First major mobile search update in 16 months
Google has introduced a revamped search app for Windows Phones.
Google Search App lets Smartphone owners running WP7.5 conduct searches with greater speed and an improved user interface (free, Windows Marketplace). The key changes include auto completion, voice-based searching, and location-driven results.
Windows Marketplace for PC games coming November 1
Microsoft today announced its Games on Demand PC Games Store for Windows Marketplace. Users with a Windows Live ID can login and shop for games online through the webstore. Franchises such as Gears of War, Fable III, Age of Empires Online, and Grand Theft Auto III will be available for immediate purchase and play.
MS makes Win Phone 7 dev kit beta available
Microsoft got Windows Phone 7 development started in earnest today with word of the Developer Tools Beta. The kit is the first major update since a preview version in March and reflects a near-final version that should produce apps and games usable with the finished mobile OS. Among the improvements on the coding side are a version of Expression Blend built directly into the kit, a simplified structure, and the ability to unlock phones as well as push test apps directly to those phones.
Android dominated by free or cheap vs iPhone
Apple's App Store is not only attracting more paid apps than Android but higher priced ones as well, Distimo found today. The iPad and iPhone stores have about 73 to 80 percent of paid apps, but Google's store is controlled by free apps at 57 percent. iOS apps also have the liberty of commanding a higher average price, at $4.01 for iPhone apps across the entire store versus $3.29 in the Android Market.
Acer talks apps, e-book reader, Chrome OS
Acer's IT Products president Jim Wong today revealed that the company will follow Apple and develop its own app store. The portal will cover all of Acer's devices and include not just mobile platforms like Android and Windows Mobile but also desktop platforms like Windows and eventually Chrome OS. Its initial catalog will range into the "hundreds" but will skew towards low-cost or even free titles.
Win Mobile Marketplace devs being shorted
Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile could be denying app developers large amounts of money through flaws in its payment system. In a series of complaints at its official forum, producers have said they have been denied 'thousands' of dollars in revenue from their apps, even for ones released when Windows Marketplace launched in October. The missing payouts come even for those who were listed as eligible for quick payment, some of whom had to make changes to their accounts to qualify.
Windows Mobile gets security, PC shopping update
Microsoft on Wednesday said it has released new updates to Windows Marketplace for Mobile, just over a month after its launch. Among them is stronger anti-piracy protection and improvements in the developer portal. To the average Windows Mobile user, however, the more important news is the newfound ability to browse for and buy apps from the web on a computer and then transfer the purchases to their handsets wirelessly.
Standard industry feature, says spokesperson
A controversial remote deletion option for the Windows Marketplace is only a failsafe, according to Microsoft. The feature will allow Microsoft to remove applications from any Windows Mobile phone, with or without the consent of owners. A spokesperson clarifies, however, that the command is only intended to cope with apps exhibiting "harmful behavior" or "unforeseen effects."