Windows Phone 8 syncing app for Windows 8 released

 

Microsoft has just released the Windows Phone 8 syncing application for Windows 8 today a few hours ahead of the OS launch event taking place in San Fancisco. As previously revealed this application is only meant to work with WP8 handsets and not older generation devices who will have to still use the Zune software on Windows 8/7.  I will be on Twitter later today live blogging the event as I’m going to be hanging around with the folks at Microsoft France and Nokia locally here in Paris. Check out the application description after the break:

Continue reading Windows Phone 8 syncing app for Windows 8 released →

Windows 8 syncing companion application for Windows Phone 8 screenshot

Once again, Microsoft’s undercover PR agency aka The Verge has released some brand new info about one of its upcoming products. This time it is the first screenshot of the soon to be released Windows 8 companion application for Windows Phone 8 which will finally replace the soon to be defunct Zune software and allow user to sync content between their Windows Phone 8 ( and WP7?) and Windows 8 (and also Windows 7 via a desktop version of this app..) PC.

Continue reading Windows 8 syncing companion application for Windows Phone 8 screenshot →

The Zune HD is dead. Long live the Windows Phone

Microsoft has finally made things clear about the future of the Zune and Zune HD media players. According to the Redmond software giant Windows Phone will be the focus of its mobile music and video strategy. Here’s official statement:

We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us.

Continue reading The Zune HD is dead. Long live the Windows Phone →

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:

Continue reading Zune Desktop software version 4.8 released →

Windows Phone Mango Beta 2 Refresh available now

As speculated earlier this morning Microsoft has just released the Beta 2 Refresh of Mango for registered developers:

Starting this morning, you can download the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 “Beta 2 Refresh” from the ‘Mango’ Connect site. We’ve received positive feedback on the Mango tools and bits we’ve shared, but appreciate that many devs are still interested in working with a more complete build. Today’s refresh of the tools represent a month of great progress by the engineering team, further refining and improving the Mango developer experience.

So if you are a registered developer just head over to the Connect site and download the 7712 build to installed on your handsets. Just note that this isn’t the RTM build (7720) but a earlier version that should be feature complete. I can’t install it right now but will check it out later tday and report back any findings.

Continue reading Windows Phone Mango Beta 2 Refresh available now →

Most wanted features still missing in Windows Phone 7 Mango?

Now that we practically know nearly everything about Microsoft’s Mango update for Windows Phone 7 I thought that is would be interesting to look at all the new features and see what’s missing in terms of “must have” functionalities. The update isn’t lacking when it comes to improvements and added services but there are still some things that have yet to be addressed by Microsoft.

Continue reading Most wanted features still missing in Windows Phone 7 Mango? →

Windows Phone 7 Mango’s new Music + Video hub

The Windows Phone Dev team took the time today to post a lengthy description of the new Music + Video hub being introduced in Windows Phone 7 Mango this fall. Aside from the new features that we have already seen like Podcast downloads (US only unfortunately) and Smart DJ, new playback controls and lock-screen options; the new hub is also packed with little improvements that should make it easier to navigated and use.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango’s new Music + Video hub →

More Windows Phone 7 Mango features revealed: SmartDJ and Notifications sounds support

A few more Windows Phone 7 Mango features have just been revealed today by the Windows Phone Dev podcast. I think that many user will be delighted to learn that the Zune SmartDJ feature is now support in the OS and that we can now “officially” turn-off the camera shutter sound! It is currently a pain to achieve this because lowering the device’s volume usually doesn’t disable the camera shutter sound (it’s quite random though, sometimes it works..).

Continue reading More Windows Phone 7 Mango features revealed: SmartDJ and Notifications sounds support →

Get 3 Months of Zune Pass offered when you buy an AT&T Windows Phone 7 phone

Amazon Wireless, AT&T and Microsoft are offering 3 Months of Zune Pass ( value $45) if you either a buy a Samsung Focus, HTC Surround or LG Quantum which are now offer for only one penny (links below). This is not much but still better than nothing (Some other carriers around the word like Telstra in AUS have been offering free Xbox 360 consoles..). The users will then have to go to the Zunemusicnow website to get the free pass. The offer will last until June 26.

Continue reading Get 3 Months of Zune Pass offered when you buy an AT&T Windows Phone 7 phone →

Windows Phone 7 Mac connector finally out of beta and available in iTunes

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Mac connector (and Zune HD connector too) is now finally out of beta and available for download directly from Apple’s iTunes application store (for OSX).

Windows Phone 7 Connector is a simple, easy-to-use application designed to sync your favorite media files from your Mac, with your Windows Phone 7 or Zune HD. You can also sync photos and videos you captured on your phone with your Mac, and when needed, update your Windows Phone 7 software.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mac connector finally out of beta and available in iTunes →

Next generation Windows Phone and Zune devices to be discussed at MIX11 ?

Here’s something that totally missed a couple of days ago (thanks to Twitter); the MIX 11 website describes Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore as being “responsible for the design and software product definition of forthcoming generations of Windows phones and Zune devices“. Zune devices ? So Microsoft is still working on a new Zune HD2  device or another form of Zune device that isn’t a Windows Phone (which is a Zune device)…like tablet/slate, Zune Pad ? Anyway, only time will tell but it can also possibly be mistake or poorly worded description (the post has a Zune tag associated to it so it definitely looks like “Zune Devices” was meant to be in there..).

Continue reading Next generation Windows Phone and Zune devices to be discussed at MIX11 ? →

Zune Software updated to increase performance and fix update manager

The Zune desktop software has just received a new update (but the version number seems to remain the same). As far as I can see there’s no new features other than a significant boost in performance compared to the previous version. Just open your Zune client, go into the settings menu and hit the update checker option to install it. Still no NoDo Windows Phone 7 update in sight thought but it should take long hopefully (but don’t hold your breath..). Update: Check out the change log after the break:

Continue reading Zune Software updated to increase performance and fix update manager →

Windows Phone 7 Review

It’s now time to take an in-depth look at Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system now that the project has finally seen the light of the day after years of tumultuous developments. This review is quite long so I’m first going to give you a quick history reminder about the development of the OS followed by description of the product’s features and my opinion of it.

Officially unveiled back in February 2010 during MWC in Barcelona, Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft last attempt to be relevant in the mobile market after the slow demise of Windows Mobile 6.X that took place during past few years. Contrary to popular belief Windows Mobile as we knew it wasn’t a bad OS, but it greatly suffered from Microsoft’s total lack of support and interest in its product and the only reason why it managed to survived this long was because OEMs like HTC poured R&D and money into developing alternative UIs to compete with Apple’s iPhone and later, Google’s Android. What many people don’t know is that Windows Phone 7’s development initially started back in 2004 when it was called Windows Mobile 7 (code named Photon) but because of a lack of motivation, foresight and some relatively stupid decisions taken by the Redmond company (like the Danger acquisition that later gave birth to the Kin devices) the development was a total mess and in Fall 2008 Microsoft finally decided to stop all ongoing Photon / Windows Mobile 7 development and re-start everything from scratch with a new team composed of the developers of the Zune media player and Windows Media Center.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Review →

Deezer for Windows Phone 7 released: Hands-on video

Contrary to Pandora who is apparently not ready yet for Windows Phone 7 and Spotify who’s still mum about the release date of its WP7 application, the frenchies at Deezer have just released their free music streaming app in the marketplace and frankly did a pretty good job with it. For those of you who are not based in Europe, Deezer is currently the leading music streaming service in France (with nearly 4 million users) and is also available in several other European countries. The Windows Phone 7 application is available for free right now but only in french (but downloadable in all countries) and will give you access to 20 webradios and hundreds of smartradios but only 30secs previews of “regular” songs. To have access to the full songs you will gave to subscribe to a Premium + account (€9,99/month) which is unfortunately only available to french users right now. Check out my full hands-on video after break:

Continue reading Deezer for Windows Phone 7 released: Hands-on video →

Microsoft triggers the kill-Switch and remotely re-locks ChevronWP7 unlocked devices OTA ?

Oh man, I guess that some folks better apologize to me (especially those who sent me hate mails insulting me) because they didn’t agree with me when I said that Microsoft could possibly remotely pull the plug on the ChevronWP7 unlocker certificate… because this is what just apparently happened according to several reports on XDA. The  Windows Phone 7 phones that have been unlocked using ChevronWP7 have now been remotely re-locked by MS:

yeah, the sane thing happened to me.

When i clicked the program on my phone. I got a message from MS asking me to uninstall, because the program has been revoked.

[...]
same here, tried to start TA maps and MS forced me to uninstall it.

Connected the phone and ran ChevronWP: it’s locked again!

maybe MS pulled the kill switch an re-locked the phones?
[...]
yup , I got the same to ,you can unlock it again and then it is working again

Continue reading Microsoft triggers the kill-Switch and remotely re-locks ChevronWP7 unlocked devices OTA ? →

No Pandora for Windows Phone 7 application planned

This is another blow to the Windows Phone 7 platform; After Skype, SPB software and a couple of other software developers it’s now Pandora’s turn to “announce” via Twitter that there won’t be any Pandora Windows Phone 7 application seeing the light of the day anytime soon, even-tough it was initially announced as one of the launch appliations back in March.

Continue reading No Pandora for Windows Phone 7 application planned →

ChevronWP7 unlocker discounted after discussion with Microsoft

Well, that was quick… The guys behind the ChevronWP7 “unlocker” have officially pulled and discounted the application less than a week after its release. According to their latest blog post they’ve got contacted by Microsoft’s Brandon Watson and decided to take it down after Microsoft’s agreed to engage in further discussions about officially facilitating homebrew development on Windows Phone 7. This is good news and shows that Microsoft knows how to be persuasive… Let’s hope that these discussions turn into some thing real and concrete soon.

Continue reading ChevronWP7 unlocker discounted after discussion with Microsoft →

Microsoft to take action against Windows Phone 7 Unlocking tool ?

It didn’t take long for Microsoft to respond after yesterday’s release of the ChevronWP7 application side-loading unlocker. Here’s what an Microsoft’s spokesperson told T.Warren:

We anticipated that people would attempt to unlock the phones and explore the underlying operating system. We encourage people to use their Windows Phone as supplied by the manufacturer to ensure the best possible user experience. Attempting to unlock a device could void the warranty, disable phone functionality, interrupt access to Windows Phone 7 services or render the phone permanently unusable.

Continue reading Microsoft to take action against Windows Phone 7 Unlocking tool ? →

Windows Phone 7 unlocker released

I admit that I hesitate a bit before posting this given that I’m not really into promoting hacking or piracy. So there’s a small tool that was released 2 hours ago that will enable any Windows Phone 7 user to “unlock” his device and side-load any application on it. The official and legal way to do this is to register as a developer and pay $99/y. So what’s the big deal here other than having the ability to side-load (currently via Visual Studio) any application son any WP7? Well this looks like the beginning of a big mess folks. First off Microsoft, thanks to its PVK system, can detect and ban all the devices unlocked with this method (yeah re-locking it afterwards won’t help you if you Device ID is blacklisted). Secondly, couple this new unlocker with the security issue of the curent Marketplace (anyone can freely download an app directly from the marketplace by bypassing the Zune software and decompile the code even if it was obfuscated by the developer..) and we are now in piracy heaven… Anyway, it’s up to you to decide if you want to unlock your device this way at the risk of being blocked by MS (if they decide to take this route) but I won’t be surprised to see a WP7 update in the near future “fix” this potential security hole.  I’m all for tweaking your device etc (hey I actually found out how to enable USB drive mode on Window Phone 7! remember?) , but I’m still unsure about this one…The ChevronWP7 unlocker can be found here. BTW, anyone find this “strange” that this  stuff gets released now on Thanksgiving just when most of the MS employees are on holyday leave?