Monday, December 26, 2011

Developer Movement - Canada Only

Just when we thought Microsoft has forgotten the Great White North's love for WP7, WPCentral has posted a link to something called the Developer Movement.

The all too weird part of this is that it is for us Canadians developers only.  First 200 to sign up gets their AppHub fee waived, only if you are not already registered as on AppHub.  You can still join the movement for a chance at the other prizes (provided that you submit a quality app - whatever that means) up until May 20, 2012

More information on the website but here are some information:

The first eligible 200 people to sign up may have their App Hub fee waived.* Plus, students can register for free through DreamSpark
Publish 1 quality AppSelect a reward below:
  • A Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360®
  • 10,000 Microsoft Points
  • Monster® BeatsHeadphones
  • A 1TB External HD
Publish 2 quality appsSelect a second item below:
  • A Windows® Phone 7
  • A $500 Gift Voucher
  • 35,000 Microsoft Points
  • An Xbox 360® with
    Kinect Bundle
Publish 3 quality apps Your apps will be considered by our judges for publicity across:
  • The Xbox Newsletter
  • The Xbox Live Dashboard
  • MSDN Website
  • MSDN Flash Newsletter
  • Canadian Developer Blog

Source: good folks at WPCentral
Development Movement link here

Good luck! and Happy Coding!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How to enable Local Scout in Canada

Ok, so you have updated to WP7.5 'Mango' (According to i'm a wp7 app, 51% of you who are using their app in Canada are using Mango).  There are bunch of cool features that you like and you keep reading about this 'Local Scout' WP7 feature on American websites but for some odd reason, you still cannot find how you can access this magic.

As with a problem with the Bing Map Search I have outline on this blog before, once again Canadian found themselves (probably some non-US countries as well) short changed on this feature.  But there is a way to enable it.

1. Click Settings
2. Click region+language
3. At the bottom, you should see "Browser & search language", if it reads "English (Canada)", well, change that to, you guess it, "English (United States)"
4. The unfortunate side effect is that the distances will be in miles (the locale and region formats are ignored)
5. Press the Hardware Search button and magically you will see this little icon appear to the 3 normal buttons you are used to getting.
6. Another place that you will see this magical little icon is when you start your Bing Map App (also added to the left of your regular 3 icons)

One of the cooler way to use Local Scout is you can pan to an certain map area (For example: say you live in Surrey, BC but you want see what's restaurants are in downtown Vancouver, pan to the downtown area) press the Local Scout button and the the restaurants and activity information will show up for that area.

Hope this helps!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Couple of new Free XBOX Live games now available

Like games?  how about XBOX LIVE games for your WP7?  Don't like paying for games?  Microsoft has kindly release 2 new titles with the XBOX LIVE titles for FREE.

The first one called Shuffle party and it contains different variations of playing shuffle board - including a bowling type game mode.

- Shuffle Party brings the classic table game to Windows Phone with a twist. Knock down spares and strikes in Bowling Mode with easy to use touch controls. Perfect your skill shot in a series of puzzles in the exciting new Challenge Mode! Earn cash for your high scores to spend on custom pucks, pins and tables. Play traditional shuffleboard solo or get your friends in on the action with pass and play multiplayer. Your Avatar can even join the fun as you unlock Achievements for your Xbox LIVE account. Shuffle Party will bowl you over.

Second game is called Breeze.
- Breeze puts you in control of the wind as you gently blow a flower towards the goal. Master both tilt and touch controls to guide the flower across 60 seasonal themed levels while listening to Breeze's smooth, relaxing soundtrack. Add to your Xbox LIVE account's gamerscore by earning achievements. Breeze is light entertainment for all ages.

Both of these games are Ad driven but the ads don't really get in the way. Both have XBOX LIVE achievements for you XBOX Achievements hoarders out there.  Ratings are in the 4.5 stars range so others (including myself) seem to be enjoying them.

Best of all, it IS available in the Canadian Marketplace (For some odd reason, Zune Desktop cannot find it but just search for it on the WP7 handset marketplace).  Or you can just bing vision these QR codes to start your download (click on the QR codes from your WP7 handset also takes you to the marketplace).  Enjoy!
Shuffle Party

Friday, December 9, 2011

XBOX Companion now available for WP7 and iOS?

Unless you haven't used your XBOX360 for awhile or for some reason your XBOX360 isn't hooked up to the Intertubes, you might have already noticed that this pass Tuesday night, your XBOX dashboard has been given a complete Metro makeover for the better (well, this is a WP7 blog afterall).

What was unsure was this rumoured XBOX Companion app might not make it outside the US.

Well, at least in Canada, it seems like Microsoft have unleashed the XBOX Companion app for both WP7 and iOS (Universal App).  Yes, you have read correctly, an iOS universal app.  It's an interesting move on Microsoft's part when I tried out the iOS version on my iPad (Windows 8 tablet, where are you?) and my friend's iPhone, they both employ the Metro UI philosophy which is very good to see on the iOS.  I guess Microsoft's hope is not only to give XBOX360 owners a nice and richer way to see XBOX live activities (i.e. stalk your friends, message your friends about why aren't they hording with you in Gears of War 3), they probably took this opportunity to give the iPhone users a taste of Metro.

The WP7 version is richer is every way possible as you can even control your XBOX360 via 3G.. yes 3G!!!  I have not tested it thoroughly but it could play zune music, rent/purchase/play videos from zune.  It also gives you a virtual control pad for you to scroll through the menus.

The control responses are of course faster if you are controlling your XBOX360 via WiFi, but even through 3G it was pretty awesome and cool.

Check it out here. It's FREE!

or use your WP7 Bing Vision on this QR code:

LG Optimus 7 Holiday Offer!

The LG Optimus 7 is generally regarded as one of the better WP7 generation 1 phones.  If you are tired of waiting for the 2nd gen wp7 devices to make it slow craw into the Canadian market, you might want to consider getting the LG Optimus 7.

Microsoft has now sweeten the deal by including a 12 month XBOX Live Gold subscription ($59.99 regular price - but often you can get it for around $40 to $50 range)

It is currently available at Telus for $0 with the usual chain and ball 3 yr term.

The offer is valid if you purchase the LG Optimus 7 between December 15th, 2011 to January 31, 2012, offer valid in Canada only.

If you are still unsure, here's a pretty detailed review from the good folks at

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Win a Nokia Lumia 800

You now have a chance to win a Nokia Lumia 800.  Not sure when the draw date is going to be but if you head over to the Nokia Facebook page, you can enter for a chance to win one.

I have scanned through the very tiny fine prints and it did not seem to contain any information as to which country is eligible (and which ones are not eligible).  So  head on over to the Nokia Facebook page and click "Like" and enter for a change to win!

Source: WPCentral

Update - the official Nokia contest over at their facebook page is over folks! Good luck to those who entered.