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3 years ago

Homebrew tool now allows creation of custom core Live Tiles

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While the Live Tiles on Windows Phone is by far one of the coolest and most unique aspects of our OS, like apps themselves, they are "sandboxed" and cut off from the deeper OS connections. In addition, what devs can do with the Live Tiles is limited, as there are pre-defined options when making an app.

Over at XDA, user fiinix  has detailed a new project, WP7 Custom core tiles (The DllImport Project child node), that gives the code for making a much wider, more pervasive Live Tile system for homebrew users. What this means is that devs making homebrew apps could also make them with some crazy choices for Live Tiles.

How crazy? Well peep the video above to see some of the option in action. What we hope comes from this is some new inspiration for app-ideas and maybe, just maybe, Microsoft will catch wind of these new choices and maybe allow sanctioned-devs to do the same type of tile manipulation.

Source: XDA; Thanks, neoxphuse, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft in Android-patent talks with Huawei

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It looks like Chinese telecom Huawei may be the next Android device manufacturer to start paying royalties to Microsoft.  The BBC reports that they have begun talks on a deal, as Huawei plans to expand into new markets India, Japan and the United States next year, as well as other countries in 2013.  With a huge device rollout on the horizon, it looks like Huawei wants to avoid any legal snags, though their marketing director phrased it a bit differently:

"We always respect the intellectual property of key companies," Mr Xu said. "At the moment we have more than 65,000 patents and we have enough instruments to protect our interests."

Huawei joins the ranks of Samsung, HTC, Acer, and others, who Microsoft has given the shakedown, claiming that Android infringes on MS patents.  It has been quite the windfall for Microsoft, who Goldman Sachs estimates will rake in $444 million this year from the deals, more than it will make from its own Windows Phone operating system.

Source: BBC

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3 years ago

Supertube goes Mango in v2.0 and gets video-upload support

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Supertube, the mega YouTube app for Windows Phone, finally got its Mango wings today with version 2.0. This version brings more than just fast-spp switching though as there are a ton of new features on board:

  • Record videos and upload it to YouTube (Resume broken uploads support)
  • Choose and order the sections in the main page
  • Select channel to push notification
  • Add playlist, inbox, my video
  • Background uploads and downloads
  • Loading list more quickly
  • Inbox push notification
  • Fast App Switching (FAS)

To say this is a comprehensive YouTube app is a bit of an understatement. It does waaay more than what we need iit to, but we know there are some of you out there who need these features--so here you go. We did have a little trouble getting the video-upload feature to work, but perhaps it's just our Radar 4G. Either way, it's a powerful app. It is recommended to uninstall and reinstall the app, since there are so many changes on board.

Update: The developed acknowledged a bug in the final release and noted that an update has already been submitted to the Marketplace, which should fix it. Look for it in the next 2-3 days.

Grab SuperTube here in the Marketplace for $1.29 with a free trial. There's also a free, ad-supported version right here.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 not shipped SIM-free until 2012

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According to an article on the blog of the UK smartphone retailer Clove.co.uk, the Nokia Lumia 800 will not be available SIM-free until 2012. All handsets shipped until then will be contract bound, which will begin rolling out on November 16th. While this may come across as a real pain in the butt, carriers are offering some interesting deals with Orange giving away Xbox 360s (should you be an existing customer) and Vodafone doing the same with £60 worth of vouchers.

Source: Clove.co.uk Blog

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3 years ago

LazyTube rebranding as Metrotube

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LazyTube rebranding as Metrotube

LazyTube, the popular free (and paid) solution to the lack of YouTube support on the Windows Phone platform, is almost set to be launched as Metrotube sometime this month. So what's new in the upcoming version? We have a revamped UI and pinnable tile support. Users will be able to pin videos and categories (playlists, favourites, subscriptions, etc.) to the home screen for easy access. The most interesting item to pin is an individual author where the thumbnail of the latest video added will be pushed through.

Why the rebrand? It's to do with the facelift and aesthetic changes that have been implemented for version 3.0. Users who already own LazyTube will not have to repurchase the app, and they will receive Metrotube as a free update. As mentioned above, Metrotube is set for a November release.

Check out the video below for a small demonstration of pinning the above to the home screen and visit the Metrotube website for more information.

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3 years ago

Nokia looking for "Evangelist" for US

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Nokia is searching for a US-based "developer evangelist" to lure developers to create apps for their Windows Phones.  The position, which will be based in Sunnyvale, CA, will be part of Nokia's Developer Experience team and will be responsible for engaging developers through "outreach programs and providing technical support services that enable developers to efficiently design, develop, distribute and monetize leading edge consumer experiences" on Nokia WP7 devices and Windows Phone in general.

According to the job posting, the specific duties of the Developer Evangelist will be to:

• Create excitement for and drive the success of Nokia's developer products and programs by engaging with third party developers building applications and businesses on them.
• Evangelize the adoption of Windows Phone developer products to the broader developer community.
• Participate in technical and design discussions with developers to speed adoption and ensure best practices during implementation.
• Evangelize Nokia developer products in person and online.
• Advocate for developers within Nokia, and influence our developer product strategy by working with teams across the company.

Basically, hyping the features that make both WP7 and Nokia hardware great and helping devs to leverage that. 

Nokia, and Microsoft for that matter, are trying desperately to get people to notice WP7.  Microsoft has certainly done their part to draw in devs by offering them financial incentives, free phones and marketplace prominence.  They have also ramped up advertising, including a big event yesterday in NYC and financially helping manufacturers to get the word out.  Nokia spared no expense either, spending triple the amount on advertising their new Lumia phones than they had one previous campaigns.

With WP7 lagging significantly behind iOS and Android in both market share and app marketplace size, the multi-pronged approach is a wise one.

Source: Nokia; Via: CNet

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3 years ago

Spotify now available on the Marketplace

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The official Spotify app, which was unveiled yesterday at the New York City Windows Phone event along with four new handsets, is now available for download from the Marketplace. The music streaming service, which launched in the U.S. earlier this year, is subscription based but opens up a huge catalogue of tracks for members to listen to.

Some feature highlights:

  • Search, browse & play millions of tracks.
  • Explore & play your friends' playlists, top artists and tracks.
  • Stream over WiFi or 2.5/3G - all your existing playlists are available.
  • Offline playlists - play your music without an internet connection.
  • On-the-fly sync - every track you add to a playlist appears on mobile and computer.
  • What's New view.
  • Receive music from friends via the inbox.
  • Starred tracks - tag all your favourites into a special list.

The app will allow downloading of playlists and music for offline playback in case you don't have an active internet connection, or require to save some data should you be tied to a tight plan. Also, playlists can be pinned to the home screen for easy access, something which can't be offered on other platforms.

You can download Spotify from the Marketplace for free, but as mentioned above, the service requires a subscription.

Thanks Greg and everyone else for the tip!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Shoot1UP to feature free ringtones in addition to shooting and dodging

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Shoot1UP is a vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up that’s coming to Xbox Live next year. As such, it will support Mango from the outset. One juicy Mango feature that developer Mommy’s Best Games has in store for gamers is the inclusion of not one, but three free ringtones with the game. Fine by me; Shoot1UP’s energetic techno music should be a great way to alert us to incoming calls.

Seeing as how the bundled ringtone feature is new to Windows Phone games and applications, the online knowledge base apparently still has some kinks to work out. At the Mommy’s Best Games Devlog, developer Nathan Fouts has posted an in-depth writeup of his experience in adding ringtones to the game. We recommend Windows Phone developers in the same situation give his tips a look.

For more Shoot1UP details, watch the Xbox 360 trailer above, and then check out WPCentral's exclusive preview of the Windows Phone port.

Source: Mommy’s Best Games Devlog

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3 years ago

From last night...the Windows Phone party in NYC in photos!

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Now that we're a bit recovered from yesterday, we can share with you how the first of many Windows Phone night parties went.

Kicking of in New York City and heading to Chicago, Dallas, LA and finally San Francisco, the show last night (and tonight) were sold out. There were so many people there last night that the line wrapped around the block--yes, New York, you came out in full force. VIPers had a special line which was much shorter, allowing them be let in first. In addition, you VIP folks get a special lounge to go to where you can relax and play with the new Windows Phones in a more relaxed atmosphere. And you get free drinks.

The event itself was pretty amazing. You had a section where you can dress like an Angry Bird and get your photo taken, there was a digital wall-of-apps, a Fruit Ninja area where you can sit and play on a dozen Windows Phones, stations everywhere with the HTC Tian, HTC Radar 4G, Samsung Focus S and the Focus Flash on display and helpful attendants to walk you through the new features. There are digital stations everywhere where you can scan your ID bracelet for a chance to win a Windows Phone as well as a Twitter contest to win some there too. The food was excellent (you get 3 food tokens) as well as some great drink mixers.

The Brooklyn native band 'Matt & Kim' took the stage at 9pm and rocked the whole place and DJs spun some great music in between. To say 'Mat & Kim' were well received is an understatement--even they had a great time as the venue turned into a full on concert at the point, with everyone enjoying their set.

All in all the mood was very festive--people were genuinely having a great time. Most importantly, they were toying with the phones, playing the games and really getting into the whole 'socially connected' theme of the party. We're told the exact same setup is traveling around to the other four cities, meaning you're in for one heck of a treat. (Note, you do have to be 21 to get into the event and they were checking IDs.)

Microsoft had a big publicity day yesterday and dare we say, they nailed it. If you can attend one of these night parties, we strongly encourage you do so as you'll have a blast. T'was a very cool time.

Take a look at some more pics after the break!

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3 years ago

Wheel of Wealth - Mango App Spotlight

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Wheel of Wealth may not have Vanna White but it's a decent spin off of the hit TV Game Show the Wheel of Fortune. The Windows Phone game is a turned based game requires registration (free) and that you play against other registered players.

For those not familiar with the game show, you are given a hidden word or phrase puzzle. You spin the wheel to determine how much each correctly guessed letter is worth. With each successful guess, you get to spin again. Every letter of the alphabet is available except for vowels. Those you have to buy with your earnings.

Solve the puzzle and you pocket the winnings. If your opponent solves the word puzzle you get notta.

To make things interesting there are bonus and penalty sections to the spinning wheel (loose turn, bankrupt, free spin, etc.). Settings cover sound, vibration effects, and enabling notifications (alerts you that it's your turn).

Games in progress and completed are organized nicely on a three page hub and starting a new game is as simple as hitting the plus sign from the hub. All in all, Wheel of Wealth is a fun game for your Windows Phone. The only thing missing is the ability to play a solo game for practice. Otherwise, if you're a fan of the Wheel of Fortune type games, Wheel of Wealth is worth a try.

Wheel of Wealth is a free, ad-supported game for your Windows Phone that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Remember, this is a Mango app so you'll need to be running Windows Phone 7.5.

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3 years ago

So, what's it like inside of a 55 foot tall Windows Phone? [Video]

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It may be a bit too big to fit in your pocket, but it's not too big for Microsoft to make look awesome. The 55 foot tall Windows Phone on display at the Microsoft event in Herald Square today is more than just a hand-full: it's taking an entire team of engineers and crew members to manage the Live Tiles, rotate out those tiles for live performances, and keep the whole thing looking beautiful during the festivities and presentations going on. 

Paul Miller from The Verge was able to get a nice tour of the massive device, and in the video above we get a closer look at what goes into making a huge Windows Phone. It's unlikely that we'll actually see this type of Mango device arrive on store shelves in the future; but hey, anything can happen. If the close-up look of the structure isn't enough, be sure to check out this time-lapse video of its construction, too. It will be interesting to see if any of you try to put one up in your front yard to show off in front of the neighbors.

Source: The Verge

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3 years ago

Why has Spotify been delayed until now?

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BusinessInsider got in touch with Spotify executive, Gerrit Meier, at the Windows Phone press event in New York today. While Spotify has been loaded on handsets at the event and we should expect to see the music streaming app on the Marketplace soon, why has it taken so long for the team to develop it? Meier told BusinessInsider that while Spotify's team might still be relatively small and resources finite, they decided to wait for the opportune moment with Microsoft to launch the app.

Microsoft has been providing support, resources and promotion, with slapping the app across all devices at the event in NYC, in Microsoft's showroom. The team waited for the service to launch in the U.S. and then Mango to take advantage of pinnable tiles (for playlists etc.) and background streaming and the launch of four new handsets in the U.S. turned out to be the time for the announcement.

We should expect to see Spotify on the Marketplace soon. Check out the hands-on coverage.

Source: BusinessInsider

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3 years ago

NYC Big Windows Phone Twitter competition

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Microsoft has started up a Twitter competition which will be running today, between 12:01 a.m PT and 11:59 p.m. PT. The prizes are 20 Windows Phones to be given away to 20 lucky winners (1 per person). So how does one enter? It's easy:

  1. Sign into Twitter (register an account if you haven't got one).
  2. Tweet a message to @windowsphone that includes, RT this for a chance to win a Windows Phone. "There's a #bigwindowsphone in Herald Square in NYC. Check it out. #WPNYC".

Please note that this competition is only available for those who reside in the U.S. Good luck!

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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3 years ago

Nokia Maps Beta arrives for Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710

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If you're one of the lucky ones to be getting a Nokia Lumia 800 or 710, you'll also be one of the first to get the new Nokia Maps application, as well as Nokia Drive, for Windows Phone 7.5. The new Nokia Maps app, which you can get from the Lumia Marketplace now (and all of Mango devices in the future), brings features to your phone that will make you "feel like a local everywhere." 

By combining offline maps, turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation, sharing your locations via the web, and a unique way to highlight local points of interest; Nokia Maps Beta and Nokia Drive look to become a great alternative to the stock Bing Maps app. Now if only they would make it available to the rest of us Mango device owners... sadly, that won't be happening for a little while. 

"Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps give you comprehensive mobile navigation and the insider knowledge to make it happen. With support across 95 countries, you'll get accurate turn-by-turn directions to the destination of your choice, as well as information on all the cool places to visit when you get there."

If you haven't already gotten the update to install over the Nokia Maps placeholder on your Lumia, head to the marketplace to get it for free, or just watch the video above to see what will hopefully be arriving soon for everyone else.

Via: The Verge

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3 years ago

Herald Square Windows Phone event in photos

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Sorry folks for being so quiet today from the Herald Square event--we're fighting the busy streets of Manhattan as well as a nasty head cold, making it hectic day.

For our audience, no huge announcements were made besides Spotify which will be welcomed by many as a great addition to the  platform (personally, we're okay with Zune Pass here in the US). Other announcements were focused on the T-Mobile Radar and AT&Ts lineup, sans the HTC Titan. Speaking of the Titan, it was there, but not branded with AT&T's logo. No fear though, it was on the AT&T table but that device seems like it is still a few weeks, at least, away from release. Instead, the Samsung Focus S, Flash and Radar for 4G phones were the main focus of the event.

The main Herald Square event was pretty fun. A large, curious audience of a few hundred gathered and watched as bands like Far East Movement took the stage. There was also a live "Plants vs Zombies" performance, AccuWeather giving the weather, a marriage proposal and pizza that was "ordered" using Bing and then literally delivered to the crowd.

The event was quite festive, well produced and well received. Coupons for phones were giving out, giving discounts to new purchases as well as some hands-on tables. In addition, if you checked in via Foursquare you could pick up a free Windows Phone t-shirt.

All in all, a successful promotion by Microsoft. We're also told the video for the event should be going on the web, so you'll be able to check it out a bit later (if not, we have some laying around).

More pics after the break...

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