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3 years ago

Windows Phone 8 details revealed in Nokia-partner video

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According to Pocketnow, they've seen a video hosted by senior vice president and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore (see our interview) meant for Nokia and their partners. In the video, new details of Windows Phone 8 (aka 'Apollo') are revealed, of which there are many.

  • Four new screen resolutions (though exact dimensions not revealed)
  • Multicore processors
  • NFC support for a new "Wallet experience" e.g. wireless payments and tap-to-share
  • Removable microSD storage
  • Based on Windows 8 kernel, not WinCE: Reuse of Windows 8 Desktop code for Windows Phone apps i.e. kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support
  • Zune Desktop is going away in exchange for a more native, sync relationship application i.e. the return of ActiveSync
  • Richer Skydrive support for things like sharing music between devices (Xbox, desktop, phone)
  • "The New Familiar" may be a tagline for Windows 8/Windows Phone 8
  • More than 100,000 apps to be expected at Windows Phone 8 launch
  • Local Scout WiFi "hotspot" integration to aggressively find free data connections; personal recommendations included
  • Data usage glance-and-go support via Live Tile
  • Server side data compression for Internet Explore 10 to reduce data traffic and speed up browsing
  • 128-bit native BitLocker data encryption for Enterprise

That certainly is a lot and we're sure just the tip of the iceberg in regards to Windows Phone 8. Clearly Microsoft is gearing up to talk about WP8 in the next few months, so we should start to expect a steady flow of information coming forward soon. What do you folks think? Pleased with the direction Microsoft is heading?

Update: Paul Thurrott is now confirming all the information from the video.

Source: PocketNow

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3 years ago

Instagram not granting posting rights to unofficial Windows Phone apps

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There has been a recent upsurge in interest for an official Instagram client for Windows Phone recently. The desire for the popular photo-manipulation and sharing app has been driven, in part, by numerous developers working on unofficial apps for the service. We first reported one in development by Bil Simser called 'Metogram' (later renamed to 'Photogram') and since then, two other apps have hit the Marketplace, Metogram and Instacam. The problem, however, is two fold:

  1. Instagram does not allow 3rd party access to photo uploading APIs
  2. Instgram does not allow one to register via the website, only by the official iOS app

Simser has been in contact with the head honchos of Instagram in an effort to get special permission for photo uploading. At the time, Instagram cited a somewhat dubious reason for denying such an API, namely an effort to reduce spam and low-quality images. However, Simser was determined to see if an exception could be made in this case seeing as Windows Phone users do not have any options.

That request has now been denied by Instagram. In an email to his beta testers (we're amongst them), Simser notes that since Instagram is not allowing uploads:

"I made a plea to Instagram and got a response in the form of a few email exchanges with Kevin Systrom the CEO. Unfortunately they are still taking the high road and not offering upload capabilities or white-listing any application at this point. I have my own thoughts around why this is but the short of it is that they are not white-listing at this point but Kevin did tell me to “keep in touch”."

More importantly, Simser notes that there is no way for new users to even join the network for voting or commenting on photos. These are deal-breakers for him as it would severely limit Instagram functionality in his client. Due to those reasons, Simser has decided to pull the plug on Photogram.  However, he will continue to make apps that are currently missing on the Windows Phone platform:

"I’m all about “filling the gap” on Windows Phone and want to create apps that will either be better than the “official” ones or give users the experience that a non-existent official app would. I will continue to do that (as I’m working on something right now but won’t say for whom) and you can follow that on Twitter via @bsimser or @simstools. We’ll also announce new apps on http://www.simstools.com as we complete them. Shameless plug, please check out my other apps and feel free to continue to support myself and all the independent developers out there. I, as always, am available to help out so if you have an idea for an app or are looking for some help with your own app please don’t hesitate to contact me."

So bad news for Windows Phone users but perhaps Instagram will surprise us with an official app sooner than later.

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3 years ago

AdDuplex presentation slides from WPUG London meet up

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At the recent Windows Phone User Group meet up in London we witnessed a couple of Windows Phone developers showcasing their apps to the audience. As well as this, we had Alan Mendelevich of AdDuplex who came to the event with a developer orientated presentation. The main argument was developers should ensure that effort is poured into not only building the app, but also promoting it around the web (as well as offline).

The 48 slides are packed full of humorous illustrations and useful points for developers of the platform to take note of. While there's no speech to accompany the written detail, it's easy to understand the message surrounding Windows Phone app marketing and monetization.

Head on over to SlideShow to view (and download) the presentation.

Source: SlideShare

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Bug Village update squashes broken Achievements

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Everyone expects a game like Bug Village to have lots of bugs in it – ants, bees, and whatnot. But when the Windows Phone version launched a few weeks ago, it was infested by a few software bugs, and nobody likes those. Thankfully Babaroga and Glu Mobile worked quickly to kill off the worst offenders.

Bug Village version 1.1 release notes:

  • When resuming the game via Fast App Switching, task timers now advance correctly
  • The ‘Air Freshener’ Achievement (Kill 100 stinkbugs) is now attainable
  • The ‘Ding!’ Achievement (Reach level 25) now unlocks at the correct time

Previously, players really couldn’t use the Fast App Switching feature since it paused the game’s timer. With the game’s tasks all revolving around passing of the clock, the last thing you wanted was for the timer to stop and halt your progress. Fast App Switching now works fine (though it did crash on me once), a chime signifying that the timer has advanced when resuming. As for the Achievements, several players have already unlocked the full 200 GamerScore since the patch went live - definitely a nice improvement.

The developers still plan on future updates that will add new content and further refinements... Hopefully that means those stinkbugs and ladybugs will get easier to tap! To learn more about Bug Village, check out WPCentral’s developer interview and premium content analysis.

Bug Village is a free game with optional paid DLC. Get it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Official Babylon translator app released for Windows Phone

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Babylon is a popular online translation service that is making its way over to the mobile world. Back in December, we mentioned that the company had taken advantage of Microsoft's Mobile Acceleration Week 2011 in Israel to build the popular language translator for Windows Phone. From the description at the time:

"As the leading name in text translation, it was only natural that Babylon would transition over to mobile devices. And so they did. Already available on iOS and Android, Babylon for Windows Phone allows you to translate any word, in any language, to the language of your choice, in real time. Of course, there is a lot more to the app including a currency converter, since presumably you will be using the app when traveling. The UI is super simplistic and hence very intuitive and does exactly what it is meant to do, how it is meant to do it."

That app is now live and while the service is very powerful it's not the best translator we've used, partially because it doesn't have direct sharing options (though you can copy paste) nor the ability to pronounce anything i.e. text-to-speech. That latter part irks us a bit as apps built off of Bing's Translator service can do this quite readily. Still, for direct translations of whole paragraphs, it's not too shabby and it is free meaning it is worth the download if you need such a service.

Pick up Babylon Translator here in the Marketplace. Check out Babylon's online translation here: http://translation.babylon.com/ Thanks, Hassan H., for the heads up

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Pictomaphone

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There are several, several photo editing apps available for your Windows Phone. Some cover the basics while others provide you with everything but the kitchen sink to edit your photos with. Pictomaphone falls somewhere in between the two extremes.

Pictomaphone has about twenty adjustments, filters and editing tools to fine tune your photos. You can edit photos captured by your Windows Phone camera or already on file in your Pictures Hub. Interface is fairly simple and Pictomaphone can help bring your photo quality up a notch.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia Belgium launch includes cupcake handout

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The Lumia 800 launched in Belgium yesterday and to celebrate it Nokia took "The Amazing Everyday" to a number of railway stations, where commuters (and travelers alike) could receive a free cupcake.

Not only this, but the organisers have planned an "Amazing Moments" contest (much like what we saw in France not so long ago), which will see entrants choosing from five amazing moments offered (or create your own) and explaining the reasons why they made that choice. A panel of judges will then select winners. We're looking forward to see some more unique marketing from the manufacturer.

The Lumia 710 is aiming for a March 1st launch in Belgium, according to the Nokia Momentum Map. A handful of photos of the cupcake distribution can been viewed in an album on the Nokia Belgique Facebook page, while a video of the handout in action can be checked out after the break (sporting a familiar music track).

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3 years ago

February is fitness month at Mobile Nations!

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New Years is over, January has come and gone, and for many of us, our get fit and get healthy resolutions have come and gone with it. Rather than leaving them lying in ruin with what's left of our waist lines and good intentions, however, we want to do something about it. And we want you to do something about it with us!

Enter fitness month!

Whether CrackBerry challenged Android Central, WPCentral threw down the gauntlet on webOS Nation, or iMore called them all out, who remembers? The important thing is this -- we're using February to get off our collective apps and get into shape.

Want to eat better? We're with you! Want to get stronger? We're spotting! Want to get into better cardio shape? We're so there!

Each week we're each going to set reasonable, attainable goals, and each week we're going to take advantage of our awesome community to make sure we attain them. We're going to have special editions of our Mobile Nations ZEN and TECH and Superfunctional podcasts to help us get going and stay going.  We've also set up a Forum's discussion to keep us focused, keep us accountable, and keep us keeping on!

Oh, and you could win an Xbox 360 and Kinect!

You, the WPCentral Nation, are our motivation. And to keep you motivated, we have some great prizes lined up. Anyone and everyone who participates, who shares their goals and keeps us up-to-date with their regular progress will be automatically entered to into our:

  • Weekly drawings for a WPCentral Accessory Store Gift Certificate. We're giving away 4 total, one each week!
  • Grand prize drawing for an Xbox 360 and Kinect!

We'll also see if we can come up with some extra giveaways along the way to keep everyone on their toes.

Sound good? Sound great? Sound like you just can't wait to get fit? Good! Jump into our Forums discussion now and pick your goal for week 1.

Mobile Nations fitness month has begun!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone "Droidrage" winners announced

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The other day @BenThePCGuy (a.k.a. Ben Rudolph) sought out to ease the pain smartphone users suffering from "DroidRage" after what appeared to be a massive adware outbreak on the Android Marketplace. He asked those afflicted to share their stories via Twitter. Ben would then pick the best (or worst) stories to receive a free Windows Phone.

The contest netted nearly a thousand responses. The lucky twenty will soon be receiving a free Windows Phone to help ease their frustrations. Here is a sampling of the winning submissions.

  • "I REALLY wish my Galaxy Nexus would stop rebooting while I'm on the phone."
  • "Android crashes even when i (try) unlock the screen..i bought it only because other phones was too expensive for me!"
  • "Battery issues, freezing, worried about malware, viruses... my DroidX gives me more trouble than my 2 teenage kids!"
  • "4 phones in 3 months. 3 hard resets in 6 months. I am dying alive from DROIDRAGE & cannot wait for my new windowsphone!"

You can see all the twenty winners of new Windows Phones by hitting the source link below.  This is the second of such promotions (Ben did the same thing back in December) and there's not telling when the third such promotion will take place.  

source: windowsteamblog

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3 years ago

Cocktail Flow adds Big Game package to the mixology

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Cocktail Flow is a popular cocktail/mixed drink application for your Windows Phone. The app is well presented and one of Cocktail Flow's main features is the drink packages. These are collections of drinks for special occasions, holidays, and classes of drinks (e.g. shooters, non-alcoholic drinks).

In preparation for this weekends Super Bowl, the developer has added the "Big Game" package to the mix. The package contains thirty football themed drink recipes that can be served not only during the Super Bowl but any football event. Drinks include the Quick Kick, Brady Bomb, Go for it on 4th Down, and Manning Martini.

Cocktail Flow has a free trial version and the full version will run you $2.99. You can grab Cocktail Flow here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, Gergely, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia chargers pump juice into Windows Phones faster

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While it's been confirmed by Nokia already, the team over at WeLoveWP.hk have run some tests on charging the Lumia Windows Phone with a number of options. Turns out when put up against generic USB chargers (eg. Apple), USB ports and another Nokia charging unit, the Nokia Lumia adapters provided more charge for a faster rate of recharge.

Check out the summarised results below:

  • Computer USB 2.0 port: 3.85V - ~110mA
  • Nokia DC-11K Mobile Charging Unit: 3.9V - 330mA
  • Apple Charger: 3.88V - 300mA
  • Lumia 800 AC-16 Charger: 3.95V - 600mA

Should you have a Nokia Lumia charger in your procession, using it over your PC (or other USB based chargers) will pump the juice into your Lumia handsets at a faster rate.

Source: WeLoveWP.hk

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3 years ago

Lumia 710 Windows Phone launches today in the UK

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It's official, well... more official than it was. The Nokia Lumia 710 (our review) has launched in the UK and is available from a number retailers and carriers (some are still pending availability). Should the Lumia 800 be not within your price range, or you'd rather have the 710, then today marks the day where you'll be soon able to get your paws on the handset.

As this is a simple reminder of what's coming to the UK shores, should you be looking for a SIM-free option there's always ebuyer that's stocking the 710 for £250 (inc. VAT) and will be available for delivery in just over a weeks time. Let us know in the comments if you're looking to purchase one for yourself or if you're looking forward to the 900.

Source: Windows Phone UK

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3 years ago

WizTiles Pro zips on to the Windows Phone Marketplace

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The other day we mentioned the Windows Phone app Wiztiles that allows you to create custom tiles and themes on your Windows Phone. It's a very good app for customizing your Windows Phone and a new version was recently released, Wiztiles Pro, that brings a slightly different user interface into play as well as these changes/features.

  • Faster launching of custom tiles
  • Easy access to 12 new themes
  • Theme versioning
  • Theme preview with screenshots
  • Create tiles without using a theme
  • Added mini icons to metro theme for use with wallpaper themes
  • Added backgrounds with gradients to metro theme
  • Added url parameters to browser task for theme designers
  • Added disabled back tile for theme designers

The free version required you to enter the URL where the Wiztile theme was being stored. With Wiztile Pro, you have a "download themes" button on the Theme Page that sends you to featured themes created by the Wiztile community of users. Wiztiles Pro still has the ability to download themes by entering a URL link but the more direct method is a nice touch.

Wiztiles (the free version) will also recieve an update shortly as well (in the certification stages). The key differences between WizTiles and Wiztiles Pro is the number of themes you can save on your Windows Phone. Wiztiles Pro has no restriction while Wiztiles free will only let you save one theme at a time. The Pro version gives you the convience of managing multiple themes.

There is a free trial version of Wiztiles Pro and the full version runs $.99. You can grab Wiztiles Pro here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Wiztiles (free) is available here.

          

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3 years ago

PhoneZune becomes Air Pick Voice and leaves us impressed at WPUG

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If you weren't aware of the event or you've been hiding under a rock the past few weeks, there was a Windows Phone User Group (WMPUG) meet up yesterday in London, which both myself and Jay Bennett attended. As well as having Will from Windows Phone UK making a brief appearance, we had a handful of developers (including Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex and Lawrence Gripper) with two walking the audience through their apps. 

One of the presentations was of Air Pick Voice (APV) by KeyboardP. Wait, that name rings a bell? Indeed it does as we've covered KeyboardP's project before, but under a different name - PhoneZune. APV will allow the user to control their music collection (on a PC workstation or laptop) via the WiFi, using an app on their Windows Phone. What makes this really special is that it's all voice controlled. From manipulating playback, to selecting songs, you no longer need to be in the same room as the PC to 'pump up the jam' your way.

To refresh your memory of what this project will allow you to do, check out the video below, and we'll advance on with what's new in terms of development and features for version 1 (which is just around the corner).

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3 years ago

InstaCam is a Windows Phone Instagram client

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InstaCam is a Windows Phone Instagram client that just hit the Marketplace yesterday.  It allows you to take pictures on your phone, add different effects, and then share them via Facebook, Twitter or email.  You can log into your Instagram account to check "likes" and comments on your uploaded content.  You can also view other people's photos and leave comments, or follow them if you're a fan of their work.  The search function can find photos based on key words in pictures' tags.  Not an Instagram user?  No worries, you can still use InstaCam to browse content anonymously.

This first iteration of InstaCam contains a lot of features, including a couple exclusive photo effects.  However, there are more features on the way.  The developers are already planning on adding geolocation search, view changes, and more.

InstaCam is free and can be downloaded here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, peestandingup, for the tip!

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