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3 years ago

A Better OS, a Better Keyboard

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A Better OS, a Better Keyboard

If you’ve used a competitive OS to Windows Phone 7 that features an on-screen keyboard (notably Android and iOS) you will surely agree with me when I say that the keyboard present on our WP7 devices blows everything else out the water. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s close.

Microsoft Research has published an article that provides a fantastic insight into the keyboard and how it has been developed to adapt to users with how the habit of typing isn’t entirely accurate (for some key presses we may place our finger on the top-right of a key almost touching a neigh-borough key). Read on after the break.

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3 years ago

More Verizon Windows Phone rumors: training begins, launching May 12th?

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File this all under unconfirmed/you've heard this all before/we like to torture thee:

From the above Tweet, word has it Verizon employees are starting to receive training on Windows Phone 7--which makes sense as their next step with their forums being cleaned out and the Best Buy listing. So we wouldn't be surprised if we start hearing a bit more about such events over the next few days...

The other thing is we're hearing about a May 12th date. Once again, we've had many, many dates in the past and we really have nothing to show you that this is real this time, but if you believe the stars are aligning for a launch, Thursday May 12th may be your day. Or it might not.

You may now all remount your tin-foil hats. Thanks, @ThePhilFletcher and anonymous, for the info

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3 years ago

iOS to WP7 API Mapping Tool [Developers]

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Should you posess incredible coding skill in the iOS realm and be interested in the Windows Phone platform, we have some good news for you for the gap between the two operating systems. Over on the Windows Team blog, they've announced the launch of of their new WP7 API mapping tool. So, what exactly does this bring to the table for developers? Find out after the break.

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3 years ago

NoDo Update Ceased for Unbranded Samsung Omnia 7

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There have been a continuous stream of reports and complaints about failed updates (or no notification at all) since NoDo first began rolling out and now we've learn that the Windows Phone team have ceased the Samsung Omnia 7 NoDo roll out. From the image above, you can see a reader querying for any information regarding unbranded devices, however the answer provided by Michael Stroh (consumer writer for Microsoft) was rather generic and could either be all Omnia 7 handsets will not receive NoDo for now, or just unbranded. I would go with just unlocked since Three have successfully rolled out the update to their Omnia 7 army.

We suspect the issue will be fixed soon (which Michael stated) and the NoDo delivery promptly resumed. Have you been experiencing any issues with the Omnia 7 handset, specifically unbranded?

Source: Windows Team Blog, via: WMPU

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3 years ago

HTC 7 Mozart on Telstra gets NoDo approved, awaiting Microsoft to distribute

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Although you wouldn't know it from Microsoft's update page, there's good news for those of you on Australia's Telstra network and who own an HTC 7 Mozart: your NoDo udate has been approved and is now in Microsoft's hands for distribution. "Early May" is given as a time-frame, so basically any day now.

Kudos to Telstra for having a more, shall we say, direct way of checking on their phone's update statuses--seems like a sane approach to what AT&T does i.e. silence. And although the HD7 NoDo update is still in testing, that too should be out in a few weeks.

Update: Strider Auz/Sheeds informs us that the only reason Telstra has that awesome update page is because he lead a campaign against them. Direct action, mon ami! See his site for more info.

Source: Telstra; via @Strider_Aus, @ChrisWalshie

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3 years ago

Win Next Generation WP7 with AdDuplex

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Win Next Generation WP7 with AdDuplex

The guys over at AdDuplex are running a competition where you can get your hands on a "not yet announced Windows Phone" - this will be a chosen device released later in the year around Mango. To enter, you are required to use the AdDuplex Ad Exchange service with your WP7 application, but should you already be using the service (which I recommend you do) then you're already entered. Check the website for more information and sweepstakes rules.

Source: AdDuplex

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3 years ago

New iPhone Twitter app heavily copies Metro UI

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While not much practical use to our readers, it's nice to see Microsoft's Metro UI catching on in a big way. A new iPhone Twitter app called 'Maha' is an exact clone of some of the popular Twitter apps on Windows Phone 7 that adhere to the Metro theme e.g. Twitter (official), Rowi and Twitt.

Between what's been shown of Windows 8, Windows Phone and Xbox 360, this Metro thing seems to be catching on. Hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And maybe, just maybe, a few iPhoners will want a phone with the whole Metro UI.

via: nanapho

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3 years ago

moTweets hits v2.5, gets a few bug fixes

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For those who use moTweets, you should be getting a notice soon for version 2.5 in the Marketplace. While not too much in the way of new features (it already has quite a few packed in there) it does get some of those little bug fixes that may have been irking you:

  • NEW: Options for “show quick buttons” to swap behavior of tap and tap’n’hold tweets
  • Fixed an issue with current Trends not loading up properly
  • Fixed an issue where “Invalid Credentials” error message would show up
  • Fixed an issue where Twitter style retweets wouldn’t would show up as cut off

Sounds good to us. Between this app, Rowi, Seesmic and a few others, we have to admit that the Twitter field offers nice choices for users out there. Grab moTweets (paid) here and and moTweets (free) here. [We should also note that moTweets got bumped from $0.99 to $1.99 recently--so take that for what it's worth.]

Thanks, @Fisi_zubi, for the heads up

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3 years ago

ReMIX 11 and Windows Phone 7.5 info coming up in June

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We've seen some evidence that the next version of Windows Phone, code-named 'Mango' is going by 'Windows Phone 7.5' and that seems to yet again be confirmed.

The ReMIX11 event, happeing in Australia June 1-2, has their page up and registration is now available. But what's interesting is the reference again to Windows Phone 7.5 in the talk by Shane Morris & Nick Randolph called 'Real world Windows Phone 7.5'. Though we shouldn't be shocked that Microsoft wants to share more about 'Mango' (it's a pretty huge update), we are hoping some new info comes out as the milestones/feature set is locked in.

Now lets see if Microsoft amends the '7.5' reference here like they did on that Microsoft Partner Network site, ahem.

Update: Don't expect anything new on 'Mango', as Shane Morris & Nick Randolph are responsible for the Qantas app demoed during MIX11. Thanks, Chris Walsh, for the clarification

Source: ReMIX11; via 1800PocketPC

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3 years ago

Asteroids Deluxe - Review

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Asteroids Deluxe - Review

Centipede, the first Game Room title for Windows Phone, impressed many with its faithful arcade emulation and stellar presentation. Asteroids Deluxe is the second portable Game Room entry. It’s still a very faithful port (perhaps even more so than the console/PC version), but the game itself is more of an acquired taste.

Asteroids Deluxe is the 1981 arcade sequel to the original Asteroids. Players pilot a ship through an asteroid field, blasting space debris for points. Once a large asteroid is fired upon, it breaks into two smaller ones. Each of those splits into two really tiny, hard-to-hit rocks. Clear a wave of all asteroids and a new wave starts up with even more rocks to avoid and destroy.

Fly past the break and into hyperspace for our full review.

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3 years ago

PBS working on a Windows Phone app? Looks like it...

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If you don't pay attention to Reddit (see 'Alien News' for WP7 here), well, you're lame. But if you do, you've probably been following the whole PBS back and forth between the two entities, usually with hilarious discussions in comments. In the latest post, some folks at PBS took a group shot with the Reddit Alien logo in the background as a "thank you" to the Reddit community. Developer Justin Angel managed to look past all the humans and became fixated on the dry-erase board.

Looking more closely, we see screen resolutions of various types and even an 'ipad' mention. But in the upper left, (enhanced at the top) you can see "Win Phone 7" clearly written.

Okay, while an official PBS app might not be the biggest thing to hit the market, we happen to like PBS and more so, that Justin is so geeky to have found this--it's like a CSI: Programmer edition....enhance!

Source: Reddit; via @JustinAngel

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3 years ago

Is "Xbox Live Music" the future of "Zune"?

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A recent job posting over on Microsoft Careers has caused a wave of speculation that Zune music services may be getting renamed to "Xbox Live Music."  The posting, entitled "Business Manager-IEB-Xbox Live Music Marketplace," calls for a candidate who is "passionate about driving [Microsoft's] first party Music business in the US across multiple tuner end points; Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, PC, WWW and Bing."  Most notably, the would-be Interactive Entertainment Business team member would be "responsible for management of relationships with two of the four major record labels as well as a number of high profile indie labels, and creating strategies around content to drive the Zune Music business."

The new moniker seems to be in line with Microsoft's decision to kill off the Zune music player back in March, followed by the guarantee that their Zune Hardware Business Developer would "be going to work tomorrow."  The Zune media player never quite took off the way MS would have liked, but the marketplace was a great infrastructure in which to base WP7's app store.  Perhaps the potential name change is simply the first step in a re-branding to bring Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, and Zune together.  One green ring to rule them all!

Source: Microsoft Careers; Via: WPSauce

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3 years ago

Pocket God and Puzzle Quest 2 updated, just in time for the Royal Wedding

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It’s Xbox Live game updates day at WPCentral. First we covered the news of Full House Poker and Hexic Rush’s updates, and now we’re revealing the recent update contents of Pocket God (review) and Puzzle Quest 2.

Pocket God version 1.1 changelog:

  • Added the Double Rainbow All The Way Across The Sky episode
  • Miscellaneous bug fixing and optimization tweaks

The iOS version of Pocket God receives regular updates, called Episodes. It has 38 episodes so far. Prior to the version 1.1 update, the Windows Phone version only included the first 32 episodes. Double Rainbow is actually episode 35, which means two episodes have been skipped. The missing episodes both involve a new area, Ape Mountain, that hasn’t made it to WP7 yet.

What changes does Double Rainbow All The Way Across The Sky bring? According to Wikipedia, it "adds the ability to draw a double rainbow in the sky (referring to the internet meme). The Pygmies will react to the rainbow. This is the first update where the Pygmies can actually talk, when showing reactions from the double rainbow.”

Pocket God’s Achievements are notoriously difficult, which is surprisingly given the game’s utterly casual nature. NGMOCO, the developer who handles the Windows Phone port of Pocket God, assures us that Achievement difficulty will be addressed in a future update. Hopefully Ape Island makes it into the next update too. At any rate, Pocket God fans should be glad to know that NGMOCO hasn’t forgotten them.

Puzzle Quest 2 version 1.1 update includes:

  • The Cheating AI and PWNT! Achievements are now attainable.

Nobody likes glitched Achievements, so it’s good to see Namco has fixed Puzzle Quest 2’s. Now if they’d only fix the game’s lofty price… Puzzle Quest 2 is a puzzle RPG, not unlike Castlevania Puzzle. The original console Puzzle Quest is one of my all-time favorite games. We’ll review the slightly less impressive Windows Phone sequel sometime soon.

You can find Pocket God for $2.99 here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. Puzzle Quest 2 is a much steeper $6.99 here. Both games have free trials. God save the Prince, gov'nah. Cheerio!

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3 years ago

AppMakr Gaining Popularity

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AppMakr Gaining Popularity

If you're interested in developing a Windows Phone App, there's a terrific online source that will allow you to build Windows Phone 7 apps using a point and click solution. We've mentioned AppMakr before and the online app building resource is gaining popularity with developers of all levels.

AppMakr will offer developers a Windows Phone Mashup Application template where you can create apps that will pull from one or more RSS/Atom based feeds. You have generic artwork or you can create your own to personalize your app.

Just checking out the comments on various Microsoft's MSDN developer blogs, Susan Todd posts,

"AppMakr is really quite easy to use. It is fast, with the most time taken on finding the content to include, making the feeds (if necessary) and doing the artwork."

Joe Healy adds,

"I think AppMakr is viable for crunch-n-munch type RSS applications. Experiment with it. Certain application styles will work well with appmakr."

Other MSDN blogs offer similar positive comments on the online development resource as well as tutorials. Personally, I've tinkered with AppMakr enough to agree that it is a very good resource for app development.  AppMakr was recommended at a recent App Garage workshop as a great starting point for those interested in getting involved with app development.

You can find out all the details over at AppMakr's website.  If you've had any experiences working with AppMakr or tips to share on building apps with AppMakr, feel free to share them in the comments.

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3 years ago

Full House Poker and Hexic Rush receive minor updates, but we cheer them on anyway

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Two Microsoft Game Studios titles recently received software updates – Full House Poker (review) and Hexic Rush (review). We’ve worked tirelessly from the moment they were updated to find out just what was changed, and it has finally paid off. Don’t say we never did anything for you!

The following issues were fixed in the Full House Poker version 1.1 update:

If listening to Zune music while playing the game, and you turned the game music volume all the way down (in the game settings), after exiting the game, you could no longer turn up the volume on your Zune music without rebooting the phone.  The game music slider no longer controls the Zune music volume as that’s what the phone volume buttons control.

If you tombstoned during a tournament at the right time, when you went to continue your game the blinds would reset to 5/10.  This was very frustrating in a high buy in game or late in a tournament where they should be much higher.

It’s great to have both of these issues fixed. However, Our own George Ponder has recently experienced a separate problem with his temporary save game (not the permanent one) disappearing, so we hope to see that tackled in the future.

Hexic Rush version 2.3 update:

The Hexic update was to fix a NoDo media playback change in XNA. 

What’s that, you want more details? It’s pretty technical … Microsoft XNA developer Nick Gravelyn’s blog explains that post NoDo update, Windows Phone applications and games are no longer able to mute or alter the volume of the Zune media player, should audio files be presently active. Not a very exciting title update, but it’s nice to see that Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about Hexic Rush.

There you have it! You can get Full House Poker here and Hexic Rush here. Both games cost $2.99 and have free trials.

Thanks to WPCentral’s Richard Edmonds for help in deciphering the XNA blog post.

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