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3 years ago

Bing Mobile shows what Hybrids are really capable of

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Hang on to your pants WP fans, because an HTML 5 version of Bing Mobile is right around the corner, and it's bringing some neat new functionality along with it. While the Bing team is currently only making the update available to iOS and Android devices (WP7 is, strangely, waiting for a future update), the latest news coming from the Bing blog does show one more thing that we can look forward to in the future for Windows phones.

HTML 5 is not just a new bit of code to provide the same search engine to mobile devices. By going with the latest standards in mobile development, the Bing design team is working to create one universal Bing experience across all devices. This new version will allow Microsoft to make future updates automatically without asking the user to download new versions of the app, and will significantly enhance their experience as well. Rather than downloading separate Bing-powered applications developed with proprietary code for individual platforms, each device will provide users with a Bing that can hook into functions and features on the device just like a native application would (such as voice input or camera support).

Yes, it is true that the new app will only be released on Android and iOS devices first and not WP7 devices until later (doesn't make too much sense to us either), but it's good to see Microsoft deliver a unified experience for their products to all applicable devices, and not just their own. What's more is that this new app, coupled with HTML 5, won't be like a native application or a mobile website - it will be a hybrid of the two. And we all know that hybrids are better at everything.

Hit the break to watch a video explanation on what the Bing design team plans to do with their mobile service in the future.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 tops the sales charts in France

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Even before their marketing team has had a chance to start working in the country, the Nokia Lumia 800 is already topping sales charts in Phonehouse.Fr in France. As you can see from the image above, the brand new Nokia WP7 device is trouncing on Android and iOS devices alike, making it the first WP7 device to do so well in the country since... ever.

It's a great sign to the potential future of the relationship between WP7 and Nokia, and shows how a good name, great design and good timing can go a long way towards the success of a device. Now we wait to see how well it performs once that marketing push starts to happen in the country; from the looks of things in the early stages of the race, the Lumia 800 should do quite splendidly.

Source: Windows Phone Blog France; Thanks for the tip, Stephane!

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3 years ago

What's in a name? Nokia Lumia explained.

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What's in a name? Nokia Lumia explained.

Ever wonder how companies come up with the names of their products? With a name like "Lumia" there is generally a meaning behind it to try and build good rapport with potential consumers. As it turns out, Nokia went through a nice long process in finding the name of their first Windows Phone 7 device. When you're a worldwide leader in mobile devices, you can't just pick a word that sounds good in your own language - you need something that will stick with the people no matter where they are from.

There are certain criteria that a name must first fit in order to make it through early stages of the name-selection phase. What started off as a list of over 200 possible names for the new Nokia phone, the company efficiently whittled the list down to one, but not before comparing each name to over 300,000 other tech brands and consulting with 84 different language experts. 

The name Lumia had some of its own difficulties to triumph over. While in many Spanish-speaking countries the people think of it as meaning "light", there are some old-timers who might remember that the word was once a slang-term for "prostitute". After taking surveys and doing research, Nokia found that roughly 60% of Spanish-speakers thought the name "Lumia" was a positive one for a piece of mobile technology, thus easing worries that there could be a negative vibe towards the brand over time.

In other countries Lumia has a different meaning; in Finland it means "snow", which is handy since the device is being released this winter. All fine words for a brand that Nokia wants people to talk about. Of course, the ultimate catch is in the way the word sounds - Lumia is distinctly similar to the name "Nokia", and repition is always a great thing to have when you want a brand name to stick. Nokia is not new to researching a name before putting it on shelves - "Asha", a brand for devices sold in emerging markets, means "hope" in Hindi (a language of India).

So there you have it. Whether Lumia means "snow", "light", "hope" or maybe something else in another language, Nokia has definitely done their homework before picking this name. Let's just hope they've done homework in other areas, too, and that this brand new device is the success that Nokia and WP7 need to get some attention in this very competitive mobile world.

Source: Mon Windows Phone

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3 years ago

Microsoft teases something big in NYC next Monday for Windows Phone

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Next Monday is a big day. First off, there's a mini-press event which we'll be going to, meeting with Microsoft's Andy Lees and Joe Belfiore. Segueing into that is this publicity stunt that Microsoft is evidently doing but not revealing too much about just yet:

"If you live in or around New York City, you might want to find an excuse to wander past Herald Square sometime during the day next Monday—noon would be an especially good time—for a fun surprise we’re putting together. All I can say is we’re bringing Windows Phone to life in a big, big, way. Curious? Stay tuned…."

We think we actually know from an insider what (some) of it involves: If you're familiar with Herald Square, there's a certain historically relevant area that is known for, ahem, displays nearby. Hint, hint...

Well anyways, we'll be there all day covering the event, so don't worry--you'll get some photos and video if needed. And don't forget that night is the Windows Phone party where you can get some drinks, food, see a band and play with some new Winodws Phone hardware. We'll see you there as well.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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3 years ago

AT&T Focus S and Flash to have Internet Sharing

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It appears that both the AT&T Samsung Focus S and Flash will be capable of Internet Sharing. Or at least that's what AT&T's Support Websites are indicating.

Support sites for both the Focus S and Flash contain instructions on how to turn on your personal hotspot with these new Windows Phones. Both instructions do note that there is a prerequisite to have a compatible rate plan. We're not sure if that means you have to belly up for a DataConnect plan or if the DataPro 4GB plan will do the trick.  Personally, I'm crossing my fingers that the old unlimited plans will work.

You can find the tethering information for the Focus S here and for the Flash here at AT&T Support.

Thanks goes out to Ryan for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 Review

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Nokia Lumia 800 Review

The Nokia Lumia 800 is the final result of hard work and active development in the time that was available since they announced the partnership with Microsoft earlier this year. Nokia has stated that 2012 will be the year to look out for innovative hardware, powerful handsets (with possibly dual-core chips) and much more. The Lumia family also includes the 710, a more affordable option.

The Lumia 800 is a solid phone with a unibody and a single piece of injection-moulded polycarbonate. The Gorilla toughened glass appears to "fold" into the chasis to provide the design a smooth surface. The screen is a ClearBlack AMOLED display, which ensures there's enough attention focused on what's being projected. The technology used in construction allows the Lumia 800 to be used in sun light. Being powered by a 1.4Ghz chip and fuelled by a 1450mAh battery, the Nokia Lumia 800 is a perfect handset for those who are arriving to the platform or looking to upgrade. Head on past the break for the run through.

Pros: 
Solid hardware Good camera Slick screen unibody design
Cons: 
No FF camera Buttons feel cheap Capacitive keys are too close to screen
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3 years ago

The Prepaid App Card program

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The Prepaid App Card program

Thinking of buying a Windows Phone but not too sure when weighing pros and cons with competitor platforms? Will a free $25 prepaid app card sway your mind? That's correct, we have come across a prepaid app card program from Microsoft that will see customers who purchase a Windows Phone receive a prepaid card to kick-start their app collection for free. 

The offer will be started on November 18th. If you have purchased a handset between November 2nd and December 31st then you'll be eligible for the card. To redeem, you'll need a copy of the receipt and proof of purchase on the phone box. This is U.S. only.

Source: App Prepaid Card Program, thanks @burnethanol and @schweetzeke for the tip!

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3 years ago

Live, tonight, it's Girls Gone Gadgets!

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When Kevin introduced you to Mobile Nations, he mentioned some of the great new initiatives we had planned. We've been hard at work on one of those for a while now -- Mobile Nations Broadcasting.

Mobile Nations Broadcasting brings together all your favorite audio shows, including the Android Central Podcast, the CrackBerry.com Podcast, iPad Live and iPhone Live, the PalmCast, and the WPCentral Podcast, along with our cross-site, cross-industry Mobile Nations Podcast, and new shows we've added over the summer, including ZENandTECH to help you center your inner geek, Iterate on mobile design and user experience, and Superfunctional to keep our bodies in balance with our gear. And we've brought them to life -- with video.

We've got some great new technology behind us and it lets us not only stream all our hosts, for all our shows to you in real time, but make them available to you afterwards on YouTube, via RSS and iTunes, and... well let's just say a lot more places to come. We've already launched Monday Brief, Android Central Video, iPad Live Video, iPhone Live Video and TiPb TV, ZENandTECH Video, and Mobile Nations Video, and we'll have the other shows on your screens and your TVs very, very soon. And we're not stopping there. We have a few other new shows in the pipeline as well and we can't wait for you to see them. Starting tonight, with Girls Gone Gadgets.

Girls Gone Gadgets is hosted by Georgia and Ashley Esqueda, two of the smartest, savviest, sexiest, and most entertaining women in tech. They'll be bringing you everything from Android to iOS, from the hottest devices to the latest gadgets, from kickass apps to the most mind-blowing accessories you can imagine.

GGG premieres tonight at 10:30pm EDT. See you there!

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3 years ago

Microsoft spotlighting OneNote Syncing

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 design story

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Nokia Lumia 800 design story

This is very interesting indeed. Nokia has revealed a design story and explains the look of the Lumia 800, how it's made, why it's made the way it is and how benefits consumers. As you'll be able to see and read in our product review, the Lumia 800 does indeed look and feel great, making the owner excited to use the handset.

From the single piece of injection-molded polycarbonate to the 8MP camera sporting f/2.2 Carl Zeiss lens, taking elements from the N9 and loading Windows Phone onto the handset is presented to be a winner. Nokia attempts to keep to traditions and what the company is best known for; hardware, design and production.

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3 years ago

Weave updated to v3.5 adds YouTube, mp4, and podcast support

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Weave (see review) is a superb looking news reader app for Windows Phone. The built-in categories contain top sites and resources, with users being able to add more to any category. Articles can be shared with friends via social networking and email. Weave has recently been updated to 3.5, which brings YouTube, mp4, and podcast support.

If you're not aware of Weave, some app highlights:

  • 33 pre-loaded categories including world, financial, deals, fashion, video games, technology, and sports news just to name a few!
  • Add new categories at any time 
  • Over 180 pre-loaded, high-quality news sources including CNN, Wall Street Journal, ESPN, Engadget, USA Today, NY Times, IGN, Entertainment Weekly, and many more!
  • Feed search – you can search for new feeds by topic or website name
  • Easily manage your feeds and categories via the settings screen
  • Preview articles with a touch of a finger
  • View full articles at your leisure
  • Share articles with your friends, via email
  • Post an article to your Facebook wall
  • Tweet an article to your Twitter followers
  • Send an article to Instapaper

You can download Weave from the Marketplace for free (ad supported) with a paid version available.

Via: @SelesGames

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3 years ago

Android costing carriers $2B a year in service with Windows Phone faring better

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We know a few things about about Android: they're ubiquitous, have fragmentation, range from super cheaper to top of the line and now evidently they cost carriers a lot of money in service calls and repairs. Up to $2 billion a year, at least according to a white paper by Wireless Dat Service.

The study looked at over 600,000 support calls to carriers over the last 12 months. The results highlight that 14% of support calls dealing with Android related to hardware repairs whereas Windows Phone 7 came in at 11%. By comparison, BlackBerry was at 5.5% and the iPhone at 7%.

The results are clear: the tighter the grip the OS developer has on the hardware, the more reliable it is. RIM and Apple control their hardware in every which way since they literally design the OS and hardware together. Microsoft certainly has more control with their chassis requirements but ultimately it is up to OEMs like Samsung and HTC to make the device. Google is even more lax with Android, allowing anything and everything to go, hence a little more chaotic.

However, Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of marketing at WDS does point out that it is because of Android's wild and uninhibited nature that it now commands much of the market, albeit at a price to customers--more hardware failures due to rush to market and less frequent OS updates. On that latter point, the report cites a 2010 study which notes "of 18 Android devices from the US, 10 were at least two major versions behind within their two-year contract period."

Microsoft truly has a middle of the road approach which is giving them more stable hardware and consistent user experience across devices. In addition, major OS updates like Mango seem to be going very well with nearly 50% of current phones already upgraded just five weeks after a slowly expanding rollout.

Perhaps the report will get carriers to reconsider betting everything on Android and look for a more cost-effective and reliable OS like Windows Phone.

Source: WDS (registration req); via Fierce Wireless, After Dawn

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3 years ago

Quick tease with the Nokia Lumia 800

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Quick tease with the Nokia Lumia 800

Allow this teaser to quench your appetite, we have a hands on coming up with the Nokia Lumia 800, and it's in the quiet rooms of a home instead of the busy bustle at Nokia World. Be sure to get in some microwave popcorn, stock up the beer fridge and join us when we take the handset for a spin and give our thoughts.

Until we publish the review, be sure to check out our quick run through of the Lumia 800, at Nokia World, after the break. 

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3 years ago

Offline navigation comes to Australia, New Zealand and Europe with Turn-by-Turn

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We've covered Turn-By-Turn before and recently reviewed their off-line mapping solution for the United States. The (relatively) more affordable navigation app was the first to offer regional and local downloading of offline data, which makes the app a bit faster, saves on precious battery life and uses no-data saving some money.

The catalog of offerings has expand greatly to many other countries and regions, as can be seen below. And now one of the more difficult areas has finally received its own custom maps: Australia. We've heard about folks in this region having a difficult time finding a GPS navigation app for Windows Phone, so they should be pretty excited. However, it comes at a cost: $40.99 for the app and maps.

That's certainly on the high end, though we imagine the cost is largely dictated the licensing fees that developer GPS Tuner needs to pay NAVTEQ to have access. But hey, at least you have an option now.

Likewise, in case you're a big Europe traveler, you can now just buy access to all of Europe's maps instead of country by country. That too will set you back some cash, about $50.99 to be exact, but at least you'll have everything you ever need right there on your phone.

Pick up Turn-By-Turn Australia & New Zealand here and the comprehensive Europe version here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Advertsing Nokia versus Apple at Phones 4U

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