3 years ago
Myth Busting Part 2: "Neon" is the next version of Windows Phone
Another rumor we want to squish is that there will be a new version of Windows Phone for "low-end" devices called "Neon".
The information first popped up on TWiT's Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley and Leo Laporte. On Episode 264 (June 7th) at around 1:47:45, Thurrott brings up some developer documentation pertaining to Windows Phone 8 with four main points:
Avoid free for all multitasking, aka Android and Windows Mobile
Allow Mango customers to upgrade to Apollo (later mis-reported as "A lot of Mango customers won’t get upgraded to Apollo")
Allow Mango apps to support Apollo resolutions
Lower end devices support for Neon
The site Insideris then received an "anonymous tip" on the 13th with the same list and they reported that "Neon" may be the next version of Windows Phone for non-Apollo devices. This resulted in numerous emails here at Windows Phone Central and various people contacting us to comment on it.
So true or false?
False. For one, the current code-name schemes for Windows Phone all have the milestones ending in "O": NoDo, Mango, Tango, Apollo, etc. So "Neon" does not fit with that history. Second, Neon here is referring to ARM® NEON™ a "general-purpose SIMD engine" for ARM chipsets.
Let's head back to MIX 2011. Back then, Microsoft pre-announced support for ARM NEON for Windows Phone Mango. NEON is basically high-end multimedia support or in technical jargon it can "...accelerate multimedia and signal processing algorithms such as video encode/decode, 2D/3D graphics, gaming, audio and speech processing, image processing, telephony, and sound synthesis".
Funny thing though--it never happened (evidently NEON is there, though it is unclear if it works in Tango or early builds of WP8). A smart reading is that Neon support is coming for "low end" devices which is a good thing. That's actually very interesting news. But it is not a code-name for a new version of Windows Phone, sorry.
As a side note, Insideris reported the second point as "A lot of Mango customers won’t get upgraded to Apollo" but if you listen to Thurrott, he says "Allow Mango customers to upgrade to Apollo" and that seems more credible.
To paraphrase Ned Stark: "Brace yourselves, silly season is coming"
3 years ago
Myth Busting Part 1: Yahoo! News says Mango phones won't get Windows Phone 8 Apollo
We're getting a flood of emails from users noting that on Yahoo! News, specifically the "Upgrade your life" segment, Becky Worley is stating that current Windows Phones with Mango won't be able to get Windows Phone 8 "Apollo".
So did Yahoo! News just spill the beans on Microsoft's plans?
Not quite. For one, very few if anyone in the media knows what Microsoft has planned for current phone. More on that later. So the notion that someone from Yahoo! got the scoop is a bit funny.
Second, pay attention to her wording in the video segment: "...and Mango phones won't be able to upgrade to Apollo's new features"
Well, technically that is true. Windows Phone 8 is confirmed as supporting two new high resolution displays--768x1280 and 720x1280--in addition to the current 480x800 (Microsoft recently dropped support for 480x640--you heard it hear first). In addition, things like multi-core and NFC support will also be included. All of those features are new and no current Windows Phones will support them, obviously.
So technically what Yahoo! is saying is accurate and we're confident that is what they meant too. Is that a reason to hold off on a purchase? For some, perhaps. But it doesn't mean that current phones won't get Apollo. For that, we're at the mercy of Microsoft and the OEMs for a decision and we still don't know their plans there (scout's honor).
And regarding that "late summer" release, we're still hearing that Apollo will be finalized by late summer but devices won't be ready till the fall. Microsoft for the last two years has had launches and refreshes in October/November, so that's a safe bet as to when you can actually have a Windows Phone 8 device in your hands.
Source: Yahoo! News; Thanks for everyone who sent this in
3 years ago
LinkedIn email marketing for their Windows Mobile app?
LinkedIn, the service, is a professional social network that boasts a membership of over 160,000,000 that spans over 200 countries and territories. The LinkedIn app for Windows Phone ties it all together and delivers the network rather nicely to your Windows Phone.
LinkedIn is apparently marketing the LinkedIn app through bulk emails but there's one slight problem. The graphic shows the app running on a Nokia Lumia 800 but references "LinkedIn for Windows Mobile". Not only once but twice.
Now we can understand that typos occur so we can cut the ad agency a little slack. But come on... it's been almost two years now since Windows Phone 7 took over as the Windows mobile platform.
The good news is the LinkedIn Marketplace description references Windows Phone. If you're a LinkedIn member or look to join the network and want a mobile solution, check out the free LinkedIn app here at the Windows Mobile...err.. the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Thanks, everyone, for the tip!
3 years ago
Nokia advertisements surface highlighting the Lumia 610
It looks like Nokia in the UK are all set to start a new TV marketing campaign in the very near future as the above Lumia 610 commercial popped up on their YouTube channel a short while ago.
While the Lumia 610 may not be the 'daddy' of Windows Phones it does offer pretty good value for money and sits at a price point where it can compete with many low end Android and BlackBerry Smartphones. Vodafone currently is offering the Lumia 610 for £150 on Pay As You Go. All of which isn't bad when considering that along with the typical Windows Phone features you also get Nokia Maps for local searches and also Nokia Drive which eliminates the need for a separate sat nav system.
Now we just need to see when the new advert airs. Will Nokia pay the big bucks and go for prime time at the weekend?
3 years ago
Xbox Live Companion app updated for iOS, released for Android, holds tight for Windows Phone
Microsoft has updated the Xbox Live Companion app for iOS and released a version for the Android system. While there was no movement on the Windows Phone version, the iOS update may be a good indicator on what might be in store.
The Xbox Live Companion update for iOS takes that app to version 1.5 and adds the following features for the iPhone or iPad.
Discover fresh content from the iPhone
Connect to and control content on your Xbox console from the iPhone
Authentication improvements for the iPad
Retina display support for the iPad
The Android version of the Xbox Live Companion is limited to:
View, manage, and message friends
View Xbox achievement progress
View and edit your LIVE profile
Edit your avatar
Stay connected to the Xbox Live community via Spotlight
Access recent activity and manage beacons
While it's nice to see Microsoft continuing to improve iOS and Android users connectivity with their Xbox console it would have been nice to have seen the Windows Phone app given a little attention. Then again, SmartGlass will eventually become available and may make the companion app obsolete.
Source: Major Nelson
3 years ago
Windows Phone App Review: Tile Master
3 years ago
Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: Civilization Revolution
3 years ago
...I'm a WP7! getting a face lift and name change
3 years ago
Xbox Live - Final Fantasy secret Achievements and Achievement Guide
Final Fantasy is finally available, and we’ve already provided some beginner tips and resources to help players get started. Even advanced players will need help with the game’s Achievements, though. Why? They’re all secret, meaning players can’t view them in-game or through Xbox Live prior to earning them. This led many to speculate that the Achievements would all be story-related. As it turns out, that did not prove to be the case.
We know this because Achievement hunter-extraordinaire Zebrasqual managed to uncover Final Fantasy’s full Achievement list. Windows Phone Central then broke those Achievements down into categories for your convenience. Not only that, we’ve got tips and resources for the more challenging ones that will set you on the right track. It won't be easy though, so prepare for a lengthy journey!
3 years ago
Supposed leaked screenshots of Windows Phone 8 Apollo appear, show off Skype and Lenses
Is this Windows Phone 8? We think so...
With less than week before Microsoft is expected to show off Windows Phone 8 in San Francisco, some leaked (and terrible looking) screenshots have appeared on the site Nokia Innovation.
The shots supposedly show off integrated Skype, including an incoming video call as well as a data usage app. You may also note the mention of "RCSe" near the bottom which stands for "Rich communication suite", an important feature coming to WP8. The next screen shot shows the camera app with a new button. Nokia Innovation does not know what that lower button is but we can tell you that it's for the "Lenses" function, which will most likely be revealed next week.
In fact, the only reason we're giving these sceenshots some credibility is the fact that Lenses button is 100% accurate. The rest we cannot vouch for but it does jive with what we've learned and seen ourselves.
The data usage app (called "Data Smart" officially) was also confirmed by Joe Belfiore back in February in the leaked video for OEMs which detailed Apollo (yes, we've seen the video and can vouch for everything said in it). According to Nokia Innovation "the first bar shows how much data you have left, the second shows how many days remaining on your data plan, and it seems you can even adjust your data plan based on the data report ". Such integration is part of the customization that carriers and OEMs/Microsoft will bring to Windows Phone 8 this fall.
This "data control" is a big focus in Windows Phone 8 which when combined with the data compression for web browsing will allow users to better monitor their data usage. In fact, data compression in IE10 should reduced data usage by up to 30% on top of speeding up browsing in general.
Finally, what is supposedly Nokia Drive 3.0 is also shown with updated traffic report and re-routing. That's the standalone app though and not part of Windows Phone 8.
Source: Nokia Innovation
3 years ago
Official CNN app now available for all Windows Phones
"This is CNN...on all Windows Phones"
Well look at that, it looks like Nokia's 90 day exclusive on the official CNN app has finally expired--certainly a rare sight to see. The CNN app, which was developed in conjunction with Nokia and announced back at CES 2012, embraces the Metro design with unique features like the iReporter function for reporting news on your own.
For many on Windows Phones, the stranglehold on "exclusive" apps by Nokia was a thorn in the side--well, at least for those without a Nokia Lumia. But now you can download the exact same app with push notifications and local news to your non-Nokia device, resulting in what we imagine to be a loud cheer.
The CNN app ranks up there with the USA Today app as far as elegance and functionality. It's great to see it displayed on other Windows Phones for all.
Pick up the official CNN app for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Scott H., for the tip!
3 years ago
At last, Final Fantasy appears on the Windows Phone Marketplace
Final Fantasy, one of the most-anticipated Windows Phone games ever, is now on the Marketplace! Why so popular? First off, it’s the only straight-up RPG (or JRPG) in the mobile Xbox Live library. Besides, while the Final Fantasy series is extremely popular the world over, Final Fantasy (part I) is only the third entry for Microsoft platforms, the first two being Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 on Xbox 360 (if we count the online-only XI, that makes a total of four). Windows Phone gamers finally have a chance to experience the series’ origin.
While the first Final Fantasy initially appeared on the 8-bit NES system, the mobile version is based on 2007’s enhanced Playstation Portable remake. Players will assemble a party of four warriors from a pool of iconic classes and then set out to save the world from the surprisingly unhelpful Elemental Fiends. Overworld and underworld navigation utilizes a funky-looking virtual pad for movement while the battles are more tap-focused. Mainstay RPG elements like grinding for experience and money to purchase new equipment and a huge danger-filled world to explore promise hours of entertainment.
When we revealed the first screenshots of the Windows Phone version, we were slightly disappointed that the game still runs in the same aspect ratio as the iPhone game it was ported from as opposed to the wider ratio of the PSP and Windows Phone screens. The screen remains off-center, a seemingly odd decision – until you notice the clock occupying the black space. Tap that area and the phone’s battery life, wireless, and cellular signals appear as well. Considering the length and addictive nature of Final Fantasy, having instant access to the time and your phone’s battery life is actually quite useful.
Since many of you are new to this installment of Final Fantasy, we’ve got a few tips to get you started. The first decision you make upon starting a new game, that of which character classes to take along, is very important as you’re stuck with those for the rest of the game. Choose poorly and you’ll face a much greater challenge. The default selection (Fighter, Thief, White Mage, Black Mage) is actually one of the best parties to go with. At any rate, you absolutely must have a single White Mage or Red mage on hand to heal the rest of the party.
Saving is another important area to wrap your head around. Whenever you exit to the title screen, press the Home button, etcetera, that creates a temporary save file. To start back where you left off, simply pick Resume from the title screen. The file is temporary though, as resuming, choosing to Continue a permanent file, or starting a New Game will overwrite it. To create permanent saves, simply enter the menu by tapping the names of your party in the lower-right corner of the screen while outside of battle. Then choose the Save option at the bottom of the screen. (Thanks to Cadwr for the correction!)
One last thing - pressing and holding on the party status indicator in the lower-right corner of the screen while outside of battle brings up the overworld map. You'll need it!
For more Final Fantasy tips, check out the following resources:
Now that you're prepared...
Final Fantasy costs $6.99 and there is a free trial. It clocks in at a whopping 91 MB. If you love RPGs, don’t wait for a sale. Head over here to the Marketplace and start adventuring!
3 years ago
Tentacles makes for a gooey Xbox Live Deal of the Week once again
Repeat Deal of the Weeks are all the rage lately, and what better game to put on sale again than the graphically impressive and challenging Tentacles from Press Play? Just like back in December, Tentacles is on sale again. But the price is actually lower this time thanks to a recent price drop, making this the best deal yet.
Tentacles is the tale of a Japanese fetish gone awry. Wait, wrong tentacles! Actually, the game stars Lemmy, a small tentacled creature who ends up inside the body of his mad scientist creator. Unique touch controls allow Lemmy to move one tentacle at a time, navigating dangerous levels and eating eyeballs for health. With 40 levels (plus optional PDLC levels), beautiful 3D graphics and 2D story sequences, and an atmospheric soundtrack, Tentacles could be a game you’ll fall in love with.
One caveat though… As mentioned in our review, the difficulty ramps up in later levels (say 20 and on), leading to bouts of frustration. Depending on your patience and constitution, your experience could be different.
Tentacles is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Get it here on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
What is a Windows Phone VIP?
Very Important People. That is what VIP means to everyone, but what is a Windows Phone VIP Ambassador?
Microsoft created a training website called Expertzone, where Retail Sales Professionals could log in and take training courses on selling Microsoft products. In 2010, Microsoft created the Windows Phone VIP program and BIll Bush was at the helm building a new Windows Phone community. The program has grown to over 13,000 VIP's and nearly 100 Windows Phone Ambassadors.
Retail sales professionals can join this exclusive site to get first hand knowledge, special events, contests, and fellow windows phone users to bond with. With a small amount of users of Windows Phone, there was an even smaller amount of sales associates that actually knew anything about the OS. With the Expertzone site, new employee's train to learn about key features and talk to real windows phone users for advice on problems they were having, how to demo properly, and enter some really cool exclusive contests. The whole point of the program is to reward those individuals who really love windows phones by giving them more knowledge, exclusive meetups, rewards like t-shirts, pins, and phones. Their community is growing strong and keeps growing.
Microsoft is now upgrading the program to Windows Phone Advisors, where a current WP VIP's can refer other associates who want to become an Advisor.
The role of a Windows Phone Advisor is being the go-to guy/girl for Windows Phone at their work. They are the "experts" because of their knowledge and have gone above and beyond to represent Windows Phone. They also train their fellow sales associates on windows phone and customers.
This program is something special because they are getting dedicated, passionate fans of Windows Phones who sell them excited about Windows Phone. Knowing you belong to a larger community where you can talk to about the various devices and have the other people completely understand what you are talking about is a great feeling.
Microsoft understands they are the low-man on the totem pole,and this program gives them an amazing opportunity to get direct feedback from the people who sell their phones. They get insight to what customers are saying, what they like, don't like, have trouble with, etc... and they have time to react to their thoughts. Maybe that is why Windows Phone 8 might be taking longer, they are listening and changing things for the better!
If you sell phones, go check out Expertzone, and join the VIP Advisor program! Help spread the Windows Phone love!
3 years ago
Facebook app and People Hub connection not playing nice
We have received a number of tips that the Windows Phone Facebook app and People Hub integration are not working. There are reports of the Facebook app not loading, passwords not being accepted and status updates not refreshing. So far hard resets, deleting the account and re-installing, and tinkering with Windows Live permissions have been tried with no success. Manually syncing the Facebook account in the Windows Phone settings also fails to correct the issue.
While we would like to give you a reason for the problems but we are experiencing the same issues and have not heard of a cause. Some have suggested it may be an API issue with Facebook. On my end, I've been watching the load screen for the Facebook app pass the four dots across the screen for the past five minutes. And the last Facebook updates in the Peoples Hub was from last night.
If you feel like venting, feel free to join the Windows Phone Central Forums discussion here or sound off in the comments. Just remember as you express your frustrations that this is a family friendly site. Should a solution or reason for this problem come about, we'll be sure to pass it on.
Thanks, everyone, for the tips!
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