Bing Announces “We’re In” App for Windows Phone

Microsoft and Bing announced their app called “We’re In” today for Windows Phone. The app essentially allows users to log into the app, along with their friends, and see each others location, making meet-ups and traveling infinitely easier. Just add your phone number to the app and add your friends via your contacts in the people hub and viola, you’ll see exactly where they are and they you.

We’re In makes organizing get-together’s, carpooling and trying to find people in a crowd a breeze. Any time you want to see where your friends are—We’re In can help you. It’s simple, invite your friends, and when they join, they’ll see your location and you’ll see theirs. When the invite expires, so does the shared location – no complicated process to worry about.

Check out the blog post on Bing for the entire description and a walk-through of the app and its features. “We’re In” is currently exclusive to WIndows Phone, but is promised for other devices very soon. You can find the app by searching for “We’re In” in the Zune PC software or on your Windows Phone.

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Tumbler Rolls on Windows Phone

I wanted to write-up a quick post to tell you guys about a game that I’ve been playing the last few days. It’s called Tumbler by Hub Labs LLC. It’s a free, cool little physics game that is unique, at least to me. Instead of trying to put the object of the game into my own words, here’s the developers description:

Tumbler is a fun original 2D physics game you won’t find on any other platform. The objective is to simply drag and flick the grass to rotate the log which will navigate Tumbler into the goal. The challenging part is the goal will be in random places, inside a Field goal, inside a mailbox, on top of a unicycle, on the bottom shelf of a set of chest of draws, inside a barrel, behind a whirly ball goal, inside a moving barrel, a basketball goal, inside a newspaper stand, and more fun random places. Flick, drag, sit back and watch Tumbler fly across the screen as you try to use the obstacles to your advantage and reach the goal before time runs out.

The controls took a fw attempts to get used to, but once you get the hang of them, it’s smooth sailing.

Tumbler is an interesting and challenging indie title for Windows Phone and I have been playing it non-stop for the past few days, so you guys may want to give it a download as well. You can find this free, ad-supported title for Windows Phone  by searching for “Tumbler” in the Zune PC software or on your Windows Phone.

You can visit Hub Labs LLC on the web at www.hublabs.comor on Twitter @HubLabsLLC.

The Majority of Windows Phone Users Have an Xbox LIVE Game

Microsoft mentioned along with the news about coming features and titles for Windows Phone that about 70 percent of Windows Phone users have downloaded an Xbox LIVE game for their device. It seems obvious, but when you consider that many business and casual users are not into games, let alone achievements and gamerscores, that’s a pretty good number.

Xbox LIVE integration is considered to be one of the standout features on Windows Phone and as it grows in mindshare and functionality, should attract more gamers to the platform. For new users to the Windows Phone platform, Microsoft usually releases one new Xbox LIVE-enabled title for Windows Phone each week on Wednesday and also discounts a current title on Wednesday for that week as well. I usually report on the new title each week and the “Deal of the Week” title will be featured in the Marketplace screen on your device, so be sure to keep an eye out of for the savings.

Source: Seattle Times

IonBallEX Xbox LIVE Game Available in the Marketplace

IonBallEX, indie title gone Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone, is now available in the Marketplace. IonballEX by Ironsun Studios is a twist on the original brickbreaker game and features 35 levels which will challenge and feature achievements and gamerscore upgrades. It’s exciting to see indie games get the chance to become Xbox LIVE games on Windows Phone. Here the Marketplace description:

IonBallEX is a modern twist on a classic Breakout style game, featuring an XP-based progression system and end-of-level bosses that are going to push you to the extreme, all delivered in a unique SteamPunk style. With 35 challenging levels, mind-bending features and awesome bosses; IonBallEX is the breakout game to “break” all others. See where you can get on the leaderboard, or unlock achievements like “Record Breaker” or “Wipeout”; the IonBallEX challenge is here.

This title can be found by searching for “IonBallEX” in the Zune PC software or on your Windows Phone. The title is $2.99 with a free trial.

Microsoft Details Pre-Mango App State Once New Apps Are Submitted

Senior Director for the Marketplace, Todd Brix, posted about the state of publishing apps for the upcoming Mango update and what it means for developers and their current apps in the Marketplace. The Mango update will bring many new api’s and features for developers to use with their apps on Windows Phone. Of course, these api’s and hardware features may not be on the current devices, so many devs have been wondering what will happen to their apps and how it will affect users. Here is what was posted on the Windows Phone Developer Blog:

When you publish a Windows Phone ‘Mango’ update to an application you had previously published, the following will occur:

  • The WP 7.0 version of your application will remain available to all users on WP 7.0 devices.
  • The WP ‘Mango’ version of your application will be available to all users on WP ‘Mango’ devices.
  • WP ‘Mango’ users who previously installed your application will receive an update notification. This will occur even if they installed your application prior to updating to WP ‘Mango’
  • WP 7.0 users who have installed your application, but not updated to WP ‘Mango,’ will not receive an update notification.
  • The WP7.0 rankings & reviews that your application received will attach to your new updated WP ‘Mango’ version too.
  • The application metadata and screenshots for Windows Phone Marketplace submitted with the WP ‘Mango’ version of your application will be shared across both the WP 7.0 and WP ‘Mango’ versions of the application; i.e., a single set of metadata and screenshots will appear to both WP 7.0 and WP ‘Mango’ users.
  • Once you have released the WP ‘Mango’ version of your application, you will no longer be able to modify the previously released WP 7.0 version of your app. We realize that some of you may worry about this limitation, and so we’re actively working on ways to mitigate it. To improve the experience for users, it’s our preference not to have “duplicate versions” of your apps in the marketplace. We are also going to work hard to encourage our pre-existing users to enjoy the free upgrade to Mango as quickly as possible.

Recent Xbox LIVE Games Removed Because of Expiring Licenses

Last week we found out that a few Xbox LIVE games (Fast & Furious, Star Wars: Cantina/Hoth) were removed mysteriously from the Windows Phone Marketplace without any reason as to why. We might have and answer as a tweet from @KarlStricker, a Microsoft employee who works on Xbox LIVE mobile gaming, notes that the games were removed because of an expiring game license. Here’s the tweet:

Fast & Furious, Star Wars: Cantina/Hoth were removed from the marketplace per request of the publishers as the game’s licenses had expired.

This is disturbing as the platform should be increasing in titles and not decreasing, but maybe they’ll renew the license and repost them with updates and fixes, especially in the case of Fast & Furious. Some users tweeted back at Karl to find out about users who’ve purchased the games and have had to do a hard reset or have a new device. Stay Tuned…