Windows Phone 7 http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/11984/ en Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Gushes Over Windows Phone 7 http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/apple_co-founder_steve_wozniak_gushes_over_windows_phone_7 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u46173/nokia_lumia_900_black-580x471.jpg" alt="Nokia Lumia" style="float: right;" />It remains to be seen if Windows Phone 7 can bring Nokia back from the dead, though if you ask Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, Microsoft may have somehow managed to bring back Steve Jobs instead. We are assuming he’s joking, but those are still pretty strong praise of a once former rival. Based on the context, it sounds of it he was referring to how well Microsoft nailed the UI experience, which most people credit as the platforms strongest selling point. In a recent interview with <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/28/2983312/steve-wozniak-windows-phone-android-comparison">The Verge</a>, Woz declared that Windows Phone is like being “with a friend, not a tool”.&nbsp;</p> <p>When asked about his opinion of Android when compared to Windows Phone 7 he was quite clear. He claims there is “no contest” when it comes to the UI experience. Words such as “awkward” and “ugly” were tossed around. As an early engineer of Apple hardware Wozniak has far more in common with today’s geek than your average Apple enthusiast, though its still surprising to hear him side with Microsoft.&nbsp;</p> <p>He later followed up with <a href="http://anewdomain.net/2012/04/26/apple-founder-inventor-steve-wozniak-why-i-love-my-windows-phone-7-5-fan/">A New Domain site</a> to put his strong praise in context.</p> <p>"iPhone is my favorite phone. I did give my opinion that the Windows 7P phone had superior visual appearance and operation cues that were also more attractive. In my opinion, it sets the mark for user interface," he said. "I would recommend it (WP) over my Android phones.... I surmise that Microsoft hired someone from Apple and put money into having a role in the UI and appearance of some key apps." "I also surmised that Steve Jobs might have been reincarnated at MS due to a lot of what I see and feel with this phone making me think of a lot of great Apple things."</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/apple_co-founder_steve_wozniak_gushes_over_windows_phone_7#comments apple microsoft mobile steve woz Windows Phone 7 News Sun, 29 Apr 2012 20:19:16 +0000 Justin Kerr 23226 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nokia Surges Past HTC and Samsung To Become Biggest Windows Phone Manufacturer http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/nokia_surges_past_htc_and_samsung_become_biggest_windows_phone_manufacturer <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u46173/nokia-lumia-800-black.jpg" alt="Lumia 800" style="float: right;" />The Windows Phone team has been keeping the Champaign on ice for months now waiting for a reason to celebrate, and that moment may have finally arrived. According to market research firm <a href="http://www.strategyanalytics.com/default.aspx?mod=pressreleaseviewer&amp;a0=5179">Strategy Analytics</a>, Nokia has surged pasted HTC and Samsung to become the single largest manufacturer of Windows Phone devices. This is pretty impressive when you consider that the Lumia lineup is only just now hitting the market in full force, and already accounts for 33 percent of all Windows Phone handsets sold.&nbsp;</p> <p>Many questioned Nokia’s decision to throw its fate in with Microsoft, and while it’s a bit too early to say Stephen Elop has saved the company, it is certainly a positive sign. With new handsets likely to be announced at next week at Mobile World Congress, the future is looking bright for the partnership which for all intents and purposes is only just getting started.&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/nokia_surges_past_htc_and_samsung_become_biggest_windows_phone_manufacturer#comments htc microsoft mobile Nokia samsung windows phone Windows Phone 7 News Sun, 26 Feb 2012 20:48:23 +0000 Justin Kerr 22792 at http://www.maximumpc.com 10 Reasons Why Windows Phone 7 is Better Than Android http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/10_reasons_why_windows_phone_7_better_android <!--paging_filter--><p>There are certain perks to working as a tech journalist: coffee is free and plentiful, trade shows are equal parts fun and frantic, and most of all, we get the chance to play with lots and lots of new toys. I’ve personally had the luck to be able to swap handsets pretty much bi-weekly for the last couple of months, and find it kind of a bummer that <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/20_essential_tips_and_tricks_windows_phone_75_mango" target="_blank">Windows Phone 7</a> hasn’t really been embraced as the solid mobile platform that it is (I said it’s a bummer, I didn’t say we didn’t see it coming).</p> <p>Regardless of the numbers, WP7 is one of our favorite mobile platforms, outshining <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/10_reasons_root_your_android_device" target="_blank">Android</a> in almost every aspect. Don’t believe me? Well, allow me to try and change your mind.</p> <h3>Streamlined User Interface</h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7android-metroui.jpg" width="600" height="336" /></p> <p>Android’s are different depending on the SKU of the handset. In other words, the UI you’ll be dealing with when using, say, a Motorola handset, will be radically different than one from Samsung or HTC. The <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/mobile_os_revolution_android_4_windows_phone_75_and_apple_ios_5_explained" target="_blank">ambiguity can be disconcerting</a>. With WP7, you know what kind of interface you’re going to be working with, regardless of the handset manufacturer. We’d imagine that an un-tweaked user interface would also make lives easier for developers, as well. We love some Android user interfaces, but loathe others. With WP7, at least you know what user interface to expect, regardless of the handset maker. Speaking of which…</p> <h3>WP7 Has An Easier-To-Use Interface</h3> <p>It really does. And look, we get it. An Android is a power user’s phone, and we know that if you’re really looking for power-use, you’ve got to be willing to learn some things. But we’re the geeky minority here, and you’ve got to keep in mind that most people are looking for a phone that makes it easiest to do their day-to-day tasks. Keeping that in mind, WP7’s “tile” system is simply easier to organize and find the things you need to throughout the day. It looks cooler too; way cooler, actually.</p> <h3>WP7 Has Apps That Aren’t Crap</h3> <p>Open-source is good, and it’s a compelling reason to support Android as a mobile platform, but let’s face it: You’ve got to sift through some real $#@t in the Android Marketplace to find apps that are worth downloading, much less buying. Most people fail to realize that the Windows Mobile SDK has been around for quite some time now, and it shows in the Marketplace, especially on the gaming side of the spectrum. Many of the games we played featured awesome 3D graphics and a level of polish simply not(yet)-to-be-found in the Android hemisphere. Microsoft has a far stricter criteria set than Google about which <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/search/windows%20phone%207%20app%20of%20the%20week" target="_blank">apps and games</a> can populate their respective marketplace. Oh, and now that we’re on the topic of gaming…</p> <h3>Microsoft LIVE Integration Is Bad Ass</h3> <p>If you’re achievement junkies like we are (you know who you are), then a WP7 handset is a must-have. Have a game on Xbox or PC that you love playing? Pop over to the Windows app store; chances are there’s a mobile version of that same game, where you can continue earning points and unlocking achievements with your handset. You can also keep tabs on your buddies’ achievements, and tweak and enhance your <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_xbox_companion" target="_blank">Xbox Live</a> avatar. Granted, this integration is still in an infancy stage, but we’d be willing to bet that we’ll be seeing deeper and more intuitive connections between gaming and phones in the near-future. Forward progress is good progress.</p> <h3>Microsoft Mobile Office Integration</h3> <p>We were actually blown away by how deep this rabbit-hole goes. Microsoft Word Mobile Edition, by way of an example, is actually a very intuitive little program, allowing you remote access documents using SharePoint Server 2010, you can use the “find” tool to look for particular words or phrases, and you can even email documents directly from the program.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7android-office.jpg" width="620" height="376" /></p> <p>We’ve had the pleasure of testing some Android phones that can dock with workstations to function as a laptop; imagine how crazy it would be if Windows launched a similar product with a full-fledged Office Suite. That’d be one step closer to a true fusion between phones and computers, and we’re all for that.</p> <h3>Microsoft Isn’t Constantly Getting Sued by Apple</h3> <p>Whether targeting <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/apple_wins_import_ban_htc_android_phones" target="_blank">HTC</a> a year ago or <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/motorola_wins_patent_case_against_apple_germany_can_block_iphone_imports" target="_blank">Motorola</a> last fall or even <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/sue_happy_apple_couldnt_stop_samsung_selling_300_million_handsets_2011" target="_blank">Samsung</a> (which is remarkable seeing how they are a flat out key supplier of Apple’s hardware components) just a few days ago, Apple has been regularly suing the hell out of Android handset makers; mostly in regards to hardware and software <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/apple_granted_new_slide_unlock_patent_expect_lawsuits_start_flying_soon" target="_blank">patents</a>. So why is Apple seemingly ignoring WP7 in the courts? Well, there could be numerous reasons: Optimistically, it could be because the software and hardware developments on WP7 are truly original and innovative, meaning Apple can’t accuse Microsoft of lifting their ideas. A more realistic reasoning? Apple doesn’t see WP7 as that big of a threat…yet.</p> <h3>Stability</h3> <p>This is speaking from personal experience with various handsets across both platforms, but to put it simply, WP7 has just been a more stable experience. Apps like <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_facebook" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and Netflix simply run the way they were meant to with far less of the hiccups and crashes found on the Android platform. This runs parallel with the overall theme behind WP7 mobile devices: Simplicity. Granted, WP7 had to forgo some of the more complex actions Androids are capable of (i.e. lack of tethering support, lack of ability to capture screenshots, no multi-tasking), but to us, that’s a worthy trade for a phone that will do what you want it do, every step of the way.</p> <h3>Zune is a Native Client, and it’s Not Pay-Per-Song</h3> <p>We like Zune as a service—you pay a monthly fee and can download as many songs as you want, as opposed to being pigeonholed into paying per song, like with Apple and Android. Also, we really enjoy the fact that Zune is a native client that comes fresh out-the-box with WP7—setting up music services on an Android involves downloading various apps (like Google Music, which then has to synch to your Google Wallet, which then has to synch to your Google Music Server, which then needs a Gauntlet from Moredore to unlock your songs, which then needs…well, you get the point) that is just sort of a hassle, and glitchy to boot. Again, simplicity reigns supreme.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7android-keyboard3.jpg" width="543" height="240" />&nbsp;</p> <h3>Snappier Keyboard</h3> <p>All right, we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty, and this is a minor nit to pick, but for the most part (with the exception of the Android Sprint Galaxy, which actually featured a physical slide-out QWERTY keyboard), Windows Phone 7 had a snappier, and more importantly, a more consistent keyboard that was snappy and accurate, regardless of the device. And, though Droid offered a few keyboard-contenders with the Galaxy S2 and the Incredible, others were really bad, (ahem, Droid X2, cough).</p> <h3>No Ad-Ware!</h3> <p>That’s right, there is nary a pop up ad to be found, whether you’re in the Windows Marketplace, or playing a game. There is nothing more irritating when using an Android that having to manually close pop-up adds, many of which appear mid game. There are, indeed, advantages to more stringent app restrictions, and WP7 seems to have found a perfect balance.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/10_reasons_why_windows_phone_7_better_android#comments android smartphones Windows Phone 7 wp7 Features Fri, 13 Jan 2012 18:13:27 +0000 Alan Fackler 22223 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows Phone 7 App of the Week: ARMED http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_armed <!--paging_filter--><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u112496/armed_-_01_0.png" alt="armed01" width="500" height="299" /></p> <p>We're suckers for games around these parts, and smart phone games are no exception. Many of the compelling games for Windows Phone are Xbox Live titles, but certainly not all of them. One game which is a perfect example of what independent developers are capable of is ARMED.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u112496/armed_-_02.png" alt="armed02" width="500" height="299" /></p> <p>ARMED is a turn-based strategy game for Windows Phone. Unlike many indie games for Windows Phone ARMED features impressive 3D graphics which wouldn't be out of place in an Xbox Live game. New players can learn the basics of the game through the tutorial, which walks you through all of the basics of creating buildings and units. Multiplayer gaming is another feature of ARMED which allows you to compete against other players using the same device or across the internet. ARMED allows you to create a game against an opponent with a similar ranking or a custom game against a previous opponent. Your ranking can be compared to others using the online leader board.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u112496/armed_-_03.png" alt="armed03" width="500" height="300" /></p> <p>ARMED is available from the Windows Phone Marketplace. The game costs $3.99, but there is a free trial available for those who are a little hesitant to put out their hard earned cash.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u112496/armed_-_04.png" alt="armed04" width="498" height="298" /></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_armed#comments app ARMED Windows Phone 7 Features Wed, 11 Jan 2012 19:55:46 +0000 Tim Ferrill 22169 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows Phone 7 App of the Week: SkyDrive http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_skydrive <!--paging_filter--><p>One of the huge benefits of using a Windows Phone is how it integrates with Microsoft’s cloud services like Zune, SkyDrive, Hotmail, and Xbox Live. All of these services are integrated directly into the Windows Phone OS, but a few have also been targeted with secondary apps to increase the level of integration.</p> <p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/files/u112496/skydrive_-_01.png" alt="skydrive one" width="263" height="439" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<img src="/files/u112496/skydrive_-_02.png" alt="skydrive two" width="262" height="437" /></p> <p>SkyDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution, offering 25 GB of online storage to users. The service is integrated directly into the Office and Pictures hubs in Windows Phone, allowing you to manually or automatically synchronize your pictures or office documents to the cloud for use on other devices. Unlike these integration points, the SkyDrive app for Windows Phone provides you access to all of the files and folders in your SkyDrive account, allowing you to view, download, delete, or share your files and folders.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u112496/skydrive_-_03.png" alt="skydrive three" width="268" height="447" /></p> <p>We’d like to see the SkyDrive app become more music-friendly in the future. With both Apple and Google providing services which allow users to upload their music collection to the cloud for convenient mobile access it’s a shame that the SkyDrive app only allows you to listen to one mp3 file at a time.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u112496/skydrive_-_04.png" alt="skydrive four" width="277" height="462" /></p> <p>The SkyDrive app is available from the <a href="http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/apps/ad543082-80ec-45bb-aa02-ffe7f4182ba8">Windows Phone Marketplace</a>.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_skydrive#comments app Windows Phone 7 Features Thu, 05 Jan 2012 00:47:50 +0000 Tim Ferrill 22074 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows Phone 7 App of the Week: OptumizeMe http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_optumizeme <!--paging_filter--><p>Many of us are past the Thanksgiving holiday and are fully in the middle of the post-Thanksgiving guilt trip. The turkey and various accoutrements have been consumed to the point of gluttony, and many of us are suffering through the adverse affect the Thanksgiving holiday has on our waistline. In the interest of assisting our readers return to their pre-holiday state of health, we're featuring OptumizeMe as our Windows Phone 7 App of the Week.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7-optumizeme01.jpg" width="288" height="480" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <img src="/files/u139222/wp7-optumizeme02.jpg" width="288" height="480" /></p> <p>Health and Fitness apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace are a dime a dozen and many are free to use, but none provide the flexibility and scope of OptumizeMe. Unlike many of the competing apps in the Marketplace, OptumizeMe uses the concept of "Challenges" to get users motivated to better their health. Challenges can be anything from walking once a week to improving your eating habits. OptumizeMe is also a social app which allows you to compete against your friends in Challenges, giving you extra motivation to be consistent in an effort to reach your goals.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7-optumizeme03.jpg" width="288" height="480" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <img src="/files/u139222/wp7-optumizeme04.jpg" width="288" height="480" /></p> <p>OptumizeMe is available as a free download from the Windows Phone Marketplace. Many features require registration with the OptumizeMe web service.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_optumizeme#comments apps fitness health optumizeme Windows Phone 7 Windows Phone 7 App of the Week wp7 Features Wed, 14 Dec 2011 18:16:55 +0000 Tim Ferrill 21746 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows Phone 7 App of the Week: ShopSavvy http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_shopsavvy <!--paging_filter--><p>Even though Thanksgiving weekend and Black Friday are behind us, the Christmas shopping season - and the retail madness it brings - marches steadily along. Frenzied bargain hunters and a multitude of confusing, competing offers can turn "the most wonderful time of the year" into a shopping nightmare if you aren't prepared. Where are the best deals, and what is the best way to find those deals while on the go? Enter ShopSavvy.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7-shopsavvy01.jpg" width="288" height="480" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <img src="/files/u139222/wp7-shopsavvy02.jpg" width="288" height="480" /></p> <p>ShopSavvy is an app for Windows Phone 7 which will let you scan an item's barcode or QR code, price compare between online and local retailers, and see reviews other consumers have posted. ShopSavvy will even save your search history in case you need to recall something you previously searched for. For those with nosy family members, individual searches can be deleted in order to preserve the surprise for Christmas day.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7-shopsavvy03.jpg" width="288" height="480" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <img src="/files/u139222/wp7-shopsavvy04.jpg" width="288" height="480" /></p> <p>ShopSavvy goes beyond price comparisons by also providing you with details on individual merchants, even to the point of indicating if the seller has a price matching policy in place. Local retailers with deals are also listed, helping consumers find places to focus their shopping. Shoppers can also share deals they've discovered via Facebook and Twitter.</p> <p>ShopSavvy is available as a free download from the <a href="http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/apps/b3e6f4f6-240d-e011-9264-00237de2db9e" target="_blank">Windows Phone Marketplace</a>.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_shopsavvy#comments online shopping shopsavvy Windows Phone 7 Windows Phone 7 App of the Week wp7 Features Thu, 08 Dec 2011 00:28:06 +0000 Tim Ferrill 21678 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Not in Awe of Siri, Says We've Had Similar Tech for Over a Year http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/microsoft_not_awe_siri_says_weve_had_similar_tech_over_year <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u46168/iphone-4s-siri.jpg" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />While its harsh to judge a device against the oft-outlandish rumors preceding its launch, the disappointment surrounding the iPhone 4S launch was justified as the upgrades did not seem commensurate with the long gap between the 4S and its predecessor. However, the smartphone’s voice-activated personal assistant Siri is an entirely different matter, with even Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently calling it a “significant development.” Microsoft’s Craig Mundie, though, is not in awe of Siri.</p> <p>Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategic Officer is not willing to concede that Siri is a technological breakthrough, but views it as another instance of people being “infatuated” with Apple products.</p> <p>"As a technological capability, you could argue that Microsoft has had a similar capability in Windows phones for more than a year,”&nbsp; he told Forbes' Eric Savitz in a <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2011/11/24/whats-craig-mundie-been-smoking/">recent interview</a>. That said, he admitted that Microsoft could learn a thing or two on the marketing front from Apple.</p> <p>Anyways, the “similar capability” he was referring to happens to be TellMe, which was first introduced as a downloadable app for Windows Mobile in 2009. But the two technologies are hardly similar, as is clear from this video from TechAu's Jason Cartwright:</p> <p><object style="height: 370px; width: 620px;"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/SHoukZpMhDE?version=3&amp;feature=player_detailpage" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/SHoukZpMhDE?version=3&amp;feature=player_detailpage" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always"></embed></object></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/microsoft_not_awe_siri_says_weve_had_similar_tech_over_year#comments apple ios iphone 4s mango microsoft siri tellme voice recognition Windows Phone 7 News Sun, 27 Nov 2011 14:39:50 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 21503 at http://www.maximumpc.com Unlocked Nokia N9 Available in US, Just $690 http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/unlocked_nokia_n9_available_us_just_690 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u94712/nokia-n9-family.jpg" alt="n9" width="228" height="216" style="float: right;" />Despite officially moving away from a Symbian/MeeGo focus last Spring, Nokia went ahead with its final MeeGo-based device and put of the N9 just a few months ago. Although the device was never supposed to arrive on American shores, unlocked device reseller <a href="http://www.expansys-usa.com/nokia-n9-smartphone-unlocked-black-16gb-220310/">Expansys</a> has a brand-new Nokia N9 <a href="http://www.intomobile.com/2011/11/07/nokia-n9-sale-usa-cost-you-690-but-least-you-get-free-shipping/">with your name on it</a>, if you roll that way. This doomed device, will set you back $690, but you so get free shipping.</p> <p>Many users have noted how depressing it is that Nokia appears to have gotten MeeGo right just before abandoning it for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform. The N9 has almost the same body as the recently announced Lumia 800, but with a slightly larger FWVGA resolution screen. The phone packs in Nokia’s signature penta-band 3G HSPA radio, so it will work on both AT&amp;T and T-Mobile in the US.&nbsp;</p> <p>Significant updates are unlikely on this device, and the app ecosystem is virtually non-existent. You have to truly respect what the N9 is right now to pick one up, especially for this exorbitant price. Anyone out there tempted?</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/unlocked_nokia_n9_available_us_just_690#comments meego microsoft mobile n9 Nokia smartphones Windows Phone 7 News Mon, 07 Nov 2011 22:57:30 +0000 Ryan Whitwam 21212 at http://www.maximumpc.com Official ChevronWP7 Windows Phone Unlock Tool Is Live http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/official_chevronwp7_windows_phone_unlock_tool_live <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u94712/samsung_focus_s_wp7_mango_thumb.jpg" alt="wp7" width="228" height="144" style="float: right;" />You may recall that shortly after its launch, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 was hacked by the Chevron team, allowing users to install homebrew apps without a pricey developer account. Microsoft asked the devs to pull it down as the tool interfered with updating devices, but promised to work with the developers to officially support unlocking. Well, the day has <a href="http://www.wpcentral.com/chevron-labs-now-live">finally arrived</a>. Official Windows Phone unlocking is available for a nominal fee, and users won’t even have to void warranties to do it.</p> <p>To get started, Windows Phone users will need to log in with a Windows Live ID on the ChevronWP7 site. Once in, it’s just a one time $9 fee for unlimited unlocks on a single handset. That’s just a fraction of Microsoft's $99 yearly developer fee. When the device is registered, it goes into a queue to be unlocked.&nbsp;</p> <p>It’s taken some time, but we’re happy to see that Microsoft lived up to its promise to work with the Chevron team. Homebrew development can lead to new apps for the platform’s official store, and increased excitement around the platform. Any Windows Phone users out there that are planning to use the ChevronWP7 unlock?</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/official_chevronwp7_windows_phone_unlock_tool_live#comments ChevronWP7 homebrew microsoft mobile windows phone Windows Phone 7 News Fri, 04 Nov 2011 21:55:55 +0000 Ryan Whitwam 21184 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nokia Maps Coming To Other Phones, No Voice Prompts Included http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/nokia_maps_coming_other_phones_no_voice_prompts_included <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u94712/nokia-drive.png" alt="nokia" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />When Nokia showed off its new Windows Phone wares at Nokia World last week, we all wondered if the software features shown off would arrive on other devices. Well, the answer appears to be “kinda.” The most interesting Nokia app was the turn-by-turn Nokia Maps, and other Windows Phone 7 devices will get access, but <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/02/nokia-maps-to-be-available-for-all-windows-phone-handsets-sans/">without voice prompts in navigation</a>.</p> <p>Nokia Drive fills in a real feature gap in Windows phone, which lacks voice prompts or live routing in its navigation app. The Nokia Maps app will show up in the Windows Phone Marketplace in the next few weeks, but it’s not going to offer much more than the existing integrated Bing Maps. This sets Nokia’s Lumia phones apart from the rest of the Windows Phone lineup.</p> <p>Microsoft said that Nokia would be a special partner on Windows Phone, and this is the first manifestation of it. Microsoft has been unable to implement a feature, instead leaving it up to Nokia, which reasonably wants to promote its own phones. Do you think Microsoft should develop its own turn-by-turn technology for Windows phone, or let Nokia have this differentiator?</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/nokia_maps_coming_other_phones_no_voice_prompts_included#comments apps GPS microsoft mobile navigation Nokia nokia drive smartphones Windows Phone 7 News Wed, 02 Nov 2011 21:53:52 +0000 Ryan Whitwam 21148 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows Phone 7 App of the Week: Crafting Guide http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_crafting_guide <!--paging_filter--><p>If you’ve ever spent any time playing an RPG or RTS of any kind, you know the biggest learning curve is figuring out what items or materials you need to build that sweet piece of gear your buddy carries around. The different combinations, tools, and techniques required by different games can also add to the confusion. The reality is learning the build tree in a particular game is the key to your survival and is the biggest obstacle between you and world domination.</p> <p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7-craftingguide01.jpg" alt="cg" width="288" height="480" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <img src="/files/u139222/wp7-craftingguide02.jpg" width="288" height="480" /></p> <p>Age of Empires Online is the latest in Microsoft’s long line of Real-Time Strategy games. While not the most well-received RTS in history, the game is free to play and is worth a look for gamers on a budget. To aid in the learning curve of building items in Age of Empires Online, Microsoft has released Crafting Guide for Windows Phone 7. Crafting Guide provides you a searchable and sortable database of the items you can build within the Age of Empires game, and gives you the recipe or steps needed to build or acquire the item. You also have the option of entering the materials you have access to, and Crafting Guide will provide you with a selection of items you can build from the chosen materials.</p> <p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7-craftingguide03.jpg" width="288" height="480" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <img src="/files/u139222/wp7-craftingguide04.jpg" width="288" height="480" /></p> <p>Crafting Guide is available as a free download from the Windows Phone Marketplace.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/windows_phone_7_app_week_crafting_guide#comments crafting guide Windows windows phone Windows Phone 7 Features Wed, 26 Oct 2011 18:03:12 +0000 Tim Ferrill 21023 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nokia Launches Its First Windows Phone Devices You May Never Own http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/nokia_launches_its_first_windows_phone_devices_you_may_never_own <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/nokia_lumia_800.png" width="228" height="172" style="float: right;" />Nokia's officially back in the smartphone game. The Finnish phone maker announced the launch of its Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 devices at Nokia World, the first Nokia smartphones powered by Windows Phone, and according to company CEO Stephon Elop, "Lumia is the first Windows Phones" period. Those are big words coming from Nokia, do these phones have the moxie to back them up?</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.nokia.co.uk/gb-en/products/phone/lumia800/">Lumia 800</a> features a 3.7-inch AMOLED ClearBack curved display and is similar in style to the Nokia N9. It has a single-core 1.4GHz processor with hardware acceleration and a graphics processor, 16GB of internal memory, 512MB of RAM, 8MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics, HD playback, and measures 116.5mm (H) x 61.xmm (W) x 12.1mm (D). It's available in cyan, magenta, and black.</p> <p>On the lower end, Nokia describes the <a href="http://www.nokia.co.uk/gb-en/products/phone/lumia710/">Lumia 710</a> as a "purposely built, no-nonsense" phone that can be personalized with exchangeable back covers and thousands of apps. It has the same 3.7-inch AMOLED screen, 1.4GHz processor, and 512MB of RAM, but a downgraded 5MP camera and 8GB of internal storage. This one measures 119mm (H) x 62.4mm (W) x 12.5mm (D).</p> <p>Both phones enter the fray rocking Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango), and both may never set foot in the U.S. However, Elop did say Nokia "will be introducing a portfolio of products into the United States in early 2012."</p> <p>Finally, Nokia also unveiled a slew of feature phones introduced as part of its new Asha family. These include the Asha 303, 300, 200, and 201. You can read more about all these devices <a href="http://press.nokia.com/2011/10/26/nokia-showcases-bold-portfolio-of-new-phones-services-and-accessories-at-nokia-world/">here</a>.</p> <p>Image Credit: Nokia</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/nokia_launches_its_first_windows_phone_devices_you_may_never_own#comments Hardware lumia 710 lumia 800 maximum tech mobile Nokia smartphone windows phone Windows Phone 7 News Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:15:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 21016 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Giving Windows Phones To Tech Gurus With Klout http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/microsoft_giving_windows_phones_tech_gurus_klout <!--paging_filter--><p>Are you a mover and a shaker? What’s that, you’re not sure? If you were on Klout, there wouldn’t be any doubt in your mind. The service keeps track of your activity across the social networks and assigns you a numerical score that lets you know, basically, whether you’re hot or you’re not. If you’ve got Klout, you might get a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/20_essential_tips_and_tricks_windows_phone_75_mango">Mango-packing Windows Phone</a>, too; Microsoft’s giving away 500 of the devices – along with passes to VIP launch parties – through the Klout Perks rewards program.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u138055/klout_windows_phone.jpg" width="500" height="242" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The barrier to entry is nothing to sneeze at, though. You’ll need to be 21 years old and have a Klout tech score of a whopping 55 or higher. You can see if you qualify by clicking this link. The first VIP party will take place in New York, and then move around the country to Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.</p> <p>“Top influencers are trusted by their audience to share their real opinions and more and more brands are recognizing this power,” <a href="http://corp.klout.com/blog/2011/10/your-klout-can-earn-you-a-new-phone/">the Klout blog post announcing the deal</a> crows. “Klout Perks is quickly becoming the best way to launch new products.” </p> <p>What do you guys think of this social movers and shakers-focused marketing technique?</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/microsoft_giving_windows_phones_tech_gurus_klout#comments Hardware Klout mango microsoft smartphone Windows Phone 7 News Fri, 21 Oct 2011 17:27:22 +0000 Brad Chacos 20950 at http://www.maximumpc.com 20 Essential Tips and Tricks for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/20_essential_tips_and_tricks_windows_phone_75_mango <!--paging_filter--><p>Windows Phone 7 is one of our favorite mobile platforms, and the Mango update brings some core functionality that was missing in the original release. With all of the new features and tools, there is a minor learning curve, but this list of tips will get you using Mango like a pro in no time. We’ll go through many of the individual apps and utilities that you are familiar with in Windows Phone 7, and show you the new enhancements that can make your life easier.</p> <h3>Bing</h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7mangotips-bingscout.jpg" width="290" height="480" style="float: right; margin: 0 0 10px 15px;" /></p> <p><strong>Local Scout</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/how-tos/cheat_sheet_10_banging_bing_tips" target="_blank">Bing</a> really comes into its own as a key part of the Windows Phone platform in Mango, and Local Scout takes center stage. Local Scout makes it easy to discover restaurants, events, and attractions based on your phone’s location data. Using Bing's resources, Local Scout can provide you with contact information, reviews, directions, or a link to associated websites.</p> <p><strong>Music</strong></p> <p>Most of us have experienced the situation where you hear something on the radio and want to know more about the song or artist. Windows Phone Mango now offers Music search within the Bing app. Simply press the Music button, and your phone starts listening to the song, and attempts to find a match. When a match is found, Bing provides album art, song title, and a link to the Zune Marketplace.</p> <p><strong>Vision</strong></p> <p>You know those scanning phone apps that capture a barcode or QR codes and give you link results? Barcodes only scratch the surface of what Bing Vision provides. Vision allows you to capture an image using the phone’s camera, attempts to recognize any text in the image, and then gives you the ability to search or translate the text. Vision will also search based on the image itself. For example, capturing the cover of a book launches a search for that book and a price comparison between sellers.</p> <p><strong>App Links</strong></p> <p>Bing not only gives you more ways to search using your phone, but also more ways to use those search results. When using any of its search methods, Bing gives you a normal result set, but it also hips you to available apps that can give you even more details, whether those apps are installed on your device or not. As a good example, a classic Bing search for a movie will give you ratings and show times. But with the new App Links, you also get a list of apps such as IMDB, Fandango, and<a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/chrome_web_app_week_flixster" target="_blank"> Flixster</a>. The App Link will allow you to navigate directly to the details for your search result within the app itself.</p> <p><strong>Navigation</strong></p> <p>Windows Phone already provided turn-by-turn navigation on Windows Phone 7, but it was less than optimal. With Mango, navigation receives a huge upgrade, including directions with voice prompts. Bing provides you with both a Map and step-by-step directions with large fonts and arrows indicating which direction to turn. If you want an update on how far you are from your next turn, just tap the map, and Bing will give you a spoken update.</p> <h3>People</h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7mangotips-peoplegroups.jpg" width="288" height="480" style="float: right; margin: 0 0 10px 15px;" /></p> <p><strong>Groups</strong></p> <p>Many smart phone owners have scores of contacts or, as Windows Phone refers to them, People. Managing your People can sometimes be a hassle, and trying to send an email or text to a specific group of people can outright suck. People Groups in Windows Phone Mango let you combine multiple contacts into a smaller set. Once you have a Group created, you can easily pin it to your start screen, providing quick access to send an email or SMS message to the entire Group.</p> <p><strong>Contact History</strong></p> <p>Have you ever started a conversation using SMS and then continued it using Email? The History section of a contact will let you see your communication history with each person. SMS and email messages are listed, as well as a phone call history. You can quickly jump to the details of each message with a single tap.</p> <p><strong>What’s New Account Filter</strong></p> <p>In addition to <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/ultimate_social_media_guide_31_tips_facebook_twitter_google_and_more" target="_blank">Facebook</a> integration, Mango adds the ability to connect to Twitter and LinkedIn. With the sheer number of contacts we deal with in our social networks, the What’s New area of the People Hub can be a never-ending blur of status updates and wall posts. People Groups can help you narrow your updates to specific lists of people, but What’s New will also allow you to only view updates from specific social networks. Tapping the What’s New text at the top of the screen lets you choose which networks will show updates.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="clear:both;">Messaging</h3> <p><strong><img src="/files/u133661/mango_tips_messaging_chat2_0.gif" width="200" height="333" style="float: right; margin: 0 0 10px 15px;" />Chat</strong></p> <p>Microsoft has taken Facebook integration to a new level in Mango, starting with integrated support for Facebook Chat. You enable Facebook Chat under Messaging Settings and will have to link your Facebook account with your Windows Live ID. Once configured, you can set your status and view online friends using the Messaging app. Chat also supports Windows Live Messenger accounts.</p> <p><strong>Speech</strong></p> <p>Voice support in Windows Phone takes a big step forward with Mango. When in a message thread you have the option to dictate a message using the Speak button instead of typing it. Windows Phone will also read incoming text messages aloud, which is particularly useful while driving. You can change how and when text messages are read aloud in the Speech Settings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Productivity</h3> <p><strong>SkyDrive Integration with Office Hub</strong></p> <p>SkyDrive performs so many roles in Mango, but none more useful than the integration with the Office Hub. Previously in Windows Phone you could synchronize your<a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/get_it_together_seven_apps_and_services_organize_your_life" target="_blank"> OneNote</a> documents to your SkyDrive account, while other document types (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) could only be saved to a SharePoint Server. Mango provides the ability to save any document type to your SkyDrive account, where you can view, edit, download, or share your document. Our money says any additional integration with Microsoft's existing cloud features is a step in the right direction.</p> <p><strong>Linked Inboxes</strong></p> <p>“Unified Inbox” is an antiquated notion. Instead of forcing you to choose between using a single Inbox for all your email or leaving them all separate, Windows Phone Mango allows you to pick and choose which mail boxes should be grouped together. Simply choose “Link Inboxes” from the menu within a mail box, and Mango will ask you to select which boxes to link together. Changed your mind? Mango also allows you to gracefully remove the link.</p> <hr /> <h3>Audio</h3> <p><strong>Custom Ringtones</strong></p> <p>Finally, you can use custom ringtones with your Windows Phone. Question: How do you load them? Answer: the same way you load any other music using the Zune client software. Caveats: Your song must be an MP3 or WMA file, less than 40 seconds in length, less than 1MB, and must have the genre set to “ringtone”. Simple.</p> <p><strong>Smart DJ</strong></p> <p>Zune has had Smart DJ for a long time, but it's new to Windows Phone with Mango. Smart DJ will take your selected song, album, or artist and create a playlist based on similar music. The concept is similar to Pandora radio, only with songs in your local storage. It's a great option for creating a different selection of music to listen to in an instant.</p> <h3>General</h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7mangotips-generalmultitasking.jpg" width="288" height="480" style="float: right; margin: 0 0 10px 15px;" /></p> <p><strong>Multitasking</strong></p> <p>Multitasking is one of the biggest new features in Mango, and it makes a big difference. In truth, it's actually really fast app switching, as apps are limited in what they can do in the background, but in most cases you won't know or care. To use the feature you hold down the Back button on the front of your device, which will bring up a row of screens that you can swipe through. Do be aware that this feature must also be supported on the individual app level, but developers are doing a good job of getting their apps updated.</p> <p><strong>Voice Commands</strong></p> <p>Windows Phone has had Voice Commands since day one, but it's greatly expanded in Mango. Pressing and holding the Windows button on your phone will initiate Voice Command, as will tapping the call button on your Bluetooth headset. Voice Command in Mango lets you compose a text message, place a phone call, perform a search using Bing, and various other functions. For more details, activate Voice Command and ask "What can I say?" for some more examples. Additional options can be found under the Speech option in Settings.</p> <p><strong>Battery Saver</strong></p> <p>It sounds pretty nebulous, and power-saving features can often impact performance, but Microsoft did some pretty amazing things with Battery Saver in Mango. The feature is found in Settings &gt; Battery Saver. There are only two checkboxes, one to always use the feature when the battery is low, and the other to activate it only until your next battery charge. Battery saver disables Push Email and Multitasking, both of which are clearly indicated on the Settings page.</p> <h3>WindowsPhone.com</h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u139222/wp7mangotips-webmarketplace-big.jpg" target="_blank"></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/wp7mangotips-webmarketplace-small.jpg" width="550" height="384" /></p> <p><strong>Marketplace</strong></p> <p>It's not a new feature in Mango, but Microsoft did announce its web-based Marketplace at WindowsPhone.com the same day as the Mango release. It's really convenient to be able to just open up a web browser and find some killer apps for your phone. The Zune desktop client is great, but a web page is much more accessible. Just like with Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace allows you to find new apps and install them to your phone without ever connecting a cable.</p> <p><strong>App Purchase History</strong></p> <p>Another big feature of WindowsPhone.com is the ability to view a history of all your app purchases or downloads. The history also allows you to reinstall your apps remotely, which can be pretty handy if you're trying to track down that app you accidentally uninstalled.</p> <p><strong>Find My Phone</strong></p> <p>Every smartphone user has panicked over a misplaced or stolen phone. With the money invested in the device itself and the amount of information we rely on the phone to organize, losing a smartphone can be disastrous. Find My Phone gives you a map view displaying the last known location of your phone, and will also let you remotely lock or ring your phone (even if silenced), making the process of tracking down your device a breeze.</p> <h3>Such is Mango!</h3> <p>Mango for Windows Phone brings a lot of new functionality to the platform, so much so that we're barely scratching the surface with these tips. If you're a Windows Phone user let us know the features you find yourself using the most, and if there are any tips we missed feel free to share those as well.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/20_essential_tips_and_tricks_windows_phone_75_mango#comments mango smartphones tips Windows Phone 7 Features Thu, 20 Oct 2011 18:38:35 +0000 Tim Ferrill 20912 at http://www.maximumpc.com