3 years ago
Official Machinima.com app released for Windows Phone
For those of you who know about Machinima.com, you'll be pleased to know they just published an official app for Windows Phone. Machinima is basically a top-rated gamer site, that features news, reviews and general entertainment, including some humor--all nicely laid out and professionally done. The Windows Phone app, likewise, is also extremely well executed. From the app descritiption:
Machinima.com is the premier online network providing entertainment for the gaming culture, showing game trailers, gameplay videos and tips, video game reviews, first looks, and original series created in video games. One of the most viewed YouTube channels in the world!
- Watch your favorite Machinima shows
- Sort through top videos of the day, week, month, and of all-time.
- Watch the most popular videos on the Machinima Network including all your favorite gameplay videos.
- Keep up with gaming news, reviews, behind the scenes and Machinima videos
From our quick run, the app has beautiful graphics, the videos play well and the layout is nice. Scrolling though is a bit laggy what with all of those graphics. But we always see this with v1.0 apps--build the foundation, optimize later, so we can't be too harsh, especially since for Machinima fans, this app is pretty golden. Grab the free app right here in the Marketplace.
3 years ago
HTC 7 Pro (GSM) gets reviewed: one of the best landscape keyboards, unremarkable screen
UK site ElectricPig got their hands on a GSM HTC 7 Pro, which just hit the market there. Putting it through its paces, EP concluded that the 7 Pro is "absolutely" the best Windows Phone 7 device out there, if you "prioritize email over anything else".
The review highlighted the outstanding keyboard, both in terms of flat out typing and its excellent hinge mechanism, an improvement of the "laggy" Touch Pro 2 of past. Battery life also was very good, allowing them to run it all day with WiFi, 3G and ample usage--which is great news for the device which sports 1500mah of juice. Likewise, the camera was also received well with low noise demonstrated in photos taken (though video was not as smooth).
Some downfalls are the obvious: the LCD screen pales in comparison to AMOLED and is "unremarkable, if not its weakest aspect"--a common theme with HTC's latest LCD choices (contra CNet's findings). The other obvious criticism is size: coming in at 185g and 15.5mm thick, the device is quite chunky for the pocket, but we think it's a valued trade off with that great keyboard. Having said that, build quality was deemed "seriously sturdy, and the metal and plastic edges shrug off fingerprints".
Overall, EP seemed quite pleased with the phone, giving it rather high praises. What weakness were present (including rough landscape support in the OS) are sort of run of the mill for HTC these days. One area they need to obviously invest is in screen quality--if not AMOLED than something more impressive than their current supplier is offering. Regardless, we still can't wait till Sprint gets this bad boy, as EP notes, the 7 Pro is "the most productive Windows Phone 7 model yet". We like the sound of that.
3 years ago
Arcane's Tower Defense teases us with amazing graphics, endless gameplay
One thing there is not a shortage of in the Marketplace are "tower defense" games. To be sure, there are some real good ones out there (Confession: big fan of Next War)--but hey, we can always use something that raises the bar a bit, right?
Arcane's Tower Defense, still in development but making big strides, looks to be quite the end-all-be-all of TD type games. If you recall, back in October, Arcane's won the French Microsoft application contest.--nice to see it's alive!
Featuring stunning graphics, including shimmering water, textured layers and detailed movement, Arcane's is shaping up quite nicely as demoed in the video above. But probably one of the more unique elements demonstrated later in the video is the level-editor, enabling you to create your own levels for what we imagine an endless amount of replay value. This last part is no small achievement either and we're quite excited about giving the app a spin, once it sees the light of day (hopefully soon).
Check out Graphic Stream's web page here. Thanks, Alexandre, for sharing with us--now finish it! ;-)
3 years ago
Japanese text entry comes to Windows Phone via JPinput
Leave it up to a crafty highschool student, @shugonta, to fill a gaping hole in Windows Phone 7: lack of Japanese language support.
JPinput is a free app available in the Marketplace to all and will allow our Nipponese friends to finally text, email and search in their native Kana/Kanji. From the app description:
The input system is "Kana-mekuri", used by many cell-phones in Japan. This app provide two ways to convert "Kana" into "Kanji". One of them is "Predict conversion". The app predict what you want to type automatically,when you type a letter. The other is "Kana-kanji conversion". After you write up the sentence, you can transfer it to "Web search","e-mail", and "SMS" with using the icons of the application bar.
And considering the NoDo update is right around the corner, this app will be even more useful what with that whole copy/paste feature, allowing the Kana/Kanji to be used in nearly every app.
Nice work done here by the dev community. The developer's team "PAKEN" won the ImagineCup 2010 Japan last year and he just received an Optimus 7. He's obviously put it to good use, making life easier for a whole demographic. Grab the app here in the Marketplace. See the developer's blog here.
via: Nanapho.jp; Thanks, tezawaly, for the heads up
3 years ago
Tiki Towers is the Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone game of the week
Looks like for some reason we're down to just one title a week on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone. Perhaps Microsoft wanted to burn through those 50 titles as quickly as possible and now we're on the "regular" schedule. Either way, this weeks title is a puzzler type game from GameHouse called TikiTowers.
The description is as follows:
Save the monkeys! Only you can lead them to safety in this amazing new puzzle game featuring construction, destruction and problem-solving! Travel between five tropical islands, leading your tribe of monkeys to safety by building bridges and towers out of bamboo, coconuts, and vines. If you're not careful, your structures will collapse and your monkeys will perish. Clear all the levels to acquire the ceremonial masks of an ancient tribe and discover their mythical lost treasure. Tiki Towers is action and puzzle gaming at its best!
It did win some awards including “Best Casual Game” – 5th Annual International Mobile Game Awards 2009. Meh, maybe it'll be good but it's sort of hard to excited about. The game will probably go live sometime late tonight/early tomorrow.
3 years ago
National Geographic World Atlas - Review
3 years ago
Zune update gets pushed out in preparation for Windows Phone 'NoDo'
We've heard that a new version of the Zune Desktop application is required for the upcoming Windows Phone 'NoDo' update and sure enough, an update just went live.
If you go to your Zune Desktop --> Settings --> Software --> General, you can force an update-check to grab v4.7.1404.0--which seems to be the same version as before, so we're unclear of any direct changes.
The new version of Zune Desktop is suppose to allow your Windows Phone to be backed up in preparation for 'NoDo', allowing you roll back if there are any problems during the flash. Of course the bigger news is this probably signifies that the actual Windows Phone update is only days, if not weeks away or that MS is gearing up for some changes in anticipation. (And call us crazy, but Zune seems to load a lot faster now).
Update: Cursory look so far reveals no significant changes besides perfomance. Find anything? Tell us in comments.
Update 2: While the overall version number is the same, two components have changed as noted by reader mparker: ZuneWmdu.dll and ZuneWmduResources.dll are both now v4.7.1407. Microsoft's support page in fact mentions these as needed for the software backup: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2498092 So this does look like a prep for the 'NoDo' update.
Thanks, David M., for the great observation!
3 years ago
Sideloading of Kindle eBooks now possible on HTC Windows Phones [Homebrew]
If you have an HTC developer unlocked ("jailbroken") phone, then this trick may be for you: evidently you can convert PDF books into .PRC files that can then be sideloaded on the device and viewed with Amazon's Kindle app. The reason? As DominikZ over at XDA notes, Charles Petzold's eBook "Programming Windows Phone 7" which is 100% free, costs $22.53 on Amazon (we actually see two versions, one XNA, one Silverlight, but both do cost ~$20 for the Kindle edition). Through this trick, you can convert the free PDF version of the book to a Kindle compatible one.
The task is not too difficult, but hardly elegant. As noted, only HTC devices can do this right now because the trick relies on TouchXplorer, which doesn't work to well on non-HTC devices.:
- Download MobiPocket Creator or any other Program, capable of converting pdf to prc.
- When the conversion is done, apply the registry hack, so that your phone will show up in Windows Explorer.
- Copy the newly created *.prc file to your phone. If not already done, install TouchXplorer and go to My Documents\Zune\Content\0400\03 and cut the newly created file (It will be renamed to*.z)
- Paste it to Applications\Data\48195FB4-EE0E-9264...\Data\IsolatedStore\kindle
- Now rename the file so you will remember the it (e.g. programming.prc).
- Start up Kindle and the newly added book should be available.
Like we said, not easy but once you do your first one, the rest are a breeze. Conversion usually takes less than five minutes from our experience and this seems a great way to load school PDFs, free eBooks, etc. onto your Windows Phone.
3 years ago
OTA podcast support coming to Windows Phone?
We've seen some great third party support for podcasts on Windows Phone 7 (see BringCast & Podcasts!), filling in the inablity to download over the air, while you're out and about.
Over at Monsmartphone.net, a reader named pth has submitted some pics of what look to be latent podcast support not yet complete around the Zune player and Marketplace. We asked monsmartphone.net about what exactly was "hacked" around the system to reveal those buttons (download or view) but have no response yet (we're not sure if 'pth' shared the trick). It should be noted that nothing around this feature yet works--so we're not missing anything that can be enabled via a hack.
What it does look like though is that the Zune team as setting up this function in Windows Phone but have yet to complete it. Considering how much is left out in v1 of Windows Phone, this makes sense. But the next question is when will we see this officially?
Update: Gilles responded and notes that the change is in an (unspecified) system file. More info may be coming later.
via: monsmartphone.net; Thanks, Gilles, for the heads up
3 years ago
Voice2Mail makes audio reminders easy [Video]
A few years back on Windows Mobile, we had a nifty little freeware app called Notes2Self--the app was mappable to any key and allowed you to record a quick audio note which was then emailed to yourself for safe keeping (works great with Google tags).
Flash forward a few years and while we can't map any keys, we get the very worthy Voice2Mail app made by MaSta Software (WebIS, ironically, said they're not doing WP7--their loss). The app fetches for $1.99 with a nice free trial. The price is actually quite fair when considering how soild this v1.0 release is and how well it works.
We dig the graphics, the customization, the ease of use and options. Overall, a worthy app for those on the go or need to be organized themselves. So if you like having voice memos in your email, this is the app for you. Of course, you can also save locally, in case you don't like the email route. Check out the video and grab it here in the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Tetrada developer receives cease & desist from Tetris company
Intellectual property is a tough area in software and game development--often the lines are blurred and depending on how fierce the IP owner is, enforcement has a huge ranged from nothing too stringent.
Windows Phone developer Marios Karagiannis who has published the popular 'Monster Up' game has another in the Marketplace called 'Tetrada' which yes, is very much a Tetris clone. He just received a C&D letter from "Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A. Attorneys at Law, on behalf of the Tetris Company asking us to remove Tetrada from the Marketplace because they say it looks too similar to their game and violates the copyright of Tetris (TM)."
Marios, being an indie, student developer is of course complying as he has no resources to take on such a company--who has been vehement about enforcing their IP of the Tetris brand on other platforms. The question is, of course, what does the Tetris company have a claim on? The name? The logo or the actual game play? We're not sure, but Marios is under the impression it is just the name/logo, not the game play itself, in which case his game does not violate their copyright.
The game is being pulled as we speak from the Marketplace and had fetched for $0.99. We bought it anyways, because hey, these things are now like collector items. Having said that, it's actually a darn nice game--outstanding graphics, good UI and a pleasure to play. And that's probably the rub here: this game was better than the Tetris brand on Windows Phone (see review).
Either way, consider this fair warning for other Tetris clones in the Marketplace, of which there seem to be quite a few.
While we won't take a position on the merits of the IP dispute here (you can do that in comments if you wish) you can read the developer's thoughts here on his blog. (And if you want to try and snag Tetrada while you can, it's here).
3 years ago
Microsoft's Zune minifying Apple's share of the video market
IHS Screen digest has come out with their yearly report on online movie sell-though and Internet video-on-demand (iVOD) service and while Apple is stil at the top (by a lot, we might add) their dominance in the market appears to be waning.
In 2010, Apple controlled 64.5 percent of the online VOD market, but that's down from 2009's 74.4 percent--that loss of 10 percent seems to be quite a large number. Though to be put into perspective, the market itself grew by over 60%, meaning Apple still took away a nice chunk of change.
Reason for the decline in market share though? According to Arash Amel, IHS digital media research director:
Apple faced serious competition from Microsoft's Zune Video and Sony's PlayStation Store, as well as from Amazon and -- most significantly -- Walmart.
More importantly to our concerns, Zune Video platform increased to 17.9 percent from 2009's 11.6 percent--in large part due to the success of the Xbox 360/Kinect combo. That's actually an impressive gain if might say and shows that Microsoft does seem to have a plan here for getting into consumer video content. Combined with Windows Phone 7 (assuming it gains significant market share), we think Zune has a very bright future--so much so we wonder what Android could offer that is remotely analogous?
Although the conclusion by IHS is that Walmat (and Amazon) may be the biggest competitors against Apple, due to their sheer market size and brand-advantage. That may be true, but we don't see any Walmart video service on our smartphones and so far nothing from Amazon either--and the mobile market is an important one, for sure.
Soruce: IHS ScreenDigest; via: Twice; Thanks, Mark, for the tip!
3 years ago
Pac-Man - Review
3 years ago
Get the T-Mobile HD7 free this weekend with contract
For those looking for a good opportunity to buy an HTC HD7, what with it's giant 4.3" screen, this Friday and Saturday may be your moment.
T-Mobile is confirmed to be having an "All Smartphones Free" sale on February 11th and 12th and that includes the HTC HD7. Sure, you have to sign a 2 year contract (conflicting info on whether upgrades count--best to go in ask directly) but if you like dealing with T-mo directly, here's your chance.
3 years ago
UK News: Venue Pro delayed again (surprise!)...7 Pro to the rescue
If you took the under bet on the the number of times the Dell Venue Pro would get delayed, chances are you lost your money. According to Clove, Dell has once again pushed back the release in the UK; this time until early March (we'll believe it when we see it). They have not offered any explanation of this latest delay.
In other very timely news, Clove now has the HTC 7 Pro in stock for £360.00. They are also including a free HTC BH M300 Bluetooth headset. So if you are tired of waiting for Dell to get their act together, and you don't fancy the Quantum, here's your chance to get a slide-out-keyboard-equipped WP7 device in the UK.
And if you're so inclined, check out Clove's video tour of the 7 Pro after the jump...
Source: Clove; via PocketNow; WMPU
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