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Windows Phone News

LinkedIn, the service, is a professional social network that boasts a membership of over 160,000,000 that spans over 200 countries and territories.  The LinkedIn app for Windows Phone ties it all together and delivers the network rather nicely to your Windows Phone.

LinkedIn is apparently marketing the LinkedIn app through bulk emails but there's one slight problem. The graphic shows the app running on a Nokia Lumia 800 but references "LinkedIn for Windows Mobile". Not only once but twice.

Now we can understand that typos occur so we can cut the ad agency a little slack. But come on... it's been almost two years now since Windows Phone 7 took over as the Windows mobile platform.

The good news is the LinkedIn Marketplace description references Windows Phone. If you're a LinkedIn member or look to join the network and want a mobile solution, check out the free LinkedIn app here at the Windows Mobile...err.. the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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It looks like Nokia in the UK are all set to start a new TV marketing campaign in the very near future as the above Lumia 610 commercial popped up on their YouTube channel a short while ago.

While the Lumia 610 may not be the 'daddy' of Windows Phones it does offer pretty good value for money and sits at a price point where it can compete with many low end Android and BlackBerry Smartphones. Vodafone currently is offering the Lumia 610 for £150 on Pay As You Go.  All of which isn't bad when considering that along with the typical Windows Phone features you also get Nokia Maps for local searches and also Nokia Drive which eliminates the need for a separate sat nav system.

Now we just need to see when the new advert airs. Will Nokia pay the big bucks and go for prime time at the weekend?

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Microsoft has updated the Xbox Live Companion app for iOS and released a version for the Android system. While there was no movement on the Windows Phone version, the iOS update may be a good indicator on what might be in store.

The Xbox Live Companion update for iOS takes that app to version 1.5 and adds the following features for the iPhone or iPad.

  • Discover fresh content from the iPhone
  • Connect to and control content on your Xbox console from the iPhone
  • Authentication improvements for the iPad
  • Retina display support for the iPad

The Android version of the Xbox Live Companion is limited to:

  • View, manage, and message friends
  • View Xbox achievement progress
  • View and edit your LIVE profile
  • Edit your avatar
  • Stay connected to the Xbox Live community via Spotlight
  • Access recent activity and manage beacons

While it's nice to see Microsoft continuing to improve iOS and Android users connectivity with their Xbox console it would have been nice to have seen the Windows Phone app given a little attention. Then again, SmartGlass will eventually become available and may make the companion app obsolete.

Source: Major Nelson

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Changes are coming to the popular Windows Phone app ...I'm a WP7!. Changes that will give the app a name change and a few design changes.

For those not familiar ...I'm a WP7! is a popular Windows Phone app that lets you locate Windows Phone users in your area, interact with them, share tips and tricks, have access to daily and weekly wallpapers, tap into custom ringtones and tons more. ... I'm a WP7! has grown so much since it's launch in April of 2011 that a core group of users have put together the "Uber Outsiders Guide for Noobs" to help guide everyone through the ...I'm a WP7! environment.

With Windows Phones moving to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 right around the corner, the developer has decided to change the name to better capture the nature and intent of the app. The version 3.12 update has been submitted to Microsoft for certification and will give ...I'm a WP7! a new name and slightly new look. With the update, ...I'm a WP7! will become Outsider for Windows Phone.

Why the "Outsider"? Since the app is heavily “unrecognized” by Microsoft and the Windows Phone Team, the term “Outsider” has been chosen in direct contrast to “Insider”. The app's concept and features won't change (well... the features will continue to grow), it's just the name.

Look for the update to be pushed out in about a week and if you haven't checked out ...I'm a WP7!, it's followers number over 300,000 and span 189 countries. It is a free app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Oh...and you can find the "Uber Outsiders Guide for Noobs" here on Skydrive. It's a OneNote document and is a work in progress.

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We have received a number of tips that the Windows Phone Facebook app and People Hub integration are not working. There are reports of the Facebook app not loading, passwords not being accepted and status updates not refreshing.  So far hard resets, deleting the account and re-installing, and tinkering with Windows Live permissions have been tried with no success. Manually syncing the Facebook account in the Windows Phone settings also fails to correct the issue.

While we would like to give you a reason for the problems but we are experiencing the same issues and have not heard of a cause. Some have suggested it may be an API issue with Facebook.  On my end, I've been watching the load screen for the Facebook app pass the four dots across the screen for the past five minutes.  And the last Facebook updates in the Peoples Hub was from last night.

If you feel like venting, feel free to join the Windows Phone Central Forums discussion here or sound off in the comments. Just remember as you express your frustrations that this is a family friendly site. Should a solution or reason for this problem come about, we'll be sure to pass it on.

Thanks, everyone, for the tips!

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Quick Shift is a puzzle game for your Windows Phone that was recently updated to bring two new game modes to the table. There is also a free, ad-supported version now available.

Quick Shift presents you with a five by five grid of numbered tiles. You have to find numbered straights that run vertically or horizontally. You earn points by collecting the straights and each round has a target score that must be met before you can advance to the next level. Rows and columns can be shifted to line up the straights. The game is played in timed rounds with the challenge coming with a secondary timer that will shift the tiles around every eleven seconds.

Key features include:

  • 90 levels of play
  • In-game achievements
  • Game statistics
  • Local leaderboard filtered by each game mode
  • Live tile support

The new games modes are unlocked as you complete the first game mode.  You have the original numbers mode and now there is an alphabet mode (create letter straights) and a mix mode that combines numbers and letters.  As you progress through the levels, the game gets a little more challenging by adding more numbers and letters into the mix.  For example, with the numbers mode you start out working with one through five but more numbers come into play the further you advance.

All in all, Quick Shift is a nice game for your Windows Phone that not only challenges your powers of observation but speed skills as well. You can find the free, ad-supported version of Quick Shift here and the ad-free version ($.99)  the Windows Phone Marketplace.

                     

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Here's a quick reminder for the June 22, 2012 St. Louis Windows Phone Development Workshop. Nokia Developer Ambassador Rich Dunbar will be leading the workshop. If you're interested in developing for Windows Phone, it sounds like a great opportunity to network with other developers and get some help building your app.

The workshop will run from 5:30 p.m. until around 9:00 p.m. and will be held at the Microsoft Offices in St. Louis.

The goal of the workshop is to help developers get started on their first Windows Phone app. Nokia will be sponsoring the event and will provide pizza and beverages.  No guarantees but Nokia may also provide a few door prizes as well.  Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and have the necessary development tools installed. You can find a full list of the tools that you'll need here in the Windows Phone Central Forums discussion.

Registration is required (so enough pizza is ordered) for the workshop and you can find that easy process here at GroupSpaces.

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Develop a Windows Phone app in 30 days

Do you have an idea for a great Windows Phone app but have no idea where to start? Microsoft may have just the help you need to get started in the right direction.

Generation App is a Microsoft partnering program that will walk you through the process of developing a Windows Phone app. "How to develop a Windows Phone app in 30 Days" ("30toLaunch" for short) breaks everything down over four weeks and provides all the resources and support you need to build an app. In many ways, Generation App is a one stop source for all your developing needs

The thirty day schedule covers design principles, creating the interface, designing a splash screen, understanding the various Silverlight aspects, adding ads to your app and every other possible factor involved in app development. Each week has a videos to help you get through things and links to the necessary tools and resources.

Generation App's tag line is "Start with an idea. Code that idea. Then market it to the masses". The "30toLaunch" website wraps everything you need up in a nice, single source package.

Source: Generation App

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Yesterday, Apple Inc. finally revealed their latest iteration of iOS for iPhone and the iPad.  There were no real "wow" moments just the continued rehash of market numbers and a collection of little improvements to the world-wide hit operating system.

We're not trying to be too bitter here--look, Apple and iOS have a massive success on their hands so they're not messing with a good thing (think of all the grandparents with iPhones!). But today's unveiling of the new iOS is starting to show that Cupertino may be out of "big" ideas for mobile and are instead concentrating on refinements. That's not exactly a bad thing and we don't necessarily blame them, especially with their strong market share. But it sure does make for some boring discussion.

Our friends at iMore were there for the whole event, turtlenecks and all, documenting all the new additions to the sixth version of the OS.  Due this fall, here is their summary of the major changes:

  • Maps - Probably the biggest news was the addition of Apple's own Maps app which will be powered by TomTom. Maps will come stock with turn-by-turn navigation, traffic info, and a new feature called Flyover.
  • Siri additions and enhancements- Siri received quite a few updates under iOS 6 including iPad support, integration with many car manufacturers, and several new features. 
  • Passbook - Passbook is a brand new way to store and save airline apps, boarding passes, and more all in one place. Many different services and Passbook apps are already available such as express check at hotels, Target cards, movie tickets, coupons, and more.
  • Photo Stream sharing - Photo Stream sharing will allow you to create separate streams (similar to how you'd create albums currently). You can then share those separate streams with whoever you'd like. Have one with family for vacation pics and one with mom and dad for baby pics. They'll also be given the ability to comment and like photos native in iOS.
  • Mail enhancements - Multiple e-mail signatures, VIP Mailbox allows you to add all the important people in your life to a VIP list and their messages will automatically be filtered into a new VIP mailbox that appears under your default inbox.
  • Facebook integration - In iOS 5 we saw Apple integrate Twitter into iOS natively. This year the same will happen with Facebook. Post status, upload pictures, and more without needing a third party app.
  • FaceTime over the cellular network - FaceTime has only ever been available for us on a Wi-Fi network since it's release in iOS 4. iOS 6 is about to change all that and you'll soon be able to FaceTime wherever you are, Wi-Fi or 3G/4G.

Read more after the break for some exclusive Windows Phone 8 news...

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We ran a story a few days ago showing the Dark Knight Rises logo on the Xpress colored backs for the Lumia 710.  We now have an update to that story with the details. T-Mobile will be giving these out for free with a special new promotion starting June 13-July 10th when you sign up on a new two-year contract, either as an upgrade or a new customer.

New customers will get a colored back for free in the store at time of purchase, there is no mail in special for the colored Batman backs. These backs are limited, so be sure to go get them quickly before they run out. The Lumia 710 will also be free with a mail-in-rebate for Classic voice plans. Not only is getting a Batman colored back amazing, but you get the phone for free.

Nokia knows how to sell their devices by giving customers a solid and great experience at a affordable cost. This new cross promotion will sell more 710's, not that they needed any help, and get more windows phones in peoples hands. Although AT&T has the largest variety of Windows Phones, T-Mobile is doing a great job with only 2 that are currently being sold in stores (the Lumia 710 and HTC Radar).

Get your Batman on starting June 13th, the sooner the better. That way you can be one of the few rocking that sweet Windows Phone with a colored back showing off your love for the Dark Knight!

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Seton Hall University to provide Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phones to incoming Freshman

If you are an incoming freshman at Seton Hall University, it looks like you'll be getting a brand new Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone to help you make it through college.

Nokia, along with AT&T, Microsoft and Seton Hall University today announced that the entire class of 2016 will receive the Lumia 900 to support the University's mission of providing state of the art technology tools to enhance the student's college experience. This initiative started in 1997 to provide mobile technology to its students. All in all, it sounds like a very attractive initiative by all involved.  

David Middleton, Seton Hall's Executive Director for the Center for Mobile Research & Innovation, noted,

"Nokia has a long history of innovation and their partnership with Microsoft allows us to extend the core academic and community resources of the University into the pocket of our students. By providing our new incoming students with the Nokia Lumia 900, Seton Hall University can expand our existing Windows services and infrastructure while providing a unique, high quality, dynamic and engaging mobile experience."

In addition to the new Windows Phones, students will have access to the SHUmobile app that provides access to campus news feeds, directories, maps and other University resources.   

Seton Hall University is a private university located in South Orange, New Jersey. Annual enrollment is 5,300 undergraduate students. While no enrollment numbers were provided, average freshmen enrollment is approximately 1,100 students.

Source: NokiaThanks, everyone, for the tip!

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Chris Weber, president of Nokia’s North America unit, is at it again, teasing us with the possibility of seeing Nokia Windows Phone devices on all of the major carriers across North America.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Weber reiterated comments that he made back in January, when he said that the key to Nokia's comeback would be offering "unique propositions" to each carrier so they can set their phones apart from the iPhones and Androids of the world. Weber shared,

“We’re back in the U.S., we’re back in Canada -- it’s exciting, but there’s more work to do.”

Nokia's partnership with AT&T has been hugely successful for the Lumia 900, and others to a lesser extent. The Lumia 710 is on T-Mobile now, but it is rumored that a Lumia 910, a slightly-modified version of the 900 with a 12MP camera, is headed there as well. Verizon Wireless is also rumored to be getting a Nokia handset as well.

While Weber's words of building special relationships with different carriers are certainly encouraging, these deals still need to come to fruition, so temper your expectations. While Weber didn't get into any specifics on what work is to be done, don't expect to see any carrier get some completely new and different device that nobody else has.

Heck, we'd be happy enough just to see Verizon and Sprint step up and get any Nokia phones at all.

Source: Bloomberg

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer considers buying Nokia. "Kinda want"

Rumors are flying around today, notably from the Register who has it on good account, that Microsoft did seriously consider buying Nokia but decided against the deal once the Finnish firms' books were opened. 

If the story is accurate, it represents an interesting twist on the partnership and may still leave a cold feeling for Microsoft's other OEMs. The Register cites "well placed sources" for the story so we'll have to take their word (and their sources) on the matter but Microsoft reportedly was "unimpressed" with Nokia's numbers--or at least didn't see the added extra value of buying the company versus just partnering with them.

As the Register puts it: Nokia didn't want to sell and Microsoft really didn't want to buy. The only reason for an acquisition would have been to keep Nokia out of someone else's hands due to their IP and engineering value. But both companies have time yet--Microsoft has Windows Phone 8 to launch and Nokia needs still has cash to burn. In other words, Microsoft is there as a golden parachute should Nokia really start to crash by next year. Not only that, should such a scenario happen Microsoft would actually get a better deal due to the de-valued stock.

From our perspective as consumers, we don't see the value had Microsoft decided to go forward. Buying a company, integrating different corporate cultures and alienating your partner OEMs, notably HTC, seems like something that could have backfired. Not to mention, it's not clear what would be different from today as it appears Microsoft is getting all that it wants already from Nokia.

We think there's little doubt that both companies have explored numerous options going forward--that shouldn't be a surprise. But we would rather return to this ongoing rumor late in 2012/early 2013 to see how Windows phone 8 is doing.

Source: The Register; via CNET; Thanks, Shane

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Disclaimer: There's no news here, but there is a cute video.

It looks as though Windows Phone is the choice of the next generation, or at least for one toddler in particular. The parents of this youngster posted a video of him shrieking in excitement over a YouTube clip of AT&T's LG Quantum commercial. Informed of the news that the commercial is on, he runs from the other room to stand transfixed on the laptop, and plays the video over and over again.

Now, it could be that the kid is just so blown away by the fast, smooth operation of the feature-packed Windows Phone operation system. However, something tells us that it has more to do with the cute, orange alien who stars in the ad.

Source: YouTube, Thanks for the giggles, Rad!

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It is no secret that the Nokia Lumia 900 is headed to Germany. The only mystery was the "when".

While we are still waiting for the European carrier O2 to receive the Lumia 900, Amazon.de has changed their listing for the Windows Phone from an expected delivery on May 31st to "In Stock".

Amazon.de is listed for 504,89€ with free delivery. The Lumia 900 is being offered in black, cyan and white models.  The white model is listed at 499€.  Prices do include VAT and all three models are listed as being in stock.

Meanwhile over at O2, reservations for the white Lumia 900 are still being taken with inventory expected sometime this month.

Thanks, mreck, for the tip!

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Microsoft's SmartGlass took center stage at E3 2012 and was rather impressive. SmartGlass aims to bridge entertainment and productivity from the Xbox console to computers, tablets and smartphones. A connection that will go beyond simply pausing a video on your Xbox console and picking it up on your Windows Phone. While we aren't sure how far reaching SmartGlass will be with developers, according to Phil Spencer, Corporate VP of Microsoft Studios, we should expect SmartGlass support to be a constant feature in all of Microsoft Studios games going forward.

"It just makes so much sense for a developer who wants to supply, maybe not time-critical information, like 'that enemy is getting ready to shoot you,' but information that augments what's happening on screen."

"...you're even going to see situations like with Ascend, where there's actually gameplay that happens on the phone, even when you're away from your television and that interacts back with the online game that's happening."

We may see supplemental information appear on your Windows Phone while playing a game on the Xbox console or the game completely transfer to your Windows Phone when you walk away from the console. SmartGlass has the potential to seamlessly connect the three screens. Or is it four screens with tablets on the horizon?

Source: joystiq

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The official eBay app for Windows Phone has been out for some time and while the Marketplace reviews aren't stellar, they don't really call for you to run for the hills either. Yet we received a tip from a German reader that there could be a potentially disastrous bug in the app.

It appears that while bidding on a Nokia Lumia 800 a bid was entered as 211.69€ and appeared that way in the confirmation screen. However, when the bid was submitted it registered as 21169.00€. Luckily the ending bid didn't make it that far, ending at 270 Euros.

According to the tipster, eBay Germany was contacted and recommended contacting the seller to request a cancelation. While we first thought this could easily be pilot error, in scanning through the Marketplace reviews on the eBay app (found here at the Windows Phone Marketplace), other Windows Phone users report similar instances where the confirmed bid is higher than the submitted bid.

We aren't sure if this is a wide spread issue and hopefully if this is a bug, the quirk can be resolved easily with an update to the app. Still, bug or not, you might want to be extra careful to review your eBay bids when submitting via the Windows Phone app. If my recollection of eBay is correct, an incorrectly submitted bid can be canceled before the auction closes.

Thanks, aerone, for the tip!

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Got some musical chops? Then make us a ringtone and win yourself a Nokia Play 360!

Have you created a unique, entertaining, humorous, inspiring, "turn your head", jaw dropping, "make everyone smile" type ringtone for your Windows Phone? If so, you could win a Nokia Play 360 ($150 value) which will allow you to stream and blast music from any Windows Phone via Bluetooth.  That's right, we're having a ringtone contest and we're looking for the best.

The winner will also have their ringtone featured in our app to be used by everyone. Ka-ching.

Here's how this contest will work:

  1. Create an original ringtone
  2. Post it in this Windows Phone Central discussion
  3. The ringtone has to be original content to qualify. No use of copyrighted music or materials unless it is yours.
  4. You can submit two entries but they need to be distinct and original
  5. You have until June 23, 2012 at 5pm EST to submit your entry.

From there, we'll listen to all the entries and select the two ringtones that stand out as the best to us. Expect the winners to be announced by June 28th.

Oh... as an added bonus, on Friday, June 15th and 22nd we will randomly draw a winner from the entries to receive a $50 gift card to the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store.

So get creative, get humorous, get original and start working up that ringtone. You will need to register to participate and you can take care of that here.

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The low-cost Nokia Lumia 710 on prepaid

We haven't followed the whole pre-paid plan scene as much as we probably should here at Windows Phone Central. Blame it on our contract-centric culture but for a lot of folks, prepaid plans are brilliant--low cost and no commitment with a contract is a great idea for many (especially if you're holding off for Windows Phone 8 this fall).

Best Buy who's no stranger to the mobile phone biz is now offering the Nokia Lumia 710 (see review) for $299. That's actually $50 more than what T-Mobile sells it for ($249.99) but you do get the brick-n-mortar presentation and perhaps a few impulse buys. 

Either way, it's good to see Windows Phone joining the popular Android devices on prepaid plans, especially the 710 which is a fantastic starter-phone. For those on AT&T, however, there's no such luck despite the carrier having the largest Windows Phone selection around.

Thanks, @cagmanthing/Manny, for the photo

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