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3 years ago

Official Foursquare app gets Windows Phone Tango certified but no overhaul for new service

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The official Foursquare app still focuses on Check-ins

A few interesting tidbits about the official Foursquare app for Windows Phone that you may be interested in on this lazy Sunday. Even though we swear by 4th & Mayor, some of you like the unique design of the Foursquare app even if it's a tad slow by comparison.

Today the app has an update to version 2.11 which is certainly fairly minor but still important. The first one is that it now runs on devices with 256MB of RAM aka "Tango phones" like the Lumia 610. While less than 2% of the apps of the Marketplace are non-Tango optimized they tend to be some big titles (mostly Xbox LIVE games), so it's nice to get that nod. 

The second update is the more vague "bug fixes" which will hopefully address some issues some of you may have had recently.

Perhaps the bigger news (and non-surprising) is the official Foursquare app has not been update to the new "5.0" system like Android and iOS. Those apps were completely rebuilt and re-coded from the ground up with Check-ins losing their primary status for the service. That's right, most users evidently weren't even using Foursquare for check-ins but rather recommendations of nearby locations.

Check-ins in the new Foursquare have been sidelined as the service expands to be more Yelp-ish with new features like Explore and Lists. Photos are also more prominent now as users are more likely now to document their experiences. Of course the much superior 4th & Mayor app already has all of these features built in but with the more original focus on check-ins.

No word on if Foursquare will bother scrapping and re-doing the current Windows Phone app to reflect these new changes. Our bet is they'll wait till Windows Phone 8 comes out to release the overhaul.

Pick up the official Foursquare app here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Users can also grab the free 3rd party version, 4th & Mayor here instead. Thanks, Brian, for the heads up

    

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Central's favorite Xbox Live Arcade games of E3 2012

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Xbox Live Arcade Games: Windows Phone Central's favorites from E3 2012

With so many Xbox Live Arcade games on display at E3 this year, it’s tough narrowing down just which ones are our favorites. We’ve already treated you to footage and interviews of Skulls of the Shogun and Ascend: New Gods, both of which are also coming to Windows Phone with connectivity features. Now it’s time to share a few XBLA games that don’t currently have mobile ports in the works but should definitely be on any console gamer’s radar. We spoke with the developers of all three titles: Double Dragon: Neon, Retro City Rampage, and Pid and came away extremely impressed.

Head past the break for more gameplay footage and our full Double Dragon: Neon producer interview!

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3 years ago

E3 2012 - Ascend: New Gods XBLA gameplay and Windows Phone details

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For Windows Phone gamers, the most exciting moment of Microsoft’s E3 2012 press conference was the announcement of Ascend: New Gods, an upcoming XBLA and Windows Phone title from Signal Studios. Boasting impressively detailed graphics and a smattering of graphic violence, it certainly caught our eyes. Later on during the Expo we had the pleasure of speaking with lead designer Ian Scott as we played the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game. Even better, he went on to detail Ascend’s cross-platform connectivity.

Head past the break for more Ascend hands-on gameplay footage and Windows Phone connectivity details!

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3 years ago

Apple Store employees check out Microsoft Store opening in Freehold, NJ

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Today, Microsoft threw the doors open to their Freehold, NJ store marking yet another feather in the growing chain's cap. While we're always excited to see another Store open up, especially on the East coast, what makes this opening just a tad hilarious is the curious Apple employees who evidently showed up.

As it is well known, Microsoft has been opening their stores wherever Apple has theirs (including our own location) and perhaps setting up for some interesting drama. In this case, reader Trav sent us the above photo of the brave Apple employees who were checking the competition.

Hey, we don't begrudge Apple and we more than welcome them to the fold even if for just a visit. 

Thanks, Trav, for the tip

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Flick Baseball

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There's a simple baseball game over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that challenging enough to keep from getting boring, nicely animated and a decent way to pass short bits of time with. Flick Baseball is a pitch and hit baseball where you have five outs to see how many runs you can score.

It may not be a game you'll play for hours on end but Flick Baseball is a decent option to choose when you need help passing short bits of time.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia ESPN App updated, routine maintenance?

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There were a few tips in the Inbox this morning that the Nokia ESPN app was updated overnight. Sure enough, when we turned on our Lumia 900 the update notification was sitting there waiting to be acknowledged.

Beyond that, there's not much more to say. The update takes the ESPN app to version 2.2 and appears to be a maintenance styled update. The Nokia ESPN app does seem to have a little more pep in its step after the update.

Then again, was UEFA Euro 2012 always in the list on the Sports Page?

Seeing that there's not much out there on the update, we thought we'd share a new video ad that Nokia is running on their Youtube Channel highlighting both the ESPN app and the Lumia 900. If anyone notices anything new with the update, please sound off in the comments.

If you haven't downloaded the Nokia ESPN app, simply go the Marketplace on your Lumia Windows Phone and go to the Nokia Collection.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft opens Cafe Press store for Windows Phone Gear

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Microsoft has finally answered the call and opened up a Cafe Press store for Windows Phone stuff. Tee shirts, coffee mugs, a Thermos, glasses, you name it the Windows Phone Gear store has it.

You can head over to the site http://www.cafepress.com/windowsphone now and start ordering yourself or loved ones wares splashed with the "I Heart Windows Phone" logo. Oddly enough, it's the old logos with the non-Mango looking icons.

The prices are not exactly cheap being Cafe Press but hey, if you want to look the part you have to pay up, we suppose. 

Thanks, Rodney, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Final Fantasy becomes the first Xbox Live RPG on Windows Phone next week

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Battling the Kraken

The mobile Xbox Live lineup is getting better and better lately. This week we got Battleship, the first Live game with true online multiplayer, and next week’s game… Wait for it… Final Fantasy I from Square Enix! Why Microsoft chose not to demo the game at E3, we’ll never know.

Final Fantasy will be the first traditional RPG in the Windows Phone lineup. A direct port of the iPhone game which was a port of the PSP game which was a remake of the original Famicom version – it’s like seven degrees of Kevin Bacon but with black mages and imps. Players will assemble a party of four warriors from a pool of iconic classes and then set out to save the world from the dastardly Elemental Fiends. Overworld and underworld navigation utilizes a funky-looking virtual pad for movement while the battles are more tap-focused. Numerous hours of role-playing goodness will ensue.

Windows Phone Central received these exclusive first screenshots of the mobile Xbox Live version of Final Fantasy I in action. You might be wondering about the black bars on the sides of the screens... It seems that Square Enix simply increased the lower resolution iPhone version of the game to match Windows Phone 7's vertical resolution without tweaking the the aspect ratio or UI elements for a wider display (I even did some resolution tests to confirm this). In other words, the original game ran at 480 x 320. The Windows Phone game's display has been resized to 720 x 480, leaving 80 pixels of dead space. Let's hope the screen will at least be centered in the final build - we'll find out in less than a week.

Final Fantasy I launches on Wednesday, June 13th and will cost $6.99 (two dollars less than on iPhone).

Garland the rogue knight has kidnapped princess Sarah.

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3 years ago

E3 2012 - Skulls of the Shogun developer interview and multiplayer hands-on

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One of the biggest highlights of E3 2012 for us has been playing Skulls of the Shogun on Windows Phone and Xbox Live Arcade and meeting two of its creators at 17-BIT. Skulls is an amazingly beautiful and accessible turn-based strategy game in development for XBLA, Windows 8, and Windows Phone. Yesterday we posted our Windows Phone impressions; today we follow up with an interview and in-depth demonstration of the XBLA game in action. (The color shifting in the interview video is due to fancy overhead lights on the show floor.)

Head past the break for more Skulls of the Shogun details and gameplay footage!

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3 years ago

Turbo Camera framing up a bit of success on the Marketplace

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Some time ago we reviewed the Windows Phone camera app Turbo Camera. It's an app that brings a rather fun burst mode to your Windows Phone camera that can capture images at a rate as high as thirty frames per second. Since our review, the app has climbed to the top twenty apps in the Marketplace and is currently the number one camera app in the Marketplace. Turbo Camera is available in twenty-nine Marketplace countries and is doing rather well in each.

Along with its popularity and success, Turbo Camera has also seen a few updates improving performance and bringing new features to the table. The latest update, version 1.7, adds the following features to Turbo Camera.

  • Create animated GIF videos from your pictures
  • Backup your video to SkyDrive
  • Share your videos via email
  • Improved thumbnail resolution on export.

The one feature I like about Turbo Camera is after you've captured a few hundred frames, you get to choose which images are saved to your Pictures Hub. You also can select which camera resolution you want to use as well. Just keep in mind, the higher the resolution the fps may slow down a tad.  On the Nokia Lumia 900 I was able to get in the neighborhood of 15-20 fps at max resolution.  The HTC Titan II, at max resolution, was about 1.5 frames slower. 

There is a free trial version available for Turbo Camera that won't let you save any photos but will give you a feel for the app. The full version of Turbo Camera is running $1.99 and you can grab it all here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

From the Forums: Games Spotlight

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With all the new games coming out at E3 we are getting a good look at the future of games on Windows Phone. That’s great for the future but what about now. Where can we go to learn about games available today? We have the answer to that question in our forum.

Many developers are making their game content available for us to enjoy, review and offer feedback on. It’s all happening right here in our Games Spotlight area. Our developers want us to help them create the best game possible. They are posting information on these games in this area hoping we will download them and do just that.

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3 years ago

Photo gallery - The Microsoft Xbox LIVE booth at E3 2012

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Microsoft's booth at E3 was massive

Now that we're home from the fray of E3 2012 and seeing as we now have working internet (shakes fist), we figured we would show you some of our photos from Microsoft's presence at the giant gaming and entertainment conference.

Needless to say, Microsoft had one of the largest and most busy sections at of the whole conference. For instance had you wanted to try the Halo 4 demo you would have had to wait 2.5 hours in line just to get a shot. Yowza.

 

Life size replica of the Halo Warthog

And yes as you can see after the break in our photo gallery, Windows Phone was there too. No, it didn't dominate but it was certainly there and people were playing with the Xbox LIVE games and seemed to enjoy the experience. Mobile in general at E3 is still a very tiny percentage of the conference, regardless of platform. But every year it grows a bit more and so far, the majority of those games are on iOS.

Here's hoping to Windows Phone 8 and E3 2013!

Check out our complete photo gallery after the break. (Maybe later we'll post some non-Microsoft shots as there were some very cool displays)

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3 years ago

Nokia's giving away a few Purity Headsets

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Nokia is having another giveaway contest over on Facebook. This time they are giving away three Nokia Purity Stereo headsets (in-ear) and three Nokia Purity HD Stereo headsets (over ear).

Entering for your chance is about as easy as it gets. Just head over to this Facebook page, tap the enter button, fill in the blanks and your done.  When you submit your entry, you can choose the style and color of headsets you prefer.

Closing date for entries is June 14, 2012 at 16:00BST (British Summer Time). If my time conversions are correct, that would be 11am EST on the 14th. Winners will be contacted by June 28, 2012 by email. Good luck everyone!

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3 years ago

Contract Killer for Xbox Live on Windows Phone exclusive E3 2012 demonstration

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One thing we can all agree on is the need for more mobile Xbox Live games that let us shoot things. Thankfully Glu Mobile is on the case. The noted freemium publisher will follow up Gun Bros on Windows Phone with a more realistic shooting game: Contract Killer. We had the pleasure of demoing it at E3 2012 today and came away impressed.

Contract Killer places players in control of a mafia sniper. From the map screen hub you’ll choose from a variety of missions or visit the shop. The actual missions come to life via detailed 3D graphics. Aiming at your unknowing targets is as simple as swiping the screen in the desired direction. Once you have them lined up, fire and ruin your enemies’ day!

Each mission costs a certain amount of energy to take on. Energy restores over time, but you can also purchase snacks with Microsoft Points and get right back in the action. As with Glu Mobile’s other freemium titles, the PDLC is completely optional and simply a way to get through the game quicker while showing your support for the developers. Programmers gotta eat!

Contract Killer has no official release date yet, but we expect it arrive later this summer. Windows Phone Central will have first word of the launch date, so make sure you check back frequently! If you’d like to try Contract Killer out now on PC, jot on over here with the Google Chrome browser.

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3 years ago

E3 2012 - Stepping into the shoes of the Gun Bros on Windows Phone

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Who says you can’t find mobile games at E3? A few days ago, Windows Phone Central met with Mike DeLaet and Jason Enriquez of Glu Mobile to discuss their upcoming mobile Xbox Live games. The first title they demonstrated for us is Gun Bros, which we revealed in April.

Gun Bros is a top-down twin-stick shooter somewhat reminiscent of arcade classic Smash TV. Players choose from one of two titular brahs, outfit them with an arsenal of high-tech weapons and armor, and then fly to one of several planets and start filling hostile aliens full of equally hostile ordinance. Don’t worry; the aliens are actually big jerks and they totally have it coming.

By completing missions you’ll earn both XP and Xplodium, a rare mineral. XP leads to leveling up, opening access to better equipment. Xplodium can be processed and used to purchase said equipment and items. Of course, Gun Bros is a freemium title and players can purchase even shinier guns and things with Microsoft Points. You won’t have to purchase credits to enjoy the game though.

Gun Bros has passed certification and should launch very soon. We highly recommend trying the PC version for free right now using Google’s Chrome browser – after a few minutes you’ll see why we’re dying to play it more on the go.

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