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3 years ago

Homebrew custom Start screen may make its way to your Windows Phone

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Looks like those folks at Windows Phone Hacker, specifically Jaxbot, have been working on some neat ideas for our devices. This latest trick involves making custom Tiles for the Start screen, allowing a theme of sorts to give a more unique look for your phone. Previously, they released the "Folders" option for the Start screen.

The method is not yet available as Windows Phone Hacker is once again feeling out if there is any interest in releasing it--those man hours in creating and refining this don't come out of no where, after all. Personally, we think it's pretty great looking and would be fairly excited to see this happen.

Best part is this doesn't require any deep interop-unlock, just a simple developer unlocked phone (either official or ChevronWP7 Labs), making this a seemingly straightforward hack. If interested, head over to Windows Phone Hacker or hit them up on Twitter @wphonehacker to let them know!

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3 years ago

BoxFiles for Dropbox gets pinnable folders

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Couple things about Dropbox: many of you prefer SkyDrive--fair enough. Their mobile website is actually really nice. And there is no "official" app from them for Windows Phone.

So for those of us who do use Dropbox and regularly, there is really only one app out there that has constantly shown itself worthy, in our opinion: BoxFiles for Dropbox. The app recently received a hefty Mango update, which like all Mango apps, resulted in a much faster, smoother experience. In addition it had some graphics re-worked, new options and even a Live Tile which shows your used and remaining space left on your account. Slick.

Now in v2.5, the options continue with the addition of pinnable folders to your Start screen, for quick, easy 1-click access to all of your stuff. From there you can copy, delete, move, email, download, share, rename, etc. any of your files, making this feel quite robust. Finally, it's fairly Metro in design with minimalist graphics and text-focused, giving the app a more native feel.  Oh and did we mention this has SkyDrive built into it? So for all of those who need a more feature-rich SkyDrive app, you may want to take this for a spin too.

The app goes for $1.29 with a free trial, which can be found here and gets our highest recommendation. There's also a free, ad-supported version with no SkyDrive support--that one can be found here.

Update: And we've just been just informed by the developer that v2.5 has a bug for new users looking to login/authenticate--basically you can't do it. If you're upgrading, like us, you're good to go and won't notice anything. The devs let us know that v2.6 will fix this and should be out in the next few days--so stand by for that one!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - Hasta la Muerte comes to life this week

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Didn’t get enough ghosts in last week’s Xbox Live title, Ghostscape? This week’s release deals with the afterlife as well, though it’s a completely different sort of game. Hasta La Muerte, from French developer Pohlm Studio, comes to Xbox Live on Wednesday, December 7.

In Hasta la Muerte, players control one of death’s emissaries. The emissary travels through a sort of purgatory, freeing the souls of the dead. Take too long to save them and they become cursed souls, attacking you. The game uses tilt for movement, which seems to work pretty well.

Hasta la Muerte contains over 30 levels, with unique boss encounters every 5 levels. Once you have unlocked friendly SoulPets, you can go back to previous levels and use the Pets’ abilities to try for better ratings.

Of course, the main reason we’re excited about Hasta la Muerte is its beautiful European art style. The emissary and souls alike are represented by simple abstract figures. Combined with the stark, almost colorless levels, the game feels very different and otherworldly. Let's hope it plays as good as it looks!

Hasta la Muerte crosses over into our world on December 7. No word on pricing, but we'll find out soon enough.

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3 years ago

The Little Amazing Show ad-campaign: Episode 3

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3 years ago

Windows Phone app bar icons [Developers]

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We're always pleased to see developer resources pop up around the web that help keep things ticking long. Over at Templarian (Austin Andrews), an icon pack full of superb quality graphics has been in the works (with more being added), which is licensed under Creative Commons license. Should you require an icon that's not present, one can either create and submit the icon for the pack or request it from the author. The icons are available in black and white variants.

Andrews wants developers to take care when designing apps on the platform, and we (as consumers) are on the same wave length. Metro UI is slick and clean and developers should take advantage of this.

Source: Templarian

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Air Soccer Tour

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Air Soccer Tour is a cross between an air hockey game and a soccer match for your Windows Phone. Available in a free and paid version, this mango app combines the two for an interesting, challenging and entertaining game for your Windows Phone.

Air Soccer Tour has three game speeds, four game levels, and you can play with up to three strikers. There are one player, two player (pass and play) and a single player tournament to compete in. All in all, plenty of air soccer gaming.

More after the break.

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3 years ago

RegHardware Awards 2011 - vote for the platform and Nokia Lumia 800

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RegHardware is hosting a poll where the first vote is for "Mobile of the Year", and the Nokia Lumia 800 (our review) is the Windows Phone entrant. The handset is up against the likes of the iPhone 4S, Blackberry Bold 9900, and Samsung Galaxy S II. So be sure to head on over and vote for the Lumia 800 along with Windows Phone for "Smartphone OS of the Year". There are also a few more questions in the poll including carrier of the year and most useful app.

Source: RegHardware, thanks Eoin for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Keep organized with Pin-to-start for mobile websites

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Here's a cool little thing. Inspired by Google's trick of making their Search icon pinnable for Windows Phone, reader Miguel Rochefort has created a nifty little web-tool that will allow you to do basically the same but for any mobile site out there.

There's no installation, just a simple bookmarking of his script within Internet Explorer 9 on your phone. When you come across a site you like and want to pin, you pull up his site and it will create a perfectly-sized icon of the site for pinning. The benefit? Instead of pinning a screenshot of the website, you can pin the site's logo, resulting in a much cleaner and organized appearance.

It's cool, it's free and takes no time, so why not? Check out the above video to see it in action. Hop into our forums to interact with Miguel for any requests and issues or just hop to his site on your phone to get started: http://www.web2tile.com/

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3 years ago

12 Days of Giveaways includes the HTC Radar

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T-Mobile is offering the HTC Radar 4G for free today but that's not the only place the Windows Phone was being given away. The Ellen Degeneres Show is having a 12 Days of Giveaways event where audience members get a free gift or gifts. Twenty-five viewers are also selected from on-line registrations and will also receive the gifts.

Day one and two appeared to be dominated by gift cards but Day Three was heavily sponsored by Microsoft. The giveaway landed an Xbox Live with Kinect, an Acer laptop, a Beats headset, a Go Pro video camera, an HTC Radar and six months of service through T-Mobile (check around the 2:38 mark).

All in all the gift package was valued over $2,700 and made a lot of studio audience members happy. It is also pretty good exposure for Microsoft.  No clue as to what the remaining nine days of giveaways will bring but if you're feeling lucky you can register here at the show's website.

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3 years ago

Dance Central 2 coming to Windows Phone

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We've been talking about Microsoft needs to capitalize on their Xbox 360 success with Windows Phone--tie them together so that Windows Phone becomes synonymous with the popular gaming console. The companion app that's coming tomorrow is a big step in that direction.

Another step would be to ride on the coattails of some of the platform's most popular games--in this case Xbox Kinect's Dance Central 2. Dance Central 2 is the wildly popular sequel to one of last year's biggest Kinect titles. It's that game that allows you to hilariously embarrass yourself in front of friends and family as you attempt to mimic dancing while the Kinect tries to, ahem, correct your moves.

Now we just received this picture of what appears to be a mini-Dance Central 2 game coming to Windows Phone. In the game description, it reads:

"Record a video of yourself or your friends dancing to one of seven Dance Central 2 tracks and turn your video into a polished music video with the look and feel of Dance Central.

Share your video on Facebook or challenge your friends to "battle". Coming Soon!"

We have to believe it's legit, after all, who'd make up something so potentially humiliating? (Or maybe we're the wrong demographic). Regardless of who this is for we really dig the idea of these companion apps. No word on if it uses the Kinect like Kinectimals or if it is completely independent. We're going to send our own Paul Acevedo on a recon mission to dig up some more info.

Big thanks to Anon for the pic!

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3 years ago

Learn how to develop Windows Phone 7 games in just 24 hours

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An interesting book has been released by Sams Publishing, which will be of great value to anyone who's looking at Windows Phone to develop games taking advantage of available technologies and hardware. The book, authored by Jonathan S. Harbour, claims (as does other learning material) to teach the reader how to develop a playable title in just 24 hours using Microsoft's free XNA 4.0 toolset. The book is set out in easy-to-digest chunks, with "Did you know?" tips and "Watch out!" alerts.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Develop fast, playable Windows Phone 7 games with XNA 4.0
  • Get and manage user touch screen input
  • Draw 2D bitmapped images, and bring them to life as sprites
  • Transform sprites using rotation, scaling, and velocity calculations
  • Detect and handle collisions between game objects
  • Create surprisingly realistic animation effects
  • Master sophisticated finite state programming techniques
  • Integrate GPS Location Services into your game
  • Make the most of Windows Phone audio
  • Read, write, and save game files
  • Create your game’s Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Implement realistic physics effects, including gravity and acceleration
  • Tweak gameplay to make your games more fun

The book is available to purchase as paperback or in ebook format, and prices start at just $25.59. Amazon is also stocking the resource at $23.85 (UK version from £13.36, available for Kindle too).

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: aPuzzleIntrusion Free

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3 years ago

T-Mobile offering HTC Radar 4G for free - ends today

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T-Mobile has the HTC Radar (our review) listed on their website for free, when taking out a two-year contract. Note that this is a web-only deal, so be sure to make the purchase online. Should you be interested, act now as the deal is set to end today. Sporting a 5MP camera, 1Ghz processor, 8GB storage and a 3.8" screen, the Radar is a perfect Mango handset for Christmas.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Xbox Companion app due out tomorrow

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We've previously covered the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone that was to be released soon after the Xbox dashboard refresh. This app will enable users to control their Xbox consoles and browse the Marketplace for media (music, movies and games), launch movies and music, view friends activity, search for information on what's currently playing (via Bing), and control playback.

The Xbox Companion app is set to be made available on the Marketplace for free tomorrow and will bring more integration between the two platforms with Windows 8 creeping around the corner. Thinking of three screens anyone? We'll take a deeper look at the app once it's published.

Source: Microsoft, via: Major Nelson

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3 years ago

HTC Windows Phone LED indicator

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HTC Windows Phone LED indicator

The subject of the little LED indicator light on HTC Windows Phones has cropped up in a few of the WPCentral Forums discussions. Some are pleasantly surprised at seeing the little indicator, some are curious if it can be customized, and some are simply trying to figure out what it does.

The LED indicator light isn't anything new to HTC Windows Phones. As far as we can tell every Windows Phone from HTC has the little light. It's so subtle that it can be surprising when you finally notice it. I think it took me about a month before I noticed it on the HTC HD7S.  Then had to look at the HTC Surround to see if it had one of the lights (it does by the way).

The LED is a red/green combo that will flash red when the battery is low, when the battery is charging and turns green when the battery charge is complete or when you miss a call. It does not light up on new email messages or SMS messages.  There are no settings to customize the LED light but who knows what the future may bring.

If you've got an opinion on the LED indicator on the Titan or any other HTC Windows Phone, feel free to chime in over in the WPCentral Forums' HTC Section. Some like the little light, some hate it, while others would like to see it do more. What's your thoughts on the matter?

Thanks goes out to Steven for the tip!

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