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3 years ago

Three UK looking to roll out DC-HSPA ahead of 4G LTE

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Three UK has announced plans to implement "4G" on their network, but instead of putting LTE on trial, for now the carrier is favouring DC-HSPA (the DC means dual-channel). In theory customers should be able to witness speeds up to 42Mbps, and with Three's "unlimited" data plans this will certainly excite smartphone owners.

Three currently operates a HSPA+ network that offers speeds of up to 21Mbps and is set to roll out DC-HSPA this coming summer. What's interesting to note is the timing of this announcement with the international Lumia 900 (supporting the "almost 4G" standard) being announced at MWC this week - coincidence?

Three still plans to introduce LTE through testing in the future so we'll happily take DC-HSPA for now.

Via: Slashgear; 4G image via Shutterstock

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3 years ago

The Sims 3 is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week once more

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Ready for a repeat Xbox Live Deal of the Week? The Sims 3 is now on sale for $4.99 – for the third time. Not only does that make it a pretty unexciting sale, but they might as well just drop the price to $4.99 already. It'd be silly to buy this one for seven bucks when The Sims Medieval is coming eventually.

Anyway, The Sims 3 is a mobile version of the hit life-simulation game. Players create and customize a Sim and then try to complete various goals with him or her, such as getting a promotion at work and kissing another Sim. It makes for a great game, on PC and consoles at least. But the Windows Phone version doesn’t quite match up. As our review points out, the character customization is extremely limited. Load times are lengthy and frequent and menu navigation is clumsy. On the plus side, EA did update the game for Mango and fix many of its bugs at the beginning of the year.

The Sims 3 is on sale for $4.99 for one week only. If you didn’t buy it the last two times it was on sale, now is the time to move! Hurry up and get over here to the Marketplace, before you miss it and have to wait for the next time it goes on sale.

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3 years ago

Skype for Windows Phone unable to run in the background

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The long-awaited Skype app, which was unveiled at this year's MWC as beta, has an issue that will affect any user that wishes to run it in the background hoping that incoming calls would alert for user input. The Verge took a dive into the beta app only to find out that should the app not be active on a Windows Phone, any incoming calls are diverted to a voicemail service.

Skype has informed The Verge that this is a limitation due to the OS itself with how notifications are too slow, stating that it takes too long to process information, open the app, and set up the call to make it practical. Unfortunately it would appear as though the team doesn't have native access and we don't expect this to be something that'll be fixed by the gold build release.

Of course we're all still awaiting integration with the OS itself, which would render the app somewhat redundant. Hopefully native access will be provided for said integration that would allow the team to have the service run in the background. Skype integrated into Windows Phone will add to the selling points for the platform thus Microsoft will need to have an efficient solution for those who use the service.

Another kink in the system is video calling, which is only in landscape mode. What's more strange is should you swipe to the text conversation mid-call the app will then switch the portrait. This is actually something Skype made the decision on and is looking to fix.

Source: The Verge

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3 years ago

DoDonPachi Maximum trailer teases bullet hell shooting on Xbox Live for Windows Phone

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Japanese shoot-em-up maker Cave officially announced DoDonPachi Maximum for Windows Phone last month, but they didn’t reveal any assets besides the game’s logo. Now we have a bit more to go on thanks to a teaser trailer.

The trailer reveals a bit of cinematic art – unlike some shmups, the DoDonPachi series has always had something of a story surrounding the arcade-style gameplay. It’s also subtitled by someone who clearly doesn’t speak English as a first language... The translation should give the game a distinctly Japanese flavor when it finally makes it to the Marketplace.

A bit of background: DoDonPachi is Cave’s most popular shmup series. It’s your basic vertically-scrolling bullet hell shooter, packed with intense gameplay and large, impressive bosses. Strangely, the only American release up until now has been the excellent iPhone version, DoDonPachi Resurrection. The Xbox 360 version of DoDonPachi Resurrection did come out in Europe though, and it’s mercifully region free, so it will play on US consoles. Resurrection’s European publisher, Rising Star Games, recently opened a US branch and promised to release another Cave shoot-em-up, Akai Katana, in both Europe and North America.

DoDonPachi Maximum doesn’t have a release date yet, but it will cost $4.99. That’s not a bad deal considering its iOS predecessor goes for $7.99.

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3 years ago

PlayPhone adds Windows Phone support

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PlayPhone adds Windows Phone support

PlayPhone Social Gaming Network announced at Mobile World Congress yesterday that they now support Windows Phone.  And in doing so, it appears to have become the first social gaming service to support all major operating systems.  PlayPhone, which already supports Android, iOS, HTML5, Adobe AIR and Unity, is an online community for multiplayer and social gaming.  It allows its 35+ million users to interact, play games and consume virtual goods in a cross-platform environment.

“Microsoft and its partners have put extensive resources toward the rapid adoption of the Windows Phone 7 platform worldwide” said Anders Evju, SVP and GM of PlayPhone.  “PlayPhone is committed to cross-platform mobile gaming. Gamers on all leading mobile devices – Android, iPhone, iPad, WP7, etc. – can jump into the PlayPhone SGN to play some of the best games out there with their friends.  We call this the PlayPhone advantage."

The PlayPhone Social Gaming Network SDK for Windows Phone is now available to developers.  Visit their website for more info.

Source: Mobile Entertainment

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Weather Stats

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Windows Phone App Review: Weather Stats

Curious what the weather patterns are like in Atar, Mauritania? Well there's a Windows Phone weather app that will tell you the weather stats for more than 26,000 cities world wide. Weather Stats published by Kitya is an app that will provide you with available weather stats on that particular location.  Weather Stats comes in handy if you're traveling and need to know what type of weather you're in store for.

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3 years ago

Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp wages war on Xbox Live for Windows Phone

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The Must Have Games 2012 promotion comes to a close with the highly anticipated Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp from Krome and Microsoft Studios.

Boot Camp is the mobile companion to Toy Soldiers: Cold War, an excellent XBLA game featuring a war between rival toy factions. The mobile version simply consists of three minigames taken from its big brother: ‘Fly Swatter’ (by far the most fun), ‘Cardboard Theater,’ and ‘Thread the Needle.’ All of them sport 3D graphics that closely match those of the original. Control options include swiping, tilting, or a virtual d-pad. The game also has a built-in screenshot function and global Leaderboards – two features we’d love to see used more often. You can check out our developer interview to learn more about both Cold War and Boot Camp.

Having earned all of Boot Camp’s Achievements already, I am a bit concerned about the game’s controls. While the variety of options is nice, none of them felt right to me. I highly advise trying the demo and judging for yourself. That said, the Achievements are almost entirely easy; you can get them all in an hour if you’re good enough.

Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Nokia releasing video-promo creation tool soon for Windows Phone developers

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Of all the cool things we've seen so far at Mobile World Congress this upcoming web tool for developers gets our high marks. As an extension of the Nokia banner creation tool we saw a few weeks ago, Nokia is taking the concept further for developers by allowing them to make full-length Lumia commercials but with a twist.

Instead of just showing a Nokia phone with the Windows Phone OS, it will feature your app. You simply enter the site, give it your URL for the Marketplace, add some music and screenshots, some key words that describe your app and the program will dynamically create an Amazing Everday-esque commercial for your app. You can then download or embed the video into Facebook or your website.

It's a brilliant tool that allows devs to concentrate less on marketing and more on app development. It's free to use and should make some exciting mini-commercials. While the Digital Marketing Toolkit is still in beta, Nokia is soliciting feedback from folks here at MWC and they are looking at a release in about 8 weeks.

Check the somewhat long video demo after the break (the shakiness goes away at 30 secs, sorry). It's a step by step process of how it works so you may want to grab a coffee. Well worth it if you get to the end product though, we swear...

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3 years ago

From the Forums: A Mobile World Congress 2012 Update

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Mobile World Congress 2012 (Tag: MWC12) is in full swing and the Mobile Nations team is there. Our Mobile World Congress 2012 Events Forum is filling up with all the news and discussions thereof--we have lots to discuss, so jump in the forums and join the fun. We also have new forums up for the Lumia 610 and the ZTE Orbit,  both of which were announced this week.

There is a lot already posted and more to come, so go get the news from our Main Page then jump in the forums for the in depth discussion and community sprit you can only find in the WPCentral forums.

Remember, the forums are more fun when you register, so sign up today.

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3 years ago

Editorial: Build awesome Windows Phone apps with no coding...and other lies

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Being a developer is tough, and every developer will agree.  If they don't, they're in denial. We have long hours, we get no sleep, we spend hours tweaking things that 90% of users will never notice (much like designers), and often get no recognition for any of this.  You don't just wake up one day and are suddenly a coder, it takes work.

I used to lecture Microsoft technologies at a University and the number one reason students gave as to why they were studying programming was: "I heard there was lots of money in it". Surprisingly, those were the same people that now work at McDonalds (and make amazing burgers I might add!).  And as far as I can work out, it's also these types of people that make 5 minute apps.

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3 years ago

The T-Mobile Lumia 710 is "exceeding expectations" according to Elop

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This morning at Mobile World Congress, CEO of Nokia Stephen Elop commented on their recent success of announcing four new Windows Phone within one year of their famous partnership with Microsoft. He noted that they were now in 31 different markets and on 50 unique operators with increasing demand in sales everyday.

In just under a year, they've won awards for the Lumia 900, including a "Best of Show" which was a first for them and garnered high praise for the Lumia 800.

So when it came to the Lumia 710, specifically on T-Mobile which Elop pointed out was their return-device to the U.S. market, he reported with great enthusiasm that sales are "exceeding expectations" and that they are "very pleased" with its performance in the market so far. While no specific numbers were given, it appears at least that Nokia has a small hit on their hands with the Lumia 710--a device we gave high praise for--and the increasing visibility of the device e.g. LIVE! with Kelly is certainly helping too.

Quickly checking T-Mobile's page for device information, we can in fact see this being reflected. As of today, the Lumia 710 is T-Mobile's third best selling device--a level we have never seen reached for any Windows Phone in the US. Likewise, the device is in the same spot for user satisfaction with a 4.7 stars (out of 5) from 115 reviews (interestingly, the HTC Radar is number two).

The conclusion seems to be that Nokia is doing quite well with the 710 which we think is a great sign for the impending Lumia 900 on AT&T and their accompanying media campaign.

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3 years ago

HTC's Chou and Nokia's Elop duke it out at Mobile World Congress

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During the latest keynote speech at Mobile World Congress, HTC's Peter Chou and Nokia's Stephen Elop had a few fun moments taking shots at each during their talks and later during the question and answer session.  In what was probably the most exciting thing to happen here since Nokia announced a 41MP camera, the two (who insist they are friends and on good terms) clearly have some tension as both compete for market share and the minds of consumers.

One area that was addressed not once but twice was Nokia's 41MP camera versus HTC's 16MP on the Titan II announced last month. Elop started first by retelling the story of Chou announcing the phone back at CES and realizing they had to break out their 41MP camera sooner than later in order to steal back the focus on camera optics. Later, Chou told a similar story of how he asked Elop what he thought about the Titan II's camera and reportedly Elop was "silent" on the matter, clearly flustered. This worried Chou that Nokia were going to hit and hit back hard (indeed they did). What made that moment extremely entertaining though was when Chou insisted on telling his version of the CES story, Elop asked if he could snap Chou's picture (with the Pure View) while doing so--clearly a fun jest and the crowd reacted appropriately with roars of laughter. Point, Nokia.

Later, Chou was asked by the moderator what he thought when Nokia reported a $250 million payment from Microsoft, clearly part of the two's partnership. Chou was fairly diplomatic on the issue saying that he thought Nokia would be help lift everyone in regards to Windows Phone but obviously the payment must have slightly perturbed him, being a Microsoft partner for over 15 years.

Chou was also modest on the chances of Windows Phone success. He thinks there's nothing wrong with the OS and it's a great system but it seemed clear from his responses that he thought Android and iOS would clearly dominate for the foreseeable future. Though he did report that their Windows Phone customsers had extremely high satisfaction ratings for their phones with very few returns, something we've reported on before.

Interestingly, both Chou and Elop agreed that the 16MP versus 41MP competition is really misguided and focused too much on specs versus the customer experience, something both companies are concerned with (Elop more so as he "hopes it's not a spec war").

All in all, watching the two smartphone heavy weights discuss the pros and cons of Windows Phone was exciting both for the tension and humorous jousting between the two companies.

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3 years ago

Nokia's Stephen Elop: The future is the ecoystem

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One of Mobile World Congress's keynote speeches just wrapped up and this one featured three different speakers: Dennis Crowley, founder and CEO of Foursquare, CEO of HTC Peter Chou and CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop. The topic was simple: Mobile OS & Applications, specifically what challenges each CEO is facing and how the mobile OS can transform technology.

Each CEO gave their take on what they do and what they are doing for the future. Crowley is concerned with data aggregation on Foursquare and how to "give that back" to the customer in a useful manner. Chou was interested in the infinite possibilities of smartphones but more importantly how to smartly managed that e.g. HTC Sense. Finally Nokia's Elop focused on three areas:

  1. Ecosystems including big apps versus local apps, with the latter being Nokia's concern. This can be seen in things like App Highlights on their phones.
  2. Location-based services e.g. filling in the "Where? equation" on smartphones. We see this demonstrated with their Drive, Maps and Transport apps
  3. How to monetize this ecosystem for the smaller developers in emerging markets

Elop's discussion was frankly much more interesting as he was laying out, in no uncertain terms, what Nokia's plans were. They see growth in the untapped emerging markets, where 60% of cell phone users do not have a smartphone yet. He reiterated once again how he thought Nokia could be a "disruptive force" in the industry with Windows Phone (versus iOS or Android) and that Nokia had a great symmetry with Microsoft in regards to software/hardware design.

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3 years ago

LIVE! with Kelly gives away Windows Phones

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The Nokia Lumia 710 made an appearance at the Oscars. Courtesy of Kelly Ripa. The Windows Phone was taken backstage to snap photos and hob-nob with all the Hollywood hot-shots.

Kelly showed off the Lumia 710 on her Live! with Kelly morning show and as an added bonus gave each of her studio audience members a free 710. As if that wasn't enough, each audience member received a 6 month T-Mobile service plan.  Based on the reaction of the audience it appears they liked this Windows Phone promotion.  

Looks like another successful Windows Promotion that joins Ellen Degenre's HTC Radar giveaway event that took place last December.

source: LIVE! with Kelly

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3 years ago

Nokia and Bing Maps get visual makeovers

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Nokia has updated the colour palette for their mapping service and this change has been reflected through Microsoft's Bing with the partnership between the two companies. The alterations are to make the browsing experience easier and more aesthetically pleasing with improved typography, colours and less obstructive icons. The above image illustrates the change with the new version of Bing Maps on the left.

While these changes are present on the web versions of both Nokia and Bing Maps, Windows Phone owners will be able to witness the improvements in the official apps. Note that Nokia Drive wont be updated with the new look for a week or two.

What do you make of said changes?

Source: Nokia Conversations

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