Details about Windows Phone 7 have been sketchy so far – though developer tools and demo units have been out in the wild for some time, the lack of a final SDK and a clear understanding of how it’s all supposed to work have made it difficult to know what to expect. Well, prospective WP7 devs, it must be your birthday, because Microsoft just offered another peek behind the curtain with a series of videos from its Windows Phone Design Days. The seminar included an overview of WP7 development, personas, demo apps and more, including this lovely demo of a USGA golf score app. Below, a bit of YouTubery showing the USGA app in all its movery-flippery:

» Windows Phone Design Days videos (via Engadget)

Concept: The HTC 1

July 12th, 2010

Not content with the current crop of versatile-yet-unrefined Android phones, designer Andrew Kim imagines an elegant brass-and-glass enclosure that, among other things, transforms into a desk clock. His thinking is spot-on — surely there must be a market for an Android phone with iPhone-level looks and polish — and though his conceptual evolution of the Sense UI is a bit lacking, his overall effort is a thing of (fake) beauty. My only question is why he chose to anchor himself to an existing brand like HTC instead of letting his imagination really run wild… who needs cease-and-desist orders mucking with their wonderful creations? At any rate… HTC, the gauntlet has been thrown.

Update: Did I mention Kim is an 18-year-old freshman at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies? Damn.

» Design Fabulous (via Engadget)

It seems Google has finally realized Android is a viable competitor to the iPhone — it did outsell the iPhone in the US in Q1 2010, after all — and it has awoken from its slumber looking for a bite of Apple. At their I/O conference today, Google unveiled the details of their upcoming 2.2 version of Android, codenamed Froyo, and there’s plenty to get excited about.

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It's hip to use Square

Sci-fi convention vendors, street mimes and hot dog cart owners, rejoice! Square, the mobile credit-card-swiping system announced late last year by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is now open for business. The rare company whose name, logo and product are all the same thing, Square offers a slick and simple method for accepting credit cards through an iPhone, iPad or Android phone, no merchant account or confusing accounting scheme required. That’s right, you can now accept credit cards as a buy-in at your weekly poker game, and when someone says, “Dude, I’ll give you twenty bucks for that t-shirt,” you can say, “Visa or Mastercard?”

Everything about Square screams simplicity, from the cute little card reader you plug into the headphone jack, to the service itself, which sports a beautiful and incredibly straightforward user experience, to the fee system — 2.75% + 15¢ per transaction for swiped cards, period. It also does lots of things the traditional credit card process should do, like email receipts and show the merchant a photo of the card holder for verification. You’ll want to get one just to try it out, and there’s really no reason not to — the reader, app and setup are all free, and available today. Now you just have to come up with something worth buying.

» Square Web site (and Fast Company, via Gizmodo)

The Lovers: HP buys Palm

April 29th, 2010

The excitement never ends these days in the mobile realm, and I’m not talking about the iPhonegate scandal — you know, the one providing Gizmodo so much free publicity that Gawker publisher Nick Denton is probably thinking he should get his bloggers to break the law more often. To start with, let’s look at the lovers: HP and Palm, who will be joined in corporate matrimony this summer. (Awwww!) Tomorrow I’ll take a look at the fighters, as Microsoft moves against alleged patent infringement by Android.

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Project Pink is no longer just a rumor: Microsoft is aiming to make it even easier to send compromising drunken photos and videos of your friends’ Lady Gaga impressions to your Facebook account and prospective employers. The company today unveiled the Kin One and Kin Two, a pair of cute and surprisingly innovative phones aimed at the OMG txt me!! set. Driven by the DNA of 2008 Microsoft acquisition Danger, creators of the similarly candy-like Sidekick phones, the Kin is designed from the bottom up for sharing. The phones combine all your contacts from your phone book, email, Facebook, Twitter and other accounts into a one big social mashup, and then make it easy to send photos, videos and messages back and forth to your similarly info-addicted friends.

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