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NDrive app heading for Windows Phone

WP Central

NDrive has announced plans to introduce an app for Windows Phone, according to a press release published late last month. To bring the service to the likes of Blackberry and our platform, NDrive will enter a partnership with Appello. NDrive is currently already available for Android, iOS and Samsung bada.

Luis Baptista-Coelho, NDrive’s Chief Executive Officer, added the following:

"We are very excited to address 100% of the smartphone market with our location based app. On top of the current Android, Apple iOS and Samsung bada environments, we are now delivering a Blackberry and a Windows Phone 7 app that will strengthen our offering into the carrier markets around the world."

The move will provide Windows Phone users with another turn-by-turn navigation app. Check out the press release for more details.

Source: NDrivethanks Ricardo for the tip!

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It's been awhile since we've seen WeatherLive get some major new functions, so it's with great joy to see version 4.0 beta making the rounds.

While the poplar weather app has grown in functionality, it has also become a little sluggish too. In addition, some people missed the simplicity of the the versions 1 and 2 of the app over the more busy 3.x. Luckily, the developer has been listening and 4.0 looks to make everyone happy. Here are the major changes:

WeathLive themes

  • Faster - the app's transitions and loading times are much zippier and more fluid
  • Theme support - With three themes, including Metro Minimalist, Metro and the new Glass, users can choose how they want the app to look
  • Animated radar - the radar map is now animated with 'pinch and zoom' built right in
  • Graphic tweaks - improved and cleaner UI

We really like where 4.0 is heading with the themes support as it will seemingly make everyone happy who has used this app in the past. The performance increase is also welcomed as the app was getting a big bogged down with the latest updates.

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Grooveshark is a streaming service that allows you to pick any artist, song or album and simply create playlists to listen to on your computer, tablet or phone. Unlike Pandora or IHeartRadio, it does not give you new artists/songs based off of your listening preference. Instead, it's more like just streaming the music you want to hear with no experimentation.

The HTML5 site works well enough on Windows Phone for streaming in IE9 but Grooveshark have stated they have no intentions for a dedicated client for Windows Phone. That's too bad. However, the developer of MetroRadio (an unofficial Pandora app for Windows Phone) is now working on Groovyshark, an unofficial Grooveshark client for our devices.

Groovyshark

We took the alpha build (i.e. pre-beta) for a test drive just to show you that indeed you can hook-into Grooveshark. We also got a sneak peek at the new "screensaver" function that's coming to MetroRadio too which is very reminiscent of Zune's music player on the Zune HD and Zune Desktop. That latter feature is something many have wanted Windows Phone to have built in so it's nice to see someone is working on it.

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WP users will have to wait to fight pigs in space

Sad news from the outskirts of space: Windows Phone won't be getting Angry Birds Space on March 22 when Android and iOS do.  An email from Rovio, developer of the mega-popular phenomenon, told DailyMobile that while they are "working day and night to get the game to all relevant devices," they do not have the resources to get deliver to all platforms at once.  Having been wait-listed for the first installment of Angry Birds, only to be missing 105 levels when it finally did arrive,  this comes as another heavy blow from Rovio.  Being that Android and iOS dominate mobile market, it makes sense that Windows Phone takes a back seat, but it doesn't sting any less.

Rovio declined to share any information about specific features of the newest add-on to the Angry Birds franchise.  However, the game was previewed at SXSW on Samsung's Galaxy Note, which benefits from Samsung's partnership with Rovio by getting exclusive in-game content.  For now, you can get a small taste from the teaser below.

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WP Central

We're not sure when this was published, since it's well hidden on the website, but it would appear as though the Carphone Warehouse has a soft spot for Windows Phone. They have an entire page dedicated to attacking myths that are continuously posted by those who are fans of competitor platforms, or who simply don't like Microsoft products.

From terrible battery life, to the lack of apps, the most common groans and moans are all covered in this myth buster. The following excerpt from the article sums up the user friendliness perfectly:

"Windows® Phone has a Start screen with large Live Tiles (icons) that are easy to read and not fiddly to use. It's also simple to customise and pin the apps and live updates you want right on the Start screen. Then you swipe to the right to access the full list of apps. Options are accessible in any app by pressing the three dots in the bottom right of the screen. And there's a home button, a back button and a search button on the front of each phone. Simple."

Be sure to check out the full article at the Carphone Warehouse. All-in-all we're impressed with this positive exposure for the platform (and a strong sign of support). Also, for it to be handled by a popular UK retailer is even better. There's more that can be done, however.

WP Central

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WP Central

Online Swiss retailer Digitech has the Lumia 900 listed on the website for CHF 699 ($760), but unfortunately no release / availability date is provided. The phone sports a 4.3" AMOLED display, 8MP camera, 1.4Ghz chip and a 16GB storage.

We're still waiting for the 4G LTE Lumia 900 to hit AT&T, but it's good to see more retailers list the international version.

Source: Digitech, thanks Simon for the heads up!

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WP Central

Welcome to your Windows Phone summary of the week, where we fill you in on everything that has happened over the week here at WPCentral. It's been fairly eventful period (with advertising and promotion anyway - looking at you Nokia), so let's head straight into it. Before we crack on with the goodies, WPCentral is judging a Windows Phone UK contest where the main prize is a shiny new Lumia 800! All you have to do is review your favourite must-have Xbox Live game and submit it for a chance of winning.

We've got episode 138 of the WPCentral podcast published and ready for your viewing pleasure - Jay and Dan are joined by Justin Angel from Nokia. Over at our Windows Phone forum, we've got a new bartering section implemented that enables registered members to exchange / buy / sell devices and other products. Among the active discussions currently taking place, there has been particular interest in Apollo (Windows Phone 8). Be sure to head on past the break for the full summary.

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WP Central

A supposed earlier correspondence between Microsoft's Joe Belfiore and Aamer Khan denoting "problems" with the Lumia 900 is evidently erroneous.

Belfiore has sent out a Tweet, in response to our own Rafael Rivera, noting that the account referred to in our earlier post is in fact a fake:

Any alleged FACEBOOK message from me that claims anything is wrong with Lumia 900 ... also a fake. :)

The Lumia 900 is a Nokia phone in AT&T stores.. the launch date is Nok + AT&T's news to announce. Not us MS folks. Sorry!

So while we still don't have a Lumia 900 on AT&T and no firm date is in place, let it be known, we now know nothing more nor nothing less than a few hours ago.

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Rogers accepting pre-orders for the Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia pre-order at Rogers Canada

While we had all hoped the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone to become available today, there is some good news. Rogers Canada is now accepting pre-orders for the Lumia 900.

As an added bonus, as was teased earlier, those who pre-order the 900 are entered for a chance to win a private screening of The Dark Knight Rises and a special edition Dark Knight Lumia 900. Five runners up will have to catch the movie in theaters but will get a special edition Lumia 900 (likely designed just like the Dark Knight Lumia 800).

Pre-order (new customers) costs for the Lumia 900 will run $99.99. Reserve orders (existing customers) appears to be running $159.99.  Unfortunately the only date we could find is the deadline for the movie contest (April 10th).  There was no reference on an expected ship date.

You can find all the details on pre-ordering the Lumia 900 and the Dark Knight contest here at Rogers Canada.

Thanks, Matthieu, for the tip

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WP Central

While we just posted about the TITAN II's no show and we're still unsure about the Lumia 900, evidently Microsoft Corporate VP of Windows Phone, Joe Belfiore knows what's going on.  See update to story.

As usual, the problem is either related to certification/finalized firmware for AT&T or Nokia building up enough supply. At least that's how we're reading this message (via Facebook) exchanged with WPCentral reader Aamer Khan just a few hours ago:

Facebook conversation

Khan: Any word on the Lumia 900 for ATT? Word on the sesame street is March 16th? Would you like to comment?

Belfiore: Dear Aamer there are some problems..nothing serious. Probably Lumia 900 ATT will arrive in April...stay tuned bye

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HTC Titan II

Well... it appears that March 18th will come and go with no new Windows Phone being released. While the rumors were strong and the stars seemed to be in alignment, neither the Nokia Lumia 900 nor the HTC Titan II made it to AT&T store shelves today.  We had already heard rumblings that the Lumia 900 may be delayed but were hoping that the delay wouldn't hit the Titan II.  

In talking to the local AT&T Store on Friday (and again today), they were under the impression at least the Titan II would be available today (as were we).  We were also told by a local AT&T Sales Rep, that HTC told them late Friday the release date for the Titan II was still up in the air.  

So what could the delay be? Is AT&T waiting for more markets to get 4G LTE? Is it there a production issue?  Plus you have to wonder if the delay on the AT&T 900 will delay the 900's release internationally.  AT&T is rumored to have exclusive rights to the Lumia 900.  Will this delay push back the 900's release on other carriers such as Roger's Canada?

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GoVoice

It's been awhile since we've seen GoVoice, an unofficial Google Voice client, get update so it's nice to see the developer Nick Yu still supporting the free app for Windows Phone.

The latest version, 3.4, just hit the Marketplace and brings some great features including:

  • Search! Now you can search all your SMS's and voicemails
  • Message list contact integration - no need to export contacts to Gmail to see contact names
  • Notification setup bug fixed. Now you can set up notification automatically
  • Bug fixes

Combined with the previous v3.3 update which brought Mango features (including the important fast-app switching, better notifications and pinnable new message), GoVoice feels like a pretty complete and solid Google Voice app for those who need it (we do since we have three different cell phone numbers, ahem and like free SMS).

Pick up GoVoice for free in the Marketplace here.

QR: GoVoice

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WP Central

When advertising in newspapers, one would believe that a few spots here and there would be sufficient enough, right? According to the above photo, this apparently isn't the case at Nokia. The UK's The Sun newspaper sports a number of advertisements in one edition. Should the reader not notice a Windows Phone advert on one or two pages, they certainly will now.

We're looking to seriously consider starting up nokialumiapromotion.com, to keep up with all the latest news surrounding their huge global marketing campaign. Then again, the manufacturer depends on the platform to succeed, so we expect to see much more from both Nokia and Microsoft (as well as other OEMs once things pick up).

Source: CoolSmartphone, via: WMPU

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WP Central

This news will please those who use the social network, as a PR Spokesperson from Google Germany, Stefan Keuchel, has revealed that an official Google+ app is on the way to Windows Phone. Unfortunately no date or ETA was provided (see above translated tweet). 

While it's great to have an official stance on the status of such an app, which was desired since iOS received their client. It'll be interesting to see how this develops, as well as the possibility of more official Google products arriving on the Marketplace.

Stay tuned if you're a Google+ fan as we'll keep you posted on any further developments.

Source: @dominiksichling, via: WPSauce, MSICC

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WP Central

We previously looked at Air Pick Voice (check out our in-depth post for more information) at the January WPUG meetup and it left us highly impressed. The concept enables the user to control music playback on a PC with a Windows Phone app. Not only that, but streaming functionality is present allowing playback to be achieved on the smartphone.

APV has since been rebranded (for a second time) and is now TellDJ, what's more is that testing of the desktop software is well under way. TellDJ Rehearsal is now available to download for testing and feedback, which includes the Voice Recognition Lab to fine tune the software to your voice / accent. Development is still active so we look forward to see what the developer adds in the future.

Should the website be unavailable, be sure to keep up-to-date with KeyboardP's blog, and a backup mirror is online until the site is back up.

Source: TellDJ

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Images of the Lumia 719 Windows Phone leaked

Lumia 710 and 719

Not much is known about the Lumia 719, which passed Bluetooth certification late last month, but now we have visual confirmation of the handset. Taking a different design approach than the other Lumia handsets, the 719 will sport compatibility for both CDMA2000 and GSM networks. The handset is set to sport the same size screen (3.7") as the Lumia 710 as well as having a 5MP shooter, and will reportedly be targeting Asian and American markets.

This news derives from Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter micro-blogging network. We'll look to hear more surrounding the device, so stay tuned.

Source: Weibo, via: LiveSide 

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Nokia releases Creative Studio for Lumia Windows Phones

WP Central

Nokia has released Creative Studio for Windows Phone, available to all Lumia handset owners. This app is a simple (but free) photo editing suite that enables users to alter and then share photos taken with the smartphone. A number of effects, filters and tools are available to turn that snap shot into a more visually appealing photo.

What's also neat is the patented technology used in the app which allows live, in-camera effects to be active so users are able to see what the end result would be without taking the shot. As well as this, we also have a panorama feature, which many desire as built-in functionality. Hopefully, with the recent news of said functionality coming to Lumia handsets, we shouldn't need to rely on an app soon enough.

You can download Creative Studio on your Lumia Windows Phone.

Via: Techin5

WP Central

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China's HTC Triumph (aka Titan) gets video hands on

China is set to finally launch Windows Phone in the coming weeks and while Nokia will be doing that at the end of March, HTC has beat them to the punch with the HTC Triumph.

New HTC phone you say? Not really. The Triumph is just the TITAN with a rebranding and Windows Phone Tango thrown on board (officially launching on the 21st). Still, with it's 4.7" screen, 8MP rear and 1.3MP front cameras and 1.5GHz CPU, China is kicking it off big with this device. The Triumph went on sale yesterday, hence the above unboxing video.

No word on official carrier support though, meaning folks in China may have to pay out of pocket for the full-experience of Windows Phone. Still, it's nice to see the device with localized-Chinese features on board.

via: Unwired View

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Unofficial Trello app now available for Windows Phone

Trellizzo

We'll be honest---we had no idea what Trello was till just a little while ago. Evidently it's another free cloud-colloboration service that allows your group of co-workers, friends or colleagues to work together on a project. In short, you create boards, people can add notes and media to said boards and you get a timeline of those changes and who made them.

Now that we think about it, that does sound useful. So it's nice to know that (a) if you already use Trello or (b) you think Trello could be useful to you, there is an app for that.

Trellizzo

Trellizzo, by Intertouch Media Technologies, is a free Windows Phone app that will access your account and evidently allow you to continue your collaboration via your WP7 device on the go--or at they very least, track those changes. The app is a little rough for a v1.0 with no Mango support...yet. But the devs are actively looking to update the app and are looking for user feedback (done through the app) which sounds good to us. Plus it is fast and nice looking.

You can sign up for Trello here on their site (or watch the video after the break) and pick up Trellizzo for your phone here in the Marketplace for free.

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Sketch Camera update brings new effects into play

Sketch Camera for Windows Phone

Sketch Camera is a photographic app for your Windows Phone that applies artistic filters to your images. We liked what we saw back in our review and the application was recently updated to bring a few more effects into play.

The new filters are:

  • Life on Mars (heavy sepia look)
  • Parchment
  • Alien skin
  • Wall sprayer
  • Over the foil
  • Canvass
  • Industrializer

You still have sketch, oil paint, pencil drawing, bathroom reflections and chalk effects that carried over from the previous version. The developer decided to remove the brick wall effect simply because not many liked it.

Life on Mars, Parchment, Over the Foil and Canvass Effects

Along with the new effects, there were some minor tweaks to fix some bugs and a few cosmetic changes to the photography app. The additional effects that the update brings to Sketch Camera are nice and expands the potential of a very nice camera app.

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WP Central

In a Lumia 900 FAQ we recently covered, Nokia has confirmed that the WiFi hotspot / tethering feature will be present on the Lumia 610 and 900 Windows Phones at launch. As for the 710 and 800, which are currently missing this highly desired functionality, we'll likely see an update in the future to activate it. It's pleasing to know that it's actually on the way for owners.

"Q: When will the tethering update for the Lumia devices be pushed out?

A: It will be in coming soon for 800 and 710 via Zune update, for 610 and 900 it will be available at launch."

What's more is that Damian Dinning, camera guru at Nokia, has confirmed on Twitter that the company are looking to introduce a panorama feature on the Lumia 800 - something the Windows Phone lacked for many trigger happy users. Unfortunately, there's no word on a date or if we'll see this introduced on other Lumia handsets, though it makes perfect sense to expect such a roll out. 

Source: @PhoneDaz, via: PocketNow

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US & international Nokia Lumia 900 FAQ

WP Central

Have some questions regarding the Lumia 900 (both U.S. and international)? Perhaps this fairly brief FAQ will help you out when deciding whether or not the Lumia 900 is the best Windows Phone for you. Questions range from the design and availability to battery and volume / speaker improvements.

This FAQ wont answer every burning question you may have on your mind, but at least some will be taken care of. It's interesting to note that the 900 is destined for Australia too (confirming the pre-order at MobiCity), something that will certainly please local Nokia Windows Phone fans who desire a more advanced device than the Lumia 800.

Source: Nokia Connects; thanks damthman for the tip!

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A video capture of the augmented reality event in Sydney has been uploaded to YouTube showing the stunt in action with a member of the public having a go. The dance-off was with Australia’s Got Talent and now local recording star Timomatic, who was also present at the event for signing and promoting the event.

As well as this event, there are two more lined up this month in Brisbane and Melbourne so be sure to head on down.

Source: YouTube

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Tentacles

The popular and highly rated Xbox Live title Tentacles (check our review) has just received an update. This latest version includes level and gameplay tweaks (including challenges being reset after death), along with a number of minor bug fixes. But that's not all, as the "Dog Eat Dog" DLC is now available for purchase (for 80 MS Points).

What's included in the Downloadable Content?

  • New electrifying gameplay mechanic!
  • New enemies to satisfy your appetite!
  • 15 levels in brand new worlds!
  • 2 new bosses to beat!
  • Another chapter in the absurd story of Dr. Phluff!

This is next to follow Beards and Beaks, which was the first Windows Phone game to feature DLC. You can download Tentacles from the Marketplace for $2.99 (£2.29), should you not have the Xbox Live game already.

QR: Tentacles

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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