Microsoft adds 1080p emulator images to Windows Phone SDK

Developing for Windows Phone 8? You’re going to want to head to the Microsoft Download Center to get an update for the Windows Phone 8.0 SDK. What’s the big change? You can now test your app against a 1080p emulator to see how your work runs on devices like the Nokia Lumia 1520.

App Update Roundup: Freddy meets Christmas and Snes8x gets MOGA support

There's never a quiet day in the Windows Phone community when we're talking about app updates. Developers enjoy submitting regular releases to the store, introducing new features and functionality, as well as fixing a bug here and there. Today we're covering Snes8x and Freddy. Head on past the break to see what's new in each app.

On the horizon: Visual Studio 2013 reveals 1080P Windows Phone 8 emulator files

Windows Phone 8 is reportedly set to go to “full HD” with a 1080x1920 resolution later this year, an update that will come with the GDR3 OS refresh presumably for OEMs.

Now, Justin Angel, who used to work with Microsoft and Nokia, has managed to dig up some emulator files for Windows Phone that coincidentally support that 1080P resolution. The files come by way of Visual Studio 2013, which was previewed at Build last week.

Relive the good ol' days with a Super Nintendo emulator for Windows Phone 8

Ah, Super Nintendo. 1991 was a good time because video games were really just starting to get big and the SNES system was leading the pack for 16-bit gaming. The console is still revered by many to this day.

Now combine it with the power of Windows Phone 8’s dual core CPUs, extra RAM and high resolution display and you have an ideal gaming platform—assuming the developer gets it right. Luckily for us, developer m.k. nails with his free Snes8x app for Windows Phone.

MetroSpec for Windows Phone updated to 1.4, free version finally available

MetroSpec, a ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 1.4 (since we last looked at the app). We last covered MetroSpec when it was released to the Windows Phone Store, but soon encountered some issues with the submission process. The paid version was published, while the free, ad-supported version was left behind in the depths of app doom. 

The problem appeared to be on Microsoft's end, and while a solution or fix was worked on, MetroSpec lost potential users due to the lack of trial or free version available (we know how badly Windows Phone consumers love their app trials). Luckily things have been resolved finally and we're good to go with announcing both apps together.

MetroSpec for Windows Phone now available on the Marketplace

Re-visiting the good ol' days

MetroSpec, the ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone, is now available on the Marketplace. We've been following the developments of the app itself from when it was pitched to us as an idea at a previous developer meetup, went through beta recently, and now being published. It's a superb app that's well worth checking out, even if you've never heard of the old-skool console.

Windows Phone ZX Spectrum emulator MetroSpec out of beta and headed for the Marketplace

Time to visit the good ol' days

MetroSpec, the Windows Phone ZX Spectrum emulator, has come out of beta and is now well on its way to the Marketplace. We originally covered the app back in July when we got some hands-on footage of the emulator in action, and were super excited to see the first Windows Phone ZX Spectrum emulator that isn't tied to a single title, where users can download and enjoy a wide variety of content.

Native screenshot functionality demonstrated in Windows Phone 8 SDK emulator

We’ve previously reported that Windows Phone 8 should be bringing native screenshot functionality to the masses. The function was rumored to work by holding the Start key and the Camera button at the same time and sure enough, that combo works in the Windows Phone 8 emulator from the leaked SDK.

The Windows Phone 7.5 (7.1 SDK) emulator did have native screenshot functionality for developers to take screenshots of their apps but it was not native to the OS itself. At first we were a bit cautious that this may be that function but seeing as this is enabled by simulating the Start-Camera combo (F7 + F2 keys) it seems like this is the real deal for regular users as evidence by the video made by WP7app.de. We have not been able to verify this ourselves yet, so we'll leave a little wiggle room in case it proves otherwise.

Native screenshot ability will be a much appreciated feature for developers who can more easily share shots of their app, consumers who want to report bugs or share moments on Windows Phone with friends and even viral-marketing. That last one may not seem obvious but the more screenshots of Windows Phone float around on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit etc., the more the OS will resonate with the masses.

In Windows Phone 7.x the only way to do screenshots was to have a developer unlocked device and to load a 'homebrew' solution. While effective, such an app was limited to developers only and not regular consumers.

Head past the break to see the video of the screenshot function in action...

Windows Phone 8 Emulator runs as a virtual machine on Hyper-V

Since we’ve been digging around the leaked Windows Phone 8 SDK some of our more eager readers have noticed that there are some fairly restrictive requirements to fulfil in order to get the Windows Phone 8 emulator running.

We’ve read through the SDK documentation in detail and spent a little bit of time understanding the hardware and software requirements and have put together a little guide so that developers can check if their system will be ready to run the emulator, or if it’s time for an upgrade.

Windows Phone ZX Spectrum emulator MetroSpec hitting beta and needs more testers

It's on! Well, nearly anyway. MetroSpec, the ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone we previously covered from the recent WPUG meetup in London, has almost hit beta. Lead developer Glenn Edwards is now on the hunt for eager testers who wish to take the app and run it through its paces to squash possible bugs and provide feedback on functionality and features.

MetroSpec enables Windows Phone users to load up homebrew or other Spectrum titles and enjoy a smooth gaming experience while on the go. Game states can be exported to SkyDrive allowing users to continue on the larger screen from a different platform / emulator, games can be imported from both SkyDrive and a known web server, and a number of intuitive features ensures the UI is efficient and easy-to-use.

Try out the new Windows Phone home screen with W Phone 8

A fairly lightweight Windows Phone emulator has made its way onto the Marketplace, which enables the user to see how the upcoming UI refresh would look on their handset. By lightweight we mean that no tiles launch any apps (links to Marketplace listings instead), but it certainly gives you a feel for what's to come with live tiles showing data, flipping around and having fun.

That's pretty much W Phone 8 in a nutshell, and while it may not seem a lot it's very well presented.

Hands-on with upcoming Windows Phone's first generic ZX Spectrum emulator - MetroSpec

You can now enjoy the classics while on the go

Can we have a drum roll? Announcing the upcoming Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone - MetroSpec. This current work-in-progress by Starquake Mobile (website) is the first generic ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone which isn't tied to a single title. 

The gist of the app is to enable Windows Phone users to download, load and enjoy Spectrum titles to either bring back memories or to defeat that all-impossible last boss that one could never beat. Head on past the break to see why you should be interested in MetroSpec, as well as some hands-on footage from the recent WPUG meetup.

New Windows Phone 8 OS builds & WXGA display resolution spotted in the wild

Windows Phone 8 concept

In mid June, Microsoft is expected to start revealing info on the much anticipated Windows Phone 8 OS (aka Apollo) but until that day, we have just crumbs of data to work with. One of those sources comes from peeping OS builds that various developers "see" when looking at their app data usage.

Such an example is illustrated by Marios Karagiannis (aka Karios) developer of the popular (and Windows Phone Central favorite) MonsterUp. In a recent blog post on his site, the developer listed some new OS builds that apparently come from Windows Phone 8 devices:

  • 8.0.9698.0 69
  • 8.0.9697.0 35
  • 8.0.9696.0 4
  • 8.0.10101.0 4
  • 8.0.9691.0 4
  • 8.0.9695.0 2
  • 8.0.9699.0 1

Likewise, our own Rogue Code, who makes Ffffound as well as Pocket Meme, has also seen similar numbers in his apps including 8.0.9673, 8.0.9644, 8.0.9627 and 8.0.9699.

We assume by this point that Microsoft has to be testing Windows Phone 8 and seeing OS builds floating around probably should not be too surprising. Unfortunately, more info cannot be gleaned from such build numbers making this observation more entertaining than revealing.

Turning to our own Google Analytics for this site, we can discern some interesting tidbits as well. Specifically under our "mobile visits" we now have 768x1280 resolution devices running Internet Explorer 10 making rare but occasional stops to our site. Display colors were set at 24-bit (a bump from 16-bit that we usually see) and many pings originate from Redmond, WA.

Google Analytic data from WPCentral.com showing supposed WP8 devices (click to enlarge)

Furthermore, we can officially confirm with other independent sources that 768x1280 will be a supported resolution in Windows Phone 8 in addition to three others including 480x640, 480x800 (current WP7 resolution) and 720x1280.

While a WXGA resolution may seem a bit odd, in Jul 2011 Samsung were reportedly working on a mobile phone running that exact screen resolution, albeit sporting Android. To put such a resolution in perspective, as Phone Arena notes "...on a 4.5 inch screen, the pixels per inch would come in at 332, topping the 326ppi reading of the Retina Display on the Apple iPhone 4". No doubt an impressive statistic. 

Of course we'll just have to wait and see what Microsoft officially tells us in the coming months. Until then, the above info should be treated as rumor/speculation as things like emulators (versus actual hardware) may be playing a role.

Still, we think the info presented above is accurate and will be the path for Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone "Tango" emulator gets unlocked and demoed

Good old Jaxbot from Windows Phone Hacker has managed to get his hands on a pre-release version of the Windows Phone "Tango" emulator (build 8731, which is earlier than the shipping 8757).

In addition, he's gone an unlocked the whole thing making it available for others to download and use. But for those of us who don't want to bother they can just watch the above video walkthrough demonstrating the few changes that are present in "Tango" (most of the changes are under the hood). Things like voice-notes in MMS or the location-icon detailed earlier though are nice little changes.

All in all, not too much to get excited about but if you want the emulator, head to Windows Phone Hacker for more info and the download links.

23 New Windows Phone 7 markets plus emulator update

Joe Belfiore has just announced via the Windows Phone Developer Blog that the Windows Phone Marketplace is being enabled in 23 new regions. This won't be effective immediately, but in the coming months the Marketplace will be available to publishers and consumers in the following regions:

Costa Rica
Saudi Arabia

This is part of a bigger move by Microsoft to get Windows Phone into "high growth" markets, and is accompanied by the official announcement of the low-cost Nokia Lumia 610 device.

He also goes on to say how much this actually effects publishers:

In terms of actual potential app customers, the addition of new price points and customers in China and the other new markets represents a near 60% increase in the total addressable market for Windows Phone. I told you it was a big step!

Next up is a new WP7 SDK update. The technical preview of the new update has gone live and will allow developers to test out their applications in the emulator which now supports a mode where the device memory is limited to just 256MB. This will allow developers to ensure that their apps work as expected on low-cost devices before publishing to these new markets. Developers can also opt-out of providing support for the new phones, but by default are automatically opted-in. Although there is automatic opt-in for this, developers will still need to update their apps to select the new markets to publish to.

The team used feedback from users who had opted-in to determine how much memory current WP7 apps were using, and if they would run with the new memory limits. Only around 5% of the current apps failed this test, and the developers have been contacted. So the good news, is that unless Microsoft has reached out to you, chances are that your app will work as-is.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

Sega emulator for Windows Phone returns to the Marketplace

Just days after we reported that Blue Tomato, the brand renaming of Sonic's Jewels, was submitted to the Marketplace, we're excited to announce that it's back and ready for downloading.

Blue Tomato is the Sega Game Gear and Master System emulator that first appeared on the Marketplace a few weeks ago. Since then, Sega appropriately exercised their copyright claim on "Sonic" and any Sega images from the emulator, causing the app to be pulled from the Marketplace. Now it's back with a new name, new graphics and even a sound engine on board making this in our opinion well worth the $1.99 $1.29 should you so desire this type of app.

Folks who previously bought Sonic Jewel's should be able to just "update" to this version with no new incurred costs. Hit us up in comments and let us know what you think. Grab Blue Tomato here in the Marketplace for $1.99 $1.29 with a free trial.

Sega emulator returning soon as Blue Tomato to the Windows Phone Marketplace

If you've been following the saga of Sonic's Jewels 7 (SJ7), you'll remember that the popular Sega Master System and Game Gear emulator was due for a nice sound update. That update actually did hit the Marketplace but only for a few hours before it was pulled due to a copyright claim by Sega.

Our own Rafael Rivera worked with the developer to sort through the claim, which revolved around the use of Sonic the Hedgehog and the dev was quoted as saying it will return. The condition of returning though would be to shed all of Sega's copyrights--images and names--in order for it to presumably pass the Marketplace certification. We spoke of this on the last podcast where the name "Blue Tomato" was tossed out as the new name.

Now we got word that Blue Tomato is in the certification process in the Marketplace and the developer has posted some screenshots, showing off the new artwork. The most pertinent question though many of you have is this: Will I have to re-buy the emulator? The answer appears to be "no" as this will by just another update to the existing Marketplace spot for the app. Certainly that should make some of you relieved.

Moreover, that sound update will be included as well as "better game loop" and Zip support, which should make things a lot easier for users. We'll keep you posted if/when the app passes and is re-available for download again.

Source: Facebook

Sonic's Jewels 7 pulled due to use of Sonic the Hedgehog

Just yesterday, we covered the Marketplace disappearance of an enthusiast's Sega Genesis Sega Gamegear/Sega Master System emulator titled Sonic's Jewels 7. But after getting in touch with the developer, we have new information and insight into what went down.

The author received an email from Microsoft on Feburary 9, 2012 entitled: "Mobile Application Content Infringement Complaint - Sonic's Jewels", trimmed for brevity.

This message is to notify you that Microsoft has received a Content Infringement Complaint (“Complaint”) for your application Sonic's Jewels. A copy of the Complaint is attached for your review.

Immediate Request

Please disable access to the application from the Marketplace within one business dayIf your application is still available for download within this timeframe, Microsoft may remove the application.  Please note that under certain circumstances Microsoft may disable your app immediately without providing you the opportunity to disable it.


Also in the email were two boilerplate options -- either file a DMCA Counter-Notice alleging the take down of the application was in error or actually remove the materials in the complaint. Obviously, the developer pulled the app.

In the attached complaint, filed February 8, 2012, Sega noted (emphasis ours):

Please provide a name (if available) and a description of the work for which you claim intellectual property ownership: The name of the work is the Genesis, a Sega console that was built and sold in the 1990's. Sega has trademarked the term Genesis (on June 9, 1992) and all the hardware that was part of this project. Sega also owns the copyright and IP for Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the game mascots featured on the system.

Please provide a name of the other content (if available) and a description of what you claim is infringing about the other content: This title is called "Sonic Jewels" and it is a Genesis emulator for Windows Phone that was not built by Sega or authorized in any way. The emulator uses images of Sonic the Hedgehog that are used illegally.

URL: http://www.windowscentral.com/sneak-peek-sega-emulator-windows-phone-7-video

Complaints about the use of a name or logo must be accompanied by a copy of the trademark application or registration. We cannot act on any complaint related to a name or logo without a copy of the trademark application or registration. Check this box if the trademark application or registration is included with this complaint: [x]

As we suspected, Sega didn't like the use of the Sonic the Hedgehog imagery throughout the application. Before you arm the neighborhood with molotovs and pitchforks, let's pause and reflect. Our coin ring-loving blue pal belongs to Sega. The complaint here is completely fair. What troubles us, however, is how odd the Windows Phone Marketplace folks operate. For example, the complaint includes trademark registration/application paperwork but only for the mark Genesis. Not the actual trademark in question (Sonic the Hedgehog). Yet the complaint went through with record speed. Also, the complaint form is oddly bare and consists of a single page, unlike the 6-page monstrosity we had to fill out in the Dudley saga.

At any rate, we're working with the developer directly, helping him get through the scary-sounding Marketplace paperwork and procedures. We expect a quick turn around on this one, so stay tuned.

Sonic's Jewels 7 SEGA emulator disappears from the Marketplace [Updated]

News just in - we've lost Sonic's Jewels (pun intended). Sonic's Jewels 7 (SJ7), a SEGA Master System & Game Gear emulator, has long be at the centre of attention and was released two weeks ago. But now it has come to our attention that the app has disappeared from the Marketplace. The emulator received high praise from us for being both well designed and featuring some numerous options, including:

  • Pinnable games to the Start screen with Live Tiles
  • Three save slots per game; instant resume
  • Skydrive support for importing games
  • Frame skips for 1st Gen devices
  • Portrait & Landscape support

As well as being able to load ROMs from URLs or SkyDrive, the developer was working on an update that was planned to introduce sound emulation to complete the gaming experience. We've reached out to the developer for clarification as to why the app has been withdrawn. For now we'll allow you to speculate in the comments.

UPDATE: According to the Sonic's Jewels 7 Facebook page SEGA weren't going to allow the use of trademarked graphics/brands and thus Microsoft pulled the app. We've reached out to the developer so stay tuned for more information, thanks Lumic for the heads up on the link.

via: SmartphoneFrance

Sonic Jewels 7 getting sound emulation in next update [Video]

We've been talking about Sonic Jewels 7 for awhile now. The SEGA Master System and Game Gear emulator fetches for $1.29 in the Marketplace and features the ability to load ROMs via URL or Skydrive. The emulator itself is exceptionally well designed but it was lacking one major feature: sound.

Now with the latest upcoming update (version 1.2) the dev has completed the sound-emulation aspect (no easy task) and we've managed to get an early look.

So far it has performed very well for us and our HTC TITAN (1.5GHz CPU). We have been able to max out the frame rate with sound and have seen no degradation in performance. Older devices may have some issues though which is why they can "skip" frames via the settings to help smooth out the graphics during gameplay.

Overall, the sound emulation really completes this experience and we look forward to the updated version hitting the Marketplace soon. For now, you can use the no-sound version here with a trial.

[And to fend off criticism on our earlier editorial, we want make it clear we're not against emulators per se on WPCentral, just against people selling other people's software which is what Rivera was talking about here]