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2 years ago

Xbox 360 - Summer of Arcade 2012 schedule announced

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Xbox 360 - Summer of Arcade 2012 schedule announced

A few times a year, Microsoft calls attention to some of its larger Xbox Live Arcade releases with special promotions. Just a few months ago, the Arcade Next lineup introduced Minecraft: XBLA Edition and several more heavy hitters to the Xbox 360 crowd. Next month, the yearly Summer of Arcade promotion kicks off. The lineup doesn’t have anything quite as big as Minecraft (already the best-selling XBLA game ever), but it still packs great games and a special reward for gamers who buy three or more Summer of Arcade titles: a 400 MS Point rebate.

Head past the break for the full Summer of Arcade schedule, prices, and Sonic the Hedgehog XBLA news!

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2 years ago

A late Windows Phone Marketplace update means no Fling just yet

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As Windows Phone gamers know, every Wednesday we get a new Xbox Live release and Deal of the Week to keep us entertained. Microsoft has actually been updating a little early lately – often on Tuesday evenings. But every now and then the Marketplace doesn’t update by Wednesday morning - the last few instances happened in January this year and September last year.

Unfortunately, today looks like one of those days – Fling has yet to show up on the Marketplace. Perhaps not the most hyped Xbox Live title, but it’s set to cost only 99 cents, which pretty much assures it will be a sales success. Likewise, the new Deal of the Week has yet to appear. Both of these problems could be rectified any minute, or it may take several hours yet. We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as Fling and the new sale pop up.

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: MotoX Mayhem

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Windows Phone Game Review: MotoX Mayhem

MotoX Mayhem is a challenging motocross game for your Windows Phone. MotoX Mayhem challenge rests with keeping your motorcycle balanced as you navigate across a series of motocross tracks.  Five tracks to be exact.  Each with differing difficulty levels ranging from easy to hard.  MotoX Mayhem is a fun game and a nice time waster but some may find the controls a little on the sensitive side.  This gives the game a slight learning curve that could be a little on the frustrating side.

It would have been nice to have seen a trial version for MotoX Mayhem to let everyone try before you but overall, it's a decent game for your Windows Phone.

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2 years ago

Wordament update addressed connectivity woes

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Wordament update addressed connectivity woes

Wordament, Microsoft’s popular Xbox Live exclusive, just received an update a couple of weeks ago. That doesn’t mean the development team at You vs. the Internet has rested on their laurels though. Not only have they recently unlocked the French language dictionary within the game (in beta form as with other non-English languages), but another title update has just gone live.

The Wordament version 2.2 update doesn’t add any new features or options. Instead, its sole purpose is to improve the game’s network connectivity and performance. As a result, errors such as “Can’t connect to Xbox LIVE” and “Can’t connect to Wordament.net” should appear much less frequently. I never encountered those problems myself, but I’ve been up to my neck in newer Xbox Live titles like Final Fantasy and Battleship recently. I still love Wordament with more than nine-tenths of my heart though, so it’s great to see the developers still working to improve the experience for players.

Wordament is a free-ad supported game that requires a constant online connection to play. Check out our review for more details, or get with the program already and download it here from the Marketplace.

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2 years ago

Skype version 1.2 released with improvements and a few fixes in tow

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An update for the Skype has been released taking the Windows Phone app to version 1.2. The update fixes a handful of issues with the previous version and adds the following improvements.

  • All phonebook contacts with at least one number are shown in Skype contact list.
  • Ability to edit phone number in dial-pad before calling.

The update fixes cover issues involving calendar notifications ending Skype calls and instant messaging crashing the app. There still remains issues such as the app requiring a minimum of 512mb of memory on your Windows Phone, no Bluetooth support for audio or video calls, and answering an incoming call will end your Skype call.

The updated version hasn't appeared on the Marketplace just yet and we don't know if the Skype app was released for Marketplace certification or released from Marketplace certification. If the app has cleared certification, look for the update to be pushed out shortly. Otherwise, we're still looking at a few days, barring any issues with the certification process, until we see the v1.2 update.

In the meantime, you can find Skype for Windows Phone here at the Marketplace. It is a free app for your Windows Phone.

Source: Skype Blog; Thanks, Jay, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Peg Jump

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2 years ago

The Windows Phone Summit--What we know and what we're expecting

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A sneak peek of what's beyond the escalator for Windows Phone 8

We're here in lovely (and surprisingly chilly) San Francisco for the other big Microsoft event this week--the Windows Phone Summit

During this one-day event, Microsoft are expected to show off bits of Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo. The big question though is what are they going to talk about specifically and what do we already know? We'll give your our thoughts and expectations below. Some of this we've been revealing over the last few weeks and hopefully you were clever enough to catch it.

  • Upgrades - Will Microsoft finally answer the question regarding legacy devices getting the new OS? Yes, they will. You should know our position on the matter, we detailed it back in April when we talked about a two-pronged approach. We're still standing by that position.
  • Resolutions - We told you there were four a few weeks ago but now we're confident that one of those were dropped. In short, besides the 480x800 display resolutions you'll also see the addition of 768x1280 and 720x1280.
  • A new UI? - Will the new Windows Phone 8 look like Windows Phone 7? For the most part we're betting on yes, it will look the same. There are some changes but if you were expecting it to look like Windows 8 desktop, we'd say calm your expectations.
  • Native development - Yup, expect some news in this regard for Windows Phone 8. We've heard from game developers that this optional path for app development will be discussed
  • Skype and VOIP - Microsoft are expected to talk about how Skype (and 3rd party VOIP apps) can be more deeply integrated into the OS
  • Nokia Mapping - Microsoft and Nokia have teamed up and not just for phones but back-end services. Their relationship goes deep with mapping in Windows Phone.
  • Windows 8 kernel - What makes Windows Phone 8 such a big deal is the expected switch from Windows CE to NT (and Win 8 PRT) for its core. This will have huge ramifications for app developers and as a technology philosophy for Microsoft. 

There is a whole list of other changes we're also expecting in Windows Phone 8 from Data Sense to NFC to all the enterprise tools (BitLocker) to removal SD card support. Windows Phone 8 should rival Windows Phone "Mango" in terms of new features both for consumers and developers.  

Whether or not Microsoft talks about all of that tomorrow remains to be seen. Our hunch tells us that since there's so much to reveal, Microsoft will show only some of Windows Phone 8 during the summit. That makes sense if you're trying to control the message and trying to ensure that the finer details are all absorbed.

The view from the Marriott Marquis last night

Regardless, you can tune in the official Microsoft live-stream of the event tomorrow. But you'll also want to keep a browser Tab open on Windows Phone Central too as Rafael Rivera and myself will be on hand here all day making sense of all the news as it comes out.

That means yes, we'll have a live WPCentral Podcast sometime tomorrow afternoon, numerous technical articles from myself, Rafael and Jay Bennett, some interviews and as much media as we can upload.

It all starts at 9:30am PDT/12:30pm EST and you'll definitely want to catch all of it right here on WPCentral.

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2 years ago

South Africa gets the Nokia Lumia 900 plus 200 Batman editions

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This evening at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, South Africa, Nokia and MTN announced the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 in South Africa.

It will be available on MTN Anytime 200 for R369 per month on a 24 month contract. It also comes with a pitiful 75MB of bandwidth per month that you can use to check your email a couple times. The phone should be in stores across the country around the 28th of this month. Other contracts should be available but MTN is not releasing any details just yet.

We knew about the launch, but something that we hadn't expected was that there are 200 Limited Edition Batman phones available to the first 200 customers at a branch in each main city. So we suggest you get down to any of the following stores when it is available to snap one of those up: Morningside (Johannesburg), Gateway (Durban), Canal Walk (Cape Town) and Port Elizabeth.

Vodacom was the first service provider in South Africa to offer a Lumia device when it launched the Nokia Lumia 800. Since then they have also started offering the Lumia 710, but for some reason will not be stocking the Lumia 900. MTN is on the opposite end of the stick offering only the Lumia 900.

Source: MyBroadband

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2 years ago

Nokia's Monday Announcement: Nokia 808 coming to the U.S.

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While Microsoft took center stage yesterday with the Surface tablet, Nokia had an announcement of their own to make. We briefly mentioned this with speculation that Nokia might be a party to Microsoft's event but quickly learned that these were two separate events. Even though it doesn't deal with Windows Phones, we felt the need to come full circle with things.

Yesterday, Nokia announced that the Nokia 808 with 41 megapixel Pure View camera will be released in the U.S., unlocked, through Amazon.com. The 808 will run $699 and will be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile networks.

There is still some speculation that we'll see the Pure View camera make the jump from the 808 to a Windows Phone later this year but for the time being, Pre-orders for the Symbian phone should begin later this week. You can sign up for notification here at Nokia.com.

Source: Nokia Conversations

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2 years ago

Nokia, T-Mobile and the Dark Knight team up for the Lumia 710 Xpress-on covers promotion

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We brought you the news, even before it was official, that T-Mobile and Nokia were teaming up here in the US for Batman the Dark Knight Rises promotion. The promo involves specially crafted Lumia 710 Xpress-on covers in cyan, magenta, yellow, black or white and feature the iconic Batman logo.

Nokia has now officially announced the availability and details of the promotion and we like what we hear:

  • The promotion will run exclusively at T-Mobile stores from June 20 – July 31, during which customers can pick up their covers in T-Mobile stores
  • TDKR Xpress-On covers are free to existing Nokia Lumia 710 customers, as well as with the purchase of a new Nokia Lumia 710
  • Learn more about the exciting 4G Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone and the TDKR Xpress-On cover offer here:  www.nokiausa.com/us-en/thedarkknightrises

What's more if you tweet the hashtag #Lumia710NYC starting on June 20th, you'll be eligible to win a ticket  to the US World Premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in NYC on July 16.  But really, how cool is it if you already own a Lumia  710 on T-Mobile you can evidently walk in and pick one of these bad boys up for free? 

Don't have a 710 yet? Now through the end of July and after a $50 mail-in-rebate you can get T-Mo's Lumia device for free on contract. Not a bad deal at all. And besides this T-Mobile offering there is the Dark Knight Rises app from Nokia to complete the movie experience. Read our T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710 review right here if you're thinking about buying this phone--we rank it rather highly.

So the question we have for you of course is which color are you going to get?

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2 years ago

Carphone Warehouse gets excited about the Microsoft Surface

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Those nice folk at Carphone Warehouse here in the UK dropped us an email this morning detailing their excitement following on from yesterdays Microsoft Surface tablet announcement.

According to Carphone Warehouse, the Surface will 'trigger a new tablet race' which is quite possibly true. With prices and dates still yet to be announced I hope that Microsoft either rectify that or at least keep up the hype with TV advertising etc.

With Carphone Warehouse being the largest independent mobile phone retailer in the UK, with over 800 stores nationwide, it is sure to push the Suface heavily. In its larger stores they already seem to sell as many tablets and notebooks as they do phones so I see the 'Surface' being a great marketing tool for them.

Graham Stapleton, Chief Commercial Officer at Carphone Warehouse, says,

“Microsoft’s first foray into producing both tablet hardware and software is an exciting addition to the market, which has been relatively quiet over the last few months. Today’s news is really going to shake things up. Microsoft’s Surface is going to appeal beyond the existing tablet community and draw in new tablet users, especially with the new Windows 8 software. Microsoft Office functionality and the dual-purpose cover keyboard should go down well with professionals who may have been put off by touch screen keyboards in the past.”

Graham adds that Microsoft has set the bar high. Noting that manufacturers are going to have to work harder than ever to innovate and convince the customer that their tablet can top this. There's little argument that the Surface is an exciting product and it's nice to see retailers get an early start at promoting the tablet.

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2 years ago

Nokia giving away free Monster headphones with a Lumia purchase

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That keyword that everyone loves so much - FREE.  

Nokia are feeling generous and for the month of June are giving away Purity headphones by Monster when consumers purchase a Lumia handset. 610 and 710 buyers will get the in-ear Purity Headphones where as if you buy the Lumia 800 or 900 you will receive the HD on-ear Purity Headphones.

Considering the price of the devices and the fact that the headphones are worth up to £199 this really is a bargain and may do Lumia sales a world of good. It is just a case of heading over to www.nokiamonsteroffer.co.uk and following the simple instructions. The offer ends June 30th and you must be at least 18 years old and a U.K. resident to be eligible.

Nice idea Nokia.

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2 years ago

Is your Windows Phone a health risk?

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Is your Windows Phone a health risk?

Could your Windows Phone be a health risk? According to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (London, England) the health risk is a concern.

We've seen concerns over radiation exposure but the Society is more focused on neck and back pain as well as stress related illnesses that develops from poor posture.  Try as we may, we often end up hunched over our Windows Phones which isn't really good for the lower back.

A recent survey of 2,010 office workers conducted by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy which indicates that nearly two thirds of those survey continue to work on smartphones, laptops and tablets outside office hours. Society Chairwomen Dr. Helena Johnson views the results as a huge concern.

"While doing a bit of extra work at home may seem like a good short-term fix, if it becomes a regular part of your evening routine then it can lead to problems such as back and neck pain, as well as stress-related illness. This is especially the case if you're using hand-held devices and not thinking about your posture."

The survey concluded that workers are risking their mental and physical health by working more than two hours extra every night.

While the survey focused on time spend on our mobile devices for work purposes, it doesn't make any reference to time spent for entertainment purposes. Granted the stress of work isn't necessarily present when playing games or watching videos but the posture issues might be.

What brought the story stand out was that an HTC Radar was used to illustrate smartphone use. Which makes us wonder is it fair to group smartphones in with laptops and tablets? Is anyone using their Windows Phones for work issues for two hour stretches?  Outside testing apps and games, I typically use my Windows Phone to keep up with email, check a website, manage my appointments but only for short periods of time.  Any heavy lifting is done from a laptop or desktop.

So is this a legitimate concern or a problem that just isn't there as it relates to our Windows Phone?

Source: CSP.org Via: BBC; Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Netflix App to be available for the Surface Tablets

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We overlooked an interesting feature mentioned last night at the Microsoft Surface tablet event. The Netflix app.

Microsoft showcased the Netflix app during last night's presentation saying it supported semantic zoom and that the Netflix app would be ready when Windows 8 launches later this year.

We're guessing that with SmartGlass you could start a Netflix movie on your Xbox console, pause it and resume watching the movie on your Surface tablet or Windows Phone. With the kickstand feature on the Surface, the tablet sounds ideal for mobile movie watching.

Details are still sketchy on how our Windows Phones will interact with the Surface and hopefully we will be able to shed a little light on things after tomorrow's Windows Phone 8 event. In the meantime, you can catch a brief glimpse of the Netflix app, in the full video of Microsoft's Surface announcement around the 14:25 mark.

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2 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: myHealthbox

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Windows Phone App Review: myHealthbox

 

Ever given much thought about the medicines you are taking and needed bit more information about them? Well you can easily access all that and more with myHeathbox for Windows Phone.

The application is an extension of the myHealthbox.eu and will allow for not only quick and easy access to medicine information, but in addition several extra cool features.

The application contains the following features:

  • Instant medication search by name and country.
  • eLeaflets
  • Alerts on drug recalls
  • News on new products
  • Instant access to local pharmacies using Bing Maps with the option to telephone the pharmacy from within the application

When opening the application for the first time you will be required to create an account. This is painless as only basic information is required such as an email address and a password. Once completed you will be emailed a link to verify your account. You will then have access to both the application and the myHeathbox service on the web.

As usual with Windows Phones apps the user interface is simplistic and user friendly. The various tabs at the top of the screen are all self-explanatory as are the search and maps icons at the base of the screen. The beauty of using this app is its syncing abilities. So if you are out and need to research some medication not only will the information be retained within the phone app but also on the web when you login to your account. Handy stuff.

Whether you are in the medical/pharmaceutical profession or just use medication on a regular basis I would highly recommend giving myHealthbox a try.  myHealthbox is a free app that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Please keep in mind the the medical database covers over 800.000 healthcare products and information leaflets, support for 16 European countries and 16 languages. myHealthbox is a strong source for information on medicines and healthcare products in Europe. While available on the U.S. Windows Phone Marketplace, the app does not support U.S. healthcare products or resources.

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