Folders for Windows Phone, a homebrew development Project by WPHacker, has been taken to the next level. First reported in October, Folders hack for Windows Phone initially allowed you to create on device folders or groups with each group consisting of numerous applications and finally you can pin any group to the home screen. Sounds perfect, right? Right but there was a catch. You had to deploy applications via a software on your PC. Cumbersome, yes. But now there’s been a breakthrough. You no longer need a software to deploy applications. You can now add both system apps and marketplace apps on the device from the application itself. Homebrew apps cannot be added at the moment. I haven’t had a chance to play with the new build, yet. Watch the video below to see the application in action:
I am gradually getting firm in my belief that the Windows Phone platform is being harmed in the blogosphere more by its overzealous fans and their penchant for jumping to conclusions rather than its detractors. The recent case of Microsoft discontinuing the “Where’s My Phone Update?” guidance was one such non issue where bloggers jumped to make a mountain of a mole hill. And now a passing remark by Paul Thurrott, about Tango being one of the reasons for the discontinued guidance, is being blown out of proportion. Its almost comical how blogs raise the fragmentation flag at the drop of the hat and the commenteratti then go on to question the relevance of Tango, WP and sometimes Paul Thurrot himself.
For anyone who has been following various reports/news about the Tango updates, it should have been easy to understand that the basic purpose of Tango is to make Windows Phones relevant and useful in emerging markets. If that be so, then why would the already ‘emerged’ markets need the Tango updates at all? Another often bandied report is that Tango would enable WP OS to run on lower spec hardware, a feature being developed specially for Nokia. If that be so, then why would the existing ‘higher spec’ phones need the Tango updates? There could be features in Tango to make Microsoft and Nokia services work on typically slower data speeds in emerging markets. If that be so, then why would handsets in countries with deep 3G/4G penetration need Tango?
Logical analysis of the Tango news indeed reveals that Tango updates are being developed to prevent fragmentation, rather than cause it. Imagine what a fragmented hell it would have been if Microsoft had made a different lower spec OS for emerging markets at the behest of Nokia. It would have probably been easier and faster too. Instead, Microsoft seems to have taken the high road to retain similar functionality between different hardware, different regions/cultures, different infrastructure and even different languages (ask bilingual users of Windows Phones how seamlessly they can switch between languages without any drop in functionality, specially languages that use fundamentally different scripts).
The issue of language however raises another question, as one of the two Tango updates is reportedly aimed at providing support for languages like Hebrew, Arabic and maybe Persian & Hindi. It may be assumed that this update is being developed separately as Microsoft intends to make this available to even existing markets/handsets.