Articles

4

Bake a cake for a chance at winning a Windows Phone

Windows Phone Cake Contest

There seems to be a fascination with baking cakes that look like Windows Phones. So much so that Microsoft is hosting a cake contest where you could bake your way into a new Windows Phone.

Entering is simple. Create a Windows Phone inspired cake, take a picture of your culinary delight and submit it at the Windows Phone Cake Contest page over on Facebook. The three cakes with the most "likes" will win a Windows Phone.

Windows Phone Cake

Entries must be received by Wednesday, May 30, 2012 and voting ends on June 6, 2012. You can find all the fine print of the official rules here on SkyDrive. This is definitely one contest that could go straight to your hips.

Good luck and happy baking.

Source: Windows Team Blog

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

WP Central

We previously covered the Crunchyroll Windows Phone app when it was released last month, but the app has been recently updated that enables guest access. When the app was released access was restricted unless you were in possession of a premium account, or enabled the free trial. The service allows users to watch over 600 popular anime shows.

So what shows are available on Crunchyroll (website)? The likes of Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Shugo Chara!, Blue Exorcist, Gintama, Fate/Zero, Space Brothers, The World God Only Knows, and Bodacious Space Pirates. As mentioned above, this latest update enables access to those who don't have a premium account. To enjoy the full experience of the service, one is required to kick off membership.

Advantages of premium membership:

  • Watch new episodes 1-hour after airing in Japan
  • Watch over 3G and 4G network
  • No adverts
  • Access to 720p HD and DVD quality videos (1080p on newer series) on the website, crunchyroll.com

You can download Crunchyroll from the Marketplace for free. When launching the app, you can select to start a free trial, log in or test the app for free.

Thanks Elisha for the tip!

0
loading...
0
loading...
18
loading...
0
loading...
18

Telstra officially announce HTC TITAN 4G Windows Phone

HTC TITAN II

It's official, Telstra has announced the HTC TITAN 4G, which will be the first Windows Phone to make use of the faster network speeds. After weeks (if not months) of speculation and anticipation from Australian Windows Phone fans, the carrier has finally released details surrounding the HTC monster device. It's actually the HTC TITAN II that launched in the U.S., but will be branded as the HTC TITAN 4G.

This is great news for those who are awaiting for a 4G Windows Phone as this beast of a smartphone not only packs 4G speeds, but a 16MP camera, which we positively reviewed. Will Irving, Group Managing Director, Telstra Business comments:

"Windows Phone fans will soon be able to surf the mobile web, respond to email and access work documents faster than before on the HTC Titan4G – Australia’s first 4G Windows Phone which launches next Tuesday on the Telstra Mobile Network.” In a clear pitch to business users and enterprise customers. Australian small businesses have embraced smartphones to help them work where they want and to stay responsive to customers and new business opportunities.

0
loading...
0
loading...
28
loading...
0
loading...

WP Central

Nokia World 2012 was announced earlier this year and is set to be held in Helsinki, Finland on September 25-26. As was the case with London 2011, we expected a single event to be held in a fairly large convention centre. It seems Nokia has other ideas for this year as the manufacturer has revealed plans for a new format with holding a number of events separately.

The first of said events will be held on September 5-6, a handful of weeks in advance than previously announced. More information and details will be published in the coming months, but you can be sure Windows Phone Central will be at Nokia World to bring you the latest Windows Phone juice. The first event will target carriers and large partners, but follow-up events will cater different audiences.

Nokia has stated that we should look at future Nokia Worlds as more SXSW, rather than CES. All we know is that it's going to be an un-missable look at what hardware the manufacturer will have for Windows Phone 8 "Apollo".

Source: Nokia Conversations; thanks Kyle for the heads up! 

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

WP Central

Our friends over at Windows Phone Geek, the developer-based community, have announced their new marketplace (link) that caters for developers who requires tools to help them build apps on the platform. This beta (currently invite-only) Windows Phone marketplace enables developers to buy / sell UI controls, developer tools, SDKs, app templates, source code and more.

So why launch a developer marketplace? The goal is to help developers build high quality apps and offer tools in a single location. For those who have already crafted such tools and projects, they can release them for free or earn a little revenue on the side by selling the tools to other platform developers. Submissions are stated to be free. Boryana Miloshevska, Founder and CEO of WPGeek Ltd, had the following to say:

"Our purpose is not just to list thousands of low quality components, but to list only those that really can bring value and can help developers to build better apps. So, quality and not just quantity is what we aim to achieve with the WindowsPhoneGeek Marketplace!"

Be sure to head on over to Windows Phone Geek to check out the resources available and show interest into the newly announced developer marketplace.

Source: Windows Phone Geek

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

Monopoly Guy

Those hoping for an exciting Deal of the Week will likely be disappointed this time out. The latest sale is a repeat: Monopoly from Electronic Arts. It’s on sale for $2.99, down from an overpriced $4.99.

What can you say about Monopoly? Our review praises its faithfulness to the original board game and support of customizing the game rules. The lack of online multiplayer keeps the game from being all that it could be, but that’s mobile Xbox Live for you. Thankfully the game does support local multiplayer, which could be fun if you’re stuck somewhere with nothing to do. Easy Achievements (only one of which is luck based) might provide an incentive to buy as well.

Monopoly is on sale for $2.99 for one week only. Grab it here on the Marketplace.

QR: Monopoly

2
loading...
0
loading...
16
loading...
0
loading...

WP Central

The premium version of Rowi has been updated today, which introduces features implemented in the recent Rowi "Lite" release. Without repeating ourselves too much, this update to both versions of the Windows Phone Twitter client makes use of the Aviary SDK (see our earlier exclusive first look) for photo manipulation and editing. 

As well as catering for the die-hard amateur photographers, version 2.1 also brings support for TweetMarker (website), a service that synchronises accounts across multiple clients and platforms. The update is rolling out for the paid version of Rowi as we speak, so fear not if you haven't received the notification just yet.

If you haven't got Rowi, you can download the app from the Marketplace.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

WP Central

0
loading...
0
loading...
22
loading...
0
loading...
7

Best Windows Phone Apps for Hurricane Season

Windows Phone Central takes a look at apps that will help during the upcoming Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season and your Windows Phone

For many Windows Phone owners, June 1st marks the start of summer. For some, June 1st marks the start of Hurricane Season. If you live along the U.S. Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast, in the Caribbean or any other area that could be impacted by hurricanes, there are a few apps for your Windows Phone that can come in handy.

These apps keep you informed of the tropical systems as they develop into hurricanes, monitor the storms track, help you weather out the storm, and pick up the pieces when the dust settles. Hopefully this Hurricane Season will be a quiet one but if not, maybe these apps will help.

1
loading...
0
loading...
20
loading...
0
loading...

Droplitz Delight

Last month, Windows Phone Central announced that Droplitz Delight would soon be coming to Xbox Live. That time is now at hand, as Game House’s latest is now available on the Marketplace.

Droplitz Delight

Droplitz Delight is the mobile-exclusive sequel to XBLA and Steam puzzler Droplitz. In each level, players are tasked with guiding the adorable liquid droplitz from the top of the screen to the bottom. You’ll have to quickly rotate a bunch of tiles in order to create a safe path for the little liquids, and then do it all again after the old path disappears. Gameplay modes include the 40-level Target Quest, Dash, Classic, and Free Play.

The warm and cuddly art style of Droplitz Delight would be reason enough for puzzle fans to give it a look, but the game has another ace up its sleeves too. Droplitz Delight rings up at just 99 cents – the perfect impulse price. You can get it here on the Marketplace.

0
loading...
0
loading...
14
loading...
0
loading...
57

AT&T Titan and Titan II out of stock online

WP Central

We're not too sure what to make out of AT&T running out of the HTC Titan I and Titan II online but if you head to their site, you can see for yourself.

Now we could explain away the original Titan becoming unavailable -- after all, AT&T would probably be happy to put away any stock on that device for it's bigger and better sequel. But even the Titan II is not available, which makes us wonder if HTC is having some component or production issues (or maybe they just forgot to make more, instantrimshot).

Could the Titan II be selling so well that they can't keep up? Obviously, we doubt that though we do have reports of general increases in Windows Phone sales due to the Lumia 900 (insert the whole "rising tide lifts all boats" idiom here) and maybe, just maybe the Titan II is seeing an uptick in purchases too.

WP Central

Heck, it should. It's a great Windows Phone and a great smartphone, rocking the largest camera available on the market. Which reminds us, why have we not seen a single commercial boasting that fact? Seems like an easy sell to us but what do we know...

0
loading...
0
loading...
28
loading...
0
loading...

WSJ live

It's a good day for Windows Phone users as they can now download an official version of the WSJ Live for their devices (as opposed to the half dozen clones). The Wall Street Journal is quite the major publication and follows other recent releases on Windows Phone including TIme Magazine and the Daily Beast in offering high quality official apps.

The app is an interesting twist on the WSJ as this is the online "Live" branded version meaning all of the content is in video. In other words, instead of typical WSJ articles, you're getting news segments that last anywhere from 30 seconds to nearly 5 minutes in length. We just fired it up and was rather impressed with the quality of the video (over LTE of course) and the content presented. Think of this as a mini-TV news app rather than the proper WSJ.

WSJ Live

0
loading...
0
loading...
37
loading...
0
loading...

TalkBox

We've chatted up TalkBox for Windows Phone now for a few weeks. The popular messaging app is already on iOS and Android and now thanks to an excellent beta program, the tried and tested version for Windows Phone is here.

What's TalkBox? It's more than a messaging app because it sends short voice clips in addition to straight text messaging to your contacts, making it a virtually hands free experience. Here are a few other key features that may interest you:

WP Central

1
loading...
0
loading...
37
loading...
0
loading...
20

Custom Windows Phone Tango ROM released for Lumia 800

Lumia 800

RainbowMod? Sounds familiar, right? We previously covered a custom ROM for the Lumia 710 sharing an identical name, and now it's out for the Lumia 800. Built on Windows Phone "Tango" (7.10.8773.98) and based on Chinese firmware, RainbowMod is shipped with both English (US) and Russian languages.

It's required that the owner has configured the Qualcomm boot loader on their Lumia 800. So what's included in RainbowMod?

7
loading...
0
loading...
26
loading...
0
loading...

WP Central

Good news for Chickens Can't Fly and Xbox Live avatar awards fans as details have surfaced surrounding the unlockables that were previously rumoured to be arriving in an update. Over on Avatar Awards, they've got two items, which are unlocked through reaching in-game achievements. The first is a chicken helmet, which can be won by obtaining 15 gold medals. The second is a pair of chicken slippers that are unlocked after an Xbox Live challenge is won against a friend.

WP Central

If you haven't played Chickens Can't Fly yet, it's worth checking out. It's basically an up-side-down version of Doodle Jump, but instead of using platforms, you have to guide your falling chicken though deadly hazards.

You can download Chickens Can't Fly from the Marketplace for $2.99. 

Source: Avatar Awards

0
loading...
0
loading...
22
loading...
0
loading...
24

Nokia withdraw Skype support for the Lumia 610?

Skype Windows Phone

Skype working on Tango has come and gone with Microsoft and Skype announcing that the rushed-to-the-market Windows Phone app will not run on devices with less than 512MB of RAM. We then saw Nokia announce to the world that the Skype app will run on Tango Windows Phones (specifically the Lumia 610) with minimal amounts of memory. This was reaffirmed by Justin Angel using the app on his 610 to feature on a recent Windows Phone Central podcast.

Now Nokia HK has turned around and stated that they have decided to recommend to Lumia 610 customers that the Skype app really shouldn't be used and will not be available to those wielding the device. See the below quote from an email reportedly sent by the manufacturer:

0
loading...
0
loading...
20
loading...
0
loading...
14

Nokia releases beta of Transport app version 2.0

WP Central

Nokia has unleashed version 2.0 beta of their Transport app for Lumia Windows Phones. We previously looked at leaked improvements detailed over at a Russian Windows Phone forum earlier in the month. The app provides public transport information and guidance when attempting to reach a destination in a supported location (see our early hands-on).

What's new in version 2-point-oh?

  • Find nearby stations, departure times and even types of transit lines available around your location.
  • Improved search:
    • Remember your last search query
    • Change your search without leaving the journey view
  • Improved performance:
    • Faster display of upcoming journeys
    • Faster journey request

You can check out the beta over at Nokia Beta Labs, or download the current version from the Marketplace (Lumia handsets only). Be sure to double check which locations are supported.

Source: Nokia Beta Labs; thanks Simon for the tip!

0
loading...
0
loading...
17
loading...
0
loading...
2

From the WPUG WPBarCamp event in London

WP Central

The WPUG Windows Phone Bar Camp was an effort to attract more attendees from an earlier start, which had everyone (including myself and Jay) head to The Vibe Bar for a 10am start. Featuring a number of presentations not only from developers, but Telerik (the masters behind the RadControls for Windows Phone) as well.

Speaking of Telerik, be sure to check out their white paper on promoting your newly submitted apps. Apps that were presented included Screach, ZuneCardr, and an upcoming child-friendly app that makes use of approved YouTube playlists, applets and more to provide secure entertainment for the kids.

It was great to see some new developer faces on the night, as well as our friends Rafe Blandford from All About Windows Phone, and Boryana Miloshevska and co from Windows Phone Geek. We hope more UK based developers can make future events. Follow organiser Matt Lacey (@mrlacey) and WPUG (@WPUG) on Twitter for more announcements and details. Check out our presentation and some more shots after the break.

0
loading...
0
loading...
15
loading...
0
loading...

WP Central

Skydiving and Windows Phone enthusiast Minesh Mandalia has taken his Lumia 800 with him up Mount Everest. Why not? We've previously seen UK scientists launch the handset up into almost-space attached to a balloon, so it makes sense that such a sturdy companion is also taken up the side of a fairly tall mountain. Mandalia is currently studying BSc Computer Science & Management Studies at the University of Nottingham, and wanted a challenge.

"I’m at university and needed a break, so I thought out of all places why not try the Everest Base Camp, I wanted a challenge."

Unsure as to what he'll need to take on his journey to Everest Base Camp, Mandalia decided to take his trusty Lumia 800 in favour of a laptop among other devices.

"I was first considering taking a laptop to browse the internet, update my Twitter and Facebook, and back up my photos and videos but then realised I could take my phone and have all those features put into one small device. It was the perfect size to keep in my pocket so that I can quickly take it out and snap a photo or check the altitude. The best bit was I didn’t even have to take my gloves off when using the camera – I got some great photos."

5
loading...
37
loading...
48
loading...
0
loading...
36

Lumia 900 on offer at Amazon Wireless from just $10

WP Central

Amazon Wireless has some pretty enticing deals, much like Amazon itself, but the online retailer is now offering the black AT&T Lumia 900 4G Windows Phone for just $9.99 when upgrading, or $39.99 when adding a new line. The Nokia smartphone, which boasts a 5-star rating on Amazon Wireless from 342 customers, is the culprit behind the delays that have occurred in Europe due to high demand in the states.

Powered by a 1.4 single-core chip, and featuring 16GB storage, an 8MP rear-shooter (with FF), 4.3" AMOLED display with ClearBlack technology, and 512MB RAM, the Lumia 900 is definitely no slouch. Will you be picking yours up?

Source: Amazon Wireless; thanks parthp90 for the heads up!

5
loading...
0
loading...
78
loading...
0
loading...

WP Central

What? "Birdsong is still alive" you say? It seems the team at Red Badger have been busy pumping life into the old girl, who has been dormant since she was updated to Mango. We last spoke of Birdsong, the then-popular Windows Phone Twitter client, when the team announced that intern Joe Stanton would be tasked with bringing the app back up to speed with the competition. So what's new in upcoming 1.7?

The team has introduced a new trends feature, which is now accessible from the main app bar and provides convenient access to Twitter trending data for users. The feature calculates your location and displays nearest trending topics with the option to view what's trending in a specific city, nationwide, or on a global scale. 

Search functionality has been revamped and is now more intuitive with the main search view retrieving saved searches automatically. Upon executing a search via Birdsong, the app now searches both tweets and accounts simultaneously. The app makes use of the Twitter API for searching, so any saved searches created / manipulated on the app will be reflected on the website and other apps that make use of the same functionality.

As well as a search revamp and trending topics, Birdsong now supports both photos tweeted using Twitter's in-house hosting service and gzip. Previously, any image hosted with Twitter would show it as a link which could not be selected, but now all photos are loaded correctly depending on user settings. For gzip support, this solves the login issue many experience when attempting to connect their Twitter account to the app on first launch.

0
loading...
0
loading...
29
loading...
0
loading...
28

Odd Nokia Lumia 900 ad shows new Live Tile behavior

WP Central

We're not to sure what to make of this ad for the Nokia Lumia 900 showing up on some sites but it caught one of our reader's attention and indeed, it is intriguing.

The ad is simple enough. It shows the 'beautifully different' Lumia 900 in glossy-white with a 4G icon (this is for the international version, not AT&T) spinning around, displaying various features.

Accident or something more?

But what is different relates to the Live Tiles:

  1. Contacts - The tiles flip and it says "Meet up with Sarah"
  2. Photo Hub - Flips and splits into two tiles, one with the latest photo, the other with a count

Anyone who has used Windows Phone, any version, knows very well that the Live Tiles do neither of those things. Yet there they are flipping around like they belong there are a new ad.

0
loading...
0
loading...
30
loading...
0
loading...

WP Central

On Sunday we posted a method by which you can get a free Avatar prop featuring Windows Phone--either a Longboard, foam finger or tee-shirt. All you had to do was sign up for the Windows Phone Insider newsletter and you were sent a redeem code.

Then late Sunday/early Monday we started to get word that the offer had suddenly ended, even before most of you were able to try and get one. Now, Microsoft's KC Lemson has posted why on the Windows Phone Blog.

In short, some jerk managed to sweep up all the remaining redeem codes, locking out future users. What's worse, they're selling them on eBay for $10 a pop.

eBay scam

The good news is Microsoft will do right and extend free I <3 Windows Phone shirt avatar props to those users who received a rejection email, meaning not only will you get something, you'll get a more rare item.

No word though if they'll open this up for others who missed the original offer. From the sound of it, it was a successful program. Let's hope they do it again.

Source: Windows Phone Blog; Thanks, FalconX, for the eBay link

2
loading...
3
loading...
20
loading...
0
loading...

SAPER

Although we like playing video games with bombs on our Windows Phone, we have to remember in the real world, bombs and mines are a real problem for war-torn territories.

Evidently a few students at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw have decided to do something about it so they created SAPER. What is SAPER? The name means “minesweeper” in Polish and is also an acronym for “Sensor Amplified Perception For Explosives Recognition.” Yes, that's right,  it uses the magnetometer in Windows Phone to detect bombs, specifically  the magnetic field around an forty different types of explosive material from 30 cm (11.8 inches) away.

In short, you launch the app and let it calibrate in the area you intend to scan. Then waving the phone around it compares the recorded magnetic disturbance signature with other signatures in the database via a cloud-based connection, giving a probable threat cause and even a potential ID of the type of explosive. It even uses Bing Maps to then mark the area for future extraction.

2
loading...
0
loading...
29
loading...
0
loading...

WP Central

Since Windows Phone users can't spend a lot of time customizing their OS (instead we live our lives), there's much focus on the lock-screen. We know we change ours every few days (we use Ffffound for inspiration).

Today, Microsoft has announced a partnership with London based graphic designer Levi Freeman and as a result, they've released eight "officially sanctioned" wallpapers to spiffy up your Windows Phone.

WP Central

The eight images are nature focused so they may not appeal to everyone (we're more into abstract art here). Still, the designs are nice and they're meant to look perfect on your phone. What's more, the images all have a corresponding QR code for easy download (see, not even Microsoft uses Tag). Plus Microsoft notes that they hope more of these collaborations will happen with Levi, meaning we can probably expect different themes in the future--we like that idea. Levi also plans to release desktop versions too.

There's some interesting tidbits about the inspiration for each image and details about Freeman at his site, so hop on over to grab those images and learn a little bit about their origins.

4
loading...
8
loading...
39
loading...
0
loading...

Selling well?

File this under "vague but encouraging". T-Mobile's CEO Philipp Humm gave an interview with the Seattle Times where he talked about the transitions that company is going through including their future plans.

Humm was asked about Microsoft and Windows Phone in particular and while no firm numbers or details were given, the message was at least positive:

Q: T-Mobile made a commitment to push Windows Phone this year. How is that working out?

A: I think we have a very good relationship with Microsoft, and we discovered that, in particular, for customers who are new to smartphones, they really enjoy the simplicity of the Microsoft [user interface], so they like the design and the ease of it.

Q: Are Windows phones selling as well as you hoped?

A: We are so far quite pleased and I think Microsoft, if you talk to them, [is] quite pleased with T-Mobile.

Indeed, T-Mobile has been the 2nd most important carrier in the US for Windows Phone. They launched with the popular HD7, had the Dell Venue Pro and recently exclusively acquired the HTC Radar (review) and Nokia Lumia 710 (review). While those latter two phones won't woo those who want a high-end, large screen device, both phones have exceptionally high user satisfaction ratings (and they're amongst our favorite devices here at Windows Phone Central).

0
loading...
0
loading...
31
loading...
0
loading...

Pages