Since hearing about the HTC Ignite, we’ve been expecting a change to Microsoft’s chassis specs for Windows phone devices, authorizing the use of an 800MHz processor like the Ignite’s. This week at MIX, Microsoft has revealed one such new spec profile, featuring support for lower-speed chips, implementing the new sensor we heard about, and running a higher-performance graphics accelerator.
It looks like Microsoft is really approaching spec revision with kid gloves, as all-in-all, very little is changing compared to previous hardware requirements. The biggest [...]
Part of Microsoft’s announcements today regarding developer access to new Windows Phone 7 functions and capabilities focused on direct hardware support. The company said that it would be giving coders hardware access to components including the smartphone’s camera and on-board sensors like gyroscopes and compasses. Problem is, it turns out that there just isn’t gyro hardware on-board the current wave of Windows Phone 7 devices, so what are they going to when apps start looking for gyro input?
Next-gen WP7 smartphones, those designed from the ground up for [...]
A little under a year ago, still months before Windows Phone 7 would launch, one of Skype’s VPs announced that the company had no interest in porting its VoIP software to the platform, saying that it wanted its resources focused on iOS, Android, and Symbian versions of Skype. Now that WP7 is well-established and growing its user base, it looks like Skype has changed its tune, as Microsoft has announced that Skype for Windows Phone 7 is currently in the works.
While highlighting for developers at MIX what new features are coming to WP7, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore [...]
Part of the big appeal of Windows Phone 7, at least from a developer’s perspective, is being able to code for a nice, uniform hardware base. With Microsoft setting standards for what hardware is required to run WP7, developers can worry less about optimizing code for low-end devices, or not being able to support them at all. While this has created a selection of devices that tends to lack innovation, we can’t deny that there’s some merit to the decision. That’s why it’s so odd to think about how Microsoft may be about to throw that conformity out the [...]
Are you ready to see what’s next from HTC? That’s just what the company promises to deliver at an upcoming press event, notifications for which are just going out now. The fun is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 12 in London. What could HTC be planning to reveal?
Just last week we spotted the EVO 3D in what looked like a GSM configuration on the company’s site. At the time, HTC was denying that such a phone existed, though pre-orders and the enthusiastic tweets of HTC France left us unconvinced. Could this event be to properly announce the non-Sprint [...]
On of our readers, Kevin B, created a simple video player for us to try running in the Windows Phone 7 Emulator in Visual Studio. He found that he was able to keep the video playing in the background while he poked around in other areas of the phone. We were able to recreate this, as shown in the video below. What’s going on here? Isn’t Windows Phone 7 Series not supposed to support multitasking for third-party apps? Yeah, we thought so. Our best guess is that the app is tapping into the native video player on the device, which does support multitasking (imagine starting a [...]
In a move that will raise a few eyebrows, Microsoft has confirmed at the MIX developers conference that Windows Phone 7 Series will not have copy and paste functionality. According to Engadget, “There is a data-detection service built into the text-handling API that will recognize phone numbers and addresses, but Microsoft says most users, including Office users, don’t really need clipboard functionality.” We’re hoping that the move to cut copy and paste features at this point is due to the time constraint of pushing out Windows Phone 7 Series devices by the [...]
According to Microsoft, a new DRM code that is different than what is available for apps purchased today on Marketplace for Mobile for Windows Mobile 6.x will be used for the new Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 Series. The new DRM code will make it more secure for developers to protect their rights and combat app piracy while still providing an easy to use experience for consumers. We’ll try to find out more about DRM on Windows Phone 7 Series Marketplace and apps, but for now, just know that it’s a different standard that’s probably a lot more tough to crack than [...]
Marketplace for Mobile was initially introduced for Windows Mobile 6.x devices with the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5, and since then, Microsoft has allowed consumers to purchase apps and games via the web browser on the desktop or on device. With Windows Phone 7 Series, things are going to change a bit. Still present is the convenience of on-device app purchase through Marketplace for Windows phone 7 Series on the device, but desktop apps, games, music, and videos will be handled by the Zune Dorado client.
We asked Microsoft during our personal time with the company’s [...]
One of the great features for Windows Mobile is a true file management system that allows users to handle files seamlessly, whether they be Office files or multimedia files on mobile. However, with the new user experience introduced with Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business Senior Director Todd Brix has revealed to us that the company will enable a different methodology for file management on the next-generation mobile OS. Rather than have the traditional File Explorer, Microsoft will hide all the file structure from end-users, much like the iPhone, [...]
We had quite the revealing conversation with Todd Brix–Senior Director, Product Management Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft–who told us that there will be quite a few ways to synchronize data to and from your Windows Phone 7 Series. Brix told us that contacts, calendars, and emails will be handled by some client or methodology on the device and can synchronize with the cloud; music, movies, apps, and games will be handled through a desktop client; and there is still an unannounced way to handle Office Mobile files.
Microsoft will allow users to wirelessly [...]
Microsoft has made mention of push notifications at both GDC and now at MIX10, but what exactly will the service and technology entail? First, there will be three types of push notifications: updates to the Live Tile on the Start screen, a “toast” update–as seen by the blue pop up bar at the top of the screen, and also within the app. Microsoft is pushing the benefits of push by these three methods by saying that it is giving end users choice and customization on how they want their push data communicated; however, with three methods for push notifications and data [...]
With Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft made quite a few sacrifices as far as “power” features of Windows Mobile as a tradeoff to creating what the company is framing as a powerful user experience for consumers. Gone are removable memory cards, skinning and UI overlays, multitasking, and different methods to install and load apps onto the device. New, and much welcomed, is a platform that breaks away from fragmentation and provides a very consumer-oriented experiencing. As a loyalist to the platform, and a power user, do you feel ignored by Microsoft as the company turns its [...]
Further revealing its plans for Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 Series–the official and only destination for most to get apps, games, and music for their devices–Microsoft is stating that it will set “guidance and certifications” for applications submitted to Marketplace. While exact details of what the approval process would entail are not available at this time, Microsoft is stating that it is taking a middle of the road approach, providing clear, set expectations to developers and in turn will be providing users with a consistent and high user [...]
Although Microsoft had stated that the new Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 Series will be the only source for consumers to purchase and install applications for their Windows Phone 7 Series, with one exception, we were able to find out that it is possible to sideload applications onto Windows Phone 7 Series devices. First, though, the exception that Microsoft mentions is that it is examining possible ways for enterprise customers who may want to deploy custom vertical market apps for their employees without having to go through the Marketplace. Later, when we met to speak with company [...]
Microsoft gave us a little bit more of how that strategy plays with multitasking on Windows Phone 7 Series in our conversation with company representatives. According to the company, basic apps, such as email and music, can run in the background so you can listen to a song and check your emails at the same time. For other apps–mainly third-party apps–the short answer is that there won’t be multitasking, as we know it currently in Windows Mobile, won’t be there. The long answer is that apps will continue to run in the background and when users return to the [...]
We spotted a curious Dell logo, which appears blurry in the top left of the right column in the photo, on the Windows Phone booth at MIX10. Although Microsoft wasn’t very forthcoming with details, stating that they know of little of what Dell’s intentions are except that the company has signed on for Windows Phone 7, the potential for Dell’s return to Microsoft’s side of the arena would mark an interesting reunion for the two companies. Dell was a licensee of Windows Mobile and had launched the Axim line, which was seen as a transformative product for the [...]
Earlier we showed you how Internet Explorer works on Windows Phone 7 Series looks and feels. Digging a little deeper into the emulator, we find that we can change the color scheme and text color from the Settings menu. From here, you can also change region and time settings, although these areas aren’t yet complete.
We’re at MIX10 and the good news is that there’s a lot of chatter and excitement over hardware and what different hardware partners will be offering when the devices come to market “in time for the holiday season.” Microsoft is also creating standardized experiences, and we’re proud of the company for taking accountability and responsibility to build, grow, and nurture the platform. However, with all the centralization that is happening around Windows Phone 7 Series, the question worth asking is if hardware partners are merely commodities in an already [...]
We were just in a Silverlight interview with Microsoft and asked more about SlingPlayer Mobile as Sling Media was stated as a launch partner for Windows Phone 7 Series. Connecting the dots would have us believing that streaming services of the place-shifting Slingbox and SlingPlayer technology would also use Silverlight, like the Netflix demo.
Sling Media had previously committed on a native app for several platforms and said that on other platforms–mobile included–that a Flash app would be used. However, as a launch partner, with the potential for apps to be [...]
We just spoke with Microsoft, who once again confirmed that the HTC HD2 will be left out of the Windows Phone 7 Series upgrade path, as will most–if not all–current generation devices. The reason being the hard-standed requirements on the 3 buttons–Start, back, and search. While many HTC HD2 users will be upset by the fact that they will not be able to move their devices forward to the next-generation OS, I understand–and appreciate–Microsoft’s decision on this as it does create and enhance the user experience to have a consistent 3-button [...]
In this video we take you on a tour of the internet browser for Windows Phone 7 Series devices. We do this through the emulator included with developer tools released today from Microsoft. Our first impression of the browser is that it’s easy to use, fast, and it looks good too. It’s easy to switch between multiple open tabs, or to add a favorite website to the Start screen. The zoom function is wicked fast, and so is panning across a webpage. Thanks for your patience while the HD processes.