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Infinite Flight has been updated to version 1.9 which will add the Boeing 747 and A-10 Warthog to its flight line. The popular flight simulator for your Windows Phone has also added a flight planning system, runway landing paths in the maps, and your flight plan information appears in the mini-map.

The 747 and Warthog join an impressive line up of aircraft that includes the Space Shuttle, Cessna 172SP, the French Airbus A380,and the Boeing 737. It doesn't appear to be any combat missions available for the A-10 but maybe with the next round of updates?  Maybe a little target practice?

There is a free trial version available for Infinite Flight with the full version running $4.99. If you like flight simulators, Infinite Flight is well worth the price of admission. You can find Infinite Flight here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Dutch court grants Apple injunction against Samsung

I wouldn't be surprised if one day soon the only news that will require reporting will surround lawsuits and patent infringement. Today the Rechtbank 's-Gravenhage (a Dutch court in the city of The Hague) issued an injunction against the Samsung smartphones (Galaxy S, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy S II) and that they should be retracted from import and sale by October 13th. The Galaxy Tab was not included.

The patent in question is owned by Apple ("Portable Electronic Device for Photo Management") and covers the way photos are displayed on a mobile device. The Netherlands plays an important role with Samsung's import into Europe. This injunction will prevent the shipping to the UK, France, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, Sweden and Switzerland. But let's not get carried away, Samsung has welcomed the ruling and published a statement:

"Today's ruling is an affirmation that the Galaxy range of products is innovative and distinctive. With regard to the single infringement cited in the ruling, we will take all possible measures including legal action to ensure that there is no disruption in the availability of our Galaxy smartphones to Dutch consumers."

Looks like Apple doesn't have a victory and Samsung will attempt to prevent any disruption to the shipping of their smartphone handsets. I expect Google will ensure an update is mirrored to other brands just in case Apple decide to take on other Android manufacturers. According to Samsung in court, the fix is as simple as updating the OS to version 3.0, which doesn't infringe the patent.

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HTC London event also in Madrid, Paris and Berlin

We recently covered the announcement of HTC's upcoming Windows Phone based event, which will be held in London on the 1st of September. We have now learned of three more locations around Europe that will house the same event which include Madrid, Berlin and Paris. If you are thinking on attending, be sure to visit the respective Facebook page and RSVP.

Here are the details from each Facebook page (please double check times and locations):

  • London - 18:30 - 23:00 at Victoria House, Southampton Row entrance, 37 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4DA (Facebook)
  • Madrid - 19:30 - 23:00 at C/ Jorge Juan, 99, Puerta D del Palacio de los Deportes (Facebook)
  • Berlin - 20:30 - 23:00 at Spindler & Klatt, Köpenicker Straße 16, 10997 Berlin (Facebook)
  • Paris - 19:30 - TBA at TBA (Facebook)

Are you heading along to the events to see what's up with coming devices?

Thanks Christian for the heads up!

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Looks like whomever is testing these phones sure likes to broadcast they're doing so. The popular, free and fun "I'm a WP7!" which recently had a major revision (see here) obviously collects interesting data from users and the developer, Scott Peterson, shared them with us. The info is an "...aggregate of over 46,000 devices, in over 150 countries worldwide." Yowza!

First, as you can see above, many of the new "Mango" devices that we've been reading and writing about have recently come "on line". That date is when they were first spotted. For those wondering, the Asus Galaxy6 is actually a very, very old Windows Phone 7 device that never got past some development work. Interesting to see it show up though. We also see the usual suspects:

  • Acer M310
  • Samsung GT-i8350
  • Nokia 800
  • HTC Eternity
  • HTC Omega
  • Fujitsu IS12T
  • Samsung SGH-i677
  • LG-LS831 (still unknown)
  • Toshiba Tsunagi (TG01 developer device)

Missing from the list? Any Dell device. There was one spotted back in May with a missing "device name", but other than that, it looks like Dell may not have anything further, confirming the idea that they're out of the mobile phone biz.Then again, perhaps they're just really disciplined and secretive.

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Mysterious HTC Radiant spotted on WP Bench

Just a quick extension to our previous article covering some Mango device names popping up on WP Bench where they're being tested. We've received word from the app developer, Robert Varga, that a HTC Radiant has appeared on the list and is reportedly running post-Mango/7.10.8004.

Could this be Tango? Certainly looks as though we may not be seeing this device for a while (if at all). Let's see what's announced at the upcoming HTC event in London. The image above shows the HTC HD7, just in case any of you attempt to catch us out on that.

Thanks again Robert Varga for the tip!

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Windows Phone in Google Analytics

Does Google Analytics skew data for web owners with traffic using Windows Phone? Not quite. While there is no clear categorisation between iPhone/iPod, PC and WP7 the data is being collected and it's available for viewing. With the list of operating systems in the filter, one can select screen resolution as a secondary dimension to compare the OS and resolution numbers.

An article, posted back in June, over at Mobility Digest saw them go into some depth with their analytical data while calculating the percentage of visits between the mobile platforms. This article publishes detail for Android, Windows and iOS - note "Windows" and not "Windows Phone". Doug Simmons then took a further look into the numbers as he thought WP should be reporting higher values.

I too was interested so I took a quick look at my personal website (since it doesn't receive a whole lot of traffic it should be easier to break down the data) and filtered through the visits recorded in Google Analytics. The majority of my traffic comes from WPCentral with redirects from Twitter and other locations that involve Microsoft's platform, so I predicted that a healthy portion of the mobile traffic should be using WP handsets.

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Guess what folks? It's silly season. And Windows Phone Mango is so close.

The image you see to the right is from the excellent app WP Bench (Zune link) and it lists no less than 8 devices that are presumably new Mango phones (or variations) that are in people's hands, evidently being tested against each other. The relevant ones from the list:

Some of those are familiar, but the LG LS831 seems new, the Omega gets a number (C110e), the i937 from Samsung seems active, who knows what the "Na Na" and the "Nokia XXX" are. Anyways, nice to know these devices are getting into people's hands. [Note: LG C900x, Asus E600, Samsung GT-I8710, HTC PC93100, T8697 are older phones for developers or on the market already]

Big thanks to developer Robert Varga of WP Bench., for the screen shot!

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It's no secret around here that as far as indie weather apps go, WeatherLive by Hyperise is one of our favorites due it's heavy use of Metro and its simplicity. Since returning after being briefly pulled, the app has done very well for itself as it's the top selling in its category.

So we're excited to give you a sneak peak of what v2.0 is bringing as we're pretty positive it's going a long way to add all of those features that you've demanded. The app is currently in beta and should be coming out soon-ish (we'll let you know). The price is expected to go up slightly to cover the costs of the new features, but if you buy the ad-free version now ($0.99) well you'll of course get the upgrade for free.

But on to the new features!

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Cro-Mag Rally, the first kart racer on Xbox Live, is kind of rough around the edges. Chief among its problems are the tilt controls. Currently, the game requires players to hold a virtual accelerator button while also steering by tilting the phone, unlike every other Xbox Live racing game. It’s a clunky control method and hard to get used to. On the plus side, the game is affordable and has easy Achievements.

Citizen 12, the developer who handled the Windows Phone port of Cro-Mag is taking its criticisms seriously. They’ve provided WPCentral with full release notes for the game’s upcoming patch as well as a heartfelt apology to gamers. Yes, this means I can no longer tease them about being tight-lipped.

Head past the break for the full scoop as well as exclusive screens showcasing the game’s new camera angle.

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Hydro Thunder GO is one of the best-looking 3D games on Windows Phone, and it’s an exclusive to boot. Still, some readers reportedly experienced frame rate issues (which seemed to be handset dependent). When we interviewed Pixelbite, the game’s developer, they promised to look into it. Fast forward a few months and a major Hydro Thunder GO update has just been released.

Hydro Thunder GO version 1.3 release notes:

  • Performance improvements: [Pixelbite] did some performance profiling with the newly released Mango tools and managed to improve the game performance between 10-20% depending on the device and the in-game situation.
  • Minor bug fixes for the new OS releases, such as the music was not looping properly

The game always ran great on my Samsung Focus; now other handsets can better share in the visual splendor. Check out our review for more impressions.

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PopCap Games, Game House (interview), and Zynga are probably the three heaviest hitters among casual game developers and publishers. PopCap is the most mainstream of the big three, selectively porting their games from PCs to consoles and mobile devices with amazing success. On Windows Phone they have produced Bejeweled LIVE (review) and Plants vs. Zombies (review), which I feel is the single best game on the platform. We’re super excited to bring you this interview with Andrew Stein, PopCap’s Director of Mobile Product Management.

Head past the break for an insightful interview and exclusive, never-before-seen Plants vs. Zombies concept art!

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Remember kids, there is no Xbox Live release in the US this week. Not a common circumstance, and hopefully the last time it occurs. The rest of the world, however, gets Babaroga’s Minesweeper, which was already released in the US a couple of weeks ago. It’s a free, ad-supported game. See my previous post on Minesweeper for details on how unfortunately busted it is.

No new games to play this week? Perhaps Super Monkey Ball from Sega will soothe your troubled soul. It’s the Xbox Live Deal of the Week with a sale price of $1.99. Mr. Cranky Pants is even less fond of this version of Super Monkey Ball, but let's just leave our review to do the talking.

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Windows Phone game roundup: Occassional Gamer

Occasional Gamer developer Elbert Perez recently released his latest Windows Phone game, Air Dagger, over at the Marketplace. Perez has released thirteen games over at the Marketplace and they all have experienced some level of success.

With thirteen titles under his belt, there's simply not enough room above the fold to list them all.  So, to see Occasional Gamer's Windows Phone gaming portfolio, ease on past the break.

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Windows Phone "robot blog" launches

You know what we need? How about an awesome site dedicated to hacking Windows Phone hardware so that it can connect to printers, keyboards and robots. Yeah, robots!

The site is filled with all sorts of tutorials and videos on how to add a serial port, add some programming for interfaces, make your phone interact with Terminators, etc. Okay, that last one hasn't been posted yet, but c'mon, it's just a matter of time.

No doubt this is for the Radio Shack crowd as these aren't necessarily easy if you don't have hardware hacking or software programming skills (that's us on both accounts), but for those who tinker and want to push their Windows Phone to the next level...head here: www.wpbots.com

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MS confirms details about Tango

Today in Hong Kong Microsoft held a MSDN seminar called "The Next Generation of Development," during which they revealed some details about the WP7 update called Tango.  It turns out that Tango will not be a major update, but rather a minor update to Mango focused on developing countries like China and India.  It will bring improved Bing services to countries previously neglected, and as previously speculated, will serve as the OS version for lower price point devices made by Nokia, ZTE and others.

Though Tango turns out not to be exactly the next evolution of Windows Phone that we thought it would be, it was confirmed that Apollo will in fact be the next major update to the OS, which will be WP8.  If Tango is only a minor update, then what is build 8200 with its new "content search" feature?  If it is Tango, will we see it outside of emerging markets, like North America and Europe?

Source: We Love Windows Phone .HK (Thanks for the tip!)

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Here we go folks, looks like AT&T will be launching two all new Windows Phone 7.5 devices in "Q4". The first one up is the Samsung Kupua SGH-i937 and the HTC Bunyip pl39100.

The Samsung is basically the Galaxy SII phone we see a few months ago when Microsoft showed it off--no doubt this will be replacing the Focus and it looks to be a worthy replacement with an 8MP camera, 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen (assumed), 1650 mAh battery and 512mb of RAM.

We're not sure what the HTC Bunyip is exactly, though Pocketnow suspects it's the unannounced Eternity or Omega, which is a likely choice. That device will sport a 1600mah battery and also an 8MP camera. No other details are known yet.

Some very exciting stuff. Although not as grand as AT&T's original launch, these two devices will hopefully be more wow-worthy this time around.

Source: Pocketnow

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Facebook's dormant Places service axed

Facebook has finally killed Places, the seemingly dead check in service that's remained fairly inactive for sometime. It's available in the Facebook for Windows Phone app so what happens to users? Well, we have Foursquare of course, but if you don't use the service or another competitor there might be another option.

We recently covered Microsoft's We're In service which resembles Foursquare and this could well become an integrated answer for a large portion of WP7 owners. Unfortunately, for the time being it's only available to the U.S. and Israel.

On a personal note: my girlfriend uses Facebook Places quite a bit (only checking in), especially when she's in the UK. I've still not fully understood the concept behind letting everyone knowing where I am. If I look up nearby places I get the typical teenage act cool entries including "my bed (:", "cinema wiv sexy bf" and "sofa!!!!!". Surely we should be able to moderate entries in some way, I mean who's going to check into someone else's bed, sofa or cinema with the sexy boyfriend?

Via: Gizmodo and thanks to Ghost for the tip!

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There may be no new Xbox Live release this week (unless we count Minesweeper launching outside of the US), but the Xbox Live Deal of the Week train keeps a-rollin’. Sega’s Super Monkey Ball will be on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Super Monkey Ball on Windows Phone is a sad story. It launched at $4.99 and dropped to $2.99 just a few weeks later. Could the price drop have been indicative of the game having problems? Oh yes. As I state in our review, this version of Monkey Ball is just terrible. It looks and sounds pretty, but the tilt controls are the worst I’ve ever experienced. There are also two Broken Achievements which may or may not get fixed some day. If you’re a very patient and forgiving gamer, you may still enjoy Super Monkey Ball, but it sure drove me bananas.

Super Monkey Ball will go on sale for $1.99 on Wednesday, August 24. You can find the game here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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Steel Avenger coming to an Xbox near you

The popular Windows Phone game Steel Avenger was recently updated and ported to the XBox 360 system (Xbox screen shots above). Those not familiar with Steel Avenger it is a Spy Hunter styled game where you race down the highways and bi-ways taking out your enemies while avoiding crashing into (or shooting up) innocent travelers.

The Windows Phone update for Steel Avenger has the customary tweaks under the hood to improve performance as well as adding music to the game. Game play has also been adjusted to make things a little more challenging.

Two versions are now available for Steel Avenger. You have a free, ad-supported version that you can find here and a paid version ($.99) that can be found here. Steel Avenger (the Xbox version) can be downloaded from the Xbox Live Marketplace and it runs 80 Microsoft Points.

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When Minesweeper and Sudoku, two free Xbox Live games developed by Babaroga and published by Microsoft, were released only in the US a few weeks ago, our foreign readers were understandably displeased. We speculated that it might have been because of the games’ reliance on in-game advertisements, which may not have been cleared for other markets yet.

Good news then, as Minesweeper is coming to foreign markets on Wednesday. Well, sort of good news. Minesweeper is actually pretty busted on the highest two difficulties, filling levels with so many mines that they’re impossible to clear without repeated use of the EMP powerup. Babaroga tells us this may be fixed in the future, but for now it seriously hampers the fun.

Minesweeper can be downloaded here (Zune link). No news yet about when Sudoku will be released outside of the US, but we’ll keep you posted. We’ll have reviews of both games very soon.

Thanks to Professeur Thibault for the tip!

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Acer M310 reportedly sports HDMI output

News out of Auckland New Zealand is that the Acer M310 Mango phone made an appearance at Tech Ed 2011.  The shiny black, beveled-edge M310, which is said to look similar to the Acer W4, has a meager 8GB of storage (unfortunately no images were available but we're still digging).

However, word has it that one thing that sets it apart from its other WP7 brethren is the addition of an HDMI output jack.  This is an exciting feature in what otherwise sounds like a pretty basic phone.  Another nice feature is that it will support DLNA over Wifi, which will allow it to communicate with other DLNA-equipped devices such as TVs, Xbox, etc.

Asus also had a unnamed handset on display at Tech Ed, which seemed to be an engineering sample, complete with "non-final code."  The matte black Asus is worth a quick mention because it looked to have a front-facing camera, though that was not confirmed. 

It's nice to see some new features popping up on new WP7 Mango phones.  There has been a lot of news of where Windows Phone is headed with Skype integration and Xbox Live and features like HDMI and front-facing cameras will be key to bringing those thing to fruition.

Source: Windows Phone NZ; Via: Engadget

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Zune Desktop getting ready for Mango

If you blink, you might have missed it but Zune's desktop software has been updated to version 4.8. The update will allow Zune to communicate correctly with Windows Phone 7.5 (more affectionately known as Mango). So if you're planning to update your Windows Phone, you'll need to update Zune.

According to the update's release, the update has the following features to make the update process go smoother and faster.

  • Progressive updates: In Zune 4.8, you only have to click the update button once for multiple updates. Once an update is finished, the software automatically checks for more and repeats the installation process until your phone is completely up to date.
  • Streamlined backup: By synching media separately from other phone content, we’ve lowered the overall time it takes to back up your phone. The backup file is also more compact, so it should take up less space on your computer.
  • Skip phone backup: If you don’t have enough room on your computer to store a phone backup file, you’ll now have the option to skip this step so you’re not blocked from updating your phone.

The process is painless and takes about five minutes. Just go into your Zune Settings, choose Software and General Category (column on the left). Towards the bottom of the screen you'll see a button to "check for updates". Follow the update steps, accept the terms, then sit back and relax. If you are new to Windows Phones and haven't installed Zune, you can find the updated version here.

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Torchbear is a unique application for your Windows Phone that has hit the beta stages of development. Torchbear is described as a mobile geolocation based social network game.

It appears to be part social networking app and part chain letter app (and that's not necessarily a bad thing). Torchbear is a way to share your thoughts, ideas or images with others around the world.  Each torch has a mission and accomplishing that mission is likely the gaming aspect of this new app.

Based on the promo video, Torchbear looks interesting but the developer needs your help. Entering the beta stages, the Torchbear developers are looking for beta testers. If your interested in helping knock the bugs out of this Windows Phone app, shoot an email over to contact@torchbear.com with your Windows Live ID.  Use "Torchbear Beta Tester Request" as the subject line.  The developers will then get back in touch with you with the Marketplace beta link.

The concept definitely looks interesting and we'll be curious to see how the developers transfer that into a Windows Phone app.

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From the WPCentral forums...

"Let the grand webOS migration of 2011 commence!" That just about says it all. This week the big news in the forums is HP closing the doors on webOS. Now you webOS hold outs have a decision to make and a lot of you are making the right one by choosing Windows Phone as your next OS. I want to personally say a big WPCentral "Howdy Y'all and welcome" to all our new webOS migrants.

We have a few threads for you so jump in and sound off. Show your webOS pride and ask questions about your new favorite OS Window Phone 7. We already have some great threads started. You can let those feelings out in this thread "Man the webOS deal has me pretty sad." You shouldn't keep that stuff bottled up. You can show your webOS pride in our meet and greet thread "webOS Refugees - Meet Here" or just "Pay our respects to the final days of webOS..."

In other forums news here is a great feel good story "Can't do that with an iPhone!!". You know what? He's right.

Don't forget to stop in at our Developer Spotlight forums to pick up some great apps and games. Please take a minute to support all those great developers who are posting there Apps and Games in the WPC forums.

Games:

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WPCentral Podcast 123


We're back again with Daniel and Jay (who's returning from Italy) for another exciting podcast, discussing the HP webOS news and what it means for Windows Phone, Mango, new and updated apps, what Daniel thinks of Sally's Salon and why Jay thinks Incubus is good.

Listen in! Show notes after the break.

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