exclusive

AboutOne (official website) is a Philadelphia-based, Microsoft BizSpark featured startup that helps families securely organise themselves online or with the upcoming Windows Phone app. AboutOne CEO Joanne Lang will speak at Philadelphia's Women in Tech Summit, showcasing the service and app.

The event will see the launch of the beta version, which incorporates a year's worth of customer feedback. Lang explains what the Windows Phone app will bring to the mobile platform:

"AboutOne turns Windows Phone into a remote control for everyday tasks by adding online filing and reporting to customers' existing calendar and contact tools to provide fast, easy access to family memories and household paperwork. AboutOne automatically combines and formats this information so it's instantly useful - anytime, anywhere."

The service uses patented technology that the company, which specialises in cloud-based computing, uses to:

  • Blend the power of business tools with the fun, user-friendly nature of popular social media apps.
  • Provides one central location, accessible anywhere, to manage family information.
  • Requires no technical proficiency to install and run, expertly handling data security so users don’t have to.

In easier-to-digest terminology, AboutOne allows users to organise memories, todos and household paperwork in a single accessible location. The service builds on calendar and address book tools the user is already using, enhancing both with document filing and reporting tools.

Via: MarketWatch; thanks Gopalan for the tip!

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Well, well, well. Colour us surprised (pun intended) with what the above image could point to, but if it holds true we could see the Executive Caddie heading to the Nokia Collection of OEM apps. Of course, should this happen, we'd expect to see the original app remain available for all Windows Phone owners, but it would be interesting to see unique variants of the app (available for free) tied to which Lumia 900 you purchase.

Executive Caddie is a popular golf app on the Windows Phone Marketplace, and rightfully so as it's quite simply gorgeous. Functionality includes highly accurate golf course database, on-course GPS and scorecard functionality (for up to four golfers). Reviews have been positive from users and it has been with us since the beginning (released in December 2010). Microsoft has reportedly given the developers the nod with eligibility for a "Showcase App" promotion. It would seem as though Nokia has caught wind of this positive aura.

The above photo shows two Lumia 900s running Executive Caddie with a unique theme / colour scheme that matches the device pigmentation. The Lumia 800 in the middle is using the default app that's currently available on the Marketplace. Could we be seeing exclusive versions of the app hitting the Nokia Collection or just an updated version? Could well be, and perhaps there'll be a few extra features thrown in for good measure.

On a humorous side note: someone rescue the poor Lumia 800 being patronised by size sitting in the middle. Executive Caddie is available on the Markeplace for free (usually $29.99), which has had its price tag slashed since Christmas.

Thanks Michael for the heads up and the image!

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We were all excited (and surprised) with the rumours and subsequent announcement by Nokia surrounding the white Lumia 800. Being already available in black, cyan and magenta, the white variant adds a refreshed look to the 800 range of Windows Phones. Here in the UK, availability of the white Lumia 800 is exclusive to Phones4U, which has contracts available on O2, Orange, and Vodafone.

According to a blog post on the website, the handset is available for pre-order and Phones4U will be shipping the handset early March. It's unsure how long the exclusivity will last.

Source: Phones4U, thanks Richard (the other one) for the tip!

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EA Mobile Games has released a video teaser highlighting eleven (if my count is right) gaming titles that will be heading to the Nokia Windows Phones. We first heard about the exclusive partnership during Nokia World and again during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show.

The titles spotted in the minute long video include:

  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour
  • Monopoly
  • Spy Mouse
  • Yahtzee
  • The Game of Life
  • Spy Mouse
  • Vampire Rush
  • Mirrors Edge
  • SIMS Medieval
  • Parking Mania
  • 2 Real Racing
  • Picnic Wars.

The video doesn't show much of each title but just enough to spark your interest. Nokia is due to have over twenty titles for an exclusive period available for their Lumia Windows Phones. It will be interesting to see what the remaining titles will be.

source: YouTube; Thanks, pedenske, for the tip!

Update: Additional upcoming titles from EA Games include:

  • FIFA 12
  • Madden 12
  • NBA Jam
  • Dead Space
  • Bejeweled 2
  • Connect 4
  • Risk
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Bop It!

We've got an all out discussion on these titles over in the forums that you can find here.

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Back in November, Windows Phone team blogger Michael Stroh teased users with some cheat sheets to many of the emoticons or emoji (Japanese) built right into the Windows Phone platform. He didn't share them all, though. Not content with waiting around for more blog posts, we decided to dig through the operating system, not stopping until we found the rare and beautiful emoji. And found them we did.
 

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Barry Cottle, Executive Vice President and GM for EA Interactive, took the floor at Nokia World and spoke about some exclusive content for Nokia consumers, and that these games are to be made available for free, with Series 40 receiving 40 titles first. He continued:

"This time, we’ll be designing our games for an awe-inspiring experience on Windows Phone for Nokia. That’s the best games for free plus exclusive content for Nokia users. It’s a big win for Nokia’s consumers worldwide"

Nokia will gain 20 EA titles, with 10 being developed by EA as well as games from Chillingo, their indie publishing arm. We're not sure if these exclusive titles will be made available to handsets from other manufacturers at a later date.

Source: Nokia Developer News, via: My Nokia Blog

Thanks Just Visiting for the heads up!

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In an interesting story over at the Inquirer, Raj Talluri, VP of product management at Qualcomm revealed that they were never exclusive to Microsoft or Windows Phone, that in fact there was and still is not a written agreement between them and Redmond.

At least with regards to the first generation of Windows Phone, Qualcomm was thought to be an exclusive partner with Microsoft. As it turns out, they are certainly a valued partner but there was no reason for companies to use other, competing platforms like Broadcom, nVidia or Texas Instruments. Even the Focus and Omnia 7 eschew Samsung's own processor for Qualcomm's. That for us raises the question as to why? One reason is we know Qualcomm had ported and worked on WP7 for a long time and perhaps their processing solutions were just a better value for OEMs. From back in March:

“We stepped out some time ago with a major investment in high level operating system and porting to Microsoft was one of those. So we’re the first to port the Win Mobile 7 and I think we’re the only chip set provider yet today. That was a good year effort of hard work for us to get to that point.”

Will the second generation of Windows Phone devices be any different? We've heard of ST-Ericcson stepping into the picture, but nothing concrete yet. Even Nokia is using Qualcomm now. What about you? Are you happy with Qualcomm or are you looking for some alternatives from other vendors?

Source: the Inquirer; via Windows Phone Daily

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Beards and Beaks - Review

Real-time strategy games can be tough to get right on platforms other than computers. Console controllers can’t match the speed and accuracy of a mouse, so most developers don’t even try. Smartphones are much better at recreating mouse-style controls thanks to their touchscreens, but the lower screen resolution compared to PCs still complicates things. Thus, non-PC strategy games tend to be of the less click-intensive tower defense variety. But Microsoft Game Studios has bravely crafted a casual RTS experience with Beards & Beaks, the Windows Phone-exclusive Xbox Live title.

Beards & Beaks (which I always want to type as ‘Birds & Beaks’ for some reason) revolves around two warring tribes: gnomes and crows. Each side competes to collect treasure before the other, inflicting as much harm as possible along the way. Strangely, the game is completely devoid of an actual story - a missed opportunity given the unique and adorable character designs. Even Angry Birds (whose ‘birds versus pigs’ premise is similar enough) has story sequences, after all!

Flick past the break for our full review.

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You know what we lack on Windows Phone? A good strategy turn-based fighting game. Yeah, never thought of it, did you? Luckily, "Fight Game: Rivals" seems likely to fill that roll. From Dutch based Khaeon Studios, the game is a MMA style with fairly impressive graphics and seemingly rich player content.

What's really kind of neat is how the fighting styles and even fighters themselves are based on real life e.g. the studio worked with experts to replicate as much as they can.

  • Prove yourself in underground fighting tournaments all over the world to earn the chance to go toe to toe with world-famous martial art champions like Alistair Overeem and Sem Schilt!
  • Striking visuals with highly detailed environments and characters
  • Unlock a large variety of unique moves, skills and abilities with detailed animations throughout your fighting career
  • Genre-bending 'strategy, turn-based, fighting game', optimized for mobile devices and touch screen operated game-play
  • Earn 20 unique Xbox LIVE Achievements

"With Fight Game: Rivals; here is your chance to become the king of kings amongst tournament fighters around the world! Fight the opposition on distinct locations in Europe, Asia and America and unlock a wide variety of devastating attacks and skills. Grow ever stronger, prove yourself in fighting tournaments all over the world and get ready to face the elite of combat sports, world-famous martial arts champions Sem Schilt and Alistair Overeem, and become the new champion!"

The game is exclusive to Windows Phone 7 for the first 3 months and looks to drop "mid September"/Q3 in the Marketplace. From the graphics, new style of gameplay and overall detail, we're pretty excited about trying this one.

Check out the interview and some gamaplay from RagingNerds.net above and see the game's site here.

via: InsideGames; Big thanks to Matt B., for the heads up!

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Ilomilo: AT&T Exclusive game?

Just though this was interesting. The game Ilomilo, one of the most talked about (see video demo after the break), is a free download for AT&T Windows Phone 7 users. On top of that, it's an exclusive to the carrier as the game is not yet available in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

No word on how long AT&T has this game all to themselves, but if you were thinking of getting that Samsung Focus or HTC Surround, there' s one more reason. But it stinks for non-AT&T customers!

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