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Flo Rida is no stranger to Nokia Windows Phones. Back in February in the video for 'Wild Ones' the popular artist was seen using the Lumia 710 and Twitter. Though it was just in passing, it was a nice nod for Nokia's newest phone.

In Mr. Rida's new video (can we call him that?) for 'Whistle' the shiny and sexy glossy-white Lumia 900 is the star. While the 900 actually doesn't shake its booty (creative license, sorry), it does get some screen time.

Starting at about 1:47 and a few seconds later you can see the popular Windows Phone being used for some photos and sending an MMS. Not a bad plug for the phone, we suppose.

Check out the video after the break... Warning: NSFW [lots of badonkadonks]. Thanks, Daniel, for the tip!

Edit: There looks to be a copyright issue where playing it on mobile phones, ironcially, is not supported. You can try through your web browser instead.

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Today Nokia has announced that their mapping data, specifically traffic info and geocoding ability (more on that in a bit) is powering Microsoft's Bing Mapping services. While this collaboration has been in the works since the Nokia-Microsoft partnership was announced, we're now seeing the results of it.

In short, if you launch your Bing Maps (either on the web or your Windows Phone) and enable Traffic, you'll notice two things right away:

  1. New color codes - green, yellow and red (maybe black?)
  2. More detail - Where once only major roads have it, now we're seeing our local streets with live traffic data

Nokia is now offering what was before only available in their Nokia Maps app to everyone who uses Bing. What's more, that info is available in 24 countries including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, UK and US.

Besides traffic, there's also geocoding which is something that's very important and here's why: geocoding algorithms take latitude and longitude information and connect them to a "readable address"--basically that whole ability to translate your GPS coordinates into a usable street number and name. Many apps use it, including what powers Foursquare or any app that sends your location e.g. WhatsApp. In theory now, it should be more accurate and help with directions too.

All in all this is great news for everyone on Windows Phone and anyone who uses Bing. We're looking forward to more of this Nokia-Microsoft partnership.

Read more at Nokia Conversations

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Amazon Wireless is offering AT&T's Samsung Focus 2 (here's our review) for only a penny.  The one cent cost covers both new accounts and upgrades for individual accounts after contractual and Amazon Wireless discounts.  The off-contract pricing is $399.99.  Whichever option you chose, free two day shipping is included.

The downside to the offer is that the Focus 2 is on backorder but expected to ship within 8 to 9 days.

 

Just to recap, the Samsung Focus 2 is a compact, base line WIndows Phone that sports a 4" Super AMOLED screen, 5mp rear camera, VGA front facing camera, 8 gigabytes of storage, is 4G LTE compatible, and has a glossy white finish.  You can find all the details here at Amazon Wireless.

Thanks, Corepc, for the tip!

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As you may or may not recall, Skype for Windows Phone officially does not run on Windows Phone "Tango" hardware--devices with 256MB of RAM or less--like the Lumia 610 and ZTE Orbit. But Justin Angel from Nokia called up our podcast from his Lumia 610 using Skype and it sounded great, what's more Nokia themselves seemed okay with it too.

Then two days ago, word came out that Nokia with withdrawing support for Skype and the Lumia 610, causing even more confusion i.e. so is it available at least for those who want to run it?

Truth be told it's not available to download. As can be seen in the image above, users are given a notice that they cannot download the app. However, if we sideload version 1.1 of Skype onto our 610, it works just fine as you can see in our video below.

So what's the deal? We'll take Nokia's word that there are performance issues (we tested over WiFi and it seemed fine) and that's the reason why users won't have access to it. However, to us Skype for the Lumia 610 appears to be okay, at least from our limited testing.

What we're hoping for is with a version 1.2 or later, Skype and Microsoft can hammer out any performance problems and get the app on to Tango hardware. Because to us, it seems like they're very close to achieving just that making this a temporary problem with the platform.

See our hands on and unboxing of the Lumia 610 here.

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Vodafone has listed the Lumia 610 as "coming soon" in their Mobile Solutions Device Lists for May 2012. As well as listing the Windows Phone alongside the Lumia 800 and HTC Radar, a full-page advert is also included just before the Windows Phone section of the documentation.

Preaching all the features of the platform and the Nokia low-end device, the slide also contains a QR Code that links to the Microsoft ExpertZone. If you're not down for waiting until Vodafone releases the Lumia 610, Clove UK has the device listed at £180 unlocked.

In the meantime, check out our unboxing and hands on with the Lumia 610.

Thanks SilentAssassin for the heads up!

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With the arrival of LinkedIn's official app in the Marketplace, users of the unofficial substitute, IN+ Networking, developed by Skilloo, are beginning to receive notice of IN+'s imminent demise. As of May 31, IN+ Networking will no longer be available for download and will cease to function.

Skilloo founder, and now member of LinkedIn's Mobile Team, Christian Haas, sent out an email to users to let them know that IN+ Networking will be replaced by the official app:

Hi IN+ users,

We're excited to announce the launch of the official LinkedIn app for Windows Phone. Developed in collaboration with Skilloo, LinkedIn, and Microsoft, the  
LinkedIn app for Windows Phone delivers on-the-go access to 160M+ professionals around the world.

IN+ will no longer be available for download or use after May 31, 2012. Please click on the button below to install the new LinkedIn app for Windows Phone.

Thanks again for being such a valued member.

-Christian Haas, Skilloo Founder and the LinkedIn Mobile Team

LinkedIn for Windows Phone was partially developed by Skilloo, in collaboration with LinkedIn and Microsoft. It has a beautiful interface and functionality galore. You can get it here.

Thanks, for the tip, Phrotzy!

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Although we're not expecting too much more in terms of new Windows Phones for the next few months, Nokia is just getting the Lumia 610 into people's hands in various countries or unlocked for those who want it.

The Lumia 610 is Nokia's device for emerging markets and thus features lower specs than most users are accustomed to, in turn they are able to keep the price down, hovering below $300 contract-free.

We just had ours show up on our doorstep so we figured we would give you a quick tour. While plastic throughout the device comes in four colors including black, cyan, magenta and white, giving it quite a nice appeal. Truth be told, while it lacks the ClearBlack screen (but it does have Gorilla Glass), it's a nimble little guy and quite impressive for those who can spring for the higher-end Lumias.

Featuring a 3.7" screen, 256MB of RAM (ala "Tango"), a 5MP camera and 8GB of storage (5.59 GB available), the 610 is not particularly mind-blowing, especially with its Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 7227A  800MHz CPU, which just gets it by in terms of performance.

The bigger story of course is that this phone allows Nokia to push down into the rapidly expanding emerging markets of the world, someplace where Apple can't go but Android has with a vengeance (the quality also drops rapidly on the latter on such low-end hardware). Will the 610 be successful? All in all, it's so far not a bad experience and we imagine for many, this will be a solid Windows Phone introduction.

We'll have more over the next week on this device, so pay attention to Windows Phone Central.

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Microsoft has released version 2.5 of the official Facebook app for Windows Phone. The update brings many features requested by the community, including threaded messaging (much like messaging on Windows Phone), group messaging and the ability to tag friends in status updates / posts ('with' and 'at' formats supported).

As well as tagging friends, users can now delete posts and comments by tap-and-holding to bring up the context menu for more functionality. Links within published posts can be selected, which will open up the linked content, and the photo comments and likes views have been updated, that now both match the respective post views. When viewing likes and comments on photos, the photo itself is displayed above the lists, which can be pulled down to view.

And if all that wasn't enough, you can now 'like' comments! You can download the Facebook app for free from the Marketplace. 

Source: Facebook; thanks to all who tipped us!

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Market research firm IDC has released Q1 2012 data that shows fairly large growth for both Android and iOS, while Symbian and BlackBerry continue to fall into gloomy depths. Android stole the show with a Year-on-Year change in terms of shipping volume of 145%, with iOS in tow at 88%. RIM and Symbian, on the other hand, were hitting -29.7% and -60.6% respectively. Some fairly steep recordings.

But what about Windows Phone? It's sat on a respectable 26.9% increase, which is the point to take away here. While the marketshare has dipped slightly from 2.8 to 2.2 (includes Windows Mobile), the shipping volumes for the platform have seen a boost. We can see clearly the effect Nokia is having on Windows Phone.

"Windows Phone has yet to make significant inroads in the worldwide smartphone market, but 2012 should be considered a ramp-up year for Nokia and Microsoft to boost volumes. Until Nokia speeds the cadence of its smartphone releases or more vendors launch their own Windows Phone-powered smartphones, IDC anticipates slow growth for the operating system."

This is exactly what Chris highlighted in his report on Gartner's Q1 2012 data. Without repeating ourselves, check out the chart below for more details on how the platforms have progressed between Q1 2011 and 2012.

It's looking positive for Windows Phone, which is the main thing to look at. Microsoft and Nokia are doing well with increasing the reach of the brand itself. We'll have to see in Q2 how the continued push from AT&T, recent launches of the Lumia 900 in and across Europe, as well as the upcoming release in Australia, affects marketshare and shipping numbers in future reports.

Source: IDC, via: BGR

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Two days ago we ran a fun little piece on a Nokia Lumia 900 ad showing up on some sites. The ad featured a rendered 900, spinning around with Live Tiles in motion. Nothing odd there except that two of the Live Tiles had new and very specific behavior:

  1. Contacts - The tiles flip and it says "Meet up with Sarah"
  2. Photo Hub - Flips and splits into two tiles, one with the latest photo, the other with a count

The contacts/People Hub behavior was a tad redundant but also not a bad idea. The Photo Hub count confused people as knowing how many pictures you had didn't seem very useful. We guessed at the time that instead that count was for non-viewed photos from contacts i.e. new Facebook uploads, etc which seemed plausible.

Of course the ad was Photoshopped--in fact the whole thing was. The question wasn't the means but rather the intent (if there was any).

Nokia PR got back to us yesterday on the matter though and perhaps not too surprisingly, deny that what we see is anything more than a marketing error:

"Just to clarify and remove any questions, I want to let you know that this was a change that was made in in the advertisement process and is not an indication of what may or may not come in future iterations of the Windows Phone software. Perhaps someone got a little carried away tinkering in the photo and video editing process, as it did not come from engineering or product management in any way.

Basically, you shouldn’t take that image to mean that the product might change."

Of course we weren't exactly expecting Nokia to give us a slow-clap and congratulations on figuring our an unintentional leak. But having them go on record denying any accidental reveals of slight OS upgrades should put the matter to rest.

Still, we think they're pretty decent ideas. We should note for Windows Phone 8 we're not expecting a major UI revisions but rather slight changes and additions. So we'll what happens in June and come back to this.

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Competition winners from a Windows Phone Developer Camp have been announced. The Dev Camp, sponsored by T-Mobile, saw a "huge" amount apps being submitted to win smartphones running Microsoft's OS. Much like we've seen elsewhere, these sessions aid developers who are new to the platform, who'd like to network and pick up on some skills and knowledge from more experienced personnel.

So what are the seven winning apps we speak of?

  • AquaGuard - a tower defense game that puts the player in charge of preventing water pollution affecting populated countries with strategically placed defenses.
  • Nastani Time.mk* - an event planner for residents of Macedonia. The app enables users to check out latest events, plan ahead and receive reminders.
  • LiquidLab - a thought-intensive game that requires the player to measure liquid in glass beakers, sounds easy? How about doing this with now measuring instruments or guides?
  • ColorFever - enjoy puzzles? You'll want to check out ColorFever. The object of this game is to paint the entire board with a single colour, but not everything is as straight forward as it sounds.
  • ProveriBroj* - a simple app that enables users to check the mobile provider of any given number. Data is supplied by the AEC database.
  • Najeftino* - this handy shopping app acts as a comparison tool, where consumers can compare the prices of multiple products.
  • Be Humane - the last winning app is a charity based solution, which provides users with the tools to view upcoming charitable events (blood donation, etc.) and more.

* denotes apps in Macedonian only.

Source: Windows Phone Dev Camp; thanks Martin for the tip!

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If you required any further proof that the magenta Lumia 900 exists and will be available in magenta / pink, then feast your eyes on the above. This image was published on Nokia Australia's Facebook page a handful of hours ago. With the Lumia 900 heading to Australia next month, we could well see the magenta version of the Windows Phone going down under.

The Lumia 900 has taken the market by storm (compared to any other launched Windows Phone) and also later caused serious delay issues for the rest of the world with unexpected demand for the AT&T version. Sporting a 1.4Ghz chip, 4.3" AMOLED display and a 8MP rear camera with a 1MP front-facing camera, as well as HSPDA+ speeds (on Australia's version), the Lumia 900 is a speedy old chap.

Source: Nokia AU (Facebook); thanks Jack for the heads up!

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The Nokia-like Smoked by Windows Phone campaign, Blown Away by Lumia, has gone to Bulgaria with public heading through popular shopping malls in Sofia being challenged to beat the Lumia 800. Already witnessed in other countries, including India which produced some interesting (yet humorous) results, the challenge is successful at pulling in the punters to show off Microsoft's platform powering Nokia products.

Popular Bulgarian artist Deo took to the helm and led the team through the challenges. These included uploading photos to Facebook, opening web pages and posting status updates to social networks - basic smartphone tasks. Should the participant beat the Lumia 800, they'd pocket 50 lev, but if they failed they'd have to publicly admit defeat.

Check out some more shots after the break.

Source: MobileBulgaria; thanks Eirenach for the tip!

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News just in. Tesco Mobile, the mobile virtual network operator (using O2 as its carrier) from the supermarket, has got the Lumia 800 in its arsenal of smartphones. But it's not running Windows Phone. Well... it is, but it isn't. Confused? You certainly would be if you came across the above page.

According to the documentation the Lumia 800 is a Windows Phone device, but it sports a small Android logo to the right. Which is it Tesco? We've previously covered retailers getting it wrong when it comes to labeling Windows Phones, but should this really be happening with the platform being almost two years old?

Thanks Rob for sending the photo in!

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There seems to be a fascination with baking cakes that look like Windows Phones. So much so that Microsoft is hosting a cake contest where you could bake your way into a new Windows Phone.

Entering is simple. Create a Windows Phone inspired cake, take a picture of your culinary delight and submit it at the Windows Phone Cake Contest page over on Facebook. The three cakes with the most "likes" will win a Windows Phone.

Entries must be received by Wednesday, May 30, 2012 and voting ends on June 6, 2012. You can find all the fine print of the official rules here on SkyDrive. This is definitely one contest that could go straight to your hips.

Good luck and happy baking.

Source: Windows Team Blog

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We previously covered the Crunchyroll Windows Phone app when it was released last month, but the app has been recently updated that enables guest access. When the app was released access was restricted unless you were in possession of a premium account, or enabled the free trial. The service allows users to watch over 600 popular anime shows.

So what shows are available on Crunchyroll (website)? The likes of Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Shugo Chara!, Blue Exorcist, Gintama, Fate/Zero, Space Brothers, The World God Only Knows, and Bodacious Space Pirates. As mentioned above, this latest update enables access to those who don't have a premium account. To enjoy the full experience of the service, one is required to kick off membership.

Advantages of premium membership:

  • Watch new episodes 1-hour after airing in Japan
  • Watch over 3G and 4G network
  • No adverts
  • Access to 720p HD and DVD quality videos (1080p on newer series) on the website, crunchyroll.com

You can download Crunchyroll from the Marketplace for free. When launching the app, you can select to start a free trial, log in or test the app for free.

Thanks Elisha for the tip!

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It's official, Telstra has announced the HTC TITAN 4G, which will be the first Windows Phone to make use of the faster network speeds. After weeks (if not months) of speculation and anticipation from Australian Windows Phone fans, the carrier has finally released details surrounding the HTC monster device. It's actually the HTC TITAN II that launched in the U.S., but will be branded as the HTC TITAN 4G.

This is great news for those who are awaiting for a 4G Windows Phone as this beast of a smartphone not only packs 4G speeds, but a 16MP camera, which we positively reviewed. Will Irving, Group Managing Director, Telstra Business comments:

"Windows Phone fans will soon be able to surf the mobile web, respond to email and access work documents faster than before on the HTC Titan4G – Australia’s first 4G Windows Phone which launches next Tuesday on the Telstra Mobile Network.” In a clear pitch to business users and enterprise customers. Australian small businesses have embraced smartphones to help them work where they want and to stay responsive to customers and new business opportunities.

The launch of the nation’s first 4G Windows Phone means small businesses can perform even more advanced tasks from the palms of their hands – like handling larger emails on the go, capturing and sending high-resolution images and video  and accessing emerging cloud-hosted services direct from their smartphone screen.  Best of all, Windows Phone is incredibly easy to navigate and immediately familiar to anyone who uses Microsoft’s popular Office software."

So we know it's the bees-knees, what about pricing? You can get your own for free on the $79 Freedom Connect plan (after using an included MRO bonus), which includes $800 worth of voice calls and MMS, unlimited SMS and 2GB data. The phone will be available outright for $888, should plans not be up your street.

Business customers can pick up the TITAN 4G for just $8/mo after using their MRO bonus on the $70 Business Mobile Advantage plan (24 months). This includes unlimited SMS, free voice calls to eligible mobiles, and 1GB data. 

Source: WPDownUnder

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Nokia World 2012 was announced earlier this year and is set to be held in Helsinki, Finland on September 25-26. As was the case with London 2011, we expected a single event to be held in a fairly large convention centre. It seems Nokia has other ideas for this year as the manufacturer has revealed plans for a new format with holding a number of events separately.

The first of said events will be held on September 5-6, a handful of weeks in advance than previously announced. More information and details will be published in the coming months, but you can be sure Windows Phone Central will be at Nokia World to bring you the latest Windows Phone juice. The first event will target carriers and large partners, but follow-up events will cater different audiences.

Nokia has stated that we should look at future Nokia Worlds as more SXSW, rather than CES. All we know is that it's going to be an un-missable look at what hardware the manufacturer will have for Windows Phone 8 "Apollo".

Source: Nokia Conversations; thanks Kyle for the heads up! 

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Our friends over at Windows Phone Geek, the developer-based community, have announced their new marketplace (link) that caters for developers who requires tools to help them build apps on the platform. This beta (currently invite-only) Windows Phone marketplace enables developers to buy / sell UI controls, developer tools, SDKs, app templates, source code and more.

So why launch a developer marketplace? The goal is to help developers build high quality apps and offer tools in a single location. For those who have already crafted such tools and projects, they can release them for free or earn a little revenue on the side by selling the tools to other platform developers. Submissions are stated to be free. Boryana Miloshevska, Founder and CEO of WPGeek Ltd, had the following to say:

"Our purpose is not just to list thousands of low quality components, but to list only those that really can bring value and can help developers to build better apps. So, quality and not just quantity is what we aim to achieve with the WindowsPhoneGeek Marketplace!"

Be sure to head on over to Windows Phone Geek to check out the resources available and show interest into the newly announced developer marketplace.

Source: Windows Phone Geek

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The premium version of Rowi has been updated today, which introduces features implemented in the recent Rowi "Lite" release. Without repeating ourselves too much, this update to both versions of the Windows Phone Twitter client makes use of the Aviary SDK (see our earlier exclusive first look) for photo manipulation and editing. 

As well as catering for the die-hard amateur photographers, version 2.1 also brings support for TweetMarker (website), a service that synchronises accounts across multiple clients and platforms. The update is rolling out for the paid version of Rowi as we speak, so fear not if you haven't received the notification just yet.

If you haven't got Rowi, you can download the app from the Marketplace.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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