IronSun Studios is offering Ionball over at the Marketplace. Ionball is a Breakout styled game that is presented, as described by the developer, in a unique SteamPunk style.
The game play itself isn't anything new. The object is to destroy the tiles by bouncing a ball into them. You keep the ball bouncing by virtue of a paddle board at the bottom of the screen. Miss the ball with the paddle and you loose a life.
To see if Ionball is a breakout of a game, ease on past the break.
If you browse the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace under the Tools category, the one thing that stands out is the vast amount of flashlight apps that are present. If my count is correct (and I openly admit I may have missed one) there are thirty flashlight apps available.
Most, if not all, simply open a white screen that is bright enough to use as a light source. Some version come with options ranging from having the ability to turn on/off the light to having strobe or colored lights. Flashlight 7 offers a light pattern that spells S.O.S. in Morse Code as well as a police light (blue and red flashing) pattern. Luckily there's enough variations with the thirty or so flashlight apps to keep them from getting boring.
These flashlight apps can come in handy. If you hunting for keys, the power goes out at the house and all you can find is your Windows Phone, if the kids need a nightlight for nighttime road trips, and other emergency or spur of the moment needs.
For those of you leaving on the edge of your Windows Phone 7 software (e.g. Google Maps, ringtone manager), you would be a little experienced with installing .XAP files (pronounced "zap") which are basically the WP7 version of .CABs. While installing them isn't that hard (Start Menu --> Windows Phone Developer Tools --> Application Deployment --> Select file), looks like someone wanted to make it even easier.
If you remember the old add on .cab installer for Windows Mobile called CabViaActiveSync, this app by Tom Condon should be very familiar: it basically allows one-click install of any .xap file on your computer. Simply download the zip, extract the .exe and Run As Administrator. Now, whenever you click on a .xap file, you'll get the above dialog screen allowing direct installs to the phone.
While many of you haven't unlocked yet and the Homebrew scene is still in its infancy, we recommend you bookmark this or make a mental note as this app will be very useful later on.
Looks like Tech Autos has accepted the challenge and released a simple but fully functional Google Maps application. The app right just brings down the maps and shows your location, so not too useful. But the developer plans to add Address / point-of-interest search, Directions and Favorites, making the program much more useful.
The bad news: You have to have your phone unlocked/jailbroken as a developer or by using the now defunct ChevronWP7. The latter is more difficult because you actually need a certificate that was hosted on their servers. Luckily XDA has your back on that one.
All right you Final Fantasy nerds, if we know one thing, we know the following video footage will get you all giddy.
Somehow, someway, Final Fantasy VII is evidently running on Windows Phone 7.
When we look back at those 50 Xbox launch titles, we don't recall seeing anything from Square Enix, so we're thining "Homebrew" here. Then again, what's with those official looking Windows Phone logos? What is even more exciting is the tease at the end of the video where it says "Rejoice. It's coming. And maybe not only this one PSOne Classic" obviously alluding to other major titles. Odd timing too, what with that utterly craptastic Playstation Phone becoming more of a reality tonight. The poster does say this:
This is some footage of the current progress of "FFWP7". In this version it still looks like the timeless classic for the PlayStation 1, but maybe there'll be a graphical upgrade.There's a lot of power in a WP7-Device and so the highly-anticipated remake of FF7 could be the result :)
Could this be some awesome, side loaded emulator? Or is it the real-deal? We'll leave that to you. Discuss.
The Fast & Furious Adrenaline game for Xbox Live has been released today, bringing some more racing excitement to the mix. For $4.99 the game can be yours or you can do the try-before-you-buy thing, which we highly recommend.
We played with the game for a few minutes and while it's not bad, it's not great either. Handling is very sensitive and the graphics are OK. Need for Speed (see review and video) appears to be much more polished. But hey, if you like these games, it is certainly worth the demo download.
For those who like to use Google Voice, there's a new app in town that may be the one everyone has been waiting for: GVoice.
The app will push messages to you, transcribe voicemail, allow you to enable/disable devices and even pull down contact photos. It fetches for $3.99, which is a bit pricey, but we imagine that's to cover the costs of running a push server. There's a free trial too but it has no push notifications.
Is it better than GoVoice ($2.99)? Hard to say but we'll put the through their paces and compare/contrast the two. Stay tuned.
Speaking of live tiles and push notifications, looks like Flixster finally figured how to get theirs to work as they flipped the switch on their servers. Flixster, the movie info application that shows local showtimes, trailers and reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, came out with their update (version 1.3) that has live tile functionality and bugfixes, though it took them 3 days to turn it on.
As you can see, the tile is quite nice though nothing radical. All it shows is "...the latest weekly box office hit right on your Start screen". Sure, it's not the most crazy thing out there but we're very glad to see developers offering live tile support and we kind of dig Flixster's take on it. Of course, it's optional and can be disabled in Settings.
Update: Reader jconroe contacted Flixster and they noted that they push the update out once a week. Since the #1 movie is figured out on the weekend, it makes sense that we received the update on Monday, which is probably when most readers will see theirs change--at least that's our guess.
OMG brings back some of the best things that were left behind in the late 80's arcade halls. Dark atmospheres and neon lights, simple graphics set to totally rad sound, and best of all - addictive gaming urging you on to beat the highest score. Our Manic Game by Arkedo Studios is certainly no throwback either. It isn't nearly as aggressive at destroying your stock as those old cabinets were for some more quarters and the controls are nearly sublime. All that's really missing here is the pizza shop and someone pestering you for next game.
Read on for Rob's full review, including a sweet video that shows off gameplay and offers some gaming tips as well!
Back a few weeks ago, we detailed a small and unique problem when you tried to stream music from two Zune devices, serially: Basically you would pause music on one device e.g. your phone and then you would try to stream it on your Xbox. While this was supported, it would result in an error only solvable by rebooting your phone.
If you have a Zune Pass, keep in mind that you can play streaming music on only one device at a time. (For example, you can't simultaneously play Zune Marketplace streams on your phone and your PC.) In certain circumstances, Zune Marketplace might think you're still playing a stream on your phone when you've stopped playback and temporarily block you from playing streams on your PC. If you encounter this problem on your PC (sometimes identified as streaming error C101A9CA), go back to your phone and play something that isn't streamed (for example, a song that you ripped from a CD or bought from Zune Marketplace). Then go back to your PC and try playing the stream again.
Seems easy enough to us and according to Steve M who sent us the tip, it works just fine. Thanks, Steve.
Unfortunately, searching for images and just images on Windows Phone 7 is not so easy, despite having Bing built in. Sure, you could fire up the browser and do it the old manual way, but we're looking for a more elegant solution.
Two image viewers are put to the test: Easy Image Collector ($0.99; store link) and ImageSearch ($0.99; store link). Both offer try-before-you-buy options and each has it strenths and quirks, leading to no clear winner but instead two pretty solid performers that greatly enhance image searching.
Now HTC has responded to the charges in a statement to Computer Weekly stating:
Quality in industrial design is of key importance to HTC. To ensure the best possible signal strength, antennas are placed in the area least likely to be covered by a person's face or hands while the phone is in use.
However, it is inevitable that a phone's signal strength will weaken a little when covered in its entirety by a user's palm or fingers. We test all of our phones extensively and are confident that under normal circumstances reception strength and performance will be more than sufficient for the operation of the phone when network coverage is also adequate
While we don't think the HD7's reception issues are nearly as bad as the iPhone 4's, it certainly is demonstrably worse than other handsets available today, including HTC's own Mozart. Still, we'll take them at their word that they do testing and take this seriously but we'll still rank the HD7 has having below-average performance when it comes to reception. And T-Mobile's network doesn't help the situation either.