Microsoft launched their Windows Phone 7 based handsets in the United States on Monday and while the success of the opening day is still not officially known, there was no doubt that this new platform could bring a new lease of life to Microsoft’s mobile platform business. However, that aspiration may have taken a hit with a number of new Windows Phone 7 owners noticing a bug on their new phones that makes it impossible to connect to protected Wi-Fi networks. BGRreports,
“Affected users report that when they attempt to connect to a secured Wi-Fi network using the standard Wi-Fi utility, they receive the following message: “your phone couldn’t reach the Wi-Fi network”. Users report no such problem when connecting to unprotected wireless networks.”
Some users have pointed out that Microsoft seemed to privately acknowledge the issue in stores though an official announcement is still awaited. This, in itself, is not a major issue that could blow away the potential fortunes of this new platform. But with Microsoft playing catch-up in the smartphone game (despite holding a good market share with WinMo), more slip ups may lead to PR issues.
Windows Phone 7 is a great OS. But you know what’s bad? The Bing search results that are displayed when you use the dedicated search button. That should no longer be a problem though given that Google has now released their search application for the WP7 platform. The Google Search app is wonderfully built and uses the phone’s location to deliver local results. Also, users have the ability to easily access search history to repeat their search queries.
The application can now be downloaded from the Windows Phone 7 marketplace and while Google cannot be replaced as the default search engine that is accessed from the search button, users may always bookmark the search app to the Start screen in order to access the application easily.
It will be interesting to see if Google on Windows Phone 7 turns out to be a much more popular application than Bing app on Android. Has to be, right?
After the successful launch of Kinect, Microsoft lovers in the United States would now be keenly anticipating the success of Windows Phone 7 devices. Given the fact that a lot of marketing budget has been alloted by the carriers in promoting this new line of products, one may have assumed that AT&T would go all out in their efforts to get people buy these devices. But this is apparently not to be.
We are now hearing that AT&T has said that they will not be opening their stores for Windows Phone 7 pre-orders. Customers interested in securing a device on launch day must hit one of the stores to physically claim a device. That’s starting today.
It is not exactly clear why AT&T would do that. But it is likely that this is a marketing ploy to get more people to the queues on launch day. Nevertheless, it is going to be quite a hassle if you are someone who has been desperate to get a WP7 handset on launch day.
Microsoft has now opened up the App Hub – the app market for Windows Phone 7 handsets – for all developers. Until now, only the select early registrants were eligible to submit apps to the App Hub. Considering that this is a brand new application market, there are still a lot of glitches and overdrawn processes that the developer needs to be aware of. Adam Nathan, one of the early registrant app developer, has posted a pretty comprehensive article on what’s in store for developers at the App Hub. You can check his article out here.
Meanwhile, the App Hub website itself is now replete with all the how-tos and guides to make the app submission process easy and simple. If you are a developer looking for information, you can head over to the App Hub to read all of this.
Windows Phone 7 users in USA and Canada can now watch their favorite movies and TV shows on their new smartphone. Netflix has announced that their streaming service has now been made available on the Windows Phone 7 App Marketplace and starting today, users can download it for free to their mobile phones.
“Netflix members in both the U.S. and Canada also now have the ability to instantly watch TV shows and movies on their Windows Phone 7 handsets. The application is available in the Marketplace Video Store and is free.”
The timing of the launch is interesting considering that an alternative Netflix app for the Android platform is yet to be made available. The WP7 marketplace is hardly a couple of weeks old and the platform is yet to see widespread traction. On the other hand, Android is already one of the most popular smartphone platforms in North America and it is not clear why Netflix has still not launched their app for Android. It is possible that the movie streaming service had lesser roadblocks on the WP7 platform since it is based on the same Silverlight platform that the Netflix service is built with. Nevertheless, that still may not be the complete explanation.
Windows Phone 7 fans in the US eagerly awaiting to get hold of the soon-to-launch HTC HD7 handsets can now begin pre-ordering the device from Wal-Mart. The popular discount retailer has announced that the new smartphone will be available at a price of $149 along with a T-Mobile contract. That is pretty cheap if you will realize that going through T-Mobile directly will cost the buyer an additional $50. Wal-Mart should be launching the device officially on November 8 – that’s just a week away.
You wouldn’t need this, but in case you are wondering about the specs and features on this new device, well, it comes with a 1GHz processor, a 512MB RAM, 720p video recording facility and a decent 16GB storage capacity. While the features are more or less on par with most other smartphones in the market today, do note that they are relatively better simply because the Windows Phone 7 OS is better optimised for performance which means a 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM work better on a WP7 phone than on another OS.
Apple may hate it and make it sound like this is the worst thing to have happened to the smartphone platform. But that hasn’t stopped Adobe Flash Player from becoming one of the most popular applications on the Android platform with close to 50,000 users having rated it 4.5 out of 5.
Following this success, Adobe Flash Player seems to be headed to the rest of the smartphone platforms. At the Adobe MAX developer conference, the company has announced that the popular multimedia player will be available for Blackberry OS, WebOS 2.0, LiMo, MeeGo, Symbian OS and future versions of Windows Phone moving forward. There is simply no word on when this support will be made available. But at least, this is one battle that Apple has to fight alone. Adobe Flash, it appears, is not making way for HTML5 anytime soon.
Looks like the mobile platform makers need to take a leaf out of the dotcom biggies and launch all their final releases with a ‘beta‘ tag attached. Such is the number of bugs that have been observed with almost all the major smartphone releases of late including iOS 4, Android 2.2, etc. Now, after we reported about several users seeing their XBox Live Extras crash on their newly purchased Windows Phone 7 handsets comes the news about yet another significant error. Users trying to associate their Windows Live account with their WP7 handset are unable to do so and are instead shown a message that reads, “Product Activation Failed“.
Now if you are in the UK, that’s double whammy because the Microsoft UK Support does not work on weekends and so users are left until support reopens on Monday to take their concerns.
As you know, the Windows Phone 7 handsets from manufactures like HTC and Samsung launched this week in several countries in Europe and Australasia. Now that the customers have started exploring the new device, there appear to be a number of complaints from users who have reported that the XBox Live Extras; a free download on WP7 phones appears to be crashing on launch. The problem is not restricted to any one particular handset but to almost all the HTC handsets – the Trophy, HD7 and 7 Mozart.
This is not the only problem that users have been experiencing with their new WP7 handsets however. There are two other popularly discussed issues. One is with game loading where a number of users have noticed an extraordinarily long load time on their new phones. Also, a select number of users are reporting inaccurate reporting of the GPS location on their handsets. This is on phones other than HTC as well which means the problem could well be software based.
If you are an active Twitterer from one of those countries where the new Windows Phone 7 handsets have already released, then you should be happy to learn that the official Twitter app for Windows Phone 7 is already available for download. However, at the moment, it looks like there is a bit of work still going behind the scenes. Some users have reported problems signing in while others have reported slow loading times. These issues however appear to have affected only a small section of users as reports from a majority of users seem to be on the positive side.
The Twitter app is pretty comprehensive in that it also features sections like ‘Top Tweets‘ that is available on the desktop application letting users read through Twitter conversations even without having to login. You can check out a video demo of the app below.