Google Acquiring Motorola Mobility

With the the patent infringement cases coming against Android (from Apple and MS), Google have decided to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. It seems the main reason for this acquisition is to help Google protect themselves from further patent issues buy inheriting Motorola Mobility’s patent portfolio. Whether this helps or not remains to be seen as Motorola Mobility themselves have been subject to litigation. So what does this mean for Microsoft and Windows Phone?

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Searching with the hardware button also searches the Marketplace in Mango

Not sure how well known this is but I’ve just noticed that in the latest SDK emulator, the hardware search button also searches the Marketplace as well as the web. For example, if I type in “ICE Alert”, it returns the usual web results (using Bing), but also provides a link to the ICE Alert app within the Marketplace (Screenshot below).

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Mango SDK Beta 2 Refresh and OS Update for Devs

Over the last couple days, there were rumours that developers were going to get another Mango update for their devices. Whilst this is true, it should be noted that the update that will be available soon is not the RTM version of Mango, but is an updated pre-release version. For the RTM version, developers will have to wait in the same line as general consumers. Having said that, this pre-release version fixes various issues and also ensures that the API is locked down. It should give developers a very good testing ground to ensure their apps work as expected on Mango devices. Instructions on how to get the update, as well as more information, can be found on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

WPC 2011 Live Stream

Andy Lees, the President Windows Phone Division, is talking at WPC 2011. You can watch the live stream here.

The Version Option is Invalid – Fix

Whilst most developers were enjoying the Mango SDK and device update, I kept running into a strange problem where app deployment always failed. The error message “The version option is invalid” was always being thrown so I could never test any projects (7.0 or 7.1). Unfortunately, I was also in the middle of updating and creating various apps for 7.0, so I didn’t have time to look in to the problem in any great detail. I tried uninstalling every version of VS2010 and Blend I had on my computer and installing the Mango Beta 1 and 2 from scratch. This didn’t make a difference as the error kept appearing. However, before starting a new project, I decided to take a deeper look into the problem and managed to fix it. So, for anyone who comes across this problem, this information might be helpful:

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Developer? Get Mango on your Phone Now!

Title pretty much says it all, but you can now get new SDK for your phone. Full blog post here. Also, MS are starting to roll out Mango to registered developers. It may take a couple weeks for the distribution to be fully ready, but hopefully invites should be sent out soon.

Angry Birds has Arrived

Not much to say really. For those interested in Angry Birds can now download it here for their WP7.

How Ringtones Will Work in Mango

Alice Luu has written a new post on the Windows Phone Blog that explains how custom ringtones will work in Mango. Custom ringtones is a feature that has been requested many times (for non dev-unlocked phones) and will make an appearance in Mango. In order to sync a custom ringtone the file has to be :

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Free Speed Searcher App Now Available

 Speed Searcher significantly cuts down the time it takes to search the web. With an efficient shortcut method, you can be searching Google, YouTube, Wikipedia (and others) in just a few taps.
Want to search Wikipedia quickly? Instead of opening up Internet Explorer, typing, waiting for the page to load and then searching, simply fire up Speed Searcher and type ‘w’ followed by your query. Easy – and fast!

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US Press’ Opinion of Mango

Some US press members have been sent Mango devices and it now seems the NDA has been lifted and previews are filtering through. It seems that the press have really taken a shining to the early build of Mango and Gizmodo went as far as to say that unless there was a killer Nokia device, or a radical Android redesign, the choice this fall will be between the iPhone and Windows Phone. Not a bad result considering that Windows Phone has been out for less than a year whilst the others have had multiple years head start. Windows Phone Sauce has compiled a collection of previews from various sites which you can see here.