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3 years ago

Kik Messenger coming to WP7 this month

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Kik Messenger coming to WP7 this month

We previously covered reports of Kik coming to the Windows Phone platform by the end of June. We can now confirm this with Twitter user @AmTheGuy queryring the Kik team for any updates on the development status and an ETA of arrival to the Marketplace. The response received was fairly positive (as shown above).

Kik - of course - has IM+ to indirectly contend with, but with the somewhat negative reception that IM+ has received (price upsetting some of our readers) Kik should be welcomed with open arms should the price tag be reasonable. After the break, check out the video play through of Kik below to refresh your memory of the demo at MIX '11.

Source: @AmTheGuy

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3 years ago

Video purportedly shows Toshiba TG01 (Tsunagi) running Windows Phone 7

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Remember the Toshiba TG01? It was one of the first 1GHz Windows Mobile devices on the market, sported a giant (at the time) 4.1" screen and eventually got Windows Mobile 6.5

Well, the above video with the odd format looks to be showing it running Windows Phone 7. As far as these videos goes, this one looks more real: nothing is plugged in, screen reaction looks accurate (not a video), it was recorded very recently (last 12 hrs) because the Zune Marketplace features Limp Bizkit (shudder) and we even see it pulling data. Official or a hack?

Explanation? Even though there was mention of a TG03 months ago, we're pretty sure this is one of the developer devices Microsoft uses for testing WP7 on and doesn't point to any pending release, Toshiba throwing their hat in the ring, or any other hopeful fantasies. In fact, a developer version of the TG01 has been spotted before in Microsoft's labs--see TechRadar from October 11, 2011. That's our take, at least.

Source: YouTube; Thanks, Steve B, for the tip!

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3 years ago

There's zombies on the lawn! Plants vs. Zombies now available on the Marketplace

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As the 6 Weeks of Must-Have Games draws near its end, Popcap’s Plants vs Zombies is finally available on the Marketplace.

Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defense game like no other. Zombies are invading the player’s home, and only a host of attack plants will fend them off. The variety of towers, err, plants at your disposal (49 in all!) is amazing and allows for all kinds of strategies. Adventure Mode’s 50 levels will take a fair while to plow through, but that’s only half the game. 19 unlockable minigames really do flesh out the package and keep the fun going. Even when you’re not playing, don’t be surprised if the catchy soundtrack (including a brilliant music video during the end credits) gets stuck in your head.

Plants vs. Zombies costs $4.99 on Windows Phone and there is a free trial. Harvest it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Bejeweled Live is the Xbox Live Deal of the week. Xbox 360 Bejeweled games on sale too

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It’s a very Popcap week on Xbox Live. Not only are all of Popcap’s Xbox 360 games on sale, but the Bejeweled Live is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week on Windows Phone. It’s on sale for $2.99 (the price it always should have been, many would say), down from $4.99.

Bejeweled is the classic match-3 puzzle game that has enchanted casual gamers across a variety of platforms. If you’re hungry for a simple puzzle game to play whenever a spare moment pops up, Bejeweled is a good place to look. As our review indicates, the Windows Phone version has three ways to play: Classic, Race the Clock, and Endless. It’s also got some tough Achievements despite being a casual title, but that’s Popcap for you. Don’t ask me about XBLA Zuma’s Achievements or we’ll be here all night.

Bejeweled Live is on sale for $2.99 for one week only. Grab it here on the Marketplace.

If you’d prefer some console Bejeweled action, both Xbox 360 versions are on sale too: the fast-paced and multiplayer-oriented Bejeweled Blitz Live for $2.50/200 Microsoft Points and regular old Bejeweled 2 for $5/400 Points. From a PC or Mac, you can purchase Blitz here and Bejeweled 2 here.

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3 years ago

Gartenberg experiences carrier anti-WP7 bias, 'Tattletale site making progress

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We've been covering the seeming anti-Windows Phone/Microsoft bias that local carrier stores have been exhibiting for awhile now--namely that sales reps are giving the shaft to WP7 and instead are pushing Android or the iPhone, sometimes even with falsehoods or misinformation.

To validate the issue further, tech-guru and Gartner industry analyst Michael Gartenberg has recently experienced this behavior first hand. From Twitter (1, 2):

"At VZW and ATT stores to compare plans, both steered me to iPhone and Android devices...In both stores when asked about #WP7 was told "you don't want that". In one instance was "corrected" & told it was called Windows Mobile"

Yikes. Seems it's not too hard to get a bad sell on Windows Phone these days, despite the promise of "Mango". In reaction, Apple guru John Gruber of 'Daring Fireball' fame, sympathetically noted "This sort of dismissive treatment can be devastating to a platform. This was the problem facing the Mac during the ’90s.". Indeed. There's a certain irony here.

However, there is some good news here, namely that all of this attention and the website Windows Phone Tattletale has perked Microsoft's ears. The creator of 'Tattletale, Robert McLaws. Tweeted this just recently: 

"Just had a fantastic conversation with someone at Microsoft about #wp7 #retailfail. Great things are happening. Stay tuned!"

Followed by

"By the way, Microsoft has heard all your reviews loud and clear. You *are* making a difference, so please, keep secret shopping!"

Perhaps Microsoft will start using some leverage on their carrier partners for better results? Clearly these aren't isolated cases, but signs of a larger problem that Microsoft will have to battle. At least the giant appears to be finally flinching. All we know is Microsoft better have a serious game plan for this fall and "Mango", after all, it deserves it.

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3 years ago

Drynks - App Spotlight

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Drynks - App Spotlight

Binary Red has released Drynks over at the Windows Phone Marketplace to help you catalog your adult beverages. The app lets you create a record of all your favorite wines, beers and liquors on your Windows Phone.

Does your girlfriend have a favorite wine or mixed drink that you don't always remember? Drynks will let your photograph the beverages label and enter the particulars about the beverage. On top of that, you can share your favorite beverages with your Facebook friends.

Wine tasters, keep a catalog of your favorite wines or to share your experiencs with friends. Regardless of the reasons, if you need to document your adult beverage experiences, Drynks is worth checking out. Drynks is a free, ad support application that you can find here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Nokia to launch WP7 October 26?

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Nokia to launch WP7 October 26?

Today Nokia announced announced that its annual Nokia World conference would be held on October 26-27 in London, leading many to to the conclusion that this will be when they kick off the launch of their WP7 phones.  However, there is nothing conclusive about the agenda, which includes two daily keynote addresses and an October 26 "To be announced."

What is known is that Nokia World has historically been where the Finnish phone maker makes big announcements.  At Nokia's N9 today at Communiasia in China, CEO Stephen Elop also lent credence to earlier rumblings that the WP7 devices would arrive in Q4 this year.  If this is indeed true, the October launch would make these Mango phones ripe for Christmas.  What better way to kick of the holiday season than by lifting your company out of the rubble?

Source: Nokia; Via: PCMag

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3 years ago

Change background colour in WP7 [How To]

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A good majority of us has been intrigued by the white background and black live tiles combination of themes, not to mention choosing the color scheme of your device by hex values instead of a limited (but aesthetically pleasing) list. Thankfully diaahussein and rmcgraw have come up with a sweet little guide (especially convenient for us newbies).

You will need an unlocked device (read up on our Chevron team coverage) and have a registry editor installed. This process involves altering system settings on your phone and WPCentral cannot (and will not) accept any responsibility or liability for devices that end up continuously displaying the following image when booting up:

Head on past the break for the steps and a video tutorial by Saijo from 1800PocketPC.

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3 years ago

Seesmic says bye-bye Blackberry

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Seesmic says bye-bye Blackberry

The title says it all.  The developers of Seesmic, quite possible the most versatile social media client, have decided that they will no longer support Blackberry.  As of June 30, they will focus on what they call their "most popular platforms: Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7."

This isn't terribly surprising, as RIM has fallen way behind in the race for smartphone greatness.  The market that was once overwhelmingly business-driven has gone the way of mass consumption, and Blackberry is not in a position to keep up.  Despite their push to develop apps to attract more multi-media heavy users and their recent Bing integration, it looks to be too little too late.

If you are a social media user (aka, a living, breathing human being) and you have not tried Seesmic, you should definitely check it out.

Source: Seesmic

 

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3 years ago

Safari in iOS5 outperforms IE9 in Mango (UPDATED)

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Remember a while back where we were rejoicing and taking smugness to a whole new level with IE9's hardware acceleration putting it in another dimension compared to other platforms in a HTML5 speed test? Well, it seems Apple have grown tired in copying Windows Phone 7 in terms of features to play catch up while ahead and have instead focused on toughening up their mobile web browser - Safari.

In the tests ran at MIX earlier this year, Windows Phone 7 achieved an FPS (frames per second) count of 25, compared to Android's 11 and 2 with iOS4. We are now seeing with iOS5 a significant improvement of around 28 FPS, which is great for Microsoft and developers for Windows when you think about the long-term potential impact. Apple hates Flash, Microsoft is adopting HTML5 and continued development into this technology from both sides to increase functionality and speed of both computers and mobile devices can only mean a healthier system and experience for developers end-users.

Although iOS may have the upper hand thus far, we must remember that WP7's benchmark was ran at MIX, let's see how IE9 runs at release later this year (it seemed pretty snappy in our Mango preview video).

There's two videos after the break, one of iOS 5 Safari in action (speed test) and the other of IE9 in the Mango preview (general use).

 Via: WinRumors

UPDATE: More data is coming in on this issue and it appears our first conclusion might have been premature. After running roughly 30 tests to determine the frames per second of IE9 (running on Mango), thenextweb has determined that IE9 runs no slower than 25fps and as high as 45fps. We'll keep an eye on things to see how all this shakes out.  If these numbers hold true, IE9 will easily be able to hold its own against iOS.

Thanks goes out to Babse and Brianna for tipping us on the updated info!

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3 years ago

"Mango" beta coming soon? [Updated]

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"Mango" beta coming soon? [Updated]

Neowin recently covered how they've learned from a number of reliable sources that Microsoft plan to release a beta of the next major installation of Windows Phone 7, codenamed "Mango", in the next few days (22nd/23rd June) to registered WP7 developers. While we were over-joy and full of excitement, especially after reading through our Daniel Rubino's hands on with his WP7.5 loaded Samsung Focus, we held off from reporting this news until further confirmation was obtained.

The Twitter account Windows Phone 8 has just tweeted (shown above) to WP7 developers to keep a watchful eye out for the "Mango" beta, which will be available soon. This lightly confirms what Neowin reported and Microsoft Addict was able to confirm with a 22nd release date too. So, are we excited? Let's see what the next few days bring us in terms of beta releases, if they arrive of course.

Source: Neowin, Microsoft Addict

Update: While it was exciting to think a Mango Beta would become availalble to developers this week, Brandon Watson has dashed those hopes with a single tweet.

He also tweets seperately that no developer devices will be released this week as well.  According to Brandon, Microsoft wants to focus on the press preview and consumer related features first. 

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3 years ago

Concur missing from WP7

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Concur missing from WP7

Concur, the company that specializes in travel management and expenditure, has still yet to enter into the Windows Phone Marketplace with an offering for businesses who have adopted the platform (Dell is a well established Concur client and provided their employees with free Venue Pro handsets).

What's more interesting is Trip-It was purchased by the company earlier this year, so one would hope for Concur to push forward with WP7 adoption (although we do already have a superb Trip-It app). With businesses relying on the services of Concur, one could make the assumption that should companies look at WP7 as an option for employees then they may find the platform switch impossible due to lack of support for their travel expense management.

Source: Concur, thanks sixsevenj for the tip!

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3 years ago

New version of Skydrive released

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New version of Skydrive released

Skydrive, Microsoft's cloud storage system, has recently been updated to add HTML5 support. It gives Skydrive a more user friendly interface that reminds me a lot of the Windows File Explorer. It lays everything out in a simple, straight forward fashion that anyone can pick up with ease.

Performance has also increased with focus on the following areas:

  • Improvement for many core tasks and scenarios. For example, clicking folders and navigating photo albums will go from 6-9 seconds down to 100-300 milliseconds, and we took advantage of hardware accelerated graphics to make it fast to click through photo slideshows. Additional core tasks will be enhanced with future updates.
  • Focus on building a site powered by HTML5 to allow the inclusion of advancements like HTML5 Video, CSS3, and client rendered experiences, as well as making sure our slide show experience was great in all browsers without any special software.
  • Evaluation and removal of anything that slowed the experience down or got in the way of a fast, clean site.
  • With Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7, you can pin SkyDrive to your taskbar for faster access to your files. You can create Word, Excel, or PowerPoint docs stored in the cloud in just one click.

Additionally, Microsoft made sure that the improvements were universal in that it doesn't matter which browser you're using. With this update, it appears that Microsoft focused on performance, navigation, and photo/video experiences.

While this update version of Skydrive won't really impact Windows Phones, we know that Skydrive integration will improve with the Mango update. To borrow a line from Microsoft blog, "this release represents the beginning of a lot of things we're (Microsoft) excited to bring you."  Things that we're excited to see.

You can find out more by visiting Skydrive.com

source: windowsteamblog Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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3 years ago

Security bug disables DropBox passwords

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The other day we mentioned an openly available tool, Dropbox Reader, that is designed to circumvent security measures on your DropBox account. We are now hearing that over the weekend, no tool was needed to access DropBox accounts.

For a brief period of time, users could log into accounts using any password. Just type in an email address and wing it with a password and you were in. DropBox has confirmed this breach and states it left everything vulnerable from 1:54pm PDT to 5:46pm PDT this past Sunday (06/19/2011). The fix only took five minutes to put into place once DropBox became aware of things.

In a statement on DropBox's blog, the cloud storage service reports,

"We’re conducting a thorough investigation of related activity to understand whether any accounts were improperly accessed. If we identify any specific instances of unusual activity, we’ll immediately notify the account owner. If you’re concerned about any activity that has occurred in your account, you can contact us atsecurity@dropbox.com.

This should never have happened. We are scrutinizing our controls and we will be implementing additional safeguards to prevent this from happening again."

If you're a DropBox client, you may want to check your account to see if any files were accessed during the time frame or have gone missing. Changing your password might not be a bad idea either.

Glitches in security happen but it sure does seem like DropBox has been snake bitten here lately. 

source: TechCrunch via: Gizmodo

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3 years ago

Bunker Buster - Review

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Bunker Buster - Review

Bunker Buster is a aerial bombing game for your Windows Phone that not only tests your bomb dropping skills but also your concentration. The multi-level game has you playing the role of not only the bomber's pilot but also the bombardier.

The game offers a wide variety of targets, terrain and aircraft. Throw in leaderboards, a handful of rewards, and comic styled graphics and Bunker Buster has the potential to be a welcomed addition to the Windows Phone gaming library.

To read more on Bunker Buster, fly on past the break.

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