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3 years ago

DropDown - App Spotlight

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DropDown - App Spotlight

The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has its fair share of jumper games where you have to jump your way up the phone's screen. DropDown takes you in the opposite direction.

In DropDown you guide a ball through an array of bricks, dropping it towards the bottom of the screen. Layers continuously move up the screen with holes you have to drop your ball through. If you get trapped at the top of the screen, your ball bursts and the game is over.

DropDown supports both touch screen and the Windows Phone accelerometer to move your ball about the screen. There are bonus items along the way that will pause the screen, destroy bricks and sets the ball on fire. Additionally, you have a limited number of bombs you can use to create holes to drop through.

DropDown is a free game and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Grocery Total - App Spotlight

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Grocery Total - App Spotlight

Do you experience sticker shock when you reach the check out line in the Grocery Store?  We ran across an interesting Windows Phone 7 app that might help lessen the shock and help you manage your grocery budget a little better. Grocery Total is a Windows Phone app that helps you add up your grocery bill (including tax) as you place the items in your shopping cart.

The interface is straight forward with a static field for your local tax rate and another field to enter the price of your item. At the bottom of the screen you have controls to add the cost or subtract it. A ditto button is also available to help enter multiple items at the same pricing point. Just beneath the entry fields you will see the total number of items, total amount in sale tax, your shopping total and an itemized listing.

Along with tracking your grocery expenses, Grocery Total also includes a utility to compare costs of items. How much do you save when comparing 16 ounces of cereal at $4.99 to 24 ounces at $5.25?

Grocery Total is a free application and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Asteroids Deluxe and Pitfall head to Xbox Live this week

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Last week, Centipede - a very nice arcade port and Game Room title - hit Xbox Live. This week, Microsoft follows up with two more Game Room games: Asteroids Deluxe and Pitfall.

Asteroids Deluxe, like Centipede, is an arcade game that Atari published in 1980. Players pilot a ship through an asteroid field, blasting both asteroids and aliens. The arcade version of Asteroids Deluxe is unique for a couple of reasons. First, it featured vector graphics (instead of traditional sprites, everything is composed of lines) that were tinted blue by a transparent overlay. Behind the vector graphics, a printed backdrop added a bit more color. Second, unlike most arcade games, Asteroids Deluxe did not use a joystick for movement. Instead, individual buttons turned the ship left or right and cause it to accelerate. This control style should translate well to Windows Phone, though touch screen buttons will never provide the tactile feedback of real ones.

Pitfall is actually an Atari 2600 game, not an arcade game. Activision's bestseller featured multicolored, non-flickering sprites, a first for its home platform. Donkey Kong may be the first true platform game, but Pitfall pioneered many platform elements. Instead of being confined to a single screen, the game’s star, Pitfall Harry explored a level consisting of 256 different screens. The objective is to find 32 lost treasures within 20 minutes. Pitfall’s simple controls (run left, right, and jump) are a great match for mobile gaming.

As Game Room titles, both games will feature 3D arcade cabinet recreations (Pitfall has an Atari 2600 sitting on an arcade cabinet), historical data and detailed instructions, friends and global leaderboards, and 10 Achievements.

Asteroids Deluxe and Pitfall will debut on Wednesday, April 20th for $2.99 (12 quarters) a piece.

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3 years ago

Centipede - Review

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Centipede - Review

Gamers and critics alike panned the first two Xbox Live retro arcade games for Windows Phone, Pac-Man and Frogger, for several reasons. Both games have sub-par touch screen controls, shoddy presentation, and annoyingly difficult Achievements. Pac-Man even has an audacious $5 price tag. But those shoddy ports are Namco and Konami’s wrongdoing. How would big and powerful Microsoft handle bringing a classic arcade game to their mobile platform? Surprisingly well, as Centipede proves.

Centipede is not as fondly remembered or highly sequelized as its contemporaries Pac-man and Space Invaders. But when it debuted in arcades in 1980, there really was nothing like it. Instead of a joystick, players controlled the main character with a trackball. The hero, a tiny garden gnome, could move in any direction and at greatly varying speeds thanks to the analog control input.

The goal is to destroy the titular centipedes as they descend from the top of the screen. If the centipede hits one of the many randomly-placed mushrooms, it moves down a little faster. Each shot the player hits the centipede with destroys one of its segments, but also spawns a mushroom and usually splits the centipede in two. Destroying an entire centipede causes the screen’s color to change as a new, faster centipede begins its attack. As if death by centipede wasn’t enough, jumping spiders and mushroom-dropping fleas and scorpions also threaten the pitiably outnumbered gnome.

Squash a few bugs and head past the jump for our full review.

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3 years ago

Official Facebook app goes to v1.5, still no notifications?

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We just got word that the Facebook app for Windows Phone got bumped to v1.5, which you can grab right now in the Marketplace.

Earlier, we reported that this app was supposed to be getting notifications and that it was coming "soon". While an update did in fact come soon, we're not seeing any options under Settings for notifications but perhaps we're missing something (it's only been about 5 minutes since we updated). We did noticed the "Refresh" setting is now "Cache expiration" and set at 10 minutes, but other than that...

Anyways, you can grab the app here. Sound off in comments on anything you notice different or better and we'll update this post with the info.

Thanks, @deeper2k, for the heads up

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3 years ago

AT&T's "unique" NoDo Features

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AT&T's "unique" NoDo Features

We're learning a little more on the upcoming AT&T NoDo Update for the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum. As we mentioned the other day with the expected release on April 19th, the NoDo update will contain additional features unique to AT&T.

Microsoft's Eric Hautala has confirmed that the AT&T update has moved from Testing to Scheduling and adds,

"I forgot to mention the update we’ll be shipping to AT&T customers also includes support for two special AT&T features. The first is “WISPr” protocol support, which makes it possible for your phone’s data connection to automatically switch over to AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots when in range. The update also includes support for AT&T Address Book."

The WISPr support sounds interesting and if you frequent AT&T hotspots, this may save you on data package minutes. You can find out more about the AT&T Address Book here but basically it's an online address book you can sync with your Windows Phone. While having another source for contacts may not be that exciting, the online components to AT&T's Address Book does look interesting.

Hautula also recognizes that delay with the update for Surround owners is probably a letdown but explains that third party software earmarked for the Surround needed additional testing.

source: windowsteamblog

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3 years ago

Notifications for WP7 Facebook app "coming soon"

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Not much else to say on the topic beside what you read above. Basically for those who use the Facebook app on Windows Phone 7, you can expect an update "...soon" that will finally enable notifications. At least so says Matthijs Hoekstra, Developer Evangelist at Microsoft/Windows Phone 7 development (Netherlands).

Hopefully this will finally bring the popular FB client up to par with other platforms and make it a little more complete.

Update: Hoekstra is now refining his response: "What i meant is that 'an' app is coming for that, not sure about the official facebook app". Take that how you will.

Source: Twitter

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3 years ago

MIX'11 Sessions Download tool

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MIX'11 Sessions Download tool

An awesome silverlight-built MIX'11 session download tool has been developed that allows visitors to download the sessions at MIX'11, fantastic for people who have watched bits and peieces, wish to recap on individual sections or want to share the video with friends.

Warning: When first downloading a session, it will send you a .bat file that will enable you to download what you want - rest assured that it's safe. If you'd prefer a text-based recap, check out our everything you need to know about MIX'11 guide, enjoy!

Via: @pmarwa

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3 years ago

HTC ad suggests 16MP camera, a WP7 device? [Rumor]

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HTC ad suggests 16MP camera, a WP7 device? [Rumor]

This is filed under rumour (rumor for those who dislike the British usage of the English language), so take it with a pinch of salt. The above advert (published by PocketNow) shows what appears to be a HTC advert covering a device that will feature a 16 megapixel camera with 2 LED flashes. We're not sure what device will sport these features (if this rumour holds true) but let's hope it's another addition to the Windows Phone 7 family of products.

Although this could be all well and dandy, I -- like many others -- would prefer to see better lenses as opposed to doubling pixels, I prefer my Samsung Omnia's camera over a comparable HTC for example and I don't believe doubling the MP will make a whopping difference. What do you make of the video and rumour of 16 megapixels maybe coming to WP7?

Edit: Daniel Rubino says: "I just want HTC figure out getting 5MP to look decent,  then we can worry about 16" (zing!)

Update: If you squint, it almost looks like the rumored HTC Ignite, no? Almost.

Source: PocketNow

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3 years ago

WP7 certified 8GB SD Cards at AT&T store

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There's been much discussion surrounding the SD card slot on the Samsung Focus (we also previously covered AT&T offering compatible cards) with successfully inserting a microSD card into the slot to extend available memory bringing numerous reports of issues arising. There has been no sign of any official, supported, solution-bringing product on the horizon, until now.

It appears an AT&T store has been receiving a fresh stock of "certified" 8GB Class 4 microSDHC cards. Taking a look at the design of the packaging in the image captured above, it's clear to say Microsoft is taking a step to lead, especially with the Windows Phone logo at the top-right, and it seems SanDisk has been brought on-board to provide hardware. 

At $32 it's quite a major investment for an SD card, but it shouldn't through a tantrum when inserted into your device and we hope they'll soon be readily available for the mass of Focus owners to test. Excited or skeptical?

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

MonsterUp weekend sale

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MonsterUp weekend sale

We’ve lavished plenty of praise on Karios Games’ MonsterUp in our review and coverage of its frequent updates. MonsterUp is a Doodle Jump-clone that surpasses the original in many ways. It’s also that very rare thing, a truly high-quality indie game for Windows Phone.

MonsterUp is already a great value at its standard price of $1.99. That’s why it’s exciting to announce that the game is on sale for half off this weekend, April 16-17. Grab it now and start unlocking a variety of lovable jumping monsters!

Grab MonsterUp here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. There is a free trial, but for 99 cents, what have you got to lose?  Not familiar with MonsterUp?  Follow the break for a video demo.

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3 years ago

The Sims 3 - Review

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The Sims 3 - Review

The Sims, the hit life simulation series of games, originated on the PC and has since landed on practically every platform under the sun including the Windows Phone 7 platform. In these games, the player creates a digital avatar and then directs it through the rigors of everyday life: eating, sleeping, work, fun, and all that stuff. I do some of that stuff myself, and let me tell you, even the fun isn’t all that fun. But somehow the Sims makes everyday drudgery enjoyable, hence the game's millions of fans. The Sims 3 for Windows Phone 7 brings a fair helping of the PC game’s magic to mobile gamers, although this version’s many issues prevent it from being a must-have.

Cruise past the break for our full review.

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3 years ago

Nodo heading to AT&T on April 19th? [Updated]

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Call it a strong rumor. One that many would like to see com true.

A leaked AT&T email to support personnel is indicating that AT&T will finally push out the Windows Phone 7 Nodo update on April 19th for the Quantum and Focus. The HTC Surround should receive the update in mid-May.

Quoting from the leaked email,

"Effective April 19, 2011, new Microsoft maintenance release updates will be available to AT&T customers with existing LG Quantum and Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 devices. Approved updates for the HTC Surround are scheduled for availability in mid-May and will be communicated once approved."

The memo also indicates that this will involve the release of two new Maintenance Release updates (7008 and 73390). The 7390 update is being referred to as NoDo that adds copy/paste as well as additional functionality that is unique to AT&T.  There is no mention as to why the Surround's update is being delayed.

Sounds promising and fortunately it won't be long before we can tell if this rumor is a good one.  Oddly, the Microsoft Update page still shows AT&T's update as "Testing". Then again, Microsoft hasn't updated the update page since April 6th.  We'll keep you posted if we hear anything more on this.

Source: winrumors Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

Update: We just checked in on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Update Page and, as PugetChowder notes in the comments, it has been updated.  The Quantum and Focus are listed as "Scheduling" which typically means the update will be distributed within the next ten days.  The Surround update, unfortunately, is still listed as "Testing".

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3 years ago

Microsoft offers President Obama a WP7 device

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It seems Microsoft will do anything to get Windows Phone 7 devices in the hands of everyone who desire "cool" and "hip" products, like the president of the United States -- Mr. Barack Obama. In a recent report published by Fox News (interestingly enough), it seems the president is tired of old and boring technology, he demands new fancy buttons and big screens!

The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff. I'm like, c'mon guys, I'm the president of the United States. Where's the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn't happen.

Microsoft took this opportunity to (amusingly) offer the president a free WP7 device, as shown in the image above. I'm guessing an official White House app would have to be developed in-house? Control the world with the power of pivots, the world will be powered by Windows - Microsoft's dream.

Source: FoxNews, via: WinRumors

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3 years ago

Latest WP7 specs include 2nd gen Snapdragon & optional gyro

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Back to MIX, Istvan Cseri (Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft) revealed the new Windows Phone 7 chassis that OEM's can use to build handsets which is to be released in the coming months.

Observing the image above, we can see the Qualcomm MSM7X30 and MSM8X55 (800MHz) are included in the platform requirements and both feature the Adreno 205 GPU. Gyroscope sensor addition is optional and manufactures will be able to use multiple combinations of memory, gyroscope support and SoC as long as they don't go below current specification requirements. Screen resolution is kept at 800x480 (WVGA). Watch the presentation after the break.

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