Tag Archives: Windows Phone Apps & Games
Kid’s Corner – Separate Area for Kids on your Windows 8 Phone!
As reported by The Verge, the new Windows 8 phones will include a separate start screen specifically designed for your children’s apps. The Kid’s Corner, previously known as the Kid’s Zone, gives kids a place to play with their own apps, music, games, and videos, without being able to get into all the “adult stuff.” This is a huge improvement over current smartphone/tablet operating systems that don’t allow for separate users. iOS allows you to create folders where you can separate out your kid’s apps, but as any parent knows, this isn’t a big help. My daughter may start in “her” section of my iPod touch, but she still has full access to everything else, including clicking on ads, ending up at the apple store, and attempting to purchase something. Luckily my installations require a password first – I’ve had friends that were not so lucky.
More on how to set up the Kid’s Corner after the jump.
Xbox Live on Windows Phone Builds Gamerscore On The Go!
In my last article I talked about my switch from iOS to Android to Windows phone 7.5. One of the features I like about my Windows phone is Xbox LIVE. Today I want to expand on that subject. Every Windows phone from 7 on up (If you haven’t updated to 7.5 Mango yet, go do it!) has an Xbox LIVE app. This is your games hub, and every game you download will be listed here. There are three categories in your games collection: Recent, Xbox LIVE and Other. Recent is self-explanatory; Other includes your “regular” games, those not part of Xbox LIVE. In this article I will focus on Xbox LIVE. Why? Let’s find out after the jump.
Nokia’s Lumia 900 and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS Deliver The Goods
How did I end up with a Nokia Windows phone? For the past 10 years I have been an Apple fanboy: from their computers to their iOS devices and everything in between. When rumors of an Apple branded cell phone started flying in 2006, I knew I had to have it. I hoped it would be more than an iPod (at that time only the iPod classic existed) that could make phone calls. Finally in 2007 Steve Jobs announced the iPhone to the world. I was so glad it wasn’t just an iPod with a phone built-in! It was a new, mostly never seen device. It introduced us to easily acquired apps, and a new breed of smartphone was born. It took the world by storm, and everybody wanted one. The truth is that at that time, it was the best there was. Every year Apple religiously introduced a new model: Faster. Thinner. Smaller. A better camera. It became expected, foreseeable, and that’s where it is today.
What happened, unfortunately, was that although they introduced new features and devices, the OS practically stayed the same. It felt–and feels–stagnant. The same row after row of icons smiled back at me, year in and year out. Swipe left. Swipe right. I became bored and eventually disappointed. So after 4 years of living the iPhone dream I made the big decision. I switched ecosystems. Android was my new system of choice. I got me a spanking new Samsung Infuse. Nice phone, big screen, sharp colors–but that was it. Out of the box the phone is slow and the battery doesn’t last very long. Sure, Android offered incredible customization, but deep inside it felt like iOS. Yes, there are widgets (and I do love me some widgets), and yes I flashed a new rom a few times (as many an Android aficionado will tell you, the OS is really at its best when customized by the community. Out of the box the OS is…yeah) and yes, most of my apps were available in the Google market.
But the novelty wore thin after just a few months. I became bored again. Bored and tired of having to make sure the new app would be compatible with my phone. Yes, I went there, the bane of Android, the ugly “f” word: fragmentation. If not for the turn-by-turn spoken directions Android offers, I would had gone back to an iPhone (I can’t believe that after 5 years the iPhone still doesn’t offer native turn-by-turn spoken directions). But in this big “Google vs Apple” smartphone world, what else is there? To my shock and near horror, my attention was next caught by…Microsoft. Let me tell you what I found after the break!
Samsung’s Focus 2 Makes Focus S Look Pretty Good!
I was excited this morning when my friend Luis shot me a link to the announcement of the new Samsung Focus 2. Well, I was excited until I read it, anyway. Unfortunately, it seems the Focus 2 really offers very little over the existing focus, and aside from LTE, nothing at all over the Focus S.
The new phone offers a front facing camera, but at only 0.3MP, down from 1.3MP on the Focus S. But here’s a surprise: the rear camera drops from the Focus S’s 8MP shooter down to the original Focus’ 5MP. Maybe it has a better lens? One can hope, but the spec sheet’s declaration of a 4x Digital Zoom doesn’t give me a lot of hope. The Focus S keeps to the 4″ SAMOLED screen of the original Focus (though hopefully it at least gets away from the pentile tech of the earlier screen). Internal memory stays at 8GB, and there’s no mention of a MicroSD slot. Likewise, they don’t say anything specific about the RAM or processor, which immediately leads me to think this device does absolutely nothing special outside of holding the line for cheap smartphones. For all we know, this could be one of the new Tango 256MB RAM devices.
Have a look at the listing if you feel like being disappointed. As much as I love my original focus, this third iteration seems like a rather pointless addition.
Windows Phone 7 has been out for just over a year now. In that year it’s had some disappointments, but also some great successes. Among the successes it can count an abundance of positive user experience from people who’ve given the fledgling OS a chance, as they’ve discovered with some level of delight just how fantastic the fresh Metro user interface really is (more on that later).
But among it’s perceived failings is that, unlike earlier attempts at mobile, the new Windows Phone is not typically known as a “hacker’s paradise,” instead opting for a very locked-down experience that keeps the OS running ship-shape 99% of the time. That’s a good thing for most users, but it annoys the crap out of people who want to customize their phones to the Nth degree. The good news is that in recent months, that’s begun to change, and today there’s a new ROM for the much-beloved HTC HD7, this time featuring the latest build of Windows Phone 7.5 (AKA Mango). Head on over to XDA Developers to check it out!