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My one pet hate about smartphones is not being able to use them in the sunshine. England, where we don't get blessed with much sunshine, I'd prefer to make the most of it while staying connected to the Internet. While the Samsung Omnia 7 (and Focus) SAMOLED screens are superb in terms of quality, for me my Omnia 7 is rendered useless when the sun shines down (the HTC Hero was even worse).

Being the first customer on Three UK to pre-order the Lumia 800 (yup, I was congratulated over the phone) I was hoping the Nokia handset would perform better as the screen was still viewable in the bright spotlights at Nokia World. In the video above we see the guys at My Nokia Blog taking the 800 for a spin on the London Eye - pun intended. Looking good!

Source: My Nokia Blog

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Forward Contact - Mango App Spotlight

Need an easy way to forward and share your contacts? Forward Contact is a quick, easy, streamlined way to sent contact information through e-mail, SMS or through QR Code.

Layout is simple with your contacts listed on the main screen with a search button and a forward button (more on this in a second). Contacts can be searched by keyword (the search button), scrolled manually, or by an alpha index.

Once you pull up a contact you have several options available. At the bottom of the contact view you have a series of "add" buttons. You can use these to add phone numbers, email info and addresses from other contacts to what will eventually be shared.

At the bottom of the screen you will find three control buttons to share the contact information and anything you've added through email, SMS message or to create a QR code that can be scanned.

Okay... the forward button on the main contact list appears to be a free form tool to let you build information to share with the "add" buttons.

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For those up north on Rogers, you'll want to take a look at their new app 'My Account' which basically gives you details on voice, data and messaging usage, account balance and other useful info. Seems similar to the AT&T account app, which is something we like to see on other devices. The app is also Mango-ready.

Now if Rogers could just get some new phones...

Source: MobileSyrup

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Looks like the Samsung Focus S, the expected follow up to the Focus, is making appearances at the Microsoft Inner Circle tour. The first one was held in LA last night in conjunction with GDGT and evidently a few of AT&Ts new phones were show off there as well.

The Focus S looks to a much bigger but thinner device, sporting a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen in addition to front and rear facing cameras. It's basically the Galaxy SII wrapped with Windows Phone, which is a pretty good thing.

Look for the phone to hit store shelves within a few days.

Source: Windows Phone Daily

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Welcome to the WPCentral Summary of the Week, where we bring you the latest goings on in the Windows Phone community for the past week. Stories you may have missed, deals you're not aware of and more are all covered here. Before we begin, should you be interested in our Nokia World '11 coverage (and how we hung out with Stephen Elop), head on over to our everything you need to know about Nokia World article. Our Dave Blake returns this week with a special Nokia update from our forums. Speed on past the break for the full run through.

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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that indie twin-stick shooter Square Off (see review) would soon receive a Mango update. It turns out I wasn’t lying; Square Off’s first Mango update is here.

Square Off version 1.4 Mango update release notes:

  • Fast App Switching
  • Improved frame rate

Developer Gnomic Studios has made good on the two most clear-cut advantages that Mango brings to the table. Both the paid and free versions of the game have been updated, so now everyone can enjoy square-shaped Mango-ey goodness. Oh, and more updates are on the way in the future…

Square Off costs $1.29 and you can grab it here from the Marketplace. Square Off Free costs even less – pick it up here

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Nokia has exclusive access to some EA titles

Barry Cottle, Executive Vice President and GM for EA Interactive, took the floor at Nokia World and spoke about some exclusive content for Nokia consumers, and that these games are to be made available for free, with Series 40 receiving 40 titles first. He continued:

"This time, we’ll be designing our games for an awe-inspiring experience on Windows Phone for Nokia. That’s the best games for free plus exclusive content for Nokia users. It’s a big win for Nokia’s consumers worldwide"

Nokia will gain 20 EA titles, with 10 being developed by EA as well as games from Chillingo, their indie publishing arm. We're not sure if these exclusive titles will be made available to handsets from other manufacturers at a later date.

Source: Nokia Developer News, via: My Nokia Blog

Thanks Just Visiting for the heads up!

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HTC Mozart owners residing in India are receiving an update to be able to use Internet Sharing, according to a report at welovewp.hk. Aviraj Ajhekar, an employee at Microsoft India, has published an article stating his Mozart received a firmware update and was then able to tether.

Unfortunately, welovewp.hk  reports that a similar update received in Hong Kong doesn't enable the feature, which further confirms the final decision being up to carriers. We've recently covered ThreeUK allowing Internet sharing on the Samsung Omnia 7, as well as LG Germany.

Have you received a firmware update that enables this WiFi feature?

Source: wplovewp.hk, Aviraj Ajhekar  Thanks Simon!

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Mehdoh, the lightweight Twitter app for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 1.4. We took a look at Mehdoh being the Twitter app that was Mango-ready out of the box. It features flipping live tiles with push notifications. So, what's new in 1.4?

  • Option to select how many tweets to fetch
  • Ability to fill gaps in the timeline
  • Fix for vanishing live tile mention/message count
  • Reworked new tweet screen. now also supports landscape
  • Support for twitvid image uploading
  • Support for molo.me inline image hosts

Mehdoh is a superb little Twitter client that's over-shadowed by the big brand names like Birdsong and the official Twitter app. You can download Mehdoh from the Marketplace for $0.99.

Thanks @techjunky79 for the heads up!

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Microsoft pulls illegal NES ROMs from Marketplace

A while back, we covered some illegal ROMs being approved (and updated) on the Marketplace. They included Zelda, Metroid, GOLF to name but a few. Brandon Watson explained that it Microsoft couldn't remove the apps due to legal issues, and required Nintendo to approach the team with a request for the removal of said apps.

We got in touch with Nintendo to bring the illegal ROMs being sold on the Windows Phone Marketplace to their attention. It appears that the two companies got in touch as Microsoft has since pulled the apps from the Marketplace. All we can hope now is that measures are put in place to prevent illegal ROMs being sold in future and that the author of these apps, Jesse Dudley, receives no revenue from downloads.

Via: Within Windows; Thanks, Nudua Nei, for the heads up

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I'm a WP7! updated to 3.4 with secret lairs

The social app "...I'm a WP7!" has been continuously updated on a regular basis, no complaints here. Now we've received word of version 3.4, which brings a few new features. The most notable change is the introduction of lairs for members to collect awardables and show off their "booty" to other users.

As well as the lairs we have a new Easter egg and GamerHub Meetup messages. Being a statistics freak, the included "top carriers" list will prove to be insightful. The features packed into the small download is nothing short of amazing. As a small bonus, should you use Foursquare, "I'm a WP7!" will be sporting Foursquare Check In in version 3.5. 

You can download "...I'm a WP7!" from the Marketplace.

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Wait...wait...did we just write first pics of a Lenovo Windows Phone? Lenovo, last we checked, isn't on board with Windows Phone. But guess what? Here are shots of such a device. Actually, it was rumored back in December 2010 that Microsoft was in talks with Lenovo to join the Windows Phone crowd for China.

So we guess that worked out.

The images you see are of the "S2", one of reportedly two Windows Phones Lenovo are supposedly working on. No details on specs, but it looks very Samsung Focus-ish, which we suppose is a good thing. This will probably be sporting lower-end specs, like a 1GHz CPU and possibly 4GB of storage to keep costs down. But then again, it is clearly sporting a front facing camera, so perhaps not.

We should also note that the Windows keys are barely visible, if at all, which cause us to have a little caution on these shots. Then again, this could be an early prototype and not yet complete. We'll try to find out more...

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It’s been a while since we’ve published an Xbox Live Developer Interview. We haven’t been resting on our laurels though, and today we present another exciting look behind the creation of an upcoming game. The title in question is Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp, a Windows Phone-exclusive companion to the Toy Soldiers Xbox Live Arcade games. Both Signal Studios and Krome Studios contributed to Boot Camp’s development, and we had the pleasure of speaking with a member of each studio.

Head past the break for the full interview and exclusive screenshots of Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp’s gameplay.

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Finally, the day has come for you forum junkies. Board Express, which uses the TapaTalk standard for forum interaction, has finally gone Mango with v2.7. And it adds that feature we were hoping it would with this update, namely the ability to pin individual forums to your Start screen:

  • You can create a Tile for each favorite forum! So you can enter your favorite forum directly from your Homescreen! (To do so, just press & hold on a forum in the favorite list)
  • Mango Fast App Switch Support: Unfortunately, due to the high caching of our app, the restoration still can last some few seconds.

We just gave it a shot and as can been seen in the pic above, it works perfectly. So now you can pin the WPCentral forums right next to our official WPCentral App and you have everything you need, right there on your Start screen. Brilliant!

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While we know some new AT&T phones are right around the corner and that the original Focus is on its way out (EOL), it's still a bit interesting to see it get sold out. Part of that may because it's priced so low now and lets face it, with Mango on board is still a pretty amazing phone. What's odd is usually we get a "out of stock" for region and perhaps it's just the New York Metro area and not nationwide. But even still, that's a big market.

And we're not sure if this has always been there or is something new, but the HD7 and Focus are both available for prepaid "Go Plans" on AT&T. You basically buy the phone full price but then pay just $50 month to month (voice and text only). Not bad for someone who doesn't want a full contract.

Thanks, Theo and Juan, for the tips!

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Not sure when it happened but Microsoft has updated their "Buy" section of the Windows Phone website. The Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 are now listed along with the Samsung Focus, HTC Arrive and other First and Second Generation Windows Phones.

Along with the general information the individual listings also have "check price" links for the various countries the phones are heading to. So far all you can do is submit your email to be notified when the new phones become available but it's a start.

Oh...one nice thing about having most of the Windows Phones listed on the Windows Phone site is the ability to compare models side by side. You can check and see how the Lumia 710, Samsung Focus Flash and HTC Radar compare to see which one to set your sights on.

Thanks goes out to Nataku4ca for the tip!

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Nokia is continuing with the full court press to get the word out about Windows Phone. We've seen ads in the paper, video ads, demo apps to give Symbian owners a chance to try Windows Phone and now humungous display in a local shopping mall.

One of our Secret Agents ran across the display while visiting the Bluewater Shopping Center in Kent (over in the U.K.). Hard to miss the advertisement with all it's bright colors, huge flat screen display and convenient directional arrows to the various wireless carriers in the mall.  We have also been informed that there were Nokia ads displayed on the information kiosks located throughout the Shopping Center.

Curious, for those new to Windows Phone, is the latest ad campaign for the new Windows Phones strong enough to lure you over to the Windows Phone side?

Thanks goes out to Agent62 for taking great risks to capture these photos!

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HTC has a series of demo videos over at their YouTube Channel focusing on the Titan and Radar Windows Phones. HTC has teamed up with comedian Jim Gaffigan to add a light-hearted approach to showing off the various features of the new phones and the Windows Phone operating system.

The short videos cover a wide range of topics such as the Games Hub, Office Hub, linked Inbox, Bing Vision and yes, Pie pie charts. There's about sixteen in all and if you're curious about what Windows Phone has to offer, they're worth checking out.

You can find all of the HTC Windows Phone videos here at HTC's YouTube Channel.

Thanks goes out to Robb for the tip!

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Game House recently updated two of their Xbox Live titles, and we’ve got the scoop on what’s changed.

First up, Doodle Jump’s version 1.3 update does not bring the new themes (levels) we were promised a while back. But it does take advantage of the Windows Phone Mango update’s removal of the 30 FPS cap, bumping Doodle Jump’s frame rate up to 60FPS. That should make split-second steering a bit easier.

Looking forward, three new themes will definitely come in the next update, which should hit before the end of the year. For more information on Doodle Jump, see our review.

As for Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition, the version 1.1 Mango update brings the following changes:

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Here's an interesting app, WNM Live (Who's Near Me) is a social networking platform that allows users to engage in voice calls with other Windows Phone users, or people from different platforms. The ability to be anonymous will remind some of Chatroulette, an anonymous video chat site, except with the ability to view profiles and choose people to talk to.

Some of the app highlights include:

  • Free Wi-Fi Phone Calls to other mobile & website users
  • Free Text/Picture Messaging
  • Live Stream where anyone can post
  • View user profiles and photos
  • Always anonymous - if you want to be
  • 2nd place in Microsoft's WP7 App Challenge
  • Available for other mobile platforms, the web, and as a Facebook app

While the features are certainly interesting, it's fairly obvious what a good number of users would use this app for. Then again, it's always nice to meet people around you who share the same interests, in this case it's Windows Phone. Searching users on gender, location and age is available. WNM also came 2nd place in Microsoft's WP7 App Challenge back in June earlier this year. Think of this app as the social side of "...I'm a WP7!", but taken to a more extreme level.

You can download WNM Live from the Marketplace, and check out the official website should you be interested for the experience on a larger screen.

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Windows Phone advertisements are popping up all over the place lately. Check out the above ad for the HTC Radar which one of our readers spotted while using Skype.

Seeing as how Skype calling and videoconferencing is coming to Windows Phone later this year and how Microsoft, you know, owns the company, it’s a great example of advertising synergy. If this sort of thing keeps up, Windows Phone may soon achieve brand awareness among the common man - or at least collage artists.

Thanks Zanch for the tip!

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While we've been waiting for AT&T to finally announce some dates for their new Windows Phone Mango lineup, it looks to be real close. Like next week close.

On the official AT&T Facebook page, it was announced that the Samsung Focus S ($199.99) and Focus Flash ($99.99) will be available starting November 6th--hooray!

Of course the HTC Titan is left off of that list, presumably because the big guy is still getting ready (it's tough being that large, they need extra big ships to get 'em over here from Taiwan we hear).

The Samsung Focus S, featuring a gorgeous 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen, super thin and light body, a 1.5GHz CPU with 8MP rear and 1.3MP cameras is sure to impress and makes a worthy successor to the original Samsung Focus. And that Focus Flash ain't no slouch either.

The AT&T annoucment looks ideally time for that NYC launch party going on the next day, no?

Source: AT&T Facebook; Thanks, James G., for the heads up!

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We saw the Lumia 710 listed on the US Nokia site the other day. Some sites reported that this was just for information purposes only and did not mean the Lumia 710 was headed to the US anytime soon.

While that may still be the case, it is curious to see a Lumia 710 soar through the United States FCC sporting the T-Mobile-unique 3G 1700 band (as well as 850 and 1900 ones). The device cleared on September 26th with results posted on October 24th. It comes with an A/C and USB adapters and headphones, all of which were looked at by the FCC.

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Good news for Samsung Omnia 7 owners on the Three UK network, we have Internet sharing! An update has been rolled out from Samsung that enables the tethering setting to be manipulated. Users can now create a small network for up to five connections, using mobile data. Simply plug your handset into Zune and update to take full advantage of the tethering capabilities.

Thanks Jay for the tip!

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