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Our friends at Xbox360Achievements.org recently spent some face time with Microsoft’s Raymond Estrada, who showcased several current and upcoming Xbox live titles for them. The video is our first chance to see several of these games in motion, plus it confirms a few choice details like Pinball FX 2’s payment structure. Head past the break for a full description of each game and links to our previous coverage.

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Lumia 900

Although it's probably too early to tell how the AT&T Lumia 900 is doing (and the brunt of its popularity will undoubtedly come months from now), it's worthy to note that on Amazon Wireless, if you sort by best-sellers you get some interesting results.

For instance, by sorting under AT&T best-sellers, we can see the Lumia 900 (Black) is currently in the number #1 spot with the Cyan version holding on to number #3 (the venerable and popular Galaxy SII is in #2). That's not too bad a showing considering we're just talking about pre-orders for the phone and it has yet to get into anyone's hands, let alone reviews for the device.

Sorting without a carrier also yields some positive news with the Lumia 900 Black sitting at #6 and the Lumia 900 Cyan at #8 across all smartphones. The current number #1 position is held by the ridiculously named 'Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX 4G' which goes to show there's no lacking of bad and kitsch taste in the smartphone world.

Best Seller

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WP Central

International pre-ordering of the Lumia 900 and 610 have gone under way and with AT&T busy prepping stores across the U.S. for the upcoming release of the Lumia 900, it's great to see availability surfacing in Europe (and beyond). We've combined three reports into one - Italy, Mexico and Brazil.

Italy

As one can see in the above screen capture, the Lumia 900 international version is available for €599, with a €99 pre-order fee / deposit, at NStore in Italy. The low-budget Lumia 610 is available at just €199, with a €49 pre-order fee / deposit (deducted from total cost). The 256MB RAM Windows Phone is also headed for the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, and India to name a few more destinations.

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WP Central

It's time for your weekly recap on the world of Windows Phone. Everything WPCentral has covered the past week in a digestible walkthrough (with a list of links for even faster browsing) with every news story that's worthy of your attention. Before we crack on with the summary, we've hosted a poll for readers to engage in that asks the question: Lumia 900 or TITAN II?

Episode 139 of the WPCentral Podcast is live, which covers everything to do with the Lumia 900 and AT&T. Should you be interested in the Lumia 900, you might want to check out our forums where hot threads have hosted some interesting discussion from members. We have interviewed Richard Castle of Igneous Solutions, who is the brains behind the BBC Radio apps and upcoming BBC Podcast Lounge.  Be sure to head on past the break for the full summary.

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Plex

We broke the news just the other day that Plex (see site), a popular application for Home Theater PC users, was about to release their official app for Windows Phone which would enable users to stream movies, music and photos to their devices on the go.

That app is now live in the Marketplace and user reviews so far have been quite high for the app although some users are reporting a few errors. Still, due the popularity of Plex and the responsiveness of their developers, any issues present in a 1.0 release will surely be worked on soon enough. From the app description:

"The Plex application allows you to use your Windows Phone to browse and play your media (video, photos and music) using the Plex Media Server installed on your PC, Mac or Linux system. You can also view online media from a variety of sources.

YOU MUST HAVE THE PLEX MEDIA SERVER (version v0.9.6 beta or higher) INSTALLED AND RUNNING TO STREAM LOCAL MEDIA: http://www.plexapp.com/getplex"

The app fetches for $4.99 although there is a free, fully-functional trial that is limited to 30-second playback of media. You can pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Read more on Plex media and their desktop server apps at their site: http://www.plexapp.com/ Thanks, Bearach, for the tip

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WP Central

Wow! What a week we have been having so far. If you haven’t heard, Nokia is launching a new device in the US on AT&T called a Lumia 900/ We have all the news on the front page and even more discussions in our forums.

This week we are approaching the April 8th release date of the Lumia 900 so we are trying to curve our excitement by talking with some AT&T reps that already have the device.  If you are interested in talking with an employee of AT&T that has a Lumia 900, you can check out one of these threads.

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Smartphone Beta Test

There is little doubt that Nokia has the deep pockets, ingenuity and cleverness to make an effective advertising campaign for the AT&T Lumia 900. The question is, when will "Operation Rolling Thunder", their nickname for their advertising bombardment of the US begin and what will it entail?

Part of that question is now answered with the site 'Smartphone Beta Test' (www.smartphonebetatest.com) which is a bold and humorous attempt on taking on Apple's iPhone. The site features a countdown clock that expires on April 6th and a video of a man who looks a whole lot like ex-Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell sitting in a chair, being bored as he waits for the countdown to expire.

Smartphone Beta Test

Below that section we see three videos that directly take on the iPhone: Exhibit A "Outside", Exhibit B "Sick Golfer" and Exhibit C "Death Grip". All three videos feature marketing people sitting around a conference room discussing a blurred out, un-named device that is clearly an iPhone. One of the members raises a problem with the device e.g. the famed iPhone death-grip while the other two mercilessly mock him for even caring.

From here we can see one of Nokia's angles for selling the Lumia 900: they will directly be picking a fight with AT&T's former 'hero' device, Apple's iPhone (in addition to possibly any other "beta" phones, which for us brings to mind Google's Android). It is certainly a risky move but if any company can do this, it would be Nokia.

The code shows all...

What's interesting is the site currently has the Nokia name crossed out and there is no mention of the Lumia 900 just yet, but we know it's them. For one, the colors of the site are very much a part of the Nokia "Amazing Everyday" campaign and the whole design screams Nokia. And while their domain lookup tells us little (it was registered by proxy, so no information), there is some solid proof it is them behind the site. By looking at the source code for the web page we can see a single Java script link-back to Nokia.com (see above image), which seals the deal for us.

We look forward to see what happens with the site in 5 days and the following Tweets (#BetaPhone) that go with it. Currently those hashtag tweets are done by just a few people, notably from Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners an ad agency which is probably behind this whole Nokia project.

Update: As noted in comments by wp7rocks, going to the site's images directory reveals AT&T and Nokia items. The most curious is this one, calling every other smartphone in "the last 5 year years" a "tester".

WP Central

Update 2: Reports have come in noting that a teaser ad of this has shown on TV during some NBA games today. You can watch it here.

Source: Smartphone Beta Test; Thanks, cmunic8r99, for the link

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WP Central

Techark Solutions, the company behind a number of Windows Phone apps including Mood Swing and RedMinder, is giving away Mood Swing branded t-shirts and mugs on Facebook. Mood Swing, which is available for both Windows Phone and iOS, features the following:

  • Easily track your moods using our beautiful expressions
  • Pick from a personalized list of mood images
  • Attach a photo with your mood entry (camera or pick from gallery)
  • Share your Mood Swing on both facebook & twitter in one easy step
  • Become aware of your own emotions and improve your life
  • Customize your specific mood situations and categories

Be sure to enter the giveaway, by providing your name, gender, email and desired shirt size, before the closing date of April 12th. Open to U.S. residents only (T&Cs). What mood are you in?

Source: Facebook (Techark Solutions)

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WP Central

Globe Telecom are celebrating the upcoming release of the Lumia 800 Windows Phone by giving one away for free on Twitter. Partnering up with Nokia, the carrier has a shiny new 800 to give away to a lucky Twitter user. So how does one enter this small contest?

Simply tweet @enjoyGlobe with your favourite Nokia handset and when you purchased it, followed by "I want a Nokia Lumia 800 from Globe! #GlobeLumia800". It's that simple, and you'll then have a good chance of pocketing your own 800 for absolutely nothing at all.

Be sure to get your tweets in now to be in with a chance of winning a free Lumia 800 as we're told it's only open for today. You can now also pre-order the Lumia 800 from Globe for just P1,499 /mo, which are expected to be available by April 16th.

Source: @enjoyGlobe; thanks Bon for the heads up!

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AT&T Nokia Lumia 900

There are reports being circulated on the web that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 has sold out of pre-orders. We've received several tips from readers indicating they've received notification that reads along the lines of,

The items in your order are currently out of stock and will be shipped when inventory becomes available. When the items in your order ship, we'll send you an email with the ship tracking number(s).

Before you panic and think that the AT&T warehouse has run out of Lumia 900's remember, the phone is backordered because it hasn't been released yet. As we understand things, because the Lumia 900 hasn't been released yet i.e. stocked on shelves, the system sees the phone as "backordered" or not in stock.  We still are expecting the Lumia 900s to ship within the next few days and for AT&T to have plenty on hand at the retail stores on April 9th (along with the HTC Titan II).

Of course there is always the slight chance that AT&T became so overwhelmed with pre-orders that the supply just isn't there--who knows what the response so far has been to Nokia's latest effort. It's possible, but unless Nokia had a very tight supply we don't really think that has happened yet. Still, we'll keep an eye on this for any further developments.

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WP Central

This week we've had the pleasure in being joined by Richard Castle of Igneous Software, the brains behind the BBC Radio apps and upcoming BBC Podcast Lounge. As well as a solution for BBC radio streaming, the Podcast Lounge offers Windows Phone users Metro-influenced access to the BBC catalogue of programs. Castle walks us through his background in software development and how he started up the covered projects. 

Head on past the break for the full interview.

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Bazaar for unlocked Windows Phone

Bazaar is a Windows Phone alternative marketplace designed to provide both users and developers a means to share and install homebrew apps easily to your unlocked Windows Phone. Bazaar hosts and shares only free homebrew apps and is similar to the Deepshining Marketplace we mentioned some time ago.

While Bazaar has been available from the PC, it's now available through the Bazaar Windows Phone app. It functions just like your Windows Phone Marketplace app but delivers homebrew apps to your phone instead.

Bazaar supports a wide range of unlocked Windows Phones. Developer unlocked devices can browse apps from the Bazaar app but must install them via the Bazaar for PC application. Fully unlocked devices can browse, share, manage, and install apps directly from the Bazaar app.

If you're into homebrewing on your Windows Phone and are looking for an alternative marketplace, Bazaar might be worth looking into. You can find all the details and download both the Bazaar app and Bazaar PC application here at Bazaar's website.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Lazy Town Airship Challenge

Airship Challenge for Windows Phone

Here's a short take on a Windows Phone game with a lengthy title. Lazy Town Airship Challenge (or Airship Challenge for short) is an arcade styled game for your Windows Phone that has you flying the friendly skies, shooting down fruit (referred to as sports candy in the game).

You have six cartoon characters to choose from ranging from Sportacus to Ziggy and three gaming levels. The higher the level, the faster the game's pace.  The game screen for Airship Challenge is the view from your airplane's cockpit. Your current score and the most recent piece of fruit blasted from the sky is in the upper left corner, your power level is to the upper right, and your game timer to the lower right.

Airship Challenge

You pilot the airplane with your Windows Phone's tilt sensors and fire your airplanes weapon by tapping the red button on the planes yoke/joy stick/handle bars.  Fruit will begin falling from the skies and you simply shoot as many as you can before time runs out.

There are a few dangers involved with Airship Challenge. Occasionally bombs will drop from the sky and if you hit one, you lose a little of your power. Hit enough to run out of power and the games over.

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New Nokia Windows Phone?

Nokia was reacently granted a patent (D655,698) with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in early March for a new smartphone "ornamental" design . What makes the filing interesting though is that it seemingly matches what appears to be prototypes from a supposed Nokia promotional video leaked last August (see stills below).

Nokia prototype from August '11

At the time, that video and phones shown within, were thought to be fake but alas, they happen to look exactly like those now revealed in the granted patent. You want more? As pointed out by LiveSide.net, the day that promo video hit the internet, August 10th, was the same day that the patent was filed.

That certainly makes things a bit interesting.

No doubt Nokia has more deigns in the works for their new Windows Phone line up. The USPTO images clearly show the typical Windows Phone buttons on the right hand side: Volume, Power and camera, matching that of their Lumia 610, 800 and 900 devices (the 710 has power on the top). What remains to be seen, however, is whether this is low-end, mid-range or high-end device, assuming it ever gets made.

WP Central

Watch the pulled Nokia promo video after the break...

Source: USPTO; via MyNokiaBlog, LiveSide.net, Nokiaport.de

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AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 at Amazon Wireless

You can add Amazon Wireless to the list of third party retailers offering the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 up for pre-order. While Wal-Mart is offering the new Windows Phone for $49.99, Amazon Wireless has it for a penny (new contracts).

The off-contract price is at $499.99 and upgrade price is at $119.99.  All of which is a little surprising in that Amazon often has a slightly better deal than AT&T's retail stores.  Not always but more times than not.

You do get free two day shipping from Amazon Wireless but there's no indication whether or not you'll receive the new Windows Phone on April 6th.  Amazon Wireless is offering both the cyan and black models of the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 and this may be an option to consider should if you have an Amazon Gift Card that's collecting dust, we start to see supply issues or if you just feel like charging a penny to one of your major credit cards.

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Pre-Order the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 for free!

00 discount on the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900

While the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 already has an attractive price tag, want to make it more attractive? There is a way to take an extra hundred bucks off the price tag.

Just follow this link and choose the "New to AT&T" button at the bottom of the screen. Choose your Nokia Lumia 900 (black or cyan), your voice plan and your data plan. When you're ready to check out, a discount of $100 will be applied to the $99 price tag. With free shipping the total due at check out, notta.

The savings isn't restricted to the Lumia 900 and might still be around when the HTC Titan II becomes available on April 8th.  The deal is only available for new accounts and you can't escape the $36 activation fee (it will be applied to your first bill).  And while we all will groan at the increased activation fee, it is a small price to pay for a free Lumia 900.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Pre-order the Lumia 900 from Walmart for just $49.99

Walmart Lumi 900

AT&T has switched on Lumia 900 pre-orders on their website store, and is offering the 4G Windows Phone for $99 on contract. Should you wish to be aware of another enticing deal, Walmart has the same Lumia 900 listed for just $49.99 (with a 2-year plan), saving $50 on top of the AT&T price. Available to pre-order in both black and cyan, Windows Phone Daily reports that this offer is also eligible for those who seek upgrades.

Interestingly, buying the Lumia 900 outright will set the purchaser back by $499.99--$50 more than AT&T. Should you desire the white version, do note that we expect this version to be available on April 22nd and only in-store at AT&T outlets.

Source: Walmart (black, cyan), via: Windows Phone Daily

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WP Central

Although it took some time for AT&T to hit the refresh button on their site, we're happy to report you can now officially pre-order the Nokia Lumia 900 online.

That's right, in theory you won't have to actually talk to a human being to order the latest and greatest from the 'Ma Bell and their Finnish partners. Selling for $449.99 off-contract or $99 with one, the Lumia 900 is a good deal which ever way you purchase. What's more, we're told if you order soon you can get the phone by April 6th, a full two days before the stores will sell 'em to everyone else.

The 4.3" device with an AMOLED screen, 8MP camera (1MP front), 16GB of storage and 4G LTE is available in Cyan and Matte Black for now. For those who want the Glossy White, you'll have to wait till April 22nd and we're told only in-store purchases for that version. 

To start your preorder, simply go to AT&T's site here.

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Plex

For those of you with Home Theater PC setups that use Plex Media Center for software, you'll be excited to know that the company is about to release their Mobile app for Windows Phone.

Plex (see site) is a very popular software package that includes a server and PC software for viewing your movies, music and photos wherever, whenever. It's also available on iOS, Mac, the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, making it a fairly robust option for those with families and gigs of hardware space for storing their media. On top of that, the volunteer developer community around the project ensures that services like Hulu, Netflix  and other sites get supported via plugins.

Evidently, the company has been working on a client for Windows Phone for sometime as it has already been submitted to the Marketplace and is waiting for approval. In a newly created sub-forum on their site for Windows Phone, both a Plex developer and Plex blogger Elan both chimed in on the matter:

"You should take a forum being created for it as a good sign"

"The app has been approved by Microsoft, and we're in the process of making it live in the store! "

So now all there is left to do is wait until the app shows up in the Marketplace, which could take a few days. The app should have the same functionality as the iOS and Android variants, giving users the ability to stream all their media on the go with a slick interface. We'll keep you posted.

Take a peek after the break to see the iPhone version in action. Needless to say, it's a nice app...

Source: Plex Forums; Thanks, Sean M., for the heads up!

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AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone

Update 2:30PM EST: Online orders are now live

The highly anticipated Nokia Lumia 900 is due to hit store shelves over at AT&T on April 9th (unless your local store is open on Easter and it will be the 8th) and was slated to be available for pre-order today. But in looking at AT&T's website and reading comments in the WPCentral forums, online pre-ordering isn't an option right now.

We have read of success stories from those who pre-ordered in stores and by calling AT&T's Customer Service (1-888-333-6651). But even then the pre-ordering wasn't as smooth as expected.

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WP Central

Pinsation, a Pinterest client for Windows Phone, has recently been updated and is now available in Marketplaces outside the U.S. Pinsation enables the user, once logged into their Pinterest account, to upload pins, re-pin, like pins, create boards, delete pins, comment on pins, and more.

Although Pinsation was released to the U.S. marketplace only, Windows Phone owners (and those with Pinterest accounts) who reside in Europe (and the UK), Australia, Canada, and South America will now be able to download the app. As well as the increased market support, Pinsation received a number of improvements and bug fixes in versions 1.2 and 1.3:

  • Added about page
  • Added globalization support
  • Added Spanish and German languages
  • Redesigned user page
  • User page now shows about, location, and website
  • Autoloads more following items on home screen

You can download Pinsation from the Marketplace for free.

WP Central

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WPCentral Podcast


We're back this week with Jay Bennett, Rafael Rivera and Daniel Rubino to discuss AT&T's update plans, the impending release of the Lumia 900 and Titan II some developer news and more!

Get the full shot notes after the break along with the HD video if you want to watch...

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WP Central

The Department of Computer Science and Telecommunications of TEI of Larissa has announced another Windows Phone Developer Challenge, which will encourage students to get creative and produce some interesting apps for the mobile platform. Participants who submit three apps, that pass set requirements, and have them approved / published on the Windows Phone Marketplace will be rewarded with a free handset.

The department recently held a developer contest that put students up against one another to win one of two Lumia 800s available as prizes. The announced developer challenge will begin on April 1st, and all apps submitted by students to the Marketplace afterwards will be deemed eligible for the prize. 

Source: TEI of Larissa; thanks sofoklis for the tip!

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WP Central

Microsoft is giving away five Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phones and a voucher for a winner to experience a Ferrari for the weekend. The Microsoft Virtual Academy enables students (or those who wish to become IT professionals) to enter available tracks, choosing materials to study and expand knowledge about Microsoft cloud products, for free. Think of it as an e-college.

How does one have a chance of winning the prizes? Should you be a UK resident, simply enter the code "MVAUKREG" in the 'redeem code' field once signed up. Some important details surrounding the Ferrari that should be noted:

  • Only drivers aged 28-70 will be permitted to drive the car.
  • For drivers between ages 25 and 27, Winner will be offered an alternative supercar (subject to availability)
  • Drivers must have no more than 6 points on their license and hold a valid full UK or EU Driving license and have held such for at least 2 years
    • Only 300 miles may be driven over the course of the car hire
    • Fully comprehensive insurance for up to 2 named drivers will be provided
    • Car will be delivered and collected to and from the Microsoft offices in Reading or to and from Winner’s home, at Microsoft’s election

Runner-ups will receive one of five Lumia 800s. Not a bad incentive to learn, eh? Be sure to check the terms and conditions for more information.

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