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2 years ago

HTC Omega Windows Phone shows up in gaming stats

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The HTC Omega showed up on Elbert Perez's game stats page--there's only one, but there only needs to be one, right? Perez gets his data from the ton of high quality and popular games that he has on the platform. (See the Nokia 800 referenced just a few days ago).

Device information such as make and model are commonly collected and it's turning out to be a great source to know what may be coming next.

So. Omega. That sounds pretty epic and we've seen it referenced just a few weeks ago with a basic 1.5Ghz CPU, 800x480 screen and 16GB of storage.

Source: Occasional Gamer, via @elbertperez

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2 years ago

IM+ v1.4 is now live - reminder!

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IM+ v1.4 is now live - reminder!

For those who use IM+, you'll be happy to know that v1.4 is now available. The big new features are faster loading/connecting (confirmed) and advanced push settings, including a sweet auto-responder and message forwarder:

  • Significantly improved contact list scrolling and overall application performance
  • Push-to-Email option allows incoming messages to be forwarded to your email
  • Autoreply feature will instantly notify your contacts that your are in Push mode
  • ICQ / AIM / AOL / iChat group chats
  • ICQ contacts can now be added into your AOL/AIM/iChat contact lists and vice versa
  • VKontakte and Yandex IM services are now supported

But, we must also remember that MSN/Live Messenger is also now gone, so you are warned--don't upgrade if you need that! Anyways, besides the loss of Live Messenger, we like the improvements and additions. Grab IM+ here in the Marketplace (if update doesn't show, just back out and head back in to the Marketplace to refresh).

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2 years ago

Hyper Defence XT - Preview

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Hyper Defence XT - Preview

Hyper Defence XT is an upcoming gaming title headed to the Windows Phone Marketplace. We were fortunate enough to get a sneak peak at the game and found it to be an entertaining, slightly addictive tower defense game.

The premise is that you are defending Outpost 26 from invading aliens. Hyper Defence has 15 levels of play, 7 fully upgradeable turret defenses, collectable Hyper Energy power boosts, and an unlockable Survival Mode.

Game play is not unlike any other tower defense game in that you have to survive a certain number of waves in each level to advance. As you take out enemy forces, you earn credits to buy or upgrade your defenses.

Defensive placement is key (as it is with any tower defense game) and to purchase a weapon you tap, hold and drag the turret to the desired location. A green halo around the weapon indicates the location is suitable for placement. Weapons fire automatically when the enemy comes into range and to upgrade, simply tap on the weapon to pull up the upgrade menu.

Hyper Defence XT isn't too easy to become boring or too hard to become frustrating. The developer has found a good middle ground with regards to difficulty to keep the game interesting.

Hyper Defence XT is expected in the Marketplace any day now with a free trial and the full version running £.99 (about $1.60 U.S.). We'll update the post with the Marketplace links as soon as they become available. If you like tower defense games, Hyper Defence XT is worth checking out.

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2 years ago

HP shutting down webOS device operations

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HP made their quarterly fiscal report today and announced that they planned to discontinue operations for webOS devices including their TouchPad and webOS (formerly Palm) phones.  Wow.

In the press release, HP did leave the door open stating they will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward. What this means is anyone's guess. As our friends at PreCentral note, HP is discontinuing operations for webOS devices, not the OS itself.

Could we see HP follow suit and license out webOS to, say, HTC? Could HP take advantage of all the headaches/litigation Android is creating and offer manufacturers an alternative? Personally, I just don't see HP giving up on webOS after, only a year ago, spending $1.2 billion to acquire the system. On the other hand, who is interested in licensing an OS that has failed to catch on? Twice.

What does this mean for everyone else? I'm not sure if it will really impact Microsoft, Google, Apple or RIM. While webOS devices have a strong following, they were on a downhill slide when HP acquired Palm and never took off. With Mango just around the corner, Microsoft may be able to attract Pre customers with webOS's future being uncertain.

As a former Palm user (still have my first Palm Pilot) I hope HP finds a way to keep webOS as a viable system. One thing is for certain though, it seems these days the smartphone industry is constantly changing.

You can read HP's full press release on their quarterly report after the break.

Update: The Verge confirms that HP is not killling WebOS as a platform and they are looking for partners and options. In short, they're killing HP's attempt at hardware noting that they need to stop putting under-performing hardware in the market. Still, WebOS's future, even as an OS, obviously remains in dire straits.

via: PreCentral

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2 years ago

Developer Interview: Levi Fussell

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Developer Interview: Levi Fussell

Dalton Carl is a Windows Phone fan, an aspiring developer and a WPCentral reader. Dalton had the opportunity to interview Levi Fussell, developer of several Windows Phone apps, and shared the interview with us. We in turn thought we would share with you.

What caught Dalton's attention was Fussell's Windows Phone game Rooftop Rage (link opens Zune). According to Dalton, it was the only game outside the XBox Live titles that made him go "wow". According to Dalton, "It was such an interesting game, I had to know more about the creator".

Follow the break to read Dalton's interview with Levi Fussell.

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2 years ago

We're In from Microsoft brings friend finder to Bing, Windows Phone

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Update: Sorry folks, appears to be U.S. (and Israel) only for now :-/

We've always wondered whether Microsoft would launch a Google Latitude service--after all, they have Bing, a nice aGPS/WiFi location finder and a solid mobile OS. So it comes as a nice surprise to see them launching "We're In" today:

"We’re In makes organizing get-togethers, carpooling and trying to find people in a crowd a breeze. Any time you want to see where your friends are—We're In can help you. It's simple, invite your friends, and when they join, they'll see your location and you'll see theirs. When the invite expires, so does the shared location – no complicated process to worry about.

We’re In is a great way to save time and frustration when planning your road trip or meeting your friend at the mall – helping you connect with your friend faster."

The best way to describe the service is it's like Latitude combined with Glympse--the former because it allows you to see where your friends are, the latter because these events "expire" meaning you're not tracking people (or being tracked yourself) for eternity. The app allows you to

  • Create a get-together invite for a group of friends
  • See where your friends are
  • Share your location with your friends in real time
  • Control your privacy - your location is only shared with the group of invitees, only for a short time slot

Interestingly, you don't use LiveID to sign up but instead your phone number. Microsoft is looking to make this platform agnostic (it's coming to other mobile OSs) and by keeping LiveID out, Microsoft seems to be keeping the entry-barrier low. That's good news if the system is to grow and catch on.

Oh and the code didn't work with our Google Voice number, just FYI.  If you want the app, here you go: link to the Marketplace.

Source: Bing Community; Thanks, Michael, for the link!

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2 years ago

Samsung leaked roadmap includes one Windows Phone (Updated)

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A recently leaked Samsung roadmap is chocked full of Android phones and tablets but it does support the existence of one Windows Phone we've read about.

The i8350 Omnia W isn't new to the rumor mill but the leaked map indicates an October release and gives the phone a 3.7" WVGA (we're still going with AMOLED), 1ghz processor, and running Mango.  All of which we've seen in earlier reports along with the phone having 512mb of RAM and a 5mp camera.

The leak gives credence to our earlier thoughts that the i8350 and the Omnia W are one in the same. Now we just have to figure out how the GT-i8700 fits into the picture?  We still don't know where the i8350 will land and hopefully that will come to light in the next few weeks.

via: gsmarena; Thanks, JustVisiting, for the tip!

Update: In digging a little further, this appears to be old speculation on Samsung's Fall roadmap which was denied by Samsung a few weeks ago. So for the time being we'll re-file this under "extreme rumor". 

It's consistent with other reports but it is still uncertain if the i8530 will see the light of day. In a long shot, it could be an attempt by Samsung to test the waters to see how well such a device would be received. If that's the case, we'd like to see more in their next Windows Phone, such as a Samsung Galaxy S II running Windows Phone Mango!

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2 years ago

Dilbert's Scott Adams declares Windows Phone a "winner" against iPhone 3GS, EVO 3D

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If you recall, Scott Adams of Dilbert fame was lamenting his iPhone and EVO 3D on Twitter and thus fell in to Brandon Watson's clutches. Watson famously offered Adams a $1,000 donation to his favorite charity if he would take Windows Phone for a spin and didn't like it.

Well, Adams received the phone and has written up a decent little review of it compared to his iPhone 3GS and HTC EVO 3D (Android). We'll just cut to the chase:

"The Windows phone has the best user interface experience, although the onscreen keyboard is problematic just as it is with the other phones I used. The Windows interface is intuitive, simple, and has a liveliness that I find appealing. Voice call quality was good, and battery life seemed good too. I declare it the winner compared to my iPhone 3GS with AT&T and my HTC EVO 3D with Android on the Sprint network."

..."If you want a smartphone that is easy to use, performs well, has a good battery life, and doesn't frustrate you, the Windows phone is the best choice of the three options I tested. All you give up is some hipster credibility and access to lesser-used apps."

Bam!

Now, having said that, it wasn't all gushing either. Adams did a neat breakdown of major features and gave pass/fail grades to all three devices. He confesses he's not a professional reviewer, nor a gadget geek like we in his write up, which we think is a good thing sometimes. Areas he didn't care for on the AT&T Samsung Focus running Mango:

  • On-screen keyboard - yeah, he actually didn't like it. In fairness, he didn't like the iPhone's or EVO's either, so he's being consistent. Fact is, he just doesn't like soft-keyboards and you can't fault a guy too much for that (there's a reason why we like the Quantum, Arrive and Dell Venue Pro around here).
  • "Intangible coolness factor" - this is pretty arbitrary but hints at a larger problem for Microsoft, namely they're just not cool. Yeah, we know, kind of a lame thing to judge the phone on, but lets face it, Microsoft has an image problem. It's getting better but they're still no Apple and that matters to consumers.
  • Apps - "okay-ish". This has been the Achilles heel so far in reviews and while he notices the lack of some big name apps, he doesn't consider the whole phone a fail because of it.

Overall though, Adams seems impressed with Windows Phone, slamming the EVO on its clunky UI and terrible battery life (no argument there) and the iPhone 3GS gets bad remarks for reception and okay results for UI. So Watson, mission accomplished.

Source: Dilbert.com; Thanks, Paul, for the heads up!

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2 years ago

Activate Scout & Bing Vision in Mango for Canada, others? [How to]

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We've seen the improvement coming in "Mango" to Bing, which are nothing short of impressive: Vision, Scout, Music, info cards, images, etc. But (and it's a big but) some of those services won't work everywhere in the same fashion. We're talking of course about Scout and Bing Vision. Specifically on the latter, we know it won't do movie posters, books, CDs, barcodes etc only MS Tags and QR codes outside of the US. That's a huge bummer for many as Bing Vision works quite well.

Reader Leon Y. writes in to let us know that these services are not available in Canada--at least on the Mango 7712 ROM. It's actually very simple:

"I currently have the dev build 7712 and I don't know if it works in the RTM build. Also I think this works because I speak English and not another language.

Here's how to do it: Go into the Region+languages in the settings and change the browser & search language to English (United States) and hit the back button to save the changes. The local scout works like a charm and the Bing vision is amazing. I think this will work in other English speaking countries. I don't see a reason for Microsoft disabling this feature for other countries other that the US. I just wanted to share this discovery with everyone"

Anyone else want to confirm and share their experience? It's odd that Local Scout will actually pull info down in countries where it's not available in the OS. We hope for a least a handful of you this will enable these awesome features and that other countries will soon get these services as well.

Update: Works in Germany according to reader @Cyrus1989

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2 years ago

No new Xbox Live game on August 24

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No new Xbox Live game on August 24

While Microsoft recently announced 12-ish new games coming to Xbox Live, it looks like those titles may not be ready for release just yet. Prepare yourselves, Windows Phone gamers: there will be no new Xbox Live release next week.

I can’t remember the last time there wasn’t an Xbox Live release in the US. Sadly, our European readers already know what it’s like to not see a new game on their Marketplace. When Sudoku and Minesweeper came out for free last week, everybody was surprised that they were only released in the US.

I’m just shocked at this hole in the release schedule, as the last two Game Room retro games, Time Pilot and Shao-Lin’s Road, have almost certainly been complete for a long while. Hopefully the negative reaction to previous Game Room games (stemming largely from the ancientness of some of those games and releasing them all in a very short time span) hasn’t resulted in their cancellation. Some of us want those Achievements!

There will, of course, be an Xbox Live Deal of the Week, so many gamers will still have a reason to pick up a game they didn’t own before. Check back here on Wednesday and we’ll let you know what game is on sale.

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2 years ago

More details about Xbox Live's upcoming Fast Async multiplayer feature

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Yesterday we reported on some new features that are coming to Xbox Live when Mango rolls around. One of those was ‘Fast Async,’ Microsoft’s proprietary form of asynchronous multi-player. Geekwire reached out to Microsoft and published this interview with an unnamed representative:

“How will Fast Async work and how does it compare to the current approach for turn-by-turn gaming in WP7? 

Similar to turn-by-turn async gaming, Fast Async, coming this fall with the Mango update will expand on this experience by enabling Xbox LIVE games to manage game data and sessions in a faster and more flexible way. It will also provide a way for games to find players across screens, without having to wait and watch the matching happen, and will prompt players with clear messaging, when it’s their turn to move.

Will Fast Async be implemented by default in all turn-by-turn games, via the OS, or will it only come in some turn-by-turn games, when developers implement it? 

Fast Async will only be included in Xbox LIVE titles if implemented by the game developer.”

The good news we can take away from this is that Xbox Live games will soon have turn-by-turn multi-player, just like indie games have had for a while now. And Fast Async is apparently a little better than regular old async, particularly in the area of matchmaking. One game we know of that will definitely support Fast Aync is Babaroga’s Zombies!!! board game. Oh, and Fast Async isn’t limited to just Windows Phone, which some people are taking to mean that Xbox 360-Windows Phone cross-platform gaming could be happening too.

The potentially bad news though is that real-time multiplayer has not been announced and may not arrive with Mango. If that’s the case, let’s hope it’s not too far off. I doubt Gameloft will port N.O.V.A 2, the popular iPhone Halo clone, until Windows Phone supports real-time multi-player. Insert comment about how Gameloft only seems to be more interested in porting older, much less popular games here.

Sources: Geekwire via WMPUThree Panel Soul

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2 years ago

Judge rules that Microsoft's Android Expert can testify

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As we know, just about everyone in the smartphone industry is suing everyone else. Microsoft is suing Motorola (which has been bought by Google) over patent issues involving Motorola's Android phones. Google stepped in last week and filed a motion to block Microsoft's Android Expert, Mr. Robert Stevenson, from testifying. Google asserted the claim that Microsoft violated confidentiality agreements and disclosed source codes to Mr. Stevenson.  Source codes on an operating system everyone thought was open sourced.

The U.S. International Trade Commission Judge handed down his ruling on Google's motion and Google got the short end of the stick.  However, the ruling may have opened the door for more litigation.

Judge Theodore Essex denied the motion stating that only parties in a complaint are allowed to move for sanctions. The Judge wrote,

"Google has not set forth any legal support for the proposition that a non-party may move for sanctions."

So the expert witness can testify and the wheels of justice can continue to grind.  Still there are two things to watch with this case.

First, will Google file a seperate claim against Microsoft so they can become a "party" and seek sanctions against Microsoft?

Second, if it is ruled that Motorola has infringed on Microsoft patents and Google's Android hardware partners have to pay royalties to Microsoft, would the $12.5 billion deal have been a bust?

source: Computerworld

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2 years ago

WPCentral is giving away a Windows Phone (Reminder)

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The clock is ticking on the WPCentral Windows Phone giveaway.  You've got a week 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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2 years ago

Android gets some Metro flava with updated Bing client

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Thankfully, Windows Phone "Mango" greatly enhances Bing on our devices (see video review), meaning we can be less jealous of the search service on competitors brands like the iPhone and even Android (with the latter always being more "meh"). Having said that, it's still nice to see Bing getting its due and in this case, Android just received a nicely new minted update to their Bing client.

It's an interesting design--not as polished as the iPhone/iPad version but it still has a certain flare to it. Less Metro, more style. Surprisingly, despite some of the anti-Microsoft pot shots that you would expect, users seem pretty impressed with it which goes to show you that on some level, Android and Windows Phone fans can agree on something.

Check our Phil's AndroidCentral video review of the client to see it in action after the break.

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2 years ago

Microsoft giving out Windows Phones to celebs: Blake Griffin edition

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Brandon Watson is persistent, we all know that. In his continued attempt to woo all potential-converts, especially those of a high celebrity profile, Watson is trying to get Windows Phones in the hands of those who can spread the word.

We've seen this before with CNet's Molly Wood and cartoonist Scott Adams and now basketball's Blake Griffin (of the LA Clippers) is the latest to be swayed. Complaining in a Tweet about his iPhone crashing, Brandon reached out to Griffin and his brother (the two are evidently close) in an attempt to get them to switch. Griffin has accepted the offer so we'll have to wait and see on what he thinks about it in a few weeks.

Our bet? We'll hear about how it doesn't have Words with Friends yet.

Source: Twitter; via Mobility Digest

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