Yesterday, Rovio’s Amazing Alex launched on Windows Phone 8 as an Xbox Live title, whereas Microsoft’s long-awaited Ms. Splosion Man debuted only for Windows Phone 7 devices. More than one reader remarked on the irony of the graphically simpler Amazing Alex heading straight to Windows Phone 8 while a more complex game turned out to be incompatible with it.
Rovio has a history of releasing separate Windows Phone 7 versions of its Angry Birds games though, so it should surprise no one that Amazing Alex has just turned up on Windows Phone 7 minus the Xbox Live features. Let us not mourn the death of an ironic situation but instead celebrate the life of a new Windows Phone 7 game. But are Windows Phone 7 gamers ready for 100 levels of amazing physics puzzles?
By Sam Sabri, Thursday, Apr 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm EDT
Graphically Asphalt 7: Heat is by far one of the most impressive games on Windows Phone. Gameplay is fun, visuals stunning, and the choice in cars should keep most gear heads happy. One big complaint about the game though is the amount of space it takes up in storage.
The game was 878M but required 4.7GB of free space. Ouch for users with limited storage – like the 8GB version of the HTC 8X. An update today knocks some of that space down.
By Sam Sabri, Thursday, Apr 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm EDT
HTC has always been a big partner of Microsoft. They’ve been onboard with Windows Phone since the beginning in 2010, but the history goes back deeper than that. They started out making devices for other companies (running Windows Mobile) and took off when they started to produce devices under their own name. With the upcoming ‘Blue’ update across a variety of Microsoft platforms it’s becoming harder and harder for OEMs to build a Windows Phone and not have a corresponding tablet running Windows 8 to complement it.
NPD DisplaySearch, a market research and consulting firm, believes that HTC is working on a tablet running Windows 8.
Galactic Reign was quite the revelation when it appeared on Windows 8 and then Windows Phone 7 and 8 last month. Here was an exclusive strategy game for Windows platforms with cross-platform asynchronous multiplayer, and Microsoft basically forgot to tell anybody about it before release. But it’s definitely worth playing if you enjoy competitive strategy games. Check out our review to learn just how the game works.
One of Galactic Reign’s most unique aspects has to be its large-scale space battles. See, the fleets of ships that clash against each other in the game can number in the thousands. Instead of rendering these battles in-engine, the details about each side’s armada are sent to the cloud. From there, a cinematic video gets constructed and sent back to the game for players to watch.
The technology for those cloud space battles comes from Canadian developer Slant Six games. Last week at GDC 2013, we chatted with Paul Martin, Director of Technology and James Ricker, Cinematics Director about Galactic Reign’s videos and Slant Six Games’ experience working with Microsoft. Head past the break for the full video interview!
Speedtest.net is the must-have app if you’re curious about data speeds on your Windows Phone. Based off of the site of the same name, the official app finally came to Windows Phone 8 in January and quickly received a bug fix shortly thereafter.
Version 1.1 is now live in the Store and it brings two new tings to the table, including a fix to a bug that “caused cell network tests to be seen as Wi-Fi tests”. That’s certainly useful and good to know.
NearSpeak is an interesting Near Field Communication (NFC) app for your Windows Phone 8 device that lets you record voice messages and store them on NFC tags.
There are a couple of neat aspects to NearSpeak. First, NFC tags typically lack the storage space to hold audio files. To record your voice, NearSpeak uses speech recognition to convert your spoken word into text. When played back, the text on the NFC tag is converted back to audio through NearSpeak's speech files.
Good news for those of you who watch Netflix “on the go” and who also have 720P devices like the ATIV S or HTC 8X. Netflix version 126.96.36.199 is now out on the Store, and it adds at least two things that we can see right off the bat: support for 720P resolution (meaning no more “black bars” for viewing) and double wide tile support.
That first one is pretty huge as being able to see full HD video on a 720P HD screen is kind of a big deal for Netflix fans. Now that the app has the full resolution support, videos can be watched “wide screen” and boy do they look great.
Users of the sequential photo app Blink will want to go and grab version 1.2, which just hit the Windows Phone store. The new version contains a changelog, which allows us to tell you exactly what has been updated in this release.
Ever felt like getting stuck into the Lumia 620? A video published by YouTube channel LE55ONS shows exactly how to disassemble, reassemble and fiddle with the insides. It's 27 minutes long and provides an in-depth walkthrough on what to do to achieve the task on opening up the Windows Phone, as well as identifying each component.
We’re thinking of a new series to bring you simply called “Who’s ripping off Windows Phone now” because as many of you know, Modern UI has been lifted by quite a few companies and websites. In all honesty, we’re flattered and if anything it validates the attractiveness of Microsoft’s design.
But we do have limits, especially where “inspired by” crosses over into flat out copying.
Acedia: Indie Horror is a mystery game for your Windows Phone 7.x and 8 device that has a spooky, almost creepy, feel to it. Inspired by "Slender: The Eight Pages", Acedia is a scavenger hunt sort of a game where you are tasked with finding particular objects/relics to complete each challenge.
You navigate through what appears to be a vacant mansion where the only light is your flashlight to hunt down various relics. The 3D animations and graphics are nice and the soundtrack gives the game a suspenseful feel. As if at any second something is going to jump out of the shadows and eat your brains.
UC Browser has been updated for Windows Phone. The popular third-party web browser offers unique functionality that's not offered by the default Internet Explorer. We last looked at the app back in January when optimisations and synchronicity were added in a previous release. So what's new in this latest update?
We’ve covered the blurring technique that some of us have adopted on Windows Phone recently. The trick is to find an image you want as your lockscreen and then to blur it using a filter in Photoshop or something similar. The effect is to basically add ‘bokeh’ to the image, allowing you to still see it, but making the text (and notifications) more legible.
We also recently posted Lock Widgets by Jaxbot from the site Windows Phone Hacker. That app added some cool weather and battery info, and when we ran the story, we showed it with a blurred background.
Evidently a light went off in Jaxbot’s head as he’s gone forward to create a freebie app that simply takes whatever image you want and adds “blur” to it. Intensity is based on a slider scale, and users can either save directly to their phone or instantly make it a background.
Microsoft and Nokia are preparing to hold a Windows Phone Developer Camp in London. May 11th this year will mark the day when the two companies will provide an introduction to the Windows Phone platform for developers who haven't quite looked into hopping on to the train just yet. Numerous sessions will be held with some hands-on labs. It's set to be a worthwhile day for anyone looking to develop apps for Windows Phone.