Mango To Bring Video Chatting To WP

The idea of a secondary camera in Windows Phone is nothing new. With ‘self-portrait camera’ listed in the builds on WP 7.0, Microsoft’s acquisition Skype and making a secondary camera a must in WP 7.5 hardware, makes it tough to ignore that Microsoft will create a worthy competitor to Apple’s Face-time offering. The WP 7.1 SDK continues to list the ‘self-portrait camera’ conforming previous speculation.

Is a front-facing camera imminent in future handsets?

But what has really assured the secondary camera is a new icon in the Beta 2 Windows Mango dev tools. A developer was kind enough to forward a picture to Wp Central

Is this what we think it is?

What this means for end-users is still a mystery. But developers will get to access the camera API allowing them to create apps that can use either of the two cameras (a la Photobooth) Will they include Skype as a separate app or will they integrate it with Messenger and XBL. The latter provides a seamless connection between your PC, Xbox and Windows Phone. The possibilities are endless but mostly translate to success for Microsoft.

Window 8 Halo Effect On Windows Phone Sales?

On June 20th Microsoft unveiled the new Windows 8 user interface to the world during AllthingsD, D9 Conference. It also simultaneously released a four minute video entitled “Building Windows 8, Video #1″ which featured Jensen Harris, Director of PM, Windows User Experience showcasing some of the “cool features” that Windows 8 has to offer. Shortly after the D9 conference Microsoft also started a technical demonstration in Taiwan at Computex 2011 for hardware partners featuring Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Windows Planning, Hardware and PC Ecosystem, Mike Angiulo.
The big surprise from these presentations from the folks in Redmond was that this new UI wasn’t just for slates and tablets, but was also designed to be the UI for netbooks, laptops, desktops and the Xbox 360. Couple that with the transformation in Windows Phone and Microsoft websites that is already in full swing and our collective eyes where opened to Microsoft’s grand scheme of unifying it’s catalog of offerings under the Metro look and feel. It was a much broader scope for their unification plans than most had anticipated and clearly demonstrated that Microsoft wants the “Metro Mojo” spread far and wide.
The excitement is palpable, forums and viewer comments are exploding all around the globe. Now we hear there is also rumor that a beta version will be released to developers during the BUILD conference in September with a public RC in January and a final RTM in April. Does this mean we could see Windows 8 on systems much sooner than expected? Will the public availability of a new Windows 8 release candidate download in January create a halo effect for all things that include live tiles?

Now that the dust has settled and the blogosphere has positively reacted, the big question on my mind is will this be another watershed Windows 95 game changer for PC sales and will Windows Phone ride those coat tails all the way to the bank? Steve Balmer has stated, “It’s a huge gamble for Microsoft,” but the ultimate test is can they execute on what appears to be a pretty sound strategy? I don’t know for sure, but I’m betting the answer is yes, and I’m very excited about finding out! What do you think, should Microsoft start adding the zero’s to the Windows Phone sales estimates now, or will the Windows 8 halo be short lived?

Tango Before Apollo Update?

What do you do after a Mango? I usually sleep, but Microsoft has decided to Tango. Before Windows Phone 8, a major update similar to Mango (maybe, that’s why the name) will be released, say DigiTime’s sources. This is in with accordance to the rumors that Microsoft would be providing a major update to the OS every year. Furthermore, news has been leaked that Microsoft is already signing license agreements with OEMs, Compal being one of them. Compal is the company that is rumored to be developing Nokia’s and Acer’s first WP handsets.

Will they be made by Nokia or not?

Nokia is also expected to start manufacturing its own handsets in 2012 which conveniently coincide with the Apollo update.
In terms of functionality not much is known, but a lot is hoped for. Perhaps dance lessons with dual cores? But first, let us have our Mango Microsoft!

Here comes the Kik Messenger!

Remember what the makers of Kik Messenger promised? The app will be available in the Marketplace “by the end of this month”. They promised, now they have delivered. You can now find Kik in the Marketplace, under “Social” category to be exact. It’s sitting right next to the shiny new Gowalla client. You won’t possibly miss it.

As to how it works, I’d say so far it’s great. The app runs zapping fast, and makes great use of WP7′s panorama UI. Panning and scrolling feel utterly smooth. What’s more important is that notifications work perfectly in Kik. It’s live tile responses well, and the toast notification works exactly like how it should be. Incoming message triggers your ringtone (or viberation), and even wakes up the phone.

To get some more intuitive ideas about it, here is a video tour through the app, credits to WPcentral.

Official Gowalla application now available in the Windows phone marketplace

We previously covered an unofficial yet exceptionally well made third party Gowalla application called MacroPod . Gowalla promised that an official application will be made available in the marketplace for quite some time now. Rise and shine, Gowalla’s official application is now available in the marketplace for free.

Search for “Gowalla” in the marketplace to download the application for free.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how location based services like Foursquare ( no official app on wp7 atm ) and Gowalla would survive after native Facebook Places check in Integration in mango? Drop in your thoughts.

First look at Stormy7 v2.0 for Windows phone

I have had the chance of playing with Stormy7 some time back and it was undoubtedly something unique and lot of fun but sadly limited by lack of crucial features, like lack of multi touch support. But developers at Eizsoft this time with version 2.0 update have added bunch of user requested features and some elements that will keep you entertained for reasonably long time.

Official application description :

The storm has struck again and this time it is much stronger; aside from the lightning, thunder and rain, it seems a vicious hail storm is coming! But don’t worry; because this time we’re even more prepared to wipe the steam -faster- with as many fingers as your phone can handle and if that’s not good enough you can even use a blow dryer to wipe it all!”
The most natural storm experience on your phone, Stormy 7 Free is the first app to allow you to wipe the steam on your window on a stormy day and express your inner artist!
Impress your friends and children by a realistic condensation upon blowing the microphone on a background or a photo of your choice which can be you loved one and enjoy wiping the steam (tilt your device to move the water drops, the rain and the hail!)
Don’t forget to explore the extra buttons when they appear and when you’re finished take a screenshot to remember the chilly storm!

Changelog of v2.0 :

  • Multitouch support.
  • New blow dryer icon for quick wiping.
  • Added Hail storm.
  • The rain and hail can now move with the accelerometer (landscape support).
  • Added text to write on the steam.
  • Added save button.
  • Increased performance by 50% when wiping.

The new update will be pushed to users in a couple of days. The application is free (AD supported).

Zune Download Link