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2 years ago

Deal Alert: Unlocked Samsung Focus I917 for $215 at Buy.com

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Buy.com has the unlocked Samsung Focus on sale for $215 with free shipping.  This is down 38% from its regular $349.99, a pretty sweet deal for one of the great first-generation Windows phones.  The Focus sports a generous 4" super-AMOLED screen in a thin form factor.  It has 8GB of storage, but is open for expansion up to 32GB with certain MicroSD cards.  While it's not the newest of the new, the Focus is still a solid pick, especially at this price.

Source: Buy.com; WPCentral Forums; Thanks, petersun21, for the tip!

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2 years ago

T-Mobile 'My First Smartphone' Windows Phone sweepstakes

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T-Mobile U.S. is hosting a "My First Smartphone" sweepstake on their Facebook page. What are the grand prizes? Nokia Lumia 710 handsets and a free year of service, for four lucky winners. All that's required from entrants are personal details (as is the case with any Facebook promotion) as well as describing what smartphone feature(s) would change your life in 100 words or less.

The competition is perfect for those who are yet to upgrade to a smartphone with the Lumia 710 being a superb low-end Windows Phone. Competition ends on February 17th. Be sure to check out the sweepstake rules.

Source: T-Mobile US Facebook, thanks Kyle for the tip!

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2 years ago

More images of 2010 Sony Ericsson Windows Phone prototype appear

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A few days ago we saw some new images of a Sony Ericsson Windows Phone prototype. At the time, it looked to be a device code-named "Julie", a 4" QWERTY slider that was believed to have been canceled in 2010 after SE pulled out from Windows Phone development.

NokiaWP commented that this newly imaged prototype was running Mango though we could not verify that at the time. If it were Mango or later, it could very well signify a new attempt at Sony to embrace Windows Phone.  Looking at these new images, we are confident in saying that this is the old prototype and it is not Mango. Evidence comes from the Windows Phone boot screen, which is clearly the pre-Mango era logo as well as the old Xbox LIVE and Internet Explore tiles on the Start screen.

In other words, while this would certainly be a killer device to add to our collection, we do not believe that these images reveal any new strategy by Sony to re-enter the Windows Phone market. Perhaps they still do have plans either now or in the future, but this device is clearly a 2010-era relic.

Interesting though for what might have been, eh?

Source: NokiaWP; Thanks, Juddy, for the tip

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2 years ago

Microsoft records a record quarterly revenue of $20.9 Billion

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The Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2012 was very good to Microsoft. The company announced today a quarterly revenue of $20.89 billion which represents a 5% increase from the prior year period. Operating Income is reported at $7.99 billion with Net Income rising to $6.62 billion.

Commenting on the financial report, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer states,

“We delivered solid financial results, even as we prepare for a launch year that will accelerate many of our key products and services. Coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show, we’re seeing very positive reviews for our new phones and PCs, and a strong response to our new Metro style design that will unify consumer experiences across our phones, PCs, tablets, and television in 2012.”

With Windows 8 on the horizon and new Windows Phones just around the corner, 2012 could be very successful for Microsoft. You catch the full Quarterly Release past the break.

Source: Microsoft

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2 years ago

WPCentral Forums - Feedback & announcements

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Nestled way down close to the bottom of our forums you will see our WPCentral Meta forums. This is where we talk about our website and it's a good place for you to give us feedback. In this area we will post announcements and try to keep everyone up to date on what we are doing.

In the Meta forums you can post a question about our site or make a suggestion. We love it when you do that! Let us know how we are doing and maybe make a suggestion or two. We take every post in to consideration, but keep in mind we can't always meet every request. We are making a lot of changes to the website, so if you notice something out of the ordinary or something we might have overlooked, please let us know. 

Remember you have to register to post, so sign up today.

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: ByeByeBrain App-ocalypse

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The other day we took a look at ByeByeBrain, a zombie slaying tower defense game for your Windows Phone that has been around since the dawn of time and it simply flew beneath our radar.  ByeByeBrain is a marvelous game and it has recently spun a sequel, ByeByeBrain: App-ocalypse. BBB: App-ocalypse, for short, takes the ByeByeBrain game to a new level by adding more stages, levels, and weapons into the mix.

The object of the game hasn't changed. You still need to position your characters in such a manner to prevent the zombie hordes from crossing the screen. As you wipe out the zombies you earn cash that can be used to purchase (or is it enlist) additional characters. You get twenty lives and with each zombie who survives your defenses and passes across the screen, you lose a life.

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2 years ago

Nokia Lumia 710 in Spain also getting some 8107 love

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While we have no such luck on any carrier here in the US for the coveted 8107 OS update, Lumia 710 users in Spain are now able to get that very update starting today. However, there is no accompanying firmware update, just the OS.

That's impressive because the Lumia 710, which shipped with 7740, was introduced there just last week (much like the US) and they're already rolling out that all-important update. The primary fix for 8107 is of course the disappearing keyboard bug as well as additional security patches.

Will any of us in the States get this update? Fingers are crossed. Read our review of the T-Mobile Lumia 710 right here.

Source: Mi Movil Windows

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2 years ago

Site Announcement: Official WPCentral App hits version 2.0

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If you're like us, you woke up this morning to an update for Version 2.0 our official WPCentral App. Developer (and podcast co-host) Jay Bennett has been hard at work these last few months incorporating all those changes and features that you've requested. In addition, new optimizations and layout changes have made the experience even better. So what's new? Let's cut to the chase...

  • Redesign of the app interface
  • Comments system with add, reply-to and delete (tap and hold to see more options)
  • Offline article reader
  • Brand new wallpapers section - more to come in v2.2
  • Customisable live tile
  • Articles with multiple Apps to download now provide a list for you to choose from
  • Added developers section
  • Multiple optimisations & speed improvements

As you can see, the BIG addition is the ability to finally comment on posts from within the app. Heck, you can reply to specific people and even delete your comment...hoorah! Plus with our new Live Tile system, the app will look even more pretty on your fancy Start screen. Not to be outdone though, Jay is already hard at work on v2.1 which will be some minor bug fixes, so expect that soon too. Then comes version 2.2 with our Wallpaper feed (previewed in the app now).

A big and personal thanks to Jay for all his hard work as well as staff writer Rich Edmonds for graphic design and Tom Kaminiski for handling the back-end details. The app is free/ad-supported/feature limited or it can be "unlocked" for $0.99 for the ad-free, full-featured version. Pick it up here in the Marketplace or scan below.

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2 years ago

AdDuplex network usage data show interesting Windows Phone trends

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AdDuplex has released some interesting statistics from a couple of days activity of almost 700 apps using the network's advertising service. Over the course of two days, the apps on the network were used in 189 countries, by 166,000 users. The U.S. (as expected) is leading the group with 34%, but should we look at data from just last month (chart below) you'll notice a slight change.

Countries that saw Windows Phone (and the Marketplace) being launched jumped up in usage percentage (India, Russia, etc.), which are positive signs of reach and let us not forget that this is data only on the AdDuplex network. Head on over to the AdDuplex blog to read up the full report (as well as see the breakdown of countries).

Source: AdDuplex

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2 years ago

ZTE reveals that Windows Phone license fees are higher than first thought

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Portfolio Manager for ZTE UK, Santiago Sierra has revealed to TrustedReviews that the reason Windows Phones manufactured by the Chinese company will be more expensive is due to the licensing fees set by Microsoft, which he placed between £20-25 ($30-40) per license. This amount is more than what was believed, without any official fee being revealed. 

We would like to believe the higher cost of the license is justified by certain features of the operating system - including Xbox LIVE, Office, and more. However, it has always been thought that licensing costs for HTC and Samsung to be between £5-10 ($10-15), but this could be due to production volume number discounts, much like what businesses may receive when purchasing multiple copies of Microsoft Office.

This cost may prevent manufacturers (like ZTE) to pump out low cost smartphones, which can be seen with the Tania pricing (almost on par with generation 1 handsets). Let's not forget that Microsoft collects royalties from manufacturers who build Android handsets, which come to around $15 per device.

Source: TrustedReviews, via: The Verge

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Manager Tool helps XAP loaders

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This is a really handy tool for those who enjoy loading XAPs onto developer-unlocked Windows Phones (including ChevronWP7 Labs), which is currently in active development by XDA Developers Forum member andreacorti. The tool will help the user keep track of what apps have been installed on the handset (both from the Marketplace and via developer loading), allow the user to install (and update), as well as launching/killing or uninstalling loaded apps. 

Quick run through of some features:

  • Install new application on device
  • Update existing application on device
  • Show the list of installed applications (only developer installed)
  • Launch, Kill and uninstall applications
  • Explore isolated storage of applications
  • Download files and folders from isolated storage
  • Download SMS from device (in combination with the smsBackup XAP)

As a bonus, the tool enables access to view and download files/folders from isolated storage, as well as backing up SMS conversations from the handset. So, what's coming in the next version?

  • Add resources from DLLs (application names)
  • New function: re-upload to isolated storage of a cache file
  • Load documents
  • Load PDFs
  • Load provisioning XML

Head on over to Codeplex to download the tool, which is currently in Alpha (version 0.1), and be sure to provide feedback in the XDA Developer Forum thread on future features, etc.

Source: Codeplex, via: XDA Developers Forum; thanks Andrea for the tip!

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2 years ago

WPCentral 135: The Hangover (CES Edition)

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WPCentral 135: The Hangover (CES Edition)


Jay, Daniel and guest/master-of-the-podcast-universe Rene Ritchie (from iMore) discuss everything CES 2012, more specifically the HTC TITAN II and the Nokia Lumia 900. We also talk some software, why Sprint are jerks and the difference between chips and crisps in the UK. Plus we take your questions!

Full show notest and HD video after the break...

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2 years ago

Armed! developer asks for user input on balance issues

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Development screen

Armed! is an excellent turn-based strategy game from Dallas, TX-based indie developer Sickhead Games. The game’s standout feature has to be its online multiplayer, which offers both asynchronous and real-time options, plus ranked and unranked games... Basically everything gamers want from mobile Xbox Live titles but the big MS doesn’t want to give us for some reason.

Of course, with any complex competitive multiplayer game, balance issues are bound to pop up after release. If left unattended, poor game balance can cause players to lose interest and move on to other titles. Thankfully Sickhead has caught wind of a few such imbalances and is already working to correct them.

Balance issues:

  • Tanks are being used too much
  • HoverTanks and Strikers aren’t as useful and cost effective as intended
  • Some matches are lasting longer than intended. 20 minutes should be the maximum.

Sickhead have explained these issues and some possible solutions in great detail on their website. They’re also looking for community input, so make sure you stop by and offer your suggestions or hit them up from WPCentral’s Armed! forum thread.

Armed! costs $3.99 and there is a free trial, complete with multiplayer! Get it here on the Marketplace.

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2 years ago

Bing Maps to be stamped with Nokia branding

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Pocket-lint has learned from an interview with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, that the manufacturer will be having its branding stamped on Bing Maps in the near future. It doesn't matter what device you're accessing the maps from, you'll see "Nokia" on-screen. RIM has stated they'll be using Bing Maps on their Blackberry smartphones, so it's some free competitor exposure for the Windows Phone OEM.

"You'll starting seeing the word 'Nokia' on a map that you get from Microsoft properties over a period of time. Even if you are on a BlackBerry device, who recently said they were going to start using Bing Maps."

The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft is set to go deeper with the Finnish handset maker carrying out more work for the software giant, as Elop explains:

"In the time ahead, what you will see is, across all the Microsoft properties including Bing maps, more and more work will be done by Nokia. We did that for important reasons as we had the better mapping assets so it made sense. But it also creates some balance in the relationship with Microsoft."

Nokia has already been busy helping Microsoft with Bing Streetside (analogous to Google Street View), so it'll be interesting to see what 2012 brings for the two companies in terms of product collaboration - like possibly helping keep pedestrians safe while walking?

Source: Pocket-lint

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2 years ago

WP7applist updated for Mango, still quite handy

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Our awesomely named fried Luigi Violin recently published a couple of updates for his WP7applist app. The first, version 1.3, added Mango support but had a few kinks which version 1.4 irons out.

WP7applist version 1.3 release notes:

  • Added Fast App Switching support
  • Graphical makeover
  • Improved UX
  • Infinite scrolling lists
  • Performance improvements

WP7applist version 1.4 release notes:

  • Revised graphics
  • Dark theme added
  • Various graphical improvements
  • Better ad placement
  • Fixed UI lagging introduced in v1.3

The new theme really does look much slicker and more in tune with the general Metro theme – just check out this comparison shot versus the original:

As for the ads, they appear at the top of the screen when browsing the app’s various subsections (Games, Price Drops, etc.) but not on the main menu. This keeps the main area attractive and clutter free – a nice compromise between the user experience and needs of the developer.

WP7applist is an incredibly useful tool for discovering new apps and games. You can quickly view price drops, apps gone free, the most popular apps in a variety of categories, and lots more. Each app page lists screenshots and user reviews - just like the real Marketplace browser, but much less cluttered. Other features include a Live tile that displays lots of useful marketplace information and the ability to browse Marketplaces from multiple regions.

WP7applist is free. Grab it here from the Marketplace.

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