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There are a few "must have" apps for Windows Phone and we think Weave is one of 'em (see early review). So it's exciting to see it hit the big version 3.0 after some extensive beta testing, which we were lucky to see first hand. The free version (ad-supported) is now available for your usage and the paid, no-ad version is coming later this week (selectable backgrounds held it up, but hey...as SelesGames says, you get selectable backgrounds). The new animations, design and features make this app even better, so we so no reason why if you haven't already, you shouldn't give it a spin.

Features include:

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Awhile back we reported that a "Nokia 800" device showed up on Elbert Perez's Occasional Gamer site under the stats he collects. Speculation at the time suggested this was the model number for the SeaRay. That still may be true, but to make matters a bit more complicated a device called "Nokia SeaRay" has now shown up as well.

What does this mean? Maybe a lot, maybe nothing. At the big end, it could mean there are two devices in testing or being used--one the "800" the other "SeaRay", on the other hand they could be one and the same but for different networks e.g. "Arrive" vs "7 Pro". It's fun to guess, but unfortunatley, that's all the info we have now.

Source: Occasional Gamer; via @MechaGhost

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For the developers out there, you'll be psyched to know that the release candidate for the Windows Phone SDK is now available.

"The Windows Phone Software Development Kit (SDK) 7.1 provides you with all of the tools that you need to develop applications and games for both Windows Phone 7.0 and Windows Phone 7.5 devices. This download is the Release Candidate (RC) and provides a ‘Go Live’ license that enables you to develop and publish applications to the Windows Phone Marketplace."

This along with the ability for developers to submit Mango apps to the Marketplace (opening tonight) means 'go go go!' for devs out there who want to update their apps. As to what's news with the RC, you can head right here for humungo list.

To get the RC tools, you'll want to grab 'em from Microsoft. Read more at the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

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The clock is ticking on the WPCentral Windows Phone giveaway.  You've got two days left to get your video responses in to have a chance at an AT&T HTC HD7S. 

The rules are simple.  Just post a video response to this YouTube Video telling us why we should consider you the biggest Windows Phone fan? What sets the Windows Phone apart from other systems? How does it make your life easier? Even if you don't have a Windows Phone yet, tell us how owning one would make your life easier.

Make it compelling, make it creative, and make it under three minutes. Only one entry per person and we'll give you until Wednesday, August 24th at 5:00pm EST to submit your entry. We will then take a few days to judge everything and pick three winners. The top video gets the HD7S, the first runner up gets a Qmadix Boost Pack and the third runner up get a $25 gift certificate to the WPCentral.com store.

Good luck everyone!

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Microsoft demoed some exciting integration between the mighty Xbox 360 console and Windows Phone at their GameFest conference in Seattle. We’ve previously covered Microsoft’s three screens and Metro future of gaming, computing and entertainment and this is another step in the right direction with Kinect thrown into the mix. We previously covered Kinectimals coming to Windows Phone with its interactive ability with the console version, now we get to see it in action.

What's interesting to note is that QR codes are used, not Microsoft's Tag service, to transfer data between the console and the handset. Microsoft's competing code service was reportedly shown in a separate demo so one could assume it's up to developers with a choice available. 

This connected companion experiences approach demoed in the above video by David Treadwell, Microsoft vice president, is what the software giant is aiming to provide the gaming community. It's interesting to see in a technical preview of how Microsoft views the future of their combined platforms. What do you make of the presentation?

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While Brandon Watson is offering an alternative to webOS developers in the form of transition support, AdDuplex is offering a little help of their own. The offer is simple, port your app to Windows Phone and AdDuplex will give you 20,000 ad impressions.

As with most free offers there are rules (to prevent anyone from taking advantage of the deal) and they are as follows:

  • Have an app published in the official application store on other mobile platform before August 22, 2011.
  • Port and publish it in Windows Phone Marketplace from August 22, 2011 to December 31, 2011.
  • Request your 20,000 ad impressions coupon by sending links to your app on the other platform and Windows Phone platform to info@adduplex.com

While this will help webOS developers get started, the offer is also being extended to Android, iOS, and Blackberry developers. It's nice to see the Windows Phone community offer alternatives to webOS and other developers.

Even if webOS finds a way to survive (which we hope it will) these offers will give developers a means to diversify their lineup.

source: blog.adduplex

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Love Clean Streets and Windows Azure [Video]

Remember when we covered the BBC coverage of Windows Phone (among other platforms) aiding in the battle against vandalism, fly-tipping and more? Well we're back with another video going into slightly more depth about Love Clean Streets and Windows Azure working together.

Councils across the UK as well as boroughs in London can make use of this technology to provide the public with some power with alerting appropriate authorities for quick responses in keeping Britain streets clean. As explained in the video above with Medway, all entries are categorized, location pinned and available for viewing by personnel who can co-ordinate a response.

Can it get any better? Actually, yes. Once the vandalism has been dealt with, fly-tipping cleared and graffiti washed, the authorities can take a photo of the cleaned area and the member of the public who filed the report will receive confirmation that the problem has been looked into.

You can download Love Clean Streets from the Marketplace for nothing at all.

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We're getting real close to Mango being pushed out to the masses, so it's only appropriate that we show what we've got coming up. Our developer Jay Bennett has been hard at work with v1.4 which will unleash the Mango power:

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HTC September 1st Event to focus on Mango?

HTC is holding a public event in London on September 1st but very little details on the event have surfaced. About this time last year, HTC held a similar event to launch a handful of Android Phones.

Our friends at BGR have received information that this year, the centerpiece of the event will be Windows Phone Mango. Specifically introducing the HTC Eternity and the HTC Omega to the public.

While the source of this information didn't disclose and particulars, speculation has the Eternity heading to AT&T and the Omega headed to T-Mobile.  One bit of promise was that the release is expected to be sooner than expected.

Nothing official from HTC and hopefully everything will come into focus on September 1st.

source: bgr

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De-Bugs: A buggy release from XIMAD

De-Bugs is the latest Windows Phone release from software developers XIMAD. The game has you de-bugging 95 acres of lakes in the land of Mystery Pond.

To clear the ponds of bugs you essentially knock them into each other to get them to fly off. You have two means of accomplishing this. You can flick/swipe at the bugs to get them to slam into each other or the age-old method of tapping, pulling and launching them. You can bank the bugs off the edges of the screens as well as bouncing them off one another.

When hit, the bugs will start to flitter their wings and fly off. Only being hit by a like-colored bug will get them to fly off and to make the game challenging, your racing the clock to clear your lake.  If you miss your target or hit a bug of a different color, you'll loose points.

Another thing to be careful of is leaving a single bug of any particular color in the water. Eventually another bug of the same color will appear but it will cost you precious seconds off the clock. You get three chances per game and then it's game over.

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Fix for Samsung Focus SIM/MMS trouble

Should you be experiencing issues with MMS on your Samsung Focus then this small fix may be just what you need. WPCentral Reader Seth has located a quick solution for his MMS problem, which occurred post-updating to Mango RTM (leaked ROM). He reported that the fix does indeed work and was tested on a Samsung Focus attached to AT&T.

Here are the steps one must take to greatness:

  1. Enter 40*047#3 in the diagnosis app.
  2. AutoSimSetting will be reported as now enabled, restart your device.

We're not currently aware of this fix working on the Omnia 7 handset or with unlocked devices. Let us know in the comments what outcome you get should you perform the above.

Source: XDA Developer Forum (post), thanks Seth for the tip!

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Tezawaly of NanaPho over in Japan managed to get his hands on the Fujitsu IS12T, which is expected to ship within 3 days. He did the smart thing and ran WP BenchMark on it to see if there was anything different. While we don't know all of the specs of the IS12T, there's little doubt that it has to have the Adreno 205 GPU chipset on board due to the outstanding performance, in addition it has the later-gen Qualcomm MSM8655 at 1GHz. You can see Tezawaly's results compared to other "normal" Windows Phone in WP Benchmark's stats below:

Needless to say, the results are impressive. Next up you can see it compared to the more popular Samsung Focus. Once again, the GPU average at 40 on the IS12T versus just 19 on the Samsung Focus. Looks like that new Mango hardware will be harder and hader to resist, no?

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It's starting to happen folks: Microsoft's Xbox LIVE catalog is getting a Mango refresh, meaning more languages and just as exciting, fast-resume support for app switching.

The first game to get this is the freebie Flowerz. The game was just recently bumped to v1.2 and now features Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Czech and more languages on board, matching Mango's language expansion. In addition, we were able to confirm on our Mango phones that indeed, fast-app switching is working, meaning this was recompiled with the 7.1 dev tools.

What's interesting is that Flowerz was the very first Xbox LIVE game in the Marketplace, meaning we may expect this to happen in a sequential ordering (at least for the older games). Very cool, very cool...

Grab Flowerz here in the Marketplace to give it a go.

via: Professeur Thibault

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Looks like Microsoft's Brandon Watson got more than he expected when he Tweeted about webOS devs switching to Windows Phone. In a follow up Tweet, he notes the overwhelming response:

"...I have >500 emails in just the last 22 hours. Had to rethink the algorithm for responding to all."

Watson goes into more detail in the letter to soon-to-be-former webOS devs who expressed interest in the Windows Phone developer system:

"First things first. Thank you so much for reaching out to the Windows Phone team to signal your interest in bringing your talents to our platform. To be honest, we didn’t expect this level of response, so we were caught a bit flatfooted. It took a few days (on the weekend) to pull all the mails together into one place to allow me to respond in a smart way and not retype every mail by hand. Consider this a first step in building a relationship with the Windows Phone team. We are psyched to have you aboard and to see what your imagination can do on the Windows Phone canvas."

As the news and ramifications of HP dropping hardware development for webOS sinks in, it will be interesting to see where webOS customers and developers head--Android, Windows Phone or the iPhone. So far, it seems like many have expressed interest in Windows Phone due to its elegance and lets face it, superior developer support. Either way, good job on Watson for seizing the moment and giving hope to devs who may need some work ASAP.

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A lot has been discussed about what the Google-Motorola deal means to the smaller Android OEMs on the market. Om Malik of GigaOm has noted that several "mobile industry insiders" have expressed concern over the deal and relying too heavily on Google for Android. Now, one small handset maker, INQ who came up with the Skype and Facebook phone, is taking a serious look at Windows Phone 7 and saying so publicly. The owner of INQ Hutchison Whampoa, went on record saying:

“We see a number of major vendors very seriously considering Windows Mobile as a core platform and therefore we are following their lead and examining it as well to complement our work in Android to date...The advantages with Windows Mobile is that the legal issues and resulting costs seem to be much less." (Note: he uses "Windows Mobile" here accidentally)

He notes that due to Android's success, it has become a big target for litigation and perhaps if Windows Phone were that big, the same thing could happen. (While a possibility, we'd suggest that Microsoft is in much better shape with IP and patents than Google.) Finally, after discussing Windows Phone he knocks Motorola down a notch stating

“It is telling that the Motorola Board decided that they could get more value out of 15-20 year old patents rather than use their huge R&D to create new exciting technologies over the next 10 years which is what Motorola used to do very well.”

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We know that developers will be able to start submitting their Mango-versions of their app to the Marketplace begging this week, but what's not clear is if OEMs would have the same limitations. A reason to ask that is because OEMs always seem to get a little lead time and also deeper access to the OS than regular 3rd party devs.

A few tips have come in noting that LG's catalog of apps have been quietly getting version bumps in the last few days, specifically ScanSearch which is their feature-rich augmented reality app. Sure enough, we fired up our LG Quantum with Mango 7720 on board and downloaded v1.9 of the app and noticed two things:

  • We get a compatibility warning stating that our phone doesn't have a compass
  • Fast app switching/resume now works with the app

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The official GroupMe app was just released for Windows Phone not too long ago and while nice, it seems a bit redundant with Mango's groups feature. Still, it's a neat service and was one growing very quickly even though it's just over a year old. For those of you who don't remember, GroupMe's gives you the ability to create a group and then text or conference call that group with one number. What's neat is that you can use your data connection for texting the group, which can save some people money in addition to creating a unique conference call number which anyone in the group could use. Although the deal between Skype and Microsoft has been approved, it's still technically in motion, hence Skype buying GroupMe.

The Windows Phone app was still not feature-complete at the time, but it's still looking promising. What does this mean for Windows Phone users now that Microsoft (via Skype) owns the technology? We'll hope to see that conference call feature perhaps built in as well as the data-messaging system integrated into Mango's Group feature--that is, we expect GroupMe's tech to augment and enhance what's already there. We're okay with that. We can also see Skype getting some group features as well, which could also greatly enhance that service for more robust functionality.

For at least now though, the company and brand will remain separate with integration points coming down the line. Negotiations between Skype and GroupMe started around the same time as Skype and Microsoft, hence the overlap of deals.

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Good news for Microsoft as their patent for the Metro UI, filed under "Visual motion for user interface feedback", has been approved by the USPTO. The patent was originally filed in early 2010 but finally approved on August 18th. We're still waiting on the official patent number to appear, which we're told usually takes a few days to be generated and listed--for now we have the issue date within the application itself. From the application abstract comes a very abstract description of the UI:

"Aspects of a user interface that provides visual feedback in response to user input. For example, boundary effects are presented to provide visual cues to a user to indicate that a boundary in a movable user interface element (e.g., the end of a scrollable list) has been reached. As another example, parallax effects are presented in which multiple parallel or substantially parallel layers in a multi-layer user interface move at different rates, in response to user input. As another example, simulated inertia motion of UI elements is used to provide a more natural feel for touch input. Various combinations of features are described. For example, simulated inertia motion can be used in combination with parallax effects, boundary effects, or other types of visual feedback. "

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It's another Sunday, so what time is it? That's right folks, prepare yourselves for the Windows Phone Summary of the Week! This week we've been briefed with our weekly Mobile Nations, but no podcast unfortunately (although one was published not-so-long ago). But we have been blessed with episode 122 of the WPCentral podcast, featuring guest Travis Lowdermilk from the Windows Phone Dev Podcast.

Dave Blake has got the latest from our forums, while one of our readers, Dalton Carl, submitted an interview he managed to run with Levi Fussell who has developed a number of apps (apologies for the absence of WPCentral interviews due to a much-needed vocation). Check out the rest of our highlights from the week after the break. 

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Trine's Hangman gets updated and then some

If you like the game of hangman, Trine's Hangman is a must have game for your Windows Phone. Fantastic graphics, challenging play, Wikipedia integration to look up words and a global leaderboard that is constantly being updated helps make Trine's an appealing game. The Epic Trailer (fantastic soundtrack) above is a good illustration of the commitment Gydar Industries has made to find a way to constantly improve Trine's Hangman.

The most recent update, version 1.11.0, also reflects this commitment. The biggest change is that the Lite version and Trial version are now free, ad-supported version that are identical to the paid version.  No more limitations in game play.  The developers made every effort to avoid having the game affected by the ad-banner and in doing so, the clock bar is hidden in the ad supported versions to avoid any drastic layout changes.

If you don't want ads, another bit of good news is that paid version has been reduced from $2.99 to $1.99. The current update also has the customary performance tweaks, bug fixes and design changes to improve the overall gaming experience.

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Microsoft didn’t provide many screenshots or details about Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp at Gamescom last week. We do know that it will contain at least four minigames taken from the recent Xbox 360 release, Toy Soldiers: Cold War.

The enterprising lads at WP7Connect have done a little digging and found YouTube videos of the Xbox 360 version’s minigames that will also be included in the Windows Phone game. Of course the WP7 versions will look much simpler and control differently, but the videos should at least give gamers an idea of what to expect from Boot Camp.

Follow the break for two additional video trailers for Toy Soldiers.

source: via: wp7connect

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A fix has surfaced for those having trouble sending or receiving MMS messages on the Dell Venue Pro using the AT&T Network. As one would suspect, it's a settings issue but you first have to pull up the diagnostic screen.

While we've haven't heard of any horror stories in tweaking these settings, please keep in mind that you proceed at your own risk. Here are the steps.

  • From your Dell Venue Pro, bring up the dial pad and enter ##634# to bring up the diagnostic screen.
  • Tap on MMS Settings.
  • Scroll to the MMS Settings section.
  • The settings should be Name: ATT MMS (all caps), APN: wap.cingular, MMSC: http://mmsc.cingular.com, MMS Proxy: wireless.cingular.com, MMS Port: 80, Username: (leave blank), Password: (leave blank).
  • Scroll up to the Auth Type, tap CHAP, and then Apply.

You should then get a "Success, Setting is Done!" message. Tap OK, then tap HOME and you should now be able to send and receive MMS messages from your Dell Venue Pro. There have been some reports that you need to restart the phone to get the settings changes to take hold.

source: 1800pocketpc

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For our developer friends out there looking to learn all the new things in "Mango" will want to take this free webinar, coming on August 23rd and the 24th from 8am-4pm PDT. Via the AppHub:

"Join Rob Miles and Andy Wigley, two of the most sought-after Microsoft mobile development MVPs on the planet, as they lead you through a fast-paced, demo-rich online course. Best of all, it's free!

Windows Phone codename Mango is an important leap forward in Microsoft’s overall mobile strategy and the developer community has taken notice. Now is the time to embrace the “tile-and-app” UI and reap the rewards Mango provides your development team and user community.This webinar will teach you the ins and outs of developing for Mango."

Sounds like a good deal as Microsoft always does things right. Register here if interested!

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HTC to hold public event on September 1st

HTC is planning a public event for September 1, 2011 in London to show everyone what's next. They spilled the beans over on their Facebook page and we're all wondering if a new Windows Phone will take center stage.

This isn't exactly out of the ordinary for HTC to hold such events. Last year, around the same time frame, HTC held a similar event in London to announce two Android phones. Could this year be Windows Phone's turn?

With the rumor of Mango being released on September 1st, speculation that this could be a Windows Phone event isn't that far of a reach. Maybe we'll see a Beats by Dre Windows Phone running Mango! We'll keep an eye out to see what develops. Heck, we might even unleash Rich on the event.

source: Facebook via: 1800pocketpc

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