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WP Central

Sure we talk a lot about Twitter clients for Windows Phone around these parts, but many of you also need a dedicated one for your PC. For that, there really is only one solution: MetroTwit. Yes, it's Metro inspired and Metro loved, which means you need it.

We've discussed this popular client before and since then, a lot of hard work, spit and polish has gone into the app, making it one of the most popular around. In fact, it just hit version 1.0 a few minutes ago and with it comes a ton of new changes, including:

  • Added multiple account support
  • Added support for filtering
  • Added new out-of-box-experience for first time users
  • Added ability to preview larger user avatars
  • Added undo tweet functionality
  • Added Twitter events support for user follows, list membership and tweet favorites
  • ...and much, much more.

You can download the new free, ad-supported version right here from their site and read the version 1.0 changelog here.

What's more, to celebrate this huge day, we've teamed up with the MetroTwit devs to give away 10 "Plus" licenses ($16 value) which will allow you those multiple accounts and no ads. Ka-ching.

Sound good? All you have to do is comment on this post and tell us why you want MetroTwit Plus. We'll randomly select 10 of you to get the free license.

You have 24 hours....go!

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Nokia Lumia 710 headed to WIND Mobile

WP Central

Good news if you're on WIND Mobile as you'll reportedly be getting the Nokia Lumia 710 sometime in the next few weeks, at least according to Canadian phone site Mobile Syrup.

Not much else is revealed like pricing but the site is promising more details soon from their tipster who is supplying the information. The Lumia 710 has a snappy 1.4GHz CPU, a 3.7" ClearBlack screen and a 5MP camera making it an ideal budget phone for many.

Perhaps this shouldn't be too surprising as WIND runs the same 1700 AWS bands as US T-Mobile, meaning they tend to mirror each other for releases: TMo gets the Radar and so does WIND. This just seems to be another case of the same.

Source: Mobile Syrup; Thanks, Joel R., for the heads up!

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First look: Glossy White AT&T Nokia Lumia 900

White Lumia 900

One of the surprise announcements today by AT&T was the inclusion of the glossy white version of the Nokia Lumia 900, due for release on April 22nd, just a few weeks after its Black and Cyan cousins. Back at Mobile World Congress, Nokia told us they had offered AT&T the white option as well, but at the time they had not taken it. However, it looks like AT&T changed their mind, possibly due to positive word of mouth and are now set to offer that color variant as well.

Anyways what you see above is the first image of the all-white AT&T version, which of course looks identical to the unlocked version except for that logo and AT&T software. We haven't seen this image floated around yet, so it's new to us. 

Personally, we're torn between the Cyan and White version as both offer something different from the tried and tired "black slab" (yes, true #firstworldproblems here). For what it's worth, nearly 500 of you or 11.5% are waiting for the all-white version.

Oh and speaking of color variants, take this with a pinch of salt, but in our comments, WPCentral member mamacita42 had this to say:

"I was told by my local AT&T rep that the magenta/pink Lumia 900 was coming for Mothers day."

Certainly plausible, but we're not ready to believe just yet. But we wouldn't be shocked either. Thanks, anon, for the image

Check our hands on with the White Lumia 900 from Barcelona after the break...

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WP Central

Nokia has been doing an outstanding job rebuilding not only their own brand, but that of Microsoft's mobile division too. But is hardware enough? Not at all (as many have pointed out). We've previously reported on Nokia and Microsoft investing €18 million on an app development program in Finland, but we'll need much more to combat the skeptical outsider comments and the lack of developer support from the big names - Rovio being a perfect example with Angry Birds (though they have since confirmed it is coming).

Cue the software giant. Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet has revealed some interesting presentation slides that show how Microsoft plans to tackle the above problems. The slides all point at a $10 million campaign over three years to round up developers and companies that aren't supporting the platform yet.

WP Central

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WP Central

If you have an unlocked/non-branded HTC Titan, you'll want to go plug her into your Zune Desktop software as HTC has begun pushing out what looks to be a minor software update to the massive device.

This is not an OS update, so you'll see be rocking 8107, but you'll get a new firmware, bootloader and radio software. Here are the new version numbers:

  • Firmware - 1600.2200.20501.401 (New)
  • Bootloader is  - 2.5.160015.3(137079) (New)
  • Radio software - 16.23.06.10_ 16.32.00.23U (New)

Like we said, this may be some subtle fixes here and there and we're not expecting any new features, but if you think you find any, let us know.

Update: Those with AT&T Titans, don't bother as no, this does not apply for your device.

Thanks, Jose S. and Oscar for the tips!

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With today's announcement of both the HTC TITAN II ($199 on contract, $549 off) and the Nokia Lumia 900 ($99 on contract, $449 off) being available on April 8th (online) and April 9th (stores), the question naturally arises: Which one are you getting?

We have a feeling that due to the hype, the Nokia will win here (and by a large margin) but the HTC TITAN II is no slouch either what with its 4.7" screen, 16MP camera and 4G LTE--heck, the original TITAN is one of our favorite phones -- ever -- so all of those "new" features look to make it a winner.

Anyways, you know the drill: Vote up above and tell us your reasons below. Go!

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Off-Contract pricing for the Lumia 900 and Titan II

AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II

We have just received word on the off-contract pricing for the new AT&T Windows Phones and it's not too bad.

Just to recap, the Nokia Lumia 900 will launch on April 8, 2012 for $99 after two year contractual discounts. The HTC Titan II will also launch on April 8, 2012 for $199 after contractual discounts.

Should you choose to get either Windows Phone without the contractual discounts, the Lumia 900 will run you $449.99 and the Titan II will be running $549.99.

The off-contract pricing gives you the option to enjoy a new Windows Phone without worrying with a two year commitment or if you're in the middle of a contract and don't qualify for an early discount.

All the while leaves us with one question. Which to get? Titan II or Lumia 900?

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WP Central

Take heed developers, you'll want to go update your Windows Phone SDK to the official 7.1.1 version which was just released today.

This latest update offers support for 256MB RAM devices aka "Tango" phones like the Nokia Lumia 610 and ZTE Orbit.:

"The Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update provides additional functionality to the existing Windows Phone SDK 7.1. Using this update, you can more easily develop apps and games that are optimized to run on 256-MB devices. This update includes a new 256-MB version of Windows Phone Emulator, an updated 512-MB version of Windows Phone Emulator, and IntelliSense support."

As noted by Microsoft, 95% of the apps currently in the Marketplace will have no problems running on these lower-end Windows Phones, but those remaining 5% will need to think about optimizing their app if they want it to run on these news devices. Microsoft began contacting developers who's apps won't be able to run the new Tango update back in February so as to avert any confusion on the matter.

Grab the new 7.1.1. SDK update right here from Microsoft and the read announcement on the Windows Phone Dev Blog.

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WP Central

As to squelch the disappointment (mostly of the tech media who care about such things), Rovio, makers of the popular Angry Birds series announced that they had no plans for the latest installment, Angry Birds Space, for Windows Phone. Later that day, the CEO of Rovio backtracked and said no, they were working on it.

WP Central

Now even Nokia is getting in on the news by confirming that yes, the latest craze for outer orbit bird craziness is coming to Windows Phone. On their Facebook page this morning, Nokia simply note: "Finnish gaming company Rovio is working on getting its new Angry Birds Space game to Windows Phone platform too". 

So you can rejoice or shrug in indifference at this point, we'll wait.

Our feeling on this is that Rovio probably did not have plans to bring this to our beloved OS, but due to the public pressure (read: tech media flipping out), the company quickly changed gears once Microsoft probably stepped in (and maybe even Nokia). The fact that there's no release date in site tells us that this has probably barely begun to be developed, so while we can look forward to the title, we're not expecting it anytime soon.

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Windows Phone notifications history concept

WP Central

We've read many complaints (especially in the comments and on our forum) that Windows Phone lacks a central notification centre, Apple's iOS being a good example, and we tend to agree. Toast notifications on Microsoft's platform disappear after a few seconds only to be lost in cyber space with the inability to view what has been missed. Let's face it - we're not glued to our phones 24/7.

Introducing a concept by Kasser Riaz (click the image for larger / better quality version), which looks relatively promising with how it doesn't look as though the simplistic beauty of the OS would be in jeopardy should an implementation such as this be carried out, unlike some concepts we've seen posted around the web.

As one can see when looking at the concept above, Riaz has provided an idea for how Microsoft and the Windows Phone team could create their own notifications centre (or "History") in this case. Keeping everything simple and clutter-free, swiping to the right on the home screen will bring up the app list as usual, while swiping on the left will land you at the notification history list.

As well as system alerts, messages and email notifications, third party app alerts are also displayed with a short description and the time stamp. It's not only a user-friendly way of keeping the UI chrome and clutter free, but enables the user to view their history of notifications in a Metro format. But would this suffice as a solution to a unified notifications centre for Windows Phone, or should we be looking elsewhere?

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AT&T offers a Mobile Minute Video on the Lumia 900

On the heels of officially announcing the Nokia Lumia 900's release date, AT&T has also released a Mobile Minute video on the new Windows Phone. We've already seen the 900's "Beautifully Different" tv ad but this latest video is more of a general over view of the Lumia 900.

Daniel, from AT&T's social media team, walks you around the Lumia 900 highlighting the design, camera and overall experience you should expect from the 900. The video simply affirms that the Lumia 900 is an impressive Windows Phone.  All of which makes the choice between black or cyan all the more difficult.

source: Share AT&T

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WP Central

Ben (the "PC Guy") Rudolph has publicly addressed the disappointment of Sahas Katta, who felt slighted when the Microsoft employee he beat in the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge refused to accept defeat and provide him with his prize - a limited edition laptop worth $1,000.

Rudolph has apologised to Katta via Twitter and has stated he has a Windows Phone and the laptop prize for him. As well as offering a phone, the laptop and a public apology on behalf of the Microsoft Store involved, Rudolph also tweeted the following:

"I stand behind #smokedbywindowsphone wins (and losses) 100%...even when I'm not the one doing the challenges.  And always will!"

It's positive to see Microsoft at least attempt to set things right should reports pop up that their highly marketed challenges could well be staged. We'll never be 100% sure as to what actually happened, and have to take Katta's word for it, but shouldn't we expect some issues to arise when multiple employees are hosting a marketing stunt?

Source: @BenThePCGuy; thanks everyone who tipped us!

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HTC TITAN II available on AT&T April 8th for $199

WP Central

AT&T has officially announced availability dates for both the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC TITAN II in a press release sent out today. The TITAN II is also set to join the 900 and be launched on April 8th, for $199.99 on contract. Should you be on the network and awaiting solid second generation handsets, the choice of the TITAN II or Lumia 900 is certainly an intriguing one.

The HTC TITAN II, a 4G LTE Windows Phone, packs a 4.7" LCD display, 1.4Ghz chip, 16MP rear camera, 512MB RAM and 16GB storage space. The handset is also heading to Telstra in Australia in early April as well, with some UK stores removing the original TITAN from product lists - we could be seeing a global rollout later in April.

Source: AT&T

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Nokia Lumia 900 available April 8th

While we still haven't heard anything official from AT&T, CNET is reporting this morning that AT&T has told them that the new Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone will hit shelves on April 8th. The Lumia 900 will sell for $99 after two-year contractual discounts.

Earlier rumors had the Lumia 900 possibly launching on March 18th but then the rumored release date was pushed back. The $99 price tag might have been the only constant in all the speculation.

You will be able to pre-order the black and blue versions of the Lumia 900 beginning March 30th in stores and online. The white version will be available on April 22nd.

Still no word on the out-of-contract pricing and should we hear anything, we will definitely pass it on.

source: CNET

Update:  The official press release from AT&T just hit the wire confirming the above.  Beginning March 30th you can pre-order the Lumia 900 in stores or online at AT&T's Lumia 900 webpage.  The two year contract does require a minimum monthly voice package of $39.99 and a data plan of at least $20 a month.  Oh, and don't forget the activation fees are now $36.  You can catch the full presser after the break.

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WP Central

In partnership with both Nokia and Microsoft, Aalto University in Finland will use an €18 million (a tad over $28 million U.S.) investment kitty set up by the two companies to launch an app development program. The program, named "AppCampus", will act as an umbrella for the development of innovative apps to take place for Windows Phone, Symbian and Series 40.

AppCampus will attempt to attract students, developers and entrepreneurs to the Windows Phone platform and help boost the quality of apps found on the Marketplace. While it's pleasant to see Symbian and Series 40 still receiving some attention from Nokia (as well as Microsoft with this investment), it'll be exciting to see how the program will affect the situation with Microsoft's mobile platform.

"Within the AppCampus program, mobile entrepreneurs can benefit from comprehensive support, training in mobile technology, design and usability, and funding to create innovative new mobile apps and services. Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store offer local and global business opportunities to program participants via distribution to consumers around the world. Mentored by veterans in the mobile industry, program participants will be given insights and business coaching to help them commercialize their ideas while retaining the full intellectual property rights for their innovations."

With Windows 8 just around the corner, along with the "three screens" dream for Microsoft and Nokia's apparent tablet plans, we wouldn't be surprised to see development for Metro apps outside of the 480x800 resolution. Exciting times for developers and consumers, nonetheless. Check out the press release after the break.

Source: AppCampus, via: Gizmodo

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WP Central

It's time for another Windows Phone Summary of the Week! The past seven days have proved to be relatively busy, mainly with software news and updates. Speaking of software, our official WPCentral app was picked for Nokia's March App Madness contest and we were up against All About Windows Phone - a worthy opponent. Unfortunately, we're saddened to report that we lost by 52% to 48%.

Moving swiftly onto more positive news, we have a brand new Windows 8 tablet category on our forum for all related discussions to take place. With Microsoft living the three screens dream, we thought it be best to cover everything possible (but not allow focus to be removed from Windows Phone). Be sure to head on past the break for the full summary.

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WP Central

Don't colour us surprised if this is true to some extent as it's a simple marketing stunt that involves cash, but reports are coming in that the Smoked by Windows Phone challenges are sometimes rigged, or those who actually beat Microsoft's OS were denied their win / prize. Not only are relatively large sums of money involved, but Microsoft recently bumped the stakes to include a limited edition PC worth $1,000.

According to Sahas Katta, from Skatter Tech, he was wrongfully robbed of his glory (and brand-spanking new PC) by a Microsoft employee who refused to accept that his Android handset won. Katta went along to the Santa Clara Microsoft Store to give the challenge a go after hearing about the stakes increase. Using an Android handset with widgets galore to combat the Windows Phone live tiles, Katta felt prepared for the task that would be presented to him by the employee. 

"The Microsoft Store employee I was up against then explained the selected challenge. Her exact words were the following: 'bring up the weather of two different cities.' The one who could do that first would win. I felt like I struck gold since I knew I already had two weather widgets on my home screen: one for my current location (San Jose, CA) and another for Berkeley, CA.

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Raaage!

While we don't want to fan the flames much more of the whole "AT&T won't support the 8107 OS update" fiasco, we are getting quite a few tips (and complaints) that the mods over at the AT&T support community are aggressively deleting posts for seemingly no reason.

The support forums at AT&T is where the news broke that the company wouldn't not be supporting the Microsoft approved 8107 OS update which fixes the disappearing keyboard problem and other security fixes. Since the time of reporting, anger has substantially grown with many taking to Twitter, the Better Business Bureau and AT&T's own forums (we had 175 comments just to our post on the matter).

WP Central

Starting last night, however, it seems the moderators are in "damage control" as some have put it and are deleting complaint posts without warning. Many users are noticing this because they get email notifications of responses to their posts, but when they check back a few hours later, those posts were "disappeared". Indeed, if you go to the message board, you'll see a few messages like this from Jamon723:

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New OS walk-through video of AT&T Lumia 900 appears

In case you couldn't get enough of the Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T (and which is expected to be announced tomorrow), you watch this nearly 10 minute video of "Enrique" turning on and playing with the Windows Phone OS. This is the same fella from yesterday's unboxing video, so consider this a sequel of sorts.

The only interesting thing in the video is just seeing the device and screen in action, but the OS tour will be very vanilla for most of you who know your way around quite well. Still, watching the perspective of new user is always interesting as those first thoughts can highlight the pros and cons of the OS and device.

Source: YouTube; Thanks, Manoj, for the tip

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Lumia 900 sample

Though we're still a few weeks from release with the Lumia 900 on AT&T, that's no reason why we still can't see what the flagship phone can do.

Specifically we're curious about how that Carl-Zeiss 8MP camera performs, especially with the mediocre results from the Lumia 800 (we find the Titan to have the best low light performance). Turns out, Nokia seems to have done a bang up job with the camera as evidenced by some macro-samples found by My Nokia Blog on the forum NeoGAF:

Lumia 900 sample

We also managed to get a few sample pics for you guys with low light and flash -- what we consider a crucial test -- and the high ISO performance actually seems quite good. That last photo of the bear is in virtually no light. Sure the ISO is crazy high with heavy noise but considering the horrendous shooting conditions, that's not bad. From all the samples seen, the colors seem quite neutral and natural, which we prefer over the heavy saturation of other cameras e.g. the Focus S.

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Hiroyuki Kimura

Dodonpachi Maximum recently arrived on Xbox Live and is currently wowing hardcore gamers with its old-school design and difficulty. It’s also notable for being the first mobile Xbox Live title developed exclusively by a Japanese developer: CAVE Interactive CO, Ltd. Windows Phone needs more Japanese games; hopefully CAVE’s support encourages others to follow suit. WPCentral is proud to bring you a new installment of our Xbox Live Developer Interview series as we speak with Hiroyuki Kimura, Dodonpachi Maximum’s producer. Enjoy this rare look into the development of a shoot-em-up.

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WP Central

Nokia Lumia handsets are all set sport WiFi tethering with an imminent update, according to a report by Plaffo. We previously touched on the lack of tethering support found with the Lumia 710 and 800, and an FAQ article for the Lumia 900 stated the two handsets should be receiving an update in the near future to activate said feature.

The Lumia 610 and 900 both reportedly support Internet sharing out the box, which was introduced in the Windows Phone "Mango" update. Should Plaffo's source for this news, who's employed by Three in Italy, hold out we should see Nokia work with carriers to push out a firmware update that will address the issue of not being able to create a hotspot with a Lumia handset.

We do not expect to see tethering enabled in any of the current firmware released, which all sport battery improvements. This is due to Nokia ensuring carriers continue to roll out new versions with important stability fixes and do not skip an update to avoid tethering.

Source: Plaffo

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Force Update

With the latest info from AT&T regarding the 8107 update (specifically that they don't have plans to offer it) and news that the HTC Titan and Samsung Focus S are reportedly going to be discontinued soon, the issue about force-updating the OS has been brought up as an alternative.

Indeed, there is a relatively easy way to force any Windows Phone to 8107 in about 15 minutes (after you get all the right files in place) and in fact, we just did it to our Samsung Focus S, mostly because we have a crap-ton of Windows Phones here and can take risks.

We're going to assume you don't have extra phones and therefore we can't really endorse this because:

  1. You may "Walsh" your phone, meaning you'll bugger your chances for future updates (if they ever happen, ahem)
  2. It is a bit stressful
  3. You really shouldn't have to do this, amirite?

Having said that, if you still want to go down this path we can say it does work and if you follow the directions to the letter, you'll have 8107 on your Windows Phone (you just won't have any "tweaked" OEM firmware to go with it).

Once again, we must stress that we're not endorsing this method and we would much rather see AT&T just deliver an update. Should you screw up your phone, this is all on you.

So against our better judgement (and Rafael's ire), we're going to post our tutorial on the subject.  Read on, if you dare...

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Ah yes, unboxing the videos, the smartphone tradition that will go on forever, where we all gather around and remain transfixed on our shimmering screens like children during Christmas as someone literally takes a phone...out of a box.

We usually skip these here at WPCentral because even we have our limits on how much phone pr0n we can watch, but we'll make an exception here for the AT&T Lumia 900. Over on YouTube, a user has posted a video where he meticulously removes the much anticipated phone from its recalcitrant packaging.

SIM Unlock tool

Not too much more is learned, though we do see the micro SIM removal tool (which we have a closer shot of above), the super sleek wall charger and we notice how there are no headphones on board, which is a bit of a bummer. The packaging, unfortunately, is still very "AT&T" as opposed to Nokia's designs for the Lumia 800 but c'est la vie on that one.

Anyways, hopefully this will keep you folks satiated for a few more weeks till that April 9th release date.

Charger

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