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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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3 years ago

Media Remote updated to v1.1

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Media Remote updated to v1.1

Media Remote is a Spotify controller for your Windows Phone and it has recently been updated to bring a few new features to the app. Media Remote is compatible with all types of Spotify Accounts. Application controls cover play, pause, volume level, and play next/previous tracks.

The new features that are included in the version 1.1 update include:

  • Search for artists, albums and tracks to play
  • Information pages about albums (Wiki-information from Last.fm)
  • As well as several performance bug fixes

Media Remote is a free application and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson still has cold feet about Windows Phone 7

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Sony Ericsson, once named as a key partner for Windows Phone 7 and who even had a prototype in the works, still does not have any immediate plans to use Redmond's latest OS in their phones. The one caveat is this: if the OS become big, they will jump in the game.

Speaking at Sony Ericsson’s annual Business Innovations Forum at Stanford recently, Jan Uddenfeldt, chief technology officer and head of Sony Ericsson Silicon Valley gave his latest remarks on Android and Windows Phone. According to Venture Beat:

While Android is the main focus of the company, it will still have a door open for Windows Phone 7. But it won’t be making any products if the operating system doesn’t take off, Uddenfeldt said. (It did previously manufacture phones with Windows Mobile OS.

Should we be upset? In theory, it'd be nice to have another OEM at the table, bringing some innovation and unique designs forward. However, the company to do that is not Sony Ericsson, who is doing so badly in smartphones these days, we really have nothing else to say on the matter except "good luck with Android!".

Source: Venture Beat; via MobileTechWorld

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3 years ago

Verizon Trophy for the 19th & now with free Xbox game? [Rumor]

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So obviously the 12th has come and gone and there's still a ton of signs that the Verizon Trophy is afoot. We know Best Buy's were getting them, employees trained...heck, you know the history and still a no-go. Still, once Microsoft/Verizon pulled those Xbox gamer pics & themes, we knew it didn't look too good.

But with May 24th looming, our bet is Verizon would like to have the phone out before that event (though, missing CTIA in March and MIX11 in April didn't stop them either). WPCentral forum member Aog, who has multiple accounts with Verizon, received a call back today from a Verizon rep--so right there your warning lights should go off--and they claim 19th is the new target date:

"VZW rep called back today. Said trophy was releasing May 19th with a voucher for a free xbox game that can be played on xbox and phone."

Yeah, we hate playing this game too, but we know you Verizon folk want anything to hang on to, even if they are unicorn dreams and fairy musings. Still, like the other release targets, this is very plausible as we know big Red has all their pins lined up here.

Oh and that free Xbox game for the 360/phone--Full House Poker or Ilomilo? We're leaning towards the former. And we're putting that under "plausible" since Verizon does have an Xbox theme/gamer pic tie-in. Anyways, join us in the forums and vent or conspiracy-theorize away.

Source: WPCentral forums (Aog); Thanks, peinao, for the heads up

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3 years ago

IM+ beta will be public, more details soon

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Besides apps like Trapster, the other big program everyone is waiting for is ShapeService's IM+ which we know is in the works. We heard January/February, then April and here we are in May and still nothing yet. Well, good news is we're almost there.

Dear WP7 users! Thank you so much for your interest to be the first to try IM+ on WP7 platform!

We're sorry for the delay, the development for this platform takes a bit longer than we expected. Anyway, good news for today: the beta testing will be public. However due to technical restrictions you will need the Developer' phone to participate in beta testing. More details on beta will be announced next week

So good news for us with dev devices as it looks like we'll be able to join the pre-party. The bad news is it's still in development, which means we're at least 30-60 days off from Marketplace release. But hey, at least it still exists!

Source: IM+ Facebook; Thanks, Alan P, for the tip!

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3 years ago

The secret behind Windows Phone code names

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In a live Webcast today hosted by ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley from All About Microsoft gave an excellent presentation on the 'past, present and future' of Windows Phone, including what she thinks will happen with Windows Phone 8 aka 'Apollo'.

One interesting tidbit that she mentioned was in regards to those code names--specifically that they will all end in 'o' e.g. NoDo, Apollo, etc. Why such an odd requirement? We have no idea, but we can expect more 'o' names as Microsoft churns out more updates over the next few years.

So file that under your technically useless but still interesting Windows Phone news of the day.

Edit: Well, we're not as sharp as we used to be. Looks like Microsoft's Joe Belfiore is the one who revealed this info and we missed it. Watch here at 5:38. Thanks, MCgee is comments

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3 years ago

TVShow goes to v2.0, gets major overhaul [Video]

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We first looked at TVShow 1.0 back in March. The app was coded in 30 hours by Rudy Huyn and we walked away impressed.

Now that he's had more than 30 hours to work on the app, he's released 2.0 and wow, is it impressive. The UI has been modified, many more options added (including a customizable live tile), social networking, YouTube and even the ability to choose those awesome backgrounds from your favorite show:

  • Get a quick overview of the all the upcoming episodes for all of your favorite shows
  • Get synopsis, screen captures, rates, news, subtitles, youtube videos and recaps for each episodes
  • Mark seen and unseen episodes
  • be notified right before a new episode of your favorite TV Shows aired even if the app is not launched.
  • Share comments with friends on facebook/twitter and with other users
  • offline mode with cache feature for pictures
  • rate episodes
  • Use your phone as a remote screen for subtitles
  • translation feature for recaps and summaries
  • for U.S. residents only: adjust air date/times of U.S. tv shows to your local time zone

Check out the video above as we give a tour of the features. We're throwing this up there with '4th & Mayor', 'Rowi', 'Amazon.com' as must-have apps for your phone. Truly some exceptional development by Huyn. The app fetches for $0.99 in the Marketplace here that has a fully-functional trial e.g. it's like the old 'lite' version.

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3 years ago

TapSplosion 2.0 hits Marketplace, now has Achievements

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In a surprising approval by Microsoft, TapSplosion 2.0 just became available in the Marketplace. Why surprising? The developer wanted to add a bunch of Achievements to the game but was worried Microsoft may consider that term 'exclusive' for Xbox Live titles--which is not too far fetched--and deny approval.

Luckily, it made it through and is available in the paid version of the app (he may add it to the free version eventually, but the dev believes such things should be reserved for full editions of the game). Sure, none of the achievements count towards your Xbox Gamerscore, but it still adds a nice extra bonus to the mix for 3rd party games and something else to strive for.

You can grab TapSplosion 2.0 in the Marketplace here. There's a free trial and it goes for $1.29 full.

Source: 1HouraDay

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3 years ago

London Bikes hits the Marketplace

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London Bikes hits the Marketplace

Kalezo has released London Bikes over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that helps you find the nearest bike station in the London area. For those not familiar with bike stations, in the broadest sense, a bike station is similar to an Interstate Rest Area. The stations offer bathrooms, shelter, food/beverages, air pumps and other amenities to help those who bicycle about London.

London Bikes utilizes your Windows Phone locations services and Bing Maps to where the available stations are located, mark stations as your favourite, as well as turn by turn directions to your station of choice.

London Bikes is a free application and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Update: Just got word from the developer that confirms the comments that London Bikes does deal with the public bike rental scheme (Barclays Hire Cycle).

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3 years ago

LazyWorm YouTube gets makeover and new features

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If you are looking for a good YouTube app for WP7, head over to XDA and check out the latest version of LazyWormApp's YouTube.  This stunning client is packed with features, including customized searching, favorites, full comment support and streaming of HQ videos over 3G and Wifi.  You can watch videos in preview form, or rotate your phone for full size.  There are a number of new features and improvements over the previous version:

New features
- Lazylist (customizable video feed)
- Author details and subscription
- Regional settings
- Recently played videos (history)

Improvements
- Subtle interface animations
- Selectable description text (Nodo only)
- Preview playback while browsing comments & author
- Usability improvements
- Bug fixes

You can download the Marketplace or from the original thread.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

The Harvest is now on sale, and Super Monkey Ball gets a price drop

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Many of us have been waiting for The Harvest to drop to its $4.99 Deal of the Week sale price. The good news, it has! You can find it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. If you’re not seeing the sale price yet, just try back a little later.

We weren’t expecting another Xbox Live game to get a price drop today. Surprisingly, Sega’s Super Monkey Ball is now $2.99, down from $4.99. This is likely a permanent price drop since The Harvest is the actual Deal of the Week.

As I’ve said before, Super Monkey Ball places players in control of one of several monkeys-inside-a-ball. Actually, you don’t control the monkey ball directly. By tilting the course itself, you can try to collect bananas and navigate the ball towards each level’s goal, all without falling off the course’s edge. This version of the game uses tilt controls exclusively for steering while the touch screen rotates the camera. The courses feature some pretty basic 3D graphics but the monkey balls themselves are 2D sprites. Mini-games, for which the Super Monkey Ball series is famous, are not present in the first mobile Super Monkey Ball. Still, the game has over 100 stages, so it should keep players busy for a good while.

Super Monkey Ball is actually a pretty fun game, with the exception of the tilt controls. It’s way too hard to make minor adjustments and move slowly, so expect to fly off the edges of levels and die a lot. Somebody needs to tell developers that hardly anybody likes tilt controls and they shouldn’t be attempted unless they are fine-tuned to perfection.

If you can stomach a few too many tilt-related deaths, pick up Super Monkey Ball here (Zune link) for $2.99. There’s also a free trial.

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3 years ago

Lushington Springs - Review

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Lushington Springs - Review

Windows Phone games that have descriptions that read, "Please Note: This game is intentionally difficult" tends to attract attention. Such is the case with Lushington Springs.

Lushington Springs is a tower defense game that will eventually throw everything at you (maybe even the kitchen sink). The story goes that Lushington Springs needs help in defending the territory from hostile attacks (as if there was friendly attacks). Terrain ranges from forests to snowy passes to deserts to urban areas.

Follow the break to find out more about this fast paced tower defense game.

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