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3 years ago

Developer Interview: David Hamilton, CTO and co-founder of Pepper

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This week in our Windows Phone developer interview series we're joined by David Hamilton, CTO and Co-Founder of Pepper. We took a quick look at Pepper from a recent Windows Phone User Group meet-up and were intrigued by both the idea behind the app and the vision for future cross-platform development.

So what's the deal with Pepper and how did it come to be? We threw Hamilton a set of questions for an insight into not only app-specific development, but how the team views Windows Phone against competitors. Head on past the break for the full interview.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 listed on Amazon.com UK, Clove drops their price a bit

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While the Nokia Lumia 900's release in the U.K. has been slightly delayed, we're seeing signs that the May 14th date is holding firm. The black Lumia 900 has popped up on Amazon.co.uk for pre-order. The Windows Phone is being offered Sim-free for £479.99 (about $780 USD). The cyan or white models of the Lumia 900 are not listed.

The shipping information notes that the Lumia 900 is due to be released on May 14, 2012.  We're not sure if the phones will ship on the 14th but delivery in the U.K. is free with Amazon's Super Saver Delivery. 

Amazon U.K. joins Clove in offering the Nokia Lumia 900 for pre-orders. Clove's pre-order price for the unlocked Windows Phone is a little more attractive at £458.40 (about $745 USD) which is down from the original price of £486. Clove is still indicating the first stock of the Lumia 900's is expected on May 16, 2012.

Originally slated for a April 27th release in the U.K., the Nokia Lumia 900 was pushed back to May 14th due to high demand in the North American markets. While delays are never comfortable with consumers, for those waiting patiently for the Lumia 900 we think you'll find the new Windows Phone was well worth the wait.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Frog

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3 years ago

Skype Giveaway could land you a Titan II or Lumia 900

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Hot on the heals of the Smarter Apps Sweepstakes over on Facebook, another giveaway has surfaced. The Windows Phone Skype Giveaway is also being held over on Facebook and gives you a chance to win either an HTC Titan II or Nokia Lumia 900. Ten Windows Phones will be given away.

Just go to this Facebook page, watch the Skype video and then complete the entry form. You have until June 7, 2012 at 11:59PST to enter. Unfortunately we couldn't find the fine print so we don't know if you can enter daily or if you only get one entry.  Our guess, one entry per Facebook account per day but we could be wrong.

Oh...and the contest is only open to residents of the United States and District of Columbia (don't hate the messenger).

Good luck everyone and if you win will you choose the Titan II or Lumia 900?

Thanks, Ruslan, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Siri-like app for Windows Phone, Ask Ziggy, gets another major update

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While we don't have Siri (and Woz misses it) we do have Ask Ziggy which is getting closer and closer to Apple's AI. Some of the last few updates were interesting for Ziggy but the one for today comes across as stabilizing in addition to adding a few new features:

  • Live Calendar integration
  • Fixed annoying pop-ups ("query canceled", etc...)
  • New toggle to add/remove secondary Reminders tile
  • Yelp integration local and remote with multiple tappable areas on results
  • Improved splash screen animation
  • Fixed greeting issue + mic states
  • Improved overall performance
  • Search Tweets by topic "Tweets for NFL Combine"

We've been throwing lots of questions at it and the results seem more accurate (and quicker too) than in previous versions.  The Live Calendar integration looks to be a huge bonus for many of you who need to make appointments and the search Tweets feature is certainly a new twist.  Using Yelp for search results should also help you find that local bar or coffee shop too.

Overall, we're impressed with the update and seeing as the app is still free (and ad free) we so no reason for you to not try it. And if you have tried it in the past, you may want to re-download it and give version 2.3 a spin.

Hit us up on comments if you're seeing any improvements or have some tips to make it better. Grab Azk Ziggy here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Thanks, Vishal, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Amazing Weather v3.0 with new themes is now available for download on Windows Phone

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In the race for the coolest weather app for Windows Phone, you're the winner. Which is why we love to bring the news of app updates in this area for Windows Phone, since so many of you have your favorites and lets be honest, everyone needs a weather app.

We reported earlier that Amazing Weather (review) was going to get some major new themes in version 3.0 and sure enough, that update has just gone live in the Marketplace. Here are the changes:

  • 3 beautiful themes
  • 3 distinct live tiles
  • weather alerts
  • offline mode
  • auto location using GPS
  • 5 different cities,
  • refined UI with charts
  • support for new languages

The auto-location using GPS is great as you can pin that tile to your Start screen and it auto-updates your location when the weather is refreshed -- perfect for those of you on the go.  The new themes are great and a clear shot at Weather Flow (who went after the "realistic weather" model that Amazing Weather had originally brought).

So far we're really liking Amazing Weather and the update mostly because it delivers radar and a detailed weather forecast. The app fetches for a $1.29 in the marketplace with a free trial. Is it the best? We'll leave that up to you but we'll consider this as one of the top contenders.

Make sure you take a look at our "Best Weather Apps for your Windows Phone" if you need some more ideas!

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3 years ago

Nokia's Lumia 900 $100 credit rolling out

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We all know the story surrounding the connectivity issues with the Nokia Lumia 900, right? The Lumia 900 had a software bug that caused data connections to drop and in the span of a week Nokia acknowledged the problem, worked up a fix and distributed it ahead of schedule.

Customers had the choice of swapping out their Lumia 900 for a new unit or simply updated their existing Lumia 900 with the fix. To help compensate customers (who bought the Lumia on or before April 21st), Nokia also threw in a $100 credit.  The credit was scheduled to be applied within the next sixty days according to a reminder text message from AT&T.

Just as Nokia wasted no time rolling out the update, they aren't wasting any time rolling out the $100 credit.  We're getting reports from several readers that they are already seeing the credit showing up on their AT&T account. I just checked mine and sure enough, it's there.  

Kudos once again to Nokia for promptly addressing the problem, fixing it and crediting our accounts.  Is everyone else seeing the credit?  We've got a forums discussion going on about the credit rolling out.  Feel free to chime in there or in the comments below. 

Thanks to everyone for tipping us on this!

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3 years ago

AT&T reportedly stepping up advertising in May and June for Lumia 900

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"Operation Rolling Thunder": a slow, steady and gradual increase in marketing for Nokia in the U.S.

At least that's what we're lead to believe how Nokia and AT&T are approaching the Lumia 900, the flagship Windows Phone on the nation's largest carrier. While supplies have been tight these last few weeks, Nokia seems to be increasing the ship rates for the devices in all colors with most outlets now having stock (and we're still expecting that Magenta version in a few weeks).

According to AT&T employee Jeffery Brown, there are a few changes coming down the line:

  • AT&T reps are now required to sell at least one Nokia Lumia 900 by the end of April
  • "Marketing to go into high gear in May, June."

Both of those certainly sound plausible and we're contacting some of our other AT&T reps to confirm. But in all likelihood as the Lumia 900 continues to makes waves e.g. the comments by Steve Wozniak and regular non-tech users get their hands on the phone, Nokia and AT&T will ramp up their advertising accordingly.

In fact, reader Franklin S. contacted us the other night with this little gem:

"The Lumia 900 has taken over 42nd St - Grand Central station (NYC). They have lots of ADs, from the "S" shuttle passageway to the 4,5,6 side.  Unfortunately I did not take pictures."

Well, we'll try to grab a few pics today if we get a moment to show everyone but we still think, despite everything that has happened so far that this is just the beginning.

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3 years ago

First batch of Nokia Lumia 610s go on sale in the Philippines

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A big day for those living in the Philippines as the Nokia Lumia 610 has finally gone on sale there making it the first country for the intro-level device. This is also after the Lumia 710 and 800 went on sale there last weekend. The price of the Lumia 610 is set for 11,000 PHP or about 260 USD which comes across as a fairly competitive offering and could sell well at that price.

The Nokia Blog was on hand in Manila and the Nokia store looked well decked out. And according to Mark Guim the staff were courteous and knowledgeable as well, setting a good example.

The Lumia 610 gets rid of the ClearBlack AMOLED screen of the 800 and 900 and goes for the cheaper 3.7" TFT-style to help bring down the cost. It also features 256MB of RAM (running Windows Phone "Tango") and a 800MHz CPU. Despite those low specs, it seems to perform very well and from our hands on with the device (after the break), we're just as impressed with it as the Lumia 710.

According to Mark, we can expect the Lumia 610 to land in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam in a few weeks. It's great to see Nokia entering these markets to help expand the Windows Phone base.

Head over to the source link to see some more photos of the Philippines launch.

Source: The Nokia Blog

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3 years ago

Editor's Choice: remembeReel for Windows Phone

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If you listened to this week's podcast, you may have heard me mention my new favorite app, remembeReel for Windows Phone.

I'm a big fan of movies and tend to watch between 3-5 a week, even while working two jobs. One of my problems though is remembering all the things I've watched, especially since I often take forays into international, independent and odd little motion pictures, hence my need for this app. (By the way, check out a film called 'PontyPool' on Netflix, really interesting). remembeReel is free, has no ads is fast and fluid and well thought out.

remembeReel simply allows you to type in the movie you're watching (or watched), it checks it against Rotten Tomatoes (site) and pulls down the info for you. With one tap, you save it to your list. A few more taps and you can add it to your 'favorites', add notes, punch in the date and share it via Twitter, Facebook, Live, etc. Not only can you share it but it'll provide the URL for the listing on Rotten Tomatoes so others can quickly read-up on what you've just watched. Brilliant. You can also sort by title or date-viewed which is convenient.

One of the coolest aspects though is the SkyDrive integration. With a simple tap you can back up your whole catalog to the cloud for safe keeping (or if like me, so you can sync it with your other phones). I'm glad to see more developers taking advantage of the SkyDrive APIs and hope to see more of this type of backup solution for other "catalog apps" in the future.

The app even has a Live Tile, flipping around to show you the last movie you entered into the database. While it wasn't necessary, we really dig these little aspects.

If I could request any improvements, it would be to have a calendar function where I can see my entries or if possible, Live calendar integration for saving. Another recommendation: instead of a single star for "favorite", maybe a rating system so we can give a more refined personal review e.g. five-stars.  Finally, perhaps add in some store links so if I just watched a film an entered it I could quickly buy the DVD on Amazon, eBay, etc.

Of course that's just icing on the cake. For a version 1.1, remembeReel is a fantastic app and my Editor's Choice for this week. Pick it up here in the Marketplace for free.

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3 years ago

Co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak chooses the Lumia 900 over Android, calls Windows Phone "intuitive and beautiful"

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Co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, calls Windows Phone "Intuitive and beautiful"

We reported recently that co-founder of Apple and all around cool geek Steve Wozniak was looking to purchase a Nokia Lumia 900 (WPCentral review) The info came via his Twitter feed where he posted from Foursquare. At the time, he was waiting for the AT&T store to open to check out the flagship Windows Phone.

Since then, we haven't heard much. In fact, there was no confirmation that he had even purchased the device but as it turns out, he did and what's more, he loves it. Over at  aNewDomain.net, Dan Patterson, Todd Moore and Gina Smith not only caught up with "the Woz" but got him on tape talking about his experience with Windows Phone and the Lumia 900.

The Report: Tech News and Geek Culture, EP 002 - Steve Wozniak Interview by KoPoint

As it turns out, he carries around multiple Android phones and a couple of iPhones too and while he still ultimately prefers the iPhone (due to all the apps), he had nothing but praise for the Windows Phone OS and the Lumia 900. Here are a few choice quotes:

"Just for looks and beauty I definitely favor the Windows Phone over Android"

"....I'm just shocked, I haven't seen anything yet that isn't more beautiful than the other platforms"

"Intuitive and beautiful"

"it's makes me feel 'Oh my gosh, I'm with a friend not a tool'" (In regards to the animations and graphics)

"I just really like the experience and will be carrying the Windows Phone everywhere"

He also notes how apps look just "more beautiful than on Android or iPhone"

In short, the Woz is really enamored with the esthetics of the phone, the ease of use and just how the OS pops and slides everywhere. It's a strong endorsement although he does have the usual complaints including how you can't do speech-to-text everywhere like on iPhone or Android or the lack of a Siri-like tool for asking questions (although we have AskZiggy).

The Woz also still defaults to his iPhone but as you can hear in the audio above, the Lumia 900 will be going everywhere with him, which is more than he can say for Android.

It sounds like Microsoft and Nokia may have just received their next big endorsement. While there is still much work to do for the OS and on our hardware, we may have just scored one of the most symbolic victories in quite some time.

Update: Steve Wozniak responded in comments on aNewDomain to clarify a few things. It's a little hilarious too.

"Wrong. iPhone is my favorite phone. I did give my opinion that the Windows 7 phone had superior visual appearance and operation cues that were also more attractive. In my opinion, it sets the mark for user interface. I would recommend it over my Android phones given that it doesn’t yet have the breadth of apps. I surmise that Microsoft hired someone from Apple and put money into having a role in the UI and appearance of some key apps. I also surmised that Steve Jobs might have been reincarnated at MS due to a lot of what I see and feel with this phone making me think of a lot of great Apple things."

Source: The Report at aNewDomain.net; Thanks, jedi12, for the tip and Vygantas, for the new quote

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 Smarter Apps Sweepstakes launches on Facebook

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Microsoft and Nokia's Lumia 900 Windows Phone marketing juggernaut doesn't look like it's slowly down.  The latest chapter of Rolling Thunder appears over on Facebook with a chance to win one of ten Lumia 900s in the Smarter Apps Sweepstakes.

To enter just hop on over to this Facebook page, choose your favorite apps (WPCentral is listed in the News Category), type why you like these apps and share your choices (optional).

The sweepstakes has ten entry periods that span from April 23rd to June 30th. Entries will only be eligible for the entry period for which they are received and participants are limited to 25 entries per authorized Facebook account holder per day. Oh and the sweepstakes is open only to residents of the U.S., D.C., and Puerto Rico (don't blame the messenger).  You can find the rest of the fine print at the bottom of the Facebook page.

Good luck to all who enter and let us know if you get lucky.

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3 years ago

Cyan Nokia Lumia 900 back in stock at AT&T. Well sort of...

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The cyan Nokia Lumia 900 is joining the white and black models as being available for order from AT&T.com .  Can't really say the cyan model is really back in stock because the Windows Phone is listed as "will ship in 5-7 business days".

More than likely Nokia informed AT&T that the truck's ready to leave the Nokia assembly line to head over to the AT&T Warehouse. Which usually takes a few days.

While not the most ideal of situations, it is progress. For those not familiar with the Lumia 900, it's available at AT&T for $99.99 after two-year contractual discounts or $449.99 off contract.

AmazonWireless has the cyan Lumia 900 listed for $49.99 after discounts and $449.99 off contract. Downside with AmazonWireless is that they are listing the cyan model as "Usually ships in 1 to 3 weeks".

Thanks, mamacita42, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Win a Lumia 900 Windows Phone by captioning this photo

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Ben (the "PC Guy" and "Mass Windows Phone Marketing Agent") Rudolph is returning with a slightly different attempt to give away Windows Phones. Should you desire what we'd assume to be a white Lumia 900, then you might be in with a chance of winning one (image / competition idea courtesy of Nokia For Us). Simply use your creative powers to create a suitable caption for the above photo, which sits the Nokia device next to a white bar of Dove soap.

How does one enter with their snazzy caption? Simply tweet your entry, adding the #captionthatlumia (click to view some of the entires already published) hashtag. The competition is running through until April 29th (11:59pm PT) when Rudolph will create a post on the Windows team blog announcing the winners. You can enter as many captions as you like, we look forward to reading yours. It's at least a refreshing change from the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign.

Source: Ben Rudolph (Twitter) via: GoWindowsGo; Thanks, Sam, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Another Exclusive Xbox Live announcement: Gun Bros coming to Windows Phone

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Yesterday WPCentral promised to reveal two upcoming Xbox Live games from Glu Mobile, the first of which is Contract Killer. Today we follow up with the announcement of a second, even more exciting Glu title: Gun Bros.

Gun Bros (pronounced ‘bros,’ not ‘brothers') is a twin-stick overhead shooter. Players control either of the two beefy siblings as they fight to stop the evil organization known as T.O.O.L. (no relation to the band, whose concert was the first I ever attended) from stealing the galaxy’s valuable Xplodium resources. The plot is basically an excuse to head from planet to planet, taking on missions of various difficulties, killing tons of unfriendly aliens, and collecting as much Xplodium as you can.

Between missions, the Gun Bros can process their Xplodium to turn it into gold. Better processing methods unlock as you go along. Gold is then used to buy new weapons and armor pieces. The character customization element adds a nice degree of depth and helps the heroes survive against more challenging foes.

Gun Bros’ freemium element comes from its second currency, War Bucks. These are an optional PDLC purchase that let you buy premium equipment (much like the coins in Bug Village).Premium items are much better than regular ones, making progression faster and easier. Gun Bros is an action game though, and you can play it as much as you want (no time constraints here) without buying War Bucks.

Another way to stay ahead of the alien hordes is by forming a Brotherhood, Gun Bros’ multiplayer-esque feature. Brotherhood members can recruit each other’s characters, who will then fight alongside them as AI companions. Experience gained by AI players transfers over to their owners, so friends can help each other out even without actual simultaneous multiplayer. Think of it like joining a friend’s game in Crackdown: Project Sunburst, only there’s actually a point in this game.

Gun Bros should arrive around the same time as Contract Killer – in May or the summer months. Both games will feature 200 GamerScore. Like yesterday’s announced game, you can try the PC version of Gun Bros for free right now using Google’s Chrome browser. It’s actually pretty fun and addictive, so why not give it a shot, bro? WPCentral will have more details to share about both newly-announced Glu Mobile titles soon!

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