3 years ago
Microsoft Gamefest program announced: London, Seattle & Tokyo [Developers]
For those interesting in gaming and you didn't get enough nitty-gritty at the recent E3, you'll want to check out Microsoft's developer conference that focusing just on that topic, across the PC, Xbox and Windows Phone.
Specifically for WP7 devs, the conference will focus on "Avatars, QA, CPU performance, development best practice and DLC.". That last part is real interesting as it looks like Microsoft is rolling out Downloadable Content and microtransaction to Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone in Mango--this is all detailed in the talk "Keep Them Coming Back: Downloadable Content on Windows Phone". That should bring an interesting and exciting expansion of our mobile gaming universe.
The conference is held in London (July 14-15th), Seattle (August 22-23rd) and Tokyo (July 29th) and looks to be a blast.
Hit the jump to see the full Windows Phone session list!
Source: Microsoft Gamefest 2011; via: Next-Gen Biz
3 years ago
More WP7 Marketplace spam
We've already waved our hands frantically to Microsoft to get their attention at the sheer volume of spam that was entering the Marketplace, one developer went as far as to create spam apps which served no purpose whatsoever, but were still accepted and certified. This didn't play well with WP7 owners when the platform had just passed the 20,000 app marker.
Microsoft later responded to the complaints and shouts from the community for them to alter certification and deflect any future submissions (we still don't understand how an app called SPAM which only contained information stating that it was spam got through). They basically told us that the team would be contacting companies and developers who have submitted a large number of apps that share similar functionality to offer advice in scaling down to one or a few apps (remember those real estate apps?) Also, the number of app submissions per-day were going to be limited:
"To avoid the scenario where bulk publishing crowds out other apps in Marketplace in the future, effective immediately, we are limiting the number of apps any one developer can have certified in a single day to 20. Developers creating a large number of apps can still submit all of them for certification, but they will be certified at a maximum rate of 20 per day rather than all at once."
While the response was welcomed, it hasn't proved effective unfortunately. Take a look at these new RSS apps that have flooded in the past two days (we counted 41 in total):
Seems as though Microsoft really does need better detection for spam or multiple apps, I'm not sure how the above RSS apps got through however. Surely one would expect the approval system/team would flag numerous submissions that appeared to be identical or similar to prevent duplication or fragmentation?
C'mon Microsoft, sort this out sooner rather than later. Mango is soon approaching and we need the platform to be spotless to aid conversions and potential buyers in taking the leap for WP7.
3 years ago
EIGHT: a desktop browser WP7 tile homepage
This is describable in one word: awesome. Seriously, Windows 8, coupled with this and your Windows Phone handset, you'll have more tiles in your life than every DIY store in the world. DeviantART author ~flatmo1 has created this magic that is a simple reflection on the proposed look of Windows 8. You can pin a number of favourite sites or bookmarks to the homepage by simply editing a JS file (source.js).
Images for the logos are all loaded from a sub-folder so you can add what ever images you wish to have displayed per tile (make sure they're the dimensions stated in the sketch.jpg file) - same with gradients. Save the downloaded folder somewhere on your hard drive (or upload it to your web accessible server) and open up the index file in your browser. This works for Opera, Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer so you can have all your web browsers running off the same home screen and you'd only need to update once for changes to be reflected across board. Neat, eh?
To change images and links, all you need to do is open up source.js and change the lines corresponding to the tiles you wish to alter (numbers can be found in the sketch.jpg).
We've also compiled WPCentral tiles for you to use when customising this localised homepage. All dimensions are available in the folder so there's a tile for every placement. You can download the variety of WPCentral images here (mirror), but you'll need either the default package with WPCentral tile replacing iTunes or the default EIGHT home page here with no alterations at all. All we need now are tiles that will update to mimic live tiles found on WP7.
Source: DeviantART, via: @antibenz
3 years ago
Opera Link for WP7 - App Spotlight
Looking for a way to import your Opera desktop browser favorites to your Windows Phone? Look no further, Opera Link for WP7 is an app that will pull your Opera desktop favorites on to your Windows Phone for Internet Explorer to use. Opera Link won't import the bookmarks into IE but acts as a middle man of sorts. From Opera Link, just tap on the link and IE launches.
The process is quick and painless to set up. From the Tools Menu on the Opera desktop browser, you set up an Opera Link account (Tools>Synchronize Opera>My Opera Link Page). You'll use this account information when you load the Opera Link for WP7 on your Windows Phone. The app will then sync your Opera bookmarks, notes and speed dials.
Should you be using a mobile device that runs Opera Mobile or Mini, the Opera Link will keep all your devices in sync as well. Opera Link for WP7 is a free application and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
'Avego Driver' brings real-time ridesharing to Windows Phone
Admittedly, we here at WPCentral don't ride-share to our blogging job, nor to our "real" job (though we use a motorcycle when we can, aww yeah). But we do recognize the importance and convenience ride-sharing can bring to you daily commuters and leveraging technology to aid that is always a good thing.
Enter Avego Drive, an app to make it easy to oranize a ride-share in real time. From the app description, they begin with one of the oddest selling points and explain what the app does:
"With Avego Driver, you can turn your car into a bus! Avego will offer your empty seats to other people along your route in real time. Avego automatically shares the cost of the journey between the driver and the rider, saving everyone time and money!"
The app is cross-platform, having been on the iPhone since 2008 (so you won't be reliant on just WP7 users) and works globally. However, it was originally designed/intended for those in Seattle, especially those near a certain Redmond campus:
"...the app was built specifically to support the Seattle-area's go520 real-time ride-sharing project. Crucial to the success of go520 is the involvement of Microsoft's approximately 40,000 employees in the Puget Sound region, the majority of whom have Windows Phone, and many of whom commute along the heavily-congested SR 520 corridor."
Overall, the app sounds like a winner if you're into ride-sharing and it is certainly a cool way to take advantage of your smartphone for real-life problems. You can grab the app here in the Marketplace for free.
3 years ago
WP7 User Group Event sweepstakes [Developers]
Developing apps for Windows Phone 7? Fancy a chance to win a WP7 new device worth around $500? Of course you do! You can by entering into the WP7 User Group Event sweepstake. It's simple to enter and there's a bonus too - the more apps you develop and enter into the stake, the more chance you have of winning.
Simply develop apps, submit them into the Marketplace and then fill out the form (you can add five apps maximum per form submission). You will need to use the event code (which is required on the form): VIL12. They're also running a competition featuring a prize of free advertising with 25,000 impressions, neat eh? Please note that both are US only.
Source: WP7 User Group Event
3 years ago
Essential User Interface Edition released for WP7 [Developers]
Syncfusion has announced the release of their Essential User Interface Edition for Windows Phone 7, which provides enterprise developers the tools to create rich mobile applications and help drive business innovation. Pretty neat to help bring WP7 into the business sector for employers to take advantage of available services and mobile Office in employee pockets.
The tools allows one to:
- Create common and advanced charts: 28 different chart types supported
- Build executive dashboards for tracking key performance indicators
- Increase the depth of user interaction via an editor package that allows text boxes to validate input along with other functions
- Insert compelling buttons into applications
- Display maps using industry-standard ESRI shape files
- Create and distribute maps without external map providers (no fees and faster applications)
You can check out Essential User Interface Edition for WP7 here and download a 30 day trial.
3 years ago
Is Google going Metro/Tiles on us or are we seeing things?
A few days ago we reported on the KLM-Metro connection (yes, evidently we had it backwards, KLM has had that style for "years", forgive us, we don't fly Dutch). Regardless, it seems Google is liking this whole Tile/Metro approach to design as well (see the Windows 8 UI demo).
Last month, Google held their famous IO conference, where all-things-Google happens, including Android news. They have the "sessions" page up, where you can go watch all the keynotes and talks that went on during the meeting, which is similar to Microsoft's MIX.
Or how about this below, which looks like flat-out copying to us. The one of the left is from Microsoft's WP7 page, the right, Google Wallet. (Thanks, Spindel, in comments):
Now, this is all probably old news to some, but darn it those tiles and UI design look a little familiar. Then again, this too has probably been around forever and we're just becoming aware of aesthetic design in general, seeing tiles everywhere. All we know is we can't wait till Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 360 all have this same UI design, t'is gonna be beautiful.
And Google? It's a good look for you. Heaven knows you need all the UI help you can get.
Source: Google IO; Thanks, Abhishek, for bringing this to our attention!
3 years ago
Nokia capturing the world on mobile film
Everyone knows how much Nokia love their cameras, just look at the N8. Only problem was their focus on Symbian, so you had fantastic capturing hardware bundled with a dying operating system. Fast forward to the end of 2011, I would be extremely excited with Nokia bringing the same camera quality found on the N8 to Windows Phone 7 - especially since we've seen the possibility in saving camera settings.
Think about it. A mechanical shutter, larger sensor, and a glass lens on your Windows Phone camera. Image quality would go through the roof. The videos should be a testament on how good things could get if the camera on the N8 made the transition to a Nokia Windows Phone.
The video above shows the collaboration between Nokia and Carl Zeiss and the interviews are filmed on the N8. As an extra treat, that film mentioned in the above video by Thomas Hilland (filmed entirely on the Nokia N8) can be viewed right after the break.
3 years ago
Samsung offering Diodict translation-dictionaries for free? [Updated]
Samsung as an odd habit in their Marketplace aka the 'Samsung Zone': they tend to release things and then pull them, no reason given and then sometimes, they return.
Such was the case with Diodict (see review) awhile back, which was a pretty robust off-line dictionary app for any Samsung Windows Phone. About a month after our review, the app was suddenly yanked from the Marketplace without explanation and it has yet to return. Flash forward to today and at least in the U.K., some other offerings from Diodict appear to be listed, for free, specifically six Collins dictionaries:
The apps are not yet listed in the Samsung Zone and that usually happens right when it something goes live to the Marketplace (it takes a few days for it to work over to the OEM app stores), so you'll have to search for 'Diodict' on your phone to find 'em. Now, when we tried this on our phone in the U.S., we found the dictionaries but they are all going for $22.99 or higher. However, reader Steve aka 'Tahiti Bob' supplied us with the above photos showing at least in his part of the world, there are two listings for the apps and clearly some are co-listed as Samsung Electronics and are completely free.
So is this a sign of things to come for the rest of us? Maybe. We'll keep an eye out and you let us know if you find anything similar, m'kay? Thanks, Steve, for the info and pics
Update: Looks like we won't be getting this here in the U.S. (nor China, Korea or Japan), as the app as the image below demonstrates. Thanks, VoodooKing, for the screen grab.
3 years ago
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I dashes to the Marketplace
Windows Phone isn’t swimming in platformers, but thanks to Sega we have a new one today. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I is now available on the Marketplace.
Sonic 4 is the first numbered, 2D Sonic game in several years. It features four zones with three acts each, seven special stages (bonus rounds), and five bosses to fight. Fans of the Sega Genesis games will instantly feel at home with the gameplay. Sonic runs at blazing speeds, twisting through loops, jumping from spring pads, and spin-dashing to gain momentum. While the gameplay adheres very closely to the 16-bit Sonic games, Sonic does now have a homing attack to make attacking enemies easier.
Having played a few areas in the Windows Phone version of Sonic 4, I’m extremely pleased with this version. It looks and plays almost exactly like the Xbox 360 version. The touch screen controls (a virtual d-pad and a single button for jumping and spin dashing) are some of the best I’ve encountered in a mobile platforming game. Sonic 4 has all the same Achievements as the Xbox 360 version, plus a few new ones for completing the individual zones. One of the returning Achievements, awarded for beating the final boss without taking any damage, was super tough on the Xbox 360 game. Be prepared for a challenge if you want the full 200 points here.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I costs $6.99, which is a lot, but remember the console version is $15 and this version has just as much content. The free trial contains the game’s first act so you can see for yourself if it’s worth the price tag. Grab it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Rise of Glory is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week
We recently mentioned Rise of Glory in our article about broken Achievements in Windows Phone games. The long-delayed update to fix the game’s Achievements hasn’t been released yet, but on the positive side, the game is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. It’s on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.
Rise of Glory is the Windows Phone version of iPhone flight simulation Skies of Glory. It puts players in the cockpit of a World War I-era fighting plane. Our review praises the game’s tilt controls and 3D graphics. The controls are challenging, in a realistic way. I pretty much just crashed repeatedly when I tried it, but hopefully you’re more coordinated than me.
Rise of Glory is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. If you’re itching to take to the skies, pick it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Microsoft getting ready to hand out Mango-developer-devices next week? [Rumor]
WinRumors is appropriately running a rumor story that states Microsoft is getting ready to send out the first-wave of Mango developer devices as early as next week. The article cites anonymously "sources familiar with the company’s plans" so take it with a grain of salt. Still, this is just a matter of when not if for Microsoft, so next week sounds as good as any other week (we also know that Microsoft is getting ready to show of the latest build and features soon, more on that later).
Previously, it was speculated that since most WP7 devs actually own Windows Phones now and they can sideload apps, Microsoft would opt to distribute early Mango builds via a ROM update. But between the number of devices, drivers and the problem of returning the device back to an initial state (if there's a problem) has made such a process implausible, not to mention logistically challenging. Instead, new dev devices with the OS pre-loaded look to go on loan to developers who want them.
Who gets them first, how to qualify and what type of devices is currently not known, but at least on the latter, modified HTC Trophys (with gyroscope), possibly the HTC Mazaa and something from Asus are possible.
3 years ago
Rogers takes $100 off the no-contract Focus
Good news if you're on Rogers and have been wanting to purchase the popular Samsung Focus: it's now $100 cheaper for the no-contract version, bringing the price down to "just" $499 (yeah, it was $600 before, ouch). That may not sound too much of a deal, but some would rather pay that lower price than commit to a massive three-year contract, which still blows our mind.
Of course if three-year contracts are you thing, then it's only $20 for your time.
Source: Rogers; via MobileSyrup
3 years ago
Windows Home Server WP7 Connector
Microsoft has announced the Release Candidate for the Windows Server Solutions Phone Connector for Windows Phone Server 2011. Basically, it's a Windows Phone app that gives you remote server management for your home server.
We mentioned some time ago that Microsoft was working on a connector for the Windows Phone, code named "Vail", and it looks as if all the hard work is about to pay off.
The app will enable remote server management tasks and relay media streams for Windows Home Server 2011. Once authenticated with your home server, the Windows Phone connector will:
- Give you access to system alerts
- User management features that include viewing user accounts, enable/disable accounts and password management
- View server joined computer details including initiating system backup and viewing backup status
- Stream media stored on your server to your phone (music, pictures, and videos).
The Connector App will also have Live Tile support allowing you to view a variety of "at-a-glance" information that includes count and type of network alerts, storage used on main server, and the server name.
You find out more information on the Windows Phone Windows Home Server 2011 Connector (WP7WHS2011 for shor?t) and access to the Release Candidate download here.
Source: WindowsTeamBlog Thanks goes out to Tim for the tip!
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