Articles

Viber

The popular VOIP service Viber has been a long time in the making for Windows Phone. The fist app was merely a preview beta that only had direct messaging but no voice capability. Then a few weeks ago we got word that the ‘HD’ version with full VOIP capability was headed to Nokia Lumia phones.

During that time though, a lot has happened including a very long delay, much to the surprise of the developer who had anticipated a quick releases. Due to Microsoft’s quirky (and backlogged) app submission process, Viber got lost in the shuffle and had to have some pushing before the Store could give birth.

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32

Chinese manufacturer Coolpad might be adopting Windows Phone

WP Central
Zhang Guangqiang, VP of Coolpad (R&D division)

News came over the weekend that Coolpad, a Chinese phone manufacturer, will probably join the Windows Phone rank, to sit beside more internationally renowned folks like Huawei and ZTE.

In what seems to be an official news release, Zhang Guangqiang, a VP of the company, revealed that they are aiming to release the first Windows Phone device in the first half of 2013. That’s an awfully long time away, and Zhang doesn’t seem to be totally serious about it (just one casual mention), so let’s file it under rumors for the time being.

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WP Central

Carbon, has left the building...

Say what you will about Twitter clients, but the developers behind them can be a finicky bunch from our experience. That notion is being reinforced again today with the announcement that Carbon has been pulled from the Windows Phone Store for good.

The man behind Carbon, M.Saleh Esmaeili, took to his Google+ page to discuss what had happened after his interview on our podcast, Iterate. In short, Carbon was never meant to be multi-platform.

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StyleSaint

StyleSaint - exclusively for Nokia Lumia Windows Phones

While we’re still waiting on Viber HD from Nokia to go live today (more on that later, when it’s available), another app has come forth for those with fashion on their minds.

StyleSaint (www.stylesaint.com) can now be downloaded for Nokia Lumia phones, allowing you to browse the latest fashions, clip them, make your own ‘stylebook’ and then share it with the world.

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WP Store

Left: the old Store search; Right, new Store search with developer lookup

Microsoft has been hard at work “doing things” to the Windows Phone store, which in theory will improve things (so far, all we’ve heard are developer complaints about delayed app publishing).

One of those areas is now coming forward although we have yet been able to verify in the US. WPArea.de has noticed that you can now search by the developer’s name in addition to their app. In a side by side with an HTC Mozart and a Lumia 800, they found the Mozart was able to get different search results when “Kik” was entered.

On the Mozart, Kik returned the developer house first, followed by the app whereas the Lumia 800 showed the more traditional KiK Messenger as the first.

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Nokia Lumia 920 camera

Nokia shows off the Lumia 920 at the 2012 Photokina camera trade show

Nokia is busy making the rounds promoting the Lumia 920 Windows Phone and this past week they set up shop at the 2012 Photokina trade show. If you aren't familiar with Photokina it is the largest trade show for the photographic and imaging industries. The equivalent for smartphones would be the annual Consumer Electronics Show or Mobile World Congress.

Nokia jumped on the opportunity to set up shop at the Carl Zeiss booth at Photokina to show off the Pureview Cameras on both the Lumia 920 and Pureview 808. A demo box was set up, like we saw at the New York reception, to demo the low light performance of these cameras.  Nokia reps also demoed the image stabilization and how it improves video quality.

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From the Forums

It's time for another From the Forums roundup and since it's a Saturday we thought we'd add a slightly humorous twist to this edition - so be sure to check out the miscellaneous section at the end for the feel-good call out. While not much has occurred during the week in the aftermath of the HTC event, we've been able locate popular threads over on our forums for inclusion.

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Nokia Reading

Reports are coming in that Nokia has released an update for its Reading app, which was made available for Lumia Windows Phone owners earlier this year. The app is unfortunately not available in the US, but for those who are able to download and make use of the service it's a worthy reading companion.

Should you not be able to access the likes of Amazon's Kindle service, Nokia Reading offers a variety of books available to purchase and / or download. With the latest update, which we've not yet been able to apply ourselves, users will be able to import DRM-free books (EPUB and PDF formats supported) from SkyDrive.

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The Russian mobile phone website Mobiltelefon.ru has published a fairly long video of the Lumia 920 in action. This follows the video published comparing the video image-stabilisation on both the Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S3.

While we can't tell what's being said throughout, we are aware of the team being located in a "secret Nokia bunker" - this was of course a humorous jab at Microsoft for how reserved they're being of Windows Phone 8. 

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WP Central
Mr. Ren Weiguang on Windows Phone 7.5 Chinese launch event. Image credit to evolife.cn

Chinese site WPDang managed to interview Mr. Ren Weiguang, the president of HTC China, after the manufacturer's September 19th announcing of the very colorful Windows Phone 8X and 8S range. The interview reveals what's probably mixed news about HTC's products.

In summary, Mr. Ren told the journalist the following:

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Lyrics for Windows Phone

Lyrics for your Windows Phone was recently updated which added a few performance tweaks and Music ID. Lyrics is integrated with Zune to pull up not only the tracks in your music library but also the ability to list the lyrics as well.

Lyrics by Musixmatch  has a library of over 5.5 million officially licensed lyrics in eighteen languages. If the lyrics are in the library, Lyrics will help you sing along without missing a beat (or a word).

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Wikipedia

Wikipedia v1.1 is now out now with custom colors

Wikipedia, by developer extraordinaire Rudy Huyn, is easily one of the nicest apps for Windows Phone. We said as much in our earlier mini-review and we stand by that statement.

Version 1.1 has just gone live in the Marketplace and there are quite a few welcome changes and additions to make this outstanding app even better…

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ThinkPad 2

ThinkPad 2 for $799 w/keyboard?

Last night we popped by PepCom, a little tech event that happens every few months here in New York City. We were curious if Samsung would be there with their ATIV lineup (answer: no) and we were hoping to maybe spot some interesting tidbits for you folks. We're not too heavily focused on tablets here, but sometimes we find out things.

For instance, we managed to get our mitts on the upcoming Lenovo Thinkpad 2, sporting Windows 8 Pro and a 10.1” 1,366 x 768 IPS display. Impressions? It’s very nice and we’re kind of itching to get one, especially with its reported 10 hour battery life, 2MP/8MP camera, AT&T LTE, NFC, USB ports and even a stylus.

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WP Central

The 8X features a solid 8MP shooter

Although we’re convinced that the Nokia Lumia 920’s camera sets the bar for “high end” these days, HTC is no slouch either and their Windows Phone 8X has some nifty specs going for it as well.

The 8X’s camera features an impressive F/2.0 aperture at a cozy 28mm and 8MP. It also sports a backside illuminated  (BSI) sensor and a dedicated image-chip for fast processing and some advanced photo processing.

The result? It’s a darn good camera.

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Although Nokia caught some flak for the misleading demonstration of the 920’s camera, we’ve always maintained that optical-image stabilization (OIS) is a very real and proven technology. 

Still, Nokia has some catching up to do to prove to the world just how impressive the 920’s camera can be with OIS on board and as it turns out, the task is simple: just use it.

A Russian site managed to get a meeting with Nokia and to try the 920’s camera in a real-world experiment with the Samsung Galaxy S3. The test? Strap both phones to the top of a remote controlled car, and then drive it all over a bumpy rug.

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WP Central Accessory Roundup

Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Skin Cases for the Nokia Lumia 900

Over the past few months, we've taken a look at a nice assortment of skin cases for the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone. We had a request to roundup all these cases under one roof and felt like it would be a good detour from the apps and games.

So this week we'll take a break from our typical roundup to take a look at some of the better skin cases for the Nokia Lumia 900.  Some of these cases offer a considerable amount of protection while others are more for cosmetics.  Some are hard shells, some are gel skins, and others are a combination of the two. Next week we'll get back to the games and apps, but for now on with the accessories.

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Verizon Lumia

Verizon set to get the 'big 3'?

Rum: 8

Although unverified at this point, the site PhoneArena is claiming to have the Verizon roadmap for upcoming new devices, including those rumored “multiple” Windows Phone 8 phones.

The good news if accurate is Verizon is getting all of the big guns, including the Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung ATIV S and the recently announced HTC 8X—all considered to be the top of the line launch devices for Windows Phone 8, due to occur at the end of October.

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YoYo Games Windows 8

YoYo Games (www.yoyogames.com) announced yesterday that GameMaker: Studio, the cross-platform games development environment, will support upcoming Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The studio enables developers to create games in a single code base and subsequently export with ease to multiple platforms and formats.

Current level of support includes HTML5, Facebook, Android, iOS, Windows and OS X. GameMaker: Studio for Windows 8 is stated to be available for developers prior to the OS launch, while support for Windows Phone 8 will reportedly arrive following device availability.

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This Week: Buy the Amzer Shellster ShellCase w/ Holster for Nokia Lumia 900 and save $10.00!

The Amzer Shellster combines the protection of a shell case and the power of a clip stand holster. The form fit rear shell is impact resistant for complete protection and quickly slides in and out of the holster for instant phone access. The holster is lined with a soft fabric for a scratch free Lumia 900 and the 180º swiveling belt clip doubles as an adjustable clip stand, perfect for displaying or media viewing.

List Price: $19.95     This Week: $9.95

Learn More and Buy Now

Never miss a deal. Sign up for Weekly Deal alerts!

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Lumia 800

While we're all entirely focused on the latest and greatest Windows Phone hardware from manufacturers, we can't simply discard previous generation smartphones. The Lumia 800 has had its price tag slashed multiple times, and has been on special offer a fair few rounds. It's not shy to being made more attractive at a lower fee and Orange UK has taken it a step further by offering the Lumia 800 on Pay As You Go (PAYG) plans for just £159.

It's an absolute bargain if you're after a Windows Phone but don't care for the latest Apollo upgrade that's just around the corner - the Lumia 800 will not be receiving Apollo, but the handset will be hit with the Windows Phone 7.8 refresh that's on the horizon. Nokia has also announced they will be supporting the first Lumia family of Windows Phones with further firmware upgrades as well as service / app updates.

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umia 510

It looks like Nokia is still pushing ahead with some low-end phones to compete with the likes of Android, especially in China.

News has come forward this morning that a new device caledl ‘Lumia 510’ has just passed certification in China. The specs aren’t anything eye catching for obvious reasons but it should sell well if priced right:

  • 4 "LCD screen, 5MP
  • 120.7 x 64.9 x 11.51 (mm), 129 (g)
  • GSM-WCDMA-HSPA
  • 800MHz MSM7227A + 256MB RAM + Windows Phone 7.5/7.8

No word on exact release date though we’re sure more information will come forward shortly. What’s interesting is that the device is running Windows Phone 7.5 and will get the 7.8 upgrade but alas, no Windows Phone 8.

Source: Tieba Badu; Thanks, Jack Lo, for the link and images!

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ASB App

The official Twitter account for New Zealand's bank ASB (www.asb.co.nz) tweeted a photo that teases a Windows Phone app for customers to make use of mobile banking. ASB joins numerous other banks that have released apps for the platform, adding another name to the pool of officially supported apps.

While no details are included, we can see the app offering a number of features. Amongst the list of menu items is an option for exchange rates and possible conversion calculators, as well as the ability to locate nearest branches and (we'd assume) ATMs, receive quick balance checks to stay on top of the bottom line without diving into feature rich account management, visit the official ASB website and to contact the bank for enquiries.

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28

Pricing for Nokia Lumia 920 in Hong Kong revealed?

Lumia 920

Rum: 6

The recently announced Nokia Lumia 920 is set to be priced in Hong Kong at just HK$3,900 (approx. $500 / £300), according to a report over at WeloveWP.hk. Consumers will also be able to pick up the new Windows Phone with a Wireless Charging Base and a Bluetooth headset for just HK$4,399 (approx. $570 / £350), which would aggressively compete with the HTC 8X that has been priced at just £399 including VAT (approx. $650) at a UK retailer.

The price conversions from Hong Kong Dollars would be before VAT is added on, so we'd be looking at around about the same as the potential HTC 8X tag for the Lumia 920 once it reaches UK shores. No official word has come from Nokia (or HTC) regarding pricing, so we should of course take this with a cup of salt, but we can see Nokia pricing their new hardware to undercut both HTC and Samsung. This would almost fit in with Lumia 800 pricing when the Windows Phone was released last November.

Alas, it's always fun to speculate and have our dreams taken to new heights with great deals, right? How much would you be looking to pay for both the Lumia 920 and 820 SIM-free?

via: WeloveWP.hk

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WP Central

The BBC has interviewed CEO of HTC Peter Chou at the company's launch of its new Windows Phones in New York. The chief executive talks about the new HTC 8X and HTC 8S. What's to take from this interview is his comment that he's "super confident" of the new smartphones.

While HTC will continue to support the Android platform, Chou continued to state the new Windows Phones were 'hero products' and that Microsoft are to join the manufacturer in launching an integrated marketing campaign.

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