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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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3 years ago

Match gems for less with Bejeweled Live, the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

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Yes, our DOTW images are getting more and more obscure.

Last week Gerbil Physics - a game that had never been on sale before - became the Xbox Live Deal of the Week. That must’ve been an aberration, as this week we get another repeat deal. Bejeweled Live is on sale again for $2.99, down from $4.99.

Bejeweled is the classic match-3 puzzle game that has enchanted casual gamers across a variety of platforms. If you’re hungry for a simple puzzle game to play whenever a spare moment pops up, Bejeweled is a good place to look. As our review indicates, the Windows Phone version has three ways to play: Classic, Race the Clock, and Endless. It’s also got some tough and grindy Achievements despite being a casual title, but that’s PopCap games for you.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready for either the enhanced iOS version of Bejeweled (based on Bejeweled 3) or Zuma’s Revenge to come to Windows Phone. In the meantime, Bejeweled Live could use a permanent price drop, and it wouldn’t hurt to put Plants vs. Zombies on sale at last. Come on PopCap, make our dreams come true!

Bejeweled Live is on sale for $2.99 for one week only. Grab it here  on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Chrync, syncing Chrome bookmarks to your Windows Phone

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3 years ago

Mozilla enters the smartphone wars with Firefox OS, takes on Windows Phone and Android

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For the last few years, Mozilla, makers of the king of indie browsers Firefox, have been working on a new mobile OS called Boot2Gekko. The OS was built around HTML5 and CSS coding tools and it tended to look very much like Android and iOS—that is it was a collection of icons laid out in a grid with some notifications.

Today, in a somewhat surprising move they announced the re-naming of the OS to Firefox OS and they intend to put it on phones next year. In a press release, the company noted that it had deals with TCL Communication Technology (Alcatel) and ZTE to make the hardware for new devices with carrier partners Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor are all backing the initiative.

What caught our eye though was Sprint. The company who has the HTC Arrive, who claimed sales are miserable and were “thinking about” Windows Phone 8 but who were the only major US carrier to not publicly endorse it after the recent Summit.  This is the same company now throwing their hat in with Firefox OS which no one has even seen yet let alone knows what’s unique about it. Yet they can’t sign on with Microsoft and their one-two punch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? Yeesh

In fairness, Firefox OS looks to be aiming for low cost handsets, the same market that Windows Phone Tango wants to grab but can't. Even Android evidently can't go as low as Firefox OS though OEMs are certainly trying (don't forget, Android licensees have to pay Microsoft to use Android). Both Google and Microsoft have publicly commented about the "$99" smartphone--referring to the cost to manufacture, not sell. Just today Microsoft reiterated the flexibility of WP8 and its ability scale up as well as down for low-cost hardware.

Early screenshots of Firefox OS

Although we have a soft-spot for the Mozilla Foundation and we think they have made the internet world a better place, we can’t help but wonder if this will go anywhere. Microsoft, with all of their money, large ecosystem, media tie-ins and strong partnership with Nokia are barely making waves. Most people have already written off RIM with Blackberry 10 and that’s a company with an established track record and valuable IP—what chance does Mozilla have with Firefox OS?

So 2013 will be an interesting year of the giants, Android and iOS with the juggernaut-in-waiting Microsoft dominating the smartphone market, while Blackberry 10, Firefox OS and Bada all fight for fourth place.

We’ll let the free market decide this one but we know where to place our bets. As for Sprint, if they don’t say something soon about Windows Phone 8 or we don’t start to hear rumblings of new WP8 devices, we seriously suggest you ditch them and look at T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T or US Cellular for your next-gen handset.

Does Mozilla have a chance for the prepaid/pay-as-you-go market or will Android and Windows Phone get there first? Should Microsoft be worried? Let us know in comments.

Source: Mozilla

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3 years ago

Microsoft wins "Xbox 8" domain names in dispute

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Microsoft has obtained a handful of Xbox-related domain names after filing two disputes with the National Arbitration Forum. The domains were originally held by a Chinese resident by the name of Cheng Juan and included XboxPhone.com, XboxTablet.com, XboxLiveTV.com, XboxCompanion.com, Xbox8.us and Xbox8.org.

What's most notable here is are the two "Xbox 8" domain names. It's been known (speculated) for some time that the newest iteration of Xbox would be called Xbox 720. This was confirmed in a recently-leaked roadmap. However, that roadmap was 2 years old. Despite the fact that the latest Xbox will not be the eighth version Microsoft has put out, it's completely plausible that Microsoft would re-brand the new gaming console to fall in step with its Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems, with whom it shares the same basic kernel. Keep in mind that the name "Xbox 720" really doesn't hold much significance either, nor does it have a nice ring to it.

Microsoft issued a statement to Kotaku addressing (to use the word loosely) the recent domain name acquisitions:

"Microsoft often acquires various domain names as part of its ongoing business strategy, but beyond that we have no comment."

Other similar complaints have been filed with the National Arbitration Forum for Xboxliverewards.com, Xboxsports.com, Xboxsmartglass.com, and Xboxmusic.com.

Source: National Arbitration Forum, Via: ShackNews, Fusible, Kotaku

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3 years ago

Audible for Windows Phone gets second update but remains a mystery

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What's in version 1.2? Only the Shadow knows...

Although it has taken a very long time to get Audible on Windows Phone, the app has received two updates since its initial release just a few weeks ago. That’s some fast response time to what are presumably bug fixes and optimizations.

Version 1.2 just hit the Marketplace for Windows Phone with v1.1 happening sometime last week when it also popped up in the UK.

Unfortunately, the Audible folks don’t seem too keen on sharing release notes, so we’ll have to wing this one and just say “it got better, somehow”. We don’t use the app enough to figure out ourselves (we fall asleep to story narrations, we blame it on childhood) so we’ll rely on you to point out any new features or bug fixes.

Grab the free official Audible app for Windows Phone, now on mysterious version 1.2, here in the Marketplace. Thanks,  James M., for the heads up

Update: Reader Jack let us know that the app was also made available in Germany last week and this latest update fixes some translations issues for their language.

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3 years ago

LockWidgets 2 released by Windows Phone Hacker [Homebrew]

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We've previously looked at the Locked Screen Widgets concept over at Windows Phone Hacker throughout it's development. We're now excited to report that LockWidgets 2 has been released and is now available to all (should you own an eligible Windows Phone of course).

What's all the fuss about? LockWidgets 2 is a complete rewrite of the original LockWidgets app, which enabled users to add widgets to their lock screen. The successor adds more functionality to the list with more opportunities present in the framework. Some highlighted features:

  • SMS widget
  • Weather widget
  • Battery widget
  • Runs in the background
  • Should run side-by-side with other homebrew apps, such as Folders, Battery Status, etc.

Features that are still in development, but are well on their way include an RSS widget, improved forecast info, more notification data, and a RAM widget. Check out the following video for more information and a quick run through.

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3 years ago

Microsoft exec says budget Windows Phone 8 devices a possibility

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Senior product manager for Windows Phone, Greg Sullivan

Since the announcement of Windows Phone 8 and some its new functionality, it's been unclear whether or not we would see some budget devices (256MB of RAM) sporting the new OS, or if the 7.8 update would be the only option (currently, Microsoft's answer to this problem are Tango phones like the Lumia 610). The question was posed by KnowYourMobile to senior product manager for Windows Phone, Greg Sullivan, who hinted that economical Apollo devices are a distinct possibility:

"I would argue those are not mutually exclusive strategies and that is in fact is our approach. We will continue to support the current platform with the 256MB footprint in devices like the Lumia 610. And one of the points about the new architecture is that it will scale both up and down," and then added, 'In fact, having support for removable SD storage will enable OEMs to build devices with less storage initially that is user expandable, so the bill of materials is potentially even lower for the handsets."

Sullivan also went on to explain Microsoft's reasoning on limiting earlier Windows Phone devices to the 7.8 update, despite major disappointment amongst consumers.

"We’ve really tried to do the right thing for all audiences and that means making Windows Phone 8 the best possible release we can. Therefore we targeted the latest generation of hardware by building what are effectively primarily hardware-dependent capabilities that we achieve with this new [shared] core. 'It made more sense to focus on making Windows Phone 8 as good as we possibly could, fully exploiting this new generation of hardware."

Sure, nobody wants Apollo to be limited because of outdated hardware standards, but with Microsoft knowing ahead of time that Windows Phone 7 was going to be superceded before its release, they have a bit of a public relations fight on their hands. But that's technology for you. As you as you have the latest and greatest, it's already being replaced. Hopefully, we will see some wallet-friendly Windows Phone 8 handsets so even the most price-conscious techies can keep up with the times.

Source: KnowYourMobile; Image credit: Mashables

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 & 900 capture Gold IDEA Awards for Design

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The Lumia 900 - Winner of the 2012 IDEA Award for Design

At this point, it’s little surprise to see Nokia continuing to win awards for its Lumia line of smartphones, specifically the Lumia 800 and its offshoot the 900. Earlier this year it won 4 awards at CES 2012.  But it’s still nice to see them getting the recognition and let’s face it they’re the only Windows Phone OEM in town winning design awards. Heck, they’re pretty much the only smartphone maker to win design awards, regardless of platform.

This year they won gold at the International Design Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Henry Ford Museum, official home of American ideas and innovation. The jury had some fairly nice words for Nokia:

“In a market in which it is difficult to stand out, the Nokia Lumia brings a fresh perspective. The iconic form is personal and inviting without sacrificing precision, and the construction is modern, efficient and well-crafted down to the smallest details. It’s a bold, gold-worthy effort, and I’m glad to see Nokia reclaim its design swagger.” Jonah Becker, Principal and Creative Director, One & Co.

From the Lumia 900 page:

"The Lumia 900 was designed to feel human and to fit beautifully in the hand. At first glance, it looks advanced and feels progressive. The sleek form of the polycarbonate unibody flows seamlessly into the curved Gorilla glass display. This blurs the boundary between physical and digital, and accentuates the tactile experience of the swiping gesture that is core to the user interface. Laminating the display module directly to the 3D glass gives the appearance that the content is swimming on the surface. It brings simplicity and a quiet intrigue that is beautiful to the eye, but complex to achieve."

Indeed, the Lumia 900 and especially the Lumia 800 really are stand out products. We would actually say the 800 feels the best due to its more rounded screen and smaller size, but clearly the 900 is no rehash of current design trends either.

As Windows Phone enthusiasts, it’s great to see Nokia taking these top prizes for design and we can only imagine what they have in store for us later this year with Windows Phone 8.

Interestingly, in 2011, the Windows Phone OS won the People's Choice award at the same show.

Source: IDSA (main), Lumia 800, Lumia 900; via Nokia Conversations

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