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SophieLens Pro has been updated and re-released as SophieLens HD. The Windows Phone 8 photography app updates it's user interface to a more sleek design, adds high resolution support and more.  SophieLens HD

The update takes the app to version 2.0.0.487 and refines the user interface with control icons in the four corners of the screen that give you access to flash controls, filter effects, camera toggle (front/rear cameras) and app settings.

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HD and HQ streaming down but now out

If you’re a user of any 3rd party YouTube apps that also sport high-definition (HD) or high-quality (HQ) streaming, you may have noticed that function has stopped working recently.

Long story short is YouTube changed their access method for those streams and basically borked those apps. The changed occurred on September 14th and since Supertube and MetroTube use unorthodox methods for access (read: not officially sanctioned by YouTube), it broke on the apps’ end too, resulting in only LQ playback abilities. Interestingly, this isn't the first (nor the last) time that this has happened, as nearly a year ago, the same situation occured.

We’ve heard from the Supertube developers that a fix has already been submitted to the Windows Phone Store, meaning service will be restored when the update goes live. Although we haven’t heard from the MetroTube team, we’re just going to assume the same for them as well. That means this isn’t a permanent change but rather just a temporary glitch, so dear YouTube streamers, standby for a few days and all will return when those apps update.

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We knew a while back about the proposed Odyssey and Marco handsets from Samsung. Well it looks like some more detailed specs and pricing has emerged. With Windows Phone 8 only a whisper away from being launched it seems as if the leaks just keeps on coming.

Samsung are one of Microsoft’s launch partners and it looks like we can expect some impressive hardware for this round of devices. One device is reported to have a 4” screen and the other a whopping 4.8” HD AMOLED display.. Rumour caution is advised in lieu of an official announcement.

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'Overly Attached Girlfriend' approves of the latest PrimeTube update

Although it was nice seeing old-time favorite MetroTube land back on the Marketplace last week, we don’t want to lose sight of some other fantastic YouTube viewers. PrimeTube fits the bill nicely and it just received a solid update to version 2.1 (v2.0 hit last month).

According to the developer, version 2.1 brings “a new player, UI refreshes, speedier performance and bug fixes” which sounds to us like some nice improvements. Indeed, loading up the app and swiping through the pages is buttery smooth and the player itself is laid out quite nicely with options for High Definition (HD), High Quality (HQ) and Low Quality (LQ) which came with the version 2.0 overhauls.

You can’t directly download videos for offline-viewing with PrimeTube but you can pin to Start, favorite, leave comments and share links with others. In addition, you can upload video which is certainly a nice option for those of you who want to share your experiences with others (hopefully this is native in Windows Phone 8).

Overall, PrimeTube is one of our favorite YouTube apps for Windows Phone. It’s fast, smooth and has a very clean, Metro UI. Best part? It’s free with no ads which means at the very least you should download to give it a shot.

Pick up PrimeTube v2.1 here in the Windows Phone Marketplace for the low, low price of nothing.

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If you caught our hands-on with YouTube Pro, the new HD/HQ video app for watching YouTube on-the-go, you'll be as excited as we are to see it is now on the Marketplace. Fetching for free (with ads) or $0.99 (no ads), the app looks to rock those who want a solid MetroTube replacement.

YouTube Pro is made by the same company who released SuperTube. The latter should be getting an update within the next few weeks and it won't be a directly updatable to YouTube Pro. However, we're told that YouTube Pro will remain at $0.99 till March 31, 2012 at which point it will bounce to the higher $1.29, so you'll want to lock in that price now if you like the app.

Feature-wise, YouTube Pro is similar to SuperTube but it has a much nicer, more Metro-influenced UI. You can play videos in HQ and HD resolutions, download (and save) videos, access your account, like/dislike videos, upload new videos to your account, push notifications with Live Tiles and more. Really, it's the full package and when we tried it a few weeks ago, we were impressed with it. But now it's your turn to have at a go and see if this fits the bill for the "ultimate YouTube app."  (Although we do worry about the name as YouTube proper could force them to rename the app).

Pick up YouTube Pro (paid with trial) here for $0.99 or opt for the free, ad-supported version right here. Let us know your thoughts in comments. Watch our video walk-through and get the QR codes after the break...

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As if to make a permanent tribute to Monday's Nokia-Deadmau5 event, a site has gone up with three videos: 'Performance', 'VNR' and 'Sizzle', all detailing the huge celebration of the Nokia Lumia 800. Besides that, you can download all three videos, with HD quality in PAL or NTSC. Heck, they even have an MP4 version available if you want to put it on a mobile device--you know, to show your friends on the go. In addition there are some super high res Getty images completely free and which really, really show detail of the party.

Finally, a recap of the event is provided with details on how it was pulled off:

"Millbank was plunged into darkness with the iconic Millbank Tower acting as the canvas for a never-before-seen spectacular. Each of the 120 metre high building’s 800 windows were covered with vinyl as 16 powerful projectors, stationed 300 metres away on the other side of the river, beamed 4D images onto the structure, making it seem like huge butterflies were flying across the London skyline and that the tower was spinning around. Billed as the “future of live events” the spectacular show was accompanied by music from super producer deadmau5, who created exclusive remixes for the performance – adding the 4th dimension, and the event was broadcast live online to http://www.Facebook.com/Nokia.uk"

Very cool stuff and certainly worth the time to peruse. See more at http://www.epklink.com/nokialumialive/

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File this under rumor, but one that makes sense. Back in the day, we heard about three chassis requirements for Windows Phone. And while Chassis 1 (800x480 screen, 1GHz CPU, 256MB RAM etc.) has come to fruition, Chassis 2 and 3 have not been seen. When we asked Andy Lees back in February, it was clear that Chassis 1 was the focus:

"We haven't announced any details on when that form factor is coming out. We are seeing is more interest in larger screens as opposed to smaller screens...but that doesn't mean we're not going to do it but we haven't announced anything yet."

Now MS nerd, who often gets some good information, has leaked some supposed details. For one, adding Qualcomm's Scorpion CPU (Cortex A8), gyroscope and front facing camera constitutes Chassis 1.5. Chassis 2, long thought to be the front-qwerty/BlackBerry style device, will reportedly offer 480x320 resolution in the "Tango" release as well as LTE support, sometime in early 2012. Finally, Chassis 3 will add dual core CPUs as well as 1280x720 resolution, but not until Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo" sometime in late 2012.

  • Chassis 1.5 ("Mango") - Scorpion CPU, front-facing camera, gyroscope
  • Chassis 2 ("Tango") - 480x320 BlackBerry style design, LTE support
  • Chassis 3 ("Apollo") - 1280x720 resolution, dual core CPUs

And Lees recently spoke about LTE and dual core support, so clearly they are on the roadmap--the only remaining question was when, which this rumor seems to answer. Finally, MS nerd writes "Tegra & OMAP are targeted for #Win9" which seems to imply that Windows Phone and Windows OS finally merge in Windows 9.

Take all of this with a grain of salt of course, but there's nothing there that is exactly too crazy to be unbelievable at this point.

Source: @MS_nerd 1, 2

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If you're a big YouTube user than either Lazy Worm (review coming up) or SuperTube (see video review) are your best choices. SuperTube just hit v1.5 today and brings a bunch of new features (as well as updates from previous versions). The app has the ability to stream and/or download any YouTube video for later viewing and allows 720P HQ playback, which as you can see from the screenshots above, is really high resolution. Surprisingly, there is no stutter during playback due to the new optimized video player.

Sure, there's a few spelling errors e.g. "buffing" instead of "buffering" and v1.5 actually reads v1.4 in the About Page, but in terms of style, function and ability, the app is up there with the top (it currently has 4.5 stars in the Marketplace). The app fetches for $1.29 (trial is available) and there is a free, ad version as well.

We have the entire changelog after the break.

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Last week, a game that’s meant to multiplayer but isn’t went on sale and the Xbox Live gaming public collectively yawned. This week, we get something a little more interesting…

Earthworm Jim HD is on sale for $2.99, down from the regular price of $4.99.

Earthworm Jim is a faithful port of the classic Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo platforming game that was originally developed by Shiny Entertainment. It stars an earthworm who has been given super powers by an alien space suit. EWJ (as his friends call him) thwarts enemies both with a pistol and by whipping them with his own earthworm body. The creative cast of bosses includes Bob the Killer Goldfish, Evil the Cat, and Queen Slug-for-a-butt. In addition to lovely hand-drawn art, Earthworm Jim also features a stellar soundtrack. Just be warned that the touch-screen controls aren’t the best and the Achievements are fairly hard.

Earthworm Jim is $2.99 for one week only, and there is a free trial. Snap it up here (Zune link) on the Marketplace. 

Update: Also, Assassin's Creed - Altaïr's Chronicles HD (see our review) has also dropped from $6.99 to $4.99. That's here in the Marketplace.

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Although we've seen quite a few OEM apps ripped from their exclusive hardware (see Samsung, LG) there was one HTC app that proved extremely difficult: YouTube HD.

The app had unique tie ins to the hardware and some real custom programming that made ripping a functional app impossible. However, it has finally been done by Tom Hounsell, who's been very big on the XDA seen and led the charge on making these apps available for all (who have a developer unlocked device).

So what changed? HTC evidently "...did the kind thing and removed all the breaking code from the old version" as Hounsell informs us in a Tweet. So does HTC want us to rip these? We doubt it, instead it was probably done to just make things easier. Regardless, we loaded it up on our LG Quantum and had no issues running it, making it a great addition, much to HTC's probable disapproval.

Source: @tomhounsell

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Microsoft just announced their international roll-out of the Zune music and entertainment service to more than 20 countries this fall. Seeing as the Zune marketplace and software is at the core of Windows Phone 7, this announcement is not too surprising, but it is welcomed nonetheless.

Beginning this fall (we bet October), Microsoft will make the Zune services available in U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain and 15 other European countries (part of that EFIGS list, no doubt). In addition, we'll see the new Zune software bumped to v4.7 which will add the Windows Phone 7 device support (goodbye ActiveSync!).

The Zune marketplace allows syncing of music, videos, podcasts (audio and video), pictures, games/applications and will now includes the ability to watch HD movies:

The updated Zune software will also enable instant streaming of high-definition movies, allowing you to watch some Zune Marketplace movies in HD, with no download time, directly on a Windows PC.

Consumers will now be able to purchase movies to download and watch anywhere — on the big screen in the living room with Xbox LIVE or their Windows-based PC as well as sync it to their Windows Phone 7 to enjoy on the go.

Huzzah! We like this a lot.

Prices in the U.S. will remain the same at $14.99/month for the Zune Pass (not required), which gives unlimited music downloads and the ability to "keep" 10 MP3s a month. (So much for that price reduction rumor).

No word on Mac support, but we're assuming Microsoft will do something about that in the future as well--after all, large updates to our new phones are reliant on desktop-syncing (with small updates available OTA).

What can we say? We love the Zune marketplace, Zune Pass and the ability for '3 screen' support of all our music, podcasts, pictures and now HD movies and TV. We can't wait till this all comes together in a few weeks...you?

Read the full presser after the break.

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You had to know it was only a matter of time. Engadget is reporting that the HTC HD3, successor to the HD2 (and previously the HD), will be launching on October 18th. The rumor stems from leaked internal documentation reportedly from UK carrier O2. If the document is to believed, the device will be named the HD7, possibly to correspond with the Windows Phone 7 platform.

Our guess is that this device would carry the torch as one of the flagship devices for the platform, much the same way as the HD2 has been. We’d love to hear some of your thoughts in the comments.

 

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Looks like the folks at Microsoft are still continuing to roll out applications and mini-games for the Zune HD, some of which are being ported over to Windows Phone 7 e.g. 'Goosplat'.

Two news ones that are now available are 'Music Quiz' which  uses the Zune's music library to...well quiz you on music. Functioning like those common bar-quizzes, the game allows you to pick an artist, genre or playlist to test your skills on two-levels: 'normal' and 'hardcore'.  

The other game, 'Animalgrams',  falls into the puzzle category as it uses 'the Jungle of the Savanna' as a background theme for figuring out anagrams.  Hmmm...witty one there, Microsoft.

Both look like great time-killers and are quite fun. These two new games brings the ZuneHD game count up to 14--not bad for free, as all are actually really enjoyable.We also really hope 'Music Quiz' makes it over to the WP7 Marketplace some time. Fire up your Zune connect software and head to the Marketplace to download.

As always, both are free.

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Looks like the folks at MobileTechWorld got to play with the Samsung Omnia HD modified for Windows Phone 7.

They note that the processor has been updated from the lackluster TI OMAP 3430 to a Snapdragon (presumably 1GHz) and that this device probably won't make it to production, for obvious reasons.

Their impressions? Very positive noting 

As you can see in the video below everything is running smoothly with no sign of lag or stuttering and everything was functional on the handset (GPS, data, and even camera). It’s the smoothies mobile experience I have ever witness (on par with the iPhone) and it definitely feels a lot better when used on a real handset compared to the desktop emulator.

That seems to be the consensus lately on anyone who gets to play with one of these prototypes, which is a great sign considering finalized hardware and software is still months away.

Also, the video game 'Twin Blades' by Press Star Studio was shown off. The game is currently available on Xbox Live Arcade (400 points) and was ported in under 2 weeks by one programmer. It's already fully integrated with Xbox including achievements and this will be available when WP7 launches. Sweet--going to download to XBox right now.

Both videos after the jump.

[via MobileTechWorld; Twin Blades]

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HTC Touch HD running Android 2.0

We've mentioned in the past the growing trend of putting Android onto Windows phones and how this is not just an emulator but the full fledged OS running.

Of course the downside has been the difficult task of getting the radios, buttons and other aspects to be fully operational.

Looks like some users of the HTC Touch HD are getting quite the leg up with a nice build of Android 2.0 running on their swanky black slabs.

Big difference here?  This sucka is evidently working with the radios for once--phone calls, SMS, etc.  Looking at this from our Touch Pro 2, we're a bit envious.  On the other hand, there's hope that someday the rest of us will have our Eclair and eat it too. (Ka-ching! Pun of the day.)

See the full video after the break.

[MobileOS News via AndroidCentral]

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Touch HD NOT Coming to the US!

HTC just broke the horrible news via twitter:

sad news, US. we looked into it- by the time we could bring Touch HD to the states, it would be old news. we do have other cool stuff coming

In other words, the Touch HD with its gigantic screen, 3.5 mm headset jack, and general iPhone-challenging form factor is going to be import-only for the US and, on top of that, it's likely never to see the 3G bands used by AT&T. The dream, our friends, is officially dead on this side of the pond. At least the import of the non-3G-compatible version will be legal by dint of the recent FCC approval. HTC's grand tradition of release CDMA versions of most of their stuff here also has hit quite the speedbump, too.

...Of course, the 'other cool stuff' intrigues us, but it's not much consolation just now. Meanwhile, you'll have to excuse us while we wither under the jibes of our iPhone-toting friends in the US.

(side note: comments a little broken right now, if you head to the forums and log in, you'll be able to comment. Alternately, just go here. Update: Comments Fixed)

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Touch HD Hitting Germany, Italy

Our desire to use a Touch HD has been so strong that we've been accused of drooling and, well, fair's fair: we're pretty giddy. Sure, we've been burned by high expectations before (Hello Vox!), but could any device with a 480x800 screen and decent power to back it up really treat us bad?

We suppose it could in two ways: 1. failing to be usable and 2. failing to be used. With regard to the first point -- all indications we've seen so far leave us hopeful. With regard to that second point -- while we're happy to hear that O2 in Germany is picking up the Touch HD for 659 Euro and Telecom Italia is expected to carry it for the heftier 849 Euro (Google Translation), HTC's Europe-First policy is starting to harsh our mellow. Yes, it's much easier to develop a dual-band 3G than it is to get the US-compatible Tri-Band going, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

Thanks to Diego for the Italia tip!

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HTC Touch HD Officially ...Official

Looks like that HTC Touch HD website we just posted about wasn't a completely mix-up, it went just just went temporarily down due to a little release-day jitters. Yes, folks, the HTC Touch HD has been officially announced. Yes, it's definitely going to be seen as at attempt at being an iPhone-killer (as mentioned in the gdgt podcast, it has the exact same dimensions as the iPhone), and yes, we think it has a shot at being just that for power users.

800x480 (we never get tired of typing that), 5 megapixel camera, regular old 3.5 mm headset jack, all the specs you saw earlier hold true. We'll add that we're happy to see the next-gen Qualcomm MSM7201a 528MHz chip and we're sad to see that it won't launch with US-compatible 3G bands. But that version will indeed come someday:

The HTC Touch HD will be available across major European carriers in Q4 2008 and be introduced in other global markets shortly following.

A couple of glamour shots of the HTC Touch HD and the full press release are after the break!

NEW HTC TOUCH HD RAISES BAR FOR MOBILE INTERNET AND ENTERTAINMENT

Large, 3.8 inch wide-screen VGA display, HTC TouchFLO 3D, desktop-class broadband browsing and a 3.5mm audio jack and more provide the ultimate entertainment combination

Taoyuan, Taiwan — September 16th, 2008 — HTC Corporation, a global leader in mobile phone innovation and design, today unveiled its latest handset, the HTC Touch HD, an entertainment focused mobile handset that will transform how people experience multimedia on the move. Integrating a large 3.8 inch wide-screen VGA display (WVGA), a standard 3.5mm audio jack and a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, the HTC Touch HD is the perfect device for multimedia fans.

Shifting the boundaries of design and innovation

The HTC Touch HD combines high performance capabilities with a stylish, sleek design that has made HTC a global leader in mobile phone design and innovation. Its large 3.8 inch WVGA touchscreen offers users stunning clarity and vibrant colours, providing an unrivalled experience when watching movies, browsing the Internet or even scanning through photos taken with the 5 megapixel auto focus camera. The stylish new device also features HTC’s beautiful TouchFLO™ 3D user interface to provide quick and intuitive access to the people, messages and content that are most important. A standard 3.5mm headphone jack has also been designed-in, allowing consumers to use high-performance headphones with the device for the best possible sound quality.

“Today, Widescreen TV, Internet and video have become the standard so there is no reason to compromise when you leave the house, the Touch HD delivers that uncompromising multimedia and Internet experience,” said Peter Chou, president and CEO HTC Corporation. “We are living in a time where the concept of entertainment has radically changed. The internet is so much more than just email and our customers expect to be able to access the Internet and high quality multimedia content no matter where they are in the world.”

Getting the most out of the Internet

The large high resolution, widescreen display combined with download speeds up to 18 times faster than standard 3G, enables the HTC Touch HD to render websites quickly and in full-page width. This provides a comparable Internet experience to that of home broadband in terms of both speed and page layout. This true mobile broadband experience allows users to navigate more easily, leveraging the mobile internet in a variety of ways. For example, browsing to favourite websites, using Google Maps to find a restaurant for lunch, searching for and streaming video from YouTube or even catching up to the minute news, blog posts and video podcasts with the integrated RSS reader, will be more intuitive for consumers familiar with desktop browsing.

No compromise

The HTC Touch HD has been conceived for both business and consumer users alike, who demand style and performance and do not think the two are mutually exclusive. The HTC Touch HD is the ideal handset for people who are embracing the mobile multimedia shift but who do not wish to forgo quality, simply by being on the move.

Availability

The HTC Touch HD will be available across major European carriers in Q4 2008 and be introduced in other global markets shortly following.

Key Touch HD product specifications:

  • Size: 115 x 62.8 x 12 mm
  • Weight: 146.4 grams/5.164 oz with battery
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHzWCDMA / HSPA: 900/2100MHz. HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  • Software/Operating system: HTC TouchFLO 3D with Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
  • Display: 3.8 inch Wide Screen VGA screen (480 x 800 WVGA)
  • Camera: 5.0 megapixel with auto focus – Second Camera: VGA
  • Internal memory: 512 MB flash; 288 MB RAM
  • Memory card: microSD™ memory card (SDHC™ capable)
  • WLAN: 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth®: 2.0 with EDR
  • GPS: GPS/AGPS
  • Interface: HTC ExtUSB™ (mini-USB and audio jack in one; USB 2.0 High-Speed)
  • Battery: 1350 mAh
  • Talk time: WCDMA: Up to 390 minutes*** / GSM: Up to 310 minutes***
  • Standby time: WCDMA: Up to 450 hours*** / GSM: Up to 390 hours***
  • Chipset: Qualcomm® MSM7201a™ 528 MHz
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HTC Touch HD -- Edge to Edge Screen-age!

We bet you thought the leaked BlackBerry Thunder video with the tiny preview of the HTC Touch Pro would be today's biggest HTC news. Or maybe you figured it would be tha actual news of the Diamond and the Touch Pro making their way to Sprint. So did we, actually, until we saw this as Modaco: The HTC Touch HD.

Specs:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Qualcomm 7201A processor @ 528MHz
  • 512MB ROM / 256MB RAM (+32MB on processor)
  • 480 x 800 (fixed), WVGA, wall-to-wall screen action

Yes, it's so good that even over at our sister-site, CrackBerry.com, they're talking it up and posting images. Our initial impressions: we're swooning over the thinness and the screen, but a little leery of the lack of a 5-way dpad. More info as we get it in!

Thanks, Paul!

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