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We all know Microsoft is embracing Metro UI on Xbox and the upcoming Windows 8--the question is what form will their iconographic, non-chrome UI take?

In a video posted on Microsoft's "Building Windows 8" blog, we can clearly see their newly designed Start Menu, which is completely flat/non-3D, uses our familiar Metro icons along with simple text using a high contrast color scheme. In addition, we see some type of gadget to the left displaying the time, date and various system stats.

Compared to the Start Menu on Windows 7, the new Metro-style Win 8 screen looks simple and elegant--exactly what we're expecting from Microsoft now on.

Source: Building Windows 8; via WithinWindows

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Yes, for some reason Microsoft in their wisdom of refining and streamlining IE9 in Windows Phone Mango, removed the "Find on Page" feature aka the ability to find text loaded on the HTML page you were viewing. Obviously this feature is quite useful, especially when trying to locate pertinent information on a lengthy and wordy site.

The good news is Microsoft has heard the complaints, of which we've heard quite a few too, and they do plan to bring back this lil' feature that could. Knowing that IE9 is technically upgradable independently of the OS, Microsoft could theoretically push it out along with some other IE9-updates if they wanted to, but to be honest, we're not holding our breath. Instead, this looks like we'll have to wait six months for "Tango" to hit in order to bring this back. Kind of a shame and hopefully Microsoft won't forget to brink this back.

Source: Windows Team Blog; via WMPU

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NumberTap - give your brain a workout

Everyone loves mathematics. Everyone loves to be better than everyone else at mathematics, so here's NumberTap, the answer to this desire in your pocket. Object of the game? To answer numerical questions inside a time-limit, building up your score and moving up in the highscore leaderboard.

This title is courtesy of Luke Lowrey (the magic behind Phonealytics) and TBODA. It's a free, ad-supported, game that proves to be both highly addictive and entertaining. Fatures sported include:

  • Fast paced maths action
  • 2-minute rounds identical across the world in real-time
  • Global leaderboards and stats tracking
  • Cool metro theme that matches your settings

If you're familiar with Phonealytics from Luke, then you'll notice immediately the incredible Metro UI look that's used throughout the game (which isn't by any means big in size or depth). The simplicity is refreshing and you'll be coming back for more with the longevity and competitiveness being tops.

You can download NumberTap (Zune link) from the Marketplace for nothing at all.

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The stable of Nokia Windows Phone numbers keep growing--we have the SeaRay (number unknown), the 800 and now the 703. The latest showed up on the app "I'm a WP7!" by Scott Peterson (v2.6 just passed certification), which collects user model data and he kindly aggregated for us.

Of course we still don't know if these are all separate models or just variants e.g. a CDMA version, etc. We're actually leaning towards the idea that these are all different models, seeing as they have completely different categories i.e. this isn't a Nokia 801 vs 803. Still, we don't want to be premature on the issue but Nokia may be getting read to hit us big with Windows Phones.

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Book your rooms with Meeting Rooms

Here's an interesting app for your Windows Phone. Meeting Rooms is a utility that allows you to check the status of your company's meeting rooms and reserve them from your Windows Phone.

Setting up the app is a little on the hit/miss side but it appears that you'll need to configure the app to your company's server.  Then you add the meeting rooms that are available for scheduling. From there it is a simple process of finding the date and time of your meeting and seeing what rooms are available.

It's a shame this app isn't compatible with the dry-erase board that I use to reserve conference rooms. But, if you have a meeting reservation system on your company's server, Meeting Rooms might give you an advantage in locking down that conference room.

Meeting Rooms is a free application that you can find here (opens Zune) over at the Marketplace.

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Windows Phone ROI Calculator [Developers]

Sheeds over at Windows Phone Down Under has developed a Windows Phone Return on Investment calculator to help developers on the financial end of app development. The calculator is used to estimate app revenue streams, for paid apps, based on a number of variables.

In a nutshell, the calculator takes into account your development costs, taxes and Microsoft's cut. Then based on different price points and monthly sales projections it will show you how many months it will take for you to break even.  According to the calculator's description,

"The calculator is an Australian tool to help calculate U.S. and Australian taxes, Microsoft's revenue share and local developer costs to develop (time and money) in order to help the Windows Phone developer determine profitability and return on investment (breakeven) for various scenarios."

Naturally, there is a disclaimer to all this. The calculator is used to estimate your returns and there is no guarantee your monthly sales will match the projections used in the calculator.  Still, it looks like a nice tool to bring the financial end of app development into focus.

You can download the Windows Phone 7 ROI Calculator here.

source: wpdownunder

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Even though devs supposedly don't have official access to the camera LED or notification APIs, that hasn't stopped developer davepermen from giving it a go. The app, White Light, uses your screen as a flashlight but also takes hold of the camera's LED flash, giving you twice the lighting power. Huzzah! Tapping the screen turns it white to black, but keeps the LED on.

We ran that app on on Samsung Focus and as can be seen above, it works like a charm. Not so much on our Dell Venue Pro though. The app is free and ad-free too. We didn't yet try it on HTC only because they already have an official LED flashlight app. Grab it right here in the Marketplace. May only work on Mango devices, but let us know in comments.

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Gears - App Spotlight

Gears hit the Windows Phone Marketplace a short bit ago and if you like puzzle games, you've gotta check it out.

The game premise has you completing the connection between two gears and provide power to the bronze gear. Sounds simple but you have a limited number of various sized gears to work with and at times you are required to turn the bronze gear a certain way. To add to the challenge you have this pesky little thing called gravity that won't allow you to place your connecting gears just anywhere.

The game screen has your connecting gear inventory displayed at the bottom, a reset button and your current level.  Once you accomplish connecting the two gears, you advance to the next level.

Gears has one hundred levels of play, with more on the way, and the only nit I can find with Gears is with how the levels are displayed.  As is, the screen looks crowded and you need a magnifying glass to read the numbers.

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From the WPCentral forums...

This week we are talking about Mango, what’s there and more importantly what’s missing. It seems that the 500 improvements that are coming with Mango just aren’t enough. One of the biggest areas to improve upon are notifications. What are we missing? We have started a list, now tell us what you think should be done. Maybe you don’t think Mango will save Windows Phone. Are we doomed or are we just over-reacting because our personal favorite thing is missing from Mango? What will save Windows Phone? I know you have an opinion on this one, let’s hear it.

With so many webOS migrants joining the forums, "How many of y'all came from android" is what we want to know next. We also want to know who you are or if you just want to know who is hanging in the WPC forums.  In "Freaking Windows Phone 7",  this guy says Windows Phone ruined his TouchPad. How could this be?

Don’t forget to stop by our Applications and Games Spotlight forums to pick up some free apps.

Applications Spotlight forum:

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For Sale: HTC Omega/Radar

We are all expecting to see the new HTC Windows Phones, the Omega (aka Radar) and the Eternity (aka Titan) on September 1, 2011 during a public reception that will be held in various locations in Europe. Surprisingly, the Omega/Radar has been spotted on an Algerian Auction site with a price tag of 370 Euros (about $538 U.S. dollars).

Along with the description of the phone (mobile phone, white) and price tag, there were also the customary product photos. Not really much to see here beyond what the product shots that were leaked last week revealed.

One of our readers last week toss out the idea the Omega was a bottom slider. While the oddly designed bottom of the phone could be a slide out keyboard, one would suspect the auction listing would highlight that feature. The listing does note that the Omega has 8GB of storage and one picture does give some credence to a front facing camera.

The phone looks alright but I'm not sure if the white/silver color pattern is a good thing or not.

source: ouedkniss via: monwindowsphone thanks goes out to everyone who tipped us on this!

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gReadie goes Mango

gReadie is a Google Reader client for your Windows Phone.  It's been recently updated and takes advantage of all the goodness Mango brings to the table.

For those not familiar with gReadie (pronounced greedy) the apps key features include:

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Wonder Reader gets a Mango Update

The popular Windows Phone RSS reader, Wonder Reader, has been updated to version 2.0. The update makes the Windows Phone app compatible with Mango and includes these new features (for Mango devices):

Live Tile support: The tile will display an unread count up to 1,000 plus the latest headline and image on the back of the tile. The Wonder Reader tile is set to update every thirty minutes.

Pin feeds and categories for additional live tiles: Additional Live Tiles can be added to your Start Screen for your more frequently viewed feeds or categories. This feature is only available on the paid version.

Social Network Sharing: You can now share articles on Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live and LinkedIn.

The Wonder Reader update also supports Mango's fast app switching for instant resume. There is a fully functional trial version available for Wonder Reader (won't support the additional Live Tiles) and the paid version runs $1.99. You can find both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

source: Wonder Reader thanks goes out to Anthony for the tip!

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Apologies for the delayed summary, August is a time for late vacations and insane traveling (coupled with awful 3G coverage in the UK - but that's a separate rant for another rainy day). It's been a busy week here at WPCentral with Windows Phone news galore. Let's begin with episode 123 of our weekly (dare I say it?) podcast. Also, WPCentral forum admin Dave Blake has rounded up the latest goings on over at our forum, be sure to check out related discussions, while our Daniel Rubino has provided a quick walk through of what you can expect in the Mango update for the WPCentral app.

Head on past the break for the full run down.

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SelfTimer is a timed shutter release for your Windows Phone. The good thing about SelfTimer is that it is a feature many want for their Windows Phone camera to allow them to hop into the picture. The bad thing about SelfTimer is that it appears to be a Mango app.

Dan has been able to install and use Selftimer on his Mangofied Samsung Focus but it's not showing up on my Nodo Focus. The good news is that it's working as advertised on the Dan's Focus.

If you're running Mango on your Windows Phone and want to give Selftimer a try, there is a free trial version available and the full version runs $.99. You can download either here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.  I was not able to find the app from the phone's Marketplace app.

If you are able to get Selftimer up and running on your Windows Phone, let us know your impressions in the comments.  Now we just need a decent tripod for our Windows Phone.

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Word Arena returns to the Marketplace

Not long ago, the Windows Phone word game Word Arena appeared in the Marketplace. Shortly thereafter, issues were raised and Word Arena was pulled while the mess was sorted out.  Apparently, the differences have been settled and Word Arena is back to being listed in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

For those not familiar, Word Arena is a Boggle-styled game where you try to create as many words as possible from a 4x4 grid of letters.  You compete against other players, online, who are searching for words from the same grid of letters.

Z-Games, the games developer, stayed busy during the down time adding a few new features to the game.  The new features on the re-released version of Word Arena include:

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WPCentral Windows Phone Giveaway Winners!

The time has come to announce the winner of our AT&T HTC HD7S Windows Phone giveaway winner. But first we would like the kind folks from AT&T, FH-Digital and the WPCentral Accessory Store for providing our prizes.

We had twenty-five fantastic video entries and it was really hard to narrow it down to one grand prize winner. However, after much discussion, one video stood out from the rest.  WPCentral would like to tip our hat to everyone for submitting some really great videos on why Windows Phones are the best!

If this was a television show, we'd cut to a commercial right about now, but seeing that we're a blog we will have to make due with...

To see the three winning videos, just ease on past the break.

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New Windows Phone website surfaces in Japan

Microsoft is constantly tweaking their Windows Live pages and may have also tweaked the Windows Phone page to include some interaction with your Windows Live Account. There is a screenshot on Japan's Windows Phone site that looks like a cross between the current Windows Live device page (shown below) and the Windows Phone page. 

The web page screenshot reveals a My Windows Phone interface that includes your Find My Phone commands, access to your pictures and videos, plus access to your Windows Phone apps and view your Marketplace Account. You still have access to your XBox Live account and Office docs but gone is the Contacts and Calendar Portal as well as the Zune launch.

We followed the instructions found on the Japanese Windows Phone site's FAQ Page but the new design isn't live yet and you still get the "old" design of the Windows Phone site.

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Reminder: WeatherLive v2.0 is now available

The other day we gave you a sneak peak at the all-new WeatherLive 2.0. The app received a nice little overhaul, adding new features, more customizations and push notifications for weather alerts.

We've been using it all week and appreciate that the app is still as "lite" as before with no loss in speed. In addition, seeing as we're getting some severe weather here in the Northeast, the toast notifications detailing weather alerts have worked every single time (on a Mango device).

As before, there's a free, ad-supported version (aka endless trial) or the paid version which is ad-free and has the push notifications. We think the app is great, but we'll let you decide for yourselves. Pick it up here in the Marketplace for $1.49.

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One thing that is always difficult to keep up on is HTC's various model names for what are often very similar phones. The reasons are obvious though: GSM, CDMA, LTE, WiMax and carrier requests all resort in slightly varying devices.

Now, some new UAProfs (user agent profiles) have appeared that lend credence to alternate names for the Omega and Eternity, two upcoming Windows Phone Mango devices expected to be announced on September 1st (yeah, we'll be there).

Frist up is the HTC Omega aka the white Windows Phone which was leaded yesterday. That device's name may actually be the HTC Radar C110e (it's always tough to know which is the code name and which is the brand name, but Radar may be the brand name, oddly enough).

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If you're like us, we're getting ready for that big ol' hurricane Irene (we're in Manhattan now, Long Island tomorrow--yikes). Since we're pretty positive we're going to lose electricity for some amount of time, even up to days, getting all the power out of our Windows Phone is key.

One easy method "Mango" users can enable now is the Battery Saver feature by going to Settings --> Battery Saver --> "Turn on Battery Saver now, until my next charge". The phone will of course still work, but background services and push email will be disabled--which is a great way to squeeze out a few more hours from your phone while you pray for the lights to come back on.

It also wouldn't hurt to bump your backlight to "Low" under Settings as well. Good luck everyone.

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Windows Phone Mango ROM released for HTC HD2

For those of you still running an HTC HD2 aka the device the runs everything, you'll be pleased to know you can now load Windows Phone Mango 7720 onto that bad boy, making it a true, honest to Ballmer Windows Phone (it makes your SD card act as a single partition).

We're not gonna lie, the number of steps, folder moves, flashing and technique here is no small feat. You'll want to take your time, print out those directions and cross your fingers you don't miss anything. The features of this ROM are...

  • Ability to Install Mango 7720 Build.
  • Ability to Install Developers Update Cab.
  • Updatable via zune (for build after 7720 wait confirmation before apply)
  • Root, chevron and unlock features already in and reaplied after an update

The ROM was finished by XDA members xboxmod and YukiXDA, so it should be a pretty solid release. Still wanna try it? Head right here to XDA and give it a go! Thanks, JonnieLasVegas & Wideawake, for the tip!

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Mush for Xbox LIVE video preview surfaces

We're not gonna lie: Mush from Angry Mango looks like a fun type of game for Windows Phone, one type we haven't seen much of (though Ilomilo comes to mind as far as the cuteness factor). The game is very LocoRoco-like and we're okay with that. From our earlier description:

"A puzzle platformer that gives you control over how your character feels. Change their emotions by drawing smiles and sad faces, and by rotating or shaking the Windows Phone. Mush will be a Windows Phone exclusive."

Hopefully we'll see this in a few weeks times with the Mango launch frenzy.

via: WindowsPhoneFR

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Just a quick reminder that on Sunday, August 28, 2011 Trine's Hangman will be on sale for $.99. The popular hangman game for your Windows Phone was recently updated to version 1.11 with more updates already in the works.

Trine's has a free ad-supported version that you can find here and the paid version (normally $1.99) can be found here (both links opens Zune).  The only difference between the two is the presence of ads and if you're looking to get rid of the ads at a reduced cost, Sunday is your chance.

You might want to start checking now (hint, hint) to see if the price drop has taken effect. 

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