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3 years ago

Investment firm calls for RIM to adopt Windows Phone OS

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There's little doubt that the once bulletproof Research in Motion (RIM) is now in dire-straits with their current lineup of BlackBerry devices--such a down fall has given Microsoft leg room to vie for third in the smartphone category worldwide. To combat their current downward trajectory, RIM is betting a lot on 'BlackBerry 10', but now the company has revealed that their next-generation OS and hardware won't be ready till late 2012. That delay has caused their stock to plummet, dropping 77% in the last year (12% just on Friday) and in addition, has caused many investors (and consumers) to lose faith that the company can recover.  Palm was in this same position with their transition from PalmOS to webOS and they didn't live to tell the tale. Microsoft too was in a similar position back with Windows Mobile--but Microsoft has other businesses and mobile, while important, is not make-or-break for the company.

Some investors have called for RIM to sell itself off or at least its patents. Others have called for their buyout, with some suggesting even Microsoft would be a good suitor (we're not convinced). Now, Evercore Partners, an investment banking advisory firm, is calling on RIM to adopt Windows Phone for their OS:

"We now believe that RIMM needs to adopt an existing ecosystem (Windows Phone) in order to remain a relevant player in the smartphone market"

Or as CNN put it, RIM needs to become the Canadian version of Nokia. Granted, Evercore is but one firm suggesting this but that is usually all that is needed to get people (and people with money) talking. We're not sure of the feasibility of such an adoption in the long run, but you have to admit, if RIM to did announce next week that they were switching to Windows Phone OS, they would certainly get a huge boost in their stock as a vote of confidence (or perhaps just relief). Microsoft too would gain much more gusto as they would have secured yet another prominent and reliable hardware partner--one with an outstanding reputation.

So while we don't see this actually happening, we sure do like the sound of it. In fact, it sounds a lot better than Microsoft buying RIM. We say let RIM live on,  but with another ghost in the machine.

Source: CNN Money; Image credit: Crackberry.comThanks, Paul C., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Lumia 800 available for pre-order at Hutchinson 3G Austria

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Austria's Hutchinson 3G, part of the Three Mobile brand, announced via Facebook that the Nokia Lumia 800 is now available for pre-order.  It is listing for free with a monthly plan.  The Lumia is also expected to hit Austrian stores in the next week.  This is comes a month after 3's UK counterpart got the Lumia 800, but hey, better late than never.

The Nokia Lumia 800 is a stunning device that has been winning its fair share of accolades, including What Mobile's Phone of the Year.  It is nicely equipped with:

  •     Single-piece body.
  •     3.7-inch AMOLED display at 800x480 resolution
  •     1.4 GHz Qualcomm MSM 8255 processor with hardware acceleration
  •     Windows Phone 7 Mango
  •     1450 mAh battery
  •     16GB internal storage, 512MB programmable memory
  •     Quad-band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900); quad-band 3G (850/900/1900/2100); 14.4Mbps
  •     8MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens and LED flash
  •     720p video capture at 30 fps
  •     Dimensions: 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1 mm
  •     Weight: 142 grams
  •     Wifi: 802.11 b/g/n
  •     Bluetooth 2.1
  •     aGPS

Source: Hutchinson 3G (Thanks for the tip, Patrick!)

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3 years ago

Jon Rettinger from TechnoBuffalo switches from iPhone to Windows Phone

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Jon Rettinger of TechnoBuffalo has published a video of himself explaining that he's switched from the iPhone to Windows Phone, and the HTC Titan is now his main handset. One of the main features he loves about the platform (and the device in this case) is the size of the live tiles and content on the massive 4.7" screen. Rettinger's main concern with making the switch (as is with every potential buyer) is the choice of apps on the Marketplace, but goes onto state that every app he required was actually present in the catalogue, or an equivalent available.

Overall he's impressed. What's more is that when Rettinger shows his Titan to other people when out and about, there's generally a positive response, but he notes that the biggest flaw of the system that could be turning away a lot of folk is the attached "Windows" brand. Let's not forget that Microsoft is in a reforming stage, if you will. Closing up, he has no regrets in switching and doesn't look back at the iPhone 4S. Take that Siri.

Source: TechnoBuffalo, thanks Theo for the tip!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live Countdown to 2012 Sale to include 3 Windows Phone games, starts next week

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Not the official Microsoft image, but it should be

Black Friday and Christmas holiday sales are regular yearly occurrences on Xbox 360, which means we’re about due for another sale. This year, the Countdown to 2012 Campaign begins on Tuesday, December 20 and lasts until Monday, January 2. Every day during that time, one or more pieces of content (XBLA games, avatar items, etc.) will go on sale.

Xbox 360 sales are great, but what about Windows Phone? Yes, there will be mobile Xbox Live games on sale during the Countdown to 2012. Just like this year's Black Friday week sale, the Windows Phone sale will include three games (in addition to the standard Deal of the Week game). The holiday sale games include Fruit Ninja, Fable: Coin Golf and Hydro Thunder Go. All three are great titles that any mobile gamer would be happy to own.

The Countdown to 2012 Campaign runs from December 20, 2011 to January 2, 2012. We’ll let you know as soon as the sale goes live.

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3 years ago

Sneak Peek - 'Radio Controlled' for Pandora [Video]

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There are a few Pandora apps in the works by 3rd parties and we have our hands on one of them that's just wrapping up beta testing: Radio Controlled by Bushwood Studios.

Based off of the MetroPandora SDK by Justin Angel, which was recently updated to fix the broken APIs, the app has some very nice polish to it--great graphics, fast loading and a unique use of a giant Live Tile within the app for artist/song info. With the updated SDK,  you no longer have to re-enter your login information every time you start the app and station selection works much better now.

Radio Controlled features a Live Tile which displays the latest song/album art right on your Start screen and over all gets the job done. The app will be free (ad-supported) and should be in the Marketplace sometime next week--don't worry, we'll let you know when it's live. Overall though you can see devs starting to do some real creative things with the Pandora SDK, resulting in a better selection for everyone. We're pretty excited to have this all going down.

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3 years ago

Hyper Defence XT Christmas Edition

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Hyper Defence XT Christmas Edition

We've seen Bubble Birds get into the Holiday spirit and now the popular tower defense game Hyper Defence XT is getting into the spirit as well. The Windows Phone game was updated to version 2.0 and brings a new Christmas Bonus level to the full version.

Hyper Defence XT's update also adds:

  • New difficulty settings (easy, medium and classic)
  • Level awards to win depending on the difficulty
  • Six new enemies to deal with.

Hyper Defence XT has 16 levels of play (17 with the Christmas Bonus), 8 upgradeable defense turrets, and a Survival Mode where everything but the kitchen sink is thrown at you. We found Hyper Defence XT (here's our review) to be a very good tower defense game for your Windows Phone.

There is a free trial version available for Hyper Defence XT and the full version is running $1.29. You can find Hyper Defence XT here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

StreamBox7 for streaming music from your Dropbox

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There will always be an ongoing debate about which is better--SkyDrive or Dropbox--to which we really don't care to take sides on. All we know is people like options and DropBox is quite popular, so we're a bit pleased to see StreamBox7 land in the Marketplace today.

The app is simple enough: drop some music into your Dropbox root folder, fire up the app, login and you're music will show up. You can then stream the music to your device, playing it in the background with ease. We could probably do without the "pretty girl pop-star wallpaper" that dynamically changes, but it's a good idea in theory.  Overall, the app delivers as promised and is laid out nicely, so even though we prefer our Zune it is a nice option for those who want it.

The app fetches for $0.99 with a free trial if you want to give it a spin. It supports .WMV and .MP3 files, which should cover most people. Thanks, Ben H., for the tip!

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3 years ago

SoundHound get its first update--fixes problems, gets faster

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In the land of music identifying apps, we fall into the SoundHound camp (versus Shazam). Yes, we know Bing can ID music and it is pretty good, but SoundHound right now has the better library for IDing songs, making it more accurate for us--plus we dig that one-button tagging option.

While version 1.0 was pretty solid for a first-release, it did have at least one major issue: the Facebook posting did not work for many. That's now fixed in v1.1 which just hit the Marketplace. In addition, v1.1 brings "faster search results"  and "artist social channels" which allows to easily follow musicians on social networks...or something. Also, the quick Tile graphics have been updated wit a more identifiable look.

Pick it up for free here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

WPCentral Podcast 133

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WPCentral Podcast 133


We're back for another exciting week in Windows Phone news--we take your questions, discuss new software and go over this weeks major events. T-Mobile gets the Nokia Lumia 710, Daniel gets a new pillow, Jay talks about is Lumia 800 and both debate if British food is any good.

Listen above or watch the whole thing below in HD. Show notes after the break!

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3 years ago

YuleTile celebrates the festive season with free Windows Phone Christmas card

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We previously touched on YuleTile, an app to get everyone into the Christmas spirit. According to the developer, Mendzapp, 10% of the revenue earned from sales of YuleTile will be donated to charity (Railway Children). But if the app and charity donations weren't enough to put you in a good mood, how about a Windows Phone Christmas card design? That's right, now you can send Metro UI festive cards to family and friends.

If you're not aware of YuleTile, it's a Christmas advent calendar app that features wallpapers, ringtones and an ingenious use of the live tiles. Each day the live tile updates to show the appropriate advent window. From here the app can be entered, window opened and one of the twenty-five hand-painted images revealed. This image is now featured on your home-screen until tomorrow’s window is ready to be opened. Really neat for all those Scrooges.

Head on over to MyKindofPhone's Posterous page below to download the design. You can download YuleTile from the Marketplace for 79p ($0.99), remember that 10% goes to a good cause.

Source: Windows Phone UK

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3 years ago

T-Mobile 4G Super Sale: December 17-18th

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T-Mobile has an awesome sale starting up on December 17th, and ending on the 18th. For just two days, 4G handsets stocked by the carrier will be available for purchase for $0 after a mail-in-rebate. A few Windows Phones are included in this deal, the HTC Radar and HTC HD7. Handsets require a two-year contract (qualifying Value Plan) to be taken out, but for Christmas, a brand new 4G Windows Phone with a packed plan is a perfect present.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Nokia launches Lumia 710 and 800 and plans marketing push in India

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We've witnessed the marketing power of the Nokia "The Amazing Everyday" campaign throughout Europe, and the public in New York and Paris have had the opportunity to stand in awe at the sight of a giant Windows Phone. Now it seems Nokia wishes to push its way through India, launching the Lumia 710 and 800 today, with a planned marketing campaign - and it's big.

To give an idea as to how massive this campaign will be, check out the list below:

  • Impromptu dance performance in Mumbai with free food and drink.
  • Luxury helicopter ride for consumers in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
  • Exclusive premiere for pre-bookers with tennis star Sania Mirza at the Ambience Mall in Gurgaon.
  • Musical event, and artificial snow zones recreated at certain PVR outlets, in Delhi.
  • Toll exemption for more than 15,000 vehicles on the DND freeway, connecting Delhi and Noida.
  • Salt Lake will feature a "winter wonderland" created with artificial snow in Kolkata.

As well as the above list, we'll be excited to see an "aggressive" promotion and advertising strategy being put into effect. We've already had a flash mob performance at malls in five cities, so it'll be interesting to see how the manufacturer expands on this throughout the country. The Lumia 710 and 800 can be picked up for Rs 18,999 ($360) and Rs 29,999 ($570) respectively. 

Source: India Times, Think Digit, thanks Rohit for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Flying Tiles

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Sometimes the simplest games are the most enjoyable. The Windows Phone game Flying Tiles qualifies for both. It is a Windows Phone game that is simple to play, has simple graphics, has a simple object and is most enjoyable to play.

The concept has a series of flying tiles racing across your Windows Phone screen. Your job is to catch the colored tiles and avoid the black tiles. The more tiles you catch, the more points you earn. Along the way you have bonus items that appear as question marks. The bonus items include slowing the tiles down, speeding them up, shrinking the size of your catcher, turning all tiles into color, and applying gravity to your catcher to pull the colored tiles to you.

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3 years ago

Last.fm takes on the Samsung Omnia W

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We saw the other day YouTube featuring Windows Phone on its front page and tonight it's Last.fm's turn. Hopping over to the site and heading to the Radio area, you'll have your browser overtaken by the Samsung Omnia W and Windows Phone, including that $25 app card good for the Marketplace.

Although people have rightly complained about lack of exposure for Windows Phone in the past, it seems clear that everyone is stepping up a bit on the second go-around. Hopefully it will pay off in some sales.

Thanks, Sayon, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Stitcher reportedly coming for Windows Phone Q1 2012

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For those of you who use Stitcher on the desktop and wish you could so on your phone, your days of waiting are shrinking. In an email from the "Stitcher Team" it states clearly that they have plans for a Windows Phone app and they're looking for an early 2012 release:

"Hello Trey, thanks for your email. We hope to come out with a version of Stitcher for Windows Mobile in the first quarter of 2012, so stay tuned!

Sincerely, The Stitcher Team"

Stitcher is a popular web-based internet radio provider akin to Weave for RSS--basically it gives you categories to listen to and it "stitches" content for you, giving a more personalized experience with little updating on your part. The service is quite prominent and they already have apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and even webOS--so adding Windows Phone to that roster is hardly a stretch of the imagination. The only question was when and not will they--and at least we now have a timeframe. Combined with Audible and we should have a nice selection come early 2012.

Thanks, Trey W., for the tip!

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