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3 years ago

PhoneZune becomes Air Pick Voice and leaves us impressed at WPUG

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If you weren't aware of the event or you've been hiding under a rock the past few weeks, there was a Windows Phone User Group (WMPUG) meet up yesterday in London, which both myself and Jay Bennett attended. As well as having Will from Windows Phone UK making a brief appearance, we had a handful of developers (including Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex and Lawrence Gripper) with two walking the audience through their apps. 

One of the presentations was of Air Pick Voice (APV) by KeyboardP. Wait, that name rings a bell? Indeed it does as we've covered KeyboardP's project before, but under a different name - PhoneZune. APV will allow the user to control their music collection (on a PC workstation or laptop) via the WiFi, using an app on their Windows Phone. What makes this really special is that it's all voice controlled. From manipulating playback, to selecting songs, you no longer need to be in the same room as the PC to 'pump up the jam' your way.

To refresh your memory of what this project will allow you to do, check out the video below, and we'll advance on with what's new in terms of development and features for version 1 (which is just around the corner).

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3 years ago

InstaCam is a Windows Phone Instagram client

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InstaCam is a Windows Phone Instagram client that just hit the Marketplace yesterday.  It allows you to take pictures on your phone, add different effects, and then share them via Facebook, Twitter or email.  You can log into your Instagram account to check "likes" and comments on your uploaded content.  You can also view other people's photos and leave comments, or follow them if you're a fan of their work.  The search function can find photos based on key words in pictures' tags.  Not an Instagram user?  No worries, you can still use InstaCam to browse content anonymously.

This first iteration of InstaCam contains a lot of features, including a couple exclusive photo effects.  However, there are more features on the way.  The developers are already planning on adding geolocation search, view changes, and more.

InstaCam is free and can be downloaded here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, peestandingup, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Jet Car Stunts braves dangerous heights to become the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

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With this week’s Xbox Live release of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, racing fans have a lot to keep them busy. But the Xbox Live Deal of the Week, Jet Car Stunts, is worth a look too. Even though it’s got cars, it couldn’t be more different than a traditional racing game.

In Jet Car Stunts, you pilot the titular flying automobile across tracks that are suspended in the air. The goal is not just to get good completion times on each track, but also to stay on the track and avoid plummeting to your doom. It’s not my cup of tea, but people who like difficult challenge-based games like Trials will probably enjoy it. Don’t forget to check out our mini interview with the developer! Also note that the first Achievement you’ll get is worth only 2 GamerScore, which might annoy OCD gamers.

Jet Car Stunts is on sale for $1.99 (down from $2.99) for one week only. Grab it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

VP of Design at Nokia interviewed by The Guardian

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The Guardian has interviewed Marko Ahtisaari (seen above), executive vice president of design at Nokia. Being responsible for the look and feel of the Lumia family of handsets, Ahtisaari was questioned on how the unique polycarbonate body design (Lumia 800 and 900) came to be, the partnership (and integration) with Microsoft, and what will be brought to the table by Nokia next. 

"Live Tiles; they're abstractions of data, a panoramic view of your data. It's a different approach - 'glanceability', such as in the People Hub. Our goal in the studio is to design so that people can have their head up again. Touchscreen designs are often immersive; we'll often see couples in a restaurant pinching and zooming, but not interacting with each other. And there's a trend of having smaller and smaller targets on screen so you have to get closer and closer.

If we can make the interfaces more direct, so you can have your head up again – this is something that, while it would never come up in a focus group, is deeply appreciated by people, because the most important things are happening not only in the vessel of your phone, but also with the people and the environment around you."

Discussing MeeGo, iOS and Android, Ahtisaari speaks highly of the platform UIs, but notes fragmentation and lack of evolution since  innovation (especially the case with iOS). We shouldn't view what's currently available as the end of user interface development, he continues:

"They will be more diversity in user interface because you can design more ways to use a phone. Some people would say that the iPhone is the new generic form. My point is more about competitive diversity. What's really important is that this isn't styling. This aesthetic come from the way that we build the product."

Head over to The Guardian to read up on the interview in full. There's more to come from the Finnish manufacturer, which can only be good news for Windows Phone.

Source: The Guardian (image credit), thanks @samsabri for the tip!

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3 years ago

Sega Master System & Game Gear emulator now in the Windows Phone Marketplace

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The Sega Master System and Game Gear emulator for Windows Phone which allows you to load up ROMs is now live in the Marketplace! Going by the name of Sonic's Jewels (SJ7), the app fetches for a fair $1.29 with a free trial.

In our preview a few days ago (see video after the break) we gave the emulator high praise for being extremely well designed with fluid transitions and numerous options including:

  • Pinnable games to the Start screen with Live Tiles
  • Three save slots per game; instant resume
  • Skydrive support for importing games
  • Frame skips for 1st Gen devices
  • Portrait & Landscape support

Needless to say, we really like it. The one down side that as of right now, there is no sound emulation. But guess what? The developer has solved this problem and the next update brings full sound emulation to the mix. Don't believe us? Head past the break for a demonstration.

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3 years ago

Vimeo for Windows Phone now available on the Marketplace

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The official Vimeo app is now available in the Marketplace, which allows users to upload, manage and view content on the network. While there's already an unofficial app available by Ashtech Software (our review), it's good to see some more big brand love for the platform (plus the official offering is free). 

The app itself looks great, the development team really have used the Metro UI to create a unique experience for Windows Phone users. Some feature highlights:

  • Watch and manage all your existing Vimeo videos
  • Watch videos from your Vimeo inbox, Watch Later queue, or videos you have liked
  • Easily like, comment on, and add videos to your Watch Later queue
  • Discover new and fascinating featured videos
  • Quickly search for videos on Vimeo
  • Easily upload your footage in HD
  • Pause and resume uploads
  • Replace existing videos
  • Edit titles, descriptions, tags, privacy settings, and credits
  • Share via Facebook, Twitter, email, or SMS
  • Add videos to your Groups, Channels, and Albums
  • Get stats on plays, likes, and comments

You can download Vimeo from the Marketplace for free. 

Thanks everyone who tipped us on this!

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3 years ago

Portals 2D is a free download until February 7th

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Should you enjoy Portal on the consoles and PC, then you'll love Portals 2D (by Weesals) on your Windows Phone. Taking an interesting 2D birds-eye route, this indie title feels like a unique game due to the different camera angle from 1st person to the clouds. The concept is exactly the same with cubes, portals, lasers, a portal gun and the requirement of a quick thinking mind.

The most intriguing feature of this Portals 2D is not the superb graphics (vaguely reminiscent of GTA China Town Wars?), but the price - it's available for absolutely nothing until February 7th. You can download Portals 2D from the Marketplace. Note that there are two entries for this app, be sure to download the one we link to.

Thanks gh8421 for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Cloud Music

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Windows Phone App Review: Cloud Music

Skydrive is a great resource for your Windows Phone for off-device storage and Cloud Music is a handy app to tap into any music files you may have stored in your Skydrive account. We first mentioned Cloud Music some time ago when the developer was looking for beta testers. Well, Cloud Music is now available over in the Windows Phone Marketplace and in giving the music app a try, it's not too shabby.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 lands in Malaysia on Feb 10th

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Nokia's global launch of the Lumia line of Windows Phones continues with the Malaysian wireless market set to get both the Nokia Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 on February 10, 2012.

No word on pricing for the new Windows Phones and according to Lowyat.net you can find the Lumia 710 and 800 at the Nokia Store in the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur shopping mall and in Gardens Mid Valley.

source: Lowyat.net; Thanks, Chapree, for the tip!

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3 years ago

NFS: Hot Pursuit for Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone now in the Marketplace

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This week's Xbox LIVE title, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, is now live in the Marketplace.

Fetching for $4.99 with a trial, the game is one of the must-have's coming over the next few weeks to our trusted OS. The game itself looks like a lot of fun and should be a nice addition for you racing junkies:

FEEL THE RUSH OF THE ESCAPE AND THE THRILL OF THE TAKEDOWN! Outrun the law as a Racer in supercars like the Pagani Zonda Cinque – or stop racers cold as a Cop in high-speed police interceptors like the Lamborghini Reventon. Enabled for Xbox LIVE®, experience pulse-pounding action as you make the escape or make the bust with Need for Speed™ Hot Pursuit on Windows Phone 7.

TEAR UP THE LEADERBOARDS!
Use your existing Xbox LIVE Gamertag or create a new one via the Windows Phone 7 main menu to track achievements and access leaderboards.

CHASE ACHIEVEMENTS
Drive up to 20 precision-performance cars in adrenaline-fueled showdowns across 24 day-and-night tracks. Take it to the limit in 48 total Cop and Racer Career Events, collect bounty, and rise to the top of the ranks.

DUEL IT OUT ON THE ROAD
As a Cop, lay down the law with roadblocks and spike strips – or fry the Racer’s electrical system with an EMP lock. As a Racer, make the getaway with overdrive, jamming, and oil slicks.

Grab NFS: Hot Pursuit here in the Marketplace. Let us know in comments if it gets a 'yay' or 'nay'. We'll have a review up soon!

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3 years ago

Ask Ziggy briefly busted but major overhaul on the horizon. Exclusive first pics.

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We covered Ask Ziggy last month and it sure gained a lot of attention. While the Siri-like app itself was a great first start, it certainly lacked the ability to do some basic functions like tell the weather or what time it is. Still, for being done by one guy it did do some neat tricks as our video pointed out (see after the break for a refresher).

Currently though, Ask Ziggy's Nuance engine is on the fritz. It's a temporary problem that has to do with basically too many people using it. The exceeded limits though should be restored soon, so sit tight. And it's fixed already!

But the big news, as you can peep from the screenshots, is the huge overhaul the app is getting for the next version. Ask Ziggy is getting all "Metrofied" as many of you had requested and boy, do we like the look. On top of that it handles a lot more functionality, including:

  • Weather
  • Time
  • Reminders
  • Maps/Geolocation

And we hear there's a lot more in the works. In fact, the developer, Shai Leib, is now working full-time on this project meaning we can expect some serious changes in the coming months.

No word on ETA for the next version but we'll keep you posted with a hands on as soon as we can. Certainly though we're very excited about where this is going. Folks, take our word, you haven't seen anything yet.

You can pick up the current version here in the Marketplace for free, but until Nuance resets their limits, it may not work.

Updated: Added Map/Geolocation pics. Also, Nuance is working again!

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3 years ago

Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone out of beta and in the Marketplace

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We mentioned Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone just over a month ago. The pet project by developer Den Delimarsky picks up where Microsoft's Channel 9 left off. In short, these are achievements...but for developers! And now you can track them easily on your Windows Phone, thanks to Den's app.

Nerd alert!

Having said that, the app itself is pretty awesome with the ability to track your achievements as well as sharing and comparing your scores to others for ultimate bragging rights.

Read more on Channel 9's Visual Studio Achievements here and read more at Den's blog over yonder.

Grab the free app here and now in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 coming to Indonesia in February with big launch events

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It only takes a few hours to go by before we get a new report of a Nokia launch somewhere. While the info may not be of interest to all of our readers, it's important for the OS to spread as far and wide as possible. And having Windows Phone with Nokia's backing land in Indonesia is nothing to ignore either. With nearly 240 million people, it's a fairly large population yearning for some smartphone technology from the likes of Redmond and Finland.  So it's with great interest to see Indonesian news site Detikinet reporting that the Lumia 710 and 800 are both headed to that country within in weeks:

"Anvid Erdian, Product Manager Nokia Indonesia stated that Nokia is still as planned in the series Lumia brought to Indonesia in Q1 2012. "Approximately in February"...The price is pegged in the range of Rp 5 million to Lumia 800 and Rp 3 million for Lumia 710."

We're also told by reader Rahadyan that Nokia has two events in preparation for the launch that may interest some locals:

  1. Mesin Waktu Nokia (Translation: Nokia Time Machine), a contest in the form of Facebook app where a user can pick his/her favorite classic Nokia phones, then type in his/her memory about using the phone. The prizes are 5 Lumia 800 and 5 Lumia 710. www.mesinwaktunokia.com (redirect to Facebook app)
  2. Nokia Developer Day: Coding 24 hours. This event, collaborating with Microsoft Indonesia, will be held on 4-5 February 2012. Nokia+Microsoft hope to gather 800 developers and challenge them to create 800 apps for Windows Phone in the course of 24 hours. Those apps will then be submitted to the Indonesian Marketplace. A little twist: this event will be monitored by the Indonesian Record Museum (Museum Rekor Indonesia / MURI), the Indonesian equivalent of Guinness World Record, and will be registered as the largest developer coding event in Indonesia if they manage to attract 800 developers. Link.

Sounds like that could be a lot of fun. Hopefully we'll get some on-the-ground feedback once everything starts.

Source: Detikinet; Thanks, Rahadyan, for the info!

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3 years ago

Microsoft does Chinese New Year with a Metro twist

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For those of you near China/Hong Kong (or like ourselves, in New York City) Chinese New Year is a pretty big deal and tends to be a lot of fun. So it's very cool to see Microsoft getting into the mix by distributing traditional Chinese "Red Envelopes" to the media as a New Year's gift. In case you're unfamiliar with the ritual, here you go from MIC Gadget:

"Traditionally, the married Chinese will give a red envelope with certain amount of money inside as a monetary gift to children and unmarried adults during the Lunar New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and the money was known as “ya sui qian”, meaning “money warding off evil spirits”. It was believed to protect the elderly from sickness and death too. In modern day, the envelopes are not just in red color, some will used gold color. Gold represents good luck and wealthy, that is another favorite color for the Chinese. "

As noted though, there was sadly no money in those envelopes meaning the press had to find other means for cash. We're not going to lie though, we'd like to get our hands on one of these for a souvenir!

Source: ePrice (HK); via MIC Gadget; Thanks, Norman M., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 710 free at Microsoft Stores with two-year contract

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Just in case $39 was too much at a T-Mobile store for the Nokia Lumia 710, you can head to your local (har har) Microsoft Store and pick up that bad boy for the low-low price of FREE. Of course, they're just not throwing free phones at customers as you do have to commit to a 2-year contract. But hey, that's not a bad deal.

And since the chances of you actually living near a MS store are a bit slim (you can check here though), you can also order by phone or online, making this a pretty good deal to share with others.

Source: Microsoft Store Online; Thanks, Justin W., for the tip

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