Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Microsoft shares apps design inspiration with Developers with new website.

The Windows Phone 7.5/8 Start screen is undoubtedly beautiful and in line of this, Microsoft has put up a website to share their inspiration with developers. The site offers "the basic principles and concepts you need to design great Windows Phone apps".

Head over to the "How we design" site and learn what inspired the Windows Phone design team, their design principles and process. 

Issue #1 of Windows Phone Developer Magazine available..

WindowsPhone Geek, a vibrant developer community, has released the first issue of Windows Phone developer magazine yesterday. The issue naturally covers the release of Windows Phone 8 SDK and goes quite deep into different topics about the SDK that developers should find helpful.

  • What’s new in Windows Phone 8 SDK for developers 
  • Tiles and Lock Screen Notifications in Windows Phone 8
  • Implementing Coupons and Memberships using the Windows Phone 8 Wallet
  • Implementing in-app purchasing in Windows Phone 8
  • File and URI associations in Windows Phone 8
  • New Launchersin Windows Phone 8 
  • New LongListSelector control in Windows Phone 8 SDK
  • New Location APIs and Background Location Tracking
  • Spotlight: Interview with Matt Lacey – Founder of WPUG London
  • Business: How to start a successful mobile app business 
  • WPGeek Component Marketplace – A Great Opportunity for Developers

Get your free copy here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Meet Joe belfiore's Windows Phone 8.

Here's a video I recommend if you do not want to watch the hour long webcast of Microsoft unveiling Windows Phone 8. It's a less than 20 minutes video of Joe Belfiore showing the new features of Windows Phone 8. Enjoy!

Microsoft unveils new Windows Phone 8.

Yesterday Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8, its new mobile OS with a slew of features. I'm posting a link to the webcast below for those who could not watch it last night. Joe Belfiore was of course on stage to demo the various features of the OS along with actress Jessica Alba. She has been using a Lumia 920 and she loves the Kids Corner and her music. I will not elaborate too much about those features in this article as I don't have a Windows Phone 8 yet. However, you'll get a glimpse of some of the exciting features announced yesterday and that make Windows Phone 8 a more people-centric OS. More article will follow as soon as I receive and play with a Windows Phone and test these features in real life.

The first feature I want to highlight is the Kid's Corner. As a father of two daughters, this feature is more than welcome. I don't use a lot of storage on my phone but my daughters do by taking a ton of pictures. The Kid's Corner will help me control whether they can access the camera or not. Parents have control over what the children have access to.

Internet Explorer in Windows Phone 8 reaches version 10. Most of the changes are under the hood though. So user experience will be the same as in Windows Phone 7 except that IE10 has increased support for HTML5 and CSS3. Smartscreen filter and Do Not Track options have also been added.

With Windows Phone 8 you can now customize the notification areas of the lock screen. Third party apps can now display notifications icons and counters on the lock screen. Previously, only the calendar could do that.

Rooms is another new feature that gives the user the ability to communicate within a private space. The room comes with a shared calendar that will sync with every member's phone. Things like pictures, videos and to do lists can also be published and shared in the room. Better yet, access to the room can also be granted to iOS and Android devices.

Windows Phone 8 has a lot more features. Unfortunately, as an amateur blogger, I do not have the time to cover them all for now. But again, I will come back with how-to's once I get to play with Windows Phone 8. Until then, enjoy the webcast.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Microsoft releases Windows Phone app for Windows 8.

Microsoft has published a companion app in Windows 8 Store for  Windows phone 8 devices that will allow users to sync their devices to their PCs, tablets running Windows 8 Pro or RT. The app is simply called Windows Phone and will not work with any phones besides Windows Phone 8 which is to be announced later today. The Windows Phone app replaces Zune desktop software. 

The app will let you move/share your photos, videos, music to and from the phone and computer.
Here's the list of features:


  • Get your music, photos, and videos from your computer to your phone (and vice versa).
  • Quickly share things from your phone with Windows 8 apps (like Photos, or Search). You don’t even have to open the Windows Phone app to move things around.
  • Automatically save photos and videos you take with your phone to your PC.
  • See at a glance how much space you’re using for each type of content, so it’s easy to make sure you never run out of room on your phone.

Windows Phone app can be downloaded in Windows Store.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Google Search and Chrome already available free in Windows 8 Store.

It did not take long for Google to publish a Search and Chrome app to the Windows 8 store. Both apps are available for you to download free. 

To get both apps, go to Google site to download.

Press Release: HTC's best deals in Europe.

UK, 26th October  — HTC, a global leader in mobile design and innovation, today announced Best Deals, a new service that delivers personalised money-saving deals direct to your HTC smartphone.
Categorized by your preferences and interests, this service uses your location to bring you all of the best discounts in your area. Preferred deals can be reviewed, bookmarked or shared with a single click; they can also be sorted by popularity, discount, price and expiration date.
“HTC strives to deliver the best web content and services to its customers,” says Cédric Mangaud, Vice President of Value-Added Services for HTC. “We’re excited to be launching a service that gives you the very best deals, in line with your own personal interests, wherever you are.”
HTC has built partnerships with 12 leading deal providers across the five launch markets, UK, Italy, Germany, France and Spain, including LivingSocial, that will provide four of the five markets with deals, Trip Advisor, Qype Deals and Offerum.* Best Deals customers will have access to thousands of local offers and will also benefit from exclusive deals for a range of HTC products and accessories.
“HTC’s dedication to providing personalised experiences fits perfectly with the diversity of our handpicked deals service,” says Peter Briffett, Managing Director for the UK and Ireland at LivingSocial. “Our wide range of location-based offers will allow HTC smartphone owners to take advantage of hundreds of deals in their local area, from Michelin-starred dining and luxury spas to supercar racing days and hot air balloon rides.”
HTC will continue to secure a range of additional deal categories after launch by establishing new partnerships with a number of providers and mobile operators.
The Best Deals application and widget will be available on the new HTC One X+, and the Windows Phone 8X and 8S which launch in November. It will also be included in the upcoming software update for the acclaimed One series devices, the HTC One X and HTC One S.
A total of 1,700 deals and offers will be available at launch.
About HTC
Founded in 1997, HTC Corp. (HTC) is the creator of many award-winning mobile devices and industry firsts. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC pushes the boundaries of design and technology to create innovative and personal experiences for consumers around the globe. HTC’s portfolio includes smartphones and tablets powered by HTC Sense, a multilayered graphical user interface that vastly improves user experience. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). For more information, please
* Deals will be provided from 12 providers that include: LivingSocial, Trip Advisor, Qype Deals, iVoucher, Offerum, Lookingo, Lets Bonus, Elgrupazo, Daily Deal, Deal Ticket, Getbazza and Prezzo Felicea.
The names of companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

All Liquid Daffodil apps free until their Surface arrives.

The folks over at Liquid Daffodil are really cool as the apps they make. They just announced that their library of Windows Phone apps have all gone free. This is just awesome. So hurry up and download these cool apps. You have until the official launch of Windows 8 and Surface RT tablet on Friday 26 to do so.

Here's a download link to all of Liquid Daffodil apps in Windows Phone Store:


Nokia announces low specs Lumia 510 at $199 only.

Today Nokia announced a new cheap device, the Lumia 510, to be available in November 2012. The device  has low specs and the price should appeal to those who haven't made the jump to smartphones yet. The Lumia 510 will run Windows Phone 7.5 and has a Snapdragon SI processor, 1300 mAh battery, 256MB of  RAM, 4GB of mass storage and a 5MP camera. No memory card storage is included. 

The Lumia 510 will be available in 5 colors: red, yellow, cyan, white and black. The phone will be initially launched in India and China followed by other Asia-Pacific countries and South America.

Check out the full press release:

Nokia Lumia 510 brings Windows Phone to lower price points

Bright 4-inch display and signature Lumia experiences in Nokia's new entry-level Windows Phone
Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced the Nokia Lumia 510, a smart and modern entry-level smartphone. Featuring a bright, 4-inch display, the Nokia Lumia 510 makes the unique benefits of Lumia and Windows Phone even more affordable.
"With the Nokia Lumia 510 we continue to meet our commitment to bring Windows Phone to new, lower price points," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. "People who use Windows Phone quickly realize how much more intuitive it is than other smartphone platforms, and Nokia Lumia is the best embodiment of the Windows Phone experience. With the Nokia Lumia 510 we're looking forward to welcoming more people into the Windows Phone experience."
Following on from the success of the Nokia Lumia 610, this latest addition to the Nokia Lumia range comes in five vivid colors for a fun and personal way to enjoy Windows Phone.
Windows Phone is different to other smartphone platforms thanks to Live Tiles, making it easy to see incoming messages and updates; People Hub, which brings together contacts and updates from across social networks into one location, and access to Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer 9 on the mobile.
Unique Lumia experiences also make the Nokia Lumia 510 unlike any other entry-level Windows Phone. Downloading the Camera Extras app provides exclusive digital lens functionality to go with the five megapixel camera and built-in autofocus. Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive and Nokia Transport also offer the most comprehensive smartphone location and navigation experience available.
The Nokia Lumia 510 will be available in red, yellow, cyan, white and black. Nokia estimates the retail price for the Nokia Lumia 510 to be around USD 199, excluding taxes and subsidies. Sales are planned to begin in November 2012, starting with India and China, and followed closely by other Asia-Pacific countries and South America.
Product specifications:
Nokia Lumia 510
Operating System
Windows Phone 7.5
4-inch WVGA 800x480
Capacitive Touch Screen
1300 mAh
Snapdragon(TM) S1
Main camera
5MP Autofocus 
4GB mass memory (no memory card slot)
7GB free SkyDrive storage

Cowlick! and glƏƏk! now support TwitLonger. Weather Smiles gets Moon icons.

Weather Smiles.
Weather Smiles is one of my favorite weather apps. It was designed to optimize the use of the live tiles to display the weather for to locations on one side of the tiles and 5-days forecast on the other. Weather has received an update and here's the change log:

- Added light theme, app will now work correctly with light theme.
- Added Remove option for hometown city.
- Updated live tile to show only one city if you only use one city.
- Added Moon icons when night time for partly cloudy and clear conditions.
- Fixed bug for "Error updating tile.".

Described by its publisher, Liquid Daffodil, as the second best Twitter client, Cowlick! is a fun and simple to use app. In fact the first best Twitter client according to Liquid Daffodil is another app of their own called glƏƏk!. Cowlick! is just a "toned down" version of glƏƏk! Cowlick has been updated with the following features:

Added more coolness, like "Reverse Cowlick!" (Dark) Themes and TwitLonger!
Liquid Daffodil also posted an update for glƏƏk!. The best Twitter client I've used on Windows Phone. The update adds support for TwitLonger therefore bringing the ability to post longer messages to Twitter.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sneak peek of Skype for Windows 8 to be released this Friday.

Microsoft is holding a major event this Friday with the release of Windows 8 operating System for PCs and tablets. Along with the launch, Skype is also working on getting Skype for Windows 8 ready. The new version will be released on Friday and has been redesigned to fit with Windows 8 new modern UI. Skype for Windows 8 will therefore integrate with the people hub and will therefore let you login with a Microsoft account. While the video below does show that Skype for Windows 8 is indeed fast and beautiful, it is still not built into the OS as I have thought it would be after the acquisition of the company by Microsoft a couple of months ago. 

Check out the video of the sneak peek of Skype for Windows 8:

Source: Skype blog

Bill Gates talks about Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and his Surface RT.

I think this is the first time we hear and see Bill Gates talk about Microsoft's new Operating System which is to be launched this Friday.  Of course he's excited about Windows 8 and we learn in the video that he is using...Surface RT. Now that is a surprise for me. I would expect the iconic chairman of Microsoft to use the full version of Windows 8, don't you? A marketing manoeuvre to give RT a boost? 

Check out the short 5 minutes video of the Q&A with Steve Clayton, a Microsoft Employee.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reinstaller for Windows Phone updated.

Reinstaller is the first app you will install on your Windows phone after a hard reset. This app lets you reinstall all or some of your apps from one screen on the phone and avoid having to go back and forth to do so. Very useful, Reinstaller is an app that you will need after to acquire a new phone as well.

Reinstaller received a minor update that brings it more in line with the new design and doesn't show categories anymore.

Download link:

Posted on the go.

Microsoft releases Windows 8 ads as countdown to launch begins.

11 days before the launch of Microsoft new operating system during a launch event in New York. Windows 8 will feature on a slew of tablets and PCs and will compete with Apple's iPad, the undisputed leader in the tablet market. Microsoft has started showing ads to generate the buzz around its new colorful OS. Most of the software giant partners are hoping to make a dent into Apple's leadership as attempts with Google's Android has failed. 

Check out the ad:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nokia Lumia 920 black - Phone House Mobile

The Nokia Lumia 920 in black will be available at €649,90 on in France. It is seemingly available on pre-order in the link:

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Weather Smiles for Windows Phone updated.

Weather Smiles, the weather app that lets you display 2 locations in one tile on your home screen has been updated with some nice features as listed below:

  • Updated app interface with framed border with accent color on locations
  • Can now tap location name to rename it.
  • App can now run with location disabled, including background task.
  • When location is disabled, an option in search is enabled to set to current location.
  • Updated smilie system to consider very hot and cold temperatures.
  • added contact button.
  • Minor High/Low temperature tweek.
 Download in Windows Phone Store.