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We have two bits of information that we received separetely, yet tell a nice story.

First, we just heard from a fairly well known commercial software company who make an app for Windows Phone (as well as Android and iOS), that the Mango release/update has been delayed:

"The (omitted) Windows dev team has just learned that Mango is delayed until September 15th."

We were surprised to receive that info because (a) we didn't know what the previous date was (September 1st?) and (b) we didn't even inquire about it. Once again, this isn't an indie developer but a commercial software company who works with Microsoft directly, so we take their word as truth on the matter. However, we're still not 100% clear on what that means exactly.

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Litigation claims Microsoft is tracking you

File this one under "you've got to be kidding me!" but a proposed class action lawsuit has been filed in Federal Court alleging that Microsoft is tracking customers through the Windows Phone camera. No... seriously.

The claim has Microsoft intentionally designing the camera software to ignore customer requests to turn off you location services and send it to Microsoft anyways. Early this year, Congress was concerned about privacy issues and technology. In response to these concerns, Microsoft wrote Congress and assured them that they only collected geolocation data with the express consent of the user.

Mrs. Rebecaa Cousineau, the plaintiff of record, claims "Microsoft's representations to Congress were false." Mrs. Cousineau further claims that Microsoft transmits data that includes approximate latitude and longitude coordinates of the user's device while the camera is activated. The lawsuit, brought about on behalf of all Windows Phone 7 users, is asking for an immediate injunction, punitive damages and other remedies.

Microsoft has yet to publicly respond to this latest round of litigation. It's true that your Windows Phone camera can record your GPS coordinates to your pictures EXIF file but you can also turn that feature off as well as the overall location services on your Windows Phone.

Whether or not you are truly turning these feature off has yet to be determined.

source: Reuters

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Fly Delta lands in the Marketplace

Delta Airlines has launched its official Windows Phone app. Fly Delta is designed to make flying the friendly skies more convenient by giving you access to flight schedules, your travel itinerary, and reminding you where you parked your car.

The app allows you to log into your Skymiles Account, which will allow you access to your Skymile balance and Medallion.  You also can access the app as a guest, should you not have a Skymile Account.  Additional features of Fly Delta include:

  • rebook on an alternate flight when yours has been canceled or delayed
  • launch an interactive seat map and pick your seat
  • check your position on the upgrade or standby list
  • see the latest flight status and get terminal and gate info
  • map flights en route with an interactive flight tracker
  • save a photo and make note of your parking spot

Delta is already working on the first update to Fly Delta and hopes to bring the ability to pay baggage fees, track checked bags, view airport maps, browse Delta Sky Club locations, and explore Delta's fleet (plane layouts).

If you are a frequent flyer on Delta, Fly Delta will surely come in handy. Fly Delta is a free application and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Sasa for the tip!

 

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HTC Eternity passing through FCC to AT&T

The HTC Eternity (or HTC Titan X310e as we now know it) has passed FCC testing. The handset was being tested on 850 and 1900MHz bands used by AT&T, but unfortunately that's all we have to go on for now.

Reminding ourselves of the upcoming HTC Eternity/Titan, this handset may sport a 4.7 WVGA Super LCD screen, 1.5GHz single-core processor, 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, 1.3MP front-facing camera and 16GB of storage.  We also expect to see (and maybe get some hands on time with) the HTC Eternity tomorrow at the HTC Public Event in London.

Let's hope it lives up to the punch in terms of specification.

Source: PocketNow

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Gravity Guy flips onto Xbox Live on September 7

If turn-based fighting is too far off the beaten path for you, then perhaps next week’s Xbox Live release will be more to your taste. Gravity Guy is a nice, simple platformer from Miniclip.

In Gravity Guy, the titular dude automatically runs from left to right as he’s chased by a Stormtrooper lookalike. GG can’t jump like in traditional platformers, but tapping the screen flips the gravity. Thus players must quickly tap the screen, flipping the Guy back and forth in order to get him past obstacles and away from the enemy. It’s simple and challenging fun in a Doodle Jump sort of way.

The Xbox Live version of Gravity Guy rolls out on Wednesday, September 7 for $2.99. Want to try it out in advance? The original Flash version is free to play at Miniclip’s site.

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Justice steps in, sues AT&T

Just when all was quiet on the whole AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition, the U.S. Department of Justice steps in and throws a major headache into the mix.

In a nutshell, the U.S. DOJ has sued to block AT&T's $39 Billion takeover of T-Mobile USA and is holding the position that the deal would "substantially lessen competition" in the wireless market and violate U.S. antitrust laws.

AT&T's General Counsel, Wayne Watts, was surprised at this move by Justice. Watts responded by saying,

“We have met repeatedly with the Department of Justice and there was no indication from the DOJ that this action was being contemplated. We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed.”

Should this deal go down the drain, AT&T would be liable to pay Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company $3 billion plus a reduction in charges for calls into AT&T's network. A cancellation package estimated at $7 billion and plenty of incentive to fight the Justice Department's claims.

While all the legal battles take place, the FCC will continue to review the proposed merger. No word from AT&T if they will continue to mention the acquisition of T-Mobile in there advertisements.  Which was a little premature to begin with.

Expect this to be another long, drawn out legal battle within the wireless industry. Oh, and to add to the misery, AT&T stocks have fallen $1.33 (4.39%) to $28.31 a share as of this posting.

source: Bloomberg

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When three Xbox Live games were pulled from the Marketplace in a single day, gamers were justifiably upset. The delisted games include Fast & Furious: Adrenaline (review), Star Wars: Battle for Hoth (review), and Star Wars Cantina. All three games are based on licensed properties, and those licenses seemed to expire simultaneously. Sure, the publishers should have notified us that the licenses were ending in advance so as to reap last-minute sales, but that would actually make sense…

Good news for Star Wars fans then, as working Zune links for both Cantina and Battle for Hoth have been discovered. Neither game shows up when browsing the Marketplace, but with these links they can still be purchased. Should you buy them though? Battle for Hoth may be the worst Xbox Live tower defense game in my opinion, due to its absurd difficulty and general jankiness. Cantina, on the other hand, is a decent time-management game. It’s nowhere near as good as Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition (review) due to its short length and poor controls, but still worth a play if you’ve already finished Sally’s Salon and crave more customers to serve. Plus, unlike Hoth it’s got easy Achievements.

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Microsoft pairs with PEGI for WP7 game rating

This is news that many of us have been waiting for, especially those who have children that own a Windows Phone and frequently play games. Microsoft has announced that they will be pairing with PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) to begin rating games on the Marketplace.

The age ranking will provide a clear indication to parents for better control over what games their children can download and/or play. Developers will be able to submit ratings for their titles via PEGI Express. Chris Lewis, VP IEB, Microsoft EMEA, had this to say:

"At Microsoft, providing parents with the tools to help keep their children safe online is a top priority, and we have made considerable investments in this area both in our Windows environment as well as on the Xbox 360. Given the fast growing popularity of mobile gaming amongst a younger age group, we felt that it was critical to apply those same rigorous standards to our Windows Phone devices as currently apply to Xbox and Games for Windows titles.

PEGI continues to play a crucial role in the interactive entertainment sector. As a founding member of PEGI, Microsoft continues its strong commitment to safe entertainment, by working together with PEGI to help developers rate their games quickly and effectively"

There's already a PEGI app available in the Marketplace (which came in the submission blitz), but it would be much more effective if ratings are displayed on game download pages within the Marketplace etc.

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Rumor: Image of Nokia 703 Windows Phone leaks?

Just the other day we broke the news about the Nokia 703 device showing up in app-stats from "I'm a WP7!". Now today, we have what is reportedly a leaked image of said device coming from some type of presentation.

It's too early to tell if this is a fake or not (and it's easy enough to do that these days), but if true, it's a heck of a coincidence. Anyone want to scan it for authenticity?

Source: WMPU

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We're not prepared to say this is the "best" stopwatch app in the Marketplace. There are dozens of those out there and we have yet to take the time to give 'em all a go (though perhaps our Mr. Ponder would like the challenge?).

Either way, Stopwatch by Johnny Westlake (he also makes 'Bing Image Search' and 'Imgur Uploader' in addition to other apps) is no frills: it has a stopwatch (with laps) and a countdown timer. The app is simple, Metro and to the point.

But, version 1.3 just hit and it's been Mango-ized, meaning it can now run in the background--this is actually very useful for a stopwatch or timer app if you think about it! Only downside is during a countdown, if it runs out of time while the app is "in the background", it won't go off till you "resume" it. In other words, the countdown works in the background, but the alarm doesn't. Leave it on under lockscreen though and you're golden. But for a stopwatch feature in the background, it works perfectly.

And that's all there's to it. It's free so why not grab it here if you need it? Thanks, TheMoose76, for the heads up!

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Android users mix in some Metro to beautify their UI

"Come to us my children!" - Steve Ballmer, I/O 2011. All jokes aside, it's become quite clear that a number of Android users actually want something more than a grid packed full of icons, widgets and whatnot. something cleaner, sleeker and more unique (as does Google). Windows Phone features Metro UI that ticks all the boxes mentioned above and has been somewhat ported to Android in many forms (including a media player, oh and Bing).

We've now learnt of a full-featured Android ROM that's been modified up by Lifehacker reader MortemTuam and sports a Windows Phone like home screen with a Metro UI influence. What differentiates this from previous Android attempts we've covered is that this actually looks pretty damn good. Here's how he put it all together (and what was used for you folk who have Android handsets):

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App.net to include Windows Phone [Developers]

App.net is a service offered to developers on iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android that helps monetise and distribute applications cross-platform style. Developers are able to use analytics to track users, create catchy and professionally appealing landing pages and promote their app with greater efficiency.

We've now caught wind that the team behind App.net, Mixed Media Labs, has plans to include Windows Phone, BlackBerry and HTML5 (web apps) to increase the reach and scalability of the service. In an interview with VultureBeat Dalton Caldwell, CEO of Mixed Media Labs, had the following to say:

"A lot of the larger shops have apps on multiple platforms, and there are small developers that are experimenting with WP7. Now that we have the core platform built, adding new platforms is straightforward for us to do. The larger vision of these new features is that we are getting to the point where we want a developer to be able to link to app.net/myapp [the URL of an application on App.net] and App.net will show the best version of their app for the device the user is on. The less end-users have to deal with the platform complexity and compatibility issues, and figuring out whether to use mobile website vs. app, the better."

Head on over to App.net to check out featured apps and/or submit your own. Pricing starts at no cost at all, but the standard subscription for three apps across multiple platforms is $12/mo. Unfortunately, webOS will not be added along with the three mentioned platforms.

See the image after the break for an example of a OneNote WP7 landing page.

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Minor issues crop up with the Fujitsu IS12T

Although the Fujitsu IS12T looks like a killer device with a 13MP camera, 32Gb of storage and a waterproof case, it is Fujitsu's first Windows Phone and it's the first WP7 device in Japan, meaning we shouldn't expect it to be perfect. And as to be expected, there are a few flaws. Evidently a famous Japanese blogger, @tunakko_, has gone public with some of the bugs and limitations:

  1. No C-mail feature. On KTTI (the carrier for the IS12T, SMS is done via data and is called C-mail. Not too surprising is the fact that Windows Phone doesn't support this, even though it sounds a lot like MMS. Fujitsu and KDDI are working on it, but a fix is not expected till January 2012.
  2. No screenshot ability. As a blogger and tech writer, Tunakko would like to use this feature. Enough said.
  3. Mapping. We're told that maps "don't look right" or more specifically, the map looks like an outline. Not so much a technical issue but rather one of mapping rights. Once again, Microsoft Japan is said to be "working on it"

The good news is that lots of shops and salespeople are being honest with customers about these limitations, but at least in Tunakko's case, this didn't happen when she bought it. Having said that, the IS12T took 39th in sales ranking during it's first week--which doesn't sound like it's on fire, but then again we know competition is stiff in Japan.

via: Nanapho 1, 2

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Ready to bust some heads? Fight Game Rivals from Khaeon GameStudio is now available on Xbox Live.

Fight Game Rivals is not only the first Xbox Live fighting game on Windows Phone, it’s also brings a unique blend of strategy and minigames to the fighting genre. Players choose one of six UFC-style fighters and participate in tournaments, causing pain to others and earning credits in the process. The actual fights involve choosing skills from your arsenal, completing timing minigames to execute them effectively, and doing your best to block opponent’s attacks. Most of the minigames themselves involve tapping green circles on a skeleton (or multiple skeletons!) and avoiding red circles, all within a limited amount of time. With any luck, the other guy goes down, his girlfriend leaves him, and you move on to the next match.

I am finding the mashup of fighting and strategy wickedly fun so far. How about you guys?

Fight Game Rivals costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Pick it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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If you’ve resisted picking up Fable Coin Golf until now, it’ll be especially hard to hold out this week. The Windows Phone-exclusive Xbox Live game is on sale this week for $2.99, down from $4.99.

Fable Coin Golf (see review) comes from developer Ideaworks Game Studio, who have worked on a ton of excellent iPhone games. Loosely inspired by the Fable action-RPG series, Coin Golf is essentially a minigolf game set in a fantasy universe and with a nice silly story between levels. It features excellent friend leaderboards and mild connectivity with Fable III on Xbox 360 – money earned in the phone version transfers up to the console game. The connectivity isn’t as advanced as what we’ll see in Kinectimals, but it’s only natural that such features will improve as time goes on. Even if you don’t know your Fable from your Elder Scrolls (you unfortunate person), Coin Golf is plenty of fun on its own.

The sale lasts for one week only. You can pick up Fable Coin Golf here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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Samsung's Now app gets Mango update, Live Tiles

Samsung's news and weather app, Now, just got bumped to v2.1 and it looks great. First off, it's now Mango compatible meaning fast-resume is there for app switching in addition to more language support, which should make our international users happy. Second it now has a Live Tile featuring the current temperature, conditions and high/low for the day. You can then create two secondary, flippy Live Tiles: News and Top Tweets

Other than that, since it was recompiled with the new Mango SDK 7.1 tools, it feels zippier and more smooth to us on our Focus running 7720. The app was "ok" before but with the Live Tile, new languages and speed, it's actually more useful than HTC's Sense app which was basically a portal to their Marketplace.

You can pick up v2.1 in the Samsung Zone or here's the link if you so desire. Thanks, uf12ahimusmanllah, for the tip!

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Good news for those of you in our audience who use Macs, you can now get the brand spanking new v2.0 of the Windows Phone Connector app that will allow you to use your Windows Phone with your favorite Apple computer. Changes in v2.0 seem significant and it's just in time for Mango:

Features:

  • Full sync and import support for Apple Aperture software
  • Drag and drop import of files from Browse Device
  • Ringtone transfer support (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
  • Improved video conversion process with user configuration options
  • Support for Windows Phone Marketplace (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
  • Localization support for 13 additional languages
  • Improvements to backup and restore operations
  • Improved configuration for podcast sync and photo import
  • Improved iTunes import support in certain languages
  • Improved metadata support for videos

Fixes:

  • Added additional error codes and help references for device update
  • Resolved connectivity issues with certain devices
  • Resolved album art display issues for certain devices

Sounds like a solid update and you can find it right here on Apple's website. Thanks, Ashley B., for the tip!

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With all the new features headed to the Windows Phone by way of the Mango update, the camera will be getting its fair share of attention. More and more are using their Windows Phone camera, in lieu of a stand alone camera, to document and share life. The Mango updates that focus on the camera will make capturing and sharing photos a little better.

The list is healthy so snap past the break to see the full list of the new features (that we know about) heading to your Windows Phone camera.

source: windowsteamblog

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BBC iPlayer for Windows Phone? [Updated]

Update: WPCentral reader uuf05 got in touch with the BBC and requested reasoning as to why they haven't released an app for the platform yet. You can view their reply in his comment below. Here's the main snippet:

The BBC want to bring BBC iPlayer to as many audiences as possible, across a range of devices. Unfortunately, as the Windows Phone 7 doesn't support HLS or Adobe Flash, the formats we use for streaming videos, we can't make BBC iPlayer available on this phone at the moment.

So until the platform supports BBC's used formats (HLS or Flash) it seems the BBC wont bring us an app to gain access, which is a shame. What do you all make of this?

Read the full story after the break...

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We previously covered rumours surrounding the Samsung i8350 where the leaked road map mentioned that the handset will feature a 3.7" WVGA, 1Ghz processor, running Mango and will be here in October. SamFirmware (a reliable Samsung source) has tweeted that a new device from the manufacturer will feature a 1.4Ghz processor, 3.7" screen and support NFC (near field communication).

So are you interested in the smaller screen and half the amount of RAM?  Could this be one of the "mid-tiered" Tango devices?

 

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Windows Phone slides a little in the Market

Comscore, a "global leader in measuring the digital world", has released its July 2011 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share report. The report covers Smartphone and OEM market share activities from April 2011 to July 2011.

With respect to platform marketshares, there wasn't much change at the top with Google and Apple holding steady at the #1 and #2 spot. Microsoft, however, has fallen from a 6.7% market share to a 5.7% market share and is holding steady in the #4 position behind RIM. The report identifies 82.2 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three month period.

With respect to Mobile OEM market activity, Samsung leads the way with 24.5% followed closely by LG with 20.9% and Motorola with 15.6%. We should not that these stats take into account Smartphone and Feature Phone (aka dumb phone) sales those 13 years and older (about 234 million) during the three month period. Apple and RIM, only offering a smartphone, comes in at 4th and 5th respectively with 8.3% and 8.2%.

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SkyDrive mobile apps on the way?

Microsoft's free cloud storage solution was recently updated with a UI refresh and a number of improvements and features included. We've now discovered that clients for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, OS X and Android are currently in development. We've heard from readers that a more feature-rich SkyDrive solution is greatly desired so this is welcoming news for many.  Even Molly Wood pointed this out in her Windows Phone Challenge verdict.

As well as a Windows Phone app, LiveSide has reportedly learnt of greater plans Microsoft has for SkyDrive, one feature being device integration. According to the report SkyDrive will allow users to access and view files synchronised from each device via a single interface at skydrive.live.com. Devices added to Windows Live will be displayed under a section titled "Devices" in the SkyDrive navigation (below "Groups"), enabling a single location for access to all the files stored on the cloud.

What's unclear still is whether devices added to Windows Live will be able to use the free 25GB of storage offered in SkyDrive, or if they will be stuck with the 5GB "SkyDrive synced storage" for Windows Live Mesh. All in all, good news all around.

Via: LiveSide

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Seamless Computing and the Windows Phone

You may have heard mention about seamless computing but a presentation at Microsoft's TechEd Australia 2011 really brings the concept home. Nsquared is an Australian software development company that specializes in surface applications. Their keynote presentation at TechEd utilized various platforms that included Windows Phone 7, Surface, Windows 7, Kinect and Silverlight to demo the potential seamless computing has.

We've seen such technology concepts used in movies and television shows and seeing the technology used in a live demo definitely ups the coolness factor.  Everything used in the video is commercially available and it will be interesting to see what mainstream applications for seamless computing will surface in the near future.

source: istartedsomething

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Kik on WP7 boosts iOS and Android growth

This is interesting indeed. Kik, the cross-platform messenger, has seen a pretty neat ROI (return of investment) from investing in Windows Phone 7 since being released earlier this year. Not in terms of revenue, but user registration on iOS and Android. Yes, you read correctly - Kik for Windows Phone is reportedly boosting the user growth on other platforms.

Looking at the chart above we can see the point where the WP7 app was launched with the user count line for both iOS and Android. Notice the sharp increase? Can this be mere coincidence, or is it because WP7 users are now using Kik with friends on competing platforms that don't currently have an account?

If we look at the small graphic to the right, we can see how WP7 has been boosting the growth for iOS and Android by around 22%. While Microsoft's platform might not massive in terms of market share, it's certainly a socially connected OS and users are more connected.

Kik Interactive CEO, Ted Livingston, concludes:

"Windows Phone users may be a small segment of the whole, but they bring with them all their friends on other mobile platforms, creating a huge and unanticipated spike in Kik activity. 

It’s time for cross-platform apps to start paying attention to Windows Phone 7."

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Tasks app by Telerik gets Mango update

We've previously covered Telerik's Tasks app that shines as a perfect example of Metro UI implementation and of their RadControl software for Windows Phone 7 (and now Mango too). It's a free app available to download from the Marketplace and serves as an in-depth checklist of things the user should accomplish throughout daily usage. Tasks has recently been updated to receive Mango goodies.

What makes the app stand out is the colour usage and how fluent the design is, not to mention functionality. There is room for improvement however, users have requested synchronisation with Outlook and GMail which is said to be coming soon. For now, we have the following changes in the Mango update:

  • Live Tile support with number of incomplete tasks.
  • Ability to deep-link pin an individual task category to the home screen.
  • Orientation lock implemented.
  • Minor bug fixes.

Not at all bad, right? You can download Tasks (Zune link) from the Marketplace for free.

Via: WMPU

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