3 years ago
WPDoodle: A Happy New Year from WPCentral!
As we fast approach the 2012 mark, we just want to take a moment to wish everyone a happy new year. We'd also like to extend a big thanks to our readers who have submitted tips, app review requests, participated in our forums, used our official app and listened to our podcast--you've helped drive one of the largest Windows Phone communities in the world!
While Windows Phone is slowly getting into the zeitgeist of the mobile arena, recently getting very positive word of mouth, we're still hoping for that big, explosive moment to happen early-mid 2012 where mass adoption becomes the norm. We think Nokia will play a large part in that role, especially here in the U.S. where we expect a few Nokia devices e.g. Lumia 710 to land on our shores. Most anticipated of all is the Nokia 900 "Ace" which should be announced in a few weeks at CES in Las Vegas with a launch on AT&T--if there was a phone that will be used as metric for OS health, it will be that one. Of course, we'll be at CES as well as Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, in February) to cover all the new Microsoft promulgations.
Finally, we also have the "Tango" and "Apollo" (Windows Phone 8) updates this year to look forward too on top of new 4G LTE devices from HTC and Samsung--oh and lets not forget that Skype-thing. Combined with the Windows 8 launch later in 2012, the Windows Phone ecosystem should have all features and flashy hardware lined up to really 'wow' people. And then there's version 2.0 of our official app. So here's hoping to an exciting 2012!
WPDoodle images courtesy of Jason Harrison, founder of BrowCo.com. Have a great idea for a WPDoodle? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Jason'll take a gander.
3 years ago
Xbox Live Online Safety Controls [How-to]
The other day we mentioned that certain props were on their way out for your XBox Live Avatar. Agree or disagree with Microsoft's policy you may find the need to control your child's access to explicit music, videos or games on their Windows Phone or XBox Live console. If so, here's how to go about it.
You'll need log into your (or your child's) Xbox Live account over at Xbox.com.
If your child's account is part of a family membership you'll need to go to the Family Center section that is listed under the XBox drop down menu at the top of the screen. Find your child's Xbox Account, hover over the name and a pop-up menu will appear. Choose the Privacy and Online Settings option.
If your child has a stand alone account, the Privacy and Online Settings will be listed on their profile page just below their avatar.
The Privacy and Online Settings page contains settings to regulate activity, privacy and content on the Xbox Live console and Windows Phone. If you scroll down to the bottom of the options and you will find the "Music, Music Videos and Windows Phone Games" option. You have options to allow access or block access to such titles. Make your choice and click "save" to preserve those settings.
The choice to block or allow access to such titles is not for us to decide but with many finding Xbox Live consoles and Windows Phones under the tree this Holiday Season, we thought we'd share this how-to just in case there is a need.
3 years ago
WPCentral Holiday Gift Guide: Apps and Games
Happy Holidays everyone! With some of our readers finding a new Windows Phone under the tree or getting their Windows Phone Marketplace gift card in the mail, we thought it was a good time to throw out some app suggestions. We've polled our staff and have come up with a few games and apps that we think every Windows Phone should have. Or in the least, we highly recommend you give them a try.
3 years ago
Trine's Hangman back in business, extends sale
A few days ago we received notice that the server powering the popular Windows Phone game, Trine's Hangman, crashed due to high traffic. It was one of those good news/bad news things. Good that traffic for the game was up, bad that it crashed the server. You could still play the game but all the online goodness wasn't available.
After diligent work by the developer, we have just been informed that things are back up and running. So every should have access to the online ranking, leaderboards, definitions and score updates.
Trine's Hangman comes in two versions. You have Trine's Hangman with is a free, ad-supported version and Trine's Hangman Pro that runs $1.99 and is ad free.
Trine's Hangman Pro is currently on a half-off sale ($.99) through January 1st. In light of the events with the server, this sale has been extended to January 8th. So if you've been thinking of upgrading to the ad free version or tinkering with the free trial, you still have time to take advantage of the savings.
3 years ago
WPCentral Forums: Our most popular threads year-end review
2011 has been a big year for our forums. We started out watching Windows Mobile fade away as Microsoft continued the roll out of Windows Phone 7. Yes, that all happened this year, though it really seems like it was longer ago. As we move forward to 2012, a year that we expect will be huge for our operating system, we just want to remind our members what threads were the most popular while making a couple of comments about why we think these topics were on everyone's mind.
Our biggest threads of the year was this one: 'Called Verizon Today'. Verizon was the last US Carrier to join the Windows Phone game and there were plenty of our forums members anxiously awaiting the release of the HTC Trophy, Verizon's first and only WP7 device to date. So we talked about it. That thread went 51 pages deep and has over 1,000 replies. Evidently, Verizon users want Windows phone too. Verizon are you listening? Probably not.
One of our other more popular topics in the forums was wallpapers. We have had many threads on this topic this year but none were more popular than this one: 'Post Your Wallpaper'. That thread was actually started in December of 2010, just making it to the one-year mark, so it earned its place in our 2011 review. Who doesn't love wallpapers? Heck for a lot of us the lockscreen wallpaper on our device is the first thing we see in the morning. This thread is 16 pages deep with over 300 replies and growing every day--maybe add yours?
3 years ago
moTweets gets ready for v3.0 and we get an early look
While Mehdoh is dying and Tweet it! is not for everyone, the old standby moTweets by Panoramic Software is getting a nice update very soon. Yes, version 3.0 is being prepared for submission to the Marketplace and we have the changelog for you.:
New: Background agent checks and updates the new Mango Live Tile
New: Ability to add the Post screen to the Live Tile for quick posting
New: Links now open in Pocket Internet Explorer
New: Reply auto selects the account you are reading from
New: Completely redesigned social engine, using https and much quicker response time
Proper translation of t.co twitter links.
Custom handling for Japanese font
Link, Picture, and Timeline fixes for Twitter, Facebook, and RSS feeds
Better handling for Retweet, Spam
Fixed Trends and Local Trends
On top of that, a second update will closely follow bringing the highly sought after Toast Notifications. Panoramic is also exploring adding GooglePlus and LinkedIn support, though they're not certain on the timing of those features just yet.
We've been running v3.0 for a few days now and while it mostly looks the same (no major UI changes), it certainly feels a lot more smooth for scrolling and performance. Plus all of those little fixes and optimizations will go a long way for a lot of users. So if you're a fan of moTweets now, you'll be even more happy very soon.
Pick up the free, ad-supported version of moTweets here in the Marketplace or opt for the ad-free experience for $1.99 here. We'll keep you posted when version 3.0 hits.
3 years ago
Mehdoh Twitter app being discontinued for good
We broke the news back at the beginning of December that the wildly popular Twitter app Mehdoh had disappeared from the Marketplace. More ominous was the closing of the Twitter account and a Tweet from the developer, Chris Field, that working on the app was no longer enjoyable. Within a few hours though, all was back to normal and there were even a steady flow of solid updates, culminating with version 1.9 which will go live in the next few hours.
Yet all is not well. The app will be permanently discontinued very soon and pulled from the Marketplace. If you have it, it will continue to work for the foreseeable future, but we will no longer see any updates. From the Mehdoh website:
"Due to various reasons, at the start of December we took the decision to close our App Hub Windows Phone development account with Microsoft. Since then the request has been going through the various departments, and via GeoTrust (who digitally sign the application). It now looks like that process is coming to an end.
This will mean that Mehdoh will eventually be disappearing (unfortunately for good this time) from the Marketplace. You may be aware that we recently submitted 1.9 for certification... we are seeking clarification if this will make it to the marketplace or not.
We believe that removing the application from the marketplace is best for users in the long run, as it means they will not end up downloading an application that is no longer under development, or being supported. For everyone who uses Mehdoh, and especially those that bought it, we thank you greatly for your support - You will still have a fully functional application to use and enjoy. Also a big thank you to everyone else who has supported Mehdoh, even when they don't actually use it themselves!"
We're going to save our tirade and disappointment for next week's podcast, but for now, we'll go with what Tyler L. said when he tipped us on this: "This seems to me like a middle finger to all its users". Indeed.
Small update: Seems as if v1.9 has some problems with settings screen. A supplemental update may try to be submitted to the Marketplace and in the meantime, the developer has made the XAP available for those who can side load.
3 years ago
Xbox LIVE's Z0MB1ES!!1 (on teh ph0ne) coming January 4th
The wildly popular Xbox title I MAED A GAEM W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!1 has been ported to Windows Phone as one of three games within the new title Z0MB1ES!!1 (on teh ph0ne), which we broke news of back in September. Now it looks like the game is set for release this coming week as the main Xbox LIVE title for Windows Phone. It will run for the very reasonable $2.99.
Back from our interview, the games within Z0MB1ES!!1 (on teh ph0ne) were described:
"Endless Zombies takes place in a little, infinitely looping labyrinth that has a room-by-room progression similar to that of Smash TV. It’s a neat challenge mode for some twin-stick time killing, but it’s definitely not nearly as epic as I MAED A GAM3."
Q: Gotcha. Time Viking, on the other hand, is a brand new game. How does it fit in with the two Z0MB1ES titles?
"It’s sort of the followup to I MAED A GAM3 that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. It’s got the same epic rock ballad progression as Z0MB1ES but a little (not too much) more polish. The economic logic of Z0MB1ES on teh ph0ne is amazing: Z0MB1ES on XBLIG was $1, therefore a $3 game on the phone must have three times as much stuff in it or else everyone will hate me. (If only publishers felt this way about iPhone ports. –ed.)"
Q: What is Time Viking's premise? Does the game have an ending?
"Time Viking is a twin-stick side-scroller where you control a time-travelling Viking who uses his telekinetic power to explode an endless barrage of robot ninjas whose exploded scrap in turn helps the Viking build a tower to the moon. It has an ending!"
Sounds pretty good to us and like we'll have another solid, exclusive game for Windows Phone to enjoy for the new year!
Source: Ska Studios; Thanks, Jamie, for the tip!
3 years ago
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II officially announced
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, the long-awaited return to 2D gameplay for the Sonic series, met with a mixed reception when it debuted on consoles in 2010. The Windows Phone version debuted several months later. In WPCentral’s Sonic 4 review, I praised its faithfulness to the console game (outside of a crummy pinball level exclusive to the mobile game) and touch screen controls. While the retro remake of Sonic CD is still due to arrive sometime (having already hit consoles and iOS), many fans have been left wondering about the fate of Sonic 4: Episode II.
Good news today then, as Sega has finally released a teaser trailer for Episode II. The trailer is devoid of gameplay footage, but it does at least promise the return of two popular characters: Tails the fox, Sonic’s young sidekick, and Metal Sonic, one of the main enemies in Sonic CD.
Head past the break for another video and more gameplay details!
3 years ago
Tweet it! A Windows Phone Twitter app with a lot of personality [Video]
3 years ago
Renders of the Nokia 900 show up with AT&T branding?
Pocketnow have images reportedly from Microsoft-partner Christmas card and the featured item is a Nokia device with AT&T branding on board, presumably the Nokia "Ace" 900.
No other details can be discerned from the device except for a front-facing camera (upper left), which seems imperative for US markets now and for 2nd gen Windows Phones. The device is expected to feature a large 4.3" screen, AT&T LTE 4G and some other ample specs making it a decent competitor for the US and Windows Phone in general. Still, it is not clear if this device is just a revamped 800 with higher specs or truly a different device.
More info is expected in a few days as we approach CES where all is expected to be revealed. Our only criticism? We hope black isn't the only color option as it is getting a tad old these days--gives us some reds, whites and blues to make us really interested.
Source: Pocketnow; Thanks, pezman726, for the tip!
3 years ago
12-month XBox Live subscription for $39.99 on Amazon
For the Xbox Live gamers in the house, Amazon has a 12-month XBox Live Gold subsciption for $39.99, about one third off the regular price. Click on the source link below and choose Online Game Code under the Format section. This is an instant code retrieval, as opposed to being mailed a card with the code on it, which will run you an extra $5. Even you aren't up for renewal, you can pick it up now and tack it on to your current subscription.
3 years ago
Face Swap & Mask get updated to v1.1 with crash fixes
For those of you who like the Microsoft Research branded Face Swap and Face Mask you'll want to pick up v1.1 which just went live.
The popular Face Swap app allows you to take a photo with two people and then switch their faces. The app uses a sophisticated face recognition algorithm to accurately and seamlessly swap faces between your two victims, giving a bizarre and creepy effect. Likewise, Face Mask does the same but with goofy cartoon effects, making your victim look exceptionally silly.
Both apps got bumped to version 1.1 and finally fix the link to "other" Face Party apps (before it read "coming soon") and also addresses a common crash when there were too many photos within the app. No other changes are noted, but we can't complain for what are two of the most fun and free apps around. Grab it Face Swap here in the Marketplace and Face Mask here.
3 years ago
Windows Phone still dropping marketshare according to ComScore
When these agencies release marketshare data at intervals throughout the year, it's never a particularly positive story for Microsoft's Windows Phone. The platform has seen a steady decline in share (but not as harsh as RIM), but what could be the reasons for the constant drop?
We shouldn't look into it too much, nor should the data be taken at face value. The total number of smartphones is growing, and Apple and Google are the two players that are increasing rapidly. Windows Phone isn't performing as good as the both of them so marketshare may drop to reflect the increase in the total number of smartphones in the market. Sure, RIM isn't doing too well (losing 3%), but Windows Phone is selling, perhaps just not well enough.
Source: ComScore via: GigaOM
3 years ago
T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710 makes an appearance on Ebay
With about two weeks away from becoming reality, the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710 is making an appearance over at Ebay. The 3.7" screened Windows Phone is the all black model is listed as "brand new unopened".
We're expecting the Lumia 710 to run $49.99 after contractual discounts. At last check, after 28 bids, the current bid on the "out of contract" model is $565. You've got little over five days left on the bidding or you can wait just a tad longer and snatch one up directly from T-Mobile.
You can find the T-Mobile Lumia 710 Ebay listing here.
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