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Win €1000 from the Nokia Mapstronaut

Nokia Mapstronaut Giveaway

Does €1,000 sound like a good prize to you? The Nokia Mapstronaut has completed his travels, is returning to space and would like to give away the lump sum to a lucky winner. So how does one enter? Simply find your favourite place on Nokia Maps (add the location should it not already be listed), and tweet it to @Nokia_Connects. There are certain themes available:

  1. Shopping.
  2. Eat & Drink.
  3. Going Out.
  4. Sights & Museums.
  5. Wildcard (basically anywhere that isn’t covered in the above categories).

An entry example: "@Nokia_Connects, THE MAPSTRONAUT LOVES THE VINTAGE MAGAZINE STORE IN LONDON – HIS THEME IS SHOPPING http://nka.fi/TG3SJ #NokiaMaps".  Should you enter one from each theme you'll have a better chance of being selected. We're told that Mapstronaut favours less-known locations with photos, information and reviews.

Be sure to get your entries in by Wednesday, December 14th, by which point the entry period would have closed and the Mapstronaut will select a winner.  After the break, you can catch a video documenting the Mapstronaut's adventures.

Source: Nokia

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WP Central

Emily Dickinson would be happy to know that Death has finally stopped for Xbox Live gamers. And by that I mean, Hasta la Muerte (Until Death or To the Death) is now available on Xbox Live.

A Windows Phone exclusive from French developer Pohlm Studio, Hasta la Muerte places gamers in control of one of death’s emissaries. The emissary must free the souls of the dead in order to prevent them from becoming cursed lost souls. He won’t go it alone as friendly souls called Soulpets offers assistance. Hasta la Muerte features over 30 levels, boss battles, and a stark European art style that’s unlike anything else on the platform.

Is anyone else curious why a French developer chose a Spanish title for their game? The French translation of Until Death is Jusqu'à la Mort. Or maybe Pour la Mort, that works too. Either way, it doesn’t roll of the tongue as easily, does it?

Hasta la Muerte costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Pick it up here on the Marketplace. To view the game’s trailer, check out our previous post.

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Microsoft updates Terms of Service [Part Two]

Marketplace Account Message

Just a quick follow up on an earlier story about Microsoft updating it's EULA on the Marketplace.  If you are in the Windows Phone Marketplace Online shopping for an app and see a warning message that reads,

"It looks like there's a problem with your Zune Account or you haven't created one yet. You need a working Zune account to get apps from Marketplace."

Microsoft hasn't necessarily revoked your Zune Account.  You just need to accept the new terms before you can resume your online Marketplace activities.  Just scanning the rather lengthy and wordy Terms of Service document, it appears the changes concentrate on XBox Live services, legal terms and dispute resolution.

Zune TOS Acceptance

If you hit the "Edit or Create Zune Account" link you are sent to a summary of the update where you can review the changes and accept them. Once you accept the changes, your Marketplace account is restored and you can return to buying your app.  You can find the full TOS from Microsoft here.

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Battlewagon storms to Xbox Live next week

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that IronSun Studios’ Battlewagon would be coming to Xbox Live soon. At last, Battlewagon has a release date: December 14, next week!

Battlewagon is a lot like Robin Hood, but with a rolling death machine instead of a bow and arrows. Four evil Barons have taken the player’s kingdom, and it’s time to get it back! Equip your wagon with instruments of destruction and then storm the bad guys’ fortifications in 68 levels of medieval mayhem. Not only is Battlewagon a totally fresh premise, it also has that lovable Amiga-like British artwork that has all but disappeared these days.

WP Central

Battlewagon debuts on Wednesday, December 14. It will cost $2.99.

Head past the jump for the full Battlewagon announcement press release.

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Twitter images now rendering in People and Picture hubs

Twitter Images in People and Picture Hubs

It seems Microsoft has worked some magic on backend services for Windows Phone, as users and sites alike are reporting they're now able to view images that are attached to tweets in the People and Picture hubs. Twitter integration is handled via Windows Live, which was introduced in the Mango update, but was limited to displaying text-only tweets. Now when viewing "What's new?" in the People hub (and Pictures hub) images are now displayed along with the tweet.

Have you noticed the change on your handset(s)? Let us know in the comments!

Source: LiveSide; Thanks, thenet, for the heads up!

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EULA

If you've downloaded an app from the Marketplace in the last few hours, you may have received the above pop-up screen before being allowed to continue. The "accept" part is for a new end-user licensing agreements (EULA) that seems to address the user-location tracking controversy that erupted a few weeks ago with a lawsuit. In that filing, it was alleged Microsoft was collecting user data without user consent. Microsoft at first hedged but later admitted that yes, there was a bug which sent user data before they had a chance to accept or opt-out of the location collection.

That bug was of course eliminated with the Mango update but there persisted another bug in the People Hub which is still present. That bug is set to be fixed in a later software refresh, presumably Tango. In the meantime, Microsoft is spelling all of this out in the new updated EULA where they tell us they are not using the data nefariously and how important our information is to them, yadda yadda.

Eula

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Supreme Shortcuts

We've seen our fair share of shortcut apps in the Marketplace--you know, the apps that allows you to pin "WiFi" to your start screen for quick access, amongst others.

But Supreme Shortcuts (free, XDA) by MJCS is really the Alpha and Omega here. The app so far has nearly 30 shortcuts on board which can be added to your Start screen with a simple click.  Just a few of those shortcuts include Brightness, Email Compose, Find My Phone, IE Settings, Internet Sharing, Lock and Wallpaper to give you an idea. Some are even just replacements for existing shortcuts like Zune or Games, giving you a more traditional Metro Tile instead.

Supreme Shortcuts

We've been running it for a little bit here and have no complaints. Sure, we may not use even half of these, but considering it is free and if we could get just one or two unique shortcuts out of it, it's totally worth it.  You do need a developer unlocked device (or ChevronWP7 Labs). Head here to the XDA thread to grab it and participate.

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Official Engadget app goes to version 2.0 with Mango

Engadget 2.0

Though the updates are few and far between, the official Engadget app managed to get a significant bump to version 2.0 tonight. New features include a slight re-design of the UI, fast-app switching, Live Tile, background updating (over WiFi when on AC) and an overall smooth performance.

Engadget 2.0

Of course that's on top of the already existing features including photo galleries, full articles, ability to comment, podcasts and more. Plus you can even submit tips via the app, allowing you to generously give them plenty of WPCentral links, amirite? Overall a pretty solid app and a great update. You can pick up Engadget v2.0 here for free in the Marketplace. Thanks, Peter M., for the tip!

Engadget 2.0

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Folks line up for Nokia Lumia launch in Singapore

Nokia fans...

Here's a site we hope to see more of: ordinary people lining up to get a Nokia Windows Phone. We mentioned the Singapore launch for the Lumia 800 a few days ago and now we have some photos of people braving the...ummm...temperate conditions for nearly 8 hours to get their 800's.

Nokia fans..

Of course those first 100 people did get a free Xbox 360 with a Kinect for their suffering, so we suppose we'd line up for that too. Great to see, regardless.

Source: Nokia Devs (Facebook); via: The Nokia Blog

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HTC Titan and Radar get their 'Camera Modes' updated

I need to charge my battery!

For those lucky enough to have a Titan or Radar on hand, you may have noticed a small update today for your 'Camera Modes' app. The update brings it to version 1.5 and the app itself is used for the Panorama and Burst Shot modes which are built into the Camera menu system. Allowing you to take 3 photos and stitch them together, the Panorama mode is something HTC has been adding to all of their phones (Android too), while 'burst' allows you to take rapid shots all by holding down the camera button.

No specific word on changes, unfortunately, as HTC likes to keep that info to themselves. Presumably then this is just some bug fixes or improvements in quality. But hey, if you notice anything, shout out in comments and share. We don't have a link for this one (hidden) so you'll just need to wait till you get the Update notification, which should be very soon.

Thanks to all who sent this in!

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WPCentral Podcast 132 + Video

WPCentral Podcast

We're back for another action packed podcast, this time we have video not only working but in higher quality to boot (you can watch that after the break, if you so wish). Lots of hardware news, some piracy controversy, Carrier IQ, Jay gets a Nokia Lumia 800 and more all coming up!

Full show notes and video after the jump!

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Windows Phone emoticons cheat sheet: Part II

Emoticons Part II

Last week the Windows Phone Blog made a nice little cheat sheet for those emoticons in Text messaging--you know, when you type a ':-)' and it turns automatically into a smiley. From that post we learned from Microsoft's Michael Stroh that while comprehensive, that list was still only partial of all the ones our phones could recognize (and you added some of your own in comments).

Now, Michael is back with a second list of more obscure emoji and boy are they unique. We've barely memorized more than a handful from last week and now we need to find room for "cat", "gift" and "the moon". Kudos to anyone who can do these on the fly and we'll still put out a soft-call for an app to store all of these for quick access, should anyone want to take the challenge.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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WP Central

You know what hasn’t gone on sale in a while? Earthworm Jim. The last time it was the Xbox Live Deal of the Week was way back in April. Now it’s the Deal of the Week again, its price cut from $4.99 to $2.99.

The mobile version of Earthworm Jim comes from Gameloft, but it’s a far cry from the awesomeness of Let’s Golf 2. Earthworm Jim has some of the worst touch screen controls around, making it way less fun than it should be. Its Achievements are also quite tough and time consuming, but at least none of them are glitched (Ahem, Let’s Golf 2!). Despite those issues, I still had a decent time with Earthworm Jim because the original is such an off-kilter classic. See our full review for more details.

Earthworm Jim will be on sale for one week only. Pick it up here in the Marketplace – when the sale goes live Wednesday morning.

Earthworm Jim

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Verizon draws a line in the sand with Microsoft?

Verizon Wireless Windows Phone

While Verizon has the HTC Trophy as it's one and only Windows Phone, the wireless provider has given Microsoft an ultimatum of sorts that could see the Verizon dropping Windows Phone all together.

In a recent interview with CNET Verizon Wireless's Chief Marketing Officer Marni Walden commented,

"We've communicated to Microsoft that LTE is critical to us. We need to see a timeline that makes sense if we want to continue to represent them."

Microsoft hasn't responded to Walden's comments but has said it would add LTE support to Windows Phone but hasn't addressed the "when" of the subject. Should Microsoft and Verizon part ways, the wireless company will focus it's smartphone line-up on Android devices and the iPhone (which doesn't support LTE).

Verizon is still working with Microsoft on this issue and hopefully common ground can be found to bring the second generation Windows Phones to Verizon. If not, does the success of Windows Phones hinge on a Verizon model or will Microsoft do just fine without?

Source: CNET  Via: Winsupersite

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WeatherLive sale: $0.99 for one week

WeatherLive

For those looking for a solid weather app, you will probably remember WeatherLive. It's one of the few weather apps we've championed around here, mostly due to its strong Metro-design and options. Featuring multiple, double-side Live Tiles, minimalist design, low-bandwidth and more, the app currently sits at the #1 spot in NEWS + WEATHER in the Marketplace. It also maintains a 4-star rating with nearly 900 reviews.

WeatherLIve

Anyways, the app normally fetches for $1.49 but for this week will be discounted at $0.99. Sure, not a huge price-drop but technically you can't go any lower in the Marketplace without going free. The app receives steady updates and recently hit v3.4 offering Bing Local Search integration. Pick it up with a free trial here in the Marketplace. And check out our video hands on with v3.0 for Mango here.

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GroupMe

For those of you who are still waiting on GroupMe (popular texting service) to re-release their app, be prepared to wait for another few days following a tweet published by the company. The app is currently not available on the Marketplace and the company is still working hard to get the re-written app back out in the field.

GroupMe App Coming

The above tweet was posted four days ago but still no news for now on availability. The app is being developed from the ground up and should be released (if not being approved by Microsoft right now) shortly. Usually an old version of an app is removed from the Marketplace if the new version is so radically different in code that an update is not possible. The good news is this sounds like the app will offer some new and tantalizing features that many users have been asking for, probably as a result of recently being acquired by Skype (which is owned by Microsoft).

Thanks Karen and Kalet for the info!

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T-Mo Radar and HD7 getting update tomorrow

T-Mobile pushing Radar/HD7 update on December 7

Beginning tomorrow, T-Mobile will be pushing out an update for their HTC Radar and HD7 phones.  The update adds a boost in performance and will resolve an error that occurs when some users try to activate Visual Voicemail.  While the Radar will also get the ability to download and customize ringtones, the real winner is the HD7, which will now connect to hidden WiFi networks and gain WiFi tethering.  Some folks, however, claim that they were able to tether after the previous update.

The patch will start making its way out into the ether tomorrow and must be installed via the Zune software to a USB-connected handset.

Source: TMoNews

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France Device Traffic Stats

Arnaud Michelet, developer behind the France traffic app on Windows Phone, has provided some statistics regarding device usage and the above graph shows something interesting (particularly for anti-WP Nokia fans). Nokia has been pushing hard, not just only in the UK, but France too. This shows with the line for the Lumia 800 shooting up through the roof, and still climbing steeply after taking the lead from the Samsung Omnia 7.

Should this chart be taking into account as a valid indicator on how well the Lumia 800 is performing in France, it also shows that majority of new owners are migrating from other platforms, since the massive incline is not met by a steep drop across the board for first generation handsets. While these aren't official numbers from Nokia (though they back up previous sales reports), it's worth checking out and feeling good about the data in-time for the festive holiday.

Source: MonWindowsPhone

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AT&T HTC Titan back in stock...go go go!

AT&T TitanSo for all of you who were waiting on AT&T to get a fresh new batch of coveted Titans, your day has finally come. At least on the website (we can't vouch for your local store) AT&T is now listing the device as available.

Previously, stores and even AT&T online had massive shortages of the top of the line phone. Supply was either tight due to high sales or more likely, HTC not being able to fulfill orders to AT&T. Now it looks like HTC has finally ramped up production and hopefully that also translates into store availability too.

Let us know if you placed your order or if your store received any significant stock in comments! Also don't forget to check our review of the Titan here.

Head to the AT&T store right now. Thanks, Tommy F., for the tip!

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Custom theme, anyone?

Looks like those folks at Windows Phone Hacker, specifically Jaxbot, have been working on some neat ideas for our devices. This latest trick involves making custom Tiles for the Start screen, allowing a theme of sorts to give a more unique look for your phone. Previously, they released the "Folders" option for the Start screen.

The method is not yet available as Windows Phone Hacker is once again feeling out if there is any interest in releasing it--those man hours in creating and refining this don't come out of no where, after all. Personally, we think it's pretty great looking and would be fairly excited to see this happen.

Best part is this doesn't require any deep interop-unlock, just a simple developer unlocked phone (either official or ChevronWP7 Labs), making this a seemingly straightforward hack. If interested, head over to Windows Phone Hacker or hit them up on Twitter @wphonehacker to let them know!

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BoxFiles for Dropbox gets pinnable folders

BoxFiles

Couple things about Dropbox: many of you prefer SkyDrive--fair enough. Their mobile website is actually really nice. And there is no "official" app from them for Windows Phone.

So for those of us who do use Dropbox and regularly, there is really only one app out there that has constantly shown itself worthy, in our opinion: BoxFiles for Dropbox. The app recently received a hefty Mango update, which like all Mango apps, resulted in a much faster, smoother experience. In addition it had some graphics re-worked, new options and even a Live Tile which shows your used and remaining space left on your account. Slick.

Now in v2.5, the options continue with the addition of pinnable folders to your Start screen, for quick, easy 1-click access to all of your stuff. From there you can copy, delete, move, email, download, share, rename, etc. any of your files, making this feel quite robust. Finally, it's fairly Metro in design with minimalist graphics and text-focused, giving the app a more native feel.  Oh and did we mention this has SkyDrive built into it? So for all of those who need a more feature-rich SkyDrive app, you may want to take this for a spin too.

The app goes for $1.29 with a free trial, which can be found here and gets our highest recommendation. There's also a free, ad-supported version with no SkyDrive support--that one can be found here.

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Xbox Live - Hasta la Muerte comes to life this week

Didn’t get enough ghosts in last week’s Xbox Live title, Ghostscape? This week’s release deals with the afterlife as well, though it’s a completely different sort of game. Hasta La Muerte, from French developer Pohlm Studio, comes to Xbox Live on Wednesday, December 7.

In Hasta la Muerte, players control one of death’s emissaries. The emissary travels through a sort of purgatory, freeing the souls of the dead. Take too long to save them and they become cursed souls, attacking you. The game uses tilt for movement, which seems to work pretty well.

Hasta la Muerte contains over 30 levels, with unique boss encounters every 5 levels. Once you have unlocked friendly SoulPets, you can go back to previous levels and use the Pets’ abilities to try for better ratings.

WP Central

Of course, the main reason we’re excited about Hasta la Muerte is its beautiful European art style. The emissary and souls alike are represented by simple abstract figures. Combined with the stark, almost colorless levels, the game feels very different and otherworldly. Let's hope it plays as good as it looks!

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Windows Phone app bar icons [Developers]

WP Dev Icons

We're always pleased to see developer resources pop up around the web that help keep things ticking long. Over at Templarian (Austin Andrews), an icon pack full of superb quality graphics has been in the works (with more being added), which is licensed under Creative Commons license. Should you require an icon that's not present, one can either create and submit the icon for the pack or request it from the author. The icons are available in black and white variants.

Andrews wants developers to take care when designing apps on the platform, and we (as consumers) are on the same wave length. Metro UI is slick and clean and developers should take advantage of this.

Source: Templarian

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RegHardware Mobile of the Year

RegHardware is hosting a poll where the first vote is for "Mobile of the Year", and the Nokia Lumia 800 (our review) is the Windows Phone entrant. The handset is up against the likes of the iPhone 4S, Blackberry Bold 9900, and Samsung Galaxy S II. So be sure to head on over and vote for the Lumia 800 along with Windows Phone for "Smartphone OS of the Year". There are also a few more questions in the poll including carrier of the year and most useful app.

Source: RegHardware, thanks Eoin for the heads up!

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