3 years ago
Telerik Unleashed events special prize
Telerik, the brains behind the Tasks App and RadControls, have announced today the Telerik Special Windows Phone Unleashed Events Grand Prize. There is a selection of the top 25 submitted apps from the Unleashed events organized by Microsoft and local communities. On October 28th, the winner of the grand prize will be selected at random, which will pot the winning developer $5,000.
This is where things get interesting. Telerik is also offering a community favourite prize of $300 for the app with the most tweets. Visit the Telerik Unleashed page (link below) to check out the available apps and tweet your favourite. Do make sure, when tweeting, that "#telerikwp7prize" is included with your selected winner.
Source: Telerik Unleashed
3 years ago
New Sonic CD Trailer remembers its roots
Sega's first Sonic CD trailer showed just enough gameplay footage to get Sonic fans salivating. This new trailer is even better. First it plays up the game's roots as a Sega CD/Mega CD title; Sonic CD stands out as one of the best games on that quirky, beleaguered platform, in fact. The rest of the trailer focuses on the game's unique time-traveling aspects, complete with plenty of footage of Sonic in action.
Sonic CD was originally released in 1993. The new version (which is coming to Windows Phone, XBLA, PSN, iPhone, and Android) not only recreates the classic platforming game, it includes several enhancements. The display has been expanded to widescreen without stretching the image, making the game look better than ever. The original Japanese techno soundtrack will be included for the first time outside of the US. Gamers will be able to toggle between Sonic CD-style spin-dashing and physics or the Sonic 2 and 3-style. And of course, it will offer the Xbox Live Achievements we all crave.
Sonic CD is still scheduled to debut sometime in November or (more likely) December. Between now and then WPCentral will have a full interview with the game’s producer.
Xbox 360 gamers who crave a Sonic the Hedgehog fix sooner are in luck. The surprisingly awesome (yes, I mean it) Sonic Generations heads to retail on November 1. Generations features a mix of classic Sonic levels from the Sega Genesis era all the way to the present, all presented with 2D- or 3D-style gameplay. With Sonic CD and Generations, Sega is finally giving the fans what they want: quality Sonic titles with classic gameplay.
3 years ago
Workaround for vanishing keyboard in Mango?
We recently covered a growing thread over at the XDA Developers forum with Windows Phone owners reporting an issue with the on-screen keyboard disappearing from view without accidentally pressing the "back" capacitive button. We were told that Microsoft is currently looking into the problem.
Greg Fonta, a French Windows Phone developer, has investigated the root of the problem. It appears to be related to a Mango feature (as seen in the above video), Background Agents. These agents allow apps to run tasks when currently inactive and not running in the foreground.
According to the report at WMPU, disabling Background Agents appears to rectify the issue. This can be accomplished by navigating to Settings > applications > background tasks and disabling Background Agents on a per application basis.
Does this workaround work for you? If not, which handset do you own that experiences the problem?
3 years ago
Square Off Free version debuts, original version updated
It’s been a while since we mentioned Square Off, the lovable twin-stick indie shooter from Gnomic Studios. I’m pleased to report that the developers have been hard at work updating their game with a much-requested feature or two. Most exciting for players who haven’t tried the game yet, though, Gnomic released a free version today!
Square Off Free contains the same seven levels of alien-blasting fun that we praised in our review. Players take control of the Square Avenger, who uses a jetpack and guns to defend the earth from obnoxious one-eyed invaders. The free version, as you might expect, displays ads at the bottom of the screen. I’d prefer the ad banner to be shorter height-wise and spread all the way across the bottom of the screen, but the current implementation is probably a limitation of the advertising software. At any rate, the free version is a great way to experience the game at no cost, and you can always pony up for the paid version if you tire of the ads.
Speaking of which, Square Off’s version 1.3 update also debuted today. It brings the following changes:
- Online high scores and ladders!
- Variable speed movement control
- A number of stability / bug fixes
- German language support
- Smaller download size for new users (
Online leaderboards are the most significant addition. They should add a lot of replay value, especially to the endless survival mode that players can choose to enter after completing a level. Ze Germans will probably appreciate the localization, too. WPCentral has also received word that a Mango update will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead. We’ll be sure to let you know what it brings to the table as soon as we can.
Square Off costs $1.99 and you can grab it here from the Marketplace. Square Off Free costs even less – pick it up here.
3 years ago
Orange: Windows Phone's future depends on Nokia
Yves Maitre, senior vice president of devices and mobile multimedia at Orange, has told CNET in an interview this week that Windows Phone is the worst-selling platform in Orange's market (behind Android, iOS and Blackberry) in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"Honestly, it hasn't been as successful as we expected."
I'm not sure if every Windows Phone owner shares the same view as Maitre, since we've already covered problems with carriers not displaying working demo units in stores and promoting the platform in the media. Do you see Orange adverts for Windows Phone on TV, online, on billboards, in newspapers or in stores? If the overall response is "no", then how can Orange expect the platform to sell well against competitors that get more reach to their customer base?
"By Barcelona [the site of February's Mobile World Congress conference], we'll know for sure if Microsoft is in the game or not. If Nokia/Microsoft is not successful in Europe then it will be tough in other countries"
He does remain cautiously optimistic that the Nokia brand will push forward the platform and will force other OEMs to compete with one another through advertising. Maitre views Nokia as an expensive vehicle, "it's like you're driving a Mercedes Benz". With smartphones counting for 50% of sales for Orange, the carrier is going to have to work hard, as well as Microsoft, if they want the OS to compete with Android, Blackberry and the iPhone.
Nokia is set to unveil a "bunch" of handsets at Nokia World next week. Microsoft is banking big on this event and top names will be present as speakers. We'll be there too, so be sure to say hello should you be attending.
3 years ago
Steve Jobs waged war on Android for copying ideas
This is really interesting. In Walter Isaacson's authorised biography of Steve Jobs, the latest excerpt from the book explained that the Apple co-founder and technology genius was "livid" with HTC's entry with Android.
"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs said. "I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
It did seem strange as to why Apple was relentlessly attacking HTC, Samsung and Android in general, simply because Apple doesn't need the revenue or extra coverage since their products do sell. It all boiled down to Jobs closely guarding Apple's innovation against app-grid-layout copying Android. Jobs also reportedly told Eric Schmidt, Google CEO and former Apple board member:
"I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want."
Good job... Jobs. Apple continues to attack Android OEMs to keep the pressure on. It makes me wonder if Microsoft should be on the offensive too with Metro UI and how Android has obviously taken some elements from the platform in the past with the recent People app in Ice Cream Sandwich to name one example.
3 years ago
New photo of the Nokia Sabre shows physical buttons
We just had another photo of the Nokia Sabre, admittedly heavily "masked", land in our inbox.
It looks remarkably like the earlier shot leaked today but this time we can see the lower buttons, which should make quite a few people happy: they're physical. Yup, the front-facing buttons look to be nice, clear gel type buttons which should alleviate a lot of accidental clicks that come from capacitive buttons.
Although the screen looks small (3.7") and this might not be the spec killer that many want, it sure looks like a solid little number. And we're sure Nokia's quality will shine through.
Update: Since the phone is in the camera app and it's running Mango, there's no switch for the front-facing camera. That can only mean one thing, that this lacks one.
3 years ago
Radar, Titan, Focus S and Focus Flash now listed on Windows Phone site
In case you wanted to take a closer look at their basic specs, all of the new Windows Phone announced so far, including the Samsung Focus S, Focus Flash and HTC's Titan and Radar 4G are listed on WindowsPhone.com.
The only thing "new" that we found was the mention of the Focus S's "wide-band AMR advanced sound quality", which we have no idea what it means, but we guess we should be impressed and it's down as having a 9-hour battery life (a regular Focus clocks in at 7-hours, for comparison).
Of interest is how T-Mobile Radar 4G is listed under "Other" for some odd reason and the Quantum is still listed, even though it's gone from AT&T's site.
Source: Windows Phone; Thanks, Justin S., for the heads up
3 years ago
Microsoft Research makes dreams a reality with the HoloDesk
The world is changing, folks, and just in case you weren't aware of that fact, Microsoft Research has released the above video to show just how dramatic those changes will be. Though they aren't quite usable as anything more than the most simple activities (like bouncing a ball or picking up a 3D holographic object), the HoloDesk by the research team at Microsoft shows some really cool possibilities for the technology, especially by showing a holographic Windows phone. As you can see from the video, interaction with a 3D hologram is not just something the characters in Star Trek can do anymore - Microsoft has taken their Kinect to a whole new level and brought holograms in direct contact with our fingertips.
While we probably won't be using any holographic smartphones any time soon, that didn't stop the development team from creating their own version of a WP7 device to play with in their HoloDesk. At 2:40 in the video, you can see the user picking up a translucent holographic Windows phone, browsing through the available applications and even launching one of them. Not bad for a phone that doesn't actually exist.
The HoloDesk uses a number of sensors to watch exactly how the user is interacting with what they see. It watches their hands for motion and direct interaction with the displayed objects, and their eyes to know what they are looking at (and change the perspective of the illusion as they do so). This technology could eventually be used for prototyping new devices, manipulating x-rays or displaying an array of data and charts, if not eventually be used in gaming or other forms of entertainment.
We're still a far way out from seeing anything like this end up on consumer shelves, or even outside of Microsoft's research facilities. The possibilities are still extremely cool to think about, and leave us wondering what other dreams might eventually become a reality.
3 years ago
Samsung AllShare DLNA workaround patched
It's confirmed this time around. Samsung has finally patched the AllShare app to fix the glitch that enabled Focus and Omnia 7 owners to use DLNA and stream content to and from supported devices. Unfortunately Samsung seems to be dedicated to leaving us 1st-gen handset owners in the dark with the latest features.
While we previously brought some good news to the table when reports came in that the manufacturer patched the app and the glitch remained operational, it's game over now folks.
Thanks NaterBater for the heads up!
3 years ago
Skype for Windows Phone still coming this year
Last we spoke of an app for Skype coming to Windows Phone was back in April, at MIX'11. An app was demoed and was slated for a "late fall 2011" release. Neil Stevens, Skype's Vice President and General Manager of Products and Marketing, spoke about how Skype is looking to be more integrated into the OS as opposed to being a mere app, which should be likely with Microsoft's acquisition.
We've now caught wind of Microsoft confirming the upcoming launch of a Skype app for Windows Phone, which is scheduled for late 2011. It will be interesting to see what the solution will be, we expect video calls will be supported to keep the app up to par with other platforms.
Source: @leoberto, via: MobileTechWorld
3 years ago
Speed test between HD7 and Radar shows 2nd generation hardware advantage
We understand some folks on T-Mobile are a little miffed about not getting the Titan and instead have to "settle" for the Radar 4G. We disagree a little bit, having handled the Radar and knowing what a svelte device it is. We also know that these second generation devices have better internal hardware, a faster CPU, newer more powerful GPU and better screens to name a few differences.
In this case, WP7.com.pl has put the HD7 next to the Radar for a side-by-side speed test. While it should be of no surprise that the Radar wins easily, it's still certainly interesting to see the margin of difference. Needless to say, a lot of us will enjoy that extra speed boost that the Radar gives, even if it still only has a 1GHz CPU (but newer build).
3 years ago
Microsoft teams up with Klout to give away 500 Windows Phones
For those of you who don't know, Klout (Klout.com) is a new social-network metric for measuring how influential you are on specific topics. The higher the score, the more influential. It's based on things you say, who's connected to you, who re-Tweets your messages, etc.
Some love it, some hate it.
Regardless, Microsoft has teamed up with them through their 'Klout Perks' program to offer 500 Windows Phones for free to people who qualify. That's a whole lotta phones, making this a serious contest. What's more, winners will get VIP tickets to those launch events we just mentioned a few posts down.
To qualify, you'll have to have Klout connect up with your Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+ accounts. Then you have to have a Klout score of 55 or higher in Technology. That's pretty high--heck, @WPCentral is at 67 but myself (@malatesta77) is only at 52 (just a "specialist", le sigh).
But hey, if there any big movers and shakers out there, feel free to try to get the "perk" by reading more at Klout here.
3 years ago
Microsoft increases marketing efforts in Middle East with a suite of WP7 applications
Microsoft Gulf, a division of the company that is based in the Middle East, is increasing its efforts to make WP7 more accessible and usable to their customers who live in the region. By partnering with digital marketing firm Prototype, Microsoft plans to bring a number of new applications to the Windows Phone Marketplace, all of which are built for purposes and businesses that are unique to the UAE (United Arab Emirates).
The list of new apps includes titles like Time Out Dubai, to give users access to restaurant reviews and locations; Aramex, for tracking courier shipments; and mParc, an exclusive Windows Phone Mango app that will give users instant access to Dubai's paid parking lots.
As more of these localized apps are built, Microsoft is making it clear that they intend to spend their massive marketing budget wisely to increase their WP7 user-base. Expect to see more such programs launched worldwide as not only Microsoft, but soon Nokia, continue to integrate WP7 into the world of smartphone users.
Source: IT Pro Portal
3 years ago
Windows Phone AppHub now allowing 7.0 apps to be updated by developers
If you recall, once a developer had submitted a "Mango" 7.1 app to the Marketplace, it essentially cut them off from access to the non-Mango 7.0 version. That meant that the pre-Mango version was frozen, basically forever, with no chance for bug fixes. And although the goal is to get Mango on 100% of the devices and basically all the updates are rolling out now, developers were still a little unhappy about that limitation.
Microsoft of course listened and figured out a way to let devs have access to both 7.0 and 7.1 versions of their apps. They announced this awhile ago but it has just officially been instantiated in the developer AppHub, meaning devs can update their old pre-Mango apps just like before.
As you can see from the image above, thanks to our developer Jay Bennett, devs will have the option via a drop down menu to choose which app to modify. Seems like a good solution to us and hopefully devs will take advantage of it.
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