Nokia releases NFC Writer application for Lumia devices

February 28, 2013 at 20:20 GMT | By


Nokia released its own NFC Writer aptly named "NFC Writer." It's a bare bones app that allows you to assign actions to a properly formatted NFC tag.

So, what makes this writer different from the likes of other apps like NFC Launchit? Well, it's officially supported, so you need not wait for a small publisher to update a list of available apps. All system apps are supported out of the box. There are also special actions you can perform depending on what you want to write. Some of these include tweeting, searching Google+, liking a page on Facebook, or sending an email or text message. In other words, Nokia's version allows things that may not even be supported by any apps.

The layout of the app is pretty nice. From the main screen, you have a menu allowing you to see history or favorites or compose a new app. Swiping left or right from here gives you views of favorites, history, and also takes you to a screen with popular ideas you can implement with your NFC tags.

From the compose screen, you have the following sections available:

  • Contact: Allows you to make calls, send messages, or share with the contact you select.

  • Social: Allows you to post tweets, follow people, check-in on foursquare, like a predetermined item on Facebook, or search on Google+. These are great for businesses to set up various tags around their stores/restaurants.

  • Video+Music: Gives options to share a youtube video, share a youtube channel, share a song, or toggle music playback. These are great if you hate turning on your screen just to hit play/pause.

  • Location+web: Options are listed to share or open locations in maps.

  • Apps: This one is really cool. You can launch an app as selected from top apps (dynamically updated every time you view this list) or from a list of preselected system apps, create a text file that will be read out loud to someone, or share a pre-recorded text or audio note. I really like that last one. It gives me the ability to troll, er, help friends or guests that come over to visit.

  • Settings: Lists settings that can be set to open when the tag is used. They include flight mode, internet explorer settings, keyboard settings, ring tones and sounds, and Wi-Fi, just to name a few.

The only thing I have found that I don't like is that we're still stuck with setting only one action per tag. This is more a limitation of NFC access that is imposed by Windows Phone 8 than anything. The app itself is pretty cool, and I suggest you check it out if you happen to have a Nokia Lumia.










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What's in the cards for HTC and Windows Phone? A tiara maybe...

February 28, 2013 at 09:49 GMT | By

Since HTC announced their newest phone to the market, the HTC One, there has been much speculation about their next move on the Windows Phone platform. It appears that once again @evleaks might have some answers for what we'll be seeing next.

The same person responsible for the leak of the HTC One, and the recent leak of Nokia's 520 and 720 renders which we reported on, has once again sprung a leak on a potential new device, the HTC Tiara.

According to the recent leak the HTC Tiara could be one of the first Windows Phone 8 devices to hit the market with the next update to the system, GDR2. Besides the update the phone is rumored to have a 4..3" WVGA Super LCD2 screen, a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It will also have a 8MB rear camera and a 1.9MP front facing camera. None of these features appear to be on the cutting edge spec-wise, so we can expect this phone to be a mid-range device, to compete with the recently announced HTC 720 perhaps.
The Tiara is tipped to have a mid-May release date, which might also suggest a timeframe for the next update to be rolling out. Now we just have to wait until May to see what the cards unveil.

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Twitter revamps Windows Phone application to match iOS and Android

February 27, 2013 at 10:31 GMT | By


Twitter yesterday updated its Windows Phone app, adding a tonne of features that had been available in iOS and Android apps for some time. In a blog post, Twitter said that it had redesigned the Windows Phone version of its app to be "in line with other Twitter apps."

That structure is built around the Home, Connect, Discovery, and Me tabs that have been used for Twitter's iOS and Android apps for a while. Whilst we welcome the additional features the update brings, sadly, the new interface is less metro.

New features:

  • New navigation. Four new tabs – Home, Connect, Discover and Me – bring you closer to the things you care about.

  • Home: View Tweets from the accounts you follow; tap a Tweet to expand it and see more content, such as photos, videos and website summaries

  • Connect: Keep up with your mentions; see who has followed you or retweeted or favourited one of your Tweets

  • Discover: See trends, and find new content on Twitter - browse categories, find friends on Twitter and see suggestions for accounts to follow

  • Me: Read and respond to your direct messages; see your lists, favourites and more; view and update your profile
    Tweet and search icons: Compose a Tweet or search from anywhere in the app, using the new icon buttons in the Application Bar.

  • Live tiles: Pin Twitter accounts, lists and searches to your start screen, giving you quick access to some of your favourite Twitter content.

Want the application? Just hit the Windows Phone Store badge below or scan the QR Code using Bing vision on your Windows Phone (hit the Search button on your phone and click on the small icon that looks like an eye).










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Petition to Microsoft regarding the official Facebook for Windows Phone application...

February 24, 2013 at 00:37 GMT | By


As we all know, the situation when it comes to the Facebook app on Windows Phone is less than ideal. Now's the time to stand up to Microsoft and tell them what we think by signing this petition. Sure, petitions don't always work, but given the condition our Facebook app is in (in contrast to the Android and iOS versions), every bit helps.

The official Facebook for Windows Phone application is a buggy mess. Microsoft is invested in Facebook (shares) and Facebook uses Bing for search, so there is no reason why Facebook can't develop an application for Windows Phone, like they have for iOS and Android. You only have to see the reviews for the Windows Phone application to see how bad the app is. We understand that not everyone uses Facebook but would appreciate if you could help the platform by registering your concerns as the situation is affecting the platform.

Sign the petition HERE

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Images of Nokia Lumia 720 and 520 leaked

February 23, 2013 at 11:57 GMT | By

Nokia Lumia 720

Prolific leaksters @evleaks have done it again! If you are a regular patron of tech blogs then you will know that the @evleaks Twitter handle has leaked several devices renders prior to their unveiling, including the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920. In the past, leaked images sometimes turned out to be way off the mark but @evleaks has changed that, with almost 100% of their leaked images turning out to be the real deal. So when we saw images of what's supposed to be the rumoured Nokia 720 and Lumia 510, we knew they were right.

The above image is supposed be that of the Nokia Lumia 520, previously rumoured as the "Zeal." The entry level Lumia 520 is expected to feature a 4 inch display, 512MB RAM, a 5MP rear shooter, 8GB of internal storage with micro-SD card support and a 1Ghz dual-core a processor.


Nokia Lumia 520

The Nokia Lumia 720, also known as the "Flame," will be successor to the mid-range Lumia 710. It is rumoured to feature a 4.3" ClearBlack WVGA display, a 1Ghz Dual-core processor, a 512MB RAM, 8GB of internal storage, HSPA+, micro-SD card expansion slot, and 6MP main shooter and a 2MP front camera.

Both devices appear to have a thinner profile, something the current Windows Phone 8 Lumia range can't boast of. While we enjoy having a peek at upcoming hardware, we can't help but feel that the leaks leave nothing imagination, therefore making official unveiling events a pointless exercise.

What do you make of both device. Let us know in the comments below.

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Coca-Cola adopts Nokia Lumia smartphones for productivity

February 23, 2013 at 08:48 GMT | By


Just recently, Nokia announced that the Mall of America, the largest retailer and entertainment complex in the US, switched from the Blackberry brand in favor of Nokia Lumia Windows Phones. The trend isn't just limited to the "land of the free" as Nokia also scored another victory With London's leading estate agent Foxtons selecting the Lumia 820 as the companies smartphone of choice. Now, Espoo's finest has landed a bigger fish in Coca-cola.

The deal - currently limited to Cambodia and Vietnam - will see Coca-cola's sales teams use Nokia Lumia smartphones for productivity. The company took notice of the Lumia's tight integration with their existing Microsoft infrastructure which made the choice even easier. Windows Phone 8 Nokia Lumia smartphones offer support for Microsoft Office to Coca-Cola sales associates for order processing, equipment validation and market execution improvement. Features such as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Office365 as well as seamless integration with Outlook - will enable employees to work flexibly and remotely with secure access to all their corporate data and systems.

"Our collaboration with Nokia and Microsoft enables us to utilize our sales automation and market execution tools on two very progressive platforms. We will be able to activate our teams with capabilities that enable us to further improve our execution and customer services by obtaining actionable insights. The Nokia Lumia and Microsoft platform fit our enterprise landscape well," said Javier Polit, Chief Information Officer of the Bottling Investments Group for the Coca-cola company.

The latest deal reflects that Nokia is working closely with large enterprises and posing challenges to BlackBerry, Samsung, Apple, etc. in the enterprise communications market. We can be certain that there is more to come.

SOURCE: Telecom Lead

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Angry Birds Seasons now in Windows Phone Store, is there more to this two year old game?

February 22, 2013 at 16:51 GMT | By


Yesterday Angry Birds Seasons was released yesterday for Windows Phone 8 users, featuring some Xbox Live achievements to boot. Today the diminishing number of us Windows Phone 7.x users also got the game popping up in the marketplace.

Personally I could care less about yet another game where I'm flinging birds at pigs, but I think we can all agree that any mainstream app is welcome to come over and join us 3%. What does have me wondering is why we are just now getting a two year old game, and why the emphasis to have it on both platforms and coding it twice? Once for WP7 and another one with Xbox Achievements for WP8. We already have the Rovio's follow-up games in Angry Birds Space and Star Wars versions of the games. Could there be something more to this simple release, or is this simply the efforts of a struggling company to squeeze every last $0.99 out of it's most successful franchise?

With MWC right around the corner we could be expecting some big announcements or simple boasting by Microsoft or Rovio in the next several days. Could this be a set-up for Microsoft to be able to claim it has X% of the most popular games available on other mobile platforms? Or is there a possibility of Rovio releasing a new game and wanting a bullet point to read something like "all versions of Angry Birds now available on all major mobile platforms?" Something about the timing of this two year old game being rushed into the marketplace smells fishy to me, or should I say it smells like Bacon?

Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts on the subject.










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Sizzling Hot Deals: Pay-as-you-go Nokia Lumia 610 now going for just £62 at Phones 4U

February 21, 2013 at 17:09 GMT | By


Now that Windows Phone 8 devices are available in more-or-less every corner of the world, It was only a matter of time before we saw some Windows Phone 7.x devices hit a low price point that rivals cheap Android devices. The runt of the Windows Phone 7.5 Nokia Lumia family, the 610, is the first Windows Phone device to be sold for as little as £62.

The Lumia 610 is advertised at £99.95 on the Phones 4U website so if you want to get it for £62.96 you will have go in-store and opt to retain you current pay-as-you-go SIM to take advantage of the discount. Basically,they call it a pay-as-you-go updgrade because the network gives you the massive discount so that you stay with them. Your pay-as-you-go SIM will need to have credit.

So what do you get with a Lumia 610? Although it is an entry level Windows Phone device, the Lumia 620 is very capable and offers a near identical experience to other Windows Phone 7.x devices. It packs 256MB of RAM, 5 mega-pixel auto-focus camera, a 3.7-inch WVGA (800 x 480) capacitive touchscreen display, 8GB of storage with no option to expand beyond using Skydrive and a 1,300mAh battery that promises 6.5 hours of talk-time and 530 of standby. Connection options include HSDPA Cat 7, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + Edr. You also get access Nokia-exclusive applications such as Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and Nokia Music.

If you are looking for a cheap no-frills Windows Phone devices for yourself, or better still, a teenage child then the Lumia 610 then device to go for. It's only £62 after-all.

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Concept Surface Phone by Yanko Andeev: Just what the doctor ordered!

February 21, 2013 at 12:08 GMT | By


Concept designs are what keeps us Windows Phone Super Fanboys dreaming of the hardware and features we would love to see come to the platform. While some may be plain and simple bonkers, and never going to see the light of day, some leave us wondering "why the hell no one at Microsoft is thinking of that." 1800PocketPC's Yanko Andeev has come up with his own version of what he would like to see the rumoured Microsoft's own smartphone become. He also cites "the lack of unique hardware and features" as the detriment to Windows Phone growing and taking a healthy chunk of the smartphone market-share.

Key Features:

  • Metal unibody design with chrome real metal detailing

  • Large high definition display with curved edges

  • 16 MP camera with PureView technology and wide-angle lenses

  • Powerful productivity features

  • Entirely wireless phone with no ports for data connection and charging

  • Portable docking station with two USB devices, HDMI port and 3.5 mm jack

Technical Profile:
  • Dimensions - 141 x 72 x 11 mm

  • Weight - 189 g

  • Display - IPS technology LCD capacitive touchscreen with curved edges, 16M colors

  • 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.1 inches

  • three stereo speakers (two front and one back)

  • Battery - Non-removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh

  • Memory - 128 GB storage + MicroSD, 4 GB RAM

  • CPU – 2GHz Tegra 4 - 4-plus-1 cores



Yes we know, a 3500 mAh battery, 128 internal storage, 4GB RAM and a 2GHz quad-core+1 processor sounds insane and would probably make the device ridiculously expensive, but why not? We hear this "Windows Phone doesn't need..." chorus each time specifications are mentioned but the platform needs them more that any other. Windows Phone has been playing catch-up since inception, so putting out a Surface Phone with these insane specifications could be just what the doctor ordered!

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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Attention Developers! $15,000 in prizes added to Windows Phone Next App Star challenge

February 21, 2013 at 10:52 GMT | By


You know what they say, you have to be in it to win it! If I was blessed with the ability to string a few lines of code I would definitely be investing some time and effort into this, hoping I'd land myself one of them fine prizes. A while ago, Microsoft announced a worldwide contest focused on helping Windows Phone applications to get a more visibility featured placement in a Windows Phone prime-time TV ad in the U.S. The contest, called Windows Phone Next App Star, is open to developers around the world, well, unless is you are from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria for obvious reasons. The contests will see the top 64 submitted apps being selected, with each of the developers behind those applications getting Nokia Lumia 920, then moving on to the next round where further prizes lay in store and the culmination being a prime-time TV ad slot in the U.S for the winning application.

According to the Windows Phone Dev Blog, "developers all over the world submitted thousands of apps, which led to the addition of another $15,000 in prizes,bringing the total prize package to over $60,000." So if you your are interested you'll need to get a move on as the first phase of the contest ends on the 5th of March. Here is how the prizes stack up:

  • ROUND ONE: (64 apps) Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone, featured promotion in the Windows Phone Store, exposure for winning apps via online media, and a 1-year free subscription to the Windows Phone Dev Center

  • ROUND TWO: (32 apps) Nokia Wireless Charging Pillow by Fatboy (phone not included)

  • ROUND THREE: (16 apps) JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker for Nokia and inclusion in theWindows Phone Next App Star Collection

  • ROUND FOUR: (8 apps) Sony Vaio Touchscreen Ultrabook

  • ROUND FIVE: (4 apps) App featured in an episode of Hot Apps on Microsoft Channel 9

  • ROUND SIX: (2 apps) Invited to participate in a Microsoft developer conference. Airfare, up to three nights' hotel accommodations and conference fees will be paid by Microsoft

  • GRAND PRIZE: (1) In addition to the prizes listed above, one grand prize winner will receive the opportunity to have their app featured in a Windows Phone prime-time TV ad in the U.S.

Here is where to register should you be interested. Good luck!

SOURCE: Windows Phone Developer Blog

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Editorial: Nokia at MWC, will it be enough?

February 21, 2013 at 00:43 GMT | By


With Mobile World Congress right around the corner, the anticipation is building and the eyes are turning towards Nokia and Samsung and their next smartphone offerings. New rumours are appearing everyday concerning what will and won't be announced at MWC 2013. Nokia is supposed to be lifting the curtain on up to four new devices. Samsung's presence at MWC however seems to be a little more questionable, with The Verge suggesting that the Kareem Abdul Jabbar of the mobile phone market might be skipping MWC for it's unveiling of the Galaxy SIV in favour of a solo event reveal on March 14th. Yesterday HTC revealed the cards in their hand with the announcement of the new HTC One, which looks like a beautiful piece of hardware.

Meanwhile Nokia has seemingly been trimming all the excess fat off since Stephen Elop took over as CEO, and recently finally turned in the first profitable quarter since the start of 2011. Will they be nimble and lean enough, like a young Bruce Lee, to go toe to toe with and finally choke out the giant that is Samsung, only time will tell.

Here's a breakdown of what might be filling our news feeds about Nokia a week from now:

  • Four new phones - Several sites, including ourselves have been reporting on a tweet by Alan Mendelevich, @ailon on twitter, claiming to see four new devices through Verizon logs. While most seem to assume two of those devices to be the Lumia 520 and 720, we can only speculate on the other two.

  • Aluminum bodied design - As I just stated, there has been much speculation about the two mystery devices showing up in the Verizon logs. One guess is an thinner lighter aluminum bodied variant of the Lumia 920, being called the 'Catwalk'. It will be interesting to see if Nokia takes the aluminium route that Apple and HTC seem to have gone down, and how their trademark bright colourings will work on aluminium.

  • EOS - Windows Phone users have been shouting out to Nokia to bring it's 41MP PureView technology to the platform since the original announcement of the Symbian powered 808 last year at MWC. The Guardian recently reported that "sources close to the Finnish handset maker" have revealed plans to do just that this summer in the US. the question we have to ask about this rumor is, would a year old technology be worth a re-release on a new OS? Could Nokia be planning on incorporating it's Optical Image Stabilization with the 41MP sensor, or does it have a new PureView technology up it's sleeve?

  • Tablets? We can hope - While this rumor has been pretty well dismissed recently I would be remiss to not at least acknowledge it's existence. Since the launch of Windows 8 RT and Pro there has been countless mentions on how great a Nokia tablet experience might be. Countless mock-ups and computer renderings make this one of the items that make me drool in my sleep at night. Let's raise our glasses and hope that Nokia has a trump up it's sleeve to steal the show at this years MWC.

Another thing to keep our eyes peeled for is the potential Microsoft Blue update announcement. Rumored to be bringing everything from simple stability fixes, to the next coming of Christ, and everything in between, not much is concrete about the Blue update. Although it does appear to be coming for both Windows Phone, as well as Windows 8 (both RT and Pro) as well as several Microsoft services. Mary Joe Foley at ZDNet seems to have found a reliable source of information about the Blue update, so expect to hear more about it from her as it comes closer to release.

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Official Royal Bank of Scotland application now in Windows Phone Store

February 20, 2013 at 23:09 GMT | By


File this one under "Sooner than Expected." On Monday we mentioned that the arrival of the official Royal Bank of Scotland was immenent, after the NatWest version found it's way to the Windows Phone Store. The RBS application is a dead ringer for the NatWest version but that is to be expected given that latter part of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc since 2000.

As you would expect, the app features the same morden UI as found in the NatWest Version and comes fully featured, allowing you to:

  • View your transaction history for most of your accounts, search for historical transactions on your current accounts and savings accounts

  • Get Cash from RBS, NatWest or Tesco cash machines without a debit card

  • Send money to RBS Mobile Banking customers that use this app - all you need is their mobile number

  • Pay bills or people - by setting up and making your first payment in Online Banking

  • Transfer funds between your accounts

  • Check your balance and recent transactions

  • Find your nearest cash machine or local branch

  • Top up your pay as you go mobile phone and up to four others (service not available on the 3 network).

You obviously need to be a RBS Digital Banking customer to use the RBS app. To download the application just hit the Windows Phone Store badge below or scan the QR Code using Bing vision on your Windows Phone (hit the Search button on your phone and click on the small icon that looks like an eye).










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Pakistan gets a taste of Windows Phone 8, Nokia Lumia 920, 820 and 620 launched

February 20, 2013 at 17:52 GMT | By


Nokia has launched it's entire Windows Phone 8 range in Pakistan. The South Asian country becomes one of the first emerging markets to have the flagship Lumia 920, the mid-range Lumia 820 and entry-level Lumia 620 available. All three devices will be available from the Moblink network, which is Pakistan's leading cellular operator with a subscriber base of 31.5m and market share of 31%.

Nokia is looking to maintain it's presence in emerging market where it has traditionally been strong and will be hoping the Windows Phone 8 Lumia range will be strong enough to fight off cheap Android devices. "We are focused on redefining the future of smart devices and continue to invest towards delivering truly compelling experiences to consumers across price points", said Allesandro Lamanna, vice-president of marketing in India, Middle East and Africa at the launch. He further added, "We are working with partners across the board to take the Lumia experience to more and more consumers faster. The roll out of not two, but three devices marks not just our intent and agility, but also reflect our commitment to our consumers in Pakistan."

Commenting on the occasion, Salman Siddiqui of Microsoft Pakistan said, "With Window Phone 8 we created a new way to think about smartphones, one that puts people at the centre. With the same look and feel, the same technology core and cloud service, Window Phone is built to work seamlessly with Windows 8. You can learn it once you use it everywhere; from Tablet to PC, to phone, it is all there for you whenever and however you want it."

SOURCE: Dawn

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UK Customers shy away from EE's exorbitant 4G LTE price plans

February 20, 2013 at 14:44 GMT | By


When Orange and T-Mobile merged in the UK, there were a few raised eyebrows after the companies settled for the "Everything Everywhere" moniker. Eyebrows were raised even further when EE announced pricing of their super-speed 4G LTE plans, having being the successful tender for the first round of the 4G spectrum auction. We assumed that the 4G hype would create booming business for the newly network, but it now turns out that the UK smartphone users aren't in a hurry to jump into the 4G LTE world as recent figures reaveal that EE activations are dwindling, compared to the past two years.

EE was the first to launch a 4G service in late 2012, but has struggled to attract users, leading it to run a cut-price special offer in January. Even an impressive array of 4G devices hasn't helped to attract new customers, not even out beloved Nokia Lumia 920 and 820. The Q4 figures reveal that the number of quarterly network activations for customers joining EE has actually lowered by 49,000 compared to that of Q3 (July to September 2012). The same period in 2011 saw a massive 112,000 activations.

The main reason customers have been giving EE the wide berth is the exorbitant pricing. Having paid a premium to be the first network to offer 4g LTE, it is undersatndable that the company was keen to squeeze out every bit of mileage while it lasted, but taking people for mugs is quite another. The base EE4G tariff costs ˆ36 per month and includes just 500MB of data. Streaming a 30 minute long 720p YouTube video would gobble up the allowance, so users on this plan may find they need to pay for additional add-on data packs each month. Alternatively, EE is offers 1GB of monthly data for ˆ41 per month; a 3GB plan for ˆ46 per month; a 5G tariff for ˆ51 per month; or an up-to-8GB heavy use plan for ˆ56 per month. All of these are 24-month plans.

UK Telecoms regulator Ofcom recently auctioned more 4G mobile spectrum, with winning bidders being Everything Everywhere; Hutchison 3G UK; Niche Spectrum Ventures, a BT subsidiary; Telefonica (O2); and Vodafone. This obviously means EE's stranglehold on 4G will soon be coming to an end, as other networks will be getting ready to roll out their 4G plans. Those that (including your truly) took the 4G bait will be kicking themselves when Vodafone roll-out their super-cheap plans.

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HTC Zoe Camera technology not coming to Windows Phone

February 20, 2013 at 08:56 GMT | By


HTC's claims their "Zoe Camera with Utrapixels" has a sensor that can capture 300% more light than many of the 13 megapixel cameras on the market. The technology can be found in the recently announced Android-powered HTC One. HTC also happens to be a Windows Phone manufacturer, having launched the HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S a few months ago. So, it would be reasonable for one to expect the Taiwanese manufacturer to bring their latest and greatest technology to the Windows Phone platform so as to allow themselves to compete against Nokia, Samsung and co, right? Well, apparently not.

It appears as though the HTC new technology will never make it to Windows Phone, with the company saying "there are no current plans to migrate" the features to Microsoft's mobile platform. Symon Whitehorn, HTC's camera expert, let on at yesterday's unveiling of the HTC One. "We are equally committed to the Windows platform, so we will do what we can," said Whitehorn. He continued to say there were no current plans to move the feature over. According to Whitehorn, the problem is down to the Windows Phone camera kernel, as it restricts what manufactures can do.

However, Whitehorn acknowledged Nokia's efforts with PureView, saying is was a "commendable effort, although it compromised the sizes of the devices." Although somewhat complimentary, Whitehorn appeared to be taking a pop at Nokia's PureView technology, suggesting when it comes to pixels, less is more. "What we realized is that megapixels is just a metric for blue shirts in Best Buy. It makes it easy for those guys to sell a camera. Not that megapixels are bad, they're good in the right context."

While it's good to see HTC bringing their A-game to Android as Samsung continues to tan their backsides, it's very unfortunate that this wont be replicated on their Windows Phone offerings. As for the fighting talk, the proof will be in the pudding...

SOURCE: Wired

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HTC One's Blinkfeed reminds me why I like my Windows Phone!

February 19, 2013 at 21:50 GMT | By

Earlier today HTC announced the newest phone in their One series of phones. The phone will sport a 4.7 inch 1080p screen sitting in front of a Qualcomm 1.7 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon processor all wrapped up in an all aluminum body. Around back will is the new Ultrapixel camera which has a 4 MegaPixel BSI sensor with a f/2.0 lens. The new Ultrapixel camera is claiming to allow up to 300% more light in, allowing for better low light photos. Quality low light photos might be something most Nokia 920 owners have been familiar with for sometime now. However that's not all that may look familiar to the rest of us Windows Phone users as well. Press photos show off HTC's new "Blinkfeed" software, presenting a large tile-like interface that is constantly updated and with information from your social networks and newsfeeds. Sounds a lot like the live-tile interface we all know and love.

Apparently that recent partnership with Microsoft and HTC has been going so well, that they wanted to bring some of the features they liked about Windows Phone over to their Android phones. In an interview with ABC News' Mike Woodward, President of HTC America says, "We found that widgets and home panels aren't that well understood, so we wanted to simplify that."

The new HTC One looks like a beautiful phone, with good specs and what could be one of the best cameras on the market. However I'd really like to see real innovation used to "shake things up in the smartphone space," instead of borrowing the design aesthetics from the Windows Phone area.

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Award-winning UK estate agency Foxtons chooses Nokia Lumia 820 for employees

February 19, 2013 at 16:56 GMT | By


It looks like Nokia scored another victory as London's leading estate agent Foxtons has selected the Lumia 820 as the companies smartphone of choice. Issued to about 900 employees so far, Foxtons based their decision on the OS's ability to quickly share and update information that can easily be dispatched to their agents which could help to support a competitive advantage in the field. The company also took notice of the Lumia's tight integration with their existing Microsoft infrastructure which made the choice even easier.

The use of Microsoft Outlook ensures employees have necessary property information for calendar appointments and now with the touch of a button they all have information needed to close deals. This also gives agents the ability to check emails between viewings and the built-in Microsoft Office applications allow them to edit excel spreadsheets and word documents on the go.

Foxtons is already familiar with developing applications for the Windows Phone environment and has begun deploying its own apps for the Lumia 820. Dan Rafferty, Foxtons IT Director explains: "We've developed an app integrating our personnel system with our active directory and phone system so all the information is accurate and can be accessed directly from our agents' Nokia Lumia 820s."

Mobile navigation also factored in as a reason for choosing the Lumia 820. With free turn by turn directions, offline maps and live traffic updates it removes the added cost of separate GPS units. Agents have also made use of Nokia City Lens as a quick and easy way to show off local areas of interest such as restaurant's, shops or movie theaters.

These are some clear examples of how Windows Phone 8 is equally beneficial to consumers and those in the area of enterprise. Other companies should take notice of how practical the OS is for business solution. The Nokia Lumia 820 is a mid-level device but manages to blend affordability without the sacrifice of functionality.

SOURCE: ZDnet

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Bill Gates: Microsoft's early smartphone strategy was 'a mistake'

February 19, 2013 at 10:14 GMT | By


Bill Gates made an appearance on CBS This Morning to discuss his involvement in various charities. During the interview, Bill was asked if he was happy with Steve Ballmer's decisions as of late. Bill was surprisingly candid in his response. Mr. Gates admitted that neither he nor Mr. Ballmer is satisfied with Microsoft's current market position and products. He pointed out that their dissatisfaction stems from not "doing everything possible...in terms of, you know, breakthrough things." He went on to say that the company failed to "get out in the lead very early" with cell phones. Now, we all know that Windows Mobile phones have been around since early 2000, but Mr. Gates pointed out that they went about development and marketing wrong and did not gain sufficient market leadership.



To some, this seems to be an admission of failure, but to me, this means that top execs at Microsoft want to step up their game and push more innovative designs and products out the door. Their focus on creating breakthrough products seems to be motivating them to move forward.

Microsoft is working with Nokia and HTC to innovate with merging hardware and software in cell phones. They recently released their Surface line of tablets to try and marry hardware and software in a tablet, to varying degrees of success. And the company is working on Windows Blue to push out common features across all of their services at the same time. Bill Gates stated that "Windows 8 is the key to the future" and congratulated Steve Ballmer for his work on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in the last year. He hopes to see Microsoft put its best foot forward with consumers and move into the future the way only this corporation can.

Source: CBS

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New job posting for Windows Phone Blue gives extra insight

February 19, 2013 at 09:54 GMT | By


For those of you who don't know it already, Blue is the code name for the upcoming Microsoft service updates and update cycles. It was originally thought to be nothing more than a way to help Microsoft speed up this cycle on all platforms: Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Xbox360, Windows Phone 8, and some Windows services such as Outlook. These enhancements should allow the updates to happen at the same time on all services, theoretically assisting with maintenance across the board. This would mean when you hear about a service pack update for Windows 8, you can rest assured that your Windows Phone 8 device should also be receiving an update around the same time.

On February 15th, Microsoft posted a new job concerning the "Windows Phone Blue" program which gave away some extra information about Blue. The post pointed out that the Windows Phone Blue program will be more than just behind-the-scenes tweaks. It will also improve the user experience. Microsoft indicates that the team responsible will be making improvements to the start screen, application life-cycle, windowing, and personalization.

Here's a quick excerpt: "Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide."

You're probably wondering what this means for you. It means that feature updates and fixes will come to your phone much sooner, and should allow for a more fluid experience when syncing data between your computer and phone. It also means that when you buy into another of Microsoft's platforms, you can expect approximately the same experience between devices.

There is evidence that Microsoft is already serious about this when comparing something like the "People" hub experience on a Windows Phone 8 to Windows 8's version, and both of these to the browser-based version. The experience is almost perfectly fluid when updating information on your phone to logging into the browser-based version and continuing your updates. Windows Blue is expected to make this even more so across the gamut of services and applications offered by Microsoft.

As of this writing, the job posting has been removed from the Microsoft site. Let's hope it's because the position has been filled and we should expect to see this put into action before the end of 2013.

VIA: ZDNet

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NatWest becomes first major UK bank to roll out Windows Phone application

February 18, 2013 at 19:56 GMT | By


NatWest has become the first major UK mainstream bank to launch a Windows Phone application. First generation Windows Phone users will be pleased to know that the application is available for Windows Phone 7.x. The application makes use of Microsoft's metro modern UI, instead of being a staright iOS/Android port.

Early reviews suggest that the features found in the iOS/Android versions are present on the Windows Phone incarnation. Natwest, which is owned owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland promised the application a couple of weeks ago, so it would seem reasonable expect RBS to follow suit in the not-too-distant future.

Features

  • View your transaction history for most of your accounts, search for historical transactions on your current accounts and savings accounts

  • Get Cash from NatWest, RBS or Tesco cash machines without a debit card

  • Send money to NatWest Mobile Banking customers that use this app - all you need is their mobile number

  • Pay bills or people - just set up and make your first payment in Online Banking beforehand

  • Transfer funds between your accounts

  • Find your nearest cash machine or local branch

  • Top up your pay as you go mobile phone and up to four others (service not available on the 3 network).

NOTE
You need to have a NatWest personal account with debit card, be over 11 and have a mainland UK mobile number starting with 07 to use this service.

Want the application? Just hit the Windows Phone Store badge below or scan the QR Code using Bing vision on your Windows Phone (hit the Search button on your phone and click on the small icon that looks like an eye).










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Microsoft signs Windows Phone Store carrier billing deal with VimpelCom

February 18, 2013 at 15:45 GMT | By


VimpelCom, the global telecoms operator, has signed an agreement with Microsoft and Nokia that will allow its customers using Windows Phone devices to purchase applications, games and other content from the Windows Phone store and be billed from their pre-paid credit or monthly accounts. VimpelCom is one of the world's largest integrated telecommunications services operators - sixth to be precise - providing voice and data services through a range of traditional and broadband mobile and fixed technologies in Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Laos, Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic and Canada.

The deal will allow VimpelCom customers across different markets to use their mobile accounts to find, try and buy digital content from the Windows store. The cost of any applications, games or music purchased will be deducted from pre-pay customers' phone credits, or added to subscribers' monthly bills. The deal will bring features that in the past may have been out of reach to users in emerging markets who haven't got access to credit and debit cards. Users will be able to choose application and games from a healthy the Windows Phone Store which is now 130,000+ strong and abounding.

As Nokia is a leading device brand in many of VimpelCom's emerging markets, the Russian operator said the deal would allow it to offer an "enhanced mobile experience" to new and existing customers. VimpelCom will create its own virtual "shelf" to help customers find digital content in the Windows store, some of which will be tailored to local services.

"This marks yet another important step for the ecosystem and is a compelling example of a win-win-win situation for customers, developers and consumers alike while we continue to extend the line-up of our popular Lumia devices across geographies and price bands," said Chris Weber, head of Nokia global sales and marketing. Mikhail Gerchuk, VimpelCom's group chief commercial and strategy officer, said: "The Windows Phone mobile partnership will enable us to significantly enhance the smartphone experience for our customers."

SOURCE: Financial Times

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Windows Phone sets sights on business market

February 18, 2013 at 13:10 GMT | By


With the release of Windows Phone 8 and its relative success in the consumer market it only makes sense for the minds of Redmond to draw some of their focus and efforts towards the enterprise sector. With options like Company Apps baked into the OS, ease of use with file sharing and document creation from office mobile via SkyDrive this should come as no surprise to anyone. In a calculated move Microsoft built WP8 to work flawlessly with Exchange, SharePoint and Lync, all of which are common place among corporations. With a recent survey indicating businesses prefer the surface tablets over the iPad for their solutions if handled correctly this could play out favorably for Microsoft.

Taking a step back from the three screens scenario and focusing strictly on the Windows Phone 8 portion of it, one huge drawback businesses have that Microsoft is trying to align themselves with an answer to is security concerns. They have already implemented secure boot which allows only validated software to execute components, there is also full device encryption, IRM or Information Rights Management which is set up to prevent intellectual property from accidental or intentional disclosure and remote wipe. These are just a few of the steps taken in an attempt to quell concerns amid IT department heads who are always looking for ways to keep data protected while streamlining communication.

With the mobile landscape changing at such a rapid pace tech giants are all reaching to grab their share of an estimated 1.6 billion from the global market of enterprise. IBM for example has announced various software tools to help manage mobility in the enterprise sector and BlackBerry, formerly RIM, has plans to regain the footing its lost in the recent years leading up to its new OS BlackBerry 10. Microsoft has an advantage with familiarity of its software in the corporate environment hopefully it can translate to success.

VIA: IT News Africa

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Windows Phone developer resource material available for preorder

February 18, 2013 at 12:01 GMT | By


Though many would argue information like this should have been released more in sync with the initial availability of Windows Phone 8, author Daniel Vaughan, who is also a Microsoft MVP for Client Application Development, has an in depth view of coding and development for the platform that's essentially unmatched in comparison to other resource material currently available. The book is slated for a May release and intends to build on the enhancements made during the upgrade from Windows Phone 7.5 to Windows Phone 8, including wallet integration, live tile capabilities and voice commands, just to name a few.

Based on his previous book "Windows Phone 7.5 Unleashed." Vaughan's style of teaching incorporates the use of sample apps that go over key concepts which apply detailed code with real world context. These practices help to ensure seamless functionality and maintain the attractive design Windows Phone 8 has become known for. For developers interested in Windows Phone 8 this would likely prove essential if you'd like for your app to be considered among users as a "quality" app. The ratings and reviews play a huge part in the success and or failure for the platforms users.

With the book still in pre-order status, it's hard to say definitively who exactly this book will truly benefit but I think it's a pretty safe bet that it can only help those who are in need of some guidance. His first book has mostly favourable reviews over on Amazon and appears to have been very helpful to those who purchased it. Daniel Vaughan is an accomplished programmer with over a decade of experience in various industries, spanning from finance to being well versed in Silverlight. He also fronts a Windows Phone Experts group on Linkedin.

SOURCES: Amazon, WPC

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Windows Phone 8 nominated for UK Digital Design Award

February 17, 2013 at 19:43 GMT | By


Windows Phone has been praised since its introduction for its use of authentic digital design, and now it might be getting an award for it. The U.K. Design Museum has nominated Microsoft for its Digital Design Award for 2013, a subcategory of its Designs of the Year Awards given for categories such as Architecture, Fashion, and Transport among others. Microsoft Games won the digital award last year as well for its Microsoft Kinect and Kinect SDK. I can't speak for all of us in the Windows Phone community, but I personally love seeing Microsoft getting praise and recognition for the obvious effort they've been putting into design the last few years with products like the Kinect, the new Modern UI for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and now the amazing build quality of the Microsoft Surface and Surface Pro.

Other nominations for the Digital Design of the year award include Lytro's Light Field Camera, The Raspberry Pi Computer, and the "Zombies, Run! App", which some of you might know recently announced they'd no longer be supporting WP8. However, as of right now, you can still take advantage of it's "75% Off Holiday Sale".

You might be wondering, where is Apple in all this talk about incredible digital design? Well it seems the only mention of the company that totes its design team as the best in the industry is in a comment by the exhibition's curator Pete Collard to the WSJ about the awards: "What was Apple doing in bringing in the faux-leather look? Were they suggesting that people miss their old leather books?" Serving yet another blow to Apple's Skeumorphic design principles, while praising Microsoft's own OS by saying "It is a nice, clean, pure color, interface. The tiling system is intuitive. It is not over-designed to bring in other narratives from other objects."

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The Windows Phone 7.8 live tile issue could hurt your pocket

February 17, 2013 at 18:12 GMT | By


Recently, Microsoft began rolling out the Windows phone 7.8 update. To much a chagrin, consumers are reporting issues with the live tiles. These issues consist of tiles not updating correctly and the tiles bugging out or flickering. The consequence of this being that because the tiles aren't updating correctly, it's causing high amounts of data transmission that could ring in some heavy data charges with your provider and ultimately lead to battery drainage.

This is a major issue considering that this Windows phone 7.8 update was a huge selling point is the live tiles and start screen. WP7 Root Tools reports that of the 3 processes that live tiles use to update, 2 of them have major issues. The ShellTile.Schedule.Start() process has the issue of not updating correctly, causing constant data transmission. This leads to the device producing slow and "lower end like performance." The httpNotification.channel.bindtoshelltile() process which is responsible for channeling through to Microsoft was found to be totally broken.

What does all this mean to you and how can you avoid possible higher than normal data charges with your provider? Well, it's pretty simple but troubling. Simply unpin any live tile you have that may be flickering or just not updating at all. If you notice this type of action with a tile, then data could be constantly transmitting from your phone. Live tiles are a quintessential part and what sets Windows phone apart from the rest of competition. Let's hope Microsoft is quick to issue a response and even faster to to issue a patch. Microsoft has yet to comment on this issue.

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Nokia Lumia 920 makes a guest appearance in geek comedy 'Community'

February 17, 2013 at 17:22 GMT | By


Community, widely regarded as the ultimate geek comedy had a "special guest" appearance in it's latest "Valloween" episode from the most innovative Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 920. While there are no reports of such a deal between the show and Nokia/Microsoft, it's always a great thing to see Windows Phone devices appear in popular TV shows.

So is it a big deal? Probably not, and some may deem it not "news-worthy," but we always see iPhones, Androids and BlackBerries on TV and there's no denying their presence gives them publicity and mind-share. So, there no harm in seeing our iconic Lumia 920 on the small screen, if anything, it can hep in bringing in new users to the platform.

VIA: MNB

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Rhapsody update brings slick interface and support for Windows Phone 8

February 17, 2013 at 16:36 GMT | By


Music streaming service Rhapsody has launched new app for Windows Phone 8. Rhapsody is the oldest player in streaming music in U.S. with more than a million paid users in the U.S and more than 16 million tracks. The v3.0 update brings support for Windows Phone 8 in mind and other improvements.

Here's the offical changelog:

  • Listen to downloaded playlists, albums and songs without a connection.

  • View your music library

  • Save artists, albums and tracks to My Music

  • Access My Music from any Rhapsody-supported device

Unfortunately, Rhapsody focuses its efforts on the experience of its paid subscribers, meaning there is no free version. It costs either $10 or $15 per month depending on your needs. To download the application just hit the Windows Phone Store badge below or scan the QR Code using Bing vision on your Windows Phone (hit the Search button on your phone and click on the small icon that looks like an eye).










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Adduplex logs reveal Nokia Lumia 720, Lumia 520 and a couple other unknown Lumia devices

February 17, 2013 at 14:26 GMT | By


We all know that Nokia will be revealing new device(s) at the Mobile World Congress in a couple of weeks time, but it's still unknown as to how many devices will be revealed. Alan Mendelevich, owner of the Adduplex network, has attempted to shed some light into as to how many devices we should expect from Nokia by tweeting unknown devices captured in their logs. For those not familiar with Adduplex, it is a cross-promotion network for Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps and is used by some of the most popular Windows Phone games and applications.

Mendelevich's tweets read: "...just checked... we've seen 2 Nokia RM-860_nam_usa_100 on Verizon in our logs over the last 24h. I see Nokia RM-914 (Lumia 520), RM-885 (Lumia 720), RM-887(?) and RM-860(?) on Verizon in our logs. 3-4 new phones at #MWC13?"

The previously rumoured "Zeal" should turn out to be the Nokia Lumia 720, while the "Fame" should turn out to be the budget-friendly Nokia Lumia 520. More interestingly, what is the RM-887 and RM-860? We are obviously going to have to wait for WMC to see what these devices are. However, we wouldn't be surprised if one of them turns out to be the rumoured Nokia Lumia 920 ('Catwalk') variant that's supposed to feature a slimmer profile and an aluminium casing. Roll-on Mobile World Congress!!

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KPN and Nokia claim mystery yellow device not a Lumia

February 16, 2013 at 12:40 GMT | By


It turns out the mystery device that showed up on a Nokia Lumia 920 TV ad by Dutch carrier KPN may not be an upcoming addition to the Nokia Lumia range after all. Following widespread reports of the device after it was spotted by keen-eyed Windows Phone enthusiasts, Nokia and the carrier have moved to shut down the suspicion that the mystery yellow device is a yet-to-be-released Lumia.

The device (above) appears to have rounded corners, a curved back and a slim profile, something all current Nokia Lumia Windows Phone devices aren't. The closest match is the Nokia Lumia 822 but we know that the device is exclusive Verizon and doesn't come in yellow.

So what is it? Well, Nokia says "it's not a Lumia" and directs all further enquiries to KPN. KPN say "they are investigating the situation." We still think this a genuine Lumia device and KPN have just been caught off-guard. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.



Fast-forward to 0:06 to see the device in action

SOURCE: ni.nl VIA: MNB

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Want become a WPSuperfanboy writer/contributor? Here is your chance

February 16, 2013 at 10:59 GMT | By


WPSuperfanboy was started a year ago by Darlington Moyo, with the help of his good mate John Williams. Although there were already a handful of websites dedicated to the platform, none of them were pro-Windows Phone without being ashamed of it. Therefore, we felt Windows Phone needed a forum where fan-boys could express themselves and share knowledge without the worry of being trolled by fandroids and iSheep. While the initial intention was to create a forum, it soon became apparent that there was a need for an alternative to the already existing Windows Phone news websites - someone to stand up for Windows Phone if you may, hence WPSuperfanboy was born.

Within months, WPSuperfanboy grew to become the third biggest Windows Phone site (after WPCentral and WMPoweruser), garnering a sub-50000 Alexa ranking, 3 million+ monthly hits and a healthy advertising revenue. This was aided by the fact that WPSuperfanboy managed to get into Google and Bing News, by no means a mean feat for a new website. What stands WPSuperfanboy apart from other sites is that Darlington decided to develop a custom Content Management System (CMS) instead of opting for a generic one such as WordPress or Joomla. Although yet to be fully mature and feature-rich, the custom CMS allows full control of the website.

While the early success was deserved and desired, it soon became overwhelming for one person, although aided by willing and able partner in John Williams. That is why we are now seeking writers/partners to come in and share duties and responsibilities.

Partner or Writer?
Depending on what you prefer, you can come in as a partner or a plain and simple writer. As a partner, you will be a senior editor with access to relevant accounts and have a full share of incoming revenue. As a writer, you will submit your work to one of the senior editors and be paid a set amount for the piece.

Requirements
You will need to be able to spare a couple of hours a day and possess the ability to write news, reviews and editorials articles in English. The ability to record game/app or device reviews is desired, although not essential. We regularly get request from developers to review their games. We also get access to review handsets directly from Windows Phone manufactures. You will obviously need to be 18 years or older and bear in mind that this will not replace your job in the short-term.

Is this something that would suit you? If so, drop admin@wpsuperfanboy.com a line for more detailed information.

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'Play To' application for Windows Phone 8 Nokia Lumia devices coming soon

February 16, 2013 at 08:15 GMT | By


Nokia recently confirmed that they were working on bringing some features that existed in its Windows Phone 7 Lumia devices to their Windows Phone 8 offerings such as flip-to-silence. Nokia also mentioned that other old features could be making the leap to Windows Phone 8, including DLNA support by means of their 'Play To' application. The Play To application has been demanded by Lumia Windows Phone 8 consumers since the refreshed operation system was launched, but has remained in beta testing.

Now, a member of the product team has stated on the Nokia Beta Labs feedback forum that we'll be seeing Play To launched for Windows Phone 8 within 2 weeks: "We are working to make the release available. We are very close to release now - stay tuned (this will happen in 1-2 weeks)," The message reads.

Although we shouldn't take this for gospel, common sense suggests this is more-than-likely correct as it's coming from an employee. We expect Nokia to announce the app - alongside several others - at the Mobile World Congress in a couple of weeks time.

SOURCE: Nokia Beta Labs VIA: Pocket Now

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Nokia Music+ now available in the UK for Nokia Lumia devices

February 15, 2013 at 12:34 GMT | By


Nokia Music+ in now available in the UK, allowing Lumia owners to enjoy a wider selection of music for a small monthly fee. Nokia Music - not to be confused with Nokia Music+ - has been around for a while now, enabling Nokia Lumia owners to enjoy the benefit of free music streaming through the exclusive Mix Radio service.

Nokia Music+ is a paid subscription that comes with new additional features. For £3.99 per month, Nokia Music+ gives the ability to save playlists in order to download tracks for offline listening. At present you can only download up to four mixes on the free version. It also adds an infinite amount of song skips. Downloadable tracks on the + version are also higher quality.

"Nokia Music is great for discovering new music, and we've found that there's a core of users that want even more of it," said Jyrki Rosenberg, VP Entertainment at Nokia. "This is how Nokia Music+ came about. By introducing features like infinite skips and unlimited downloads, we're opening the doors for unlimited music discovery at only £3.99 per month. This is for people who care enough about music to pay something for more quality and choice, but don't want to pay £9.99 monthly."

If you aren't sure as to whether this is what you want, you can always get a free trial to check out whether the service is right for you. If you are already enjoying Nokia Music and want to upgrade, all you need to do is open Nokia Music and head to the Settings where you should find the Upgrade option.



To download the application just hit the Windows Phone Store badge below or scan the QR Code using Bing vision on your Windows Phone (hit the Search button on your phone and click on the small icon that looks like an eye).










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Dutch carrier KPN TV ad reveals unknown Nokia Lumia device

February 15, 2013 at 10:39 GMT | By


Unfortunately I cant tell you what they are saying on the ad as my Dutch is a bit rusty to say the least, but one thing for sure is that the yellow device featured (above) is not known to us. The rounded corners and curved back would suggest that this was a Nokia Lumia 822 but we already know that the 822 is exclusive to Verizon and that it doesn't come in yellow. Also, the device looks to have a slim profile, something all Nokia Lumia Windows Phone devices aren't.

So what is it? Our guess is that this will be one of the device(s) Nokia will unveil in a couple of weeks at the WMC, possibly as the Lumia 720, successor to the Lumia 710. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.



Fast-forward to 0:06 to see the device in actionFast-forward to 0:06 to see the device in action

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Huawei Ascend W1 coming to O2 UK in March

February 15, 2013 at 09:46 GMT | By


UK mobile operator O2 is set to bolster it's Windows Phone 8 line-up by adding the recently launched Huawei Ascend W1 in March. 02 already offers a wide range of Windows Phone 8 in the HTC Windows Phone 8X, 8S, Samsung ATIV S, Nokia Lumia 820 and Lumia 620, so the Ascend W1 will no doubt widen the choice for prospective Windows Phone users on the network.

"We want to bring Windows Phone 8 to as many of our customers as possible and we're really pleased to be working with Huawei to launch the Ascend W1. The Huawei Ascend W1 looks great in blue or pink and brings the power of personalisation to a whole new audience with its affordable price," said David Johnson, O2 UK general manager for devices.

The device features a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8230 1.2GHz dual-core processor with Adreno 305 graphics, a 5-megapixel camera on the rear with autofocus and flash, 4GB of internal memory expandable via microSD card and a 1950mAh battery. The device will be available in both electric blue (as pictured above) and electric pink, although there's no word on its pricing yet.

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Sizzling Hot Deals: UK mobile operator O2 selling Nokia Lumia 620 for just £119.99

February 13, 2013 at 11:22 GMT | By


UK mobile operator O2 has slashed the price of the Nokia Lumia 620 to just £119.99 on pay as you go from the usual £149.99, offering a £30 savings. The discount is only available today (February 13) as part of 02's "Like it to lower it" Facebook campaign, where O2 asked its Facebook fans to "Like" the handset they most wanted to see discounted.

The Lumia 620 is often referred to as a "low-end" device because it has lesser specifications than its bigger siblings, but it punches way above it's weight. The 3.8-inch ClearBlack display gives it the same sunlight readability enhancements as the Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820. The device also brings NFC, a 1GHz dual core Snapdragon chip and support for 64 GB removable MicroSD cards. Other most notable features are Windows Phone 8 OS, 512MB of RAM, 8GB internal storage, a 5 mega-pixel rear camera and a front facing one, Nokia Maps, Nokia Music, Nokia Mix Radio, City Lens and Nokia Drive.

The Lumia 620 also takes advantage of a new 'dual-shot' technique to create a variety of interesting new colours and textures. Dual Shot involves casting two layers of polycarbonate, a single base layer and a second colour, in a transparent or translucent layer, to produce depth effects and secondary colour blends. For example, yellow and cyan are combined to produce an exciting new lime green, our own favourite. What's more, since the Nokia Lumia 620 uses exchangeable shells, you can change the colour as often as you change your mood with seven shells to choose from.

One thing for sure is that you will struggle to find a device that offers the same features as the 620 at £119.99. So What are you waiting for! See the offer here.


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Nokia Lumia devices now make up more than 75% of all Windows Phones out there?

February 11, 2013 at 19:34 GMT | By

The Originals: Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 7 devices - 610, 710, 800 and 900

This will probably not make comfortable reading for Microsoft given how they put their weight behind HTC during the launch of the Windows Phone 8 operating system, but recent usage data from AdDuplex, an ad network for Windows Phone, indicates that Nokia controls around 75% of the Windows Phone market share. The figures can obviously be disputed as the AdDuplex stats are based on a collection of 294 applications in its network that were tracked over the past few weeks. However, the stats still give us a good a look into the devices that are currently in the market.



Steve Ballmer famously joined HTC's CEO Peter Chou at last September's Windows Phone 8 device launch and declared: "Pairing HTC's beautiful new Windows Phone 8X and 8S with our brand is a big milestone for both companies," said Ballmer. "Together we are offering customers a clear choice and a truly unique experience. I'm thrilled to take our long-standing partnership to the next level. The 8S and 8X will be the signature devices, almost the face of Windows Phone 8," he continued. Another case of foot in mouth...

The fact that Nokia is now the dominant Windows Phone manufacturer isn't at all surprising given how they are the only OEM that hasn't got the other foot in the Android camp. This has allowed the Finnish giant to invest their best ideas and technology into the platform.

Interestingly, the same data indicates that Windows Phone 8 now represent roughly 25% of all Windows Phone handsets, with the rest obviously being Windows Phone 7.x devices.

SOURCE & IMAGE: TNW

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Sizzling Hot Deals: Phones 4U selling SIM-free Windows Phone 8S for £149.59

February 11, 2013 at 12:16 GMT | By


No doubt most prospective Windows Phone (and current Windows Phone 7.x) users dream of owning a flagship Nokia Lumia 920 or HTC Windows Phone 8X device, but reality is that not everyone's pockets are deep enough to afford the very best hardware Windows Phone has to offer. But fret not my fellow WPSuperfanboys, Windows Phone obviously has low-end and mid-range device that offer a near identical experience as you'd get on flagship device - one of these being the aesthetically pleasing Windows Phone 8S by HTC (yep, that's the proper name folks).

UK retailer Phone 4U is selling the 8S for £149.95 when bought with £10 airtime or £159.95 SIM-free. We assume SIM-free means unlocked in the case as the term remains ambiguous where Phones 4U is concerned. The deal is only available in-store, meaning you'd have to walk into your local Phone 4U store should you want the device.

The price brings the 8S bang-on the Nokia Lumia 620 price which can only be good for the platform and customers alike. So why would you choose the 8s over the Lumia 620? It could be the sexy design, lighter and thinner profile or the bigger screen size. Here is how the 8S measures up:

  • Dual-core 1GHz processor

  • 120.5 x 63 x 10.3 mm, 113g

  • 4 inch S-LCD display

  • 4 GB internal storage, 512 MB RAM

  • Removable microSD support, up-to 32 GB

  • 5 MP main camera (No front-facing)

  • 1700 mAh battery (non-removable)

At this price, the 8S would be the ideal device for those wanting to give Windows Phone a try without investing in a 2 year contract or for those not comfortable with a larger device. Are you tempted? Let us know in the comments below.

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White HTC Windows Phone 8X spotted. Is it on it's way?

February 11, 2013 at 11:07 GMT | By


The image above isn't conclusive proof of what the pictured white device is, but given those smooth corners, rear camera and flash, it's safe to say we are indeed looking at an HTC Windows Phone 8X white variant. Although device in the image is quite similar to the leaked HTC One (M7), the positioning of the rear LED flash means it's unlikely to be the rumoured Android device.

HTC posted the image on their official Twitter account alongside this message: "Sometimes you just need to tune it all out. Let us help." The 8X is currently available in black, blue and yellow variants. Unfortunately, there are no official confirmations on the availability of the device in white just yet. So what does this mean? Could there be a white Windows Phone 8X on its way? Well, my guess is as good as yours but I'd bet my bottom dollar that we will be seeing a white 8X soon as sales of the device have been reported to be robust, so it would seem obvious that the company would experiment with other colours. Would you like to see a white HTC 8X? Let us know in the comments below.

SOURCE & IMAGE: Official HTC Twitter VIA: GSM Arena

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Breakdancing and Beatboxing in Suits: Microsoft Surface Pro advirtisement debuts

February 11, 2013 at 10:16 GMT | By


The recently released Microsoft Surface Pro had it's first commercial TV advert aired during last night's Grammy awards. Featuring beatboxers and breakdancing, the ad was directed by Jon M Chu, who directed the earlier Surface RT ad. The ad (below) has an obvious focus on business and pen input.

Microsoft's Panos Panay premiered the new Jon Chu advert at a special event in Las Vegas on Saturday alongside breakdancers. He reportedly gave away the product to audience members before unveiling the new TV ad.



Initial reports have suggested that Microsoft has sold out of the 128GB Surface Pro model, but it's unclear how many devices were available made available. Do you like the ad? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Monster Burner, Rabbids Go Phone Again and Rayman Jungle Run on their way to Windows Phone

February 7, 2013 at 18:45 GMT | By

Ubisoft 2013 Q1 release schedule

Ubisoft released their Q3 figures today, revealing that some of their big titles like So Monster Burner, Rabbids Go Phone Again and Rayman Jungle Run will be making their way to Windows Phone. These are all top titles so they’ll be a welcomed addition over the next 60 days.

Whether the games are going to be Nokia Lumia exclusives or general Xbox for Windows Phone titles remains to be seen but one thing for sure is that they are going to halt the drought that Windows Phone Store is currently experiencing in term of big name games.

Are you looking forward to having any of these games? Let us know in the comments below.

VIA: Mobility Digest

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PDF Reader for Windows Phone 8 v1.1 update brings password protection, read-only support and more.

February 7, 2013 at 18:09 GMT | By


The revised PDF Reader application for Windows Phone 8 devices has been bumped up to version 1.1, bringing a few additional features. PDF Reader is a free app for viewing and interacting with PDF documents on the Windows Phone 8 platform. This app gives access to a wide variety of PDF file types. The update brings along support for read only and encrypted files, and a few other features.


Here's the offical changelog:
  • Support for read-only PDF files.

  • Support for encrypted PDF files that are password protected.

  • Share PDF documents with others directly from the app using your SkyDrive account.

  • Management of historic PDFs in the history list so you can remove individual files and also clear the whole list.

To download the application just hit the Windows Phone Store badge below or scan the QR Code using Bing vision on your Windows Phone (hit the Search button on your phone and click on the small icon that looks like an eye).










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Confirmed: T-Mobile US Nokia Lumia 710 won't be updated to Windows Phone 7.8

February 6, 2013 at 11:48 GMT | By


T-Mobile has just confirmed to TmoNews that the Nokia Lumia 710 will not be updated to Windows Phone 7.8. The news comes after customer communications and emails appeared online seemingly confirming that the carrier would not be supporting the update.

This is especially disappointing as T-Mobile were the first carrier in the US to carry a Nokia Lumia device and recently launched the exclusive Windows Phone 8 Nokia Lumia 822. While Windows Phone 7.8 is purely cosmetic revision and is designed to extend the life of the first and second generation handsets by bringing the new tile sizes to old device, we are sure that more than a few folks were looking forward to having the update anyway. Also, it's quite obvious that T-Mobile would rather users upgrade their contracts and view the update as something that will hold many customers back from doing. T-Mobile's statement on Windows Phone 7.8 for Lumia 710:

At this time, the Nokia Lumia 710 will not receive the software update. T-Mobile is committed to enhancing customers' experience with our devices, including providing upgrades to the latest operating systems, and T-Mobile aims to deliver software upgrades when it will provide a better experience for our customers. We'll share additional information on upgrades for the Nokia Lumia 710 when they are available.

Confused? We certainly are! If you are a T-Mobile Lumia 710 owner and rather desperate to have the update you can always take the situation into your own hands and manually install the Windows Phone 7.8 update.

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Nokia to launch a Windows Phone device with a 41MP PureView sensor this summer?

February 6, 2013 at 10:13 GMT | By

Nokia 808 with a 41MP PureView sensor

The Guardian claims Nokia will launch the Nokia EOS this summer, featuring a massive 41-megapixel PureView sensor. Apparently, the device will not be part of Nokia's existing Lumia range and will instead be known as the Nokia EOS, although running the Windows Phone operating system.

Nokia first demoed its PureView technology to the world at MWC 2012 inside its Symbian-powered 808 PureView handset. Up until now, the cutting-edge technology could only be found in the Symbian Belle-powered Nokia 808 although the Nokia Lumia 920 features a watered down version of the PureView technology.

Speaking to Nokia's in-house blog, Conversations by Nokia, Juha Alakarhu, Nokia's head of imaging, said: "we're really driving for innovation in key areas to deepen and enrich the imaging experience." He added: "I think it's important to underscore that PureView doesn't mean any specific technology. It's the latest and greatest in imaging. When you buy a Nokia phone with PureView, you are getting our highest quality imaging innovation. Nokia 808 PureView solved the problem of zooming and sharpness, and for Nokia Lumia 920, it was low light."

What's clear is that Nokia has been/is working on the idea of putting a DSLR-grade camera inside a smartphone for quite sometime now as we've seen aspects of this technology feature in both the 808 PureView and Lumia 920. We expect the EOS to be a somewhat combination of the two. The Guardian claims the Nokia EOS will launch in the US and is expected to be a US-exclusive - for a while we hope.

VIA: KYM

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Vodafone UK to offer full range of Windows Phone 8 devices from 6th of February

February 5, 2013 at 17:54 GMT | By

From left to right: HTC Windows Phone 8X, Nokia Lumia 920 and the hard-to-find Samsung ATIV S

Now that EE's grip on the Nokia Lumia 920 is weakening as it's exclusivity deal has come to an end in the UK, other carriers aren't wasting time in adding the indomitable Windows Phone among it ranks. First among them is Vodafone, who will be offering the full range of Nokia's Windows Phone 8 devices in the Lumia 920, 820 and the recently released 620.The Nokia range will be joined on Vodafone by the flagship HTC Windows Phone 8X and mid-range 8S devices, although another notable Windows Phone 8 handset, the Samsung ATIV S, is missing at present.

In a post on the network's official blog on Monday, Vodafone revealed that the devices will all be available on pay-monthly plans from February 6. The post read: "Windows Phone 8 is nearly here. Since announcing that we'd be stocking the phones in a post late last year, we've been working day and night to get the new breed of Windows Phone devices through our network tests unscathed."

Details on pricing are yet to be revealed but it's safe to assume there'll be something to meet every budget, given the range of the devices.

VIA: TNW

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Huawei 4Africa handset to head Windows Phone's push into Africa

February 5, 2013 at 17:03 GMT | By


Huawei has released a new Windows Phone device in Africa in collaboration with Microsoft as part of the Redmond giant's 4Africa Initiative. The aptly named Huawei 4Africa handset has been designed keeping in mind the students, business people, developers, and first time smart phone users in mind. It has been extensively customized for the local population and comes preloaded with applications specifically developed for the African consumers and developed by African developers.

Essentially, the Huawei 4Africa is the same device as the recently announced Huawei Ascend W1, with the main difference being that the 4Africa comes with a lesser 1730 mAh instead of the 1950 mAh found on the Ascend W1. Everything else is virtually the same as you will find a 1.2 GHz dual core Snapdragon processor, a 4 inch display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels,a 5MP main shooter alongside a VGA front-facing one and 4 GB of internal storage. All this packed in a sleek 10 mm casing.

Alongside other emerging markets, Africa is becoming an attraction for consumer electronics companies. Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, said: "We believe there has never been a better time to invest in Africa and that access to technology - particularly cloud services and smart devices - can and will serve as a great accelerator for African competitiveness." The Huawei 4Africa smart phone will be released later this month in seven countries which include Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa. The device will be made available in four different colors: blue, red, black, and white.

SOURCE: Windows Phone Blog

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'Burst mode' Lense application BLINK for WP8 devices now in Windows Phone Store

February 4, 2013 at 14:35 GMT | By


Microsoft Research has finally released BLINK, a Lens application they announced they were developing in collaboration with Nokia back in September of last year. The application allows you to take numerous photos within a short space of time and then lets you select best the best out of the lot.

The application is brilliant for capturing fast moving objects or scenes but the best part is that it doesn't just send all the images to your "camera roll" folder, instead, you can choose to save one or more images to your "camera roll" folder, while still having the option to re-open the application and choosing a different image at a later date.

However, we cannot help but think that the function should have been baked into the operating system as opening the application via the camera or app list may result in a lot of missed opportunities. Also, using the application results in lower quality (720p) images. All that said, this is a great application which is a must of anyone with a Windows Phone 8 device. It's free after all!

Description
With BLINK for Windows Phone 8, you'll never miss the best shot. BLINK captures a burst of images before you even press the shutter, and continues to capture pictures after you've taken your shot. It's no problem if you press the shutter a few seconds too early or too late. With BLINK, a simple finger swipe lets you find the perfect shot. Advanced image stabilization technology from Microsoft Research removes camera shake and lets you focus on the important parts of the scene.



To download the application just hit the Windows Phone Store badge below or scan the QR Code using Bing vision on your Windows Phone (hit the Search button on your phone and click on the small icon that looks like an eye).










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