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3 years ago

HTC buys stake in S3 Graphics from VIA

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HTC buys stake in S3 Graphics from VIA

This is interesting, VIA has announced that they've sold their stake in S3 Graphics to HTC. Seems the Taiwan based handset manufacturer wishes to expand their portfolio and include silicon development. It will be interesting to see what this deal brings to future handsets from the company.

Even though S3 Graphics, a graphics chipset manufacturer, doesn't hold as much market share as it once did, they still play an important role in consoles, HTCs and VIA's compact motherboards. Tzu-mu Lin, Senior Vice President and Board Director of VIA, honored the transition:

"The transaction would allow VIA to monetize a portion of its rich IP portfolio, yet retain its graphics capabilities to support the development and sale of its processors and chipsets."

This move could also be fueled by Apple's recent encounter with S3 Graphics where a lawsuit has been filed against Apple for infringing two patents. HTC will now own this collection of patents, which I'm sure they'd be more than happy to use against Apple (especially after Nokia won a settlement).

Source: VIA PR, via: The Unwired

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3 years ago

Win two 3-month Zune subscriptions

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Win two 3-month Zune subscriptions

The Zune team are giving away two three month Zune Pass subscriptions to two lucky winners (so that's 6 months worth of Zune goodness each), which can be used on your Windows Phone 7 handset. To be eligible for the tweepstake, you must have a Twitter account (who doesn't these days?) and be over the age of 14, living in the US.

Entering the competition is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (no, really):

  1. Follow @ZuneSupport and visit the tweepstake page.
  2. Tweet the phrase found at the top of the page.
  3. Submit all required information in the survey. Done!

For more information (and to enter), check out the tweepstake page. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the guidelines.

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3 years ago

Seesmic updated to 1.7 and is now a game

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Seesmic updated to 1.7 and is now a game

Have you not got the latest version Seesmic yet? It's just been updated to 1.7 and now appears to be located in the Xbox Live hub instead of the usual place where applications hang out. Unfortunately, Seesmic isn't a Xbox Live title and therefore doesn't have achievements, but it's still strange how it's following suit of Shazam, which also had this issue.

Version 1.7 was supposed to address Twitter authentication issues (that's all 3rd party Twitter clients seem to do with updates) and permission alterations where users can now message authenticated accounts without actively following them. Re-authenticating your Twitter account is relatively straight forward, simply opening up the app after updating (from your Xbox hub remember?) will load the account migration wizard. This will allow you to re-authenticate your account in a few steps.

Not so long ago, our Paul Acevedo covered how Seesmic now reads out tweets to the user and this was the first step in the app taking over humanity. This is stage two, taking over Xbox Live. It's only a matter of time folks, only a matter of time!

Source: Seesmic

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3 years ago

Windows Phone on track for Japan, will launch with many local apps

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Going back to February, we knew of Microsoft's intent on bringing Windows Phone 7 over to Japan--a market that we still can't believe doesn't have the OS nearly nine months after launch. At the time, all we knew was "by year's end" for a release date and that's still seems to be accurate.

Evidently, Yasuyuki Higuchi, the corporate president of Microsoft Japan, had a little business briefing where he detailed a little more information about the upcoming Japanese-version of Windows Phone and what to expect.  As reported by NanaPho, Higuchi stated (roughly, translated):

"Mango is in the final stage, carriers and manufacturers, together with content providers, and are also developing services-enabled applications," 

Those services and applications being developed for the Japanese market include games, entertainment, food and restaurant industry, navigation, shopping, travel and SNS (social networking system). This is sort of a big deal obviously due to the need to create native apps with the Kana/Kanji writing system for the phone and Japan is a significant market for Microsoft to reach. As a side note, Yasuyuki Higuchi looks to be using a Dell Venue Pro for his personal device (see above pic).

Currently it is not known which manufacturer would be bringing Windows Phone to Japan, though seeing as Fujitsu was recently named as a new partner, we can safely guess that they will be involved with the first launch. 

Source: Keitai Watch,  PC Watch (Image); via NanaPho

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3 years ago

Kurt Vile video shot entirely with Windows Phone [Updated]

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Shooting an entire video on a Windows Phone always seems like an interesting challenge and we like seeing the results. For one, it demonstrates the phone/camera capability and number two, it makes us wonder how good can we make our videos.

Microsoft is evidently starting a "Me series" which is described as "a collection of short film essays exploring a day in the life of creative Windows Phone users." The first one, as seen above, is filmed by Todd Cole an "acclaimed fashion photographer" who was working on the video for Kurt Vile's song "Baby's Arms" using Windows Phone. From the video description: 

"Todd Cole, acclaimed fashion photographer and music video/commercial director, is known for his work with such diverse talents as Charlotte Gainsbourg and No Age to Rodarte and Commes Des Garcons. This video profile takes a look behind the scenes in his making of Kurt Vile's "Baby's Arms" music video. The video was shot exclusively using the Windows Phone camera in Cole's hometown of Los Angeles and explores the love story between a young couple living their everyday lives in East LA."

Okay, fair enough, he has some fancy editing software, professional lighting and a steady-cam setup in addition to his Windows Phone, but all else being equal, it's pretty cool. Plus the quality of the video,  when you steady the phone, is pretty top notch and gets you thinkin', no?

Update: Full video of 'Baby's Arms' after the break.

Source: YouTube (Windows Phone)

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3 years ago

MyLiveTile - Windows Phone Live Tile Organizer [How To]

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Organizing your Live Tiles and Live Tile generators are nothing new (see our earlier post on the topic). Heck, our own Rich Edmonds created a pretty swanky one on his blog for everyone. In that regard, MyLiveTile is not exactly ground breaking, but it is designed well enough and perhaps this post will serve as a reminder on how to do this or even that you can do this.

All this site does is create a perfectly sized square that you can "pin to your start screen" using Internet Explorer. The effect is spacers between your Live Tiles to give a better sense of organizations e.g. separate your games from your contacts from your apps. Pretty cool and it's actually quite handy, once you have 20 or more tiles on your device.

So navigate to http://www.mylivetile.com/ using IE on your device, follow the directions and walla, you're done. Now go organize your clothes closet already and no, we're not helping with that one, so don't ask.

(Thanks, Ramiro, for the heads up!)

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3 years ago

Fix on the way for 4th & Mayor 'What's New' bug. Devs can get it now.

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For those using 4th & Mayor, the popular Foursquare app by Jeff Wilcox, you may have noticed a bug popping up earlier this evening. Specifically when you try to check in, you get a 'What's New' pop up and you can't navigate away from it (let alone check in).

Long story short, from Jeff himself: 

"Unfortunately a foursquare web service change has impacted 4th & Mayor, says "what's new" with a blank page. ETA: Friday for a fix"

"Ah, I was a little sloppy in my coding & the 'notification tray' feature for Android, iPhone is affecting 4th & Mayor."

So that's the bad news. The good news is a fix is being pushed through the Marketplace as soon as possible and perhaps more importantly, knowing that you are not alone in the matter. Even better news? If you have a developer unlocked phone, you can deploy the update version right now from Jeff's Dropbox: download the XAP here.

Source: Twitter (1, 2, 3)

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3 years ago

Twin Blades is back in the Marketplace. Be afraid, zombies!

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After a long absence, Xbox Live action title Twin Blades - from developer Press Start Studio - has returned to the Marketplace.

Twin Blades tells the tale of Sister Angelika, a scythe- and gun-toting nun on a mission to save the world from an evil necromancer. You know, necromancers tend to get a bad rap. Why do people have to hate? Anyway, instead of talking her problems out like a mature adult, Sister Angelika simply slices and blasts through hordes of zombies in this action title. A virtual thumbstick controls running and jumping while buttons take care of scythe and gun attacks. Twin Blades has a lengthy story mode and a survival mode. The Achievements aren’t too hard, but it will take four total playthroughs to get them all. Stay tuned later today for our full review!

Twin Blades costs only $2.99 and there is a free trial. If you support the oppression of necromancy, hack and slash your way here (Zune link) to grab it from the Marketplace.

PS Yes, this is the Xbox LIVE game this week.

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3 years ago

Bubble Town 2 is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Let's get popping!

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Last week Women’s Murder Club from I-Play was the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Continuing the trend, another I-Play title goes on sale this week: Bubble Town 2. The sale price is $1.99, down from $2.99.

Bubble Town 2 is a Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move clone. In these puzzle games, a stack of colored bubbles slowly descends from the top of the screen, threatening to crush the player. By aiming and firing your own bubbles you can make matches and eliminate the stack. Bubble Town’s controls are a bit imprecise but it’s still pretty fun. It also has some of the most hideous graphics ever, a true testament to how far an artist can go without the benefit of education or talent. But hey, until Taito decides to bring Bust-a-Move to Windows Phone, Bubble Town will have to do.

Bubble Town 2 will be on sale for one week starting Wednesday. You can get it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. Anybody think I-Play’s other Xbox Live game - Fast & Furious: Adrenaline - will go on sale next week?

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3 years ago

Bubble Birds v2 - App Spotlight

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Bubble Birds v2 - App Spotlight

What seems as a life time ago, we shared with you a bubble burst kinda game called Bubble Birds. You basically shoot colored birds out of a basket into a closing formation of birds. Your goal is to form groupings of three or more similarly colored birds and keep the birds at bay. If the birds make it to the bottom of the screen, game over.

The developers have recently unleashed Bubble Birds v2 that brings a slightly different design, levels and new characters to make the game more challenging. The basic game play hasn't changed but within the field of birds you have coin bubbles that can be collected and used as you advance through the levels to buy additional lives or to open up extra levels. A key bubble is also added to the mix and when you collect it, you advance to the next level.

In just tinkering with Bubble Birds v2 for a short period, the improvements add to an already enjoyable game. You have a few new character birds, such as the stone bird that can only be removed by a bomb or the chameleon bird.

As with the original, Bubble Birds 2 is a free, ad-supported game. It is our understanding that future updates will be bringing new levels to the game. You can download Bubble Birds v2 here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Bubble Burst 2 hits the Marketplace

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Bubble Burst 2 hits the Marketplace

Bubble Burst from Z-Games has been available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace for some time now. Bubble Burst is an entertaining version of the classic bubble burst games where you try to find combinations of two or more of the same colored balls in an effort to clear the screen. The larger the groupings, the more points you earn.

Z-Games has recently released the sequel to Bubble Burst, aptly named Bubble Burst 2, that brings a few more features to the mix.

Bubble Burst 2 retains the three game modes of the original (Classic, Rush, and Marathon) as well as the weekly challenges. Bubble Burst 2 adds a multi-player mode where you can challenge players from the online leader board, friends or find an opponent at random. There's also new themes to the game that become unlocked as you earn achievements.

All in all, the new additions to the game look good and add to the appeal of a pretty decent Windows Phone game. Bubble Burst 2 is a free game which you can download here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

IM+ bumped to v1.1, now supports Live Messenger

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Well here's a nice little surprise. After dropping $5 to $4.99 (and ticking off some early adopters), SHAPE Services has just rolled out a v1.1 update to the fledgling instant messaging app. But the surprise is that they added MSN/Live Messenger support, something they previously mentioned as not possible (due to Microsoft's policy).

Evidently either someone was incorrect in that statement or Microsoft revised their position, because you can go and grab v1.1 right now in the Marketplace here. (Thanks, Philipp, for the heads up!)

ps For a laugh, in the Marketplace type in "implus" and see the result.

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3 years ago

WPCentral Podcast 116

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WPCentral Podcast 116


Join Daniel Rubino and Jay Bennett as they discuss the busy, busy week in Windows Phone, from apps to more Mango news, it's all covered here.

Show notes aftter the break...

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3 years ago

New Galaxy S II like device to run WP7?

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Could a version of the ever popular Samsung handset be making a move to Microsoft's platform? Possibly. The Galaxy S II  (see Android Central) model number is SGH-i927, add on 10 to that number and you get SGH-i937 (if you don't then you should reach out to a calculator for some advice), which has appeared on Occasional Gamer's list of devices recently (see the Google cached page below).

Not only that but the model number has reportedly cropped onto Bluetooth SIG and features identical Bluetooth characteristics as Mango handsets. Could we possibly see the same specification on WP7 as is present on Android? This news could also bring the possibility of a new Omnia for us Europeans (while Americans get a new Focus), which would be exciting stuff.

The Galaxy S II sports a 1.2 GHz CPU with a 4.3" 800x480 Super AMOLED Plus screen along with a front-facing 2MP camera and 8MP in the back. In addition, it comes with 16 or 32GB of memory on board and a 1650mah battery to power it all. No word if any of those specs would carry over directly to the SGH-i937.

Source: Occasional Gamer, Bluetooth SIG, via: Engadget, WMPU

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3 years ago

LG E906 sports IE9 and runs Mango

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LG E906 sports IE9 and runs Mango

We have learned that LG is planning to bring a new device to the table, running Windows Phone 7.5 (codenamed Mango). The device, LG E906, was WiFi Interoperbilitly certified earlier this year in May (see above image) and the browser stated in an XML document containing the handset specification is IE9. Not much more than this is readily available, we'll keep a look out for anything that should arise.

You can check out the XML document from LG for more specification detail on the LG E906.

Via: Nanapho.jp

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