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3 years ago

Windows Phone Central 144 - Windows Phone 8, Tablets and cats

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We're back with Daniel Rubino, Jay Bennett and Rafael Rivera for another exciting recap of June's news. Last we checked there was a lot to discuss including Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7.8, Surface tablets, Smart Glass and recent software releases. Plus we take your questions from our live chat.

So if you missed our July 4th live recording, you can tune in now or watch the HD video after the break, it's an epic discussion.

Video and show notes after the break...

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3 years ago

Nokia first to bring Kaliki service to Windows Phone also launches Batman Origins comic [Video]

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Nokia is the first to bring Kaliki to a mobile platform

Nokia is back at it again, giving customers the most bang for their buck by releasing two more exclusive apps today in the Nokia Collection for Lumia Windows Phones. Today’s apps include the Batman Origins comic and the truly unique Kaliki.

Batman Origins is a straight up prequel comic to the new movie Batman: The Dark Knight Rises due in a few weeks. There’s not much to the app as it’s just a straight up digital comic featuring two sides—Batman or Bane—and you can just go through and read it. The gorgeous artwork is provided by DC Comics of course and it’s a fun little read, especially for you fans.

What’s more, under “Links” for the app there is evidently another app coming called “The Dark Knight Rises: Prologue”. That app is not yet available but we imagine it’s just a matter of time. This marks the third app from Nokia featuring Batman with the other being the TDKR App, now this origins-comic and soon a Prologue.

Next up is the even more interesting Kaliki app from Nokia. This was something we did not see coming and boy is it cool.  In essence, it’s a news app that reads the news to you but not in some mechanical robot voice. No, Kaliki takes highlight news stories from various sources like the NY Times, CNN, USA Today and has a professional voice actor narrate it to you, making all news sound much more epic.

If you like Audible and/or National Public Radio, this app is for you.

Kaliki includes various types of news including headlines, sports, celebrity, science & technology and more too, so you have a wide selection of headlines to choose from.  The app requires a data connection and you can’t save any of the recordings for offline use—heck, there are basically no options within the app. But for you commuters with constant data connections, Kaliki is killer.

Kaliki is actually a new service not exclusive to Nokia (but they have the app first). The company (http://www.kaliki.com/) wants to be “Pandora for magazines” and will be coming to other platforms. But as far as we can tell, Nokia and Windows Phone is the first mobile iteration of the new service which hasn’t officially launched, until today.

No doubt both apps will continue to cause consternation amongst those who don’t have a Nokia Lumia phone, but for those who do, you’ll be quite pleased with both offerings.

Pick up Batman Origins here and Kaliki for Lumia Windows Phones here in the Nokia Collection.

    

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3 years ago

Metrotube to return to the Marketplace as free app

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Happy news for those of you who are fans of LazyWorm's Metrotube app. After announcing that it would no longer be available after the first of the year, the developer has decided to bring it back to the Marketplace, this time, as a free app. In a letter to users,  the company explained that they faced a challenge with YouTube's API when trying to obtain high-quality videos from the Google-owned site. They were forced to use a workaround, but found it to be unsustainable in the long term. LazyWorm tried to get support in an official capacity from both Microsoft and Google, but just couldn't work it out, so they originally decided to pull what was widely considered to be the best YouTube app out there.

Since an officially-supported solution could not be found, LazyWorm decided to re-offer Metrotube for free using the workaround.  LazyWorm's announcement was short and to the point.

Our goal from the very beginning was to deliver a rich YouTube experience that could be officially promoted by Microsoft (or Google). It was for this reason that we never supported features such as video download or the playback of non-mobile content and why we have spent the past 7 months investigating alternative avenues of delivering the same rich experience via official means.

We were truly hopeful that we could resolve these issues however it has gotten to the stage where we've exhausted all of our options. Essentially, we have done everything in our power to go through official channels without any luck. We don't want to see the project that has consumed a year and half of our lives go to waste like this and so we've decided to re-launch Metrotube for free.

We hope the app receives a big enough response from the Windows Phone community justifying the need for Google or Microsoft to show us a little more support.

While it's not quite the storybook ending they had hoped for, we here at Windows Phone Central are psyched for Metrotube to return. Perhaps Google will realize that it runs circles around their official app and will decide to support it in some fashion.  Metrotube has passed Marketplace certification and should be available within 24-48 hours.  We'll update things with a link once it becomes available.

Source: LazyWorm Apps

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3 years ago

Lenovo wants to make Windows Phone 8 devices with customized UI

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It seems as though Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) is generating interest from manufacturers who only previously dipped their toes in the Windows Phone waters. WPDang reports that executives from Lenovo's Research and Development division visited Microsoft's headquarters to discuss the possibility of making WP8 devices. What's more, Lenovo has reportedly requested that they be allowed to customize the UI to include their own apps and app store, much like they did with their Android-powered LePhone and not unlike Nokia has done with their Lumia line of phones.

Lenovo had developed a Windows Phone 7 device to be released in China, but not much came of it. Whether or not they will be allowed the UI customization that they seek remains to be seen. Either way, it would be great to see another OEM added to Windows Phone family.

Source: WPDang (Google translation); Via: WPSauce

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Photo2Cloud

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3 years ago

Ubisoft releases new companion Uplay app for Windows Phone

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Fans of game developers Ubisoft, who are known for Assassin’s Creed, Fitness Evolved, Just Dance and many other popular titles on Xbox 360, will be pleased to check out their new companion app simply called Uplay.

If you use Ubisoft’s games, you probably already know what Uplay is for but for those who don’t, it's is their system to provide a “wide range of exclusive services and free content" to their customers.  Basically you create an account and they give you “points” for purchasing things, keeping track of new games, getting extra weapons or features for your games, etc.

We were already registered since we use Fitness Evolved for Xbox Kinect and use their other companion app, Your Shape. Heck, we just had a birthday recently and Ubisoft sent us a $10 coupon for any of their games, so yeah there are some benefits.  Here’s the feature list:

  • UPLAY WIN - Uplay Win helps you… win! It lets you expand your enjoyment of the games you play by redeeming great free content like extra weapons, new characters or additional maps.
  • UPLAY GAMES - When the going gets tough, the tough get Uplay! The Games section gives you guidance and tips to enjoy Ubisoft games at their best.
  • UPLAY PROFILE - Manage your Uplay Profile. View your Games, Actions, Rewards, Unit Balance and more!
  • UPLAY SHOP - Enjoy Ubisoft’s best games on your device! Uplay Shop brings together all Ubisoft mobile content into one view, readily available for you to download.
  • Uplay Friends (coming soon…) - The ultimate realm to connect with your Uplay Friends. Share your own content, keep track of your friends’ activity and taunt them with your most impressive deeds!

The app itself is well laid out and gives you access to some cool features. You can already do all of it at a PC through the web (http://uplay.ubi.com) but it’s kind of neat having a dedicated app for your Windows Phone. And heck, it is free, so why not.

Pick up Uplay for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Avid A., for the heads up

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3 years ago

VirginTrain Tickets arrives in the Marketplace for Windows Phone

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UK Windows Phone users should be pretty happy with this new application. VirginTrain Tickets arrived in the Marketplace today and looks to be a superb tool for commuters. With the app comes paperless tickets as your e-ticket will be sent straight to your Windows Phone. That means no queuing too!

There are a vast array of options within the app which you can see below:

  • Search times and fares for any train to any destination in the UK.
  • Buy tickets up to 10 minutes before you want to depart.
  • Book for up to 8 people at once.
  • Totally secure booking.
  • Absolutely no hidden booking or credit card fees (we hate those!)
  • Get tickets sent straight to your mobile or collect from our FastTicket machines.
  • Log-in to your account so you only need to enter your details once.
  • Check live departures/arrivals info to see how your train is running, before you even get on it.
  • And you get all this for the one-off payment of... nothing! Free things are always the best things in life

Sounds pretty good doesn't it? Even better news is that the app is free.

You can pick up Virgin Trains (snicker) here in the Windows Phone Marketplace (Great Britain only). Thanks, Stu M., for the heads up

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3 years ago

Queries for 'Lumia' outpace 'Windows Phone' showing strong brand awareness for Nokia

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The Nokia Lumia 800: Trend setter

We’ve had discussions before, sometimes heated, about what should be the proper name for Windows Phone and whether it’s catchy, unique enough or even hampered by the “Windows” name. But one thing is for sure, Nokia seems to have a hit with the 'Lumia' brand.

Using Google’s Trends function to compare searches for 'Windows Phones' against 'Lumia' you get an interesting result. Since about November 2011, 'Lumia' has been searched for much more often than 'Windows Phone' which is curious only because Nokia’s handsets are a subset of Windows Phone, yet they’re clearly leading in terms of brand awareness and consumer curiosity.

Last 12 months of Google searches for 'Lumia' vs 'Windows Phone' vs 'Windows Mobile'

Going further, looking at “news reference volume” which details how often Lumia is cited in the media, we can see that although it trails Windows Phone, it often follows the same pattern of interest and is near the same level.

Perhaps just as interesting is if you compare ‘Windows Mobile’ versus ‘Windows Phone’ you can see a slow downward trend for the former but it still trends quite high. That reinforces the belief that many are still confusing the two brands and Microsoft still has a naming problem, which is slowly being overcome. 

There should be little doubt that Nokia with their branding and ability to make headlines has raised awareness a lot for Microsoft’s mobile OS, so much so that they’re in fact leading the interest, often getting ahead of “Windows Phone” itself. That’s impressive work and is a good sign that Nokia is resonating with users out there and backs up what many of us have been saying, which is Nokia is the key to Windows Phone success now and in the future.

Source: Google Trends; via TNW; Thanks, piaqt, for the heads up

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3 years ago

An HTC Titan gets white-washed, looks good

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Nights in white Titan

If there was one really cool thing about the HTC Titan (review), it was the combo back cover-case for the device which wrapped around to the front. (We’ve always thought it to be like Darth Vader’s helmet).

But if there was a bad thing about the HTC Titan (and its sequel, the Titan II) it was the fact it was a bit bland looking. Specifically that whole gun-metal grey color scheme is very 2009 which is why you’re seeing such a push for white phones these days.

What you see above and below is a Titan whose back cover has presumably been spray painted white (we're not sure on the exact process). The photos come via some of the members from Winphoneviet.com and we have to say, it looks pretty good.

Of course looking good in photos and not feeling like a garage-lab project is another, so we’re not too sure if we’d recommend doing this. Then again, we’re positive some of you must have some good shop skills for this kind of thing, so consider this inspiration.

And HTC, can we try some different colors next time? 

Source: Winphoneviet; Thanks, Tung, for the pics

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3 years ago

EU residents can now know Your Rights as a passenger with Windows Phone

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Rage against the train

The European Union has launched its own app for air and rail passengers stranded in the EU due to cancelations or delays to check their legal rights about refunds and rebates.

The app, simply titled Your Rights, is nothing extraordinary but what is neat is just how wide its coverage reaches. The app’s contents is available in 22 languages, uses local storage for data so no internet is needed and it’s available on Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Blackberry. It’s one of the first times we’ve seen such a massive simultaneous release and it’s nice to see Windows Phone right up there.

From the app description:

“The Your Passenger Rights application provides users with clear and concise information on their travel rights within the European Union. Presented in a question/answer format, it allows users to easily identify the problem which they are experiencing and be provided with a clear explanation of their rights and the options available to them.”

Currently, the app only covers air and rail but it will extend to bus/coach and marine travel in 2013.

Sure, the EU as a concept and execution catches a lot of flak at times but it’s actually nice to see some pro-consumer legislation turn to technology for everyday use.

Pick up Your Rights here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Via: Phys.org

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3 years ago

Cyan Lumia 900 now available on Rogers in Canada

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Good news for folks up in Canada who’ve been pining for that Cyan Lumia 900. Evidently Rogers didn’t have the Cyan version, for whatever reason, and that has now been rectified. We’re not sure why Cyan took so long to get up there; our bet is the blame lies with Rogers just not requesting it.

Well you can now grab the famous blue colored one for $29.99 on a 3-year contract or $524.99 off. We’re not here to tell you how to spend your money, but committing to a 3-year contract just seems crazy to us, especially with the non-update situation. But hey, for a loved one, this could be a great gift.

Source: Rogers; via Mobile Syrup; Thanks, Evan K., for the heads up

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3 years ago

Emotional platformer Mush now available for Xbox Live on Windows Phone

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Care for a fine Windows Phone-exclusive Xbox Live release this week? You’re in luck then, because Mush from indie British developer Angry Mango is finally available after a whopping two years of development.

Mush is a bright and original platformer that plays a bit differently from the norm. The titular character Mush gains unique abilities based on his emotions. Draw a smile and becomes so elated that he floats; make him frown and he sinks way down low. Using 12 different emotions, you’ll help Mush solve puzzles and rescue his friends who’ve been trapped inside of Matroska dolls. Besides the creative emotion mechanic, Mush also boasts a beautiful and appealing art style. You can see it in action in our E3 hands-on video.

Mush costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Don’t get too mushy on us; just get it here from the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Final Fantasy: Xbox Windows Phone Review

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For more than a year, the Xbox Live lineup on Windows Phone languished without the presence of a single traditional RPG. Thankfully Japanese publishing giant Square Enix has finally tossed their hat into the Windows Phone arena with Final Fantasy, a remake of the original NES classic that vaulted their company to stardom. The first Final Fantasy may not have some of the finer trappings of its sequels, but it remains a vast and remarkable adventure that mobile gamers shouldn’t miss.

Head past the break for our extremely detailed review!

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3 years ago

Patents show Microsoft planned to enable users to plug Zune into headphones

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The human race enjoys shoving plastic and metal into (or around) the ear, but a new patent shows just what Microsoft had in mind to make this more enjoyable for those who listen to music while on the go. Think headphones, think Zune, now think of both of those connected as one, slapped on top of your skull.

As one can see in the above image, the headphones enable the user to connect a Zune music player to the side, while the opposite connector is free for rechargeable battery packs, storage extensions, WiFi adapters, and more. The Zune device looks to be a fairly minute music player, presumably along the dimensions of the Apple iPod Nano.

According to the documentation, the headphones could also house controls to operate peripherals, not to mention an optional microphone and even USB ports. It's an interesting concept that allows the consumer to personalise the headphones to suit the individual needs.

The only downside is this patent was filled back in 2008 and we know that Zune hardware is no longer with us. Who knows, perhaps Microsoft also planned to include voice control - "Beam me up Ballmer!"

Source: Engadget, via: Being Manan

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3 years ago

The Dark Knight Rises Nokia Windows Phones heading to India?

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According to a press release sent out by Nokia for a press event in New Delhi on July 6th, we could well be seeing the Dark Knight Windows Phones heading to India. BGR India reports that multiple sources have confirmed Nokia could be looking to launch the Lumia 900 in the country, which could sport a Dark Knight version if the above invite is anything to go by. 

BGR also reports that Nokia could also be releasing the Lumia 610, the low-end Windows Phone "Tango" smartphone. As well as new hardware, the manufacturer is expected to be unveiling the Nokia Music Store in India for Lumia Windows Phones, including the already available Lumia 710 and 800. To finish off, speculation also suggest a Mix Radio app could well be on the way.

Source: BGR, via: WMPU

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