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3 years ago

Live from the AT&T Developer's Summit at CES!

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We're live in Las Vegas for CES and AT&T's Developer Summit at the Palms Casino Resort. We're expecting a smattering of smartphones and tablets, both Android and Windows Phone. So we're going all Mobile Nations up on this one with help from our friends at Android Central.

Hit up the liveblog after the break for all the announcements!

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3 years ago

Publish an app and receive a Lumia 800 [Developers]

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Microsoft is offering the first 500 AppHub developers to publish a Windows Phone app to the Marketplace a free Nokia Lumia 800 handset, to really set the ball rolling for 2012. Keeping the Lumia family fire at a heated blaze, the Windows Phone team will be handing out the 800s to developers who submit a completely new app that fits in with the following requirements:

  • Target Windows Phone 7.5;
  • Work as described;
  • Include Fast App Switching; and
  • Conform to Metro guidelines.
  • You must be a U.S. registered member of App Hub.

The app must have a release date that is, or between, January 1, 2012 and by February 10, 2012 (by 11:59 PM PST). Once the app has been submitted, developers can then send the following form in an email to WPNewYear@microsoft.com:

Name (matches App Hub account):
Mailing Address (where device will be shipped-not used by Microsoft for any other purpose):
App Hub Publisher/ISV ID #:
Application ID:
Marketplace deep link:
Application publication date:
Uses Fast app switching (yes or no):
Conforms to Metro guidelines (yes or no):

Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, this offer is only on the table for U.S. residents and only one entry per AppHub ID is allowed. Developers, get creative, and best of luck to be one of the lucky 500.

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3 years ago

MS patents GPS technology to help keep pedestrians safe

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Microsoft has been granted a patent that would use location-based services to help keep pedestrians safe.  The “pedestrian route production” technology will “construct a direction set that allows the user to take paths that take him to his home in a quickest amount of time while keeping the user relatively safe (e.g., taking the user through neighborhoods with violent crime statistics below a certain threshold).”  This means that based on crime statistics, unsafe weather reports, etc., the service will create a route that will maximize their chances of getting to their destination unscathed.  The routes will also be customized based on a user's tolerance for such risk based on historical data.  So if you think you're a tough guy, the service will give you the opportunity to prove it.

The patent comes without any detail from Microsoft as to how or when they will use it.  Presumably, this technology would be incorporated into Bing Maps or similar applications.  If so, it would be the first mapping utility to offer such services to users.

Source: TFTS; Thanks to Sohaib for the Tip!

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3 years ago

Five reasons why Windows Phone has strong potential

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E.D. Kain, a contributor over at Forbes, has published an interesting article about why he believes Windows Phone will do well in the competitive smartphone market. The post is perfect to put every reader in a positive mood with CES 2012 coming up shortly. Kain provides five reasons why the platform has the potential to do well, should more hardware compliment the OS, and the future be maintained at a "bright" level:

  1. Windows Phone Has A Totally Unique UI
  2. Originality Means Fewer Forays Into The Patent Wars
  3. Uniformity Across All Devices and Carriers
  4. Zune Is Baked Right Into the Operating System
  5. Xbox Live Gaming Support

While none of the above will be anything new to majority of platform veterans, it does paint a clear picture of what path Microsoft is traveling down, not just with Windows Phone but other product lines too. Kain's verdict is 2012 will see the platform enter a three-way race against the iPhone and Android (which we can all agree with).

CES 2012 will house Nokia's Lumia 900 announcement, which will kick off the aggressive marketing campaign in the U.S. and join the media tsunami that has been witnessed across Europe and beyond. Be sure to check out the full read at Forbes (link below).

Source: Forbes

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3 years ago

The Design Process of a Windows Phone App [Developers]

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An analogy of the relation between Principles and Language could be an abstract concept like “Love” (… a Principle) which could be expressed by a concrete symbol like ♥  or the combination of four characters “l-o-v-e” which give birth to the written form of the abstract concept “love”. I’m sure you could come up with an infinite number of other concrete ways to express the concept “love” including the sound of the word itself, photos or other metaphors.

That great little excerpt up above is one of the opening paragraphs to 31 Days of Windows Phone Metro Design, which we covered previously.

Since then two notable things have happened. The first is that Arturo Toledo, Sr. User Experience Designer at Microsoft and lead author of the series, has mentioned that the series will now be '31 Weeks...' instead of '31 Days...' so he can spend more time on each. Secondly, he has just posted the latest episode which goes over the process of designing an application from the top down - and he will be detailing each step in the coming weeks.

What I love about this series is that it's written simply enough for any developer to understand. And this latest post has even more detail than the last.

So devs, do yourselves a favor and go soak up all the Metro goodness.

Source: ux.artu.tv

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3 years ago

Slacker Radio partners with ESPN Live

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Slacker Radio recently announced a new partnership with ESPN Audio that will bring live streaming of major professional and collegiate sporting events to your Windows Phone. The new channel kicks off tonight with the BCS College Football Championship between LSU and Alabama.

Future live programming will be available to Slacker Radio Plus and Premium subscribers ($3.99 and $9.99 a month respectively). The interactive ESPN Radio Station on Slacker will remain free and available to all listeners.

Jonathan Sasse, Senior Vice President of Marketing, comments,

“This new feature is yet another example of how Slacker is combining the best elements of traditional radio with our listeners’ demand for personalization of music, news, sports and more.”

Slacker Radio covers over 150 program and music stations ranging from ABC News to hip hop to country to rock. Slacker Radio (here's our review from way back when) is a free app for your Windows Phone. Again, Plus and Premium services will cost you extra and can be bill directly to your wireless provider (looks like US Carriers only).

You can download your copy of Slacker Radio here at the Windows Phone Marketplace and catch Slacker's full presser after the break.

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3 years ago

Magenta Nokia Lumia 800 expected February at Carphone Warehouse UK

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For those of you who are still waiting for the Nokia Lumia 800 to be available in magenta (pink), and reside in the UK, you may now rejoice at the news that the Carphone Warehouse will be stocking the handset in a months time. Following Orange FR, who added the pink model to their website store, you'll be able to order yours on this side of the channel soon enough. Will you be picking one up?

Source: Carphone Warehousethanks, Richard, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Pano

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Windows Phone App Review: Pano

Second generation HTC Windows Phone (Titan and Radar) owners have a panoramic setting in their camera app to let them stitch together three images to create a wide, panoramic image. But what about other Window Phone models? Enter the Windows Phone app Pano.

Pano was recently released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that will allow you to stitch together up to sixteen images to create a massively huge panorama.  Pano has had a decent amount of success over on the iPhone and based on what we've seen, should be just as successful with Windows Phone users as well.

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3 years ago

Monday Brief: January 9, 2012 - CES!

It's time to hit the ground running here at CES 2012 and no matter what platform you're into we've got our whole Mobile Nations team here to cover every nook and cranny of the CES 2012 showroom floor.

WPCentral will be represented by Daniel Rubino (@malatesta77) while iMore will be represented by Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) and his team, Leanna Lofte (@llofte) and Ally Kazmucha (@imuggle). Phil Nickinson (@philnickinson) and the Android Central army will cover all things Android and Kevin Michaluk (@crackberrykevin), Adam Zeis (@azeis) and the CrackBerry.com crew (@isaackendall, @kasperapd, @CrackBerryJoe, @scaperfan, and @cbkerri) have a lock on all things BlackBerry.

Derek Kessler (@dkdsgn) and webOS Nation will be on site as well as cross-site collaborator Jared DiPane (@jdipane) and our brand new editor-at-very-large, Simon Sage (@simonsage) to pick up whatever tidbits of technological goodness they can find.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: January 2 - 8, 2012

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Welcome to your Windows Phone summary of the week, which is bang on the cliff edge with CES 2012 being just around the corner. This week, we've had episode 134 of the WPCentral podcast and some major visual improvements being applied to our forums. If our continued community development wasn't enough, the main website is receiving updates. You can now pin WPCentral to your Windows taskbar (using Internet Explorer), which will provide you with quick access to the main sections of the website.

As mentioned above, we're at CES 2012 this week (as is the rest of the Mobile Nations network!) to bring you the most relevant coverage. As well as being able to read the latest happenings from the event right here at WPCentral, you'll be able to take part in the discussions over at our forum too. Moving on, head on past the break to check out the full summary.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 GSM available at Newegg for $549.99

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The Nokia Lumia 800 is available to order from Newegg, for just $549.99, which isn't a bad price at all for an unlocked mid-range Windows Phone. The handset sports a 1.4Ghz processor, 8MP camera (with Carl Zeiss optics), 16GB storage, and a 3.7" AMOLED screen with Clear Black technology.

Check out our full review of the Lumia 800 for more detail. As a bonus, a limited offer is currently available that will see the purchase of the 800 being accompanied by a Bluetooth accessory.

Source: Newegg, thanks TriAxis for the tip!

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3 years ago

BBC News Mobile and WeatherLive get updates with UI changes

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Nothing like a few solid updates for some of our favorite apps on Windows Phone. First up is BBC News Mobile. We mentioned a few weeks ago they had a new beta version in the works and now that update has gone live. Changes include mostly how the app looks and speed:

  • Background Cache Service
  • Better Live Tiles
  • Faster Loading
  • Reworked GUI
  • Picture quality improvement

Definitely some nice improvements though some bugs did get into v2.9 so expect a fix-update soon to address those. You can read about those issues here. Pick up BBC News Mobile v2.9 here in the Marketplace for free.

WeatherLive has also been bumped to 3.5 with a big change to UI and information layout. It still has all the same information, including hourly, trends, moon phases, radar, maps and web cams, but you may have missed them in earlier versions due to being buried within the menu system.

Now, you can just swipe left-right and go to each section individually, resulting in a much more fluid interface. It is certainly more Metro with this panoramic view though it does veer a little from some Metro standards (font size). Still, we like the change. Grab WeatherLive here for $1.49 or free trial.

QR codes for both after the jump...

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3 years ago

WPDownUnder creates "Where's my Bloody Update?" for Aussies

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On Friday we covered Microsoft's plan to alter how updates for Windows Phone are communicated to consumers. Depending on how you read and took the announcement (some readers were slightly heated in the comments), Microsoft is looking to the future with how they can effectively publish said information. Currently, the "Where's my update?" page displays a huge table covering each carrier and handset. With more handsets being released, and older devices continuing to be supported with new updates, this table would continue to significantly grow.

The pending changes will alter the way we are currently waiting for updates. The software giant wishes consumers to wait for the notification on their Windows Phone (or in Zune once connected to a PC) and check Update Central, as opposed to focusing entirely on the likes of "Where's my update?" for dates and status reports.

What happens with regards to carriers and update control will have to be seen with what occurs with the 8107 rollout and in the coming months. We're not entirely certain if what's in store will be good or bad, but WPDownUnder has taken things into their own hands and has released their version of the "Where's my Update?" with "Where's my Bloody Update?".

This new webpage will be useful for Aussies who wish to continue to keep up-to-date with updates across the Australian carriers: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. For the rest of us, we'll be in for a ride to see what happens.

Source: WPDownUnder; Thanks, Sheeds, for the tip!

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3 years ago

WPCentral events forum for CES 2012 is now Live

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We will have all the CES 2012 breaking news on the Main Blog (see all articles here) as we are expecting big news in the next few days. Our own Daniel Rubino from WPC and the Mobile Nations crew will have the event covered from all angles.

We here at WPCentral are expecting big announcements from Nokia (Lumia 900 "ACE") and perhaps some other surprises. Rumors are flying around about news from Microsoft and maybe a new device from Sony (but very doubtful). We know there will be a lot to talk about which is why we have added a new forum for just this purpose. 

Once you have the big news from the Main Blog, come join us in the WPCentral's Forums CES 2012 Events area for all the in depth discussions where you can talk about the new announcements, rumors and expectations. You have to be a member to post so get registered today.

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Plants vs. Zombies version 1.3 update brings a discreet change, still no Mango

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A barrage of Xbox Live title updates hit last week: Fable Coin Golf, Farm Frenzy 2, Ghostscape, Gravity Guy, The Sims 3, and Tetris. After horror stories of updates getting stuck in certification for months on end, the sight of all these patches is enough to bring a tear to this cynical critic’s eye.

One update that we received a lot of questions about is the Plants vs. Zombies version 1.3 patch. After a little digging, we’ve discovered the effects of the patch: it changes the game’s description in the Games hub from PvZ to Plants vs. Zombies. Not terribly exciting, but then, PopCap has already fixed the game’s major bugs. It is surprising, however, that the update doesn’t add Fast App Switching support. Enabling this important feature (which rolled out with Mango) is supposed to be fairly easy for developers, after all. Hopefully PopCap has at least one more update in store for us.

Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defense game that happened to be one of the very best mobile Xbox Live releases of 2011 – see our review. The game costs $4.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

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