3 years ago
Microsoft's Mysterious Monday Meeting
Microsoft is holding a press event in Los Angeles on Monday, June 18th. That much we do know.
What we don't know is why Microsoft is holding an event on Monday.
The invitation distributed by Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's PR agency, reads,
"You are invited to an exclusive Microsoft Media event in Los Angeles, California on Monday, June 18th. Doors open at 3:30 p.m."
We can say with confidence and confirmation that this isn't a Windows Phone event. That press event will be held two days later in San Francisco (which we'll be in attendance at). But what could it be?
Xbox related? Maybe more information about Xbox Music? Maybe something SmartGlass or Windows Tablet related? Could we see a few Windows tablets revealed? Maybe Microsoft has changed it's mind and is going to buy Nokia after all? Okay... that one might be too much of a stretch.
At this point, your guess is as good as ours. Should we hear anything definitive we'll pass it on. The nice thing about this mystery is that we don't have long to wait for the event.
3 years ago
AMC Theaters launches their official app for Windows Phone
AMC Theaters, who were just sold to Wang Jianlin, a Chinese multi-billionaire, has finally jumped on board with Windows Phone by releasing an official app. AMC has been around since the 1920's and it swallowed up many theater chains along the way including Loews Cineplex and Sony Theaters to become one of the largest distributors in the US.
And truth be told, it's a fairly nice app.
Well designed and fast loading with a gorgeous layout the app is well done. Focusing on movie posters for graphics with stripped down text for areas, the app gives you a wide assortment of features including:
My Profile where you can store your favorite theaters and movies
Get synopsis of the latest films including watching previews
Pin movies and your favorite local theater to your Start screen
Get offers (there were none when we tried)
You can buy tickets but it just launches IE9 and pushes you to Fandango which is a little rough for our likes. We would have preferred to buy our tickets directly. Heck, you can't even manage, use or interact with AMC Stubs, their rewards program, which is a bit of a let down.
But for a version 1.0 it's not too shabby. Being free also helps so if you frequent AMC you'll want to certainly pick this up. Or just use the Fandango app.
Pick up AMC Theaters for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Jose, for the tip!
3 years ago
Photosynth and the Dark Knight Rises get non-detailed updates
We'll file these under "bug fixes" but two very popular apps have just received some 1.1 love from their respective developers.
The first is Nokia's "The Dark Knight Rises" app which of course focuses on the newest Batman film due out in a few weeks. The app has a built in augmented reality scanner for playing the location-based "game" (you choose to be Bane or Batman, claim areas via checkins and then defend those spots), trailers and clips, a countdown clock and method to find theaters around you.
No word on what v1.1 fixes but it seems to load a tad faster though the app is still sluggish when swiping through. If you have a Nokia Lumia Phone, you can grab version 1.1 for free here in the Nokia Collection.
Likewise, the popular Photosynth app (see our review) managed to pick up a small update as well. No discernable changes are reported though we'll see if it still crashes on our Titan II in a bit. Once again we're betting these are minor bug fixes and optimizations to the popular photo-stitching app.
You can get Photosynth version 1.1 for all Windows Phones here in the Marketplace. Thanks, ej lee, for the tip!
3 years ago
Xbox Live - Feed Me Oil version 1.1 update lets the Achievements flow
Feed Me Oil from Holy Water Games, Chillingo, and Electronic Arts (phew!) is one of the more charming Xbox Live physics puzzlers for Windows Phone. It packs delightful, colorful art, tons of levels, and copious amounts of everyone's favorite natural resource. However, it also launched with a glitchy Achievement that threatened to put a plug in the fun. Thankfully the version 1.1 update fixes that and other issues.
Feed Me Oil version 1.1 release notes:
Fixed ‘Oil Spiller’ achievement
Improved touch response for some devices
After installing the update, the ‘Oil Spiller’ Achievement should unlock at the main menu, assuming you’ve completed its requirements. If you haven’t spilled enough oil yet, just play Level 1-2 until you’re allowed to turn on the oil. Then let it spill continuously until you have the Achievement. (Note that some people may simply have to reinstall the game if the above doesn’t work.) Our thanks go out to the developers for fixing the formerly glitchy Achievement!
Feed Me Oil costs just 99 cents and there is a free trial. Grab it here on the Marketplace.
3 years ago
Elop: Nokia making cheaper Windows Phones to "compete with Android agressively"
Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, said today in a conference call that the Finnish manufacturer is looking to take on Android in the fight for mobile dominance, especially when it comes to low-price devices. Its primary weapons, Windows Phone and the Nokia Lumia line of handsets.
"We need to compete with Android aggressively," said Elop. "The low-end price point war is an important part of that."
When prompted about whether Nokia planned on putting out phones with lower price points than the entry-level Lumia 610, Elop responded, "Absolutely." He added that, together with Microsoft's help, Nokia found "ways to go even further" to "broaden the price point range that we're pursuing with Lumia.". With a strong commitment to Windows Phone, he two tech behemoths are vigorously fighting to break into emerging markets like China and India.
Elop did not elaborate on their plans, nor how it relates to the soon-to-be-released Windows Phone 8, aka Apollo. However, with the Windows Phone Summit right around the corner, we would think some details may come to light then.
3 years ago
Logoarama reachs version 1.2, adds more gaming levels
Logoarama is a trivia game for your Windows Phone where you have to correctly identify company logos. Version 1.1 offered eight levels of logo identification challenges. The version 1.2 update not only adds a second and bonus stages with more levels to the game but also gives Logoarama a new, clean looking redesign. The update also offers a little more forgiveness towards spelling the logo's name.
All totaled more that one hundred new logos have been added to the mix. Some logos are partial, making the game a bit more challenging in identifying things. The update also brings a few performance tweaks and bug fixes to the mix. Overall, the update does a good job of improving an already nice game for your Windows Phone.
Logoarama may not appeal to everyone but we found it to be an enjoyable time waster when you have a few minutes to blow. The full version of Logoarama is running $.99 and you can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
If you're already enjoying Logoarama, the update just went live so look the update notification on your Windows Phone here shortly.
3 years ago
Microsoft rumored to buy Yammer for $1B, could integrate with Windows Phone
3 years ago
The New York Times announces version 2.0 of their Windows Phone app
The NY Times official app version 2.0 for Windows Phone
If you're a fan of the "Old Gray Lady" aka the New York Times (www.nytimes.com), you'll want to make sure to grab version 2.0 of the app which should be hitting the Marketplace soon. The official NY Times app for Windows Phone came out last July 1st and hasn't had an update until now.
The app has had a nice revamp with the latest version, bringing it up to date with some of the latest functionality in Windows Phone. We've been running it a couple of days now and really like the added performance, new scrolling and video feature which lets you watch special clips of certain news events and cultural pieces. Here's the full changelog of what's new:
Live Tile Integration - users can pin any of the sections and blogs as Live Tiles to quickly see the latest headlines at a glance
Pivot Navigation – users can see articles, videos and blogs in each section
Cloud Integration – users may save articles to the cloud for access from multiple devices
Updated and refreshed design
Improved performance and fast application switching
Of course the only downside is the "pay wall" for some articles--while you can get the latest headlines and videos for free the rest will require a NY Times membership. But even for free the app is worth taking a look at and a must-have if you already subscribe.
We'll have a more full-featured review coming up a bit later when the app hits the Marketplace.
Full press release after the break...
3 years ago
Windows Phone Game Round-up: Doodle Games
Windows Phone Central's round-up of doodle styled games for your Windows Phone
The Windows Phone Marketplace is full of quality apps and games. Each week Windows Phone Central will round-up a handful of applications or games that fit a certain theme. For example last week we looked at panoramic photography apps. Future round ups may deal with sports games one week and news apps the next.
This week the round up focuses on doodle styled games. These are games where the animations and graphics are doodled on to your Windows Phone, often with a graph paper backdrop. We have games where your running a line, dodging balls, and jumping from a perfectly good airplane.
As with every round-up or best of list, we choose the titles that stand out to us. If a title doesn't make the round-up it shouldn't reflect poorly on that title. If we've missed one, feel free to speak up in the comments.
3 years ago
Nokia plans to reduce up to 10,000 positions globally by the end of 2013
Although the Scalado news is inspiring, Nokia is still in the rough as it plans to layoff nearly 10,000 workers by the end of 2013 in a continued restructuring of the company.
In addition, the Finnish firm is planning to close its facilities in Ulm, Germany, Burnaby, Canada and its manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland (Research and Development efforts in Salo will remain) while focusing on their Lumia line of phones including "broadening the price range of Lumia and continuing to differentiate with the Windows Phone platform". Part of the cost savings move has also been the successful divestment of the Vertu luxury line of Nokia phones to EQT VI for a rumored 200 million euros ($260 million).
Finally there are leadership changes as well including the promotion of former Microsoft executive Chris Weber from President of Nokia Inc. (US), and head of Markets, North America to executive vice president of Sales and Marketing, where he will join the leadership team of Nokia. The other changes in Nokia's leadership team can be found here.
So what does all of this amount to? There is a lot going on at Nokia including a dramatic reshaping of the company under CEO Stephen Elop driven mostly by market demands and the recent realignment of the company around Windows Phone. Analysts and equity firms have been downgrading Nokia stock for weeks now and this is their response which equates to massive cutbacks both in terms of people and facilities, potentially saving the company a lot of money during these tight times.
Nokia has previously lost 24% of its market share losing out to Samsung for top manufacturer. With the continued stampede of iPhone and Android, Nokia will be relying on Windows Phone 8 and its increasingly popular Lumia line to save it from financial despair.
Nokia stock is currently trading at $2.79 a share which is near it's 52 week low of $2.61. It will be curious to see how the market responds to these proposed cutbacks and restructuring.
3 years ago
Nokia acquires imaging firm Scalado to enhance Lumia line of Windows Phones
This morning, Nokia has announced that it has acquired imaging firm Scalado for an undisclosed price. Nokia will be picking up everything including their specialists, intellectual property and technology from the company and will be incorporating them into the company sometime in Q3 2012.
Scalado has been working with Nokia for the last 10 years but they've also done work with HTC and most recently RIM on their upcoming BlackBerry 10 and it's new camera functions. That is certainly interesting because RIM itself is in dire straits and they just lost what many considered to be a key partner for re-igniting their brand. Of course what RIM already had in motion with Scalado will probably remain but the Waterloo company should start looking elsewhere for future camera development.
The good news here of course is that Nokia is clearly aiming to get some of the best camera functions on Windows Phone. Currently, HTC is in a bit of a renaissance with their ONE series which focuses heavily on cameras and media capabilities, giving Nokia and others a run for their money.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how Scalado's know-how pays off on future Windows Phone 8 devices.
Read the full press release after the break.
3 years ago
Alleged shots of Nokia prototype Windows Phone 8 device leak, shows 54GB of storage
Alleged photo of a Nokia prototype running Windows Phone 8
As we get closer to finding out about Windows Phone 8, more leaks are expected to happen. Such is the case on WPXAP where some alleged shots of a Nokia Vertu Windows Phone have shown up.
Vertu was Nokia's "high end" fashion phone division which is currently up for sale. The phone here, only partially displayed, shows Windows Phone 8 OS including some new features like native "Cloud Storage" (SkyDrive) support and what looks to be a whopping 54GB of storage (some presumed it to be a 64GB device).
The photos are reportedly only 3 weeks old and the leaker alleges that Nokia now may not being selling the Vertu division as evidenced by these photos. However, Nokia is reporting this moring that they have sold Verto to EQT VI.
Another interesting bit leaked is that " existing models all can be upgraded to WP8, but the function reduction (including the second generation functions) will be reduced" (translation). That backs up the current thinking of many that indeed current phones can run Windows Phone 8 but with more limited functionality e.g. no NFC or multi-core support.
What makes all of this frustrating of course is we cannot even see the phone (and what we can see looks...odd). Hopefully we'll see more of what's coming this fall soon.
Edit: As many have noted in the comments, this is probably not a 64GB device but rather 32GB with SkyDrive being counted towards the total. The math works like this (Thanks, Anthony):
"A 32GB device would have 32 / 1024^3 * 1000^3 = 29.80GB If you add the 25GB on skydrive, you get 29.80+25 = 54.80GB, which is almost on the dot for the 54.72GB figure."
Another interpretation is that this is added SD card memory as WP8 will support removable storage.
Source: WPXAP; Nokia; via WMPU
3 years ago
Nokia Lumia 800 now available in Venezuela on Movistar
Good news for those in Venezuela, the Nokia Lumia 800 is now available exclusively on Movistar for Bs 4,399 on contract.
The Lumia 800, featuring a 3.7" screen, 1.4GHz CPU and 16GB of storage has been taking the world by storm, hitting numerous Latin and South American countries in the last few weeks. The launch of the Lumia 800 follows Microsoft's recent launch of the Windows Phone Marketplace in the same country back in early May, allowing users in that country to gain access to the nearly 100,000 or so apps and games.
Source: Lapatilla; Thanks, Andrés, for the tip!
3 years ago
Myth Busting Part 2: "Neon" is the next version of Windows Phone
Another rumor we want to squish is that there will be a new version of Windows Phone for "low-end" devices called "Neon".
The information first popped up on TWiT's Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley and Leo Laporte. On Episode 264 (June 7th) at around 1:47:45, Thurrott brings up some developer documentation pertaining to Windows Phone 8 with four main points:
Avoid free for all multitasking, aka Android and Windows Mobile
Allow Mango customers to upgrade to Apollo (later mis-reported as "A lot of Mango customers won’t get upgraded to Apollo")
Allow Mango apps to support Apollo resolutions
Lower end devices support for Neon
The site Insideris then received an "anonymous tip" on the 13th with the same list and they reported that "Neon" may be the next version of Windows Phone for non-Apollo devices. This resulted in numerous emails here at Windows Phone Central and various people contacting us to comment on it.
So true or false?
False. For one, the current code-name schemes for Windows Phone all have the milestones ending in "O": NoDo, Mango, Tango, Apollo, etc. So "Neon" does not fit with that history. Second, Neon here is referring to ARM® NEON™ a "general-purpose SIMD engine" for ARM chipsets.
Let's head back to MIX 2011. Back then, Microsoft pre-announced support for ARM NEON for Windows Phone Mango. NEON is basically high-end multimedia support or in technical jargon it can "...accelerate multimedia and signal processing algorithms such as video encode/decode, 2D/3D graphics, gaming, audio and speech processing, image processing, telephony, and sound synthesis".
Funny thing though--it never happened (evidently NEON is there, though it is unclear if it works in Tango or early builds of WP8). A smart reading is that Neon support is coming for "low end" devices which is a good thing. That's actually very interesting news. But it is not a code-name for a new version of Windows Phone, sorry.
As a side note, Insideris reported the second point as "A lot of Mango customers won’t get upgraded to Apollo" but if you listen to Thurrott, he says "Allow Mango customers to upgrade to Apollo" and that seems more credible.
To paraphrase Ned Stark: "Brace yourselves, silly season is coming"
3 years ago
Myth Busting Part 1: Yahoo! News says Mango phones won't get Windows Phone 8 Apollo
We're getting a flood of emails from users noting that on Yahoo! News, specifically the "Upgrade your life" segment, Becky Worley is stating that current Windows Phones with Mango won't be able to get Windows Phone 8 "Apollo".
So did Yahoo! News just spill the beans on Microsoft's plans?
Not quite. For one, very few if anyone in the media knows what Microsoft has planned for current phone. More on that later. So the notion that someone from Yahoo! got the scoop is a bit funny.
Second, pay attention to her wording in the video segment: "...and Mango phones won't be able to upgrade to Apollo's new features"
Well, technically that is true. Windows Phone 8 is confirmed as supporting two new high resolution displays--768x1280 and 720x1280--in addition to the current 480x800 (Microsoft recently dropped support for 480x640--you heard it hear first). In addition, things like multi-core and NFC support will also be included. All of those features are new and no current Windows Phones will support them, obviously.
So technically what Yahoo! is saying is accurate and we're confident that is what they meant too. Is that a reason to hold off on a purchase? For some, perhaps. But it doesn't mean that current phones won't get Apollo. For that, we're at the mercy of Microsoft and the OEMs for a decision and we still don't know their plans there (scout's honor).
And regarding that "late summer" release, we're still hearing that Apollo will be finalized by late summer but devices won't be ready till the fall. Microsoft for the last two years has had launches and refreshes in October/November, so that's a safe bet as to when you can actually have a Windows Phone 8 device in your hands.
Source: Yahoo! News; Thanks for everyone who sent this in
Show More Headlines