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3 years ago

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop answers Windows Phone related questions from TechEd 2012

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Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, has answered some questions asked by attendees from Microsoft's TechEd 2012. Questions range from developers, globalisation, Symbian and Windows Phone. Possibly the most interesting question, which is also on the minds of Windows Phone (and potential) consumers, is at 5:40.

Elop responds to the question about the inability to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 by stating that the manufacturer is excited about the features that will be included. He does note that all four current devices will receive Windows Phone 7.8, as well as a pattern of future updates from Nokia. These future updates will implement Internet sharing, flip-to-silence, and media content streaming.

"It's also inevitable, that in our fast moving industry, software platform updates are a necessity. They enable a new range of experiences and help offer people a broader range of options. Including size, design, price points."

Elop goes on to reiterate that Nokia are determined to offer long term support for current Lumia Windows Phones. Something that will please many who aren't overly fussed with the upcoming Apollo upgrade.

Source: YouTube

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3 years ago

Walmart offering T-Mobile Lumia 710 on prepaid plan for $269. Still selling well.

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Walmart is offering the Lumia 710 at a low price of just $269 on a prepaid agreement. Like all prepaid (or PAYG - Pay As You Go) plans, the no-commitment usage of a feature rich smartphone appeals to many and with Windows Phone 8 hardware on the horizon, it may prove to be a good move to take up such an agreement while waiting for what's next from manufacturers and Microsoft.

The Lumia 710 on offer is the white version with a black clip-on case. Walmart has beaten both T-Mobile and Best Buy's pricing by $30, which is certainly something to consider. With the low-end hardware from Nokia and other OEMs, Windows Phones can take advantage of prepaid plans at lower pricing levels.

Interestingly, the Lumia 710 (white and black) are the #3 and #4 top-selling 4G phones on T-Mobile which backs up previous statements from Nokia and T-Mo that the phones are still selling.

Head on over to Walmart's website to check if your local store has stock.

Source: Walmart; thanks, Robert, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Hertz Car Rental App now available on the Marketplace

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The Hertz Car Rental app has landed in the Windows Phone Marketplace to help manage your car reservations a little easier. The app is laid out nicely in panoramic or metro fashion with pages to view your reservations, find your car, and to find gas stations nearby.

From the My Reservations page you can create or modify rental car reservations. Just tap the blue "reserve or modify your reservation" bar or the plus sign at the bottom of the page. You will then be prompted to the reservation forms from Hertz. You can log into your Hertz Member account from the reservation pages as well.

The "Where is my car?" page is a nice touch and lets you mark where you parked your car using your Windows Phone location services. Just tap the plus sign to mark your location, add a description and then tap save. A map thumbnail and description will appear on the page to help you get back to your car. You can even pull up Bing Maps to get directions back to your car.

The Gas Stations page is somewhat self explanatory. The page will tap into your location services and pull up a listing of all the gas stations in your area.  Tap on a location to generate driving directions (through Bing) to the gas station and pull up the map view of the location.

All in all, the Hertz Car Rental app is a nice tool for your Windows Phone. In navigating around the app, managing car rentals is about as easy as calling an agent or going on-line. Hertz did a good job of making things simple and straight forward. If you find yourself renting cars with regularity, this app may be a must have app for your Windows Phone.

Hertz Car Rental app is a free Windows Phone app that you can find here at the Marketplace.

Thanks, Evan, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Developer interest for Windows Phone 8 remains high while RIM's plummets

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71% of developers are optimistic about Windows Phone 8

A new survey today from RW Baird shows some promising news for the Windows Phone platform.  Despite some recent setbacks and still less-than-stellar adoption rates, devs are keeping their eyes on the prize with Windows Phone 8 and Microsoft’s future.

The poll shows that since the June 20thWindows Phone Summit, 71% of respondents had an increased interest in the platform because of the new Windows Phone 8 capabilities.  That’s quite a high number and we believe a smart move as the promise of overlapping development for Windows 8 Desktop, Surface and Windows Phone 8 will offer some tantalizing opportunities for increased revenue.

Regarding developers long term outlook for Windows Phone 7, devs were less enthusiastic with a noticeable decline from 6.3 (out of 10) back in Q2 2011 to just 4.2 in Q2 2012.  Why the drop? It’s actually hard to decipher as it is far from clear just what devs understand as “the future of Windows Phone 7”. From a technical standpoint, the platform is winding down but Nokia and Microsoft have promised long-term support. Microsoft has also ensured that Windows Phone 7 apps will work on 8—so are devs turning from WP7 and looking to WP8 instead? That seems to be the case.

The worst news though is aimed at RIM and their upcoming Blackberry 10 platform. Developer interest for their next gen OS is precipitously declining with only a 3.8 (out of 10) now hopeful for its long term success. RIM has responded to this report noting that they’ve published 15K apps since January and their dev camps have had robust attendance. All of that may be true but image and perception are everything and people's view of RIM’s future looks negative—that is never a good thing and hard to turnaround. (But see Crackberry for an alternative analysis).

Perhaps it’s not surprising that iOS and Android remain strong with 9.3 and 8.7 scores for developers’ faith in their long term potential with Android taking a very slight dip.  The survey data comes from 200 developers culled from a sample set of 4,300 making the numbers seemingly reliable.

The takeaway from this news would be developers clearly see Windows Phone 8 as the third ecosystem for smartphones while webOS, Symbian and RIM’s future OS are clearly either dead or floundering. That's something to be hopeful about.

Source: RW Baird; via Crackberry, All Things D

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3 years ago

First look at Mirrors Edge for Nokia Lumia Windows Phones [Video]

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This morning Nokia and EA Games teamed up and finally released the long awaited ‘Mirrors Edge exclusively for Lumia Windows Phones. Coming in at 131 MB, the port is so far behaving nicely.

While the game is somewhat old (it came out years ago on iOS after being on consoles previously) it was quite the hit at the time and for good reason--featuring an interesting backstory, excellent graphics and relatively simple gameplay the traditional horizontal runner became a quick game for many people.

And that title is now available on Lumia Windows Phones via the Nokia Collection. What’s more, this is an exclusive Xbox LIVE offering meaning you get the whole package including achievements. The game itself ported nicely with smooth graphics, great sound and features un-lockable wallpapers which you can download for later use.

Fetching for $2.99 the game is well done and should provide Lumia owners’ hours of frustrating jumping. What’s more, Nokia and EA have many more games in the pipeline meaning Lumia owners will soon have a nice advantage over their non-Lumia counterparts. You can see that list here. Fear not though as these games will go to all Windows Phones once their “exclusive” restriction runs out--when that will happen, we're not sure (we're working on finding out).

Pick up Mirrors Edge here in the Nokia Collection for $2.99.

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3 years ago

Bing UK is rolling out search engine improvements, but not what we hoped for

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We previously looked at Bing UK rolling out the social update we've witnessed being released elsewhere, but it seems as though we're not going to get the full package - at least not the SERP social sidebar anyway. What the Bing UK search engine has received is a slight upgrade with Facebook and Live connectivity, plus a slight design revamp.

With our previous coverage, we received numerous comments from readers who reside in multiple countries, all confirming no social sidebar. Unfortunately, it seems as though this is a limited feature with only the US sporting the whole shabang thus far. But what we all do have after the upgrade is a cleaner interface, larger homepage images, and clearer result pages. Let's hope more is on the way.

If that wasn't enough to heal the social wounds, the Bing team have worked hard on optimisation and under-the-hood improvements. Question is: do you like the sidebar? Would you like to see it included, or is what we have so far enough?

Source: Bing UK

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3 years ago

Swedish retailer CDON prices ZTE Tania Windows Phone at just 990 kr

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The Mango-powered ZTE Tania is currently priced at just 990 kr (£90 / $140) on Swedish consumer electronics retailer CDON. Don't let this entry-level handset (and the price tag) fool you though, as this little beast surprised us at CES 2012 with its overall design and hardware specifications.

The ZTE Tania sports a 5MP camera, 4.3" screen, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM and a 1Ghz chip. CDON is blowing other retailers out the water with this attractive pricing. Clove UK currently has the same device listed for £210. Be sure to check out our previous hands-on coverage from CES below.

Head on over to the CDON ZTE Tania product page for more information (select "without subscription" for full price).

Source: CDON.se, via: WinGadget.se; thanks, Peter, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Mirror's Edge released exclusively on Xbox Live for Lumia Windows Phones

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Mirror's Edge exclusive for Nokia Lumia Windows Phones

The Windows Phone Xbox Live title Mirror's Edge, from EA Games, is a 2D platformer with interesting gameplay taken from the 2010 console version. The player takes on the role of Faith and has to help her avoid corrupt authorities by performing a number of acrobatic stunts to bypass obstacles and other elements.

But before we continue with this excitement, be sure to note that Mirror's Edge is exclusive for Nokia Lumia Windows Phones for the time being. 

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3 years ago

Nokia Transport 2.1 for Windows Phone now available on the Marketplace

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Nokia Transport will get you to your destination

Nokia has announced today that version 2.1 of their Transport app for Windows Phone is now published and should be available to all Lumia smartphone owners in the next few days. Able to run on all Lumia Windows Phones, the Nokia Transport app is a must-have tool for anyone who requires directional assistance when on the move using public transportation.

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3 years ago

Telstra approves Tango update for Windows Phone

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Australian carrier Telstra has approved the Windows Phone Tango update for its arsenal of smartphones. We previously covered Telstra's efforts in testing the upgrade last month, so the carrier is indeed making good progress with getting the update to consumers in a speedy fashion.

The upgrade will be available for Telstra customers with a Nokia Lumia 800, HTC Mozart and HD7 or Samsung Omnia W. The LG c900k (Quantum) is reportedly still undergoing some tests before the update is rolled out. The expected dates are still frozen at mid-July, so we should be able to see some notifications pushed out shortly.

Be sure to keep up-to-date with the status of the rollout over on the Telstra website.

via: Peter's Kitchen; thanks, Peter, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone sees slight dip in U.S. Marketshare

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Nielson has released their second quarter numbers for 2012 and while 54.9% of U.S. mobile subscribers opted for smartphones, 1.3% opted for Windows Phones. This is a jump from Q1 2012 for smartphones (50.4%)and a slight decline for Windows Phones (1.7%).

Android still has the lion share of the market with 51.8% and Apple is a distant second with 34.3%. RIM is holding steady at 9% with Windows Mobile pulling in 3% of the market.

Nielson's 1.7% is somewhat less of a market share than we saw last month from Comscore who has Microsoft holding on to 4% of the market. Then again, Comscore's numbers combine both Windows Phone and Windows Mobile shares in the market.

Regardless, both reports show that Microsoft still has some work ahead of them. The slight decline in the Nielson report could be from consumers holding off on the platform until Windows Phone 8 is released later this year. It will be interesting to see how these numbers change once the new devices hit the store shelves.

Source: Nielson

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3 years ago

With a new Translator Hub, Microsoft gives the power of language to developers

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Microsoft yesterday announced commercial availability of their Microsoft Translator Hub. The service has been designed to allow developers and business to deliver tailored, real-time translation in up to 39 languages.  The real-time translation is available as an Azure Marketplace application, enabling users to leverage the Microsoft Cloud to deliver more relevant machine translation applications to their customers.

The applications vary for this service but as an example, it will allow for fluid, real time translation of live web chat interactions from customer services representatives. It goes beyond plain machine translation by allowing the output to be fully optimised for that particular application. A private set of data can be uploaded and using the Translator’s machine learning training system, output can then be tailored as required. Manipulating the output could allow exclusion of business specific nomenclature such as names of products or abbreviations. These customised translation scenarios can then be tested deployed so that they suit each application for which they are targeted. Once the solution is deployed, it can accessed through the familiar Microsoft Translator Service API, all the time being kept private or shared, depending on what you require.

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3 years ago

Official Windows Phone 2012 Olympic Games app hits the Marketplace

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The official 2012 Olympic Games app has landed in the Windows Phone Marketplace. London 2012 was developed by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and is designed to keep you up to date with the latest Olympic action and Paralympic action.

The app is laid out nicely with the following pages.

  • Live Updates Page that currently displays a countdown timer to the Olympic Opening Ceremony. From there, the page will display updates from the games.
  • Sports Page that breaks down the events by sports. Each sports tile will pull up the specific events, news items for that sport, a photos page and an About page that covers any rules and venue information on that sport.
  • Calendar Page breaks things down by date. Tap on a date and you'll pull up an time listing of events by sport. Tap and hold an event to set a reminder so you won't be late.
  • The Favourites Page lists any sport you've tagged as favorite or reminders you've set.
  • The Menu Page has links to view the games schedules and results, medal tally, athlete profiles, access the My Games section and access the app's settings. The My Games section can be set to a specific Country to pull up news, reminders and favourites for the Country.

You can toggle between the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games through the three-dot menu that runs across the bottom of the main pages. The Paralympic content isn't currently available but is expected to be available in time for those games (August 29th through September 9th).

London 2012 is a very nice application to keep you informed on the Olympic Game results and schedules. While the app does give a good bit of information about the venues of the Olympics it lacks any mapping support. While you can easily switch over to Bing maps or Nokia maps, it would have been nice to have everything under one roof.  

The LOCOG is working on a companion app for London 2012, the London 2012 Join In app, that is a mobile guide to help plan, enjoy and share your gaming experience for the Olympics and Paralympics.  Hopefully the mapping component will be a part of this companion app but it sounds more like a Twitter/Facebook app.  We'll keep a look out for the Join In app and let you know.

London 2012, the official Olympic Games app, is a free offering (ad supported) that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. While this is the official app, there are several other 2012 Olympic apps available on the Marketplace. Look for a round-up of these alternative Olympic apps on Friday with this week's Windows Phone Central Roundup.

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3 years ago

Xbox 360 Impressions: Zuma's Revenge from PopCap, makers of Plants vs. Zombies

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PopCap Games may be best known for their sublime Plants vs. Zombies (on sale for $2.99 this week!), but they actually produce a number of stellar franchises like Peggle and Zuma. We interviewed PopCap about those two series coming to Windows Phone last year, and we’ll continue to ask about them whenever we can. PopCap seems to work on one game for one platform at a time, and they’ve just completed a new Xbox Live Arcade release: Zuma’s Revenge. It just came out yesterday, but I’ve been playing the game for a week now in order to bring you this review.

The original Zuma Deluxe was an XBLA launch title way back in 2006. Basically an enhanced clone of classic arcade game Puzz Loop (aka Magnetica), the Zuma games put players in control of a stationary frog who can rotate in any direction and shoot colored balls from his mouth. In each level, more balls roll on-screen along one or more paths. The frog’s job is to stop them from reaching the goal at the path’s end by quickly making as many colored matches as possible. It’s sort of like Bubble Town 2 but much, much better and more varied.

Head past the break for our full impressions and more screenshots.

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3 years ago

PrimeTube for Windows Phone gets a new player in latest update, continues to impress

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'Overly Attached Girlfriend' approves of the latest PrimeTube update

Although it was nice seeing old-time favorite MetroTube land back on the Marketplace last week, we don’t want to lose sight of some other fantastic YouTube viewers. PrimeTube fits the bill nicely and it just received a solid update to version 2.1 (v2.0 hit last month).

According to the developer, version 2.1 brings “a new player, UI refreshes, speedier performance and bug fixes” which sounds to us like some nice improvements. Indeed, loading up the app and swiping through the pages is buttery smooth and the player itself is laid out quite nicely with options for High Definition (HD), High Quality (HQ) and Low Quality (LQ) which came with the version 2.0 overhauls.

You can’t directly download videos for offline-viewing with PrimeTube but you can pin to Start, favorite, leave comments and share links with others. In addition, you can upload video which is certainly a nice option for those of you who want to share your experiences with others (hopefully this is native in Windows Phone 8).

Overall, PrimeTube is one of our favorite YouTube apps for Windows Phone. It’s fast, smooth and has a very clean, Metro UI. Best part? It’s free with no ads which means at the very least you should download to give it a shot.

Pick up PrimeTube v2.1 here in the Windows Phone Marketplace for the low, low price of nothing.

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