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Nokia sends a Valentine's to AT&T

WP Central

We like it when companies have a sense of humor, so it's with great interest to see Nokia getting into the whole Valentine's Day thing with this little treat.

Paul Thurrott posted pics of a Valentine's Day "gift" from Nokia to AT&T and it features the Lumia 900:

"I just want to let you know how much I appreciated you. I know we've been on and off for awhile now, but I promise you I'm not going anywhere. I've been into you for a long time now and I'm so happy we're rekindling what we had. You're like nobody else--special in every way--and when we're together, magic happens. So to show you how much I care, I have something just for you. It's going to drive you wild. But until then, enjoy this little treat and get excited for what's to come. Let's make some memories. Love, Nokia."

WP Central

Okay, that's almost a little creepy. Still hilarious too though.

Source: Paul Thurrott (Twitter 1, 2)

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Free black cab rides in London, courtesy of Nokia

Lumia London Black Cab

Nokia has hosted a number of events in London the past few months, including Nokia World and a performance featuring deadmau5 with a huge video presentation. Already tripling their expenditure wasn't enough as it seems the Finnish manufacturer still isn't done. Should you be out and around London and happen to spot a London black cab (taxi) wrapped up in Lumia promotion material, you'll be sure to hail it since Nokia are offering free rides.

The handset maker has paid black cab drivers so you don't have to. Fitting in nicely with Social Media Week (February 13-17), which Nokia is a sponsor of, this advertising stunt is yet another effective campaign under the marketing team's belt. Bravo.

Source: Knowyourmobile

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Nokia launches Mobile World Congress page

MWC

Looks like Nokia is quite excited about the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain at the end of the month. The company has just put up a page dedicated to the even which will be a source for all of their announcements and events.

Nokia will have an hour long presentation on Monday where they are expected to reveal a few new devices including some new Windows Phones. We'll be there covering everything during the week but feel free to keep track of things on Nokia's page too for background information.

Source: Nokia; Thanks, theWeeBear, for the link

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This week's Xbox Live "Must Have Game" is Chickens Can't Fly from developer house Amused Sloth. For those of you who remember, Amused Sloth made indie games Chickens Can't Fly and Chickens Can Dream with the former being "upgraded" to Xbox Live status by Microsoft. The theme of the game? As we wrote earlier, you're playing the role of a corporate scientist trying to determine if chickens are capable of answering critical questions such as: "Is there life after the butcher?" or "Does a frozen chicken get dizzy?". Good questions!

Chickens!

Now that game is finally ready to come out and we're taking it for spin. The game will be released this Wednesday and fetches for $2.99. We won't pull any punches: Chickens Can't Fly is an ingenious and often hilarious casual game that will appeal to a wide audience. It's currently one of our favorite titles on the platform as it has great graphics, interesting challenges that aren't too hard for regular gamers and some neat little surprises along the way (including avatar awards in an upcoming update).

Watch our video tour above and check out the official trailer after the break.

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Lumia 800 White exclusive to Phones4U in UK

WP Central

We were all excited (and surprised) with the rumours and subsequent announcement by Nokia surrounding the white Lumia 800. Being already available in black, cyan and magenta, the white variant adds a refreshed look to the 800 range of Windows Phones. Here in the UK, availability of the white Lumia 800 is exclusive to Phones4U, which has contracts available on O2, Orange, and Vodafone.

According to a blog post on the website, the handset is available for pre-order and Phones4U will be shipping the handset early March. It's unsure how long the exclusivity will last.

Source: Phones4U, thanks Richard (the other one) for the tip!

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Lumia 710 Rogers Ad

The Lumia 710 has been featured in a full-page newspaper advertisement, showing off the deal that Canadian carrier Rogers has on the table for the handset. The Toronto Start Newspaper where the advert was spotted is distributed almost entirely within the province of Ontario.

As pictured above, the advert illustrates the deal that enables consumers to pick up a 710 for just $49.99 (on a lengthy 3-year contract).  Should you not be interested in signing your life away for Nokia's Windows Phone, you can purchase the handset for $254.99 on a no-term deal.

Thanks wetworker for sending the image in!

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Microsoft Store India hacked with passwords exposed

Microsoft India Hacked

Microsoft Store India has come under attack by hackers raiding under the banner of 'Evil Shadow Team', WPSauce has reported. The website was defaced yesterday with the above image replacing access, which was achieved by redirecting visitors to a file the team uploaded -- evil.html. The message is clear from the attack: "Unsafe system will be baptized."

For now the website is offline, presumably while Microsoft investigates what exactly went wrong and suggesting the software giant has regained control.

"The Microsoft Store India is currently unavailable. Microsoft is working to restore access as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Customers of the online store have been strongly urged to change their passwords once the site comes back online as Quasar Media, the online marketing agency that maintains the website, decided it would be a great idea to store user credentials and personal information in plain text - an obvious insecure practice.

WP Central

While one could argue that it's in the interest of the customers to know that their details are not being stored securely, another could counter with stating that the attack, which has no known motive, was not required. 

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User graph

Every now and then we feature apps whose prices are going down for a small promotional period.  Obviously, in general people seem to like free stuff. But how much?

Well, I have an app called FFFFound in the Windows Phone Marketplace, which has been mentioned here on WPCentral a few times.  It's has quite a niche target market, and because of that doesn't have many users.  So before going into numbers, you need to realize that this is an app that not too many people actually want or need.  BUT for the few who are looking for something like this, they love it.  Because the users who have reviewed it have made it quite clear that they love the design, I wanted to get it into more hands.

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WP Central

According to a report by Professeur Thibault, Microsoft France is using an external agency to help tackle sales staff issues the software giant has experienced with their mobile platform since its launch back in 2010. Nokia recently took incentives to the extreme with rewarding a top T-Mobile salesman to VIP treatment at CES 2012.

Microsoft and their hired guns will be ensuring employees at various stores around the country have effective training to sell Windows Phones. A source (which chose to remain anonymous) informed Professeur Thibalt that while he did not have confirmation to what exactly the incentives would be for sales teams across France, he was able to go into detail surrounding the training. The agency Microsoft has partnered with will be providing 30-120 minute sessions, coupled with hands-on walkthroughs and a short questionnaire at the end of the training.

Each trainer will be looking to visit up to 60 stores per month, and once stores have received the main training exercise they will be revisited 1-3 times per quarter. Although the source failed to obtain incentive details, he did mention that a free Nokia Lumia 800 or Acer Allegro could possibly be included for the staff of the store that sold the most Windows Phones. Doesn't sound like a bad combat plan.

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Battlewagon

IronSun Studios’ second Xbox Live title, Battlewagon, suffered from a bad case of broken Achievements when it launched last year. Like any responsible developer, IronSun quickly set out to fix those Achievements – but they didn’t stop there. The Battlewagon version 1.1 update includes a few additional tweaks that make for a more enjoyable game – fancy that!

Battlewagon version 1.1 release notes

  • All Achievements are now attainable
  • Added a restart button to the Pause menu
  • Changed the wagon launching mechanism
  • Added a power and angle indicator for lobbing

The new restart button should make replaying levels for higher ratings far more pleasant – no more suffering through additional tries when you’ve blown your first life or two. The wagon launching is much less finicky now, thank goodness. The shot power and angle indicator (displayed numerically at the top of the screen) also improve the gameplay. I still find aiming to be kind of awkward, but at least now you can replicate effective shots by paying attention to the numbers.

Battlewagon

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Breeze

Everybody loves free games – especially Xbox Live ones. Updates are usually welcome too. On that note, ad-supported freebie Breeze, from Null City Software and Microsoft Studios, just received a festive holiday update.

Breeze version 1.1 release notes:

  • Adds holiday-based theme support
  • Fixes a few collision bugs

The holiday theme support is quite timely with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. Play the game any time between now and Tuesday, February 14th to see the new visuals. The player’s flower is currently a rose, and every level’s maze looks a bit love-lier than usual as well. Rob Hutchinson at Null City also offered this tantalizing comment: “Playing the game at different points of the year may yield different visual effects.” Anybody want to play with your phone’s calendar and investigate that hint?

Breeze is a fun little maze game with 50 GamerScore of easy Achievements – see our review for full details. Considering that the game is free and all dressed up for the holiday, Windows Phone gamers have no excuse not to give it a download. You’ll find it here on the Marketplace.

QR: Breeze

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Jeff Wilcox, 	chillaxing

Ah, another week and another Windows Phone team member is moving on to other things. Yes, Jeff Wilcox who's a Senior Software Development Engineer at Microsoft and who was responsible for many aspects of the Windows Phone SDKs (7.0, 7.1) is moving to Microsoft's Azure team to work on their cloud services. From his personal blog:

"I’ve decided that for 2012, I would like to move to the Windows Azure team to focus on the open source story for Microsoft’s cloud. At Microsoft we’re becoming more and more involved in exciting new success stories and tech such as Node.js – along the way we’ve even started using GitHub to accept community open source contributions and make these things better. There’s a great opportunity here and I want to be there to be a part of it all."

Wilcox's work has been key to making Windows Phone devs happy by giving them the necessary tools and tricks to make their jobs easier. Our own Jay Bennett often refers to him as "Gandalf" out of admiration for his work to the platform, so his moving will surely be missed. In turn, we asked Jeff what his proudest contribution to the Windows Phone SDK was:

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WP Central

Welcome to this week's summary, where we summarise the weeks news up into one easy-to-digest recap post. For our developer interview series, we were joined by Alan Mendelevich for some insight into developing for the platform. We've got episode 136 of the WPCentral podcast, and our Windows Phone forums topic highlights. Head on past the break for the full breakdown. 

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Lumia 800c

We've known that China has been testing the Nokia Lumia 800c, a CDMA variant of the popular Nokia handset, and now we have some more information.

The handset is due in March on the China Telecom network and will come in cyan, white and black upon release. In addition, the Lumia 710 is due in April and even the Lumia 900 is expected to launch there too, though no firm date was given. All phones are expected to be upgraded to Tango.

Of course with the mention of CDMA bands, our US readers are probably wondering about a Verizon/Sprint release. While it seems technically easier to do so, we're holding out for a Verizon announcement of a 900 with LTE sometime in the future but our latest intel still has no Nokia devices for Sprint. Of course being the mobile industry, things can change fast.

Source: Weibo; Thanks, nba-lin, for the tip

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WP Central

Just yesterday, we covered the Marketplace disappearance of an enthusiast's Sega Genesis Sega Gamegear/Sega Master System emulator titled Sonic's Jewels 7. But after getting in touch with the developer, we have new information and insight into what went down.

The author received an email from Microsoft on Feburary 9, 2012 entitled: "Mobile Application Content Infringement Complaint - Sonic's Jewels", trimmed for brevity.

This message is to notify you that Microsoft has received a Content Infringement Complaint (“Complaint”) for your application Sonic's Jewels. A copy of the Complaint is attached for your review.

Immediate Request

Please disable access to the application from the Marketplace within one business dayIf your application is still available for download within this timeframe, Microsoft may remove the application.  Please note that under certain circumstances Microsoft may disable your app immediately without providing you the opportunity to disable it.

[...]

Also in the email were two boilerplate options -- either file a DMCA Counter-Notice alleging the take down of the application was in error or actually remove the materials in the complaint. Obviously, the developer pulled the app.

In the attached complaint, filed February 8, 2012, Sega noted (emphasis ours):

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WP Central

LG has been in the spotlight recently with leaks of the upcoming LG Fantasy/Miracle (passing through FCC) coming to light, and now the OEM has released three more apps for consumers to download from the Marketplace. Those who own LG Windows Phones can now get their hands on NowCaster, Winny Toolbox and Winny & Friends (the last two are aimed at the younger ages).

WP Central

NowCaster is a useful app that users can fire up when waking up to the world, which will read out your calendar, the latest weather forecast, as well as other news and reports out loud. The app's usefulness is restricted to those moments when you're occupied but require to check out said information (driving, cooking, etc.).

WP Central

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Carbon v1.1

It's been a bumpy ride for Carbon, the popular Twitter app for webOS, to make its way over to Windows Phone. We had an early build of it a few months ago and since then the app has been polished and submitted to the Marketplace. Unfortunately, it was also rejected no less than four times causing the devs to become exasperated from the process.

Now, we're pleased to tell you that not only did it pass but it is now available. The app fetches for $1.99 and it is certainly one of the nicest Twitter apps on our platform. What's even better is the developers ended up submitting version 1.1 of the app, bringing even more functionality to the mix including the uber cool "inline images in your timeline". That feature means that if there is a pic attached to the Tweet, you can (optionally) have it show up as your scrolling through, giving you a quick-peek at the content.

In addition, you have TwitLonger support, font size control, everything is pinnable, background updates, read-it-later options and more, making this chock full of features.

Carbon v1.1

We've been running v1.1 for the last few days and are very impressed with it. For those of you who are Metro-crazy, this is certainly your Twitter app as it has a very minimalist/font-centric UI design. Plus it has multiple account support which is something we need around these parts, so with that, we give Carbon a big thumbs up for Windows Phone.

We'd also like to announce that version 1.2 should be out within the next few days which features some scrolling tweaks as well as "trial" support, so hang tight if you don't want to purchase right away (though we think it's worth it).

Pick up Carbon here in the Marketplace for $1.99 and let us know in comments what you think. Check our early-video preview after the break. (Thanks for the heads up, Derek B.!)

QR: Carbon

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If it's one thing Nokia likes doing more than selling phones, it's showing how they promote 'em. In this behind-the-scenes video posted by Benson Señora Producciones, we can see a new ad-campaign for the "Amazing Everyday" being set up in Madrid's Estación de Ópera, a fairly popular train hub in Spain.

So knowing the name of the place it makes sense to see the "Amazing Everyday" take on an opera theme, including a mini-stage with a digital singer presumably singing some nifty tune to folks who are passing by the setup. Actually, if you look close it seems to be a 4 foot tall digital Windows Phone that demonstrates the OS. 

Clearly the setup is innovative and more importantly, eye catching.

Thanks, Ellis B., for the tip!

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LG Fantasy E740 for sale on XDA

WP Central

Have an extra 400 Euros and willing to buy a tester device? Then XDA member SoByX may have you covered.

The forum member is reportedly selling the LG Fantasy E740 and has included numerous new photos and even a low-res video of the device in action, giving little doubt to its authenticity. He bought the unreleased Windows Phone from someone testing it and is looking to recoup his costs for his risk, which he's now passing on to you.

The device reportedly features NFC, a gyroscope and will supposedly come out around July (officially). Still, if you must have it now and that price tag sounds right, you can hit him up in the forum.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, Mark J., for the tip!

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Developer Interview: Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex

Developer Interview

For this week's Windows Phone developer interview, we're joined by Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex. While his time isn't focused on app development per se, Mendelevich does an incredible amount of work to help developers on the platform increase their revenue potential and promoting their apps. At the recent WPUG meet up, we viewed an AdDuplex presentation that outlined details surrounding effective use of social media among other promotion means to increase exposure.

Check out the full interview after the break.

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Yesterday we mentioned that Nokia was finally launching in Malaysia, pushing the Lumia 710 and 800 big time with some nice celebrations and giveaways. Now we have a superb video of the event published by Smashpop.net who were there covering the whole thing.

Malaysia launch

What can we say besides that it's great to see crowds gathering and getting excited for both Nokia and Windows Phone? You can feel the momentum building. (Although we we chuckle a bit at the slogan "Gets you to interesting faster".)

Make sure you check out the rest of the photos at smashpop.net.

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WP Central

News just in - we've lost Sonic's Jewels (pun intended). Sonic's Jewels 7 (SJ7), a SEGA Master System & Game Gear emulator, has long be at the centre of attention and was released two weeks ago. But now it has come to our attention that the app has disappeared from the Marketplace. The emulator received high praise from us for being both well designed and featuring some numerous options, including:

  • Pinnable games to the Start screen with Live Tiles
  • Three save slots per game; instant resume
  • Skydrive support for importing games
  • Frame skips for 1st Gen devices
  • Portrait & Landscape support

As well as being able to load ROMs from URLs or SkyDrive, the developer was working on an update that was planned to introduce sound emulation to complete the gaming experience. We've reached out to the developer for clarification as to why the app has been withdrawn. For now we'll allow you to speculate in the comments.

UPDATE: According to the Sonic's Jewels 7 Facebook page SEGA weren't going to allow the use of trademarked graphics/brands and thus Microsoft pulled the app. We've reached out to the developer so stay tuned for more information, thanks Lumic for the heads up on the link.

via: SmartphoneFrance

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Nokia planning Green and Red Lumia 800?

More colors?

A new video has been spotted created by AdContentMedia featuring the Nokia Luna Bluetooth Headset. And while that headset is itself pretty darn awesome what is really eye catching are those two new colors for the Lumia 800: Red and Green.

While we've seen fuchsia/magenta/pink before and we all know cyan and black, but green and red have not been shown off before and it remains to be seen if they are actually planned or just concepts at this point. Nokia has certainly experimented with other colors as described in yesterday's article on the subject and we've heard of yellow, green and white before back in December. Of course since that December interview, the white Lumia 800 (and maybe even a white 900) have come forward.

More Colors?

We'll throw this in the "sure, why not?" camp as we know Nokia like their colors and it would make sense for them to extend those offerings if the Lumia line keeps selling well. Personally, we're pretty excited about green and would love to see that infused in some polycarbonate goodness from our Nokia friends. What do you think?

[Edit: As pointed out in comments, these could also be soft-shell cases which have nearly the same color offerings, though it would have been more efficient to advertise that fact. Still, it's plausible]

Check the video after the break and catch the new colors at about 0:40 and onward.

Source: AdContentMedia; via Unleash The Phones

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AFL Season 2012 lands in the Marketplace

AFL Season 2012 for Windows Phone

Australian Rules Football fans can rejoice! AFL Season 2012 has landing in the Windows Phone Marketplace to keep you up to date on the current 2012 season.  The Windows Phone sports app is nicely laid out and looks good.  Any Aussie Rules football fan should like what they see.

AFL Season 2012

AFL Season 2012 offers live scores, ladders, league news, twitter feeds, player and team stats as well as venue details. Additional features include:

  • View Upcoming Matches for Nominated Team(s)
  • View Embedded Live Scores + AFL Ladder
  • View Fixtures by Date or by Team
  • Includes 2012 Regular Season, Finals + NAB Pre-season
  • Pin your team logo to your live tile
  • UX (Headers) is themed to your nominated team colors
  • View Team page with info, links and upcoming matches
  • Browse Latest RSS News Feeds from Major Sites
  • Comprehensive Venue details with Maps + Navigation

AFL Season 2012 preloads images and data to minimize data and will automatically convert match times to your local time. If you're an AFL fan, this Windows Phone App is definitely worth a try.

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