This app really suites me as a casual news reader. I don't have to look in 5 different places and sift through tons of news that I am not interested in.
I do think there should be a way to like or dislike a story from the channel list. I don't like to open the story and then select like/dislike/hide. What feels natural to me is having a menu come up when you press and hold on a story in the channel list with like, dislike, and hide available from there.
Yeah it is there. If you have the time to watch the Ping video on it he quickly shows the device in landscape and he also shows the phone dialer for 1-2 secs.
He then mentions that the landscape support is not done as they are still deciding what buttons will do when you rotate the screen. Currently the buttons rotate with the screen to keep the text readable.
This is a pretty different approach then anything MS has done in the past with Mobile. They have switched from specific applications fulfilling specific use cases (with heavy multi-tasking) to a more data oriented design. One problem with phones is the small
screen which makes managing and switching multiple applications a real pain. Apple resolved this issue by removing that functionality (ie, no multitasking or any hint thereof. Later they added a few things that sort of helped). Anyway MS has taken a different
approach all together and reduced the reasons to multi-task. The hubs replace an infinite number of applications that fall under that hub's group of services. It gathers, sorts and allows filtering and searching of that data (from all sorts of places) without
you having to open any additional application(s) or switch between two+ applications. It also allows basic use cases on that data (like commenting on a photo) without opening or launching anything. Between reducing the amount of applications you need to use
to get at the data you want, and some sort of limited multi-tasking for apps that need it, like games and other stuff that runs in the background, this could be an epic implementation.
As for the UI. The parts that look like Zune, I would recommend people play with a Zune HD before dismissing it, it actually works very well and comes off a lot better when its in your hand, then these videos.
As for the launch screen, it depends how far along the UI is. Windows 7 UI when it was first shown was pretty weak. It didn't have the new task bar which is a pretty big UI element. From what they were saying in the Ping interview is that they are still
working on every part of the UI and it is pretty customizable. I would not be disappointed if it ended up exactly the way it is now, but some might.
I think they thought about more what people want, then what they wanted to give people. This is a huge step in the right direction and if this thing is half as polished as Windows 7 then it will be a huge success. Hopefully ATT and Orange are capable of
effectively driving the devices in the marketplace. ATT has about 18 M customers (which is a lot here in the USA) but Orange has about 130 M customers so I'd say if they are both committed to selling these devices (which they sure seemed like they were, being
premiere carriers and all) they will kill on total devices sold.
I am sure Apple wishes they had access to a 130 M customer base to drive their sales. Maybe if they do not renew with ATT exclusively they will be a little better off, but man MS is not fooling around with this.