Microsoft wants your Feedback on WindowsPhone – Developer and User!

Microsoft wants your Feedback on WindowsPhone – Developer and User!

WPLogoBlog

With the release of Windows Phone Mango Microsoft issued also two new Feedback programs.

First I want to have al look on the developer-part:

Microsoft created a userchoice.com-site for developers, which can be found here. Recently they extended the page with an dedicated app for Windows Phone.

Here are some shots:

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You can vote for an existing topic or create a new one. For every topic you can give up to 3 votes, with a summary maximum of 10. There is a description which can be added to a topic. Also you can add your own comment on the topic. Check the shots below:

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So if you are a developer, head over to the marketplace and download this app to give feedback to Microsoft.

Let´s have a look at the consumer part of the feedback program:

Here you can have a look on the page for the consumer feedback. The App for consumer looks very similar to the developer feedback app, as you can see on this shots:

Screen Capture (15)  Screen Capture (19)  Screen Capture (23)Screen Capture (25)  Screen Capture (27)  Screen Capture (34)

Of course there is the same functionality for a topic as in the developer version: Give up to 3 votes for a topic, read or add a description as well as leave a comment:

Screen Capture (10)  Screen Capture (11)  Screen Capture (12)

So if you want to tell Microsoft what you want to have on your OS, head over to the marketplace an download the app right now.

There are some topics which are flagged with “started” on both the developer as well as the consumer feedback program. It seems really Microsoft hears to its customers.

Please provide feedback, only with this Microsoft will deliver those features we are waiting for!

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Merry Christmas!

First I want to excuse for not posting in the last few days. I have catched an ugly otitis media, which tears me really down. Now over to the reason for this post:

I want to wish all of you a Merry, Merry Christmas.

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I wish that all your gadget wishes will come true and hope you will be enjoying a couple of time with your families over the next view days.

Stay tuned for next week, when I will write some news and thoughts about this ending year and what comes up next year.

Once again, Merry Christmas everyone!

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(Update) GEMA and BITKOM reached an agreement for online music services

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Just a few weeks ago I wrote about how the GEMA cuts the user experience in Germany.

Today, the GEMA and BITKOM announced that they finally reached an agreement for internet music services. The Federal Association for information technology, telecommunications and new media e.V. (BITKOM) is the Trade Association of the German information and telecommunications industry.

The agreement covers the amount of copyright remuneration which must be dissipated by the operators of Internet music portals. License fees are per piece of music now usually between 6 and 9 cent net.

Because of this agreement, music stores are now able to offer previews with a length up to 90 seconds.

The agreement also includes licensing of copyright for streaming services over the Internet. “Individual services that are successful abroad, find that similar licensing conditions in Germany,.” “We go therefore the assumption that there will be even more music services in Germany, in which users for a monthly flat fee entirely online can listen all tracks”, as BITKOM Vice-President Smid. “This online business models in the music business for suppliers and users are much more attractive than ever before.”

Ad-funded music services and music videos are not covered until now from the contract. To do this, BITKOM and GEMA will further continue their negotiations, as well as for online video services.

Update: Yesterday the GEMA announced also a tariff for ad-funded music services. The prices are set only from the GEMA – means there is no agreement with BITKOM. BITCOM said it was a locigal consequence, that the GEMA was raising up a tarif. They will prove how they can work with the new tariff.

Let´s hope that in near future all content provider like Spotify and Microsoft with Zune Pass will let us receive the same user experience as in the rest of Europe/the World.

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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:       

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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):

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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.

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(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.

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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.

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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:

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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:          

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[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