All posts by l3v5y

Olly is an Electronic Engineering student and a Microsoft Student Partner. He is currently using a bright yellow HTC 8X.

WMPoweruser App v2.6 now in the Windows Phone Store

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QRCodeThe WMPoweruser app has just been updated to version 2.6.

The update, which can be found in the Store now is designed to work seamlessly with WP8 devices, supporting all available resolutions, and fixing a few bugs. The update also brings with it a much improved push notification back end, and support for all the tile sizes in WP8.

WP7 users will also get a speed boost and a few other back end changes.

The update can be found here.

Audible updated for Windows Phone 8, adds audio commands

Audiobook app Audible has been updated to version 1.4.0.0, incorporating support for Windows Phone 8.

This update also allows users to control playback via speech commands. At the moment, commands have to be prefaced with the word “Audible”, and in order to go to an audiobook you have to clearly state its full name.

Although the update claims to make Audible more stable and reliable, going by reviews on the app’s Marketplace page, users are still finding the software buggy.

WMPoweruser App Updated to v2.4

An update to v2.4 of the official WMPoweruser App has just been published, with it, the changes are:

  • Moved over to RestSharp for web requests and enabled compressed web requests, should decrease bandwidth and improve loading time
  • Fixes a bug when the DataContexts haven’t yet loaded and the page is refreshed, also fixes to the progress indicator
  • Some images are now downscaled and cached, also added ability to control image quality
  • Added ability to change theme from within the app, only applies on restart, has some perf impact
  • Fixes some common bugs
  • General performance increases
  • Vastly better push notifications system, more reliable, better server utilisation etc
  • Favourite is now localised for Americans :)
  • Fixed commenting
Apologies for the delay in publishing, a bug in the marketplace caused some issues.

The app can be found here, let us know what you think!

WMPoweruser App V2.1

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The latest version of the WMPoweruser app is out now, and whilst it’s mostly refining the app, there are a few new features

  • Updated the overall feel of the application, putting content first, with smooth transitions and fades to improve the experience, as well as pinch to zoom in posts
  • Better storing and updating of posts to reduce overall overheads and improve general performance
  • Comments are the biggest new feature, and are available in “trial” and “full” versions, you now get taken to the WMPoweruser website within the app to login (usernames/passwords are not stored by the app) – you must be registered to comment on the WMPoweruser site, not just Disqus

The app can be got from the marketplace here.

Let us know what you think! The full change list is after the break.

Continue reading

WMPowerUser App V2

WMPU App

It’s been a while in the making, but the new, improved version of the WMPowerUser app is out (and has been for about a month now). I thought it might be worth going through some of the new features.

  • Ground up rewrite, so it’s faster and better
  • Overall redesign, including new “Games” and “Apps” sections that can be pinned to the start
  • Better detection of videos and marketplace links – can be found in the “extra” pane
  • A new richer post display method displays posts better (including inline links, images and formatting)
  • Unlimited trial ($1.29 gets you push tiles and toast, as it costs something to run)
  • Live tiles and live toast notifications for new posts
  • Favourites lets you pin the posts you want to the apps start screen

The app can be downloaded from the marketplace.

If you have any issues with the app, drop me an email ([email protected]), and let us know what you think in the comments!

BBC: iPlayer app dependent on "user reaction"

imageWMPU reader Kieran sent the BBC an email asking whether they planned to make a WP7 version of the popular BBC iPlayer application. The noncommittal reply seems to indicate that there are no current plans, but that the BBC are open to the possibility.

Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer Support Team.

I understand that you’d like to know if the BBC iPlayer service will be
compatible with the Windows OS for mobile handsets.

We’re currently looking at many ways to expand and increase the services we
offer however I’d be unable to confirm the present research into the
compatibility with this OS. However your comments are most welcome as we’re
driven by user reaction.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

Philip Young
BBC Audience Services

If any of our readers want to provide such “user reaction” BBC has a contact form here.

Samsung hires HP exec, possibly interested in webOS?

The news is full of Hewlett-Packard’s recent canning of webOS, with the expectation that in the increasingly competitive and vicious mobile world its complete failure on tablets would see the end of it as a player. Microsoft are already wooing webOS developers on the expectation that the system is no longer going to be supported. However, TechCrunch speculates – via a rumour in Digitimes – that webOS may still be relevant; Samsung are rumoured to be considering buying it as well as hiring one of HP’s ex-vice presidents (apparently to work on marketing PCs, so there may be no link.)

All rumour and speculation, so take with a double pinch of salt; and of course, as with Google’s purchasing of Motorola, the purchase may be more important for the enormous patent war chest that comes with webOS than for actually using it (a mark of how litigious the smartphone world has recently become.) However, it’s an interesting development, and as TechCrunch rightly point out:

Apple has iOS. HTC has its massive supply chain. Nokia will have Windows Phone 7 Mango. And Motorola will, of course, have Android. That leaves Samsung, who is a notably strong competitor among these big five device makers, without something special to set it apart.

Forbes: Microsoft benefits most from demise of WebOS

imageForbes magazine have a piece up on HP’s recent canning of WebOS, and are spelling out what we in the community already suspect – that Microsoft and WP7 are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of WebOS’s demise.

In light of Google’s recent Motorola deal and Apple’s unwillingness to license its iOS to third parties, we believe that Microsoft will be one of the primary beneficiaries of the death of webOS. We currently have a $28 Trefis price estimate for Microsoft, which implies a 10% upside to the current market price.

Microsoft is making the most of webOS’s demise. The company has been wooing the abandoned webOS developers with free phones and goodies in order to attract them to the Windows Phone 7 platform. After HP announced that it would discontinue webOS, Brandon Watson, Senior Director of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 business, announced on Twitter that Microsoft will be giving free Windows Phone 7 phones and training to all published webOS developers. With webOS dead, and the future of RIM’s QNX looking bleak, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 remains one of the most promising alternatives to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS platforms.

The Wall Street darling and self-proclaimed capitalist tool also speculates on the prospects of Windows 8 in the tablet sphere, and tells us that the Entertainment & Devices division was Microsoft’s fastest-growing last quarter. Read the whole thing at Forbes now.

Carl Camera responds to Molly Wood’s thoughts

Molly Wood stirred quite a lot of comment with her thoughts on Mango (a response to Brandon Watson’s WP7 challenge.)

In response, software engineer Carl Camera has posted a step-by-step examination of her video, a spirited defence of WP7. I thought Camera made some good points, but seemed a bit eager to question Wood’s credentials rather than pointing out WP7′s good points.

Thanks Carl for the tip.

AA Breakdown & Traffic app hopefully coming

An anonymous WMPU tipster, responsible for many similar inquiries in the past, has sent an email to the AA (Automobile Association, for non-UK readers) asking if they have any plans to release the AA Breakdown and Traffic app for Windows Phone 7. The response by AA Publishing  was nonspecific, but encouraging, suggesting they were considering supporting the platform.

While this does not mean the app will magically appear tomorrow,  the response is already much better than “we are not planning to support that platform at all.”

We suggest where apps are missing readers continue requesting them through official channels.  This demonstrates real demand much better than simply sales figures would.

US Army completes smartphone trials

The US Army has completed its six-week field testing of three smartphone operating systems: Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7. Two of these will be selected for deployment, though it has not been announced which two.

soldierMazzanti expects the Army will anoint two mobile operating systems for official use. That way, they can minimize software development needs while still offering variety, which could defend against cyberattacks targeted at a specific type of software platform.
Army software engineers have developed a way for applications to be ported between the two platforms with minimal effort, officials said. Other apps are being coded as mobile-optimized Web pages, they said.

Anyone who follows defence procurement closely will know that military computing solutions in the last decade or two have tended to be massively over-budget, usually late, and often several years behind the technical curve when they finally arrive – smartphones are one of the few areas of technology in history where the field has been driven by consumers, rather than military funding.

Source: CNN, via wpcentral.

Samsung Focus v.1.4 update now live

According to the Windows Team blog, the anticipated Samsung v.1.4 update is now shipping, as announced yesterday when the update finished testing.

As I mentioned yesterday, we have been working to expedite the scheduling of the AT&T Samsung Focus v.1.4 update. I am happy to report updates are being delivered now for this phone. Please connect your Samsung Focus v.1.4 to your PC to update your phone.