windows phone

Yesterday Nokia announced Lumia 520 and 720 for the Chinese market in a theme park in Beijing. We have reported the estimated date of availability as well as the retail price, so there's nothing really new here. One little thing about the announcement caught our attention: Lumia 720, the Lumia 720T customized for China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network, will come with a CMMB mobile TV module.

China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting (CMMB) is a mobile television standard, mostly supported by China Mobile as a "killer feature" that defines the cellular carrier from its competitors. A phone with built-in CMMB reception module could snatch broadcasted TV programs over the air, without generating any data fee. Nokia has done various kinds of localization to adap to local markets. But adding a new hardware module to an existing phone model just for one carrier? I reckon that's something never happened before.

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Good news for Chinese HTC 8S owners: there's a firmware update over the air. Bad news: the update may just kill your phone. On March 21st, owners of HTC 8S in China started to get a firmware update, and a fair portion of them were permanently stuck on the start up screen after the installation and reboot. HTC and Microsoft are trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with the firmware. Meanwhile the OTA update has been suspended.

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It's already known that both Nokia and Microsoft need to get the word out about Windows Phone. Not only to adults and the teens, but also attracting an even younger audience. We've already seen the power of Kid's Corner in Windows Phone 8 and how it offers useful functionality for parents to create a sandbox for kids to enjoy the smartphone experience safely, but what about those who own their own mobile phone?

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Updated with new screenshot (12:30PM ET)

We’re just going to leave this here for now as we’re not 100% sure to do with it. The image above reportedly reveals the official Instagram app for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 on the Windows Phone Store page. But images can be faked and this one has a few issues with it.

For one, the first sentence states: “100 million users love Instagram! It’s a free, fun, and simple way to make and share gorgeous photos on your Android.”

Ahem, Android?

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Trader Media Group (TMG), parent of UK Auto Trader, is set to replace its iPhone arsenal with Windows Phones. It's said that Android will not be considered as it has too many security vulnerabilities. In an interview with Computing, TMG CIO Tim Jones revealed that the company has operated in an iOS ecosystem for the last five years, because the iPhone was the more mature smartphone available on the market. But now the group is looking at alternatives. 

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There's nothing we love more than to see consumers create their own media to promote the platform and smartphones they use. There have been a  number of Lumia Switch Pitch videos created, but one that caught our attention is by the YouTube account benurfi. Titled "Benji_SwitchPitch," the video goes into some detail as to why the Lumia 920 is a good choice for consumers.

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comScore has released data for the three-month period ending January 2013, showing Windows Phone still battling hard against the popular iPhone in the US. Microsoft has a marathon to endure when it comes to consumers in North America, who are already set on either Android or iOS. Blackberry continued to fall at the end of 2012, but Windows Phone is hanging on (if not growing steadily looking at just how much the platform has dropped).

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Windows Phone Central's app support inbox has been flooded recently, by users complaining that news does not load correctly in the app. We've been kind of stumped on this one frankly because it's only been affecting certain users, so we've been digging.

It turns out that other apps were also running into problems (WeatherFlow is one example), and as we dug further we identified that most of the affected users were Italian, and that the issue had started on March 1st. Now, thanks to twitter user @SergioPedri and others in our forums, we've finally been able to replicate the problem. The good news is there's a workaround.

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We've lightly touched on the proposed batch of updates, codenamed "Blue" that will affect multiple Microsoft platforms and service. Yesterday a job opening at Redmond was spotted and has confirmed that Microsoft will indeed be targeting the holidays, when plans to release the next major version of Windows Phone will be put into play.

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Should you be residing in either Spain or Portugal, you'll want to check out your Lumia Windows Phones as Nokia has just hit the green button on its Music+ service. If you're into Nokia Music, you can now upgrade to take advantage of extended functionality. For just  €3.99 a month, consumers can enjoy more mixes and advanced features not available to free subscribers.

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Shh. Can you hear that? Yup, that's the sound of a pin dropping when it comes to Microsoft shouting out and marketing Windows Phone. The company had a rather elusive presence at CES earlier this year, as well as the recent Mobile World Congress. If you ask anyone, "Who's powering Windows Phone marketing?" I bet the majority (if not everyone) will answer, "Nokia." So what's up with Microsoft?

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The Chinese side of the Windows Phone Store has had a bumpy time lately. For the last a few days, Chinese users have been experiencing problems when trying to purchase apps. Many found it impossible to download any paid app; you go through the payment process only to get an error message. The money gets accepted by the Windows Phone Store well enough, but the app license never comes. Some fairly persistent folks have tried repeatedly, paying $3 for Angry Bird Seasons in three shots. Yet they still failed to get the app at the end of the day.

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Chu Yi, a university intern in the US, has created an impressive Windows Phone video. Yi chose to make a model version of a Windows Phone, which sports interchangeable tiles to create a unique effect when coupled with post-production effects (speeding everything up). The general idea was to highlight the ability to personalise Windows Phone to suit individual characteristics. We'll have to admit we're rather impressed.

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The De La Salle University in the Philippines is taking part in a HackerCup, which will be taking place at the Microsoft Philippines Office on March 15-16th. The competition is set to promote Windows Phone by encouraging Science & Technology students with ambitious ideas to craft apps in teams of up to four participants. Nokia will be present, sponsoring the event (with Microsoft and Globe Labs) with prizes and more.

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The good news, HTC is still committed to Windows Phone and plans on releasing a new handset later this year. The bad news, whatever is released won't likely be a large screened device or share design elements with HTC's latest Android offering, the One.

Tai Ito, HTC's Vice President for Global Product Planning, commented while in attendance at Mobile World Congress 2013,

"We are actually fully committed to our Windows Phone business. We do have good collaboration with Microsoft for a future release this year. I understand that Windows Phone 8 is not as good as the market expected, we think that it could take time and we will continue working with them."

Ito added that any new HTC Windows Phones will likely not have larger screens and the company is taking a family approach to separation.

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Dev Center is a Windows Phone app from Microsoft designed to give Windows Phone developers a better handle on their app's performances.

While all the performance data is available through Microsoft's Windows Phone Dev Center website, Dev Center app puts all that information on your Windows Phone, allowing developers to track the real world performance of their apps while on the go.

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Windows Phone has struggled in the past to gain traction and attract consumers with big brand apps and hardware. Nokia gave the platform a boost in 2011, and HTC, Samsung and Huawei have stepped up their game with Windows Phone 8 handsets. So with new hardware, a more mature operating system and marketing campaigns, how's the adoption going? We have some news for the UK.

Almost one-third of new Windows Phone owners in the UK came from competing platforms, according to sales estimates from Kantar. The company reports that 700,000 new users jumped aboard the past year, in the UK alone. The data reveals that the Nokia Lumia 800 and HTC 8X both accounted for six percent of UK smartphone sales during three months ending January 2013 - up from 2.4 percent in the same period last year.

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LG has informed CNET the company has no immediate plans to support Windows Phone 8 with new hardware. While the company remains open to using Microsoft's platform in the future, it doesn't see high enough demand for another smartphone to be released. This sounds odd since Samsung (also arguably a rather conservative OEM partner) is pushing its ATIV S and Odyssey Windows Phones.

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