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3 years ago

Audible for WP7 is still in the works

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Audible is one of the few, last remaining marquee apps that Windows Phone is lacking. The popular "spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming" (aka books on tape) application is currently on every platform but so far has received little attention from the Amazon.com owned company. The last we heard from them was in October where they were non-committal.

Though official "support" can be a finicky source for stories, if we are to believe them, they do have a Windows Phone app in development with no ETA available:

"... our app developers are working on a WP7 app, but no date has been announced as of yet."

So that's that. Wish we could say more, like it's right around the corner, but we'll just have to wait till more info comes forth. But hey, it sounds promising.

Source: Twitter, (Thanks, Patrick H., for the heads up!)

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3 years ago

Ballmer: "Mango" phones coming this Christmas

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Recently at the Imagine Cup 2011, happening right here in New York City, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave his usual keynote speech.

Towards the middle, he finally gave a nod to Windows Phone and even dropped some info regarding the 2nd generation "Mango" phones that we're all expecting late this year, including Nokia's entry:

"Windows Phone. You know, a year ago we didn't have a phone in the market. Now, we're charging forward with Nokia. We have the second generation of our phones coming out this Christmas, and people are starting to do things they had never imagined before. I love the applications that I saw for the Windows Phone from the people in this room, and the way you're pushing that device, and using that device. It was really exciting for me."

Some folks are interpreting his remarks as a sign of slippage on "Mango's" release, noting how Christmas is a few days post-Fall.

We're a bit more hesitant to make such a claim as it raises the question: Are new WP7 hardware releases tied to the software update? We're betting on "no". New hardware has a much more flexible release schedule and we see no inclination that Microsoft will hold off on the "Mango" software updates for current devices until new hardware comes out. Sure, it could happen, but we're not betting on it. Instead, we'll probably see a rolling out of new hardware over a few months ending 2011 into 2012. In other words, not much of a story here.

Source: Microsoft

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3 years ago

Judge denies Apple's "App Store" injunction against Amazon

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An attempt by Apple to impose an injunction to stop Amazon from using the term "app store" has been shot down by a federal judge.  Amazon recently launched their Amazon Appstore for Android and Apple pounced, filing a lawsuit that claims that the name violates a trademark initially denied to Apple in 2008, but more recently granted in a 2010 appeal.  They also contend that Amazon is diluting and tarnishing the Apple brand.  U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton denied the motion for injunction because she saw no evidence of dilution or tarnishment, and only a slight case for trademark infringement. 

As for Amazon, they argue that "app store" is too broad of a term to be trademarked, as it is widely used to describe any such marketplace designed to let consumers purchase software applications for their devices.  Microsoft, who is also challenging Apple's claim to the name, used a similar line of reasoning in their motion for summary judgment with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  Amazon further contends that the "for Android" part of the name draws a clear line between Apple's iOS-only store and theirs.

While the full case has yet to be decided by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, a denial of injunction like this is usually a sign that the will not end the way Apple hopes. 

Source: Ars Technica

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3 years ago

Deal Alert: Unlocked Samsung Omnia 7 for 199.95 € ($280)

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Looks like Windows Phones are getting quite the price break lately. First we saw the HTC 7 Pro for £229 and now the Omnia 7, another killer device, is going for 199.95 €.

Offered through T-Mobile Germany, the Omnia 7 is unlocked/no contract (!) features a Super AMOLED screen and 16GB of memory. The price is certainly is a good enough deal that even we're considering picking one up.

Update: Bands supported should be 2G Networks GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900; 3G Networks HSDPA 900 / 2100

You can take a look at the phone and order it right here. (Thanks, Max A., for the heads up!)

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3 years ago

WP7 Applications Development Workshop [Developers]

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Today marks your last day to register for the Berytech Windows Phone Applications Development Workshop, which is to be held at the Berytech Technological Pole venue on July 14th. Registration will set you back $495 and closing date is today (before July 12th).

The workshop covers the following:

Day 1. The basics

  • Learning how to build application targeting Windows Phone 7
  • Silverlight vs XNA
  • Dynamic layout, touch and textures
  • Sensors and services
  • Application Architecture

Day 2. Silverlight, Part 1

  • XAML
  • Elements and properties
  • Layouts, Application Bar and controls
  • Data bindings

Day 3. Silverlight, Part 2

  • Graphics and animation
  • Items control
  • Pivot and panorama

Day 4. XNA

  • Principles of movement
  • Textures and sprites
  • Dynamic textures
  • Gestures and transforms
  • Touch and play

Participants will be able to submit their apps to the Marketplace once completed and whoever develops the best submitted app will receive a Windows Phone handset. For more information or to register for the workshop, head on over to the Berytech website.

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3 years ago

Two more Pandas and Ninjas games hit the Marketplace

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Those pesky Pandas and Ninjas are still going at it. First we had Pandas vs. Ninjas and now XIMAD has released two additional Windows Phone games that carry this conflict further.

Kung Fu Tic Tac Toe and Ninja Breakout are both free, ad supported games available over at the Marketplace. Will the ninjas finally get the upper hand over the panda? Or will the panda continue to take center stage?

Ease on past the break to catch to short takes on both games.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: July 4-10, 2011

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Well this week has been a busy one hasn't it? We've had episode 116 of the WPCentral podcast being published as well as the second Mobile Nations stream, both providing listeners with banter and priceless news coverage.

The Windows Phone platform is on track for Japan, which will see a launch accompanied by a number of localized apps. Microsoft desires to open up a new revenue stream at the expense of Samsung with a royalty fee per-Android device sold of $15. With this battle going on, the EU is ready to fight Microsoft on access to cloud data.

We've had the delight in interviewing Cain Ullah from Red Badger, developers of Birdsong. The WP7 and Nokia partnership displays promise in China with Nokia's continued market share hold of 40%. A development team from Iraq is creating a refugee as app in the US held Imagine Cup.

Onto gaming, we have Twin Blades back in the Marketplace. Be very afraid zombies! Bubble Town 2 is this week's Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Microsoft Research is working on 'Switchboard' for WP7, a potential answer to real-time mobile multiplayer game play. Blizzard has released the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator for WP7 to please WoW fans and the like. Version 2 release notes of Harbor Master have arrived.

AT&T are testing updates for Samsung Focus 1.4 handsets finally. IM+ is bumped to version 1.1, which brings Live Messenger support. Microsoft weren't kidding when they spoke about an array of languages being added to the platform, we take a look in more detail at the plan. Gaming dominates smartphones, according to Nielsen , with WP7 lacking behind iOS and Android with average number of hours per user spent gaming.

Kik Messenger currently doesn't allow .co.uk email address to sign up, we provide a workaround to this issue as well as looking into how to synchronize multiple Google calendars in Mango. Ever found yourself going to a nearby shopping center but you don't know the layout? Soon, your handset will be able to help you there with indoor Bing maps in Mango.

HTC buys stakes in S3 Graphics from VIA, to pursue the patent suits against Apple which S3 currently have ongoing? Perhaps, the smartphone competition seems to be counter-claiming against each other at the moment. There have been reports tha Nokia have broken a promise and are not shipping devices until 2012, we take a good look at the situation and provide our always-correct analysis that Nokia are bringing a single device this year hopefully, but volumes will come in 2012.

Folk at the XDA developer forum have managed to get a Mango ROM for the HTC HD2 with a working Marketplace out into the wild, while the HTC 7 Pro has its price smashed at Play.com to just £229.

We look at another live tile separator tool that has arisen on the net. But the fun is with the ability to track cars in the Rallye International de Bourgogne. A WP7 handset was used in the production of a Kurt Vile music video. XIMAD begins publishing children's books to the Marketplace with their BooksAlive series. Should you not be into that type of reading, why get some guitar tabs on your device?

Fore developers, Microsoft is looking to open up the TellMe service for WP7 development. Telerik shows off their RadControls product with building a ToDo app using the built-in UI controls and finally Tim James, from EMC Consulting, walks us through turning maps to 3D on WP7.

Mango on passed the break for the links and summary. 

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3 years ago

Where Did I Take That - App Spotlight

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The more we use our Windows Phones for capturing the moment, the more likely we'll forget where we took some of the pictures that fill our Photo Hub. Where Did I Take That is a Windows Phone app designed to help you remember where you snapped a particular photo.

Where Did I Take That pulls the GPS information from your photos and creates a push pin on the map for that particular photo. You can tap on the push pin to pull up all the information about the photo with regards to where and when it was taken.

The app is also integrated in your Photo Hubs "extras" menu for convenience. Just tap the three-dot menu on an individual photo, choose extras and Where Did I Take That. The app will also work with photos sent to your Windows Phone (as long as they have location tags).

Where Did I Take That is a free application and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

TextMixt - Review

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TextMixt - Review

Persephonae Labs has released TextMixt, a sequel to their popular Windows Phone game Anag7ams. TextMixt follows the same basic format of Anag7ams but, as with other sequels, adds a little more to the mix.

The game premise remains the same. You are given five letters and your mission is to identify all the words those five letters can spell. The developers have also added a new game mode, Internet Battle. This gives you the opportunity to test your skills against other TextMixt players.

Anag7ams was one of the early releases for Windows Phone 7 and we found it to be an entertaining, somewhat addictive game. To see if TextMixt follows suit, ease on past the break.

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3 years ago

NowPlaying - App Spotlight

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NowPlaying - App Spotlight

Looking for an easy way to Tweet the current song you're playing from the Music Hub on your Windows Phone? NowPlaying might do the trick.

You can choose from various Tweet formats that highlight the song title, artist, album name and genre. You can even create your own Tweet format should the templates not suit your fancy.

There is a trial version available with no limits on the tweets you send. But the trial version does limit you to only one custom Tweet Format. The full version runs $.99.

You can find NowPlaying here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Refugee WP7 app by Team Hawk in Imagine Cup

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Imagine Cup is an incredible event where a number of teams battle it out with ideas that use technology to help make the world a better place. This is the first time it has been held in the US and it's a rather special one with a team from Iraq developing a Windows Phone 7 app that registers and tracks refugees in camps around the world. Being the first team from Iraq to enter the event, the trio have overcome vast challenges to be where they are today. Enji Issa Zain-Alabdin, Kosar Osman Muhammed and Choman Jalal Mustafa (who all study at The American University of Iraq – Sulaimani) are the brains behind the development.

Team Hawk (as they're known) has the goal in speeding up the process where refugees are registered to help get aid to them more efficiently. The app will securely register personnel in a database on a domain owned by the team.

"By using this technology we get rid of the old way of registration which was through paperwork. We believe that paperwork requires time, money, and many employees. And paperwork is not secure, because papers can be lost, burnt or even altered. But in our application the information is securely transferred to the database and we avoid the risk of losing information by securing the database using login credentials. By using our application, we hope governments or NGOs can help refugees and provide humanitarian aids as soon as possible."

Moved by their work thus far? Why not take a few minutes out your time to vote for them? We're not quite sure where part 2 of the interview has got to, but we'll keep an eye out. This project is one of many by a number of developers from a variety of backgrounds and countries all coming together for the good of the world. Check out all the entries here and vote for ones that you believe really make a difference. Voting closes in two days. The winning team will win the People's Choice award and receive $10,000.

Source: XImplosionX

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3 years ago

Nokia and WP7 potential to rule China

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With Windows Phone 7 heading off to a strong but slow start, we have been focusing mainly on analytic data for both US and Europe. What we've failed to notice is the dominance Nokia has on the phone market in China, which was reported at 40% Q1 this year, according to Chinese search engine Baidu in a report covering Chinese search habits.

China is massive. We're all aware of the over-population in the country and how their technology is advancing at an equal rate to their economy. With Nokia already owning a huge chunk of the market, pushing WP7 Mango driven smartphones seems like a good marketing strategy to build up a name in the eastern market. We've previously covered the Microsoft plans for China domination in the second half of 2011.

As can be seen in the chart above, 'other' trails Nokia in second place at 15% with Samsung on a minute 9%. Serge Francois, author of the article on Derangedshaman, notes that Microsoft should be wary of Android. While Google doesn't hold the cards on this monopoly table, the OS is steadily growing in market share. Although how could the Chinese possibly resist the tiles?

Source: Baidu (Google Translate), via: Derangedshaman

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3 years ago

HTC 7 Pro available for £229 at Play.com

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This is a sweet deal, Play.com is now offering the HTC 7 Pro (sim-free and unlocked) for just £229. We're unsure as to how long this deal will last, but it should excite anyone who's waiting for price drops. The question is should you buy it or wait for devices around the launch of Mango?

Oh and free delivery (3-5 working days) is also included.

Source: Play.com 

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3 years ago

Harbor Master version 1.2 release notes have arrived

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Imangi Studios, makers of Harbor Master, just released another patch for its fine line-drawing game. WPCentral has bravely fought off a nasty batch of pirates in order to deliver the patch’s contents.

Harbor Master version 1.2 change log:

  • Fixed the Xbox Live leaderboards to show all time high scores instead of weekly high scores
  • …and that’s it.

Not a huge change, but it’s certainly nice to have the leaderboards working right!

In Harbor Master, players direct ships to port by drawing lines on the touch screen. After a ship has unloaded its cargo, it must also be steered safely away. Seven levels with hazards like cyclones and sea monsters, plus some fairly tough Achievements, will keep players busy for a long time. For more details, check our preview here. Our full review will arrive to port any day now.

Harbor Master costs $2.99 and has a free trial. Pick it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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