Zune HD has multi-touch pinch zooming in IE Mobile browser


Microsoft’s Zune HD official website has always stated the following regarding the on-board version of IE Mobile:

Surf the web anytime, anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. Enjoy your favorite websites with a full-featured web browser including tap-to-zoom technology, built-in accelerometer, and touchscreen QWERTY keyboard

Nobody actualy knew what tap-to-zoom actualy is and if the browser will support the pinch gesture to zoom giving that the player sports a multi-touch capacitive panal. Today Ina Fried over at cnet has tis to say about her last hands on with Microsoft upcoming PMP:

One thing that will be available this fall is the Zune HD, Microsoft’s would-be rival to the iPod Touch. Although I had gotten a brief peek at the product in May, I didn’t really get to check out the browser. I played with an updated build of the product on Thursday and was pleasantly surprised to see the browser has the kind of pinch zooming that one finds on the iPhone or in Windows 7. On the down side, I didn’t see anything to indicate it will have serious gaming abilities.

Source: Cnet

Samsung Omnia II review

The boys over at Pocketnow finaly posted their full review of Samsung’s Omnia II. Want to know how it stacks up against HTC’s latest porducts? Head over there and check it out. Here are the Pros and Cons :


Gorgeous AMOLED display
Fantastic battery life
Snappy performance
Great build quality
Includes 8 or 16GB of memory
Has the UMTS 1900 band for US 3G in some areas
Video player can do DiVX
Screen sensitivity is high
Interface is optimized for finger-operation
Widget interface is useful
Has a 3.5mm headphone jack with terrific audio output
Excellent on-screen keyboard choices
Windows Mobile 6.5 upgradable
Camera application is sophisticated
Is TV-Out capable
Has a proximity sensor to turn off display during calls


Outdoor screen visibility is horrible
Attracts fingerprints
Photo and video quality are under whelming
Widget interface can get slow and uses a lot of RAM
Expensive (unsubsidized)
No inbuilt stylus
Crappy case included
No TV-Out cable included
Automatic screen brightness doesn’t work well “

Source: Pocketnow

HTC predicts lower revenue caused by product delay

Today HTC announced that they are lowering their revenue forecast on product delay and launch of cheaper phones. The company’s CEO, Peter Chou is quoted as saying the following :

“Our momentum in the second half of this year may not be as strong as we initially thought it would be”
“The number of mid-tier smartphones we’re pushing out this year will gradually increase, which will push down revenue. Momentum on both the Windows Mobile and Android platforms are also turning out to be weaker than expected.”

The Reuters article doesn’t specify which product was delayed unfortunately.

More Info here

Samsung Omnia II Widgets video tour

Brandon from Pocketnow has posted another video tour of the Samsung Omnia II this time showing us the majority of the widgets available through the phone’s TouchWiz 2 UI. There are plenty of them, some more useful than others and you can even download new ones via a widget that redirects the user to Samsung’s widget update site through the Opera browser. Personly I find HTC’s new widget based UI (Sense) to be alot more user freindly, no ?

Source: Pocketnow

Telus launches the HTC Touch Pro 2 and HTC Snap

Canadian carrier Telus has just announced the availabilty of HTC’s latest and greatest Touch Pro 2 (which has a 3.5″ jack) and  Snap. The Touch Pro 2 is priced at 249$ with a 3 years contract ($649,99 without contract) and the Snap should be free with the same 3 years contract (399,99 without it).

For more info head over the Telus site

Source: BGR

Windows Mobile’s future laid out by Microsoft’s Robbie Bach

Microsoft’s Analyst Day is underway right now and Robbie Bach, President of the Enternaiment & Devices division just laid out the plan for Windows Mobile in the near futur. Here’s the full transcript (sorry it’s a bit long) :

Let’s move to question number two and talk about mobile and how we are going to make progress in the mobile space. Now, the slide that you see here, the marbles that you see on the fly depict volume for the latest quarter’s results based on the four or five largest guys in the marketplace. And the arrow across the bottom indicates sort of market position, let’s say, by who the target audience or the people who are generally buying those devices are.
The basic friends you have seen are Nokia has been leader in the space for a long time. As the market has shifted to smart phones, their share has declined in the smart phone space. They have particular challenges in the U.S. They have interesting things to work on and manage. Rim would have started on the left in the business space. It has actually grown their volume pretty successfully by expanding more into the customer space. Apple obviously relatively new, entered over the last 18 months but successfully building from the consumer side. And Google is small here because they only have one or two devices on the market. Plenty of rumors and announcements of things that are coming this fall. We will see how the marble grows in size over time.
For Microsoft, our success has predominantly been on the business side. And certainly we know that in the marketplace people no longer think about things as a business phone versus a consumer phone. They just want their phone, and the phone has to do very well for what they do in business and very well for what they do in their personal life. So our strategy has to be based on taking the success we’ve had in business and continuing to grow that and expanding that success across to consumer scenarios so we can both move that marble to the right as well as grow the size of the marble and gain share.
And when you think about this, this is not something that’s going to play out over three or six months. Smart phones today are about 15% of the total phone market. This is something that’s going to play out over the next three to five years. Certainly, there’s plenty going on now. I think there is definitely a lot going on next year, the year after that and the year after that. It will be a very competitive marketplace. One where we will have to work very hard to be successful but one that is very important to our strategy where we will invest to be successful in the future.
So let’s talk about the specific strategy itself. The fundamentals of our strategy are based on the idea of choice and selection. It is our view that one model, one type of phone is not going to build volume into that critical mass that we think we need to make the business successful. We have people who are going to want Qwerty keyboard, touch keyboard, big screen, people who want small screens. People who will make trade offs on battery life to do media. So it is our view we need to work closely with Samsung, LG, HP, HTC, Sony Ericcson and others to build a broad selection of phones with different price points and different functionality. You can see the phones on the slide here that we will be delivering in October when Windows Mobile 6.5 comes to market, you can see some of the that diversity. Different sizes, different screen sizes, different approaches for input. That’s the fundamental pillar of our strategy.
The second pillar of our strategy is around experiences. And if I have a critique of our phones today, it is that our experiences are very good in the business case. If you want to do email and outlook and connect to Exchange and move data around in that environment, we are actually quite good. But if you are in the consumer space, you want to do more browsing, more media, more video, our experiences aren’t as rich as they need to.
And starting with 6.5 and going forward we will expand dramatically and think about it as end-to-end experiences where Microsoft makes sure the experience starts from start to finish. So in 6.5, let’s just pick an example. You will see our browsing experience get dramatically better. You will have a very rich browsing experience on 6.5 devices that will give you access to more Web sites than you will be able to get to on an iPhone that will work actively and work well.
It really is a much better experience. We will have to continue to enhance that because the browser world is enhancing very quickly. That is an experience people expect to work and that’s just one example of many experiences that we’re building to expand in that area.
So choice inflection, great end in experiences. The third thing we will focus on is what I talked about in our core strategy around three screen and cloud innovation. Cloud innovation is very important in the space because people are always connected with their phone. And they always want to be able to have access to other things. And the cloud will be able to provide those capabilities.
The example in 6.5 is a new service we are providing called my phone which enables you to transfer media from your phone to the cloud and always have access to it. If you lose your phone, you haven’t lost all your data. Not only have you not lost your data but the cloud can help you find your phone. So there is a whole set of those types of services that we want to expand into and I think those cloud-based services brought to the phone as well as to the PC and the TV are going to be quite powerful.
Fourth element of the strategy is around the brand. And you will see on the slide it says Windows phone. We are going to invest and build on the brand of Windows phone. One of the challenges we had when we talk to consumers today is they see a Windows phone experience and they ask how do I get that and we haven’t had a — something to call it where we can say, go into the store and ask for a Windows phone. And that’s an area where we are going to invest in building. We will invest in that with our operators. We will invest in that with retail and invest in it with our own advertising money to make sure people understand when they see those types of experiences, that that’s a Microsoft experience delivered on a Windows phone. It may come from HTC, Sam sun, Sony Ericsson and others but they know it will be a great experience and they know what they will get.
The final part of the strategy is we have to do a better job executing and better job in operating our business. I think there is two areas I would like to highlight. The first of those is in our integration with hardware manufacturers. If you’re on a strategy that’s about choice and selection, you have to do a great job integrating with the hardware because all these experiences are about all the hardware and the software interact and then how that combination interacts with the cloud.
And to date we haven’t done as good a job as I would like in building the relationships and getting the right level of integration with our hardware and OEMs. So you will see us investing in that. We have already started that process. Obviously phones take time to develop, so that won’t happen overnight. But you are going to see a dramatic improvement between the integration and what we do in the software and what our hardware partners do on the hardware side.
The better part of the execution is strengthening the work. We have over the last 12 months done a significant investment from a people perspective. I am not talking about head count. I’m talking about quality talent of moving quality talent onto the team. People who have built successful businesses and Exchange. People who build successful businesses in our keyboard division, as part of Windows and moving them to Windows Mobile to make sure we have the best quality talent in the company working on this key initiative.
And those people are now in place. Windows Mobile 6.5 shipped within four days of its original ship date when we sent it to the hardware manufacturers. That’s a great performance in any market, and market where you are talking about phones, which is a very complicated release process, we are quite proud of that. I think you will see as we go forward into the future, see our execution rich both pick up and the quality of that execution rhythm improve. That’s the Windows Mobile strategy. It is about great experiences and selection. Those experiences will include connectivity of the cloud, connectivity to the PC and to other things and it is going to be about building the brand and better execution.
Now, in a way, you could think about that as bringing innovation certainly to the mobile phone. And we are definitely going to do that starting with 6.5 but in particular going forward. But we’re also doing that in other areas. When we think about innovation, we think about it in three parts. We think about it from a business perspective. So we want to innovate in the business model. That means figuring out how we build a better subscription business. Xbox love has done that well and we built it from scratch. How do we expand and broaden that. How do we do a better job in advertising on our properties and platforms? We have started that on Xbox. We need to do a better job of that across the rest of the business.

You can follow the live stream here

Intersting Q&A:

QUESTION: Thanks a lot. Robbie, on the mobile side, again, to come back there, two questions for you. Since you’re starting to see kind of PCs coincide with smartphone technology, MIDs and netbooks, and so on, does it make sense to have a mobile operating system to be part of an end-to-end Windows when you get to Windows 8? What do you think about that?

And then, second question, as 6.5 and 7 come out, clearly one of the weaknesses is, I think, it’s supporting too many platforms, so a real inconsistency of the user experience. Is there something you guys can do to focus the SKU count, for example, to stop that inconsistency?

ROBBIE BACH: Well, let me address the second one first, because it’s the more immediate question. Part of what I was trying to communicate in my strategy discussion in our work with hardware manufacturers, is that it’s not a SKU count problem in the sense that we actually do believe in diversity of phones. I actually like a lot of different styles and types of phones. It is: what is the underlying plumbing and architecture of each of those phones that we have to reduce?

Today there is just a plethora of diversity, much of which has nothing to do with what the user ever experiences. And so the focus with us with our OEM partners has been on really specifying what architectures we want to support, being very specific about what we want in the phones and want in every phone so that our software, instead of being lowest-common-denominator software, can be highest-common-denominator software because we know what’s going to be in every device. And you will absolutely see that show up in our devices going forward, and you will start to see consistency in what I will call architecture and plumbing.

Now, from the hardware manufacturers, this is actually a good thing, because it helps their cost base pretty significantly. And there are still tons of ways for them to innovate, so they can innovate on design. They can innovate on keyboards, they can innovate on graphics, they can innovate in a number of ways, so it’s a good thing for them.

Our operators actually like it as well because, from a testing perspective, today’s mobile environment is a real pain in the neck for them on their network because they have to test all these different configurations. But the core technology is the same. The testing goes faster. Products get to market faster. It’s better from a product support perspective. So, all that are things we absolutely are focused on and are driving and already well-engaged with both sets of partners on making that happen.

To your second question, today we actually already share components between what we do in the Windows space and the Windows Mobile space. You’re going to see more of that sharing continue over time, and you will see us accelerate that and do more of it as we can. Understand that historically that was tough, because the underlying architectures were actually quite different.

But to Craig’s point about GPUs and CPUs and the underlying chip architecture, as those get more similar, it absolutely makes it easier for us to share more. And you’ll certainly see that, whether it’s work we’re doing in a browser, work we’re doing on development tools, a number of other places where we will be able to do more of that sharing. That’s baked into our plan.

Capacitive screens coming to Windows Mobile

Following rumors that HTC is coming out with Windows Mobile smartphone sporting a capacitive screen. A reader tipped WMPoweruser with the following screen of a new WM 6.5 build 2193 showing what seems to be a magnifier popping up to help the user select text just like on the iPhone.
People may have passed on this one, but the latest TouchFlo 3D 2.5 has a new setting screen :


Connect the dots…

Source : WMPoweruser

Samsung Omnia II hardware tour video

Brandon from Pocketnow just uploaded his hardware tour video of Samsung latest flagship Windows Mobile smartphone. The Omnia is definitely a step above the original Onmia in terms of overall design and hardware specifications. Unfortunately it still sports a resistive-touch digitizer like the majority of Windows Mobile products.

Source : Pocketnow

Official LG BL 40 New Chocolate shots

After numerous leaks, LG finally released Official shots of the soon to be announced premium feature phone, the BL40 “New Chocolate”. The phone does look strange thanks to the ultra-wide 4″ 800×345 display. I’m guessing that it runs an update version of LG S-Class UI which is said to be Flash based (hopefully snappier that the current S-Class phones). Not much is known about the chipset used, is it the same AMD A250(pdf) chip found in the Arena or something new like nVidia’s Tegra or Qualcomm’s SnapDragon ?

Source : Engadget

Windows Mobile is Windows Phone

Wphone1In what seems to be non news, because Microsoft already announced this back in February in Barcelona during the WM 6.5 unveiling (but I guess some people didn’t pay attention), Windows Mobile (6.x/7) is rebranded as Windows Phone. Yes nothing really exciting, WM7 is still late. Microsoft is just trying to make it easier for people not to get confused by 6.0, 6.1, 6.5 & 7. You’ll have a Windows Phone, period.


Source : Windows Phone Partner Branding

Samsung updates their Mobile Innovator Windows Mobile SDK

Samsung has released the 1.2 version of their Windows Mobile SDK. In addition to Microsoft’s APIs the Mobile Innovator SDKs adds access to APIs unique to Samsung phones like GPS, accelerometer and numerous other sensors. The 1.2 version adds new APIs for FM Radio and dual camera functionality and includes support for 3 new phones: the GT-C6625 Valencia, the SCH-m490/m495 T*Omnia and the GT-I8000 Omnia II.

Head over here to download it

Microsoft and Yahoo announce 10 year Search & Advertising deal

That’s it, it’s finally done. Microsoft and Yahoo just issued a press release announcing the long rumored search and ad deal. They’ve also set up a dedicated website www.choicevalueinnovation.com. One big part of the deal that was not known before is the fact that Microsoft has access to all of Yahoo’s search technology for the next 10 years. This can only help improve Bing in a big way and also means that Yahoo is definitely out of the search game. Regarding the advertising part of the deal, Microsoft’s AdCenter will be the platform used to serve ads. So now we have Google AdWords/Adsense vs Microsoft AdCenter/PubCenter.
Here is the press release:

Carol Bartz & Steve Ballmer credit: Microsoft

Carol Bartz & Steve Ballmer credit: Microsoft

Microsoft, Yahoo! Change Search Landscape
Global Deal Creates Better Choice for Consumers and Advertisers

SUNNYVALE, CA and REDMOND, WA — 29 July, 2009 — Yahoo! and Microsoft announced an agreement that will improve the Web search experience for users and advertisers, and deliver sustained innovation to the industry. In simple terms, Microsoft will now power Yahoo! search while Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.

For Web users and advertisers, this deal will accelerate the pace and breadth of innovation by combining both companies’ complementary strengths and search platforms into a market competitor with the scale to fuel sustained development in search and search advertising. Users will find what they care about faster and with more personal relevance. Microsoft’s competitive search platforms will lead to more value for advertisers, better results for web publishers, and increased innovation and efficiency across the Internet.

Under this agreement, Yahoo! will focus on its core business of providing consumers with great experiences with the world’s favorite online destinations and Web products.

“This agreement comes with boatloads of value for Yahoo!, our users, and the industry. And I believe it establishes the foundation for a new era of Internet innovation and development,” said Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz. “Users will continue to experience search as a vital part of their Yahoo! experiences and will enjoy increased innovation thanks to the scale and resources this deal provides. Advertisers will also benefit from scale and enjoy greater ease of use and efficiencies working with a single platform and sales team for premium advertisers. Finally, this deal will help us increase our investments in priority areas in winning audience properties, display advertising capabilities, and mobile experiences.”

Providing a viable alternative to advertisers, this deal will combine Yahoo! and Microsoft search marketplaces so that advertisers no longer have to rely on one company that dominates more than 70 percent of all search. With the addition of Yahoo!’s search volume, Microsoft will achieve the size and scale required to unleash competition and innovation in the market, for consumers as well as advertisers.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the agreement will provide Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, the scale necessary to more effectively compete, attracting more users and advertisers, which in turn will lead to more relevant ads and search results.

“Through this agreement with Yahoo!, we will create more innovation in search, better value for advertisers, and real consumer choice in a market currently dominated by a single company,” said Ballmer. “Success in search requires both innovation and scale. With our new Bing search platform, we’ve created breakthrough innovation and features. This agreement with Yahoo! will provide the scale we need to deliver even more rapid advances in relevancy and usefulness. Microsoft and Yahoo! know there’s so much more that search could be. This agreement gives us the scale and resources to create the future of search.”

“This deal fits the long-term strategic direction of Yahoo! to remain the world’s leading online media company and Carol Bartz has the full and unanimous support of the Yahoo! Board behind this deal,” said Roy Bostock, chairman, Yahoo! Inc. “This is a significant opportunity for us. Microsoft is an industry innovator in search, and it is a great opportunity for us to focus our investments in other areas critical to our future.”

The key terms of the agreement are as follows:

•The term of the agreement is 10 years;

•Microsoft will acquire an exclusive 10 year license to Yahoo!’s core search technologies, and Microsoft will have the ability to integrate Yahoo! search technologies into its existing web search platforms;

•Microsoft’s Bing will be the exclusive algorithmic search and paid search platform for Yahoo! sites. Yahoo! will continue to use its technology and data in other areas of its business such as enhancing display advertising technology.

•Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers. Self-serve advertising for both companies will be fulfilled by Microsoft’s AdCenter platform, and prices for all search ads will continue to be set by AdCenter’s automated auction process.

•Each company will maintain its own separate display advertising business and sales force.

•Yahoo! will innovate and “own” the user experience on Yahoo! properties, including the user experience for search, even though it will be powered by Microsoft technology.

•Microsoft will compensate Yahoo! through a revenue sharing agreement on traffic generated on Yahoo!’s network of both owned and operated (O&O) and affiliate sites.

?Microsoft will pay traffic acquisition costs (TAC) to Yahoo! at an initial rate of 88% of search revenue generated on Yahoo!’s O&O sites during the first 5 years of the agreement.

?Yahoo! will continue to syndicate its existing search affiliate partnerships.

•Microsoft will guarantee Yahoo!’s O&O revenue per search (RPS) in each country for the first 18 months following initial implementation in that country.

•At full implementation (expected to occur within 24 months following regulatory approval), Yahoo! estimates, based on current levels of revenue and current operating expenses, that this agreement will provide a benefit to annual GAAP operating income of approximately $500 million and capital expenditure savings of approximately $200 million. Yahoo! also estimates that this agreement will provide a benefit to annual operating cash flow of approximately $275 million.

•The agreement protects consumer privacy by limiting the data shared between the companies to the minimum necessary to operate and improve the combined search platform, and restricts the use of search data shared between the companies. The agreement maintains the industry-leading privacy practices that each company follows today.

The agreement does not cover each company’s web properties and products, email, instant messaging, display advertising, or any other aspect of the companies’ businesses. In those areas, the companies will continue to compete vigorously.

The transaction will be subject to regulatory review. The agreement entered into today anticipates that the parties will enter into more detailed definitive agreements prior to closing. Microsoft and Yahoo! expect the agreement to be closely reviewed by the industry and government regulators, and welcome questions. The companies are hopeful that closing can occur in early 2010.

The companies have established a website at http://www.choicevalueinnovation.com to provide consumers, advertisers and publishers with additional information about the benefits of the agreement.

Microsoft releases Hopper Test Tool for Windows Mobile

Following the release of the AppVerifier and the launch of the submission & certification process for the Windows Mobile Marketplace, the mobile team has made available the Hopper test tool for developers. It’s a software test tool that simulates random user input on mobile devices and is required for certification for the marketplace.

Hopper is a software test tool that simulates random user input on mobile devices providing a sometimes meaningful mean time to failure (MTTF) number. It is designed to find bugs and is not intended to run scenario tests or do “specific user things” – it is completely random. Hopper stresses the entire device and will execute anything accessible through the UI many, many times. It has no knowledge of where it is at any time and has limited ability to detect poor system health. Hopper executes randomly, thus different bugs might be encountered each time the tool runs. Fixing enough bugs to impact MTTF may take many runs. Reproducing specific runs and/or finding the particular bug that caused any specific failure can prove to be difficult. While Hopper excels at finding system stability bugs quickly, it was never designed to debug or diagnose the source of any particular problem. It utilizes a “system snapshot” log at regular intervals which can help you understand fault. Determining device MTTF via stress testing and debugging is a simple process: run a stress tool until the device fails, diagnose the failure, fix the bug, and re-start the stress tool. In theory, each time a bug gets fixed, MTTF increases because the tool runs longer without a failure.

Grab it here

T-Mobile USA debuts HTC Touch Pro2, availability in 2 weeks


T-Mobile has finally announced the upcoming availability of HTC Touch Pro2. Coming in a “mocha” finish/color it also lacks the front facing VGA camera that is standard in Europe. It should be available to customers beginning Aug. 12. you can read the announcement here

Source : Gizmodo

Microsoft – Yahoo Deal has been struck, should be announced in a few hours


Things are heating up in Silicon Valley right about now. Kara Swisher is reporting that her sources told her that Microsoft and Yahoo have finaly struck a Search & Advertising deal and should announce it in the Next few hours. It’s about time!

Multiple sources close to the situation said that the online search and advertising deal between Microsoft and Yahoo has been struck and will be announced within the next 24 hours.

While it is not clear if the actual papers have been inked, sources said negotiations are complete.

It is likely to be the cause of much relief at both companies, since they have been trying–without success–to join together to mount a better offense in the sector against the dominant Google (GOOG).

Stay tuned!

Update: Yahoo to Lead Ad Sales in Microsoft Search Deal

Update 2: Boomtown “Yahoo To Get 110 Percent of Search Revenue in First Two Years of Deal With” Microsoft

Source: BoomTown

Creative announces the Zii EGG player and Zii Plaszma SDK for developers and OEMs


Creative announced today what seems to be one of the most feature packed and advanced PMP player to date. Here are the specs :

Plaszma Platform
Open Development Program
100% Market Ready and Designed for Manufacturability
Create Customized Applications & Devices
Supports both Plaszma OS and Android OS
World’s 1st Handheld StemCell Computer
Low Cost, Energy Efficient
High Definition 1080p Output
3.5” 320×480
(16 million colors) LCD
Capacitive 10-Point Multi-Gesture Touchscreen Display
Text-to-Speech Engine
SD slot

3D Hardware Graphics Acceleration for OpenGL ES
32GB Internal Memory
256MB Mobile DDR RAM
X-Fi Audio Processing
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
GPS Receiver
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
3-axis Accelerometer
Starting from US$199* for Zero GB version in bulk
Zii Optimized Android
Super-charged Android using StemCell Computing Technology
Enhanced 3D Graphics and Video Acceleration

Looks like the Synaptics ClearPad3000 (10 fingers multi-touch screen) that was announced last week is on board. And it’s nice to see Android being used in something other that a HTC phone or crappy Chinese replica phones although it’s not clear if the Plaszma OS sits on top of Android or if the Zii EGG got 2 OSes. This specs look mighty impressive (besides the low-res screen..), especially the 1080P video output and OpenGL ES support (1.X or 2.0 ?). But as always with Creative, you should take all this stuff with a big grain of salt until we see hands-on reviews. One more thing, this announcement is all about the developers and the SDK. Creative hasn’t announced public availability of the Zii EGG yet. Head over the Official site here for more info

Source : DAP review

More App Store madness. Apple rejects official Google Voice app and pulls all other GV apps


In what looks like an ongoing trend of total stupidity, Apple started to pull all Google Voice applications from the App Store yesterday siting the fact that those apps “duplicate features that come with the iPhone”. Now google announced that the official Google Voice app that the company submitted to Apple for approval has be rejected for the same reason.

We work hard to bring Google applications to a number of mobile platforms, including the iPhone. Apple did not approve the Google Voice application we submitted six weeks ago to the Apple App Store. We will continue to work to bring our services to iPhone users — for example, by taking advantage of advances in mobile browsers.

I’m starting to see bloggers everywhere blaming AT&T for “forcing” Apple’s hand because GV is a threat to their business etc. Please, don’t be such apologists. The whole world doesn’t revolve around the US and AT&T. When Apple does something like this it affects the millions of iPhone ad iPod Touch users worldwide. It’s Apple decision and who supposedly “forced” them doesn’t matter!

Update: Om Malik posted some good points here

As I wrote in my post, Meet Google, Your Phone Company:

The mobile app for Google Voice uses the regular PSTN connection to place a call to Google Voice, which then places a call out to the person you need to reach. Since these calls (and SMS messages) originate from your Google Voice, they display your Google Voice number for the recipients. The service needs a data connection but it isn’t necessary to have a Wi-Fi connection to place and receive calls. The wireless number you buy from the cell phone company becomes less relevant.

As a result, AT&T still gets to count minutes spent making and receiving calls via Google voice. So how is that bad news for AT&T? It’s not, and the only way it could be was if Google Voice worked over Wi-Fi. Apparently, even that hasn’t been much of an issue that far because Apple has been approving WiFi-based VoIP apps.

If AT&T indeed was the villain here or Apple was against VoIP calls, then by now all eoice applicatiee ons would have been given the boot. My Skype, Truphone, Nimbuzz and Fring accounts are all working fine. You can download them from the iTunes store. So again, I think people are jumping to conclusions here.

Source: Techcrunch

Microsoft opens Windows Mobile Marketplace applications submissions & Race to Market contest

As promised earlier this month, developers from 29 countries can now submit their applications to the Windows Mobile Marketplace. the whole certification process should take around 10 days and developers can follow this process through the Developer Dashboard.

Today represents another significant milestone for Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and more importantly, the first big opportunity for developers. We are now accepting application submissions from all 29 supported countries and have launched a Race to Market Challenge to kick things off. It’s time to show us what you’ve got!

Registered developers and ISVs can now upload their application, game or widget to the Windows Marketplace platform and we’ll begin certifying those apps according to the process, policies and guidelines we’ve published. We certify apps on a First In, First Out (FIFO) basis. Certification should normally take about 10 business days initially and you can always check on your application during the process through our Developer Dashboard. To better market your app, you can provide us with all the product information and promotional materials you’d like us to use to describe and showcase your application for the more than 30 million Windows Mobile devices out there.

If we go through the certification process and your application doesn’t pass one or more of the tests or checks, we’ll give you a detailed report explaining which test and why. All of the tests and checks we run align with the tools and criteria we’ve shared, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises. The steps we take to help ensure that an application meets reasonable expectations for quality, usability and localization creates a high standard for the marketplace, a consistent experience for shoppers and ultimately increased exposure and repeat business for all involved.

Our strategy for all of this is pretty straightforward; we want to create a global marketplace for Windows Phones where developers and users meet to sell and buy high quality and high value applications that make work easier and life more fulfilling. We’re creating a clear process and new opportunity for developers and ISVs to make money from their investment in innovation. The applications we feature will be well organized, easily accessible by PC or phone and backed by a money back guarantee. And when they’re ready to buy, customers will have a variety of payment options to choose from. These are new customer experiences, and frankly, capabilities that will set us apart.

But it all starts today with the applications, and as I mentioned earlier we’re kicking this process off with a little contest we’re calling the Race to Market Challenge.

The Race to Market Challenge is just another reason for developers to get in on the ground floor of the new Windows Marketplace. While we do sincerely believe that everyone who submits an app will benefit from being among the first available when Windows Marketplace opens for business, we’re offering a few other prizes as well.

Race to Market Challenge

Prizes; 4 Microsoft Surface tables (Developer Edition), online marketing & promotion of your app and challenge trophies for the mantle.

Applications will be judged on:
Most downloads of a free app
Most valuable app (downloads x price)
Most useful (as judged by Microsoft panel)
Most playful (as judged by Microsoft panel)
Contest runs from launch to Dec 31, 2009.
Details will be available at http://mobilethisdeveloper.com today.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Windows Marketplace beta tester community for its patience and feedback, as well as all of you who have already taken the time to register your company with us (see comments from beta tester Eduify and Ilium). We’ve learned a lot and can’t wait to get more of your ideas and feedback to help us make the experience better for everyone.

If Juniper research is right and we can expect to see 20 billion applications downloaded annually in the years ahead, the mobile app market is in its infancy and consumers will soon demand more consistent and intuitive shopping experiences than exists today. We’re going to meet that demand.

Join us!

Head over here for more info.

The Race to Market challenge site can be found here

The Windows Mobile team has also updated the applications guidelines here (pdf)

Microsoft is looking for a Software Engineer to build a general-purpose graphics platform for mobile phones


A recent job ad posted on July 22 reveals that Microsoft is looking for a Principal Dev Lead to build a “general-purpose graphics platform for mobile phones” here’s the full job description:

Job Category: Software Engineering: Development
Location: United States, WA, Redmond
Job ID: 700202 5597
Product: Windows Mobile Devices
Division: Entertainment & Devices Division
Would you like to make a critical contribution to mobile computing? Do you enjoy building and leading strong teams? Do you have a passion for graphics and graphical user interfaces?

The Windows Mobile Software team is looking for an extremely senior development lead to manage a small team of highly motivated engineers and deliver a robust, performant, general-purpose graphics platform for mobile phones.

In addition to general development leadership responsibilities, the successful applicant will be able to design, communicate and navigate a roadmap for mobile graphics support in current and future Windows Phone operating systems.

Relevant skill-sets include: People Management and Team Building, Operating System API and Runtime development, Command of 2D and 3D Graphics APIs (D3D, OpenGL, DirectDraw, GDI) , Real-Time Rendering/Shading, Window System and Compositor design, Command of performance considerations over various ALU/ bus/GPU topologies.

B.S. in Computer Science or equivalent experience plus multiple years as a successful line manager or higher required. Familiarity with at least one family of Windows system architecture (3x, NT, CE) preferred

Does it have anything to do with XNA games on ZuneHD/Windows Mobile 7 ? Who knows..

Check it out here