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3 years ago

AT&T Titan II gets a price drop to $150 on contract

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We just got back from our local AT&T store and we noticed that the HTC Titan II (see review) has gone from it's $199 pricing point ($550 off contract) to $149.99 ($500 off-contract).

The pricing coincides with today's release of the Samsung Focus 2 (of which we'll have an un-boxing video coming up soon). With the price drop of the Titan II, AT&T has given a little more consistency to their Windows Phone 4G LTE lineup:

  • Focus 2 - $49.99
  • Lumia 900 - $99.99
  • Titan II - $149.99

We also noticed an HTC Android phone received a similar price drop, so this looks like just a normal re-calibration of the market. The HTC Titan II, featuring a fantastic 16MP camera and a massive 4.7" screen is still "king" of specs on Windows Phone, though it's clearly being over-shadowed by the more "sexy" Nokia Lumia 900.

Still, at just $50 more than the Lumia 900, the Titan II is now much more competitively priced and for some, this will make more sense for those looking for a new Windows Phone 7.5 device.

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3 years ago

Nokia spokesman Chris Parnell using Lumia 900 in new SNL digital-short. Sponsored by Verizon.

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Many of you should now be familiar with Chris Parnell if you're outside the US. The funny man is widely known for his work on perpetual sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live and has recently been the voice of Nokia's Lumia 900 campaign. Personally, we dig him a lot as he's got a great voice and presence.

Last night on the season finale of SNL, Parnell (who left the show years ago) teamed back up with Andy Samberg for a sequel to their song "Lazy Sunday". The video can be seen on Hulu (if you're in the US) and it's certainly well worth the watch, especially on this gorgeous weekend.

What makes last night's performance funny (at least for us phone geeks) was the screen capture teased for the video's premier. Verizon brazenly sponsored the show last night and it was borderline spammed all over their Facebook page and Tweets, often featuring cheesy 4G LTE "video interviews" of terrible quality.

As you can see in the image above, that's Parnell speaking on a glossy-white Lumia 900 (as he should be) and the image is of course posted by, Verizon. While certainly an inadvertent coincidence, it does ring a bit funny since the carrier is so lukewarm to Windows Phone. Of course no one will get the joke except for us but that's okay.

On top of that, Verizon is evidently buying up Nokia keywords on Twitter. In the above image, that was a search for "Lumia". Bad Verizon, bad.

Thanks, Jay S., for the screen cap!

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3 years ago

Final Fantasy and Super Monkey Ball 2 coming to Xbox Live on Windows Phone

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Just a week ago, we looked at a number of Xbox Live games whose Achievements were discovered by avid French gamer Zebrasqual: Mirror’s Edge, Battleship, and Fling. I daresay Mr. Squal’s sleuthing rivals my own, as he has uncovered two more future games’ Achievement lists. Both titles will surely appeal to console gamers: Final Fantasy and Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition.

Head past the break for full details on both upcoming games.

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3 years ago

Official Nectar app available on the Windows Phone Marketplace

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The UK loyalty card scheme Nectar has released an official app for Windows Phone, which is now available on the Marketplace. A number of brands are supported, including Sainsbury's, BP and Homebase, that all enable customers to collect points on purchases. Racked points can then be spent on special offers or products from the likes of easyJet, Argos, Philips, and more.

  • Bonus point offers available
  • Easy access to Nectar account balances
  • Collect points when you shop online with hundreds of brands via Nectar eShops
  • Store Locator – check out all the places you can collect and spend your points
  • Register Nectar cards via the app

Stores are displayed on an interactive map, with account balance and offers readily available. It's a superb looking app, taking Metro guides into account.

You can download the official Nectar app from the Marketplace for free. Thanks Paul for the tip!

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3 years ago

Take an exclusive look at MonstaFish, coming to Xbox Live on Windows Phone for May 30

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Where do mobile gamers go for first looks and details of upcoming Xbox Live titles? Why, Windows Phone Central of course! Today we’re pleased to bring you the first screens and trailer for MonstaFish, the final Xbox Live release of the month. It comes from UK developer IronSun Studios, makers of IonBallEX and Battlewagon.

In MonstaFish, too much toxic waste has been dumped into the water, resulting in gnarly mutations known as MonstaFish. As you can imagine, these toxic fish aren’t good to eat and must be removed from the environment for the good of all. That’s where the player comes in…

Head past the break for pictures and details of each game mode!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - Hasta la Muerte update brings raven Achievement back to life

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It’s been a while since we’ve had occasion to mention Hasta la Muerte, a December 2011 Xbox Live release from French developer Pohlm Studio. Thought we could not stop for the game, the developers kindly stopped for us, recently releasing the first Hasta la Muerte title update.

Hasta la Muerte version 1.1 release notes

  • Fixed bug that prevented ‘Those dear delicious ravens’ Achievement from unlocking

…And, that’s it. There are 18 tiny ravens hidden throughout the game - see the image above, courtesy of Zebrasqual (full list here). Previously, only 17 would show up as being collected, preventing the associated 20 GamerScore Achievement from popping. Thanks to the update, Hasta la Muerte’s full 200 GamerScore is finally attainable.

We’re always glad when a broken Achievement gets fixed, but it’s disappointing that the update didn’t include Fast App Switching support. Hasta la Muerte was released after the debut of the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update, but there was a window of time in which some Xbox Live games got pushed through without 7.5 support for various reasons. I would also like to see the game’s main menu undergo a revision – it’s one of the least intuitive menus of any mobile Xbox Live title. Pohlm Studios expressed some interest in fixing those issues when we first spoke to them, so perhaps another update will drop somewhere down the line.

Hasta la Muerte is a curious little maze game with a unique premise and distinct art style. It costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Nokia Reading now available for Windows Phone, except for those in the US

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Nokia announced late last week that their Reading app would be coming to the Lumia line this week and sure enough, that app is now available for download.

Nokia Reading promises to fill in the gap where apps like Amazon Kindle are not available for Windows Phone users, which turns out is a large part of the globe. Having setup their own eBook marketplace, Nokia seems to have done have a good job of offering an important service to many on Windows Phone who otherwise would not have access to the latest NY Times best sellers.

Of course the bad news as can be discerned from the title is those in the US (and possibly elsewhere) cannot download the app. Much like Nokia Music, licensing and possibly territorial divisions are evidently keeping this app and service out of our hands. But seeing as we have Zune Pass and Amazon Kindle, we'll probably survive.

Pick up Nokia Reading here in thew Nokia Collection. Thanks, Tim S., for the tip!

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3 years ago

WhatsApps goes to version 2.0 on Windows Phone with minor improvements

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It's been awhile since we've seen an update to the popular messaging program WhatsApp (okay, well just over 30 days, not bad) so we're curious to see what could version 2.0 bring that required a whole version bump. Turns out, not too much. According to the release notes this is what you can expect from the latest version:

  • Set your profile picture
  • Several bug fixes

It's not the craziest amount of changes but the new profile photo makes the app feel more complete, the Settings are more refined and our "Paid" account doesn't expire till 2021, so we're happy about that. The app feels a bit faster to us too, which is a common complaint, so hopefully that will make some of you happy.

Pick up WhatsApp version 2.0 for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Rudy Z., for the heads up

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3 years ago

Nokia reportedly readying new camera app for their Lumia line called Camera Extension

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Nokia has caught some flack for their less-than-stellar Windows Phone cameras, something which we probably remind people of all too often. Regardless, you have to admire their commitment to offering some of the best OEM apps on Windows Phone.

Word on the street (specifically Hong Kong) is that Nokia will be launching a new app for the Lumia line called Camera Extension which will allow users to have a new panorama feature, smart group capture, burst mode and self timer as new camera functions. These additions look to compliment the photo editing abilities in their Creative Studio app released a few weeks ago.

The info was even captured on a slide during a Nokia "experience day" for the Lumia 900 and the info was revealed by a Nokia representative ensuring the legitimacy of the claim. No details on when we can expect the release but if we know Nokia, it's probably right around the corner.

Be sure to check our out "Best Photography apps for Windows Phone" post as well as our tips on taking good photos for more info on your camera.

Update: Two more pics have surfaced. One of the Data Counter app and the other of Camera Extension

  

Source: BlogJackPhone; Thanks, Jack!

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3 years ago

Official SmugMug app now available for Windows Phone

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Looks like that push for more official apps on Microsoft's mobile OS is still rolling forth which is good news for all of us. SmugMug (www.smugmug.com) is where those too good for Flickr flock and is one of the biggest and most interesting photography sites on the 'net. Possibly only rivaled by 500PX, it's a spot where the more "serious" shutterbugs amongst us post their work (meaning our array of cat photos are probably not welcomed. Booo.).

Having an official app for Windows Phone is a welcomed gesture as many of our users will surely take advantage of the new app. So what do you get?

"Explore and be inspired by stunning images shot by passionate photographers around the world. Browse the day's most popular images on SmugMug's global photo community, or view the most beautiful photos of all time.

And if you already have a website on SmugMug, there's more: Log in to see your galleries and share your photos with anyone, anytime. You can even take pictures on your phone, edit and upload them on the go."

In other words for a version 1.0, SmugMug covered all the basics including that valuable upload ability. Combine your SmugMug account with our Lumia 710 photo contest and you have yourself an interesting combo!

Pick up the official SmugMug app for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Big thanks to Sabita M., for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Microsoft: 90% of first gen phones sold were the Samsung Focus

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On an interesting podcast over at Platform Biased, Daniel Smith who's a CX-XBLA Producer at Microsoft, reveals some interesting numbers about those first generation handsets. Out of the three that came out (putting the Dell Venue Pro to the side), the Samsung Focus (see our review) reportedly accounted for about 90% of the sales while the LG Quantum (review) had about 8% and the HTC Surround (review) only garnered a meager 2%.

Smith doesn't mention AT&T directly nor does AnythingbutiPhone (where we grabbed this story from) but obviously that can't be the whole tale. T-Mobile launched the HTC HD7, Sprint followed months later with the HTC Arrive and Verizon even later with the HTC Trophy. T-Mobile and AT&T also both had the Dell Venue Pro, though that was an unofficial as it was never available in stores. Likewise, AT&T eventually picked up the HD7s (review) late in the game.

So there weren't three Windows Phones but rather nine for the first generation and the three mentioned were AT&T specific.

Reported percentage of AT&T 1st Gen Windows Phone sales

Still, it was quite obvious that the Samsung Focus, which is getting a sequel this weekend, was always the big seller on the platform early on and for good reason. It also explains why we'll probably never see an HTC follow-up to the Surround and why LG became gun shy on Windows Phone.

Source: Platform Biased; via AnythingbutiPhone

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3 years ago

Electronic music streaming app Beem gets a seriously cool update

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Back in early April we reported on the new streaming music app Beem by Windows Phone Development MVP Den Delimarsky. The app taps into Digitally Imported (www.di.fm), the popular electronic dance music site which features everything from Techno to Trance to Chillout to Progressive making it quite the value. What's more, both the service and app are completely free and the app doesn't even have any ads. Did we mention it's pretty gorgeous too?

Version 1.1 just hit the Marketplace with a bunch of welcomed new features, some of which are extremely impressive:

  • A bug fix that now allows you to re-pin a tile even if it disappears (apparently an OS bug, but there is now a workaround).
  • UI tweaks.
  • Ability to search for played songs in the Zune Marketplace.
  • Ability to record the stream and store it locally for playback (consider this a DVR implementation for DI.FM).
  • Ability to set short recorded music as a ringtone.
  • There is now a "Now Playing” option that allows users to easily jump to the currently playing station.
  • Added the ability to clear the music player (in case you don’t want to see the last played content even though it is paused).

The ability to look the song up in Zune was something we asked for--after all, we want to make use of that Zune Pass--so it's great to see it here. The new feature works flawlessly allowing us to search for the song/artist that's currently playing and then download to our phone directly (something that's very awesome over AT&T's LTE).

But the ability to locally record whatever is playing is the most impressive. The music is saved within the app for later offline playback and is really quite useful. Not only does it record but it shows you how much space in KB it's taking up in real-time. Very cool stuff.

Finally, the rest of the changes are just icing on the cake. The new Tile layout of the stations is quite eye-catching and the app is a must-have for us as we're big fans of downtempo for our background tunes. If Beem sounds like something up your alley then you can grab it right here in the Windows Phone Marketplace (or check out Den's page on the update). The app is on our must-have list for a reason!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 survives torture test

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If there was any doubt how well built the Nokia Lumia 900 is, the above video should ease anyone's concerns over build quality. The unibody design coupled with Corning's Gorilla Glass make the Lumia 900 a very solid Windows Phone. Solid enough to drive nails. 

The engineers who tested the durability of the Lumia 900 did the same test on the Lumia 710. The 710 held up just as nicely as the 900.

Now for the obligatory disclaimer. While the Lumia 900 clearly survives the torture test in the video, we don't recommend you using your Lumia 900 to build a deck, repair the back steps or deliberately abuse your Windows Phones.  Such activity would likely void your warranty.

Chime in below in the comments if you're Nokia Lumia 900 has survived near death experiences.

Source: Conversations Nokia

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3 years ago

Bridgestone Australia picks Windows Phone as their fleet smartphone

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Windows Phone and Nokia received another vote of confidence. This time from Bridgestone Australia who has chosen the Nokia Lumia 800 to replace the company's smartphone fleet.

The Nokia 800 won out over the iPhone and Blackberry in part due to the Windows Phone support for Outlook, Work and Excel. Bridgestone's workforce was a little divided in their needs with Sales needing easy email access and managers needing better integration with business apps. Then there was the desire for a device that bridged employees work and personal lives. Scott Baxter, Group IT Manager for Bridgestone commented,

"There was a strong business case for the Nokia Lumia 800. It gives us the best of both worlds - seamless integration with familiar business tools, such as Outlook, Internet Explorer, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as exceptional design and build quality."

Baxter also commented that Nokia Drive and Maps were two appealing apps that will allow staff to dispense with separate GPS devices.

Source: ITWire; Thanks, Hassan, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Central Contest - Win a Nokia Lumia 710 with Mobilicity

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Windows Phone Central, with the help of Mobilicity, is having another Photo Contest to win a Windows Phone -- the Nokia Lumia 710 (review) which just arrived on the Canadian carrier. This time around, we've scaled things down a bit and instead of a black/white theme, we are going with the Great Outdoors. It doesn't have to be a picture of the Grand Canyon and a picturesque shot of your front yard will do.  It can be a sunset, a photo of the lake, the mountains, a garden, just anything outdoorsy that is eye appealing.

Here's the fine print...

  • Photos must be taken with a Windows Phone.
  • Only one entry per reader.
  • Entries must be submitted by Tuesday, May 21, 2012 at 5:00pm EST.
  • Due to carrier limitations, only residents in the Mobilicity coverage are eligible for the first prize.
  • Entries can be submitted in this Windows Phone Central forums area.

We will announce the winners by Thursday, May 24, 2012.  First prize is a Nokia Lumia 710 with six months of service from Mobilicity. Second prize is $100 gift card to the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store. Third Prize is a $50 gift card from the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store.

Remember in order to post in the forums, you will need to register with Windows Phone Central. You can find that easy process here.

Good luck everyone and happy shooting.

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