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3 years ago

WPCentral app hits v1.7 - hot fix edition!

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By now you may have received the update notification for the WPCentral app. It has been bumped to v1.7 and you're probably wondering what's new? Unfortunately, no new features as this was a "hot fix" for the recent site changes here.

If you recall, a few days ago we overhauled our content-management system (CMS) which broke a few things in the app. So if you're experienced some app crashes or images not showing, they should now work well in v1.7. The good news is the CMS change has given our trusty developer Jay a greenlight for adding commenting to the app. Yes, we know you want that feature and we don't blame you, but we had to do the boring backend stuff first. Going forward, not only will we avoid those 502 site-errors we had but we can expand and add new functions. Case in point, hover your mouse over the Mobile Nations Super Bar near the top of your browser, then scroll over each OS. Cool, eh

Haven't tried our official app yet? For shame! Grab the trial/free version here in the Marketplace. If you buy it for $0.99, you get no ads and Live Tile support. With nearly 25,000 downloads and consistently one of the top news app in the Marketplace, you can't go wrong.

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3 years ago

Microsoft Lync Mobile coming in next few weeks to Windows Phone, Android, BlackBerry and iOS

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Lync, the office communication tool from Microsoft, has been a long time in the making in coming to Windows Phone. We did see it recently at Nokia World, meaning its release was close, but now we have some more info. Evidently, Lync Mobile will be coming in the next 4 weeks, which should also be the time for Skype on Windows Phone. What's more, it also looks to be coming for Android, iOS and even BlackBerry.

The info comes form Gary Holden, a tech enthusiast out of Australia. While that in of itself doesn't qualify for rumor validation, Microsoft Australia re-Tweeted his info, placing a "Confirmed" in front of it, seemingly giving solid credence to the time-frame and multiple platforms. If true, and we believe it is, this is a huge win for Microsoft as Lync can rapidly expand to become the go-to app for inter-office communication.

Thanks, Amir, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Big App on Campus campaign

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Big App on Campus campaign

Introducing the Big app on Campus campaign where Microsoft and the Windows Phone team is out to reward student developers for all the time and effort poured into the platform. They are partnering with the band The Gracious Few to create an awesome experience for ten lucky students at SXSW. The lucky chosen few will attend a private concert, receive backstage passes, go to a private dinner with the band, and be interviewed on national radio about their apps.

If that wasn't enough, two $15,000 cash awards are to be given to the developers for the two apps that will be named "Big App on Campus" (one award going to the top free app and the other for the top paid app). The campaign is open to U.S. college and university students who build apps for Windows Phone. Each app created from August 1st 2011 until February 14th 2012 can be entered and students can submit multiple entries. Submissions are due by February 14th and the campaign ends on March 13th.

How will the submitted apps be judged?

  • Innovation (40%): How innovative is the app? Does it do something new or does it accomplish something in a new way?
  • Experience (40%): Does it feel seamless and like a native experience on Windows Phone? Does the app have a polished feel?
  • Potential (20%): Does the app have potential in the market (lots of users, making money, both) or not?

Public voting will include the combination of number of app downloads and Facebook "likes" accumulated. To enter, you'll need a submitted and approved app on the Marketplace and complete the entry form. Be sure to check out the official rules

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Marketplace statistics after one year

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We've been following the Marketplace closely since the platform officially launched in October of last year. The statistics has always made us quietly giggle to ourselves with the growth Windows Phone has witnessed in terms of quality apps being submitted and developers establishing themselves compared to Android and iOS. Distimo, a mobile analytics firm, has published Marketplace data in some pretty charts and graphs. Starting with the image above, we can see the steady growth of the Marketplace, which is well on its way to the 50,000 marker, and compare the increase of paid and free apps with the number of publishers.

From launch 70% of available apps were paid, and this trend continued until early this year where an influx of free apps stormed the Marketplace - accompanied by spam. You'll notice a growth halt between June and July this year, which was due to Microsoft decreasing the number of apps a developer can publish a day with similar functionality. Check out a few more charts after the break that run through app breakdown, the comparison of downloads between Apple and Windows Phone with top 300 free and paid apps, and the number of apps available in countries.

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3 years ago

Tetris returns as the Xbox Live Deal of the Week, eliminates four lines at once

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Anybody remember when Tetris was the Xbox Live Deal of the Week? Those days have returned, comrades. Tetris will again go on sale for $2.99 this week, down from $4.99.

The Windows Phone version of Tetris is actually quite slick. It’s got great visuals and a fine remix of the classic Tetris theme “Korobeiniki.” There are numerous gameplay variants such as Gravity and Radical that add a bit of variety to the game we’ve all played a million times before. Some have complained about the touch screen controls (swipe left and right to steer, tap to rotate, and swipe down to drop pieces), but I find them to be natural and effective. Our review also praises the game’s stat tracking.

Tetris will be on sale for $2.99 for one week only starting Wednesday. Puzzle fans can pick it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

BBC Radio apps receive update

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BBC Radio apps receive update

The BBC Radio apps for Windows Phone, by Igneous Software, have received an update that brings more functionality to the table. The apps themselves were recently updated to Mango two months ago so this is a welcomed refresh with taking advantage of more Mango-only features. Some of the included features are as follows:

  • Reminder function for programmes later in the schedule
  • Direct links to the selected BBC programme’s website
  • Better checks for playback over GSM if the option to block is set
  • Ability to pin the current station to the Start screen (BBC Radio Player only)
  • Addition of 16 new World Service channels including Arabic, Russian and French (BBC Radio Player only)

You can download BBC Radio from the Marketplace for £0.99 ($1.29). Remember that there are four individual apps for each radio station, these are all included in the main app should you wish to listen to more than one station.

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3 years ago

Farm Frenzy 2 comes to Xbox Live when the cock crows

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It seems like only yesterday we were discussing Farm Frenzy 2’s Achievements… Actually, it was three days ago, but that’s still pretty close, and three is prime number just like one. Anyway, speak of the devil, Farm Frenzy 2 is tomorrow’s Xbox Live release.

Farm Frenzy 2 is a casual farm simulator from Russian developer Alawar Entertainment. The game may not be much to look at (ouch, that Live tile!) and who cares about farms? But the game is surprisingly fun;I’m already digging it more than this month’s previous releases.

Most levels have multiple goals, but they almost always involve keeping your animals alive and happy. To do that, you plant grass. When the water for grass seeds runs out, you go to the well and buy more. Happy animals produce eggs and such, which you can then sell or use to make flour and other products. Levels are nice and short, perfect for mobile play. By beating levels, you earn stars to spend on all kinds of upgrades for the farm. It's more fun than a barrel of chickens!

Farm Frenzy 2 debuts on Wednesday, November 23. It will cost $2.99.

Thanks to Dark Synopsis for the tip!

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3 years ago

De-Bugs Pool - Mango App Spotlight

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De-Bugs Pool - Mango App Spotlight

XIMAD has released yet another De-Bugs game over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. De-Bugs Pool has you battling the same pesky bugs but this go around your extermination duties have been transformed into a game of pool.

The Mystery Pond has frozen over for the winter and holes have been drilled to resemble billard pockets. You goal, sink bugs into the holes as fast as possible in the fewest amount of shots. Once you're left with one bug on the ice, you'll advance to the next level.

You loose points with misses shots and by shooting your bugs directly into the holes. You choose a bug to act as a cue ball to shoot other bugs into the holes (much like you would in a game of billards).

Shots can be controlled in three ways. Flick has you swiping at that screen to send your bugs into each other. Yield has you tap, hold and pull back to make your shot. Tilt has you tapping the bug that will act as a cue ball and tilt your phone to line up the shot (only accessible after you pause the game and go into settings). Personally, I like the Yield method for its accuracy.

De-Bugs Pool is a simple yet challenging game from XIMAD that isn't a bad choice when you need to pass short periods of time. There really needs to be a help/how-to section to explain the rules but after about the second level, you get the hang of things.

De-Bugs Pool is a free, ad-supported game that you can download here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Fired Microsoft Windows Phone Manager arrives at Google

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You may not be aware of Joe Marini and why this article is being published here when the news is he's at Google, but there's a small story behind it all. Marini used to be at Microsoft as Windows Phone principle manager and was fired for tweeting somewhat negatively about the Nokia Lumia 800. According to a tweet from Marini (yeah we thought the same thing) posted yesterday, the ex-Microsoft employee is now starting a role at Google. 

According to his Twitter profile; "Google Dev Advocate. Mobile Apps & Web, Product Management and Strategy, API platforms, Developer Relations, Community Engagement." Sounds interesting, and he's apparently setting up a blog to explain what exactly happened at the software giant.

Source: Twitter, via: Engadget, LiveSide, thanks Darren for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live Black Friday sale looks a bit familiar

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Last week, Sonic 4, Full House Poker, and Assassin’s Creed all went on sale for half a day before mysteriously returning to full price. Those three Xbox Live titles are now officially on sale for the week of November 22-28, apparently as part of a Black Friday sale.

Sonic 4: Episode 1 is a 2-dimensional platformer starring the world’s fastest hedgehog. Our review praises its similarity to the XBLA version as well as the touch screen controls, which are the best we’ve encountered in a mobile platformer. Sonic 4 regularly sells for $6.99, but it’s $4.99 this week. Marketplace link

Full House Poker (review) is a single-player Texas Hold ‘Em simulator. Not only was it the first Windows Phone title to feature full Avatar integration, it also shares excellent connectivity with the Xbox 360 version of the game. Full House Poker is on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99. Marketplace link

Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles (review) is a 3D platformer/action title set in the middle ages. With great graphics and full voice acting (though the acting is atrocious), it feels like a DS game squeezed into a mobile title (‘cause it is). The controls are fiddly and the platforming can be frustrating, but the story and action mostly make up for it. Assassin’s Creed is on sale for $2.99, down from $4.99. Marketplace link

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3 years ago

Skandia Bank releases Windows Phone app

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Skandia Bank releases Windows Phone app

Skandia, a Swedish bank, has released a Windows Phone app which blows the recently highlighted Barclays secure pass generator out the water. Skandia's offering allows customers to perform common account operations and manipulate account settings, including the following:

  • Account overview and bank statements
  • Transfers
  • Brief overview of all connected cards
  • Region lock to set up a card when travelling broad
  • Spending limit 

An interesting feature is the ability to set the spending limit. The user can change the overall spending limit, set a spending limit for internet purchases, or completely block the card for purchases on the Internet altogether.

You can download Skandia bank & försäkring from the Marketplace for free.

Source: Wingadget.se

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3 years ago

Samsung Omnia W gets Brazilian

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Samsung Omnia W gets Brazilian

The Samsung Omnia W, which was approved by Anatel (Brazil's version of the FCC) earlier this month and was rumored to be heading to TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile), has popped up for sale on Brazil's FNAC.  This is an unlocked version that is selling for R$ 1299.00, or about $799.00 US.  The price tag seems a little bit steep, even for an unlocked handset.  But it's not so bad, considering they are asking R$ 1799.00 for a Blackberry Bold.   The Omnia W is a solid mid-range WP7.5 phone, equipped with:
  • Super AMOLED screen of 3.7 "
  • 8 GB of storage
  • 512 of RAM
  • VGA Front Camera
  • Rear 5 MP camera with LED Flash and Autofocus
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • Dimensions of 115.6 x 58.8 x 10.9 mm
  • Weight 115 g
  • DNLA
  • WiFi HotSpot

Source: FNAC (Thanks for the tip, John!)

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3 years ago

Sneak peek - MetroTube by Lazyworm Apps [Video]

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It's close folks. MetroTube aka the former app that used to be know as LazyTube is in the final stages of approval in the Marketplace, which means in days or even hours, the app can be yours. MetroTube is a complete rethinking of a YouTube app where the UI has be redesigned all around the Metro UI framework. We like that. You like that.  So lets watch the video and get ready for some greatness.

From our earlier write up on the app's new features:

"We have a revamped UI and pinnable tile support. Users will be able to pin videos and categories (playlists, favourites, subscriptions, etc.) to the home screen for easy access. The most interesting item to pin is an individual author where the thumbnail of the latest video added will be pushed through."

Yeah, it's pretty awesome indeed.

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3 years ago

Problems with the the Nokia Lumia 800 for early adopters

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Ah, problems! We detest problems! The Nokia Lumia 800 has been marketed more than anything else, with an upcoming 4D promotion in London, but as it's early days, some issues are to be expected. The handset has been anticipated for months now since it was unveiled earlier this year. We've had some threads being created on our Windows Phone forum regarding battery life, touch calibration, sound issues, loose buttons and more.

I've personally witnessed some of the problems being reported by consumers, especially calibration and sound issues. For sound; when using headphones (or a speaker system) with the Lumia 800, I'll hear a burst of white noise when a track ends and before a track begins. As well as our forums, the official Nokia support forum is being bombarded with questions surrounding problems users are having.

Are you an early adopter of Nokia's first Windows Phone? If so, have you noticed any issues with the handset? On a positive note, the amount of reports being published could signal how many handsets have been sold. Head on over to our forum and join in the conversation should you be having trouble with the 800.

Thanks Nick for the links and roundup!

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3 years ago

WPCentral Holiday Gift Guide: Automotive Accessories

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Happy Holidays everyone! With the holiday's fast approaching, everyone is looking for gift ideas. We thought we would offer a few gift ideas over the next few days.

First up, automobile accessories. These are range from stocking stuffers to items that would make any Windows Phone user a great under-the-tree present. Gift ideas to make the most of your Windows Phone while out and about in your car.  To see what we'd recommend, hop on past the break.

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