3 years ago
AlphaJax version 1.7 brings new player rating system and matchmaking
AlphaJax -Everyone’s favorite Scrabble clone, I mean, word game - has received a steady stream of updates since its release in October. We were excited when a February update added unlimited, ad-supported play to the trial version of the game as well as user statistic tracking.
Today’s update overhauls stat tracking. Previously, the leader board just put the players with the highest number of wins at the top. Now player skill is also a factor. The new rating system is based on the Elo rating system. Gamers increase their rank via wins, but rank goes up a lot more by defeating a higher ranked opponent. On Xbox 360, the Xbox Live TrueSkill system works much the same way.
How does AlphaJax’s rating system affect people who are new to the game? Players aren’t ranked until they complete ten online games. Pass-and-play (local multiplayer) doesn’t affect rank. Even if someone loses all ten of their starting games, they won’t receive a negative rank. When they finally do win, they should jump up in rank a fair bit since other players are likely ranked higher than zero.
Now that players have a proper skill rating, random matchmaking has significantly improved. There are two options: Skill Match and Random Game. Random works just like it did before, throwing one player up against a completely random opponent. Skill Match, however, pits the player against someone with a similar skill rating. This should result in much more competitive games. Winning a Skill Match is also more likely to have a significant impact on a player’s rating. A high AlphaJax rating, I assume, helps you get all the girls. I’m… not quite there yet. ;)
AlphaJax, is the leading Scrabble-style game for Windows Phone 7. It supports two-player online play against friends or random players as well as local multiplayer. Our review praises AlphaJax’s features and presentation. Even now, AlphaJax remains quite possibly the most polished and addictive indie game on the platform.
AlphaJax is available in ad-supported and ad-free ($2.99) flavors. You can pick it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. WPCentral staffers Daniel Rubino (Malatesta), George Ponder (coppertop) and Paul Acevedo (eastx) are accepting challenges!
Head past the jump for the full version 1.7 changelog.
3 years ago
Need a new WP7 Lock Screen wallpaper?
Growing tired of your Windows Phone's lock screen? Looking for a new wallpaper? eMobilez has collected a vast assortment of 480x800 resolution wallpapers (and other sizes) that range from the abstract to cartoons.
All totaled (if my math is correct) the site offers 803 wallpaper images from nine categories. The only drawback is that the wallpapers aren't keyword searchable but you won't grow tired of surfing through them.
Installation is simple. Just find the wallpaper of your liking, download it to your computer and then transfer it to your Windows Phone via Zune. Then venture into settings and change your Lock Screen setting.
source: eMobilez via: monsmartphone Thanks goes out to Gilles for the tip!
3 years ago
Microsoft's Mobile Studio, Kin Studio Part Two?
Could the Kin Studio be rising from the ashes and headed to the Windows Phone as the Mobile Studio? For those not familiar with Microsoft's Kin, in many ways it was a scaled down Windows Phone for teenagers. A social networking phone of sorts.
It failed and had a life span measured in months but one glowing success of the Kin experiment was the Kin Studio. The Kin Studio was an online portal to your phone where photos, videos, status updates and messages were synced to. Similar to Windows Live but with more pizzazz.
There have been hints that Microsoft hasn't completely scrapped the Kin Studio concept and a recent job posting might be another such hint. Microsoft is advertising for positions to the Mobile Studio Team. As described in the announcement,
"The Mobile Studio will redefine the mobile phone for millions of everyday users around the world. We are looking for an intuitive and driven User Interface Designer with the ability to conceptualize and lead the design of features built for mobile phones...The candidate will be part of a team that is responsible for extending and evolving the functionality of Windows Phone."
Could the Mobile Studio be a new version of the Kin Studio? Maybe a new addition to the Windows Live services? Or are we just reading too much into the job posting?
3 years ago
Glow Artisan is Deal of the Week: $1.99
3 years ago
Dell Venue Pro getting NoDo starting today, separate firmware update coming later
Looks like there has been some confusion regarding the Dell Venue Pro and the NoDo update, which started coming out today for the HD7. Many users have successfully received the pre-NoDo February update, but few if anyone has received the big NoDo one itself. As Lionel Menchaca, Chief Blogger for Dell Inc. states, users can expect NoDo to "rolled out...over time starting today" and a second firmware update from Dell "coming later".
That second bit hints at something we've been hearing--a firmware update that will fix some outstanding issues that DVP has been plagued with since launch. What exactly this firmware update will fix is not clear yet, so we'll be awaiting for details in Menchaca's Dell post which should be forthcoming soon.
Source: Twitter; Thanks, pjfan75, for the heads up
3 years ago
T-Mobile makes it official: HD7 getting NoDo, not yet for Dell Venue Pro; Changelog posted too
By now, a lot of T-Mobile US customers have received their alert about the February and March updates for their HD7s. T-Mobile has published a step-by-step guide on the process, which can be found here.
What is obvious is that the HD7, but not the Dell Venue Pro is getting NoDo today. The DVP did receive the February pre-NoDo update but we've heard, but not confirmed, that NoDo will be hitting the Dell phone in mid-April (April 18th?)--has to do with more "fixes" being on board in addition to NoDo. Hopefully we'll hear more about that later.
In addition, what is curious is the changelog for the HD7:
- Adds the ability to copy and paste text.
- Stops unnecessary data connectivity and lowers data usage while using Yahoo! Mail.
- Improved Marketplace search
- While connected to Wi-Fi, customers will now see different background images in the Search screen.
We haven't heard about the Yahoo! Mail bug being fixed in this update before, nor about the the "background images" being different during search when over WiFi--more subtle changes we suppose.
Source: T-Mobile 1, T-Mobile 2
3 years ago
Tarot - App Spotlight
Carlo Milian, developer of Windows Phone apps such as SoundEscape 7, Twitter Translator, and Palm Reader 7, is offering Tarot over at the Marketplace. The free fortune telling application brings the art of Tarot Card reading to your Windows Phone.
Billed as being able to help guide you through your troubled emotions and clouded thoughts, by offering a reflection of your past, present and possible future and showing you a fresh perspective on your life. Tarot lays out predictions for your past, present and future in a nice looking application.
To begin the reading you tap the Tarot Card deck to shuffle and tap the deck again to deal your hand. From there just tap each card to flip them over and tap them again to read your fortune. Tarot also provides a view of the full deck of cards on a second page of the applications hub.
Tarot is a free application and ad supported. If your curious what the cards have to say about your fortune, Tarot can be downloaded here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Audio Phone 7 - App Spotlight
While there are a handful of note taking apps in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, some prefer audio notes to serve as a reminder. Enter Audio Phone 7 from Redtalon.
Audio Phone 7 is an ad supported voice recorder for your Windows Phone. When the application launches, it goes directly to the recording page of the hub. From there you simply type in a title for your recording and record away.
Audio Phone 7 also includes pages to view your past recordings as well as links to other applications by the developer. The only drawback I could see while giving Audio Phone 7 a quick test is that you have to enter a title to the recording. If your on the go and need to record a quick voice memo, you may not have the time to enter a title. Then again, you could always just type a few random characters.
Audio Phone 7 is a free application, allowing you to see for yourself if it's worth keeping on your phone. You can download your copy of Audio Phone 7 here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Quick Easy Note - App Spotlight
Quick Easy Note by Erlensoft is a temporary note taking app for your Windows Phone. Designed to jot down short notes that you don't need to save for prolonged use. Notes such as phone numbers, your parking space number, a car tag, or other bits of information you need to preserve for a short period.
Your notes are saved automatically when you exit Quick Easy Note and will remain in the text field when you re-launch the app. Once you've transferred the information or no longer need it, a clear text command is in the pull up menu. I could see Quick Easy Note being useful for shopping lists that you don't necessarily need to save and would discard when you are finished shopping.
There are two versions of Quick Easy Note, a free version that is ad supported and a non-ad supported version that will run you $.99. You can find the free version here (opens Zune) and the paid version here at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Four avatar items on sale through April 1st
One of the fun benefits of Xbox Live integration on Windows Phone 7 is that users can view and edit their avatars on the go. Some avatar items are free, while many of them cost money.
A quartet of avatar goods are currently on sale for fifty percent off. These must be purchased through a PC or Mac web browser or an Xbox 360 console before equipping them to your avatar.
Ninjas - Black Horned Samurai Outfit (Male or Female) - 120 Microsoft Points ($1.50) - 50% off
Star Wars - Chewbacca Wookie Costume (Male or Female) - 160 Microsoft Points ($2) - 50% off
Avatar pets are not currently viewable on Windows Phone 7. The Fierce Moves item is actually a break dancing animation for your avatar. We can’t confirm whether premium avatar moves are actually viewable on Microsoft’s mobile platform, but we’ll update if we find out.
The sale runs through April 1st, no fooling. A ton of Xbox Live Arcade games (Xbox 360 only) are on sale during the same time period. Head past the break for the full list.
3 years ago
Screenshots of Windows 8 installation shows Metro influence
We're all aware that the Metro UI is now the shiny baby at Microsoft and that they've been implementing their simple typographic design on their online properties too. There have been some Windows 8 setup screenshots leaked on the web that display an incredibly attractive installation, and we all know how Microsoft love their setup dialogues.
3 years ago
Xbox 360: System Update Preview program begins in 2 weeks, apply now
Many Windows Phone owners also have Xbox 360s, so we’re bringing you this bit of Xbox 360 news.
The Xbox 360 receives system updates once or twice a year (no carrier blocking either, thank goodness). Before these big updates come around, Microsoft usually runs an open beta to eliminate the kinks and make sure everything’s working right. Sign-up for this year’s open beta has just started.
Some notes about Xbox 360 System Update Preview program:
- The program is open to US residents only.
- Thousands of applicants will be selected. Still, signing up early is recommended.
- Xbox Live Gold members will receive priority, but 'lowly' Silver members can sign up too.
What changes will the update feature? One is a new Xbox 360 disc format is coming. This could be an anti-piracy measure. But the big feature is of course Kinect improvements including the rollout of avatarKinect, which gives your Avatar a new lease on life, hosting shows and making videos--very cool stuff. We would love to see some Windows Phone 7 integration on the dashboard too. It does currently have some ads and videos, but that’s it.
WPCentral’s Daniel Rubino has already completed registration. I tried but received an error after confirming my email address. To throw your hat in, Sign up for the Xbox LIVE Update Preview Program. Good luck!
UPDATE: Good news: participants in the preview will receive a free copy of Halo Reach. Bad news: registration is now closed. Hope you got in, everybody.
Source: Major Nelson
3 years ago
Three in the UK pushing NoDo as well
We're getting word that users in the UK on Three are getting NoDo too. As can be seen to the right, developer Jay Bennett received his NoDo (7389) to his Omnia 7 this afternoon. However, our own Richard Edmonds is still waiting on his, so it looks to be a trickle update so far.
Still, it looks like Wave 1 is going well at this point, with no reports of any issues, just happy customers.
3 years ago
WP7 on its way to the #2 spot?
Just on the heels of Ovum's prediction of WP7 overtaking RIM in smartphone market share by 2016, comes more encouraging projections by International Data Corporation (IDC). In a press release today, IDC's Ramon Llamas said that "by 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android." IDC credits this move up the ladder to Microsoft's partnership with Nokia.
"Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences," added Llamas. "The new alliance brings together Nokia's hardware capabilities and Windows Phone's differentiated platform."
Android is expected to remain the top dog, while iOS, Blackberry and others will see a slight drop-off. IDC estimates that worldwide smartphone market will grow at four times the rate of mobile phones and is expected to increase from 303.4 million smartphones shipped to over 450 million, a rise of 49.2%.
Whether WP7 flourishes or crashes and burns, it seems that the outcome of the deal with Nokia will be a key determining factor.
Source: International Data Corporation; Graph Picture:FinkOrSwim
3 years ago
LiveShare group photo app is pretty slick
You have your Twitpic for Twitter sharing, Skydrive for backup, Bubblegum for sharing single photos, Flickr for the serious stuff and now you have LiveShare.
What's LiveShare? Good question, we were curious too and if you watch the above demo, you should get an idea. Based on BlueVia platform and Windows Azure, it's a way for you and your group of friends or co-workers to share a photo-stream via your phones. Say you all went to a party last night or some event, you can create a group and then your cohorts can add photos to it:
- Start a photo stream for any occasion
- Invite friends to share photos into your stream
- Then watch everyone's photos flow in live
LiveShare is the answer to the question, “Where's everyone’s photos from the party?”
With LiveShare, it's easy for you and your friends to snap photos at parties, get-togethers and other shared experiences, and enjoy them all in one place, in real-time. No more need to hunt through emails, social networks and photo sites to see everyone’s photos.
Whether it’s the bachelor party that needs to stay in Vegas, seeing what your best friends are doing right now or your group ski trip, LiveShare lets you create groups anytime and invite as many or few friends as you like to view and contribute to your shared photo streams.
The app is certainly polished and since it's free, there's really no commitment. Oh and it IS on Android and iPhone, meaning all your friends can join in. It also looks to have notifications for new activity. Sweet. Downside? It uses Facebook to login, blech. Take it for a spin here in the Marketplace. Thanks, @depper2k, for the heads up Go to LiveShare.com for more info.
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