Windows Phone News | Page 258 | Windows Central

Shop: Xbox One S | Lenovo Sale | Lumia 950 XL | Surface Book | Surface Pro 4

Windows Phone News

We're almost at the point where we're going to start leaving flowers at the grave of the poor Sony Ericsson (now Sony Mobile) Jolie Windows Phone, which has had prototypes circulating throughout the web for a good number of months now. We last looked at the black version of "Jolie" when a hands-on video was published on YouTube.

Back to the white / silver version, and an owner of said Windows Phone has sent in some more photos to Windows Phone Italy. Not only does the slide-out keyboard look inviting, the overall look and design of the device itself is unique, compared to the Windows Phones we had when the platform launched almost two years ago.

It's a shame that such a stunning 2010-esque Windows Phone simply never came to be. But the tractor beams installed on the Android mothership appeared to be too advanced for Microsoft to best (and too expensive to acquire), which led to Sony ditching Windows Phone for the green droid. Check out some more shots after the break.

More →

Kevin Turner today announced that Microsoft’s first ‘international’ store would be opening in Toronto, Canada. Whilst not exactly too far from the US, this still represents the first time Microsoft have ventured from their home turf to setup shop. The first emporium will open to the public in Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto later this year. The stores should be open in time to showcase Windows Phone 8, Surface & of course Office 15.

Whilst most will see this news as the right step forward, I remain a little cautious that this will lead to a rapid surge to get international Stores around the world. Why do I have my doubts? Microsoft often plays in Canada with some of its strategies. I remember the heady days of the Zune when Microsoft announced this service would go international (to Canada). From then until now, it has taken the company years to get some of its core Zune services to the rest of the world. The Zune didn’t end up going international, Zune services only went that way with the arrival of Windows Phone.

On a less pessimistic note, Microsoft has been riding a wave of positivity around Windows 8 and its Surface tablet (and Surface will only initially be sold in Microsoft stores and online). Whilst our beloved Windows Phone is still small in market share numbers, it continues to receive praise from users and critics alike. Boyed by this surge in good feeling it should be the time Microsoft gets it chequebook out and starts buying up some prime locations around the globe and manning the decks for the coming product launches.

If there was a time to get these stores open its now. This year will see the biggest simultaneous launch of products the company has ever seen. Having wonderful stores in which to show them off properly would be the icing on the cake. I have wanted to see a Microsoft Store here in London for a long time. I'd like to buy a signature PC without the bloatware, see MS products demoed and supported by people that know what they are talking about. 

What do you think? Where do you think Microsoft should put their next stores and why do you think it’s taking them so long?

Source WPC12

More →

Telefonica introducing a cross-platform mobile messaging service

Tuenti (official website) has announced an upcoming Windows Phone app, as well as a solution for iOS. Currently the service is available for both Android and BlackBerry (as beta - launched today), with the remaining two apps coming in the next few weeks. So what's the deal with Tuenti and should you be interested?

More →

Switzerland is the latest country that has laid host to the Lumia Windows Phone challenge, a Nokia marketing campaign which is taking a number of countries by storm. Much like the famous 'Smoked by Windows Phone' competition that Ben Rudolph started back at CES 2012, the Lumia Challenge puts a Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone against a competitor device.

Should the participant beat the Lumia they pocket a prize, but should they lose they have to publicly admit defeat. According to Nokia Switzerland, the Lumia 900 won 197 of 200 challenges. Locations included Zurich, Bern, Basel, Lucerne, Winterthur, St. Gallen, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Lausanne.

While everything may appear doom and gloom at Nokia HQ with all-time-low stock prices, upcoming Windows Phone 8 ("Apollo"), and difficult times ahead for platform penetration, the manufacturer can at least still gloat at the fact Lumia smartphones are more efficient than the competition.

Source: YouTube; thanks, Roman, for the tip!

More →

Windows Phone is very careful with how much power it uses. Normal behaviour for the OS is that whilst running on battery it will drop the Wi-Fi connection after a short period in order to conserve as much juice as possible. We have seen reports that point the finger at some apps which are seemingly overriding normal power saving behaviour. Is this a feature or a bug, I decided to do some tests.

More →

Is the Bing Social sidebar finally coming to the UK?

It seems that the Bing UK team are beginning to (or are testing a potential) rollout of the design refresh we've seen in the US. Unfortunately, while we can clearly see a familiar login element, we are not receiving the actual sidebar itself. Once Bing UK was loaded, we could login via Windows Live and subsequently connect to Facebook.

After logging in was achieved, and Facebook accounts were connected, once loading search results we were presented with a new look, as well as our name (with drop down arrow for menu options) accompanied by a settings icon. Rewind back to the release of the Bing US design refresh and you'll see something similar (see below screencap) to what we currently have with Bing UK.

We could well be on the verge of an identical design refresh with further social integration, which the US has enjoyed for some time. Have you noticed anything changing on Bing UK? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks, Louis, for the heads up!

More →

During the IFA Preview today in Munich, Deutsche Telekom confirmed that Windows Phone 7.8 will have Rich Communications Suite (RCS-e) functionality. The functionality was noted earlier in the leaked details and will come in the form of a separate application and integrated with Windows Phone 8. The RCS-e services will be a cross platform, cross network functionality Previously, RCS-e was announced during the Summit a few weeks ago for Windows Phone 8 but it's a technology that most people are not familiar.

In Deutsche Telekom's presentation they discussed using Joyn services that will provide chat, file transfer and video chat features between carriers. . Joyn will be interoperable between Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone networks for now with O2 Germany coming on board after launch.

The service will provide free chat and file transfers and charge for video chat. Commercial availability is planned for October. It will be interesting to see how the RCS-e services match up with existing services such as Skype. Equally interesting will be to see if the U.S. Carriers can play nice to establish such interoperability.

We've seen things like this before--think Sprint's horrid proprietary PictureMail years ago--but RCS-e at least sets some standards. Personally we think 3rd party services like IM+, Kik, Nokia's Pulse and others are the future but we're glad to see Windows Phone 7.8 getting it too, it should make carriers a little more inclined to support Windows Phone.

Source: Unwired; via: wmpoweruser

More →

As the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (MPC) in Toronto continues, Windows Phone 8 made a brief appearance today for the 16,000 people who showed up for the annual conference. In fact, anecdotal evidence from attendees suggests Windows Phone has a rather large presence at the conference.

As far as we know, no new features were presented but instead Microsoft focused on the new Start screen, being “business ready” and integration with Microsoft’s services, including Xbox 360 and Windows 8.

One of the most important signals that Microsoft is shifting strategy is the recognition that “Windows Phone” just doesn’t have the same brand recognition as Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android (or perhaps its reputation preceded it). We saw this demonstrated with “Lumia” trending higher than “Windows Phone” in Google searches. Now, Microsoft seems to have recognized this problem and is looking to take it on with Windows Phone 8.

Gruhler at WPC'12 in Toronto talking about Windows Phone 8

Speaking at the event, Microsoft’s new corporate vice-president of Windows Phone marketing, Thom Gruhler, who took the position just a few months ago, is quoted as saying:

“Smartphone users today don't know about Windows Phone and that's a problem we intend to fix”

Indeed that is something that needs to be addressed as Android and iPhone are today synonymous with smartphone users (even Blackberry still has clout). We’ve heard earlier in a private meeting with Microsoft pre-Summit that Microsoft will be pushing Windows Phone 8 very hard come the fall and that they are re-focusing on the reboot of the OS with a lot of attention.

The recent launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T did do a lot for familiarizing consumers with Windows Phone—it seems to carry more weight these days—and that brand familiarity may be the ground work for Windows Phone 8 (and Nokia) to be a success. The important takeaway for us is that Gruhler is looking to shift how Microsoft markets Windows Phone and he could represent an important change within the company. 

We’ll just have to wait and see though if Gruhuler, who came up with Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” campaign can pull it off.

Source: Microsoft 

More →

\

Winner of the Imagine Cup '12 - quadSquad with enable talk

The annual Imagine Cup organized by Microsoft to support student creativity in solving real world problems has just wrapped in Sidney, Australia. As usual, some of the top winners were related to Windows Phone development so we’re going to take a moment to give them their props.

Early glove prototype

First place (Software Design) – quadSqaud (Ukraine) - In what is probably one of the most unique and coolest uses of a Windows Phone so far, quadSquad have created a company called enable talk (enabletalk.com) around their gesture interpretation technology.

In short, the problem for many people who use sign-language is the inability to readily communicate with those who don’t speak the same language (there are many sign-languages out in the world and they all have the full capacity of spoken language). 

quadSquad solve this problem by having users wear special sensory gloves that detect the signing. That data is then sent to the Windows Phone where the software takes over, converting the sign to spoken word—literally. enable talk uses Microsoft’s text-to-speech feature to “say” the whole word once it’s signed, giving signers a way to verbally communicate with those unfamiliar with the language.

Creating software is one thing but the team also made the glove system by hand (pun!) which is no small feat. Then they had to record all the gestures in a computer that can be stored for later recognition. The whole thing fits well within Microsoft’s Kinect strategy and of course helps address a real-world problem too. Awesome.

The Drexel Dragons won for Game Design (phone) with Math Dash

First place (Game Design—phone) – Drexel Dragons (US) - Ah, math. We hated it in school and we still kind of dislike it as adults but who can deny that it’s not critical? Drexel Dragons took on the challenge of making a game that can help students learn math. What better way to do that than make a game called Math Dash?

Math Dash is a Windows Phone game that allows users to complete problems by dragging the answers (in the form of sparkly ‘atoms’) into the equation field. With the correct answer, users get points for the game and yes, another new math problem. A simple progress bar keeps track of you right versus wrong answers, allowing you to jump to the next level or signaling that you lost. In addition, you can drag number atoms on to other orbs to create new numbers, should you not have the right one to choose. Finally there are also power-ups and hazards to keep it interesting and feeling like a game.

The concept behind Imagine Cup is great—it gives students a chance to shine and actually makes the world slightly better; kudos to Microsoft and all the student developers who come together every year for the competition. Each first-place winning team takes home $8, 000 for their effort.

Check the videos of both winners after the break...

More →

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!

More →

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

More →

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

More →

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).

More →

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

More →

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

More →

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!

More →

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.

More →

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.

More →

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...

More →

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!

More →

Pages