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2 years ago

Core77 hosts "Fast Track to the Mobile App Contest" for aspiring designers

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Core77, an industrial design and development magazine out of New York City, has teamed up with the Windows Phone 7 people at Microsoft to host a new contest for the WP7 developer community. It's targetted at young and aspiring designers that are looking to get their portfolio moving, show off their design skills and even get their app ideas developed by those experienced with the platform.

The contest, called Fast Track to the Mobile App, beckons app designers from all walks of life and regions to put their skills to the test and compete for some pretty decent prizes. 130 winners of the contest will win prizes that include:

  • Free Windows Phones
  • XBox 360 (with Kinect)
  • 1-year App-Hub subscriptions
  • App Development Deal (with revenue sharing options) to bring your design to life

For developers and designers that are already well established in the field, this might not be the best contest to look into. But if you have ideas for an app and can design one to look better than other entries, you could win some pretty cool stuff, not to mention get an app put in the catalog with your name on it. Want more details? Hit the link below to get the full scoop on how to enter, and win, this contest.

Source: Core77 Contest Details

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2 years ago

Rising from the ashes, the Zune HD still lives?

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You've got to wonder if Mark Twain had the Zune HD in mind when he said, "The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated".  Yep, that's right.  It looks as if the Zune HD is still kicking.

Remember yesterday when we shared the Zune HD support page that said the devices were no longer in production? Where Microsoft would continue to honor warranties and support the devices but were focusing on the Windows Phone as their mobile music and video devices? Well that page is now gone.

You also have a tweet from @ZuneSupport stating that support page was added in error. Just as pulling the Zune HD from sales channels was a publishing mishap?

We still believe that Microsoft will end production of the Zune players. Microsoft may just need a bigger boat to pull the Zune HD off the market. Either that or get the Zune Team all on the same page the next time they report the unfortunate death of the Zune HD to avoid a trilogy.

via: @WP_DownUnder/WP Down Under

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2 years ago

Sonic 4 is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

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Sonic 4 is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

Last week was a fantastic week for Xbox Live game deals, as four different games went on sale. This week we’re back to a single sale game, but it’s a good one: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I from Sega. Sonic’s first Windows Phone title will be on sale for $4.99, down from $6.99.

2010’s Sonic 4 was the first proper 2D Sonic game to hit consoles since Sonic & Knuckles all the way back in 1994. The Windows Phone port is extremely faithful to its Xbox 360 older brother, with 90% of the same content. The mobile versions of the game replace two console levels with new ones (one of which is rather weak, but oh well). Most importantly, Sonic 4’s touch screen controls work really well, making for a fine platforming experience. Check out our review for more details.

Picking up Sonic 4 on the cheap is a great way to prepare for the mobile version of Sonic CD. One of the finest games in the series, Sonic CD is dashing its way to Windows Phone and consoles later this year.

The Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I sale lasts for one week only. Grab it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

UPDATE: The game mistakenly showed up at the super-low price of $2.99 for part of Wednesday. It has since returned to the $4.99 price. Thanks to Dark Jedi I Am and the other readers who tipped us.

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2 years ago

Don't get your hopes up for a new Xbox Live game this week

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This week’s Xbox Live release is a repeat of August 24’s release. How can that be? Why, there simply won’t be a new Xbox Live game this week. For those keeping score, that marks the second time this year there hasn’t been a Live release, or the third if we count the week Twin Blades got re-released.

It shall now become my tradition whenever this happens to openly ask: where are Shao-Lin’s Road and Time Pilot? Both of Konami’s Game Room titles have been complete since the beginning of the year, which we know because they’re simple arcade ROMs that were demoed at CES and whose Achievements have long been public. Maybe Microsoft picked up on our Game Room fatigue when they pushed four such titles out in a month’s time, but that was then. This is now! And surely we can all agree that some game, even one that predates many of our readers’ births, is better than no new release.

Maybe next week's game will be extra special, just to make up for this week.

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2 years ago

iPhone 4S Versus Windows Phone 7: Round One, Fight!

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Apple announced the iPhone 4S today, which millions of hipsters and fruit fanatics will be lining up to purchase on October 14. Does the new iPhone threaten to stall Windows Phone’s rise to the smartphone big leagues? In some ways, yes. Whenever the competition rolls out a new product line, that’s always cause for concern. In the following editorial I’ll spell out the different areas that Apple has me worried. Just don’t forget that I absolutely love Windows Phone and I’d sooner give up one of Rich Edmond's kidneys than live without it.

Head past the break to find out in which areas the iPhone 4S may have current Windows Phones beaten.

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2 years ago

Kendrick Lamar and Windows Phone [Video]

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Kendrick Lamar is a 24-year old musician from Compton, California, and the above video runs us through how Windows Phone aids him produce lyrics and melody ideas wherever he may be using Pocket Voice Recorder. Not only does he use the platform for creating music, but he opens up his album on Zune to listen to his tracks. 

Neat advertising and a cool story. 10 points and a brownie badge if you can spot the WPCentral app on the Marketplace in the video.

Source: YouTube (Microsoft), thanks David for the heads up!

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2 years ago

Plex Lite - App Spotlight

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Plex Lite - App Spotlight

Plex Lite has recently been unleashed on the Windows Phone Marketplace and is the free version of the popular game Plex. Plex Lite has access to all twenty-four levels of the Adventure Mode but lacks the Survival Mode which is found on the paid version.

Plex Lite has you clearing tiles off a 3D sphere by placing matching tiles on top of existing tiles of the same design. There are bonus tiles that appear along the way to help you with the adventure. Each level must be cleared within a certain time limit and the faster you clear the sphere, the higher your score.

The game screen has your placement tile displayed in the upper right corner, rotation arrows to turn your sphere in the bottom right and your timer (the blue bar) along the left side. You'll have to rotate the sphere until the spot where you want to place the new tile is highlighted in the center of the screen. Once that is accomplished, tap the screen and the new tile drops.

Plex Lite is just addictive as the paid version and worth a try. Plex Lite is ad supported but only on the transition screens. The game screen is ad free.

You can find Plex Lite over here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace. You can also find Plex here at the Web Marketplace for $.99.

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2 years ago

Ballmer's bonus suffers because of slow WP7 sales

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Microsoft's latest regulatory filing shows that Steve Ballmer received a bonus of $682,500, which is the same amount of money he draws for a salary as CEO.  While many of us would love to see a 100% bonus, the amount is actually only half of what he is capable of earning.  The filing indicates that the reasons behind the low bonus were stagnant Windows Phone sales and "the need for further progress in new form factors."

Ballmer himself admitted that sales of Windows Phone were not where he would have liked them to be, but with the recent rollout of Mango and Nokia's first WP7 handsets on the verge of making their way to the market, that could all change.  As for "new form factors," who saw their sales drop 2%, we've seen a glimpse of the future and the future is looking pretty good.  The upside to Ballmer's review is that Kinect was a huge success, Office 365 is taking off and Bing has increased its share of the search engine market to 27%.  One thing is for sure, Ballmer, who is the world's 33rd richest person in the world, can spare the the $682,500 that he missed out on this bonus period.

Source: SmartHouse

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2 years ago

The competition: iPhone 4S announced

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Apple has announced the iPhone 4S today at the Let's Talk iPhone event with Tim Cook at the helm. So, what's new with the iPhone 4S? Is it a game changer or simply a fill in for the iPhone 5? For a start I'm afraid we do have a killer app here. Unfortunately it's not currently available for Windows Phone (or any other platform) - Cards. Yes, you read correctly. Cards. More on this in a minute.

Comparatively, what has Microsoft and the WP team achieved in the past month? Mango (with 500 features), as well as new handsets announced from Samsung, HTC, Nokia to name just a few. How does the iPhone 4S measure up?  Read on past the break and see what's in store for the iPhone crowd and judge for yourself. 

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2 years ago

HTC Radar & Titan shipping at Phones4u

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It seems HTC and Phone4u have decided to jump the gun and release the HTC Titan and Radar earlier than what was stated as the release date - possibly to combat the iPhone. The two handsets were originally said to be available October 7th for ordering via the UK retailer website, which we found aberrant as the devices are readily available in stores.

One can find both the Titan and the Radar ready for order and shipping on the Phones4u website, or you can check into your local store for a more hands-on purchase. Contracts are available with the cheapest being Orange with the Radar at £23.50/mo and Vodafone with the Titan at £31/mo.

Thanks Ross for the tip!

Update: Our tipster just confirmed the purchase of an HTC Titan from Phones4u.  He did share this pic of his new phone before relegating it to the charger.

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2 years ago

Minesweeper - Review

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Minesweeper - Review

Minesweeper as we know it was created in 1990 and has been bundled with every new version of Windows since 1992. The mobile Xbox Live version, developed by Babaroga and published by Microsoft, is one of the first two free ad-supported games for Xbox Live and the first to be available in regions outside of North America. This game shares much in common with its fellow free game Sudoku, though the actual gameplay is completely different, with a much higher learning curve. Get past that and you’ll find an enjoyable logic puzzle game.

Step carefully over the mines and past the break for our full review.

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2 years ago

Implode: Xbox Windows Phone Review

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Implode: Xbox Windows Phone Review

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing three mobile Xbox Live physics puzzlers so far: iBlast Moki, Tiki Towers, and Enigmo. Now that IUGO’s popular Implode! has come to the Windows Phone, could the genre be getting too crowded for its own good? That depends on how much you like a cerebral challenge. After braving Implode!’s vast quantity of levels, I’m pleased to report that my brain has yet to be tapped out. More importantly, Implode! is good enough and different enough to justify its place on the platform.

Put on your hard hat and head past the break for our full review.

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2 years ago

Gravity Guy - Review

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Gravity Guy - Review

There are many different approaches to adapting traditional genres to mobile platforms. Take platformers, for example. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 brings an Xbox 360 title to Windows Phone with touch-screen controls. I love the game, but some people either can’t or don’t want to adapt to touch-screen controls. Doodle Jump, designed purely for mobile phones, simply relies on tilt-control to steer its ever-jumping hero from platform to platform. Gravity Guy from Miniclip falls somewhere between the two extremes.

Flip past the break for our full review.

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2 years ago

Collapse! - Xbox Windows Phone Review

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Collapse! - Xbox Windows Phone Review

How much do Xbox Live Achievements affect your enjoyment of a game? The best Achievements enhance the gameplay experience, simultaneously rewarding progress and encouraging players to experience the game in new ways. Sometimes we see games whose Achievement difficulty doesn’t match their casual nature – Doodle Jump and Harbor Master to name only two. There are also poor games whose only redeeming value is the easiness of their Achievements (hello, Butterfly!). And then comes Collapse! from GameHouse. A good game with easy Achievements, but there is such a thing as too easy.

Head past the jump for our full review.

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2 years ago

Tower Bloxx: New York - Xbox Windows Phone Review

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Tower Bloxx: New York - Xbox Windows Phone Review

After the huge disappointment of 3D Brick Breaker Revolution from Digital Chocolate, I wasn’t exactly eager to play any more of their games. That title sported an awful 3D graphics engine, poor controls, and overly difficult gameplay and Achievements. Surprisingly, Digital Chocolate’s other Xbox Live title, Tower Bloxx: New York is far less offensive. It’s still nothing special, but fans of casual games may enjoy it.

Climb the stairs past the break for our full review.

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