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A new video of the Sony Ericsson "Julie" (branded "Jolie" in the video) Windows Phone has been published to the Internet. Unfortunately, the company, now Sony Mobile, has continuously stated that they have no immediate plans for Windows Phone. Which is a shame as the handset itself doesn't look half-bad. Slap Windows Phone "Apollo" 8 on there and you could have a winning next-gen slider.

It's interesting to note that this version gives us the impression there's more than one variant of "Julie", as it's an all-black design unlike the earlier prototype we saw pictured. With "Apollo" itself, the next major Windows Phone upgrade, expected to be released later this year, we could see support from Sony Mobile should the platform maintain this steady increase with regards to market share and positive feedback from carriers.

Source: YouTube; thanks, Daniel, for the heads up!

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Nokia Trailers

Hot on the tail of the Dark Knight Rises app for Lumia phones comes Nokia Trailers. The app pulls no punches as it is what it sounds like--an app for viewing all the latest trailers and teaser clips from the latest Hollywood movies.

Nokia Trailers

The app though goes beyond just streaming by allowing you to also download the trailer for offline viewing. In addition you get a cool Live Tile to alert you when new trailers are added to the system so you can keep up on all the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Other features include:

  • Watch list - Set reminders for movies you want to see
  • Share your favorite trailers with friends
  • Locate local theaters nearby 

We'll be honest, we've been looking for such an app for a long time on Windows Phones and this fits the bill nicely. We're big movie fans around here so being able to stream and watch the latest trailers with no garish ads, having reminders for movies and being able to share on our social networks are all pretty cool features. Nice job, Nokia.

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WP Central

The Dark Knight Rises app for Windows Phone is now available to all Lumia handsets. We last looked at the recently released app back when UK retailer Phones 4u announced availability of the limited edition Batman The Dark Knight Rises Lumia 900. Should you not be able to pick up the special Lumia 900, but own a Lumia Windows Phone, don't fear as you can download the app and enjoy the experience.

What's included in the app? Trailers, wallpapers and ringtones, as well as a countdown to when the film is set to premier. Coupled with the counter, the app displays the nearest theatres that will be showing the title, using the location of the user. Directions to theatres are available on-hand so it requires little effort to get planning for the big day.

Should you login and connect to your Foursquare account, you get to choose your side (Batman or Bane) and play a Foursquare-based mini-game titled Claim Gotham City. A map is presented to the user that enables locations to be taken over by either side (checking in), earning points and exclusive content. As well as taking over locations on your own, joint attacks can be performed with other players. It's a fun twist.

WP Central

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WP Central

Red Badger has finally released update 1.7 for Birdsong, the Twitter client for Windows Phone that has been left collecting dust on the shelf for a fair few months. We previously looked at version 1.7 when it was announced on the Red Badger blog that the update would be pushed out soon. 

Without repeating ourselves too much, this version fixes the login issue that users were experiencing, as well as the setting save 'fail' that prevented live tile functionality being enabled. The search has been revamped, which now sports saved searches pulled down from the micro-blogging website. If saved searches weren't enough, the team have also thrown in trending topics functionality.

You can download Birdsong from the Marketplace - we'd recommend a fresh install if you've been experiencing problems with previous versions.

WP Central

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Battleship Superweapons

When Windows Phone Central first wrote about Electronic Arts’ Battleship coming to Windows Phone, we were concerned that it might be a timed exclusive for Nokia phones. Thankfully that has proven not to be the case, as Battleship launches Wednesday, June 6 for all Mango-supported devices. Phew!

Battleship has little to do with the corny movie of the same name. Instead, it’s an adaptation of the popular board game from Milton Bradley. In the Classic game type, two sides take turns blindly firing at each other, trying to find and destroy the other’s ships. Salvo mode works much like classic, but moves faster than traditional games because you’re allowed to fire as many shots per turn as you have remaining ships.

Battleship Bombs

The videogame-exclusive Superweapon mode adds a variety of new weapons to the gameplay. These weapons unlock based on ships sunk across all game modes, tying the whole package together. We’re pleased to bring you the first official screenshots of Superweapon mode... As you can see, it also jazzes battles up with 3D graphics. Don't worry, Classic still looks like the game you remember.

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E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo kicks off with Microsoft’s press conference this Monday, June 4. We’ve already outlined our predictions and plans for the event, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing new to share right now. A number of developers have released trailers of the console games they’re showcasing at E3 ahead of time.

First up is Skulls of the Shogun from Haunted Temple Games and Microsoft Studios. Skulls is a beautiful and fast-paced strategy game that’s scheduled to arrive on Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8, and Windows Phone as an Xbox Live title. We’ll be playing it at E3, so look forward to our impressions!

Head past the break for a big batch of E3 Xbox 360 game trailers!

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Super Monkey Ball Lead

The illustrious club of 99 cent Xbox Live games on Windows Phone has a new member this weekend: Super Monkey Ball from SEGA. The game rolled out at $4.99 on April 6 last year; dropped to $2.99 only a month later; and has at last settled on the rock-bottom price of less than a dollar.

Super Monkey Ball price drpShould you buy the first Super Monkey Ball right now when a much-improved sequel is due later this summer? Sure, if you can tolerate some truly terrible tilt controls. The awful, non-customizable controls and sadistic stage design are really the only things holding SMB back. The core gameplay itself always makes for a good time. The graphics feature very appealing art and color design, and the music isn’t bad either.

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Sweet Sync

Although many of us are now hardcore SkyDrive users, some people still rely on or need Sugar Sync (www.sugarsync.com) for their file sharing and storing needs. And while Sugar Sync is working on a Windows Phone client, we have no ETA on when that app will arrive. So it's with great pleasure for us to see Sweet Sync on the Marketplace fulfilling that role.

The client offers most of what you would expect a mobile Sugar Sync client to offer:

  • Allows the creation, modification and deletion of any file or folder in your account, including received shares
  • Upload, Download and View Images
  • Create public links for your files and share them with friends
  • Open documents with public links directly on your phone (Not all filetypes can be opened)

We just took the app for a spin and it's hella-nice. Bold graphics (which are not Metro but still look nice), ease of use, plenty of options. Heck, we're impressed with it and while it may not replace our SkyDrive, we're not against adding extra storage when and where we can either.

Sweet Sync

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WP Central

We're getting a few reports, including one over at tech site cnBeta.com that the Windows Phone Marketplace is undergoing a lengthy blackout. Specifically when users try to download an app, the progress bar gets about half way (full downloaded) and then an "attention required" message pops up with an error 805a01f8.

What's perhaps worse is these errors have been going on for nearly 20 hours now, making this a significant down-time for many new Windows Phone users in China.

WP Central

The error users are seeing in China right now when they attempt an app download

Word from cnBeta is that there is no official comment from Microsoft China on the matter and users are basically on their own until the system is fixed, leaving many users disgruntled and frustrated. 

Companies like Nokia and HTC have both recently made a large push into China signaling a successful attempt at selling Microsoft's OS to new customers, however such a setback with the Marketplace could create some negative blow-back from early adoptees. 

If you're in China and experiencing these problems or if they have resolved themselves, let us know in comments.

Source: cnBeta.com; Thanks, x. wang., for the tip

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Does your Windows Phone color choice mean anything?

Does your color preference in Windows Phones uncover a personality trait? Whether it is a white Samsung Focus 2 or a cyan Nokia Lumia 900, does your choice of colors reflect more than a fashion statement? There is some school of thought that the choice of color isn't a conscious effort but rather a sub-conscious choice. Color psychologist Angela Wright states,

“Every time you make a color choice, you’re making a statement about what’s going on in your head, even though most you the time you don’t know it. Around 80 percent of our color choices are sub-conscious.”

So how do the color choices break down? Here's what the color psychologist has to say.

Cyan - The Thinker: The cyan blue is a happy color that conveys an intellectual and considered nature. It is a balanced color that is inspiring. The blue helps to focus your thoughts and clear your mind.

Samsung Focus 2

White - The Sophisticate: White gives off an impression of a sophisticated smartphone aficionado with high standards.

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Reuters Insider for Windows PhoneReuters Insider landed in the Windows Phone Marketplace the other day with exclusive programming for financial professionals. You'll need to be a financial markets professional to use the app and will need a corporate email address to register.  We have been told that University email addresses will work as well for students and faculty members.

Reuters Insider has partnered with over one hundred and fifty financial information providers such as CNBC, Citibank, Nomura and Roubini. The app is designed to deliver breaking news, exclusive interviews, and in-depth commentary on financial market issues.

Should you be a financial professional with a corporate email, Reuters Insider appears to be a useful app for your Windows Phone. Reuters Insider is a free app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, bilzkh, for the tip!

QR: Reuters Insider

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WP Central

MobileSyrup have received a tip detailing TELUS plans to launch and push the Lumia 610 Windows Phone. The unnamed source sent in a photo of a prototype Lumia 610, which is already launching across Europe, and states that it's scheduled to launch on the Canadian carrier sometime in the summer. TELUS is already sporting the Lumia 800, a Windows Phone that has pleased VP of Mobility Solutions at TELUS, Brent Johnston.

MobileSyrup speculate a price tag of between $200 – $250 and also add NFC into the specification list for the upcoming device, something we're aware that's exclusive to Orange who plan to launch an NFC supported Lumia 610 sometime in Q3. Note that the Lumia 610 only packs 256MB RAM, which brings with it limitations.

Source: MobileSyrup; thanks, bilzkh, for the heads up!

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ESPNcricinfo for Windows Phone

ESPNcricinfo is a Windows Phone sports app to keep you up to date on all the cricket action going on around the world. Cricket the game, not cricket as in Jiminy Cricket.

ESPNcricinfo covers international matches, ICC tournaments and major domestic leagues including English county championships, Indian Premier League and Champions League. The app is laid out nicely, as with any ESPN app, with pages covering match scores, news, magazine articles, and a tile menu that pulls up stats, videos, settings, rankings and more.

ESPNcricinfo

Other features for ESPNcricinfo include:

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WP Central

Just when we thought the patent wars were over, Google has announced yesterday that they've filed an antitrust complaint in Europe, pointing a finger at Nokia and Microsoft regarding patents. The search giant is arguing that both companies are using third-party agencies (which are internally branded "patent trolls") to increase the costs for mobile devices, which would in-turn provide a strong advantage to the Microsoft ecosystem. An example is provided by Google, where the company states that Nokia and Microsoft have entered into revenue-based agreements with the likes of Mosaid Technologies.

Last year the two companies in question transferred a total of 2,000 patents to Mosaid, as well as Nokia selling 450 to IP Bulldog. Google views a threat on the horizon where more fees placed on OEMs may force manufacturers to look elsewhere, Windows Phone in this case, for cheaper production costs. While details of the filing has not been published, a statement from Google has been provided:

"Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that sidestep promises both companies have made. They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices."

By colluding with both Microsoft and Mosaid, Google alleges that Nokia has betrayed its previous open-source commitments. A Microsoft representative has responded to these claims with the following comment:

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E3 Sneak Peek: Xbox Smart Glass

Xbox Smart Glass

The Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) is just a few days away and Microsoft has given us a small glimpse at a new Xbox companion, Xbox Smart Glass. Xbox Smart Glass will be optimized for Windows tablets and phones to allow users to control their Xbox console, play videos and other media from their tablets and phones, and send videos to the Xbox to play on the television.

The app sounds similar to the Windows Phone Xbox Companion app but with a lot more gusto. Plus there's the Windows 8 tablet coming into play which is appealing in and of itself. Xbox Smart Glass will also be available for Android and iOS tablets and phones.

Microsoft will be demoing Smart Glass at E3 next week and hopefully will shed more light on the capabilities of Xbox Smart Glass. We'll be in attendance at E3 and hopefully we can shed more light on Xbox Smart Glass.

Source: Examiner Via: Engadget; Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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MonsterUp Adventures

We've covered the popular "jumper" game MonsterUp previously on Windows Phone Central--published by Karios, the game features great music, bold, adorable graphics and interesting twists on an old concept. Though Doodle Jump gets the headlines, MonsterUp to us was always more creative. Now, Karios has returned with MonsterUp Adventures and we got a little sneak peek of the upcoming tile.

Instead of just a straight sequel i.e. yet-another-jumper, MonsterUp Adventures is more like a proper video game now. It features:

  • Levels you need to complete
  • Multiple "bosses"
  • Gems, jewels and coins to collect to unlock new monsters
  • A shop to purchase new monsters (who each have unique powers)

Whereas before the goal was to just jump as high as you can, now on each level you need to "jump to the end" to complete it. It takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes per level and yes, it's quite challenging at times (especially on the 2nd half of the island). The collecting of jewels to purchase new monsters is well done as it gives you motivation to try new combinations, plus it adds to the replay value.  The bosses, while not very difficult, add a nice break to the jumping and the exquisitely drawn and unique backgrounds keep the visuals fresh.

Sadly, MonsterUp Adventures as submitted to be an Xbox LIVE game but was denied by Microsoft. Like Karios, we're not sure what the criteria is for making into that coveted camp but compared to the last few stinkers on Xbox LIVE, MonsterUp Adventures more than makes the cut in our mind.

The plus side is MonsterUp Adventures will get to your phones sooner than if it were on Xbox LIVE and Karios can deliver more updates, more frequently.

So our verdict? We really like this game. Jumpers are fun but they can get old fast. Karios Games have taken that concept to a new level with 'Adventures, breathing new life into the growing franchise. With fantastic graphics, a catchy tune and high re-playablity we're impressed.

Look for MonsterUp Adventures to arrive in the Marketplace very soon. Check out the promo vid after the break...

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WP Central

"Enthusiasts" can now load custom ROMs on devices like this HTC Titan

Good news for those with "2nd generation" Windows Phone like the HTC Radar and HTC Titan, the Dark Forces Team (DFT) have released their custom Hard Secondary Program Loader (HSPL) for those devices, including a "wizard" to guide you through the somewhat complicated process. Announced back in March, the team has made solid and steady progress over the last few months on the project.

HSPLs are needed to "unlock" the bootloader of certain smartphones in order to get custom ROMs to load onto them (think of it as a layer of security). Without this tool-set, modified OS's for those devices simply have nowhere to go. Now that these tools are available comes the second step: the creation of custom ROMs which will require some "chefs" to cook them up,

Second generation HTC devices have been notoriously difficult to crack for DFT so this is a fairly big win for the homebrew community. Unfortunately, devices like the Titan II still won't work with this tool so it's best to still wait for DFT to get that going.

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Best Independent Games for your Windows Phones

Windows Phone Central's round-up of the best independent games

Best Independent Games for Windows Phones

Well.... we've taken a look at the best camera apps, best must have games, best must have apps, best free games and best weather apps for your Windows Phones. Now we turn our sights the independent game developer for the Windows Phone platform.

They make code from their basement office or from a start-up company but some of these games can give the larger software companies (EA, Microsoft, etc.) a run for their money. We've rounded up a handful of games from the Marketplace's independent developers that we have found to be entertaining, fun, well presented and a worthy addition to anyone's Windows Phone gaming library.

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WP Central

The Carphone Warehouse has the Lumia 710 at an attractive price of just £99.99 (excluding required £10 top-up), which widens the gap between itself and the supposedly "dirt cheap" Lumia 610 priced at £180 with Clove UK. The Windows Phone is the first Nokia smartphone to be priced below £100 since the partnership began with Microsoft. 

The Lumia 710 will remain priced at £100 with Carphone Warehouse until June 7th, so be sure to get in quickly should you be looking to pick one up. The Windows Phone is perfect for those who don't require a device like the Lumia 800, Samsung Omnia, or HTC TITAN, and sports a 1.4GHz processor, 512MB RAM, and 8GB storage.

Source: Carphone Warehouse, via: AllAboutWindowsPhone; thanks everyone for the heads up!

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Lumia 900 on Touch

Well, if there's one thing we learned tonight it's that a lot of you watch Kiefer Sutherland's "Touch" series on Fox, at least judging by the amount of tips we received. Evidently tonight was the two-part season finale (yes, the show was renewed) and the main child prodigy gets his hand on a cyan Lumia 900. What's more, the scene is fairly long by product-placement standards, resulting in some nice screen time for the hit device on AT&T.

Also note the appearance of the AT&T AirGraffiti app for Windows Phone. For those of you who don't know, AirGraffiti was a concept app from AT&T that allows users to "...leave videos, photos and songs “in the air” at physical addresses for friends or others to retrieve when they visit that location". It's a very cool concept that uses the phone's media resources, social networking and Location Based Services (LBS).

AirGraffiti on Windows Phone?

AirGraffiti on Windows Phone?

No word though is that app is actually coming to Windows Phone or AT&T and Nokia are just teasing the hell out of us. Let's hope it's the former as that'd be a very cool win.

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Deal Alert: Dragon's Blade goes on sale, now $.99

Dragon's Blade for Windows Phone

The popular Windows Phone RPG game Dragon's Blade has seen it's price slashed from $6.99 to $.99. We aren't sure how long this sale will last but it's not a bad deal on a decent little RPG game.

You create a party from seven classes that includes warriors, templars, thieves, juggernauts, archers, sorcerers and clerics. Once you have your team assembled you explore the lands to discover treasure, explore dungeons and battle monsters.

Dragon's Blade

There is also an online mode where you can chat with others in your area, backup your gaming progress online, and play mini-games within the game such as blackjack.

Graphics and animations are nice and if you've been on the fence about buying the full version of Dragon's Blade now may be the time to act. You can find an ad supported, free version of Dragon's Blade here and the ad-free version of Dragon's Blade DX (currently $.99) can be snatched up here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, Jonas, for the tip!

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Windows 8 Release Preview now available to download

WP Central

Microsoft has made the anticipated Windows 8 Release Preview available to download in 14 supported languages. This version is the final release before the next major operating system hits gold, and includes a number of improvements made by Microsoft using feedback received from the community in past releases.

Should you be familiar with Windows 8, and have installed the Consumer Preview, you should look forward to more features and apps, including news, travel and sport. If you've not picked up a copy yet, you might want to do so to see how Microsoft is changing things on the desktop / tablet to match Windows Phone.

You can download the Windows 8 Release Preview from Microsoft.

via: MSDN

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WP Central

WorldMate (website) is a popular mobile travel organiser, which has witnessed success on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia (S60) and Windows Mobile. The Windows Phone app will feature an itinerary organiser that will enable users to share WorldMate content with the community.

WorldMate for Windows Phone will also be able to connect to Facebook and LinkedIn accounts for convenient sharing, as well as the ability to check out who's nearby to trip destinations. It's a must-have calendar for any soul who travels often. We last covered the app when it was named runner-up at the Microsoft Acceleration Week.

WP Central

WorldMate is set to be available next week. We'll be sure to alert you when it's live and have a quick video walkthrough published. 

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Recap of last night's Windows Phone UK celebration

WP Into Event

The Windows Phone UK team held an exciting event in Camden last night. The Into Live Event saw live performances from local bands, and even the popular Noisettes. As well as the music, a steady flow of food and alcohol were on the table with each attendee receiving two free drink tokens (much like the HTC launch event for the TITAN and Radar). I went along with Robert Brand from Glance and Go Radio and also managed to meet up with Tom Warren from The Verge. So what was down at Proud Camden?

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WP Central

The Windows Phone UK team has been busy taking the Dare to Live challenge on tour throughout the UK. They first began the challenge marathon at Westfield in London and has since arrived in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle and Sheffield, challenging the public to see if their smartphone can beat a Windows Phone at common tasks. From uploading a photo to Facebook to publishing a status update to social networks.

The team were also present at the Into live music event, which took place at Proud Camden last night in London. So, how about some statistics? According to the team, they've enjoyed a 98% win rate with 22,782 wins under the belt, accompanied by 568 losses (similar to the Smoked By Windows Phone competition's). A week breakdown is also available under the graph.

WP Central

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