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3 years ago

WP7 PlentyOfFish app released

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WP7 PlentyOfFish app released

What's that? Yet another official app? Of course it is, this is international official app release week for Windows Phone 7 remember? It seems even the WP7 users who are seeking love will be able to use their handsets to find romance with the official PlentyOfFish app entering the Marketplace.

While no information is detailed in the description as to what features are presently available in the app (apart from search and profiles), we'd assume messaging and more is included. You can download the app (Zune link) from the Marketplace for free (as well as register and use the service) but be aware that a payment is required to use advanced features.

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3 years ago

Windows 8 UI on Android Tablet [Video]

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Windows 8 UI on Android Tablet [Video]

This is a pretty neat video of not only the Windows Phone 7 lock screen for Android, which is being worked on by the guys at WP7Android, but they have managed to build a Windows 8 live tile look too with Desktop Visualizer and ADW EX on a Galaxy tablet, running Honeycomb 3.1. Apart from the stock Android style clock and icons on the bottom left (which I cannot stand personally) what they've managed to achieve with the tiles is really impressive.

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3 years ago

Make money with Microsoft Ad Control [Developers]

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The July 2011 issue of the MSDN Magazine features a great resource for aspiring developers - making money on Windows Phone 7 with Microsoft Ad Control. We wont cover absolutely everything since the article is massive but the detail it goes into is great for anyone new to the whole advertising and revenue realm. Unfortunately PubCenter is still not yet available to anyone outside of the US.

Before you dive onto this path of revenue, you must first ask yourself if this is the most effective way to earn revenue from your app(s). We have covered the debate surrorunding paid apps vs advertising (also which advertising network should you use). Once you've decided on what's best for your app(s), should it be advertising then you should check out the article as it will help you (as a developer) to:-

  • get started and set up with Microsoft Advertising in your application(s).
  • create an advertising-supported app using XAML or in code.
  • improve the advertising experience for your users and potentially earn more profit.

Be sure to read through the article (using the link below) to pick on some useful tips and tricks or to understand completely with how to successfully kick off your free app campaign backed by advertising.

Source: MSDN Magazine

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3 years ago

WP7 style Birthday cake

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WP7 style Birthday cake

This is pretty awesome and it looks delicious. Just a shame I wouldn't want to eat it and keep it on display instead. Twitter user Alper Özçetin celebrated his birthday with a twist this year. A full size Windows Phone 7 styled Samsung Birthday cake, isn't this every user's dream? Designed by Duygu Dem, we noticed the missing back and search buttons, but it's still darn impressive.

Source: Twitter, via: WPSauce

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3 years ago

Pokédex Mobile - Review

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The stereotype of Xbox 360 gamers is that they’re only interested in first-person shooters and games with lots of violence. People like that wouldn’t give Nintendo’s Pokémon series a second thought. Stereotypes are often wrong though, as plenty of 360 gamers like me enjoy all kinds of games. Besides, while it’s very common for Windows Phone gamers to also own Xbox 360 consoles, that doesn’t mean they don’t also have a DSi or 3DS. What I’m trying to say is that while the crossover between Windows Phone owners and Pokémon fans may not be tremendous, such people do exist. Pokédex Mobile from indie developer Imaginary Pocket aims to be a useful tool for active Pokémon players.

The Pokémon series of games revolves around collecting a large variety of Pokémon (Pocket Monsters), training them to learn new abilities, and commanding them in battle against rival Pokémon teams. While the original GameBoy Pokémons contained 151 different monsters to catch, each generation of sequels adds to the pot. The current DS offerings have pushed the total number of monsters up to a whopping 649. That’s a lot of Pokémon to keep track of! When you consider that even the same monster may appear in different places and have different abilities in each sequel, the need for an all-encompassing resource becomes readily apparent.

Journey past the break for our full review.

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3 years ago

Developer Interview: IQ, makers of Pikchur

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This week's interview features Dave McCanless (Designer) and Roger Peters (Director of Technology) from IQ Agency, who are the developing power behind the recently released official Pikchur app (not to mention a concept for Tesco). Dave and Roger walk us through the development process on Windows Phone, how IQ is using the mobile platform for establishing brand awareness and what they think of WP7's future in this competitive market.

We first hooked up with IQ when their live tile categorisation idea broke into the WP7 community.

Head on past the break to read the interview.

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3 years ago

Smartphone OS shapes

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Smartphone OS shapes

This is an extremely interesting observation. Many would ignore shapes used on smartphone handsets, simply because those shapes would be tied to app launchers or tiles which all contain either images or information. As one can see in the image above, Clayton Miller, a graphic and interaction designer (creater of 10/GUI), has aligned the different shapes adopted by the smartphone market.

From one perspective, you could assume that the shapes shown above is an illustration of the transformation from a square to a circle. Microsoft use the simple four-sided approach with the Metro UI, Apple keep things aesthetically pleasing with a roundrect, Nokia use a squircle and HP have a full circle to play with. Clayton states that Android doesn't have a unified shape, a possible symptom of fragmentation?

It's worth noting that smaller competitors use same shapes as the big players, Bada from Samsung makes use of squares but can't come close to Microsoft's tile implementation and RIM use roundrects throughout but are no match for Apple's iconic design.

Source: Clayton Miller

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3 years ago

Games for Windows moving to Xbox.com

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Games for Windows moving to Xbox.com

Microsoft is continuing to merge services together, which is fantastic news particularly in this case. The Games for Windows Marketplace is merging with Xbox Live's website, even though it was just overhauled back in November . We've always personally found Microsoft products to be horribly fragmented, but it seems Windows Phone 7 is the start of something magical and is driving change within the big company too. Leading to design improvements in Windows 8, advancement in mobile technology and Xbox Live, acquisition of Skype and now the combining of games for multiple platforms in one location.

"Games for Windows Marketplace will fully transition over to Xbox.com. Now you can get all of your gaming needs in one place. It’s convenient, it’s concentrated, and it’s a whole lot of great games."

In the PC world, Steam plays a heavyweight competitor to Microsoft's Games for Windows, merging the marketplace with Xbox.com should hopefully improve the dated layout. There are many Xbox gamers who also use their PC as a platform, I'm sure they'll welcome the merge with having both stores in one location. Could we see the implementation of Microsoft Points in the Games for Windows store?

Source: Games for Windows, via: GamePro

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3 years ago

The recent Windows Phone Marketplace blitz summarized

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There's no doubt that if you've been to our site over the last few days you've seen how Microsoft has flooded the Marketplace with some big name apps along with the conveniently timed Mango preview and Angry Birds for Xbox LIVE.

While we're used to having a few "official" apps every week added, the last 14 days has been a whirlwind, so much so that we wanted to tally it all up. From our count, Microsoft has gained some 51 big titles or apps in the last two weeks. That number we're prepared to revise in case we missed some--something that's easy to do. It's also worth noting that we've hit 25,000+ apps in the Marketplace--a number reached in just 8 months of effort.

This strategy by Microsoft was brilliant in many ways, getting our attention along with the media's in general as they were fixated on "Mango" (also, we're sure devs are quite happy this week too). The question we have is: How long will this flood last? In all likelihood, things will wind down this weekend. On the other hand, perhaps this is sustained effort. Needless to say, we'll be keeping our eyes open. One thing is for certain though: Microsoft is playing for keeps here and they are certainly courting all the big companies for apps, making sure customers have all the options available to them on the Windows Phone platform.

So to recap, join us after the break and see the big ol' list of who recently made it to the Windows Phone 7 party. Did we miss something? Shout out in comments and we'll add it!

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3 years ago

Bonus Mango ringtones coming to WP7.5 (featuring Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo)

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We haven't had a chance to listen to episode 34 of Windows Phone Radio, but we know they featured Matthew Bennett, who helped design the ringtones and sound scheme for Windows Phone:

“This week we crash the studio of Matthew Bennett, the senior sensory designer behind the soundtrack to Windows Phone. Matthew talks about the design and philosophy behind the sounds of Windows Phone, and what that might lead to in Mango.”

That's all well and good (and we hear very interesting) but the bigger news could be that  some extra ringtones will be coming to Mango users this fall. As reported earlier, Mango features customized ringtones via Zune Desktop and software on the phone, so having the ability add extra ringtones is now doable. Evidently Bennett has teamed up with Mark Mothersbaugh, lead singer of Devo (who recently put out a new album) to do a few new takes on the official ringtone of Windows Phone.

These extra ringtones won't be on any retail devices and will be made available via the Windows Phone Radio site. From Sheeds' Blog, who first reported on this and did an excellent write up:

"Don’t expect ‘Whip it’ – or any of the many Movies, TV or Gaming compositions (some quite famous!) Mark has contributed since his Devo days, but rather a “mash-up” and variations on the existing themes and styles of the Metro ring-tone and audio composition styles – which Matthew refers to as their “audio DNA and Design language”.

Sound good to us. It's always nice to get some bonus ringers and with Mothersbaugh on board, we're sure they should be quite interesting.

Source: Windows Phone Radio; via Sheeds' Blog

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3 years ago

Official Foursquare app gets bumped to v2.1, minor bug fixes

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Yowser, that was fast. The return of the official Foursquare app has been less than 36 hours and they've already pushed through a v2.1 update. Though it's still a bit laggy for our likes, at least from user comments you seem to enjoy the new look and functionality. Oh and that Live Tile is kind of kewl too.

Changes in v2.1 include:

  • Addresses a few small reported issues.
  • Improves robustness of photo uploading to check-ins,venues and tips

Hopefully they can work on optimizing the speed of the app in a v2.2--usually devs like to get some quick bugs out of the way before tinkering with the code, so we'll patiently wait. Grab the updated version here in the Marketplace. (Thanks, Strick979 & Amir, for the heads up!)

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3 years ago

Accuweather for WP7 joins the crowd

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It has been on heck of a week over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. From Angry Birds to Best Buy as well as Fox News and the New York Times, we've seen a lot of new apps hit the Marketplace.  Even Major League Baseball got into the act.

Closing the week out Accuweather for Windows Phone 7 has blown into the Marketplace. The popular weather website is now mobile bringing you a ton of weather related information.

Features include:

  • Accurate and localized forecasts for all global locations. Forecasts include hourly forecasts for the next twenty-four hours, plus day and night weather forecasts and information for the next ten days. All updated hourly.
  • Panoramic views with easy swiping between your stored locations (up to seven plus your current GPS location).
  • Current weather conditions include time, temperature, wind speed, wind gust speed, and wind direction; humidity, visibility, UV Index, cloud cover, pressure, and sunrise and sunset.
  • Severe Weather Alarms for all global locations and severe Weather Alerts for the U.S. – visible from all screens.
  • Special lifestyle forecasts, such as conditions for specific sports and other outdoor activities.

You also have animated radar, satellite maps, interactive Bing Maps, and weather videos. The day and night forecasts include precipitation amounts, wind data, and Accuweather's RealFeel temps. This takes various weather conditions such as wind, humidity and other factors to give you an idea how it feels outside.

We'll give Accuweather for WP7 a test drive over the holiday weekend and get a video review up shortly. In the meantime, you can download your free copy of Accuweather for WP7 here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Tahiti Bob for the tip!

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3 years ago

Thought the sweepstakes were finished? Think again Developers!

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Remember our recent reminder of the last sweepstake entry date closing in on developers? Well, the date did close, but we have another sweepstake to let you in on! Unfortunately this doesn't feature free advertising including a large bundle of impressions, but 10 unlocked Samsung Focus handsets are on offer.

Entry process is pretty much identical to previous user group sweepstakes. Build apps, submit them to the Marketplace, then fill in the form on the sweepstake website.  Sounds good but there is no code displayed when filling in the form and clicking the "what's this?" link on the event code field brings up a window that suggests using JULY1 as the code if one isn't displayed.  We've reached out for confirmation/clarification on this and once we get a reply we'll update things as necessary.

You can enter with more than one app to increase your chance in winning. Entry closing date for this round is July 31st. I wonder if there'll be an August one too? Be sure to check out the content rules and you can find the entry form using the link below.

Source: WP7 User Group, via: Silver Arcade

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3 years ago

Microsoft to buy Hulu?

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Microsoft to buy Hulu?

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Microsoft is one of several companies interested in buying online video giant Hulu.  Anonymous sources said that Google and Yahoo! have also met with Hulu reps in meetings arranged by Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners, their financial advisors.  The three potential suitors are eyeing the mass of popular shows that millions over viewers tune in to online, and the over 600 advertisers that have jumped on board with Hulu, including big players like McDonald's, Toyota and Johnson & Johnson. Of course, as these things go, none of the alleged parties are admitted anything.

Hulu's ownership has been struggling with the site's popularity, as they have attracted advertising revenue, but at the same time have caught serious flak from cable and satellite providers, who carry the same content.  They backed off from an earlier initial public offering that was projected to earn them a cool $2 billion, so it is thought that that may be what it would take for a sale to happen.  Netflix, who is seen as a similar kind of service, is valued at just about the same amount. 

Microsoft seems like a good fit, as they already offer access to Hulu Plus on XBox Live.  The acquisition would make further integration with XBL, and potentially WP7, that much easier and sweeter.  Their recent purchase of Skype is a clear sign that they are not afraid to throw around some cash to expand their multimedia capabilities. 

Source: Los Angeles Times; Via: SeattlePi

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3 years ago

IM+ drops in price to $4.99

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IM+ drops in price to $4.99

Wow, this will either make you thrilled or really ticked off. But yes, if you can actually make it to the Marketplace today (see here), you can grab IM+ for the low, low price of just $4.99 (see our video tour). Actually, for the quality of that app and services, we think that is a fair price. No telling if it's a temporary price drop or permanent.

For those of you who remember, IM+ launched about two weeks ago for a whopping $10, a price that most of us scoffed at (even we passed). Either SHAPE Services noticed that it wasn't selling well, or the competition (i.e. Kik Messenger) made them change their mind.

So if you passed over before, now seems like a good time to reconsider. Of course, if you paid the $10 we really wish we could give you a hug right now, since you're down about $5 this week. Get you purchase-on right here in the Marketplace. (Thanks, NarutoFan, for the tip!)

Update: For those who are not seeing the price drop, sorry, not sure what to say. Here it is in the Marketplace.

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