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3 years ago

Milestone: Windows Phone Marketplace hits 10,000, will overtake RIM in 6 months

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Today, the Windows Phone Marketplace, just four and a half months after launch, hit 10,000 apps making it the fastest growing smartphone app market yet--beating out the iPhone and Android in terms of rate-of-growth. Currently, the Windows Phone Marketplace adds about 100 apps a day with an average price of $2.10 and that growth rate seems to be slightly increasing as of late. By comparison, the iPhone was adding 70 apps a day when it hit 10K--a feat that took Apple 142 days with an average app price of $3.50.

At the current rate of growth, Windows Phone should expect to overtake #3 RIM's market within the next six months. Currently, Blackberry users have about 20,000 apps available--but they launched in April, 2009 and were only adding about 900 apps a month. By comparison, Windows Phone is adding nearly 3,000 apps per month, crushing RIM.

While we can of course debate whether all 10,000 apps are worthy of mention, we think it's a great sign that nearly six months out, Windows Phone developers are pumping out as much if not more apps today than they were at the beginning--meaning this wasn't a temporary surge, but a consistent commitment and interest.

Flashback: Marketplace hits 1,000 apps (Oct 23, 2010); Marketplace hits 5,000 apps (Dec. 28th, 2010)

[Of course, with all big news there is a down side: we mentioned how after 10K we will be retiring the 1K marks every few weeks and instead will hit the next 5K. So we'll see the "awww yeah guy" in a few months from now.]

Source: Windows Phone Applist, Seeking Alpha (for RIM info), WP7Applist, In Numero

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3 years ago

Twitter updates TOS for app consistency [Developers]

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Twitter, the social network that has skyrocketed out of control, has been bombarded with API connections and tweets being published and re-tweeted through exceptional growth. Ryan Sarver, who is a member of the Platform Team at Twitter, announced that they've updated their Terms of Service to help mainstream the Twitter experience and ensure users are connecting to (and using the) service in the same way.

With more people joining Twitter and accessing the service in multiple ways, a consistent user experience is more crucial than ever. As we talked about last April, this was our motivation for buying Tweetie and developing our own official iPhone app. It is the reason why we have developed official apps for the Mac, iPad, Android and Windows Phone, and worked with RIM on their Twitter for Blackberry app. As a result, the top five ways that people access Twitter are official Twitter apps. 

Still, our user research shows that consumers continue to be confused by the different ways that a fractured landscape of third-party Twitter clients display tweets and let users interact with core Twitter functions. For example, people get confused by websites or clients that display tweets in a way that doesn’t follow our design guidelines, or when services put their own verbs on tweets instead of the ones used on Twitter. Similarly, a number of third-party consumer clients use their own versions of suggested users, trends, and other data streams, confusing users in our network even more. Users should be able to view, retweet, and reply to @nytimes’ tweets the same way; see the same profile information about @whitehouse; and be able to join in the discussion around the same trending topics as everyone else across Twitter. 

More after the break.

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3 years ago

Seidio Surface Case Give Away

Seidio Surface Case Give Away

It has been a while since WPCentral has given anything away and with the help of Seidio, you are going to have a chance at winning a Seidio Case for your Windows Phone. All you have to do is tell us what’s on your mind.

We’ve started a discussion over in the Forums asking which accessory you would like to see become available for Windows Phone 7 devices. Is there an accessory that was available for the Windows Mobile phones that you’d like to see transition to Windows Phone 7? It could be a case, extended battery, docking station, Bluetooth accessory, or keyboard. Here’s your chance to bend the ear of Seidio and any other accessory manufacturers who might drop by.

Give us your thoughts in this discussion and on March 20, 2011 (around 5:00pm CST) we’ll randomly draw five winners from the comments. The prize, the Innocase Surface Combo Case (here's our review with the Focus) for your Windows Phone (your choice from what is currently available). You will need to register to participate and it’s a painless process that starts here.

Good luck and WPCentral would like to thank Seidio Inc. for sponsoring this contest.

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC Trophy to be released March 24th?

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We've heard that the Verizon HTC Trophy is on the cusp of release--we know it's in tester hands, has a NoDo update (though not the latest, whatever that means) and we've heard that "end of March" was the time frame for release. Of course we also heard, though we expressed skepticism, that June may be the date as well.

Well good news, as things look to be sliding towards the end of March, specifically Thursday the 24th. Yes, in just under two-weeks time, Verizon will reportedly begin stocking and selling their first Windows Phone device, which is a global phone to boot. Featuring a 3.8" screen, 16GB of memory and a 5MP camera, the phone should be more than adequate for Verizon users.

The email above comes from our sister site Android Central, who got their hands evidently on a Verizon/third party vendor email. It is noted that "Launch Dates Are subject to change", so anything is possible. But we think Verizon will have more to say at CTIA in Orlando in a few weeks (yes, we'll have people there for coverage). We also expect more info to start pouring out about this phone about....now?

Source: Android Central

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3 years ago

Microsoft-Nokia deal to take two years for "transition"

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Mary Jo Foley at ZDnet has gone through the form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission from Nokia which describes in detail the deal with Microsoft. While nothing really wow wothy was unearthed, there are few bits of interesting things:

  • The deal is still not finalized between the two giants, instead a non-binding term sheet is in place till everything is finalized
  • The transition to using Windows Phone 7 as its "primary smartphone platform" will take about 2 years
  • They want to transition the 200 million Symbian users over to WP7 over time
  • “Nokia would bring assets such as its brand, hardware, production, global reach, application store, operator billing support, maps and location­-based assets to the partnership."

Other aspects include the importance of Silverlight to the platform, which makes sense since Silverlight is making a big transition to mobile, desktop and even gaming OS's. Of course, the big question is about the "two year transition" and what that means for when we'll actually see a Nokia Windows Phone. As of right now, the "shipping in volume by 2012" part sounds pretty accurate with 2011 slipping away. Nokia and Microsoft seem really keen on not just pumping out a phone with Nokia branding but really integrating Nokia's services into the Windows Phone platform--no easy task and one that will take time.

We predict we'll see some hardware prototypes by years end, but nothing shipping till mid-2012, which seems a long way from now. The interesting question is how will WP7 fair till Nokia can really unleash its full capability into new phones for Microsoft. It also lends credence to the idea that a Nokia Windows Phone won't be based on version "7" but whatever "8" will be, hence the observation that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop never says "Windows Phone 7" when discussing the Nokia deal.

Source: ZDNet

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3 years ago

Star Stepper released for Windows Phone 7

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Cap'n Code has released Star Stepper, a platform jumper game for Windows Phone 7. The game has you helping Astro Joe escape a gravity well by working his way up your Windows Phone screen.

The higher you go, the higher your score. There are dangers involved, other than falling, that include bombs, asteroids, rockets and such.

You maneuver Astro Joe by tilting your Windows Phone from side to side. You can also give Astro Joe a rocket boost by tapping the screen. With the rocket boosts, you also surround Joe with a force field making him invulnerable to the dangers of deep space.  The Windows Phone 7 game also includes a world wide leaderboard to let you share and compare your scores with other players.

Star Stepper is a free game for your Windows Phone and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Bing search volume still hurting Google in US

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3 years ago

Microsoft responds to update criticism, confirms second half of March for NoDo

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Responding to criticism, Microsoft's GM of Customer Experience Engineering aka the guy in charge of Windows Phone updates, Eric Hautala, posted a lengthy explanation about the pre-NoDo update experience so far, NoDo itself and the process involved. While the write up was informative it still doesn't get too technical for the average reader and at least answers some questions (if not raise more). At the very least, we give Microsoft credit for taking the appropriate action here and keeping the consumer in the loop: no one likes it when something gets screwed up, but they do appreciate when you take the time to explain the situation.

The first part of the article describes "How software gets from us to you" and is mostly a gloss of what we already know: Microsoft develops/tests new software, it gets pushed to the carriers, OEMs and Qualcomm for testing and it gets sent to you, the end user. Some things are left out, like if the carriers/OEMs can send back the software for further revisions and how long the process can take. Hautala finally explains how the "staggered" approach--sending out updates to specific devices--allows them to pin-point problems easier, which is a good point, even if it's not the method we would like (universal update).

The next section went over the "success" of the pre-NoDo update. Once again, Microsoft write it as if the overwhelming majority had no problems, while the blogosphere will highlight those 10% where it failed. We'll leave that distinction up to you. Hautala of course expresses how Microsoft is not satisfied with the problems that occurred and, logically, they are working to prevent them in the future.

The one real interesting area is where Hautala addresses if carriers can block updates. He sets up for an answer but ultimately is quite evasive on the topic:

There’s one more thing I want to clear up. I’ve seen a lot of speculation on blogs and forums lately about whether carriers can “block” an update. We work closely with carriers to test and schedule updates. They may ask us for a specific date to start an update. They may ask for updates to be bundled together. But you should ultimately receive all the updates we send out.

That's not really anything we already don't know and sure doesn't sound like a denial but rather an affirmation that carriers can block one update but have to push the second (bundled with the first). Not too comforting if those updates are spread apart over a few months.

Finally, the big part was on the NoDo update. It is now confirmed that the second half of March is the target for that release. As expected, Microsoft is taking a few extra days to check and double check everything before that big push--something we can't really fault them for, especially with the world watching so closely. It's not the news we want to hear, but at the same time we understand the motivation behind it and will just have to remain patient. If there is one shining bit it's that 'Mango' still seems to be on track, despite previous rumors:

This short pause should in no way impact the timing of future updates, including the one announced recently at Mobile World Congress featuring multitasking, a Twitter feature, and a new HTML 5-friendly version of Internet Explorer Mobile.

So that's good. Sound off in comments on Microsoft's response: good enough for you? Good enough for the market?

Source: Windows Team Blog

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3 years ago

Video Poker - Review

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Video Poker - Review

Looking for a simple poker game for your Windows Phone? Rick Keeney has developed Video Poker for Windows Phone 7 that puts five styles of video poker on your Windows Phone.

Along with the various styles of poker, the app will maintain your gaming stats to let you know how well your playing. There are two versions of Video Poker available. You have an ad supported free version and if you don't like the banner ads, a pay version is available for $.99.

To read more on Video Poker, ease on past the break.

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3 years ago

Solitaire - Review

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Solitaire - Review

At last check there were a couple of dozen solitaire game versions for Windows Phone 7.  Jake Poznanski's Solitaire is one such version for your Windows Phone. The game follows the traditional solitaire game with a straight forward layout where you move your cards by touch.

Solitaire is a free game over at the Marketplace and to see if it's worth a download, skip on past the break.

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3 years ago

Mnemonix - Review

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Mnemonix - Review

Logonoff is offering the puzzle/memory game Mnemonix over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.  Asides from being challenging to spell, Mnemonix tests your memory by having you match identical tiles that you reveal two at a time.

You have three gaming levels (easy, normal, and hard) and the number of tiles increase as you move up in difficulty. To make things more challenging, you try to match the tiles before the game clock expires. The easy level times out at about 34 seconds with the more difficult levels giving you a little more time. Yes, I know, 34 seconds seems a little odd but I checked it several times and time expires at odd intervals.

Mnemonix has just a few settings. You can turn off the vibration (each time you touch a tile, your phone vibrates) and if you need to practice without the pressure of the clock, you can turn that off as well. Mnemonix also offers three tile designs (two symbols and one numeric) to choose from.

Your final scoring is based on the number of moves it takes for you to match all the tiles, as well as your time. Mnemonix has a very clean, nice looking appearance and ran smoothly. There is a slight addictive quality to the game but nothing that keeps you glued to the game for hours.  The attraction is strong enough to keep you interested in Mnemonix for short periods of time.  It is a nice game to add to your Windows Phone that will add a little variety to your "pass the time with" gaming titles.

There is a free trial version available and the full version runs $1.29. You can find Mnemonix here (opens Zune) over at the Marketplace. Follow the break to catch a video of Mnemonix in action.

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3 years ago

Yahoo! finally fixes IMAP issues

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Yahoo! finally fixes IMAP issues

There was me thinking everyone fell asleep at Yahoo! headquarters. It seems they have reportedly fixed the huge IMAP issue that has had people using more data than they should on not only Windows Phone 7, but iPhone too. Just in time for the pre-NoDo update, oh... maybe not.

Rafael Rivera kept an eye on the Yahoo connection as to whether or not they would update their "imapgate" software. Today, he "was pleasantly surprised to see they had upgraded from 0.7.65_12.286037 to 0.7.65_14.298026 fixing the issue." While he can't comment on the exact millisecond the update was published, Rafael suspects it was rolled out earlier this week. 

It’s nice to see Yahoo! fixing problems that arise, although I suppose I’m just an insensitive badass sat on my podium with my shiny ActiveSync account. Are you a Yahoo! affected customer? If so, have you continued to experience issues with data usage today with access via IMAP to your account (should you monitor your traffic)?

Source: WithinWindows

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3 years ago

Chicks n Vixens updated with new locations

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Chicks n Vixens continues to move through the Beta updates. Beta v 0.9 (shows up on my Windows Phone as v 0.95) is now available that brings new levels, new locations, and cleaner graphics to the "angry birds" styled game.

The game has added Paris, Bavaria (complete with cows), Polar, and Vesuvius locations to the game. While the original location, Uluru, has 23 levels the new locations have anywhere from 1 (Vesuvius) to 11 (Paris) levels.

Unfortunately, the update also brings a few glitches to things to remind you that this is a Beta game. There is an annoying numeric that skips on the upper left area of the screen and a few of the levels in the Polar and Vesuvius locations are missing components. For example, with Level 1 of the Polar location the chicken canon is hovering in mid-air. [Edit: The number is a frame-rate counter--DR]

The game continues to show promise. Even though the game is still in the Beta stages, essentially a work in progress, the update just seemed incomplete. I would have rather seen the additional locations come to the game when they had more levels and weren't missing graphics.

You can find your free copy of Chicks n Vixens here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Bowling XX - Review

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Bowling XX - Review

Finally, a bowling game has landed at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace! Bowling XX by Perlo Games brings the bowling alley to your Windows Phone in a graphically pleasing manner.

Bowling XX has two game modes; Single and Multi-player games. The Multi-player game supports up to four local players (pass the phone around style) who compete in a bowling tournament.  Bowling XX is an entertaining game for your Windows Phone but there is some room for improvement.

To read more on Bowling XX, follow the break.

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3 years ago

HTC Arrive available March 17th in the Seattle area?

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File this under unconfirmed, but probable.

We have a report that people in the Seattle area may have early access to the Sprint HTC Arrive, which will hit Sprint stores around the 20th of this month. Evidently, some Sprint stores are telling customers that they can pick up their phones on the 17th instead--okay, so three whole days is nothing extraordinary, but it's still, not shabby.

Interestingly enough, the reason given for the early release? Microsoft. We know those employees get to pre-order theirs, with the corp paying for each employee to have a phone and we hare they're nearby Seattle. Furthermore, we're told each store should have one Arrive on hand to play with right now...so maybe go hit up your local store and get some one-on-one time, eh? Let us know if you if you do.

Thanks, Bryce, for the heads up!

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