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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Smartboard Calculator

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3 years ago

Microsoft releases eight new 'official' wallpapers for Windows Phone (Nature)

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Since Windows Phone users can't spend a lot of time customizing their OS (instead we live our lives), there's much focus on the lock-screen. We know we change ours every few days (we use Ffffound for inspiration).

Today, Microsoft has announced a partnership with London based graphic designer Levi Freeman and as a result, they've released eight "officially sanctioned" wallpapers to spiffy up your Windows Phone.

The eight images are nature focused so they may not appeal to everyone (we're more into abstract art here). Still, the designs are nice and they're meant to look perfect on your phone. What's more, the images all have a corresponding QR code for easy download (see, not even Microsoft uses Tag). Plus Microsoft notes that they hope more of these collaborations will happen with Levi, meaning we can probably expect different themes in the future--we like that idea. Levi also plans to release desktop versions too.

There's some interesting tidbits about the inspiration for each image and details about Freeman at his site, so hop on over to grab those images and learn a little bit about their origins.

Source: Windows Phone Blog, Levi Freeman's blog

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3 years ago

T-Mobile CEO "quite pleased" with Windows Phone sales

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File this under "vague but encouraging". T-Mobile's CEO Philipp Humm gave an interview with the Seattle Times where he talked about the transitions that company is going through including their future plans.

Humm was asked about Microsoft and Windows Phone in particular and while no firm numbers or details were given, the message was at least positive:

Q: T-Mobile made a commitment to push Windows Phone this year. How is that working out?

A: I think we have a very good relationship with Microsoft, and we discovered that, in particular, for customers who are new to smartphones, they really enjoy the simplicity of the Microsoft [user interface], so they like the design and the ease of it.

Q: Are Windows phones selling as well as you hoped?

A: We are so far quite pleased and I think Microsoft, if you talk to them, [is] quite pleased with T-Mobile.

Indeed, T-Mobile has been the 2nd most important carrier in the US for Windows Phone. They launched with the popular HD7, had the Dell Venue Pro and recently exclusively acquired the HTC Radar (review) and Nokia Lumia 710 (review). While those latter two phones won't woo those who want a high-end, large screen device, both phones have exceptionally high user satisfaction ratings (and they're amongst our favorite devices here at Windows Phone Central).

The comments above, while vague, do echo what Nokia CEO Stephen Elop noted back in Mobile World Congress. There in regards to the T-Mobile Lumia 710, Elop noted that sales were "exceeding expectations" which we'll take as a positive sign as well. (Currently, the Lumia 710 is #4 under best-selling smartphones on T-Mobile, while the Radar is #19.  Amazon Wireless has the Luma 710 at #6 and Radar at #7, respectively.)

Still, Windows Phone has a long away ahead and it's not clear that non-flagship devices like the Lumia 710 and HTC Radar can turn T-Mobile into the "must have" carrier for Windows Phone. Here's to hoping that T-Mobile still has a few Windows Phone tricks up their sleeve.

Source: Seattle Times

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3 years ago

Lumia 900 survey participants receiving Amazon gift cards

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Those who participated in the Lumia 900 feedback study that saw Nokia publish a survey and offer $50 Amazon gift cards as an incentive have reported that they've begun receiving said rewards. Should you have completed the required number of surveys and are eligible for the gift card reward, you will be contacted soon enough. 

Our George Ponder has confirmed this acknowledgement and has also been alerted to his $50 gift card redemption code.

Let us know in the comments when you receive yours. What will you be using the card for? You can also join in the discussion on our Windows Phone forum.

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3 years ago

ZTE Tania launching in China within days, gets a CPU upgrade

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ZTE is slowly growing to be an important partner with Microsoft and Windows Phone as they're one of the largest OEMs in the world (that you never heard of). Their "Tania" has been around for some time now but it surprisingly hasn't launched yet in China, which received its big Windows Phone push last month with Nokia and HTC leading the way.

Now it looks like the device will finally be out within days though no specific carrier has been announced. According to Wei Xiaodong, ZTE sales director, the phone will be released by the end of this month and will get a CPU bump from 1GHz to 1.4Ghz--a trend we're seeing with the more premium Windows Phones like the 710 and Focus 2. Everything else will stay the same though: 4.3" screen, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM and a 5MP camera. Of course the OS is expected to be "Tango" for the Chinese localization.

We played with the Tania back at CES and actually like the little guy. While perhaps not amazing by certain standards, for a premium Windows Phone it's actually well done. ZTE has also announced plans to make a push here in the United States and it will be curious to see how that pans out.

See our hands-on video on the ZTE Tania from CES 2012 here.

Source: CNMO; via Unwired View

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3 years ago

Pizza Hut Australia giving away 5 Lumia 800 Windows Phones and $100 vouchers

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Nokia and Microsoft have teamed up with Pizza Hut Australia to give away five Lumia 800s and $100 vouchers (for Pizza Hut). How does one enter with a chance to win? Simply head over to their Facebook page and fill out a short form detailing why you believe you should win one of the available prizes.

Do hurry if you're thinking of entering as the competition ends on May 25th. You can download the Pizza Hut app from the Marketplace for free (country restricted). Check out the app in a video demonstration below.

Source: Facebook (Pizza Hut), via: WPDownUnder

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3 years ago

Understanding Skype’s limitations on Windows Phone

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Do you want to know why Skype is the way it is? We go into detail as to how the network works & why it's not so great on Windows Phone--yet.

Soon after Skype for Windows Phone beta came out (and went gold months thereafter), users were dismayed to discover the app didn’t work, well, like Skype. That is, it couldn’t run in the background to receive phone calls or IMs from friends and family.  Circulating reports suggested that perhaps “push notifications were too slow” or that the problem was a result of “[…] how Skype works and how the Windows Phone OS works.”

The real reason? Well, it’s complicated

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3 years ago

NumberTap update on the way, what's changed so far?

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The TBODA team have been busy working on improving NumberTap, a free mathematical brain workout Windows Phone title. We previously looked at NumberTap when it was released back in August 2011. Since then it has come on leaps and bounds with a number of versions introducing the following features:

  • Badges (achievements)
  • Bonus questions for double points
  • Time bonus for answering all the questions in a round before the timer expires
  • Added more question types (divides and some with brackets)
  • Added functionality to share a players score to social networks

As well as being more feature rich with the above, NumberTap was patched a few times to squash any reported bugs. Should you give the app a try? Definitely. Not only is it free, it's a lot of fun and is of same quality as Phonealytics by Luke Lowrey. A leaderboard is also present with badges and score multipliers, which add depth to the game with multiplayer elements.

Version 1.7 has been submitted and should be available soon.

You can download NumberTap from the Marketplace for free.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Logorama

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 610 now in stock at Clove UK

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The Lumia 610 has now been confirmed to be in stock at UK mobile retailer Clove. The company is offering the all-black version for £180 (including VAT), which was previously unveiled to be heading for the UK shores last week. The low-end device sports 8GB internal memory, a 3.7 inch display, 5 megapixel camera, and the Nokia Collection of OEM apps including Maps, Drive, Transport, Music and more.

If you're more interested in the cyan version, Clove have revealed that they expect to stock this version this week. Will you be picking one up, or is the Lumia 710 on your list?

Source: Clove UK (Lumia 610); thanks Richard for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Official The Register app available for Windows Phone

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An official app for The Register has been released for Windows Phone this past week. The online publication is a reputable technology resource with millions of readers, and Windows Phone owners will be pleased to know that a seamless experience is now available while on the go.

Latest articles are pulled down with comments displayed for each article. Users can add their own opinion on the article, or share the article with integrated social networks. Favourite feeds can be configured in the settings, for a maximum of three subjects. This creates a more personalised experience with relevant stories being targeted for viewing with three panes dedicated to the chosen topics. All feeds can be viewed regardless of what's selected in the settings, thus it's not a limitation.

It's a basic and simple app, but the interface is great and fluid throughout. Unfortunately, there's no option to change font sizes and screen orientation is locked at portrait, but we expect future updates to be rolled out addressing said issues with new feature implementations.

You can download The Register from the Marketplace for free.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: May 14 - 20, 2012

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Welcome to this week's Windows Phone summary of the week, where we round up all the news and headlines that are worth checking out should you have missed a few days of our feed. Before we kick off the summary, our app has been updated to version 2.2 (with 2.3 in the works) and introduces a number of new features and functionality. Our Paul Acevedo took a look at five must-have games any new Windows Phone owner should have in their collection.

As well as gaming, our George Ponder takes a deeper look at how SkyDrive can make your life easier with cloud storage and integration. Mobilicity has paired up with Windows Phone Central to give away a shiny new Lumia 710 in a photo contest. Do you believe your shots could win? Closing date is May 24th. That wraps up our introduction, now let's head into the summary.

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3 years ago

Lumia 900 featured in June issue of the Entrepreneur Magazine

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The Lumia 900 has been featured as "The Networker" in the latest issue of to Entrepreneur Magazine, a publication covering small businesses, startups and the like. As one can see with the above photo, the Lumia 900 is praised for its design, SkyDrive integration, LTE speeds, collection of Microsoft apps, and how it "looks like a toy".

Unfortunately, no mention of Nokia OEM apps is present, nor how the Windows Phone has won numerous awards. Still, it's great to see the Lumia 900 (and Windows Phone for that matter) rated up there with the iPhone, Motorola Droid 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note in a respectable magazine.

Check out a closer shot of the page after the break. Thanks Teddy for sending the photos in!

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3 years ago

Editor's desk: First impressions of the AT&T Samsung Focus 2

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Samsung is back in...white...with the Focus 2 on AT&T. What do I think of it after a few hours? Let's find out.

For many of us, the original Samsung Focus (review) was our first foray into the Windows Phone world. And truth be told, it was an excellent experience. With it's 4" Super AMOLED screen, slick design, light body and decent (for the time) camera, the Samsung Focus set the precedent. Recent numbers also reflect that status with upwards of 90% of AT&Ts first generation Windows Phone being the Focus.

Today, AT&T and Samsung have released the Focus 2, a moderate update to the original design (check out today's unboxing video). Eschewing glossy black for the new hip white, dropping in a faster 1.4GHz CPU and adding 4G LTE are the most notable changes. Adding a more rounded design with some updated sensors and cameras are the more under-the-hood type differences.

So how does it stack up in the first few hours I've been toying with it? For $50 on contract or $399 off, the Focus 2 is a nimble little guy that has certainly caught my attention.

The feel of the device is really good in the hands albeit a touch slippery. The roundness of the device, while slick, makes it a joy to hold and at 4" for the screen size, it's a more natural fit. The chrome accent adds a touch of class and while the device is very plastic, it doesn't feel cheap. The buttons have an interesting layout with the volume keys to the left, power and camera to the right. While odd, it does make it less confusing than the Lumia 900's where they are all lumped together on the same side. Travel of the keys is good and they're tactile with no rattle.

The Super AMOLED screen is really brilliant but obviously not as good as the Lumia 900's. Still, it holds its own and it's great to look at while not getting to grimy.

Audio quality is moderate with very little distortion when maxed out. It's a touch tinny but not by much.

The camera is surprisingly good even at 5MP, in fact forgetting the loss of resolution, it's as good if not better than the Nokia Lumia 900's. While it doesn't really contain any advanced settings e.g. no anti-shake or panorama, photos are well detailed and pleasing to the eye. We do however recommend turning up sharpness and contrast a smidge more to make the most of it.

Any extras worth reporting on? No, not really. There are the advanced GPS settings (GLONASS) and Samsung's "extra settings" present but other than that it has the same wallpapers as other Samsung Windows Phones and their regular cheesy ringtones.

Overall though, we're impressed and like the Focus 2 a ton. It feels great in the hand, is fun to use and makes a solid addition to AT&T's lineup. I'm going to have little problem adding it to my repertoire of Windows Phones.

Check after the break for a few more pics of the device and a couple camera samples (compared to the Lumia 900)...

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