Windows Phone 7 coming to Europe 1st

Gadgetlab writes about Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 which appears to be coming to Europe 1st in October then the US in November time.

Personally I’d need something amazing to happen to want to get into Microsoft’s new mobile OS. Perhaps if they added some kind of emulation so you could run old Windows Mobile apps on it somehow, or if there was a totally killer app, or rather a decent handful of mobile music apps, then I’d consider it.

I’m interested in hearing from any developers who are looking at this OS for mobile music, or any users seriously considering it too.

Big Intermorphic update

Intermorphic have announced a big update to their products Mixtikl, Noatikl and Liptikl.

The iPhone / iPad app for Mixtikl has been submitted to Apple so will follow along in a few days hopefully, especially as Intermorphic have added support for pasteboard into this version of Mixtikl.

Here’s what’s in the new version of Mixtikl.

  • New extensive & customisable randomisation capabilities to allow easier creation of new mixes
  • Several new dialogs that improve usability (incl. Content Cell and FX Cell screens)
  • Find recent mixes more easily with MRU operation in Open screen
  • iDevice: Much faster UI response for all versions (dialogs, screens, scrolling lists)
  • iPhone: 4 high-def “retinal” skin
  • iDevice: iOS4 fast app switching, and playback that continues when Mixtikl is backgrounded
  • iDevice: Audio file import via Intua clipboard (Apple General Pasteboard) supporting: WAV, AU, Ogg and MIDI files
  • Tap top-right in many lists toggles to top/bottom of list
  • Tap Content cell for new Content Cell Menu; Tap/hold of Content Cell now loops /un-loops cell
  • Better, cleaner UI with an increased mix area in the mixer screen
  • Start-up progress text displayed in the start screen
  • Track/Global FX now colour-coded in the mixer screen, and faded out when disabled
  • Improved trigger/one-shot cell behaviour

Full details of the updates to their other apps can be found here.


    Some other views on Windows 7

    After my last post on Windows Phone 7 I though I’d write find a few alternative opinions from that of the Guardian.

    Wired’s Gadgetlab has good things to say and has video on a first look with Windows Phone 7. Mobilecrunch also takes a long look at Microsoft’s return to the mobile market, and I was especially interested in their conclusions.

    These are certainly more balanced views on what Microsoft will bring to the table in a few months, but all seem to share the concern over whether developers will return to Windows Phone 7 and build applications for it to make it really live and breath.

    Certainly from a mobile music perspective it has a long way to come before it get to equal footing with iOS or Android.

    Is Windows Phone 7 a disaster?

    I was reading this piece in the Guardian over the weekend about Windows Phone 7. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything so damning about an operating system.

    I had hoped that Microsoft might produce something that would at least compete with Android and iOS, but if you read this and it is right, they don’t stand a chance.

    More on Windows Phone 7

    Wired Gadgetlab talks more about Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft’s cloud capacity. Actually it sounds quite good. If there were some actual music apps for the platform it might be worth taking a look.

    Windows Phone 7 tools into beta

    Microsoft brings their Windows Phone developer tools into beta according to mobilecrunch, but will we see any music apps for Microsoft’s new mobile platform?

    Aurora Sounds Studio platform comparison

    I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now, and I’ve finally got to it at last. It is an interesting experiment to use the same software on 3 platforms, well 3 devices anyway.

    I’m going to break this into three parts, one for each of the different devices and platforms then give you my conclusions at the end.

    Aurora on Windows Mobile
    Aurora has been on Windows Mobile since it first launched. I’ve been using it since it first launched, at least on and off.

    I went back to my trusty Axim over the weekend and started playing with it again. Sometimes when you go back to an app that you’ve enjoyed a lot in the past it can be a disappointment, but not so with Aurora. It worked on my Axim brilliantly and I was making music straight away.

    Pattern based music has been pretty popular since the iPhone came out, and Aurora was a surprise when it was announced in September of last year. As a pattern based sequencer goes Aurora is very versatile indeed. The WinMo version has lots of capability to change sounds and FX and was really easy to use.

    Aurora on iPhone
    Of all the three devices I liked Aurora on my iPhone the least for some reason. I can’t really put my finger on it, but it could be moving from a stylus on my Axim to the same software on my iPhone and using my finger.

    Essentially the app is the same, the only downside is moving data around. You can get so used to exporting to an SD card (in Windows Mobile) and picking up exported WAV files in another app. More of that another day though.

    So whilst the app performed fine on my iPhone I wasn’t as happy with the experience, but that could be more to do with the sequence of devices I used.

    Aurora on the iPad
    Ok, this is the on that’s caused the most controversy. The things that Aurora HD has over and above the iPhone (and WinMo) versions are a full screen mixer. effects rack view, ability to solo and mute individual layers, new layer mix palette, synth engine features combined into a single screen, file sharing via FTP, use accelerometer to control XY mode and now MIDI export as well.

    So, are these addition features any good? Well, certainly the full screen mixer is a great feature and I found it really useful when making a track with the HD app. Having controls all in one palette is also very useful indeed.

    Of all the versions I found the HD to be the most satisfying and straightforward for making music.

    Some conclusions and thoughts on price
    So, the big issue has been price right? Let’s look at what all three apps cost:

    Aurora on Windows Mobile – $29.95
    Aurora on iPhone – $9.99
    Aurora on iPad – $39.99

    So whilst there’s a big difference between the iPhone and iPad versions, when you look at it in terms of the Windows Mobile version the differential is only $10. I think that the iPhone version is very good value from that perspective.

    One last thing is that I’d like to say is that whilst the iPad version is towards the top end of the iPad price range, iPad apps have been appearing at consistently higher prices than iPhone apps and usually for a larger set of features. I don’t have a problem with this if it means that we get better mobile apps coming through. The iPad market is considerably smaller than the iPhone market, and so developers need bigger margins to make it worthwhile. I think that’s fair, and when set against the price of a Windows Mobile app like Griff which could cost you over £100 to buy all the plugins, Aurora on the iPad is not an expensive piece of software.

    I hope that’s useful to you. I’m sure that there will be plenty of different views on this, and I’m looking forward to hearing them.

    Sunvox in the woods …

    Mixtikl stability update available

    The Mixtikl update has been released. This update delivers much improved stability and is currently going through the Apple approval process for iPhone and iPad users.

    Sunvox demo track

    I think I missed posting this video before

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