Icons

Here's a neat little trick to get your on your way to customising your Start screen with Nokia's App Folders solution. The app was recently published to the Windows Phone Store and just like you could with contacts, you're able to copy and paste emoticons from the SMS text box to App Folder titles to add some personality. Putting together a games folder, why not add a controller? 

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AppsQuiz is a new Windows Phone game that tests your knowledge of the Windows Phone Store icons (or logos) for many of the apps and games that are on the shelves.

The game is similar to the many logo/trademark trivia games (Iconmania, Logoarama, etc) but instead of guessing the manufacturer’s branding you are tasked with identifying a Windows Phone app or game based on its Store icon.

AppsQuiz is a fun game for your Windows Phone.  The game only has fifty levels, which may make it short lived for some, but we are hopeful that the next update will add more gaming to the mix.

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One of the troubles with running a dedicated Windows Phone site is that you need to cater to the pro users and the new folks who have just picked up their first device. This post is for them, the new people.

On Windows Phone 8 you may often see a little dot-in-a-circle icon appear in the upper right hand side on your screen. It seemingly pops up randomly and due to the amount of forum threads on the matter, it has caused some confusion. So what is it?...

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Every so often we cover tools that help out developers, but this is in another league. A company called SyncFusion has created a product called Metro Studio 1 which looks to be invaluable to developers and designers alike. The company traditionally develops .NET components for ASP.NET, WPF, WinForms, Silverlight, WP7 and others.

Metro Studio 1 comes with 600 unique metro icons that can then be customized through the interface. You can change the size, padding, background shape, and colors of any icon. Plus, the XAML source is provided for the icons, or you can save the PNG. Every icon is vector based (hence why the XAML source is available), so exporting at any size is possible.

Best of all, the studio is totally free, and every icon is royalty-free and can be used in commercial projects.


  

So go on, download it now. Thanks, @rmaclean

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We're always pleased to see developer resources pop up around the web that help keep things ticking long. Over at Templarian (Austin Andrews), an icon pack full of superb quality graphics has been in the works (with more being added), which is licensed under Creative Commons license. Should you require an icon that's not present, one can either create and submit the icon for the pack or request it from the author. The icons are available in black and white variants.

Andrews wants developers to take care when designing apps on the platform, and we (as consumers) are on the same wave length. Metro UI is slick and clean and developers should take advantage of this.

Source: Templarian

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In an email sent out to registered developers, Microsoft introduced overlay badges that can be added to screenshots of their apps to show that they are Mango-ready.  The "New for 7.5" icons will indicate that an application is optimized for Mango, and will be the only graphics of their kind that will make it through certification.  The email urged developers to getting cracking on updating for WP 7.5 and utilizing its exclusive functionality, such as multiple live tiles and fast application switching.

Microsoft pointed out that Mango devices are already available in Japan and Russia, with more on the way (very soon!).  And despite an earlier edict that updates would not be allowed to 7.0 versions of apps once their 7.5 counterparts were released, it was announced that that would no longer be the case.  By popular demand, Microsoft will enable App Hub functionality which will allow devs to update both 7.0 and 7.5 versions of their products come the end of October.

You can click the thumbnail below for the full content of the email, which further descibes the update process.

You can download the overlays here.

Source: Microsoft; Via: WPSauce

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Smartphone OS shapes

This is an extremely interesting observation. Many would ignore shapes used on smartphone handsets, simply because those shapes would be tied to app launchers or tiles which all contain either images or information. As one can see in the image above, Clayton Miller, a graphic and interaction designer (creater of 10/GUI), has aligned the different shapes adopted by the smartphone market.

From one perspective, you could assume that the shapes shown above is an illustration of the transformation from a square to a circle. Microsoft use the simple four-sided approach with the Metro UI, Apple keep things aesthetically pleasing with a roundrect, Nokia use a squircle and HP have a full circle to play with. Clayton states that Android doesn't have a unified shape, a possible symptom of fragmentation?

It's worth noting that smaller competitors use same shapes as the big players, Bada from Samsung makes use of squares but can't come close to Microsoft's tile implementation and RIM use roundrects throughout but are no match for Apple's iconic design.

Source: Clayton Miller

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What do the icons on my phone mean? [Tips]

Ever wonder what all those icons mean at the top of your Windows Phone screen? Look no further at Microsoft has gone ahead and detailed all of 'em for you.  Things like roaming, DO (for EvDO, CMDA's 3G standard) and a few others may be a little obscure, so it's nice to have a key.

Sure, for many of us who've been around smartphones, the support article at Microsoft seems like a big ol' "duh" but there are more non-smartphone users in the world than ones with, so be kind.

Even more icons and descriptions can be found here on Microsof'ts support page.

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If for some reason your still considering the iPhone because of its touch screen interface and ability to move around wobbly icons, then you might want to try out iDiamond. D-MAN66 from XDA has been very busy in keeping the power of windows mobile and the easy feeling of only icons. The application brings out full icons, ability to move icons, and add an icon feature.  In testing iDiamond, it ran smoothly on both the HTC Diamond and Touch Pro.  If you like iDiamond, then you might also want to check out with what D-MAN66 can do with cover flow and music

  via wmpowerusers
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Grab Some Free Icons for SBSH Calendars

SBSH Mobile Developers have released three icon packages that are available as free downloads. The new icon packages are the medical, personal and sports packages that are compatible with Calendar Touch for Windows Mobile Professional devices and Calendar for Windows Mobile Standard devices. The icons can be used with appointments and agendas within these two calendar applications.

Here are the links for each icon package.

SBSH Medical: Windows Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

SBSH Personal: Windows Mobile Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

SBSH Sports: Windows Mobile Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

The three icon packages include eighty-four icons ranging from basketballs to a band-aid to power drill. All destined to add a little more flair to your SBSH calendar.

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