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Although the idea that Nokia – which is soon to be owned by Microsoft (transition teams are working day and night) – will release an Android phone seems farfetched, it’s clear that the Finnish company was serious about the device. Dubbed ‘Normandy’, the low-end hardware reportedly runs a forked-version of Android, meaning it can’t access core-Google services.

We’ve seen some renders and even a photo, but now a new image has appeared on the Sina Weibo site Palm Uncle (at least, that’s our Bing translation). The photo is interesting because it shows the device wrapped in its protective cover, which is often used to mask its full design. Indeed many Nokia execs carry their pre-production Lumias in such cases when traveling.

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Eagerly awaiting more details to emerge of the Lumia 929? Leakster 'Falorin' has you covered over on our community forum. A new photo of the unannounced Windows Phone in white has been leaked (see above for previously released render), as well as some information on the size of the battery. You're looking at an impressive 2510mAh power plant. 

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We recently looked at a leak of the Verizon Lumia 929 from Nokia, which didn't make the event in Abu Dhabi. A leaker on our forum uploaded a video and some photos for everyone to check out the upcoming Windows Phone that's expected to launch sometime before Q1 2014. Now that same leaker has published a sample shot captured by the Lumia 929.

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File this under rumor, but another low resolution photo of Nokia’s upcoming tablet has leaked onto the Chinese site Ctech. The image comes from the same leaker of the supposed Nokia smartwach prototype a few days ago and it simply shows the back of the tablet, albeit cutoff.

Assuming the image is accurate, we can see what appears to be the standard Nokia SIM door in to the left, a headphone jack and an oddly designed piece on the back surface of the tablet. To our eyes the pop-out piece looks like a kickstand, similar to the Microsoft Surface but not nearly as large. However, we have not heard of any such feature yet for the tablet, supposedly dubbed the Lumia 2520.

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Last week, Windows Phone Central reported on firmware being visible on Nokia’s servers for the Lumia 928 disclosing a “red” edition with a new product code: RM-860 VAR VRZ RED (059R227). At the time, the speculation seems to point to an obvious conclusion: Verizon and Nokia were gearing up for a red Lumia 928 to help refresh the line.

Now, an image posted by Nokia US on their Facebook page appears to reveal the glossy, candy-red device for the first time. The image posted was not meant to highlight a red Lumia 928, but instead bolster the chemical testing process Nokia uses to ensure that the polycarbonate they use holds up under duress.

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Nokia has kicked off 2013 with a new challenge where two selected winners will bag a pair of Purity HD headphones by Monster. Sounds tempting, right? All that's required is for owners of new Lumia Windows Phones to match the colour of their device with an object or surrounding and snap a photo. They emphasise the cooler, more out there, the better. A few examples were provided by the team to get the idea engine started (see above).

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The Windows Phone team has announced on the official blog the winners of its festive holiday photo competition. The team asked consumers to shoot some photos using a Windows Phone and send in the results. So which photo won the contest? Feast your eyes on the image above, captured by Christian Schlör on his Lumia 920 (with a little help from the Fhotoroom app).

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Nokia has released an interesting tool that enables the sharing of photos on a Lumia Windows Phone with a PC or other web-enabled device. Through the use of QR Codes, those with a Lumia smartphone can send a photo on the device over Internet tubes to a larger screen or to a friend's smartphone. All that's required is the Windows Phone app and a second screen, both with Internet access.

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Fhotoroom: Windows App Review

There a plenty of photo editing options available for your Windows Phone. One such option is Fhotoroom. Fhotoroom is a nicely featured photo editor that has recently migrated from our Windows Phone Store to the Windows Store on your Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 PC.

We took the Windows RT version of Fhotoroom out for a test drive recently and found Fhotoroom to be a capable photo editor with potential but with some room for improvement.

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Photos have been captured of what appears to be Surface ads in Paris. Taking on the same form of graffiti style as those seen in the US recently we’re wondering if this is the start of a concerted effort to get the message out to those in Europe.

These type of ads have been appearing in the US for some time but so far we haven’t had anything at all globally, leading many to begin to worry about availability across the pond.

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First off, congratulations to Nokia’s Chanse Arrington who’s Head of Developer & Content Marketing at the company. He was just married and while the addition of a wife to his life must be fulfilling, we’re focused on that Lumia 920.

The picture above is taken with the 920 as posted to his public SkyDrive account (he Tweeted the image yesterday). The picture is obviously very low light though a flash is used this case to brighten the scene.

Flash photography is a finicky subject. A lot of us shoot “natural”, which means big heavy lenses and only on available light. But sometimes you have to use a flash for certain situations. One thing though pros never do is use the “on board” flash—it’s like sacrilege. That’s why they always have giant flash contraptions with diffusers and such to give a much better photo.

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Although Windows Phone Central likes to have our own contests regularly, we would be remiss to ignore this fun one that Nokia USA is having via their Twitter account.

The contest is simple: Tweet a photo with something pink that you are wearing—shoes, your hair, or if you’re like me, my giant pink feather boa (okay, maybe not, but we all know I’d make it work). The winner will be showered with all sorts of prizes including...

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We reviewed CleverPhoto way back in October 2011 and gave it quite favorable feedback:

“The layout is clean. The editing tools are enough to do a decent job at cleaning up your photos or give them an artistic feel. And as someone who has processed what feels like a bazillion photos over the years, the editing history tile is a very nice touch. It's easy to forget if you've adjusted contrast or what filter was applied and the history tile leaves no room for doubt.”

The photo editing app always stood out amongst the herd. The app fetched for $1.49 with a free trial but it is now marked as free in the Marketplace with the price drop just occurring. In addition, the app hit version 2.0 at the end of July making this a double win if you had not already purchased it...

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Last we reported that Compal was seeing a reduction in orders of Lumia smartphones from Nokia, fueling some speculation that either Nokia was winding down production in general or they were transferring production to their own shops.

It looks like the latter may now be the case as some of the Lumia 900s coming onto the market are now coming from Argentina. Nokia opened a factory there some time in 2011 and it now looks to have completed its transition to producing Lumia 900 phones albeit as a savings from making it directly in Finland.

Nokia is also set to launch the 900 in Argentina presumably in a few weeks, corroborating earlier reports that the device was to launch their “second half” of the year.

Source: Celularis; Thanks, Esteban T., for the link!

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A few weeks ago we reported on Aviary releasing their SDK for Windows Phone, allowing developers with little effort to plug in the company’s photo editing suite into any application out there. Rowi was one of the first to do this, allowing its users to quickly do sophisticated photo edits without ever leaving the popular Twitter app.

Today, Aviary has released Photo Genius, a standalone version of those tools for all Windows Phone users. The app is a “demonstration” one meaning it’s meant to show off what Aviary can do but for you all that means is you get an awesome, full featured photo editing program for your phone.

The app behaves like the “Auto Fix” feature built into Windows Phone. It analyzes a selected photo and then recommends a sweeping set of changes which you can enable with a quick “checkmark”. You can then compare the before and after images with a simple toggle, allowing you to see if you like the modifications.

If you don’t like the alterations or want to do more, you can hit the “Edit” button and load up Aviary’s full set of photo manipulation tools. Such tools include controls for brightness, contrast, sharpness, cropping, rotation, red-eye fix, filters, stickers and more—it really has it all.

Once you’re done you can just hit the “Save” icon and that’s it and you have your fully edited photo.

Overall, Aviary Photo Genius is a great little app. It’s “smart” and has a ton of features on board, allowing you to really control every aspect of how your photo looks. It is a big sluggish on loading photos initially (in the gallery) but once you’re up, it works just like any other app.

Pick up Aviary Photo Genius for all Windows Phones here in the Marketplace for free. And read more on the app release here on Aviary's blog.

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This morning, Nokia has announced that it has acquired imaging firm Scalado for an undisclosed price. Nokia will be picking up everything including their specialists, intellectual property and technology from the company and will be incorporating them into the company sometime in Q3 2012.

Scalado has been working with Nokia for the last 10 years but they've also done work with HTC and most recently RIM on their upcoming BlackBerry 10 and it's new camera functions. That is certainly interesting because RIM itself is in dire straits and they just lost what many considered to be a key partner for re-igniting their brand. Of course what RIM already had in motion with Scalado will probably remain but the Waterloo company should start looking elsewhere for future camera development.

The good news here of course is that Nokia is clearly aiming to get some of the best camera functions on Windows Phone. Currently, HTC is in a bit of a renaissance with their ONE series which focuses heavily on cameras and media capabilities, giving Nokia and others a run for their money.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how Scalado's know-how pays off on future Windows Phone 8 devices.

Read the full press release after the break.

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Update: Photosynth for Windows Phone is now on the Marketplace. Read here for more info and download link.

It was about two weeks ago we demonstrated that Microsoft had bumped Photosynth (photosynth.net) to version 1.0 seemingly making the release imminent for Windows Phone. The popular photo stitching app has been in the works for well over a year as we had to watch iOS users take advantage of Microsoft's panoramic software.

At the time, we speculated that the app was coming out of beta hence the 1.0 designation and now we believe that to be accurate. The Twitter account for Windows Phone just tweeeted this little bit of info in the last hour:

"If only there were a great new way to stitch your photos to create a panoramic image. If only we had something to announce soon. IF ONLY :)"

Indeed. We can't think of many apps that would be worthy of such an announcement except for Photosynth and when combined with the v1.0 status from two weeks ago, dare we say we really think it's about to happen.

Hopefully we'll hear more from Microsoft within the next few days on the release. From our experience, companies announce releases only under one condition: when the app has cleared certification in the Marketplace. That could mean less than 24 hours before we get our hands on the app.

Stay tuned.

Source: Microsoft (Windows Phone); Thanks, parthp90, for the tip

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Looks like that push for more official apps on Microsoft's mobile OS is still rolling forth which is good news for all of us. SmugMug (www.smugmug.com) is where those too good for Flickr flock and is one of the biggest and most interesting photography sites on the 'net. Possibly only rivaled by 500PX, it's a spot where the more "serious" shutterbugs amongst us post their work (meaning our array of cat photos are probably not welcomed. Booo.).

Having an official app for Windows Phone is a welcomed gesture as many of our users will surely take advantage of the new app. So what do you get?

"Explore and be inspired by stunning images shot by passionate photographers around the world. Browse the day's most popular images on SmugMug's global photo community, or view the most beautiful photos of all time.

And if you already have a website on SmugMug, there's more: Log in to see your galleries and share your photos with anyone, anytime. You can even take pictures on your phone, edit and upload them on the go."

In other words for a version 1.0, SmugMug covered all the basics including that valuable upload ability. Combine your SmugMug account with our Lumia 710 photo contest and you have yourself an interesting combo!

Pick up the official SmugMug app for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Big thanks to Sabita M., for the heads up!

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Big news for the Windows Phone platform today as Aviary announced their SDK is now available for developers, allowing the integration of their free, highly regarded and powerful photo tools for apps on Windows Phone.

What this means for developers - you'll now be able to insert into your application a powerful photo editor to greatly enhance user experience, all with very little effort.

What this means for consumers -  you'll soon see an array of apps that will allow you to edit, crop, enhance and tweak your photos before sending them out for the world, all at no extra cost

The Windows Phone Aviary SDK has the following features:

  • Redesigned SDK from the ground-up to take advantage of the Metro design principles of Windows Phone
  • The same, easy integration process: add our editor to your project in as little as 15 minutes, with just a few lines of code
  • Customizable color theme
  • Controllable output size based upon developer preferences — you decide what makes the most sense for your app or service
  • … Not to mention that Aviary for Windows Phone has all the standard features as the rest of our mobile SDKs

What's more, we're pleased to announce the following launch titles will have Aviary integrated into their apps very soon:

As you can see in the video above, Rowi is one of the first apps to be getting the Aviary SDK treatment. Though version 2.1 looks like the current app in every which way, the change occurs when you try to attach a photo. You now have the option to hop right into a sophisticated photo editor which allows you to manipulate everything including brightness, sharpness, add filters, stickers, text, cropping and more.

The photo is then saved and you can Tweet as usual all without having to ever leave the Rowi Twitter app. Did we mention how good the photos look too?

More info can be found at the Aviary Blog and developers can grab the SDK here right now.

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