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Elecont Weather with WM 6.5 Plug-In

Elecont Weather is one of the more popular weather apps available for your Windows phone and is keeping pace with the new Windows Mobile 6.5 (Professional) Today Screen. The Elecont Weather Today Screen plug-in is now compatible with your Windows phone Titanium Today Screen.

The plug-in will display current weather conditions and a 10-day forecast. From the Today Screen you can enter the full application to access all the features of Elecont Weather from hourly forecasts for the next 48 hours, UV alerts, severe weather alerts, and air pressure graphs.

The latest version of Elecont Weather with the Windows Mobile 6.5 plug-in can be found over at the WMExperts.com Software Store.

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A couple of us have been passing this review off on each other. Guess who drew the short straw. TouchTwit isn't the worst Twitter app in the world. It's just a little awkward. Slow in some places, and a little too quick in others. A lot like you were in high school. Fortunately, you've got 24 hours in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile to try out an app and return it. TouchTwit's available now for $4.99.

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It's been quite some time since Resco has updated their Radio program (see earlier review), so it's no surprise to see them set their sights on giving it an overhaul.

So far, not too much has changed as can be seen below.  There is still a limited selection of stations (you can manually import Shoutcast) and no way to search for new stations, in that regard, Kinoma Play is still easier with full Shoutcast integration.  List of changes so far:

  • Touch optimized list of radios (All Stations)
  • Letter bar for easier navigation in Categories
  • Icon for stream quality visualization

Still, if you just want a streaming radio app, Resco Radio is a beaut with its simplicity and speed (plus you can record streams, natch).  It's running smooth on the my Touch Pro 2, so go and give it a shot and give the Resco team some feedback!

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While we AT&T Pure users here in the States enjoy our spanking new Windows Mobile 6.5, the unlocked Touch Diamond 2 released months ago is still awaiting the official upgrade from HTC. Gasp!

The date for the upgrade keeps coming and going, but it looks like Froidstar at XDA has gotten his/her hands on the official version, unofficially, of course.

It's an older build (2.07.58475) from July, which is evidently what HTC will be releasing to the masses. Hands-on reports are that it is very stable and fast so far.

So if you haven't rocked a custom WM6.5 update already (hard to believe) then you may want to give this a shot, or perhaps you "Chefs" need a new stable base to work from?

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Twikini, one of our more favorite Windows Mobile Twitter applications, just hit Version 1.6. First, the change log:

  • Bug fix: Fixes connectivity issue many T-Mobile users were experiencing when downloading timelines.
  • Bug fix: After a re-tweet, the highlighted tweet would be lost, and the newest tweet would be highlighted. Fixed this.
  • Improved: Tapping on a user's picture in the profile or tweet window will show a large picture of the user.
  • Improved: The profile window will show the date on which a user joined Twitter (this can be useful when deciding whether to follow someone).
  • Improved: Added "My Profile" (under the Tools menu) to quickly check your own profile.
  • Improved: URL shortening will use http://j.mp instead of Bit.ly, which will give you 2 extra characters. (Note: j.mp is part of Bit.ly).

Now, the real interesting part: If you've previously purchased Twikini from the Trinket Software Web site, you can head on over there (or use the in-app version check feature) and get the upgrade.

But Twikini also is available in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. And while it's not the first app in the Marketplace to be updated (Facebook is another one that comes to mind; there may be others), we've gotten a feel for how long it took the update to be pushed out. From Twikini's Twitter feed:

Twikini 1.6 now available in the @wmdev Marketplace. Wow...that certification was FAST! less than 24 hours.

That certainly passed muster faster than anything in Apple's app store. Of course, that's hardly a fair comparison, as Apple's seeing 8,500 submissions a week, and there's no way the Marketplace is at that pace yet. But it does give us an early baseline, and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft keeps up with submission demand.

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Back on Oct. 5, Dashwire announced an exclusive partnership with Best Buy to offer its services for free to new customers buying smartphones. Certainly a unique choice. But with Microsoft's MyPhone being nearly ubiquitous now, we suppose not so much a good one.

The bad news is for you existing Dashwire users.  Evidently on Dec. 31, 2009, Dashwire will stop working.  You apparently have the option to back up your data to a desktop and/or "...migrate your information to services from Dashwire licensees if you’re interested" -- though we're not too sure how to do that just yet nor are we sure if it'll cost anything.

Anyways, now may be a good time to explore alternatives.  Dashwire, we wish you luck with that Best Buy thing.

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Since it seems like ol' Microsoft is never going to get around to giving us even the slightest bit if Xbox integration with our Windows phones, at least not until presumably WM7, it'll be up to intrepid developers to fill in the gap.

I'm not sure why it has taken literally years for someone to do this (the Palm Pre has had this for months now--for shame!) but alas, someone has and that would be at x360me.com with Mobile GamerTag.

Now the program is still early in development, so all you can do now is view a single Xbox gamertag along with some game stats albeit render beautifully in VGA graphics (seriously, it's very nice).  You can search for any gamer and it checks with a 3rd party server to pull down the info. Not amazing but cool.

Future option include auto-updates, more resolution support and adding/maintaining friends.  Grab it here.

See Microsoft, it's not too hard to throw us a bone.

via BestWMApps

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Palringo 2.0 Gets Released, Overhauled

Looks like Palringo, a free and popular instant messaging program, has been officially bumped up to v2.0. See our full review/feature tour here.

Of note is that starting with v1.42, you can now hide the gangly status bar & adjust font sizes, addressing one my complaints of earlier versions.

Download here. (Note: the mobile site is still hosting v1.42, so use this link instead).

The changelog is quite large, though the app still basically looks the same:

  • Completely new install/uninstall process
  • Automatic updates now only notify users that an update is available - downloading is manually approved
  • Settings->Display->Group join/leave alerts
  • Settings->Display->Contact List (item size) option
  • Settings->Display->Tab size option replaces "Large Buttons" option.
  • Contact list can now be filtered by service type, so you can effectively have a separate list for Facebook/MSN/Yahoo etc.
  • Added private message spam filter for Palringo service
  • Edit Profile link from overview screen
  • Automatic detail expansion display on reduced contact list items
  • Optimized list rendering code
  • Optimized avatar rendering
  • Default filenames for saving images
  • Reformatting of photos has been made more reliable
  • Miscellaneous other bug fixes and optimizations
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GrooveShark is an interesting free service that allows you to search for music (artist, song, album), stream it directly and even create playlists from your computer.

Now Barguast at XDA has created...wait for it...a free application that will do most of this from your Windows phone (he's constantly adding features). It's called GrooveFish (nice).

GrooveFish itself is an excellent application.  Visually it matches GrooveShark and is quite pleasant to look at and furthermore it works very well (audio fidelity is way better than Pandora).  It's simple: search, select and play.  Heck, it'll even auto-pause on a phone call or when you remove your headset. Ability to create playlists and save favorites is coming in future versions.

But the big issue here is of course U.S. copyright law and GrooveShark: this is not just streaming a ShoutCast station but rather allowing you to stream on demand any song/album/playlist you create, which is a bit sketchy, legally speaking. To their credit they do have a way to notify them of DMCA violations and they will comply. But as this service becomes more and more widely known, you can bet you'll start to see your favorite tunes cooperatively pulled down from the site.

In other words, enjoy it while it lasts.

via 1800PocketPC

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It was first on a select few devices, then ripped and pirated for the masses, then rescinded under DMCA notices, but now MusicID has returned as Shazam and it is now legally available under Windows Marketplace for Mobile (although it hasn't showed up in our listings yet).

For a non-whopping (and oddly priced) $4.69 you can have unlimited music identification on your Windows phone, or use the free version which is limited to 5 IDs a month.  You are also treated to a full 7-day trial.  All of which we think is worth it.

(Anyone else notice their old MusicID doesn't work anymore or is it just us?)

See the official press release.

[via Tech Kritik]

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...and the Marketplace news just keeps on rolling today. Quite a bit considering the darn thing hasn't officially launched yet!

Looks like XDA member Chainfire has already "cracked" the security protection of distribution of paid-for-apps in the Marketplace.

Long story short, when you "buy" a program, you download the .cab file, which automatically installs to main memory.  After the installation, the (registered) .cab file gets deleted from your system immediately.

Chainfire has figured a way to circumvent this system, thereby saving the .cab file. One can then simply and illegally re-distribute this file to friends, warez groups etc.  Ouch.

Now the good news is Chainfire did not release how he did this (and has no plans to), but considering it took him only "five minutes", it doesn't bode well for long term security. The question is, how else could this have been done while not breaking the OS and keeping things uniform? Could they not pre-register the .cab files with your user ID, like Kinoma offers?

[XDA via Fuzemobility]

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Christmas in October? Some Windows Mobile fans may see it that way with the curtain finally raising on Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Marketplac for Mobile and My Phone. Sprinkle in a few new phones and some will feel like kids at Christmas.

But was Windows Mobile 6.5 worth the wait? And what's the deal with re-branding to "Windows phone?" Windows Mobile 6.5 has been a staple ingredient with homemade or cooked ROMs for a while now. Does that take a excitement out of the "official" version of Windows Mobile 6.5?

For some, the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 may very well be a non-event. But it marks the beginning of a journey for Windows Mobile and a new approach to mobile computing with the Windows Phone.

Come along after the break for our thoughts on the launch, an outline of what's new with Windows Mobile 6.5, and a little more on the "Windows phone" concept.

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For those who want to use Windows Marketplace for Mobile now and have an older device (Windows Mobile 6.0/6.1) or Windows Mobile 6.5 with the store not already on the in ROM, drellisdee over at PPC Geeks has managed to pull out the .CAB for the rest of us:

I made it from 23053 skymarket. Its for WWE only and only for devices that have a bootlauncher (IE no apache.) Let me know if it doesn't work on stock roms as its not signed as I'm not sure if signature is required but it will run on cooked roms with full kernel trust enabled.

Luckily my cooked WM6.5 ROM for the Snap did not have the store built in and so far it seems to be running just fine, as can be seen above. Basically the .CAB installs the link, which then hops to the store via your browser to download the latest store software.

So how's it working for you? Take the poll and let us know in comments! And remember that we're not officially expecting the Marketplace for older devices until next month.  Grab the file here at PPC Geeks.

Does WM Marketplace work on your WinMo device?(poll)
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Winterface gets a Facelift

Vito Technology has released an new version of Winterface, a Windows Mobile Professional (touchscreen devices) user interface. The new version adds more customization by adding new skins, changeable backgrounds, and customizable headings.

Not only do you have new skins such as the "Casino", you can also download additional skins from Vito's website. You can also customize the background on the skins either by adding a photo or by changing the color.

There is also some improvements with functionality with the page dots at the bottom of the Winterface screen becoming 'clickable'. While you can finger swipe from page to page, now you can jump ahead by tapping on the dots.

Vito's Winterface is available at the WMExperts Software Store. We also have a Developer's Forum for Vito Technologies software where you can share your thoughts on any Vito software title including Winterface topics.

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It's pretty well established that for whatever reason current HTC devices don't come with their graphics hardware enabled  (2D and/or 3D) and while we don't have the energy here to dive into the nitty gritty (that's for a Wiki), we can install a .cab file.

NeoS2007 over at XDA just released his v3 of his famed graphics driver pack for certain WinMo devices (Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, Touch HD, Touch Pro 2, Touch Diamond 2 and Sony Ericsson X1).  This .cab basically installs "... the OpenGL ES 1.1 Driver by ATI/AMD with the latest dll's, combined with the latest OpenVG driver".

The idea of course is to speed up the graphics performance when running graphic intensive apps, including Manilla/TouchFlo 3D.  Does it work? It certainly didn't hurt our Sprint Touch Pro 2 and heck, sure it seems a bit zippier. But always hard to tell.  Still may be worth a shot as reportedly it helps with GPS apps like iGO.

Likewise, Noir posted a "d3d driver demo" by game maker MindPol for 480x800 devices. Reportedly they are working on their own driver for their games, to get results like these during game play.  Having recently played some iPhone games myself, yeah, WinMo currently needs all the help it can get.  (Note the MindPol is just a demo and won't work for any software you may have.)

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Waze Inc. has officially launched Waze, a free turn-by-turn GPS application, for Windows Mobile. Waze is a social network for motorists to not only provide driving directions but also offer information collected from the users to identify traffic congestion, road hazards and other conditions that affect travel.

The application also has an online component to allow users a live view of maps and conditions. In the coming days we'll take Waze out for a test drive but in the meantime, if curiosity gets the best of you, Waze can be downloaded here.

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So over the last few days you may have heard about Opera releasing their latest beta of Opera Mini, version 5 — which of course is different from Opera Mobile.  The former relies on Java and renders on a server (like Skyfire), whereas the latter runs natively on Windows Mobile and runs direct to the web.

It's been 2 years since version 4 came out, so it makes sense for an overhaul. 

There seems to be a hardcore following of Opera Mini out there though, so we just took it for a spin.  Our thoughts?  Yeah, it's pretty darn good.  In fact, you can really feels how Opera is aiming to merge both Mini and Mobile into one — the graphics in Mini look more and more like Mobile and Mobile 9.7 beta is getting Mini's server-based rendering in the guise of "Turbo Mode".

If you already have Java installed, then just hop here to download the Opera Mini 5 update.  Have no idea about any of this stuff but just want to try it? Boxer112 cab'd it up for us, which you can download from your favorite file host  or grab it from ppcgeeks. Just run the .cab and bam, you'll have an Opera Mini 5, Start menu icon and Java installed.  Easy!

See the full press release here on Opera Mini 5

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Elecont Weather Updated

Elecont Software has just released an updated version (v1.0.954) of their popular weather application, Elecont Weather. The features of the new version include richer graphics, animation, multiple color themes, Vibro-effects, and gesture orientation. Additional locations have been added for Canada, France, India, and other areas.

It hasn't been long since Elecont gave their weather application a makeover and we were impressed with the results. If you're already an Elecont Weather user, no need to worry. Upgrading to the latest version is free. If you're on the fence, not knowing if Elecont Weather is for you, head on over to the WMExperts Software store and download a trial version.

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SPB Brain Evolution 2.0 announced

SPB Software has announced the release of Brain Evolution 2.0, an updated version of SPB's popular gaming application Brain Evolution. The game currently contains twelve exercises designed to help users to keep their mind in a shape. The exercises include: Sudoku, Numbers, Arithmetics, Quadronica, Guess Who, Memorica, Encyclopedia, Minesweeper, Matches, Balltracker, Geometry, and Pairs.

Geometry and Pairs are two new games to the application. Additionally, SPB has incorporated a few new features to the game:

  • A new scoring and progress tracking system
  • Sharing user's achievements online on SPB server
  • Posting achievements to Twitter
  • The new, finger-friendly interface that perfectly matches all the latest smartphones with bigger and more responsive touchscreens
  • Native support for 800x480 and 400x240 screen resolutions.

We reviewed the original version of Brain Evolution and were impressed. How does the new version compare? We're downloading the application as we type and will have a full review in the coming days. That is unless we loose our mind trying to get them in shape.

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Back a few weeks ago our very own George wrote up a nice review for the freeware GPS Weather Radar, which has become quite popular as of late.

Well, it just got bumped recently to v2.1.01 from the previously reviewed v1.5. 

The biggest change is now in the maps, which look much nicer especially with the transparency effect, a new source and more location support ( USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Brazil, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean). 

It takes a bit to load and no doubt .NET 3.5 is not the fastest, but hey...it works and works well.

See full change-log here as well as .cab to download.
 

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