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3 years ago

Voice chat app TalkBox goes into open pilot test for Windows Phone

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We mentioned TalkBox way back in November coming to Windows Phone. The popular messaging app derives its name from the ability to do press-n-hold a button to send mini-voice clips to your friends, basically making it a lazy man's chat program.

The app was in private beta for the last week and we've been running it during that time on our Titan II. It's undergone quite the makeover from its alpha days and we have to give the TalkBox team a nod for making it well designed (we really like the splash screen).

The service is free, it can scan your contacts to find other TalkBox users, allows you to send pics, type back and fort, share location and of course send those voice clips.

The service has been on iOS and Android for some time, is in beta on BlackBerry and even alpha on dying webOS. That's good news as it means it's not a new service, allowing you to connect up to the rest of your non-Windows Phone users.

The app won't be in the Marketplace for a few weeks as the company has just opened up its pilot program for all of those who can side-load (aka developer unlocked devices). So if you feel like lending a hand or just want to give it a go, head to the source link to read the details and grab the XAP file.

Source: TalkBox

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3 years ago

Nokia working on new Lumia 800 firmware, with possible tethering functionality?

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We've previously reported on how the Lumia 710 and 800 do not support Internet Sharing, but the 610 and 900 do. It's a slight pain that has separated Lumia Windows Phone owners. Thankfully Nokia has confirmed that tethering will be available on both the Lumia 710 and 800 in a future firmware update - something we're currently on the lookout for.

The folks from Plaffo are reporting that the official Nokia Lumia Update section of the website is reporting that Lumia 800 firmware on Vodafone in Italy is currently in development. The site notes that they've already received 12070 so this alteration on the update page has to be a future version. As well as Italy, both Vodafone Spain (thanks SmartphoneApps.es) and UK are also "software under creation".

Should the manufacturer be working on the next version, this would hopefully include the missing tethering functionality. Are you with Vodafone and already on 12070? You could well be the first in line for Internet Sharing.

Source: Plaffo, via: SmartphoneApps

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3 years ago

Cyan Lumia 900 sells out on Best Buy's website

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Though the past few days have looked fairly grim for Nokia, who posted a €590 loss for Q1, there is some positive news for the Finnish manufacturer.  It appears that signs of strong sales of the Lumia 900 have proven true, especially for the cyan model, which has now sold out completely on Best Buy's website.  We saw the same thing happen a few days ago over at AT&T, who initially sold out of both the black and cyan, but has since restocked their black models.  The cyan, however, still remains "temporarily out of stock." 

The Best Buy and AT&T sellouts are important both to consumers and carriers alike.  Carriers are beginning to see that Windows Phone can be a viable option in the marketplace.  Verizon recently said in a conference call that they see a place for Windows Phone and hinted at a future increase in offerings, though some European carriers remain skeptical.  Consumers are seeing that there now a clear alternative to Android and Apple.  In fact, our online poll indicated that the majority of people who became Lumia 900 owners were in fact converts from iPhones or Android devices.  Sure, it's not the most scientific evidence, but it's surely a positive sign.

Source: Best Buy; Thanks for the tip, kylengai!

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3 years ago

AboutOne to be released exclusively on Windows Phone

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AboutOne (official website) is a Philadelphia-based, Microsoft BizSpark featured startup that helps families securely organise themselves online or with the upcoming Windows Phone app. AboutOne CEO Joanne Lang will speak at Philadelphia's Women in Tech Summit, showcasing the service and app.

The event will see the launch of the beta version, which incorporates a year's worth of customer feedback. Lang explains what the Windows Phone app will bring to the mobile platform:

"AboutOne turns Windows Phone into a remote control for everyday tasks by adding online filing and reporting to customers' existing calendar and contact tools to provide fast, easy access to family memories and household paperwork. AboutOne automatically combines and formats this information so it's instantly useful - anytime, anywhere."

The service uses patented technology that the company, which specialises in cloud-based computing, uses to:

  • Blend the power of business tools with the fun, user-friendly nature of popular social media apps.
  • Provides one central location, accessible anywhere, to manage family information.
  • Requires no technical proficiency to install and run, expertly handling data security so users don’t have to.

In easier-to-digest terminology, AboutOne allows users to organise memories, todos and household paperwork in a single accessible location. The service builds on calendar and address book tools the user is already using, enhancing both with document filing and reporting tools.

Via: MarketWatch; thanks Gopalan for the tip!

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3 years ago

Monster Island no longer listed in the Marketplace, possibly due to Xbox Live Achievement issue

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Monster Island’s Xbox Live launch on Wednesday was odd for a couple of reasons. First, only people located in the US could buy it, even though past Miniclip games launched worldwide. Second, one of Monster Island’s Achievements, ‘Big Spender,’ is tied directly to purchasing $3 worth of PDLC. That raised my eyebrows pretty much off my head, and I know I’m not alone.

Only a couple of days after its US-only release, Monster Island no longer shows up while browsing or searching the Marketplace. For all intents and purposes it has been pulled, though you can still grab it from the link in our previous article. Why was it pulled? No official word on that yet, but we do know that Microsoft is actively investigating the Achievement issue, thanks in part to yours truly. The Big Spender Achievement breaking well-known Xbox Live rules and the seemingly erroneous US-only launch are the most likely reasons for the game’s removal.

How did Monster Island end up with an Achievement tied solely to purchasing in-game content? In all likelihood, no one noticed the problem during the certification process. Big Spender’s description, ‘Buy 3 coin packs’ could sound like a normal in-game action to someone who hasn’t played the game or studied it very closely. Of course, part of the certification process should involve testers actually unlocking the Achievements to make sure that they work, at which point the problem would have been spotted. Still, sometimes things slip through, such as Broken Achievements or other bugs.

The important thing here is that Microsoft seemingly realized something was wrong this week and acted quickly to keep it in check by pulling Monster Island. If the practice of literally paying for Achievements was allowed to continue, then Achievements would lose their emotional value. After all, many gamers like me prefer to play Xbox Live games so that we can earn Achievements and share our accomplishments with others. Doubling the cost of a game for 10 GamerScore is not an Achievement.

 We’re still waiting on official word about Monster Island’s Big Spender Achievement and the game’s subsequent disappearance from the Marketplace. If Microsoft releases an official statement, WPCentral readers will be the first to know.

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3 years ago

The Smartphone Beta Test - Carl Zeiss Optics [Video]

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The Smartphone Beta Test is the latest marketing campaign from Nokia that's to be continuously rolled out in the U.S. The videos highlight key features of the Lumia handsets, with the above commercial focusing on the Carl Zeiss optics. Nokia is set to release more firmware updates to introduce Internet sharing among other features missing from the Windows Phone experience.

It's interesting that the ad states the Lumia handsets sport better camera specifications for low-light photography, which we'd agree with. But we've said before that it would appear as though the hardware is a slight let down with regards to performance on the Lumia 900.

Source: Youtube; thanks Konstantin for the tip!

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3 years ago

Share a photo representing Spring and win a Windows Phone UK mug

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The Windows Phone UK team are giving away four Windows Phone mugs to those who send in the best photos representing Spring. With the constant weather alterations we're currently experiencing, now would be a perfect time to get snapping to win your own brew server. The winning photos will be selected based on originality and how eye catching they are compared to other submissions - check the above photo for inspiration.

To put forward your entry, simply follow the Windows Phone UK team on Twitter and tweet them your photo. Be sure to include what app you used (if any) to add effects. On the official announcement post the team have encouraged the use of photo editing apps for Windows Phone. There are a number available, some which we've recommended ourselves. Also, why not check out our Windows Phone camera tutorial to make sure you get the most out of your camera's performance?

You've got until April 26th (17:00) to get your submissions in and note that this competition is open to UK residents only. Check out the terms and conditions for more information.

Source: Windows Phone UK

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3 years ago

Best Weather Apps for your Windows Phone

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WPCentral's list of the best weather apps for Windows Phone

Your Windows Phone is a great way to stay in touch with what is happening in the world and with things that impact your daily grind. The weather is one thing most of us will have a need to keep track of.  There are plenty of weather apps to choose from over at the Windows Phone Marketplace but which one will work out best with your shiny new Nokia Lumia 900 or trusty old Samsung Focus.

We've tossed together a small collection of weather apps we like that offers a wide range of choices.  What might be useful for your needs might not match someone else's. We have the basic weather app that shows you the current conditions and extended forecast and the weather apps that would make your local weatherman jealous.

So hit the break and see out selection of the best weather apps out there for your Windows Phone.

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3 years ago

Nokia launches the Lumia 710 and 800 in the Philippines with a rocking party

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If there is one thing you can count on, it's Nokia throwing a great launch party regardless of the location. From London to New York, Nokia has some great flair for device announcements.

A few weeks ago we broke the news of Nokia launching the Lumia 710 and 800 in the Philippines -- an important region for the Finnish company and Windows Phone. The Lumia 710 was launching on Smart while the Lumia 800 was going to carrier Globe. Tonight that launch happened and globe-trotter Mark Guim who runs The Nokia Blog (and the always interesting Married 2 Travel site) was there to film it.

Besides DJs, a great light show and...is that the Blue Man Group?...Nokis seems to have thrown together a popular and successful launch. Kudos to Nokia and to the Philippines -- welcome to the Amazing Everyday.

Source: The Nokia Blog

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3 years ago

Microsoft saving Windows Phone developers time by cross-submitting apps to new markets

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If you're an extremely busy developer with little time available to submit your app(s) to emerging markets that are being added to the ecosystem, then Microsoft is ready to lend a hand. Developers (including our Jay Bennett) have or will be receiving an email from the software giant requesting permission to submit apps to the new markets with no effort required from the developer. From the email:

"We are reaching out to ask your permission to cross-submit each of your Windows Phone apps into the markets* identified below, which includes more than 25 new markets.  We realize that the process to cross-submit takes time out of your busy schedule, so we are requesting your permission to submit all of your applications on your behalf to save you time and effort.  This will provide an opportunity for your apps to get additional exposure in new markets which may lead to more downloads and more revenue for your app(s)."

Markets included in the cross-submission are Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela and will announce UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand, and Vietnam. For paid apps, Microsoft will convert the base USD pricing set to local currencies.

Developers who receive the email have until April 27th to respond. It's good to know the team is looking at ways to aid the app building community whenever possible.

Thanks Scott and Dave for the tip!

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3 years ago

Good for Enterprise™ released for Windows Phone

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As we reported earlier this morning, Good Technologies was prepping to release their enterprise messaging app for Windows Phone, a big win for those who need security and a strong feature set for their device.

That app has now gone live in the Marketplace ready for download. We must emphasize: you need Good's back-end technology to run this as it is not standalone (think Exchange). From the app description:

"Good for Enterprise™ delivers secure mobile collaboration and device management for Windows Phone devices.  With Good for Enterprise, employees securely access corporate email, contacts, and calendar.  Good for Enterprise provides a unique, secure container that separates personal from business while respecting employees’ privacy – ideal for BYOD devices.  Unlike other solutions, only Good for Enterprise prevents data loss by providing security at the application layer (in addition to device security)."

We listed the full feature set earlier and needless to say, it's fairly comprehensive for a v1.0 release and what's more, Good promises more features in coming updates.

As noted in comments on our previous article, the main benefit for Good users is encryption of messaging, sandboxing of data and better security than Windows Phone or Exchange alone can offer (for now). Plus, with clients on the iPhone, iPad and Android it's nice to see Windows Phone on par with the competition.

Pick up Good for Enterprise™ for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Munsey S., for the tip

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" being tested on Lumia 800? (Rumor)

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According to a thread over at a Chinese Windows Phone community wpxap, one member claims that the next version of the platform, code named "Apollo", is currently being tested by an employee on a retail Lumia 800. Take this with a grain of salt before we continue, we're not entirely convinced ourselves as to whether or not this is actual reality, but it's best to be informed nonetheless. (In addition, supposed "insider" MS_Nerd Tweeted early this morning that the Lumia 610 was also testing Apollo).

Should what this poster has written be true, this would continue the debate on generation 1 / 1.5 Windows Phones being able to receive the "Apollo" update. What is noted are some noticeable improvements including speed / touch responsiveness, folders, an Internet Explorer overhaul and gravity sensing. Insiders believes the last feature to be tilt mechanics, with an example provided for enlarging image thumbnails by lifting the device closer to the users' eyes.

The inclusion of folders is an interesting addition to the list. What else is active on the acclaimed test version of "Apollo" is VPN support, which is reported to be disabled on the final build. As well as these features that have been published by an unconfirmed source, we expect the next major update of Windows Phone to introduce higher screen resolutions and dual-core support.

Of course, we're in "silly season" mode around here so like we said, put this on rumor shelf as there is no solid evidence for any of this so far.

Source: wpxap, via: Insideris, WMPU; thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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3 years ago

Pepper: a new Windows Phone app making live music more social

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Wouldn't it be useful if you were able to join a music-focused community on your Windows Phone, which would enable you to search, filter and attend music events? An app and service called Pepper aims to provide such functionality. Launching on Windows Phone (iOS, Blackberry and Android ports on the way), Pepper brings a new social network to the platform.

Finding live music events near your location has now been made a whole lot easier. Once an account has been created (takes two minutes through the app itself) users are able to follow venues and artists to find out where and when the next interesting event is. Any gigs or club nights that are to be attended can then be shared with friends to bring a number of people together for the evening. Best of all - it's free.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Incredible Circus

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Incredible Circus is a Windows Phone game that recently hit the Marketplace. It's a free game and the latest release from iNdT - Nokia Institute of Technology.

iNdT isn't a Nokia company but rather a non-profit research and development institute founded by Nokia. It is independent from Nokia and focuses on the generation of new concepts, products and solutions for areas related to mobile technologies and the internet.  iNdT has four current releases on the Marketplace including another game (Frog) and two apps in Portuguese dealing with fuel consumption and lottery numbers (Fuel+ and Loterias). The nice thing about this is that while iNdT is loosely associated with Nokia, the apps aren't exclusive and can be enjoyed on all Windows Phones.

To find out more on iNdT's latest game, Incredible Circus, hit the break.

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3 years ago

Verizon warming up to Windows Phone?

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Verizon warming up to Windows Phone?

While Verizon Wireless does off the HTC Trophy as the company's one and only Windows Phone, customers have been wanting more selection out of the wireless provider for some time. Based on what Verizon's executive vice president and chief financial officer Fran Shammo said during a conference call, Verizon customers may finally see more Windows Phone becoming available.

Shammo said he was fully supportive of Microsoft and discussed the need for a third mobile ecosystem in the wireless industry. This is a bit of a change from late last year when Verizon had issues with the lack of LTE support coming from Microsoft. The feeling was that Verizon would continue to focus on Android devices as their center piece.

If Verizon was waiting for LTE support, the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II should prove that LTE support exists with Windows Phones. Another sign that Verizon may be coming around on Windows Phones is the recent announcement of the 8107 update for the HTC Trophy.

Based on Shammo's comments the chances of additional Windows Phones joining the Verizon line up seems promising.  Could we see a Verizon Lumia 900? Or maybe a Verizon Titan II?  

Source: CNET; Thanks, Anonymous, for the tip!

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