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3 years ago

Windows Phone Geek opens Developer Marketplace to all

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The folks over at Windows Phone Geek have finally made their Developer Marketplace open to all. We last looked at the Marketplace when it was released in beta to a select few. The Marketplace enables Windows Phone developers to pick up (or sell) components, tools, templates, frameworks, and more.

The scheduled month to open up the Marketplace to all developers was September 2012, but with increasing interest Windows Phone Geek have decided to bring the release date forward a few months. Boryana Miloshevska, Founder and CEO, had the following to add in the press release.

"Previously, we announced that the private beta was expected to continue until September 2012. I am pleased to announce that, due to the huge interest, we are starting the public beta two months earlier! Starting today, our component marketplace is open to everyone."

Should you be interested to share any supported projects to the community, you can either give items away for free or publish a price tag to fund some beers. Be sure to check out the Marketplace regardless as the purpose of such a place is for developers to create better quality apps for consumers.

Source: Windows Phone Geek

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3 years ago

Bing Venue Maps gets updated with thousands of shopping malls for around the world

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The chaps at Microsoft dropped us an email this morning to let us know that an international update of Bing Venue Maps is rolling out.

The update brings us over 2700 venue maps across 30 countries which predominantly are shopping malls. While the update may not be a huge benefit to us daily it may well come in handy for planning visits to new shopping centers. Google rolled a similar service out not too long ago. It's nice to see Microsoft keeping on their toes.

All new Venue Maps are now available through www.bing.com/maps. Simply zoom in over your favorite mall to enter the experience. You can also browse all the available Venue Maps and countries at www.bing.com/maps/venues.

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3 years ago

Microsoft testing a more Metro influenced website design

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Microsoft has published a sneak peek at what a potential redesign could look like for the software giant's online property. With Windows 8, Xbox and Windows Phone all making use of the new Metro design language, it only makes sense that they further improve other products and properties.

We see this as a superb move. Microsoft appears to be improving all aspects of the company to match upcoming product releases. It's also essential to have an aesthetically pleasing website design to attract potential customers, as well as increasing the number of returning visitors.

Let's just hope the company actually rolls out the new design across the entire network of websites for consistency. What do you guys make of the direction Microsoft is heading with the design? 

via: LiveSide

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - Sid Meier's Pirates! pillaging bugs in latest update

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There’s nothing the gamers at Windows Phone Central love more than revealing the contents of Xbox Live title updates to our dear readers. Scratch that, we especially love revealing new games... And interviewing Xbox Live developers. But title updates are definitely up there!  So then, let’s look at the recent Sid Meier’s Pirates! Update.

Sid Meier’s Pirates! Version 1.1 release notes

  • General bug fixes

Yep, that’s the official word from 2K Games. I’ve heard tell of the game losing players’ save data prior to the update, so perhaps that’s one of the bugs they squashed.

In Pirates! gamers play as the son of a man whose family was unjustly imprisoned by a nobleman in the 1600s. The path to rescue them is fraught with peril, as he’s forced into the life of a pirate. From there, players must form alliances with some nations while warring on others, collecting treasure, upgrading their ship, and hiring new crewmen all the while. Pirates! May be a strategy title, but it packs a wide variety of gameplay, including ship battles, sword fighting, city bombardment, and even dancing. Ladies love a pirate who can dance.

Sid Meier’s Pirates! costs $2.99 and the download weighs in at a hefty 225 MB. No need to consult a map; get it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Ape The Wall

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Ximad has released some interesting games for our Windows Phone such as Bubble Birds, Pandas vs. Ninjas and De-Bugs Pool. Ape The Wall follows suit and is another entertaining game from Ximad that has hit the Windows Phone Marketplace.

The object of Ape The Wall is to guide your ape up the sides of buildings, canyons, or trees. All the while avoiding balconies, satellite dishes, alley cats, coyotes, tree limbs and various objects that mysteriously drop from above. There are two game modes and a hand full of power-ups to help you climb higher.

All in all, Ape The Wall is an entertaining game from Ximad and a nice time waster.

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3 years ago

Vodafone AU rolling out Windows Phone Tango update for Lumia 800 and Trophy

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We've got some good news for those who reside in Australia and own either the Nokia Lumia 800 or HTC Trophy. Vodafone AU is rolling out Windows Phone "Tango" to their customers in a staged release, which will cover a 24-day period until the flood gates are opened for all to receive the upgrade.

Should you not see the update notification immediately fear not as you're probably sat in line for the next tier of the rollout. Peter Skitchen reports that the following represents the release schedule Vodafone AU (and Microsoft) is sticking to.

  • Day 1-6: Available to 10% of devices
  • Day 7-20: Available to 25% of devices
  • Day 21: Available to 40% of devices
  • Day 22: Available to 60% of devices
  • Day 23: Available to 80% of devices
  • Day 24: Available to 100% of devices

In other Australian Windows Phone news, the HTC TITAN on Telstra has received a firmware update after being available for just under a month. No word currently on what has been included in the minor update.

Source: Peter Skitchen; thanks, Peter, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Lumia 900 users on Rogers reporting Tango update coming through

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While those of us on AT&T in the States are evidently sitting out the great Tango push for June, those up north are having better luck.

We've had two reports from users on Rogers that Windows Phone 7.5 Tango aka 8773 is now being pushed for their Lumia 900s. The update comes in two parts with 8112 going first followed by 8773, meaning users will have enough time to catch their favorite show while their phone backs up and applies the two updates.

Windows Phone 7.5 Tango only brings some minor fixes to the OS with some MMS enhancements but the Nokia firmware is the real juicy stuff. Bringing WiFi tethering and "flip to silence" for incoming calls, the firmware should go a long way in making sure users' phones are running in tip top shape.

For those not wishing to wait, they can take matters into their own hands and force the update manually. Otherwise, if you're on Nokia with an 800 or 710, you can check your device status here.

Thanks, Derek N. and Erik, for the tips and images

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3 years ago

The Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone title on July 4th is the adorable Mush from Angry Mango

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A few weeks ago at E3 2012 in Los Angeles, we managed to get some hands on with the upcoming Xbox LIVE title 'Mush'. The game is from studio Angry Mango and it looks like it will finally bring some new life into some of the slightly boring and repetitive titles of late. 

Mush is a fairly adorable and cute casual game where you use tilt controls to move your character around the board. Full of puzzles and bold graphics, the game has a unique trick up its sleeve: you manipulate the character's emotions to get by the levels.

What was that again? 

Basically if you draw a smile on the screen, he floats. Draw a frown and he sinks. Shake the device and yes, he gets angry (and he will smash through things). Call us crazy but with the LocoRoco-esque graphics, the unique animation and the creative way to control your character, we're super excited for this title. It should appeal to the regular gamer, kids, the ladies, fans of Ilomilo and anyone who enjoys some fun challenges.

Look for Mush on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone next week on July 4th. See their website here and check our hands on with the game after the break on what to expect.

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3 years ago

Can't wait for the Windows Phone Tango update? Download the CAB file now and do it yourself.

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File this under: Experienced users only

Warning:  We’re just going to say that Windows Phone 7.5 Tango is not that big of a deal. It’s a tiny update with a few MMS enhancements and some minor tweaks (most of which are undocumented, but see our hands on video to get an idea). So we’re not sure that trying to manually update your Windows Phone with Tango 8773.98 is a high priority. Nor is the risk of damaging your phone and blocking the upcoming 7.8 update.

And let's be honest, a lot of "fixes" and "tweaks" for your Windows Phone will come from the OEM firmware which this does not provide. Finally, this does not provide the new Start screen. That's Windows Phone 7.8 this is still 7.5.

Having said that, user bobzero on the XDA Forums has posted the Tango OS cab files direct from Microsoft and the needed language files to get the update started. It will break inter-op unlock (for the tiny few of you who have that) but you can go through the process again re-enable it.

The big question for many of you will be How do I do this? It’s not Android-custom ROM hard, but it does require a little prep work and some careful reading.

Luckily for you we wrote a nice little tutorial on how to manually update your phone to 8107 to get the much needed “disappearing keyboard fix”. That same process should work here so long as you replace the 8107 CAB with the 8773 one, obviously. Likewise, you’ll need the language packs too which bobzero has given you.

We haven’t done this yet ourselves but we do have our trusty Samsung Focus 2 and a bottle of Wild Turkey that says we’re going to try it soon.

As usual, sound off in comments on your experience and please, don’t blame us if you damage your phone. Remember: read, ask questions and take your time. And if you're on OS 8107 you need to go to 8112 first.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, bobzero for this tip and your past ones ;-)

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3 years ago

Magenta Lumia 900 ROM for AT&T shows up on Nokia's servers. Close to release?

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A non-working, magenta Lumia 900 for Italian Nokia stores

For a few months now we've been teasing the Magenta variant of the Nokia Lumia 900. We first reported that it was scheduled for a Mother's Day release, which would have seen appropriate but alas that never came to be. Since then we've seen the Magenta device show up worldwide a few times including Nokia's own Facebook page but it has yet to be released anywhere.

Now, if you load up NaviFirm Plus and check Nokia's servers, you'll see a Magenta ROM for the Lumia 900 looking pretty. The listed file name is RM-808 VAR ATT MAGENTA (059N3B9) and it corresponds with the same ROM and firmware available for the current cyan, matte black and glossy white versions already available on AT&T.

A snapshot from Navifirm clearly showing a Magenta Lumia 900 ROM for AT&T

While there is no word on availability we're going to take this as a major sign that AT&T is gearing up for its release and it is rather close too. 

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3 years ago

Sweet Sync for SugarSync gets updated, adds background photo sync

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An update is heading our way for the Sweet Sync for SugarSync app. Sugar Sync is a cloud storage option, similar to Dropbox or Skydrive, and Sweet Sync is your unofficial Windows Phone connection to the cloud service.

The update takes Sweet Sync to version 1.4 and brings background photo synchronization into the mix. When enabled the app will detect new photos on your Windows Phone and sync them upon startup.

The version 1.4 update also adds the option to sync only when your on wifi and select any sync folder in your account to sync to (or not to sync to). This is a nice data saving feature.

The update has just passed Marketplace certification so look for it to be pushed out in the next 24-48 hours. In the meantime, you can find Sweet Sync for SugarSync here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. There is a trial version with the full version of Sweet Sync for SugarSync running $1.29.

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3 years ago

The competition - Google's Android 4.1 announcements and a new 7" tablet

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Android is currently the thorn in everyone's side—from Apple to Microsoft to RIM—the “free” mobile OS is continuing to dominate and today they added just a little bit more.

For those who weren’t aware, Google I/O kicked off today. It’s their BUILD, their MIX, their random secret Apple announcement where they show off their big plans for Android over the next few months. Here’s the recap of the big news today which will surely keep Redmond on their toes:

Google Nexus 7 – A 7” tablet that is branded by Google themselves. Analogous to their Nexus line of phones, the mini tablet will set the standard for Android going forward and boy, do they need it. Android tablets are currently fairly terrible (we speak from personal experience with the lauded Samsung 10.1) and Google really needs to get their act together here before Microsoft takes a swing with the Surface.

While a 7” tablet is quite meager and far from ideal, Google did win in a couple of areas. For one, they announced the specifications—we mean all the nitty gritty. It has a 1280x800 display, quad-processor, 9 hours of video playback, WiFi, NFC, GPS and Bluetooth.  It also got a price tag at $199 with pre-orders starting today for a mid-July release.

And that’s where Microsoft lost everyone last week—no price and no date on availability. That $199 will guarantee this device gets into a lot of hands. Will it be enough to keep Surface from taking off? We doubt it but it’s not helping either. Think Kindle Fire though as Google’s main target though as opposed to an iPad or Surface. Check out our pal Phil's hands on with the tablet here.

Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’ – Ah yes, the ridiculous names of Android continues and Android 4.1 was shown off today. What’s more, the SDK is now out and available for download too.  Some of the new features include offline voice-to-text dictation, new notifications which expand upon the current model, improved voice search akin to Apple’s Siri, redesigned camera app and a new service that uses your Google data to recommend things.

Is 4.1 killer? No, as the 0.1 bump indicates this is a minor revision and it’s nothing compared to what Microsoft is doing with Windows Phone 8 and the NT kernel. Still, like iOS 6, Android is continuing to build off of their foundation, adding new, somewhat interesting and useful features for consumers.

Jelly Bean 4.1 will be available by mid-July for their Nexus devices but the big question is what about everyone else?  Android has a terrible update record and 4.0 is barely on 10% of devices. In other words, Microsoft has some breathing room here for the fall and its new Windows Phone 8 devices (see, it would have been easier to say “Windows 8 Phones”).

Oh and their unlocked, Galaxy Nexus phone dropped to $350 for those in the US

Google Maps with offline caching – Like the Nokia-Microsoft mapping announcement for Windows Phone 8, users can grab the brand new Google Maps now with offline caching. Powerful stuff

Chrome for Android out of beta – While it’s no IE10, Google took the beta off of Chrome for it’s new Android browser. It should be interesting to see how it compares to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 in the fall.

Nexus Q - Think of it as Google's answer to Nokia's Play 360. A device to stream your music too but price higher. It will fetch for $299 with preorders starting today.

All in all, Google did not announce any game changers, nothing disruptive except for the 7” tablet. That Nexus 7 will do a lot to drop prices on mini-tablets and force Apple and Microsoft to rethink some options in the future but we're not sure it's going to fix Google's problems here.

Google doesn’t  win because it’s better, it wins through market saturation. Read more I/O 2012 coverage at Android Central.

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3 years ago

Qualcomm offering $200,000 for best Windows RT apps

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Qualcomm has announced a Windows RT Metro Style App developer contest at Uplinq 2012. Before you get yourself excited, the competition is only available to those who reside in the states, but should you be eligible you can pocket a chunk of the $200,000 prize - not bad, eh?

Winners will be selected in a number of categories, including 'Best Overall Windows RT app" ($100,000), "Best Compelling Connectivity Use Case" ($20,000), "Best Gaming App" ($20,000), "Best Productivity App" ($20,000) and "Best AllJoyn Peer-to-peer app" ($40,000). Each entered app will be evaluated by a panel.

To enter one must submit their working application where it will then be judged. The entry period is active until October 1st 2012. For more information, check out the competition website. Full press release can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Microsoft to open an Australian flagship Store in Sydney by 2013?

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According to a tipster over at WPDownUnder, Microsoft may well be looking to unveil a flagship store in Sydney, Australia. The report suggests the software giant will open up a bricks and mortar store before 2013 to follow the US advancement.

WPDownUnder notes that should a UK store open its doors, it would spark the beginning of an alteration to the partnership with Arvato, a third-party outsourcing provider who manages Microsoft's online store in 31 countries.

With Microsoft soon to launch Windows 8, the Surface tablet range, and Windows Phone 8 ("Apollo") it makes sense for the company to look at ways to further engage with consumers directly. We've seen this with Windows Phone so there's no reason why we can't see a different Microsoft from the corporate beast what we've grown to love and hate.

Would you prefer to see the company expand globally with stores to combat competition?

Source: WPDownUnder

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Refresh (a.k.a. Tango) starts global roll out

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The Windows Phone Tango update started rolling out to the Nokia Lumia 710 in Canada from Rogers last week. We expected a more global roll out to start today for the Lumia 710 and 800 Windows Phone and sure enough, we've received several tips confirming that today is in fact the day.

It appears that Europe, South American and the U.S. are reporting that they are getting the alert to update their Windows Phone to Tango.

The Tango update includes internet sharing capabilities, a fix for the disappearing keyboard and a handful of other improvements. You can follow along with the global roll out here at Nokia's Tango Update page.

Thanks, everyone, for the tips.

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