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4 years ago

Journey planning comes to London Travel app

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Not only has the London Tube app altered its brand name to London Travel (this comes with the recent update), Irtiqa have brought the much sought-after feature from user reviews - Journey planning.

We previously reviewed London Tube prior to the update and found that the features and design both complimented the effort and creativity that were present in the appeal, along with the cheap price tag. Although the majority of reviews on the Marketplace were requests for an ability to plan a journey through the boroughs of London, the presence of a live Oyster Card balance was warmly welcomed.

With the newly added journey planner, there isn’t a restriction to only tube journeys. You have the option to filter plans by; National Rail, DLR, tram, bus, coach and river boat. If that wasn’t enough, you can use your location to find nearby stations and services.

There is only one drawback from this update (for those who work in London) - the excuse for being late due to commute problems is becoming less acceptable, which is a slight pain.

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4 years ago

Sound stuttering problems for Samsung

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Sound stuttering problems for Samsung

There seems to be (and has been for some time) an apparent uproar about the Zune software on the Samsung Focus device over on the Microsoft forums. There appears to be an issue, which many are experiencing with ZunePass content and synchronised playlist.

During the remaining ten seconds of a song it will freeze for a moment or two, play the following second, lock-up once again and continue this loop until the media is finished. Both owners of installed microSD cards, and without have reported this.

Looking into the reports on the forum thread, people seem to be experiencing the stuttering playback issue in completely different circumstances - through the audio jack, via BlueTooth and the built-in speaker. Not only that, but there are more reports that have been posted about the Omnia 7 device that seems to stutter through playback also.

I have attempted to reproduce the problem folk are experiencing on my Omnia 7, but have failed to find anything - I have also been using it as an MP3 device for a month now through commuting and general use, and have never noticed this issue. [Edit: Our own Daniel Rubino has seen this on the Samsung Focus though, numerous times]

Should it be a Microsoft or Samsung fault, we do hope they are looked into as this could seriously impact a user's experience on WP7. Are you experiencing the same problem on your Samsung device?

Thanks Brian for the tip!

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4 years ago

New Twitter app 'Birdsong' first look [Video]

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We got word today of a yet another Twitter app in the Marketplace (see Beezz, Seesmic, Twitt, etc.), this one called Birdsong, which has a nice ring to it.

The app fetches for a pricey $1.99 and there is a free trial, but is it worth it? Our initial impression is for a v1.0 app it's pretty rockin' and yeah, we actually bought it. The main thing we like about is its looks: it feels almost like a native Twitter app. It also caches nicely, has threaded conversation views, retweet (old and quote), landscape support, inline pic viewing, Twitpic uploading and more. The UI is real slick and there's "infinite scrolling" so no more "load more" screens.

We look forward to seeing what comes next from the developer, who is already working on v1.1. You can check the developer's site here for more info and grab the trial here in the Marketplace.

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4 years ago

Slick Deals app hits 2.0, gets a Live Tile too

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You like bargains especially on tech stuff? Then Slick Deals might be your app. Based off of the website Slickdeals.net, it hails itself as

...a free, user-driven deal sharing site with a mission to provide consumers an avenue to collaborate and share information in order to make the best shopping decisions. Slickdeals achieves this by providing its users a forum for communication and various shopping tools. Slickdeals.net prides itself on being user and community focused, never allowing paid placement for frontpage deal listings.

And here's the mobile app, which just hit version 2.0.  The app itself is pretty nice with configuration options, including how many days it should go back. Unfortunately going through to the links to the actual deal website might not always work but as a way to catch deals, it's pretty solid.

The newer version seems more stable and the layout has changed a bit. But what really caught our eye was the new Live Tile, which we're always a fan of. The tile here just acts as a counter, letting you know that a new deal has been posted--which is really all you can ask for with this type of app, so we're stoked.

You can grab the free app here in the Marketplace.

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4 years ago

Samsung releases exclusive free 'Photo Studio' app for Windows Phone

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One area where we like to see OEMs hare at work is in the "exclusive" app department. Everyone except Dell has done a real nice job of offering unique programs on their phones, free of charge, to enhance the user experience.

Samsung's niche seems be photos as they have released 'Samsung Photo Sharing', 'Photogram' (see review) and now 'Photo Studio'.  This new one is actually quite nice, allowing you to shoot in different modes, including Lomo, to speed of the process. From the app description:

Photo Studio is an all-in-one solution for taking, editing and sharing pictures though your WP7. Photo Studio allows the user to take pictures with effects such as LomoShot, Beautyshot and PlusMe. All pictures can modified with various photo effects. Users also can also easily upload their pictures to the most popular Social network services including Facebook and Flickr.

  • LomoShot: Users can vignette pictures in the style of softening or shading away the edges of the subject. There are four option modes: Normal, Gray, Warm and Cold
  • BeautyShot: Users can brighten and sharpen the portrait
  • PlusMe: Users can take two pictures separately and mix them together
  • Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, MySpace, Photobucket, Friendster support

The app so far is quite decent, especially for free, but real photo hounds will want to stick with Thumba (see review) for more fine-tuned control.

You can grab the app now in the Marketplace, but you won't see it under "Samsung Zone"--instead, enter the Samsung Zone, pick any app and hit "More from SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS Co. Ltd." and now you should see it. Or just click this link.

via MobilityDigest

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 copy and paste limitations detailed

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So yeah, we all know by now that copy and paste is coming to Windows Phone 7. The remaining questions deal with how it works and what are its limitations. Lots of debate has circled this area on other sites with some claiming copy and paste will only work with native apps, but not 3rd party ones. This is far from true, it will certainly work with 3rd party apps both in terms of copying materials and pasting it.

But there are some limitations and it won't be as robust as what we used to have on Windows Mobile, where you could basically copy anything. Those limitations were described by Chris Walsh of ChevronWP7 who of course received some hands on practice with the OS update.

The limitations are thus:

...copy and paste is ONLY supported on the textbox control in 3rd party apps. When I say supported, I’m talking about the OS automagically recognizing the input control and giving the user the fancy text selection picker with a “copy” button

but

...certain apps don’t actually use the textbox to render read-only text. For example, the Twitter for Windows Phone app, when you’ve clicked on a tweet to either view it or click on a link, the text isn”t rendered in a TextBox control. Unfortunately you’re not going to get copy & paste there. The simple fix is to change to a textbox control for scenarios where a user might need to copy some text into the clipboard but it requires some effort from application developers

So that's a bummer for some apps that don't use a textbox (to see one Twitter app that does, see Twitt). The big question now is will this satisfy people? Probably the majority but not everyone. Finally, Walsh also notes the speed improvement from the update calling it "nothing short of pure awesome"--so that's good.

Source: My Coding Adventures

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4 years ago

Awesome Sheep - Review

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Awesome Sheep - Review

Give or take a few, there are approximately 690 puzzle applications for Windows Phone 7. One of such is Awesome Sheep, a puzzle game for your Windows Phone that has you leading your sheep from the barn to pasture.

Sounds easy, right? It would be if the path was straight and narrow but Awesome Sheep has your tackling see-saws, diving from cliffs (the sheep are equipped with parachutes) and other hurdles to tackle. Awesome Sheep has moved up the popularity list for Windows Phone puzzle games and to see what all the excitement is about, just leap on past the break.

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4 years ago

Parachute Panic coming to Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone this week

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The wildly popular iPhone game (yes, we're taking them all, thank you) Parachute Panic by FDG (in conjunction with MGS) is coming to our Windows Phones this week.

The game is a classic "parchute game" where you try to land your hapless skydiver on a moving ship. In the meantime, aliens, birds and even a shark all try to complicate your progress. Having played the game on my iPad, I can say it's actually quite a lot of fun: addictive and yet frustrating too.

This unique casual game requires you to successfully land a host of parachutists into passing boats. Beware of imminent dangers such as helicopter blades, U.F.O´s, sharks and thunder clouds. The game offers beautiful hand drawn graphics, smooth animations, catchy acapella music and awesome sound effects. In addition to that we created funny animations for any failed enemy encounter :D We had a lot of fun creating this game and hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

No word on pricing but this should be a pretty big hit, we think. [Update: price is $2.99, available worldwide]

Source: FDG Website; via @KarlStricker

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4 years ago

Unofficial Skype client coming to Windows Phone 7 [Homebrew]

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Due to having no sockets support, multitasking or the ability to run native code, companies like Skype and Viber are sitting on the sidelines, preventing any true VOIP application on Windows Phone 7. So leave it up to someone at XDA to try and do it themselves instead!

Developer Jefis posted this today about the project:

Hello there fellow developers. I recently made quite a progress in developing skype for WP7.

I want to share my current progress with you, so maybe someone will want to join this little project, which, in future will be released for free, and probably with source code .

I'm not designer, as you will see from the screenshots, but, if you are, and want to join this effort in making skype, contact me asap.

Current status of project: Working contacts + ability to chat. Nothing more.

Sounds like along way to go, but even offering direct Skype chat via a client would be a welcomed addition to the homebrew community. The project is still in early stages, but we know people have been hacking away at sockets support in the community, so anything is possible.

Source: XDA; via Ali Waqas; Thanks Ali!

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4 years ago

Concept grocery app '24 Seven' looks like a bargain [Video]

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On the one hand, we hate concept videos only because they seem to promise more than they can deliver--it's like a big tease. On the other hand, it's nice to think big and push the boundaries a bit as it stirs innovation, design and hopefully real applications.

The above video, which is extremely well produced, was a project by Luca Trinchero (who sent this in to us) and Gianvito Toscano at the Polytechnic of Milan in 2010 and it's of a concept app called 24 Seven (catchy!). It looks like a combo of Groupon and ShopSavvy, presenting deals to you on the go, the ability to scan barcodes for price comparison and evidently a way for your roommate or partner to update your grocery list remotely (that last part is pretty darn brilliant).

Finally, the app appears to total your groceries (because you were scanning each one) and you pay using the phone. We're already seeing something like that at Stop & Shop here in the States, where they let you scan, bag and pay for your items all on your own--so very feasible.  The would-be developers do tell us "..maybe we will develop it, stay tuned!"

We will guys, keep us posted.

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4 years ago

Show your Windows Phone 7 pride on your lockscreen

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We covered the notion of transparent wallpapers for your unlock screen before, so this is nothing new. But the design here is kind of swanky so why not show a little support for your brand by displaying the famous "I

Designed by Lee Whitington, there are three choices: black icons with transparency, color icons solid black, or color icons with transparency (see above). To get the transparent ones, remember you'll need to email them to yourself and not save to the device, but use as Wallpaper directly.

Think you can do better? Share 'em in our forum.

Source: Lee Whitington (DeviantArt); via the Windows Club

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4 years ago

AlphaJax getting Xbox LIVE status? [Rumor]

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Yeah, so we've fallen over the whole AlphaJax craze (see George's double review of it and Spell It!; my thoughts here)

An obvious next step for the app would be for Xbox LIVE support--after all it already has great asynchronous game play/multiplayer support, push updates and is just a solid app. But not many games have gone from non-Xbox status to Xbox LIVE certified--actually we can't think of any. That's because to get that coveted status, you need to do a lot of collaboration with Microsoft and meet their very high standards to get access to the LIVE universe.

Will AlphaJax be the first to transition? We don't know but on their Facebook page, they strongly hint at the possibility. When asked about Xbox LIVE support they responded with "stay tuned...!"

Oh we will, we will. Thanks, Ricardo Dawkins for the tip

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4 years ago

Bring Cast app finally allows downloading of podcasts over-the-air [Video]

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One current limitation of Windows Phone 7 is the inability to download and manage podcasts on your device over-the-air. Awhile back we reported on a free app called simply Podcasts! which at least allowed you to stream any podcast, though not save. The app worked very well, but if you didn't want to use your precious 3G data minutes, then you were out of luck.

BringCast ($1.99, trial available) gets around this by finally allowing you to download audio and video podcasts. The selection of 'casts is limited but that's fine as you can request your favorite to be added and more importantly, you can type in the RSS URL or OMPL file to import your selection.

The app worked flawlessly on our end, though sometimes it was a bit stuttery on screen transitions. Still, for a v1.0 app we really have no complaints--the download screen is nice, it integrates with Zune's history and we dig the "what's new" screen. Pretty solid. The trial is fully functional except you get a nag screen on 1st launch and you are limited to any three feeds--but that's more than enough to tell you if it's worth the $1.99. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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4 years ago

ChevronWP7 team updates on Microsoft meeting, future of homebrew community

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The ChevronWP7 team finally got around to updating their blog regarding the recent meeting with Microsoft and the t-shirt heard around the world.

The team is of course under an agreed to non-disclosure agreement (NDA) so whatever details they can share are somewhat vague. But here's what we know:

  • They're "genuinely excited by many of the forward-looking presentations. We can only hope they come to fruition as soon as possible."
  • ChevronWP7 "...will work with Microsoft towards long-term solutions that support mutual goals of broadening access to the platform while protecting intellectual property and ensuring platform security."

And perhaps most importantly, we know that the unlocking tool will be disabled with the upcoming NoDo update--but they are "collaborating with Microsoft on an interim solution that will continue to support homebrew developments after the update.". No details were given on what exactly that means, but will be forthcoming. Some other information gleaned: no, your Xbox LIVE accounts won't be banned for using and unlocker and Rafael Rivera at least seems confident that we'll like the "short term stuff".

In addition, the team was able to play with and test the new update, confirming that the unlocker doesn't work and managed to receive some Asus E600 developer phones for their trouble.

In summary, while we only have some vague notion of feelings on the matter given from the team, it as least sounds as if they are satisfied and that Microsoft is working on some sort of "solution" to the homebrew question, something we vigorously support.

Source: ChevronWP7 Blog; Within Windows; @withinrafael

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