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3 years ago

N9 launch to clash with Mango?

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N9 launch to clash with Mango?

While the next Windows Phone major update is rapidly approaching, Nokia have still wrapped their N9 running MeeGo in a cloud of not-releasing-any-information. Orange Switzerland has published a release date for the handset (as shown in the image above) of Spetember 15th. This goes with 3 stating that they promise the N9 will be with the carrier by September 23rd. 

What has this got to do with WP7 or the "Mango" update? Well, we're currently looking at a September rollout of new devices from the platform-backed OEMs, including Nokia - not to mention Apple is apparently looking at September too for the iPhone 5. Should the release of the N9 coincide with the launch of the upcoming Nokia "Mango" handset this could cause a clash and potentially dissolve hype for either device (probably the N9 in this case with the sheer volume of Mango devices unveiling).

Of course, no official word has been given by Nokia as to the release date they're looking at for the N9, but it will be interesting should the iPhone 5, the N9 and "Mango" mobile phones all pop up at once, truly giving consumers a selection. The first "Mango" device is set to be released this month in Japan, the Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T (specifications).

Source: Engadget, via: ElectricPig

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3 years ago

Helium Voice app v2.0, why not?

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Helium Voice app v2.0, why not?

When René Schulte, .NET/Silverlight/Windows Phone developer, got in touch with us about his helium voice app, we didn't know whether to laugh or cry (just like our George Ponder with Nyan Cat). Being a bunch of grown men who enjoy taking the odd party balloon and creating insane voices/noises with the gas, I thought we would be labelled as party-poopers should we not give it a go.

The app allows one to record their voice and then manipulate an on-screen balloon to control the pitch of the playback. Not only that, but users can then upload their clip to SoundCloud for public applause. It's really humorous and would be a great laugh in a group of people who are under the influence and don't currently have a helium tank at hand. Version 2.0 has recently been released and René decided to publish an announcement, which also serves as a perfect demo.

You can download the free and the paid (79p/$0.99) versions from the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

USA Today updated to v1.1, gets a live tile

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USA Today has received an update to kick-start August into motion. The most notable feature added in this version is live tile support. You will now be able view latest headlines in a photo mash-up. The full list of changes/features added are as follows:

  • Live Tile - A photo mash-up based on our latest headlines
  • Latest news videos on a dedicated video panel
  • Sub-section headlines: hold down any of the section tiles to bring up a list of sub-sections to choose from, i.e. Sports > MLB headlines. Tile will default to that subsection.
  • Photo caption and credit for articles
  • Recall last league viewed in Scores
  • Major League Soccer scores added
  • Celsius toggle for weather temps
  • Support for international weather locations (limited maps)
  • Weather alerts on current conditions screen
  • Various bug fixes

Be sure to keep up-to-date with the latest news, sport headlines and weather forecasts. You can download USA Today (Zune link), for free, from the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to David and everyone else who tipped us on this!

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3 years ago

Share music and video via Messenger in Mango [Video]

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MobileTechWorld has uncovered a pretty neat feature. We now know we can achieve music and video playback via SkyDrive, but we can also receive files via Messenger in Windows Phone "Mango". Specifically demoed in the above video is the receiving and playing of a music (wma/mp3) and video (wmv/mp4) file.

Unfortunately, as one can see there is no album art displayed and media files saved with this method don't appear in Music and Videos hub, so you'll have to return to the conversation to open up the file once again. This is pretty sweet for deeper integration into IM with users not having to resort to booting up a PC to receive files from a friend (but then again, who doesn't use email these days?)

Source: MobileTechWorld

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3 years ago

Beards and Beaks - Review

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Beards and Beaks - Review

Real-time strategy games can be tough to get right on platforms other than computers. Console controllers can’t match the speed and accuracy of a mouse, so most developers don’t even try. Smartphones are much better at recreating mouse-style controls thanks to their touchscreens, but the lower screen resolution compared to PCs still complicates things. Thus, non-PC strategy games tend to be of the less click-intensive tower defense variety. But Microsoft Game Studios has bravely crafted a casual RTS experience with Beards & Beaks, the Windows Phone-exclusive Xbox Live title.

Beards & Beaks (which I always want to type as ‘Birds & Beaks’ for some reason) revolves around two warring tribes: gnomes and crows. Each side competes to collect treasure before the other, inflicting as much harm as possible along the way. Strangely, the game is completely devoid of an actual story - a missed opportunity given the unique and adorable character designs. Even Angry Birds (whose ‘birds versus pigs’ premise is similar enough) has story sequences, after all!

Flick past the break for our full review.

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3 years ago

Frogger - Review

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Frogger - Review

Updating a classic game for modern audiences is tricky business. Change it too much and you’ll turn off people who liked the original. But stick too closely to the original and it might not appeal to today’s gamers. For examples of perfectly accurate classic ports that are unlikely to gel with people living in the now, see Asteroids Deluxe and Lunar Lander. The Windows Phone port of Frogger, oddly enough, is simultaneously too similar and too different to make much of an impression. It’s not as bad as getting hit by a car, but Konami could have done a lot better.

What qualifies Frogger as a classic? The game made quite a splash when it debuted in arcades in 1981. Its premise and game play are fairly unique: help a group of frogs cross the highway, one at a time, and make it safely to their homes. Most importantly, it inspired a terrific early Bad Religion song.

Jump across the street and past the break for our full review.

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3 years ago

Falling Skies - Review

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Falling Skies - Review

TNT is a forward-thinking network. First they picked up the sci-fi series Falling Skies, which comes from executive producer Stephen Spielberg. Science fiction can be expensive to produce so we don’t see nearly enough of it on television. Only a few episodes of the show have aired so far, but it’s already been picked up for a second season. Further showing support for the show, TNT has also released a companion app for Windows Phone. It comes to us from Chaotic Moon Studios, the developers of numerous official apps like Best Buy and FlightAware.

Before we talk about the app, let’s touch on the show itself. Falling Skies takes place six months after a malevolent alien race has conquered the earth, killing most of the human population. A group of freedom fighters, the Second Massachusetts, struggles to push back the invaders while protecting as many civilians as possible. These defenders include the protagonist Tom Mason, a former history professor (played by Noah Wyle); his teenage son Hal Mason (Drew Roy); Captain Weaver (Will Patton) – the military leader of the group; and Anne Glass (the always attractive Moon Bloodgood), a pediatrician-turned-medic. The show features plenty of action and intrigue. Occasional sappy moments, mostly involving Tom’s youngest son Matt (Maxim Knight) may induce groans, but they’re largely overshadowed by the better bits.

Head past the jump for our full review.

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3 years ago

Bubble Town 2 - Review

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Bubble Town 2 - Review

Windows Phone is just crawling with puzzle games, both of the indie and Xbox Live varieties. Puzzlers are probably the single easiest type of game to develop and they’re well-suited to playing on the go, so it makes sense. Bubble Town 2 from I-Play is one such game, released early on for Xbox Live. It’s an adaptation of a once-popular Facebook game that since been pulled by the publisher. Bubble Town may be a ghost town on Facebook, but is it worth visiting on Windows Phone? Perhaps…

Bubble Town’s got something of a story, aimed at the young‘uns. A bunch of evil aliens called Lumps are invading Bubble Town, and it’s up to the Borbs to stop them. See, even though Bubble Town has the word bubble in its name and is a clone of a spin-off of Bubble Bobble  - Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble, the game doesn’t technically contain any bubbles. They’re Borbs. The writing in the pre-level story sequences is about what you’d expect from a cut-rate kids’ cartoon show, though it does at least inject some personality into the proceedings. Impatient gamers can always skip past them anyway.

Shoot past the break for our full review.

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3 years ago

DFT releases tools for custom ROMs on HTC Windows Phones

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Looks like Dark Forces Team has done it again. Just last night we reported on how they managed to flash the RTM build of Mango (7720) on an HD7 and now today, they've released RSPL/HSPL tools need for flashing custom ROMs.

These tools won't be of much use to you regular folks out there, but instead are meant for those daring and brave ROM Chefs (a term we haven't used in about a year), who want to flash their own versions of Windows Phone 7 to their devices (first generation). It is currently limited to only HTC phones, specifically HTC Mozart, the HTC Surround, the HTC HD7, the HTC Spark/Trophy, and the HTC 7 Pro, but no love the for the Sprint Arrive nor Verizon Trophy.

It's a big step in many ways, even if more symbolic, just because of the difficulty in working with Microsoft's more "locked down" OS and bootloader. We say symbolic because we're still not too sure how much of a market there is for custom ROMs--bloatware barely exists and can be uninstalled, there are few if any differences in builds, etc. So it remains to be seen what this willl actually bring to the table, nonetheless, we're a bit excited to see what devs can come up with.

Source: XDA/DFT; via WindowsPhone Hacker

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3 years ago

WPCentral is giving away a Windows Phone (Updated)

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Okay... so here's the deal. We've got an AT&T HTC HD7S (see review) just itchin' to be given away. All you need to do to have a chance at winning this Windows Phone is to submit a video response to the above video over at our YouTube Channel. Just follow this link to submit your response.

The topic for the video response? Why should we consider you the biggest Windows Phone fan? What sets the Windows Phone apart from other systems? How does it make your life easier? Even if you don't have a Windows Phone yet, tell us how owning one would make your life easier.  Make your case in creative fashion such as creating your own Windows Phone commercial, submitting a testimony, or a music video.

Make it compelling, make it creative, and make it under three minutes. Only one entry per person and we'll give you until Wednesday, August 24th at 5:00pm EST to submit your entry. We will then take a few days to judge everything and pick three winners. The top video gets the HD7S, the first runner up gets a Qmadix Boost Pack and the third runner up get a $25 gift certificate to the WPCentral.com store.

So gather your thoughts, warm up you video camera and give it your best shot. WPCentral would like to extend our thanks to AT&T, the WPCentral Store and the fine folks at FH-Digital (thank you Jackie!) for making this contest possible.

Update: After much consideration, we're opening this up to everyone.  Just understand that this is a carrier locked phone and it will be up to the winner to have it unlocked.  We won't be able to provide any support for such a case.  Also, please remember we are asking for video responses, not written responses.  Good luck and we look forward to seeing how creative you guys and gals can be!

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3 years ago

Bandit: Rustler - Review

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Bandit: Rustler - Review

Cattle Rustlin' has hit the Windows Phone. Where Crazy Horses calls for you to lasso and corral horses, Bandit: Rustler has you lassoing and collecting stampeding cattle.

The game is well presented with colorful, cartoon animations. But good graphics is but one aspect of a quality game. To find out more on Bandit:Rustler, mosey on past the break.

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3 years ago

Apple Bin - Review

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Apple Bin - Review

Looking for a game for your Windows Phone that's challenging, entertaining and unique? Check out Apple Bin from Escape Development.

The goal is to toss an apple into the bin in the fewest throws possible. Much like the paper toss games but as you progress through the levels, the game throws obstacles in your way to hinder your shots.

More after the break.

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3 years ago

Wikirama - App Spotlight

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Wikirama - App Spotlight

Wikirama is a Wikipedia portal for your Windows Phone. Wikirama lays everything out nicely making use of the Metro style panorama.  The app was recently updated to give Wikirama a cleaner appearance and a settings page.  Having first tinkered with the previous version, the updated version is a noticeable improvement.  Here's how Wikirama breaks down.

Wikirama supports twenty-one languages and has an auto-complete search feature. Your search history appears just below the search field (eliminates the previous History page).  Wikirama allows you to open up to six concurrently open tabs for your searches and you can add topics to your favorites page.  Wikirama supports both landscape and portrait viewing.

Your search result page gives you a window view of the Wikipage that is touch scrollable.  You can also pull the Wikipage full screen to access the full version of the topic page.

Overall impression: WikiRama is a clean, simple Wikipedia client.  I liked the auto-complete feature and that the search history was moved to the search page.  It gives the app a cleaner look and hunting down your search topic a little more efficient.  If you tinker with Wikipedia often, Wikirama is worth checking into.

There are two versions available for Wikirama. There is a free version, Wikirama Free that is ad supported that you can find here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. You also have an ad-free version of Wikirama that will run you $.99 and you can find it here at the Marketplace. There is a trial version for the ad-free option.

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3 years ago

Penny Drop Decision - App Spotlight

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Penny Drop Decision - App Spotlight

Penny Drop Decision brings a new twist to the coin toss to your Windows Phone. The decision app has a series of answers along the bottom of the screen and you drop a penny down a series of pegs. Where the penny lands is your decision.

You can customize your choices to reflect whatever the need. Plus there are several pre-set choices that include choices of beverages, the loves me/loves me not saga, and the days of the week. The coin isn't the easiest to get started but you essentially tap, drag and release to get the penny moving.

Penny Drop Decision is a different way to toss a coin to make a call by. The app is free, ad-supported and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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