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3 years ago

Xbox Companion App coming to Windows Phone, magically controls Xbox 360

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With the news of on-demand TV content for Xbox 360 officially confirmed, Windows Phone owners might be feeling a little neglected. Don’t worry, guys, Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about us. In fact, watching TV on the 360 will be even more convenient for people with Windows Phones. That’s because Microsoft just announced the Xbox Companion App for WP7!

Ben Rudolph at the Windows Blog shares his experiences with the app:

  • "Finding Content: Just like on your Xbox, the Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows. I used it to search “Featured Content” and pulled up the X-Men: First Class.
  • Learn more about what you’re watching, listening to, or playing: Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about. And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the “cast” page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infinite road of interactive content.
  • Control & Play: Once I selected the content and hit play, the Xbox Companion flips into “controller mode” in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote."

Microsoft has been promising stronger Xbox 360 and Windows Phone integration for a long time, and now it’s finally happening. The availability of the app, provided Microsoft advertises it a little bit, should help promote Windows Phones to Xbox 360 users, which can only be good. Speaking of availability, the Xbox Companion App doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but it should materialize sometime shortly after the Fall 2011 Dashboard update, which lands in November. It will of course be free.

Make the jump after the break to see video highlights of what's coming to the Xbox consoles. Around the 1:00 mark you'll see the new Windows Phone app in action.

Source: Windows Blog

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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3 years ago

Ringtone collection building in the Forums

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One of the 500 features included in the Mango update included that ability to import custom ringtones on your Windows Phone. We've already touch on how to get the ringtones on to your Windows Phone. We've also looked at a few of the ringtone apps available on the Marketplace (Pimp my Ringtone, 1,777 Ringtones and Ringtone Maker (which isn't really a ringtone maker)).

The last piece of the puzzle, so to speak, is that a decent collection of ringtones are being gathered over in our Forums. In this discussion, you can find ringtones from Kid Rock, Dean Martin, Beastie Boys and Metallica. You can also find Homer Simpson and the theme from Rawhide.

All you need to do is download the attached file, make sure the genre is "ringtone" and import it to your Windows Phone (through the Zune software). The tone will appear in your Ringtone and Sounds settings as custom.

If you've got a favorite ringtone you'd like to share or one your looking for, feel free to join in on the Forum discussion.

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3 years ago

Mobile ad spending to surpass $1 billion in the U.S.

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For the first time ever, annual spending on mobile advertising is expected to exceed $1 billion in the United States.  Market research firm eMarketer predicts that the total will reach somewhere around $1.23 billion by the end of the year, nearly double 2010's mark of $743 million.  EMarketer credits the immense growth to increased confidence in the medium, which has been bolstered by more bang for their investment buck in the fast-growing mobile market.  With 38% of consumers using smartphones to access the internet at least once per month, it's no wonder.

EMarketer used three kinds of advertising for their calculation: display ads, search ads and message-based ads.  While spending on display advertising (rich media, banners) saw a big jump from $202 million to $376 million, it is video ads that skyrocketed 100% from $28 million to $56 million.  Messaging-based ads, which make up the largest chunk of the bunch, actually saw the smallest increase in spending, from $327 million to $443 million.

$1 billion dollars is just the tip of the iceberg.  According to eMarketer's forecast, that number will nearly quadruple in the next four years to $4.4 billion in 2015.  The numbers are staggering.

Source: eMarketer; Via: Moconews

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3 years ago

Memory Cube - App Spotlight

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Memory Cube - App Spotlight

Memory games can be challenging, especially when the playing field is three dimensional. Memory Cube is a Windows Phone game that does just that.

The game follows the traditional memory/match game style. You have a series of symbols, letters or numbers concealed beneath tiles that form a three-dimensional cube. Your job is to identify the matching tiles as quickly as possible. It's hard enough to find matching tiles on a two-dimensional board but with Memory Cube, you not only have to remember what is hidden beneath which tile but also which side of the cube the tile is located.

Memory Cube has thirty levels of play and includes ten different types of images. With each level the cube gets large and more challenging. All in all, if you like memory games Memory Cube is worth checking out.

There is a free trial available for Memory Cube that is humbling enough in its own right. The full version will run you $1.29 and you can find Memory Cube here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace.

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3 years ago

LG LS831 passes FCC

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LG LS831 passes FCC

We first caught wind of the LG LS831 the last week of August when it made an appearance on WP Bench and I'm A WP7, but we didn't know anything about it.  Well, this mystery phone has just made it past the FCC and it looks like it's a CDMA phone with WP7.5 on it.  The LS831 was tested in the Baltimore area and could be coming to Sprint or Verizon in the near future.  It has also popped up on WP Bench again:

It's good to see some handsets slated for the CDMA carriers, as it looked like Windows Phone was being shown much love.

Source: BlogOfMobile; Via: Nanapho

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3 years ago

Full House Poker updated to Mango

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Full House Poker updated to Mango

Good news for players and especially those who managed to grab this title when it was the Xbox Live Deal of the Week not so long ago. Full House Poker has been updated to Mango, which brings the usual goodness with fast-app switching and more. But the interesting feature that's now included is unlockable ringtone achievements, which is something we haven't seen yet in a game on Windows Phone.

You can download Full House Poker from the Marketplace for $2.99, be sure to check out our full review!

Thanks Will for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Cocktail Flow updated to Mango v3.4

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Cocktail Flow updated to Mango v3.4

Cocktail Flow is an app that allows users to find and try new cocktails with combinations of alcoholic beverages. You can input into the app what ingredients you have in your bar and cocktails are then identified that can be created for any event or occasion. We covered the app just before MIX'11 when a pack of cocktails named after Microsoft products was released.

We're now back reporting on version 3.4, which has just been pushed out. This update brings Mango goodness including pinnable tiles for individual recipes, live tile, push notifications and performance improvements. Cocktails can also now be rated and users can upload photos to the database. The app is continuously updated with new recipes being added and is often cited as the pinnacle of Windows Phone app design.

You can download Cotail Flow from the Marketplace for $2.99. Thanks Argenys for the tip!

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3 years ago

DeepShining custom HD7 Mango ROM

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DeepShining custom HD7 Mango ROM

Should you have a spare HTC HD7 at hand and feel extraordinarily adventurous, this is an interesting custom ROM for you. DeepShining claims to be the first ROM to feature nine different themes and lockscreen wallpapers with the addition of a black Nokia accent. Highlighted details and features:

  • Based on Shipped Mango ROM: HTC Europe 4.05.401.02 build 7.10.7720.68
  • Radio 5.69.09.29a
  • 1st Worldwide ROM with 9 Themes and 9 Lockscreen Custom Wallpapers plus Black Nokia Accent.
  • Dev/Introp Chevron unlocked
  • XBmod Certificates
  • Unlock Hidden option in ease of access settings
  • Some minor reg Tweaks
  • OEM apps from HTC Omega like HTC Hub, Notes, Attentive phone, HTC Location and HTC Connected Media

Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility for damaged handsets - use this at your own will. For more information, screenshots and flashing requirements/steps head on over to the DeepShining thread at the XDA Developers forum (link below).

Source: XDA Developers forum, thanks Joaquim for the tip!

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3 years ago

onePlayer - App Spotlight

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onePlayer - App Spotlight

A good number of households have a media server, whether it be a small setup with Windows Media Center on a desktop or a small dedicated server. The average user enjoys streaming movies, music and photos. Windows 7 performs well with the Xbox 360, but what about Windows Phone 7? This is where onePlayer comes in.

onePlayer allows the user to stream content (DLNA) to and from their Windows Phone, whether it be to a compatible TV, home server, media centre, etc. The app sports directory browsing, playlist creation and device discovery on the WiFi network.

Some highlighted features:

  • Stream pictures to the TV or PC.
  • Stream music (MP3) to your home stereo.
  • Stream and control video to the TV.
  • Listen your music on your windows phone, supporting background streaming.
  • Browse DLNA servers.
  • Mango/7.5 compatible

You can download onePlayer from the Marketplace for $1.99 (£1.49) with a free trial.

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3 years ago

Digitec pushing Windows Phone in Switzerland

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We've received a tip that Digitec, a major online retailer in Switzerland, appears to be pushing Windows Phone quite hard according to their mobile prospect for October 2011. Giving two pages (at the front of the prospect) to the HTC Radar and Samsung Omnia W, which both look superb. 

The HTC Titan is also available should you dive into the carrier section (page 16 onwards). It's also featured on the front cover of the prospect itself, fantastic to see a retailer providing Windows Phone some room for promotion.

Source: Digitec, thanks William for the tip!

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3 years ago

WhatsApp hits v1.2 for minor cosmetic changes, landscape support

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Speaking of updates, WhatsApp not only updated their app description to reflect a future subscription fee, but also bumped the app to v1.2. So are we finally getting video support? Group chat? How about some avatars in the conversation? Nope.

Instead, under Favorites now, they ditched the letter-picker system, at least if you only have a few contacts. This makes Favorites much more streamlined. It also looks like the Task bar has been thinned out, giving more room on the main screens. Finally you get a  Favorites refresh button under Settings, which is good if you want to make sure you have all of the latest contacts showing.

Update: We've also noticed it now thankfully has landscape support for typing and better auto-correct. HTC Arrive and LG Quantum users, rejoice! (*Also note, you're not crazy--it will still say v1.1 under the About section as the developers forgot to update that part).

Grab it here in the Marketplace (Zune link) or the Web Marketplace.

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3 years ago

WhatsApp quietly updates app description: First year free, $1.99 per year thereafter

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WhatsApp made its first big debut a few weeks ago and while the app is still missing a bunch of features, over all it works quite well on Windows Phone (nicer looking than the BlackBerry app at least).

Well, the other shoe has dropped as it looks like WhatsApp will charge for their services. Cost? A paltry $1.99 per year with the first year free. Now, before we all get in a hub-bub, this just makes the Windows Phone app on par with the other platforms (we know the BlackBerry version charges the exact same). And lets face it, if you're using the app regularly $2 a year won't kill you.

Still, consider yourself warned. You have 12 months to get save up for the big day. Thanks, Aljoša, for the tip

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3 years ago

iHeartRadio goes to v3.0 and is ready for Mango

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Good news for those of you who use iHeartRadio, that radio-streaming app featuring "over 750 of America's favorite local radio stations", as it's now Mangofied. The app received quite a few new features and fixes including:

  • Background Audio Player
  • Live Station Tile To Start Page
  • Fast Application Switching Support
  • Facebook Fixes
  • Link to Feedback Page

We've seen a similar update with Slacker Radio recently and if Mango has done one thing right, it was making background audio and multiple Live Tiles an option for developers. Radio apps like these certainly show why Mango is such a great update. You can pick up iHeartRadio for free here (Web Marketplace) and check out hands-on video from late 2010 to see it in action. Thanks, ShipWreck, for the tip!

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3 years ago

AT&T Samsung Focus S coming October 11th?

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AT&T Samsung Focus S coming October 11th?

We've seen the Radar 4G on T-Mobile get a date and now we may, we stress may, have a date for the much coveted Samsung Focus S: October 11th.

Yikes, that's just days away if true. The date comes from InfoTech who is saying that the device will be "released at the CTIA wireless association exhibition on October 11 in San Diego" which is certainly not the craziest thing we've heard. In fact, kicking it off at CTIA makes total sense for Samsung as they can get plenty of press coverage (and yes, we'll have someone there from our Smartphone Experts community there to check it out).

Now, just because Samsung shows off the Focus S at CTIA, we're not sure that means it'll be available for us to buy that day too. So we're more apt to say it gets announced with a release soon thereafter. Either way, we'll be on the ground to cover anything if it happens. But seeing as this bad boy has cleared the FCC already, there really is no reason for AT&T to wait.

Update: We've been tipped that the phone will be available the first week of November in retail. (Thanks, Jason)

Thanks, XboxOmac, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Core77 hosts "Fast Track to the Mobile App Contest" for aspiring designers

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Core77, an industrial design and development magazine out of New York City, has teamed up with the Windows Phone 7 people at Microsoft to host a new contest for the WP7 developer community. It's targetted at young and aspiring designers that are looking to get their portfolio moving, show off their design skills and even get their app ideas developed by those experienced with the platform.

The contest, called Fast Track to the Mobile App, beckons app designers from all walks of life and regions to put their skills to the test and compete for some pretty decent prizes. 130 winners of the contest will win prizes that include:

  • Free Windows Phones
  • XBox 360 (with Kinect)
  • 1-year App-Hub subscriptions
  • App Development Deal (with revenue sharing options) to bring your design to life

For developers and designers that are already well established in the field, this might not be the best contest to look into. But if you have ideas for an app and can design one to look better than other entries, you could win some pretty cool stuff, not to mention get an app put in the catalog with your name on it. Want more details? Hit the link below to get the full scoop on how to enter, and win, this contest.

Source: Core77 Contest Details

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