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Editor's Choice: remembeReel for Windows Phone

If you listened to this week's podcast, you may have heard me mention my new favorite app, remembeReel for Windows Phone.

I'm a big fan of movies and tend to watch between 3-5 a week, even while working two jobs. One of my problems though is remembering all the things I've watched, especially since I often take forays into international, independent and odd little motion pictures, hence my need for this app. (By the way, check out a film called 'PontyPool' on Netflix, really interesting). remembeReel is free, has no ads is fast and fluid and well thought out.

remembeReel simply allows you to type in the movie you're watching (or watched), it checks it against Rotten Tomatoes (site) and pulls down the info for you. With one tap, you save it to your list. A few more taps and you can add it to your 'favorites', add notes, punch in the date and share it via Twitter, Facebook, Live, etc. Not only can you share it but it'll provide the URL for the listing on Rotten Tomatoes so others can quickly read-up on what you've just watched. Brilliant. You can also sort by title or date-viewed which is convenient.

remembeReel

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Steve Wozniak

Co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, calls Windows Phone "Intuitive and beautiful"

We reported recently that co-founder of Apple and all around cool geek Steve Wozniak was looking to purchase a Nokia Lumia 900 (WPCentral review) The info came via his Twitter feed where he posted from Foursquare. At the time, he was waiting for the AT&T store to open to check out the flagship Windows Phone.

Since then, we haven't heard much. In fact, there was no confirmation that he had even purchased the device but as it turns out, he did and what's more, he loves it. Over at  aNewDomain.net, Dan Patterson, Todd Moore and Gina Smith not only caught up with "the Woz" but got him on tape talking about his experience with Windows Phone and the Lumia 900.

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Nokia Lumia 900 Facebook Sweepstakes

Microsoft and Nokia's Lumia 900 Windows Phone marketing juggernaut doesn't look like it's slowly down.  The latest chapter of Rolling Thunder appears over on Facebook with a chance to win one of ten Lumia 900s in the Smarter Apps Sweepstakes.

To enter just hop on over to this Facebook page, choose your favorite apps (WPCentral is listed in the News Category), type why you like these apps and share your choices (optional).

The sweepstakes has ten entry periods that span from April 23rd to June 30th. Entries will only be eligible for the entry period for which they are received and participants are limited to 25 entries per authorized Facebook account holder per day. Oh and the sweepstakes is open only to residents of the U.S., D.C., and Puerto Rico (don't blame the messenger).  You can find the rest of the fine print at the bottom of the Facebook page.

Good luck to all who enter and let us know if you get lucky.

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Cyan Lumia 900 available for order

The cyan Nokia Lumia 900 is joining the white and black models as being available for order from AT&T.com .  Can't really say the cyan model is really back in stock because the Windows Phone is listed as "will ship in 5-7 business days".

More than likely Nokia informed AT&T that the truck's ready to leave the Nokia assembly line to head over to the AT&T Warehouse. Which usually takes a few days.

While not the most ideal of situations, it is progress. For those not familiar with the Lumia 900, it's available at AT&T for $99.99 after two-year contractual discounts or $449.99 off contract.

AmazonWireless has the cyan Lumia 900 listed for $49.99 after discounts and $449.99 off contract. Downside with AmazonWireless is that they are listing the cyan model as "Usually ships in 1 to 3 weeks".

Thanks, mamacita42, for the tip!

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WP Central

Ben (the "PC Guy" and "Mass Windows Phone Marketing Agent") Rudolph is returning with a slightly different attempt to give away Windows Phones. Should you desire what we'd assume to be a white Lumia 900, then you might be in with a chance of winning one (image / competition idea courtesy of Nokia For Us). Simply use your creative powers to create a suitable caption for the above photo, which sits the Nokia device next to a white bar of Dove soap.

How does one enter with their snazzy caption? Simply tweet your entry, adding the #captionthatlumia (click to view some of the entires already published) hashtag. The competition is running through until April 29th (11:59pm PT) when Rudolph will create a post on the Windows team blog announcing the winners. You can enter as many captions as you like, we look forward to reading yours. It's at least a refreshing change from the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign.

Source: Ben Rudolph (Twitter) via: GoWindowsGo; Thanks, Sam, for the tip!

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Yesterday WPCentral promised to reveal two upcoming Xbox Live games from Glu Mobile, the first of which is Contract Killer. Today we follow up with the announcement of a second, even more exciting Glu title: Gun Bros.

Gun Bros (pronounced ‘bros,’ not ‘brothers') is a twin-stick overhead shooter. Players control either of the two beefy siblings as they fight to stop the evil organization known as T.O.O.L. (no relation to the band, whose concert was the first I ever attended) from stealing the galaxy’s valuable Xplodium resources. The plot is basically an excuse to head from planet to planet, taking on missions of various difficulties, killing tons of unfriendly aliens, and collecting as much Xplodium as you can.

Between missions, the Gun Bros can process their Xplodium to turn it into gold. Better processing methods unlock as you go along. Gold is then used to buy new weapons and armor pieces. The character customization element adds a nice degree of depth and helps the heroes survive against more challenging foes.

Gun Bros

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Take me to your leader!

We're not huge fans of Cleverbot aka the witty artificial intelligence program out there that engages in a back and forth conversation (www.cleverbot.com), but we do recognize that a lot of people are fascinated by the technology.

Luckily you can now bring the fiendish AI bot with you on your Windows Phone. Yes, the official Cleverbot app for Windows Phone is now in the Marketplace and fetches for $0.99 with no trial.

That's a shame about no trial but the app is well done. It has some neat little sound effects, allows you to share your conversations to Facebook, Live, Twitter and even email. That's a requirement because sharing those conversations with the 'bot is one of the favorite pastimes for folks on the inets these days. From the app description:

"Talk to an app with Actual Intelligence! Say anything you like and it will reply. Make a friend! Roleplay, lyrics, jokes, memes - all sorts!

Cleverbot is Artificial Intelligence. It learns what people say, in context, and imitates.

Cleverbot says many things - claiming to be human, role-playing and much more. It may even say things you find inappropriate. Use with discretion and at your own risk.

Cleverbot is conversational entertainment - no more, no less. It is not made to be logical, give advice, or be useful. Parents must decide whether they wish young people to have access. Be sure of this, however: it is a bot. It is software. You will never talk to a human."

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WP Central

Sometimes we come across odd things on the internet, after all we frequent reddit and 4chan on occasion. This video certainly ranks up there for entertainment value as it features someone very infatuated with his Lumia 900 and who also likes to rip into Android.

The result is crass, debased, juvenile and at times spot on. We also laughed. Obviously, satire and off the wall humor is not for everyone and due to language, you'll want to watch this with headphones on. We're not sure if Microsoft or Nokia would want him as a spokesperson but the guy is a character.

Normally we wouldn't cover this, but our frenemies over at AndroidCentral posted it to troll their audience (talking about being crass) so we figured we had to share it as well.

Video after the break.

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WPCentral 141 - Stormtroopers and the Cloud

WPCentral Podcast

We're back again for another exciting podcast, this time with myself, Jay Bennett and Rafael Rivera. The big news this week is the Lumia 900, its purple problem, sales and Microsoft's new SkyDrive push.

Rafael also tells us a lot about Skype and why getting calls in the background can be difficult on Windows Phone. Plus we take your questions!

Show-notes and HD video after the break...

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WP Central

While Samsung is evidently taking the summer off from Windows Phone, seeing as that AT&T 4G LTE "Mendel" phone is MIA (we think it was canceled), it only makes sense to start speculating about what will come in the fall.

It's no surprise if you follow tech blogs that Sammy is about to release they're much hyped Galaxy S III  Android phone. Not much is known on the exact specs yet, but it's rumored to be 4.7" Super AMOLED HD (or whatever gimmicky name they have now) with a "micro arc oxidation" back. All you need to know is it will be crazy thin with a large screen and very fast CPUs on board.

Over at WP-Life, they claim to have a reliable source in South Korea noting that ol' Sammy will basically recycle the S III for a Windows Phone 8 device come this fall. While such a device won't be an exact clone, it will rely heavily on what ever is revealed in London on May 3rd.

In fact the working name is Samsung Focus S II. Basically the idea is because Windows Phone 8 steps up the specs so much, Samsung can easily port over WP8 to this almost existing, relatively cutting edge hardware. Here's what we supposedly can expect:

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Samsung is now the wrold's #1 handset vendor

A report by research firm Strategy Analytics shows that Samsung has surpassed Nokia to become the largest handset vendor in the world in terms of volume. In a quarter that saw a small three percent rise in mobile phone sales, Samsung captured 25 percent of the market. In the meantime, the struggling Finnish manufacturer Nokia's shipments decreased by 24 percent due to declining sales in emerging markets. Despite strong sales of their Lumia line of Windows Phone handsets, Nokia recorded a substantial Q1 loss of 3%, prompting Moody's to cut their debt rating to the lowest possible investment level.

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said, "Nokia's global handset shipments declined a huge 24 percent annually to 82.7 million units in Q1 2012. Volumes were squeezed at both ends, as low-end feature phone shipments in emerging markets stalled and high-end Microsoft Lumia smartphones were unable to offset the rapid decline of Nokia's legacy Symbian business. Nokia was the world's largest handset vendor between 1998 and 2011, for 14 years, before finally yielding top position to rival Samsung this quarter."

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LG confirms no Windows Phone 8 upgrade? Not quite

LG Optimus 7

There has been some confusion this morning surrounding a tweet that was published by the Italian LG Twitter account. The tweet in question was in reply to another user who queried whether or not the LG Optimus 7 would be receiving the upcoming Windows Phone "Apollo" update, which stated that the device would not be upgraded as confirmed by Microsoft.

LG Update Tweet

Microsoft hasn't officially confirmed anything regarding the "Apollo" update, apart from app compatibility. LG has since published a follow up tweet explaining that the previous statement was made in error. It's still up in the air whether first and second generation Windows Phones will be updated to "Apollo", so we should all continue to await confirmation from the software giant.

Via: Plaffo

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Best Photography Apps for your Windows Phone

Best Windows Phone Photography Apps from WPCentral

Best Photo Apps for your Windows Phone

We've taken a look at the best free apps, the must have games, the must have apps and the best weather apps for your Windows Phone. We now turn our attention to the best photography apps for your Windows Phone.

Now that you have some insight on how your Windows Phone camera works, these apps will help you edit and add a creative touch to your photographs. Some of these apps will even have an in-house camera function to keep everything under one roof.

As with all our "best of" lists, this list contains the apps that stand out in our opinions. If we've missed an app that you think should be included, please sound off in the comments.

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WP Central

The Australian carrier Telstra has announced a new Windows Phone competition featuring the Lumia 800. "The Lumia Quest" will see 10 glossy new white Lumia 800 handsets being given away in 5 cities across the country this coming May. The members of public will be able to follow social media clues posted on the official Facebook page to find the hidden Lumia stash.

The competition is finders keepers and is taking place in Brisbane (May 7th), Melbourne (May 8th), Perth (May 9th), Adelaide (May 10th) and Sydney (May 11th). What do you receive should you manage to successfully find the handsets on the treasure hunt? Well the white Lumia 800 of course, but along with the Windows Phone, the ten devices come with a Telstra $50 Pre-Paid Cap Encore recharge, with $1000.00 credit and 2GB of data. Not bad, eh?

WP Central

So who's heading down to the events? Keep an eye out on the official Telstra Facebook page for more information as well as the clues on the competition days.

Update: We've just corrected the article that it's indeed the Lumia 800, not the Lumia 900.

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WP Central

This week's hottest thread really isn't just one hot thread but rather a collection of related threads covering one topic: Windows Phone and its shortcomings.

Some of these so-called deficiencies could be bigger than Windows Phone itself or at least that is what some think. In this thread "Why WP isn't as popular as it should be"  forum member baileystein, who sells Windows Phoneshas a unique perspective on all of this and shares it with us.

Curious as to what he and others have to say? Read on past the break to get their views.

 

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Wordament Tournament

The popular word game Wordament went to full Xbox LIVE status this week and in our previous story on the brain straining game we mentioned how Microsoft would be promoting the app with a Wordament Tournament.

Happening right now at the Bellevue, WA Microsoft store, there's quite a crowd there evidently getting into the game. With food, giveaways and prizes (no human sacrifices though), it looks to be a fun time and a great celebration for a unique Windows Phone experience.

If you're there, send us some more pics and we'll throw 'em in this post. Also leave some comments based on what you've experienced . Pick up the free game here in the Marketplace, if you haven't already.

Update: "Here is a picture of WicketEwok in the left and DiscoPigeon on the right, two of the top players going head to head."  Thanks, Dustin S., for the photos!

Wordament Tournament

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Crunchyroll for Windows Phone

Good news for you diehard anime fans, your official Crunchyroll app (www.crunchyroll.com) has arrived for Windows Phone and word from the ratings is it's damn fine. In fact, one comment has it pegged as better than the iPhone and Android version.

From the app description, sounds like it has everything you could want:

"Download the app to watch the latest anime from Japan in English and legally! Now you can watch new episodes 1 hour after airing in Japan on your Windows Phone device!

Watch the latest anime shows like Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Shugo Chara!, Blue Exorcist, Gintama, The World God Only Knows, Bodacious Space Pirates, Nisemonogatari, Eyeshield 21, Skip Beat!, Beelzebub, Gosick, and more."

Crunchroll

Only downside? You have to have a premium account to even launch into it the app, making this no good unless like we said, you're a diehard fan. But if you are, it seems like you can't go wrong with this app. If this is something you want, head here to the Marketplace and pick 'er up. Thanks, Avid R., for the tip

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Windows Phone Marketplace back in business

Whatever the reason for the Windows Phone Marketplace had for not playing nice earlier, the problems appeasr to have been resolved. We've been able to access the Marketplace online as well as from our Windows Phones.

Even the links to Marketplace apps are behaving as they should. The glitches we've experienced today as well as over the weekend could simply be the result of Microsoft working under the hood.

None the less, all appears to be corrected and we hope everyone is now able to access the Marketplace.  Sound off in the comments if you're still having problems.

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Vodafone rolling out Nokia Lumia 800 update

Vodafone updating the Lumia 800

Vodafone is rolling out a firmware update for the Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone. The update, 12072, is primarily a bug-fixing release that will address the battery issue, updated the camera software and address the volume problem. The firmware update lacks internet tethering which is still slated for a future update.

According to Vodafone Australia, this update supersedes the previously announced 12070 update that began rolling out earlier this month in other markets. Apparently there was an issue that prevented the wide scale roll out of that update. It sounds as if this update picks up where the earlier roll-out left off.

We are getting tips that Vodafone Spain, Australia and U.K. customers are receiving the update. If you've received the update, feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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WP Central

The Windows Phone Web Marketplace seems to be currently down at the moment resulting in the error page above. The issues started within the hour as a number of readers and Windows Phone Daily pointed out to us, including how our Marketplace web links redirected users to the Zune:// desktop protocol instead of the site.

Ironically, since Microsoft disabled the Zune Desktop Marketplace, this leaves users with little recourse for browsing apps except for their phones.

@WinPhoneSupport said they were looking into the issue and we expect this to be a temporary glitch. Needless to say it's a massive one resulting in many users becoming frustrated.

This is the second outage this week with the last occurring on Saturday night and affecting the phone's Marketplace.

Update: Web Marketplace seems to work if you go through WindowsPhone.com and head to your localized site. Web links still redirect to Zune Desktop

Update 2: Those in the US can use this link: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/marketplace?wa=wsignin1.0  Thanks, William

We'll keep you posted.

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Palringo going solo and dropping 3rd party IM services

Palringo

Due to feedback on how users are actually taking advantage of their app, chat app Palringo is retiring support for 3rd party IM services like MSN, AIM, Google Talk and more. The company sent out a notification to users just a little while ago directing them to the website to read the full announcement:

"Further in our move to focus on the features our users love - our community of groups - we have decided to pull support for 3rd party instant messaging services. We've noticed that the vast majority of you no longer use this feature and instead prefer to invite your existing friends to signup to Palringo, which is now easier than ever."

That's obviously bad news for those who used the app only to connect to other networks but it sounds like the Palringo team were spreading themselves thin trying to support everybody. In addition, with competition like IM+ out on the market, it seems like Palringo would rather focus on their own IM service.

For those who haven't tried it, Palringo is currently in open-beta on the Windows Phone Marketplace since February and is now at version 0.7. Palringo has been around for years and has quite the fan base built up, including many from the Windows Mobile heyday. The service is unique in allowing users to create chat rooms and send voice clips

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AT&T Lumia 900 update reminder

Leaving no stone unturned, AT&T is sending out text messages to wireless customers reminding them of the Lumia 900 update. While at first you may think it is another update, the message is for the connectivity fix that launched back on April 13, 2012.

The message reads, 

A software update may be available for your Nokia Lumia 900.  To see if your phone has an update available, visit www.nokiausa.com/lumia900update for instructions.  Nokia is providing a $100 AT&T bill credit for any inconvenience.  Credit may take up to 60 days to appear on bill.

The message also sheds some light on the $100 credit Nokia is applying to Lumia 900 owners who purchased their Windows Phone on or before April 21, 2012.  If you don't see it on this billing cycle, it should show up on the next.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Shuriken Ninja for Windows Phone

Microsoft Advertising is one way developers can earn revenue from Windows Phones. It looks like the Windows Phone game Shuriken Ninja and Taptitude have done rather well with the Microsoft Advertising SDK.

Shuriken Ninja

Geekworks, Shuriken Ninja's developer, has reported that the game receives 900 to 1,200 downloads a day with a total of 436,349 downloads since the game launched. The game accounted for almost 40 million impressions during 2011. All totaled, Geekworks games reached 145,000,000 impressions. On average the company earns $1.69 eCPM (essentially earning per impression) which gives Geekworks an earnings total of $245,000 a year.  Not too shabby at all.

Shuriken Ninja

Shuriken Ninja was originally a paid app for Windows Phones but Geekworks (a two-man team) saw limited success with the game. As with other developers, Geekworks changed the game over to a free, ad-supported game. The game took off and is currently sitting at the top of the Windows Phone Marketplace free strategy/simulation list.

Taptitude

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Viddy

While we're still waiting on Instagram to show up on Windows Phone (it hasn't even started development yet) another popular niche app may be heading to our Metro devices sooner than later.

VIddy, available on iOS and Android soon, has been called by many to be the "Instagram of video" allowing users to apply filters to their 15-second video clips, giving them an artsy feel. In addition, videos are featured on the site's feed which are then viewable within the app and videos can be uploaded and shared to Facebook.

What's interesting though is if you go to Viddy's site page (http://viddy.com/) next to the Apple and Android links we see a clear Windows flag, strongly indicating a Windows Phone client is just around the corner. Seeing as Viddy is strictly a video-making app for mobile devices, we don't see this as a Windows 8 move either.

We've reached out to the company for comment but so far have not heard back from them. If Viddy is coming to Windows Phone (and we believe it is) that's a strong vote of confidence for the OS and will be one more feather in its cap.

Thanks, Amir, for the tip

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Contract Killer

Last year WPCentral broke the news that Glu Mobile would be releasing the first freemium Xbox Live game on Windows Phone (Bug Village). We even interviewed them about all the particulars. Now we’re back with the exclusive announcement of two more Glu Mobile freemium titles coming to Windows Phone. The first of those games is Contract Killer.

In Contract Killer, you’re a sniper who takes on jobs for the mob and other tough customers. Each mission requires you to take out one or more targets as they walk around unaware. You simply aim at the target, zoom in the scope, steady your breath if necessary, and shoot to kill (or capture with tranquilizer darts).  Watch out though, because the enemies will shoot back if you miss or they see one of their friends go down.

Contract Killer

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