cool

The majority of the crew here at Windows Phone Central digs photography. Between our DSLRs and smartphones we’re all about wrangling photons. And we’re not alone, a lot of you are into photography too. If you count yourself among the photography loving crowd you should sign up to join the beta of Project Tripod, an exclusive app coming to Windows Phone first.

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As we say in New England...this is wicked awesome

With the hot days of summer settling in we figured we cool down with a Windows Phone Fan. Literally.

We covered this little gizmo back a few months ago when our friends over at WeLoveWP.hk managed to grab a few during Microsoft’s launch. The fans themselves are your standard “hand fans” with some LEDs in them that can be programmed. Evidently they're quite common for promotions.

Simon Luk of WeLoveWP.hk was kind enough to send one over to us and we actually forgot we had it until the other day.

We’ll contact Microsoft to see if they have any available and maybe we can grab a few for you guys. And if not, we’ll tell them they should get more because they’re kind of awesome. Check out the video below to see for yourself.

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Baris Eris has published an article on his blog detailing how he constructed a Lumia 900 compatible Windows Phone dock out of Lego. Yes, Lego. As one can see in the above photo, the device itself sits as one would expect in a dock and is plugged in via a cable which runs through the rear of the construction.

It's highly based on improvisation with the bricks available and should you wish to attempt to create your own Lego Windows Phone dock you'll need to invest in some packs of bricks to have the required variety.

Head on over to Eris' blog for more information and photos of his project. Be sure to let us know should you create your own.

Source: Baris Eris; thanks Andy for the heads up!

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The Nokia Lumia line of Windows Phone definitely turns heads but did you know that Nokia is offering a matching Bluetooth headset? A headset that is sure to turn heads as well?  The Nokia Luna is a button sized Bluetooth headset that is paired with a base that doubles as a storage case and charger. And it's not only the looks that makes the Luna an impressive headset.

Nokia is rating the standby time of the Luna to be 60 days in the storage case (we're guessing the case holds a maintenance charge) with standby time out of the charger at 35 hours. The Luna is also NFC in that you can pair it by laying it flat against the back of a Lumia Windows Phone.

The Luna is available in five colors to match your Lumia handset and just looks cool. We've been told that the Luna is "coming soon" to the U.S. Market. No words on pricing but Euro versions are being imported for around $90 (when you can find them). Once we get our hands on the Luna, we'll get a more detailed review up. In the meantime, hit the break for another Luna video that also highlights the Lumia 800 color choices.

source: Nokia; Thanks, Ellis, for the tip!

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Want really good graphics? Check out ARMED!

Just caught wind of a new Windows Phone game that simply looks fantastic. ARMED! is a sci-fi turn-based, multiplayer strategy game. You are in command of a fleet of sci-fi tanks, turrets and robots with one goal in mind...crush your enemy.

Key features includes:

  • Five maps with unique artwork and tactical terrain features
  • Twelve offensive and defensive units to command into battle
  • Over fifty unit upgrades and special attacks to help turn the tide
  • Simultaneous turn online multiplayer with ratings and matchmaking
  • Live Tile updates with turn notifications
  • Track your rankings on the real time leaderboards
  • Scoreloop integration with photo profiles

While the main attraction of ARMED! is the mult-player mode, you also have a single player option to do battle with the CPU. The game is fantastically animated with the ability to zoom out and have a two-dimensional view or zoom in for the 3D table top view.

There's a lot to ARMED! and luckily there is a really good tutorial to walk you through the mechanics of the game. In just tinkering with ARMED! for a few minutes, the graphics are impressive and the game play not too shabby either.

There is a trial version available for ARMED! and the full version is running $3.99. It is a mango app for your Windows Phone and you can grab ARMED! here at the Marketplace.

via: wp7connect thanks Danny p for the tip!

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With the news of on-demand TV content for Xbox 360 officially confirmed, Windows Phone owners might be feeling a little neglected. Don’t worry, guys, Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about us. In fact, watching TV on the 360 will be even more convenient for people with Windows Phones. That’s because Microsoft just announced the Xbox Companion App for WP7!

Ben Rudolph at the Windows Blog shares his experiences with the app:

  • "Finding Content: Just like on your Xbox, the Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows. I used it to search “Featured Content” and pulled up the X-Men: First Class.
  • Learn more about what you’re watching, listening to, or playing: Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about. And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the “cast” page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infinite road of interactive content.
  • Control & Play: Once I selected the content and hit play, the Xbox Companion flips into “controller mode” in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote."

Microsoft has been promising stronger Xbox 360 and Windows Phone integration for a long time, and now it’s finally happening. The availability of the app, provided Microsoft advertises it a little bit, should help promote Windows Phones to Xbox 360 users, which can only be good. Speaking of availability, the Xbox Companion App doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but it should materialize sometime shortly after the Fall 2011 Dashboard update, which lands in November. It will of course be free.

Make the jump after the break to see video highlights of what's coming to the Xbox consoles. Around the 1:00 mark you'll see the new Windows Phone app in action.

Source: Windows Blog

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Metro UI invades Windows 8

Microsoft turned its attention from the little screen of the Windows Phone to the big screen of the PC today and demoed Windows 8 at the 2011 BUILD developers conference.  And it looks awfully familiar.

Microsoft took center stage at the Anaheim, California event highlighting Windows 8 and the new Samsung Windows 8 tablet. Windows 8 is another major overhaul for a Microsoft OS and will offer focus on a touch-based UI that is optimized for tablets and looks really nice.

Steven Sinofsky, President of Microsoft's Windows Division stated in his keynote,

"We reimagined Windows. From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise."

Windows 8 follows the Metro user interface we all have become familiar with through our Windows Phone and the Xbox 360 console. It lines up the PC with the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem rather nicely and will connect the three through Windows Live and Skydrive.  Even the lock screen shares the same features of your Windows Phone by displaying the date/time, any upcoming appointments, and unread message summaries.

The Metro UI supports both mouse and keyboard navigation and if the Metro style isn't your cup of tea, you can revert to a more traditional Windows 7 interface.

Microsoft didn't share a release date for Windows 8 but it's our understanding that we should see it sometime mid-2012. A Developer Preview for Windows 8 is expected to be available later this week. It should be interesting to see Metro on the big screen.

Source: Microsoft News Center

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When gamers learned that Xbox 360 Kinect game Kinectimals is coming to Windows Phone, undoubtedly many of us wondered whether there would be connectivity between the two versions. Wouldn’t it be cool to take your existing Kinect kitty on the go?

A Microsoft representative shared these details with us:

“The answer is yes, Kinectimals for Windows Phone does share connectivity with the Kinectimals for Xbox 360 version. You can import your favorite pet to your Windows Phone from your Xbox 360 by simply holding the phone up to the TV screen and capturing the QR code from the pet. The phone will recognize the code and add the pet to the mobile experience. Players can export their favorite mobile pets into their Kinect for Xbox 360 Kinectimals game by holding their Windows Phone up to their Kinect sensor which will read the QR code assigned to their pet and add it to their console experience. If players are logged onto their WP and Xbox 360 consoles with the same Xbox LIVE credentials, this process will happen automatically.”

That’s great news for Kinect owners. Kinectimals’ connectivity isn’t exactly using your Windows Phone and a Kinect simultaneously to control an Xbox 360 game, but it is the first interaction between the two devices. The last time we saw Xbox 360 connectivity of any sort was in Microsoft Game Studios’ Full House Poker.

Kinectimals on Xbox 360 is a combination adventure title/mini-game collection/pet simulator in which players adopt an exotic kitten on a mysterious island. It’s targeted towards kids, but I enjoy most of the mini-games and the overall sense of progression as new areas of the island, items, and animals are unlocked. I do wish harm on the narrator though, as his voice should be illegal in civilized countries. Thankfully his blithering can be turned off! Anyway, the Windows Phone version retains just about everything the console version is known for and adds a few new elements into the mix too. We’ll have more details soon.

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