Articles

Reuters Insider for Windows PhoneReuters Insider landed in the Windows Phone Marketplace the other day with exclusive programming for financial professionals. You'll need to be a financial markets professional to use the app and will need a corporate email address to register.  We have been told that University email addresses will work as well for students and faculty members.

Reuters Insider has partnered with over one hundred and fifty financial information providers such as CNBC, Citibank, Nomura and Roubini. The app is designed to deliver breaking news, exclusive interviews, and in-depth commentary on financial market issues.

Should you be a financial professional with a corporate email, Reuters Insider appears to be a useful app for your Windows Phone. Reuters Insider is a free app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, bilzkh, for the tip!

QR: Reuters Insider

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WP Central

MobileSyrup have received a tip detailing TELUS plans to launch and push the Lumia 610 Windows Phone. The unnamed source sent in a photo of a prototype Lumia 610, which is already launching across Europe, and states that it's scheduled to launch on the Canadian carrier sometime in the summer. TELUS is already sporting the Lumia 800, a Windows Phone that has pleased VP of Mobility Solutions at TELUS, Brent Johnston.

MobileSyrup speculate a price tag of between $200 – $250 and also add NFC into the specification list for the upcoming device, something we're aware that's exclusive to Orange who plan to launch an NFC supported Lumia 610 sometime in Q3. Note that the Lumia 610 only packs 256MB RAM, which brings with it limitations.

Source: MobileSyrup; thanks, bilzkh, for the heads up!

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ESPNcricinfo for Windows Phone

ESPNcricinfo is a Windows Phone sports app to keep you up to date on all the cricket action going on around the world. Cricket the game, not cricket as in Jiminy Cricket.

ESPNcricinfo covers international matches, ICC tournaments and major domestic leagues including English county championships, Indian Premier League and Champions League. The app is laid out nicely, as with any ESPN app, with pages covering match scores, news, magazine articles, and a tile menu that pulls up stats, videos, settings, rankings and more.

ESPNcricinfo

Other features for ESPNcricinfo include:

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WP Central

Just when we thought the patent wars were over, Google has announced yesterday that they've filed an antitrust complaint in Europe, pointing a finger at Nokia and Microsoft regarding patents. The search giant is arguing that both companies are using third-party agencies (which are internally branded "patent trolls") to increase the costs for mobile devices, which would in-turn provide a strong advantage to the Microsoft ecosystem. An example is provided by Google, where the company states that Nokia and Microsoft have entered into revenue-based agreements with the likes of Mosaid Technologies.

Last year the two companies in question transferred a total of 2,000 patents to Mosaid, as well as Nokia selling 450 to IP Bulldog. Google views a threat on the horizon where more fees placed on OEMs may force manufacturers to look elsewhere, Windows Phone in this case, for cheaper production costs. While details of the filing has not been published, a statement from Google has been provided:

"Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that sidestep promises both companies have made. They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices."

By colluding with both Microsoft and Mosaid, Google alleges that Nokia has betrayed its previous open-source commitments. A Microsoft representative has responded to these claims with the following comment:

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E3 Sneak Peek: Xbox Smart Glass

Xbox Smart Glass

The Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) is just a few days away and Microsoft has given us a small glimpse at a new Xbox companion, Xbox Smart Glass. Xbox Smart Glass will be optimized for Windows tablets and phones to allow users to control their Xbox console, play videos and other media from their tablets and phones, and send videos to the Xbox to play on the television.

The app sounds similar to the Windows Phone Xbox Companion app but with a lot more gusto. Plus there's the Windows 8 tablet coming into play which is appealing in and of itself. Xbox Smart Glass will also be available for Android and iOS tablets and phones.

Microsoft will be demoing Smart Glass at E3 next week and hopefully will shed more light on the capabilities of Xbox Smart Glass. We'll be in attendance at E3 and hopefully we can shed more light on Xbox Smart Glass.

Source: Examiner Via: Engadget; Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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MonsterUp Adventures

We've covered the popular "jumper" game MonsterUp previously on Windows Phone Central--published by Karios, the game features great music, bold, adorable graphics and interesting twists on an old concept. Though Doodle Jump gets the headlines, MonsterUp to us was always more creative. Now, Karios has returned with MonsterUp Adventures and we got a little sneak peek of the upcoming tile.

Instead of just a straight sequel i.e. yet-another-jumper, MonsterUp Adventures is more like a proper video game now. It features:

  • Levels you need to complete
  • Multiple "bosses"
  • Gems, jewels and coins to collect to unlock new monsters
  • A shop to purchase new monsters (who each have unique powers)

Whereas before the goal was to just jump as high as you can, now on each level you need to "jump to the end" to complete it. It takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes per level and yes, it's quite challenging at times (especially on the 2nd half of the island). The collecting of jewels to purchase new monsters is well done as it gives you motivation to try new combinations, plus it adds to the replay value.  The bosses, while not very difficult, add a nice break to the jumping and the exquisitely drawn and unique backgrounds keep the visuals fresh.

Sadly, MonsterUp Adventures as submitted to be an Xbox LIVE game but was denied by Microsoft. Like Karios, we're not sure what the criteria is for making into that coveted camp but compared to the last few stinkers on Xbox LIVE, MonsterUp Adventures more than makes the cut in our mind.

The plus side is MonsterUp Adventures will get to your phones sooner than if it were on Xbox LIVE and Karios can deliver more updates, more frequently.

So our verdict? We really like this game. Jumpers are fun but they can get old fast. Karios Games have taken that concept to a new level with 'Adventures, breathing new life into the growing franchise. With fantastic graphics, a catchy tune and high re-playablity we're impressed.

Look for MonsterUp Adventures to arrive in the Marketplace very soon. Check out the promo vid after the break...

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WP Central

"Enthusiasts" can now load custom ROMs on devices like this HTC Titan

Good news for those with "2nd generation" Windows Phone like the HTC Radar and HTC Titan, the Dark Forces Team (DFT) have released their custom Hard Secondary Program Loader (HSPL) for those devices, including a "wizard" to guide you through the somewhat complicated process. Announced back in March, the team has made solid and steady progress over the last few months on the project.

HSPLs are needed to "unlock" the bootloader of certain smartphones in order to get custom ROMs to load onto them (think of it as a layer of security). Without this tool-set, modified OS's for those devices simply have nowhere to go. Now that these tools are available comes the second step: the creation of custom ROMs which will require some "chefs" to cook them up,

Second generation HTC devices have been notoriously difficult to crack for DFT so this is a fairly big win for the homebrew community. Unfortunately, devices like the Titan II still won't work with this tool so it's best to still wait for DFT to get that going.

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Best Independent Games for your Windows Phones

Windows Phone Central's round-up of the best independent games

Best Independent Games for Windows Phones

Well.... we've taken a look at the best camera apps, best must have games, best must have apps, best free games and best weather apps for your Windows Phones. Now we turn our sights the independent game developer for the Windows Phone platform.

They make code from their basement office or from a start-up company but some of these games can give the larger software companies (EA, Microsoft, etc.) a run for their money. We've rounded up a handful of games from the Marketplace's independent developers that we have found to be entertaining, fun, well presented and a worthy addition to anyone's Windows Phone gaming library.

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WP Central

The Carphone Warehouse has the Lumia 710 at an attractive price of just £99.99 (excluding required £10 top-up), which widens the gap between itself and the supposedly "dirt cheap" Lumia 610 priced at £180 with Clove UK. The Windows Phone is the first Nokia smartphone to be priced below £100 since the partnership began with Microsoft. 

The Lumia 710 will remain priced at £100 with Carphone Warehouse until June 7th, so be sure to get in quickly should you be looking to pick one up. The Windows Phone is perfect for those who don't require a device like the Lumia 800, Samsung Omnia, or HTC TITAN, and sports a 1.4GHz processor, 512MB RAM, and 8GB storage.

Source: Carphone Warehouse, via: AllAboutWindowsPhone; thanks everyone for the heads up!

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Lumia 900 on Touch

Well, if there's one thing we learned tonight it's that a lot of you watch Kiefer Sutherland's "Touch" series on Fox, at least judging by the amount of tips we received. Evidently tonight was the two-part season finale (yes, the show was renewed) and the main child prodigy gets his hand on a cyan Lumia 900. What's more, the scene is fairly long by product-placement standards, resulting in some nice screen time for the hit device on AT&T.

Also note the appearance of the AT&T AirGraffiti app for Windows Phone. For those of you who don't know, AirGraffiti was a concept app from AT&T that allows users to "...leave videos, photos and songs “in the air” at physical addresses for friends or others to retrieve when they visit that location". It's a very cool concept that uses the phone's media resources, social networking and Location Based Services (LBS).

AirGraffiti on Windows Phone?

AirGraffiti on Windows Phone?

No word though is that app is actually coming to Windows Phone or AT&T and Nokia are just teasing the hell out of us. Let's hope it's the former as that'd be a very cool win.

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Deal Alert: Dragon's Blade goes on sale, now $.99

Dragon's Blade for Windows Phone

The popular Windows Phone RPG game Dragon's Blade has seen it's price slashed from $6.99 to $.99. We aren't sure how long this sale will last but it's not a bad deal on a decent little RPG game.

You create a party from seven classes that includes warriors, templars, thieves, juggernauts, archers, sorcerers and clerics. Once you have your team assembled you explore the lands to discover treasure, explore dungeons and battle monsters.

Dragon's Blade

There is also an online mode where you can chat with others in your area, backup your gaming progress online, and play mini-games within the game such as blackjack.

Graphics and animations are nice and if you've been on the fence about buying the full version of Dragon's Blade now may be the time to act. You can find an ad supported, free version of Dragon's Blade here and the ad-free version of Dragon's Blade DX (currently $.99) can be snatched up here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, Jonas, for the tip!

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Windows 8 Release Preview now available to download

WP Central

Microsoft has made the anticipated Windows 8 Release Preview available to download in 14 supported languages. This version is the final release before the next major operating system hits gold, and includes a number of improvements made by Microsoft using feedback received from the community in past releases.

Should you be familiar with Windows 8, and have installed the Consumer Preview, you should look forward to more features and apps, including news, travel and sport. If you've not picked up a copy yet, you might want to do so to see how Microsoft is changing things on the desktop / tablet to match Windows Phone.

You can download the Windows 8 Release Preview from Microsoft.

via: MSDN

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WP Central

WorldMate (website) is a popular mobile travel organiser, which has witnessed success on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia (S60) and Windows Mobile. The Windows Phone app will feature an itinerary organiser that will enable users to share WorldMate content with the community.

WorldMate for Windows Phone will also be able to connect to Facebook and LinkedIn accounts for convenient sharing, as well as the ability to check out who's nearby to trip destinations. It's a must-have calendar for any soul who travels often. We last covered the app when it was named runner-up at the Microsoft Acceleration Week.

WP Central

WorldMate is set to be available next week. We'll be sure to alert you when it's live and have a quick video walkthrough published. 

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Recap of last night's Windows Phone UK celebration

WP Into Event

The Windows Phone UK team held an exciting event in Camden last night. The Into Live Event saw live performances from local bands, and even the popular Noisettes. As well as the music, a steady flow of food and alcohol were on the table with each attendee receiving two free drink tokens (much like the HTC launch event for the TITAN and Radar). I went along with Robert Brand from Glance and Go Radio and also managed to meet up with Tom Warren from The Verge. So what was down at Proud Camden?

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WP Central

The Windows Phone UK team has been busy taking the Dare to Live challenge on tour throughout the UK. They first began the challenge marathon at Westfield in London and has since arrived in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle and Sheffield, challenging the public to see if their smartphone can beat a Windows Phone at common tasks. From uploading a photo to Facebook to publishing a status update to social networks.

The team were also present at the Into live music event, which took place at Proud Camden last night in London. So, how about some statistics? According to the team, they've enjoyed a 98% win rate with 22,782 wins under the belt, accompanied by 568 losses (similar to the Smoked By Windows Phone competition's). A week breakdown is also available under the graph.

WP Central

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Amazon now for the UK too

We do love our Amazon Mobile app for Windows Phone--beautiful, useful and well designed the app is one of our must-haves (especially since we have Prime). However, we do get a lot of complaints about it, specifically its lack of support for the UK market (and others).

Version 1.8 just went live in the Marketplace today and support for the UK and Germany is now included (in addition to un-named bug fixes). Our own Rich Edmonds verified that the app is working there which should make many of you finally pleased. This update follows a previous one just weeks ago which added social features to the popular app.

Amazon Mobile gives you access to Amazon.com's vast array of goods from their location as well as 3rd party retailers. Allowing 1-click purchasing and a nice bar-code scanner, the app allows you to comparison shop when you're out in a brick-and-mortar store. In addition, you can access your account and track your orders.

Since the app is "new" to the recently added Marketplaces you can't search for it just yet. No worries as you can just use our download link to get it now. Thanks, Ben D., for the tip

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WP8 Concept

Windows Phone 8 concept

In mid June, Microsoft is expected to start revealing info on the much anticipated Windows Phone 8 OS (aka Apollo) but until that day, we have just crumbs of data to work with. One of those sources comes from peeping OS builds that various developers "see" when looking at their app data usage.

Such an example is illustrated by Marios Karagiannis (aka Karios) developer of the popular (and Windows Phone Central favorite) MonsterUp. In a recent blog post on his site, the developer listed some new OS builds that apparently come from Windows Phone 8 devices:

  • 8.0.9698.0 69
  • 8.0.9697.0 35
  • 8.0.9696.0 4
  • 8.0.10101.0 4
  • 8.0.9691.0 4
  • 8.0.9695.0 2
  • 8.0.9699.0 1

Likewise, our own Rogue Code, who makes Ffffound as well as Pocket Meme, has also seen similar numbers in his apps including 8.0.9673, 8.0.9644, 8.0.9627 and 8.0.9699.

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WP Central

RedSpottedHanky and thetrainline.com are both websites that allow UK residents to purchase train tickets for travel on the public network. Both services are now available on Windows Phone with two official apps being released this month. So how can both apps help you get the best deals for your travel?

Using either RedSpottedHanky or thetrainline provides Windows Phone owners, who reside in the UK, the tools to effectively use the rail network. From ordering train tickets to checking the latest departure times, the combination of functionality will ensure that journeys are less stressful and more reliable. Windows Phone Central takes a quick look at both apps available on the platform.

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I'm A WP7

In honor of their nomination for "Best App of the Year" over at WP App List, the developers of I'm A WP7! are running an “our fans rock" freebie offer. Starting today, you can download the full version of the social networking app, plus the features of the I'm A WP7 Extras! app, free of charge, saving yourself the usual $2.99. This offer runs until Midnight PST on Sunday. Here are the full details from Scott J. Peterson, developer of I'm A WP7:

Unlocking of the all features and functionality of the app, including the Forums, GamerHub™, as well as full access to all Statistics, Wallpapers, Ringtones, Easter Eggs and Extras normally requires the purchase of the $2.99 U.S. “...I'm a WP7 Extras!” app, but all these features will now be unlocked and available for both new and existing users. Existing Fans who access the app through the weekend will continue to have full functionality as well, as long as they access the app at least once during this period. Thanks to our 310,000 fans worldwide for their support!

I'm A WP7! is a great way to share your love of Windows Phone, and has been quite a useful tool in learning about new versions that are out there in the wild.

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It's no secret if you follow my occasional mini-game reviews here on Windows Phone Central that I really dig old school arcade games e.g. Decimation X2, Imposisble Shoota and the various console emulators). There's something about the retro style graphics with updated particle explosions on our phone that grabs me.

Break MORE Aliens! is a sequel to BreakTheAliens! and is made by the same crew who made Corona (see review). It's a mash-up of Space Invaders and Arkanoid with some power-ups and boss battles to make a fun, well designed arcade super classic.

The game features 3 fantastic chiptunes by Multifaros (www.multifaros.info.se) which go very well with the title's theme, it has hilarious scrolling text during the game, 26 levels, 6 bosses and 16 power-ups. What's neat though is the power-ups have a downside to them--sure nuking everything is sure way to clear the board but for a moment, you're blinded. That creativity is one of the reasons I like it so much.

Break MORE Aliens!

Controls were fast and fluid. Moving the "bat" with my finger was simple and intuitive causing no frustration. The ability to choose between difficulties, survival mode or enabling "super mode" (extreme power-ups) keeps the replay value quite high.

The game is free with ads or you can unlock it for $0.99 which is a fair price (I always pay when I can). For those reasons alone, I have to give this game a strong recommendation, especially if you love casual gaming, old-style arcade titles and want something fun to pass the time.

Pick up Break MORE Aliens! here in the Marketplace. QR code and promo video after the break...

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Nokia Lumia 800 makes a cameo in M83's latest video

Besides Flo Ridia (who digs the Lumia 900) it looks like French act M83 also has a hankering for the glossy-white Nokia Lumia 800. The phone makes a brief appearance in the new video for "Reunion" and while the cameo is not as involved as Flo Rida's, the phone is still clearly displayed for a few moments before the bald gent grabs it.

Though clearly not a full on commercial, it's still nice to see the Lumia 800 seeping into pop culture in these short, almost hidden appearances. Plus M83 is pretty good (though we still like their earlier work better, ahem).

M83 Reunion video

Source: YouTube; Thanks, Stuart A., for the tip

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Windows Phone Central comes to E3 2012

Microsoft E3 2012

E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo takes place next week from June 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Windows Phone Central is proud to be attending for the first time, so we thought we’d let our readers know what to expect.

E3 is the annual gaming convention open exclusively to members of the industry, including kindly journalists like us. The first E3 took place in 1995 – a simpler time for games, filled with Toshindens and Jumping Flashes. Since then, the Expo has remained the largest gaming event in the world, weathering competition like the Games Developer Conference, the Tokyo Game Show, and more recently, The Penny Arcade Expo. It’s sometimes criticized for failing to adequately spotlight mobile and social games, but that doesn’t mean those important categories will be totally unrepresented.

While the actual Expo starts on Tuesday the 5th, several large publishers will hold their own press conferences the preceding day. Microsoft’s conference starts Monday, June 4th at 9:30AM PST. Naturally we’ll be in the audience, reporting first-hand.

Head past the break to learn our E3 predictions and just what coverage we’ll bring you over the course of the show!

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Marketplace Tango Compatibility

It's no secret that there will be compatibility issues with some Marketplace apps running on Windows Phones with only 256mb of RAM (like the Nokia Lumia 610). Up until now, finding out which app is or isn't compatible with the 256mb Windows Phones was done by word of mouth.

Not sure when the switch was thrown but now Microsoft has added an asterisks under system requirements in the Marketplace (website) listing for any incompatible app or game. Any app or game that won't run on 256mb devices will have "*Not available for all phones" listed beneath the required operating system.

Marketplace Listing 256mb incompatibility

There will be a link for more information that explains,

Some processor-intensive apps have memory requirements, and won't work on phones with 256 MB of RAM.

Some developers (such as Rovio and Angry Birds) are working on updates that will optimize these apps and games for use with the 256mb devices. Hopefully the number of asterisks on the Marketplace will start to decline.

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Mobile Nations 16: People who do things

Kevin from CrackBerry.com, Phil from Android Central, Derek from webOS Nation, Daniel from WPCentral, Gary from Mobile Nations, and Rene from iMore talk iPhone 5 and iOS 6, BlackBerry 10, Samsung Galaxy S III and Jellybean, Windows 8, ecosystems vs. best of breed, and... the Facebook Phone. This is Mobile Nations!

 

Agenda

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