Nokia France has revealed that Windows Phone 8 build 10327 (GDR2), coupled with Nokia's Amber firmware update for Lumia Windows Phones, is underway in the local market. Group product manager, Olivier Lagreou today announced on Twitter that the software update is now being pushed out to Windows Phone 8 hardware made by the manufacturer.
Talk Mobile 2013 is still underway and if you haven't been following the debates, discussions and community interaction, where have you been hiding?
We spent an entire week focusing on gaming already, but today we've got a sweet infographic to share with you, based on data accumulated through suggestions, comments and votes from you guys - the community.
Two updates have rolled out today for some popular apps on Windows Phone: Domino’s Pizza and MapQuest, making sure you know how to find your local pizza shop for that carryout order.
First up is Domino’s Pizza, which launched back in June for Windows Phone 8 in US markets and it has sadly become one of our most used apps (running on a treadmill while ordering your next meal is über convenient). Since then, the app hasn’t had any updates but today it gets a minor one with version 1.1 ready for delivery.
Singster is more than just a karaoke app, we're talking about a new community that enables you to tune in, sing and either rock to or ultimately destroy more than 1,300 classics. It doesn't matter if you can or can't sing. As long as you have a voice, some confidence (alcohol is said to help, adults) and the app installed on your Windows Phone, you'll be able to sing your favourite hits, recording the performance and take part in competitions.
While Nokia fans get a lot of attention today, those on Bell and Telus up north are reportedly getting Windows Phone 8 GDR2 as well, starting now. We reported a few days ago that Bell would start pushing out the update today and sure enough, it is live. Likewise, those on Telus and Rogers who have an ATIV S can also check for an update too, delivering a happy surprise for those customers.
The update will bump both the OS 8.0.10327.77 and your firmware to 2220.127.116.11, though users are reporting mixed results in terms of any new features.
Popular Windows Phone developer Liquid Daffodil has revealed a sweet deal for those who are looking at getting involved with platform development. Partnering with Wintellect (www.wintellect.com), who specialise in technology training and consultation for companies, limited-time promotional access to online training is now available to developers for free with a 14 day promotion.
Nokia has pushed a new video to their YouTube account demonstrating the strengths of their PureView camera found on the Lumia 925. But instead of just rattling off specs, they take the fight directly to Apple, challenging the notion that quantity does not equal quality by pitting it against the iPhone 5. While the video is sure to ruffle some feathers, it's a valid differentiator between the two phones and one worth highlighting to consumers.
The commercial shows various side by shots between the two devices for everyday events with users snapping away pics while a voice over talks about what makes the Lumia 925 so special. Highlighting such features as OIS (optical image stabilisation), sixth lens and PureView technology, which gets name-dropped, can go a long way towards building a brand name around this significant selling point for Nokia.
On Friday, we brought you a report of upcoming changes to how Bing works and looks on Windows Phone 8. At the time, we presented a handful of documented alterations and confirmed with Microsoft that these new features were coming to those in the US soon and the rest of the world a bit later.
Today, Microsoft has decided to detail those changes on the Windows Phone Blog, filling in some of the blanks for the search engine overhaul.
UK retailers are starting to announce availability and pricing for the Lumia 1020, as well as opening up pre-orders. We've only just covered Expansys UK, but Clove has quickly confirmed they will also be stocking the Nokia flagship Windows Phone. The device is expected to be priced at £588 (including VAT) and will be shipped out in September.
Great news if you’re into the whole NASCAR racing sport as today, the official app to keep track of the race series is available to all Windows Phone 8 devices.
That’s the good news as the app is well designed and offers up race results, scheduling information and video clips. The bad news is if you want all the cool stuff, by which we mean access to the Live Race Center, you’ll need to be a Sprint customer.
It was only back in June when Samsung announced a refresh to some of their Windows 8 devices, including the ATIV Tab 3, which takes their previous 11.6 inch ATIV tablet down to a more nimble 10.1 inch format.
The 32-bit Windows 8 device features a 1366x768 display with an 1.8 GHz Atom Z2760, along with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of on board storage (expandable with microSD). The device also become a smidge thinner and more refined in design, adding a metal band around the edge for a more premium feel.
The Lumia 1020 was recently announced by Nokia and is already starting to be shipped to those who pre-ordered the Windows Phone in the US. Over here in the UK, we're still waiting for mobile operators to release details regarding availability and pricing. Today, Expansys has revealed that the Lumia 1020 will be sold by the company starting the first week of September (exact date still to be confirmed) for... wait for it... drum roll, please... £599.
The developer of popular Twitter client for Windows Phone, MeTweets has voiced concerns about the social network regarding access to Site Streams. Kicking off a petition, the developer desires to implement support into the backend of MeTweets, but states that Twitter restricts third party access to that specific API as it's still in beta. Unfortunately, this beta stage was kicked off back in 2010 and it's not clear that will change anytime soon.
This week Pamela Woon, editor and host of Microsoft’s On the Whiteboard, takes us on an adventure of Maker Haus to see the future of 3D printing. Mike Kemery describes the location as a “gym… allowing users to access tools that usually aren’t accessible”. He discusses the future of 3D printing evolving from a hobby idea to a mainstream focus over the last few years.
Casual Connect presented some great opportunities to get to know Windows Phone game publishers. One of those publishers is Game Insight, makers of our own Rich Edmonds’ favorite Windows Phone 8/Windows 8 game My Country.
Game Insight has also recently published Rule the Kingdom, an exciting RPG/city building hybrid game for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. And they have more games in the works for both platforms! Get the full scoop (and our video interview with Game Insight’s PR director John Kopp) after the break.
If you’re in the market for an all-in-one messaging app for either your Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 device, you may want to take a gander at SHAPE Service’s IM+ Pro app, a long running staple for instant messaging.
The apps usually runs for $3.99 (Windows Phone 8) and $4.99 (Windows 8) but both versions have dropped to $2.49 and $2.99, respectively. While that’s still a bit pricey for an all in one messenger, IM+ has a fairly solid reputation after being around for years on various platforms. Plus if you have both versions, they will reportedly keep in sync with each other, which is kind of awesome.
Many of us have been enjoying Microsoft’s latest tablets – the Surface RT and Surface Pro, but today’s announcement that the tablet has just launched in Taiwan reminds us that the product isn’t exactly global. Just earlier this year, the Surface RT became available in 13 additional including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland
Good news if you’ve been camping out for a chance to grab Microsoft’s Surface Pro; the famous Windows 8 tablet has received a price cut of $100 brining the unit down to a starting price of $799. According to The Verge, the price cut will be available to customers in Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the US from August 4th to August 29th.
For those of you who are super anxious to get Microsoft’s latest OS release, Windows Phone 8 build 10327 (GDR2) along with Nokia’s highly anticipated Amber firmware update, there’s some good news for you today.
Users in our forums and on other sites have noticed that the files are now available on Nokia’s servers for the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920. The files can be downloaded and you can flash your device directly. The bad news is you need to flash your device, which means wiping out your current data and starting fresh as you install this new ROM. That’s opposed to the carrier-sanctioned method that will preserve your data. In addition, you are likely going to miss any custom firmware for your carrier, including possibly Data Sense, should you go down this route. [Note: checking under Settings > Phone Update won't yield any results]
Digital Cloud Technologies has published VK (www.vk.com) apps for Windows 8 and RT. These clients will enable users to log into their VK accounts and enjoy social features within the familiar Windows 8 experience - perfect for tablets. If you're not into Facebook and would like to try out something new, it's certainly worth looking into (rather humorously, Facebook Connect is supported by VK). VK is the second most popular social network in Europe, but it is used particularly by Russian-speaking users, not being widely known in the US.
Next up in our coverage of Casual Connect USA is an interview regarding one of our favorite Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 games: Royal Revolt. The game comes from a collaboration between two German studios, Flare Games and Keen Games.
During last week’s event, we spoke with Georg Broxtermann, the Co-founder and Director of Business Development at Flare. He revealed how Royal Revolt came to mobile Windows platforms, some very encouraging performance numbers, and what we can expect from Flare Games in the future. See the video after the break!
Wheel of Wealth is an established game for Windows Phone, having been with us for almost two years. We've covered the game multiple times in the past, but today the developer is opening up the beta for version 3 to consumers. Billed as the "first major overhaul," version 3 has been completely rewritten from the ground up and sports numerous improvements. Interested? Read on and sign-up today.
At Casual Connect USA last week, I didn’t just interview big mobile studios like Handy Games and Game House. I also spoke to smaller gaming studios on the verge of releasing Windows Phone and Windows 8 games.
Take Sic’em Studios, for instance. They may not be a gaming giant, but they have sizable plans for mobile Windows platforms. Steven White, a former QA Lead at BioWare, is the owner and programmer at Sic’em. His studio will be releasing two games on Windows Phone 8 this year: Rambledam’s Escape and Detonation. See them on video after the break!
Casual Connect is an event dedicated to casual videogames, but you’ll often run into more than just game developers and PR people. One such attendee was Cal Morrell of Avenquest Software and Photo Affections. They’ve created a remarkable photo printing app for Windows Phone 8 that photography fans (especially Lumia 1020 owners) are going to love called FreePrints.
We sat down with Cal, who walked us through FreePrints’ features and the process of optimizing the app for Windows Phone 8. Note that this app is currently available only in the United States, but we do have good news for international users (and our hands on video footage) after the break!
For this weekend only, Xbox 360 owners will be able to access Hulu Plus for free through until Sunday, August 4th. If you're not familiar with the brand, the service enables you to watch TV and movies on consoles. If you're on your Xbox this weekend, you'll be able to enjoy unlimited instant streaming of top TV shows and movies on Xbox Live through Hulu Plus.