Monday, February 28, 2011

HTC YouTube App Updated!

One of the cooler apps that HTC owners can enjoy is the "Higher Quality" YouTube app.  Besides getting higher quality videos when they are available (i.e. the source is high resolution), you also get the integrated look of WP7 as it employs the Metro UI.

One of the biggest compliant I have is that you cannot link it to you YouTube account.  With the new update, this is no longer a problem. 

Since there is no "change log", here are what I have noticed that's new with this HTC YouTube App (apologies to the Samsung and LG lot) in my brief time of playing with it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Angry Birds + Other Popular titles invading WP7 Marketplace starting April 6

From the Windows Phone 7 blog this morning, a bunch of popular casual games are invading Windows Phone 7.  N pricing of these games but it will be fully integrated with XBOX LIVE along with leaderboards and stuff.

These games will start arriving in the marketplace starting April 6.  Other games includes:

  • Doodle Jump
  • Plants vs Zombies
  • Hydro Thunder Go
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I
  • geoDefense. 
can't wait...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Four New Apps for the LG WP7 masses

One cool thing that WP7 has is the ability for their different manufacturers (LG, HTC, Samsung.. soon Nokia?) to distribute apps that are created only for their own devices so that they could distinguish themselves from each other eventhough the OS is exactly the same.

While Samsung and HTC have been slacking off in a major way, LG has been busy releasing pretty cool apps for the LG Optimus 7 and the Optimus Quantum.  Being a HTC user, I am getting a little bit jealous.

Hit up this link at to check out the WPCentral's pretty good demo video on these new apps.  Should be available like right now if you have an LG brand WP7 device. 

It's nice to see that even though LG has been the only complaining about the WP7 device sales not meeting their expectations, they are still putting effort in trying to get potential WP7 customers to their platform.

Let's see some love for us HTC and Samsung WP7 users.  Are you listening HTC/Samsung?

First 2.5 Months with the HTC Surround

Running late on this 2 months review but I wanted to do one before the NoDo update comes out next month.  I am going to go over things like call quality, build quality, and of course me living with a HTC Surround everyday for the last 2.5 months.  As some of you know, I am a previous iPhone 3G user.  I am not turning this into a comparo test since there is no point in comparing a 428Mhz device to a 1Ghz device and different people have different needs and wants (i.e. some people likes to be drones, some people like android because they can never get OS upgrades etc).

Before I start, I think it is important for me to establish what type of user I am and which network I am on.  As I have posted before, I am using an off contract HTC Surround (unlocked it myself using an eBay code.  Read this if you want to unlock your WP7 device).  Here is my usage profile:
  • Fido (or Fogers) network in the GVRD area
  • 6GB of data - so I am constantly using 3G (using about 1GB a month - similar to when I had my iPhone)
  • Phone calls (hey, that's why it's a phone! - around 300 mins/month)
  • SMS, Email, Surfing the interwebs
  • Watches a lot of videos (tv shows, animes, etc) - at least 2 hours a day on the device
  • Occassionally a game (Normally i am a big gamer but I just can't play those button hitting games on these damn touch screen phones since there are no physical buttons)
  • Plays Spell It! everyday (10+ games simultaneously)
  • Not using any phone protective cases.  I have a belt pouch where I put my phone.
  • Have a InvisibleShield just on the screen.  No shielding on the back or the side of the phone

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pre-NoDo is coming....

Stay tuned....


*Updated* from Microsoft

*Update #2* - I tried to update my HTC Surround but since I haven't received the update notification, I couldn't update.. this is pretty interested way for Microsoft to push updates out (well, at least the notifications)

My friend who has a Samsung Focus on Rogers has successfully updated his phone.  No difference what-so-ever according to him.  Just an Updater update...

Once I get the go-ahead, I'll try it out right away.  People in Europe have reported problems with updating the Samsung Omnia 7.  No one here has one (different 3G bands) so no problems for us so far...

*Update #3* - Some people are having problems upgrading their Samsung Focus.  So Microsoft is re-releasing a new update within 3 days - it has something to do with your firmware version.

as for me, still no update notification for my Surround.  Anyone out their who has a HTC device had the update notification pushed out to them and have you updated your phone?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The ScoreMobile app is updated!

the ScoreMobile app has release a new update! The following leagues are available:
  • NHL
  • CFL!!!
  • MLS Soccer
  • MLB Baseball
  • F1 Racing
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • NCAA Basketball/Football
  • LIGA, SERI, Champions, EPL Soccer
  • PGA
  • WTA, ATP Tennis
It's still a bit buggy however.  The upgrade claim to have performance improvements but it was not noticeable.  My score app of choice is still Pro Sport Scores

If you just did an upgrade from Marketplace, the new leagues will not show up.  Having done WP7 development it looks to be a ScoreMobile app bug.  However, all you need to do is uninstall the original ScoreMobile app and reinstall (a ploy to boost number of downloads???). 

Monday, February 14, 2011

WP7 News at MWC 2011

Not going to bored you with the details, if you want detail information on the MWC 2011 regarding WP7, you can either go here or here.  I am just going to summarize what happened at the MS keynote here:
 Go WP7!
  1. Preview of updates
  2. "NoDo" update coming in March.. yay to copy and pasting and faster game launches
  3. CDMA versions coming in March (not sure how this impacts Telus/Bell)
  4. *side note* - LG hates WP7 - no handset at MWC 2011 apparently - maybe they'd do better if their WP7 handsets doesn't suck
  5. "Mango" preview? Multitasking! Broader integration with SkyDrive - including Office Hub - you can share and view other people's documents on SkyDrive using your WP7 handset, Twitter Integration in People's hub.
  6. Ooooooo!  Demo time!
  7. Recap of what you and I know already....
  8. More Demo recap....
  9. Zzzzzzzz....
  10. Demo of future stuffs - likely the Mango update
  11. Multitasking - switch between apps is instantaneous.  Press and hold the back button to bring up apps running in the background (ala WebOS) - large swipeable cards - not sure how to kill an app running in the background however.  If they really is like WebOS, perfect swiping the card up to terminate?
  12. IE9 on WP7 - pisses all over Safari on iPhone 4 as IE9 is hardware accelerated
  13. Extra demo?  Kinect and WP7 in perfect harmony.  Girl on couch using WP7 to throw balls at a guys' balls.
  14. 8000 apps, 30k registered developers, 1 million SDKs downloaded since launch.  More apps downloaded on day 1 of WP7 than any other day 1 devices (seriously?)
  15. Nokia dude!  Microkia is going to be great!
  16. Ovi map type capabilities to not only WP7 bing maps, but to all Bing Maps...
As I was following the keynote at 7am PST, you can see that near 7-9 i nearly passed out.  But interesting stuff came back with the Mango tech demo.  MS assured that they were showing early builds of real code.  Go agile development!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

ING Direct Canada App is here!

The ING Direct Canada WP7 app is now available in the Zune Marketplace. 

You can sign into your ING Canada account, view your accounts and transfer money to/from your other bank accounts that you have setup with ING.

You can download the app here (opens zune marketplace)

Friday, February 11, 2011

How to fix your WP7 Bing Map search in Canada

(Note that this should not be a problem if you are using "Mango".  to check, go to Settings->about and click on the "more information" button.  Check the OS version for something greater than 7720, if your phone's version is less than this, install Zune Desktop on your PC and plug in your phone and Zune desktop should tell you that you can update)

One of the biggest problem on a Canadian WP7 map search in Canada is the search results.  You know what I am talking about, you want to say search for the Zellers stores around your location and your damn WP7 device will find you City of Zellers somewhere in Russia.  However, I do have a very simple fix for us Canucks....

If you have gotten a Canadian WP7 handset, you'd probably be pretty pissed when you use Bing Map to search for say McDonald's around your area and the Bing Map would give you MacDonald city in British Columbia or some place like that.  Searching for a local address was quite frustrating as I had to type the entire address (including the city) and I was beginning to wonder what the hell was the "Use My Location" toggle for in the map search settings?

It was so frustrating that I was hoping for a Google map to appear on the WP7 marketplace.  Read on for the solution.

HTC HD7 - Now Available on Bell!

Bell's WP7 device line up has double in size today.  Joining the LG Optimus Quantum (honestly, i'd stay away from this because Windows Phone 7 and landscape mode currently is a little bit "iffy") today on the Bell network is the HTC HD7 device.  The 3 year contract price is a reasonable $99.95 and off contract, you can have this beauty for a somewhat standard smartphone price of $599.95.

What's so cool about the HTC HD7?  Besides bringing 4.3" of awesome, here are some of the tech specs:

UMTS/HSPA: 850/1900
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900
Internal memory: 16GB
Talk Time: up to 5.3 hours
Standby: up to 13.3 days
Screen resolution: 480x800 pixels (standard WP7 requirement)
Size: 122mm x 66.4mm x 11.2mm
Weight: 162g

One of the special feature of this WP7 handset is of course the large screen.  Like the HTC Surround, it comes with a kick stand but no surround speakers.

Being built by HTC, you can expect it to be built like a tank (ala Surround).

Check out the rest of the spec here

    Microsoft + Nokia = match made in heaven?

    Can't really say I am surprised at this morning's development at Nokia + Microsoft.  In case you haven't heard, the big news this morning (the day before MWC next week - or the business day before MWC...) is that Nokia + Microsoft have signed an agreement to join forces to battle the likes of Apple and Google.

    Nokia efforts at that POC "MeeGo" wasn't getting them anywhere.  It looks old and crappy (I am looking at you Blackberry OS 6) before it ever came out on the market.  Nokia did the right thing in killing off MeeGo.  Unfortunately, this sounds like a big layoff is coming soon at Nokia.

    Even though Nokia is losing market share to the likes of Apple and Google, they are still "massive" in terms of market share worldwide in terms of dumb phones and is still a "brand name of choice" in many countries.  So what does this marriage brings to the table?

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Windows Phone 7 "NoDo" Update Imminent??

    Looks like the Windows Phone 7 "NoDo" update is coming very very soon to your WP7 device.

    Microsoft had just released the Windows Phone Developer Tools update.  Copy and Paste is added to the emulator so that's definitely in.  Besides the performance enhancements to speed up the booting of some games (graphically intensive games), there really is no word on what else this "NoDo" update brings..

    Still no word on when the public release is available..  February 7 is a rumoured date but I am a little bit skeptical about that date.  If MS is taking a page from the way they handle Xbox360 updates, I still think that they are going to announce the "go live" date for the Windows Phone 7 update...

    This is taking from the Microsoft's AppHub development website:

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Microsoft Store... in Bellevue, Washington

    I am currently in Bellevue, WA for the last couple of days on a software development course so I finally get a chance to check out one of seven official Microsoft Store in Bellevue Square.

    Having never seen a Microsoft Store before, this was pretty weird.  It's twice the size of the Apple Store which is buried in a corner of the mall several stores down next to Nordstrom.

    I took this picture on a Monday night so the mall was pretty dead.  Got to see something called EXOPC