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2 years ago

Jeff Wilcox releases new slick Windows Phone emulator theme

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Jeff Wilcox, developer of 4th&Mayor and who was behind the Metro design guide, has released a new slick looking Windows Phone emulator theme for developers to install (taking a new chassis mock-up without branding from the MSDN Windows Phone Marketing resources site). The modern look and feel of the theme better reflects what the software is emulating and looks more realistic than the default. We've also previously had a Nokia N9 theme made available, as well as a Samsung Focus skin by Wilcox. 

Source: Jeff Wilcox

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2 years ago

Microsoft working on a SMS Bug fix

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Microsoft working on a SMS Bug fix

The other day we mentioned an SMS Bug that your Windows Phone is vulnerable to. Basically someone sends you a certain text message and it reboots your Windows Phone and disables your Messaging Hub. Microsoft has confirmed that such exists and is diligently working on a solution.

Senior Product Manager for Windows Phone, Greg Sullivan states,

"We are aware of the issue and our engineering teams are examining it now. Once we have more details, we will take appropriate action to help ensure customers are protected."

Should you see your Windows Phone mysteriously re-boot and then loose the ability to launch the Messaging Hub, your only remedy is to perform a hard reset. We'll keep our fingers crossed that Microsoft finds and distributes a fix soon.

source: the verge

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2 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 - the Dark Knight edition spreads its wings

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Details are sketchy at this point but it looks like there is or will be or might be a limited edition Nokia Lumia 800 -- The Dark Knight Edition. We find it odd, only because that movie won't be out till July, 2012. Either way, there's only 40 of these babies, which means we probably won't be getting one. Doh!

Still, the all-black with Batman logo, subtly placed on the back is pretty amazing looking, as is the box. It even has special themed lock-screen wallpaper with Bane on board and Batman Start tiles. Very awesome and we're jealous.

Source: MyNokiaBlog; via OMGItsCJ

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2 years ago

Xbox Live: Battlewagon & Doodle God make it to the Marketplace, breaking & making things all the while

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Joining the free game Breeze on Xbox Live this week are two paid titles, Battlewagon and Doodle God. Both games are now available on the Marketplace.

Battlewagon is a curious and very British game that takes place during medieval times. The object is to retake your lands from four evil barons. Battlewagon’s 68 levels encompass a variety of gameplay styles: firing a catapult from a stationary wagon, winding up the wagon just the right amount to stop it within a designated zone, jumping over or barreling through obstacles and enemies, and tossing bombs at specific parts of enemy castles.

While the gameplay is creative and the art charmingly retro, Battlewagon shows a few rough spots out of the gate. The slingshot mechanic could work better as you don’t have much room to aim without hitting the edge of the screen; it’s easy to fire accidentally too. The game seriously needs a retry option from the pause menu and after failing levels as well.

Doodle God is a popular indie game that has been upgraded to Xbox Live status. It’s a hard game to describe, but think of it as an alchemy simulator. You start out with only four elements to mix and match, each combination creating a new element. The object is simply to make them all, which requires tons of experimentation and thought. What makes glass in real life? Fire plus sand. Combine those ingredients in-game and you’ve just unlocked glass, which can then be mixed with many other elements.

Doodle God may look simple in screenshots, but it’s bolstered by terrific British voice acting and a sharp UI. The interface is actually optimized for Windows Phone (swiping left and right to switch pages, etcetera), something you don’t see in many iPhone ports. It also includes several minigames to unlock and a Windows Phone-exclusive quest.

Battlewagon costs $2.99 and you can get it here on the Marketplace. Doodle God is also $2.99. Pick it up here, chemistry enthusiasts.

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2 years ago

Xbox Live Deal of the Week: Hide your eyeballs, Tentacles is now on sale

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While we’ve seen several repeat Xbox Live Deals of the Week lately, this week’s special is something fresh. Tentacles, the Windows Phone-exclusive title from Press Play, is now on sale for $2.99.

Tentacles is a game that you’re bound to fall in love with, at least early on. Pulling protagonist Lemmy around one-tentacle at a time is different and fun. The stellar graphics, sound, and humorous story sequences instantly appeal. Unfortunately, later in the game the level design goes way downhill, creating lots of frustration from repeated deaths. It’s annoying and unfitting a game that would otherwise have huge mass appeal. I discuss the issue more fully in our review. Not everybody has a problem with the difficulty though, so many of you will likely enjoy it anyway.

Tentacles is on sale for $2.99 for one week only. To buy it, use the appendage of your choice to head over here on the Marketplace.

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2 years ago

Free Xbox Live title Breeze has blown to the Marketplace

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The series of free, ad-supported Xbox Live games that began with Minesweeper and Sudoku now continues with Breeze. The new game comes from the same Microsoft producer as previous titles (Kirby Leung) and developer Rob Hutchinson at Null City Software. For more details about the game’s development (and original Xbox 360 version), check out our exclusive preview.

Breeze is basically a maze navigation name. In each level, players must blow the flower from the start to the goal, sometimes collecting Sunshine orbs in order to unlock the goal. Touch anything – a wall or moving obstacle – and you’ll have to retry the level. As such, managing the flower’s momentum plays an important role in keeping it safe.

I’ve enjoyed my short playtime with Breeze so far. Its 50 GamerScore of Achievements are seriously easy as they don’t even require playing on the Hardcore difficulty. I found the tilt controls actually work much better than touch. The problem with touch is that the flower moves in the opposite direction of where you touch the screen, making you have to think in reverse. Thankfully tilt just moves the flower in the direction of the phone’s tilt – not sure why touch couldn’t have worked the same way.

Breeze is now available in English speaking countries and will come to other regions at a later date worldwide. You can grab it here on the Marketplace.

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2 years ago

Navigon Update adds MyMaps into the mix

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Navigon Update adds MyMaps into the mix

If you're looking for a solid navigation app for your Windows Phone, NAVIGON (here's our review) will definitely fit the bill. While it's a feature rich app that downloads its maps to your Windows Phone, it required 1.6gb of storage and costs $49.99 (US version). Yes, I did say required.

NAVIGON has released an updated version (version 4.1) that adds a few features, most notably, MyMaps. MyMaps is a map manager that now allows you to install only the maps you need. If you only need maps for Hawaii, you'll only need 7.6mb of storage. There is an initial download about 300mb in size for system files.

Still, the update can save you a lot of memory. Adding Alabama and Florida (my more commonly used maps) reduced my storage need from 1.6gp to just under 400mb.  Along with MyMaps, two additional features are included with the NAVIGON update.

Active Lane Assistant: Displayed in the lower right corner of the map view, the animation reflects the current lane configuration and allows drivers to see ahead. An orange line indicates the way the driver should follow.

Live Weather: Updates and reports current weather conditions along the route and at the destination in real-time. Temperature and weather condition icons appear in the route overview screen before navigation, and three-day forecast is available.

You also have some internal tweaks that optimized positioning performance. All in all the update makes NAVIGON a more attractive choice for your Windows Phone navigation app.

Oh and as an added bonus, NAVIGON is having a Holiday Promotion. From December 15th to January 5th the US version's pricing drops from $49.99 to $29.99 and the European version drops from 84.99€ to 59.99€.

You can find the US version of NAVIGON here and the European version here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. 

            

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2 years ago

Samsung Focus Flash takes over YouTube

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Now here's some mainstream advertising that should catch people's attention--the Samsung Focus Flash, a great mid-range Windows Phone on AT&T, is being pushed hard on YouTube right now.

Heading to the main site and you are greeted with a banner ad and the popular commercial for the device. One thing is for certain, of all the new Windows Phones, AT&T and Samsung are sure pushing the Flash, even more so than the Focus S or HTC Titan which is a bit odd. But hey, we'll take any Windows Phone exposure we can get and the Focus Flash is a slick little device (see review).

Source: YouTube; Thanks, Asher B., for the tip!

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2 years ago

Wunderlist heading for Windows Phone

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Wunderlist heading for Windows Phone

Wunderlist, a free cross-platform task manager, is heading to Windows Phone and 6Wunderkinder (the developers) have published a capture of the app in action (see above). The UI looks really intuitive with a slick look and sleek layout. Users of Wunderlist are able to arrange tasks, collaborate with others on the cloud, and much more. 

They have apps for iOS, Windows, OS X, and Android already, so it's good to see the team thinking of Windows Phone. We suspect some feedback also gave incentive to start developing an app for Microsoft's mobile platform too. 

Source: Wunderlist, Dribble, thanks Johannes for the tip!

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2 years ago

HTC Radar 4G tapped Best of 2011

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HTC Radar 4G tapped Best of 2011

Tech website IGN has named the HTC Radar 4G Windows Phone one of the best smartphones of 2011. It joins the iPhone 4S, Motorola DROID Razr and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as the best smartphones for the year.

IGN doesn't get into why they choose the HTC Radar but we won't disagree with their choice. We have been impressed with each of the new Windows Phones that have hit the market over the past few months and the Radar is not an exception.

From the quality 3.8" screen to the uni-body design, many will find the HTC Radar appealing. It is a base or entry level Windows Phone so we can't knock it for having 8gb of storage but recognize that some may want a little more storage.

With the Samsung Focus S reaching CNET's Top Five list, the Nokia Lumia winning the What Mobile Award for Mobile of the Year, IGN's ranking of the HTC Radar and the Windows Phone OS taking the Know Your Mobile Operating System of the Year award it would appear Windows Phone is getting a healthy share of the spotlight. 

source: IGN  Thanks goes out to TYTY805 for the tip!

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2 years ago

Justin Angel giving away 5 Nokia Lumia 800s to homebrew developers

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Justin Angel, a well known character within the Windows Phone community and who was recently hired by Nokia, is giving away 5 Nokia Lumia 800s (our review) to homebrew developers over at the XDA Developers forum. Although this is no competition or sweepstake, as Angel will be selecting only those who need the device and will put it to good use by creating and developing apps for the community or for those who own Lumia handsets. Here are the goals that the homebrew developers who wish to apply need to have (set out by Angel):

  • Port existing homebrew apps/features/hacks to Nokia Lumia 800.
  • Create new Nokia Lumia specific homebrew apps/features/hacks.
  • Anything else that you can convince him makes sense.

So, how does one get hold of said free phones? It's pretty simple. You are to respond to Angel's forum post (source link below) with the following:

  • What will you use the Nokia Lumia 800 for? The more specific the better. (see the aforementioned list of goals)
  • Up to 3 links (+ explanation) showing that you have the previous experience required to meet your development goal.
  • Anything else you think will help you get one of the Lumia 800 phones.

When does this offer close? December 23rd, or later (depending on when submissions die down). Also, this is not limited to the U.S., should you live elsewhere you may still enter. See photo of the handsets above. Head on over to the developers forum to submit your entry and be sure to read through Angel's post to get the best idea on how to approach your application.

Source: XDA Developers Forum; via PC

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2 years ago

Samsung Focus S makes CNET's BEST list

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Resting amongst four Android phones and the iPhone 4S you will find the Samsung Focus S listed as one of the five best AT&T Smartphones. CNET gave the Windows Phone a 4/5 star ratings while the average user rating is half a star higher.

According to CNET, the bottom line on the Samsung Focus S is:

Bolstered by a brilliant display and strong hardware specs, the Samsung Focus S is arguably the best Windows Phone ever released.

While CNET recognizes the large screen (described as gorgeous), a good 8mp camera and HSPA+ speeds they feel the thin form factor lacks durability (can't say that we necessarily agree).  Regardless, it's nice to see another Windows Phone catching the spotlight.

source: CNET Thanks goes out to Jason for the tip!

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2 years ago

Microsoft SkyDrive App rolling out to the Marketplace [Updated with Link]

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The Microsoft SkyDrive app has been launched. SkyDrive was recently opened up to developers to use with their application (e.g. Handyscan) and now you can access and manage your SkyDrive from a stand alone application.

The SkyDrive App allows you to browse your entire SkyDrive files and share them. Just tap and hold on a particular file and folder and pop-up menu appears. Here you can choose to send a link that will let others view the file/folder or view and edit the file/folder. You can also organize, delete, and create new folders from within the application.

Microsoft just rolled out the SkyDrive App so it may take a few hours before it becomes available in all Countries/Regions. If SkyDrive is available in your area, let us know what you think in the comments. Once we get a Marketplace link for the SkyDrive App, we'll update the post.

Oh and not to leave our friends who use the iPhone behind, Microsoft has also released a version of the SkyDrive App for iOS.  Should the need arise, you can find the iPhone version here.

source: windowsteamblog  Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

UPDATE: Here's the Windows Phone Marketplace Link for the SkyDrive App.  If you don't see it, the app is still rolling out to the various markets so check back later. 

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2 years ago

Windows Phone exclusive Kinectimals now available for iOS

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Just like they did with the Xbox Live and Halo ATLAS apps, Microsoft has brought over Kinectimals to iOS, where players can enjoy interacting with their cute, cuddly e-animals. The title was only released a few months ago on Windows Phone, but features Xbox Live achievements and connectivity with the Xbox 360 version. The question on many minds is -- of course -- why is Microsoft releasing these apps on other platforms?

For the Xbox Live app, Microsoft provided iPhone/iPad/iPod owners with limited functionality for the online gaming service. It still comes nowhere close to what Windows Phone provides with achievements and true integration. As well as this, the app gives iPad users an insight as to how a Windows 8 tablet app could look like, with the Metro UI being implemented. For ATLAS and Kinectimals, the former is again providing functionality to other platforms (so the software giant doesn't come across as creating a monopoly) at a fee while the WP version is free, while the latter is to not only earn revenue from the fairly large iOS market, but it could be that Microsoft is almost attempting to re-brand itself. The only downer is Kinectimals was supposed to be exclusive for us Windows Phone owners. What do Apple followers think of the big M? Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

Perhaps we are seeing the company attempting to change that perception? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Kinectimals can be downloaded from the AppStore for $2.99 for those with iDevices.

Thanks to everyone who sent in the tip!

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2 years ago

Submarine Patrol surfaces at the Marketplace

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Submarine Patrol surfaces at the Marketplace

Submarine Patrol is an arcade styled game for your Windows Phone that is based on the Battles of the Falkland Islands.  For those not familiar, in the early 1980's Argentina several islands off the coast of South America that happened to be British Territories.  Needless to say the U.K. took exception to this and sent troops in to remedy the situation.  After seventy four days, Argentina surrendered and un-invaded the islands.  Submarine Patrol focuses on the naval component from this war.

You command a submarine that is patrolling the islands in search of enemy ships to sink.  You see the world through the periscope, aligning your cross hairs and launching torpedoes at destroyers, fast attack ships and other naval ships.

You control your periscope by tilting your Windows Phone left or right and tap the fire button to launch your torpedoes.  Submarine Patrol is a multi-level game and each level is limited on the number of torpedoes available.  You have to lead your targets with each shot and some ships require multiple hits before they will sink.

In just tinkering with the trial version of Submarine Patrol, it comes across as a nice arcade game for your Windows Phone.  The torpedoes could be better animated (just a thin sliver in the water) but overall the animation, controls, sound effects and game play is well done.  The full version of Submarine Patrol is running $1.99 and you can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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