3 years ago
Minesweeper and Sudoko stirring up a storm
Sudoku and Minesweeper seems to be causing a bit of a stir. The two Windows Phone Xbox Live titles are now available over at the Marketplace (for free) but for some reason Microsoft limited the release to the U.S. Market only.
We received a small sampling of the ill feelings from our International readers the other day about this restriction but over at the Windows Blog, Microsoft seems to be taking it on the chin. Here are a few of the comments that basically sum up the feeling of those readers.
"At some point the WP team is going to need to realize there are places outside the USA. So many missing features / USA only apps." -Freypal
"This just confirmed the fact that to the rest of the world Microsoft is just showing us a "big middle finger"."-K.Rawlins
"With all due respect, this "US Only" thing is getting old real fast. I am a US citizen, but I'm not sure why Microsoft loves screwing over the rest of the world."-Cylon Centurion
Michael Stroh penned the post over at the Windows Phone Blog and appeared to be as surprised as we were to learn these titles were "U.S. Only". Stroh would later learn that there are no plans to introduce these two games elsewhere and promised to make sure the Xbox Live team was aware of the ill feelings.
Now here's a question (actually two) for our readers. Is the irritation from not being able to play Minesweeper or Sudoku? Or is more over the principle of things? If it's the latter, I never knew Minesweeper had such a following.
Personally, I think unless an app has regional content that wouldn't make sense anywhere else, every Marketplace app should be available system wide. I can understand Bing Get Me There being only useful in London because I don't have any Tube Stations in Alabama.
But games? Come on, make them available world wide. Obviously you've got some language issues to tackle but the rewards will surely out weigh the cost. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. Maybe the Xbox Live team visits our blog as well.
3 years ago
Gelaskin: A different kinda case for your Windows Phone
We ran across an interesting case for your Windows Phone. Gelaskins are a removable cover for protecting and customizing your Windows Phones. I guess it wouldn't qualify as a "case" but it looks as though it will offer some level of protection from scratches and scuffs.
The skin is attached to your phone by 3M adhesive that leaves no residue and allows for repositioning so you can get the most perfect fit possible. The skin has the appropriate cut-outs for microphones, ear speakers, volume keys and the what not.
Gelaskins has a decent selection of skins available for a nice selection of Windows Phones including the Samsung Focus, HTC HD7, HTC Trophy, LG Quantum and the Samsung Omnia 7. Gelaskins also makes skin covers for laptops, gaming consoles, tablets, and other electronic devices.
If you can't find a skin design that suits your fancy, you can always create a skin from scratch using your own photograph or art work. Most skins will run $14.95 and will include the wallpaper to complete your skin appearance (emailed to you once your skins ship).
For more information, head on over to Gelaskin's website. We've got two skins ordered and we'll get a review up once we get them in hand.
3 years ago
Samsung GT-i8350 could be "Omnia W"
We first heard about the Samsung GT-i8350 in July, when it was speculated to be a follow up to the Omnia 7. Yesterday, we saw that it got its Bluetooth certification, which means it's close to being released. Word is now that the GT-i8350 will be re-branded as the Omnia W and that it will hit shelves in October.
The Mango-equipped refresh of the Omnia 7 will also sport the following:
- 1GHz processor
- 512MB of RAM
- 5MP camera
- 3.7-inch WVGA screen
- Bluetooth (as we already knew)
Nothing to get excited about here, but hey, it will be one more option out there come Fall.
Source: HDBlog; Via: PocketNow
3 years ago
HTC and Beats Electronics make it official
As expected Peter Chou, HTC's CEO held a teleconference to announce his companies partnership with Beats Electronics. The venture is hoped to bring studio quality sound to the HTC smartphones. Which smartphones will benefit from this venture is still a mystery.
HTC is investing $300 million into this venture with Beats, who in turns will work to make the audio quality of smartphones less like a portable television. Jimmy Lovine, Beats Electronics' Chairman, felt that audio components for computers and smartphones were at the manufacturing back end. Digital sound looses so much quality from the studio to the cd to the audio file. Beats Electronics hopes to bring that quality back.
Both Beats and HTC sounded up beat about this venture. While there were no specific details offered on how Beats Electronics will be integrated with HTC phones, the time frame of "later this fall" was referenced. The twenty plus minute teleconference didn't shed much light on this new partnership but both Beats Electronics and HTC definitely came across up beat about this new venture.
So, do you think the two new HTC Mango phones that received BT Certification will have Beats sound? Or will this be a separate line for HTC and will such a line include a Windows Phone? Hopefully we'll know for certain sooner than later.
*Pictured above is Jimmy Lovine Chairman of Beats Electronics, Peter Chou CEO of HTC, and Beats Electronics' CEO, Dr. Dre.
3 years ago
Windows Phone Mango coming September 1? [Rumor]
PocketLint is reporting that "multiple trusted sources" have confirmed that Mango will begin rolling out on September 1. This is a bit earlier than initial reports of a Fall release and well short of Steve Ballmer's claim that it will arrive for Christmas, denoting the shopping season. PocketLint says the timing was chosen to coincide with the IFA consumer electronics extravaganza in Berlin, which is slated for September 2-7.
This would be a great stage for some of the big WP7 manufacturers, like Samsung, LG, and HTC to show off their new goods heading into the holiday season. However, the highly-anticipated line of Nokia WP7 devices is not expected to be introduced until the Nokia World conference in October. The build-up to Mango has been rife with talk of mystery devices and rumored sightings, so take this one with a grain of salt as well.
It also raises a lot of questions. Like what about carrier approval? On what devices? What countries? Are these upgrades too? Etc. So for now, we'll be a little cautious as we're not expecting a unified, global launch.
3 years ago
Unofficial TextsFromLastNight app now available
In our relentless pursuit to find each and every app that can possibly waste time, we present finally a decent version of TextsFromLastNight (see site), the popular SMS-sharing site where the odd, strange and maybe even true messages are traded each day.
The app here by Gaucho Gear is not only free but ad-free (for now at least). While it doesn't feature any way to pass on or favorite interesting messages, the super-minimalist-Metro layout is simple and to the point, especially for such a basic site as TFLN. We do dig the ability to go by area code and read comments on each message and the price is right, so we don't have too much more to say on it.
"All the fun, crazy, and strange humor of TextsFromLastNight.com has now arrived on your Windows Phone! All the content comes directly from the TextsFromLastNight servers.
By default, the app will filter out offensive language. You can turn that off in the settings menu, if you dare and can legally do so."
Sounds like you want it? Then here's your linky to the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Two Mango powered HTC devices get Bluetooth certification
With the release date coming ever closer and RTM stage being well underway, it's time for us to see more devices in the news.
It seems HTC are preparing two new handsets for the Mango update. We can now see two new devices that have received Bluetooth certification, although we only have model numbers; PI06XXX and PI39XXX. Could one of these be the HTC Mazaa, Eternity, Ignite or Prime? Are you looking forward to more handsets from the manufacturer?
Source: PI06XXX, PI39XXX; via: PocketNow
3 years ago
Cloud Recorder is a neat twist on an old idea
Someday, if we find the energy, we'll look into doing a memo recorder app wrap up--after all, there's a few dozen we imagine. But for now, we're going to briefly highlight 'Cloud Recorder' by Schulte Software Development because it's free and pretty darn cool.
Just as you would imagine, the app is a simple voice or sound recorder--you launch it and hit record, give it a title and add any notes if you want. But this is the cool part: instead of just sitting on your device, you upload to SoundCloud.com, a free service we had never heard of till now. SoundCloud the stores your recordings and allows you to share/embed them automatically with social-networking sites e.g. Facebook and Twitter. In other words, you can make a voice note and have it posted to your Facebook wall with a simple button, allowing all your friends and family to hear your voice note. Of course you could opt to not make it public and it'll just be stored on SoundCloud.com--you're presented with the option for each recording. From the app description:
"Record your memos or any audio signal, upload it to the cloud and access your recording anywhere. Elegant and easy. Just press the record button in the app to start a recording, you can then upload your recording to SoundCloud.com. Optionally you can also share it with your friends on Facebook,Twitter or via email. Make your Windows Phone to a dictating machine and access your recordings anywhere."
On top of that, we dig the live spectrograph graphics when sound is being picked up by the app , the ease of sharing and even the elegant-Metro tile. Plus it's free (though we wouldn't mind a $0.99 ad free version). Overall a neat little app. Grab it here in the Marketplace if you're curious.
3 years ago
From a teen's perspective: Windows Phone Mango
Much like CNet's Molly Wood, having a review from non-enthusiasts is an important method to evaluate a phone's potential. Arguably, Windows Phone Mango is Microsoft's second chance to woo the smartphone crowd and how novices or teenagers react to it is important for marketing.
Luckily for friend of the site and ZDnet writer Matthew Miller, he has his teenage daughter, Mal, on hand to perform such a task. By letting her use a Samsung Focus with Mango loaded, she was able to give her opinion in a nicely written review. From her summary:
"Overall I thought the Samsung Focus with this new Windows Phone Mango update was an amazing phone, I really loved it! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a simple, smart, social phone. Windows Phone 7 is my new favorite operating system and I can’t wait until my Dad gets me one of these, hopefully for Christmas (hint, hint)."
Interestingly, her criticisms are pretty much spot on, noting the lack of LED alerts--something we often hear as well:
"There was no notification, or indicator lights. You must turn the display on to the lock screen to see if you have any notifications and to make sure it’s charging which I found to be a bit of a pain. I had to frequently check my phone to see if I had a text, email, etc, and would like to have a better system."
We have a feeling most here will agree with that assessment. Check out the rest of Mal's write up though as she breaks down section by section and gives her thoughts on such things as the hardware and software. At least for this one teenager, Microsoft seems to have accomplished their mission. Now to just get the word out...
Source: "Teen talk: Mal loves Mango and thinks many others will too" (ZDnet)
3 years ago
Tube8 brings some "adult content" to Windows Phone (blush)
Adult swim, all kids out of the pool...
We're not gonna give this a full review due to the subject matter and going beyond the single image you see above is a bit difficult, but Devil-Y Software has manged to create a streaming app for the "adult site" Tube8. Ahem. Though we could be wrong, we're guessing this is the first full x-rated app for Windows Phone. So party balloons for everyone!
The app itself comes in two varieties: free, with ads and nothing else and a paid version with all the bells and whistles. So how much? How about $9.99 for no ads, faster loading, password protected, downloading of the videos and embedded video player. The shame? That's free. The software also seems tied to your device, not LiveID and of course you have to side-load it.
We'll just say that the app works. And that of course you'll never see it in the Marketplace. And that Microsoft is probably not thrilled with this post. And neither are my parents. But you're welcome anyways.
3 years ago
HTC Mazaa reveals faster GPU and more
Lots more information coming out from that HTC Mazaa device running Mango RTM build 7720 that we mentioned yesterday morning.
Cpitt over at XDA received the phone as an award for winning a Microsoft sponsored developer contest. Since then he has posted numerous images and detailed some of the changes on board:
- GPU seems faster - using WP Benchmark, the Mazaa hit 50 FPS vs the HD7 (Mango 7712) at 23 FPS
- Local Scout in RTM 7720 has its own Tile (edit: this is there in 7712, evidently)
- Fishtank on the Mazaa is about 47 fps, where it's only abou 30 on the HD7
- CDMA/GSM dual band
The CDMA/GSM dual band makes this a shoe in for Verizon, though it's doubtful the Mazaa will be released publicly. The faster GPU is potentially a combo of the tweaked RTM 7720 as well as the Adreno 205 GPU chipset that is thought to be on board the Mazaa, giving it a little extra horsepower.
Even though this is basically a revised HTC Trophy, we like where all of this is heading--RTM build of Mango seems fantastic, potentially faster GPU in devices (plus bumping the 30 FPS cap from NoDo) means smoother graphics. We have a good feeling about this fall...
Oh and XDA member lionmilk, who also won one, sold his on eBay for the low-low price of $699.
3 years ago
HTC teaming up with Beats Electronics, new phones on the way?
HTC has announced a new partnership with Beats Electronics to create a superior mobile audio experience. We had heard rumblings earlier of a major announcement in the works for HTC and while speculation ranged from a new tablet to new phones to even a sponsorship for an Anthrax concert tour, it remained a bit of a mystery until just a little while ago.
Beats Electronics is the creation of music master Dr. Dre and the chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records Jimmy Lovine. We all know HTC from their quality Windows Phones. Together the two companies hope to deliver unbeatable sound to HTC Phones. The business venture will eventually result in a new line of HTC devices integrated with Beats sound innovations that should be available later this Fall.
There was no hint as to what type devices will be headed to market and we can only guess if they involve new Windows Phones. Maybe an updated version of the Surround with Beats audio? We'll keep tabs on the press event tomorrow and if more information becomes available, we'll be sure to pass it on.
You can catch HTC's full press release on the new partnership after the break.
3 years ago
Brandon Watson has a mystery Windows Phone with an "amazing" screen
This is just one of those tease posts since we don't have much to go on, but earlier today, Microsoft's Brandon Watson was able to play with some new Windows Phone. His impression was quite enthusiastic, to say the least, especially in regards to the screen. The worse part about his job is of course he can't share details with us, just yet:
"You know what I hate? Holding a phone I want, but cannot buy and cannot talk about. The worst part about not being able to talk about this #windowsphone is I can't talk about how amazing the screen is. Holy mamma jamma"
Our first guess would be the rumored Samsung Galaxy SII device, shown off by Microsoft a few weeks ago and seen above. That phone, if the specs remain the same, will sport a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen aka the latest screen tech from Sammy. We've actually played with one of those phones back in Barcelona and indeed, it's very impressive. Then again, it may be something else. Twitter'r @ShakeWhyBake asked "4.3 inch OLED? at least give us the size!!!..." to which Watson responded "@ShakeWhyBake If size were all that mattered, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. "
We're still leaning towards the Super AMOLED Plus story here, but Professeur Thibault believes it may be a new screen resolution, speculating on his blog that it's a Super AMOLED HD (1280x720). While that would certainly be awesome, we've heard Microsoft specifically state that 800x480 is all there will be for sometime and we're inclined to believe them. But hey, we like a little mystery too.
Source: @BrandonWatson; via Professeur Thibault
3 years ago
HD7 with early build of Windows Phone "Tango" for sale on Facebook
Interestingly, the other day we saw what was thought to be the first screenshot of Windows Phone "Tango", the next iteration of the OS coming after "Mango". Starting with build 8200 and higher, "Tango" is still a bit of a mystery, seeing as "Mango" hasn't even rolled out yet. Yesterday we saw mention of it as a low-cost option for Microsoft.
Now from a Slovakian Facebook page, we have an individual supposedly selling an HD7 with "Tango" on board. That's the same area of the world where we saw the last "Tango" sighting. Translated from the page:
"HTC HD7 16GB (T9292 Schubert) for sale. You can select from three builds of Windows Phone - 7.0.7392, 7.10.7720 (Mango), 7.10.8200 ("Tango"). The first two are stable and functional build, third is dev build (not stable and to continue with official builds you have to flash it using RUUs). Price starts at 150€, you can contact me on my mail which I have on the forums, only through mail, highest price wins, delivery is not included in the price (only express delivery, not post office). In mail, write down which version of the OS you want, RUUs are not included. All accessories, slovak distribution, arrived today :)"
So like the Toshiba TG-01, here's your change to have a one of kind device. Though we'll stick to local sales in the States for now, you know, just in case.
Source: Facebook; Thanks, wictory, for the info!
3 years ago
Samsung Omnia 7 running Mango RTM ?
A tipster over at WPSauce sent them a screen shot of a Samsung Omnia 7 sporting WP7 version 7720, which is the RTM version of Mango. We saw this same version number on the Mango-toting HTC Mazaa that was awarded to a student developer yesterday and is expected to be made available to current WP7 devices this fall. File this one under "iffy," as the picture cannot be verified and no details have been provided for its context.
In fact, the closer we look at it, the more fake it looks.
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