The Weekly Wrap: Foursquare checks in, Engadget goes deep, Amazon gets fresh

The Weekly Wrap: Foursquare checks in, Engadget goes deep, Amazon gets fresh

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Welcome to another installment of the Weekly Wrap, our look back at the week’s most fun and interesting Windows Phone news from around the web. Did I miss your favorite story? Share it in comments.


Welcome back, Foursquare!

The much-missed official Foursquare app has checked into Marketplace again, sporting a snazzy new look and some great new features in its 2.0 incarnation like recommended places, most explored, and check in history. (Read more on the Foursquare blog.) Foursquare, in case you haven’t heard, is a location-based social app that helps you discover new places to go and things to do around town. See where your friends are and what they like, while “checking in” to share your own travels, earning points and prizes along the way. Download it now

_Interface_Pano_v11 with WP7 Shell

Engadget goes in-depth with Mango
As we mentioned, we recently gave reviewers some hands on time with an early version of Mango, our next Windows Phone release. Now the Engadget crew has posted one of the most detailed previews we’ve seen to date. If you really want to sink your teeth into Mango, check it out. “Overall, we've come away with a positive outlook on Windows Phone's newest iteration, and are very eager to see the finished result,” they conclude.

The Windows Phone apps everyone should have

Who can get enough of lists? I can’t. Luckily, there were two great ones this week. First PC World published their list of “essential” WP7 apps, which you should definitely check out. Then Gizmodo provided their take on the best of the best apps for Windows Phone. Curious what they picked—and whether you’re using them yet? Read on

Tips & tricks: Importing contacts, finding download history

I spotted two great tip posts this week. 1800PocketPC revealed where you can find a record of all the apps you’ve ever downloaded for your phone—handy of you ever need to reinstall something. See how they did it. WP Central, meanwhile, showed how to import Outlook contacts on your PC to a Windows Phone if you don't have an Exchange account or contacts stored in the cloud. Check it out

Office 365 and Windows Phone

This week Microsoft launched the much-anticipated new cloud-based version of its popular business productivity suite, dubbed Office 365. What you might not know is how nicely Windows Phone 7 works with it. This short video, excerpted from the Office 365 launch-day demo by the folks at WMPU, provides a nice overview. Take a peek.

Ford previews its Focus app

This is way cool: Ford is working on a Windows Phone companion app for its forthcoming Ford Focus Electric vehicle. Here’s a demo they gave this week to the crew at IntoMobile. The app—MyFord Mobile—can can locate your car, unlock your doors, and even pre-heat your car during the winter. It displays the amount of CO2 emissions you’ve prevented—and even has its own Xbox-style achievement system. And the phone used in the demo? A Focus, of course.

Amazon gets fresh with our phone

The online retailer launched a new app this week for it’s Seattle-only grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, and the app is exclusive to Windows Phone. Yep, none of the other guys have it yet. The app lets you shop for groceries, schedule delivery times, and manage your account. Download it now


TV app avalanche

Four hot TV news apps hit the Marketplace during the week. NBC’s Nightly News app lets you watch full broadcasts of the evening news and share them on Facebook. The new Fox News app, meanwhile, showcases its popular stories and video clips. The MTV News app brings you the latest on pop-culture. And fear not citizens of the Colbert Nation: The Colbert Report’s The Word App streams the show’s popular “The Word” segments to your phone and has a Live Tile too. Which ones do you plan on downloading?

Download NBC Nightly News | Download Fox News | Download MTV News | Download The Word

And finally…

Our friends at Windows Phone UK just kicked off a new contest to celebrate the finale of our popular Must Have Games program and the arrival of Angry Birds in Marketplace this week. The prize: a new Windows Phone 7 and an Xbox 360 with Kinect. To win, review any of the six Must Have Games and post your write up on Facebook or your favorite blog. Entries will be judged on criteria including originality and humor. Hurry because the contest, which is open only to UK residents, ends on July 7. Check out the details

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  • On the off chance that anyone cruising this forum have Mango, can you share what has changed, if anything, with the Office apps?  I'm particularly interested in the format capabilitys, which are EXTREMELY limited in NoDo.  Fonts, colors, borders, etc.  I use formatting extensively in my spreadsheets and it's really a pain to have to edit them on the desktop and drop them on my Focus, rather than be able to do it all on the phone.

  • PWK
    7 Posts

    Somethin needs to be done with the bulk "spam apps" on the Marketplace! The Quality apps get lost in the new apps section because of the bulk "spam developers".

  • I can't help but wonder why it apparently is so easy for non-developers to load the Mango beta on their devices.  Don't get me wrong, the more we can know about Mango, the better, but that's potentially a lot of people who may get into a mess by loading the incomplete code.  You can pretty much bet many people just don't pay attention to the disclaimers warning that you'll have to load the backup (losing most things they've accumulated while using Mango beta) and that it would void their warranty.  And, they'll probably ignore that a number of the features were not activated in this beta, thus giving a false impression of what Mango will bring.  Given all that, it seemed way too easy for those smart---but not necessarily WISE---folks out there to figure out how to open up access to the beta to every Tom, Dick & Harry.

  • yanfeng
    4 Posts

    I benefit a lot from this article,thanks !

    <a href="">Microsoft Outlook 2010</a>

    Thank  you for  sharing .

  • Razor
    53 Posts

    Forget to mention, really liked that Office 365 demo =)

  • Razor
    53 Posts

    @ Captiosus

    If anything Engadget is Apple-biased =P I was amazed by the quality of their Mango preview, and so were alot of other readers (check their comments for the article).

  • Krush You
    94 Posts

    @Captiosus  - ROFL - you are joking right? Engadget is in love windows phone?! HAHAHA - It got lower reviews then the other platforms and there was a lot of complaints.

    I am guessing you don't read engadget or you are blind as that site worships everything Apple.

    Also, this is how the review went on the wrap-up

    "Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, Windows Phone is developing into the OS we've been asking for since we first used it last year. By adding in crucial elements like multitasking, groups, social network integration and more, it's starting to play catch-up to the other big names in mobile. Not overcome -- catch-up. Mango hasn't shown us anything truly groundbreaking yet. At least this platform, still in its youth, is stepping onto the same playing field as hard hitters like iOS and Android, though. One thing that surprised us was how few bugs or choppy effects were present in this build, an impressive feat considering we're still a few months away from completion. Overall, we've come away with a positive outlook on Windows Phone's newest iteration, and are very eager to see the finished result. The house that Ballmer built received a hardy housewarming party last year, but now that it's been redecorated and the trampoline is set up in the backyard, we're sure we can come up with reasons to throw another celebration."

    Sounds like a very nonbiased review to me, as they point out its just NOW becoming the OS they wanted but feel its still playing catch-up but  its on its way to becoming something great

  • Captiosus
    103 Posts

    Sorry, but Engadget is HARDLY an objective site for anything related to WP7. Their reviewers and their fanbase have been absolutely in love with everything WP7 since the beginning to the point of being blind to very real issues that exist within the OS, the update process, and the application ecosystem.

    Engadget is the LAST place I would go for a review of anything WP7 related.

  • Hi Michael

    Appreciate the link to the 1800PocketPC article :)

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts

    Nice Wrap.  Plenty going on for Windows Phone now! :)

  • Love the updates on the new apps and very excited to see big names keep rolling in.  I was pleasantly surprised with the improvements to Foursquare.  And Engadget's not bad.

  • @Jay--Yep, the Marketplace team is aware and investigating....

  • Jay
    7 Posts

    ^ that links to a tweet from @zunesupport regarding the marketplace being down.

  • Jay
    7 Posts

    This is exciting, but the Zune marketplace is down! Are these new apps getting tons of downloads or something?

  • @KTGiang: Hey KT. Thanks for your comment and good timing! For everyone out there curious about our language story in Mango, we have an in-depth post queued up for next week that will hopefully answer all your questions. Stay tuned! (Keyboards: I think you'll like what you read next week.)

  • KTGiang
    34 Posts

    Keeping on pace with features, please tell us that users are going to be allowed to choose what language/keyboards they would like to install into their phones (especially with all of the talk about asian language support). It sounds awfully troublesome to keep the current idea that carriers/manufacturers knows what us users want to use our phones for. And the argument that it is a waste of storage space is not going to work. Release it similarly to an app but have it integrated all the same or just give everyone the option to install keyboards/display languages separately.

    As of right now, it's frustrating to think that some of us wants to use these language keyboards but we can't have them because carriers told the manufacturers to not install it into the device. That would work great if they knew that their customers are only going to be using the phone in 1 area and are not going to be speaking/writing any other languages. On top of never leaving to let anyone else use their phone.

    It's exciting to see all of these big named apps being released. It just gives others an example of how quickly apps can be developed for the Windows Phone as they are all being released about the same time. This means that they're all starting roughly at the same time and there isn't too much that'll slow the devs down from meeting a deadline. Hope to see even better applications as well as multitasking refresh updates for older apps when Mango is released.

  • Loved the Engadget preview. Also lists are always excellent.