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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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3 years ago

Indoor Bing maps on Mango

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Indoor Bing maps on Mango

Another awesome feature (should it be gradually made available for users globally) that has come to light is indoor Bing maps on Mango. Thinking about going to a nearby shopping mall, but can't be bothered to visit the website and check the map? Soon your Windows Phone might be able to lend you a helping hand.

Mango will feature Bing indoor maps so users can view the insides of locations and buildings - stores in a shopping mall for example. Unfortunately this is still in apparent early stages, but I can't think of another smartphone off the top of my head that features this unique functionality. There's also a button in the top-right corner that allows you to switch between levels in multi-story buildings/locations.

Here are some indoor maps that Microsoft has added to the desktop version of Bing maps. What do you guys think of this feature? Neat, eh?

Source: PocketNow

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3 years ago

Garmin StreetPilot - Review

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Garmin StreetPilot - Review

Garmin recently released StreetPilot over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. StreetPilot looks really good, is feature rich but carries a healthy price tag ($39.99). While the high price might be justified, Garmin doesn't provide a trial version to StreetPilot to allow Windows Phone users a chance to try it out first before investing the non-refundable $40.

Over the past few days we've taken StreetPilot out for a test drive and after tinkering with StreetPilot, it appears the navigation app is worth the $40 based on the number of features.  But, is it worth the $40 with regards to performance? Well...that may be a different story.

Ease on past the break to read more on StreetPilot and see how it measures up to the sticker price.

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3 years ago

Developer Interview: Red Badger

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Developer Interview: Red Badger

This weekend we have the delight in publishing an interview with Cain Ullah from Red Badger, the team behind Birdsong. Being among the top rated social apps on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, Birdsong is a simple, quick and good looking Twitter client. Cain quickly runs us through how focus and deployment is everything and how he views WP7.

Fly on past the break for the interview. 

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3 years ago

Windows Phone used for tracking in Rallye International de Bourgogne

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We've seen Windows Phone in space, now we can see it being used in a full on rally race. Evidently, 10 cars in the Rallye International de Bourgogne for 2011 will be sportin' a Windows Phone with custom GPS tracking software. Reason? So you can follow where the cars are on the live Bing maps, of course. Granted, there are a 120 cars involved, so 10 is but a drop in the bucket, but with distributing the phones according to  "the top seed in the back of the pack", there should be a relatively even distribution amongst all the racers.

The race evidently will run for two days and instead of having the phones plugged in (what, no cigarette lighters in rally cars?), the phones will be running with the screen off and all services turned off except phone and data. The phones are reportedly HTC Mozarts running NoDo (guess they couldn't get dev unlocked).

Anyways, it sounds like a cool use of GPS, Windows Phone and custom software by Vivien Chevallier and we look forward to seeing how the whole experiment works out.

Read more at MonSmartphone (French) and follow the race here with the Live Map. (Thanks, Michael B., for the heads up!)

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3 years ago

Colbert Report, MTV News, Kayak.com pulled from the Marketplace?

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Unfortunately we have no info on this, but yes, evidently the Colbert Report's The Word, MTV News and Kayak.com apps have been pulled from the Marketplace. And that's just what we know of  (anyone else see any others?).

Usually this happens because the app is broken, violates something in the Marketplace or perhaps the companies aren't happy with the app and what them redesigned (e.g. what happened with the Engadget app). It's even more odd since Colbert has been updated twice since its release, though it still shows v1.00.

We'll keep an ear out both as to a reason and if they return, but for now if you have 'em, best not to uninstall them.

Edit: Add 'Cartoon TV' to the list of missing apps and which we reviewed here.

(Thanks, SEKKDS, for the heads up)

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3 years ago

Ultimate Guitar Tabs, hitting the Marketplace chords

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Ulitmate Guitar USA is offering Ultimate Guitar Tabs over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. The app is an easy, well laid out means for viewing guitar, bass and drum tabulatures and chords.

Tapping into the Ultimate-Guitar.com database, Ultimate Guitar Tabs has access to over 300,000 tabs. You can search tunes two ways. Simple Search finds your tabs by artist or song title. Advanced Search allows you to search by tab type, a portion of the song, difficulty level, tuning, and rating. Other key features of the Ultimate Guitar Tabs includes:

  • UG Authorization: Sign in with your Ultimate Guitar account, or create a new one directly from the app.
  • Favorites: Add Tabs to your Favorites to make them available for offline browsing. Synchronize Tabs between the app and your online account!
  • Chords: View chord diagrams while reading Chords, transpose chords easily.
  • Tab Packs: Collections of pre-selected Tabs. Tab Packs are based on skills level (Easy, Medium, Advanced), music genres (Rock, Metal, Punk), and special occasions (Love songs, Xmas songs).
  • Top 100 Tabs list for each Tab type (Guitar, Bass, Chords, Drums or overall).
  • Auto-scroll feature: View Tablature in the text viewer using the handy Auto-Scroll functionality, the App will scroll Tabs for you!
  • Random Tab: Load Tab for a random song.

Ultimate Guitar also supports both landscape and portrait modes. If you're learning the guitar or wanting a hefty database of tunes to play, Ultimate Guitar is worth a look. The only downside is that there's no trial version available but the full version is only running $2.99. You can find Ultimate Guitar Tabs here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Sean for the tip!

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