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4 years ago

Free Marketplace Songs helps find deals on Zune

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Did you know that the Zune Marketplace regularly offers songs for free? No DRM, you own it, it's all yours. The catch is these "deals" are only for single songs and they're temporary. The other issue is finding them.

Developer PoppaString has created a free app to find those free songs. The app, called Free Marketplace Songs is extremely simple and to the point: you launch it, it finds free songs and then you can go grab them in the Marketplace. Cool. Version 1.1 just hit and seems to fix some early bugs, or rather we successfully downloaded a free song--so, win.

Any downsides? Yeah, for one it's a very limited selection, so if you're a picky music listener, it's highly doubtful you'll find something you like. The other would be these freebies expire quickly--so if you can grab two songs for free, consider yourself lucky. Check early, check often.  But hey, the app is free and if you like collecting music, it's a smart way of finding those deals.

Grab it here in the marketplace.

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4 years ago

Mediaroom officially coming to Windows Phone 7 via 'Rome'?

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Mediaroom is Microsoft's official IPTV streaming option and it provides a lot of media ability--in fact Mediaroom 2.0 was just announced at CES and offers "...whole-home digital video recording, on-demand capabilities, access to both operator-hosted content and Internet TV, and interactive applications.". It's like AT&T's U-verse but better.

Or Google TV but not full of fail.

As Microsoft slowly but steadily continues to merge all of their properties into one (Xbox 360, Mediaroom, Windows Phone 7, Zune, SkyDrive, Office, LIVE services, etc.) it only makes sense that they would be working on a way to take Mediaroom 2.x and integrate on Windows Phone 7 in some official capacity. Indeed, according to Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, that is what project 'Rome' is all about.

Supposedly Roz Ho, who worked on "Project Pink" aka KIN is involved on the Mediaroom/Rome project which looks to bring all of Microsoft's media capabilities into one offering: Xbox 360, Mediacenter PC, Windows Phone, etc. hence the name 'Rome' as all roads lead to it.

No word on planned release time frame, but we're thinking that second big update aka 'Mango', later this year, may be a good time.

Source: ZDNet; via electronista; Thanks, Enzo, for the tip

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4 years ago

Connection Manager comes to Samsung Windows Phones [Homebrew]

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We last mentioned Beau Allison's (aka codeJoker) a few weeks back which involved creating a WiFi shortcut on Samsung phones--it basically allowed you to hop from your Today screen right to the WiFi settings to quickly toggle them on or off. It's actually one of the more simple homebrew hacks yet it's the one we use the most, for obvious reasons.

Now he's gone further creating three new shortcuts: Bluetooth, Airplane Mode and Connection Manager. The first two are self-explanatory but the last is really the best. Connection Manager brings you all the previous shortcuts under one screen. Huzzah! As you can see above, it has WiFi, Bluetooth, Mobile Network and flight mode all under one quick access panel. What's more, he's trying to incorporate the status-sliders below each setting for a direct toggle. Once again, this will only work with unlocked Samsung phones (sorry HTC, LG and Dell).

This app is so useful we don't know where to begin outside of saying Microsoft (and or OEMs)--you could do this too!

Source: codeJoker

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4 years ago

Homebrew Device Manager on hold until WP7 update [Homebrew]

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We mentioned about the Homebrew Device manager by Schapman which was suppose to be released this week. The application not only offers a new way to interact with the phone to load media but also unlocks the phone so one can sideload applications on it.

Since that time, Microsoft and ChevronWP7 have confirmed that the upcoming update will fix the programming error that the jailbreak exploited.

In turn, Schapman is not too keen on releasing his app only to have MS block it a few weeks later so  he's doing the "cat and mouse" thing--wait for Microsoft to patch, then make sure his Device Manager works around it.  He notes that his app works different than ChevronWP7 but regardless, we don't see any guarantees that he'll still be able to jailbreak the phone himself:

Windows Phone Device Manager release delayed until MS update, as I still haves a lot of cool stuffs to implementation, Also Want to make sure my code will not be broken and my unlock method will pass after the update.

This is all well and good but we're even starting to wonder if waiting for this Device Manager is really worth the hassle and if Schapman, who often promises a lot but tends to under deliver, can really beat Microsoft's new improved security by himself.

Source: TouchXperience Blog ; via Plaffo; Thanks, Antonino Ardizzone.,for the info

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4 years ago

SPB Brain Evolution 2 - Review

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SPB Brain Evolution 2 - Review

SPB Software isn't a stranger to Windows Phones. Offering a wide range of applications for Windows Mobile operating system, they have finally made the transition to Windows Phone 7. The software developers first venture with the new Windows Phone is to bring their bestselling game, SPB Brain Evolution 2 to WP7.

The popular puzzle, math, logic game offers 12 mini games that will test your concentration, speed and mental processing skills. It doesn't stray too far from the original SPB Brain Evolution we saw on Windows Mobile. If anything, the game seems to have become more challenging.

To read more on SPB's Brain Evolution, ease on past the break.

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4 years ago

SpeedGauge - Review

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SpeedGauge - Review

SpeedGauge is another Windows Mobile application that has made the transition to Windows Phone 7. The Windows Phone application is a speedometer that tracks your speed through your phone's location services.

You also have the ability to various travel statistics, change the color of the display and change the display to a heads up type. The only thing missing from the Windows Phone 7 version of SpeedGauge is an analog display.

To read more about SpeedGauge, zip on past the break.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile HD7 now $99 on contract (limited time)

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While we have seen AT&T's Windows Phone 7 lineup heavily discounted, even going for free by some 3rd party retailers, the HD7 has remained in the $150-200 range for awhile now (except for Wirefly and a few others).

Now the HD7 is at least temporarily discounted through T-Mobile themselves for a fair $99. Of course the usual rules apply: 2 year contact, etc. But we still dig this phone's 4.3" display even if the camera is kind of lousy & reception is mediocre.

Source: Microsoft; via @windowsphone

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4 years ago

Deutsche Telekom more than satisfied with WP7

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We covered LG complaining last week about the somewhat dissatisfying performance of the Windows Phone 7 platform, which was expected with iPhone and Android absorbing majority of the news. However, the comment made was still received with mixed feelings.

Contradictory feedback - reported by Yahoo! - from German carrier Deutsche Telekom, largest mobile provider in Europe and mother of T-Mobile:

"We are ahead of budget, Microsoft is very pleased."

Which Ingo Hofacker, Head of Consumer Marketing at the mobile giant, provided. It is a good sign that they are witnessing WP7 devices selling off shelves at speed, and one can only predict this trend to continue as updates come this year.

Thanks Philipp for the tip!

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4 years ago

SoundEscape 7 - Review

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SoundEscape 7 - Review

Stressful day at work? Need some soothing sounds to ease the tension of the day? SoundEscape 7 is a Windows Phone 7 application that offers seven nature sounds to offer a relaxing atmosphere.

The seven sounds include: Ocean, Rain, Waterfall, Forest, River, Desert, City

I'm not sure if the sounds of the City qualify for relaxation sounds but it may work for some. The sound application has three timers (5, 15 and 30 minutes) and accompanying photos that reflect the mood. The timers come in handy if you need a little relaxation to go to sleep by.

It's an interesting application and while the photos are a nice touch, I would have liked to have seen a photo slide show used or the ability to use your own photos. Staring at the same old photo can get old.

SoundEscape 7 will run you $.99. There is not a trial version available. You can find your copy here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace.

Ease on past the break to see SoundEscape 7 in action.

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4 years ago

DioDict - Review

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DioDict - Review

We've mentioned the Windows Phone application DioDict before. It is a dictionary application for Windows Phone 7 that is exclusive to the Samsung phones. The app taps into Collins Dictionary libary and includes multi-language support.

Recently updated to clean up some text formatting issues, DioDict offers more than definitions. It's a free application located in the Samsung App Zone and to read more about DioDict (plus see a video of it in action), just follow the break.

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4 years ago

Bitbop (Beta) for Windows Phone 7 [video tour]

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Earlier today we mentioned that Bitbop was available for Windows Phone 7 in Beta form.  Similar to Hulu, Bitbop brings streaming television to your Windows Phone.  Shows are commercial free and can be downloaded to your phone or streamed.

Our first impressions of Bitbop are good.  The app has a polished feel to it, there's a decent selection of shows and movies to choose from and the menu system is nice.  The option to download episodes and movies is nice for those times you know you'll be in a poor reception area or without access to Wifi.

Bitbop has a free 60 day trial and a full subscription is running $9.99 a month.  You can find your copy of the Beta here at the Marketplace.  Keep in mind that this is a beta version and glitches may still be present.

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4 years ago

Native Thai keyboard brought to Windows Phone 7 [Homebrew]

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Last we checked, despite our delusions and self aggrandizement, the world doesn't revolve around English. And while parts of the world await for Microsoft to bless them with native language support, some inspiring lads are taking into their own hands. (Maybe they can fix the T-Mo HD7?)

In the above case, it's Thai, which wins for coolest looking alphabet in our eyes (Korean is really neat too). It's only for Samsung devices at the moment, but it's getting there. This joins Hebrew, which was hacked a few weeks ago at XDA as pointed out by 1800pocketpc and JapaneseGood stuff.

Source: WinPhoClub; Thanks, @TonHor for the tip!

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4 years ago

Viber cites same reasons as Skype for no WP7 client

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Viber (website) a VOIP program similar to Skype, is quite popular on the iPhone for its no-frills ability to call any other Viber client in the world for free. The app though is in someways better than Skype since you don't need to sign up or register--you just download the app and use it. The app is quite pouplar on the iPhone and there are Android and BlackBerry versions coming soon.

Well, unfortunately for the same reason as Skype, they too are saying no client from them until Microsoft allows deeper access. WinMobile.SE interviewed Talmon Marco, head of Viber Media and asked him about WP7 directly. He cites three main reasons why, despite them wanting to do one, they can't make a Windows Phone app: (1) no sockets support, (2) no native code access (so can't port audio engine) and (3) no multitasking.

Once again, no surprises here--if Skype can't do it, Viber can't. Still, it seems both parties are interested, so it's just a matter of Microsoft allowing access.

Source: WinMobile.SE; Thanks, Toni, for the heads up

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4 years ago

Hulu competitor Bitbop brings streaming TV to Windows Phone 7

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We might not have Hulu Plus on our phones (yet) but perhaps the next best thing is here: Bitbop (Beta), who is run by Fox Mobile as a competitor to Hulu and is already on BlackBerry and Android (we beat iPhone).

The service costs $9.99 a month, which is not cheap, especially since you can only watch it on your phone--but you can't beat the selection of shows, all of which are commercial free. Bonus feature includes not only the ability to stream over WiFi or 3G but the option to download the show for later--great for those trips where a signal is scarce. There's also a queue for adding shows that you want to line-up for another day. (Side note: too bad WP7 doesn't have HDMI-out support yet).

The Windows Phone 7 version comes with a full 60-day trial, which is quite generous actually and from our brief test run, it's pretty awesome. The UI is done very tastefully and it's fairly easy to navigate--for instance, this is the first app we've seen to take advantage of the "letter square" system like in your contacts, but for finding shows.

Also, if you feel burned by the official Daily Show app, you can watch that and Colbert on here in its entirety (although getting to the latest episode is awkward). App is available here in the Marketplace (free download, free 60-day trial). This is technically a beta (v0.9) so expect some early glitches.

Update: Onlay available in the U.S. Sorry, you know, the rest of the planet. 

Update Part Two: Also, check out our video tour of Bitbop here.

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4 years ago

Search iTunes Store with Windows Phone 7--wait, what?

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In what has to be the first, developer David Tepper has created a free app called simply enough iTunes Search and it's actually quite unique.

The app allows you to search both the iTunes Music and the iOS App Stores from your Windows Phone. Of course, you can't actually download anything from those stores but once found, you can then use it to search the Zune Marketplace for something similar--which is kind of crafty. Actually, this thing handles both stores better than either native app--it looks sharp, loads fairly quickly and overall wins points for an elegant UI.

Combined with the Windows Phone ability to sync with a Mac, control your iTunes and now search the Apple App store, we're wondering what other Apple-task could come next?

Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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