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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: I Spy Spooky

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I Spy books have been around for years and I Spy Spooky is the latest installment of the series for your Windows Phone. I Spy Spooky is a search and find game where you, search and find objects that are hidden in plain sight in various pictures. I Spy Spooky is set in a spooky mansion with twenty one I Spy riddles and puzzles.

The goal of the game is to escape the mansion by solving the picture riddles in order to reveal seven hidden keys. The keys are needed to advance to the next area and eventually escape the mansion.  I Spy Spooky may not be everyone's cup of tea but I found it to be a fun, entertaining game for your Windows Phone.

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3 years ago

WPCentral Poll: Is your Nokia Lumia 900 having any problems?

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Does your Nokia Lumia 900 have any problems? If so, which ones?

We've had isolated but frequent reports of certain bug and issues with the popular Nokia Lumia 900. We summarized them in our previous post as they include things like purple-grays on the display, camera shutter button that stops working and issues with the device volume keys not working.

Check it out for more details and once you have pop back here and vote on whether you are having any of those problems. Note: You can vote for multiple items

Did we miss something? Have a theory on what's causing some of them? Want to just pontificate? Lets us know in comments.

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3 years ago

Lingering issues with the Nokia Lumia 900: Purple screens, dead buttons & rattles

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From purple screens to rattles to unresponsive buttons, the Nokia Lumia 900 still has a couple of nagging problems for a few of us. Here's what people are complaining about most.

The Nokia Lumia 900 seems to be doing well for AT&T and for some reason we can't leave our glossy-white one out of reach for long but there are still plenty of bugs and issues rolling in to our inbox at WPCentral. Although that data-bug is now history thanks to a quick response from Nokia these few, seemingly random issues are plaguing numerous Lumia 900 users. We'll go over a few:

  • Purple screen - Grays appear with a purple hue when the display brightness is set to low (or automatic and goes to low). Although it could be a software calibration issue it doesn't affect all Lumia 900s, in fact it's just a subset that are out there. Our own glossy-white Lumia 900 has this and it's quite obvious when on the low-setting. You can commiserate with others in our forum who are having this problem. Nokia seems to be trying to isolate which builds it may be and you can submit your device information in this Nokia help thread.
  • Camera button won't wake the phone - This issue is caused when the device is powered off/standby and you hold the camera button to launch into the camera app. It's actually easy to replicate: Run any app and leave it on screen then power off the phone. Now try to hold-n-launch the camera via the shutter button. It won't work. Turn the device back on, exit the app, go to stand by and now try it and it will launch. We've had it happen even without an app running under lockscreen. (Thanks, Sepatown for the replication trick)
  • Vibrate feature rattles - We complained about this in our 900 review and even have a video of it compared to the Lumia 800. In short, the vibration feature rattles to different degrees on many Lumia 900s often sounding like an electric razor. Once again, the problem is on some phones while not on others. You can follow the threads here at WPCentral and Nokia Support for more info.
  • Inline remote on headset issue - The Nokia Monster Purity headphones sometimes won't forward/pause a track. Also, volume rockers when the device is a sleep won't respond and/or require multiple pushes
  • Low volume is high - Even on "1" the volume is quite loud and doesn't start to vary till "7".

Nokia sure has a lot on their plate and we know they are actively looking to address these but the question is how much of this is firmware and how much is it Quality Control (QC) with the hardware? We should caution that not all Lumia 900 users are having problems but even Rafael and I both have Lumia 900's with "purple grays" and my vibration rattles a bit too.

We'll be paying attention but for now, you may want to read up in our "Official Lumia 900 Bugs List" to see what others are saying.

Update: Take our poll to see if others are having the same problems or not

Image Credit: tewmgd (XDA forums); See the vibrate-rattle issue demonstrated on video after the break...

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3 years ago

Gather The Harvest, the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

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If you’re not interested in spending $4.99 for a multiplayer racer like Pac-Man Kart Rally this week, perhaps an action-RPG at the same price would be in order. The Harvest, from the recently-restructured South African developer Luma Arcade, is on sale for $4.99 (for the second time), down from $6.99.

The Harvest is an action-RPG set in a distant future in which aliens have conquered humanity. Thanks to the development of armored mech suits, the remaining pockets of humans finally have a chance to fight back. Our review praises the game’s beautiful 3D graphics, easy controls, multiple playable characters, and diversity of upgrade options.

The Harvest was one of the first quality Windows Phone-exclusive games. But many gamers passed over it or don’t know about it due to the lofty $6.99 price point. I would argue that a price drop is in order by now, but the sale price is fair enough for a game of this caliber.

The Harvest is on sale for $4.99 for one week only. Get it here on the Marketplace and start harvesting! Or stopping the aliens from harvesting, whatever.


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3 years ago

ESPN app for Nokia Lumias gets updated with new Live Tile support for latest scores

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Although Nokia's ESPN app available in the Nokia Collection gets some mixed reviews partially because it relies on Internet Explorer for some advanced stats, overall fans seem to like the co-branded offering.

One feature that was missing however was a Live Tile for sports score updates and now that has been addressed with version 2.1. The new update came out in the last 24-hours and users seem to be quite happy so far with the ability to just glance-and-go with the app on their Start screen.

No other tweaks or fixes are known with version 2.1 but needless to say, if you follow sports, like ESPN and love your Lumia than you'll want to grab this app ASAP. Pick it up here in the Windows Phone Marketplace but only if you're on Nokia.

Read our review of the Nokia ESPN app here.

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3 years ago

HTC Windows Phone Sound Enhancer updated, addresses graphics lag?

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HTC has pushed out an update for their Windows Phone Sound Enhancer. While no change log is available to let us know what all the update accomplishes, it appears to improve the graphics lag.

The graphics lag appears when the SRS Enhancements are turned on in the Sound Enhancer and can be a little on the annoying side. The graphics lag wasn't present in every app, mainly the games that had greater graphics animations (e.g. Fruit Ninja, Line Birds, etc.).  We've never received official confirmation that the two are related but after applying the recent update, the lag doesn't appear to be present.

The Sound Enhancer has been updated several times and with each update, the graphics lag issue seems to get a little better. Maybe this update did the trick.

For those who have installed the update, see any changes?

Thanks, Yodani, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Skype gets an update for the app and network

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First the Windows Phone news on Skype. The app has been updated to version 1.1.0. It is our understanding the updated is mostly "under the hood" stuff to improve performance and fix some bugs. If you haven't seen the update being pushed out, as is the case in my area, hopefully you'll see it soon.

The other news on Skype is that it appears the Skype network has received a slight overhaul. Microsoft is replacing some peer to peer client machines with Linux boxes to provide a more stable and secure network. These supernodes will handle a significantly larger traffic load.

According to Microsoft the network improvements are a part of their ongoing commitment to improve the Skype user experience.

This has not changed the underlying nature of Skype’s peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture, in which supernodes simply allow users to find one another (calls do not pass through supernodes). We believe this approach has immediate performance, scalability and availability benefits for the hundreds of millions of users that make up the Skype community.

It's nice to see Microsoft invest in Skype's infrastructure. If you haven't downloaded Skype for your Windows Phone, it is a free app that you can grab here at the Marketplace.

Source: ARS Technica; Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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3 years ago

Pac-Man Kart Rally now live in the Marketplace

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We mentioned Pac-Man Kart Rally was heading to the Windows Phone Marketplace on May 2, 2012. Well... it arrived just a wee bit early.

The Windows Phone game from Namco Bandai went live just a little while ago and brings all the goodness of Wifi Multiplayer to your Windows Phone. Pac-Man Kart Rally is the first Xbox Live title with local Wifi multiplayer which allows two players to compete against each other in the same room using two phones connected to the same network and two copies of the game.

Pac-Man Kart Rally includes ten characters, thirteen tracks, and plenty of power-ups and upgrades. There is a trial version available with the full version of Pac-Man Kart Rally running $4.99. You can find Pac-Man Kart Rally here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Keep tabs on the site and we'll have a full review up as soon as we can get Paul off the race track.

Thanks, Zebrasqual, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: SuperTimer

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Here's a nice timer app for your Windows Phone, Supertimer. Supertimer is a combination timer and stopwatch that takes advantage of the Windows Phone panoramic layout and metro style with up to four live tiles.  Supertimer has potential but there are still some hurdles to overcome with stability and the live tiles, while a nice touch, may not be living up to their potential.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 Dicota Hard Shell Case Winners!

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Over the past twenty four hours we received 144 comments from readers on how they carry their Nokia Lumia 900. There were plenty of case recommendations plus several who simply carries their Lumia 900 in a pants or shirt pocket.

The turn out was great and as promised, we randomly drew three commenters to win a Dicota Hard Shell Case for the Lumia 900. Our three lucky winners are ajithinnet, ousooner314 and ricanchuloinfla!

We've sent out email notifications to the winners and we'll be shipping the hard shell cases out shortly. Thanks again for the great turnout and some helpful recommendations on cases.

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3 years ago

Pac-Man Kart Rally will be the first Xbox Live game on Windows Phone with wireless multiplayer

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When you play every single Xbox Live game that comes to Windows Phone, it’s easy to become jaded. I mean, how many physics puzzlers and Angry Birds clones do we really need? Still, today I write about a genuinely exciting game that I can’t wait to play: Pac-Man Kart Rally from Namco Bandai. It comes out this Wednesday; and WPCentral has some exclusive details to whet your appetite.

First, a little history. Pac-Man Kart Rally originally debuted on older mobile phone platforms in 2010, including Windows Mobile and Blackberry. The title drew inspiration from Pac-Man World Rally on Playstation 2-era consoles, but was not a direct adaptation. In late 2011, Pac-Man Kart Rally received a serious graphical upgrade when it made the trip to the Android platform, exclusively for Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play handset.

Head past the break for the full scoop on Pac-Man Kart Rally's characters, tracks, and multiplayer!

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3 years ago

UK based Windows Phone User Group presents WPBarCamp

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The Windows Phone User Group, a meetup that's organised by platform developers for developers, is changing for the next calendar entry. On Saturday, May 19th, the WPUG will be held at the same premises as the previous event, but instead of starting in the evening and only lasting the best part of two hours, WPBarCamp will kick off at 9:30 in the morning for a beer-centric 6 hours.

So who's invited to such an event? Experienced Windows Phone developers - ie. those with either an app in development or available on the Marketplace. The main goal is for Windows Phone developers to learn from one another to improve quality with end results for consumers. WPBarCamp will be held at The Vibe Bar on Brick Lane with nearest stations being either Aldgate East (London Underground District and Hammersmith & City lines) or Shoreditch High Street (London Overground services).

You can register your interest (and seat) at the next Windows Phone User Group meetup at EventBrite. WPCentral will be there to cover the event, so if you're an attending developer be sure to say hello so we can look to help with app promotion and reach, as well as possible interviews and reviews. Our Jay Bennett will also be providing a presentation that will cover his previous experiences on the platform.

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3 years ago

UPDATED: Clove offering free Monster Purity headphones with Lumia 800 purchase

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Clove has a monster of a deal for its UK customers. For the entire month of May, those who purchase a new Lumia 800 will get a free pair of Nokia Purity headphones, manufactured by audio powerhouse Monster. The headphones, which normally retail for £199, are designed to match the color of your Lumia, but surely you can opt to go two-tone if you desire.

To take advantage of this month-long deal, simply purchase a Nokia Lumia 800 from Clove, then follow the steps below:

  • Text ‘lumiamonster’ to 64446, receive text back: “congrats on Lumia purchase, wait 28 days, then visit www.lumiamonster.co.uk to redeem’
  • Visit www.lumiamonster.co.uk and enter IMEI number, receipt number, name, address, headphone color  preference and phone number.
  • The microsite ‘looks up’ original SMS from phone number to confirm 28 days has passed, if so, IMEI is validated (if not,you will be told to come back later)
  • Within 30 days, headphones are posted to you.

You can click the source link to view the offer or click here for the full set of terms and conditions.

UPDATE: This deal is not actually exclusive to Clove, but rather from several "authorized retailers."  We don't have a list of who those retailers are, so shout them out if you come across others.

Source: Clove UK; Thanks for the tip, Jon!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 Case Review: Ecolife ELAN Side Case

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3 years ago

We examine the LG Fantasy (E740) Windows Phone prototype

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WPCentral's unofficial review of an LG Fantasy prototype phone with NFC. The phone that never was.

Although LG has announced its plans to not produce any more Windows Phones and then changed their tune a bit, we've managed to get our hands on one of their prototypes that may never see an official launch.

For months now there have been rumors of a new device from LG called the E740 'Fantasy' (and a presumably canceled CDMA variant for Sprint). The phone looks to have been prototyping in late 2011 with development abandoned in early 2012 when LG decided to focus on Android and take a hiatus from Microsoft.

The E740 looked to be another low to mid-range offering from the Korean company and we'll be honest, we're not that upset that it might not be released.

While it may make an 'ok' low-end Windows Phone, companies like Nokia and their Lumia 610 simply blow it out of the water in terms of quality. Still, like the Lumia 610NFC coming in the third quarter, the LG E740 has an interesting trick up its sleeve: fully functional Near-Field Communication (NFC) hardware.

We decided to document what we can from this device for posterity. Read past the break for our exclusive video hands-on and photos of the device.

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