In a seemingly unexpected turn of events, HP announced that it will be killing off their WebOS product. For those unaware, HP’s WebOS is a fantastic mobile operating system that just never caught on with the public, mostly because of a lack of relevant hardware and a scant ecosystem.
The software overall was both beautiful and innovative and pioneered the card multitasking view that we now see in Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). In a statement taken from the computer giant via their press release:
…HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.
The fate of WebOS is both tragic and heartening. The idea that a platform so inspiring and innovative could so easily fail is a scary proposition for the mobile industry, however, it leaves really four major players left in the smartphone game (Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Blackberry). It’s my belief, and this is opinion, that the mobile market might only be able to sustain three major players and a few other small ones, so with WebOS leaving the game it leaves Windows Phone as the fourth and up-and-comer of the bunch, with Blackberry continuing to cede market share.
Windows Phone still has a long way to go before it can pull down the numbers of it’s major competitors (iOS and Android), but the Mango update brings it up to par with features and functionality and at this point, it’s just a matter of getting the word out and getting devices into peoples hands. One thing Windows Phone has in its favor is a thriving app market and ecosystem and a solid hardware manufacturing base. For WebOS. It’s a shame. You will be missed…kinda.
Mobility Digest is reporting that next week’s Xbox LIVE-enabled title for Windows Phone is the popular iOS racing game, Cro-Mag Rally. The racing title is developed by Pangea software and has been a huge hit on iDevices.
Similar to Mario Kart, Cro-Mag Rally is a cartoonish third person view racing game which takes place in caveman times. The cost is reported to be $2.99 for Windows Phone, which will probably lack the multiplayer functionality found in iOS versions (at least for now).
Cro-Mag Rally is a must-have title for iOS, so it’s great to see the port come to the Marketplace.
Microsoft’s Windows Live team has just announced changes to their Windows Live development platform that not only brings better integration to their own Windows Phone product, but to Android and iOS devices as well. According to the official Windows Live blog:
…we’ve made it easy for developers on modern mobile platforms such as Windows Phone, Android, and iOS to easily integrate the ability for users to access their information such as contacts and photos from Hotmail, Messenger, and SkyDrive in their favorite mobile apps and devices.
We’ve streamlined the process for doing this in the following ways:
- Lightweight application setup process which requires no server-side code.
- Mobile optimized sign-in and user consent experiences
- Providing code samples which illustrate the key steps in building a mobile application that access a user’s cloud data
The entire blog post details the three ways in which this whole process becomes simpler and even promises more by the way of sample code to assist developers to tie-in better to the massive Windows live user base.
As we move further to the cloud-based world that Microsoft, Apple and many other tech giants are leaning toward, it’s reassuring to know that Windows Phone will be moving right along with them, although, based on Windows Phone’s already stellar cloud integration, this doesn’t really come as a surprise.
Microsoft updated its popular Photosynth photo-stitching app today for iOS devices with the promise that Windows Phone users will soon be able to get their hands on the app as well.
“The new and improved Photosynth app is available on a variety of iOS devices (iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPod Touch fourth generation, and iPad 2) and will be coming next to a Windows Phone near you. You can download the app for free from the iTunes App Store today.”
– Eric Bennett, Senior Program Manager, Bing’s Photosynth Team
Photosynth for iPhone
Photosynth essentially takes full 360 degree panorama shots and makes it easy to share these photo’s with others. The process for stitching photos into a 360 degree picture is what makes Photosynth so inviting to users and should come to Windows Phone later this year after Mango’s release.
We know Windows Phone is the best mobile platform out there, but it’s nice to see that WIndows hone is starting to get a little recognition for just how great it really is. PCMag does a Readers Choice Awards every year where it goes through multiple products and categories and polls users to find out what they like about their devices and carriers. Windows Phone has been critically acclaimed as being on par and above iOS and Android in many ways, even though it’s still a fledgling OS and readers have proven that according to the results from the PCMag Readers Choice Awards.
For best mobile platform:
WIndows Phone didn’t just stop at being a credible mobile platform. At&t’s flagship device also came in as a big favorite beating out the At&t darling, the iPhone. For best At&t smartphone:
One of the PCMag contributers, well-known fire-starter, John C. Dvorak is famous for making inflamatory comments about technology to essentially produce hits on his otherwise-dull articles. He was famous for claiming the iPhone would fail and said Windows phone was “Dead on Arrival”, so it’s nice to see a poll done by a website he writes for, favor Windows Phone so high.