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3 years ago

The Design Process of a Windows Phone App [Developers]

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An analogy of the relation between Principles and Language could be an abstract concept like “Love” (… a Principle) which could be expressed by a concrete symbol like ♥  or the combination of four characters “l-o-v-e” which give birth to the written form of the abstract concept “love”. I’m sure you could come up with an infinite number of other concrete ways to express the concept “love” including the sound of the word itself, photos or other metaphors.

That great little excerpt up above is one of the opening paragraphs to 31 Days of Windows Phone Metro Design, which we covered previously.

Since then two notable things have happened. The first is that Arturo Toledo, Sr. User Experience Designer at Microsoft and lead author of the series, has mentioned that the series will now be '31 Weeks...' instead of '31 Days...' so he can spend more time on each. Secondly, he has just posted the latest episode which goes over the process of designing an application from the top down - and he will be detailing each step in the coming weeks.

What I love about this series is that it's written simply enough for any developer to understand. And this latest post has even more detail than the last.

So devs, do yourselves a favor and go soak up all the Metro goodness.

Source: ux.artu.tv

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3 years ago

Slacker Radio partners with ESPN Live

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Slacker Radio recently announced a new partnership with ESPN Audio that will bring live streaming of major professional and collegiate sporting events to your Windows Phone. The new channel kicks off tonight with the BCS College Football Championship between LSU and Alabama.

Future live programming will be available to Slacker Radio Plus and Premium subscribers ($3.99 and $9.99 a month respectively). The interactive ESPN Radio Station on Slacker will remain free and available to all listeners.

Jonathan Sasse, Senior Vice President of Marketing, comments,

“This new feature is yet another example of how Slacker is combining the best elements of traditional radio with our listeners’ demand for personalization of music, news, sports and more.”

Slacker Radio covers over 150 program and music stations ranging from ABC News to hip hop to country to rock. Slacker Radio (here's our review from way back when) is a free app for your Windows Phone. Again, Plus and Premium services will cost you extra and can be bill directly to your wireless provider (looks like US Carriers only).

You can download your copy of Slacker Radio here at the Windows Phone Marketplace and catch Slacker's full presser after the break.

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3 years ago

Magenta Nokia Lumia 800 expected February at Carphone Warehouse UK

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For those of you who are still waiting for the Nokia Lumia 800 to be available in magenta (pink), and reside in the UK, you may now rejoice at the news that the Carphone Warehouse will be stocking the handset in a months time. Following Orange FR, who added the pink model to their website store, you'll be able to order yours on this side of the channel soon enough. Will you be picking one up?

Source: Carphone Warehousethanks, Richard, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Pano

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Windows Phone App Review: Pano

Second generation HTC Windows Phone (Titan and Radar) owners have a panoramic setting in their camera app to let them stitch together three images to create a wide, panoramic image. But what about other Window Phone models? Enter the Windows Phone app Pano.

Pano was recently released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that will allow you to stitch together up to sixteen images to create a massively huge panorama.  Pano has had a decent amount of success over on the iPhone and based on what we've seen, should be just as successful with Windows Phone users as well.

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3 years ago

Monday Brief: January 9, 2012 - CES!

It's time to hit the ground running here at CES 2012 and no matter what platform you're into we've got our whole Mobile Nations team here to cover every nook and cranny of the CES 2012 showroom floor.

WPCentral will be represented by Daniel Rubino (@malatesta77) while iMore will be represented by Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) and his team, Leanna Lofte (@llofte) and Ally Kazmucha (@imuggle). Phil Nickinson (@philnickinson) and the Android Central army will cover all things Android and Kevin Michaluk (@crackberrykevin), Adam Zeis (@azeis) and the CrackBerry.com crew (@isaackendall, @kasperapd, @CrackBerryJoe, @scaperfan, and @cbkerri) have a lock on all things BlackBerry.

Derek Kessler (@dkdsgn) and webOS Nation will be on site as well as cross-site collaborator Jared DiPane (@jdipane) and our brand new editor-at-very-large, Simon Sage (@simonsage) to pick up whatever tidbits of technological goodness they can find.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: January 2 - 8, 2012

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Welcome to your Windows Phone summary of the week, which is bang on the cliff edge with CES 2012 being just around the corner. This week, we've had episode 134 of the WPCentral podcast and some major visual improvements being applied to our forums. If our continued community development wasn't enough, the main website is receiving updates. You can now pin WPCentral to your Windows taskbar (using Internet Explorer), which will provide you with quick access to the main sections of the website.

As mentioned above, we're at CES 2012 this week (as is the rest of the Mobile Nations network!) to bring you the most relevant coverage. As well as being able to read the latest happenings from the event right here at WPCentral, you'll be able to take part in the discussions over at our forum too. Moving on, head on past the break to check out the full summary.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 GSM available at Newegg for $549.99

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The Nokia Lumia 800 is available to order from Newegg, for just $549.99, which isn't a bad price at all for an unlocked mid-range Windows Phone. The handset sports a 1.4Ghz processor, 8MP camera (with Carl Zeiss optics), 16GB storage, and a 3.7" AMOLED screen with Clear Black technology.

Check out our full review of the Lumia 800 for more detail. As a bonus, a limited offer is currently available that will see the purchase of the 800 being accompanied by a Bluetooth accessory.

Source: Newegg, thanks TriAxis for the tip!

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3 years ago

BBC News Mobile and WeatherLive get updates with UI changes

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Nothing like a few solid updates for some of our favorite apps on Windows Phone. First up is BBC News Mobile. We mentioned a few weeks ago they had a new beta version in the works and now that update has gone live. Changes include mostly how the app looks and speed:

  • Background Cache Service
  • Better Live Tiles
  • Faster Loading
  • Reworked GUI
  • Picture quality improvement

Definitely some nice improvements though some bugs did get into v2.9 so expect a fix-update soon to address those. You can read about those issues here. Pick up BBC News Mobile v2.9 here in the Marketplace for free.

WeatherLive has also been bumped to 3.5 with a big change to UI and information layout. It still has all the same information, including hourly, trends, moon phases, radar, maps and web cams, but you may have missed them in earlier versions due to being buried within the menu system.

Now, you can just swipe left-right and go to each section individually, resulting in a much more fluid interface. It is certainly more Metro with this panoramic view though it does veer a little from some Metro standards (font size). Still, we like the change. Grab WeatherLive here for $1.49 or free trial.

QR codes for both after the jump...

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3 years ago

WPDownUnder creates "Where's my Bloody Update?" for Aussies

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On Friday we covered Microsoft's plan to alter how updates for Windows Phone are communicated to consumers. Depending on how you read and took the announcement (some readers were slightly heated in the comments), Microsoft is looking to the future with how they can effectively publish said information. Currently, the "Where's my update?" page displays a huge table covering each carrier and handset. With more handsets being released, and older devices continuing to be supported with new updates, this table would continue to significantly grow.

The pending changes will alter the way we are currently waiting for updates. The software giant wishes consumers to wait for the notification on their Windows Phone (or in Zune once connected to a PC) and check Update Central, as opposed to focusing entirely on the likes of "Where's my update?" for dates and status reports.

What happens with regards to carriers and update control will have to be seen with what occurs with the 8107 rollout and in the coming months. We're not entirely certain if what's in store will be good or bad, but WPDownUnder has taken things into their own hands and has released their version of the "Where's my Update?" with "Where's my Bloody Update?".

This new webpage will be useful for Aussies who wish to continue to keep up-to-date with updates across the Australian carriers: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. For the rest of us, we'll be in for a ride to see what happens.

Source: WPDownUnder; Thanks, Sheeds, for the tip!

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3 years ago

WPCentral events forum for CES 2012 is now Live

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We will have all the CES 2012 breaking news on the Main Blog (see all articles here) as we are expecting big news in the next few days. Our own Daniel Rubino from WPC and the Mobile Nations crew will have the event covered from all angles.

We here at WPCentral are expecting big announcements from Nokia (Lumia 900 "ACE") and perhaps some other surprises. Rumors are flying around about news from Microsoft and maybe a new device from Sony (but very doubtful). We know there will be a lot to talk about which is why we have added a new forum for just this purpose. 

Once you have the big news from the Main Blog, come join us in the WPCentral's Forums CES 2012 Events area for all the in depth discussions where you can talk about the new announcements, rumors and expectations. You have to be a member to post so get registered today.

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Plants vs. Zombies version 1.3 update brings a discreet change, still no Mango

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A barrage of Xbox Live title updates hit last week: Fable Coin Golf, Farm Frenzy 2, Ghostscape, Gravity Guy, The Sims 3, and Tetris. After horror stories of updates getting stuck in certification for months on end, the sight of all these patches is enough to bring a tear to this cynical critic’s eye.

One update that we received a lot of questions about is the Plants vs. Zombies version 1.3 patch. After a little digging, we’ve discovered the effects of the patch: it changes the game’s description in the Games hub from PvZ to Plants vs. Zombies. Not terribly exciting, but then, PopCap has already fixed the game’s major bugs. It is surprising, however, that the update doesn’t add Fast App Switching support. Enabling this important feature (which rolled out with Mango) is supposed to be fairly easy for developers, after all. Hopefully PopCap has at least one more update in store for us.

Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defense game that happened to be one of the very best mobile Xbox Live releases of 2011 – see our review. The game costs $4.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Ask Ziggy update now live on the Marketplace

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We recently covered a neat little Windows Phone app that rivals Apple's Siri. Ask Ziggy is a completely free (ad-free too) speech recognition app, which goes one step further than Windows Phone itself. Mathematical questions, commands (posting to Twitter, Facebook, calling a contact, etc.), general questions are just a few tasks that can be completed. While the app was already available (and has been since mid-December) a recent update has been pushed through that brings a few fixes an a UI refresh.

There are a number of features that the developer has planned for the future, including expanded speech grammar, multi-language support and language translations. Should you be continuously finding yourself having to watch a Siri demonstration, now you can fight back with this little beauty. You can download Ask Ziggy from the Marketplace for free. Be sure to keep an eye on the official website for more information.

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3 years ago

Farm Frenzy 2 update fixes Xbox Live Achievement, wisely chooses not to kill Wilbur

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A surprising number of late 2011 Xbox Live titles launched with broken Achievements: Battlewagon, Farm Frenzy 2, Fusion: Sentient, Hasta la Muerte, Let’s Golf 2, and MiniSquadron, to be precise. It’s a worrying trend, but at least several of those games’ developers have committed to fixing the problem unlockables. It’s like a race to kill the bugs!

The first developer on the list to get their Achievements in order? Alawar, the Russian makers of Farm Frenzy 2. Thanks to the game’s version 1.1 update, the broken Achievement ‘Moment of Truth’ can now be unlocked. In fact, players who completed the requirements (unlocking all other Achievements) before the patch will find it unlocks instantly after launching the updated game. How convenient!

Farm Frenzy 2 is an unusual strategy/time management game developed in far-off Russia. We’ll be reviewing it very soon. The game costs $2.99 and there is a free trial – get it here on the Marketplace.

As for the other glitched games – a little birdie tells me that Battlewagon’s update will roll out next. As always, WPCentral will keep you posted.

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3 years ago

AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 confirmed by NY Times?

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We've heard rumblings that Nokia's Lumia 900 will be landing at AT&T. The Lumia 900 (code named Ace) is rumored to have a 4.3" screen, 16GB of memory and a 1.4ghz processor. It is also expected to be 4G LTE.

The rumors have picked up a little speed from a very flattering article on Windows Phones that appeared on the New York Times website.  The Times reports that anonymous sources, that are in the know, are confirming that the Lumia 900 will be sold by AT&T. The "official" announcement is expected to be made Monday at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.

The good thing about this rumor is a) Monday is just right around the corner so we'll know one way or the other soon and b) we'll be at the Nokia press event on Monday and get all the news first hand. Our own Dan Rubino will be covering the event (as well as the rest of the CES show) and get hands-on coverage of the new Nokia Windows Phone up on the site as soon as possible.

Source: nytimes.com

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3 years ago

Birdsong to receive further development and updates

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Good news to anyone who loves the Birdsong Twitter client for Windows Phone as much as the next person, as Red Badger announced last month the arrival of an intern at the company. Joe Stanton, a student at King’s College London (studying Computer Science), will be heading up further development on the app, which has received little attention since the Mango update hit handsets.

So what should we look forward to see in the (hopefully) near future? Trending Topics (both local and global), ReadItLater/Instapaper support for tweeted links, as well as large-scale improvements to the push service. Sounds like a solid plan. On a slight funny note, it'll be interesting to see what an apparent iPhone user (according to the above photo) can bring to the app.

You can download Birdsong from the Marketplace for $0.99 (79p).

Source: Red Badger

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