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3 years ago

Free desktop Metro Weather widget kind of rocks

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We've seen our share of Metro spin-offs for your Windows desktop (see Firefox skin, RainMeter) and heck, Windows 8 is going to have a Metro-inspired UI to it to boot. But for those wanting a quick way to update today, you can run this free weather app right on your desktop that heavily lifts from your precious Windows Phone UI.

The app is simple enough, not even an installation. Just download and extract the folder to your \Programs (or wherever) and run the main .exe file. From there, right click to get options and setup your location and preferences, then hit "refresh" on each panel to get it up to date.

Heck, it even bounces up and down like the Metro UI, so we're giving this a big thumbs up--it looks great, works well and is simple.

Note: the app auto-updates, you only need to manually refresh if you change anything in settings. You can even set the weather-update interval.

Source: Download Crew; designed by 'Stealth'; via Beta News

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3 years ago

Ballmer states Mango will contain 500 new features

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Heading up a presentation in Japan at Microsoft Developer Forum 2011, Steve Ballmer was covering numerous topics including the acquisition of Skype. While discussing this year's Mango update, he set the feature count at 500. We were able to have a good insight as to what a good number of those features will be with MIX, but it's exciting to know that there are a plethora of promised additions to the platform that still need to be covered.

At the VIP Mango event tomorrow, it will be a busy day for the OS with Steve talking about OEMs and carriers as well as further detail surrounding 7.5. Microsoft is also looking to release their Mango developer tools some time soon. You can check out the entire Developer Forum session here, move the video slider to 29 minutes in and you'll witness WP7 goodness.

Via: Nanapho. Thanks tezawaly for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Stormy7 - App Spotlight

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Stormy7 - App Spotlight

Looking for a nifty novelty app for your Windows Phone? Billed as the most natural storm experience on your phone, Stormy 7 might do just the trick.

Stormy 7 creates a mist on your Windows Phone, similar to the condensation that forms on windows during a rainy day or the bathroom window when you take a hot shower. With Stormy 7 you swipe at the screen with your fingertip to doodle or just wipe away the condensation.

The background image can be the stock backyard scene, an image from your Windows Phone gallery or one captured with your Windows Phone camera. The effects are really nice from the sound to the water droplets falling in relation to your Windows Phone orientation. Sound effects range from the squeaking sound your finger makes as it slides across the screen to the sound of distant thunder.

Settings cover which background image you want to use as well as microphone sensitivity. Microphone sensitivity you say? Yep. If you blow into your Windows Phone microphone, the screen will fog up again.

Stormy 7 is an interesting novelty app for your Windows Phone but one downside is that there is no trial version. The full version will run you $.99 and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Update: There is now an ad-supported, free version of Stormy 7 available for a limited time.  You can find it here at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

TweetCaster Pro version launches, charges one arm, one leg

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We covered TweetCaster "lite" before, the free, ad-support Twitter client which was popularized on Android. The app was temporarily pulled from the Marketplace, we believe, because they didn't setup their Ad service correctly (and support never got back to us on the matter, thanks guys!).

Now the company has released a "Pro" version with no ads and get this, no new features. That's all fine and dandy, but they have the audacity to charge $4.99 for the privilege of having no ad banner. Hey, the Lite version is nice and all (though hardly special or unique, not even a Live Tile) and it does rate at a decent 3.5 stars in the Marketplace, but $4.99?

Listen, even we're not dumb enough to buy this app to test for you folks as that's just a ludicrous price for mediocrity. They didn't even have the decency to update their pics for the Pro version...it still shows ads. But hey, if you must have it, here's the link.

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3 years ago

Zune services to be split, re-named [Rumor]

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Zune services to be split, re-named [Rumor]

As the title says, file this under rumor...but one that may be detailed this Tuesday, the 24th.

According to @MS_Nerd, who has an interesting history with leaks from within Microsoft, the Zune services as we know them will be broken apart, presumably in response to the Nokia deal, which is making some of the backend redundant:

"Wee little rumor seeping out now: Zune next to be split into Xbox mobile, Xbox Live & Windows Live Zune on the 24th."

"And the Zune backend platform will become a "Nokia services on Azure" offering, with content from Netflix, Last.fm & Hulu among others."

If true, this comes a little more than 2-years after the first Zune team was broken up into hardware and software services, with the former being absorbed under the Windows Mobile group. Now it's the latter which is being divvied and presumably gobbled up by other divisions within the company.

There's been talk for awhile now of "Zune re-branding" and something happening within that division, so this isn't too far fetched. We'll see what happens, if anything, this Tuesday.

Source: @MS_Nerd 1, 2; Thanks, Amir, for the heads up

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3 years ago

WP7 and Bing Maps saves lives

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WP7 and Bing Maps saves lives

Martin Tirion, User Experience Evangelist at Microsoft, has recently published an article that goes into detail about how Windows Phone 7 and Bing Maps saved his life on a boat trip that went horribly wrong. Cutting a long story short; Martin was on a small rental boat in Greece, where due to poor navigation, instructions, navigational equipment and readiness, was stranded at an unknown location.

Calling back to the rental agency, they attempted to search for the stranded boat but failed to find anything after approximately four hours. With waves increasing in strength and the possibility of a large ship passing by creating more dangerous currents, Martin attempted again after the four hours out at sea to use Bing Maps and attempt a GPS pin-point location. It finally worked over GPRS.

He was then able to relay the information onto the boat rental agency and they were able to rescue him. It seemed that in reality the distance between his human guesswork and satellite accuracy was huge (illustrated in the map above). WP7 and Bing saves the day!

Our George Ponder posted his experience with how WP7 aided him amidst the aftermath of the awful tornadoes the US recently laid host to. We've also seen how the "Find My Phone" feature as stopped some golf club theft. Have you got a life changing story involving your WP7 device?

Source: Martin Tirion's Blog

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: May 16-22, 2011

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G'day folks, it's that time of the week where the British spider returns (the little devil!) - it's wpcentral's summary of the week. The past seven days have been primarily focused around the aggravating build-up to the Verizon Trophy release date. More rumours have flown around than any celebrity magazine could handle, but we're almost there!

First off, the official wpcentral app has been announced! So keep an eye out for it on the Marketplace and check out the announcement for more information. We've also kick-started our newest weekly feature - developer interviews! Jay Bennett has provided us with the honour in being our first interviewee, read up on the interview.

Samsung Omnia 7 owners have rejoiced with not only leaked NoDo firmware, but Microsoft have re-enabled the updates for this particular handset. No word on the Focus still as of yet. Meanwhile, over at the HTC labs, the HD7S will be available on June 5th for $199 on AT&T and rumours have been circling surrounding the mystery 16MP device featured in an advert, which we covered a while back. Word is that the handset featured in that advert is actually the HTC Bresson and is apparently heading for Mango with beefed-up specifications. Oh, and Nokia still dislikes Qualcomm.

We've seen some more coverage in features coming up in Windows Phone 7.5, most notably; Lync, threaded & pinned email, SmartDJ and disabling that awful camera shutter sound - good stuff. Speaking of Mangos, the media have been receiving them as invitations to the Mango preview event, which is in two days.

Gaming on WP7 has seen a positive push this week with Hydro Thunder being available early next week followed by a line-up of incredibly popular titles including Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I. PayPal has made it's way onto the Xbox 360 system, which is a highly requested payment gateway for WP7 Marketplace, will it come to the platform anytime soon? Once you've had enough of playing Pac-Man Championship for a solid few hours, you can retire and apply the L.A. Noire wallpaper and theme to your device.

Developers! We recently covered how you can receive free advertising for your applications and/or games with certain events managed by Microsoft that provide you with free advert impressions as well as one years worth of AppHub subscription. Keep an eye out for our feed when we cover the next opportunity.

Head on past the break for our highlights.

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3 years ago

New job vacancy for WP7 Bluetooth development

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Seems the Windows Phone team are looking to expand their resources in the Bluetooth area of development on the platform with the latest job vacancy advert being published. Windows Phone 7's support for Bluetooth (in comparison to competitors) is not a feature to be desired and any advancement in the near future (Mango?) would be a welcomed effort by the community. Anyone painfully remember the debacle with Bluetooth a while back?

What are your thoughts on the current Bluetooth implementation for WP7, and what would you be most pleased with changes/improvements wise? Let us know in the comments!

Check out the job advert after the break.

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3 years ago

Developer Interview: Jay Bennett

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Developer Interview: Jay Bennett

We're starting a new regular feature here at WPCentral: the developer interview. Basically we seek out some of the of top, the brightest or rising developers to get their views on Windows Phone 7 and the whole process of bringing software to our phones.

This week we have the delight of being introduced to Jay Bennett, what he's been up to, how he views app development on Windows Phone 7 and what he thinks the future holds. If you're not aware of who Mr Bennett is (or what he does), he's an aspiring app developer on the platform who is behind the highly anticipated official wpcentral app, not to mention RateYourBeer (link to Marketpalce)!

Head on past the break for the fantastic interview.

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3 years ago

Leaked Omnia 7 firmware now available

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3 years ago

Verizon Trophy page goes live (but you still can't order)

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Yeah, you still can't actually order or even pre-order the darn thing, but it's nice to see Verizon throwing up a big ol' splash screen, pimping their first Windows Phone.

Gosh, you read that thing and it almost sounds like Verizon is excited about this launch. Almost. Though we do have to credit angling the whole Xbox theme is probably the smarter way of selling Windows Phone to the masses. So kudos on that strategy, Big Red.

Source: Verizon Wireless; Thanks, DavidinCT, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Announcing the Official WPCentral app for Windows Phone 7

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Yes everyone, you read that right. After months of planning and developing, we are excited and proud to deliver our very own, official app. What's more, it is chock full of features, delivering almost every feature of our website in a streamlined, minimalist fashion.

Developed by Jay Bennett, the app has been submitted to the Marketplace and (fingers crossed) it should be live by Monday evening. So, enough chatter, lets hit the features:

  • Read homepage, reviews, apps, games or how-to sections
  • View comments associated with each article
  • Watch videos and view pictures posted in each article
  • Full search for any previous articles, including by section
  • Search through YouTube videos from the site
  • Deep links to the marketplace with articles featuring other apps
  • Listen to the latest podcast on your device through the app
  • Clean, simple user interface design and great user experience
  • Sharing of articles through E-mail, SMS or Twitter
  • Full landscape support
  • Live tile for the latest headlines

Not too shabby for a v1.0, eh? The app comes in two flavors: the full, premium-experience version is $0.99--no ads, all the features or the free, unlimited "trial" version (same as full version, but has ads and some missing features--unlimited use though).

So check out the vid for the tour and in a few short days, you can be using it too. Feedback is welcomed, so comment away.

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3 years ago

Verizon Trophy caught on video

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Verizon Trophy caught on video

This post is both gratuitous and a tease as we're just days from release of the long-awaited Verizon Trophy. Still, for would be buyers, seeing it being handled is well..cathartic phone pr0n, we suppose.

Gadget site Techno Buffalo mange to find a tipster who spent a few brief moments with the Trophy and set it to some of the most dramatic music you'll ever hear with a phone (and considering the drama with this device, it seems quite appropriate).

Unfortunately no quick tour of the OS, you just see the phone being fondled--eww, C'est la vie.

Source: Techno Buffalo; Thanks again, slayerjayslb

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3 years ago

Federico Carnales releases Metro inspired Android music player

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We've previously covered how the influence of Metro is spreading to the desktop operating systems with MetroTwit, Android with the launcher and iOS with the Metro theme etc. Now we have another app mimicking the Windows Phone 7 interface on Android from Federico Carnales - developer behind LauncherPro (which sports a Metro theme).

This music player looks very nice and implements the Metro look successfully when ignoring the status bar at the top. The simplistic approach to user interface has really taken storm, which I find baffling since if we take the desktop OS as an example, from early editions of Windows we've come through XP's colour introduction, glass effects in Vista and 7, high resolution icons and window management in OS X and Linux being customised to look like it was designed in 3146, to Metro on WP7. Simple use of icons, elegant looking and blown-up text, but it works.

Should we be looking forward to future implementations of the UI? Most definitely.

Via: Droid Life

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