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3 years ago

Image of Nokia's 'Sea Ray' reveals virtual buttons? We're not so sure.

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Curious thing: during the leaked video of the Nokia's 'Sea Ray' Windows Phone, we actually never see the three-buttons for Back, Win and Bing Search. This lead to the natural speculation that there would be capacitive buttons, like other Windows Phones.

A new image has come forth though of the device and it shows, in fact, that there may be 'virtual buttons' meaning they are on the screen. But instead of taking up the 800x480 real-estate, they are probably using an 854x480 screen, much like the N9 that this so closely resembles.

A few words of caution though:

  1. Our own Richard Edmonds questions its authenticity--there's no glare on the button area, though there is a glare above and below them (see image below)
  2. Those buttons look like the WP7 emulator's, big time. Very suspicious.
  3. It certainly looks "off" plus it's probably just a mock up someone made
  4. Assuming it's true, this is far from finalized hardware and 'prototype' needs to be used here
  5. Nokia still has a lot of time to change or modify the design

At this point, we're not confident that this is legit, or if it is real, not final. Either way, we're not crazy about the sharp corners of 'Sea Ray'. There's a reason why the Focus feels so nice in the hand (and even the LG Quantum) and it has to do with the smoothness of the design.

If these virtual buttons are here to stay, it's not too much different than capacitive buttons, but we're not crazy about the idea. Finally, this looks more like the 'Sea Ray' is just a modified N9 rather than a "ground up" Nokia Windows Phone, making it slightly less interesting, in our opinion.

Update: Reader swc_ant has a nice comment based off his experience working on phone hardware. We agree with his assesment that it's a sticker/tape serving as a place holder.

Source: XDA (Steve Chou). via WMPU

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3 years ago

Microsoft details Mango changes to Games Hub [Video]

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Though you can watch our video tour above of the new Games Hub in Windows Phone "Mango" (see review), you'll want to read all the changes cataloged by Microsoft themselves. From the Windows Phone Blog, you can tell, once again, that Microsoft is listening to consumers by incorporating a lot of changes. Indeed, the Games Hub feel more unified with the whole Xbox ecosystem and the changes are most welcomed.

Here's what's new:

  • Improved Collection View - basically smaller icons for games with a list view, makes it easier to navigate
  • New 3D Avatars with attitude - With XNA/Silverlight in a single app, your 3D Avatar is now "built in" with more functionality and movement
  • Improved Xbox LIVE messaging - Word suggest/complete is now built in, you can communicate with other Xbox  LIVE members on PC, phones or console. "If a message contains certain emoticons (e.g. Smile, Sad smile), you’ll notice your avatar’s expression change to reflect that emotion! (If a sender overloads a message with conflicting emoticons, your avatar will look bewildered."
  • Connect with Xbox LIVE friends
  • Integrated achievements and new comparison views
  • Edit your profile
  • Improved Spotlight content
  • Improved game request notifications: In Mango, you’ll receive notifications for multiplayer game or turn requests and can track them in the Requests section of the Games Hub.

Some of those last few ones are just carry overs from Xbox LIVE Extras, which is now purely for the Avatar Marketplace and to design your Avatar. Overall, a solid list of changes to look forward too.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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3 years ago

Telefonica receiving updates, Orange scheduling. NoDo rollout is completed.

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All updates are now heading to Telefonica customers, this includes both NoDo and the recent security update. Orange UK Omnia 7 devices are scheduling and updates should begin rolling out again soon. I would write that there's still no news regarding Focus handsets but I don't think any of you expected anything new on that front. Keep an eye on the Mcirosoft updates page to see the status of your carrier/device.

Oh and we should mention that this finally actually completes the NoDo update for all (save a few Focus owners, of course). So while it took three months to complete the full roll out for every device, it's still faster than Android, relatively speaking. Having said that, let us hope for a faster turn around with "Mango".

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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3 years ago

Twin Blades returns, kind of, and now features 'green blood' [Update: Zune link!]

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The saga of the Xbox LIVE game 'Twin Blades' is interesting. What was a great, albeit a bit boring, side scrolling, zombie slaughter-fest had been pulled months ago from the Marketplace. Reason? Due to not having a rating system in the Marketplace and the game was deemed too gory (it does have blood splatter the screen on occasion--but they're zombies, for cryin' out loud).

Two things we were expecting: in "Mango" a gaming rating system should be in place, allowing for this content and/or 'Twin Blades' gets fixed i.e. the violence is toned down. As of now, it looks like the latter is the case as we're getting numerous reports that the zombies now have green blood, which obviously tricks your brain into know that these are now aliens, not human zombies, right?

Surprisingly, it's still not available in the Marketplace to buy/re-download, though we're expecting that to happen at some point (we lost our copy months ago after a hard-reset). Only those who still have the game can update to the new v1.0.0.9. Sigh.

Update: Image and link pulled per request.

Thanks, AtomicAgeZombie and Siegerstyle, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Nokia's first WP7 device, 'Sea Ray', demoed [Video]

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Update 2.5: The original video is down/over loaded, so we have a nice YouTube version above for your viewing pleasure. Now our mobile app users are good to go.

Codenamed "Sea Ray", let us present you Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 device which is planned to be released later this year. Check out the full presentation in the video above (remember to put your cameras away!). If you wish to skip to the part where the device is shown, hit up the 1.15 marker in the video.

Mango is also demoed and walked through after the device is shown off. Check out a couple of pictures below too, stunning eh (features Gorilla Glass and Carl Zeiss optics too)? What do you guys think of the first entry into the platform?

Source: Technet.hu, via: Engadget

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3 years ago

This week's top Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone are...

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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:

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 4
  2. Doodle Jump
  3. geoDefense
  4. Hydro Thunder GO!
  5. 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

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3 years ago

Watermark helps you make your mark

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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.

via: mobilitydigest

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3 years ago

TVShow or PrimeTV... that is the question

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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.

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3 years ago

TouchyBooks will bring over 300 childrens books to WP7

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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.

Source: eBookNewser

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3 years ago

Accenture taking on Symbian through 2016

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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.

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3 years ago

WP7 screen recorder [Homebrew]

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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

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3 years ago

Microsoft Advertising Exchange goes global [Developers]

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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.

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3 years ago

Using DF Router may damage your WP7 device

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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

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3 years ago

Dodger is today's free WP7 game

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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).

Source: @Baracat_WP7

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3 years ago

Mango Beta for developers still on the table

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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!

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