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Archive for the ‘mobile’ Category

Newsworthy: xbox + windows phone

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

If your’re a gamer on Xbox and own a Windows Phone 7 device (and if you don’t have it, get one asap) here’s some really good news for you. 4 good news actually.

#1 – PES 2012 is now available for Windows Phone 7 and it looks in pretty good shape. Go get it soccer fans!

#2 and #3 – every Wednesday (more or less) is Deal of the Week day on Windows Phone, which means that 1 or more games will get a price drop for a week. The good news is you have a choice of two games this time around: Tentacles, and Glow Artisan. As for every Xbox Live game, they have a free trial so there’s no reason for you not to give it a try.

#4- last week’s Deal of the Week is still active, so that makes for 3 WP7 games on SALE! Check out IonBallEX too, and get it before it’s too late ;)


Top 10 Xbox Live games on Windows Phone 7

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

While I’m still amazed by the fact that I can unlock Xbox Live achievements on the go on my phone, a lot of new games have been released in the last year, and it’s about time for me to talk about the ones I love the most. Hopefully this list will be useful to those of you who just picked up a Windows Phone 7 device for the first time, and love its gaming soul. ;)

If you are a gamer on WP7, feel free to let me know your thoughts on this list… ‘nough talking!


  1. Angry Birds
    My personal number 1 for how many hours I spent on it
  2. Bejeweled LIVE
    I always loved this game, and the WP7 porting is pretty good
  3. Fruit Ninja
    Frenetic gameplay, very addictive, nicely implemented
  4. Kinectimals
    Gorgeous graphics, you MUST try this one at least once
  5. Hexic Rush
    Hexic on a phone is almost as good as Bejeweled
  6. Full House Poker
    Online play would make this pretty much perfect if you’re into pocker games
  7. Fable: Coin Golf
    Looking great, challenging, and inspired by one of the best Xbox games ever
  8. Implode
    Original gameplay, pretty fun. Don’t miss it while it’s on sale!
  9. Flowerz
    Very nice game, easy to learn, hard to master
  10. Fight Game: Rivals
    This one’s got many critics and bad reviews – honestly I don’t mind the original gameplay and the nice graphics. Pretty fun


Oh and while I’m at it.. be sure you don’t miss the newly released “Bug Village“, available for free with its 200 GP!


Lesson learned

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

I was pretty excited about the last update I shipped for WP7applist’s app, as it fixes a few annoying bugs and it adds interesting features (like Mango / fast app switching support). Shortly after it went live I started getting reports of the app being unresponsive, bulky, and slower then before. I was very surprised as it was actually a lot smoother in my eyes, and I couldn’t quite get what users were talking about. Then I realized.

Last month I blogged about my new Windows Phone device (Samsung Omnia W, or Focus Flash overseas), and when I say it’s fast.. well, I really mean it! I installed the updated app on my old LG E900 and I could finally see what users were talking about. For the record, the main issue was the huge background image, rendered at 32bpp, so to make the gradient look super cool.

Long story short, I submitted a new update just a few minutes ago: it includes a new graphic restyling (also a dark and a light theme), better ad positioning, and some more UI improvements. Most of it was based on users feedback, so hopefully this will make some users happy.

Sorry for the issues you may be experiencing with the app and thanks for your patience, the new update should be just a few days away. :)

WP7applist app update, Mango edition (sneak preview)

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

Sometimes real life gets in the way and keeps you from getting fun stuff done. We all know the feeling, but it seems to happen more often than not to me lately.

I was finally able to find some time for a LONG due update, which involves the Windows Phone 7 app related to my fansite WP7applist. Can you believe that you can’t take advantage of any Mango feature yet from the app? Well fear not, and read on!

Disclaimer: this is just a preview, things are going to change etc.. but yes, this is where we stand at the moment.

First of all, as you can see the app got some brand new graphics and a huge makeover. Not many people complained about the old orange background, but I figured that many more would if everyone would care to leave some feedback, so I just went ahead and cleaned up the UI. Feel free to comment on the design before the update is shipped to the Marketplace!

Second of all, I moved some things around according to the feedback I got: for example, the app now greets you with the “discovery links list” instead of “spotlight”, and a few things (info, settings, feedback) were taken off the main Panorama view and presented on a separate page.

Third of all.. yes, the app finally supports fast app switching – this alone is worth the update. Trust me, I know this would have come sooner.

Last of all (but this is far from being the full list of improvements) this update will also include infinite-scrolling lists, which I have running on my beta builds from quite a while, and I can definitely say that they are a big plus.

Keep an eye open for the update in the next couple weeks if you’re a fan of the app, and feel free to leave any last minute feedback (here in the comments, on twitter, or via email) – I’ll try to squeeze in as many features as I can before shipping the update for certification. :)

Samsung OMNIA W: first impressions

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

Samsung OMNIA W I8350

I’ve been going back and forth from the stores in the last few days, looking for a new device to replace¬† my 1 year old LG Optimus 7. I was tempted to grab a Nokia Lumia (it’s no secret that they build SUPERIOR hardware), but went with the OMNIA W in the end, mostly because of the front-facing camera, the display which I heard good things about, and the price factor (349 EUROS vs 499 for the Lumia 800, in Italy).

First thing you notice (expecially coming from the LG) is that this device is F-A-S-T! Navigation is extremely smooth, and so are transitions. Even the animated Xbox Live avatar seems to move at twice the speed around the screen, no kidding.

Secondly, the display is gorgeous: one of the best I’ve seen in a mobile device. It renders even slightly better (in my eyes) than Samsung’s previous model (OMNIA 7): contrast and brightness seem a little more balanced, or perharps just more appealing to my eyes.

This device is very compact, its weight is surprisingly low, but it may not be your kind of thing if you like huge, cinematic screens. For me there’s no in between: I equally love extremely huge screens, and super compact devices that fit best in your pocket.

The memory is limited to the internal 8GB, I honestly would have prefered 16, but that is something I can live with.
If you interested in the full device specs head on here: the most notable ones are the probably the 1.4GHz processor, the HSDPA up to 14.4 Mbps, and the weight of only 115.3 g.

#wp7dev fix for error 0×89740005

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

I had an interesting (and annoying altogether)  issue today, and thought I would share the solution as it may hopefully help someone else. Also, as this kinda relates to the first Windows Phone 7 birthday, I figure it is likely to happen to many other developers in the next coming days.

Facts: I was trying to sideload a custom app to my device, but I kept getting the above error code. Not sure why I didn’t get the actual error message instead, but a quick google search revealed that my device was in a “developer locked” state.

Well, no problem: just open the phone unlock tool included in the SDK and that will fix it. Right? Not at all: while the tool told me it had correctly unlocked my device, I got the same error in Visual Studio.

So I logged in to App Hub to check that my registration was active and healthy, and that’s when I found out that my “unlock registration” had just expired on that particular device. Apparently the phone unlock tool doesn’t renew it on its own, so (finally!) the solution is to remove the device on App Hub and run the unlock process afterwards. And that WILL fix it.

Happy coding. :)

WP7 developers get early access to Mango

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

Yes, the time has come. And yes, it is for real.
Microsoft just announced the immediate availability of Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2, as well as confirmation of early access to the Mango OS update (build 7661).

If you’re registered for Windows Phone Marketplace, you’ll receive an invitation from Microsoft Connect that will provide access to a firmware update for your retail Windows Phone device.

So now we wait. Connect invites are being sent already and every developer should get one (for one device only) in the next few hours. Go hit that ‘F5′ key!

This is pure genious!

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

As a mobile developer I know how hard it is to come up with a unique idea, a revolutionary user interface, or something that’s so technically challenging that nobody could code before. I know how hard it is, but that doesn’t mean I ever got there ;)

With this post I want to highlight some of such apps that landed on the WP7 Marketplace: not all of them are for everyday use, but they surely made me think “this is pure genious” when I first seen them. If something on this list isn’t really “unique” as I thought it was, do let me know in the comments!

Contact Swap

Exchanging contact info couldn’t be any easier than this.

So What’s Today

A todo list app. But also one of the most intriguing UI/UX I’ve seen so far on WP7.


No words needed. Pure genious!

…i’m a WP7

Check it out and {join the movement}

Shake & Charge

Ok this totally useless, and it’s a joke. But I challenge you not to shake your device when you try it out.



Tracks real numbers behind Windows Phone 7. Lovely idea, unfortunately it doesn’t make much sense unless it climbs the popularity rankings all the way to the top.

WP7applist app reviews

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

I love getting users feedback on my projects, and this tends to be pretty easy on mobile apps.

It’s nice and rewarding to read comments such as “best marketplace app so far”, “awesome app, much better organized than marketplace”, “thanks guys for rekindling my interest in WP7apps” (!), and it’s invalueable to find out that for some “the live tile does not update”, “the live tile is broken, never changes”, “fix the live updates for a better rating”. Yes, I can see a trend there, in fact I have a fix ready in the next update (currently under testing at Microsoft).

One thing I really love is when people take the time to write an in-depth review, exploring all of the possibilities and – in case of mobile apps – take a short clip of the app in action for a video review. There were some awesome people doing that for WP7applist, and I’d like to say THANKS to each one of them. So here are some reviews I could find so far:

[Preview] WP7applist app for Windows Phone

POSTED BY Luigi Violin ON

This is coming out pretty good, hopefully the screenshots will give you an idea of what you will get!

I should be ready to ship it in a few more days, feel free to leave thoughts and suggestions in the comments or via email. :)


[UPDATE] this is now available in the Zune Marketplace worldwide, give it a try!