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We've had quite a few updates to some major apps today, so lets recap on what we got, shall we?

First up is Netflix, gets bumped to version 1.5. Is this the big Mango update with tons of cool new features that we've been hoping for? Nope. Just a plain Jane "bug fixes" update with nothing new, as far as we can tell. Find something we missed? Let us know in comments. Pick up v1.5 here in the Marketplace.

Next is MSN Movies. A nice freebie app from Microsoft that for some reason has ads (how tacky for a MS app, sorry), this baby though got a nice Mango update today. Hooray! So you get some fast-app switching and the ability to pin movies (but not theaters?) to your start menu. This is actually a pretty nice, minimalist movie show times app with trailers and movie news on board too, so it's worth checking out. Give v1.3 a spin here in the Marketplace.

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Third party Pandora app coming to Windows Phone

The other day, we demoed Justin Angel's proof-of-concept Pandora Radio app for Windows Phone. The concept was meant to show that Pandora's system and formats were extremely compatible with Windows Phone and that there's little reason for them to not release an app.

Since we have no final word on if Pandora is bringing an official player to Windows Phone (or anytime soon), Justin has evidently heeded the call of many who asked: He'll release his own Pandora app.

That's good news for us, especially since Angel is more than a competent developer--just give his United Nations News (video) or Neurons (video) apps a spin to get an idea of his excellent work. Speaking of...where are those Mango updates, Justin? :-P

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Windows Phone CV apps?

In the world of job hunting, producing an effective curriculum vitae (CV) aka resume for you yanks, is your best chance to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Uploading the finished document to job sites, attaching it to cover letters and more are just a number of ways to branch out and increase reach for yourself. We've now come across a different approach to publishing your CV to the mass. MonWindowsPhone has found a French CV for Thibaut Legendre in the Marketplace, which is reportedly the second app of its kind internationally.

While it may be different, original, available to thousands as a download and stand out, is the Marketplace really the place for CVs to be published? I'm not sure, probably not. It's the same principle as spam and useless apps. Even though this kind of app is genuine, there's little to no functionality and purpose for the average user. Should a trend kick off where we end up with thousands of CVs on the Marketplace, would we all be smiling?

I pass the question onto you, would you like to see a number of CV apps on the Marketplace? I'm thinking of charging £1.99 to download mine, should I develop one.

Source: MonWindowsPhone

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Boryana Miloshevska, over at WindowsPhoneGeek, has published an ebook today that covers Silverlight development for Windows Phone 7.5. The book itself contains 246 pages separated into 22 chapters. Full source code is available and the book contains all the controls from the Windows Phone Toolkit, plus it's up-to-date with Mango. Developers who are looking to start out with Silverlight on Windows Phone should definitely check this free resource out.

Check out the list of chapters and download links after the break.

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Even though Navigon's Windows Phone app, NAVIGON, and the NAVIGON Traffic4all app are already available over at the Marketplace, we've received official notice from Navigon on the release of these two apps. Even though the release is dated yesterday and there's not much new in the press release, there is one little blurb about pricing we thought was important enough to follow up on.

According to the press release, the $29.99 price tag on the U.S. version of NAVIGON is an introductory price. The introductory price will run until 11/15/2011 when the price will jump to $49.99. We are trying to get clarification from Navigon if the $69.99 price for the European version is discounted as well.

As we mentioned earlier, the Traffic4All is a free, ad-supported app or you can pay $1.49 to remove the ads.

We're still working on a full review of NAVIGON and should have that posted in the next day or so. We'll try to give you a better picture on how good or bad NAVIGON performs plus how it compares to a few other navigation apps that are available for your Windows Phone.

In the meantime, you can find the U.S. version of NAVIGON here in the Windows Phone Marketplace, the European version of NAVIGON here and NAVIGON Traffic4all here in the Marketplace.  You can read the full presser from Navigon after the break.

Update: Just got tipped by Antonino over at Plaffo.com that the European pricing is an introductory offer as well.  Up until 11/15/2011 the price for the European version will be 59.49 Euros.  After the 15th, the price jumps to 84.99 Euros. 

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Although we're note exactly hearing anyone clamoring for an Acer Windows Phone, at least not with the reported specs that the Allegro has on board, it's still nice to see a low to mid range offering for those in the market.

TelecomPaper is reporting that the Acer Allegro is set to go on sale in Europe this holiday season (think Christmas) for EUR 299, which ain't exactly cheap for Europe, it isn't too bad either.

We're guessing that the Allegro is simply the W4, a device we've seen making a few appearances here and there. To refresh, the W4/Allegro has the following specs:

  • 3.6-inch WVGA Capacitive screen,
  • Screen Resolution: 480×800
  • 5mp Camera with auto-focus.
  • HSPA 850/1900 or 900/2100 /GSM quad band 850/900/ 1800/ 1900 MHz Support.
  • Qualcomm MSM 8255 running at 1GHz (same processor as in the Xperia Play)
  • Wifi, Bluetooth 2.1
  • DLNA Support
  • Windows Phone Mango
  • 8GB Storage

So it's basically a Mango phone with Gen 1 features. Not bad, not great. Thanks, TheWeeBear, for the heads up!

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Although we have Navigon, INRIX, Garmin and a host of other navigation/traffic apps out there, Waze is still one of those that many are waiting for to hit Windows Phone. For those who forgot, Waze is a combo GPS, social-network and traffic app that relies on use-interaction for live, up to date traffic data. With 4.5 million users, especially on the iPhone, it's become quite the app to have for those who do the daily commute.

The bad news is, don't expect an official client anytime soon, an odd omission considering that Microsoft has invested in the company. But as least way back in December, Waze was not on board with WP7 (perhpas they've changed their mind though).The good news is there is an unofficial version built off of their public APIs, meaning you can basically enjoy the benefits of Waze without their support.

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AT&T HD7S Mango update starting today [Rumor]

Although AT&Ts Mango update program has generally been quite successful, there are a few missing pieces: Samsung Focus v1.4, the Dell Venue Pro and the HTC HD7S are still missing.

Looks like that last one, the HD7S, may be getting Mango slightly sooner than expected. The original leaked plans aimed for an end of October ETA, but now it seems they may have wrapped up testing earlier than expected. WinRumors received an internal AT&T letter stating that the Mango update for the 4.3" screen device should be starting today.

From part of the letter that WinRumors received:

"On October 11, 2011, Microsoft is scheduled to begin rolling out the new Mango 7720 update to AT&T customers with existing HTC HD7S Windows Phone 7 devices. The update supports the same enhancements that began rolling out to AT&T customers using HTC Surround, LG Quantum, and Samsung Focus devices in late September."

Going to the official Windows Phone support page, we see in fact that the HD7S is in "scheduling" meaning a switch to "delivering" is easily done. However, the Focus v1.4 is still in testing and the Dell Venue Pro...well...

"The HTC HD7S is currently Scheduling, while the Samsung Focus v. 1.4 is Testing and the Dell Venue Pro is in Planning."

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Welcome to the summary of the week, folks! Apologies for the late coming, unfortunately the British rail network let me down over the weekend and I was left stranded in Chatham, Kent, without phone and laptop chargers. Spending a good 24 hours with little Internet access was no fun, but I digress. Kicking off this summary we have episode 126 of the wpcentral Podcast and our Dave is back with what you could be missing out on over at our Windows Phone forum. Head on past the break for the full run down.

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Apple files for "In-App Purchasing" patent

Apple is continuing the patent war with a new updated entry of the "In-App Purchasing" application they filed back in April of 2010. This update appears to cover most functionality of present app stores that allow the user to purchase additional content within an app. What's more is the patent also covers variations on the process, including the use of HTML 5 web apps.

Let's not forget that the previous Apple trademark injunction against Amazon for "App Store" was declined due to being too broad of a term. Is in-app purchasing really something that Apple patent? What do you guys think?

Source: The Inquisitor

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NAVIGON has landed in the Marketplace and boasts to transform your Windows Phone into a fully functional mobile navigation system. A system every bit as good as a personal navigation device.

We'll be taking NAVIGON out for a test drive over the next few days but here's what we know. It's a HUGE download. 1.6GB for the US version and 2.3GB for the Europe version.

When you buy the $29.99 app ($69.99 for Europe) from the Marketplace you only install the shell of the app. When you first launch NAVIGON, you are prompted that additional files are required and due to the size you'll need to connect to a Wifi Network or your computer. Once you hit the download confirmation, sit back, relax, have a snack and watch the progress meter move along ever so slowly.

Hit the break for more information on the latest Windows Phone navigation app and a video short take on NAVIGON.

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Nokia ring tone contest winner announced

We previously covered the contest Nokia was holding for an updated version of their well known ring tone. It has been altered in the past, but the winning tune for this competition has taken the ring tone, added some dub and a bit of step (gettin' down with the kids), and produced a constructed-reality-alternating mix, which is guaranteed to either blow your ears off should your headphones be on with the volume up, or freak out nearby passengers on public transport.

Valerio Alessandro Sizzi, an Italian DJ, is the brains and creativity behind the new tone that is sure to send him straight through the popularity chambers. This 24-second version of the iconic ringtone will be loaded onto 100 million handsets, which will be shipped globally. Valerio has earned $10,000 in prize money, has beat 6,200 other entries and won the minds of the seven judges.

The panel of judges included Kai Bronner, one of the founders of Audio Branding Academy; Julian Treasure, known for his TED talks and author of "Sound Business"; and Mark Dewings, head of Brand & Marketing Communications at SoundCloud. Nokia’s own SVP of Design, Marko Ahtisaari, was also on the jury.

"I never expected my version to be so popular and to be highly rated by Nokia, but hey! Nice surprise. I made a dubstep version of the Nokia Tune because the style has become massively popular during the last two years. I just thought that a sparkling, cool version of the Nokia Tune would attract young customers."

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Yes, NAVIGON is having a big day today. They've released their famous GPS mapping software to the masses and we'll have our video/hands on up in a few. Until then, you can grab their ad-supported Traffic4All app in the Marketplace (or pay $1.49 for no ads).

The app is powered by INRIX, of which we already have a free version in the Marketplace. So why use Traffic4All? Dare we say it's much better than INRIX's attempt--you're getting NAVIGON's maps, INRIX's traffic info and the layout is much more smooth and easier to manage.

We really dig the forecast option, or more specifically, how it's implemented. Scrolling is also nice and smooth and the options seem top notch. Full feature list:

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Joining Digitec today is Expansys in Canada, who is now also shipping the HTC Titan and Radar. What's more is according to the Expansys Top 20 best selling handsets this week, the HTC Titan is ranked number 2 behind the Samsung Galaxy S II Android device. Not bad!

If HTC isn't your cup of tea, remember that Expansys is stocking the Omnia W too for Europeans.

Source: Expansys, thanks Jean-Philippe for the tip!

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From the WPCentral Forums...

WE HAVE RING TONES”. You wanted some ring tones and the WPC Community has come through. The Mango update gave Windows Phones the ability to add custom Ring Tones and the great members of the WPC Forums are working hard to make sure we have plenty to choose from.  So came check out this thread, it’s a must see.

Do we need another major update? Some folks think so in user-generated poll by blackhawk556. Come voice your opinion on the matter as there' some interesting discussions going on.  Moving on to other issues, could Windows Phone fail as a platform? While it's a solid OS, it's all about gaining traction in the market--which so far hasn't happened. What say you? While your thinking through those topics maybe you can help us welcome 'archer75' to the club or maybe you’re the one who just go their first Windows Phone? Curious about the HTC Titan? Listen to what member 'shaunydub' has to say on his new toy. Now for those of us on Sprint and Verizon 'mmaman' has a message for us "As an AT&T user I feel bad for you other carriers...".

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Digitec shipping HTC Titan and Radar

We were already aware that Digitec were pushing Windows Phone with their mobile prospect for October, featuring some handsets with the HTC Titan on the front cover, but now we've got word that the retailer is shipping both the Titan and Radar from online ordering. Fantastic news should you reside in Switzerland!

Digitec has priced the Titan and Radar at CHF 599 ($663) and CHF 399 ($442) respectively.

Source: Digitec HTC Titan & Radar, thanks Pascal for the tip!

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Some future Windows Phone devs just had their day made as Nokia is evidently prepared to give out some free Nokia Windows Phones to woo them over.

Details are coming in now, but the story is there is a Nokia Windows Phone Training event going on in London today, where Nokia is demonstrating the power and capability of Windows Phone to new devs. A few tweets from developers and bloggers (Rafe Blandford, Mehdi El Gueddari and Nash Bansal) who are attending, confirm that Nokia has committed to giving the gift that keeps on giving--a new Nokia phone.

Sure, they're not getting the phones today (only after announced), but it's clear that Nokia and Microsoft are serious about bringing over new developers to the platform. What better way to pique interest than a free Nokia phone, eh?

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We're kind of big fans of the app "...I'm a WP7!" as it's elegantly designed, feature rich and well, it's free. We mentioned v3.2 a few weeks ago, including some new features that were on the way and today, you can grab that update.

Here are the new additions:

  • Download Wallpapers & Ringtones
  • Task “Extras” like Wi-Fi and Airplane Mode access, even a fun little WP7 Flashlight
  • The GamerHub™ (this is a BIG COOL FEATURE) with Gamer “MeetUps”
  • Tons of Live Tile integration, essentially all areas can now be pinned: Messaging, Forums, GamerHub™, Tips & Tricks

The gamer meetups are pretty awesome--basically if you're a Gears of War fan, or enjoy online multiplayers, it's a quick way to call up a bunch of folks from the community for a match up. You also get gamer news integrated right into the app, which is convenient.

But for the wallpapers and ringtones alone, it seems silly not to pick up this app. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

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It looks like Microsoft is going to get some well-needed assistance in promoting Windows Phone.  According to Andy Lees, president of Microsoft’s mobile unit, Samsung and HTC have both argeed to upping their marketing budgets, which may include everything from advertising to retail staff to pique consumer interest.  It's a great move for Microsoft, who seems to have struggled with promoting Windows Phone themselves.  Gartner, Inc. analyst, Michael Gartenberg agrees that while WP7 is a solid product, it lacks the PR:

“From a technical perspective, it really does put them on par with the other competitors, but a lot of times Microsoft gets it right with the technology and then fumbles the marketing message.“

He also added that Windows Phone has seen its fair share of retailer bias, which has been reported on previously:

"If you went to store they showed you anything other than a Windows Phone. If you asked for a Windows Phone, they tried to talk you out of it.”

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New Nokia 800 Windows Phone ads emerge

We mentioned on the podcast that we'll be seeing a lot of Nokia Windows Phone news in the run up to Nokia World. Sure enough, we're not getting a glance at reportedly new ads for the Nokia 800/SeaRay/Lumia.

With an interesting almost retro-tile background (seriously, looks kind of late 70's), featuring only distance or partial shots of the phone, clearly the ad is more about style and the print than focusing on the phone itself. That's not a bad thing because this is certainly eye catching and we all know, Windows Phone needs a little pizazz in their marketing.

So, what do you folks think? Yay or nay?

Source: Pocketnow

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Andy Lees talks dual-core CPUs and 4G LTE

Andy Lees recently spoke about the current state of Windows Phone and the direction that the hardware that carries it is heading.  He confirmed that both dual-core processors and 4G LTE are on the way.  It has been known for a while now that Qualcomm and ST-Ericsson would be bringing dual-core computing to WP7 devices.  When he was asked why they weren't already, Lees defended the decision saying,

“They’re all single core, but I suspect that they will be faster in usage than any dual-core phone that you put against it, and that’s the point." 

He went on to explain that it was a  practical decision to stick to single-core CPUs until the operating system was set to take advantage of anything greater.  With Microsoft trying to break into the mobile phone marketplace, it makes sense to keep costs down on handsets if it doesn't affect performance. 

The motivation behind not including 4G support appeared to be equally as pragmatic. 

“The first LTE phones were big and big (users) of the battery, and I think it’s possible to do it in a way that is far more efficient, and that’s what we will be doing,” Lees explained. 

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Justin Angel, Silverlight and Windows Phone developer, has done some digging around the Pandora AIR app as well as their service in general and has come to a single conclusion: this is all very compatible with Windows Phone 7. Which raises the obvious question: Where's the app?

In a series of Tweets, Justin breaks down what he finds:

"Playing a @pandora_radio "internal-tuner.pandora.com" MP4 on my WP7 right now. From a technical perspective a WP7 Pandora app is quite easy."

"Finished decompiling @pandora_radio AIR app. this can DEFINITELY be ported to WP7. It's all JSON auth and MP4s. WTF Pandora? Just port this."

"@pandora_radio you've got some 'splainin to do! Your format matches WP7 specs to the letter. Where's your WP7 app?"

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WeatherMaster - App Spotlight

No argument here. There are a lot of weather apps available for your Windows Phone. You have the full gambit from Accuweather to WeatherLive. You can now add WeatherMaster to the pot and it ain't too shabby of an addition.

WeatherMaster's main page displays the current conditions for your current GPS location and a seven day forecast (includes the current day). At the bottom of the screen are button controls to:

  • View a detailed page on the forecast (breaks things down hourly)
  • Pull up a weather map with satellite and radar layers.  You can even add cities to your forecast list from the map.
  • Add cities
  • Delete the current location

Additionally, from the "three-dot" menu you can access the apps settings, refresh the information and read about the application.

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Weather Channel App gets mangofied

We've received numerous tips this morning on the Windows Phone weather app Weather. Weather is the official Weather Channel app for your Windows Phone and it has been updated to version 1.7. The update Mangofies the app.

There are a few cosmetic changes to the app but the most noticeable change is the Mango fast resume and multiple live tile support. You can now pin any forecast city to your Start Menu and un-pin the tile from with the Weather.

From your location list, go into the edit screen and you'll see three options. One to give the location a nickname, one to set the location as your default location, and another to show as a live tile. Check the box to show the location as a live tile, save and the tile is created on your Start Screen. Un-check the box and the tile is removed.

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