Telstra Previews Windows Phone 7 Apps

Telstra has long made a habit of customising phone interfaces with its own specific applications. That hasn't always proved popular with users who would prefer the native interface, but judging from an early look at its Telstra One Hub application for Windows Phone 7, it's done a pretty good job of adding its own content in a way that's sympathetic to the Microsoft phone OS's design.

(Click on the image for a larger version.)

I had a brief play with an early version of Telstra's Windows Phone 7 suite at Microsoft's Tech Ed conference on the Gold Coast. Seducing developers into producing applications for Microsoft's next version of Windows for phones is a major agenda item at the conference.

The Telstra suite covers pretty much the functions you'd expect: access to news headlines (with a big emphasis on sport) and weather details, and quick links to other Telstra properties like the White Pages and Trading Post. Many of these links weren't working in the version I tried, but the panoramic scrolling between news stories and weather worked very smoothly, and emulated pretty closely the general tile-based experience that Windows Phone 7 offers. (The screen grab shows the entire app, with the area you can see on a typical phone screen highlighted.)

There's no doubt Microsoft has its work cut out trying to get major market share for Windows Phone 7, given the popularity of iPhone and Android devices amongst smart phone consumers and the continuing dominance of BlackBerry in the business market (to say nothing of Nokia's grip on the value market). However, if enough productivity apps come along that match this level of performance, it could be an interesting contender when it arrives, allegedly before Christmas.

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Comments

    No matter what, if the carrier modifies the phone in anyway I won't buy it unless I can debrand it. I've not seen one 'value-add' modification to date. The one thing Apple got right was stopping the telcos from touching their phones. It just removed another layer preventing timely updates (look at the gap between Froyo on HTC Desire vs Telstra HTC Desire).

    I'll give Telstra a point for trying, their implementations on Android have been abysmal.

    * Currently using a debranded HTC Desire.

      Agree.

      Own a Nexus One (direct from Google). Will never buy a branded Android phone. I imaging WinMo will have the same issues.

      I really don't see the point of writing / testing / deploying a layer of crap people don't want over a perfectly fine OS. The differential people care about is PRICE not "Telstra One Hub".

      Also agree. using a Motorola Milestone from the UK, which is not locked to a carrier, and has no branding. I also told my friend to get an imported Desire which could do the 3g band that Telstras desire cant, no branding, and even with postage was cheaper than the Telstra Desire outright.

      Even though I dislike the iPhone and cringe when people try and show them off to me, I applaud Apple for telling the carrier how the phone is going to be (Even though they have swayed a tiny bit, because of the AT&T network capacity).

      Carrier specific add-ons tacked into the phone just add more fragmentation that smartphones do not need. I have a hacked APK file for the optus credit app on my phone, and really do not see why they dont just add it to the market and let people install it themselves.

    Not sure how they implemented this, but why can't the Telcos just add this stuff as widgets and apps they run *on top* of the OS. If i don't want some things i can delete them (or add them back later). Then OS updates are not interfered with. I hope the HTC N1 from Vodafone is a success because it was left pure and clean.

    Anyway, WM7 is still a version 1.0 OS. Seems like a dumb smartphone if i can't copy and paste. I'd might be interested is version 2 (or in MS speak "Microsoft Windows Mobile 7 Feature upgrade pack 2, Service Pack 1." ;-)

    Its in a HUB... Its not part of the operating system.. You can add a hub, change a hub or delete it completely if choose...

    Yup this is a HUB, no one (not Carrier or OEM) can modify the OS/UI on Windows Phone 7.
    If you don't want this sort of thing on your Start Screen, remove it from there (it will stay in your apps list, but that's it..

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