Seems like people want Sony to make a Windows Phone even if they don't seem keen on the idea. Take these latest images being reported tonight at XDA Developers (main site) which purport to show a device that looks like an Xperia Arc S running Windows Phone 7.
Although we'll say "anything is possible" and clearly Sony was working on Windows Phone back in 2010 (e.g. "Julie" prototype), we're doubtful that this is legit. Reasons? Well obviously it is missing the three keys near the bottom: Back, Windows and Search which have been on every single Windows Phone since day one and are a hardware requirement. Sure, that "arc" near the bottom could double as those (they're buttons on Android) but we find it odd that Sony would get rid of such a defining feature, let alone modify it to such a degree by removing those icons.
Going further, we don't see evidence for a side camera button. Now in fairness, these aren't the best shots and perhaps the button is there and just really flush, but it's one more thing we see that makes us question the validity of these images.
So while we really want to see Sony enter the Windows Phone game, we're calling this one fake. Plus we'd hate to think that Sony would, pardon the pun, phone it in this badly with their first Windows Phone i.e. just recycle an Android device. But hey, we'll see what happens at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks.
We've received several tips this afternoon reporting that the 8107 Windows Phone update is being pushed out to the Samsung Focus by Rogers Canada.
OS 8107 addresses the disappearing keyboard issue as well as other security fixes and patches. It has slowly trickled out to various carriers and even the unlocked Dell Venue Pro recently received the update. If you've updated your Roger's Samsung Focus, let us know what you think.
Thanks goes out to everyone else who tipped us on this!
Singapore's SG Best, an online retailer, is listing the Nokia Lumia 900 as "coming soon", following the Carphone Warehouse posting (which was subsequently removed). This is further confirmation that the 900 will be coming to those who reside outside the U.S., which shouldn't come as a surprise - it makes sense that Nokia will have three Windows Phones to cater for three audiences.
The listing is not by accident neither as the specifications and display image all fit in line with the device. Although no date has been provided (the Carphone Warehouse stated June as the month for availability), SG Best at least reinstates hope of the handset traveling across the world.
We've been waiting on our unlocked, international HTC TITAN to get the notification for the 8107 OS update which fixes the disappearing keyboard (and a half dozen other items) and today is that day. Reader Israel I. alerted us to his TITAN getting the update so we just plugged ours in and bam, 8107 is ready to be installed.
While this means little for AT&T users (no, this does not mean you're getting 8107. as that's AT&T's decision) it's a good sign for many of us who use HTC's flagship phone in its pristine and unlocked state. The 8107 patch seems like the final refinement of the Mango update from this summer and we look forward to other Windows Phones joining the crowd.
Still no word on any US carriers deploying 8107, but we'll keep an eye out.
Game emulators are always popular and so long as they don't offer the ROMs on board, they seem to be okay in the Windows Phone Marketplace. So it's with great excitement that we're anticipating the first SEGA Gamegear-Master emulator to land within a few days for your purchase.
The emulator, seen above in below in some screenshots, will cost $1.29 and there will be a trial for you to take for a spin. Named Sonic's Jewels, the emulator seems to be a spin off of the popular homebrew app Wario's Jewels 7 (WJ7) and features URL importation for games as well as Skydrive integration. In addition, game saves and even GameGenie codes are supported meaning this should be a fairly solid emulator, assuming the frame-rate and controls are good.
We'll see about getting an early hands on. In the meantime, start looking for some games you may want to play as over 500 are supported.
The Windows Phone app GasBuddy has been updated to version 2.0. GasBuddy helps find the best gas prices in your location and allows you to report gas prices for others to take advantage of.
The updated version brings:
Directions provided by BING Maps
Easier gas price posting
An auto completion feature for searches
Improved GPS performance
The update also includes the customary bug fixes/performance improvements.
GasBuddy has a free membership option that allows you report local gas prices. In doing so, you earn points that can be redeemed for chances to win free gas. If you don't want to sign up for a membership, you can still use the Windows Phone app to find the best gas prices in your area. You can search for gas prices by city, state, zip code or just tap the gas pump icon to pull up prices based on your current location.
We've only tinkered with GasBuddy for a short time but it looks like an easy way to help save gasoline costs. GasBuddy currently covers the U.S. and Canadian markets and is a free, ad-supported app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Microsoft has announced that there will not be a MIX Developer conference this year. Instead, Microsoft will merge the spring conference for web developers and designers into the company's next major developer's conference that will come about in the coming year.
A combination of factors led to this decision. Microsoft believes that the notion that the web community of developers is separate and distinct from the community of developers no longer exists. Instead, web discussion should be a part of any development discussion. There was also feedback from the developers voicing confusion over which event to attend.
Posting on the Microsoft Blog Tim O'Brien, Microsoft's General Manager - Developer and Platform Evangelism, states:
"As we look ahead to 2012 and beyond, the goal is to ensure that global Microsoft developer events are of the caliber that many of you experienced at BUILD last September, in addition to the thousands of online and local developer events we host around the world to support communities and connect directly with developers."
There were no specifics on the when and where of Microsoft's new developer event. While MIX began as a web oriented developer conference, it did seem to expand into other areas. MIX 11 was heavily concentrated with Windows Phone development issues. All of which leaves us with the question, is cancelling MIX and creating a larger more inclusive developer event a good thing or bad?
Here’s a rumor that many gamers probably hope will come true: Microsoft may be doing away with the Microsoft Points virtual currency system. According to Inside Mobile Apps, who cites an inside source, the change will take place by the end of the year.
Microsoft Points have been around since the Xbox 360 launched in 2005. MS Points were originally used to buy Xbox Live Arcade games and downloadable content for Xbox 360 games, though their use has expanded to include purchases for Games for Windows Live (PC), Zune media, and DLC for a handful of Windows Phone games (Beards & Beaks, Gravity Guy, and Bug Village). 400 Microsoft Points equals five US dollars, though the exchange rate varies in other regions.
By RogueCode, Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 8:36 am EST
The official date for the Lumia 800 release in South Africa was set for the 7th of February, but Simon Dingle has just tweeted out the image above.
If you struggle to read white on red, then here's the breakdown: The Nokia Lumia 800 will see it's first promotion on the 26'th January starting at 8AM. The first 200 people to purchase will get a free XBOX (presumably a 360). Seems like a pretty good deal, although obviously there is no pricing mentioned.
So what is the significance of the 26'th? That's the morning after the Nokia Lumia 800 launch event held at the Vodacom Dome, which is tomorrow.
Stay frosty, and lookout for our report from the launch tomorrow!
Here's a relatively new Windows Phone accessory that jumped off the computer screen at me. The RF3 ENVi corded headsets use AirCom2 technology to keep potentially harmful radiation away from your noggin'. Using natural wood earpieces is another feature that makes these corded headsets unique.
We took a look at the Mono-earphone model (comes in a two piece stereo model as well) and the RF3 performed really well. The ENVi headphone does approach things a little differently than your typical corded headset. Typical headsets send the audio signals through wires directly to a speaker that sits in your ear. The ENVi uses a SPL enhanced sound chamber that then channels the sounds up air tubes to a natural wood earbud. It basically puts the speaker down from the earpiece.
Australia is getting their first second generation Windows Phone, the Samsung Omnia W. The Windows Phone will launch on Telstra and will run $528 AU out of contract. You can snatch the Omnia W for $0 upfront on a $59 Freedom Connect Plan.
The Omnia W is essentially the Focus Flash that is being offered here in the States by AT&T. It sports a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 8gb of storage, a 1.4ghz processor and 5mp rear/VGA front cameras. While considered an entry or baseline Windows Phone, the Omnia W/Focus Flash is a solid performer. I have to agree with Wpdownunder's assessment that the Omnia W is a Windows Phone Pocket Rocket.
Here's something developers both new and experienced can all enjoy together. Doug Rathbone, writer of Diary of a Ninja has posted a very useful list of tools Windows Phone developers can use to make life that little bit simpler.
I'll let the full list do most of the talking as Doug has done an excellent job of summarising each of these tools and exactly why you should consider using them, but suffice to say there are several here that I hadn't heard of before. I'm particularly keen to try out SilverLight Spy, a Firebug-like tool for tweaking and adjusting your app's GUI on the fly.
Have you used these tools? Are there any you swear by that don't appear on this list? Let us know in the comments!
We know a lot of you folks enjoy your "I'm a WP7!". The free Windows Phone enthusiast app has had constant updates not for bug fixes but for new features nearly every few weeks. The developer, Liquid Daffodil has done a knock out job with the program by developing one of the most unique and dedicated communities around (well, except for our forums, ahem!). He's done all of this, remarkably, for free as that app doesn't even have ads in it--just straight gorgeous content.
Now, he's released a companion app called appropriately "I'm a WP7 Extras!" which brings a lot of advanced features that many users have been demanding. Of course, there is a price for those "premium" items which is $2.99. While some may balk at such a price, many users are more than pleased as the app sits with 5 out of 5 stars in the Marketplace right now. So, what do you get for the cost of a cup of coffee?
Change your Hive! (Actually “Swap” Hives with another user!
Use an image or photo as your Profile Pic!
Get access to ALL the Today’s Picks and Category Wallpapers for your own use!
Unlock the full Forums, GamerHub™, and all the Extras and other cool features of ...i’m a WP7!
In other words, some pretty cool features that make the main app and experience much better. Sure, not everyone needs all of those additional items and luckily for us the main app "I'm a WP7!" is still free and was just recently updated to version 3.9. But for those who want those bonus items, well, we have to give a thumbs up to "Extras!". Plus, if you use the main app, this is a great way to show the dev some appreciation for him keeping it free and ad-free.
Pick up "Extras!" here in the Marketplace for $2.99 and give the main app, "I'm a WP7!" a spin for free right here. We'll also see about doing a new review for the both of them later this week.
Way back in July, WPCentral first reported that Japanese developer Cave would be developing a Windows Phone exclusive shoot-em-up game. But we only knew the genre, not the name of the game or much else. At last, Cave has officially announced DoDonPachi Maximum for Windows Phone.
DoDonPachi is Cave’s most popular shmup series. It’s your basic vertically-scrolling bullet hell shooter, packed with intense gameplay and large, impressive bosses. Strangely, the only American release has been the excellent iPhone version, DoDonPachi Resurrection. The Xbox 360 version of DoDonPachi Resurrection did come out in Europe though, and it’s mercifully region free, so it will play on US consoles.
While the DoDonPachi Maximum teaser website has gone live, it’s still scant in the way of details. We do know it will be an Xbox Live game with tough-as-nails Achievements. If the iOS version is any indication, expect a $6.99 price. Some folks will never be happy paying more than a handful of pennies for a phone game, and I doubt they will care for Maximum. But shmup fans are used to paying $50+ to import Cave’s games, making the phone versions a steal by comparison.
We’ll have some exclusive details on DoDonPachi Maximum in the weeks to come, so stay tuned!
Welcome to your weekly roundup of Windows Phone news from WPCentral. We're slightly on the late side unfortunately due to time restraints and the lack of energy (not even a pack of Red Bull and countless coffees could beef up the energy bar). Kicking us off is episode 135 of the WPCentral podcast, where we have Rene Ritchie from our sister website iMore joining Dan and Jay.
The official WPCentral app has reached version 2.0, with 2.1 well on its way. A massive thanks to Jay for the incredible development that continues to splat bugs and introduce new features. Dave from the forums takes a minute to remind readers of the WPCentral Meta forum where suggestions can be posted and site announcements can be read. If that wasn't enough community action for you, why not dive into CES 2012 discussions? If development is more your thing, then we can cater for your needs with our newer developer section.
Be sure to head on past the break for the full weekly summary.