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WP Central

The AdDuplex team have announced on their blog today a new referral feature, which Windows Phone developers can now take advantage of. The advertising service is available for all developers on the platform and offers a more effective way to promote apps, while making use of any in-app advertisement positions. 

We previously interviewed Alan Mendelevich, who heads up the network, and we were also fortunate enough to meet him at a previous WPUG meetup. Should you be interested in the presentation Mendelevich provided, we covered the slides used. Back to the newly announced referral feature. To say "thank you" to those who bring other developers to the network, AdDuplex now offers a small impression bonus when referring a friend.

WP Central

As one can see from the above chart, the referrer receives 5% of the impressions served by apps developed by this user for the next 6 months. To incentivise the referral to actually sign-up using the link, they will also receive 5% more impressions, as opposed to using a normal link. Refer a number of people and you'll begin to see a substantial increase of impressions, which should help with promoting your Windows Phone app(s).

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WP Central

The Windows Phone UK team are set to host a memorable evening in London at the end of the month. The into Live Session is a planned music event, which will feature artist performances including the popular Noisettes. The evening is expected to be a fairly packed house at the Proud in Camden.

There will also be a number of surprises to be explored. Room-to-room Skype chats, the Nokia Amazing Collective room and getting dared by Windows Phone to name but a few. If that wasn't enough, the team will be supplying two free drinks on the night to attendees. If you remember Pepper, the live music social networking app / service, the team have partnered with Windows Phone UK to host a "Battle of the Bands" contest, where you get to decide which of the four available artists will kick-start the evening. Simply head to the YouTube playlist and "like" any one video. 

The event will take place at Proud, Camden on 30th May. You can sign up for free entry at EventBrite (limited number of tickets available). Windows Phone Central will, as usual and as you'd expect by now, be showing our faces to cover the event should you not be able to attend it. If you do so happen to come along, be sure to keep an eye on my Twitter (@RichEdmonds) for info of our exact location on the night.

Source: Windows Phone UK, Into Live Session (Facebook)

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WP Central

Ah, Facebook. We don't really get nor use it very often but we recognize that we're in the minority on that one. We also have those friends who meticulously and methodically check their status, friend count, "Likes" and what have you numerous times a day.

For those people, we humbly direct you towards Friend Tracker, the new app from Rudy Huyn (TVShow, MyEncyclopedia, Fuse, etc.). The app is simple enough: it looks through your contacts who are synced with Facebook and/or Live and keeps track of who's there, who's not and showing you a graph of the number of friends and activity.

According to the app's "How it works" section, Windows Phone checks this about once a day. But if you really want "real time" you can have the app login to your account and pull down the info on a much more frequent basis, like every 30 minutes or so.

It's a nifty little addition and completely free. Plus like all of Huyn's apps, really elegant. Here are some of the other features:

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There's no shortage of those with creativity in the Windows Phone universe but here's one that will surely blow you away.

Musical talent Matt Oglesby stitched together this 'Metro' song using nothing but his Nokia Lumia 800 and some free music apps found on the Marketplace. The result? After two hard days he cobbled together what you see and hear above. Color us impressed.

Head to Matt's site to get the full skinny on how he mixed everything. Let's see if anyone else can match him and maybe we can get a Metro Holiday album started. For those curious, here is what he used for Windows Phone apps found in the Marketplace:

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Microsoft's Jeff Fong

One of the main reasons so many of us like Windows Phone is because the UI design is not only unique but equally mesmerizing. From Windows Media Center to Zune HD to Windows Phone, the Metro UI lineage is as clear as the subway signs it's based on.

The popular and influential business magazine Fast Company has named the Design Lead for Windows Phone, Jeff Fong, #81 in their 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2012. Not only is that a heck of an honor it's a telltale sign of the continued influence Metro is having on the mainstream, something that we'll see a lot more of when Windows 8 drops this fall. From the Fast Company entry for Fong:

"Airports may be frustrating, but give them this: "The signage is so clean, pure, and direct, it helps you navigate a very complicated environment," Jeff Fong says. "I wondered, Can we apply that same approach to designing our user interface?" His team culled photos from London's Heathrow and designed the smartphone's software--with its animated, colored tiles, and straightforward imagery--based on the signs' typography and simplicity."

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Nokia Lumia 710 now available on Mobilicity

WP Central

Canada has sort of been slow on getting into Windows Phone not due of course to the consumers but rather carrier reluctance. While the Lumia 900 is available on Rogers there hasn't been too much love for Nokia on Mobilicity until today.

The Lumia 710 (also on WIND), one of our favorite Windows Phones, is now available for $249.99 which seems to be a fairly good deal to us (though we'll let you weigh in in comments).

WP Central

The Lumia 710 (see our review) features a 3.7" ClearBlack LCD screen, 5MP camera and physical front keys making it quite the unique bird amongst Windows Phones these days. It also features 8GB of storage, a zippy 1.4GHz CPU and a moderate 1300mAh battery.

While many think the 710 is not as fancy as the 800 or 900 (a fair point) it still has amazing ergonomics, great audio and is quite stylish with swappable back covers. In short, we often use it over the just as solid HTC Radar.

Read the full presser after the break or head to Mobilicity to check it out.

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WP Central

China is a big, vast country ripe for the smartphone market with its growing economy and access to new technology. So it's with keen interest that we focus on how well Windows Phone performs there over the next few months.

According to some leaked internal roadmaps for China Telecom, the nation's 3rd largest carrier, Windows Phone is a big hit with the folks who oversee operations. Reportedly they are planning on getting the Nokia Lumia 719c as well as the Samsung Minuet sometime this summer, augmenting the Lumia 610c and 800c which are already on sale.

WP Central

For those who don't remember, the Lumia 719c is a device that so far has not yet been announced and bares a slight resemblance to the Lumia 710. Instead of physical keys though the 719c has capacitive buttons and what looks to be the same 3.7" screen and 5MP camera. Likewise, the Samsung Minuet is thought to be a variant of the recently announced Omnia M line, making both of these devices low to mid range offerings.

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WP Central

We've heard from a few folks that their $100 credit for their Lumia 900 has not been applied to their AT&T account and now we may have an answer. While rare, there seems to be a reason that WinSource has stumbled upon.

In essence, if you bought the phone at full price and didn't use an upgrade (or new activation) then the credit won't be applied to your account. The reason being Nokia doesn't "know" that you bought and activated the phone on your account. While odd it sort of makes sense because for all they know, you bought the phone and sold it on eBay or sent it overseas.

The problem seems to be easily resolved by simply calling AT&T and double checking. In this instance AT&T verified the phone was on the account and applied the $100 credit which was a nice gesture.

The $100 credit was offered by Nokia (via AT&T) to those who purchased their Lumia 900s before April 21st due to a connectivity issues with a small number of devices.

Anyone else having problems getting the credit applied to their account?

Source: WinSource

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WP Central

While we're expecting Windows Phone 8 to be available later this year, Israeli technology website Techit has reported that Nokia are planning to release "Apollo" smartphones before 2012 is up, and the next major update for Windows Phone is slated for a June rollout. The website is citing a Nokia representative, who is also quoted to have mentioned full Hebrew support in the next version of Microsoft's mobile operating system.

As well as the release of Nokia hardware, and the support for Hebrew, the Nokia rep also reaffirmed June as the month for Windows Phone 8, but we should take these quotes with a grain of salt. The burning question on consumer minds is whether or not their current hardware will be upgradable to the next version of the OS. Unfortunately, we're still unable to confirm either way, but we expect concrete information to be released soon enough.

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WP Central

Own a Lumia 900 and have a spare 15 minutes? Why not fill out a Nielsen web survey for Lumia 900 Windows Phone customers, which could pocket you a $200 Amazon gift card. The 4G Windows Phone has been taking the states by storm, surpassing all expectations and selling faster than Nokia could produce which led to a number of delays, not just within the U.S. but around the world too.

Have you been happy with your Nokia Windows Phone, or have all the problems taken their toll? Be sure to check the survey out, but note that Facebook connectivity is required.

Source: Nielsen (Lumia 900 survey), via: @TheRomit; thanks @aharpaz for the heads up!

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Pronto Forms for Windows Phone

TrueContext Mobile has announced that its ProntoForms (website) mobile business service now supports Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. The app, which is now available on the Marketplace, enables business employees to do away with paperwork and use smartphones to fill out forms while on the move and not in the office. Major platforms are already supported, including Android, BlackBerry, iOS and webOS.

TrueContext’s CEO Alvaro Pombo had the following to comment on the platform launch:

"ProntoForms from AT&T is one of our most popular mobile applications for businesses," said VP of advanced mobility solutions at AT&T, Chris Hill. The easy to use, yet highly scalable functionality of the application has been of interest to many different types of companies, from one person in operations using it for construction project cost estimates to large enterprises using it for facility management inspections, merchandising audits and insurance adjustments."

Text and numeric inputs include the following:

  • Drop downs and data source lookups
  • Signature Capture
  • Barcode Scanning
  • Photo Capture
  • Date/Time Selection & Stamps
  • Geostamps
  • Calculations
  • YouTube Video links

 

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Nokia TV

It would appear that the Nokia TV app has been released in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Finland's Windows Phone Marketplace that is.

Based on earlier information the Nokia TV app will tie into local television channels, have the ability to stream shows over wifi or data connection, and videos can be downloaded to the device for offline viewing.

Nokia TV

Not having any hands on with the app, we'll defer to any of our reader's who have had a chance to download and try Nokia TV. It is our understanding the app isn't listed in the Nokia Collection just yet. You'll need to search by keyword, scroll down the list of New Apps or you could try this link to the Marketplace.  Again, Nokia TV is only available in Finland is available everywhere but features only Finnish TV.

After the break, check out a video walkthrough of Nokia TV that one of our readers tipped us on.  Sound off in the comments if you've tried Nokia TV and let us know what you think.

Via: Plaffo; Thanks, Dario and Danil, for the tips!

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WP Central

Industry research firm Gartner just released its latest data on mobile phone sales for the first quarter of 2012. There are some interesting points to be pulled out of this report that I wanted to address.

Samsung dominates Android. Gartner’s data says that Korea-based Samsung shipped over 40% of all Android handsets last quarter. So that still leaves 60% of the market to other vendors, right? Yes, but according to Gartner none of these other vendors make up more than 10% of Android volume. None.

In terms of handset brands, Samsung is also now the #1 phone maker in the world, ahead of Nokia.

Nokia may have the #2 position in the market, but we need to remember that most of Nokia’s volume is based on the dying Symbian OS. Very little is based on its Windows-powered future at this point. So, considering that we’re looking at the death of the dumphone over the next few years, let’s look at smartphone vendors and volumes.

Samsung is the #1 player, having shipped 38 million smartphones. Most of these are Android powered, with a smaller number of Bada OS phones. Here’s how smartphone market share looks, by vendor, based on the Gartner data:

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RainbowMod custom ROM for Lumia 710 now available

WP Central

It was only yesterday that we covered the availability of Metro^7, a custom ROM for the Lumia 710. Now we're pleased to announce another custom ROM has been published on the XDA forums - RainbowMod. This custom mod, by XDA Forum member lucifer3006, is based on Windows Phone "Tango" and is available in Spanish, French, Hungarian, Swedish, Czech, German, English US, Italian, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Portuguese (Portugal & Brazil), and Danish.

So what's featured in RainbowMod?

  • Full Unlock from UltraShot
  • Removed OEM applications (Nokia Drive, Maps, etc.)
  • Search key remapping
  • QuickLaunch menu for quick switching the state of WiFi, 3G, Flight mode, Power save, etc.
  • Ability to access file system via WiFi/USB
  • Integrated Live ID, DppImplant no longer needed, but the new key can also be banned
  • Orientation locker
  • Added many color themes
  • Easy installation xap from a browser or file manager
  • Added Google and Yandex search engines
  • xb0xmod cert for cab-updates
  • Cab-updatable
  • Lots of minor changes
  • Updatability via Zune (not guaranteed)

RainbowMod ROM

Check out the video below for a quick glance at the ROM.

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ScoreMobile FC for Windows Phone

ScoreMobile is a popular sports app for your Windows Phone that pulls in scores, stats, standings and videos from the entire sports world. ScoreMobile FC is another sports app from Score Media that focuses on the various international football (soccer to our U.S. readers) leagues.

Key features of ScoreMobile FC include:

  • Free customizable push alerts (including goals and key incidents)
  • Daily video “vodcasts” featuring special guests
  • Sync tournament fixtures to your calendar
  • Up-to-the-second live scores
  • Live blogs or text commentary for EVERY game
  • Comprehensive list of match times, tables and statistics
  • The latest Euro 2012 news, previews and post-match analysis in video format
  • “Bet Now” feature, allowing UK-based users to place real-time bets via licensed betting and gaming provider William Hill

The football leagues covered includes UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, Argentine Primera Division, French Ligue 1 and many more. You can even get coverage on the 2012 Olympic soccer matches.

ScoreMobile FC

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WP Central

To celebrate the 500,000 download milestone being reached for all published apps, the glƏƏk! developers have decided to unleash a number of special codes that can be used to unlock the full version of their Twitter client. This move is targeting those who are unable to pay for apps, which may be due to age requirements, carrier restrictions, or other factors preventing Windows Phone owners enjoying the full experience of glƏƏk!.

The team have decided to make it easy for users to own glƏƏk! for free, using special unlock codes (hashtags) that unlock the full version leaving the users able to purchase the app in the future (much like a donation) should they choose to do so when a different circumstance occurs. Today's unlock hashtag is "#wpcentralrocks", with future codes being posted on the @gleekthis Twitter account.

glƏƏk! hashtag entry

How does one enter the published codes?

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Must-Have Xbox Live games for your Windows Phone

Best Xbox Live Games for Windows Phones

Must Have XBox Live Games for Windows Phones

Today WPCentral is pleased to bring you a new entry in our ‘Best apps for your Windows Phone’ series. Past installments have included Must-have Games, Word Games, Free Apps, Photography Apps, Weather Apps, and Must-Have apps. Our Must-Have Games and Word Games articles already covered a ton of great Windows Phone titles, so where do we go from here? Let’s focus on just the top few Xbox Live games this time out.

If you’re new to Windows Phone, the distinction between Xbox Live games and regular ones (usually called indie games here) might seem confusing. Xbox Live is Microsoft’s multi-platform gaming brand/service. Xbox Live debuted on the original Xbox console but really came into its own with the Xbox 360, where downloadable games are called Xbox Live Arcade games. Xbox Live titles on Windows Phone are basically the equivalent of XBLA games: high-profile downloadable games that (usually) undergo a rigorous certification process. On Windows Phone, the chief advantages of Xbox Live games (beyond increased marketplace visibility) are Leaderboards, Achievements, and occasional connectivity with Xbox 360 titles (which we’ll save for another article).

Head past the break for more Xbox Live primer plus our picks for the top five best Xbox Live games!

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WP Central

Looks like there may be some good news for Nokia and Windows Phone after all, at least according to Kantar Worldpanel who has been accumulating sales of smartphones for the last 12 weeks across the globe.

The data suggests a strong increase in sales of Windows Phone in the United States where sales jumped from 1.9% in 2011 to 3.6% during the same time frame in 2012. What's more, that period for sales ends on March 18th which is a full 3 weeks before the AT&T Lumia 900 was available for purchase.

The increase in Windows Phone sales would mostly be attributable to the Lumia 710 on T-Mobile and the "Mango refresh" on AT&T with the Samsung Focus Flash, Focus S and HTC Titan making up the bulk of sales. Of course that 3.6% pales in comparison to Android (47.6%) and iOS (42.9%) during the same period though for the first time sales of Windows Phone outpaced RIM (3.2%) which is certainly a good sign.

WP Central

World wide, Windows Phone also saw a large increase in Germany where Windows Phone has 6.2% sales (up from 2.9%). Great Britain and France all had sales at or near 3% while Spain and Australia were much lower at 1.1 and 1.6% respectively.

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Rowi

We showed you what the Aviary photo SDK was capable of doing the other day in Rowi version 2.1 and now that update is live, at least for the free "Lite" version of the app.

That's right, you can now start to upload super fantastic images all from within the app by using those new photo tools, thanks to Aviary's SDK. But that's not all, Rowi Lite version 2.1 also has multiple account support, something we've been wanting for ages as well as TweetMarker.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, TweetMarker (Tweetmarker.net) is a service that helps keep your Tweets in sync between certain desktop clients and your mobile. It comes in two flavors, free and the "Plus" version which costs an extra $2 a month--a nice option for you power users our there.

No fear though for you paid Rowi supporters as your update with all the above is right around the corner as well, so sit tight.

For now, pick up Rowi Lite version 2.1 here in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

QR: Rowi Lite

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The biggest fan

While our Windows Phones are busy smoking the competition they may need something to blow away all that fiery aftermath, so it only makes sense to have a special fan for the occasion.

Microsoft Hong Kong has evidently commissioned a limited number of special portable fans just for these situations but they have a little trick up their sleeve. As you can see in the images above and the video below, when the fan runs an electric banner scrolls around the blades with "Windows Phone" and "Simply faster".

As we're fans of all things geeky, we're very impressed and think it's a brilliant little promotion tool.

Our friends at the Hong Kong site We Love Windows Phone (www.welovewp.hk) managed to get their hands on a shipment of these little bad boys and are planning on giving them out to some lucky people (and yes, worldwide shipment is an option). So you'll want to head to their site and maybe even give 'em a "Like" on their Facebook page to learn of the details as soon as they publish them.

Pretty cool Microsoft, pretty cool.

Source: We Love Windows Phone (HK) (Bing Translation)

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Bing Social Search Preview is now live for US residents

WP Central

Hey, look at that. We actually noticed it this morning but it didn't register in our sleepy heads, but Bing's Social Search "Preview" is now available for those luckily enough to reside in the US. No, we're not sure why it's only US but perhaps it's more of a rollout thing to work out the bugs and quirks.

Anyway, if you head on over to bing.com you can hit the "Preview" button and you'll see the new login near the upper right of the screen. You now have the option to login with your Live ID credentials (we lost all of our Bing reward points when we created a new ID) and you can also login with Facebook. No Twitter or G+ just yet which is a bit of a shame, well at least for the former.

We haven't see the new pane layout just yet but perhaps it's just us (we're not big Facebook users) Our new layout is now live including the social bar to the right. You can see more on Bing's Social Search features here on their new sub-site: http://social.discoverbing.com/.

Thanks, ArtSooby, for the tip

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BulletAsylum

This week, neon colors are all the rage on Windows Phone. On the one hand, you’ve got new Xbox Live release geoDefense Swarm, which promises to be super fun. On the other: BulletAsylum from UberGeekGames is the Deal of the Week, on sale for $1.99.

BulletAsylum is a modern take on the arcade classic Missile Defense. Aliens rain down from the sky and it’s up to your turrets to stop them. You can use a single finger to fire all your weapons at one area or two fingers to split the fire. Game modes include the extremely easy Arcade, an endless Survival mode that has no Achievements for some reason, and the frustratingly hard Architect mode.

It’s easy to get into BulletAsylum thanks to the pretty colors and flashing lights. The unlocking system is decent, and the Achievements are attainable for most mortal men and women. Still, I found the gameplay far too simplistic to maintain interest; the lack of depth really keeps the game from having much staying power. Check out our review for a lengthier – and dare I say more eloquent - explanation.

BulletAsylum is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Get it here on the Marketplace and let those bullets fly!

QR: BulletAsylum

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GeoDefense for Windows Phone

Tower defense addicts, you can stop scratching and relax at last. geoDefense Swarm from Critical Thought Games in now on the Marketplace!

geoDefense Swarm is the sequel to fan-favorite tower defense game geoDefense. The new entry switches from predefined enemy routes to a grid-based field. Enemies can approach from all directions, so players will need to construct mazes in order to keep them at bay. Like its predecessor, Swarm features an appealing neon geometric look and easy to learn gameplay.

geoDefense Swarm

It also has the same balance issues as before (tower costs and abilities vary from level to level), but said issues didn’t keep its predecessor from winning many gamers’ hearts. Here’s a tip to get you started: switch the difficulty from Hardcore to Novice in Help & Options if you want to ease into things and take the stress out of those Achievements.

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Matchy for Windows Phone

We offered a sneak peek of the Windows Phone game Matchy the other day and over the weekend the game passed certification. Matchy is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Matchy is a three-dimensional game where you have to position various objects to match their shadow. Matchy has three game modes that vary in time limit and your job is to create as many matches as possible before the timer runs out.

Matchy is a free, ad support game and you can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, Howlingwolf, for the tip!

QR: Matchy

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HTC TITAN available at AT&T for just a penny

WP Central

Should the Nokia Lumia 900 be not up your street, and if 4G LTE connectivity isn't a feature you're particularly bothered about, the HTC TITAN is a highly rated Windows Phone and could well be the right one for you. We reviewed this beast of a handset (and it's successor), which is also backed by strong reviews from AT&T customers.

AT&T's web store is listing the Windows Phone for $0.01 (with 2-year contract), a good snatch for anyone interested. Featuring a massive 4.7" LCD screen, 16GB storage, 8MP camera, and a 1.5Ghz chip, the TITAN is capable of handling whatever you decide to throw at the device.  While the penny sale is a very nice deal, unfortunately the off-contract is still stuck at $549.99.

Source: AT&T; thanks Rodney for the tip!

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