3 years ago
Birdsong for Windows Phone version 1.7 submitted and on the way
What? "Birdsong is still alive" you say? It seems the team at Red Badger have been busy pumping life into the old girl, who has been dormant since she was updated to Mango. We last spoke of Birdsong, the then-popular Windows Phone Twitter client, when the team announced that intern Joe Stanton would be tasked with bringing the app back up to speed with the competition. So what's new in upcoming 1.7?
The team has introduced a new trends feature, which is now accessible from the main app bar and provides convenient access to Twitter trending data for users. The feature calculates your location and displays nearest trending topics with the option to view what's trending in a specific city, nationwide, or on a global scale.
Search functionality has been revamped and is now more intuitive with the main search view retrieving saved searches automatically. Upon executing a search via Birdsong, the app now searches both tweets and accounts simultaneously. The app makes use of the Twitter API for searching, so any saved searches created / manipulated on the app will be reflected on the website and other apps that make use of the same functionality.
As well as a search revamp and trending topics, Birdsong now supports both photos tweeted using Twitter's in-house hosting service and gzip. Previously, any image hosted with Twitter would show it as a link which could not be selected, but now all photos are loaded correctly depending on user settings. For gzip support, this solves the login issue many experience when attempting to connect their Twitter account to the app on first launch.
There are two bug fixes in 1.7, the first being the above implemented gzip support. Twitter altered their authentication API to always return a gzip response, which resulted in Birdsong not being able to process authenticated responses. The second bug fix is for errors with user profiles where the app was making unauthenticated requests, causing the user to hit brick walls with limits being applied by the social network.
Unfortunately, we couldn't see any mention of the live tile / push service functionality in the change log. Many have been reporting issues with manipulating the settings for said features in Birdsong, where the app would throw a failure message when one attempted to simply enable the service. We hope these known issues will be fixed in a future update, which wont take as long to publish.
Source: Red Badger; Thanks, Kyle, for the tip!
3 years ago
Odd Nokia Lumia 900 ad shows new Live Tile behavior
We're not to sure what to make of this ad for the Nokia Lumia 900 showing up on some sites but it caught one of our reader's attention and indeed, it is intriguing.
The ad is simple enough. It shows the 'beautifully different' Lumia 900 in glossy-white with a 4G icon (this is for the international version, not AT&T) spinning around, displaying various features.
But what is different relates to the Live Tiles:
Contacts - The tiles flip and it says "Meet up with Sarah"
Photo Hub - Flips and splits into two tiles, one with the latest photo, the other with a count
Anyone who has used Windows Phone, any version, knows very well that the Live Tiles do neither of those things. Yet there they are flipping around like they belong there are a new ad.
Now we could easily chalk this up as some marketing error, a glitch made by someone getting Photoshop happy and not accurately representing Windows Phone 7.5--and to be honest, there's a good case for that theory. Or perhaps we're looking at something else, maybe something along the lines of Windows Phone 8 behavior. After all, those are small enough changes that also make tremendous amount of sense for "new features" in an updated OS.
No real way to know of course but if this isn't a Windows Phone 8 leak then Microsoft, you should probably make those changes because they're quite nice. And if a mistake, Nokia you should probably fix it.
Source of ad: PC Advisor; Thanks, Victor V., for the tip
3 years ago
Missed out on those free Windows Phone props for your Xbox Avatar? Here's why.
On Sunday we posted a method by which you can get a free Avatar prop featuring Windows Phone--either a Longboard, foam finger or tee-shirt. All you had to do was sign up for the Windows Phone Insider newsletter and you were sent a redeem code.
Then late Sunday/early Monday we started to get word that the offer had suddenly ended, even before most of you were able to try and get one. Now, Microsoft's KC Lemson has posted why on the Windows Phone Blog.
In short, some jerk managed to sweep up all the remaining redeem codes, locking out future users. What's worse, they're selling them on eBay for $10 a pop.
The good news is Microsoft will do right and extend free I <3 Windows Phone shirt avatar props to those users who received a rejection email, meaning not only will you get something, you'll get a more rare item.
No word though if they'll open this up for others who missed the original offer. From the sound of it, it was a successful program. Let's hope they do it again.
Source: Windows Phone Blog; Thanks, FalconX, for the eBay link
3 years ago
SAPER turns Windows Phone into a real life mine-sweeper. Literally.
Although we like playing video games with bombs on our Windows Phone, we have to remember in the real world, bombs and mines are a real problem for war-torn territories.
Evidently a few students at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw have decided to do something about it so they created SAPER. What is SAPER? The name means “minesweeper” in Polish and is also an acronym for “Sensor Amplified Perception For Explosives Recognition.” Yes, that's right, it uses the magnetometer in Windows Phone to detect bombs, specifically the magnetic field around an forty different types of explosive material from 30 cm (11.8 inches) away.
In short, you launch the app and let it calibrate in the area you intend to scan. Then waving the phone around it compares the recorded magnetic disturbance signature with other signatures in the database via a cloud-based connection, giving a probable threat cause and even a potential ID of the type of explosive. It even uses Bing Maps to then mark the area for future extraction.
Currently the app is exclusive to Windows Phone and is an Imagine Cup entry though the developers do have plans to extend it to other platforms and potentially extend it to other areas (detecting wires in a wall, body scans, etc.). And no, it's not intended to replace proper mine-sweeping technology but rather to supplant it where it can't be made readily available until a later time.
Certainly this is very impressive stuff and demonstrates just how powerful smartphones can be made--it's a tell tale sign of where things are going in the future. And for once an app on a smartphone will do good for the world instead of just waste time by shooting birds at pigs.
Source: WAT; via Microsoft, Gizmag; Thanks, Bernard M., for the tip!
3 years ago
Windows Phone App Review: Smartboard Calculator
3 years ago
Microsoft releases eight new 'official' wallpapers for Windows Phone (Nature)
Since Windows Phone users can't spend a lot of time customizing their OS (instead we live our lives), there's much focus on the lock-screen. We know we change ours every few days (we use Ffffound for inspiration).
Today, Microsoft has announced a partnership with London based graphic designer Levi Freeman and as a result, they've released eight "officially sanctioned" wallpapers to spiffy up your Windows Phone.
The eight images are nature focused so they may not appeal to everyone (we're more into abstract art here). Still, the designs are nice and they're meant to look perfect on your phone. What's more, the images all have a corresponding QR code for easy download (see, not even Microsoft uses Tag). Plus Microsoft notes that they hope more of these collaborations will happen with Levi, meaning we can probably expect different themes in the future--we like that idea. Levi also plans to release desktop versions too.
There's some interesting tidbits about the inspiration for each image and details about Freeman at his site, so hop on over to grab those images and learn a little bit about their origins.
Source: Windows Phone Blog, Levi Freeman's blog
3 years ago
T-Mobile CEO "quite pleased" with Windows Phone sales
File this under "vague but encouraging". T-Mobile's CEO Philipp Humm gave an interview with the Seattle Times where he talked about the transitions that company is going through including their future plans.
Humm was asked about Microsoft and Windows Phone in particular and while no firm numbers or details were given, the message was at least positive:
Q: T-Mobile made a commitment to push Windows Phone this year. How is that working out?
A: I think we have a very good relationship with Microsoft, and we discovered that, in particular, for customers who are new to smartphones, they really enjoy the simplicity of the Microsoft [user interface], so they like the design and the ease of it.
Q: Are Windows phones selling as well as you hoped?
A: We are so far quite pleased and I think Microsoft, if you talk to them, [is] quite pleased with T-Mobile.
Indeed, T-Mobile has been the 2nd most important carrier in the US for Windows Phone. They launched with the popular HD7, had the Dell Venue Pro and recently exclusively acquired the HTC Radar (review) and Nokia Lumia 710 (review). While those latter two phones won't woo those who want a high-end, large screen device, both phones have exceptionally high user satisfaction ratings (and they're amongst our favorite devices here at Windows Phone Central).
The comments above, while vague, do echo what Nokia CEO Stephen Elop noted back in Mobile World Congress. There in regards to the T-Mobile Lumia 710, Elop noted that sales were "exceeding expectations" which we'll take as a positive sign as well. (Currently, the Lumia 710 is #4 under best-selling smartphones on T-Mobile, while the Radar is #19. Amazon Wireless has the Luma 710 at #6 and Radar at #7, respectively.)
Still, Windows Phone has a long away ahead and it's not clear that non-flagship devices like the Lumia 710 and HTC Radar can turn T-Mobile into the "must have" carrier for Windows Phone. Here's to hoping that T-Mobile still has a few Windows Phone tricks up their sleeve.
Source: Seattle Times
3 years ago
Lumia 900 survey participants receiving Amazon gift cards
Those who participated in the Lumia 900 feedback study that saw Nokia publish a survey and offer $50 Amazon gift cards as an incentive have reported that they've begun receiving said rewards. Should you have completed the required number of surveys and are eligible for the gift card reward, you will be contacted soon enough.
Our George Ponder has confirmed this acknowledgement and has also been alerted to his $50 gift card redemption code.
Let us know in the comments when you receive yours. What will you be using the card for? You can also join in the discussion on our Windows Phone forum.
3 years ago
ZTE Tania launching in China within days, gets a CPU upgrade
ZTE is slowly growing to be an important partner with Microsoft and Windows Phone as they're one of the largest OEMs in the world (that you never heard of). Their "Tania" has been around for some time now but it surprisingly hasn't launched yet in China, which received its big Windows Phone push last month with Nokia and HTC leading the way.
Now it looks like the device will finally be out within days though no specific carrier has been announced. According to Wei Xiaodong, ZTE sales director, the phone will be released by the end of this month and will get a CPU bump from 1GHz to 1.4Ghz--a trend we're seeing with the more premium Windows Phones like the 710 and Focus 2. Everything else will stay the same though: 4.3" screen, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM and a 5MP camera. Of course the OS is expected to be "Tango" for the Chinese localization.
We played with the Tania back at CES and actually like the little guy. While perhaps not amazing by certain standards, for a premium Windows Phone it's actually well done. ZTE has also announced plans to make a push here in the United States and it will be curious to see how that pans out.
See our hands-on video on the ZTE Tania from CES 2012 here.
Source: CNMO; via Unwired View
3 years ago
Pizza Hut Australia giving away 5 Lumia 800 Windows Phones and $100 vouchers
Nokia and Microsoft have teamed up with Pizza Hut Australia to give away five Lumia 800s and $100 vouchers (for Pizza Hut). How does one enter with a chance to win? Simply head over to their Facebook page and fill out a short form detailing why you believe you should win one of the available prizes.
Do hurry if you're thinking of entering as the competition ends on May 25th. You can download the Pizza Hut app from the Marketplace for free (country restricted). Check out the app in a video demonstration below.
Source: Facebook (Pizza Hut), via: WPDownUnder
3 years ago
Understanding Skype’s limitations on Windows Phone
Do you want to know why Skype is the way it is? We go into detail as to how the network works & why it's not so great on Windows Phone--yet.
Soon after Skype for Windows Phone beta came out (and went gold months thereafter), users were dismayed to discover the app didn’t work, well, like Skype. That is, it couldn’t run in the background to receive phone calls or IMs from friends and family. Circulating reports suggested that perhaps “push notifications were too slow” or that the problem was a result of “[…] how Skype works and how the Windows Phone OS works.”
The real reason? Well, it’s complicated…
3 years ago
NumberTap update on the way, what's changed so far?
The TBODA team have been busy working on improving NumberTap, a free mathematical brain workout Windows Phone title. We previously looked at NumberTap when it was released back in August 2011. Since then it has come on leaps and bounds with a number of versions introducing the following features:
Bonus questions for double points
Time bonus for answering all the questions in a round before the timer expires
Added more question types (divides and some with brackets)
Added functionality to share a players score to social networks
As well as being more feature rich with the above, NumberTap was patched a few times to squash any reported bugs. Should you give the app a try? Definitely. Not only is it free, it's a lot of fun and is of same quality as Phonealytics by Luke Lowrey. A leaderboard is also present with badges and score multipliers, which add depth to the game with multiplayer elements.
Version 1.7 has been submitted and should be available soon.
You can download NumberTap from the Marketplace for free.
3 years ago
Windows Phone Game Review: Logorama
3 years ago
Monday Brief: A Nexus Zerg Rush, BB10 Homescreen Details, and more!
3 years ago
Nokia Lumia 610 now in stock at Clove UK
The Lumia 610 has now been confirmed to be in stock at UK mobile retailer Clove. The company is offering the all-black version for £180 (including VAT), which was previously unveiled to be heading for the UK shores last week. The low-end device sports 8GB internal memory, a 3.7 inch display, 5 megapixel camera, and the Nokia Collection of OEM apps including Maps, Drive, Transport, Music and more.
If you're more interested in the cyan version, Clove have revealed that they expect to stock this version this week. Will you be picking one up, or is the Lumia 710 on your list?
Source: Clove UK (Lumia 610); thanks Richard for the heads up!
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