Articles

Spider Jack playroom

Exclusive Playroom screenshots!

Spider Jack enjoys the distinction of being the first Chillingo title on Windows Phone – followed several months later by Feed Me Oil. It was also the game that proved Electronic Arts had not dropped the platform after almost a year of silence. (Chillingo is a label owned by EA, best known for Cut the Rope, a game we still hope comes to Windows Phone someday.)

Way back in January, Spider Jack’s developers MaxNick informed us that more levels were on the way. Fast forward to May and those levels have finally become a reality with the version 1.2 update!

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MVP and frequent conference speaker David Rook, better known as SecurityNinja, gave an interesting presentation on security at Bsides London 2012. The chosen platform for discussion? Windows Phone. Rook goes into detail (it's an hour long presentation) about app and platform security. The talk covers Visual Studio, compiling code and how apps are ran within the OS.

While it's a fairly lengthy video, the talk is well worth checking out if you're interested in Windows Phone app development and security, or are wanting to know how everything works behind the doors.

Source: YouTube

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Windows Phone App Review: Baseball Live

WP Central

As summer moves into full swing, so does the Major League Baseball season. To help you keep track of things, you have the Windows Phone app Baseball Live.

The main pages for Baseball Live cover news, scores, team standings, a more page that will send you to a stats page, ESPN videos page, MLB videos page, ESPN's MLB Tweets, MLB Tweets and the app's settings.

The nice thing about Baseball Live is there are very few redirects to external sites. All the information is pulled into Baseball Live avoiding the need to bounce between the app and Internet Explorer. You will need to go to your YouTube Windows Phone app to view videos and the Twitter Windows Phone app for the tweets but news items, stats, and scores are all pulled into Baseball Live.

Baseball Live

Other features for Baseball Live include:

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WP Central

On May 28th last year, following months of hard work, stress over designs and attempts to locate every possible bug, we released v1.1 of the WPCentral app into the marketplace (v1.0 was rejected due to some trademark issues). In no time at all, as a result of the incredible support of you, our readers, we were the number 1 paid app in the news & weather category.

Since then we've steadily released new updates, adding new features, refining the layout and of course listening to you, our trusted reader.

To celebrate our 1-year anniversary, we're happy to report that the WPCentral app is completely free for the next 24-hours (as opposed to the super-low $0.99 it normal fetches for). That's right, if you couldn't rationalize spending the dollar before for the app, your frugal-ness has paid off. Now you can unleash the whole app for $0 and lock that price in forever (depriving poor Jay of some hard-earned lager).

We just want to thank each and every one of you for your support over the last two-years (more so if you count WMExperts)--we really do appreciate it. And don't worry, we have a lot more coming your way both for the app and the site (cough, mid June, cough), so stay tuned and keep sending us your feedback.

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WP Central

Either Nokia is good at product placement or they're getting a lot of interest because LeVar Burton, also known as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, is now using one.

In a simple two part tweet, the Reading Rainbow celeb stated "I luva my Lumia" and it was causing a bit of a stir amongst his readers (some for, some against).

Burton evidently picked up a glossy-white AT&T edition 900, the same one we're using ourselves and so far he seems to be happy with it. It will be interesting to see how he progresses with the flagship device over the next few days, after all the man was the chief engineer of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E), so figuring out Windows Phone should be a breeze.

Regardless, welcome to the club, LeVar!

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Aaron J., for the tip

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Windows Phone Summary of the Week: May 21 - 27, 2012

WP Central

It's a sunny Sunday. Well, it is here at the UK HQ of Windows Phone Central. So in line with the sunshine, let's crack into another weekly summary of all the Windows Phone headlines that we have published in the week.

But before we go into the recap itself, we've got episode 143 of the Windows Phone Central Podcast for you to check out. As well as the podcast, our Jay Bennett has pushed through version 2.3 of the Windows Phone Central app, which is now available on the Marketplace.

We've been joined by George Banfill from Linknode, the team behind AlbumFlow and MegaTile, for this week's developer interview where he speaks about the development process on Windows Phone. Are you prepared for the upcoming hurricane season in the states? If not, check out some apps for your smartphone. Right, let's get into the summary. Head on past the break for the full run through.

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Sunday Times WP

The Sunday Times, a popular UK Sunday broadsheet newspaper, has featured the Lumia 900 and Windows Phone in its "Supersize Shakers of Apple's Tree" test bench, along with the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, Motorola RAZR MAXX and Sony Xperia P. Each handset was rated 'best' for a number of factors, including value, battery life and operating system.

Which did the Lumia 900 and Windows Phone take? We think you could take a good guess - the operating system. 

WP Central

Not only did we take the 'best operating system' title, but the Lumia 900 was also given four stars, which was also the case with the Galaxy S III and One X. In the short description, The Sunday Times noted that the Windows Phone system is slicker than Android, though it is well known to have fewer apps.

The 900 has recently launched in the UK, and is available at Phones 4u, Carphone Warehouse, Clove and Amazon.

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Limited Edition Batman Lumia 900 coming in a few weeks

Batman!

We know Nokia and director Christopher Nolan have a thing going--after all, Nokia has appeared in a previous "Batman" film and we've seen a limited run of Batman themed Lumia 800's back in December.  There were only 40 of those created.

Now they're looking to jump on the release of "the Dark Night Rises" with a more widely available (but still super limited) Batman edition of the Lumia 900, etched with a Batman logo on the back.

WP Central

Phones4U are confirmed to be getting a batch and the device will go on sales in France and Germany too.

No word on pricing or just how many will be available but it sounds like you'll need to be quick to get one. Also no confirmation of an AT&T version--we'll be surprised if the massive carrier doesn't offer something similar, so we'll keep an ear out.

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BBC releases official Top Gear app for Windows Phone

WP Central

The BBC, responsible for a a number of entertainment sources, has released an official Top Gear app for Windows Phone. Should you be a fan of the motor series you'll want to check out this beauty. The app sports an intuitive interface, which is rich in Metro goodness. So what can one do when using the Top Gear app? 

From checking out the latest news and reviews, users can check out videos and galleries for a multimedia experience. Clips from the popular TV show can be viewed while reading up on the latest rants and opinions from the trio of driving action. As well as the usual integrated services, those who use the app are able to check out behind the scene exclusives from the team, not to mention previews of upcoming Top Gear related news / media.

WP Central

When viewing videos, the multimedia can be downloaded and saved locally on the Windows Phone for journeys with little signal, or to save the pennies by preventing the data allowance being hit.

You can download the Top Gear app from the Marketplace for free. Thanks everyone who tipped us!

QR: TopGear

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Nokia Lumia 900 now available in Singapore on SingTel

Noka ad

Nokia launched the Lumia 900 in Singapore with a media blitz

We mentioned last week that Singapore was due to receive the Nokia Lumia 900 on May 26th and sure enough, the flagship Windows Phone has launched today on SingTel and at various locations. It joins the previously launched Lumia 710 and 800 in the region.

The device seems priced well, S$248 which according to the site WP7SG is "considerably cheap" as the HTC One X  is being offered at S$318 on the same contract.--that's important and good news as the One X is considerable competition.

What's more, advertising for the device, while a bit late for WP7SG's tastes seems quite ubiquitous with no less than four ads in The Straits Times for StarHub, SingTel, Nokia and M1. However, the papers TODAY! or The New Paper did not carry ads at least not yet.

Ads in Singapore's The Straits Times

Two more ads for the Lumia 900 in the paper

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ARMED! now on sale for a limited time!

ARMED! is a fantastic, multi-player, strategy game for your Windows Phone and it's now on sale. For a limited time you can snatch up ARMED! for $1.99, a $2 savings. Not sure how long a "limited time" will be so if you're on the fence about buying ARMED!, now is the time to act.

ARMED! has some of the best graphics we've seen on a Windows Phone game and this deal is a steal. You'll be able to get all the future updates to the game that includes two new maps, Fortress and Waterhazard.

If you're looking for a quality, sci-fi, strategy game for your Windows Phone gaming library, ARMED! is a must. You can find ARMED! here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. There is a trial version available but be warned, it won't take long before you find yourself purchasing the full version.

QR: ARMED!

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Developer Interview: George Banfill from Linknode

WP Central

This week we've got hold of George Banfill from Linknode, the team behind the likes of AlbumFlow and MegaTile. We met up with George and his colleague Crispin Hoult back at a recent WPUG meetup where we took a look at MegaTile and how the app provides the user with an impressive collection of tools for homescreen tile customisation. Head on past the break for the read through.

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We like our indie developers who make some fun casual games for Windows Phone, so seeing Pirate Cat available we'll take it. Cats people, it has cats...

The game is made by Xeno Bits and has an 1920's silent movie feel to it with black and white graphics and a catchy piano soundtrack. From the description:

"The captain found THE map, but it does not really lead to the expected location... Actually, it takes to the moon, and he thought that sending you there to dig up the treasure would be a great idea.

You are the Pirate Cat, and you have to reach the moon by using your brand new handmade wings, hitting birds and collecting feathers to keep flying. Try to reach the moon before the break of dawn!"

The game is fun, has cool challenges with trophies and superb graphics for an enjoyable experience. What's more, through June 1st you can grab the game for absolutely free--no ads, no catches--making this a great opportunity to pick up a quick little gem of a game.

Pirate Cat

You can grab Pirate Cat here in the Marketplace and make sure to leave the dev some positive ratings if you like it.

Check the official trailer and QR code after the break...

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Nokia SmartStart

By now Nokia’s commitment to the Windows Phone OS should be well established. What has made their role so vital to Microsoft is not just the hardware they’ve created (4 phones in 12 months) but the support they’re providing to the platform from all directions.

Whether it’s original OEM apps, exclusive titles, developer support tools, mapping data, dispersing thousands of free Lumias to devs or their promotions, Nokia has gone beyond their competitors in many ways.

One of those is one that may not be too familiar with Windows Phone Central readers but is just as impressive: Nokia’s SmartStart program.

What’s SmartStart? We get a behind the scenes glimpse of Nokia’s growing support system for new Lumia owners and share what’s coming next…

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WP Central

Whether you're a heavy stock stalker, or are a simple human being who purchased Facebook shares for fun, you'll want to check out Markets & Me for Windows Phone. So what is Markets & Me all about? It's primarily a stock portfolio management and tracking app that keeps the user up-to-date with alterations in a number of markets.

Markets & Me packs some unique functionality, which compliments the usual stock checking and management. Latest financial headlines are pulled down from Reuters and company events are available in an intuitive view. Specific regions can be selected for this calendar, which will alter what economic events available.

Positions of the user can be imported / exported to the cloud (via SkyDrive), existing Google portfolios can be integrated, and there's a personal interactive chart of stock performances to boot. It's a fairly feature-rich experience with everything the average Joe needs while on the move.

WP Central

The app boasts a rich Metro interface, which reminds us of Weather Flow and the like. As one can tell with the above shots, Markets & Me isn't an ugly duckling. The app is completely free for the time being, with future versions possibly introducing a premium experience. Version 1.1 is already heading through the Marketplace checks, which will apply a number of bug fixes and improvements.

Check out a quick demonstration of the app in action below.

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Mobilicity Nokia Lumia 710 Photo Contest Winners!

Mobilicity and WP Central Photo Contest

First, Windows Phone Central and Mobilicity would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry to the Nokia Lumia 710 Photo Contest. We had well over sixty entries and they all were worthy of selection.

Unfortunately, we had to narrow down the entries to three. First prize is a Nokia Lumia 710 with six months of service from Mobilicity. The runner up prizes are a $100 and $50 gift certificate to the WPCentral Accessory Store. It was a difficult decision but if you hit the break you can see all three winning entries.

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WP Central

We last covered a Windows Phone version of the BBC iPlayer back in August last year, where we brought the unfortunate news that the corporation was waiting for the platform to support Flash before they'd attempt to bring the on-demand service to Windows Phone owners. Nokia has now informed The Inquirer that the BBC iPlayer will be coming to Lumia owners in the coming weeks.

Now, first question that springs to mind is how has the team at the BBC got round the no-Flash capability? Second, how long is the exclusivity going to be (if at all) with Lumia handsets? Nokia has been busy building relations with developers and companies to bring across apps to the platform and improve the selection of big brand names available. It would make sense for an iPlayer solution to be made available to all Windows Phone consumers, especially since Microsoft has also managed to get the service live on the Xbox.

That's the good news, and we'll look to update you all with more information on dates of availability, as well as any details on a potential Lumia exclusivity. The bad news in this article, and from the Nokia source, is that a Sky Go app is not looking likely for another few months. The service is a popular add-on for Sky customers and will prove to be an issue until a solution is available for Windows Phone with apps already in the iOS and Android app markets. Unfortunately, no details were revealed for 4OD, ITV Player and 5 on Demand.

Source: The Inquirer

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Lumia 900 in white coming to O2 Germany early June

WP Central

The Lumia 900 Windows Phone is making its way across Europe and beyond, after unexpected demand in the U.S. crippled production which subsequently led to delays for other markets. We've now got word of O2 Germany looking to pack the international version of the flagship Nokia smartphone with the website stating its "coming soon". ETA? Early June.

The Lumia 900 sports a 1.4Ghz chip, 4.3" AMOLED display, 16GB storage, and a 8MP rear camera with a 1MP front-facing camera. Note that you'll be required to have a micro-SIM to use the Lumia 900, which O2 will be able to supply (you can also get your normal sized SIM cut at retailers that offer this service). Be sure to register your interest on O2's website, unfortunately there's no word on pricing just yet.

Update: Amazon.de has the phone listed for May 31st as well for EUR 575,00.

Source: O2 DE; thanks Dirk  and Mark T., for the heads up!

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WP Central

The Smoked by Windows Phone challenge, the popular marketing campaign that was born back at CES 2012, has made its way to Toronto, Canada. The public are challenged by the Windows Phone team to see if their smartphone can beat Microsoft's mobile OS and pocket $100. As usual, these challenges include common tasks such as uploading a photo to Facebook.

Windows Phone has been steadily growing in reach when it comes to Canada. The 4G Radar and Lumia 900 are both available to take advantage of faster network speeds, and carriers are supporting the platform with stocking a number of devices. But we've yet to see a strong push by Nokia or Microsoft so it's good to see such marketing ongoing.

If you wish to check out the Windows Phone challenge, here are the event locations for the next few days:

  • May 25: Yonge and Eglington - 12pm-8pm
  • May 26: The Danforth - 10am-6pm
  • May 27: Yonge and Dundas - 11am-5pm

Toronto Smoked 2

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Nokia adds Soundtracker to their Collection

Soundtracker

We're not too sure of what to make of this one but Nokia now has the Soundtracker app listed in their Collection for their Lumia line.

For those of you who don't know, Soundtracker lets you stream music to your device and then adds some social stuff to the mix, allowing you to see what your friends and neighbors are listening too and vice versa. We've really never used the service but heck, we'll give it another go as it seems to have some solid ratings and nice features.

Now before anyone gets into a huff, Soundtracker is still available for all other Windows Phones too. In fact, the one in the Nokia Collection is even the same version as that one so consider this more of an "app highlight" rather than any kind of exclusive deal with special features.

For those of you who want the Nokia version and have access to the Nokia Collection on your Lumia, you can grab Soundtracker here for free. Thanks, Jose, for the tip

QR: Nokia Soundtracker

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WP Central

Flo Rida is no stranger to Nokia Windows Phones. Back in February in the video for 'Wild Ones' the popular artist was seen using the Lumia 710 and Twitter. Though it was just in passing, it was a nice nod for Nokia's newest phone.

In Mr. Rida's new video (can we call him that?) for 'Whistle' the shiny and sexy glossy-white Lumia 900 is the star. While the 900 actually doesn't shake its booty (creative license, sorry), it does get some screen time.

WP Central

Starting at about 1:47 and a few seconds later you can see the popular Windows Phone being used for some photos and sending an MMS. Not a bad plug for the phone, we suppose.

Check out the video after the break... Warning: NSFW [lots of badonkadonks]. Thanks, Daniel, for the tip!

Edit: There looks to be a copyright issue where playing it on mobile phones, ironcially, is not supported. You can try through your web browser instead.

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WP Central

Today Nokia has announced that their mapping data, specifically traffic info and geocoding ability (more on that in a bit) is powering Microsoft's Bing Mapping services. While this collaboration has been in the works since the Nokia-Microsoft partnership was announced, we're now seeing the results of it.

In short, if you launch your Bing Maps (either on the web or your Windows Phone) and enable Traffic, you'll notice two things right away:

  1. New color codes - green, yellow and red (maybe black?)
  2. More detail - Where once only major roads have it, now we're seeing our local streets with live traffic data

Nokia is now offering what was before only available in their Nokia Maps app to everyone who uses Bing. What's more, that info is available in 24 countries including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, UK and US.

Besides traffic, there's also geocoding which is something that's very important and here's why: geocoding algorithms take latitude and longitude information and connect them to a "readable address"--basically that whole ability to translate your GPS coordinates into a usable street number and name. Many apps use it, including what powers Foursquare or any app that sends your location e.g. WhatsApp. In theory now, it should be more accurate and help with directions too.

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Samsung Focus 2 for a penny at Amazon Wireless

Amazon Wireless is offering AT&T's Samsung Focus 2 (here's our review) for only a penny.  The one cent cost covers both new accounts and upgrades for individual accounts after contractual and Amazon Wireless discounts.  The off-contract pricing is $399.99.  Whichever option you chose, free two day shipping is included.

The downside to the offer is that the Focus 2 is on backorder but expected to ship within 8 to 9 days.

Amazon Wireless

 

Just to recap, the Samsung Focus 2 is a compact, base line WIndows Phone that sports a 4" Super AMOLED screen, 5mp rear camera, VGA front facing camera, 8 gigabytes of storage, is 4G LTE compatible, and has a glossy white finish.  You can find all the details here at Amazon Wireless.

Thanks, Corepc, for the tip!

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