Bing Vision going worldwide with news Newspaper match feature in March

In case you missed this little piece of news from late last week, the Bing team has announced that Bing Vision in Windows Phone 7 Mango is now available outside of the US (this has been the case since early February in some European countries like France) and also announced a new feature called Image Matching for Newspapers:

Enabling people to quickly find the digital version of a print magazine or newspaper article, Bing Image Matching for Newspapers allows users to take a photo of an article using their Windows Phone camera and link directly to a digital version of the article online.

Offering global access, consumers will have access to content from over 3,000 publications worldwide.

Image matching fro Newspaper ill only launch in March so don’t go around trying to scan every newspaper in sight yet (also note that Bing vision won’t be available everywhere either so just set your search region to US to try it out). Now where’s my local traffic data in Bing Maps please?

Continue reading Bing Vision going worldwide with news Newspaper match feature in March →

Windows Phone 7.7 Tango features revealed

A handful of screenshot of the upcoming Windows Phone 7.7 Build named Tango have recently appeared on a Russian site. As we have previously heard Tango will be mainly aimed at enabling lower-end handset to run Windows Phone 7 with lower ram requirements (even though 256MB has always been the minimum req for WP7), lower MP cameras,making some sensors optional and adding more language and region support. As you can see in the screenshot above this will obviously introduce a form of fragmentation in the ecosystem because some application will require more than 256Mb to run and thus not be compatible with some of the low end device running Tango. This is in someday reminiscent to the way the iOS platform works in terms of application compatibly across the iPhone models (but still far from the mess that is Android).

In addition to this Tango will also finally introduce video, audio sharing and multiple-attachments via MMS. Exporting contacts to the SIM card and more Data roaming option:

Continue reading Windows Phone 7.7 Tango features revealed →

Windows Phone Marketplace opens in Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines

The Windows Phone Marketplace ongoing expansion has just hit a new milestone today with the service’s availability in five new countries: Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines. The Marketplace now reaches 41 countries worldwide and should hit 42 pretty soon once it opens in China (where dev can already submit their applications for certification). It should also be noted that application submitted to the Indonesia, Malaysia and China marketplace will be subject of additional requirements (censorship?) due to local laws, regulations, or norms.

Continue reading Windows Phone Marketplace opens in Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines →

Microsoft releases Windows Phone Retail Insider app to help phone sales

Besides handing out money to retail sellers when they sell a Windows Phone device, Microsoft has also released a special application designed for them. It’s name Retail Insider and features the following:

Key Features:

- Multiple Live tiles you can pin to your Start Screen that show the latest content updates
- A device library with demo suggestions and selling tips
- A curated list of the best Windows Phone apps with links to Marketplace
- Easy sharing of app content via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail
- An aggregated stream of updates from Microsoft’s social media channels for retail sellers
- One-click access to customer demo videos that help you show your customers the best features of Windows Phone
- Built-in Windows Phone FAQ and quick links to step-by-step how-to’s

I’m not entirely sure that this would have any impact on Windows Phone’s retail sales in the short term but it’s a step in the right direction. Better late than never… THe app is surprisingly well laid out and packed with useful info like device hardware specifications, tips, FAQs and sale pitches. You can grab it here.

Windows Phone Updates: Nothing has changed according to Microsoft

Mary Joe Foley decided to directly get in touch with Microsoft after the now infamous Windows Phone Update blog post that surfaces last night. Here’s what Greg Sullivan, Senior Product Manager on Windows Phone told her:

“Nothing has changed in regard to how we work with carriers to deliver Windows Phone updates to our customers,”

This can very well be true given that, like I noted in the original story last night, the wording of the whole thing wasn’t clear at all. Nowhere did it say that the carriers can now skip more than one update (officially, Mobile operators can only hold delivery for one update and are force to bundle it with the following one). Anyway, I guess that it’s best to wait and see how things will pan out even though I don’t agree at all with the fact that carriers can decided to not push important software fixes and security updates. This whole story just proves one thing…again: Microsoft still can’t get its PR and Marketing right. Shame….

source: All about Microsoft

Windows Phone updates no longer mandatory: Up to carriers to request them ?

Seems like Microsoft is doing its best to come out with bad PR when communicating around Windows Phone. The latest update to the Windows Phone blog surely looks like a friggin step backwards in terms of ecosystem support. There isn’t much to say here besides “WTF?!”. So I will leave you with the quote below:

This week we started to make a new Windows Phone update —8107—available to many Windows Phone customers. The update, available to all carriers that request it, is part of our ongoing maintenance of Windows Phone. For more details on what’s included, check out Update History on the Windows Phone website.

In the months ahead, we’ll continue to send out firmware and maintenance updates as needed. These will be available across the globe—although not everybody will receive or require them. It depends on your country, carrier, and phone model. But remember that you’ll never have to guess when a Windows Phone update is waiting: Just watch for the pop up notification on your device.

There are also a few changes on the way for the blog and website. As we continue our growth, we won’t be individually detailing country, model, and carrier details on the Where’s My Phone Update? site any longer.

I can understand model specific updates and bug fixes etc But why the hell would a carrier decide if my handset will get the latest version of the OS? Android..what? Anyway, thankfully we can all manually update our handsets by bypassing all these politic issue as seen with the recent 7.10.8107.79 roll out here. Then again, I may have gotten it all wrong because the blog post isn’t worded in the best way?

UPDATE: Oddly enough the blog post now links to a Error page as if it no longer exists (but it’s still present on the Windows Phone Blog’s home page). This could simply be a temporary server glitch though…Thanks bc3tech

UPDATE 2: Looks like it was indeed a server glitch cause the post is now back up in its original form…

Continue reading Windows Phone updates no longer mandatory: Up to carriers to request them ? →

Windows Phone 7 build 7.10.8107.79 roll out started get it now and update manually

Microsoft has started to roll out a new Windows Phone 7 update build 7.10.8107.79 yesterday which contains the following fixes:

On-screen keyboard. Fixes an issue to prevent the keyboard from disappearing during typing.

Email. Fixes a Google mail syncing issue.

Location. Fixes a location access issue. With this fix, the Me feature in the People Hub sends anonymous information about nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers to Microsoft only if you agree to allow the Check In function to access and use location information.

Security. Revokes digital certificates from DigiCert Sdn Bhd to address an encryption issue.

Email threads. Fixes an email issue related to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. With this fix, when you reply to or forward a message, the original message is now included in your response.

Voicemail. Fixes a voicemail notification display issue that occurs on some European and Asian networks under certain conditions.

If you can’t or don’t want to wait until you receive the update notification simply download the CAB file from the links below and update your handset handset manually by following the simple instructions.

UPDATE: The update process is apparently failing if the handset isn’t already running build 7740 (and running 7720 instead). Needs confirmation though… Here’s the 7720 to 7740 update CAB just in case:

OS UPDATE 7720 to 7740:

UPDATE 2: If your Phone App and Settings no longer work simple flash the correct languages pack and they should be back.

UPDATE 3: To restore the Internet Sharing feature on your Samsung Omnia 7 silply go to the following registry tree:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Services\ICS] and change the “UserProcGroup”= dword:20 <- value to “5″ (instead of “20″ here)

OS UPDATE 7.10.8107.79:

Language packs:

Chinese (traditional) (0404):

Czech (0405):

Danish (0406):

German (0407):

Greek (0408):

English – United States (0409):

Finnish (040B):

French (040C):

Hungarian (040E):

Italian (0410):

Japanese (0411):

Korean (0412):

Dutch (0413):

Norwegian (0414):

Polish (0415):

Portuguese – Brazil (0416):

Russian (0419):

Swedish (041D):

Chinese (simplified) (0804):

English – United Kingdom (0809):

Portuguese – Portugal (0816):

Spanish (0C0A):

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 build 7.10.8107.79 roll out started get it now and update manually →

SkyDrive Application for Windows Phone and iOS released

Microsoft has just released the official SkyDrive application for Windows Phone 7 and iOS today. As you most probably know the SkyDrive cloud storage service is already partially integrated in the Office hub in windows Phone but lacks a lot of features that should have been there in the first place like document deletion, folder creation etc. This new application now fixes this but one would hope the all these new functionlaities will be fully integrated in a future version of the OS  and won’t require the users to download an application especially on Microsoft’s own platform. The iOS versions is essentially identical to the WP7 one. Check out a video of it in action after the break:

Continue reading SkyDrive Application for Windows Phone and iOS released →

Microsoft Lync 2010 app for Windows Phone 7 released

The much anticipated Microsoft Lync application for Windows Phone 7 has just been released. Here are the key features:

- View colleagues’ availability in real time and select the best way to communicate – initiating an instant message (IM), email, or a phone call.
- Connect to Lync conference calls with a single touch, without requiring long numeric passcodes or conference numbers.
- Make and receive calls using your Enterprise Voice (Lync ID) number only, so you can connect with others using a single, consistent identity.
- Lync 2010 for Windows Phone provides transport layer security (TLS) and perimeter/internal network protection without requiring a VPN, so your communications experience is safer no matter where you are or what network you use.

Continue reading Microsoft Lync 2010 app for Windows Phone 7 released →

Verizon: No Windows Phones unless it supports LTE

Waiting for Verizon to finally offer a Mango handset this year ? Don’t waist your time because the company’s chief market officer, Marni Walden, has officially stated that the carrier won’t push Microsoft’s mobile OS unless the devices support LTE (the HTC Trophy is still on sale though).

“We’ve communicated to Microsoft that LTE is critical to us,” she said. “We need to see a timeline that makes sense if we want to continue to represent them.”

It doesn’t get lamer than that, right? The latest rumor is that Nokia is preparing an LTE version of the Lumia 800 for AT&T so it’s safe to assume that this one would also be carried by Verizon too but then again this is nothing more than a rumor. Keep in mind that to support LTE a 2nd generation Windows Phone 7 device will have to feature a Qualcomm MDM9600 multi-modem alongside it’s MSM8655 SoC.

Continue reading Verizon: No Windows Phones unless it supports LTE →

Windows Phone Black Friday deals: All smartphones free on contract

Just a quick reminder for all my US readers who are celebrating Thanksgiving this week; Amazon is selling all smartphones (besides the iPhone) for only One penny on contract on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The offer will end on November 28th so hurry up if you wish to get a handset like the HTC Titan which is currently in back-order (it will be shipped to you next week if you order today). Hit the banner above or below to grab the Titan, Samsung Focus S or Focus Flash.

Samsung enables Extra Display setting on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus

Both the Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash / Omnia W have two extra settings available to the end-user: Auto-Display intensity and Key-vibration feedback. Samsung has just made them available to Omnia 7 and Focus owners via an applications in the marketplace (once installed the extra settings will be located in the OS’s settings menu). The Auto-Display intensity toggle is perfectly functional but the key-vibration option doesn’t have any effect on my Omnia 7. Let me know how it goes for you,  but remember that disabling auto-display intensity will shorten your battery life.

UPDATE: It appears like this app is once again not meant to run on the Omnia 7 and Focus. Besides the second option not working at all the auto-display brightness setting isn’t even saved. It will work as long as you the screen doesn’t shut down.If you power the screen back on it will revert to default… Thanks for nothing Samsung…

Continue reading Samsung enables Extra Display setting on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus →

Windows Phone 7 Amazon application updated with Barcode scanning feature and full Mango support

The official Amazon Mobile application for Windows Phone 7 has finally been updated/compiled for Mango today (v1.5) and now also includes the Barcode scanning feature that was first demonstrated during the MIX11 keynote in Las Vegas a several months ago.

* Scan It: use your device camera to scan a barcode to check prices and availability.
* Pin barcode scan to Live tile: From Start screen, click to instantly open barcode scan tool and search for products.
* Fast application switching: switch from Amazon Mobile to other apps then return to where you left off.
* We hate bugs as much as you do (so we fixed a bunch)

You can download it directly from here.

HTC Titan available right now for 0.01 on AT&T

Just a quick heads up to let you know that the HTC Titan is now available for only $0.01 on AT&T right now similar to the Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash on a 2 year Contract. Hit the banner below to order one of the three Mango devices.

Update: Acutally every single US smartphone is sold for a penny on Amazon this week. Hit the banner below:

The Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash are available on AT&T for free

Samsung new Windows Phone 7 Mango handsets are available on AT&T right now. The Samsung Focus S will set you back $149.99 on a 2 year contract while the lower end Samsung Focus Flash is only $0.01 on the same 2 year contract. If I had to recommend one I would obviously tell you to go for the Focus S and it’s gorgeous Super AMOLED + screen… Hit the links below for more info.

UPDATE 21 Nov 2011: The Focus S is now priced at $0.01!

AT&T HTC Titan now available for $99.99

AT&T fans rejoice! The mighty HTC Titan is now finally available on your favorite carrier today for only $99.99 with a 2year contract. Interestingly this one is quite a bit cheaper than the Samsung Focus S which is now priced at $174.99. For more info about the Titan just hit the related links below the post or click here. I will have my full review up in the coming days.

UPDATE: the Titan is on Back-order but the Focus S and Focus Flash are now priced at $0.01:

Continue reading AT&T HTC Titan now available for $99.99 →

SFR launches the ZTE Tania as its own Windows Phone 7 branded handset: Windows Phone Internet 7

Now that was somewhat unexpected; French mobile operator SFR has just launched its won branded Windows Phone 7 handset: the windows Phone Internet 7. The catch here is that this is simply an SFR branded ZTE Tania Mango handset. The good news here is that the phone will be available for only €9.99 on a two year contract and only €269 free of contract. The handset isn’t currently available but I guess that this should change in the coming days. One thing is for sure thought is that this is definitely one way to get a whole lot of Windows Phone handset sold to the “average Joe” who’s looking to by its first smartphone.

Update: SFR is also offering the Nokia Lumia 800 for 1 Euro..

Continue reading SFR launches the ZTE Tania as its own Windows Phone 7 branded handset: Windows Phone Internet 7 →

HTC Titan landing on AT&T on November 20th

The gigantic HTC Titan which I’m extensively reviewing right now is set to hit AT&T stores on November 20thfor $199.99 with a 2yr contract. You can already check out some of my Titan videos here (or the related posts links below) and follow me on Twitter here because I often post about some of the good or bad things I encounter while using the handsets I’m testing. If you really can’t wait for the Titan then the Samsung Focus Sand Focus Flash are already available right now at the links below:

Continue reading HTC Titan landing on AT&T on November 20th →

Tango for Windows Phone 7 is out now

The hotly anticipated free video calls application Tango is now available in the windows Phone 7 Marketplace as promised a few days ago. I didn’t have time to test it yet but it did install on the Samsung Omnia 7 which doesn’t feature a front facing camera so I guess that I can receive calls on it and see the other person if he has a handset with a FFC. Anyway here are the application’s features:

• Free calls between Windows Phone, Android and iOS phones and tablets, and PCs
• Save money with free international calls to other Tango members
• Start a phone call with Tango and switch to a video call when you have something to show by tapping the camera icon
• We automatically find the friends that already have Tango
• No log in and password – create an account in less than five seconds
• Invite your friends by Text and Email
• Simple and easy to use

You can grab it here.