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WP Central

While the developers of the popular Windows Phone word game Wordament have been busy adding new language support and building a Windows 8 Xbox Live-enabled version, the team have managed to get an update packaged for Windows Phone that should be hitting the Marketplace very soon. So what's new in Wordament version 1.1?

By popular request from players, the system tray (the status bar at the top of your Windows Phone screen) will now be displayed after it was previously removed when the game was Live enabled. In the official blog post detailing these improvements, there's a humorous explanation that the developers received numerous reports from users who missed classes, trains, etc. because they couldn't see the time while hooked on the addictive gameplay. The time, battery and signal indicators, and more will now be accessible.

As well as the system tray reintroduction, the team will also be adding an option in-game to change the orange brand-driven background to a more neutral colour for those who detest the mashup of red and yellow. The choice will be colourful rainbows or monochrome madness, both looking pretty sweet in the Metro UI influenced title.

WP Central

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Nokia Maps updated to version 2.0

WP Central

Nokia has released an update for the Maps app found on Lumia Windows Phones. The app, which was previously updated to version 1.3 back in March, is now much more socially integrated with the backend of Nokia Maps, using Nokia accounts. Users can add photos, reviews and descriptions of locations, which will subsequently be available to other users on devices or at maps.nokia.com

Everyone has a favourite place in mind so Nokia has added synchronisation for user favourites across the service. Any locations listed as a favourite on Windows Phone will be present on the web, as well as the mobile version available on competitor handsets. Locations, categories and destinations can also be pinned to the home screen on a Lumia Windows Phone for more convenient access.

You can download Nokia Maps from the Nokia Collection on a Lumia Windows Phone or if you're reading this article from your Lumia Windows Phone, just tap on this link to go to the Marketplace listing.

Source: Nokia; Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Summing up the Microsoft E3 Presentation

WP Central

Phew! It's been a hectic morning / afternoon / evening for those who tuned into Microsoft's E3 media briefing presentation, which showcased Halo 4, Xbox SmartGlass, Nike+, Internet Explorer for Xbox, and more. Should you find yourself being in the dark and didn't manage to catch the broadcast that was streamed a few hours ago, fear not as we have you covered from the floor.

So what was announced? From top games to new sport media sources, there's a lot planned for Xbox this year and beyond. Head on past the break with a coffee and supply of biscuits.

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WP Central

Xbox SmartGlass is Microsoft’s strategic move against Apple’s Airplay system (and preemptively against Google TV); it’s an evolution for your Windows Phone, Windows Desktop and Windows 8 Tablets. Why is it the evolution? Because Microsoft’s ecosystem is growing and they are focusing on inter-connectivity with all of their devices (and even those outside of their branding).  No phone left behind, no tablet ignored, no Desktop chained down. Windows 8 is bringing a fresh look and giving users a better feeling experience while they use these devices. 

Microsoft is effectively making their move to make your involvement a complete one with any of their devices. It’s a smart move because Windows 8 may be challenging for some people to learn and get used to. SmartGlass will give people the confidence in Windows 8, that it will not be another Vista, it is changing for the better. It's a straight up consumer feature.

Here’s the breakdown on how each device will pair with Xbox SmartGlass:

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gMaps Pro returns to the Marketplace (Updated)

gMaps Pro for Windows Phone

A few weeks ago, at Google's request, gMaps Pro was pulled from the Windows Phone Marketplace due to a copyright infringement request.

According to the developer Alexey Strakh, gMaps Pro was originally to be hidden from the open Marketplace while the app was re-branded. For some reason (Alexey notes a problem with Microsoft)  the app wasn't hidden and eventually pulled. Gmaps was flagged for violating Google's trademarks, something we reported on earlier as other apps had the same problem.

The skinny of it all is that gMaps Pro v1.23 is now available on the Marketplace but upgrades from previous versions are not possible without paying for the updated version. Because it was pulled or deleted from the Marketplace, v1.23 is considered a new app creation and updates to the old versions not possible.

gMaps Pro

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WP Central

Slacker Radio has announced plans to arrive on the Xbox 360. The service, which is already available on Windows Phone (see our review), will bring  music and content to Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers. The free radio app will be made available on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and will pack Kinect features for gestures and voice commands to be supported.

Over 200 music stations are included in the lineup, with the likes of ESPN and ABC News headlining the selection. Each station can be personalised, ensuring a unique and relevant experience is possible for each user. The catalogue of not only music, but comedy, news and sport content makes Slacker Radio a varied experience with a reportedly 10x larger selection than Pandora.

Check out the press release after the break.

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WP Central

Today, in conjunction with the plethora of E3 announcements, Microsoft has revealed the final plans for the June 20th Dev Summit happening in San Francisco. 

The event initially spanned a couple of days but is now down to one and while details are unannounced, Microsoft teased that this will be a "a sneak peek of of the future of Windows Phone". That can of course only mean one thing, Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo will be revealed, at least in part.

In speaking with some publishers here today, we can expect some demonstrations of some new games for the new OS as well as details for developers. Windows Phone 8 is thought to be introducing 4 display resolutions, dual-core support, native access for gaming, integrated Skype, NFC and other more "high end" features in addition to a new base layer for the OS. Make no mistake, this is a new OS not just an update.

The big questions on everyone's minds revolve around device updates and how much of a "break from the old" developers should expect. No word if this summit will answer all of those questions but at least we'll get a "sneak peek" of what's to come.

Of course, myself and Rafael Rivera will be there to cover the event, providing perspective of what the new changes mean in layman terms. So stay tuned.

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7Dialer celebrates recent update by going on sale

7Dialer for Windows Phone

JDBPocketware, developers of the Windows Phone app Handyscan and SkyManager, have been hard at work improving another one of their apps. To celebrate their hard work on 7Dialer, they're putting the app on sale.

7Dialer is is a utility dialer that allows you to use the dial pad to pull a listing of your contacts that correspond with the letters dialed. On top of that, there is a tabbed page that you can use to pin frequently called contacts.

7Dialer

Additional features with 7Dialer include:

  • Copy and Paste numbers or contact details
  • Automatic contacts syncing
  • Options to call, SMS or email
  • "Call Later" reminders
  • Custom backgrounds for dialer
  • Dial pad sounds
  • Live Tile support
  • Call timers

The dialpad sounds range from the traditional tap sounds to a lightsaber. In just tinkering with 7Dialer, it comes across as a nice alternative to the traditional Windows Phone dialer.

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WP Central

Microsoft held a fairly eventful press presentation at this year's E3, which saw the company unveil new services related to their best selling game console - the Xbox 360. More on these new services later, for now let's get through Xbox SmartGlass. As we previously covered, Xbox SmartGlass will connect the gaming console to other devices, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone as well as competitor platforms (Android and iOS). Think of the Xbox Companion app, but on steroids.

Apps developed for all supported platforms will enable users to control their Xbox 360 and interact with services on the big screen. Microsoft is attempting to transform the bog-standard home television into a Smart TV with the power and connectivity to pull down rich media content from the Internet. As mentioned above, SmartGlass will work with other Windows platforms, but will also be available for iPhone / iPad and Android devices. 

Example: should you happen to be watching a movie while on the go and would like to continue where you left off on the big screen, SmartGlass will enable you to resume the video on the Xbox 360. Gaming will also be taken to a new level with integrated through SmartGlass. A short demonstration was provided in the presentation with the upcoming title Halo 4. Halo Waypoint will come into play by offering lore information on in-game elements, as well as turning the mobile device into a companion device with match requests from friends being accepted on the handset, and then synchronised while in-game on the Xbox.

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WP Central

Attention all Windows Phone users! Liquid Daffodil, the developer brand behind the likes of glƏƏk!, ...I'm a WP7, among other popular apps, has made all apps available for free through June 7th. Starting today, you'll be able to make a saving of $6.96 (£5.36) should you download every app on offer. Why has this deal been applied? ...I’m a WP7! has been awarded 'Best Free App' in the 2012 WP App List Awards, as well as coming 2nd in 'App of the Year'.

A quick recap on what apps are now available for free from the developer:

As illustrated by the image above, this deal will end on June 7th at 7am (PST). Find the QR codes below (in order of appearance above).

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Microsoft Xbox E3 Liveblog!

WP Central

We're here in Los Angeles for Microsoft's big Xbox announcements. Stay tuned as we report the morning's events and you can join in and share your thoughts.

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WP Central

WPDang has reported that the Lumia 900 is set to be released in China on June 16th, which will please those who skipped past the 800c launch to see when the manufacturer was looking to release its more advance brother. The flagship Nokia Windows Phone will be priced to match the iPhone, which is currently around 4,988 CNY (about $780).

While the Windows Phone has been unofficially available since its launch in the U.S., this version will be stripped of certain services and functionality (Xbox LIVE, etc.) Priced at 4,688 CNY (about $730), the fairly expensive Lumia 900 packs a 4.3" display, 8MP rear shooter (with FF camera), 512MB RAM and 16GB storage.

Source: WPDang; via: WPSauce

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Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II

I feel obligated to offer this from the onset: The HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900 are both excellent Windows Phones. There's really not a bad choice between the two. One may suit your tastes better than the other but that doesn't make the one not chosen a bad Windows Phone. Having gotten that out of the way, when the two phones hit the market I found the Titan II more appealing. The larger screen and better camera gave the phone an edge over the Lumia 900. Both screens are high quality but for me, the Titan II appeared more natural and it was easier to view outdoors.

But that initial preference was based on hardware alone. After a few months on the market, a feature beyond the nuts and bolts of these two Windows Phones began to take shape making things a little more difficult to choose between the two. That feature is manufacture support.

Shortly after the Lumia 900 release Nokia set an example of product-support that should be the model for others to follow. There was a bug that dropped data connectivity on a few devices and instead of white washing things, Nokia recognized the problem and distributed a fix within a week of the Lumia 900's release. On top of quickly responding to the problem, Nokia compensated customers for their trouble with a $100 credit.

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WP Central

Welcome to this week's Windows Phone Summary of the Week, which is a special edition should you reside in the UK as this weekend is dedicated to celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. But alas, Windows Phone. Before we crack into the summary itself, we've been taking a look at the best independent games for your smartphone. Speaking of software, our official app celebrated its first Birthday by being offered for nothing at all for a 24-hour period.

Our community forum has witnessed activity with threads regarding the Lumia 900 and its battery life. Should you be experiencing any issues, or would like to engage with other Windows Phone enthusiasts, we recommend you check out our growing community. Lastly E3 is taking place through the next number of days, and Windows Phone Central will be at the front of the action to bring you the latest news about gaming on Windows Phone as well as the Xbox and Windows 8 platforms. Now, let's crack on with the summary after the short break.

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Digital Power

If you're on the cutting edge of Windows Phone hacking and homebrew then you probably have a fully unlocked device with a custom ROM running "Tango" 8773. If so, then you may want to take a look at this latest creation from Zealson over at XDA.

The simple XAP file will launch a mini-app to allow you to change the battery meter to a custom version. The meters have four options available: default, horizontal, vertical and circular with the latter three having a percentage number for a semi-accurate reading of your remaining battery life.

We say semi-accurate as the percentage doesn't get down to the 1% range and instead looks to be at 10% increments. Such a limitation is due to the API though who knows what magic these devs can whip up, so there may be hope for 1% changes too.

Of course as we mentioned at the beginning, only fully-unlocked ROMs can install this and luckily the Titan and Radar are now in that camp too

Source: XDA Forums

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Reminder: Xbox E3 Liveblog tomorrow 9am PDT

 

WP Central

Tomorrow is the semi-kickoff for E3, the big gaming and entertainment expo that's going on here in Los Angeles till Thursday and that means one thing: Microsoft.

Starting at 9am PDT, Microsoft will be showcasing what's coming next for the Xbox 360 including games and perhaps the bigger story, entertainment. Microsoft already launched Amazon Instant Video last week and also teased Smart Glass for Windows Phone. What else is coming? Well our Paul Acevedo speculated on some of that here but we're sure Microsoft also has a few trick up their sleeves.

You can watch the event live on Xbox.com or Spike TV in addition to watching our Liveblog going on during the event--join the chat with us. Afterwards, since we're here in LA covering E3 all week, you can expect us to get some hands on with the latest services and titles coming to Xbox (and Windows Phone) during the day, so stay tuned.

Make sure to check our game-trailers roundup for E3 too to keep you busy in the meantime and join in our forums during the week to discuss all the news.

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E3 2012 Event Forum is now live

WP Central

E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo is coming to the Los Angeles Convention Center tomorrow and Windows Phone Central will be there. The crew will be Daniel Rubino and Paul Acevedo. These guys will be giving up there week and some sleep in hopes of staying on top of all the breaking gaming news. Poor guys, we really feel sorry for them don’t we?

What is E3? Well E3 is the largest gaming event in the world and is open exclusively to members of the industry. The Windows Phone Central Crew qualifies so off we go. You can get all the information on E3 and what we expect to see and do when we get there in this article: Windows Phone Central comes to E3 2012

The WPCentral Forums is the place to go for all the in depth conversations. With that in mind we have opened up a new events forum just for E3. We positioned this new area right at the top of the forum. Every time we have an event like this WPCentral will open a new events area so we can discuss the affair. When the affair is over all the event exclusive content will be moved to our events sub forum.

Why do we do this? Because we love our community and we want to make sure our community members get all the latest information. 

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WP Central

Campaign Live has reported Nokia signing a product placement deal with UK television soap opera Hollyoaks, that will see Lumia Windows Phones being used and promoted in a number of episodes. The show will have characters using the Lumia 800 and 710 Windows Phones with Monster Purity headphones. The village bus stop will also sport Lumia advertisements, starting from July.

As well as the TV promotion, Lumia Windows Phones will be displayed on other platforms that stream the programme, including the Channel 4 website which will reportedly see the devices come to life with two Hollyoaks characters tweeting their on-screen personality. The deal is set to last for an initial four-month period. John Nichols, head of marketing at Nokia UK, had the following to say on the deal:

"This partnership is another example of how we are pushing the Lumia brand in new innovative ways, with a human approach across multiple platforms."

This is a superb move by Nokia as the show is popular with a strong young audience, something the company has admitted it needs to target to rejuvenate the brand.

Source: Campaign Livethanks, Marco300, for the tip!

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A new video of the Sony Ericsson "Julie" (branded "Jolie" in the video) Windows Phone has been published to the Internet. Unfortunately, the company, now Sony Mobile, has continuously stated that they have no immediate plans for Windows Phone. Which is a shame as the handset itself doesn't look half-bad. Slap Windows Phone "Apollo" 8 on there and you could have a winning next-gen slider.

It's interesting to note that this version gives us the impression there's more than one variant of "Julie", as it's an all-black design unlike the earlier prototype we saw pictured. With "Apollo" itself, the next major Windows Phone upgrade, expected to be released later this year, we could see support from Sony Mobile should the platform maintain this steady increase with regards to market share and positive feedback from carriers.

Source: YouTube; thanks, Daniel, for the heads up!

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Nokia Trailers

Hot on the tail of the Dark Knight Rises app for Lumia phones comes Nokia Trailers. The app pulls no punches as it is what it sounds like--an app for viewing all the latest trailers and teaser clips from the latest Hollywood movies.

Nokia Trailers

The app though goes beyond just streaming by allowing you to also download the trailer for offline viewing. In addition you get a cool Live Tile to alert you when new trailers are added to the system so you can keep up on all the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Other features include:

  • Watch list - Set reminders for movies you want to see
  • Share your favorite trailers with friends
  • Locate local theaters nearby 

We'll be honest, we've been looking for such an app for a long time on Windows Phones and this fits the bill nicely. We're big movie fans around here so being able to stream and watch the latest trailers with no garish ads, having reminders for movies and being able to share on our social networks are all pretty cool features. Nice job, Nokia.

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WP Central

The Dark Knight Rises app for Windows Phone is now available to all Lumia handsets. We last looked at the recently released app back when UK retailer Phones 4u announced availability of the limited edition Batman The Dark Knight Rises Lumia 900. Should you not be able to pick up the special Lumia 900, but own a Lumia Windows Phone, don't fear as you can download the app and enjoy the experience.

What's included in the app? Trailers, wallpapers and ringtones, as well as a countdown to when the film is set to premier. Coupled with the counter, the app displays the nearest theatres that will be showing the title, using the location of the user. Directions to theatres are available on-hand so it requires little effort to get planning for the big day.

Should you login and connect to your Foursquare account, you get to choose your side (Batman or Bane) and play a Foursquare-based mini-game titled Claim Gotham City. A map is presented to the user that enables locations to be taken over by either side (checking in), earning points and exclusive content. As well as taking over locations on your own, joint attacks can be performed with other players. It's a fun twist.

WP Central

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WP Central

Red Badger has finally released update 1.7 for Birdsong, the Twitter client for Windows Phone that has been left collecting dust on the shelf for a fair few months. We previously looked at version 1.7 when it was announced on the Red Badger blog that the update would be pushed out soon. 

Without repeating ourselves too much, this version fixes the login issue that users were experiencing, as well as the setting save 'fail' that prevented live tile functionality being enabled. The search has been revamped, which now sports saved searches pulled down from the micro-blogging website. If saved searches weren't enough, the team have also thrown in trending topics functionality.

You can download Birdsong from the Marketplace - we'd recommend a fresh install if you've been experiencing problems with previous versions.

WP Central

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Battleship Superweapons

When Windows Phone Central first wrote about Electronic Arts’ Battleship coming to Windows Phone, we were concerned that it might be a timed exclusive for Nokia phones. Thankfully that has proven not to be the case, as Battleship launches Wednesday, June 6 for all Mango-supported devices. Phew!

Battleship has little to do with the corny movie of the same name. Instead, it’s an adaptation of the popular board game from Milton Bradley. In the Classic game type, two sides take turns blindly firing at each other, trying to find and destroy the other’s ships. Salvo mode works much like classic, but moves faster than traditional games because you’re allowed to fire as many shots per turn as you have remaining ships.

Battleship Bombs

The videogame-exclusive Superweapon mode adds a variety of new weapons to the gameplay. These weapons unlock based on ships sunk across all game modes, tying the whole package together. We’re pleased to bring you the first official screenshots of Superweapon mode... As you can see, it also jazzes battles up with 3D graphics. Don't worry, Classic still looks like the game you remember.

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E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo kicks off with Microsoft’s press conference this Monday, June 4. We’ve already outlined our predictions and plans for the event, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing new to share right now. A number of developers have released trailers of the console games they’re showcasing at E3 ahead of time.

First up is Skulls of the Shogun from Haunted Temple Games and Microsoft Studios. Skulls is a beautiful and fast-paced strategy game that’s scheduled to arrive on Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8, and Windows Phone as an Xbox Live title. We’ll be playing it at E3, so look forward to our impressions!

Head past the break for a big batch of E3 Xbox 360 game trailers!

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