3 years ago
Windows Phone Game Review: Duudle
3 years ago
Kinect Star Wars App now available and it'll surprise you
Kinect Star Wars for your Xbox 360 was released just a short while ago and yesterday the Kinect Star Wars app for your Windows Phone hit the Windows Phone Marketplace. And it's not what you think.
You may be thinking that the Kinect Star Wars app turns your Windows Phone into a light saber or monitors your progress in the Xbox 360 game. Nope.
The Kinect Star Wars app is a social network app that will pull feeds from your Facebook and Twitter accounts, giving your social networking a Star Wars feel. You also have a Kinect feed full of posts from your favorite Star Wars characters.
On each of the Twitter and Facebook pages, you have button controls to post, view your profile, search and view the Kinect Star Wars Xbox 360 website. The profile pages breaks down your Twitter account rather nicely with pages for your account details, your tweets, mentions, messages, favorites and following/followers lists. You do have live tile support to pin your profile to your Windows Phone Start Screen.
When viewing your Twitter or Facebook pages, the Kinect Star Wars app supports horizontal view but in its own special way. We won't spoil the surprise but if you're in the mood for Star Wars, the landscape view won't disappoint.
The Kinect Star Wars app is a free app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
3 years ago
Nokia readies Lumia 710 Tango OS update for China
Look what just popped up on Nokia's Care Suite servers. Why it's Windows Phone 7.5 Consumer Release (CR) 3 aka "Tango" for the Nokia Lumia 710 in China. Specifically the ROM build is 1600.3029.8773.12111 where the "8773" denotes the OS version and the "12111" is the firmware build.
Windows Phone OS 8773 is the "gold" version of Tango which adds support for 256 MB devices, MMS enhancements and other smaller, under the hood changes. A lot of phones today are sporting Mango CR1 (8107) or Mango CR2 (8112) and AT&T is expected to rollout CR3 (8773+) for its devices in the future.
With the addition of this ROM on Nokia's servers it's a safe bet that those with a Lumia 710 in China will be seeing an update notification from Zune Desktop in the next few days.
Of course the big question is can you flash this to your Lumia 710 if you're using Nokia Care Suite (much like the 8107 update)? Technically, yes, you can but seeing as this is a ROM for China we're not too sure on what language packs are on board. It's very likely English is there but if you'll be taking a risk as downgrading a ROM can be difficult.
We'll keep an ear out if this ROM starts to pushed out to user or if you're a risk-taker, whether you can flash it yourself (and void your warranty).
Thanks, @Arktronic, for the tip
3 years ago
My Verizon Mobile receives a makeover that goes horribly wrong
The My Verizon Mobile app has received a makeover, but not the type of makeover that improves visual appeal. With the recent Verizon HTC Trophy update, which was warmly welcomed, the carrier also rolled out an update to their Windows Phone app. Should you enter the app you might be surprised by what you're presented with.
As one can see in the above image, something's gone terribly wrong. The reviews on the Marketplace are heading downhill as one could imagine, so if you're a frequent user and enjoy an aesthetically pleasing experience, we advise you stay away from the app update.
3 years ago
Moody's cuts Nokia's debt rating to lowest investment level
Today, credit-rating agency Moody's, cut Nokia Oyj's debt rating to the lowest investment-grade level. This comes on the heels of Nokia's announcement last week that they would be posting a 3 percent loss this quarter and would likely see a loss in Q2 as well. Citing deteriorating sales of low-end phones, Moody's dropped Nokia's debt rating one step, to Baa3, with a negative outlook, which means that the rating could be lowered even further, if things don't pick up for the Finnish manufacturer. Moody's decision affects an estimated $5.2 billion in debt and puts their rating more in line with those of Standard & Poor and Fitch, who were much quicker to lower their ratings.
“Moody’s believes that the structural change facing Nokia’s Mobile Phones segment may not be easy to address, such as the market share gains recorded by makers of very low-end phones or new promotions by Chinese carriers,” Moody’s analyst Wolfgang Draack said in the statement.
The change in Nokia's rating has obviously affected the company's stock. Shares have been trading down 2.4% in Helsinki and credit-default swaps jumped to a record-high 516, up from 354 at the beginning of April.
In a press release that was put out soon after the Moody's announcement, Nokia Executive Vice President and CFO, Timo Ihamuotila, said that “Nokia is quickly taking action. Nokia will continue to increase its focus on lowering the company's cost structure, improving cash flow and maintaining a strong financial position.” Nokia also tried to reassure people by noting that Nokia has approximately 4.9 billion Euros ($6.4 billion) in cash reserves.
Nokia's Lumia line of Windows Phone devices is selling well, especially the wildly popular Lumia 900, which has seen strong sales. Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, has said that he and his mates continues "to increase the clock speed of the company." Nokia is slated to break ground on a new factory in Vietnam, which is expected to start churning out low-end phones in 2013, a year behind schedule due to stalled negotiations with the Vietnamese government.
Source: Moody's, Nokia; Via: Bloomberg
3 years ago
Samsung's ChatON instant messaging service may come to Windows Phone
As if the world needs yet another instant messaging service, last year Samsung introduced their ChatON app on Android which now boats a few hundred thousand users. The app is nothing too remarkable as it allows group messaging, photo, music and location sharing and the usual other chat tidbits you expect from such a service.
In January, Samsung released a version for iOS and subsequently one for RIM's Blackberry too. There was also mention from a TNW article that a version for "Windows Mobile" (sic) was in the works as well. Later, Samsung somewhat denied this but now it appears that Sammy may indeed have something for Windows Phone.
From the Italian version of the website for ChatON, Samsung now list "Windows Mobile" under app availability with it currently grayed out indicating future support (even if they have the platform name wrong).
Other than that we have very little information as to when it will come and what features it will have (and to be honest, we're finding it a little hard to get excited over this). On the other hand, when every other platform has it and you're the last one who doesn't, it certainly doesn't hurt us to be included too.
Thanks, iMarc90 (Twitter), for the tip!
3 years ago
Microsoft Translator updated to version 2.0
Microsoft has recently updated the official Bing Translator app for Windows Phone, which reportedly adds functionality enabling users to translate from speech, via the camera or through keyboard input. With the camera, Translator allows users to simply capture a sign, menu, newspaper or any printed text on their Windows Phone for instant translations.
Language and phrase books can be downloaded within the app for offline usage, especially handy for when traveling abroad in supported countries (voice translations still require data connectivity). A variety of languages are available and results are fairly accurate. The in-app translators can be pinned to the home screen for convenient access when requiring fast results.
The interface is straight forward and functions are available straight from the main menu, there's little clutter in the Translator app. We've not touched on the Translator offering from Microsoft since the Windows Mobile days, but overall, it's not too shabby for a free app.
You can download Microsoft's Translator from the Marketplace for free.
Thanks Alexander for the heads up!
3 years ago
Viber for Windows Phone coming in the next week or two
Viber has been busy creating an app for Windows Phone, and we previously looked at an early 2012 release timeframe. Now we're stuck in the middle of early 2012 and it's time for the community to see some light at the end of the tunnel. If you're not familiar with Viber (official website), it's a VoIP service that's used by millions of Android and iPhone owners.
In response to an email inquiry from a Windows Phone enthusiast, Viber had the the following to share:
You will be pleased to know that Viber for WP7 is coming very soon. Please stay tuned within the following week. We will be announcing its publication, system req. and more, at that time.
We'll keep our eyes open and ears tuned for any further details on an imminent release for Viber. It'll be positive to see yet another popular means of communication for Windows Phone.
Via: WMPU; thanks Mark for the tip!
3 years ago
Angry Birds and six other Xbox Live games on Windows Phone get permanent price drops
Remember that huge Easter sale on Xbox Live titles we were so enthusiastic about a short time ago? It took a little while to receive confirmation on this, but we’ve learned that the seven featured games have permanently dropped in price to 99 cents. That’s good news to Windows Phone gamers as it means we have a new (and more competitive) price point for games!
The seven games that dropped in price from $2.99 to 99 cents:
Wondering what prompted the change in prices? The obvious answer is that Microsoft timed the drops in accordance with the release of the Nokia Lumia 900 (review). With the much-vaunted handset producing a flood of new Windows Phone owners and potential gamers, the big MS probably thought it important for these new customers to be able to pick up a few Xbox Live games on the cheap. Angry Birds in particular really needed to come down in price due to it being offered for free on a few other platforms already. In case the hubbub over Rovio passing on bringing Angry Birds in Space to Windows Phone (and their subsequent one-eighty) didn’t cue you in, it’s very important that the masses have their Angry Birds.
In Angry Birds’ case, platform equity is most likely reason for a price drop. And certainly most of the seven games cost 99 cents on iPhone as well – but not all. De Blob Revolution actually sells for $2.99 on iTunes at present. Something tells me it simply wasn’t a hot seller on Windows Phone, perhaps due to the weakness of the De Blob brand or the game’s lack of post-release updates. As for Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp, why that’s a Windows Phone exclusive! But the game is a bit content-light, a factor that may have led to its price shedding a few dollars.
Wondering whether the game makers had any say in their titles’ new prices? “We had the opportunity to drop our existing games to the new price point, so we decided to do so and test the water, so to speak,” one Xbox Live developer told WPCentral. The same game maker expects to drop the price of another title in the future.
The new price offers advantages to everyone involved. Developers now have a little more control in the pricing of their games, and gamers can pick up titles more affordably. Of course, for a game to be more profitable in the 99 cent range than $2.99, it needs to sell over three times as many copies. Initially, the Windows Phone user base simply wasn’t large enough to sustain such low prices. Microsoft could have still launched with the sub-dollar price, but games would have been loss leaders until more people picked up handsets. Now that Nokia is fully onboard and actively advertising the Lumia 900, the user base has either grown enough or is expected to grow enough in short order to make lower game prices viable.
How many of these seven games have you picked up since they got cheaper, dear readers?
3 years ago
Windows Phone Basics: The People Hub
3 years ago
London Travel Live for Windows Phone updated with more functionality
Should you live in (or be simply visiting) London there are a number of useful Windows Phone apps out there to aid you while using public transport. We've covered London Travel before but here's London Travel Live, which has just been updated to version 3.1. London Travel Live goes further than similar apps on the Marketplace by sporting multiple Oyster card support, Barclays Cycle Hire stand statuses, and more.
A London Underground map is available within the app that clearly shows what zone stations are located in, as well as what lines connect to them. Live departure boards as well as live tiles are supported, with majority of information found in the app available offline (perfect for when actually traveling on the underground where signal is a myth). Some of the features present in London Travel Live (prior to the recent update):
Tube status live tile updated every 15 mins (not one hour like other apps).
Tube status toast notifications.
Oyster balance and season ticket details.
Live tube departure boards.
Tube Station facilities.
Tube map and line maps.
Most information available offline.
So what's new in version 3.1?
Oyster card live tile.
Integrated TFL Journey Planner (styling and functionality improvements).
Bus routes and bus stop information.
Pin your bus route or bus stop to the start.
Barclays Cycle Hire information.
Pin cycle stations to the start.
Live traffic map.
Pin the tube map to the start for quick access.
Find your nearest tube stations and bus stops.
If you're a frequent "Big Smoke" commuter, or even if you're just visiting for the day to Hamley's, you'll want to check this app out for the latest engineering works / status updates and for navigational aid. You can download London Travel Live from the Marketplace for £0.99.
3 years ago
Monday Brief: HTC One V, Side-loading, Woz gets a Lumia 900, Instagram ownership and Pivot lives on!
3 years ago
Unofficial Dropbox app for Windows Phone now allows automatic camera uploads
We last wrote about Boxfiles for Dropbox back in December. The app comes into two flavors (a free version and a paid one) and has undergone numerous updates since then.
The latest just hit the Marketplace and it brings a really neat feature that many of you may enjoy: automatic camera uploads to your Dropbox account.
This is very useful and desirable because although Windows Phone can do this for Skydrive, it re-scales images automatically leaving you with a "just good enough for the web" sized memory. That's a problem though if, like us, you want to back up your photos to "the cloud" but at their full resolution. Even more so if you have a device like the Titan II with a 16MP camera and photos averaging around 2MB in size.
Version 3.6 of Boxfiles brings this feature but we should point out that it's not entirely 100% automatic meaning you snap a shot and off it goes. Instead you do need to open the app for a few seconds as it will scan your camera directory on the phone and upload and new pics to your Dropbox account.
But once the queuing takes place (usually just a few seconds) you can close the app as it will upload the photos in the background, so you don't need to babysit the app. It's basically a one-touch app to upload all your latest camera shots.
You can also choose a specific directory (or create a new one) to upload the photos too and pick if you want WiFi-only or both WiFi/Cellular data usage. Our favorite part though is how it allows you to browse your photos via thumbnails in addition to just the obscure files-names. Finally, Boxfiles also integrates with your Skydrive account giving you the choice to manage those files from within the app. A nice bonus.
So far only the paid version has been bumped with this feature though we imagine the free one will get it at some point too. What can we say? Of all the Dropbox apps on the Marketplace, we happen to like this one the most and this new auto-upload features makes backing up and sharing our pics easier.
Pick up Boxfiles for Dropbox here in the Marketplace for $1.29 with a free trial.
Update: For those of you in Europe, the app is currently in certification so you'll have the update within a few days. Sit tight.
3 years ago
Windows Phone Summary of the Week: April 9 - April 15 2012
It has been an extremely busy week with Windows Phone so let's jump straight into it with episode 140 of the WPCentral Podcast. Dan and Jay are joined by George Ponder for an in-depth discussion about photography the Lumia 900 and TITAN II. We've kicked off our set of handy tutorials for new Windows Phone owners. You can find articles including a walkthrough of the Pictures Hub over at our tips section. Also, our forum also sports insightful discussions for new owners.
Should you have a few minutes of your time to spare, there are a number of developers who are in need of beta testers for their apps. The WPCentral forum is a perfect place for developers to recruit Windows Phone users who are up for becoming beta testers, so be sure to head on over and sign up to help the community and platform grow.
3 years ago
Cyan Lumia 900 gets backordered on Amazon Wireless but still holds top spots
We reported yesterday that AT&T had listed both the black and cyan Lumia 900's as backordered on their site and it was increasingly harder to find them in the stores (though we have heard that certain stores still have stock). However, we were a bit cautious to suggest that it was because the Lumias were selling out due to popularity. After all there was a good chance stock was being pulled to be re-flashed with the new firmware to fix those data-connection issues.
While we're still not prepared to call the Lumia 900 a best-seller without firm numbers, there is seemingly more good news. On Amazon Wireless, the matte-black Lumia 900 has been holding the #1 spot under "AT&T phones with contracts" for one week now with the cyan variant close behind at number two. Just as impressive, the matte-black Lumia 900 has the #1 spot across all carriers. Yowza.
What's more, the cyan version is now listed as back-ordered although the matte-black is listed as still available.
That tells us a couple of things: the backorder business probably really is due to stock shortage and not just phones being pulled for re-flashing of firmware, otherwise we'd expect the matte black variant to also become back-ordered. The second is that the cyan version most likely has less stock available as compared to the matte-black. The cyan version has constantly trailed matte-black in the number two spot (and lower) over the last few days but it's the one listed as backordered.
That's probably not too surprising as the color choices of the Lumias have always caused delays (and last we heard the glossy-white Lumia 900 was an in-store purchase only, it will be curious to see if that holds next Sunday when it is released).
Either way, it at least looks good that the Lumia 900 has been number #1 and #2 on Amazon Wireless for one week. Those stats are updated hourly, not daily, which means it's a fairly good indicator of popularity. Backorder status, while frustrating, only adds to that perception (though for all we know, Nokia only had limited stock anyway).
With both phones holding 5 out of 5 stars from 250 reviews, user-satisfaction seems extraordinarily high as there's not a single device in the top ten that has those stats. Even the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket (4G LTE version) is sitting at #7 (black) and #23 (white) which is fascinating for such a popular line of Android phones.
Sadly, the much-overlooked HTC Titan II, a phone which we love here at WPCentral, is sitting at a lowly #26. An obvious casualty of the Nokia-AT&T media saturation of the Lumia 900.
Source: Amazon Wireless, Top selling; Thanks, Brian 3, for the tip
Show More Headlines