What’s new in Xbox Live Hub of Windows Phone Mango (GamesCom Interview)

An array of new XBL titles was announced by Microsoft this week at Games Com 2011 held in Cologne, Germany. German blog Giga.de got a chance to have a quick chat with Peter Orullian, Group Product Manager of Xbox division. Peter does a great job of  rounding up most of  the xbox live for Mango enhanced features previously announced in the official Windows Phone blog over the past months. Don't forget to check out our NoDo v/s Mango comparison video to see what's new in XBL Hub. Interview after the break.

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Cronos Labs Launches DataHub Pro to organize your life

There are lists. And then there are lists. Choose any platform and you will find tons of to-do and list apps, but most of them, even the popular, are rigid and bound to one format. DataHub by Kronos Labs is a nifty database and form builder whose ad-free Pro version launched recently. It seems to be the only general database app in the marketplace so far. DataHub uses Dropbox instead of SkyDrive because of API support but the popularity of DropBox will ensures that its not an inhibitor. Its high degree of user customization makes it worth trying out atleast once, especially for organised people (like me).

Inspired by OneNote and a bit by Microsoft Access, DataHub allows users to configure and edit their own structured datasets on their phones. We have a very efficient synchronization system with Dropbox as the storage provider. One feature we are especially proud of is our sharing. Using Dropbox folder sharing, two (or more) users can all edit the same dataset at the same time. If they both edit the same record at the same time, the last user to synchronize gets a great UI showing them all of their changes vs. the other users’. This allows them to select which changes to keep.

Download DataHub Pro here.

WP7 App Update: NextGen Reader v1.15 now available


Today, I’m excited to announce some updates to the NextGen Reader app for windows phone. I’ve added some of your most-requested features, in addition to other enhancements.

What’s new:

  • share to Facebook.
  • subscriptions in alphabetical order.
  • "all items" or "unread only" toggle mode:
    • display all feeds or only unread feeds.
    • display all articles or only unread articles.
    • toggle using application bar button.
  • new experience in "unread only" mode:
    • auto hide articles when marked as read.
    • auto hide feed/folder with no unread articles.
    • auto back to top-level list.
  • sync any feed or folder:
    • navigate to desired feed or folder.
    • press sync button to download new items.
  • improved automatic loading of new items.
  • option to lock screen to portrait mode.
  • increased limit for starred and shared items.
  • improved response on star button in article view.
  • fixed image resizing on mango build 7712.
  • improved layout in landscape mode.
  • many bug fixes.

I hope you enjoy the new features – give it a try! The trial version has no ads or limitations except share to twitter support. And of course the mango version is coming soon!

Download NextGen Reader from Zune Marketplace, or visit the ngreader.wordpress.com blog.

Bing Team Releases We’re In App for Windows Phone

The Bing team has just released its ‘We’re In’ app for Windows Phone. It’s a useful little app that allows you to share your location with your friends.                                                                                                                                     

You sign in to this app with your phone number and invite your friends by adding their numbers. You can share your location with all your friends for a definite or indefinite time period. This app also includes a map, (for finding friends) and integrates with your Facebook account (to post status messages).

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Well, what are you waiting for? Here’s the link. Spend some time with it and let us know what you think of it.


Occassional Gamer List Shows Existence of Samsung SGH-i937

Fear not, lovers of the Samsung Galaxy S II’s hardware. For Samsung is remodeling it’s super-slim flagship device with Microsoft’s latest running on it. 
It’s real! It’s real! I saw it with my own two eyes!It’s real!

A recently leaked (probably incomplete) roadmap turned down all such rumors, by revealing that Samsung had only one Windows Phone device in the making, it being the successor to the rather unsuccessful Omnia 7. But evidence unearthed, by yours truly, contradicts this road map. If you remember  Elbert Perez’s recent list of phones running his games, you will notice that sitting rather inconspicuously at the bottom is the Samsung SGH-i937. This happens to be the phone rumored to be the Samsung Galaxy S II remake.The super-slim droid was first announced at MWC this year catching everyone’s eye with it’s dual core processor and 1GB of RAM. However, the Windows Phone handset would probably stick to the Qualcomm processor rather than Samsung’s own Exynos chip and a lesser 512MB of RAM. There is no proof or any hint that this device will make it to the US or not. Also, the price and launch date is nowhere to be found. So for all we know it could just be a discontinued prototype. If so, unfortunate.

This list has been reliable before and if it is to be taken seriously, expect some rocking hardware this fall folks.

Windows Phone 7 surpasses Android and iPhone according to Dilbert

Most of you have probably heard of The Windows Phone Challenge started by Brandon Watson via Twitter where he offered to give charity $1000 if the reviewer doesn’t like WP7.
CNET’s Molly Wood was the first to take on this challenge, and now we have Dilbert himself, Scott Adams, take on our beloved WP7.
Brandon Watson approached Adams with the wp7 challenge offer after he had complained about his iPhone 3Gs and Android HTC EVO 3D.
Adams proclaims himself as an every-day smartphone user saying:

Keep in mind that I’m just a casual user, not a phone tester. I didn’t test every feature of every phone, and I didn’t measure anything. I simply used the new phone and kept track of my reactions compared to my Android and iPhone experiences.

Adams judged his experience through the following categories: Call Quality, User Interface, On-Screen Keyboard, Battery Life, and Apps.
His overall impression of wp7 was exceptionally good. He says his iPhone is always dropping calls, his Android has to always be plugged in and calls the UI a “think-about-it-everytime experience.”
He thinks the Windows phone had the best user experience, calling it “Intuitive, simple, and has a liveliness that I [Scott Adams] find appealing.”
So, for now, that’s Windows Phone, one. Charity, zero. Kidding aside, check the source to read Dilberts full review.
Source: Windows Phone Challenge Results – Scott Adams via dilbert.com

Leaked Road Map confirms Samsung i8350 Omnia W October launch

Samsung i8350 Omnia W has popped up on several websites in past weeks. Blog of Mobile spotted Omnia W receiving bluetooth certification. So it's existence has been confirmned for quite some time . The unknown variable have been target release date, specifications and pricing. Telefonino ( via GSMArena ) got access to Samsung Roadmap for 2H 2011 and it unsurprisingly has load of Android phones coupled three Bada devices and just one Windows Phone 7 device. More after the break.

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Microsoft releases Silverlight for Windows Phone toolkit update for Mango

Important news from the Windows Phone Developer Blog today with the announcement of the release of the new open source Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit (August 2011) add-on.

In addition to UI control components like toggle switches and page transitions, it includes several new features such as HubTile, a tool which let’s you “add beautiful, informative, animated tiles to your application”.

You can download the update via CodePlex here, or from NuGet here.

The full list of features is as follows:

  • LongListSelector has been rebuilt and redesigned to take advantage of the new smooth scrolling and off-thread touch input support in ‘Mango’. This is a buttery-smooth control for showing lists, including grouping and jump list support.
  • MultiselectList control enables multiple selection for easily working with lists of data, similar to the Mail app’s capability.
  • LockablePivot adds a special mode to the Pivot control where only the current item is shown (often used with multiple selection).
  • ExpanderView is a primitive items control that can be used for expanding and collapsing items (like the threaded views in the Mail app).
  • HubTile lets you add beautiful, informative, animated tiles to your application, similar to the new People groups in ‘Mango’.
  • ContextMenu control has been reworked: performance improvements and visual consistency fixes.
  • ListPicker now supports multiple selection.
  • RecurringDaysPicker lets your users select a day of the week.
  • Date & Time Converters localized to 22 languages. The converters let developers easily display date and time in the user interface in one of the many styles found throughout the phone’s UI, from a short date like ‘7/19’ to relative times like ‘about a month ago’.
  • Page Transitions have improved performance for a more responsive feel.
  • PhoneTextBox is an early look at an enhanced text box with action icon support, watermarking, etc.
  • All error messages and interface elements have been localized to all of the supported languages, making for a great experience for users around the world

Overall this is excellent news for the application developers community that provides ample time and opportunity to improve the already impressive and rapidly growing selection of apps for Windows Phone 7 before the the launch of the ‘Mango’ software update.

Microsoft will have a ‘Compelling and Dynamic End User Interface’ in Windows Phone 8 Apollo

We knew that Apollo, the next update to Windows Phone, would be coming next year and now Microsoft has given the first hints at what to expect from it. In a job posting on the Microsoft Talent Network for a software development engineer on the Consumer Experience team, the company says that they will be  ”stirring up the out of box experience for Windows Phone 8 and is committed to building/improving a compelling and dynamic high quality look and feel to our end user experience”.
Considering how much Metro shook up the standard UI for mobile devices, if Apollo delivers even half of that, it will be pretty amazing. And of course the rumors about Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 having some sort of common features only make it more exciting.


Mystery Windows Phone device Nokia 800 and Acer M310 spotted

Star Windows Phone indie developer Elbert Perez is not only famous for his exceptionly well made free games but also for revealing statistics (a post mortem for serious folks) post release. The analytics or the reporting page (as he calls it) shows a list of devices running running his games. He spotted two new devices that we have never heard before. Nokia 800 and Acer M310. Acer M310? Is it a less sophisticated name of previously reported Acer W4 or is this something new coming from Acer? Most importantly, what about Nokia 800? If you remember, Nokia Simplified it’s naming conventions, starting with Nokia 500, so this may very well be Nokia’s Sea Ray mango device which was unveiled by Stephen Elop some time back.

Source:  @mechaghost