HTC 8x in market

HTC has finally launched HTC 8x its smart phone series for windows phone 8. Nokia Lumia 920 has already been reviewed a lot, and was into screens earlier. Lets see what HTC brings in.

 

HTC took the veil of their 8X device featuring Windows Phone 8 recently. The  phone looks really good on the paper. First things first, so I will be writing  about the specs in the later part of this article. HTC mentioned in the press  release that the Windows Phone 8X flagship will be coming with a dedicated audio  amplifier apart from the Beats Audio that most of the HTC phones come with. Yes,  the phone is actually said to feature a 2.55v amplifier that should greatly  increase sound output and push the device’s speaker or any other enhancement  connected to its limits.

When I saw the picture of the 8X which is just 0.39” thick, I thought to  myself – “how loud can this phone be anyways?”, but seems like the company has  put in a lot of effort into this device in order to make it stand out of the  crowd. Below is a video shot by WPCentral which shows the additional 2.55v  amplifier in action.

As you can hear in the demo, the Adele song is blasting through the phone’s  speaker up to a point that you can’t hear what the person is saying exactly.  According to WPCentral, it’s difficult to get “real feel” via video, and the  additional amplifier is said to indeed make a difference. The audio output is  strikingly loud with no distortion. Connecting the device to an external speaker  should do wonders, perfect for a media savvy buyer. The music output is pretty  powerful going by smartphone standards.

Apart from the inbuilt amplifier, which is of course a good selling point and  will definitely make the device stand out of the crowd, HTC 8X will be sporting  a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2 Ghz, though there’s no information on the  brand or chipset being used. Coupled with 1 gig RAM and 16 gig ROM, the phone  should be snappy. Yes, most of the high end smartphones are coming with 2 gig of  RAM these days, and it is fast becoming a standard, but seems like Windows Phone  8 is not that RAM hungry and 1 gig should be just sufficient enough. It is  equipped with a 4.3” display (720 x 1280 pixels) that at 342 ppi has an  extremely high pixel density.

HTC is not known for implementing camera sensors with high megapixels in its  device, and company seems to be in tune with that standard even with Windows  Phone 8 devices. The device will be making use of an 8 megapixels  back-illuminated sensor (BSI) with f/2.0 lens and an ultra-wide angle  front-facing camera. The main camera is capable of shooting videos at 1080p HD,  which is a great feature to have and can be a selling point too. The phone will  be featuring NFC.

The front camera which is 2MP shooter can shoot a view of 88 degree angle,  “allowing up to four people and more to be captured at once”. What are your  thoughts on HTC Windows Phone 8X.

 

Windows Phone 7 Hub for Pakistan as well now!! Hurray

Microsoft is expanding the availability of the Dev Center (http://dev.windowsphone.com) for Pakistan. Now you can register your own developer account with Microsoft and if you follow the migration instructions below, Microsoft will reimburse your first year membership to Dev Center. Dev Center provides you access to additional features such as:

1. Ability to submit unlimited ‘paid’ apps* and 100 ‘free’ apps directly
2. Ability to unlock 3 devices
3. Direct access to downloads, royalty, and crash reports
4. Ability to update account data
5. Country/region specific pricing
6. New reporting views
7. Simplified process for submitting apps
8. Submit apps to almost two hundred countries/regions
9. Can now have 10,000 beta testers
10. View all reviews in one place

Existing Users of YallaApps can also migrate there apps to dev center now.

Handy snippet to check the memory allocation in windows phone 7

At times we need to see how much memory our system is consuming at any stage. Just add the below line under the code:

Debug.WriteLine(“After loading of pictures ” + (Convert.ToInt32(DeviceExtendedProperties.GetValue(“ApplicationCurrentMemoryUsage”)) / 1024) / 1024 + “MB”);

Say after loading of images in a listbox, add this line and you will see that how much memory all images are taking after loading on wp7 screen.

How to play a sounds on any event in windows phone 7

Here is a snippet on how to play a sounds on any event in windows phone 7.
 

   privatevoid PlayButtonSound()

{

       var stream = TitleContainer.OpenStream(“resources/Sounds/button-3.wav”);

       var effect = SoundEffect.FromStream(stream);

       FrameworkDispatcher.Update();

effect.Play();

}

Images take up a lot of memory in Windows phone 7 – WHY?

I was recently encountered by a terryfying windows phone 7 memory problem, i was creating an app in which images were downloaded from the internet. On first screen there were around 16 images of sizes upto 300KB max. But eventually at the end of rendering the memory taken up by the app was 80 to 90 MB. This was surprisingly aweful for me, as Microsoft will refuse to certify your app if you exceed the memory limits.  Here’s the relevant section of the certification guidelines.

5.2.5  Memory Consumption      An application must not exceed 90 MB of RAM usage, except on devices that have more than 256 MB of memory. You can use the DeviceExtendedProperties class to query the amount of memory that is available on the device and modify the application behavior at runtime to take advantage of additional memory.

What to do, What to do, thoughts… The dilema was that on the very next page, i was going to download even larger images, and that racks up the memory to 270+ MB.. and eventually “Out of memory” exception. Other big problem is that when wp7 page navigate to other page, it keeps the previous page’s memory intact, I definately need to wipe out memory when it moves to next page.

I tried with GC.Collect() making null every Webclient object, even the control which had images i set that to null but the problem persisted. I was using a BitmapImage object, i set the object to null as well and GC.Collect, but that did’nt do it either.

Then i came to some heaven blog and found a solution that, setting the BitmapObject to null would’nt do it. But  if i set the source of the bitmap Object to null, that will sort things out.

bitmapImage.ImageSource =null;
This cleared the image cached into Bitmap Objects.. and the app was memory happy again. I hope this helps all the guys who are banging there heads on windows phone 7.

Imagine Cup 2012 and MEA Phone Challenge

Imagine Cup 2012 – Pakistan National Finals’ (www.imaginecup.com) and ‘MEA Phone 7 Challenge Great Finals’ (www.meawp7challenge.com) on 27th of April, 2012 at International Islamic University – Faisal Mosque Campus.

Imagine Cup 2012 Pakistan

Q: What is the Imagine Cup?
A: The Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. It provides an opportunity for students to use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to help solve global challenges and make a difference in the world. While competing for cash and prizes, students learn new skills, make new friends, and, quite possibly, change the world.

Now in its tenth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real world problems. Last year, more than 350,000 students from 183 countries and regions entered the Imagine Cup competition. The Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft is encouraging the brightest young minds to join together and, using technology, take on the toughest problems facing our world today.

Q: What is the theme of Imagine Cup 2012?
A: This year’s theme is “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.” The Imagine Cup empowers students to use their creative and technical abilities to make a positive impact on society. Students are creating technology solutions that combat diseases, improve education, ensure environmental sustainability, reduce child mortality, and tackle other social challenges.

Q: What is the date and venue of Imagine Cup 2012 Pakistan National Final?

A: The Imagine Cup Pakistan National Final will be held on 27th of April, 2012 from 05:00pm till 07:30pm at International Islamic University (Faisal Mosque Campus).

Q: What are the dates of Imagine Cup 2012 WW Finals?
A: The Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals will be hosted in Sydney, Australia, July 6-10, 2012.

Some more Points:

  • Now in its tenth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to become a global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems.
  • Students are creating technology solutions that combat diseases, improve education, ensure environmental sustainability reduce child mortality, and tackle other social challenges.
  • Last year, more than 350,000 students representing 183 countries and regions entered the competition.
  • This year, the Worldwide Finals will be held in Sydney, Australia, July 6-10, 2012.
  • Students are taking our new and existing technologies such as Windows 8, Kinect Fun Labs, Windows Phone and Azure to a whole new level with this year’s Imagine Cup

 

MEA Phone 7 Challenge

MEA Windows Phone 7 Challenge is a student technology contest which has been conceived to attract entries from students across the Middle East and Africa region to develop Windows Phone 7 compatible applications.

As part of this competition, contestants need to send innovative contest entries based on Microsoft Windows Phone technologies that address the theme: Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.

The Contest is split into five Rounds with the fifth round being the final round to select the eventual winner.

On 26th and 27th of April, 2012 fifth round titled as ‘MEA Phone 7 Challenge Great Final’ will be held at ‘International Islamic University – Faisal Mosque Campus’. This final will be held between the winning teams of Round 1 to 4.

It’s a moment of great pride to share that out of 8 Microsoft Subsidiaries (79 countries), students from Pakistan won the round 1, 2 and 4 of this competition.