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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: June 07-12, 2011

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Another fairly quiet week on the Windows Phone 7 front while the hype for Mango increases, but the WPCentral app is back in black with version 1.2, which is now available in the Marketplace. The Windows Mobile 6.5 web accessible Marketplace is going offline as well as the MyPhone. Fancy a WP7 device?

Microsoft has released more updates on the updates, which should have updated the devices that required updating back in the update designated month of "update February". Focus users are told to remain vigilant while Microsoft battle hard to get things sorted. Switching to future mode, Mango is to receive new features in SkyDrive and the Zune Pass along with some WP7 dedicated services are planned to be expanded beyond UK and US.

For all you trigger happy gamers, Glyder is this week's Xbox Live Deal and geoDefense is readily available on the Marketplace. Worship WP7 so much that you'd do anything to see your Xbox avatar have one as a prop? Now you can for free!

Unfortunately, something that wont be able to be exploited for free is using SkyDrive for music streaming, although the Zune service should be sufficient enough for all your music needs. Bing Audio (which will be replacing the likes of Shazam) is reported to dynamically analyse music for more responsive matching.

Microsoft has brought a new bargain to the table with selling select WP7 devices for just a penny (on contract of course) while U.S. Cellular jump onto the steam train for their HTC device roll-out later this year. The HTC HD7s on AT&T is backordered already, could this be due to low stock or the fact that the device is highly desired? Staying on the HD7s, you can pick one up for $50 at Best Buy.

With Apple in the news through copying Microsoft, Google, RIM etc. with features added into iOS5 (while they actively sue anyone for calling the round green/red shaped fruit an apple), Microsoft is flattered by their competitor implementing features already found in WP7. Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, has been interviewed (over Twitter, of all means of communication) about his usage of WP7, specifically the Focus and Trophy handsets.

Should you feel as though you need to do more to protect your device, why not check out some awesome homemade Windows Phone bags? To close off our "fun" highlights of this week, Xbox Live Extras for Mango accidently appeared in the Marketplace. It's all laughs and jokes, right?

Developers, or should I say Android developers? Anyway, Microsoft has released a mapping tool which is much like their iOS tool that they previously released. Fancy developing for our platform? Now it's even easier.

Allow Scotty to beam you up past the break for the highlights. 

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3 years ago

Qmadix BoostPac - Review

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Qmadix BoostPac - Review

While Windows Phones have noticeably improved power management to get the most of your battery, every now and again you might need a boost of power. You could use a car charger or carry around an extra wall charger/USB cord but what about the times you don't have a charging source? Enter the Qmadix BoostPac.

This little one inch square cube is a 1000mah Lithium Ion battery that will give your Windows Phone enough power to get you to that electrical outlet or car charger. The battery has a built in shutoff to protect your phone from over-charging and LED indicators to show you how much power is left and when re-charging is complete.

Continued after the break.

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3 years ago

Get Orb for free on Monday

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Get Orb for free on Monday

Palladium Power has a deal for you. On Monday, June 13, 2011 you can download their Windows Phone game Orb for free! No strings attached. The development team over at Palladium Power tells us they are so pleased with the recent update for the game, they want to celebrate by giving everyone a chance to download it for free.

So now you ask, what is Orb. Orb is a fast paced Windows Phone game that has you race a rolling ball across tiles and avoid falling off the course or crashing into obstacles or other dangers. You have fans to help you jump across large gaps and boost fields to speed things up a bit.  In playing Orb just for a brief period, it's well animated, challenging and entertaining game for your Windows Phone.

There is a free trial available if you want to try it before Monday and after the free Monday offer, the game will run you $1.29. You can download the game here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Jonas and Marcus for sharing this with us!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live Extras for Mango accidentally appears in Marketplace

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Goes to show you are easy it is for internal, in-testing apps for Microsoft to go public in the Marketplace. Evidently, the beta version for Xbox Live Extras for Mango was pushed to the Marketplace today for a few hours before it was rec-called.

Labelled as such and at version 1.0, this will be the way you can purchase items for your Avatar on the phone, much like the latest v1.6 update we just received a few days ago. Now, before you become all downtrodden over the fact you missed this before it was pulled, let it be known had you downloaded it would not have run anyways as it is dependent on libraries in the Mango build. Or as Lei Tracer from Microsoft explains the situation:

“FYI, the app “Beta Xbox Live Extras” appeared in Marketplace for a few hours on 6/10. This is a beta that is intended for internal Microsoft Mango testers and should not have appeared in the marketplace, but someone threw the wrong lever somewhere so it ended up visible. If you try to run the app you won’t see anything because it depends on Mango libraries that aren’t available on your phone yet. The app is taken down now and the correct v1.6 of XLE should be visible now. Apologies for the confusion.”

Kind of funny and we're sure there was some finger pointing going at Redmond over the incident. Luckily, there wasn't anything too sensitive there that leaked out--we already know Extras exists and that it will be there in Mango too.

Source: Windows Phone Metro

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3 years ago

KLM Airlines lifts a page from the Metro UI design book

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There's no doubt that Microsoft is doing the right thing by recognizing how brilliant the Metro UI is and incorporating into the next Xbox update and Windows 8 desktop OS. So perhaps it is of little surprise to see others starting to snag some deisgn cues from Microsoft's groundbreaking UI by incorporating Metro-esque themes into their products.

Reader Florian (Disinto) recently flew on KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) and couldn't help but noticing something as simple as salt & pepper packets had an all too familiar look to them. There's no confusion here either--those are exactly like the Metro tiles from Windows Phone. Odd seeing them on such banal items as disposable spice packets and yet...it still looks great, no?

Hey, we can't speak for Microsoft, but we're cool with Metro UI/Tiles taking over design aesthetic. So long as Android and Apple stay away, they've already copied enough.

Thanks to Florian for the sweet pic and observation, not to mention good taste in music.

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3 years ago

Get ready for a throwdown. Square Off is 99 cents this weekend

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We’d like to call your attention to Gnomic Studios’ indie game Square Off today. Not just because of the amazing papercraft shown above that I designed for WPCentral’s Square Off review, though it would seem I am happy to show it off again. No, the big news about Square Off is that’s it on sale this weekend. The sale price is 99 cents, a 66% discount off the regular price.

Square Off is a 2D arena-based shooter. Players take control of a Square Avenger – a human/alien hybrid with a jetpack – as he defends the earth from nefarious one-eyed aliens. The game’s got seven levels to blast through, each of which can be played in a never-ending survival mode.

Square Off’s 2.5D graphics (hand-drawn characters on 3D backgrounds) and tight controls really won us over. The full game is on sale for 99 cents until Monday and there is a free trial, so give it a try now while the getting’s good. You’ll find Square Off here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations Podcast: Episode Zero

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Mobile Nations Podcast: Episode Zero

Introducing our cross-platform podcast, the state of the union for Android, BlackBerry, iOS, webOS, and Windows Phone!

Mobile Nations is our brand new podcast, bringing together the heads of state from Android Central, CrackBerry.com, PreCentral.net, TiPb.com and WPCentral for full on round-table action. This week Phil, Kevin, and Rene discuss new Gingerbread phones, iOS 5 and iCloud, Playbook updates, and Apple stealing back. This is Mobile Nations!

Meta Talk

  • Do we go clean or explicit?
  • Do we use theme music or smash cut straight to the talk?
  • Should we stick to a bi-weekly schedule?
  • What should our album art be?

Tech Talk

Feedback

    Hosts

  • Phil Nickinson (@philnickinson)
  • Kevin Michaluk (@crackberrykevin)
  • Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie)
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    3 years ago

    Microsoft's update on the Windows Phone Update

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    Microsoft has posted an update on the Windows Phone Update and you can add Telefonica in Spain to the list of Windows Phones on the verge of receiving the pre-Nodo, Nodo and Security Updates. Testing is done and the rollout should begin shortly.

    Omnia 7 owners on Orange are also in line for the updates and scheduling should begin shortly as well.

    In other news, Microsoft wants to assure Samsung Focus owners that they are continuing to work on the solution to get these updates to your phone. Eric Hautala, GM, Customer Experience Engineering states,

    "We want to make sure you have a quality experience with the update. That is taking time, but we’re not resting until it’s done."

    So.. the February Nodo has stretched to become a June Nodo for some. Let us just hope that a)Everyone is learning from this experience to make the Mango update flow with better efficiency and b) Nobody tags Mango with a month (e.g. the November Mango Update) which may likely jinx things and we won't see it until March 2012.

    Remember, you can check your update status over at Microsoft's Windows Phone Update page or download the "Dude, Where's my Update" app here in the Marketplace.

    Source: Windowsteamblog Thanks goes out to D-Bur for the tip!

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    3 years ago

    Update: Mango does support IPv6

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    Update: Mango does support IPv6

    A few days ago, it was rumored that IPv6 (see Wikipedia), the upcoming network protocol was currently not supported in Windows Phone 7.0 (evidently started because our browser cannot connect to a IPv6 website).

    Fast forward today and now there's information through Microsoft that suggests that this is "fixed" in WP7 Mango. If you head to MSDN, you'll see listed under 'Fields' what appears to be full-support for IPv6 on board in OS v7.1 aka Mango.

    What that all means of course is there's nothing to see here, don't worry, our new OS does not have an Achilles heel when it comes to web-browsing--assuming nothing major happens in the next 6 months.

    Source: MSDN; via Plaffo

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    3 years ago

    HD7s for $50 at Best Buy

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    HD7s for $50 at Best Buy

    Never to shy away from a deal, we've been tipped that the AT&T HTC HD7s is being offered over at Best Buy for $49.99 (after contractual discounts). The offer also includes free shipping.

    Not a bad deal but the catch is finding one. If Best Buy's inventory of HD7s units is similar to AT&T Premiere Site, it may be a tough deal to locate. A quick store inventory search indicates not a single Best Buy in Alabama are showing the Windows Phone in stock. The online listing indicates the phone usually ships within 2-5 business days but "usually" isn't a guarantee the phones are in stock.

    Still, if you're in the market for an HD7S it might be worth a call to Best Buy to see if your local store has them in stock.

    Thanks goes out to Ben for the tip!

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    3 years ago

    eWallet Go - App Spotlight

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    eWallet Go - App Spotlight

    We've taken a look at Password Manager for the Windows Phone and now we'll shine the spotlight on eWallet GO. Ilium Software is offering the Windows Phone app over at the Marketplace to help you keep track of your usernames/passwords, financial accounts, credit cards, PIN Numbers and other information that needs to be secure but readily available.

    eWallet GO makes it easy to get started, with 29 ready-to-use templates for you to enter all your critical information. The app supports multiple categories, so you'll never have to second guess where you saved any of your information. eWallet Go's philosophy, "It's your info - save it however you like, and access it fast without worry."

    eWallet GO also supports Google Docs or Dropbox to help make saving your file easily. Not only can you back up and restore your wallet to your phone, but if you also purchase eWallet GO! for Windows (available from Ilium's website) you can back up and restore between your phone and your PC.

    There isn't a trial version for eWallet Go and the full version is running $4.99. You can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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    3 years ago

    Quadrata and Triangula - Double Header Review

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    Remember the line game squares? Some may have called it "Dots and Boxes".  You know the game.  Where you drew a grid of dots on a piece of paper and took turns connecting them to build squares? Arkady Elterman has developed two games built around the old paper and pencil game.

    These two Windows Phone games are so close, they could have been game modes under the same title. So similar that a double header of a review can cover both under the same headline.

    To read more on Quadrata and Triangula, move on past the break.

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    3 years ago

    AT&T HD7s backordered already--low stock or selling well?

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    Although the AT&T site still lists the new HTC HD7s (see review) as available, we're hearing that in fact the phone may be backordered.

    Potential customer and reader Chase ordered his HD7s a few days ago from the AT&T business direct/premier online site and just received an email noting that the phone is backordered:

    Dear CHASE xxxx,

    Thank you for your recent purchase on the AT&T Premier Online Store. We are pleased that you chose AT&T as your wireless service provider.

    Unfortunately, items in your order are out of stock and are backordered. We will ship them as soon as they are available, and notify you of the shipment by email. We will ship multiple backordered items when all items are in stock.

    If your order remains out of stock or backordered for 30 days, your order will be automatically canceled.

    You can view the status of your order on AT&T Premier Online Store at any time.

    Reference Web Order Number: 101xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Thank you,

    The AT&T Premier Team

    This of course raises the question: did AT&T just have low stock or is that phone in high-demand? Alas, we'll never really know, we suppose, but we like to think it's the latter reason. Chime in if you received a similar email from AT&T about your order.

    Thanks, Chase, for the info

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    3 years ago

    U.S. Cellular to get HTC Windows Phone device "this year"

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    Good and bad news for U.S. Cellular customers: the carrier will be getting a Windows Phone device, by HTC, but unfortunately you may have a few more months to wait as they are being hush-hush on the matter.

    According to a press release, U.S. Cellular is finally looking to bring over the nearly 1-year old OS:

    CHICAGO (June 09, 2011) – Between now and the end of the year, U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) is expanding its portfolio of cutting-edge devices with more features, handset styles and pricing options to help its customers select the one that meets their needs and helps them stay connected.

    U.S. Cellular plans to launch seven smartphones that run on the Android™ operating system, including its first 4G-enabled smartphone. Two mobile tablets are planned along with the carrier's first Windows® Phone 7 device. U.S. Cellular will also roll out its first wave of 4G LTE devices in November.

    ...U.S. Cellular plans to launch four devices from HTC Corp. beginning this summer, including the carrier's first Windows Phone device that runs the Windows 7™ operating system. The Live Tiles on the Windows 7 homescreen show all of the messages, voicemails, e-mails and social network status updates in a single glance.

    No word on which device exactly they are getting: Trophy, Arrive/7 Pro or HD7, but hey, at least there's light at the end of the tunnel for those folks still on contract on the carrier.

    Source: U.S. Cellular; via Android Central

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    3 years ago

    Pirates' Assualt updated with new level and more

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    Pirates' Assualt from Dagari Studios has been updated to add more levels of play, an additional game mode and Scoreloop integration. Pirates' Assault is a tower defense game for your Windows Phone where you defend your treasure from raiding pirates.

    With the update, Pirates' Assualt goes from four to five levels and adds a Survival Mode that boosts the difficulty of each level and randomizes the raiding ships' path. This makes that course of attack more unpredictable and defensive placements all the more important.

    The Scoreloop integration allows for an online leaderboard with profile management. Your posting to the leaderboard will also show your level completion along with your score.

    All in all the update brings more gaming to Pirate's Assault. There is a free, ad-supported version of Pirates' Assault available here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. The ad-free version will run you $1.99 and can be found here at the Marketplace.

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