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3 years ago

Sainsbury's Windows Phone app available on the Marketplace

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Should you be an avid Sainsbury's supermarket shopper and love earning the ol' Nectar points, you'll want to check out the Sainsbury's app for Windows Phone. The app, which is available for free, is a portal of information accompanied by quick access to the mobile version of the online store.

Unfortunately you'll not be able to do the weekly shop through the app, but Nectar details, special (and some exclusive) offers and a store locator is included. While more functionality would complete the experience, it's good to have such an app available on the platform.

Should you wish to order groceries online, you'll be taken to the mobile version of the supermarket's website in Internet Explorer, which will require a separate store login.

You can download the Sainsbury's app from the Marketplace for free. Thanks, Dan J., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia releases official Six Flags app exclusively for Lumia Windows Phones [Video]

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Today, Nokia has released their official Six Flags app exclusively for Lumia Windows Phones. The app was announced back at the beginning of May and it is now available. Six Flags is one of the largest US operators of amusement parks and is the go-to place for riding roller coasters, rides and general entertainment. The timing is perfect too as the July 4th week/weekend is the busiest time for such parks and Nokia has nailed it with this app.

The app features an interactive map of your local Six Flags, where you can tap on an icon to grab more info. What’s more, you can use the augmented-reality feature to find specific rides, bathrooms, restaurants, events or just shopping. The map has layers where you can filter specific rides (mild, moderate or maximum) etc. so you only see what you want. In addition, you have a satellite view and a general augmented-reality view to as well,

Park shows and their schedules are also listed including a calendar of events, which makes planning a snap and videos of various rides gives you a sneak peek of what to expect. Finally, you have Foursquare and Twitter feeds built in so you can checkin and or follow any local trends going on with the Six Flags hash-tag.

The app is fast, fluid and very well designed. We don’t go to Six Flags very often but if we had a season pass or we were heading to one, grabbing our Lumia Windows Phone would be a must.

Besides Nokia making a Six Flags app, the park is supposed to reciprocate by heavily advertising and promoting the AT&T Lumia 900 throughout their various locations, creating a nice synergy between the two companies.

Pick up the Six Flags app for your Lumia Windows Phone here in the Nokia Collection.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Apps Magazine #3 readily available

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The Windows Phone UK team have released two editions of the Apps Magazine so far that is focused on helping new adopters get started with their new Windows Phones. Edition #3 is readily available should you find yourself in the dark and haven't quite yet got round to checking it out for the rich content available.

The edition follows #2, which was released back in November. As well as running through a number of apps (160 to be exact) available on the Marketplace, the magazine does feature highlights of Windows Phone itself, from Live Tiles to Bing and local services. Whether you're an experienced fan or have just jumped from a competitor platform, it's well worth a read.

Be sure to check out the Windows Phone Apps Magazine on Facebook.

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3 years ago

Fixing problems with Background Tasks in Windows Phone

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Recently here at Windows Phone Central we've received a few help requests through our app from users whose live tiles all appear to have stopped updating, including our own. Previously there have been bugs in our app that would cause its tile to fail, but when all live tiles on a device that rely on Background tasks get stuck, there's a bigger problem.

Up until this point I have been unable to reproduce the issue myself so I've been struggling to assist those of you asking us for a solution. In a stroke of luck though my Lumia 800's tiles recently stopped updating at all (excluding those updated through push notifications), and after a simple restart of the phone didn't help I have a solution to share with you all.

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3 years ago

Will Windows Phone 7.8 feature more than a new Start screen? Maybe.

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With the announcement of Windows Phone 7.8 and the parallel announcement that current devices won’t get Windows Phone 8 Apollo, many have wondered if the new Start screen with customizable Live Tiles is all it will contain.

In essence, there are two camps on the matter—those who say Microsoft have only promised the new Start screen and those who pin their hopes on the “all we’ve announced so far...” line often touted by Microsoft when asked about the update.

Microsoft recently and directly told a few of us who cover tech media that Windows Phone 7.8 will only be the new Start screen with nothing else hinted at or mentioned. This is why we find many of the big players who cover Microsoft news taking this more conservative position because they are reporting, correctly, what they have been told.

But it is also true that Microsoft constantly uses the “all we have announced” line to cover themselves when certain plans are not solidified yet. And here at Windows Phone Central this is the position we’re taking. Yes, Windows Phone 7.8 is only the new Start screen but there could be more. When you add in the fact that Windows Phone 7.8 won’t come till after Windows Phone 8, you realize that Microsoft has a bit of wiggle room to change how Windows Phone 7.8 will be defined.

That doesn’t mean they can or will add more features but we think clearly Microsoft is leaving themselves the ability to be flexible.

This is backed up a bit further by Senior Product Manager and Windows Phone team member Larry Lieberman who recently gave a talk at TechEd 2012 on Windows Phone App and Game development. The presentation, available on Channel 9, is mostly a rehash of current trends in WP programming but at the end Lieberman takes some questions from the audience and one of them deals with 7.8. He responds to an audience question thusly:

“Will Windows Phone 7.8 get new features as well that you can access as a developer? Maybe. We haven't announced it yet.

All we've announced is the new Start screen at this point. Sorry, nothing new to announce. You're asking me stuff I can't answer."

Lieberman’s answer is interesting only because you can tell he is hedging. Hedging an answer is certainly different then taking a firm position on the matter and we believe this is for a reason. If Microsoft is only planning a new Start screen for 7.8 then they could easily come out and just say so putting an end to the speculation.  That’s not what Microsoft is doing though and we don’t think they’re being coy—we honestly believe that some of these decisions are still being made, hence the grey area on these answers.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: this stuff is complicated. You can’t simply copy and paste a new Windows Phone 8 (NT) app or function into Windows Phone 7 (CE), instead you have to rewrite and re-code that function. It’s work, it’s money, it’s time and it requires appropriate management to make sure what is committed to is what is matched in the final product.

So in the end, we still believe Microsoft has more to show on 7.8 or rather, nothing is final just yet. That doesn’t mean you should assume that more than a new Start screen will come late in 2012 but we have a feeling that Redmond is looking to do what they can, when they can.

In other words, maybe. 

Thanks, Tasos, for the link

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Developer Interview: Fisayo Adeleke of Markets & Me

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This week we've had the pleasure of being joined by Fisayo Adeleke from Exnesys. He's the brains behind Markets & Me, a financial Windows Phone app for those who enjoy keeping up with stock levels and reports for personal interest. 

We think highly of Adeleke's app, which follows Metro to the letter. Be sure to check out what he has to say about Windows Phone as a platform, as well as the development process. Head on past the break for the full interview.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Photo Timeline

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3 years ago

Windows Phone UK Dare to Live challenge tackles Brighton

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We've been following the Windows Phone UK Dare to Live tour, which is challenging the public in a number of major city across the UK. Previously, we looked at how the campaign was progressing with the win / loss ratio, and it was revealed that Windows Phone certainly was the leading platform with a considerable lead.

Now the Dare to Live challenge has made its way to Brighton in the south of England. Should you find yourself in and around the area this week, be sure to pop down and check out the event. If you're reading this and use a competitor smartphone, why not try your luck and potentially pocket £20 by beating Windows Phone? Should you lose, well, you know what happens by now.

Thanks, Neil, for the tip and photo!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 610 now available on Vodafone in New Zealand

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In a somewhat surprising move, Nokia and Vodafone New Zealand have released the Lumia 610 for $449 (off-contract) and it is now available on that carrier for purchase.

The somewhat low-cost Lumia 610 features a 3.7” non-ClearBlack LCD display, 256MB of RAM and a 800Mhz CPU with 8GB of storage. While not the most exciting device in terms of specs, the build quality is quite high—at least higher than anything LG has put out recently (Quantum being the exception).

We say "somewhat low-cost" only because while the Lumia 610 is affordable (we bought ours unlocked for less than $300 US), some would argue that it’s still not cheap enough when up against some Android devices or even up against the superior Lumia 710.

But at least according to Nokia ANZ's sales director, Steve Lewis, the company was seeing "real momentum" with their Lumia phones. Of course Steve may be a little biased here and it’s certainly not enough to boost Nokia’s stock but hey, we kind of like the 610 and what Nokia is doing, so let’s hope it sells in New Zealand.

Head to Vodafone's page to grab it for $449 off-contract or free with a SmartData $90 plan.

Source: PCWorld; via Stuff; Thanks, CE7, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Finger Hell

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3 years ago

JDB Pocketware's $.99 "Like" sale, entire app catalog on sale

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JDB Pocketware has a nice selection of Windows Phone apps over at the Marketplace including Handyscan, SkyManager and 7Dialer. To celebrate reaching 1,000 likes over on Facebook, the Windows Phone developer has decided to share the joy by offering all their titles for just $.99 this weekend.

Just head on over to JDB Pocketware's Facebook page and "like" them. You'll then be sent to a page that has the link to JDB Pocketware's software sales page where you can send the app links to your Windows Phone.  The sale covers JDB Pocketware's entire app catalog including the latest title Fat You (a photo morphing app) and their financial app, MoBudget.

For many of the Windows Phone apps, this is a $2.00 savings. So if you were thinking about moving from Handyscan Free to the paid version, now's your chance to save a few bucks.

Update: If you don't have a Facebook account, you can still take advantage of the sale prices.  Just go to the Marketplace and search for JDB Pocketware (or the software title itself).  The listings should reflect the sales prices.  Just remember the sale ends on July 2nd.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Samsung semi-launches Omnia M Windows Phone in China

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While Samsung has not exactly wowed many with the Omnia M announcement a few weeks ago, the low-end Tango phone is important for the company and the platform as it allows them to compete with Android. Such is the reason why their launching of the device China Mobile and China Unicom is quite inspiring (China Telecom is supposed to get one too, but it was not yet announced).

The phones are slightly different due to the radio difference and they also vary on memory, with the Unicom version have 8GB of storage while Mobile gets 4GB. Other than that we're talking about 1GHz CPUs, 4" 800x480, 5MP rear and 0.3MP front facing cameras and everything else we expect from a Windows Phone these days. Interestingly, these are not technically Tango phones as they have 384MB of available RAM though they will run the Tango OS.

No pricing or release dates were revealed by either carrier, which is unfortunate. It should be interesting to see how Samsung prices their device against the even more low-end Nokia Lumia 610.

Source: MyDrivers; via Unwired View

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3 years ago

RIM said thanks, but no thanks, to Windows Phone

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Reuters reports what we kind of knew back in December, that Microsoft boss, Steve Ballmer approached RIM about making a Nokia-style deal to scrap its own operating system in favor of adopting Windows Phone. Unlike Nokia, however, RIM decided it would sink or swim on its own, declining an infusion of cash from Microsoft, in exchange for a stake in the company. During a conference call yesterday, RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, shot down the idea of moving to another company's OS, be it Android or Windows Phone:

“We came to the decision that joining the family of the Android players, for example, would not fit RIM’s strategy and its customers,” he said. “We are not trying to be one of many. We’re trying to be different. We’re trying to be the best solution for our customers that buy a BlackBerry, know why they want a BlackBerry. And we’re aiming for nothing less than being a viable, successful, mobile computing platform of the future. This is what we’re aiming at. And I think that’s the difference. If you compare us with others, did we take the hard road? Absolutely. Absolutely. But having done this and building and completing this new mobile computing platform that then expresses itself as a smartphone or as a tablet or as a vertical application or embedded in cars, whatever you want to do, that is where we will take BlackBerry. And this is – that’s why it was absolutely required and necessary to build its own platform. I would argue the other way around. If I continue to rely on somebody else’s OS and somebody else’s platform, would that allow me in the long run to really differentiate towards my customers and provide them the services and the environment that they request from me and that they would like to have? I have a big question mark around this. So I think going this way and building the platform we are building has the absolute intent to serve our customers and our markets better than on a standard-based OS and platform.”

Cheers to RIM for standing their ground. Sadly, integrity doesn't always translate into success. Yesterday saw them reporting a large loss for Q1. In addition, they announced that their latest operating system, BlackBerry 10, will not see the light of day until Q1 of 2013. Their struggles have also led to the decision to cut about 30% of their workforce, about 5000 jobs, in order to save money. Read more at Crackberry.com.

Source: ForbesReuters

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3 years ago

US Cellular throws its support behind Windows Phone 8

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US Cellular has informed PCMag that they are looking forward to Windows Phone 8, which will play a major part of the carrier's lineup. The carrier currently holds a single Windows Phone - the HTC 7 Pro. It's a positive sign to see the smaller US carriers positive announce their support for Microsoft's mobile platform.

"We believe in giving our customers the latest technology and device options and we are excited about the Windows 8 phone. It will be an important part of our device lineup going forward."

It's going to be exciting to see which Windows Phone 8 devices go where, and how the carriers play their part in the marketing and promotion of the platform. We're yet to hear anything from Sprint, which has the potential to disappoint loyal Sprint Windows Phone owners who are arguably amongst the most dedicated.

Source: PCMag, via: Engadget; thanks, Michael, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Central Ringtone Contest Winners! (Updated)

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While we had hoped to announce the winners of the Windows Phone Central Ringtone Contest yesterday, judging proved to be more difficult than expected. We had a lot of quality entries submitted over in our Forums Discussion.  Nonetheless, after listening to all the entries our Ringtone Contest Winners are:

All have won a Nokia Play 360! We are dispatching emails to get everyone's shipping information and will get the Nokia Play headed their way shortly.

We would also like to extend our congratulations to Elvis7 and Kyle H for being randomly selected for our weekly prizes, WPCentral Accessory Store gift card, during the contest period.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest and if you didn't win, don't give up hope. We've got a few more contests up our sleeves for next month.

Update: It has come to our attention that one of the entries selected as a winning entry may not be original content, which was a requirement.  That entry is under review and we will update the post shortly.

Update II: Okay... we've review things and the ringtone in question was not original content and disqualified.  We've looked over the entries that and have chosen our third winner.  Congrats to all.

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