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3 years ago

WPCentral Podcast 122

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WPCentral Podcast 122


We're back this week with another exciting, in depth and over-extended Windows Phone podcast! This time around you can join Daniel Rubino and special guest-host Travis Lowdermilk, who's filling in for a vacationing Jay Bennett.

Travis is the co-host of Windows Phone Dev Podcast, a podcast for Windows Phone developers and enthusiasts. The show can be seen LIVE each week in HD video and found in the iTunes and Zune marketplace. You can find more info at wpdevpodcast.com.

Join us for a great episode and check the show notes after the break...

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3 years ago

AT&T fights back at anti-merger arbitration cases

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AT&T has filed lawsuits in eight different jurisdictions to defend itself against a wave of arbitration cases filed by Bursor & Fisher on behalf of over 1000 AT&T customers.  The New York law firm started a website called FightTheMerger.com to find a horde of AT&T users to file individual arbitration cases against Ma Bell, in order to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile.  The method of attack was chosen because AT&T's terms of service bar customers from filing lawsuits against them, instead offering the option of third-party arbitration.

AT&T issued a statement to each court claiming that Bursor & Fisher intend to proceed with each case individually, that they are actually launching a thinly-veiled class-action suit, which is prohibited by the terms of service as well.

“This merger will provide tremendous benefits for customers and unleash billions of dollars in badly needed investment, creating many thousands of well-paying jobs that are vitally needed given our weakened economy — a fact that’s been recognized by consumers, public officials, and groups of all types. However, the bottom line here is an arbitrator has no authority to block the merger or affect the merger process in any way. AT&T’s arbitration agreement with our customers — recently upheld by the Supreme Court — allows individual relief for individual claims. Bursor & Fisher is seeking class-wide relief wrapped in the guise of individual arbitration proceedings, which is specifically prohibited by AT&T;s arbitration agreement. Accordingly, the claims are completely without merit. We have filed suit in order to stop this abusive action.”

So it looks like a battle of semantics versus loopholes that will ultimately be decided in the courts.  But even if AT&T prevails in this matter, there is still a long road ahead.  A seemingly wary FCC still needs to approve the deal, and there is a long list of other challengers as well, including advocacy groups, politicians and other carriers. 

Source: AllThingsD; Via: TechCrunch

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3 years ago

IM+ v1.4 headed to Marketplace with new features but drops Live Messenger

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Eck. As IM+ themselves say, this is a good news/bad news announcement. Version 1.4 of their app has been submitted to the Marketplace, meaning we should see it in the next two days. This update will bring the following new and improved features:

  • Significantly improved contact list scrolling and overall application performance
  • Push-to-Email option allows incoming messages to be forwarded to your email
  • Autoreply feature will instantly notify your contacts that your are in Push mode
  • ICQ / AIM / AOL / iChat group chats
  • ICQ contacts can now be added into your AOL/AIM/iChat contact lists and vice versa
  • VKontakte and Yandex IM services are now supported

Now the bad news: no more MSN/Live Messenger. From their mouth, Microsoft has asked them to remove their service and alas SHAPE Service has to comply:

"MSN/WLM support has been dropped due to Microsoft request. For those of you who care more about MSN/WLM support than new features (again, new features list will follow), we strongly recommend to do not update once version 1.4 is released."

Ouch. We guess Microsoft didn't give them exception for v1.1 awhile back? So consider this your fair warning folks, if you need MSN/Live Messenger then you don't want to update to v1.4 when it hits. Resist it. At least you can get Mango on your phone and solve this problem that way.

Source: IM+ Facebook

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3 years ago

Google to acquire Motorola Mobility

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Just as we were lamenting Motorola Mobility's position on using Windows Phone (and their stock situation), Google comes out of nowhere and buys them up out for $12.5 billion. From the press release they mention how they want to "...supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open."

Although Motorola is a dedicated manufacturer of Android devices, they also happen to have something that Google really wants--namely a large patent portfolio. Remember, Moto for all intents and purposes invented the cell phone back in the day resulting in a large arsenal of patents that Google can finally wield in defense of Android (seeing as that OS is evidently build on stolen IP). That's something that they will have to do a lot of as Microsoft is currently suing Motorola Mobility over patent infringement, meaning now they are suing Google over the same issue. That court case should get interesting, to say the least.

Google's Andy Rubin states that they remain committed to still working with other partners, although this obviously puts HTC in an odd position--they're not Microsoft's exclusive partner anymore and neither are they Google's. Various OEM partners have publicly come out in support of the deal, notably LG, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson even HTC paying lip-service with the same paraphrase of "We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.” although you wonder what they have to be saying privately about the deal.

The big question is what does this actually mean? Too early to tell though clearly Google is stepping up things against Apple and to a lesser extent Microsoft. Apple already has the hardware thing down and Microsoft now has Nokia in their corner. As to our thoughts? We'll gladly take our Nokia deal over Motorola any day.

Full press release after the break.

Source: Official Google Blog; via AndroidCentral 1, 2

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3 years ago

IonBallEX is this week's Xbox Live game

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Last week, WPCentral broke the news that IronSun Studios’ IonBallEX (yes, the developer is averse to spaces) would be coming to Xbox Live. We just didn’t expect it so soon! IonBallEX is this week’s Xbox Live release.

IonBallEX is an Arkanoid-style game in which players use a paddle and ball to break bunches of bricks. This game is more interesting than many of its brethren thanks to its darkly futuristic setting, a wide variety of block types and power-ups, lots of enemies and bosses to fight, and its experience system. Plus it’s a sequel to an indie game, which we don’t often see on Xbox Live. For more details and screenshots, check out our preview.

IonBallEX (boy I’d rather type that as Ion Ball EX) comes out on Wednesday, August 17 and will cost $2.99. Brick-breaking fans won’t want to miss it.

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3 years ago

ESPN Goals now kicking in the Marketplace (UK)

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We mentioned a few days ago about ESPN Goals making its way to the UK Marketplace. That day has arrived and you can now grab it to begin the new football season. Though we haven't tried the app yet ourselves, from what we've heard, it's pretty nice. From the app description:

"The complete Barclays Premier League video App! This season football fans can watch video clips of all the goals* from every Barclays Premier League match – completely free on the ESPN Goals app. The ultimate Barclays Premier league app includes live scores, video highlights and clips of every goal, for all 380 games – within just minutes of it taking place*."

  • The essential football app for fans of the Barclays Premier League will feature:
  • Video of goals and match action from every Barclays Premier League match all season long
  • Live scores and match stats
  • Fixtures and results from around the league
  • Additional video including match previews and weekend round-ups
  • Video alerts: Alerts for goal videos, match highlight clips and Weekend roundup clips
  • In-match Clips

Sounds fairly comprehensive to us and the app looks well designed as you can see from above. If its something you think you'll want to pick up, you can get it for free here in the Marketplace. [Not available in the US]

Thanks, Damien H. and Dale B., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Tank Battle - Review

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Tank Battle - Review

The title of this Windows Phone game says it all; Tank Battle. Your goal is simple, destroy the enemy tanks. The battlefield is peppered with obstacles that not only hinder your movement but also acts as protection from enemy fire.

To see how big or tiny a blast Tank Battle can be, power your way past the break.

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3 years ago

Word Blast - Review

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Word Blast - Review

Okay... here's another word game for your Windows Phone. Word Blast is a scrabble-like game that allows you to compete against other users online or pass and play with someone in person.

Where AlphaJax, Words by Post and Spellit follow the Windows Phone Metro theme, Word Blast takes on a more traditional layered design. You have a main menu that gives you access to creating games, view games, view the leaderboard, and access your gaming options. From there you're sent to other menus to access more particular parts of the game.

More after the break.

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3 years ago

Android vs Windows Phone free apps - A case study

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Case studies are always fun. You can't necessarily extrapolate the information and say it will apply to all cases equally, but you can gain some inferences from such cases and look for trends across others.

In this instance, one app called 'Mortal Kombat Tactics' by Neuralnet was released both on Android and Windows Phone and offered for free. What's the difference in ad revenue? Here it is, broken down by one of the developers, Alex Perez:

Android (AdMob)

  • Day 1 - 1,866 Impressions / $0.57 Revenue
  • Day 2 - 497 Impressions / $0.27 Revenue
  • Day 3 - 521 Impressions / $0.05 Revenue
  • Day 4 - 496 Impressions / $0.25 Revenue
  • Day 5 - 304 Impressions / $0.13 Revenue

Giving us a grand total of 3,684 Impressions and $1.27 in Revenue

Windows Phone 7 (PubCenter)

  • Day 1 - 2,070 Impressions / $1.28 Revenue (already surpassed Android's 5 days)
  • Day 2 - 1,903 Impressions / $2.52 Revenue
  • Day 3 - 2,391 Impressions / $4.63 Revenue
  • Day 4 - 3,693 Impressions / $3.86 Revenue
  • Day 5 - 2,274 Impressions / $2.48 Revenue

Giving us a grand total of 12,331 Impressions and $14.77 in Revenue

What is revealing about those numbers is two-fold. For one, the Windows Phone app clearly has more visibility on the platform due to less competition. As a result, it receives more ad-impressions. Second, all else being equal, the revenue is much higher for Windows Phone than Android. In fact, overall ad revenue in this case is nearly 3x that of Android, which is quite impressive.

For the developer here, Neuralnet, Windows Phone is the clear winner, making their investment much more worth their time in development. [Funny side note, we bought the Xbox 360 Mortal Kombat game awhile ago and this was the first app we downloaded and used for the game--it's a nice app and clearly has the visibility it needs on our platform.] You can find it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

More Xbox LIVE games pulled: Fast & Furious, Star Wars Battle for Hoth, Cantina

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Update: Microsoft's Karl Stricker has chimed in to let us know that these three games were removed by the develoeprs because the game's licenses had expired. So the good news is the games are pefectly fine for playing, the bad news is you can no longer play them if you haven't previously bought/downloaded them.

Bad news folks, looks like we have another case of missing Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone again. This time three titles have disappeared:

Once again, we are left without reason as to their disappearance or whether they will return or not. Usually, the case has been they return at some point with an update or bug fix that was sorely needed, but we all know about the Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst fiasco.

Regardless of the reasons, duration of them missing or circumstances, we find the frequency of which Xbox LIVE games being pulled alarming. For one, these are the "A-list" titles and therefore shouldn't be having any such problems and if they do, they should have their updates fast-tracked. Number two, we find the lack of communication disturbing, to paraphrase our favorite Darklord of the Sith. Once again, we're all adults here and while we may not like games being yanked if we're told why and how the situation is being resolved, well, it goes a long way in ameliorating our concerns.

As usual, we'll work on getting answers. Until then, we're left with just questions. And frustration. And disappointment. Thanks, Tom S. & Mike J., for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone wallpapers with that Metro look

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Deviantart member CookieMonster21x has created two sets of Windows Phone lock wallpapers based on the metro look. The two designs come in the stock accent colors of your Windows Phones (blue, red, mango, green, magenta, purple, lime, teal, brown and pink).

Each zip file will contain all ten color patterns and I'm not sure if I like the conservative version or the more colorful version two. Feel free to share which you like the best in the comments section or share your personal wallpaper favorites in this WPCentral Forum discussion.

You can find the Metro Lock Wallpapers Version One (the black background) here and Version Two (the colorful backgrounds) here.

via: 1800pocketpc

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: August 8-14, 2011

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3 years ago

Major update in the works for LazyTube

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There's a major update in the works for Lazyworm Apps two Windows Phone Youtube apps, Lazytube and YouTube. No dates are available on the release, it'll be version 3.0 for Lazytube, but we're hearing it it won't hit the Marketplace until Mango is officially launched.

What's 3.0 bring to the table? All we know is what the above sneak peak image can tell. Which looks really nice by the way.

Updates will be posted on LazyWorms' Facebook (facebook.com/lazywormapps) and Twitter (@lazywormapps) pages from time to time.  The developers are also open to suggestions, comments and feedback that might help improve things (not that LazyTube and Youtube are shabby as is).

If you haven't given them a try, you can find LazyWorm's Free YouTube app here and the $.99 LazyTube app here (bothe links open Zune) over at the Marketplace.

Thanks Atta for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Microsoft invested millions in GPS-social network Waze?

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File this under: interesting

For those who were on Windows Mobile, you may remember a little app called 'Waze' (see here). The app combined GPS, traffic and a social network for voice-guided turn-by-turn directions as well as user-submitted reports on traffic, accidents, etc. A neat idea that has resulted in 4.5 million users (see iPhone, Android and yet something we haven't seen on Windows Phone.

That may all change though as Microsoft (and others) have reportedly invested $25 million into the company back in December of 2010--yeah, that's quite awhile ago. It's not clear how much of that $25 million came from Microsoft, but it is possible that it's a significant chunk. [Skepticism alert: Waze announced this on their blog back in December too and no one noticed because Microsoft was not named. Take that as you will.]

Assuming this is true, we've seen Microsoft do this a lot recently (see Skype, Nokia, Canesta and GeoVector) and it makes sense that Microsoft could want to license Waze's data and network for Windows Phone. But lets not get ahead of ourselves as that hasn't been announced. But like the say in the movies....follow the money.

Source: The Marker, via BGR, Thanks, Vanessa

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