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2 years ago

Fired Microsoft Windows Phone Manager arrives at Google

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You may not be aware of Joe Marini and why this article is being published here when the news is he's at Google, but there's a small story behind it all. Marini used to be at Microsoft as Windows Phone principle manager and was fired for tweeting somewhat negatively about the Nokia Lumia 800. According to a tweet from Marini (yeah we thought the same thing) posted yesterday, the ex-Microsoft employee is now starting a role at Google. 

According to his Twitter profile; "Google Dev Advocate. Mobile Apps & Web, Product Management and Strategy, API platforms, Developer Relations, Community Engagement." Sounds interesting, and he's apparently setting up a blog to explain what exactly happened at the software giant.

Source: Twitter, via: Engadget, LiveSide, thanks Darren for the heads up!

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2 years ago

Xbox Live Black Friday sale looks a bit familiar

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Xbox Live Black Friday sale looks a bit familiar

Last week, Sonic 4, Full House Poker, and Assassin’s Creed all went on sale for half a day before mysteriously returning to full price. Those three Xbox Live titles are now officially on sale for the week of November 22-28, apparently as part of a Black Friday sale.

Sonic 4: Episode 1 is a 2-dimensional platformer starring the world’s fastest hedgehog. Our review praises its similarity to the XBLA version as well as the touch screen controls, which are the best we’ve encountered in a mobile platformer. Sonic 4 regularly sells for $6.99, but it’s $4.99 this week. Marketplace link

Full House Poker (review) is a single-player Texas Hold ‘Em simulator. Not only was it the first Windows Phone title to feature full Avatar integration, it also shares excellent connectivity with the Xbox 360 version of the game. Full House Poker is on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99. Marketplace link

Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles (review) is a 3D platformer/action title set in the middle ages. With great graphics and full voice acting (though the acting is atrocious), it feels like a DS game squeezed into a mobile title (‘cause it is). The controls are fiddly and the platforming can be frustrating, but the story and action mostly make up for it. Assassin’s Creed is on sale for $2.99, down from $4.99. Marketplace link

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2 years ago

Skandia Bank releases Windows Phone app

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Skandia Bank releases Windows Phone app

Skandia, a Swedish bank, has released a Windows Phone app which blows the recently highlighted Barclays secure pass generator out the water. Skandia's offering allows customers to perform common account operations and manipulate account settings, including the following:

  • Account overview and bank statements
  • Transfers
  • Brief overview of all connected cards
  • Region lock to set up a card when travelling broad
  • Spending limit 

An interesting feature is the ability to set the spending limit. The user can change the overall spending limit, set a spending limit for internet purchases, or completely block the card for purchases on the Internet altogether.

You can download Skandia bank & försäkring from the Marketplace for free.

Source: Wingadget.se

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2 years ago

Samsung Omnia W gets Brazilian

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Samsung Omnia W gets Brazilian

The Samsung Omnia W, which was approved by Anatel (Brazil's version of the FCC) earlier this month and was rumored to be heading to TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile), has popped up for sale on Brazil's FNAC.  This is an unlocked version that is selling for R$ 1299.00, or about $799.00 US.  The price tag seems a little bit steep, even for an unlocked handset.  But it's not so bad, considering they are asking R$ 1799.00 for a Blackberry Bold.   The Omnia W is a solid mid-range WP7.5 phone, equipped with:
  • Super AMOLED screen of 3.7 "
  • 8 GB of storage
  • 512 of RAM
  • VGA Front Camera
  • Rear 5 MP camera with LED Flash and Autofocus
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • Dimensions of 115.6 x 58.8 x 10.9 mm
  • Weight 115 g
  • DNLA
  • WiFi HotSpot

Source: FNAC (Thanks for the tip, John!)

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2 years ago

Sneak peek - MetroTube by Lazyworm Apps [Video]

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It's close folks. MetroTube aka the former app that used to be know as LazyTube is in the final stages of approval in the Marketplace, which means in days or even hours, the app can be yours. MetroTube is a complete rethinking of a YouTube app where the UI has be redesigned all around the Metro UI framework. We like that. You like that.  So lets watch the video and get ready for some greatness.

From our earlier write up on the app's new features:

"We have a revamped UI and pinnable tile support. Users will be able to pin videos and categories (playlists, favourites, subscriptions, etc.) to the home screen for easy access. The most interesting item to pin is an individual author where the thumbnail of the latest video added will be pushed through."

Yeah, it's pretty awesome indeed.

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2 years ago

Problems with the the Nokia Lumia 800 for early adopters

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Ah, problems! We detest problems! The Nokia Lumia 800 has been marketed more than anything else, with an upcoming 4D promotion in London, but as it's early days, some issues are to be expected. The handset has been anticipated for months now since it was unveiled earlier this year. We've had some threads being created on our Windows Phone forum regarding battery life, touch calibration, sound issues, loose buttons and more.

I've personally witnessed some of the problems being reported by consumers, especially calibration and sound issues. For sound; when using headphones (or a speaker system) with the Lumia 800, I'll hear a burst of white noise when a track ends and before a track begins. As well as our forums, the official Nokia support forum is being bombarded with questions surrounding problems users are having.

Are you an early adopter of Nokia's first Windows Phone? If so, have you noticed any issues with the handset? On a positive note, the amount of reports being published could signal how many handsets have been sold. Head on over to our forum and join in the conversation should you be having trouble with the 800.

Thanks Nick for the links and roundup!

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2 years ago

WPCentral Holiday Gift Guide: Automotive Accessories

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Happy Holidays everyone! With the holiday's fast approaching, everyone is looking for gift ideas. We thought we would offer a few gift ideas over the next few days.

First up, automobile accessories. These are range from stocking stuffers to items that would make any Windows Phone user a great under-the-tree present. Gift ideas to make the most of your Windows Phone while out and about in your car.  To see what we'd recommend, hop on past the break.

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2 years ago

31 Days of Mango app now in the Marketplace [Developers]

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We mentioned how developer Jeff Blankenburg was doing a 31-Days of Mango tutorial via his blog a few weeks ago. The idea was to publish a tutorial about specific app development on Windows Phone every day, giving a kind of boost for newbies out there as well as some tips for those with previous experience.

Now you can take the whole series with you on the go via the app, which is kind of meta when you think about it. The app does fetch for $0.99 and considering all the knowledge you're getting, seems like a fair offering for the man. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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2 years ago

First pic of TalkBox voice-chat app for Windows Phone

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The other day we mentioned that TalkBox was well on its way to Windows Phone. The popular voice-chat app allows you to record less-than one minute messages which you can then pass on to other TalkBox users or post to your Twitter/Facebook for others to hear. The app is popular on the iPhone and Android and now looks to be coming to Windows Phone.

At the time we reported that the app was to premier at the Hong Kong launch-party for the Nokia Lumia devices and the Hong Kong fan-site We Love Windows Phone managed to track it down and take a photo. That app looks nice enough and we're always excited about having more voice chat apps in the Marketplace. Hopefully we'll be seeing it soon, especially since it already looks to be running on hardware.

Check out the TalkBox website for more info: http://talkboxapp.com/en/intro

Source: We Love Windows Phone

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2 years ago

Amazon Wireless now has the AT&T Titan for 1 penny but back-ordered

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We reported earlier yesterday about Amazon Wireless's $0.01 sale going on which had no less than seven Windows Phones on sale for a penny. One phone notably absent was the recently released AT&T HTC Titan. We're happy now to report that phone too is now available for this super deal. In fact, we've had at least two readers confirm their orders at this price, which is pretty astonishing. If you're just renewing, you're super low price is still a nice $79.99 for upgrades.

The bad news? It's backordered "8 to 9 days" meaning you'll have to wait what may seem like a very long time for such an amazing phone. And that's assuming the backorder doesn't go back further. Obviously HTC is having tight supply issues with the Titan but hopefully they can pick up the production pace. And at this price, we hope they sell a lot.

Source: Amazon Wireless; Thanks, Clifton, Jerad and Robert for the heads up!

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2 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800/710 to be sold in Taiwan in mid-Dec

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Good news for those in Taiwan. Just days after announcing that the Nokia Lumia 800 (and 710) will be coming to Hong Kong , it looks like Taiwan will be getting the device too. The price is set for  18,900 (800) & 13,900元 (710) and preorders are expected to take place this Saturday.

Nokia is making a big push into markets that typical Microsoft OEMs have had not much luck getting into or dominating. Asian markets like Taiwan and Hong Kong are key to the OS's success and it looks like Nokia has it all figured out.

Source: Mobile01.com; Thanks, Jean-François A., for the tip!

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2 years ago

Xbox 360 Metro Dashboard coming December 6

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Xbox 360 Metro Dashboard coming December 6

We’ve been looking forward to the fall Xbox 360 dashboard update for quite some time now. Good news: it’s coming Tuesday, December 6, a few weeks before Winter kicks in.

In addition to switching over to the Metro UI, the upcoming dash includes a host of new features: full Kinect motion and voice control (sweet!), improved avatar animations (pretty cool), a quick launch list of your ten most recently played games and apps (so nice), Cloud storage for profiles and save data (whoo hoo!), the ability to set beacons, which advertize that you’ll be playing a game at a specific time, and better Facebook integration. It also opens up a new App section which will include stuff like YouTube and UFC apps, and enables the forthcoming Windows Phone Xbox 360 Companion App's connectivity with the console.

On the downside, the 360's Metro dash is even more overflowing with ads than the current version. The clutter of advertisements sometimes make it difficult to find the actual content you’re looking for. Premium themes, at least in the current beta version, lose some of their luster as Friends list backgrounds have vanished. Worst of all, the beta dashboard update completely the ability of one of my consoles to stay connected to Xbox Live through my router. The other system is fine though, and it’s apparently not a common problem. I hope hope hope they get that straightened out by December 6, because I hate not being able to connect and play online games and watch Netflix with my main system.

The new dashboard look is all part of Microsoft’s plan to have a unified interface between all of its platforms. Next year’s Windows 8 will also go Metro.

Source: Kotaku

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2 years ago

Handyscan gets upgraded to Mango with new scanner-feature

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Handyscan (see our old review) is easily one of out top apps for Windows Phone. If you ever need to keep receipts for expenses, photograph that insurance information after a crash, wanted to keep a copy of you passport, then you need this app. Not only does it work real well for document-image taking, but it allows you to save as a JPG or PDF, then upload it to Skydrive or Dropbox for safe keeping. It's smartly designed, elegant and makes scanning docs a pleasure.

We've been using it for so long that we thought it already was on Mango, but alas that's not the case. Now with version 3.3, you can get Mango fast-app switching but also a few other additions:

  • Independent scanning resolution and flash settings
  • Automatic trigger eliminates need to press any button, helps keeping your pulse firm for an optimal scan.
  • Mango enabled / Fast switching / New Metro look
  • Skydrive support
  • Backup/restore all your info
  • Fewer steps to scan
  • Press back to re-scan
  • Large/readable thumbnails option
  • Realistic scanning visuals
  • Fixed: scanning allowed when connected to Zune on PC
  • Fixed: corrupted zip files when too big
  • Added Czech translation

The new scanning feature is pretty wild: you hit start-scan and the app counts down, letting you concentrate on holding the phone right for the photo. The camera then scans the app, using your flash, creating the image. From there, you can adjust the crop and then apply a filter that make the text look clear. It's a very cool effect and with Mango, the app has seemingly become twice as fast to launch and execute a function.  If we sound like we're gushing, then yeah, guilty. But don't take our word, pick up the app here for $2.49 in the Marketplace with a free trial, or grab the free version here.

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2 years ago

Four new major apps for Windows Phone shown off at Mobile Acceleration Week

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Microsoft looks to be hosting a Mobile Acceleration Week this week in New York City and TechCrunch managed to track down some of the devs there building apps. The program itself is a way for developers to come together with Microsoft to get their apps fast-tracked to the Marketplace by working with Redmond directly--it's like staying after school with the teacher for a power tutoring session. These sessions happen often and at various places all the time, so in that sense, nothing new. However here we get to see some new apps that are headed our way. All of these are available on iOS and/or Android, so they look to be bigger-name apps ported over to the Windows Phone--always a good sign.

  • Flud - Another RSS reader popular on the iPhone but with a twist--social networking. Evidently you can see what your friends are reading and vice-versa. So it's like Facebook but potentially less annoying. The app looks to headed our way by January.
  • Get-a-game - Here's an app for you ballers out there who want to pick up a game at your local park. Basically it's more social networking but folks who want to play a quick game...of anything.  Certainly unique and we suppose puts Bing and networking to go use on your phone.
  • GateGuru - This should be huge. GateGuru provides "...airport directories, ratings and reviews for shops within the airports, social media sharing, itinerary management, wait times for security lines, and reviews/tips for airports". Phew! If you travel a lot, how could you not want this app?
  • Taap.it - Taap.it is evidently like Foursquare but for things instead of places. Basically you checkin with an item (shoes, services, your coffee) and then purchase and rate the item. You get more points for more interaction. Sounds kind of like Foodspotting but for stuff. We're not too crazy about that but we see some merit in it.

Not a bad lineup if you ask us and those are just a few of the apps coming down the pike. While they may not be the killer, unique apps that the platform could benefit from, it's a good sign that so many devs from other platforms are now embracing Windows Phone. In fact, that's great news as it helps level the playing field.

Source: TechCrunch

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2 years ago

Unlocked international version of HTC Titan available in Canada

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If you're up north and you just need the HTC Titan, unbranded and unlocked, then you can head to NCIX.com where you can order it for $739.99  CAD. This is the same one we took a look at a few weeks ago (see video) and features the following bands: GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz ; HSPA/WCDMA: 850/900/2100 MHz .

We should also note it's not shipping for a few days and all sales are final, which never sits well with us. We're sure the deal is legit and who knows when a carrier in Canada will be getting 2nd gen phones, so this may be your best bet until we hear more from Bell and the like.

Source: NCIX; Thanks, Nataku4ca, for the heads up!

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