3 years ago
Mango's IE9 browser still trounces iOS5 beta 3 in HTML5 speed test
Browser wars are always fun. Not because they are definitive or slam dunk tests that once and for all decide which is the best browser, but because they induce so much chest thumping about standards, specs and specific environments for testing. It's like saying your football team is the best--sure it may or may not be true, but sometimes it's fun to throw the war paint on and act like it is.
In this case, Derek Snyder of Microsoft demonstrates once again the famous "HTML5 fish test" (see MIX 11), comparing it between a BlackBerry, Samsung Android Charge and an iPhone 4. And once again, Windows Phone Mango clearly beats everyone, coming in at an astounding 50 FPS. But what makes this test more interesting is the fact that the iPhone 4 is running the iOS5 beta 3 (just released) which puts Apple's "fall update" up against Microsoft's "fall update", making it a more realistic comparison.
Your move, Apple.
3 years ago
Beards and Beaks - together at last on the Marketplace!
Ready for a new Windows Phone exclusive, Xbox Live gamers? Beards and Beaks fits the beak, I mean, bill. It’s out now on the Marketplace.
Beards and Beaks is not actually about birds wearing beaks as you might think. It’s actually the tale of an evil group of crows (much like Sheryl Crow, only with feathers) who invade a village of gnomes in order to steal their riches. It soon becomes an out and out war, with gnomes invading crow bases and vice versa.
Beards and Beaks may look like a tower defense game at first glance, but it’s actually an action-strategy title (sans towers). Players bring one or more gnomes into a level and control their actions via touch-screen flicks. The object is to collect treasures and prevent the crows from doing the same. In addition to the standard flicks, mushroom-fueled special powers can help turn the tide in battle. Don’t let the bad birds win!
As we’ve said before, Beards and Beaks is the first Windows Phone game developed entirely in-house by Microsoft Game Studios. WPCentral will soon bring you the full scoop on the development process with an exclusive interview with the developers!
Beards and Beaks costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Put down the ‘shrooms and pick up the game here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
'I'm a WP7!' gets major bump to v2.5 with new features
The app 'I'm a WP7!' (see AppSpotlight) is certainly one of the more unique programs available to Windows Phone. It's a social network created by and for Windows Phone users, a way to share tips, communicate and even know who's around you with a similar phone. On top of that, it's one heck of a polished app--excellent Metro layout, smooth scrolling, beautiful dialog boxes and all sorts of options.
Version 2.5 just came out today and it's a pretty major one--so major that we felt the need to do this post. For those of you who use the app, you should be getting notified about the update. For those who have never used it: we strongly encourage you to give it a spin. It's free and has zero ads--what's not to love about that?
Here are the new changes:
- Push Notifications for messages
- Individual status and status updates
- GamerTag/Avatar integration
- MAJOR Search and Map enhancements
- Windows Phone Tips & Tricks
- Latest Windows Phone News
- Member Apps
- More statistics
- More themes, including a new "Mango" theme
The GamerTag/Avatar integration is great as it gives your ID some personality. The options to share (or not share) your location, device info, etc. will give those who are shy some reprieve as you can choose how much (or little) to share with others.
What can we say--we love the design and operation. If you dig Windows Phone, this is a great app for building up the community and being a part of something. The app is free, in the top Top 20 of social network apps and just a great example of ingenuity on our platform. Oh and the developer has graciously integrated our RSS feed for the Windows Phone news, meaning you have yet another easy way to stay on top of the latest info out there. Huzzah!
Give it a go here in the Marketplace and join the party!
3 years ago
Factory ROM (7004) available for Samsung Focus
PavelX1, a registered user over at the XDA Developers Forum, has provided links to uploaded Samsung Focus ROMs. Two firmwares are available, one for AT&T (plus a 4K option) and the other for Rogers, both able to return the device to 7004.
This could prove useful for folk who need to return to factory status with losing a pre-Mango backup, reverting Chevron unlocking, etc. To load the firmware onto your device, one will have to enter download mode. This can be achieved by holding the power, volume up and camera keys while the device is powered down and hold until you see the yellow exclamation mark.
Usual boring disclamer stuff: WPCentral doesn't take any reposnibility for your device becoming unusable (bricked) or if it explodes in your pocket after flashing.
Source: XDA Developers Forum, via: @Dauvx
3 years ago
Microsoft reveals new Samsung Mango device [Video]
We recently covered a Samsung device, namely the SGH-i937, which shares the same Bluetooth characteristics as Windows Phone Mango (as well as appearing on Occasional Gamer's list of devices recently). This model number is plus 10 from the SGH-i927 of the Galaxy S II handset so one could assume that this is a WP7 powered Galaxy S II MK II.
In the video above, Steve Guggenheimer (Corporate Vice President of the OEM Division at Microsoft), shows off a Samsung device that not only looks like the Galaxy S II, but appears to have a front facing camera. Also present in the video are ZTE and Acer handsets as well as a waterproof Fujitsu device.
Mango is expected to include front facing camera support. While it has not been officially announced by Microsoft, a leaked HTC device and references found in the Mango developer tools beta 2 both point towards the possibility.
What do you make of the four devices shown, are you more interested in what Nokia has to offer?
Update: Microsoft has requested the video be removed because those devices were not to be shown off. So instead, you can head to WithinWindows to watch it or to Microsoft's own site where they still have it up, ahem.
3 years ago
Nokia to spend £80m reinstating its superiority
I'm sure no one believed Nokia would be able to move to Windows Phone 7 and be selling handsets left, right and center with little marketing or investment (except perhaps for China for the time being). The handset manufacturer is reported to be looking at spending around £80 million (about $127 million US) on repairing the once-superior brand in the current competitive UK market (where RIM is currently also a threat as well as iOS and Android).
What's interesting to note is the October mentioning in the article over at Marketing Magazine. An October start to the campaign would surely merit a device release at that time too? We've previously looked at reports of Nokia not bringing any devices until 2012, but only volume will ship in 2012, Nokia is still looking to get a device out into the wild by Christmas at least.
Nokia works with Wieden & Kennedy, Fallon and R/GA, among others in the UK for promotion and marketing. The handset manufacturer recently unveiled a campaign for their QWERTY range of devices; the C3, E5, and E6. You can watch the advert (made by Wieden & Kennedy) for these below:
Unfortunately for Nokia, with some potential customers out there, the only way they'll buy the WP7 marketing campaign is if the company uses the dog and girl photo on this article in a "you don't need Android or iOS" context. What do you guys make of this report?
Source: Marketing Magazine, via: GoMo News
3 years ago
HTC 7 Pro at Expansys for £229
It seems as though other websites and companies are offering the same deal as Play.com with regards to the HTC 7 Pro, which is now going for just £229 at Expansys (with free delivery). If you wanted to get your hands on the QWERTY sporting device, now's your chance with more than one location slashing the price.
Source: Expansys, thanks J45PER for the tip!
3 years ago
Ooh, Max and the Magic Marker is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week
Last week’s Xbox Live Deal of the Week, Bubble Town 2, may not have been very exciting but it was a pretty fun game. Still, this week’s Deal of the Week is clearly something special. Max and the Magic Marker is going on sale for $2.99, down from the regular price of $4.99. Keep in mind Max used to cost $6.99, so this is quite a savings.
Max and the Magic Marker is a puzzle-platformer in which the player draws objects directly into the game world via the touch screen. It features a bright, child-like art style and a soundtrack from eclectic Danish artists Analogik. Our review found it to be extremely creative. To learn more about Max, check out our interview with developer Press Play.
Max and the Magic Marker will be on sale for one week starting on Wednesday, July 13. If you’re a fan of platformers or puzzle games, don’t miss the chance to get it for only $2.99. You’ll find Max here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
New international data plans from AT&T
AT&T has just announced that their customers who travel internationally will be able to enjoy more data packed tiers that are more affordable. I envy this from a stand where unfortunately Three UK don't cover a wide variety of countries within their international add-on (which doesn't even offer data) and AT&T seem to has good coverage (be sure to check before traveling).
This will surely aid anyone who has not gone with the plan previously and have attempted to hunt down WiFi throughout their traveling. The new (updated) international data package tiers are as follows:
- 50MB package for $24.99/month compared to the current 20MB package for $24.99/month
- 125MB package for $49.99/month compared to the current 50MB package for $59.99/month
- 275MB package for $99.99/month compared to the current 100MB package for $119.99/month
- 800MB package for $199.99/month compared to the current 200MB package for $199.99/month
3 years ago
Weather Live - a Metro inspired weather app
Sure we have Weather Channel, Weather Bug and AccuWeather, plus a few other indy weather apps in the Marketplace (e.g. World Weather), but we don't have too many (if any?) Metro-inspired weather programs. 'Weather Live' by Hyperise fills the niche and we're going to personally vouch for it as our new lil' favorite.
First, we should mention that this app doesn't have NextRAD, live cams, 14-day weather forecast with pollen counts. Nope, this is a simple, streamlined program that shows you current conditions and the next 3-days--that's it. So if you need more, this won't be for you.
So why is it good? For one, it turns out we only look at current conditions and the next 3-day most of the time anyways. Two, it's lightning fast, pulling only ~12kb a day when used hourly with the Live Tile. This means we can launch it and have it update within a blink of the eye.
Oh yeah and it has a cool live tile that shows you a weather icon and below it (from left to right) current temp, day high/low and time of last update. You can also set the update schedule from once a day, twice a day, four times a day or hourly. Upon an update, it pings your aGPS location, meaning you never have to set your city--it basically follows you wherever (alternatively, you can set a city of your choosing). Sure, we'd like to see a few more options like 12 hour time and perhaps a more prominent current temp, etc. Hopefully the dev plans to add some features with future updates.
Weather Live comes in two versions too: free, completely functional with ads (nice) or you can pay $0.99 to remove the ads. We did the latter because we liked it so much, but hey, the option is up to you, right? So if you need a quick weather app that blends with your default Metro tiles, here you go. Find it here in the Marketplace.
3 years ago
American student team develops asthma app for WP7 [Imagine Cup '11]
Looks like all sorts of interesting apps are coming out of Imagine Cup 2011 here in New York City. Huffington Post has made a small video focusing on one all-American team, Team Dragon who's Windows Phone app looks to help solve a real world problem, namely asthma in children.
The "game" is called 'Azmo the Dragon' and is a "2D side scrolling" adventure that helps children get their asthma under control. Basically you breathe into a spirometer to power Azmo to fly around (similar to Stormy Weather) which is the fun part, but it also records the child's lung capacity for diagnostic purposes, giving doctors and extra tool to monitor the child's health. (It's not clear how the spirometer connects up to the phone, but that's a different matter).
Anyways, while it's always cool to have games for fun, it's nice to see some youth of today applying their skills in the medical field in an attempt to improve people's lives. [See also: Team LifeLens and Malaria]
Source: Huffington Post
3 years ago
The fruit of another [Humour]
The above comic illustration is pretty awesome indeed (we had to censor a naughty word) and has been brought to us by Mike Krahilik and Jerry Holkins from Penny Arcade. Mike (@cwgabriel) has been using a Windows Phone 7 handset for tweeting recently. Could he be moving from his beloved iDevice?
Source: Penny Arcade, thanks Ben for the tip!
3 years ago
App Exchange WP7 Marketplace submission service [Developers]
The App Exchange is a service which focuses on developers who reside outside the realm of supported countries for application submission into the Windows Phone Marketplace. They allow these developers to register an account and submit their application to the team for Marketplace forwarding on the developer's behalf. Each submission costs $19.99 and a re-submission sets one back at $9.99. A 'coming soon' service is none other than device unlocking, which is priced at $49.
Supported countries include Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Please note however that WPCentral is not advising developers to use this service. Should something go wrong, don't shoot the messenger. With all third parties, one must be aware of possible problems that could arise. Always read the Ts and Cs and be sure to contact them for more information prior to signing up.
A pretty in-depth walk through can be found using the link below at MSDNPhilippines.
Source: App Exchange, via: MSDNPhilippines
3 years ago
Apple seeking to ban HTC Android imports
Apple is on a fight against the world it seems (albeit Microsoft is no angel) when it comes to smartphone patents (and insane term trademarks). I must admit that I find it strange, not to mention anyone who's not familiar with the ins and outs of smartphone technology who could wonder "wouldn't this be the same if Sony were to sue Microsoft over competing with the PlayStation?" The fruit company is after HTC again with their products running the Android OS.
What has this got to do with our platform? Well, there's no touching OEMs on Windows Phone since everything's protected (if you will) by Microsoft so HTC is comfortably wrapped in Ballmer Bubblewrap. Google, on the other hand, offers no protection (or indemnification) for OEMs and partners with their platform. HTC is a loved WP7 manufacturer, so we hate to see anything negative happen to them.
Affected products include the HTC Droid Incredible, Droid Incredible 2, Wildfire, T-Mobile mytouch 3G, T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide, T-Mobile G1, T-Mobile G2, Evo 4G, Aria, Desire, Hero, Merge, Inspire 4G, Evo 4G, Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 4G, and the HTC Flyer tablet
The ITC () is looking into Apple's request for an investigation be started under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 against HTC imports. They will provide a conclusion as to whether an investigation is to be undertaken within 30 days. Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, defended the company against Apple's claims:
HTC disagrees with Apple’s actions and will fully defend itself. HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible.
From day one, HTC has focused on creating cutting-edge innovations that deliver unique value for people looking for a smartphone. In 1999 we started designing the XDA(i) and T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition(ii), our first touch-screen smartphones, and they both shipped in 2002 with more than 50 additional HTC smartphone models shipping since then.
3 years ago
Windows Phone inspired website
Aspiring Tech Evangelist Sahas Katta has designed a rather cool looking website using the Windows Phone as the centerpiece. Katta has taken what's basically the Windows Phone emulator and turned it into a personal webpage.
Complete with a swipe to unlock feature, the Windows Phone has tiles to access Katta's resume, social networking sites, references to his tech site, and contact information. The phone also includes the ability to change the Windows Phone Theme, access Bing Maps, and access to a Flickr gallery.
The site is an impressive, unique way to present your credentials. Plus it's not a bad plug for Windows Phones. You can see it all at sahaskatta.com.
Thanks goes out to Jake for the tip!
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