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WP Central

Back in early June, we noted how a factory-shipped Lumia 710 on Rogers was sporting Windows Phone "Tango" aka build 8773. At the time, we speculated that Nokia and the Canadian carrier were getting ready to push out the update to all and sure enough that day is upon us.

Reader Gurpreet just notified us that plugging in his Lumia 710 to his Zune Desktop prompted him to update his device. That means the rest of you up North should be able to do the same.

WP Central

In addition to having Windows Phone Tango and it's new messaging features, user should also have some bundled fixes with the new firmware. We don't have that changelog, though it may have a lot of similarities with T-Mobiles latest update for the same phone.

If you're getting the update, hit us up in comments and let us know your thoughts.

Thanks, Gurpreet, for the info

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Super Monkey Ball 2 Monkey Target

The new Monkey Target minigame

Back when we discovered Final Fantasy would be coming to Windows Phone, we also learned about another upcoming Live title: Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition from SEGA.  Well, Final Fantasy just launched two weeks ago to much acclaim, and now we’re due for some monkey business. Super Monkey Ball 2 arrives on June 27.

As you can see from our exclusive screenshots, Super Monkey Ball 2’s graphics are now fully 3D (the original used 2D sprites for the monkeys). It’s also said to have better controls and stage design. Let’s hope so, because the first game was far too frustrating. 125 stages, six themed worlds, and some tough Achievements will ensure a lengthy experience. One of those Achievements is tied to the game’s new 4-player mode. Hopefully said mode uses the internet rather than local Wi-Fi, but Microsoft wasn’t able to say either way at press time.

Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition rolls out on Wednesday, June 27 and will cost $2.99… We’re cautiously excited for it.

Update: Multiplayer will be pass-and-play only. Bummer. Good for Achievement hunters though!

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St. Louis Windows Phone Development Workshop

We've got time for one more reminder on the June 22, 2012 St. Louis Windows Phone Development Workshop. Nokia Developer Ambassador Rich Dunbar will be leading the workshop. If you're in the St. Louis area or happened to be visiting the area, this sounds like a great opportunity to network with other developers and get some help building your app.

The workshop will run from 5:30 p.m. until around 9:00 p.m. and will be held at the Microsoft Offices in St. Louis.

The goal of the workshop is to help developers get started on their first Windows Phone app. Nokia will be sponsoring the event and will provide pizza and beverages.  We will be providing a few WPCentral Store gift certificates to give away and we're still crossing our fingers that Nokia will have a few door prizes to give away as well.  

Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and have the necessary development tools installed. You can find a full list of the tools that you'll need here in the Windows Phone Central Forums discussion. Registration is required (so enough pizza is ordered) for the workshop and you can find that easy process here at GroupSpaces.

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Shuffle Party

Title updates are usually intended to solve problems and squash bugs, but sometimes they introduce new issues of their own. Case in point, the recent Shuffle Party update somehow ended up slightly bugged when published to the Marketplace.

Before we delve into what happened, here are the Shuffle Party version 1.1 release notes:

  • Game stability issues fixed. We had noticed more crash reports when connected to a Network than we could stand for.
  • Avatars no longer appear standing backwards.

Unfortunately, after installing the update, dark and garbled textures appear on the tables, frame, puck, and bowling pins. As a temporary workaround, just head to the Pro Shop and select new skins to make everything look right again.

Developer Babaroga was surprised to encounter the texture bug, because both they tested the build beforehand. Likewise, Microsoft tested and certified it as well with no problems. Thus the texture bug most likely popped up during the process of publishing the build on the Marketplace. Both parties are investigating right now and hope to release a new, bug-free update soon. In the meantime, the versions 1.1 update has been pulled, so just sit tight if you hadn’t already downloaded it.

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More Windows Phone 8 features come to light

Windows Phone 8 Summit

Yesterday's Windows Phone Summit gave us a nice serving of what Windows Phone 8 brings to the table. Joe Belfiore discussed platform changes that will expand the capabilities of our Windows Phones. We also caught a glimpse of Microsoft's Wallet app, a handful of new Nokia apps, and learned of Zynga's new interest in the platform. And then there's the new Start Screen.

Winsupersite posted a nice collection of some of the features we didn't see. Here's a few items that stood out.

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HTC Windows Phone 8 specs leaked for three new phones

HTC Windows Phone 8 device specs leak

The dust has barely settled from the Windows Phone Summit and we are now seeing leaked specs on three new HTC Windows Phone 8 devices. Here's what we know about the Rio, Accord and Zenith.

Rio: The Rio would be considered an entry level Windows Phone featuring a 4" WVGA display, 5mp camera with 720p video capture, 512mb on board memory, 14.4Mbps HSPA and a Qualcomm MSM8227 processor.

Accord: Stepping up from the Rio will be the Accord that features a 4.3" 720p Super LCD 2 screen, an 8mp camera with 1080p video capture, NFC support, 1gb of RAM, dual-core processor and 42Mbps HSPA+.

Zenith: The Zenith will be the upper end model featuring a 4.7" 720p Super LCD 2 screen, 8mp camera with 1080p video capture, 42Mbps HSPA+, and a quad-core Qualcomm processor.

All three Windows Phone 8 devices are slated to ship this year with the Rio and Accord scheduled tentatively for October and the Zenith later in the fourth quarter (in time for Christmas?). Granted all these projections are dependent on how smoothly and timely Microsoft has Windows Phone 8 ready and all the carrier involvement that we have grown to love.  

It should prove to be an interesting summer...

Source: Verge

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Audible goes live on the Windows Phone Marketplace

Audible for Windows Phone

We heard mention of the Audible.com Windows Phone app yesterday at the Windows Phone Summit and today, the Audible.com app launched. The free app taps into Audible's audiobook library of more than 100,000 titles and delivers them to your Windows Phone.

If you haven't signed up for an Audible.com account, the Windows Phone app includes eight excerpts from various authors to let you try things out. There are listening achievements, Facebook and Twitter integration to let you share with friends what you are reading...err..listening to, and the app supports Audible.com, Audible.uk and Audible.de.

Audible for Windows Phone

Audible for Windows Phone is a free app and you can grab it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.  We'll take Audible out for a test drive over the next day or two and get a review on the site shortly.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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Skype version 1.2 update now live in the Marketplace

Skype version 1.2 available

The version 1.2 update for Skype has been released from certification and is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.  Just to recap, the update fixes a handful of issues with the previous version and adds the following improvements.

  • All phonebook contacts with at least one number are shown in Skype contact list.
  • Ability to edit phone number in dial-pad before calling.

Fixes contained in the update cover issues involving calendar notifications ending Skype calls and instant messaging crashing the app. There still remains issues such as the app requiring a minimum of 512mb of memory on your Windows Phone, no Bluetooth support for audio or video calls, and answering an incoming call will end your Skype call.

If haven't seen the update pushed out to your Windows Phone, you should see the notification out shortly. If you haven't tried Skype for Windows Phone, you can find the free app  here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, jon b and dario, for the tip!

QR: Skype App

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Carphone Warehouse ad

In a press release sent out today in the UK, the countries biggest independent phone retailer, Carphone Warehouse has confirmed their future support for Windows Phone 8 and they sounds pretty excited about it.

Graham Stapleton, Chief Operating Officer at Carphone Warehouse says, “What was once a battle of hardware between the manufacturers, has now become a battle of software. Both customers and developers can look forward to reaping the benefits in the coming months, as Windows Phone 8 brings some much needed variety and depth to the market.”

Graham adds, “We will definitely be supporting Windows Phone 8 in line with the key manufacturers. There are some very exciting devices due this Autumn sporting the new operating system, and they will be fundamental to its success.”

I realize that all the UK carriers and retailers will sell Windows Phone but it is nice to see the Carphone Warehouse with such positive statements.

Combined with them selling the Microsoft Surface the stores are going to be very Metro-ish. ( I think I made that word up!)

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We've covered a lot of ground today with nearly 7,000 of you joining us for our Live Blog this morning of Microsoft's Windows Phone Summit.

And there's no doubt we're still reeling from all of the new things announced today from Windows Phone 8 to Windows Phone 7.8. We can talk endlessly about it but for now, we'll just leave you with the full -hour presentation for you to enjoy.

So grab your favorite potable and curl up to your computer's LCD display to feast your eyes on the future of Windows Phone.

Source: Channel 9

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WPCentral Podcast

Join us for our special Windows Phone Summit podcast as we discuss Windows Phone 8 and Microsoft's new vision for our mobile OS. We answer your questions, cover the main points and clarify some others. 

Join Daniel Rubino, Rafael Rivera and special guest, Paul Thurrott of SuperSite for Windows for an exciting and authoritative discussion on today's announcements.

Full HD video after the break...

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WP Central

We posted earlier today the news that HTC had confirmed their commitment to Windows Phone 8 and it looks like Huawei are following suit. In a press release sent to us tonight Huawei have announced their 'extended relationship' with Microsoft and on the cards is their first ever Windows Phone.

It would appear that Huawei are going from strength to strength. Not only are they one of they biggest phone manufactures in the world, but they now are entering a new arena with Windows Phone.

This has to be great news for the consumer as traditionally the companies device prices have been low in comparison to its competitors. We could well see the cheapest Windows Phone 8 device from Huawei and going by recent releases on other operating systems they seem not to be falling behind in any way, shape or form.

You can catch the full press release below but on a personal note I think this is super news that Huawei are joining the Windows Phone gang.

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Tetris tights

We saw a lady wearing these at E3. I approved.

After a lengthy delay on the Marketplace update, nothing could please bargain hunters more than a repeat Deal of the Week, right? Somebody thought so, as this week’s DOTW is Tetris from Electronic Arts. Just like August and November last year, it’s on sale for $2.99, down from $4.99.

The Windows Phone version of Tetris is actually quite slick. It’s got great visuals and a good remix of the classic Tetris theme “Korobeiniki.” There are numerous gameplay variants such as Gravity and Radical that add a bit of variety to the game we’ve all played a million times before. Some have complained about the touch screen controls (swipe left and right to steer, tap to rotate, and swipe down to drop pieces), but I find them to be natural and effective enough. Our review also praises the game’s stat tracking. The actual game does not feature tights however, for better or worse.

Tetris is on sale for $2.99 for one week. Puzzle fans who aren’t too busy with Fling can pick ol' Tetris up here on the Marketplace.

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Fling for Windows Phone

After an unusual delay, the Marketplace has finally updated. That means Fling from Miniclip is now available!

Fling is a puzzle game that plays much differently from Miniclip’s previous Xbox live releases. In each level, players must flick furballs into each other with the goal of leaving only one monster on the board. Furballs can only travel horizontally or vertically and they only stop when they hit another furball, so you’ll need to experiment and/or think a few moves in advance to win.

Fling can get pretty tough what with all the planning and such. Factor in an Achievement for completing 500 (!) puzzles and it might take quite a while to complete. Not everybody has that much time on their hands - or in some cases, the brain power. Thankfully, help is near at hand. This online Fling solver will knock out even the toughest puzzles. No, it won’t make anybody smarter (playing on your own would probably be more useful to that end), but at least it can save that precious time we capitalist citizens value so much. I kid!

Fling costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

Update: The price rose from 99 cents to $2.99 shortly after launch.

Thanks to Zebrasqual for the tip!

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Windows Phone 7.8 Update right around the corner?

An interesting tweet from Nokia USA is suggesting that the Windows Phone 7.8 update will be rolling out in the coming weeks. Now we've seen Nokia have short turn arounds with past updates (the connectivity issues) but that mainly dealt with in-house issues.

The Windows Phone 7.8 update is a little different in that it is coming from Microsoft and has more cooks in the kitchen so to speak. We also don't know what changes the 7.8 updates will have beyond the Start Screen modifications.

While we like the customization features Windows Phone 7.8 brings to the table, we're going to be a little skeptical on the "coming weeks" time frame.

Who knows, is it too far of a stretch to think the Tango update could become the Windows Phone 7.8 update?  

Update - Looks like Nokia may have got their messages a bit mixed up. They Tweeted to us a clarification on the whole update:

"The update coming to Lumia owners in the coming weeks will bring Wi-Fi sharing and flip-to-silence. Start screen update is TBD."

Thanks, Alexander, for the tip!

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Windows Phone 7.8, nice touch or not enough?

Windows Phone 7.8 Update

Now that the dust has settled on the Windows Phone Summit and we have a feel for Windows Phone 8 and a definitive answer as to the future of existing Windows Phones, how are you feeling?

There was always an air of uncertainty that existing Windows Phones would be eligible for update to Windows Phone 8. Still we had hoped that these phones would be updateable but with limitations.

While our Nokia Lumias and HTC Titans won't be able to run Windows Phone 8, they will see a Windows Phone 7.8 update. Some may see Windows Phone 7.8 as window dressing by giving Windows Phone 7 the appearance of running the Windows Phone 8. Some may not care for NFC or Windows 8 platform additions but will enjoy the more customizable Start Screen.

But is the Windows Phone 7.8 update a nice touch or not enough?  A bitter pill of sorts.

While some may see today's news as a bitter pill, there is some solace in knowing that Nokia is continuing its support of the Lumia line by releasing new apps and updating current apps. While our existing phones may not be able to make the jump to Windows Phone 8, it's nice to see they aren't being left completely behind. The 7.8 update may not be what everyone wanted to hear but it will add to an already nice Windows Phone system.

So what say you?  Does Windows Phone 7.8 do the trick until you can upgrade to a new Windows Phone or is Microsoft leaving existing devices out in the cold?

 

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AT&T throws its support behind Windows Phone 8

AT&T supporting Windows Phone 8

HTC isn't the only Windows Phone partner throwing their support behind Windows Phone 8. AT&T released a brief statement that leaves no doubt that the wireless carrier will maintain a strong Windows Phone presence in their smartphone lineup. The statement reads,

AT&T plans to carry a new line of Windows Phone 8 smartphones launching later this year. The unmatched leader in Windows Phone –offering the very first 4G LTE Windows Phone smartphones in the U.S. – AT&T is home to the most robust Windows Phone portfolio of any carrier.

AT&T has backed Windows Phones from the start with the Samsung Focus, LG Quantum and HTC Surround.   While this isn't much of a surprise, it is nice to see the wireless provider voicing their continued support for Windows Phones. AT&T currently has five Windows Phone 7 devices in their line up including the Samsung Focus 2, HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900. It will be interesting to see what new devices are in store for AT&T later this year.

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WP Central

We already knew from todays earlier Microsoft event that HTC would be continuing their support with Windows Phone but a press release direct from HTC has just hit my inbox so I thought I had better share.

Note the way that Peter Chou says 'smartphones' and not 'smartphone'. I presume we will see more than one new device then? Super news.

HTC, a global leader in mobile design and innovation, today pledged its ongoing support of Microsoft by backing the new Windows Phone 8 platform. Building on the two companies’ long mobile partnership dating back to 2000 and including more than 40 million phones sold, HTC will be bringing new Windows Phone 8 smartphones to market later this year.

“HTC is committed to Windows Phone more than ever and we are excited to be bringing new Windows Phone 8-enabled smartphones to customers later this year,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation.  “With the introduction of Windows Phone in 2010, Microsoft initiated a new powerful mobile ecosystem with a consumer experience that was both unique and user friendly.”

“We have seen great momentum for Windows Phone since its launch in 2010, with 100,000 apps now in the Marketplace”, said Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone at Microsoft. “HTC is one of our closest partners and we share a common goal in driving people-centric innovation, which makes it easy to work together. We can’t wait to see how HTC brings Windows Phone 8 to its product portfolio”.

 

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Windows Phone 8 Start Screen

Microsoft today showed off the new Start screen for Windows Phone 8. The new Start screen in Windows Phone 8 has three new elements, including

  • Variable tile sizes, including user customizable selection between small, medium and so-called “double wide” tiles
  • Removal of the “gutter” aka “the gap” known as the off-centered space to the right of the Start screen. The gutter was a carry-over from the Zune days but now Tiles will be evenly distributed on the Start screen
  • New tile colors – yes, while the 10 + 1 model of Accent colors for Windows Phone carried us for nearly two years, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 will offer a wider selection of colors

The Windows Phone 8 new Start screen offers a more personal experience by being more customizable, giving users greater choice and control. Whle it doesn't match Windows 8 desktop exactly, it's fairly close and should please many users.  

Hit the break for more pics and a video highlighting the new start screen.

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Nokia Lumia Windows Phones getting new apps and updates

Nokia Lumia Windows Phone's new apps on the way

Nokia joined Microsoft today at the Windows Phone 8 Summit to announce a handful of new apps and a few updates to existing apps. The new apps and updates are scheduled to hit the Lumia line of Windows Phones next week.

  • PlayTo is a DLNA app that will let you share music, videos, and photos wirelessly with other DLNA compatible devices.
  • Nokia Counter is an app that will let you monitor data and voice usage.

Updates will also be pushed through to Nokia Maps, Drive, Transport and the camera app.  Here's what we know about the updates.

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WP Central

An easy to miss morsel of information in today's Windows Phone 8 keynote is the news that all future Windows Phone 8 updates will be delivered Over-the-air.

That's right, no longer will you need to dig out the USB cable and hook your phone up to the nearest computer running Zune to pick up any new features. All new hardware running the Windows Phone 8 platform will be able to bring down updates over a data connection.

Such methods of updating phone software are present for many of Windows Phone's competitors, so it's good to see Microsoft taking another step in severing the need to keep your phone tethered to a larger device. That's not to say that we don't expect to see synchronising play a huge part in the Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 relationship, but taking away the dependence on such a connection is a smart move.

Whilst the issue of the update path for existing Windows Phone 7.5 users may be stirring quite a debate, we're sure that this will be welcome news to everyone who's interest in a new device later this year has just piqued. 

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Finally! Words With Friends and DrawSomething for Windows Phone

Gaming news coming out of the Windows Phone Summit is that Zynga's long-anticipated Words With Friends and DrawSomething, by newly-acquired OMGPOP, are finally coming to Windows Phone. The two social games have been loved on iPhone and Android for some time and will make their way to Windows Phone sometime this fall.

There's no exact release date for either, but we're already wasting time at work thinking about it.

Update: See the full Nokia press release after the break

 

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Dropbox reads your files...kinda

Naughty Dropbox

Well, here's an interesting little tidbit for those that use Dropbox to store or share files.

We have all seen documents getting leaked out of large organisations to the public, and invariably said company usually get's the documents removed for legal reasons from wherever they are being hosted. In fact, after the supposed presentation about the XBOX 720 leaking, we saw it being removed from Scridb.com at the request of Covington & Burling LLP which is a firm known to have dealings with Microsoft.

None of that is surprising, but today Windows Phone Centrals Daniel Rubino sent me a certain document via Dropbox so that I could take a look at it. However, trying to download the file just returns the image you can see above. This was not a link shared publically, but yet, it was removed seemingly automatically.

That begs the question, do storage companies analyze your files' content as you upload them? They no doubt have a clause in their terms that allows them to do just that, but it is another thing actually seeing it used.

Moral of the story? Don't use commercial cloud storage to share secret files.

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WP Central

Although we've reported that the Windows Phone Marketplace had 100,000 apps, today Microsoft has put the official stamp on it announcing the figure at the Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco, California.

Certainly a Marketplace should be judged on quality of apps but hitting 100,000 apps has to feel good for Microsoft as it adds some legitimacy to the platform.

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WP Central

Microsoft today announced that HTC, Nokia, Samsung and Huawei will be key launch partners for Windows Phone 8 come this fall.

The new hardware for Windows Phone 8 includes multi-core chips, higher resolution displays including true 720P, NFC and encrypted storage. All four of the announced companies will be providing these high end devices around the world starting this fall.

In addition, Qualcomm (and only Qualcomm) will be providing the chipsets to power the new WP8 phones, which are expected to be dual-core with 1.5Ghz CPUs and feature 720x1280 displays.

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