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3 years ago

Three UK rolling out Mango with everyone else

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Three UK have been answering the same question about when they'll bring Mango to customers (as have all other operators globally), but instead of giving a time frame of their own or specific detail, they've continuously referred to Microsoft's announcement post on the Windows Phone Developer blog. We're eager to learn what the plans are for Windows Phone with Three, whether they're looking to drop support or not; but we can now rest easily knowing that Mango will be rolling out on their network in the next week or two.

At least we'll get the update. I can't see Three passing up on the HTC Titan; they sure love their massive 3G handsets.

Thanks to Christopher and everyone who tipped us!

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3 years ago

IM+ v1.6 now available in the Marketplace, Mango version coming soon

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Good news for users of IM+ (both the Pro and free versions), you can now update to v1.6. The new version brings some pretty cool new features that we're liking a lot. Via their Facebook page:

  • Send photo option
  • Message delivery confirmation
  • Spanish, German, French, Italian language support

The send photo option is what it sounds like--you select a photo, it sends, they receive a in-chat bubble that they tap to open the photo. Worked like a charm for us. The "message delivery confirmation" is even nicer--now when you send a message, the bubble is yellow till it's received by the user, at which point it goes green in color. That's a great addition and gives a little peace of mind.

*Remember, this version does not have MSN/Live Messenger--so if you're still on v1.2, do not upgrade if you want to keep that feature.

This is still the NoDo version though and we can expect update soon: "Mango support will come to IM+ along with the official release of Mango. Thank you for understanding!"--so hopefully next week sometime? If one app could really benefit from fast-app resume, it's IM programs. We can't wait. Get IM+ Pro in the Marketplace here.

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3 years ago

PES 2011 - Review

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PES 2011 - Review

For those who aren't aware of Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), it's a series of football (soccer to some parts of the world) games by Konami that began back in 2001. It sports similar gameplay to the likes of Fifa by EA Games, but is put down by lack of licensing. PES2011 for Windows Phone is no exception with a handful of teams sporting unlicensed names – Man Red (Manchester United) and Man Blue (Manchester City) to name but a few.

Don't allow the above to put you off from trying PES2011 out, it really is a superb football sim for Windows Phone. There are a number of game types available including quick match, exhibition, UEFA club competition and leagues & cups with fairly challenging gameplay and intelligent AI. Head on past the break for the quick run through and video goodness.

Pros: 
Good football simSolid controlsLeagues and cups available
Cons: 
LicensingLimited gameplayAchievements too time consuming
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3 years ago

AT&T Dell Venue Pros getting 2.12 firmware update

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We can't believe we're writing this because for some odd reason we thought it already happened. But evidently, those on AT&T with a locked/branded Dell Venue Pro are finally getting the v2.12 firmware update aka the one firmware to fix 'em all (seriously, it does make the phone a winner).

We've had two reports now from readers telling us they've plugged in their DVPs to Zune and got a nice firmware update. Biggest change? No more dreaded WiFi lockups.

This is great news though for two reasons: sounds like AT&T is still prepping this phone for Mango (it will get it, just a matter of time) and two, like we said v2.12 will restore faith in your DVP. Any other readers confirm the change?

Thanks, Roël F. and Timothy, for the tips!

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3 years ago

Millennial Media: Windows Phone impressions increased by 48%

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Millennial Media has released some statistics which puts Windows Phone in a healthy attack. According to the mobile advertising specialist Microsoft's platform has increased the volume of advertisement impressions month-on-month by 48%, matching Android. iOS and Symbian remain "relatively flat" while Blackberry grew by 10%.

With Mango just around the corner, we will look forward to comparing data from a number of analytical sources before and after the release of the update and launch of new hardware. We looked at Millennial data back in June and how Windows Phone has a higher CTR (click through rate) than iOS and Android.

The above table shows the top 10 app categories ranked by the number of impressions accumulated. It's interesting to see health and fitness jump into 8th place, while gaming is always a firm favourite to top the chart. Check out the full global report in a PDF below.

Source: Millennial Media (PDF), via: WMPU

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3 years ago

Reasoning with changes in Mango IE9

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Reasoning with changes in Mango IE9

The above chart certainly paints an interesting picture about usage within IE on Windows Phone. Back at MIX'11 when we managed to get a demonstration by Joe Marini of IE9, the excitement began of a chrome-less browsing experience. Moving onto later previews and in-depth looks at what's changed in the browser, many began to question the move to take away the status bar and hide the tabs and featured sites. One of the major complaints about the new IE on Windows Phone though is the missing "Find on Page" feature.

Amin Lakhani has published an insightful article over at the Windows Phone Developer blog, which runs us through the reasoning behind the changes that have been made. Looking back at the chart above, it's clear to see that the majority of users neglect the tabs and favourites features in favour of the address bar (myself being one). It's all about gaining as much screen as possible from chrome and using it for content display, to tie in with the whole concept of Metro, Microsoft has actually done this rather well.

Not everyone is going to agree with changes made as not everyone uses the web in the same way. A user may see IE9 on Windows Phone as a tool for light browsing, should he wish to have multiple tabs active at once he may favour a laptop, desktop or tablet. It's good to disagree with the approach taken, but without an alternative there's little anyone can do. One thing's for sure, it's depressing to see the team boast about having HTML5 with Youtube. Surely we should only rejoice when the monopolistic search engine giant agrees to allow Microsoft to pull down Youtube content via the app?

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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3 years ago

Latest Microsoft patent suggests interchangable accessories

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I'm not really sure what to make of this, it's as though Microsoft plans to not only provide you with a powerful, simplistic handset, but to throw in some Nintendo Wii Remote-type accessories as well if this patent is anything to go by. Should this indeed turn out to be the case, that all future Windows Phone handsets will have a slide-out accessory expansion slot, then it could open up a whole new realm of opportunity.

From the trusty external keyboard that aids typing to a battery extension to a game pad that gives the user an edge in gaming, I'm sure Microsoft has bags of imagination (as anyone would) surrounding this idea. As for me I'm not one to fuss about moving/interchangeable parts as I'm fully aware that hardware wears out. It's one of the reasons why I adore my Samsung Omnia7 - it's just a block with no moving parts (sliding keyboard etc.).

"A mobile communication device comprises a first device with a first display and multiple second devices. The second devices are releasably attachable to the first device and are interchangeable with each other. The mobile device can operate as a mobile cell phone with one or more second devices operable as a mobile phone hand set. The second devices can comprise one or more game controllers, batteries, physical keyboards and/or mobile phone handsets with a display. In a detached configuration, the first device is separated from the second devices and can wirelessly communicate with one or more of the detached second devices. In a three device configuration, the first device can send commands, control signals or content to one or more external devices in addition to the second devices."

It's interesting to note that the secondary devices (accessories for the smartphones) will be able to work wirelessly without being connected to a handset. Still, I remain skeptical. Let us not forget the integration with Kinect we could be experiencing in the future.

Source: Patent, via: BGR, Unwired

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3 years ago

Hydro Thunder GO has gone all Mango on us

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Hydro Thunder GO (see review), the super fun race-boat game, received it's last update (v1.3) at the end of August. Now, just a few short weeks later, they've pushed out their long awaited Mango update.

As far as we can tell, it looks like it got the 60 FPS update, as our game play is smooth and stutter free (and this game certainly could use all the graphic improvements in can get). In addition, it of course has the requisite fast-app resume feature, which we're really starting to dig now that all of the Mango apps are coming out.

You can pick up v1.4 now in the Marketplace. As usual, we'll update when we get a full changelog if there's more to add. Thanks, Lerimer S., for the heads up via our app!

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3 years ago

Visual Voicemail in Mango not supported by Vodafone, tethering coming later

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For those of you on Vodafone, you may be disappointed to know that you won't be getting visual voicemail with your Mango update. That's not too surprising as many carriers won't be able to support this feature, which seems to us to be downplayed by Microsoft.

Likewise, tethering, at least according to the Vodafone blog, won't be initially supported either:

"Regarding Wireless Hotspot, it isn’t integrated in the initial release of Mango however it may be deployed at a later date."

That's kind of interesting about the "initial release" of Mango and wireless hotspot--for now we haven't see too much of this feature and perhaps it's coming down the line in a subsequent patch. Either way, while both visual voicemail and tethering are awesome, the other 498 features that Mango brings will surely make up for it, no?

Source: Vodafone Blog; Thanks, Garry, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

AT&T begins Mango update program September 27th. Full details.

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For all of you on AT&T and awaiting Mango, we have some big news for you, so grab yourself a seat, because you're hearing it here first. Looks like that earlier info about "being on time" was accurate.

We just received a series of emails exchanged between some higher ups at AT&T and an anonymous source (the source is anonymous to you, but known and verified by us). The emails give, in detail, AT&Ts plans for their Mango updates, including schedule according to device. The original emails are attached as images with all names and times redacted.

In short, here is the plan. "Starting September 27, 2011, Microsoft has approved and is planning to release a new “Mango” update to AT&T customers using..."

  • HTC Surround (SKU 65212)
  • LG Quantum (SKU 65205)
  • Samsung Focus (SKU 65203) [More on this below]

"A subsequent release is projected to be available for customers with the HTC HD7S (SKU 65255) in early to mid October. A subsequent advisory will be provided for the HTC HD7S after the MR update has successfully passed TA."

The update requires two steps: download new Zune software and plug in your phone.

Now the bad news. The Samsung Focus is still divided into two camps, depending on the hardware revision. Revision v1.3 will get the update on 9/27 while v1.4 will have to wait till end of October:

The Samsung team came back an provided this information about WINDOWS 7.5 for the Samsung Focus devices.

  1. rev 1.3(Micron): Windows 7.5 update will be available through Zune on 9/27.
  2. rev 1.4(LSI) : Update has not entered the AT&T SPE lab yet; however, Samsung is targeting for 10/17 lab entry and 10/31 TA

So there you go folks. The only thing missing from the above is the Dell Venue Pro, but we're under the impression that Dell will handle that directly. More info as it comes in. And thanks to our tipster for the excellent information and timely communication! Full emails after the break...

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3 years ago

Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer’s Guide [eBook, Developers]

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Microsoft's Mike Ormond has gone ahead and finally published a nice eBook called "Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer's Guide", which looks to give a "puddy up" "into developing on the platform and, importantly, helps you to avoid making the same mistakes others have made".

The book was done as a collaboration between various volunteers in the community, including Colin Eberhardt, Pete Vickers, Andy Gore, Mike Hole, Gergely Orosz, Sasha Kotlyar, Dominic Betts, Will Johnson, Ben Cameron, James Bearne, Samidip Basu, Paul Marsh, Stuart Lodge and looks to be dynamic, with new chapters added over time.

"The plan was always to publish an initial set of chapters and then iterate, adding new chapters and updating / refining existing chapters as we went."

Seems like a good resource for devs out there and seeing as it is free, there's little reason to not grab it. More info can be found on Mke Ormond's blog here. Thanks, Aleksandr (Sasha) K., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Plants vs Zombies version 1.2 update kills nasty weed, err bug

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Joining the many Xbox Live games that have been updated lately is Plants vs. Zombies, the enchanting tower defense game from PopCap. The version 1.2 update fixes a longstanding issue with Zen Garden plants.

As our review explains, the Zen Garden is a meta game mode that ties Plants vs. Zombies’ Adventure Mode and many minigames together. Players randomly find seed packets during normal game play, which can then be planted in the Zen Garden, tended, and eventually harvested for money. Previously, fertilizing certain sprouts caused the game to crash. A couple of months and a little patch action later, those sprouts can finally be fertilized like any other. Just what kind of plants do the problem sprouts grow into? Why, Kernel-pults, the game’s combat corn on the cobs.

Now that Zen Garden is fixed up, the Windows Phone version of Plants. Vs. Zombies really is just about perfect. It's the only game I've reviewed to receive a 10 so far. Nice as it runs now, we can still expect a Mango update to come along and enable fast-app switching sometime in the near future. Already beaten the game inside and out? Check out our interview with PopCap Games that looks into the history of PvZ's development.

Plants vs. Zombies costs $4.99 and there is a free trial. Hurry up and grab it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

AT&T on time with Mango?

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AT&T on time with Mango?

Yes, you read that title correctly.

There are those who remain skeptical about AT&T and the upcoming update that looms over the community on Windows Phone. Hopefully the above conversation could possibly shed light on lessons being learned from NoDo problems - here's one of our experiences with updating.

While the representative couldn't provide our reader with confirmation if Mango would be rolled out by the end of September, he was told that it could be within the next week.  We'll cross our toes and fingers that the rep is correct.

Thanks Joe for the image and tip!

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3 years ago

HTC Titan available already?

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HTC Titan available already?

Here's a tip that might spark some interest in the HTC Titan fans in the house. MyTrendyPhone.com, a European electronics website, has the HTC Titan (Black) listed for 646.10 Euros (about $870 US).

While the price tag will make you pause, what makes you pause even further is that the website is showing the Titan in stock and ready to ship. As I'm writing this post, if I place my order within the next 4 hours and 40 some odd minutes, the Titan will be dispatched today.

With the HTC Titan, everything we have heard pointed to a release in early October. Is it too far of a stretch to believe that someone already has the Titan in stock now? If you happen to take the plunge and add the Titan to your cart, let us know how it goes.

Thanks goes out to elversson for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia names Henry Tirri as new CTO

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Nokia names Henry Tirri as new CTO

Today Nokia announced that Henry Tirri will be their new CTO, effective immediately.  Tirri will work out of Sunnyvale, CA and will report directly to CEO Stephen Elop, setting the Finnish company's technical roadmap.  Speaking of the decision, Elop said of the once head of the Nokia Research Center: "During his time at Nokia, Henry has provided Nokia technical leadership and challenged us to explore forward-looking technologies.  In his new role, Henry will have the opportunity to make a greater impact and set the course for Nokia and our role in the mobile industry."

Tirri goes on to replace Richard Green, who you may remember took a leave of absence back in June for "personal reasons."  It was widely thought that Green's leave was actually prompted by his strong disagreement with Nokia's decision to scrap Symbian in favor of Windows Phone.  According to Nokia, Green is departing to go to the United States full-time to "pursue new opportunities."

Source: Business & Leadership; Via: PocketNow

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