Articles

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Nokia teases more colour with upcoming New Delhi event

Nokia has a number of events lined up for the month of May, including a global announcement tomorrow in New Delhi, India. The company has published a new post on its official blog to detail webcast times for those unable to attend. What are we expecting to see from the company? We'll put some money down on new Asha products to follow the recently announced Asha 210 or even a low-end Lumia Windows Phone.

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Nokia has released a new beta version of its Ringtone Maker over on the Nokia Beta Labs. The app enables consumers to create ringtones from locally stored music files, removing the requirement to upload, edit and save files using various free web services. Numerous tools and controls are available to edit the chosen file.

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It looks like Nokia has given up on trying to keep their new Lumia 928, destined for Verizon, hidden any longer as they have tweeted about a new YouTube video showing off its low light capability.

Filmed in Farmingdale, New York at Adventureland (a place that is just 2 miles from where a certain Editor lives, ahem), Nokia took the phone on a literal rollercoaster ride at night to brag about their PureView camera with optical image stabilization.

Needless to say, it’s impressive.

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Android and Windows Phone square off in latest Bing ads

Microsoft hasn’t been shying away from the competition lately. Last week they finally hit a home run with an ad for Windows Phone. So here’s one highlighting the strengths of Bing over Google. It also happens to showcase a killer, but underused feature of Windows Phone. Videos below.

The following videos aren’t HD. Sorry, we got them from a reader before they were hidden from the Bing YouTube account. They were prematurely posted there, but not before our man grabbed them for us. Check them out.

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With Facebook Beta for Windows Phone 8 (and soon for Windows Phone 7) becoming more mainstream on the platform, one can’t help but notice all of the copycat apps on the Store, causing brand confusion.

One devilish one is literally called “Facebook WP8 beta”, in an obvious attempt to steer naïve people towards their app.

That’s not to say there aren’t some genuine attempts to make a better Facebook app for Windows Phone users, indeed there are several with nothing but good intent by the developer. But at the end of the day, corporations need to protect their brand and with 41 clone apps on the Store competing with their official one, Facebook has evidently had enough.

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Halo Waypoint finally updated with stats for Halo 4

A common complaint among most of you is that Microsoft sometimes appears to be lacking dedication to its own platform. When a Microsoft owned property, like Skype, gets a feature on iOS before Windows Phone it’s hard to argue. Apps like Photosynth took months after Windows Phone 8 launched to come to the Store. So when Microsoft launches a new game Halo game you’d expect something to happen with the Halo Waypoint app right? That didn’t exactly happen last year, but the app was updated updated this week. Let’s see what’s new.

So Microsoft Studios updates the Halo Waypoint app. An app that hasn’t seen any love or attention since Halo 4 launched. The latest update (version 1.7) finally includes “stats” for Halo 4.

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App counts don’t matter but so-called “flagship apps” do. Ever since Windows Phone 7.x came out nearly three years ago, the “break moment” has been anxiously anticipated. That’s the instant where things click with consumers and the phones become an accepted, viable option for people to consider when shopping—the third way, if you will.

There have been false alarms in the past: Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango”, Nokia’s Lumia 900 (with AT&T’s “Hero” status) and then finally Windows Phone 8 and the Lumia 920.

Every one of those turning points it felt as if Windows Phone would finally catch on and go mainstream, but alas it never happened. Granted, with the Windows Phone 8/Lumia 920 combo, Microsoft and company had their best opportunity. But even then, things have been slower than expected despite the award winning OS and hardware.

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We’ve had a few tips over the last few days about a new Xbox Avatar prop featuring a bold Yellow Lumia 920 showing up on people’s Xbox 360s. Evidently, the mysterious offering appears in the “Advertisement” section on your Xbox Home page, allowing folks to add it to their collection and showing off some Windows Phone pride.

Alas, none of us have seen here at Windows Phone Central on our consoles, despite the occasional “refresh” of our Xbox Home (Menu Guide > Y button). That makes this addition quite the rare one to actually find, and despite our attempts to get a Store URL to manually add it, we have come up with nothing.

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When it rains, it pours. Today, the official YouTube app for Windows Phone 8 has received a massive makeover, bringing new features and becoming more than just a web-wrapper for the popular video streaming site.

Version 3.0 is now going live in the Store (depending on region) and brings a new UI, High, Medium and Low video quality settings, pinnable channels, ability to download videos for offline play, play under Lockscreen and more. Indeed, it’s just about everything most casual users could want in an official YouTube client.

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One day after Windows Phone 8 users received the new Hulu Plus app, they’re being treated again to another major app: Foursquare. While Windows Phone has had an official Foursquare app for some time on the platform, the new version is a complete overhaul.

Co-developed with Microsoft and Nokia, the new app is a completely new UI, is much faster to use and is simply gorgeous.

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Some mixed news for Viber users on Windows Phone. Although we were recently blessed with a fully-functional Windows Phone 8 “HD” version of the increasing popular VOIP app, we’re still lagging a bit behind our Android and iOS brethren in terms of features and release cycles.

Version 3.0 for Apple and Google devices went live today, bringing new features including more languages, video messages, online status, “last online” feature that shows how long your contact has been offline, brand new stickers, improved UI with an “enhanced photo experience,” and a few other changes.

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Many of our readers have noticed that Chronos Calendar is no longer available on the Windows Phone Store. The app received a major upgrade only yesterday, but the developer has found a bug within the app and has pulled Chronos Calendar until an update is published. If you've already updated or downloaded the latest version, the developer has offered a quick solution to avoid issues.

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Be seduced by Nokia Thailand and the Lumia 920

If you're wondering, "what on Earth did I just watch?" Fear not as we're still asking ourselves that very same question. Nokia Thailand has published this interesting and rather seductive promotional video for the Lumia 920. The Windows Phone is paired with a young lady who enjoys noodles, taking self-portraits and being slightly cheeky with the arrival of a mystery male.

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Today brings yet another glimpse of the Nokia Lumia 928. Whether Nokia's deliberately putting up billboards and magazine ads or they've lost control of their ad agency isn't clear (we'd bet on the former), they've successfully managed to build up some buzz without saying anything official. Just today an ad for the Lumia 928 popped up in Vanity Fair, with a link to Nokia's website for the image above.

"Capture the highlights" the ad implores, and though the Nokia page doesn't say anything about the phone's name, the image's file name certainly includes the phrase "Lumia-928". While the Nokia page doesn't spill any deets, the fine folks over at Engadget got a look at the ad in Vanity Fair (not really our rag; we're more GQ and Vogue folks) and like the billboard from this weekend, it touts the Lumia 928's low-light prowess.

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It’s been a little over six month since Windows 8 launched for consumers. How’s it doing right now? If you listened to the critics and pundits you’d be under the impression that Windows 8 was a flop – another Vista most of them joke. Because we all know Microsoft can’t make two good operating systems in a row, right? I disagree! Today we learn that Windows 8 is on pace to catch up with Windows 7 sales-wise, plus more interesting facts and figures.

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Metrofy all the web with these browser extensions

File under fun. Like most of you, we spend a lot of time staring at some screens throughout the day. Typically our Windows Phone device and computer are the ones that get the most action. You love the look and feel of Windows Phone and get that same familiarity in Windows 8. But what about in the wild web? You don’t have much control over how a site looks. Or do you?

If you want to make your web browsing experience on the desktop a little more like Windows Phone check out the following extensions for Chrome. Yes, Chrome, mostly because Internet Explorer doesn’t support add-ons/extensions at the moment like Chrome does. We’ll be making Reddit and the general web a little more “Metro”.

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We guess Nokia is enjoying creating these new filters for their #2InstaWithLove app, as they keep pushing out new ones each and every week.

And although this morning we saw an actual app update, you won’t need to download a new version tonight. So long as you have version 2.3 you can  now open the app on your phone and you’ll get the new filter live on your phone. Kind of cool how they do that, no?

So what’s the new filter called? Smartshot. And it looks to add a light, reddish hue to your photos, should you choose to use it. Overall, it’s a fun little app and you can’t beat the price. Thanks, Kloyd A., for the heads up!

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The developer of the popular RSS Reader Nextgen Reader has announced on the official blog that an update has been released for the Windows Phone app. Version 4.5 includes numerous improvements, but the main points we walk away with is that plans for the app to continue to function after Google Reader is closed down are still in the works. More on this in a moment.

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Update: Gameloft could not confirm the May 8th release date and the game hasn't shown up, so our source looks to have been incorrect. Sorry for getting everybody's hopes up. Ubisoft's Monster Burner is this week's actual Xbox release.

Gameloft announced 12 killer Xbox games for Windows Phone 8 back in October of last year (and later amended the list). Those titles starting rolling out with Asphalt 7 in February. With Ice Age Village appearing at the end of April, we’re up to seven out of 12 games so far. Not a bad two months of releases, but the most anticipated game (among our readers, anyway), N.O.V.A. 3 had yet to appear.

That changes this Wednesday when Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 finally debuts. A first-person shooter based on the Halo series. N.O.V.A. 3 is the closest thing Windows Phone will have to a proper Halo title unless Microsoft ever has a change of heart. Like Modern Combat 4, this one will require 1 GB of RAM and lots of storage space, so some devices like the Lumia 520 and 620 won’t be able to run it.

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Microsoft is scheduled to reveal the next Xbox console (codenamed Durango) in two weeks’ time on May 21st. The announcement of the reveal event marks the first time the console maker has publicly acknowledged the existence of the upcoming system. Still, the gaming industry has known about the next Xbox for quite some time now thanks to the usual steady trickle of leaks and rumors.

One of those rumors that we haven’t addressed here at Windows Phone Central is that the new console would require an internet connection in order to function. We’ll expand on that rumor in just a bit. The new rumor (which I take for truth) is that the next Xbox will not require an always-on internet connection after all. Thank goodness!

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