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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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3 years ago

Ask Ziggy update now live on the Marketplace

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We recently covered a neat little Windows Phone app that rivals Apple's Siri. Ask Ziggy is a completely free (ad-free too) speech recognition app, which goes one step further than Windows Phone itself. Mathematical questions, commands (posting to Twitter, Facebook, calling a contact, etc.), general questions are just a few tasks that can be completed. While the app was already available (and has been since mid-December) a recent update has been pushed through that brings a few fixes an a UI refresh.

There are a number of features that the developer has planned for the future, including expanded speech grammar, multi-language support and language translations. Should you be continuously finding yourself having to watch a Siri demonstration, now you can fight back with this little beauty. You can download Ask Ziggy from the Marketplace for free. Be sure to keep an eye on the official website for more information.

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3 years ago

Farm Frenzy 2 update fixes Xbox Live Achievement, wisely chooses not to kill Wilbur

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A surprising number of late 2011 Xbox Live titles launched with broken Achievements: Battlewagon, Farm Frenzy 2, Fusion: Sentient, Hasta la Muerte, Let’s Golf 2, and MiniSquadron, to be precise. It’s a worrying trend, but at least several of those games’ developers have committed to fixing the problem unlockables. It’s like a race to kill the bugs!

The first developer on the list to get their Achievements in order? Alawar, the Russian makers of Farm Frenzy 2. Thanks to the game’s version 1.1 update, the broken Achievement ‘Moment of Truth’ can now be unlocked. In fact, players who completed the requirements (unlocking all other Achievements) before the patch will find it unlocks instantly after launching the updated game. How convenient!

Farm Frenzy 2 is an unusual strategy/time management game developed in far-off Russia. We’ll be reviewing it very soon. The game costs $2.99 and there is a free trial – get it here on the Marketplace.

As for the other glitched games – a little birdie tells me that Battlewagon’s update will roll out next. As always, WPCentral will keep you posted.

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3 years ago

AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 confirmed by NY Times?

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We've heard rumblings that Nokia's Lumia 900 will be landing at AT&T. The Lumia 900 (code named Ace) is rumored to have a 4.3" screen, 16GB of memory and a 1.4ghz processor. It is also expected to be 4G LTE.

The rumors have picked up a little speed from a very flattering article on Windows Phones that appeared on the New York Times website.  The Times reports that anonymous sources, that are in the know, are confirming that the Lumia 900 will be sold by AT&T. The "official" announcement is expected to be made Monday at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.

The good thing about this rumor is a) Monday is just right around the corner so we'll know one way or the other soon and b) we'll be at the Nokia press event on Monday and get all the news first hand. Our own Dan Rubino will be covering the event (as well as the rest of the CES show) and get hands-on coverage of the new Nokia Windows Phone up on the site as soon as possible.

Source: nytimes.com

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3 years ago

Birdsong to receive further development and updates

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Good news to anyone who loves the Birdsong Twitter client for Windows Phone as much as the next person, as Red Badger announced last month the arrival of an intern at the company. Joe Stanton, a student at King’s College London (studying Computer Science), will be heading up further development on the app, which has received little attention since the Mango update hit handsets.

So what should we look forward to see in the (hopefully) near future? Trending Topics (both local and global), ReadItLater/Instapaper support for tweeted links, as well as large-scale improvements to the push service. Sounds like a solid plan. On a slight funny note, it'll be interesting to see what an apparent iPhone user (according to the above photo) can bring to the app.

You can download Birdsong from the Marketplace for $0.99 (79p).

Source: Red Badger

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Crazy Survival

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3 years ago

Microsoft altering the update communication

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Microsoft has come under fire more than once for the lack of communication between the team and consumers when it comes to updates rolling out for Windows Phone. Today Eric Hautala, General Manager Customer Experience Engineering, published an article on the Windows Phone team blog detailing changes that are in the pipeline that will change how we are kept up to speed on Windows Phone updates.

The Windows Phone website already details what updates are rolling out for each supported carrier (and country), but individual releases are also covered on the official blog and the "Where's my update?" page. In the coming months, Windows Phone users can keep up to date by checking the Windows Phone Update Central site for update information. Hautala explains, 

"There are also a few changes on the way for the blog and website. As we continue our growth, we won’t be individually detailing country, model, and carrier details on the Where’s My Phone Update? site any longer. And instead of my weekly blog posts, the official Windows Phone website will be the primary place for news and information about our updates, just as Microsoft Answers is there for your support questions."

Hopefully this move won't stimey the flow of information on our Windows Phone updates.

As well as the above alterations, Hautala took a moment to thank all Windows Phone owners for the feedback the team has received surrounding the update process, which has helped them perform tweaks and enhancements. He encourages everyone to keep the cards and letters coming via the WindowsPhoneTeamSite, Twitter and Facebook.

The future is set to be fairly bright. Roll on CES 2012.

Update: The direct link is dead for some reason, but the article is still up on the main site.

Update 2: Link fixed

Source: Windows Phone Team Blogthanks, ousooner314, for the tip!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710: First Impressions

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The Nokia Lumia 710 is expected to hit T-Mobile's shelve on January 11, 2012 and will run just under $50 after contractual discounts . It will be the first Nokia Windows Phone for the U.S. Market and we've gotten our hands on one.

First impressions? The 710 is a very nice, compact Windows Phone. Feels solid in the hand and the screen looks great.

The Lumia 710 is slightly smaller than T-Mobile's other Windows Phone, the HTC Radar, separated by only tenths of an inch. The Lumia 710 has a 3.7" screen while the Radar sports a 3.8" screen.  The Lumia 710 is also very similar in size to the AT&T Samsung Focus Flash with the Flash being slightly smaller and lighter in size.

 

  Nokia Lumia 710 HTC Radar Samsung Focus Flash Size 4.69 x 2.46 x .49 4.7 x 2.4 x .43 4.57 x 2.31 x .27 Weight 4.4 ounces 4.83 ounces 4.1 ounces

The Lumia 710 is fitted with 512mb RAM, 8GB of storage, a 5mp camera, and 1300mah battery.  As with other second generation Windows Phones, the Lumia 710 comes across as a well built, solid phone but due to smaller storage space, the lack of a front facing camera and other specs it may not appeal to everyone.

We'll take the Lumia 710 out for a test drive over the next few days and get a full review up on the site shortly thereafter. If there's anything in particular you'd like us to look at, speak up in the comments.

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3 years ago

WPCentral sneak peek: SuperTube gets a major facelift [Video]

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With the rise and fast fall of MetroTube in the Marketplace, SuperTube for many was and still is the best alternative. For those of you set on MetroTube though, you'll want to take a gander at the new overhauled SuperTube app called YouTube Pro, which is currently in beta. We'll be curious if that app name sticks but regardless, we're more interested in the way it looks and performs.

We've been using Beta 2 for a few days now and are quite pleased. Live Tiles for your subscriptions, push notifications, background downloading, video uploading, low quality (LQ)/high quality (HQ) and high definition (HD) playback--this app has it all.

No word on release or pricing but we don't think it'll be too much longer. So fret not, YouTube lovers, you have another alternative.

For now, you can try the current version of SuperTube which will run you a cool $1.29 in the Marketplace, or you can get the free ad-supported version here

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3 years ago

WPCentral coverage of CES 2012 goes live in Las Vegas all next week!

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It's that time of the year folks! Think of it as a late Christmas. The giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is going all next week in Las Vegas and we're expecting a few huge announcements. We'll be there front and center for it all, bringing you live coverage of announcements, hands on videos, photos and even a few podcasts.

The biggest news we're expecting starts Monday at 3PM PDT (6PM EST) from Nokia. They're expected to reveal the Nokia 900 "Ace" for AT&T, rumored to be sporting a 4.3" screen, 16GB of storage and a 1.4GHz CPU. Oh and 4G LTE. Who knows, Nokia may also have a few other tricks up its sleeve, so tune in for the 45 minute press event right here as we have the best seats in the house.  We'll of course get our hands on any new Nokia hardware ASAP with some HD video and expect a live-podcast sometime after the event to recap.

The rest of the week we're expecting some announcements from HTC, Samsung and LG with hopefully some new hardware. Oh and we have an interview set up with vice president and director of Windows Phone Program Management, Joe Belfiore and Kevin Shields, Nokia’s SVP Windows Phone program management, so make sure to catch that too.

You can follow all the action via wpcentral.com/tags/ces2012

Of course it won't be just us at CES, but our whole Mobile Nations team: WPCentral we be represented by my self, Daniel Rubino (@malatesta77) We’ll also have the full Mobile Nations crew with us, including iMore will be represented by Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) and his team, Phil Nickinson (@philnickinson) and the Android Central army, Kevin Michaluk (@crackberrykevin) and the CrackBerry.com crew, Derek Kessler (@dkdsgn) and webOS Nation as well as cross-site collaborator jared DiPane (@jdipane) and our brand new editor-at-very-large, Simon Sage (@simonsage).

So make sure you tune in as we expect a full and exciting week!

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