Articles

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At last, Sonic CD arrives for Xbox on Windows Phone

It’s been a long time coming. SEGA first announced Sonic CD for Windows Phone way back in August 2011. We then interviewed Ken Balough, Sonic’s brand manager, shortly before the Xbox 360 version launched on December 14 of that year. At the time, there was no indication that the WP7 port would arrive dramatically later than the XBLA one… But here we are in November 2012, and the game is finally available. Good news: it was worth the wait!

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We've been publishing a number of reports covering multiple retailers and carriers where initial stock of Lumia 920 Windows Phones has sold out. It appears this is a global issue right now, but who would have thought that Nokia would have a problem of getting enough Windows Phones into the market to meet demand?

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25

Huawei Ascend W1 to make an appearance at CES 2013

As one of the Microsoft's launch partners along with Nokia, Samsung and HTC, Huawei has been an awfully mysterious company in the Windows Phone ecosystem. First there was complete silence for a long time, then we had the whole situation in the US.

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Last week’s Xbox Deal of the Week was a repeat sale on the less-than-impressive Windows Phone port of Earthworm Jim from Gameloft. This week, I’ve got both some Aladeen news and some Aladeen news to share with you. First, the Aladeen news: we’re getting another repeat deal on another so-so Gameloft game – UNO HD. Now the Aladeen news: it’s going on sale for just 99 cents, down from $4.99, making this a much better deal than last time.

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The ESPN Fantasy Football 2012 app has vanished from the Windows Phone Store and those who have been using the app have seen their teams vanish as well. The app itself has disappeared from the Nokia Collection as well but if you follow this link, you can still find the app's listing.

Unfortunately, the Nokia exclusive is noted (for both Windows Phone 7 and 8) as not being available for your device from your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone.  From the online store, the app is simply listed as "not available online" likely due to the Nokia exclusivity.

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There's a discussion going on over at the Windows Phone Central forums that has us a little concerned about the Lumia 920's battery performance. Some are seeing their batteries being sucked dry in a few hours while some aren't seeing any issues.

Our Dan Rubino refers to his 920's battery life as fantastic and I would have agreed up until today when my 920 barely made it six hours on a full charge.  Oddly the back of my Lumia 920 became warm during throughout the morning.  Made for a great hand warmer but I'd trade cold hands for better battery life any day.

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While we think Microsoft’s Surface is a solid first attempt, there are some minor issues with the OS and hardware that still need to be worked on. One of those is performance as animations and app load times aren’t always the smoothest nor fastest. Still, being a version 1.0 product we know Microsoft will be tweaking things along the way.

Such is the case with today’s update that has gone out to the Surface RT. The update, part of “patch Tuesday” contains eight parts including a firmware update related to security. Over at the Verge they claim that the update also improves performance of apps starting up: “On average, apps launched around two seconds faster than before, a noticeable improvement.”

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The Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone has surfaced over at Amazon Wireless. All five colors are available and the cost? The Lumia 920 on a new accounts or eligible upgrades will cost you $99.99. The out of contract price is $499.99.

Black and White models of the Lumia 920 are listed as shipping within 24 hours. The Cyan, Yellow and Red models are listed with estimated shipping in one to two weeks.

You can find the Amazon Wireless Lumia 920 listings here and we've got a discussion on the Amazon Wireless listings going on here in the WPCentral forums.

Thanks, Bugrahan, for the tip!

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Nokia has announced a new partnership with Internet giant Mozilla, which includes the acquisition of 3D capture company earthmine. Introducing 'HERE', a cloud deployment that's planned to deliver "the world's best maps and location services and devices" to help make the mobile experience more personal while on the move.

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68

A Second Look - Windows RT and that Surface tablet

Ever since Microsoft first announced to the world their intentions to “re-imagine” Windows it has been a rather wild ride. Their new touch screen user interface, WinRT wasn't just radical for its looks, it ushered in a totally new apps eco system while simultaneously sending the Start Menu to the technology grave yard.

The changes to the OS ran deep and Microsoft had been busy readying Windows 8/RT to run on the highly power efficient ARM processors. Their plans for that became clearer when they shocked the technology world by announcing their own tablet computer, the Surface. With the changes to Windows came a new declaration that Microsoft re-position themselves as a Devices and Services company. They have built their eco system and the next logical step has been to control the hardware that uses it. The culmination of their efforts in re-imagining Windows and becoming a devices and services company can we seen best in one single product, their Surface tablet running Windows RT.

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Sprint has finally confirmed what we already kind of knew for a while now: They will be hopping on the the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon. In an emailed statement to PCMag, the company said that it's cold feet have warmed up and that they will bring Windows Phone 8 on board in 2013:

"Sprint and Microsoft are partnering to bring Windows Phone 8 to Sprint's customers - operating on its 4G LTE network - next year."

There had been inklings that this may happen, like Ting, a Sprint network reseller blogging that it would support the latest version of Windows Phone "sixty days after Sprint has it," but there was plenty of reason to wonder as well. Not only did Sprint kill off it's poorly-selling, yet highly-acclaimed HTC Arrive, but they also put out an internal document stating that there were no Windows Phone 8 devices slated to offered any time soon.

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The new Windows Phone 8 sync client has been received with mixed reviews. On the one hand, people like the new modern UI look and exceptionally minimalist feature set. But perhaps it was a bit too barren?

Luckily the Windows Phone 8 sync client (for Windows 8) has been updated today to version 1.1.2303 and indeed the syncing ability for music and media has been refined. You can see in our before and after shots that your music is now place into what look like Tile/Folders as opposed to just “slots”. Right click on the folder will give you the ability to add the UI common “check” allowing you to sync that whole folder. If we had to guess, we’d say Microsoft purposefully made it much more “touch friendly” for you Surface and touchscreen users.

Head past the break for some comparison shots...

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63

Samsung ATIV S gets pushed back to December


Samsung ATIV S - First to announce and last to market

Yesterday we commented how Samsung appears to be late to the Windows Phone 8 train with their ATIV S smartphone. While not as visually eye-catching as HTC or Nokia's offerings, the device has strong appeal to the smartphone traditionalists out there or just those who want every high spec tossed into a phone. Sporting a 4.8" display, 32GB of onboard storage (with an expansion card option), dual-core 1.5Ghz CPU, a massive 2300 mAh battery and a slick, metal finish, the phone has its fans.

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34

Nokia Lumia 920 enters the world of Minecraft

The Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone has entered the world of Minecraft in a very creative fashion. The Lumia 920 model was created by Minecraft player Gokuroyu, took 14 days to complete and includes over 370,000 blocks.

And it's not just the outershell. Gokuroyu takes us inside the inner workings of the Lumia 920 to display the camera, memory storage, XBox Music and more.

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41

Nokia Lumia 920 sold out at both Telstra and Clove

If news of the Lumia 920 selling out in China, but then being withheld due to incorrect pricing, wasn't enough then we've also got word that both Telstra and Clove have both sold out in the first day of going live. It appears (depending on how many units were stocked in the first batch) demand is high for the handsets - even at full / the correct price.

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Windows Phone Brazil expects 7.8 update in Q1 2013

Sure we love bringing you folks the latest on Windows Phone 8 or what executive is leaving Microsoft this week, but what many of you really want to know is what about the 7.8 upgrade?

While we still don’t know what it will contain, or rather if it will have more than just a new Start screen, we always knew it was destined to come after Windows Phone 8 comes out. Now, Windows Phone Brazil (official Twitter account), has responded to a question about that update to current Windows Phones.  The answer is that the 7.8 update is expected for Brazil in Q1 2013, which sounds about right to us (and is vague enough to leave some wiggle room).

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115

T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 810 unboxing and video tour

Hey, look at that! The Nokia Lumia 810 exclusively for T-Mobile showed up on our doorstep and we decided to film us opening her up.

Now although Mobile Nations guru Phil Nickinson played with a dummy Lumia 810, yours truly has not had a chance to even touch one—so this will be my first “hands on” with T-Mobile’s new device. Off the cuff? The screen, even at 4.3” and 800x480 is really bold, bright and eye popping, due in part to some ClearBlack and an OLED display. It also blends seamlessly with that soft-touch black body, which feels quite nice to hold...

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The Wall Street Journal’s All Things D is reporting that effective immediately, Windows unit President Steve Sinofsky is leaving the company. The move is considered to be "mutual" and deals in large part to Sinofsky not being a "team player", evidently rubbing some executives in other divisions the wrong way. It’s a shocking move because if anyone, Sinofsky has become the face of the new direction of Microsoft, having “saved” Windows 7 and pushing Redmond towards Windows 8 and beyond.

All Things D go on to say that “…Sinofsky deputies. Julie Larson-Green will head up the engineering side of Windows, while Tami Reller, who has had headed marketing and served as the unit’s CFO, will have responsibility for the business side of things.”

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