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AdDuplex developer interview series [Developers]

Much like our own developer interviews, AdDuplex have begun their own series but will focus mainly on monetisation and marketing. Earning revenue on Windows Phone has always been head of many debates and forms the most used excuse by developers on competing platforms. To kick-start the series of interviews, they have been joined by René Schulte of Pictures Lab and Helium Voice.

Here's a cheeky snippet of the interview:

"Yes, for some apps. In particular long running or often executed apps (like games) benefit from the ad supported model, esp. if an impression based ad network is used, where you get paid out for every minute (?) of impression.

I think other apps which aren't used that often work better with the usual trial / paid model. Pictures Lab is an example for this. BTW, a good trial mode is very important. Many users don't even consider to download an app if it hasn't a trial mode."

We recommend developers who are starting out to keep an eye out for future consultations. Be sure to read up on advice and experience that established developers provide in their answers.

Source: AdDuplex

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O2 Germany ready to roll out Mango too

As with many carriers jumping on the "I'm ready!" train, O2 DE has said on the interwebs that they are indeed ready to push the Mango update to customers. They're now awaiting Microsoft's green light. While Deutsche Telekom is able to provide an actual handset roadmap and status per manufacturer, O2 has unfortunately not provided any further detail as to when.

Source: @o2de, via: WP7App.de

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Expect Mango in a few days says LG-Netherlands

LG has released some exciting information on Twitter to a fellow user who queried as to when Windows Phone users in the Netherlands can expect to see the Mango update. The tweet below states that LG is looking to see Mango rolled out in the country in the next few days.

"Beste, Mango voor Windows phone 7 verwachten we binnen enkele dagen, Groet"

If you'd rather get a new device for Mango, remember that the massive screen-featuring HTC Titan is set to be available in the Netherlands by early October.

Source: @LG_WEBCARE_NL, thanks Rick for the heads up!

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There has been some confusion surrounding a tweet posted by one of the social moderators who run the @ThreeUK Twitter account. The tweet in question (shown in the above shot) is a support answer to another Twitter user and should not be mistaken for Three UK not supporting Windows Phone as there is a massive typo at play here. See the below follow up tweet:

"That was a typo - There has NOT been any decision made about ranging windows 7 phones."

Unfortunately, Three UK still haven't got any Mango devices lined up for launch on the network - a real bummer for myself if this holds true since my contract is soon to run out and I wouldn't mind a free Mango handset upgrade (who wouldn't?). We'll keep an eye out on the coming soon section of the Three website in hope that they throw up a surprise to go next to the wide range of Blackberry and Android handsets.

As far as we're aware Three will be shipping the Mango update and they do support the platform as of now, just no news on any upcoming hardware. For the shorter version of this article: move along, nothing to see here.

Source: @ThreeUK, thanks Ro for the tip!

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Earlier this week, we reported on Doodle Jump (see review) getting an v1.1 update for Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone. Surprisingly, the update was non-Mango specific and instead seemed to be for long awaited bug fixes/enhancements (we're working on the changelog, sit tight--rumor has it the busted UFO achievement is now obtainable).

Now it looks like the devs had a two-pronged approach: bug fixes/enhancements for everyone now and a separate Mango-only update for the rest. Seems like a smart way from dividing your audience. So far the only thing we noticed is fast-app switching i.e. multi-tasking, but we'll see what else we can find. You can download v1.2 now in the Marketplace right here. Thanks, Julian W., for the heads up!

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Xbox Live: Zombies!!! Mango update unleashed

Babaroga’s Zombies!!! (review) is a very cool survival horror-themed board game for Xbox Live.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was a nasty Broken Achievement that almost nobody could get. I’ve got good news and bad news then for my fellow Zombies!!! owners. The good news: an update that fixes the ‘Was it Worth it?’ Achievement is finally available. The bad news? It’s a Mango-only update.

Here are the full release notes for the first Zombies!!! Mango update:

  • Added Fast-App-Switching support
  • Fixed bugs that have been reported since the initial release
  • Reduced difficulty of “some” achievements :-)

While some Xbox Live titles have seen increasd frame rates with their Mango updates, the graphics in Zombies!!! remain the same. It looked great to begin with. More importantly, Babaroga listened to their fans and reduced the frustration of that infamous Achievement.

When WPCentral interviewed Babaroga over the summer, they promised asynchronous (turn-based, over the internet) multiplayer and paid downloadable content in a Mango update. Those features are still coming to Zombies!!!, but they’re not ready just yet. We’ll keep you posted on the next update’s progress.

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For those of you on Deutsche Telekom, some of you will be pleased to know that they will start their Mango update process--for HTC phones--beginning next week. Samsung users, however, will have to wait a bit longer--presumably their software is still undergoing testing. From their Twitter account (Bing translated):

"Telekom customers receive 7.5 update for Windows phone from next week. At first HTC, later Samsung."

So a mix of good/news bad news, but at least you have a heads up from your telekom. So you and Telstra users: sit tight.

Source: @DeutscheTelekom

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Unofficial Lync app for Windows Phone on the way

While we're still waiting on Lync to arrive with Mango, hopefully within the next two weeks, we've also found out that Damaka, a mobile unified communications company in Texas, is planning to bring Xync to the platform. Xync is their answer for mobile Lync across a number of platforms including Android, iOS and Symbian.

Matt Landis recently interviewed Ramesh Chaturvedi from Damaka and received the following answer to one of the questions:

Definitely Windows Phone will be targeted. Remember our history with Windows Mobile? We made video on WM6.1 back in 2006 and Windows is important to us. We definitely will target Windows Phone. Up until now the lack of Windows Phone camera API has been the hold up. The camera API should be available to us this month and then we will start work.

Interesting stuff, it will be great to see what Microsoft brings with its offering. We did see a demo at TechEd 2011 in New Zealand of Lync for Windows Phone by Microsoft and found out they were looking to bring the client to other platforms too. Check out the full interview over at Matt's blog (link below).

Source: Matt Landis, via: WPSauce

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Probably one of the more understated performance improvements in Mango is the ability for devs to create games past the 30FPS mark, hitting 60FPS instead. And while it's far from revolutionary in the mobile space, the amount of realism and smoothness the change offers is quite impressive.

So far we've seen numerous Xbox LIVE games get this update, which also brings fast-app resume but we haven't seen too much in the way of indie games. Today, Pinkball League: The Juggler (see review), pretty much the only pinball game on Windows Phone, hit v1.4 which brings this faster refresh rate to the table. The Juggler has always been exceptionally smooth on gameplay, often looking unusual compared other games. Now with 30FPS+ increase, the gameplay is even better (not to mention the overhaul it received in v1.3). Grab v1.4 here in the Marketplace for a trial.

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While we were just gazing at that HTC commercial for the TITAN in their "Reveal" series, we came across another one, but now for the Radar. In fact, this is the same on played during the London presentation--but now all hi-def like. Even cooler? It's posted by the director himself, Roman Ruetten via 1stAveMachine studio.

We're not sure why but we like this version even more--something about it seems quite epic. And now that we know it's going to T-Mobile with 4G on board, it certainly seems to fit the part. Also the music reminds us of Kill Bill.

Watch the "making of" here, for you video nerds.

Source: Vimeo; Thanks, Danny, for the tip!

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Confirmed: HTC Radar 4G coming to T-Mobile!

Look at that, just a few hours after we posted about the Radar 4G existing and then speculating that it was destined for T-Mobile, pics of that device come forward. And we were right.

There's not too much else to know: it's a 3.8" screen device with a metal unibody design, 5MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing one for video. While the Euro version is just 3G, those in the U.S. will be getting 4G as seen in the shot above. No word on release date or pricing, but obviously this thing is close--TmoNews is hearing "October/early November". This is the only confirmed Mango device for T-Mobile so far, but perhaps there is room for a Titan as well?

See more pics at TmoNews.

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Not that we thought Microsoft was lying, nor doubted the earlier report that Telstra had already approved the Mango update, but it's still nice to see a carrier with this much transparency. Yes, for our friends down under, your beloved Telstra will begin rolling out Mango updates within the next two weeks.

Not much else to say on the matter, we suppose, just that Mango is afoot. That and it looks like Microsoft is attempting a near-simultaneous global roll out. Impressive if it happens.

Source: @Telsta_news; Thanks, Damien D., for the tip!

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HTC working on a Beats Windows Phone

The HTC and Beats Audio partnership has already produced the HTC Sensation XE, an android phone with Beats Audio. We are now learning that a Beats Audio Windows Phone is in the works.

To quickly get a Beats Audio phone on the market HTC took the HTC Sensation, added Beats Audio software, a high-end set of headphones (complete with the Beats trademark red cord), added a few cosmetic changes and added the XE suffix.

Could HTC do something similar with the HTC Radar or Titan? Or are we in store for a few more Windows Phones from HTC later this year?

source: slashgear

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Back in June when "Mango" was first making its rounds, one of the first things we noted with regret was the inability to sideload pretty much all homebrew apps created up to that point. What would happen is you would try to load the app and be greated with "Error 0×81030120". Reason? It's technical but "Mango won’t officially support the deployment of custom applications with the ID_CAP_INTEROPSERVICES capability flag".

Bummer.

Even more of a bummer for the proposed ChevronWP7 Labs, which would be limited to sideloading only apps that don't modify the registry--that is, apps that can't customize the OS at any level.

The good news though, as reported by ChevronWP7 member Rafael Rivera, is there is a way around this. XDA member“Heathcliff74” discovered that if your MaxUnsignedApp value is 300 or higher, you can remove the limitation and sideload the app. This gives devs an easy workaround for re-enabling Homebrew apps (it's been speculated that this "trick" was for MS employees and OEM partners).

Rivera goes on to state "The suitable pairing for this hack is, of course, ChevronWP7 Labs". That's of course, some great news for all of us.

Source: XDA; via Within Windows

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This morning we posted a few new device names that have been documented using the app "I'm a WP7". Those devices include the HTC Ultimate, HTC Radar 4G and the Samsung Haden.

While looking at Elbert Perez's stats for his collection of 13 games, we can at least verify that the HTC Radar 4G pops up there as well, lending more credence to the idea that this device is real. Once again, it's not too difficult to imagine such a device--just pop in a new Qualcomm chipset for the 4G and you're good to go. And since Mango supports 4G, this is a no brainer for US markets.

The big question of course is who is this for: T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon? We're now thinking T-Mobile as we remembered this post.

Source: Occasional Gamer

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The other day we posted that the Dell Venue Pro appeared to be no longer available with contractual discounts for either AT&T or T-Mobile. It looked like the only way to buy the Windows Phone from Dell was to buy the unlocked AT&T or T-Mobile versions.

With the help of one of our readers we have learned that Dell is still offering the Venue Pro on contract with T-Mobile. You just have to hunt for the listings.

You see Dell has a T-Mobile and AT&T page that lists all their electronic gadgets that operate on those respective networks. Listed amongst the tablets and connected laptops on the T-Mobile page is the Dell Venue Pro (here's our review).  You can purchase the Dell Venue Pro for the low, contractually discounted price of $.99 after agreeing to a two year contract with T-Mobile. 

You can find the T-Mobile version of the Venue Pro with contractual discounts here.

Oddly, the unlocked version is going for $334.98 on the Dell T-Mobile page but over here on Dell's main smartphone page, the DVP is going for $299.99. All of which makes us wonder if Dell forgot to update these pages when they took the contract discounts off the main page.

Either way, contract or not, the Dell Venue Pro is a nice Windows Phone (that grows on you) at a decent price.

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We keep hearing how Microsoft (and partners) need to sell their devices. And while we mean that in the literal sense, we also mean it in the advertising one as well--they need pizazz, a way to draw in users.

We know with "Mango", Microsoft's partners (OEMs, carriers) will be taking on a larger roll in advertising. What you see above is what looks like to be a first attempt at that, with HTC making a nifty 45 second spot called "HTC TITAN: Reveal". The ad has the phone forming out of air with some solid music playing.

Our only criticism? Would have been nice to throw in some specs--not even a mention of the 4.7" screen? Seems like sacrilege to us. But hey, it's a start.

Related: See Microsoft's Metro ad aimed at developers

Source: Windows Phone UK (YouTube); Thanks, Andrew, for the tip!

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One "killer app" missing for many on Windows Phone, despite some solid alternatives, is Pandora internet radio. We still see no reason that Pandora won't release an official app now that Mango is around the corner and supports background play--so we won't be surprised if something shows up soon.

However, in the meantime for you die-hard folks out there who are already on Mango (estimate via "I'm a WP7" is nearly 20% of Windows Phone users): you can now browse to Pandora.com via IE9 and stream that way. See, the whole website was redesigned and relaunched today and HTML5 is their new standard. Our browser supports HTML5 and background audio play, so match made in heaven. New Pandora site includes:

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We previously covered the leaked Orange memo that pinned the 15th of September as the roll-out day, but we are all ware of this day passing by. Now, Microsoft has finally released some more detail on the actual window for release. Eric Hautala published the following over at the Windows Phone Developer blog:

For months, we and dozens of our partner companies have been laying the groundwork for the Windows Phone 7.5 update—and making solid progress. As a result, we now expect to start rolling it out in the next week or two. At that time, we’ll also refresh the Where’s My Phone Update? table to reflect the worldwide roll out status.

This ties in with Joe Belfiore's tweet last week that reminded everyone of "the fall" being aimed at for the green button to be pressed. So, there we have it, keep an eye out on this space for the announcement within the next two weeks. 

Source: Windows Phone Dev blog  Thanks goes out to everyone (too many to name) who tipped us on this!

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TransparentTXT - Mango App Spotlight

Ever walk into a light pole or mail box while walking and texting on your Windows Phone? TransparentTXT is a Windows Phone Mango app that hopes to take some of the hazards out of texting while walking.

Described as the solution for the text-walker, TransparentTXT activates your Windows Phone camera and throws a SMS overlay on top of your camera view. This way you can typed while having a view of what your about to walk into.

The on-screen display includes your keyboard, text fields and character count. You can also manage text and keyboard transparency in the settings. We agree with the developers warning that this app is not designed to allow you to text while driving and the recommendation that it is best to stop walking and then text. But, some like to keep moving and TransparentTXT might help steer you clear of light poles, mail boxes, small children or any other obstacle you may encounter while out walking.

There is a free trial available for TransparentTXT with the full version running $2.49. You can find both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. Remember you'll need to be running Mango on your Windows Phone to use TransparentTXT.

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Tiki Towers receives Mango update

Following suit with other apps and games getting Mango updated, Tiki Towers has joined the fruit train. The update will bring fast-app switching and 60fps to the table, not like the game was slow to begin with. We'll be sure to attempt to obtain the change log to see if anything else was added in.

Check out our review of Tiki towers and download the game from the Marketplace.

Thanks @BinaerJongleur for the tip!

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Here's a pleasant surprise, gMaps Pro (see earlier coverage) developer Alexey Strakh has managed a first for Windows Phone: Google Latitude.

Yup, starting with v111.0, users can now login to their Google Latitude account, see themselves and others on the map or as a list. It seems to work pretty well from our few minutes playing around--heck it even pulls down your avatar photo. Friends appear as green generic icons, tapping them brings up their info, location last check time, coordinates and ability to get directions to them. Other notable additions to v1.11.0:

  • Localization for English, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Русский, Беларускi languages
  • New weather layer

We've called gMaps Pro the best Google Maps app on Windows Phone and today's update reasserts that with these new features. There is also a free gMaps in the Marketplace, but note that it lacks these advanced and much coveted options. There's a free trial of gMaps Pro and it can bought for a fair $1.99. Grab it here in the Marketplace if interested.

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We love stats and today we have some from 'I'm a WP7' which were sent to us directly from the developer, Scott Peterson. Going through the list of makes, models and code names is always a challenge. This morning we have three devices that caught out eye (besides the already known Nokia 703 and 800).

  • HTC Ultimate - first we've ever heard of this device. Ironically, there was a fan-designed Android device back in early 2010 going by the same name--guess HTC liked the idea. Before we jump to conclusions though, this could be just a carrier branded version of the Titan e.g. think AT&T.
  • Radar 4G - So far only Samsung with the Focus S on AT&T gets the nod for first Windows Phone with "4G" (yes, in quotes). But if true, this will show that HTC has something up their sleeves. Our bet? We're looking at a Sprint or Verizon phone, with more confidence in the former carrier.
  • Samsung Haden - Searching for Haden returns the 'Hayden' aka Samsung l870, but that's too old to be relevant. However, it is a portrait slider device ala Venue Pro and Samsung does have an i677 in the works, which traditionally are front-qwerty phones. Maybe we're reading too much into that, but it's fun to guess.

(Note: The Eternity X310e is just the Titan)

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The app ...I'm a WP7 is one of those quite impressive offerings that many over look (though not too many as it's constantly #3 is the top free social apps). The program has just been updated to v3.1 making it the second Mango update to the given in the week. While v2.5 was quite an overhaul, we were pleased to see where 3.x has started to go and how it continues to improve. New features in v3.1 are the following:

  • Multiple Live Tiles
  • Hub Start screen
  • Member forums
  • Easter Eggs (hint: there's a ringtone)
  • Badge integration
  • User statistics
  • Twitter status integration
  • Save favorites
  • Bug fixes and performance enhancements

The forums are an interesting twist that are actually kind of fun (and a great way to anonymously discuss Windows Phone news) and the new layout and options are much welcomed. Plus with the fast-app resume and live tiles, you get a little more pizazz going on. We've also managed to learn about some new features coming very soon: 

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Microsoft's gears are still grinding away with Mango this fall, pushing out USB updates, new Mango apps and even launching the Marketplace in more regions, something that many desperately  want. It's the latter here that is most interesting as Sweden looks to be the lucky country today get Zune Marketplace access.

Reader Bruno H. has sent in these images along with his story about how very recently this all went live:

"Yesterday when i opened Zune on my pc, suddenly there was a new option in Zune that I had never seen before.

It was the Marketplace that had opened. I could rent movies (for points) and purchase and download WP7 Apps (for money). I bought an app I had on trial (Sally's Salon) to try the functionality. The Purchase went through but Sally on my WP7 device (Samsung Omnia 7) never got updated. Could be that I need Mango to get the purchases to download through Zune?"

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