Classic gamers aka old people like us, have reason to celebrate.Game Room, the popular gaming service on Xbox 360 and PC that brings old school titles to today's devices, is coming to Windows Phone soon.
Game Room allows gamers to indulge in various arcade, Intellivision, and Atari 2600 titles, while competing in high score points on leaderboards, achievements and various other areas. The Xbox/PC version is promised to have over 1,000 titles over the next few years. So far, these titles are confirmed for Windows Phone: Centipede, Asteroids Deluxe, Shao-Lin's Road, Time Pilot, Lunar Lander and Pitfall. We dig those. In addition, we can expect "A shared "Game Room" profile and global leaderboards let you track your medals and top scores across the phone, PC and Xbox 360."
The real question for old school gamers is who will win out first: Game Room or the emulator? For the benefit of leaderboards, achievements plus games adapted for our phones, we're actually hoping Game Room pumps out titles very quickly. But we also know they can't just offer every NES game in the world, or any for that matter. Maybe the best of both worlds, eh? Now get off our lawn!
In a plug for Microsoft's Azure cloud service and a win for consumers, Microsoft and Flickr today announced dedicated apps coming to Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7 slates.
The program looks about as smooth and integrated as you can get between cloud-based photo sharing and Windows Phone, demonstrating the strengths of both technologies. Of note is the excellent looking "comment" ability that users will be able to take advantage of when discussing people's photos, plus the basics like exploring your friend's photos, Flickr Explore, etc. Other features include:
Browse your Flickr photos in stunning high resolution display and touch navigation controls
Share photos with friends and family via email, Twitter, Facebook and more
Upload your latest images on the go with the in-app uploader
Seamlessly transition from your Windows Phone 7 to Windows 7 tablet and back again, without ever losing your place
Steve Ballmer has just wrapped up his 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show Keynote Address. He addressed three key components for Microsoft; Xbox 360, Windows 7, and Windows Phone 7.
Discussing how productive 2010 has been for Microsoft, Ballmer described it as a year filled with new experiences for consumers. Ballmer touched on the success of the Windows Phone Marketplace that now has over 5,500 apps and 20,000+ developers on board. On average, Windows Phone users are seeing 100 apps a day introduced to the Marketplace.
The success is being reflected by consumer confidence in that 9 out of 10 AT&T customers would recommend Windows Phone 7 to a friend. It was clear that Microsoft was pleased with the two month impact Windows Phone 7 has had and Ballmer continued to voice a strong commitment to the new phones.
Here are a few points from Ballmer's keynote on what we can expect in 2011 for Windows Phone 7.
OS Updates: Ballmer phrased it: "Over the next few months we will be delivering a series of platform improvements that show we are taking feedback to heart in an effort to continue to enhance the products we release. The updates will be released automatically and will include a few changes". No time frame was set but Ballmer did mention these updates will bring Copy/Paste to Windows Phone 7 as well as "significant improvement in performance when loading or switching between applications".
Sprint and Verizon: During the first half of 2011, Sprint and Verizon will join the Windows Phone family. While there was no mention of which phones are headed where, indications remain that the HTC Trophy is headed to Verizon and the HTC 7 Pro will be Sprint's Windows Phone device.
Games: One of the strengths of Windows Phone 7 is the Xbox Live integration. Windows Phone users will see a series of new Xbox Live games heading to the platform including a version of the popular console game, Fable.
Fable Coin Golf (we're assuming it's a golf themed game) will allow any coins earned on the Windows Phone, carry over to the Xbox Live version of the game. You also have Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 heading to the Windows Phone as well as the much anticipated Zombies!!!.
Apps: We saw a few new apps that caught our interests. There will be an Amazon.com app and a Bank of America app that will allow you to take care of your shopping and banking needs. Hopefully, this will break the ice for more online retailers and financial institutions to bring their apps to Windows Phone 7.
It looks like 2011 is shaping up to be another year filled with new experiences for Microsoft consumers.
Update: See the entire video presentation after the break (grab a coffee, you'll need it, but it's worth it)
Attention space geeks! Astronomy Tile of the Day may be something you want to take for a spin. The new app basically brings down new photos of the cosmos everyday to your phone for your viewing pleasure, which is something we know hobby astronomers are definitely in to. But probably one of the cooler things is this has a Live Tile meaning everyday it will show the latest pic right on your Today screen, which we think spices up the phone just nicely.
The app is both free and pay, meaning it has a fully-functional trial but the developer would appreciate the $0.99 if you want him to continue development. We think that's a fair bargain and look forward to any improvements in the future (like downloading images inline, instead of hopping to Mobile IE, something that is planned for the next update).
Lifeware Solutions is offering Deluxe Moon over at the Marketplace for Windows Phone 7. Deluxe Moon is a somewhat unique application for your Windows Phone and may offer more information about the moon phases than you would ever need. It's a nice mix of science and horoscopes wrapped into one app.
Deluxe Moon offers you everything from what phase the moon will be in on any given day to zodiac and horoscope information. Need tips on gardening by the moon? Deluxe Moon's got it. Need to know when the moon will rise or set? Deluxe Moon's got it. Need to know if today's the day to start a new business venture? Deluxe Moon has it.
Need to more about Deluxe Moon? Drift on past the break and you'll get it.
Plan Bee is a Windows Phone game that pits you (as a bee) against nature. Software developer Rambukgames has created a cute, mildly addictive game for Windows Phone 7 that has you flying around a meadow pollinating various flowers and dodging spider webs.
The game play is straight forward in that you hover over a flower to collect pollen and then take that pollen to another flower that needs pollination. Easy peasy, right? Throw in a pesky spider that keeps shooting web globs at you and such an easy task can get a little difficult.
To see how well Plan Bee blossoms, buzz on past the break.
There has been a known issue clouding the Marketplace on our beloved platform that has affected a good number on non-US residents (surprise, surprise) – not being able to download a good number of apps (mainly just after they are published) or even access the Marketplace itself, as India has to struggle to cope with.
I have had this problem myself, attempting to download The Oregon Trail to bring back the old days of Windows 98. Reading up on a previous post about a registry hack that changes the location of the computer and allows you to catch apps using Zune software. Now The Windows Club team have taken it to the next level (good news for the less technically savvy) and have released MarketPlace Enabler.
This handy little program allows anyone who can’t access the Marketplace to change the location and literally access it from anywhere in the world (except you wont be physically moving from your seat). As you’d be using the Zune software, free and paid apps will be downloaded just as you would on your phone, and it is all perfectly safe as the payment gateway attached to your Xbox Live/Zune account will be used to complete the purchase.
I installed the software on my Windows 7 desktop, highly excited to get my hands on The Oregon Trail HD. Simply running the .exe file (while Zune wasn’t running and my phone was disconnected) I as able to change my location and it reported a successful change. Unfortunately, when plugging my phone in and starting Zune, I still could not find The Oregon Trail HD, which I should now be able to see/purchase. After countless reboots, and defaulting/changing my location with the tool, it seems that I have hit a brick wall and wont be going down the Oregon Trail in HD anytime soon, without hacks anyway. MarketPlace Enabler also doesn’t allow me to pretend I’m from another planet; something I hope will be fixed in a future version, along with the above.
Although the tool itself failed to work, the idea and concept is spot on. There is room for improvement and possible fixes could be applied to a future update, or we could pin our hopes on the Marketplace loosening up slightly.
Check out the detailed page over at The Windows Club for more information and the download link. Let us know if the solution worked and how it has improved your experience with your Windows phone, or if it failed.
The DioDict dictionary app has been added to the Samsung App Zone in the Marketplace. The dictionary application is being described as bringing together "the most comprehensive lexical contents over the world with the rich-functional dictionary search engine."
DioDict taps into the Collins Dictionary library that includes multi-language dictionaries including English, Portuguese, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The dictionary application also has a flash card feature to help memorize definitions.
It's a nice looking dictionary application and it's free. If you own a Samsung Windows Phone 7 device, you can find in your Marketplace application in the Samsung App Zone.
Today, AT&T unveiled it's plans to deliver the "Nation's most advanced mobile broadband experience" by adding 4G. The announcement came today at AT&T's Developer's Conference that leads up to the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.
The initiative includes three areas of concentration.
AT&T plans to accelerate its LTE network build and launch the services mid-2011. The network is expected to be largely completed by year end 2013. AT&T is quickly expanding ethernet and fiber to cell sites nationwide as well as adding new cell sites to the network. By the end of the 2011, AT&T expects that nearly two-thirds of its mobile broadband traffic will be on expanded backhaul.
AT&T plans to introduce 20 4G compatible smartphones by the end of 2011. Some of these phones will be exclusive to AT&T. Five to seven of these devices are expected to be available by the first half of 2011.
AT&T also plans to provide customers access to more mobile applications. The wireless company plans to expand it's leadership in apps with new initiatives to speed collaboration with developers.
Android will likely lead the charge with the initial 4G push by AT&T and maybe a few Windows Phones will surface within the twenty expected devices that are 4G capable. The twenty new devices sounds promising but it's our understanding this includes not only smartphones but also wireless devices such modems, air cards, etc.
Hopefully more will be revealed on AT&T's push for 4G in the coming days at the 2011 CES.
Tired of those embarrassing moments holding your hand out to the Parisian street vendor, eagerly expecting more change back for your Nutella crepe, only to find that the exchange rate on your currency calculator is wrong? Sigh no more. STIML (Smart Technologies In Modern Life) has created the first WP7 currency calculator with live tile updates so you can avoid such an international disaster.
Currency Tile receives live updates of exchange rates for over 150 currencies without having to run the application itself. Aside from the built-in calculator, it also offers graphs of past exchange rates for 1-day, 5-days, 1-month, 3-months, 6-months, 1-year and 5-years. Currency Tile also supports Yahoo data source.
Full features include:
Live Tile currencies rates
Currency Charts with both landscape and portrait orientations
Angry Birds, the massively popular game that has found its glory on both the iOS and Android platforms, but has failed yet to flood the Windows Phone 7MarketPlace, and another tweet has confirmed a further wait. A continuous stream of ETA updates from Rovio have had numerous news sites and blogs fall over each other in reporting duplicate stories of “Angry Birds app on the way!”. But are we all really that excited about its arrival?
I pose that question as a person who has not yet had the pleasure in playing Angry Birds myself, but have witnessed it in action many times and I must admit it does look like a fun little game that can absorb a few hours of your spare time. This would be why it is such a popular title on the iPhone and Android due to the majority of games these platforms have are all from small developers.
The almighty Windows Phone, on the other hand, boasts Xbox Live integration for big titles like Sims 3, Need For Speed: Undercover, Assassins Creed and many more. Considering how Microsoft could continue to develop the Xbox Live “to go” and make the mobile gaming experience all that more special, is pretty exciting. For me, I don’t really share the same enthusiasm as many Angry Birds fans (I guess I have taken the bench with many other WP7 owners), sure I would buy the game and it would more than likely entertain me for more than five minutes but I won’t go out of my way to hype myself about a title that (lets be honest) isn’t comparable to games that are readily available.
All in all, I would actually like to see some progress and possibly a release, rather than have everyone reposting the same old news about a game that is destined to arrive but seems to be taking a slight detour. Through outa-space.
Good news folks as Amazon's Kindle app has finally hit the Marketplace. Well, they said "by the holidays" and though they're a few days late, we'll accept the ever so slight delay.
Considering the Kindle was one of the top selling gadgets of 2010, we're betting many of you got one for the holidays, making this app a natrual extension. What's cool of course about Kindle is the fact it keeps all your periodicals synced up, meaning you can read your Kindle then pick up your phone and continue that newspaper from right where you left off.
Our initial impression? It's pretty, darn pretty. And we like it.
Wikipedia has grown into one of the largest reference sources on the planet. WikiPanda, on the other hand, is a Windows Phone 7 application that will make tapping into Wikipedia from your Windows Phone easy.
Developed by PandaBits, WikiPanda offers you a hub interface with Wikipedia that will let you search by topic, view featured articles and historical facts for that particular date. WikiPanda presents the information nicely with a clean looking, easily navigated layout.
To read a bit more on this reference application for your Windows Phone, slide on past the break.
Microsoft Game Studios and Revo Solutions Games is offering Rise of Glory, a World War I air combat game for Windows Phone 7. The game puts you in the cockpit of World War I era fighting planes where you can fight your way through a single player campaign or battle through user defined missions.
Flight controls takes full advantage of your Windows Phones sensors and the game is presented with high graphic quality. Rise of Glory is also integrated with Xbox Live to allow you to share achievements and scores with your online friends. The only downside to the Xbox integration is that there isn't a multi-player mode available.
To read more on Rise of Glory, fly on past the break.
IronSunStudios, developer of Ionball, is offering a casino oriented game for Windows Phone 7. Lucky 7 puts you behind a one-armed bandit to try your luck at slots and to see how large a fortune you can build.
Lucky 7 does have a companion game to the slot machine and two game modes to keep things interesting. But for the most part, it's a slot game. Lucky 7 has an easy interface, nice graphics, and can be a fun way to pass the time.
To see if Lucky 7 comes up all 7's, ease on past the break.