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3 years ago

Microsoft may be bringing Silverlight to Xbox 360

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WinRumors has reported on some interesting news that Microsoft may be planning to announce intentions to bring Silverlight to the Xbox 360 platform, and look set to display their plans at the MIX11 conference, which is in Las Vegas next week. 

With both Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 already sporting XNA, their connection would be improved heavily with the addition of Silverlight. Being Microsoft's alternative to Adobe's Flash (and a damn good one too), Silverlight could open up a new app Marketplace for the gaming console, a source (who wishes to remain anonymous) suggests. Windows Phone 7 developers could be greeted with a gateway to over 50 million users who could potentially become active customers and use their apps.

WinRumors has claimed that Microsoft plans to include a new application model (codenamed "Jupiter") that will allow developers to create and develop applications on Silverlight, deployed as AppX packages (.appx) which will be part of an introduced application store in Windows 8. This could well be Microsoft's answer to Apple's App Store, which is available on both OS X and iOS. Angry Birds on the 360 as well as more Xbox 360 and WP7 integrated games like Fable Coin Golf. Ah, the possibilities!

Source: WinRumors

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3 years ago

Microsoft Tag passes 5 billion tag marker

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Microsoft have announced that the month of March accumulated the highest amount of tags scanned, since the launch of the mobile tagging service in January 2009. The software giant has printed more than five 5 billion tags in the two years, with a staggering 3 billion served in the last six months alone.

  • March had the greatest number of Tag scans since Tag launched in January 2009, with more than 50 percent more scans than any other month to date.
  • The number of scans per month has doubled over the past three months, and the number of users per month has increased 2.5 times in that same time frame.
  • Three billion Tags were printed during the past six months alone, and 5 billion Tags have been printed since Microsoft Tag’s January 2009 launch.
  • Publishing continues to lead among top industries adopting Tag, with retail scenarios and entertainment holding the second and third positions, respectively.

"Brand adoption and consumer engagement continue to build, with March being our strongest month to date, due to several high-profile, well-executed campaigns," explained Aaron Getz, General Manager of Microsoft Tag. "We continue to have tremendous success within publishing and also see increasing usage by retailers, consumer packaged goods companies and movie studios" he continued.

Tags are being introduced in a variety of different ways, allowing customers and consumers access to more content, information, media, contact detail, maps, social networking and much more. Simply using your mobile device's camera to scan the tag enables you to instantly enter into a gateway of relevant content. Several movie studios, including Summit Entertainment LLC and Universal Studios, have began placing Tags on movie ads, posters and packaging that link to movie trailers, interactive mobile games and exclusive content, increasing awareness. USA Today also began including tags and IFC displays tags on their channel.

Microsoft's Tag reader is available on a number of different smartphone platforms, including Android and Windows Phone 7.

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3 years ago

Triple Flip smartphone design running WP7

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It's not everyday that we witness an incredible smartphone conceptional design, but the above video shows what SchultzeWORKS have come up with - the Triple Flip smartphone. One could wrap this entire post covering the video in one word - stunning. Both the 3D modelling and the functionality of the device is inspiring, and it doesn't seem too farfetched at all. Best part? It's running Windows Phone 7.

The research for the “Triple Flip” was driven by the notion that the static smart-phone-with-touch-screen may be reaching the limit of their usefulness. Lead designer Dave Schultze explains, “We looked at the areas where smart phones were falling short and then delivered seven innovations to make them truly better. We had a few more, but seven was a good place to stop.”

Will we see this sort of advancement in future smartphones? Probably not for some time. Only one thing's for sure though (from this video anyway), Windows Phone 7 is a true contender for the smartphone market and I wouldn't be surprised if ideas begin to be drawn around WP7 with how new smartphone devices could function and look like.

Via: @aadjemonkeyrock

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3 years ago

Jay Sullivan says Firefox is not coming to WP7

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In an interview with OnSoftware, Jay Sullivan, VP of Products at Mozilla, insisted that Mozilla is not planning a version of Firefox for Windows Phone 7, but should we be bothered? Sure, Internet Explorer on the desktop has been continuously questioned/trashed by users, battered by EU to be uncoupled from Windows due to security concerns and more, but it's a fantastic implementation on WP7. 

At the moment we are focusing on Android in terms of the browser. For those other platforms we may do things like Firefox Home, so you can fire up any browser and get to your Firefox data. We’re not looking to bringing Firefox itself to Windows Phone 7 at this point.

Microsoft are working hard to bring the ancient browser up-to-date with current standards of speed, reliability, security and computability. Our Tim Ferrill wrote an article on why we should care about IE9 on WP7. So is Firefox really needed on the platform?

We've witnessed more and more readers voice opinions that they prefer IE even over the stock Android browser, which is no slouch. How about you? Do you want to see Firefox on Windows Phone 7, or are you content with IE and how Microsoft are developing it?

Source: OnSoftware , via: Softpedia

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3 years ago

Marketplace displaying in wrong languages

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One of our readers, Kibosh, has posted on our forum that he seems to be experiencing some issues with language in the Marketplace. Being fluent in Dutch (with good English), he has trouble browsing and - in rare cases - using apps on his device due to the Marketplace being displayed in French.

I'm a Dutch speaking Belgium guy owning a nice HTC Mozart and I'm happy with it. Only there is one major thing wrong with it and that is that the marketplace displays French. There are some more smaller things, but this language issue is for me very annoying.

Because not many people know Belgium (I guess), there are three official languages. Dutch (Me), French and a small part German. For some reason, Microsoft decided to offer the marketplace only in French for Belgium. I can assure you that they made a big mistake. We, the Flemish, speak better English then French. Also there are 6,200,000 Flemish and 3,500,000 French. You can do the math. Consider also the fact that Belgium is going through a political crisis about French vs Flemish and you can see the size of the error.

As one could imagine, this is frustrating for Kibosh and he posted a reply to a Microsoft Answers thread covering language issues on Windows Mobile. Doing some searching, we managed to come across a similar scenario where someone from Switzerland had to browse the Marketplace in German. A few replies later and a solution was posted for a new Live ID and Zune account to be created (with correct settings to force English or a desired language), coupled with resetting the device to attach the new accounts.

Seems a bit much work to change the language, hopefully Microsoft will work on a feature that allows one to alter their language across their Live ID, Zune account and device with one selection. Have you had any trouble with the wrong language being displayed in the Marketplace?

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Must Have Games not starting on April 6

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Back in February, WPCentral reported on the Xbox Live 6 weeks of Must Have Games promotion. Basically, every Wednesday for 6 weeks, a high-profile game will come to Xbox Live.

We expected the promotion to begin on April 6, but it turns out that won’t be the case. This week’s Xbox Live title is Super Monkey Ball, which will cost $4.99. Read our impressions here. Who Wants to be a Millionaire also comes out that day, but only in territories outside of North America.

April 13 will see the release of Harbor Master and Centipede. Thus the earliest the Must Have Games promotion could start is April 20, but it might be even later. Update: When contacted, Microsoft would only confirm Spring as the promotion's launch date. We'll surely hear from them again in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

For now, let’s look at the Must Have Games themselves:

  • Hydro Thunder Go – The only Windows Phone-exclusive of the bunch. Go is the mobile adaptation of Hydro Thunder Hurricane, the latest entry in the popular boat-racing series. Go’s 3D graphics and water effects are probably the best Windows Phone 7 has seen. Follow this link for a video trailer and our first impressions.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I – Sonic 4 marks the return to side-scrolling gameplay for everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog. The series has been marred by lackluster 3D titles in recent years. Sonic 4 doesn’t quite match the quality of the 16-bit Sonic games, but it’s still a worthwhile platformer. The mobile version of Sonic 4 was developed concurrently with the console title and features different stage layouts.  Follow this link for our first impressions.
  • Plants vs Zombies – From the makers of Bejeweled comes a unique tower defense game in which players place plants in strategic locations across lawns, swimming pools, and rooftops in order to fend off an army of cartoonish zombies. The PC version of Plants vs Zombies is one of my all-time favorite games.
  • geoDefense – A challenging tower defense game that features neon-colored vector graphics, much like the Geometry Wars series of shooters. geoDefense is a pretty game, but is it really that popular?
  • Doodle Jump – The original jumping game makes its way to Xbox Live. Tilt the phone to steer Doodle Jumper up a never-ending series of platforms, much like MonsterUp. Knock out enemies by furiously tapping on them. Windows Phone gamers may already know Doodle Jumper from his Parachute Panic cameo.
  • Angry Birds – One of the most popular mobile games of all-time rounds out the Must Have Games promotion. Launch birds out of a slingshot in order to collapse structures and eliminate the pigs who’ve stolen the birds’ eggs. The Windows Phone version of Angry Birds has a whopping 195 levels.
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3 years ago

WP Bench: Arrive vs Focus vs Quantum [Video]

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WP Bench: Arrive vs Focus vs Quantum [Video]

WP Bench is a nifty free app that hit the Marketplace this weekend. It's what it sounds like, a full featured Benchmarking suite used to gauge your device's GPU, CPU, battery, display, etc. All in all, solid stuff. Couple of niggles though: you can't save results, you lose them if the screen turns off and no database to compare to other devices. But hey, for v1.0 and free, it's a great start.

  • CPU singlethreaded performance
  • CPU multithreaded performance
  • Memory read/write speed
  • Storage read/write speed
  • GPU performance
  • Display color reproduction
  • Battery life tester

We decided, for laughs, to throw it on the LG Quantum, Samsung Focus and HTC Arrive to see what we got. (hint: results were similar) You can see the results above and watch the short video after the jump to see what the app has in store. Overall, we like it. You can grab it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

'Spring cleaning' gives devs chance for Marketplace spotlight

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One big complaint we hear over and over from devs is how to get their app featured in the Marketplace--you know, one of the apps listed in when you launch the store, sometimes it has a nifty panorama, or the app is feature on Microsoft's site, etc. To have your app up there, especially for indie devs, is huuuge as it gives much attention to their work and in turn, well, more revenue. 

Microsoft just announced the oddly titled 'Spring cleaning project' which is a contest of sorts to allow devs a shot at getting their app featured. Up till now, the process has been mostly unknown and there were no known methods of getting MS's attention to consider your app. Now, with this contest, devs can basically contact Microsoft and tell 'em why their app meets the three requirements:

  1. There will be three different opportunities: April, May, and June 2011
  2. Your App must be published to the Windows Phone Marketplace by the 15th of each month (by 11:59 PM PST)
  3. Your App must work as promised
  4. Your App must be new to the Marketplace or be a new version with substantial, new features or capabilities as mentioned earlier
  5. You then email the following information to wp7springclean@microsoft.com:

We'll post the rest after the break, but this should be a big hit with indie devs and we're hoping some of our favorites get featured.

Update: To clarify, games do count too--but since pivot/panorama don't apply, other criteria will e.g. use of a Live tile or push notification. In other words, be creative! (Thanks, Ben Lower, from Microsoft for the clarification)

Source: Windows Phone Marketplace Developer Communication

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3 years ago

What do those signal icons mean on my Windows Phone?

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Ever wonder what all those icons mean at the top of your Windows Phone screen? Look no further at Microsoft has gone ahead and detailed all of 'em for you.  Things like roaming, DO (for EvDO, CMDA's 3G standard) and a few others may be a little obscure, so it's nice to have a key.

Sure, for many of us who've been around smartphones, the support article at Microsoft seems like a big ol' "duh" but there are more non-smartphone users in the world than ones with, so be kind.

Even more icons and descriptions can be found here on Microsof'ts support page.

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3 years ago

WP7 Root Tools 0.1 alpha [Homebrew]

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For those with developer unlocked devices, you may be interested in Heathcliff74's new tool found at XDA. Called 'WP7 Root Tools' the app is a very early release of what promises to be quite the full-featured registry editor, file explorer and tweaker app. More importantly, with this first release he's given us root (or at least near root) access on Samsung devices, something that has proven difficult so far in the homebrew scene.

This is the first release of a tool, that I've been working on for the past months. With this tool you get root-access to parts of your WP7 device. The first release only contains a registry-editor. The file-explorer and certificate stores will follow.

This tool is in alpha stage. That means that it is not feature complete and it is not yet properly tested. This tool also provides you with high privileges with which you can alter low level settings and data on this device. All this may result in unexpected and undesired behaviour, which may ultimately damage your device. Use this tool with care and use it at your own risk. The developer of this tool cannot be hold responsible for any kind of damages, caused directly or indirectly by using this tool.

The current version of this tool can only be used on Samsung devices. A small part of the code uses Samsung-specific functionality. The performance of the tool may sometimes be slow. This is the result of the way access to the system is elevated. The goal is to make this tool device-independent and to elevate access more directly in the future, but that requires more research.

Before forewarned though: if you're not a developer or know your way around registries, don't tinker--this can seriously screw up your phone as it accesses some pretty deep level stuff. Having said that, devs can now go deeper in writing apps for the phones, getting access to areas of the device not yet achieved.

Source: XDA; Thanks, Tobias, for the heads up

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3 years ago

NoDo update hack released--works for every device, every carrier right now

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Last night on the Twitter, Chris Walsh, aka one of the people who brought ChevronWP7 to the masses, was working on something "big", having Raphael Rivera testing something related to those new tools release by Microsoft. Those tools were meant to fix two rare but possible update errors people may be experiencing with the NoDo updater.

Turns out, when modified, those tools were able to force pre-NoDo and NoDo updates to any phone, any carrier with any language. Indeed. There's no sideloading here, no modifying of registries, etc. Just a multi-step process that will bring you the update to your phone right now.

Basically they’ve created a managed wrapper over the whole update process for us, rather nice of them.

So I flashed my HTC Mozart back to RTM (7004) via a ROM update HTC ship and whipped up a little application to flash pre-NoDo (7008), NoDo (7355), NoDo update 1 (7389) & NoDo update 2 (7390) all in a single process. No I don’t care which carrier you are on, which phone you have, it’ll just update your phone accordingly.

We really have to commend Microsoft here for being able to split up the OS updates into differential packs, which saves users downloading 200+ MB updates, unlike the IFruit updates.

All you need to do is run the ChevronWP7.Updater.exe console app and follow the prompts.

For the instructions and custom updater file (both for 32 and 64 bit Windows), go to Walsh's blog for more info. [Also, see Simple Mobile Review for a step-by-step walkthrough]

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3 years ago

Jeff Wilcox's Metro design guide [Developers]

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With Windows Phone 7 featuring such a beautiful UI, there has to be a level of quality present in application appearance and user friendliness to match the core system, which is entirely different to the competition. However, there are a handful (or more) apps on the Marketplace that aren't up-to-par.

Jeff Wilcox, better known for the 4th&Mayor FourSquare app for WP7, has published a Metro UI guide for developers, which is beautiful in itself. Covering the factors; ease of use, simplicity, discoverability, conformance and more, the guide is a must read for any WP7 developer or even iOS and Android developers to gain an insight into the Metro universe.

Almost simply listing what to do and what not to do, Jeff explains the steps that are required and calculations that need to be made for your app to succeed in the Marketplace with both sales/downloads and highly rated reviews. Also, it's always nice to have a resource available for those who wish to port the UI to other platforms, but mimicking the appearance of WP7 is one thing, replicating the user experience is another.

Source: Jeff Wilcox, via: @guinnesslee

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3 years ago

AdDuplex Silverlight Control v.1.1.3 Released [Developers]

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Hey, app wizards! AdDuplex Silverlight control version 1.1.3 has been released. Though not a major release featuring functions that allows you to advertise your app in another dimension (but I'm sure they're pretty close), 1.1.3 marks another stability and bug fixing update. Most notable is the memory leak bug that can occur - no one likes memory leakages.

The update is (as always) available in the client area for developers to download. If you're not familiar with AdDuplex and you're a developer seeking new ways to monetize your free app(s), then you should seriously check it out. In a nutshell AdDuplex allows developers to promote other apps in their apps while other apps promote their own. If you understood that then you are far smarter than I.

Source: AdDuplex Blog, via: WindowsPhoneGeek

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3 years ago

Harbor Master - Exclusive preview

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Harbor Master - Exclusive preview

A couple of weeks ago we reported that Harbor Master was probably coming to Xbox Live on April 13. Developer Imangi Studios recently confirmed that release date is correct, so we thought it would be a good time to bring you a full preview of the game.

Firemint’s Flight Control is a well-known line-drawing game. The game presents players with a simple 2D overhead map with two or more runways and helicopter landing pads. Planes and helicopters enter the screen randomly and the player must direct them to the appropriate runway/landing pad by drawing pathways. Vehicles are color coded and must be sent to the same colored destination. They also vary in size and speed, but they’re all worth one point each when landed. As an aircraft lands, it disappears and the player is free to worry about other oncoming planes. It’s a simple formula that becomes more challenging as the number of incoming planes increases.

Imangi Studios saw an opportunity to improve on the line-drawing formula with their own title, Harbor Master. At first glance it looks similar to Flight Control, but Imangi has made a lot of tweaks that result in a different and more interesting game.

Right from the start, Harbor Master’s focus on boats instead of planes changes the line-drawing experience. Each map has land forms and structures that boats must navigate around in order to dock. Thus maps require unique strategies as players create shipping lanes based around map’s shapes.

Steer past the jump for our full preview with plenty of screenshots and exclusive details straight from the developer...

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