By Sam Sabri, Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm EST
One of the things that initially attracted me to Windows Phone was how it seemed like a balance between the iOS and Android approach to smartphones. You have a consistent user experience across devices (iOS), while still having a wide variety of handsets to choose from (Android). And it’s been wonderful. We’ve had a variety of OEMs over the years too, companies like Samsung and HTC have been there from the beginning and others like LG and Dell came and went. Nokia came about midway through and bet the entire company on the platform.
However, Sony Ericsson is one company that has been absent the entire time, but it almost wasn’t that way.
One look at the comments section of our article announcing the release of Asphalt 7: Heat on Windows Phone 8 will tell you that the game is pretty popular. Hey Microsoft, we told you people wanted decent mobile Xbox games!
Ahem. With that gloating out of the way, we have more tasty Asphalt 7 tidbits to share with you now. Head past the break for a hands-on video, multiplayer walkthrough, and update news!
With yesterday’s alleged leak of HTC’s next Windows Phone, one of its eyebrow raising aspects was the use of “GDR2” when identifying the OS. The term was new nomenclature for those who follow Microsoft’s update cycles and product code names. Now, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley has learnt of its meaning and Paul Thurrott helps put it into focus.
The term GDR2 stands for “General Distribution Release” with the two denoting its sequence. The first GDR was “Portico” (build 10211), which was delivered starting at the end of December by Nokia (AT&T Lumia 920) and continuing within the last few weeks for the Lumia 810, 820 and HTC 8X devices on various carriers.
The big picture of these new updates is something we spoke about on the last podcast: there will be more frequent but smaller OS updates on Windows Phone 8 over the next 8-12 months before “Blue” is released.
The De La Salle University in the Philippines is taking part in a HackerCup, which will be taking place at the Microsoft Philippines Office on March 15-16th. The competition is set to promote Windows Phone by encouraging Science & Technology students with ambitious ideas to craft apps in teams of up to four participants. Nokia will be present, sponsoring the event (with Microsoft and Globe Labs) with prizes and more.
AlphaJax is quite the popular Xbox game for Windows Phone. Much of that stems from its relatively smooth asynchronous online play, though the game being free certainly helps. Before AlphaJax graduated to Xbox Live status, it was originally a popular indie game. The transition to Xbox Live introduced a few bugs, which we’ve all been hoping would be fixed with a patch.
Good news, bad news time! The first update for AlphaJax has finally arrived. Now for the bad news: the developer recommends that you skip this update. Full details after the break.
Recipes by Ingredients is a Windows Phone 8 app designed to help you find a recipe based on key ingredients, allergies, calories, cooking time and meal type. It's a nice app to help you with your fitness goals by eating right and avoiding foods that may present health issues.
The user interface isn't the smoothest around but the recipe selection is on the large side with over 175,000 recipes for meals ranging from breakfast to dinner to snacks.
Microsoft is taking the Windows Phone Challenge footage and launching it into cinemas across the US (sorry, everyone else who resides outside the states). Ben Rudolph, the popular face behind all this friendly cross-platform abuse, has crafted an insightful post on the Windows Phone Blog detailing some cinema chains that will be featuring the marketing material.
While Microsoft and its partners haven’t exactly announced a ton of Xbox games for Windows Phone 8 so far, the same can’t be said for Gameloft. Back in October, the mobile game publishing giant announced a whopping 12 games specifically for Windows Phone 8. These titles rely on the new mobile handsets’ extra horsepower and most would be impossible to port accurately on our beloved Windows Phone 7.
It’s been a long wait, but the first Gameloft Windows Phone 8 game is finally here: Asphalt 7, the arcade-style racing game. That’s right, a non-Angry Birds Windows Phone 8 game! Who’d have dared to imagine such a thing? In case that didn’t knock you right out of your office chair, it even has…. Real-time online multiplayer! I don’t mean asynchronous: this is the for-real deal. Ho-lee crap, I just had to fetch my socks from across the room. And did I mention Asphalt 7 is priced to sell?
Head past the break for details! We'll have a video soon too.
Maluuba is a personal assistant app that takes advantage of voice commands to help you make it through the day. It's a popular app over on the Android format and today, the company has announced the app is headed to Windows Phone 8 devices.
Maluuba uses your Windows Phone's speech recognition for input and then uses it's proprietary, patent-pending language engine that ensures great accuracy in interpreting your requests. Maluuba uses a statistical approach to achieve a higher accuracy than many other assistant apps that may use rules or other methods for understanding that don't always handle natural sentences.
By Jay Bennett, Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 at 11:12 am EST
Ready for something cool? One of our favourite booths here at MWC has been the Qi wireless charging booth, it’s small in comparison to some companies but it’s showing off a few devices that sort of define the term ‘gadget lust’. With Nokia announcing two new Lumia devices on Monday that both have wireless charging capability, the vision of “wireless charging everywhere” is becoming ever closer.
You’ll find a full titillating gallery after the break, and we’re also going to call out a few of the devices specifically that piqued our interest. That first image up top though you might recognise, it’s the Tylt Vu which we covered just over a month ago when it was up for pre-order. Coming in several striking colours (although we only saw this yellow one), this charger would not look out of place in Nokia’s accessory line up.
If you’ve ever stuck around Nokia’s “booth” at Mobile World Congress you’ll know it’s actually quite massive (we’ll have photos later). The area is open during the convention where analysts and weary journalists can relax, have some coffee and get work done.
As tradition, every few hours the Nokia ringtone will blare across the speakers and the Nokia employees working the floor will break out into song and dance. It’s hilarious. It’s entertaining and we kind of love Nokia for bringing levity to an otherwise unexciting day.
So tune in and sing along to Irene Cara’s “What A Feeling (Flashdance)”. You can just follow the giant Lumia in the back if you don’t know the lyrics. (And yes, this was recorded on a Lumia 920).
UK mobile operator O2 has confirmed pricing and availability of the Huawei Ascend W1. The Windows Phone was previously reported to be heading to the UK late next month, but the company has announced shipping will begin on March 7th. It's a mid-range Windows Phone 8 smartphone, which was unveiled earlier this year at CES.
One of the more interesting Windows 8 tablets we’ve see here at Mobile World Congress is Fujitsu’s Arrow Tab. Featuring a solid 10.1” IPS “Super Clear Panel” display, microUSB, SD card expansion, 2GB of RAM and 64GB SSD. It even sports “the world’s thinnest Windows 8 tablet” title.
Quick reminder for all that the 'Spring into TEGRA' contest is ending real soon (March 1st at 11:59 PM EST)... so be sure to check out the contest details below and submit your entry for a chance to win one of TWO Tegra-powered tablets! Details after the jump...
Casual and hardcore (or ‘core’) games often appeal to one group of players while excluding the other. Aiming at just one slice of the gaming audience is well and good, but the holy grail of game development is bridging the gap by appealing to both audiences. Only one game developer has consistently managed to reach that lofty goal: PopCap. Now owned by EA, PopCap has finally returned to Windows Phone (7 and 8) with a port of its accessible yet challenging puzzle masterpiece Zuma’s Revenge.
As a Nokia exclusive, non-Nokia owners will have to wait six months to play Zuma’s Revenge. Read on to find out why it’s worth the wait.