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2 years ago

Nokia City Lens (beta), discover local interests with augmented reality

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Nokia's Beta Labs has just made public City Lens, an augmented reality experience for users to find local points of interest. Much like Local Scout, but more realistic, City Lens provides a more user friendly overview of what establishments are located in the vicinity. Instead of guessing which building is which (should signage not be effective enough), Nokia Lens slaps a label on each to help you out.

Landmarks, restaurants, hotels, shops and more are listed in camera, list or maps view. This adds more options for the user, which will be handy should you not wish to wave your handset around at that exact moment and look like a tourist recording a video. Your location is loaded, much like any other app with similar functionality, and this can then be shared with social networks. Favourites can also be saved for more convenient access - pretty neat. 

Nokia Beta Labs is interested in receiving feedback on this experience, so be sure to download Nokia City Lens from your Lumia Windows Phone. City Lens isn't listed in the Nokia Collection so you'll need to open the link from your Lumia Windows Phone or scan the QR Code below.

You guys know how much we love augmented reality here at WPCentral, so we strongly recommend checking this out.

Source: Nokia Beta Labs; via: Engadget; thanks everyone who tipped us!

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2 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Star Wars

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If you are a Star Wars fan, here's a Windows Phone app that will make you smile. Star Wars by Jaxified is a collection of sound bites, songs and background images from the complete Star Wars saga.  From Chewbacca's roar to R2D2's beeps to Vader's ugly mug, this app is all about Star Wars.

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2 years ago

Verious adding Windows Phone to their lineup to aid developers in making apps

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Verious Inc is a leader in connecting developers with components and services for mobile app developer and they have a strong presence with iOS and Android development. Today the company has added Windows Phone development to their lineup giving developers even more tools at their disposal.

What's this mean? Hundreds of pre-built mobile app components, open source projects, HTML5 components and SDKs are now available to Windows Phone developers. It opens up the pool of resources developers have to tap into.  Verious has reportedly worked closely with Microsoft to identify the most valuable components to help accelerate mobile app development.

As described by Anil Pereira, founder and CEO of Verious,

"From Metro-styled icons to charting controls and mapping tools, we’ve worked with Microsoft to compile the world’s most comprehensive catalogue of pre-built components, open source libraries and SDKs for Windows Phone development. Now mobile app developers can leverage these resources to get their apps to market faster—just as they do for other leading smartphone platforms.”

Seeing that Verious already has a presence with iOS and Android development, the addition of Windows Phone to Verious's catalog may see more cross platform apps hit the Marketplace.

You can catch the full press release after the break and find out more on Verious here at their website.

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2 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 beats out the iPhone 4s and Galaxy S for best display

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In what looks to be another nice win under the belt of the Lumia 900, Nokia took away the top prize in DisplayMate's shootout of displays for tablets and smartphones.

The test involves shinning light on to the displays with various levels and then putting the screenshots onto their "Master Photo Grid" for direct comparison. For a more nuanced description, we refer to you DisplayMate:

"We photographed 4 Tablets and 5 Smartphones inside an Integrating Hemisphere using a powerful light source that uniformly illuminates the displays from all directions from 0 lux (Absolute Darkness) up through 40,000 lux (Indirect Sunlight), which is very bright. Direct Sunlight at noon is a blinding 100,000 lux."

We're just going to go ahead and defer to them on the science part.

The results have the Lumia 900 at the top with the Galaxy S just edging out the iPhone 4S for number two. There's no doubt that what contributed to the win for Nokia was their ClearBlack polarizng screen technology, which filters out the bad waves of sunlight, helping reduce glare and keeping the AMOLED colors super vibrant (some may say too vibrant.

In fact, DisplayMate said that Nokia Lumia 900 had the lowest reflectance of any device on the market, meaning that the ability for the display to reflect light and cause a glare was markedly reduced on the AT&T "hero" phone compared to the competition.

Overall, it's a great win and a great headline for Nokia.

Source: Displaymate; via: the Verge

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2 years ago

Viber feature-limited beta now available for Windows Phone

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Viber has finally pulled the sheet off of its long awaited VOIP and messaging app for Windows Phone (and Blackberry too) today, allowing users to download and try out the service for free on their device.

One major caveat though: there is no VOIP phone calls just yet.

According to the press release, the current version only allows Viber Messaging aka "allowing users to exchange text and high-quality photo messages and share locations with other Viber users."  Have no fear though, that VOIP service for making free phone calls is on the way:  "Viber’s signature HD-quality free voice calling, will be released as soon as it meets Viber’s quality standards."

The app so far is basically a glorified Kik or WhatsApp as it can search your contacts for other Viber members for ease of messaging. Having said that, it's a fairly nice app and worth looking into as you'll want to be ready when that ability to make phone calls over your data connection finally shows up.

Grab Viber v2.1 for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. It's free and ad-free. Read the full press-release here for more info.

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2 years ago

Upcoming Windows Phone developer conference reveals Apollo info

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Back in January, we brought you the news of the first independent Windows Phone developer conference not sponsored by Microsoft called WP DevCon occurring October 22-24th in Burlingame, CA.

The listing and descriptions of the classes being offered during the conference hav been released and interestingly enough, there's a whole class on Windows Phone Apollo development. Seeing as the classes are in late October, perhaps we shouldn't be shocked that Windows Phone 8 will be discussed at length during such an event. But what makes it interesting is some of the details revealed.

The session is being led by Paras Wadehra, Principal Software Engineer at Good Technology and ex-Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft:

"This session will guide you on how to develop for Windows Phone Apollo, the new version of Windows Phone due out by the end of this year. You will learn the new resolutions needed to support and target Windows Phone Apollo, the new hardware you will program against, the changes coming to the Windows Phone Marketplace, and much more. There will be some code shown, which will help you migrate your Windows Phone Mango apps to target Windows Phone Apollo. The session will also help you understand the marketing aspects of apps targeting Windows Phone Apollo in order to help you get your apps approved the first time. You will also learn about the new emulator as well as new reporting features available in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

At the end of the session, you will be ready to write and upload apps to the new Windows Phone Marketplace. Please note: Knowledge of the Windows Phone Developer ecosystem is required. In order to appreciate the difference between Mango and Apollo, it is also preferable that you have developed at least one app currently in the Marketplace."

Since the session is in October and Apollo is mentioned as "due out by the end of this year" it sounds like we're still looking at a November or December release for the new OS. That's the bad news and contradicts some earlier rumors of a possible early October release (though schedule changes are certainly plausible).

The good news is the Windows Phone 8 emulator will already be out by that point and we bet it will be released in June when Microsoft holds their own developer conference in San Francisco. It's also the first real confirmation of different resolutions being offered in Windows Phone 8, though once again, this shouldn't be a surprise at this point.

Read the whole Windows Phone DevCon catalog here (PDF) and visit their site (www.wpdevcon.net) for more information in case you want to attend. Thanks, rutvik19, for the tip!

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2 years ago

ARMED updated on Windows Phone, coming to Windows 8 as well

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Sickhead Games’ ARMED! stands out as one of the most impressive indie games in the Windows Phone lineup – in fact, it even outdoes just about every Xbox Live title in graphics, UI, and multiplayer features. Even the title is extra exciting, with not only capital letters, but also an exclamation point! Why Microsoft hasn’t picked up ARMED! for Xbox Live status remains a mystery, but Sickhead continues to support their title, both with updates and plans to expand to other platforms as well.

Head past the break for the full scoop!

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2 years ago

Lumia 900 available at Norwegian retailer Elkjøp on June 1st for 4,290 kr

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The Lumia 900 is on its way to Norwegian retailer Elkjøp and is set for a June 1st launch. Priced at 4,290 kr, the flagship Nokia Windows Phone was previously seen on a terminal at the retailer where orders of each colour where spotted. This availability date is some time behind the expected shipping dates for UK retailers, which is probably a knock-on effect of the "overwhelming demand" of the Lumia 900 in the states.

The Lumia 900 is available to pre-order in black, blue and white, with financing options should they be required. Will you be picking yours up?

Source: Elkjøp (blue - white, black); thanks, the_Enlightened, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Senior User Experience Designer for Windows Phone, Arturo Toledo leaves Microsoft

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Arturo Toledo, a Senior User Experience Designer for the Windows Phone Design Studio who chose to leave Microsoft last month, has announced plans to finish the Windows Phone Design Series.  Toleda is set to turn the series into a free e-book.

More good news is Toledo plans to stay involved in Metro for the future, I guess we can't get rid of superb talent that easily?

The 31 “Weeks” of Windows Phone Metro Design series focuses on providing developers (and enthusiasts who are just starting on the Windows Phone development path) with resources to ensure app UIs follow suit and create a fluid Metro experience for consumers. One thing we here at WPCentral understand is that our readers (and the community as a whole) favours a complete Metro experience.

Should this series finally become available in free e-book format, it'll be the bible for Windows Phone developers. Exciting times ahead. For now we'll leave you with our no-so-famous Metro meme.

Source: ux.artu.tv

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2 years ago

Samsung Focus 2 hands-on

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First out of the gate from CTIA 2012 in New Orleans is the Samsung Focus 2. The follow-up to the (wait for it ...) Samsung Focus brings a 4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, 8GB of internal storage and it's rocking a 1.4 GHz processor. And as was confirmed by the official specs earlier today, it's got a 1750 mAh battery. 

The Focus 2 actually is a tad heavier than its predecessor, but it's in a slightly smaller form factor. It feels decent enough in the hand. It's definitely got a plastic feel to it, which you'd expect from a Samsung phone. But, indeed, for an entry-level device, you're not going to be ashamed to pull this one out of your pocket. And it's always nice to see a dedicated camera button on the side of a phone.

Other items of note: It'll be available May 20 for $49.99 on contract ($19.99 on upgrade). We've got more pics and hands-on video after the break.

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2 years ago

Pinterest blocks API and breaks third-party Windows Phone apps

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Readers alerted us to the disappearance of Pinsation, a third-party Windows Phone Pinterest app, from the Marketplace. While it has almost become the norm for apps to mysteriously vanish from public view without explanation, it was odd to see such a well received app disappear when apps with familiar functionality remain.

We contacted the developer of Pinsation, Daniel Gary, for any details surrounding the disappearance and were told something that sounded awfully similar to issues we've covered previously. According to Gary, Pinterest has locked down their API to prevent access from third-party apps on any platform other than iOS.

There problem occurs when you try to login to the service using Facebook or Twitter. In short, you'll receive and authentication error telling that there was an issue logging you in. The app spits you back to browsing the Pinterest site but you are unable to do so logged into an account (we imagine authenticated accounts, done by invite only, may still work).

Gary also mentioned that developers are working together to try and find a solution to this issue. For the time being you may encounter problems when attempting to use Pinterest apps on Windows Phone (or other platforms).

We'll keep you guys up-to-date with any further information we receive / find out.

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2 years ago

White Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T arrives on Amazon Wireless. Already on backorder.

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For those of you waiting to get the glossy-white Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T on Amazon Wireless, especially for that low price of $49.99 on a new contract ($19.99 if you're upgrading), then you'll be happy to see it's now listed on their site.

Of course that's the good news, the bad news is the phone is already listed as backordered. We're not sure if that's due it being just listed and stock hasn't arrived or it has really sold that fast, so you may want to start pressing F5 a few times to see it updates.

The glossy-white Lumia 900 (which we've lovingly dubbed 'the Stormtrooper') has quickly become the favorite choice for many out there only rivaled by the Cyan color for being so recognizable. Perhaps put some money aside and gift one to a family?

Check our unboxing video to check out this hot Windows Phone.

Source: Amazon Wireless

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2 years ago

AT&T Samsung Focus 2 specs surface

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Early today AT&T announced the latest 4G LTE Windows Phone to their line-up, the Samsung Focus 2. There wasn't much on specs available with the announcement but the Focus 2 is now up on Samsung.com with a full specs list.

The entry level Windows Phone measures 4.79 x 2.47 x .43 inches and weighs only 4.3 ounces. Comparatively, this is a smidgen smaller, thicker and heavier than the original Focus (4.84x2.56x.39 inches and 4.1 ounces).

The Focus 2 has a 4" Super AMOLED screen, 5 megapixel rear camera, VGA front, 8 gigabytes of storage, and a 1.4ghz processor. Everything is powered by a 1750mah battery.  On paper, the Focus 2 makes for a nice entry level Windows Phone.

The Focus 2 will be available in glossy white and will run $49.99 after contractual discounts. Look for it at AT&T on May 20, 2012 and you can sign up for email notifications over at AT&T's Focus 2 site.

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2 years ago

Guide: How to get a new Live ID and keep all your Windows Phone app purchases

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Want to get a whole new Live ID and start fresh with Microsoft? Here's how to transfer your account.

Microsoft's Live ID (soon to be renamed "Microsoft Account") is the key to all things from Redmond these days. Whether it’s your Xbox 360, SkyDrive, Live Mail, Zune Pass, App Hub account, Messenger or Windows Phone, your Live ID is at the heart.

The question is what if you want to change your Live ID?

Here we don't mean switching just on the phone, which unfortunately requires a hard-reset (and no, we don't have a work around for that, sorry). Instead, we're talking about what if you have an old Hotmail.com email account and you want a new Live.com one instead? Maybe you're not happy with your current user name or like us, you have used your Hotmail account since 2002 as a glorified spam experiment.

We'll walk you through the process of getting a new Live ID and making sure all your other services back-propagate to reflect the change keeping all of your services intact.

Read on after the break for our guide...

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2 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Heart Rate Monitor

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