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3 years ago

President of Windows Phone division Andy Lees is being replaced

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Interesting news coming out of All Things D--Andy Lees, who's the Windows Phone division President is being replaced by Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Engineering, but alas he won't be retaining the President title. From an internal memo from Steve Ballmer on the matter:

“I have asked Andy Lees to move to a new role working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8. We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential.”

The move is suspected to be in response to the slow adoption rate of Windows Phone in the consumer market, despite recent critical approval of the OS. As expected when things aren't going the way they should, corporate shake-ups are necessary. Lets just hope Myerson can take the Windows Phone division to new heights, whcih it certainly deserves.

Source: All Things D

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3 years ago

Xbox Live Deal of the week pricing to ease the sting of Tentacles' challenge

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While our recent review of Press Play’s Xbox Live title Tentacles may have sparked some debate (despite being written by an all-around terrific guy), many gamers don’t have strong feelings one way or the other because they haven’t played it yet. A certain subset of those gamers will likely leave their dangerous neutrality behind when Tentacles becomes the Xbox Live Deal of the Week this Wednesday. It will cost $2.99, down from $4.99.

Tentacles is the tale of Lemmy, a small tentacled creature who ends up inside the body of his mad scientist creator. Unique touch controls allow Lemmy to move one tentacle at a time, navigating dangerous levels and eating eyeballs for health. With 40 levels, beautiful 3D graphics and 2D story sequences, and an atmospheric soundtrack, Tentacles could be a game you’ll fall in love with. Just keep in mind that its difficulty is so high in later levels that it can be quite frustrating. Depending on your patience and constitution, your experience may be different.

Starting Wednesday, Tentacles will be on sale for one week only. You’ll find it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Audible.com app coming in March for Windows Phone?

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Windows Phone and Audible.com have not had the best track record together.  Over a year ago, we thought an Audible.com app may be close to hitting the Marketplace, only to find out it was for WinMo 6.X.  Then we found out this summer that one was en route, but no ETA was given.  Well, hopefully, that is all water under the bridge, as one of our readers reports that the long lost ETA may be March 2012. 

An email received by said reader (who chooses to remain anonymous) says:

Dear ,

An Audible app has been in the work for quite sometime. It was not until recently that we were given a tentative release date. If everything goes as scheduled, the app should be making its debut on Windows phones near the end of March 2012.

Sincerely,

Audible Customer Support

While we always take such matters with a grain of salt, we remain hopeful that this is indeed true.  Audible remains one of the few marquee apps to remain absent for Windows Phone.

(Thanks for the tip, Unamed Reader!)

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3 years ago

Samsung updates 'Extra Settings' to v1.6 for Focus S and Flash

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Though we were a bit critical of the Samsung Focus S's screen, specifically its auto-brightness setting, we'll admit that since version 1.5 of 'Extra Settings' (see our closer look), things have improved dramatically.

Now the app has hit version 1.6 and of course, there is no changelog to report on. But we can assume that things like screen brightness, how white backgrounds are handled and perhaps even haptic feedback have all been improved and tweaked a tad.

We don't have a direct link here since it is hidden, so just watch your Marketplace app for the update.

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3 years ago

Surprisingly, Breeze makes for three Xbox Live games this week

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Xbox 360 version trailer

Last week we said that two Xbox Live games would hit the Marketplace this Wednesday the 14th. It turns out that wasn’t quite accurate… But don’t worry, it’s good news! Joining Battlewagon and Doodle God will be Breeze, for a total of three Xbox Live releases in one week!

What’s Breeze, you ask? We’ve got exclusive early details. The goal of Breeze is to navigate a flower through 60 maze-like outdoor levels. Each level has a goal that must be unlocked by collecting Sunshine orbs, plus dangerous obstacles like tree branches that can snag the fragile flower.

Instead of directly moving the flower around those hazards, you’ll control the wind that blows the flower – hence the name.  The game offers two control types: Touch and Tilt. Touch mode uses multi-touch controls; whatever points you touch acting as the source of the breeze. Tilt controls work as you’d expect, allowing players to control the breeze by moving their phones to and fro.

Breeze is a relaxing game, with lovely backdrops and a soothing soundtrack consisting of four songs (one for each in-game season). For those keeping score, that makes Breeze the first free, ad-supported mobile Xbox Live title with music. Getting back to the gameplay, the game also offers a Hardcore difficulty for players who like a challenge. Hardcore makes the flower larger, takes away the Air-Brake ability, and reduces the time limit of each level.

Origins

Breeze is the brainchild of Rob Hutchinson of Null City Software and will be published by Microsoft. Rob created the concept while university, and went on to publish the game as an Xbox Live Indie Game on Xbox 360 in August. While other Xbox Live Indie Games have graduated to Xbox Live games on Windows Phone, Breeze is the first to be distributed as a free, ad-supported game.

Almost here

The Windows Phone version of Breeze comes to English-speaking territories this Wednesday, December 14. It will require the Mango update. The Xbox 360 version is available right now for 240 Microsoft Points ($3). You can purchase it here.

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3 years ago

Carrier IQ being used by the FBI?

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Carrier IQ being used by the FBI?

If you were glad that Windows Phone doesn't have Carrier IQ on board before, you may be even happier now.The software, found on Android phones, has come under scrutiny for allegedly collecting data on users, including keystrokes, URLs and messages. Microsoft has recently denied using CIQ on any of its Windows Phones. 

Now, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request was put onto the FBI regarding what information it has on Carrier IQ and the response is a bit troubling but not exactly defining either.  In essence, the FOI request was denied on grounds that it would interfere with ongoing investigations and that it is currently being used for law enforcement purposes--the question arises though, who's being investigated Carrier IQ or citizens?

The site MuckRock, who put in the FOI (kudos), seems to think it's the latter--after all, US intelligence agencies do have a history of using outside commercial companies for data collection. In addition, MuckRock notes "...the request was specifically for documents related directly to accessing and analyzing Carrier IQ data.", which hints at something more than the company itself. Of course with the recent outcries against Carrier IQs practices, they could also themselves be under investigation too, which would be ironic.

MuckRock plans to appeal the FOI denial and hopes to get further clarification on the matter.

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3 years ago

New to the WPCentral Forums -- custom themes and beta testing

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In case you needed another reason to join our forums here at WPCentral, we'll give you two:

  • Custom Themes Forum - Here you can post your custom theme creations based on the Windows Phone Hacker customizer tool--share them, post screenshots, get feedback or make requests. We have a feeling this will become the new rage for the Homebrew scene, so if you've created a theme and want to share it, here's where you go
  • Beta Testing Forum - Developers, developers developers! Do you have an app that you need beta testers for? Looking for a place to interact with some of the best and brightest Windows Phone users? Then post your beta announcements here and get some feedback from our users on what features they want and how things can be improved before you submit to the Marketplace

All in all, we're thinking both of these new areas should start attracting a lot of new submissions and heck, we'll even feature a few of those custom themes on the front page, if they're good enough.

So get creating, you devs and artists, we want to see your work! And don't forget to spread the word--the more of you, the richer the offerings.

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3 years ago

Core77 announces "Fast Track to the Mobile App" contest winners

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Core77, an industrial design and development magazine out of New York City, announced their "Fast Track to the Mobile App" contest back in October. Pairing up with the Windows Phone 7 team, the contest was aimed at young developers who could benefit from not only the prizes, but the exposure and portfolio content. After a number of finalists, the judging panel (including Brandon Watson) have selected the following winners:

Bridge - "an integrated mobile tool for small team collaboration across time zones."

Blackbelt - "a level-up based business app aimed at improving company productivity and employee self awareness through objectives, incentives and competition."

Social Mints - "easily track and measure what people are saying about a company, brand or new product across the social media landscape."

Rhythmatic - "an easy to use and powerful business cash-flow management mobile app."

car-pal+ - "helps road warriors track fuel efficiency, find the nearest gas station, and monitor road alerts and maintenance history."

The prizes that go out to the above winners are:

  • Free Windows Phones
  • XBox 360 (with Kinect)
  • 1-year App-Hub subscriptions
  • App Development Deal (with revenue sharing options) to bring your design to life

The finalists have not been forgotten however. The first 25 to submit their apps to the Marketplace will receive a free Windows Phone. Core77 will also host a gallery featuring all the apps that have been published by mid-February, pretty cool. Be sure to check out all the apps that have made their way to being published.

Source: Core77, thanks James for the tip!

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3 years ago

Omnia W available for pre-order in India

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The Samsung Omnia W is one step closer to becoming the first second generation Windows Phone in India. The 3.7" Super AMOLED Windows Phone is available for pre-order through Flipkart.com.

The Omnia W is priced at Rs 20,900 (about $395 US) and sports a 5mp rear camera, front facing VGA camera, 1.4ghz processor and 8gb of storage.  The estimated release/ship date is the 4th week of December.

source: Flipkart Thanks goes out to Kumar for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 710 coming to Brazil, passes Anatel

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Good news for those in Brazil, you can add the Nokia Lumia 710 to your Samsung Omnia W and HTC Ultimate (aka Titan). The news comes from WinPhone Blog (fan site) who noticed that the mid-range phone passed Anatel, that country's equivalent of the FCC. While no release date is specified, the rest of the filings info is confidential till January 1st, 2012 but from previous experience, WPB expects a mid-January release.

The Lumia 710 should be a popular phone with it mid-level specs and solid design. No word on pricing or carrier, so we'll keep an ear out.

via: WinPhone Blog

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 getting DLNA support?

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Nokia Lumia 800 getting DLNA support?

File this under rumor, but a reasonable one.

The Lumia 800 lacks a lot of things: front facing camera, gyroscope and DLNA support. That latter one though is something that can be added after the fact as we've seen Samsung and HTC do in the past. In that regard, there's no solid reason we know of why the Lumia 800 can't do DLNA if Nokia did some fiddling with the system files.

Over at MobileTechWorld, they did some sleuthing around the ROM and found some files that look necessary for DLNA support in the future. Italian Windows Phone site Plaffo then posted an email from one of their readers that came from Nokia Care. In that email, they basically confirm that Lumia 800 will get DLNA support like other Windows Phone devices, via the Marketplace.

Now word of caution: Customer care is hardly every a reliable source but Nokia rushing some DLNA support via a Marketplace app is the same method that the other OEMs use, so why not? We'll just have to wait and see.

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3 years ago

Samsung Focus S joins HTC Titan being backordered on Amazon Wireless

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The smooth Samsung Focus S (our review) has found itself joining the giant HTC Titan (our review) with being backordered on Amazon Wireless. Both handsets have proved to be popular along with the Nokia Lumia 800, and this news follows what happened on AT&T not so long ago. The Titan is shipping in 8 or 9 days, whereas the Focus S is 1 to 2 weeks, bad news for those who wished to definitely receive one before Christmas from Amazon. This should be of no surprise with the prices being $99.99 and $19.99 respectively.

Source: Amazon Wireless HTC Titan / Samsung Focus S, thanks pwachleman for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Themes customizer tool for Windows Phone released [Homebrew]

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Last week we mentioned how Windows Phone Hacker was working on a homebrew hack to allow you to customize your Start Tiles on your phone. The trick only requires a developer unlocked device (no interop-unlock) and some patience to get your phone to look the way you want. Overall the trick looks simple enough and could be a great way to kill afternoon. Features include:

  • Customize any tile (system or third party, including Marketplace)
  • Use your image as a background for the tiles
  • Use an accent color for overlay transparency
  • Import themes
  • Export themes
  • A bundle of joy with easy personalization ;)

There's even a tutorial video to get you started on your project. Head over to Windows Phone Hacker for the file and more information and maybe jump into our forums to start sharing your creations!

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3 years ago

CNet claims Verizon, AT&T toying with LTE enabled Lumia 800

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We know that Nokia is looking to enter the US market and sooner than later. In fact, Nokia is expected to start with the mid-range Lumia 710 on T-Mobile this week. While a decent device, it's not considered to be their 'flagship' phone that will make a big splash. Instead, that phone was speculated to be the Nokia 900--a device that is more rumor than fact at this point.

CNet is now stating confidently that AT&T and Verizon are both testing a Lumia 800 with LTE on board, backing up an earlier story by the Verge:

"...Nokia has been running an 4G LTE version of the Lumia 800 in an effort to get the ball rolling on carrier approval, according to several people familiar with the situation."

Perhaps this is the 'Champagne' we reported on earlier? In a way it makes sense, time is of the essence. Many people here have been yearning for a Lumia 800 release and so why not put LTE in it, make the carriers happy and get some serious presence in the US? Of course as CNet points out, lots of devices get tested but never released here in the US and carriers could be lukewarm to a non-exclusive device that by the time of release, is six months old.

On related news, the carriers are supposedly working with Nokia on more specific, exclusive hardware for the US--but there's no mention of the 900 aka Unicorn phone either. So we're still a bit skeptical on whether that device will be seen or even called that at this point, let alone released in the next few months. The more relevant question though is anyone interested in an LTE-enabled Lumia 800?

Source: CNet; Thanks, D-Burrs, for the link!

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3 years ago

White label ZTE Windows Phone now available on SFR

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We previously covered the upcoming white label SFR "Windows Phone Internet 7" low-end handset last month, but it's now available for purchase from the SFR online store. The suspected ZTE Tania will set the buyer back €269.90 (from €9.90 when purchased with a package) and features a 4.3" screen, 5MP camera, 1Ghz chip and 3GB available storage. Perfect for those who require a smartphone that's both affordable and can perform usual tasks.

Head on over to the SFR store to make the purchase.

Source: SFR, via: MonWindowsPhone

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