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3 years ago

Foursquare v2.2 with speed improvements now available

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Foursquare seems to be on a roll, first re-releasing a much improved 2.0 last week, followed by a 2.1 bug-fix just 24 hours later and now version 2.2.

Like we predicted, Foursquare would be working on the improving the speed and handling of the official Foursquare app. Version 2.2 just went live in the Marketplace and has brought some much needed enhancements to menu transitions and loading times.

We've been running it for the last half hour and have to admit that it certainly feels much better with saner load times, finally making this app a serious contender. Kudos to Foursquare for the quick updates and improvements. (And for you '4th & Mayor' users, a bug fix should be released today for that app)

Grab version 2.2 in the Marketplace now. (Thanks, Shipwreck)

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3 years ago

Blizzard Battle.net Mobile Authenticator for Windows Phone released

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For all you World of Warcraft or Starcraft II basement dwellers who've been yearning for an "official" Battle.net Authenticator, good news as you can go and grab it now:

"Protect your Battle.net account with Blizzard's official Battle.net Mobile Authenticator app for your Windows Phone 7 device. The Battle.net Mobile Authenticator is an optional tool that offers an additional layer of security to help prevent unauthorized account access. Each time you log in to a Battle.net account, you’ll use the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator to generate a unique, one-time use password to use in addition to your regular password. Log in with both and you can rest easy knowing that the account is more secure against unauthorized access."

Rumor has it it's as good if not better than the iPhone/Android versions. There are two other third party authenticators in the Marketplace, one from Velocity Studios ($0.99) and Robert Garfoot (free). Since we don't use Blizzard for, well, anything, we'll leave it to you to discern the finer points. Version 1.0 came out three days ago and version 1.1 just went live today, so support seems to be pretty solid.

You can grab it here in the Makretplace or check our Blizzrd's blog. (Thanks, William R., for the heads up)

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3 years ago

BooksAlive series of childrens books by XIMAD

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The team at XIMAD, who have brought us  titles such as Bubble Birds, 100 Top World Wonders and an array of joke apps, have now revealed their latest project for Windows Phone 7: BooksAlive.

The BooksAlive series will offer children and their parents insteresting apps with high quality. XIMAD have just released two new titles for this series: The Little Engine That Could and The Real Princess (Zune links). Some highlight features:

  • Illustrations that respond to your hand-gestures and come to life as you flip the pages
  • Objects that move and get animated when you tilt your device and tap on its screen
  • A perfect way to get your children interested in reading and keep them entertained whenever you are busy.

Both are availabe on the Marketplace for $0.99 and appear to be popular ebooks already. Check out two videos after the break for the two ebook titles mentioned above. 

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3 years ago

InterSceptre - App Spotlight

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InterSceptre - App Spotlight

Leda Entertainment has a breakout styled game over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. InterSceptre is a simple yet competitive game that has you trying to blast your way through your opponents wall while defending yours from attack.

You use your ship not only to shoot holes in your opponents wall but also to bounce your opponents shots back at them. Using their shots against them so to speak.

Fire controls are hidden in the lower right corner of your screen and your movement controls (left/right) are in the lower left corner. You can modify the control placements slightly by placing movement controls to the left and right edge, with firing done by tapping anywhere on the playing field.

InterSceptre is a fast paced game with a bit of challenge to it. I would have liked to have seen the accelerometer come into play. InterSceptre was originally released without a trial version but the developers have since made a free trial version available.  The full version of InterSceptre is still running $1.29.

You can find InterSceptre here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Kik Messenger and .co.uk email addresses [How To]

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Kik is here, but there's a slight issue that we picked up on a while back when it was released. Being in the UK I attempted to use my .co.uk email address. Unfortunately Kik seems to have a slight issue with registering email addresses using this country code.

Fortunately, after much frustration, I used my GMail address and of course it worked. I don't really use my Google account for email so I decided to have a good look through the settings within the app and sure enough there's an option to change the account email address. Entering my .co.uk address seemed to work and I received an email from Kik confirming the change.

It seems as though it's limited to registration only, so use a .com email for signup and then simply make the change in the app settings. Job done! Kik have said they are working on the fix. Are you using a country code which is not .com and are experiencing the same issue? Let us know in the comments.

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3 years ago

Travelnapp - Review

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Travelnapp - Review

I'm sure I wouldn't be the only commuter to admit that after a few drinks at work sometimes my sense of location (on trains between stations) would be slightly inaccurate, by about twenty or so miles. I would continuously fall to sleep then wake up after a few minutes thinking I'm somewhere I'm not. Luckily, when I used to commute to London, my station (Shoeburyness) is at the end of the c2c line and the security guards used to wake me should I be out of it.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares the same luxury as myself and whether under the influence of an adult beverage or not, sleep can often be the cause of missing a desired stop. This is a real pain should you be on a long distance line - for example London Kings Cross to Glasgow in Scotland and the distance between stops is massive. So what can your Windows Phone 7 do to help you out? Allow me to introduce Travelnapp by Mendzapp.

Read on past the break for the full walkthrough and review of Travelnapp.

Pros: 
free easy to use ingenious idea good amount of configuration
Cons: 
interface is ugly back button doesn't return to main menu
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3 years ago

Zune absent from fall Xbox 360 dashboard update? [Updated]

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It’s no secret that Microsoft is consolidating several of its brands into the uber-successful Xbox brand. Just last week we reported that the Games for Windows website is moving to Xbox.com. In the last few days, Microsoft phased out Zune original sales on their site. And of course, it’s long been rumored that the Zune brand will split up into several tiny robot lion brands.

That rumor gains more credence thanks to some recently-released screenshots of the upcoming fall Xbox 360 dashboard update. Not only does it look super slick and Windows 8-ey, but it’s also lacking the Zune logo in its music and videos sections. Zune, we’ll always have Paris.

The big question though: How will this matter to Windows Phone, going forward?


Update: Looks like Thurrott may have been a a little quick on the gun. Zune is still listed as an App in the new Xbox hub, as seen above. It's just not named for Music/Music, which may be the area in which you access local media, whereas Zune is for streaming, etc. Read more at They Lyons Den.

Source: Supersite for Windows, Live Side

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3 years ago

3D maps on WP7 [Developers]

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3D maps on WP7 [Developers]

This is pretty neat. Tim James, over at EMC Consulting, has provided a detailed how to (if you will) of bringing depth to a 2D map to Windows Phone 7. Namely, wrapping a map around a 3D sphere. Tim also explains how building a 3D map using a flat image can show signs of distortion among and top and bottom halves, while the equatorial area covers much more surface space.  All of which could give added dimension to apps.

On a side note, while reading the article I'm heavily reminded of Street Slide, except this isn't improving street view and making it appear as a more constant 3D 'walkthrough'. Check out the video below for the app Stars3D (opens Zune), which is really impressive and runs along the same idea but instead we're inside the sphere looking out.

Source: EMC Consulting

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3 years ago

AT&T testing update for Samsung Focus v1.4 devices

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The update is almost here. I'm sure Focus owners have gone beyond pulling out their hair and have waited enough, but it seems as though you'll have to wait just a bit longer. AT&T are now testing updates for v1.4 Focus handsets so we should expect to hear more information sometime next week. Hopefully it wont be a continuous drag from here on out. To refresh, the Focus comes in two hardware variations, with the v1.4 having different memory modules on board, resulting in update headaches for Microsoft.

As always with any update news for the Focus device, users are expressing both anger towards and dissapointment in Samsung, Microsoft and AT&T over the delay that has been caused. Microsoft rolled out NoDo on March 22nd. Some four months later and we're almost there and it's been over two months since Microsoft explained the issue.

Source: Windows Team Blog 

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3 years ago

Transfer movies from iTunes to WP7 quickly [How To]

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Using the Windows Phone 7 Connector for OS X can prove to be a drag when attempting to transfer a movie from iTunes to your handset. The progress bar gives the false impression that it's stuck and one tends to get frustrated, especially if you're like me and only synchronise your device just before you leave the house.

OS X user Marin got in touch with us to let everyone in on a more efficient way to transfer movies to your WP7 handset and not having to wait 20 or so minutes. Should you have an avi copy of the movie at hand with an mp3 soundtrack, you can use software such as MP4Tools to convert and then import into iTunes. Windows Phone Connect should then pick up the movie and be able to transfer it to your device with much more efficiency.

Unfortunately, Marin noticed a drawback to this method (which I can confirm). The movie wont be playable in iTunes (as well as Xbox 360 consoles) and a stand-alone media player (such as VLC) will have to be used. But this should be no problem if you have a separate m4v copy. Let us know if this guide works for you and how it compares to transferring m4v movies to your device.

Thanks Marin for the tip and guide!

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3 years ago

Fabulous news! Sally's Salon Luxury Edition coming to Xbox Live

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Casual game fans will surely love this news. Game House, publisher of the hit game Doodle Jump, has a new Xbox Live title in the works: Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition. WPCentral is proud to bring you these exclusive screenshots of the Windows Phone version. (Note that the screens are a bit grainer than the final game will be.)

Sally’s Salon is a new spin on the classic Diner Dash formula. Customers enter the salon with their hair all a-frizz and it’s up to Sally to get them seated and trimmed to perfection. She needs to exercise careful time management, otherwise patrons will go elsewhere for their lock-shearing needs. When the profits start rolling in, players can hire new employees, upgrade salon stations, and add new amenities such as coffee machines. Stylin’!

Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition is currently undergoing certification with a target release date of August. We’ll be sure to let you know more about the game closer to release. In the meantime, check out Sally’s Achievements from our friends at Xbox360Achievements.org.

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3 years ago

Garmin StreetPilot hits the Marketplace

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Garmin StreetPilot has been released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. The GPS/Navigation app joins a host of other voice navigation apps already in place for your Windows Phone such as Turn by Turn Navigation, GPS Voice Navigation and aSpass.

Garmin designed their Windows Phone app to share similar features found on Garmin's Nuvi stand alone personal navigators. To minimize data needs, maps are downloaded for areas relevant to your planned route. Garmin StreetPilot also includes real-time traffic updates.

Additional features includes:

  • Voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions including street names
  • Real-time traffic updates included at no additional cost
  • Automatic map storage so you can browse maps you've recently viewed outside of data coverage areas
  • Speed limits for most major roads
  • Integrated Local Search
  • Millions of points of interest
  • Lane assist with junction view for complicated interchanges
  • Address book integration to navigate to contacts
  • Current weather conditions and forecast
  • Place calls directly from search listing
  • Navigate in both portrait and landscape mode

Garmin StreetPilot sounds and looks like a very useful navigation app for your Windows Phone. The downside to the picture is that there is no trial version available and the full version runs $39.99. It may be well worth the $40 price tag but it would be nice to have a trial version to let Windows Phone users a chance to take StreetPilot out for a test drive.

Garmin StreetPilot can be purchased here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Nielsen: Gaming dominates smartphones

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Nielsen: Gaming dominates smartphones

This sort of headline is enough to make our Paul Acevedo jump around with joy and pull many smug faces to the rest of the team due to gaming dominating other categories in terms of usage on multiple smartphone platforms. Since the beginning, games have always been a major hit on iOS, especially those that are Facebook orientated. Windows Phone 7 has Xbox Live and some fairly big titles (the upcoming Beards and Beaks for example), while Android is somewhere in between.

So we're already aware of how popular games are on smartphones, what's so intriguing about this latest analytic data? The breakdown of hours on platforms.

With WP7 featuring Xbox Live, achievements, the Xbox Live hub and some arguably larger titles than competitor platforms, one would expect to see WP7 topping the above chart with more hours accumulated than iOS and Android, but this is not the case. Not only is the platform behind in the total number of hours, but Microsoft's mobile OS seems to be slightly under the industry average of 7.8 hours a month.

Is this a negative finding? Not at all if we're to take Microsoft's advertising and marketing campaign for WP7 into consideration. Remember the adverts that stated how Windows Phone will enable users to complete tasks quickly and get back to real life? Perhaps this rubs off onto gaming too? Maybe we're now so used to sending SMS messages, replying to emails, browsing the web, downloading apps and more with speed that we don't spend hours upon hours immersing ourselves into Xbox Live?

Then again, it could be that the price of Xbox Live titles and iOS ports on WP7 are just too high to justify. The final chart shown below displays the advantage of having the Xbox Live brand used on Windows Phone and the integration with the service. WP7 users are more likely to download apps than any other platform with iOS and Android not so far behind (of course this data isn't accurate), while Blackberry trails in last place (which is expected).

What do you think about this data, and do you believe Microsoft should look into increasing the average play time per user?

Source: Nielsen, via: WPSauce

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Beards and Beaks to pop up in the Marketplace on July 13

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Now that Twin Blades is back where it belongs (on the Marketplace), new games can start making their way to Xbox Live. Next week’s release is an exciting one: Beards and Beaks from Microsoft Game Studios.

Beards and Beaks is an action-strategy title in which murders of cute but evil crows are invading peaceful Gnome Town to rob it of its riches. Crows are such jerks, don’t you think? Except for Brandon Lee, he was okay. Anyway, Beards and Beaks gives players an army of gnomes to command by flicking them all over the screen. Collecting mushrooms allows the player to unleash special powers. With simple controls and charmingly unique art style, this game could easily appeal to fans of Plants vs. Zombies and fun.

Beards and Beaks is notable for being the first Windows Phone game to be developed and produced by Microsoft Game Studios. Previous games were actually developed covertly by third parties, operating under the cover of night.

Beards and Beaks will be available on Wednesday, July 13 for the gnome-sized price of $2.99.

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3 years ago

Wizard of Words - Review

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Wizard of Words - Review

We did a round-up on the various word games available for your Windows Phone a while back. While we didn't cover all the word games available for your Windows Phone, we did receive several suggestions to add to the list. One such game is Wizards of Words.

Wizards of Words is a Boggle-type word game in which you are presented with nine letters and your job is to find all the words these nine letters can create. To help make things interesting, there are four gaming modes.

And to find out more, follow the break.

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