3D

Today, leakster Twitter account @evleaks revealed the codenames of two upcoming Nokia Windows Phones, the "Goldfinger" and "Moneypenny." As well as these new smartphones, Nokia is also reported to be working on "3D Touch," utilising hardware sensors to enable you to manipulate things on-screen through gestures. Similar to what you can do already with Nokia Glance

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WPCentral gets an exclusive look at some new HERE tech with Nokia

Nokia today invited Windows Phone Central along to their UK offices in London to talk about HERE location services and to show off the new technology in the new fleet of vehicles. These mobile machines are tasked with keeping the data collected fresh and relevant, as well as adding yet more detail to services and apps that utilise HERE data.

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The Windows Phone app SnowGlobe3D is an interactive holiday snow globe for your Windows Phone. The scene has a rustic home with Christmas Tree out front that is just begging for a little snow fall.

When you launch SnowGlobe3D you will be walked through a tutorial on how to go about using the app. The hologram is best viewed from overhead in dim light. You shake the Windows Phone to make it snow, swipe left or right to add a little wind into the mix and tap the screen to turn on the tree lights.

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The keynote address for Unite 12 has seen the announcement that Windows Phone 8 will get full support for the Unity engine.  Unity is a very popular engine and it was notably absent from the Windows Phone 8 announcement. The next version of the OS looks to be getting some excellent gaming support with native code and these powerful rendering engines.

The engine is used to power a host of games across and number of platforms and hopefully this means rapid porting of those games to WP8 devices. Unity is one of the top engines on the market so this support is pretty exciting for Windows Phone. 

Here is what David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies, had to say on Windows Phone 8.

 “Our mission at Unity has always been to provide solutions for developers to effortlessly bring their work to as many different platforms as possible. The Unity community has been asking for access to Windows Phones and have been eagerly anticipating the release of Windows 8. We’re happy to announce that we will support both.”

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3D pinball at its finest

Last week we highlighted the new pinball game Dr. Pickaxe as one of our new favorite games for Windows Phone. Developed by Tainicom (who also made The Juggler), the game was on special for $0.99 during its first week and received our 'Editor's Choice' distinction.

Unfortunately that game had a tiny bug in it resulting in the first few games registered under ‘trial’ even after purchased. Even though it only had a limited effect the bug was quickly identified and a v1.01 was pushed out—but then Microsoft held up publication due to their own woes and so the game was hidden until fixed.

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What's Nokia teasing for this Monday?

Update -- And we hate to the bearer of bad news but we've heard from a very trusted source that this has nothing to do with Microsoft's announcement come Monday. So what is it? We're told that the area code for Hawaii--808--is the key here. Specifically a new 41MP camera phone called the 808 Pureview--you may have heard of it---that impending announcement is exciting but not for Windows Phone users. Sorry.

Looks like Nokia is itching to tell us something and that something is for this Monday, June 18th. The same Monday that Microsoft is set to announce something as well. Related? Probably.

Nokia doesn't say much on the matter but they did post the above image of the Hawaii islands and what look to be zoom features. If we had to bet, they're hinting strongly at some 3D mapping feature coming to Bing Maps.

Could it also be part of a hardware RT tablet? Maybe. There is currently a lot of speculation whirling around the idea that Microsoft is unveiling their own tablet hardware possibly made by Nokia this Monday but we may need to tone it down and settle for some Microsoft-Nokia mapping collaboration instead.

We revealed that in Windows Phone 8, Nokia Maps will be powering Bing with 3D mapping that is hardware accelerated. This could be a prelude to that as it seems to be intimately related.

Only 72 more hours, give or take, before we find out. Have a theory about the above image? Sound off in comments!

Source: Nokia US Facebook; Thanks, Jack F., for the tip!

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We offered a sneak peek of the Windows Phone game Matchy the other day and over the weekend the game passed certification. Matchy is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Matchy is a three-dimensional game where you have to position various objects to match their shadow. Matchy has three game modes that vary in time limit and your job is to create as many matches as possible before the timer runs out.

Matchy is a free, ad support game and you can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, Howlingwolf, for the tip!

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Windows Phone Game Review: Snake of Balls

Snake of Balls is Windows Phone game that is designed in the tradition of the classic Snake game. Snake of Balls calls for you to guide and grow your snake through a multiple level, 3D maze. You grow your snake by gobbling up colored balls that are scattered about the maze. As you collect the balls, the length of your snake increases making maneuvering a lot more challenging.

Snake of Balls has potential and once you get the hang of controlling movement, it can be a rather challenging and entertaining game.

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Following on from the gradual increase in advertising, Nokia has now done something special in Chile to celebrate the launch of the Lumia Windows Phones - there really doesn't appear to be a limit on marketing / promotional expenditure for the manufacturer. Much like we saw in London late last year, a 3D show was put on for attendees in the boulevard of Parque Arauco in Santiago.

Be sure to check out the video, it really is something else. We'll look to see more information being made available about both the 710 and 800 in Chile in the near future.

Source: YouTube, via: WMPU

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If you like Hydro Thunder GO! but not the price or think the physics could be better, take a look at 3D Boat Race from A Trillion Games (makers of 3D Paperball). It's your typical boat racing game but (1) it's free (2) has some really nice physics and gameplay to it:

"Paint your powerful speedboat and challenge other Windows Phone users on 100 different tracks, to become the top pilot worldwide! 3D game with realistic 3d physics, smooth rendering, fantastic gameplay and real-time global leaderboards. Hours and hours of fun! "

At only 6MB in size it's pretty damn impressive and certainly a good deal for being free. Just check some of the action in the above video to get an idea. With that, we have to give a thumbs up for you to at least give it a try, after all you have nothing to lose.

Pick up 3D Boat Race here in the Marketplace.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Galaxy Pong

Simply put, Galaxy Pong is a cool game for your Windows Phone.

Remember the game Pong? The video game that started it all? Now imagine it being played on a three dimensional playing field with bonus targets scattered about between the two players. In a nutshell, that is Galaxy Pong.

To add to the coolness of Galaxy Pong you have the capability to flip a switch in the settings and play the game in classic 3D view (you've got to provide the glasses though). Galaxy Pong is an entertaining, fun, somewhat addictive game for your Windows Phone that definitely taps into the coolness factor.

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'3D Paperball' is pretty impressive

Normally we're not to big a fan of these paper ball games even though we know they're pretty huge in the Marketplace. Having said that, '3D Paperball' by A Trillion Games (see 'Race and Battle') is something worth trying. For one, it's free, so no risk there. Two, the "3D" in it is pretty awesome, especially with the physics and control. Just check out the video above--that's the actual game and it plays like that.

"The goal is still flicking a paperball into the bin, but this time the evil fan is gone, and you can use bounces against objects to redirect the ball into the goal, or shake the phone to slam the ball into the basket, gaining bonus shots and producing amusing visual effects.

The game features credible 3d physics, a very realistic 3d environment, multiple shooting styles, endless gameplay and the ability to compete instantly in a global leaderboard."

Granted, we're not too good at it, but that's where practice comes in and we suppose it'll keep us busy for awhile. You can pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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3D maps on WP7 [Developers]

This is pretty neat. Tim James, over at EMC Consulting, has provided a detailed how to (if you will) of bringing depth to a 2D map to Windows Phone 7. Namely, wrapping a map around a 3D sphere. Tim also explains how building a 3D map using a flat image can show signs of distortion among and top and bottom halves, while the equatorial area covers much more surface space.  All of which could give added dimension to apps.

On a side note, while reading the article I'm heavily reminded of Street Slide, except this isn't improving street view and making it appear as a more constant 3D 'walkthrough'. Check out the video below for the app Stars3D (opens Zune), which is really impressive and runs along the same idea but instead we're inside the sphere looking out.

Source: EMC Consulting

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Well, it's just a matter of time before our Windows Phones get a dual-core processor, right? Currently, we have just single-core, up to 1GHz CPUs on our phones, but Qualcomm looks to change that with their MSM8x60 chipset.

This info comes by way of Qualcomm's own site which lists Windows Phone as a supported OS (they need special drivers to interact with the chipset, see Qualcomm's discussion here). What makes all of this interesting is we know that the Qualcomm MSM7X30 and MSM8X55 chipsets have been approved for the Windows Phone chassis specifications, but this is the first we're hearing of a dual-core MSM8x60 chipset and Windows Phone mentioned together.

We should note though that just because it supports Windows Phone doesn't mean it's a chassis option, at leastd for right now. But it does show that evidently, a lot of the leg-work is already done in porting the chipset to our OS.

The MSM8x60, is currently featured in the new HTC EVO 3D and features a strong arsenal of technology, including:

  • Dual Scorpion-cores up to 1.5GHz
  • Adreno 220 GPU
  • 1080P video and playback
  • HDMI mirroring
  • Dolby 5.1
  • 3D capturing and playback
  • 16MP dual-camera support

Sounds good to us, now hopefully we can see some phones this fall, rocking some Mango with this bad boy on board.

Source: Qualcomm; via MonSmartphone

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Some time ago we reported that Microsoft was partnering with two companies to created detailed 3D figurines and posters of your Xbox Live Avatar. In a way, bringing your avatar to life.  While the 6ft tall poster from Fathead wasn't personally appealing, Dan and I both took the plunge and had FigurePrints create a figurine of our avatars.

It took about four weeks for the little guys to make it to from the assembly line to the doorstep and they look good. The figurine is about four inches high (five inches if you include the base) and base displays your gamer tag.  Underneath the base is a Microsoft Tag that will link to your Xbox Live Gamer Card so you can easily share all your Xbox Live info.

The Figureprint will run you $60 (including shipping) and the only downside, as mentioned earlier, is that some elements are not available due to licensing restrictions. It would have been nice to have my mini-me wearing its Auburn University t-shirt.  Regardless, I think Figureprints did an exceptionally good job at creating these figurines. 

Oh...and for the World of Warcraft fans, Figureprints will also create a 3D figuring of your Warcraft character as well. You can find all the information on the World of Warcraft Figureprints here.

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'Space Tube' 3D speed game hands on

Months ago we took a look at 'Descent', a 3D racing clone that pits you in a high-speed "tube" for some dizzying adventures.

Fast forward to today and 'Space Tube' hits the Marketplace for a pricey $2.99. However, this game is a little more polished: better music, easier controls, better graphics (for cut scenes, at least) and more robust game play. We took it for a spin and enjoyed it, though found the price a bit high. The game has a trial available, which we recommend you at least give a try.

Try it out here in the Marketplace.

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Considering how Mobile Internet Explore is currently the only browser on Windows Phone7, we sure have a lot of amazing options e.g. Metro Browser, Browse On and Browser+. Now there is another new app called SurfCube which once again, redefines browsing on our device.

In short, it adds a 3D cube to the mix that allows you to rotate around to other screens (settings, bookmarks, etc.) while maintaining a full-screen browsing experience. It's surprisingly very fluid and easy to use even makes sense.

We'll be doing a more thorough look in a bit but for now, you can give it a spin in the Marketplace for a trial or purchase for a fair $1.99. Check the video of it in action after the break.

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