Windows Phone News

Microsoft is offering student developers who reside in the U.S. a chance to win a Windows Phone. There are some superb ways to get involved with development on the platform whilst studying at university, and the rewards with both experience and networking are invaluable. But what if you could throw a free smartphone into the equation? Makes Windows Phone development even more appealing, right?

So how does one be in with a chance of winning one? Simply publish two apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace and enter your details on the Facebook page for the offer. There are some guidelines that need to be looked at prior to steaming ahead:

  • You are a student in an accredited university/college in the United States
  • You have developed two Windows Phone applications that are (or will be) published between March 26th and May 31st, 2012.
  • The apps are targeting Windows Phone 7.5, and support Fast App Switching
  • The apps are of high-quality and are not created with one of the "do-it-fast" tools, like AppMakr or FollowMyFeed
  • You have not received a Windows Phone device in previous student promotions from Microsoft

Check out the Facebook page for more details and -of course- to submit your apps.

Source: Facebook (Microsoft Tech Student), via: Den Delimarsky; thanks Den for the tip!

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Tonight when we're driving around Long Island, we passed no less than three AT&T corporate stores (Long Island is basically a giant strip mall but with attitude). All three stores had Lumia 900 banners hanging from the ceiling and were quite visible from the road -- no doubt an odd thing to see Windows Phone featured so prominently.

Now we have a sneak peek at what some of the in-store promotion will look like with this giant billboard hanging against the wall emblazoned with the slogan "beautifully different".

We've also heard there will be a lot more with the Lumia 900 (and Titan II) with an area to test out the phones (see above) and even a section with accessories for the 900. We'll be curious to hear feedback from you folks tomorrow on what your experience was and perhaps we'll even throw a few photos up if we come across 'em.

Thanks, Jeff B., for the images!

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While Verizon deservedly gets a lot of flack for their shunning of Windows Phone, especially with their single offering of the HTC Trophy, they at least seem set on keeping that phone up to date.

If you navigate to the support page for the HTC Trophy on Verizon's site, you'll notice that information regarding the previous radio update has been removed. Instead, users are greeted with details on the latest software update: 2305.13.20402.605.

While that number doesn't reveal the OS version (8107), reading the new features and fixes reveals that indeed it has to be 8107 since it fixes the disappearing keyboard. Here are the new fixes and enhancements:

  • Improved Voice Mail notifications when traveling outside the U.S.
  • Enhanced Cellebrite contact transfer performance.
  • Improvements in keyboard performance prevent keyboard from disappearing while typing.
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Improved device performance when downloading large software update files.
  • Original messages will be included when replying or forwarding an email via an Exchange 2003 server.
  • Improvements in text messaging performance

No word on exactly when this update will begin being pushed but seeing as Verizon is coming forward with the details, we're going to say it's imminent. So good new for you Verizon folks, not so great news if you're on AT&T or Sprint.

Source: Verizon Support (PDF); Thanks, Ryan T., for the heads up!

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It's time for another weekly recap of all the Windows Phone news we've covered on-site for the last 6 days. Before we get into the summary itself we've got a few WPCentral related updates to publish. First up, we have announced the winners of our MetroTwit Plus license competition. The WPCentral Store has a massive sale going on with a whopping 15% off all Windows Phone accessories until Monday.

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Saleh Esmaeili and Nadeem Mardini from dots and lines, the developers behind the Carbon Twitter client. Should you be making the purchase of a brand new Windows Phone, whether it be the sturdy HTC Trophy, or the Nokia Lumia 900, the WPCentral forum is a superb resource to get started with the new platform. Be sure to head on past the break for the summary.

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Tomorrow, April 9th, is the kick off of the Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T (most stores were closed today for the holiday) and as expected, Microsoft will be having their own promotional events coinciding with in-store availability of the new flagship Windows Phone. This of course follows Friday's kick off party in Times Square with superstar Nicki Minaj.

We reported on the freetimemachine.com website a few days ago and although details were scarce it was clear that it was some type of contest for the Lumia 900. Now that we're closer to the the 9th we have more information regarding the event. Besides the online portion (we expect the website to change over tomorrow), Microsoft and Nokia will be hosting events in three cities between 8am and 6pm:

New York City

  • Bryant Park (6th Ave between 40th & 42nd)
  • Madison Square Park (23rd & Madison)

Chicago

  • John Hancock Plaza (E. Chestnut & N. Michigan Ave)
  • Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Ave)

San Francisco

  • Union Square (Post Street & Powell Street)

What's more, we know that Kourtney Kardashian will be on hand from 11:30 to 12:30pm at the Bryant Park location in Manhattan. So if you're a fan, you'll, umm...want to be there.

So what to expect? From a Fox 5 News story on the events there will be "...several Free-Time Machines, or FTMs, for consumers that will be distributing priceless "free time" vouchers in the form of coupons, gifts certificates, and other items from 8 am-6 pm."

Sounds interesting. We'll try to be there to catch some of the event (no guarantees on the Kardashian angle though, we're not that crazy).

Update: In Chicago's Pioneer Court, famed local chef Stephanie Izard will be on hand for the event and in San Francisco, you can expect the 49ers tight-end Vernon DavisThanks, Stephen M., for the info!

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With the release of the Nokia Lumia 900 and the Titan II we are seeing a new group of Windows Phone users joining the fold. We'd love to welcome our new members and invite everyone to join our Forums as we have a great community full of people ready to help. 

Our Windows Phone 7 OS discussion forums is the place for your general Windows Phone questions. Think of "help and troubleshooting" when posting there. We even have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) thread stickied right at the top. For more information about Windows Phone (and a must tread for all new to Windows Phone users) check out our "WindowsPhone: Getting started!" thread.

Our Windows Phone 7 General Discussion forum is where we discuss just about everything else. We have some must-read stickies in this area as well. In our"Post Your Wallpaper" thread you will find lots of great wallpapers ready for download or where you can post your own to share with others.

The "Post your Mango phones Ringtones here" thread is a great place to find or post new ringers with hundreds available and ready to use already. This thread even includes instructions on how to make your own ringtones. If you can't find something or you're not inclined to make it yourself, post a request as I bet one of out Forum Members would be willing to make it for you.

We also have a new WinPhan movement underway and you can get more information about that in this thread: Windows+Phone+Fan=WinPhan: Take Part In The WinPhan Campaign    

Don't forget our device forums for all your device-specific questions. You can find help and support in our Lumia 900 Forums or Titan II Forums areas. 

Our Community of over 50,000 members and is a great place to get help with all your Windows Phone needs.  Remember, the forums are more fun when you register, so sign up today.

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Nokia has released an updated for their Nokia Music Windows Phone app, which is available to Lumia handset owners. The music streaming app was recently bumped to version 2.0 and introduced a few UI and audio improvements. Fast forward to 2.1 and we've got a published change log detailing the following:

  • Overall performance and responsiveness
  • Nokia Music Unlimited – only available in selected countries and on certain devices
  • Controls for shuffle and repeat in the music player

Controls for shuffling and repeating tracks from your music library have been added in the top-right corner. Further improvements to the UI and layout of the app are also noticeable. Do note that some features are only available in some countries, and supported markets may not be able to download the app itself.

You can download Nokia Music from the Nokia collection of OEM apps on the Marketplace (Lumia handsets only).

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Nokia is looking for feedback on the Lumia 900 Windows Phone and the first 500 eligible participants will receive a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card as a thank you.

If you've purchased a Lumia 900 over the past few days, just follow this link and sign up for the survey. A confirmation email will then be sent your way with links on how to register.

You'll need your Lumia 900's IMEI number (on the box label) and agree to the terms. You'll also agree to respond to a minimum of three web surveys about your Lumia 900. Once you fill in all the blanks and check all the boxes, you will then receive another email confirming your registration and let you know the survey links will be emailed out in a few days.

It's really nice that Nokia is reaching out to customers to see what works with the Lumia 900 and what could stand a little improvement (camera..cough..camera).

Thanks, Arun3, for the tip!

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It was only a matter of time before we began to see the new HTC Titan II show up at third party retailers for a discounted price. Walmart.com is offering the new Windows Phone for $149.99 after contractual discounts.

The 4G LTE Titan II will still run you $549.99 off contract but if you're interested in saving $50, it might be worth checking out Walmart's listing.

Oh and on a side note, AmazonWireless is listing the HTC Titan II but is showing the Windows Phone as "out of stock" and due in soon. I wonder if AmazonWireless will have the Titan II for a penny?

Thanks, Janis, for the tip!

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Friday night we gave you a sneak peak of Nokia's launch party for the Lumia 900 that took place in New York City's Times Square. Surrounded by thousands of tourists and New Yorkers alike, Nicki Minaj took the stage to perform numerous songs in support of her new album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.

In addition to the show, a remix of her popular single "Starships" debuted along with a full-production video shot by Nokia to coincide with the AT&T Lumia 900's official introduction to the world.

If one thing can be said of Nokia it's they know how to go big for a launch party (see London and the Lumia 800). For some reason, we can't imagine HTC, Samsung or LG ever throwing such a massive media event and for that we're excited to see Nokia championing Windows Phone (as opposed to Android).

While it remains to be see if the Lumia 900 will be the hit that it is expected to be, it certainly seems to be off to a very good start.

Source: Nokia (YouTube)

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HTC Titan II now available at AT&T

While retail stores will likely be closed for the Easter Holiday, you can find the latest HTC Windows Phone at AT&T's website just in case you can't wait until Monday. The HTC Titan II went live just a little while ago.

The Titan II sports an impressive 4.7" Super LCD screen, 16gb of storage, and a really, really, really nice 16mp rear facing camera. The Titan II made a very respectable first impressions and we'll have a full review up on the site shortly (hint: the Titan II ain't shabby).  The Titan II joins another new Windows Phone that you might have read about, the Nokia Lumia 900.  AT&T has once again built up a very admirable Windows Phone line up and hopefully they will put up the marketing efforts to support it.

AT&T is offering the Titan II for $199.99 after contractual discounts and you can snag it for $549.99 off-contract. You find all the details and ordering information here at AT&T's wireless site.

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Now that we've seen some of the Smartphone Beta Test ads for the Lumia 900 from Nokia, AT&T has their standard fare commercial showing off the new phone as well.

This ad feels more traditional with a young gent named Colin trying to impress a girl he's pining for by using his Lumia 900 as a conversation starter. Not a bad move and the demographic seems about right.

The ad is humorous but also displays the phone's strengths like the bold cyan color, the unique design of the phone and of course those Live Tiles. Hopefully such an ad will begin to air on TV as we can see it being effective for getting the message out that Windows Phone is "beautifully different".

Source: YouTube (AT&T); via WMPU

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This week we've been joined by Saleh Esmaeili and Nadeem Mardini from dots and lines, a small developer firm based out of the United Arab Emirates who are responsible for the Twitter client Carbon. We've managed to get an insight into how they view the development environment of Windows Phone, as well as a sneak peek at what's next planned for Carbon.

Head on past the break to read the full interview.

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Good news if you're one of the many who own a T-Mobile Lumia 710 (review) here in the U.S. Due to its popularity, Nokia has decided to bring back the Xpress-on cover offer whereby every 710 owner gets to choose one free color of their choice. Those colors include white, yellow, fuschia and cyan and users can just snap on the new back to add a splash of change to their white or black Lumia 710.

We have the cyan color for our white 710 and simply love it as it gives the phone a fresh new look (especially if you match up the Accent color in the OS).

To apply, simply head to visit www.nokiacolorcover.com to fill out the form, including your device's IMEI number and date of purchase. You will need to also mail in a copy of your receipt, the online submission form and the UPC and barcode panel from the box to complete the procedure. Offer expires April 30th.

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The Smartphone Beta Test has been running since the birth of the smartphone, well technically it hasn't but it's a pretty neat marketing campaign from Nokia for the U.S. We witnessed a website (www.smartphonebetatest.com) being created with a bunch of videos published to poke fun at some competitor handset issues.

Now the Smartphone Beta Test website has been updated with more interactive content, videos and information on the AT&T Lumia 900, which is launching across the U.S. Cue "Operation Rolling Thunder", Nokia's plan of a attack for the states, which will see the manufacturer driving forward advertising not only for the Lumia handsets, but for Windows Phone too.

Prepare yourselves for some effective Nokia marketing. For a taster, check out the beauty of social integration and live tiles in Windows Phone in the humorous commercial below. Nokia is clearly on the attack here at other smartphones as well as how they can negatively impact our lives by being unreliable - something the manufacturer looks to change with Windows Phone.

Source: Smartphone Beta Test; thanks Hiiiiiiiii for the heads up!

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Rowi, the popular Twitter app for your Windows Phone, was recently updated and now it's on sale. Just to recap, here are some of the highlights of what version 2.0 brings to the table.

  • Instant resume
  • Fast app switching
  • Pin tweets and messages to the Start Screen
  • Retweets are now included in the list timelines
  • Photo previews for tweets in timelines
  • Conversation views on tweet details page
  • Tweet details now show who retweeted it
  • Now Playing added to the tweet screen to let you tweet about what you're listening to
  • Image upload services through Lockerz, yfrog, Twitter and Twitpic
  • Toast notifications now display inside of Rowi and take you to the new tweets when tapped
  • New remaining character counter for new tweets or messages

The ad free version normally runs $2.99 but is on sale through April 15, 2012 for just $.99. Should you really like ads, there is a free, ad supported version available (Rowi Lite).  However, the free version does not have notifications or live tile support.  

You can find Rowi here at the Windows Phone Marketplace and Rowi Lite here.

              

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So we just came back from Times Square here in New York City where Nokia was throwing a lil' party right in the center of Manhattan for that Lumia 900. Turns out, as you probably know by now, that superstar Nicki Minaj was performing live. In fact, she performed three songs to a fairly massive crowd that was certainly very receptive to the whole scene.

After the songs they introduced the Nokia Lumia 900 while a DJ spun some music -- it was similar to the London-Deadmau5 event, though obviously not as massive. To the side, while the music was pumping, a giant high resolution LCD screen showed off an exciting light show leading up the Lumia 900 finally appearing.

Times Square crowd image via Sokane1/Instagram

All in all in was a fun albeit short event (it lasted about 30 minutes). While not as wow-worthy as the London 3D projection, it will certainly grab a lot of attention and is certainly some great publicity. Oh and a lot of the footage shot there will evidently be used in an upcoming video with the liver performance showing up tomorrow on Facebook.

After the break, you can check two videos we recorded (the second one starts shaky, sorry 'bout that, but it gets better). Also, we have some photos to boot.

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The FedEx truck dropped of AT&T's latest Windows Phone from HTC earlier today. While Nokia's Lumia 900 is getting most of the spotlight, the HTC Titan II is quietly landing on AT&T's store shelves on April 8th and it makes a very impressive first impression.

Okay... here's the tell of the tape. The Titan II measures in at 5.2 x 2.7 x .50 inches and weighs only 5.18 ounces. The original Titan measures in at 5.14 x 2.78 x .39 and weighs 5.6 ounces. And for those curious, the Nokia Lumia 900 measures in at 5.03 x 2.7 x .45 inches and weighs 5.6 ounces. These three phones are extremely comparable in size, weight and feel.

The Titan II's 4.7" Super LCD looks great and is backed by a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor.  You'll find 512mb of RAM and 16GB of storage under the hood. Speaking of the 4.7" screen, it has a unique shape in that as the face of the Titan II reaches the three front buttons, it curves out. Not really sure why it's designed this way but it gives the Titan II just enough contour to make it feel really good in the hand.

Unlike the Titan, the Titan II does not have a removable battery. There is a SIM card cover but no battery access. And where the Titan has a bare metal back, the Titan II has a rubbery finish on the back that gives the Windows Phone a little more gripability.

HTC has done a very good job at improving upon the design of the Titan with this new Windows Phone. The volume, camera and power buttons are textured to give them a better feel, the 3.5mm headphone jack isn't as recessed to give you a better connection, and the unibody design just works.

Oh... did I forget to mention the 16mp rear camera?  I'm really curious to see how the Titan II's camera performs.  The Titan II uses the same BSI Sensor that is found on the HTC Titan and Radar which helps handle low light situations a lot better.  My main curiosity is how well the small sensor handles the larger resolutions.

Titan II or Lumia 900? I've got both and based on fit and feel alone, it's a coin toss. Over the next few days I'll take the Titan II out for a test run and get a full review up on the site shortly. From there, we'll also take a look at both the Lumia 900 and Titan II side by side to give you a better idea how these two Windows Phones compare.

Stay tuned for there is definitely more to come.

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The Smoked by Windows Phone marketing campaign has been extended by Microsoft until April 12th. Those with competitor smartphones will be able to pop into participating Microsoft Stores and attempt to challenge an employee to best the Windows Phone. The campaign recently came under fire for employees supposedly bending the competition rules, ensuring Microsoft's platform won regardless.

Those who manage to beat the Windows Phone will not be receiving a limited edition Hunger Games laptop, priced at $1,000. Instead the store will offer a $1,000 gift card ("hello fancy new Windows 8 tablet") to the first 10 winning participants and a $25 gift card to the first 250 who lose. Are you eligible? Check against the below points:

  • Your smartphone must be activated with a cellular carrier;
  • Your smartphone must be able to fully power off prior to the Challenge;
  • Your smartphone must have the basic functionality required to compete in the Challenge including, but not limited to: check weather/movie, take pictures and post online, text, post on Facebook, find nearby restaurants, update status on social media, and translate web pages into English; and
  • Your smartphone must use the original, unmodified operating system that came standard on Your smartphone.
  • Smartphones that have had Challenge scenarios pre-loaded are excluded.

What's different about this wave is employees will ask the participant to pick a challenge card at random, which will dictate the scenario (example: take a photo and upload to Facebook). This will help prevent any future issues that could possibly arise.

Source: Micrsoft Store, via: AnythingbutiPod; thanks William for the tip!

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That's right folks it's delivery day. If you pre-ordered the Lumia 900 on AT&T you should have received your tracking number already. Most folks are reporting delivery should be by 3pm this afternoon. If you're like us, just sitting around refreshing your package tracking screen waiting for the 3pm delivery deadline, let us know in this thread: Delivery Day!! 

We are still talking in our "Official has your Lumia 900 shipped yet thread" thread. It seams that AT&T took their sweet time getting the orders out which has  caused a little anxiety for some. We have 22 pages and 435 posts in this thread at last count. For a one day total that's a lot of members trying to help each other on a somewhat stressful day. If you haven't received your tracking information, let us know in this thread:  (Official) Who's Lumia 900 did not ship?

Did you get your Lumia 900 already? This is the thread for you: (Official) I just got my Lumia 900

We have numerous discussions happening in our Lumia 900 forums, so don't just sit around looking at that tracking screen. Here are a few threads to get us going:

If you don't find anything of interest in this list or if you have a story to tell, go ahead and start your own thread. We want to hear what on your mind.

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

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