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3 years ago

Marios Karagiannis: Why I prefer to develop for Windows Phone

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Marios Karagiannis, developer of popular indie game Monster Up (our review), has published an interesting article on his personal blog detailing why development for Windows Phone is preferred by him over iOS and Android. While going into some detail, Marios provides the reader with three reasons why he believes Microsoft's mobile platform is a more appealing choice.

Both iOS and Android have far more marketshare than Windows Phone, which provides developers with a safer submission into the ecosystem through the higher possibility of ROI (return of investment). When developers think of Windows Phone, it's the smaller user base that's scary and prevents ideas blossoming or app / games being ported. Just why does Marios prefer the platform?

Reason 1: Developing for Windows Phone is enjoyable

"Developing for Windows Phone is fun. I love the SDK, I love the tools, I love the whole experience. I have been developing games since I was a little boy and the reason back then continues to be the reason right now. I am having fun developing games."

Reason 2: More free time for personal life activity

"Making games is not my main activity. This blends a bit with the other reasons. Spending 1-2 hours per day developing games for Windows Phone allows me to go about doing the other things I am doing in my life (finishing my PhD and having a family). I strongly have the feeling that this would not exactly be possible using any of the other two platforms and be dedicated enough to master either of them."

Reason 3: Emerging Windows ecosystem

"I have placed a bet with Windows Phone. And not just with Windows Phone, but with the up-and-coming Windows ecosystem. For me right now, Microsoft is the new Apple. It innovated constantly in many fronts and has some amazing successes to show for its efforts."

Be sure to head over to Marios's personal website to read up on the full post, and if you haven't already you should check out Monster Up, which can be downloaded from the Marketplace for $1.29 (£0.99).

Source: Marios Karagiannis

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3 years ago

Unlocked Lumia 900 available for pre-order at Clove UK for £528

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Clove UK has announced the availability of the international Lumia 900 on their blog today, which will set the buyer back £528. While Clove has failed to specify a date as to when the Nokia Windows Phone will be ready to ship to customers, we would expect it to fit in with competitors such as Unlocked Mobiles and Carphone Warehouse, who are also set to stock the 900.

What's interesting to note is the pricing, and Clove seems to be far behind other retailers. Unlocked Mobiles is offering the same (unlocked) handset for just £445, almost £100 cheaper.

Source: Clove UK

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3 years ago

Gauge your Windows Phone camera performance with CamSpeed

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Want to know just how good your Windows phone's camera is?  Check out CamSpeed, the new app from Sofica.  With CamSpeed, you can benchmark the focus and image capturing capabilities of your phone's built-in camera.  Not only that, you can compare it your other devices, as well as those of other CamSpeed users by uploading your results to Sofica's online charts.

CamSpeed allows you to adjust resolution, focus mode and flash mode, then measures:

  • - Focus Time
  •   (time from focus call to successful focus event)
  • - Capture Start Time
  •   (time from capture call to the moment when the capture sequence has started)
  • - Capture Image Available
  •   (time from capture call to the moment when an image is available)
  • - Capture Completed
  •   (time from capture call to the moment when the capture sequence is complete)

Download it here for free.  Online results can be viewed at http://www.sofica.fi/CamSpeed/.

Thanks, Markku, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Phototastic

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Windows Phone App Review: Phototastic

Phototastic is a nice little photography app for your Windows Phone that lets you create photo collages or apply a series of borders and effects to your photos. You can create collages from twenty four templates and apply such effects as a photo booth film strip or Polaroid border to your pictures.

You can apply Phototastic's effects to newly captured images or choose a photo already in your Pictures Hub to customize. Phototastic supports sharing your creations through Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Photobucket.  Overall, Phototastic isn't a shabby little photography app and can give your pictures a little pop.

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3 years ago

NVIDIA in talks with Microsoft to power Windows 8 tablets with Tegra quad-core

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NVIDIA has released a press statement detailing the company's interest in working with Microsoft to use their Tegra 3 quad-core chips in Windows 8 PCs. The move is somewhat expected with Windows 8 being able to run on ARM architecture. It was only last year that we reported on the rumour of NVIDIA bringing the Tegra 3 to Windows Phone by 2013, and Windows 8 demos were shown with NVIDIA chips.

The two companies have been working on a program to distribute test devices to software developers and manufacturers. Speaking of Windows 8, have you got your paws on the Windows 8 consumer preview yet? It's available as a free download. View the NVIDIA press statement below.

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3 years ago

Lumia 610 available for pre-order from Getgoods in Germany

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The German online retailer GetGoods has published a product page for the Lumia 610, which was announced at MWC. The budget Nokia Windows Phone is priced at €199 in black, and will be reportedly available for shipping in 2-3 weeks. wpnewsflip reports that the cyan and magenta are also inbound. This follows Unlocked Mobiles in the UK, but availability is locked in for May.

Source: Getgoods.de, via: wpnewsflip, thanks Mobi for the heads up!

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3 years ago

TrueCaller heading to the Marketplace

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TrueCaller heading to the Marketplace

TrueCaller is a global number search with integrated call blocking functionality.  TrueCaller has been available over on iOS and Android platforms and it will soon be available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

With TrueCaller you can see who is calling by connecting with yellow and white page directories from all over the world. TrueCaller also offers Social Caller ID that lets you know what your friends are up to before you answer their calls by displaying information from their Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

One of the more interesting features of TrueCaller is the ability to automatically block calls by adding unwanted numbers to a spam list. It also appears that you have the ability to tap into a centralized spam list.  A list that is created from other users on numbers that have been deemed as unwanted or spam.

TrueCaller is expected to be a free app that should be in the Marketplace any day now. Until then you can check out all the details on TrueCaller from their website.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Sleep

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Windows Phone App Review: Sleep

Sleep is one of the many sound generators available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace designed to help you relax and fall asleep easier.  And we all know that a good night's sleep is essential for good health and fitness.

We've covered several and Sleep holds its own amongst the sleep/sound/relaxation apps we've tried. There's still some room for improvement but overall, Sleep ain't too shabby.

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3 years ago

Microsoft begins contacting developers regarding their apps and Tango

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3 years ago

Nokia has their own Mobile World Congress app and it's gorgeous [Video]

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Although we're in the third (and basically final) day of the Mobile World Congress here in Barcelona, we just got tipped earlier this morning that Nokia has their own Mobile World Congress app. Now there is a MWC app of sorts in the Marketplace called Mobile World Live but it's not very interesting nor of much use for those of us hustling and bustling between events (mind you, there are 60,000+ people here just for this event).

But the Nokia app, as perhaps expected, is simply amazing looking and actually useful. It's super fluid, fast, bold colors and a lot of Metro. The app allows you to view the conference agenda, venue maps offline, latest announcements from Nokia and Explore Barcelona (including how to use Scout).

The coolest feature though? The ability to submit an app request to Nokia on anything you see at the conference that you want for Windows Phone. Nokia is always big on feedback and here they're relying on end users to help crowd-source the next big thing. The fact that Nokia would consider building such an app (or working with the developers) is pretty great from our perspective.

So although we're a bit too late to take advantage of this (though others have going by the outstanding reviews) we still want to give a kudos to Nokia for it so that they make another one for next year.

If (and only if) you have a Nokia phone and still want to give it a try, grab it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Three UK looking to roll out DC-HSPA ahead of 4G LTE

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Three UK has announced plans to implement "4G" on their network, but instead of putting LTE on trial, for now the carrier is favouring DC-HSPA (the DC means dual-channel). In theory customers should be able to witness speeds up to 42Mbps, and with Three's "unlimited" data plans this will certainly excite smartphone owners.

Three currently operates a HSPA+ network that offers speeds of up to 21Mbps and is set to roll out DC-HSPA this coming summer. What's interesting to note is the timing of this announcement with the international Lumia 900 (supporting the "almost 4G" standard) being announced at MWC this week - coincidence?

Three still plans to introduce LTE through testing in the future so we'll happily take DC-HSPA for now.

Via: Slashgear; 4G image via Shutterstock

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3 years ago

The Sims 3 is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week once more

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Ready for a repeat Xbox Live Deal of the Week? The Sims 3 is now on sale for $4.99 – for the third time. Not only does that make it a pretty unexciting sale, but they might as well just drop the price to $4.99 already. It'd be silly to buy this one for seven bucks when The Sims Medieval is coming eventually.

Anyway, The Sims 3 is a mobile version of the hit life-simulation game. Players create and customize a Sim and then try to complete various goals with him or her, such as getting a promotion at work and kissing another Sim. It makes for a great game, on PC and consoles at least. But the Windows Phone version doesn’t quite match up. As our review points out, the character customization is extremely limited. Load times are lengthy and frequent and menu navigation is clumsy. On the plus side, EA did update the game for Mango and fix many of its bugs at the beginning of the year.

The Sims 3 is on sale for $4.99 for one week only. If you didn’t buy it the last two times it was on sale, now is the time to move! Hurry up and get over here to the Marketplace, before you miss it and have to wait for the next time it goes on sale.

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3 years ago

Skype for Windows Phone unable to run in the background

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The long-awaited Skype app, which was unveiled at this year's MWC as beta, has an issue that will affect any user that wishes to run it in the background hoping that incoming calls would alert for user input. The Verge took a dive into the beta app only to find out that should the app not be active on a Windows Phone, any incoming calls are diverted to a voicemail service.

Skype has informed The Verge that this is a limitation due to the OS itself with how notifications are too slow, stating that it takes too long to process information, open the app, and set up the call to make it practical. Unfortunately it would appear as though the team doesn't have native access and we don't expect this to be something that'll be fixed by the gold build release.

Of course we're all still awaiting integration with the OS itself, which would render the app somewhat redundant. Hopefully native access will be provided for said integration that would allow the team to have the service run in the background. Skype integrated into Windows Phone will add to the selling points for the platform thus Microsoft will need to have an efficient solution for those who use the service.

Another kink in the system is video calling, which is only in landscape mode. What's more strange is should you swipe to the text conversation mid-call the app will then switch the portrait. This is actually something Skype made the decision on and is looking to fix.

Source: The Verge

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3 years ago

DoDonPachi Maximum trailer teases bullet hell shooting on Xbox Live for Windows Phone

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Japanese shoot-em-up maker Cave officially announced DoDonPachi Maximum for Windows Phone last month, but they didn’t reveal any assets besides the game’s logo. Now we have a bit more to go on thanks to a teaser trailer.

The trailer reveals a bit of cinematic art – unlike some shmups, the DoDonPachi series has always had something of a story surrounding the arcade-style gameplay. It’s also subtitled by someone who clearly doesn’t speak English as a first language... The translation should give the game a distinctly Japanese flavor when it finally makes it to the Marketplace.

A bit of background: DoDonPachi is Cave’s most popular shmup series. It’s your basic vertically-scrolling bullet hell shooter, packed with intense gameplay and large, impressive bosses. Strangely, the only American release up until now has been the excellent iPhone version, DoDonPachi Resurrection. The Xbox 360 version of DoDonPachi Resurrection did come out in Europe though, and it’s mercifully region free, so it will play on US consoles. Resurrection’s European publisher, Rising Star Games, recently opened a US branch and promised to release another Cave shoot-em-up, Akai Katana, in both Europe and North America.

DoDonPachi Maximum doesn’t have a release date yet, but it will cost $4.99. That’s not a bad deal considering its iOS predecessor goes for $7.99.

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3 years ago

PlayPhone adds Windows Phone support

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PlayPhone adds Windows Phone support

PlayPhone Social Gaming Network announced at Mobile World Congress yesterday that they now support Windows Phone.  And in doing so, it appears to have become the first social gaming service to support all major operating systems.  PlayPhone, which already supports Android, iOS, HTML5, Adobe AIR and Unity, is an online community for multiplayer and social gaming.  It allows its 35+ million users to interact, play games and consume virtual goods in a cross-platform environment.

“Microsoft and its partners have put extensive resources toward the rapid adoption of the Windows Phone 7 platform worldwide” said Anders Evju, SVP and GM of PlayPhone.  “PlayPhone is committed to cross-platform mobile gaming. Gamers on all leading mobile devices – Android, iPhone, iPad, WP7, etc. – can jump into the PlayPhone SGN to play some of the best games out there with their friends.  We call this the PlayPhone advantage."

The PlayPhone Social Gaming Network SDK for Windows Phone is now available to developers.  Visit their website for more info.

Source: Mobile Entertainment

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