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  • Editing Team 17:31 on November 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , connect, Microsoft, , , ,   

    Windows Phone 8 Tips: Connect Bluetooth Devices via NFC 

    If you have ever connected your PC or phone to a Bluetooth device, you know that it requires multiple steps, which usually include typing a code in order to configure the pairing. But if you have an NFC-enabled speaker, such as the Nokia Play 360 Bluetooth Speaker, you can pair an NFC-enabled Windows Phone 8 handset much more easily.

    To pair the two devices, just tap the phone to the speaker.

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    On the phone, you’ll see a prompt box asking you if you’d like to pair the devices and, if required, turn on Bluetooth.

    Windows-Phone8-connect-Bluetooth-device-NFC-rfid-blog2

    And that’s the whole process. The phone will then quickly issue a happy connection-made sound and you can start playing music — the sound will come from the Bluetooth speaker.

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    In case you’re curious about the mechanics of this connection, here’s how it works: NFC is used here to initiate the connection, or pairing, while Bluetooth is still used, as before, for the actual connection.

     
  • Editing Team 23:29 on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Microsoft, , , ,   

    Microsoft Announced New Windows Phone SDK 8.0 with NFC Wallet API 

    Microsoft-Windows-Phone-SDK-8.0-NFC-Wallet-API-rfid-blogMicrosoft has announced the new Windows Phone SDK 8.0, which includes new tools for testing and debugging, a Wallet API to help developers make money with their apps, and tools for building and adding such features as voice recognition, VoIP, and camera integration.

    The new SDK provides standalone IDE (integrated development environment), using the Visual Studio Express 2012 edition, for developers to build Windows Phone 8 applications. It also provides an add-in to the Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium, or Ultimate editions.

    To help developers cash in on their apps, Windows Phone 8 has introduced the Wallet, which is capable of collecting coupons, credit cards, and loyalty numbers from a single location; managing payment instruments in the app and music store; and making contactless transactions via NFC. According to Microsoft, the Wallet API offers full programmatic access to the Wallet, allowing developers to create, read, update, and delete Wallet items.

    The SDK also includes tools for helping developers spruce up their apps. For example, developers can create camera apps, dubbed a lens in Microsoft vernacular. A lens opens from the platform’s built-in camera app for users to shoot pictures on the spot. Rich-media lenses support the viewing and editing of digital photos; the lens feature also can be used for scanning bar codes and displaying related data from a local folder.

    Additionally, the SDK includes tools for adding three types of speech components to their apps: voice commands, speech recognition, and text-to-speech. Using the voice command functionality, developers can set up their apps so that phrases link to specific app pages, perform specific tasks, or initiate actions. Speech recognition, though similar in concept, is developed in a different way with a different API, according to Microsoft. The key difference between the two: Speech recognition occurs inside an app, while voice commands occur outside.

    The SDK also enables developers to build VoIP (Voice over IP) apps, enabling users to make audio and video calls over their data connections. The apps integrate with the Windows Phone 8 platform such that incoming calls are displayed with the same phone UI as regular calls.

    The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is available at the Windows Phone website.

     
  • Editing Team 22:28 on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Microsoft, , , ,   

    Windows Phone 8 Continues to be NFC-capable 

    Windows-Phone8-NFC-rfid-blogWindows Phone 8 was confirmed to continue to support NFC technology, allowing users to tap to pay at an NFC terminal at a cash register or pay station, using NFC-enabled mobile device.

    Windows Phone 8 users will be able to store credit cards in the virtual wallet on their phone. However, so far there are no announcements from Microsoft on making NFC phone support partnerships with any of the major Australian banks.

    A MicroSD card will also be available, so users can have expanded memory on their Windows Phone 8 to store more content.

    Microsoft Australia developer, Dave Glover, said the vendor is offering full encryption and support for enterprise customers who deploy Windows Phone 8.

    In addition, organizations will be able to control the deployment of apps onto Windows Phone devices that are used by employees.

    “In terms of where we are trying to get to with the Windows Phone 8 platform is a consistent user experience, choice and prices,” he said.

     
  • Editing Team 17:54 on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Microsoft, , ,   

    Mobile Wallet & NFC — the Next Patents Battleground 

    NFC-mobile-wallet-war-Google-Apple-Microsoft-rfid-blogLast week, a California court decided Samsung infringed on various patents related to the iPhone and Apple was awarded $1 billion. Thus far, the smartphone wars entered a critical phase.

    Yesterday, Robin Dua, Google Wallet project manager, announced that he wanted to add more features to the app, including support for movie tickets, boarding passes, ID cards, and gift cards. The idea is to leave your leather wallet at home and carry your phone to do all transactions from getting a bus to buying a coffee.

    However, at the WWDC in July, Apple also demonstrated a new Passbook app that allows users to gather all their passes in one place, including boarding passes and sports tickets. The app enables users to scan coupons with their iPhones or iPod touch devices, such as getting into a concert or checking into hotels.

    Yet, Microsoft also has big plans for this area. It appears to be progressing with its WalletHub for Windows Phone 8, emphasizing enhanced security. At a recent Windows Phone keynote, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore demonstrated the NFC capabilities of forthcoming devices. He also talked about NFC tags in posters for apps, or using NFC to execute a call to a taxi, or using tags on business cards to receive contact information.

    Although NFC is the one area that Apple has been very quiet about, it does make sense that a device as predominant as the iPhone will play a role in this rapidly unfolding m-commerce area.

    As many people expect, mobile payment and digital wallet could be the next big thing in the next five years. So what’s the next big move from these mobile giants? Stay tuned as we’ll be learning more about it.

     
  • Editing Team 10:23 on July 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Microsoft, , ,   

    Microsoft’s New Wallet Service with SIM-based NFC 

    Microsoft-Windows-Phone8-SIM-nfc-rfid-blogThe tech giant Microsoft has unveiled a digital wallet and SIM-based NFC to its latest operating system, Windows Phone 8.

    The new OS was unveiled at a summit in June. Joe Belfiore, who takes charge of Windows Phone product definition and design, claimed that the mobile wallet Microsoft has developed will be the most complete wallet experience on any smartphone when it launches this fall.

    Like Apple’s new Passbook app, the wallet aims to replace its counterpart by acting as a central hub where users can store their entire debit, credit and membership cars and coupons. These third party apps are integrated into the wallet through an API, which means users can do things such as check balances and collect coupons from one place.

    Unlike Apple, Microsoft is also making an NFC play to enable users to make low value contactless payments with the cards in their wallet through a tap of the handset at the point-of-sale.

    In contrast to another rival, Google, Microsoft has opted for a secure NFC SIM-based system, while Google chose to put the secure element in the device. Belfiore stated at the summit that Google’s decision has had some “unfortunate side effects”. Operators snubbed it because they want a SIM-based system that allows customers to keep it from one phone to the next.

    The launch operator partner for the Wallet, Orange, has praised Microsoft’s choice for SIM. Orange will be first to market with the full wallet service when it launches in France at fall, but all phones with the new OS will include the wallet hub whether they have the secure SIM or not, which means that customers will still be able to store third party apps.

    Belfiore also revealed that Microsoft has also been working with Isis, the US consortium of telcos that is building its own wallet, and expects to have its system on Isis at some point next year.

     
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