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2 years ago

Cross-platform messaging service PingMe now available for Windows Phone

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We previously touched on PingMe making a move to Windows Phone, the cross-platform messenger that's already available for iOS, Android and Blackberry is now available on the Marketplace for free. Should the likes of Kik and WhatsApp not fulfil your needs enough, you'll be able to enjoy the following features with PingMe:

  • Cross-platform and will enable communication with iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Blackberry devices.
  • Record and send voice and video clips.
  • Receive real-time message receipts with typing indicators and sent / delivered / read notifications.
  • Engage in group chat with numerous contacts at any given time (ability to create circles / groups).
  • No registration is required. Your number is your ID.
  • Receive social updates from close friends to stay up-to-date.
  • Locate friends and contacts nearby with geo-location enabled messages.
  • Push notification will keep you alerted when a message is received.
  • Find friends or known acquaintances with the included friend finder functionality.

It's an appealing app with some interesting functionality that will be right up some Windows Phone owners' streets. You can download PingMe from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Review: Photo Booth

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Windows Phone Review: Photo Booth

Sometimes there's a lot to be said about simplicity and the Windows Phone app Photo Booth is definitely a simple app. Photo Booth is a photography app that helps you build the classic photo booth picture strips.

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2 years ago

Nokia Drive version 2.0 with offline navigation now available

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Nokia Drive (our review) version 2.0 has been released and is available for download on the Marketplace. The Windows Phone turn-by-turn navigation app from Nokia now sports offline navigation to further cut the use of data. With this functionality not dependant on your connectivity (or data allowance), you'll be able to drive with peace of mind.

As well as the offline use, we've also got "Last Destinations" that can be selected for user convenience. The ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) of the selected destination is also displayed along with the speed you're currently travelling at (as well as on the route selection screen next to the distance). An audio speed limit alert can be set up in the settings, which will sound should the user exceed the road limit.

Should you really want to take an in-depth look at how Nokia Drive can help you on your way, be sure to check out the user guide (updated for version 2.0).

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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2 years ago

Nokia wants incoming calls to vibrate your tramp stamp; Patents haptic tattoos

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Nokia is taking phone notifications to an extreme with a new patent, tattoos that react with your phone using haptics, the same vibratory interaction that you experience when typing on a touchscreen keyboard.  A recent submission to the United States Patent and Trade Office describes a haptic material that would react to magnetic signals sent out by your mobile device.  So you set your phone up to let you know when a call is coming in, the phone then emits a specific magnetic signal, and the material reacts by vibrating.  Different signals could be assigned for different functions.

Initially, the patent explains that users would wear the material on clothing, stick-on patches, etc.  However, it goes on to apply the functionality to magnetic inks, which can then be embedded into the skin in the form of tattoos.  That process gets a little more involved, first demagnetizing the ink, applying the tattoo, then magnetizing it once again.

It's a wacky, creepy kind of idea that one would expect from an old sci-fi comic, but it's also feasible enough to become a reality.  So if you're someone who really hates missing calls, this could be just the thing for you.  That is, until you decide to trade in your Nokia for the latest HTC device.

Source: USPTO; Via: UnwiredView

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2 years ago

Nokia Maps version 1.3 now available with new features

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Following the 2.0 update to Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps has been bumped to version 1.3 and is now available on the Marketplace. So, what's new? Nokia have expanded the reach of the service, with added support for more Asian countries. But that's not all as users can now personalise their favourite places on their Windows Phone, which can be subsequently pinned to the home screen.

Recent locations and destinations are listed next to the favourites for more convenient access to the app history. Should you require more "Places" to visit around your location, more points of interest are now displayed on the map. Lastly, users can now share routes and destinations via social networks (using built-in connectivity), which is an interesting addition.

You can download Nokia Maps from the Nokia Collection on the Marketplace.

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2 years ago

Facebook notification trouble with the "Me" tile?

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According to a number of reports on our forums, coupled with confirmation by the team, there appears to be an issue with Facebook notifications and the "Me" tile. The issue is it seems as though the notifications sent through get caught up and continuously alert the user to the same content.

Some of our readers have stated that the service corrected itself over time and now functions as it should (while others have to resort to clearing notifications via the Facebook app), but it still remains to be a particular annoyance to many. We're not sure as of yet whether this is due to Facebook's service or with Microsoft servers. 

We previously had issues with Twitter notifications back in January, so this is nothing new unfortunately. Be sure to let us know in the comments, and join in the discussion over at our forums, should you be experiencing issues as well.

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2 years ago

Xbox Live: Zombies!!! 3.5: Not Dead Yet! Expansion Details and Impressions

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We mentioned a few weeks ago that Babaroga’s survival horror-themed board game, Zombies!!! (review) would soon be receiving its first PDLC expansion pack, known as ‘Zombies!!! 3.5: Not Dead Yet!’ As it turns out, the expansion has quietly slipped onto the Marketplace and won’t require a new title update. Finding it might prove a challenge though – you have to actually start a New Game and then select Expansion Packs from the top of the screen. While ‘Not Dead Yet!’ may not be easy to find, its price is fairly easy to swallow: 160 MS Points ($2), a bit lower than anticipated.

Head past the break for WPCentral’s exclusive detailed descriptions of the expansion’s contents, hands-on impressions, and Achievement tips.

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2 years ago

Splinter Cell: Conviction - Xbox Windows Phone Review

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On Windows Phone, Gameloft is known for producing some glitchy games. There’s Brain Challenge, a game with an amazing six broken Xbox Live Achievements; and even the otherwise great Let’s Golf 2 has one Achievements that’s impossible by design. Yet on the iOS platform, the ‘Loft has a much different reputation. They’ve made a name for themselves by either porting or cloning big-name console titles to iPhone, usually quite competently. Splinter Cell: Conviction falls into the licensed game category. And luckily for Windows Phone gamers, it’s free of technical problems and glitched Achievements that have plagued previous Gameloft ports.

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2 years ago

Latest IDC survey finds developer interest in Windows Phone holding steady

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Some mixed news coming out today from a survey of 2, 173 developers taken in late January by IDC and app tools maker Appcelerator. Developer interest in making apps for Windows Phone is at 37% which is just a 1% less than the previous report back in November--in other words, statistically it's the same.

That's good and bad. The good news is that RIM is continuing to plunge from 20% to less than 16% leaving Windows Phone to be the clear "number three" in the mobile OS space (when factoring out tablets). The bad news is even with the Lumia 800, developers are still not jumping on the Windows Phone bandwagon as expected (or needed). Despite this, Appcelerator says "interest remains high" for the freshman OS even in the face of unimpressive device sales to date.

The survey was conducted just days after the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 was announced, so developer interest in that device had barely had anytime to register for this survey (not to mention it has not gone on sale yet). Only 18% of those surveyed were interested in developing for the Lumia devices, meaning Nokia still has some word to do to sway devs that Windows Phone is worth it.

Interest in Android, however, did slip from previous quarters which lead the researchers to conclude that there's a “small but steady erosion” in developing for that platform, perhaps a result of fragmentation and issues with getting devices on par with ICS. Meanwhile, iOS is holding steady from previous quarters.

In the end, this latest survey reinforces what we already know: iOS is number one and steady, Android is a strong number two but slowly eroding and Windows Phone is in a steady-state with under 40% of developer interest. What is needed is a game-changer and at this stage, Windows Phone 7 may not be it. But to quote Yoda, "there is another"...it's Windows Phone 8.

Source: Appcelerator; via: GigaOm, ZDNet, Reuters

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2 years ago

Baseball legend John Kruk recruited for Nokia Lumia 900 commercial

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While we wait for the AT&T Lumia 900 to grace our growing Windows Phone collection here at WPCentral, it shouldn't be a surprise that Nokia is already thinking about how to promote the darn thing. Their attempt at "carpet bombing" consumers with Lumia ads is called Operation Rolling Thunder and one of those strategies may be using famous baseball player (and current ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst) John Kruk in some shape or form.

We know this because the man himself tweeted as much yesterday, stating:

"In St.Pete, doing a tv commercial for Nokia, got to preview the new Lumia 900, very cool"

No other details were given, so we don't yet know in which capacity Kruk was used, but safe to say it's for AT&T and presumably the Lumia 900. Should be interesting to see what comes of it in the coming weeks.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Will (@h11wiscan), for the tip!

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2 years ago

WPCentral App nominated for Nokia Conversations' March Madness contest

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We're both flattered and excited to see that our own WPCentral App has been nominated in the 'news & entertainment' category for the March Madness contest by Nokia Conversations.

A total of 32 apps have been pitted against each other ranging from Carbon to Plants vz Zombies to IMdB. Voting will take place through out the week for the various categories with 'games' going on now. Our app is up against All About Windows Phone, which should have an interesting result (voting is in a few days). The winner will be crowned on April 2nd making this an exciting two-weeks of voting and teeth gnashing for all who are nominated.

We'd just like to extend our congratulations to our developer Jay Bennett and Rich Edmonds (who handled the graphics), as well as a thanks to Nokia Conversations for the nomination!

Source: Nokia Conversations; Thanks, Residing, for the heads up!

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Tango increases multitasking app limit to eight

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Please see the latest update to this story: http://www.windowscentral.com/follow-windows-phone-tango-does-not-increase-multitasking-app-limit-eight

Now that the Tango ROM has been leaked onto XDA, those members are going over it with fine comb to find every little change. Guess what? There are more improvements then we knew about in Tango, making us want it even more.

For instance, we know that even devices with 256MB of RAM will have app-switching via the Back button (see our last podcast). But going further, instead of just the last five previous apps being held in memory, we now can have eight apps stored in memory which is sure to make everyone happy. While just adding three more apps does not seem a lot, in practice we imagine such an addition will be very practical for everyday use.

Other additions noted are increased memory efficiency with just 122MB of RAM being used in the 8773 build versus the current 153MB in 8107 found on most devices today. Finally, MMS delivery confirmation/acknowledgement is there as well. While that last part seems kind of "meh", we know from experience that sending MMS is hit or miss depending on your network, so having a confirmation can actually be a good thing here.

Source: XDA Forums; via Windows Phone Daily

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2 years ago

Thom Gruhler announced as Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Marketing

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Microsoft announced today in a press release that they've appointed Thom Gruhler as Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone. Gruhler, who moves over from the McCann Worldgroup where he served as global managing partner of Telecom & Technology, will bring both knowledge and experience to the platform to further develop relations.

At Microsoft, Gruhler will lead advertising, marketing and communications activities for the Windows Phone Division. He will also work closely with product engineering teams and telecommunications partners.

I"m excited to be joining an outstanding team at Windows Phone that has built an amazing product, which is starting to turn heads in a very competitive market. When you put a Windows Phone into someone's hands they love it, which is the ideal place to start as a marketer. I'm looking forward to working with the team to build consumer awareness and excitement for Windows Phone products and the overall brand"

Gruhler led a team of agencies that were responsible for the iconic "Can you hear me now?" Verizon marketing campaign that resulted in positive growth for the carrier.

We look forward to see what Gruhler can bring to the platform, for both consumers and the Windows Phone team.

Source: Microsoft

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2 years ago

Orange UK recommends Lumia Windows Phones over Blackberry for business

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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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2 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 firmware 12070 update rolling out

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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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