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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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Mario and friends WP7 wallpapers

Fan of the jumping cartoon with continuous growth spurs? You can no get Mario and friends on your Windows Phone as a cool wallpaper after some cropping of Cenix13xpe's designs for the iPhone and iPod. Wallpapers included in the pack:

  • Princess Peach
  • Yoshi
  • Toad
  • Princess Daisy
  • Bowser
  • Mario

Head on over to 1800PocketPC (link below) for the Windows Phone wallpapers and visit Cenix13xpe's DeviantART profile for the original wallpaper for iPhones etc. The wallpapers, once added to your handset, look awesome.

Source: 1800PocketPC, original image credit: Cenix13xpe

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Japanese SDK 7.1 RC available [Developers]

This is interesting to say the least. The Japanese version of the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 RC is now available to download for developers based in the country of the upcoming IS12T handset from Fujitsu, which is to launch in the next couple of days. Reported reasoning for the addition of a second language is the high priority for Japanese developers to get apps built for the platform.

We covered the release of version 7.1 of the SDK yesterday, as well as the opening of "Mango" app submissions. All systems are green and our Daniel Rubino rightfully put it: 'go, go, go!'. You can download the Japanese version of the SDK from the Microsoft Download Center.

Source: MSDN (Microsoft Translator)

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We were told not so long ago by the software giant that app submissions would be turned on for "Mango" late August. Well, it's now late August and Todd Brix has published an update on the Windows Phone Developer blog detailing the gradual enabling of the submission process in AppHub.

A more detailed overview of the submission process will be posted within 24 hours so we'll keep an eye out for juicy bits. Be sure to have your apps at the ready.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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We've been talking up the Fujitsu IS12T for some time now. Not only is it Japan's first Windows Phone, it's also the first Windows Phone with Mango and some killer new specs to hit the market. We've heard that it was coming August 25th and sure enough, it's now official. Makes sense now why the Windows Phone developer tools (RC) was pushed today with Japanese language support.

KDDI has posted on their site that the IS12T will be available in certain regions starting on the 25th, which is in just two days--lucky! Those regions and dates, according to KKDI are as follows:

  • August 25 (Thursday): Hokkaido · Tohoku · Kanto · Central · Kansai · Kyushu · Okinawa
  • August 26 (Friday): Chugoku
  • August 27 (Sat): Shikoku

The 32GB phone with a 13.2MP camera, water proof case and latest-generation Qualcomm chipset/GPU (see benchmarks) makes this one unique and tempting device. Big congrats to Japan, KDDI and Fujitsu for the launch and being the first.

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Pocketnow has managed to grab some pics of the LG E906 (referenced here) with as the title says, "Jil Sander Design House Branded". We're not sure what the deal with this phone is, but it's running Mango 7706 and looks to have (gasp) physical buttons on it, which means we're getting ready for a stampede of you folks demanding this thing. We don't blame ya, as it looks pretty great, even if it's just an Optimus 7 with a different back and slight changes.

Evidently, Jil Sander is a German design house. Yeah, we had no idea either nor do we know why they want in on an LG phone. But scrape that hideous logo off the front and we'd throw some money down on this device. It's nice to see LG bucking the trend a bit here with physical buttons, something we hope they stick with. Odd thing? The Windows Phone logo is the old, round one not the redesign. Tsk, tsk.

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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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