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3 years ago

Photosynth and the Dark Knight Rises get non-detailed updates

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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!

    

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - Feed Me Oil version 1.1 update lets the Achievements flow

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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:

  • Updated localizations
  • 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.

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3 years ago

Elop: Nokia making cheaper Windows Phones to "compete with Android agressively"

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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.

Source: TheVerge

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3 years ago

Logoarama reachs version 1.2, adds more gaming levels

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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.

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3 years ago

Microsoft rumored to buy Yammer for $1B, could integrate with Windows Phone

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The big rumor flying around today is that Microsoft is looking to buy Yammer (www.yammer.com) for a hefty $1 billion dollars making it one of the largest acquisitions by Microsoft of late (the other being Skype). 

For those who don't know, Yammer is a social messaging network built for enterprise. It may seem kind of niche but in this services area, Yammer is the top provider and we can see why Microsoft would want to acquire the company.

For one, between Skype, Lync, Messenger and GroupMe, Microsoft is gobbling up a lot of social media services and building quite an messaging empire. Combined with their close relationship with Facebook and LinkedIn and you can see how Redmond is angling against Google for both consumers and enterprise.

The Yammer deal is expected to be completed today or tomorrow and if so, we could see Microsoft integrating Yammer directly into Windows Phone in the near future. After all, they already have Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Messenger in Windows Phone 7.5 and they're expected to add Skype and numerous other social networks to Windows Phone 8 "Apollo".

What's more, Windows Phone 8 focuses heavily on enterprise including Bitlocker encryption, secure boot and new Office 365 policies. Yammer and Windows Phone 8 seem like a perfect match, if you ask us.

You can pick up the official Yammer app in the Windows Phone Marketplace in the meantime.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

The New York Times announces version 2.0 of their Windows Phone app

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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...

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Round-up: Doodle Games

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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.

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3 years ago

Nokia plans to reduce up to 10,000 positions globally by the end of 2013

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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.

Source: Nokia

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3 years ago

Nokia acquires imaging firm Scalado to enhance Lumia line of Windows Phones

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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.

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3 years ago

Alleged shots of Nokia prototype Windows Phone 8 device leak, shows 54GB of storage

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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

    

    

 

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 now available in Venezuela on Movistar

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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!

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3 years ago

Myth Busting Part 2: "Neon" is the next version of Windows Phone

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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"

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3 years ago

Myth Busting Part 1: Yahoo! News says Mango phones won't get Windows Phone 8 Apollo

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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

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3 years ago

LinkedIn email marketing for their Windows Mobile app?

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LinkedIn, the service, is a professional social network that boasts a membership of over 160,000,000 that spans over 200 countries and territories.  The LinkedIn app for Windows Phone ties it all together and delivers the network rather nicely to your Windows Phone.

LinkedIn is apparently marketing the LinkedIn app through bulk emails but there's one slight problem. The graphic shows the app running on a Nokia Lumia 800 but references "LinkedIn for Windows Mobile". Not only once but twice.

Now we can understand that typos occur so we can cut the ad agency a little slack. But come on... it's been almost two years now since Windows Phone 7 took over as the Windows mobile platform.

The good news is the LinkedIn Marketplace description references Windows Phone. If you're a LinkedIn member or look to join the network and want a mobile solution, check out the free LinkedIn app here at the Windows Mobile...err.. the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia advertisements surface highlighting the Lumia 610

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It looks like Nokia in the UK are all set to start a new TV marketing campaign in the very near future as the above Lumia 610 commercial popped up on their YouTube channel a short while ago.

While the Lumia 610 may not be the 'daddy' of Windows Phones it does offer pretty good value for money and sits at a price point where it can compete with many low end Android and BlackBerry Smartphones. Vodafone currently is offering the Lumia 610 for £150 on Pay As You Go.  All of which isn't bad when considering that along with the typical Windows Phone features you also get Nokia Maps for local searches and also Nokia Drive which eliminates the need for a separate sat nav system.

Now we just need to see when the new advert airs. Will Nokia pay the big bucks and go for prime time at the weekend?

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