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2 years ago

Looking at Windows Phone 8 from a developer's perspective

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Microsoft has finally started to talk about the highly anticipated major update to Windows Phone, codenamed Apollo. With it we get a glimpse into the brand new Windows Phone 8.0, we've had a chance to assess some of the features that are inbound with this update and for the developers out there, it's time to start getting excited about a few of the features we're going to highlight.

  • Native C++ development
  • App-to-app communication APIs
  • NFC & Bluetooth stacks
  • In-app purchasing and the Wallet

Some of the biggest news of course is the shift in the base of the system to the new 'WinPRT' (Windows Phone RunTime), a subset of Windows Phone 8 (WinRT) with a few COM and Win32 APIs available for good measure. That means that a fair amount of code written for WinRT will be directly portable to this new WinPRT based framework.

Read on past the break for our take on exactly how Microsoft has opened up a new world of development possibilities...

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2 years ago

Tango Windows Phone update rolling out for Nokia Lumia 710 on Rogers

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Back in early June, we noted how a factory-shipped Lumia 710 on Rogers was sporting Windows Phone "Tango" aka build 8773. At the time, we speculated that Nokia and the Canadian carrier were getting ready to push out the update to all and sure enough that day is upon us.

Reader Gurpreet just notified us that plugging in his Lumia 710 to his Zune Desktop prompted him to update his device. That means the rest of you up North should be able to do the same.

In addition to having Windows Phone Tango and it's new messaging features, user should also have some bundled fixes with the new firmware. We don't have that changelog, though it may have a lot of similarities with T-Mobiles latest update for the same phone.

If you're getting the update, hit us up in comments and let us know your thoughts.

Thanks, Gurpreet, for the info

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2 years ago

Super Monkey Ball 2 rolling to Xbox Live on Windows Phone next week

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The new Monkey Target minigame

Back when we discovered Final Fantasy would be coming to Windows Phone, we also learned about another upcoming Live title: Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition from SEGA.  Well, Final Fantasy just launched two weeks ago to much acclaim, and now we’re due for some monkey business. Super Monkey Ball 2 arrives on June 27.

As you can see from our exclusive screenshots, Super Monkey Ball 2’s graphics are now fully 3D (the original used 2D sprites for the monkeys). It’s also said to have better controls and stage design. Let’s hope so, because the first game was far too frustrating. 125 stages, six themed worlds, and some tough Achievements will ensure a lengthy experience. One of those Achievements is tied to the game’s new 4-player mode. Hopefully said mode uses the internet rather than local Wi-Fi, but Microsoft wasn’t able to say either way at press time.

Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition rolls out on Wednesday, June 27 and will cost $2.99… We’re cautiously excited for it.

Update: Multiplayer will be pass-and-play only. Bummer. Good for Achievement hunters though!

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2 years ago

St. Louis Windows Phone Development Workshop. Nokia will be there, how about you?

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We've got time for one more reminder on the June 22, 2012 St. Louis Windows Phone Development Workshop. Nokia Developer Ambassador Rich Dunbar will be leading the workshop. If you're in the St. Louis area or happened to be visiting the area, this sounds like a great opportunity to network with other developers and get some help building your app.

The workshop will run from 5:30 p.m. until around 9:00 p.m. and will be held at the Microsoft Offices in St. Louis.

The goal of the workshop is to help developers get started on their first Windows Phone app. Nokia will be sponsoring the event and will provide pizza and beverages.  We will be providing a few WPCentral Store gift certificates to give away and we're still crossing our fingers that Nokia will have a few door prizes to give away as well.  

Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and have the necessary development tools installed. You can find a full list of the tools that you'll need here in the Windows Phone Central Forums discussion. Registration is required (so enough pizza is ordered) for the workshop and you can find that easy process here at GroupSpaces.

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2 years ago

Xbox Live - Shuffle Party update pulled after texture bug discovered

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Title updates are usually intended to solve problems and squash bugs, but sometimes they introduce new issues of their own. Case in point, the recent Shuffle Party update somehow ended up slightly bugged when published to the Marketplace.

Before we delve into what happened, here are the Shuffle Party version 1.1 release notes:

  • Game stability issues fixed. We had noticed more crash reports when connected to a Network than we could stand for.
  • Avatars no longer appear standing backwards.

Unfortunately, after installing the update, dark and garbled textures appear on the tables, frame, puck, and bowling pins. As a temporary workaround, just head to the Pro Shop and select new skins to make everything look right again.

Developer Babaroga was surprised to encounter the texture bug, because both they tested the build beforehand. Likewise, Microsoft tested and certified it as well with no problems. Thus the texture bug most likely popped up during the process of publishing the build on the Marketplace. Both parties are investigating right now and hope to release a new, bug-free update soon. In the meantime, the versions 1.1 update has been pulled, so just sit tight if you hadn’t already downloaded it.

That little update hitch aside, Shuffle Party is one of the better free Xbox Live games, second only to Wordament. With multiple modes: traditional table shuffleboard gameplay, bowling, and puzzle-like challenges, it’ll keep players busy for a good while. See our review for more details, or grab the game here from the Marketplace.

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2 years ago

More Windows Phone 8 features come to light

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Yesterday's Windows Phone Summit gave us a nice serving of what Windows Phone 8 brings to the table. Joe Belfiore discussed platform changes that will expand the capabilities of our Windows Phones. We also caught a glimpse of Microsoft's Wallet app, a handful of new Nokia apps, and learned of Zynga's new interest in the platform. And then there's the new Start Screen.

Winsupersite posted a nice collection of some of the features we didn't see. Here's a few items that stood out.

  • Windows Phones will support varying screen resolutions which in turn will give consumers more choices to find which Windows Phone fits their needs and budget the best. We're already seeing this with the leaked HTC Windows Phone 8 specs.
  • Data Smart is a feature that is based on the metered broadband connection capabilities in Windows Phone 8. Data Smart will help users get the most out of their data plans by handing off data loads to Wifi whenever possible and by using a cloud based proxy service that limits the amount of data used by IE10 and other apps. The cloud based proxy service compresses web traffic and is reported to save about 30% in bandwith usage.
  • The Games Hub will become the Xbox Live Games app and will be modeled after the same app in Windows 8.
  • We'll also see SkyDrive support music and video storage that can be accessed directly from the Xbox Music and Video apps.
  • The camera app is in store for some under the hood improvements through a Lens app. The Lens app will let third party apps plug into the camera experience by mapping the camera button to an app other than the native camera app.
  • Skype will be more integrated with a Skype option that will be included in your contacts phone numbers and messaging links for those that use Skype. Skype will remain a stand-alone app that can be removed not only by the user but also the carrier or manufacturer. This one sounds like it is still a work deeply in progress.
  • Windows Phone 8 will not only appeal to to the general public but also the business market. Windows Phone 8 will provide always on device encryption, secure boot, Office 2013 based Office apps, device manageability capabilities and side loading of line of business apps.

We are sure that in the months leading up to the launch of Windows Phone 8 will come to light. As it stands now, the improvements and platform changes the Microsoft has shared with us it's hard to see Windows Phone 8 as anything but impressive.

Source: winsupersite

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2 years ago

HTC Windows Phone 8 specs leaked for three new phones

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The dust has barely settled from the Windows Phone Summit and we are now seeing leaked specs on three new HTC Windows Phone 8 devices. Here's what we know about the Rio, Accord and Zenith.

Rio: The Rio would be considered an entry level Windows Phone featuring a 4" WVGA display, 5mp camera with 720p video capture, 512mb on board memory, 14.4Mbps HSPA and a Qualcomm MSM8227 processor.

Accord: Stepping up from the Rio will be the Accord that features a 4.3" 720p Super LCD 2 screen, an 8mp camera with 1080p video capture, NFC support, 1gb of RAM, dual-core processor and 42Mbps HSPA+.

Zenith: The Zenith will be the upper end model featuring a 4.7" 720p Super LCD 2 screen, 8mp camera with 1080p video capture, 42Mbps HSPA+, and a quad-core Qualcomm processor.

All three Windows Phone 8 devices are slated to ship this year with the Rio and Accord scheduled tentatively for October and the Zenith later in the fourth quarter (in time for Christmas?). Granted all these projections are dependent on how smoothly and timely Microsoft has Windows Phone 8 ready and all the carrier involvement that we have grown to love.  

It should prove to be an interesting summer...

Source: Verge

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2 years ago

Audible goes live on the Windows Phone Marketplace

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We heard mention of the Audible.com Windows Phone app yesterday at the Windows Phone Summit and today, the Audible.com app launched. The free app taps into Audible's audiobook library of more than 100,000 titles and delivers them to your Windows Phone.

If you haven't signed up for an Audible.com account, the Windows Phone app includes eight excerpts from various authors to let you try things out. There are listening achievements, Facebook and Twitter integration to let you share with friends what you are reading...err..listening to, and the app supports Audible.com, Audible.uk and Audible.de.

Audible for Windows Phone is a free app and you can grab it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.  We'll take Audible out for a test drive over the next day or two and get a review on the site shortly.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Skype version 1.2 update now live in the Marketplace

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The version 1.2 update for Skype has been released from certification and is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.  Just to recap, the update fixes a handful of issues with the previous version and adds the following improvements.

  • All phonebook contacts with at least one number are shown in Skype contact list.
  • Ability to edit phone number in dial-pad before calling.

Fixes contained in the update cover issues involving calendar notifications ending Skype calls and instant messaging crashing the app. There still remains issues such as the app requiring a minimum of 512mb of memory on your Windows Phone, no Bluetooth support for audio or video calls, and answering an incoming call will end your Skype call.

If haven't seen the update pushed out to your Windows Phone, you should see the notification out shortly. If you haven't tried Skype for Windows Phone, you can find the free app  here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, jon b and dario, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Carphone Warehouse starting the Windows Phone 8 hype

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In a press release sent out today in the UK, the countries biggest independent phone retailer, Carphone Warehouse has confirmed their future support for Windows Phone 8 and they sounds pretty excited about it.

Graham Stapleton, Chief Operating Officer at Carphone Warehouse says, “What was once a battle of hardware between the manufacturers, has now become a battle of software. Both customers and developers can look forward to reaping the benefits in the coming months, as Windows Phone 8 brings some much needed variety and depth to the market.”

Graham adds, “We will definitely be supporting Windows Phone 8 in line with the key manufacturers. There are some very exciting devices due this Autumn sporting the new operating system, and they will be fundamental to its success.”

I realize that all the UK carriers and retailers will sell Windows Phone but it is nice to see the Carphone Warehouse with such positive statements.

Combined with them selling the Microsoft Surface the stores are going to be very Metro-ish. ( I think I made that word up!)

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2 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Thumbz

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Windows Phone App Review: Thumbz

Thumbz is a photo sharing app for your Windows Phone that allows you to... well... share and get feedback on your photos. Once uploaded to the network, other members can vote up, down on your photo as well as leave a comment. You in turn can rate and comment on others photos as well.  You can also use Thumbz as a informal public opinion poll if you include a question in the image description.

Thumbz does have a novelty feel to it but it also has the potential to be a decent photo sharing network.  It just needs time and to see it's membership continue to grow.

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2 years ago

Full Windows Phone Summit presentation now available for viewing

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We've covered a lot of ground today with nearly 7,000 of you joining us for our Live Blog this morning of Microsoft's Windows Phone Summit.

And there's no doubt we're still reeling from all of the new things announced today from Windows Phone 8 to Windows Phone 7.8. We can talk endlessly about it but for now, we'll just leave you with the full -hour presentation for you to enjoy.

So grab your favorite potable and curl up to your computer's LCD display to feast your eyes on the future of Windows Phone.

Source: Channel 9

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2 years ago

WPCentral Podcast - Windows Phone 8 and its future (w/ Special Guest: Paul Thurrott)

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Join us for our special Windows Phone Summit podcast as we discuss Windows Phone 8 and Microsoft's new vision for our mobile OS. We answer your questions, cover the main points and clarify some others. 

Join Daniel Rubino, Rafael Rivera and special guest, Paul Thurrott of SuperSite for Windows for an exciting and authoritative discussion on today's announcements.

Full HD video after the break...

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2 years ago

Huawei confirm they are joining the Windows Phone 8 gang: Press release

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We posted earlier today the news that HTC had confirmed their commitment to Windows Phone 8 and it looks like Huawei are following suit. In a press release sent to us tonight Huawei have announced their 'extended relationship' with Microsoft and on the cards is their first ever Windows Phone.

It would appear that Huawei are going from strength to strength. Not only are they one of they biggest phone manufactures in the world, but they now are entering a new arena with Windows Phone.

This has to be great news for the consumer as traditionally the companies device prices have been low in comparison to its competitors. We could well see the cheapest Windows Phone 8 device from Huawei and going by recent releases on other operating systems they seem not to be falling behind in any way, shape or form.

You can catch the full press release below but on a personal note I think this is super news that Huawei are joining the Windows Phone gang.

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2 years ago

Tetris stretches its legs as the Xbox Live Deal of the Week again

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We saw a lady wearing these at E3. I approved.

After a lengthy delay on the Marketplace update, nothing could please bargain hunters more than a repeat Deal of the Week, right? Somebody thought so, as this week’s DOTW is Tetris from Electronic Arts. Just like August and November last year, it’s on sale for $2.99, down from $4.99.

The Windows Phone version of Tetris is actually quite slick. It’s got great visuals and a good remix of the classic Tetris theme “Korobeiniki.” There are numerous gameplay variants such as Gravity and Radical that add a bit of variety to the game we’ve all played a million times before. Some have complained about the touch screen controls (swipe left and right to steer, tap to rotate, and swipe down to drop pieces), but I find them to be natural and effective enough. Our review also praises the game’s stat tracking. The actual game does not feature tights however, for better or worse.

Tetris is on sale for $2.99 for one week. Puzzle fans who aren’t too busy with Fling can pick ol' Tetris up here on the Marketplace.

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