Evidently, they say their phones are configured to work on a specfic networks and only those networks. So if you buy an unlocked/unsubsidized Samsung phone from some carrier, don't expect it to work on other networks. In other words: buyer beware.
That's a real shame for consumers and we're not sure why they would support being so carrier-locked. Perhaps they can share some more information on their decision and how they expect consumers to respond.
Hexic is one of those arcade-style pattern-matching puzzle games that could be considered a Tetris spin-off. This type of game is extremely well suited to a mobile platform like Windows Phone 7, because the game can be easily controlled by using the touch-screen. Hexic Rush is one of the inaugural Xbox Live games on Windows Phone 7 created by Microsoft Game Studios, and therefore it has something of a high standard to meet as one of the games that is intended to introduce Windows Phone as a gaming platform. The full review is after the break.
Addicting game-play, simple controls.
Minor learning curve, not as full-featured as some other options.
There are a number of video games that could be described as a classic, but perhaps none more so than Tetris. The game that instantly brings to mind images of St. Basil’s Cathedral and Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy had appeared on nearly every computing platform and has spawned countless variations and spin-offs.
Tetris for Windows Phone 7 is an Xbox Live game developed by one of the biggest names in gaming, Electronic Arts. With a classic game like Tetris, there’s no question about the entertainment value of the game itself; the real question is how well the platform lends itself to the game-play. The full review is after the break.
Need For Speed is one of the most recognizable game titles ever. As the quintessential racing game, Need For Speed games offer a number of different racing styles and game types. I personally cut my teeth on Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Porsche Unleashed, and Underground; all of which offered very different game-play styles, car options, and race types. Additionally, as one of the most recognized names in the Xbox Live category in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace; Need For Speed Undercover is one of the games that Microsoft is using to showcase Windows Phone and Xbox Live as a mobile gaming platform (see Dan’s post on how Microsoft is chipping away at Apple’s exclusivity).
You’ve already seen the first look at Need For Speed, let’s get into the details of what makes this one of the more complete games in the Xbox Live arsenal.
Intense graphics, high level of customizations, intuitive controls
Chris Walsh and co. are getting very close to releasing the very first side-loaded homebrew app for Windows Phone 7: ringtone loader.
That should come to many as a worthy installation, even if the rumored update from Microsoft will contain such functionality. Not much is known at this time about what it can/can't do, but we imagine creating ringtones from your Zune library will be the cornerstone.
Of course you'll need to use ChevronWP7 to unlock your device first. Yeah, Microsoft would prefer you not to (shocking) but you're adults, we'll leave the ethical issues up to you.
This is one of those weird games that when you see it, you think "looks silly, no interest". Trust me, I know the feeling. All I can say is Birdy Bounce ($0.99) is really addictive and a lot of fun, even though your brain won't understand why. It's just simple, has great graphics and a great drop noise. To keep from getting repetitive the studio (Mod Monkeys) states:
The levels of Birdy Bounce are generated by an intelligent level randomization algorithm which provides a new experience every time you start playing while avoiding impossible situations to keep the fun for a long time.
Version 1.5 was released today and it included better pause support, scoreboard, and some general fixes. It currently has a 4.5 out of 5 ranking and I implore you to try it as it's the perfect 60 second game killer.
(BTW, my high score is 16,469, which I'm guessing many of you could crush)
This one is a bit complicated but it's real important for our international users or those who travel/swap SIMs a lot. Turns out, on a lot of unlocked/unsubsidized devices with Windows Phone 7 have Automatic Data Configuration (ADC) disabled by default.
ADC is used when you boot up the device or replace the SIM to configure the phone for network provisioning, including MMS. To make matters worse, there is no manual configuration for MMS on WP7. What all of this means is that a lot of users who use pay-as-you-go or swap SIMs often can't send MMS messages. Normally, users would have to hard-reset the phone (!), insert SIM and let ADC run--but even that is a lousy solution, after all who wants to hard-reset their phone for that? Basically people are buying unlocked phones with crippled MMS functionality.
Now some OEMs, like HTC, have a connection manager in their app store (HTC Apps --> Connection Setup) which will get around this issue and allow HTC users to configure their phone. Samsung has their Network Profile app too, but by most accounts it doesn't work very well. LG users can access their MFG (hidden configuration menu) and re-enable ADC themselves. But it's the Samsung users that don't seem to have a solution right now, even though we have a MFG menu, we haven't found the ADC settings yet.
Microsoft is aware of the problem and it has been escalated.
Ilomilio is one of those great games (seriously, see our comprehensive review) that unfortunately AT&T grabbed a three-month exclusive on--well it's great if you're on AT&T but bad for the rest of the world.
Looks like in January, the game will finally roll out to all in the Marketplace, regardless of territory. That should be welcome news to many who are missing out on one of the more high profile games for Windows Phone 7. (ed. I happen to really dig it, even though I think I now have diabetes because it's so cute)
In other news, the Xbox console version is set to launch around the same time but users can get a sneak peak now by visiting the secret site. The site was only known to those who have the WP7 version but alas, we're going to ruin the party. From there, you can grab an access code to play on your Xbox. Schweet.
Update: Now the 16gb version is available for $149.99 on contract with free 2nd Day Shipping if ordered by December 2nd. (Thanks breadbooze and Jose P for the tip!)
Update: Well looky here, if you follow THIS LINK, you can order the 8GB version for $99 on contract right now. Not bad. (Thanks, Sam S., for the info!)
The Venue Pro may make it for Christmas after all. We have to leave this as a question mark because Dell took down the offending page with the goods on it, but before they did Pocketnow managed to get a screen grab. The pricing is $149.99 with contract or $499.99 without and will not work on AT&T's 3G--so T-Mobile only this shall remain.
December 14th seems like a good date, as it leaves time to order just before the holiday. Now the bigger questions are will that date remain, can they make it and can they do it without any more glitches?
Take on the roll of the deadly assassin Altair to reclaim a holy relic lost in the midst of the Third Crusade. Journey across the Holy Land using stealth and strength to bypass Crusaders, Saracens, and Templars to obtain information from the secret order of assassin's and a network of spies. Leap across rooftops or navigate treacherous tunnels all laden with traps and pitfalls or run the open street to pickpocket, interrogate, and kill your way to your goal - the lost Sacred Chalice.
Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles HD is a port from the 2008 Nintendo DS version of the game and prequel to 2007's Assassin's Creed on consoles and PC. But does it hold its own on Windows Phone 7?
Hit the jump to see if Altair operates as well on WP7 as he has on every other device out there.
It's been rumored and speculated in the past that Acer was going to start playing with Windows Phone 7 and that looks to be confirmed now.
In an interview with Mobilized, Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci detailed their plans and reasoning behind the move:
We saw a lot of limitations on Windows Phone a couple of years ago and we moved to Android because of user experience, and even the possibility to be a little more creative from a content offering and so forth is better than on the Windows phone. If we look at Windows Phone 7, today, I think we see the same opportunity you can see on Android in terms of customization.
That's it. No word on where they're at, carriers or what quarter we should expect their debut. Since Acer has had little luck in the U.S., we're skeptical we'll ever see it here. And did he say the same customization than Android? We wonder if Acer has seen WP7 yet.
There's little debate whether or not the Super-AMOLED screen on the Samsung Focus is nice. The 4" screen looks good and is very receptive to the touch.
While the screen gets high marks, we are hearing rumblings that there may be a glitch with the touch sensativity. It seems that if you lay the Focus down on a cushioned surface (e.g. a couch) the responsiveness of the screen goes from really good to really bad fast.
In testing out this phenomena, the screen works fine in the hand but when you lay it on a sofa cushion, swipes becomes taps and eventually the screen ignores everything. Place a hard surface between the Focus and the cushion, everything returns to normal.
There's nothing official from Samsung on whether or not this is a glitch, an odd characteristic with the capacitive touch screen or an odd safety feature to help prevent pocket dialing.
I wouldn't call this a problem but more of an oddity with the screen. If you're experiencing similar, feel free to share in the comments section. If we hear anything more on this, we'll pass it on.
The Windows Phone 7 launch has mostly gone off with few if any hitches for developers, but there will always be something bothering them and in this case, it appears to be a legitimate concern.
Two developers, Justin James and Nicholas Yu (the latter making GoVoice) have noted that they won't receive payments for their apps till February, which is quite far off especially if like Yu, your app launched with Windows Phone 7. Going further, the developers complain that there are no analytics to measure how popular their app is--in other words, they don't know how many they have sold.
For Yu and his GoVoice app, this is important because he wants to add the much coveted Push Notifications to his app (he already began rolling it out last week). But without knowing how many apps he has sold, nor receiving payment till February, he has to pay the server costs upfront and basically hope that he can recoup the costs. Hardly an ideal position for a developer to be in. James concludes that for now, developers should consider WP7 a hobby instead of a source of revenue. Ouch.
Microsoft is known for treating developers pretty well--better than Apple and even Google--so we hope that they can at least address this issue before others start to feel the same way. On the other hand, these growing pains are to be expected for such a new platform--the test is to see how it is resolved.