Windows Phone News

Nokia has released Creative Studio for Windows Phone, available to all Lumia handset owners. This app is a simple (but free) photo editing suite that enables users to alter and then share photos taken with the smartphone. A number of effects, filters and tools are available to turn that snap shot into a more visually appealing photo.

What's also neat is the patented technology used in the app which allows live, in-camera effects to be active so users are able to see what the end result would be without taking the shot. As well as this, we also have a panorama feature, which many desire as built-in functionality. Hopefully, with the recent news of said functionality coming to Lumia handsets, we shouldn't need to rely on an app soon enough.

You can download Creative Studio on your Lumia Windows Phone.

Via: Techin5

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China is set to finally launch Windows Phone in the coming weeks and while Nokia will be doing that at the end of March, HTC has beat them to the punch with the HTC Triumph.

New HTC phone you say? Not really. The Triumph is just the TITAN with a rebranding and Windows Phone Tango thrown on board (officially launching on the 21st). Still, with it's 4.7" screen, 8MP rear and 1.3MP front cameras and 1.5GHz CPU, China is kicking it off big with this device. The Triumph went on sale yesterday, hence the above unboxing video.

No word on official carrier support though, meaning folks in China may have to pay out of pocket for the full-experience of Windows Phone. Still, it's nice to see the device with localized-Chinese features on board.

via: Unwired View

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In a Lumia 900 FAQ we recently covered, Nokia has confirmed that the WiFi hotspot / tethering feature will be present on the Lumia 610 and 900 Windows Phones at launch. As for the 710 and 800, which are currently missing this highly desired functionality, we'll likely see an update in the future to activate it. It's pleasing to know that it's actually on the way for owners.

"Q: When will the tethering update for the Lumia devices be pushed out?

A: It will be in coming soon for 800 and 710 via Zune update, for 610 and 900 it will be available at launch."

What's more is that Damian Dinning, camera guru at Nokia, has confirmed on Twitter that the company are looking to introduce a panorama feature on the Lumia 800 - something the Windows Phone lacked for many trigger happy users. Unfortunately, there's no word on a date or if we'll see this introduced on other Lumia handsets, though it makes perfect sense to expect such a roll out. 

Source: @PhoneDaz, via: PocketNow

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Have some questions regarding the Lumia 900 (both U.S. and international)? Perhaps this fairly brief FAQ will help you out when deciding whether or not the Lumia 900 is the best Windows Phone for you. Questions range from the design and availability to battery and volume / speaker improvements.

This FAQ wont answer every burning question you may have on your mind, but at least some will be taken care of. It's interesting to note that the 900 is destined for Australia too (confirming the pre-order at MobiCity), something that will certainly please local Nokia Windows Phone fans who desire a more advanced device than the Lumia 800.

Source: Nokia Connects; thanks damthman for the tip!

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A video capture of the augmented reality event in Sydney has been uploaded to YouTube showing the stunt in action with a member of the public having a go. The dance-off was with Australia’s Got Talent and now local recording star Timomatic, who was also present at the event for signing and promoting the event.

As well as this event, there are two more lined up this month in Brisbane and Melbourne so be sure to head on down.

Source: YouTube

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Should you be an avid Pinterest user, you'll want to check out Pinsation for Windows Phone. Using official APIs, Pinsation provides a seamless experience with facebook connectivity and all the features you'd expect - upload pins, re-pin, like pins, create boards, delete pins, comment on pins, and more.

If you haven't heard of Pinterest before, it's a startup that allows users to find and "pin" useful content that's discovered around the web. Think of an e-pinboard and you'll understand the concept.

Pinsation also enables the user to pin categories, searches and favourite boards right to the home screen for more convenient access. You can download Pinsation from the Marketplace for free.

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The Windows Phone team is set to enable AppHub access for developers to 23 more countries, which were announced late last month by Joe Belfiore, in the next two weeks. Where will we be seeing this new support? Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Todd Brix states that after this batch of countries is rolled out, the total number of supported countries will be bumped to 63 - an impressive amount of targetable markets for platform developers. Do note, however, that there may be some issues with some of the newly added markets, as Brix explains (and Carbon found out):

"Keep in mind that some new markets— Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE—are subject to additional certification requirements due to local laws or norms. Check Section 3.10 of our content policy for more details."

As a final note, it's warned that app submissions are taking up to seven days to certify due to volumes, and this delay may well increase. Something for developers to be aware of when submitting apps with a published date in mind.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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Following on from the gradual increase in advertising, Nokia has now done something special in Chile to celebrate the launch of the Lumia Windows Phones - there really doesn't appear to be a limit on marketing / promotional expenditure for the manufacturer. Much like we saw in London late last year, a 3D show was put on for attendees in the boulevard of Parque Arauco in Santiago.

Be sure to check out the video, it really is something else. We'll look to see more information being made available about both the 710 and 800 in Chile in the near future.

Source: YouTube, via: WMPU

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"The Nokia Lumia has arrived!" reads the bold headline in this Australian newspaper TeleChoice flyer. Celebrating the launch of the Lumia handsets, as well as the "Lumia Live" events that are being held this month around the country, it's good to see such exposure.

The Lumia 710 was also advertised in the MX newspaper yesterday, but these are all device specific promotions so we're still looking at Microsoft (or other OEMs) to pick up some of the weight that's holding down the platform.

Thanks Michael for sending in the photo!

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Just a few weeks before it officially hits, Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh aka "Tango" (build 8773) has managed to be dumped onto XDA for the world to see (and use). Wasting no time, some chefs have already cooked up some custom ROMs for the HD2 (which will evidently live until the year 2031 with updates) and the Samsung Omnia7.

More ROMs will be expected to follow soon for first generation devices, notably HTC ones and the Samsung Focus. Since there are no custom ROMs for Gen 2 devices (due to a locked bootloader), we're not expecting this Tango ROM to help too much though perhaps some folks at XDA will find a way.

Tango is thought to a "refresh" of Windows Phone 7.5 with only minor, under the hood changes including support for lower-spec'd devices (256MB of RAM) as well as some MMS improvements and a fix for the SMS bug. Like all previous updates, this is expected to trickle out for current phones but only at the discretion of the carrier.

Source: HD2, Omnia 7; via XDA

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We previously took a look at Windows Phone Hacker's Lock Screen Widgets concept, where enough interest from the homebrew community would spark development to turn it into reality. It would appear as though enough interest was received as in the above video, we can see a working preview of said concept in an app form.

Work is still ongoing to apply UI enhancements and tidying up. Adding, re-arranging and removing widgets is fairly straightforward and selecting the Bing wallpaper is also possible. Suggestions are welcome for new widgets or on the app itself. We look set to see a beta version released next week (depending on continued progress), so stay tuned.

Source: WindowsPhoneHacker, YouTube

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Windows Phone UK has announced an exciting competition that celebrates the must-have Xbox Live games of 2012 that have arrived onto the Marketplace - Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, BulletAsylum, Chickens Can’t Fly, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction and Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp.

The team have decided to give away a shiny new Lumia 800 (see our review) Windows Phone as the prize for the best review. To enter the competition and have a chance of winning the Lumia 800, you'll need to:

  1. Review one of the five must-have games listed above. Be sure to include details such as why it's your favourite, what you liked / disliked, etc.
  2. Publish the review on a blog (can be Tumblr, WordPress hosted, Blogger, etc.)
  3. Enter said review by commenting on the Windows Phone UK competition announcement article only (link below).

We're helping to judge this contest, so we'll be selecting the winning review which displays the most originality, relevancy and humour. So head on over to Windows Phone UK to read up on the T&Cs and put forward your entry. Remember that this is for UK residents only and you have until 5pm (GMT) on March 22nd.

Source: Windows Phone UK

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From the Forums...Barter Forum is live

We have seen many requests for a area in the forums to buy and trade devices. We love to abide so with no further delay come join us in the Windows Phone Central Barter Forum.

Note: you must have 50 posts to sell your wares. For a complete list of rules please see this thread: Rules for posting in the Barter Forum

Remember, the forums are more fun when you register, so sign up today.

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With the launch of the 800, we've been anticipating Nokia's upcoming marketing strategy in Australia with what the manufacturer can do to maintain the standards of promotion we've witnessed in other countries (think back to London with Deadmau5). With the recent announcement that will see Nokia holding Lumia "Live events" in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney this month, we now have more details surrounding the first one on the calendar - Sydney.

As one can probably guess from the above photo, the live event in Sydney sports Nokia's largest augmented reality experience. The public can step up on the Nokia mat to witness an interactive experience powered by an Xbox and Kinect. The video from the console is displayed on a massive 12 metre screen for everyone to enjoy.

Should you choose the Nokia Music tile, you'll be able to compete with Australia’s Got Talent and now local recording star Timomatic in a dance-off. But if that's not your cup of tea, and you're feeling slightly adventurous, then the Nokia Drive tile will produce a random character next to you on-screen; be it an Angry Bird or kangaroo.

Timomatic said the following when asked about his experience working with Nokia on this stunt:

"I was pumped about working with Nokia on this project.  I loved the idea of combining cutting-edge technology like Augmented Reality with my passion for music and dance. The footage was filmed in a studio and we experimented with a range of dance moves, both free-style and choreographed.  It's pretty amazing to see it all come together like that on the big screen."

Are you interested in giving this event a looking? Be sure to head on down to Martin Place between 7am - 7pm (16th March). 

Source: WPDownUnder

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Windows Phone users have been yearning for an official Audible app for Windows Phone for quite some time now. Recently, our own Rafael Rivera showed how it's very possible to make an app for Windows Phone using some aspects of the ancient Windows Mobile app of yore. Around the same time, we heard rumblings of a limited beta for an Audible starting to circulate, which gave us hope.

Now, some images of said app have appeared on Reddit by a poster who is reportedly in the closed beta program. He notes that the beta program will be going open in a few weeks and that he won't post the XAP file, so no hope there.

While we can't verify that these images are legit, we have reason to believe that these are indeed real. Hopefully we'll be hearing more in a few weeks.

Update: Confirmed. Paul Thurrott has just posted more screenshots, moving this from rumor to news.

Source: Reddit; via 1800PocketPC, Go Windows Go

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There are those of us who believe 4.3" screens are too big, but it seems as though there are more who believe they're just the right size (or not big enough). According to a survey by Strategic Analytics, almost 90% of existing smartphone owners look at prototype / newer devices that sport larger screens, specifically 4.0" - 4.5" being the 'sweet spot'.

Kevin Nolan, Vice-President for the User Experience Practice at Strategy Analytics, added to the report:

"In order for smartphone owners to adopt larger devices, it is important for handset manufacturers to ensure that mobile devices are not too heavy and that the devices remain thin enough for purses and pockets."

Windows Phone has been keeping up with this new like for big things with the HTC TITAN and Samsung Focus S, as well as the Lumia 800 and 900 from Nokia. What size screen do you believe is the perfect size for a smartphone? Should we be hitting 5"?

Source: Strategic Analytics, via: BGR

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According to Marko Ahtisaari, Design Chief at Nokia, the company is looking at the possibility of introducing a tablet running Windows 8. Ahtisaari has said in an interview with Finnish magazine Kauppalehti Optio that he spends a third of his time at the company on tablet development and that they "are working on it". Though a spokesperson is less publicly optimistic (as usual):

"We continue to eye the tablet space with interest, but have made no specific announcements."

In other words: they have some ideas, but nothing to show the world just yet. For now we'll have plod along with the Lumia family of Windows Phones and keep hopes up that the Finnish manufacturer brings something to the table when Microsoft launches the next version of Windows.

What would you like to see from a Nokia Windows 8 tablet?

Via: Reuters

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Nice to see a non-Nokia commercial showing off the Lumia 800 for once, or rather a carrier actually having a little faith in the hit phone.

TELUS is having a sale till the end of the month (we mentioned it earlier) and the 800 is one of those qualifying for said discount. While the song is unforgivable we do rather like the commercial and find it effective.

The Canadian teleco started selling the phone March 2nd and so far the response seems to have been strong.

Thanks, BugZau, for the tip!

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Chris Finlay, web developer at PokerStars, has created something special for those Windows Phone users who are avid Facebook fans. The Timeline cover photo is a perfect way to show off some interesting photos, but why don't we take it a step further with a personalised "I love Windows Phone" graphic?

Finlay has provided the tools and means to do just that, should you have the right software for the job of course. We've got a .PSD template, which will enable anyone (regardless of photo editing skills) to create an images similar to the above. So how do you go about achieving the above result? 

  1. Download the .PSD template (we'll use Photoshop as the software of choice for this walkthrough).
  2. Edit the network placeholder text and add your own image for the "Pictures" tile, using the red rectangle as a guide for dimensions.
  3. Change / personalise other aspects of the template as you see fit.
  4. Hide the "Guides" group to remove Facebook template and disable the guide lines (View > Show > Guides). 
  5. Select "cover" from the Load Selection dialogue (Select > Load Selection).
  6. "Copy Merged" (Edit > Copy Merged) and then paste into a new document.
  7. Save and upload to Facebook.

Remember that this is just a template, only your imagination is the limit. Take the design and add your own touches. Do let us know in the comments should you take a few minutes to create your own cover photo to further promote Windows Phone. As for Chris Finlay, be sure to follow him on Twitter.

Thanks Chris for sending in the .PSD!

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We last took a look at the mysterious Samsung SGH i667 "Mandel" back in January where it passed BT certification, but not much was known about the handset. Fast forward three months later and FCC certification paperwork has been spotted by PocketNow, which shows the SGH i667 passing with LTE connectivity listed and confirmed.

The "Mandel" is set to be one of three new 4G handsets heading to AT&T, the other two being the Lumia 900 and HTC TITAN II. Unfortunately, this does not provide any further details specifications wise, but we'll continue to speculate that it's going to be a more advanced brother of the Focus S.

Via: PocketNow

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