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Hey look at that! Our beta wrapped up a few days ago and v1.3 is now live in the Marketplace for your pleasure. Seeing as we had about 50 beta testers this time around, we're confident that just about every little bug and user-issues were addressed.

Of course we still have loads of work to do, including comment support which is the sole focus in v1.4. And we've already started toying with advanced Mango features, like playing the podcast in the background and quick resume for multitasking.

Full change-log is after the break, in the meantime grab the app here in the Marketplace and like always, hit us with your feedback! Don't forget, give a big thanks to our developer & podcast co-host, Jay Bennett (@jaytbennett; site) and our own Richard Edmonds for the updated graphics.

And just like before, the app comes in two varieties: Free (ad-supported, limited features) or paid ($0.99). To get the free version, just download and use the Trial--that's the free version and doesn't expire.

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WPCentral Podcast 120


Another week, another podcast. This week Dan and Jay actually recorded live, for what we intend to be a weekly feature. You can join us Mondays at 2PM EST for our live broadcast and chat--either listen here, through UStream or via the UStream client for Windows Phone (Channel = WPCentral Pocast LIVE!).

This week we pound through all the Mango news, software updates and that Toshiba device, plus answer some of your questions along the way. Show notes after the break. Listen in now!

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Brandon Foy lands at Microsoft

Here's a feel good story involving Microsoft, Windows Phones, and an energetic, creative developer. Remember Brandon Foy? The young man who created the Windows Phone ad concept that took center stage at Mix 2011.

Microsoft challenged everyone that if Brandon's video hit 200K views they would turn it into a national ad. Unfortunately, the video fell short of the 200K mark but it appears Microsoft wasn't done with Brandon.

According to a tweet by Brandon (you can follow him @brandonfoy), today was his first day as a UX Designer for Microsoft.  We are sure this is a start to a successful career and would like to extend our congratulations out to Brandon!

via: Liveside.net

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Microsoft has recently made changes to its geographic location service, which we reported on not so long ago as having a lack of safeguards and a privacy flaw. Elie Bursztein, a researcher at Stanford University, created a web page that allowed visitors to search the database at Live.com for locations using device MAC addresses.

Reid Kuhn, a Partner Group Program Manager on the Windows Phone engineering team, made the announcement today over at Technet and stated that while it was not possible to track a roaming mobile phone or laptop using its MAC address, they aware of the fine line Microsoft was treading on with regards to privacy issues surrounding geolocation.

"Microsoft's privacy and security team has been in contact with Elie and we will continue the ongoing dialog with experts in the privacy field to improve our service offerings. We thank Elie and his team for working with us on this issue."

Kudos to Microsoft in taking measures to address the issue head on.

Source: Microsoft, via: WinRumors

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Voice Memos Lite - App Spotlight

Dhivehisoft is offering Voice Memos Lite over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Voice Memos Lite offers simple design to record memos and takes advantage of the Metro Design to manage your recordings.

The Main pages offer a single button record page, a page to display your recent memos, and your settings menu. From the Recent Memo Page you can select to "view all" and you will be sent to category pages for your voice memos. Settings include setting up either a Audioboo or Soundcloud account (for sharing files), setting up PC Sync, and establishing default file names (as well as how files are handled).

To record a memo, just tap on the large "record" button on the main page of Voice Memos Lite. You have the option to edit the details of the file or you can edit things later from the file view screen. You can edit the voice file's title, category (four choices; notes, meeting, shopping, and other), description, as well as adding a picture.

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This is very exciting news (if you're like me where you simply can't wait to have a potential uni-body Windows Phone handset) surrounding Gamescon, which is to be held at Cologne, Germany this month. It seems Nokia has some exciting news with actions and surprises that will make the 17th of August an evening to remember. Notice the new post-Mango Windows Phone logo?

Could this well be the unveiling of the earlier prototype "Sea Ray" handset? Whatever doubt you may still have floating within that mind of yours, take a gander at the raffle prizes in the bottom-left box. Three winners will receive a 250GB Xbox 360 console (with Kinect) and a Nokia Windows Phone (as soon as available - can't be long surely?).

Will we be seeing a possible pre-release announcement of the final product within three weeks time? Let's hope so. We'll of course keep you all posted with any updates regarding this event.

Source: Unwired, via: WPSauce

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From the WPCentral forums...

Mango Beta2 is out to developers and we are making ring tones to share and listening to streaming music on our Skydrive that was added to the office hub. We now have a lot more to talk about when it come to Mango and we are learning more each day.

Big D5 - Now that we have a way lets post em up I'll start. Attached is a couple of my favorite Kid Rock ring tones. Just unzip then drag and drop in to Zune and fallow the instructions.

TheWeeBear - I just made a Music folder on my SkyDrive and popped a couple of MP3's in it and accessed it via the Office hub and guess what ? They Stream perfectly via 3G in Zune Wow!

It never used to work. Is it perhaps a Mango thing? I have unlimited data so don't panic. Just thought i'd share. :)

There is even more to learn about Windows Phone. Thought you knew everything? Ever wanted to know how to move the cursor around?

hardrock1a - And I thought that I would mention it here since I had not heard or seen this mentioned before. When entering text, ever cursed it because you didn't have arrow keys? Couldn't get the cursor placed where you needed it?

Do you have a favorite weather app? Take the poll and weigh in on the discussion.

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We're still a little ways away from Mango's official release, and already it's successor, Tango, may be skulking around in the shadows. Using an app called Dude, Where's My Update?, which tracks what versions of WP7 people are running on what devices, Japanese site Nanapho, spotted a previously unknown version 7.10.8200. As it turns out, this might be Tango, the expected interim release between "Mango" and "Apollo" aka Windows Phone 8.

Though Tango has not been formally detailed by Microsoft, Nanapho says that it will include better Bing, improved Bluetooth, Internet Explorer 10 and Skype integration. Most interestingly, there also seems to be some Nokia-specific programming. We know that the next major version of Windows Phone will be called "Apollo," and that news about Tango came from Compal, an ODM who will be manufacturing handsets for Nokia.

Source: Nanapho

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Yeah, we know you all want Halo on your phones, but some of us like to relive our childhood and play old Atari 2600 games on our phone. (See also 'Decimation X2')

Luckily, we're not alone as JEFBCreating has made Pong7 for our enjoyment. The game has been out for awhile, but it just hit v1.2 with a nice makeover and new features including single player. That's in addition to the already free status (ad supported) and the ability for two-players, which is kind of cool if you have a table and some free time.

The retro graphics are great, the game play smooth and it even has a nice tile. So we have to give it a thumbs up if all you want is some simple Pong action. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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Back in May, we first saw the new flat, square (tile) look to the Windows Phone logo when we managed to get our hands on an exclusive back decal for our Focus (yeah, we're in the club). And when you boot up "Mango" from build 7710 and up, you can also see the new logo on display (see the Nokia Sea Ray video).

Therefore it should come as no surprise that Microsoft is now endorsing this as the official new look to Windows Phone going forward. It's obviously non-3D, no chrome and visually represents the "tile" system in a minimalist way. To that end, we really like it. NanaPho have done a real good job of recapitulating the continued sightings of the new logo, going back a few months.

Although we do wonder, will it change upon every new re-release or is this just a late re-adjustment? Anyways, sound off in comments on your thoughts. And should Microsoft get a logo/mascot ala Android? (Personally, we're against it).

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N9 launch to clash with Mango?

While the next Windows Phone major update is rapidly approaching, Nokia have still wrapped their N9 running MeeGo in a cloud of not-releasing-any-information. Orange Switzerland has published a release date for the handset (as shown in the image above) of Spetember 15th. This goes with 3 stating that they promise the N9 will be with the carrier by September 23rd. 

What has this got to do with WP7 or the "Mango" update? Well, we're currently looking at a September rollout of new devices from the platform-backed OEMs, including Nokia - not to mention Apple is apparently looking at September too for the iPhone 5. Should the release of the N9 coincide with the launch of the upcoming Nokia "Mango" handset this could cause a clash and potentially dissolve hype for either device (probably the N9 in this case with the sheer volume of Mango devices unveiling).

Of course, no official word has been given by Nokia as to the release date they're looking at for the N9, but it will be interesting should the iPhone 5, the N9 and "Mango" mobile phones all pop up at once, truly giving consumers a selection. The first "Mango" device is set to be released this month in Japan, the Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T (specifications).

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Helium Voice app v2.0, why not?

When René Schulte, .NET/Silverlight/Windows Phone developer, got in touch with us about his helium voice app, we didn't know whether to laugh or cry (just like our George Ponder with Nyan Cat). Being a bunch of grown men who enjoy taking the odd party balloon and creating insane voices/noises with the gas, I thought we would be labelled as party-poopers should we not give it a go.

The app allows one to record their voice and then manipulate an on-screen balloon to control the pitch of the playback. Not only that, but users can then upload their clip to SoundCloud for public applause. It's really humorous and would be a great laugh in a group of people who are under the influence and don't currently have a helium tank at hand. Version 2.0 has recently been released and René decided to publish an announcement, which also serves as a perfect demo.

You can download the free and the paid (79p/$0.99) versions from the Marketplace.

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USA Today updated to v1.1, gets a live tile

USA Today has received an update to kick-start August into motion. The most notable feature added in this version is live tile support. You will now be able view latest headlines in a photo mash-up. The full list of changes/features added are as follows:

  • Live Tile - A photo mash-up based on our latest headlines
  • Latest news videos on a dedicated video panel
  • Sub-section headlines: hold down any of the section tiles to bring up a list of sub-sections to choose from, i.e. Sports > MLB headlines. Tile will default to that subsection.
  • Photo caption and credit for articles
  • Recall last league viewed in Scores
  • Major League Soccer scores added
  • Celsius toggle for weather temps
  • Support for international weather locations (limited maps)
  • Weather alerts on current conditions screen
  • Various bug fixes

Be sure to keep up-to-date with the latest news, sport headlines and weather forecasts. You can download USA Today (Zune link), for free, from the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to David and everyone else who tipped us on this!

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MobileTechWorld has uncovered a pretty neat feature. We now know we can achieve music and video playback via SkyDrive, but we can also receive files via Messenger in Windows Phone "Mango". Specifically demoed in the above video is the receiving and playing of a music (wma/mp3) and video (wmv/mp4) file.

Unfortunately, as one can see there is no album art displayed and media files saved with this method don't appear in Music and Videos hub, so you'll have to return to the conversation to open up the file once again. This is pretty sweet for deeper integration into IM with users not having to resort to booting up a PC to receive files from a friend (but then again, who doesn't use email these days?)

Source: MobileTechWorld

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Looks like Dark Forces Team has done it again. Just last night we reported on how they managed to flash the RTM build of Mango (7720) on an HD7 and now today, they've released RSPL/HSPL tools need for flashing custom ROMs.

These tools won't be of much use to you regular folks out there, but instead are meant for those daring and brave ROM Chefs (a term we haven't used in about a year), who want to flash their own versions of Windows Phone 7 to their devices (first generation). It is currently limited to only HTC phones, specifically HTC Mozart, the HTC Surround, the HTC HD7, the HTC Spark/Trophy, and the HTC 7 Pro, but no love the for the Sprint Arrive nor Verizon Trophy.

It's a big step in many ways, even if more symbolic, just because of the difficulty in working with Microsoft's more "locked down" OS and bootloader. We say symbolic because we're still not too sure how much of a market there is for custom ROMs--bloatware barely exists and can be uninstalled, there are few if any differences in builds, etc. So it remains to be seen what this willl actually bring to the table, nonetheless, we're a bit excited to see what devs can come up with.

Source: XDA/DFT; via WindowsPhone Hacker

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Okay... so here's the deal. We've got an AT&T HTC HD7S (see review) just itchin' to be given away. All you need to do to have a chance at winning this Windows Phone is to submit a video response to the above video over at our YouTube Channel. Just follow this link to submit your response.

The topic for the video response? Why should we 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 your case in creative fashion such as creating your own Windows Phone commercial, submitting a testimony, or a music video.

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.

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Wikirama - App Spotlight

Wikirama is a Wikipedia portal for your Windows Phone. Wikirama lays everything out nicely making use of the Metro style panorama.  The app was recently updated to give Wikirama a cleaner appearance and a settings page.  Having first tinkered with the previous version, the updated version is a noticeable improvement.  Here's how Wikirama breaks down.

Wikirama supports twenty-one languages and has an auto-complete search feature. Your search history appears just below the search field (eliminates the previous History page).  Wikirama allows you to open up to six concurrently open tabs for your searches and you can add topics to your favorites page.  Wikirama supports both landscape and portrait viewing.

Your search result page gives you a window view of the Wikipage that is touch scrollable.  You can also pull the Wikipage full screen to access the full version of the topic page.

Overall impression: WikiRama is a clean, simple Wikipedia client.  I liked the auto-complete feature and that the search history was moved to the search page.  It gives the app a cleaner look and hunting down your search topic a little more efficient.  If you tinker with Wikipedia often, Wikirama is worth checking into.

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Penny Drop Decision - App Spotlight

Penny Drop Decision brings a new twist to the coin toss to your Windows Phone. The decision app has a series of answers along the bottom of the screen and you drop a penny down a series of pegs. Where the penny lands is your decision.

You can customize your choices to reflect whatever the need. Plus there are several pre-set choices that include choices of beverages, the loves me/loves me not saga, and the days of the week. The coin isn't the easiest to get started but you essentially tap, drag and release to get the penny moving.

Penny Drop Decision is a different way to toss a coin to make a call by. The app is free, ad-supported and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Yet another busy week at WPCentral HQ. We've begun a weekly update from our community that is to be ran by Dave Blake, a member of our forum staff, so be sure to keep an eye out on future updates and head on over to our forums to join in the Windows Phone discussion!

Three more WPCentral related highlights that occurred this past week include the WPCentral Podcast: episode 119, the beta program for version 1.3 of our app and our weekly developer interview. This week we had the pleasure in being joined by Nice Touch Games, a newly formed British games studio based in London.

To continue with the weekly run-down, head on past the break.

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Metro inspired UberMusic Android app released

We previously covered the Metro UI inspired media player for Android when it was still in development. Federico Carnales has now released the app to the Android Marketplace and is readily available for download and installment. So, how accurate is the design to the real deal on WP7/Zune? Check the above video.

As one can see it's a very well crafted look-alike. The animations, positioning and pivot menus are pretty much identical and if the chrome wasn't present at the top of both devices, you'd have a fairly hard time deciding which was the fake. The app is fully customizable so this is merely a single theme, third parties have the ability to 'skin' the media player as they so see it - even the widgets.

UberMusic sitting on the Marketplace shelves at a pricey $3.49 (wait, you didn't think everything on Android was free did you?) and a free version is apparently on its way with in-app advertising support. With how Google is advancing with Metro UI implementation, I wouldn't be surprised with adopting this media player as the default for Android. What are your thoughts? Should we feel flattered or concerned that other platforms are slowly turning in WP7 wannabes instead of fully migrating to the platform?

Source: UberMusic, via: Engadget, thanks John for the heads up! 

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We've seen some "epic" style Captain America wallpaper a few weeks ago, but how about some custom "cute" styled ones? In the traditional Chinese style of taking all things menacing and making them freakin' adorable, those cats at IHeartWindowsPhone have made two versions of Capt. America that are pretty slammin'. Or just cute. Whatever.

We're not even comic fans but have to admit these are pretty great and since their free, why not just grab them here. A big thanks to IHeartWindowsPhone for sharing.

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We'll just leave this here. It should be no surprise that those savvy gurus at team DFT have not only managed to get their hands on the RTM build of Mango (7720) but they've already have it running on an HTC HD7.

No word on whether others can flash this and our Chinese-forum skills are not helping here, but we imagine we'll see this trickle out to other devices, including the HD2...why not, right?

Source: Weibo; Thanks, talan1314!

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So much for controlling Marketplace spam

Not to beat a dead horse...well, actually that's exactly what we are doing, but looks like either Microsoft is becoming lax in enforcing mass-publishing of apps or we misunderstood what they meant.

Back in June, in reaction to negative complaints of a few devs "spamming" the marketplace, Microsoft posted new guidelines to cut down on these types of scenarios. Here we're referring to spamming as mass-publishing the same app but with a different location or institution, instead of having a single app with the ability to choose from within. This clutters the Marketplace, inflates numbers and just plain looks bad. And we're not even counting here the "fake" apps that don't do anything.

Part of those changes was a cap:

1. "To avoid the scenario where bulk publishing crowds out other apps in Marketplace in the future, effective immediately, we are limiting the number of apps any one developer can have certified in a single day to 20. Developers creating a large number of apps can still submit all of them for certification, but they will be certified at a maximum rate of 20 per day rather than all at once."

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