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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 800 hitting Ireland February 1st, 900 following?

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Nokia has announced on Facebook that the Lumia 800 will be available on Vodafone in Ireland on February 1st, which we touched on last week. What's more is that according to users who visited the Facebook page, they noticed the manufacturer stating that the Lumia 900 (the recently announced U.S. LTE Windows Phone) will be coming to Europe in Q2 2012. See the below quote:

"The Nokia Lumia 900 will launch across Europe including Ireland in Q.2 of 2012. We cannot confirm whether Vodafone will stock it or not at this point. Hope that answers your questions guys?!"

So that will at least give us hope of the high end handset coming to Europe.

Source: Nokia Ireland Facebook Page, thanks Mike for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 710 features fast UI rotation [Video]

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We've been using the Nokia Lumia 710 on T-Mobile (see our review) for a few days now and one thing we found is the device is fast. Now by fast we of course mean on T-Mobile "4G' HSPA+ network, which we're seeing quick downloads but also there's something else--the OS itself seems zippier. On WP Bench, we get around 88 for a score, which is high but far below the Titan and Focus S.

Upon closer inspection we noticed the screen rotation from portrait to landscape is very rapid. So rapid that while driving we saw it quickly toggle between the two modes when taking a sharp turn. That tells us that this is either a very sensitive accelerometer with perhaps a lower delay in the transition effect.

When compared to the Lumia 800, Samsung Focus S, etc. the Lumia 710 will always beat them in switching between landscape and portrait. We actually really like this as it makes the OS and device feel even faster (it's very useful for messaging apps where you need the keyboard). Anyways, we thought it was neat and we hope the Lumia 900 features the same type of OS modification too.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Lumia 710 for a penny at Costco

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A penny for your thoughts? How about for a T-Mobile Lumia 710? We've seen some nice deals on the latest Windows Phone to hit T-Mobile's shelves. Wal-Mart is offering the Lumia 710 for free on-line, T-Mobile is selling the 710 for $49.99 and now Costco is offering the 4G Windows Phone for a penny.  They are only listing the black model with no indication if the white model will become available at a later date.

Pricing is after the customary two year contractual discounts and a qualifying data plan.   Not too shabby of a price for a very nice, entry level Windows Phone.

Thanks, Anthony, for the tip!

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3 years ago

New images of Sony-Ericsson Windows Phone prototype emerge

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We've seen an image or two of the old Sony Ericsson prototype Windows Phone that was canceled before. The device, code-named 'Julie',  was a qwerty-slider and looked quite tantalizing at the time. Since then, SE has jumped on the Android bandwagon while leaving the door open for Windows Phone. We thought for a moment that SE was teasing us with a new Windows Phone for CES, but alas it was more Android.

Now, two new images have leaked of a Sony Ericsson Windows Phone device. Clearly a prototype not much is known about this phone but we're taking a guess that it is just the same qwerty-slider that we've seen previously. If you look closely at the top photo, the thickness of the device and "break" midway suggests that this is a slider.

What does this all mean? Unfortunately, we don't have any evidence that SE (or just Sony going forward very soon) has any plans for a Windows Phone. But Mobile World Congress is coming up at the end of February, so who knows maybe Sony will have something to present.

The site NokiaWP, who received the photos, claim that this is running Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" which would definitely indicate active development. However, we cannot verify either claim at the moment.

Stay tuned..

Source: NokiaWP; Thanks, Juddy, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia hands over 350 essential 2G, 3G, and 4G patents to IP bulldog

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Nokia has recently sold 450 patents to Sisvel, an italian Intellectual property manager. Of those, 350 patents spanning across 33 families encapsulate key wireless technologies like GSM, UMTS/WCDMA, and LTE. Although Nokia nor Sisvel are going into details of the deal, it's expected that Nokia will retain the rights to use these patents, and likely collect on some of the ongoing royalties, but Sisvel will likely get a cut of royalties in exchange for actively protecting the patents in the courtroom. 

It might seem natural that Nokia hold onto these patents with an iron fist and squeeze every penny-worth of royalties out of them, but legal costs can add up; by incentivizing an outside source to do the trolling while possibly still getting some of the royalties themselves, Nokia will be able to focus their resources (both legal and monetary) on Windows Phone. It will be interesting to see how aggressive Sisvel is in protecting the patents, and if they're able to lock down any big licensing deals that Nokia wasn't able to. The last big case Nokia won was against Apple, so I have a hard time imagining that Nokia has left any stone unturned. 

Source: IntoMobile

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3 years ago

Pandora apps Radio Controlled and MetroRadio working again

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We reported a few days ago that Pandora once again changed their undocumented APIs thereby breaking Radio Controlled and MetroRadio. Luckily the "fix" was easy and both apps are back, fully working again as far as we can tell. In addition, both have some other fixes and new features on board:

  • Radio Controlled - Hitting version 2.0, this app has received many new features and changes including being more Metro-themed, Last.FM login for "scrobbling" and Driving mode. Driving Mode is perhaps the most exciting as it gives a large, finger-friendly UI for when using the app on the road. It allows you to like/dislike a song, play/stop or to skip. We found this part truly ingenious and tremendously useful. In addition, the new "more Metro" look to the app, artists-as-background and other options make this an awesome update. You can grab Radio Controlled here for free in the Marketplace.
  • MetroRadio - Now on v3.3, this update is mostly bug fixes and to address the API change from Pandora. Those fixes include getting songs, Live Tiles and MetroMP3 search service. That app you can also pick up for free in the Marketplace right here.

It's great to know that so long as Pandora remains obstinate, we have independent developers willing to give us what we want. QR codes after the break...

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3 years ago

Unofficial Instagram app for Windows Phone fights for access

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Okay folks, now that it's Monday morning afternoon, we have the skinny on Metrogram, the Instagram client for Windows Phone that we learnt about late last night. The app is being developed by Bil Simser and should be available in two or three weeks.

First the bad news. Indeed, as per Instagram's API requirements, the app is read-only. Still, it offers a lot in terms of functions e.g. browse tags, search for pictures, view details, profiles, leave comments, like pictures, etc.

Now the potential good news. Bil is in contact with Instagram and is trying to get a waiver on their read-only policy and to allow the app to post. If that permission is granted Bil tells us "...a full client will be about 3-4 weeks off (including photo effects similar to the iPhone client)".  However, if Instagram does not grant an exception, Bil may try other means by which to get photos up, perhaps something analogous to the MetroPandora SDK i.e. look for workarounds.

Instagram claim that they don't allow 3rd party access for uploads to  “fight spam & low quality photos” which at first makes sense until you realize no one is monitoring photo uploads to their service, making it a hollow promise. Surely safeguards could be put into place to prevent spam, such as limiting the amount of uploads over a given time-frame.

We'll definitely keep you posted on what happens with Metrogram and what Instagram has to say about it. One way or another though, we'll get this service on our phones. Just take a look at Pandora. For more info on Instagram, read here at iMore.

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3 years ago

Nokia's 6 "Amazing Days" in France [Video]

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Nokia has been real busy creating videos with the official Lumia product introductions, the Little Amazing Show campaign, and now we have six videos from France. These "Amazing Days" follow the Nokia Lumia Amazing Calls video that we covered at the end of 2011. All six contain upbeat music to accompany prizes being obtained, which were awarded to the winners of a promotion ran by Nokia and Microsoft back in November. The six "Amazing Days" explained:

  • Amazing Day 1 : VIP pass for Joey Starr's Birthday (French rapper)
  • Amazing Day 2 : 5 minutes to take whatever you want for free in Fnac
  • (like U.S.' Best Buy)
  • Amazing Day 3 : VIP pass for a football match, Manchester United
  • Amazing Day 4 : a day surfing with Bixente Lizarazu (a well known French
  • football player)
  • Amazing Day 5 : private show of Metronomy
  • Amazing Day 6 : a free week in Paris, with a private driver and  luxury
  • cars.

Head on past the break to check out the remaining five videos and watch in awe....

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3 years ago

MSN Weather going Mango and getting a Live Tile

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MSN Weather, like all of those MSN app, are actually pretty cool little offerings--they're Metro, minimalist and do what they're suppose to do. In 2010, MSN Weather was for many their first weather app. Not much has happened though in terms of updates, which is a shame since Mango offers a lot e.g. Live Tiles.

That's why we became a little excited to see an image of an updated version that is coming down the road. In the above screenshot from Microsoft's Jeff Wilcox (of 4th & Mayor fame), we see that it finally now has that Live Tile with the current temperature, making this app very useful for many and a good free alternative. No other details are known currently but the app is being beta tested meaning release in probably only a few weeks away.

It's great to see Microsoft finally updating some of these apps though we think it would have looked better 4 months ago.

Update: Regarding Jeff's grey theme, there's no shenanigans there. That is simply one of the theme's on his unlocked Lumia 800 purchased through Expansys. While that's a great theme, he did lose out by not having the "Nokia Blue" accent color.

Source: Image, Twitter; Thanks, Jan T., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: ByeByeBrain

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Yes... it's another zombie, tower defense game for your Windows Phone. But don't be too discouraged. ByeByeBrain is a wonderfully animated addition to our zombie/tower defense game line up.

Armed with five different, upgradable, volunteers to defend your city from the invading horde of zombies, the game takes on the typical tower defense goal. Prevent the hordes from passing from one side of your Windows Phone screen to the other. As you wipe out the zombies you earn cash and for each zombie that survives your onslaught, you loose a life (you only get twenty of them).

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Lumia 710 a "featured device" and getting great reviews

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Since the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710 launched last week (see our review), we've seen the commercials on TV numerous times (which is odd since we barely watch TV) and now if you go to T-Mo's website, you'll see the Lumia 710 as a "featured" phone. That basically means it gets top billing on the device listings page so perhaps new customers may be swayed towards the little device that could.

On top of that, it's currently sitting at an astounding 4.9 stars (out of 5) from 28-reviews which have heaped praise on the device and the OS. We have to agree too as we've been using it all weekend and we'll be posting our thoughts later this week. Until then, we can take solace in Nokia seeming to gain traction here in the US.  Hopefully we'll see some sales figures soon to back that up.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, DigTheNoise, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Instagram client coming to Windows Phone? [Update]

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Details are a bit fuzzy on this right now, but developer Bil Simser has been working on an Instagram client for Windows Phone called Metrogram. Instagram is an extremely popular photo client on iOS, analogous to BubbleGum for our phones, that allows users to apply somewhat kitsch filters to their photos and share them within the Instagram network (and Twitter/Facebook). File it under "arbitrary but must-have apps" for Windows Phone.

What's interesting is how quickly Simser coded the app, once again demonstrating how easy it is to write apps for Windows Phone. According to his Tweets, it did not take very long at all:

"58 minutes later an a new wp7 Instagram client is born. I think that's a record for me" "Writing the Instagram client for #wp7 has been so freaking easy. 2 hours and I have a fully functional client"

By the sound of it, this isn't just a viewer of Instagram photos but rather something to create photos with directly. However, we're not sure if this is official (and Simser was hired as a contractor) or this is just a side project. Looking at the name Metrogram, we're betting unofficial. We've reached out to Simser to hopefully find out more info, so until then, just relish those screenshots.

Update: Developer M.Saleh Esmaeili chimes in that this is just a viewer-only, as Instagram APIs restrict access (though some sites do interact with Instagram). Hopefully we'll hear from the developer soon.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Amir, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summary of the Week: January 9 - 15, 2012

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It's that time of the week again, folks! This week has seen a good number of hardware stories come to light from CES 2012 (check the link for our Windows Phone coverage) and beyond. To help you sieve through the CES 2012 content, we've put together highlights of both day one and day two. Should that not excite you enough, WPCentral set up an interview with Joe Belfiore and Kevin Shields (of Nokia).

Because the HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900 were both unveiled in the past week, we've now got two brand spanking new hardware forums to cover both handsets. We previously have two forums dedicated to shining the spotlight on developers for both games and apps, but these sections were hidden away. Now the Applications Spotlight and Games Spotlight forums are on the index page to receive maximum exposure. Just to round off a good forum-based introduction to this week's summary, we now have photo gallery support for members. No more hotlinking images!

Head on past the break for the full Windows Phone summary.

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3 years ago

Twitter notifications spotty since Thursday [Updated]

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Update (6:48PM MST): Social media notifications appear to be working for most folks now.

Windows Phone users are reporting that Twitter social media notifications – such as those found on your Me tile, under Notifications – have been spotty or (in most cases) stopped flowing to Windows Phone since Thursday (UTC-7). A cursory dissection of the communication between the phone and Windows Live APIs, shows that API requests for notification activity succeed but no actual results are returned. (i.e., the phone is working just fine.) Maybe it's time to look at grabbing a real Twitter app? (We've reviewed quite a few.)

Microsoft was asleep and therefore unavailable for immediate comment. We'll keep an eye on this and let you know when things are moving again.

Updated: as of 8pm EST, notifications seem to be working again.

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