3 years ago
Apple strikes out with iOS 6 Or: How Windows Phone 8 will be more impressive.
Yesterday, Apple Inc. finally revealed their latest iteration of iOS for iPhone and the iPad. There were no real "wow" moments just the continued rehash of market numbers and a collection of little improvements to the world-wide hit operating system.
We're not trying to be too bitter here--look, Apple and iOS have a massive success on their hands so they're not messing with a good thing (think of all the grandparents with iPhones!). But today's unveiling of the new iOS is starting to show that Cupertino may be out of "big" ideas for mobile and are instead concentrating on refinements. That's not exactly a bad thing and we don't necessarily blame them, especially with their strong market share. But it sure does make for some boring discussion.
Our friends at iMore were there for the whole event, turtlenecks and all, documenting all the new additions to the sixth version of the OS. Due this fall, here is their summary of the major changes:
Maps - Probably the biggest news was the addition of Apple's own Maps app which will be powered by TomTom. Maps will come stock with turn-by-turn navigation, traffic info, and a new feature called Flyover.
Siri additions and enhancements- Siri received quite a few updates under iOS 6 including iPad support, integration with many car manufacturers, and several new features.
Passbook - Passbook is a brand new way to store and save airline apps, boarding passes, and more all in one place. Many different services and Passbook apps are already available such as express check at hotels, Target cards, movie tickets, coupons, and more.
Photo Stream sharing - Photo Stream sharing will allow you to create separate streams (similar to how you'd create albums currently). You can then share those separate streams with whoever you'd like. Have one with family for vacation pics and one with mom and dad for baby pics. They'll also be given the ability to comment and like photos native in iOS.
Mail enhancements - Multiple e-mail signatures, VIP Mailbox allows you to add all the important people in your life to a VIP list and their messages will automatically be filtered into a new VIP mailbox that appears under your default inbox.
Facebook integration - In iOS 5 we saw Apple integrate Twitter into iOS natively. This year the same will happen with Facebook. Post status, upload pictures, and more without needing a third party app.
FaceTime over the cellular network - FaceTime has only ever been available for us on a Wi-Fi network since it's release in iOS 4. iOS 6 is about to change all that and you'll soon be able to FaceTime wherever you are, Wi-Fi or 3G/4G.
Read more after the break for some exclusive Windows Phone 8 news...
3 years ago
LINE messaging by Naver now available for Windows Phone
We'll be honest here, LINE messenger by a company called Naver is not something we're familiar with but our audience certainly is. Boasting about being in 230 countries, LINE is a VOIP/chat service that is evidently popular in a lot of Asian markets so it's great to see it come to Windows Phone.
Available already on iOS, Android, PC and Mac, LINE is actually a well done app with a snazzy Metro UI and decent enough features to make us take a look at it. Of course none of our friends use it so it's hard for us to take it for a spin on such short notice, but loading up the app was a refreshing change from some other chat programs out there.
The app doesn't have a killer feature per se but it does contain the usual fare: send messages, photos, videos, voice messages, as well as location info. It also has a thing called "stickers" for conveying emotion which we suppose is a bit quaint. Note at least with this release there is no VOIP just chat.
Like all messaging apps, your usage is completely dependent upon your social circle and if they use it. Having said that, LINE is actually quite nice and we're a bit jealous that we don't have an immediate need for it---with Kik, WhatsApp, TalkBox, OctroTalk, GroupMe and IM+ already available, it's tough to find a spot for LINE. But for those that need or use said service, it looks like there's a winner here for you.
Pick up LINE by Naver for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, PsycheBlue, for the tip
3 years ago
Details emerge on the Dark Knight Lumia 710 covers for T-Mobile US
We ran a story a few days ago showing the Dark Knight Rises logo on the Xpress colored backs for the Lumia 710. We now have an update to that story with the details. T-Mobile will be giving these out for free with a special new promotion starting June 13-July 10th when you sign up on a new two-year contract, either as an upgrade or a new customer.
New customers will get a colored back for free in the store at time of purchase, there is no mail in special for the colored Batman backs. These backs are limited, so be sure to go get them quickly before they run out. The Lumia 710 will also be free with a mail-in-rebate for Classic voice plans. Not only is getting a Batman colored back amazing, but you get the phone for free.
Nokia knows how to sell their devices by giving customers a solid and great experience at a affordable cost. This new cross promotion will sell more 710's, not that they needed any help, and get more windows phones in peoples hands. Although AT&T has the largest variety of Windows Phones, T-Mobile is doing a great job with only 2 that are currently being sold in stores (the Lumia 710 and HTC Radar).
Get your Batman on starting June 13th, the sooner the better. That way you can be one of the few rocking that sweet Windows Phone with a colored back showing off your love for the Dark Knight!
3 years ago
gMaps Pro for Windows Phone: Video Overview
3 years ago
Seton Hall taps the Nokia Lumia 900 for incoming Freshman
Seton Hall University to provide Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phones to incoming Freshman
If you are an incoming freshman at Seton Hall University, it looks like you'll be getting a brand new Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone to help you make it through college.
Nokia, along with AT&T, Microsoft and Seton Hall University today announced that the entire class of 2016 will receive the Lumia 900 to support the University's mission of providing state of the art technology tools to enhance the student's college experience. This initiative started in 1997 to provide mobile technology to its students. All in all, it sounds like a very attractive initiative by all involved.
David Middleton, Seton Hall's Executive Director for the Center for Mobile Research & Innovation, noted,
"Nokia has a long history of innovation and their partnership with Microsoft allows us to extend the core academic and community resources of the University into the pocket of our students. By providing our new incoming students with the Nokia Lumia 900, Seton Hall University can expand our existing Windows services and infrastructure while providing a unique, high quality, dynamic and engaging mobile experience."
In addition to the new Windows Phones, students will have access to the SHUmobile app that provides access to campus news feeds, directories, maps and other University resources.
Seton Hall University is a private university located in South Orange, New Jersey. Annual enrollment is 5,300 undergraduate students. While no enrollment numbers were provided, average freshmen enrollment is approximately 1,100 students.
Source: Nokia; Thanks, everyone, for the tip!
3 years ago
Nokia to build on success with AT&T; "Unique" devices coming to carriers?
Chris Weber, president of Nokia’s North America unit, is at it again, teasing us with the possibility of seeing Nokia Windows Phone devices on all of the major carriers across North America.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Weber reiterated comments that he made back in January, when he said that the key to Nokia's comeback would be offering "unique propositions" to each carrier so they can set their phones apart from the iPhones and Androids of the world. Weber shared,
“We’re back in the U.S., we’re back in Canada -- it’s exciting, but there’s more work to do.”
Nokia's partnership with AT&T has been hugely successful for the Lumia 900, and others to a lesser extent. The Lumia 710 is on T-Mobile now, but it is rumored that a Lumia 910, a slightly-modified version of the 900 with a 12MP camera, is headed there as well. Verizon Wireless is also rumored to be getting a Nokia handset as well.
While Weber's words of building special relationships with different carriers are certainly encouraging, these deals still need to come to fruition, so temper your expectations. While Weber didn't get into any specifics on what work is to be done, don't expect to see any carrier get some completely new and different device that nobody else has.
Heck, we'd be happy enough just to see Verizon and Sprint step up and get any Nokia phones at all.
3 years ago
Report: Microsoft decided against buying Nokia, for now
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer considers buying Nokia. "Kinda want"
Rumors are flying around today, notably from the Register who has it on good account, that Microsoft did seriously consider buying Nokia but decided against the deal once the Finnish firms' books were opened.
If the story is accurate, it represents an interesting twist on the partnership and may still leave a cold feeling for Microsoft's other OEMs. The Register cites "well placed sources" for the story so we'll have to take their word (and their sources) on the matter but Microsoft reportedly was "unimpressed" with Nokia's numbers--or at least didn't see the added extra value of buying the company versus just partnering with them.
As the Register puts it: Nokia didn't want to sell and Microsoft really didn't want to buy. The only reason for an acquisition would have been to keep Nokia out of someone else's hands due to their IP and engineering value. But both companies have time yet--Microsoft has Windows Phone 8 to launch and Nokia needs still has cash to burn. In other words, Microsoft is there as a golden parachute should Nokia really start to crash by next year. Not only that, should such a scenario happen Microsoft would actually get a better deal due to the de-valued stock.
From our perspective as consumers, we don't see the value had Microsoft decided to go forward. Buying a company, integrating different corporate cultures and alienating your partner OEMs, notably HTC, seems like something that could have backfired. Not to mention, it's not clear what would be different from today as it appears Microsoft is getting all that it wants already from Nokia.
We think there's little doubt that both companies have explored numerous options going forward--that shouldn't be a surprise. But we would rather return to this ongoing rumor late in 2012/early 2013 to see how Windows phone 8 is doing.
Source: The Register; via CNET; Thanks, Shane
3 years ago
Toddler goes gaga over Windows Phone commercial
Disclaimer: There's no news here, but there is a cute video.
It looks as though Windows Phone is the choice of the next generation, or at least for one toddler in particular. The parents of this youngster posted a video of him shrieking in excitement over a YouTube clip of AT&T's LG Quantum commercial. Informed of the news that the commercial is on, he runs from the other room to stand transfixed on the laptop, and plays the video over and over again.
Now, it could be that the kid is just so blown away by the fast, smooth operation of the feature-packed Windows Phone operation system. However, something tells us that it has more to do with the cute, orange alien who stars in the ad.
Source: YouTube, Thanks for the giggles, Rad!
3 years ago
Windows Phone successes and failures at E3 2012
Windows Phone Central recaps the E3 2012 Expo
Mateo Nunez and Paul Acevedo at E3
E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo turned out very much like we predicted. During their press conference, Microsoft touted upcoming Xbox 360 sequels: Halo 4, Forza Horizon, and Fable: The Journey; a new Gears of War prequel from Epic; plus several non-exclusive but cool console titles like South Park: The Stick of Truth, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Tomb Raider. They also announced several Xbox Live Arcade games, including Ascend, Lococycle, Matter, and Wreckateer. Oh, and Usher mystified us with a performance in the name of Kinect update Dance Central 3. I fear Harmonix may be in danger of running the dancing genre into the ground with these yearly sequels as once befell the music game genre, but time will tell.
Xbox entertainment library
We also knew to expect the rebranding of the Zune service to Xbox Music and Xbox Movies. Not a particularly exciting announcement, since nothing but the branding changed. The SmartGlass initiative is more noteworthy. Basically an evolution of the Xbox Companion App, it allows users to control Xbox 360 system functions (including the upcoming Kinect-enabled Internet Explorer), plus interact with movies, music, and games in new ways. Specifically, we can expect far more console titles to connect with Windows Phone – definitely a good thing.
Head past the break for our full E3 coverage summary, new videos, and lots more!
3 years ago
Nokia Lumia 900 now available in Germany via Amazon.de
It is no secret that the Nokia Lumia 900 is headed to Germany. The only mystery was the "when".
While we are still waiting for the European carrier O2 to receive the Lumia 900, Amazon.de has changed their listing for the Windows Phone from an expected delivery on May 31st to "In Stock".
Amazon.de is listed for 504,89€ with free delivery. The Lumia 900 is being offered in black, cyan and white models. The white model is listed at 499€. Prices do include VAT and all three models are listed as being in stock.
Meanwhile over at O2, reservations for the white Lumia 900 are still being taken with inventory expected sometime this month.
Thanks, mreck, for the tip!
3 years ago
Windows Phone Review: Doodle Bomber 7
3 years ago
Look for SmartGlass support in all future Microsoft Studio games
Microsoft's SmartGlass took center stage at E3 2012 and was rather impressive. SmartGlass aims to bridge entertainment and productivity from the Xbox console to computers, tablets and smartphones. A connection that will go beyond simply pausing a video on your Xbox console and picking it up on your Windows Phone. While we aren't sure how far reaching SmartGlass will be with developers, according to Phil Spencer, Corporate VP of Microsoft Studios, we should expect SmartGlass support to be a constant feature in all of Microsoft Studios games going forward.
"It just makes so much sense for a developer who wants to supply, maybe not time-critical information, like 'that enemy is getting ready to shoot you,' but information that augments what's happening on screen."
"...you're even going to see situations like with Ascend, where there's actually gameplay that happens on the phone, even when you're away from your television and that interacts back with the online game that's happening."
We may see supplemental information appear on your Windows Phone while playing a game on the Xbox console or the game completely transfer to your Windows Phone when you walk away from the console. SmartGlass has the potential to seamlessly connect the three screens. Or is it four screens with tablets on the horizon?
3 years ago
Monday Brief: WWDC Kicks Off, SGS3 Review, Project SmartGlass, and More!
3 years ago
eBay app buggy? Auction bids entered way too high?
The official eBay app for Windows Phone has been out for some time and while the Marketplace reviews aren't stellar, they don't really call for you to run for the hills either. Yet we received a tip from a German reader that there could be a potentially disastrous bug in the app.
It appears that while bidding on a Nokia Lumia 800 a bid was entered as 211.69€ and appeared that way in the confirmation screen. However, when the bid was submitted it registered as 21169.00€. Luckily the ending bid didn't make it that far, ending at 270 Euros.
According to the tipster, eBay Germany was contacted and recommended contacting the seller to request a cancelation. While we first thought this could easily be pilot error, in scanning through the Marketplace reviews on the eBay app (found here at the Windows Phone Marketplace), other Windows Phone users report similar instances where the confirmed bid is higher than the submitted bid.
We aren't sure if this is a wide spread issue and hopefully if this is a bug, the quirk can be resolved easily with an update to the app. Still, bug or not, you might want to be extra careful to review your eBay bids when submitting via the Windows Phone app. If my recollection of eBay is correct, an incorrectly submitted bid can be canceled before the auction closes.
Thanks, aerone, for the tip!
3 years ago
Windows Phone Central Ringtone Contest (Win a Nokia Play 360)
Got some musical chops? Then make us a ringtone and win yourself a Nokia Play 360!
Have you created a unique, entertaining, humorous, inspiring, "turn your head", jaw dropping, "make everyone smile" type ringtone for your Windows Phone? If so, you could win a Nokia Play 360 ($150 value) which will allow you to stream and blast music from any Windows Phone via Bluetooth. That's right, we're having a ringtone contest and we're looking for the best.
The winner will also have their ringtone featured in our app to be used by everyone. Ka-ching.
Here's how this contest will work:
Create an original ringtone
Post it in this Windows Phone Central discussion
The ringtone has to be original content to qualify. No use of copyrighted music or materials unless it is yours.
You can submit two entries but they need to be distinct and original
You have until June 23, 2012 at 5pm EST to submit your entry.
From there, we'll listen to all the entries and select the two ringtones that stand out as the best to us. Expect the winners to be announced by June 28th.
Oh... as an added bonus, on Friday, June 15th and 22nd we will randomly draw a winner from the entries to receive a $50 gift card to the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store.
So get creative, get humorous, get original and start working up that ringtone. You will need to register to participate and you can take care of that here.
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