Category: "Windows Phone"

Windows Phone 7 "January Update"

by Kyle  

The update has been announced since before the phone even launched, but now the "January Update" has become a bit more official. Microsoft has posted a site (which used to give a hint to the release date) listing the three main features of the new update:

Copy and paste
Soon you’ll be able to copy text from emails, text messages, web pages, and Office Mobile documents, and paste it anywhere you can type. Using copy and paste is easy and intuitive. In many cases you just tap a word, slide your finger to highlight any additional text, then tap the Copy icon. To insert this text in a message or app, just tap the spot where it should go, then tap the Paste icon. Copy and paste is a handy way to quickly send someone’s latest Facebook update, turn-by-turn directions from Maps, or a must-see link from Internet Explorer Mobile. Once you’ve copied something, you can paste it again and again. The new feature adds to the list of time-saving shortcuts already built into Windows Phone, like the ability to tap an address on a webpage to map it (US only).

Faster apps and games
Nobody likes to wait. That’s why we’ve whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume. It’s all part of our focus on getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.

Better Marketplace search
We’ve streamlined Marketplace search to make it easier to find specific apps, games, or music. Press the Search button in the apps or games section of Marketplace and you’ll see only apps or games in the results. Press Search in the music section of Marketplace to search just the music catalog.

Sure, these are all features that would be nice to have (the Marketplace search has been driving me bonkers, honestly), but what about the other missing features? No mention of custom ringtones, separate volume controls, or better SkyDrive integration for Office. There are also a number of looming bugs that desperately need attention, but yet no mention of bug fixes at all. I sincerely hope that the complete lack of new functionality is eclipsed by the shear number of bug fixes included in this new update.

I certainly hope that they can get the update out by the end of January (or at least early February), but it would be nice to get a more solid release date than:

Getting phone updates
How will you know when an update is available? Easy. Your phone is designed to automatically tell you via a pop-up message (unless you’ve turned this option off). For more details, see How do I update my phone software?

Windows Phone Lost My Data

by Kyle  

I have long been a supporter of the Windows Phone 7 OS and phones, but tonight I suffered a major setback. While doing a routine operation, simply searching using the built-in Bing search, the phone crashed. The phone does crash from time-to-time, but mostly it's benign and the phone comes right back up very quickly. This time was not like that at all, the phone came back as a blank slate and wanted me to set everything up again. I tried rebooting the phone (powering off and back on) three or four more times to no avail.

The more unfortunate issue here is the lack of any "cloud" way to recover from such an incident. Sure your music, videos, and podcasts are all safely stored on your computer (which I don't have access to at the moment) and your contacts, calendars, and email are all safely stored in the cloud (as long as you aren't using POP3 and deleting messages from the server), but what about the data generated by the apps that you installed? What about all of the customizations you performed? All of this is lost with absolutely no way to recover.

This isn't all bad news, Windows Phone does one key thing that the iPhone does not, it allows you to setup the phone without needing a computer. Given that I had just gotten into town to visit my parents tonight, I would have been hosed with my computer 2700 miles away, but thanks to this one feature at least I have a working phone with some of my data present.

I really don't care what the cause of the problem is, but Microsoft really needs to get that January update out ASAP. They may not have even fixed the issue that caused this, but hopefully they did fix a bunch of the other nagging, but generally mild, issues I've had with the OS since launch.