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3 years ago

More Tango ROMs headed for the Lumia 710 including Europe

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Just yesterday we reported that China was destined for some Tango ROM goodness for the Nokia Lumia 710. This was verified by peeking in on Nokia's own servers where they like to toss up the ROMs before they're pushed out (yet another reason to like the company, we suppose).

Tonight, with a quick cache refresh of our NaviFirm software we were able to seen yet another Tango ROM show up, this time destined for Belgium operator Proximus. This ROM has a slightly different firmware as it's labeled 8773.12120 versus the 12111 we saw for China.

We haven't loaded this one up but we feeling a little safer about English being on board. The big question everyone is wondering is Will the bring tethering to the Lumia 710? Our hunch says yes, at least for those carriers who want it.

It was speculated that Nokia did not tie the battery-saver update in the Lumia 800 (and 710) to the tethering feature for fear it could limit adoption by carriers. By separating them, Nokia could get the important battery fix out to the most users while it separately delivers the tethering update.

We imagine we'll find out soon enough. At least it's a good sign that Nokia is pushing out these updates on a wide-scale and we imagine the Lumia 800 will follow soon too.

via: Mi Movil Windows; Firmware image via Francesco S.

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3 years ago

Wordament brings word tournaments to Xbox Live on Windows Phone on April 25

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Lately we’ve been fortunate enough to receive release dates for new Xbox Live games a week or two in advance – including this week’s release, Monster Island. Naturally Windows Phone gamers are already anxious to know about next week’s new game, and we can now put those anxieties to rest. Microsoft Studios has officially announced that the Xbox Live version of Wordament launches on April 25. The game prematurely appeared on the Marketplace’s list of Xbox Live games last week, but was not Live-enabled.

Wordament is already available as an indie game. The gameplay involves trying to find as many words as possible from a field of 16 letters, all within a time limit. The hook? You’re competing against hundreds of others in real-time over the internet. Visually it’s quite plain, but the multiplayer/leaderboard aspect is compelling.

Head past the break for the full story and an update from the game's developer.

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3 years ago

From the Forums: Nokia Lumia 900 cracked screen

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"The Horror! The Horror!"

Soldier down! That's right, even with the Lumia 900's Corning® Gorilla® Glass it seems that just the right drop at just the right height can shatter the beautiful 4.3" display.

Forum member fig dropped his Lumia from waist high and the screen darn near 'sploded. If he has the AT&T insurance, the best he can hope for is spending $200 on the deductible. That is rather high but it's a lot better than paying full price for a new device, so let us hope he has the insurance!

Get the full story in our forums: cracked display.....what should I do? Let us know in the comments if you have insurance on your device and if you think the $200 deductible is, you know, too high?

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

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3 years ago

Majority of new Lumia 900 converts are coming from Android or the iPhone

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Nearly 60% of those switching to Windows Phone due to the Nokia Lumia 900 or HTC Titan II were former iOS and Android owners. Apple brand-loyalty? We think not.

We ran a poll the other day asking users if they switched to Windows Phone due to the Lumia 900 or Titan II, what OS were they coming from. And although the poll is still technically open, with 3,462 votes tallied so far we can discern a distinct pattern forming from the results.

The majority of users, nearly 60%, are coming from a combo of former Android and iPhone owners with it neatly divided at a close 30% each. Blackberry users are evidently still holding on with just 10% and a nice healthy 14% of adopters were coming from non-smartphones.

While our pals at Crackberry spun it as hope for Blackberry 10 users, we imagine a lot of folks jumped that ship last quarter to either the iPhone or Android, leaving the diehards (or still contract-bound) behind. Personally, we think RIM is DOA and look forward to a Microsoft acquisition at a rock bottom price (insert maniacal laughter).

The Android/iPhone results are interesting only because we're seeing what looks to be equal amount of folks taking up Windows Phone, leaving in the dust the notion that Apple has stronger brand loyalty than any other company.

One could also interpret the results as the Lumia 900 piquing interest from all segments of the smartphone market, represented in a roughly proportional manner. That's good news for Windows Phone as an OS and better news for Nokia who seem more than capable of garnering media attention on a wide scale. That is something the likes of Samsung and HTC have not been able to do in part because of their divided interest between Android and Windows Phone.

With the Lumia 900 seemingly selling very well (and yes, it's still number #1 and #3 on Amazon Wireless) the question now is will it maintain that momentum over the coming weeks?

We think with the glossy-white 900 set for this Sunday, April 22nd it will certainly create even more interest and those rumors of a magenta version for Mother's Day could also do wonders for the brand. We'll revisit this issue next month.

Update: To clarify, we purposefully left off previous Windows Phone users. The reason is because we were interested in only those who switched their OS due to the allure of the Lumia 900 (or Titan II). While we're sure a chunk of you were Windows Phone/Windows Mobile users, we wanted to look at the ratio of those who converted.

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3 years ago

Microsoft challenges Italy with the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign

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The Windows Phone team has taken the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge to Italy with a steady stream of contestants attempting to best the platform. Should they lose they would (as usual) have to hold up a sign and announce they've been smoked by a Windows Phone. But should they win, and this is the interesting part, they'd pocket a pair of headphones.

What's so interesting about the headphones? They're shaped like a giant phone.

Possibly the coolest prize from the challenge? The Windows Phone Italy team has been keeping everyone up-to-date with latest happenings on their Twitter account, paying particular attention to the charts which record the wins / loses. According to the photos published, Windows Phone appeared to have been holding its own successfully.

Check out more photos after the break. Via: Plaffo

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Duudle

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Windows Phone Game Review: Duudle

Duudle, a Draw Something styled game for Windows Phone

Duudle is a Draw Something type game for your Windows Phone where you have thirty seconds to doodle a picture describing a word. Your opponents then have to guess the word from the picture.  Duudle is the product of the 2011 Nokia World Hackathon where forty developers had forty hours to create an app for a Nokia Phone. Duudle, the creation of Visiarc, was the winning app.

Duudle is a cross platform game to let you compete with your friends on Android devices and it is our understanding an iPhone version is in development.  If you're a fan of the Draw Something/Pictionary type games, then you'll like what you see with Duudle.

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3 years ago

Kinect Star Wars App now available and it'll surprise you

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Kinect Star Wars for your Xbox 360 was released just a short while ago and yesterday the Kinect Star Wars app for your Windows Phone hit the Windows Phone Marketplace. And it's not what you think.

You may be thinking that the Kinect Star Wars app turns your Windows Phone into a light saber or monitors your progress in the Xbox 360 game. Nope.

The Kinect Star Wars app is a social network app that will pull feeds from your Facebook and Twitter accounts, giving your social networking a Star Wars feel. You also have a Kinect feed full of posts from your favorite Star Wars characters.

On each of the Twitter and Facebook pages, you have button controls to post, view your profile, search and view the Kinect Star Wars Xbox 360 website. The profile pages breaks down your Twitter account rather nicely with pages for your account details, your tweets, mentions, messages, favorites and following/followers lists. You do have live tile support to pin your profile to your Windows Phone Start Screen.

When viewing your Twitter or Facebook pages, the Kinect Star Wars app supports horizontal view but in its own special way. We won't spoil the surprise but if you're in the mood for Star Wars, the landscape view won't disappoint.

The Kinect Star Wars app is a free app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Nokia readies Lumia 710 Tango OS update for China

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Look what just popped up on Nokia's Care Suite servers. Why it's Windows Phone 7.5 Consumer Release (CR) 3 aka "Tango" for the Nokia Lumia 710 in China. Specifically the ROM build is 1600.3029.8773.12111 where the "8773" denotes the OS version and the "12111" is the firmware build.

Windows Phone OS 8773 is the "gold" version of Tango which adds support for 256 MB devices, MMS enhancements and other smaller, under the hood changes. A lot of phones today are sporting Mango CR1 (8107) or Mango CR2 (8112) and AT&T is expected to rollout CR3 (8773+) for its devices in the future.

With the addition of this ROM on Nokia's servers it's a safe bet that those with a Lumia 710 in China will be seeing an update notification from Zune Desktop in the next few days.

Of course the big question is can you flash this to your Lumia 710 if you're using Nokia Care Suite (much like the 8107 update)? Technically, yes, you can but seeing as this is a ROM for China we're not too sure on what language packs are on board. It's very likely English is there but if you'll be taking a risk as downgrading a ROM can be difficult.

We'll keep an ear out if this ROM starts to pushed out to user or if you're a risk-taker, whether you can flash it yourself (and void your warranty).

Thanks, @Arktronic, for the tip

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3 years ago

My Verizon Mobile receives a makeover that goes horribly wrong

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The My Verizon Mobile app has received a makeover, but not the type of makeover that improves visual appeal. With the recent Verizon HTC Trophy update, which was warmly welcomed, the carrier also rolled out an update to their Windows Phone app. Should you enter the app you might be surprised by what you're presented with.

As one can see in the above image, something's gone terribly wrong. The reviews on the Marketplace are heading downhill as one could imagine, so if you're a frequent user and enjoy an aesthetically pleasing experience, we advise you stay away from the app update.

Via: WinSource

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3 years ago

Moody's cuts Nokia's debt rating to lowest investment level

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Today, credit-rating agency Moody's, cut Nokia Oyj's debt rating to the lowest investment-grade level.  This comes on the heels of Nokia's announcement last week that they would be posting a 3 percent loss this quarter and would likely see a loss in Q2 as well.  Citing deteriorating sales of low-end phones, Moody's dropped Nokia's debt rating one step, to Baa3, with a negative outlook, which means that the rating could be lowered even further, if things don't pick up for the Finnish manufacturer.  Moody's decision affects an estimated $5.2 billion in debt and puts their rating more in line with those of Standard & Poor and Fitch, who were much quicker to lower their ratings.

“Moody’s believes that the structural change facing Nokia’s Mobile Phones segment may not be easy to address, such as the market share gains recorded by makers of very low-end phones or new promotions by Chinese carriers,” Moody’s analyst Wolfgang Draack said in the statement.

The change in Nokia's rating has obviously affected the company's stock.  Shares have been trading down 2.4% in Helsinki and credit-default swaps jumped to a record-high 516, up from 354 at the beginning of April.

In a press release that was put out soon after the Moody's announcement, Nokia Executive Vice President and CFO, Timo Ihamuotila, said that “Nokia is quickly taking action. Nokia will continue to increase its focus on lowering the company's cost structure, improving cash flow and maintaining a strong financial position.”  Nokia also tried to reassure people by noting that Nokia has approximately 4.9 billion Euros ($6.4 billion) in cash reserves.

Nokia's Lumia line of Windows Phone devices is selling well, especially the wildly popular Lumia 900, which has seen strong sales.  Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, has said that he and his mates continues "to increase the clock speed of the company."  Nokia is slated to break ground on a new factory in Vietnam, which is expected to start churning out low-end phones in 2013, a year behind schedule due to stalled negotiations with the Vietnamese government. 

Source: Moody's, Nokia; Via: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

Samsung's ChatON instant messaging service may come to Windows Phone

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As if the world needs yet another instant messaging service, last year Samsung introduced their ChatON app on Android which now boats a few hundred thousand users. The app is nothing too remarkable as it allows group messaging, photo, music and location sharing and the usual other chat tidbits you expect from such a service.

In January, Samsung released a version for iOS and subsequently one for RIM's Blackberry too. There was also mention from a TNW article that a version for "Windows Mobile" (sic) was in the works as well. Later, Samsung somewhat denied this but now it appears that Sammy may indeed have something for Windows Phone.

From the Italian version of the website for ChatON, Samsung now list "Windows Mobile" under app availability with it currently grayed out indicating future support (even if they have the platform name wrong).

Other than that we have very little information as to when it will come and what features it will have (and to be honest, we're finding it a little hard to get excited over this). On the other hand, when every other platform has it and you're the last one who doesn't, it certainly doesn't hurt us to be included too.

Thanks, iMarc90 (Twitter), for the tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft Translator updated to version 2.0

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Microsoft has recently updated the official Bing Translator app for Windows Phone, which reportedly adds functionality enabling users to translate from speech, via the camera or through keyboard input. With the camera, Translator allows users to simply capture a sign, menu, newspaper or any printed text on their Windows Phone for instant translations.

Language and phrase books can be downloaded within the app for offline usage, especially handy for when traveling abroad in supported countries (voice translations still require data connectivity). A variety of languages are available and results are fairly accurate. The in-app translators can be pinned to the home screen for convenient access when requiring fast results.

The interface is straight forward and functions are available straight from the main menu, there's little clutter in the Translator app. We've not touched on the Translator offering from Microsoft since the Windows Mobile days, but overall, it's not too shabby for a free app.

You can download Microsoft's Translator from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks Alexander for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Viber for Windows Phone coming in the next week or two

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Viber has been busy creating an app for Windows Phone, and we previously looked at an early 2012 release timeframe. Now we're stuck in the middle of early 2012 and it's time for the community to see some light at the end of the tunnel. If you're not familiar with Viber (official website), it's a VoIP service that's used by millions of Android and iPhone owners.

In response to an email inquiry from a Windows Phone enthusiast, Viber had the the following to share:

You will be pleased to know that Viber for WP7 is coming very soon. Please stay tuned within the following week. We will be announcing its publication, system req. and more, at that time.

We'll keep our eyes open and ears tuned for any further details on an imminent release for Viber. It'll be positive to see yet another popular means of communication for Windows Phone.

Via: WMPU; thanks Mark for the tip!

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3 years ago

Angry Birds and six other Xbox Live games on Windows Phone get permanent price drops

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Remember that huge Easter sale on Xbox Live titles we were so enthusiastic about a short time ago? It took a little while to receive confirmation on this, but we’ve learned that the seven featured games have permanently dropped in price to 99 cents. That’s good news to Windows Phone gamers as it means we have a new (and more competitive) price point for games!

The seven games that dropped in price from $2.99 to 99 cents:

Wondering what prompted the change in prices? The obvious answer is that Microsoft timed the drops in accordance with the release of the Nokia Lumia 900 (review). With the much-vaunted handset producing a flood of new Windows Phone owners and potential gamers, the big MS probably thought it important for these new customers to be able to pick up a few Xbox Live games on the cheap. Angry Birds in particular really needed to come down in price due to it being offered for free on a few other platforms already. In case the hubbub over Rovio passing on bringing Angry Birds in Space to Windows Phone (and their subsequent one-eighty) didn’t cue you in, it’s very important that the masses have their Angry Birds.

In Angry Birds’ case, platform equity is most likely reason for a price drop. And certainly most of the seven games cost 99 cents on iPhone as well – but not all. De Blob Revolution actually sells for $2.99 on iTunes at present. Something tells me it simply wasn’t a hot seller on Windows Phone, perhaps due to the weakness of the De Blob brand or the game’s lack of post-release updates. As for Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp, why that’s a Windows Phone exclusive! But the game is a bit content-light, a factor that may have led to its price shedding a few dollars.

Wondering whether the game makers had any say in their titles’ new prices? “We had the opportunity to drop our existing games to the new price point, so we decided to do so and test the water, so to speak,” one Xbox Live developer told WPCentral. The same game maker expects to drop the price of another title in the future.

The new price offers advantages to everyone involved. Developers now have a little more control in the pricing of their games, and gamers can pick up titles more affordably. Of course, for a game to be more profitable in the 99 cent range than $2.99, it needs to sell over three times as many copies. Initially, the Windows Phone user base simply wasn’t large enough to sustain such low prices. Microsoft could have still launched with the sub-dollar price, but games would have been loss leaders until more people picked up handsets. Now that Nokia is fully onboard and actively advertising the Lumia 900, the user base has either grown enough or is expected to grow enough in short order to make lower game prices viable.

How many of these seven games have you picked up since they got cheaper, dear readers?

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Basics: The People Hub

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Windows Phone Basics: The People Hub

WPCentral's Guide to the Windows Phone People Hub

Our next helpful article for those who are new to Windows Phone covers the People Hub - the one stop for all your social requirements when on the go. The People Hub, as the name suggests, is where all your contacts are available to communicate with. Upon launching the hub from the home screen (tile is present by default - a mosaic of randomly generated photos) you'll be presented with your profile summary with latest Facebook status or tweet (if not simply swipe to the right - we'll keep things simple and start from the contacts list).

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