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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Next Browser

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If you're looking for an alternative to Internet Explorer you may want to take a look at Next Browser. It is a fast, feature rich alternative that makes a nice first impression. But does that first impression fade any?  For the most part, no.  But there is one thing that holds a very nice browser back.

Oh... if Next Browser is something that looks appealing, it's on sale through the end of the day for $.99 (regular price is two bucks). 

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3 years ago

WPCentral 141 - Stormtroopers and the Cloud

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WPCentral 141 - Stormtroopers and the Cloud


We're back again for another exciting podcast, this time with myself, Jay Bennett and Rafael Rivera. The big news this week is the Lumia 900, its purple problem, sales and Microsoft's new SkyDrive push.

Rafael also tells us a lot about Skype and why getting calls in the background can be difficult on Windows Phone. Plus we take your questions!

Show-notes and HD video after the break...

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3 years ago

Rumor: Samsung basing next Windows Phone 8 device off of Galaxy S3 design

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While Samsung is evidently taking the summer off from Windows Phone, seeing as that AT&T 4G LTE "Mendel" phone is MIA (we think it was canceled), it only makes sense to start speculating about what will come in the fall.

It's no surprise if you follow tech blogs that Sammy is about to release they're much hyped Galaxy S III  Android phone. Not much is known on the exact specs yet, but it's rumored to be 4.7" Super AMOLED HD (or whatever gimmicky name they have now) with a "micro arc oxidation" back. All you need to know is it will be crazy thin with a large screen and very fast CPUs on board.

Over at WP-Life, they claim to have a reliable source in South Korea noting that ol' Sammy will basically recycle the S III for a Windows Phone 8 device come this fall. While such a device won't be an exact clone, it will rely heavily on what ever is revealed in London on May 3rd.

In fact the working name is Samsung Focus S II. Basically the idea is because Windows Phone 8 steps up the specs so much, Samsung can easily port over WP8 to this almost existing, relatively cutting edge hardware. Here's what we supposedly can expect:

  • Faster dual/quad core processor (depending on region)
  • 4.7-inch HD display
  • 12-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • NFC capabilities
  • Dedicated camera button
  • Samsung Cloud Support
  • Improved Photo Studio
  • LTE support

Of all the rumors we get, this is certainly very realistic and if anything, a conservative one. After all, the AT&T Focus S is basically a recycled Galaxy S II phone,so having them make a Focus S II based on the S III is almost expected at this point.

How do we feel about this if true? On the one hand, the Galaxy series is a huge hit for Samsung and they have stepped up their game in terms of hardware. On the other, here they are again "recycling" for Windows Phone, not exactly differentiating themselves from the likes of Nokia.

On a related note, we just got word from our AT&T ninja that the Focus S has officially gone End of Life (EOL) on us, meaning we can start to expect stores to phase that phone out, especially with the Lumia 900 getting all the attention. That doesn't rule out future updates for the phone by the way, it simply means AT&T is no longer actively selling that device anymore.

How do you folks feel about a Windows Phone S III variant for Windows Phone 8? Sound off in comments. Read more about the Galaxy S3 at AndroidCentral.

Source: WP-LIfe

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3 years ago

Samsung leapfrogs Nokia to become world's #1 handset vendor

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A report by research firm Strategy Analytics shows that Samsung has surpassed Nokia to become the largest handset vendor in the world in terms of volume. In a quarter that saw a small three percent rise in mobile phone sales, Samsung captured 25 percent of the market. In the meantime, the struggling Finnish manufacturer Nokia's shipments decreased by 24 percent due to declining sales in emerging markets. Despite strong sales of their Lumia line of Windows Phone handsets, Nokia recorded a substantial Q1 loss of 3%, prompting Moody's to cut their debt rating to the lowest possible investment level.

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said, "Nokia's global handset shipments declined a huge 24 percent annually to 82.7 million units in Q1 2012. Volumes were squeezed at both ends, as low-end feature phone shipments in emerging markets stalled and high-end Microsoft Lumia smartphones were unable to offset the rapid decline of Nokia's legacy Symbian business. Nokia was the world's largest handset vendor between 1998 and 2011, for 14 years, before finally yielding top position to rival Samsung this quarter."

Fueled by strong sales in the United States and Japan, Apple nearly doubled its worldwide shipments from 18.6 million to 35.1 million. They are expected to grow even more in the second quarter, though the launch of Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S3 will likely slow Apple down a bit. Though things are currently rough for Nokia in the grand scheme, the Lumia 900 is selling like hotcakes.   With recent rumors of Verizon finally embracing Windows Phone, could we see a quick turnaround for the one-time king of the handset heap?

Source: Strategy Analytics; Via: MarketWatch

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3 years ago

LG confirms no Windows Phone 8 upgrade? Not quite

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There has been some confusion this morning surrounding a tweet that was published by the Italian LG Twitter account. The tweet in question was in reply to another user who queried whether or not the LG Optimus 7 would be receiving the upcoming Windows Phone "Apollo" update, which stated that the device would not be upgraded as confirmed by Microsoft.

Microsoft hasn't officially confirmed anything regarding the "Apollo" update, apart from app compatibility. LG has since published a follow up tweet explaining that the previous statement was made in error. It's still up in the air whether first and second generation Windows Phones will be updated to "Apollo", so we should all continue to await confirmation from the software giant.

Via: Plaffo

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3 years ago

Best Photography Apps for your Windows Phone

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Best Windows Phone Photography Apps from WPCentral

We've taken a look at the best free apps, the must have games, the must have apps and the best weather apps for your Windows Phone. We now turn our attention to the best photography apps for your Windows Phone.

Now that you have some insight on how your Windows Phone camera works, these apps will help you edit and add a creative touch to your photographs. Some of these apps will even have an in-house camera function to keep everything under one roof.

As with all our "best of" lists, this list contains the apps that stand out in our opinions. If we've missed an app that you think should be included, please sound off in the comments.

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3 years ago

Australian carrier Telstra hosting "The Lumia Quest" with Lumia 800 giveaway

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The Australian carrier Telstra has announced a new Windows Phone competition featuring the Lumia 800. "The Lumia Quest" will see 10 glossy new white Lumia 800 handsets being given away in 5 cities across the country this coming May. The members of public will be able to follow social media clues posted on the official Facebook page to find the hidden Lumia stash.

The competition is finders keepers and is taking place in Brisbane (May 7th), Melbourne (May 8th), Perth (May 9th), Adelaide (May 10th) and Sydney (May 11th). What do you receive should you manage to successfully find the handsets on the treasure hunt? Well the white Lumia 800 of course, but along with the Windows Phone, the ten devices come with a Telstra $50 Pre-Paid Cap Encore recharge, with $1000.00 credit and 2GB of data. Not bad, eh?

So who's heading down to the events? Keep an eye out on the official Telstra Facebook page for more information as well as the clues on the competition days.

Update: We've just corrected the article that it's indeed the Lumia 800, not the Lumia 900.

Source: Telstra; via: WPDownUnder

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3 years ago

From the Forums: Hot threads and Windows Phone shortcomings

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This week's hottest thread really isn't just one hot thread but rather a collection of related threads covering one topic: Windows Phone and its shortcomings.

Some of these so-called deficiencies could be bigger than Windows Phone itself or at least that is what some think. In this thread "Why WP isn't as popular as it should be"  forum member baileystein, who sells Windows Phoneshas a unique perspective on all of this and shares it with us.

Curious as to what he and others have to say? Read on past the break to get their views.

 

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3 years ago

The Wordament Tournament is now live at the Bellevue, WA Microsoft Store

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The popular word game Wordament went to full Xbox LIVE status this week and in our previous story on the brain straining game we mentioned how Microsoft would be promoting the app with a Wordament Tournament.

Happening right now at the Bellevue, WA Microsoft store, there's quite a crowd there evidently getting into the game. With food, giveaways and prizes (no human sacrifices though), it looks to be a fun time and a great celebration for a unique Windows Phone experience.

If you're there, send us some more pics and we'll throw 'em in this post. Also leave some comments based on what you've experienced . Pick up the free game here in the Marketplace, if you haven't already.

Update: "Here is a picture of WicketEwok in the left and DiscoPigeon on the right, two of the top players going head to head."  Thanks, Dustin S., for the photos!

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3 years ago

Official Crunchyroll app for anime fans arrives on Windows Phone

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Good news for you diehard anime fans, your official Crunchyroll app (www.crunchyroll.com) has arrived for Windows Phone and word from the ratings is it's damn fine. In fact, one comment has it pegged as better than the iPhone and Android version.

From the app description, sounds like it has everything you could want:

"Download the app to watch the latest anime from Japan in English and legally! Now you can watch new episodes 1 hour after airing in Japan on your Windows Phone device!

Watch the latest anime shows like Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Shugo Chara!, Blue Exorcist, Gintama, The World God Only Knows, Bodacious Space Pirates, Nisemonogatari, Eyeshield 21, Skip Beat!, Beelzebub, Gosick, and more."

Only downside? You have to have a premium account to even launch into it the app, making this no good unless like we said, you're a diehard fan. But if you are, it seems like you can't go wrong with this app. If this is something you want, head here to the Marketplace and pick 'er up. Thanks, Avid R., for the tip

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Marketplace appears to be back in business

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Whatever the reason for the Windows Phone Marketplace had for not playing nice earlier, the problems appeasr to have been resolved. We've been able to access the Marketplace online as well as from our Windows Phones.

Even the links to Marketplace apps are behaving as they should. The glitches we've experienced today as well as over the weekend could simply be the result of Microsoft working under the hood.

None the less, all appears to be corrected and we hope everyone is now able to access the Marketplace.  Sound off in the comments if you're still having problems.

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3 years ago

Vodafone rolling out Nokia Lumia 800 update

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Vodafone is rolling out a firmware update for the Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone. The update, 12072, is primarily a bug-fixing release that will address the battery issue, updated the camera software and address the volume problem. The firmware update lacks internet tethering which is still slated for a future update.

According to Vodafone Australia, this update supersedes the previously announced 12070 update that began rolling out earlier this month in other markets. Apparently there was an issue that prevented the wide scale roll out of that update. It sounds as if this update picks up where the earlier roll-out left off.

We are getting tips that Vodafone Spain, Australia and U.K. customers are receiving the update. If you've received the update, feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Web Marketplace is running into problems, down for the count [Update]

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The Windows Phone Web Marketplace seems to be currently down at the moment resulting in the error page above. The issues started within the hour as a number of readers and Windows Phone Daily pointed out to us, including how our Marketplace web links redirected users to the Zune:// desktop protocol instead of the site.

Ironically, since Microsoft disabled the Zune Desktop Marketplace, this leaves users with little recourse for browsing apps except for their phones.

@WinPhoneSupport said they were looking into the issue and we expect this to be a temporary glitch. Needless to say it's a massive one resulting in many users becoming frustrated.

This is the second outage this week with the last occurring on Saturday night and affecting the phone's Marketplace.

Update: Web Marketplace seems to work if you go through WindowsPhone.com and head to your localized site. Web links still redirect to Zune Desktop

Update 2: Those in the US can use this link: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/marketplace?wa=wsignin1.0  Thanks, William

We'll keep you posted.

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3 years ago

Palringo going solo and dropping 3rd party IM services

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Due to feedback on how users are actually taking advantage of their app, chat app Palringo is retiring support for 3rd party IM services like MSN, AIM, Google Talk and more. The company sent out a notification to users just a little while ago directing them to the website to read the full announcement:

"Further in our move to focus on the features our users love - our community of groups - we have decided to pull support for 3rd party instant messaging services. We've noticed that the vast majority of you no longer use this feature and instead prefer to invite your existing friends to signup to Palringo, which is now easier than ever."

That's obviously bad news for those who used the app only to connect to other networks but it sounds like the Palringo team were spreading themselves thin trying to support everybody. In addition, with competition like IM+ out on the market, it seems like Palringo would rather focus on their own IM service.

For those who haven't tried it, Palringo is currently in open-beta on the Windows Phone Marketplace since February and is now at version 0.7. Palringo has been around for years and has quite the fan base built up, including many from the Windows Mobile heyday. The service is unique in allowing users to create chat rooms and send voice clips

Try out Palringo here in the Marketplace (currently, it still has support for other IM services). For kicks, read our 2009 review for Windows Mobile.

Source: Palringo; Thanks, holysheyat, for the tip

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3 years ago

AT&T sending out text reminders on the Lumia 900 Update

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Leaving no stone unturned, AT&T is sending out text messages to wireless customers reminding them of the Lumia 900 update. While at first you may think it is another update, the message is for the connectivity fix that launched back on April 13, 2012.

The message reads, 

A software update may be available for your Nokia Lumia 900.  To see if your phone has an update available, visit www.nokiausa.com/lumia900update for instructions.  Nokia is providing a $100 AT&T bill credit for any inconvenience.  Credit may take up to 60 days to appear on bill.

The message also sheds some light on the $100 credit Nokia is applying to Lumia 900 owners who purchased their Windows Phone on or before April 21, 2012.  If you don't see it on this billing cycle, it should show up on the next.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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