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2 years ago

China gains more priority with Windows Phone 8, launching in late December

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The Chinese smartphone market has been growing at a shocking speed, overtaking almost every other country so far. However, the country has traditionally been very low in the gadget launching echelon.

Even Apple, who is making a very large share of its profit from China these days, has been putting the country in the 2nd or 3rd batch. Microsoft and its Windows Phone OEMs have been doing worse. Windows Phone 7 first launced in Europe back in October 2010, in the US in November 2012, and in China... March 2012.

This is about to change, says Chinese tech site WPDang. Windows Phone 8 is said to be launched in China as soon as the 3rd week of December, this year. Only one month after the US. A thousand times better than last time.

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2 years ago

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer offering every employee a free Nokia Lumia 920 or other smartphone

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Recently-hired Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, has kicked off a new endeavor at Yahoo in which all employees will receive their choice of a free smartphone, including the Nokia Lumia 920. The program called "Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun!" is intended to get workers using the same technologies as their customers and was announced to Yahoo employees across 22 countries in a memo, part of which said:

"We'd like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do."

Yahoo workers will get to choose from the Nokia Lumia 920, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, and HTC EVO 4G LTE and will cover the corresponding monthly voice and data plans as well. In a blow to RIM, Yahoo has made it part of their IT policy to no longer support Blackberries.

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2 years ago

MetroSpec for Windows Phone now available on the Marketplace

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Re-visiting the good ol' days

MetroSpec, the ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone, is now available on the Marketplace. We've been following the developments of the app itself from when it was pitched to us as an idea at a previous developer meetup, went through beta recently, and now being published. It's a superb app that's well worth checking out, even if you've never heard of the old-skool console.

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2 years ago

Iterate Podcast Episode 29: Esmaeili on Carbon for Windows Phone

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2 years ago

USA Today official app for Windows Phone gets a slight makeover in latest update

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New look for USA Today

USA Today has consistently been one of the better designed and thought-out apps available on Windows Phone. It's fast, minimalist and the developers update the app quite consistently. Well, almost. The last update was back in October 2011.

Version 1.7 just went live in the Store and brings with it a new logo for the popular news source. The new design is a tad, dare we say, Metro? It’s flat, simple and less gaudy then the previous look and we approve 100% of the new change. Interestingly, the official Web site has yet to reflect the new design.

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2 years ago

Weather Smiles for Windows Phone temporarily available for free

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You'll be smiling when it's sunny

The developer of Weather Smiles has made the app available for free for a limited time, according to the Marketplace listing. The app enables Windows Phone owners to keep up-to-date on weather forecasts and has the unique feature of sporting two locations on a single tile - as opposed to one weather reading seen in most weather apps. It's a unique twist with smilies being deployed to add humour to condition reports.

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2 years ago

Fight - Nokia taunts Samsung over new anti-Apple 'Genius' ad

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Best smartphone in the world or the greatest?

Ah, it’s Sunday so let’s get the smartphone jousting out of the way for this week.

Recently Samsung has taken to the printing press to drive home the fact that the Galaxy S3 is arguably more equipped than the latest iPhone set to hit store shelves within weeks. The ad, brilliant in its simplicity simply says “It doesn’t take a Genius” with a picture of both phones and the self-selected listing of hardware specs.

The jab was at Apple’s expense, teasing them about their ‘Genius bar’ nomenclature and it clearly demonstrates Samsung’s intent to not lay down, even after being accused and found guilty of copying Cupertino.

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2 years ago

AirFrance releases Windows Phone app that isn't the mobile website

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AirFrance, the flag carrier for France, has released an official app for Windows Phone. This may sound familiar as the company already has a mobile app available on the platform, which they released last year. Unfortunately this was a version of their mobile website, so what we're seeing with this new app is a fully featured Metro experience. 

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2 years ago

Photo sharing service Molome coming to Windows Phone, may have been spotted in earlier video

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Last week the Verge ran a story noting that poplar photo-sharing service Instagram was headed to Windows Phone this fall.  Later, VentureBeat squashed those rumors saying that ‘no’ in fact Instagram is not being developed for Windows Phone, either 7 or 8.

An eagle-eyed viewer started the controversy seeing what looked like an Instagram-like Live Tile pop up during a Nokia promo video. Later, the Verge backtracked noting that instead it may be Vimeo (who do have an updated, Nokia-focused version on the way).

But a new explanation has come forth: Molome.

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2 years ago

Nokia updates City Lens and Play To apps for Lumia Windows Phones, changlogs are scarce

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City Lens just keeps on getting better

Nokia appears to be in an update mood lately as this weekend we’ve noticed two of their big apps get some small updates.

Update: City Lens update was just a re-submission to fix an error with the Chinese Windows Phone Store

First up is City Lens, which is being bumped to version 1.10.1632. That’s a fairly low number change, so we’re going to assume that these are minor bug fixes and code optimizations to make it all run buttery smooth. In fact it does feel faster for us to load and calibrate but that could be placebo too.

We don’t think this is the ‘big’ new update that Nokia talked about last week—that one includes 3D icons and the ability filter items out of the line of site.

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2 years ago

Fan render of proposed Nokia ‘phablet’ makes us yearn for new hardware

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Nokia will get into the tablet business. We’re pretty sure of that as higher ups at Nokia have said as much in the past and even CEO Stephen Elop mentioned about the “opportunity” being there just a few weeks ago here in New York.

The only questions that remain are when and what it will look like, to which we have no leads or even guesses.

That hasn't stopped the folks at ProductShowroom from taking a stab at the concept with their recent device render (translation: this is all completely 'made up'). They’ve decided that Nokia should go the ‘phablet’ route, a new mixed term for really big phones that are basically mini-tablets e.g. Samsung Galaxy Note.

For the record, we really hate saying 'phablet'. 

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2 years ago

PSA - HD and HQ YouTube streaming busted for Supertube, Metrotube Windows Phone apps

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HD and HQ streaming down but now out

If you’re a user of any 3rd party YouTube apps that also sport high-definition (HD) or high-quality (HQ) streaming, you may have noticed that function has stopped working recently.

Long story short is YouTube changed their access method for those streams and basically borked those apps. The changed occurred on September 14th and since Supertube and MetroTube use unorthodox methods for access (read: not officially sanctioned by YouTube), it broke on the apps’ end too, resulting in only LQ playback abilities. Interestingly, this isn't the first (nor the last) time that this has happened, as nearly a year ago, the same situation occured.

We’ve heard from the Supertube developers that a fix has already been submitted to the Windows Phone Store, meaning service will be restored when the update goes live. Although we haven’t heard from the MetroTube team, we’re just going to assume the same for them as well. That means this isn’t a permanent change but rather just a temporary glitch, so dear YouTube streamers, standby for a few days and all will return when those apps update.

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2 years ago

DJ Zane Lowe announces UK university tour, partners with Nokia

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Shake your booty with Zane Lowe and Nokia

Zane Lowe has announced an array of dates for his UK university tour, which kicks off in Lincoln tomorrow. The established DJ, who also currently hosts the BBC Radio 1 Evening Show, has partnered with Nokia to "connect" the tour. This is an opportunity for Nokia to work on promotion while we wait until recently announced hardware is available to consumers. 

The manufacturer has made it a strategic focus to tackle the issue with younger consumers turning away from Nokia. To aid this effort, the company has released (and continues to do so) Windows Phones with multiple themes available for more choice.

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2 years ago

Facebook and Twitter Lock Screen notifications spotted for Windows Phone 8

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To the left, Twitter and to the right, reportedly Facebook notifications

Looks like Nokia’s New York City announcement is the gift that keeps on giving. Such is the case from the newly observed Twitter and Facebook notifications on the Lock screen during the introduction of the wireless charging part of the presentation. (Although Twitter is clear as day for us, we're still  not sure about the Facebook one--it's quite hard to tell.)

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2 years ago

SoundGecko comes to Windows Phone, converts online articles into audible MP3s

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Update (1pm ET): The Windows Phone Store link is now active

For those of you who commute or find yourself traveling a lot, you’ll soon be able to make your life a lot more interesting as 121Cast's SoundGecko app has finally landed for Windows Phone. We wrote on SoundGecko earlier in anticipation of the app and that day is just about upon us.

The app has passed Windows Phone certification and is just waiting to be “pushed” to the Store. Windows Phone Central managed to get our hands on it slightly early and we’re more than glad to give you the tour in the video above.

The service, found at www.soundgecko.com, is free for the basic level and it allows you to convert 30 articles a month into audio format. The service works by finding a web link of a story you want to listen to later and sending it to SoundGecko (you can even use the nifty Chrome plugin to automate the process).

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