3 years ago
Xbox Live - Super Monkey Ball 2 brings deja vu and minigames to the Marketplace
Let’s face it; there just aren’t enough monkeys in your life. That’s where SEGA’s Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition comes in. The Super Monkey Ball sequel is now available on the Marketplace and as expected, it’s packed with both monkeys and balls. How could you go wrong?
After the first game’s high levels of crapulence, I was concerned that Super Monkey Ball 2 might follow suit. Well, it's pretty much the same, for better or worse. The tilt controls are as finicky ever, often making it a challenge to slow the monkey ball or bring it to a stop. A new tilt meter at least shows how the game is reading your device’s tilt, slightly reducing the difficulty. Basically, the tilting is not as good as a virtual stick could have been, but you can get used to it after a level or two.
The secondary goal of earning crowns on every level (by picking up all 10 bananas without dying) is just as frustrating as before. If you fail to earn a crown on a level, you’ll have to play a batch of 10 levels in order to get return to it and have a shot at earning the crown again. Smart ideas like allowing players to pause and retry a level or pick a specific level and try for its crown have sadly remained in the waste bin, covered in discarded banana peels and (presumably) empty whisky bottles. Anyway, if you can put aside the desire to get all the crowns (hard as that is for Achievements lovers to do), the game will be a lot more enjoyable and less frustrating.
SMB 2 definitely one-ups its predecessor in one key area: minigames. All three minigames: Monkey Bowling, Monkey Target, and Monkey Golf work nicely and have easy Achievements. The minigames only support pass-and-play multiplayer though, unlike the iOS version, which had local Wi-Fi multiplayer. Perhaps this one got ported before Microsoft finally started allowing Wi-Fi multiplayer. You never really know with Microsoft; they don’t seem to have a coherent multiplayer game plan for Windows Phone.
Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.
Thanks to Zebrasqual for the tip!
3 years ago
Zynga announces ‘With Friends’ social gaming network with Windows Phone support
3 years ago
Nokia providing Tango update page to check availability. AT&T Lumia 900 waiting for next update?
Continuing that trend of providing the best customer experience on Windows Phone, Nokia has put up a page where regular users can check to see if Windows Phone 8773 aka "Tango" has been released yet, or even just the status of the update.
Located at www.nokia.com/global/support/software-update/lumia/software-update-for-nokia-lumia/ uses can select which region they are in and the drill down to their carrier or Lumia version number.
Interestingly enough, the AT&T Lumia 900 is not even on the list for North America which strongly implies that the carrier is skipping the update and heading right for Windows Phone 7.8 which will include the few Tango features. We're not sure if that's good or bad as Tango doesn't really bring much more than a few MMS enhancements to the 900 but still, it would have been nice to see it as there is no ETA on 7.8.
For T-Mobile, we just posted that the Tango update for the Lumia 710 should go live tomorrow, June 27th, after a delay of a week. We'll be keeping an eye out for that one.
Edit: Some readers correctly point out that Nokia specifically mentions this update is only for the Lumia 710 and 800, so we shouldn't expect the 900 to be listed. This is partially true but only because non-North America (AT&T, Rogers) Lumia 900s shipped with "Tango" pre-installed already, so they don't need the update. Only AT&T and Rogers (as far as we know) and a handful of smaller countries don't have 8773/Tango pre-installed.
Source: Nokia; Thanks, bilzkh, for the tip
3 years ago
T-Mobile US pushes back Windows Phone Refresh (Tango) Lumia update 710 rollout to June 27
According to a second leaked internal memo, T-Mobile US is set to kick off the Windows Phone Refresh (aka "Tango") rollout tomorrow, on June 27th. We previously received word from sources that June 20th was the destined date, but it seems as though the upgrade has been delayed slightly.
The Nokia Lumia 710 is the Windows Phone that will benefit from the update that will be installed via Zune (or the Mac Connector). Internet sharing capability, disappearing keyboard fix, as well as a number of other improvements, are bundled with introduced features which will please those who have been waiting patiently.
Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the lookout for any update notifications.
Thanks, Jacinta, for the tip!
3 years ago
Microsoft Job post hints at bringing Windows Phone and Kinect to cars
Microsoft's Connected Car team may be looking to bring many aspects of the Project Detroit car to consumers. Project Detroit was a suped-up Ford Mustang packed with the technological horse-power of Windows Phone and Kinect. It's audio, security and lighting systems could all be controlled through a Windows Phone.
According to the job posting, Microsoft is looking for someone to help integrate not only Windows Phone and Kinect with automotive technology, but also Windows 8, Bing, Azure and TellMe. The result would be a fully-interactive vehicular experience:
"The new Connected Car will know its riders, and will interact with them naturally via speech, gestures, and face tracking. It will learn their habits, and offer personalized contextual information and driving assists to get them to their destination as quickly and safely as possible. Through a growing catalogue of applications, it will inform and entertain them, and keep them connected with the people and information they care about."
While Microsoft already offers its Windows Embedded technology in such products as Ford's Sync and Kia's UVO, along with many others, this goes above and beyond.
"The combination of rich local sensing, user identification, cloud access, and data mining will transform tomorrow’s cars from passive objects into intelligent assistants for both the driver and their passengers."
It looks as though the posting may have disappeared from the website, but you can read it in its entirety below.
"We, the Microsoft Connected Car team, have a strong track record and an extensive customer base in the automotive industry. In the past fourteen years, we delivered various iterations of our Windows Embedded Automotive platform to the automotive suppliers of major auto brands such as Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, and McLaren. We also partnered directly with select automakers to create integrated Telematics products such as Fiat Blue&Me, Ford SYNC, and Kia UVO. Featuring cutting-edge communications, travel information, entertainment, and accessory control via voice and touch interfaces, these products have been highly successful, increasing the automakers’ US sales of by up to 35% and telematics adoption up to 70%.
Yet our ambitions do not end there. For the next generation of the Connected Car Platform, we plan to leverage the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem including Kinect, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Live, Bing, Azure, and Tellme. The combination of rich local sensing, user identification, cloud access, and data mining will transform tomorrow’s cars from passive objects into intelligent assistants for both the driver and their passengers. The new Connected Car will know its riders, and will interact with them naturally via speech, gestures, and face tracking. It will learn their habits, and offer personalized contextual information and driving assists to get them to their destination as quickly and safely as possible. Through a growing catalogue of applications, it will inform and entertain them, and keep them connected with the people and information they care about. The possibilities are endless."
Source: Microsoft; Via: IStartedSomething
3 years ago
Nokia Lumia 710 Dark Knight Rises cover winners!
We would like to congratulate Windows Phone Central readers csakre, classykeyser, and xdabob for winning the Nokia Lumia 710 Dark Knight covers. They were chosen at random from this post asking who your favorite Batman actor is. It appears from the responses that Christian Bale and Michael Keaton are the fan favorites. We even had one vote for the Lego Batman.
We are in the process of contacting the winners and getting their shipping information. We will get the covers out later this week. And if you didn't get chosen, don't give up hope. We've got a few more cases to give away in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
3 years ago
Audible for Windows Phone now live in the UK Marketplace
With the announcement of Audible for Windows Phone being released last week, many of our UK readers were asking for the same availability which was absent from the UK Marketplace. Windows Phone Central reader Mark got in touch with the Audible team for information on a possible app for those who reside in the UK, and we have positive details to relay.
According to a representative from the company, the Audible.co.uk app is set to be available in the Marketplace within the next day, but we've now seen it available for download (via direct link) in the UK. Find an excerpt of the email response below:
"I am pleased to announce that we have just been informed that the UK version of the app on the Windows platform has launched today, and will be available in the marketplace as of tomorrow."
You can download Audible from the Marketplace for free using the direct link or QR Code.
Thanks, Mark, for the heads up!
3 years ago
New Smoked by Windows Phone advertisements published
Microsoft has released a number of new advertisements that carry on the "Smoked by Windows Phone" marketing campaign, which started at CES 2012 earlier this year. Ben ('The PC Guy') Rudolph heads up the adverts that are set to air on TV. The above video shows Rudolph challenging a member of public on the streets of Seattle (as opposed to Microsoft Stores) to see who can locate and share a restaurant with friends the fastest.
We like the new style used in the videos, which appear to be slightly more calm and focus more on the beauty of Windows Phone instead of simply how many wins the platform can achieve. Rudolph runs the participant through exactly why Windows Phone is more efficient at everyday tasks. Luckily, he gave Ramona a shiny new cyan Lumia 900 so Android wont slow her down in future.
Be sure to check out the Microsoft YouTube playlist of the advertisements to view the rest.
Source: Microsoft (YouTube playlist); via: Windows Team Blog
3 years ago
An exclusive look at the rebalancing of Chickens Can't Fly for Windows Phone
The new Aquarium laboratory
We’ve already posted the official release notes for this week’s Chickens Can’t Fly version 1.1 update as well as the game’s permanent price drop to 99 cents. But the update actually contains a lot of changes that aren’t touched upon in those brief notes. Specifically, the difficulty of several levels and Achievements got updated for the better. As your favorite lovable (but humble) gaming writer actually had a hand in initiating those changes, I thought it would be fun to share them with you in greater detail.
Head past the break for an up-close look at the Chickens Can’t Fly update, exclusive screenshots, and news about unlocking levels and Avatar awards!
3 years ago
Windows Phone Summary of the Week: June 18 - 24, 2012
Welcome to the Windows Phone summary of the week, where we cover the latest news from the past six days that matter most. Should you find yourself being absent throughout the week, you can be sure to catch up with what's going on with Microsoft's mobile platforms by checking our weekly summaries.
Before we kick-off with the summary itself, we've got episode 144 of the WPCentral Podcast, with special guest Paul Thurrott. We've also had the pleasure of interviewing IronSun Studios, the makers of MonstaFish and Fathom. With all the Windows Phone 8 (and 7.8) announcements, it's good to see what everyone thinks about the limitations of first and second generation handsets.
But alas, head on past the break for the full summary.
3 years ago
Windows Phone App Review: Moquu
3 years ago
Microsoft teases Windows Phone 7.8 on Lumia 900 reminding us it's still relevant
Microsoft's Ben Rudolph is shown in Microsoft's latest video giving the new 7.8 Start screen a brief tour. The video was part of Microsoft's new 7.5/7.8 page which just covers some basic features that we already know about.
Call it damage control or Redmond genuinely being excited for the update, but the video featuring the Lumia 900 seems designed specifically to remind us that Nokia's flagship phone is alive and well.
Nothing new is revealed in the video that we haven't seen already but with the recent faux-rumor that Microsoft would be building it's own phone (and then their denial at Information Week), Nokia needs as much positive spin as they can get. There is little doubt that the "no Windows Phone 8 for current phones" is hurting the Finnish quite hard, as their stock has dropped to a 16-year low, hovering at $2.16 a share.
Between Nokia's commitment to continually deploy new software (like this weekend's Play To and Camera Extras) plus the 7.8 update, we're not feeling too bad about the 900's status but clearly it has divided the community.
The question though is how soon is this 7.8 update coming? Obviously it's still in testing though it doesn't look too far off either. Here's to hoping for end of the summer, at the latest.
3 years ago
Poll results: 54% think Microsoft should re-name WP8 to Windows 8 Phone instead
Windows Phone Central ran yet another interesting poll this past weekend on the forever controversial topic of “What should Windows Phone be called”?
The proposal was to re-name “Windows Phone 8” to “Windows 8 Phone” due to the benefit of co-branding and the fact that the new iteration of Microsoft’s mobile OS shares the same kernel as the upcoming desktop OS. The benefit for advertising seems obvious to us as consumers will see the significant overlap between the two systems.
Of course there are some problems with the proposal, including the fact that the Windows Phone group at Microsoft may not want to consider themselves under the umbrella of Steve Sinofosky’s Windows desktop division just yet. There’s also the issue of version updates and whether or not both systems would stay in parallel (though we think that could be easily solved by planning appropriately).
Still, you folks spoke up. Once again we had a large turnout with 5,773 of you voicing your opinion. Surprisingly 54% of you agreed that Windows 8 Phone would be the better choice (something we actually agree with ourselves) while 37.5% thought that Windows Phone 8 was just fine. Meanwhile, a small but significant portion thought that “something else” would be better.
That “something else” of course is always hard to nail down. Many of you thought that Microsoft should capitalize on the “Surface” name and make a “Surface Phone”. While it certainly has a nice ring to it, the name “Surface” seems more appropriate for a tablet device than a phone due to its structure and shape. There's also the (slight) possibility that Surface tablets could bomb and then Microsoft would have two bad names floating around.
The other popular name is not surprisingly related to Xbox—either XPhone or something similar. Though the Xbox brand is certainly successful, Microsoft is clearly courting enterprise with Windows Phone 8 and we’re not sure the more button-up types would opt for a gaming-centric themed phone. Heck, we hear that even the new white phones are a little too flamboyant for some business types—no joke.
The take away message though we think is clear: If Microsoft is serious about aligning their various operating systems, then perhaps doing the same for their names--for practical usage as well as branding—may not be a bad idea at all.
Thanks for all who voted and your thoughts on the matter!
3 years ago
Massive update for Chickens Can't Fly for Windows Phone now available, drops to $0.99
Good news for you Xbox LIVE game fans as the huge version 1.1 update planned for the super popular (and WPCentral favorite) Chickens Can't Fly (review) by Amused Sloth is now available. The update was planned months ago and like usual, the update has taken literally months to pass Microsoft's rigid certification process for Xbox LIVE games.
You can hop to the Marketplace to grab it now. To refresh just what this update entails, we'll report the changelog:
Dive deep in the new Aquarium Laboratory
Xbox LIVE Multiplayer: Challenge your friends and see who's better!
Customize your chicken with new skins
Unlock Avatar Awards!
PDLC: The Dojo Laboratory and more skins
A new ringtone
Option to change the game's language manually
A new ringtone, Avatar Awards (detailed here) new levels, chicken customization...what doesn't this update have? As always, we're impressed with Amused Sloth's dedication to the platform and this game.
If you haven't tried Chickens Can't Fly, then you can do so by clicking the link here for the Marketplace. The game is chock full of fantastic animations, hilarious levels and innovative obstacles which will keep you plenty busy. While the early levels are very easy, once you enter the other labs you'll have a challenge on your hands.
What's more, the game is at the low-low price of $0.99 which is one heck of a deal. Grab Chickens Can't Fly here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Video of our hands on after the break...Thanks, DarkSynopsis, for the heads up
3 years ago
NFL Live now available at the Windows Phone Marketplace
NFL Live is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It may not be endorsed or affiliated by the NFL but it does bring a hefty amount of NFL stats, news, and scores to your Windows Phone.
The main pages for NFL Live cover news items, scores, team standings, and a More Page that has links to ESPN videos, ESPN NFL Tweets, FOX NFL Tweets, and...well...more.
Key features of NFL Live include:
Live scoreboard of current games
Live game details including stats and play information
Shake to refresh feature
Live tile support for your favorite team
League leader stats
Ability to create a unique landing page for your favorite team.
The landing page for your favorite team creates an additional page for that team. The team page will display scores, news, and schedule information for that team.
NFL Live is a well laid out, information packed app for your Windows Phone. NFL Live is a free app and you can catch it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Thanks, Brock D., for the tip!
Show More Headlines