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3 years ago

Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week is 'Star Wars: Battle for Hoth' for $2.99

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We mentioned last week that Microsoft is kicking off a 'Deal of the Week' program for Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone. The first was 'Frogger' which dropped to $1.99 and now this week it will be 'Star Wars: Battle for Hoth' which is dropping from $4.99 to $2.99. The price drop should go into effect sometime after midnight tonight and it will be good for one-week.

The 'Deal of the Week' program is popular on the Xbox LIVE console and is now being brought over to Windows Phone to help drive sales of games that either have passed under the radar or are older and need more exposure. 'Frogger' and 'Star Wars: Battle for Hoth' were both at or near launch of Windows Phone 7, so it's good to see them getting re-mentioned. See our review for SW: BFH right here and the recent update changelog here.

Source: @KarlStricker

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3 years ago

Nokia fans dream up some Windows Phone concepts

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While we've seen those renderings of what Nokia may be thinking in regards to their Windows Phones, the Nokia/Symbian community too have been busy pondering what it means to them and how it may look.

Enthusiast Peter Lackman emailed some concepts to My Nokia Blog showing what Nokia may have in mind. He understands that although Nokia can change the UI drastically, they most likely won't. Going with that, he has made two themes (Blue Leather and Summer) and has made the following changes:

  • custom background wallpapers and
  • revamped, theme style dictated live tiles in homescreen view with more live tile size options
  • a reorganized App view with what looks to be
  • a very helpful AZ for easy finding of apps (at the moment all you can do is scroll. I don’t know why you can’t “search” like you can with contacts).
  • Collapsible category bars – with icons showing content of this category

The result is above. Our thoughts? Bring it. This looks really sharp and it's kind of fun seeing " it for real" on a Nokia phone. Makes this whole partnership seem that much more real, doesn't it?

Read more at My Nokia Blog. Thanks, Just Visiting, for the tip

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3 years ago

'Burn it All' coming to Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone tomorrow

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This weeks Xbox LIVE game is another puzzler with the very cool title 'Burn it All'. The game will fetch for $2.99 and was also just released recently on the iPhone/iPad, meaning we're not too far behind the curve on this one ;-) [Update: First! Turns out we're beating the iPhone/iPad with this game...wooo!; Thanks, @livetouch!]

From Touchgen.net:

Developed by Pastagames and BulkyPix, Burn It All, is a highly addictive puzzle game where your objective is to burn through everything on your path with the help of 3 little flames, each one with its own set of skills.

The game is being redistributed through Microsoft Game Studios and we imagine should be live in the Marketplace around or after midnight tonight.

Source: @KarlStricker

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3 years ago

Microsoft: consumers like Marketplace app trials [Developers]

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Today on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix, a senior director on Windows Phone, gives an update to the development community. One of the more interesting things that was looked at was user's response to having the trial option available when browsing for new apps in the Marketplace.

We've always taken the position here that trials are good and that developer's who don't offer a trial, risk losing significant new customers. As it turns out, we were right on that. From the Blog:

  • Users like trials. Paid apps that include trial functionality are downloaded 70 times more than paid apps that don’t include trial functionality, expanding the number of potential customers to purchase the full paid version.
  • Trials result in higher sales. Nearly 1 out of 10 trial apps downloaded convert to a purchase and
  • generate 10 times more revenue, on average, than paid apps that don’t include trial functionality.
  • Trial downloads convert to paid downloads quickly. More than half of trial downloads that convert to a sale do so within one day, and most of those within 2 hours.

We hope devs take note of those numbers and take the extra time to implement the Trial API that Microsoft has made available. As consumers, we know that we're just more likely to try your app if it has a trial--devs, don't miss out on an opportunity.

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3 years ago

Open Source Twitter client 'Mahtweets' now available

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We have yet another contender in the Twitter battle for Windows Phone (we've lost count weeks ago). Today's entry is 'Mahtweets' which is open sourced (so you can download the code and make it better). The app is free and completely functional but you can "buy" it for $0.99 if you want to support future development, something we always encourage.

So how is it? Like all other Twitter clients, it has some really good mixed with a few hiccups (but seeing as it's version 0.7, we can't be too harsh). We really like how many Tweets you can see on a single view and we think the ability to tap a message to reveal those power icons is really awesome. The lack of aggressive caching as well as the inability to run below the lock-screen make it a bit sluggish sometimes (and don't let your screen time out if composing a Tweet, you'll lose it). The option to configure your timelines is very cool but awkward and confusing (especially the checkboxes). Finally, we like the URL shortening, geotagging, photo uploads and ability to favorite--meaning this has all the core functions for a Twitter app. (And no, there's no Live Tile/Push).

Give it a spin, leave a comment as to your thoughts. Ours? We see real potential here, but it's still too early in development to make it #1. We seriously look forward to future updates. Download it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Microsoft brings their 'Lunchbox' to Windows Phone

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Some folks over at Microsoft have gone ahead and released a new program called 'Lunchbox' in the Marketpalce that's available for free. So what is 'Lunchbox'? That's almost a tough one to answer as the apps description is more a declaration of philosophy rather than specific purpose:

Collaboration and communication technology is liberating information workers from the physical constraints of time and location. In terms of flexibility, efficiency and productivity, there are gains to the employees and their companies. It is easy to focus only on the measurable benefits of the technology and overlook consequences of such a fundamental change in the landscape.

Liberation from rigid location and time requirements has consequences: reduced face-time in the office, less chance of spontaneous coffee-machine encounters that spark ideas and the increasing tendency to communicate only on a targeted/as-needed basis. Lunchbox is a small countermeasure to add back some spontaneous connection. It’s a virtual coffee machine, facilitating chance encounters without any pretext beyond working in the same company or sharing the same interest.

Conceived to increase connection in large companies and organizations, Lunchbox works for everyone. It uses the concept of user-definable “universes” to find matches for you… create a universe for your company or any other group of people you want to meet up with on the fly.

In other words it's like Match.com but for work? All kidding aside, it seems a neat way to meet and collaborate with people in your company, department or creative group whom you would never normally meet face to face. It seeks to avoid non-personal communication with the personal. Anyone else see the potential of this technology to be integrated later into Office? Powered by Azsure, it will be interesting to see where it goes and if groups adopt it. Grab it here in the Marketplace for a go.

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3 years ago

No surprises in 'NoDo' Trophy update

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While we all know the core features of the 'NoDo' update (improved Marketplace, copy paste, better performance), it is safe to say many of us are hoping for some, extra features? Sort of like those little things which may not be huge changes but nonetheless are nice to find?

Well, sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but 'NoDo' is pretty much exactly what Microsoft said it would be, no more, no less. In that regard at least they're not being coy with us, but still, who would not have liked to find something more significant?

Monsmartphone has managed to load the update on their Trophy and while it works quite well, there isn't much else to say. Although there are a few more ringtones (but no custom ability) and Bluetooth has some better support, there are no bonus features.  That being said, there's no reason to be disappointed since nothing more was promised. And perhaps it is cynical of us to even question it, but hey, we're a greedy bunch who see 'Mango' on the horizon and are full of hope for this OS--it's okay to dream a bit ;-) Having said that, there is room for OEM improvements to ROMs, like maybe an T-Mobile HD7 pink camera/languages fix--we'll keep an eye out.

Source: Monsmartphone, Thanks, Gilles Dedisse, for keeping us in the loop!

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3 years ago

MonsterUp versions 1.5 and 1.6 updates and the future of MonsterUp

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Since we reviewed MonsterUp, the awesome DoodleJump clone for Windows Phone 7, developer Karios Games has continued honing the game, pushing out two new updates. MonsterUp was already a very slick indie title, so how has it improved?

MonsterUp v1.5.0.0 changelog:

  • View more online rankings in scoreboard screen
  • Concrete platform breaks with shield bonus
  • Minor tweak to concrete platform graphics
  • Minor tweaks to game fonts
  • View and beat online high scores in-game
  • View your all-time best and current leaderboard position in-game
  • Transition effects in loading screens
  • Reduced special power recharging time by 20%

MonsterUp v1.6.0.0 changelog (pending certification):

  • Graphics color banding bug fixed
  • Bigger in-game buttons
  • In-game buttons’ position changed
  • Small graphics tweaks
  • Minor tweaks to game fonts
  • Made in-game info more visible

Most impressive about these updates is the online high score integration. Score in MonsterUp is actually a measure of height; your high score is the greatest height you have reached. With the new online high score integration, every other MonsterUp player’s best height is clearly marked on-screen. This makes their scores far more tangible than simply viewing them from a Leaderboard. It’s easy to imagine a player trying just a bit harder when he sees the next best score just a little bit above hum on the screen… The Karios Games website has also been fully redesigned to include (among other things) the online scoreboards, further encouraging competition.

Follow the jump for exclusive information about Karios Games’ future plans for MonsterUp - and a new game announcement!

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3 years ago

Dell Venue Pro coming to Rogers on March 17th?

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The next Windows Phone 7 device hitting Canada is the Dell Venue Pro that is reportedly arriving through Rogers at the suspected date of March 17th.

As previously mentioned, tipsters have supplied pricing information on the vertical-sliding device at $149.99 with a 3-year contract or $599.99 without a contracted commitment. As our Seth Brodeur pointed out in the article, $149.99 seems fairly expensive for a three year bound contract. Since then, there has been word that the prices could be slightly lower at $449.99 and $99.99 respectively. We will inform you as to when we confirm these new rumours.

Source: MobileSyrup

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3 years ago

WP Device Manager won't allow unlocking [Homebrew]

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We have been following the development of the Windows Phone Device Manager with a watchful eye, and the proposed addition to the software was the inclusion of a new "jailbreaking" tool that would allow unlocking a handset without developer registration. Julien Schapman has now sated this is not going to be included with WP Device Manager.

"Because I was bored getting hundreds of emails from people asking me to send them WP Device Manager so they can continue to use pirated applications, and because there will be a short term solution for homebrews, I decided not to include my jailbreak tool. I respect other developers and I don’t want to be responsible for piracy, I’ve been contacted by Brandon Watson from Microsoft and I wish to be involved in the official homebrew support on Windows Phone."

While I'm aware that the majority of folk will be surprised by the latest announcement (we are too!), one must consider the positives that were included in Julien's post. He mentions that he wishes to be involved in the official homebrew development/support on WP7. I believe Microsoft should have as much of the homebrew community onboard as possible to ensure that their solution will be more than what these developers were cooking up individually.

For now, it looks like we will all be extending our wait for setting Barbie Girl as our ringtones and using a colour wheel to select the OS theme. With NoDo just around the corner (should it actually work on all devices), our attention should be occupied with the features included within the update, not to mention the fantastic selection of Xbox Live titles and apps that are available. 

What do you think of this decision, and do you have high hopes for the homebrew support that Microsoft is promising?

Source: WindowsPhoneHacker

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3 years ago

HTC Mozart gets a new ROM with 'NoDo' built in

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For those of you with HTC Mozarts (ours is being borrowed, ahem), you may want to head over to XDA to grab the latest factory ROM: [ROM]RUU_Mozart_HTC_Europe_1.30.401.01_5.54.09.21_22.33 b.50_RELEASE

This is a full ROM update from HTC themselves and in it, it reportedly contains the latest build of Windows Phone 7, including the much sought after 'NoDo' update with copy/paste and performance enhancements. Of course you may want to watch on the sidelines and let some others go first, but this looks like a double win for Mozart owners. No word on what is changed on the HTC/Baeband end, but we assume there's some minor improvements.

Source: XDA; via: @ChrisWalshie; Thanks, Manos, as well

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3 years ago

Microsoft to pay Nokia $1 billion in deal

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3 years ago

AT&T selling Windows Phone compatible microSD cards? Hmmm..

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Last we checked in with Microsoft at Barcelona, they did not have much to say on the expandable storage card issue with Windows Phone. Remember that fiasco, where AT&T/Samsung were saying you can add memory and Microsoft say you can't, then AT&T reversed themselves? Later, Microsoft promised a list of compatible cards and from our impression and we're not joking, it seems like they actually forgot about the whole issue. (When we spoke with Sandisk, they weren't even aware there was a problem, huzzah).

Now we got word that AT&T is evidently selling (has been selling) 16GB microSD cards that are compatible with the Samsung Focus. Hey, for all we know these might actually work as a large majority of cards do. But we're also pretty confident that these are not "approved" by Samsung or Microsoft and that this is probably just a listing accident (plus, good luck on changing that Surround card!). Heck, we're not even sure how long this has been listed for...but we bet it's been up for awhile.

Anyways, consider this fair warning--nothing has changed on the expandable storage front for Windows Phone.

Source: AT&T; Thanks, Lokitoth, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 7 not helping Microsoft's mobile market share?

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Quartely statistics from ComScore indicate Windows Phone 7 may not be giving Microsoft much of a boost in the mobile market. Comparing Smartphone Subscriber Shares for a three month period ending in October 2010 to the three month period ending in January 2011, Microsoft lost 1.7% of the market.

Comscore reports that 65.8 million people in the U.S. own smartphones, up 8 percent from the last quarter. Android moved to the top of the list at 31.2% of the market and RIM experienced the largest decline (-5.4%) moving them into the second slot. Apple held steady in third place with 24.7% of the market with Palm wrapping up things up with 3.2%.

While Microsoft went from 9.7% of the market to 8%, this decline may reflect, in part, the number of consumers moving from Windows Mobile to another OS prior to the release of Windows Phone 7.  Sprint and Verizon customers weren't involved in the initial launch of Windows Phone 7 and may have opted for another smartphone to tide them over.

Regardless, while Windows Phone 7 wasn't intended to be a silver bullet, the decline doesn't help build momentum with the new OS. It will be more telling to see how these numbers compare to the three month period ending in March 2011 after WP7 gets the NoDo update as well as Sprint and Verizon joins the fold.

Source: Comscore Via: ZDNet

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3 years ago

Microsoft and Rovio team up for Bing/Angry Birds tie-in

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According to Bing's YouTube channel, "Bing is now the official decision engine of Angry Birds."  The two have teamed up with a series of videos to promote the partnership, which has resulted in Bing links between levels of the game itself.  If you need tips on beating a level you can touch the button in-game and be whisked away to Bing results for that query.  The first two videos of the scheming pigs are available now on YouTube, with two more on the way.

The recent team-up comes in the wake of the announcement that Angry Birds is on its way to both Windows Phone 7 and XBox Live.  It also points to something much bigger, perhaps a multi-game deal between Rovio and Microsoft?

Source: Bing; Via TheUnwired

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