It’s easier to criticize than compliment. Things we dislike stick out like a sore thumb. Also, I’m not too fond of sore thumbs! As you can tell, it’s time for some bad news and hand wringing. That’s because it looks like we won’t get either a new Xbox Windows Phone release or even a Deal of the Week to ring in the New Year.
As we’re starting to return to full steam here at Windows Phone Central from the holiday season, we need to evidently begin reporting on the stupid again (thankfully it's not more Android-Nokia rumors). This time Forbes online contributor Tristan Louis is “predicting” that Nokia will exit the hardware business this year and sell off their assets to Microsoft and/or Huawei.
No evidence is provided, mind you. Not a single “unnamed source” or even the tried and tired “people familiar with the matter” go-to device for reporting on irresolute rumors. And if you’re scratching your head at who Tristan Louis is or why you should care about what he writes, you’re not alone as we’ve never heard of him either (he’s evidently an “entrepreneur”, which we think means something along the lines as “guy with money”).
Last year’s free Sudoku game provided a nice little bit of logic puzzling for Xbox Windows Phone gamers, but it hardly had any staying power. The randomly-generated puzzles failed to instill much replay value, as players could easily just finish off the game’s Achievements in a matter of hours with no reason to keep playing. Plus its sparse Metro-style visuals left much to be desired. As such, Microsoft’s mobile platform lacked a logic game with real meat on its bones.
This year Capcom of all companies has stepped in to turn things around. Their first Windows Phone game KenKen provides a very Sudoku-like experience that players won’t finish all in one day. Well, maybe you could beat it in a Martian 36 hour day, provided you don’t have a psychotic episode. The question is: does KenKen justify its relatively lofty price?
The official AMC Theaters app for Windows Phone 7 was always a half way decent effort by the company to woo users from Fandango/Flixster to going through AMC directly. Initially, the biggest gripe we had was the lack of AMC Stubs support (their ticket rewards system) but that was evidently added back in October.
A few days ago though, AMC released a second version for Windows Phone 8 users. That’s a cool deal because it means the 7.x version can still be updated separately (most devs want to have just one app to maintain, not two). The Windows Phone 8 version though is quite fantastic for a few reasons..
Touting itself as an optical illusion game, ThinkInvisible has recently landed on the Windows Phone Store after picking up some good reviews on both the iOS and Android platforms.
The game is designed to push your grey matter by getting you to recognise things from the smallest element of an image. The idea for the game is simple enough but the execution on the style and graphics makes this one worthy of checking out. Did we mention it’s free? Read on to find out more..
If the native alarm on your Windows Phone isn't enough, take a gander at Alarms Plus. Alarms Plus supports multiple alarms, personal messages to great you, and has a handy puzzle feature to silence the alarms.
With Alarms Plus you can set up to ten consecutive alarms that can be spaced out up to ten minutes apart. You have five alarm sounds and if you really have trouble waking up, three puzzle levels to silence the alarm.
Are you looking at new Windows Phone 8 devices for 2013? The Samsung ATIV S is available from O2 on contract from free when taken out with a plan worth £57 a month, or for £179 with an accompanied £16.50 plan. The high-end flagship Windows Phone is packed full of features that make the price point well worth the investment. We've taken the ATIV S for a spin for just over a week and have been impressed with what Samsung has produced.
Yesterday we went over Windows Phone Central’s picks for the best Xbox Windows Phone games of 2012. It may not have been a stellar year, but we can certainly count 2012 as the best year for Windows Phone gaming so far. Narrowing down the finest games from nearly 50 weekly releases was no mean feat for someone who enjoys nearly every genre and approaches all games with love.
Still, no amount of optimism can overlook the turkeys that sometimes squeeze their way into the Xbox lineup. How do we spot these wretches? Well, broken Achievements, poor controls, and dysfunctional online components are all telltale signs of a game better left unreleased. That makes selecting the bottom of the barrel titles so much easier than choosing the top shelf games.
Head past the break for to learn how a bad game happens and Windows Phone Central’s Worst Xbox Windows Phone games of 2012!
We're entering into 2013 and Microsoft has already displayed signs of the company continuing to push on with its marketing campaign for its Windows family of products - namely Windows 8. A batch of new commercials have been released on its YouTube channel, with the first featuring the track "Everything at Once" by Australian singer Lenka.
As Chinese stores are beginning to get the new generation of Lumia devices in tiny, tiny trickles, consumers who are lucky enough to secure a phone or two in the extremely limited supply have found a pleasant surprise: the phones are coming with a much called for feature, which is call & SMS blocker.
The stealing and selling of private information has always been a big problem in China. It's developed into a full fledged industry. Occasionally even employees of ISPs, mobile carriers and banks are caught selling their customer information in bulks. What follows immediately is spamming, quite precisely targeted, coming through all sorts of channels in bulks.
QONQR is a popular massive multi-player online game for your Windows Phone that is location based. You join one of three factions and as you travel about, you claim and battle for control of certain areas of the map. All totaled, there are three million zones in 250 countries to conquer.
The developers recently released a companion app for Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT that will help you keep track of the global battle as it unfolds. The QONQR Command Center offers you a nice birds-eye view of all the activities going on in the Windows Phone game. While you can't battle from the Command Center, you can scroll around the map to monitor recent shifts in power, the leaderboards for a zone or area, and find pockets of enemy occupation that may be ripe for the taking.
Microsoft has posted a "Best of 2012" app collection in the Windows Phone Store. The "Best of 2012" list includes thirty apps and games such as Wordament, Weave, ARMED!, Weather Flow and a local favorite... the official Windows Phone Central app!
We have to tip our hat to Jay Bennett for burning the midnight oil on several occasions to develop and update a really nice app. We also would like to thank you, our readers, for helping make the app and the website as successful as it is. 2012 has been a whirlwind of a year and it's nice to see it end on such a high note.
If you're still wondering how well the optical stabilization works on the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone, we ran across a video using the Lumia 920 as an action cam over in the Windows Phone Central Forums.
According to the discussion, Windows Phone Central reader Allen Balkema strapped his Lumia 920 to his helmet and took it out for a spin through the woods on his four-wheeler. While the helmet mount didn't place the Lumia 920 at the best angle, you can tell from the video that the optical stabilization worked nicely.