Windows 8 Metro UI discussed

Microsoft’s Windows President Steven Sinofsky has just shred some more information about the upcoming Windows 8 Metro UI that was unveiled a few months ago. The whole post essential describes the company’s decision to have 2 distinct UIs in windows 8 instead of transitioning everything to Metro as many have suggested ever since we saw it in action a couple months ago:

We believe there is room for a more elegant, perhaps a more nuanced, approach. You get a beautiful, fast and fluid, Metro style interface and a huge variety of new apps to use. These applications have new attributes (a platform) that go well beyond the graphical styling (much to come on this at Build). As we showed, you get an amazing touch experience, and also one that works with mouse, trackpad, and keyboard. And if you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop—we won’t even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there! This is Windows reimagined.

Microsoft will share more info about the development languages and APIs later this month during the Build conference:

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HTC Jetstream Honeycomb tablet announced: Coming to AT&T September 4th

It’s been a while since I posted about and Android product but this one deserves to be talked about because it is HTC’s first Honeycomb tablet and also the first one powered by a Qualcomm SoC instead of the Nvidia Tegra 2. The HTC Jetstream (formerly known as the HTC Pucinni) features a 10.1 WXGA screen and is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8X60 SoC cloced at 1.5ghz (dual-core CPU). It will also feature an updated version of the HTC Sense UI for tablet which was introduced on the HTC Flyer earlier this year.BEst of all; it’s launching this Sunday on AT&T Check out the full specs:

HTC Jetstream Specifications

  • LTE (700/AWS)
  • HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS (850/1900/2100 MHz)
  • EDGE/GPRS (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
  • HTC Sense™ UX for tablets
  • Display: 10.1” WXGA HD screen
  • Processor:  Third-generation Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • Camera: Front Facing 1.3 MP, Rear facing 8 MP and Dual LED Flash
  • Battery: 7,300 mAh
  • Expandable Memory:  MicroSD up to 32 GB
  • Dimensions: 7” (l) x 9.87” (w) x 51” (d)
  • Weight: 25 ounces

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Nokia 703 / Sea Ray specs leak?

Mister Blurry Cam is at it again. The picture above supposedly reveals the hardware specifications of the Nokia 703 (a model number that has popped update lately) which looks relatively similar to the Nokia Sea Ray. Interestingly there’s also a Nokia 800 device in the wild so it is yet unknown if both are the same or if one is EU bound only or if there’s any difference at all between the two.

Back to the blurry picture. There’s some disappointing things in there (if it turns out to be true…) first the camera is a step down from the Nokia N9′s groundbreaking 8Mpix Sensor. The Nokia 703 is said to have a 5Mpix camera (no word on the optics). It also apparently only feature 8Gb of on-board storage, a 3.7″ Clear Black AMOLED WVGA display. Once agin take this kind of stuff with a heavy pinch of salt. Check out my earlier Nokia SeaRay hardware specification guess here.

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Windows Phone 7 Mac connector V2.0 for Mango released

Microsoft has just released the V.20 version of the Windows Phone Mac connector just in time for the Mango roll out. This update is packed full of new features that will finally put it on par with the Zune PC application (but not in terms of UI obviously). It even includes a user configurable video encoding functionality that isn’t present on the PC. It also seem to have a dedicated ringtones section unlike the Zune PC application which requires the user to manually rename the audio file so it can be recognized as a ringtone by the device.

Features:
• Full sync and import support for Apple Aperture software
• Drag and drop import of files from Browse Device
• Ringtone transfer support (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
• Improved video conversion process with user configuration options
• Support for Windows Phone Marketplace (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
• Localization support for 13 additional languages
• Improvements to backup and restore operations
• Improved configuration for podcast sync and photo import
• Improved iTunes import support in certain languages
• Improved metadata support for videos

Fixes:
• Added additional error codes and help references for device update
• Resolved connectivity issues with certain devices
• Resolved album art display issues for certain devices

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Samsung Now Hub 2 released: Mango support, multiple Live Tiles, Currency converter

Samsung has finally released the newest Mango version of the Windows Phone 7 Now hub today. This 2.0 release now support Mango’s fast application switching feature (multi-tasking), double sided live tiles, multiple live tiles: primary one for the weather, secondary for the news and a third one for the top tweets, a currency converter and several bug fixes. This update should be available right now to all Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus owners worldwide who are running Mango so all you’ll have to do is either wait for the update prompt or go to the Samsung Zone and update the app.

Update: As it’s case with most Live Tiles on WP7 the primary weather tiles never automatically updates on my device…shame… BTW, LG has already update most of its applications for Mango (2 weeks ago IIRC).

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Microsoft to bring back missing IE9 Mobile feature…after Mango

Nope, the tabs switching page is still a pain to get to in Mango. What Microsoft is supposedly planning to bring back in a post-Mango update is the Find on Page feature that was was stripped from the OS with the Mango update. Exciting right? Well not to me. I want the old tabs icon back and also the ability to navigate forward (yep, did you realize that it was gone too?).

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Nokia still looking for a name for its line of US Windows Phones ?

This is rather perplexing to say the least. Nokia is apparently still looking for a cool name for its US line of Windows Phones which is set to materialize this fall with the launch of the Nokia SeaRay. The company’s Head of Developer Marketing in North America has started a poll 5 days ago asking his Twitter followers to vote for one of the (ridiculous) suggestions or submit their own. If this is to be taken sinuously then something is wrong somewhere because the lack of product name today (August 30th) means that there’s still no marketing material ready or anything of that sort which is worrying given that the Fujitsu IS12T is already available and that HTC is set to unveil its line of Mango handsets later this week.

As I’ve been telling you for a while now the first Nokia Windows Phone will only be available in relatively short supply this year and it may now seem that the priority will be put on Europe first.

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HTC Omega spotted in the wild

Similar to last year Samsung Omnia 7 leak somebody in North Africa (Algeria) seems to have gotten his hands on an HTC Omega just a few weeks before its official launch. Besides the pictures there’s no word on the device’s specifications so take what you read on other sites with a heavy pinch of salt and remember not to believe anything unless it’s on the device manufacturer’s website. More picture after the break:

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Official Rugby World Cup 2011 Windows Phone 7 application released

If you are not a big football (soccer) fan like me then you are probably a Rugby fan instead and should happy to learn that the official Rugby Word Cup application has been released for Windows Phone 7. The free application, which can be downloaded from here, is nearly perfect. It’s packed full of info about the upcoming event, team stats, stadiums info, local events, news, videos etc. Everything is in there and presented in one of the best implementation of the metro UI in a third party application (I would also suggest the L’Equipe.fr application if you are in France).

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All future Nokia phones to feature NFC support

According to Nokia’s VP Ilari Nurmi, from now on, all of our products will have an NFC chip inside. Another Nokia VP, Mark Selby, added that the company will ad support for such chips in their Windows Phone 7 handsets. NFC support in Nokia’s Windows Phones has long been rumored but never confirmed. It isn’t the first time that the Finnish mobile manufacturer has claimed that all of its upcoming handsets will be NFC equipped so this isn’t really anything new.

Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that the Nokia Sea Ray will indeed by NFC equipped but one can only hope that this will be the case given that the company’s first Windows Phone 7 handset hardware will be for the most part based on the Nokia N9 which has has an NFC chip (but different SoC and screen).

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Revamped Windows Phone My Phone web portal coming soon

Microsoft is about to launched and revamped version of the Windows Phone My Phone web portal alongside the Mango update later this year. As you can see in the screenshot above, which originates from the Microsoft Japan FAQ, this new web portal will apparently be accessible by clicking on the My Phone section of the windowsphone.com site and will allow user to locate their phone (this is already possible now) but also access their application purchase history and re-download applications from the web version of the Marketplace. Microsoft has yet to roll out this new website but now that the first Mango devices are on sale it shouldn’t be too far off.

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First Render of the HTC Omega Windows Phone 7 Mango handset

Here’s what is supposedly the first render of the HTC Omega Windows Phone 7 handsets that will most probably be unveiled on September 1st. I personally don’t really like the design (looks like a small HTC Flyer) and from the looks of it the screen seems to be rather small (3.7 or 3.8″ and SLCD). The device also seem to feature a front facing camera just like the Samsung SGH-i937and probably several other Mango devices. On the hardware specification front there’s no info yet so we can only speculated that it will feature a Qualcomm MSM8255 inside (or MSM7230) and a camera sensor of either 5Mpix or 8Mpix.

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Front facing camera support confirmed in Windows Phone Mango. Lync Mobile coming in Q4

We already knew that Mango had support for front facing cameras. Well, a Microsoft employe just confirmed that during his TechED session in New Zealand. As you will see in the video below there’s no mention of any Skype front facing camera support at all (it will obviously came at one point in time though) so once again one has to wonder why other blogs are running stories about “Front Facing camera support confirmed for Skype on Windows Phone7″ or that Skype will be integrated in Mango. Anyway, Skype will come to Windows Phone 7 this fall in the form of a third-party application but will surely be integrated in the OS later on (in Apollo I guess). Video after the break:

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Wifi Hot-Spot feature is enabled by carriers

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone but we finally have confirmation that WiFi Hot-Spot feature introduced in Windows Phone 7 Mango exists and can only be enabled by your carrier similar to USB Tethering a several other features like visual voice mail (and other stuff that haven’t been publicly talked about yet). So nothing amazing here , Windows Phone works in the same way as iOS does when it comes to these kind of features.

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Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple

I almost never post about Apple related news but this time I though that it would a good opportunity to salute one of the most visionary entrepreneur and CEO that has ever made it. Apple is announcing today that,effective immediately, Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple and named Tim Cook at this function. There’s not much else to say here besides hoping that the man health isn’t in such a bad state. Full press release and Steve Jobs resignation letter after the break:

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Fujitsu IS12T launching tomorrow in Japan

Fujitsu and KDDI have just announced that the Fujitsu IS12T will be released and available to the public tomorrow in Japan (or in the next few hours if you actually live there). This is definitely a bit earlier that I had thought but definitely a good thing because it means that other Mango handsets are soon to launch. HTC is set to unveil its devices on September 1st and Samsung may also do it the same day. Full press release after the break:

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Samsung releases new free Windows Phone 7 applications

I’ve just noticed that several new application are now available in the Samsung Zone section of the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Unfortunately the eBook reader is still nowhere to be seen and the Diodict apps which are actually making a comeback are only compatible with certain carrier specific firmwares. So all you have left is the free Rubik’s Cube game (which isn’t bad..). Come on Samsung, give us some good stuff please! Samsung’s Android marketplace is packed with free games and neat applications why can’t Windows Phone 7 have the same thing?

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Windows Phone Tango confirmed to be minor update aimed at the Asian and Indian markets

According to Microsoft representatives how spoke during the MSDN Seminar – The Next Generation in Development in Hon Kong the rumored Windows Phone 7 Tango update ,which is slated to be released after Mango, will only be a minor update principally aimed at improving the OS’s services (like Bing) in emerging markets like China and India. Here’s a rough translation:

1. Tango is not a major update.
2. Tango Mango will be included as one of the updates.
3. Apollo will be the next major update.
4. Tango primarily for and developing countries such as China, India and other markets use, these are ignored in the market to have more exposure to Bing services.
5. manufacturers of these developing countries will launch a cheap version of Tango preloaded Windows Phone.

As you can see there’s nothing to really get excited about and it is yet unknown if this will included the new universal search feature we saw in the 7.10.8200 builds or even if Tango will be pushed to occidental handsets.

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Zune Desktop software version 4.8 released

Microsoft has just released the final version of the Zune Desktop software version 4.8 today. This will allow Windows Phone 7 handsets to receive the Mango update in the coming weeks and should include the much awaited ringtones management feature that was announced a little while ago (and was already available in the Beta version released in the past months). You can download it directly from here. Check out the change log after the break:

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