Opera Launches Platform Independent Opera Mobile Store in More Than 200 Countries

Opera Software has tied up with Appia to launch Opera Mobile Store, an app store for mobile devices that supports pretty much every popular mobile platform under the sun, except iPhone and Windows Phone 7. Of course, supporting those two platforms is more than a little tricky for third party application repositories due to their locked down nature.

Opera Mobile Store will be integrated with Opera Mini and Opera Mobile in the form of a speed dial entry. This means that Opera will have direct access to approximately hundred million users around the globe. During its trial phase in February, the Opera Mobile Store attracted more than 15 million users, from 200 countries, amassing more than 700,000 downloads per day.


Opera Mobile Store is available at mobilestore.opera.com and features both free and paid apps. The app catalog is automatically user tailored based on his operating system, device resolution, country, currency and language. Platforms currently supported are Android, Java, Windows Mobile, Symbian, BlackBerry, and Palm.

The launch of the Opera Mobile Store supports Opera’s core belief in an open, cross-platform mobile Internet experience by providing Opera users with an integrated storefront of mobile applications,said Mahi de Silva, Exec. Vice President, Consumer Mobile, Opera Software. Our partnership with Appia delivers to all Opera Mobile and Opera Mini users easy access to a wide variety of great content, on any device, all over the world.

Opera Software has also launched the Opera Publisher Portal, which allows developers to submit their applications. Developers will get 70% of the net revenue generated by them, while Opera Software will keep the rest. Unlike the Android Market, Opera Mobile Store is moderated, and every app is manually approved. In the past Apple has received a lot of flak for their policy on adult apps. Opera has taken a similar approach with Mobile Store by banning all erotic content. However, unlike the iOS App Store, Opera Mobile Store doesn’t charge any subscription fee, and is completely free.

Convert your iPhone/iPod Touch Or Any WiFi Enabled gadget to foobar2000 Remote


I have a WiFi network setup which covers my apartment. I’m a music buff as well, and music is almost always playing while I’m working/browsing.

Now more often than not, I would be generally working on my office laptop – testing/ coding/ documentation / something of that sort and my music collection is on my personal laptop. I’ve often wanted to control the music – skip it/ pause / jump to specific songs, and started about searching the best way to do so.

The most obvious solution was to use the Remote app for the iPhone/ iPod Touch. There was a slight problem with this. Remote app uses Bonjour, and that means I’d have to use iTunes as my media player. For the record – I hate iTunes. It’s a POS application which I’m forced to use for syncing my music and I try to use it sparingly. I love foobar2000. I started out searching for alternatives to Remote, and found this neat little plugin – foo_touchremote, but it was rather unpredictable and would crash foobar often. Another big problem was that I’d have to re authenticate foo_touchremote everytime I leave & rejoin my WiFi network – which is atleast 2-3 times a day. Very annoying.

That plus there would a dependency on the iPhone/ iPod Touch on the rare occasion that I’d have to give up my iPhone, so I started searching for more “open” (*snark*) solutions.

The thing which came to my mind when thinking about an “open” solution was use to an http server (plugin? ) so that any device with a semi-capable browser could handle this. After searching for a bit, I came across HTTP Control Plugin [foo_httpcontrol] which would be the foundation.

Going about doing this

So here’s how you set it up. Download the archive, and move foo_httpcontrol.dll file to your Program Files\\foobar2000\\components directory


Copy the foo_httpcontrol_data directory to %appdata%\\foobar2000 directory ( %appdata% refers to Users\\AppData\\Roaming folder).


Grab any of the templates. Save the template folder under %appdata%\\foobar2000\\foo_httpcontrol_data folder.


Next, launch foobar2000. Goto File – > Preferences Menu.


Click on HTTP Control to bring up the subpage.


Now, the screen maybe confusing but we really need to focus on “Listen on:” area, more than anything


Listen on allows you to define the IP address on which the server should run ( read: your computer). Now, before you rush off to enter your system IP address, remember couple of things:

  • The WiFi network is bound to be DHCP based, meaning the IP address is assigned automatically by the router
  • If you have multiple devices, the IP address is likely to changed. Meaning, that everytime the IP changes, you might have to stop and start the service.

You have 2 possible solutions to overcome this:

  • Let your router remain DHCP configured, but put up a static IP for your system. This way, your IP will never be assigned to any other devices
  • Some routers can reserve IP address and bind them to the MAC id. This way, when the system connects to the WiFi network, the router checks the MAC id and if a reservation is available, then assigns the IP. This is what I had done.


I’d recommend that you use the router’s DHCP reservation feature, else fallback to static IP assignment.

Right, back to foobar, enter the IP of your system and a random port. Put a check mark against “Start server” and click on Apply. Your server is ready.


Click on the open link to open your browser


So the basics are set. Use any device and point to your IP address. If you don;t want to type in the full IP address:port combination, copy that, and use a URL shortener like j.mp or bit.ly and set your custom name, and use that URL to control foobar2000.

As a bonus, if you have an iPhone/ iPod Touch, open the URL in Safari and use the “Add to Home screen” feature and make it act as an app as well.

4Eeks.png dWQGq.png Jq4qd.png

This is how it looks with the kevo template on my iPhone


If you’re paranoid about security, foo_httpcontrol allows you to restrict access to only specific IPs or even the standard username / password scheme


At the bottom, of the screen you will see some advanced settings. – it’s recommended that you leave them as how it was configured.


The concept is pretty simple, and with this approach, you can convert any Wifi enabled device into your own music remote control.

Android Gains Market Share in US, Microsoft on A Downslide

comScore has released their U.S smartphone report for the period ending July 2010 and according to them the Android OS has surpassed Windows Mobile in terms of market share.   comScore This was pretty obvious with Android rapidly gaining market share all over the world. Microsoft’s only hope to bounce back now solely depends on their upcoming mobile OS WP7.

RIM is still the market leader in the U.S with a market share of 39.3%, down by 1.8% from the previous comScore report. Apple’s iOS comes in second with a market share of 23.8%, down by 1.3%. Android managed to gain 5% from the previous comScore report and has a market share of 17%. According to comScore’s report, nearly 53.4 million people in the U.S own a smartphone, which is up by 11% from their last report.

Ironically, comScore report did not say anything about the worldwide leader in mobile OS – Symbian. Click here for more interesting stats from comScore.

Is Android Free? Microsoft Does Not Think So

Everyone is of the opinion that Google Android operating system is free. They do not charge a licensing fee and anyone is free to use it. So it is free right?

Well, Microsoft says not quite. According to Microsoft, Android has many hidden costs and if all these costs are combined Android cost more than Windows Phone 7. Incidentally Microsoft is charging $15 for each Windows Phone 7 license. Microsoft argues that their $15 license is a better deal for OEMs.

These are the reasons why Android is costlier than Windows Mobile 7 according to Microsoft are:

  1. OEMs are not using the stock Android build. All Android OEMs are bearing costs beyond free.
  2. Lawsuits over disputed Android IP have been costly for Android OEMs.
  3. The Android landscape is fragmented with all sorts of hardware. OEMs have to spend resources into developing drivers for these hardware.
  4. The update architecture of Android means that OEMs having to sink engineering resources into each and every Android update.
  5. Android OEMs need to pay for licenses for many must-have features that are standard in Windows Phone 7. For example audio/video codecs.
  6. Quality Assurance on Android devices are more expensive than Windows Phone 7 because Windows Phone 7 has automated testing.
  7. Creating equivalents of Zune, XBox LIVE etc. on Android devices will be costly.

There are some good points there. But I think some are flawed. For example, I do not agree with the first point. Yes many OEMs do not use the stock Android and that costs resources. But it is the OEMs which choses to customize it; Android (or should I say Google) is not forcing them to do it. It is called freedom – something which Microsoft will never understand.

What do you think? Do you think Windows Mobile 7 is cheaper than Android?


HTC HD2 Gets A Fully Functional Android Froyo ROM

The HTC HD2 was among the first few phones in the mobile market to feature the 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, and 512MB of RAM. It was also among the first few phones to feature a mammoth 4.3-inch screen. However, theHTC HD2 phone was let down by its OS Windows Mobile 6.5. Many people, who purchased the HD2 at that time, expected the phone to be upgraded to Windows Phone 7. However, Microsoft said that the HD2 won’t be getting the WP7 update, and dashed the hopes of many HD2 owners.

Nevertheless, the modding community did not lose hope and started porting Android to HD2. Earlier, many Android ROMs were available for the HD2 but they had some deal-breaking issues like no 3G, camera issues etc. Now a fully functional Froyo based ROM for the HD2 is available on the internet. The folks over at HDBlog.it have even posted a video of the ROM running on the HD2.

I will surely suggest all HD2 owners to dump Windows Mobile 6.5 running on their device, and shift to this Android Froyo based ROM.

Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM For HTC Touch Pro With HTC Sense 2.5

A new Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM has been released for the HTC Touch Pro. The ROM includes HTC Sense 2.5, video call support, adobe reader, FM radio, WiFi Sharing and Windows Live among other features.

HTC Touch Pro Windows Mobile 6.5 Screenshots

The unofficial Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM has been created by a XDA forum member and is named James72 ITA. The language of the HTC Sense 2.5 used in the ROM is Italian. The WinMo 6.5 ROM is only for HTC Touch Pro aka HTC T7272.

You can download the ROM for HTC Touch Pro from here. Please make sure to backup your device before you flash your ROM.

Mozilla Stops Firefox Development For Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7

Mozilla has been building a version of Firefox for Windows Mobile devices for quite some time now with anticipation that Microsoft might increase it’s market share. The Windows Phone 7 announcement was watched quite keenly by the Mozilla team and that in turn is base on Window CE 6, which is a completely different platform from the earlier Windows Mobile OS.

Firefox Mobile

However, developing for Windows Phone 7 was not easy considering the restrictions placed on developers. In addition to that, Mozilla also cited that Windows Phone 7 has a closed platform and does not support development of native applications through a NDK. For that reason, Mozilla today announced that they are stopping development of Firefox for all Windows Mobile based devices including the upcoming Windows Phone 7.

While we think Windows Phone 7 looks interesting and has the potential to do well in the market, Microsoft has unfortunately decided to close off development to native applications.   Because of this, we won’t be able to provide Firefox for Windows Phone 7 at this time.   Given that Microsoft is staking their future in mobile on Windows Mobile 7 (not 6.5) and because we don’t know if or when Microsoft will release a native development kit, we are putting our Windows Mobile development on hold.

This is definitely bad news for Firefox lovers who have been waiting in anticipation for the Firefox browser on Windows Mobile based devices. Quite recently, a Mozilla developer had written a open letter rant directed at Steve Ballmer with regards to this issue. However, it now looks like the entire Mozilla mobile team has taken it to heart, and have decided that they will not develop for Windows Phone 7 until a proper development platform is provided.

Clarification: The post linked in this article was written up by Stuart Parmenter who is the Mobile Team Technical Lead, Mozilla Corporation. Thanks for the letting us know about the missing info Iftikhar.

MIX 10 Day 1: Windows Phone 7 Applications And How To

Microsoft kicked of MIX10 with Joe Belfiore talking about Windows Phone 7 Series and giving a quick run through of the phone. Today’s keynote was all about applications for the Windows Phone 7 Series and how to develop them. Microsoft demonstrated a few applications showcasing what the developers can do and announced tools that the developers would require to code the same. Microsoft has pulled off a genius move by allowing developers to use their existing knowledge about common technologies like .net and popular technologies like XNA and Silverlight to code applications for Windows Phone 7 Series devices, which I’ve written about in a previous post. Microsoft had recently showed how you can start a game on the desktop continue it on your phone and then finish it on the Xbox 360, the demo went to show that a lot of code for the game on the different platforms overlapped.

Today, Microsoft has released all necessary tools to begin development for Windows Phone 7 Series applications and the cool part is, all the tools are free. The package includes:

  • CTP of Visual Studio 2010 Express
  • Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator
  • Silverlight
  • XNA Game Studio

It’s a 290 MB download through a 3.2 MB installer – Download

Microsoft showcased some 3rd party developer apps as well that included:

Seesmic and Foursquare:

seesmic_web foursquare_web

Trust me, this is the best Foursquare client you’ve seen yet. The iPhone app doesn’t even compare.

Associated Press client:


Subtle backgrounds for the type of news you’re reading.

3D Game Harvest:


Other applications showed included a Comic Book reader app and the Netflix app amongst others. In one of the sessions after the keynote, Microsoft showed a LG and Samsung Windows Phone 7 Series device to the attendees. The basic specs (via Neowin) for a Windows Phone 7 Series device are:

  • 3 hardware buttons – Start, Search, and Back
  • Capacitive touch screen with 4 or more contact points
  • Only two possible screen resolutions – 800×480 and 480×320
  • A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity
  • 5 MP camera with flash and dedicated camera button
  • Codec acceleration for multimedia
  • 256MB RAM with 8GB flash for storage
  • DirectX 9 accelerated GPU
  • ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion CPU

Video showing the LG and Samsung Windows Phone 7 Series devices:

According to information on twitter:

  • A developer will get 70% of the cost of the app.
  • The applications will have to be passed by Microsoft.

In a blog post on the team blog, Microsoft has put up details about the Windows Phone marketplace. The blog post loosely defines Microsoft’s guidelines for developers who want their applications to be featured in the marketplace:

  • Always work well and reliably
  • Do no harm
  • Are legal and of generally good taste

Forumla1 (F1) App For iPhone And Windows Mobile

Formula1 has launched the official F1 app for Windows Mobile based phones and the iPhone in association with Vodafone.

Formula1 Windows Mobile

The app was officially released by Formula1 and will allow users to view the race news, season calendar, race timelines and race results among other things.

Formula1 iPhone

The app is currently available as a free download for Windows Mobile devices and the , hopefully they will also release similar app for Symbian based phones. However, users for platforms not supported by the app can always access a similar interface by visiting mobile.formula1.com from their mobile browser.

Formula1 (F1) Mobile App Features

  • Season calendar, race timetables & circuit profiles
  • Interviews, features & technical analysis
  • Extensive galleries, from races, testing, launches & more
  • Full results archive back to 1950
  • Team and driver profiles, including every world champion
  • Rules & regulations

You can download the official Forumla1 App for Windows Mobile by visiting this page, the download for iPhone is available at iTunes here.

HTC Touch Pro3 Coming To Europe in Q3? [Rumors]

Windows Phone 7 will not be launched until late this year, however, there are rumors that the HTC Touch Pro3 may make its debut in Europe in the 3rd quarter of 2010.

HTC Touch Pro3

According to a post on XDA, there are indications that HTC Touch Pro3 will launch in the 3rd quarter of 2010 in Europe, this will definitely mean that the device will not be running Windows Phone 7 and may instead be loaded with Windows Mobile 6.5.

The rumors come from a XDA forum member who knows the main distributor of HTC Europe and claims that he received the HTC Touch Pro2 4 months before it made it to the market.

Just had a dinner with a friend of mine who is the main distributor for HTC in Europe, and he informed that they will receive the first shipment of Touch Pro3’s this summer and they will be on sale in Europe third quarter of this year.

The forum user also added that the device will be smaller and slimmer than the earlier versions of the Touch Pro. Considering that Windows Mobile phones are not doing that well, it will be interesting to see if HTC does launch the Touch Pro3 before Windows Phone 7 makes it debut.

However, the Pro3 might definitely get a Windows Phone 7 upgrade in the future even if it is released before it, considering that it is the future on mobile computing for Windows based phones.

The release date is mere speculation right now and Touch Pro3 might actually come out with Windows Phone 7, let’s hope for some official confirmation from HTC on that.