All Articles by Rich Edmonds | Windows Central

All Articles by Rich Edmonds

The official Facebook application, brought to you by Microsoft, is experiencing some odd crashing issues with some users. Checking the Marketplace for the application and reading some reviews featured on the app summary page displays a clear indication as to the scale of the problem.

We have attempted to reproduce the issue ourselves, and were only able to report one instance (Samsung Focus - another Focus worked however) that experienced crashes when running the Facebook app. It appears (at this early stage) to be randomly tripped with no apparent cause(s) being identified.

Reading the reviews back to the beginning of March, it seems as though it suddenly sprung on unsuspecting users, who are now understandably frustrated. Much like the Youtube offering from Microsoft being a complete flop, this is a serious concern that must be addressed soon to prevent further negativity clouding the WP7 experience and continuing the painful reminder of the pre-NoDo update.

Are you familiar with these recent issues? There is a temporary workaround for posting statuses and commenting on friends updates via the built-in integration the Windows Phone 7 platform sports. At least we have some way of spying on people we dislike while the official gateway to social goodness is unreliable or simply not working.

Thanks mk for the tip!

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Debugging WP7 apps [Developers]

Den Delimarsky has posted a great video over at DZone that runs through some steps which can be carried out to debug Windows Phone 7 apps while they run with no debugger attached. Without one present, it proves to be increasingly difficult to track down every exception present. 

Source: DZone

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Farewell Zune Devices

It seems Microsoft have finally chosen to halt development of the much greatly under-performing Zune media player, in a report published by Bloomberg. Is this a wise decision to cut off their portable media player?

We think so. Sure, the Zune has had its fair share of sales and use but for Microsoft to take the mobile competition seriously and contend with all guns blazing, they need to step up their game and increase development efforts with WP7. While the product line has suffered, the software and service has been a slight-success with the additional coverage on the Xbox 360 and WP7 platforms.

Included in the report, Bloomberg states that Microsoft will continue to sell existing models of the Zune, but will not introduce anything new. What do you think of this latest move, and do you believe it will have a positive effect on Windows Phone 7 development?

Source: Bloomberg; via BusinessInsider

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Twitter, the social network that has skyrocketed out of control, has been bombarded with API connections and tweets being published and re-tweeted through exceptional growth. Ryan Sarver, who is a member of the Platform Team at Twitter, announced that they've updated their Terms of Service to help mainstream the Twitter experience and ensure users are connecting to (and using the) service in the same way.

With more people joining Twitter and accessing the service in multiple ways, a consistent user experience is more crucial than ever. As we talked about last April, this was our motivation for buying Tweetie and developing our own official iPhone app. It is the reason why we have developed official apps for the Mac, iPad, Android and Windows Phone, and worked with RIM on their Twitter for Blackberry app. As a result, the top five ways that people access Twitter are official Twitter apps. 

Still, our user research shows that consumers continue to be confused by the different ways that a fractured landscape of third-party Twitter clients display tweets and let users interact with core Twitter functions. For example, people get confused by websites or clients that display tweets in a way that doesn’t follow our design guidelines, or when services put their own verbs on tweets instead of the ones used on Twitter. Similarly, a number of third-party consumer clients use their own versions of suggested users, trends, and other data streams, confusing users in our network even more. Users should be able to view, retweet, and reply to @nytimes’ tweets the same way; see the same profile information about @whitehouse; and be able to join in the discussion around the same trending topics as everyone else across Twitter. 

More after the break.

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Yahoo! finally fixes IMAP issues

There was me thinking everyone fell asleep at Yahoo! headquarters. It seems they have reportedly fixed the huge IMAP issue that has had people using more data than they should on not only Windows Phone 7, but iPhone too. Just in time for the pre-NoDo update, oh... maybe not.

Rafael Rivera kept an eye on the Yahoo connection as to whether or not they would update their "imapgate" software. Today, he "was pleasantly surprised to see they had upgraded from 0.7.65_12.286037 to 0.7.65_14.298026 fixing the issue." While he can't comment on the exact millisecond the update was published, Rafael suspects it was rolled out earlier this week. 

It’s nice to see Yahoo! fixing problems that arise, although I suppose I’m just an insensitive badass sat on my podium with my shiny ActiveSync account. Are you a Yahoo! affected customer? If so, have you continued to experience issues with data usage today with access via IMAP to your account (should you monitor your traffic)?

Source: WithinWindows

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When people say LG and Windows Phone 7, one remembers the comments made about the platform by the device vendor, which explained how they had high expectations but were utterly dissapointed from a consumer perspective. Advancing months into the future and here we stand with Wired Italy awarding the LG Optimus 7 as best smartphone for value. Not bad, eh?

Stated on the article is an interesting claim that the device is a best-selling model. Are you an owner of the Optimus, and if so how are you finding the experience?

Source: Wired.it; via WMPU

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The next Windows Phone 7 device hitting Canada is the Dell Venue Pro that is reportedly arriving through Rogers at the suspected date of March 17th.

As previously mentioned, tipsters have supplied pricing information on the vertical-sliding device at $149.99 with a 3-year contract or $599.99 without a contracted commitment. As our Seth Brodeur pointed out in the article, $149.99 seems fairly expensive for a three year bound contract. Since then, there has been word that the prices could be slightly lower at $449.99 and $99.99 respectively. We will inform you as to when we confirm these new rumours.

Source: MobileSyrup

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We have been following the development of the Windows Phone Device Manager with a watchful eye, and the proposed addition to the software was the inclusion of a new "jailbreaking" tool that would allow unlocking a handset without developer registration. Julien Schapman has now sated this is not going to be included with WP Device Manager.

"Because I was bored getting hundreds of emails from people asking me to send them WP Device Manager so they can continue to use pirated applications, and because there will be a short term solution for homebrews, I decided not to include my jailbreak tool. I respect other developers and I don’t want to be responsible for piracy, I’ve been contacted by Brandon Watson from Microsoft and I wish to be involved in the official homebrew support on Windows Phone."

While I'm aware that the majority of folk will be surprised by the latest announcement (we are too!), one must consider the positives that were included in Julien's post. He mentions that he wishes to be involved in the official homebrew development/support on WP7. I believe Microsoft should have as much of the homebrew community onboard as possible to ensure that their solution will be more than what these developers were cooking up individually.

For now, it looks like we will all be extending our wait for setting Barbie Girl as our ringtones and using a colour wheel to select the OS theme. With NoDo just around the corner (should it actually work on all devices), our attention should be occupied with the features included within the update, not to mention the fantastic selection of Xbox Live titles and apps that are available. 

What do you think of this decision, and do you have high hopes for the homebrew support that Microsoft is promising?

Source: WindowsPhoneHacker

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GeoHot hacking WP7 at Pwn2Own 2011?

We previously covered the famed hacker GeoHot possibly moving over to Windows Phone 7, and it seems that this is now possibly happening with Pwn2Own 2011 hacking contest listing GeoHot as a registrant on the Dell Venue, which is being held next week.

Update: We're now told Geohot had to back out due to the ongoing Sony lawsuit with him needing to devote time to that instead. Thanks, @aaronportnoy.

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Seems us Samsung folk (I’m really beginning to regret leaving HTC) are still experiencing issues with the pre-NoDO update (take 2). Pulling the original release, this second attempt was meant to have fixed the teething issues, but alas there are still problems being reported. I’m just grateful we haven’t gone down the Windows Vista/7 route with displaying a notification that we have 130 updates available.

damiao_jr on Twitter has voiced more concern over the updating (through Zune) with attaching the error code that is displayed. WindowsPhoneSupport replied to the tweet with a snappy statement “we are looking into it right now”. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident, and I truly feel for the WP7 development team right now with the serious run of problems that have been present with the first update.

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With all the latest innovations and releases on the iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 platforms, I felt as though we should take a minute to sit back, relax, and watch fanboys go berserk over the above images. The funny part? It's all mostly true in a majority of POVs. To use the table you simply look from above as "How [SYSTEM] is seen by [SYSTEM OWNERS]", there are three biased presentations and six humorous interpretations to ease us all into the start of the weekend. 

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Google Apps and Services on WP7 [How To]

A good number of us are tied within the realm of Google, mainly for documents and emailing, but how can one explore the goodness of Windows Phone 7 when there is such a strong connection with the search engine giant (which makes Android a more feasible choice)?

Justin Willhite, of UK LifeHacker, has published a killer of an article that should help any avid Google fanboy (or post-Android owner) with the conversion process. It should be noted that the solutions provided by Justin (apart from native mail support, of course) do not support push-notification and must be updated/refreshed manually. So, how's it all done?

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24 Hour WP7 Hackathons in UK

We have learnt of some fantastic news for any England based developers (abroad too if you can get to the events by March) with two local hackathons based solely on Windows Phone 7 development. The one-day events - which are entirely free – are built on the previous successful DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper sessions that focused on developers learning, interacting and sharing unique ideas in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. The event is hosted in Manchester on March 18th, with Birmingham following on the 25th. Both beginning at 18:00 (6pm) on a Friday.

The events have one single goal: to get as many apps ready for Marketplace submission as possible (within the 24 hours), while having fun along the way, learning tricks and networking with fellow developers. As mentioned on the official website, one should attend if:

  • You’ve got a great idea for an app and need help getting started
  • You’re building an app but need help on implementing some features
  • You have an app that’s nearly ready and need advice on how to get it through the Marketplace submission process
  • You want to collaborate with other WP7 devs and contribute to the creation of open source libraries, controls or components

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Verizon could be preparing to announce a possible March WP7 device launch, as soon as this coming Monday (28th February). The device that will be introduced is the HTC 7 Trophy for $200 on a two-year contract. Verizon, attempting to combat Sprint with their announcement of the HTC Arrive, plans to offer their WP7 entry at around the same period of release.

Both networks will have the "NoDo' update for WP7 on their device, which will allow customers to use copy & paste amend other highly anticipated amendments. This is great news for newcomers and already established WP7 owners.

Microsoft stated back in September that no CMDA versions of Windows Phone 7 would be available until 2011 while they focused resources on prioritised tasks. The coming months will prove to be an exciting time for the community, and the addition of Verizon and Sprint can only increase market share within the industry.

Editors Note: We've received a fair number of anonymous tips this week saying the same thing. We didn't run them because there was nothing to back them up outside of "highly plausible/duh". Still, it helps in our mind to corroborate this current story.

Source: WinRumors

 

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icrosoft are bringing out the guns with their advertising campaign. Gone are the days of the simple "quick and easy so you can get back on with life" and here comes the bragging about the speed of Windows Phone 7 when compared against "Your phone" (targeted at any none WP7 owner). WinRumors have in possession a collection of the adverts in a draft variety, displaying superiority against other OSs in a  range of scenario including viewing your Xbox Live profile, informing your colleagues that you'll be late and getting directions home. What make these beauties special is that once task has been completed, the device handler begins carrying out humorous activities. Be sure to keep a sharp eye open for these commercials to air. What do you  think with first impressions from the drafts above?

Microsoft are bringing out the guns with their advertising campaign. Gone are the days of the simple "quick and easy so you can get back on with life", and here comes bragging about the speed of Windows Phone 7 when compared against "Your phone" (targeted at any none WP7 owner). Speaking on behalf of WP7 owners, this bragging is well deserved.

WinRumors have in possession a collection of the adverts in a draft variety, displaying superiority against other OSs in a range of scenarios including viewing your Xbox Live profile, informing your colleagues that you'll be late to a meeting and getting directions home. What make these beauties special is that once a task has been completed, the device handler begins carrying out humorous activities.

Be sure to keep a sharp eye open for these commercials to air. What do you think with first impressions from the drafts above?

Source: WinRumors;- thanks to reader Simon Hossain

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Sharing images and web pages [How To]

Everyone loves to share, which is why there is a huge part of Windows Phone 7 that is focused on social connections and platforms. As well as engaging with your friends while on the go, you may find yourself browsing the web within Internet Explorer an feel the need to share an image you see on a website, or the web page itself.

While offline and browsing through our photo albums there is fantastic social integration with the ability to share images to your online profiles and through other services, but what about while online? Via email, you can send any image or web page straight from your browser to a recipient of your choice, which can come in handy should you be the sharing type and wish to save a good number of clicks (or in our case – presses) when sending some useful content to your contact(s).

Sending an image from a current web page is simple enough, simply press and hold on the picture you wish to share and a menu will pop up with a “share” option. Then select your desired email account to send from and an email composition window will then slide into view. If you wish to send the entire web page as opposed to just an image, press on the “…” at the bottom left of the browser and select “share”. Again, an email account selection will appear and then a composition window. 

Windows Phone 7 makes simple tasks easier and faster for people to complete and communicating in more complex ways is possible, rivaling with competing platforms. What do you share while browsing around; do you use this feature regularly?

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