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The 2012 Summer Olympics are just over two weeks away. The London games are set to begin on July 17, 2012 and the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) is eagerly working on an official Windows Phone app for the games. LOCOG's Chief Information Officer Gerry Pennell stated the release is imminent and should be available in days.

While features of the Windows Phone app weren't mentioned, the Windows Phone version should be similar to the iOS and Android Olympics app that sends game results and schedules to the app.  A version of the app is also in the works for Blackberry devices.

There are currently a handful of 2012 Olympic apps already on the Marketplace and it will be nice to see an official offering join the ranks. Speaking of what's already available, look for a roundup of these Olympic apps this Friday.

We'll keep you posted when the official apps hits the Marketplace.

Source: V3; Thanks, Vijay, for the tip!

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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

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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.

Finally, it has been confirmed that those super popular Zynga games—Draw Something and Words with Friends—will be coming this fall exclusively to Nokia Lumia phones for the first 60 days. While these exclusivity agreements often annoy non-Lumia owners, the 60 day wait should not be too bad of a wait and seems fair to us (assuming Nokia was vital to the deal and assisted Zynga financially).

Overall, not bad news at all and it at least the Lumia 900 is continuing to get direct support from Nokia. 

There’s no word if other AT&T Windows Phones will be getting Tango as well but seeing as the Focus S, Focus Flash and unlocked Dell Venue Pro already are we’re confident that the HTC Titan II and Titan I will as well. If you haven't received an update for your Samsung device, you can try our guide here to get it now.

Source: AT&T; Thanks, Alexander, for the tip

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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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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.

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?

via: Windows Team Blog

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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.

Results from the Nokia-Nielsen study (April 27, 2012 and on May 18, 2012)

Interestingly, nearly two-thirds of the people sampled had purchased their Lumia 900 through AT&T in a store as opposed to an online dealer like Amazon Wireless. We don’t have any numbers for comparison but it’s clear that in-store purchases are still king even when heavy-discounts are offered online (Amazon Wireless is routinely cheaper than AT&T direct).

Having said all of that we don’t doubt that many Lumia 900 users, either average or enthusiast, are very happy with their purchase. Nokia tends to garner brand loyalty and we’ve already seen how “Lumia” trends higher than “Windows Phone” reinforcing that notion. Today’s results are just as impressive.

Source: Nokia Conversations/Nielsen

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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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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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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.

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

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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.

We've also got Windows Phone 8 ("Apollo") just around the corner, with current generation devices only upgrading to software version 7.8. The average Joe may not be aware of this fact, or are concerned that they will only receive Windows Phone 7.8. Nokia will have to use this time to shift as many devices as possible before the next wave is ready to roll.

via: Tech2.in; thanks, Arpit, for the tip!

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Browsing Bild.de can be hazardous to Tango's health

With Windows Phone Tango rolling out it is perhaps not a surprise that some isolated bugs may be discovered along the way. So far, not too many have cropped up but there is one that is interesting though seemingly rare.

Users have found that navigating to the German news site Bild.de on their phone, with “Desktop” enabled can result in the browser locking up the device. The site Bild.de does default to a mobile WAP version and there is a Windows Phone app too but users are free to use their IE9 in desktop mode to view the site “as is”.

We’ve tested the scenario on our Tango phone (Focus 2) and sure enough, upon loading the page the second time it does lock up the device. Since Internet Explorer is a native app, native apps can crash the OS whereas third-party apps should not be able to do so.

The theory seems to revolve around the idea that Bild.de is very graphic intensive with a lot of photos being pushed to the browser. Combined with Tango's low-overhead for 256MB devices and it seems to zap all of the available memory on the phone (of course we can’t rule out javascript errors or something else, either). You can replicate the crash yourself by following these directions:

  • Turn “Desktop” mode on in the browser
  • Navigate to Bild.de, it may load just fine
  • Navigate to another site then go back to Bild.de
  • Browser should crash when loading

The resulting crash means you would have to pull the battery (or hold the power button for 10 seconds) to reboot the phone. We tried this on a Windows Phone Mango device (HTC Titan) and could not replicate the crash. We also had no issues with a Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.1 meaning this most certainly seems correlated with Windows Phone “Tango”.

Is it a dire bug? Certainly not but it could be used as a browser-exploit by some nefarious people out there, even though that seems remote to us. Still, hopefully Microsoft will see this and patch it up for their next OS build.

Update: To make things even more confusing, it's not all devices. Our Lumia 900 with Tango is okay, but reports at XDA of the Radar, Omnia 7, Lumia 800 and our Focus 2 do have the crash.

Source: XDA; Thanks DerAusgewanderte, for the tip

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How low can it go?

Although Nokia has been catching headlines for their downturn in market performance, HTC too has also been feeling the pinch of poor profits.

Nokia yesterday finished the week off at $1.92 a share, falling below the $2 mark for the first time since September 1994. A lot can be made of that $2 number which is more of a psychological barrier than anything real but make no mistake, Nokia is feeling the financial pinch.

The drop seems to correlate with new rumors that Amazon may be making a go at its own phone which results in fears of tougher competition down the road.  Combined with the Mozilla news earlier this week, the Eurozone financial crisis, lagging sales of the Lumia line and no confidences from investors and you have a plummeting stock price. It’s a vicious cycle and often one not hinged on reality.

Seeking Alpha actually has a nice summary of the Nokia situation.  In short, they are still optimistic as Nokia should be fine for the next 12 months and they don’t foresee any more bad news for Nokia i.e. the worst may finally be out of the way. Nokia is poised to cut 10,000 jobs by 2013 and continue to restructure, reducing overhead costs in the long term. The question for would be investors is should you buy Nokia yet? At least for one contributor at Seeking Alpha, the answer is “almost” as the stock may still dip lower but a return to profitability status is expected sooner than later...

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Nokia Music has been updated to version 3.0, and we've got some information regarding what's included in this release. According to the changelog provided in the Marketplace description, which we believe to be slightly off, the following has been included: 

  • Download all types of mixes to listen to offline
  • 'Pin to start' any mix so you can quickly play your favorites
  • See what mixes and songs you've previously listened to by tapping 'recent mixes'
  • Search for gigs by artist, venue and city
  • Share details of the song you are playing to social networks, over email and messaging
  • Fixed disappearing menu options

As well as the Music app update, Nokia also pushed out a new version of  Play To, but no changelog has been published, though we have received word that connectivity within the app is much quicker. Both apps are well worth checking out, especially if you're either into music while on the go, or wish to make use of DLNA functionality.

You can download both Nokia Music and Play To from the Nokia Collection.

Thanks, TallPaul86, for the heads up!

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We've been informed by a reader that Orange UK is currently rolling out a number of updates, including 8112, for the Lumia 800 Windows Phone. Included in this update is Internet tethering support, which has been absent from the device since launch late last year. 

This follows the 8107 software update, which the UK carrier released back in March. 8112 is also the build that was being shipped with the AT&T Lumia 900. This is number one of three.

We were also informed that Windows Phone Tango build 8773 was then downloaded and installed. Following the Tango upgrade was a 12220 firmware notification.

Let us know if you've received any update notifications in the comments.

Thanks, James, for the heads up!

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Co-found of Apple Steve Wozniak thinks Windows Phone is a convergence of "art and technology"

Speaking at a press conference after his talk at the Entel Summit (Entel is Chile's leading telecommunications operator), co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak gave his thoughts on Microsoft, Surface and their new Metro UI. Having previously spoken positively of the Lumia 900 and what Microsoft was up to with their refocus on usability and visual appeal, "the Woz" continues to give praise to the company and what appears to be their new direction, noting that he wants a Surface tablet.

During the Q&A session, Wozniak gave his thoughts on how the Lumia line of smartphones and Windows Phone 7 have such a "...strikingly good visual appearance which is a lot of what Steve Jobs always looked for, the art and technology, the convergence of art and technology." Back in April, the technology guru famously heaped praise on the Lumia 900 and Windows Phone and evidently he continues to like it.

Regarding Surface, Wozniak says he wants to "own one, to use one" so he can see for himself how good it is and not have to rely on what he's read—a fair and respectable stance to have on an un-released product.

The video Q&A where Wozniak responds to a Microsoft question during the Entel Summit '12

As far as Microsoft, he had some interesting observations that seem to be aligning with a lot of people's thoughts today on the company: Microsoft has changed and are entering a new era.

"But I'm glad that Microsoft is starting to show maybe they're a different company than before, I don't remember this sort of thing happening in a long, long time with Microsoft, so I'm very happy."

Of course Wozniak has always been quite "technology neutral" and he used whatever device that he thought was the best, without any allegiances. This is why he's respected amongst many as he brings true insight from an engineer's perspective as opposed to a partisan with a product to sell. Either way, it's good press for Microsoft.

Source: TechNews; Thanks, Eric, for the tip!

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The latest Windows Phone campaign is taking on America's pasttime, one stadium at a time. The Windows Phone team is partnering with the two of the editors (John and Steve) from the lifestyle blog The Roosevelts for the Windows Phone Bucket List Tour.

The tour will visit eleven Major League Baseball stadiums to help spread all the goodness we know as Windows Phone. John and Steve's Windows Phone of choice is the HTC Titan II and plan on sharing apps and features on the Windows Phone as well as capturing some rather impressive panoramas using the Titan II's built in pano feature. The Tour has already visited six ball parks including Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Wrigley Field and has cover 37 of the 67 bucket list items.

Along the way John and Steve will be tweeting from their Windows Phone. You can share your bucket list items with the Tour on Twitter @rsvlts using the #wpbaseball hashtag. You can also follow along on the Roosevelts Facebook page if Twitter isn't your cup of tea.  Who knows, maybe they'll have an impromptu "Smoked by Windows Phone" contests during the 7th Inning Stretch.

You can catch all the panorama's the duo capture here at the Roosevelts' Stadium Page and more videos of the tour here at the Windows Team Blog. It looks like a fun tour and definitely bucket list material.

I wonder if they'll make it to Turner Field and more importantly, will we see the Windows Phone Bucket List Tour t-shirts offered at the Microsoft Store?

Source: Windows Team Blog

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Last night we revealed that Nokia had some 8779 OS updates with presumably some new firmware on their servers for the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800. At the time, we didn’t know what the updates included as 8779 is just slightly ahead of the just released 8773. Looks like we got Nokia's attention as they just gave out the details on the forthcoming update.

Technically speaking, we still don’t know what it’s in the OS as far as changes go (they're expected to be minor) but we now know what is coming with the bundled firmware. What’s more, it looks like the Lumia 900 will be getting the update too (although no word about AT&T, specifically). In fact, we’ve heard that the Lumia 900 in Germany already had 8779 on board so this is probably ready to rollout. Also, instead of the Lumia 800 we have info on the Lumia 610 instead.

On the Nokia Connects blog, details about the forthcoming updates were posted and it looks to be quite solid:

  • Lumia 900 version 2175.2101.8779.12201: Enhanced sensitivity for proximity sensor performance and improvement to your phone’s screen colours in low light conditions
  • Lumia 710 version 1600.3031.8779.12180: Internet sharing (Wi-Fi Hotspot) — Share your phone’s internet connection over Wi-Fi with up to five other devices or computers and Flip to silence — Silence incoming calls by turning your phone face down.
  • Lumia 610 version 1066.0000.8779.12201: Enhanced sensitivity for proximity sensor performance and improved sound level for alarm tone during voice calls.

From the sounds of it, these updates are very close to being releases so you’ll have to check for availability (or just watch our site). You can get more info when it’s made available at http://www.nokia.com/support. You do have to give Nokia some credit though, they're on top of these updates.

There was no mention of the post-Tango 8779 for the Lumia 800 though, which is curious because we did see those on Nokia's NaviFirm servers. Perhaps they're not ready for prime time just yet. We'll keep you posted.

Edit: As some users are pointing out, Nokia Connects may have the firmware numbers wrong. The latest firmware looks to be 12221 and not 12201 and some of those 710 new features came out with the 8773 update. So this is still a bit murky.

Thanks, Giovanni, for the heads up and Mark T. for the Germany info

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File this under old news but good news but T-Mobile is pleased as punch with the companies selection of Windows Phone. Since adding the HTC Radar 4G and Nokia Lumia 710, T-Mobile has seen sales of Windows Phone double in the past eight months.

Brad Duea, Senior Vice President of Product Development at T-Mobile, comments,

"We continue to see strong sales and adoption of the platform with the Nokia Lumia 710 consistently being one of our top five selling smartphones since it launched in January 2012. Not only that but, as expected, we’ve seen a large number of first-time smartphone users select a Windows Phone as their device of choice with 55% of all upgrades to the Lumia 710 coming from a messaging or feature phone."

According to T-Mobile the Lumia 710 has some of the highest handset satisfaction scores and feedback from customers has been very positive on Windows Phone software. With regards to the future of Windows Phones at T-Mobile Duea notes,

"We’re bullish on the future of Windows Phone. In fact, IDC’s report out earlier this month predicts Windows Phone will surpass iOS by 2016 – and we expect Windows Phone to continue to play a prominent role in our product portfolio and marketing efforts."

T-Mobile is slated to be a launch partner for Windows Phone 8 later this fall. Maybe we'll see more of Carly carrying a Windows Phone in the future.

Source: T-Mobile Blog

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The Windows Phone User Group is back, and the next event is set for July 16th. The Vibe Bar on Brick Lane is the venue where platform developers and enthusiasts will be gathering to talk everything Windows Phone 8 ("Apollo"). App demonstrations, presentations, and talks are listed for the evening with drinks available from the bar. Note that this is not the BarCamp, so the event will be kicking off at 7pm.

Be sure to check out the WPUG EventBrite page for more information, location details and to register your spot at the event. Myself and Rob Brand will be attending from Windows Phone Central. Do come say hello if you find yourself in town. We can help attendees out with website coverage, ideas and feedback on platform projects.

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