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3 years ago

Fourteen new XBox Live titles heading to Windows Phone

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We have already mentioned the new features heading to your Windows Phone Game Hub with the Mango update. Well the other shoe that dropped with that news is that fourteen new XBox Live titles are also headed to Windows Phone.

We know about Beards & Beaks: Cave Area, IonballEX and Fight Game: Rivals and to see what the other eleven titles are, hit the break.

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3 years ago

More new Games Hub features for WP7 en route

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Back in May, we heard about some of the great new features and streamlined integration that the Mango Games Hub will bring to Windows Phone.  Today at Gamescom in Germany, the team announced four more things that mobile gamers can expect to see in the coming months.

  • Avatar Awardables: You can think of these as "wearable achievements." Unlock items during game play and they will become available in your avatar closet.  One of the first games to have these will be "Chickens Can't Fly."
  • Game Add-ons: Players will be able to enhance their gaming experience by purchasing in-game add-ons and downloadable content, like extra weapons and new levels, using MS points.  "Beards & Beaks" is one of the first to have this feature, but more are on their way.
  • Parental Controls: Pretty self-explanatory. This will come in handy with M-rated games, like “Splinter Cell: Conviction,” (Coming this Fall).
  • Fast Async: This service will improve multi-player gaming for turn-by-turn (or asynchronous) Windows Phone games.

Check out the entire Gamescom Press Kit for more details, and info on stuff like Xbox 360, Kinect, and more.

Source: WindowsTeamBlog

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3 years ago

4th & Mayor hits v2.7, gets a tease, bug fixes and more

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Gotta give 4th & Mayor developer and Microsoftie Jeff Wilcox credit--he's on fire lately, pushing out update after update.

Version 2.7 is now live in the Marketplace and brings some cool new features:

  • Fixes over 40 customer-reported bugs and crashes
  • Can now flag photos and delete your own photos
  • Exciting new features for early adopters

While fixing "over 40 customer-reported bugs and crashes" is itself no small feat (luckily we never saw 'em), those new features for early adopters are pretty awesome sounding. 

Yes, in v2.7 if you are running "Mango" you can pin your friends or favorite places right to your today screen--booya! [See image of Phil Nickinson for an example] Now, these are admittedly a tease--they don't yet "flip' to reveal information like most Mango secondary tiles do, but you can bet when "Mango" is officially released we'll be seeing these things happen. For now, when you tap on your friend's Foursquare tile, it'll bring you to their profile page as expected.

Very cool. You can pick up 4th & Mayor v2.7 here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

SkyDrive Player - not great, but not bad either

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We know there's a lot of SkyDrive users out there always looking for new ways to utilize the free storage service. A new freeware app in the Marketplace looks to augment that by allowing you to effortlessly and easily play music from your SkyDrive to your phone. Sounds pretty good to us but alas the initial version is a work in progress. Still, for what it is, what it costs and where it's going, you may want to pick it up or at least watch for updates. From the app description, written in some broken English:

"SkyDrive Player is music player with Sky Drive. At first, upload to SkyDrive which your a lot of music data. then you can download/listen music anytime. this app save your Windows Phone data space. Notice: when uninstall this app. clear downloaded files too. First version of SkyDrive Player is very simple functions. please feedback about this app."

This app tested Media type

  • [.mp3]
  • Up to 320 Kbps
  • Constant or variable bit rate
  • Up to 48 kHz
  • 1 or 2 channels

Next version plans...

  • Supports multiple Live ID.
  • Supports PlayLists.

Notice

  • Not supports download resume. please not switch to other apps when downloading.
  • Not supports streaming play. please wait for finish download file.
  • Not supports read mp3 additional data(artwoks. artists and more)

So the big deal here is that it doesn't actually stream music--at least not yet. In short, you have to "download" the track first and then play it, which is not very exciting. It does "save" the music files, siloed within the app itself so you can play it anytime without re-downloading--that's not half bad. And it is a way to quickly share music with yourself or others, though it looks impossible to then bring that music into Zune. Still, it's a neat idea and like we said, we're curious as to where this can go in the future, plus we imagine a few of you have some ideas on how to use this freebie. Perhaps this developer or someone else will pick up the ability to stream from SkyDrive within Mango and do an app to make the process more simple an elegant.

Grab SkyDrive player here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Beards and Beaks Cave DLC now available

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Beards and Beaks is the only mobile Xbox Live title so far to feature downloadable content. The game launched with both a free set of levels (Forest) and a paid set (Mountains). And now, the fifth and presumably final set of levels, Cave, is available for purchase.

In our Beards and Beaks review, I noticed that a ninja gnome appears in some of the between-level screens but not as a controllable unit. The Cave DLC rectifies that, as it introduces both the Ninja gnome and Sorcerer gnome to Beards’ gameplay. The Ninja is fast and kills enemies with extreme precision, though he can’t take as much damage as other gnomes. Yep, he’s easily my favorite unit. The Sorcerer is no slouch either, launching fireballs over long distances. Neither of the new guys can be used in older levels, but they do make the Cave levels feel fresh.

Adding units to one side but not the other wouldn’t be fair. To keep things balanced, the Cave also introduces new enemies – a super strong Football crow and another crow that’s extra fast on its feet.

As for the levels themselves, I encountered a new environmental hazard – a gate that players can manually open to let the gnomes through. But the gate closes after a few seconds, treasure-carrying gnomes can’t pathfind through it correctly, and when it raises back up, it kills any gnomes who were attempting to passing through. You tell me if it’s a good addition or not. The overall difficulty of the Cave levels is harder than previous levels, which makes sense as players will have already honed their strategic flicking skills on previous levels before taking on the Cave.

The Beards and Beaks Cave DLC costs 80 Microsoft Points ($1). While it sadly doesn’t add any Achievements, the new units, enemies, and overall challenge represent a great value for the money. Anyone who really likes Microsoft’s gnome versus crow game should not hesitate to give the Cave a download. 

Beards and Beaks can be purchased here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Deal Alert: eWallet Go! drops from $4.99 to $0.99

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Reviews seem mixed on eWallet Go by Ilium Software, a long time player with Windows Mobile of yonder. And we're not here to tell you how to spend your money but if you were considering Ilium's eWallet Go (see our App Spotlight here), you may want to pick it up for $0.99 which is a $3 price drop. No word if it's a sale or permanent.

There's no trial so you'll be out that $0.99 if you don't like and our readers are certainly mixed on it, which is why we recommend checking their comments first. If you still want it, here's the linky.

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3 years ago

MSFT and Nokia stocks get a boost from Google's deal

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While the long term impact of Google's acquisition of Motorola (Googarola?) is still anyone's guess, one short term effect appears be to Microsoft and Nokia's benefit. Microsoft's stock rose 1.63% (up .41 points) and Nokia's stock rose 17.35% (up .93 points) in today's trading activity.

In comparison, Google's stock fell 1.16% (6.54 points) while Motorola Mobility's stock made the biggest jump at 55.78% (up 13.65 points).  We're pretty sure the jump with Motorola was due to the 63% premium Google paid for them but it is a little surprising to see Google sag. In addition, it's now been disclosed that Google has agreed to pay Motorola Mobility $2.5 billion if the deal doesn't go through, a figure that is six times the average according to Bloomberg.

Granted none of this could have a thing to do with the $12.5 Billion deal and the stock market these days may not be the best litmus test.  As crazy as Wall Street has been lately, tomorrow we may see completely opposite results. 

Still, it's nice to see Microsoft and Nokia stocks doing well.

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3 years ago

UberMage launches at the Marketplace

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UberMage is a new game over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that has you pitted against an Evil Mage and his evil minions in search of Mana Stones. The game has a little bit of a Dungeons and Dragons feel with a touch of Zelda mixed in.

The initial launch of UberMage is being described as a soft-launch. The game is broken up into four worlds, with each world having a number of objectives to complete. The soft-launch has only twenty-one objectives with more in the works. The developer's goal is to have sixty five objectives across eight worlds by September. The ultimate goal is to have a total of one hundred sixty-one objectives to the game.

In tinkering with UberMage just for a short time, I found the game entertaining. I was a little concerned about the main character being three dots but it grows on you. The 3D graphics are great but the controls take a while to get used to. Luckily, the learning curve isn't so steep to take away from the game. UberMage is worth a try.

There are two versions available for UberMage over at the Marketplace. You've got the free, ad-supported version that you can find here and a $2.99 ad-free version that you can find here (both links open Zune).

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3 years ago

Did Google buy Motorola Mobility to block Microsoft?

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According to a Gigaom "exclusive," Motorola Mobility was in talks with Microsoft, as well as other parties, to discuss acquisition.  Their sources tell them that Microsoft was primarily interested in Motorola's 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications, which would have have become a WMD of sorts against Google.  Acting in self-defense, Google moved about 5 weeks ago, opening talks of their own with MM, which included CEO Larry Page and Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha, though more recently, Android co-founder Andy Rubin was brought into the mix.  Allegedly, Motorola preferred a deal with Google because Microsoft was only in it for the patents, and no the hardware manufacturing.  The result, Google's $12.5 billion payout or a 63% premium over previous stock estimates of Moto. Good deal?

If these claims are accurate, it is the next giant step in a patent war that's been brewing between Google and Microsoft for a while now.  It is also a possible sign of the decline of Android and the rise of Windows Phone 7.  Google now owns one of the many companies that use its Android platform, and has become a competitor to itself.  Google's new position as a player in the manufacturing game could drive other companies away from Android and into the arms of another operating system, say, perhaps Windows Phone.  Throw Microsoft's deal with Nokia, and now you have what could be a huge boost for WP7.

While this has the potential to be exciting for those of us who would like to see Windows Phone flourish, the situation is, sadly, one more example of how patents are being used to crush competition, rather than to bolster innovation. 

Source: Gigaom

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3 years ago

Astro Flare is looking for test pilots

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Astro Flare is a new, fast paced, space shooter game for Windows Phone. The game looks good and the developer needs your help. If you're interested in becoming a test pilot of sorts (also known as a beta tester), Astro Flare is looking for a few good players.

To apply for the beta send and email to digitalmarsh@gmail.com with the subject "Beta Test" and include your Windows Live ID the your Windows Phone is registered under.

There is also a discussion going on in the WPCentral Forums on Astro Flare. If you'd like to share your two cents without diving into the beta, you can chime in here at the Forums or leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Thanks Joe for sending this in!

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3 years ago

Verizon trade-in program will offer basic phone users $100 to upgrade

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Don't look now, but Verizon wants you to ditch your old "basic" cell phone and upgrade to a smartphone.  Between August 18 and September 30, customers who purchase new smartphones will be able to mail in their current phones to receive a $100 Verizon gift card three weeks later.  Current customers who are eligible for an upgrade can get the new devices at discounted prices, along with a new data plan and 2-year agreement, while those who are not may be able to extend their agreement for the deal.

After the purchase, users will receive a PIN for Verizon's trade-in site, which will walk them through sending in their old phone for the gift card. 

According to the source, information about the promotion pertained to Verizon's Western region.  It is not yet known whether or not other regions will be offering up the same deal.  Check out the leaked promo docs below.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

From the WPCentral forums...

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From the WPCentral forums...

This week we have a lot of interesting new topics.  Sometimes it surprises me what you folks want to talk about. Come on join us in the forums as you never know what we might be discussing. Heck, sometimes we even talk about Windows Phones. Have something on your mind or just a quick question about your phone? You never know what will spark the next great debate. Here are a few examples of the current hot topics.

I know you have an opinion on at least some of those topics.  Come share your thoughts, you never know we might be wrong and you could set us straight but you have to signup. Just follow the link.

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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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