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3 years ago

New Xbox LIVE games in the Marketplace: Zombies!!! and Brain Challenge HD

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Sure, we hit 6,000 apps tonight in the Marketplace, but what's a Tues/Wed day without some Xbox LIVE goodness? Tonight, two pretty solid titles have hit the streets: Zombies!!! by MGS and Brian Challenge HD, another welcomed Gameloft production.

Brain Games HD is one of them there "smart apps" that are suppose to be entertaining as well as exercising your noggin'. It features 43 mini-games and should provide quite a few hours of frustrating and yet rewarding game play. But, will you force yourself to do it every day? That's the question. Personally, we always dug these games, when done right. We're not yet sure with this, plus the "HD" thing...well, it's getting old.

Zombies!!! is a deep, meta-exploration into the meaning of nothingness, based on the writings of famed philosopher Nietzsche. Nah, just kiddin', it's a game where you have to kill what is already dead, like a million times over. Oh and it's got killer lookin' graphics. Check here for our earlier coverage plus video.

Both titles fetch for $4.99, which is on the high-end these days, and can be found here (Zombies) and here (Brain...) in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

How to provide Microsoft feedback about WP7?

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There is an app on the Marketplace dedicated to this task - but what is the most effective way to channel your feedback to Microsoft about Windows Phone 7?

Being queried by an email from Robert N, Paul Thurrott decided to direct the question at Microsoft directly. Since they have a dedicated section on their mammoth of a website for Windows 7 feedback, there isn't a strong argument as to why they don't have something similar for their latest mobile product.

Instead of one place to allow easier digestion and storage of feedback from a growing user base, Microsoft have a few ways available to get in touch with them and voice your opinion(s). Paul listed these locations as Microsoft Answers, Windows Phone Backstage Forum, Facebook, and Twitter.

Although many of us would prefer a single location, the above alternatives aren't so bad at all. Activity seems to be relatively high on their Facebook and Twitter, however, this does not provide the correct platform that is required for Microsoft to engage with their users. Hopefully, this will be fixed sooner rather than later, since WP7 is at the early stage of deployment where there is a huge amount of feedback available.

Source: Windows Phone Secrets

 

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3 years ago

Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 OS released

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Way back in June, we told you that Microsoft was developing a new OS designed specifically for enterprise hardware, like pricing and inventory scanners, like the Motorola/Sprint ES400S.  Yesterday, MS made it officially available for use.  As the name implies, Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 is built on the Windows Mobile 6.5 platform and "can take advantage of multiple screen sizes and input methods, peripherals to extend device capabilities and multiple connectivity options."  It is already set to be used on products by Motorola, Intermec and Honeywell.

MS started with version 6.5 to give its customers a clear upgrade path from the current software, to Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, to a newer version of the OS that will be based on Windows Phone 7.  While official support for version 6.5 will last up into 2014, the newer WP7-based OS is due out in the second half of 2011, according to the big guy himself, Steve Ballmer.

Source: Microsoft

 

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3 years ago

"Remote" lets you control iTunes using WP7

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On the off chance you are a WP7 user who loves iTunes, you can now have your cake and eat it too...kinda.  "Remote," an aptly-named new app by Komodex Systems, let's you browse your computer's iTunes Library and let's you play, pause and control the volume via WiFi.  You can also use your phone's keyboard to search for albums and artists. 

"Remote" recently popped up in the Marketplace for $1.99 and requires WiFi and the installation of a desktop client on the computer you want to control.  It works with both Macs and PCs. Of course we have to wonder what kind of commie you would be to run iTunes over Zune, but hey...we're accepting around here. Kinda.

Source: Zat's Not Funny; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

HTC Surround broken down - MicroSD card revealed

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iFixit has a healthy reputation for tearing down electronic devices to reveal what's under the hood. They recently turned their sights on the HTC Surround.

In removing the lower inner casing, you can see various pressure contacts, the SIM Card slot and a foiled covered microSD expansion slot that we had suspected was present. Peel back the foil and you see the Sandisk 16gb card nestled securely in the expansion card slot.

The tear down also confirmed our overall impression of the HTC Surround.  It's a well built, solid Windows Phone.  The slide mechanism is solid and the compact, layered, hardware helps keep things slimmed down.  Commenting on the tear down of the Surround, iFixit made the following conclusion.

We gave the HTC Surround a mid-pack repairability score of 5 out of 10. It's relatively easy to remove the rear case to replace the battery, but that's where the fun stops. You'll have to void your warranty to take anything else out, and it's very difficult to access the front panel and LCD if you'd like to replace it.

So while it's interesting to see what the Surround looks like broken down, it's nothing we'd recommend doing. It is nice to see the microSD card slot revealed. While it's tempting to see if a larger card would work, we'll stick with our original thought. If HTC wanted us to have access to the slot, they would have made it easier to get to.

Source: iFixit

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3 years ago

Dell Venue Pro delayed, (sigh), again in the UK

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It seems that reporting on delays of the Dell Venue Pro is quickly becoming one of our favorite pastimes.   It's not that we enjoy reporting about them, but rather that the delays with the Dell Windows Phone have been so frequent. 

Well, once again, word is that the device will be delayed further in the UK. 

Though the device was expected to be available first thing in 2011, Clove reports that it won't be happening until sometime in mid-February (we can only hope).  They say that the hold up is something to do with a Microsoft MMS issue.  The Venue Pro, which is currently the only Windows Phone in the UK with a vertical slide-out QWERTY keyboard, was orignally announced back in October of 2010.

Source: Clove Via: PocketNow

 

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3 years ago

ArkWords: dictionary, thesaurus and translator for Windows Phone 7 [Video]

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ArkWords is  a great little app by Arktronic that features not only a great dictionary and thesaurus but an impressive, multi-language translator. In addition, it has a swanky Live Tile that updates every morning with the WOT (word of the day).

The app is superbly built with a very minimalist and fluid UI. Plus it's free, so there's little reason to not give it a shot. And now that the Live Tile has been fixed in v1.1, all seems right with the app and gets our strong recommendation.

Grab it here in the Marketplace and go here for the developer's blog.

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3 years ago

NewEgg offering select Windows Phones for free on contract

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What, was one penny too much for you? Or perhaps like us, you live in New York and have to pay Amazon Wireless sales tax (but not for NewEgg) and you just like their deal better.

Whatever your reason, NewEgg, hands down one of our favorite online retailers, is offering select AT&T Windows Phone on contract for free. Zip. Nada. Nothing. You even have your choice of plans, including the low AT&T 450 minute version (sometimes place like WalMart try to force you up to the higher 900 minute plan).

Phones included in the deal (these are the actual links): the Samsung Focus, LG Quantum and yes, the HTC Surround. Sounds like a good deal, but like all things, read the fine print.

Source: NewEgg; Thanks, jaethos, for the tip!

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3 years ago

AdDuplex helps people help people bug people for money

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A new advertisement exchange service, called AdDuplex, has recently surfaced.  Its purpose is to help fledgling developers get word of their applications out to Marketplace users.  Here's how it works: a developer creates ads an AdDuplex control to their application and includes an ad for their own product.  That control then begins to display ads from AdDuplex's network of clients, including the developer's and AdDuplex iteself.

Basically "Help other developers promote their apps and they’ll promote yours."

The more users of the service, the more the word spreads.  Think of it like an advertising pyramid scheme, without the shadiness.  The service is free, and if a developer later decides that they want to include advertisements from another source, AdDuplex allows them to do so, though it looks like AdDuplex’s network of ads remains.

Despite the snarky headline, we think it’s actually a pretty inventive way for developers to help each other get their products out there. Sign up for free here.

Source: AdDuplex

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3 years ago

HTC's bootloader (SPL) for Windows Phone 7

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Here's something familiar to all of those who have loaded custom ROMs on their Window Mobile phones. The old SPL (bootloader) screen used to get the device in a flash-ready state. Guess we could have assumed it was there on WP7, but we weren't 100% sure either.

What's it doing here? Custom ROM? Nope, unfortunately the owner, Sam Gibbs had this happen to his HTC device and he's not too sure why it happened. We're not sure either, we're just a bit surprised to see it there. Corrupted SD memory? Hopefully he's able to recover from it, otherwise we're looking at HTC to replace.

Source: @_samgibbs

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3 years ago

Microsoft pushing WP7 at National Retail Federation convention

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In less exciting news, but still important, Microsoft is pushing the benefits and power of Windows Phone 7 for the retail and hospitality market--a large swath of potential business, including retail stores, grocery markets, shopping centers and more.

Microsoft will be appearing at the National Retail Federation’s 100th Annual Convention & Expo, demonstrating numerous apps to potential customers:

The demonstrations will showcase how Windows 7 enhances connected store, customer and operations experiences on the desktop as well as via an array of mobile and in-store devices, including smartphones, point-of-sale (POS) devices, self-service transactional kiosks, and informational kiosks, including digital signage.

For example, a retail customer’s connected experience is enhanced through the mobile shopping experience enabled by Windows Phone 7, as well as through engagement with Windows 7-based touch-enabled devices in stores.

One real life example they give is the app Tesco Real Food, available now in the Marketplace. The app is by retail giant Tesco, who have over 5,000 stores worldwide. The app is a mobile extension of the Tesco Real Food website for recipes, so nothing too exciting.  While some of this is boring and dry, it's these connections and technology demonstrations that gets Microsoft into stores, personalized apps for unique shopping experiences and basically noticed, so we're all for it.

Source: GoMo News

For example, a retail customer’s connected experience is enhanced through the mobile shopping experience enabled by Windows Phone 7, as well as through engagement with Windows 7-based touch-enabled devices in stores.
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3 years ago

Deploy XAP or Unlock without running Zune software [Homebrew]

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For those of us who like to sideload Homebrew apps on our Windows Phone, the process can be a little tedious e.g. your phone re-locks often, having to run the Zune software, etc.

The latter piece though can be avoided, that is you don't have to run the Zune Desktop just to sideload a XAP file or even unlock your device (using ChevronWP7). XDA member xbodmod has described a way to just run the "connect" part without Zune, making the process much more streamlined. The process is fairly simple:

  • Disable Zune auto-start (Zune --> Settings --> Software--> General --> "Start the Zune software..."
  • Create a shortcut to desktop from C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v7.0\Tools\WPConnect\WPConnect.exe
  • Plug in phone

That's it. Just running WPConnect.exe and allowing it load for a second does the job and now you can run Tom's XAP installer, ChevronWP7, etc. We like simplicity around here.

Update: @adamUCF lets us know that Microsoft themselves have described this exact method, so credit to them first.

Source: XDA, MSDN

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 7 speed update demoed on video

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The other day, we mentioned about CNet's experience with the upcoming "NoDo" update, specifically the performance increase when loading locally stored, graphic-intensive apps.

Improvements ranged from a few to 20 seconds for something like Bejewled. Now Anadtech has posted a video basically showing the same thing described by CNet and seeing is believing. While not all apps benefit, clearly the bigger ones like Ilomilo will. Currently, some games do take awhile to load but we're not exactly complaining, so any improvement is icing for us. You?

Source: Anandtech; via: wmpoweruser

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3 years ago

Halfbrick’s Phil Larsen on Fruit Ninja and Windows Phone 7: "it’s done really well so far"

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In a somewhat interesting interview with Phil Larsen, Marketing Director with HalfBrick who made the popular Fruit Ninja, goes over how they hooked up with Microsoft to port that game over to Windows Phone 7.

In short, Microsoft wants to compete with the iPhone and bringing Fruit Ninja over was part of that strategy. HalfBrick was more than glad to do it and plan to bring their other games over as well, with time and resources being the only constraints.  Overall the company seems to have had a positive experience with Microsoft and seeing as Fruit Ninja is near the top for Xbox LIVE games, it seems the decision has paid off, literally:

How did the Windows Phone 7 port come about?

Phil Larsen: We’ve got contacts at Microsoft, and as they were launching Windows Phone 7 they wanted it to compete with the iPhone – it’s the next big mobile platform. We like what Microsoft does, and we were happy to port Fruit Ninja to it. We’ve got a team here that handles that kind of thing.

We brought it over, and we provided a bunch of good assets and information. It was released on December 22nd, so it’s only a couple of weeks old, and it’s done really well so far. It’s the number-one selling game on Windows Phone 7.

They did mention how doing an Xbox LIVE game is more work than the iPhone. The former requires you to work and go back and forth with Microsoft, who manage that aspect of gaming, whereas on the iPhone you just submit it to Apple. Still, despite that they had very little issues with the process.

Read the rest at VG247.

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3 years ago

70 HQ Wallpapers for Windows Phone in one file [Tip]

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User VanSoaked at DevianArt has gathered together a nice collection of over 70 high quality wallpapers, specifically cropped for your Windows Phone's lock screen.

Most of the pics fall into the buildings/scenery camp, so no babes on cars, Calvin's peeing on...things, sports or superheros. But they are certainly high resolution, have no color banding and look great on your adult phone (yeah, I went there). You can download all the pics here in one ZIP file. Definitely worth it in our opinion.

Source: VanSoaked's DevianArt page

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