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3 years ago

Shazam finally returns to the Marketplace--same price for Encore

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Shazam, the only music ID app, has finally returned to the Marketplace along with its $5.99 super-expense-it's-not-really-worth-it older brother. (See our comparison video between the two)

Both apps were pulled a week ago for various reasons. For one, we knew Shazam (free) was installing under your Games category (no, it never uninstalled, it was there the whole time), so that required it to be pulled and fixed and re-submitted. Shazam Encore was pulled, some speculated, due to poor reception and the high price. Well, at least with the latter, it still has that high price--$5.99.

Encore though has been updated to v2.1 and we're comparing/contrasting with our v2.0 to see if there are any feature differences that could possibly justify the $6 price-tag, so look back in a few for that update...

Update: After comparing both the free version and Encore, we still find very little difference between the two apps. Nothing has changed, as far as we can tell.

You can grab Shazam (free) here and Shazam Encore ($5.99) from the Marketplace here. Thanks, SEKKDS, for noticiing!

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3 years ago

Verizon Trophy already sold-out online

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For those looking to get the Verizon Trophy, at least online, they have temporarily disabled ordering due to not enough stock. Yup, you've read that right.

We're starting to wonder if one of the reasons for the continued delay was the inability to stock enough of the phone in the first place. Granted, we assumed that the Trophy may sell well on Big Red, but not that well (though wouldn't we and Verizon like to be surprised).

We'll keep track to see if and when the phone is available for online purchases, but for now, taking a trip to your local store (or call to order) may be your best bet.

Source: Verizon Wireless; Thanks, Jessie C,, Greg E., for the heads up

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3 years ago

Reader's Choice, Focus out scores the iPhone

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We've been reading predictions from marketing moguls for weeks saying that in X number of years Windows Phones will overtake everyone other smartphone on the market (such as this one from Pyramid). Obviously we here at WPCentral are rather fond of such predictions but the 2011 PCMag Reader's Choice Awards may lend a little credence to all those predictions.

The publication polls readers on various technology issues, including mobile phones. They are asked to rank products and services on about fifteen different categories and with regards to AT&T Smartphones, the Samsung Focus beat the Apple iPhone out for the top spot. The Focus scored a 8.7 overall score while the iPhone came in with an 8.4. The Focus's overall score beat out other carrier smartphones save one, the Verizon iPhone which it tied.

Okay... granted (as far as the AT&T phones go) only 92 respondents ranked the Focus and over 2,300 rated the iPhone but doesn't that support the findings? That more Samsung Focus owners are satisfied with their product than iPhone users?

Another winner in the PCMag awards was Windows Phone 7.  It ranked second overall amongst the smartphone operating systems, only .3 points behind Apple iOS.

Could this be the beginning of the rise to market domination for Windows Phone? Or just a strong indication that those of us who have chosen Windows Phones are very pleased with our choice?

Source: PCMag; via WMPoweruser

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3 years ago

Verizon Trophy available on Verizon website

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I'm late with the April fools jokes, so relax and take this in because it's really happening. The Verizon website now features the HTC Trophy and is available to purchase at full retail price with month-to-month ($429.99), or on a two year contract ($199.99). Currently there is a $50 mail-in rebate on the contract pricing. Today is the 26th, which is bang on target with the finalized date and completes the agonizing journey we've all been on (see our past coverage of the Verizon Trophy).

What's more is the availability of overnight shipping, so you can receive your long-awaited Trophy the next day. We previously mentioned that there would be a free Xbox 360 game included as a deal sweetener (and compensation for the long wait), which is online and ready to be taken advantage of at the promotion page (be sure to have your MEID number at hand). Act quickly, the offer is only valid until June 30th.

Via: WMPU

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3 years ago

Update: Official WPCentral app for Windows Phone

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For those of you anxiously awaiting our official app for Windows Phone (see previous announcement here), here's what's going on:

  1. Yesterday the app was rejected by the Marketplace (trivial logo issue)
  2. We made a few lil' changes and just re-submitted (not bad for 24 hrs)
  3. We're now awaiting again for approval, anywhere from 2-5 days

So sorry for the delay, but alas, that's what happens sometimes with this Marketplace. The good news is you're getting v1.1 of the app, which due to the extra time, our awesome developer Jay Bennett was able to compile. This build includes some fixes for bugs we found as well as some speed optimization, meaning the version you'll be getting is even more rigorously tested (we had some more beta testers on board).

Stay tuned as we announce when it's finally ready for download.

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3 years ago

Verizon Trophy shows up in stores; $409.99 is the full retail price

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We have word from one of our readers, Sed P, that Verizon has some HTC Trophy devices on hand in stores, as expected. The final price for the phone, no contarct is $409.99, which actually is not too bad. Otherwise, if renewing, you'll pay $199.99 pus a $50 mail-in rebate.

We've also heard from another reader Justin L., that he succesfully placed a phone order for the device a day early. So for those of you just getting home from work, you may want to give Big Red a call now, that way you can maybe have it by Friday. Now wouldn't that make a great weekend? 

Thanks, Sed P. for the pics and Justin L., for the info

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3 years ago

Multiple Nokia Windows Phones this year, all new designs?

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In an interview with Forbes, Nokia's Jo Harlow, head of Smart Devices within the company, has some positive and interesting things to say about the scheduling of Nokia Windows Phones.

While earlier statements by Nokia CEO Elop said they were trying to get "a" device by 2011 out the door and that we would see a "portfolio" of devices in 2012, it looks like Nokia is slightly ahead of schedule. This was hinted at yesterday when Microsoft announced that Nokia would be launching their new phones with 'Mango' on board, as opposed to some later iteration (some rumors suggested Windows Phone 8).

Luckily, Harlow had this to say on the matter:

"I’m quite pleased with our progress...Our target is absolutely still this year…and the target looks good"

More importantly, it looks like they've moved from "a" device to multiple devices with Harlow mentioning a "small portfolio" to be released in the first batch.

Finally, don't expect old Nokia hardware with Windows Phone OS on board. Despite earlier rumors that Nokia, due to time constraints, was just using the same or similar hardware for Symbian in their Windows Phones, they appear to be using completely new designs, unseen by the public:

Harlow, however, says those early renderings are “not characteristic” of the first Windows Phone devices Nokia will release. “One of the differentiations we intend to bring to the Windows Phone platform is hardware innovation,” said Harlow. “You will see that in our first devices and our future devices.”

Other little mentions are that China may get a device, speeding up CDMA distribution greatly and Nokia's interest in Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for their devices.

Update: In a similar interview with PC Magazine, Harlow said that they were looking to release a Windows Phone every three months:

"We should be launching new devices in a rhythm that might be every couple of months, every three months, something like that....We're going to keep coming with new devices in order to have something to talk about."

Source: Forbes; PC Magazine (via BusinessInsider)

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3 years ago

More detail on WP7 Web Marketplace [Updated]

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Todd Brix, the overseer of the Marketplace, just posted an article on the Windows Team Blog which goes into more depth about the web version of the Windows Phone Marketplace. This was announced yesterday, which we relayed.

The new version of the Marketplace available on the web will launch later this year along with Mango. This will, as mentioned in the previous post, bring a new platform to developers that will automatically provide them with more reach to customers without requiring the developer to do (or change) a thing -- it's all backend as expected.

There will be more placements for featured apps that will bring more noticeability and reach, ensuring developers receive more potential conversions while their app is in the spotlight. Users who browse the web version will be able to share apps and games via social media and email to contacts and friends.

Bing visual search will be re-configured too. Any end-user searching for apps and games will now be linked straight to the web Marketplace on their PC, ready to download and install. Your Live ID will be integrated so you wont have to activate a separate payment gateway in order to make a purchase. Simply click and go using card details on your account. Applications and games will be downloaded over-the-air via SMS or email.

It will also be a huge plus for anyone using a Mac who doesn't have access to the Zune software. Oh, and it looks gorgeous, thank you Metro UI.

Update: We've been contacted by Microsoft for a clarification on how the Web Marketplace would operate, ideally:

Regarding how apps are pushed to the phone OTA, we expect the vast majority of customers to install apps to the phone from Web Marketplace in a single step, using our notification service. SMS would only be used the first time if the notification service is not already turned on. This means that customers get the app on their phone with no additional steps - - no links or added engagement on the phone. There is an alternate scenario whereby customers can choose to send themselves an email with a link as we discussed, but practically speaking, we expect most people to simply let the app install in the background.

Source: Windows Team Blog Thanks goes out to Jay for the tip!

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3 years ago

AT&T's HTC HD7S - First Impressions

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AT&T's HTC HD7S - First Impressions

The FedEx Truck left a surprise at the doorstep this afternoon, the new HTC HD7S from AT&T. Out of the box, the new Windows Phone feels good in the hand and it makes a nice first impression.

The 4.3" 800x480 screen looks nice and while it may not match the vibrancy of the Samsung Focus's AMOLED screen, it's not too shabby (it's actually rather nice). The HTC HD7S weighs a smidgen heavier than the Focus and is very comparable in overall size. I think I like the rounded edges of the Focus just a little better.

The HTC HD7S will be available from AT&T on June 5th for $199.99 (after contractual discounts). In the meantime, we'll take the HD7S out for a test drive over the next few days and have a full review up on the site shortly.

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3 years ago

Tethering still missing from Mango [Updated]

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While it seems all our feature check lists were complete throughout the Mango VIP preview yesterday, there was one small function they seemed to miss - tethering. This is without doubt one of the most requested features by consumers and it seems the Windows Phone team are aware of those user who require it.

Achim Berg, corporate Vice President of Windows Phone marketing, told Pocket-lint at the VIP event in London that he regrets not being able to get tethering included into the update by the development team and mentions it was clear on the day (at the event yesterday) that many of those in the audience wanted that feature to be mentioned.

Update: Microsoft's Matt Bencke responded and gave more detail on the status of tethering on the Windows PHone blog (Thanks, @techSage)

"I appreciate your pain around tethering (using your device as a modem) as this has been something that I've used in the past. Tethering, in the past was something that we managed independently of the Mobile Operators (e.g. AT&T, Orange, Verizon). In recent years, the Mobile Operators have now taken ownership of this functionality x-all platforms (e.g. our competitors as well as us). We are continually working with them and our OEM partners to enable this functionality for our devices, but at this time there isn't an announcement that we've made in regards to rolling out this feature. Stay Tuned!"

Source: Pocket-lint, via: PocketNow

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3 years ago

Mangos are orange and "orange" is now "mango"

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When all the buzz about the latest update goes away and codename "Mango" becomes Windows Phone 7.5, will the fruity moniker be forgotten?  The developers at Microsoft say no. 

They have left a little tribute in the newest iteration of WP7.  The color scheme once known as "orange" will be called "mango" starting with version 7.5. 

No word yet on what the next major upgrade will be called, but here's to hoping we won't be sporting any "banana" themes in the future.

Source: WindowsPhoneSecrets

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3 years ago

Game Chest: Logic Games is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

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Following on the heels of OMG: Our Manic Game comes Game Chest: Logic Games, the new Xbox Live Deal of the Week. It’s down to $1.99 from the regular price of $2.99.

Logic Games contains three distinct games: chess, minesweeper, and Sudoku. Each game comes in easy, normal, and hard varieties. Chess is the star of the bunch in that it offers a weird invite-a-friend-on-PC to play option. It’s an interesting workaround to the prohibition against online play, but the invitation method is so slow and clunky, I doubt many people will use it except to earn the associated Achievement. This version of chess has no customizable settings and no local multi-player option - a glaring oversight.

Minesweeper is a love-or-hate it game. I’m sure many people out there have tried it on one platform or another, died in the first move or two, and called it quits. But I’ve always found the act of deducing which spots are safe and which have bombs to be quite enjoyable. This version’s controls could be better – I sometimes set off a bomb when I was trying to zoom in and out on the higher difficulties. Easy and Normal are good ways to kill time though.

Sudoku is a highly competent version of the Japanese puzzle game. The only video game version of Sudoku I’ve ever found truly addicting is the version Nintendo included in the Brain Age DS games. In Brain Age, gamers can select individual puzzles instead of being assigned random puzzles, and then try to beat their best times. Logic Games’ Sudoku lacks those two elements, but completing random puzzles is still decently fun.

Our review praises the Game Chest games’ progression system. Each time you complete a game, you’ll earn points. Gain enough points and you’ll level up. It takes absolutely forever to level up after a while though, making it a real chore to go for the Achievements for reaching maximum level in each game.

If you like two or more of the games included in Game Chest: Logic Games, it’s a logical purchase. The game is $1.99 for one week only. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Lync for Mango to have IM and presence, maybe not voice at launch

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With the overhaul that mobile Office is getting in Mango, word has also come down that a mobile version of Lync, the inter-office communication and VOIP system, will be made available for users in the Fall.

But which features will be on board has been a bit of mystery, until Microsoft manager Paul Bryan discussed it a bit in an interview with ZDnet:

We're still working through some of the capabilities and we don't know exactly how far we'll be able to get in this release. IM and presence are the primary features. There may be more capabilities we can connect to over time.

If you know what Lync can do, you can kind of see the future beyond the first release of the app. We definitely see IM and presence as the core capabilities of the experience.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Microsoft is juggling a lot with Mango and trying to get as much done as possible. But like all things, this v1.0 will be just the beginning of Lync for mobile and will have to go through revisions to get it up to full specs. Still, something is better than nothing and we think this will go a long way to win over corporate users. [See our hands on with Mango Office, from yesterday]

Added: Mary Jo Foley reports that Lync Online, a companion of sorts to Office 365, also won't launch with voice--making IM/presence the key features of Lync a certainty

Source: ZDNet

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3 years ago

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - Review

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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - Review

What’s the first thought that comes to mind when thinking about Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Chris Tarrent perhaps, or possibly the background music?

Either way, the game is on the Marketplace and it’s a great resemblance of the TV quiz show when it was a relatively successful hit a good decade ago, originating in 1998. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on Windows Phone 7 is an Xbox Live (achievements enabled) general quiz game which sports an easy-on-the-eye interface and features the classic music present in the shows on TV.

Continued after the break.

Pros: 
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Xbox Live Leaderboard Achievements Good UI Quick and stable Music
Cons: 
Repetitive Single function
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3 years ago

Hydro Thunder GO is now available on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone

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In all the hub-bub yesterday, we forgot to mention that Hydro Thunder GO is now available for $4.99 in the Marketplace. This is the beginning of six-weeks of must have games...

From the app description:

Blast through 12 ferocious courses with the powerboat of your choice and compete against 15 devious opponents with strategic use of your Hydro Boost power, Mighty Hull and Hydro Jump abilities. In addition to visually stunning environments and insane track layouts, the ever-changing water conditions keep the races varied and interesting.

First thoughts? Yeah, it rocks. It's a bit tricky and there's lots to master, but it's blast when you hit that ramp and fly through the air. We had no problems forking our $5 over for the game after playing it for a few minutes, that and the replay value looks high on this one, making it a decent investment.  Let us know in comments your thoughts: good, underwhelming, worth the money, etc.

And here's your complimentary lnk to the Marketplace for Hydro Thunder GO! And full trailer after the break

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