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2 years ago

Skype definitely bringing video calling to Windows Phone, sooner than later

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Looks like Skype, now owned by Microsoft, is serious about bringing video calling over to Windows Phone. In a job advertisement put out by the company, they are looking to hire someone

"...for building and optimizing the Skype Video Engine solution for Microsoft Windows and Windows Phone platforms."

Video engine? That little bit should confirm our suspicions. Going further, it looks like they are planning on plenty of updates to keep that baby humming a long:

"You will be working with a small team of highly skilled development and testing professionals to deliver a new release of the Video Engine every 2 months."

Of course it should come as no real surprise that Microsoft and Skype would do this--we know "Mango" evidenlty allows front-facing cameras and since Microsoft now owns Skype, deep integration into the desktop, Xbox, embedded devices and of course Windows Phone should be expected. But, we're at least glad that Skype looks to have already started down this route and are looking for more help, hopefully to speed things up now that the aquisition has gone through.

Here's hoping to full video calling over Skype in late 2011 on our 4G Windows Phone, amirite?

Source: Skype Careers; Thanks, Juan A., for the tip!

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2 years ago

Signup for the file:recon beta

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Signup for the file:recon beta

We previously covered Pixel Valley developing a Windows Phone app that serves as an interface for Service Transfer Manager by Christof Rakowski, an addon for Windows Home Server 2011. Now they're in need of beta testers to use the app in a test environment to provide feedback, report bugs and ensure everything is 'tickety-boo'.

There are -- of course -- some requirements to be eligble for beta testing:

  • You're an owner or user of a Windows Home Server 2011 or Small Business Server 2011.
  • You have the Server Transfer-Manager addon installed on your WHS/SBS 2011.
  • Have a Windows Phone 7 handset in your possession that has access to the internet.
  • Willing (and able) to provide detailed feedback.

If you're up for it, send the team at Pixel Valley an email and set the wheels in motion.

Source: Pixel Valley

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2 years ago

Xbox Live: Cro-Mag Rally is now available.

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Xbox Live: Cro-Mag Rally is now available.

Cro-Mag Rally from hush-lipped Citizen 12 Studios has finally passed the finish line and is now available on the Marketplace.

Cro-Mag Rally enjoys the distinction of being the first Xbox Live kart racer on Microsoft’s mobile platform. Just because the game’s prehistoric doesn’t mean it’s light on content, as it’s got two playable drivers, multiple vehicles, and nine tracks to race through. These include such varied locations as The Great Wall of China and the lost city of Atlantis. Not only that, but there are lots of powerups with which to assault your fellow racers. Hey, they probably had it coming.

Cro-Mag Rally costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Stop over here (Zune link) at the Marketplace to get it.

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2 years ago

Designing a better Windows Phone search button

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We've heard our fair share of complaints about the capacitive buttons found on many Windows Phones, specifically that it's easy to accidentally touch one, throwing the user into a Bing search screen and usually killing whatever task was on hand. Samsung has tried to address this on the Focus with a firmware update--basically if you're actively touching the screen and you drag your finger, touching one of the capacitive buttons won't engage them.

Long Zheng of ChevronWP7 and Speedo Plus fame, has posted an ingenious method on his blog iStartedSomething that resembles "...the tap-and-hold gesture found on the desktop version of Windows" and for us, reminds us greatly of the Xbox Kinect's selection/confirmation method.

Zheng's method involves holding down the Search button, whereby a search icon overlays on the screen. While holding the button, you wait 1.5 seconds for the circle to complete its animation thereby launches Bing. If the user takes their finger off before the animation is complete, nothing happens. Zheng correctly notes that this will add a nice buffer between the user and the device, insuring less accidental hits. One could also imagine this as an option under Settings, much like Search button via Lock Screen in Mango.

We think it's a pretty brilliant idea that can be easily implemented on current devices. You folks?

Source: iStartedSomething

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2 years ago

Rise of Glory version 1.2 update no longer MIA, repairs broken Achievements

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Since its release in December 2010, Revo Solutions’ Rise of Glory has been plagued by no less than three broken Xbox Live Achievements. The developer tells us that they submitted an update to correct the broken Achievements months ago, but for some reason it just wasn’t getting published…

Until now! That’s right, the Rise of Glory version 1.2 update has gone live at last. The update’s only changes are fixing the 500, 1,000, and 10,000 kill Achievements. But hey, that’s what needed fixin’, so this is great news.

We’ve also learned that Rise of Glory will receive a more significant update sometime after Mango rolls around. Sounds like the lengthy update delays haven’t caused Revo Solutions to give up on their WWI-era flight sim just yet.

Rise of Glory costs $2.99 and there is free trial. Fly over here (Zune link) on the Marketplace to pick it up. Don’t forget to read our full review too!

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2 years ago

Toshiba is breaking up with Fujitsu

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Toshiba is breaking up with Fujitsu

While not earth shattering news, it's worth mentioning that the honeymoon between Toshiba and Fujitsu appears to be over, with Toshiba packing up and going home. This as both companies are on the cusp of launching the imaginative and unique IS12T running Windows Phone "Mango". While that launch will of course go forward, what this means is that for 2012, Fujitsu is preparing to buy out Toshiba's nearly 20% stake in the joint venture, going solo afterwards.

Here in the West, this won't really mean too much as Fujitsu will still carry on and they are even reportedly doing pretty well. At least for bloggers and tech journalists, we can save a few keystrokes in the future instead of having to write Toshiba-Fujitsu every time. Yay.

Source: 47News; via Engadget

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2 years ago

Tentacles too tough - fix on the way

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Tentacles too tough - fix on the way

Like many of you, we here at WPCentral were excited about Windows Phone-exclusive Xbox Live game Tentacles prior to its release. Press Play’s follow-up to Max and the Magic Marker shows all the creativity we would expect from them, with a control method that’s unlike any other game, ever.

But if you actually play the game and get farther into it, you may notice something seems a bit off… Namely, this game is hard! I mean Ninja Gaiden, put your groin into a vice grip and spin the handle hard. The latter half of the game is just tortuous rather than fun. Every little mistake results in the death of Lemmy, the tentacled hero. Levels win which currents push Lemmy into spikes are particularly frustrating. A small percentage of gamers (masochists, I call them) prefer games to be uber-challenging, but most don’t – especially on mobile phones. Why should Tentacles be this tough?

As it turns out, the developers hold no animosity toward gamers. According to Ole Teglbjærg, the game's director:

...We probably underestimated the difficulty a bit.... When we saw how few [players] actually made it through the game, we decided that it would be silly not to have more people enjoy the later levels and bosses, that we have put so much effort into creating.

Press Play has informed us that a future update will address Tentacles’ challenge in a couple of ways:

Easy mode: We have made an easy mode, which basically lets Lemmy take more damage without dying. At the same time we really back the idea that achievements should be earned and not be too easy to get. So when you play in easy mode, you will not get the “No Death” star at the end of the level. So if you want all the achievements, you still need to be hardcore.
Furthermore we polished a few problematic areas and tweaked here and there – see if you can find them!!!

It's great to see them taking steps to extend the game's appeal to a wider audience, because the game has a lot to love – when it’s not trying to break players’ spirits. Locking a couple of the Achievements out of Easy mode is not so great, but maybe those extra refinements they mention will reduce the frustration for Achievement hunters too. We’re willing to give Press Play the benefit of a doubt, so we’ll hold off on our review until the update lands.

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2 years ago

ilomilo is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Yay!

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ilomilo is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Yay!

Ready for an awesome Deal of the Week? ilomilo is on sale for $2.99, down from $4.99.

ilomilo is a fantastic portable adaptation of the hit XBLA game. It stars two friends, ilo and milo, who are averse to capitalization but love playing together. After playing every day, they go home, only to find that the next day, the world has rearranged itself, preventing them from being together. Thus the object of every level is to find each other (while perhaps finding some secrets along the way).

As our review notes, there is no way to die in this game. It’s all about finding your way around, which is challenging enough on its own since the protagonists can walk on all six sides of the cuboid levels. ilomilo remains of the most beautiful games on the platform, with catchy music and great touch-screen controls to boot.

AT&T users who purchased their Windows Phones prior to December 31 got ilomilo for free. Since the start of 2011 it has been available to everyone for $4.99. South End Interactive, the developers, even added 23 new levels to make it a better purchase.

ilomilo is on sale for $2.99 for one week only. To help ilo and milo reunite, head over here (Zune link) to the Marketplace.

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2 years ago

Space Weather--the app for Windows Phone we wish we had a use for

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Not gonna lie, we have no need for Space Weather by TechnoTim. But some of us here are science geeks and we're in awe of how cool it is---come on, it's called Space Weather! So what is it, you ask?

"Space weather is the concept of changing environmental conditions in near-Earth space or the space from the Sun's atmosphere to the Earth's atmosphere. Space weather affects our planet, our technology, and all living things in many different ways. Solar flares, geomagnetic storms, and solar radiation are a few ways space weather can wreak havoc on the earth. It can also create beautiful auroras can that be seen near the poles and sometimes much further."

In other words, it's great for folks into astronomy, atmospheric science or anyone who's just interested in cool "stuff". It's also pretty nice looking and has a lot of features, many of which we have no idea what they mean but darn it, we want to know, which is a step in the right direction, no? The app fetches for $1.99 (here in the Marketplace) and our one complaint: no trial. We'll keep an eye on this one though as it has certainly piqued our curiosity.

Update: The developer let us know he'll be adding a "Trial" in a later version. We'll keep you posted.

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2 years ago

Shake it, Make it: It's what's for dinner

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2 years ago

Supertube update in the pipeline, adding desktop sync

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Supertube update in the pipeline, adding desktop sync

Supertube is a popular Windows Phone app that is slated for an update. The YouTube client is moving to version 1.8 will add the ability to sync videos downloaded to your PC with your Windows Phone.

Supertube allows you to stream and download Youtube videos in HQ and HD over 3G and WiFi. The app lays everything out nicely taking full advantage of the Windows Phone Metro design. Pages include a Category page to filter video suggestions, Search page, Hot Videos page (from your categories), Subscriptions and Favorites pages (from your YouTube account) and a Download Page detailing all your downloads.

To sync videos downloaded to your PC, you will need to install a client program to your computer that is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7. You can find the client program here along with installation/set-up documentation.

Additional features already in place with the current version of Supertube include:

  • YouTube Account support to view, edit subscriptions and favorites.
  • Nearby Video feature that will map out videos uploaded near your location.
  • Custom background. Hub History can be hidden or displayed.
  • Share videos through Facebook, Twitter, SMS and Email.
  • Multi-language support.

In giving the updated version of Supertube a short test drive, we found it to be a quality Windows Phone app for viewing and accessing YouTube. We'd easily rate it a 7.5 as a very good app for your Windows Phone.

The update has been submitted to the Marketplace for certification and should be distributed any day now.  In the meantime, if you haven't given Supertube a try, the YouTube app comes in two versions.

Supertube Lite is a free, ad-supported version and lacks the ability to download videos or sync with your PC.

Supertube is a paid, ad-free version that will run you $1.29 and has a free trial version. You can find the paid version of Supertube here and Supertube Lite here (both links opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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2 years ago

Sea Ray not to be in attendance at Gamescom event

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Looks like the possibility of Nokia and Microsoft showing off a new Windows Phone at Gamescom is fading with the sunset. We first caught wind of a Nokia/Microsoft event scheduled for August 17, 2011 at Gamescom. With promises of exciting actions and surprises, we all hoped to see the Sea Ray in action.

The Seattle PI has reached out to Nokia and they clarified the event a little. Nick Eaton reporting writes,

"Nokia finally got back to me. Spokeswoman Marianne Holmlund said the event is a local business-to-businesses event organized by Nokia’s Germany arm. “The ‘save the date’ is misleading,” she wrote."

Nokia will be raffling off Windows Phones but you'll have to wait until they are available to claim your prize.  So while Mango is steaming right along, it appears Nokia is holding tight on the Q4 shipping projection. We'll still keep an eye on Gamescom just in case things change.

via: Liveside.net source: Seattle PI

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2 years ago

DC Comics gets updated

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DC Comics gets updated

DC Comics hit the Windows Phone Marketplace towards the latter part of June, received it's first update on July 2, 2011 and one month later has been updated yet again. With no change log posted, we can only assume the updates address the stability and download issues present with the comic book app.

DC Comics is still a fantastic looking application that delivers titles such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern to your Windows Phone. You still have free and paid (about $1.99 an issue) comics you can download. As well as the ability to order print versions from the Windows Phone app.

But, based on the comments on our original post and over at the Marketplace DC Comics had a tendency to crash and deliver incomplete downloads. While the comics are impressive, receiving half a comic or having the app crash in mid-sentence is never a good thing.

We've downloaded to updated version (v1.2) to see if the stability and download issues are still around. If you're a regular patron of DC Comics, do you see a difference with the update?

DC Comics is a free app over at the Marketplace and you can download the updated version here (opens Zune).

Thanks goes out to Shipwreck for the tip!

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2 years ago

IS12T updated to RTM build, adds system info

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The Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T handset, which is to be released this year in Japan, has been updated to RTM build (7720) of Windows Phone "Mango". Previously the device had been reporting 7716.WM7_Main as the OS and NA for name, model and carrier fields. If you glance at the photo above, you'll see "FujitsuToshibaMobileCommun IS12T" has populated the missing labels, with KDDI for carrier and "Windows Phone Mango RTM" for OS.

Source: Nanapho.jp, thanks tezawaly for the tip!

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2 years ago

gMaps hits v1.10 and gets real good

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gMaps hits v1.10 and gets real good

Speaking of Google apps, gMaps (free) and gMaps Pro ($1.99) are fairly popular unofficial Google Maps applications that have been around for awhile. Version 1.10 just hit the Marketplace and as with each version, it keeps getting better and better--so good in fact, we're ready to give it a big thumbs up.

The latest version gets some theme support (uses your accent color), zoom buttons, geo-location info for any object and a few other tidying up features.

We like it for the alternate view to Bing maps, the traffic info (including "follow me" for tracking) and the layers for viewing (street, hybrid, physical, water-overlay, satellite). The ability to "screen shot" the map to send to others is pretty smart and if you're in the city like us, the public transport layer is quite handy for finding that subway.

So if you're looking for one of the best non-official Google Maps out there, here you go. Free version is here in the Marketplace and the $1.99 ad-free version is here.

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