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3 years ago

Big Winners of the 30 to Launch Microsoft developer competition announced

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It seems every time we cover news that includes the Social Mints app, it's always winning some kind of award. This story is no different as the app is one of four recently announced winners of the Microsoft 30 to Launch developer competition. We previously looked at 30 to Launch when it... well... launched earlier this year. The winning submissions (out of over 130 entries) were Social Mints, Brain Cube Reloaded, Play The Hunt, and Surf Info.

Social Mints is a familiar name here at Windows Phone Central HQ, as we've covered the app numerous times and have even reviewed the social stalking beauty. Should you not be aware of what it's about, it's a must-have for any social media geek that enables users to keep track of what's trending, how it's trending and what you should be looking out for. Winner of the Core77 Fast Track to the Mobile App International Design Challenge and featured at Mobile World Congress by Microsoft, Social Mints has been recognized for it's intuitive design and functionality.

Brain Cube Reloaded is a puzzle / platformer which is developed using the idea of a rubik's cube. Players progress through levels attempting to smash bosses into Oblivion. Oh, did we mention it's a free game?

Play The Hunt is an interesting concept, which enables users to actually go on treasure hunts using their Windows Phone. Clues and locations are provided and users will find themselves playing through mini-games, before uploading photos of their location and then progressing through the next step.

Finally we have Surf Info, an app for surfers around the U.S. coastline and Hawaii. Surf destinations are rated for quality among other related statistics and values.

Winning developers will each receive a state-of-the-art entertainment package. Find the QR Codes for each app below.

Source: 30 to Launch; Thanks Pratik for the heads up!

  

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 710 and HTC Radar 4G included in T-Mobile Magenta Deals, starting May 18th

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More details for the upcoming T-Mobile Magenta Deal Days have come to light at TMONews. The deal will see customers who sign a 2-year contract renewal or are active on any voice plan with a qualifying 2GB or higher data cap or mobile broadband plan, be eligible for the handset offers. Classic plan customers must have passed 22 months in their contract to qualify.

The Lumia 710 and Radar 4G are both included in this deal, which starts May 18th. The offer is a BOGO (Buy One Get One), with purchases on selected handsets being accompanied by a free second choice - after mail-in rebate. You could purchase the HTC Radar 4G (should you qualify for the offer, of course) and then pick up a Lumia 710 for free ($50 mail-in rebate).

The offers will be reportedly open to all customers, including those who are looking at new activations, qualifying upgrades, family and individual plans, and add-a-lines. We'll let you guys know when the deals kick off with more information.

Source: TMONews

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Cartoon Camera

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3 years ago

Top Hats for Fancy Cats because they deserve it

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With the advent of Aviary's SDK for Windows Phone today we're still on this "photo kick" here at Windows Phone Central. So we're delighted to find this little free gem simply called Top Hats for Fancy Cats which allows you to dress up your furry felines. Or your friends and family.

The app is like many of the other photo overlay tools out there but this one has an extremely large collection of "fancy" wears. From monocles to canes, from top hats to elaborate backgrounds, this app will allow you to dress up everyone and anyone to the nines.

It's of course free with ads and inspired by the Reddit community who like the kittehs (see this post for an example). What can we say other than it's done well and is great for a laugh?

Why look at our lil' Zoe all fancied up!

Pick up Top Hats for Fancy Cats here in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

via: Reddit

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3 years ago

Monster Island for Windows Phone now available in the UK

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Last Thursday, Miniclip’s beleaguered Xbox Live game Monster Island returned to Xbox Live after a month-long absence. While the physics puzzler’s Achievement problems were resolved, the game itself still could not be downloaded by customers outside of the US. This puzzled many of us since Miniclip is a European developer and all of their other Windows Phone games are available in multiple regions.

We asked Microsoft for comment and received this response,

“We are pleased to report that the Achievements have been improved and the US version is up on the Windows Phone Games Marketplace. We are working with the developer on some final testing for the worldwide release and hope to make it available soon.”

Miniclip shed some light on the Achievement gaffe but didn’t go into much detail about the regional issue:

“There were some original achievements (e.g., the ones we're using on the iOS, Android, etc.) that were against Microsoft Achievements policy. Unfortunately they only warned us after the game passed all the certification processes and was ready to be released. The game had to be taken out, and we changed the Achievements list… Yes, it will come to all marketplaces in the near future. :)”

That future must have just come to pass, because our friend Zebrasqual and several other gamers have confirmed that Monster Island is now available in the United Kingdom. Other parts of Europe like neighboring France don't have it yet though. At least British gamers can now get in on the bomb-throwing fun... Hopefully other regions won't have to wait too much longer either.

Monster Island costs $2.99 in the US. Pick it up here on the Marketplace.

Thanks to Zebrasqual or the tip!

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3 years ago

Photosynth for Windows Phone hits version 1.0. Official release imminent?

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If there's one technology Windows Phone users have been yearning for it's Photosynth. The photo-stitching software creates "synths" or 3D images from your camera phone, giving an immersive photo that's hosted on the web. It then allows the viewer to pan around the image, zoom in and out and various other options.

What makes Photosynth (www.photosynth.net) frustrating for Windows Phone though is not only does the service have an iOS app, the company who makes it is owned by none other than Microsoft.

The Windows Phone version was noted to be a "top priority" for the team and we saw some real evidence of it existing back in February but not much since then.

Now, eagle-eyed reader Scott has found not only some test images but a Microsoft Twitter account that does nothing but post Photosynths. (We're not going public with the Twitter handle because we like to track these things and not scare them off) What's more, when one looks at the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data for the image we can see "__version_synther": "Windows Phone 1.0.0" listed, strongly indicated that the Windows Phone app is in final testing.

In fact the image above is an actual photo of a Microsoft employee's test computer which lists the steps in required for testing Photosynth. If you look closely, you can also see "(Windows Phone Only)" an "AugmentedReality" listed which is tantalizing to think about.  (And if anything, that's just kind of interesting to see how this stuff is done).

Should we expect a full-on Photosynth app for Windows Phone soon? We think so and it'd make sense that the app is due hopefully in the next few weeks as it coincides with Microsoft's big "official app" push which seems to be going on.

Fingers crossed people, fingers crossed. A big thanks to Scott for all of his detective work on this story!

 

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3 years ago

ING Direct features Lumia 900 on mobile web page

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There have been numerous banking apps released for Windows Phone the past few weeks, but we've still not seen apps from other big names. ING Direct is one of said names that sports an app for iPhone, Blackberry and Android, but nothing for Windows Phone. Although there's nothing available, ING Direct does feature the Lumia 900 on the mobile website. 

While it's nothing huge, it's good to see some exposure for Windows Phone, and let's face it: Windows Phone has the most attractive / unique UI to show off.

Source: ING Direct; thanks ghoti00000 for the heads up!

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3 years ago

US Postal Service banning international shipments of smartphones and more...

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If you need to ship a Windows Phone to a friend overseas, you'll need to hurry if you plan on using the U.S. Postal Service. It's not that the US Post Office has anything against Windows Phone but rather the power source.  You see after May 16, 2012 the USPS will prohibit the international shipping of packages containing lithium ion batteries.

That includes:

  • Smartphones
  • Cameras
  • GPS devices
  • MP3 Players
  • Laptop computers
  • Tablet computers
  • Bluetooth headsets
  • Power tools

While the USPS does not offer a reasoning behind this prohibition, it may be due to instances where these batteries caught on fire in transit when not packaged correctly. Third party carriers (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc) will continue to ship such packages internationally.

The USPS will review the ban may change things on/after January 1, 2013 to allow customers to mail packages containing the lithium batteries when the batteries are properly installed in the device. For those wondering about orders from the Windows Phone Central Store, we use UPS for international shipping and you shouldn't see any interruptions.

Source: USPS Via: CNet

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Central app v2.2 now live!

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The Windows Phone Central app v2.2 is now live in the Windows Phone Marketplace. We shared a sneak peek of the updated version last week and now you can see what Jay Bennett, our resident developer, has been up to.

Here is a few of the improvements the update brings to the table.

  • Links in comments can now be followed
  • New action icons in comments
  • Option to use larger fonts in articles & comments
  • Switched to built in social media sharing
  • Double tap to view in-line images
  • Automatically scroll to newly added comments
  • 'Download app' functionality now available to free/trial users

There are also a handful of performance and cosmetic fixes with the update. All in all, we think you'll like what you find with the updated version.

If you're already enjoying the Windows Phone Central app, the update should be pushed out shortly. If you haven't given the app a try, you can find the Windows Phone Central app here at the Marketplace. There is a trial version available with the full version running $.99.

Oh...Jay has also built a logging tool, the WPClogger, which handles all reports or requests for help that are sent in. WPClogger is open source and any developers interested in using it with their app can find all the details here.

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3 years ago

Apple 'fixes' Siri, no longer recommends Lumia 900 as "best cell phone ever"

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You could sum up this news with a simple "Boo!", but I'm sure you are all aware how we love to babble on slightly. Siri, Apple's personal assistant for iPhone 4S owners, has been 'fixed' after the fiasco surrounding the helper stating the Lumia 900 as "the best cell phone ever". The humorous result / answer was due to Siri's reliance on an external service, namely Wolfrom Alpha, which took into account user reviews when performing the search. 

Apple has since replaced this search and altered what is relayed back to the user. Answers now provided to the query include "the one you're holding" and "you're kidding, right?" You can still perform a manual search on Wolfram Alpha and receive the same result, but this shows that Apple has zero sense of humour. No longer is Siri accurately useful to Windows Phone fans.

"What can I help you with?" Not much, I'm afraid.

Source: Apple Insider, via: The Verge

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3 years ago

WiFi and Bluetooth certified Samsung SCH-S759 heading to China?

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An unknown Samsung Windows Phone (SCH-S759) has been WiFi and Bluetooth certified. The device is reported to be CDMA compatible, which leads us to believe this smartphone could be a version of the recently announced Omnia M. Unfortunately, not much else is known about the handset with no other detail or specifications being listed, apart from a spotted agent string - Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows Phone OS 7.5; Trident/5.0; IEMobile/9.0; SAMSUNG; SCH-S759.

With the release of the Focus 2 and Omnia M, one could hope that Samsung is rising to the bar set by Nokia within the Windows Phone market. It's rumoured that this Samsung Windows Phone is set to head for China, probably to combat Nokia and the Lumia 800c, unless Sprint or Verizon is secretly set to unveil a device? We look forward to seeing some more details come to light in the near future, so stay tuned.

via: Unwired View, Blog of Mobile

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3 years ago

Handyscan updated and goes on sale!

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Handyscan is a very nice Windows Phone app that allows you to scan documents, share them by email and upload them to your SkyDrive account. We have been impressed with Handyscan and it was recently updated.  As an added bonus, Handyscan is on sale this week. Just a few of Handyscan's key features include:

  • Independent scanning resolution and flash options
  • Deep zoom in/out controls
  • Scan multiple pages per document and save as single file
  • Import/export photos
  • SkyDrive and Dropbox support
  • Scan digitalize signatures
  • Align and crop scanned documents

The app was recently updated to version 3.11 to fix a few minor bugs and add automatic document naming (you can set the parameters in the app's settings). Along with the update, JDB Pocketware is offering the full version of Handyscan for $.99 (regular price is $2.99)

There is a free, ad supported version of Handyscan (slightly limited in functionality) but for $.99 the full version is a steal of a deal. You can find the full version of Handyscan here at the Windows Phone Marketplace and the free version can be found here.

It's really one heck of a deal on the full version.

          

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3 years ago

Exclusive first look at the new Aviary photo tools & SDK for Windows Phone [Video]

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Big news for the Windows Phone platform today as Aviary announced their SDK is now available for developers, allowing the integration of their free, highly regarded and powerful photo tools for apps on Windows Phone.

What this means for developers - you'll now be able to insert into your application a powerful photo editor to greatly enhance user experience, all with very little effort.

What this means for consumers -  you'll soon see an array of apps that will allow you to edit, crop, enhance and tweak your photos before sending them out for the world, all at no extra cost

The Windows Phone Aviary SDK has the following features:

  • Redesigned SDK from the ground-up to take advantage of the Metro design principles of Windows Phone
  • The same, easy integration process: add our editor to your project in as little as 15 minutes, with just a few lines of code
  • Customizable color theme
  • Controllable output size based upon developer preferences — you decide what makes the most sense for your app or service
  • … Not to mention that Aviary for Windows Phone has all the standard features as the rest of our mobile SDKs

What's more, we're pleased to announce the following launch titles will have Aviary integrated into their apps very soon:

As you can see in the video above, Rowi is one of the first apps to be getting the Aviary SDK treatment. Though version 2.1 looks like the current app in every which way, the change occurs when you try to attach a photo. You now have the option to hop right into a sophisticated photo editor which allows you to manipulate everything including brightness, sharpness, add filters, stickers, text, cropping and more.

The photo is then saved and you can Tweet as usual all without having to ever leave the Rowi Twitter app. Did we mention how good the photos look too?

More info can be found at the Aviary Blog and developers can grab the SDK here right now.

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3 years ago

Dutch SNS Bank releases Windows Phone app

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It was only last week we covered the news of Rabobank releasing a Windows Phone app for customers who use the platform. Now we've caught wind of SNS Bank also launching a Windows Phone app. Much like the app from Rabobank, this app enables users to check their account balances, manage funds between accounts, and contact the bank via phone and email.

Some highlighted features of SNS Bank:

  • Login with your SNS Bank digital code, providing extra security.
  • Balance your check payment, savings and investment accounts.
  • All credits and debits are displayed.
  • Transfer between your owned accounts with the digital code.
  • Transfer to external accounts with your digipass.
  • Use a provided Address Book.
  • Convenient access to contact SNS Bank by phone or email.

To be able to login on the app, you'll need your SNS Bank digital code. Expect to see more updates released later this year from the bank, including mobile PIN. They are listening to customers for future feature requests, so be sure to let your voice be heard on anything you'd like to see implemented. You can download SNS Bank from the Marketplace for free.

via: wp7.nl; Thanks, Mark, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Travel in style. Unofficial Uber app arrives for Windows Phone.

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Personally, we zip around the busy streets of Manhattan on our motorcycle because lane-splitting is the bomb but for the rest of you, especially those who sport a monocle, Uber may be more your cup of tea.

What's Uber (www.uber.com)? It's an on demand car service that's present in many cities including Manhattan, San Francisco, Boston, LA, Chicago and more. And by on-demand we mean you can use your phone to pin point your location, send an SMS and a driver will come ferry you away to your cigar club, opera or Taco Bell all the while shouting "Oh Belvedere!". All charges (including tips) are automatically billed to your credit card making this quite convenient for the leisure class.

The service has an iPhone and Android app but alas, nothing for Windows Phone. Now, developer FremontFidelity has put one on the Windows Phone Marketplace for free and it's quite nifty.

There's not much to it really. It pinpoints your location via GPS, translates that into a street address and then texts the Uber service with the info. You can also cancel your ride ($10 charge) all with the convenient touch of a button. In essence, the app is just shortcuts to these services and makes us wonder why Uber can't make an app.

Regardless, Uber towncar is free and gets the job done. We should note before you use the app you need to sign up at the Uber site and create an account.

Pick up Uber towncar here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Thanks, Amir, for the tip

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