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3 years ago

Content Infringement Complaints, Google and the Windows Phone Marketplace

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Recently, Microsoft announced some recent changes to the Windows Phone Marketplace for developers that would also affect consumers. The changes were divided into four areas, including trademarks, bulk publishing, keywords and content policy. What concerns us here is the trademarks section.

In short, apps that violate trademarks of other companies are now subject to more restrictive oversight in the Marketplace. Microsoft had this to say on the matter, which is a fair position:

"When a trademark or copyright owner contacts us about a suspected violation, we investigate and pull apps when the complaint is valid. Lately we’ve been doing more of this, especially for trademark misuse. Sometimes the requests come from the owners of big, well-known brands. Other times they come from new brands. Either way, we often find trademark violations are unintentional: some developers just aren’t clear on what constitutes a violation. But these investigations—and the time and money they can cost—can be avoided by doing a little homework before submitting or updating your app."

A few curious examples of this actually do exist in the Windows Phone Marketplace, some of which you'll be familiar with including YouTube Pro, gMaps, YouTube Live and YouTube Downloader.

Did you notice anything in common with those? If you said those sound like Google names, you would be right and evidently Google are rightly flexing their muscle on the matter, sending out copyright infringement complaints to numerous developers over their use of their trademarked names.

The developer of YouTube Live, which we've covered before, just received such a notice which is partially re-printed below:

"This message is to notify you that Microsoft has received Content Infringement Complaint (“Complaint”) regarding your application Youtube Live. A copy of the Complaint is attached for your review.

Remove Application Access Immediately

You must remove access to the application from the Marketplace within one business day.  If your application is still available for download after one business day,Microsoft may remove the application without further notice.  Please note that under certain circumstances Microsoft may remove your app immediately without providing you the opportunity to remove it."

While this is certainly a blow to many of our favorite developers on the platform, it should not come too much as a surprise that these apps infringe on Google's ownership of those names. Of course, being as we're more of a Microsoft site and Google is not on good terms with Windows Phone this will certainly rub people the wrong way. Especially since Google has not bothered to support Windows Phone at all with their services.

Having said that, Google is technically in the right here and we don't begrudge them for taking action. We also want to let devs know that Microsoft is serious about this copyright stuff so give some thought to your app's name before Marketplace submission, m'kay?

We hope to see these outstanding apps back in the Marketplace soon but under new names.

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3 years ago

Wordament Goes Dutch on Windows Phone

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Microsoft could probably leave Wordament exactly as-is and it would still keep many of us busy for, like, ever. But what if you don’t speak English, the language that yours truly wields like swords? Hey, the developers have got your covered. The Xbox Live version launched with English and Spanish, allowing muchas personas to enjoy the game.

Now Wordament’s Dutch language support has gone live as well. Not to be confused with the movie Dutch, the Dutch language is spoken in Holland and the Netherlands, of which Holland is a region. Microsoft plans to add several more European languages to the game in the future: French, Italian, German, and Swedish – sorry Portugal!

Wordament is free and supported by ads. Get it here on the Marketplace. We'll have a full review soon.

Update: Even Portugese could be in the cards.

Source: Wordament.com; via TrueAchievements

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3 years ago

Rumor: Murky shot supposedly shows Windows Phone 8 on Nokia Lumia device

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We're not a big fan of this story but let's get it out of the way since it's sure to make the rounds.

phoneArena, a fairly reputable site, has received a photo of what they claim is a Nokia Lumia 900 running Apollo" aka Windows Phone 8. The shot really doesn't reveal much and there are lot of inconsistencies such as missing soft keys and labeling on the Nokia hardware and the oddly numbered "Apollo" version number.

The shot can easily be faked by loading up a pre-fabricated image on the phone and Photoshoping those three image-dots out. What is supposedly shown of the OS matches the Windows 8 login screen but that seems a bit of a stretch.

Bottom line: there's no evidence this is real as phoneArena conveys nothing about the tipster e.g. their credibility, do they know and trust them, etc. Seeing as not very much is revealed in this photo and it can easily be faked, we're going to say this has very little value at this point.

We would certainly not count this as evidence for anything and while we know you're hungry for info on Windows Phone 8, we suggest eveyrone just hold tight for a little while longer.

Source: phoneArena; via Windows Phone Daily

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3 years ago

Official SnapCrowd cloud storage app available on Windows Phone

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We previously looked at the official SnapCrowd app heading to Windows Phone, with a planned March release. We're now happy to announce that the app is finally available on the Marketplace and has been since April 10th. The digital media sharing service enables users to upload, view and stream media and even add subusers to the account. Sporting robust security, including SSL / TLS and HTTPS protocol layers, SnapCrowd also keeps data relatively secure. 

The service supports video, music, contacts, photos, contacts and documents. As mentioned above, streaming is a feature that can be used for digital media, including videos. An interesting part of the service itself is the subuser functionality, allowing other users to connect and stream media and files under one account with a single paid plan.

There are three plans that are fairly affordable compared to competitors, a free option boasts 10GB of storage (for a limited time) with one subuser, then the price goes up to $59 for 50GB of storage and finally $99 for 100GB of storage with increased subusers.

Check out the quick video below for more information.

You can download SnapCrowd from the Marketplace for free, and sign up for the available plans on the website (snapcrowd.com).

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3 years ago

Is the Windows Phone Samsung Mandel built off of the new Android Galaxy S3?

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If you've been following along today, Samsung finally pulled the sheets off of its much anticipated Galaxy S3 Android phone. The device is chock-full of the latest specs and is currently the biggest threat to Apple and their iPhone yet. You can get all the nitty-gritty at our sister site AndroidCentral.

What's very odd about the look of the device which was shown for the first time today was we've seen it before. In fact, we saw it last night in a post at the site WPXAP.

Those pics were of the SGH-i667 aka the Samsung Mandel a 4G LTE Windows Phone destined for AT&T. Those photos were quickly pulled from the WPXAP site, though we managed to grab them before they dissapeared. An oddly timed leak?

Reader Judge_Daniel sent a side by side of the Windows Phone SGH-i667 next to some pics taken by the Verge and gosh darn it, there are some eerie similarities. Does this mean the Mandel is really that Galaxy S3 Windows Phone variant that Samsung is working on? With only 8GB of storage we'd had to think so but then again what we reported yesterday could be an early prototype.

Perhaps the Mandel is being re-worked for a Windows Phone 8 upgrade. No one can really be sure so we'll just leave those side by side images there for you to speculate.

Update: As noted in comments, it perhaps more closely looks like the Samsung Blaze on T-Mobile. Bottom line: Samsung recycles a lot.

Thanks, Judge_Daniel, for the image and observation. Incidentally, site WP-Life also came to the same conclusion

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3 years ago

Ask WPCentral: Any PayPal apps out there?

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Are there any PayPal apps for your Windows Phone? One reader sent us this question and we took a look over at the Windows Phone Marketplace for the answer. There are two apps currently available that have PayPal connections, HelpPayMe and PayPhone Lite.

HelpPayMe allows you to send money, request money, view transactions and view your current PayPal balance.

PayPhone Lite is similar with the ability to view your balance and transactions history but also throws in a Live Tile to show the balance and a PIN to secure the app.

Here's our reservations. Neither of these apps are official PayPal apps and you are basically allowing a third party access to your PayPal Account. With PayPHone Lite you log into your account and grant the app permission to access your account. With HelpPayMe, you have to set up API access with PayPal. While we haven't heard of anything nefarious occurring with either app, we'd prefer an app that provides a more secure, direct access to PayPal.

Hopefully, we will see an official PayPal app hit the Marketplace and eliminate the need for a third party conduit. Until then we suggest proceeding with caution. You can find PayPhone Lite ($.99) here and HelpPayMe ($1.99) here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

If you've had any experience with either of these apps, feel free to sound off in the comments.

Thanks, Billy, for the tip!

          

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3 years ago

Lumia 610 arrives at Amazon Italy May 22; available for pre-order now

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Amazon Italy has the entry-level Nokia Lumia 610 available for pre-order and set to be in stock on May 22. It is currently listed at a price of € 203.51 ($267). The Lumia 610 is Nokia's first attempt at a truly low-end offering and will come loaded with Windows Phone 7.5 Tango (build 8773), which is a stripped down version designed to run on as little as 256MB RAM.

Inside you will find:

  • 3.7" screen
  • 800MHz CPU
  • 256MB of RAM
  • 8GB internal storage
  • 5-megapixel rear camera

But despite the budget hardware, the 610 is still a hot little number.  It retains the look and feel of its higher-end brethren and fits nicely in the Lumia family.  It's not clear if the May 22 availability applies to other European markets, but we will keep you posted as we find out.

Source: Amazon; Via: Plaffo, Thanks for the tip, Antonino!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Fantasia Painter

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The other day we shared a list of the best photography apps for your Windows Phone. We knew that there were other worthy photo apps out there and one such app that was mentioned prominently in the comments was Fantasia Painter.

On the one hand the Fantasia Painter is a photo editing app. On the other hand Fantasia Painter is a creative suite to give your photos a serious splash of color.  On top of all that, if painting is more your cup of tea Fantasia Painter can handle that as well.

It's really hard to tell how many editing tools Fantasia Painter has (the Marketplace description says 45+ but that feels a little low) but it ranks amongst the top photography Windows Phone apps on the amount of control you have over editing your pictures.  Fantasia Painter is an impressive photography app for your Windows Phone and it can be a little intimidating.  Once you get the hang of the controls and all the editing possibilities, Fantasia Painter can really make your photos shine.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 featured in the help section of the Orange UK website

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The UK carrier Orange has the Lumia 900 listed on the help section of their website. Not only is the Windows Phone detailed with photos, tips, helpful tutorials and more, but the user guide is available. Now, we're not ones to jump the gun but this appears to be a pretty definitive 'yes' to the Lumia 900 coming to Orange.

The next question is "when?". With the delays that are occurring throughout the country and beyond, it could be quite the wait. Then again when the retail chains all launch the smartphone later this month, carriers might not be far behind (if at all).

The Lumia 800 and 710 are both "out of stock" on the carrier's website. With this hint at the Lumia 900 joining the two Windows Phones, this could be a sign that Orange is satisfied with sales thus far. Orange is also set to launch the Lumia 610 with NFC technology later this year.

Source: Orange; thanks Simon for the tip!

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3 years ago

Priyanka Chopra challenges other smartphones with "Blown Away By Lumia"

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Nokia has got hold of Priyanka Chopra, an established Indian actress, singer and former Miss World to host some videos for the "Blown Away by Lumia" Windows Phone challenge. Just like the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign, Chopra challenges participants at common tasks to see which smartphone is faster. 

The Blown Away by Lumia challenges have come under fire since Nokia began uploading the video clips to sharing websites, with Samsung publicly announcing the company believes Nokia's aggressive campaign is "unethical", but we've also seen some humorous reactions, including a girlfriend of a losing participant.

Check out the other two videos after the break.

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3 years ago

Nokia's Chairman claims tablets and "hybrids" being looked into

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Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia Corporation, told the well respected Financial Times that Nokia has plans for tablets and "hybrid" smart devices, details nearly lost in the article focusing on how Nokia is trying to rebound from losing market share lately.

While specific on the device plans are scarce, Ollila did give a few tantalizing details in the interview, noting:

“Tablets are an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors [handset designs] in the future.”

We can of course only surmise that Ollila is referring to Windows 8 plans for the fall where Nokia is expected to release such devices. Such a pronouncement echoes an earlier comment by Marko Ahtisaari, Design Chief at Nokia who said in March that he spends a third of his time at the company on tablet development.

With Nokia making advances in flexible screens, their excellent design esthetic and the new Metro layout of Windows 8, we see yet another perfect storm to take on Apple in the tablet space.

Trying to catch up to Cupertino will be exceptionally difficult for the Finnish company, as much if not more than in the smartphone realm. But if there was a perfect aligning of technology: Nokia, Windows 8 and Microsoft would be the best shot.

The other bit about "hybrids" is also fascinating as it sounds to us like something between a tablet and a smartphone is being considered, ala the Galaxy Note. While the Note with its 5.3" screen was dismissed by many as too large, the device has actually been selling quite well indicating a strong market for such hybrids.

Needless to say, this fall should be very exciting.

Ollila is stepping down from Nokia after 27 years from the company as announced late last year.

Source: Financial Times; via the Nokia Blog

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3 years ago

Windows Phone web Marketplace marches on with 22 new countries added today

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Microsoft may not be dominating in the United Sates or Europe but that isn't stopping them from expanding to the rest of the planet. In their continued expansion of the web Marketplace, which we use everyday, Microsoft has added a healthy chunck of countries to the list.

Twenty-two in all were brought online today, including Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Ubiquity is the key word here and Microsoft has always been a fan of market saturation. So long as Windows Phone apps and games are available everywhere, developers will be encouraged to create new products and customers will enjoy the convenience.

Launching last September, the Windows Phone web Marketplace has continually and constantly expanded over the last few months, enabling users to browse, purchase and send apps right to their phone without any wires. Recently however, there were some problems as Microsoft makes adjustments to the backend, resulting in some unplanned downtime for customers.

To learn how the web Marketplace works check out Microsoft's tutorial.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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3 years ago

Motorola injunction could block Microsoft products in Germany

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Motorola has been granted an injunction on Microsoft products being sold in Germany. The Xbox 360, Windows OS, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player will all fall under the ban, should it be put into place. The injunction follows a ruling claiming the software giant had infringed two Motorola patents required to support H.264 video coding and playback.

An official statement from Motorola reads the following:

"We are pleased that the Mannheim Court found that Microsoft products infringe Motorola Mobility's intellectual property. As a path forward, we remain open to resolving this matter. Fair compensation is all that we have been seeking for our intellectual property."

According to reports, this is just one of several cases involving around 50 properties owned by the smartphone manufacturer. Microsoft has stated that should the software giant meet the demands of Motorola an annual bill would be in the region of $4bn (£2.5bn). The manufacturer has denied this claim.

A statement from Microsoft has been published, which highlights how the company will look to appeal the decision.

"This is one step in a long process, and we are confident that Motorola will eventually be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms for the benefit of consumers who enjoy video on the web. Motorola is prohibited from acting on today's decision, and our business in Germany will continue as usual while we appeal this decision and pursue the fundamental issue of Motorola's broken promise."

Motorola cannot enforce the ruling made by the German courts until a Seattle-based judge lifts a restraining order. This restriction was put in place by Microsoft after it claimed Motorola was actively abusing its Frand-committments (pact to license innovations required for widely used technologies under "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms). A hearing is to be held on May 7th.

Source: BBC

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3 years ago

Samsung's white LTE Windows Phone for AT&T gets pictured. Will it ever be released?

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The Samsung SGH-i667 aka the 'Mandel' is one of the last Windows Phone that we have very little information about. It passed BT certification in January and then cleared the FCC in March but since it did not co-launch with the HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900, it is presumed that the Samsung LTE phone was canceled.

Now, two images have leaked out of the device, the first one you see above is the back of the phone and it shows a svelte, glossy white smooth rounded back.

The second image is a screen cap of the device connected up to Zune Desktop, showing the device name. The AT&T logo is prominent on the device and featured in that image which is pulled from Microsoft's servers.

The device also appears to be sporting only 8GB of storage (with 5.61 available) which tells us that this was probably not a high-end, flagship phone for AT&T but an offshoot of the Focus Flash, which also goes by the name i667.

Other than that we just don't have any more information. The images come by way of the site WPXAP and no other details were given.

Samsung has reportedly taken a break from Windows Phone to work on a high-end Windows Phone 8 device for the fall (rumored to be a Galaxy S3 knock off). Could the 'Mandel' have been skipped or passed over by AT&T or even Sammy? We may never know.

We'll keep an eye out though we know we'd like to add it to our collection. Samsung looks good in glossy white.

Source: WPXAP; Thanks, Talan1314, for the images!

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3 years ago

Microsoft details Windows Phone developer summit in June

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Microsoft has announced an upcoming Windows Phone developer summit, which will be held in San Francisco on June 20-21. The company is set to activate plans to attract more developers and big-name brands to the platform. One of the major complaints with Windows Phone is the lack of popular apps that are available on competitor platforms.

Microsoft has done a good job thus far with bringing companies to Windows Phone to build apps for consumers and broaden the Marketplace inventory. Some developers are even swayed without the software giant intervening - Windows Phone owners have proven to be a stubborn bunch when it comes to showing interest in a much desired port. DrawSomething is a good example of this with the community urging the developers to support Windows Phone.

What's interesting to note about this developer summit is that it's a week before Google I/O 2012, and is even in the same city. It would be a smart move for Microsoft to make it as convenient as possible for developers on other platforms to attend their Windows Phone event. Even if the attendees show no interest in building apps, for them to actually be present during the presentations could be enough to motivate the poor souls.

We'll of course be there for the event should you not be able to make it.

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