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3 years ago

Nextgen Reader updated to version 3.1 with new features

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Nextgen Reader, an RSS app for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 3.1, which introduces a number of features, bug fixes, and enhancements. The app enables users to keep up-to-date with favourite sources of information, with support for Google Reader.

The app was previously bumped to version 3.0 back in May, adding a new tutorial to get users started who may not be familiar with the app. So what's new in 3.1? The "my feeds" section has disappeared, with all feed management moved to the main screen. Smarter article viewing is available for when viewing articles with a view button present to turn the content mobile-friendly.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 8 Emulator runs as a virtual machine on Hyper-V

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Since we’ve been digging around the leaked Windows Phone 8 SDK some of our more eager readers have noticed that there are some fairly restrictive requirements to fulfil in order to get the Windows Phone 8 emulator running.

We’ve read through the SDK documentation in detail and spent a little bit of time understanding the hardware and software requirements and have put together a little guide so that developers can check if their system will be ready to run the emulator, or if it’s time for an upgrade.

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3 years ago

Join in the Windows Phone 8 discussion over on the Windows Phone Central forums

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The Windows Phone Central community forum is an important extension to the website, providing registered readers with a centralised location for discussion, debate, laughter, and possible tears. Covering all Windows Phones, as well as dedicated forum for developers, consumers and -of course- off-topic threads, the community forum really packs a punch when it comes to variety.

That being said, we've also added a section for Windows Phone 8, which has already accumulated a number of threads and posts. While commenting on actual articles we publish on the main page, it's good to be able to fully engage with other readers (and lurking members of staff) where it's easier to keep track of who's posting what. This forum will be the place to go once Apollo hits, so now's a good time to mingle and prepare yourselves.

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3 years ago

Nokia no longer manufacturing mobile phones in Finland

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Nokia has continued to cut jobs and close down facilities, now the company has finalised plans to close their handset factory in Salo, Finland. Being a European handset maker, it's a shame that it's having to move manufacturing to cut costs during troubled times.

Nokia made its last mobile phone on Wednesday at the Salo plant and 780 people will unfortunately lose their jobs during this year. We reported on the first Lumia Windows Phone rolling off the assembly line at the new plant in Argentina earlier in the month. 

via: The Nokia Blog

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3 years ago

Dell Venue Pro available unlocked for just $31 for nonprofit organisations

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TechSoup, a nonprofit organisation offering technological assistance to other nonprofits, is offering the discontinued Dell Venue Pro Windows Phone to nonprofit organisations for just $31 through the Dell donation programme. The device itself is locked to AT&T, but TechSoup have since enabled those who make a purchase to unlock the device for use with other operators with GSM networks.

The Venue Pro is a unique Windows Phone as it sports a QWERTY keyboard that slides out from beneath the display (as opposed to sidewards like the HTC Arrive and other smartphones). We reviewed the Venue Pro favourably with its solid feel and great display. Sporting a 4.1" AMOLED screen, 1Ghz chip, 16GB storage, and a 1400mAh battery makes it worthy of heavy usage. 

If you're interested in purchasing a Venue Pro or two from TechSoup and introduce a nonprofit to Windows Phone, be sure to head on over to the product page for more information. Once purchased, the Venue Pro can be unlocked by entering the IMEI number on TechSoup's website.

Source: TechSoup; thanks, Aaron, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Poll results - Majority of people don't use front facing cameras on Windows Phones

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We've had front facing cameras on the platform since the unveiling of the HTC Radar and TITAN, but only a handful of Windows Phones actually sport the famous secondary shooter. The front facing camera enables consumers to take self-portrait shots, video conference with contacts, and more. It's pretty useful, should you require it.

Many Lumia 800 owners complained about a number of issues with the Windows Phone when it was released, and one of the more popular complaints was the lack of a front facing camera. So to see the above chart illustrating the results of a Windows Phone Central poll, it's interesting to see who actually makes use of the feature. 

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3 years ago

Global mobile phone shipments rise with Samsung leading the charge

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Strategy Analytics is a global research firm out of Boston that studies various market trends. According the Strategy Analytics latest research, global mobile phones (which includes our Windows Phones) grew 1% annually to reach 362 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2012. Leading the pack was Samsung with 26% of the marketshare or 93 million mobile phones shipped world wide.

Nokia experienced a decline of about 1% but still was strong enough to come in second with 23% of the marketshare or 83.7 million units. Strategy Analytics Executive Director, Neil Mawston, notes:

"Nokia’s Windows Lumia family of smartphones has made a relatively encouraging start, but shipments are not yet high enough to offset rapidly fading volumes for its Symbian platform."

Keep in mind that this research looks at all mobile phones from the feature phones to the smartphones. So how do smartphones shake out in the research? According to a separate Strategy Analytics report on smartphones, global smartphone sales grew 32% annually to reach 146.1 million units in the second quarter of 2012.

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3 years ago

Nokia's ESPN app updated, adds Olympic goodness to the mix

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An update was pushed out to Nokia Lumia Windows Phone for the ESPN app this morning that adds a listing for the 2012 Olympic Games on the Sports Page. London 2012 will pull up all the news, social feeds from @ESPN_OlySports, and medal counts for the Summer Olympics.

While there are a handful of Windows Phone apps dedicated to the Summer Olympics, having coverage rolled into a sports app that many already visit makes keeping up with the games rather convenient.

You can find the ESPN app here in the Marketplace or under the Nokia Collection that is in your Marketplace app on your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone. ESPN is a free app and for the time being, an exclusive for the Nokia Windows Phone.

Thanks Cory, Mark and everyone else for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Gone Fishing

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WPCentral's collection of Windows Phone fishing games

There are a handful of fishing games over on the Windows Phone Marketplace that might help you get through the days when you can't escape to your favorite fishing hole. These games may not replace the relaxation of being in a boat on the water trying catch that trophy fish brings, but they can be decent time wasters.

These fishing games stood out from the crowd and we think they would be nice additions to your Windows Phone gaming library.  Still, we may have missed a title or two and if that's the case, it shouldn't reflect poorly on that game. If we've missed something, feel free to share with the crowd in the comments below.

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3 years ago

Trove of Windows Phone 8 SDK images arrive exposing app backup, storage options and more

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3 years ago

Skype responds to questions raised about security, denies ulterior motives

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A few days ago, questions were raised over Skype's security in that Microsoft is reconfiguring the Skype network to allow Law Enforcement Agencies can have access to intercept calls. Mark Gillett, Skype's Chief Development and Operations Officer, responded to these concerns today.

With regards to the claims Skype has made changes in its architecture to provide Law Enforcement Agencies have greater access to Skype communications, Gillett says that this is false:

"The move was made in order to improve the Skype experience, primarily to improve the reliability of the platform and to increase the speed with which we can react to problems. The move also provides us with the ability to quickly introduce cool new features that allow for a fuller, richer communications experience in the future."

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3 years ago

More Windows Phone 8 dev features revealed - background location, video codecs and more

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Although the day is winding down, we’re still going through the leaked Windows Phone 8 SDK from early this morning. We’re finding some smaller nuggets which aren’t ‘wow’ worthy in of themselves but they are certainly worth a mention, especially since they do add some significant new features to the Windows Phone experience.

We must stress—these are still not the new ‘consumer’ features for Windows Phone 8 which Microsoft has yet to reveal. These are simply more tools for developers to give them more options and features for their apps. These APIs take a long time to write and document which is why SDKs take time to build before going public.

So what are some of these new options for devs?

  • Background location-tracking for apps
  • More refined search for apps in the Marketplace
  • Custom contact store with cloud sync
  • Media library access for devs
  • Networking enhancements
  • Right to Left (RTL) language support
  • Media codec support and stats

Head past the break for some more details including snippets from the SDK itself…

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3 years ago

Nokia’s stock rebounds with 10% jump - sign of a small rebound?

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In what has to be a slight sigh of relief for investors, Nokia stock (NOK) has passed the $2 mark today closing at $2.02 a share or a 9.78% jump since opening.

That’s up from its low just a week ago of $1.63 and could indicate renewed faith in the struggling smartphone company. From the look of it, most analysts and perhaps now investors think the worst is now behind Nokia. Having hit bottom, the company can only go up (or die trying).

That’s not to say all is healthy. Investors, analysts and even Nokia themselves are still predicting next quarters earnings to continue to be weak. A return to profitability is still at least a few months away, assuming the company has a hit with Windows Phone 8 and carrier deals for their devices.

In related news, the cuts at the company continue and friend of the site and class act Keith Nowak, who handled Nokia’s PR in the US, has unfortunately been let go today. Our best wishes to him in the future. You can read about Keith’s experience with Nokia on his personal blog—it’s a great read.

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - The makers of Farm Frenzy have plans for Windows Phone 8

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Among the many developers we’ve spoken with here at Casual Connect is Russia-based Alawar Entertainment. You might remember a little game they published to Xbox Live called Farm Frenzy 2. Well, sadly the Farm Frenzy 4 they’re currently promoting isn’t coming to Windows Phone just yet. But we do have a morsel of good news…

Officially, Alawar doesn’t have any new Windows Phone titles to announce. However, we believe they have a title brewing for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Will it be a time management, hidden object, or puzzle game? Maybe they’re working on the country line dancing game the market has craved – nay, demanded for years now.

Windows Phone Central will reveal more details of Alawar’s next game in the months to come. Stay tuned, gamers!

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3 years ago

Nokia Camera Extras starting global roll-out. Now available in the U.K., Australia, Italy and more...

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Nokia's Camera Extras for the Lumia Windows Phones has been available in the US for a while now. While the initial release was in the U.S., Indian and Chines markets, we knew it was only a matter of time before other markets would get the camera app.  Such is the case now with Australia, the United Kingdom and Italy (and probably other markets) where Windows Phone shutterbugs in these Countries can enjoy the extra camera settings.

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