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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: WPRemote for Roku

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Here’s something I’ve been wishing Windows Phone would get for quite a while: a Roku remote control app. It’s called WPRemote for Roku and it comes from indie developer Localyf. (Note that this app was previously called ROKUbox before the Roku company asked Localyf to change its name.)

“What’s a Roku?” you might wonder. That’s what I love about you, dear reader – your inquisitive nature.

Had past the break for our full review.

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3 years ago

WPCentral Tutorial - Custom Ringtones with Mango

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WPCentral Tutorial - Custom Ringtones with Mango

One of the many welcomed features of Windows Phone 7.5, more affectionately known as Mango, is the ability to use custom ringtones. But how do you get the ringtone to the phone?

First, there are few limitations. The ringtone file must be in MP3 or WMA format, less then 40 seconds in length, less than 1mb in size and not protected with digital rights management (DRM).

There are a few ringtone apps reaching the Marketplace and we'll cover a few of them in the coming days. Most appear to be collections of ringtones that you can save to your Windows Phone but they don't allow you to create ringtones. That you can do on your own and to find out how, hit the jump.

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3 years ago

LG Jil Sander E906 with new press photos

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LG Jil Sander E906 with new press photos

We've previously looked at the LG E906 that passed through WiFi Interoperbilitly certification earlier this year and reported that it was running Mango and under the design hat of Jil Sander, a German design house. Now PocketNow have come across a specification sheet that confirms the handset is almost identical to the Optimus 7.

3.8-inch WVGA display is present and a 5-megapixel camera capable of shooting 720p. The handset is actually slightly larger than the Optimus 7, but is 15 grams lighter in weight. Still no word on what's going to be present with exclusive content etc. but we could speculate that there will be a few fashion apps. As for frequencies, the E906 will be capable of HSDPA 7.2 on the 900, 1900, and 2100MHz band.

Personally, I wouldn't buy the device. That Windows button is horrible.

Source: PocketNow

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3 years ago

MS launches Windows Phone feedback page

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MS launches Windows Phone feedback page

Microsoft has launched a website where Windows Phone users can express their thoughts about the mobile OS and offer suggestions on how to improve it.  Once an idea is posted, others can vote on them, presumably to direct Microsoft on what to work on next.  You can filter the list by what's new, hot, accepted, completed and most liked.  Completed suggestions even get responses from Microsoft explaining what actions have been taken.

What's particularly cool about the site's setup is that each member is given 10, and only 10, votes that they can distribute among the suggestions on the site.  You are free to change your votes around by moving them from one idea to the next, and your vote will be returned to you if the idea you vote on gets completed by Microsoft or deleted.

In order to vote, you must either create a login using your email address, or sign in using joined logins, like FaceBook, Gmail, Twitter, etc. (there are a lot of them).  Click on the source link to get started.

Source: Microsoft (Thanks for the tip, ShipWreck!)

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3 years ago

Puzzle Quest 2, Brain Challenge, and Gamechest: Logic Games join the sale party

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Yesterday we reported that Full House Poker is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. It still is, but we’ve learned something unusual. Something magical… There are four Xbox Live games on sale this week instead of one. Madness! Joining Full House Poker (on sale for $1.99) are Puzzle Quest 2, Brain Challenge, and Gamechest: Logic Games. These are weekly sales, not price drops.

Puzzle Quest 2 from Namco Bandai is on sale for $4.99, down from $6.99. Like Castlevania Puzzle, PQ2 is a puzzle role-playing game. It’s got beautiful art, multiple playable characters, and a lengthy quest, plus a few tough (due to their luck-based nature) Achievements. If you like Bejeweled and RPGs, you really can’t do any better. We’ll have a full review soon (long game!).

Brain Challenge from Gameloft is on sale for $2.99, down from a ludicrous $4.99. BC is a collection of brain-teasing minigames that you should be wary of. It sports an amazing five Broken Achievements, and has yet to receive an update. Seriously, Brain Challenge is buggier than an entomologist's laboratory.

Gamechest: Logic Games is on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99. It includes three different games: chess, sudoku, and Minesweeper. Sure, free versions of Minesweeper and Sudoku are already available on Xbox Live, but what about chess? Our review praises the chess game’s multiplayer feature, which allows a Windows Phone player to compete against a PC player asynchronously. Certainly a good idea, though the implementation is so rudimentary as to not be worth the effort.

Gamechest: Logic Games also boasts a leveling system in which players earn experience and level up by winning games. But to reach the max levels in each game and earn all of the Achievements requires a horrendous amount of grinding. Never have I been more bored with a game than when toiling after Gamechest: Logic Game’s Achievements, and that’s not hyperbole.

At any rate, it’s great to see more than one Xbox Live game on sale this week. Let’s hope Microsoft makes a habit of this! You can find Full House Poker here (Zune link), Puzzle Quest 2 here, Brain Challenge here, and Gamechest: Logic Games here on the Marketplace.

Thanks for the tip, DarkSynopsis!

UPDATE: Brain Challenge is part of the sale too.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone and home automation

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Windows Phone and home automation

Julien Schapmen of Touch Xperience has achieved something pretty cool with Windows Phone - home automation. Ever fancied controlling your TV, sound system and lights (to name but a few) from the comfort of your sofa and with a single device? Check out the above video walkthrough of a Windows Phone performing a number of tasks.

Via: WPSauce

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3 years ago

HTC Radar and Samsung Omnia W get pictured

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3 years ago

Burn the Rope now live in the Marketplace [Xbox LIVE]

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For those who like action-type puzzle games, then you'll be glad to know that 'Burn the Rope!' with its catch diddy is now available for $2.99:

"Burn the Rope is a challenging game where you try to burn as much rope as you can in each level. There’s a catch! The fire only burns upwards, leaving you to rotate the level to keep your flame alive!

As you progress through the levels, you’ll encounter bugs crawling along the rope. Different bugs have different reactions to the flame. For example, the ant changes the color of the flame so you can burn different colored ropes, and the spider shoots out a web bridge so you can access parts of the level that you could not before.

Burn the Rope is incredibly fun and addictive. You will actually feel like you’re burning a rope, yet there’s no need for a fire extinguisher!"

The game looks decent enough and that's not a half bad price either. Interestingly, the game is NoDo compatible, so no Mango-goodness here for what we imagine is now the majority of you. Head on here to the Marketplace to give it a trial run. And don't forget, 'Full House Poker' is the Deal of the Week!

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3 years ago

Microsoft signs Android licensing deal with Samsung

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Microsoft has just signed a massive patent deal with Samsung on every Android tablet and smartphone the manufacturer sells, which will earn the software giant royalty revenue per device in addition to being a cross-licensing deal. Microsoft had previously signed a similar deal with HTC and Acer and Viewsonic, but this is said to be the largest Android patent deal to-date.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith and top IP lawyer Horacio Gutierrez said in a blog post:

"Together with the license agreement signed last year with HTC, today’s agreement with Samsung means that the top two Android handset manufacturers in the United States have now acquired licenses to Microsoft’s patent portfolio. These two companies together accounted for more than half of all Android phones sold in the U.S. over the past year."

While the deal focuses mainly on patents and Android, it also calls for Samsung to continue to work with Microsoft on Windows Phone, which is a massive bonus for Microsoft (and customers). Something that will hopefully combat what the manufacturer was rumoured to be doing in 2013 - leaving Windows Phone. Unfortunately the exact amount that Microsoft will earn per-device sold wasn't disclosed, could be $15?.

This just goes to show how companies can work together to overcome lawsuits galore.

Source: Microsoft, via: Android Central

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3 years ago

Kinect integration demoed with HTC Radar

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Kinect integration demoed with HTC Radar

In the video above we can see some Kinect and Windows Phone integration being demoed at the HTC Radar launch in Hong Kong. The Windows Phone user looks to be emulating waves through use of the accelerometer while the player has to maintain balance on the raft. We've been seeing more videos cropping up covering the integration between platforms under Microsoft's belt. It's only a matter of time before we see true connectivity released to the mass.

Via: WMPU

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3 years ago

HTC seeing success with Windows Phone

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HTC seeing success with Windows Phone

Melvin Chua, Country manager of Singapore at HTC, spoke at the Windows Phone Mango launch in Singapore and claimed that the platform has been crowned with success in terms of customer sales across all platforms with 30% being made up from Windows Phone handsets. What's not clear is whether he's talking about global sales or limited it to Singapore, but that didn't stop Melvin from continuing:

  "We believe that Windows Phone 7 will eventually be better than other platforms and will give Android a run for its money"

John Fernandes, director of marketing and operations at Microsoft Singapore, also took to the stage and said:

"We have over 30,000 apps in less than a year since we launched Marketplace, making Windows Phone as one of the fastest growing mobile app marketplaces, … This is an endorsement of Microsoft’s continued support of the developer communities globally as well as the proven Windows Phone developer platform. We expect this growth momentum of Marketplace to be stronger with the launch of Windows Phone 7.5."

With the recent downturn with Nokia discussing plans with O2 UK, let's hope that HTC remains successful through the launch of their Titan and Radar handsets.

Source: ZDNet Asia; via WP7Lab News

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3 years ago

Nokia drops O2 UK as stocklist for WP handsets

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File this under "O2 you muppets" as it seems the carrier and Nokia couldn't reach an agreement on strict criteria including volume targets, store displays and marketing campaigns for the manufacturer's upcoming handset. I knew we could count on Nokia to push carriers in launching Windows Phone handsets with pride and force to match the iPhone and Android. O2 UK, enjoying a cosy partnership with Apple, could not agree with Nokia on the above due to the iPhone 5 launch just around the corner.

A source close to both O2 and Nokia told Mobile News:

"O2 is very good at handset marketing, better than any of the other operators, which tend to stick to promoting tariffs and deals. They work very well with the manufacturers and channel their message very well. But they are very close to Apple and will not look to compromise that relationship. O2 was initially very excited by the Nokia portfolio, but in recent weeks that attitude has changed."

Of course if O2 has had a successful run with the iPhone since the first generation device then it would make sense to focus on the iPhone 5, but to not allow each platform to compete with one another fairly for consumers to make their choice without bias marketing is poor (much like bias sales staff). Hats off to Nokia for putting their foot down. With Three UK looking to decide as to whether they will continue stocking Windows Phone handsets or not, it may prove worthwhile to approach the carrier (or Orange) since they could use some exclusive devices.

Source: Mobile News

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3 years ago

Mini-review - Cosmic Jumper by Magiko Gaming

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I don't often give reviews for games, that's Paul and George's thing, but when I do it's because I really dig it. That's the situation here for Cosmic Jumper by Magiko Gaming (Platformance Castle Pain, Temple Death) which is just a lot of arcade fun.

The game is a platform jumper, of which we have plenty in the Marketplace. But this plays different--more like an arcade game from the 1990's. It has great controls, spiffy graphics and probably the best music you'll ever hear for a game. Going further, the re-playability is quite high and there's even an Xbox 360 Arcade version (under the different title 'Who is God').

Watch the video, try the game. If you like it, it'll set you back a measely $0.99. Get it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

On tethering, hidden SSID and Visual Voice Mail, where art thou in Mango?

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For those who managed to get Mango on to your phones in the last 24 hours, congratulations. It seems like so far everyone is really liking the new OS--in fact, folks are ecstatic over it. Still, some features seem to be "missing" from various phones and we want to shed some light on why that is.

This information comes way of Microsoft themselves, who we met with prior to "Mango day" and gave us the details. Ars Technica has also published some of this info recently.

On tethering

Two things will determine if it is available--the chipset of the device and if the carrier wants it. The chipset in question is the Broadcom 4329 which is found in the newer Windows Phones. Specifically, drivers are need for it to work with that chipset. But ah! you say, what about that Samsung Focus we saw? A lot of our older hardware also has the Broadcom 4329 on board, but not the correct, tested drivers. Why?

Microsoft had to make a choice: delay Mango to test the drivers on older devices, or ship now and release a patch later to enable. They obviously went with the former. But even Vodafone is aware of this when they said recently on their blog "Regarding Wireless Hotspot, it isn’t integrated in the initial release of Mango however it may be deployed at a later date." That's exactly the situation--it's basically up in the air at this point for certain phones.

On visual voice mail

This is easy: it's carrier choice, dependent on their system i.e. is it compatible with Windows Phone. What we heard from Microsoft on this was AT&T: no visual voice mail, but yes on tethering; T-Mobile: yes on visual voice mail, but no on tethering. That is subject to change.

On hidden SSID

This too is dependent on some drivers/chipset combo. Microsoft was a little fuzzy on the details on why it is device specific, but that was their explanation at the time. (For instance, our Dell Venue Pro (unlocked, AT&T) does not have hidden SSID, but our Sprint HTC Arrive does.)

Now some of these things, like tethering and hidden SSID may come later in some revised updates for specific phones. Things like visual voice mail are more complicated and require restructuring on the carrier's backend. For what it's worth, we saw some of these features enabled on an AT&T Titan. Still, we hope this helps in explaining where these features are on your new Mango-ized Windows Phone.

Thanks, Marin S., for the link; Image credit: Pocketnow

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3 years ago

Vodafone adopting Micro SIM for non-iPhone devices, Nokia the culprit?

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Pocket-lint has learned that Vodafone will begin to sell Micro SIM cards for non-iPhone devices in the "not too distant future". Such a piece of information forces the obvious question: what device could it be for, since Micro SIM is so rare these days? Says Vodafone:

"We don't comment on rumour and speculation but we do regularly refresh Micro and regular SIM collateral to ensure it's clear and relevant to all customers with compatible devices. Our Micro SIMs would work in any device which requires a Micro SIM to connect to our network. Bar their size, there is no difference between a Micro SIM and regular SIM."

Pocket-lint goes on to speculate that Nokia's Windows Phone is the most likely candidate for the new Micro SIM. We found this interesting because we heard of a certain Nokia phone with the name "Sabre" (though that could be off) being sent to an engineering lab for tests and while no spy-shots were taken, one of the specific things we heard was that it had a Micro SIM card.

So Pocket-lint, we concur.

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