. There’s one bit of sad news to relay to anyone that already has a Windows Phone, however: Microsoft confirmed to us that Internet Sharing — the long-awaited mobile hotspot functionality — will not be available for existing devices. There’s no word on if this will be offered through a future update or if it’s a permanent deal, but at least it’s only a single thorn in an entire rose garden of good news.
Hey, it’s our old pal, the Acer W4. We’ve heard tell of the device and seen our share of mockups, and this week at IFA, we actually got to play with the thing. The 3.6-inch handset is fairly compact, and pretty slick looking, with its black front and curved white backing. It’s not particularly exciting on the spec side, with its 1GHz Qualcomm processor. Nope, what’s most exciting here is the inclusion of Mango, which should look rather familiar to Windows Phone 7 owners, while adding some welcomed updates to the mix.
HTC just threw two new Windows Phone handsets down on the table and politely requested that we be impressed. The high-end Titan (previously leaked as the ‘Eternity’) is indeed an awe-inspiring brute, wielding a 4.7-inch SLCD display, 8MP rear camera and 1.3MP front-facing snapper to take full advantage of Mango’s newfangled Skype integration. Its over-sized guts include a single-core 1.5GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and up to 16GB of fixed flash storage. Meanwhile, the Radar (which also recently leaked out as the ‘Omega’) comes significantly less pumped in order to meet a lower price point and — we suppose — the expectations of a more mainstream audience. It can be seen as an updated Trophy, with similar weight and dimensions, plus the same 3.8-inch LCD, 1GHz processor clock speed, 5MP rear camera resolution, RAM and maximum 8GB fixed storage. The key upgrades involve the cameras: HTC says it has an improved 28mm wide-angle lens on the rear, plus of course there’s the front-facer, which is unfortunately only VGA. Although HTC intends to update its existing WP7 range to Mango starting in mid September, the Titan and Radar will be the company’s first innately Mango-fied devices when they arrive in early October. What do we make of them? By all means, click past the break to find out.
Is Microsoft preparing to fill in Google’s old mobile boots? It could very well be, now that the search king has firmly committed to the hardware side of the mobile business. According to a report on GigaOM, MS was one of many potential suitors circling Motorola’s treasure trove of patents, effectively forcing El Goog to swoop in for the $12.5 billion kill. Moto’s portfolio of 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications would have significantly strengthened Redmond’s attack on the Android platform, but it appears the loss might actually benefit MS in other unintended ways. Despite the cheery, public well-wishing from handset makers, insider rumblings indicate a possible mass OEM defection to Windows Phone 7 could shortly be afoot, paving the way for a fierce, three-way mobile OS fight. For its part, Google doesn’t seem too worried about the competition, considering the deal’s hefty $2.5 billion break-up fee — a percentage three times that of the AT&T / T-Mobile mergerpenalty — a confident financial sign it intends to win this wireless race.
Groupme, the little group messaging service that made a bit of a splash at Google I/O, turns 3.0 today. There are some shiny new features on board, including a simpler way to exchange private messages and “Questions” for sparking conversations when you’re not sure who to talk to. But, the big news — Groupme 3.0 is now platform and nation agnostic. With the latest update, the service will be available in 90 countries and add Windows Phone 7 to its list of supported OSes, alongside iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android. Even if you’re sitting in front of your desktop you can still take part in the mass messaging fun. The website has been overhauled and now sports all of the same features, like photo-sharing and group management, as the mobile apps. Check out the source link to get the latest version for your handset of choice — provided you’re not a Symbian fan — and don’t miss the gallery below.