AT&T has already announced that the Samsung Focus S will be hitting the U.S on November 6th, and we already know that this handset will be a worthy upgrade from the first generation Focus. But in case we've forgotten what's coming, PhoneDog has taken a quick look at Samsung's latest Windows Phone running Mango and we must say that it looks more slick with every video we watch.
The Focus S sports a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen, a thin and light body, 16GB storage, 1.5GHz CPU, and an 8MP rear camera (with a FF 1.3MP). The device is set be available on AT&T on November 6th, for $199.99.
We touched on Microsoft announcing the news that Australia will be getting the Zune Pass on November 16th, but new details have come to light about what will (and wont be) present and included in the subscription. With the announcement being made by Microsoft, WPDownUnder contacted the software giant for clarification on features tied to the Zune Pass:
- Artist biographies won't be present. Background are will be available but only for international artists, not local ones.
- Individual tracks and album purchases will be made possible by MS points or an attached credit card.
- Australia will not be getting Zune podcast support.
- Zune Pass will work with Australians who own an Australia-only Live ID.
- Australian Zune HD owners will not be able to view (or download) free apps and games on the app Marketplace.
With the Zune Pass Australian launch just around the corner, more information is likely to come to light in the coming days. WPDownUnder is set to interview a local Microsoft representative to hopefully extract more information surrounding the release of the Zune Pass.
We may occasionally riff on Google around here due to their Android OS, but there's no doubt many use their search services. And while they have not been the most friendly to our OS, it's still news when they do make something a bit more Windows Phone friendly.
So at least according to their Facebook page, the new Google search page has been reformatted for Windows Phone 7.5, which we take to mean has HTML5 elements on board. While not earth shattering, it does seem a lot nicer (see our screen shot to the right).
Notice anything else? Let us know in comments. Thanks, David W., for the tip!
We last reported on ChevronWP7 last month where the team announced the release of the service was to be within a few weeks. Fast forward three weeks and the Chevron Labs page has been updated with a login via Live ID button. The site is going live as we speak, so if you have any errors logging in, just give it some time as they finish updating the site to full-release mode.
The ChevronWP7 Labs will enable users to unlock their handset(s) for a fraction of the cost for the official developer membership. It will allow Windows Phone owners to have fun with homebrew apps without breaking warranty on the device and being hunted down by Microsoft. The process is fairly straightforward:
- You'll need a Windows Live ID (it can be different from your Windows Phone Live ID)
- Purchase an "unlock token". Cost is $9.00 via PayPal and is good for infinite unlocks per single phone.
- Download and install an unlocking too, which is similar to the official AppHub registration one
- Your phone will be placed in a queue to be unlocked and that's it!
So by show of comments, how many of you are going to be unlocking? If you do, don't forget to take a look at some of our past Homebrew coverage to get started.
Update: The tools have been temporarily pulled till two issues can be resolved.
Source: Chevron Labs, thanks H3ALY for the tip!
Gamex, a video game event being held in Sweden, is running from November 3rd to the 6th this week where Microsoft and Nokia will be present with Windows Phones. This should come as no surprise with Microsoft's three screen dream, which they are so determined to achieve. The two companies will be showing off the Lumia 710 and 800 handsets with presumably a number of Xbox Live titles being demoed. We need more Angry Birds!
You can check our hands on videos of the Lumia 710 and 800, as well as our coverage from Nokia World '11, where these handsets were announced. According to the report at WinMobile.se, the Lumia handsets will be launched in Sweden in 2012 with price tags of the 800 at 4500kr (£425/$680) and the 710 at 3000kr (£285/$450).
We previously covered the deal where Vodafone is going to be offering £60 worth of vouchers to the first 10,000 customers to order the Nokia Lumia 800, but they weren't taking pre-orders yet. We can now confirm today that Vodafone UK has opened the doors and the Lumia 800 can now be pre-ordered. It's great to see the UK carriers taking the Nokia handset and showing it off with pride along with Android and the iPhone. Should you be one of the lucky ones to take advantage of this offer, you will receive a £10 voucher for six months.
Looking for a unique game for your Windows Phone? Rainbow Rapture should be unique enough for most and turns out to be a fun game.
The story line goes that the our rainbow character is unhappy with humanity and has decided to wipe everyone out. The object of the game is to consume as many humans and travel as far as you can. You control the flight of the rainbow by touching the screen to have the rainbow dive and release the touch to have it soar. You use hills and valleys to give the rainbow a little speed which results in more hang time.
You do have an energy meter to the left of the main screen that needs to be replenished by maintaining a healthy diet of people, objects and air time. Once the energy meter goes out, so does your rainbow.
Rainbow Rapture has an online leaderboard so you can compare your carnage and travel distance to others. At first, you'll feel a little uncoordinated in controlling the rainbow but once you get the timing down, the game is really fun.
T-Mobile released the HTC Radar just a few days ago and we've gotten our grubby little hands on a review unit. First impressions? This Windows Phone is nice.
The HTC Radar is deceptively large with its rounded edges and feels really good in the hand. If I had to compare the Radar's feel to another Windows Phone it would be closest to the Focus but with a smoother and lighter feel to it. The 3.8" WVGA screen is nice in both appearance and responsiveness.
Not sure if many will like the small storage capacity (with preloaded stuff only 6.12GB free) and the white/silver color pattern does take some getting used to. Personally and at no fault of the Radar, I don't like the color pattern. I would much rather have seen this phone in gun metal, black or even light gray.
Color preference asides, the HTC Radar makes a very nice impression. The new Windows Phone feels good in the hand, is solidly built, and zips along rather nicely. We've got the review unit for a few days, will take it out for a test drive and get a full review up shortly. If there's anything in particular you would like us to take note of, feel free to let us know in the comments. If it's possible, we'll add it to the review.
What could be better than a free WP7 phone? How about making $100 on the deal?! T-Mobile is running a promo on their WMDeals site where you can pick up a 4G HTC Radar for free (after rebate) with a 2-year agreement. The phone comes with free 2-day shipping and no activation fee.
While this is reason enough to grab one, we are catching word that if you go through their trade-in page and enter the promo code "MSMango" you will receive a guaranteed $100 for any phone that you trade in, even something as simple as an old flip phone, as long as it is in working condition. According to reports, the $100 comes in the form of a check that is mailed out after the phone is received.
If you are looking to upgrade, or get into the WP7 game, the HTC Radar is a solid phone, especially for this price. We have not confirmed any of this, so by all means, let us know if it works.
Hang on to your pants WP fans, because an HTML 5 version of Bing Mobile is right around the corner, and it's bringing some neat new functionality along with it. While the Bing team is currently only making the update available to iOS and Android devices (WP7 is, strangely, waiting for a future update), the latest news coming from the Bing blog does show one more thing that we can look forward to in the future for Windows phones.
HTML 5 is not just a new bit of code to provide the same search engine to mobile devices. By going with the latest standards in mobile development, the Bing design team is working to create one universal Bing experience across all devices. This new version will allow Microsoft to make future updates automatically without asking the user to download new versions of the app, and will significantly enhance their experience as well. Rather than downloading separate Bing-powered applications developed with proprietary code for individual platforms, each device will provide users with a Bing that can hook into functions and features on the device just like a native application would (such as voice input or camera support).
Yes, it is true that the new app will only be released on Android and iOS devices first and not WP7 devices until later (doesn't make too much sense to us either), but it's good to see Microsoft deliver a unified experience for their products to all applicable devices, and not just their own. What's more is that this new app, coupled with HTML 5, won't be like a native application or a mobile website - it will be a hybrid of the two. And we all know that hybrids are better at everything.
Hit the break to watch a video explanation on what the Bing design team plans to do with their mobile service in the future.
Even before their marketing team has had a chance to start working in the country, the Nokia Lumia 800 is already topping sales charts in Phonehouse.Fr in France. As you can see from the image above, the brand new Nokia WP7 device is trouncing on Android and iOS devices alike, making it the first WP7 device to do so well in the country since... ever.
It's a great sign to the potential future of the relationship between WP7 and Nokia, and shows how a good name, great design and good timing can go a long way towards the success of a device. Now we wait to see how well it performs once that marketing push starts to happen in the country; from the looks of things in the early stages of the race, the Lumia 800 should do quite splendidly.
Ever wonder how companies come up with the names of their products? With a name like "Lumia" there is generally a meaning behind it to try and build good rapport with potential consumers. As it turns out, Nokia went through a nice long process in finding the name of their first Windows Phone 7 device. When you're a worldwide leader in mobile devices, you can't just pick a word that sounds good in your own language - you need something that will stick with the people no matter where they are from.
There are certain criteria that a name must first fit in order to make it through early stages of the name-selection phase. What started off as a list of over 200 possible names for the new Nokia phone, the company efficiently whittled the list down to one, but not before comparing each name to over 300,000 other tech brands and consulting with 84 different language experts.
The name Lumia had some of its own difficulties to triumph over. While in many Spanish-speaking countries the people think of it as meaning "light", there are some old-timers who might remember that the word was once a slang-term for "prostitute". After taking surveys and doing research, Nokia found that roughly 60% of Spanish-speakers thought the name "Lumia" was a positive one for a piece of mobile technology, thus easing worries that there could be a negative vibe towards the brand over time.
Next Monday is a big day. First off, there's a mini-press event which we'll be going to, meeting with Microsoft's Andy Lees and Joe Belfiore. Segueing into that is this publicity stunt that Microsoft is evidently doing but not revealing too much about just yet:
"If you live in or around New York City, you might want to find an excuse to wander past Herald Square sometime during the day next Monday—noon would be an especially good time—for a fun surprise we’re putting together. All I can say is we’re bringing Windows Phone to life in a big, big, way. Curious? Stay tuned…."
We think we actually know from an insider what (some) of it involves: If you're familiar with Herald Square, there's a certain historically relevant area that is known for, ahem, displays nearby. Hint, hint...
Well anyways, we'll be there all day covering the event, so don't worry--you'll get some photos and video if needed. And don't forget that night is the Windows Phone party where you can get some drinks, food, see a band and play with some new Winodws Phone hardware. We'll see you there as well.
Source: Windows Phone Blog
Support sites for both the Focus S and Flash contain instructions on how to turn on your personal hotspot with these new Windows Phones. Both instructions do note that there is a prerequisite to have a compatible rate plan. We're not sure if that means you have to belly up for a DataConnect plan or if the DataPro 4GB plan will do the trick. Personally, I'm crossing my fingers that the old unlimited plans will work.
Thanks goes out to Ryan for the tip!
Thinking of buying a Windows Phone but not too sure when weighing pros and cons with competitor platforms? Will a free $25 prepaid app card sway your mind? That's correct, we have come across a prepaid app card program from Microsoft that will see customers who purchase a Windows Phone receive a prepaid card to kick-start their app collection for free.
The offer will be started on November 18th. If you have purchased a handset between November 2nd and December 31st then you'll be eligible for the card. To redeem, you'll need a copy of the receipt and proof of purchase on the phone box. This is U.S. only.
When Kevin introduced you to Mobile Nations, he mentioned some of the great new initiatives we had planned. We've been hard at work on one of those for a while now -- Mobile Nations Broadcasting.
Mobile Nations Broadcasting brings together all your favorite audio shows, including the Android Central Podcast, the CrackBerry.com Podcast, iPad Live and iPhone Live, the PalmCast, and the WPCentral Podcast, along with our cross-site, cross-industry Mobile Nations Podcast, and new shows we've added over the summer, including ZENandTECH to help you center your inner geek, Iterate on mobile design and user experience, and Superfunctional to keep our bodies in balance with our gear. And we've brought them to life -- with video.
One of the nice features of Windows Phone is how it integrates with other Microsoft products such as OneNote. The above ad highlights this function in a lighthearted way.
The thirty second spot covers a lot and shows the potential that the Windows Phone has. Anyone else making use of OneNote?
This is very interesting indeed. Nokia has revealed a design story and explains the look of the Lumia 800, how it's made, why it's made the way it is and how benefits consumers. As you'll be able to see and read in our product review, the Lumia 800 does indeed look and feel great, making the owner excited to use the handset.
From the single piece of injection-molded polycarbonate to the 8MP camera sporting f/2.2 Carl Zeiss lens, taking elements from the N9 and loading Windows Phone onto the handset is presented to be a winner. Nokia attempts to keep to traditions and what the company is best known for; hardware, design and production.
Weave (see review) is a superb looking news reader app for Windows Phone. The built-in categories contain top sites and resources, with users being able to add more to any category. Articles can be shared with friends via social networking and email. Weave has recently been updated to 3.5, which brings YouTube, mp4, and podcast support.
If you're not aware of Weave, some app highlights:
- 33 pre-loaded categories including world, financial, deals, fashion, video games, technology, and sports news just to name a few!
- Add new categories at any time
- Over 180 pre-loaded, high-quality news sources including CNN, Wall Street Journal, ESPN, Engadget, USA Today, NY Times, IGN, Entertainment Weekly, and many more!
- Feed search – you can search for new feeds by topic or website name
- Easily manage your feeds and categories via the settings screen
- Preview articles with a touch of a finger
- View full articles at your leisure
- Share articles with your friends, via email
- Post an article to your Facebook wall
- Tweet an article to your Twitter followers
- Send an article to Instapaper
You can download Weave from the Marketplace for free (ad supported) with a paid version available.
We know a few things about about Android: they're ubiquitous, have fragmentation, range from super cheaper to top of the line and now evidently they cost carriers a lot of money in service calls and repairs. Up to $2 billion a year, at least according to a white paper by Wireless Dat Service.
The study looked at over 600,000 support calls to carriers over the last 12 months. The results highlight that 14% of support calls dealing with Android related to hardware repairs whereas Windows Phone 7 came in at 11%. By comparison, BlackBerry was at 5.5% and the iPhone at 7%.
The results are clear: the tighter the grip the OS developer has on the hardware, the more reliable it is. RIM and Apple control their hardware in every which way since they literally design the OS and hardware together. Microsoft certainly has more control with their chassis requirements but ultimately it is up to OEMs like Samsung and HTC to make the device. Google is even more lax with Android, allowing anything and everything to go, hence a little more chaotic.
However, Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of marketing at WDS does point out that it is because of Android's wild and uninhibited nature that it now commands much of the market, albeit at a price to customers--more hardware failures due to rush to market and less frequent OS updates. On that latter point, the report cites a 2010 study which notes "of 18 Android devices from the US, 10 were at least two major versions behind within their two-year contract period."
Allow this teaser to quench your appetite, we have a hands on coming up with the Nokia Lumia 800, and it's in the quiet rooms of a home instead of the busy bustle at Nokia World. Be sure to get in some microwave popcorn, stock up the beer fridge and join us when we take the handset for a spin and give our thoughts.
Until we publish the review, be sure to check out our quick run through of the Lumia 800, at Nokia World, after the break.
We've covered Turn-By-Turn before and recently reviewed their off-line mapping solution for the United States. The (relatively) more affordable navigation app was the first to offer regional and local downloading of offline data, which makes the app a bit faster, saves on precious battery life and uses no-data saving some money.
The catalog of offerings has expand greatly to many other countries and regions, as can be seen below. And now one of the more difficult areas has finally received its own custom maps: Australia. We've heard about folks in this region having a difficult time finding a GPS navigation app for Windows Phone, so they should be pretty excited. However, it comes at a cost: $40.99 for the app and maps.
That's certainly on the high end, though we imagine the cost is largely dictated the licensing fees that developer GPS Tuner needs to pay NAVTEQ to have access. But hey, at least you have an option now.
We're okay with this side by side. In fact, we're more than okay with it and hope to see this type of prominent product placement everywhere.
Taken at the Westfield Mall, Stratford, London. See a few more pics of Nokia's ad campaign taken with the Lumia 800 at the same shopping center. Thanks, Halil!
Tonight, Microsoft and T-Mobile held another Inner Circle event and kicked off the launch of the HTC Radar 4G (review coming up soon, we have a few in the house now). And as if by actual planning, T-Mobile actually has a real live TV commercial to show off the slick little device.
That's the good news. The bad news is it is just the same Radar commercial that is airing in the UK but re-dubbed. It's not really a bad thing though, after all outside of you and us who's gonna notice? Plus the commercial, while not focusing on the brand Windows Phone, does do a decent job of showing off the phone.
Yeah yeah, we know T-Mobile still needs an HD7 replacement. But lets allow the Radar 4G to have its moment in the sun, it deserves it. And our OS needs the attention too.
via: Windows Phone Daily