Articles

Remember that super awesome game Arcane's Tower Defense? It came out a few weeks ago and in our opinion, is one of the most unique and creative games out there. Well, good new for you fans:

  • The free level editor program is now available in the Marketplace. Basically it allows you to create and share new 3D maps, which is pretty nifty for extended game play. You can grab that here (Zune link)
  • The first update for ATD is coming in a few days and will feature "...2 new survival maps, multi language support (fr, de, it), sound option, crashes fix, campaign difficulty support and more"

So which one of those doesn't sound awesome? Jump after the break to see Saijo George of BestWP7 Games give a quick tour of the Level Editor. Looks intense to us.

1
loading...
5
loading...
19
loading...
0
loading...

Register or Login to add comments

Remember that rare Toshiba TG01 we covered last week? Someone had it up for a private sale and evidently it didn't sell very well as it's now up on eBay for your bidding.

Starting bid is 110 Euro (or about $157). Now remember, camera no-worky and we can't guarantee that this will get updated to "Mango" anytime soon (though it is plausible that someone can hack it). This may be your only chance to own such a collector item, but are you really that geeky? From the auction description:

  • This is the auction for the TG01 with Windows Phone 7
  • The device is in perfect working conditions with a stable post RTM Windows Phone 7 ROM.
  • Camera does not work in this ROM.
  • Device is shipped only with battery, without any accessories.
  • For more photos and video check the following link:
  • http://photobucket.com/tg01wp7 (updated link)
  • For shipping costs to Europe or overseas/rest of world please send a me a message before bidding.
  • If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Good luck, if any of you go for it.

Source: eBay, Thanks, Steve M. for the heads up!

1
loading...
5
loading...
14
loading...
0
loading...

Register or Login to add comments

16

Group Messaging in Mango: the MMS gambit

We actually heard about this little issue from our own Jay Bennett, but others have taken note as well. In short, when using the Group Messaging feature in Mango, by default the messages will use the MMS format instead of SMS. The reason for this is not too clear, though it has something to do with trying to keep all the messages grouped together in a thread (perhaps someone with more knowledge can explain in comments).

However, you can (and probably should) turn this off.  Like a lot of folks, you may have a limited monthly allotment of MMS messages and you be charged a ton for a 'few' conversations otherwise. To disable this feature, simply go to Settings --> Applications --> Messaging and turn off the MMS part. So what about Group Messaging? Well, as far as we know, it still works but will now use the SMS method. Only downside, which we have to verify, is that it might not group properly. Still, that's a small inconvenience versus a large, unexpected bill at the end of the month, no?

Big thanks to 'We Love Windows Phone' for the tip and screen shots.

1
loading...
2
loading...
12
loading...
0
loading...
70

Official Mango 7720 release leaked on XDA

Yup, this story is still developing but it looks to be the case. A poster by the name of longshot442 has posted a 404MB file which contains the official RTM build of Mango aka build 7720.

Evidently, users are able to flash devices ranging from NoDo, 7661 or build 7712 up to 7720. You do not need to restore from your backup, but instead can update directly.

User cyberdel was one of the first to successfully flash once the file was uploaded:

"install on htc trophy is finished:

at first i see on the bootscreen there is no mark anymore like "Not for resale" an Version is.... tada.... 7.10.7720.68

i am very happy now, good night"

Others since have reported success as well, regardless of device, carrier or network i.e. this seems to be like the developer release, meaning device neutral. Instructions, translated from German, can be found here. You can download the files at your risk from here or here. Original thread at XDA begins here, which we strongly encourage you to read first! Alternative, simpler thread can be found here. Discuss in comments.

11
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Buy.com's eBay store is offering up a sweet deal on a XBox Live Messenger Starter Pack until August 17, or while quantities last.  The package, which will only run you a cool $42.99, includes a 1 Year Xbox Live Gold subscription, 400 XBL Points, a chatpad and a plug-in headset (reg price = $67).  We're not normally one to sling products for other companies, but we know a good deal when we see one.  Considering a year of XBL Gold will normally run you $59.99 alone, you can't miss.  Click on the source link to get there.

Source: Buy.com eBay Store

1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Sorry folks, we don't have too much to go on here just yet, but we have received numerous tips from readers like yourself that the Official YouTube app from Microsoft is no longer available in the Marketplace in some areas. This seems to have started a few days ago.

This does not apply to the U.S. market but does apply to some in Europe (all?) and at least Singapore too. Could this have to do with Microsoft filing a complaint against Google via the European Union? If you recall, last March Microsoft's Brad Smith blogged about Google's unfair search practices and how they were restricting YouTube, resulting in a sub-par user experience on Windows Phone:

"Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide."

Our bet? These two are definitely linked. We'll try to find out more, but in the meantime, lets do a roll-call in comments of countries affected. Austria? Check. Belgium?...

Thanks, Marcus H. and Borutes, for the heads up!

0
loading...
1
loading...
11
loading...
0
loading...

Brace yourselves...

Remember that PocketLint story from yesterday that had "multiple trusted sources" confirming that Mango would be rolled out on September 1?  Well, according to Joe Belfiore, the guy who "runs the team doing Windows Phone 7 product definition & design," it's "just a rumor." 

In a tweet this morning, he said so himself.  Now, this could very well just be some marketing misdirection on Belfiore's part, but it's more likely that we all just got some inaccurate information.  We knew not to get too excited about the prospect of a September 1 release, but with everything we've seen of Mango, and a glimmer of hope, we can't help but be a tiny bit disappointed that it won't be coming that soon.  But it's just one more reminder of how these things go.

Source: Joe Belfiore

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Back in June, we found out that Taiwanese company Compal Electronics, Inc. signed on to be an ODM of WP7 phones for Nokia.  Citing local media, Dan Nystedt, tech reporter for IDG in Taiwan, tweeted that Compal Communications will begin shipping WP7 handsets to Nokia starting in September.  Reports are that the first order for Q4 of this year is for a total of 2 million devices.  This means that consumers should be able to get their hands on the long-awaited Nokia line almost immediately after the Finnish company unveils them, which is expected to be at the Nokia World conference October 26-27. 

Compal was the first to break the news about Tango, which from what we can tell, will be a version of Windows Phone that is "all about Nokia" and thought to be geared to the lower price-point market.  This seems to be only one piece in the Nokia WP7 market, as Nokia will be doing some manufacturing of their own as well. If past output of up to 5 million Symbian devices in a quarter is any indicator, we could see a flood of Nokia-branded handsets come 2012.

Source: Dan Nystedt; Via: UnwiredView

 

1
loading...
7
loading...
12
loading...
0
loading...

In case you were yearning for some app updates of popular apps, you're in luck tonight as we have at last count four of 'em:

We're just kind of excited that 4th & Mayor has finally beat our FourSquare in the version number war those two have been waging. We also like the USA Today fix as that app keeps getting better and better and we're sure you ESPN fans will like the new Score Center.

And sorry, too many links for us to list. Just look 'em up in the Marketplace, we're tired ;-) Thanks, Lawrence F.& Shipwreck, for the heads up!

0
loading...
0
loading...
10
loading...
0
loading...

Google doesn't seem to want to get along at all with Microsoft these days. We had the issue about the patent sale that Google took to the Court of Public Opinion.  Now they are taking issue with Microsoft in another Court.  Google is asking a US International Trade Commission Judge to bar a Microsoft expert witness from testifying in Microsoft's lawsuit against Motorola.

If you have lost track of who's suing who or complaining on whom, Microsoft is currently suing Motorola in an attempt to force them to pay royalties for patents Microsoft owns that are related to technology used in Android mobile operating systems.

In the motion to block the expert witness testimony, Google claims Microsoft violated a confidentiality agreement between Microsoft, Google, and Motorola when Microsoft shared "highly confidential source codes" with its expert witness. Google's motion states in part,

“The protective order governing confidentiality in this investigation explicitly requires that Microsoft disclose to Google any consultant or expert seeking access to Google confidential business information or highly confidential source code before [Google's emphasis] allowing a consultant or expert to review such information so that Google has an opportunity to object prior to disclosure.”

9
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

This is just an interesting little tid-bit but we just got word that Microsoft employees can now get their phones updated to "Mango" 7720 starting today.

We were curious as to how this would be done i.e. if it is a similar process to how devs can now upgrade via Zune Desktop or do they just go to some guy's office, line up with their phones and have it flashed?

Turns out, it's actually closer to the latter part! Employees can take their phone to the Device Lab on the Bellevue campus and have it flashed to the finalized, RTM version of "Mango". That's pretty cool. So any of our readers want to chime in if they've experienced this?

3
loading...
21
loading...
41
loading...
0
loading...
32

Minesweeper and Sudoko stirring up a storm

Sudoku and Minesweeper seems to be causing a bit of a stir. The two Windows Phone Xbox Live titles are now available over at the Marketplace (for free) but for some reason Microsoft limited the release to the U.S. Market only.

We received a small sampling of the ill feelings from our International readers the other day about this restriction but over at the Windows Blog, Microsoft seems to be taking it on the chin.  Here are a few of the comments that basically sum up the feeling of those readers.

"At some point the WP team is going to need to realize there are places outside the USA. So many missing features / USA only apps." -Freypal

"This just confirmed the fact that to the rest of the world Microsoft is just showing us a "big middle finger"."-K.Rawlins

"With all due respect, this "US Only" thing is getting old real fast. I am a US citizen, but I'm not sure why Microsoft loves screwing over the rest of the world."-Cylon Centurion

Michael Stroh penned the post over at the Windows Phone Blog and appeared to be as surprised as we were to learn these titles were "U.S. Only". Stroh would later learn that there are no plans to introduce these two games elsewhere and promised to make sure the Xbox Live team was aware of the ill feelings.

3
loading...
2
loading...
17
loading...
0
loading...

We ran across an interesting case for your Windows Phone. Gelaskins are a removable cover for protecting and customizing your Windows Phones. I guess it wouldn't qualify as a "case" but it looks as though it will offer some level of protection from scratches and scuffs.

The skin is attached to your phone by 3M adhesive that leaves no residue and allows for repositioning so you can get the most perfect fit possible. The skin has the appropriate cut-outs for microphones, ear speakers, volume keys and the what not.

Gelaskins has a decent selection of skins available for a nice selection of Windows Phones including the Samsung Focus, HTC HD7, HTC Trophy, LG Quantum and the Samsung Omnia 7.  Gelaskins also makes skin covers for laptops, gaming consoles, tablets, and other electronic devices.

If you can't find a skin design that suits your fancy, you can always create a skin from scratch using your own photograph or art work. Most skins will run $14.95 and will include the wallpaper to complete your skin appearance (emailed to you once your skins ship).

For more information, head on over to Gelaskin's website. We've got two skins ordered and we'll get a review up once we get them in hand.

3
loading...
7
loading...
20
loading...
0
loading...
15

Samsung GT-i8350 could be "Omnia W"

We first heard about the Samsung GT-i8350 in July, when it was speculated to be a follow up to the Omnia 7.  Yesterday, we saw that it got its Bluetooth certification, which means it's close to being released.  Word is now that the GT-i8350 will be re-branded as the Omnia W and that it will hit shelves in October. 

The Mango-equipped refresh of the Omnia 7 will also sport the following:

  • 1GHz processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 5MP camera
  • 3.7-inch WVGA screen
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth (as we already knew)

Nothing to get excited about here, but hey, it will be one more option out there come Fall.

Source: HDBlog; Via: PocketNow

0
loading...
4
loading...
6
loading...
0
loading...
8

HTC and Beats Electronics make it official

As expected Peter Chou, HTC's CEO held a teleconference to announce his companies partnership with Beats Electronics. The venture is hoped to bring studio quality sound to the HTC smartphones. Which smartphones will benefit from this venture is still a mystery.

HTC is investing $300 million into this venture with Beats, who in turns will work to make the audio quality of smartphones less like a portable television. Jimmy Lovine, Beats Electronics' Chairman, felt that audio components for computers and smartphones were at the manufacturing back end. Digital sound looses so much quality from the studio to the cd to the audio file. Beats Electronics hopes to bring that quality back.

Both Beats and HTC sounded up beat about this venture. While there were no specific details offered on how Beats Electronics will be integrated with HTC phones, the time frame of "later this fall" was referenced. The twenty plus minute teleconference didn't shed much light on this new partnership but both Beats Electronics and HTC definitely came across up beat about this new venture.

So, do you think the two new HTC Mango phones that received BT Certification will have Beats sound? Or will this be a separate line for HTC and will such a line include a Windows Phone?  Hopefully we'll know for certain sooner than later.

*Pictured above is Jimmy Lovine Chairman of Beats Electronics, Peter Chou CEO of HTC, and Beats Electronics' CEO, Dr. Dre.

2
loading...
2
loading...
37
loading...
0
loading...
23

Windows Phone Mango coming September 1? [Rumor]

PocketLint is reporting that "multiple trusted sources" have confirmed that Mango will begin rolling out on September 1.  This is a bit earlier than initial reports of a Fall release and well short of Steve Ballmer's claim that it will arrive for Christmas, denoting the shopping season.  PocketLint says the timing was chosen to coincide with the IFA consumer electronics extravaganza in Berlin, which is slated for September 2-7. 

This would be a great stage for some of the big WP7 manufacturers, like Samsung, LG, and HTC to show off their new goods heading into the holiday season.  However, the highly-anticipated line of Nokia WP7 devices is not expected to be introduced until the Nokia World conference in October.  The build-up to Mango has been rife with talk of mystery devices and rumored sightings, so take this one with a grain of salt as well.

It also raises a lot of questions. Like what about carrier approval? On what devices? What countries? Are these upgrades too? Etc. So for now, we'll be a little cautious as we're not expecting a unified, global launch.

Source: PocketLint

2
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
1

Unofficial TextsFromLastNight app now available

In our relentless pursuit to find each and every app that can possibly waste time, we present finally a decent version of TextsFromLastNight (see site), the popular SMS-sharing site where the odd, strange and maybe even true messages are traded each day.

The app here by Gaucho Gear is not only free but ad-free (for now at least). While it doesn't feature any way to pass on or favorite interesting messages, the super-minimalist-Metro layout is simple and to the point, especially for such a basic site as TFLN. We do dig the ability to go by area code and read comments on each message and the price is right, so we don't have too much more to say on it.

"All the fun, crazy, and strange humor of TextsFromLastNight.com has now arrived on your Windows Phone! All the content comes directly from the TextsFromLastNight servers.

By default, the app will filter out offensive language. You can turn that off in the settings menu, if you dare and can legally do so."

Sounds like you want it? Then here's your linky to the Marketplace.

0
loading...
0
loading...
10
loading...
0
loading...

With the release date coming ever closer and RTM stage being well underway, it's time for us to see more devices in the news.

It seems HTC are preparing two new handsets for the Mango update. We can now see two new devices that have received Bluetooth certification, although we only have model numbers; PI06XXX and PI39XXX. Could one of these be the HTC Mazaa, Eternity, Ignite or Prime? Are you looking forward to more handsets from the manufacturer?

Source: PI06XXX, PI39XXX; via: PocketNow

1
loading...
0
loading...
19
loading...
0
loading...
3

Cloud Recorder is a neat twist on an old idea

Someday, if we find the energy, we'll look into doing a memo recorder app wrap up--after all, there's a few dozen we imagine. But for now, we're going to briefly highlight 'Cloud Recorder' by Schulte Software Development because it's free and pretty darn cool.

Just as you would imagine, the app is a simple voice or sound recorder--you launch it and hit record, give it a title and add any notes if you want. But this is the cool part: instead of just sitting on your device, you upload to SoundCloud.com, a free service we had never heard of till now. SoundCloud the stores your recordings and allows you to share/embed them automatically with social-networking sites e.g. Facebook and Twitter. In other words, you can make a voice note and have it posted to your Facebook wall with a simple button, allowing all your friends and family to hear your voice note. Of course you could opt to not make it public and it'll just be stored on SoundCloud.com--you're presented with the option for each recording. From the app description:

"Record your memos or any audio signal, upload it to the cloud and access your recording anywhere. Elegant and easy. Just press the record button in the app to start a recording, you can then upload your recording to SoundCloud.com. Optionally you can also share it with your friends on Facebook,Twitter or via email. Make your Windows Phone to a dictating machine and access your recordings anywhere."

1
loading...
13
loading...
16
loading...
0
loading...
10

From a teen's perspective: Windows Phone Mango

Much like CNet's Molly Wood, having a review from non-enthusiasts is an important method to evaluate a phone's potential. Arguably, Windows Phone Mango is Microsoft's second chance to woo the smartphone crowd and how novices or teenagers react to it is important for marketing.

Luckily for friend of the site and ZDnet writer Matthew Miller, he has his teenage daughter, Mal, on hand to perform such a task. By letting her use a Samsung Focus with Mango loaded, she was able to give her opinion in a nicely written review. From her summary:

"Overall I thought the Samsung Focus with this new Windows Phone Mango update was an amazing phone, I really loved it! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a simple, smart, social phone. Windows Phone 7 is my new favorite operating system and I can’t wait until my Dad gets me one of these, hopefully for Christmas (hint, hint)."

Interestingly, her criticisms are pretty much spot on, noting the lack of LED alerts--something we often hear as well:

"There was no notification, or indicator lights. You must turn the display on to the lock screen to see if you have any notifications and to make sure it’s charging which I found to be a bit of a pain. I had to frequently check my phone to see if I had a text, email, etc, and would like to have a better system."

2
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Adult swim, all kids out of the pool...

We're not gonna give this a full review due to the subject matter and going beyond the single image you see above is a bit difficult, but Devil-Y Software has manged to create a streaming app for the "adult site" Tube8. Ahem. Though we could be wrong, we're guessing this is the first full x-rated app for Windows Phone. So party balloons for everyone!

The app itself comes in two varieties: free, with ads and nothing else and a paid version with all the bells and whistles. So how much? How about $9.99 for no ads, faster loading, password protected, downloading of the videos and embedded video player. The shame? That's free. The software also seems tied to your device, not LiveID and of course you have to side-load it.

We'll just say that the app works. And that of course you'll never see it in the Marketplace. And that Microsoft is probably not thrilled with this post. And neither are my parents. But you're welcome anyways.

Source: XDA

0
loading...
6
loading...
22
loading...
0
loading...
11

HTC Mazaa reveals faster GPU and more

Lots more information coming out from that HTC Mazaa device running Mango RTM build 7720 that we mentioned yesterday morning.

Cpitt over at XDA received the phone as an award for winning a Microsoft sponsored developer contest. Since then he has posted numerous images and detailed some of the changes on board:

  • GPU seems faster - using WP Benchmark, the Mazaa hit 50 FPS vs the HD7 (Mango 7712) at 23 FPS
  • Local Scout in RTM 7720 has its own Tile (edit: this is there in 7712, evidently)
  • Fishtank on the Mazaa is about 47 fps, where it's only abou 30 on the HD7
  • CDMA/GSM dual band

1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

HTC has announced a new partnership with Beats Electronics to create a superior mobile audio experience.  We had heard rumblings earlier of a major announcement in the works for HTC and while speculation ranged from a new tablet to new phones to even a sponsorship for an Anthrax concert tour, it remained a bit of a mystery until just a little while ago.

Beats Electronics is the creation of music master Dr. Dre and the chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records Jimmy Lovine. We all know HTC from their quality Windows Phones. Together the two companies hope to deliver unbeatable sound to HTC Phones. The business venture will eventually result in a new line of HTC devices integrated with Beats sound innovations that should be available later this Fall.

There was no hint as to what type devices will be headed to market and we can only guess if they involve new Windows Phones. Maybe an updated version of the Surround with Beats audio? We'll keep tabs on the press event tomorrow and if more information becomes available, we'll be sure to pass it on.

You can catch HTC's full press release on the new partnership after the break.

0
loading...
14
loading...
28
loading...
0
loading...

This is just one of those tease posts since we don't have much to go on, but earlier today, Microsoft's Brandon Watson was able to play with some new Windows Phone. His impression was quite enthusiastic, to say the least, especially in regards to the screen. The worse part about his job is of course he can't share details with us, just yet:

"You know what I hate? Holding a phone I want, but cannot buy and cannot talk about. The worst part about not being able to talk about this #windowsphone is I can't talk about how amazing the screen is. Holy mamma jamma"

Our first guess would be the rumored Samsung Galaxy SII device, shown off by Microsoft a few weeks ago and seen above. That phone, if the specs remain the same, will sport a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen aka the latest screen tech from Sammy. We've actually played with one of those phones back in Barcelona and indeed, it's very impressive. Then again, it may be something else. Twitter'r @ShakeWhyBake asked "4.3 inch OLED? at least give us the size!!!..." to which Watson responded "@ShakeWhyBake If size were all that mattered, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. "

3
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Pages