Recent Articles

Headlines

3 years ago

AT&T Focus S and Flash now available for online ordering

36

In case you're too far (or too busy) to get to an AT&T store to pick up a new Samsung Focus S or Flash, you can now order one from the safety of your couch. Yup, just as planned, both phones are available online for ordering with free overnight shipping and a waived activation fee.

The Focus Flash is the "budget" phone, offering a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 8GB of storage with a 5MP rear and 1.3MP front facing camera for $49.99. We're not sure if it has a compass/gyroscope yet, something that the comparable T-Mobile Radar 4G lacks, but we'll let you know tomorrow with our first impressions.

The other is of course the Focus S. Sporting a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen, 1.4GHz CPU, 16GB of storage and an 8MP rear and 1.3MP front facing camera, it'll cost you $199.99 for that top of the line phone.

We have a feeling most of you will be going for the Focus S, seeing as it is the proper upgrade from the Focus. But how many of you are holding off for the awe-inspiring HTC Titan?

Check out the new phones here. Thanks, Josh and Tim, for the heads up!

More →
-
-
-
-
3 years ago

Quick Windows Phone Tease for Monday

20
3 years ago

More on Windows Phone hardware--devs to get access to proximity and light sensors?

1

MS_Nerd noticed an interesting note on the hardware specifications page for Windows Phone that simply reads

"Additional sensors, such as proximity and light, are on the phone but are not available for developer interaction yet."

Of course the key word there is "yet" which certainly implies that Microsoft will be further opening up dev tools to more advanced features on the phone. Such access will of course allow some more interactive software and hopefully spur developer creativity, resulting in light-sensitive apps or ones that use the proximity sensor as a trigger for an alarm, etc. Perhaps we shouldn't see this too much as a surprise. Microsoft built smart developer APIs for the other sensors, so it is just a matter of time before they expand it other areas. Seems obvious.

Also of interesting note is although Windows Phone OEMs could drop the camera, MS_Nerd in our opinion correctly suggests that this was more for government and enterprise reasons than consumer. It's very standard that a requirement for government issued phones or for those working in certain areas of enterprise don't have cameras on their devices to prevent espionage. BlackBerry, Treos of yore and even Windows Mobile devices commonly had variants where the camera was removed from the device and there's no reason to believe that Microsoft wouldn't want to have their phones in this specialized area as well.

Source: MSDN; MS_Nerd

More →
0
0
0
0
3 years ago

Microsoft loosens hardware requirements and camera now optional

25

It would appear that Microsoft has relaxed their hardware requirements (on September 23rd) to exclude the camera as a necessity. This would allow lower-end handsets to be brought out at a more affordable price, something we know Nokia wish to do. In fact, these changes are already here. We already know the Lumia 800 has neither a front facing camera nor gyro and the HTC Radar has no compass or gyro on board.

Check out the revised hardware requirements below:

Standard Hardware

  • A common set of hardware controls and buttons that include the Start, Search, and Back buttons.
  • A large WVGA (800 x 480) format display capable of rendering most web content in full-page width and displaying movies in widescreen.
  • Capacitive 4-point multi-touch screens for quick, simple control of the phone and its features.
  • Support for data connectivity using cellular networks and Wi-Fi.
  • 256 MB (or more) of RAM and 8 GB (or more) of flash storage.
  • A-GPS
  • Accelerometer 

Optional Hardware

  • Compass
  • Gyro
  • Primary Camera
  • Front-facing Camera

Source: MSDN, via: @manan, Mobility Digest

More →
-
-
-
-
3 years ago

Official: AT&T Samsung Focus S has 16GB of non-expandable storage

90

Yes, the big mystery that really wasn't a mystery has now ended. Even though the phone goes on sale tomorrow morning, many were still left wondering how much memory the Samsung Focus S would have on board.  Eight, sixteen, thirty-two gigabytes?

Well, as you can tell by the title of this post, the correct answer is: 16GB resulting in about 13.76GB of actual storage after the OS

The device also appears to be using Samsung's NAND memory and there doesn't seem to be a clear way to expand it. The benefit here is it will be very fast, faster than just a microSD card for memory. The downside is yes, 16GB is all you get. The info above comes direct from AT&T themselves via their support pages, so we can consider it quite legit and reliable.

We'll be honest: for our needs, 16GB is fine and we're totally okay with this. In fact, it's exactly what we expected. But we know some of you will be disappointed, while others will be grateful it wasn't 8GB like the HTC Radar (but we never believed it had that little anyways).

So what say you: Satisfied or upset? Let us know in comments!

Source: AT&T Page 1, Page 2, Page 3 Big thanks to Ryan for the great sleuthing in finding those links!

More →
1
0
0
0
3 years ago

Official Soundhound musid ID app now available

15

While Windows Phone 7.5 has Bing Music on board for ID'ing songs, it's not available everywhere nor does it have many bells and whistles. Enter Soundhound, a popular music ID service similar to Shazam but in many ways, better. The service is extremely popular on iOS and Android so it's nice to see it finally arrive on Windows Phone--better late than never, right?

The app is free, Mango ready and pretty well thought out. You simply tap the big button, let it sample the music and it'll ID it for you. From there, you can "buy" the song by jumping to the Zune Marketplace directly (nice), share the find on Twitter and/or Facebook or take a gander at the lyrics.

Searches are saved for you in the "my stuff" section and you can set it auto-share your search results to Facebook or Twitter, if you so desire. There are nicely added context menus to your "my stuff" section if you want to delete previous finds and the ads (yes, there are a few here and there) are unobtrusive.

Coolest feature? Pin the "listen button" to your Start screen. With one-tap, it hops into the app and starts listening for the song. And really, that's what it's about, right? You need to launch music ID apps as fast as you can to get that song before the commercial is over or the radio is changed. So brilliant use of the Live Tile there.

Unfortunately, we couldn't get it to work with our Facebook, but perhaps a glitch on our end and the quick-launch mentioned above is still a tad slow. But for a v1.0, we're impressed and look forward to future updates. Highly recommended.

Grab Soundhound here in the Marketplace for free. Thanks, Richard E. for the tip!

More →
3
0
0
0
3 years ago

Accent color changes in Mango. No your eyes aren't playing tricks.

18

Anyone noticed in Mango some slight tweaks to the Accent colors? Specifically the Lime and Magenta colors seem to have become less deep/contrasty? Well, according to @MS_Nerd, indeed those two colors have undergone a slight modification as you can see above.

MS_Nerd also notes that "Fujitsu uses original lime as custom color.", referring to the IS12T. Going further, HTC now has an "HTC" Accent color on the Radar and Titan that is also more closely matches the old lime, which we like.

While on newer screens, the A2C139-Green isn't too bad, it looks completely washed out on some of HTCs older offerings e.g. the Arrive and HD7. In that sense, we understand why HTC is opting for their own green now, giving users no less than three shades.

Source: @MS_Nerd

More →
1
0
0
0
3 years ago

Prime TV finally gets a Mango refresh with v2.0

3

Fans of Prime TV, the app that lets you track your favorite programs as well as viewing show info, will be pleased with version 2.0 which just hit the Marketplace. First up is the fact that it is now Mango-compatible, bringing many new features. On top of that, certain aspects of it have been redesigned for a more streamlined experience:

  • Live Tile with back flip and background update
  • Option to pin your favorite show as tile
  • Show reminder system with selectable time
  • Option to browse all shows airing that day
  • New calendar view
  • More customizations (group, sort and filter)
  • More shortcuts to mark episodes, sync and delete shows
  • New navigation system for browser through episodes
  • New upgrade system to upgrade from previous version
  • New streamlined organizer to manage your episodes and shows
  • Other Mango goodies such as fast app switching, background update and so much more

The app fetches for a fair $0.99 with a free trial. The new Live Tiles and fast app switching are certainly welcomed and the app is a nice addition if you need show reminders, or just want to see what this week's episode is about. See our full review of Prime TV here as well as a "showdown" with the just-as-excellent TV Show

Pick up Prime TV v2.0 here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Morten and Argenys, for the tips!

More →
0
0
0
0
3 years ago

Metro bus? Metro UI!

9
9

Metro bus? Metro UI!

Everyone keeps pleading with Microsoft to advertise and push Windows Phone. Well, it looks like it is starting to happen (and we'll see more Monday). This shot was taken by Josh in downtown Bellevue, about a half mile from the Microsoft Store.

Not a bad idea for a metro bus we suppose. And it sure is eye-catching. Thanks Josh for the pic!

More →
3
0
0
0
3 years ago

Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix and her Nightmare - Review

0

When I was a wee lad, I thought it would be cool to make a game with the world’s longest title… Something like 20 words long, that would get it noticed! Apparently the folks at indie developer Bad Pilcrow had the same idea, and thus Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix and Her Nightmare was born. The benefit to a giant title like that is that it really does get catch the eye. “That game has seven words in the title! Why, other game titles only have two or three words at most. Could Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix and Her Nightmare be thrice as good as them?” But the problem comes whenever you have to say or type the title and you can’t remember it or your fingers get too tired. Even for this review, I had to copy and paste the title from somewhere else, because my mind isn’t built to remember that mess of proper and common nouns.

Yep, that’s how I chose to establish context. Head past the break for the full review.

More →
1
0
0
0
3 years ago

Wimzoo Educational Games Roundup: Slurpy the Frog, Smarty Sharky, and Smartsters

1

Educational games for children have a limited shelf life. As a kid gets older, the lessons from one game will become too simple and they’ll need more complicated activities to stay interested. Indie developer Wimzoo has the age spread covered with their three Windows Phone edutainment titles: Slurpy the Frog, Smarty Sharky, and Smartsters. Starting at the preschool age, each game targets a slightly older set. They’re all extremely similar, so we’ll cover them in a single review.

Head past the break for the full three-game review.

More →
0
0
0
0
3 years ago

Kinectimals - Review

9
9

Kinectimals - Review

Is there much crossover between Kinect-toting Xbox 360 owners and Windows Phone gamers? Sure, lots of people buy into more than one of Microsoft’s gaming platforms. And even smartphone users without a console could still have a heart, and thus love kitties. Surely developer Frontier Software and publisher Microsoft Studios banked on both of those points when deciding to bring Kinectimals to Windows Phone. It squeezes much of the console game’s fun into much smaller mobile devices.

Dash past the break for our full review.

More →
0
0
0
0
3 years ago

Cro-Mag Rally - Review

5
5

Cro-Mag Rally - Review

One result of Windows Phone arriving late to the smartphone party is that the mobile Xbox Live lineup consists mainly of iPhone ports, with a few exclusives here and there. Many of the iPhone games are outright classics like Doodle Jump and Angry Birds, and we’re all better for having them available to us. But not every iPhone game is worth playing; for every big hit, many, many terrible games make it through as well. One such flop made the jump to Xbox Live for some reason: Pangaea Software’s Cro-Mag Rally. The Windows Phone port comes courtesy of Citizen 12 Studio.

Cruise past the break for our full review.

More →
0
0
0
0
3 years ago

Orbital - Review

1
1

Orbital - Review

Have you ever wanted to love a game but the gameplay just didn’t click with you? That’s the case with Orbital and me. Developed by BitForge and published by Microsoft Studios, Orbital is a stylish and competently-produced Xbox Live title that has met with great success on other mobile platforms. I’m sure many Windows Phone gamers will like it too, but I simply couldn’t get into it. Shoot past the jump for our full review.  Out of this world If one thing draws me into Orbital, it’s the presentation. The menus consist of large neon buttons suspended over a scrolling space backdrop. Transitions between menus are animated quite professionally, though the frame rate on the animations is a bit slow. The actual gameplay layers a geoDefense-like grid on top of the same space background, presumably to assist with aiming. Players fire orbs from a simple neon-outlined turret, which travel and explode with impressively colorful visual effects. Complementing the visuals is an ethereal electronic two-song soundtrack. So far so good… Space pool It’s when we get to the actual gameplay that Orbital loses me. The basic gameplay involves firing orbs from a cannon situated at the bottom of the screen. These then reflect off of the wall and come to a stop. Once a fired orb stops moving, it expands until it touches something – either the wall or another orb. Thus orbs vary wildly in size, from tiny to nearly screen-filling, depending on the player’s shot. Each orb also starts with a number inside: 3 or 5, depending on the mode. Every time an orb is struck by their brethren, it cries a little inside and learns to distrust others. No wait, that’s my childhood. Actually, hitting an orb makes its number count down by one; when the number reaches zero, it disappears from the playfield, increasing your score. The game boils down to trying to strike as many orbs as possible with each shot while simultaneously keeping them from landing too far down the screen. If an orb touches the ‘deathline’ at the bottom of the screen, the game ends. If you have too many low-situated orbs or a giant orb near the bottom, it gets quite tough to keep your shots from bouncing into that cruel killing barrier. Many ways to play While Orbital lacks a proper metagame or story mode, it does at least offer multiple twists on the core gameplay: Supernova: Unlike the other modes, orbs here take five hits to kill instead of three. To compensate for that, Supernova features a unique combo system. When an orb gets destroyed, it emits an explosion proportionate to its size. Orbs hit by this explosion reduce their countdown number by one, so chain reactions often ensue. Supernova is also the only mode that allows gamers to directly aim the cannon. The cannon’s laser sight helps to judge where your shot will first strike, but it doesn’t show where it’ll end up after bouncing. Gravity: Stationary orbs in this mode emit their own fields of gravity, causing moving orbs to veer towards them. This often results in orbs clumping together, which can be helpful sometimes and harmful others. Pure: This game type works like Gravity but without the gravity. It’s the simplest form of gameplay, but the lack of aids like a combo system make achieving high scores difficult. Multiplayer: I’m not a huge fan of same-screen multiplayer on phones, but Orbital’s is at least fairly robust. Select one of the three main game types, set the number of rounds, and then the competition begins. Each player controls a turret at opposite ends of the playing field, taking turns with their shots. The object is to cause your opponent to cross his own death line. Multiplayer has sort of an air hockey or pool vibe and I enjoy it a bit more than solo play. Criticisms Why didn’t I have more fun with Orbital? Since there is no overarching goal or progression system, the game basically consists of brief high score runs in the mode of your choosing. That brevity is the problem; specifically, it’s so easy to die in this game. I never discovered a strategy that put me a secure enough ground to last very long or achieve decent scores. However hard I tried, I always ended up with a giant orb blocking my shots or a seemingly innocuous shot raveling too far and resulting in my demise. The game’s Tutorial and Help sections can teach you how to play, but they don’t teach how to play well. Further complicating matters is the aiming system. In Gravity and Pure modes, the cannon moves back and forth on its own and you just tap the screen to fire when ready. That mechanic really doesn’t work in a game that’s all about carefully considered distances and reflections. But Supernova’s manual aiming drops the orb as well. It’s way too difficult to move the laser sight precisely; the tiniest finger movement changes the trajectory by multiple millimeters. Worse, aiming and firing are tied together instead of separate. Lift your finger and you shoot. Had there been a separate fire button it would be much easier to fire two shots with the exact same trajectory, but instead players have to manually aim each shot. Achievements The difficulty I faced with Orbital’s general gameplay extends to its Achievements too. You’re bound to get several of them over time, including the ones for destroying two orbs with one shoot or playing 100 games. The two multiplayer Achievements are also gimmes since one person can simply play both roles.  Get the easy Achievements out of the way and several onerous ones remain. Supernova and Gravity both have score-based Achievements that are way beyond my abilities (though not some of my friends, we should note). The Achievements for getting three close calls in one game and 10 triple shots in a game are also tough and no fun to shoot for. Yip Yoo’s Achievement Guide offers some advice, but you’ll still need plenty of persistence and skill to earn the full 200. Overall Impression I wish I could say that I had a great time with Orbital. But I just couldn’t come to terms with the core gameplay, and there’s nothing else beyond that to keep players busy. With better aiming and some visual aids for lining up shots (such as being able to see where an orb will actually stop), Orbital would have much greater appeal. Instead, only gamers who really dig the reflection-based gameplay and hunting for high scores will get much playtime out of this game. Orbital costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Pick it up here on the Marketplace.

Have you ever wanted to love a game but the gameplay just didn’t click with you? That’s the case with Orbital and me. Developed by BitForge and published by Microsoft Studios, Orbital is a stylish and competently-produced Xbox Live title that has met with great success on other mobile platforms. I’m sure many Windows Phone gamers will like it too, but I simply couldn’t get into it.

Shoot past the jump for our full review.

More →
0
0
0
0
3 years ago

Armenia to get Nokia's Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 this year

18

People of Armenia, lend me your ears. Nokia's Official Representative in Armenia, Vazgen Bakhshetsyan, has made the news pretty official - you will be getting the new line of Nokia Lumia WP 7.5 devices by the end of this year. That's right, before the US and most of the rest of the world has any dates for their release of the brand new Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, you now have a good excuse to start preparing for the coming Mango-powered phones. There are only two months left until the end of this year, so it won't be long before many of you anxious gadget-geeks of the small EurAsian country will have your thirst quenched and your hunger satisfied.

Source: PanArmenian.net

More →
0
0
0
0
Show More Headlines

Pages