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3 years ago

Microsoft giving away Xbox 10th anniversary avatar item

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As many of you know, Microsoft is celebrating 10 years of the Xbox this week and in turn, there's also sorts of interesting info and items coming out e.g. Halo Anniversary edition.

For those of you who like Xbox avatar items (but hate paying for them), you may want to head over here to grab yourself their "Xbox Anniversary Prop". The item is basically a gift box that you open with exploding fireworks. You can see "me" above sporting my Fruit Ninja outfit...awww yeah. Okay, it's not exactly the coolest thing we've seen (we like our Windows Phone prop, personally), but it's free and adds a little spice--especially if you have no props currently.

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3 years ago

Google Voice client GoVoice is getting a Mango update soon--first look and changelog

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For those who use Google Voice (hey, some of us have 4 carrier accounts and need number management!), you've been probably hurting since Mango came out with the app selection. Our go-to app has always been GoVoice, which while not perfect is by far "the best of the bunch" in our opinion. Still, while it's a solid app it hasn't had an update in a while, has an issue with the counter ("1" would permanently be on the Live Tile) and it certainly is not Mango-optimized.

Now the developer, Nick Yu, is back working on version 3.2 which is nearing completion. In fact, we're running it right now with great success. Here's the changelog:

  • Smart dialing/texting - Type the phone/name of a contact without going into the contact picker
  • Hyperlink within a message - click on the link, email, or phone number directly in text messages
  • Better notification setup - eliminating the need to leave app to setup GVMax. All gmail forwarding is set up in the app
  • Better tombstoning and Mango support - resume app faster
  • Better scrolling within conversations
  • Added the ability to call phones directly and not through GoVoice
  • Minor other fixes

The biggest thing we've noticed? Speed. It's so much faster now both in terms of launching and scrolling. In turn, this has made using GoVoice much more "native" like since it doesn't feel tedious to load or use like the current situation. Also, notifications are quicker and more reliable. We don't have a release date, but since we're running a near-final version, you can bet it's real close. Grab the non-Mango version of GoVoice v3.1 for free here in the Marketplace. We'll keep you posted when version 3.2 lands.

Between this app and 4th & Mayor's impending Mango-makeover, our week has been made.

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3 years ago

WPCentral Podcast 130--now with video!

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WPCentral Podcast 130--now with video!


We're back this week for another exciting podcast. We go over this week's big news, software updates, Jay rants a few times about Xbox LVIE games and we cover some hardware news. We should also note we're doing the podcast not only live on Monday's but now with video (and very soon with HD), so you can creepily watch us instead of listen.

In fact, after the break not only can see the show notes, but you can watch the podcast. Welcome to the future!

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3 years ago

Unity gaming engine "skipping" Windows Phone 7

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Unity Technologies, maker of the ubiquitous gaming engine of the same name, will be "skipping" Windows Phone 7, according to their CEO, David Helgason.  He explained that the decision was made based on the fact that WP7 is closed environment:

"[WP7] is a relatively closed system so you can't run native content, which means we can't really support it.  We could, in theory, do what we've done with Flash, which is to rewrite the engine so it works inside a non-native environment. So it could be done, in theory, but it's very much in theory because that would require a huge amount of work and uncertain results."

The good news is that Unity is taking a close look at Windows Phone 8, hoping that it will be more open and better suited for their content.  In the meantime, Microsoft will be missing out, while its competitors, iOS and Android benefit from the hundreds of apps created with Unity's engine.

This is not the first time that WP7 has been bypassed by a major gaming engine.  Epic Games put forth an effort to port their Unreal Engine over to Windows Phone, but Microsoft refused to give them native access, despite a very amicable relationship between the two companies.  While it is understandable that MS wants to avoid opening up their OS completely, it could be a bit misguided to cut off these opportunities, especially considering that they are heavily pushing Windows Phone as a mobile gaming platform. 

Source: Develop; Via: Joystiq

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3 years ago

WP7.5 up for Flashie Award

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WP7.5 up for Flashie Award

Seattle-based technology website, TechFlash, is kicking off voting for their annual Flashie Awards.  The first category to be decided is Tech Platform of the Year, for which Windows Phone 7.5 Mango is a nominee.  Microsoft also has Kinect and Windows 8 contending for the same award and is going up against Apple's iOS, Android and Amazon's Kindle Fire. 

Winners will be announced at the Flashie Awards ceremony on December 1 at Seattle's Music Experience Project. 

If you want to show your love, click the source link below to place your vote.

Source: TechFlash (Thanks, Derek!)

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3 years ago

Tango v1.1 in Marketplace; updated for Samsung Omnia7 & Focus

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Tango, which was released last week, has now been updated to version 1.1.  The only change to the video chat app is the addition of support for the Samsung Focus and Omnia 7, which previously had issues running it.  A Samsung-branded iteration of Tango, also labeled v1.1 made a brief appearance in the Marketplace, but has since disappeared.

Samsung owners, rejoice, and get your chat on here.

Thanks for the tip, Dmitry!

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3 years ago

Head to Head: HTC Radar vs. Samsung Focus Flash

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The HTC Radar and Samsung Focus Flash can both be considered entry level or budget Windows Phones. They both have low pricing points when compared to their big brothers the HTC Titan and Samsung Focus S. And they both have scaled back features (smaller screen, less memory) but meet minimum specs.

While both may be considered an entry level Windows Phone, both are solid performers within their own right.  We've reviewed both and find them both be be quality Windows Phones in their own right.

Now we'll see how both measure up against one another.  And for that, you'll need to slide on past the break.

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3 years ago

Dilbert Hub goes Mango

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Dilbert Hub goes Mango

The Dilbert Hub has gone Mango.  For those not familiar with the Dilbert Hub it's a Windows Phone app that brings all the Dilbert comics you can handle to your Windows Phone.

The update, version 3.0, Mango features such as fast resume and Live Tiles into the mix but also the comic strips are now touch zoomable. While the Dilbert Hub supports landscape view which enlarges the strip somewhat, being able to zoom into the strip is a nice bonus.

The Live Tile support brings the "Daily Dilbert" comic strip to your Start Screen. Once pinned, there is a little bit of a delay (up to thirty minutes) in initiating the tile where it will display the "Daily Dilbert" tile.

The Dilbert Hub is still laid out nicely giving you access to over twenty years of archived comic strips, featured strips, and the ability to search the strips by keyword. Add the ability to share comics via Facebook, email or SMS and you've got a fairly complete Dilbert resource.

The Dilbert Hub is a free, ad supported app for your Windows Phone. You can download the updated, mango version of the Dilbert Hub here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Cincinnati Bell now offering HTC Radar for $99

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The HTC Radar 4G is now available at Cincinnati Bell for $99 with a two-year contract.  The price includes a $50 mail-in rebate, as well a $35 "web special."  That $35 special discount offsets the activation fee of the same price.

If you are one who tends to fear commitment, you can go contract-free for $299.99, after $50 instant savings and a $50 rebate.  Free shipping is also included.

The Radar runs a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM and 8GB storage, along with a 3.7" screen and 5MP camera.  It is a middle-of-the-road Mango phone, and a favorite amongst our crew.

Source: CincinnatiBell (Thanks for the tip, Josh!)

UPDATE: One of our readers, Gary, pointed out something that slipped by us.  Unbeknownst to us, apparently the HTC Radar is an Android device...or so it says under the Tutorials tab on Cincinnati Bell's site.  We have left a voicemail with their media relations department to make them aware of the faux pas. Thanks, Gary!

UPDATE #2: It looks like word got to the right people.  The good folks over at Cincinnati Bell emailed us to let us know that the Android reference has been removed, along with the entire Tutorials tab.  We would have liked to have seen a similar tab praising WP7 in its stead, but at least potential customers won't get something they are not expecting.  Thanks to Eric at Cincinnati Bell!

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3 years ago

Steve Ballmer: I'm bringing Windows back... yeah! [Updated]

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I don't know why people don't like Steve Ballmer, I think the guy is entertaining during presentations and has brought Windows a long way since the Vista flop. We now have Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Xbox set to perform increasingly well and integration has finally come around. One thing we have known for a while (since Microsoft announced they would introduce Metro UI to the Xbox and Windows 8) is that the Windows Phone platform should gain some momentum through a unified experience.

As Ballmer replied to a post-PC era question at a recent company shareholders' meeting:

"We've got broad Windows initiatives driving Windows down to the phone. With Windows 8, you'll see incredible new form factors powered by Windows from tablets, small, large, pens, smaller, bigger, room-sized displays."

The reception of the new look of not only Windows 8, but the upcoming Xbox dashboard refresh too, has been generally positive. Sure there is some skepticism as there would be with any radical alteration, but the combined eco-system will eventually prove to be the best chance for Windows Phone to pick up some speed. Metro UI will be the backbone of the Windows interface and will differentiate Microsoft's product line from competitors.

Update: Fixed the quote, which was misinterpreted.

Via: Liveside, BusinessInsider

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3 years ago

SFR offering white label ZTE Windows Phone?

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According to a report at MonWindowsPhone, SFR is offering a white label ZTE Windows Phone (the ZTE Tania?) Allow me to introduce the Windows Phone Internet 7, yup almost as good as that huge device name on Android. The ZTE handset is currently unavailable but will be priced at €269.90 (€9.90 when purchased with a package). The specifications includes a 4.3" screen, 5MP camera, 1Ghz chip and 3GB available storage.

Source: MonWindowsPhone (Translate), SFR

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3 years ago

Teaser: Nokia teams up with Deadmau5 for an epic 4D promotion on 11/28 in London

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Nokia UK just posted this amazing teaser video featuring music by Deadmau5 which promises an epic 4D promotion in (on?) Millbank Tower in London on November 28th.

The video just shows behind the scenes as engineers and lighting specialists being the preparations for what looks like an epic, end-all-be-all for Nokia's Windows Phone push in the UK. Seriously, between what just happened in New York City last week and what this video is promising, we're pretty excited. Looking to transform the building's "800 windows" into a "groundbreaking 4D audio and visual experience" in no small task.

This should certainly gain some publicity for Windows Phone and Nokia!

Thanks, Keith H., for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Get missing Zune Pass features in Australia now

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Get missing Zune Pass features in Australia now

While the full-force of the Australian Zune Pass still needs to launch tomorrow, bits and pieces of it are now available, including being able to sign up. However, if you want all the good stuff now, Chris Walsh from ChevronWP7 (and Eric Lawrence's Fiddler app) have your back.

In a post on his blog, Walsh details a relatively easy method by which you can trick the Zune Servers and get access via the Zune Desktop to those "missing features".

Looks like a fun way to kill fifteen minutes and get the good stuff now. Read more at Chris Walsh's blog here.

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3 years ago

Nokia is giving away five Lumia 800's on Facebook. Again.

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Want a Lumia 800 (see review)? Who doesn't? If so and you have a Facebook account, head over to this page to participate in a chance to win one of five devices being given out. We saw a similar contest earlier with Nokia UK and now with the main Nokia Facebook page.

All you need to do is give a photo or video of "something amazing", a theme which Nokia is pushing with the Lumia series. Looks to be a good deal to us and it cost nothing to try. Good luck!

Source: Nokia Facebook; via owindowsphone.pl

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3 years ago

XBLIG indie stunt racer OSR Unhinged coming to Windows Phone

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Riddlersoft Games, the UK indie developer responsible for A Robot’s Conundrum and Abyss: The Great Ascent, will soon publish a new indie Windows Phone title: OSR: Unhinged.

OSR, aka Old School Racer, first debuted on consoles as an Xbox Live Indie Game. It’s basically a Trials HD-style physics-based stunt game. If you haven’t played Trials, think Jet Car Stunts but in 2D. Not my kind of game, but lots of people love ‘em. The mobile version adds some extra content, which is always welcome.

Here’s the feature list for the Windows Phone version:

  • 30 Unique levels with alternative roots and hidden tokens.
  • 6 mini games.
  • 200 tokens to collect
  • 10 bikes to unlock
  • Your own ghost to race against.
  • Leaderboards for every level and mini games
  • Elite Leaderboards that give your overall rank as well as interesting statistics.
  • Smooth performance and tight controls.
  • Lots of options to set the game up as you want.

OSR Unhinged should be available on Windows Phone later this month. If you can’t wait, the Xbox 360 version is now available for 80 Microsoft Points ($1). Grab it here from a PC or Mac.

Source: WP7Connect; Thanks, Dale, for the heads up!

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