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3 years ago

Armed! developer asks for user input on balance issues

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Development screen

Armed! is an excellent turn-based strategy game from Dallas, TX-based indie developer Sickhead Games. The game’s standout feature has to be its online multiplayer, which offers both asynchronous and real-time options, plus ranked and unranked games... Basically everything gamers want from mobile Xbox Live titles but the big MS doesn’t want to give us for some reason.

Of course, with any complex competitive multiplayer game, balance issues are bound to pop up after release. If left unattended, poor game balance can cause players to lose interest and move on to other titles. Thankfully Sickhead has caught wind of a few such imbalances and is already working to correct them.

Balance issues:

  • Tanks are being used too much
  • HoverTanks and Strikers aren’t as useful and cost effective as intended
  • Some matches are lasting longer than intended. 20 minutes should be the maximum.

Sickhead have explained these issues and some possible solutions in great detail on their website. They’re also looking for community input, so make sure you stop by and offer your suggestions or hit them up from WPCentral’s Armed! forum thread.

Armed! costs $3.99 and there is a free trial, complete with multiplayer! Get it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Bing Maps to be stamped with Nokia branding

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Pocket-lint has learned from an interview with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, that the manufacturer will be having its branding stamped on Bing Maps in the near future. It doesn't matter what device you're accessing the maps from, you'll see "Nokia" on-screen. RIM has stated they'll be using Bing Maps on their Blackberry smartphones, so it's some free competitor exposure for the Windows Phone OEM.

"You'll starting seeing the word 'Nokia' on a map that you get from Microsoft properties over a period of time. Even if you are on a BlackBerry device, who recently said they were going to start using Bing Maps."

The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft is set to go deeper with the Finnish handset maker carrying out more work for the software giant, as Elop explains:

"In the time ahead, what you will see is, across all the Microsoft properties including Bing maps, more and more work will be done by Nokia. We did that for important reasons as we had the better mapping assets so it made sense. But it also creates some balance in the relationship with Microsoft."

Nokia has already been busy helping Microsoft with Bing Streetside (analogous to Google Street View), so it'll be interesting to see what 2012 brings for the two companies in terms of product collaboration - like possibly helping keep pedestrians safe while walking?

Source: Pocket-lint

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3 years ago

WP7applist updated for Mango, still quite handy

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Our awesomely named fried Luigi Violin recently published a couple of updates for his WP7applist app. The first, version 1.3, added Mango support but had a few kinks which version 1.4 irons out.

WP7applist version 1.3 release notes:

  • Added Fast App Switching support
  • Graphical makeover
  • Improved UX
  • Infinite scrolling lists
  • Performance improvements

WP7applist version 1.4 release notes:

  • Revised graphics
  • Dark theme added
  • Various graphical improvements
  • Better ad placement
  • Fixed UI lagging introduced in v1.3

The new theme really does look much slicker and more in tune with the general Metro theme – just check out this comparison shot versus the original:

As for the ads, they appear at the top of the screen when browsing the app’s various subsections (Games, Price Drops, etc.) but not on the main menu. This keeps the main area attractive and clutter free – a nice compromise between the user experience and needs of the developer.

WP7applist is an incredibly useful tool for discovering new apps and games. You can quickly view price drops, apps gone free, the most popular apps in a variety of categories, and lots more. Each app page lists screenshots and user reviews - just like the real Marketplace browser, but much less cluttered. Other features include a Live tile that displays lots of useful marketplace information and the ability to browse Marketplaces from multiple regions.

WP7applist is free. Grab it here from the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

ZTE Tania hits the UK, available from Clove for £250

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The ZTE Tania, a budget Windows Phone, has arrived into the UK. While the ZTE handset isn't the most feature rich Windows Phone available on the market, it wont have a negative impact on the user experience. Packing a 1Ghz processor, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM, 4.3" screen and 5MP camera, the Tania is no slouch and even left us surprised at CES 2012

All that's left is for the company is to surprise us with a high-end smartphone with 16GB+ storage and an AMOLED (or Super LCD) display. Should you be interested in purchasing the budget handset, head on over to Clove where you can pick one up for just £249.99 (incl. VAT), but note that stock wont be in until February 13th. We'll look to see the device available on contracts with UK carriers soon enough for £10-£20/mo.

Check out the press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: BoxShot

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Windows Phone App Review: BoxShot

BoxShot, if you haven't guessed already by the name, is a Dropbox client for Windows Phone, which can be found on the Marketplace for just 79p ($0.99) with a free version also available. Should you be a frequent "boxer" then this app will be perfect for your file synchronising needs. It's a simple, light app that gets the job done.

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3 years ago

Two changes coming in Windows Phone Tango includes tile grouping?

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Michael Gillett, MVP in Windows Live and Senior UK Microsoft Student Partner, has published an interesting tip that he's received from a "trustworthy" source. The tip includes two changes which will be applied in the coming Tango update; the media controls for manipulating playback will take up less space on-screen, and users will be able to create folders for tiles on the home screen.

Take the above with a pinch of salt like any rumour, but we could be onto something here. The media controls are pretty darn massive, and one can get into a pickle with having a good number of Live Tiles dancing the night away. So the changes would make sense to many. Although, instead of creating folders (as you would in iOS), we would prefer to think that Microsoft would bring across grouping, which is present in Windows 8 and is available in the Homebrew community with the Folders app.

What do you make of these two changes? Let us know in the comments.

Source: My Microsoft Life, via: Plaffothanks Antonino for the tip!

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3 years ago

Vodafone RED Box advert with Yoda shows off the Lumia 800 [Video]

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Vodafone has always been creative when it comes to television advertising, whether we have bees walking into shop windows, or someone taking photos of himself and a sleeping lady on a flight and getting caught in the act. In the above video, we have a couple preparing to enjoy a meal and are joined by Yoda (a powerful Jedi from Star Wars). He offers to transfer the man's contacts from the old mobile phone to the new Lumia 800 Windows Phone, using the force.

The advert's message is covering contact transferring that Vodafone can do in-store for customers (RED Box service), but it's good to see a Windows Phone being used as prop.

Source: Youtube; thanks Relief for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone browser share looks to take over Blackberry in France

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Windows Phone is on the rise in France, as can be seen in the above browser share chart. The OS is almost hitting Blackberry, which appears to be still in decline (is there ever any good news when it comes to Blackberry?). This goes on top of the French developer who saw a noticeable increase in Lumia 800 activity using his apps on the Marketplace. If we remember the chart that the developer provided, no other Windows Phone dropped to make way for Nokia's handset so one would assume we've had a number of French platform adopters.

Although it's not all roses in the garden, prior to what seems to be the end-of-2011 surge (thanks to Nokia's marketing frenzy), the graph doesn't show the kind of growth we'd hope to see. But if the sharp increase continues with more Nokia and Microsoft marketing, we should see some positive results indeed.

Source: StatCounter, via WMPU

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Ghost Hotel caught on tape

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We mentioned the Windows Phone "Ghost Hotel" publicity stunt back on December. At the time, we were a little unclear what exactly the event was, though we surmised it had to do with regular people being a part of some live role-playing/mystery event. Turns out, we were pretty spot on as WP7App.de confirmed with us at the time:

"That windows phone hotel was a PR event where you had to chase ghosts (ghostbusters-style) with an app on a Lumia."

In fact it was more than that as they were basically recreating the classic 1984 movie 'Ghostbusters' but with a Windows Phone twist. The teaser video was fun but now we have a longer video posted by Microsoft Germany that sheds light on the whole Windows Phone-Ghostbuster media event. And it looks like it was a lot of fun.

Well, it is in German and features a lot of QR codes, but you'll get this gist. Once again, kudos to Microsoft and Nokia for another ingenious show.

Source: Microsoft.DE; Thanks, Andrea M., for the link--sounds like you had a great time!

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3 years ago

Rdio comes to Australia, New Zealand but Windows Phone app still terrible

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We haven't covered Rdio around these parts too much, partly because there are plenty of other alternatives that we're more familiar with (e.g. iHeartRadio, Last.FM, etc.). Still, we imagine for a few people in Australia and New Zealand who may want to try it, so good news for them as they now have access to the music streaming app.

That's the good news. Well that and there's been a Rdio app in the Marketplace for quite some time, meaning you can now also stream it to your Windows Phone. Which is all great except for the fact that the Rdio Windows Phone app is pretty awful, judging by the reviews in the Marketplace. The consensus seems to be that it barely works and is coded terribly, despite being updated numerous times.

So congrats on the new service and our condolences on the app which can be found here...if you dare.

Source: Rdio Blog; Thanks, KustomAU, for the tip

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3 years ago

Vodafone Australia rolling out 8107 in next 24 hours

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Looks like our friends Down Under are in for a treat, like a nice serving of OS 8107. Vodafone just tweeted that the update will be rolling out within the next day, which means you can start plugging your phone into Zune Desktop and hitting refresh as fast as you can.

The changelog contains the following:

  • If a user’s email is hosted in an Exchange Server 2003 server, in some instances, original email messages are blank (or not included) when the user replies to or forwards an email message
  • When a new voice mail is received, and the user already has one voice mail waiting in their voice mail queue, the OS does not provide the user with notice of the new voice mail via Live Tile, SMS message or other notifications
  • When typing using the on-screen keyboard, the keyboard periodically disappears.
  • On occasion, Gmail contacts would not fully synchronize.
  • If Local Scout was launched from the Search home screen, it would not correctly identify the user’s current location
  • Background Transfer Service improvements

Pretty run of the mill for 8107, though we now have a better understanding of that "Gmail issue" which evidently had to do with contacts not fully syncing. Big news though, especially from Vodafone and Australia which have yet to see any big device launches of late.

Source: Vodafone; Thanks, gh8421, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia Canada promoting Lumias. New devices February 6th?

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We just saw Telus begin promoting the Lumia 800 and now Nokia Canada themselves are showing that phone and Roger's Lumia 710 off on their front page. Canada: your time has come!

Regarding Rogers, they have a "In stores this February" which gives you a pretty good idea of when to expect that. For Telus, they just have "coming soon" which is a bit too vague for our likes, but we're thinking that too is just a few weeks.

In fact, we have a tip stating that in Canada, February 6th is the day for a launch party for so-called "Generation 2" devices, which includes Nokia's and who knows what else at this point. We can't verify that date ourselves, but the tipster said they confirmed it with their local Bell and Rogers stores--so take that as you will. Seeing as Nokia is listing the 710 as February, it seems to coincide nicely. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Source: Nokia.ca; Thanks, Ryan L. and Juan C., for the tips!

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3 years ago

AT&T makes alterations to data plans

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AT&T makes alterations to data plans

AT&T has announced changes that will be applied for data (smartphone and tablet) users. The alterations are to bring more cost effective choice to customers, and the changes can be seen in the breakdown below. Current smartphone and tablet customers will have the choice to stick with their current plan or move to one of the new plans. Check out the previous AT&T data plan changes for details on what's being altered.

For smartphone owners:

  • AT&T Data Plus 300MB: $20 for 300MB (up from $15 for 200MB)
  • AT&T Data Pro 3GB: $30 for 3GB (up from $25 for 2GB)
  • AT&T Data Pro 5GB: $50 for 5GB, with mobile hotspot / tethering

For tablet owners:

  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

David Christopher, chief marketing officer AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, explains the above changes for data users:

"Our new plans are driven by this increasing demand in a highly competitive environment, and continue to deliver a great value to customers, especially as we continue our 4G LTE deployment."

Customers are reminded to use WiFi whenever possible, of course. This is good news for those who often hit the higher end of the data limit for their plan, with the allowance being increased for a fraction of the cost. Although for those who barely use data while out and about, this could prove an uncomfortable increase in cost when not actually receiving anything out of the deal. As stated above, this will affect new (or renewing) customers.

Check out the press release for more information.

Source: AT&Tthanks @TheWeeBear for the tip!

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3 years ago

Could Instagram come officially to Windows Phone before Android?

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Although we have wait on the fate of Metrogram, the unofficial Instagram client for Windows Phone announced this past weekend, FastCompany is citing an unnamed source that Microsoft may have worked out a deal with the developers behind Instagram for an official, certified Windows Phone version. For those not familiar, Instagram is a extremely popular photo sharing app with kitsch filters on iOS. Instagram have acknowledged that they're working on an Android version, but now we're learning that Windows Phone may get it first.

Windows Phone boasts Metro UI which has been positively received by most and is a unique experience available on a mobile platform. This, added with the quick camera functionality and consistent quality across hardware, will ensure that an Instagram app would look (and feel) fantastic. Even though Windows Phone is still picking up steam with market share, Android suffers from fragmentation which could have a negative impact on the user experience.

Instagram would be a worthy addition to the Marketplace, a popular app that many smartphone owners on a competitive platform use, and the software giant is looking to spend to get the apps people want.

Source: FastCompany; thanks Lucas for the heads up! For more info on Instagram, check our iMore's coverage.

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3 years ago

eBuddy XMS now available in the Marketplace

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We've seen the eBuddy XMS app in beta a few weeks ago and the we're happy to see the app is now live in the Marketplace. The popular messaging service brings yet another feather in the cap of Windows Phone, especially for those who don't want to rely on or pay for SMS.

The app is free and looks way better than it it did when we last saw it with a more Metro design and better layout. We haven't taken it for a it a spin yet, but if you have, hit us up in comments with your thoughts. Pick up eBuddy XMS here in the Marketplace.

via: Mi Movil Windows; Thanks, Alex, for the tip

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