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3 years ago

HTC TITAN II 4G Windows Phone coming to Telstra

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WPDownUnder has reported that Telstra staff have received confirmation of the HTC TITAN II making its way to the Australian shores and onto the network. With the Lumia 800 being stocked at multiple sources across the country, as well as on Telstra itself, the situation is starting to pick up with regards to available hardware.

At an event last night, it was revealed that the HTC TITAN II (as well as another unnamed Android 4G handset) will be launching on Telstra this coming April. Even some lucky members of staff attending the event got the chance to take home a Lumia 800 with door prizes being handed out. 

WPDownUnder expects the TITAN II to be available on the $79 /mo Freedom Connect plan, using the MRO bonus (no handset fee), and would total $1896 across the 24 month contract. Although, the site notes that should the HTC Velocity be anything to go by, then the TITAN II may also be available on the cheaper $59 plan, with a $5 /mo MRO free, totalling $1536.

What's more is that Nokia has reported that they're still in talks surrounding the introduction of the 4G international Lumia 900, which would further strengthen Australia's range of Windows Phones. Who would have thought last year that we would be seeing prosperous moves from both Microsoft and manufacturers in Australia?

Source: WPDownUnder; thanks Sheeds for the tip!

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3 years ago

Singapore Lumia 800 users receiving 12070 battery-fix update

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Nokia seems to be wrapping up testing of their much anticipated firmware update, 12070. The update brings better battery life through better controlled screen-brightness and ~70 mA discharge when idle.  In addition, the update tweaks the camera's white balance a little and sound is improved via the bass response.

We can testify that 12070 has nearly tripled our battery life since we forced-upgraded from 11401, making this a worthy and important update for Lumia users.

Those in Singapore seem to be the lucky ones tonight as they are now getting 12070 official through Zune Desktop, making them the first group to get the honors. So if you're in Singapore, y'all need to stop reading this and go get your update as it is totally worth the 15 minutes.

We expect the rest of Lumia 800 users to start to get their updates later on this week. Stay tuned.

Thanks, VoodooKing for the heads up; See XDA forums for further confirmation

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3 years ago

Deal Alert: AT&T HTC TITAN drops to a $0.01 with a new contract

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We're still expecting the HTC TITAN II to drop in the next few weeks and perhaps in an attempt to clear some stock, AT&T has dropped the behemoth Windows Phone to just one cent with a new contract.

That's pretty amazing for a 4.7" screen device with a 1.5GHz CPU and the best camera yet on a Windows Phone (yeah, we're calling it). The TITAN has been a big success, according to the folks at HTC we spoke with back at CES and we can't argue with that as it has been one of our favorite devices around.

The TITAN though is not being discontinued as far as we know as HTC told us that it will still be sold alongside the TITAN II (which is slightly redesigned, has a 16MP camera and LTE 4G on board), so we think this is more of a sale to push Windows Phone rather than an end-of-life scenario. Either way, it's a great deal.

Source: AT&T; Thanks, Reece, for the heads up

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3 years ago

Hotmail ditches iPhone for the Nokia Lumia 800 on main page

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Well, it certainly took long enough but it looks like the folks at Hotmail finally realized that Windows Phone is their company's OS, not the iPhone. What we mean of course is when you navigate to Hotmail.com you used to be greeted with the three smartphones: Samsung Focus, iPhone and some Android thing.

Now, in an ever-so-slight refresh, the Nokia Lumia 800 has taken front and center moving the iPhone to the back.

Sure, most might not even notice but it's still a nice nod to Windows Phone users and the success Nokia is bringing the ecosystem as a whole. It's great to see Hotmail at least acknowledge that much.

Thanks, Patrick, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Unlocked White Lumia 900 Windows Phone available on eBay

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An unlocked white Lumia 900 is available on eBay with expected shipping dates between April 3rd-9th. The handset joins the black and cyan versions that were previously available on the auction site back in January. The only difference separating the previous listings and this new one is the colour and price tag. The white Lumia 900 4G Windows Phone will set you back $829.

You never know with eBay listings such as this so proceed at your own risk. Check out the auction (and make your purchase) by following the source link to the item listing.

Source: eBay; thanks Cole for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone SDK incompatibility with Windows 8

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With the release of the Windows 8 customer preview last week, the Windows Phone team have published an article on the official blog detailing a few issues that occur when running the Windows Phone SDK on the new desktop operating system. Due to the release being at the preview stage, some software incompatibility is to be expected.

The team have provided the following confirmed issues:

  • XNA Game Studio. On an attempt at installing the Windows Phone SDK, the user will receive error messages with regard to components of the XNA tool chain. These components will fail to install on Windows 8; the workaround for this has been blogged about by Aaron Stebner.
  • Windows Phone Emulator. Windows 8 cannot currently run the Windows Phone emulator, which will make it very difficult to debug your code. There are two issues in addition to the simple fact that the emulator does not run on Windows 8, having to do with specific emulator functionality.
  • .NET 3.5. Capability.exe and slsvcutil.exe will not run on Win 8 unless you separately install .NET 3.5.

As well as the above, many have noticed that the latest developer preview of Visual Studios 11 (download link) does not include the support for Windows Phone app development. The team have assured that this support will be included by the time the software RTMs. Prior to the above, the Windows Phone 7.1 SDK will have its incompatibility with Windows 8 fixed in the coming months.

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Simply TileMatch

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3 years ago

Audible for Windows Phone is certainly possible, so where is it?

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I like experimenting and tinkering with software. A lot like how a circuit bender tries to get electronics to emit beautiful music, I attempt to coerce software into doing things it wasn’t designed to do. Often, like my recent Windows Phone Hackathon, I fail spectacularly. But rarely, I do make notable progress. Cue Audible.

Audible.com (Audible for short) is a service owned by Amazon that provides digital audio books. They put out software that works across a slew of devices such as the iPod, Kindle Fire, Blackberry, and even PC. Old hats may even recall that Audible supported Windows Mobile 5 devices such as the HP iPAQ Pocket PC. One platform void of support, however, is Windows Phone.

We – along with our readers – have been keeping the pressure on Audible for quite some time now, to no avail. Support technicians would say an app is in the works but has no ETA. Now they're saying this month. Who knows when this is really coming out? More importantly, what’s taking so long?

I sat down one day and decided to figure out why this was taking so long, or at least try. I started by downloading the old Windows Mobile 5 software. In the dusty CAB were a number of skins and resources, to support the fragmented Windows Mobile market, along with some key application files. Disassembling the Audible Player executable revealed they all relied on a single dynamic link library (DLL) to perform all the needed functions: AAXSDKWin.dll.

AAXSDKWin.dll is a library compiled for devices containing a StrongARM processor, like the iPAQ mentioned earlier. Without going too deep, it was compiled using an instruction set (ARM4i) that is still used in today’s ARM (e.g. Cortex) processors. At this point, you’re probably thinking “Hey… doesn’t Windows Phone sit on top of ARM too?” Yep, it sure does.

I took the library and started weeks of disassembly, study, and boozing, excruciatingly dissecting bit after bit until I had enough of their APIs worked out to use the damn thing in a proof of concept. I jiggered it into a Silverlight for Windows Phone application project and deployed it onto my Samsung Focus test phone. I was able successfully parse an Audible book and light up my UI with relevant metadata (e.g. title, author, etc.). I remember thinking “Holy crap, it worked.” (The app shot below is not a functional application.)

How Audible for Windows Phone could look like.

I continued my research efforts, with the goal of playing a book in mind, but stopped short for two reasons: One, Audible’s books are protected with a DRM scheme. This meant I needed to reverse engineer their account activation, authentication, and decryption logic – something I wasn’t keen on doing. Two, we reported that Audible was warming up for a late March release. I had no intention of busting hump to later be superseded by a better and official application. But with the success of the concept application, I couldn’t answer the original question – What’s taking Audible so long to put out an app?

I can only surmise as to why. We know getting legitimate native access on Windows Phone is easy and possible. I also know that all the APIs they need are there. So from a technical perspective, an Audible app is possible. But perhaps Amazon, in a move to increase Kindle interest, decided to not continue porting Audible to newer mobile devices. Or maybe there’s some behind-the-scenes political or logistical clashing we’re not privy to. Or more likely, Audible just didn’t have the Windows Phone marketplace numbers to justify paying a team to rework their ancient source code into something usable on Windows Phone.

Regardless, an Audible application official or otherwise is coming.

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3 years ago

From the Forums: Mobile World Congress 2012 Roundup

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Mobile World Congress 2012 has ended and we got a lot of news out of the event but not necessarily what you were hoping. We have some threads from Forums Members that are skeptical about the future of Windows Phone. For instance, in  "Ride the boat till it sinks, or jump ship?" forums member DizztMaker predicts the end of Windows Phone.

We also have a discussion about Microsoft, Nokia and what they would do (or more importantly wouldn't do) at MWC 2012 in: Prediction: Microsoft/Nokia will disappoint at MWC Without the announcement of a new high end windows phone and without news about Windows Phone 8 (aka "Apollo") was MWC 2012 a success? We think Microsoft has done enough to silence some of the critics. For example, we have a new device from Nokia, the Lumia 610, we also have a new device from ZTE, the Orbit,  both of which are low-end/emerging market devices more suited to the upcoming release of "Tango".

We also learned this week that Microsoft is opening up in 23 new markets. All that combined has the future of Windows Phone looking up, telling us that Microsoft is in it for the (very) long haul. We don't yet have a clear picture of the future so we are discussing that as well in threads like this one: Windows Phone 7's Upgrade to WP8 Apollo Now Unclear, which is sure to elicit some heated discussion.

 

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3 years ago

Official Qantas Windows Phone app almost here

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It has been almost a year since we last heard of an official Qantas app being developed for Windows Phone at MIX '11 (see our wrap up for more details). We've now caught word from their Twitter account that the app, which has been somewhat-delayed, will be available this month (March).

Windows Phone owners who use Australia's flag carrier to hop between countries will be pleased to learn that development of the app is at a stage where it's ready to be submitted and / or approved. The Qantas Windows Phone app will enable users to view upcoming flight times, quickest routes to airports, check into a flight, and more.

We'll update with a follow-up post when the app has been released with more details (and screenshots) available, so keep an eye on this space.

Source: @GCrance1982; thanks Geoff for the tip!

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3 years ago

New Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone: Sid Meier’s Pirates & Civilization Revolution

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Good news for those of you who enjoy Sid Meier’s work on lush and detailed strategy games, we'll be getting not one but two offerings sporting his name:

  • “Civilization Revolution” (2K) – Award winning Sid Meier’s “Civilization Revolution” is coming to Windows Phone! Build, Discover, Rule the world.
  • Pirates!” – Sid Meier’s “Pirates!” is an exciting high-seas adventure overflowing with intense pirate action and a treasure chest of gameplay riches!

Those titles should be familiar to those who indulge in strategy games as they are both ports from other systems, but that shouldn't stop the excitement as they are considered to be solid games.

Pirates! is already available on Xbox 360 (since 2005) so you can go ahead and try that now to get an idea for the game. The original Pirates! goes back to 1987 but was re-released and updated in 2004 and it is still getting ported to new platforms (including the iPad). It's your normal sail around the world, engage in battles and grab some booty game.

Civilization Revolution, known as the game Meier's "always wanted to make", is widely available on multiple platforms and continues the Civilization/empire building turn-based-strategy stylings of previous games in the same series.

No word on release dates but we imagine it will be sometime this Spring, giving Windows Phone users plenty of options and some skilled strategy gaming.

Source: Major Nelson; Thanks, Daniel G., for the tip

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3 years ago

Verizon passes up on Nokia 'Om' Windows Phone?

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Verizon passes up on Nokia 'Om' Windows Phone?

According to sources familiar with company plans, The Verge has reported that Verizon may have passed up on a Nokia Windows Phone 7.5 handset. Microsoft Stores were ready to stock the Nokia device, codenamed "Om", late January / early February but the carrier canceled due to concerns over lack of Verizon LTE support.

If this rumour is true, Verizon will be joining Sprint where both may well be waiting for "Apollo" to introduce new Windows Phones to customers. For the mean time, the HTC Trophy will be the only Windows Phone available on Verizon. More interestingly, this info seems to contradict earlier information from Paul Thurrott who noted that a Lumia 710 (with no LTE) was headed to Big Red sooner than later.

Either way, this is not good news for those on CDMA in the US who want a modern Windows Phone.

Source: The Verge; thanks Craig for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Nokia still needs a cheaper phone to compete with Android

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Although one would think the Lumia 610 goes far enough to compete with low-end Android devices for emerging markets, according to Niklas Savander, executive vice-president at Nokia, covering Brand, Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, Customer Care and Information Technology, they still need to go lower:

"We are competing with Android, Android is in many markets at the €100 price already, so that would suggest that if we are at €189 with the Lumia 610 we still have work to do when it comes to creating a lower-end first-time user smartphone."

That's certainly a tall order as the Lumia 610 already ditches things like gyroscope (compass?), ClearBlack, some RAM, CPU speed and more. Other areas where Nokia could reduce costs though would be to newer-but-low-cost SOC chipsets, even cheaper screens and overall leveraging of existing production lines.

When we heard Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, speak at the Mobile World Congress last week, he mentioned how the sub-$100 smartphone will come next year, so clearly even Google has their eyes set on that milestone too. The question is will Nokia have to reduce features or will production of smartphone parts become cheaper to reach that point? More likely a combo of both.

Source: Pocket-Lint

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Jewel God

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"Bejeweled on steroids" is an easy way to describe the Windows Phone game Jewel God. If you like the Bejeweled-styled games but are looking for something with more of a quicker pace to it, then Jewel God should be right up your alley.

The concept of Jewel God is very similar to Bejeweled in that you are searching for combinations of three or more of the same jewels but the pace is fast. Some may say frantic. Jewel God is a entertaining, addictive game for your Windows Phone that will definitely keep you on your toes.

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