Posts tagged Windows Phone
In the first of what we expect to be many announcements related to Windows Phone Mango devices, AT&T stepped up to the plate this morning by unveiling three new “4G” handsets that use the latest version of Microsoft’s OS: the HTC Titan, Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash. We already know quite a bit about the Titan, but details on Sammy’s selections are slim for now — images aren’t even available for either phone, though it’s likely we’ve seen at least one of them before. In addition, the carrier’s also planning to update its entire existing lineup with Windows Phone 7.5.
We’re done listening, it’s time to start doing. Microsoft had a number of Windows Phone Mango devices scattered about after this morning’s intimate event concluded. So we grabbed one, went somewhere quiet, and got a little more intimate with the operating system itself, checking out the new hubs, groups, and Bing Vision search that should make cross-shopping a whole lot easier. Join us, won’t you, to see what Mango is — and what it isn’t.
The biggest chunk of eye candy we’ve seen out of Microsoft’s MIX10 event so far today has been the unveiling of the significantly-retooled Windows Phone Marketplace that’ll debut in Windows Phone 7 Series — and needless to say, it’s a looker. It’s got support for credit card purchases, operator billing, and ad-supported content — a hot topic right now with Google’s and Apple’s mobile advertising acquisitions — and a try-before-you-buy scheme not unlike Android Market’s policy (though WP7S devs can choose what kind of trial period they want to offer; Android devs have no such option). We’ve been offered some video of the new Marketplace in action, and it looks super polished and well-integrated with the typical WP7S way of getting around — you’re given a “panoramic view” where you can browse categories and titles, see featured items, and get details with ratings, reviews, screen shots, and pricing information. Purchased apps can be pinned to your Quick Launch screen, saving you a couple taps for your favorite and most frequently-used items. Watch the full video after the break — and keep an eye out for the trick “tilting” of menu items based on finger location toward the end of the clip, something we haven’t seen before.
Microsoft’s driving home the point that developers are going to know exactly what kind of hardware they’re targeting as they whip up Windows Phone 7 Series apps — and naturally, a biggie is screen resolution since that affects how UI elements are going to be placed, how cool they can look, and how small they can realistically be. In a session at MIX10, Microsoft’s Charlie Kindel has laid down the law that WP7S will be 800 x 480 — just 800 x 480 — at launch, a message we heard at MWC last month, but the new tidbit here is that there’ll be 480 x 320 in the pipe for an unannounced later date. All devices will have precisely the same amount of available RAM and the same capacitive touch capability, and as we’ve already know, manufacturers will be able to tack on a keyboard if they like.
We’ve all had a feeling that Microsoft is holding back some pretty big surprises (or at least completely reasonable revelations) when it comes to Windows Phone 7 Series and gaming, and here at GDC this week it sounds like we’re going to get a little glimpse into that. Microsoft is unveiling its new XNA Game Studio 4.0, which lets developers work on games for Windows Phone 7 Series, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. The integration with Visual Studio 2010 that we saw the other day allows developers to build a single project and then make slight modifications to let it run on each platform respectively. Most importantly, Microsoft specifically mentions that 4.0 will include hardware accelerated 3D APIs for Windows Phone 7 Series — not stunning, giving the fact that Zune can do 3D games (and is supported by XNA), but relieving just the same. Other phone-related tidbits are also telling: there will be fairly deep Xbox LIVE integration, including unlocking achievements from phone-based games and push notifications for asynchronous turn based gaming. Hopefully we can get some real live multiplayer gaming going as well, but there’s no mention of that just yet. Microsoft promises “much, much more” will be revealed at MIX 2010, but for now we’re gonna dig for all we can here at GDC.