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3 years ago

From the Forums: Windows Phone stuttering and the best available weather apps

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It has been a busy few days on our Windows Phone forum (when isn't it busy?) and we're going to continue to bring you the latest and hottest threads our community is engaging in. Expect to see a steady stream of "From the Forums" update articles, which will aid you in joining heated debates, receive support and voice your much-sought-after opinion.

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3 years ago

Deal - Outsider challenge a success, all Liquid Daffodil apps free for 72 hours

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Earlier this week we mentioned how the app I’m a WP7! was renamed to Outsider and re-released to the Windows Phone Marketplace. The app, made by the team at Liquid Daffodil, is for fans of Windows Phone to come together, discuss software, hangout, setup multiplayer games and just have fun. Filled with numerous Easter Eggs that include hidden functionality, the app is not only fun, it’s free.

With the update though came a challenge: Three “movers and shakers” of the Windows Phone community had to unlock 7 Easter Eggs in the app within 72 hours—if successful, Liquid Daffodil would make their other apps free for 72 hours.

Those movers and shakers were Microsoft’s Ben Lower (@benlower), Ben Rudolph (@BenthePCGuy) and yours truly (@Daniel_Rubino) and we’re pleased to announce that Lower and myself have completed the challenge with Rudolph almost finishing (he’s a busy man with a new kid, so our sympathy). As the great philosopher Meatloaf once said "Two out of three ain't bad"!

Regardless, Liquid Daffodil are making all their apps free for the next 72 hours. Those apps should be either free already for most of you or shortly becoming so when the Marketplace refreshes. Those apps are:

  1. glƏƏk! ($1.99 US- review) – One of the most unique Twitter clients available
  2. Outsider Extras ($2.99 US) – Companion app for Outsider gives even more features
  3. Add to Contacts ($0.99 US) – Search for contact info using Bing and save to your People Hub
  4. Calendar Search ($0.99 US) – Search your calendar for past and future events

We regularly use all the above apps and they’re top notch--not only are they well designed but those bottom two are super useful as they fill in gaps in the Windows Phone OS. You would be crazy to not get these apps and save yourself $7.

A big thanks to Liquid Daffodil for offering up their software for free and supporting the Windows Phone community.  Remember, this deal is only active for 72 hours so go get them now because once you lock in that “free” license, it’s free forever.

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3 years ago

my Speed Test does an admirable job for those concerned about bandwidth on Windows Phone

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Network speed test apps are always finicky and hard to judge for accuracy but we like what we see with the new app called Speed Test (or my Speed Test).

The app is free and has a companion site (http://www.myspeedtest.mobi) which is very useful for checking on your stats, seeing geolocaiton information and what others are getting for speeds. There’s no way to create an account but the Sign In area near the top suggests that this feature may be coming down the road.

The companion Speed Test website

Speed Test is quite basic—you launch it and start the test, measuring your latency, download and upload speeds. You can either do a “complete” test or “fast” with the latter using smaller file-sizes, resulting in slightly less accurate results. You can then scroll over for “network” info including seeing your location and once more for test history. There are no options for changing between kb/s and Mbps with the former being used in this app.

For free we can’t complain too much about Speed Test and the developer looks to have expansion plans for the app as a service. That’s a big deal since many network test apps often get abandoned by their developers.  In comparison tests with our favorite speed test app, Bandwidth (which is sadly no longer available) we found the results to be comparable to Speed Test’s which is a good sign.

Pick up Speed Test here in the Marketplace for free. You can also try Microsoft’s TestMyNet too.

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3 years ago

A quick look at the coolest Windows Phone Fan

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As we say in New England...this is wicked awesome

With the hot days of summer settling in we figured we cool down with a Windows Phone Fan. Literally.

We covered this little gizmo back a few months ago when our friends over at WeLoveWP.hk managed to grab a few during Microsoft’s launch. The fans themselves are your standard “hand fans” with some LEDs in them that can be programmed. Evidently they're quite common for promotions.

Simon Luk of WeLoveWP.hk was kind enough to send one over to us and we actually forgot we had it until the other day.

We’ll contact Microsoft to see if they have any available and maybe we can grab a few for you guys. And if not, we’ll tell them they should get more because they’re kind of awesome. Check out the video below to see for yourself.

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3 years ago

Xbox Live Developer Interview: Iron Galaxy Studios, makers of Ms. Splosion Man (WP) and Wreckateer

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It’s time for another installment of Windows Phone Central’s Xbox Live Developer Interview series! We jumped at the opportunity to speak with Chicago-based Iron Galaxy Studios, developers of the upcoming Ms. Splosion Man for Windows Phone (based on Twisted Pixel's XBLA hit), Wreckateer for Xbox Live Arcade, and many other fine titles. CEO Dave Lang fills us in on the challenges of developing fighting games, working with the Kinect, bringing the same game to both Windows Phone and iOS, and much more.

Head past the break for our lengthiest interview yet, filled with brilliant concept art and exclusive Ms. Splosion Man screens!

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3 years ago

Freda ebook reader for Windows Phone bumped to 2.6

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Freda, the free ebook reader for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 2.6, which introduces a number of new features and improvements. We previously looked at the app back in November when the developers were eagerly seeking beta testers for a previous update, so it's good to see Freda continue to receive invested time and effort to further improve the user experience.

So what's new in version two-point-six? The Turnipsoft team have worked hard to translate the UI for French, German, Swedish and Slovak users, further opening up the service for international consumers, but that's not all. Find the full changelog below:

  • Improved Metro-style appearance (including a jump-list view of the 'bookshelf')
  • FB2 format
  • Ability to backup and restore the bookshelf using SkyDrive storage
  • Better handling of CODE, PRE and DIV elements
  • Advertising no longer displayed on the main front screen
  • Bulk-download feature to get multiple books at once
  • Low-memory mode for better performance on low-end hardware (Lumia 610, etc.)
  • Password lock
  • French, German, Swedish and Slovak UI localisation
  • Numerous stability and performance fixes

Not a shabby update. In fact it's quite a leap forward. If you're into ebooks and haven't given this app a try, be sure to do so as it supports EPUB (DRM-free), FB2, HTML and TXT formats to keep you busy. Freda sports customisable controls that enable the user to alter fonts and colours, while inserting annotations and bookmarks, as well as the ability to look up dictionary definitions and translations.

The app can render EPUB formatting (eg. bold / italic text, margins and alignment) and can display code, images and diagrams. Book sources supported include Feedbooks, Smashwords and the Gutenberg Project catalogues. SkyDrive, DropBox or Calibre can be used to share existing book collections with the app for on-the-go reading. If that wasn't enough, Freda can also download books from websites using the built-in web browser. Favourite books can then be pinned to the home screen for more convenient access. 

You can download Freda and Freda+ ($0.99 / £0.79) from the Marketplace. Difference between the two versions is advertisement removal.

          

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3 years ago

Experiment 19: How Windows NT was streamlined for Windows Phone 8

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Microsoft Research has published a few more details on their skunkworks project that commenced in 2008 to bring the Windows NT core to ARM. Better still this goes on to show that not only were they successful, but also they were able to beat Windows CE in performance tests on the same hardware.

Windows CE, on which Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 run, has been the mainstay of Microsoft’s mobile efforts for a very long time. The problem of course is that it’s never really been Windows at all and for the most part it an entirely separate beast. Windows NT, the core of Microsoft’s standard Windows products, was long considered too large and resource heavy to work well on mobile devices. Experiment 19 was a project to prove that not only could NT come to mobile, it could do so and beat Windows CE in the process. It was a success.

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3 years ago

Microsoft Surface and RIM BlackBerry Windows Phone 8 concepts that will probably never come to be

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Could Microsoft make a Surface Phone? Not likely

We've re-published a number of concepts in the past when it came to guessing what designs Nokia had up their sleeves for Windows Phone, or how Windows 8 tablets could look like. Fortunately for consumers, Microsoft decided to smash the latter and unveil their Surface range of Windows 8 tablets to compete with the iPad and Android counterparts. So we now switch back to the phone, and with Apollo on the horizon what could we see if Microsoft and RIM made a Windows Phone?

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3 years ago

White Nokia Lumia 800 now available for just £15/mo at Phones 4u

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We've covered a number of deals the past few days and it's certainly a coincidence that most (if not all) have been Nokia Windows Phones. We've got yet another offer to reveal to you should you reside in the UK. High street retailer Phones 4u has the exclusive white Lumia 800 listed at just £15/mo with Orange.

The Lumia 800 is bundled at no extra charge, and the 24-month plan includes 100 minutes, 3000 texts and 100MB of data. It doesn't sound a lot if you're a power user, but it's the Dolphin package from Orange so one can always upgrade should they wish to do so. 

The Phones 4u Lumia 800 product page shows a 3.8 / 5 average customer rating with 77% recommending it. Be sure to head on over to the retail website for more information. Note that Nokia have halted the free Monster headphones offer.

Source: Phones 4u; Thanks, Mark, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review - Rapid Toss+

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3 years ago

Lumia 610 available in Australia at Big W for $229 with prepaid agreement

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The entry-level Lumia 610 Windows Phone is now available at Big W in Australia (following New Zealand), at an enticing price of just $229. The low end hardware running Windows Phone "Tango" enables Microsoft and manufacture partners to penetrate the prepaid market, which we've seen with in the states with both Best Buy and Walmart offering Nokia Windows Phones on prepaid plans.

While the Lumia 610 is considered a "low-end" smartphone, unlike Android counterparts, it doesn't suffer from performance issues and the same Windows Phone experience witnessed on the likes of the HTC TITAN II or Lumia 900 is packed within. In fact, the Lumia 610 goes one better than more expensive Windows Phones as it has Internet sharing pre-loaded and ready to go, and an upcoming version even supports NFC.

Big W, the retailer stocking this handset, is offering the Lumia 610 with a bundled Boost Mobile prepaid agreement. Included with this deal is $40 Boost Mobile credit and SIM to get started (which further pulls down the cost of the handset itself to just $189).

Available is both pink and blue, there's no confirmation that the deal present at this time will still be listed after the catalogue dates close on July 25th - so be sure to hurry up if you're interested. While the device is quadband, it's locked to the Optus network. That aside, it's a solid deal for a starter package with a solid experience on a Nokia Windows Phone.

Source: Big W, via:  WPDownUnder

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse UK: Win a Nokia Lumia 900 & two tickets to a festival

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Yes, dear reader it's summer, to celebrate the fact, those nice people at the Carphone Warehouse are generously running a Windows Phone flavoured prize draw. Included in the prize is the chance to win a Lumia 900 and a couple festival tickets to a major unnamed UK based festival. I am personally waiting for summer to start here in London, but am lead to believe its in full swing around the UK presently.

Carphone Warehouse excitedly describes the Lumia 900 like this:

  • A dazzling 4.3" touchscreen
  • An amazing 8MP Carl Zeiss lens camera
  • Crystal clear video calling
  • A super long lasting battery life

Nokia are offering the festival tickets as part of their July Music Promotion. Currently new purchases of the Lumia 610, 800 and the 900 are eligible to receive Music vouchers from Nokia on standard purchases. Whatever the reasons for the promotion it’s good to see both Nokia and the Carphone Warehouse working together to raise awareness of Windows Phone. Interestingly CPW are only offering Windows Phones from Nokia at this point.

Unlike O2 Carphone Warehouse seem to have a good knowledge of the platform and correctly name it as Windows Phone 7.5 on their website. They have also moved to dispel myths about Microsoft’s current mobile OS.  Offers like these are only going to increase awareness of the brand and with the addition of the festival tickets appeal to the hipster demographic amongst us. Not sure I’d take my Lumia 900 along to a muddy festival mind..

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Dev Day: 28th July 2012, Bournemouth, UK

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Developers, Scott Lovegroove and Dan Thomas are set to bring a Windows Phone developer event to the charming surrounds of Bournemouth. The seaside-based event is to provide a space for fervent discussion on the recent developments from Redmond, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. 

Whilst a full agenda for the day is still to be confirmed, the day is to be peppered with presentations, developer insights as well as some time to get in and hack away at some code. If that’s not enough for you they are also planning a ‘Geek Dinner’ where I’m sure the frivolities will continue with gusto.

With the coming opportunities to cross develop for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 coming edging ever closer. Events like these should be invaluable to those seeking to know more about these exciting changes. So if you have an interest in development I’d urge you not to miss out. As with all developer events like this, the more that attend and contribute the better. 

Windows Phone Central will be representing there too in the form of Richard Edmonds and myself. We are always interested in seeing any upcoming projects you may be working on so please do come by and say hello. We will endeavour to make ourselves known. Head on over to the WPDD website for more information and spot registration.

Source : Windows Phone Dev Day

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T set to drop to $49.99 this Sunday?

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With news this week that Nokia has had mild to moderate success on AT&T with the Lumia 900 we should not be surprised to hear that a price drop is coming. After all, the phone has been out now for nearly four months and product cycles dictate that there is always something better down the line.

We’re hearing from an AT&T employee (and we verified with someone higher up in the food chain) that the flagship Windows Phone is set to get a $50 price cut this Sunday and will now be offered for $49.99 on a two-year contract--all colors.  That’s in addition to AT&T stores still offering $50 in free accessories making the Lumia 900 a decent deal for new users looking for a solid smartphone.

This Sunday is also a big day for Nokia and AT&T as the pink Lumia 900 is also going on sale, a carrier exclusive. The combo of a pink Lumia 900 for the ladies along with a $50 price tag should give the phone a modest boost in sales--at least that’s probably what AT&T and Nokia are hoping. It should be interesting to see if sales are brisk or stagnant in a few days from now.

Curiously, the Lumia 900 is still the #3 best-seller for AT&T phones on Amazon Wireless and has remained in the position for quite some time. While Amazon Wireless is not a direct reflection on overall sales, it’s a good sign that at least some people are buying it.

Are any of our readers looking to pick up the pink Lumia 900 this weekend for their woman-folk? Does the $50 price tag make it that much sweeter or do you think it won’t matter with sales? Thanks, Danny, for the tip

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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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