Here’s my take on the week’s most interesting Windows Phone news. Have a great weekend!
Nokia behind the scenes
All Things D ran an interesting behind-the-scenes look at Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia this week. Ina Fried’s piece has a lot of nice details about everything from the timing of the first Nokia handsets to how the partnership works on a day-to-day basis—and even includes some fun quotes from Windows Phone chief engineer Terry Myerson. According to the story, three key ingredients of the marriage are reindeer antlers, Blue Devils, and something called Halo. See what I’m talking about
Windows Phone on the catwalk
The latest installment of the ongoing Windows Phone Me Series debuted on GQ.com this week, and as you might have surmised, its subject is fashion. The video focuses on Shipley & Halmos, a NYC-based clothing label and design firm founded by Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos. This Me offers a window into the creative process, the personal dynamics between the founders, and how their Windows Phone fits in. Watch more Me Series videos
10 Windows Phone apps I can’t live without
Our list this week comes from IntoMobile’s Martin Perez, who provides a rundown of his 10 desert island apps for Windows Phone. Check it out
Preview: Indoor maps in Mango
PocketNow.com recorded a short walkthrough through of a handy Mango feature that hasn’t received much attention to date: indoor maps. I also sat down recently for a Q&A with the lead engineer for this feature—so watch the Windows Phone Blog for it soon. In the meantime, here’s the video.
Preview: Visual voicemail in Mango
The crew at PocketNow.com were busy this week. Besides indoor maps, they they also recorded this preview of another much-requested Mango feature, visual voicemail. Take a look.
Deal alert! Dell just cut the price on the Venue Pro, one of the most unique-looking Windows Phones out there. You can now pick up an unlocked handset for $299 and contract phone for a fraction of that—while supplies last. Shop now
At this point I think you guys with the Focus firmware issue should demand an exchange of your hardware by AT&T. I don't doubt it will be a major PITA to make happen, but just call their support line and demand to speak to a manager immediately. So long as you aren't rude they can't hang up on you and you can continue to escalate your call to a higher manager until someone agrees to replace your phone. It's ridiculous that an update from March isn't on your phone in July.
@billybob, I agree with you completely about developers. They have every right to complain and be upset about this because at least part of your livelihood depends on having the newest software. If you can't test your own software, you have to put out an incomplete/unpolished app and wait for bug reports or bad ratings to tell you what's wrong. Its also kinda a huge joke that the mango beta phone they send everyone IS the focus...
as for the Dell venue pro, it was just a suggestion. I don't really expect anyone to run off and get it, especially because it has plenty of its own problems. My point is, consumers still have a great phone in the focus, although lack of updates are frustrating. Developers are the ones that should be up in arms, because still having launch software 9 months after wp7 rolla out is unacceptable.
@adesio , sorry to disagree with you but as a developer who spent $500 for Microsofts supposed flagship phone this is completely crap. I do not blame any individual at MS but the whole process I feel was a bait and switch. As a consumer I would be angry as well but when I can't use my developer phone as a developer phone I am livid. I still do not have the Pre NoDo update and I can't beta test Mango because MS's newest phone OS can run but can't update on some chip variant? I also think that it is funny that you want all of us that were screwed to go out and spend another couple hundred bucks on Dell's POS phone? If I spend money on a new phone anytime soon I can guarantee it will be one that I can get updates on so that eliminates WP7.
Hi Michael (and Brian/Matt). Hope you enjoy your holidays :)
Just thought I'd let everyone know that I have transitioned my Aussie WP7 site from the old Sheeds Blog across to the more functional and relevant Windows Phone DownUnder. I have redirects for the old site on - or you can use the long form web url or this shorter one to visit: www.wpdownunder.com
Something awesome there that is definately Pinworthy (for your next International feature) - just launched today is an awesome Metro UI Melbourne Australia Taxi App for WP7. Looks gorgeous and has some way cool features!!! Come see the screenshots and press release here (by the way its in the marketplace now).
Melbourne Taxi fares made easy with WP7! 13CABS out now. | Windows Phone DownUnder http://bit.ly/pEwGsN
Cheers all :D
@BrianM I guess I'm not that pissed about it because it isn't really that big of a deal for me. I bought the focus because I loved the OS and the hardware, and I would still enjoy it without any updates at all. Updates are just icing on the cake for me, but it seems like it's more of the entree for everyone else, if that makes any sense. Worse comes to worse, those fancy dell venue pro's are on sale, but that's a whole other set of problems =P
@adesio Respect is earned and any that was earned was lost long ago. My post, however was never directed at Michael but Eric and his lack of update this past week after he stated and you quoted that he would be back this week with more information. There is no excuse for not provding us real information and updates on why our phones have not been updated. Where I work, if this were to happen I would be out of a job whether my fault or not. I am not saying these guys should lose their jobs or they should take a vacation but when you have an issue like this impacting the customers of the product you are responsible for then you should rethink your plans and get the job done. I believe everyone should take a vacation but you must have your priorties in order. Just because the Focus owners impacted by this update issue are small in number does not mean you shouldn't focus on getting the update to them.
I understand the delay is not 100% MS fault but they are not innocent. Since they are the only ones communicating (even though not very well) we must rely on them for information on when this update will be ready. MS has the biggest stake in this because it is damaging their reputation on a new platform and that can't be good for business. ATT and Samsung have already made their money (ATT continues to make money off the montly payments people make for service and the initial cost of the phone itself).
MS must take a more agressive approach in making sure supporters of this platform are not left to continuously ask where their updates are. Then you have Micahel and Eric not providing all the information giving us bits and pieces here and there and stringing us along endlessly. This have people pissed off as well it should. Regardless of what anything thinks, most that are impacted by this update issue are angry and I encourage them to post their thoughts as well as make a formal complaint to Ballmer's office as soon a possible.
@brianm, the point of my post may have been missed a little bit, but that could be because it was so long. First and foremost, I just wish people would be more respectful to poor Michael. He can't make att go any faster, and he can't make Samsung un-screw this up. I'm disappointed there's no news too, just no need to be rude.
@adesio Who are you to tell people to chill? If anyone is being dense here it is certainly you. Why should we voice our opinion / feelings on a product we want to see succeed? Everyone that has been impacted by this ridiculous update process as well as the Focus users with the 1.4 Firmware rev. has every right to complain as much as they see fit . As has been said time and again to posters such as you who feel the need to defend MS lack of competency regarding the update process, pass over any post you don't like or read it and keep your "suggestions" to yourself. I will not stop complaining until I am confident this will never happen again. Since MS still has not completed the update process so my complaints will not be stopping anytime soon.
To those that say ATT / Samsung are at fault you are right, they are complicit in this process however I bought a Windows Phone of which the OS was developed and licensed by MS to Samsung and the other OEMs. This is an OS update not a Samsung Update, not an ATT update. My phone has not received one update since it was purchased including an update that is supposed to make my phone more secure. You can lay out all the excuses in the world and place blame on everyone else but at the end of the day MS failed its customers with the update process and even further failed and have now angered another group of customers with this Samsung Focus disaster.
As for my previous post I stand by what I said and started drafting a formal complaint which will be sent to Ballmer's office and if we are lucky the right person or Ballmer himself will read what a disaster this is for their customers and hopefully start making some changes for the better. I would be extremely surprised if Ballmer had a clue about this issue and what it is doing to the reputation of this new platform. I want Windows Phone to succeed as much as anyone and love my phoen but I pay too much money for phones and monthly service to not have the same functionality as everyone else on this platform. Someone needs to be held accountable and processes put in place so that Windows Phone has the a world class update process which is far from what we have today. Going foward you don't like people complaining just scroll on by and keep your arrogant comments to yourself.
If you look across Android, the problems are similar with Samsung phones...Microsoft can't take all the heat on this anymore. If a PC manufacturer decides to create a crappy BIOS that doesn't follow the rules set out by the OS, eventually you have to blame the manufacturer. I'd be calling Samsung and bitching! Because they could keep doing this going forward, and MS really isn't in the position to drop them as a partner. They need to get their ass in gear in Korea. I have the Focus, but rev 1.3
Ok, for everyone that is too dense to understand, let me pull a little copy/paste that should clear things up...
"Hi everyone. I don’t have much this week. AT&T is now testing the update for Focus v. 1.4 owners, and we’re still working to deliver that to you as soon as possible. I’ll be back with more update news next week."
Now, regardless of Michael's vacation status, ATT is now the one holding things up. I didn't find this to be all that complicated, but apparently, it's tough to grasp. If you wanna complain to someone about no focus update, complain to ATT!
And as for you hassling michael for going on vacation, please get a grip. He works hard, he responds to all your silly, rude comments about how you don't have your updates, and puts up with all your ridiculous threats about going back to your iphone. Now, after all that, you think you could let up on him a little bit? Let him go and enjoy some time off, just like any of you would want to do as well. And ffs, he's giving you updates while he's ON VACATION! Show some respect, guys. This may be the internet, but there's no reason to go off on poor Michael for trying to get some time away from washington. Just like all of you would want to take a vacation from your jobs, I'm sure he's earned one.
As for complaints about the focus update, everyone on this blog could use a chill pill. Have you tried using the phone, or have all of you tossed it into a drawer until you have NoDo? Honestly, I love my focus just the way it is. Updates would be nice, but this whole thing has been a perfect storm of problems, with samsung using a different piece of hardware, microsoft being unaware of it, and ATT putzing around like they usually do. I'm not sure what else to say about it, other than enjoy the fantastic hardware, know that you aren't "forgotten" or not "cared" about, Microsoft will take care of you, and have done their best to do so. Honestly, if you're not a developer, you should probably take it down a notch. It is still an excellent phone that will fit most anyone's needs, and, imo, the best WP7 hardware available to date.
TL;DR, chill out everyone, you'll have your update. Just don't yell at michael anymore =P
I believe it is time for those that have been impacted by this entire update process to speak up. We should have done this a long time ago and have been patient thus far but it is time to take the complaints to a higher level. If you have the time or are in any way motivated to get this issue behind us all, please write a formal complaint letter and address it to Ballmer's. Maybe he is aware of these update issues, maybe he is not, either way maybe the right person reads them and does something about it. I plan on drafting a letter over the weekend and I encourage you to do the same if so inclined.
@Eric "Not resting until it's done".... Is that why you have not given us an update now in more than a week? Is that why you are enjoying a weekend off? I know, you're very busy having busy weeks.... Enjoy your rest.
ok it is all over bing that farmville app is coming to wp7.. when?? im a former iOS freak and would like to stay FORMER but if i cant get my zynga apps im considering going back when my upgrade comes! any news on this?
My guess is that he is too embarrassed to post the update. Remember, this is the bozo who states that we're not resting until this is done.
No update on focus. Bad form Microsoft.
Well, Microsoft, it's been fun coding with you these last 10 years or so but it's time to move on.
I look forward to the new IPhone this October...
@drankurn I am thinking not. MS has shown no urgency to provide information on the update or the update itself so I doubt anything will change. It is 8pm on the west coast and 11pm here on the east coast. These guys can sure find time to do just about everything else including vacations, etc while those of use who have this particular phone, who pay monthly for services from providers and who are early adopters of this platform and we continue to be strung along week by week as we hope for an update that was supposed to be delivered months ago. I am angry over this entire process and I don't see it getting better anytime soon. Mango, from what I can tell, will not be on my phone until some time in 2012. Now we are waiting on ATT it seems to do their testing. What incentive do they have to get this done quickly? This is inexcusable and not one word from MS on what they will do to make this right. Simply getting us the update months after it was released is not enough at this point. MS you need to do something to repair the bad feelings many have over this process.
is the update news still coming today?
you know all this build up is awesome, but could you just release mango now?
@ Yobyeknom ,thanks for the info
@Kenny Rawlins - I find GoVoice to be good enough. I don't get notifications or Live Tile updates for it but I get an email from Google Voice and then I know to check the app. Not perfect but it works to listen to messages. I do wish that there was an option to listen to it on the earpiece rather than the speaker though.
@Scubadog2011,completely agree with your above post
regarding the google voice apps in marketplace,they all suck(well all i´ve tried),i don´t know if its because i´m in Canada or what
Aren't there, like a half dozen Google Voice apps in the Marketplace? Why is it that people insist there be an "official" app for something if a third-party app for that service gets the job done? Example: 4th and Mayor. Excellent Foursquare app and was much better than the "official" app....and may still be even with their latest version of the official app.
Oh sorry for the Double post. The the "10 Apps I can't live without" was clearly written by someone who doesn't understand the platform. With Zune on Windows Phone (which I love) there's no reason for another subscription music service on there. I'm not saying chase all the other apps off (variety is good). I'm just saying that you have a better service in Zune than any other subscription service could offer. Free services are obviously a different story (but he specifically mentions paying for the subscription to Slacker Radio.)
Of courses Smart DJ on the Device (comming in mango IIRC) will solidify Zune as the go to music place on the phone.
Visual Voicemail I like. Although teh comments on pocketnow seem to imply that AT&T would like to keep that one iPhone and BB only. (Second paragraph of the article.) So the simple question is, if (when) my carrier decides to screw me (again) what's happens to that pivot? Does it just display "ERROR" over and over?
You made a good point on the time issue,coz its already 11:45am here in Monntréal and i was wondering where the heck is the post from Michael and the any update from Eric
Thanks for your understanding, guys. I should mention that I'm on vacation this week and next, so I might be checking in a little more sporadically than usual. :-)
totally agree with billybob101, really appreciate reading and answering to everyone's comments.
would really like other bloggers to do the same.
@Michael,thanks for the update. In all of the blogs it seems you are the only MS employee that responds and I for one appreciate it. Thank you and please continue!
I am as anxious as everybody for an update, but remember they are on west coast. So this was posted at like what 8am there time?
Hi guys. I know we're a little off rhythm this week. But Eric is planning to post a little later today with an update.
@Michael...No update this week on the Focus 1.4?
So no updates on updates this week? Great another week (24 and counting) that my Focus 1.4 can't get pre nodo. Glad to see Microsoft "cares" about early adopters so much.
Micheal, we did not get any update on Wednesday about the status of updates on Focus, can you shed some light on that.