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Fishing Knots 1.4 is available & on Christmas Sale!

Fishing Knots 1.4 is available & on Christmas Sale!

My Fishing Knots app has been updated to version 1.4

What´s new?

I added completely reworked graphics to the app. The images are now also following your background color (black or white).

Of course you have still the former features like:

  • controllable animations
  • read aloud the instructions for a knot
  • 3-step instructions with image and text

Of course the German an the Italian version have this update, too.

Check here some screenshots:

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X-Mas sale:

From now until December, 31st you can buy my app for a reduced price!

Check out the marketplace:

English:       Download-EN-Med

German:    

Italian:       

Posted by msicc in Archive, 0 comments
HTC Titan vs. Nokia Lumia 800

HTC Titan vs. Nokia Lumia 800

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Today I am going to compare the HTC Titan to the Nokia Lumia 800.

Display:

The HTC Titan spots a 4,7 inch display, while the Nokia Lumia has a one inch smaller display. The Titan has a clear SLCD display, while the Lumia has an AMOLED display. Here you can see the difference (brightness on both devices is set to automatic):

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The Lumia´s color are more powerful due to the AMOLED technology. Personally, I think the calibration has too much of red in it. This makes me feel the HTC display is more natural in color.

Typing:

Well, let´s go ahead. Typing on Titan is really easy and fast, with nearly no wrong taps on the keyboard. Typing on Lumia is also easy, I was impressed that I was able to use it nearly as fast as the Titan.

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Camera:

Both devices have an 8 MP camera. I know that MP is not all, but in a comparison it still has to tell something. Also both devices come with a F2.2 lens. Nokia has the clear advantage of a Carl Zeiss lens on the hardware side. Carl Zeiss is a German manufacturer which is specialized on optical hardware.

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If you compare the two images, you will recognize that the Lumia´s color are not as powerful as the Titan ones. In my opinion the Titan´s Image looks a little better than the Lumia´s. Both Images are taken with flash. The quality of both cameras is really good for smartphone cameras. So here I will stop with a draw for both devices.

Performance:

Both the Titan as well as the Lumia are fast devices. In daily use, I did not recognize any problems or difference between them. In this case, let us have a look on the numbers (WP Bench):

WPBench20111127072011WPBench20111127071923

As you can see, the Titan has a little better result than the Lumia. The difference is so small, you won´t even check this in daily use.

Sound:

The Titans speaker is on the back, while the Lumia´s is on the bottom of the device. Both speakers have a good sound, while the Lumia´s has a bit weak loudness. The Titan has also a sound optimizer, while the Lumia does not have this. I am sure Nokia will bring any sound optimization in future. For now, plus goes to the Titan.

Differences:

Until now, both devices seem to be a good decision. But as OEM´s, both Nokia and HTC are trying to differentiate from others.

Nokia has its own Navigation System, Nokia Drive and Nokia Music as well as Nokia Maps (last one will be a paid app on other OEM devices). It has no front camera and no gyroscope. We were told that there is also a Nokia section in the marketplace. Well, at least in Germany with o2-sold devices there is no Nokia section. You have to search the Marketplace manually.

HTC has a own Marketplace section, with tools and gadgets you will find useful (for example a torch-app). The Titan also has a front camera for video calls as well as a gyroscope.

Conclusion:

Both devices are really good smartphones. If you want to have a good, well priced device, I recommend for sure the Nokia Lumia 800.

As I am an enthusiastic user and also developer, my decision is the HTC Titan. You will get an future secure device, which has all possibilities a modern smartphone needs.

Thanks for your attention and feel free to leave a comment below.

Posted by msicc in Archive, 0 comments

(Update) How the GEMA cuts the user experience in Germany

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I struggled with myself to write about this for a while. But now I can´t hold back any longer.

The society for musical performance and mechanical reproduction rights (GEMA) is a collecting society which represents the rights of the copyright of those composers, musical, and publishers of musical works in Germany. It is similar to the Harry Fox Agency. Until here there is still no problem.

So why I am writing this article? Well, as I am a Windows Phone User, I normally would love the Zune Pass. The Zune Pass was announced back in 2010 also for Germany.

But it turned out that it will not be released due to the GEMA. So what does the GEMA?

Due to the Fact that the Zune Pass has nearly unlimited streaming, the want to get paid for every streamed song. Microsoft and others are offering a fixed sum per user to the GEMA. The GEMA does not accept.  As a result we still do not have Zune Pass here in Germany. And honestly, I do not think we will get it at one day.

So we have to be glad  the Zune Marketplace, were we can buy songs, albums and videos.

Another example are videos on YouTube with content from Sony Music. YouTube and the GEMA currently do not have an agreement for displaying videos with Sony Music content.  The GEMA wants to be paid per click/per view. Before the got an agreement with a flat amount (until 2009). Now on every video with Sony Music content we get the error: “Sorry, this video has content which is not available in your country”.

Update: Also Apple and Google customers are facing those problems. Apples iTunes Match as well as Google Music will be available, but not or only restricted in Germany.

The GEMA works with the principle of turnaround the burden of proof. If you are a content provider (like Microsoft´s Zune), you have to show the GEMA that your content is not reliable to them. Else you have to pay. Sadly this practice has been confirmed by justice.

I agree that the GEMA is in general a society to help the artists. But they do not work together with the content provider.

Other European countries like Italy, the UK and France also have their agencies similar to the GEMA. They are working together with the content provider.

As often, in the end we customers are punished here in Germany.

Posted by msicc in Archive, 3 comments
HTC HD7 vs. Radar vs. Titan (in the sun comparison)

HTC HD7 vs. Radar vs. Titan (in the sun comparison)

This week we saw how amazing the Nokia Lumia 800 Display survives under the sun. (if you missed it, click here.

As I don´t have a Nokia Lumia 800 yet, I decided to compare an HD7 with a Radar and a Titan.

First I made screenshots from HD7´s and Titan´s start screen to check if there is a difference. I hardly see a difference.

Screen Capture (16)Screen Capture

So, my second step was to take two different photos on each Device. One from the sun with some veil of clouds in front, and one of a garden.

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RadarWP_000006

TitanWP_000126 (7)

Ok, it is no surprise that the Titan´s picture is the best as it has the best camera of the three devices. The Titan took also the most original colors on both motives. The Radar takes better picture than the HD7, but not as good as the Titan.

At least I compared the screen within the sun light. The screen brightness is set to automatic on all devices.

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As you can see, the Radar display is still readable, while the HD7´s display is near to not visible. The Titan´s display most readable. I used two different angles to see how the HD7´s display will respond to the others, but this makes no difference in reading.

So we have a clear winner here: the HTC Titan. The Radar is only little behind, while the HD7 is far from the two Mango phones.

Posted by msicc in Archive, 0 comments
Fishing Knots updated to 1.2 and free version added

Fishing Knots updated to 1.2 and free version added

Today I received the notification, that my update to version 1.2 for Fishing Knots and also my free version were certified to the marketplace.

Here is what has changed:

I reworked the layout to fit more to the Windows Phone OS. I removed the background Image, instead it will continue to use your Phone Background (light or dark). The main menu contains now animated Tiles. The color will be your phone´s accent color. This looks like this:

screen2Screen Capture (13)

Now, if you click on a guide for a knot, you will first see the animation. Finally, I made the animation controllable. You can skip forward and backward, pause and resume the animation of the knots. This looks like this:

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Have you noticed that “read instructions aloud”-button on top of that page? You´re right, the app now can read the instructions for each knot aloud. Only thing I have to mention is, that this will only work if you have an active internet connection. At the moment we developers cannot use Windows Phone´s Text to speech service, so I generated a workaround. That is the reason why the internet connection is needed to work for this function.

The formerly known step by step-guide is also still there. You can switch to them by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page. They are looking still familiar to before:

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As the title of this post mentions, I also created a free version of my fishing knots app. This free version has the same layout, but less functions. The free app has the step by step-guide, but without the read aloud-feature and also without the animation. If you´re ok with that, you can download this version from the marketplace.

In my next version I will include improved images for the animation to also fit the design of the operating system (for both the free and paid version). Of course the same update will be applied to the German and the Italian version of my app.

English:         Download-EN-Med

German:      

Italian:          

Posted by msicc in Archive, 1 comment
[Update] Fishing Knots is available in the WP7 marketplace

[Update] Fishing Knots is available in the WP7 marketplace

Hi everybody,

if you enjoy fishing like I do, you might miss some apps on your Windows Phone. On other platforms, there are plenty of apps to help you while you are fishing.

I decided to close this gap and created my first app, which will help you to tie fishing knots.

The app contains instructions for 12 frequently used fishing knots.

The instructions are broken down to steps, and each guide ends up with an animation showing you how to tie the choosen knot.

In test version you can see the first four knots. The full version will show you all twelve knots.

Please don´t use the marketplace for reporting bugs. Within the app you have the possibility to contact me via e-mail or twitter.

At least here are some screen shots from the English version:

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Feel free to download my app and leave a comment below. I will develop also other apps that might help you while staying on the water.

Update: Now there is not only the German and English version of my app, but also the Italian version. Check out the Links below to download my app in your language.

Now I am working on my next project, which will be a feature rich app. Stay tuned for further information.

English:      Download-EN-Med

German:    

Italian:       

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[Update] Important News: Internet Sharing on Windows Phone Mango

[Update] Important News: Internet Sharing on Windows Phone Mango

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Microsoft´s Joe Belfiore today announced that Internet Sharing or Tethering will be supported on new Windows Phone handsets.

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Many of us – especially those who are long-term WP7-users – may think that this is really bad for us. I am waiting also for this features, and told this to Mr. Belfiore:

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Here is what he responded:

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So let´s hope that all OEM´s will soon update their drivers…

[Update] According to the German Site wp7app.de, HTC will publish a firmware update by mid of October, which will enable the mobile Hotspot feature.  For Samsung devices exists a workaround to get the Internet Sharing activated – however this is no official way.

So it seems that almost HTC is caring about their existing devices. Good news so far.

Greets

Msicc

Posted by msicc in Archive, 5 comments

Update 5: Microsoft’s way to treat WP7-Users outside the US

Today I want to tell you something how MS treats us users here in Germany.

It started back on the launch of WP7. All European launch countries got the Zune Pass. Except Germany. I asked the Support, when will we get the Zune Pass. They told me by the end of 2010. Didn’t happen.

I asked again in January this year. They told me in spring… Guess what – we still don’t have Zune Pass in Germany.

The next thing happened with the recent changes of the WP7-Apphub. Developers have now to fill a special form for their games only for Germany. As this is also needed for updates, German users had to wait 4 days longer for the last Angry Birds update than the rest of the world. Still a few Updates of other Apps and Games are not  available in Germany, but in the rest of the world.

The last thing is that the announced free Xbox Live games of this week aren’t still available here in Germany. I asked the german WindowsPhone-Team on Twitter as well as the American WP-support, but until now got now response.

I am really a fan of Microsoft, but at the moment it is hard to be.

I wanted to change the country of my billing account, but as it is connected with my Xbox and my family’s accounts, this doesn’t even work.

So if anyone from MS reads this, you have to change these things or you will lose a bunch of  customers here in Germany.

[Update:] I know that other countries also still don´t have a Zune Pass. As I live here in Germany, I told you the actual situation. The game situation is however localized to Germany only (as far as I know).

[Update 2:] After 2 days I got a response from the Zune-Support-Team for my question when we will get Zune Pass here in Germany… It is really annoying! Have a look:

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I wonder how long we still have to wait.

As posted in comments, we got similar other offers here in Germany, but without the 10 free songs… So MS would have a real good chance here, also with non WP7-Users…

[Update 3:] MS did it again. While it seems that in the rest of the world this weeks Xbox live game IonballEX is available, German users have still to wait. How long this time?

Check the Marketplace here. Let’s hope the game will be available soon…

[Update 4:] This Morning while making my usual marketplace check, I was able to download this weeks Xbox live game IonBallEX.

Before Yesterday I contacted again the Windows Phone Support via Twitter, but the still got no information why this happens… Many of us (especially Devs) know, that for Germany you have to fill a separate form to release games. But why Xbox Live-enabled titles were not prepared before launching? Indie-Devs are preparing their worldwide launches in a much cleaner and better way than Xbox Live-Devs (p. e. Air Dagger, which has launched worldwide at the same time).

I really hope that with the official release of Mango these things will change in a positive way.

[Update 5:]

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As I mentioned yesterday on Twitter, Microsoft launches Minesweeper to the rest of the world. I honestly thought that we users in Germany again will have to wait much longer than the rest of the non-US-world.

But this time I was able to download it once I clicked to the following this Deep-Link to the Marketplace.

I don’t know whether this is because the game was released last week in the US or if MS has changed its way to publish apps and games to Germany. We will see next week.

Greets
MSicc

Posted by msicc in Archive, 6 comments

Buy In-App Content via Xbox Live on WP7

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Hi everybody,

as I bought the new Xbox Live title “Beards and Beaks” yesterday on my Windows Phone, I found something interesting.

It is the first App/Game which provides additional content via In-App-Download.

The Game provides you a message, that new content is available:

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After finished with checking which content is available, you get a message:

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With a Click of “Let Me at ‘Em! you will be redirected to the following page: (yes, my Xbox live Account is German Smiley mit geöffnetem Mund)

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Interesting thing is, that the content is payable with you Microsoft Points.

So it looks like we probably get free Xbox Live Games in Future. Game contents will be paid with our MS Points. Nice Idea.

Many customers want to buy apps, music etc. also on their Windows Phone with the Points. So let´s see if Microsoft will open up the system to the whole marketplace or to all app developers. This would be another step to compete with the iOS-in-App-purchase-system.

What do you all think about this? Leave a comment, guys!

Greets

MSicc

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A Consumer Sight on Ballmers Keynote at WPC 2011

imageSo now Steve Ballmers WPC keynote has finished.

The Keynote started of with a video about an app for WP7, based on Windows Azure technology.

The demoed how to help the victims of natural catastrophes like the one happened this year with the fatal earthquake and the even more fatal tsunami wave.

Then there was a hymn of words to all the great Microsoft partners.

Sure, it was is a partner conference, but what do we consumers learn from this?

Steve Ballmer entered the stage and was talking about one thing, which has risen in the last few years and will be the number one thing over the next years: The cloud. I don´t want to juggle numbers right now. But the cloud is already used by roundabout 60 % of all partners, so there is still a great potential to use.

Microsoft provides several cloud services itself, like the Office 365 Beta or Windows Azure.

And S. Ballmer motivated Microsoft´s partners to engage those cloud products even more.

As consumers we will get more great services over time. As an “learning” developer for my own it won´t take that much advantage from those services, until I ensure I will earn the money back from my apps – and that is not so easy…

There has been several announcements today, which will be consumer related:

– Windows Phone Mango Update will come this fall – confirmed again by S. Ballmer himself

– Microsoft has soon (with next Windows-Version) the ability to perform very well on small, mid-sized and big-screens

– Bing will not be only a search engine any more. As features an time are growing, it will be a platform which will be opened to developers to let you integrate the services of Bing. There will be Voice Command on PC, on Windows Phone and also on Xbox360.

– Bing will get more social with Facebook and Skype. We will be able to decide and take action, a whole new experience on a “search engine”.

– Bing will integrate new services like event-ticket ordering, parking prices and more

– Live TV on Xbox 360 this Christmas. It is not clear which countries will be supported until now.

– now news on Windows 8, only the already well known video demonstration …

The final message of MS CEO Ballmer clarifies, where the journey will end: One UX over all your devices. This shows also this final imagine from the keynote:

onUXtorulethemall

So as I love the tiles on my Windows Phone, I can´t wait to get them to my Xbox and my PC.

That´s all for now folks,

MSicc

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