Weezer, an American alternative rock band that was popular in the 1990s, is set to play at a follow-up ceremony at Microsoft's opening of the company's Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, VA store on August 11th, according to a report at ARL. The software giant plans to expand it's brick and mortar empire by opening a number of stores across the US - see previous unofficial list. Inviting Weezer along is adding a cherry to this beautiful ice-cream Sundae.
We last looked at PhoneGap, the Adobe-owned open source mobile development platform, when version 1.3 arrived which included support for Windows Phone. Adobe has now released 2.0 and further expands on the feature set provided to developers who wish to build apps that can easily be submitted to multiple platform app stores.
Cordova WebView is also present, which allows for the integration of PhoneGap as a larger native application. Listed with the new features is "Windows Phone support", which we're slightly confused at since it was added in version 1.3. We've reached out to the PhoneGap team for clarification just in case there are some incredibly useful features added. We'll update the article once we've received a reply.
Although many people are using Ask Ziggy on Windows Phone these days, the search for a viable alternative to the iPhone’s Siri continues. While we’re unsure of what Microsoft has planned in this arena for Windows Phone 8, WP7 users certainly want options.
A new alternative is on the Marketplace now called simply enough ‘Assistant’. It’s made by Speak To It and while it normally costs $0.99 it’s going for free now for the first 10,000 downloads.
It uses the same Nuance voice engine as Ask Ziggy, so in that regards it’s not necessarily any better nor worse. But the UI design and layout are quite nice. You get a custom Avatar to interact with and a choice of 4 different voices (UK and US English). The app can learn your name and you can name it too (we called ours Siri of course).
This two-layer case features a compact and lightweight rubber polymer with a precisely positioned hard skeleton for added protection. The arachnid design of the skeleton extends out to protect vulnerable parts of your Lumia 900 and the back of the case features a retractable metal kickstand for viewing your favorite media in landscape mode. Comes in black, blue, red, purple and white.
Nokia sponsored the recent Tramlines music event, which was held in Sheffield on the weekend just passed. The free-to-attend event saw performances by the likes of Reverend And The Makers, We Are Scientists, Ms. Dynamite, and many more. Nokia kicked everything off with a Lumia Live light show with music from True Tiger on the Tram Lines stage.
The video above shows the display in action with activated rave wristbands.
Nokia is set to market their first Windows Phone 8 hardware differently, according to a report by the Financial Times. The manufacturer will be entering into partnerships with a handful of EU carriers to exclusively launch their next generation Windows Phone. The newspaper states the company has already entered into talks with a number of operators including France Telecom.
Nokia has traditionally relied on flooding the market with a number of mobile devices in the hope of getting them in the hands of as many consumers as possible. This may well be scrapped for a more exclusive release-based strategy with handpicked partners, much like the deal established with AT&T in the US, or perhaps we could be seeing devices specifically tailored for different carriers with differentiating features and branding?
A few days ago, we visited London’s newest shopping mecca, Westfield to get a quick take on how much coverage Windows Phone is getting in the retail space. Much has been made about Windows Phone not having good retail exposure. We wanted to see if this was true and get a feel for how things look for Windows Phone in the UK's largest shopping centre.
Almost as soon as we entered the main concourse, we were surprised to find a full-blown ZTE promotional stand. Currently ZTE produce one Windows Phone, the Tango spec Tania, a device that’s somewhat hampered by having only 4GB memory it does make up for it with a generous 4.3" screen size. The stand was there primarily to promote a new Android phone but the Tania was along for the ride and being displayed right up alongside it.
Our audience is smart enough to know that no electronic system of communication is impervious to eavesdropping and there’s very little out there that’s near 100% secure. So it should come as no surprise that Skype is getting some publicity of its internal network restructuring that started occurring once Microsoft acquired the company last year.
The charge: Microsoft is reconfiguring the Skype network so that it Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) can have access to intercept calls over the network to aid in investigations.
The reality is of course convoluted with no concrete evidence but it’s worth mentioning what exactly is going on here. So head past the break to get the scoop.
Although it’s been a slow news weekend there have been a few bits worth mentioning but not necessarily getting a full on post—mostly because they’re somewhat interesting but not necessarily important. This weekend's stories are:
Does Nokia have an exclusive early release for Windows Phone 8? We call shenanigans.
Nokia's stock - now with even more junk!
Nokia Music gets amped to version 3.1
Head past the break for the weekend’s collection of too small to pass but too big to print...
If you're not familiar, Gydar Industries is the developer behind Windows Phone titles such as Trine's Hangman and People Search. Gydar Industries is based out of Norway and today marks the anniversary of the tragedy in Oslo and Utoya. Feeling the need to do something positive in remembrance of this tragic event, Gydar is offering all their Windows Phone apps for free today.
While some may have thought we had forgotten about the Windows Phone Central Photosynth contest, truth be told it was down right tough picking out a winner. If my count is correct, we had eighty-eight entries submitted over at the WPCentral Forums ranging from beach scenes to mountain landscapes to concerts to even a laundry mat photosynth. There were so many fantastic entries it was tough to pick just two from the lot.
But in the end, the two photosynths that stood out are....
Update - Version 3.0 is now live in the Marketplace as we just got the notification! Link after the break...
Although we’re still seeing version 2.0 for Nokia Drive on our Lumia, Nokia has finally pulled the covers of their highly anticipated version 3.0 which should be hitting the Marketplace in the next 24-48 hours. It has us so excited, we’re almost yearning to get lost just so we can use it.
Version 3.0, in our opinion, finally makes Drive the app we all wanted and expected from Nokia—sure the other versions were nice, especially for free, but they paled to the pay apps of Garmin, etc.
It's time for another 'From the Forums' where we bring you only the latest and greatest threads from the Windows Phone Central community forums. If you have been absent for the past few days, this round-up will provide you with everything you need to know.
Kicking us off is rsuter who poses the question "Will WP8 beat this?", where he asked the community if they thought the next Microsoft mobile upgrade could compete with Google and Apple when it comes to voice recognition and assistance. We've already got commands that can be performed by a Windows Phone when speech is detected, but how will it evolve?
Mush is probably the most charming platformer in the mobile Xbox Live lineup – and it’s an exclusive to boot. Developer Angry Mango has kindly provided Windows Phone Central with some exclusive goodies to share with you.
First off, Mush is a generally easy game. Like ilomilo you can’t die, so the challenge comes entirely from the puzzles. It does get harder as you progress though – take the puzzle at the end of Level 5: Catfish Capers, for example. Getting the ball where it needs to go in order to activate a switch and open the door might just stump some gamers. Fear not; the above video shows exactly what to do. Whichever lovable writer got stuck on this puzzle was most certainly overthinking things.
Next up we have a bevy of beautiful Windows Phone-sized wallpapers. Check ‘em out after the break.
Games often receive title updates when they have major glitches or bugs that need squashing. But sometimes updates just make little tweaks for other reasons. Such is the case with this week’s Dodonpachi Maximum update.
Sales numbers and estimates are always a tricky thing, especially when you don’t have concrete numbers to work with. We also tend to boast the good news and downplay the bad so with that caveat we’ll provide you the latest in “market analysis”. Don’t worry, this one is mostly good.
Birdsong, a Windows Phone Twitter app, experienced a little technical difficulties with Live Tile and push notifications. The developers have worked diligently over the past few weeks and the new push notification service went online just a little while ago.
Birdsong is a nicely laid out Twitter app for your Windows Phone that supports multiple accounts, threaded conversations, geo-tagged tweets, off line viewing and much more.
Mark Osborn, creator of the Windows Phone app Articles for Instapaper, is just in the process of uprooting from the UK and moving to the the US. We had been in touch with Mark for a while as he had shouted me on twitter to tell us about his Instapaper Client for Windows Phone. For those not familiar, Instapaper is a free web service that lets you save web pages and articles to read later. With Articles for Instapaper, you can tap into your Instapaper account from your Windows Phone to read your articles.
We were just in time to catch him before he headed off to frolic in Europe one more time before he left and had the opportunity to sit down, drink too much coffee and chat about the old, the now and the next.
We haven’t heard much about Zite (zite.com), a news service that’s owned by CNN, but we should start paying attention to it. Zite is not just a news-app but rather a service that finds stories based on your likes and interests which gets you away from the “information overload” that many of us experience today.
The app has been on iOS since late last year and is also on Android too but now the service is coming to Windows Phone and the CEO is quite excited—mostly because he uses a Lumia 710.
During last night’s WPUG meet in central London, we got a chance to catch up with Richard from Igneous Software. BBC Podcast lounge is a must-have app for those that want to catch up on all the amazing and free content from Auntie Beeb. Richard was able to give me a quick walkthrough of the latest update that is currently in testing.
The current app is great but with this update, Richard looks to be taking a logical and very welcome next step. From 1.4 onwards users will be able to subscribe to podcasts. Great news, even better is that it offers options to keep up to 3 podcasts of each. That is very similar to the options presented on the Zune desktop client. Whilst the Zune music hub in Windows Phone is great, it’s not possible to subscribe to podcasts or even browse and download manually. The only way to get podcasts on your device through Zune is to first connect to the computer, subscribe to the podcast and then sync with your phone, once that’s done it will grab them. It’s a far from convenient solution, something better needed to be found.
A fairly lightweight Windows Phone emulator has made its way onto the Marketplace, which enables the user to see how the upcoming UI refresh would look on their handset. By lightweight we mean that no tiles launch any apps (links to Marketplace listings instead), but it certainly gives you a feel for what's to come with live tiles showing data, flipping around and having fun.
That's pretty much W Phone 8 in a nutshell, and while it may not seem a lot it's very well presented.