3 years ago
The effects of making a WP7 app free, and the numbers to go with it
Every now and then we feature apps whose prices are going down for a small promotional period. Obviously, in general people seem to like free stuff. But how much?
Well, I have an app called FFFFound in the Windows Phone Marketplace, which has been mentioned here on WPCentral a few times. It's has quite a niche target market, and because of that doesn't have many users. So before going into numbers, you need to realize that this is an app that not too many people actually want or need. BUT for the few who are looking for something like this, they love it. Because the users who have reviewed it have made it quite clear that they love the design, I wanted to get it into more hands.
3 years ago
Microsoft France training and providing incentives to sales staff
According to a report by Professeur Thibault, Microsoft France is using an external agency to help tackle sales staff issues the software giant has experienced with their mobile platform since its launch back in 2010. Nokia recently took incentives to the extreme with rewarding a top T-Mobile salesman to VIP treatment at CES 2012.
Microsoft and their hired guns will be ensuring employees at various stores around the country have effective training to sell Windows Phones. A source (which chose to remain anonymous) informed Professeur Thibalt that while he did not have confirmation to what exactly the incentives would be for sales teams across France, he was able to go into detail surrounding the training. The agency Microsoft has partnered with will be providing 30-120 minute sessions, coupled with hands-on walkthroughs and a short questionnaire at the end of the training.
Each trainer will be looking to visit up to 60 stores per month, and once stores have received the main training exercise they will be revisited 1-3 times per quarter. Although the source failed to obtain incentive details, he did mention that a free Nokia Lumia 800 or Acer Allegro could possibly be included for the staff of the store that sold the most Windows Phones. Doesn't sound like a bad combat plan.
Source: Professeur Thibault (translation)
3 years ago
Battlewagon update fixes Achievements and improves gameplay to boot
IronSun Studios’ second Xbox Live title, Battlewagon, suffered from a bad case of broken Achievements when it launched last year. Like any responsible developer, IronSun quickly set out to fix those Achievements – but they didn’t stop there. The Battlewagon version 1.1 update includes a few additional tweaks that make for a more enjoyable game – fancy that!
Battlewagon version 1.1 release notes
All Achievements are now attainable
Added a restart button to the Pause menu
Changed the wagon launching mechanism
Added a power and angle indicator for lobbing
The new restart button should make replaying levels for higher ratings far more pleasant – no more suffering through additional tries when you’ve blown your first life or two. The wagon launching is much less finicky now, thank goodness. The shot power and angle indicator (displayed numerically at the top of the screen) also improve the gameplay. I still find aiming to be kind of awkward, but at least now you can replicate effective shots by paying attention to the numbers.
Battlewagon is a unique and very British game that takes place during medieval times. The object is to retake your lands from four evil barons, Robin Hood-style. Battlewagon’s 68 levels encompass a variety of gameplay styles, and the colorful Amiga-like artwork is quite appealing. We’ll have a full review soon.
Battlewagon costs $2.99 and you can get it here on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Free Xbox Live game Breeze gets a Valentine's Day update
Everybody loves free games – especially Xbox Live ones. Updates are usually welcome too. On that note, ad-supported freebie Breeze, from Null City Software and Microsoft Studios, just received a festive holiday update.
Breeze version 1.1 release notes:
Adds holiday-based theme support
Fixes a few collision bugs
The holiday theme support is quite timely with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. Play the game any time between now and Tuesday, February 14th to see the new visuals. The player’s flower is currently a rose, and every level’s maze looks a bit love-lier than usual as well. Rob Hutchinson at Null City also offered this tantalizing comment: “Playing the game at different points of the year may yield different visual effects.” Anybody want to play with your phone’s calendar and investigate that hint?
Breeze is a fun little maze game with 50 GamerScore of easy Achievements – see our review for full details. Considering that the game is free and all dressed up for the holiday, Windows Phone gamers have no excuse not to give it a download. You’ll find it here on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Windows Phone team member Jeff Wilcox is moving to Azure
Ah, another week and another Windows Phone team member is moving on to other things. Yes, Jeff Wilcox who's a Senior Software Development Engineer at Microsoft and who was responsible for many aspects of the Windows Phone SDKs (7.0, 7.1) is moving to Microsoft's Azure team to work on their cloud services. From his personal blog:
"I’ve decided that for 2012, I would like to move to the Windows Azure team to focus on the open source story for Microsoft’s cloud. At Microsoft we’re becoming more and more involved in exciting new success stories and tech such as Node.js – along the way we’ve even started using GitHub to accept community open source contributions and make these things better. There’s a great opportunity here and I want to be there to be a part of it all."
Wilcox's work has been key to making Windows Phone devs happy by giving them the necessary tools and tricks to make their jobs easier. Our own Jay Bennett often refers to him as "Gandalf" out of admiration for his work to the platform, so his moving will surely be missed. In turn, we asked Jeff what his proudest contribution to the Windows Phone SDK was:
"My proudest contribution is the Pivot control for the Windows Phone team - I worked hard to bring it to developers in 7.0 and it turned out pretty well. The few bugs (yeah, like SelectedIndex sometimes getting angry) were frustrating, but we did an awful lot with the time allotted and I'm happy to see it in the tens of thousands of Windows Phone apps in the Marketplace. Yeah, there was a time we weren't sure that we would provide the Pivot and Panorama controls to developers :-) we've come so far. It's been a blast."
Many of you non-devs will know his work from something else though: 4th & Mayor. Yes, Jeff is the man behind the super popular Foursquare client which started off as an alternative and now with 60,000 regular users, it has quickly become one of the top apps on the platform. The good news here is Jeff will continue working on 4th & Mayor in 2012 and 2013 with regular updates, including a Windows 8 desktop version for the Microsoft Store. Eventually he'll open source it using the Apache 2.0 license which should be an exciting contribution.
We'd like to personally extend out thanks to Jeff for his work on Windows Phone over these last few years. He's helped in solidifying the foundation for this OS and in making developers content with their tools. We wish him the best of luck on the Azure team and we look forward to more 4th & Mayor goodness in the future.
We're also told that he's not completely done yet with WP7 and has some "powerful developer phone stuff coming up soon". Stay tuned...
Source: Jeff Wilcox's blog
3 years ago
Windows Phone Summary of the Week: February 6 - 12 2012
3 years ago
China releasing Lumia 800 CDMA in March, other phones in April
We've known that China has been testing the Nokia Lumia 800c, a CDMA variant of the popular Nokia handset, and now we have some more information.
The handset is due in March on the China Telecom network and will come in cyan, white and black upon release. In addition, the Lumia 710 is due in April and even the Lumia 900 is expected to launch there too, though no firm date was given. All phones are expected to be upgraded to Tango.
Of course with the mention of CDMA bands, our US readers are probably wondering about a Verizon/Sprint release. While it seems technically easier to do so, we're holding out for a Verizon announcement of a 900 with LTE sometime in the future but our latest intel still has no Nokia devices for Sprint. Of course being the mobile industry, things can change fast.
Source: Weibo; Thanks, nba-lin, for the tip
3 years ago
Sonic's Jewels 7 pulled due to use of Sonic the Hedgehog
Just yesterday, we covered the Marketplace disappearance of an enthusiast's Sega Genesis Sega Gamegear/Sega Master System emulator titled Sonic's Jewels 7. But after getting in touch with the developer, we have new information and insight into what went down.
The author received an email from Microsoft on Feburary 9, 2012 entitled: "Mobile Application Content Infringement Complaint - Sonic's Jewels", trimmed for brevity.
This message is to notify you that Microsoft has received a Content Infringement Complaint (“Complaint”) for your application Sonic's Jewels. A copy of the Complaint is attached for your review.
Please disable access to the application from the Marketplace within one business day. If your application is still available for download within this timeframe, Microsoft may remove the application. Please note that under certain circumstances Microsoft may disable your app immediately without providing you the opportunity to disable it.
Also in the email were two boilerplate options -- either file a DMCA Counter-Notice alleging the take down of the application was in error or actually remove the materials in the complaint. Obviously, the developer pulled the app.
In the attached complaint, filed February 8, 2012, Sega noted (emphasis ours):
Please provide a name (if available) and a description of the work for which you claim intellectual property ownership: The name of the work is the Genesis, a Sega console that was built and sold in the 1990's. Sega has trademarked the term Genesis (on June 9, 1992) and all the hardware that was part of this project. Sega also owns the copyright and IP for Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the game mascots featured on the system.
Please provide a name of the other content (if available) and a description of what you claim is infringing about the other content: This title is called "Sonic Jewels" and it is a Genesis emulator for Windows Phone that was not built by Sega or authorized in any way. The emulator uses images of Sonic the Hedgehog that are used illegally.
Complaints about the use of a name or logo must be accompanied by a copy of the trademark application or registration. We cannot act on any complaint related to a name or logo without a copy of the trademark application or registration. Check this box if the trademark application or registration is included with this complaint: [x]
As we suspected, Sega didn't like the use of the Sonic the Hedgehog imagery throughout the application. Before you arm the neighborhood with molotovs and pitchforks, let's pause and reflect. Our coin ring-loving blue pal belongs to Sega. The complaint here is completely fair. What troubles us, however, is how odd the Windows Phone Marketplace folks operate. For example, the complaint includes trademark registration/application paperwork but only for the mark Genesis. Not the actual trademark in question (Sonic the Hedgehog). Yet the complaint went through with record speed. Also, the complaint form is oddly bare and consists of a single page, unlike the 6-page monstrosity we had to fill out in the Dudley saga.
At any rate, we're working with the developer directly, helping him get through the scary-sounding Marketplace paperwork and procedures. We expect a quick turn around on this one, so stay tuned.
3 years ago
LG releases three Windows Phone apps to the OEM collection
LG has been in the spotlight recently with leaks of the upcoming LG Fantasy/Miracle (passing through FCC) coming to light, and now the OEM has released three more apps for consumers to download from the Marketplace. Those who own LG Windows Phones can now get their hands on NowCaster, Winny Toolbox and Winny & Friends (the last two are aimed at the younger ages).
NowCaster is a useful app that users can fire up when waking up to the world, which will read out your calendar, the latest weather forecast, as well as other news and reports out loud. The app's usefulness is restricted to those moments when you're occupied but require to check out said information (driving, cooking, etc.).
Winny Toolbox is an app full of tools that children would find valuable with a comprehensive unit converter (energy, angle, pressure, weight, volume, temperature, etc.), time/date calculator, sales price calculator, clothes size converter, random number generator, to name just a few. Though the app is designed for children, I'm sure adults could also put a handful of the tools to good use.
Finally, Winny and Friends enables children to have amusing fun with their Windows Phone by taking photos and editing them with overlays, etc. Not only that, but there are cartoon characters that come alive when tapping on the screen, perfect for younger children.
To download these apps, head on over to LG's collection of OEM apps on the Marketplace.
Via: Professeur Thibault
3 years ago
Carbon for WP7 Twitter app finally makes it to the Marketplace
It's been a bumpy ride for Carbon, the popular Twitter app for webOS, to make its way over to Windows Phone. We had an early build of it a few months ago and since then the app has been polished and submitted to the Marketplace. Unfortunately, it was also rejected no less than four times causing the devs to become exasperated from the process.
Now, we're pleased to tell you that not only did it pass but it is now available. The app fetches for $1.99 and it is certainly one of the nicest Twitter apps on our platform. What's even better is the developers ended up submitting version 1.1 of the app, bringing even more functionality to the mix including the uber cool "inline images in your timeline". That feature means that if there is a pic attached to the Tweet, you can (optionally) have it show up as your scrolling through, giving you a quick-peek at the content.
In addition, you have TwitLonger support, font size control, everything is pinnable, background updates, read-it-later options and more, making this chock full of features.
We've been running v1.1 for the last few days and are very impressed with it. For those of you who are Metro-crazy, this is certainly your Twitter app as it has a very minimalist/font-centric UI design. Plus it has multiple account support which is something we need around these parts, so with that, we give Carbon a big thumbs up for Windows Phone.
We'd also like to announce that version 1.2 should be out within the next few days which features some scrolling tweaks as well as "trial" support, so hang tight if you don't want to purchase right away (though we think it's worth it).
Pick up Carbon here in the Marketplace for $1.99 and let us know in comments what you think. Check our early-video preview after the break. (Thanks for the heads up, Derek B.!)
3 years ago
Nokia promotes the Lumia 800 at Estación de Ópera [Video]
If it's one thing Nokia likes doing more than selling phones, it's showing how they promote 'em. In this behind-the-scenes video posted by Benson Señora Producciones, we can see a new ad-campaign for the "Amazing Everyday" being set up in Madrid's Estación de Ópera, a fairly popular train hub in Spain.
So knowing the name of the place it makes sense to see the "Amazing Everyday" take on an opera theme, including a mini-stage with a digital singer presumably singing some nifty tune to folks who are passing by the setup. Actually, if you look close it seems to be a 4 foot tall digital Windows Phone that demonstrates the OS.
Clearly the setup is innovative and more importantly, eye catching.
Thanks, Ellis B., for the tip!
3 years ago
LG Fantasy E740 for sale on XDA
Have an extra 400 Euros and willing to buy a tester device? Then XDA member SoByX may have you covered.
The forum member is reportedly selling the LG Fantasy E740 and has included numerous new photos and even a low-res video of the device in action, giving little doubt to its authenticity. He bought the unreleased Windows Phone from someone testing it and is looking to recoup his costs for his risk, which he's now passing on to you.
The device reportedly features NFC, a gyroscope and will supposedly come out around July (officially). Still, if you must have it now and that price tag sounds right, you can hit him up in the forum.
Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, Mark J., for the tip!
3 years ago
Developer Interview: Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex
For this week's Windows Phone developer interview, we're joined by Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex. While his time isn't focused on app development per se, Mendelevich does an incredible amount of work to help developers on the platform increase their revenue potential and promoting their apps. At the recent WPUG meet up, we viewed an AdDuplex presentation that outlined details surrounding effective use of social media among other promotion means to increase exposure.
Check out the full interview after the break.
3 years ago
Windows Phone App Review: proSearch
3 years ago
Nokia takes Malaysia by storm with Lumia launch [Video]
Yesterday we mentioned that Nokia was finally launching in Malaysia, pushing the Lumia 710 and 800 big time with some nice celebrations and giveaways. Now we have a superb video of the event published by Smashpop.net who were there covering the whole thing.
What can we say besides that it's great to see crowds gathering and getting excited for both Nokia and Windows Phone? You can feel the momentum building. (Although we we chuckle a bit at the slogan "Gets you to interesting faster".)
Make sure you check out the rest of the photos at smashpop.net.
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