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3 years ago

Microsoft User Community "You've Got Game" sweepstakes

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Microsoft is launching a developer competition with some exciting prizes. Should you have one or more game titles on the Windows Phone Marketplace then you will be in with a chance on getting your hands on a Dell Alienware M18x gaming laptop (3 winners chosen by random) or an Xbox LIVE Gold Card (25 winners selected on a weekly basis). Oh, and if you're a developer who has used Windows Azure to develop your game, you'll receive two entries for that title.

So check out the Microsoft User Community Facebook page for more information and to enter the competition (you have to "Like" the page to be able to enter). Be sure to read through the rules when you get a moment (note that this competition is available to the U.S. only). The entry period to submit your application is from November 30th to February 29th. See the below chart for more detail regarding the sweepstake stages.

Source: Facebook (Microsoft User Community)

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3 years ago

Even more Android security woes as computer scientists discover permissions gap

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Computer and mobile device security is a tough business. There's hype and then there are real threats and so far most in mobile have been hype (but see AVG-gate). Still, Android is either an OS with a lot of security vulnerabilities or everyone just likes to pick on it. Either way, between Carrier IQ earlier this week and now this paper from North Carolina State University, the little robot is having a tough time.

Computer scientists at NCSU created an app called 'Woodpecker' that would search for app vulnerabilities in Androids's permission-based security model. In short, when you install an app in Android, it tells you what that app can access e.g. user info, data, geolocation, recording sound, etc. Basically if you don't think a wallpaper app should have access to say, recording sounds, you prevent the app from installing. The problem is this: apps can unknowingly grant permissions to other apps, allowing a seemingly innocuous program to gain access to functions not agreed to by the user.

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3 years ago

Talk2Me instant voice-messaging app lands in the Marketplace

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For those looking for a way to use their Windows Phones as virtual walkie-talkies, you may want to keep an eye on Talk2Me, a new app from NTWorld. The app allows you to record 15 second voice clips which you can then send to your friends and family. They receive the message and that's that, no typing involved.  The app comes in two versions: paid ($0.99) and free (ads), but when we bought the app we noticed our ad bar did not disappear. Perhaps just a bug on our end, but be warned.

The app does have a few downsides: you can't lookup anyone via phone number or email just yet, though the developers seem keen on adding that ability in the future. Also, this is a Windows Phone-only system, meaning your friends on Android or iOS won't be participating. Having said that, it did work when sending and receiving voice clips with no issues. Toast notifications alert you to a new message in addition to the Live Tile counter.

The graphics and UI could use some work being very basic and blocky, but if you're in it just for the voice-messages, this is really your only choice at the moment. We do know that TalkBox should be out soon and even Palringo should make a return, so keep that mind.

Pick up Talk2Me here in the Marketplace for free or $0.99. via WPCentral Forums; Thanks, @sedp23, for the tip!

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3 years ago

HTC Titan's graphics stutter tied to SRS Enhancement?

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While we consider the AT&T HTC Titan an excellent Windows Phone (here's our review) it has a quirky graphics lag or stutter at times. The stutter occurs more often with apps that have heavy graphics (Fruit Ninja is a good example) but it doesn't happen constantly throughout the game. Just enough to be noticeable.

WPCentral reader ElecktroDragon has discovered a temporary work around that eliminates the lag time and may identify the problem as being related to the Sound Enhancer Setting.  If you go into the Titan's Settings and turn off the SRS Enhancement in the Sound Enchancer setting, the lag goes away.  Based on the forums discussion, sound quality is just fine for the games without the SRS turned on.

While this seems to do the trick, it also means that for the time being you'll need to go back into settings to turn back on the SRS Enhancements when watching videos or listening to music to enjoy the sound enhancement.  We're still hoping that HTC can resolve this issue with a software update but in the meantime, at least we have a temporary fix.

Edit: This fix/workaround also applies to the HTC Radar/Radar 4G

Thanks goes out to ioannisgk for pointing this out.

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3 years ago

Fly Delta app gets a Mango update and can now track your bags

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Looks like we missed this one as it came out on the 23rd, but Fly Delta, the official app of Delta Airlines for Windows Phone, managed to get a Mango update. That's always a good thing as fast-app switching between this, your email, Bing Maps and OneNote would seem a common theme amongst travelers.

More importantly, it can now track your luggage for you so you always know where it is. Heck, you can even pin your boarding pass to your Start screen. This is part of a services overhaul as Android and the iPhone recently received updates too--that's a good sign that Windows Phone is keeping up with the competition. Full new feature list included the following:

  • Track your checked bag like you track a package – even during your flight.
  • Pay for bags while checking in and save time at the airport.
  • Aircraft details and layouts for Delta’s fleet.
  • Expanded airport information including airport maps, transit details, weather and Delta Sky Club locations.
  • Support multi-tasking and fast app switching.
  • Let you pin your boarding pass to the start screen.
  • Open airport maps in Bing maps.

Hopefully it also fixed the frequent crashing (no pun intended) that many people reported with the app on the v1.6 release. Looks like a cool update though, so if you're a Delta traveler, give it a go here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Amir, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Surfcube 3D browser's hidden Easter Egg revealed

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Surfcube 3D browser's hidden Easter Egg revealed

If you think Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Phone is slick, you should try it with Surfcube 3D. The browser is a wrapper for IE9 that extends and enhances the browsing experience while making it super cool--after all, it makes it a 3D "cube" that you can spin around.

We've heard that there's at least one hidden surprise with the browser and now you can see it for yourself. Go to Settings --> About and tap the Kinabalu Innovation logo (the mountains) to enter the free-cube mode. Basically the cube become unhinged and "floats" with the accelerometer.

Useful? Not really. But fun to goof with? Definitely.

Anyways, we always like little stuff like this. Hopefully you caught the sale for Surfcube this past weekend. If not, you can pick up the ad-free version here for $1.99 with trial or go for the ad-supported free version here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

AT&T Dell Venue Pro finally getting Mango update

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Although just about everyone in the world has managed to get the Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" update, there was one straggler left: the AT&T Dell Venue Pro (see review) While not a significant share of the Windows Phone market (the DVP was never sold directly by AT&T), it was still a black eye to those who own that phone, as one could argue that Mango greatly improves the Venue Pro (it breathed new life into ours, that's for sure).

The good news is that you should be able to plug in your DVP to Zune and fetch Mango right now to get your phone on the latest and greatest. Sure, you won't have the compass feature and tethering is uncertain, but the build of the OS is hopefully worth waiting for.

Source: Windows Phone Blog; Thanks, Grant, for the heads up

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3 years ago

NASA Ringtones have landed in the Marketplace

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Help Software has released a collection of free sound files from various historical space missions and they have been conveniently converted to ringtones for your Windows Phone. NASA Ringtones is a collection of 24 ringtones from various Shuttle missions, Apollo and Mercury Space missions, Beeps and Bytes, and sound bits from current missions that including the Cassini Saturn mission and the Atlas V launch.

Each set of ringtones has an mission appropriate wallpaper backdrop (i.e. the moon for Apollo and Mercury) that gives the app an impressive appearance (shame the pics can't be used as device wallpapers). Each ringtone can be previewed and saved to your Windows Phone.

Ringtones range from the Apollo 11 "The Eagle has landed" quote to the Sputnik beep. Growing up watching Neil Armstong land on the moon, these ringtones definitely bring back memories. If your a fan of NASA and space exploration, this is a must have collection for your Windows Phone. According to the developer this is just the start and look for more space sounds to be added with future updates.

There is a free trial available for NASA Ringtones and the full version runs $.99. You can download NASA Ringtones here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It is a mango app so you'll need to make sure your Windows Phone is updated before hand.

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3 years ago

Nokia snags Justin Angel as Principal Engineer on Windows Phone developer experience

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Nokia has managed to grab one of the good ones, folks! Justin Angel (see previous coverage), who you know recently from his Metro Pandora SDK as well as WP7 apps 'Neurons' and 'United Nations News', has announced that he is going to work for Nokia as their Principal Engineer on Windows Phone 7 developer experience.

Nokia, you have great taste.

Angel has been a big part of the Sliverlight development community and had previously worked for Microsoft. His experience goes deep as he has worked on iHeartRadio, Silverlight Toolkit, Metro Pandora, WP7 Development Best Practices Wiki, Marketplace statistics and the AVG-gate issue.

While his direct, free reign contribution to the Windows Phone community will be sorely missed, this job will allow him to have a huge influence over Nokia Windows Phones. We'll surely all benefit from his skill, dedication and design decisions in the future.

Once again, a huge congratulations to Justin and Nokia--we like where this is going! Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinAngel and see his Metro-themed website here.

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3 years ago

eBay gets updated to v1.15 with some fixes

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The official eBay app has been updated to version 1.15.0.0. We've been informed that the release contains a number of bug fixes and a cleanup to improve latency issues experienced by users in certain geo-markets.

The key feature which was added in the update was support for MEC (Mobile Express Checkout). This new feature will ease some of the processing payment flow between eBay and PayPal. A small update with a number of improvements to ensure performance and reliability is kept at a high level.

We're also told that the Selling feature will be coming in January-ish. It was originally slated for this release but it was decided to hold off to make sure it's the best and easiest design they could implement.  Hold on tight, sellers, it's coming!

You can download the eBay app from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks TheWeeBearUK for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Omnia W hits Swedish/Norwegian carrier Telenor

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The Samsung Omnia W is now available at Sweden's Telenor.  For 219 Swedish Krona ($33.00) you can get one on a 24-month contract, which comes with free data.  If you choose to go contract-free, the Omnia W will run you 3600 Swedish Krona ($533).

The Samsung Omnia W is nice handset, sporting:

  • Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango)
  • 3.7 inch Super AMOLED display
  • 1.4 GHz processor
  • 5 megapixel camera

Source: Telenor; Via: WINGadget.se (Thanks for the tip, Peter!)

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3 years ago

Evernote updated to version 2.1

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The popular cross-platform note app Evernote has been updated to version 2.1, bringing a number of features and fixes to the table. The most appealing feature that has been implemented is the ability to literally pin anything to the home screen, including new note options which can be added via the settings, note templates or individual notes. Making a template is pretty straight forward too, creating a new note and selecting "Pin as Template" from the menu will allow the user to create a text, audio or image note template and pin it to the home screen.

Included in the update is improved text editing, with rich text content being the same experience as plain text and editing works just like creating a new note. New languages are supported: Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, and Polish. If that wasn't enough already, here's some more:

  • Background sync: The app will complete a sync when the device is on a WIFI connection, even if the phone is locked.
  • Search integration: Evernote is integrated with the Windows Phone search. If you swipe across on a search result, you will see notes in Evernote related to that search.
  • More social: You can now share a note to Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live.

Hats off to the Evernote team, a superb update for consumers. You can download Evernote from the Marketplace.

Source: Evernote Blog, via: @leoberto

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3 years ago

Go to CES 2012 on Microsoft's dime

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Go to CES 2012 on Microsoft's dime

Tired of your editors being the only ones who get to go to CES?  Er...um, anyway, Microsoft is giving away a trip for two to Las Vegas to CES 2012.  Should you be lucky enough to win,  you will receive two round trip airfares, accommodations at The Palazzo hotel, and passes to CES, including keynote access.  You will also get $500 in gambling (Ahem!) spending money and a digital camera to snap pictures of the event for that Windows Phone site you write for...Oh, I mean...nevermind

To enter, go to the source link below and click Enter Now.

Source: Microsoft (FaceBook); Via: Microsoft News

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3 years ago

Official WPCentral app updated to v1.8 - bug fixes!

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Yes, another week, another small update to the official WPCentral app. Our developer Jay Bennett has been hard at work with fixes for the app since our site-overhaul and this makes things right again.  Here are the big difference with v1.8:

  • Bullet points and numbers are now aligned properly [Fix]
  • Toast notifications will now bring you to the article directly when tapped [Fix]

With that out of the way and the app looking snappy again, Jay is hard at work with the big v2.0 update, expected to bring commenting, amongst other new features. Have something you want for v2.0? Lets us know in comments and we'll consider it!

As usual, get the app here in the Marketplace for free (with ads) or unlock it for it $0.99 for more advanced features and ad-free.

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3 years ago

Reality check: SkyDrive not getting unlimited storage for pics & docs

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Back in early September, LiveSide ran a story about the recent SkyDrive update. Specifically, Wave 5 was to offer a hefty helping of unlimited storage for your photos and Office documents that you've stashed away. The idea seemed reasonable, after all they were limiting it to specific media types, so why not?

Well, it turns out the SkyDrive team is not so confident in that new feature. When asked about it directly on Twitter they said flat out that's it is a rumor:

"We don't offer unlimited photos and docs. Unless it came from our official blog, it's a rumor."

Okay, we suppose we can angle it that they never said it wasn't coming later on. But at least for now that terse wording is leading us to believe that this whole idea of unlimited storage for pics and docs just ain't true. Maybe next time? For now, you'll just have to suffer with your free 25GB of storage. /sarcasm

Source: @SkyDrive; Thanks, Edwin, for the tip!

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