3 years ago
Monday Brief: January 2, 2012 - The Making Of
2012 is here and to help get things kicked off on the right foot we present to you -- Mobile Nations: The Making Of!
3 years ago
Xbox Live: Chickens Can't Fly will have avatar awards, a little rooster says
Last week we learned that Konami’s upcoming sports Xbox Live title Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 would feature unlockable avatar awards in the form of a t-shirt and soccer ball. Now UK website Electronic Theatre is reporting that another impending title, Chickens Can’t Fly, will have avatar awards as well. They don’t say what the game’s avatar items will be, but it’s nice to know it’ll have something for our precious avatars.
Chickens Can’t Fly is the Xbox Live sequel to indie hit Chickens Can Dream from developer Amused Sloth. Players steer a falling chicken down a trench filled with all sorts of deadly hazards (and tasty corn). Think of it as a reverse Doodle Jump, but with powerups you can store and use later.
Chickens Can Dream is no longer listed on the Marketplace, but you may be able to grab it here (for free). Chickens Can’t Fly is due on Xbox Live sometime around February or March.
UPDATE: As one of the developers indicates in the comments section of this post, the avatar items will be patched in with the first title update rather than being included at launch.
Source: Electronic Theatre
3 years ago
Beware fake Spotify app in Marketplace
On December 20, a fake Spotify app surfaced in the Marketplace. It is published by a user called khanamish and is selling for $.99, as opposed the official Spotify, which can be downloaded for free. Other signs to look for to differentiate between the two are that the real Spotify is listed with a capital "S" in the title and uses the Spotify logo, whereas the fake one's icon actually has the word "Spotify" as its icon. The fake also only has two reviews, one of which flat out calls it a scam. We're not exactly ready to do that ourselves, but we will question the developer's motives and tell you to steer clear of it. At the very least, why pay when you can the official app at no cost?
Khanamish has two other apps in the Marketplace, Stock Today and AllSportz. Both have the same look as the Spotify rip-off, but both are free, so maybe they are legit. We're not looking to make trouble for any devs, but khanamish's Spotify app is dubious and warrants being called out. If anyone out there has used this or any other app by this developer, we'd certainly like to get your feedback.
Thanks to Den for alerting us to this!
3 years ago
Full page Ad for Samsung Focus Flash appears in Sunday's LA Times
Well, it's nice to see AT&T kicking off the new year by once again promoting the Samsung Focus Flash. We guess the low-priced Windows Phone gets more advertising priority than the Focus S or HTC Titan--a decision we're not exactly thrilled with, but we suppose we'll take what we can get.
What you see to the side though is a full-page ad in today's LA Times. That's a pretty popular, widely read newspaper and full-page ads are fairly eye catching (not to mention expensive). Hopefully it will pay off for AT&T and Windows Phone but as we mentioned, we couldn't help but wonder why they're not pushing the giant Titan nearly as much--seems an easy sell with that 4.7" screen.
Thanks, Lawrence F., for the tip and scan!
3 years ago
New Xbox LIVE games for 2012: Bullet Asylum, geoDefense Swarm, Tamagotchi & Age of Zombies
We like it when leaks happen. We like it even more when they come from Microsoft and are out in the open. Yes, on the Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone 7.5 page, Microsoft lists a bunch of games, most of which we already have or know about. But in the post, they also slip in a few new titles that get us excited:
Bullet Asylum - From UberGeekGames, Bullet Asylum was first announced for WP7, Xbox 360 and PC way back in late 2010. Looks like the Missile Command meets bullet-hell game will finally see the light of day soon though. We're not gonna lie, this looks awesome.
geoDefense Swarm - geoDefense by Critical Thought remains one of our favorite tower defense games so we're stoked to hear of a sequel not only in the works, but evidently close enough to release that Microsoft is listing it. Swarm is available on iOS and is a proper sequel to the game, so nice to see it coming to our neck of the woods.
Tamagotchi - No word on the specifics here but anyone familiar with those little Japanese electronic-pet games knows what to expect. The image below is from an iOS version from Namco, which may be the port here.
Age of Zombies - This one is from Halfbrick makers of Fruit Ninja, so you know it has to be good. Available on iOS and Android, this is your typical arcade shooter/adventure game. No doubt this will have some great humor and will be an excellent casual game.
No word on release dates for any of the above but we're hoping for sooner than later as these look like some strong titles.
Source: Microsoft; Thanks, Gatlyn, for the tip!
3 years ago
Pandora player MetroRadio gets a new look with latest update
We like the little competition between MetroRadio and Radio Controlled for best 3rd party Pandora app and while the latter still has more features, MetroRadio's v3.1 update is looking quite nice.
As you can see above, the player itself now features the album art as a background which works weill with the minimalist layout and design of the app. The program's icon also got a refresh and looks a lot sharper now. Other changes include:
Added Live Tile for the main app, and for each individual pinned station.
Cleaned the player Interface.
Better Station-Adding experience.
Adding Coming Up for next songs in the player.
Nice changes for sure and it should make fans of this app quite happy. Can't wait to see what else is coming. Pick up MetroRadio for free in the Marketplace here.
3 years ago
Reddit app Baconit now available internationally
The other week we mentioned the new app Baconit from Quinn Damerell as being one of the first Mango-enabled Reddit.com apps for Windows Phone. Not only that, it's quite slick with a Metro UI and a ton of options for an initial-release.
One snafu at the time though was the app was only available in the US. This however wasn't intentional on the dev's part but was instead a hiccup in the Marketplace which has now been rectified. So if you were looking to try it out, you'll want to head back to the Marketplace to give it another go. Did we mention the app was completely free with no-ads and a Live Tile? Pretty great stuff if you're a Redditor like ourselves.
Version 1.4 should be entering beta real soon as well. That version will fix a couple of issues in v1.3 as well as bring new features. Grab the current release here in the Marketplace or click-n-zoom the QR code below to get your Reddit-on.
3 years ago
Supreme Shortcuts goes to v2.0 with new features [Homebrew]
We covered Supreme Shortcuts before, the homebrew app over at XDA by MJCS that allows you to add shortcuts to virtually anything on your Windows Phone. Unlike similar apps in the Marketplace, Supreme Shortcuts go waaay beyond what those offer by giving access to deeper level settings. How many shortcuts can you create? As of version 2.0 you can pin 71 settings/menus/apps. That's why it's supreme and now version 2.0 is out and looks even better:
Major UI overhaul
Ability to select: Accent Color (both stock and custom), Library of stock Icons, Library of your own Icons, Library of stock Backgrounds, Library of customized Backgrounds
Sure, you probably won't even use a 1/4 of these but being able to have a shortcut to Internet Sharing for us is enough to sideload this free app (though donations are encouraged). If Supreme Shortcuts sounds like something you want, head to the source link below for more info, including a list of all the shortcuts.
Source: XDA Forums
3 years ago
Windows Phone unlocking tool being discontinued...for now
With Mehdoh going and this being MetroTube's last day, we figured why not go for the trifecta? Yes, in a late-breaking story here, ChevronWP7 Labs will be coming to an end as soon as those remaining "tokens" sell out. This was (and still is) the only sanctioned unlocking tool outside of Microsoft's $99 AppHub and was to serve as the gateway to a large homebrew community. Not to mention allowing new devs without the hundred bucks to play around before committing to the platform.
The team of ChevronWP7 Labs, made up of Long Zheng, Rafael Rivera and Chris Walsh, have put out a statement on the matter:
"ChevronWP7 Labs enters the New Year with 10,000 token sales under our belt. Hooah! Nearly 90% of the tokens we’ve sold have been used to successfully unlock a Windows Phone thus far.
Our agreement with Microsoft was to sell no more than 10,000 tokens. Our team doesn’t currently have plans to renegotiate this number, although it’s a matter we’re still discussing."
No doubt there have been some difficulties with various configurations of people's computers and phones as well as some PayPal issues leading perhaps to some frustration on both sides. The question though is this: will we see the return of the ChevronWP7 Labs experiment or will someone else have to take up the cause? We're sure to find out in 2012...
3 years ago
Xbox Live Developer Interview: Glu Mobile, makers of Bug Village
Last week, WPCentral revealed that Bug Village would be the first freemium game on Windows Phone. We shared a few details about how it would work and promised more to come. Here then is the next installment of our Xbox Live Developer Interview series. This time, we grill Mike DeLaet of Glu Mobile about Bug Village’s revolutionary features and the challenges of bringing a freemium game to Xbox Live.
3 years ago
WPDoodle: A Happy New Year from WPCentral!
As we fast approach the 2012 mark, we just want to take a moment to wish everyone a happy new year. We'd also like to extend a big thanks to our readers who have submitted tips, app review requests, participated in our forums, used our official app and listened to our podcast--you've helped drive one of the largest Windows Phone communities in the world!
While Windows Phone is slowly getting into the zeitgeist of the mobile arena, recently getting very positive word of mouth, we're still hoping for that big, explosive moment to happen early-mid 2012 where mass adoption becomes the norm. We think Nokia will play a large part in that role, especially here in the U.S. where we expect a few Nokia devices e.g. Lumia 710 to land on our shores. Most anticipated of all is the Nokia 900 "Ace" which should be announced in a few weeks at CES in Las Vegas with a launch on AT&T--if there was a phone that will be used as metric for OS health, it will be that one. Of course, we'll be at CES as well as Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, in February) to cover all the new Microsoft promulgations.
Finally, we also have the "Tango" and "Apollo" (Windows Phone 8) updates this year to look forward too on top of new 4G LTE devices from HTC and Samsung--oh and lets not forget that Skype-thing. Combined with the Windows 8 launch later in 2012, the Windows Phone ecosystem should have all features and flashy hardware lined up to really 'wow' people. And then there's version 2.0 of our official app. So here's hoping to an exciting 2012!
WPDoodle images courtesy of Jason Harrison, founder of BrowCo.com. Have a great idea for a WPDoodle? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Jason'll take a gander.
3 years ago
Xbox Live Online Safety Controls [How-to]
The other day we mentioned that certain props were on their way out for your XBox Live Avatar. Agree or disagree with Microsoft's policy you may find the need to control your child's access to explicit music, videos or games on their Windows Phone or XBox Live console. If so, here's how to go about it.
You'll need log into your (or your child's) Xbox Live account over at Xbox.com.
If your child's account is part of a family membership you'll need to go to the Family Center section that is listed under the XBox drop down menu at the top of the screen. Find your child's Xbox Account, hover over the name and a pop-up menu will appear. Choose the Privacy and Online Settings option.
If your child has a stand alone account, the Privacy and Online Settings will be listed on their profile page just below their avatar.
The Privacy and Online Settings page contains settings to regulate activity, privacy and content on the Xbox Live console and Windows Phone. If you scroll down to the bottom of the options and you will find the "Music, Music Videos and Windows Phone Games" option. You have options to allow access or block access to such titles. Make your choice and click "save" to preserve those settings.
The choice to block or allow access to such titles is not for us to decide but with many finding Xbox Live consoles and Windows Phones under the tree this Holiday Season, we thought we'd share this how-to just in case there is a need.
3 years ago
WPCentral Holiday Gift Guide: Apps and Games
Happy Holidays everyone! With some of our readers finding a new Windows Phone under the tree or getting their Windows Phone Marketplace gift card in the mail, we thought it was a good time to throw out some app suggestions. We've polled our staff and have come up with a few games and apps that we think every Windows Phone should have. Or in the least, we highly recommend you give them a try.
3 years ago
Trine's Hangman back in business, extends sale
A few days ago we received notice that the server powering the popular Windows Phone game, Trine's Hangman, crashed due to high traffic. It was one of those good news/bad news things. Good that traffic for the game was up, bad that it crashed the server. You could still play the game but all the online goodness wasn't available.
After diligent work by the developer, we have just been informed that things are back up and running. So every should have access to the online ranking, leaderboards, definitions and score updates.
Trine's Hangman comes in two versions. You have Trine's Hangman with is a free, ad-supported version and Trine's Hangman Pro that runs $1.99 and is ad free.
Trine's Hangman Pro is currently on a half-off sale ($.99) through January 1st. In light of the events with the server, this sale has been extended to January 8th. So if you've been thinking of upgrading to the ad free version or tinkering with the free trial, you still have time to take advantage of the savings.
3 years ago
WPCentral Forums: Our most popular threads year-end review
2011 has been a big year for our forums. We started out watching Windows Mobile fade away as Microsoft continued the roll out of Windows Phone 7. Yes, that all happened this year, though it really seems like it was longer ago. As we move forward to 2012, a year that we expect will be huge for our operating system, we just want to remind our members what threads were the most popular while making a couple of comments about why we think these topics were on everyone's mind.
Our biggest threads of the year was this one: 'Called Verizon Today'. Verizon was the last US Carrier to join the Windows Phone game and there were plenty of our forums members anxiously awaiting the release of the HTC Trophy, Verizon's first and only WP7 device to date. So we talked about it. That thread went 51 pages deep and has over 1,000 replies. Evidently, Verizon users want Windows phone too. Verizon are you listening? Probably not.
One of our other more popular topics in the forums was wallpapers. We have had many threads on this topic this year but none were more popular than this one: 'Post Your Wallpaper'. That thread was actually started in December of 2010, just making it to the one-year mark, so it earned its place in our 2011 review. Who doesn't love wallpapers? Heck for a lot of us the lockscreen wallpaper on our device is the first thing we see in the morning. This thread is 16 pages deep with over 300 replies and growing every day--maybe add yours?
Show More Headlines