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Fairway Solitaire Windows Phone 8 interview, Part One

Patrick Wylie of Big Fish Games

Remember that Windows Phone Summit that took place in San Francisco last month? It centered around Windows Phone 8, aka Apollo. Microsoft chose to reveal a new Apollo-specific Xbox Live game on-stage during the event: Fairway Solitaire from Big Fish Games. Big Fish is a major producer of casual games on PC and other mobile platforms, so the developer’s signing on to support Windows Phone is a great thing.

As it happens, Big Fish was on-hand at Casual Connect Seattle last week to reveal their new cloud gaming service, Big Fish Unlimited. Of course we took advantage of their presence to set up an exclusive interview with Patrick Wylie, VP of Big Fish Games Studios. Head past the break to learn just what Patrick’s team has in store for Windows Phone and Windows 8!

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HTC Trophy

Just as we reported two days ago, Verizon has opened the flood gates for the Windows Phone Tango update. Customers who own the HTC Trophy will be able to update their device(s) once the notification of updateable-goodness has appeared on-screen or through Zune. We've already received word from a number of Windows Phone Central readers confirming the update is indeed rolling out.

To recap what's included:-

  • WiFi Hotspot / Internet sharing now available
  • Enhanced multimedia messaging capabilities (multiple photos, videos, ringtones)

The Tango update will push Windows Phone owners to 8773 and will set the path for Windows Phone 7.8. Be sure to plug in your Trophy when possible to receive the update and inform us when you do in the comments below.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Sony Surface Tablet

Images of a Sony Android tablet have been leaked on German news website Mobiflip. According to the slides, if they're anything to go by, the Sony tablet looks incredibly familiar, almost as if we've seen such a design previously. The Microsoft Surface range of Windows 8 tablets were unveiled earlier this year and sport the same look with a keyboard built into the cover. This Sony tablet, branded as "Xperia Sony Tablet", will sport a number of improvements over the current Sony Tablet S.

There is one noticeable difference between the cover seen on the Surface tablets and on this possible Sony product. The cover -- while sporting a similar keyboard -- appears to wrap around the device, as opposed to clipping on the side. Also, Sony's cover will fold back to form a kickstand, eliminating the requirement for an extra accessory. Think a Microsoft-Apple hybrid.

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Windows 8 RTM

Microsoft has announced on the Windows 8 blog that the next major version of its operating system, Windows 8, has reached the RTM milestone. What does this mean for consumers? Not an awful lot if you're not particularly interested, but it does mean manufacturers are now set to start preparing products in time for when Windows 8 is released to the world (including Microsoft with its Surface tablets).

We previously covered Windows 8 when the release preview was made available to those who wished test Microsoft's latest desktop platform. The Windows team has completed product development and testing, and have now started to hand the code onto OEM partners. The release date for Windows 8 to the general public is still October 26th, so we all still have a slight wait to get through, but we're certain it'll be worth every second.

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SuperTube

Just as we covered an update rolling out for MetroTube, SuperTube -- another YouTube app for Windows Phone -- also has an update hitting the shores. SuperTube, previously known as YouTube Pro before rebranding earlier this year, was one of the first YouTube Windows Phone apps to feature HD and high quality streaming.

Upon returning to the Marketplace, the developers made the paid version free for all to download due to the situation which required them to take down the app and slap on a new name. Today we're pleased to relay the announcement of version 2.5 being pushed through to consumers. This is the first update we've seen for SuperTube since May, which is a good sign of support from the developer.

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Xbox Live news - An interview with Beth Goza of Microsoft

Paul Acevedo and Beth Goza

During our recent visit to Microsoft headquarters, we had the pleasure of meeting with Beth Goza, Sr. Community Manager at Microsoft. Beth is one of the people in charge of PR for first-party Xbox Live titles on both Windows Phone and Windows 8, you see. She kindly agreed to an interview in which we discuss her favorite Windows Phone games, the ratio of casual to core games in the mobile lineup, Wordament, and other gaming topics. Check it out after the break!

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Lenovo ThinkPad Windows 8 tablet specifications leaked

Lenovo Tablet

We're ready for more leaked information surrounding Windows 8 tablets to flow with the upcoming release of Microsoft's next major release of its desktop operating system drawing closer. Microsoft recently unveiled their Surface family of tablets, which would be built to force manufacturers to product unique and high quality hardware for Windows 8.

Lenovo is planning to launch Windows 8 tablet to rival Microsoft's Surface, as well as other OEMs building hardware for the platform (not to mention the iPad and Android tablets). According to Techin5, which got hold of leaked slides showcasing the proposed tablet, Lenovo will be launching the tablet under its ThinkPad brand and will be packing a punch with included features for business customers.

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Need for Speed: Undercover

It’s a great week for Windows Phone gamers. Not only do we get a terrific new release, but the Deal of the Week is a game that’s never been on sale before. Need for Speed: Undercover, a launch title from Electronic Arts is finally on sale for $2.99, down from $4.99.

Now, I wasn’t much impressed with the more recent NFS title, Hot Pursuit – see my review. But Undercover isn’t bogged down with endless grinding or absurd difficulty. It’s just fast racing in beautiful licensed cars, as you’d expect from the series. Just look at our review; it’s pretty glowing.

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WP Central Atoms Walkthrough

Whilst at the Windows Phone Dev Day in Bournemouth we got a chance to meet Ross Gouldthorpe, who has been developing for Windows Phone for two years. Ross was kind enough to give us a walkthrough of his upcoming Windows phone game, Atoms.

The game is also currently in development for the Xbox 360 and has a Nintendo DS homebrew counterpart. The game Atoms has roots as an old Amiga game of the same name. It started life as freebie on the cover of a magazine, which is where Ross first discovered it.  Ross tells me he still has his Amiga machines but these days they are locked up in storage, he does still have the Amiga CD32 connected to his TV though.

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MetroTube

The Lazyworm team has released an update to the highly rated YouTube Windows Phone app, MetroTube. Featuring a heavily Metro-influenced design and feel, the app really is the unofficial home of YouTube on the mobile platform. It disappeared for a number of months at the beginning of the year due to API issues with Google, which couldn't be resolved even after consulting with Microsoft.

Luckily the third-party YouTube app is back in action, and returned to the Marketplace earlier this month. Today version 3.3 of MetroTube passed certification so it should be with us shortly. So, what's new in this release? 

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Pool Pro Online 3 now available

As we promised yesterday, Namco Bandai’s Pool Pro Online 3 is now on the Marketplace. And guess what? It’s surprisingly good!

Pool Pro Online 3 offers a realistic simulation of three pool games: 8-ball, 9-ball, and snooker. Foggy on the rules (like me) or new to pool? The built-in tutorial and reference section make learning a snap. Seriously, I have no real-life aptitude for pool but I’ve still managed to win several games so far.

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Nokia Lumia 710 available through MTS Canada

Nokia Lumia 710 to MTS Canada

The Nokia Lumia 710 is being offered through the Canadian wireless provider MTS for $29.99 after a three year contract and a minimum $24.99 voice plan. The 3.7" screened Windows Phone can also be had outright through MTS for $279.99.

MTS is a local carrier servicing Manitoba and the pricing point is a little on the high side. Rogers Wireless, who also services the Manitoba region, is offering the Lumia 710 for a penny on a three year contract.

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WP Central

There's a risk to changing your LiveID on Windows Phone

With today’s announcement of Outlook.com many of you have noticed that if you were logged into Hotmail with your old account and navigated to Outlook.com you were automatically logged in to the new “preview” of Microsoft’s new email service.

What’s more, you actually have the option—even on an old Hotmail address—to change it to @outlook.com. But there is a catch for Windows Phone users…

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SplashID dives into the Windows Phone Marketplace

SplashID for Windows Phone

SplashID is a Windows Phone app that is a carry over from the Windows Mobile days and has had a fair amount of success on iOS, Android and Blackberry systems. What is SplashID you ask? It is a handy Windows Phone app to help you manage, backup and remember all your usernames and passwords.

SplashID can be used to store credit card numbers, registration codes, PINs, bank account information, birthdays, serial numbers, website usernames, passwords, and more. The app covers twenty two types of data that can be filed under business or personal categories. All of which can be edited.

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Outlook.com

Microsoft has today unveiled the Outlook.com preview to the public, which is essentially a Hotmail upgrade. The successor is completely metrofied, and is feature rich taking elements and functionality from both Hotmail and Exchange. Outlook.com is integrated into Windows and Office, while being able to connect to social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and LinkedIn for contact synchronisation.

Microsoft is offering 7GB of free storage through SkyDrive for those signing up to the new email service, and is attempting to turn users away from email attachements to cloud storage. Outlook.com will become a supported option when setting up email on Windows 8, Windows Phone (as well as other smartphones that support Exchange ActiveSync). From the video below, we can see Skype integration being present for video calls to be made without launching the app. Exciting stuff.

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WP Central

Boring phone with outrageous price?

We’ve reported on Samsung’s Omnia M phone in the past noting that their latest phone is a low-end, borderline Tango entry meant for new and developing markets. That translates into ho-hum specs (4” display, 1GHz CPU, 4GB storage, 5MP camera) and in theory, a low-entry price.

For whatever reason though, we’re not seeing Samsung place nice with local markets with their pricing of the Omnia M borderline unreasonably high for such a mediocre device...

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PEGI

The PEGI (Pan European Game Information) ratings system has become legally enforceable in the UK, which means retailers and publishers that sell video games to children are now liable for fines and possible imprisonment. This is due to a new age classification system being forcefully implemented to crack down on unsuitable content for certain age groups.

All video games will be regulated under the PEGI system this coming Monday, which also makes it illegal to sell 12-rated games to underage children (among the usual certifications). Until this time, the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) has only provided 15 and 18 age certificates that are legally enforceable, making it legal for children to purchase 12-rated media. But what does this mean for Windows Phone users?

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SuperSports

A SuperSport (website) app is now available for Windows Phone, which enables users to keep up to date with latest sport headlines, scores, fixtures and more for a number of sports. The website is a portal for those who enjoy sport in general, from football and rugby to cricket and golf, it's all covered. The Windows Phone app is a perfect companion should you visit the website often to read daily content.

With the Olympics currently taking place in London, SuperSport is also covering the headlines and also sports live event footage through DStv (website only), which is handy should you find yourself situated away from the TV. Regarding normal day-to-day sport, SuperSport for Windows Phone features live rugby and football events and commentary with results, logs, fixtures and more being presently available.

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Nokia stock is up again and Nokia's CEO is buying

WP Central

Nokia's stock is on the rebound

We don’t normally cover too much when it comes to company stock but Nokia was an interesting case only because it dropped so low in the last few months. In fact, it dropped to its lowest price ($1.63) in 15 years and made some investors edgy—after all, if you go too low the company becomes financially meaningless and can get de-listed.

Nokia though was always a mixed bag with analysts noting that Windows Phone 8 could be its savior because the company can be unleashed with limitations on hardware lifted. Combined with the drastic cuts in the company, which unfortunately translates into layoffs, investors are now coming around....

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Mush WPDD Presentation

Windows Phone Central was at the recent WPDD event in Bournemouth on the Saturday just gone where a number of developers presented their apps and projects or gave advice to inspire attendees and showcase what they've been up to. Among the presenting developers were Ahmed Zaman and Henry Hoffman from Angry Mango, the team who brought us the Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone title Mush.

If you're not familiar with Mush, it's a charming puzzle game that is focused on alternating between moods, which can be drawn on-screen. The cute little character reflects whichever mood you decide, and each mood will bring unique abilities (for example: draw a smile and he'll float through being so elated). Mush is much like ilomilo in the sense the player can't die so the game focuses more on the gameplay and puzzle aspects.

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Pool Pro Online 3

At the start of the month, Windows Phone Central provided exclusive first details and images of Namco Bandai’s Pool Pro Online 3 for Xbox Live. Now we’re back with first word of its release date: tomorrow, August 1st. Windows Phone gamers will be shooting pool in no time!

Pool Pro Online 3 offers a realistic simulation of three pool games: 8-ball, 9-ball, and snooker. All three can be played either single-player or online. According to word from Microsoft, gamers can view and join online lobbies, so you won’t be restricted to playing with friends as with clunky ol’ Battleship.

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Are You Fast?

Question is: are you fast?

Do you reside in the US and fancy winning a brand-spanking-new Lumia 900? Who wouldn't? Microsoft has kicked off a new weekly sweepstake, which will see the software giant handing out a Lumia 900 each and every week until August 31st.

As with any sweepstake, you'll be required to fill in your personal details, email address, favourite colour and - of course - answer which shoe you put on your feet first. Unfortunately this sweepstake is only available to those who live in the US and is unfortunate (but the norm) for outsiders to be left out.

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AdDuplex Windows 8

AdDuplex, the Windows Phone developer promotion network, has announced its expansion to support Windows 8. The service enables developers to advertise their app in other applications who have the advertisement code implemented. It's not primarily a money-making scheme, but more for promotional and app awareness, something which is vital on any mobile platform.

With the announced support for Microsoft's upcoming desktop OS, the network will expand to accommodate developers who will seek to use the service for apps on the Windows Marketplace. Being cross-platform, AdDuplex provides a consistency across both mobile and the desktop, making it easier for developers to drive traffic to their projects.

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WP Central

The Windows Phone Central Store is the #1 destination for all accessories and products for your smartphone. You may have noticed a number of articles are now frequently covering the deals and offers that are present on the store (be sure to keep an eye out for deals featured in the sidebar). We'll also start reviewing products listed more regularly to give our $0.02 on what's available from manufacturers.

A frequent request from our readers is for the store to be made available to a wider audience. It was both expensive and relatively difficult (if possible) to place an international order. Thankfully the team that runs our store (as well as the stores at our sister websites) has been working hard and now we're pleased to relay the news that it's easier than ever to place an order should you reside outside the US.

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