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3 years ago

'Rocket Riot' gets 2nd price drop to $2.99 - Xbox Deal of the Week

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Just a few weeks after dropping from $6.99 to $4.99 (and 36 hours since I just bought it, grrr), Rocket Riot is getting another price cut to the ultra-low $2.99. That's a really, really good price for a game that fits easily in my top five for Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone. As mentioned in our earlier post: "Rocket Riot is a side-view shooter with retro-inspired graphics. It controls exceptionally well for a touch-screen game and is just plain fun."

Seriously, it's a fun game with what could be the world's most catchy theme song--I dare you not to get it stuck your head. Give it a go and grab it for this low price. No word if this is the "Deal of the Week" (we're pretty sure it is though) nor how long it will last, but if you were holding out before...grab it here.

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3 years ago

Hands on with the Sprint HTC Arrive

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Hands on with the Sprint HTC Arrive

Yes, our Sprint HTC Arrive has showed up and we're liking it so far. The device is the final production model headed to stores this weekend and it rocks the latest build of Windows Phone 7, 7389 with NoDo on board.

For those curious, no sign of the MicroSD card though it may be under a tiny metal door--more on that later. But sporting 16GB of memory should be enough for a lot of folks. The volume sliders appear to changed slightly--while not raised too prominently, they are very wide, making volume adjustments a breeze. The Arrive is comparable to the Touch Pro 2 in size, though noticeably thinner.

Overall, first impressions matter and ours is the Arrive is a winner. The screen is better than the HD7s', the keyboard is better than the LG Quantum and the design is quite stellar. Look for our review shorty by George Ponder and smaller follow up review by Daniel Rubino.

Have questions you need answered now? Fire off in comments and we'll get to them later tonight.

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3 years ago

Switching from Android to WP7, should I be nervous?

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In the world of mobile phone technologies changing from one device to another usually brings excitement. Getting a new device with more memory, faster CPU/GPU, better cameras, newer and faster radios is so thrilling. Other times it can bring the same immense excitement mixed in with the feeling of wanting to throw up. If you fall into the latter camp, it’s probably because you are switching OS platforms and a devote technophile. That is where I am currently at … the week before a new device launch and I am planning to switch OS camps. This time around is the HTC Arrive for Sprint which is the first Windows Phone 7 device for CDMA networks; you might know the GSM variant, the HTC 7 Pro, with slide-out keyboard and all.

This isn’t my first (or last) switch from phone OS’s. I’ve gone from PalmOS to Windows Mobile (2003 all the way to 6.5) to Blackberry, to webOS, to Android and, to iOS. All of these in no particular order and on several occasions more than once. This time feels different to me than previous changes. When I wanted to switch from Palm to Windows Mobile, it was because of the lack of multitasking and Wi-Fi support. From Windows Mobile to webOS, it was the lack of pretty and notifications. From webOS to Android, it was… well it was a lot (credit goes to Palm/HP for making round two three more interesting). So, why am I making the switch now and why the sudden urge to expunge my Jolt Cola and beef jerky?

The rest after the break...

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3 years ago

Anandtech look at the Dell Venue Pro: "exceedingly well designed"

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While we've heard lots of bad things about Dell and the lumbering launch of the Dell Venue Pro, one thing you can't knock about the device: it sure feels nice. In fact, every time we play with one we're reminded of the quality (too bad about the T-Mobile thing, though). Hardware and review giant Anandtech.com have put the DVP through its paces and have come out pleased--actually more than pleased, calling it their favorite Windows Phone device on the market.

Between the 4.1" AMOLED screen, slider keyboard, overall unique design and hardware quality, the DVP in their minds beats out the Samsung Focus, HTC Surround and LG Optimus 7--which are all fine device in their own right. Doing what they do best, Anandtech put the DVP through hardware benchmarking and the device does pretty well, when compared to other Windows Phones:

  • 3G Talk time: 5.7 hrs
  • WiFi Web browsing battery life: 4.8 hrs
  • 3G Web browsing battery life: 4.12 hrs

Some negatives may be the hardware button type (too recessed) and the screen is not very bright. Still, the device seems to hold its own.

Putting aside the DVP, it's actually more interesting to see how Windows Phone, in general, compares to other, newer devices running the latest hardware e.g. iPhone 4, Motorola Atrix 4G, Nexus S. The difference comes down to the old, Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon QSD8250/8650 versus newer SoC like Apple's A4, the Tegra 2 or Hummingbird--in short, Windows Phone get walloped in terms of battery and performance, specifically the poor Java Script support. Anandtech point out that currently, WP7 just doesn't support at the driver level newer hardware and although we don't have any immediate complaints about performance, per se, it'd sure be nice to have a Focus with a Humminbird SoC, no?

Source: Anandtech

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3 years ago

HTC Prime WP7 slider on its way?

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HTC Prime WP7 slider on its way?

XDA China has posted a picture and details of the the HTC Prime, a new phone sporting a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.  The keyboard on the Prime looks to be a departure from the bulky tilting ones that we are used to seeing on other HTC phones.  Instead, it appears to be a thinner, straight slider with oval buttons, rather than rectangular.  Other features of the phone include:

  • 3.7-inch WVGA touch screen with 480 x 800 resolution
  • 512MB RAM
  • 5MP camera with auto focus and LED flash
  • Wi-fi and Bluetooth

No carrier information has been specified. There is no release date included in the write-up, but there is speculation that the Prime may be unveiled at CTIA.

Source: XDA.cn; Via: PocketNow

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3 years ago

Sprint Arrive for $150 on Amazon Wireless

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3 years ago

Is the HTC Ignite a new Windows Phone?

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File this one under rumor, with contradictions

The above image comes to us from XDA.cn, which in fairness, does get a high amount of accurate leaks--well, they get it right some of the time. The above rendering is of the supposed HTC Ignite, a device rumored for a mid-2011 release. As Pocketnow notes, the HTC Ignite  is also listed on UK etailer King of Gadgets, so the name may be in use by HTC after all (although to be honest, it sounds like Android for some reason).

The contradictions come into play with the specs: resistive screen and an 800MHz processor? Umm, no. And there's no evidence to suggest that Microsoft is downgrading the chassis requirements. It's not Chassis 2, which are front-qwerty devices with a different resolution and not coming anytime soon, so something is not correct there.

Still, forget all of that: we like this image and HTC should make this design 'cause it's slick as all heck. Reminds a bit of the Nexus S.

Source: XDA.cn; via Pocketnow

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3 years ago

Hands on with 'TapSplosion' [Video]

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Over the weekend we posted a demo vid of the new game 'TapSplosion', made by Dave Leverton who's website informs us he's "...a university student, spending 1 hour a day on a personal project! Creating a Windows Phone 7 game in XNA!".

We got a chance to play with TapSplosion, which should be hitting the Marketplace any day now. Initial thoughts? We like it. The graphics and design are fantastic, just really polished looking. The music also goes with the game very well and kind of rocks. As you can see from the video, the game is a "survival" type where you have tons of enemies spawning all over the place and you have to eliminate them using various 'spolsions or other tricks e.g. gravity well. It's like 'Geometry Wars' combined with 'The Revenants - Corridor of Souls' and it works well.

If we had to pick out some things can be improved, we would suggest difficulty levels and perhaps another type of game in addition to "survival" as gameplay is short and furious with this one (you usually can't play for more than a couple of minutes). But hey, it's made by a a student and for v1.0 we like what we see and are having fun playing it. The game will probably for $1.29/£0.99 (+ Trial) though we think a "lite" ad-supported version may be a good idea as well.

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3 years ago

Sprint HTC Arrive $50 on pre-order from Wirefly

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For those of you who aren't Sprint customers looking to switch for the HTC Arrive, which gets released this weekend (there has to be like 10 of you), you may want to jump on this Wirefly deal: Two-year contract for new customer and get the Arrive for $50. If you're renewing, you can grab it for $150--still better than Sprint.

Wirefly has been very aggressive lately in their pricing and to put this in perspective, Sprint is going only as low as $199 after rebate plus a new contract for the slider Windows Phone device. So getting it for $50 in all  instant rebates is a heck of deal. The real question though is how many will actually grab this deal with Sprint not known to be gaining that many new customers?

We'll be keeping an eye out for you on-contract folk too as $199 seems a bit high in our book for this phone.

Source: Wirefly

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3 years ago

Farewell Zune Devices

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Farewell Zune Devices

It seems Microsoft have finally chosen to halt development of the much greatly under-performing Zune media player, in a report published by Bloomberg. Is this a wise decision to cut off their portable media player?

We think so. Sure, the Zune has had its fair share of sales and use but for Microsoft to take the mobile competition seriously and contend with all guns blazing, they need to step up their game and increase development efforts with WP7. While the product line has suffered, the software and service has been a slight-success with the additional coverage on the Xbox 360 and WP7 platforms.

Included in the report, Bloomberg states that Microsoft will continue to sell existing models of the Zune, but will not introduce anything new. What do you think of this latest move, and do you believe it will have a positive effect on Windows Phone 7 development?

Source: Bloomberg; via BusinessInsider

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3 years ago

No Xbox love for Chicks n Vixens

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No Xbox love for Chicks n Vixens

While Chicks n' Vixens continues to blaze a trial through Beta updates, it won't be heading to Microsoft's Xbox Live lineup. Jabberworx had hoped to be one of the few independent developers to gain Xbox Live status.

According to a post over at Windows Phone Metro, Jabberworx reports that Microsoft has turned down their request for Xbox Live status. Microsoft, according to Jabberworx, said Chicks n' Vixens was too much like Angry Birds (which will be an Xbox Live title).

Chicks n' Vixens is an entertaining game and has potential for success, Xbox Live or not. However, the game still needs polishing (and a little more gusto wouldn't hurt) to make the game competitive.  Unfortunately, the latest Beta Update seems to have added more glitches than fixes.  Glitches that hopefully can be ironed out with the next Beta update.

If you haven't tried Chicks n' Vixens, it's a free game you can find here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Source: windowsphonemetro

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3 years ago

3rd party Foursquare app bringing advanced features to Windows Phone

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While wait on the official Foursquare application to be updated/fixed just to allow basic functionality, we'll still be missing all the new features that Foursquare has been rolling out our other platforms in their v2 and v3 designs. Yes, they say they're working on that too but we don't see an immediate time frame for release.

Jeff Wilcox, independent developer and Senior Software Development Engineer on the Silverlight Phone & Devices Team at Microsoft, had decided to take matters into his own hands and make a super Foursquare app--an app that is almost ready to for launch.

While his new version won't support everything in v2/v3 from the get-go, he hopes to roll them out in frequent updates, so although we don't know the exact feature-set of his v1, here's what he wants it to support eventually:

  • Photos of venues
  • Photos with tips
  • Associating a photo with a check-in
  • Commenting on check-ins
  • Leaderboard results when checking in
  • Additional special types

One thing that is really nice about Wilcox's approach is his penchant for detail--the guy works on the Silverlight team and knows how things should look and how they should work, case in point:

Building out an application this large with the right level of performance is not easy, and I’ve had to build a number of specialized components along the way. Many of these components I’ve polished enough to behave just like you would expect the Windows Phone to – and this is important to me. I don’t want a user to have an inconsistent experience from the rest of the phone, and so I’m taking the time to build these to a high level of quality.

I have an eye for detail and as a result really find it offensive when I’m using apps that don’t respect the OS design and user’s preferences, for example: I want my selected “accent color” to come through in the app. I would like the experience to feel authentic to the Windows Phone, and not be a “port” of some other app experience from another platform.

In other words, we can expect quality, not something rushed and thrown together. We'll be looking for this app and hope to have a hands on soon.

Source: Jeff Wilcox Blog; Thanks, @mF3rr0, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Find Joe, get a look at IE9 Mobile

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Find Joe, get a look at IE9 Mobile

Microsoft is set to launch Internet Explorer 9 tonight with a big bash at SxSW.  According to a Tweet by Joe Marini, Windows Phone Web Platform Program Manager, you can at least get a glimpse of the mobile version as well.  He will be packing a WP7 phone sporting the new browser and invites attendees to check it out.

Though it is widely thought that the new browser will be rolled out as part of the highly-anticipated Mango update, we could see it much sooner.  For more detailed info on what to expect from IE9from Marini himself, check out our previous coverage.

Source: Joe Marini; Via: Liveside

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3 years ago

Official WP7 Foursquare app having login issues?

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We got a tip from a reader claiming they and others are having trouble logging in to the official Foursquare client for Windows Phone. The problem reportedly started a few days ago and people on the Zune Marketplace have been giving some poor reviews citing the same issue.

For what it's worth, we just created an account with Foursquare (web) and are unable to login via the client, just like others are reporting. Anyone else having this problem if you logoff the app and log back in? We're reaching out to Foursquare for a comment and will keep you posted...

Comments via WP7Applist; Thanks, Victor Hugo Marques, for the tip

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3 years ago

877,000 Windows Phone units sold in February?

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Did Microsoft sell 877,000 Windows Phone handset last February? Microsoft has reported earlier that two million of the phones (or is it licenses) have shipped/sold since release.  One source is now calculating, based on the use of Windows Phone Facebook applications, that an additional 877K have moved since. Could Microsoft be approaching 3 million units sold mark?

The basis of this projection is a presumption that for every active user of the Windows Phone Facebook application, there are 6.756 handset in circulation. If this ratio is correct and there are 504,972 monthly active Facebook app users, then there should be 3,378,000 Windows Phones in the hands of consumers. Subtract sales that Microsoft has reported and you come up with 1,378,000 units sold.  That comes out to 31,318 units per day and in subtracting the few days in January following the MSFT sales announcement, you should come up with about 877,000 units sold in February.

Without anything official from Microsoft, or any other Windows Phone partner, all of this is purely conjecture.  While it will be nice if these numbers eventually hold water, you have to wonder if there's a more accurate and verifiable way to calculate sales than by the number of Facebook applications in use.

Source: thenextweb

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