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3 years ago

Happy 1st Birthday Windows Phone 7

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Happy 1st Birthday Windows Phone 7

This week marks the week when Windows Phone was officially released in Europe last year. The platform has turned one and boy what a year it has been! We've gone through two updates since launch, NoDo and Mango, and the future looks bright with Nokia coming on board.

It's been a year, how do you think Windows Phone has done so far, and what are you looking forward to most next year? Happy Birthday Windows Phone. Feel like reliving some memories? Click here to see our coverage a year ago of the Windows phone 7 launch.

Thanks TheWeeBearUK for the image!

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3 years ago

Google Talk app OctroTalk returns to Windows Phone

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For those who remember OctroTalk, it goes back to the Windows Mobile days, like the 2008-2009 era. Heck, we worked with the developer on the earliest alpha version.

So it was a pleasant surprise to see them return to form with a Windows Phone edition of the app, supporting Mango no less. The app is v1.0 and does fetch for $4.99, which when compared to the multi-client app IM+, seems a bit high to us.

OctroTalk only supports Google Talk but it is laid out nicely and seem to work a bit better (plus with fast-app resume, handles better than IM+).  It supports pre-set statuses, push and toast notifications and even has a flipping Live Tile. The app looks to be a port of the older Windows Mobile version and so isn't completely Metro UI. It also doesn't play too well with those who use GV Max for monitoring their Google Voice information aka GoVoice e.g. our contact list turns into GVMax contact.

All in all, if you need a solid Google Talk app, this is certainly one to consider. But at $4.99, casual users would be best served with GChat or IM+. You can give the app a try here in the Marketplace with a free trial. (Incidentally, we don't know the limitations of the free trial as the app seems to work just fine and in full).

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: October 17 - 23, 2011

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Another week, another summary. We've got episode 127 of the WPCentral podcast to begin with as well as Dave's Windows Phone forum highlights. Nokia World is in a couple of days and we'll be sure to attend. Hopefully Nokia reveals some exciting handsets. This is also the summary that covers Windows Phone turning one year old! For the summary and links, head on past the break.

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3 years ago

WP7 Halloween Wallpapers are a little spooky but mostly just cute

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Taiwanese blog I Heart Windows Phone has released a set of three Halloween-themed wallpapers for Windows Phone 7. All three feature what appears to be the site’s mascot in different costumes, drawn with an attractive cartoonish art style. These wallpapers are an adorable way to show your Halloween spirit on the go, perhaps as you make a trip to the store to pick up some candy for the trick-or-treaters.

To get the images, use one of the following methods:

  1. Visit the blog on your phone (Google Translate it for a nice introduction to Halloween for foreign readers)
  2. Tap on one of the images to display the full version
  3. Tap and hold on the image and then select ‘save picture.’
  4. Once saved, find the image in your phone’s Photo section
  5. Tap the … button at the bottom of the screen to bring up the menu
  6. Select ‘use as wallpaper’

OR

  1. Download the zip file from your phone using this link
  2. Select one of the three images
  3. Tap the … button at the bottom of the screen to bring up the menu
  4. Select ‘use as wallpaper.’

Source: I Heart Windows Phone  Thanks to Grace for the tip!

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3 years ago

Standalone screen capture utility comes to Windows Phone [Homebrew] -- Updated

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Here's a useful utility for those of you who have a phone that is (a) developer unlocked and (b) interop-unlocked. There's a new little toy out there that willl allow you to take screen caps right on your device without being tethered to the desktop.

The app comes out of the WPXAP forums and is just called 'Screen Capturer' version 2 as it now works on Mango devices. To get it to work you:

  1. Launch app
  2. Set a time via the slider at top (1-60s)
  3. Click ”开始截屏“
  4. Begin screen capture/Hit the Windows Key
  5. Wait for time (set a time(1-60s)) to verify capture
  6. Open Picture --> Albums --> Saved picture

We've been using for a bunch of apps without a hitch. Doesn't seem to work with Xbox games though. Other than that, this is a super useful app for many. And since we're swell folks, we're hosting the file for a quick easy download. Just get the XAP here.

Update: Scratch the inter-op requirment, now just regular developer unlocked devices can use it too. Thanks to Windows Phone Hacker for the update XAP which can be found here.

Update 2: See new version 3 with camera button and English language support

Source: WPXAP Forums; Big thanks to talan1314 for tip and the file!

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3 years ago

Is Sprint killing unlimited data packages?

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Is Sprint killing unlimited data packages?

It's the last major feature that differentiates Sprint from its competitors, but according to DSLReports, Sprint may be slowly moving towards killing off their unlimited data service. As more and more of their users have picked up smart devices on the US network, Sprint has made big changes every few months to their policies regarding unlimited data, and it looks like only time stands in the way of the company making that final decision to axe this unique offering (something the other major carriers did long ago).

Sprint hasn't said anything officially about this yet, but their actions are clear. First they added a $10 monthly fee to all 4G data users, then they capped their mobile hotspot subscribers to 5GB a month. Two days ago Sprint made another announcement via their website, saying that this data cap is expanding to include everything from tablets to netbooks to USB cards and beyond starting in November. The only thing left untouched is your average smartphone.

While Sprint has been gaining new subscribers over the last year from its one-of-a-kind unlimited data plan, the company continues to struggle to gain much of a financial profit. It may not be happening just yet, but here in the next year we may well see Sprint make a final decision and join the other carriers in capping their service, since they obviously aren't beating them yet. It's all speculation at this point, but from looking at the series of events up until now, that assumption just can't be helped.

As of right now, there are only a few Sprint WP7 device owners out there, but if you're one of them, this likely isn't the best news to hear. What do you take from all of this? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Sprint; Via: DSLReports

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3 years ago

Nokia 800 Windows Phone teaser spot appears in the UK? [Video]

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We just received this admittedly tough to discern ad/teaser spot, recorded during X factor USA on ITV2 in the UK. Although you can barely tell what is being shown, it sure looks like a Nokia 800/SeaRay/N9 device being teased.

What's real telling is that the background disco lights are the same from the leaked ad we saw a few days ago, which we find real interesting. Assuming this is what we think it is, it looks like the UK will be getting a taste of Nokia Windows Phone real soon. Anyone else see this and want to comment?

Big thanks to David T., for the video!

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3 years ago

LG E740 and E950 spotted on WP Bench

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LG E740 and E950 spotted on WP Bench

Windows Phone Daily has spotted two new LG devices on the WP Bench statistics page, the E740 and E950. It's worth noting that the LG Optimus 7 is the E900, so we could be in for a Mango version with the E950, much like the Omnia W and Focus S. The E740 on the other hand, we have little to go on.

Chances are we could be looking at a device that is built on the previous leaked E700, but a slight upgrade in terms of hardware, or it could be a carrier-specific handset. Whatever the outcome is for either device, it's good to see LG possibly working on future Windows Phones. Let us not forget the Jil Sander E906, which was only recently launched.

Via: Windows Phone Daily

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3 years ago

London Travel updated to version 3

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London Travel updated to version 3

London Travel, arguably the best travel app available for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 3. This update brings more tile goodness, which was requested by users. The best part? A live tile for your Oyster balance, now that is just awesome. Main highlights include:

  • All tiles in the app can now be pinned to the start screen
  • Oyster live tile that displays your Oyster balance
  • Application tile doubles as a status tile telling you if there are any disruptions
  • Network lines' status can be pinned to the start screen
  • Overall performance improvements
  • Some artwork has been updated
  • Drop shadow removed from application tile
You can download London Travel from the Marketplace. Be sure to check out our review.

 

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3 years ago

HTC Ultimate now available on Vivo Brazil for R$1,800

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If you live in Brazil and you've been itching for the HTC Ultimate aka Titan, you'll be pleased to know it's now available (though limited supply) on Vivo for R$1,800 (about $1,000 USD), just as we reported earlier.

The 4.7" Windows Phone Mango device is one heck of a first for the country and should make a lot of new customers happy. Gizmodo Brazil has some hands on with the phone and seem quite impressed with both the hardware and OS (who can blame them?), noting that the 1.5GHz CPU makes the OS very fast. They also noted the quality of the screen was also top notch--not iPhone Retina great but up there, nonetheless.

Only complaint is a common one: the Marketplace is very limited, with only a few games available. Microsoft evidently responded to the criticism:

"In that first moment, we have 10 games in the franchise available on Xbox LIVE marketplace Brazil by the end of October. Microsoft wants to bring more titles, but as is necessary to follow the Brazilian legislation indicative classification, cash will not be simultaneous to the United States."

So all in all a pretty solid launch, but there's certainly room for improvement on the services side. Check the hands on video after the break for some eye candy.

Source: Gizmodo Brazil

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3 years ago

Windows Phone coming to Colombia in December

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We know Brazil is ready for Windows Phone, so it only makes sense that Colombia get some love too. And according to Jorge Silva Luján, Microsoft Colombia GM, Windows Phone is heading there in December. So was the news conveyed to by him over all things, Twitter, a few days ago.

"Windos Phone en Colombia. Diciembre!! Las personas son el centro,no los iconos ni las aplicaciones. Como tiene que ser. Listos?"

"Windows Phone: People at the center, not apps or icons. They way it should have always been. Colombia available in December. Are you ready?"

From later tweets, he reveals that the carriers Comcel and Movistar will be getting the devices and that both are involved in the approval process at this point. While it's not clear which phone or phones will be available, it looks like the Samsung Focus may be one of them.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Elmo C., for the tip!

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3 years ago

WhatsApp hits v1.3.2 gets a new feature

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Yeah, everyone's favorite chat app, WhatsApp, just hit v1.3.2. As you can probably guess, that's hardly a big version change meaning there's not too much in the way of new stuff. What we noticed:

  • Settings --> Auto-save incoming pictures (new)
  • Version number is now correct (woo!)
  • Performance feels faster (unverified)

Other than that, nothing else. So looks like it's baby steps for WhatsApp, but hey, we'll take what we can get, right? Pick up WhatsApp here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Mosammey, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Marketplace ratings are broken

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Here's something we've noticed over the last few days and was brought to our attention by some developers: basically no new ratings/stars are being calculated. If you have 200 ratings before a few days ago, they're essentially frozen there. If you're a new app or game introduced in the last few days, you may be getting reviews from users, but the star-rating and counter are not being updated to reflect new reviews.

Many users, including ourselves, use the star ratings (and review count) to get a first impression of an app. You see a game with 4.5 stars with 50 reviews, well, you know that's a game to download. Vice versa, if a game has 2 stars and 121 reviews, you know to avoid it. In other words, these ratings and their accurate reflection are key to an app's success in many ways.

Case in point: Jet Car Stunts, released this past Wednesday, has plenty of 4 and 5 star reviews but the overall rating for it? No stars, zero reviews.

We hope Microsoft is aware of this problem and working to get it fixed. But hey, it may not hurt to bring this story to their attention.

Thanks, Daniel J., for reminding us about this

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3 years ago

Comparing cameras: HTC Titan vs. iPhone 4S

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One of the weaker aspects of HTC Windows Phones has been the camera. We keep hearing reports that the camera has dramatically improved on the second generation Windows Phones from HTC.  We've seen comparisons with the HD7 and Titan and now we are seeing a comparison between the Titan and the new iPhone 4S.

Les Numeriques did a comparison of these two smartphones and based on the photos the Titan appears to be capable of holding its own. For the most part, the Titan produced sharper images than the iPhone but the flash seemed to be harsher.  Color saturation seemed to be a draw and overall one could make the case that the Titan is the better performer.

The test photos were taken from a distance of three meters and all settings were automatic.

Granted, these test photos were taken under ideal or studio conditions. The softness in the iPhone photos can be adjusted/eliminated with post-processing software and overall, the iPhone's camera isn't too shabby.  Still, it is nice to see HTC getting the in-phone processing software better tuned and it will be interesting to see how the camera performs in every day conditions.

Windows Phone cameras have come a long way and maybe, just maybe, the HTC Titan will give us a quality camera to go along with a quality phone.

source: Les Numeriques Thanks goes out to RedSamuri for the tip!

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3 years ago

GoodMovie - Mango App Spotlight

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GoodMovie - Mango App Spotlight

Trying to find a good movie? Look no further. The Windows Phone app GoodMovie is the app you want for such occasions. GoodMovie could easily be a must have app for your Windows Phone. If you're a movie buff, it's definitely a must have app.

GoodMovie taps into the Rotten Tomatoes film website and brings all the movie data to your Windows Phone. You can search movies by keyword or by a wide range of categories that include theatrical releases, movies just opening, upcoming titles, movies out on DVD, top rentals, and your recently reviewed titles.

When you pull up individual movie titles you will get pages that cover reviews, information about the movie (actors, synopsis, rating, etc.), images from the movie, news items, and YouTube videos (typically the movie trailers).

At the bottom of the movie title page you'll find button controls to access the search page, search Bing by the movie (pulls up theatrical locations if available), share the movie info via Windows Live, Facebook and Twitter) and pull up the movie via Rotten Tomatoes website.

GoodMovie will also let you pull up similar pages on individual actors that will include any Wikipedia listings for that actor. There is Live Tile support to display the last film you've viewed and images can be saved to use as Windows Phone wallpapers.

We are very impressed with GoodMovie and highly recommend it for anyone needing to find a good movie or for those who just enjoy catching up on movies.  The app ran smoothly and has a nice, clean appearance. GoodMovie is a free application and you can download it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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