We showed you Video Diary by Lance McCarthy sometime ago. The app acts as a way to record regular video diaries, keeping them separated from the camera's video roll and also has reminders to keep you on schedule. The app hit the Marketplace a few days ago but had an error in it resulting from the Marketplace submission. It also lacked Skydrive support, something the developer said he was actively working on .
Now version 2.0 is here with that Skydrive support and works just great. You log in, it creates a Video Diary folder and away you go. Other fixes to v2.0 include:
Numerous tweaks and polishing to the UI
Data connection testing enhanced
Certification capability issue solved
Overall a nice update and a great feature set for a free app. The Skydrive support should also make a lot of you happy, seeing as we get so much free storage there. Pick up Video Diary here in the Marketplace.
Nokia Belgium announced on their Facebook that the Lumia 800 will be sprouting up in Brussels on January 20 for an exclusive event. The event will signify the launch of the 800 in Belgium and you can be a part of it. Nokia has set up an online entry form where you can apply for one of 30 seats to the showcase. To enter, send your name, email address and a short blurb explaining why you want to attend. Bonne chance!
It was unclear at the time of what the developer's motivation was here though it certainly looked suspicious. Now, Microsoft has reacted by removing the trademark-infringing app from the Marketplace. It does not appear that any action has been taken against the developer as his other apps, Stock Today and AllSportz which are legitimate and free are still available.
At least new customers won't be caught off guard by the Doppelganger anymore and hopefully this will a rare happening in our Marketplace.
This week we're back after a lil' hiatus. Join Jay Bennett, Daniel Rubino and our latest contributor to the site, Rafael Rivera for a discussion of Nokia's 900, OS update 8107, ChevronWP7 Labs (and tokens) plus our favorite apps.
"...we work closely with console software team and Xbox LIVE services team to bring the latest and greatest gaming and entertainment experience to mobile platforms including Windows Phone, iOS and other mobile platforms."
The job description also notes in the qualifications,
"Experience of Windows Phone, iOS or Android development is a big plus."
We can only speculate what's up Microsoft's sleeve as far as the future of Xbox Live mobile games is concerned but the listing does look like expansion is up for consideration.
From a purely business point of view, if Microsoft can tap into the iOS and Android markets it could be a good business decision by increasing their customer base. It not only has the potential of generating more revenue from the games but also attract more customers to the Xbox Live console.
From a Windows Phone perspective, such a move has a little sting to it. While Xbox Live games are not the sole benefit or attraction of a Windows Phone, it is a center piece feature. If expansion is in the works, hopefully Microsoft will keep some Xbox Live titles (or features) exclusive to the Windows Phone. Otherwise they may lose a key marketing point.
So what do our reader's think? Is Xbox Live expansion good or bad for our Windows Phone?
via: LiveSide, Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this.
By RogueCode, Thursday, Jan 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm EST
Over at the Windows Phone Developer Blog Todd Brix just announced that with the new year comes new markets for Windows Phone. Since the initial release of Windows Phone the geographic availability of the Marketplace has been spreading, and with this there are 6 new markets: Argentina, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines.
In the post he mentions that this does not mean that those markets are available to WP7 users there just yet, but rather that developers can now publish their application there in anticipation.
There are also a few extra rules which govern what content will pass certification. So if you have an application that may possibly have questionable content I would suggest publishing it first to the rest of the world, and then these new markets, to make sure you don't get stuck in certification hell.
With the these new rules in-place I imagine that quite a few developers will not be able to get their applications to these areas:
Examples of potentially offensive content in certain countries/regions include, but are not limited to the following:
• People in revealing clothing or in sexually suggestive poses
• Religious references
• Alcohol references
• Sexual or bathroom humor
• Simulated or actual gambling
However that's not totally a bad thing, because from the look of it these markets will never have to deal with any fart-apps!
By RogueCode, Thursday, Jan 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm EST
If you needed any more convincing that Microsoft is serious about pushing development on their mobile platform, then here's the next episode in our series on Microsoft-giving-stuff-to-devs-for-work-they-would-have-done-anyway. And before you ask, yeah, that title is a work in progress.
Previously we saw promotions for UK developers to get free gadgets, and giveaways for Canadian developers, now all you Australian dev's can get in on the action.
The requirements are pretty much in-line with the other promo's where all you need to do is publish a certain number of apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace by a certain date, and then receive either a Lumia 710, or a Lumia 800 depending on how many you can get out by then.
Qualifying apps must be published between Jan 1st 2012 and 12 midnight EST Mar 30th, 2012.
We previously touched on ZTE handsets heading for Europe (and being the white label Windows Phone in France), and now it seems as though the ZTE Tania is ready for pre-order at Clove UK. The low-range handset is a fairly cheap option for those who don't require top specifications. The Tania will run a smooth experience as any other Windows Phone sporting a 1Ghz processor, but comes with limiting 4GB worth of storage. Then again, with a Zune subscription, storage wouldn't be a huge issue.
Other information on the device includes a 4.3" screen, 512MB RAM, 5MP camera (no FFC). You can pre-order your own at Clove UK for £249.99 (including VAT) unlocked.
Ffffound was our first WPCentral App request, where we saw a need for an app and reached out to developers to make one. Ffffound is a client app for the website of the same name that is essentially a photo sharing site. Ffffound, the website, allows users to post and share their favorite images found on the web and also dynamically recommends inspirational images based on users tastes and interests.
Ffffound, the Windows Phone application, pulls all the image joy from Ffffound (the website) to your Windows Phone. Key features include:
Images can be save to your phone for wallpaper use
Share images via SMS, email, Twitter and Facebook
Images can be tagged as favorite for easy access
Live Tile support is present to view random images on your Start Screen.
Ffffound's (the app) update takes the app to version 1.2 and includes several fixes to saving images and Live Tile performance. The update also addresses speed issues and adds the option to load images sequentially.
There is a free trial version available for Ffffound and the full version is running $.99. You can grab your copy here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Back in November, our concerns about the state of Windows Phone in Canada were somewhat alleviated when we heard that Nokia would be bringing a number of Windows phones there in 2012. While details were scarce at the time, MobileSyrup says that they have confirmed that both the Lumia 710 and Lumia 900 (Ace) are packing their bags for the trek up North. No timeline has been provided, but the 710 is expected to arrive first, followed by the flagship Ace shortly after.
While Rogers is the likely carrier, TELUS and Bell are possibilities. And since we don't even know who will be carrying the Nokia handsets, we still don't know how much they will fetch in the marketplace. Despite the vagueness of it all, it's certainly reassuring to hear that Canada will be seeing some WP7 love.
An unnamed Samsung phone, model SGH-i667, has passed through Bluetooth certification. According to Blog of Mobile, the device supports LTE, which means it could very well be the Samsung Mendel. The Mendel is one of three new 4G phones expected to hit AT&T, the others being HTC's Radiant and Nokia's Lumia 900 Ace. If the SGH-i667 is indeed the Mendel, it is rumored be big, sporting a screen larger than the 4.3 inches found on its sister, the Focus S. The Mendel is expected to hit the shelves sometime in the first half of 2012.
Many technology blogs have been reporting the rumour today, started by Eldar Murtazin (a known rumour founder), that Nokia will be acquired by Microsoft and Stephen Elop, CEO of the Finnish manufacturer, will be stepping down. While this would provide Microsoft to scope to become Apple and produce handsets themselves, it would mean ditching OEMs (who have provided much support to the new platform), sacrifice choice for a tighter ecosystem, to name just a few negatives.
Of course (should you remember), this has ran the grounds before and the rumours were subsequently killed by an official statement. SlashGear, who also ran the story today, received word from Nokia:
"We've put these rumours to rest a long time ago. The focus for Nokia is on executing on our partnership around Windows Phone and growing the ecosystem, and each company has the tools they need to do so."
So, again, this is not going to happen. Even if it were fact, is there any need for Microsoft to buy Nokia? Sure, the manufacturer is having difficulties, but the funding for large scale marketing campaigns suggests there are deep pockets backing the company, and there is hope with Windows Phone. We'll have to see how 2012 fares before any talks are to take place about the next step, opposed to a take over. To sum it up - move along, nothing to see here.
Xeno bits, the developer behind Belote WorldTour for Windows Phone, has been taking a look at in-app advertising on the platform. While Windows Phone is still the baby of smartphone operating systems, it does provide developers a few paths to take when it comes to advertising solutions. Xeno bits took a look at Microsoft's Pubcenter, Inneractive and Smaato for revenue from advertisements loaded within their app.
Google's AdMob received no attention due to issues with the SDK having a negative impact on performance. Accumulating over 4,000 downloads, and taking a look at graphs reported by three chosen publisher networks, led Xeno bits to the following conclusion:
"Smaato will not let you earn much, but at least today they are the only ones from who I received money. Their SDK is pretty good and site is the best I tried so far, especially regarding analytics."
"Inneractive tools are easy to use, I was easily able to contact their support and they spent some time to help me solve my issues by chat, but I was disappointed by their answer to my displayed ads amounts issue."
"The Pubcenter SDK is the best for sure, their site not so much (I need to use IE (32bit) version in order to use it). I finally succeed to setup my account in order to be paid at the end of November, as they were opening pubcenter to new countries including mine. But I still have not received any money from them so far... I heard many times that I had to be patient with microsoft (same thing for paid version of my app...)"
What's interesting to note is how low eCPM is on the smaller networks. Smaato reported just $0.075, Inneractive at $0.2, while Microsoft was at a reasonable $0.56. An issue many developers have with Pubcenter is the limited availability. While there have been a few user stories (such as this) being published, it's still a game of which one is best for you, as is the case with general website monetisation. Trial and error.
Read the full report and gander at the pretty graphs over at Xeno bits.
Today Microsoft and Arkadium, a developer of casual and social games (as well as socially casual games), announced a multi-year, multi-game publishing agreement. Microsoft Studios will bring several of Arkadium’s titles to multiple unnamed platforms over the next few years. Truth be told, the platforms have names, but the two companies just aren't sharing them yet.
Arkadium’s expertise is with highly casual Facebook and Flash games – they haven’t made of an impression in the mobile arena yet. Still, this agreement could be extremely promising. Arkadium’s best known title, Mahjongg Dimensions, is their single iPhone game of note (pictured below) and an extremely good candidate for a Windows Phone port. Dimensions basically brings the classic game of mahjong solitaire (AKA Shanghai) to the third dimension, allowing players to rotate the field of mahjong tiles as they search for matching pairs. Mahjongg Dimensions would also translate easily to Xbox Live Arcade, maybe even with Kinect support.
As for Arkadium’s hefty library of Flash games, Dethtris (pictured at top) would most appeal to the mainstream crowd. It mixes platforming with the falling block genre – kind of a reverse take on Tetris Plus. Here, players take on the role of a hapless young explorer as he runs, jumps, and climbs through bite-sized jungle-themed levels, collecting treasure and dodging giant falling blocks along the way. Dethtris could work on mobile phones thanks to its simple controls and short levels, but an Xbox Live Arcade release is even more likely. We’ve seen such a transition before with last year’s XBLA port of Fancy Pants Adventures, another Flash platformer from Armor Games and EA.
Of course, Arkadium’s press release does not mention actual titles, so that’s my own speculation. But the release does spell out the reasoning for both parties behind the deal. Arkadium wants to expand their development to new platforms, while Microsoft hungers for a piece of the social games pie. Hey, maybe the partnership will motivate the big MS to finally bring some actual social features to Windows Phone games! We can only dream…