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3 years ago

AT&T Focus S 4G revealed in photos

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AT&T Focus S 4G revealed in photos

The Windows Phone Blog didn't want to seem to wait for leakers to do their job, so they've gone ahead and published some new photos of the highly anticipated Samsung Focus S.

Specifications on the device are expected to be pretty high end:

  • 1.5GHz MSM8255 CPU
  • 1.3MP Front facing camera
  • 8MP Rear camera
  • 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus sceen
  • "4G" aka HSDPA+

Pricing and availabilty, unfortunately, have not yet been announced. But with the EOL of the Surround and Quantum, you can bet it's right around the corner.

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3 years ago

Microsoft: 4G LTE Windows Phones coming and the iPhone 4S gives us an opening

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In a fairly candid interview with the Seattle Times, Andy Lees, President of Microsoft's Windows Phone Division, answers some questions about Windows Phone, Mango, OEMs, advertising and more.

There are some typical responses, like on the iPhone 4S (see review at TiPb) since it's only one form factor, it doesn't offer consumers a choice. Meanwhile, Android is "chaotic" with some phones being excellent and others being sub-par, resulting in a mishmash of offerings on that platform.

Regarding advertising, it seems in the U.S. it is mostly up to the carriers with some OEM involvement whereas in the rest of the world, OEMs have more freedom to define their phone and experience. In fact, the strategy doesn't sound too different than what Microsoft has previously done in the past--which may not bode too well:

Lees: "In the United States, the operators own the vast majority of the retail through which phones are purchased. That's not true in many other parts of the world. I would say the OEM is disproportionately important in most parts of the world. And in the U.S., it's probably a balance between the OEM and the operator."

Q: So are there commercials that Microsoft is producing that they will all use?

Lees: "What we want to do is allow each hardware manufacturer to celebrate what's unique about their phone."

In other words, don't expect any Microsoft commercials or at least a broad campaign.

The other interesting bit on 4G LTE, which Microsoft seems keen on offering sooner than later, presumably with Tango:

Lees: "All the phones in the U.S. are 4G. What's interesting with this release, instead of all the phones coming out on the same day, there will be a season that will carry on into the next year that will include LTE phones as well."

Finally, Lees certainly has realistic ideas about Windows Phone. While we think 2012 could be a big year for the platform, he's taking a more long view approach, keeping expectations in check:

Q: Is this going to be your breakout year, do you think?

Lees: "A few things: The Xbox will be updated in November. The UI (user interface) is very similar (to Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows 8) with the tiles and panoramas. Windows 8 is going to help. In terms of just the phone, having the choice of hardware and the quality of the experience are going to be accelerants. Over the next 12, 18, 24 months, I can see a lot of stars lining up."

Read more at the Seattle Times here.

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3 years ago

AT&T LG Quantum no longer available

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AT&T LG Quantum no longer available

We've had word, which we're confirmed, that you can no longer purchase the LG Quantum from AT&T, via their online store or on the phone. This ties in with our secret AT&T tipster who took a screenshot of the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum being discontinued. AT&T has just recently halted the HTC Surround too.

Second generation handsets have a plot to move into, so it'll be interesting to see the Samsung Focus S come to stores soon, not to mention possibly the Focus Flash or a Nokia handset.

Thanks, @toenies, for the heads up

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3 years ago

3 in Sweden offering free Xbox 360 Slim with new Windows Phone

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Good news for those of you in Sweden: Not only do you get to still live in that awesome country, but the carrier "3" is offering new Windows Phone, including the Optimus 7, Omnia 7 and 7 Trophy and are also willing to throw in a 4GB Xbox 360 Slim to the deal as well.

Of course you need to sign a 2 year contract.

But for signing away you get the phone and Xbox 360 for 299 Swedish crones or about 30 Euro, which ain't half bad if you ask us. In addition, you get 10GB of free data (10Mbit/s) on their data 3SurfMax plan Heck, they even note that the long anticipated Spotify app is "coming soon".

All in a all, a good deal if you are in the market for a new Windows Phone. It's good to see carriers taking such aggressive and logical approaches to promotion with WP7, our only issue is wondering (a) where are the new Generation 2 devices and (b) will they get the same deal?

Source: Tre.se; via WinMobile.se

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3 years ago

Mango update unleashed to everyone

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Mango update unleashed to everyone

Eric Hautala is back! With some more good news regarding the Mango roll out, which has now been bumped up to 100%. Everyone is now set to receive the notifications to update their NoDo powered handset (be sure to keep an eye on Where's My Phone Update?), up from 50% only two weeks ago.

The LG Optimus 7 on Telefonica in Spain is now being scheduled, finally. Eric mentions that work is still ongoing, for example with Orange FR where technical difficulties are preventing the network and Windows Phone team from pushing out the update at full speed.

On a side note, you may receive a notification of an update after Mango has been applied, which will be firmware related.

One last thing. Next week we’ll start delivering some model-specific “firmware” from handset makers, so don’t be alarmed if you receive an additional update notification on your phone. These updates are designed to activate new Windows Phone 7.5 features or improve your phone’s performance. Not everybody will receive or require one: It all depends on your country, carrier, and phone model.

We're not yet aware of which handsets will be receiving this firmware, hopefully more information will be made available soon. This could well be the missing WiFi tethering drivers.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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3 years ago

Steve Ballmer hits back at Android and praises the iPhone

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Google's User Experience Director for Android, Matias Duarte, said about Windows Phone being too forceful everything into a constrained look and feel. While he says that he offers the web, there's no denying that Metro is a beutiful UI and effectively provides content with no pixels wasted to chrome. Even Android took some pointers from Windows Phone (as well as other platforms).

Steve Ballmer, being the legend that he is (see the above image), has lashed back at Android but praises the iPhone to keep it from being a targeted attack. Ballmer mentioned that Android is simply difficult for the user to get into from the off.

"You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone and you do to use and Android phone ... it is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones."

Android fans have taken what he said the wrong way, which is easy to do with words used. Ballmer is talking about the lack of a central design or theme across apps and the system as a whole. It looks like a giant jigsaw puzzle that is built with odd pieces. iOS has a fluid, chrome rich, interface while Windows Phone is the opposite with content, content, and more content wrapped in Metro lingerie.

This sums it up perfectly:

"Both [an iPhone and a Windows phone] are going to feel very good in your hand and both going to look very beautiful physically, but when you grab a Windows phone and use it your information is front and centre and you don’t have to scroll through seas of icons and blah blah blah."

Ballmer goes on to say that the team understands the launch of more competitively priced handsets is a must, but with the Omnia W pricing announced and Nokia coming up shortly, there might be a short wait. Good on you Ballmer, good on you sir.

Source: The Telegraph

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3 years ago

Grantophone - Mango App Spotlight

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Grantophone - Mango App Spotlight

Looking for a neat musical instrument for your Windows Phone? Take a gander at Grantophone.

It's an expressive musical instrument that incorporates your Windows Phone accelerometer to control the vibrato and to measure strike velocity for articulation. There are thirteen tones to choose from on Grantophone ranging from Laser to Flanger to Resonant. The keyboard is a 4x13 grid with associated notes displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Now I have about enough musical talent and know how to fill a thimble so I won't begin to get into the instrumental capabilities of this app. I will gladly defer to the developer in the above video to describe the finer points of this neat little app.

The sound is a little bit techno and at times reminded me of a light saber duel. The only nit I can see with Grantophone is that the control to switch from tone to tone is a little cumbersome to manipulate making it a challenge to switch tones on the fly.

Grantophone is a free app and if you want a cool, unique way to play music from your Windows Phone it's worth checking out. You can find Grantophone here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Grantophone is a Mango app so you'll need to have updated your Windows Phone to 7.5 before you'll be able to rock the house.

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3 years ago

Phonealytics updated for Mango with flipping tiles

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Phonealytics has been updated for Mango goodness and is every bit more awesome than the NoDo version. What's new? Fast-app switching and flipping live tiles, which solves the issue in having data (visits, bounce rate, etc.) cramped into a small space. Other than that, we have some performance improvements to make the app more stable.

V1.7 change log:

  • Pin live tiles for multiple sites. The tiles updated with a background task every half hour and should be much more reliable than the previous system.
  • Quickly jump between accounts on the "all sites" list by tapping the account name.
  • Improved animation, performance and reliability.

You can download Phonealytics from the Marketplace for $1.99, be sure to check out our review. An ad-supported free version is available too.

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3 years ago

Nokia 800 SeaRay press shots emerge

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Nokia 800 SeaRay press shots emerge

Although not exactly revealing, these high resolution renders are supposedly the final look of the Nokia 800 aka SeaRay, which is expected to be announced officially next week in London at Nokia World. The SeaRay, sporting a 3.7" AMOLED screen with a 1.4GHz CPU and 8MP camera, is expected to go on sale in various European countries as early as mid-November.

The renderings here don't show too much new outside of Nokia Navigation and Nokia Musik apps on board, which should be great OEM offerings to those who like the Nokia brand. Other than that, the devices look exactly like the Meego N9, including the same three color schemes of pink, grey and blue.

Source: PocketNow

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3 years ago

Nokia's NAVTEQ-Bing mapping car spotted in Surrey, England. Sporting lasers?

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This should make some people excited. In Surrey, England Nokia's NAVTEQ car loaded with cameras and sensors on top, was spotted driving around, presumably mapping the terrain.

This is cool for two reasons: one, it says Bing on it, clearly showing the close partnership between Nokia and Microsoft and two, this looks like Nokia may be engaging in some type of NAVTEQ roadview, analogous to Google Street View. The car actually looks a lot like what Google uses to drive around photographing streets in a 360 degree panorama.

Going one step further, it reminds us of this Gizmodo story from 2010, where a similar vehicle had "a mount with seven cameras and 64 lasers to see everything better, in 3D" resulting in the ability to "...scan everything within view, capturing 1.2 million points of data every second. The result is all kinds of terrain data that is not possible using just cameras". Well, that sounds pretty awesome.

We know Nokia and Microsoft have big plans for NAVTEQ but this could mean some Google-level and beyond maps for Windows Phone in 2012. Sign us up!

Update: Yup, looks like it's part of Bing Streetside:

"Microsoft is partnering with NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of digital map, traffic and location data, to collect Streetside imagery. NAVTEQ will use their expertise in efficient data collection to staff and operate the collection vehicles and manage data logistics. Microsoft will apply industry-leading image processing and privacy protection techniques to create data products for both Bing Maps and NAVTEQ commercial customers."

Thanks to Yousuf K., who tipped us the photos using our app!

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3 years ago

App Hub for China and Marketplace for India

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The Windows Phone team has published some exciting news for both China and India. With India finally getting some handsets being made available this month (the HTC Radar, Samsung Omnia W and Acer Allegro), owners of these devices will be able to purchase and download apps from the Marketplace. Speaking of the Marketplace, improved search has been introduced with developers being able to tie up to five keywords per app or game to increase reach in searches.

China unfortunately still has no Marketplace, but now has App Hub coverage for developers who reside in the country to put their talent to good use with submitting games and apps to the Marketplace. For those who are still awaiting App Hub availability, remember that Microsoft has the Global Publisher Program that will be able to help.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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3 years ago

More awesome wallpapers for Windows Phone

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More awesome wallpapers for Windows Phone

We've posted a bunch of wallpapers for Windows Phone that required cropping from larger-than-480x800 sizes, but these are some beauties by VladStudio, and as an added bonus they don't require cropping. Larger sizes require purchasing, but Windows Phone compatible sizes are free to download. Head on over to VladStudio to download these superb wallpapers.

Source: VladStudio, via: 1800PocketPC

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3 years ago

Samsung Omnia W priced in Italy at €349

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Samsung Omnia W priced in Italy at €349

We've just got word of pricing information for the Samsung Omnia W in Italy. We previously reported a leak that saw the handset to be priced at $569. TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) has the Omnia W up on their website for €349 ($480/£305), which isn't too bad considering the device comes packed with a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 1.4Ghz processor and a 5MP rear camera.

India has also launched the Omnia W at Rs 19,900, only slightly cheaper than Italy's pricing, so this could be a good indication for us Euorpeans.

Source: TIM, via: Windows Phone Italy (Google Translate)

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3 years ago

Three Screens, Metro and a Cloud is the future

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We lightly touched on the three screens dream of Microsoft back at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles earlier this year. CEO Steve Ballmer wrapped up his speech with a slide that showed the tight integration between products, seen above. For a good example of the "three screens" vision, check out the RC-AirSim demo.

Tim Carmody at Wired has published a superb write up of the integration we are starting to witness between Microsoft's product line. He spoke about the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone that Microsoft’s Derek Snyder demonstrated. Derek created a scenario where you are watching an animated film on the Xbox but can't put a name to one of the voice-actors. The first call would be to get out a smartphone and search on Google or IMDB. With the Xbox Companion app, you can see all the relavant information about that film you're watching right in your hands.

"What’s more, it doesn’t just do this over Wi-Fi, if the Xbox and WinPhone are on the same local network. It can do it completely through the cloud, using the common Windows Live ID on both devices. If the Xbox had 3G/4G cellular data like the Windows Phone does, you wouldn’t even need a local router."

We're getting away from the central workstation with file browsing and one means of input. Metro will enable more intuitive ways to browse files, apps will integrate with each other to pull photos as well as other media, which will make the system appear less layered and more fluid. Why keep visiting Explorer to find files when apps can pull the content for you in one place?

There's no central hub with Microsoft's "three screens" philosophy. Windows 8 (tablet and desktop), Windows Phone, Live and Xbox will be connected, not only by service and information, but by interface. There's nothing different. Someone who's never used a Windows Phone before, but is on a Windows 8 desktop on a daily basis, will feel right at home with the familiarity of Metro. Personal information, contacts, social networking and everything the consumer needs is all synchronised between Live enabled systems.

And with Skype on board, this really is Skynet. Check out the full article at Wired, it's worth the read.

Source: Wired

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3 years ago

Developers: Geo Augmented Reality Toolkit (GART) now available for Windows Phone

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We mentioned the Geo Augmented Reality Toolkit (GART) it back in September. The toolkit was designed by some folks at Microsoft and aims to make it extremely simple for developers to make augmented reality apps for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. As we wrote back in September:

"The best part about these tools, once again, is Microsoft's emphasis on simplicity. With as little as six-lines of code, developers can begin to make their own AR layers to existing apps. All the sensors are handled for them and there's a "drag and drop" design"

The tools have finally been reviewed internally and v1.0.1 is now available for download. So what say you, developers? Can we have some kewl new AR apps? Get those creative juices flowing and make us a proud.

Source: Codeplex; Check the demo video after the break...

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