Windows Phone

Confirmed: Google is working on a G+ app for WindowsPhone

Confirmed: Google is working on a G+ app for WindowsPhone

windows-phone-google-plus

Just a few minutes after I switched off my PC today, I received a note that is worth to share.

According to Google Germany´s press spokesperson Stefan Keuchel, Google is working on an app for their social network.

Screenshot (71)

As you can see, @dominiksichling asked him on Twitter whether and when an G+ app for Windows Phone will be released.

Google´s answer: there is no date yet, but it is coming.

Good to see that also Microsoft competitors are working on apps for Windows Phone. This shows that Windows Phone finally is gaining really some attention.

Feel free to leave your thinkings in comments below.

Thx to @dominiksichling for sharing this news.

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 2 comments

Bing and Nokia Maps – finally unified

Last year Microsoft and Nokia announced their strategic partnership. One point of this partnership is also their maps.

Bing and Nokia Maps designers have been working hard to offer an unique experience to us. Yesterday, both posted about the result of this work.

The new Maps will be available through web version as well as on Windows Phone.

New color palette for road map style

Bing and Nokia updated both their coloring of the maps, which leads to a more streamlined look. It is now easier to interpret roads on the map, as shown here:

image

Typography and Visual Hierarchy

With updated fonts, a new structure on labels more based on zoom levels, Bing and Nokia are providing a more clear readability as well as usability. Only information which is necessary and sense-full will be provided. Both learned that to much information creates an overload, which cuts deep into the user experience.

New Bing Maps also on Windows Phone

Also on Windows Phone the changes will be applied. Look at these two shots to compare the old map style and the new one.

Nokia-Maps-on-Nokia-Lumia-Old-Design                      Nokia-Maps-on-Nokia-Lumia-New-Design

Bing Maps has grown mapping coverage to a bunch of new countries, like Egypt, Israel, Malta, Philippines, Uruguay and Venezuela.

It´s good to see another fruit of the strategic partnership between Microsoft and Nokia.

You can read the full post over at Bing´s Blog as well as on Nokia´s Blog.

Posted by msicc in Bing, 0 comments

(Updated) Hardware–OEMs: where is the love for WindowsPhone (MWC12)?

mwc12

Yesterday, on Day 0 of the Mobile World Congress, there were already a few conferences from hardware manufacturers. It seems that their love for Windows Phone still has to be set on fire.

  • Sony introduced only their new XPERIA Android phones. No Windows Phone, also if this was rumored before. It does also make no sense that Sony will jump of the train, because with XBOX Live there will be a direct competitor in console market on a Phone from Sony. So this is certainly no surprise.
  • Huawei has also not announced any new Windows Phone, only Android.
  • no LG Windows Phone announcement…
  • HTC has unveiled their new brand series “HTC One”, an Android series. But there is also something positive to say. First, there will be an international launch of the HTC Titan II (HTC´s first LTE Windows Phone, actually to be launched on AT&T). Second, HTC is waiting for Windows Phone Apollo, which is due later this year, to launch new Windows Phones (read more here). So almost a bit of Windows Phone love from HTC.
  • Nokia will be keynoting their new devices today, at 8.30 (Central European Time). You can watch their announcements here: www.nokia.com/mwc

So there is only a little about Windows Phone from the hardware OEMs. But there will also be a Microsoft keynote about Windows Phone, it may be the place to announce new devices, along the announcement for Windows Phone Tango. As the MWC has not started officially, there is still room for plenty of good news for us.

Update 1: Samsung is waiting for Windows Phone 8 to launch new devices

Also with not launching new devices on MWC this year, Samsung is still committed to the Windows Phone OS. Like HTC, also Samsung is waiting for Windows Phone Apollo. The decision was made, as Samsung also plans a bunch of Windows 8 tablet devices, to get the most out of the experience on both tablet and phone.

 

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 0 comments

(Updated) Ok, here is some WindowsPhone love! (MWC12)

 

As I mentioned earlier today, there was not much love for Windows Phone yesterday.

Today, on Nokia´s event, we were shown up 2 new Windows Phones: one was a world version of the Lumia 900, and the other was the lower spec’d Lumia 610.

Nokia_Lumia_610_main

Here are some of the important specs:

  • Windows Phone  7.5
  • 3.7 inch TFT-display with Corning® Gorilla® Glass
  • device size: 119 x 62.2 x 11.95 mm
  • all major Windows Phone keys
  • Quad Band GSM and WDCMA (3G)
  • 800 MHz single core CPU
  • 256 MB RAM
  • A-GPS, GPS
  • 5 MP camera with an aperture of 2.2
  • 8 GB storage

The world version of the Lumia 900 will be an changed version without an LTE-chip. It will be released with a high spec’d HSPA-chip, which is standard here in Europe.

 

zte_orb

Also ZTE is launching a lower spec’d Windows Phone, which is called the ZTE Orbit. It seems to have similar specs to the Lumia 610, and will come in Q2 2012. Differences seem to be in storage, where it is said to have only an amount of 4 GB.

Update 1: specs of the ZTE Orbit

As promissed, as soon as I get some more information about the specs, I will update my post. So here are the specs of the ZTE Orbit:

  • European TriBand (900,1800,2100)
  • HSDPA up to 7,2 MBit/s
  • Qualcomm MSM7227A-1 CPU
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 4 GB user storage
  • 4 inch TFT-display
  • 5 MP camera
  • GPS
  • Wifi b/g/n
  • Blutetooth
  • DLNA
  • hardware NFC
  • Dual Mic
  • FM Radio

Unlike the Lumia 610 it has no frontcamera. So I guess this will be the cheapest modell of coming Windows Phones. Until now there is still no pricing, but the using of  the  MSM7227A-1 suggest a very moderate price under 200 Euro.

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 0 comments
What to expect from Microsoft at Mobile World Congress  2012 (MWC12)?

What to expect from Microsoft at Mobile World Congress 2012 (MWC12)?

mwc12

Well, there are already hundreds of rumors floating around the web, so I do not want to hook up on all of them. This post will be about what I expect – and of course what you can expect from Microsoft and its OEMs at this years most important trade fair in mobile/technology.

Apps, Apps, Apps!

We all are still curios about what apps we will get at this years MWC. Here are my predictions:

  • Skype for Windows Phone: I guess/hope Microsoft will finally release the still missing Skype app we all are waiting for since the launch of Mango last October.
  • Photosynth: also rumored to be released with Mango. The iPhone is still the only one device at the moment which has an app for it. But as we heard recently, chances are good that it will be released soon – hopefully at MWC.
  • for WPDevs: an App Hub app to check from our phones?
  • Games: As Microsoft is also the Xbox-manufacturer, will we see some new games for Xbox and Windows Phone?
  • Xbox-Apps: no rumors, but I take up the chance to mention it!
  • There are still a bunch of apps which are missing, so feel free to predict yours in comments!

Tango-Update

Windows Phone – Let´s Tango

I expect Microsoft to release Tango-Update for Windows Phone.  There are different opinions about that. Before, we heard there could be a Tango 1 and a Tango 2 update. How this will end, knows only Microsoft.

  • I guess Tango 1 will be as rumored to make low-speced devices possible. This will be a thinner OS version than Mango, but with some Mango bits in it.
  • Tango 2 I guess will be for the first/second gen and better devices like the Lumia 800 or the Titan from HTC, to add another bit of goodness. Biggest hope, as it was rumored, to add folders support, including the Live-Tile support on folders.

wcp

Windows 8 – Consumer Preview (CP)

It is almost a fact that Microsoft will use the chance of the audience to release the Consumer Preview of Windows 8. It is said that it will be released on February, 29. This makes sense as Windows 8 is special, so is the date returning only once in 4 years. I will not post any more rumors or suggestion, as we are nearly there. Expect more posts afterwards,  as I surely will be one of the first to download the CP of Windows 8.

Windows Live – No, not  anymore: Microsoft Hotmail, Microsoft SkyDrive, Microsoft Account

With the recent bits about Windows 8, its further supported language number upgrade to 93 and also the merging of our Live- and Billing-Accounts into Microsoft Account, I guess there will also be a good time to talk about what the changes mean for each one of us. For know is known that with Windows 8 your Live ID is your Microsoft Account, and all other services will be replaced – including the Zune brand. Microsoft currently seems to be in negotiations with music and video labels to offer a better streaming service. Hopefully we will get some more information on MWC.

vs11

Developers, Developers, Developers!

There are certain things we developers are waiting for. On thing is confirmed: Visual Studio 11 – which will be released at the same the as the CP of Windows 8. It will bring certain improvements like sharing designer with Blend and optimized search options. There will be a ton of other stuff. What about the Windows Phone Development SDK? Will we “semi-professional-Software-using”-Devs also get an Update? I hope we will get some information about that. And I also hope that we will get finally some more APIs, especially the TELLME-API. This will be an important step to be simply better than Apple´s Siri, as we developers can integrate it in our apps. We will see what Microsoft is willing to enable us to.

Hardware

There are also floating around several rumors about new hardware on the internet. All top vendors are mentioned:

  • Nokia (Lumia 610, Non-US-version of Lumia 900, Windows 8 –Tablet)
  • HTC (Non-US-version of Titan II, some low-end Windows Phones, Windows 8-Tablet)
  • LG (LG Miracle/Fantasy)
  • Samsung
  • ZTE
  • Huawei
  • Sony (again?)
  • and maybe: Fujitsu, Huawei, Acer

So this is what I expect to hear from Microsoft about, after the MWC has finished I will do a conclusion post to compare what we got and what we wished. Feel free to post your suggestions in comments.

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments
German TV shows Windows Phones in report about LTE

German TV shows Windows Phones in report about LTE

image

German TV show “Galileo” recently sent a report about LTE and how it will change our live while using the internet on the go. For us techies this seems rather unspectacular, as we all now how LTE works, right?

What makes the thing a little more interesting is the fact that they used Windows Phones besides the meanwhile typically used Droids.

So it seems also here in Germany Windows Phone gains some more attention, and is accepted as the “third” ecosystem.

What´s also interesting is they are showing a Nokia Lumia 710 (or a-look-alike) in this video. Well, I do not want to interpret that much into it, but it is still interesting.

The second device shown is the HTC Titan II, which was named to be released in the near future. They did not say only in the US, so there might be hope for a release to the rest of the world…

image

So I am curios of what is coming to us, as well from the LTE-part as from the phone part. Maybe after the MWC this month we all know more.

If you know the german language, here you can watch the whole video.

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 0 comments

Details leaked on next major WindowsPhone version ‘Apollo’

wpapollo

Yesterday evening the internet turned totally crazy about the newest leaks about WindowsPhone 8, codenamed “Apollo”.

Pocketnow.com managed to get hands on a video which was intended for partners at Nokia, in which Joe Belfiore himself talks about the next major version.

Check out what we learned from them:

  • Hardware changes: support for multicore-devices, new screen resolutions, and finally support for SD-cards. On top of that MS will ad NFC-capabilities.
  • Windows Phone 8 will also use a lot of the same components as Windows 8. Phone and PC-OS will work natively together, so there will be no need for the Zune client. Finally, there will be also support again for ActiveSync. Developers will be able to share a lot of code between Windows and Windows Phone. But that is still not all:
  • SkyDrive will be integrated deeply in both Windows and Windows Phone.
  • Ecosystem: MS expects to break the 100.000 Apps mark with the launch of Apollo. To get this a little more pushed forward, MS is adding support app-to-app communication. There will be also a Skype integration in the OS.
  • The camera app will be provided in basics from MS. The OEMs are able to change them for their needs more than it is right now.
  • DataSmart: a breakdown of data consumption on your phone.
  • server-side compression to reduce the data consumption in Mobile IE10
  • BitLocker support on the phone. Basically the same as on Windows.

This are awesome news, but we all have to wait for this until the launch of Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone 8.

With the rumors for Tango to add also a folder function into Windows Phone, and the above more or less confirmed leaks, it will be even more awesome to use a Windows Phone.

Let´s hope all that this will help Windows Phone to take off and gain some real good market share!

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 0 comments
What´s up for Microsoft in 2012?

What´s up for Microsoft in 2012?

MSlogoBlog

Today I want to give a sneak preview of what we can expect from Microsoft this year.

Several dates are just fixed:

January 10-13: CES

This will be Microsoft´s last appearance on the Consumer Electronic Show. While this decision started a controversial discussion last year, we will sure see some new features for our Xbox, Windows Phone and probably on Windows 8. Also Nokia is located with a big stand, so I guess there will sure be some Windows Phone news. Maybe we developers will get again some beta of the next Windows Phone version? Or a Windows Phone by Sony (Ericsson)?

February 27 –  March 1: Mobile World Congress

Well, this will be an interesting thing for me from two parts: first as an employee of Telefonicá, which has always something big to tell about their on-going projects like BlueVia, the API-program of them. The world central is also located in Spain, so it is only natural that there will be a huge presence of Telefonicá.  Second part is from my part as Microsoft fan. I expect further details about the next version of Windows Phone, and also some news about the tablet capabilities of Windows 8.

March 9-18: SWSX Interactive

Last year, we all received our fantastic IE9. What happens this year? IE10? Windows 8? Xbox? Well, actually there is nothing concrete, so I have to update this when there will be news.

April: MIX

Well, if you click on that site, there are no news about a conference this year. Maybe it will be mashed up in this years Build. MS itself has no information to share at the moment.

June 5-7: E3 Expo

This is Microsoft´s primary Xbox Stage, and so we will normally see a lot of new Games both for Windows Phone and Xbox (like in 2011). I think there will be also some new apps around there, as the Xbox is now our multimedia centre in our living rooms.

June 11-14: TechEd 2012 

This is for pros and devs and is normally about already announced products. This is primarily for North America.

June 25-29: TechEd Europe 2012

After cancelling last year’s TechEd Europe, Microsoft is set to hold this year´s event.

July 9-13 Worldwide Partner Conference 2012

Microsoft is annually holding this event to thank their partners, show their roadmaps. As the trend for cloud computing continues, I guess there will be a large time of talking about the cloud, the cloud and the cloud.

November 12-15 SharePoint Conference 2012

As until now there is nothing about Office, Office 365 and SharePoint around, I guess this will be the scheduled launch conference for the updated 2012 product line.

So now you have a smart oversight about this years Microsoft events. Surely this list will be updated from time to time, as there are missing some events:

Build 2012

As it seems without a doubt the year of Windows 8 and the next version of Windows Phone, I am sure there will be an event. At this moment there is no information about it, but the missing MIX-conference is another indicator for this event to happen.

As I mentioned above, I will steadily update this post to keep the list up to date.

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments

(Update) HTC answers to claimed infringements on IPCom´s patents

HTC-Logo

As you might heard in the last few days, IPCom, a German patent troll, wants HTC to stop their smartphones. The new discussion has burned up on HTC´s cancellation of their objection at a German court.

HTC says the violated patent was used on only one phone, which is not sold anymore. IPCom says, that all of HTC´s smartphones are violating their patent.

In the meantime, IPCom is suing German wholesalers/retailers to stop selling HTC smartphones.

Here is the response from HTC to those facts:

HTC has been informed on Tuesday (6.12.2011) that IPCom has written to German wholesalers and retailers and asked to discontinue the sale of 3G mobile phones from HTC. HTC is once again seeking to rectify the situation:

  • The letter to dealers in Germany suggests that many HTC mobile phones violate the so-called patent # 100a . The fact is that HTC has withdrawn the appeal in patent # 100 last week.  Patent # 100a is a modified form of the patent # 100; IPCom has no evidence that HTC has violated patent # 100a , there exists no injunction, as far as HTC knows, IPCom has launched no new case against HTC for the breach of this patent.
  • The patent # 100a is currently treated in appeal proceedings at the European Patent Office, and there are clear indications that it will be cancelled in the hearing on 24 April 2012.
  • We pick out our position once again that the original injunction in the case relates patent # 100 on a single, out-dated mobile phone, which is no longer sold in Germany. HTC’s position is supported by previous judgments of the appellate court of Karlsruhe in another case against IPCom. We are providing an alternative implementation of the standard in use, which is not the interpretation of the # 100 by the Mannheim regional court or an any interpretation of the patent # 100a injured.

HTC respects the intellectual property rights of third parties and has entered numerous license agreements with owners of essential patents. It is very regrettable that IPCom has demonstrated his willingness to go too far, including the contacting of our customers to make demands, which we consider to be disproportionate and unjustified. We will continue to defend our business interests and the interests of our customers and partners in the strongest terms.

Until now it is not clear how this will have an impact on HTC´s Christmas sales numbers. But small dealers could consider to not sell the devices from HTC until the situation is clarified.

Update 1:

HTC is still fighting the patent troll IPCOM. Now a German court issued an injunction against IPCOM. Here is the statement from HTC:

The regional court of Düsseldorf today issued an interim measure, which prohibits the German patent holders IPCom to send misleading warnings to distributor of HTC cell phones. HTC repeated its position that the allegations in the mass-sent warnings write are without any foundation. At the same time, HTC will not hesitate take legal action to protect the interests of its clients.

This for sure will help HTC  for the moment. Hopefully this conflict will be ironed out in near future.

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 0 comments
My Top 10 Must-Have apps for WindowsPhone (December 2011)

My Top 10 Must-Have apps for WindowsPhone (December 2011)

toptendec11

On request from some of you I present you today my Top 10 Must-Have apps for Windows Phone. If you want to download one of those apps, just click on the image.

1. WhatsApp (free for one year)

WhatsApp

Everyone has Whatsapp. It is not important which platform you are using. iOS, BlackBerry, Android, Soon Symbian and of course Windows Phone. WhatsApp is a messaging client which works very well and keeps you informed about new messages via Toast-Notification as well as with an counter on your live-tile. Some say that the push and the Toast are not working properly for them. This is NOT an OS-thing, but app-related. I tried WhatsApp on Android and iOS and was also not receiving Notifications. All in all a really good alternative to SMS.

2. Mehdoh (free)

Mehdoh

Even with twitter integration baked into the OS, you cannot go without a twitter app. Before I was using MoTweets as well as Birdsong, which were the best apps when they reached to the marketplace. But then came Mehdoh. Mehdoh is a simple styled, but heavy functional twitter client.  You can use different image-services like yfrog, TwitPic, twidvid or img.ly. You can change your profile directly on the go within the app. The app has also an option for read it later. What I like most on the app is the ability to handle a lot of tweets. Over night you miss easily around 400-600 tweets. Before I was using the mobile twitter site to read them. But now I can do this with Mehdoh – the first app I used which can really handle so many tweets. There are few more features, e.g. the ability to edit retweets (I use this to correct the hashtags to my needs). The app definitely is worth every cent!

3. AccuWeather (free)

AccuWeather.com

With Mango this becomes my primary and only weather app. AccuWeather delivers  good forecasts. You can check how the weather will be hour by hour as well day-by-day. The absolute best feature are multiple live tiles. The app itself contains a live tile for your main location. Then you can set up even more locations and pin them to start. For my needs I have my German location on the main tile, while my Italian location is on a second tile. You can even rename the tiles. Now if they add a post-to-Facebook feature, this will be really the perfect weather app.

4. TuneIn Radio (free)

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio is a great app to hear you favourite radio stations around the world. The have over 50.000 radio stations as well as more than 1 million on-demand streams. I love this app, because I can hear my favourite Italian radio stations here in Germany wherever I am. TuneIn is able to detect all available streams (important to save bandwidth on a contract with bandwidth-reduction like mine). You can pin every station on your start screen, so hearing is only a tap away! If you have an TuneIn account, you can sync your station settings with the app.

5. SuperTube (free and paid 1,29 €/$, with trial)

SuperTube

SuperTube is a premium YouTube app. You can log into your account on YouTube, your lists and follows will be synced with the app. What makes this app so special? Well, a couple of things. You can download videos directly on your windows phone. You can get channel Toast Notification, e. g. for new posts of channels which you are following as well as for you inbox. You can record videos and upload them to YouTube (including resuming on broken uploads). For the last feature you can create a Tile, so recording is only two taps away. I love this this app!

6. My Football (1,99 €/$, with trial)

My Football

My Football is an app to follow your favourite soccer teams and their scores. It was the first app of its kind on Windows Phone back last year. So I bought I it. You can follow all major leagues in the world and also some international events like the EURO 2012. Toast Notification can be set up for live notification of goals of your favourite teams. On the live tile you currently can display one team. You will see the results of the last 5 games (won, draw, or lost). All in all the app is still worth its money. Hopefully there will be a real mango update soon to enhance the app with the great mango features.

7. WordPress for Windows Phone (free)

WordPress

As I am a blogger and host my blog on WordPress, surely I want to manage my blog everywhere. With the app you can check comments and approve or delete them. Once you put in your wordpress.com-API-key, you can also check your stats. You can edit and publish your posts, even with images directly from your phone. Your Blog can be pinned as a tile to the start screen, so you don´t have to go to the menu and choose your blog. This can be useful if you maintain multiple blogs.

8. NAVIGON Europe/US (84,99€/99$ for Europe, 42,49€/49,99$ for US, no trial)

NAVIGON Europe

If you have a smart phone like our Windows Phone, you certainly may think: Why do I have to carry another device (navigation system) with me? Well, you don´t have to, because there is NAVIGON. It comes with a bunch of features. First is the premium navigation itself. Once you put in a route, the app lets you choose between up to three routes to your destination. While on the ride, NAVIGON checks also the traffic situation and recalculates the route for you, if there is too much traffic. There are POI´s as well, and what I really like, you can add locations as live-tile to your start screen. With this tiles, the navigation to their locations are only two taps away!

9. Thumba Photo Editor (0,99 €/$, with trial)

Thumba Photo Editor

Thumba Photo Editor was also one of the first apps I tried and bought on my Windows Phone. As I often do snap shots of my children or my cat, I love the possibilities of this app. It is a really fast little app, which integrates into the pictures hub (check menu and then apps). There are a lot of adjustments like auto contrast, normalize, brightness and contrast, hue and saturation, sharpness, exposure, white balance, shadows and highlights, color balance, colorize, grayscale, multiply, remove noise or posterize. You can also add effects to your photo like HDR, soften portrait, skin treatment, 3D glasses, Velvia, lomo, cross processing, vignette, black and white, retro, vintage, old photo, tilt-shift, lens flare, pencil sketch, zoom blur and many, many others.  The app is under constant maintenance, which means that there are updates with new improvements all the time. Worth every cent!

10. EasyRing&Music (0,99 €/$, with trial)

easyRing&Music

With the Mango update came the ability to add your own ringtones. EasyRing&Music makes this as easy as you can think. Search amazon.mp3, zedge and Myxer as well as some mp3-sites like mp3.com. Also SoundCloud is integrated. Once you found a suitable ringtone you can download it and add it to ringtone list. The developers are currently running a special offer: pay if you want. All functionalities are available for free as well as in the paid version. So if you want e. g. specific ringtones on contacts like me, this is your app!

I hope this article helps you to find new inspiration for apps you can use. There are certainly more apps which are useful, I will post them in a new series which will be category based (like photo apps, social networking apps, etc.).

Posted by msicc in App Reviews, Windows Phone, 0 comments