The popular Windows Phone RSS reader, Wonder Reader, has been updated to version 2.0. The update makes the Windows Phone app compatible with Mango and includes these new features (for Mango devices):
Live Tile support: The tile will display an unread count up to 1,000 plus the latest headline and image on the back of the tile. The Wonder Reader tile is set to update every thirty minutes.
Pin feeds and categories for additional live tiles: Additional Live Tiles can be added to your Start Screen for your more frequently viewed feeds or categories. This feature is only available on the paid version.
Social Network Sharing: You can now share articles on Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live and LinkedIn.
The Wonder Reader update also supports Mango's fast app switching for instant resume. There is a fully functional trial version available for Wonder Reader (won't support the additional Live Tiles) and the paid version runs $1.99. You can find both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
Apologies for the delayed summary, August is a time for late vacations and insane traveling (coupled with awful 3G coverage in the UK - but that's a separate rant for another rainy day). It's been a busy week here at WPCentral with Windows Phone news galore. Let's begin with episode 123 of our weekly (dare I say it?) podcast. Also, WPCentral forum admin Dave Blake has rounded up the latest goings on over at our forum, be sure to check out related discussions, while our Daniel Rubino has provided a quick walk through of what you can expect in the Mango update for the WPCentral app.
Head on past the break for the full run down.
SelfTimer is a timed shutter release for your Windows Phone. The good thing about SelfTimer is that it is a feature many want for their Windows Phone camera to allow them to hop into the picture. The bad thing about SelfTimer is that it appears to be a Mango app.
Dan has been able to install and use Selftimer on his Mangofied Samsung Focus but it's not showing up on my Nodo Focus. The good news is that it's working as advertised on the Dan's Focus.
If you're running Mango on your Windows Phone and want to give Selftimer a try, there is a free trial version available and the full version runs $.99. You can download either here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. I was not able to find the app from the phone's Marketplace app.
If you are able to get Selftimer up and running on your Windows Phone, let us know your impressions in the comments. Now we just need a decent tripod for our Windows Phone.
Not long ago, the Windows Phone word game Word Arena appeared in the Marketplace. Shortly thereafter, issues were raised and Word Arena was pulled while the mess was sorted out. Apparently, the differences have been settled and Word Arena is back to being listed in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
For those not familiar, Word Arena is a Boggle-styled game where you try to create as many words as possible from a 4x4 grid of letters. You compete against other players, online, who are searching for words from the same grid of letters.
Z-Games, the games developer, stayed busy during the down time adding a few new features to the game. The new features on the re-released version of Word Arena include:
The time has come to announce the winner of our AT&T HTC HD7S Windows Phone giveaway winner. But first we would like the kind folks from AT&T, FH-Digital and the WPCentral Accessory Store for providing our prizes.
We had twenty-five fantastic video entries and it was really hard to narrow it down to one grand prize winner. However, after much discussion, one video stood out from the rest. WPCentral would like to tip our hat to everyone for submitting some really great videos on why Windows Phones are the best!
If this was a television show, we'd cut to a commercial right about now, but seeing that we're a blog we will have to make due with...
To see the three winning videos, just ease on past the break.
Microsoft is constantly tweaking their Windows Live pages and may have also tweaked the Windows Phone page to include some interaction with your Windows Live Account. There is a screenshot on Japan's Windows Phone site that looks like a cross between the current Windows Live device page (shown below) and the Windows Phone page.
The web page screenshot reveals a My Windows Phone interface that includes your Find My Phone commands, access to your pictures and videos, plus access to your Windows Phone apps and view your Marketplace Account. You still have access to your XBox Live account and Office docs but gone is the Contacts and Calendar Portal as well as the Zune launch.
We followed the instructions found on the Japanese Windows Phone site's FAQ Page but the new design isn't live yet and you still get the "old" design of the Windows Phone site.
The other day we gave you a sneak peak at the all-new WeatherLive 2.0. The app received a nice little overhaul, adding new features, more customizations and push notifications for weather alerts.
We've been using it all week and appreciate that the app is still as "lite" as before with no loss in speed. In addition, seeing as we're getting some severe weather here in the Northeast, the toast notifications detailing weather alerts have worked every single time (on a Mango device).
As before, there's a free, ad-supported version (aka endless trial) or the paid version which is ad-free and has the push notifications. We think the app is great, but we'll let you decide for yourselves. Pick it up here in the Marketplace for $1.49.
One thing that is always difficult to keep up on is HTC's various model names for what are often very similar phones. The reasons are obvious though: GSM, CDMA, LTE, WiMax and carrier requests all resort in slightly varying devices.
Now, some new UAProfs (user agent profiles) have appeared that lend credence to alternate names for the Omega and Eternity, two upcoming Windows Phone Mango devices expected to be announced on September 1st (yeah, we'll be there).
Frist up is the HTC Omega aka the white Windows Phone which was leaded yesterday. That device's name may actually be the HTC Radar C110e (it's always tough to know which is the code name and which is the brand name, but Radar may be the brand name, oddly enough).
If you're like us, we're getting ready for that big ol' hurricane Irene (we're in Manhattan now, Long Island tomorrow--yikes). Since we're pretty positive we're going to lose electricity for some amount of time, even up to days, getting all the power out of our Windows Phone is key.
One easy method "Mango" users can enable now is the Battery Saver feature by going to Settings --> Battery Saver --> "Turn on Battery Saver now, until my next charge". The phone will of course still work, but background services and push email will be disabled--which is a great way to squeeze out a few more hours from your phone while you pray for the lights to come back on.
It also wouldn't hurt to bump your backlight to "Low" under Settings as well. Good luck everyone.
For those of you still running an HTC HD2 aka the device the runs everything, you'll be pleased to know you can now load Windows Phone Mango 7720 onto that bad boy, making it a true, honest to Ballmer Windows Phone (it makes your SD card act as a single partition).
We're not gonna lie, the number of steps, folder moves, flashing and technique here is no small feat. You'll want to take your time, print out those directions and cross your fingers you don't miss anything. The features of this ROM are...
- Ability to Install Mango 7720 Build.
- Ability to Install Developers Update Cab.
- Updatable via zune (for build after 7720 wait confirmation before apply)
- Root, chevron and unlock features already in and reaplied after an update
The ROM was finished by XDA members xboxmod and YukiXDA, so it should be a pretty solid release. Still wanna try it? Head right here to XDA and give it a go! Thanks, JonnieLasVegas & Wideawake, for the tip!
We're not gonna lie: Mush from Angry Mango looks like a fun type of game for Windows Phone, one type we haven't seen much of (though Ilomilo comes to mind as far as the cuteness factor). The game is very LocoRoco-like and we're okay with that. From our earlier description:
"A puzzle platformer that gives you control over how your character feels. Change their emotions by drawing smiles and sad faces, and by rotating or shaking the Windows Phone. Mush will be a Windows Phone exclusive."
Hopefully we'll see this in a few weeks times with the Mango launch frenzy.
Just a quick reminder that on Sunday, August 28, 2011 Trine's Hangman will be on sale for $.99. The popular hangman game for your Windows Phone was recently updated to version 1.11 with more updates already in the works.
Trine's has a free ad-supported version that you can find here and the paid version (normally $1.99) can be found here (both links opens Zune). The only difference between the two is the presence of ads and if you're looking to get rid of the ads at a reduced cost, Sunday is your chance.
You might want to start checking now (hint, hint) to see if the price drop has taken effect.
Described as the Swiss Army Knife of photo apps for your Windows Phone, Pictures Lab has recently been updated to version 2.0. Along with the customary performance tweaks, here are the new features that the update adds to the mix.
- Added 11 borders, which can be applied on top of an effect and work with any aspect ratio
- Added an integrated Facebook photo upload functionality
- Added the new HDR effect
- Added 3 new vintage effects: Koda, 1991 and Kolor
- Reduced the vignette of most vintage effects, since the phopt was too dark most of the times
- Reordered the effects preview list
- Added Twitter's own, new image service. It's NOT the default Twitter image service since Twitter has some bugs at the moment. The used image service can be changed in the Settings.
Another nice feature of version 2.0 is that it is compatible with both NoDo and Mango devices.
In just tinkering with Pictures Lab for a short period, it comes across as a very simple yet effective photo enhancement app. Filters and effects are previewed in thumbnails, making it easy to choose what direction you want to take your photo. Adding the Facebook and Twitter integration makes it easier to share your photos when your through adjusting them.
With Hurricane Irene knocking on the East Coast's door, we thought we would take a look at two hurricane tracking apps for your Windows Phone. Two apps stood out when we searched the Marketplace, Hurricane Tracker and Hurricane Software.
Granted if you're already using the Weather Channel app, there is a Tropical Summary within the app's Severe Weather Center that will give you a decent amount of information on hurricanes. You also have other weather apps (here's our roundup) that will also touch on tropical systems. But these two apps focus solely on global tropical systems.
To read more on Hurricane Tracker and Hurricane Software, blow on past the break.
Sure it's one man's opinion, but that man is ZDNet's Matthew Miller who has quite the experience with mobile technology, often owning multiple devices with varying OSs. From that perspective and long lineage of knowledge, Miller has come to the conclusion that Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is the most solid operating system when compared to iOS, Symbian, Android, BlackBerry and webOS:
"Zero! That is how many times I have seen a reset on ANY Windows Phone 7 device that I have been using in over a year. During that time I have used at least six WP7 devices on all four wireless carriers. This includes running the early tech preview on the first WP7 device all the way through the latest RTM version of Mango I have on my HTC HD7. I even have the Dell Venue Pro, with a 32GB microSD card in it, that has been rock solid stable even though I have read a number of reports of issues with that device. I don’t know if I have just been blessed with an uncanny knack for using stable WP7 devices, but from what I read online there are many more customers just as pleased as I am with the stability of Windows Phone 7."
Miller's thoughts on WP7 as well as the other operating systems are informative, precise and telling. We know we're sort of preaching to the choir here as Miller's experience mirrors or own (though we have less experience) and we bet our readers are in agreement, regardless, sound off on comments with your thoughts!
Source: ZDNet; Thanks, Tim, for the tip
Although Xbox LIVE Extras is now basically just the Xbox LIVE Marketplace app (seriously, they should just rename it), we're sure there's a handful of you who may need to dress your avatar on the go. If that's the case, the Mango version of the app went live recently, hitting v7.1.
Since loading Mango back in June, there has always been a "beta" version for Mango in the Marketplace, but this looks to have been recompiled with the latest SDK, enabling fast app switching and more language support including Japanese. It's also significantly smaller now, weighing in at just 8MB as opposed to the old version which was 30MB--of course that's partially because Extras is more stripped down now. But if you need this badboy ASAP, grab it here in the Marketplace.
Thanks, András Velvárt & Vlad D., for the heads up!
With the future of webOS still being anyone's guess, transitioning to a Windows Phone might be an attractive alternative for the webOS crowd to consider. We've touched on transitioning from webOS to a Windows Phone and now we thought we would toss together a quick round-up of the Windows Phones that are currently available.
Mango is set to be released later this Fall and will bring a handful of new phones to the market. Understandably some may decide to hold off and wait a few months for the second generation of Windows Phones to become available. However, without official specifications available, we'll keep this roundup focused on Windows Phones you can get your hands.
We've got them broken down by carrier and to see what's available, slide on past the break.
Sega surprised everyone today by announcing a new Sonic the Hedgehog game for Windows Phone. No, it’s not a surprise that they’re doing a second one after Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I turned out so well (see our review). What we didn’t expect from the next mobile Sonic game is that it would be a port of… Sonic CD.
Sonic CD (AKA Sonic the Hedgehog CD) was originally released on the Sega CD/Mega CD, a CD-ROM add-on for the 16-bit Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console, back in 1993. It marks the first appearances of Sonic’s would-be girlfriend Amy Rose and fan-favorite villain Metal Sonic. Sonic CD has seven huge zones, each with three acts, as well as unique 3D special stages. Most uniquely, Sonic can travel into past and future versions of most stages by passing through time portals at high-speeds. Successfully defeating Eggman’s Robot Generators in the past actually changes the future for the better. Sonic CD also features a fully animated intro and two different endings. By the way, it's my all-time favorite Sonic game.
Head past the break for details on the new Sonic CD port and the concept video that helped make this port a reality!
We are expecting to see two new Windows Phones at the HTC event on September 1st, the Eternity and the Omega. Beyond the casing for the two phones we haven't seen much on them. Until now with the above press shot.
The Omega will be offered in a white/silver color pattern and there is some speculation it may have a name change to Radar upon release. And do pray tell, could that be a front facing camera we see? Now we just need to have the HTC Eternity to come out of hiding.
If this image holds true, it will be different to see a white Windows Phone enter the mix. But then again, the Fujitsu IS12T comes in a rainbow of colors. Not sure if I like all this color.
Source: Pocketnow; Thanks, Atit D, for the tip!
Hussein over at WinMobile.se got in touch with Brandon Watson via Twitter with regards to LED (flashlight) API support in Mango for developers to use. While fairly obvious, it seems as though developers will not be able to manipulate the LED due to no API being available.
Then again, do we need the API? Microsoft could release a free torch app that would use the LED backlight in favor of "white screen" apps currently available.
There are plenty of RSS readers on Windows Phone, but few look as good or unique as Rudy Huyn's (TVShow) latest.
Fuse is nothing short of breath-taking. The app comes with three themes: ribbon, ipsum and square and the toughest decision you'll have to make is which to use, since they all look so good. The app also supports Google Reader, Instapaper, Read it later, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and has the ability to generate unique QR codes to share an article with others.
We like the ability to search for RSS feeds instead of entering the address manually, the super smooth and eye-popping graphics, tutorial and just over all ease of use. The app will be released in a few days to the Marketplace at which point we'll post our full review. But right now, we're leaning towards calling this one of the nicest, smoothest apps we have seen yet on Windows Phone. A real gem.
Continuing with yesterday's trend of new "Mango" phones showing up in Windows Phone apps that collect data, today we bring you the LG-T130L.
If that name doesn't inspire awe, well sir, you have some issues! But in all seriousness, we have no idea beyond that title nor LG's other unknown handset, the LG-LS831. But combined with their other upcoming phone, the LG E906 and we can see LG seems to have a growing stable of Mango phones. It remains to be seen, however, if they will sell better this time around.
In the above video you can see a demo at TechED 2011 in New Zealand for Microsoft's Lync, which is the inter-office communication and VoIP system. The app is slated for a Q4 release and will also be coming to iOS, Android and Symbian with Windows Phone said to receive the first and best. Other platforms will receive a fully featured app with integration, not just a mere port.
A question from the audience was greeted by a fairly exciting response with the final goal in WP7 being to integrate Lync into hubs in favour of a stand-alone application. Communication will be handled by the messaging hub and anything from the cloud will be handled in the Office hub. Voice and video will be dependant on the handset and OS.
You may also have noticed in the video we hear some talk surrounding front-facing cameras on Windows Phone handsets, which further confirms our recent article covering Skype and the secondary camera support. Are you excited for FF cameras, or wont you use them?
Just one day after spotting an Asus WP7 phone with what looked like a front-facing camera, Windows Phone NZ is now reporting that Microsoft has confirmed at Tech Ed New Zealand that Mango phones will indeed come equipped with them. Furthermore, it was also said that Skype integration will be coming soon and that it will make use of them.
Front-facing cameras have been one of the features that users have requested the most and we've seen hints in the developer tools before. Now that it has become a reality, will we see them on all, most or some of the new Mango handsets? With Microsoft's semi-standardization of hardware across manufacturers, we are willing to bet that most of them will. It will be an integral part of WP7 competing with the allure of Apple's Facetime application.