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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: FlightPredictor

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FlightPredictor is a Windows Phone app that delivers a hefty amount of flight information to your Windows Phone. FlightPredictor covers flight times, status, and also has a series of major airport maps to help navigate the friendly skies.  Flight information is provided by FlightCaster.com and if you need to keep track of flight times, delays, along with a little help finding your way around airports, FlightPredictor is worth a try.

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3 years ago

AppHub now open for the 23 recently announced countries [Developers]

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Microsoft has announced the opening of AppHub submissions to the 23 new countries added to the pool of support. Developers in these countries (and beyond) will be able to submit their work to the localised Marketplaces, which will open up to consumers in the near future.

To recap on the newly added countries: Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Vietnam. The total number of supported markets is now at a respectable 63.

A quick reminder to developers - it's now reportedly taking more than 7 days to approve Marketplace submissions. Something to consider when keeping to announced release dates.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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3 years ago

Report: Nokia paying AT&T for exclusive employee use of the Lumia 900

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We've heard numerous times that the Nokia Lumia 900 will be a "hero" device for AT&T, a term that is unfamiliar for many who are not in the business of smartphones. Here, the usage refers to AT&T promoting the Lumia 900 on the level of the Apple iPhone meaning we should expect a very intensive media campaign for the flagship Nokia device and it taking center stage on one of the largest carriers in the US.

One way to do that is to put the phone in the hands of those on the front lines -- the sales reps at the AT&T stores. More information has rolled in over the last few hours since we broke the April 9th street date for the 900. First, we know that the phones started arriving at AT&T stores over the last two days and that employee training on the Windows Phone OS (and this specific hardware) will take place on March 26th, April 6th and 7th at those outlets.

Next is the big news: AT&T has designated the Nokia Lumia 900 for 'Company Use' meaning all Front Seller employees are eligible to receive the phone at no cost. The trade off is though is that employees have to turn in their current 'Company Use' phones, namely the iPhone and certain Android devices.

You read that right: Nokia is paying, we hear up to $25 million, for AT&T employees to exclusively use the Lumia 900 instead of the iPhone and Android. Nokia is expecting more than 80% of employees to be using their flagship Windows Phone for participation in the CU program (employees can opt to use any phone they want at a discount, but CU phones are provided for free), which should go a long way in convincing those employees the merits of the OS, resulting in positive word of mouth and high sales.

So why is AT&T so keen on promoting Windows Phone, specifically the Nokia Lumia 900? Sure, there is money involved but in addition but we're told that the feeling at AT&T is that the company is trying to get away from being "the iPhone carrier" and are looking to differentiate their lineup from their competition. The Lumia 900 is a device they can get behind to do that -- not just because of the financial incentive, but because this phone represents a real chance for the fledgling OS to shine. That should sit well with many of you who are worried about the fate of Microsoft's mobile OS.

Oh and before we close out, we're also told that the HTC TITAN and Samsung Focus S are to be put on the End of Life (EOL) list, meaning their future availability will be phased out from current inventory without being replenished. (Well, there had to be some bad news, right?)

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3 years ago

AT&T teases Nokia Lumia 900 with new "Coming Soon" page

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As if the world is watching, AT&T just threw up an official "Coming Soon" page for the Nokia Lumia 900. The page doesn't have a street date nor pricing but does feature the main selling points of the device including the ClearBlack 4.3" screen, Carl-Zeiss camera optics and the "stunning" look and feel of the phone.

Combined with today's earlier news of an April 9th street date, it should be obvious now that AT&T and Nokia have given the green light for this device to launch in the very near future. We expect more news of the coming days so stay tuned.

Source: AT&T, Thanks, Shelby M., for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 610 heading to Ireland in Q2 2012?

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Nokia Lumia 610 heading to Ireland in Q2 2012?

The Lumia 610 low-cost Windows Phone is on its way to Ireland, according to Nokia Ireland on their Facebook page. The social team has stated Q2 2012 for when stock will be made available to consumers. The Lumia 610 has already been confirmed to be heading to the UK, Germany, Netherlands, and India, to name but a few.

This positive move will bring Windows Phone "Tango" to the Irish shores, offering consumers a more affordable option. The Lumia 610 sports a 3.7" screen (WVGA 800 x 480), 8GB storage and 256MB RAM. Check out the Nokia Ireland Facebook conversation transcript below:

Consumer: "when is Nokia Lumia 610 coming. I think it be great if Nokia give Lumia 610 or 720 to developers to be able to program an application and test it out. As i am working on Windows Phone application and i need a windows phone to make sure it works and i will give it back"

Nokia Ireland: "[...] the Nokia Lumia 610 will be coming to Ireland in Q2. We will be sure to keep you posted on it's arrival!"

Note that we'll keep this filed under "rumours" as nothing has been officially announced, nor is the Nokia Lumia Momentum Map reflecting this information (though it's not showing any plans for the Lumia 610 globally). 

Thanks Mike for the heads up!

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3 years ago

AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 set for April 9th release with demo units in stores now

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We first told you that AT&T was planning on an April 8th (online) and 9th (stores) release for the Lumia 900 and sure enough, it's accurate. Since that report we've had numerous tips from store employees on the matter all stating the same dates, so we think it's safe to call it now.

Reader David just returned from an AT&T store where an employee had both phones (black and cyan, see above) to toy with. Here are his thoughts:

"Also, the matte finish on the back cover makes the phone feel SUPER nice in hand and you only notice the 4.3" screen with one-handed use.  Also, with its' rectangular corners and flat front/back panels, the pocket is a really nice place for it to go about the day with you. Nokia did a really awesome job with this one and I can't wait for April 9 to get here!"

Indeed. From our hands on experience (see here), the Lumia 900 is set to impress and with the April 9th launch date confirmed, it should be an exciting Easter for many of you, so long as you start saving your pennies now.

The Nokia Lumia 900 features a 4.3" AMOLED screen, 1.4GHz CPU, 1830mAh battery (non-replacable), 16GB of storage, 8MP rear and 1.3MP front cameras with 4G LTE support. It is expected to sell for $99 on contract. Online orders should start Sunday, April 8th with in-store availability April 9th. No word on full-price yet.

Thanks, David, M., for the tip

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3 years ago

Minecraft and Fable Heroes coming to Xbox 360 during the 'Arcade Next' promotion in May

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In February, Microsoft promoted both its Windows Phone and Xbox Live Arcade releases as Must Have Games. Now they look to follow that promotion up – on Xbox 360 at least – with ‘Arcade Next,’  which runs from April 18 through May 9. At least three of the XBLA games are highly anticipated titles, and all four of them will include 400 GamerScore of Achievements (the new limit for XBLA games). No word on whether there will be an equivalent promotion for Windows Phone Xbox Live games, but it seems unlikely given the ‘Arcade’ moniker.

Head past the break for screens, details, and our impressions of the next four XBLA heavy hitters, including Fable Heroes and Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Finger Bowling

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3 years ago

Microsoft's "Project Detroit" re-imagines car connectivity using Windows Phone

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Microsoft has kicked off "Project Detroit", a concept car using various connected technologies including Windows Phone to give developers ideas for next generation automobiles.

Currently, Microsoft has embraced the SYNC/OVO system which curiously has little Windows Phone support at all. However, they are looking to change that with Project Detroit which extends Microsoft's vision for an all-connected future. The project is built off of Ford SYNC but it incorporates just about everything Microsoft has control over including Kinect for Xbox 360, Xbox 360, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Azure, and Bing.

The demo car should also raise some eyebrows for fellow car enthusiasts:

"To create Project Detroit, a 2012 Ford Mustang with a 1967 fastback body, Microsoft teamed up with Ryan Friedlinghaus, an award-winning automotive designer based in Corona, Calif., and star of the Discovery Channel's Velocity network reality TV series "Inside West Coast Customs."

Just as exciting is the Windows Phone app that was created to control everything in the car,

"Using a Windows Phone, remotely watch and listen to the live video stream and audio from the Kinects embedded in Project Detroit. From this same application, your Windows Phone becomes like a microphone for the car’s external audio PA system."

More impressive is the ability to control other added functionality to the car including the accent lighting, the horn sound “ringtone”, activating the “projector screen” and sending a message to the rear windshield all using the Windows Phone app.

While such a car-system is merely for demonstration purposes, it really sets the imagination on fire thinking of all the different things one could do with a car (and some money). We don't imagine Ford or other car companies will be throwing all of these technologies in the car in the near future, but safe to say system like Microsoft Kinect as they become miniaturized will be inserted into more and more everyday applications. Likewise, with Windows 8 running on ARM processors, the ability to transplant these various systems should be easier as time goes on.

To see "Project Detroit" in action, tune into Inside West Coast Customs Sunday, March 25 at 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT).  We'll try to bring you the video when it goes up.

Source: Microsoft; Thanks, Amir, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Ghostscape update escapes to Xbox Live, brings free ringtones and enhanced visuals

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Back in January, WPCentral mentioned that Ghostscape would be receiving free ringtones in a future update. Just a couple of months later, that update has landed, and we’ve got the full details.

Ghostscape version 1.2 release notes:

  • Fast App Switching support
  • Framerate increased to 60 FPS (not that that makes much diff to a point and click puzzle game)
  • Resolution of room images has increased to show more detail
  • Live tiles added (one of five different images appears at random)
  • Five free ringtones added under ‘Help & Options’ menu (not available in Trial version)

That’s a fairly hefty batch of improvements. The ringtones are actually quite good and remind me of classic Amiga soundtracks. If you own Ghostscape, I highly recommend installing them. And if you haven’t picked the game up, perhaps these tones and tweaks will convince you to cross the threshold.

Ghostscape's creepy new Live tile images

Ghostscape is a first-person horror-themed adventure game. It’s short and has delightfully easy Achievements – see our review for more details.

Psionic Games’ Ghostscape costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Brave souls can get it here on the Marketplace.


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3 years ago

Jed Cullen skates around Barcelona with a Nokia Lumia 900

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Nokia handed Jed Cullen, professional skateboarder, a Lumia 900 to use around Barcelona in a marketing stunt. The above video follows on from Pip Andersen free running around the city, and shows Cullen using numerous features including Zune, Bing Search and Tango (video conferencing). 

Taking the Lumia 900 to the extreme, how far could you push wielding the Windows Phone?

Source: YouTube

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3 years ago

Nokia Beta Labs releases Play To DLNA app for Windows Phone

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Nokia today just rolled out their Play To app for Windows Phone which enables the user to share photos and video via DLNA to your large screen TV or other DLNA-enabled devices. The addition of a DLNA app was speculated back in December as coming to Nokia.

Play To has been available for Nokia Symbian devices since early 2011, so it's finally great to be able to extend that feature to their Lumia Windows Phone line up. This software, similar to what LG, HTC and Samsung have offered for their devices brings Nokia Windows Phone closer to their competition in terms of feature support and should be a welcomed addition.

The software is beta at this point, which simply means you need to head to the Nokia Labs page, sign up and they'll give you the Marketplace link to download the app. Much like Nokia Drive, we expect to be testing for a few weeks before it is finally released for all Nokia devices to download.

If you're already signed up for Nokia Labs, you can try the Marketplace link here to see if it works. Otherwise, head to their site (http://betalabs.nokia.com) to enroll (it's very simple and only takes a minute). Thanks, chriskringel, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800c to launch early in China?

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Microsoft and Nokia are set to launch the Chinese Lumia 800 ("Lumia 800c") earlier than planned, according to an insider informed WPDang article. The Windows Phone platform itself officially launched yesterday with the goal of regaining markshare by releasing "Tango" and hardware from the likes of Nokia, HTC (Triumph) and ZTE (Orbit/Mimosa). 

The Lumia 800c is a CDMA variant of the Lumia handset (think Verizon and Sprint), is set to power Windows Phone Tango, and will be available in black, cyan and magenta on China Telecom. The original date of availability for the Lumia 800c in China was late March / early April. Unfortunately, the Lumia Momentum Map that Nokia has published (and relatively up-to-date) on their website does not display any information regarding the Chinese launch of Lumia Windows Phones.

As well as the 800c, Nokia is also believed to be launching the 710 and the WCDMA version of the Lumia 800 next month. Keep an eye out in the remaining weeks of March for more details surrounding the Lumia 800c.

Source: WPDang, via: WPSauce

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3 years ago

Highlights of Smoked By Windows Phone marketing in Singapore [Video]

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Microsoft's Smoked by Windows Phone marketing campaign is still going strong, which all stemmed from CES 2012 in Las Vegas where Ben Rudolph challenged event attendees. The campaign made the move to Microsoft Stores across California, Hong Kong, and is currently being expanded to cover TV advertising. The challenges involved are simple smartphone tasks - which ever phone completes the task first wins.

With $100 on the table there's never a shortage of interested smartphone owners who believe they can smoke a Windows Phone. We previously looked at the announcement made by Microsoft Singapore on their Facebook page, stating the marketing campaign would be brought to the country "very soon". 

The above montage of clips is from ITShow 2012 where the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge was held (March 9-10). End result from the event was: 38 wins, 3 draws and 3 loses.

Source: YouTube; thanks Greg for the tip!

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3 years ago

Unconfirmed rumor claims all Windows Phones to get Apollo, we're skeptical

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Over at the site Reddit, tipster MS_Nerd did an AMA (Ask me anything) where he took questions from fellow Redditors. Specifically, he was talking about Windows Phone news and what's coming down the line.

We should point out that MS_Nerd has a spotty record on these things. First, he claimed that "Tango" would come with a 480x320 resolution which obviously it is not. He also noted that there was a "Tango 2" release that would come at MIX12, where also "Apollo" would be announced. Two things wrong with that one: there's no Tango 2 and MIX12 was canceled, so it'd be odd for the Windows Phone team to make a huge announcement there. Finally there was the "Zune Pass will slowly be merged with Xbox Live Gold" from May 2011, which surely hasn't happened yet either.

Point being, take this with a grain of salt as his accuracy is mixed at best. We'd hardly call him "reliable" as some sites have.

What MS_Nerd did reveal was that supposedly all Windows Phones will be eligible for Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo" but that the carriers, as usual, will be the biggest roadblock. He also emphasized Nokia's role in hardware development:

"Yes, all current Windows Phones will receive a subset of Apollo. The carriers are the primary obstacle in the US. I hear Microsoft is pushing hard for a Mango-like delivery schedule, as are Nokia & HTC. Some Apollo features will be exclusive to the 3rd-gen devices expected to be released this fall on the MSM8960 platform."

"Nokia's role is in defining chipset support (beyond Qualcomm), designing the camera-to-software interaction model, antenna & battery design, languages & regional services, etc."

In response, we'll just say even Microsoft has dodged this issue lately, leading us to believe that this is not so cut and dry. In fact, Microsoft's Myerson was purposefully guileful on this very topic. Second, we have it from our own internal sources that no, not every phone will get Apollo, in fact it's the opposite: only new hardware will have it on board. Fact is, if this was a simple as MS_Nerd has us believe, we'd imagine Microsoft would just come out and say it.

Conclusion? This is far from set in stone as evidenced by the posting of contradictory rumors by many Windows Phone sites (who seem to revel in these rumors without acknowledging how contradictory they are). While we want to believe that all our phones will get upgraded, there is nothing, absolutely nothing solid here folks. So our advice: sit back and wait for Microsoft to say something on the record or wait for some real proof, otherwise we'll be going back and forth on this topic for quite some time.

Source: Reddit; via PhonaArena, WMPU; WP8 concept image: Jozef Kocúr; Thanks, Vernon S., for the tip

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