3 years ago
I Dig It - Review
3 years ago
Windows Phone 7 Update: No love for the camera
For the most part, the camera hardware on the new Windows Phone 7 devices perform really good (save the HD7's pink color cast). The biggest headache the Windows Phone 7 camera presents is on the software side. Tweak the settings and when you exit the camera, the phone reverts to the default settings.
MobileTechWorld recently put the latest unlocked emulator through the ropes (which reflects the pending WP7 update) and discovered that the update doesn't address this feature. Camera settings continue to revert to the default settings when you exit the app.
No official word from Microsoft if this "fix" ever made the drawing board for the update or, like the screen capture feature, wasn't brought up enough in research groups. There is a long shot that adding the ability to retain camera settings made it to the update after the emulator was updated but we're not holding our breaths on that one. We can only hope it makes the next update.
Oh and if Microsoft is listening, this (along with screen captures) is a feature we'd like to see.
3 years ago
Help Extend WP7 battery life [How To]
Smartphones have always had the label of "battery eaters" when compared to a regular mobile phone. A good number of years back, a Nokia 3210 would last for an entire year (although we still believe they were secretly powered by miniature nuclear reactors). Windows Phone 7 is not exempt from this battery life issue for majority of owners, but there are ways to tackle the problem and preserve some battery - at the loss of some functionality.
3 years ago
Surfcube 2.0 gets previewed, new UI and tabs demoed
Surfcube wins for one of the most innovative browsers on the Market with its 3D effects, smooth transitions and full-screen browsing.
But one thing that was missing and has been promised for awhile was tabbed browsing. That along with a new way to navigate (the "joystick") looks to be quite the step up for the 3D browser. We especially like the options for tabs (on the left side of the cube or actual tabs) though we are a little unsure about the joystick--but being able to move it around looks petty nifty.
Anyways, we like innovation around here, so nice to see the developer (Kinabalu Innovation) thinking outside...the cube (ba dun dun!). Look for the update in the next few weeks and we'll take another look.
Thanks, Jancsika, for the heads up
3 years ago
Microsoft updates WP developer tools, makes getting a dev phone easier
If your a developer, you've probably already received word about the new "January refresh" to the Windows Phone developer tools. The main feature is of course copy and paste in the emulator, allowing devs to dry run their apps with the new function (in fact, here are the directions on copy & paste for those curious). In addition to copy and paste, the tools also include "...updated reference assemblies, a new version of the Windows Phone OS emulator image, and several minor bug fixes", which should keep devs busy poking and prodding for awhile. (Note: Microsoft is not "seeding" NoDo updates to developers as far as we know). The updated tools can be downloaded right here.
Microsoft's Brandon Watson goes on to note that most apps won't need to be recompiled/resubmitted to the Marketplace---they should be just fine with copy and paste and the other changes. For those devs whose apps are non-standard, MS has scanned the market for them and will be contacting the devs. The third bit of info is that the Windows Phone developer tools have been downloaded over one million times--quite the big win.
Finally, Microsoft has made it "easier" to get developer phones (HD7, Focus, Surround) by partnering with Zones. All this really means is they gave an outlet to buy unsubsidized Windows Phones with no carrier contract, but the phones are still locked.
So when will anyone actually get the famed NoDo update? Rumors suggest February 7th, but we're not so confident just yet...
Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog; Thanks, Eric R., for the heads up
3 years ago
Take the WPCentral Forums with you using Board Express (Tapatalk) - Video
Board Express Pro (see site) just went 2.0 this week and it was quite the major overhaul of the Tapatalk message board client. Featuring a new UI, faster scrolling and just overall smoother operation, it seems to have finally hit the "recommend zone" by us.
We just took v2.1 published the other night for a spin and were quite impressed. The app is compatible with thousands and thousand of message boards around the globe and even our own forums right here. Enabling you to log in, post messages, check your PMs, favorite forums for quick access--it seems to have it all from our end. Also new in 2.x is themes support--from dark to light, to using your accent color, to some presets, it gives a nice, custom look to your message board.
The app does fetch for $2.99 which is a bit high, but if you're a forum junky, we can say it is money well spent. There is also a full-trial that limits your to 60 characters per post and you can only favorite three boards--but it is certainly robust enough to let you decide if it's for your. Download the trial here in the Marketplace and post your thoughts in our thread on the topic--great way to get your feet wet, eh?
Grab Board Express Pro here and the read-only-but-free Board Expres here.
3 years ago
Changelog for Star Wars: Battle for Hoth and Rocket Riot updates
Star Wars: Battle for Hoth (review) and Rocket Riot (review), two Xbox Live games for Windows Phone 7, both received updates this week, but no release notes in their store descriptions or anywhere else. So we contacted their developers, Fluffy Logic and Code Glue, for details.
Star Wars: Battle for Hoth v220.127.116.11 changelog:
- Minor tweaks to difficulty of some levels based on user feedback
- Fix for rare crash bug affecting players resuming paused games
- Fix for trial version bug
Which levels got tweaked? The boss waves in the last five or so levels now have less health. It may not sound like much, but Battle for Hoth is a very challenging game. Every little bit helps!
Rocket Riot v18.104.22.168 changelog:
Rocket Riot controlled pretty well to begin with, but it’s nice to see Code Glue continuing to support the game after release. Now if only Namco would fix up the Windows Phone 7 version of Puzzle Quest 2…
Star Wars: Battle for Hoth is a tower defense game based on the iconic Hoth battle from The Empire Strikes Back film. It costs $4.99. Rocket Riot is a side-view shooter with retro-inspired graphics (full review soon). Though Rocket Riot had previously dropped to $4.99, its price is back up to $6.99. Both titles have free trials. You can grab Battle for Hoth here (opens a link to your Zune software) and Rocket Riot here in the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Fix your Venue Pro, kill your warranty
The reports of Dell Venue Pro owners experiencing crashes and freezes on their devices have been plentiful, usually when downloading files over a WiFi connection. The good news is that a user named zeevDVP over at the Dell Community seems to have isolated the source to faulty MicroSD cards being shipped out with the phones, which could explain why it does not happen to everyone. The bad news is that if you decide to resolve the issue by replacing the card it will void your warranty. If your Venue Pro is continuously freezing, you might be ready to chuck it against a wall, which would also void the warranty, so this fix just could be the right fit for you. In any case, reports are that it works.
Here is the process zeeDVP outlines, using a class 2 32GB Sandisk card (Sandisk part number SDSDQM-032G-B35):
1. Fully sync your phone with Zune, replacing the card requires hard-resetting the device (essentially formatting it).
2. Go to "Settings->about->reset your phone", click "Yes" for both questions, then just as the screen goes dark (as the phone is going for a restart) remove the battery.
3. Replace the micro SD card. The card slot is located next to the SIM card slot and covered by a black warranty sticker, you'll need a tool like a very small flat head screwdriver or a safety pin to remove the card as it's not spring loaded (again, since it wasn't designed to be user serviceable). You can see the location of the card slot here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weOg1dzPmU0 (if you don't want to watch the whole thing skip to 3:00 to see how to remove the card)\
4. Reinsert the battery and power up the device. You'll be presented with the welcome screen guiding you through the initial device setup and you're done.
Source: Dell Community; Via: PocketNow
3 years ago
Kill the Duck updated. Adds new game mode
Today must be "Windows Phone 7 update day". Every time I check my Windows Phone, it seems as if a new update is listed in the Marketplace. The latest is for the popular gaming app, Kill the Duck.
The update includes some improvements on the graphics and feels as if it has some performance tweaks as load times seem to be faster.
The most noticeably change with the Kill the Duck update is the addition of a new game mode. You still have your original Classic Mode where you blast as many ducks out of the sky, but now you have a Funny Mode. While the goal is still to shoot as many ducks (and avoid the doves) when you shoot a duck in the Funny Game Mode, randomly they will drop eggs as they are shot. If you can shoot the egg before it reaches the ground you receive bonus points.
Kill the Duck is an enjoyable game to pass the time with and the new game mode adds a little variety to the Windows Phone 7 game. You can find your free copy of Kill the Duck here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Samsung Focus spotted on Grey's Anatomy, but not officially
Although there are official product placements on TV, there are sometimes non-official ones. The former are clear mini-commercials where the latter are just things we notice but you can't tell what it is.
Unless you're an eagle-eyed Windows Phone owner like @Hendo427, who let us know he spotted the Focus the other night on Grey's Anatomy (S07E13).
We went to tape and grabbed some more screenies and it sure looks like a Focus...whose had it's carrier label taped over. No features of the OS were shown either, meaning this wasn't MS sanctioned. So this is just for you insiders out there ;-)
3 years ago
Fruit Ninja in the "High Tens Of Thousands" for downloads on Windows Phone
Although Windows Phone is still growing and early on in the launch, some developers are at least reporting a relaive hit. One of those is Halfbrick, makers of Fruit Ninja (see our review), the super popular citrus slicing game available also on Android and the iPhone.
In an interview with Business Insider Shainiel Deo, CEO of Halfbrick Studios said that game is having "moderate" success on the new OS noting that paid downloads (an important distinction) is in the "high tens of thousands". Halfbrick seems to be pleased overall with Microsoft but does note "I think Microsoft could be doing more to promote the phone and hopefully we’ll start seeing that soon."-- a common complaint we hear these days.
Deo also took a shot at Android stating that compared to Windows Phone "There are a number of varying devices but there is nowhere near the fragmentation issues that Android has." Zing. We've seen that before from Ballmer and Netflix.
Bottom line is although Windows Phone is still commanding very little market share, both developers and users seem to be quite happy from their respective sides--and that's important for driving growth.
Source: Yahoo! News/Business Insider
3 years ago
SpellIt gets updated with new features
If you've been following the Forum discussion, it's no secret that an update has been in the works for the popular Windows Phone game SpellIt. Well, the wait is over and the update was released this morning. Just launch your Marketplace app and click on Updates.
Improvements include players scores and last move fields are more readable and as well as the customary performance tweaks. The update also brings a few new features to the table that include:
- Players can now shake their Windows Phone to shuffle their game tiles. This is a great way to give players a refreshed look at potential words that can be created.
- There is now a score preview window to let you know how many points you will score. It will appear next to the Play Button and if you're spelling a word that is invalid, the score will remain zero.
- There is also a visual cue for pending tiles that highlights the tiles you are placing. As the game progresses, the board can get a little busy and highlighting these tiles helps as you build words.
The new features only add to a very entertaining game. If you haven't tried SpellIt, you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. It's a free game and very addictive.
3 years ago
Flory IM app now live in the Windows Phone Marketplace [Updated]
We first broke the news about Flory IM last week and it's been just smashing for us since. The developer contacted us to let us know it has been submitted to the Marketplace and sure enough, here it is. The IM app offers free Google Talk IMs plus using the jabber protocol, you can do Facebook IM, ICQ, etc.
The good news, it's still free. The bad news, it's still in German :-P No big deal though, you're all smart enough to get through the simple username/password menus to figure it out and if not, we can help in our forums.
Scan the Tag barcode above (via WP7Applist) or grab it here in the Marketplace here.
Update: Looks like Flory is going multilanguage...very soon in fact. From their Facebook page:
Important: when you update from 1.5 to 1.6, first close your gtalk connection! The servers for the worldwide release are nearly ready. We hope that all language versions get certified, so we can publish on sunday. Because we need to change dns and ip settings, there will be a serverdowntime for about 1 -2 hours. Sorry for that!
Update 2: Direct Facebook IM support is also coming in v1.6, no more jabber trickery
Thanks, Alan, for the Facebook info!
3 years ago
UStream viewer for Windows Phone gets overhaul, push notifications
The U-Stream viewer has been out since the launch of Windows Phone, so nothing new there. But version 1.1 just hit and it looks to be quite the overhaul. For one, it works much better now. They've also look to have re-done much of the UI, making it easier to read, search and find new streams. Searching seems better, but we're not sure if it still finds everything.
What's really kind of neat though is if you have a (free) account, you can of course subscribe to your favorite shows or upcoming events. But the program goes one step further now with push notifications to let you know when your "event" is about to start--that's a nice addition. Though we haven't tried it, we imagine it's a Live Tile too with a counter.
Video quality is "ok"--hardly HD even over WiFi but it gets the job done and the app is still a big sluggish here and there (pauses between actions) , so we still see some need for improvement, but it's a big step in the right direction.
Anyways, grab it here in the Marketplace if interested. Thanks, Tahiti Bob, for letting us know
3 years ago
Microsoft releases Windows Phone 'Insider' app for n00bs
Microsoft this morning published a new app called Windows Phone Insider to the Marketplace. The tiny app is a great starting point for those new to the Windows Phone world though numerous features and tutorials. Here's what it can do:
- Top picks - most popular apps in a genre (this week appears to be fitness)
- Wallpapers - pulls down Bing images for use as wallpaper (nice)
- Follow Us - Latest Facebook and Twitter posts from Windows Phone
- Tour - short web tutorials on how to use your phone/make the most of it
The app is actually really slick and the Bing wallpapers feature is huge for many--it'swell worth the free download just for that option. Of course, we couldn't help but think this would be great on the phone to begin with, which makes us think that with the upcoming software update, you'll see this stock on your device after that first flash. Anyone wanna bet?
You can grab the app here in the Marketplace; Thanks, David M., for letting us know!
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