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3 years ago

Samsung's GT-i8350 running Mango inches closer to release with BT cert

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While we don't know much about the Samsung GT-i8350, we do know it's a Windows Phone running Mango and looks to probably replace the Omnia 7 in Euroland. The phone has evidently received its Bluetooth certification, sporting BT v2.1 with EDR which while not the most exciting news of the day, at least means that (a) this phone still exists and (b) it's on its way to release, to which we say "yaaay!", because we like ourselves some Sammy.

Source: Bluetooth; via Pocketnow, Blog of Mobile

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3 years ago

Minesweeper and Sudoku are now available for free on Xbox Live

Tired of playing Flowerz, penniless Windows Phone Xbox Live gamers? Then today’s your day! Minesweeper and Sudoku are both on the marketplace costing nothing at all.

Minesweeper and its kid brother/dance partner Sudoku are the games many of us know and love, but they do include some fancy new additions to get the cerebral juices flowing. There’s the snazzy/maybe a little plain Metro UI design, a leveling system, and powerups that can ease the pain of challenging levels. To learn more about the powerup system and future plans for these titles, check out our mini-interview with Babaroga, the developer. Both games are free and ad supported, so their Achievements are only worth 50 GamerScore a piece - 150 less than a standard Xbox Live title. But hey, free GamerScore is free GamerScore, so let’s not get bogged down with numbers.

Logic puzzle loving gamers can find Minesweeper here (Zune link) and Sudoku here on the Marketplace.

Update: Games only available in the U.S. as of now, may show up in other regions later. Maybe not.

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3 years ago

Pro Evolution Soccer is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Goal!!!!

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Sports fans who haven’t bought Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (the only sports title on Xbox Live so far) for some reason are in for a treat this week. Konami’s premiere soccer game is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week at $2.99!

PES 2011 is a surprisingly accurate recreation of the sport, with realistic tactical game play, licensed European teams, advanced A.I. and numerous authentic animations. Can you kick a soccer ball into some guy’s junk if you want? Not quite that realistic, but I digress.

Pro Evolution Soccer’s 3D graphics contribute to the realism as well. The player models, detailed stadiums, and weather effects all make for a very console-like presentation. The game features multiple control options: simple accelerometer and touch-screen controls or a virtual pad and buttons. It’s also got some very grindy Achievements, so prepare to be in it for the long haul if you want the full 200 GamerScore.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 is on sale for $2.99 (down from $4.99) for one week only. Get it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace, football fans!

(Yes, this does mark the second of Konami’s three Xbox Live games to go on sale. We’re that much closer to a Castlevania Puzzle deal!)

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3 years ago

Motorola now "completely open" to Windows Phone but with a catch

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Motorola has had quite the ride, first being on board with Microsoft and Windows Phone then shunning it for an Android-only approach to now, evidently reconsidering using the OS. In between those two position shifts, Moto's stock has steadily declined over the last year (see our salty editorial, or their stocks above), demonstrating that going it alone with Android isn't enough anymore. Fact is, everyone has an Android line in the mobile biz which is why Nokia went with Windows Phone--easier to differentiate yourself as a brand.

Now we're at a point where Moto CEO Sanjay Jha, speaking at the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference, said "I think we're completely open to the notion of Windows as a platform" which is a big change from "I don’t envision us using Microsoft. I would never say never but it’s not something we’re entertaining now." just six months ago.

Still, despite being sued by Microsoft, Jha is still angling for a sweet deal like Nokia has received, gaining more freedom and sway over the hardware and software. To that last notion, we chuckle only because Motorola, you're no Nokia. But hey, we like the change of heart, Jha. Maybe we'll be seeing something in late 2012 from you folks after all. Or not, whichever.

Source: FierceWireless; via ZDNet

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3 years ago

Cnet's Molly Wood takes WP7 for a spin

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Cnet's Molly Wood takes WP7 for a spin

Last week or so, Cnet's Molly Wood was lamenting her experience with Android on her Twitter account. Brandon Watson noticed and like Scott Adams, offered her a Mango device (HTC Trophy) to try out. If she doesn't like it, then he'll donate $1,000 to her choice of charity.

Since then, she has received the phone and in her first video on the issue, she shares her thoughts. Now at first take, we wanted to roll our eyes at some of the complaints, but then we remembered to step down from our tech-riddled high horse and treat her criticisms as valid--because if anything, her initial experience is what you would expect your non-techy friends to be like, warts and all. So while it's true that 'Words with Friends' is not available on Windows Phone but we do have 'Words by Post', not everyone will see them as the same. C'est la vie.

We're not sure if we're going to cover all of Molly's thoughts on Windows Phone, but it is interesting to see her perspective. And before you laugh her off, remember, she's more like your average consumer than not.

ps If the right video doesn't play, just go to the Cnet. Their player is a bit...lacking.

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3 years ago

INRIX Traffic gets an update, looks into the future

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We mentioned INRIX Traffic last month (here's our video overview) when it was released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It's a nifty little app to show you where traffic problems are occurring in your area. INRIX Traffic pulls traffic information from commercial fleets, in-dash GPS units and other consumer devices (over 5 billion data sources). INRIX Traffic users also contribute to the data stream by sending anonymous "GPS Speed" data to the INRIX servers which is digested to determine traffic flow.

Well, tomorrow (8/10/2011) INRIX is set to release an update for INRIX Traffic. Version 2.0 will not only tweak things under the hood but also add the following features to the mix.

Traffic Forecasts: Look up to 8 hours ahead to see what you can expect when you hit the road. This features helps drivers determine the best time to leave based on how traffic conditions are expected to impact travel times.

Quick Reporting: Report accidents and police activity along your route to help improve the system's reporting and to help other drivers avoid congestion, save time and travel safely.

Landscape Mode: Now you won't be stuck in the portrait frame of mind. With the update, INRIX Traffic will have landscape support to add to the versatility.

For those already enjoying INRIX Traffic, look for the update sometime tomorrow.   If you need help with avoiding traffic issues, INRIX Traffic is worth checking out.  INRIX Traffic is a free, ad-free app and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Traffic and Travel UK available and updated

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Planning a holiday to the United Kingdom anytime soon? Based in the UK and just need some help in avoiding traffic headaches? Traffic and Travel UK is available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that may help you get around the UK a little easier. Billed as the most comprehensive app for finding information on Road, Train and other travel disruptions throughout the United Kingdom.

Traffic and Travel UK was recently updated to version 2.1 bringing traffic cameras in Wales, improvements to the push notifications to the apps Live Tile, and with the Quick Traffic feature you can see a listing of traffic instances in order of distance from your current location. Additional features of Traffic and Travel UK include:

  • The only app providing specific and detailed travel information for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, London, and Sheffield area.
  • Road maps and lists detailing traffic information in the UK.
  • Live Tile Push notifications displaying traffic updates from your selected region without opening the app.
  • View specific Traffic and Roadworks information for UK roads by Motorway or A road.
  • View Traffic Cameras in Scotland, Northern Ireland (Belfast Area), Wales, and Sheffield area.
  • London Traffic information selectable for each area of the city including roadworks and congestion charging information.
  • Access Transport for London ‘s 182 CCTV cameras on major London roads.
  • National Rail disruption information, UK Stations Map, and find your nearest by distance to current location.
  • London Underground and DLR line status and delays information for now and the coming weekend as well as maps of stations, and distance to current location.
  • Searchable list of 850+ Private Hire Taxi firms in greater London area with details of each company.
  • View map of piers, and timetables for Thames Riverboats.
  • UK ferry port map.

There is a free trail version available for Traffic and Travel UK with the full version running $1.29. You can find both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Dan for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia to make Windows Phone 7 the main focus of new devices in North America

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In a big gamble by the Symbian-based smartphone giant of the world, Nokia is planning on making some pretty amazing changes in their emerging US market in the near future. According to an interview with AllThingsD, Nokia's plan is to shift all interest in the US and Canada from manufacturing and selling their current lower-end devices and feature phones, to creating a market that revolves around all things Windows Phone 7 and the accessories that go with it.

It's all done in an attempt to restructure the major brand over the next several years to become a superior manufacturer of Windows Phone 7 devices, and from the words of a Nokia spokesperson, it sounds like it'll be one of the final shots the company will have at regaining some footing in the US (and later the world). "The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do (elsewhere)."

We've already seen some of the work that Nokia has been doing with WP7 devices in their upcoming (and yet to be announced) "Sea Ray" line, but it looks like we'll soon be hearing a lot more as Nokia is also preparing a marketing blitz to announce upcoming launches. With the largest marketing budget that the company has invested to date, they're looking to rebrand themselves as leaders of not just WP7 devices, but smartphones as a whole.

Of course, Nokia won't be ignoring where most non-smartphone users come from, and rumor has it that WP7 "Tango" is being released with Nokia's low-end smartphone consumers in mind. At ZDnet there is some well-founded speculation on the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft in making these new devices. If Nokia can win over the masses of low-end smartphone owners with a less expensive WP7 device, Microsoft wins too - as writer Mary Jo Foley puts it, "Tango is “all about Nokia” and focused on hitting the lower-price point for Windows Phones that Microsoft and Nokia execs have been promising." This makes sense too since, for the most part, the vastly un-penetrated non-smartphone market is just waiting for cheaper prices to arrive for these mobile computers.

The changes will also include moving their sales force to Sunnyvale, California; which is much closer to the Microsoft Research Campus in Mountain View than their previous locations on the East Coast of North America, but that won't be finished until early next year. For now, get ready to hear more news from Nokia's North American branches. It looks like they'll be bringing us something big to talk about in the near future.

Source: AllThingsD and ZDNet; Via: Engadget

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3 years ago

A few Microsoft execs have some fun [Video]

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MGXFY12 Kurt D Comedy Video from Buttercuts Editorial on Vimeo.

While Microsoft may often come across as a monolithic corporation, it's sometimes good to remember that behind the company are individuals and personalities. So it's always nice to see them have a little fun, which is what you see above.

The video is taken from MGX FY12 and like Long Zheng who found this vid, while we don't know the context, we still find it funny nonetheless. The four unlucky carpoolers are Kurt DelBene (President of Office), Qi Lu (President of Online Services), Chris Capossela (Senior VP of consumer marketing) and Andrew Lees (President of Windows Phone) who we briefly spoke with in Barcelona. Yeah, that Andy Lees, which is what makes the Windows Phone comment that much more funny.

via: iStartedSomething

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3 years ago

AT&T's T-Mobile acquisition not a slam dunk at FCC

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FCC merger reviews are often seen as a formality, if not a complete joke.  But in an interesting turn in AT&T's purchease of T-Mobile, the Federal Communications Commission said yesterday that it will be combining its review of the proposed acquisition with AT&T's recent purchase of Qualcomm's 700 MHz spectrum.  This shows that the FCC is serious about making sure that the playing field is at least somewhat level, and that AT&T actually stands a chance of being denied.

Critics, which include other carriers, politicians and current customers, have argued that it will lead to high prices and degraded services for consumers, and will hinder industry innovation.  AT&T, as you might imagine, disagrees.  They recently hired consulting firm M+R to conduct its own study of the issue, which to no surprise came back favoring the deal.  M+R researcher Allen Rosenfeld says that the FCC has it all wrong; that they should not be looking at the outcome of a deal, but the outcome if no deal is reached:

At the core of the flawed apples-and-oranges comparison is an implicit assumption that, in the absence of the proposed merger, T-Mobile USA’s current pricing structure would continue to be available to consumers. In the most-general sense, that assumption implies a continuation of the status quo for T-Mobile USA for the foreseeable future. More specifically, it assumes that T-Mobile USA’s overall customer strategy, driven by plans priced lower than AT&T’s and Verizon’s, could be sustained for years to come. A close look at the industry and the competitive outlook for T-Mobile USA, however, casts serious doubt upon the validity of the assumption that T-Mobile USA, going it alone in the absence of the merger, would be able to sustain its pricing strategy and that consumers would be better off if the merger were not approved.

In other words, T-Mobile's strategy out out-pricing the bigger carriers cannot continue on its own.  If AT&T doesn't swoop in to the rescue, poor T-Mobile will no longer be sustainable as-is, and customer rates will have to increase.  How noble, AT&T, how noble.

Source: GigaOm

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3 years ago

Nokia Sea Ray out for testing, shows up on mobile speed test

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It's been a few weeks since we heard anything about the Nokia 'Sea Ray' aka Nokia's first foray into Windows Phone. Evidently, the phone has showed up on DSL Reports, the mobile speed testing site for broadband devices, coming in at 1211kbps which isn't too shabby.

What gives the device away of course is the user agent, here reported as Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows Phone OS 7.5; Trident/5.0; IEMobile/9.0; Nokia; SeaRay). That's a pretty good give away, though not impossible to spoof either.

Still, we've heard from our own sources that engineering prototypes have been sent out to their respective testing facilities, which possibly explains it popping up here. We've also heard some things about a 3.7" screen, a Micro SIM card and a code name of "Sabre", for what it's worth. Perhaps that latter name, if true, is a carrier name for the Sea Ray.

At least we're getting closer!

Source: DSL Reports; via Blog of Mobile, Pocketnow

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3 years ago

WPCentral Podcast 121

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WPCentral Podcast 121


We're back for another podcast, recorded live earlier Monday. Catch Daniel and Jay as they re-cap the world of Windows Phones, discuss the Google debacle, some Microsoft happenings and the latest on the WPCentral app.

Full show notes after the break...

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3 years ago

Wanted: Beta testers for new game 'Wheel of Wealth'

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Like Wheel of Fortune? If so then you'll want to head to Shantek Online Solutions, developers of an upcoming game called 'Wheel of Wealth'. They're looking for about 100 beta testers for their upcoming release to put their game through the wringer, finding bugs, giving recommendations, etc. You don't need to be a developer either as they're going through the new "private beta Marketplace" made available via the AppHub. You simply supply your LiveID, you get a special download link from the Marketplace and bam, you have a new game to test for a few weeks. 

Sounds good to us. So why not lend a hand, help make a game better and have some fun while you're at it. Win win. Head right here for more info.

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3 years ago

Add Japanese (and other) language packs to Mango Beta

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Mango not only promises to bring 500 new features for regular users but also numerous other languages for the rest of the planet. For those who want some Japanese on their Windows Phone now, or perhaps those looking to explore how to add other language, a neat little hack has appeared over at NanaPho.

The trick requires a registry edit before you upgrade to Mango (you can't yet edit the registry on Mango devices, as far as we know) and may be good for those playing with DFT's custom ROMs. While in NoDo or earlier, simply launch the registry editor and make these changes:

1. add this entry on your NoDo (7390 or 7392) phone.

key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\MUI\Available

name: 0411

value: Japanese

2. update to Mango Beta 2 Refresh

3. you will get Japanese language

Of course the potential is there to add other languages, though it has to be verified. Other language packs which are made available with the Mango release include 0413 (Netherlands), 0419 (Russian), 0804 (Simplified Chinese), 0404 (Traditional Chinese) and in theory, those should work too. Looks to be a cool trick for those not wanting to wait the extra month or two for the RTM Mango to hit.

Source: NanaPho

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3 years ago

Samsung gives away Rubik's Cube game

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Good news for you Samsung owners out there, you get a free official Rubik's Cube game! Yup, as part of their Samsung Zone, they're giving away the game for free to all who own an Omnia7 or Focus.

"The classic cube is available in various dimensions with 2x2, 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 solid colour stickers on each face. Challenge yourself every time with the randomize feature. There are not time limits, take your own time to solve the game and track your records through the 'Best score' logs. Revisit your incomplete games in the saves games list to complete them. pause and resume your current game at any point. Learn to solve the cube through hints and the included help documentation."

The game's tile is also Metro allowing to blend in nicely. What else can we say? It's smooth, looks cool and is totally free. A+ on that, Samsung. If you're on a Sammy device, just click here to the Marketplace as it's not yet available in the Samsung Zone. (Thanks, Tahiti Bob, for the heads up!)

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