Apps

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Pocket God - Review

Have you ever had the desire to play the role of a god? Control the weather, wildlife and decide the fate of your world's inhabitants? Ngmoco is offering Pocket God for your Windows Phone that puts you in the role of god over a prehistoric land and a tribe of pygmies.

Exercise your powers by controling all aspects of the resident pygmy's environment. You have multiple locations to choose from (island, graveyard, iceberg) and a handful of tools to either make the pygmy's life pleasant or disasterous.

The game has experienced popularity on other formats and to see how it shakes out on Windows Phone 7, ease on past the break.

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Trine's Hangman - Review

Looking for an addictive game for your Windows Phone? Like word puzzles? Look no further than Trine's Hangman. Gydar Industries has developed a hangman fashioned word game for Windows Phone 7 that is highly addictive and very entertaining.

The game itself is simple. You try to guess the word, one letter at a time. Each wrong letter ads a piece of the gallows and your hangman's body. Your afforded nine wrong guesses before the picture is complete and you loose.

One of the great things about Trine's Hangman is that your scores are a collective of all the puzzles. So while you may miss a word, your game continues. Don't worry about running out of words any time soon. Trine's comes loaded with 10,000 words and phrases.

But there's a lot more to Trine's Hangman than simply guessing letters. To find out more on this Windows Phone game, follow the break.

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Update: There's a $0.99 version which also features a Live tile/counter, seen above

We reviewed Send to WP7 a few weeks ago, the little app that allows you to send links and text to your phone through your browser, but now a new competitor is in town: Browser To Windows Phone 7

Although the theory and setup is the same, Browser to... goes further as far as options. For one, it divides up text vs links. Second, doing a long press on the text or link allows you to "act on" the information in a much more useful way. Specifically:

After link is sent , you can:

  • navigate the link with Browser
  • send the link via SMS
  • send the link via EMail
  • delete links

After selection/custom text is sent, you can:

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United Nations News is a free app by developer Justin Angel (see "Neurons" video) that pulls down all the top news right from the United Nations, including articles, video, radio and pictures.

Although many people don't follow the U.N. directly, this app makes a strong case to get you to do just that due to its excellent user experience and UI layout. In short, it's just darn nice to look at (even if the news is a bit sullen).

The app is of course free, open source and now award-winning. Those are three reasons why you should give it a spin, plus, it might make you a better global citizen if you know what's going on in the world. Just sayin'. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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CarneyVale: Showtime - Review + Video

Have you ever wanted to hop into a canon and blast yourself through a flaming hoop? We've all been there, obviously. Not all of us have ever had the chance to follow through with that lofty goal but we can at least live vicariously through Slinky the clown. As Slinky, the ambitious big-top star of Carneyvale: Showtime, you'll be able to live the dream.

See how high into the ranks of Carnival fame you can blast yourself to in this addictive vertical scroller. Video and full review after the jump.

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One of the most useful apps out there, ShopSavvy (see earlier coverage) is finally now live in the Marketplace. The barcode-scanning shopping assistant allows you to scan any UPC label out there for price-checks against the web. For example, scanning a book's barcdoe will bring up prices on Half.com, eBay, Amazon, etc. You can then hop to the site or "share deal" with others. In addition, if any local deals are found, it'll show them on a map based on your location as well as any reviews for the item.

After giving it a spin for ten minutes, we were left impressed. And seeing as it's free, there's no reason to not try it, especially if you like bargains. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

via: MobilityDigest

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Weave - Review

Billed as the world's best news reader exclusively for Windows Phone Weave has some big shoes to fill. Sele Games has put together a very comprehensive, easy to navigate around, stable news reader for Windows Phone 7.

Weave pulls from sources such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, and USA Today. You can also add feeds by topic or specific websites. Weave also includes Facebook and Twitter integration.

Weave is priced at $3.99 and to see if it's worth the bucks and fits the billing, ease on past the break.

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Do you like racing? Do you like racing through endless tunnels while rotating around at high speeds, losing all sense of up or down, while inducing nausea?

Then "Descent" by RH Computing is for you.

Just released to the Marketplace and fetching for $0.99 (+ trial), the game is a load of fun and will test your skills as you try to dodge obstacles, gain energy orbs and ramp up your speed. Make no mistake, not only is it a blast but it will take time to get good at it. Plus the graphics are nice and smooth as you can see from the video above. Hey, for a buck, we can think of worse things to spend your money one, so maybe give this a shot.

Grab the demo here in the Marketplace. Hit us up in comments for your thoughts on the game.

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Break.com, that site with an endless supply of "viral" videos, first came out with their Windows Phone 7 app in October. Unfortunately, most reviews weren't so hot. Good for them that their v1.1, released today, seems to working quite well. The app has a Live tile, but it's one of those "for aesthetics only" types where it merely downloads a new video image. Still, we like variation on our Today screen, so we'll take it, thank you very much.

There's still no way to search (boo) or share videos (boo x2) but for just watching silly viral clips, it gets an 'A'. Even over 3G the vids look buttery smooth on our end, making this very useful on the go. We'll also say that their UI design is quite swanky for a freebie.

Hey, we're always up for wasting time on our mobile, after all what is a 3G enabled smartphone for but to distract us from life's mundane rituals? So we'll give this app a "recommend", especially if you like to laugh at stupid stuff. We sure do.

Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst - Review

Microsoft Game Studios is offering Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst over at the Marketplace. If you like fast paced, busy-type action games, Project Sunburst is worth a try.

Project Sunburst is a tower defense game where you defend your base camp from mutant freaks. Base on the popular Xbox 360 game, Crackdown, the Windows Phone 7 game adds a local twist to it.

To see how Project Sunburst measured up, ease on past the break.

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Max & the Magic Marker - Review

Max and the Magic Marker, another WiiWare title ported to WP7, currently has the most positive user-submitted reviews that I've read from any of the games in the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace. There's a really good reason for that. It's a great game with an appeal for a wide demographic. Youngsters will love the vibrant, imaginative gameplay and the cool characters. Cold-hearted cynics, like yours truly, will really get a kick out of the seamless combination of platforming and puzzle-solving mechanics that work phenomenally well with the little-big-kid heroics of the blissfully unfolding plot.

Read on to discover why Max deserves the hype and why the term 'magic marker' instead of just 'marker' became common vernacular.

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A few weeks ago we showed you Lyrics by musiXmatch, a sweet free app that pulled down lyrics to virtually any song you were listening to through Zune. While the app was free and it worked well it was missing something...the ability to scroll automagically through the lyrics, like a karaoke machine.

PicoLyrics ($1.29) does just that by syncing up a a community server where people (somehow) log the lyrics and time-cues to thousands of songs. In turn, PicoLyrics functions the same way as Lyrics--it integrates with Zune, uses 3G to pull down songs, etc. But it has a cleaner UI and  the scrolling bit just makes it truly great. We feel $1.29 is a bit high for the app, with $0.99 being the sweet spot (or free and ad-supported) but we bought it anyways because it worked so well.

Version 1.1 just hit, bringing landscape support and bug fixes (no longer crashes when it can't find a song). While it may not find every single song out there, it did a pretty good job for our library and we're pleased with it. The app has a trial period of ten minutes, yes, you heard that right. Although after using it for ten minutes, you should know how you feel about it.

You can grab it here on your phone or Zune desktop.

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The Harvest was one of the premier gaming titles to launch with Windows Phone 7 back a few months ago and while the game has received favorable reviews (see ours here), stability was a problem. In fact, the game was recently pulled due to so many issues but has just reappeared sporting a v1.1 update and fixes all around.

So if you  had given up on the $6.99 game, despite its awesome graphics and RPG game play, you may want to give it another go as things seem to be much better.

Source: ElectronicTheater

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Poynt - Review

Poynt is another location based search tool for your Windows Phone. Like Yelp! and Places, the Windows Phone 7 application uses your current location as a point of reference. You have the option to search by keyword or by category.

Categories include Businesses, People, Restuarants, Movies and Gas. Regardless of your method of searching, the results Poynt generates will be within an established search radius (can be set in the apps Settings Menu).  As bonuses, Poynt has your current location's weather conditions on the main page and the main page's graphics reflects the time of day at your location.

To see how well Poynt performed and how it compared to other location based search apps, ease on past the break.

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Parcel Tracker - Review

Need a quick and easy way to keep track of parcel packages from your Windows Phone? The Windows Phone 7 application Parcel Tracker is one way to do just that.

The hub layout is simple and straightforward. You have a page for listing all the parcels you are tracking, a pagd to add parcels, and a page to remove parcels. Easy peasy.

Parcel Tracker can track packages shipped from a dozen carriers including UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL. To enter a package, you choose your carrier, assign it an appropriate name (e.g. Christmas Gifts to Mom) and enter the tracking number. That package is now listed on the main page of the hub.

Catch more on Parcel Tracker after the break.

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AppFinder makes finding apps...well, easier

What's the biggest complaint about the current Marketplace? Okay, besides the occasional crashing issue, the next big complaint would be that when you search for something, anything, results come up for apps and music, with no ability to filter it down. In turn, it makes finding an app quite difficult.

Step in XDA developer ebadger to rescue us (until Microsoft gets around to refining the store) with AppFinder. The app is simple enough and free: you launch it, type in what you are looking for and it dynamically shows you the results. It's even smart in that if you type in "reader" it doesn't have to be the first word, but will find all apps with the word "reader" in the title. Oh yeah, and it only searches apps.

You do need to know exactly what you want to find for it to work, but you can also browse around easy enough to discover new apps along the way. Plus we hear ebadger is going to be adding some features, so it can only get better from here.  In short, we're throwing AppFinder on our "must have" app list as it's a huge help for our Marketplace woes. Grab it here on your phone or the Zune desktop.

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Although HTC users get to use a pretty solid (and free) mobile YouTube application that even handles HQ videos, the rest of us are left on the sidelines for some 3rd party developer. Luckily, one has come forward: SWFlight and their app called RealTube which fetches for $1.99 in the Marketplace. The app basically converts Flash to Silverlight. Smart.

The app is in some ways better than HTC's since it is not bound just by YouTube, but rather can play all sorts of videos found on the internet: MSN, MySpace, FunnyorDie, CNN, DailyMotion, etc all in HD (when over WiFi). The app also works over 3G for those on go. It does lack full YouTube integration, so managing your account of favorites and sharing seems like a no-go too, plus if someone sends you a link, it won't open RealTube (no file association). Still, despite the obvious limitations, video quality is quite high and the search works pretty well, even allowing filters.[Edit: Although I didn't know how to in the video, to get results from a specific web site, "...add the phrase site: to your search, for example: crazy cats site:funnyordie.com"]

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Quantum Jump - Review

Silver Island Media is offering the Windows Phone 7 game Quantum Jump over at the Marketplace. It's an interesting game but maybe not for everyone.

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Impossible Shoota - Review [Video]

We first mentioned Impossible Shoota when it first hit the Marketplace and have spent a little time with the Windows Phone 7 game. If you're looking for a fast paced, addictive, entertaining game Impossible Shoota will fit the bill.

The story line has you in the role of the elite pilot Starboxer. Your are the last survivor of your race and on your last mission to take out as many Sho-dan (the bad guys) ships as possible.  And they throw a lot of ships your way.

Follow the break to read more on Impossible Shoota and to catch a video of the Windows Phone game in action.

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Dodge These Balls - Review

Do you need a simple game for your Windows Phone to help pass the time? Take a gander at EntwicklerX's Dodge These Balls.

The game set up for Dodge These Balls is simple. Your the red ball and you need to dodge the other balls that are bouncing around the screen. You move your ball around by tilting the phone up/down and side/side. The longer you survive, more balls are generated, increasing the challenges.

Follow the break to read more about this Windows Phone game and to catch a video of it in action.

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Decision Maker - Review

Crimson Team is offering Decision Maker over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that may help you get past those hard decisions.

It's a simple process. Think of your question, tap the "Make Decision" bar, and Decision Maker will offer a yes or no response after consulting with aliens, Santa, Granny and many more reliable sources.

Decision Maker is a simple, stable novelty app for your Windows Phone. The $.99 price is just about right for a novelty app and there is a trial version available if you need a little help in deciding to purchase or not.

You can find Decision Maker here (opens your Zune desktop) and if you follow the break, you can catch a video of Decision Maker in action.

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While we don't know just how many Mac users out there have a Windows Phone, for those brave enough (we salute you) there is some good news as Microsoft has published an update to the Connector app. To refresh, Connector allows Mac users to sync certain amounts of information and media to Windows Phone 7. While not a full Zune client, it's a step in the right direction for many who don't want to be tethered to Apple's ecosystem.

The latest version (0.6 beta) released on December 16th addresses some ongoing issues:

  • Fixes playback for the AAC files synced from iTunes that wouldn't play
  • Reverse sync MP3s bought from the WP7 phone
  • Properly sync from remote iTunes installs
  • Transfers bookmarks, ratings, release dates that were previously left out

Probably one of the biggest additions is the ability to support firmware updates via Connector, something which we believe all Windows Phone users will need in two months time. Finally, to round it out:

Direct device browsing has been given much more control and lets owners not only manually import individual items from the phone but delete them or preview them.

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Although many would say Bing maps is a pretty solution to mapping in Windows Phone 7, one thing users always enjoy is choice. Two new mapping applications have arrived in the Marketplace recently and while neither is the be-all map-app, both offer some unique features that a few may be interested in. Unlike TA Maps which exploited Google's mapping servers but also required you to 'jailbreak' the device, both of these apps are distributed through the Marketplace, albeit for a price.

Advanced Maps Viewer ($0.99 + no trial): uses Google Maps and includes Street, Satellite, Hybrid and Physical maps in addition to geolocation positioning. OpenStreetMap integration is coming. This app is the most similar to TA Maps including "locate me" but also offers different map layers. It's fast, efficient and works. Downside is no routing. Grab it here in Zune on your phone or desktop.

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If you use Xbox LIVE Extras on Windows Phone 7, you may have noticed an update pushed to you today, specifically v1.50012.0 (up from v1.3). And if you're like us, you're wondering what changed? Don't worry, we got you covered:

New countries, new languages! We’re making Xbox LIVE Extras available in new languages including French, Italian, German, and Spanish. This also means that Xbox LIVE Extras will now be available in all the official countries where Windows Phone and Xbox LIVE are available!

Manage friend requests inside Xbox LIVE Extras! You’ll now be able to accept, or reject friend requests inside of Xbox LIVE Extras. Additionally you’ll be able to manage your friends’ lists as well as requests to others.

Even more additional features! We’ve also added a bunch of additional features such as new Avatar animations and configuration options, and displaying your motto on your profile. We’ve also worked to improve overall stability of the application!

We also can't help but notice it's finally faster to load, which is a welcomed change as well. We're going to bet that some of our Euro friends will be happy with the additional language support, allowing them to join in the party.

Go here on your phone or desktop to grab the app.

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