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MobileViews Podcast 69: Life after Windows Phone, Microsoft Project Siena, credit card security

Todd Ogasawara and his old friend and special guest, Jon Westfall, talk about their move from Windows Mobile/Phone to other mobile platforms, Microsoft Project Siena for Windows 8.1, and credit card security (COIN, Loop).

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The Verge says Nokia is the sole Windows Phone maker. So, what about Samsung & Android?



Also testing the recent Google+ embed post option

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Microsoft HelpBridge for Android, iOS, Windows Phone: Connect quickly after a disaster

Microsoft released free apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone to request help or offer help (in a variety of ways).

Download a Lifeline: New Disaster Response App Launches

The HelpBridge mobile application simplifies the process of notifying loved ones by simultaneously sending an e-mail and SMS to the communities you select & posting a message to your Facebook wall. You can even include your GPS coordinates so that message recipients will know where you are and the circumstances surrounding you.

The apps are named HelpBridge.

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New Microsoft PhotoSynth for Windows Phone app incompatible with 1st gen Windows Phones

The first Windows Phone devices released in the fall of 2010 had hardware limitations imposed by Microsoft. Thus, the entire first generation of devices lacked components that were common even back then. Among the hardware missing from the reference design and the devices based on it is a gyroscope. This component has become increasingly important in games and motion based activities. Microsoft’s design shortsightedness has come back to bite it less than two years after the first Windows Phone devices were released. Its own recently released PhotoSynth panoramic camera app for Windows Phone (first released for the iPhone) won’t work correctly with the entire first generation of Windows Phone devices.

Gee… Thanks, Microsoft, for not future proofing your smartphones! :-(

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Windows Phone app update weirdness

I have a SIM-less HTC Surround that is used to try out Windows Phone apps. It works like you would expect for a WiFi-only device for the most part. The one exception is that the Windows Market app does not update software for it as expected. In fact, until last week, no app had been updated in a couple of months. Even going to the product page in the Market app does not force updates to appear. So, imagine my surprise when I saw not just one but 23 apps ready for update recently. I haven’t seen any other updates since then even though several apps for my HD7 (which has a SIM) have been updated in the past few days. Even the HD7 does not get updates when expected, however. It sometimes gets updates a week or more after an app was reported as updated by others.

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PAC-MAN Kart Rally for Windows Phone: Great looking graphics. WiFi multi-player mode too!

Fans of “Kart” racing games will enjoy PAC-MAN Kart Rally for Windows Phone which was released today for $4.99. The game has great looking graphics and smooth animation. Kart control is challenging but not impossibly so.

The game’s unique feature is the ability to for up to four Windows Phone owning players to compete in a multi-user mode over WiFi. All participants need to have the app installed on their phone. I have not tried the multi-player mode yet.

Disclosure: Microsoft provided the game free of charge for evaluation purposes.

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Civilization Revolution: Version of my all-time favorite game available for Windows Phone

One of my all-time favorite computer games is Sid Meier’s Civilization for MS-DOS released in 1991. It is a turn-based strategy game whose goal is to advance your civilization enough to either conquer the other computer-controlled civilizations or to build a space ship to reach Alpha Centuri first.

Publisher 2K just released a version of this classic game for Windows Phone 7.5. Civilization Revolution is priced at $2.99.
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Here’s what an app update gone bad looks like on Windows Phone 7.5. And, the fix is…

I’ve had some minor issues updating Windows Phone apps through Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace app in the past few weeks. But, this is the first time I’ve seen anything like this – The screen photo above shows what looks like an install-file path visible in the apps list on my Windows Phone. You can see the progression that led to this in the screen photos below.

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MobileViews Podcast 58: A discussion with Aditya Bansod about Sencha Touch 2

In MobileViews podcast 58 Todd Ogasawara speaks with Senior Director of Product Management at Sencha, Aditya Bansod, about Sencha Touch 2 which launched this week. Sencha is a JavaScript framework optimized for developing mobile HTML5 web apps with rich user interfaces. It supports the native web browsers for Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Chromebook, and more. Bansod said that Windows Phone will be supported in a future release.

The big news about Sencha Touch 2 is that it lets web developers create native apps for Android and iOS that can be distributed through their respective app markets. This also means that developers who use Windows as their development platform can now create iOS apps for iPhone and iPad without buying a Mac, learning Objective C, and using Xcode.

And, what does Sencha Touch 2 cost? It is free with dual licenses available: GPL or Commercial License. Listen to the podcast to learn more details.
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Windows Phone software written on the phone itself can be published in Microsoft’s Marketplace

Microsoft Research’s TouchDevelop is a remarkable tool that lets you write software for Windows Phone right on the phone itself. The news today is that it is now possible to distribute software developed using TouchDevelop (again, this task is done right on the phone) through Microsoft’s own Windows Phone Marketplace.

turn TouchDevelop scripts into apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace

You can learn more about the preparation and submission process here.

create app for Marketplace

You can listen to the podcast discussion I had with Nikolai Tillman (Principal Researcher Software Design Engineer of Microsoft Research) in June 2011 when the tool was named TouchStudio




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[CORRECTION] Skype for Windows Phone beta available. But, there’s a trick to get it

[CORRECTION]
My old friend Don Sorcinelli (@DPSJ) pointed out a trick to get the Skype for Windows Phone beta to download and install. First, here’s what does not work.

  1. Going to the Zune Marketplace on a desktop PC running Windows using the link provided by the Skype blog announcement
  2. Searching for Skype in the Windows Phone Marketplace app on the phone

What does work is following the link provided by Skype for the beta from the Windows Phone’s browser itself. This takes you to the app product page (that cannot be found using search within the Marketplace app) where you can install the Skype beta app. Here’s the link:

Skype for Windows Phone beta < - View this blog item in a Windows Phone browser and click on this link.

Thanks to Don for pointing out my error.
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ProClip car dashboard mounting hardware for iPhone 4 & HTC HD7 – Is it as easy to install as they claim?

My Griffin iTrip Auto for the iPhone, which had been flaky for about a year, became even flakier and lost its inline remote control function a few weeks ago. So, I replaced it with the Griffin iTrip Auto Universal Plus which does not have an inline remote control but has the advantage of working with other phones like my HTC HD7. The new problem was that I now needed some kind of car mount so I could touch the screen without holding the device (against the law where I live). So, I sent email to a bunch of friends asking for advice. It turns out that one of those friends works for ProClip which sells mounts for all kinds of gadgets. So, (Full Disclosure), my friend offered to send me the mount compotents to deal with my problem. ProClip claims that their dashboard mounts can be assembled and attached in minutes. Here’s what I found…
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