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We've been talking about how July 27th will be the big day for Microsoft, KDDI (AU) and Toshiba-Fujitsu for a a few days. As we're getting close to the hour (10am Tokyo), news and more details are now leaking out.

The press event is expected to have Microsoft Japan officially unveil Windows Phone Mango localized for the Nippon masses as well as Toshiba-Fujitsu showing off, in detail, the IS12T which is expected to be the first Mango device sold on the market.

The good news for those who cannot be there live is the event will be live on UStream at 10:00 am in Tokyo. (UTC+09:00; 9pm EST on the 26th). That channel can be found here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/au-happyoukai

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Looking for a good calorie counter for your Windows Phone? One that will sync with an online service? Have we gotta deal for you.

For a limited time only (until the end of August 2011), the Windows Phone app Calorie Tracker-LiveStrong will be free. As the title implies, Calorie Tracker is part of the Lance Armstrong foundation and normally runs $2.99 over at the Marketplace.

LiveStrong has a searchable database of over 625,00 foods and will display the nutritional information (calories, protien, fat, sugars, carbs, etc.) for each. If you need to find and track the calories you burn during workouts, Calorie Tracker will do that too. Everything can be tracked on your phone and synced with free online service at Livestrong.com, The Daily Plate.

So if you're dieting, need to keep track of what you eat or track your workouts Calorie Tracker is worth checking out. Especially during this freebie offer. You can find Calorie Tracker here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Bing Get Me There helps you around London

Bing has published an app for London called Bing Get Me There. Perfect if you're frustrated and need to launch it in front of hundreds of people, one would shout at the voice recognition system: "BING GET ME THERE!" The app itself is really nice and looks great. It's simple functionality offers the user full tube maps (offline), service updates on the lines and the ability to plan journeys.

Some highlighted features:

  • Plan journeys using Bing maps and the London Underground network
  • Full tube maps and live service updates
  • Live departures and status updates by tube station
  • Nearest tube stations (with map and walking directions)
  • Set up favourite journeys with ‘live tile’ alerts on your home screen
  • Weekend service updates
  • Offline access to tube maps (great for when you are on the tube)

Of course if you're a frequent tube/bus user, you'll be more suited to the likes of London Travel, which provides better journey planning functionality between stations etc. as opposed to addresses and the like. The massive advantage it has over other journey planners is the live tile alert feature which is just impressive.

The app is perfect if you're a tourist in the big city or plan to visit for the 2012 Olympics when all the tubes will be either closed or over-crowded. You can download Bing Get Me There from the Marketplace.

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HTC Eternity and Omega cases

The above image shows cases that are apparently for the proposed HTC Eternity and HTC Omega upcoming Mango handsets. The case for HTC Eternity looks to fit nicely with the leaked device image we covered late last month.

The rumored specifications of the HTC Eternity were as follows:

  • 1.5GHz single-core processor
  • 8MP camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 16GB of storage
  • DLNA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • 1650mAh battery

Let's hope that HTC decide to take technology further with beefing up their devices above and beyond the minimum requirements set by Microsoft. Still, at least we can attach a case from the above image to cover the common HTC color/design.

Via: PocketNow

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Over at Samfirmware, new Omnia 7 firmware has been leaked - I8700XXKD1. Dated back to April this year, we're currently not aware of differences from the previous 18700XXKC1 and the update rolled out the past week. Flashing our device proves to be nothing better than a problem. According to comments over at MobileTechWorld, the binary is not signed for retail use and can only be used on OEM samples.

Source: Samfirmware, MobileTechWorld, thanks Philipp for the tip!

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Brandon Watson betting $1,000 on WP7

 

Brandon Watson, Senior Director of Windows Phone 7 development, is bringing out the big guns by staking $1,000 on Mango. Scott Adams, author of popular comic strip Dilbert, in a recent blog post has expressed disappointment in both the iPhone and with Android. Watson saw the opportunity and dropped a bombshell of an offer:

"Scott -

My name is Brandon Watson and I am responsible for the developer platform on Windows Phone. Since your readership has a high probability of cross over with our developer base, how about I make you a deal with one of the phones we reserve for developers. Take Windows Phone for a spin. I’ll send you a developer phone with the new Mango OS on it. Give it an honest run, and if you don’t love it more than either of your iPhone or Android experiences, I’ll make a $1000 donation to the charity of your choice. You can’t really lose on this deal.

Do we have 500K apps? No. Do we have 25K, growing as fast as iPhone did, and 2x as fast as Android? Yes. Do developers love the dev environment? Uh huh. Do we have the only phone that puts people and communications first? You bet. If Androids dream of electronic iSheep, people dream about people – and that’s what you will get with Windows Phone. Keep in constant contact with those most important to you with Live Tiles, groups, messaging threads, and native Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And no special instructions on how to hold the phone to make calls. Oh, and the battery lasts a long time.

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Coin Toss OMG - App Spotlight

Coin Toss OMG is described as an ultra realistic 3D coin toss for your Windows Phone. The toss can be initiated by tapping your Windows Phone screen or shaking your phone.

While Coin Toss OMG sounds like a simple app, it has a wide range of settings that sets it apart from other coin toss apps. You have seven coin types to choose from ranging from an U.S. Indian Head penny to several versions of the Euro. You can toss multiple coins, follow the toss from multiple angles, turn on/off a gravity tilt (coin slides with the angle of the phone) and choose from multiple backgrounds.

Graphics and sound effects are really nice. I just wish it had a larger coin in the selection (say, a U.S. Silver Dollar). Regardless, if you need a coin toss app as a novelty or to use as a decision maker, Coin Toss OMG is worth a try. It's a free app and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Welcome to your weekly round-up. The pre-Mobile Nations bulletin that's posted every Sunday by yours truly. Let's kick off with yet another WPCentral Podcast (episode 118), not to mention last week's Mobile Nations Monday brief accompanied by this week's episode. This week's interviewee was James Mundy, developer of Travelnapp. Head on past the short break for the lowdown and gossip. 

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Fotobank - App Spotlight

Your Windows Phone is a great way to share photos. Fotobank is a Windows Phone app that has been around for some time that allows you to search the internet for photos by keyword or category.

Categories include landscapes, flowers, buildings, sports, science and art. Fotobank also has a history of your searches for easy reference. Once you find a picture you like or need, you can save the image to your phone.

Fotobank is a free, ad-support application and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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One thing there's no shortage of in the Marketplace is Scrabble-type games. Words by Post is one of those and is very similar to Alpha Jax (see AlphaJax vs Spell It!).

The difference though is Words by Post is also on the iPhone and Android and version 2.0 of the game just hit, bringing inter-play between those platforms. Yes, now you can play against your iPhone friends (if you have those) and presumably Android as well, making this one of the first Scrabble games to bring cross platform gaming to our system.

The game comes in two variates: free (ads in game) or paid ($2.99), features rankings, push notifications for turn-taking, shake to reorder tiles, chat, etc., making quite it robust. We like the sound of this and enjoy the game design so far, so it may be worth a spin.

Pick up the paid version here in the Marketplace or try out the free, ad-supported one here.

(Thanks, Ian H., for the tip!)

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The free Lazyworm YouTube app has been updated to version 2.4, which brings some new features including live tile notifications, volume slider in video playback and an option to toggle Music & video hub synchronization. The live tile supports push notifications for up to three subscriptions.

In the video above, as well as demoing version 2.4 of their app, the developer also touches on version 3.0 being worked on, hopefully arriving before Mango. Both the free and paid versions of the Lazyworm YouTube app will receive the upcoming update that will bring new features as well as sporting a new interface.

You can download the free Lazyworm Youtube app and purchase LazyTube (Zune links) from the Marketplace.

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Here's a reminder just in case you missed our initial mention of this contest or were unclear on the rules.

We want to know what games you’d like to see ported from another mobile OS to Windows Phone, and we’re giving away Xbox Live Avatar props for your trouble. To enter, visit this forum thread and tell us the following:

What one game would you most like to see ported from another mobile OS to Windows Phone as an Xbox Live title, and why? Remember, we’re only asking about games that are already available on other cell phones – not console games. Try to name the developer as well. You only get one entry, so make it count.

We will choose the nine most interesting and/or convincing responses and give their writers a redeemable code for a Beards and Beaks Avatar prop that can’t be purchased on the Marketplace. This contest is open to readers from any nation, but we can’t guarantee the codes will work outside of the US. It’s the journey that matters, not the destination!

Entries must be received by 10 AM PST on Tuesday, July 26.  Good luck everyone.

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Official 'Need For Speed Autolog' released

For those of you who are Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit freak (see review), you'll want to get this companion app ASAP. Official released via EA, it's similar to Halo Waypoint, allowing you to track and follow your friends playing N4S on console or PC:

The award-winning Need For Speed Hot Pursuit is built around Autolog. It’s the intelligent engine and the centre of the most connected Need For Speed ever, keeping you in the middle of the action both in and out of the game. Autolog is created to allow you to connect, compare and compete with your Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Friends. When playing as a Cop or a Racer, your accomplishments are constantly compared against your friends to deliver the very best in connected social competition. Features:

  • Recommendations
  • Wall
  • Profile
  • News
  • Photos

Overall, the app looks well polished and a great way to extend your racing stats and keep "social" with your competition. Plus it's free, of course. If it appeals to you, race on over to the Marketplace to pick it up.

(Thanks, VisceralBishop, for the heads up!)

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Facebook updated to 2.1

Back on the 18th Facebook posted that they were aware of the problems loading images with Facebook for Windows Phone and were working on a fix. The fix landed this morning with the version 2.1 update.

The problem was that users couldn't see picture galleries of friends. An annoying little bug seeing that part of the Facebook attraction is the ability to share photos as well as thoughts.

Version 2.1 was pushed out this morning and now we can see photos from all our friends. If you haven't downloaded your free copy of the Facebook for Windows Phone app, you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to Shipwreck for the tip!

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Developer Interview: James Mundy of Travelnapp

This week James Mundy is our Windows Phone developer interviewee. Being the brains (and brawn) behind Travelnapp, he has allowed WP7 commuters to take a break from busy city life and zone out to their imaginary realm without missing their train stop. As well as travelling on rails, the app works for just about anything, travelling by car, bus or even walking (if you somehow manage to sleepwalk).

Check out the interview after the break.

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We want to know what games you’d like to see ported from another mobile OS to Windows Phone, and we’re giving away Xbox Live Avatar props for your trouble. To enter, visit this forum thread and tell us the following:

What one game would you most like to see ported from another mobile OS to Windows Phone as an Xbox Live title, and why? Remember, we’re only asking about games that are already available on other cell phones – not console games. Try to name the developer as well. You only get one entry, so make it count.

We will choose the nine most interesting and/or convincing responses and give their writers a redeemable code for a Beards and Beaks Avatar prop that can’t be purchased on the Marketplace. This contest is open to readers from any nation, but we can’t guarantee the codes will work outside of the US. It’s the journey that matters, not the destination! Entries must be received by 10 AM PST on Tuesday, July 26.

Head past the break for additional contest details and free cookies!

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Mobile Nations 3

Mobile Nations 3: Full house

Phil, Kevin, Derek, Dan, and Rene talk Netflix on Android, media on Mobile, the RIM-pire striking back, news execs at webOS, Nokia Windows Phones, 20 million iPhones, and hitting the budget buyer sweet spot. Bringing together the heads of state of Android, BlackBerry, iOS, webOS, and Windows Phone for full on round-table action. This is Mobile Nations!

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A New York law firm, Bursor & Fisher, has filed arbitration against ATT in a bid to prevent the purchase of T-Mobile.  The eleven separate cases come on behalf of ATT custromers who claim that the acquisition violates the Clayton Antitrust Act and will negatively affect consumers.

The merger still needs to make it through the Department of Justice and FCC gauntlets, but attorney Steve Brusor sees this as one more measure that can be taken to prevent it:

“Government enforcement is an important part of the antitrust laws, but the Clayton Act also permits private parties who may be adversely affected to challenge a proposed merger. That means any AT&T cellphone, data or iPad customer who will suffer higher prices and diminished service because of this merger can sue to stop it from happening.”

His firm has created a website, in hopes of finding more ATT users who want to join the fight.  The strategy is simple, yet brilliant.  Ma Bell requires customers to agree to a contract that prohibits them from filing class-action lawsuits, instead forcing them into mediated arbitration, at ATT's expense nonetheless.  The plan is to bring as many arbitration cases against ATT as possible, in hopes of getting at least one mediator to rule in favor of the plaintiff.  If that happens, Bursor thinks there is a strong case to shoot down the deal. 

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Here's some speculation that sort of makes sense: we just reported that the AT&T Venue Pro is available to purchase again direct from Dell. What's odd (and what we missed) was the expected ship date: 8/30

That's a long time off for a phone that has been out for awhile. Considering that we just got word of "Mango" being RTM'd and sent to carriers, could this 6 week delay be due to Dell putting Mango on board? Dell did just pull the Streak to load some new update, so it's not unprecedented and AT&T is pretty aggressive in the Windows Phone area.

We've heard that Toshiba-Fujitsu are launching a Mango device in August, so why not Dell? Then again, this is Dell, so lets not put it past them that this is just NoDo.

Source: Dell; (Thanks for catching this, @wp7ap)

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You know what we lack on Windows Phone? A good strategy turn-based fighting game. Yeah, never thought of it, did you? Luckily, "Fight Game: Rivals" seems likely to fill that roll. From Dutch based Khaeon Studios, the game is a MMA style with fairly impressive graphics and seemingly rich player content.

What's really kind of neat is how the fighting styles and even fighters themselves are based on real life e.g. the studio worked with experts to replicate as much as they can.

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In the recent Windows Phone Developer Podcast episode, we have some new information detailing the status of the next update for Microsoft's mobile platform - "Mango". This shouldn't come with shock to readers since we've been following the wind with the Fujitsu IS12T handset (as well as Nokia's "Sea Ray"). According to the podcast; "Mango" has been RTM (released to manufacturers) and is also with carriers for testing.

While we've had the next update on devices for some time now, this was of course only a developer preview build (7661). Our Daniel Rubino previously caught on the build number for the release of "Mango" when we covered the breaking news of the Nokia device being shown off in a factory. In fact, we didn't only have the build number, which will be 7710, but we also stated that we received word on "Mango" already being RTM.

Good news all around? We think so, what do you guys make of this somewhat re-assuring news? Do you believe these are signs of an early release?

Update: And the news has jumped the gun again. Bill Cox, Sr. Director of Communications at Microsoft for the Windows Phone Division, just tweeted:

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AT&T Dell Venue Pro gets massive discounts too

Looks like Dell is still either trying to push the DVP (see first impressions vid) as much as possible, or they're trying to ditch them. Either way, you can benefit from their price cuts, so long as you sign a contract. Previously, Dell was out of stock on the AT&T version, but now they're back for the buyin':

  • $0.99 for 8GB
  • $49 for 16GB
  • $99 for 32GB

We think with the v2.12 firmware and adding Mango, the DVP gets a second life and is worth reconsidering. If interested, head to Dell's site. (Thanks, @wp7ap)

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