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3 years ago

WPCentral App nominated for Nokia Conversations' March Madness contest

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We're both flattered and excited to see that our own WPCentral App has been nominated in the 'news & entertainment' category for the March Madness contest by Nokia Conversations.

A total of 32 apps have been pitted against each other ranging from Carbon to Plants vz Zombies to IMdB. Voting will take place through out the week for the various categories with 'games' going on now. Our app is up against All About Windows Phone, which should have an interesting result (voting is in a few days). The winner will be crowned on April 2nd making this an exciting two-weeks of voting and teeth gnashing for all who are nominated.

We'd just like to extend our congratulations to our developer Jay Bennett and Rich Edmonds (who handled the graphics), as well as a thanks to Nokia Conversations for the nomination!

Source: Nokia Conversations; Thanks, Residing, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Tango increases multitasking app limit to eight

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Please see the latest update to this story: http://www.windowscentral.com/follow-windows-phone-tango-does-not-increase-multitasking-app-limit-eight

Now that the Tango ROM has been leaked onto XDA, those members are going over it with fine comb to find every little change. Guess what? There are more improvements then we knew about in Tango, making us want it even more.

For instance, we know that even devices with 256MB of RAM will have app-switching via the Back button (see our last podcast). But going further, instead of just the last five previous apps being held in memory, we now can have eight apps stored in memory which is sure to make everyone happy. While just adding three more apps does not seem a lot, in practice we imagine such an addition will be very practical for everyday use.

Other additions noted are increased memory efficiency with just 122MB of RAM being used in the 8773 build versus the current 153MB in 8107 found on most devices today. Finally, MMS delivery confirmation/acknowledgement is there as well. While that last part seems kind of "meh", we know from experience that sending MMS is hit or miss depending on your network, so having a confirmation can actually be a good thing here.

Source: XDA Forums; via Windows Phone Daily

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3 years ago

Thom Gruhler announced as Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Marketing

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Microsoft announced today in a press release that they've appointed Thom Gruhler as Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone. Gruhler, who moves over from the McCann Worldgroup where he served as global managing partner of Telecom & Technology, will bring both knowledge and experience to the platform to further develop relations.

At Microsoft, Gruhler will lead advertising, marketing and communications activities for the Windows Phone Division. He will also work closely with product engineering teams and telecommunications partners.

I"m excited to be joining an outstanding team at Windows Phone that has built an amazing product, which is starting to turn heads in a very competitive market. When you put a Windows Phone into someone's hands they love it, which is the ideal place to start as a marketer. I'm looking forward to working with the team to build consumer awareness and excitement for Windows Phone products and the overall brand"

Gruhler led a team of agencies that were responsible for the iconic "Can you hear me now?" Verizon marketing campaign that resulted in positive growth for the carrier.

We look forward to see what Gruhler can bring to the platform, for both consumers and the Windows Phone team.

Source: Microsoft

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3 years ago

Orange UK recommends Lumia Windows Phones over Blackberry for business

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It was only a few hours when we looked at the UK retailer Carphone Warehouse busting Windows Phone myths that many moan and groan about, but now we can safely at Orange UK to the fan club. The carrier's business section of their website is recommending the Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 in favour of a Blackberry (or iPhone) for business use.

Orange is also offering some neat benefits with purchasing the Nokia handsets with a Business Solo contract. The carrier will provide double flexible extras on plans worth £30/mo or higher, as well as free unlimited WiFi access with BT Openzone. It's good to see some real positive support from one of the major players here in the UK.

With Microsoft Office, Lync, Skype, and more, it makes sense to offer Windows Phone as a valid solution to business needs and requirements.

Source: Orange, thanks Jamil for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 firmware 12070 update rolling out

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It would appear as though Lumia 800 Windows Phones are receiving new firmware, following the rollout in Singapore. The new firmware, 1600.2487.8107.12070, addresses a number of problems and is the next version up from the previous firmware release that arrived in January.

Quick recap of known improvements / fixes in the update:

  • Enhanced battery standby and talk time performance
  • Battery capacity icon instead of question mark on top right of screen
  • Improved bass in audio performance
  • Soft-key illumination at all brightness levels
  • Fixes for device performance issues including self-reboots, freezes and call-ending

As you can see, it's a fairly sizeable update. Many of our readers have confirmed update notifications (unlocked - U.S. and UK), so be sure to plug your Lumia 800 into your PC to check via Zune. Let us know in the comments should you receive the new firmware.

Thanks to everyone who sent us tips!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile US rolling out Windows Phone 8107 HTC HD7 update

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It has been officially announced on the T-Mobile U.S. support forum that the carrier is rolling out the Windows Phone 8107 update out to HTC HD7 owners. The 8107 OS update introduces numerous changes, but the highlight is the fix for the disappearing keyboard bug.

Be sure to check Zune (or the Mac Windows Phone Connector) for the notification. Unfortunately there's still no word on a 8107 rollout date for Lumia 710 owners on the T-Mobile network, though you can hack the handset to receive the update along with new firmware.

This has been confirmed by our readers who have received the update notification on their handsets. Let us know when you get yours in the comments.

Source: T-Mobile, thanks everyone who tipped us!

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3 years ago

Share your Windows Phone fan art to get it featured on Facebook

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Have some interesting and / or humorous Windows Phone fan art? Or do you simply have an awesome photo containing a handset that you wish to show off? If you share it on Facebook with the Windows Phone team, they may well include your submission in their album.

Checking out what has been added so far shows there are a lot of cakes around that have been Metro'd. From the previous competitions we've held here at WPCentral, we know our reader base is bursting at the seems with talent (we have to suck up to you guys at some point, right?), so it'll be interesting to see what you call come up with.

Source: Facebook

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3 years ago

Experiencing battery drain issues? The cause could be free apps

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Abhinav Pathak, a computer scientist at Purdue University, Indiana, and colleagues have concluded that free smartphone apps with in-app advertising may lead to the battery being drained at a faster rate, compared to paid apps. What's interesting (and slightly alarming) is the team discovered through testing that Angry Birds, Free Chess and NYTimes only used 10 - 30 percent of the battery power for core functionality.

Using the Android Market as the test grounds for the research, the team found that 25 - 35% of the app power consumption went to third-party advertising code displayed in apps for developers to make ends meet. In the case of Angry Birds, 20% is used to display and run the game, while 45% of the power is used finding and uploading the user's location with GPS, followed by downloading location-appropriate ads over a 3G connection.

This is something to consider when next browisng any smartphone marketplace. The findings will be presented by Pathak at the EuroSys conference in Bern, Switzerland, next month. Be sure to check out the full research documentation as it's fairly lengthy, but interesting.

Source: Microsoft Research, via: NewScientist

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Black Box

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3 years ago

NDrive app heading for Windows Phone

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NDrive app heading for Windows Phone

NDrive has announced plans to introduce an app for Windows Phone, according to a press release published late last month. To bring the service to the likes of Blackberry and our platform, NDrive will enter a partnership with Appello. NDrive is currently already available for Android, iOS and Samsung bada.

Luis Baptista-Coelho, NDrive’s Chief Executive Officer, added the following:

"We are very excited to address 100% of the smartphone market with our location based app. On top of the current Android, Apple iOS and Samsung bada environments, we are now delivering a Blackberry and a Windows Phone 7 app that will strengthen our offering into the carrier markets around the world."

The move will provide Windows Phone users with another turn-by-turn navigation app. Check out the press release for more details.

Source: NDrivethanks Ricardo for the tip!

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3 years ago

WeatherLive getting themes & animated radar in 4.0 update [Video]

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It's been awhile since we've seen WeatherLive get some major new functions, so it's with great joy to see version 4.0 beta making the rounds.

While the poplar weather app has grown in functionality, it has also become a little sluggish too. In addition, some people missed the simplicity of the the versions 1 and 2 of the app over the more busy 3.x. Luckily, the developer has been listening and 4.0 looks to make everyone happy. Here are the major changes:

  • Faster - the app's transitions and loading times are much zippier and more fluid
  • Theme support - With three themes, including Metro Minimalist, Metro and the new Glass, users can choose how they want the app to look
  • Animated radar - the radar map is now animated with 'pinch and zoom' built right in
  • Graphic tweaks - improved and cleaner UI

We really like where 4.0 is heading with the themes support as it will seemingly make everyone happy who has used this app in the past. The performance increase is also welcomed as the app was getting a big bogged down with the latest updates.

Look towards version 4.0 hitting the Marketplace in a few weeks. In the meantime, take v3.5 for a trial in the Marketplace or buy it for $1.49.

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3 years ago

Unofficial Grooveshark client coming for Windows Phone [Video]

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Grooveshark is a streaming service that allows you to pick any artist, song or album and simply create playlists to listen to on your computer, tablet or phone. Unlike Pandora or IHeartRadio, it does not give you new artists/songs based off of your listening preference. Instead, it's more like just streaming the music you want to hear with no experimentation.

The HTML5 site works well enough on Windows Phone for streaming in IE9 but Grooveshark have stated they have no intentions for a dedicated client for Windows Phone. That's too bad. However, the developer of MetroRadio (an unofficial Pandora app for Windows Phone) is now working on Groovyshark, an unofficial Grooveshark client for our devices.

We took the alpha build (i.e. pre-beta) for a test drive just to show you that indeed you can hook-into Grooveshark. We also got a sneak peek at the new "screensaver" function that's coming to MetroRadio too which is very reminiscent of Zune's music player on the Zune HD and Zune Desktop. That latter feature is something many have wanted Windows Phone to have built in so it's nice to see someone is working on it.

Groovyshark will hopefully be out in a few weeks to the Windows Phone Marketplace with full queue and playlist functionality built in. We'll keep you posted on  its developments right here at WPCentral.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone won't get Angry Birds Space on March 22

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Sad news from the outskirts of space: Windows Phone won't be getting Angry Birds Space on March 22 when Android and iOS do.  An email from Rovio, developer of the mega-popular phenomenon, told DailyMobile that while they are "working day and night to get the game to all relevant devices," they do not have the resources to get deliver to all platforms at once.  Having been wait-listed for the first installment of Angry Birds, only to be missing 105 levels when it finally did arrive,  this comes as another heavy blow from Rovio.  Being that Android and iOS dominate mobile market, it makes sense that Windows Phone takes a back seat, but it doesn't sting any less.

Rovio declined to share any information about specific features of the newest add-on to the Angry Birds franchise.  However, the game was previewed at SXSW on Samsung's Galaxy Note, which benefits from Samsung's partnership with Rovio by getting exclusive in-game content.  For now, you can get a small taste from the teaser below.

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse shows Windows Phone support with myth buster

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We're not sure when this was published, since it's well hidden on the website, but it would appear as though the Carphone Warehouse has a soft spot for Windows Phone. They have an entire page dedicated to attacking myths that are continuously posted by those who are fans of competitor platforms, or who simply don't like Microsoft products.

From terrible battery life, to the lack of apps, the most common groans and moans are all covered in this myth buster. The following excerpt from the article sums up the user friendliness perfectly:

"Windows® Phone has a Start screen with large Live Tiles (icons) that are easy to read and not fiddly to use. It's also simple to customise and pin the apps and live updates you want right on the Start screen. Then you swipe to the right to access the full list of apps. Options are accessible in any app by pressing the three dots in the bottom right of the screen. And there's a home button, a back button and a search button on the front of each phone. Simple."

Be sure to check out the full article at the Carphone Warehouse. All-in-all we're impressed with this positive exposure for the platform (and a strong sign of support). Also, for it to be handled by a popular UK retailer is even better. There's more that can be done, however.

Take the above screen capture. This is from the navigation drop-down on the Carphone Warehouse UK website. As you will have noticed - there's no Windows Phone accompanying Android and the iPhone menu entries. Then again, the retailer has continued to stock and promote Windows Phone handsets (including the upcoming Lumia 900) on the website with some good deals. Either way, hats off to the Carphone Warehouse.

Source: Carphone Warehouse, thanks Ian for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 available to pre-order at Swiss retailer Digitech for CHF 699

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Online Swiss retailer Digitech has the Lumia 900 listed on the website for CHF 699 ($760), but unfortunately no release / availability date is provided. The phone sports a 4.3" AMOLED display, 8MP camera, 1.4Ghz chip and a 16GB storage.

We're still waiting for the 4G LTE Lumia 900 to hit AT&T, but it's good to see more retailers list the international version.

Source: Digitech, thanks Simon for the heads up!

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