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3 years ago

TripAdvisor gets a Mango makeover in latest update for Windows Phone

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For those who travel a lot, the official TripAdvisor app seems like one of those things that you would want to have on your Windows Phone. Providing info on hotels, restaurants, reviews, detailed descriptions and the ability to dial directly, the app in theory is great. In reality, the previous version received many complaints and it maintained a low 2.5 stars out of 100 reviews.

But anyone can turn things around and TripAdvisor has done that with version 2.0--a major overhaul of the app itself in terms of functions and UI. The new UI is very Metro influenced and looks great in addition to being very smooth with transitions and data loading. We've been playing around with it for the last hour and we think it's a keeper. Kudos to the TripAdvisor devs for making a solid app update.

Pick up TripAdvisor for free here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Steve F., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft's Ben Rudolph curing "Droidrage" with 20 free Windows phones

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Following what looks to be a massive adware outbreak on the Android marketplace, Microsoft's Ben Rudolph is looking to ease the pain of 20 affected users by giving them free Windows phones.  Rudolph asked what may be 5 million victims to share their stories via Twitter today, in hopes that their "Droidrage" might be cured.  Those who have the best stories (or worst, depending on how you look at it), will receive one of the 20 devices.  It's not clear what kind of phone winners will receive, but hey, a free WP7 phone is a free WP7 phone!

Microsoft has been pretty keen on these light-hearted promotions, pitting Windows Phone up against other mobile operating systems.  This is the second time that Android users have received such an offer, the first being back in December, when a smaller malware outbreak occurred.  And at CES, Ben Rudolph was challenging attendees to speed tests in the "Smoked by Windows Phone," which may even become a traveling affair.

Source: Ben Rudolph (Twitter)

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3 years ago

Nokia's 'The Amazing Everyday' in Austria

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Nokia Austria is attacking the public with effective marketing and dominant advertising with "The Amazing Everyday". From covering trams in Lumia advertisement material, to handing out small packages containing food. The video montage illustrates how the manufacturer is working with retailers to set up stands and ensure the Lumia handsets are getting maximum exposure.

The Nokia Arch also makes a return in a shopping centre, sporting interactive demos. An interesting video that's well worth checking out.

Source: YouTubethanks, Ellis, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Microsoft: Windows Phone 8 will run all your old Windows Phone 7 apps

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In response to circulating rumors regarding Windows Phone 8's lack of application backwards compatibility, Microsoft's Brandon Watson -- Director of Developer Experience -- confirmed today that the upcoming OS revision will run older Windows Phone 7 applications. Yep, that means Sally's Salon will port over just fine.

But from a technical perspective, how existing apps will work unmodified is fuzzy. For example, if the new resolution rumors pan out, should we expect some sort of zooming functionality akin to Apple's iPad (running iPhone applications)? And what about those awesome premium apps (e.g. Youtube, Tango, Navigon) with native hooks into the underlying OS? We presume everyone using native code is on Windows Phone for the long haul, but it's worth asking.

Anyway, stay tuned. We expect both Windows Phone "Tango" and "Apollo" to be detailed at Mobile World Congress next month. Rest assured we'll have feet -- at least Daniel Rubino's -- on the ground providing updates.

Source: WinSuperSite

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3 years ago

ESRB game ratings start to appear in Windows Phone Marketplace

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The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) recently launched an initiative to expand their converge to mobile games. Meant as a guide for parents, the system boasts that familiar "Rated E for Everyone" slogan we hear during TV commercials for PC and console games. Whether you agree with it or not, it is a system (albeit arbitrary) that serves as a framework for keeping parents in the know.

Microsoft signed up for the mobile ESRB system while interestingly Google and Apple have both skipped out. Now, we're finally seeing the first rollout as a few games are receiving their "E for everyone" stamp in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Our only concern is that this is one more hoop for Xbox LIVE developers to jump through to get their games approved thereby potentially slowing down the process of publishing. So far, we've seen Angry Birds and the indie game MathZia Free with the ratings being displayed.

So why are Apple and Google eschewing such a system? Mostly because they already have age-restricted controls for parents in the Marketplace that can serve as a cutoff. Devs supply info for "ratings" when their app is submitted and that is what qualifies the app for age requirements. In other words, it's self policing and both companies seem okay with that method. The ESRB is an outside, independent board that "parents can trust" but it too relies on devs filling out "a detailed questionnaire" which then results in an automated rating. The big gaming titles are fully reviewed by the ESRB while smaller titles are left up to self-policing, making it an analogous system to what Apple and Android already have. Granted, if a game receives complaints the ESRB will investigate and review the game in question, but for the most part it is based on the honor system.

Personally, we'd rather see Microsoft implement their own system with age-restrictions so that parents can be best served and adults could get more "mature" games on our platform. Because right now, the ESRB-mobile rating system seems to confirm what we know: Microsoft will only allow "E for Everyone" type games on the Marketplace and that to us is an unnecessary limitation (we're looking at you, "green blood"). [Evidently, Twin Blades is now "T for Teen" though we're not confident that games with red blood and/or "M for Mature" will be allowed on the Marketplace]

Additional ESRB-mobile information via GigaOm; Thanks, jc_agga, for the Angry Birds tip

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia Windows Phone launch party in Prague [Video]

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Taking note of a number of Lumia 800 launch parties occurring across the world, the Czech Republic has joined in with Nokia putting on a show in Prague on January 26th to celebrate the launch of the 710 and 800 (February 1st). Two hundred journalists, developers and devoted fans were selected for the event, which featured a number of cool presentations and gimmicks.

From Windows Phone cakes to a water-rippling Lumia 800 floor projection, it looked like a unique experience to say the least. Nokia also began advertising the 710 and 800 in Prague (and beyond) as can be seen in the below photo, taken by Martin Suchan in a subway. 

Source: YouTube, @MartinSuchanthanks Thomas for the tip and video!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Bubble Eyes

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XIMAD has a new Windows Phone game over at the Marketplace. Bubble Eyes is a chain reaction, puzzle game that is well animated and rather challenging.

The goal is to remove all the eyes from the playing field within the allotted moves or touches. The fewer the touches, the higher the score. Bubble Eyes has Scoreloop integration to manage the online leaderboard and has two game modes, Arcade and Challenge. Plenty of gaming to keep you entertained.

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3 years ago

Timelapse Pro updated with Skydrive support

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Timelapse Pro is a handy app for your Windows Phone for time lapse photography. We took a look at it a while ago and found it to be a very nice photography app for your Windows Phone. Timelapse Pro was recently updated to version 2.5 that adds Skydrive support and the ability to create animated .gif files from your time lapse footage.

You can still create videos from the time lapse photos through third party apps such as Windows Live Movie Maker. But if you need a quick way to generate an animated presentation from your pictures, the .gif creator comes in handy.

Once you finish capturing your photos, when you go to preview the footage you will still see the options to record more photos, save photos, or delete the picture set.  With version 2.5 the option to upload the video comes into play.

When you choose to upload the video you will be taken to an upload wizard where you choose the resolution size (up to 480x360).  Once the .gif is created you can choose where to upload the .gif file to. You can choose your Skydrive account or upload the file to Timelapse Pro's server (20mb size limit). Once uploaded you will be provided a link that you can share as you wish (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

All in all, the update improves Timelapse Pro rather nicely. There is a trial version available (doesn't support the .gif upload feature though) and the full version of Timelapse Pro will run you $.99.  You can find Timelapse Pro here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Lumia 800 Windows Phone confirmed for Australia carriers, also coming in white

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Nokia has confirmed the upcoming arrival of the Lumia 800 to Australia in a press statement today. Not only that, but the manufacturer stated that the handset will be available in cyan, magenta, black and the rumoured white. Australian carriers (Optus, Telstra and Vodafone) have shown interest in Nokia's Windows Phone (possibly due to the launches that have been hosted across the world), which is good news for those who are looking for better platform support and more generation two handsets.

We've continuously seen reports of frustration from consumers in Australia due to the lack of support from not only the carriers, but Microsoft itself. With Nokia tackling world domination, looks like this commonwealth nation will be seeing some love. If you're interested as to when Telstra will be sporting the device, be sure to register your interest.

Check out the press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Voice controlled music playback comes to Windows Phone with Speak To Play

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The ability to play your music via voice command was something that Windows Mobile users were accustomed to back in 2006. To not have the ability to say "Play <insert artist>" on a Windows Phone in 2012 is a bit absurd but we'll assume that something had to be cut for those 500 new features in Mango.

However, an app is now available that fulfills this task: Speak To Play by developer Puno-Z. The app is a clean, minimalist design with a large microphone graphic that you "push to speak". From there you can tell it to play an artist, song, album, playlist or even genre.

In our usage with it tonight, we'll agree with those multiple five-star reviews in the Marketplace--it works very well. We had no issues with it recognizing what we wanted to do and it gets the job done. It's of course still not as nice as being able to run TellMe via the Search button "from anywhere" in the OS--having to launch an app and then push the button is still more task-intensive than we'd like. But until Microsoft blesses us with this function, Speak To Play is the next best thing.

The app fetches for $1.99 in the Marketplace with a free trial. That's a bit high in our mind but if you think you would use this feature a lot then it's probably worth it. You can of course trial it before you buy to make sure you're getting what you want. Pick it up here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Ben H., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: January 23 - 29 2012

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Because it's Sunday we have our weekly Windows Phone news recap. Everything that's worth knowing from our news stream, which you may have missed, will be included in this roundup for your convenience. Before we crack on with the summary, we simply must plug our own app. Jay Bennett has been hard at work bringing version 2.1 to the table, which is now available on the Marketplace. It's the best way to get Windows Phone news while on the go.

As well as our app being updated, we have the latest discussions taking place on our WPCentral forum. We have a section of the community completely dedicated to the general discussion of the operating system itself, which has proven to be pretty darn popular with not only members, but visiting guests too. Be sure to head on over and engage with other members of the Windows Phone community. Let us move on with the summary, join us after the break.

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3 years ago

Wordfeud now available on the Windows Phone Marketplace

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Seems as though we've been taken by surprise with Wordfeud as the title is now available on the Marketplace. We previously looked at the app when the developers noted that they were looking at a February 1st release, but one could assume they couldn't wait much longer.

The multiplayer Scrabble clone comes packed with push notifications, Live Tiles, opponent chat, cross-platform support and more. Check out some highlighted features below:

  • Choose to play with friends or be matched up against random opponents
  • Play in 30 simultaneous games
  • Random board option to mix up the DL, DW, TL, TW tiles
  • Push notifications informing you of opponent's latest move
  • Uses English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish dictionaries
  • Chat with your opponents

You can download Wordfeud from the Marketplace fully functional and free with ads or $2.99 with no ads. (Update: Link fixed)

Via: WP7.nl, thanks Mark for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Official SnapCrowd cloud app headed to Windows Phone [Video]

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SnapCrowd is a popular cloud-sharing/hosting service for digital media that was introduced late last year. What makes SnapCrowd different though from say Dropbox or even Skydrive is the ability to upload content unaltered/resized, support for 300 different photo formats (including RAW), resume of uploads, streaming of video and music and the best part in our opinion--subusers for your account. What that last part means of course is that you can have multiple users share and access the same account which is certainly unique feature for many. Finally, the service also has some of the best security around including SSL / TLS and HTTPS protocol layers, for you privacy gurus.

So we're quite excited to see an official app headed to Windows Phone with a planned release date of March. The app features all the main aspects of the cloud service including video, music, photos, contacts and document support in addition to streaming of media.

What makes SnapCrowd great, from our perspective, is how robust and feature-rich their service is--it's not just file storage, but the playback ability, the generation of album art, the option to stream whole movies, share with multiple users, etc. that seemingly makes it a good sell. The service is free for 10GB of storage (for a limited time) and one subuser account and then goes to $59 for 50GB of storage and $99 for 100GB of storage with increased subusers.

We will keep you posted on its progress. Read more on SnapCrowd at their website: Snapcrowd.com

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3 years ago

Marriage proposal using Wordament and a Windows Phone

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An active player (munkiiyebee) of Wordament has built a custom version of the game, which was used when he proposed to his girlfriend. The word search type game puts the player up against others from around the world where every player competes on the same board to achieve the fastest time. So how did he use it for the proposal?

In the above video, we see the fan/developer's custom port of Wordament that was used by his girlfriend, and as you can see the words required to be found spell out "Will you marry me?". A cheesy, but original touch since they both play the game frequently. To wrap up this story positively, his girlfriend (now fiancé) said yes. Awwh.

Source: YouTubeWordament, via: WPSauce, thanks HD7guy for the tip!

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