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3 years ago

Zombie Attack 2 is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week, still rather boring though

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If you ask little old me, last week’s Xbox Live sale game was a bit of a dud. This week’s deal game isn’t much better. Zombie Attack! 2 is on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Zombie Attack! 2 is a tower defense game in which players actually control a human survivor who runs around and builds the towers. A fine idea in theory, but the execution leaves much to be desired. A few criticisms from our review: Clunky controls, a complete lack of music, a bug that can make sound effects refuse to play, help screens that clearly refer to the iPhone version’s tilt controls (absent here)… It’s a zombie-filled mess.

Worse, the crux of the game involves completing 10 Challenge levels, which take 45 minutes to an hour each and are just super boring. Seriously, there are much better tower defense games on Xbox Live, including Plants vs. Zombies and geoDefense. One of the two even has zombies

Zombie Attack! 2 is on sale for one week only. If you insist on picking up this rotting corpse of a game, you’ll find it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Rumor: Fujitsu IS12T coming to Taiwan next month

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Rumor: Fujitsu IS12T coming to Taiwan next month

Looks like Taiwan is getting all sorts of rumors tonight, which must make those folks happy (or disappointed if proven false). The latest comes from Sogi.com.tw, which evidently is a reputable source for phone rumors and news. But instead of a Mango update, this is about a new Mango phone.

They're reporting that the Fujitsu IS12T, that super cool and waterproofed Mango phone, will be hitting Taiwan "next month". No word about where this info has come from, but others seem to put some faith in it and lets be honest, it's hardly a stretch of the imagination, what with Japanese and Chinese support being available in Mango.

Source: Sogi.com.tw; via I Love Windows Phones; Thanks, @Tortue, for the Twitter tip!

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3 years ago

HTC Titan available in the Netherlands on October 7th, pre-orders now

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Looks like HTC is pretty darn close to getting that Titan out the doors. We saw it earlier for Vodafone and T-Mobile and now it's showing up in the Netherlands for € 508 come October 7th. The device will be available on multiple carriers, including Telefort, Tele2 and Hi.  Users can also pre-order the phone now to make sure they get that monster in the mail by that date. Sounds good to us.

Source: Studentmobiel.nl; Thanks, Johan, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Mango launching in Taiwan on the 16th?

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Windows Phone Mango launching in Taiwan on the 16th?

We're expecting lots of news on Mango in the next few days (see Australia earlier) and now it looks like Taiwan may be tasting the fruit soon as well.

According to the site Mobile01 (which sounds like a Gundam Wing, sorry, geek spaz), folks at Microsoft TechDays Taiwan 2011 revealed that September 16th would be the day for release in Taiwan. What's not clear is whether this will be done via Zune or, as some are suggesting over there, users will have to bring their phones to certain shops to be flashed in person--certainly unorthodox, but seeing as Windows Phone infrastructure is still new in Taiwan, perhaps not unrealistic.  Luckily this rumor will be proven true or false within two days--so it'll be interesting to see what happens.

Source: Mobile01; via We Love Windows Phone HK

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3 years ago

Vodafone Australia finishes Mango testing awaiting green light

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We are all waiting with anticipation to see what happens on September 15th with regards to a possible Mango release. Vodafone Australia might have just tipped Microsoft's hand in announcing on their blog site that they have completed carrier testing, approved the update and are now only waiting for deployment from Microsoft.

Microsoft has been busy today at the BUILD developer's conference showing off Windows 8. Could Microsoft's next center stage production at BUILD be the release of Mango, giving the green light to carriers to begin deployment?

If everything falls into place and we see a Mango release on the 15th, let us hope that all the carriers have worked as diligently as Vodafone Australia has.

source: vodafone via: wpdownunder Thanks Sheeds!

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3 years ago

Metro UI invades Windows 8

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Metro UI invades Windows 8

Microsoft turned its attention from the little screen of the Windows Phone to the big screen of the PC today and demoed Windows 8 at the 2011 BUILD developers conference.  And it looks awfully familiar.

Microsoft took center stage at the Anaheim, California event highlighting Windows 8 and the new Samsung Windows 8 tablet. Windows 8 is another major overhaul for a Microsoft OS and will offer focus on a touch-based UI that is optimized for tablets and looks really nice.

Steven Sinofsky, President of Microsoft's Windows Division stated in his keynote,

"We reimagined Windows. From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise."

Windows 8 follows the Metro user interface we all have become familiar with through our Windows Phone and the Xbox 360 console. It lines up the PC with the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem rather nicely and will connect the three through Windows Live and Skydrive.  Even the lock screen shares the same features of your Windows Phone by displaying the date/time, any upcoming appointments, and unread message summaries.

The Metro UI supports both mouse and keyboard navigation and if the Metro style isn't your cup of tea, you can revert to a more traditional Windows 7 interface.

Microsoft didn't share a release date for Windows 8 but it's our understanding that we should see it sometime mid-2012. A Developer Preview for Windows 8 is expected to be available later this week. It should be interesting to see Metro on the big screen.

Source: Microsoft News Center

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3 years ago

HTC Titan shows up for pre-orders

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HTC Titan shows up for pre-orders

The HTC Titan has popped up on the buymobilephones.net website for pre-order. The 4.7" Windows Tablet...err...Phone is up for pre-order on T-Mobile (Europe), O2 and Vodafone.

Package deals have the Mango phone ranging in price from FREE to 219.99 pounds (about $347 US dollars). While we'd love to see an availability day, the best the website offers is "Stock due soon".

Earlier this week AT&T announced they would be adding the HTC Titan to their Windows Phone line-up and hopefully, "Stock due soon" or similar will be showing up on AT&T's website in the near future.  Better yet, I wonder if anyone will be offering it for free here in the States?

Thanks goes out to alexb8 for tipping us via our Twitter page @WPCentral

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3 years ago

NoFoto - Mango App Spotlight

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NoFoto - Mango App Spotlight

Today's Mango App Spotlight focuses on the camera. NoFoto lets you discretely take pictures by replacing your camera software view with a blank screen. To take a picture, just tap on the screen.

NoFoto will then focus the camera and snap the shot. The shutter sound is muted and to confirm the shot, your Windows Phone will vibrate once the picture is taken.  A number indicator will appear in the upper left corner of the screen showing how many photos have been taken.

An instructional screen will appear when you fist launch the app. From there you just tap "okay" and start taking photos. If you don't tap okay in a timely manner, the app will shut down.  In taking NoFoto out for a short test drive, it works as advertised.  If questioned, all someone will see is a blank screen giving your Windows Phone the appearance of being turned off.  There were a few times it took the camera a little longer to focus so you have to be care not to move your phone too quickly.

The downside to this Mango app is that there isn't a trial version available for NoFoto. The upside is that the app can come in handy and only costs $.99. You can find NoFoto here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

WhatsApp teasing for Mango release [Updated x2]

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Lets face it: there's no real reason why WhatsApp, the super popular proprietary, multii-platform IM system can't come to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. None. They get their database/contact access, runs in the background, push notifications, fast-app resume--everything they need. And with Microsoft going out of their way to woo developers and services, it's not exactly a stretch to think a WhatsApp client is coming this fall.

So when the official WhatsApp Twitter account tweeted "Did you know that mangoes account for approximately half of all tropical fruits produced worldwide?", it's not hard to read between the lines.

Sure, it could be a coincidence. Perhaps they were feeling irreverent today or their Tweet manager has a thing for mangoes, but c'mon, this was a wink and a nod, especially that BUILD is happening right now.

Update: We should note that Bill Cox (Sr. Director of Communications at Microsoft for the Windows Phone Division) and Joe Belfiore have re-Tweeted the @WhatsApp tweet. So there you go.

Update 2: And look at that. In the media section of WhatsApp's website, they have a new "teaser" image up. What's new there of course is the Windows Phone logo. So lets just consider this open/shut. WhatsApp is nearly here. (Thanks, Plaffo.com, for the tip!)

Thanks, michelloyen and Rob, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Bing increases search engine market share, ever so slightly

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Comscore has released its latest search share data reports and while Google is still tops, they lost a little ground while Bing experienced slight gains.

For the calendar year, Google's market share has hovered around 66% but from July 2011 to August 2011, the share fell 3%. Bing on the other hand peaked in February at 16.1% and experienced a 3% bump between July and August.

Other key points from the Comscore report includes:

  • Month of August 2011: U.S. explicit core search was up 9% y/y for the month of August a deceleration from +10% y/y in July. Google search was up 8.1%, Yahoo! up 2% and Microsoft up 44%.
  • September Quarter (Quarter over Quarter) Pacing: We examine how the search quarter is pacing after the second month of the quarter. We define pacing as taking the reported period (month of July and August) and dividing it by the monthly average of the previous quarter. To that end, U.S. explicit core search is pacing up 2.7% q/q for 3QTD (vs. +2.8% as of July), with Google up 1.9%, Yahoo! up 4.7% and Microsoft up 5.2%.

While there is definitely room for improvement, the one positive Microsoft can take away from these reports is that there is some growth and Google's share for the market appears to be stalled. I'd be curious to see how much influence our Windows Phones have on Bing's numbers? As Windows Phones starts to muster larger market shares, could Bing see similar increases?

source: businessinsider

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3 years ago

WP8 to share same kernel as Win8, voice integration for email

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Stephen Chapman over at ZDnet did some investigating into some Microsoft job postings and employee résumés. What he found was evidence pointing to the possibility of both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 being built on the same kernal. 

Résumé of a former Program Manager:

The responsibilities included program managing software update features to provide device update technology that enables end-users to update Windows Phone OS with a new set of phone features including bug fixes. In this role, I delivered a set of functional requirements specifications for the major update components to enable image updates for the next generation Windows Phone OS (aka Apollo). They are Packaging System, Imaging System, Flashing System, Update OS, Update Validator and Update Application. Also drove and tracked early investigations for the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 OS convergence to create Mobile SKUs.

Résumé from a HTC Senior Product Planner:

Owned the advanced planning relationship with Microsoft; drove Microsoft “Apollo” product planning discussion and led HTC cross-division feedback. Identified high potential partners and technologies; initiated/participated in new partnership discussions; ensured the relevant technology integrations and strategic alignment.Restructured communication channel between the planning and field communication team; greatly increased the sell-in material accuracy and increased the overall update rate by 50+% Spearheaded the 2012 Windows mobile phone product roadmap.

Chapman doesn't stop with the above, here's another résumé quote that will be of interest to many users:

Design and development of new features for Windows Phone-8. Implemented the ‘Voice-Compose’ (STT) and the ‘Read-Aloud’ (TTS) features for native email-clients.

Finally, we have a quote from a résumé that lists Windows Phone updates:

Launch readiness for account within region of responsibility (e.g. Mango, Tango1, Tango2, Apollo, etc.)

While the above quotes aren't concrete proof that any of it is true, we can at least speculate that Microsoft are pushing for a unified ecosystem where PCs, tablets and phones all run the same kernal and UI, that they intend to bring voice control to emails and we're already aware of the Tango update being minor so two minor updates seems a possibility. 

Source: ZDnet, via: MobileTechWorld

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3 years ago

HTC: iPhones are for old people

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HTC: iPhones are for old people

Now this is pretty interesting, acting president of HTC America, Martin Fichter, said that the Apple iPhone is for old folk at the Mobile Future Forward conference in Seattle. Fichter took an informal survey at his daughter's domitory to see what her friends thought of the iPhone:

"None of them has an iPhone. 'My dad has an iPhone.' There’s an interesting thing that’s going on in the market. The iPhone becomes a little less cool than it was. They were carrying HTCs. They were carrying Samsungs. They were even carrying some Chinese manufacturer’s devices."

While many will dispute this with the iPhone being cool and trendy, I must say that it can be accurate, depending as to where you live. I remember commuting to work daily; bankers and businessmen on the train had iPhones, young women had Blackberries and everyone else had Android handsets. A large proportion of school girls use Blackberry devices, for BBM more than anything else.

What do you think? Are iPhones loosing its 'cool' for the young market?

Source: Mashable

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3 years ago

Palringo app for Windows Phone finally in the works

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Users of Windows Mobile will be glad to know that the developers of Palringo have finally acknowledged that they indeed have a Windows Phone app in development.

In a tweet from @sedl23 (who tipped us, thanks!) asking them directly, they responded with an affirmative "Hi, yes we do have a windows phone 7 Palringo app in the works" which is nice and clear, just the way we like it. Of course, there's no mention of a release time frame though maybe we can pry it from them...even if just a guesstimate.

For those wondering what the heck is Palringo, it's a very popular IM service that is both proprietary but also connects up to Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Live Messenger, Jabber, ICQ, iChat and Facebook IM. It even has a "local" feature, allowing you find other Palringo users and since the app is available on Windows Mobile, OSX, iPhone, Android and even Blackberry, it shouldn't be too hard to find peeps.

We're psyched but we'll be even more excited when we hear more--after all, the last time we heard from these guys they said a WP7 port was "likely". But that was in November, 2010.

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3 years ago

Early look - Mehdoh Twitter client for Windows Phone 7.5 [Mango]

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Although we know a lot of the big Twitter clients out there will be going "Mango" soon, Mehdoh is a completely new Twitter client from developer Chris Field that is Mango-ready out the gate. The app is in the final approval stages for the Marketplace now, meaning it should be showing up any day now.

Mehdoh is a fairly impressive v1.0 client. Featuring background checks for mentions (every 30 minutes), Toast Notifications, flipping live tile (shows your profile pic, along with number of mentions) and adherence to the Metro design, we're quite impressed with this minimalist, yet highly functional app.

In addition to the above, it features a "report spam" selection, conversation view, super smooth scrolling, fast app resume, reTweet with comment and the ability to view web links and images inline with the Tweet--something that is highly useful.

The app does take a little while to update, mostly because it pre-downloads a lot of data, however Chris is looking to tweak this and we can expect it to change upon final release or soon thereafter. Mehdoh will fetch for $0.99 upon release with a free trial. A free,  ad-supported version is planned, but not until a decent ad-service for Mango apps can be had in the UK. We recommend for the Mango users out there to give Mehdoh a look, as it's pretty sharp for a v1.0 release from an indy developer. Check out our video preview to get an idea of well it works.

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3 years ago

WPCentral Podcast 125

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WPCentral Podcast 125


Dan and Jay are back to discuss AT&T's new lineup, Mango madness, new apps, AVG and more. Join us for another exciting podcast.

Full show notes after the break...

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