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3 years ago

Windows 8 leaning heavily on Windows Phone 7

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Following up on a post from earlier today, where we make mention of Windows 8 and the inclusion of Metro, we have this nice tidbit from Microsoft regarding, well, Windows 8, and the inclusion of Metro.  They have replaced the desktop with a start screen that should be familiar to anyone with a windows phone, and, well... The video demo says it all and we could type for hours, and not explain it well enough to do it justice.

Remember alt-tab?  Yeah, just a swipe from the left to switch between apps.

The old start button/orb? Swipe from the right.

Remember Aero-snap? Well, look at Snap now. Re-sizable, and beautiful.

Remember the horrible old onscreen keyboard? Check out the new thumb board.

And underneath it all, the familiar trappings of Windows 7.

Windows Vista and 7 applications seem to be fully supported, if seeming a little out of place. We already know that legacy applications will not work on ARM processors without being recompiled, so I would expect a new version of Office to launch around the same time as Windows 8.

So, now we know how Windows tablets are going to look and act, and it gives us an interesting view of a possible future of Windows Phone. The tiles are incredibly flexible, and when we are able to utilize them on a larger screen, they should prove to be very useful tools.

It's not all roses, though, and people that were hesitant to make the switch to Vista or Windows 7 are in for a new shock. I am willing to bet that the Metro UI can be turned on and off, but imagine the first time your grandmother accidentally turns it on? And, more importantly, companies are always concerned about their workforce, and having to retrain when new versions of software come out. How will decision makers react to the new UI, and how will Microsoft sell it as a productivity enhancer, as opposed to just an awesome information layer? Remember the Mac Dashboard?

And, as a side note, when you are watching the video, watch on the right side of the screen for a wall, covered in censoring blur. Let us know what you think they are hiding in the comments.  And follow the break to read Microsoft's full press on the Windows 8 preview.

Source: Microsoft

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3 years ago

WPCentral number one app in news and weather

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We're generally not the folk to brag, but the official WPCentral app that was released last week is currently the top app in the news and weather category. While we're on a roll, the app is shining with a four and a half star average rating. I'd like to say a big thank you on behalf of the entire team, it really does bring a tear to the eye seeing how much support there is from our readers.

A lot of time, effort and development went into the final product, but it has all been paid off with the positive reviews and feedback we've received. Improvements are being made and our Daniel Rubino showed the developer walkthrough of version 1.2 by Jay Bennett who explained some of the upcoming changes which have been requested. Be sure to check Jay's blog for more information, development and to leave feedback.

You can download our app (if you haven't done so already) in the Marketplace. Remember there is the option of the unlimited ad-supported trial with full functionality or if you wish to experience no advertising and believe the app is worth it then the paid version is a mere $0.99 (79p).

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3 years ago

Microsoft $19 Billion deal to buy Nokia; baseless

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Earlier today a rumor was being circulated around the web implying that Microsoft had inked a deal to buy Nokia for $19 Billion US. The basis for these rumors is a tweet from Eldar Murtazin.

This is the same Eldar Murtazin that earlier reported such a deal and that was quickly squashed by Nokia. We held off on reporting this morning's rumor to give Nokia an opportunity to squash this one, just as they did the earlier rumors.  It was only a matter of time.

The previous rumor was squashed by Nokia's Communications Director, Mark Squire. This time Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop took the opportunity to squash the rumors calling such speculation is baseless.

“We have a great plan for our future, and we’re focused on executing that plan. The rumors are all over the place. There’s no basis for them.”

While Nokia has been experiencing internal problems, todays rumors seemed to have helped the company's stock values. According to BBC News, Nokia stock shares rose today 1.3% on the heels of the purchase rumor. Makes you wonder if Eldar owns stock in Nokia....

Source: Bloomberg Thanks goes out to Jamie for the BBC tip!

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3 years ago

Marketplace populating numbers with spam?

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Marketplace populating numbers with spam?

After we got through the horrendous amount of champagne at WPCentral HQ with the milestone of 20,000 apps being passed, we decided to take a good look at the new apps being submitted (and approved) to see what really gave the total a sudden shove past the 20K marker. It seems to be down to a good number of apps including the recently famed real estate apps, which have been a constant addition for days now.

There's one better though. Check these absolute beauties out, which were developed by Eric_Rulz (I know what you're thinking, L337 right?). SPAM apps. No, not for the meat, they're not a spam history related app, nor can you order cans of the stuff to your doorstep. I'm talking about useless crap, that type of spam. This guy is trolling via apps. Microsoft is actually allowing someone (probably a competitive fanboy, who knows?) to clog up our marketplace with ridiculous content:

He's not the only one as well, which makes the whole situation more infuriating and this is where I get upset. Remember when we announced our awesome app and a short delay occurred due to the submission being declined? It was due to minute design problems, which (in my personal opinion) shouldn't have prompted the ban hammer to attack us. Now with that in mind, I would certainly find it entertaining for a member of the app review team (whom all seem to be either drunk/asleep or both at the present time) to explain how these spam apps are getting through the quality control?

C'mon Microsoft, you can't boast about reaching goals quicker than competitors if the said goals are being completed by spam, surely? Hopefully they'll get a hand on this soon enough and ensure this doesn't happen in future. 

Thanks Quicky for the tip!

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3 years ago

Acer W4 hands on [Video]

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Acer W4 hands on [Video]

To go along with our quick Acer W4 handset post, here's a snappy video over at Engadget who had the opportunity to look at a mockup device. One thing you may notice is no front-facing camera and the specification (which was also covered in the previous article) states only a single 5MP camera so we'll have to see if anything should change nearer to release. Strange for a Mango device, I would have thought they would be packing more of a punch in terms of looks and specification with regards to the huge software update.

8GB storage? C'mon Acer, at least give us 16 or a MicroSD slot, although this could well be one of the lower-end devices aimed at people who are slowly adopting smartphones. Only time will tell.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Mango concepts that didn't make it to demo

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If you happened to miss the Mango (7.5) VIP event last week (shame on you), a number of requested features were shown off in the presentation. Not all 500, which were promised by Steve Ballmer, but some 50-odd (give or take a few). While the ones shown were enough to maintain the hype and excitement for Mango, which is expected to produce a more complete OS, we have just found out that the Japanese Microsoft site had posted some screen captures on their homepage of features that were absent from the VIP event.

We have a few that LiveSide managed to pick up and take a look at, skip on past the break to check them out and remember to click the images on the right for a larger view. 

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3 years ago

Quick look: Tweet & Go [Video]

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Quick look: Tweet & Go [Video]

For those looking for a quick way to just Tweet, without loading their full Twitter client, waiting for all those tweets by their friends to show up, then 'Tweet & Go' is for you.

The app is by Adam Nathan, who brought us Metro Browser and numerous other apps to Windows Phone and it's quite useful, elegant and just right. You simply launch it, it logs in with your account and you can post away. You can even upload an image and use bit.ly (or your custom bit.ly). Plus, we just really dig the design (it uses your Twitter account's background image for that extra pizzaz).

The app fetches for $0.99 with no trial, which is a bit of a bummer. On the other hand, for those of you who need such an app, we feel pretty good about recommending it. Still, there is room for improvement: we'd like to see multiple Twitter account support, geo-location tagging and there looks to be a slight bug with the options not highlighting properly (see video). Hopefully we'll see those in later versions. Despite that, we really like it since nothing is faster for just posting a Tweet to the world.

Grab the app here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Pac-Man is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Watch out ghosts!

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Let’s see, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX recently hit Xbox Live. Everybody loves it, but they’re not crazy about the $6.99 price. Do the powers at Namco lower the price to make the Pac-public happier? No way, they put the original Pac-Man on sale instead. Pac-Man is the Deal of the Week at $2.99, down from $4.99.

Pac-Man is a straight port of the original arcade game. It contains a single maze which Pac-Man must clear of its dots and fruits repeatedly until the ghosts finally become too fast and take him down. Pac-Man was once a huge arcade hit and many of us fondly remember the original. Unfortunately, it’s not a terrific game on Windows Phone. As our review points out, the controls just can’t keep up with the challenging gameplay, plus the Achievements are like 3 cents and a Twinkie short of impossible. Buy it if you want a quick dose of nostalgia, but don’t expect anything near the fun and quality of Championship Edition DX.

Pac-Man is $2.99 for one week only and of course there is a free trial. Chomp it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Doodle Jump has landed on the Marketplace

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The 6 Weeks of Must Have Games is in full effect. Following on the heels of Hydro Thunder Go comes this week’s Xbox Live release, Doodle Jump. It’s out now on the Marketplace.

Doodle Jump is the progenitor of the jumping game subgenre. It distills the essence of platformers – jumping onto platforms, avoiding death by falling, and defeating enemies – into a simpler game. Here players control the Doodler by tilting the phone. He’s always jumping, so you only need to worry about where you’re going to land, collecting powerups, and tapping enemies to kill them.

The Windows Phone version of Doodle Jump (like Pocket God before it) contains the main game but loses a bit of content. Namely, a few themes are missing. Each theme changes the appearances of Doodle Jumper and his enemies as well as completely changing the background. Five themes are currently included on Windows Phone: Original, Halloween, Christmas, Jungle, and Space. For those keeping track, indie clone MonsterUp (similar if not better in quality) only has three themes right now, so Doodle Jump still has the leg up there.

Doodle Jump is a monster hit on other platforms. It’s extremely cute and easy to play. The Windows Phone version costs $2.99 and there is a free, short trial. Jump on it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

British Airways app hits the Marketplace

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We first had a glimpse of the British Airways app during Microsoft's Mango Preview Event. Well, it went live in the Marketplace today and looks like for those traveling British Airways, chasing your flights may have gotten a lot easier.

Key features include:

  • Instant access to the mobile boarding pass for your next flight from your Windows Phone
  • Information about your next flight, including check-in, live departure time and gate numbers (from Heathrow Terminal 5)
  • Review all your boarding passes and upcoming flight bookings
  • Track the live arrival or departure times for any British Airways flight
  • View terminal maps for airports across the world
  • You can also check in with your Windows Phone, see worldwide contact numbers and see the latest British Airways travel news.

The app doesn't appear to have the 3D seating view that we saw during the Preview Event and there's no mention of the live tiles (in the works for future updates?). Regardless, the app looks really nice and is likely to come in handy British Airways passengers.

The British Airways app is free and can be found here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Cellphone Radiation: The WHO's take on things

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We mentioned earlier that the LG Quantum ranked the best with respect to the smartphones with the lowest radiation emissions. On the heels of that report, we've learned the WHO has chimed in on the issue of whether or not cell phone radiation is dangerous or not.  No, not the rock group the Who but the World Health Organization.

In a joint press released issued today with the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the WHO classifies radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. This tags the electromagnetic fields as a Group 2B carcinogen that also includes lead, DDT pesticides, and chloroform. They base this possibility on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use.

A more extensive report on the assessment by the WHO will be published in the July issue of The Lancet Oncology, but commenting on the findings, Dr. Jonathan Samet, chairman of the working group for this studying, states,:

"The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk."

Additionally, the Director of the IARC, Christopher Wild, commented:

"it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands?free devices or texting."

It is nice that there isn't a rush to judgement on this issue (keeping things termed as "potential" or "possible" risk) and that it is recognized that additional research is needed to determine what connection exists between serious health issues and cell phone use.

Again, by no means are we suggesting you should stop using your Windows Phone.  But it never hurts to be informed on the equipment we use.  After the break you can catch the full press release from the WHO.

Source: IARC Via: CNN

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3 years ago

Nokia in trouble and banking on WP7

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Nokia in trouble and banking on WP7

Seems Nokia's problems are worsening with each passing day. Their devices are being out-sold and out-preferred, not to mention conditions arising that is preventing the handset manufacturer to provide 2011 forecasts. While they have joined Microsoft with Windows Phone 7, the journey ashore will be a rough one until Mango is here and upcoming Nokia devices are released.

Symbian is a sinking ship, which Nokia has to milk as much as possible, the company said in a statement that their operating margin “could be around breakeven.” Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, said:

"We recognize the need to deliver great mobile products, and therefore we must accelerate the pace of our transition. Our teams are aligned, and we have increased confidence that we will ship our first Nokia product with Windows Phone in the fourth quarter 2011."

Until the time to jump ships arrives, Nokia are to work on adding capabilities to its Symbian portfolio and will up its retail marketing. Do you think Windows Phone enough to save Nokia, and will their WP7 devices sell?

Source: ZDNet

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3 years ago

Quick look: Cartoon TV for Windows Phone 7 [Video]

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Fact: I grew up in the 1980's, meaning Saturday morning cartoons was my religion when I was a child--Smurfs, Popeye, you name it, I watched it. So it was a blast to play with 'Cartoon TV', an app currently "on sale" for $1.99. While that price may seem a little high, if you're into cartoons, it's certainly worth it.

The app is split into two parts: live, streaming cartoons, which often presents random, vintage stuff that is sometimes very odd and the catalog, which features full episodes (usually 30 or more each) from Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, The Flintstones, Foghorn Leghorn, Mickey Mouse and more. The choice for entertainment is quite extensive and impressive. The quality when streaming, especially over WiFi was as good as it'll get for vintage cartoons i.e. non-HD, that is to say great quality with no hiccups.

What can we say outside of we highly recommend this app if you have children or, like me, you're just a fan of cartoons/reliving your youth. The app is $1.99, sitting at a 4.5 star rating and there is a free trial, so give it a go. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Kik Messenger for WP7 due "within a month"

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We first caught wind of Kik Messenger for Windows Phone 7 during MIX11. At the time, it wasn't too clear when the popular messaging service would be available on our platform i.e. pre-Mango or during Mango launch?

Now it looks like they've answered on their Facebook account--all it took was someone to ask:

Alejandro Aguilera Rivera: Are you guys (by any chance) working on a Windows phone 7 app? is it possible? :D?

Kik Interactive, Inc.: You will see it within a month :)

So that sounds good to us. In fact, the race between IM+ and Kik seems to be heating up as we're expecting releases from both companies relatively soon, giving Windows Phone users some new options. Not to mention, there's that whole Mango-Live Messenger/Facebook Chat integration coming too.

Source: Facebook; Thanks, Alejandro, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Acer W4 spotted at Computex 2011, November release? [Update: Specs]

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An Acer Windows Phone 7 handset was spotted at Computex '11, and looks vaguely similar to already available devices (LG in particular). If you remember, Acer are one of the announced manufacturers to be making handsets by the time Mango arrives and the notable mention of November on the information sheet ties in with our coverage of Acer to bring products to the table in Q4 this year.

Anyone looking forward to this device, and others from newly focused handset manufacturers?

Update: Specifications have been posted:

  • 3.6-inch WVGA Capacitive screen,
  • Screen Resolution: 480×800
  • 5mp Camera with auto-focus.
  • HSPA 850/1900 or 900/2100 /GSM quad band 850/900/ 1800/ 1900 MHz Support.
  • Qualcomm MSM 8255 running at 1GHz (same processor as in the Xperia Play)
  • Wifi, Bluetooth 2.1
  • DLNA Support
  • Windows Phone Mango
  • 8GB Storage

Source: WMPU

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