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3 years ago

Arcadia Scan Updated to 1.6

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I've either fallen asleep when updating to 1.4 or they've mistaken 1.6 as 1.4 with the release notes, but the app itself is now 1.6 in the Marketplace. For a full rundown on what this app does and what tools it contains (including ping etc.) check out our Arcadia Scan review.

So what's new? According to the release notes (we'll go with that they're incorrectly titled for 1.4):

  • Addition of new content (3 new pages and features)
  • Added Scan-I, P, List of ports Info Device/User
  • Fixed several display bugs on ping and tracer functions
  • Virus-scan function associated with the new reworked database
  • Page displaying new properties is improved with multi-location, good visibility
  • In Credit and Help sections users can click on addresses or links
  • Ports listbox now displays correctly
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3 years ago

SMS Issue on HD7 Caused by NoDo?

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SMS Issue on HD7 Caused by NoDo?

There has been discussion on multiple sites surrounding the issue with the HTC HD7 and text messaging, where outgoing messages are failing to send and the irritating "Cannot send message. Try again" alert is constantly popping up. Is this a device issues (possibly caused by NoDo) or is it signal/carrier related?

Hard to tell really, I have experienced this problem numerous times on my Omnia 7 before and after the NoDo update, which is entirely down to signal not being strong enough (anything above one bar will work) - simply holding the device higher up in the air or walking around normally fixes the problem (Three network has very good coverage generally). Several members over at the XNA Developers forum have voiced rants and complaints about texts not sending:

I have had the HD7 for a few weeks now... before the nodo update i never had a problem with it but ever since then, i keep getting a lot of error messages for text messages saying the message wasn't sent. This usually happens when the signal is 1 bar or no bars (but signal is still there) and sometimes even happened with full bars.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone gets front & center on the TV show 'Castle' [Video]

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Windows Phone first made an appearance on the hit TV show 'Castle' way back in mid November (see here, including video). Since then, we guess he forgot he had it since we didn't see it much...until last night.

Not only was the Samsung Focus (with 'Samsung' blacked out) featured by the main start Nathan Fillion, but also his lovely side-kick Stana Katic (who plays Kate Beckett). In fact, we saw the phone either featured or in the background being used (including once as a speakerphone) no less than four times--and that was us just skimming the show.

Some are calling the "Netflix moment" a little gratuitous and yes, perhaps it is but on the other hand, haters gonna hate, amirite?

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3 years ago

Amazon Wireless, AT&T offering 3-month Zune pass for new customers

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We first saw AT&T offering a free Zune pass back when Windows Phone first launched--anyone remember the "free entertainment pack"? It now looks like they are returning to a similar offer, along with Amazon Wireless, for a limited time (through June 26th) but instead of one 30-day pass, they are offering three-full months.

Valued at about $45, it's not a huge offering but lets not kid ourselves: the Zune Pass is one of the best things Windows Phone has going for it and something the competition is lacking (although Apple is making strides in this area and Google/Android is working closely with Amazon).

Your three-month Zune Pass ($44.97 value) gives you: unlimited access to over 11 million songs to stream or download; access to music on your Windows Phone 7, Xbox console or PC; and 10 free songs per month to download and keep forever (30 Songs total)

We doubt this is a make-or-break deal for potential new customers, but it sure sweetens the pot, especially since the much coveted and praised Samsung Focus goes for $49.99 at AT&T or the low-low $0.01 at Amazon Wireless. Head over to http://www.freezunemusicnow.com/ to get your Zune code.

Source: Amazon Wireless, AT&T; Thanks, Anthony, for the tip

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3 years ago

Paris Hilton, other celebs with Windows Phones at charity event

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Recently, on April 29th, the 18th annual Race to Erase MS gala was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City, California.

In turn, Paris Hilton, Rachel Leigh Cook, Daniel Gillies, Musician Brett Anderson and Cindy Crawford were all there along with Microsoft, who evidently was using the event to promote Windows Phone amongst the celebs.

We're not sure if they we able to keep the HTC HD7s on hand, but from a cursory look on Twitter (yes, we went there), none so far are using for their daily driver.

...And that's your useless celeb-Windows Phone news of the day.

Source: WireImage; via 1800PocketPC

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3 years ago

Official Bank of America app is now live in the Marketplace

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We saw this way back in January and then we had an exclusive sneak peek a few weeks ago, but now the official Bank of America app is ready for your daily use. The app is quite smooth, fast loading and even has a svelte design, adhering to the Metro paradigm pretty well i.e. this isn't just a port. Here's the full description:

FEATURES

  • Pay bills and transfer funds
  • Review account balances
  • Find ATM and banking center locations using GPS, with no address input required
  • Feel secure with our industry-leading mobile security and our Online Banking Security Guarantee

MOBILE BANKING SECURITY

  • You’ll enjoy peace of mind, knowing you have the same level of security as Online Banking.
  • Your personal information is protected by advanced encryption technology to help prevent unauthorized access.
  • We are committed to protecting the privacy of your financial information. See the Privacy Policy for Consumers at www.bankofamerica.com.
  • As part of our Online Banking Security Guarantee, you’re not responsible for fraudulent charges made by others.
  • We use the same SiteKey® technology to verify your identity as we do for Online Banking, providing an extra layer of security for your peace of mind.
  • We never transmit account number information.

Anyways, give the app a spin here in the Marketplace and we'll see about doing a more in depth review later. Thanks, Steve K, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phones in times of emergency

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Windows Phones in times of emergency

It shouldn't be a surprise when someone comments that your Windows Phone is a great communications tool. From using the Phone as a phone to call friends, family and associates to checking your email to updating your Facebook Status, your Windows Phone keeps you in touch. While the abilities and capabilities of communications is tremendous during day to day life, it can also be very helpful in times of crisis. I personally discovered how useful my Windows Phone can be during recent events in my home State.

On April 27, 2011 the Southern States experienced a severe weather outbreak of historic proportions where storms produced a record three hundred twelve tornadoes. Alabama experienced a tornado outbreak that the State and possibly the nation has never seen before. One tornado tracked on the ground for over one hundred thirty miles in North Alabama destroying everything in its path. Another traveled over eighty miles destroying communities in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. While property damage was extensive and catastrophic, the greatest loss was that over 300 perished in these storms.

That day started for me around 5:45am when the first line of storms came through my neighborhood and produced a tornado with winds reaching 120mph. We lost power as these storms tossed trees around as if they were match sticks. With no power, my Samsung Focus became my only means of communication. While I can't say that one application was more important than the next, my Windows Phone helped me stay in touch with family, check on the severe weather, and make it around the house when night fell.

Continued after the break

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3 years ago

Enigmo coming to Xbox Live this week. Exclusive Achievements and trailer debut

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This week’s Xbox Live title is Enigmo, a physics-based puzzle game. Enigmo sort of blind-sided us as we hadn’t heard about it coming to Windows Phone until recently, but now we’ve got some concrete details to share with you.

Enigmo was originally developed by Austin-based developer Pangea Software. It debuted on the strange and foreign Mac platform before making a successful run on iPhone. It’s also been released on the Windows Mobile platform – anybody remember that one?

We’ve already seen a physics-based puzzler on Xbox Live in the form of iBlast Moki. Enigmo is a little bit like that, but the goal is to direct streams of liquids into the appropriate receptacles using various gadgets. The Windows Phone version of Enigmo features sharp 3D graphics and 50 puzzles to solve. It was developed by Chaotic Moon Studios, also located in Austin, and will cost $2.99.

Head past the break for our exclusive reveal of Enigmo’s Xbox Live Achievements and the game’s debut trailer.

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3 years ago

Microsoft's Big Box of Awesome contest

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This competition has been running for a while now and you have the last chance in entering it before the closing date (2nd May 23:59 PDT). So, do you fancy laying your hands on the box of awesome? US only, unfortunately.

It's contents are pretty impressive:

  • Samsung Focus
  • Samsung Series Notebook
  • Windows 7 home Premium
  • Microsoft Arc Touch mouse
  • Samsung 46" LED TV
  • Xbox 360 250GB console with Kinect
  • 3 Kinect-enabled games
  • Xbox Live 12 month gold membership
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2010

This bundle is worth quite a chunk of money so better get your entry in should you wish to be in with an opportunity to win, win, win. Please note -- however -- that this offer is through Facebook and requires access to your personal information, not to mention you are required to sign up and supply your name, address, email, etc.

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3 years ago

Microsoft's 'Project Emporia' news reader hits v1.2

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Microsoft's experimental news feed program, called Project Emporia, just received a nice upgrade to version 1.2--it's first update in three months. Hailing from Microsoft's Research FUSE labs, this is one of those apps where you are helping Microsoft "test" some new ideas out.

In essence, it's a news reader with the ability to choose by category e.g. technology, politics, etc. But then you can vote up or down stories to better refine your likes, giving you a more tailored user experience:

Every day we face an information overflow; data is coming at us through so many channels that it is difficult to weed out the gems that are important to us from all the noise. For those who are not social media mavens, the whole problem can be intimidating.

Project Emporia offers a solution to this. It sifts through ever-evolving news streams to identify hot news stories, categorizes them into topic areas and ranks them, and then presents them to you in a friendly and easy-to-use UI. With Project Emporia you get relevant stories on topics of YOUR choice.

You can influence how future stories are chosen for you, one vote at a time. Your votes will improve the relevance of your news story choices not just for you, but for every other user as well.

Previous versions were "meh", often being slow and not that fun. Version 1.2 though makes the app much better, in our opinion, since it's now more zippy, has more options available and is basically fun to experiment with. Here are some of the major 1.2 new features:

  • Unified Web and WP7 accounts
  • Facebook and Twitter integration
  • Improved sharing via Twitter
  • Social channels

You can grab Projecct Emporia right here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

TouchStudio Updated to 1.1

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We recently covered Microsoft's incredibly entertaining Touch Studio for Windows Phone 7, which allows one to create scripts that take advantage of the API's and access available on the OS and hardware. The app has now been updated to 1.1 (beta). The changes are listed below:

  • Many bug fixes
  • Better auto-completion in expression editor
  • Access to accelerometer, location, maps, translation services, web search, tile customization, charting, and more.
  • Take screenshots of your actions (if you want to show other people your code), and the execution wall; look for the "send screenshot to library" button under the “…” in the application bar.
  • API changes (see below). If you update an existing installation, all your existing scripts get renamed to "v1.0 ...". Since we changed APIs, your old scripts might have errors which you have to edit and fix yourself.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Ad Network Options

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Ad based app or paid app? That is the question many developers have faced. Do I charge a one time cost for my app or do I hope the user run the app with enough frequency to generate a decent level of ad revenue?

Windows Phone ads pay by impression in that you don't have to click on the ad banner for the developer to receive credit/revenue from that view.  The downside is that not everyone likes to see that ad banner regardless of how discrete they are placed.  If you choose the ad supported option, there are a few options available and Improvisoft has compiled a listing of their favorites along with rankings (in Jewels).

  • Millennial Media SDK (0/5 Jewels): While the API was highly customizable, the SDK proved to be unstable. Shutter animation would be closed more times than not, obscuring the ads. "Millenial had a lot of promise. This company has a good website and SDKs for 10 platforms including well-known 4.2.X versions for Android and iPhone. But it didn’t take long to realize that there is little delivery on that promise..."
  • AdDuplex SDK - version 1.1 Beta (3/5 Jewels): Described as a simple SDK with minimal documentation and a minimal API, it may be too minimal for some. Improvisoft notes that AdDuplex works, but there is room for improvement ranging from better ad appearance to better SDK documentation.  To give AdDuplex a little credit, it is still a Beta and these improvements may be in the works.
  • Smaato SDK v1.2 (2/5 Jewels): Smaato serves advertisements to over 220 countries. With no other functional ad-network for WP7 XNA games providing ads outside the US, that's a strength you have to recognize. Otherwise, Smaato is described as being the ugliest ad-network the reviewer has seen for Windows Phone.
  • Microsoft Advertising pubCenter SDK v5.1.0.166 (3.5/5 Jewels): Described as the best ad network for displaying ads on U.S. based Windows Phones, pubCenter does have some limitations. PubCenter is U.S. based only, the number of advertisers are fewer (more repeat ads), and while ads can be text or graphical they are not rich-media capable or to the size requested.

The skinny of it is that not every ad network is perfect and it seems that there isn't a "one size fits all" solution. Some may provide better coverage, cleaner appearance or simply easier to manage.

So...for the developers in the crowd what ad network do you find works best? Or do you prefer to avoid ad supported apps all together.

Source: Improvisoft

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3 years ago

Deutsche Telekom reportedly pushing NoDo today for HTC Mozart

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For those with the super sleek and snazzy HTC Mozart, we getting word that Deutsche Telekom has finally starting pushing the long sought NoDo update for that phone today. Originally scheduled for "end of April" we'll give a "close enough!" pass to DT here.

No more info at this time as far as firmware changes, but HTC almost always includes some under-the-hood changes e.g. the driver required for the hidden WiFi app.

No word on the Omnia's update getting pushed out but we think it's just a matter of time.  Anyone else can confirm their update in comments? Go ahead..

Thanks, Fisi_zubi, for the tip

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3 years ago

iPhone apps not so unique: Android, Windows Phone catch up to iOS offerings

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Although boasting about the size of one's app store has its place--really it's the quality of the apps that matter and nothing beats those "big titles" that people want and use.

PCWorld has done an interesting analysis of Apple's top 35 apps to see how the other platforms compare. Android, comes the closest, offering all but 3 of the top 35 apps on the iPhone. Their biggest gap of course is in games--something we've pointed out before. Next, however is Windows Phone 7 which offers all but 8 of the top 35--beating out Symbian and Blackberry (guess WebOS wasn't worth looking at). That's not too shabby for the new guy in town who's been in the market a little less than seven months.

Part of the difference is Microsoft has been very aggressive in courting Apple developers to either switch or port over their apps, often offering financial incentive to do so e.g. covering the cost of development. Combined with the Xbox LIVE gaming system and their relationship with the "big" developers there, Microsoft has made tremendous in-roads into taking away any "exclusive" app that the iPhone may offer (and more often than not, the Windows Phone version looks better).

We may not have the numbers, but we have the apps.

Related story: Beating Apple's exclusivity: How Microsoft caters to developers while Google does not

Source: PCWorld/Yahoo News; Thanks, hd7guy, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Square Off - Review

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Square Off - Review

Given that both Xbox Live Indie Games on Xbox 360 and games on Windows Phone use the XNA development environment, it’s surprising how few indie games have made the jump from Xbox 360 to Windows Phone so far. Twin Blades is the earliest game to have made the transition (becoming an Xbox Live title, no less). Indie gaming fans sick of puzzle games now have a more hardcore game to play: Square Off, courtesy of Australian developer Gnomic Studios.

Square Off’s story, told through a series of full screen stills in the intro and ending, involves a prolonged alien invasion of the earth. Humanity is unable to defeat the aliens for some reason, so a mad scientist comes up with a plan. He splices alien DNA with his own brain cells, creating a team of Square Avengers. These little guys strap on jet-packs, grab some guns, and head out to save the planet.

While the silly story sets the stage, Square Off is really just about shooting a bunch of aliens. The game consists of seven levels: the first three have four regular waves followed by a boss wave, while the final level contains two waves and a big boss wave. In normal waves, a group of UFOs act as enemy generators. They spawn numerous smaller enemies and must be dealt with before the bad guys overwhelm you with numbers. Helpful color coded arrows indicate the location of off-screen enemies and UFOs. Finish everybody off and it’s on to the next wave.

Rocket past the break for our full review.

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