Articles

13

Zune HD dead again?

Okay. Remember the Zune HD? Well, it appears to be dead again.

We first saw it removed from the sales channel, then we were told that was a publishing mishap. We then saw it being removed from production on the support page.  This was again reported as a publishing error when @WP_DownUnder looked into things further.

Now the support page is back and again, we are being told by Microsoft that the Zune HD is no longer in production. The support page that re-appeared over the weekend is the same page we saw last week (that was reported to be a publishing error). 

Microsoft is still going to honor existing device warranties and support.  Which is a good thing.  It would have been nice if Microsoft would have added "Seriously. We're not fooling this time." on the support page but that might be asking too much.

So far no officials odds have been posted in Vegas on whether or not Microsoft will come out and say this was another publishing mishap. If so, they may want to re-evaluate who's hitting the "publish" button on their websites.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
2

Infinite Flight onboard with Mango

Infinite Flight is a very comprehensive flight simulator for your Windows Phone. Previous updates have added new features and aircraft into the mix (including the Space Shuttle) and the latest update takes the app to Mango.

Along with fast app switching version 2.0 adds,

  • Two new airplanes (C-17 Globemaster III and Supermarine Spitfire)
  • Airport taxiways
  • HUD Decluttering levels
  • Automatic throttle settings for the Autopilot and zoom for fly by and tower cameras
  • The option to disable touch vibration
  • Anti-Aliasing can be turned off
  • Assorted bug fixes

If you haven't tried Infinite Flight and flight simulators are your cup of tea, you really need to check this app out. There is a trial version available for Infinite Flight and the full version will run you $4.99. You can find both here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Brian for tipping us on this!

1
loading...
1
loading...
18
loading...
0
loading...
9

O2 believes HTC Mozart runs Android

We're not sure who at O2 created the image for the HTC Mozart listing on product pages, but they must be an Android fan. According to the image above (and if you check out the link at the bottom of this article) O2 has the Mozart running Android, or so it seems. Clicking on the product to view more information reveals that in fact the device is running Windows Phone, but it may still cause confusion for those who aren't familiar with the device and what OS it sports.

On the other hand this could be positive in a misleading way. Should someone purchase the handset believing they'll be receiving an Android smartphone, they could be impressed with the refreshing change of to the Metro UI. Still, it should be fixed.

Source: O2, via: WMPU

2
loading...
1
loading...
19
loading...
0
loading...
8

Torchbear goes live in the Marketplace

We first mentioned the Windows Phone app Torchbear a couple of months ago when the developer needed beta testers. Well, the kinks have been ironed out and Torchbear has left the Beta stages and is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

What is Torchbear you ask? Torchbear is described as a mobile geolocation based social network game. You create a torch that can be a thought, idea or image. You then create a mission for your torch and share it with other Torchbear users around the world.

For example, you can create a torch calling for the posting of photos that make you think of the fall season (that's the mission) and add your own photo to the torch. You then monitor how many exchanges, comments, and followers keep the torch burning. You can also monitor how far the torch has traveled. You can even map out where your torch has been and monitor your torches progress from Torchbear's website.  The goal is to generate the most activity from your torch.

You do have to register with Torchbear (free) and it's interesting to see how far your torches can travel around the globe. Torchbear is a free app and you can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

2
loading...
5
loading...
17
loading...
0
loading...
3

Spotify/Sharpotify 7 for Windows Phone [Video]

Now we have background streaming at hand, let us return to the whole "Where is Spotify?" question still on many minds who pay for the subscription. We know it's well under way as the service was announced by Microsoft to be coming in Mango earlier this year. For those who simply can't wait for the official app, in the video above, we can see a demo of what appears to be a third-party Spotify app (Sharpotify 7) for Windows Phone with expected features.

The code is stated to be Alpha so it's still early days but we like what we see thus far - playlist support and support, being two vital features of the service.

Via: PhoneTitan

1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

In Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, Microsoft are kick-starting workshops simultaneously today (October 8th) to aid potential and current Windows Phone developers with improving knowledge, skill and experience. The two day training course will sport presentations by the likes of Chris Walsh (ChevronWP7) and Shane Morris (Automatic Studio), feature lunch and a competition provided by Nokia, and will cover the following areas of Windows Phone development:

  • Introduction to the developer environment
  • Navigation and App Life Cycle
  • Launchers and choosers
  • Alarms, Reminders and other Extensions
  • Device Features and Hardware
  • Tiles and Push Notifications
  • Multitask and Background Agents
  • Local Database Access
  • Marketplace tip and tricks
  • Game development with XNA and Silverlight

You may have noticed above that we stated Nokia is running a competition at the workshops, but what's the prize? Whoever can create the most popular app over the next two weeks from the workshop will win Nokia's yet-to-be-released handset - exciting stuff! 

Source: WPDownUnder

2
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

The official WordPress app for our phones has also got a Mango makeover with v1.3. Considering how huge WordPress is to the blogosphere, it's always great to see a well done official app out there for our users. The app hit v1.2 only in August, where it finally received landscape support. Now v1.3 looks to extend that by adding some Mango features. Besides the automatic fast-app switching, users can look forward to these new additions:

"Now with Mango support! You can now share pictures directly from your photo album to a new post in the app, as well as pin your blog to the start screen for quick access."

Sounds good to us. Now we have received a complaint from reader ron_from_RIFAS that it looks like the app has been pulled from the Marketplace. And indeed, if you search for the app, you'll be hard pressed to find it. Even the WP7Applist site has its red-banner warning that this app is not available. But we assure you it is there and you can download and install it just fine. Reason? It's listed as "Private" in the Web Marketplace. Why? We have no idea...

1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

We're getting a few isolated reports, ourselves included, that some Live Tiles are not updating their images properly or just general strangeness with notifications. While this was common on NoDo with Mango it's been very rare, if ever, that we've had failures occurring.

The most popular culprit seems to be the official Foursquare app, which for many now features a blank tile instead of your local rankings. In addition, we've see our GoVoice app stuck on "1" and even our own WPCentral app not have the back-tile update. Dave Amenta (interview), developer of Send to WP7, confirmed with us that he too is experiencing these problems.

For now, all we can think of is some hiccups with Microsoft's push notification servers, which handle a lot of this back end stuff. We'll keep an eye out and give a shout out in comments if you're Tiles are not refreshing or other craziness.

Image credit: puredrive07, from our forums

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Good new everyone! Last.fm, everyone's favorite radio scrobble service has finally gone to Mango with version 3.x. You can now minimize this bad boy in the background and enjoy your radio with multitasking Mango goodness. In addition, you can pin your favorite radio stations to the Start screen for easy and quick access.

We've only played with it for a little bit but darn it all, it's a nice app--fast, smooth and great work on the integrating "Sharing" option. And considering this service is built into the Xbox 360 (for Gold Members), this a great extension to your phone. Grab the free app here in the Marketplace.

Thanks, Lerimer S., for the heads up!

1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

This is for all developers and designers out there who strive to produce only the best looking apps for Windows Phone. Jeff Wilcox, developer of 4th&Mayor and Senior Software Development Lead for Windows Phone, was discussing design principles with two members of the Windows Phone design team when he was introduced to a grid the team has been using on the platform. The grid is a set of squares 25×25px, offset 12px from one another, and all contained within a page padding of 24px.

Wilcox decided to create an overlay developers can use in emulator debugging to ensure text and content is aligned to perfection (see image above for example of misaligned text). This is best used with tweaking designs and the UI. Screenshots can be taken with the overlay active on the emulator and then shared with clients or the designer for feedback and critique.

MetroGridHelper can be installed with NuGet. For more information and installation details, head on over to Wilcox's blog (link below).

Source: Jeff Wilcox

0
loading...
0
loading...
25
loading...
0
loading...

Register or Login to add comments

7

SkyMap - Mango App Spotlight

Good news for the star gazers in the house. The Windows Phone app SkyMap was recently updated to version 1.5. The update adds Mango features into the mix including fast app switching and a point to sky mode that uses the Windows Phone's compass sensors.

For those not familiar with SkyMap (here's our review) it provides interactive sky maps for any time (between 1900 and 2100), viewpoint and location on Earth. The app displays the different names, coordinates, magnitude, astronomical rise and set times plus additional information for over 110000 stars, messier objects, planets, sun and the moon.

If you're an avid star gazer or just wanting to learn more about the stars above, SkyMap is worth checking out. There is a free version of SkyMap available (ad supported) that you can find here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace. An ad-free version is running $1.29 that you can find here at the Marketplace.  Remember, the update to SkyMap requires you to have Windows Phone 7.5 running on your phone.

0
loading...
3
loading...
20
loading...
0
loading...

We've seen the new Windows Phone adverts Microsoft seems to be pushing out to their YouTube channel as well as other places and they've caught our attention for all the right reasons. Probably due to Brandon Foy being hired? The adverts and videos we've seen thus far have focused on highlighted Mango features. There was one thing missing - Bing.

Microsoft has solved this by releasing four new videos where viewers can enjoy a presentation of services including Vision, Local Scout, and web search. Still upbeat, still beautiful. Check out the video above and three more after the break.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

A few days ago, we ran an odd post about the Dell Wrigley, a reportedly updated Venue Pro which we first saw on a leaked Dell roadmap back in February. But later in May, Dell was noticeably absent from the list of hardware partners. The story we recently ran suggested that at least in India, this device was oddly on the way to market. We say odd since Dell as been MIA from the Windows Phone device scene for months now.

Unfortunately, we confirmed though a higher up at Dell that the Wrigley is no more and won't be released. We're not even sure if the device ever left planning stages, to be honest. But more importantly and as expected, Dell will not be having any more "Mango" devices to offer this year or next. Sure, they'll continue to support the Dell Venue Pro, no worries there, but it looks like they are taking a break for now.

The good news, if any, is that they may (we stress may) be back for Apollo aka Windows Phone 8, presumably after they clean up and make some changes internally to better meet the demands of their client. (We should also note that Dell seems to have also pulled or reduced support for their Android line as well, making this more a mobile-division issue than Windows Phone specific.)

Thanks, Malcolm, for the info and guidance

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Windows Phone 7.5 users are reporting some quirks with how it interacts with Exchange 2003 servers.  Firstly, when replying to an email using an Exchange 2003 account on a Windows Phone, the original message does not get included in the reply.  What the recipient sees instead is just the header information from the original message (pictured above). 

Another issue identified by Exchange 2003 users involves forwarded emails.  When forwarding a message to someone, the original content gets sent to the recipient as an attachment (pictured below). 

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

The European Commission has approved Microsoft's acquisition of Skype (for $8.5 billion), which we reported on earlier this year with gaining the approval of the FTC. What does this mean for Windows Phone? We've now got front-facing cameras on Mango handsets so we can definitely expect to see Skype coming to the platform in the future and since Microsoft now owns the video calling service, it should be one service implementation to look forward to.

Check out the official statement from Microsoft on the decision:

"REDMOND, Wash. – Oct. 7, 2011 – The following is a statement by Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Microsoft Corporation, regarding the European Commission’s decision to approve Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype:

We’re pleased that the European Commission has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. This is an important milestone, as we’ve now received clearance from both the United States and the European Union. We look forward to completing soon the final steps needed to close the acquisition, bringing together the employees of Microsoft and Skype, and creating new opportunities for people to communicate and collaborate around the world."

Source: Microsoft

0
loading...
6
loading...
32
loading...
0
loading...

Register or Login to add comments

Remember last week when we covered the situation surrounding ROMs being sold on the Marketplace using an emulator that has been dead for a while? Microsoft still hasn't acted yet by removing these ROMs that shouldn't be sold or even made available for purchase. The games in question are Golf, PunchOut, Metroid and now Zelda, which was added only yesterday.

So not only are the ROMs still available on the Marketplace, but new ones seem to be being accepted without question and the developer behind the submissions is racking up the sales. Hopefully by the time Microsoft deals with this problem the revenue earned will be moot and account rights revoked. Don't hold your breath however. We were tipped soon after publishing the previous article that the team has been informed and are looking into removing the offending apps. Fast-forward a week and here we are with new ones being approved and old ones being updated to join already published ROMs. 

Update: We've received word from a reader who got in touch with Brandon Watson about the legality issues surrounding these ROMs being sold on the Marketplace. We're told that while Brandon understands the cause for concern, they can't remove the apps in question from the Marketplace without Nintendo's request. So for now the developer can continue to launch and update these poorly ported ROMs as he so pleases and earn revenue from purchases.

We will look to get in touch with Nintendo and bring this situation to their attention.

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Although phones such as the Dell Venue Pro and the HD7 have been available in India for sometime, official support for the OS, including the Marketplace, has not been available. Now, come October 12th, Microsoft looks to be kicking off the Marketplace and other services in India for the first time, opening up the gates for HTC, Samsung and LG to start seriously pushing their devices in what is an admittedly huge market.

The news comes way of an official press conference to be held in New Dehli on October 12th. Evidently Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India, will also be there, making this quite a big event.

via: I Love Windows Phone!

1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
16

Camera comparison: HTC Titan vs HD7

A reader has notified us of some photos uploaded that show a visible difference between the camera in the HTC HD7 and the monstrous HTC Titan. The HD7 features a 5 megapixel camera with auto focus and dual LED flash, while the Titan sports an 8 megapixel camera with F2.2 lens, dual LED flash, and BSI sensor for better low-light capturing.

You can view the original images on Flickr - Titan / HD7.

Thanks Peter for letting us know about the images!

1
loading...
24
loading...
17
loading...
0
loading...

A support representative from Deutsche Telekom told users via a reply on Facebook that the Mango update for the Samsung Omnia 7 will not be coming until "early November."  It's not what Omnia 7 owners wanted to hear, but it's better than not knowing at all, right?  DT first pushed out WP 7.5 updates to HTC devices on September 26, with Samsung ones said to follow, but it was reported the next day that the Omnia 7 would not be included.  Deutsche Telekom and the Omnia 7 are no strangers to update delays, so the news is not terribly surprising, though disappointing nonetheless.

Thanks for the tip, Tobi!

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

We all know that your Windows Phone is a great way to stay in touch with the world and tap into various sources of information. We've seen this capability to develop apps to help guide you around large theme parks such as Disney World (e.g. Disneybot) and now we are seeing smaller venues and events tap into the Windows Phones to guide you around these arenas.

BayFest 2011 is the official Windows Phone app for the BayFest Music Festival that will be held this weekend in Mobile, Alabama. The companion app puts all the information about the event on your Windows Phone. The app includes everything but the kitchen sink on the musical event including the schedule of events (over 125 live musical acts will play through out the weekend), details about the bands, a map of the venue, and information about the event's sponsors.

BayFest 2011, the app, is a good example how large events can tap into your Windows Phone to keep you informed on what's going on. A Windows Phone app takes the place of brochures that can get lost and impossible to update (outside of costly reprinting).

If your in the Mobile area, BayFest runs from October 7-9, 2011 and the current musical lineup includes Duran Duran, Ludacris, Tobie Kieth, Korn and 3 Doors Down. You can find out more about BayFest 2011, the event, here at the event's website.

0
loading...
1
loading...
3
loading...
0
loading...
3

WPCentral Podcast 126


Dan and Jay finally return after a brief hiatus (due to Jay's moving to London) for an all new Windows Phone podcast! Join them for another in depth discussion of the Mango update, Nokia phones and various new apps and games as well as answer your questions.

Full show notes after the break...

0
loading...
0
loading...
14
loading...
0
loading...

For those curious, the world-wide attempt by Microsoft at updating Windows Phone to version 7.5 aka "Mango" seems to be hitting a steady pace of about 1.5% per day. Using the app 'I'm a WP7!' which has data sampled from a massive 83,527 users, we can see that Mango (builds 7720, 7721) is now on 20% of devices the world over (17% in the U.S.).

If you throw in the developer and beta builds of Mango, we're at nearly 30% of those 83,000 users, putting us up about 12% from a week ago.

While that official number of 20% may seem low, remember that Microsoft is doing a controlled update process, meaning only a small percentage of users will actually get an update notification. That number has increased this week, but we imagine it will still be another 10 days before we hit 50% of users on Mango. What we are seeing though is a consistent and steady daily increase in those upgrading to Windows Phone 7.5, much faster than any previous build.

4
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3

AlterEgo - App Spotlight

AlterEgo is a retro styled game for your Windows Phone that reminds us of Ilomilo. AlterEgo is a multi-level, platform game where you navigate around platforms, obstacles and monsters to collect jumping pixels.

You have an alter ego or phantom twin that mirrors your moves from across the screen. When you hit a dead end, tap the switch box at the bottom of the screen to trade places on the screen with your alter ego. To move around the screen, you tap/hold the screen and a virtual joystick appears. This can be a little tempermental and stopping on a dime can be tough.

You have a limited number of switches per level and once you've collected all your jumping pixels, you advance to the next level. Levels get a more challenging and complicated as you progress through the game. For some, the retro graphics with AlterEgo may be an acquired taste but they fit the game well.

0
loading...
0
loading...
11
loading...
0
loading...
32

HTC Ignite and Prime coming this month? [Rumor]

We took a look at the rumoured HTC Ignite and Prime earlier in the year, which were two very slick Windows Phone handset concepts published at XDA China. The issue we had with the rumours were the low specifications that were tied to the handsets. The Ignite was to sport a 800Mhz processor, and things just didn't feel right.

The two mysterious handsets did appear on The Phone House, a Dutch retailer, in mid-2011 but have since vanished from view. Fortunately we can now see them on Typhone, another Dutch retailer. They have the expected dates set at October '11, but HTC has just recently launched the Titan and Radar so it would seem odd that two more devices would be on the way. Take it with a grain of salt, but looking at the image above, we can only dream.

Source: Typhone HTC Ignite and Prime product pages. Thanks Sebastiaan for the heads up!

0
loading...
11
loading...
22
loading...
0
loading...

Pages