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2 years ago

Unofficial Klout app now available in the Marketplace

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We showed you last week a 3rd party Klout app for Windows Phone that would make an excellent official version, in our opinion. That app is now available for free in the Marketplace for download.

Klout (see site), as you may or may not know, is a new service that estimates your level of influence on others via social networks e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. Depending on how many people follow you, re-Tweet what you say or who you interact with influences your score. In turn, having a high score can open the door to "perks" which are basically methods of promotion. One of those perks we saw late last year was giving away 500 Windows Phones, so sometimes it is worth it.

The 3rd party Klout app by Julien Dollon though is an excellent program for the service and Windows Phone in general. Pick it up here in the Marketplace. Thanks, @N4vX, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Wild speculation post: Sony Ericsson with a Windows Phone next week at CES

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Look, we're not going to beat around the bush here, this post is total wild rumor-mongering, but SE asked us to guess so we are. Sony Ericsson (Netherlands) has put up a Tweet teasing a big announcement next week, presumably at CES:

"We're getting ready for some very interesting news next week...what do you think it could be?"

Normally we'd pass this off as "just another Android announcement" and it could very well be. However and perhaps it is just coincidence but we seem to have caught a theme of tiles throughout the above picture which was posted in conjunction with the aforementioned statement.

Could this mean that SE is finally on board with Windows Phone? If you recall, SE was announced as a key-launch partner for Windows Phone back in early 2010 and even had a working prototype (see above) but it was canceled at the last minute with the company turning towards Android. Back in May of this year, SE went on record as saying that they were "leaving the door open" for Windows Phone if it should start to take off. Finally, Sony has the option to port over the Sony PlayStation Suite, something they mentioned back in January, 2011.

So has that moment arrived or are we just looking too much into this?

Source: @SonyEricssonNL; Thanks, Jan Z., for the tip!

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2 years ago

Lumia 710 now available in Italy

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Lumia 710 now available in Italy

As promised last month, Nokia's Lumia 710 is now joining its sibling Lumia 800 in Italy.  The mid-range Nokia handset is available for purchase on two different Italian sites.  You can get both black or white on NSStore for €299.90 or the same on Redcoon for €294.00, including VAT.  The Lumia 710 is a nice, entry-level WP7 phone, complete with:

  •     3.7-inch TFT LCD display at 800x480 resolution
  •     Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
  •     8GB internal storage, 512MB RAM
  •     Quad-band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900); quad-band 3G (850/900/1900/2100)
  •     1.4 GHz Qualcomm MSM 8255 processor
  •     1300 mAh battery
  •     5MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash
  •     Dimensions: 119 x 62.4 x 12.5 mm
  •     Weight: 125.5 grams
  •     WIfi 802.11 b/g/n
  •     Bluetooth 2.1
  •     aGPS

Source: Plaffo; Thanks, Antonino!

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2 years ago

T-Mobile 2012 New Year Sale includes HTC Radar 4G

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T-Mobile is looking to kick-start 2012 with a bang, following some interesting deals closing off the year. A New Year sale will be activated on the first weekend of January, starting Friday 6th, through to Sunday 8th. The Windows Phone on sale is the HTC Radar 4G (our review) running Mango. The only catch is that the purchase must be accompanied by a two-year Value Plan contract.

Should you be interested in the handset, after a $50 mail-in rebate, you'll be able to pick one up for just $49.99. 

Source: T-Mobile

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2 years ago

More details on Nokia's Lumia 900 Ace

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PocketNow has gotten their hands on details about the Nokia Lumia 900 (aka, Ace), which is heading to AT&T.  Despite past speculation that it would ship with the version of Windows Phone known as Tango, it will indeed have version 7.5 Mango.  As Nokia's flagship phone, the Lumia 900 will sport:

  • 4.3-inch WVGA display
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 8MP camera
  • 1830mAh battery

The Ace weighs in at 160 grams, just slightly more than the Lumia 800's 142 grams.  This is doubtless due in part to the larger screen.  Despite the greater weight, both handsets look to have the same thickness, about 12mm.  PocketNow took the specs of both phones and used them to create the above comparison picture.

It's not yet known how much storage the Ace will have, but a supposed leaked spec sheet from October showed both a 16GB and 32GB option, though its veracity has been highly questioned.  Based on what we know of Nokia's other handsets, there is no evidence to support the theory that they would offer multiple storage options.  We should find out for sure at CES, where it is also expected that Nokia will unveil a mid-range offering, the Lumia 719.

Source: PocketNow

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2 years ago

Lumia 900 "Ace" featured on Nokia Pulse webpage?

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We could be looking too much into this, or it could actually be the Lumia 900 being featured on Nokia's Pulse webpage. Looking at the above screen capture does reveal some notable differentiation when compared to the Lumia 800. The capacitive buttons are closer to the edge of the handset, it looks marginally taller, but no FFC can be spotted. We'll pass it onto you guys to decide, an interesting find nonetheless. This is -of course- running off the "modified 800" render rumour, but it could well be the "Ace".

Whatever the above is, we'll see the launch of Nokia's U.S. Windows Phone at CES.

Source: Nokia, thanks Jack for the tip!

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Word Puzzle

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Windows Phone Game Review: Word Puzzle

Word Puzzle is another boggle styled word game for your Windows Phone that follows in the footsteps of similar games such as Word Arena and Wordrix. Word Puzzle presents you with either a 4x4 or 5x5 grid of letters that you have to create words from.  The 4x4 grid is challenging enough but if you really want a challenge, the larger 5x5 puzzle can really be humbling.

You create words by dragging your finger from letter to letter (moving left, right, up, down or diagonally). When you're done creating the word, just lift your touch and the word is registered and you earn points.  Instead of playing simulataneously against others trying to solve the same puzzle, Word Puzzle has you competing against the clock (two minute rounds) for the highest score.

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2 years ago

Windows Phone development on a Slate [Developers]

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Those of you who follow the Microsoftie world will probably know of the Samsung Series 7 Slate. Microsoft gave these out for free to every attendee of the BUILD developer conference in Anaheim this past September (press had to return them though). Roughly a month after the conference they popped up on the Microsoft Store available for pre-order - albeit slightly nerfed.

I finally bought myself one in December for Windows 8 development. Since then I haven't really touched any dev in Windows 8 (going to wait for the Beta) and have just been using it as my secondary Operating System. What I have been doing on the Slate though, is WP7. And it's awesome!

Take a look at the spec's below:

  • Display: 11.6 in SuperBright LED-backlit HD (1366 x 768) - 8 finger multi-touch
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2467M 1.60 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR3 1333 MHz
  • Hard drive: 128 GB SSD (also available in 32GB and 64GB)

While it doesn't look particularly powerful in relation to today's desktop's and laptop's - it really does pack quite a punch. Booting into Windows 7 takes around 20 seconds to be fully loaded and Windows 8 a mere 10 seconds. For day-to-day tasks there isn't a single program that my 6-core Phenom can run faster (presumably this is because of the SSD).

Here is a short video demonstrating an app, Relaxify X, running in the emulator, along with deploying it to an actual device:

So if you have a thousand bucks spare and want a really shiny late Christmas present, I suggest picking one of these up. There's no denying that they are very expensive for what you get compared to a traditional laptop, but if you're looking to get into the Windows 8 market early, or just want to do Windows Phone 7 development without being tied to a device then it's perfect.

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: December 26, 2011 - January 1, 2012

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Welcome to the first weekly summary published in 2012 (happy new year everyone)! We've had a relatively busy week with Christmas and the New Year taking priority at WPCentral HQ, but we're back for a quick run through on this week's stories. While it's been pretty quiet in the land of Windows Phone, things are set to heat up as we draw closer to CES (which we'll be covering!).

Our forum Admin Dave Blake takes us through the most popular threads from our Windows Phone forum for 2011. Should you be tired of socialising, then perhaps a gift guide could be of interest? We've compiled a handy guide for anyone who's new to the platform and requires app/game suggestions. We're joined by the makers of Bug Village, Glu Mobile for a developer interview. Head on past the break for the full summary.

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2 years ago

Who needs Apple's Siri? We have Ziggy for Windows Phone. [Video]

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If there was an over-hyped technology in late 2011 it was perhaps Apple's Siritheir voice recognition/information application for the iPhone 4s. Now we'll admit that Siri is quite a strong piece of tech one that we wish Windows Phone had built-in in addition to our Bing Voice service, but the marketing machine behind Siri was a tad overwhelming. Then again, there's no denying facts: Bing Voice while pragmatic for certain tasks is still behind Apple's Siri in some ways.

However, developer Shai Leib has given us Windows Phone users an option: Ask Ziggy. The new app is a free, ad-free and as far as we can tell, completely unique. We spoke with Leib about his project and how it works:

"Ask Ziggy uses Speech Recognition to translate human speech into transcribed text, which is displayed in a speech bubble. The transcribed text is analyzed for patterns to detect commands or general queries. Commands are interpreted and routed to routine phone tasks such as emailing, texting, calling, social network updates, and getting directions.

When a general question is asked, a mixture of mash up technologies and web scraping is employed to search the web for relevant responses. Pattern matching is used to summarize a direct answer from a web page. Several passes may be required to find a concise answer. A direct answer is then spoken out loud, and displayed in a speech bubble. When a direct answer cannot be summarized the user is prompted by speech to click on their search bubble to see web search results based on their spoken query."

That's some pretty impressive work for a single developer if you ask us. The actual voice-recognition software is based on Nuance but the data fetching and matching are all his doing. And it works. That's one thing we want to stress here, we didn't find this app gimmicky at all but instead quite useful for mathematical questions, random trivia, posting to our Twitter/Facebook/Live, getting directions, flight status and more. Having the phone read back to you the answer in a clean, minimalist setting makes it feel smart. Heck, it even got our Monty Python question right (see YouTube video).

The version you see in the video is heading to the Marketplace as we speak but you can grab the slightly older version right now. Give it a go--it's free, useful and really quite an extraordinary app. Leib also has a lot of plans to further refine and enhance the experience including expanded speech grammar, multi-language support and even language translations. Check out the Ask Ziggy website here for more info.

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2 years ago

2011: Lessons learned from a Windows Phone developer

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There's little doubt that Windows Phone game developer Elbert Perez has had his fair share of success. With over a dozen games in the Marketplace ranging from Armored Drive to Steam Castle to Impossible Shoota, Perez has definitely left an impression over at the Windows Phone gaming aisle.

He recently posted his thoughts on the past year, reflecting on lessons learned.  2011 marks the year Perez became an independent developer, his own boss, and he shared a few of these lessons.

  • "Better marketing is just as important as better game development." You need to aggressively market your game across several platforms to be successful. Perez notes the use of Twitter, blogs, and ad campaigns being among the many techniques he's used.
  • "Having a cash cow that can sustain your other games..." Perez earned over $61,000 in 2011 from his games but not every game performed equally. He points to a handful of titles that provided the income to allow him to experiment with other titles.
  • "Money is never consistent and you can only do so much about it." While 2011 was financially successful for Perez his revenue graph shows that what he earned was far from consistent. He recommends to either have a low monthly expense or a big enough savings to cushion against weak income.

Perez also touches on running his own business and how it was different from being an employee. He had to quickly learn about  accounting, invoices, expenses, taxes and other aspects of running his own business and being the boss.  There became a realization that a good amount of work involved in running his own business did not directly relate to developing games.

2011 was a good year for Elbert Perez and reflective of the potential the Windows Phone industry has for independent developers.  If you're looking for a model for success Elbert Perez isn't a bad choice.  Let's hope the successful momentum continues into 2012 and beyond for all our Windows Phone developers.

source: occassionalgamer

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2 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 to launch in Sweden on January 23rd. Pre-order now.

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It's official - the Nokia Lumia 800 (our review) is set to be released into the wild in Sweden on January 23rd and you can pre-order it now.

The country has already seen the Samsung Omnia W being added to carriers, but now it's Nokia's turn according to an official statement. The Windows Phone will be on Telia, Tele2, Telenor and Three (Sweden), as well as a number of retail stores just three-weeks from now. The price tag of the handset is aimed to be around the 3900 SEK ($560) mark.

Source: Nokia, via: WinGadget.se

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2 years ago

'31 Days of Windows Phone Metro Design' series launches

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We previously covered 31 Days of Mango app development, a daily post on the best way to make apps on Windows Phone. Now we're kicking off the new year with a '31 Days of Windows Phone Metro Design' lead by Arturo Toledo, a Sr. User Experience Designer at Microsoft for the Windows Phone Design Studio:

"We usually refer to “Metro” as the UI design style Microsoft is using in their platform and the one Microsoft is exposing for developers and designers to create apps for Windows Phone (I’m focusing on Windows Phone in this series). But let’s delve a bit deeper into the term “Metro” and explore what it really means. To begin with, Metro is defined by two things: Metro Design Principles and Metro Design Language..."

The series looks to be pretty killer and we hope developers take note. One thing we have learned from user feedback here at WPCentral is that you folks are Metro-fanatics--if an app doesn't look Metro enough, a lot of you tend to rip it up in reviews. That's important for devs to remember when making apps as the more Metro it looks, the better the reviews tend to be (although there is room for going outside of Metro, see SoundHound, Shazam and Tweet It!).

Anyways, devs, bookmark and learn from this series. You ignore it at your own peril in the Marketplace as Windows Phone users have spoken: they want Metro.

Source: ux.artu.tv

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2 years ago

Mockup of Nokia 900 shows phone in new light

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Mockup of Nokia 900 shows phone in new light

A few days ago we posted the leaked "holiday card" from Pocketnow that supposedly showed bits and pieces of the Nokia "Ace" or 900 with AT&T branding. Those images could be faked as renders are notoriously easy to spoof and let's be honest...black slab Nokia phones are not exactly too difficult to imagine.

But assuming that leak is accurate, we can finally see what the phone would look like in all its glory. One of the readers at The Nokia Blog took matters into his own hands and assembled a "full" image from those leaked shots, giving us a full frontal shot (Wait, we're still talking about phones, right?). Incidently, it does look more and more like that "mystery" Nokia phone from the Microsoft promotional video is this phone, no?

Just off the cuff it looks like a modified Nokia Lumia 800 which is exactly what we're expecting. We'll admit though, it's hard to excited over a render even if it is accurate. Nokia phones are more about the quality in the hand and less about initial looks, so until we get our hands on one, we're going to remain less enthusiastic over this stuff.

The Nokia 900 "Ace" is expected to feature a 4.3" "clear black" screen, 16GB of storage, 4G LTE, front-facing camera and a 1.4GHz CPU. Launch is rumored to in March with an announcement next Monday at CES which we'll be attending.

Source: The Nokia Blog; Thanks, Leo, for the tip!

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2 years ago

MTV Video features Windows Phone

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MTV Video features Windows Phone

Yet another cameo by a Windows Phone has surfaced. This time in a MTV Video Premiere from the music video "We Are Young" by the group fun.

Around the 0:29 mark you'll see a bar patron texting on her Windows Phone (an HTC Titan I believe). Then in a fit of rage she hurls the phone into the air and a slow motion bar fight/food fight ensues.  We're not sure if a stunt double was used in shooting this video.

If I'm not mistaken, there's also a Fruit Ninja reference around the 1:50 mark.

Thanks, Will, for the tip!

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