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Review: Mpow Bluetooth 4.0 Foldable Headphones

If you are in the market for Bluetooth stereo headphones for your Windows Phone, you may want to take a gander at the Mpow Bluetooth 4.0 Foldable Headphones.

The foldable headphones are well built, have strong audio quality and priced in the neighborhood of $35 are very budget friendly. We recently took the Mpow headphones out for a test drive and found them to be solid performers when paired with a Windows Phone, PC or tablet.

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The Nokia Wireless Charging Stand (DT-910) is one of numerous accessories the company has released this year for the Lumia 810/820/822 and 920 series. It’s similar to the Wireless Charge Pad that many have received via AT&T (or should) but it does have a few additions too.

The retail price is $69.99 and like all things Nokia these days, it’s hard to find. We had one backordered from AT&T for weeks but finally went the eBay route (and saved $10).

The Wireless Charging Stand differs from the Pad in two ways: the device is propped vertically and it features NFC. The vertical position has its obvious benefits, especially if you keep it bedside or on your office desk. Being able to see the display when a call comes in, alarm goes off or a new text message arrives is certainly convenient.

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Just after midnight last night AT&T finally starting taking pre-orders for the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 for this Friday’s release. Included with the Lumia 920 is of course one free wireless charging plate—a $49 value.

We had reports coming in all day though that customers were not getting the free pad offer upon checkout. In fact, there was often no mention of it during the whole pre-order process. Some in our viewership called AT&T and were told by customer-service reps (CSR) that in fact AT&T has “run out” of said plates, effectively making the offer over just mere hours after it had begun.

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If you have a few minutes you can watch the video above of reader Oli Gill bravely modifying his Nokia Lumia 800 to enable wireless charging ala Palm/HP and their Touchstone charger.

There is no doubt that any of us, especially with the more high-end Lumia 900 would love to have this feature in our Nokia Windows Phone. In fact, we wonder if and when Nokia will take the big plunge and be the first Windows Phone OEM to do this officially. After all, if there was one hardware company that could do this on a wide scale it'd be Nokia (though HTC and Samsung are fully capable too).

We're not going to lie though, this mod is quite advanced and we're pretty sure we won't have the time or skills to do this. But we also know a lot of our audience is highly educated and love to do things like this, so for you folks, here you go!

Oh and Oli, if you ever want to start a small side business, we're sure many of us would gladly send you our Lumias to have this warranty-voiding hack. Anyone else?

Thanks, Oli, for the tip and video

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Nokia has announced the Lumia 610 today with NFC (Near Field Communication) support, which we covered earlier with the above video being uploaded to Nokia's Youtube account by accident. The Lumia 610 NFC was revealed at WIMA NFC 2012 in Monaco and is expected to be available early in the third quarter of 2012 with Orange listed as the first partner carrier.

But what's all the hype about NFC, and what can the technology do to make life easier for Windows Phone owners? An NFC enabled device will enable users to share photos and other media by just touching other handsets, make payments in stores with MasterCard PayPass, use the Windows Phone as a travel ticket (e.g.: Oyster on London public transport), just to name a few examples.

Check out the video for more information and quick demos from Nokia's Andrea Bacioccola of what NFC can achieve on Windows Phone and read more on the announcement at Nokia Conversations. Unfortunately the Lumia 710, 800 and 900 do not support NFC. 

Check out the press release after the break. Video Source: Youtube

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KeyboardP, a Windows Phone enthusiast and developer, has been busy creating an awesome system where Windows users can control a media player (Zune in this case) by voice commands. By simply saying the artist and song title into a microphone, the developed software will initialise playback through Zune. Commands are also available including pause, play, next, etc. Check out the above video to see it in action.

We don't stop here however, as KeyboardP wanted a solution to being possibly out the room where the computer and/or microphone is located. Introducing PhoneZune, a Windows Phone app that will connect to your PC over WiFi and will act as a wireless microphone. Should you be in the kitchen while your music is playing for example, this will come in handy instead of rushing to the PC to choose a track. If that wasn't enough, you can also browse YouTube for music videos. Here's a quick list of the features:

  • Launch a song with your voice using any microphone (standard, webcam, Kinect, etc.)
  • Control the media player (Zune) with voice commands (play, pause, next, etc.)
  • You can use your Windows Phone to launch the song with PhoneZune.
  • Voice control YouTube to find music videos.

No word yet on when we will be seeing the software and app being made available, and this is merely a proof of concept.

Source: KeyboardP, via: 1800PocketPC

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No doubt, one of the coolest features of Windows Phone 7 and the companion Zune Desktop software is the ability to sync wirelessly. For years we've had to endure tethering our devices to our computers, loose USB wires everywhere, etc. (Even more ironic if you remember wireless syncing in ActiveSync before they removed it).

Consider this more of a walk-through/what to expect than a true "setup guide" only because Microsoft made it so easy that you really should have no problem figuring it out. Still, we'll show a couple screen shots of the process as well as tell you what you can expect. In short, it's a great feature and once you have your GBs of music loaded, you'll want to use everyday.

Read more after the break!

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[This will make your blood boil for some of you. Please try to keep your rage in check in the comments, kthx!]

Paul Thurrott, who is now safely in Germany playing with his Windows Phone 7 developer device, has found yet another limitation (see the earlier write up on embedded calendars).

Evidently, Windows Phone 7 cannot see ergo connect to hidden wireless networks, the kind where you don't broadcast your SSID. Although not a lot of people go this extra step for security, we're sure a few of you do and in this case, it appears you are out of luck.

We'll just chalk this up to a v1.0 release but boy, we are sure looking forward to how frequently and how significant these planned Microsoft OS updates are going to be for the platform.

P.S. We should also note that the OS is not RTM/Gold yet, so this and other features could still easily be added before release

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It started with Google, Apple and AT&T. Rejection of the official Google Voice app from the App Store drew attention from the Federal Communications Commission, and now the feds are going to take a look at the entire wireless industry.

An open meeting has been announced for 10 a.m. EDT next Thursday in Washington, D.C. Here's what's on tap:

  • The Commission will consider a Notice of Inquiry to seek and understand better the factors that encourage innovation and investment in wireless and to identify concrete steps the Commission can take to support and enourage further innovation and investment in this area.
  • The Commission will consider a Notice of Inquiry soliciting information for the next annual report to Congress on the status of competition in the mobile wireless market, including commercial mobile services.
  • The Commission will consider a Notice of Inquiry that seeks comment on whether there are opportunities to protect and empower American consumers by ensuring sufficient access to relevant information about communications services.

In other words, they want to know what the frak is going on out there. Better late than never. We'll keep you posted.

FCC (pdf) via ZDNet

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Moto may be close to hiring new handset chief

Having already tried layoffs, splits, ritual sacrifice ousters and the emergence of yet another device in the Q9 series, Motorola reportedly is close to hiring a new shaman for its wireless unit, in hopes of salvaging the company's future (read: stock price) and get back to the glory days of the RAZR.

Todd Bradley is executive VP of HP's Personal Systems group, and he's been around the block a bit.

Bradley has a 25-year management career and has held senior roles at GE Capital Corp., The Dun & Bradstreet Corp., Gateway Corp., FedEx Corp and palmOne. Prior to joining HP, he was the chief executive officer of palmOne, where he led a successful turnaround of that company and established a new category of mobile devices for the industry.

Bradley reportedly is one of two people being considered to helm Moto's soon-to-be independent wireless branch. But with rumblings last week that the handset spinoff might not happen, we'll take this with a grain of salt until the ink's dry.

Update: Former Moto marketing manager James King apparently is jumping ship to Samsung.

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