Microsoft has just announced another //BUILD/ conference for developers. The event will take place sooner than expected and will be held in a new location. We cannot wait for summer.
We sympathize with you Windows Phone fans on Sprint. Here we are, it’s almost April 2013 and you’ve only had one device available since Windows Phone debuted back in October 2010. The HTC 7 Pro (Arrive) was a nice phone to start you out, but it’s time for something new. You already know that HTC and Samsung will be the OEMs making your devices when you get them early summer. But now we have a better idea about those devices – The HTC ‘Tiara’ and Samsung Ativ S.
This is GDC week, so you can count on some cool developer interviews and hands-on stories as the conference progresses. But it’s also just an exciting week for Windows Phone releases. First we had the release of Sims Medieval for Nokia devices, and now general users can look forward to two regular Xbox releases on Wednesday. We’re looking at one Windows Phone 7 game and one for Windows Phone 8. The former will also be the most expensive mobile Xbox game to date, but at least it’s a good one: Chaos Rings from Square-Enix!
10tons continues to roll out new gaming titles for our Windows Phone 8 devices. This week it's the puzzle game Azkend 2.
Azkend 2 is a feature rich puzzle game that has three gaming modes, two challenges and the main adventure/story line mode which has over sixty levels of play. It is a matching game where you have to find connecting matches of three or more of the same symbols.
Jaxbot over at Windows Phone Hacker as released a new app onto the Windows Phone 8 Store and it’s worth the $0.99 for it. The app is called LockWidgets 8 and allows users to add up to three information areas to their lockscreens, including current temperature, tomorrow’s temp and battery life. Some detailed information is also included like estimated time left on the charge and if it is clear or rainy out.
Users can select the background image from Bing, NASA or their own images and include “weather effects”, which can add rain droplets and presumably other graphical changes to the background image.
There are always providers looking to capitalise on a single party's choice on withdrawing a popular service. It's known across the Internet that the search giant is closing down Google Reader, the company's RSS service later this year. Competing services have taken this as a golden chance to expand business and attract those who will be surely looking for an alternative and migrate away from Google. Cue Feedly.
It was reported a few weeks back and evidently re-validated by Windows Phone Daily that the Nokia Lumia 810, a T-Mobile “exclusive” phone, would receive an over-the-air firmware update at some point to enable 4G LTE speeds.
What’s more, it’s been said that the 810 and not the HTC 8X would be getting this feature, a claim somewhat confirmed by a recent FCC filing for Nokia’s device. When the original report came out, it stated that the Galaxy Note II would also get such an update.
If there’s one sore spot with a certain segment of users it was how the release of Windows Phone 8 lacked FM radio support—something which had been around since the Zune player days. No reason was ever stated, though it’s a safe guess that it was something Microsoft simply did not have time to complete by October’s release schedule.
Now, according to sources at the Verge, that situation will change with the expected GDR2 update coming out later this summer. That addition will allow users, when headphones are plugged in, to use their Windows Phone as an FM radio—an important source of news and entertainment for many in emerging markets who can’t afford streaming data plans.
It has been reported that Telstra is well on the way to releasing a Windows Phone app for subscribers in Australia. The mobile operator's 24x7 app is a portal for consumers to access account management conveniently from a smartphone while on the move. Paying bills, viewing usage, checking remaining account credit and locating nearest Telstra stores are just a handful of features sported by the iOS and Android versions.
The Windows Phone catalogue of big brand apps is growing with the official VoucherCodes.co.uk (www.vouchercodes.co.uk) app now available in the store. The service enables consumers to save up to 50-percent at numerous supporting restaurants, as well as savings at high street stores and deals on tourist attractions. It's a popular destination for shoppers and bargain hunters who enjoy saving a penny or two when out and about.
Remember when it was teased that The Sims Medieval will be available on Windows Phone for Nokia hardware? It appears the time has come as the app is now presently listed on the store. So what's The Sims Medieval all about? If you're not familiar with the video game series, players are tasked with entering a virtual world and controlling "sims" as they go about their daily lives. It's an incredibly popular brand on mutiple platforms.
Good news for Chinese HTC 8S owners: there's a firmware update over the air. Bad news: the update may just kill your phone. On March 21st, owners of HTC 8S in China started to get a firmware update, and a fair portion of them were permanently stuck on the start up screen after the installation and reboot. HTC and Microsoft are trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with the firmware. Meanwhile the OTA update has been suspended.
PayPal first jumped on the Windows Phone wagon back in September. It had a bit of a rough start, first disappearing from the Store for Windows Phone 8 users and showing up again a few days later. Followed by some updates without any changelogs. And today we get another update for the PayPal app. Let’s see if they include on this time.
Should you be looking for something to order in for dinner, you might want to check out a number of apps available for Windows Phone: Takeaway Lieferservice, Thuisbezorgd and Pizza. The apps individually target a specific region. Takeaway supports the UK, Lifeservice is for Austria, Thuisbezorgd is for the Netherlands, and finally Pizza for Belgium.
Podcast Lounge, the popular Windows Phone app that enables consumers to tune into a number of podcasts, has been bumped to version 1.6, which introduces a number of new features. The app has once again been in beta for some time, but a lot has been improved upon since the previous update. The highlights in 1.6? Windows Phone 8 support, video playback, performance improvements and other alterations to the user experience have been applied.
Looking for an easy way to create a panoramic lockscreen for your Windows Phone 8 device? Dual Lock Crop is a simple, easy way to crop an image in half to create a seamless panorama lockscreen when shifting from your main lockscreen to your Kid's Corner lockscreen.
Dual Lock Crop has a simple instructions page where you can crop a single image to your liking to create the dual lockscreens or have the app crop split a single image for you.
With the big leak of Windows Blue build 9364 arriving over the weekend people have been furiously going through it to find any new, unannounced features that are presumably coming later in the year. For Windows Phone users, it’s even more interesting because we know that Windows Phone Blue is an analogous project that the Windows Phone dev team is undertaking at this moment.
To what extent Windows Blue, Windows Blue RT and Windows Phone blue overlap is still not known, but it has been strongly suggested that this is one of the first attempts to bridge the OSs, including a common Store.
Update: A lot of you are reporting they're available (me too). Go download them in the Windows Store.
The built-in Mail, Calendar, and People app have received nearly universal criticism from both tech reviewers and users since their inception. While they aren’t getting a huge graphical user interface overhaul, there is a nice update coming in tomorrow that should help alleviate some, but not all, concerns.
For those in near some major US (and even UK) cities, you may take interest in seeing the official Uber app (www.uber.com) land today for Windows Phone, both 7.x and 8. In case you don’t know, Uber is a livery service that is gaining popularity for embracing mobile technology—specifically you pull your location on your phone, access your account and ping a driver to pick you up. It’s fast, convenient and a great use of your phone.
Previously, we have had some decent unofficial apps in the Store, like Uber Towncar. Now, the fancy taxi company has embraced Windows Phone with a version 1.0 of their app, which of course is free and ad-free. That’s the good news (and it’s always good news when we get official support). The bad news is the app is a tad rough, even for a version 1.0.
We're already aware of O2 UK preparing to launch the Lumia 720. Being the premium Windows Phone partner, the mobile operator has also managed to bag the red variant of the Nokia device, according to its website. It's expected to arrive in O2 stores (and online) next month. As well as the red version, the black Lumia 720 will also be stocked.
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Nokia has made an intellectual property rights declaration to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) with respect to Google's VP8 data format and decoding guide, listing 64 granted patents and 22 pending patent applications. VP8 is Google's dream to create a royalty-free codec, but it's reportedly not open standard and Nokia is having none of it (to see why, check quote below). The company is already seeking injunctions against HTC in Germany over two VP8 patents.
We've got some bad news, folks. Remember Joe Belfiore teasing a new Windows Phone app the other day? Unfortunately it turns out that the app isn't quite ready for release yet, so it has been pushed back slightly. Are we any wiser on what to expect? No, but we're still eager to see what Belfiore is getting rather excited about.
It has been a rather quiet weekend in the realm of Windows Phone, but that hasn't prevented Windows Phone community forum members from logging onto the boards over the last couple of days. But what threads have been started and what have you possibly missed? We'll quickly run through a handful of discussions that are growing in popularity.