Windows Phone News

It was only a few hours when we looked at the UK retailer Carphone Warehouse busting Windows Phone myths that many moan and groan about, but now we can safely at Orange UK to the fan club. The carrier's business section of their website is recommending the Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 in favour of a Blackberry (or iPhone) for business use.

Orange is also offering some neat benefits with purchasing the Nokia handsets with a Business Solo contract. The carrier will provide double flexible extras on plans worth £30/mo or higher, as well as free unlimited WiFi access with BT Openzone. It's good to see some real positive support from one of the major players here in the UK.

With Microsoft Office, Lync, Skype, and more, it makes sense to offer Windows Phone as a valid solution to business needs and requirements.

Source: Orange, thanks Jamil for the heads up!

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It would appear as though Lumia 800 Windows Phones are receiving new firmware, following the rollout in Singapore. The new firmware, 1600.2487.8107.12070, addresses a number of problems and is the next version up from the previous firmware release that arrived in January.

Quick recap of known improvements / fixes in the update:

  • Enhanced battery standby and talk time performance
  • Battery capacity icon instead of question mark on top right of screen
  • Improved bass in audio performance
  • Soft-key illumination at all brightness levels
  • Fixes for device performance issues including self-reboots, freezes and call-ending

As you can see, it's a fairly sizeable update. Many of our readers have confirmed update notifications (unlocked - U.S. and UK), so be sure to plug your Lumia 800 into your PC to check via Zune. Let us know in the comments should you receive the new firmware.

Thanks to everyone who sent us tips!

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It has been officially announced on the T-Mobile U.S. support forum that the carrier is rolling out the Windows Phone 8107 update out to HTC HD7 owners. The 8107 OS update introduces numerous changes, but the highlight is the fix for the disappearing keyboard bug.

Be sure to check Zune (or the Mac Windows Phone Connector) for the notification. Unfortunately there's still no word on a 8107 rollout date for Lumia 710 owners on the T-Mobile network, though you can hack the handset to receive the update along with new firmware.

This has been confirmed by our readers who have received the update notification on their handsets. Let us know when you get yours in the comments.

Source: T-Mobile, thanks everyone who tipped us!

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Have some interesting and / or humorous Windows Phone fan art? Or do you simply have an awesome photo containing a handset that you wish to show off? If you share it on Facebook with the Windows Phone team, they may well include your submission in their album.

Checking out what has been added so far shows there are a lot of cakes around that have been Metro'd. From the previous competitions we've held here at WPCentral, we know our reader base is bursting at the seems with talent (we have to suck up to you guys at some point, right?), so it'll be interesting to see what you call come up with.

Source: Facebook

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Abhinav Pathak, a computer scientist at Purdue University, Indiana, and colleagues have concluded that free smartphone apps with in-app advertising may lead to the battery being drained at a faster rate, compared to paid apps. What's interesting (and slightly alarming) is the team discovered through testing that Angry Birds, Free Chess and NYTimes only used 10 - 30 percent of the battery power for core functionality.

Using the Android Market as the test grounds for the research, the team found that 25 - 35% of the app power consumption went to third-party advertising code displayed in apps for developers to make ends meet. In the case of Angry Birds, 20% is used to display and run the game, while 45% of the power is used finding and uploading the user's location with GPS, followed by downloading location-appropriate ads over a 3G connection.

This is something to consider when next browisng any smartphone marketplace. The findings will be presented by Pathak at the EuroSys conference in Bern, Switzerland, next month. Be sure to check out the full research documentation as it's fairly lengthy, but interesting.

Source: Microsoft Research, via: NewScientist

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NDrive app heading for Windows Phone

NDrive has announced plans to introduce an app for Windows Phone, according to a press release published late last month. To bring the service to the likes of Blackberry and our platform, NDrive will enter a partnership with Appello. NDrive is currently already available for Android, iOS and Samsung bada.

Luis Baptista-Coelho, NDrive’s Chief Executive Officer, added the following:

"We are very excited to address 100% of the smartphone market with our location based app. On top of the current Android, Apple iOS and Samsung bada environments, we are now delivering a Blackberry and a Windows Phone 7 app that will strengthen our offering into the carrier markets around the world."

The move will provide Windows Phone users with another turn-by-turn navigation app. Check out the press release for more details.

Source: NDrivethanks Ricardo for the tip!

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Sad news from the outskirts of space: Windows Phone won't be getting Angry Birds Space on March 22 when Android and iOS do.  An email from Rovio, developer of the mega-popular phenomenon, told DailyMobile that while they are "working day and night to get the game to all relevant devices," they do not have the resources to get deliver to all platforms at once.  Having been wait-listed for the first installment of Angry Birds, only to be missing 105 levels when it finally did arrive,  this comes as another heavy blow from Rovio.  Being that Android and iOS dominate mobile market, it makes sense that Windows Phone takes a back seat, but it doesn't sting any less.

Rovio declined to share any information about specific features of the newest add-on to the Angry Birds franchise.  However, the game was previewed at SXSW on Samsung's Galaxy Note, which benefits from Samsung's partnership with Rovio by getting exclusive in-game content.  For now, you can get a small taste from the teaser below.

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We're not sure when this was published, since it's well hidden on the website, but it would appear as though the Carphone Warehouse has a soft spot for Windows Phone. They have an entire page dedicated to attacking myths that are continuously posted by those who are fans of competitor platforms, or who simply don't like Microsoft products.

From terrible battery life, to the lack of apps, the most common groans and moans are all covered in this myth buster. The following excerpt from the article sums up the user friendliness perfectly:

"Windows® Phone has a Start screen with large Live Tiles (icons) that are easy to read and not fiddly to use. It's also simple to customise and pin the apps and live updates you want right on the Start screen. Then you swipe to the right to access the full list of apps. Options are accessible in any app by pressing the three dots in the bottom right of the screen. And there's a home button, a back button and a search button on the front of each phone. Simple."

Be sure to check out the full article at the Carphone Warehouse. All-in-all we're impressed with this positive exposure for the platform (and a strong sign of support). Also, for it to be handled by a popular UK retailer is even better. There's more that can be done, however.

Take the above screen capture. This is from the navigation drop-down on the Carphone Warehouse UK website. As you will have noticed - there's no Windows Phone accompanying Android and the iPhone menu entries. Then again, the retailer has continued to stock and promote Windows Phone handsets (including the upcoming Lumia 900) on the website with some good deals. Either way, hats off to the Carphone Warehouse.

Source: Carphone Warehouse, thanks Ian for the heads up!

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Online Swiss retailer Digitech has the Lumia 900 listed on the website for CHF 699 ($760), but unfortunately no release / availability date is provided. The phone sports a 4.3" AMOLED display, 8MP camera, 1.4Ghz chip and a 16GB storage.

We're still waiting for the 4G LTE Lumia 900 to hit AT&T, but it's good to see more retailers list the international version.

Source: Digitech, thanks Simon for the heads up!

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Welcome to your Windows Phone summary of the week, where we fill you in on everything that has happened over the week here at WPCentral. It's been fairly eventful period (with advertising and promotion anyway - looking at you Nokia), so let's head straight into it. Before we crack on with the goodies, WPCentral is judging a Windows Phone UK contest where the main prize is a shiny new Lumia 800! All you have to do is review your favourite must-have Xbox Live game and submit it for a chance of winning.

We've got episode 138 of the WPCentral podcast published and ready for your viewing pleasure - Jay and Dan are joined by Justin Angel from Nokia. Over at our Windows Phone forum, we've got a new bartering section implemented that enables registered members to exchange / buy / sell devices and other products. Among the active discussions currently taking place, there has been particular interest in Apollo (Windows Phone 8). Be sure to head on past the break for the full summary.

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A supposed earlier correspondence between Microsoft's Joe Belfiore and Aamer Khan denoting "problems" with the Lumia 900 is evidently erroneous.

Belfiore has sent out a Tweet, in response to our own Rafael Rivera, noting that the account referred to in our earlier post is in fact a fake:

Any alleged FACEBOOK message from me that claims anything is wrong with Lumia 900 ... also a fake. :)

The Lumia 900 is a Nokia phone in AT&T stores.. the launch date is Nok + AT&T's news to announce. Not us MS folks. Sorry!

So while we still don't have a Lumia 900 on AT&T and no firm date is in place, let it be known, we now know nothing more nor nothing less than a few hours ago.

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While we had all hoped the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone to become available today, there is some good news. Rogers Canada is now accepting pre-orders for the Lumia 900.

As an added bonus, as was teased earlier, those who pre-order the 900 are entered for a chance to win a private screening of The Dark Knight Rises and a special edition Dark Knight Lumia 900. Five runners up will have to catch the movie in theaters but will get a special edition Lumia 900 (likely designed just like the Dark Knight Lumia 800).

Pre-order (new customers) costs for the Lumia 900 will run $99.99. Reserve orders (existing customers) appears to be running $159.99.  Unfortunately the only date we could find is the deadline for the movie contest (April 10th).  There was no reference on an expected ship date.

You can find all the details on pre-ordering the Lumia 900 and the Dark Knight contest here at Rogers Canada.

Thanks, Matthieu, for the tip

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While we just posted about the TITAN II's no show and we're still unsure about the Lumia 900, evidently Microsoft Corporate VP of Windows Phone, Joe Belfiore knows what's going on.  See update to story.

As usual, the problem is either related to certification/finalized firmware for AT&T or Nokia building up enough supply. At least that's how we're reading this message (via Facebook) exchanged with WPCentral reader Aamer Khan just a few hours ago:

Khan: Any word on the Lumia 900 for ATT? Word on the sesame street is March 16th? Would you like to comment?

Belfiore: Dear Aamer there are some problems..nothing serious. Probably Lumia 900 ATT will arrive in April...stay tuned bye

Though the specifics are unknown it sounds like the normal hiccups with getting a new device out the door and getting a large launch lined up.  Of course that does little to satisfy the majority of you who are itching to get this phone as soon as possible. At least we can take solace in knowing the launch is growing near.

Update: For the record, we're getting a lot of tips still saying the 8th is the new day for launch (with it being available in stores on the 9th)

Thanks, Aamer, for the heads up

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Well... it appears that March 18th will come and go with no new Windows Phone being released. While the rumors were strong and the stars seemed to be in alignment, neither the Nokia Lumia 900 nor the HTC Titan II made it to AT&T store shelves today.  We had already heard rumblings that the Lumia 900 may be delayed but were hoping that the delay wouldn't hit the Titan II.  

In talking to the local AT&T Store on Friday (and again today), they were under the impression at least the Titan II would be available today (as were we).  We were also told by a local AT&T Sales Rep, that HTC told them late Friday the release date for the Titan II was still up in the air.  

So what could the delay be? Is AT&T waiting for more markets to get 4G LTE? Is it there a production issue?  Plus you have to wonder if the delay on the AT&T 900 will delay the 900's release internationally.  AT&T is rumored to have exclusive rights to the Lumia 900.  Will this delay push back the 900's release on other carriers such as Roger's Canada?

Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers on the Titan II and Lumia 900. Speculation now has the Lumia 900 being available on April 8th/9th.  Could the Titan II be slated for the 8th/9th as well?

Hopefully both of these new Windows Phone will hit the market sooner than later.

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When advertising in newspapers, one would believe that a few spots here and there would be sufficient enough, right? According to the above photo, this apparently isn't the case at Nokia. The UK's The Sun newspaper sports a number of advertisements in one edition. Should the reader not notice a Windows Phone advert on one or two pages, they certainly will now.

We're looking to seriously consider starting up nokialumiapromotion.com, to keep up with all the latest news surrounding their huge global marketing campaign. Then again, the manufacturer depends on the platform to succeed, so we expect to see much more from both Nokia and Microsoft (as well as other OEMs once things pick up).

Source: CoolSmartphone, via: WMPU

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This news will please those who use the social network, as a PR Spokesperson from Google Germany, Stefan Keuchel, has revealed that an official Google+ app is on the way to Windows Phone. Unfortunately no date or ETA was provided (see above translated tweet). 

While it's great to have an official stance on the status of such an app, which was desired since iOS received their client. It'll be interesting to see how this develops, as well as the possibility of more official Google products arriving on the Marketplace.

Stay tuned if you're a Google+ fan as we'll keep you posted on any further developments.

Source: @dominiksichling, via: WPSauce, MSICC

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We previously looked at Air Pick Voice (check out our in-depth post for more information) at the January WPUG meetup and it left us highly impressed. The concept enables the user to control music playback on a PC with a Windows Phone app. Not only that, but streaming functionality is present allowing playback to be achieved on the smartphone.

APV has since been rebranded (for a second time) and is now TellDJ, what's more is that testing of the desktop software is well under way. TellDJ Rehearsal is now available to download for testing and feedback, which includes the Voice Recognition Lab to fine tune the software to your voice / accent. Development is still active so we look forward to see what the developer adds in the future.

Should the website be unavailable, be sure to keep up-to-date with KeyboardP's blog, and a backup mirror is online until the site is back up.

Source: TellDJ

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Not much is known about the Lumia 719, which passed Bluetooth certification late last month, but now we have visual confirmation of the handset. Taking a different design approach than the other Lumia handsets, the 719 will sport compatibility for both CDMA2000 and GSM networks. The handset is set to sport the same size screen (3.7") as the Lumia 710 as well as having a 5MP shooter, and will reportedly be targeting Asian and American markets.

This news derives from Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter micro-blogging network. We'll look to hear more surrounding the device, so stay tuned.

Source: Weibo, via: LiveSide 

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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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