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Windows Phone Game Review: Kill Zombies for Money

Kill Zombies for Money

Zombies continue to invade the Windows Phone Marketplace. Kill Zombies for Money is one of the latest installments and is a multi-level, multi-game mode, fast action title where...wait for it...you have to obliterate zombie hordes.

You play the role of the mercenary searching various areas of the game, tackling missions, earning gold, and making sure the zombies don't make it out alive. Kill Zombies for Money is a decent game for your Windows Phone that is challenging enough to keep you interested for short bits of time.

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WP Central

Okay folks, we asked and you answered. Yesterday we posted an open discussion on what you thought were some missing features from Windows Phone 8, knowing what we know so far (which is actually a lot due to the SDK leak). We were curious and Microsoft is curious.

In turn we received over 600 well thought out and detailed comments on the issue and we poured over it, trying to distil the top requests.

Looking over the comments we picked what we thought were the top nine most requested and talked about features that are evidently missing in ‘Apollo’. You can now vote on those nine by choosing the top three features that you want the most come to Windows Phone.

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HTC

HTC has released its audited Q2 2012 earnings report today, which keep in line with unaudited results we touched on last month. According to the report, HTC generated revenues of NT$91.04 billion (~$3.04 billion), while net income sat at NT$7.4 billion (~$247 million) between March and June this year. The company's gross margin was 27.01% with an operating margin of 9%. 

HTC expects a tough Q3 and we will be looking out for further decreases in revenue, profit and operating margins in the next financial report. Revenues are expected to be in the region of NT$70-80 billion, with a gross margin and operating margin of 25% and 7% respectively. Should the handset maker continue to dwindle slowly south in the third quarter of this year, it'll paint a rather bleak picture compared to the height of success back in Q3 2011, with reported revenues of NT$135.82 billion (~$4.53 billion).

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Markets & Me

We previously looked at Markets & Me, a stock portfolio management app for Windows Phone, earlier in the year. We praised the work by the developer, who managed to create a beautiful experience for those who are interested in checking out the markets, or who have a heavy inventory full of stock. You may have seen Windows Phone Central use the app while taking shots for other stories.

Version 2.0 has been in development for some time and we're pleased to relay the announcement that it has been submitted to the Marketplace. We expect the Markets & Me update to go live sometime next week. So, what's included in this latest release? 

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Nokia ESPN Radio app coming soon

Nokia has announced that ESPN Radio is coming to the Windows Phone Nokia Collection. The Nokia ESPN Radio app will bring over thirty five ESPN Radio podcasts and all ESPN Radio stations to your Lumia Windows Phone.

In addition to the podcasts you will be able to listen to every game of the World Series, College Bowl Games, the BCS Championship game, US Open Golf and every college football game that ESPN Radio broadcasts (War Eagle!). Each station you tune into you can view the programming and the Twitter feed.  You can also tag stations as favorites for easy access.

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Although we don’t use our phone-as-an-alarm all to often, clearly many of you do, so it’s always nice to have options out there to entertain. Especially free options. Such is the case with ‘627 AM’ which is available now on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

The app is simple, clever but most importantly…simply gorgeous. It features the current temperature, weekly forecast, independent daily alarms and a to-do list all on a single, well designed screen.

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Skulls of the Shogun red

Our recent visit to 17-BIT, Seattle-based makers of upcoming Xbox Live strategy title Skulls of the Shogun included a studio tour and interview with founder Jake Kazdal. As much as I enjoyed those parts of the visit, I was still dying to get my hands on the game itself once again. We had a few minutes with the Windows Phone game at E3, but that wasn’t much time to get a grasp on the story mode. Luckily, this time I got to play through the entire first campaign level as well as set up a Skulls Anywhere online game. See our latest hands-on video after the break!

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Remigrate Outlook Address

With the launch of Microsoft's new Outlook.com, which is set to replace its current Live (formerly Hotmail) email service, a number of Windows Phone owners quickly acted to save their desired @outlook.com email address. All good and dandy, but using the new Outlook address in place of your Live ID is a separate matter.

Should you decide to completely replace your Live ID with your new Outlook address, then you'll be required to reset your Windows Phone to be able to make use of integrated services and the Marketplace. This is a pain for those who have a lot of apps installed and have the device set up to the way that suits the owner. The good news is that all your purchases are saved and moved across to the new Outlook address, but what if you weren't aware of the fact you'd need to reset your device and don't wish to do so?

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ARMED! Updated

Here at Windows Phone Central, we’re all big fans of strategy title ARMED! from Dallas-based indie developer Sickhead Games. Among the game’s many qualities are sharp 3D graphics, intuitive controls, online multiplayer, and of course, plenty of strategic depth. Not only that, but Sickhead has regularly updated the game since its release, tweaking and improving a variety of elements with each patch.

The latest update, version 1.6 is no less impressive than previous updates. The update just went live so look for it pushing out any time.  We've got the full list of changes to share with you, the most impressive of which is the new price: $2.99, down from $3.99. That and more ARMED! news after the break.

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WP Central

Now that the dust has settled, the previously rumored story that Microsoft was ditching the term ‘Metro’ seems to be holding true.

The claim was that the German company Metro AG made a complaint to Microsoft over the term and while it seems specious to us it was evidently enough to get Microsoft to immediately cease all usage of the name.

Ed Bott over at ZDNet has a good article articulating the point that Microsoft was not using ‘Metro’ as a code-name but instead used it dozens of times in press conferences, keynotes and developer documentation thereby making it offiial. In turn, he finds their public reasoning for abandoning the term ludicrous. We agree.

Microsoft is expected to reveal a follow-up name to Metro, used to describe their minimalist design principle based off of metro (airport, subway) signage, sometime in the next week. While we wait for that name to drop, we want to know what you think it should be called?

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WP Central

…and when we say "borrow", we’re being generous. As it turns out, the HTC Titan over at XDA has been getting some custom-ROM-love and a new one called 'WPV 8779 Nokia Edition v3' has certainly raised the bar.

The ROM of course requires a full-unlock, something that was achieved a few months ago for those who want to go through the somewhat arduous process. But what makes this ROM interesting is the inclusion of some of Nokia’s platform exclusive apps made to work with the Titan.  Such apps include Camera Extras, Counter and Contact Share. That is a fairly nice start even if Nokia would frown upon such practices.

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WhatsApp

Many Windows Phone owners noticed this morning they could no longer see WhatsApp, the popular messaging service, in the Marketplace. WhatsApp was bumped to version 2.0 back in May earlier this year and we can't think of a reason why it would vanish from view without prior warning - though we've almost grown used to this occurring with many other apps disappearing.

We've reached out to the WhatsApp team and will update this article accordingly. Of course, in the meantime there are plenty of alternative apps on the Marketplace, Kik being a popular alternative. Should you already have the app installed, fear not as the service works as one would expect. As for those who don't and wish to download it, we'll hopefully have more information for you soon.

Update: The app has not been completely pulled from the Marketplace as the hard link still links to it. Instead, the app has been marked as 'private' probably on error by someone--that mode is for when it is in closed-beta testing. WhatsApp could be re-working the app and may have another version going live soon (this is what happened with the CNN app the other day). We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can still see the app from this link though downloading is not allowed due to the 'private' status.

Update 2: WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton responded to the fan site WhatsAppen.com noting that their team hopes to submit a new version to the Marketplace soon. No other details were given but this sounds like an execution error rather than something more deleterious.

We're starting to suspect that WhatsApp will begin charging for the app (it's $0.99 on other platforms) and this is the changeover period. 

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Photo Effects

WP Central Roundup: Photo Effects

Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Photo Effects Apps

There's very little argument that the camera is one of the center pieces of our Windows Phone. We use it to capture the moments in time that are special and sharing them. We've touched on several photo editing apps for our Windows Phones in the past (Thumba, Fhotoroom, Fantasia Painter, etc.) and this week's round up focuses on those editing apps that simply apply effects to our pictures.  

These are the apps that apply artistic filters, frames, and the sort to give our photos a little flair and pizzazz. They turn a color photo into a black and white image, give the image a sepia filter for that antique feel, or presents your photos in a Polaroid styled frame. No cropping, exposure editing, etc.  Just effects with a little framing thrown in for good measure.

As always, if we've left out a title that you would recommend, it shouldn't reflect poorly on things. If we've missed one, feel free to chime in down below in the comments.

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WP Central

Windows 8-Style UI? Ewww...

Just as things were getting good for Microsoft word is coming out that the word “Metro” may be problematic for the company. 

The term ‘Metro’ is reportedly being claimed as a trademark for German company Metro AG and it will no longer be used by Microsoft, effective immediately. Ars Technica is reporting that Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs team sent out a memo banning the word "Metro” from all public usage which is a sign that something is awry.

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SuperBallmer

Frank Shaw, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, published an interesting article on the official blog today. The post details how Microsoft has been running what appears to be a sprint with consecutive releases of Windows Phone updates, Windows 8 previews and the desktop OS recently hit RTM. Things are going well at Redmond, which is painting Microsoft in a completely different light to what consumers are used to.

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WP Central

As the title implies, we’re looking for your input on what is missing from Windows Phone 8.  Yes, it’s a somewhat of an odd question because as you know, Microsoft has not “officially” unveiled the entire consumer features of our waiting-in-the-wings OS. But you do know what we’ve shown you from the leaked SDK. Moreover, we know for a fact that some people back in Redmond want to know your thoughts on what you’ve seen so far—otherwise we wouldn’t be asking.

So consider this an unofficial-official survey of the largest Windows Phone community on the Internet...

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ESPN Fantasy Football app in the works

ESPN Fantasy Football app in the works

If you're into ESPN's fantasy football, you will be pleased to hear that the ESPN Fantasy Football app is headed to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Not much is known on the details but the app will feature fantasy team management, live scoring, news from the NFL, tweets from fantasy experts, and messaging boards.

This will be the first year ESPN's Fantasy Football app will be offered for Windows Phone and expected release is mid-August. Once we spot the app in the Marketplace, we'll let you know.

Source: tvbythenumbers; Thanks, Ken, for the tip!

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VizAge

Dare to find out how old you look?

We're rather familiar with Mendzapp on windows Phone. The small UK student start-up brought us both Travelnapp and YuleTile (charity focused Christmas app), which were both unique and interesting projects. We especially love seeing indie developers advance and create more immersive and better looking apps, which is exactly what these guys are doing. We met up with James from Mendzapp at the previous WPUG for a good ol' pint and a chatter about his current projects and what's next in the pipeline. 

James recently got in touch with us about a new app called VizAge, which is basically an app that uses face recognition technology to calculate an estimation of one's age. It really is as humorous as it sounds. Whether you're on your own and wish to quickly see how old the system believes you to be, or you're out with friends and decide to see who looks older than their actual age, VizAge provides ample fun in such a small and simple app.

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The Times newspaper app

The official Times newspaper app for Windows Phone

Good news for our UK friends as the Times official newspaper app for Windows Phone has just gone live in the Marketplace. The app is well designed and brings the daily paper and even the Sunday Times right to your favorite Windows Phone all for free.

Well, it’s free if you have a subscription. That’s right, much like the New York Times app for Windows Phone, the Times of London will allow you to test drive their services for 30 days but afterwards you will need a subscription to continue the service.

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Shoot1UP

We’ve been following Shoot1UP, the vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up from Mommy’s Best Games and Microsoft Studios, for quite a while now. We first previewed the game way back in October 2011, and most recently got some hands-on time with it at E3. Thankfully Shoot1UP’s release finally draws near, as it lands this very month. Details and official trailer after the break.

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Orlando Microsoft Store

Microsoft is set to unveil its Orlando FL store in style with a live performance from Flo Rida to help draw crowds. We previously looked at a list of possible Microsoft Store openings and this one's pretty much spot on with the company opening its doors to The Florida Mall.

The Microsoft Store will open on August 16th at 9:30am with the grand opening ceremony at 10:00am. Complimentary wristbands will be distributed to the first 200 people who visit the store, which are required to jam with Flo Rida on August 18th. Of those 200 wristbands, one will grant the wearer access to meet the artist in person after the live show, which doesn't sound half bad. We wonder if a free Surface tablet is involved (once released)?

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WP Central

With the re-launch of Hotmail as Outlook.com Microsoft has garnered a lot of adoration from the media and the public, especially when Google just announced the indefinite delay of their Nexus Q orb. As far as PR this week: Microsoft 1, Google 0.

One of the main features that Microsoft is touting with Outlook.com is that they won’t scan your email to deliver personalized ads—a clear shot at Google’s Gmail ad-machine. They have even set up a simple ‘how to’ on switching from Gmail to Outlook.

But with no personalized ads based on the contents of your email, how is Microsoft making money?

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NAB Banking

NAB (National Australia Bank) and Microsoft have been collaborating on an official mobile banking app, which is soon to be released to the Windows Phone Marketplace. According to data compiled in a report over at WPDownUnder, NAB customers are into not only mobile banking, but they prefer to use developed apps for supported platforms. 80% of those who use Internet banking while on the move, do so with official apps from the Australian bank.

After calls and cries for an app since late 2010, NAB has officially announced an app is currently working its way through the Windows Phone Marketplace approval process and WPDownUnder expects the app to be available by August 8th. Should you be a customer and own a Windows Phone, be prepared to get highly excited at what's on the horizon regarding features and functionality to enhance your mobile banking experience.

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Matchy takes MTN 'Windows Phone App of the Year' award

Matchy MTN Award

Matchy is a Windows Phone indie puzzle game developed by our own RogueCode at a previous Nokia Lumia hackathon in Durban, South Africa. Attending developers had just 48 hours to create a brand new Windows Phone app from scratch. While this may not sound overly difficult to the average consumer, it can prove difficult for the individual who has to go from concept in the mind to working prototype in a prompt fashion. Luckily he pulled through and created Matchy before the time was up.

We last looked at Matchy when it was released on the Marketplace for everyone to enjoy. Now we're pleased to announce that it has won "Windows Phone App of the Year" at the recent MTN (website) mobile app awards. To recap on the game itself - the gist of Matchy is to rotate objects into position on the screen to match the provided shadow. Four game modes are available for the player to enjoy, which are 1 minute sprint, 3 minute rush, 6 minute run and Continuous. The last option gives the player just six seconds to solve each puzzle, consider it the challenge mode for those with speedy reactions and a sharp mind.

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