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3 years ago

Electronic music streaming app Beem gets a seriously cool update

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Back in early April we reported on the new streaming music app Beem by Windows Phone Development MVP Den Delimarsky. The app taps into Digitally Imported (www.di.fm), the popular electronic dance music site which features everything from Techno to Trance to Chillout to Progressive making it quite the value. What's more, both the service and app are completely free and the app doesn't even have any ads. Did we mention it's pretty gorgeous too?

Version 1.1 just hit the Marketplace with a bunch of welcomed new features, some of which are extremely impressive:

  • A bug fix that now allows you to re-pin a tile even if it disappears (apparently an OS bug, but there is now a workaround).
  • UI tweaks.
  • Ability to search for played songs in the Zune Marketplace.
  • Ability to record the stream and store it locally for playback (consider this a DVR implementation for DI.FM).
  • Ability to set short recorded music as a ringtone.
  • There is now a "Now Playing” option that allows users to easily jump to the currently playing station.
  • Added the ability to clear the music player (in case you don’t want to see the last played content even though it is paused).

The ability to look the song up in Zune was something we asked for--after all, we want to make use of that Zune Pass--so it's great to see it here. The new feature works flawlessly allowing us to search for the song/artist that's currently playing and then download to our phone directly (something that's very awesome over AT&T's LTE).

But the ability to locally record whatever is playing is the most impressive. The music is saved within the app for later offline playback and is really quite useful. Not only does it record but it shows you how much space in KB it's taking up in real-time. Very cool stuff.

Finally, the rest of the changes are just icing on the cake. The new Tile layout of the stations is quite eye-catching and the app is a must-have for us as we're big fans of downtempo for our background tunes. If Beem sounds like something up your alley then you can grab it right here in the Windows Phone Marketplace (or check out Den's page on the update). The app is on our must-have list for a reason!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 survives torture test

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If there was any doubt how well built the Nokia Lumia 900 is, the above video should ease anyone's concerns over build quality. The unibody design coupled with Corning's Gorilla Glass make the Lumia 900 a very solid Windows Phone. Solid enough to drive nails. 

The engineers who tested the durability of the Lumia 900 did the same test on the Lumia 710. The 710 held up just as nicely as the 900.

Now for the obligatory disclaimer. While the Lumia 900 clearly survives the torture test in the video, we don't recommend you using your Lumia 900 to build a deck, repair the back steps or deliberately abuse your Windows Phones.  Such activity would likely void your warranty.

Chime in below in the comments if you're Nokia Lumia 900 has survived near death experiences.

Source: Conversations Nokia

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3 years ago

Bridgestone Australia picks Windows Phone as their fleet smartphone

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Windows Phone and Nokia received another vote of confidence. This time from Bridgestone Australia who has chosen the Nokia Lumia 800 to replace the company's smartphone fleet.

The Nokia 800 won out over the iPhone and Blackberry in part due to the Windows Phone support for Outlook, Work and Excel. Bridgestone's workforce was a little divided in their needs with Sales needing easy email access and managers needing better integration with business apps. Then there was the desire for a device that bridged employees work and personal lives. Scott Baxter, Group IT Manager for Bridgestone commented,

"There was a strong business case for the Nokia Lumia 800. It gives us the best of both worlds - seamless integration with familiar business tools, such as Outlook, Internet Explorer, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as exceptional design and build quality."

Baxter also commented that Nokia Drive and Maps were two appealing apps that will allow staff to dispense with separate GPS devices.

Source: ITWire; Thanks, Hassan, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Central Contest - Win a Nokia Lumia 710 with Mobilicity

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Windows Phone Central, with the help of Mobilicity, is having another Photo Contest to win a Windows Phone -- the Nokia Lumia 710 (review) which just arrived on the Canadian carrier. This time around, we've scaled things down a bit and instead of a black/white theme, we are going with the Great Outdoors. It doesn't have to be a picture of the Grand Canyon and a picturesque shot of your front yard will do.  It can be a sunset, a photo of the lake, the mountains, a garden, just anything outdoorsy that is eye appealing.

Here's the fine print...

  • Photos must be taken with a Windows Phone.
  • Only one entry per reader.
  • Entries must be submitted by Tuesday, May 21, 2012 at 5:00pm EST.
  • Due to carrier limitations, only residents in the Mobilicity coverage are eligible for the first prize.
  • Entries can be submitted in this Windows Phone Central forums area.

We will announce the winners by Thursday, May 24, 2012.  First prize is a Nokia Lumia 710 with six months of service from Mobilicity. Second prize is $100 gift card to the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store. Third Prize is a $50 gift card from the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store.

Remember in order to post in the forums, you will need to register with Windows Phone Central. You can find that easy process here.

Good luck everyone and happy shooting.

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3 years ago

geoDefense Mango update adds Live tiles and more

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geoDefense Swarm is out now and doing quite well, if reader comments and my own enjoyment are any indication. But the original geoDefense, which also happened to be the first good tower defense game on Xbox Live for Windows Phone, is still loved by many. As such, Critical Thought Games recently released an update to make geoDefense even better for current and future consumers.

geoDefense version 1.4 release notes:

  • 60fps on devices that support it  (previous cap was 30fps)
  • Live Tile (pin the game tile to the home screen, will flip to show progress)
  • Live Secondary Tile (hold down on level in list and it'll make a quick-jump live tile on home screen)
  • Supports Fast Application Switching
  • Fixed a bug with the targeting logic of locked laser towers (This was a big deal on some levels.)

Mango features are the standout additions. Many of us swear by Fast App Switching, so it’s great to see another popular Live game add that support. If only they would all follow suit (*cough, Plants vs. Zombies, cough*). Can’t go wrong with Live Tiles, either.

geoDefense is an easy-to-learn and addictive tower defense game. See our full review for details. The game costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 approved for China and reportedly arriving in June

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Nokia is moving closer to its China launch of the Lumia 900, according to dates reported by Chinese news website Sina Tech. The Lumia 900 was approved for use on GSM and WCDMA networks by State Radio Regulation Committee (SRRC) on April 18, and the website is pointing to a June release for the Windows Phone. The younger brother, the Lumia 800c, was launched in the country back in March.

AT&T has been witnessing expectation surpassing results with the 4G version of Nokia's flagship Windows Phone since its launch earlier this year. Let's not forget the news of the platform market share overtaking the iPhone in China, which should continue to capture more of the market with the introduction of this high-end device. The Lumia 900 sports a 4.3" ClearBlack AMOLED display, 1.4GHz chip, 512MB RAM, and 16GB of storage.

Source: Sina Tech, The Next Web

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3 years ago

Tips and tricks for using SkyDrive on Windows Phone

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In our latest how-to guide, we show you how to make the most of your Windows Phone and SkyDrive cloud storage

We've touched on the basics with Microsoft's SkyDrive services and the SkyDrive App for your Windows Phone. But how does all that translate into every day use?

The obvious every day use for SkyDrive and your Windows Phone is to free up storage space and make content easily available. Why bog down your Windows Phone with documents, pictures, and music files when you can store them in the Cloud and access them at your leisure? But did you know that several quality apps utilize SkyDrive? Of course you did... and we'll try to cover a few along the way as we look at every day uses for your SkyDrive account.

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3 years ago

Microsoft updates Live on Windows Phone. Now integrates Twitter profile into People Hub.

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New Twitter integration with Live and the People Hub. Left (New) and Right (Old).

Microsoft has evidently updated how Twitter interacts with Live services on Windows Phone by automatically pulling down a contact's Twitter profile an merging it into "Notes".

We're not sure when the change occurred but reader Kaush noticed the difference today which evidently happened when Windows Phone auto-syncs back to the server for contact updates. We managed to break out our international Titan (which we last used a few months ago) to quickly compare for a "before and after".

As an example, under Jay Bennett you can now see his Twitter profile integrated into Notes whereas the device on the right does not have that information.

While this is a small and subtle change, it is certainly good use of the Notes area which often goes unused.  So to our readers: is this something really new or have we just missed it?

Thanks, Kaush, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft planning to patent cross-platform app migration service?

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Microsoft is developing a cross-platform service that will enable users to migrate from competitor platforms (or Windows Phone) to Windows Phone, according to a patent filed back in 2010. The service will allow apps to be detected on the legacy handset, which will then be listed on the new Windows Phone for convenient downloading, providing users with peace of mind when it comes to installed apps.

According to the filed patent, the company is planning to provide functionality within the service that would analyse installed apps on the legacy handset (eg.: Android). The service would then search for identical or similar apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The user would be presented with popular third-party suggestions should official apps not be available.

If there's no third-party app present on the Marketplace, the service will notify the user in the future once a similar app is published. Is that more than enough? Not according to the company. Microsoft is reported to be wanting to take things further with actually creating a complete solution where app data would be stored and transferred across to new Windows Phones or from other platforms, preventing data loss. Of course, little detail is available and we're yet to see how this service could work with the likes of Android and iOS

Another question on mind is if apps will have to be repurchased for Windows Phone when migrating from another platform, or would the software giant subsidize the costs? Microsoft has clearly been serious about Windows Phone since the off, and this reaffirms the company's commitment to take part in the smartphone marathon. How would you like to see such a service implemented?

Source: Unwired View

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 finally coming to Singapore on May 26th

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Around here at WPCentral, we get a lot of international users asking "When is X coming to my country?". The Lumia 900 is one of those frequently asked about and specifically in Singapore.

So we're glad to report that it's officially launching there on May 26th, fetching for S$849 (US$ 670) and available in three colors: matte-black, glossy-white and of course, cyan.

The pricing may seem a bit high, especially since in the US it can be had for $450 (off-contract). However pricing is relative and from what we understand high-end devices like HTC and Samsung often sell for S$900 or higher. In that sense the Lumia 900 is not cutthroat cheap but it's fair. Reportedly three carries will have the device available to consumers within a few weeks.

How well will Nokia and Windows Phone fair in Singapore remains to be seen. They already ave the Lumia 710 and 800 (in fact they had the 800 way back in December). Will the 900 grab that upper echelon of the market? We hope so.

Source: CNet (Asia); Thanks, Corraine, for the tip

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3 years ago

Australian HTC TITAN II 4G Windows Phone pricing and availability details revealed

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WPDownUnder has received insider information detailing pricing of the upcoming HTC TITAN II 4G. As well as cost, the Australian website is also able to report a date for when the Windows Phone will be available in Telstra stores. May 29th is the date set for Australia's first 4G Windows Phone, should source information be trustworthy.

Apparently, the carrier has already had the device in-stock at selected stores for some time but it's not confirmed what has caused the delay. We were previously looking at an early April release. Check out WPDownUnder's graphic illustrating the plan pricing, which has been previously confirmed by the website from documentation.

Note that no official announcement has been made from Telstra, so it's still a waiting game but at least we have some light at the end of the tunnel. 

Source: WPDownUnder

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3 years ago

Nokia unleashes the ground troops with the official Nokia Army app for Windows Phone

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It looks like Nokia is taking the competition seriously as they have evidently formed their own military, aptly called the Nokia Army.

And what good is a military force if it doesn't have its own app, amirite? So it shouldn't be too surprising to find the official Nokia Army app sitting proudly in the Nokia Collection, awaiting your orders.

Now some caveats: civilians are not welcomed for this app. You need to have proper ID to get in and that includes having a nokia.com, team-nokia.com, team-nokia.net, navteq.com or marketsource.com email address. Should you possess one of these, head to www.nokiaarmy.com and get yourself registered and enlisted.

So what's the app for? Details are murky ("fog of war" stuff) but we can say that it's a "Nokia Tool for Nokia Army Team members to use when visiting and supporting retail in North America.". There should be little doubt folks, this is for Nokia's troops on the ground during Operation Rolling Thunder.

Download Nokia Army, should you qualify, here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Over and out. Thanks, Jose, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: 3D Akranoid

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3 years ago

Deal Alert: Super fun Tweet It! now free for the next two days

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We haven't covered the popular Twitter app Tweet It! in quite some time so now feels about right. Tweet It! won our praise months ago for breaking the tradition of super-Metro Twitter apps that are out in force on the Marketplace. Featuring a unique UI, "Street mode" for walking, orientation lock, shake-to-refresh and more, the app is full of interesting surprises and stands apart from the crowd.

Because it's the developers birthday, the app has gone from its normal $1.99 to free for the next 48 hours. Call us crazy, but that's a pretty good deal even if not sure if you'll like it (but we think you will).

Since our coverage, the app has had a major revision in version 3.0.The changes are welcomed including excellent scrolling capability and fast loading (try the "Post Tweet" tile). But don't take our word for it. Go download it now, take it for a spin and let us know your thoughts.

Pick up Tweet it! for free here in the Windows Phone Marketplace, you won't regret it. And happy birthday, Khamidov Timur!

Check out our video review of v2.0 and QR tag after the break...

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3 years ago

Quickly create ringtones on Windows Phone from YouTube

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Early this morning we reported on the mini song "Metro" by Matt Oglesby created on nothing but free Windows Phones apps. The tune has a chill yet vibrant feel to it and as a few of you noticed in comments, it would make a solid ringtone on your device.

While there are browser plugins that will easily rip YouTube audio and convert it to an MP3, there is a much easier way to do it directly on Windows Phone. The free app YouRang by Red Pegasus Media allows you to search YouTube, bring up the video in a small window and then by using pre-selected arrows, you can edit the section you want for a ringtone on your phone.

The app is free, beautiful and super simple to use. It maintains the full audio quality, volume and lets you "max out" the length of the ringtone according to Microsoft's specifications. In short, there's no reason not to get it even if you just want "Metro" for your ringer (just search for 'Metro' - Track Created...).

Pick up YouRang for free here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. [Edit: For those outside certain regions, stay tuned. The developer has submitted an update for other regions and it should be available soon]

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