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4 years ago

RealTube player brings mobile YouTube and video to all

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Although HTC users get to use a pretty solid (and free) mobile YouTube application that even handles HQ videos, the rest of us are left on the sidelines for some 3rd party developer. Luckily, one has come forward: SWFlight and their app called RealTube which fetches for $1.99 in the Marketplace. The app basically converts Flash to Silverlight. Smart.

The app is in some ways better than HTC's since it is not bound just by YouTube, but rather can play all sorts of videos found on the internet: MSN, MySpace, FunnyorDie, CNN, DailyMotion, etc all in HD (when over WiFi). The app also works over 3G for those on go. It does lack full YouTube integration, so managing your account of favorites and sharing seems like a no-go too, plus if someone sends you a link, it won't open RealTube (no file association). Still, despite the obvious limitations, video quality is quite high and the search works pretty well, even allowing filters.[Edit: Although I didn't know how to in the video, to get results from a specific web site, "...add the phrase site: to your search, for example: crazy cats site:funnyordie.com"]

While $1.99 is a bit pricey, the free trial at least lets you take it for a test drive (the trial is fully functional for a generous 15 days) and for you video hounds out there, this seems to be a solid solution, especially for a v1.0.  Grab the app here on your phone or Zune desktop.

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4 years ago

Nokia to use Windows Phone 7? We're skeptical.

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The world is aflutter today (and journalism has taken a back seat) with the unsubstantiated rumor that Nokia, under leadership of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who used to work with Microsoft, is in secret talks to work with Microsoft on releasing some Windows Phones. The rumor comes from Eldar Murtazin, who has attained near celebrity status with his rumor posts, despite the mediocre track record. In a post he writes (translated):

In the last month behind closed doors is a discussion of expanded cooperation Nokia and Microsoft (two-way discussion, initiated by the new leadership of Nokia). Not simply the exchange of technology, but creating an entire line of Windows Phone devices that may go under the name Nokia, through the sales channels for the company, and will also have the characteristic features of its products. This is a desperate measure of the two companies. The last step for the salvation of Android, which crushes everything in its path.

Nokia has very recently denied such future moves, instead reaffirrming their committment to Symbian and MeeGo OS, yet the rumor persists, perhaps out of wishful thinking. It is certainly possible that Nokia may release a secondary line of phones with WP7 on board--heck, Palm did the same years ago till they got back on their feet (to fall on their face again)--but we're not holding our breath on this one. For one, there is no secondary source that comes even close to backing this up and number two, financially it doesn't make much sense (see summary at ZDNet).

But we'll leave the possibility open. We're just not that confident in the idea. Even if Nokia does go forward with a Windows Phone line, so what? Has Nokia hardware (in absence of their OS) been anything truly remarkable? Or has HTC, Samsung and Apple grabbed the spotlight with hardware innovation and unique design? Call us cynical, but we're going with the latter. If Nokia and Microsoft hatch out a plan though, it will only help Windows Phone presence in the market.  That is something we could live with, even if we are skeptical of the whole idea.

Source: Mobile-review; via ZDNet

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4 years ago

Quantum Jump - Review

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4 years ago

Impossible Shoota - Review [Video]

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Impossible Shoota - Review [Video]

We first mentioned Impossible Shoota when it first hit the Marketplace and have spent a little time with the Windows Phone 7 game. If you're looking for a fast paced, addictive, entertaining game Impossible Shoota will fit the bill.

The story line has you in the role of the elite pilot Starboxer. Your are the last survivor of your race and on your last mission to take out as many Sho-dan (the bad guys) ships as possible.  And they throw a lot of ships your way.

Follow the break to read more on Impossible Shoota and to catch a video of the Windows Phone game in action.

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4 years ago

Dodge These Balls - Review

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Dodge These Balls - Review

Do you need a simple game for your Windows Phone to help pass the time? Take a gander at EntwicklerX's Dodge These Balls.

The game set up for Dodge These Balls is simple. Your the red ball and you need to dodge the other balls that are bouncing around the screen. You move your ball around by tilting the phone up/down and side/side. The longer you survive, more balls are generated, increasing the challenges.

Follow the break to read more about this Windows Phone game and to catch a video of it in action.

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4 years ago

Decision Maker - Review

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Decision Maker - Review

Crimson Team is offering Decision Maker over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that may help you get past those hard decisions.

It's a simple process. Think of your question, tap the "Make Decision" bar, and Decision Maker will offer a yes or no response after consulting with aliens, Santa, Granny and many more reliable sources.

Decision Maker is a simple, stable novelty app for your Windows Phone. The $.99 price is just about right for a novelty app and there is a trial version available if you need a little help in deciding to purchase or not.

You can find Decision Maker here (opens your Zune desktop) and if you follow the break, you can catch a video of Decision Maker in action.

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4 years ago

Samsung updates Network Profile tool, fixes unlocked issues for good

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In the ongoing saga with certain Windows Phones not playing well when unlocked (specifically MMS issues), there was an official tool and an unofficial one. The former was Samsung's app located in their app store ("Samsung Zone") and it was evidently quite limited in function (going by the average rating of 1 star). Later an unofficial homebrew solution was produced though it required you to have developer access/jailbreak the device.

We then got word that Samsung was working on an official fix, allowing users of unlocked phones to reconfigure their device for other networks with a simple menu selection. That update has hit today (v1.9) and from early reports seems to work quite well, even allowing MMS on new networks. The app also goes pretty far in reminding you that if you are currently in a contract with a carrier this tool will not work, so be warned. Other than that, Samsung seems to be at parity now with HTC and LG in offering network reconfiguration tools for users. For that, we're quite happy.

Grab the program here on your phone via Zune Desktop.

Thanks, Philipp, for the tip and feedback!

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 Book Roundup

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Windows Phone 7 Book Roundup

With the launch of a new platform like Windows Phone 7, there is a learning curve for everyone involved. One of the best ways to get familiar with Windows Phone 7 is to read this website, another way is to read a book. There are pros and cons to both methods; websites are more dynamic and up to date while books are easier to read cover to cover, or refer back to from time to time.

We’ve got several books in-hand, and after the jump we’ll break down the similarities and differences.

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4 years ago

Motorola Finiti Bluetooth Headset - Review

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Noise cancellation in Bluetooth headsets is something that manufacturers have thrown all kinds of technology and techniques at, with mixed results. For high end headsets like the Jawbone Icon or the Plantronics Voyager Pro, noise cancellation is a top priority.

Motorola is one of those electronics companies that seem to have their fingers in every aspect of the industry. I’ve reviewed several of Motorola’s Bluetooth offerings in the past, and have met with generally favorable results. The Motorola Finiti is the follow-on to the HX1 Endeavor, which uses bone conduction technology to achieve the highest possible sound quality.

The full review follows the break.

Pros: 
Superb noise cancellation, Bluetooth audio
Cons: 
Not particularly comfortable
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4 years ago

Microsoft giving away free Xbox Games

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Microsoft is giving away free Xbox games when you purchase a new Windows Phone 7 device.  Regardless if you purchase the phone through AT&T, T-Mobile, from Amazon.com or any other Windows Phone retailer you can claim your game.

Eligible models include the Samsung Focus, LG Quantum, HTC Surround, HTC HD7, and Dell Venue Pro.

The offer is valid on purchase made between December 17, 2010 and December 31, 2010. The game titles aren't too shabby and include:

  • Kinectimals
  • Kinect Joy Ride
  • Fable III
  • Halo Reach

To claim your game, you'll need to complete a redemption form that is available at www.myfreexbox360game.com and send it in along with a copy of your purchase reciept and a copy of the UPC code from your Windows Phone packaging.  You can find the full Terms and Conditions here.

It may not match Telus's offer to give you a free Xbox 360 gaming system, but it's still a very good offer on some very entertaining games.

Thanks goes out to Robert for the tip!

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4 years ago

Boost the sound on the Samsung Focus [Hack]

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Boost the sound on the Samsung Focus [Hack]

If there's one area the Focus doesn't need improvement on is sound--it's loud, clear and did we mention loud? Still, we know for some of you, there's never enough volume so for you, we bequeath this tip.

Like the detailed battery check and USB tethering before, you'll need to access the Diagnostic Menu on your Focus. It's easy enough and then you just enter a few codes and you're good to go. The only downside is this won't survive a soft-reset (but how often are you folks doing that anyways?). But the boost in volume is significant and if you want to compete with the Surround, now's your chance. Here we go:

  • Enter the dialer
  • ##634#  --> Call
  • *#0002*28346#

    Now you'll have three fields which you want to change:

    • Click "Read"
    • System Gain: 7 change to 10
    • Class Gain: 7 change to 10
    • Device Gain: 7 change to 10
    • Press Start

      That should be it. Like we said, it's just a temporary change so no harm is done to the device. Let us know in comments if you notice a difference. We haven't done any scientific tests ourselves on this but it seems louder to our ears.

      Update: Some reports suggest this does not work,, so take that as you will (thanks, electricbopeep, for the reference)

      Source: FireSokar at XDA Forums

      electricbopeep
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      4 years ago

      WP7 Connector for Mac gets a new beta, fixes many issues adds new features

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      While we don't know just how many Mac users out there have a Windows Phone, for those brave enough (we salute you) there is some good news as Microsoft has published an update to the Connector app. To refresh, Connector allows Mac users to sync certain amounts of information and media to Windows Phone 7. While not a full Zune client, it's a step in the right direction for many who don't want to be tethered to Apple's ecosystem.

      The latest version (0.6 beta) released on December 16th addresses some ongoing issues:

      • Fixes playback for the AAC files synced from iTunes that wouldn't play
      • Reverse sync MP3s bought from the WP7 phone
      • Properly sync from remote iTunes installs
      • Transfers bookmarks, ratings, release dates that were previously left out

      Probably one of the biggest additions is the ability to support firmware updates via Connector, something which we believe all Windows Phone users will need in two months time. Finally, to round it out:

      Direct device browsing has been given much more control and lets owners not only manually import individual items from the phone but delete them or preview them.

      Other media forms also get improvements. Connector now better handles iPhoto '11 libraries and will organize iPhoto collections by event first and by album only if necessary. The video preparation process has been improved, Microsoft said. Remaining changes bring early support for updating a phone's firmware, faster overall syncing, a new device setup experience and a more graceful handling of when the phone needs to be unlocked with a PIN code.

      Sounds like quite the update and not just some minor bug fixes. You can grab the new version right here.

      Source: Electronista

       

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      4 years ago

      Two alternative geo-mapping applications come to Windows Phone 7

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      Although many would say Bing maps is a pretty solution to mapping in Windows Phone 7, one thing users always enjoy is choice. Two new mapping applications have arrived in the Marketplace recently and while neither is the be-all map-app, both offer some unique features that a few may be interested in. Unlike TA Maps which exploited Google's mapping servers but also required you to 'jailbreak' the device, both of these apps are distributed through the Marketplace, albeit for a price.

      Advanced Maps Viewer ($0.99 + no trial): uses Google Maps and includes Street, Satellite, Hybrid and Physical maps in addition to geolocation positioning. OpenStreetMap integration is coming. This app is the most similar to TA Maps including "locate me" but also offers different map layers. It's fast, efficient and works. Downside is no routing. Grab it here in Zune on your phone or desktop.

      JustAnotherMaps ($1.29 +  trial): Uses OpenStreetMap (not Google) with routing and searching. This is actually great since it can give directions but it severely needs a "locate me" icon to zoom to your current position. Nothing a simple update couldn't improve upon. This app is better for those in Europe and other countries where Bing Maps is not so accurate or available. Grab it here in Zune on your phone or desktop.

      Like we said, neither is perfect and it depends what you want more: Google Maps + Layers or mediocre Search + Routing. Someday we'll get it all, but for now, we'll keep watching what these two developers continue to offer.

      Update: @mahoekst alerts us to the very cool and quite impressive Maps Mania (get it here), which also does Google Maps, Bing Maps, OpenStreetMap and custom maps. Nice.

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      4 years ago

      Dell Venue Pro with AT&T bands clears FCC

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      Although we barely have a T-Mobile version out the gates for what is turning out to be quite the tumultuous launch, an updated version of the Dell Venue Pro sporting AT&T's 3G bands (WCDMA Band II and V) has cleared the FCC. Other candidate carriers include Rogers, Bell, or Telus.

      Right away we think that's good news, but as Engadget points out, Dell has a history of getting things approved but not releasing them. A sort of "just in case" methodology, we suppose. However, we think in this situation an AT&T bound Venue Pro is quite likely, after all Ma Bell has been aggressive with the WP7 devices so far and we're expecting a "second wave" from them and others in a few months. Not to mention, despite the terrible launch of the VP, it's still a coveted design for many consumers and is only offered by Dell.

      But nothing is written in stone, so stay tuned.

      Source: FCC; via Engadget

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