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3 years ago

The official NY Times app version 2.0 for Windows Phone is now available

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We posted yesterday about the new New York Times app for Windows Phone coming out. Today is that day as the app has been released to the Marketplace.

Featuring a re-design with some new features the app is considered to be a re-launch for the Times. While you benefit most if you have a subscription, the latest headlines and videos are still free.

  • Live Tile Integration - users can pin any of the sections and blogs as Live Tiles to quickly see the latest headlines at a glance
  • Pivot Navigation – users can see articles, videos and blogs in each section
  • Cloud Integration – users may save articles to the cloud for access from multiple devices
  • Updated and refreshed design
  • Improved performance and fast application switching

You can pick up version 2.0 of the Times here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Case Review: BodyGuardz Protective Skin

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Minimalists will appreciate the simplicity of the BodyGuardz Protective Skin for Windows Phone. Those looking for a bit of protection for their Windows Phone may want to look elsewhere.  

The skins are offered for a wide range of Windows Phones including the HTC Radar and Nokia Lumia 710. We took the BodyGuardz Skin out for a test drive on the Nokia Lumia 900 and while the skin is well made and durable, it doesn't offer any padding and essentially a barrier to protect your Windows Phone from scratches.

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3 years ago

People Search gets updated to v1.2, contact QR tags now available

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Gydar Industries has been busy updating People Search for Windows Phone. The update bringing the Windows Phone app to v1.2 has been submitted to the Marketplace for distribution and v1.3 is already in the works.

For those not familiar, People Search is the result of Ronny Gydar (the man behind Gydar Industries) needing to find a simple way for his Mom to find and call contacts on her Windows Phone. Seeing the need for something fast and easy to use, Ronny developed People Search.  People Search is a feature rich contact search engine that is based off the T9 dial pad instead of the full QWERTY keyboard. Using the T9 dial pad speeds things up a little and makes one handed use a little easier as well.

Version 1.2 brings the following improvements and features into the mix.

  • Improved search speed, Cyrillic search characters added
  • Ability to share contacts with QR Tags
  • Various adjustments and tweaks to improve overall performance and appearance

All in all, the version 1.2 update gives People Search a bit more zip and the internal QR generator makes sharing contact easy between Windows Phones, iPhone, or Android phones.

There is a free, 24-hour trial version of People Search available with the full version running $.99. You can find People Search here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. If you are already enjoying People Search, you should be seeing the notification for the update any time now.

Oh... and speaking of the next update, hit the break to catch what Gydar Industries has in store for version 1.3 of People Search.  Look for this update to hit the Marketplace in a few weeks.

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3 years ago

Poll: Is your Nokia Lumia 900 still having WiFi issues?

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Does your Lumia 900's WiFi occasionally go dead?

We're getting a few reports that at least for some users their Lumia 900 behaves a bit oddly on WiFi. The reports vary as to the experience but most of it seems to revolve around the idea that when the device goes to sleep, the WiFi data connection doesn't re-connect properly upon waking.

From one description on Nokia's help forum is thus:

"When my Lumia 900 is connected to my house's WiFi (airport extreme), it will connect fine.  However, when my phone goes to sleep (or when I don't use the connection for awhile), I can't connect to the web even though my phone saids that it is still connected to the network.  It seems like some other people are also having the problem.  http://forums.windowscentral.com/lumia-900-ace/189504.htm

Sometimes a soft-reset will fix the problem, and sometimes it will take some time before I can browse the web with my WiFi network.  I tested with my other phones / laptops / PDAs, so I am sure that it is not my router's problem."

Others reported the same issue as well even after the latest update. Admittedly we had this problem with our review and purchased units but it seemed to have been fixed with the first patch. However, even our WiFi got a little funky after the latest update just a few weeks ago. It's not an "all the time" bug and it's a bit hard to replicate but we've certainly experienced some odd data issues with our 900, though rare.

So the question for everyone here: do you notice any dropped data issues with your Lumia 900? Is it with WiFi, cellular or both? Take our poll after the break and/or leave a comment. Thanks, səlɹɐɥɔ sɯıs, for the tip

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3 years ago

Microsoft's Mysterious Monday Meeting

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Microsoft is holding a press event in Los Angeles on Monday, June 18th. That much we do know.

What we don't know is why Microsoft is holding an event on Monday.

The invitation distributed by Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's PR agency, reads,

"You are invited to an exclusive Microsoft Media event in Los Angeles, California on Monday, June 18th. Doors open at 3:30 p.m."

We can say with confidence and confirmation that this isn't a Windows Phone event. That press event will be held  two days later in San Francisco (which we'll be in attendance at). But what could it be?

Xbox related? Maybe more information about Xbox Music?  Maybe something SmartGlass or Windows Tablet related? Could we see a few Windows tablets revealed? Maybe Microsoft has changed it's mind and is going to buy Nokia after all? Okay... that one might be too much of a stretch.

At this point, your guess is as good as ours.  Should we hear anything definitive we'll pass it on. The nice thing about this mystery is that we don't have long to wait for the event.

Source: ZDnet

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3 years ago

AMC Theaters launches their official app for Windows Phone

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AMC Theaters, who were just sold to Wang Jianlin, a Chinese multi-billionaire, has finally jumped on board with Windows Phone by releasing an official app. AMC has been around since the 1920's and it swallowed up many theater chains along the way including Loews Cineplex and Sony Theaters to become one of the largest distributors in the US.

And truth be told, it's a fairly nice app.

Well designed and fast loading with a gorgeous layout the app is well done. Focusing on movie posters for graphics with stripped down text for areas, the app gives you a wide assortment of features including:

  • My Profile where you can store your favorite theaters and movies
  • Get synopsis of the latest films including watching previews
  • Pin movies and your favorite local theater to your Start screen
  • Get offers (there were none when we tried)

You can buy tickets but it just launches IE9 and pushes you to Fandango which is a little rough for our likes. We would have preferred to buy our tickets directly. Heck, you can't even manage, use or interact with AMC Stubs, their rewards program, which is a bit of a let down.

But for a version 1.0 it's not too shabby. Being free also helps so if you frequent AMC you'll want to certainly pick this up. Or just use the Fandango app.

Pick up AMC Theaters for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Jose, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Photosynth and the Dark Knight Rises get non-detailed updates

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We'll file these under "bug fixes" but two very popular apps have just received some 1.1 love from their respective developers.

The first is Nokia's "The Dark Knight Rises" app which of course focuses on the newest Batman film due out in a few weeks. The app has a built in augmented reality scanner for playing the location-based "game" (you choose to be Bane or Batman, claim areas via checkins and then defend those spots), trailers and clips, a countdown clock and method to find theaters around you.

No word on what v1.1 fixes but it seems to load a tad faster though the app is still sluggish when swiping through. If you have a Nokia Lumia Phone, you can grab version 1.1 for free here in the Nokia Collection.

Likewise, the popular Photosynth app (see our review) managed to pick up a small update as well. No discernable changes are reported though we'll see if it still crashes on our Titan II in a bit. Once again we're betting these are minor bug fixes and optimizations to the popular photo-stitching app.

You can get Photosynth version 1.1 for all Windows Phones here in the Marketplace. Thanks, ej lee, for the tip!

    

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - Feed Me Oil version 1.1 update lets the Achievements flow

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Feed Me Oil from Holy Water Games, Chillingo, and Electronic Arts (phew!) is one of the more charming Xbox Live physics puzzlers for Windows Phone. It packs delightful, colorful art, tons of levels, and copious amounts of everyone's favorite natural resource. However, it also launched with a glitchy Achievement that threatened to put a plug in the fun. Thankfully the version 1.1 update fixes that and other issues.

Feed Me Oil version 1.1 release notes:

  • Updated localizations
  • Fixed ‘Oil Spiller’ achievement 
  • Improved touch response for some devices 

After installing the update, the ‘Oil Spiller’ Achievement should unlock at the main menu, assuming you’ve completed its requirements. If you haven’t spilled enough oil yet, just play Level 1-2 until you’re allowed to turn on the oil. Then let it spill continuously until you have the Achievement. (Note that some people may simply have to reinstall the game if the above doesn’t work.) Our thanks go out to the developers for fixing the formerly glitchy Achievement!

Feed Me Oil costs just 99 cents and there is a free trial. Grab it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Elop: Nokia making cheaper Windows Phones to "compete with Android agressively"

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Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, said today in a conference call that the Finnish manufacturer is looking to take on Android in the fight for mobile dominance, especially when it comes to low-price devices. Its primary weapons, Windows Phone and the Nokia Lumia line of handsets.

"We need to compete with Android aggressively," said Elop. "The low-end price point war is an important part of that."

When prompted about whether Nokia planned on putting out phones with lower price points than the entry-level Lumia 610, Elop responded, "Absolutely." He added that, together with Microsoft's help, Nokia found "ways to go even further" to "broaden the price point range that we're pursuing with Lumia.". With a strong commitment to Windows Phone, he two tech behemoths are vigorously fighting to break into emerging markets like China and India.

Elop did not elaborate on their plans, nor how it relates to the soon-to-be-released Windows Phone 8, aka Apollo. However, with the Windows Phone Summit right around the corner, we would think some details may come to light then.

Source: TheVerge

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3 years ago

Logoarama reachs version 1.2, adds more gaming levels

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Logoarama is a trivia game for your Windows Phone where you have to correctly identify company logos. Version 1.1 offered eight levels of logo identification challenges. The version 1.2 update not only adds a second and bonus stages with more levels to the game but also gives Logoarama a new, clean looking redesign.  The update also offers a little more forgiveness towards spelling the logo's name.

All totaled more that one hundred new logos have been added to the mix. Some logos are partial, making the game a bit more challenging in identifying things.  The update also brings a few performance tweaks and bug fixes to the mix.  Overall, the update does a good job of improving an already nice game for your Windows Phone.

Logoarama may not appeal to everyone but we found it to be an enjoyable time waster when you have a few minutes to blow. The full version of Logoarama is running $.99 and you can find it here at  the Windows Phone Marketplace.

If you're already enjoying Logoarama, the update just went live so look the update notification on your Windows Phone here shortly.

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3 years ago

Microsoft rumored to buy Yammer for $1B, could integrate with Windows Phone

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The big rumor flying around today is that Microsoft is looking to buy Yammer (www.yammer.com) for a hefty $1 billion dollars making it one of the largest acquisitions by Microsoft of late (the other being Skype). 

For those who don't know, Yammer is a social messaging network built for enterprise. It may seem kind of niche but in this services area, Yammer is the top provider and we can see why Microsoft would want to acquire the company.

For one, between Skype, Lync, Messenger and GroupMe, Microsoft is gobbling up a lot of social media services and building quite an messaging empire. Combined with their close relationship with Facebook and LinkedIn and you can see how Redmond is angling against Google for both consumers and enterprise.

The Yammer deal is expected to be completed today or tomorrow and if so, we could see Microsoft integrating Yammer directly into Windows Phone in the near future. After all, they already have Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Messenger in Windows Phone 7.5 and they're expected to add Skype and numerous other social networks to Windows Phone 8 "Apollo".

What's more, Windows Phone 8 focuses heavily on enterprise including Bitlocker encryption, secure boot and new Office 365 policies. Yammer and Windows Phone 8 seem like a perfect match, if you ask us.

You can pick up the official Yammer app in the Windows Phone Marketplace in the meantime.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

The New York Times announces version 2.0 of their Windows Phone app

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The NY Times official app version 2.0 for Windows Phone

If you're a fan of the "Old Gray Lady" aka the New York Times (www.nytimes.com), you'll want to make sure to grab version 2.0 of the app which should be hitting the Marketplace soon. The official NY Times app for Windows Phone came out last July 1st and hasn't had an update until now.

The app has had a nice revamp with the latest version, bringing it up to date with some of the latest functionality in Windows Phone. We've been running it a couple of days now and really like the added performance, new scrolling and video feature which lets you watch special clips of certain news events and cultural pieces. Here's the full changelog of what's new:

  • Live Tile Integration - users can pin any of the sections and blogs as Live Tiles to quickly see the latest headlines at a glance
  • Pivot Navigation – users can see articles, videos and blogs in each section
  • Cloud Integration – users may save articles to the cloud for access from multiple devices
  • Updated and refreshed design
  • Improved performance and fast application switching

Of course the only downside is the "pay wall" for some articles--while you can get the latest headlines and videos for free the rest will require a NY Times membership. But even for free the app is worth taking a look at and a must-have if you already subscribe.

    

We'll have a more full-featured review coming up a bit later when the app hits the Marketplace.

Full press release after the break...

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Round-up: Doodle Games

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Windows Phone Central's round-up of doodle styled games for your Windows Phone

The Windows Phone Marketplace is full of quality apps and games. Each week Windows Phone Central will round-up a handful of applications or games that fit a certain theme. For example last week we looked at panoramic photography apps. Future round ups may deal with sports games one week and news apps the next.

This week the round up focuses on doodle styled games. These are games where the animations and graphics are doodled on to your Windows Phone, often with a graph paper backdrop. We have games where your running a line, dodging balls, and jumping from a perfectly good airplane.

As with every round-up or best of list, we choose the titles that stand out to us. If a title doesn't make the round-up it shouldn't reflect poorly on that title. If we've missed one, feel free to speak up in the comments.

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3 years ago

Nokia plans to reduce up to 10,000 positions globally by the end of 2013

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Although the Scalado news is inspiring, Nokia is still in the rough as it plans to layoff nearly 10,000 workers by the end of 2013 in a continued restructuring of the company.

In addition, the Finnish firm is planning to close its facilities in Ulm, Germany, Burnaby, Canada and its manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland (Research and Development efforts in Salo will remain) while focusing on their Lumia line of phones including "broadening the price range of Lumia and continuing to differentiate with the Windows Phone platform". Part of the cost savings move has also been the successful divestment of the Vertu luxury line of Nokia phones to EQT VI for a rumored 200 million euros ($260 million).

Finally there are leadership changes as well including the promotion of former Microsoft executive Chris Weber from President of Nokia Inc. (US), and head of Markets, North America to executive vice president of Sales and Marketing, where he will join the leadership team of Nokia. The other changes in Nokia's leadership team can be found here.

So what does all of this amount to? There is a lot going on at Nokia including a dramatic reshaping of the company under CEO Stephen Elop driven mostly by market demands and the recent realignment of the company around Windows Phone. Analysts and equity firms have been downgrading Nokia stock for weeks now and this is their response which equates to massive cutbacks both in terms of people and facilities, potentially saving the company a lot of money during these tight times.

Nokia has previously lost 24% of its market share losing out to Samsung for top manufacturer. With the continued stampede of iPhone and Android, Nokia will be relying on Windows Phone 8 and its increasingly popular Lumia line to save it from financial despair. 

Nokia stock is currently trading at $2.79 a share which is near it's 52 week low of $2.61. It will be curious to see how the market responds to these proposed cutbacks and restructuring.

Source: Nokia

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3 years ago

Nokia acquires imaging firm Scalado to enhance Lumia line of Windows Phones

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This morning, Nokia has announced that it has acquired imaging firm Scalado for an undisclosed price. Nokia will be picking up everything including their specialists, intellectual property and technology from the company and will be incorporating them into the company sometime in Q3 2012.

Scalado has been working with Nokia for the last 10 years but they've also done work with HTC and most recently RIM on their upcoming BlackBerry 10 and it's new camera functions. That is certainly interesting because RIM itself is in dire straits and they just lost what many considered to be a key partner for re-igniting their brand. Of course what RIM already had in motion with Scalado will probably remain but the Waterloo company should start looking elsewhere for future camera development.

The good news here of course is that Nokia is clearly aiming to get some of the best camera functions on Windows Phone. Currently, HTC is in a bit of a renaissance with their ONE series which focuses heavily on cameras and media capabilities, giving Nokia and others a run for their money.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how Scalado's know-how pays off on future Windows Phone 8 devices.

Read the full press release after the break.

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