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3 years ago

Microsoft's Zune Pass Survey (Updated)

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Microsoft's Zune Pass Survey (Updated)

In the Redmond, WA Area? Have two hours to kill? If so, Microsoft User Research is looking for Zune Pass users to participate in a two hour study. The study will take place on Microsoft’s Redmond campus with participants offered a choice of new Microsoft software, hardware or games from a list of our current most popular titles.

Sound interesting? To sign up for the survey just send the following information to uccoord@microsoft.com with “Zune” in the title:

  • Name/Phone Number
  • Job/Company
  • Are you a monthly subscriber to Zune Pass?
  • How frequently do you watch movies online on your computer/console (Hulu, Netflix, Zune, etc.)?
  • How often do you make online purchases with a debit or credit card?

The study is between 3:30-6:30pm. Microsoft hopes to use the feedback and opinions for what they are describing as the next generation of Microsoft services and products.

UPDATE: Microsoft has pushed the date of the survey back and extended the hours.  The new date and time for the Zune Pass Survey is July 8th from 8:00am until 6:30pm PDT.  You still need to be in Redmond to participate but at least now you've got a little time to make the trek.  Thanks Eli for the update!

Source: Facebook

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3 years ago

One day later: Two ways to put Mango on your non-dev phone

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Yesterday we saw the developer release of "Mango" for Windows Phone 7. The method requires a $99 AppHub subscription and for you to make a backup of your phone before the flash. It also voids your warranty.

Today, of course, people have already figured out ways around having a developer unlocked phone to flash Mango to it. We want to stress a couple of things first though:

  • This voids your warranty
  • You can't upgrade to the final Mango from this build, so you MUST back up
  • If you loose your backup, your phone is permanently in preview-Mango mode--no going back, no going forward
  • If this flash doesn't work and you brick your phone, it's your fault. Remember, even the offiical method has some issues (see here).

The first method comes by way of WPSauce. In essence, it requires three steps:

  1. Reverting back to 7004 or 7008 (aka pre-NoDo) by using your backup in Zune
  2. Using ChevronWP7 to unlock your phone
  3. Downloading and installing the official Mango update tools

We won't link to the files here, but safe to say you can do a little sleuthing around to find them yourself. This method at least will create a backup of your device (which you should also backup) and allow you to go forward once the real Mango update comes out this fall. Of all the ways, this is the safest (though still risky).

The second method comes via Windows Phone Hacker. It does not require you to revert back nor have a developer unlocked device. It basically will "...provision your device to receive beta updates. It requires the Windows Phone Support Tools to be installed, and your device needs to be updated to NoDo or beyond". Note: it does not create a backup, but you can do it yourself.

Once again, we caution you to hold off on doing this, at least for a few days. Wait till others have tried it, wait till Microsoft responds, wait till we know more about what is happening here. The second method is certainly the most risky and no one wants to hear your story about how your phone broke because you did this, so patience is a virtue here.

Source: WPSauce, Windows Phone Hacker

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3 years ago

Twin Blades returns on July 6, slightly greener but just as fun

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Now that the 6 Weeks of Must Have Games has ended, we’re back to learning about the weekly Xbox Live releases a bit less far in advance. The first Xbox Live title to follow Angry Birds will be… Twin Blades from developer Press Start Studio and publisher Microsoft Game Studios.

That’s right, after disappearing from the Marketplace for several months over concerns about it gory content, Twin Blades is coming back. Users who already own the game have received an update that changes the game’s blood to green, and soon the game will be officially available for sale.

Twin Blades is a side-scrolling hack-and-slash game starring a nun who is tasked with saving the world from an army of the undead. She’s armed with a sickle and an assortment of guns, all of which can be upgraded by collecting zombie hearts. It’s a challenging and lengthy game with both a story mode and an all-action survival mode. We’ll have a full review soon.

Twin Blades will be available on Wednesday, July 6 for $2.99.

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3 years ago

Image and specs of HTC Eternity revealed?

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HTCInside has posted what appear to be a snapshot and specs of the HTC Eternity, one of the new phones rumored to arrive this fall from the Taiwanese manufacturer.  Along with sporting a whopping 4.7-inch WVGA Super LCD screen, this Mango monster will allegedly pack the following features:

  • 1.5GHz single-core processor
  • 8MP camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 16GB of storage
  • DLNA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • 1650mAh battery

The 1.5GHz processor exceeds the current Microsoft WP7 requirements, which only include 1GHz and 800MHz chips.  This could either be a sign of new hardware requirements to come, or the Eternity's spec sheet is incorrect.  With or without the pumped-up CPU, the HTC Eternity sounds like quite the powerhouse.  As with all leaks, we need to take it with a grain of salt, but it's a exciting prospect nonetheless.

Source: HTCInside; Via: PocketNow

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3 years ago

SiriusXM stream back online, Sat Rad Player returns

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Remember when we reported that the SiriusXM stream had gone offline and that led to the Sat Rad Player being pulled from the Marketplace? Well, both have apparently made a miraculous return. Which is fantastic news for users. You can download Sat Rad Player (Zune link) from the Marketplace.

According to readers in our last article, Canada was still online, only the US went down. SiriusXM were reluctant to provide any information apart from "we aren't developing an app on WP7 nor supporting third parties". It's a good job everything is back to normal and hopefully a reliable service will resume.

Thanks for the tip Perry!

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3 years ago

Facebook for Windows Phone hits v2.0, gets push notifications!

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Yup. Today is a huge day for Windows Phone indeed and, to top it off, the official Facebook app just hit 2.0 and finally (finally!) brings Push Notifications (Toast + Live Tile) to the game.

What's really great is just how much you can choose to be notified on: Message, Wall Post, Feed comment, Feed comment reply, Photo tag, Photo comment, Tagged photo comment, Photo comment reply...etc, etc. All of those are optional for notifications, which gives you the user some great control over how the app works.

Overall, the app feels smooth and now, dare we say, is complete? Go get it here in the Marketplace. (Thanks, @wp7ap, for the heads up!)

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3 years ago

MLB.com at Bat 11 - Quick Take

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3 years ago

Microsoft responds to some Mango update issues [Developers]

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Although the Mango developer preview program is just a few hours old, there have been a few hiccups here and there. In a couple of tweets from Cliff Simpkins, Product Manager for WP7, he let users know about a few issues that they are aware of and when to expect some fixes:

  • Install instructions v1.2: Instructions have been updated now and devs are encouraged to read them to prevent any problems
  • Samsung Focus v1.4 - In short, they can't update using these tools, much like how they can't get NoDo. Simpkinns responds with "we'll put a fix out in mid-July to help you guys get updated"
  • Error 80180048 - "we'll also put up a fix out in mid-July." More Information can be found in the AppHub forums here.

We've also been hearing that some Focus users, including WinRumor's Tom Warren aren't doing too well: "Not a great experience with Mango on my Focus. I'm stuck with a phone that boots but no UI, just battery and time".

Clearly Microsoft was taking a risk here by doing this for devs, so we can expect a few bumps here and there. Lets just hope it's nothing too severe for those developers afflicted.

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3 years ago

More confirmation of front-facing camera support in WP7 Mango

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Yesterday, we noted how the Beta 1 Mango developer tools still had a reference to a 'self-portrait camera' i.e. front facing camera. We then later received confirmation from a trusted source that indeed, the new Mango hardware specs allow for front-facing cameras, an idea not too crazy when you throw in the 4G support.

Today, we saw the release of the Beta 2 Mango dev tools and intrepid reader 'Q' has forwarded this screenshot showing a brand new icon in the camera application. That icon, is not on NoDo devices nor current preview Mango devices either. To us, it clearly looks like a button to toggle the rear and front cameras, giving even more evidence that this fall video conference chats will be popular and third party devs can release software that utilizes the new camera.

(Thanks, Q, for the screenshot)

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3 years ago

Microsoft Research releases 'Academic Search' app for Windows Phone

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Besides all of the other official apps released today and yesterday, Microsoft Research (that super cool group at Redmond), has just released a new beta app called 'Academic Search'. Title is pretty self explanatory as far as the topic. Here's the app description:

"Academic Search WP7 client is a free academic search application based on new technologies from Microsoft Research. It gives users access to more than 27 million publications on multiple academic domains."

Huzzah. Sounds pretty cool to us and seems like a great way to kill time, especially if you're into that type of work. As of right now, ours didn't populate, but imagine they still have to throw the switch. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Even more official apps hit WP7: American Airlines, MLB at bat, Billboard, E! and more

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Besides FOX News, looks like another crew of official apps just hit the Marketplace. Clearly Microsoft has a strategy going on here (see yesterday). Since we don't have the energy to do full posts for each, we'll just give you the rundown:

  • American Airlines - "Introducing the travel app that understands who you are and where you’re going. From where you’re departing and from what gate. Where you’ll sit and even where you are on the standby list. Get your personalized America Airlines travel information by downloading the app that’s perfect for flying through airports." Get flying here in the Marketplace.
  • MLB at Bat - "MLB.com At Bat 11, the award-winning application, is live baseball – every pitch from every at bat – all season. Follow your favorite team everywhere you go with comprehensive, up-to-the-moment action, including live home and away audio broadcasts." Get it here in the Marketplace. [Warning: Price is $14.99 w/No trial!]
  • Live From the Red Carpet (E!) - "The fashion! The stars! The glitz! The winners! It's all here in this unparalleled, high-class and FREE app from E!, the leader in red carpet entertainment. This Live From the Red Carpet app lets you experience total VIP access to Hollywood's hottest events, right at your fingertips." Get your star news right here in the Marketplace.
  • Billboard - "The Billboard.com Charts App provides you with access to our 16 most popular charts, as well as available chart history. Sample 30 second clips and purchase from the Zune store from within the app." Get your music hits here in the Marketplace.
  • Trove (The Washington Post) - "Trove is a personalized news and information engine. It aggregates the Web's most interesting stories from a wide swath of sources, and gives you the power to customize what you see and how you see it. Pulling articles from more than 10,000 sources, Trove's combination of innovative aggregation and human editing gives you the best of both worlds: the day's important stories and news tuned to your niche interests." Get news from a trusted source here in the Marketplace.

Phew. Looks like Microsoft has unleashed the floodgates this week. We're almost scared now to see what else is coming..we still have a few more days this week. (Big thanks to Avi Franchise for the tips)

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3 years ago

Fox News App now at the Marketplace

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Fox News App now at the Marketplace

"The Most Powerful Name in News" is now available at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Fox News Networks has released the Fox News app that brings the latest news stories, video clips and news images to your Windows Phone.

Key features include:

  • Live Tile support that provides a snapshot of the top news story
  • Fox News shows airtime schedules and video clips from recent episodes
  • Videos and Photos from the top news stories of the day as well as from the world of entertainment, politics, health and more
  • Breaking news banner

The best part about the Fox News app is that it's a free app. You can download your copy here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to sasa for the tip!

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3 years ago

Kik Messenger communicating without SSL

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Kik Messenger communicating without SSL

While nothing to be fearful about, I wouldn't recommend sending your bank account number and sort code via Kik Messenger for Windows Phone anytime soon, not that you would anyway. While the user's password is sent either hashed or encrypted, it's reported that Kik is sending user email addresses and messages in clear-text, viewable by any middle man, over an open connection (i.e. unsecured WiFi).

Mike Cardwell, a well established IT specialist, reported a year ago how Kik was insecure with Blackberry, Android and iOS. Kik has since resolved these issues this year and have commented on an article over at Within Windows covering the WP7 client:

 "Hi Rafael, Corry from Kik here. Thanks for your analysis.We are aware of this issue and plan to add WP7 message encryption in a future release. We want to reiterate that the password is not being sent in clear-text, and that our Android and iPhone clients feature full SSL encryption (login info + messages), as Mike Cardwell mentioned in his comment."

At least our passwords are safe, although we do recommend using multiple passwords for your online accounts, especially between social networks and e-commerce sites. Hopefully security will be added for emails and messages in Kik at some point in the near future. Use over 3G should be fine since the signal is encrypted.

Source: Within Windows and Mike Cardwell, thanks insi for the tip!

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3 years ago

Student Developers Mango competition

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Student Developers Mango competition

Attention student developers! In light of the recent announcement for the early developer access to the next Windows Phone major update (codenamed Mango), The WP7 team is also giving away 50 Mango powered handsets to really make this summer something special.

Here's what you need to do to be eligible to win one of the free Mango handsets:

  1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
  2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark)
  3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app
  4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp
  5. We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device

For more information, see the official article via the link below (also grab a copy of the Windows Phone SDK beta 2 if not already installed).

Source: WindowsTeam Blog

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3 years ago

Mango available for Developers

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Mango available for Developers

 

Here we are folks! This is it, a Mango beta ROM (reportedly build 7661) is now available (or will be shortly) for developers to update on their retail devices. Fantastic news for the registered brains. Confirmation comes from both Brandon Watson and Joe Belfiore. Full distribution of Mango to developers will be carried out over the next few weeks (in batches), registered developers will receive invites to the Microsoft Connect site, which will provide you with the update.

Countries explicitly supported for the early access program (your device will be supported by big M and will be processed should it malfunction once the distribution infrastructure is in place):

 "Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States"

What should you do now? Why not head on over to download the Mango Tools beta 2, which includes a number of  goodies, update your device to Mango and then (as Brandon Watson so fantastically puts it):

"Third, go rub it in your friends’ faces that you have Mango and they don’t. "

There will be a tools update in the coming months that will feature the go-live license required to publish Mango apps to the Marketplace, but be sure to start being creative now since your apps will work in the tools and the developer phone. For more information, check out the official blog post using the link below. These are positive signs my friends, this will surely drive excitement for Mango even further.

Source: WindowsTeam Blog

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