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WP Central

The "new" Outsider app for Windows Phone

Delays with publishing in the Marketplace should not be a surprise anymore to those familiar with Windows Phone and such was the case with Liquid Daffodil’s Outsider app which is finally live in the Marketplace.

If you recall, Outsider is the re-brand of the Windows Phone community app I’m a WP7! along with its companion app, Outsider Extras. The app was submitted 31 days ago but due to some debate and controversy over the logo, it was delayed a bit.

Outsider contains the same features as I’m a WP7! that includes tips, videos, ringtones, wallpaper, hangouts, gamer hubs, meetups, checkins, messaging and more. It’s a whole sub-community of users and is the largest of its kind for Windows Phone.

WP Central

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WP Central

Faster, Eco! Kill, Kill!

Jaxbot over at Windows Phone Hacker as an interesting experiment going on for those with rooted phones (mostly first gen Windows Phones). The app is called ‘Eco’ and is an aggressive battery saver app.

In short, it turns of all unneeded processes, sensors and clears out the memory for a kind of fresh start and then some. Jaxbot is not even clear if it will actually save battery life (he’s awaiting a battery replacement, hence his need for this) but he’s looking for feedback from users to see if he should go further with it.

Windows Phone users do have a ‘Battery Saver’ option already under Settings which disables all Push services until they recharge again but ‘Eco’ is much more than that, at least in theory.

We’re quite okay with our battery life but we know there are some of you who are either extreme users or have OCD and need to save every drop.  For those peeps, you may want to give this a go.

Head to Windows Phone Hacker for more info and the XAP file. Remember, you need a rooted phone which is more than just developer unlocked. Check the demo video after the break. 

For more info on battery saving tricks, see the homebrew Live Tile battery meter, custom battery icons and how ads in free apps can be huting your power consumption

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WP Central

Who’s the best at finding out Xbox Live releases ahead of time? Why, Windows Phone Central, of course! We’ve got the exclusive first word of tomorrow’s new Live title... Gun Bros, which we first announced back in April, launches this Wednesday.

Gun Bros

Gun Bros is a top-down twin-stick shooter, not unlike Zombies on the Phone. But instead of a horror theme, this one’s pure sci-fi, with much more content to boot. Players choose from one of two titular bruddas, outfit them with a bevy of high-tech weapons and armor, and then descend onto several contested planets and start filling their alien invaders full of lasers. Don’t worry; I hear the aliens always drink the last of the milk and then leave the jug in the refrigerator instead of throwing it away. Such atrocities will not go unpunished!

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WP Central

It was only a couple of weeks ago that we brought you a video overview of gMaps Pro for Windows Phone. The popular app has now received an update bringing a few welcomed feature improvements.

  • Improved and slick StreetView
  • Your places (with favorites, recent and pinned items)
  • Latitude as layer on your map
  • New localizations: Portuguese, Japanese
  • Offline Chinese offset detection

The big difference for me is the StreetView update. It was a bit jerky to say the least. The update and made is smooth and sweet, just like on the web. Nice job gMaps.

You can download the free (ad supported) version of gMaps here or use the QR code below for the Pro version. I can't stand adverts on my apps!

QR:gMapsPro

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Windows Phone 8, not a phone version of Windows 8

Over at Pocket Lint there is an interesting interview with Greg Sullivan, the Senior Product manager for Windows Phone detailing why Microsoft has decided to continue down the route of an entirely separate operating system for phones rather than using Windows RT.

Sullivan states that he believes that the phone is "unique enough to devote a specific effort... and differentiating that", going on to make comparisons to the most successful tablet on the market at this time:

"When I use an iPad I think it’s a really pleasurable experience, it’s a great consumption device, but I constantly run into guardrails. I want to connect a USB mass storage, oh I can't. I want to print to a printer other than the one Lexmark or whatever, I can't. I keep wanting to do things I can't do. I think it's primarily because of the fundamental strategy where they [Apple] took a phone OS and stretched it up to a tablet."

"We are taking a PC OS and shrinking it down. We could have done the same thing, but it doesn't make sense. When we deliver Surface or any Windows 8 device, the Pro model will run every Windows app ever written. That think will run Visicalc 1.0 from 1981. I saw a demo. It's amazing. It's part of the promise."

"They draw the line between the phone/tablet and the PC, and we are drawing the line between the PC/tablet and the phone."

Let's back up a little bit, and remember the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT. Windows 8 is your full-fat, all inclusive, no compromise operating system which runs on the traditional x86 infrastructure. This means it can be installed on your existing or new systems built on an Intel or AMD processor (or something more exotic using the same instruction set)...

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WP Central
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2012, Microsoft’s Epic Year?

Steve Ballmer took to the stage yesterday at Microsoft’s annual powwow, the Worldwide Partners Conference. Steve was as bullish as ever calling 2012 an “EPIC!” year for Microsoft. Steve is always excited but this time Microsoft does have it ‘going on’. Why is Steve so pumped, and what makes 2012 a year of “epic”?

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Could this be Wordament's youngest champ?

Be ready to be humbled.

Meet Joseph. He may very well be the youngest Wordament champ. He's five and a half years old and is already tearing up the Windows Phone Xbox Live game.

Joseph's game stats are as follows:

  • Best Word: Lumberjacks for 120 points
  • Total Score: 1,075,940
  • Total Words: 83,460
  • Best Game Score: 1,229
  • Best Word Count: 68
  • Full Games Completed: 3,032
  • Top Ten wins: 4
  • Best Ranking: 6

He's also a bit of a ham for the camera scoring near or above 500 points and ranking in the 90+ percentile while on camera. But we all can relate to his request for "just one more game". Most say it daily as our wives, husbands, parents, children, pets or bosses try to get our attention.  I just wish I could sit as comfortably in my lazy boy.

For those who haven't already downloaded Wordament yet, you can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It is a free Xbox Live title and very addictive. For those already hooked on Wordament, how does your Wordament stats compare to Joseph's?

Source: Wordament Blog

QR: Wordament

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WP Central

In addition to announcing the availability of the new Pink Lumia 900, AT&T today have also confirmed that the Tango update (either build 8773 or the slightly newer 8779) will also be coming to the Lumia 900. From the AT&T blog:

“Nokia is also bringing a lot of new enhancements to the Lumia 900. Nokia Lumia users will begin to see software updates for Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh in the coming weeks, which will add several new capabilities to their devices including flip-to-silence.”

We detail some of those new capabilities here in a previous post--in short, enhancements to MMS including multiple messages, voice notes and some minor fixes are included. In addition, AT&T reiterated that Nokia will be bringing a usage tracking counter and a new contact sharing feature in the near future as well, continuing Nokia’s trend to “fill the gaps” in Windows Phone for its customers.

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WP Central

Is VideoSurf's technology used in Windows Phone 8?

With today’s leak of supposed Windows Phone 7.8 features (that list is reportedly not complete either) perhaps the most interesting aspect was the new Windows Phone 8 feature with TV support via Bing Audio.

We speculated that this was an IntoNow-like service whereby you can ID television shows by letting your phone sample audio from whatever you are watching. This is analogous to the Bing Audio music ID feature introduced in Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. The question is how would Microsoft do this? Did they just invent their own video-audio ID service?

The answer may be found with an acquisition by Microsoft late last year of a company called VideoSurf (www.videosurf.com; press release).

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GateGuru lands at the Windows Phone Marketplace

GateGuru for Windows Phone

GateGuru is a travel app that has recently landed at the Windows Phone Marketplace. GateGuru has been a successful travel app on the iOS and Android platforms, success the developers are hoping will carry over to the Windows Phone platform.

GateGuru Screens

GateGuru covers over 180 airports across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia providing maps detailing airport amenities, gate locations, check points and tips on how to get around or what to look for. Additional features include:

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WP Central

Windows 8 will allow you to poke people in the eye this October

Today at Microsoft's worldwide partner conference, Tami Reller, Corporate Vice President of Windows, announced when consumers can expect to see Windows 8 be released. October 2012 was the month provided, with manufacturers getting their mucky paws on the release (as well as Windows Server 2012) in the first week of August.

Reller also notes that business customers with volume licenses will also gain early access, matching Microsoft partners. ZDNet adds that Microsoft hasn't (and wont) let on when TechNet and MSDN members will gain access to the final version. Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide at launch.

Windows 8

Should you be hoping to build a new computer or order a PC before release, be sure to note that to upgrade to Windows 8 is just $39.99. If you haven't already, check out the release preview for an insight as to what's on the horizon. So, who's excited?

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WP Central

Windows Phone 7.8 will share the same Start screen as Windows Phone 8 but little else

Although Windows Phone 7.8 is months from release, speculation as to what the update may or may not contain has been a hot topic for current Windows Phone users (see our editorial on the subject here).

The site WP7Forum.ru have a mixed reputation when coming to leaks and rumors, so like anything we should take this latest release with a grain of salt.

The data itself contains the supposed feature set of Windows Phone 7.8 and it is what many of us have come to expect—mostly the same with a few new apps. For instance, Skype is still “only an app” so no new system wide integration should be expected. That’s a technical issue and we’re 99% sure the new NT kernel is needed for those advanced VOIP features to keep it “on” all the time without killing your battery.

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WP Central

Nokia is back to updating a lot of their core apps one of which we completely forgot about: Pulse.

We last covered Nokia Pulse when it was announced at Nokia World back in fall 2011. It’s Nokia’s social-app and at the time we had little use for it—there were no Lumias on the market and Nokia’s service wasn’t exactly all that feature-rich.

Today, Nokia announced that Pulse Beta (yup, it’s still not ready for official release) is going to version 0.9 within in the next day or two (ours is still at 0.8 in the Marketplace). The good news is there are plenty of new features coming with 0.9 that are making us reconsider using this app:

  • You can now sign-in on Nokia Pulse with your Facebook account
  • You can start a new conversation as soon as you open Nokia Pulse
  • The Nokia Pulse live tile now shows more information about unread messages
  • The overall performance of Nokia Pulse has been improved
  • You can now consolidate multiple email addresses for a person…
  • …and more easily correct a misspelled email address
  • Your friend who aren’t using Nokia Pulse just yet will get a direct link to the mobile client for their specific phone for a mobile Nokia Pulse experience

Nokia Pulse is kind of powerful. It’s basically a messaging app on steroids. For instance it allows you to send mapping information (via Nokia Maps) to a contact for a meet-up, you can create groups for mass messaging, add in notes, reviews, phone numbers all with a few taps.

WP Central

Back last year, Nokia introducing a messaging service was akin to when Samsung announced ChatOn—it’s kind of cool but there are alternatives out there.  Flash-forward today though and it’s a bit different—Nokia now means something and we’re much more inclined to jump on their ship as opposed to Samsung’s (then again, ChatOn is multi-platform, Pulse currently is not. However, Nokia Pulse is going to Android and iOS presumably after it is feature-complete on Windows Phone).

You can download Nokia’s Pulse here in the Marketplace. Being a beta, it is not yet restricted to Lumia phones. Let’s repeat that: currently ALL Windows Phones users can try this out but our bet is with v1.0 it will land in the Nokia Collection, so grab it and try it now. Also remember, you're looking for version 0.9 as the latest which may show up in 12-48 hours (we're still on the old v0.8).

Take a look at the video demo and announcement after the break along with the QR code...

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WP Central

The overwhelming majority of Lumia 900 users are loving their phone

We know from personal experience that owners of the Lumia 900 (review) have a lot of pride in their device and that feeling has now been quantified in a new study commissioned by Nokia. Nokia hired Nielsen’s back in April to survey US buyers of their flagship Windows Phone to see how happy they were with their purchase decision. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 96 per cent of owners are extremely satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their Lumia 900
  • 95 per cent of owners are willing to recommend the Lumia 900
  • 83 per cent say that their expectations are better or much better than expected
  • 85 per cent say they would repurchase the Lumia 900
  • 91 per cent think their phone is better than other mobiles out on the market
  • 95 per cent thought downloading an app from the Marketplace was easy to do

The survey was the online one we reported back in May and consisted of 810 people averaging 18 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Of course we wonder now how many of you skewed the results lending a sampling bias to Nielsen by not necessarily representing the average consumer (as opposed to “enthusiasts”). Ahem.

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Xbox and Nexus Q

In last decade there have been many great rivaleries: Tyson Vs. Hollifield, Baggy pants vs Skinny Jeans, Alien VS. Predator - the list just goes on and on. Now a new fight is brewing: Google's Nexus Q and Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Google has recently announced their new form of media consumption for their users. It's small, round, glows like Tron, and  looks a bit like the Death Star. This sphere will go head to head with the Xbox 360. Microsoft has been rebranding the Xbox 360 for the last few years, turning it from an exclusive gaming system to your main media device. More and more people have been using the console to watch movies, stream music, and to video chat. With Smart Glass coming out hopefully in the fall, Microsoft will be integrating your phone or tablet as both a second screen and remote control.

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ARMED! Preview now available for free on Windows 8

ARMED Preview

Just before summer started, Dallas-based Sickhead Games announced they would be porting their popular indie strategy title ARMED! to Windows 8 and iOS. They weren’t lying, as ARMED! Preview is now available on the Windows 8 store.

Why the ‘Preview’ moniker? As most PC users know, Windows 8 hasn’t been officially released yet. Lots of people are running preview builds in the wild though, and ARMED! Preview is meant for them. The build is free and basically functions as a public beta; you can submit feedback through the Sickhead website. Not a bad move, as it’s best to test online multiplayer games as much as possible before you start charging for them. Also note that the promised cross-platform multiplayer between ARMED! on Windows 8 and Windows Phone has not gone live yet, but it’s still in the works.

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Pink Lumia 900

Nokia has today announced the pink Lumia 900 exclusively for AT&T in the US. The device is identical to the Lumia 900 we know and love, which is already stocked by the carrier in white, black and cyan. We've continuously looked at hints of a possible pink / magenta Lumia 900, and this announcement will please those who wish to stand out from the crowd.

As with all Lumia devices, customers will be able to take advantage of the app collection, which is exclusive to Nokia Windows Phones. Unfortunately there's no word on availability outside the states, though we'd imagine the manufacturer will launch the colour globally.

With Windows Phone 8 just around the corner, we expect many to hold onto their hard-earned cash for more advanced and future proof hardware. But should you choose to go for the magenta Lumia 900, then fear not as Windows Phone 7.8 will be on its way later this year.

Source: Nokia; Thanks, Bailey and Joe, for the tip!

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Samsung to release a Windows RT Tablet?

The word on the street today (according to Bloomberg) is that Samsung is set to launch their own Windows RT tablet in just a few months time. The tip has apparently come from someone with inside knowledge and they have stated that the tablet will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

I am sitting on the fence in terms of whether this is on the cards or not. On the one hand Samsung have the hardware capabilities to build a great tablet but on the other hand they are so well established within the Android tablet market would they now feel the need to consider an alternative OS? Or could this be a reaction to the recent Google Nexus 7 Android tablet which is in direct competition with Samsung and coming in at a much lower price point than the South Korean manufacturer can offer?

With the recent news that Hewlett-Packard (HP) won't initially be backing Windows RT anything is possible. Either way, I wouldn't be surprised to see Samsung jumping on the Windows tablet market. I say watch this space.  Curious though...would such a tablet entice you away from Microsoft's Surface tablets?

Source: Bloomberg

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2

Love Clean Streets for Windows Phone updated to 2.1

WP Central

The Love Clean Streets app for Windows Phone (as well as the network for other smartphones) enables members of public to report environmental issues with their mobile device by simply uploading a report with a photo. The app is much like the Love Clean London, which was previously featured by the BBC in a news report.

The apps share similar functionality and help tackle the severe problems our towns and cities face on a daily basis. Love Clean Streets has recently been update to version 2.1, which introduces the following:

  • The ability to upload images direct from the photo gallery, if you have location services switched on for pictures it automatically puts the pin at the location in the picture.
  • Inspired by logo
  • Keyboard when entering report details, now has the auto complete
  • You can switch off the use of the GPS from within the application (Marketplace requirement).

As well as the above features, a number of bug fixes were also bundled with the release. Should you find yourself wanting to help clean up your area, then be sure to check out Love Clean Streets. It's now more convenient than ever to report environmental problems using your Windows Phone.

You can download Love Clean Streets from the Marketplace for free.

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Hi guys! We're gonna switch up the normal Monday Brief this week to bring you all something special. I'm so excited to celebrate my one-year birthday with the Mobile Nations team, and with the help of every site in the network, I want to hook a lucky winner up with their dream device. Have you been lusting after the Samsung Galaxy S III? How about the new iPad? Or perhaps you've been anxiously awaiting the next round of Windows Phone 8 devices or are holding out for BlackBerry 10?

Over the years we've seen some pretty crazy entries for video contests here at Mobile Nations (Kevin often brings up a certain Pudding Wrestling in Time Square CrackBerry video), but I want to top them all, so we're gonna make this the best video contest Mobile Nations has ever had! Seriously, I want to you see you all get creative, get crazy and show me your passion to help, let's have a look at what you could win:

  • GRAND PRIZE: One (1) phone, tablet, or gadget you've read about on Mobile Nations websites, valued at up to $600 USD
  • Runners Up: We'll hook you up with some awesome stuff. Either a coupon to one of the stores, some swag or something else you'll love. Don't worry, if we use your intro on a Monday Brief, we'll give you recognition and a nice little reward.

Once again, this is a video contest -- you'll have to get creative and assemble your most creative, funny, or just plain insane version of my weekly introduction to the Monday Brief. If you're not sure what part that is, watch the beginning of the show. Jump below to get the full details on how to enter and check out the rules, you'll need to follow them accordingly.

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Baby Genius Sing & play

Nokia continues to strengthen partnerships with software providers to bring more compelling content to the Windows Phone platform. This time they are working with Genius Brands International to bring their *Award Winning* Baby Genius products exclusively to Lumia devices. 

Baby Genius apps aim to help children transition from preschool to kindergarten. The first two apps from the series Sing ‘n Play Pals will arrive this summer as Nokia exclusive content. The apps are said to contain both free and premium content that can be unlocked by a parent at their discretion.

Sing & play Screens

CEO of Genius Brands Klaus Moeller had this to say about the announcement...

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WP8 Start Screen Now with Adverts
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Will Windows Phone 8 have an Advert Tile?

There is still a lot we do not know about Windows Phone 8. What we do know is that it will share many things in common with the slightly newer Metro inspired UI’s of the Xbox 360 and Windows 8. Let us discuss the recent trend with Microsoft inserting advertising into its products using metro tiles. These adverts are already present in Windows 8 and the Xbox 360. Will those advert tiles be making an appearance in Windows Phone 8 too? 

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WP Central

The official Seattle Pi app does a nice job of bringing the latest news from Washington State

For those who follow Microsoft or live in Seattle, you’ll want to check out the official Seattle Pi news (SeattlePi.com) app just recently released.

Seattle PI is a fairly large online paper for those living in Washington State and we know a lot of Microsofties who frequent this site would be interested in the official app. We know about the site because they tend to have fairly decent articles written about the state’s most well-known employer, Microsoft.

The app is laid out nicely with a very customizable interface. You can choose how many stories appear on the front page (default is two but we much prefer four or higher), which sections are listed and their order and you can pin separate sections of the paper to your Start screen as a Live Tile for quick access.

There are some parsing errors with titles (we think it’s because of that darn ampersand) but the photos, smooth scrolling, sharing options and ability to save articles make it worth it. Plus it’s free with no ads which is always a nice bonus.

We’re using it just for the MS articles but if you live in Washington, you’ll probably want to give it a go. Pick up SeattlePi.com here in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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WP Central

Tech2 India has reported that Nokia are kicking off a new campaign in the country titled "Amazing Money Back Challenge". This enables consumers who purchase the Lumia 710 or 800 Windows Phones to return the device within seven days for a full refund if not satisfied. That's some fairly heavy commitment.

The campaign is active on the Nokia India Facebook page, where consumers can enter contact details, select nearest stores and wait for that store to contact the participant. We presume a trip to a supporting store will also yield the same results. Of course, to return the device, you'll need to have it in almost-perfect condition with the original packaging, manuals and accessories. As well as this, the Windows Phone can only be returned to the store it was purchased from.

While many may see this as a desperate move by the manufacturer, we see it as an interesting challenge for consumers. Potential Windows Phone adopters can now fully own a Lumia smartphone for seven days on a free trial of sorts. Should they somehow not enjoy the experience provided by Nokia, there's peace of mind that a refund is readily available.

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Interview – Phonos Developer Andy Pennell

Robert Brand Developer Interview

As a companion piece to my review of the Phonos app, I thought it would be interesting to check in with Andy and get some background on his experiences whilst developing for Windows Phone. Originally, on the team that built the ill-fated Kin devices he has since been working on Windows Phone 8.0 Apollo. Andy shares his experiences with bringing his app to market. He tells us about hurdles hes overcome with the platform, thoughts on WinRT development and much much more... For these insights you’ll need to keep on reading past the break..

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