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Yes folks, that time is upon us, the time for some "must have" Xbox LIVE games for our phones. This week's title is Bullet Asylum a so-called "bullet hell" game of which we have had very few (see OMG though for something similar or the indie Decimation X2)

The game will be priced at a very fair $2.99 and we've been putting it through its paces the last few days--so far, we like what we see. The game has exceptional neo-retro graphics, excellent sound and music and plenty of games to choose from.

Bullet Asylum

You have three main game choices available:

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Nokia Lumia Malaysia "The Amazing Everyday" [Video]

Yet another video in the world of Windows Phone news, this time it's Nokia Malaysia with "The Amazing Everyday" advertising campaign. In the above montage, we see the Nokia Lumia team heading out and about driving alongside the Nokia promotion truck, handing out leaflets, cakes and different coloured umbrellas, and generally having a great time with the public.

The Lumia 710 and 800 will both launch in the country on February 10th.

Source: YouTube, thanks Ellis for the heads up!

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100 devs to receive Lumias in Czech Republic

Now that Nokia's Lumia 710 and 800 have made it to the Czech Republic, Microsoft and Nokia have teamed up to try to spark up some developer interest in them.  In a new contest, they will be awarding Lumia 800s to the first 100 developers who get three apps to the Marketplace and total fifty downloads.  The contest has been running since February 1 and will continue until May 31, or until the 100 phones have been given out.  

Early reports are that Nokia sales have been pretty strong since coming to the Czech Republic.  The combined effort by Microsoft and Nokia to market their products to both consumers and developers alike seem to be paying off.  Hopefully, the strategy proves to be successful in other parts of the world as well.

Source: MobileMania; Thanks for the tip, Michal!

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Nokia Netherlands introduces Lumia 800 white [Video]

It's a Lumia 800 white announcement day today it seems, and now Nokia Netherlands has decided to join in with a video introduction of the handset. This is a perfect addition to the Lumia family of Windows Phones from the Finnish manufacturer, we've got a number of black handsets so it's good to see some opposite options being made available (and we know Apple fans go crazy for white versions of the iProducts).

As mentioned in the announcement, the white Lumia 800 will be heading to the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Finland, Poland and Switzerland first, with other countries to follow.

Source: YouTube, thanks Peter for the tip!

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To fit in nicely with Nokia showing off the upcoming Lumia 800 white version, SlashGear have got their hands on the device. Looking fairly impressive, this handset features a unique feature that differentiates this version from the other themed 800s. As can be seen in the above video (as well as the photo shots below) the white 800 sports a glossy finish, bouncing light in all manner of directions, and looks almost identical to the N9 variant. 

Don't allow the glossy look to fool you though, this is still a polycarbonate unibody that has been dyed all the way through. The white Lumia 800 is expected to be available later this month in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Finland, Poland and Switzerland, with other countries to follow. Check out a few shots of the handset after the break. So, what colour are you?

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Nokia teases white Lumia 800 Windows Phone

WP Central

Nokia has published a new photo on their Facebook page which shows three Lumia 800s being held for display, while a fourth hand poses in the same position but holds no handset. What's significant about this photo are the nails. We have colours matching the 800 that's being held, but the fourth hand (which isn't holding a device) has white nails. Anyone remember a white Lumia 800 coming soon? 

Source: Facebook (Nokia), thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Seemic Ping

Seesmic has come out with an interesting app that some of you will find interesting. It's a post-everywhere type app where you just fill out one field and send it off to the interwebs.

Perfect for those with multiple Twitter profiles, a Facebook account or two and even throw in a LinkedIn for safe keeping, Seesmic Ping seems to have it all covered.  What's unique about Ping though is the ability to add as many accounts as you want, allowing you to post to one or all per post. You can even share links and add photos with a thumbnail view with ease.

Seemsic Ping

Even better, it allows you to write drafts for later, allowing the system to "auto post" for you at a specific date or time. This is all done not so much via the app but by using Seesmic's "log in" system where they basically maintain all of your accounts for you, much like their Desktop app. It's a neat little service and for those on the go who need to remote post, probably one of the best (and perhaps only) solution for Windows Phone.

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Developer Interview: keyboardP of Air Pick Voice

WP Central

This week we've been joined by keyboardP, the developer behind Air Pick Voice ("epic voice"), who agreed to a Windows Phone developer interview. Should you be interested to learn more about his project and experience developing for Microsoft's mobile platform, head on past the break for the full interview.

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YouTube HQ

Looks like those cats at YouTube are doing some background changes to their player. Although the "player" aka browser app for Windows Phone is still at a paltry v1.0, the actual streaming handled via HTML5 seems to be now more robust.

Take a gander at our screenshot above and you can now see the "HQ" option now shows up. As a result, the quality has dramatically improved to the point that we could actually, you know, use it. Sure, it's no YouTube Pro but for the occasional use, we're happier with this level of playback than the previous version. Anyone else noticing the changes?

Thanks, parthp90, for the tip

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Hit the Bunnies for Windows Phone

Remember the arcade game Whak-o-Mole? There just happens to be a variation of this game over at the Windows Phone Marketplace titled Hit the Bunnies. Instead of whacking moles as they pop up from their mole holes, you're smacking bunny rabbits as they pop out of their rabbit holes.

Hit the Bunnies is a decent reaction oriented game for your Windows Phone. Simple graphics, simple animations, simple game play but you have to stay on your toes to whack all the bunnies. The main menu has options to access the games settings (sound/music on or off) and play the game.

Hit the Bunnies

You begin the game with three lives and for each bunny you fail to hit, you lose a life. Hit the Bunnies is a multi-level game and as you successfully make it through a level, you gain a life.  As the game progresses, the speed and agility of these furry little rabbits increases making the game more challenging. There's also a slight addictive quality to the game that keeps pulling you back to better your score.

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WP Central

One topic that seems to come up a lot in the forums is individual experience with sales representatives when looking at a Windows Phone. For the longest time these posts were mostly bad experiences, after all Windows Phone is the "new kid on the block" so it seems to take a beating on most occasions. Yet Windows Phone continues to get great reviews and its popularity is increasing. The positive news is on the rise and so are the forum posts about great experiences when inquiring about Windows Phone devices. Still, there are all sorts of stories that you folks are sharing with each other. Here are a few:

In the thread "Rogers impressed me today", forum member based_graham had a great experience with a sales rep:

"So I went into Rogers today and saw this sweet looking Nokia Universal Dash so I tried it out with my Lumia 800 and all goes well so at the counter I asked about the 710 and the sales guy was like "Yeah we just got them in for 255 unlocked. Amazing phone the only phone to really rival the iOS and functionality with Mango is amazing" he kept going on and on about it and briefly mentioned that they might get the Lumia 900 in March/May. He also said that Mango and Lumia phones have all been getting great reviews etc

Glad to see sales rep in Canada excited about it of course its only one store but I might pop in another Rogers and see what they have to say about it. I was going to buy it straight up but its not unlocked kinda choked."

In "Odd thing T-Mo rep told me while looking at Lumia 710 today", forum member speedtouch had an interesting interaction when inquiring about getting a Lumia 710 off contract.

"My wife and I went to T-Mo today so that I could show her the Lumia 710. I had been to a different T-Mo store last week to see it for myself. While speaking with the T-Mo rep today I told him I was not interested in getting a 2-yr contract. I want to buy the phone outright and go on a month-to-month plan. He said that's fine but I would lose access to roaming on other non-T-Mo towers. That I would only have access to T-Mo towers, not to any other towers that T-Mo has roaming agreements with. Is this true? I have never heard of that before.

He said that the only way I could get access on non-T-Mo towers is by going with a contract on T-mo. My BS meter shot up to 100% when he told me that. Am I right and he's wrong?"

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Colorful for Windows Phone

In celebration of the Super Bowl, Colorful Apps is offering their Windows Phone app Colorful for free.

What is Colorful? Much like the Augmented Colors app we mentioned a while back, Colorful is a color detection app for your Windows Phone. It helps color blind people recognize, tag and compare colors. Some of the key features of the app include:

  • Use advanced filters that will compensate for your specific color deficiency.
  • Recognize colors in your surroundings using the new Mango camera capabilities.
  • Save up to 3 color tags for future reference and comparison.
  • Save an image with the additional information given by Colorful algorithms.

Colorful allows you to detect colors from photos on your Windows Phone as well as tagging colors from the live camera mode. You can save an unlimited number of color tags with Colorful as well as customize selecting the detail level or mode of the color name (simple, descriptive, artistic and developer). Colorful also gives you the ability to choose your color blindness type to further dial in the app.

Colorful Screen Shots

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Watson

We're getting word in that Brandon Watson, no stranger around here at WPCentral, will be leaving Redmond for greener pastures.  In a recent Tweet he made (and a confirmation we received), he notes:

"The rumors are true. The team is in great hands. I'll miss working on #wpdev. I will the community, but won't be a stranger."

In a way, this should not be a surprise as his old Twitter profile even proclaimed "Entrepreneur on loan to Microsoft focused on getting our developer mojo back." That statement already read to us that this was a temporary job for him with a finite mission, one that looks to have finally succeeded.

No doubt, he'll leave quite a hole to fill as Watson had quite the presence in getting Windows Phone back on the map, working tirelessly to get the recognition it deserved and making devs happy.

Update: Watson is leaving for Amazon. In an email to ZDnet he mentions he'll be taking on the responsibility as Director of the Kindle Cross Platform team and “it was a hard decision, but the opportunity placed in front of me that was too big to pass up.”

Developing...

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Appointile for Windows Phone

Here's an interesting app for your Windows Phone. Appointile generates dual live tiles for your Windows Phone Start Screen that list your appointment agenda.  AppoinTile is an ideal app for those who are wanting to see more than just one upcoming appointment on their Start Screen.

When you first launch AppoinTile you are taken through a set-up wizard where you choose which calendar to tie into (Windows Live, Google, etc.), how you want your tile to look (number of appointments, days in advance, etc.) and pinning the tiles to the Start Screen.

Appointile

AppoinTile allows you to list up to four appointments and will reach out as far as thirty days in advance. The back of the tiles can display the date or a 42 day calendar with markers placed on busy days.

The AppoinTile tiles will sync automatically with their respective calendars on a schedule you set within the app's settings. You can also restrict synchronization to only over Wifi/USB.  If you need to change calendars, you can access the calendar settings from the three-dot menu.

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Free Zune Pass

We're really starting to hate the fact that there are barely any Microsoft Stores around as they keeping having some great deals. The latest promotion runs from now till February 14th (that'd be Valentine's Day for you Forever Aloners out there) and involves getting one year of Zune Pass for free with the purchase of a new Windows Phone.

At $10 a month that's about a $120 value and if you're in the States, Zune Pass is actually worth it. So keep that in mind when shopping around for the special gift in the coming weeks.

Thanks, Derek, for the photo

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WP Central

The Windows Phone Marketplace, which has been expanding at a relatively mediocre pace, now covers five more territories. Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines now join the 36 other countries that have access to games and apps for their handsets. Todd Brix recently published an article on the official team blog detailing plans for an upcoming expansion, urging developers of those countries to start submitting apps and games.

China is not open to Windows Phone owners just yet, but developers are able to submit content. If you're a developer with global reach, be sure to read up on Brix's latest post walking through this expansion. 

Source: Windows Phone Team Blog

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Indonesia Nokia store

With so much Nokia news these days, we're just going to start recapping what we can to save space around these parts.

First off is the Czech Republic where the Lumia 710 and 800 went on sale two days ago. At least one online retailer is reporting great numbers so far with Alza.cz showing the Lumia 800 as their top seller. Not a bad a start at all and something we're getting used to these days.

Best seller?

Next up is Indonesia. We reported earlier that that country was due to get the Lumia 710 and 800 as well and while no firm date was given, it was stated to be in February. In fact, two large big events are planned to coincide with the launch--one a massive developer day featuring 800 devs making 800 Windows Phone apps and the other a Facebook contest.

Now we're getting word that pre-orders for the devices will start on February 6th with the following offers:

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Skype for Windows Phone is in testing, out soon

Skype for Windows Phone, originally announced at MIX11

In an exclusive report this morning, The Verge is trumpeting that the elusive Skype for Windows Phone application is "currently [in] testing" and that "at least one source indicated that it could launch at Mobile World Congress later this month." (Emphasis ours.) Wait, didn't we already know all this? Answer: Yes.

Here's a compressed timeline:

We understand everyone is chomping at the bit for Skype. We'll let you know when we learn more and roll out a full review when it hits the Marketplace. Stay tuned.

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Nokia UK video introduces magenta Lumia 800 [Video]

The magenta version of the Lumia 800 is well on its way with Carphone Warehouse expecting the handset to be available this month. Joining the cyan and black colours, it will be interesting to see how the pink catches the eyes of females and those who would be fond of such a coloured phone (I personally owned a j700 back in the day).

Should you be eager to see what plans you can get Nokia's magenta Windows Phone on, check out Phones4U (link below) who have got O2, Orange and Vodafone contracts available, from just £20 a month.

Source: YouTube, Phones4U

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BusFinder for Dublin Windows Phone users coming soon

BusFinder Dublin

Are you an Irish Windows Phone owner who resides in Dublin? Then BusFinder will be of great use to you in your installed app arsenal. Using Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI), the app displays up-to-date bus departure times across a number of routes throughout the city. BusFinder allows the user to add individual bus stops to a shortlist for convenient access and/or pin Live Tiles to the home screen that list the next three bus arrival times.

The app features Bing Map integration that clearly illustrates that particular bus route and what stops it covers, as well as the location of your current selected bus stop. Sporting a cartoony style interface with a Metro UI feel, BusFinder certainly stands out from the crowd. It will be hitting the Marketplace in the next couple of days, and will be available for €1.29 ($1.99/£1.49).

Check out the video of the app in action after the break. 

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UserVoice Marketing Feedback

While Microsoft already has a feedback website dedicated to Windows Phone owners providing suggestions on features in the OS, what was missing was an official location to allow users to voice their apparent frustration when it comes to marketing and promoting the mobile platform. We've all had issues with the lack of 'umph!', until Nokia came on board and blew everyone away with tripling marketing expenditure when their family of Windows Phones were announced at Nokia World 2011 in London.

We've now come across a UserVoice page set up by the Windows Phone team that allows users to submit suggestions on how the software giant could improve marketing, and vote on other submissions.

"Just like with your suggestions on features to add to future versions of the product, we'd like your suggestions on how we can spread the word about Windows Phone itself via advertising campaigns, community or social media involvement and other types of promotions. Creativity highly encouraged, let us know what your ideas are!"

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Quick Look: Take Me Home for Windows Phone

Take Me Home for Windows Phone

Here's a quick look at an interesting navigation application for your Windows Phone. Take Me Home is a no-frills, basic navigation app that will generate directions to a series of saved addresses.

Take Me Home has two pages, one entitled Settings where you enter your addresses and assign it an icon and another that will tap into mobile Google Maps to generate directions to your destination.  You do have two options on the Settings Page to turn on/off location services and auto navigate features.  Once you've entered the address, swipe over to the Navigation Page and you can generate the directions.

I like the concept and ease of generating directions to saved locations but Take Me Home only provides text directions. You can tap on the individual step in the directions overview to pull up a thumbnail map but that is a little cumbersome.  

I do like the options to choose walking, transit and driving directions. This could come in handy when traveling and you need to rely on mass transit or your feet to get you to your destination.

The developer notes in the Marketplace description that more features are on the way and hopefully a map view that routes your course is among them.  As is, Take Me Home is a decent app for your Windows Phone but does have room for improvement.

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