The Windows Phone marketplace is still a small ecosystem with just around 40,000 apps available for download. Around 3000 new apps are being added on a daily basis with more than 1650 of them being free. While this may sound like a small number, the fact that rivals like Apple and Google have had close to 3 years of headstart over Microsoft is an indication that Microsoft may be catching up faster than one may have thought. In the United States, Windows Phone 7 devices already make up close to 5% of all smartphones. Do remember that this does not include the older Windows Mobile 6.5 version devices.
So, what are the most popular apps among this fledgling population of users. First up, the top 10 free apps on the Windows Phone marketplace
2. Adobe Reader
4. Free Music Downloader (by Fast Code)
5. Bubble Shoot (by Words Mobile)
6. Penguin (by Mike Newman)
7. Xbox LIVE Extras
9. Physi Bricks (by Stiq Joy LLC)
10. Funny Jump (by AE Mobile)
So what are the apps that are being purchased the most? Here are the top 10
1. $2.99 Angry Birds
2. $2.99 Burn the Rope
3. $2.99 Gravity Guy
4. $2.99 Implode!
5. $2.99 COLLAPSE
6. $2.99 Fruit Ninja
7. $4.99 Need for Speed Undercover
8. $4.99 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 4 Episode 1
9. $2.99 Fight Game Rivals
10 $4.99 PvZ
Microsoft recently released their first ever update for the Windows Phone 7 which was small in size and was especially meant to make the device ready for a larger update that will be bringing in some added functionalities to the device such as the copy / paste feature, but this tiny little update seems to wreak havoc for the devices especially Samsung.
The update causes the phone to stop working thus bricking it completely and it is being reported that the phones facing the most number of problems are running Samsung manufactured hardware especially the Focus and the Omnia 7 devices. Well, whom to blame for this issue, Microsoft or Samsung is highly debatable but Microsoft has been quick enough to address this issue.
The company promises to deliver a fix for this issue within 3 days, but you surely aren’t going to like being stuck with a device that isn`t working even for a 3 day period, so what should one exactly do? A Neowin forum – goer Norseman has provided an effective solution to help getting things back on track for your device till Microsoft comes up with a fix.
Just follow this simple guide to get your device back into working condition :
- Connect your handset to a power source other than your computer.
- Now switch off your phone.
- Switch it on once again by holding the power, camera and volume up / down rocker and continue holding even when you are asked if you want to format the SD card.
- Now release all the 3 buttons once you see your device enter into “download mode”.
- Your phone will re-download the OS now.
- Wait for around 15 minutes for the phone to restart and if it has not then perform a force restart.
- Now setup your phone as if your doing it for the first time, perform a re-sync as well as a re-update.
Several users report this guide to be working perfectly, so please try this method at least once if your phone has stopped responding completely.
A number of Windows Phone 7 users in the past month had reported about a mysterious bug on their handsets that caused unrequested consumption of massive levels of data. The complaints, nicknamed the Phantom data issue, prompted Redmond to have an immediate look into the issue.
The company has now issued a statement noting that they have managed to round upon the potential cause to a common “third party solution” that was seen to be consuming larger than expected levels of data. Microsoft is noted to be working with its partner to rectify the issue. No details were made available regarding the third party in question.
Microsoft has also additionally pointed out that the number of customers affected was not significantly high noting that a “low single-digit” percentage of Windows Phone customers were affected. We will update you when the aforementioned fix is released.
Microsoft is learned to have incorporated a feature on Windows Phone 7 handsets that will automatically backup all the content and data from the phone before a system update is performed. Speaking in a podcast, Matt Akers of the Microsoft Zune Software client team said,
“Any time that we prepare to do an update, which you guys will see soon, we will make a backup of your phone. The entire phone, everything on it.”
Akers has said that the backup will help users in seamlessly reverting back to the older firmware in case something was to go wrong during the update. The feature apparently has been incorporated on the Windows Phone 7 OS by default and should be seen in action when Microsoft rolls out its firmware update.
And that we hear is coming soon.
Microsoft could be working on a new video calling application for the Windows Phone platform – similar to the FaceTime app on iOS. According to a Microsoft executive present at the Consumer Electronics Show, this was one future in the future roadmap for Windows Phone. While it is not clear if Microsoft could be making this functionality available on the existing Windows Phone 7 platform, there are indications that such a functionality could be made available on WP8.
Interestingly, the executive is also reported to have claimed that Windows Phone 8 platform could only be compatible with devices equipped with a front camera. What this means is that existing Windows Phone users with devices like HTC Mozart and Samsung Omnia 7 may not be able to run the upcoming Windows Phone platform on their existing devices. That could be a huge deal-breaker for the early adopters.
The holiday shopping season is in full swing and the carriers are doing all that they can in order to push the sales level up. Canadian carrier Telus has launched a new promotional campaign that will let users get a free XBox 360 unit with every purchase or renewal of a Windows Phone 7 handset. Telus presently carries HTC 7 Surround and LG Optimus 7 and buying one of these devices along with a fresh subscription or renewal of an existing plan will win you an XBox 360.
There doesn’t seem to be any fine print here though we just assume it to be a case of trying to woo the customers to handsets that may not have reached their targeted sale numbers. In case you are interested, do remember that this offer ends December 19th. And if you did not realize, it will also sign you up for a 3 year contract with Telus. Head over to the Telus website to learn more.
The iOS jailbreak community has often been viewed as rebels who have challenged Apple’s attempts to curb the limitations of the software. Apple’s strategy to deal with the jailbreakers doesn’t seem to have impressed many as the two have been engaged in a cat and mouse game as far as jailbreaking is concerned. With the release of ChevronWP7 unlocking tool for Windows Phone 7, one may have been anticipating a similar reaction from Microsoft. Apparently, Redmond seems to have learned from Cupertino’s mistake as the company has embraced the concerns of the jailbreak software developers.
In a blog post, ChevronWP7 developers have announced that they were contacted by Microsoft director of Developer Experience, Brandon Watson who agreed to open the Windows Phone 7 platform in order to allow greater access to developers and users with respect to homebrew opportunities. Following these discussions, the developers have decided to pull the ChevronWP7 tool and cease further development work.
It is not clear what path this amiable resolution will take in the future. But at least it appears to be the right move from Microsoft so far.
With a jailbreak tool for Windows Phone 7 now available, it was only a matter of time before applications started being released for these jailbroken devices. A new application called ChaosHUD is one of the first applications in this category that users who have jailbroken WP7 phones can sideload to their handsets.
The application is just a basic tool that will tell the user their speed, wind direction and time on a clear screen. Additionally, the application will also render the content in HUD mode – that’s basically flipping the text vertically. Writing about the application, developer ‘chaoscentral‘ writes,
“I have recently made what I feel is a pretty decent HUD application, however I don’t have a device to properly test it on. I figured with the Chevron unlocker out allowing sideloading I could post my xap and allow people to test it to see whether or not it functions.
If all works as planned then I do plan on releasing it on the market for free, so take what is posted here as more of a beta. Please leave some feedback as to what actually happens, the more detailed the better.”
The app is expected to run in beta mode till December 12 after which the developer may make it available on the market. Anyway, if you are interested in testing the application earlier than that, click here to check out ChaosHUD.
Windows Phone 7 may not be the best smartphone OS in the market right now. But there is no doubt that the platform has impressed a fair majority of its users. After word got around that inane updates like copy-paste could soon be making its way to the platform comes a rumor that Microsoft could be bringing a massive update to the platform.
According to popular developer Chris Walsh, the next update to Windows Phone 7 that could be coming in just a month or two from now could be very significant in that it may rather be billed Windows Phone 8. Apparently, Microsoft has been working on this update much earlier than version 1 was shipped. In a series of tweets, Walsh has noted,
“they’ve been working on this update long before they actually shipped v1…
As @tomhounsell said, MS took 3 months to do what Apple did in 3 years. 😉
@adamUCF Let’s just say, they could have called it Windows Phone 8 😛
While Walsh has not disclosed his sources, he has noted that more features and details shall be made available soon. We will take these with guarded skepticism for now though we look forward to hearing more about these upcoming updates.
I do not know if this is sensationalist, but that is exactly what Microsoft is reported to have claimed about the ChevronWP7 jailbreak/unlocker application that we wrote about yesterday. To tell you about the application, it is a Windows-based application that can enable users to sideload non-Marketplace apps on to their WP7 phones thereby bypassing the App Hub.
According to a statement from Microsoft, the unlocking could “void the warranty, disable phone functionality, interrupt access to Windows Phone 7 services or render the phone permanently unusable. 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”
However, the developers of the WP7 jailbreak app have claimed that these allegations are false and that ChevronWP7 makes use of the same procedure that is used by the official phone registration tool.
We really do not know who to believe, so we leave that part of interpretation to you.