Recent Articles

Headlines

3 years ago

Microsoft responds to update criticism, confirms second half of March for NoDo

14

Responding to criticism, Microsoft's GM of Customer Experience Engineering aka the guy in charge of Windows Phone updates, Eric Hautala, posted a lengthy explanation about the pre-NoDo update experience so far, NoDo itself and the process involved. While the write up was informative it still doesn't get too technical for the average reader and at least answers some questions (if not raise more). At the very least, we give Microsoft credit for taking the appropriate action here and keeping the consumer in the loop: no one likes it when something gets screwed up, but they do appreciate when you take the time to explain the situation.

The first part of the article describes "How software gets from us to you" and is mostly a gloss of what we already know: Microsoft develops/tests new software, it gets pushed to the carriers, OEMs and Qualcomm for testing and it gets sent to you, the end user. Some things are left out, like if the carriers/OEMs can send back the software for further revisions and how long the process can take. Hautala finally explains how the "staggered" approach--sending out updates to specific devices--allows them to pin-point problems easier, which is a good point, even if it's not the method we would like (universal update).

The next section went over the "success" of the pre-NoDo update. Once again, Microsoft write it as if the overwhelming majority had no problems, while the blogosphere will highlight those 10% where it failed. We'll leave that distinction up to you. Hautala of course expresses how Microsoft is not satisfied with the problems that occurred and, logically, they are working to prevent them in the future.

The one real interesting area is where Hautala addresses if carriers can block updates. He sets up for an answer but ultimately is quite evasive on the topic:

There’s one more thing I want to clear up. I’ve seen a lot of speculation on blogs and forums lately about whether carriers can “block” an update. We work closely with carriers to test and schedule updates. They may ask us for a specific date to start an update. They may ask for updates to be bundled together. But you should ultimately receive all the updates we send out.

That's not really anything we already don't know and sure doesn't sound like a denial but rather an affirmation that carriers can block one update but have to push the second (bundled with the first). Not too comforting if those updates are spread apart over a few months.

Finally, the big part was on the NoDo update. It is now confirmed that the second half of March is the target for that release. As expected, Microsoft is taking a few extra days to check and double check everything before that big push--something we can't really fault them for, especially with the world watching so closely. It's not the news we want to hear, but at the same time we understand the motivation behind it and will just have to remain patient. If there is one shining bit it's that 'Mango' still seems to be on track, despite previous rumors:

This short pause should in no way impact the timing of future updates, including the one announced recently at Mobile World Congress featuring multitasking, a Twitter feature, and a new HTML 5-friendly version of Internet Explorer Mobile.

So that's good. Sound off in comments on Microsoft's response: good enough for you? Good enough for the market?

Source: Windows Team Blog

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Video Poker - Review

1
1

Video Poker - Review

Looking for a simple poker game for your Windows Phone? Rick Keeney has developed Video Poker for Windows Phone 7 that puts five styles of video poker on your Windows Phone.

Along with the various styles of poker, the app will maintain your gaming stats to let you know how well your playing. There are two versions of Video Poker available. You have an ad supported free version and if you don't like the banner ads, a pay version is available for $.99.

To read more on Video Poker, ease on past the break.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Solitaire - Review

1
1

Solitaire - Review

At last check there were a couple of dozen solitaire game versions for Windows Phone 7.  Jake Poznanski's Solitaire is one such version for your Windows Phone. The game follows the traditional solitaire game with a straight forward layout where you move your cards by touch.

Solitaire is a free game over at the Marketplace and to see if it's worth a download, skip on past the break.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Mnemonix - Review

0
0

Mnemonix - Review

Logonoff is offering the puzzle/memory game Mnemonix over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.  Asides from being challenging to spell, Mnemonix tests your memory by having you match identical tiles that you reveal two at a time.

You have three gaming levels (easy, normal, and hard) and the number of tiles increase as you move up in difficulty. To make things more challenging, you try to match the tiles before the game clock expires. The easy level times out at about 34 seconds with the more difficult levels giving you a little more time. Yes, I know, 34 seconds seems a little odd but I checked it several times and time expires at odd intervals.

Mnemonix has just a few settings. You can turn off the vibration (each time you touch a tile, your phone vibrates) and if you need to practice without the pressure of the clock, you can turn that off as well. Mnemonix also offers three tile designs (two symbols and one numeric) to choose from.

Your final scoring is based on the number of moves it takes for you to match all the tiles, as well as your time. Mnemonix has a very clean, nice looking appearance and ran smoothly. There is a slight addictive quality to the game but nothing that keeps you glued to the game for hours.  The attraction is strong enough to keep you interested in Mnemonix for short periods of time.  It is a nice game to add to your Windows Phone that will add a little variety to your "pass the time with" gaming titles.

There is a free trial version available and the full version runs $1.29. You can find Mnemonix here (opens Zune) over at the Marketplace. Follow the break to catch a video of Mnemonix in action.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Yahoo! finally fixes IMAP issues

1
1

Yahoo! finally fixes IMAP issues

There was me thinking everyone fell asleep at Yahoo! headquarters. It seems they have reportedly fixed the huge IMAP issue that has had people using more data than they should on not only Windows Phone 7, but iPhone too. Just in time for the pre-NoDo update, oh... maybe not.

Rafael Rivera kept an eye on the Yahoo connection as to whether or not they would update their "imapgate" software. Today, he "was pleasantly surprised to see they had upgraded from 0.7.65_12.286037 to 0.7.65_14.298026 fixing the issue." While he can't comment on the exact millisecond the update was published, Rafael suspects it was rolled out earlier this week. 

It’s nice to see Yahoo! fixing problems that arise, although I suppose I’m just an insensitive badass sat on my podium with my shiny ActiveSync account. Are you a Yahoo! affected customer? If so, have you continued to experience issues with data usage today with access via IMAP to your account (should you monitor your traffic)?

Source: WithinWindows

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Chicks n Vixens updated with new locations

3

Chicks n Vixens continues to move through the Beta updates. Beta v 0.9 (shows up on my Windows Phone as v 0.95) is now available that brings new levels, new locations, and cleaner graphics to the "angry birds" styled game.

The game has added Paris, Bavaria (complete with cows), Polar, and Vesuvius locations to the game. While the original location, Uluru, has 23 levels the new locations have anywhere from 1 (Vesuvius) to 11 (Paris) levels.

Unfortunately, the update also brings a few glitches to things to remind you that this is a Beta game. There is an annoying numeric that skips on the upper left area of the screen and a few of the levels in the Polar and Vesuvius locations are missing components. For example, with Level 1 of the Polar location the chicken canon is hovering in mid-air. [Edit: The number is a frame-rate counter--DR]

The game continues to show promise. Even though the game is still in the Beta stages, essentially a work in progress, the update just seemed incomplete. I would have rather seen the additional locations come to the game when they had more levels and weren't missing graphics.

You can find your free copy of Chicks n Vixens here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Bowling XX - Review

0
0

Bowling XX - Review

Finally, a bowling game has landed at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace! Bowling XX by Perlo Games brings the bowling alley to your Windows Phone in a graphically pleasing manner.

Bowling XX has two game modes; Single and Multi-player games. The Multi-player game supports up to four local players (pass the phone around style) who compete in a bowling tournament.  Bowling XX is an entertaining game for your Windows Phone but there is some room for improvement.

To read more on Bowling XX, follow the break.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

HTC Arrive available March 17th in the Seattle area?

9

File this under unconfirmed, but probable.

We have a report that people in the Seattle area may have early access to the Sprint HTC Arrive, which will hit Sprint stores around the 20th of this month. Evidently, some Sprint stores are telling customers that they can pick up their phones on the 17th instead--okay, so three whole days is nothing extraordinary, but it's still, not shabby.

Interestingly enough, the reason given for the early release? Microsoft. We know those employees get to pre-order theirs, with the corp paying for each employee to have a phone and we hare they're nearby Seattle. Furthermore, we're told each store should have one Arrive on hand to play with right now...so maybe go hit up your local store and get some one-on-one time, eh? Let us know if you if you do.

Thanks, Bryce, for the heads up!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Windows Phone Marketplace only allows 5 re-installations of paid apps? Not true...

5

In case you see a few sites running a story about being only to install paid-software five times on your Windows Phone before you are basically forced to re-buy the app for the sixth installation, we'd just like to point out that it is false. Or rather, things were lost in translation. The mistake was easy and innocent enough to make: throw in a French Microsoft support forum, some mis-communication and Google translation and you can see how one could confuse five installations vs five devices.

In case anyone remembers, going back to the Windows Mobile days with that Marketplace [Flashback: May, 2009!], you can only install an application on five devices under your Live ID. Anymore than that and you had to login to the Marketplace and literally de-register some phones. This was done to prevent piracy by people just giving out their Live ID and having like 10 people all using the same apps. Well, the same rule applies to Windows Phone 7--if you are lucky enough to have six phones, you'll have to re-purchase apps for one of them--sorry!

This is all spelled out in the Microsoft official knowledge base article on downloads and installations, found here.

Is there a limit to how many devices I can download to?

Yes. According to the licensing terms, customers are allowed to download an application to 5 phones at a time that use the same Windows Live ID.

So put down your pitchforks, take a deep breath and we'll probably have to revisit this topic with Windows Phone 8, won't we?

More →
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
3 years ago

GoVoice 3.0 coming soon, going free in later versions

1

One of our favorite Google Voice applications is 'GoVoice' (you can't beat free SMS and a single, global number) and while the developer, Nicholai Yu has been busy with other work projects, he does have a shiny new v3.0 of the app headed to the Marketplace. The improvements are many and in our opinion, make this app a lot better.

We got a sneak peak at the app, which is near completion and we can say it is much faster now due to the caching of messages, meaning it doesn't have to re-sync everything on launch. We also like the new counter number and overall added options. Look for it soon in the Marketplace (we'll do a post on it). And we'll let Nick announce the full feature set when he's ready, but it's significant.

The other big news is after version 3.0, Nick plans to make the app completely free. The good news is that we won't loose push functionality and current GoVoice users who paid will stay on the GoVoice servers. For the "free" version, GoVoice will "...provide a way for new users to receive Push" but with different servers than the GoVoice ones. As Nick writes on his blog:

The conclusion is: everyone will still get the exact the same functionality as before. If you need Push and you already paid for it, you will still get it. If you need Push and you didn’t get it through the paid version, we will have a way for you to get it.

He's also not abandoning the project and he does plan to add more features, but he is winding down a bit (and honestly, you can only do so much without having native code or direct access to the system address book). Read more on Nick's blog here and grab 'GoVoice' here in the Marketplace.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Full House Poker coming to Xbox Live on March 16

9

It’s not often we learn about a Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live title’s release date more than a few days before the game comes out, so this announcement comes as a special treat. Full House Poker, developed by Krome Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios, is the March 16 Xbox Live title!

Full House Poker is a special release for a number of reasons. First, it will be the first Xbox Live title on WP7 to have full avatar support (we won’t count Avatar Gadgets). That means you can play the game as your Xbox Live avatar. Even more exciting for Xbox 360 owners is the mobile version of Full House Poker’s integration with the console version. The Xbox 360 game launches on the same day as the WP7 game. Experience and money is shared across both platforms, so progress made in one game automatically transfers to the other. It’s the most complete console-to-WP7 integration so far. Will all that be enough to get WPCentral's Daniel Rubino excited for it? Only time will tell!

Full House Poker on Windows Phone 7 will cost $2.99. The Xbox 360 version will cost 800 Microsoft Points ($10). Each game has its own set of Achievements worth 200 points. Both will launch on Wednesday, March 16.  

See our video hands on from CES after the break...

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Microsoft Support: Samsung Focus update was supposed to be on Monday

20

Although we all know the whole 'NoDo' situation, with it being delayed for a few weeks. But going back a few days ago, we first reported that AT&T was scheduled to role out the update to Focus owners on the 7th. Of course that didn't happen, leading many to question whether it was ever legit or not.

At least according to Microsoft Support, it was indeed scheduled for the 7th:

You are right, the NoDo update was suppose to be released on March 7th, but it has been postponed. We don't know a date yet, but Microsoft will push the update soon.

Like previous dates, what is happening here is obvious: Microsoft sets an internal window-for-release, first it was January, then February, then early March, now late March...but due to ongoing issues with carriers, OEM support/Samsung problems, the dates keep getting pushed back. So when these "rumored" dates appear, they are true...for the moment. But things change and they evidently change quickly.

At least we get the "update soon" part, but who knows if that will stick. So close, so close...

Source: Microsoft Answers; via @AdamUCF (Twitter)

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Terra Explorer heading to Windows Phone 7

1

Ryan Lee, developer of the Favorites Hub, has submitted an interesting application for Windows Phone 7 Marketplace certification. Terra Explorer is a web browser that uses a search engine as a central theme for the browsing experience. Instead of entering a URL, you explorer the internet by searching keywords.  You then have an internal mobile browser to view specific search results.

Searches are returned in a nice range of categories, spread out on hub pages that includes web, news, video, images and wiki results. You can disable the search categories in the settings.  Searches and specific results  can be saved to a favorites list.  Terra Explorer also has theme support with five pre-installed themes and the ability to create custom themes.

Based on the demo video, the app has a clean look to it and a straightforward interface. It will support five languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish and English) and is being submitted as a free application with ad support.  There isn't a time frame for when Terra Explorer will be available at the Marketplace but once it becomes available, we'll get a full review up for it.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Arcadia Scan - Review

2
2

Arcadia Scan - Review

Arcadia Scan is one of those apps that you can use either to a) impress your mates, b) quickly check network connections (be it WiFi or 3G), or c) mess around for a few minutes when you’re utterly bored off your face (hopefully not on drugs). Unfortunately, before I continue, I must point out to you wannabe script-kiddies that this app is no ettercap.

Pros: 
Useful for simple network diagnostics Excellent for showing off your device Features some interesting functions
Cons: 
Horrible looking, should stick to plain Metro Default language is set to French Expensive for what's offered Main menu seems to be missing two options
More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

LG Optimus 7 is the top 100 smartphone in Italy

9

When people say LG and Windows Phone 7, one remembers the comments made about the platform by the device vendor, which explained how they had high expectations but were utterly dissapointed from a consumer perspective. Advancing months into the future and here we stand with Wired Italy awarding the LG Optimus 7 as best smartphone for value. Not bad, eh?

Stated on the article is an interesting claim that the device is a best-selling model. Are you an owner of the Optimus, and if so how are you finding the experience?

Source: Wired.it; via WMPU

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
Show More Headlines

Pages