Archive for: marketplace

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace Hits 25,000+ Apps!


Tired of hearing about iOS this and iOS that? Awesome! We’ll swing to the completely opposite side — Windows Phone 7. According to Windows Phone App List, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile reborn now has 25,000+ apps to choose from — 25,015 to be exact. The new milestone is pretty telling considering the Marketplace just hit 12,000 apps back in March, adding over 3,000 in April alone. Other nerdy WP7 Marketplace stats:

  • Average app price: $1.48
  • ~ 186 apps updated every day
  • 51% of all apps are free

Yeah, it’s a far cry from Android’s Market and Apple’s App Store. But it is a decent showing nonetheless. Considering Microsoft has managed to completely pull a 180 from the sinking mobile ship they were on just a few short quarters ago should speak legions of their determination and the potential WP7 has as a platform. Just look at what RIM has done in the last 2-3 years. Oh wait…

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WP7 App DRM Cracker Posts His Own Fix.


Late last week, a talented white hat hacker, “Tobias”, showed off his WM7 DRM hack that allowed him to crack any MarketPlace app available. Even more impressive/depressing was that the “Freemarketplace” crack Tobias developed took him a mere six hours and consumed a paltry 65.5KB of data.

But it appears that Tobias isn’t much for job security, as today he has revealed a partial fix by way of more code that can be inserted in WP7 apps to protect them from his own hack. The solution seems simple enough (shown above) and involves a few lines of code plus accompanying .xml file. It’s by no means a permanent fix as something a bit more secure and robust should be offered by Microsoft. But until then, it appears it’s the best we’ve got. Any WP7 developers care to weigh in?

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“Browser+” Comes to Windows Marketplace. #wp7


Love surfin’ the web on your new WP7 device but aren’t too keen on the new mobile version of IE? You’re in luck. A new WP7 browser by the name of “Browser+” was recently released. One special aspect of this 3rd party offering includes being able to see your tabs and search box in the same view, whereas the stock browser makes you hunt and peck a bit. Even more impressive however, is a “reader” feature similar to Apple’s own Safari browser — it strips out elements of the page and neatly display the text in an easy-to-read book/page-like view. The browser itself certainly isn’t all that earth shattering, especially considering Browser+ doesn’t even make use of it’s own unique framework (it’s built off of mobile IE). Nevertheless, options are options.

There are a few bugs here and there. But what new software/mobile app doesn’t have at least one or two these days? Still, that may turn some potential users off. Regardless, be sure to hop inside and check out the video.

You can find Browser+ in the Windows Marketplace for $1. Any WP7 users tried it out yet?

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Windows Phone 7 Weather Channel App Looks Really Good!


You know, I’m really warming up to Windows Phone 7. Not only is the UI a breath of fresh air, but the whole blend of Android’s “open” nature and iOS’s streamlined mindset are mighty compelling. But now there’s another thing I envy Windows Phone 7 for having — an actual eye pleasing Weather Channel app.

Features: Animated, interactive maps | weather data in hourly, 36-hour, and 10-day forcasts — current conditions, wind, humidity, UV level, dew point, visibility, and sunrise & sunset | panoramic screen view with weather images as backgrounds | traffic cameras for local roads | ability to share weather information via email | share favorite locations | video section with local and regional video forecasts | Severe weather center with updates and damaging and dangerous weather.

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Fennec coming to Android sooner rather than later?

Mozilla may have been coy about Android’s flavor of Mobile Firefox, dubbed “Fennec”, but after a few weekend sightings, it appears that development behind the new mobile browser is moving along at quite a decent clip. This past weekend, a picture of Fennec running on a MOTO DROID was spotted on Mozilla’s Faecbook fan page as was a new picture several hours later of the same browser running on the Nexus one thanks to Mozilla developer, Madhava Enros.

If development was having any kind of trouble or hangup, we wouldn’t be seeing so many leaked images, would we? The actual release still hasn’t been revealed, though “later this year” is still more or less the “official word”. One thing’s for sure, I can’t wait. Multiple browsers may seem trivial to the end user, but in actuality, the more choices the better. Not to mention, while the stock Android browser is pretty damn good, there’s always room for improvement. Any Android users out there looking forward to Fennec?

ElectricPig

[Image Source]

SD app storage comes to WinMo 6.0+

Well, time to be envious Android users. Microsoft has upped the ante on *stock* features out the door by now allowing Windows Marketplace apps to be installed on SD cards. Android users have been after such a thing for some time now. But if you are fairly knowledgeable around 1′s and 0′s, adding in said feature after the fact isn’t too hard. So perhaps more of a “draw” is in order, no?

Either way, WinMo users who are sticking with older hardware and looking at a near future without any WinPhone 7 upgrade paths can at least snack on this treat for the time being. With pretty much every WinMo device having a pittance of onboard app storage, movin’ on up to a 1, 2, or 16GB microSD card is sweet, sweet music to many Windows Mobile users’ ears no doubt. I’m sure once they get their hands around a nice, new WinPhone 7 device all things will change though. It sure did look might pretty…

Engadget > MobileTechWorld

Microsoft: Designed to fail in the mobile market

Say what you will about Microsoft and their mobile market line. One can’t ignore that they are heading no where fast. Perhaps it would be good to start with the good — the Xbox and Zune HD products. While the Xbox isn’t a mobile product per se, it is by far one of their most popular consumer oriented devices. The second most popular I would wager is the Zune HD. Featuring reworked hardware, software, and all around better fit and finish, the Zune HD looks like a pretty decent winner on paper until you consider one big fact: There is no public accessible app store. Further complicating matters, a Zune app store is being held up by the ugly step child Windows Mobile. Does Microsoft have any clear path in the mobile market?

We could hear countless keynotes and speeches from Steve Ballmer himself all while watching him aimlessly bounce all over the stage randomly coming down into the crowd to steal a competitors handset only to mock the handset, manufacturer, and user of said handset at periodic intervals. It’s sort of ironic that a software company, especially one as large and full of history as Microsoft, is so lost in a mobile software market.

What do I mean by lost? Look at Windows Mobile. It’s ugly as hell, buggy, slow, and there isn’t any sign of any hope anytime soon. Sure there’s a “service pack” coming by way of WinMo 6.5, but a true revamp like WinMo 7 (which will likely be the first WinMo update to be released under the “Windows Phone” moniker) isn’t slated to grace civilization until late 2010 at the earliest — at which point it will already by a generation or two behind current offerings from Apple and Google/Android. It’s the same story that has been going on for several years. Someone comes along and does something truly innovative and the market catches up. Of those stragglers, there is always someone who never quite makes it and is always playing that catch up game. In this case it is Windows Mobile.

Feel free to argue and disagree with me. I know WinMo enthusiasts *occasionally* grace these pages. What they will see or more correctly not see is hardly anything about Windows Mobile. What they do see is mostly criticisms and a lack of credit coming their way. Like every human on this planet I have my reasons for not using Windows Mobile. For me, using something that operates and looks like Windows Mobile is enough to make me step in front of a moving train out of sheer frustration.
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Windows Marketplace for Mobile getting kill switch/remote kill

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Now, I’ll start by saying that Microsoft is not the first entity to employee a kill switch in their App Store. Their are also kill switches in Android and Apple’s App Store. However Microsoft’s approach or at least the way it’s been presented leaves me a tad more worried than other stores do. Why so? Well, like the name implies, the Microsoft supported kill switch automatically remove any app blacklisted and/or removed from Windows Marketplace for Mobile after said app has already been approved. While this is good in the rare instance that a malicious program sneaks through, abuse and censorship seem like likely candidates to stretch this feature’s imaginative legs. Naturally, while the app in question will be quickly and automatically removed, you can bet your sweet cheeks that your money (if the app removed was a paid app) will take it’s sweet time getting to you…if it ever makes its way back.

If a particular app is removed for violating a particular Marketplace rule, I should be the end all be all decision maker for whether it stays on my device or not. Anyone a bit peeved? Think there’s any difference good or bad between Microsoft’s kill switch and other competitors’ switches?

**9/18/09 Update:Microsoft has come forth to clear the air…check out their response.
Source: BGR, Image Source

Android Marketplace/T-Mobile following Apple/AT&T…banning tethering apps.

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Android and the Android Marketplace have been hailed as the “most open” app store.  Developers and consumers have free rein.  Besdies, Android is based off of Linux meaning everything should be up to the user base anyway…right?   Wrong?  According to a peeved Android developer who goes by Seth, an app he contributed towards was banned from the Marketplace for violating the Developer Distribution Agreement, more specifically a T-Mobile clause that bans tethering.  His app isn’t the only one though.  Apparently it is happening to other tethering apps.  Why?  T-Mob had something to say about it (inside).  Is this a sign of darker things to come from the Android/T-Mobile alliance?

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