It's February and you know what that means? Mobile Nations Fitness Month! That's when we all get together to get in shape, share tips and tricks and recipes for success, review amazing apps and accessories, give away great prizes, and have a ton of fun! This year we're doing it a little differently, though. We're doing weekly themes, and that means every week you'll have new and exciting challenges, and new chances to win!
Week 1: Exercise!
We want to get in shape and feel great! Exercise helps us in so many ways. It helps us lose weight, reduce stress, feel energized, and improve our self-image. Getting moving reduces the likelihood of diseases, and keeps us healthy and as we get older.
The Samsung flagship Windows Phone is now available in Germany. The ATIV S is a high-end solution for those who wish to be slightly unique and choose a smartphone that sports a number of features, as well as a huge 4.8" display. Such features include the SD support, that and the device also makes use of Samsung's SAMOLED screen technology.
The cyan and yellow Lumia 920 is now back in stock at both Amazon Wireless and AT&T. Cyan is exclusive to the US mobile operator and has proven to be limited in numbers, much like other versions of the Windows Phone, including yellow, which is always hard to find.
We've previously covered the black and cyan variants of the Lumia 920 being unavailable through AT&T, which is a familiar experience across the globe.
Data Sense is a much touted feature of Windows Phone 8, and a very nice one theoretically, which tracks every byte of data by every single app (including the phone OS itself) over both cellular and WiFi. But most Windows Phone 8 devices on the market these days do not have it on board yet. The reason of its absence, as we've heard, has something to do with lack of carrier support. AT&T is said to be adding Data Sense to its devices in the near future, but other Windows Phone carriers are more or less remaining quiet on the subject.
The UK has a fever, and the only prescription is more Windows Phone. UK mobile operator Vodafone has announced a number of Windows Phones that will launch on the network this month. The company will also be looking at rolling out LTE on its network this year, which will complement the line-up of Windows Phone 8 hardware that has been highlighted.
Mangatronic is a Windows Phone photography app that gives your pictures a comic styled effect, similar to what you would find in Japanese Manga drawings.
Mangatronic converts your photo into a sketch drawing and offers twenty-five effects to apply to the drawing. Mangatronic has potential but the interface needs to be a little more user friendly and more detail needs to be preserved in the final image. It's worth a try but also needs a little fine tuning.
Three UK has announced in a press release that its LTE upgrade, which is set to arrive later this year, will be added to existing and future plans with no upgrade fee. This means that consumers on supported plans will be able to take full advantage of improved network performance without forking out extra pennies (should you have a capable smartphone, of course).
Store Deals, the name almost sounds familiar, right? It should do as the app was previously branded as Marketplace Deals. The Windows Phone app offers consumers a convenient way to view all the latest offers on the store. Xbox Live games, new deals, top rated apps and other filters are available.
Store Deals has recently been bumped to a new version, but what's available to users in the latest release?
Way back in September, Microsoft in conjunction with Nokia showed off a new Lens app called ‘Blink’. The app, a summer project by Microsoft Research, is a rapid fire camera program that will take numerous photos and then let you select which is best.
The app is kind of ingenious though because it won’t flood your Camera Roll with 20 shots of the same kid running in the backyard. Instead, you save the shot (or shots) you want to your Camera Roll and then later, you can re-open that “project” in Blink to grab a different pic, if you so choose.
For those of you who like to keep tabs of what your phone is doing and what cellular networks it’s talking to, you may want to pick up Cellular Live Tile to keep him out of trouble.
The app is simple enough yet well laid out and takes advantage of the doublewide tile for Windows Phone 7.8 and 8 users out there. It simply displays your phone’s current status: Data, Roaming, Speed, Network Type and Operator on the Tile, which also flips with more info.
Intel has published a job opportunity on LinkedIn that points the finger out to Windows Phone engineers. Now, this could be nothing, so we'll not speculate on an x86 Windows Phone is definitely on the horizon, but there are straws to be clutched onto. Could we be seeing Intel looking at the mobile platform as a potential investment to tackle? Don't get your hopes up.
So what exactly is Intel looking for in applicants? The company is specifically requesting Windows Phone expertise.
Podcast Lounge, the name sounds familiar, right? It should as the app was previously branded BBC Podcast Lounge, which is highly rated in the Windows Phone Store. Due to some legal entanglements with the BBC, Igneous Software has tasked itself with rebranding its app, along with improving the catalogue of podcasts available and implementing new features.
We've been playing with the beta (now into revision 3) for little over a day and are impressed with what we've seen so far. So what can you expect to see in the upcoming version when it's released and available to download? We'll quickly run you through what's new and initial thoughts on improvements applied to the experience.
Listening to music on your Windows Phone and use a Last.fm account? You'll need this app installed. ScrobbleMe is a simple app by Arnold Vink, the creator of ZuseMe and ZenseMe, which offers "scrobbling" support for all music played on the Windows Phone ("scrobbling" is basically to feed Last.fm data on your music history). Really handy if you're one to enjoy keeping on top of play counts and show friends what you're listening to. And, it works pretty well.
We give some grief to Samsung around these parts often enough, even though we actually dig the ATIV S. The company seems very tepid in their treatment and that’s been felt by you, the audience. Case in point, when Nokia updates their apps, we get flooded with tips. When Samsung does the same (and one can argue it’s more significant due to its rarity), we get one tip. C’est la vie.
Still, that won’t hamper us from celebrating when they do choose to update some of their apps and they’ve done a few this week.
Check out our coverage and video tour of Samsung's apps for Windows Phone 8 after the break...