3 years ago
Tron and Star Wars avatar goods go on sale
One of the fun benefits of Xbox Live integration on Windows Phone 7 is that users can view and edit their avatars on the go. Some avatar items are free, while many of them cost money.
A handful of avatar goods are currently on sale for fifty percent off. These must be purchased through a PC or Mac web browser or an Xbox 360 console before equipping them to your avatar.
A couple of avatar props are also on sale. The dual lightsabers unfortunately don't work on Windows Phone 7 due to a licensing issue, but most props do.
These four items should be on sale through March 8, so grab them while you can. I’m not a fan of Tron Legacy’s foam latex suit, but I did snag those lightsabers. Do any of these catch your fancy, or would you not be caught dead paying for avatar stuff? Leave a comment and let us know.
3 years ago
Crackdown: Project Sunburst version 1.2 changelog
Last week we covered a flurry of updates for Xbox Live titles, including The Harvest, ilomilo, and iBlast Moki. We had some trouble digging up release notes for Crackdown: Project Sunburst’s version 1.2 update though. At last, the contents of the update have been revealed.
Crackdown: Project Sunburst v22.214.171.124 changelog:
- Overall connectivity is more stable and reliable.
- Fixed an issue where players who moved phones were not able to play the game.
- Fixed bugs related to Friends’ bases not scrolling or displaying properly.
- Improvements to the My Bases screen to make it more clear what things do.
- More consistent integration of player’s overall GPS settings.
- Added a FAQ link in Help and Options that links to the Facebook page.
- Numerous other small fixes.
Sounds good, right? Brace yourself… We’ve heard rumblings at the game’s Facebook page and other places that this update is causing some users to lose their save files, destroying hours of work. The Slumber Party Achievement has also become unattainable for some people, presumably forcing them to sleep by themselves, which is never fun. Project Sunburst is an innovative game, but it’s disheartening to see that after several months of release it still doesn’t work quite right.
Don’t let me scare you away from trying it out, though. Crackdown: Project Sunburst is a unique tower defense game that integrates with Bing maps to allow players to defend real world locations. Our review found the gameplay quite addictive. Buy it for $2.99 or try the demo here (opens a link to your Zune software) on the Marketplace.
Thanks to Kathy Richardson at Microsoft for the release notes.
3 years ago
Qualcomm sees promise with Nokia Windows Phones
According to Qualcomm, the Nokia Windows Phone might pay off nicely for the chip maker. Speaking at a technology conference, Qualcomm CFO Bill Keitel noted that Qualcomm is the only chip player qualified for Windows Phone 7 right now and while the company “took some lumps” for dedicating research and development to WP7, they see the Nokia deal could be promising.
“We stepped out some time ago with a major investment in high level operating system and porting to Microsoft was one of those. So we’re the first to port the Win Mobile 7 and I think we’re the only chip set provider yet today. That was a good year effort of hard work for us to get to that point. So you know, we’re hoping Nokia and Microsoft will go fast here and we’re ready to support them.”
Qualcomm had been investing 22-23% of revenues towards R&D will all mobile operating systems. This has since been scaled down to 17% of revenues, part of which included no longer dedicating a team to Symbian research. Keitel sees the investment in Windows Phone paying off big time as Nokia increases their Windows Phone volume.
3 years ago
Thurrott on WP7 'Mango' update this year: "near impossibility"
Paul Thurrott has written a nice overview of the whole NoDo/pre-NoDo update situation that has been going on for the last two weeks. While the article mostly covers old ground for our readers, there were a few bits of information that he mentioned in the story, specifically not all good things:
- Carriers blocked the 'NoDo update' - Thurrott has mentioned this previously that MS finished NoDo back in December but "several wireless carriers unceremoniously blocked the update, creating an embarrassing situation for the software giant."
- Verizon will announce the Trophy this month - we've heard this before, but is that the launch date too? Sometimes people use "announce" interchangeably with "launch" and we're not sure which Thurrott means here. We've heard an unconfirmed and skeptical rumor that the Trophy may be pushed back.
- Mango by end of 2011? Doubtful. - Microsoft themselves have stated that 'Mango' is scheduled for "later this year", with most thinking by Fall, 2011. Heck, even the leaked Dell roadmap hints at "next gen" WP7 as early as July. Thurrott is hearing it could be pushed back: "Mango will be finalized by the end of 2011, and while Microsoft recently promised to ship this release to customers by the end of the year as well, my sources tell me that schedule is a near impossibility."
All in all, two of three of those are not good news for the platform (and the Verizon bit was already known). Did a few carriers block 'NoDo'? We haven't heard that from anywhere else but it could be a possibility. We know we've heard that Dell was delaying things a bit with their hardware issues, but this is the first we've heard that some carriers blocked it. Everyone is rooting for Microsoft here to get these updates our and get the OS up to speed, but so far these updates are not progressing too well.
Update: Mary Jo Foley still thinks Mango will ship this year.
Source: Windows IT Pro
3 years ago
Samsung Focus for free on Rogers via Best Buy
While AT&T customers get the LG Quantum/HTC Surround for $0.01, it looks like the folks in Canada who are on Rogers can enjoy the Samsung Focus for free when purchased through Best Buy. Certainly a good deal for those peeps, even if you have to commit to a ghastly three-year contract (those still blow our minds--imagine what a smartphone will look like in 3 years?).
Of course, some users may want to wait for a few days till the Dell Venue Pro hits on that same carrier...
3 years ago
Nielsen survey: Windows Phone/Mobile at 10% in U.S.
Looks like all is not doom and gloom with Windows Phone 7. While there have been plenty of surveys noting that the OS is not catching on as fast, Microsoft has always taken the position that this is a marathon, not a race and that eventually the OS will break through.
According to a new Nielsen survey, Microsoft's mobile OS's (Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile) command 10% of the market share. This is actually quite a jump, if accurate, from the oft-cited 6% number that we've seen in other surveys. The survey looks at the last three months of data and has Android at 29% and Apple, RIM tied at 27%. Unfortunately we don't know the exact breakdown between Mobile/Phone 7, but we shudder to think that WM has made a comeback of late and that WP7 is more than 2%, as the NPD survey shows.
Getting back to Windows, Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, had nothing but positive things to say. According to Sci-Tech Today, he praised Windows Phone 7's differentiation and product integration but suggested they still need to "...close the feature gap, offer more exclusive capabilities, work with partners to deliver hardware with better differentiation, and leverage its extensive experience in driving developer communities to increase its app offerings." Meanwhile, Al Hilwa, director of applications development software at IDC lauded Microsoft's Marketplace both in terms of app buildup and quality of apps, suggesting it is one of the most successful launches to date. He also mentioned how we won't see the full power of Microsoft till the next version of Windows, which seeks full integration across product lines:
Most importantly, the full weight of the ecosystem will probably not come to bear on this until Windows PCs themselves are brought into alignment with this when Windows for ARM ships, and some viable Microsoft-based tablets are in the market.
That we agree with too, even if it is nearly 2 years out. Regardless, it's nice to see both that 10% number and various industry analysts bullish on Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft's plans.
Source: Nielsen, NPD, IDC; via Sci-Tech Today
3 years ago
LG Quantum for a penny at AT&T [Update: Surround too]
No telling if this is a permanent deal or just temporary, but AT&T is now heavily discounting the LG Quantum, dropping $399.99 from the retail price making it basically free. Of course you still need that 2-year contract thing to get that price and it looks to be online only (though we're sure you could talk a store into matching it). We've seen third-party retailers offer WP devices for a cent, but not often has AT&T done so directly. (AT&T last dropped prices in early January to $99)
While the Quantum is not the favorite Windows Phone on the market, with some considering its design...less than exciting, the keyboard is pretty top notch and the build quality is just fantastic. Combined with LG's offering of free software in their store, plus great OEM apps (see here, here and here), it's actually a great phone for the text-heavy messenger. (Confession: my Quantum is my default device, there's just something about it that I dig).
Update: Reader RayWP7 lets us know that HTC Surround is also going for $0.01, right here.
Source: AT&T; via Pocketnow
3 years ago
WP7 Support on Samsung Update issues again
Seems us Samsung folk (I’m really beginning to regret leaving HTC) are still experiencing issues with the pre-NoDO update (take 2). Pulling the original release, this second attempt was meant to have fixed the teething issues, but alas there are still problems being reported. I’m just grateful we haven’t gone down the Windows Vista/7 route with displaying a notification that we have 130 updates available.
damiao_jr on Twitter has voiced more concern over the updating (through Zune) with attaching the error code that is displayed. WindowsPhoneSupport replied to the tweet with a snappy statement “we are looking into it right now”. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident, and I truly feel for the WP7 development team right now with the serious run of problems that have been present with the first update.
3 years ago
Amusing look on a few smartphone competitors
With all the latest innovations and releases on the iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 platforms, I felt as though we should take a minute to sit back, relax, and watch fanboys go berserk over the above images. The funny part? It's all mostly true in a majority of POVs. To use the table you simply look from above as "How [SYSTEM] is seen by [SYSTEM OWNERS]", there are three biased presentations and six humorous interpretations to ease us all into the start of the weekend.
3 years ago
Google Apps and Services on WP7 [How To]
A good number of us are tied within the realm of Google, mainly for documents and emailing, but how can one explore the goodness of Windows Phone 7 when there is such a strong connection with the search engine giant (which makes Android a more feasible choice)?
Justin Willhite, of UK LifeHacker, has published a killer of an article that should help any avid Google fanboy (or post-Android owner) with the conversion process. It should be noted that the solutions provided by Justin (apart from native mail support, of course) do not support push-notification and must be updated/refreshed manually. So, how's it all done?
3 years ago
"Find My Phone" found his golf clubs
There's no real news here, but rather a fun and satisfying story about a thief, a mobile phone, and some golf clubs. A friend of the author passed along his tale in which, after finishing a round of golf, he retired to the 19th hole, leaving his bag outside. Upon coming out, he found that his golf bag was gone, as was the WP7 phone that was in the pocket. After calling the phone several times without answer, the man returned home and quickly brought up the Find My Phone website only to see his phone moving further and further away form where he was.
Eventually, the phone came to a stop, about 80km away. The man called the police and directed them to the location. Later that night, he was notified that they had found the golf bag and a thief who thought he had made an easy score.
Find My Phone is a standard feature of WP7. We highly recommend you set it up on your device if you haven't already.
3 years ago
Microsoft to resume Samsung pre-NoDo updates today
It has been a few days since the whole pre-NoDo update situation whereby some Windows Phones, specifically some Samsungs, had crashed and burned during the flashing. Most devices just could not complete the backup necessary for installation, while a tiny percent experienced some serious failures, resulting in the device being un-bootable. As a result, Microsoft "pulled" the update for Samsung devices (though it took a little bit to propagate) in order to investigates the issue further.
Starting today, they look to resume the updates for all Samsung phones. From the just updated Windows Phone Blog:
Starting today, we plan to resume rolling out the February update to Samsung phones. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to dispatch the update to other Windows Phone models. As has been the case, the software patch is being sent out on a rolling schedule. You’ll see a message on your phone when it’s available.
During the past week the engineering team has pinpointed and fixed problems that were preventing a small percentage of Windows Phones from installing the February software patch. We apologize again for the delay and continue looking for ways to improve the update process.
While not the three days we originally heard about, the turnaround was decently fast, considering Microsoft's past reputation on such things. We now shall play the waiting game as hopefully our phone will be flagged for an update within the next two weeks.
Update: Some users are reporting getting error code 800705B4 when attempting the update (Thanks, Tahiti Bob for the heads up). The solution for some seems to be to make sure you have at least 4GB of free space on the phone.
3 years ago
Bringing your Xbox Live Avatar to life
Microsoft is partnering with two companies to let you create fully detailed 3D figurines or a 6 foot tall poster of your Xbox Live Avatar. The 3D figurine is being offered through FigurePrints and will run you $60 (including shipping). You simply go to the website, pull up your avatar and select a pose.
The 6ft tall poster comes to you by way of Fathead. Fathead has built a reputation for creating sports and entertainment wall graphics. The process is similar to ordering your 3D figure. Just pull up your avatar, select a pose and place your order. The poster will stick on any smooth indoor surface, it’s re-usable and it runs $150 for the 6ft version (3ft poster will run you $80).
The only downside to these services (asides from the $150 price tag) is that it doesn’t appear to allow use of all the avatar accessories. Some elements are not licensed for reproduction. For example, if your avatar sports an Assassin’s Creed outfit, you can’t use it. Even my Auburn University t-shirt couldn’t be used.
Regardless, either would make for interesting gifts for the "hard to buy for gamer" or for those who just can't get enough of Xbox Live.
3 years ago
XMaps - Review
3 years ago
Verizon HTC Trophy is a global phone, coming out in June? [Photos]
First some good news: the Verizon HTC Trophy is definitely a global CDMA/quad-band GSM phone. This has technically been known since November, but since then we have had little to no word on whether that would still be the case.
Luckily, our insider managed to snag a screen shot of the Settings --> Cellular, where you can see the "Mode selection", from there you can see the CDMA/GSM settings being available to the end user. That's a huge win for Verizon customers as this makes the Trophy the first Windows "world" Phone for the carrier, something that many had wanted to Sprint to offer with the 7 Pro (especially if it's a business device). Incidentally, we hear the phone is very fast and fluid, specifically that the 'NoDo' update gets rid of the Marketplace "scrolling lag". Schweet.
The other news is the OS is confirmed to be NoDo version 7.0.7355 via user MetalHD at ppcgeeks, who snagged a photo. That is interesting because that is not the latest NoDo build, which is 7.0.7389. But it is the same build that Samsung is reportedly loading onto some phones sent back to them (see iStartedSomething). What's the difference? No one is sure yet. But, it is worth mentioning that the Sprint 'Arrive' (aka 7 Pro) does sport the latest 7389 build.
Finally, take this with a big grain of salt, but coming from a Verizon rep who's involved with the phone, the Trophy may not see the light of day till June. Now, we don't know how much stock to put into that, but it's one of those things that if you don't see this phone by end of March as rumored, well...there's your explanation. In a way it makes sense: earlier build of the OS, phone is now "testing" with large corporate partners---that doesn't sound like "ready to launch", but it does still sound close.
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