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3 years ago

Manhattan 2020 - Review

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Manhattan 2020 - Review

Manhattan 2020 is an unique sort of game for your Windows Phone. It has a retro look to it with plenty of pixels and a very simple objective.

You play the role of a jetpack hero who is flying through a futuristic Manhattan. To help make your travels interesting, angry birds (that really look like bat - probably because of the pixels), helicopters and evil jetpackers try to mess you up.

While the game's objective sounds easy, Manhattan 2020 is a surprisingly challenging game. Jump on past the break to read more.

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3 years ago

Photoweather - Review

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3 years ago

Facebook/AIM chat, Group Messaging and more coming to Windows Phone 7.5

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Another week, another leak of Windows Mobile 7.5 ('Mango') features. Once again, the chaps at Windows Phone Dev Podcast have managed to get their hands on some screen shots of reportedly new features coming this fall to Windows Phone. And once again, if true, you won't be disappointed.

  • Windows Live Messenger, Facebook chat and AOL Instant Messenger all integrated under Messaging--and remember, we heard this is rumored to be a dual data/SMS system, making it really reliable even when your connection is not. Your presence as well as your friends are displayed in the People Hub dynamically.
  • Office 365 and Skydrive built into Office hub--'nuff said
  • Group Messaging: currently there are some nice 3rd party apps that do this, but the ability to have pre-defined groups to message to will be now native, allowing to create quick groups for Family, Work, Friends, etc. This will work for Email and SMS.
  • Artist art on Lockscreen: This is very cool, especially those with Zune HD players. What this does is pull down the Zune/Artist artwork of your current selection and plays it in a marquee/banner fashion on the screen. It currently does this on your Zune desktop/Xbox (play some music and wiat a few mins, you'll see). Evidently, in WP7.5, you can do this on your phone, making the Zune HD/Windows Phone distinction even less. This was always an awesome thing on the Zune HD, so we're glad it's being brought over.
  • Games Hub gets a facelift, including 'sync' option (potentially for online-game play). We first reported this back at MIX11, so now it's confirmed.
  • Native Checkins are coming e.g. Facebook Places. More info here.
  • Visual Voicemail will use Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP)
  • Battery saving features/options (under Settings)
  • WiFi Hotspot support, uses Network Communication and Information Systems (NCIS) technology

Not bad, not bad at all. The messaging features should be very popular as well as the other additions coming to Mango--an update that is rapidly turning into a major overhaul of the entire Windows Phone system. We expect to see more, of course, come May 24th in New York City, so make sure you join us for all the live coverage!

Source: Windows Phone Dev Podcast; Thanks, Brianna, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Fast and Furious: Adrenaline - Xbox Windows Phone Review

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With the recent theatrical release of Fast 5, we thought it would be a good time to look at Fast & Furious: Adrenaline from I-play. I’ve only seen the first Fast & Furious movie, but I gather the series revolve around street races, import and muscle cars, and incredibly wooden performances by Paul Walker. Everything that makes the films special is also in Adrenaline, with the exception of Walker’s acting (though he is sort of in the game).

Fast & Furious takes place within the same universe as the films. Dom (Vin “Iron Giant” Diesel’s character) has left Los Angeles, leaving a void of power in the illegal street racing world. It’s up to the player to join one of four rival racing crews and take over the city by racing, racing, and more racing. Yes, basically the same setup as Speed Racer, except there’s no monkey - unless you count Paul Walker!

Race past the break for our full of-actor-references review.

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3 years ago

Lunar Lander - review

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Lunar Lander - review

The Game Room series is a great way to enjoy nostalgic gaming experiences as well as try classic video games for the first time. I happily did both things while preparing for my Centipede and Pitfall! reviews. Unfortunately though, not every game stands the test of time. Some games are pretty tough to get into if you didn’t play them when they were first released. Lunar Lander is like that. Sure, it’s historically important, but I doubt many Windows Phone gamers will actually care to play it.

Lunar Lander blasted off into arcades in 1979, the year of my birth. Its arcade competition that year consisted primarily of Space Invaders (1978) and Galaxian. While those two games feature science fiction themes and aliens to blast, Lunar Lander is grounded in reality. The player pilots a lunar landing module as it descends to Earth’s moon. Death comes not from unfriendly visitors but from crashing into the landscape or even just landing too quickly – again, a more realistic setup than the competition. This is still a video game though, so players do get more chances to play until they run out of fuel.

Rocket past the break for our fuel review.

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3 years ago

Verizon Trophy pops again at Best Buy...to tease you

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3 years ago

Let's Jailbreak NoDo project begins

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Let's Jailbreak NoDo project begins

Over at the XDA Developer forums, Jaxbot (Editor for WindowsPhoneHacker and responsable for the de-hydration hack and near multi-task app switching) has started up a new project which will focus on jailbreaking post-NoDo devices and is requesting help from other members to make this become reality.

While little has arisen from the Microsoft and Chevron partnership for "mid-ground" official homebrew communiy support, many who are using WP7 with NoDo are expressing their thoughts on getting the ball rolling with unlocking their devices post-NoDo and not wait.

Source: XDA Developer Forum, via: WPSauce

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3 years ago

Official TechEd 2011 app

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Are you attending TechEd this year? Why not check out the app for TechEd '11? It allows a more personalized approach to the event and keeps you on track with your discussions, schedule and more.

It's freely available too, unlike other titles that have arisen. Be sure to have your registration details at hand as these are required upon launch.

Head on over to the Marketplace to download myTechEd.

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3 years ago

Walsh update-fix tool approved by Microsoft & released

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We've been covering the "Walshed" device situation where attempting to install the May security update failed for many users who used the work around to receive NoDo using the Chevronwp7.updater. A while back Chris posted on his blog that a fix was being approved by Microsoft. This tool has now been released and is available on his blog (link below).

Source: Chris Walsh

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3 years ago

WPCentral Scoreloop interview [Developers]

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In February, Scoreloop announced that they are bringing their cross-platform social gaming system to Windows Phone. We recently interviewed Scoreloop Product Marketing manager Raphael Weiner about the Windows Phone version’s status.

What is the current status of WP7 Scoreloop development?

Since we announced the Beta of our WP7 SDK back in February there's been a lot of interest from many developers using Scoreloop already who want to add WP7 to their roadmap. As it's a Beta there are some aspects of the Scoreloop platform that we haven't yet integrated, but developers can already use Scoreloop for leader boards, player profiles, challenges and achievements, all of which are cross-platform between WP7 versions and other platforms. So really, it's been a very positive start to our support for the WP7 OS.

What is the target launch date? 

We expect to launch the full SDK soon - most likely within a couple of months. Right now we are building as much feedback into the SDK and tools as we can.

Head past the jump for the full interview. 

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3 years ago

USA Today hits the Marketplace

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The USA Today app is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It brings the latest news stories, sports scores and weather to your Windows Phone in a nice, clean looking package.

Key features include:

  • Headline News: Browse and read stories from News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech and Travel. Stories can be shared via email, text message, Twitter, or Facebook.
  • Sports Scores: Review the latest sports scores for NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college football and college basketball. Filter college scores down to your favorite conferences.
  • Weather: Get live weather conditions (provided by AccuWeather), up-to-the minute personal radar and the five day forecast at your current location, or for a set of your favorite locations. Review national weather maps including Doppler radar, temperature and precipitation forecasts. USA Today will also utilize your phone's location services to show your current weather on the front page.
  • Pictures: Flip through the day’s best photos from news, sports, celebrities, science, travel and weather or play them back as a slideshow. Share your favorite photo galleries with friends via email.

You also have a featured called USA TODAY Snapshots where you can scan through USA TODAY Snapshots, and vote on a poll question for each. Settings are simple in that you can turn on/off location services and adjust the articles font sizes.

In just tinkering with the USA Today app for a short period, it makes a nice first impression. The app puts a lot of information at your finger tips. USA Today is a free app and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Tip of the hat to Derek for tipping us on this!

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3 years ago

First look: Package Tracker for Windows Phone [Video]

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A few months ago we reviewed Parcel Tracker for Windows Phone as a solid app for seeing where your shipments are in relation to you. A new app though is in the Marketplace called 'Package Tracker' and the UI is actually a little slicker and more refined. Only downside we found is those outside of the U.S. won't get as much use as it only has four couriers on board: FedEx, USPS, UPS and DHL.

One other great feature we forgot to mention in the video is "Carrier's Contact Info" screen, giving you quick access to their phone numbers and 1-click dialing--very smooth. Overall, we really like this app and recommend it for those needing to track their stuff. The app fetches for $0.99 and there is a free trial which is limited to tracking up to three packages at one-time, making it a basically a free app for those who don't track many parcels.  Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Showdown: Shazam Encore vs Shazam Free [Video] [Update--both apps pulled!]

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As some of you may have noticed, yesterday Shazam released two updates to their popular music ID program.

  1. Shazam (free) went to v2.0 with new features e.g. YouTube, discography, biography
  2. Shazam Encore, for $5.99, gives a "premium" experience e.g. unlimited tags, lyrics & recommendations

Some of you may have also noticed Shazam free has been pulled from the Marketplace--we're pretty sure that's a temporary problem due to the fact that the free version installed itself under Xbox Games and not applications. Obviously, that's a big problem (though quite common), so we bet it will be up in a day or two.

The next question though is this: Is Shazam Encore for $5.99 worth it?

Short answer: If you've been using the free version prior to May 11th, then you get unlimited tagging and no, Encore is not worth it. Watch the video for a more direct head to head.

Update: And like that now Shazam Encore has been pulled from the Marketplace. What's the reason? We really don't know though Windows Phone Daily speculates it's due to the negative response. Perhaps. Hopefully we'll learn more once it returns. Thanks, Derek!

Grab Encore here and the free version here, in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Microsoft's response to post-NoDo 16-bit banding issue

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Remember a while back when we covered how some people were (and still are) experiencing issues with colours on their devices after updating to Nodo? We even put in a small work around fix which required unlocking the device, unfortunately. Still, people are (and rightfully so) aggravated that images and especially gradients don't look as good as they once did.

A thread on the Microsoft forums has been slowly accumalating posts, which have been joined by a response from a Moderator and member of technical support, Aled T:

When HTC launched the HD7 and Trophy they upgraded the color depth to 32 bit, which was outside of Microsoft’s design requirements of 16bit. Microsoft implemented the design standards to help ensure the best possible and consistent experience for all customers on all Windows Phones. To continue to deliver a stable and consistent customer experience, HTC returned the devices to the 16 bit design requirements as part of the March (7.0.7390) update.

The color palette change should not make a noticeable change to most customers experience on their Windows Phone 7. Microsoft's goal is to ensure that the device is performing as optimally as possible – and as always their engineering teams continue to investigate the opportunities for future improvements.

We should remember though, back at MIX '11 we were told that Mango will address this and full 32-bit will be coming. Makes sense that the HTC devices are brought back to a reliable level until the OS is updated for improvements to be made backend. While we understand this is frustrating for most (due to Metro UI supposedly being the "sexier" interface on the market), like the current state of the updates, 32-bit will be "coming soon". Hang in until Mango, seems like it'll be a blast.

Source: Microsoft Forums, via: WMPU

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3 years ago

Microsoft and others battle Apple over "App Store"

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It's not everyday that Apple gets attacked by a handful of companies who compete in numerous markets, but it seems Microsoft, HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have filed formal applications for a declaration of invalidity against the trademarks held by Apple for "App Store" and "Appstore" with the Trade Mark office in Europe.

This is familiar ground with Microsoft, having already fought for the trademark to be denied. Whereas, not so long ago, after Amazon launched it's Android "Appstore", Apple rushed in and sued the online retailer, which was counter sued with the claim that Apple was too generic with objections to term usage.

And in my opinion, Apple are being way too generic with their claims against usage of the terms. It shouldn't be trademarked as a term since "App Store" (and "Appstore") can be used in the variety of operating systems when describing the store in which you can purchase apps. Albeit Microsoft and Google have "Marketplaces". What do you make of this nonsense?

Source: CNET

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