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Battlewagon

IronSun Studios’ second Xbox Live title, Battlewagon, suffered from a bad case of broken Achievements when it launched last year. Like any responsible developer, IronSun quickly set out to fix those Achievements – but they didn’t stop there. The Battlewagon version 1.1 update includes a few additional tweaks that make for a more enjoyable game – fancy that!

Battlewagon version 1.1 release notes

  • All Achievements are now attainable
  • Added a restart button to the Pause menu
  • Changed the wagon launching mechanism
  • Added a power and angle indicator for lobbing

The new restart button should make replaying levels for higher ratings far more pleasant – no more suffering through additional tries when you’ve blown your first life or two. The wagon launching is much less finicky now, thank goodness. The shot power and angle indicator (displayed numerically at the top of the screen) also improve the gameplay. I still find aiming to be kind of awkward, but at least now you can replicate effective shots by paying attention to the numbers.

Battlewagon

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Breeze

Everybody loves free games – especially Xbox Live ones. Updates are usually welcome too. On that note, ad-supported freebie Breeze, from Null City Software and Microsoft Studios, just received a festive holiday update.

Breeze version 1.1 release notes:

  • Adds holiday-based theme support
  • Fixes a few collision bugs

The holiday theme support is quite timely with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. Play the game any time between now and Tuesday, February 14th to see the new visuals. The player’s flower is currently a rose, and every level’s maze looks a bit love-lier than usual as well. Rob Hutchinson at Null City also offered this tantalizing comment: “Playing the game at different points of the year may yield different visual effects.” Anybody want to play with your phone’s calendar and investigate that hint?

Breeze is a fun little maze game with 50 GamerScore of easy Achievements – see our review for full details. Considering that the game is free and all dressed up for the holiday, Windows Phone gamers have no excuse not to give it a download. You’ll find it here on the Marketplace.

QR: Breeze

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Jeff Wilcox, 	chillaxing

Ah, another week and another Windows Phone team member is moving on to other things. Yes, Jeff Wilcox who's a Senior Software Development Engineer at Microsoft and who was responsible for many aspects of the Windows Phone SDKs (7.0, 7.1) is moving to Microsoft's Azure team to work on their cloud services. From his personal blog:

"I’ve decided that for 2012, I would like to move to the Windows Azure team to focus on the open source story for Microsoft’s cloud. At Microsoft we’re becoming more and more involved in exciting new success stories and tech such as Node.js – along the way we’ve even started using GitHub to accept community open source contributions and make these things better. There’s a great opportunity here and I want to be there to be a part of it all."

Wilcox's work has been key to making Windows Phone devs happy by giving them the necessary tools and tricks to make their jobs easier. Our own Jay Bennett often refers to him as "Gandalf" out of admiration for his work to the platform, so his moving will surely be missed. In turn, we asked Jeff what his proudest contribution to the Windows Phone SDK was:

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WP Central

Welcome to this week's summary, where we summarise the weeks news up into one easy-to-digest recap post. For our developer interview series, we were joined by Alan Mendelevich for some insight into developing for the platform. We've got episode 136 of the WPCentral podcast, and our Windows Phone forums topic highlights. Head on past the break for the full breakdown. 

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Lumia 800c

We've known that China has been testing the Nokia Lumia 800c, a CDMA variant of the popular Nokia handset, and now we have some more information.

The handset is due in March on the China Telecom network and will come in cyan, white and black upon release. In addition, the Lumia 710 is due in April and even the Lumia 900 is expected to launch there too, though no firm date was given. All phones are expected to be upgraded to Tango.

Of course with the mention of CDMA bands, our US readers are probably wondering about a Verizon/Sprint release. While it seems technically easier to do so, we're holding out for a Verizon announcement of a 900 with LTE sometime in the future but our latest intel still has no Nokia devices for Sprint. Of course being the mobile industry, things can change fast.

Source: Weibo; Thanks, nba-lin, for the tip

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WP Central

Just yesterday, we covered the Marketplace disappearance of an enthusiast's Sega Genesis Sega Gamegear/Sega Master System emulator titled Sonic's Jewels 7. But after getting in touch with the developer, we have new information and insight into what went down.

The author received an email from Microsoft on Feburary 9, 2012 entitled: "Mobile Application Content Infringement Complaint - Sonic's Jewels", trimmed for brevity.

This message is to notify you that Microsoft has received a Content Infringement Complaint (“Complaint”) for your application Sonic's Jewels. A copy of the Complaint is attached for your review.

Immediate Request

Please disable access to the application from the Marketplace within one business dayIf your application is still available for download within this timeframe, Microsoft may remove the application.  Please note that under certain circumstances Microsoft may disable your app immediately without providing you the opportunity to disable it.

[...]

Also in the email were two boilerplate options -- either file a DMCA Counter-Notice alleging the take down of the application was in error or actually remove the materials in the complaint. Obviously, the developer pulled the app.

In the attached complaint, filed February 8, 2012, Sega noted (emphasis ours):

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WP Central

LG has been in the spotlight recently with leaks of the upcoming LG Fantasy/Miracle (passing through FCC) coming to light, and now the OEM has released three more apps for consumers to download from the Marketplace. Those who own LG Windows Phones can now get their hands on NowCaster, Winny Toolbox and Winny & Friends (the last two are aimed at the younger ages).

WP Central

NowCaster is a useful app that users can fire up when waking up to the world, which will read out your calendar, the latest weather forecast, as well as other news and reports out loud. The app's usefulness is restricted to those moments when you're occupied but require to check out said information (driving, cooking, etc.).

WP Central

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Carbon v1.1

It's been a bumpy ride for Carbon, the popular Twitter app for webOS, to make its way over to Windows Phone. We had an early build of it a few months ago and since then the app has been polished and submitted to the Marketplace. Unfortunately, it was also rejected no less than four times causing the devs to become exasperated from the process.

Now, we're pleased to tell you that not only did it pass but it is now available. The app fetches for $1.99 and it is certainly one of the nicest Twitter apps on our platform. What's even better is the developers ended up submitting version 1.1 of the app, bringing even more functionality to the mix including the uber cool "inline images in your timeline". That feature means that if there is a pic attached to the Tweet, you can (optionally) have it show up as your scrolling through, giving you a quick-peek at the content.

In addition, you have TwitLonger support, font size control, everything is pinnable, background updates, read-it-later options and more, making this chock full of features.

Carbon v1.1

We've been running v1.1 for the last few days and are very impressed with it. For those of you who are Metro-crazy, this is certainly your Twitter app as it has a very minimalist/font-centric UI design. Plus it has multiple account support which is something we need around these parts, so with that, we give Carbon a big thumbs up for Windows Phone.

We'd also like to announce that version 1.2 should be out within the next few days which features some scrolling tweaks as well as "trial" support, so hang tight if you don't want to purchase right away (though we think it's worth it).

Pick up Carbon here in the Marketplace for $1.99 and let us know in comments what you think. Check our early-video preview after the break. (Thanks for the heads up, Derek B.!)

QR: Carbon

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If it's one thing Nokia likes doing more than selling phones, it's showing how they promote 'em. In this behind-the-scenes video posted by Benson Señora Producciones, we can see a new ad-campaign for the "Amazing Everyday" being set up in Madrid's Estación de Ópera, a fairly popular train hub in Spain.

So knowing the name of the place it makes sense to see the "Amazing Everyday" take on an opera theme, including a mini-stage with a digital singer presumably singing some nifty tune to folks who are passing by the setup. Actually, if you look close it seems to be a 4 foot tall digital Windows Phone that demonstrates the OS. 

Clearly the setup is innovative and more importantly, eye catching.

Thanks, Ellis B., for the tip!

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LG Fantasy E740 for sale on XDA

WP Central

Have an extra 400 Euros and willing to buy a tester device? Then XDA member SoByX may have you covered.

The forum member is reportedly selling the LG Fantasy E740 and has included numerous new photos and even a low-res video of the device in action, giving little doubt to its authenticity. He bought the unreleased Windows Phone from someone testing it and is looking to recoup his costs for his risk, which he's now passing on to you.

The device reportedly features NFC, a gyroscope and will supposedly come out around July (officially). Still, if you must have it now and that price tag sounds right, you can hit him up in the forum.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, Mark J., for the tip!

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Developer Interview: Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex

Developer Interview

For this week's Windows Phone developer interview, we're joined by Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex. While his time isn't focused on app development per se, Mendelevich does an incredible amount of work to help developers on the platform increase their revenue potential and promoting their apps. At the recent WPUG meet up, we viewed an AdDuplex presentation that outlined details surrounding effective use of social media among other promotion means to increase exposure.

Check out the full interview after the break.

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Yesterday we mentioned that Nokia was finally launching in Malaysia, pushing the Lumia 710 and 800 big time with some nice celebrations and giveaways. Now we have a superb video of the event published by Smashpop.net who were there covering the whole thing.

Malaysia launch

What can we say besides that it's great to see crowds gathering and getting excited for both Nokia and Windows Phone? You can feel the momentum building. (Although we we chuckle a bit at the slogan "Gets you to interesting faster".)

Make sure you check out the rest of the photos at smashpop.net.

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WP Central

News just in - we've lost Sonic's Jewels (pun intended). Sonic's Jewels 7 (SJ7), a SEGA Master System & Game Gear emulator, has long be at the centre of attention and was released two weeks ago. But now it has come to our attention that the app has disappeared from the Marketplace. The emulator received high praise from us for being both well designed and featuring some numerous options, including:

  • Pinnable games to the Start screen with Live Tiles
  • Three save slots per game; instant resume
  • Skydrive support for importing games
  • Frame skips for 1st Gen devices
  • Portrait & Landscape support

As well as being able to load ROMs from URLs or SkyDrive, the developer was working on an update that was planned to introduce sound emulation to complete the gaming experience. We've reached out to the developer for clarification as to why the app has been withdrawn. For now we'll allow you to speculate in the comments.

UPDATE: According to the Sonic's Jewels 7 Facebook page SEGA weren't going to allow the use of trademarked graphics/brands and thus Microsoft pulled the app. We've reached out to the developer so stay tuned for more information, thanks Lumic for the heads up on the link.

via: SmartphoneFrance

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Nokia planning Green and Red Lumia 800?

More colors?

A new video has been spotted created by AdContentMedia featuring the Nokia Luna Bluetooth Headset. And while that headset is itself pretty darn awesome what is really eye catching are those two new colors for the Lumia 800: Red and Green.

While we've seen fuchsia/magenta/pink before and we all know cyan and black, but green and red have not been shown off before and it remains to be seen if they are actually planned or just concepts at this point. Nokia has certainly experimented with other colors as described in yesterday's article on the subject and we've heard of yellow, green and white before back in December. Of course since that December interview, the white Lumia 800 (and maybe even a white 900) have come forward.

More Colors?

We'll throw this in the "sure, why not?" camp as we know Nokia like their colors and it would make sense for them to extend those offerings if the Lumia line keeps selling well. Personally, we're pretty excited about green and would love to see that infused in some polycarbonate goodness from our Nokia friends. What do you think?

[Edit: As pointed out in comments, these could also be soft-shell cases which have nearly the same color offerings, though it would have been more efficient to advertise that fact. Still, it's plausible]

Check the video after the break and catch the new colors at about 0:40 and onward.

Source: AdContentMedia; via Unleash The Phones

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AFL Season 2012 lands in the Marketplace

AFL Season 2012 for Windows Phone

Australian Rules Football fans can rejoice! AFL Season 2012 has landing in the Windows Phone Marketplace to keep you up to date on the current 2012 season.  The Windows Phone sports app is nicely laid out and looks good.  Any Aussie Rules football fan should like what they see.

AFL Season 2012

AFL Season 2012 offers live scores, ladders, league news, twitter feeds, player and team stats as well as venue details. Additional features include:

  • View Upcoming Matches for Nominated Team(s)
  • View Embedded Live Scores + AFL Ladder
  • View Fixtures by Date or by Team
  • Includes 2012 Regular Season, Finals + NAB Pre-season
  • Pin your team logo to your live tile
  • UX (Headers) is themed to your nominated team colors
  • View Team page with info, links and upcoming matches
  • Browse Latest RSS News Feeds from Major Sites
  • Comprehensive Venue details with Maps + Navigation

AFL Season 2012 preloads images and data to minimize data and will automatically convert match times to your local time. If you're an AFL fan, this Windows Phone App is definitely worth a try.

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AT&T to double upgrade fee

AT&T doubling upgrade fee

Effective February 12, 2012 AT&T will be increasing its upgrade fee from $18 to $36. The reason? According to the memo outlining the increase the 100% bump is because of the overall costs associated with upgrading to a new device has increased.  This latest increase comes on the heels of AT&T modifying their data plans.

AT&T doubles upgrade fee

Talking points suggest the upgrade fee is for costs associated with selecting and activating your new equipment. But what if you buy online and activate the phone yourself? Kinda doubt AT&T will have a discounted fee for such occassions.  To ease the pain of the sticker shock, AT&T does note that there is no change to your equipment exchange option. Isn't that nice.  

source: AndroidCentral

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WP Central

Although there's no firm date, the cloud-storage company SugarSync will be making an official Windows Phone 7 client sometime in 2012. This follows after an unofficial announcement back in September 2011.

In a letter sent to all customers (we're one of 'em), the CEO of SugarSync Laura Yecies detailed what they accomplished in 2011 and what they are expecting in 2012. In the latter part (as seen below) is where the company is announcing a client for Microsoft's mobile OS along with an iPad version.

Email

SugarSync is a lot like Dropbox where users can have a free and paid accounts with online storage of files, including the ability to sync via your desktop. Presumably a Windows Phone client shouldn't be too hard to make, so hopefully we'll see this in the first half of 2012. For more info, head to www.sugarsync.com.

Read the full letter after the break...

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T-Mobile's one-day sale has free WP7 phones

What better way to say "I love you" than with a 4G Windows phone?  T-Mobile is having a big one-day sale tomorrow in honor of Valentine's Day.  To celebrate, they are offering a boat load of 4G phones and tablets for free, including the Nokia Lumia 710 and HTC Radar.  As is often the case with love, there are strings attached to the deal.  The phones are free after rebate and must be purchased with a new two-year agreement on a qualified plan.  Still, this is a bargain for two very solid Windows phones.  The sale only runs on Saturday, February 11, so you only have 24 hours to commit. 

Source: T-Mobile

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MonsterUp

MonsterUp has long stood out as one the best indie competitors to Xbox Live jumping game Doodle Jump. With excellent controls, delightful graphics, and superior sound, many (including me) prefer Karios Games’ MonsterUp to the game that inspired it. Check out our review or this post about one of the game’s many substantial updates for more details.

As of today, the few Windows Phone players who haven’t tried it yet now have no excuse: the full version of MonsterUp is free this weekend. Whether you’ve never played an endless jumping game or you’re just looking for something a little different than Doodle Jump, this is a fantastic deal.

MonsterUp is free for a limited time only. Hop on over here to the Marketplace to get it.

QR: MonsterUp

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LG Miracle (or is it the Fantasy) Windows Phone

Some time ago we reported on mocked up images on what the upcoming LG Windows Phone, the Fantasy, could look like. We've also seen a few blurry photos of the Fantasy that surfaced over at XDA Developers Forum. To add to the confusion, it is our understanding that the Fantasy is now the Miracle and the Fantasy may be an entirely different phone all together.

Miracle or Fantasy, we are seeing some less blurry photos of the new LG Windows Phone that appeared on a Romanian online trading site. So far, all the images we've seen since December have been consistent and the mock up images look rather spot on.  It's just the name that seems to get a little confusing.

We expect the LG Windows Phone to sport a 4" WVGA NOVA display, 1ghz second gen CPU, 8gb of internal storage, plus a 1.3mp front/5mp rear set of cameras. Hopefully all will come into focus on LG's new Windows Phone later this month at the 2012 Mobile World Congress.   Until then, enjoy the name game.

source: GSMArena via: PocketNow

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WPCentral 136: WP8, piracy and more Nokia [Updated]

WPCentral Podcast

Yes, we're finally back! Jay, Daniel and Rafael are all present for another exciting and in-depth podcast where all things Windows Phone are discussed. This week we talk about Windows Phone 8, piracy and of course Nokia amongst our software picks and taking your questions. Listen in!

Full show notes and HD video after the break...

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If you like Hydro Thunder GO! but not the price or think the physics could be better, take a look at 3D Boat Race from A Trillion Games (makers of 3D Paperball). It's your typical boat racing game but (1) it's free (2) has some really nice physics and gameplay to it:

"Paint your powerful speedboat and challenge other Windows Phone users on 100 different tracks, to become the top pilot worldwide! 3D game with realistic 3d physics, smooth rendering, fantastic gameplay and real-time global leaderboards. Hours and hours of fun! "

At only 6MB in size it's pretty damn impressive and certainly a good deal for being free. Just check some of the action in the above video to get an idea. With that, we have to give a thumbs up for you to at least give it a try, after all you have nothing to lose.

Pick up 3D Boat Race here in the Marketplace.

QR: 3D Boat Race

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ZTE Tania

The pricing for the upcoming ZTE Tania low-spec Windows Phone at Clove UK has plummeted to just £199 (from £250), a price that will interest anyone who is making the switch from feature handsets. The handset, which features a 4.3" screen, 1Ghz processor, 5MP camera, and 4GB storage is nothing short of amazing but for anyone who doesn't require storage for music and the like it's a good choice. With a 1Ghz chip, the user experience of the OS will remain stable as you'd expect on a higher end model.

Clove states that this new price reduction places ZTE's Windows Phone £95 cheaper than the Samsung Omnia W, the arguably more cost effective choice. This new pricing could be to match the Lumia 710, which can also be found at Three and Vodafone for £199 (and sports more storage, better screen and processor). Nokia is aggressively tagging their handsets so ZTE will need to react to this with more competitive pricing should they wish consumers to pick up their product.

The ZTE Tania is not yet available at Clove, but will be released in a reported ten days time. Will you be picking one up (or recommending it to someone)?

Source: Clove UK (ZTE Tania), thanks Richard for the heads up!

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Smoked by Windows Phone

Ben Rudolph has been challenging consumers who wield smartphones on other platforms to see which is faster with common tasks, which began at CES 2012 with some positive results. He's now bringing the $100 challenge to Microsoft Stores across southern California, starting today at the South Coast Plaza Microsoft Store in Costa Mesa, CA (between 2pm - 8pm).

The rules remain the same. Should a challenger win against Windows Phone they'll pocket $100. But should they lose...

Be sure to follow Ben on Twitter for updates on the action.

Source: Windows Phone Team Blog

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WP Central

If you're in Malaysia, you best get your spare cash together as today you can finally purchase the Nokia Lumia 710 or 800 (see our earlier coverage). At about 5:30 pm local time, Nokia's big push into that market will finally begin and the first 100 buyers of the Lumia 800 will get a pair of Nokia Purity HD Stereo headset by Monster, Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse and an "exclusive Nokia premium worth up to RM 1,000". Not too shabby!

Malaysia

Though they have a few hours before all of this happens, people are already lining up. The last count was about 80 people with 5 or so hours before the purchases can be made--not huge but that's not bad either.

The blog Smashpop.net is covering as it happens, adding new photos as the day goes on so make sure to keep up. You can also follow them on Twitter for live updates @smashpop.

To all of Malaysia...congrats! (I've always wanted to say that)

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