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3 years ago

OverDrive modernizes Libraries on WP7

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While we have access to Amazon Kindle and whatnot on Windows Phone 7, what about free access to local libraries and books from schools? Many public libraries are now offering downloadable eBooks and now you can take advantage of this growing service with OverDrive.

This free app helps you locate libraries, find books (including audio books) and download them, not to mention the ability to read through each and every page. You must note however that you may need a library card and the downloaded eBooks will expire within a set time and will automatically be deleted. You can download OverDrive from the Marketplace.

Source: OverDrive, via: ChipChick

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3 years ago

First look: Kik Messenger for Windows Phone [Video]

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Good news everyone, Kik Messenger is finally live in the Marketplace (see website).

We've been playing around with it for the last few days and have been very impressed with the mobile instant messaging solution. To refresh, Kik messenger is a proprietary IM service designed for mobile use, is available on the iPhone and Android, boasts over 4 million users and is completely free.

So why use it over something like IM+ (see video tour)? In our mind it's simple: Kik is much faster to load, use and more importantly send/receive messages. It's the closest thing to BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) with its Sent, Delivered and Received statuses. From our experience, it's the most reliable and fastest IM client we have used yet on a mobile device: with push notifications (Live Tile, Toast), messages are received in less than 10 seconds nearly every time--truly a great experience.  Sure, it's not a multi-client system like IM+ and means you would have to try and get your friends on it, but so far we think it's worth it for mobile use, especially for communicating with those internationally. It's also $10 cheaper i.e. free.

Watch our video tour and then give the app a spin yourself and let us know what you think. You can grab Kik right here in the Marketplace. (Thanks, Mike A., for the tip)

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3 years ago

Compal to manufacture WP7 phones

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Compal to manufacture WP7 phones

Compal Electronics, Inc. CEO, Ray Chen, used today's annual stockholders meeting to make a big announcement: Compal signed an agreement with Microsoft to begin manufacturing Windows Phone devices.  Compal will be an ODM, which means that even though they will build the phones, they will carry the branding of other companies.  The new handsets, which will be made for Acer and Nokia, will are expected to go to market in Q4 of this year.

"Compal will build up a foundation based on the WP7 platform that will enable it to shorten time to market for customized smartphones while expanding the pool of Windows Phone-based clients," said Chen.  The Taiwan-based company joins the ranks of Nokia, HTC, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE, who all have licensing deals for WP7, but is currently the only ODM. 

Source: DigiTimes; Via: MobileTechWorld

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3 years ago

Microsoft Extras hit the WPCentral forums

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With a heavier emphasis on Microsoft's Live products (as well as Xbox) in Windows Phone 7, it's only right that we expand our forums which have been with us throughout the WinMob days to cater for all the features. We're pleased to announce a new category titled Microsoft Extras!

In this category, one will find the following forums:

    • Xbox
    • Zune
    • SkyDrive
    • Windows Live

    If you haven't already done so, check out the official WPCentral community and discuss the platform you enjoy using in your day-to-day life. To get into the swing of things and engage in discussion with our active community, head on over to our forum.

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    3 years ago

    Windows Phone Summary of the Week: June 20-26, 2011

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    We had a very busy week starting off with our hands-on review of WP7.5 "Mango" (preview verson), followed next by some "leaked" Nokia WP7 hardware. In addition, there have been a good number of other headlines that should be highlighted, including Verizon planning to introduce tiered data usage plans by July 7th, a new version of SkyDrive is released, Kik Messenger is destined for WP7 by the end of this month, Nokia outsourcing Symbian development to Accenture and possibly having Android as their backup option should WP7 'flop'.

    Gaming has had an eventful week too with Plants vs. Zombies being made available in the Marketplace, not to mention Twin Blades makes a miraculous return after being removed. Babaroga, makers of Zombies!!! are interviewed by our Paul Acevedo and we see a demonstration of how Kinect and WP7 can work together to make your life easier.

    Zune HDs are back in the news with the confirmation that selected apps available to the music player will be ported to WP7. Evernote 1.1 was released, which fixed the white screen of death issue many were experiencing. A Mango beta was reported by Neowin via their trusty 'sources', which of course turned out to be false (we were pretty sceptical ourselves) and the NoDo roll-out is finally complete with Orange scheduling and Telefonica sending notifications to users.

    Hardware, we see Nokia dominating technology headlines with previewing their 'Sea Ray' handset. Images are released showing this Nokia device to feature virtual buttons, but we believed Photoshop played a role. On the other hand we had high resolution 'Sea Ray' mock-ups that showed promise and potential. All in all though, WP7 hardware is overall more reliable than Android.

    It's all fun and games from here on out. We look at how to change the colour scheme on your handset with the help of homebrew. TouchyBooks is set bring over three hundred children’s books to WP7, neat eh? Hopefully they all wont be an app for each title. We have a video tour on hand of the new Microsoft Houston store opening. FoodSpotting app hits the Marketplace, and if that isn't your thing then how about a potential Gameboy emulator?

    The scrapped Mango beta ROM for developers rumour may hold some ground still with a Mango beta for developers potentially still on the table. Excited by the N9 design and look? Why not implement it onto the WP7 emulator?

    To know what's what, head on past the break.

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    3 years ago

    Cyclops Ballz - Review

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    3 years ago

    Official StubHub app comes to Windows Phone

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    It's been a good week for official apps on Windows Phone, with NBC Nightly NewsFoodSpotting, MTV News, Steven Colbert's The Word, VH1 to Go and probably a few others we missed, it shows that big companies and services are recognizing the increasing popularity of WP7.

    Today, StubHub's official free app launched (see their site). For those unfamiliar, StubHub is a website where you can buy and sell tickets for just about anything (sports, concerts and theater) at a reasonable price. It's like legalized scalping without the huge markup in price.

    The app is simple enough with a nice design. It allows you to have your "favorites" including by venue, search, upcoming events, all events and access to your account. For venues, you even get a nice "seat map", can of course buy tickets right from your phone and in some cases, have the tickets "electronically delivered" making this pretty great if you're already near the venue at the moment but it's sold out. Our only complaint? It's sometimes a little sluggish switching menus, something we think a v1.1 update will address at some point. Now excuse us, we're off to see Bootsy Collins...awww yeah.

    Grab it here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Jeremy H., for the tip

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    3 years ago

    I Dig It update stuck in certification limbo

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    I Dig It (review) from InMotion Software is a fun little Xbox Live game. Unfortunately, since its release it has been plagued by severely glitched Achievements. In our Broken Achievements article, I stated:

    “As of April 11, InMotion had submitted an update that corrected all of I Dig It’s known issues. Two months later, Microsoft has not chosen to publish the update. I feel for your plight, I Dig It players.”

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    3 years ago

    Pirate's Mind updated to version 1.4 and still completely free

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    A while ago we reported that indie puzzle game Pirate’s Mind would be free for a limited time. Good news for gamers: developer M80 Games has decided to continue offering their game free definitely.

    Pirates love free things, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like updates too. M80 has updated Pirate’s Mind a whopping three times in the month of June. Let’s look at what's changed.

    Pirate’s Mind version 1.4 changelog:

    • Repositioned the Multiplier starburst to be more visible during play.
    • Adjusted particle effects for better presentation
    • Optimized graphics to consume less memory and increase performance.
    • Fixed bug where if all coins on the playfield were the same, the game couldn't continue.

    Pirate’s Mind version 1.3 changelog:

    • Game now saves audio settings between play sessions
    • Fixed high score name entry to remember last used name
    • More bugfixes.
    • LG Phone users, we are still working on the issues some of you are experiencing. Please email us if you would like to help: contact@m80games.com

    Pirate’s Mind version 1.2 changelog:

    • New game mode "Dash"
    • Adjusted the difficulty progression  to be more challenging
    • Added a "Rate This Game" button. PLEASE EVERYONE...USE THIS :)
    • Many bug-fixes and optimizations
    • HTC crash issues hopefully resolved

    As you can see, the move to a completely free model (with no ads!) hasn’t diminished the developer’s desire to sharpen the game. In our review, I mentioned that games were too easy and went on a bit too long. The new 3-minute Dash mode and difficulty changes to the standard mode really make Pirate’s Mind work better as a mobile game.

    You’ll find Pirate’s Mind here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. Get it now before scurvy gets you!

    We’ve also learned that M80 is working on a new puzzle game, tentatively titled Buzzwords. WPCentral will bring you an exclusive first look soon.

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    3 years ago

    Xbox Kinect and WP7 integration

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    Xbox Kinect and WP7 integration

    The video above shows how the Xbox Kinect can interact with your Windows Phone 7 handset to make your life easier with certain tasks. An example shown in the video is an advert for Toyota. Simply activating Kinect's voice control and announcing "Near Me" will bring up a map showing the nearby locations of Toyota garages. Then a simple text message or email can be sent to your WP7 with the co-ordinates.

    This example aids in local advertising and minimises time for the end-user compared to opening a browser, searching Bing etc.

    Source: DailyMobile

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    3 years ago

    WP7 to feature Gameboy emulator [Homebrew]

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    You could well have Pikachu following Ash around Pallet Town soon enough with the actively developed project Wario's Jewels 7 (WJ7), the first Windows Phone 7 Gameboy emulator. XDA Developers Forum member Badcam3 is collaborating with other developers including Samuel Blanchard to turn this idea into reality.

    We know Microsoft doesn't play ball with emulators in the Marketplace (for a good number of reasons), but this is the first sign of light for the homebrew community. To find out more information, check the link below or follow the team on Twitter. The video below shows how you can create your game lists.

    Source: XDA Developers Forum, via: WPSauce

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    3 years ago

    Developer Interview: Babaroga, makers of Zombies!!!

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    Zombies!!! (review) was one of the first Xbox Live games I bought after jumping on the Windows Phone bandwagon. A survival horror-themed board game, it’s like nothing else on the platform. The game’s developer, Babaroga has made it no secret that they are working on a major update for the game. That’s good because I hate secrets almost as much as black licorice. Putting the devil candy aside for the moment, WPCentral is excited to bring you something much tastier: our interview with Andreja Djokovic, CEO and Founder of Babaroga, about their future plans for the Zombies!!! franchise and Windows Phone.

    Grab a snack if you like and head past the jump for the full interview.

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    3 years ago

    Some homebrew apps are currently blocked in Mango? Yes.

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    Question: Can you currently install homebrew apps on Windows Phone 'Mango'? 

    Answer: No, you cannot

    One of the firs things we did with the Samung Focus with "Mango" (see review) was to developer-unlock the device using our AppHub account--no problems there. We were also able to sideload official apps from developers not yet released to the Marketplace (e.g. beta testing, early reviews, etc.). However, when it came to side-loading XAP files from say, XDA or other developers, they would not load. Things like Registry editors, themes changers, etc. would result in Error 0×81030120 (see above image).

    A few days ago, Rafael Rivera, of ChevronWP7, gave some details about the situation on his blog, which you can read in detail here. [Warning: only developers will understand the lingo]. In short, the technical reason is "Mango won’t officially support the deployment of custom applications with the ID_CAP_INTEROPSERVICES capability flag".

    What is not clear at the moment is (a) Is this is a permanent change that will be in the final build of "Mango"? and/or (b) Can there can be a work around for it? (Rivera notes that he hasn't "...figured that out yet, you'll need to standby." in response to developer). It is quite perceivable that Microsoft will keep this as a way to prevent communities like XDA and the homebrew crowd from running Interopservices aka native code on Windows Phones, which will negate a lot of the homebrew communities work. As alternative, developers can release apps to the Beta Marketplace, however even there, running native code (the point of homebrew for many) would not be acceptable there either.

    Update: Scratch (a) up above. The final version of "Mango" will have this limitation, according to Rivera, which means the fate of homebrew is up to some ambitious devs.

    All we can say is stay tuned.

    Source: Within Windows; via NanaPho

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    3 years ago

    'The Colbert Report’s The Word' & 'VH1 To Go' also hit the Marketplace

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    Phew. Sure has been a busy day for "official" apps from our corporate media overlords. First was NBC News, then came MTV and now we have 'The Colbert Report's Word' and 'VH1 To Go' both from MTV Networks aka Viacom (who own Comedy Central).

    Of the two, we're more keen on Colbert's app, which is not for the whole show, but does catalog and make available all of his "The Word" segments available for streaming by date or alphabetically. Though we enjoy his show tremendously, this segment is always one of the more poignant and well written aspects, so kind of neat having it all the at your fingertips. You can grab that app for free in the Marketplace here. [Bonus: It has a Live Tile]

    The second, is for VH1, a channel much like MTV that used to actually show videos but now plays celebrity entertainment and other...stuff. To quote from the description:

    "Get your VH1 fix wherever you are, with VH1 To Go! Watch video and browse photos from all the current VH1 shows, music events and hits from the past. And, get exclusive first looks at upcoming episodes and new series by checking out the Sneak Peeks category. The app is updated daily with fresh content."

    Not our bag of tea but it's still nice to see some official love from Viacom's all powerful bag of networks. You can grab the 'VH1 To Go' app here in the Marketplace.

    Thanks, Avi Franchise, for the heads up!

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