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3 years ago

geoDefense now available on the Marketplace. Start building those towers!

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It’s the third week of Microsoft’s Must Have Games promotion. This week’s Xbox Live release, geoDefense, comes from Critical Thought Games. It’s now available in the marketplace.

geoDefense is a traditional tower defense game in which waves of enemies travel along a path on their way to the player’s base. Building and upgrading towers along the way is your only defense. geoDefense’s claim to fame is its Geometry Wars-inspired vector graphics. Everything is made up of colorful neon outlines and explosions are accompanied by a cool background warping effect. geoDefense gets pretty hard eventually, but I found it much easier to learn to play than the existing Xbox Live tower defense games,  Battle for Hoth and Zombie Attack! 2.

geoDefense costs only $2.99 and there is a free trial. Tower defense fans will definitely want to grab it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Wake up! Glyder is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

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Last week’s Deal of the week, Pac-Man, underwhelmed us due its poor controls and steep difficulty. This week’s sale game isn’t too exciting either, though it’s kind of by design. You see, the game in question is Glyder: Adventure Worlds from Glu Mobile. It’s on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

As our review explains, Glyder is a very sedate game with no real story or sense of urgency. But it does have lots of flying around wide open 3D spaces. Activities include item collecting, races, and that’s about it. Control-wise, players can opt for tilt or touch-screen controls – always nice to have a choice. Glyder will appeal to patient, even-tempered gamers. People who can read a Stephen Baxter novel without dying of boredom. If that sounds like your thing, put down that hefty copy of The Time Ships and give the demo a try.

Glyder is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Collect it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Microsoft store selling select Windows Phones for a penny

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Although Microsoft stores (physical) are few and far between, you can still order online from Microsoft directly. And in the latter case, they seem to be taking a lead from some 3rd party retailers by offering select Windows Phones from U.S. carriers (sans AT&T) for the low, low-cost of $0.01.

Heck, they even throw in free 'next business day shipping' and free return shipping if you're not happy with the phone. Mind you, this deal also counts for new lines, upgrades/renewal or add-a-line, which is something that some 3rd parties don't offer (often, they only offer the deal for "new customers").

The three U.S. devices that are available for a penny are the Sprint HTC Arrive, Verizon HTC Trophy and T-Mobile HD7. Sounds good to us, so if you were looking to upgrade, this seems to be a solid deal.

Source: Microsoft Store; Thanks, AK, for the heads up

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3 years ago

All in 1 Toolbox - App Spotlight

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All in 1 Toolbox - App Spotlight

Looking for a swiss army styled app for your Windows Phone? No, not one that comes with tweezers and a nail file but one that has a healthy collection of tools? If so, you need to check out All in 1 Toolbox.

All in 1 has nine tools in the box that include:

  • Flashlight: 4 different themes
  • Unit Converter: length, area, volume, weight, temperature, angle and time
  • Secure Notes: protects your notes with a password and encryption. Organizes your notes to categories.
  • Date Calculator: adds days, time and subtracts dates
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator: calculates BMI and shows BMI category
  • Tip Calculator: calculates the tip and splits the check
  • Counter: +/- buttons for counting, with save and load
  • Password Generator: generates a customizable password and saves it to the secure notes
  • Product Comparison: compares 2 products with price, quantity and discount.

The tools are launched from a "lazy susan" styled menu and are an interesting assortment of applications. I can see some coming in handy on a daily basis, while others may only be used once in a while.

The All in 1 Toolbox is running $1.99 and there is a free trial version available to let you give a whirl before buying. You can find All in 1 Toolbox here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. 

Oh... there is a free, ad-supported version of All in 1 Toolbox.  Toolbox Free has the same nine tools and simply adds an ad banner into the mix.  You can find Toolbox Free here at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Pod Rods - App Spotlight

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Pod Rods - App Spotlight

Jacksonville.com, the website of The Florida Times-Union has an interesting app for car lovers, Pod Rods. The app offers the latest automotive news, information on First Coast car events, plus photos, videos and podcasts from the automotive industry.

The Times-Union isn't new to the Windows Phone arena, having launched four apps for the Windows Mobile platform; the Jacksonville.com App, Ultimate Jaguars, the University of Florida Gators, and High School Sports.

The app also offers traffic and road construction updates to keep you informed as you travel from car show to car show. In touching base with the developers they felt that Pod Rods would be a good way to gauge interest for the Windows Phone 7 format and promote local car events.

Pod Rods is a free application and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Sat Rad Player - App Spotlight

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Sat Rad Player - App Spotlight

Peronica LLC has developed what is being billed as the first satellite radio player for Windows Phone 7. Sat Rad Player is being offered over at the Marketplace for $.99 and allows you to listen to your Sirius/XM Satellite radio subscription from the convenience of your Windows Phone.

Key features include:

  • Sort Channels by name or number
  • Channels can be grouped by Genre
  • Channels can be navigated by Genre heading
  • Favorite Channel management.

The developer does make note of a few conditions. There is currently no support for playback through Bluetooth devices, your US based Sirius or XM subscription must include the option for internet play, and while Sat Rad Player will run under a lock screen there is a brief pause once the Windows Phone locks.

There is a free trial version available to let you try before you buy and the full version runs $.99. You can download both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Chris for the tip!

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3 years ago

Pro Bowl Quarterback gets a Trophy

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Pro Bowl Quarterback gets a Trophy

Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, was interviewed over Twitter by the Seattle Times about his use of Windows Phone 7. He has been using a Samsung Focus for a while, and recently switched over to the Verizon HTC Trophy.

His app recommendations? Hasselbeck recommends 4th and Mayor and often uses TweetCaster and Weatherbug daily. He also mentions using an iPad, but seems open to a real competitor, like Windows 8. There isn’t a whole lot to the story, but it’s good to see some high profile Windows Phone fans out there.  

Source: Seattle Times

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3 years ago

Microsoft "Flattered" by Apple

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Microsoft "Flattered" by Apple

Joe Belfiore posted another interesting pair of tweets late yesterday, reminding people that quite a few of the features that Apple is including in iOS 5 are already available or announced in Microsoft Products, either Windows Phone 7 or Windows 8. He tweeted one yesterday, mentioning just the camera button.

Today, he took it a bit further, and listed off several items that Apple has seemingly taken from Windows phone 7, or Windows 8. In Apple’s defense, the Windows 8 thumb keyboard was announced last week, but the rest… You can decide.

Slide on past the break to see how the similarities break down.

Source: WinRumors

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3 years ago

Microsoft throws its support behind AT&T

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With so much scrutiny being applied to the proposed AT&T purchase of T-Mobile, Microsoft has decided to weigh in on the topic. In a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission, Microsoft has expressed the opinion that the positives of such a merger would outweigh the negatives. The letter reads,

"The FCC must seriously weigh the benefits of this merger and approve it."

Microsoft's support of the purchase is joined by Facebook, Research in Motion, Oracle and Yahoo!. Leading the charge against the merger is Sprint.

The FCC and DOJ promise to give this proposal a high level of scrutiny and the approval process could take up to a year to complete. So, is this such a bad thing? Or is it an unfair monopoly that would end up harming the industry?

Source: WindowsITPro

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3 years ago

New features heading to Skydrive with Mango

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It's no secret that the Windows Phone Mango update is slated to bring some much needed/wanted improvements to Microsoft's SkyDrive. It really made no sense to have cloud storage that wasn't openly accessible from your Windows Phone and fortunately, with Mango, that's about to change.

With the Mango update you will be able to:

  • Share photos stored on SkyDrive by way of email, text messages, IM
  • Share videos on SkyDrive
  • Browse and search documents stored on SkyDrive

Still no word on a SkyDrive App or having the ability to stream music files from your SkyDrive, but the new features that will come with Mango will definitely give more functionality to SkyDrive. It will be nice to have greater access to the free 25GB of storage Microsoft has to offer.

Ease on past the break to catch a video demo on the new SkyDrive features as it relates to the Office Hub.

Source: Windowsteamblog

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3 years ago

E3 2011: New Xbox Live games revealed for Windows Phone

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Microsoft’s E3 keynote presentation may have left Windows Phone cold in the dust, but that doesn’t mean the company has completely neglected their mobile platform at the event. They’re showing off several new Xbox Live games and a few that were previously announced but haven’t been mentioned in a while.

Head past the jump for screens and details on all 7 upcoming titles.

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3 years ago

Joe Belfiore digs at iOS fan

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Joe Belfiore digs at iOS fan

This is simply priceless, our Joe Belfiore is having a small dig at an iOS fan who is reportedly looking forward to using his volume key as a camera shutter button (not sure what's to be excited about - it's a volume key). Steve Jobs seems to be running low of ideas and is slightly more concerned about Windows Phone 7 as he should well be. Not only do we have a dedicated camera shutter button, but we have 500 new features coming this fall, Xbox Live integration (which laughs at the Apple Game Center), true Facebook, LinkedIn and soon-to-be Twitter integration and live tiles coupled with a beautiful, intuitive UI.

I'm surprised Apple haven't announced that they're losing the rounded grid icons for square tiles which are all the same color.

Source: Twitter, Thanks Alex for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Microsoft's E3 2011 keynote summary

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Today Microsoft delivered their keynote presentation at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles. The presentation details their Xbox 360 console plans for the next year. Windows Phone was disappointingly absent from the presentation, though some WP7 games are being announced separately today. For now, let’s look at the major announcements from the presentation.

As expected, Kinect was a major focus this year. The huge sales success of Kinect as well as the uniqueness of the device caught many developers by surprise last year. This year, we’ll be seeing several much more substantial games either require Kinect or support it optionally. Kinect Fun Labs is a new feature that’s now available on the dashboard. The approximately 720 MB download features several free Kinect tools and activities and even Xbox Live Achievements. Inside the Fun Labs, gamers can create an Xbox avatar by scanning their bodies, scan objects and have them appear on-screen, and move their hands to draw in the air. Kinect is certainly becoming a much more useful peripheral to own, though many would like to see a price drop too.

Microsoft continues to expand the Xbox 360’s functionality as a home entertainment device. A new, redesigned dashboard update will come this fall. Video-related features include YouTube support (finally!) and live television too.

Windows Phone users who have grown accustomed to the Bing search button will welcome the Bing search function’s arrival on Xbox 360 too. It can search the Xbox 360 Marketplace, content stored on the console, and Netflix. Bing Search will be even more convenient thanks to Kinect voice recognition.

Head past the jump for a full list of games mentioned during the conference.

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3 years ago

Orange France releases voice turn-by-turn GPS

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While in the U.S., we're actually use to turn-by-turn being provided by our carriers, in Europe it's not so expected. In that sense, it's great news to hear that Orange France has release a full-fledged, custom, turn-by-turn GPS solution for their customers.

The app looks pretty snazzy from the screenshots and it has abundant, if not the usual, features on board:

  • The real-time traffic info;
  • Alerts fixed and mobile radars (database Wikango);
  • Service stations with fuel prices;
  • Parking in the Ile de France
  • Voice guided

The bad news is that it's not locally stored maps, so just like the U.S. counterparts, you have to have a data plan that can both be fast enough to download the data and allows you to have enough data so as to not get over-charged. (Europe tends to have higher data costs and less access to 3G than in the U.S.). Still, it's a nice start and something we're sure many will use. For more info, head to Professeur Thibault who has all the details.

Download Orange GPS here in the Marketplace.

via Professeur Thibault

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3 years ago

Xbox Live Extras hits v1.6--Avatar Marketplace now Live!

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So the big E3 gaming convention is going on today, with Microsoft set to reveal tons of Xbox goodness. It may not be a coincidence then to see Xbox Live Extras get updated today to v1.6 with a significant addition, namely the ability to buy and change your avatar's appearance within the app itself.

As you can see from the image above, you can now change your avatar and purchase new items from the Marketplace (using MS Points)--this is quite the update and nearly completes the Xbox LIVE experience on the phone. The ability to use MS Points is interesting only because we're expecting the usage of actual money and MS Points to overlap, eventually, in the Marketplace as an option for purchases--perhaps this is the first sign?

Finally, we can't help but notice the usual speed-tweaks, making the app a bit zippier than before (though perhaps that's placebo). We've reached out to Microsoft for an exact change-log, so expect an update to the post later on.

You can grab Xbox LIVE Extras for free in the Marketplace here.

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