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3 years ago

Windows 8 Developer Preview now available

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We mentioned it yesterday and apparently in the wee hours of the night Microsoft released the Developer Preview of Windows 8. It is a pre-beta version of the new OS for developers to tinker with and Microsoft makes it clear that you bear the risk of using it, noting that it may not be stable or work correctly.

Microsoft provides several download options (64-bit, 32-bit, with tools, without tools, etc). There are a few system requirements for running the Preview that include:

  • 1gb RAM on 32-bit systems or 2gb RAM on 64-bit
  • 16gb of hard disk space on 32-bit systems or 20gb of hard drive space on 64-bit
  • DirectX 9 graphics with WDDM 1.0 or higher drivers
  • 1GHz or faster processor on either 32-bit or 64-bit systems

To take advantage of the touch input, you will need a screen that supports multi-touch.  One last note on using the Windows 8 Preview is that you can't uninstall the Preview. To get rid of it, you'll have to reinstall your previous OS via restore or installation media.

If your feeling up to the adventure, you can find the Developer's Preview of Windows 8 here.

Thanks goes out to H3ALY for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Mango update imminent

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Windows Phone Mango update imminent

We just received a tip from an anonymous reader (he wishes to remain protected - we've sent WPCentral bouncers round as we speak) who reports that he's received an email notification from both Microsoft and a manufacturer (specifically not Samsung or HTC) to downgrade Mango-powered devices and revert back to a previous test version.

"Hello today we got an email notification from both MS and our Vendor for whom we test it's unreleased (TBR) device (not Sammy or HTC) to DOWNGRADE our Mango units to previous TEST Windows Phone Version as to check MS Servers for smooth Mango deployment/update and if all the Servers are prepped..."

It will then be the case to test the Mango deployment and ensure that Microsoft and the WP team get everything prepped and ready for end-users. Looks like this is fitting in with rumours and speculation that Mango is pretty ripe and ready to burst - it's the 15th tomorrow. Have we all got our kitchen knives at the ready? This fruit is going to be so sweet sliced.

Thanks to our anonymous tipster for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Early look: NextGen Reader 2.0 for Windows Phone Mango

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Fans of NextGen Reader will be excited to know that the developer has completed v2.0 of the app, which will see it become Mango-fied, adding all sorts of neat new features sure to make this app even better. For those unfamiliar, NextGen is billed as one of "the fastest Google Reader clients" for Windows Phone. Indeed, due to its minimalist Metro design it's not only fast but is packed full of features.

We were able to play around with an early release of the app and have come away quite impressed. In addition to the Mango v2.0 update, there will be one more for NoDo users (v1.17) and he's already started on v2.1 for Mango. Check out the video above for our quick hands on and look for the final release to hit the Marketplace soon (we'll announce it). As to all the new Mango features in v2.x, here you go:

  • Support for Live Tiles.
  • Pin your favorite feeds or folder to your home screen.
  • Displays unread count and latest article on the back side.
  • New settings page with metro design.
  • Share status using phone or app accounts.
  • add your second twitter account in app.
  • Support for multitasking or fast application switching.
  • System tray is now visible at top.
  • Context menu's are back - just tap and hold.
  • New "system default" theme option.
  • New icons for read or unread button in article view.
  • Many more enhancements and over 15 bug fixes

For those who want to try v1.16 now for NoDo, grab it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Just building an app is not enough [Developers]

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Breaking into a strange, yet interesting story. We have Connectivity Shortcuts by Oliver Ulm for Windows Phone Mango. It's a free Mango-only app that grants the user easy access to Wifi toggle, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode and Cell radio. Unfortunately this functionality wasn't absent from the Mango Marketplace as Network Dashboard, by George Roberts (sirtwist), was released a day prior to Connectivity Shortcuts. Feedback from users and sites alike had Network Dashboard as a more aesthetically pleasing offering.

Network Dashboard was featured in a recent WPDev podcast (about 18 minutes in) and it was said that Connectivity Shortcuts was a direct rip-off. Oliver has spoken to us about how the situation developed and he mentioned that although both apps share similar looks and functionality, they were both developed without knowledge of one another. He went on to say that he had a discussion with George about the coincidental release of both apps and agreed that it was mere pot luck.

What's interesting about this story is how a polished app that was both developed and released first received less attention than a labelled copy that was published a day later and lacked the same good looks. As a conclusion to this story, Oliver has some invaluable advice for other developers:

"Your Apps won't get downloaded and reported on if you simply put them in the Marketplace and wait to see what is going to happen. You have to work outside the Marketplace if you want users to know about them. Every day over a hundred Apps are released so it is easy for your App to remain unknown even though it might be really great.

The last thing to note is that as we have a global marketplace you have to be quick to implement your ideas. Considering the small size of most Smartphone Apps development times are short and there is always the chance that someone else might have the same idea and beat you to the finish line."

Some solid support there. Both Connectivity Shortcuts and Network Dashboard are still both under development and will be updated in the near future. While Oliver works on minor issues and plans to tackle the UI, Network Dashboard v1.1 has been submitted that brings flippy live tiles that show Wifi and Mobile Data statuses with a new icon to illustrate current setting value. 

Thanks Oliver for getting in touch!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - Collapse! finally falls onto the Marketplace

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Logic puzzles, physics puzzles… It’s been a while since we’ve seen a straight up match-3 puzzle game released to Xbox Live. That changes today, now that Collapse! - the game that sent some of our more hardcore readers into fits of rage - is now available on the Marketplace.

In GameHouse’s Collapse!, lines of colored blocks slowly rise from the bottom of the screen. Players simply tap groups of three or more same-colored blocks to clear them, which in turn causes other blocks to fall or… COLLAPSE!!!1! I’m not being sarcastic; I just wanted to type it that way. Exclamation marks in titles get my adrenaline pumping, ya know? Anyway, the game’s tap-tap rhythm makes it easy to pick up and play on the go. Gamers who need goals and variety aren’t out of luck, as the extensive Adventure mode contains all kinds of twists on the standard gameplay.

Collapse! costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. You can get it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. After you actually try the game, let us know what you think. (Thanks, @tamon_y, for the heads up!)

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3 years ago

Picasso inspired WP7 wallpapers

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Picasso inspired WP7 wallpapers

Pablo Picasso inspired many, and still remains to do so with both his work and approach to art. ILoveWP at Pixnet have published some Windows Phone wallpapers using the site mascot called Tiler. The designs are on parr with what Picasso is famous for and with the optional transparency they look awesome on WP handsets.

All hail the Cubist movement! We have the following:

Transparent collection

Mozart-the titanium (Music Hub)

Van Gogh-the titanium (XBOX LIVE)

Fanny-a TI (Picture Hub)

Nicole sunshine-a titanium and Goodall-a TI (People Hub)

Source: ILoveWP (Bing Translate); Thanks, Nicholas, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Zombie Attack 2 is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week, still rather boring though

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If you ask little old me, last week’s Xbox Live sale game was a bit of a dud. This week’s deal game isn’t much better. Zombie Attack! 2 is on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Zombie Attack! 2 is a tower defense game in which players actually control a human survivor who runs around and builds the towers. A fine idea in theory, but the execution leaves much to be desired. A few criticisms from our review: Clunky controls, a complete lack of music, a bug that can make sound effects refuse to play, help screens that clearly refer to the iPhone version’s tilt controls (absent here)… It’s a zombie-filled mess.

Worse, the crux of the game involves completing 10 Challenge levels, which take 45 minutes to an hour each and are just super boring. Seriously, there are much better tower defense games on Xbox Live, including Plants vs. Zombies and geoDefense. One of the two even has zombies

Zombie Attack! 2 is on sale for one week only. If you insist on picking up this rotting corpse of a game, you’ll find it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Rumor: Fujitsu IS12T coming to Taiwan next month

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Rumor: Fujitsu IS12T coming to Taiwan next month

Looks like Taiwan is getting all sorts of rumors tonight, which must make those folks happy (or disappointed if proven false). The latest comes from Sogi.com.tw, which evidently is a reputable source for phone rumors and news. But instead of a Mango update, this is about a new Mango phone.

They're reporting that the Fujitsu IS12T, that super cool and waterproofed Mango phone, will be hitting Taiwan "next month". No word about where this info has come from, but others seem to put some faith in it and lets be honest, it's hardly a stretch of the imagination, what with Japanese and Chinese support being available in Mango.

Source: Sogi.com.tw; via I Love Windows Phones; Thanks, @Tortue, for the Twitter tip!

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3 years ago

HTC Titan available in the Netherlands on October 7th, pre-orders now

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Looks like HTC is pretty darn close to getting that Titan out the doors. We saw it earlier for Vodafone and T-Mobile and now it's showing up in the Netherlands for € 508 come October 7th. The device will be available on multiple carriers, including Telefort, Tele2 and Hi.  Users can also pre-order the phone now to make sure they get that monster in the mail by that date. Sounds good to us.

Source: Studentmobiel.nl; Thanks, Johan, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Mango launching in Taiwan on the 16th?

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Windows Phone Mango launching in Taiwan on the 16th?

We're expecting lots of news on Mango in the next few days (see Australia earlier) and now it looks like Taiwan may be tasting the fruit soon as well.

According to the site Mobile01 (which sounds like a Gundam Wing, sorry, geek spaz), folks at Microsoft TechDays Taiwan 2011 revealed that September 16th would be the day for release in Taiwan. What's not clear is whether this will be done via Zune or, as some are suggesting over there, users will have to bring their phones to certain shops to be flashed in person--certainly unorthodox, but seeing as Windows Phone infrastructure is still new in Taiwan, perhaps not unrealistic.  Luckily this rumor will be proven true or false within two days--so it'll be interesting to see what happens.

Source: Mobile01; via We Love Windows Phone HK

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3 years ago

Vodafone Australia finishes Mango testing awaiting green light

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We are all waiting with anticipation to see what happens on September 15th with regards to a possible Mango release. Vodafone Australia might have just tipped Microsoft's hand in announcing on their blog site that they have completed carrier testing, approved the update and are now only waiting for deployment from Microsoft.

Microsoft has been busy today at the BUILD developer's conference showing off Windows 8. Could Microsoft's next center stage production at BUILD be the release of Mango, giving the green light to carriers to begin deployment?

If everything falls into place and we see a Mango release on the 15th, let us hope that all the carriers have worked as diligently as Vodafone Australia has.

source: vodafone via: wpdownunder Thanks Sheeds!

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3 years ago

Metro UI invades Windows 8

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Metro UI invades Windows 8

Microsoft turned its attention from the little screen of the Windows Phone to the big screen of the PC today and demoed Windows 8 at the 2011 BUILD developers conference.  And it looks awfully familiar.

Microsoft took center stage at the Anaheim, California event highlighting Windows 8 and the new Samsung Windows 8 tablet. Windows 8 is another major overhaul for a Microsoft OS and will offer focus on a touch-based UI that is optimized for tablets and looks really nice.

Steven Sinofsky, President of Microsoft's Windows Division stated in his keynote,

"We reimagined Windows. From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise."

Windows 8 follows the Metro user interface we all have become familiar with through our Windows Phone and the Xbox 360 console. It lines up the PC with the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem rather nicely and will connect the three through Windows Live and Skydrive.  Even the lock screen shares the same features of your Windows Phone by displaying the date/time, any upcoming appointments, and unread message summaries.

The Metro UI supports both mouse and keyboard navigation and if the Metro style isn't your cup of tea, you can revert to a more traditional Windows 7 interface.

Microsoft didn't share a release date for Windows 8 but it's our understanding that we should see it sometime mid-2012. A Developer Preview for Windows 8 is expected to be available later this week. It should be interesting to see Metro on the big screen.

Source: Microsoft News Center

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3 years ago

HTC Titan shows up for pre-orders

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HTC Titan shows up for pre-orders

The HTC Titan has popped up on the buymobilephones.net website for pre-order. The 4.7" Windows Tablet...err...Phone is up for pre-order on T-Mobile (Europe), O2 and Vodafone.

Package deals have the Mango phone ranging in price from FREE to 219.99 pounds (about $347 US dollars). While we'd love to see an availability day, the best the website offers is "Stock due soon".

Earlier this week AT&T announced they would be adding the HTC Titan to their Windows Phone line-up and hopefully, "Stock due soon" or similar will be showing up on AT&T's website in the near future.  Better yet, I wonder if anyone will be offering it for free here in the States?

Thanks goes out to alexb8 for tipping us via our Twitter page @WPCentral

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3 years ago

NoFoto - Mango App Spotlight

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NoFoto - Mango App Spotlight

Today's Mango App Spotlight focuses on the camera. NoFoto lets you discretely take pictures by replacing your camera software view with a blank screen. To take a picture, just tap on the screen.

NoFoto will then focus the camera and snap the shot. The shutter sound is muted and to confirm the shot, your Windows Phone will vibrate once the picture is taken.  A number indicator will appear in the upper left corner of the screen showing how many photos have been taken.

An instructional screen will appear when you fist launch the app. From there you just tap "okay" and start taking photos. If you don't tap okay in a timely manner, the app will shut down.  In taking NoFoto out for a short test drive, it works as advertised.  If questioned, all someone will see is a blank screen giving your Windows Phone the appearance of being turned off.  There were a few times it took the camera a little longer to focus so you have to be care not to move your phone too quickly.

The downside to this Mango app is that there isn't a trial version available for NoFoto. The upside is that the app can come in handy and only costs $.99. You can find NoFoto here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

WhatsApp teasing for Mango release [Updated x2]

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Lets face it: there's no real reason why WhatsApp, the super popular proprietary, multii-platform IM system can't come to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. None. They get their database/contact access, runs in the background, push notifications, fast-app resume--everything they need. And with Microsoft going out of their way to woo developers and services, it's not exactly a stretch to think a WhatsApp client is coming this fall.

So when the official WhatsApp Twitter account tweeted "Did you know that mangoes account for approximately half of all tropical fruits produced worldwide?", it's not hard to read between the lines.

Sure, it could be a coincidence. Perhaps they were feeling irreverent today or their Tweet manager has a thing for mangoes, but c'mon, this was a wink and a nod, especially that BUILD is happening right now.

Update: We should note that Bill Cox (Sr. Director of Communications at Microsoft for the Windows Phone Division) and Joe Belfiore have re-Tweeted the @WhatsApp tweet. So there you go.

Update 2: And look at that. In the media section of WhatsApp's website, they have a new "teaser" image up. What's new there of course is the Windows Phone logo. So lets just consider this open/shut. WhatsApp is nearly here. (Thanks, Plaffo.com, for the tip!)

Thanks, michelloyen and Rob, for the heads up

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