1. aapold's Avatar
    I have a pre+ on AT&T, and have been interested in WP7 for some time. FWIW I was a longtime windows mobile user through various devices, and have a Zune HD which is still my primary music player today.

    I came by here after reading a lot of the mango update stuff, which addressed a lot of my initial concerns on the platform.

    I have been waiting for a Pre 3 for some time but have been wavering... If nothing else the hardware for webOS devices always seems so underwhelming and they won't license it so it seems doomed to remain that way. I don't like android that much and I will never own an apple product (a grudge dating back to the early 80s).

    Anyway, I was wondering if someone could answer a few questions I have at this time.

    multitasking. I know it is coming via mango... but I worry that this will be the most jarring aspect coming from webOS where you don't worry about such things much. If you're in an app and a txt msg comes in I gather it does notify you... but if you want to reply at this moment do you have to close the app you're in? This alone might force me to wait for mango... but my pre+ took a spill and broke off a piece of plastic on the side. I have to keep it in a hard case to literally hold it together... but it is holding on for now...

    speaking of mango... do all windows phones get it? Is the OTA distribution of this handled by the manufacturer, the carrier or microsoft? One of the phones I'm looking at is a Samsung and I keep reading how lousy samsung android phones are in terms of getting timely updates. How was the NoDo update handled? Did everyone get it at once or was it piecemeal? Do all the phones have it now?

    (apologies if some of these things are common knowledge or if you have a FAQ lying around here).

    Zune... will my zune pass for my Zune HD work immediately with a WP7 phone? Would I be able to continue using both on one pass? Right now I can access the zune marketplace OTA on my zune HD provided I have wifi access handy... but I usually run the Zune software on my PC. Is this the same way it is done on the phone? They always taunt me with the WP7 apps in the zune software that I can't install on the Zune HD (still a sore point for me, it feels like they abandoned that aspect of the device, to this day we have like... 30 apps total for Zune HD). Is Zune music (and videos) stored on the phone or does it stream it (or both)?

    I'm assuming you can play zune music in the background, right? If this is the case is it still possible to pause, skip, etc while in another app? (I know this will matter less once mango).

    I've written a few simple Zune HD apps (a dice roller, a little "avoid the daleks" game, etc) in the past and this is an aspect I'd be interested in getting into. One of the worst aspects of Zune HD apps is that for 3rd party ones, not only is it not multitasking, but the Zune HD resets (as in powers down then back up) every time you exit a 3rd party app. This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever encountered, and one of the reasons I stopped doing stuff for it. I'm really hoping this is not the case here... speaking of which can anyone comment on how hard it is to get stuff distributed through the wp7 marketplace? Is there a cost barrier (I know I should be looking up this info)? Is there a way to distribute other than through the official channels?

    Lastly, with regards to devices, in your opinion, would it be better to wait for the next wave of devices (I see the HD7S is supposed to be available on AT&T soon) or go with the really cheap offers w/ upgrade now (its hard to beat focus for free w/ contract)... overall I'm just worried about getting something now before we see what will come from this Nokia partnership, I'd hate to see Nokia devices become some kind of preferred platform. I do worry because I felt they have a history of... well not exactly abandoning, but focusing emphasis away from let us say, earlier platforms (even with winmo 5, then 6, 6.1, 6.5 etc) and the original zune then Zune HD. Is there any kind of firm commitment on all WP7 phones being able to run all the apps on the platform?

    anyways thanks in advance for any trouble in answering questions. I hope to be around here for awhile...
    05-27-2011 08:41 AM
  2. jalb's Avatar
    Notes below.

    Anyway, I was wondering if someone could answer a few questions I have at this time.

    multitasking. I know it is coming via mango... but I worry that this will be the most jarring aspect coming from webOS where you don't worry about such things much. If you're in an app and a txt msg comes in I gather it does notify you... but if you want to reply at this moment do you have to close the app you're in? This alone might force me to wait for mango... but my pre+ took a spill and broke off a piece of plastic on the side. I have to keep it in a hard case to literally hold it together... but it is holding on for now...

    If you click on the notification, it takes you to the message, and the app you were in is "tombstoned". Technically, you should be able to exit your messaging app, return to the app you were in, and it will resume. I find that it doesn't always work though, and sometimes the app you were in starts up from scratch.

    speaking of mango... do all windows phones get it? Is the OTA distribution of this handled by the manufacturer, the carrier or microsoft? One of the phones I'm looking at is a Samsung and I keep reading how lousy samsung android phones are in terms of getting timely updates. How was the NoDo update handled? Did everyone get it at once or was it piecemeal? Do all the phones have it now?

    We are being told that all existing Windows phones will get Mango. The NoDo thing was a bit herky jerky, but not as bad as people make it out to be. I got my NoDo update in the beginning of May I think. As far as I know, some developer builds of the Focus have yet to receive an update. As a comparison, my HTC Hero, which I bought brand new and only had for a year, was never officially updated at all. I had to root it and install a custom rom on it to get new features.

    (apologies if some of these things are common knowledge or if you have a FAQ lying around here).

    Zune... will my zune pass for my Zune HD work immediately with a WP7 phone? Would I be able to continue using both on one pass? Right now I can access the zune marketplace OTA on my zune HD provided I have wifi access handy... but I usually run the Zune software on my PC. Is this the same way it is done on the phone? They always taunt me with the WP7 apps in the zune software that I can't install on the Zune HD (still a sore point for me, it feels like they abandoned that aspect of the device, to this day we have like... 30 apps total for Zune HD). Is Zune music (and videos) stored on the phone or does it stream it (or both)?


    I have the AT&T 3 month trial that they were giving away with new WP handsets, and for me, it worked right away. I believe you can download the songs to the phone, but I usually just stream it. I don't think you can get Zune video on the phones yet.

    I'm assuming you can play zune music in the background, right? If this is the case is it still possible to pause, skip, etc while in another app? (I know this will matter less once mango).

    I hadn't tried this before but I just tested it by streaming Brad Paisley and then playing Fable Coin Golf. It seems to be streaming just fine, and I can do both. Pressing the volume rocker drops down a control for pause, skip, and return. Nice!

    I've written a few simple Zune HD apps (a dice roller, a little "avoid the daleks" game, etc) in the past and this is an aspect I'd be interested in getting into. One of the worst aspects of Zune HD apps is that for 3rd party ones, not only is it not multitasking, but the Zune HD resets (as in powers down then back up) every time you exit a 3rd party app. This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever encountered, and one of the reasons I stopped doing stuff for it. I'm really hoping this is not the case here... speaking of which can anyone comment on how hard it is to get stuff distributed through the wp7 marketplace? Is there a cost barrier (I know I should be looking up this info)? Is there a way to distribute other than through the official channels?

    I will leave this to other posters. I would love to learn to write apps, but I'm not there yet.

    Lastly, with regards to devices, in your opinion, would it be better to wait for the next wave of devices (I see the HD7S is supposed to be available on AT&T soon) or go with the really cheap offers w/ upgrade now (its hard to beat focus for free w/ contract)... overall I'm just worried about getting something now before we see what will come from this Nokia partnership, I'd hate to see Nokia devices become some kind of preferred platform. I do worry because I felt they have a history of... well not exactly abandoning, but focusing emphasis away from let us say, earlier platforms (even with winmo 5, then 6, 6.1, 6.5 etc) and the original zune then Zune HD. Is there any kind of firm commitment on all WP7 phones being able to run all the apps on the platform?

    The Focus is amazing, but if you want the new hardware (front facing camera, gyroscope, etc.) then it might be worth the wait. It looks more and more like Nokia might drop a couple new phones this year, and if they are smart about it, they will do something that stands out. I was lucky in this regard - AT&T bought my regional carrier, and the Focus was a replacement for my already-paid-off-contract-free existing phone. It was CDMA, so they had to give us replacements. The upshot is that I can upgrade whenever I want to. That being said, the Focus is the nicest phone I have ever had, so I wouldn't consider it a bad purchase for anyone.


    anyways thanks in advance for any trouble in answering questions. I hope to be around here for awhile...
    05-27-2011 09:17 AM
  3. jalb's Avatar
    Worth noting - I paused the song I was streaming, and set the phone down for a while. The phone went to sleep, and when I woke it up, the controls are no longer available. I had to exit the game, go back to Zune, and start from scratch.
    05-27-2011 09:19 AM
  4. dtboos's Avatar
    multitasking. I know it is coming via mango... but I worry that this will be the most jarring aspect coming from webOS where you don't worry about such things much. If you're in an app and a txt msg comes in I gather it does notify you... but if you want to reply at this moment do you have to close the app you're in? This alone might force me to wait for mango... but my pre+ took a spill and broke off a piece of plastic on the side. I have to keep it in a hard case to literally hold it together... but it is holding on for now...
    Multitasking on Mango is a tombstoning effect, and stored as cards similar to webOS. Text notifications comes in a small strip on top of the screen which if you touch, will take you into the message itself and tombstone the application you were in. Then you can go back to it through the back button by clicking, or hold it for the multitasking pane. With mango the resuming of applications is pretty much instantaneous, and will resume your game from exactly where it was.

    speaking of mango... do all windows phones get it? Is the OTA distribution of this handled by the manufacturer, the carrier or microsoft? One of the phones I'm looking at is a Samsung and I keep reading how lousy samsung android phones are in terms of getting timely updates. How was the NoDo update handled? Did everyone get it at once or was it piecemeal? Do all the phones have it now?
    All phones will get Mango, but to take advantage of any features which require specific hardware additions like Front facing camera, you would obviously have the code for but not the ability with the current lineup of phones. The distribution is handled by MS, but everybody is involved in making sure it works property before it is deployed. So AT&T ect have to test it before hand, but you get it through the Zune desktop once its approved.



    Zune... will my zune pass for my Zune HD work immediately with a WP7 phone? Would I be able to continue using both on one pass? Right now I can access the zune marketplace OTA on my zune HD provided I have wifi access handy... but I usually run the Zune software on my PC. Is this the same way it is done on the phone? They always taunt me with the WP7 apps in the zune software that I can't install on the Zune HD (still a sore point for me, it feels like they abandoned that aspect of the device, to this day we have like... 30 apps total for Zune HD). Is Zune music (and videos) stored on the phone or does it stream it (or both)?
    Yes this will work immediately with the same pass. They are stored on / sync'd to your phone, but you can stream the entire marketplace OTA as well. If you want to store your music on your Skydrive (your cloud storage from MS), you can also stream that, but I don't think you can stream from your PC like you can on your XBOX....yet.

    I'm assuming you can play zune music in the background, right? If this is the case is it still possible to pause, skip, etc while in another app? (I know this will matter less once mango).
    Yes. You can even control it from the lockscreen, and with Mango you can even use voice to control your music. All you do to do it currently is touch one of the volume rockers, and it brings the music control pane down on top of the screen (inside where it shows your phone volume ect).

    I've written a few simple Zune HD apps (a dice roller, a little "avoid the daleks" game, etc) in the past and this is an aspect I'd be interested in getting into. One of the worst aspects of Zune HD apps is that for 3rd party ones, not only is it not multitasking, but the Zune HD resets (as in powers down then back up) every time you exit a 3rd party app. This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever encountered, and one of the reasons I stopped doing stuff for it. I'm really hoping this is not the case here... speaking of which can anyone comment on how hard it is to get stuff distributed through the wp7 marketplace? Is there a cost barrier (I know I should be looking up this info)? Is there a way to distribute other than through the official channels?
    Lastly, with regards to devices, in your opinion, would it be better to wait for the next wave of devices (I see the HD7S is supposed to be available on AT&T soon) or go with the really cheap offers w/ upgrade now (its hard to beat focus for free w/ contract)... overall I'm just worried about getting something now before we see what will come from this Nokia partnership, I'd hate to see Nokia devices become some kind of preferred platform. I do worry because I felt they have a history of... well not exactly abandoning, but focusing emphasis away from let us say, earlier platforms (even with winmo 5, then 6, 6.1, 6.5 etc) and the original zune then Zune HD. Is there any kind of firm commitment on all WP7 phones being able to run all the apps on the platform?
    The focus is by far the best phone in the US imo. Just keep in mind it only has 8GB internal memory compared to the rest which are mostly 16. The NAND memory Samsung uses and their Super AMOLED screen are hard to beat, but ultimately you have a choice on hardware while having the same uniform software (minus the different applications each OEM produces..which you can remove just like any carrier ones).

    The next wave of devices will be nice, and have upgraded chipsets & cpu/gpu's, some will have front facing cameras ect, but there is nothing wrong with the current phones. I bought my focus on ebay, and will use it until the next wave of devices, or until Nokia high end phones come out.

    MS has stated that all devices will be able to run future updates, but again, if there is an application which uses a new hardware ability, this obviously won't work if your phone doesn't have it. And eventually older phones will have a tough time running newer applications just because of progression of software & games which demand higher specifications. No different than computers, or even the iPhone (try running much on the original or original 3G). But you will get the updates for the forseeable future, and be able to run anything which utilizes your phones hardware.

    You can distribute through side loading if you have a developer unlocked device, or if you buy a phone with OS version 7004/7008 you can hack the unlock before upgrading with the updates we've received over the last few months.
    05-27-2011 10:04 AM
  5. aapold's Avatar
    Well decided it couldn't hurt to give it a shot (since in theory I can return w/in 30 days). Picked up a focus at BB.

    Its still a bit jarring some things but I can't deny the beauty of the OS. Will be exploring and messing around with stuff for a while I think...

    thanks for the help in answering stuff.
    05-27-2011 01:02 PM
  6. Winterfang's Avatar
    Well decided it couldn't hurt to give it a shot (since in theory I can return w/in 30 days). Picked up a focus at BB.

    Its still a bit jarring some things but I can't deny the beauty of the OS. Will be exploring and messing around with stuff for a while I think...

    thanks for the help in answering stuff.

    Hopefully it will more than just for a while my friend. Welcome =)
    05-27-2011 01:09 PM
  7. aapold's Avatar
    Quick question... the zune stuff looks like it synced fine, and brought down a lot of my music and videos I had via zune software, great.

    However I've read stuff back and forth regarding the focus and adding a microSD card. I have a number of microSD cards already, but from what I gather I'd be better off ordering one specific for this. Ok, thats fine....

    but if I do and it wipes the phone, can it restore what I've customized so far? or is there an "app for that"? or should I hold off customizing anything until I get the card in?
    05-27-2011 01:31 PM
  8. Duvi's Avatar
    Quick question... the zune stuff looks like it synced fine, and brought down a lot of my music and videos I had via zune software, great.

    However I've read stuff back and forth regarding the focus and adding a microSD card. I have a number of microSD cards already, but from what I gather I'd be better off ordering one specific for this. Ok, thats fine....

    but if I do and it wipes the phone, can it restore what I've customized so far? or is there an "app for that"? or should I hold off customizing anything until I get the card in?
    i would hold off on customizing and start off from scratch. if i was a betting man, i'd say there are less issues that arise from starting from scratch after installing the SD.
    05-27-2011 02:32 PM
  9. jimski's Avatar
    Quick question... the zune stuff looks like it synced fine, and brought down a lot of my music and videos I had via zune software, great.

    However I've read stuff back and forth regarding the focus and adding a microSD card. I have a number of microSD cards already, but from what I gather I'd be better off ordering one specific for this. Ok, thats fine....

    but if I do and it wipes the phone, can it restore what I've customized so far? or is there an "app for that"? or should I hold off customizing anything until I get the card in?
    Changing/adding an SD card requires a hard reset so you are starting from scratch. Anything you already synced via Zune you have to do all over again, even if you give your device the same name. So that means selecting music, photos, videos from scratch. It sucks. I had to do it twice already. Some apps might auto-install, bu you will probably have to find and install others. All your Windows Live ID stuff will reload in a couple minutes, but you will have to setup other accounts from scratch. Actually not that bad overall, especially now that I have some practice.

    Sent from my HTC Surround using Board Express
    05-27-2011 03:17 PM
  10. aapold's Avatar
    Well none of the SD cards in the store on the way home mentioned "WP7 compatible" or anything, so guess I'll try to find one elsewhere. I couldn't wait to start customizing things a tad, though. I don't mind redoing the steps, got a long weekend.
    05-27-2011 05:00 PM
  11. dtboos's Avatar
    Just be forwarned, only SD cards sold by your carrier that specify they are for windows phones are guaranteed to work correctly. Some people have gotten lucky, but most things just start happening: random reboots, stuttering ect until they take it out and reset the phone.
    05-27-2011 05:19 PM
  12. aapold's Avatar
    Couple more things...

    I'm for some reason really not digging the keyboard. I'm not sure what it is but I make a ton of errors on it, and compared to my girlfriends phone (an ATT inspire) I just find myself stuttering. Worst is I have to constantly look at the keys and what result I'm getting to make sure it was right. While I'm sure this would improve over time, I'm wondering if there are any alternative options...

    Is there any way to provide haptic feedback (ala the buttons on the bottom)? Or swap out a different keyboard altogether?
    05-29-2011 08:27 AM
  13. hardrock1a's Avatar
    Couple more things...

    I'm for some reason really not digging the keyboard. I'm not sure what it is but I make a ton of errors on it, and compared to my girlfriends phone (an ATT inspire) I just find myself stuttering. Worst is I have to constantly look at the keys and what result I'm getting to make sure it was right. While I'm sure this would improve over time, I'm wondering if there are any alternative options...

    Is there any way to provide haptic feedback (ala the buttons on the bottom)? Or swap out a different keyboard altogether?
    By all measures and reports the WP7 keyboard is as good or better than the iPhone's. I am waiting right now for my WP7 to be delivered on Tuesday from Verizon, but from messing with them both in the store, I have to say I like the WP7 better. I am not a big on doing texts, I am an older tech geek, but I will have to educate my thumbs to text. Maybe that is the case for you too, a matter of getting used to the feel of it.
    05-29-2011 09:19 AM
  14. dtboos's Avatar
    Couple more things...

    I'm for some reason really not digging the keyboard. I'm not sure what it is but I make a ton of errors on it, and compared to my girlfriends phone (an ATT inspire) I just find myself stuttering. Worst is I have to constantly look at the keys and what result I'm getting to make sure it was right. While I'm sure this would improve over time, I'm wondering if there are any alternative options...

    Is there any way to provide haptic feedback (ala the buttons on the bottom)? Or swap out a different keyboard altogether?
    No 3rd party keyboards are available or going to be available to develop by 3rd parties in the known future. But most have praised this part of wp7 even on other platform sites. Its pretty accurate, you may just have to get used to it. I personally think its more accurate than both Android & the iPhones keyboard with the iPhones being second (although I did love swype on android).

    You can turn haptic feedback off in the sounds settings (checkbox).
    05-29-2011 11:42 AM
  15. aapold's Avatar
    You can turn it off? I don't mean the clicking noise (I can toggle that just fine), I mean the slight buzz when you tap a key.

    I have been used to physical keyboards so I guess that is where I'm coming from. I didn't text at all until like 5 years ago but now I text a lot. I guess I kinda got used to touch typing and orienting by the slightly raised indicators on the "f" key on the pre keyboard (or "F" and J" on some). If I thought it wouldn't ruin it and it were the same spot each time I'd even consider putting a tiny smidgen of glue there :P
    05-29-2011 03:12 PM
  16. dtboos's Avatar
    You can turn it off? I don't mean the clicking noise (I can toggle that just fine), I mean the slight buzz when you tap a key.

    I have been used to physical keyboards so I guess that is where I'm coming from. I didn't text at all until like 5 years ago but now I text a lot. I guess I kinda got used to touch typing and orienting by the slightly raised indicators on the "f" key on the pre keyboard (or "F" and J" on some). If I thought it wouldn't ruin it and it were the same spot each time I'd even consider putting a tiny smidgen of glue there :P
    ahh I gotcha. Not right now, hopefully in the future. The main phone keys have haptic feedback, but not the soft keyboard (yet).
    05-29-2011 03:26 PM
  17. ikkf's Avatar
    I'm another WebOS convert and I can honestly say I don't miss the multitasking all that much. Partly because I had a Pixi, and running more than 2 or 3 things at once would lock it up, but mainly because you can already multitask the native apps. So I can talk with the airline on the phone and then go to IE and log in to the airline's site to find out my frequent flier #, stuff like that.

    That's about all I need and I get enough of it on WP. I'm not one of these Android guys trying to run NASA from their cell phones.
    05-29-2011 07:07 PM
  18. Duvi's Avatar
    I'm another WebOS convert and I can honestly say I don't miss the multitasking all that much. Partly because I had a Pixi, and running more than 2 or 3 things at once would lock it up, but mainly because you can already multitask the native apps. So I can talk with the airline on the phone and then go to IE and log in to the airline's site to find out my frequent flier #, stuff like that.

    That's about all I need and I get enough of it on WP. I'm not one of these Android guys trying to run NASA from their cell phones.
    lol @ trying to run nasa
    05-29-2011 10:58 PM
  19. aapold's Avatar
    I'd like to thank everyone for their help, but I'd sad to report I returned the phone. I'll give it another stab when the mango phones are out. I suppose I could have given it a bit longer, but I was terrified something would happen to the focus and then I'd be stuck (I love love the screen but the phone's overall build just worried me a lot... I got some kind of massive case for it even for the short time period I had it, but I have a rough history with my phones, they've suffered quite a bit of abuse...

    Anyway don't take this as an overall indictment, I haven't gone to someone else, I'm just back to my old phone for now so still have my upgrade option, and we'll see when the mango phones hit and stuff.
    05-30-2011 01:40 PM
  20. dtboos's Avatar
    I'd like to thank everyone for their help, but I'd sad to report I returned the phone. I'll give it another stab when the mango phones are out. I suppose I could have given it a bit longer, but I was terrified something would happen to the focus and then I'd be stuck (I love love the screen but the phone's overall build just worried me a lot... I got some kind of massive case for it even for the short time period I had it, but I have a rough history with my phones, they've suffered quite a bit of abuse...

    Anyway don't take this as an overall indictment, I haven't gone to someone else, I'm just back to my old phone for now so still have my upgrade option, and we'll see when the mango phones hit and stuff.
    No worries, use what you like. wp7 was released with very basic functionality, and if you have a phone you still like and want to use it till those features are implemented thats up to you. I decided to tough it out because I see whats coming up and don't mind mucking through the mud while the platform develops. Its kind of fun to me in a way.

    Mango will turn this into not only the amazing UI design that it is now, but a feature rich platform with superior integration. So do check it out again this fall :)

    Don't worry too much about the Focus build quality, as while I wish they used better materials, I haven't had any issues at all with that thin case I linked up. I've dropped it a million times and that thin & light plastic takes it just fine.
    05-30-2011 03:20 PM
  21. aapold's Avatar
    Crazy... now I'm missing things about the focus, and of course the things that were annoying me aren't since i'm not using it.

    The grass is always greener...
    06-03-2011 07:56 AM
  22. jeffa00's Avatar
    I use both a Pre Plus from Verizon (my personal phone) and an LQ Quantum from AT&T (my work phone). I will say this about the Quantum: it feels rock solid in your hand. I tried the Focus (and several android phones too) and they all felt like they would break in my pocket.

    I totally understand your feelings on this. There are things I love about both platforms. Pre definitely wins on multi-tasking for now. I love being able to stream or download podcasts with Dr. Podder and Stitcher. That capability is locked away from developers on WP7... for now. What I've read about the multi-tasking in Mango sounds good. Regular apps "tombstone" when you switch to another app. That means they shouldn't be gobbling up CPU (and therefore battery - you know what I mean, my WebOS brother...). Mango will include a new class of app that can run in the background. My understanding is that the OS will wake up that app at preset intervals and let it run. In theory this could be a really good compromise between multi-tasking and battery usage. Won't know how it works in practice until this fall..

    I'll be eligible to upgrade my personal phone in October. I am sorely vexed as to which OS to choose at that point. Pre3 looks very nice and Mango phones should be hitting shelves around about that time. I have tried to cultivate an interest in Android, but thus far have not. I like iPhone, but I don't want a phone I can't code for without buying a new computer...

    As for your questions regarding development, I can say that coding for the WP7 is a fantastic experience. I love C# and Silverlight. Visual Studio is my favorite IDE. Debugging on anything else is painful.

    I plan to keep developing for WP7 and WebOS, and hope to add Android eventually. iPhone too, if I can talk myself into buying a Mac. For the record, I don't object to anything about the Mac except the price when I already have a good notebook.
    06-03-2011 12:02 PM
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