3 years ago
This week's top Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone are...
Major Nelson has kindly started tallying the top Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone on his site (before it was only the console).
While nothing groundbreaking, it's kind of nice to get insight into what sells and what doesn't e.g. SIM3 is at #13, despite being, you know, terrible (see review). The top five games though were:
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4
- Doodle Jump
- Hydro Thunder GO!
- Rise of Glory ('Deal of the Week')
Sure enough, the top four are part of the 'must-have-games' campaign and we have to agree that they're all pretty much worth it.
Source: Major Nelson; Thanks, Karl C, for the heads up
3 years ago
Watermark helps you make your mark
The one danger of posting your photographs online, be it Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere, is the risk you run of having your pics hijacked. Watermarks are one way to help deter unauthorized use of your photos. The Windows Phone app, "Watermark" brings watermarking to photos captured and stored in your Pictures Hub and may just keep the pirates at bay.
The user interface is simple and straight forward. Choose your image, type your text and it's inserted on the photo. You can choose fonts, text colors, text size, and opacity. Positioning of your watermark is probably the weakest aspect of the app. You can tap on your photo to move the watermark around but this feature isn't the most responsive.
Watermark can be a useful tool to help tag your photos or even add captions. Watermark is a free app that you can find here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
3 years ago
TVShow or PrimeTV... that is the question
We've reviewed PrimeTV and given away copies of TVShow. But which is the best television information app for your Windows Phone?
Tough call. Both offer detailed information on your favorites television shows as well as image galleries and videos on the shows. Both support Trakt.tv and Twitter (TVShow also supports Facebook). Both have live tiles and toast notifications on you favorite shows. Both have easy to navigate user interfaces. TVShow does support subtitles but is that an across the board feature everyone uses?
But which is the best? While you can search and add favorite television series to track by keyword, Prime TV also gives you recommendations from your Trakt.tv account and from those shows that are trending upwards on Trakt.tv.
I'd love to say there's a smoking gun that would put one of these apps ahead of the other but they are so close, it's truly a dead tie. Both apps have similar features that are at times only distinguishable by how your access them. For example, TVShow has a YouTube button that sends you to a video page. PrimeTV incorporates a YouTube page into the Television Series hub.
Fortunately, both have free trials so you can judge for yourself. The full versions of both run $.99. You can find the Marketplace links and a side by side video comparison after the break. If you find one of these two apps better than the other, feel free to share in our comments section.
3 years ago
TouchyBooks will bring over 300 childrens books to WP7
Already being available on iOS (with Android 'coming soon' too) TouchyBooks is developing for Windows Phone 7, which will provide younger users with a large array of ebooks to download and read. While we already have the likes of Kindle on-board, it's great to see this type of addition to the availability of ebooks for reading.
They're a pretty small publisher so an advance onto the new platform is a bold, but welcomed, move. It's good to see even the companies/publishers without huge fund backing is looking at WP7.
3 years ago
Accenture taking on Symbian through 2016
Nokia are kissing Symbian goodbye in the light of Windows Phone 7 development really kicking off for the arrival Mango. They have now finalized the development and support outsource for Symbian to Accenture who will hold it through 2016. Nokia will move 2,800 employees from around the world over to Accenture through the outsourcing, while their WP7 team remain hard at work for a rumoured October 26th launch.
Accenture will also work closely with majority-owned Avanade, a technology service company, to aid Nokia in the future with a Microsoft technology focus.
Check the press release after the break.
3 years ago
WP7 screen recorder [Homebrew]
Fancy recording your device easily and have good quality output on your PC of your handset's screen? XDA Developers Forum member fiinix has been a busy bee with developing a program to do just that. Using The DllImport Project as a base, he has been able to optimize the code and implement a feature which allows wireless transfer of data so no cable is required. When opening the software (the beta has just been released), there are some steps that are listed to achieve connectivity.
While we haven't tested this ourselves just yet, we do (as always) recommend caution. The XAP and EXE are bundled together in the compressed download. Below is a video of the same screen recorder just minus the cable connecting the device to the PC.
Source: XDA Developers Forum, via: Monosmartphone
3 years ago
Microsoft Advertising Exchange goes global [Developers]
Microsoft has announced recently that they are expanding their Advertising Exchange service on a global scale. What's interesting to note is this move could possibly give hope that they may bring the PubCenter beta to people around the world soon who don't reside in the US. I'm sure Microsoft would like to allow Canadians, Europeans, Australians and more to create and publish advertising campaigns in their WP7 apps and on websites.
We'll keep an eye out for any information which could indicate such a move for the PubCenter. For now it's still a waiting game unfortunately. Check out the press release for the expansion of the Advertising Exchange after the break.
3 years ago
Using DF Router may damage your WP7 device
Smartphones, being fairly expensive these days (especially for us Windows Phone users), are required to be looked after for the two year duration of our contracts (should we be tied to one) until we can get that special free/discounted upgrade and receive another device from a carrier.
Although stability through even the most heaviest of usage is pretty good and handsets seem to last a good for years for some, it's when users begin to dive into the OS and hardware configuration that problems begin to appear. For WP7, this was most apparent with the Chevronwp7.updater situation which left a large number of devices not able to receive official updates from Microsoft.
We've always noted with our homebrew and unlocking coverage that to perform any action or carry out any process that's not officially supported by the big names could leave you stumped with a unusable device at any point. Enter into the room: enabling tethering on your WP7 device.
We've been made aware of some users over at the XDA Developers forum reporting that their devices have become unable to connect to Zune when plugged in and not even a hard reset can correct the issue. No solution has been found and users are left with no alternative but return to their local store and get a replacement device or further help with firmware etc.
While the functionality may be worth it should this hack work successfully, the problems that can arise when something goes wrong can be pretty devastating. Take a look at the thread (linked below) and some of the posts by users. Should you continue to use unofficial hacks and whatnot, always be sure to double check steps, sources and reliability to prevent this happening to you too.
Source: XDA Developers Forum, via WP7.com.pl
3 years ago
Dodger is today's free WP7 game
Is it raining where you are now, leaving you stuck in doors with nothing to do? Why not download the newly released game titled Dodger that's available for free just for today? It's a cute little indie game where the objective is to (surprisingly) dodge projectiles fired by enemies and ensure they target themselves. This involves a lot of finger swiping action to move around the screen but is good fun all the same.
High scores are supported so you can compete against your friends and two themes are available, a simplistic goo/cell look of both yourself and the enemies or a more detailed cartoon theme. Automatic saving is present in the feature list to prevent losing progress due to interruption (WP7 handsets are mobile phones after all - damn SMS and calls interrupting our games!).
Future updates will include more enemies and a better choice of themes. It's well worth checking out especially since it's costing you absolutely nothing at all. You can download Dodger from the Marketplace (Zune link).
3 years ago
Mango Beta for developers still on the table
Yesterday we heard reports that a beta version of the Windows Phone Mango update would be released to developers this week. We then heard from Brandon Watson (via tweet) that such a release wasn't going to happen this week. Watson never said a beta would never be released, just not this week.
Enter Cliff Simpkins, Senior Product Manager for Windows Phone 7. In a forum for developer feedback on Windows Phone development the question arose about giving developers early access to Mango. Simpkins initial response,
"per @joebelfiore on May-24: We are working on a plan for DEVELOPERs to be able to get Mango for phones before we launch."
Simpkins would also follow up by clarifying that the Mango update and Mango devices are two different items. Because current devices will update to Mango, this helps reduce the number of developer devices needed. This makes sense and will help make the distribution easier on Microsoft. If your development doesn't require the new hardware capabilities of Mango devices, then Microsoft will get you the update and forgo the developer device. Simpkins also adds,
"I think you'll all be happy with what we have coming; it's coming, grasshoppers, I promise. We're as anxious to get this out to you as you are to receive it - it just requires quite a bit of groundwork so that your personal devices stay as safe as possible."
As Watson mentioned in his earlier tweets, this week the focus was on the Press Release, likely to see what bugs the general public and sites like ours could pick up on. We feel confident a pre-release or beta version will get to developers but as to the "when", it's anyone's guess.
Source: windows phone developer voice Thanks goes out to Max for tipping us on this!
3 years ago
Kik Messenger coming to WP7 this month
We previously covered reports of Kik coming to the Windows Phone platform by the end of June. We can now confirm this with Twitter user @AmTheGuy queryring the Kik team for any updates on the development status and an ETA of arrival to the Marketplace. The response received was fairly positive (as shown above).
Kik - of course - has IM+ to indirectly contend with, but with the somewhat negative reception that IM+ has received (price upsetting some of our readers) Kik should be welcomed with open arms should the price tag be reasonable. After the break, check out the video play through of Kik below to refresh your memory of the demo at MIX '11.
3 years ago
Video purportedly shows Toshiba TG01 (Tsunagi) running Windows Phone 7
Remember the Toshiba TG01? It was one of the first 1GHz Windows Mobile devices on the market, sported a giant (at the time) 4.1" screen and eventually got Windows Mobile 6.5.
Well, the above video with the odd format looks to be showing it running Windows Phone 7. As far as these videos goes, this one looks more real: nothing is plugged in, screen reaction looks accurate (not a video), it was recorded very recently (last 12 hrs) because the Zune Marketplace features Limp Bizkit (shudder) and we even see it pulling data. Official or a hack?
Explanation? Even though there was mention of a TG03 months ago, we're pretty sure this is one of the developer devices Microsoft uses for testing WP7 on and doesn't point to any pending release, Toshiba throwing their hat in the ring, or any other hopeful fantasies. In fact, a developer version of the TG01 has been spotted before in Microsoft's labs--see TechRadar from October 11, 2011. That's our take, at least.
Source: YouTube; Thanks, Steve B, for the tip!
3 years ago
There's zombies on the lawn! Plants vs. Zombies now available on the Marketplace
As the 6 Weeks of Must-Have Games draws near its end, Popcap’s Plants vs Zombies is finally available on the Marketplace.
Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defense game like no other. Zombies are invading the player’s home, and only a host of attack plants will fend them off. The variety of towers, err, plants at your disposal (49 in all!) is amazing and allows for all kinds of strategies. Adventure Mode’s 50 levels will take a fair while to plow through, but that’s only half the game. 19 unlockable minigames really do flesh out the package and keep the fun going. Even when you’re not playing, don’t be surprised if the catchy soundtrack (including a brilliant music video during the end credits) gets stuck in your head.
Plants vs. Zombies costs $4.99 on Windows Phone and there is a free trial. Harvest it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Bejeweled Live is the Xbox Live Deal of the week. Xbox 360 Bejeweled games on sale too
It’s a very Popcap week on Xbox Live. Not only are all of Popcap’s Xbox 360 games on sale, but the Bejeweled Live is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week on Windows Phone. It’s on sale for $2.99 (the price it always should have been, many would say), down from $4.99.
Bejeweled is the classic match-3 puzzle game that has enchanted casual gamers across a variety of platforms. If you’re hungry for a simple puzzle game to play whenever a spare moment pops up, Bejeweled is a good place to look. As our review indicates, the Windows Phone version has three ways to play: Classic, Race the Clock, and Endless. It’s also got some tough Achievements despite being a casual title, but that’s Popcap for you. Don’t ask me about XBLA Zuma’s Achievements or we’ll be here all night.
Bejeweled Live is on sale for $2.99 for one week only. Grab it here on the Marketplace.
If you’d prefer some console Bejeweled action, both Xbox 360 versions are on sale too: the fast-paced and multiplayer-oriented Bejeweled Blitz Live for $2.50/200 Microsoft Points and regular old Bejeweled 2 for $5/400 Points. From a PC or Mac, you can purchase Blitz here and Bejeweled 2 here.
3 years ago
Gartenberg experiences carrier anti-WP7 bias, 'Tattletale site making progress
We've been covering the seeming anti-Windows Phone/Microsoft bias that local carrier stores have been exhibiting for awhile now--namely that sales reps are giving the shaft to WP7 and instead are pushing Android or the iPhone, sometimes even with falsehoods or misinformation.
To validate the issue further, tech-guru and Gartner industry analyst Michael Gartenberg has recently experienced this behavior first hand. From Twitter (1, 2):
"At VZW and ATT stores to compare plans, both steered me to iPhone and Android devices...In both stores when asked about #WP7 was told "you don't want that". In one instance was "corrected" & told it was called Windows Mobile"
Yikes. Seems it's not too hard to get a bad sell on Windows Phone these days, despite the promise of "Mango". In reaction, Apple guru John Gruber of 'Daring Fireball' fame, sympathetically noted "This sort of dismissive treatment can be devastating to a platform. This was the problem facing the Mac during the ’90s.". Indeed. There's a certain irony here.
However, there is some good news here, namely that all of this attention and the website Windows Phone Tattletale has perked Microsoft's ears. The creator of 'Tattletale, Robert McLaws. Tweeted this just recently:
"Just had a fantastic conversation with someone at Microsoft about #wp7 #retailfail. Great things are happening. Stay tuned!"
"By the way, Microsoft has heard all your reviews loud and clear. You *are* making a difference, so please, keep secret shopping!"
Perhaps Microsoft will start using some leverage on their carrier partners for better results? Clearly these aren't isolated cases, but signs of a larger problem that Microsoft will have to battle. At least the giant appears to be finally flinching. All we know is Microsoft better have a serious game plan for this fall and "Mango", after all, it deserves it.
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