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3 years ago

Samsung announces low-end Omnia M Windows Phone for Europe

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Perhaps not too surprising, Samsung today has announced the Omnia M, a follow up to the Omnia W and obviously riding the Focus 2's mid-range specs.

The device is a ho-hum 1GHz  CPU with a 4" Super AMOLED screen and a disappointing 4GB of storage on board. It features HSPA at 7.2MBps which is even a low-end data, bypassing the much preferred HSPA+ or HSPA+ DC like on the Lumia 900.

It does have a front-facing camera though and the design, while reminiscent of every other Samsung phone especially the W, still looks svelte and comfortable to use.

Having said that, this is obviously Samsung's "Tango" phone, playing up against Nokia's 610 and the ZTE Tania, meaning most of you will probably want to pass on such a phone and wait for Windows Phone 8.

We're curious though how such low-end devices will sell. In theory, if this phone is offered for next-to-nothing on contract it could be a very desirable phone for those who don't yet have a smartphone. That's an important market and while it doesn't earn headlines, for market share, it's an important demographic to consider.

No word on release though we imagine it will be out in a few weeks. It's planned for Europe and "other regions".

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Tap2Match

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3 years ago

Nokia launches Reading app for Windows Phone

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Nokia has announced on their blog today that the manufacturer is looking to start rolling out the Nokia Reading app for Windows Phone in a number of launch countries. We previously took a look at Nokia Reading back at Mobile World Congress.

The app, which enables Lumia owners to browse, purchase and read ebooks, will be launching on a country-by-country basis. The first batch of markets that will be able to download and use the app include France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK. Remaining countries will follow throughout the remainder of 2012.

As for the catalogue itself, the store will feature numerous localised books as well as major English titles including The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; One Day; and The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes. More will be added to the catalogue over time so fear not if you can't locate a specific book. As well as purchasing ebooks, there are also 'thousands' of international titles freely available for download.

Genre categories coupled with filters including 'top ebooks' and 'new releases' make it more convenient for users to search through the store and available content. It's positive to see Nokia tackling ebooks with its ClearBlack display used on Lumias, not to mention Microsoft's ClearType technology more effectively rendering fonts. Should you enjoy reading at night the app will use a black background with white text instead of black on white - this mode will also be more battery-friendly with AMOLED Lumias.

Updates for Nokia Reading are already on the horizon with features to bring a virtual magazine with RSS support, as well as provisions for audio books. Check out the following video for a visual representation of the Nokia Reading. Be sure to look out for Nokia Reading which should pop up within the next few weeks should you reside in one of the launch countries.

Source: Nokia Conversations

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3 years ago

Sneak peek: Official WPCentral app v2.2

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Before you rush to your phone, it's not in the marketplace just yet! However I'm pleased to announce that the official WPCentral app v2.2 has been finalised and was submitted for certification 2 days ago.

So what's new this time around? We've been focusing on three key improvements: user experience, error reporting, and 256mb device compatibility. Most of these changes are a direct result of feedback or suggestions that our amazing community has sent us, so read on to find out exactly what's changed.

 

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3 years ago

Tweeting from your Windows Phone? It's 'via Microsoft' from now on

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 exclusively available at Phones 4u

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The Lumia 900 is now available at UK retailer Phones 4u in black and white. Both versions are reported to be only available at Phones 4u until May 27th when other sources will be able to stock the device. Purchasing either colour today from the retailer will also see a free Nokia Monster Headset, free Nokia Play 360 speaker and free 12 months unlimited WiFi bundled with the Lumia 900.

The Lumia 900 is available from £21/mo (£199 upfront fee) with O2, £31/mo with Vodafone or £33.50/mo (£59 upfront fee) with Orange. Note that delivery for the handset on an O2 deal is set back until 14/05, no reason is supplied. Also, should you have pre-ordered the Lumia 900 before April 16th, you're eligible for free earphones.

After the delays we've witnessed in the states, it's good to see Nokia pumping out stock for high demand.

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

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3 years ago

From the Forums: Applications Spotlight

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It’s time to talk developers and apps again. Over at the Windows Phone Central Forums, we have spotlight forums dedicated to developer discussions on their apps.This week our developers have been putting out the good stuff. Here's just a sampling of what all is being discussed.

TalkBox for Windows Phone is soon to be released and developer gilmanyu is bringing it to us in the forums. What is TalkBox? Check out our review: TalkBox gets teased for Windows Phone This is what gilmanyu has to say about this application.

“TalkBox Voice Messenger, one of the most popular multi-platform messenger apps, is now bringing its signature push to talk feature to Windows Phone.”

If TalkBox is the app for you, then you won’t have much longer to wait.

WayTwoGood is seriously way too good and if you like daily deals this is the app for you. Developer Alkasai made this Windows Phone app and it aggregates all your favorite daily deal websites. If you like deals give WayTwoGood a try.

Birthdays Diary developed by lemonez is a nice utility app with a rich feature set. If you’re like me and couldn’t remember your Mothers’ birthday if your life depended on it then you need this app. This is how lemonez describes his app.

“Birthdays Diary is a great free app for browsing and managing your friends' birthdays. You can easily see birthdays coming soon or find the birthday of a particular friend. Birthdays Diary features a nice, customizable live tile, allowing you to peek at coming birthdays from your home screen.”

Fun Conversions - Fun with unit conversions is a new twist on an old favorite. This app by rbrunner offers unit conversions in a fun new way. I’ll let rbrunner tell you all about this app.

“Have you ever wondered how many ants would be needed to equal your weight? Or how many times one would need to stack Mount Everest on top of each other to reach the moon? Or how many times faster you walk than a common snail can crawl? If yes, Fun Conversions is the app for you”

There are many more apps available in the WPCentral Applications Spotlight forum.  Feel free to stop by and get you some application goodness. If you see something you like, help support our developers by giving there apps a try and post feedback on what you think of their efforts. Like it, don’t like it, let them know what you think.

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3 years ago

How satisfied are you as a Windows Phone developer? [Survey]

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The Windows Phone team are asking developers for their thoughts on the entire process of creating and updating apps / titles on the platform. A developer survey is available for participants to provide feedback and / or complaints to bring positive changes for the community. 

Questions cover satisfaction, comparing development process with competitor platforms, as well as rating Microsoft services and products available to developers. As well selecting options, participants are able to provide a number of suggestions as to how the team can improve the development process.

So, how satisfied are you?

via: Cliff Simpkins

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3 years ago

Making the most of cloud storage with SkyDrive on your Windows Phone

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Curious about how SkyDrive can make your life more useful? Read our guide to find out.

Cloud storage is becoming more and more mainstream, especially among smartphone and tablet owners where local storage is limited. Storing data in the clouds (remotely hosted servers) enables the owner to access data from any supported location. DropBox is probably the best known example of cloud storage for PC users with native clients available for both Windows and Mac.

Microsoft has its own cloud storage solution, but how does SkyDrive compare to competitors? We'll take a quick glance at some features of Microsoft's product against Dropbox, Apple's iCloud and Google Drive. Microsoft has also published a chart of their own, which offers a more in-depth comparison.

 

  SkyDrive DropBox iCloud Drive Free Storage 7GB* 2.5GB 5GB 5GB Price +20GB - $10/yr
+50GB - $25/yr
+100GB - $50/yr 50GB - $99/yr
100GB - $199/yr 10GB - $20/yr
20GB - $40/yr
50GB - $100/yr 25GB - $2.49/mo
100GB - $4.99/mo
~16TB available Platforms iOS, Mac, PC, WP Droid, iOS, Mac, PC, WP iOS, Mac Droid, Mac, PC

*25GB is available for existing users.

According to the table above, SkyDrive is a more attractive option compared to competitors, but what about Windows Phone? Microsoft has developed its own cloud storage solution that was formed with the Live umbrella of products, and its fully integrated into Windows Phone with a complimentary app to go with. But where exactly is this integration?

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Monster Island updated and back on the Marketplace

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When Miniclip’s latest Xbox Live game Monster Island debuted four weeks ago, we were at once pleased and dismayed. On the one hand, Monster Island is easily the best Angry Birds-style game on Windows Phone. It packs an absolute ton of creative and well-designed levels – 252, with more promised in future updates. It even boasts multiple types of bombs, enhancing the puzzle complexity. But on the other hand, it also launched with an Achievement specifically for buying three dollars’ worth of in-game coins as PDLC. This raised the cost of earning Monster Island’s full 200 GamerScore from $2.99 to $5.99. Not cool on the developers’ part, and the game should never have made it through certification that way.

WPCentral broached the issue with Microsoft, who removed Monster Island from the Marketplace just two days after release.

Today Monster Island returned to the US Marketplace, and existing users received the new version 1.1 update. As expected, the update changes the ‘Big Spender’ Achievement, removing that annoying PDLC requirement. Two other Achievements were adjusted as well. Players who unlocked these Achievements prior to the update will not need to unlock them again.

Old list:

  • Curiosity Killed Monsters: Buy a solution pack in the Store
  • Keep ‘em coming: Buy a skip pack in the store
  • Big Spender: Buy 3 coin packs

New list:

  • Curiosity Killed Monsters: Earned 750 coins and spent them on a new character in the Monster Island store!
  • Keep ‘em coming: Earned 1500 Coins and spent them on solutions in the Monster Island store!
  • Big Spender: Earned a total of 2500 coins and spent them in the Monster Island store!

As you can see, all three Achievements have new requirements. ‘Keep ‘em coming’ took over the old requirements from ‘Curiosity Killed Monsters,’ which is good because level skip packs are basically useless. You can’t unlock new worlds or Achievements for existing worlds by skipping around! Buying new monsters offers no gameplay benefit (they purely add aesthetic variety), but at least now players have some kind of incentive to try a new beastie out. On the whole, these changes make Monster Island’s Achievement list much more fair and well-considered.

We’re glad that Monster Island has returned, but one oddity remains. The game is still available only in the US Marketplace, just as it was on release day. Miniclip is located in the frozen climes of Switzerland and their other Xbox Live games for Windows Phone (Gravity Guy, Fragger, and iStunt 2) are all available outside of the US. Perhaps they’re still laboring away at translating Monster Island into other languages? That wouldn’t explain its absence from the British Marketplace though. WPCentral’s own Richard Edmonds still can’t play Monster Island, and that’s just not right. We’ve reached out to Miniclip and Microsoft and will update should they respond.

Monster Island costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. American users can get it here on the Marketplace. If you’re located outside of the US, you can always try the Flash version free at Miniclip.com.

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3 years ago

Microsoft demos new Bing Search, now with more social

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<a data-cke-saved-href='http://video.msn.com/?vid=e0aaf4ff-24c7-42a0-875f-40917489ea1b&mkt=en-us&src=SLPl:embed::uuids' href='http://video.msn.com/?vid=e0aaf4ff-24c7-42a0-875f-40917489ea1b&mkt=en-us&src=SLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Search with friends'>Video: Search with friends</a>

Microsoft is getting ready to overhaul Bing again and we like where it's going. The new Bing Search will integrate heavily with Facebook (leaving us non-users on the side) allowing you to quickly ping your friends, family and colleagues for tips, advice or to share your finds on the web with them directly.

In a way, it's sort of the logical next-step in search. Merging of social services with web inquiries makes sense and is the reason why sites like Quora have taken off .

The service just doesn't integrate with Facebook though as "social networks" is tossed around like the pop catch phrase it is implying that Twitter, LinkedIn and whatever Live can connect to today will also be on board. The system works by having a side panel that shows your friends' live stream, enabling you to quickly interact with them via the Bing Search page.

Clearly Facebook is front and center here for a few reasons, most notably the fact that's it the most popular of the bunch but also because Microsoft and Facebook love each sooo much it may almost may Nokia jealous.

Watching the demo video above, we can't help but wonder what Bing Search on Windows Phone 8 will be like. We have to imagine that this tight integration will carry over to mobile as well this Fall, giving Microsoft a new edge for search.

No word on when we can expect the new Bing to launch but you can sign up to be notified by clicking the source link. Question for you folks: Good idea or bad ? And do you think this will help them in their battle against Google?

Source: Bing (For US only for some odd reason)

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3 years ago

Pandora Windows Phone app Radio Controlled back in beta, working again

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Two weeks ago we mentioned how Pandora altered their APIs resulting in all the unofficial Pandora apps for Windows Phone not working. At the time we mentioned that devs should be able to fix the issue with an update to their apps.

Although it's taking a little longer than expected, we're streaming Pandora just fine on Radio Controlled (beta) and we expect the same for the other apps eventually too. The developer of Radio Controlled, Greg Wenograd, let us know about this latest fix:

"This one was a difficult and involved update.  I have a feeling this update will be less impacted by Pandora changes.  If they change anything it will be sooner rather than later and I should be able to get any kinks worked out....If all goes well I will be submitting the final version tomorrow"

So stand by Pandora users as your fix should be coming soon. You can grab Radio Controlled here in the Marketplace and wait for the new, working update to appear in the next few days.

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3 years ago

Nokia's "Ready.Set () {Code}" Developer Challenge kicks off this weekend

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Ready. Set. Code. The Nokia developer challenge, which we previously covered not-so-long-ago, will be kicking off this weekend. The 13-city hackathon will run through May and June, enabling developers (and teams) to come together to develop apps for Windows Phone. 

The Code Warriors are expected to be one of the pushes Nokia and Microsoft will make in their plans to bring big brand developers / apps to the platform. With Nokia forming partnerships with big-brand developers and companies to bring over official apps, this hackathon is a perfect way to get the community involved as well.

Event schedule:

  • May 12 - Columbus, OH
  • May 15 - Atlanta, GA
  • May 15 - Chicago, IL
  • May 19 - Sunnyvale, CA
  • May 31 - Houston, TX
  • June 2 - San Diego, CA
  • June 6 - New York, NY
  • June 7 - Boston, MA
  • June 7 - Miami, FL
  • June 12 - Dallas, TX
  • June 12 - Chevy Chase, MD
  • June 15 - Vancouver, BC

Check out the video parody “Dev City Kid" below, which kicks the challenge off.

Whoever said developers and geeks weren't cool? Should you be attending the events and have registered your place, you might be interested to know there are some prizes available. At each event, prizes will be handed out for the top 3 apps created, top student app, as well as most Nokia-branded developer. Apps will be judged on creativity, usability, technical difficulty and presentation.

  • 1st place: $500 gift card and Lumia 900
  • 2nd place: $250 gift card and Lumia 900
  • 3rd place: $100 gift card and Lumia 900
  • Student winner: $150 gift card and Lumia 900
  • Most Nokia-branded developer: $100 gift card and Lumia 900

We'll close up this article with some wise words from good man Joseph. Be sure to check out the Nokia Developer Eventbrite listing for details on the events.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 610 and 900 set to launch in Australia

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Nokia has been sending out invitations to the media for an event today, which will put the Lumia 900 and 610 on show at an undisclosed location in Sydney. Australia already have the 800 and 710, which will be joined by the flagship and budget Windows Phones to provide consumers more choice.

As the media event is on May 17th, speculations of a late June launch for both the Lumia 900 and 610 have already been published. A burning question will be if the Lumia 900 will be the 4G LTE or international version supporting just HSPDA+ DC.  The 900 sports a 1.4Ghz chip, 4.3 AMOLED display and a 8MP rear shooter with a 1MP front-facing camera. The low-end Lumia 610 features an 800Mhz processor with 256MB RAM, 5MP camera and a 3.2 LCD display.

Of course, Mobicity has already been taking pre-orders for the Lumia 900 for a few months now.

via: Techin5

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Marketplace begins rebranding on Nokia devices

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We've heard through the tip line during the last few days that the latest Tango ROM updates for Lumia devices features a slightly new Marketplace.

In short, the 'Nokia Collection' is being renamed to 'Nokia Market' on all Lumia phones, a move that we applaud ("Collection" never really fit). The move is accompanied  by a icon change for the Marketplace as the traditional bag is flattened for a more Metro look but also features a big 'n' logo emblazoned on the side.

The new logo can be seen in an unboxing video for the Lumia 610 in Vietnam at about the 3:25 mark

Certainly this is an unprecedented move by Nokia obviously done with the blessing of Microsoft. It also shows how deep the Nokia-Microsoft partnership can go with Nokia slowly but surely exerting control over the OS and user experience with the focus on Lumia and less on "Windows Phone". Even with all the advertising here in the US for the 710 and 900 the words "Microsoft" and "Windows Phone" are never mentioned, which is probably a good thing for now.

Users of the AT&T Lumia 900 should probably expect their Marketplace to be updated with a future software update which will most likely include Tango.

Source: Nokiapoweruser, XDA forums, Verge forum; Thanks, Dave S., and Simon G., for the tip!

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