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3 years ago

Crackdown2: Project Sunburst update coming soon for Windows Phone 7

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One of the top games in the Marketplace is Crackdown2: Project Sunburst (see review). Although kind of gimmicky, it's can still be quite fun for many, even addictive.

Nice to know then an update is coming up "shortly" for the title. No word on what the improvements are, but we can imagine general bug fixes and hopefully some performance enhancements as well. Also, those GUI controls could use some refinement.

Keep an eye out or follow us on Twitter @wpcentral for when it goes live.

Update: It's up. Seems to load faster, not much else is known yet. Find something, lets us know in comments.

Source: @KarlStricker

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3 years ago

Seesmic update coming, brings improvements but no push

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Seesmic was one of the top Twitter apps in the Marketplace for Windows Phone 7, until a little app called Beezz showed up. Still, many prefer Seesmic's UI and general behavior but the company has been pretty quiet on any updates as of late.

The current version is 1.2 and we imagine what their blog is referring to is a yet-unpublished v1.3. If that's the case, here are the folloiwng improvements we can expect:

  • Timelines are now cached for increased loading speed
  • Speed and scrolling improvements, everywhere in the app
  • Display of private and verified Twitter accounts
  • Added animations and transitions
  • Bug fixes

Speed is good. Still, while Seesmic does support multiple Twitter accounts, something currently Beezz is lacking, the missing ability of push notifications is still quite significant. C'mon Seesmic, it's been a few months already--we'll all pay the $0.99 for the push-privilege, it's no biggy.

Source: Seesmic Blog

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3 years ago

Microsoft looking into alleged 3G data leak, possible solution found for some

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Following on from a previous article we published about an abnormal amount of data being used by Windows Phone 7 devices when idle, the BBC have reported that they have been informed by Microsoft with a status - they are investigating reports.

Some have calculated that their phones send "between 30 and 50MB of data" each day, an amount that even a heavy Internet user would have slight difficulty reaching. I use my Samsung Omnia 7 on the go with web browsing, email (three accounts set to push) and apps, I can't seem to hit 20MB, let alone double that amount.

It is interesting to see that the majority of complaints of the problem are from the US, with WP7 user Julie informing Paul Thurrott:

I received an e-mail from AT&T saying that I was close to my 2GB data limit which truly shocked me as I feel I do not use data that much, I went and looked at my AT&T account online and noticed that my phone was sending huge chunks of data seemingly in patterns.

Another reported that they had noticed their device "idle data usage is around 2-5MB per hour", which is frightening when taking into account that contracts are normally capped, and people wouldn't mind using their phones for more than two minutes each day without adding more charges to their bill.

There could, however, be a fix for those who are experiencing phantom data usage. Bil Simser explains (what many have suggested to try) that turning off the feedback option in the WP7 settings area could drastically drop the amount of data that your phone uses. Have you tried the solution, and what results did you find? Do you believe that data caps by network providers are too low for smart phones?

Source: BBC, Fear & Loathing

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3 years ago

Putt in Golf - Review

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Putt in Golf - Review

7.1.M is offering a really nice looking putt-putt golf game for your Windows Phone. Putt in Golf is an 18 hole, miniature golf game for the Windows Phone 7 platform.

While not an XBox Live game, Putt in Golf will allow you to upload your scores to an online leader board to see how well you've done against other duffers.

Read more about Putt in Golf after the break.

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3 years ago

Consider local app market audiences [Developers]

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As a developer, do you consider markets outside the US (or your country of location)? There are many factors that differ from country to country, like naming, pronunciation, and much more. All these considerations could lead to your app bringing in more revenue (downloads if free) or – for example - potentially receive less due to a large audience missing your product due to different keywords being used while searching the Marketplace.

Chris Hay, from the UK, noticed this trend that can be present if used effectively, or completely missed altogether. A clear and understandable article that he whipped up (includes a very pretty graph for you diagram lovers) explains how his Flashlight app – that was released for free – performs better in the UK market when compared to the US, and the rest of the world.

While English use the term “torch” as opposed to the American “flashlight”, the UK Marketplace searches would be performed using the keyword torch, while US searches would be flashlight. Seeing proof of these small considerations actually causing an impact on the number of downloads an app gains is pretty impressive. This is definitely a good example that developers should pay more consideration to how their app is presented, on any platform.

Source: ChrishayUK

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3 years ago

MS files objection to Apple's "App Store" trademark

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On Monday, Microsoft filed a motion for summary judgment with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in an attempt to get Apple's trademark of the term "App Store" denied.  They argue that the term is too generic to be awarded to just one company, as it is made up of two everyday, commonly used words.  As evidence of its generality, MS also shrewdly submitted an interview with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, where he is quoted as saying, "Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android."

Apple's application for the trademark dates back to 2008, so it seems a bit odd that MS would just think to do this now.  Obviously, the launch of WP7 and it's Marketplace prompted the move, but one would hope that the world's software leader wouldn't be so myopic.  No decisions have been made as of yet.  The status page  for the trademark merely reads: "An opposition is now pending at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board."

We will be sure to keep you posted.

Source: PCWorld; via: AppleInsider

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3 years ago

Reach Central - Review

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Reach Central - Review

The Halo series of Xbox games have been without question, hugely popular. Reach Central is a Windows Phone companion app that will allow you to keep tabs on your Halo Reach progression.  If you're a big Halo Reach gamer, this Windows Phone 7 app will let you brag about your accomplishments and progress in a graphically pleasing manner.

Reach Central lays things out nicely on a four page hub detailing your progress in the game. Just enter your Xbox Live Gamertag and Reach Central will pull the Halo Reach stats from your account.

Follow the break to read more on Reach Central.

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3 years ago

Microsoft serious about facilitating homebrew community, schedules roundtable with ChevronWP7 team

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We’ve been covering the exploits of the ChevronWP7 team for a couple of months. From the original release and the various applications released for unlocked devices, to Microsoft having a heart-to-heart with the team and the subsequent discontinuation of the unlocker, it’s been a busy couple of months.

The stated reason for ChevronWP7 development being discontinued was that Microsoft was interested in officially facilitating the homebrew community, saying that this is an important area for consumers. It looks like Microsoft is putting action to their words. In a couple of tweets Microsoft’s Brandon Watson states that he is looking forward to hosting the ChevronWP7 team next week. Brandon also confirms that the hole that ChevronWP7 found has been closed, and recommends that any ideas or questions on the subject of homebrew development on Windows Phone 7 be directed to the ChevronWP7 team to be discussed next week.

What are your thoughts on the homebrew situation? Have you been using ChevronWP7? Is it good that Microsoft is being proactive? Talk it up in the comments.

Source @BrandonWatson (Tweet 1, Tweet 2)

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3 years ago

Handyscan (Lite) now available

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Handyscan (Lite) now available

JDB Pocketware introduced Handyscan some time ago for Windows Phone 7. Handyscan is a personal document scanner for your Windows Phone that uses your phone's camera to scan and save documents. Handyscan is a very good choice for those looking for a document scanner but some saw it a little on the pricey side.  For those who saw price as an issue, a solution has become available.

JDB Pocketware has now released Handyscan (Lite), a free version of the original document scanner. The key features for the lite version aren't much different than the pay version and include:

  • Automatic optimization of scanned images
  • Zoom in/out capabilities
  • Align and crop scanned document
  • Add text to document (fill in forms)
  • Scan multiple pages per document and save them as one file

The features the Lite version lack includes:

  • Choosing the format you can email documents in (JPEG or PDF)
  • Choosing the size and quality of scanned results you send out

If you need a document scanner for your Windows Phone and are hesitant because of the cost, Handyscan Lite may be the solution you're looking for. You can get your free copy of Handyscan Lite here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Samsung's photos don't play well with iOS 4.2 [WP7 Bug]

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Here's an interesting, if somewhat odd bug found with Samsung Windows Phones: if you send a photo to any device with iOS 4.2, upon saving the photo, it renders it unreadable. So you can preview it when attached in an email (like above) but if you save it to the Photo Library, you get the gray JPG image and no pic. And indeed, we replicated the problem ourselves.

Strange, right?

A simple work around is to use a 3rd party editor like Thumba 2 or Pictures Lab--those programs will alter the JPG header data in such a way as to render this (ba-zing) a non-issue. Of course, that's no excuse for Samsung (or Apple) to not take a look at this and address the issue for those iOS devices and Samsung phones.

Further discussion can be found in the Microsoft Answers forum. Thanks, Not Shred, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Halo not coming anytime soon to WP7, but may in the future

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So for all of us that were hoping that Microsoft and Bungie were secretly working on a Halo-port, we can probably stop now, or at least diminish it a bit. According to CVG, Bungie put out a job request for a senior mobile application programmer to startup their mobile gaming entry to the market:

Bungie is embarking on a new and challenging journey and if you have a serious passion for mobile application development we want you to be a part of it. Our mobile development team is focused on establishing real time connectivity for millions of users and terabytes of data. Join our team and define the interface of Bungie's next gaming universe to the world.

So it sounds like Bugie is just getting started on the whole "mobile gaming" thing, which is obviously the next-big thing in 2011. That's the good news. The bad news is, as previously noted, it doesn't sound like we'll be getting many titles from them for at least nine to twelve months. Of course, Microsoft has been aggressive in this area, so no reason that Microsoft Game Studios couldn't have something up their sleeves in conjunction with Bungie, but chances are looking a little more slim today. The only positive side is that at least the gaming hardware should be pretty redonk in a year, right?

Oh, and it's not too inspiring that they call it "Windows Mobile" in the advert nor that they mention iOS--twice. Sigh.

Source: Bungie; via: CVG, TechRadar

 

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3 years ago

Jump through hoops to enable gray theme on your HTC Windows Phone

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Have time on your hands and want add a unique yet mediocre theme ("accent color") to your HTC device? Well, as you can see above I overwrote my Blue theme for a gray one. (I actually had no idea it would over-write the Blue theme, otherwise I would have chosen Brown).

Of course, gray is just one of many possible themes one could do, so this was more conceptual than anything. The story of it goes back to XDA, involves TouchXplorer (a file explorer for unlocked HTC devices) and a provisioning trick detailed by xbodmod. We won't go into all the details because to be honest, it's way more effort than it's worth, unless you have some gray fetish.

ChevronWP7 was saying they would have some sort of solution to adding or changing themes, something that was presumably easier, but so far that hasn't happened and we're not holding our breath. Finally, while an all-black theme sounds bad-ass, it's actually not so great. Best bet here: just wait for your carrier and/or Microsoft to give some more "themes".

Update: Neowin has a nice step by step tutorial on the matter.

Source: XDA 1, 2; via mobilitydigest

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3 years ago

Upcoming WP7 update will disable ChevronWP7, future of Homebrew up in the air

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Last night, the ChevronWP7 team posted a new blog on their upcoming meeting with Microsoft in Redmond next week. At that discussion, they plan to put forth the argument as to why the Hombrew community is important as well as the general feeling on improving the OS:

We’ll be sharing our perspective on the homebrew potentials of Windows Phone 7 and some of the wider community feedback around the platform. In addition to our homebrew focus, we will also be pushing for stronger protection of WP7 developer intellectual property (IP) on the platform as we believe both can co-exist on the platform.

Sounds pretty good. But then again, there's certainly no commitment from Microsoft to embrace or work towards a hombrew community. It seems that you can only have it all open or all closed, but in between is hard to navigate. But hey, there's some smart people around discussing this stuff so maybe a workaround can be reached?

The second big bombshell is that ChevronWP7, technically discontinued, will no longer work after the upcoming 'NoDo' update:

Although this has been subtly communicated before, we’d like to reiterate Microsoft has informed us the “coding error” used in the ChevronWP7 unlocker will no longer work after the next Windows Phone 7 update (officially announced at CES 2011).

So that's that, evidently. Of course we imagine some other young, starry eyed team will come a long and we'll repeat the whole process by say....March or April. Much like the locked-unlocked-locked cycle of the iPhone and the Cydia community, this has the potential to go on for a long time. However, if Microsoft comes up with a Homebrew solution, that would easily nip in the bud the desire for more black-hat activities amongst the community.

Maybe we're cynical, but we're just not holding our breath on the homebrew thing happening. Your thoughts?

Source: ChevronWP7; via @ChrisWalshie

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3 years ago

New Xbox LIVE games in the Marketplace: Zombies!!! and Brain Challenge HD

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Sure, we hit 6,000 apps tonight in the Marketplace, but what's a Tues/Wed day without some Xbox LIVE goodness? Tonight, two pretty solid titles have hit the streets: Zombies!!! by MGS and Brian Challenge HD, another welcomed Gameloft production.

Brain Games HD is one of them there "smart apps" that are suppose to be entertaining as well as exercising your noggin'. It features 43 mini-games and should provide quite a few hours of frustrating and yet rewarding game play. But, will you force yourself to do it every day? That's the question. Personally, we always dug these games, when done right. We're not yet sure with this, plus the "HD" thing...well, it's getting old.

Zombies!!! is a deep, meta-exploration into the meaning of nothingness, based on the writings of famed philosopher Nietzsche. Nah, just kiddin', it's a game where you have to kill what is already dead, like a million times over. Oh and it's got killer lookin' graphics. Check here for our earlier coverage plus video.

Both titles fetch for $4.99, which is on the high-end these days, and can be found here (Zombies) and here (Brain...) in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

How to provide Microsoft feedback about WP7?

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There is an app on the Marketplace dedicated to this task - but what is the most effective way to channel your feedback to Microsoft about Windows Phone 7?

Being queried by an email from Robert N, Paul Thurrott decided to direct the question at Microsoft directly. Since they have a dedicated section on their mammoth of a website for Windows 7 feedback, there isn't a strong argument as to why they don't have something similar for their latest mobile product.

Instead of one place to allow easier digestion and storage of feedback from a growing user base, Microsoft have a few ways available to get in touch with them and voice your opinion(s). Paul listed these locations as Microsoft Answers, Windows Phone Backstage Forum, Facebook, and Twitter.

Although many of us would prefer a single location, the above alternatives aren't so bad at all. Activity seems to be relatively high on their Facebook and Twitter, however, this does not provide the correct platform that is required for Microsoft to engage with their users. Hopefully, this will be fixed sooner rather than later, since WP7 is at the early stage of deployment where there is a huge amount of feedback available.

Source: Windows Phone Secrets

 

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