Articles

Nokia seeking to advance progress on indoor positioning HAIP

Nokia has announced today a big link up with more than twenty tech firms to create an In-Location Alliance.  The Alliance was created to advance efforts to promotion of a new standard-based short-range wireless technology that will make it possible to locate objects or positions indoors with extremely high accuracy using mobile devices.

Remember our article about Nokia becoming the Where platform? Well, this just shows how serious Nokia is about this technology. Navigation outside has become something we take for granted, the next big step is high accuracy location inside. There are a number of hurdles to overcome and Nokia is doing the right thing here and establishing an alliance to get things moving. The potential applications for this type of location-based services are likely even more far reaching than its outside variant.

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WP Central

The Nokia Phi as seen by the USPTO

Adding to the earlier news about the new Nokia phone, codename ‘Phi’ coming to AT&T, the site Liveside have managed to uncover a new patent filing that appears to reveal the new device in submitted drawings.

At first brush, the device looks a lot like the Lumia 800 and 900 but upon closer inspection, it matches nearly to the ‘t’ the previous images of the Phi that were leaked out earlier this month.

One immediate item that we noticed is the screen is not curved. Although the Verge this morning mentioned this as a feature, from the images and bezel leak that we’ve seen, curved glass does not appear to be a feature and these drawings confirm that notion.

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WP Central

The new official logo of Microsoft, revealed this morning

Microsoft this morning has unveiled their new company logo featuring the Segoe font and new multi-colored Windows symbol. It’s the first change to the logo in over 25 years and is intended to "signal the heritage but also signal the future — a newness and freshness" according to Jeff Hansen, Microsoft's general manager of brand strategy.

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WP Central

WP Central

For the last few weeks we’ve mentioned how Nokia will be unveiling three new devices for the US and that now looks to be the case.

The Verge is reporting via an unmentioned source that on September 5th, Nokia will unveil two new devices—code-named Arrow and Phi—with a third named Atlas for Verizon in coming weeks. Those names are of course just placeholders until marketing names are decided upon. With an 88% accuracy rating on rumors according to Tracour, there’s a good chance that this is accurate.

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WPCentral Podcast

We're back for another exciting chat on all things Windows Phone. This week we catch up with Rafael, Jay and myself for the last two-weeks of exciting Windows Phone news including a Verizon Nokia phone, Sprint going on hiatus, what September 5th will bring and the disappointing Sally's Spa. Tune in as we agree and disagree plus take your questions.

HD video and show notes after the break...

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WP Central

We usually don’t cover these types of stories, especially since there will be many, many avenues for Windows 8 Desktop to become available over the next few weeks, but what the heck.

If you’re a DreamSpark Premium member e.g. a college student or professor engaged in science, math, engineering or other programs sponsored through the DreamSpark program. Earlier prediction via Neowin suggested the 25th was the release date, so it's a bit early. Still, if you’re a DSP member, head here to grab your order. Thanks, Jey Si, for the tip

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Microsoft Personal Data Dashboard

Online ads can be annoying and it appears Microsoft is working on a way to focus these ads more towards your likes and away from your dislikes. We ran across the Microsoft Personal Data Dashboard that will let you filter out the unwanted ads and let those you might be interested in through.  These filters will likely impact ads you see over on Outlook.com and on your Windows Phone.  

The Dashboard has several sections or tabs with the main tab reflecting your Windows Live Profile. Additional sections include: 

My Data: Here is where you can tag your interests and dislikes from a wide variety of topics. You can also narrow down your likes and dislikes to the brand names of products.

The My Data page also lets you view your Bing search history and any Microsoft Newsletters you are currently subscribed to.

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Kinect Price Drop

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 needs only one thing to make it happy, a Kinect sensor. The news announced today is that Microsoft’s 'eyes and ears' into your living room is now getting a permanent price drop to US $109.99 (previous price was $130 USD).

There is no explanation for the price adjustment though presumably it has to do with reduced production costs and slowing sales (see the AJC report on the slowdown in the gaming industry). We’re going take it the Major just wants to give more of us the chance to jump up and down and shout at our TV sets. What a nice chap!

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Microsoft's Windows Phone monthly photo contest

Windows Phone Photo Contest - Pets

Microsoft's Windows Phone Monthly Photo Contest - Pets

While there have been a few hits and misses, for the most part our Windows Phone cameras have helped many capture some fantastic photos. In recognition of our Windows Phone photographic talent, Microsoft has launched a monthly photo contest.

Winning photos will be featured on the Windows Phone Blog and across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest channels. Each month a photo theme will be tapped with the first month asking for pet photo submissions.

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Xbox Live's Shoot 1UP blasts its way to the Marketplace

Shoot 1UP for Windows Phone

As expected, the Xbox Live for Windows Phone game Shoot 1UP landed in the Marketplace this morning. The vertically scrolling shoot-em up game from Mommy's Best Games and Microsoft Studios was first spotted at E3 and made a nice first impression.

Shoot 1UP's claim to fame is that unlike other shoot-em up games where you battle the enemy with one ship, Shoot 1UP allows players to build up groups of ships to take on the enemy at the same time. Instead of earning extra lives, you earn extra ships.

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Nokia Lumia 900 camera

The Windows Phone Tango update brought a few minor improvements to our Windows Phone but it may have served up the most noticeable improvements with the Nokia Lumia 900, well specifically Nokia's firmware that came with the update. Out of the box, we weren't' overly excited about the Lumia 900's camera performance. Comparatively, the HTC Titan II's camera was a joy to use and was rather impressive.

Enter the Windows Phone Tango update. It included a Nokia firmware component for the Lumia 900 that tweaked the camera just enough to elevate the camera's performance from "lacking" to "rather nice" status. The HTC Titan II still rules but you won't be cringing every time you take a photo with your Lumia 900, hoping things come out right.

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Unity Engine Coming to Windows Phone 8

The keynote address for Unite 12 has seen the announcement that Windows Phone 8 will get full support for the Unity engine.  Unity is a very popular engine and it was notably absent from the Windows Phone 8 announcement. The next version of the OS looks to be getting some excellent gaming support with native code and these powerful rendering engines.

The engine is used to power a host of games across and number of platforms and hopefully this means rapid porting of those games to WP8 devices. Unity is one of the top engines on the market so this support is pretty exciting for Windows Phone. 

Here is what David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies, had to say on Windows Phone 8.

 “Our mission at Unity has always been to provide solutions for developers to effortlessly bring their work to as many different platforms as possible. The Unity community has been asking for access to Windows Phones and have been eagerly anticipating the release of Windows 8. We’re happy to announce that we will support both.”

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Finally!

Finally coming this fall?

WP Central

Bloomberg is going on record tonight claiming that Verizon will launch a new Windows Phone 8 device this year from Nokia. The online news site generally has a strict policy on reporting these types of stories, lending a lot of credence to its trust-worthiness (81% on Tracour)—that and of course it’s basically what we’re expecting to hear.

News that Verizon will be launching a Nokia Windows Phone is not very shocking—in fact, it may have been more news if they weren’t at this point. Verizon was critical of Windows Phone for not having LTE early on and then evidently they caught wind of the Windows Phone 7 phase-out with new, more powerful ‘Apollo’ devices.

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WP Central

Good night, sweet prince: HTC Arrrive 2011-2012

We reported a few weeks ago that Sprint threw down the flag on the venerable HTC Arrive, giving the device end-of-life (EOL) status.  Now tonight, we can sadly report that Sprint has all but wiped the device from its online site, making the Arrive officially a has-been. Store availability is expected to be very limited with only replacement devices available for order.

Launched in March 2011 the Arrive was Sprint’s only Windows Phone offered on the CDMA network and the only other Windows Phone with a horizontal physical keyboard (the other being the LG Quantum), carving itself a nice little niche for itself. Though slightly bulky with an underwhelming LCD screen (as was common with Gen 1 devices), the phone has a loyal following and some of the highest satisfaction ratings from customers...

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WP Central

Your honor, we present Exhibit A

Today are the closing arguments in the highly watched Apple versus Samsung patent trial, meaning there is a lot of ‘Law & Order’ type drama occurring. Or at least that’s what we like to believe in reading the many live-blogs that are covering the case right now.

Probably one of the most entertaining moments came from Apple’s lawyers who were presenting their final case to the jury. At around 1:38 PM PT their lawyer, Harold McElhinny, evidently held up a unspecified Nokia Lumia Windows Phone and exclaimed...

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PureView 808

The Nokia PureView 808

It’s a big question whether or not Nokia’s upcoming lineup will feature any PureView technology in it. While it’s nice to dream of a 41MP camera alongside Windows Phone 8, we’re holding down our excitement until we learn more because so far we have seen little to make us believe otherwise.

WP Central

Now, the Nokia team (via Twitter) have teased users with the following exchange between themselves and Philip G. He was asking and hoping for some PureView love in the next Lumia series form Nokia. Nokia replied with the following:

“Just keep your eyes and ears open in the next coming weeks....”

That certainly seems like a reference to the joint Microsoft announcement that Nokia is hosting in a few weeks here in New York.  From our own sources, we’ve been leaning towards no PureView device this time but instead slightly further down the road, as Nokia plans to release numerous Windows Phones over the next year.

With Nokia’s tweet though, we could be looking at something sooner. But the question for us is What is PureView exactly?

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Public Beta for the Xbox LIVE update opens up again

Xbox LIVE

Earlier this summer Microsoft opened up a public beta for the 2012 Xbox Live Update with limited space available for testers. It didn't take long for Microsoft to fill all the seats and due the the amount of interest received, the public beta is once again open for enrollment.

Space is still limited and you can sign up here to receive the Public Beta.  You'll need to agree to a non-disclosure agreement and take a short survey.

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WP Central

Although these are not Xbox LIVE games, the 1983 classic arcade and sequel to Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, is headed to the Xbox 360 as an Indie Arcade game this Friday. In addition, a version for Windows Phone is coming with it at or around the same time (we all know how hard it can be for timing).

The game Jet Set Willy should be a lot of fun for those who enjoy some retro gameplay on their modern devices as the port looks is official, being handled by Elite Systems Ltd. That company has also brought their previous ZX Spectrum games to iOS in the past. From the company’s press release...

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WP Central

The familiar Recycle Bin, coming to SkyDrive soon?

With the new SkyDrive having been rolled out last week with the new modern UI, it looks like Microsoft still has some plans for the service for adding new features.

One of those features being planned is evidently a Recycle Bin, which has been found via the coding within the site itself and was earlier tipped to LiveSide.net back in the spring.

No details have been given as to the exact functionality of such a feature but it’s easy to assume that it will allow you un-delete items for a period of 30 days or so as a sort of safety-net for your content. Any delay in rolling out this feature most likely has to do with getting the service up and running via their mobile apps, since they will also need to be updated for this tool.

No word on exact release dates but at the rate which Microsoft is moving these days, it probably won’t be too long.

Source: LiveSide.net

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WP Central

Me pondering what we look for from developers

If you’re a Windows Phone developer and want a peek behind the current on Windows Phone Central and our process on app reviews, you’ll want to head to the AdDuplex blog. AdDuplex as many of you know powers the developer promotion network behind many Windows Phone apps (and now Windows 8) and the service’s creator, Alan Mendelevich, was curious as to what we look for when developers contacts us.

Ah yes, the table has turned as we’re the ones being interviewed!

The conversation was with myself and Alan asks some really great questions, such as how many app-review requests we get, what we look for in those emails, are dedicated app-websites beneficial and more. Basically if you’re a developer it’s a roadmap on how best to get your app noticed by us for a potential review. (The first step though is the app or game better be good).

You can read that full interview here at the AdDuplex blog. And if you’re more curious about Alan and his role in Windows Phone, you can read our interview with him from February.

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WP Central Nokia Lumia 900 Photo Contest Winners

Over the weekend, to recognize the improvements the Windows Phone Tango Update delivered to our Nokia Lumia 900 cameras, we held an impromptu photo contest. The only limitation was your imagination and that the photos needed to be taken with an updated Lumia.

We received a fantastic number of entries and a lot of quality photos. The winners were drawn at random to receive a $50 Gift Card to the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store.

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Nokia 59% Market Share Of Windows Phone sales July 2012

Statistics from Localytics are showing that Nokia is now the key supplier of Windows Phones handsets worldwide. Whilst this news might not surprise many considering Nokias considerable push in the retail channels, it does paint an interesting picture of the state of play with the three main manufacturers. According to Localytics survey, Nokia is now clearly in pole position as of July with 59% of total sales.

While the survey shows Nokia winning in market share it also illustrates the rise of sales in Windows Phone units from January until the present.  Interestingly the growth looks almost to be exclusively with Nokia, the other device maker’s shipments look to have remained almost static since April.

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Windows 8 Upgrade offer now open for registration

Windows 8 Upgrade Offer

If you've purchased a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 you are eligible for a discounted upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. When it releases you'll be able to upgrade your relatively new PC for only $14.99.

In order to take advantage of the Windows 8 upgrade offer you'll need to register online over at the Windows Upgrade Offer website. Up until today the site was simply a "Coming Soon" placard but today the site opened up to accept registration from eligible users.

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WP Central

Sync, damn you, sync!

Syncing multiple calendars is never fun. It’s even less fun across various services, like Gmail to Outlook.com for instance, which is the focus of this tutorial.

We recently had to solve this problem for ourselves because although like you we primarily use our Hotmail/Live Mail/Outlook.com calendar for all events, we sometimes need to have our external Google calendar sync to our phone too.

There are a few ways to go about this but we’re going to show you the more unified approach that we prefer. It’s a bit tricky and nearly caused us to punch our wall a few times to figure it out. But for you, it will be dead simple and should literally take you no more than 5 minutes.

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