We dished out praises like crazy to the original Full House Poker game for Windows Phone. It was the first Windows Phone 7 game to have proper avatar support and is still the only one, really. A picture of the user’s avatar on their stats screen like AlphaJax and Wordament have doesn’t really count; users want to play games as their avatars.
We can file this one under “saw it coming from a mile away” but Computer and Video Games (CVG.com) has quoted an unnamed source who states Microsoft will be "consolidating all their communications technology" around the Skype platform. That includes the next generation Xbox, PCs, Tablets and in a way, even on our phones.
The popular Windows Phone RSS reader Nextgen Reader has been update to version 4. We last looked at the Windows Phone app when it was bumped to 3.1, as well as the release of Nextgen Reader for Windows tablets and desktops. This latest version is a big one. It's good to see such an offering receive more developing investment to push further on the platform.
...and after a nice holiday break, the Windows Phone Central Podcast is back!. Join Daniel and Jay as we talk about Portico, CES 2013, what's coming up for Mobile World Congress, some new apps and games. Plus, as always, we take your questions!
Listen in above or watch the HD video below, your choice! Show length: 90 minutes.
The Lumia 620, the Windows Phone 8 smartphone that's currently launching in emerging markets, has made its way to Russia. Available in five different colours: green, black, white, pink and yellow, the Lumia 620 is offered to consumers with minute personalisation in mind. Already released in China, Thailand and India, the Windows Phone is priced aggressively against competing hardware.
HelpBridge is a new Windows Phone app from Microsoft that is designed to help you get through times of emergency and find resources to help those in need.
You'll have to create a HelpBridge account based on your Facebook or Microsoft Account. As you create your account, you add emergency contacts that you can contact when you need help or just to let them know you're alright. When you do reach out for help or let everyone know your okay, the app will send a brief message and map of your location via email, sms to your contact group and there's even a way to post the message on Facebook.
Some sites today are erroneously spreading word that Nokia has begun a “global rollout” of the Portico Windows Phone OS update for the Lumia 920 and 820. Presumably this includes unlocked phones and even ones on various carriers.
Unfortunately, these sites didn’t verify the information or took liberties with the source.
Wheel of Wealth is a popular, turn based (both local and online) Windows Phone game that is modeled after the Wheel of Fortune games. You spin the wheel of wealth to determine your earnings for guessing the correct letters in a word puzzle. You play against up to two opponents,or against the phone, in a three round game.
Wheel of Wealth was recently updated to version 2.6 to resolve a nasty bug that crashed the game when you went bankrupt. You can still lose all your money but that should be all that is lost. The update also fixes a few other bugs and throws in a few performance tweaks for good measure.
Last night, Nokia began rolling out the ‘extras + info’ Settings update for their Windows Phone 8 Lumia line.
This app allows Nokia to control and modify certain aspects of the phone without having to do a complete OS or firmware upgrade and indeed there are some minor changes with version 184.108.40.206.
As part of their 2012 initiative cut costs and realign certain business functions, Nokia announced it will begin outsourcing certain IT responsibilities to HCL Technologies and TATA Consultancy Services.
This decision could affect about 1100 current Nokia employees, including 300 layoffs and up to 820 employees getting transferred to the aforementioned consulting firms. All changes are expected to occur solely within their workforce in Finland.
ASUS has launched (and will be launching) multiple products that run Windows RT / 8. A family of laptops branded under the VivoBook umbrella, the S200 and S400, are solutions for those who require a light, thin notebook that sport touch screens and all the bells and whistles for Windows 8. We recently invested in an S400 to see what all the fuss is about with this mid-range notebook. We must admit - we're pleased with the experience on offer.
Nokia has managed to bring across and release another game for Windows Phone, Flight Control Rocket. Located in the Nokia Collection for Lumia owners, FC Rocket is the next step up from Firemint's Flight Control. It's the classic management experience with a Sci-Fi twist and unique pace that will provide enough individuality for players not to get instantaneously bored through repetition, particularly if you've played the classic Flight Control title.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, corporate vice president of mobile communication products at Asus, Benson Lin has revealed that the company is indeed considering Windows Phone. Unfortunately the employee also noted that such hardware has no timeline on when they'll be released to consumers. For Asus to be building Windows Phones would further add to the foundations of the platform.
One of our favorite apps on Windows Phone is TVShow by developer Rudy Huyn (Dan especially loves this one). It last received a fairly big update in early-December when it made the jump to Windows Phone 8. That update at the time was mostly to get doublewide Tile support and improved graphics. Today it TVShow gets a proper update bringing functionality unique to Windows Phone 8.
Read on, crouton.
Just when it seems like Xbox games for Windows Phone’s darkest hour, when all hope of a new release before January 30th has long been abandoned… Nokia once again comes to our rescue with a new exclusive Xbox for Lumia owners: Blobster from Chillingo (who we’ve barely written about today) and Divine Robot. With this surprise late-day release, there are now eleven Nokia exclusives in the Xbox lineup.
You like puzzles, I like puzzles, and we all like puzzles. So here comes one from a new Windows Phone job posting. There’s a new team within the Windows Phone department forming around a very new technology – for smartphones at least. Microsoft is looking for a Senior Software Development Engineer in Test to work on UEFI for Windows Phone.
But what for?
You've just purchased your shiny new Windows Phone, and all is well. But there's something missing. You can't quite place it, right? Allow us to help you out - you've not got any Windows Phone Central wallpapers! Fear not as we've crafted some new beauties for you to add to your Windows Phone, should you not be making use of new lockscreen functionality for a favourite app of course.
After today’s disappointing news of another week without a new Xbox game for Windows Phone, our gaming readers could probably use some cheering up. Well, I’m pleased to share some win-win information with you now. Not one, but two partially delisted Xbox games for Windows Phone have just become Windows Phone 8 compatible: Feed Me Oil and Parking Mania, both from Chillingo.
That brings the list of incompatible games down to 23, the lowest it has been since Microsoft’s new mobile OS debuted. Hopefully it continues to shrink in the months ahead!
What’s better than a highly popular, well received game going free for a day? How about two highly popular, well received games going free for a day. Starting tomorrow, Disney has made their two games for Windows Phone 8 free for 24 hours. Both Where’s My Water? and Where’s My Perry? will drop from $0.99 to nada, zip, zilch, f-r-e-e.
The Windows Phone team have published some helpful tips and pointers for developers who are thinking of submitting apps to the Windows Phone Store. They go into some detail, covering the multiple XAPs per GUID, as well as deciding on how to approach the submission. Walkthroughs for three scenarios have been provided for the benefit of those who may find themselves needing a quick helping hand.
This is a rather interesting way to test the sturdiness of the Nokia Lumia 920. One that sports fans may find on the appealing side.
Pitted against the Samsung Galaxy S3, the two smartphones attempted to play catch with a fastball shot out of a pitching machine. The Samsung didn't fair to well, shattering the case and screen on impact.
The Lumia 920, on the other hand, performed like a Major Leaguer. The video captured the fastball impact and continued to record after being knocked off the stand. The screen survived and the casing was left unscathed.
I wonder how the Lumia 920 would have faired if it were strapped to a bat?
We've received reports from readers that iHeartRadio has ceased to work correctly on Windows Phone 8. The popular radio app is a superb solution for those who enjoy tuning into an array of stations while on the go. It has in fact been delisted for Windows Phone 8 hardware, but is still available for those who are running Windows Phone 7.
Note+ is a fairly simple note taking app for your Windows Phone 8 device. The app allows you not only to type out notes on the go but also dictate the text and use voice commands to create, open, delete, share and read your notes.
When it was first updated to Windows Phone 8 there were a few bugs in the voice recognition. The version 2.2 update addresses those bugs and as an added bonus, the $.99 Windows Phone 8 app is free.