Windows Phone 8.1 Store now reveals your phone make and model in reviews

Here’s one feature we knew was coming for Windows Phone 8.1, but wasn’t quite ready a few weeks ago: device enumeration in reviews.

Yup, numerous reports have come in confirming that under app and game reviews, individual posts will not only show the user’s name (if registered) but their exact Windows Phone make and model used for the review. That’s important for context when reading a analysis by someone. For instance, if customer rates a game’s performance as “excellent with smooth graphics” it makes a difference if they’re on a Lumia 520 versus a Lumia 1520. Not only that, if an app developer sees negative reviews only from HTC 8X users, they may very well conclude there is something going on with their app that needs fixing.

Some other information included in the Store includes the date of the review and the version number of the app or game for that review. Once again, this helps give context to the app evaluation for others to see. If a person rated an app 2 stars (out of 5) for version 1.2 but version 2.0 is out, then you may want to dismiss that assessment (and give it the old ‘not helpful’ vote, which is also new in 8.1).

Although Windows Phone 8.1 has some divisive issues like Cortana availability, the Store so far has been nearly universally praised. These refinements to reviews helps make the Store more useful and powerful, so we’re glad to see the improvements.

How to convert a branch back to a regular folder!

In an effort to remove a small amount of complexity from the UI, we have the command to convert a branch back to a folder appear only under the main menu and not in the right click menu.  The way to convert a branch back to a regular folder is to do the following.

  1. Bring up Source Control Explorer
  2. Select the branch to convert back to the folder
  3. On the main menu bar, click File -> Source Control -> Branching and Merging – > Convert to Folder

Why would you want to do this?  The reason would be just to remove the branch from branch visualizations if you’ve decided you never want to see it again.  This does not change the branching relationship, so you can still merge to and from the branch as before (it just affects the visualization and the properties you see in Source Control Explorer).

You can also do this if you need to remove a deleted branch from showing up in branch visualization.  If you find that a deleted branch is still showing up, you can turn on the option to see deleted items in Source Control Explorer and follow the instructions above.

The full MSDN doc page on this is at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms181425.aspx.

 

Happy branching! 😀

Microsoft launches official #wpdev Windows Phone 8 app for developers

The best thing about being a developer in the Microsoft technology ecosystem is the terrific support that the company offers to the developers. From dedicated forums and learning resources to public events, the community feeds off this support and grows further.

Microsoft has just launched an Windows Phone app for developers that aggregates official Microsoft resources related to building apps for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. The app is titled ‘#wpdev’, picking up from the popular Twitter hashtag that Microsoft and the developer community use on Twitter for sharing development resources and insights.

#wpdev

The app provides latest blog posts, training resources, and partner resources. A Twitter timeline with all tweets tagged #wpdev is also included. Also, the app helps the developers to connect with technology advisors who are experts in developing apps for the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store.

Microsoft also has another app for Windows developers – Dev Center – that allows developers to access their developer dashboard to see how their published apps are doing.

If you are a Windows developer, download the free app for Windows Phone 8 devices from the Windows Phone Store. It’s a simple, yet useful, app and a handy glance once in a while. Give it a whirl, and let us know how you like it.

QR: wpdev

(Source: WPCentral.com)

Wolfie Keyboard! Video review by Tecnonation and much more!

I haven’t yet made an article on my new app, Wolfie Keyboard, but I promised I would have made it in a near future.

The time has come but well… Why should I write one myself as many other people already made the work for me? 😀

I am starting linking a Youtube usage video of the app. It’s in Italian as our friends friends from TecnoNation casted it!

After this, here you go with some review in some languages:

  • Italian

http://www.plaffo.com/2014/05/wolfie-keyboard-un-client-gratuito-del-noto-motore-computazionale-di-conoscenze/

http://www.windowsphoneitaly.com/news/software/9592-wolfie-keyboard-la-nuova-versione-di-wolfie-il-client-non-ufficiale-per-windows-phone-di-wolframalpha.html

http://tecnonation.net/2014/05/26/wolfie-keyboard-ottimo-client-per-wolfram-alpha-per-windows-phone-8-recensione/#

  • Portoguese

http://windowsphonebrasil.com.br/chega-a-windows-phone-store-o-aplicativo-wolfie-cliente-do-teclado-wolframalpha/

http://www.nokiatividade.com/windows-phone/wolfie-keyboard-utilize-um-teclado-avancado-em-seus-estudos/

  • Spanish

http://nokialumia.es/tag/wolfie-keyboard/

  • English

http://www.nokiapoweruser.com/2014/05/18/wolfie-keyboard-an-unofficial-wolframalpha-app/

  • German

http://www.wintouch.de/34262/wolfie-keyboard-kostenlose-mathe-app-fuer-window-phone/

 

What may I say on my own about Wolfie Keyboard? Well, it’s a small and fast app that allows you to use the WolframAlpha portal on Windows Phone.

It contains the following features, as reported on the store:

✓ Keyboards optimized for Math
✓ Keyboards optimized for Statistics
✓ Keyboards optimized for Biology and Chemistry
✓ Manage your favorites
✓ Search History
✓ And everything else WolframAlpha can handle

and much more. You’ll just have to find yourself out what we can give you! 😉

Also, we are actively looking for translators! Wolfie Keyboard is actually in Italian, English, Spanish and Portoguese. This allows it to cover a great part of the world but we surely could do much better if YOU would translate it into your spoken language that’s missing in the list above! 🙂

You can download Wolfie Keyboard from the link here

WP-Download-Italian-Med

Happy downloading! 🙂

Will Microsoft succeed in the Internet of Things?

Ever since Steve Ballmer stepped down to make room for Satya Nadella as the new CEO of Microsoft, the company has been loudly talking about its mobile first, cloud first strategy and the Internet of Things (IoT).

I think this change in how Microsoft talks about itself makes sense. After all, the desktop and notebook markets are not growth businesses anymore, and Microsoft is actually shrinking here as Windows loses market share to Apple and now Chrome OS. Google is making great strides pushing into the enterprise with Chromebooks and Chrome OS desktop boxes. I think the days of Microsoft dominating the desktop computer space are numbered.

So what are they to do? Focus on the enterprise. Focus on cloud-hosted app suites like Office 365 powered by their own Azure cloud technology. And of course, build infrastructure for other businesses to power their own cloud-hosted apps on Azure while feeding them great analytics to make business decisions.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the new way to talking about what Nortel Networks used to call “hyper-connectivity”. The idea is that internet-connected devices won’t be limited to what we hold in our hands (our devices), but by what those devices connect to. This is a huge market, obviously. Connectedly exists because of this massive trend.

So the question is … can Microsoft do well here? On one end of the argument I’d like to think they can. The cloud has been around for a while but it’s still a new thing when it comes to overall penetration into our lives. Microsoft is late to the party (at least marketing-wise), but they are not too late to be huge. But on the other hand, I feel that Microsoft is too disconnected from the mobile side of the equation. And I wonder if they’ll never amount to much in the IoT market.

Look at Google and Apple. Together these companies dominate the vast majority of the world market for mobile device operating systems. Microsoft, BlackBerry and any other competing OS represent what a friend of mine calls “a pimple on the ass of progress.” They’re insignificant on the global scene.

And because the IoT grows based on entrepreneurs developing new products that connect to our mobile devices, these entrepreneurs focus on iOS and Android when it comes to mobile development. Microsoft is an afterthought.

When it comes to cloud-hosting of apps, I can’t help but notice that most entrepreneurs tend to model what already works. Startups are much more acquainted with Amazon AWS versus, say, Azure. Discussion sites where coders hang out, like StackOverflow, are far more populated with references to AWS than Azure.

So I’m curious what Microsoft really plans to do here. Maybe they’re looking to generate growth in the Internet of Things that operates in the background, not connecting to our mobile devices and not really connected to the consumer market. I can’t see Microsoft mattering when it comes to the home or automobile. But I can see them mattering for cloud-based enterprise-focused solutions whether it be security, factory automation, fleet management, or other “things” that don’t really matter to the average consumer.

I guess this just highlights how big the IoT market will be. As consumers we’ll just see the front end of it. Behind the scenes there will be a whole lot more that remains invisible to us.

What do you think? Will Microsoft be successful here?

 

(Source: WPCentral.com)