The answer from Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for WP7, should have been expected: unless there is a legal way to host and distribute those ROMs, it's a violation of IP law. The answer should be a no-brainer really and Microsoft would be putting themselves in an odd position with Nintendo if they were to allow such an app to be distributed. Heck, Microsoft is hesitant about adding a screen shot tool because of these issues, that should tell you something.
Fetching for $1.99 with no trial, the official Daily Show app could be some awesome companion program for what is a great show. Or it could be kind of a rip off, too much money for what is basically beta software
Guess which camp the TDS app falls into? So watch the video, save yourself the $1.99 and let us do the testing for you.
It just went live in the Marketplace and fetches for $4.99, which is on the high end for a non-Xbox LIVE game these days. Still, we've always really liked this game so we're gonna give it a thorough trial.
Developers can have a tough life. They slave over compilers, writing code, trying to come up with that perfect app or game that becomes the next Angry Birds. The rewards can be big but more often than not, most apps never reach that level (e.g. no one thinks that out of 300,000 apps, more than a few thousand are making money in Apple's App Store).
Foundation 42, who make Word Monger, Word Explorer Dictionary and Data Locker for Windows Phone 7, had announced months ago 'Appaloosa' an ambitious game for the new platform. Flash forward a few months and the studio had to cancel the project. Reason? Ultimately it came dow to cost vs. expected return.
It's the same old story: new platform struggles to gain audience, developers struggle too. After the break, you can read Foundation42's side of the story of what happened. From our perspective, we saw their move to heavily invest in a game on such a new platform gutsy if not quite a bit risky. We would have rather seen them try 'Appaloosa' in late 2011 when the platofrm will presumably have more traction and they could recoup their costs, but we think this may have been too early to invest so much.
So check out their side after the break and even see a video clip of what could have been, with an alpha demo of 'Appaloosa'. Thanks, Derek Jenson, for letting us hear your thoughts.
2011 has an interesting twist separating it from years past: RIM, despite still holding on, clearly is wandering aimlessly in the consumer smartphone market. Their OS is old, not very appealing and despite numerous attempts, they've failed to really 'wow' anyone recently. They sort of reflect Microsoft with Windows Mobile 6.x.
Still, they have killer reach in enterprise and a solid, nearly world standard for email distribution. Considering Microsoft is sitting on $40B in reserves, why not make a bid for RIM to either take them out or integrate their tech? Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer was recently asked this by Maria Bartiromo:
Q:What has stopped you from making really bold bets on technology? You've got more than $40 billion on the balance sheet. If you want to have substantial market share in smartphones, why not just acquire Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry?
A: We've made bold technology bets. We've bet on the Cloud and our Enterprise business; it's going fantastic. We made the bet on Xbox; we made the bet on Kinect. We bet on Bing and are growing like a weed in that business. So I feel pretty good about the bets. When do acquisitions make sense? That's a complicated subject.
Not exactly a specific but when tied into the rest of the interview it begins to make sense: Ballmer really believes in Windows Phone 7 noting
There's a lot of competition, but we've got the best-looking phones on the market. We've got the greatest range of alternatives, the phones, the software, the craftsmanship. It is as good or better than anything out there. We have a lot of work to do. But, we're in the game. We sold 1.5 million into the carriers.
Why acquire RIM when you have a solid product you believe in? That Dell believes in? RIM appears to be slowly relegating themselves to the sidelines for consumers, so no need to aid that, evidently. Going further, the money required to take over RIM, integrate their tech and IP, etc. could take years. Going further still, Microsoft sometimes has a spotty record with acquisitions (see Danger and 'Project Pink'), ahem. Still, we would have loved to take over our sister site, Crackberry.
Of course neither are true and that was reiterated today by Sony who in an interview made it clear they are sticking with Android for now. However, they also are clearly leaving the door open for a future with Microsoft but they are evidently being conservative here, waiting to see if it takes off:
We've done a lot of work with Microsoft over the years. We’ve launched a number of 6.xx products, but we made a decision not to bring a product to market in the first wave. We absolutely maintain to keep an open mind towards Windows Phone 7. We continue to engage in a relationship with Microsoft, but we haven’t made any concrete announcement about when and how we would introduce Windows Phone 7 into the portfolio.
We shouldn’t limit ourselves to one opportunity, but we aren’t yet ready to make any specific announcement about products. At this moment in time, there is clearly a galvanizing within the industry around Android as a creditable alternative to what’s out there, and we think that’s a good thing.
We're actually fine with this decision and think it makes sense. Sure, in theory having SE on board with Windows Phone 7 would be a huge sign of support but on the other...it's Sony Ericsson, the company with grand ideas and poor execution of nearly every major smartphone it has released recently.
Need to look up a phone number that's appeared on your Windows Phone caller ID? Truecaller is a Windows Phone 7 app that will let you not only search by keyword but also by phone numbers.
Results are returned listing the name and address (if available), a link to show the location on TrueCaller's map, a link to search the result through Bing, as well as the ability to call the number or add it to a spam listing. While I like the ability to add a number to a spam list, there doesn't appear to be any way to manage such a list.
TrueCaller also gives you access to International numbers. Just tap the Choose Country at the bottom of the main page and select the Country you would like to search. For the most part, TrueCaller ran smoothly but from time to time, the app crashed while conducting the search. It's not enough to drive you crazy and hopefully the next update will fix things.
There isn't a trial version available for TrueCaller but the full version is only $.99. If you need to search phone numbers, TrueCaller is worth a look at.
You can find the Windows Phone 7 app here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace and follow the break to see a video of TrueCaller in action.
Kill the Duck has been in the Top Ten list of Windows Phone 7 downloads for some time now. It's a free game for your Windows Phone with a simple gaming objective; shoot down as many ducks as you can without taking out any doves.
There is a little more to this hunting game. Each level is timed and you have scoring objectives to meet in order to advance to the next level.
Graphics have a classic gaming appearance and to take out a duck, simply tap the screen on the duck. For effect, cross-hairs appear on the screen. The doves are sneaky in that they often fly across the screen in between ducks making the shots more challenging.
The game ran smoothly with no glitches, bugs, or crashes experienced. There is an addictive quality to the game and after playing if for a while, I'm not surprised Kill the Duck has stayed in the Top Ten Downloads for so long.
You can find your free copy of Kill the Duck here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace and just past the break you can see a video of the gaming app in action.
Zombies seem to be invading our Windows Phones these days. At last count, there were about fifteen zombie themed games at the Marketplace. One of the more anticipated zombie themed games for Windows Phone 7 has to be Zombies!!!.
A collaborative effort between Microsoft Game Studios, Babaroga, and Twilight Creations, Zombies!!! brings the popular board game to the small screen of your Windows Phone. Graphically well presented, Zombies!!! represents the original board game extremely well.
The game premise is simple. Wipe out 25 zombies or make it to the helipad to escape the City. Along the way you compete with other players who'll do what they can to slow you down by playing action cards or positioning zombies in your way.
Liquor Run is a surprisingly neat little app, ported from the iPhone and Android, with a specific purpose: find liquor stores anywhere around you. The thing is, it does it well in a very fast and slick little package. By simply using your location, typing in address or zip code, the app shows all the known liquor stores in your immediate area. On top of that, it gives you turn by turn directions, maps, ability to call and local liquor laws for selling (hours, days, etc.).
Extended features include over 1000 drink recipes separated by category and a list of beers by alcohol content and calories. Did we mention it was free too? Check out the vid above and if you think you'll want it, grab it here in the Marketplace.
Bonus trivia fact: In Massachusetts, Georgia and Connecticut (where I'm from), liquor stores are called package stores and we go on "packy runs". No joke.
We often get questions about the Xbox Live service on WP7 devices and how it correlates to the Xbox Live service on Xbox 360 consoles or on Windows PC's (where it's called Games for Windows - LIVE!). Oh look! Here's one now from ericesque:
In general, I'm just fuzzy on how gaming on WP7 ties to the Xbox 360. Specifically, I'm wondering if I buy a game on my xbox, will I have to pay for a copy for WP7 too? Also, have we seen any games that let you play with friends on xbox if you're on WP7? I couldn't find any good learning resources from Microsoft. Hoping the experts could help.
Currently, gaming on WP7 is separated into two categories - games, and Xbox Live games. The Xbox Live service on WP7 is not so incredibly different from the Games for Windows - LIVE! service on Windows PC's. Downloading games and game demos from the marketplace is present and accounted for. A great deal of the social ins and outs is present too. With Xbox Live on WP7 you can easily see what your friends are up to - be it gaming or watching a movie or listening to music.
Friend requests and game invites are also present but will often lend itself to signing in on your Xbox 360 to accept a request. Game invitations, or rather, asynchronous multiplayer isn't currently set up for anything other than Uno and Chess in Game Chest: Logic Games. Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst works in tandem with Xbox 360's version of Crackdown 2 in that unlockables will become available in each version of the games with playthroughs from each other.
So far, the majority of the Xbox Live games on WP7 aren't companions to anything available on Xbox 360 and must be purchased separately. Ilomilo is the most recent game to come out for Xbox Live Arcade that is also on WP7 and is very much the same game as its WP7 counterpart, but each must be purchased separately.
No game, as of yet, can be played 100% synchronously with other people. The tie-in that you speak of doesn't exactly exist other than that it's just an extension of the service - of the same name, on a different device. A copy of a game on PC can be completely different from the Xbox 360 version and the version of that same game on WP7 will be worlds different in format, control, fun, and especially mobility.
Google is considered the top search engine in the world, and has held this title for some time since early development. When Microsoft had MSN (later as; Live) deployed as a competitor to Google (and Yahoo! at the time) no one really adapted to the giant’s offering – understandable since the results provided by the index were either slightly off, or just blatently ridiculous.
Requiring a new product (much like Windows Phone 7), Microsoft developed a search engine to create a stronger hold on the search share across the globe. Bing was born. Featuring a new User Interface and supposedly “better related” results, this was the secret weapon to attack Google’s fort.
With continued growth through the redirection of MSN/Live searchers to the new home of Microsoft search, and the acquisition of Yahoo! has had Bing in the spotlight for not only the Search Engine Optimisation world, but for those technologically banded. Not all could remain well for the two competitors however...
We already demonstrated that you can change the accent color or theme on HTC (but complicated) and Samsung phones, but now Dave Amenta has also added LG and HTC support to his simple app Accent Changer..
It's the same deal as before, you need to have a developer unlocked phone to sideload the XAP file, but once you do so you can simply drag your finger to manipulate the color gradient. Heck, you can even restore the original value with a touch of a button.