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3 years ago

Nokia "Dare to Live" Windows Phone challenge hits Scotland

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Nokia and the Windows Phone team have taken the "Dare to Live" challenge to Edinburgh and Glasgow as the next step on their UK tour. Like what we witnessed in London with the challenge being held at the Shepherds Bush Westfield shopping centre, the public are challenged by the team at common smartphone tasks. Should the participant win they pocket £20 there and then, but should they lose then a daring activity awaits.

In London there was height frightening tightrope walking, but Scottish losers of the Dare to Live challenge in Glasgow get to take part in a bungee launch.

Have you dared to challenge Windows Phone? Check out more photos on the Windows Phone Facebook page.

Source: Facebook (Nokia)

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3 years ago

WPCentral's Mother's Day Gift Guide

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WPCentral's Mother's Day Gift Guide

It's that time of the year again to celebrate Mother's Day. Here's what to get her in our latest gift-guide.

While it appears there won't be a Magenta Lumia 900 available for Mother's Day that doesn't mean we should forget good old mom. While we are sure many were dead set on getting the magenta Lumia 900 for their mother this weekend, we thought we'd give you a few options to fall back on.

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3 years ago

Nokia City Lens (Beta): A Closer Look

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Nokia City Lens (Beta): A Closer Look

Earlier today Nokia Beta Labs released the beta version of City Lens, a local search engine with augmented reality. We took the beta app out for a brief test drive and it's an impressive little app.  City Lens has some really nice features, a simple interface, but we could tell it was still in the beta stages with the augmented reality portion a little shaky on tagging businesses.  

Head on past the break to read our first impressions on City Lens.

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3 years ago

Nokia partners with Six Flags for official Windows Phone app

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Nokia has been a busy bee with bringing more big brand support to Windows Phone. We recently covered the manufacturer creating partnerships with a number of companies for new official Windows Phone apps to be developed, and to add one more name to the list we have Six Flags. For those who aren't familiar with the brand; Six Flags is an entertainment corporation that owns and runs multiple theme parks across the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Lumia Windows Phone owners will be able to enjoy a custom app, which will be available for all U.S. states, and Nokia will embark on a marketing partnership with Six Flags -- providing opportunities for the Lumia 900 to be advertised in amusement parks. Additionally, both companies will partner on national sweepstakes and retail promotions.

What about the app itself? The Six Flag app will sport unique content for each theme park, including an interactive map, attractions / ride information, cuisine and shopping, as well as special event listings. A customisable day planner enables visitors to plan their day ahead and check out rich media from Six Flags TV. Nokia will also provide discounts each night on select in-park retail, restaurant or games locations with Nokia Nightly Offers.

Check out the press release after the break. Source: PRNewsWireThanks Brian for the tip!

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3 years ago

Lumia 900 sales still 'outpacing supply' says Nokia US President

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According to Nokia's U.S. president Chris Weber, sales of the Lumia 900, which recently launched in the states, has been outpacing supply. We've covered how the LTE Windows Phone has been out of stock more-so than anything else, which is having an effect on other markets looking to stock the device.

It would appear as though the sellout on AT&T is indeed due to demand and not simply a case of not stocking anywhere near enough units for launch, with little demand / interest present.

"Demand has been outstripping supply for the first couple of weeks, and we've been working hard to rectify that. The demand for cyan [phones] is significantly outpacing supply. When you give people something different from a design perspective—colors, etc. —it really stands out, and consumers want that."

As well as discussing AT&T and how the Lumia 900 is selling, Weber also touched on actual AT&T retail store support for the Windows Phone.

"Generally, we’re seeing very good support. It’s a work in progress."

It would appear as though Verizon is on Nokia's goal list for the future with the understanding that having the CDMA carrier on-board as well as AT&T would certainly boost growth for both the manufacturer and Windows Phone. Unfortunately, no details were revealed surrounding Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" upgrades for Lumia smartphone owners.

"Both Nokia and Microsoft understand the importance for consumers to keep their devices fresh and updated. Without any announcements being made, we're working to make sure people have fresh and updated experiences on any device they may have."

Microsoft has come a long way since Windows Mobile and the NoDo rollout following MIX'11. Nokia has a lot riding on the Lumia family of Windows Phones to rebuild the strong brand the company had many years ago when bricks were still being held to our ears. Will we see "Apollo" on our current devices? We can't possibly say, but we wouldn't rule the possibility out.

Source: PCMag; thanks everyone who tipped us!

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3 years ago

Is Nokia causing fragmentation on Windows Phone with their exclusive apps? Nope.

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Nokia has made moves to gain some big titles (and leverage) for their hardware. Who does it hurt? Who does it benefit and is it a good thing?

With yesterday’s announcement from Nokia describing a planned set of “exclusive” apps and even more games for their Lumia line of Windows Phones (and presumably anything else they have up their sleeve), Nokia has won both praise and some scorn for their bold move.

The concern, as echoed by some in the tech press, is that Nokia’s move will cause that dreaded “F word” to happen. No, no that one, the other one – fragmentation.

Fragmentation is the boogey word of the year due almost entirely to Google and their Android OS. But as ex-Microsoftie Charlie Kindel astutely pointed out, there isn’t just one type of fragmentation.  Rather, there’s at least six ways you can divide up the terms with some of it being positive and some of it negative, affecting consumers or developers. Point is, they're not the same and what is causing problems for Android is not the same as what Nokia is doing.

The real question is, will Nokia’s strategy to get these apps and games on their hardware hurt Windows Phone?  We say “no” and here’s why.

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3 years ago

Voice-chat app TalkBox gets teased for Windows Phone in new video

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We've mentioned that popular messaging app TalkBox a few times here at WPCentral. The service is not only a way to send messages and photos to your contacts on the go but it also allows you to send those popular voice-clips, you know for those too lazy to type.

That'd be us, actually.

Speaking into your phone and sending the message, especially if you're like us and bathing in AT&T 4G LTE speeds, seems like the next logical step in instant messaging. TalkBox has that service down pat and what's more, it's cross-platform meaning you stand a good chance of your non-Windows Phone friends being able to use the service (it's available on iPhone and Android).

The app went into a public beta a few weeks ago and the developers behind it are putting on the final touches as we speak. Tonight they've released this teaser vid which shows you what to expect.

So should you be excited? Yeah, you should. We've been using it off and on for weeks now (going back to the alpha days) and the app is fast and sharp looking. It's just pretty. Plus it works well.

We'll keep you posted when the app is finally available on the Windows Phone Marketplace for all, which should only be a few weeks at most. Or if you wish, sign up at the TalkBox site to register your interest.

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3 years ago

From the Forums: Windows Phone Meetup (St. Louis)

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It’s that time again WinPhans, that's right, it’s time for another Windows Phone Meetup. What is a Windows Phone Meetup? Well that’s where we get together for eats and drinks while we talk about Windows Phones. Our first ever Windows Phone Meetup was held in St. Louis and was hosted by WPCentral forum member speedtouch. It was a big success. You can get all the backward info in this thread. “After Action Report from the April 14 St. Louis Meetup”

 

It’s time for round two in St Louis and speedtouch is up to the challenge again. He is a master at these things, even trying to get some gear together for us. On that topic he has this to say:

“I might be getting some gear from Nokia to give away. No guarantees yet, but I am in contact with some marketing folks at Nokia.”

We are meeting at the Triumph Grill in St Louis. You can get the complete details including address and links to more information in our Meetup forum. Don't forget to sign up. Quick link to the official thread: [May 19] St. Louis Windows Phone Meetup

If you would like to host a meet up or if you have an idea for a meet up in your area let us know. Posting a thread in our meet up forum is a great way to get started.

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3 years ago

Xbox Live Deal of the Week, Pocket God in serious need of updating

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Now that some high quality games like Feed Me Oil are launching at the 99 cent price point, would you consider buying a crummy iPhone port for twice the cost? That’s what we get for the latest Xbox Live Deal of the Week: Pocket God from ngmoco:). It’s on sale again for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Pocket God started as an iPhone game from Bolt Creative. In addition to its cute art and humor, the iOS game is known for its frequent episodic updates, which add new environments, minigames, and other fun content, all for free (vanity PDLC packs are also available). ngmoco:), who handles both the Windows Phone and Android ports of Pocket God, simply hasn’t shown a commitment to maintaining parity with the primary version.

The Windows Phone Pocket God in particular is plagued with semi-broken Achievements like ‘Shark Snap – God,’ whose description reads “Score over 100 shark snaps” but actually requires a ludicrous 1,000 snaps. The game hasn’t been updated in over a year, despite a promise from the developers last April. As a result, our version lags at least 8 episodes behind the superior iPhone game (which sell for 99 cents).

In ngmoco:)’s defense, the Xbox Live certification process is notoriously laborious and frustrating for developers. The situation seems to have improved somewhat since December, when we saw an explosion of title updates. That said, the floodgate still hasn’t allowed Revolution’s extremely long-delayed update to pass. I understand all that, but speaking as a consumer, it’s just not cool to sell a much inferior product for a higher price. Given Pocket God’s glitchiness and lack of content, a permanent price drop is in order, not a small sale.

Pocket God is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Get it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

The Caddie + golf app is now exclusively available for Nokia Windows Phones

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Looks like it's a big week for Nokia. First they release the beta for City Lens and now The Caddie + (aka Executive Caddie) is available for download, exclusively for Nokia users. And it too features some augmented reality functionality on board.

We've covered the popular Vertisan app extensively here at WPCentral earlier showing the first screenshots as well as a demonstration of the built-in Augmented Reality function called GolfScope.

The app is an amazing win for serious golfers out there as it features some really great tools all wrapped up in a souped up, elegant little package:

  • Tournament scoring
  • Real-time leader boards
  • Group heckling with toast notifications
  • Additional social features
  • Themes to match the Lumias, including Cyan, Magenta, White and Nokia Blue

You also get the usual assortment of geolocation, mapping, golf buddies and groups, round and scoring analysis, handicap calculation...it really has it all.

Pick up The Caddie + now for free (no ads) in the Nokia Collection. You can also click this Marketplace link from your Lumia phone or scan the QR code below. Thanks, Badranath17, for the tip

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3 years ago

geoDefense Swarm bringing the Creeps to Xbox Live on May 16

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Now that Feed Me Oil, this week’s Xbox Live release is here, we’re neck-deep in oily physics puzzle goodness. But that doesn’t mean gamers don’t look to the future as well – especially those who’ve had their fill of physics puzzlers already. Kudos then to Microsoft for announcing next week’s Live release: geoDefense Swarm from Critical Thought Games.

geoDefense Swarm is the sequel to fan-favorite tower defense game geoDefense. The new entry switches from predefined enemy routes to a grid-based field. Enemies can approach from all directions, so players will need to construct mazes in order to keep them at bay. Like its predecessor, Swarm features an appealing neon geometric look and easy to learn gameplay. It will also likely suffer from balance issues, but said issues didn’t keep its predecessor from winning many gamers’ hearts. Most excitingly, the Windows Phone version of Swarm includes a new tower, a new creep (enemy), and new challenges. We’ll find out what those challenges are next Tuesday or Wednesday when the game debuts.

geoDefense Swarm comes to Xbox Live on Wednesday, May 16 – if not the night before, as many Live releases have done lately. It will cost $2.99, the same price as its predecessor.

Source: PlayXBLA

Thanks to Sam for the tip!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Feed Me Oil splashes onto the Marketplace

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WPCentral broke the news of Chillingo’s Feed Me Oil coming to Xbox Live last month, with the promise that it would release within the next 1-2 months. It looks like we were right on the money, as Feed Me Oil has just debuted on the Marketplace. Even better news? It costs only 99 cents, just like its iOS counterpart. Also of note: Electronic Arts published the game rather than Chillingo, their subsidiary.

Feed Me Oil is a physics puzzle game that closely resembles Enigmo. The player’s job is to get a bunch of dropping oil into the mouths of gigantic creatures. You’ll use a variety of gadgets to do so, pushing, pulling, and otherwise directing the flow of oil. While the gameplay may be somewhat familiar to puzzle fans, Feed Me Oil’s creative art design (complete with cute intro) is far more appealing than Enigmo’s sterile setting. The Windows phone version features several exclusive levels, making the low price tag even more of a bargain.

Feed Me Oil costs 99 cents and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

Thanks to Zebrasqual and Robin Dale for the tip!

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3 years ago

Don't have a Nokia Windows Phone but want Augmented Reality? Try Wikitude.

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With all the hype Nokia devices get especially with their onslaught of custom software, we figured we'd throw a bone to the rest of you who aren't on the Lumia train.

In case you missed it, Nokia launched the beta of City Lens today. A nifty little app that uses the camera, gyroscope, compass, GPS and internet to show you in real-time where shops, coffee houses and restaurants can be found. It's certainly well done but not particularly original (see LG's ScanSearch app from 2011).

But in case you own an HTC or Samsung phone and want to have the same functionality there's a great free option already out there: Wikitude.

Actually, Wikitude does even more than City Lens since it's more robust with search features. It's been around for awhile and is found on competing platforms making it more widely supported. It hooks into Yelp, Twitter, Flickr, Starbucks and more. Heck, their system even has APIs so dev's can integrate Wikitude's services into their own apps.

Did we mention it's also a lot fun? Sure, seeing people literally tweeting around you is borderline creepy but it's also a bit fascinating.

The app is free too meaning there's little reason for you not to give it a try, even if you use Nokia's City Lens. We found the service to be quite accurate and useful when traveling around the city.

Pick up Wikitude here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Let us know in comments how you think it compares to City Lens (if you have both).

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3 years ago

ZTE reiterates desire to bring their devices to the US but raises other questions

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Back in January, ZTE was optimistic on bringing their range of Windows Phone to the US. At the time, they noted "The United States and China will be key engines driving our smartphone sales" which seemed ambitious, only because navigating the sea of US carrier approval is a tough goal to accomplish.

Now in a article on CNet, ZTE is once again promising to bring the Windows Phone Tania to US shores by the end of the year.

In of itself, this is not news at all. It is simply ZTE re-stating what they said five months ago to Reuters. What makes us scratch our head is if the ZTE Tania, a relatively low-end Windows Phone 7.5 device, is coming by year's end to the US--what OS will it be running?

It seems odd to want to sell what is at best a low-range phone from 2011 right when Windows Phone 8 is reportedly launching at the the same time. The Tania sports a 4.3" screen, 1GHz CPU, 5MP rear-camera and a measly 4GB of storage. Presumably some of that will be upgraded which is fine, we did like the Tania for what is was back at CES (see our hands on after the break).

But will they really launch a device with Windows Phone 7.5 by December? Or will it have perhaps another OS on board, like Windows Phone 8? We really have no idea as that status of Windows Phone 7.5 as an OS is unknown at this point, which makes ZTE's plans curious. Maybe they are planning on selling direct as a pay-as-you-go phone or maybe they are planning on updating the hardware and OS for the US, in which case are we really still talking about the Tania?

Like we said, this raises some interesting questions. Either way though, we're happy to see ZTE try their hand at the US market.

Source: CNet

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3 years ago

Sprint exec says he is "still bullish on Apollo"

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When it comes to Windows Phone, we've been pretty hard on Sprint in the past, and rightfully so. After testing the waters with the first-generation WP7 HTC Arrive, they have been a non-player, even going so far as to make the Arrive the poster child for their buyback program. Well, we could possibly be seeing that stubbornness come to an end with the imminent arrival of Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) later this year. Speaking at CTIA, the carrier's director of consumer acquisition, David Owens, said that he's "still bullish on Apollo." 

This is the same man, mind you, who said back in January:

"We have a Windows device in our lineup, but honestly, it hasn't done well enough for us to jump back into the fire. We told Microsoft: You guys have to go build the enthusiasm for the product."

Microsoft certainly paid heed to his word, setting off on a monstrous advertising campaign with the help of its partners, like Nokia and AT&T. Since then, we've seen huge demand for other Windows Phone handsets, like the Nokia Lumia 900. Perhaps the shifting momentum has changed Owens' mind. Or perhaps he has caught a glimpse of Mango's successor, Apollo, and liked what he saw. Owens failed to elaborate on his comment, so we'll just have to wait and see.  However, it gives us some hope that we could see an Apollo device or two in Sprint's Fall lineup.

Source: PCMag; Thanks for the tip, Vallos!

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