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3 years ago

Pitfall! now available on Xbox Live. Are you old enough to appreciate it?

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We were originally told that two Game Room titles, Asteroids Deluxe and Pitfall!, were coming to Xbox Live on April 20. The date rolled around and Pitfall! was nowhere to be seen, breaking my fragile gamer heart. I can stop crying man tears now as Pitfall is finally available on the Marketplace.

Pitfall! was originally an Atari 2600 game from Activision. It was a huge hit in 1982 thanks in large part to its groundbreaking graphics. The lead character, Pitfall Harry, is made up of 4 unique colors, a level of detail so amazing that - I believe - it used to give children nosebleeds. Harry must run, swing from vines, and jump on top of alligator’s mouths across 255 unique screens as he searches for 32 lost treasures. Pitfall! is an adventure so exciting that Activision legally had to include an exclamation mark in the title so as not to fatally surprise people with its awesomeness.

Being a Game Room title, Pitfall! includes a 3D recreation of an Atari 2600 console, historical data and detailed instructions, friends and global leaderboards, and 10 Achievements.

You can purchase this slice of platform gaming history for $2.99 or try the free trial. Grab it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Earthworm Jim HD is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Groovy!; Assassin's Creed too...

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Last week, a game that’s meant to multiplayer but isn’t went on sale and the Xbox Live gaming public collectively yawned. This week, we get something a little more interesting…

Earthworm Jim HD is on sale for $2.99, down from the regular price of $4.99.

Earthworm Jim is a faithful port of the classic Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo platforming game that was originally developed by Shiny Entertainment. It stars an earthworm who has been given super powers by an alien space suit. EWJ (as his friends call him) thwarts enemies both with a pistol and by whipping them with his own earthworm body. The creative cast of bosses includes Bob the Killer Goldfish, Evil the Cat, and Queen Slug-for-a-butt. In addition to lovely hand-drawn art, Earthworm Jim also features a stellar soundtrack. Just be warned that the touch-screen controls aren’t the best and the Achievements are fairly hard.

Earthworm Jim is $2.99 for one week only, and there is a free trial. Snap it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. 

Update: Also, Assassin's Creed - Altaïr's Chronicles HD (see our review) has also dropped from $6.99 to $4.99. That's here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Avatar Gadgets now free as a bird

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Avatar Gadgets now free as a bird

Avatar Gadgets has always been an odd piece of software. It’s lumped in with the Xbox Live games, but it’s not a game. It’s just a collection of utilities. If you buy it, it sits there at the top of your games list, mocking you with its non-gameness and lack of Achievements. It does use your Xbox Live avatar though, so there is a tenuous Xbox Live connection.

Avatar-Inspector-Gadgets is also the only Xbox Live product on Windows Phone that regularly sells at the 99 cent price point (everything else starts at $2.99). At least, it used to be 99 cents… Avatar Gadgets is now free!  Our review praises the Zippo lighter gadget and the product’s overall novelty. Now that it’s free, you have no excuse not to try it for yourself - other than the aforementioned space it takes up at the top of the games list, natch.

Grab Avatar Gadgets here on the Marketplace for the low price of zero cents. Will it be free forever? Probably, but we have contacted Microsoft just in case and will update this article when we know for sure.

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3 years ago

AT&T Yellow Pages app hits the Marketplace for WP7

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AT&T Yellow Pages app hits the Marketplace for WP7

While we don't have any immediate complaints about Bing and finding "stuff", including anything local e.g. businesses, we suppose options are always good. Today, AT&T Interactive (see site), launched their YP Yellow Pages mobile app for Windows Phone 7:

Need a cup of coffee, want to find a good pizza place in town? Like to read reviews before choosing a restaurant? The YP app is your easy-to-use guide for local info near you. Search. Find. And Save Local!

Search Local

  • Search 18MM+ businesses quickly by typing or browsing popular categories including restaurants, bars, hotels, mechanics, dentists, and even AT&T® Wi-Fi Hotspots
  • Find businesses faster with predictive text, and quick links to top categories.
  • Location detection pinpoints where you are to automatically deliver nearby search results.
  • Get the scoop from other locals. Access comprehensive business listings including ratings, reviews, business details, open hours, videos or click to the website.

Save Money

  • Browse through great money-saving local deals and redeem directly from your phone*

Personalize & Share

  • Share businesses you find with friends via text, email, Facebook or Twitter.

First impressions? Not too bad actually. We like the 'Metro' theme they went with and while it's a little "busy" in some areas the app actually has a lot of features and info in it, including local "deals". So we recommend giving it a go if you're constantly looking for things in your neighborhood and more so if you travel. It's here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Rowi Twitter hits v1.1, loads more tweets and gets a few bug fixes

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Looks like Rowi Twitter app is doing very well in the Marketplace, averaging 4.5 stars on 62 ratings--not too shabby at all. The paid version, which features push notifications and was demoed here (video), just hit v1.1 moments ago in the market. Changes include

  • Bug fixes (probaly related to DM's not clearing on the tile)
  • Load more tweets (when there are gaps in your home timeline)

Considered to be only a "minor" update, we're still liking where this is all going. We're also expecting a larger update in the future and even multiple account support (no pressure guys!) Grab it here.

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3 years ago

Sprint TV & Movies launches for the HTC Arrive

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Sprint TV & Movies launches for the HTC Arrive

One app that was missing from the carrier software on the Sprint HTC Arrive was Sprint TV (see our hands on with Sprint Radio here).

Luckily, our wait is over as the app is now available in the Marketplace (hit the link here on your phone or use the Sprint hub to get to it). Featuring ESPN, NBC, Disney Channel, ABC, FOX News, you can watch a lot of live or streaming on the go, including some of the latest movies. Some of the features are free, included with your plan, while there are also "premium" features available for some extra cash e.g. Sports Xtra & Sprint TV Xtra which are $5.99 and $9.99 a month, respectively. Oh hey, there's a Looney Tunes option for $4.99 a month too...dibs. [Edit: for some reason we're getting an error when we try to subscribe--this happened on Radio too, could be Sprint's servers still catching up]

Downside? You can't use it over WiFi. Yeah, go figure--they want you to use your "unlimited" data connection.

Over all, the app is well polished and designed and takes advantage of the landscape/keyboard layout of the Arrive quite nicely. Give it a go in the Marketplace and we'll see about a video in the morning.

Thanks, @David_Strait, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 7 'Mango' trivia: naming the milestones

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In a funny Tweet from @abhinaba, developer in the .NET Compact Framework (Windows Phone 7) team, gives details how the WP7 group was naming the 'Mango' milestones. In short, they were doing an A, B, C thing but with mango names. Kind of sounds like a certain Google/Android tactic with their dessert fetish going on.

Only problem: there's not enough mangos to keep the list going :-/

Source: @abhinaba; via @longzheng

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Gargage: Follow-up

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Windows Phone App Gargage: Follow-up

One of the keys to Windows Phone's success is developer support. As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft is sponsoring a series of developers workshops, the Windows Phone App Garage, to help promote app development at a more local level.  We had the opportunity to attend the App Garage held in Birmingham and found it to be a great opportunity to tap into Microsoft's resources.

The Garage is conducted by a Microsoft Developer with the support of established local app developers. In Birmingham, Glenn Gordon from Microsoft and local developers Todd Miranda and Daniel Powell led the charge.  The App Garage is a free workshop but, seating is limited.  We had thirty in attendance at the Innovation Depot, Birmingham's host site, and not an empty seat could be found.  If you are planning on attending, don't delay registering or you might miss out.

While the App Garage's agenda is standard throughout the events, the presentations were fairly informal. Speakers combined structured presentations with open discussions to cover everything from the development fundamentals to online resources (such as App Makr and SocialViewer).  An overview of the developer registration and app submission process was also discussed along with tips to help get your app certified and marketed.

And that was just for the first half of the workshop.

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3 years ago

Problems synchronising WP7 with Outlook?

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Are you experiencing problems with Outlook synchronising your Windows Phone 7 device? Why not check out the available guides over at Microsoft Support? A step-by-step process is present to aid customers with any issues one may experience in syncing contacts and appointments.  The Help Guide covers Outlook version 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Join in the discussion over at our forum!

Source: Microsoft Support

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3 years ago

Appcelerator / IDC Quarterly Mobile Developers Survey Released

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A lot of talk has been present about Microsoft being in third place overall (market share, apps, developers etc. combined), attempting to catch Apple and Google. A recent survey released by IDC shows a trend for the mobile OS group with developer interest throughout 2010/11 - Microsoft is yet again third.

Although we are ahead of RIM at the last point, we should put away the celebration packs of goodies due to the interest percentage for WP7 falling below what the platform had this time last year. Blackberry suffered a heavier fall and thus WP7 comes out tops, notably due to the Nokia partnership (which will hopefully boost developer interest once they bring handsets to the table).

Also included in the report is a fragmentation chart displaying what developers are most concerned with. Android is a known pray to OS and hardware fragmentation, something which WP7 hasn't had (yet, I've touched wood). The most concern is reportedly skill fragmentation, however. 

So overall, WP7 is still playing the slow catchup and I doubt anything will alter until Nokia devices come into the spotlight, or a good number of contracts end soon and customers wish to go to WP7.

via: WPSauce, CNET

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3 years ago

Microsoft bringing check-ins to Windows Phone this fall

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One thing we tried to push at MIX11, despite all the awesome news, was all that info was for developers, not consumers (though we tried to show why it mattered). The point being that Microsoft still has tricks up their sleeves for Mango/7.5 that we have yet to see and we're sure there will be plenty.

Evidently one of those is a built-in, native check-in system analogous to Foursquare or Google's latest addition to Latitude. This will be done via your Live account, which makes sense since you use that to "log onto" the phone.

All of this comes way of one @KADacey, who is testing said system with the Twitter source '(WindowsLive)INT', which when clicked links back to the Windows Phone site (curiously, he has since deleted the above Tweet, ahem). To make it more interesting, Manan Kakkar points out that '(WindowsLive)INT' is the Live Messenger Facebook app. So take that for what it's worth, which we think is a lot.

Big thanks to clubdirthill for finding the original tweet and Manan Kakkar for digging deeper

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3 years ago

Where'd those free LG apps go?

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Where'd those free LG apps go?

Yesterday, mentioned about some OEM LG apps that were either added or updated and in passing, we remarked that there seems to be fewer of those free apps that LG was offering (see earlier coverage of the offer here).

As it turns out, we weren't the only ones as Michael Eggleston was wondering what happened to his Weave (review). Easily one of the most popular and stellar apps of the platform, Weave was offered for free to LG users. Not any more as our current app is "frozen" at v2.4 and is no longer listed (so you'll lose it after a hard reset). Michael wrote the developers, Seles Games and asked what the deal was and here is there response:

The LG campaign was a limited-time promotion where they offered 10 apps for free for 60 days. They should be making a 2nd set of 10 apps available soon. Since LG controls that version of Weave, we have no way of submitting an update. Until they give us back control of it, it will be stuck at version 2.4.

We want all our LG users to keep getting the latest version, so we are going to put the regular version of Weave on sale for the lowest possible price ($1) starting tonight at midnight.

We are also going to be releasing a free, ad-supported version of Weave soon.

Between the $1 price promotion and a free ad-supported version, we hope al our LG users will find that they still have a way to get the latest updates and don't miss out on features.

Thank you for your support and I hope you continue enjoying Weave!

Edit: SelesGames informed us that email was from a few weeks ago and no immediate sale is planed. Still, it's great app.

Companies like Seles Games are obviously doing their best to maintain customer support and kudos to them for their effort, but LG's offer of 10 free apps seems a little less genuine than before--or are we just being grumpy in these early hours?

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 7 enters the location-data collection controversy

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Earlier yesterday, PC Magazine managed to get Microsoft on record about the whole "location-data storage" controversy (see related coverage on the iPhone here and on Android here via our sister sites). Strictly speaking, in regards to storing location data on the phone, Microsoft is in the clear, at least comparatively:

Microsoft told PCMag unequivocally that phones running Windows Phone 7 do not store location history. Like most other phones, the platform offers plenty of location-based apps, and those apps require user consent before they begin tracking. Windows Phones also offer the common feature of a "global switch" that lets the user disable all location services, and Microsoft says its "Find My Phone" service keeps only the phone's most recent location.

But it's a little more complicated than that--strictly speaking, Windows Phone doesn't store it locally on the phone where it can be "hacked" by 3rd parties and it sure doesn't sync it back to Zune either where it can also be compromised. But Microsoft does collect the data themselves and store it--after all, how else would Microsoft's location based system i.e. 'Orion' get such speed location data? It's no different than aGPS vs GPS: the more data you have available at the moment, the faster the acquisition.

According to Cnet, this is the case with Microsoft and their system:

Microsoft says its operating system transmits the MAC address of the Wi-Fi access point (but not the name), signal strength, a randomly generated unique device ID retained for an unspecified limited period of time, and, if GPS is turned on, the precise location and direction and speed of travel. That happens when the "application or user makes a request for location information," the company says.

Once again--this is not in the same league as the iPhone issue (which may be a bug, not a nefarious plan by Apple) but that data of course could be used by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA), often without a warrant as determined by the courts (GPS doesn't count as "search and seizure" and if you're on Sprint, that could be quite scary). We also don't know how much and for how long data is collected--actually there are tons of questions we don't have answers for yet. The obvious thing to do if you do not want to be tracked is to use the global switch and just turn it all off--of course that would still leave your cell signal available i.e. AFLT-Advanced Forward Link Triangulation to find your whereabouts. So basically just unplug if you don't want to be tracked, 'kay?

And we look forward to Microsoft answering CNet's questions on the matters. We'll check back.

Source: CNet 1, CNet 2; PCMag, TPM

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3 years ago

Steel Avenger - Review

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Steel Avenger - Review

Billed as one of the most cheesiest story lines for a Windows Phone 7 game, Steel Avenger turns out to be a rather decent game for your Windows Phone. Reminiscent of the classic arcade game Spy Hunter, Steel Avenger puts you in the role of Harry Kersey, an ex-cop who is trying to avenge hiis wife's brutal death.

Kersey takes out his revenge on the streets of downtown Farlix against the criminals responsible for his loved ones untimely death. With the assistance of sympathetic police force, who conveniently drop power-ups from helicopters, Kersey will weave through traffic taking his vengeance out on the bad guys.

Ease on past the break to read more on Steel Avenger and how you can help Kersey extract his justice.

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3 years ago

Fake HD7 (complete with fake WP7) discovered in China

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It's nothing new to find a cheap knockoff device pretending to be the real deal in China, but in what looks to be a first, a phone has surfaced that runs a fake version of WP7.  In reality, the HD7 imitator runs Windows Mobile 6.5, customized to resemble WP7.  Despite the chintzy OS, the Shanzai "HD7" sports a gigantic 4.8" screen with a 400x800 resolution, compared to the real HD7's 4.3" display.  Other specs on include:

  • 1GHz processor
  • Dual SIMS
  • Two MicroSD slots (total of 32GB extra memory)
  • 256MB RAM/512MB ROM
  • WiFi/Bluetooth
  • GPS

There's no word on when the phone will be available, nor how much it will cost.  But, come on...you really wouldn't buy this thing anyway.  It's just fun see what the Chinese counterfeiters come up with next.  Who knows, perhaps it might just inspire HTC to create a true monster-screen device for Windows.

Source: Shanzhai Via: UberGizmo

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