3 years ago
Microsoft unveils Xbox SmartGlass at E3 to bring the living room TV to life
Microsoft held a fairly eventful press presentation at this year's E3, which saw the company unveil new services related to their best selling game console - the Xbox 360. More on these new services later, for now let's get through Xbox SmartGlass. As we previously covered, Xbox SmartGlass will connect the gaming console to other devices, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone as well as competitor platforms (Android and iOS). Think of the Xbox Companion app, but on steroids.
Apps developed for all supported platforms will enable users to control their Xbox 360 and interact with services on the big screen. Microsoft is attempting to transform the bog-standard home television into a Smart TV with the power and connectivity to pull down rich media content from the Internet. As mentioned above, SmartGlass will work with other Windows platforms, but will also be available for iPhone / iPad and Android devices.
Example: should you happen to be watching a movie while on the go and would like to continue where you left off on the big screen, SmartGlass will enable you to resume the video on the Xbox 360. Gaming will also be taken to a new level with integrated through SmartGlass. A short demonstration was provided in the presentation with the upcoming title Halo 4. Halo Waypoint will come into play by offering lore information on in-game elements, as well as turning the mobile device into a companion device with match requests from friends being accepted on the handset, and then synchronised while in-game on the Xbox.
Internet Explorer was last to be announced with SmartGlass. The Xbox console will soon sport its own web browser, but instead of using the controller to navigate through the web, which could cause issues, Microsoft will use SmartGlass to allow users to choose Kinect or support mobile devices. Check out the video below for a quick run through of everything announced for SmartGlass.
Watch out for the release of SmartGlass sometime later this year. Be sure to check out our updates from the floor at E3 2012 where our Daniel Rubino and Paul Acevedo will continue to hunt down the latest news.
3 years ago
All Liquid Daffodil apps now available for free through June 7th
Attention all Windows Phone users! Liquid Daffodil, the developer brand behind the likes of glƏƏk!, ...I'm a WP7, among other popular apps, has made all apps available for free through June 7th. Starting today, you'll be able to make a saving of $6.96 (£5.36) should you download every app on offer. Why has this deal been applied? ...I’m a WP7! has been awarded 'Best Free App' in the 2012 WP App List Awards, as well as coming 2nd in 'App of the Year'.
A quick recap on what apps are now available for free from the developer:
As illustrated by the image above, this deal will end on June 7th at 7am (PST). Find the QR codes below (in order of appearance above).
3 years ago
Microsoft Xbox E3 Liveblog!
We're here in Los Angeles for Microsoft's big Xbox announcements. Stay tuned as we report the morning's events and you can join in and share your thoughts.
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3 years ago
Nokia Lumia 900 officially set to be released on June 16th in China
WPDang has reported that the Lumia 900 is set to be released in China on June 16th, which will please those who skipped past the 800c launch to see when the manufacturer was looking to release its more advance brother. The flagship Nokia Windows Phone will be priced to match the iPhone, which is currently around 4,988 CNY (about $780).
While the Windows Phone has been unofficially available since its launch in the U.S., this version will be stripped of certain services and functionality (Xbox LIVE, etc.) Priced at 4,688 CNY (about $730), the fairly expensive Lumia 900 packs a 4.3" display, 8MP rear shooter (with FF camera), 512MB RAM and 16GB storage.
Source: WPDang; via: WPSauce
3 years ago
HTC Titan II vs. Nokia Lumia 900, it really goes beyond hardware
I feel obligated to offer this from the onset: The HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900 are both excellent Windows Phones. There's really not a bad choice between the two. One may suit your tastes better than the other but that doesn't make the one not chosen a bad Windows Phone. Having gotten that out of the way, when the two phones hit the market I found the Titan II more appealing. The larger screen and better camera gave the phone an edge over the Lumia 900. Both screens are high quality but for me, the Titan II appeared more natural and it was easier to view outdoors.
But that initial preference was based on hardware alone. After a few months on the market, a feature beyond the nuts and bolts of these two Windows Phones began to take shape making things a little more difficult to choose between the two. That feature is manufacture support.
Shortly after the Lumia 900 release Nokia set an example of product-support that should be the model for others to follow. There was a bug that dropped data connectivity on a few devices and instead of white washing things, Nokia recognized the problem and distributed a fix within a week of the Lumia 900's release. On top of quickly responding to the problem, Nokia compensated customers for their trouble with a $100 credit.
From there, Nokia has offered exclusive apps for the Lumia line and undertook a massive media campaign that includes the Smartphone Beta Test commercials and product placement in a bazillion television shows. These efforts don't necessarily make the Lumia 900 a better phone but it does make the Lumia series a bit more appealing and may create a balance for the Lumia 900's shortcomings. Consumers may tolerate a marginal camera if they have a handful of exclusive apps to enjoy.
Some people complain about all the attention and coverage the Nokia Lumia line receives. It's not that anyone is playing favorites but rather it's Nokia promoting their Windows Phone lineup to the front of the pack. Our site will gladly report on promotional events from HTC, Samsung or any other Windows Phone manufacturer but other companies aren't putting out the same effort as Nokia. These efforts have placed the Lumia 900 as the unofficial flag bearer for Windows Phone. A position that any other Windows Phone manufacturer could have easily attained or shared had they put forth a similar effort.
I can not think of a single HTC Titan II commercial, product placement or exclusive content from third party developers. HTC Locations had potential but then HTC started charging for the navigation service which took the winds out of its sails. HTC's focus is clearly with Android and that's fine but we can't help but feel HTC has missed a great opportunity with Windows Phones.
How much more appealing would the Titan II have been if it had Beats Audio or an exclusive version of Angry Birds Space (or any other popular game)? How much better would sales be if the Titan II was featured in a commercial or used in a television episode or music video? The Titan II is a quality Windows Phone but in this competitive industry, it can't sell itself.
So which is the better Windows Phone? On hardware alone I still have to give the nod to the HTC Titan II. The camera is better and I like the larger screen. However, taking product support into consideration and the Lumia 900 gets the endorsement. There is plenty of room for improvement on the Lumia 900 (better camera, annoying rattle with the vibrate alert, etc.) but the amount of exposure, exclusive apps, and support Nokia brings to the table makes the Lumia 900 a more attractive option.
HTC may end up surprising us with a fantastic, ground breaking, jaw dropping Windows Phone 8 device that is supported and marketed at the level Nokia has set with the Lumia line. Then again, Samsung may step up and do the same. I still have my reservations on the Lumia 900 hardware but knowing the Microsoft's OS is backed by a company that has taken an "all in" approach to Windows Phone seems to make up for things.
3 years ago
Monday Brief: RIM Rollercoaster, EVO LTE Review, iOS 6 Predictions, and More!
3 years ago
Windows Phone Summary of the Week: May 28 - June 3, 2012
Welcome to this week's Windows Phone Summary of the Week, which is a special edition should you reside in the UK as this weekend is dedicated to celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. But alas, Windows Phone. Before we crack into the summary itself, we've been taking a look at the best independent games for your smartphone. Speaking of software, our official app celebrated its first Birthday by being offered for nothing at all for a 24-hour period.
Our community forum has witnessed activity with threads regarding the Lumia 900 and its battery life. Should you be experiencing any issues, or would like to engage with other Windows Phone enthusiasts, we recommend you check out our growing community. Lastly E3 is taking place through the next number of days, and Windows Phone Central will be at the front of the action to bring you the latest news about gaming on Windows Phone as well as the Xbox and Windows 8 platforms. Now, let's crack on with the summary after the short break.
3 years ago
Custom battery meter comes to the Windows Phone homebrew scene
If you're on the cutting edge of Windows Phone hacking and homebrew then you probably have a fully unlocked device with a custom ROM running "Tango" 8773. If so, then you may want to take a look at this latest creation from Zealson over at XDA.
The simple XAP file will launch a mini-app to allow you to change the battery meter to a custom version. The meters have four options available: default, horizontal, vertical and circular with the latter three having a percentage number for a semi-accurate reading of your remaining battery life.
We say semi-accurate as the percentage doesn't get down to the 1% range and instead looks to be at 10% increments. Such a limitation is due to the API though who knows what magic these devs can whip up, so there may be hope for 1% changes too.
Of course as we mentioned at the beginning, only fully-unlocked ROMs can install this and luckily the Titan and Radar are now in that camp too.
Source: XDA Forums
3 years ago
Reminder: Xbox E3 Liveblog tomorrow 9am PDT
Tomorrow is the semi-kickoff for E3, the big gaming and entertainment expo that's going on here in Los Angeles till Thursday and that means one thing: Microsoft.
Starting at 9am PDT, Microsoft will be showcasing what's coming next for the Xbox 360 including games and perhaps the bigger story, entertainment. Microsoft already launched Amazon Instant Video last week and also teased Smart Glass for Windows Phone. What else is coming? Well our Paul Acevedo speculated on some of that here but we're sure Microsoft also has a few trick up their sleeves.
You can watch the event live on Xbox.com or Spike TV in addition to watching our Liveblog going on during the event--join the chat with us. Afterwards, since we're here in LA covering E3 all week, you can expect us to get some hands on with the latest services and titles coming to Xbox (and Windows Phone) during the day, so stay tuned.
Make sure to check our game-trailers roundup for E3 too to keep you busy in the meantime and join in our forums during the week to discuss all the news.
3 years ago
E3 2012 Event Forum is now live
E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo is coming to the Los Angeles Convention Center tomorrow and Windows Phone Central will be there. The crew will be Daniel Rubino and Paul Acevedo. These guys will be giving up there week and some sleep in hopes of staying on top of all the breaking gaming news. Poor guys, we really feel sorry for them don’t we?
What is E3? Well E3 is the largest gaming event in the world and is open exclusively to members of the industry. The Windows Phone Central Crew qualifies so off we go. You can get all the information on E3 and what we expect to see and do when we get there in this article: Windows Phone Central comes to E3 2012
The WPCentral Forums is the place to go for all the in depth conversations. With that in mind we have opened up a new events forum just for E3. We positioned this new area right at the top of the forum. Every time we have an event like this WPCentral will open a new events area so we can discuss the affair. When the affair is over all the event exclusive content will be moved to our events sub forum.
Why do we do this? Because we love our community and we want to make sure our community members get all the latest information.
Things will move quickly next week. We know you don’t want to miss anything. Catch the breaking news on our main page then jump in the WPCentral Forum to get in on the community opinion.
3 years ago
Nokia signs product placement deal with UK TV soap Hollyoaks
Campaign Live has reported Nokia signing a product placement deal with UK television soap opera Hollyoaks, that will see Lumia Windows Phones being used and promoted in a number of episodes. The show will have characters using the Lumia 800 and 710 Windows Phones with Monster Purity headphones. The village bus stop will also sport Lumia advertisements, starting from July.
As well as the TV promotion, Lumia Windows Phones will be displayed on other platforms that stream the programme, including the Channel 4 website which will reportedly see the devices come to life with two Hollyoaks characters tweeting their on-screen personality. The deal is set to last for an initial four-month period. John Nichols, head of marketing at Nokia UK, had the following to say on the deal:
"This partnership is another example of how we are pushing the Lumia brand in new innovative ways, with a human approach across multiple platforms."
This is a superb move by Nokia as the show is popular with a strong young audience, something the company has admitted it needs to target to rejuvenate the brand.
Source: Campaign Live; thanks, Marco300, for the tip!
3 years ago
Prototype Sony Ericsson "Julie" Windows Phone [Video]
A new video of the Sony Ericsson "Julie" (branded "Jolie" in the video) Windows Phone has been published to the Internet. Unfortunately, the company, now Sony Mobile, has continuously stated that they have no immediate plans for Windows Phone. Which is a shame as the handset itself doesn't look half-bad. Slap Windows Phone "Apollo" 8 on there and you could have a winning next-gen slider.
It's interesting to note that this version gives us the impression there's more than one variant of "Julie", as it's an all-black design unlike the earlier prototype we saw pictured. With "Apollo" itself, the next major Windows Phone upgrade, expected to be released later this year, we could see support from Sony Mobile should the platform maintain this steady increase with regards to market share and positive feedback from carriers.
Source: YouTube; thanks, Daniel, for the heads up!
3 years ago
Nokia Trailers app now available for Lumia Windows Phones
Hot on the tail of the Dark Knight Rises app for Lumia phones comes Nokia Trailers. The app pulls no punches as it is what it sounds like--an app for viewing all the latest trailers and teaser clips from the latest Hollywood movies.
The app though goes beyond just streaming by allowing you to also download the trailer for offline viewing. In addition you get a cool Live Tile to alert you when new trailers are added to the system so you can keep up on all the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Other features include:
Watch list - Set reminders for movies you want to see
Share your favorite trailers with friends
Locate local theaters nearby
We'll be honest, we've been looking for such an app for a long time on Windows Phones and this fits the bill nicely. We're big movie fans around here so being able to stream and watch the latest trailers with no garish ads, having reminders for movies and being able to share on our social networks are all pretty cool features. Nice job, Nokia.
Pick up Nokia Trailers here in the Nokia Collection Marketplace. Thank, mrfu55y, for the link
Update: You can see the "shared" link which shows off the Nokia Trailers app.
3 years ago
The Dark Knight Rises now available for Lumia Windows Phones
The Dark Knight Rises app for Windows Phone is now available to all Lumia handsets. We last looked at the recently released app back when UK retailer Phones 4u announced availability of the limited edition Batman The Dark Knight Rises Lumia 900. Should you not be able to pick up the special Lumia 900, but own a Lumia Windows Phone, don't fear as you can download the app and enjoy the experience.
What's included in the app? Trailers, wallpapers and ringtones, as well as a countdown to when the film is set to premier. Coupled with the counter, the app displays the nearest theatres that will be showing the title, using the location of the user. Directions to theatres are available on-hand so it requires little effort to get planning for the big day.
Should you login and connect to your Foursquare account, you get to choose your side (Batman or Bane) and play a Foursquare-based mini-game titled Claim Gotham City. A map is presented to the user that enables locations to be taken over by either side (checking in), earning points and exclusive content. As well as taking over locations on your own, joint attacks can be performed with other players. It's a fun twist.
You can download The Dark Knight Rises from the Marketplace on your Lumia Windows Phone.
3 years ago
Birdsong version 1.7 now live on the Windows Phone Marketplace
Red Badger has finally released update 1.7 for Birdsong, the Twitter client for Windows Phone that has been left collecting dust on the shelf for a fair few months. We previously looked at version 1.7 when it was announced on the Red Badger blog that the update would be pushed out soon.
Without repeating ourselves too much, this version fixes the login issue that users were experiencing, as well as the setting save 'fail' that prevented live tile functionality being enabled. The search has been revamped, which now sports saved searches pulled down from the micro-blogging website. If saved searches weren't enough, the team have also thrown in trending topics functionality.
You can download Birdsong from the Marketplace - we'd recommend a fresh install if you've been experiencing problems with previous versions.
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