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3 years ago

More detail on WP7 Web Marketplace [Updated]

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Todd Brix, the overseer of the Marketplace, just posted an article on the Windows Team Blog which goes into more depth about the web version of the Windows Phone Marketplace. This was announced yesterday, which we relayed.

The new version of the Marketplace available on the web will launch later this year along with Mango. This will, as mentioned in the previous post, bring a new platform to developers that will automatically provide them with more reach to customers without requiring the developer to do (or change) a thing -- it's all backend as expected.

There will be more placements for featured apps that will bring more noticeability and reach, ensuring developers receive more potential conversions while their app is in the spotlight. Users who browse the web version will be able to share apps and games via social media and email to contacts and friends.

Bing visual search will be re-configured too. Any end-user searching for apps and games will now be linked straight to the web Marketplace on their PC, ready to download and install. Your Live ID will be integrated so you wont have to activate a separate payment gateway in order to make a purchase. Simply click and go using card details on your account. Applications and games will be downloaded over-the-air via SMS or email.

It will also be a huge plus for anyone using a Mac who doesn't have access to the Zune software. Oh, and it looks gorgeous, thank you Metro UI.

Update: We've been contacted by Microsoft for a clarification on how the Web Marketplace would operate, ideally:

Regarding how apps are pushed to the phone OTA, we expect the vast majority of customers to install apps to the phone from Web Marketplace in a single step, using our notification service. SMS would only be used the first time if the notification service is not already turned on. This means that customers get the app on their phone with no additional steps - - no links or added engagement on the phone. There is an alternate scenario whereby customers can choose to send themselves an email with a link as we discussed, but practically speaking, we expect most people to simply let the app install in the background.

Source: Windows Team Blog Thanks goes out to Jay for the tip!

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3 years ago

AT&T's HTC HD7S - First Impressions

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AT&T's HTC HD7S - First Impressions

The FedEx Truck left a surprise at the doorstep this afternoon, the new HTC HD7S from AT&T. Out of the box, the new Windows Phone feels good in the hand and it makes a nice first impression.

The 4.3" 800x480 screen looks nice and while it may not match the vibrancy of the Samsung Focus's AMOLED screen, it's not too shabby (it's actually rather nice). The HTC HD7S weighs a smidgen heavier than the Focus and is very comparable in overall size. I think I like the rounded edges of the Focus just a little better.

The HTC HD7S will be available from AT&T on June 5th for $199.99 (after contractual discounts). In the meantime, we'll take the HD7S out for a test drive over the next few days and have a full review up on the site shortly.

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3 years ago

Tethering still missing from Mango [Updated]

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While it seems all our feature check lists were complete throughout the Mango VIP preview yesterday, there was one small function they seemed to miss - tethering. This is without doubt one of the most requested features by consumers and it seems the Windows Phone team are aware of those user who require it.

Achim Berg, corporate Vice President of Windows Phone marketing, told Pocket-lint at the VIP event in London that he regrets not being able to get tethering included into the update by the development team and mentions it was clear on the day (at the event yesterday) that many of those in the audience wanted that feature to be mentioned.

Update: Microsoft's Matt Bencke responded and gave more detail on the status of tethering on the Windows PHone blog (Thanks, @techSage)

"I appreciate your pain around tethering (using your device as a modem) as this has been something that I've used in the past. Tethering, in the past was something that we managed independently of the Mobile Operators (e.g. AT&T, Orange, Verizon). In recent years, the Mobile Operators have now taken ownership of this functionality x-all platforms (e.g. our competitors as well as us). We are continually working with them and our OEM partners to enable this functionality for our devices, but at this time there isn't an announcement that we've made in regards to rolling out this feature. Stay Tuned!"

Source: Pocket-lint, via: PocketNow

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3 years ago

Mangos are orange and "orange" is now "mango"

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When all the buzz about the latest update goes away and codename "Mango" becomes Windows Phone 7.5, will the fruity moniker be forgotten?  The developers at Microsoft say no. 

They have left a little tribute in the newest iteration of WP7.  The color scheme once known as "orange" will be called "mango" starting with version 7.5. 

No word yet on what the next major upgrade will be called, but here's to hoping we won't be sporting any "banana" themes in the future.

Source: WindowsPhoneSecrets

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3 years ago

Game Chest: Logic Games is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

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Following on the heels of OMG: Our Manic Game comes Game Chest: Logic Games, the new Xbox Live Deal of the Week. It’s down to $1.99 from the regular price of $2.99.

Logic Games contains three distinct games: chess, minesweeper, and Sudoku. Each game comes in easy, normal, and hard varieties. Chess is the star of the bunch in that it offers a weird invite-a-friend-on-PC to play option. It’s an interesting workaround to the prohibition against online play, but the invitation method is so slow and clunky, I doubt many people will use it except to earn the associated Achievement. This version of chess has no customizable settings and no local multi-player option - a glaring oversight.

Minesweeper is a love-or-hate it game. I’m sure many people out there have tried it on one platform or another, died in the first move or two, and called it quits. But I’ve always found the act of deducing which spots are safe and which have bombs to be quite enjoyable. This version’s controls could be better – I sometimes set off a bomb when I was trying to zoom in and out on the higher difficulties. Easy and Normal are good ways to kill time though.

Sudoku is a highly competent version of the Japanese puzzle game. The only video game version of Sudoku I’ve ever found truly addicting is the version Nintendo included in the Brain Age DS games. In Brain Age, gamers can select individual puzzles instead of being assigned random puzzles, and then try to beat their best times. Logic Games’ Sudoku lacks those two elements, but completing random puzzles is still decently fun.

Our review praises the Game Chest games’ progression system. Each time you complete a game, you’ll earn points. Gain enough points and you’ll level up. It takes absolutely forever to level up after a while though, making it a real chore to go for the Achievements for reaching maximum level in each game.

If you like two or more of the games included in Game Chest: Logic Games, it’s a logical purchase. The game is $1.99 for one week only. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Lync for Mango to have IM and presence, maybe not voice at launch

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With the overhaul that mobile Office is getting in Mango, word has also come down that a mobile version of Lync, the inter-office communication and VOIP system, will be made available for users in the Fall.

But which features will be on board has been a bit of mystery, until Microsoft manager Paul Bryan discussed it a bit in an interview with ZDnet:

We're still working through some of the capabilities and we don't know exactly how far we'll be able to get in this release. IM and presence are the primary features. There may be more capabilities we can connect to over time.

If you know what Lync can do, you can kind of see the future beyond the first release of the app. We definitely see IM and presence as the core capabilities of the experience.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Microsoft is juggling a lot with Mango and trying to get as much done as possible. But like all things, this v1.0 will be just the beginning of Lync for mobile and will have to go through revisions to get it up to full specs. Still, something is better than nothing and we think this will go a long way to win over corporate users. [See our hands on with Mango Office, from yesterday]

Added: Mary Jo Foley reports that Lync Online, a companion of sorts to Office 365, also won't launch with voice--making IM/presence the key features of Lync a certainty

Source: ZDNet

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3 years ago

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - Review

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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - Review

What’s the first thought that comes to mind when thinking about Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Chris Tarrent perhaps, or possibly the background music?

Either way, the game is on the Marketplace and it’s a great resemblance of the TV quiz show when it was a relatively successful hit a good decade ago, originating in 1998. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on Windows Phone 7 is an Xbox Live (achievements enabled) general quiz game which sports an easy-on-the-eye interface and features the classic music present in the shows on TV.

Continued after the break.

Pros: 
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Xbox Live Leaderboard Achievements Good UI Quick and stable Music
Cons: 
Repetitive Single function
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3 years ago

Hydro Thunder GO is now available on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone

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In all the hub-bub yesterday, we forgot to mention that Hydro Thunder GO is now available for $4.99 in the Marketplace. This is the beginning of six-weeks of must have games...

From the app description:

Blast through 12 ferocious courses with the powerboat of your choice and compete against 15 devious opponents with strategic use of your Hydro Boost power, Mighty Hull and Hydro Jump abilities. In addition to visually stunning environments and insane track layouts, the ever-changing water conditions keep the races varied and interesting.

First thoughts? Yeah, it rocks. It's a bit tricky and there's lots to master, but it's blast when you hit that ramp and fly through the air. We had no problems forking our $5 over for the game after playing it for a few minutes, that and the replay value looks high on this one, making it a decent investment.  Let us know in comments your thoughts: good, underwhelming, worth the money, etc.

And here's your complimentary lnk to the Marketplace for Hydro Thunder GO! And full trailer after the break

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3 years ago

Three, T-Mobile and Deutsche Omnia 7s getting NoDo

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We've received word from readers that they are receiving the NoDo update for their Samsung Omnia 7 devices on T-Mobile UK and Deutsche Telekom. I can also confirm that Three have been rolling out updates to their Omnia 7 handsets, so we can only hope that this is the last of the problems Samsung device owners will encounter. Should you encounter problems when updating to 7392, be sure to check the Samsung patch.

Unfortunately, still no word on Focus handsets. We will -- of course -- notify you all as to when we receive any information. To some, the news of more manufacturers coming to the platform is music to the ears with the potential switch to avoid future mishaps.

Source: T-Mobile, Thanks @awicksey and mydefposse for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Turn by turn directions demoed for Mango

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Of all the new features, the one some of us are pretty excited about is turn-by-turn navigation in Bing. It was something that many of us got used to on Windows Mobile, so it's been a struggle in 2010-11 to have it go missing (especially with an EVO available for driving).

While the system is hardly ground-breaking, it looks well implementd here and should greatly help when driving around a new part of town. Check after the break for a video of the Mango emulator in action.

Source: YouTube (SharpGIS) Thanks, Sébastien M, for the snapshot above

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3 years ago

ZTE to bring Mango devices to Europe in Q3

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This is interesting news, at the VIP event yesterday, ZTE was one of the new manufacturers who will be joining the Windows Phone 7 platform and increase the number of handsets available to consumers. Today, we've learned that they apparently plan to launch their first device Q3 this year.

According to a report over at Reuters, Jeffrey Fan (Vice-President of ZTE's terminal devices unit) told them that they're already working on a smartphone for Europe and plan to launch it this year. It will be exciting to see what the Chinese manufacturer brings to the table. Being the fourth largest handset producer in the world, it could be yet another positive push that WP7 needs on top of Nokia.

Source: Reuters, via: WMPU

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3 years ago

Sprint Arrive May 7392 update being pushed out now

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We mentioned a few days ago that Sprint would be pushing the May 7392 OS update on May 24th and sure enough, we just got the notification.

The update addresses fraudulent security certificates and doesn't seem to offer any new functionality, though we'll update if we find any on the HTC ROM side. To update, just plug your Arrive into your computer and sync and/or hop into Settings --> Phone --> Update and make it check for an update.

Say what you want, but at least with T-Mobile and Sprint here in the U.S., there's no drama.

Update: Looking at the "About" info before/after and we can confirm that only the OS is updated, there is no firmware revision, no new radio software nor new bootloader.

Thanks, @tiggscolo, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Demo: LiveTris shows how powerful the new Mango Live Tiles can be

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Rudy Huyn, the developer who brought you TVShow, has just posted up a video showing how one could create a Tetris game, using just the new and expanded Live Tiles in Mango.

The developer has no plans to actually release this commercially, but the code exists and he's going to be putting it out on Codeplex for others to look at. The point, of course, was more conceptual: to make an app without an app. And in doing so he took advantage of Mango's new features for developers, including multi live tile + agents + deep link.

It's nice to see devs like Rudy pushing the boundaries of programming less than 24hrs after the release of the Mango SDK. It will be very interesting to see what devs come up with next!

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3 years ago

The Wall of Live Tiles exists

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The Wall of Live Tiles exists

Remember how a few weeks ago we reported on how Microsoft was contacting developers about featuring their app with a Live Tile on a "wall" and that this wall would be featured at some upcoming Mango events? Ahhh...yes, now you do!! It's all making sense now, right?

And what you see above is, you guessed it, the developer wall of Live Tiles. Basically a large LCD screen, it featured 112 apps all blinking, flipping and doing their live thing. In fact, before the main even kicked off, this was the screen shown on the projector.

Microsoft seemed pretty proud of it and it does show one of the more important elements of our OS in action, plus it's a nice tribute to the developers out there.

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3 years ago

Not that it matters, but it's Windows Phone 7.5, not 7.1

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Earlier this morning, a bunch of tech sites ran with a "Mango is Windows Phone 7.1, not 7.5" story, citing one section of the WP developer site with placeholders front and center. We didn't run it because it seemed to not be an accurate reflection and we've seen quite a few 7.5 references that cannot be so easily dismissed.

Long story short, in the newly released Mango emulator, the "About" screen clearly shows Windows Phone OS 7.5, putting to rest any doubt. (Or is it, perhaps Microsoft is just toying with our nerdy fascinations?)

But as the title says, it's not like it really matters in the end.

Source: Den Delimarsky (Twitter)

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