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Last week I attended the first edition of the Windows Phone Get Together Event in Utrecht, The Netherlands that was hosted by the local Dutch Windows Phone Team and initiated by two dutch MVP’s Mark Briggeman and Jaap van Ekris. The event is covered in the article ”Windows Phone Get Together Event – Microsoft engaging with end-users !“ and consists of interesting information about Windows Mobile 6.5.3 and Windows Phone 7.

While this has been a truly unique event in many ways, I would like to focus on the announced Windows Phone Forum application that aggregates information from the Dutch Windows Phone Forums, the Blog of the Dutch Windows Phone team and its Twitter feed.

The application has been developed by Halil Yüksel from MobileLayers and commisioned by Microsoft.
Microsoft wants to emphasize that user interaction is very important to them and to make interaction as easy as possible, the forum application was developed, so users can post questions on the forums using their webbrowser and read the answers convenient on their Windows Phones.

Windows Phone Forum application 1.0, a brief application overview

Forum


Here you can see the Windows Phone-Dutch forum, which runs on the Microsoft Social Forums. Below is the first screen when you open the forum application. It quickly retrieves all the forum topics and their answers.

Filters & Sorting

The second button from the left, which includes the F-graphic in the design, provides you the functionality to filter the threads and messages on the Windows Phone forums. When you tap on this button you will get a pop-up that is shown in the left screenshot below, that allows you the select different filters. For example you can choose to just view the most recent threads, or most recent comments. All screenshots are in dutch at this moment. An English version will be soon available I hope.

The third button from the left, the one that includes the S-graphic, is closely related and gives the feature to sort the forum items. Again the overview is provided in a pop-up window, like you can see in the right screenshot above.

The Blog of the Dutch Windows Phone team

The fourth button from the left includes a textballoon graphic and it initiates a download from the blog-articles from the blog of the local Dutch Windows Phone team. For example you can see the articles:

- ” Primeur in Nederland: Samsung Omnia Pro 4″
- ” Windows Phone evenement op 22 juni!”

When you tap on an article, the article will be opened in a new screen, where you can read the complete article using the scrollbar if needed.

Twitter feed

The fifth button from the right, includes the graphic of a bird. The twitter feed of WindowsPhoneNL is downloaded in the application, by tapping on this button.

The last button on the right, with the cross graphic, is simply the button to close the application.

Concluding thoughts

The forum application gives you content aggregation of multiple channels in one application. It would be great to see this extended to other Microsoft products as well.
Now you can read the answers to your own and other questions right from your Windows Phone, read the Blog of the Dutch Windows Phone Team and see their Twitter feed.

In the future, functionality will be increased so that you can answer questions directly from your Windows Phone. This is not possible at the moment yet.
Another useful feature would be an automatic upgrade if a new version of the software becomes available. Currently the application  only supports dutch language, because it specifically aims at the dutch market, but to keep it in line with Windows Phones in English, I would love to see it translated in English.

If the application gets updated or will have new or other functionality, we will keep you updated.

 
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