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2 years ago

Get the Smoked by Windows Phone for your Lock screen with Insider app

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Microsoft has pushed out yet another update for their Insider app--the app that gives you free Bing wallpapers, ringtones, tips and more from the Windows Phone Team.

What's unique about this update though (and smart) is the inclusion of the Smoked by Windows Phone logo/wallpaper which you can then use for your Lock screen. Pretty cool idea, although if we could offer some criticism: the text on the wallpaper overlaps with the Lock screen info, making it perhaps not the smartest decision for reading visibility.

A smaller, notable change is also the new Bing logo in the wallpaper info-bar area. Don't worry, it doesn't save like that.

The Insider app is updated about once a month to include new ringtones and wallpaper and seeing as its free, we see no reason to not have this on your phone (we really like 'Aphex' for our ringtone). Pick it up here in the Marketplace. Thanks, @WobblyChair, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: RateYourBeer

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Windows Phone App Review: RateYourBeer

Like beer? If so, take a look at the Windows Phone app RateYourBeer. It's a one stop source for beer brands and if you see something you like, you can chime in and share your comments. The app was originally released on the U.K. Windows Phone Marketplace and it has been recently unleashed on to the Marketplace in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and France.

RateYourBeer is our own Jay Bennett's home brew and was his first venture into Windows Phone development. It's a clean cut, straight forward app that presents a healthy amount of beer information. Oh, and as a way of giving back to the Windows Phone community Jay has open sourced the RateYourBeer API. Jay wanted to open up the API to everyone who might want to try their hand at Windows Phone development. You can find all the API information here at Jay's Blog and hit the break to learn more about RateYourBeer.

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2 years ago

easyRing for Windows Phone gets updated and then some

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A while back we took a look at the Windows Phone app easyRing. easyRing is an app that allows you to download custom ringtones to your Windows Phone. It was a nice, simply app at the time but has since been updated and given a name change. easyRing is now easyRing&Music, adding the capability to play/download music, as well as creating custom ringtones, to the Windows Phone app.

The update not only changes the name but also gives the app an entirely new look and some rather nice features. You now have pages for Hot Music picks and Active Music Groups to help you build/listen to playlists.

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: March 5 - 11 2012

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It's Sunday, so what time is it? It's time for the Windows Phone Summary of the Week! This is where we bring you all you a digestible list of everything you need to know from the past week, should you have been lost or absent. Kicking us off, as always, are WPCentral announcements. 

We've selected selected our winner (and runner-up) for the WPCentral Nokia 710 Photo Contest! Our Dave is back with the forum roundup for the recently held Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, as well as a number of top threads that contain hot discussion. That's all on the website front, let's head on into the summary. 

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2 years ago

Updated Ask Ziggy (or other apps) not launching? Try to re-install the app

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We've received reports from some readers that the recent update to Ask Ziggy version 2.0, the Siri-like SkyNet-type app for Windows Phone, has left the app unusable. The recent update addressed some issues and fixed some bugs, but it seems that users may experience problems when launching the app after updating.

Like many apps that experience issues when launching with crashes or errors, a simple way to fix the problem (especially if it's after an update has been installed) is to re-install the troubled app. We advise Windows Phone users to troubleshoot before reporting issues to prevent frustration. This should fix Ask Ziggy too.

Thanks to everyone who sent in troubled reports.

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2 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: PocketBracket

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Windows Phone App Review: PocketBracket

March Madness is upon us and PocketBracket is here to bring all the scores and bracketology to your Windows Phone.

PocketBracket helps eliminate the challenges of creating and managing your NCAA College Basketball Tournament brackets. Key features of the app include:

  • Create unlimited NCAA® tournament brackets
  • Automatic bracket scoring and ranking
  • Organize unlimited pools available across the PocketBracket Network
  • Create Private pools
  • Detailed Stats screens
  • Rotate for a full Bracket view
  • Get game scores and updates

You also have the ability to use a "SmartPick" feature to help you choose those too close to call games and share your picks through Facebook, Twitter or email.

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2 years ago

Ubisoft's Autodance, a Just Dance companion app for Windows Phone, coming soon

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Ubisoft, who already have the Your Shape: Fitness Evolved companion app for Windows Phone, is set to introduce a free Just Dance companion app to the platform - Autodance. According to the description published on Monwindowsphone, the app will enable users to record dance routines performed by friends and family, synchronise saved performances with Just Dance 3, and upload the results to YouTube and share on Facebook.

Description of upcoming Autodance (translation):

"Save your friends doing the movements and synchronise Autodance to make real choreography. Then, like magic, your friends will move their bodies to a memorable music video. Share the talents of these new stars on Facebook, or publish them on Youtube so that they receive the glory they deserve. No need to be gifted to play Just Dance, simply use Autodance."

As mentioned above, Autodance is expected to be available (for free) on the Marketplace soon. We'll have a video up with more information shortly, so stay tuned. For now, see an example dance video after the break.

Via: Monwindowsphone (translation)

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2 years ago

Updated Microsoft Weather app optimized for Tango

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In a small post on his MSDN blog, Microsoft's Mike Battista let us know about the recently updated Weather app which hit version 2.0 yesterday. Your response to it has been overwhelmingly supportive of the new version with many giving it high praise.

What's interesting though is how the app was redesigned from "the ground up" to take advantage of the new Tango guidelines:

"In addition to having new features, this version was architected from the ground up for performance following many of the guidelines I call out in my recent blog post Optimizing Apps for Lower Cost Devices.

I encourage you to follow the same performance/UX principles demonstrated by this new Weather update.  Following these principles will ensure your apps perform great regardless of the device."

Lead by example. Granted the app is hardly pulling a lot of info but it's still very fast. And it's nice to know that those on Tango will get the same experience. So devs, heed Mike's advice and take a second look at your app and performance using those guidelines. For those curious, here is a listing of Tango limiations

Source: Mike Battista's Blog

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2 years ago

Sony on not making a Windows Phone: "...no one really cares about WP."

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Whether or not Sony Mobile Communications (previously Sony-Ericsson) will commit to a Windows Phone has been a back and forth for some time now. They dipped their toe into the ecosystem back on 2010 with the "Julie" prototype which was then canceled and since then, have been open but not committed to the platform.

A recent rumor suggested that they would make a device but not till late 2012 i.e. when Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" hits--a reasonable decision in our mind. However, Phone Arena, in a meeting with Sony Mobile Communications during Mobile World Congress, managed to get a little more info from the company and it doesn't sound too positive on the prospects.

While Sony are still "open" to the idea evidently they're not too keen on it either. If you wonder "why not" Sony's answer is "Because no one really cares about WP".

Harsh words from a company struggling to turn a profit in 2011 and 2012 (they're down 20% in shipments from a year ago and lost 247m Euros, according to the BBC). While they will still push forward with Android, the prospects for a Windows Phone from them still seems slim, at least for the near future.

Of course in a mobile world dominated by Samsung, HTC, Nokia and Apple, one has to ask: Does anyone care about Sony anymore?

Source: Phone Arena; via PocketNow (Image via Phones4U)

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2 years ago

HTC TITAN quietly removed from online UK retailers

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It would appear as though some UK retailers and carriers are silently ditching the HTC TITAN (our review) Windows Phone from their online properties. Retail chains include The Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U, as well as O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange. Searching the websites for the handset yield no results. We've reached out for possible confirmation of / reasons behind the sudden removal.

Could the TITAN not be selling well enough, or will we be seeing a compatible TITAN II hitting the UK shores? Should you be interested in the TITAN I, you can still pick one up from Amazon UK (eXpansys), Clove UK and BuyMobilePhones to name but a few.

Thanks Sam for the tip!

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2 years ago

From the Forums (Windows Phone Meet Ups forum is live)

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Do you have a Windows Phone? Do you like to share your experiences with others? What better way than to sponsor a "Meet Up" in your area? Plan your event, then when you have the details post your Meet Up in our Forums so others can join in on the fun. Come join us in our Windows Phone Meet Ups area and post your event. We would love to see you there.

Remember, the forums are more fun when you register, so sign up today.

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2 years ago

Lumia 800 is now the 710 according to Windows Phone display at Future Shop

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We all find it humorous when carriers and retailers get things wrong, especially when it comes to Windows Phone. From mistaking specifications, to calling the platform "Windows Mobile" - it's all fun and games. Cue Future Shop, a Canadian chain of electronics stores.

As you can see in the above photos, Future Shop have got their minds muddled with the Lumia family of Nokia Windows Phones. The Lumia 800 is now the 710. Either that or Canada is getting a slightly confused selection of handsets. We still wonder just how it's possible for marketing / promotion material teams to get this so wrong.

Thanks Lucas for sending in the photo! 

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2 years ago

Nokia 'Traffic Intersection Flashmob' in Joburg [Video]

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Nokia's "Little Ideas" marketing campaign is taking them around South Africa with the same approach as "The Amazing Everyday" in other pats of the world. We've already had the manufacturer hand out free coffee as well as other promotion efforts in Cape Town. In Episode 4, we have a flashmob heading to an intersection in Joburg to showcase an interesting performance.

It's good to see the "Little Ideas" series rolling on, especially in South Africa where promotion is steadily becoming increasingly noticeable. Episode 3 of "Little Ideas", which sees Nokia providing complimentary carwashes, is located below.

Source: YouTube, via: MyNokiaBlog

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2 years ago

GroupMe changes ownership in the Windows Phone Marketplace with latest update

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Here's one that will cause some confusion: there are now two GroupMe apps in the Marketplace. The first one is v3.0 which reported on back during Mobile World Congress. That's the version 3.0 overhaul that we really like as it includes a Live Tile, notifications and a complete UI redesign.

But it also had a few bugs and quirks as many of you had pointed out. Luckily, version 3.1 is now out and it reportedly fixes a lot of those issues. Problem is, you won't see the update notification for the Marketplace.

The reason? There is a second, newer GroupMe app in the Marketplace but it's listed under Microsoft Corporation. For those keeping track, Skype bought GroupMe in 2011. Microsoft bought Skype, so by the transitive property, Microsoft owns GroupMe. And we guess they are now claiming it as their own, re-releasing the official app under their account (in fairness, there's no other way for them to get around this issue, so two it is).

We imagine the first GroupMe (under that company's name and left at v3.0) will eventually be pulled, but for now we recommend you uninstall that app and go get the new one with the bug fixes and keep up to date.

Grab the new Microsoft GroupMe here in the Marketplace for free. Thanks, Adrian, for the heads up!

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