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3 years ago

Qualcomm offering $200,000 for best Windows RT apps

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Qualcomm has announced a Windows RT Metro Style App developer contest at Uplinq 2012. Before you get yourself excited, the competition is only available to those who reside in the states, but should you be eligible you can pocket a chunk of the $200,000 prize - not bad, eh?

Winners will be selected in a number of categories, including 'Best Overall Windows RT app" ($100,000), "Best Compelling Connectivity Use Case" ($20,000), "Best Gaming App" ($20,000), "Best Productivity App" ($20,000) and "Best AllJoyn Peer-to-peer app" ($40,000). Each entered app will be evaluated by a panel.

To enter one must submit their working application where it will then be judged. The entry period is active until October 1st 2012. For more information, check out the competition website. Full press release can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Microsoft to open an Australian flagship Store in Sydney by 2013?

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According to a tipster over at WPDownUnder, Microsoft may well be looking to unveil a flagship store in Sydney, Australia. The report suggests the software giant will open up a bricks and mortar store before 2013 to follow the US advancement.

WPDownUnder notes that should a UK store open its doors, it would spark the beginning of an alteration to the partnership with Arvato, a third-party outsourcing provider who manages Microsoft's online store in 31 countries.

With Microsoft soon to launch Windows 8, the Surface tablet range, and Windows Phone 8 ("Apollo") it makes sense for the company to look at ways to further engage with consumers directly. We've seen this with Windows Phone so there's no reason why we can't see a different Microsoft from the corporate beast what we've grown to love and hate.

Would you prefer to see the company expand globally with stores to combat competition?

Source: WPDownUnder

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Refresh (a.k.a. Tango) starts global roll out

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The Windows Phone Tango update started rolling out to the Nokia Lumia 710 in Canada from Rogers last week. We expected a more global roll out to start today for the Lumia 710 and 800 Windows Phone and sure enough, we've received several tips confirming that today is in fact the day.

It appears that Europe, South American and the U.S. are reporting that they are getting the alert to update their Windows Phone to Tango.

The Tango update includes internet sharing capabilities, a fix for the disappearing keyboard and a handful of other improvements. You can follow along with the global roll out here at Nokia's Tango Update page.

Thanks, everyone, for the tips.

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3 years ago

Review: Nokia Gel Case and Bumper cases for the Lumia 900

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From launch, Nokia has offered a Gel Case and a Bumper case for the Lumia 900 Windows Phone. The two cases offer minimal protection, mainly against scratches.

The cases are constructed from a rubbery plastic that is thick enough to maintain durability without adding any thickness to the Windows Phone. Each case style comes in an assortment of colors and each run $20. They both have a degree of appeal but after using both for a few days, I couldn't help but think Nokia could have done better.

First up, we'll take a look at the Nokia Gel Case.

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3 years ago

British personality Stephen Fry is moonlighting with a Lumia 900. Still prefers the iPhone.

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In our continued "look which celebrity is using Windows Phone now" series, actor, comedian, writer, playwright and all around swell guy Stephen Fry evidently has a Nokia Lumia 900

The famous British personality is well known for his love of all things Apple and is quite fond of his iPhone too. In fact, Fry doesn't seem to be swaying from his love of the iPhone as he took its picture with his Lumia 900.

The evidence comes from this Tweet where the actor comments "My iPhone, pimped into @NCFC colours by the geniuses from @JailBreakCon - I'm blissed out!". The Tweet itself comes from "Microsoft" which we know is the default reference for Windows Phone. In addition, a quick look at the EXIF data from the photo (hosted on SkyDrive) reveals that the photo was indeed taken with a Lumia 900.

Unfortunately, a quick peruse of his Twitter timeline reveals he also has an Android device too and the Lumia 900 gets no mention from him. Meaning? We assume Mr. Fry was given a promotional phone at some point and unfortunately just never really took to it.  Still, maybe he just picked it up and is giving it a go. Either way, we won't hold it against him.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Craig H., for the tip

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3 years ago

Gerbil Physics is the cutest Xbox Live Deal of the week ever

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This must be animal week for Xbox Live on Windows Phone. First we get the simian-themed Super Monkey Ball 2 as a new release, and now the sale game features hundreds of cuddly rodents. Plus it’s never been on sale before, unlike the previous June deals! Gerbil Physics from Pencel Games is on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Sure, Gerbil Physics is a physics-based puzzle game, and we all own like twelve of those already. But this one’s 20 times cuter than the competition! Each level presents stacks of adorable, well drawn gerbils which players must then knock over with well-placed bombs. The Windows Phone version includes 72 levels (three times as many levels as the original Xbox 360 game), lots of new animations, music, and some entertaining story sequences, too.

We’ve heard whispers that a Gerbil Physics title update is in the works. I say whispers, but I might’ve put in a few suggestions as with the recent Chickens Can’t Fly update. Hey, I just mentioned another animal game! If only I could’ve worked Kinectimals into this post too… Oh well. Anyway, we’ll talk more about that update as soon as we can.

Gerbil Physics is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Get it here on the Marketplace and start saving those gerbils!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - Super Monkey Ball 2 brings deja vu and minigames to the Marketplace

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Let’s face it; there just aren’t enough monkeys in your life. That’s where SEGA’s Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition comes in. The Super Monkey Ball sequel is now available on the Marketplace and as expected, it’s packed with both monkeys and balls. How could you go wrong?

After the first game’s high levels of crapulence, I was concerned that Super Monkey Ball 2 might follow suit. Well, it's pretty much the same, for better or worse. The tilt controls are as finicky ever, often making it a challenge to slow the monkey ball or bring it to a stop. A new tilt meter at least shows how the game is reading your device’s tilt, slightly reducing the difficulty. Basically, the tilting is not as good as a virtual stick could have been, but you can get used to it after a level or two.

The secondary goal of earning crowns on every level (by picking up all 10 bananas without dying) is just as frustrating as before. If you fail to earn a crown on a level, you’ll have to play a batch of 10 levels in order to get return to it and have a shot at earning the crown again. Smart ideas like allowing players to pause and retry a level or pick a specific level and try for its crown have sadly remained in the waste bin, covered in discarded banana peels and (presumably) empty whisky bottles. Anyway, if you can put aside the desire to get all the crowns (hard as that is for Achievements lovers to do), the game will be a lot more enjoyable and less frustrating.

SMB 2 definitely one-ups its predecessor in one key area: minigames. All three minigames: Monkey Bowling, Monkey Target, and Monkey Golf work nicely and have easy Achievements. The minigames only support pass-and-play multiplayer though, unlike the iOS version, which had local Wi-Fi multiplayer. Perhaps this one got ported before Microsoft finally started allowing Wi-Fi multiplayer. You never really know with Microsoft; they don’t seem to have a coherent multiplayer game plan for Windows Phone.

Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

Thanks to Zebrasqual for the tip!

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3 years ago

Zynga announces ‘With Friends’ social gaming network with Windows Phone support

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Last week at the Windows Phone Summit, it was finally revealed that Zynga will be bringing Words with Friends and DrawSomething to Windows Phone this fall. Actually, Microsoft's Ben Rudolph teased that both games are "so-close-you-can-taste it" meaning we may be getting those marquee titles by the end of the summer (fingers crossed).

It also looks like that Zynga partnership is going deeper than just those two games. The popular online gaming company just announced 'With Friends' which is hailed to be their own social gaming network and it sounds a lot like Xbox LIVE--you can create a profile, see your friend's profiles, message them and see what they have been playing. Heck, you can even meet people with similar game interests.

What makes this fascinating though is the fact that it works across platforms. The social network will launch on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and of course be on the web, making it a true cross-platform gaming social network...thing

We're not sure if it will be any good but we just like the fact that Zynga is on board with Windows Phone these days.

Source: Wired

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3 years ago

Nokia providing Tango update page to check availability. AT&T Lumia 900 waiting for next update?

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Continuing that trend of providing the best customer experience on Windows Phone, Nokia has put up a page where regular users can check to see if Windows Phone 8773 aka "Tango" has been released yet, or even just the status of the update.

Located at www.nokia.com/global/support/software-update/lumia/software-update-for-nokia-lumia/ uses can select which region they are in and the drill down to their carrier or Lumia version number.

Interestingly enough, the AT&T Lumia 900 is not even on the list for North America which strongly implies that the carrier is skipping the update and heading right for Windows Phone 7.8 which will include the few Tango features. We're not sure if that's good or bad as Tango doesn't really bring much more than a few MMS enhancements to the 900 but still, it would have been nice to see it as there is no ETA on 7.8.

For T-Mobile, we just posted that the Tango update for the Lumia 710 should go live tomorrow, June 27th, after a delay of a week. We'll be keeping an eye out for that one.

Edit: Some readers correctly point out that Nokia specifically mentions this update is only for the Lumia 710 and 800, so we shouldn't expect the 900 to be listed. This is partially true but only because non-North America (AT&T, Rogers) Lumia 900s shipped with "Tango" pre-installed already, so they don't need the update. Only AT&T and Rogers (as far as we know) and a handful of smaller countries don't have 8773/Tango pre-installed. 

Source: Nokia; Thanks, bilzkh, for the tip

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3 years ago

T-Mobile US pushes back Windows Phone Refresh (Tango) Lumia update 710 rollout to June 27

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According to a second leaked internal memo, T-Mobile US is set to kick off the Windows Phone Refresh (aka "Tango") rollout tomorrow, on June 27th. We previously received word from sources that June 20th was the destined date, but it seems as though the upgrade has been delayed slightly. 

The Nokia Lumia 710 is the Windows Phone that will benefit from the update that will be installed via Zune (or the Mac Connector). Internet sharing capability, disappearing keyboard fix, as well as a number of other improvements, are bundled with introduced features which will please those who have been waiting patiently.

Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the lookout for any update notifications.

Thanks, Jacinta, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft Job post hints at bringing Windows Phone and Kinect to cars

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Microsoft's Connected Car team may be looking to bring many aspects of the Project Detroit car to consumers. Project Detroit was a suped-up Ford Mustang packed with the technological horse-power of Windows Phone and Kinect. It's audio, security and lighting systems could all be controlled through a Windows Phone.

According to the job posting, Microsoft is looking for someone to help integrate not only Windows Phone and Kinect with automotive technology, but also Windows 8, Bing, Azure and TellMe. The result would be a fully-interactive vehicular experience:

"The new Connected Car will know its riders, and will interact with them naturally via speech, gestures, and face tracking. It will learn their habits, and offer personalized contextual information and driving assists to get them to their destination as quickly and safely as possible. Through a growing catalogue of applications, it will inform and entertain them, and keep them connected with the people and information they care about."

While Microsoft already offers its Windows Embedded technology in such products as Ford's Sync and Kia's UVO, along with many others, this goes above and beyond.

"The combination of rich local sensing, user identification, cloud access, and data mining will transform tomorrow’s cars from passive objects into intelligent assistants for both the driver and their passengers."

It looks as though the posting may have disappeared from the website, but you can read it in its entirety below.

"We, the Microsoft Connected Car team, have a strong track record and an extensive customer base in the automotive industry. In the past fourteen years, we delivered various iterations of our Windows Embedded Automotive platform to the automotive suppliers of major auto brands such as Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, and McLaren. We also partnered directly with select automakers to create integrated Telematics products such as Fiat Blue&Me, Ford SYNC, and Kia UVO. Featuring cutting-edge communications, travel information, entertainment, and accessory control via voice and touch interfaces, these products have been highly successful, increasing the automakers’ US sales of by up to 35% and telematics adoption up to 70%.

Yet our ambitions do not end there. For the next generation of the Connected Car Platform, we plan to leverage the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem including Kinect, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Live, Bing, Azure, and Tellme. The combination of rich local sensing, user identification, cloud access, and data mining will transform tomorrow’s cars from passive objects into intelligent assistants for both the driver and their passengers. The new Connected Car will know its riders, and will interact with them naturally via speech, gestures, and face tracking. It will learn their habits, and offer personalized contextual information and driving assists to get them to their destination as quickly and safely as possible. Through a growing catalogue of applications, it will inform and entertain them, and keep them connected with the people and information they care about. The possibilities are endless."

Source: Microsoft; Via: IStartedSomething

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 710 Dark Knight Rises cover winners!

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We would like to congratulate Windows Phone Central readers csakre, classykeyser, and xdabob for winning the Nokia Lumia 710 Dark Knight covers. They were chosen at random from this post asking who your favorite Batman actor is.  It appears from the responses that Christian Bale and Michael Keaton are the fan favorites.  We even had one vote for the Lego Batman.

We are in the process of contacting the winners and getting their shipping information.  We will get the covers out later this week.  And if you didn't get chosen, don't give up hope. We've got a few more cases to give away in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

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3 years ago

Audible for Windows Phone now live in the UK Marketplace

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With the announcement of Audible for Windows Phone being released last week, many of our UK readers were asking for the same availability which was absent from the UK Marketplace. Windows Phone Central reader Mark got in touch with the Audible team for information on a possible app for those who reside in the UK, and we have positive details to relay.

According to a representative from the company, the Audible.co.uk app is set to be available in the Marketplace within the next day, but we've now seen it available for download (via direct link) in the UK. Find an excerpt of the email response below:

"I am pleased to announce that we have just been informed that the UK version of the app on the Windows platform has launched today, and will be available in the marketplace as of tomorrow."

You can download Audible from the Marketplace for free using the direct link or QR Code.

Thanks, Mark, for the heads up!

 

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3 years ago

New Smoked by Windows Phone advertisements published

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Microsoft has released a number of new advertisements that carry on the "Smoked by Windows Phone" marketing campaign, which started at CES 2012 earlier this year. Ben ('The PC Guy') Rudolph heads up the adverts that are set to air on TV. The above video shows Rudolph challenging a member of public on the streets of Seattle (as opposed to Microsoft Stores) to see who can locate and share a restaurant with friends the fastest.

We like the new style used in the videos, which appear to be slightly more calm and focus more on the beauty of Windows Phone instead of simply how many wins the platform can achieve. Rudolph runs the participant through exactly why Windows Phone is more efficient at everyday tasks. Luckily, he gave Ramona a shiny new cyan Lumia 900 so Android wont slow her down in future.

Be sure to check out the Microsoft YouTube playlist of the advertisements to view the rest.

Source: Microsoft (YouTube playlist); via: Windows Team Blog

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3 years ago

An exclusive look at the rebalancing of Chickens Can't Fly for Windows Phone

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The new Aquarium laboratory

We’ve already posted the official release notes for this week’s Chickens Can’t Fly version 1.1 update as well as the game’s permanent price drop to 99 cents. But the update actually contains a lot of changes that aren’t touched upon in those brief notes. Specifically, the difficulty of several levels and Achievements got updated for the better. As your favorite lovable (but humble) gaming writer actually had a hand in initiating those changes, I thought it would be fun to share them with you in greater detail.

Head past the break for an up-close look at the Chickens Can’t Fly update, exclusive screenshots, and news about unlocking levels and Avatar awards!

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