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3 years ago

Photosynth for Windows Phone hits version 1.0. Official release imminent?

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If there's one technology Windows Phone users have been yearning for it's Photosynth. The photo-stitching software creates "synths" or 3D images from your camera phone, giving an immersive photo that's hosted on the web. It then allows the viewer to pan around the image, zoom in and out and various other options.

What makes Photosynth (www.photosynth.net) frustrating for Windows Phone though is not only does the service have an iOS app, the company who makes it is owned by none other than Microsoft.

The Windows Phone version was noted to be a "top priority" for the team and we saw some real evidence of it existing back in February but not much since then.

Now, eagle-eyed reader Scott has found not only some test images but a Microsoft Twitter account that does nothing but post Photosynths. (We're not going public with the Twitter handle because we like to track these things and not scare them off) What's more, when one looks at the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data for the image we can see "__version_synther": "Windows Phone 1.0.0" listed, strongly indicated that the Windows Phone app is in final testing.

In fact the image above is an actual photo of a Microsoft employee's test computer which lists the steps in required for testing Photosynth. If you look closely, you can also see "(Windows Phone Only)" an "AugmentedReality" listed which is tantalizing to think about.  (And if anything, that's just kind of interesting to see how this stuff is done).

Should we expect a full-on Photosynth app for Windows Phone soon? We think so and it'd make sense that the app is due hopefully in the next few weeks as it coincides with Microsoft's big "official app" push which seems to be going on.

Fingers crossed people, fingers crossed. A big thanks to Scott for all of his detective work on this story!

 

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3 years ago

ING Direct features Lumia 900 on mobile web page

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There have been numerous banking apps released for Windows Phone the past few weeks, but we've still not seen apps from other big names. ING Direct is one of said names that sports an app for iPhone, Blackberry and Android, but nothing for Windows Phone. Although there's nothing available, ING Direct does feature the Lumia 900 on the mobile website. 

While it's nothing huge, it's good to see some exposure for Windows Phone, and let's face it: Windows Phone has the most attractive / unique UI to show off.

Source: ING Direct; thanks ghoti00000 for the heads up!

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3 years ago

US Postal Service banning international shipments of smartphones and more...

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If you need to ship a Windows Phone to a friend overseas, you'll need to hurry if you plan on using the U.S. Postal Service. It's not that the US Post Office has anything against Windows Phone but rather the power source.  You see after May 16, 2012 the USPS will prohibit the international shipping of packages containing lithium ion batteries.

That includes:

  • Smartphones
  • Cameras
  • GPS devices
  • MP3 Players
  • Laptop computers
  • Tablet computers
  • Bluetooth headsets
  • Power tools

While the USPS does not offer a reasoning behind this prohibition, it may be due to instances where these batteries caught on fire in transit when not packaged correctly. Third party carriers (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc) will continue to ship such packages internationally.

The USPS will review the ban may change things on/after January 1, 2013 to allow customers to mail packages containing the lithium batteries when the batteries are properly installed in the device. For those wondering about orders from the Windows Phone Central Store, we use UPS for international shipping and you shouldn't see any interruptions.

Source: USPS Via: CNet

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Central app v2.2 now live!

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The Windows Phone Central app v2.2 is now live in the Windows Phone Marketplace. We shared a sneak peek of the updated version last week and now you can see what Jay Bennett, our resident developer, has been up to.

Here is a few of the improvements the update brings to the table.

  • Links in comments can now be followed
  • New action icons in comments
  • Option to use larger fonts in articles & comments
  • Switched to built in social media sharing
  • Double tap to view in-line images
  • Automatically scroll to newly added comments
  • 'Download app' functionality now available to free/trial users

There are also a handful of performance and cosmetic fixes with the update. All in all, we think you'll like what you find with the updated version.

If you're already enjoying the Windows Phone Central app, the update should be pushed out shortly. If you haven't given the app a try, you can find the Windows Phone Central app here at the Marketplace. There is a trial version available with the full version running $.99.

Oh...Jay has also built a logging tool, the WPClogger, which handles all reports or requests for help that are sent in. WPClogger is open source and any developers interested in using it with their app can find all the details here.

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3 years ago

Apple 'fixes' Siri, no longer recommends Lumia 900 as "best cell phone ever"

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You could sum up this news with a simple "Boo!", but I'm sure you are all aware how we love to babble on slightly. Siri, Apple's personal assistant for iPhone 4S owners, has been 'fixed' after the fiasco surrounding the helper stating the Lumia 900 as "the best cell phone ever". The humorous result / answer was due to Siri's reliance on an external service, namely Wolfrom Alpha, which took into account user reviews when performing the search. 

Apple has since replaced this search and altered what is relayed back to the user. Answers now provided to the query include "the one you're holding" and "you're kidding, right?" You can still perform a manual search on Wolfram Alpha and receive the same result, but this shows that Apple has zero sense of humour. No longer is Siri accurately useful to Windows Phone fans.

"What can I help you with?" Not much, I'm afraid.

Source: Apple Insider, via: The Verge

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3 years ago

WiFi and Bluetooth certified Samsung SCH-S759 heading to China?

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An unknown Samsung Windows Phone (SCH-S759) has been WiFi and Bluetooth certified. The device is reported to be CDMA compatible, which leads us to believe this smartphone could be a version of the recently announced Omnia M. Unfortunately, not much else is known about the handset with no other detail or specifications being listed, apart from a spotted agent string - Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows Phone OS 7.5; Trident/5.0; IEMobile/9.0; SAMSUNG; SCH-S759.

With the release of the Focus 2 and Omnia M, one could hope that Samsung is rising to the bar set by Nokia within the Windows Phone market. It's rumoured that this Samsung Windows Phone is set to head for China, probably to combat Nokia and the Lumia 800c, unless Sprint or Verizon is secretly set to unveil a device? We look forward to seeing some more details come to light in the near future, so stay tuned.

via: Unwired View, Blog of Mobile

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3 years ago

Handyscan updated and goes on sale!

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Handyscan is a very nice Windows Phone app that allows you to scan documents, share them by email and upload them to your SkyDrive account. We have been impressed with Handyscan and it was recently updated.  As an added bonus, Handyscan is on sale this week. Just a few of Handyscan's key features include:

  • Independent scanning resolution and flash options
  • Deep zoom in/out controls
  • Scan multiple pages per document and save as single file
  • Import/export photos
  • SkyDrive and Dropbox support
  • Scan digitalize signatures
  • Align and crop scanned documents

The app was recently updated to version 3.11 to fix a few minor bugs and add automatic document naming (you can set the parameters in the app's settings). Along with the update, JDB Pocketware is offering the full version of Handyscan for $.99 (regular price is $2.99)

There is a free, ad supported version of Handyscan (slightly limited in functionality) but for $.99 the full version is a steal of a deal. You can find the full version of Handyscan here at the Windows Phone Marketplace and the free version can be found here.

It's really one heck of a deal on the full version.

          

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3 years ago

Exclusive first look at the new Aviary photo tools & SDK for Windows Phone [Video]

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Big news for the Windows Phone platform today as Aviary announced their SDK is now available for developers, allowing the integration of their free, highly regarded and powerful photo tools for apps on Windows Phone.

What this means for developers - you'll now be able to insert into your application a powerful photo editor to greatly enhance user experience, all with very little effort.

What this means for consumers -  you'll soon see an array of apps that will allow you to edit, crop, enhance and tweak your photos before sending them out for the world, all at no extra cost

The Windows Phone Aviary SDK has the following features:

  • Redesigned SDK from the ground-up to take advantage of the Metro design principles of Windows Phone
  • The same, easy integration process: add our editor to your project in as little as 15 minutes, with just a few lines of code
  • Customizable color theme
  • Controllable output size based upon developer preferences — you decide what makes the most sense for your app or service
  • … Not to mention that Aviary for Windows Phone has all the standard features as the rest of our mobile SDKs

What's more, we're pleased to announce the following launch titles will have Aviary integrated into their apps very soon:

As you can see in the video above, Rowi is one of the first apps to be getting the Aviary SDK treatment. Though version 2.1 looks like the current app in every which way, the change occurs when you try to attach a photo. You now have the option to hop right into a sophisticated photo editor which allows you to manipulate everything including brightness, sharpness, add filters, stickers, text, cropping and more.

The photo is then saved and you can Tweet as usual all without having to ever leave the Rowi Twitter app. Did we mention how good the photos look too?

More info can be found at the Aviary Blog and developers can grab the SDK here right now.

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3 years ago

Dutch SNS Bank releases Windows Phone app

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It was only last week we covered the news of Rabobank releasing a Windows Phone app for customers who use the platform. Now we've caught wind of SNS Bank also launching a Windows Phone app. Much like the app from Rabobank, this app enables users to check their account balances, manage funds between accounts, and contact the bank via phone and email.

Some highlighted features of SNS Bank:

  • Login with your SNS Bank digital code, providing extra security.
  • Balance your check payment, savings and investment accounts.
  • All credits and debits are displayed.
  • Transfer between your owned accounts with the digital code.
  • Transfer to external accounts with your digipass.
  • Use a provided Address Book.
  • Convenient access to contact SNS Bank by phone or email.

To be able to login on the app, you'll need your SNS Bank digital code. Expect to see more updates released later this year from the bank, including mobile PIN. They are listening to customers for future feature requests, so be sure to let your voice be heard on anything you'd like to see implemented. You can download SNS Bank from the Marketplace for free.

via: wp7.nl; Thanks, Mark, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Travel in style. Unofficial Uber app arrives for Windows Phone.

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Personally, we zip around the busy streets of Manhattan on our motorcycle because lane-splitting is the bomb but for the rest of you, especially those who sport a monocle, Uber may be more your cup of tea.

What's Uber (www.uber.com)? It's an on demand car service that's present in many cities including Manhattan, San Francisco, Boston, LA, Chicago and more. And by on-demand we mean you can use your phone to pin point your location, send an SMS and a driver will come ferry you away to your cigar club, opera or Taco Bell all the while shouting "Oh Belvedere!". All charges (including tips) are automatically billed to your credit card making this quite convenient for the leisure class.

The service has an iPhone and Android app but alas, nothing for Windows Phone. Now, developer FremontFidelity has put one on the Windows Phone Marketplace for free and it's quite nifty.

There's not much to it really. It pinpoints your location via GPS, translates that into a street address and then texts the Uber service with the info. You can also cancel your ride ($10 charge) all with the convenient touch of a button. In essence, the app is just shortcuts to these services and makes us wonder why Uber can't make an app.

Regardless, Uber towncar is free and gets the job done. We should note before you use the app you need to sign up at the Uber site and create an account.

Pick up Uber towncar here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Thanks, Amir, for the tip

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3 years ago

Pandora comments on Windows Phone and MetroRadio returns for more streaming

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Pandora recently changed their APIs for their service resulting in some significant downtime for unofficial Windows Phone apps. Radio Controlled is right around the corner and now MetroRadio (both free and Pro) are back on the Windows Phone Marketplace in full working condition.

While many will ding Pandora for doing this on purpose to block unofficial apps, the truth is more complicated than that. Windows Phone Central member Jiffy Pop received a detailed letter from Pandora discussing the ins and outs of the API changes. Here's a sample:

"We know that our recent release has broken most unsupported Pandora clients, and we do apologize for the surprise and inconvenience that undoubtedly caused to your listening experience.

At a basic level, third-party applications are violating our Terms of Use and are obviously not authorized to sell (or give away) something that fundamentally derives its value from our product...

We definitely do recognize that our actions limit the options available to well-intentioned listeners who do not want to use any of our endorsed clients, and we're genuinely sorry for the inconvenience this brings to our enthusiastic listeners like yourself! We really appreciate your support of the service and respect the DIY spirit, but our hand has been forced on this issue."

They mention security issues and potential malicious usage of their APIs as reasons for the changes and while they are not purposefully blocking Windows Phone clients, inevitably we're caught up in their API updates as a side effect.

Pandora does note that they still don't have plans for an official Windows Phone client either, so while this back-and-forth may be a pain for developers and listeners, it may be the only way forward for sometime if you're a diehard Pandora fan. Of course there are plenty of alternatives out there as well.

In the meantime, you can pick up MetroRadio 5.0 (free) or MetroRadio Pro 2.0 (no ads) in the Marketplace and be assured they are working now Edit: Pro is updated, the free version is getitng approved as we speak. Sit tight.

   

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3 years ago

Editor's Choice: People Search will make your Windows Phone life easier (and it's free today)

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Regular visitors of our site will be familiar with Ronny Gydar, the Windows Phone dev who's behind the popular Trines Hangman game. If you know the quality and dedication behind that app then you'll know what to expect from his latest: People Search.

People Search is what it sounds like: a contact search app. But it's based off of the T9 system instead of a full-QWERTY keyboard meaning you can easily use it one handed. What's more it's chock full of features such as customizations, how much information it should search through (e.g. just names or phone numbers, email, etc.) and the ability to send contacts via email, SMS or copy-to-clipboard.

We've been using the app since yesterday and we're kind of blown away by it. It's smart (auto-indexes your contacts every 24 hours), beautifully laid out and dead simple to use. We're not even kidding when we say we've replaced our People Hub on our Start screen with it (we don't really check up on our friends' social updates, so no big loss for us).

People Search was just released yesterday and today it's getting the special treatment. While normally it will fetch for $0.99, People Search is completely FREE today meaning you'd have to be daft to not even download the trial.

The app was extensively tested right here in our own Forums, so everyone should be happy with it. We're giving the app a huge thumbs up at Windows Phone Central both for creativity and it's super well designed and polished UI. Don't take our word though, go try it yourself and hit us up on comments.

Remember, it's only free for today, so grab it now and think about it later. Make sure to check out the hilarious demo video after the break too...

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3 years ago

Samsung Omnia M priced at Italian website for €294.99

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Samsung only recently announced the Omnia M budget phone for Europe last week, and now we've got hold of a price tag for the smartphone. Italian store ePrice has listed the Omnia M for €294.99, and is targeting the Lumia 610 but Nokia has been able to bring down the prices of their lower-end Windows Phones substantially.

The Omnia M, to refresh the early waking cogs on this Monday morning, sports a 1GHz  CPU with a 4" Super AMOLED screen and 4GB of storage on board. It features HSPA at 7.2MBps. Still no word on availability as-of-yet, but we're sure more details will come to light soon. The device is slated for a European release.

Source:  ePrice.it, via: Plaffo

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: Wordament

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Windows Phone has long been host to a number of quality word games, but they were all indie titles rather than Xbox Live ones. In fact, all the good indie word games even boasted multiplayer features, something long and inexplicably missing from mobile Xbox Live games. Of those indie standouts, one reigned supreme: Wordament, from a developer called You vs. the Internet. As it turns out, You vs. the Internet is a side project of a couple of Microsoft employees. Once Microsoft saw how well Wordament turned out, they made the wise decision to publish the game and bring elevate it to Xbox Live status. Wordament truly deserves all the visibility it can get, because it happens to be one of the finest and most addictive games on the platform.

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