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3 years ago

Windows Phone in Canada: Venue Pro to Rogers & Bell drops price on Quantum

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Looks like things are a moving in Canada. They're getting the HTC HD7 on Bell in a week or two and now word is that Rogers is getting the Dell Venue Pro in March--no word on pricing though. The 4.1" AMOLED screen device with a sliding keyboard should be a big hit and what is unique is evidently Rogers may be selling the device directly, unlike here on T-Mobile. Such a move should result in higher sales for the already popular phone.

Perhaps making room for the HD7, Bell is reducing the contract-cost of the LG Quantum from $79.95 ($100 at launch) to $29.95 with a 3-year contract. LG has had some problems pushing its Windows Phone choices in the market and perhaps this drop in price is in response.

Source: BGR & Mobile Syrup

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3 years ago

Yahoo apologizes for draining your data

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While it has been confirmed that Yahoo! email was the rascal that sucked the data out of your Windows Phone, Yahoo! is now apologizing for their part in the situation.  In a written statement, Yahoo! shares,

"Tens of millions of people check their Yahoo Mail from their mobile device each day, and we know they want their mobile mail experience to be fast, rich, and real-time.  While our default settings on all mobile platforms realize this approach, we have determined that an inefficiency exists in the synchronization of e-mail between Windows Phone Mail clients and Yahoo Mail, which can result in larger than expected data usage for some users."

While Yahoo and Microsoft are working to deliver a fix for this problem, Yahoo! notes that the data issue was not affecting other phone platforms. In a follow up statement to CNET, Yahoo states,

"The issue on the Windows Phones is specific to how Microsoft chose to implement IMAP for Yahoo! Mail and does not impact Yahoo! Mail on these other mobile devices. Yahoo! has offered to provide Microsoft a near-term solution for the implementation they chose, and is encouraging Microsoft to change to a standard way of integrating with Yahoo! Mail, which would result in a permanent fix."

It's nice to see that the problem has been identified and a solution in the works. And while Yahoo! has apologized for the inconvenience, it almost sounds as if they are trying to shift the blame to Microsoft or, is Yahoo! simply re-assuring other platforms that this data issue isn't possible on those phones?

Source: CNET

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3 years ago

SkyMap - Review

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SkyMap - Review

Skymap is available over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace that should appeal to the stargazer in all of us. The Windows Phone app provides an interactive sky map that will help you plot, locate and identify stars, planets, constellations, and other astronomical points of interest.

The screen lays out what your view of the sky should be facing various directions. There is a compass setting to allow you to adjust your point of view accordingly and the map is gesture supported for zooming and panning. There is also a night mode that's is easier to see at night and helps preserve your night vision. If you see something of interest on the map, just tap it to pull up more information on the object.

It's an interesting app for your Windows Phone with enough information to get you started with star gazing as well as aiding the more seasoned star hunter. To find out more on SkyMap, follow the break.

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3 years ago

Bubble Birds - Review

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Bubble Birds - Review

XIM Inc. is no stranger to Windows Phone gaming. They produced a handful of popular gaming apps for Windows Mobile (AquaLines, Droplets, Tic-Tac-Toe 6x6, etc.) and now are setting their sites on Windows Phone 7. Bubble Birds is one of the developers first releases for the new Windows Phone and it shows a lot of promise.

The game premise is simple. You face rows of colored birds at the top of the screen and you shoot additional birds from a basket located at the bottom of the screen. Your goal is to create a combination of three similarly colored birds and watch the disappear. Nothing too complicated except the rows of birds continue to grow, working its way to the bottom of the screen. When it hits the bottom, game over.

It's an interesting twist on a classic game and to read more about Bubble Birds, ease on past the break.

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3 years ago

Twitter Hunter - Review

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Twitter Hunter - Review

A reader suggested a rather interesting Windows Phone game the other day, Twitter Hunter.  It is a Windows Phone 7 game that pits you against a rather disruptive flock of birds.

The game is fast paced in that you are presented with a scene (power lines, tree limbs, clothes lines, etc.) where the pesky birds will appear. A countdown timer is displayed on each bird and when it reaches zero, the screen shakes, you loose a life and the bird flies off.

Your job is simply, blast them off the screen by tapping on them before the timer reaches zero. The quicker you take out the birds, the more points you earn.

More after the break.

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3 years ago

'I Dig It' for Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone this week

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Another week, another Xbox LIVE title. Unfortunately, as far as we can tell, we're just getting one this week: I Dig It by InMotion Software.

This is yet-another-iPhone game making its way over to the Xbox side. The graphics look pretty good but we'll reserve judgment till we get our free trial. The game is described as:

Farmer Lewis has dug himself a hole - financially. To get himself out of it he has converted an old bulldozer into a high tech digging machine. Help him out by digging underground to collect items ranging from junk to the rarest of gems in order to raise some money to save the farm.

Manage fuel, temperature, and damage while searching for diggins. Sell ‘em at the farm house to earn cash. Save cash to pay the mortgage, upgrade your digger, or make repairs. Use the on-screen “analog” joystick, or touch-screen to control digger movement. Watch out for rocks and caverns that disrupt your path. Have fun!

  • Save the farm in campaign mode
  • Includes 5 mini-game challenges
  • Open-ended freeplay mode
  • Collect all 60+ unique “diggins”, including junk, fossils, gems, ores, etc
  • Unique “analog” stick control
  • Hours of gameplay

The game will fetch for $2.99 and will be available worldwide around 12am EST.

via: @KarlStricker

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3 years ago

Manage your sounds with Media Volume Settings

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There's s little app in the Marketplace that could be of use to many: Media Volume Settings by Andrea Sabbatini. Version 1.2 just landed and it comes in two versions: trial (fully functional, free but with ads) and paid ($0.99, no ads).

The app is simple enough: on Windows Phone 7, when you go to play music, videos or games, the "media volume" is separate from system volume. That's why in some games, like my favorite Decimation X2, they have a separate slider for "music" which you can lower or raise. This aps gives you global control over that setting, allowing you to choose a default level. This is great in case you want to sneak a game in somewhere but don't want the music to blare through the speaker, announcing your universal boredom with the people around you.

The app has just five settings: Mute, Soft, Middle, Loud or Max plus technically one more--custom, whereby you adjust the slider to your liking. We've tried it on a few devices here and it seems to work quite well. Seeing as you can have it for free, it certainly can't hurt to give it a go. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Samsung: carrier unlock your Windows Phone, void your warranty?

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We hate writing posts ripping on Samsung because we're generally big fans of their Windows Phones (who isn't)? So it kind of pains us to write how, at least through the Twitter Canadian support channel, they're telling a customer that his Windows Phone's warranty is now void since he carrier unlocked it. Specifically, Colin B. has an AT&T carrier branded Focus that he wants to work on Fido. He has to have data-roaming enabled even though it is carrier unlocked so he asked Samsung about it...hence their response: "Hi Colin. Your warranty is void. Please contact Fido if you have issues with data usage."

We've actually seen this before with the MMS issue. There, Samsung said there phones are meant for specific networks only and do not support reconfiguration. Of course that was sort of nonsense as they had a semi-working app in their App store for that purpose. They then updated it to fix the MMS configuration error.

Carrier unlocking phones is a pretty standard practice these days, especially with places like Europe considering it a consumer right. So it's odd to see Samsung wiping their hands of the matter with a customer who has an issue. What do you folks think--Samsung being fair and within their rights or just poor customer service?

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Colin, for the info

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3 years ago

KIN Studio is now completely dead, long live KIN Studio for Windows Phone

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Just as promised, this morning at 3am Microsoft officially killed KIN Studio--the online media management network--for all active KIN users. The announcement was first made in December and sure enough at 3am we got word the site when offline, making KIN almost useless (though they still do make calls and SMS).

We also heard that the Zune pass, which worked over 3G and WiFi would only work on WiFI afterward, but so far it is still clinging for dear life to cellular--but for how long? Everything else though, whether it was social networking, photo sharing, search near me, posting to photo sites, commenting, etc. are all gone, effectively killing the KIN.

While we never understood the strategy by Microsoft on this one, it's still sad to see it go out like this. However, there are two happy areas: all current KIN owners are eligible for a free new phone from Verizon and the KIN Studio team has been folded into Windows Phone, resulting in some killer media-cloud services---some day. As reported in the Seattle Times, Aaron Woodman, director of the mobile communications business at Microsoft noted that some KIN Studio features will make their way to Windows Phone: "We have a very, very small baby step with Windows Phone Live...It's definitely part of the road map to have enriched services that make the phone more meaningful, and the Web more meaningful."

Thanks, Conflipper, for the heads up

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3 years ago

International Transaction Fees fixed down under

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Australian's can now sleep easy knowing that their Marketplace purchases will no longer be messed up by un-necessary fees. If you recall, through billing errors some Australian Windows Phone users were charged an International Transaction Fee (101% of purchase) on top of the cost of the Marketplace app.

The root of this problem was where the billing was being processed (Singapore) that didn't recognize Marketplace charges as a local purchase. So that $.99 game began to cost Australians $1.99.

To avoid this issue from re-surfacing, Microsoft has established a transaction processing center in Sydney. So to our friends down under, you can now make your Marketplace purchase with confidence that a local purchase will be processed as a local purchase.

Source: iStartedSomething

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3 years ago

Body Glove Soft Shell Case for Samsung Focus review

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For my money, Body Glove makes some of the best cell phone cases on the market. I’ve owned Body Glove cases for a number of the phones I’ve had over the years, and I’ve always been pleased with the products that they put out. When I got the opportunity to review Body Glove’s Soft Shell Case for the Samsung Focus, I jumped at the chance.

Get the complete review of the Body Glove Soft Shell Case after the break.

Pros: 
Rubber case improves grip and softens impact when dropped
Cons: 
Hardware buttons being covered can be weird
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3 years ago

Jabra Stone 2 Bluetooth Headset - Review

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Traditionally noise cancellation and price have been the difference makers when shopping for a Bluetooth headset. High-end headsets like the Plantronics Voyager Pro and various Jawbone headsets have set the bar for business users requiring great sound quality. The average consumer tends to be more comfortable purchasing one of the myriad of headsets in the $30-$50 price range, sacrificing sound quality for value.

Product design in Bluetooth headsets is becoming one of the ways that manufacturers differentiate their products from competitors. Motorola added functionality and usability to the Oasis headset by focusing on the product design, while Jabra added both functionality and style in their Stone headset. With the second version of the Stone Jabra continues to improve on their design, as well as cleaning up some minor flaws with the original model.

For the full review of the Jabra Stone 2, keep reading.

Pros: 
Good sound quality, comfortable, sleek design
Cons: 
Expensive
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3 years ago

Body Glove Snap-On case for Samsung Focus - Review

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Body Glove Snap-On case for Samsung Focus - Review

One downside to Microsoft’s business model of licensing the Windows Phone 7 OS to device manufacturers is that you don’t get the quantity of accessories that a device like the iPhone does. Fortunately, the Samsung Focus is starting to get some love in the accessory department, though some of our favorite case-makers are a little slow to get on the bandwagon (looking at you Otter Box).

Body Glove makes some of the best cell phone cases that I’ve ever used. Their Snap-On case for the Focus is a perfect example of what they are capable of. For the full breakdown of what Body Glove’s Snap-On case offers, keep reading.

Pros: 
Belt clip with kick-stand
Cons: 
Relatively expensive, charging port door is hard to get at.
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3 years ago

Fruit Ninja - Review

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Fruit Ninja - Review

It’s listed as the top game in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.  If you haven’t played it already chances are you’ve heard of it. Fruit Ninja is one of the most talked about mobile games this side of Angry Birds. Ridiculously simple to play and as addicting as all get-out, Fruit Ninja is a favorite of adults and kids alike.

There is a lot of hype around Fruit Ninja, and without a doubt it is one of the best all around games in the Marketplace, but what makes it stand out from the rest? Keep reading for the full review.

Pros: 
Easy to learn, difficult to master
Cons: 
VERY addicting
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3 years ago

Read Comic Books! - How to for Windows Phone

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Comic books! Everyone has read a comic book at some point in their lives. Comics were a fundamental part of many kids' lives and are still very much a part of some adult lives. I loved comic books as a kid and still do. The format has changed a great deal since I was a kid though. I rarely read a graphic novel on paper anymore. Digital delivery applications across dozens of platforms and superb net-based readers have become the industry standard. Scans (literally meaning a scanner was used to make a digital backup of a comic book) and drm-free fan-produced e-books have become the anti-industry standard.

I have a fairly decent sized digital library of comics and graphic novels but I never get to read them when I'm well and truly bored. Like when I'm stuck on a train with just my phone. You guessed it, "Until Now!" Read on to see the ins and outs of not just reading comics on your WP7 device, but how to get 'em on there.

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