Recent Articles

Headlines

3 years ago

Google lifting more UI stylings from Windows Phone?

18

We're not shy about calling out Google and more specifically Android on their terrible UI--it lacks coherence, style and underlying philosophy of what it should be. It looks like it was designed by computer nerds and not, well, designers. In that sense, it's nice to see Google overhauling their Android Market which always looked like it was beaten with an ugly stick.

Still, we've received quite a few emails noting that their new Marketplace seems to take some liberties with Windows Phone's Metro UI: text based, no chrome, pivot controls, etc. We're not prepared to say that Google sought to make a copy-cat UI here, but it is clear that they are moving in a more minimalist, text-driven direction that seems to becoming popular these days. It's not as bad as their ad that completely ripped off a few weeks ago, but it does show that they're taking their cues from Metro or at the very least, they know they have a UI problem and need to spice things up a bit.

For years people said that the incremental changes to Windows Mobile was just "lipstick on a pig". Well, here's looking at you, Android.

Source: Google; via Android Central; Thanks, Carlos, dtboos and others

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Beards & Beaks first Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone game to feature DLC

14

Here's quite the surprise: Beards & Beaks ($2.99) features downloadable content (DLC) i.e. extra levels and add ons that can be purchased from within the game itself.

Up to now, our games have been fairly limited, requiring a whole new download to bring new levels, like IloMilo. Now, developers evidently can start offering extra levels, new mini-games, etc. as an extension of the main game (as well as charge for it, hello!).

Luckily the "Forest Map" add on here for Beards & Beaks is completely free. What's more, it's mean this game can get extended life out of it since MSG can keep creating new levels and features.

Ah, the future of Windows Phone gaming is looking good. Grab the game here in the Marketplace.

More →
4
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Facebook app having issues with photos?

11
11

Facebook app having issues with photos?

Maybe it's just us, but we've been asked whether our Facebook photos and galleries were loading in the official app. Sure enough, we can see the galleries but when we click on an image, we get the above error message, which is quite interesting (and annoying).

Photos seem to load in our Mango Picture Hub, but some are having problems there too.  The issue seems to be hit or miss with some users reporting to us no problems at all while quite a few others are getting the "Unable to load this page" message.

If it's the latter case, then it seems something on Facebook's end and not the app itself, presumably meaning no "fix" is needed for our app. We'll keep an eye on this one... Report in comments on your situation. (Thanks, Amir and our Twitter followers!)

[Oh and yes, notifications are wonky. All we can say on the matter is they work better in Mango than NoDO.]

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Deal Alert: Dell selling unlocked Venue Pros for $299 on eBay (AT&T/T-Mobile)

10

Here's a deal that you won't want to miss: Dell's official eBay account is selling in "limited quantities" unlocked Venue Pros for AT&T and T-Mobile for a nice $299 (+ sales tax). That's a $200 savings, in case you were wondering.

The Venue Pro features 16GB of internal memory, a 4.1" AMOLED curved screen and the only vertical sliding keyboard. While the device has had its share of problems, related to firmware (WiFi and SD card stability), the latest firmware update reportedly fixes all of these bumping this unique phone from "caution" to "serious consideration". No word if these AT&T devices ship with the latest firmware, so you may have to update in a few weeks to flash it.

We should note: they've already sold 95 at the time of this posting and quantities are limited (in fact, the AT&T version is "not available" on Dell's own site, which is kind of undercutting themselves). So act fast and remember to select AT&T or T-Mobile as those obviously have different bands.

And since Dell wouldn't supply us with one for a review, (bad Dell, bad!) we ordered up ourselves a nice one for AT&T. Awww yeah.

Source: Ebay; Thanks, Treiz, for the heads up!

More →
3
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Mango's IE9 browser still trounces iOS5 beta 3 in HTML5 speed test

14

Browser wars are always fun. Not because they are definitive or slam dunk tests that once and for all decide which is the best browser, but because they induce so much chest thumping about standards, specs and specific environments for testing. It's like saying your football team is the best--sure it may or may not be true, but sometimes it's fun to throw the war paint on and act like it is.

In this case, Derek Snyder of Microsoft demonstrates once again the famous "HTML5 fish test" (see MIX 11), comparing it between a BlackBerry, Samsung Android Charge and an iPhone 4. And once again, Windows Phone Mango clearly beats everyone, coming in at an astounding 50 FPS. But what makes this test more interesting is the fact that the iPhone 4 is running the iOS5 beta 3 (just released) which puts Apple's "fall update" up against Microsoft's "fall update", making it a more realistic comparison.

Your move, Apple. 

Source: WMPU

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Beards and Beaks - together at last on the Marketplace!

2

Ready for a new Windows Phone exclusive, Xbox Live gamers? Beards and Beaks fits the beak, I mean, bill. It’s out now on the Marketplace.

Beards and Beaks is not actually about birds wearing beaks as you might think. It’s actually the tale of an evil group of crows (much like Sheryl Crow, only with feathers) who invade a village of gnomes in order to steal their riches. It soon becomes an out and out war, with gnomes invading crow bases and vice versa.

Beards and Beaks may look like a tower defense game at first glance, but it’s actually an action-strategy title (sans towers). Players bring one or more gnomes into a level and control their actions via touch-screen flicks. The object is to collect treasures and prevent the crows from doing the same. In addition to the standard flicks, mushroom-fueled special powers can help turn the tide in battle. Don’t let the bad birds win!

As we’ve said before, Beards and Beaks is the first Windows Phone game developed entirely in-house by Microsoft Game Studios. WPCentral will soon bring you the full scoop on the development process with an exclusive interview with the developers!

Beards and Beaks costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Put down the ‘shrooms and pick up the game here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

'I'm a WP7!' gets major bump to v2.5 with new features

17

The app 'I'm a WP7!' (see AppSpotlight) is certainly one of the more unique programs available to Windows Phone. It's a social network created by and for Windows Phone users, a way to share tips, communicate and even know who's around you with a similar phone.  On top of that, it's one heck of a polished app--excellent Metro layout, smooth scrolling, beautiful dialog boxes and all sorts of options.

Version 2.5 just came out today and it's a pretty major one--so major that we felt the need to do this post. For those of you who use the app, you should be getting notified about the update. For those who have never used it: we strongly encourage you to give it a spin. It's free and has zero ads--what's not to love about that?

Here are the new changes:

  • Push Notifications for messages
  • Individual status and status updates
  • GamerTag/Avatar integration
  • MAJOR Search and Map enhancements
  • Windows Phone Tips & Tricks
  • Latest Windows Phone News
  • Member Apps
  • More statistics
  • More themes, including a new "Mango" theme

The GamerTag/Avatar integration is great as it gives your ID some personality. The options to share (or not share) your location, device info, etc. will give those who are shy some reprieve as you can choose how much (or little) to share with others.

What can we say--we love the design and operation. If you dig Windows Phone, this is a great app for building up the community and being a part of something. The app is free, in the top Top 20 of social network apps and just a great example of ingenuity on our platform. Oh and the developer has graciously integrated our RSS feed for the Windows Phone news, meaning you have yet another easy way to stay on top of the latest info out there. Huzzah!

Give it a go here in the Marketplace and join the party!

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Factory ROM (7004) available for Samsung Focus

5

PavelX1, a registered user over at the XDA Developers Forum, has provided links to uploaded Samsung Focus ROMs. Two firmwares are available, one for AT&T (plus a 4K option) and the other for Rogers, both able to return the device to 7004.

This could prove useful for folk who need to return to factory status with losing a pre-Mango backup, reverting Chevron unlocking, etc. To load the firmware onto your device, one will have to enter download mode. This can be achieved by holding the power, volume up and camera keys while the device is powered down and hold until you see the yellow exclamation mark.

Usual boring disclamer stuff: WPCentral doesn't take any reposnibility for your device becoming unusable (bricked) or if it explodes in your pocket after flashing.

Source: XDA Developers Forum, via: @Dauvx

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Microsoft reveals new Samsung Mango device [Video]

24

We recently covered a Samsung device, namely the SGH-i937, which shares the same Bluetooth characteristics as Windows Phone Mango (as well as appearing on Occasional Gamer's list of devices recently). This model number is plus 10 from the SGH-i927 of the Galaxy S II handset so one could assume that this is a WP7 powered Galaxy S II MK II.

In the video above, Steve Guggenheimer (Corporate Vice President of the OEM Division at Microsoft), shows off a Samsung device that not only looks like the Galaxy S II, but appears to have a front facing camera. Also present in the video are ZTE and Acer handsets as well as a waterproof Fujitsu device.

Mango is expected to include front facing camera support. While it has not been officially announced by Microsoft, a leaked HTC device and references found in the Mango developer tools beta 2 both point towards the possibility.

What do you make of the four devices shown, are you more interested in what Nokia has to offer?

Update: Microsoft has requested the video be removed because those devices were not to be shown off. So instead, you can head to WithinWindows to watch it or to Microsoft's own site where they still have it up, ahem.


More →
4
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Nokia to spend £80m reinstating its superiority

8

 

I'm sure no one believed Nokia would be able to move to Windows Phone 7 and be selling handsets left, right and center with little marketing or investment (except perhaps for China for the time being). The handset manufacturer is reported to be looking at spending around £80 million (about $127 million US) on repairing the once-superior brand in the current competitive UK market (where RIM is currently also a threat as well as iOS and Android).

What's interesting to note is the October mentioning in the article over at Marketing Magazine. An October start to the campaign would surely merit a device release at that time too? We've previously looked at reports of Nokia not bringing any devices until 2012, but only volume will ship in 2012, Nokia is still looking to get a device out into the wild by Christmas at least.

Nokia works with Wieden & Kennedy, Fallon and R/GA, among others in the UK for promotion and marketing. The handset manufacturer recently unveiled a campaign for their QWERTY range of devices; the C3, E5, and E6. You can watch the advert (made by Wieden & Kennedy) for these below:

Unfortunately for Nokia, with some potential customers out there, the only way they'll buy the WP7 marketing campaign is if the company uses the dog and girl photo on this article in a "you don't need Android or iOS" context. What do you guys make of this report?

Source: Marketing Magazine, via: GoMo News

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

HTC 7 Pro at Expansys for £229

1
3 years ago

Ooh, Max and the Magic Marker is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

5

Last week’s Xbox Live Deal of the Week, Bubble Town 2, may not have been very exciting but it was a pretty fun game. Still, this week’s Deal of the Week is clearly something special. Max and the Magic Marker is going on sale for $2.99, down from the regular price of $4.99. Keep in mind Max used to cost $6.99, so this is quite a savings.

Max and the Magic Marker is a puzzle-platformer in which the player draws objects directly into the game world via the touch screen. It features a bright, child-like art style and a soundtrack from eclectic Danish artists Analogik. Our review found it to be extremely creative. To learn more about Max, check out our interview with developer Press Play.

Max and the Magic Marker will be on sale for one week starting on Wednesday, July 13. If you’re a fan of platformers or puzzle games, don’t miss the chance to get it for only $2.99. You’ll find Max here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

New international data plans from AT&T

5
5

New international data plans from AT&T

AT&T has just announced that their customers who travel internationally will be able to enjoy more data packed tiers that are more affordable. I envy this from a stand where unfortunately Three UK don't cover a wide variety of countries within their international add-on (which doesn't even offer data) and AT&T seem to has good coverage (be sure to check before traveling).

This will surely aid anyone who has not gone with the plan previously and have attempted to hunt down WiFi throughout their traveling. The new (updated) international data package tiers are as follows:

  • 50MB package for $24.99/month compared to the current 20MB package for $24.99/month
  • 125MB package for $49.99/month compared to the current 50MB package for $59.99/month
  • 275MB package for $99.99/month compared to the current 100MB package for $119.99/month
  • 800MB package for $199.99/month compared to the current 200MB package for $199.99/month

Source: AT&T

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Weather Live - a Metro inspired weather app

22

Sure we have Weather Channel, Weather Bug and AccuWeather, plus a few other indy weather apps in the Marketplace (e.g. World Weather), but we don't have too many (if any?) Metro-inspired weather programs. 'Weather Live' by Hyperise fills the niche and we're going to personally vouch for it as our new lil' favorite.

First, we should mention that this app doesn't have NextRAD, live cams, 14-day weather forecast with pollen counts. Nope, this is a simple, streamlined program that shows you current conditions and the next 3-days--that's it. So if you need more, this won't be for you.

So why is it good? For one, it turns out we only look at current conditions and the next 3-day most of the time anyways. Two, it's lightning fast, pulling only ~12kb a day when used hourly with the Live Tile. This means we can launch it and have it update within a blink of the eye.

Oh yeah and it has a cool live tile that shows you a weather icon and below it (from left to right) current temp, day high/low and time of last update. You can also set the update schedule from once a day, twice a day, four times a day or hourly. Upon an  update, it pings your aGPS location, meaning you never have to set your city--it basically follows you wherever (alternatively, you can set a city of your choosing). Sure, we'd like to see a few more options like 12 hour time and perhaps a more prominent current temp, etc. Hopefully the dev plans to add some features with future updates.

Weather Live comes in two versions too: free, completely functional with ads (nice) or you can pay $0.99 to remove the ads. We did the latter because we liked it so much, but hey, the option is up to you, right? So if you need a quick weather app that blends with your default Metro tiles, here you go. Find it here in the Marketplace.

More →
3
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

American student team develops asthma app for WP7 [Imagine Cup '11]

0

Looks like all sorts of interesting apps are coming out of Imagine Cup 2011 here in New York City. Huffington Post has made a small video focusing on one all-American team, Team Dragon who's Windows Phone app looks to help solve a real world problem, namely asthma in children.

The "game" is called 'Azmo the Dragon' and is a "2D side scrolling" adventure that helps children get their asthma under control. Basically you breathe into a spirometer to power Azmo to fly around (similar to Stormy Weather) which is the fun part, but it also records the child's lung capacity for diagnostic purposes, giving doctors and extra tool to monitor the child's health. (It's not clear how the spirometer connects up to the phone, but that's a different matter).

Anyways, while it's always cool to have games for fun, it's nice to see some youth of today applying their skills in the medical field in an attempt to improve people's lives. [See also: Team LifeLens and Malaria]

Source: Huffington Post

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
Show More Headlines

Pages