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3 years ago

Official: Windows Phone Mango to be released in the coming weeks

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We previously covered the leaked Orange memo that pinned the 15th of September as the roll-out day, but we are all ware of this day passing by. Now, Microsoft has finally released some more detail on the actual window for release. Eric Hautala published the following over at the Windows Phone Developer blog:

For months, we and dozens of our partner companies have been laying the groundwork for the Windows Phone 7.5 update—and making solid progress. As a result, we now expect to start rolling it out in the next week or two. At that time, we’ll also refresh the Where’s My Phone Update? table to reflect the worldwide roll out status.

This ties in with Joe Belfiore's tweet last week that reminded everyone of "the fall" being aimed at for the green button to be pressed. So, there we have it, keep an eye out on this space for the announcement within the next two weeks. 

Source: Windows Phone Dev blog  Thanks goes out to everyone (too many to name) who tipped us on this!

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3 years ago

TransparentTXT - Mango App Spotlight

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TransparentTXT - Mango App Spotlight

Ever walk into a light pole or mail box while walking and texting on your Windows Phone? TransparentTXT is a Windows Phone Mango app that hopes to take some of the hazards out of texting while walking.

Described as the solution for the text-walker, TransparentTXT activates your Windows Phone camera and throws a SMS overlay on top of your camera view. This way you can typed while having a view of what your about to walk into.

The on-screen display includes your keyboard, text fields and character count. You can also manage text and keyboard transparency in the settings. We agree with the developers warning that this app is not designed to allow you to text while driving and the recommendation that it is best to stop walking and then text. But, some like to keep moving and TransparentTXT might help steer you clear of light poles, mail boxes, small children or any other obstacle you may encounter while out walking.

There is a free trial available for TransparentTXT with the full version running $2.49. You can find both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. Remember you'll need to be running Mango on your Windows Phone to use TransparentTXT.

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3 years ago

Tiki Towers receives Mango update

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Tiki Towers receives Mango update

Following suit with other apps and games getting Mango updated, Tiki Towers has joined the fruit train. The update will bring fast-app switching and 60fps to the table, not like the game was slow to begin with. We'll be sure to attempt to obtain the change log to see if anything else was added in.

Check out our review of Tiki towers and download the game from the Marketplace.

Thanks @BinaerJongleur for the tip!

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3 years ago

gMaps Pro gets updated and brings Google Latitude for Windows Phone with it

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Here's a pleasant surprise, gMaps Pro (see earlier coverage) developer Alexey Strakh has managed a first for Windows Phone: Google Latitude.

Yup, starting with v111.0, users can now login to their Google Latitude account, see themselves and others on the map or as a list. It seems to work pretty well from our few minutes playing around--heck it even pulls down your avatar photo. Friends appear as green generic icons, tapping them brings up their info, location last check time, coordinates and ability to get directions to them. Other notable additions to v1.11.0:

  • Localization for English, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Русский, Беларускi languages
  • New weather layer

We've called gMaps Pro the best Google Maps app on Windows Phone and today's update reasserts that with these new features. There is also a free gMaps in the Marketplace, but note that it lacks these advanced and much coveted options. There's a free trial of gMaps Pro and it can bought for a fair $1.99. Grab it here in the Marketplace if interested.

Edit: App is not Mango-specific, it will work on NoDo phones as well

Big thanks, Mark Tepper (@BinaerJongleur), for the tip!

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3 years ago

New Windows Phones? HTC Ultimate, Radar 4G, Samsung Haden show up in device stats

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We love stats and today we have some from 'I'm a WP7' which were sent to us directly from the developer, Scott Peterson. Going through the list of makes, models and code names is always a challenge. This morning we have three devices that caught out eye (besides the already known Nokia 703 and 800).

  • HTC Ultimate - first we've ever heard of this device. Ironically, there was a fan-designed Android device back in early 2010 going by the same name--guess HTC liked the idea. Before we jump to conclusions though, this could be just a carrier branded version of the Titan e.g. think AT&T.
  • Radar 4G - So far only Samsung with the Focus S on AT&T gets the nod for first Windows Phone with "4G" (yes, in quotes). But if true, this will show that HTC has something up their sleeves. Our bet? We're looking at a Sprint or Verizon phone, with more confidence in the former carrier.
  • Samsung Haden - Searching for Haden returns the 'Hayden' aka Samsung l870, but that's too old to be relevant. However, it is a portrait slider device ala Venue Pro and Samsung does have an i677 in the works, which traditionally are front-qwerty phones. Maybe we're reading too much into that, but it's fun to guess.

(Note: The Eternity X310e is just the Titan)

So could we still see some new devices this fall? We think so and we'll be keep an eye out for more info, especially if it happens to land in out inbox.

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3 years ago

...I'm a WP7 updated for Mango and even bigger plans

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The app ...I'm a WP7 is one of those quite impressive offerings that many over look (though not too many as it's constantly #3 is the top free social apps). The program has just been updated to v3.1 making it the second Mango update to the given in the week. While v2.5 was quite an overhaul, we were pleased to see where 3.x has started to go and how it continues to improve. New features in v3.1 are the following:

  • Multiple Live Tiles
  • Hub Start screen
  • Member forums
  • Easter Eggs (hint: there's a ringtone)
  • Badge integration
  • User statistics
  • Twitter status integration
  • Save favorites
  • Bug fixes and performance enhancements

The forums are an interesting twist that are actually kind of fun (and a great way to anonymously discuss Windows Phone news) and the new layout and options are much welcomed. Plus with the fast-app resume and live tiles, you get a little more pizazz going on. We've also managed to learn about some new features coming very soon: 

  • GamerHub will, among other things, allow users to set up “meetups” where other users around the world can see them and join in, and help other Xbox users achieve goals, or just have fun
  • Extras area will Wallpapers/Ringtones, etc. updated constantly

Of course the app is free and even more importantly, ad free (and we're told always will be). If for nothing else, the app is just worth looking at as it's some nice programming skills. Microsoft should think about including this on every device, just our thoughts. Pick up the app here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Zune Marketplace now open in Sweden for Windows Phone users

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Microsoft's gears are still grinding away with Mango this fall, pushing out USB updates, new Mango apps and even launching the Marketplace in more regions, something that many desperately  want. It's the latter here that is most interesting as Sweden looks to be the lucky country today get Zune Marketplace access.

Reader Bruno H. has sent in these images along with his story about how very recently this all went live:

"Yesterday when i opened Zune on my pc, suddenly there was a new option in Zune that I had never seen before.

It was the Marketplace that had opened. I could rent movies (for points) and purchase and download WP7 Apps (for money). I bought an app I had on trial (Sally's Salon) to try the functionality. The Purchase went through but Sally on my WP7 device (Samsung Omnia 7) never got updated. Could be that I need Mango to get the purchases to download through Zune?"

Currency is in the native kronor as well. As to why Bruno can't actually update his phone with the game, we're not entirely sure but he may be on to something that this requires Mango on the phone already. If not, the other explanation is that things are completely "live" yet. Either way, it's nice to see the juggernaut that is Microsoft and Windows Phone trudging forward. Hopefully more territories are coming next. Thanks Bruno for reaching out to us and congrats!

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3 years ago

Microsoft reaches out to Nokia developers with API mapping tool, resources

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Developers for Nokia's Symbian system have to make a decision in the future: will they or won't they support Windows Phone apps development? The question is a tricky one as going from Symbian QT to the languages for Windows Phone is not so easy nor direct.

To aide in that, Microsoft has created a whole package of tools, white papers and even a roadshow to help devs come on over. For those who remember, Microsoft did a similar program with Android and iOS a few months back, so this is just a continuation of a theme to lure in new devs by making the transition a bit easer.

The new tools are the following:

Read more at the Windows Phone Dev Blog here.

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3 years ago

Fuse v1.1 now live in the Marketplace, Mango version next week

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For those of you who are loving Fuse (see early video review), you'll be pleased to know that v1.1 is now live in the Marketplace, bringing with it a ton of new features and fixes:

Features

  • better performance
  • no limitation for number of feed in a group
  • in-app YouTube player
  • transform flash YouTube player in browser by a preview of the video and a link to watch it
  • lock screen rotation feature

Localization

  • German added
  • Spanish added

And the list of "improvements" is pretty huge as well, so big we're leaving it till after the break. The bigger news is that expect in the next week or so the Mango version of the app to finally land on our devices. New features will include Live Tile, Multi Live Tile, and fast app resume, which sounds pretty killer to us. Pick up Fuse, with a trial, in the Marketplace here.

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - Implode! has exploded onto the Marketplace

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It’s been a long time coming, but Windows Phone gamers can finally get their Implode! on. IUGO’s physics-based puzzle game has just hit the Marketplace.

Take one part iBlast Moki (placing bombs) and another part Angry Birds (knocking stuff down) and you’ve got Implode! Each of the game’s whopping 150 levels is presented as a drawing on a chalkboard, creating a unique and nostalgic look. As if all of those puzzles weren’t enough, players can even design their own levels – there are even Achievements for it.

Speaking of which, the Achievement for earning an A+ in every single level should take quite a while. I doubt anyone will be getting all 200 GamerScore from this one in 20 minutes (*cough* Collapse! *cough*).

Implode! costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. You’ll find it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

Also, don't forget that Deer Hunter 3D is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. It's on sale for $2.99, down from $4.99.

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3 years ago

Yee Haw, Deer Hunter 3D sure is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week, ya'll

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No cut-rate tower defense games on sale this week! The new Xbox Live Deal of the Week is Deer Hunter 3D from Glu Mobile. It’s going on sale for $2.99, the price it should have been all along (it’s 99 cents on iPhone after all).

Deer Hunter 3D is all about killing defenseless animals, presumably to later utilize their carcasses in Pagan rituals. Err, I mean to make deer jerky! But you know, hunting games are actually pretty fun if you give them a chance (here's our review). It’s got great graphics for a phone game and a wide variety of missions and weapons to choose from.

Glu Mobile's hunting game is kind of buggy though, with one glitched Achievement – “All Year Round” – which requires players to play for 365 days (missions). Perhaps a Mango update will roll around and fix it, who knows. In the meantime, there are far too many virtual deer for the environment to sustain them all. Gamers need to kill them, or else they’ll die.

Deer Hunter 3D will be on sale for $2.99 for one week only. You can find it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Telus Mobility Mango Ready?

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Telus Mobility Mango Ready?

We've heard rumors that Vodaphone Australia will start rolling out Mango tomorrow and it looks as if the Canadian wireless provider Telus may be ready to roll out Mango to one of its two Windows Phones as well. Telus offers the HTC Surround and LG Optimus 7 and if you go to the Optimus 7's support page, to the the How-to section and check under "update your smartphone" things get interesting.

As you can see in the screen shot above, the page notes that "As of September 2011, a new software version is available for the LG Optimus 7". Scroll down to item number 5 and you see that if you are running OS 7.10.7720.68 you won't need to perform the update.

The page then goes into the steps to complete the update and the obligatory cautionary warnings. When you look at the same page for the HTC Surround, the update information is still referencing 7392 as the current OS version for that Windows Phone.

Telus couldn't make it easy on us and include a day with the month and year. But is this yet another sign that we're close? Fall is only three days away.

Thanks goes out to Brendon for the tip!

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3 years ago

AT&T to honor T-Mobile rates plans beyond the contract's life

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Even though AT&T still has a major hurdles to overcome in their move to buy T-Mobile (Justice Department litigation, customer opposition, litigation from States, etc.) they are still doing their best to pitch this acquisition in a positive light. The latest comes in the form of a leaked internal T-Mobile memo that outlines proper responses to customer questions on the acquisition.

The memo addresses what happens, if the purchase goes through, with T-Mobile customers rate plans and it goes something like this.

Scripted question: "Will my service or bill change due to the AT&T announcement?"

Scripted Answer: "No. While AT&T and T-Mobile have agreed to an acquisition, it will not be finalized for an estimated 12 months. Until that time, T-Mobile customers will not see any significant changes to their current T-Mobile experience as a result of the pending transaction."

The scripted reply continues to say, "If the acquisition is approved AT&T will honor the terms of each T-Mobile customer's contract. T-Mobile customers will be able to keep their rate plans. They will be able to do so for as long as they want to, even when their terms end and the service continues on a month-to-month basis."

This is a nice gesture and the right thing to do but what we don't know is what happens if you decide to upgrade phones? Go from that feature phone to a Windows Phone do you get to go to an AT&T plan? One would suspect if you make the purchase and enjoy the contractual discounts, you'd have to enter a new contract.  A new contract that has AT&T rates and scraps your T-Mobile plans. 

But that's only a guess on our part.

source: tmonews

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Manager, Joe Marini, no longer at Microsoft

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Joe Marini, Windows Phone principle manager at Microsoft, was in the social media spotlight with three tweets that caught the eye of not only his followers, but news sites and readers all around. Geekwire reports that a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed the news this morning that Marini had left the company he'd joined in 2003, but failed to elaborate on the reasons why.

The first tweet of three in question Joe published was detailing that he was was using a Nokia Windows Phone handset. A fellow Twitter user asked him what he'd rate the device out of 10 and Joe answered with the second tweet, scoring the mysterious handset an 8 and praising the solid feel, good camera, responsive UI, and nice little touches on the body construction. The last tweet posted by Joe was stating what he'd like to see improved, namely the screen size. 

Microsoft calls on its employees, according to its social media and blogging policy (PDF), to "be smart" and not to share any details that would otherwise be disclosed as confidential. Hopefully more information will be made available soon as to what the actual reasons for his departure were.

Source: Geekwire, via: TNW

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3 years ago

Submit your Mango app updates now and your 7.0 updates later

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With WP 7.5 Mango devices already rolling out around the world, like in Japan, Russia and France, it was only a matter of time before developers would be able to submit an update to their apps to work with the latest version of Windows Phone. As announced by Todd Brix on the official Windows Phone Developer Blog, you may now submit your applications to the Windows Phone Mango marketplace. For developers that are submitting updates to their existing apps that run on WP 7.0 the normal caveats apply; existing users with 7.0 devices will not receive the new functionality that comes with Mango-compatible version of your app, but they will be able to continue using the app as it is.

Unfortunately, as we've already known, this is going to be an annoyance for many of our hard-working developers who will want to update their existing apps to WP 7.5, and still update their apps for WP 7.0 users as well. Thankfully, by the end of October, that problem should be all but vanquished. The app submission process will be getting a nice change to provide developers with a dual-update path on their existing apps, meaning that they'll not be limited to adding features only for Mango device owners, but will now have a way to keep supporting their existing 7.0 users.

To help distinguish app feature-sets from 7.0 and 7.5 versions within the marketplace, a small text overlay has been created to be added to screenshots for all apps with a 7.5 upgrade path (shown above). Hopefully, this will help clear some of the confusion that users will have as they browse through app screenshots to see features that they can't access on their 7.0-based devices.

While it's nice that they'll be making this dual-update process available for developers, it's a shame that it will be so long before it arrives in October.  We can't expect them to make everything so easy on us, can we?

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog  Thanks goes out to Terry for the tip!

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