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WP Central

It was only last week that Nokia Germany confirmed they'll be rolling out the much anticipated 12070 "battery fix" firmware update to Lumia 800s. Now it seems as though Three UK is coming out on top with keeping customers up-to-date as we've just received notifications of an update for our Lumia 800.

The update, which was originally set for April 18th, has been confirmed by the manufacturer to be configured for a staged global release (with Singapore enjoying a premature delivery). Depending on carriers who chose to release it, the 12070 firmware update will be rolled out to new countries on April 4th, 11th, and 18th until the update has been pushed out to every Lumia 800.

After applying the update to our Lumia 800 we noticed a significant improvement to battery discharge readings. This should solve most battery life issues many owners have been experiencing. Be sure to keep an eye out for notifications on your Lumia 800s, or in Zune and the Mac Windows Phone Connector.

Have you received the update on your Lumia? If so, let us know what carrier you're with in the comments.

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Kinect Star Wars Xbox 360 Impressions

Kinect Star Wars

As part of WPCentral’s ongoing Xbox 360 coverage, we’ll sometimes discuss console titles of interest to our readers. Kinect Star Wars, which rolls out to retail today, certainly fits that bill. It comes from developer Terminal Reality with LucasArts and Microsoft Studios sharing publishing duties.

As the title suggests, Kinect Star Wars is an Xbox 360-exclusive title that requires the Kinect motion-sensing peripheral to play. Players are tasked with helping C3PO and R2-D2 sort through the Jedi archives. The two lovable droids run around and make all kinds of silly quips as you navigate the game’s excellent menus, which also happen to have the best voice controls of any Kinect title so far. Each of the five archives is a distinct game mode, allowing the game to deliver a variety of classic Star Wars moments and gameplay styles.

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WP Central

Should you be a UK student (above the age of 16) and are developing for the Windows Phone platform, you'll be in with a chance of winning one of a 100 Lumia 800s that are being given away to student developers. All that's required is for young developers to submit apps to the Marketplace and they'll automatically be in with a chance of winning one.

Not only are 100 Windows Phones being handed out, but should your app prove to be unique and of high quality you could find yourself spending the day at a Microsoft office to expand knowledge and experience with platform technicians and experts. Pretty neat, eh?

To enter:

  • Register on the competition website.
  • The Student Team will then monitor your app submissions in Marketplace.
  • 3 random prize draws (up to 30 x Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phones per draw).
  • 1 Top App Competition (up to 10 x Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phones and trip to Microsoft offices).

Be sure to enter the competition before submitting your apps and check the terms and conditions. Remember that every app you submit will increase your chances of winning.

Source: MSDN

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Droplitz Delight, Sally's Spa, and Tiki Towers 2

Clockwise from left: Droplitz Delight, Sally's Spa, and Tiki Towers 2

It’s been a while since the folks at Game House released a new mobile Xbox Live game, but that will be changing very soon. WPCentral is pleased to announce that Game House will be publishing three more Windows Phone Xbox Live games in the months to come. All three are sequels and should be a lot of fun when they finally roll out. Head past the break for full descriptions and more Game House news.

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LG Miracle E740H spotted in wild with TELUS branding

LG e740

An LG Miracle (E740H) has again been spotted in the wild, but this time it bares the flag of Canadian carrier TELUS. The handset, which was previously leaked, has been confused with the LG Fantasy but we can now clarify the differences in design with the LG Fantasy heading for Sprint and these new photos of the Miracle. We've been informed by our source that TELUS customisation present includes a custom welcome screen.

The LG Miracle is believed to be a mid-range phone equipped with a 4-inch WVGA NOVA screen, making it the first WP7 device of its kind. It will be powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and sport 8GB of storage, and 1.3MP FF/5MP (LED flash) cameras.  LG's Miracle is also thought to connect using 14.4Mbps HSPA radio, 5.0GHz-capable 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0. 

LG e740

We're unable to confirm if this handset will be a TELUS Windows Phone available to consumers, but with the carrier personalisation included on the model our source had hands-on experience with, we can remain hopeful.

Thanks Jordan for sending the photos in!

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Is this Sprint's LG Windows Phone?

Mystery LG Windows Phone at the FCC

This isn't the first time we've seen the LG Windows Phone LS831.  It's appeared on WP Bench and we first caught wind of the device being at the FCC back in October 2011 but only had the FCC ID label to show for it.  There's even some speculation this is the LG Fantasy.  Now we have pictures (doesn't look like the leaked pics of the Fantasy) and more information that could make the LS831 Sprints new Windows Phone.

FCC documentation on the LG LS831 indicates this Windows Phone support CDMA in the EMSR 800MHz band. A band used by Sprint.  The LG Windows Phone also supports the 1900MHz CDMA band.  Along with the banding, you also have a Sprint/Nextel Waiver included in the FCC Documentation that ties the mysterious device to Sprint.  

As far as device specs, beyond the 5mp camera everything else seems to be a bit of a mystery.

Could this be Sprints next Windows Phone?

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Bing Contest

Microsoft has setup a contest using their Bing Rewards to win one of five Nokia Lumia 900's. The contest "costs" 10 credits for some reason to get a chance in the contest, which is basically nothing in terms of Bing credits.

The contest runs through the month of April ending on May 1st. The winners will be chosen on May 10th and winners will be announced a week later on the Bing blog and contacted directly before then.

Sounds like a cool little way to potentially win a device. Of course most of you will probably buy a device before then, so consider this a chance for second one.

To learn more about Bing Rewards, head to their site to learn more: Dscoverbing.com/rewards/web

Source: Bing Rewards; Thanks, @purevibz, for the tip!

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Nokia Launch Party...

We knew Nokia wasn't going to just sit by and let the AT&T Lumia 900 launch without an "event" to go with it. Low and behold, that whole countdown on the SmartphoneBetatest.com site was counting down to this very day.

The launch party is happening in New York City, specifically Times Square at 7 pm and is open to the public. There will be a live performance from....someone and we're hoping for something awesome visually (Lasers? Can we get some lasers?).

Of course being that we're in New York City, heck we're not too far from Times Square right now, we should be able to be there to cover the event with video, photos and a full report.

Stay tuned...

Source: Twitter

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Microsoft's Robert "The Phone Guy" Luciani brought the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge to attendees at the Web Days 2012 event, which was held in Stockholm. Should contestants beat the Windows Phone with a competitive handset, they pocketed 500kr. Rules were identical to Ben Rudolph's version with simple smartphone tasks being used as testing grounds.

Thirty-four challenges were conducted over two days with 33 wins and only a single loss.

Source: YouTube, via: WindowsPhone.nu; thanks Christian for the heads up!

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HD2 Omnia 7 Tango ROM

Little over two weeks since it was released, the custom Windows Phone "Tango" (build 8773) ROM for the Samsung Omnia 7 has been bumped to version 3.1. The Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh contains a number of minor changes (most notably lower RAM requirements), including MMS improvements and an SMS bug fix.

The changelog for the v.3.1 custom ROM is as follows:

  • Image update now working
  • Custom apps updated
  • CSC file cleaned
  • Removed HTC drivers
  • Fixed known glitches & carried out optimisation
  • Pagepool set back to 3/1 mb

Be sure to head on over to the XDA thread to download the custom Windows Phone "Tango" (build 8773) ROM for the Samsung Omnia 7.

Source: XDA, via: Plaffo

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DecisionMaster decides to update to version 2.0

DecisionMaster for Windows Phone

DecisionMaster is a problem solving app for your Windows Phone (here's our review from way back when) where you input multiple options and criteria, compare these options, and find out which is the best option to pursue. In many ways, DecisionMaster weighs the pros and cons of a decision to help you choose the best course of action.

DecisionMaster was recently updated to version 2.0 which most notably adds the ability to send decisions via email and adds a trial version to let Windows Phone users try before they buy. The user interface received a slight face lift and there were a few customary performance tweaks with the update.

DecisionMaster

The premise of DecisionMaster is the same. You enter your choices/options, then your evaluation criteria, and then compare or rank each option based on the criteria. DecisionMaster then spits out how the options rank amongst one another. Once the numbers are crunched you have the options to save the decision or email your results.

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MetroTwit Plus License Winners!

MetroTwit

Last week we announced the update to the popular Metro styled Twitter client for the PC, MetroTwit. To celebrate the update, we had ten licenses to the "Plus" version to give away. The "Plus" license will allow you to use multiple accounts and no ads.

We randomly drew the ten winners from the 257 comments the MetroTwit update post generated. Our lucky winners are:

  • luimende
  • npyle4
  • syang87
  • lozenp
  • xeean
  • dancerjude
  • yus
  • columnbreak
  • Snow
  • RacoonTech

We will get all the details on how to claim your license to the winners shortly.  If you're just tuning in and are curious about Metrotwit, you can find more information about MetroTwit and download your free, ad-supported version here from the MetroTwit website.  

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to everyone for participating.

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WP Central

Elan Feingold, co-founder of Plex, has shared his thoughts on the experience the company has had with development on the platform thus far. Plex recently released the official app for Windows Phone, which enables the user to stream movies, music and photos to their device(s) on the go.

Feingold is a longtime iPhone user who has never had any interest in Android, due to the mess of the system itself, fragmentation and how much work is involved into personalising the experience to suit the user's needs. He was introduced to Windows Phone ("Mango") by his brother, and explains his initial reaction:

"When Windows Phone 7 was released, I was intrigued by the design and typography [...] my initial impression (this was pre-Mango) was lukewarm, and I was obsessed with the iPhone at that point anyway, so I just went all fanboy on his ass and mostly ignored it."

Feingold moves onto talk about how he returned to Windows Phone in January and ordered himself a second-hand Samsung handset to aid with development. He was surprised by how impressed the operating system left him after initial use.

"Windows Phone felt original, well designed, and fun to use. The performance was great, really smooth in a way iOS is and Android isn’t even in ICS. The 'pivot' and 'panorama' UI concepts were fresh and a great way of making good use of a small screen in portrait mode. The typography was clean and brazen. The integration of Facebook and Twitter made them feel like first class citizens, not an afterthought. The live tiles on the home screen were a great way to make the phone feel alive."

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Our friends at Xbox360Achievements.org recently spent some face time with Microsoft’s Raymond Estrada, who showcased several current and upcoming Xbox live titles for them. The video is our first chance to see several of these games in motion, plus it confirms a few choice details like Pinball FX 2’s payment structure. Head past the break for a full description of each game and links to our previous coverage.

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Lumia 900

Although it's probably too early to tell how the AT&T Lumia 900 is doing (and the brunt of its popularity will undoubtedly come months from now), it's worthy to note that on Amazon Wireless, if you sort by best-sellers you get some interesting results.

For instance, by sorting under AT&T best-sellers, we can see the Lumia 900 (Black) is currently in the number #1 spot with the Cyan version holding on to number #3 (the venerable and popular Galaxy SII is in #2). That's not too bad a showing considering we're just talking about pre-orders for the phone and it has yet to get into anyone's hands, let alone reviews for the device.

Sorting without a carrier also yields some positive news with the Lumia 900 Black sitting at #6 and the Lumia 900 Cyan at #8 across all smartphones. The current number #1 position is held by the ridiculously named 'Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX 4G' which goes to show there's no lacking of bad and kitsch taste in the smartphone world.

Best Seller

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WP Central

International pre-ordering of the Lumia 900 and 610 have gone under way and with AT&T busy prepping stores across the U.S. for the upcoming release of the Lumia 900, it's great to see availability surfacing in Europe (and beyond). We've combined three reports into one - Italy, Mexico and Brazil.

Italy

As one can see in the above screen capture, the Lumia 900 international version is available for €599, with a €99 pre-order fee / deposit, at NStore in Italy. The low-budget Lumia 610 is available at just €199, with a €49 pre-order fee / deposit (deducted from total cost). The 256MB RAM Windows Phone is also headed for the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, and India to name a few more destinations.

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WP Central

It's time for your weekly recap on the world of Windows Phone. Everything WPCentral has covered the past week in a digestible walkthrough (with a list of links for even faster browsing) with every news story that's worthy of your attention. Before we crack on with the summary, we've hosted a poll for readers to engage in that asks the question: Lumia 900 or TITAN II?

Episode 139 of the WPCentral Podcast is live, which covers everything to do with the Lumia 900 and AT&T. Should you be interested in the Lumia 900, you might want to check out our forums where hot threads have hosted some interesting discussion from members. We have interviewed Richard Castle of Igneous Solutions, who is the brains behind the BBC Radio apps and upcoming BBC Podcast Lounge.  Be sure to head on past the break for the full summary.

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Plex

We broke the news just the other day that Plex (see site), a popular application for Home Theater PC users, was about to release their official app for Windows Phone which would enable users to stream movies, music and photos to their devices on the go.

That app is now live in the Marketplace and user reviews so far have been quite high for the app although some users are reporting a few errors. Still, due the popularity of Plex and the responsiveness of their developers, any issues present in a 1.0 release will surely be worked on soon enough. From the app description:

"The Plex application allows you to use your Windows Phone to browse and play your media (video, photos and music) using the Plex Media Server installed on your PC, Mac or Linux system. You can also view online media from a variety of sources.

YOU MUST HAVE THE PLEX MEDIA SERVER (version v0.9.6 beta or higher) INSTALLED AND RUNNING TO STREAM LOCAL MEDIA: http://www.plexapp.com/getplex"

The app fetches for $4.99 although there is a free, fully-functional trial that is limited to 30-second playback of media. You can pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Read more on Plex media and their desktop server apps at their site: http://www.plexapp.com/ Thanks, Bearach, for the tip

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WP Central

Wow! What a week we have been having so far. If you haven’t heard, Nokia is launching a new device in the US on AT&T called a Lumia 900/ We have all the news on the front page and even more discussions in our forums.

This week we are approaching the April 8th release date of the Lumia 900 so we are trying to curve our excitement by talking with some AT&T reps that already have the device.  If you are interested in talking with an employee of AT&T that has a Lumia 900, you can check out one of these threads.

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Smartphone Beta Test

There is little doubt that Nokia has the deep pockets, ingenuity and cleverness to make an effective advertising campaign for the AT&T Lumia 900. The question is, when will "Operation Rolling Thunder", their nickname for their advertising bombardment of the US begin and what will it entail?

Part of that question is now answered with the site 'Smartphone Beta Test' (www.smartphonebetatest.com) which is a bold and humorous attempt on taking on Apple's iPhone. The site features a countdown clock that expires on April 6th and a video of a man who looks a whole lot like ex-Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell sitting in a chair, being bored as he waits for the countdown to expire.

Smartphone Beta Test

Below that section we see three videos that directly take on the iPhone: Exhibit A "Outside", Exhibit B "Sick Golfer" and Exhibit C "Death Grip". All three videos feature marketing people sitting around a conference room discussing a blurred out, un-named device that is clearly an iPhone. One of the members raises a problem with the device e.g. the famed iPhone death-grip while the other two mercilessly mock him for even caring.

From here we can see one of Nokia's angles for selling the Lumia 900: they will directly be picking a fight with AT&T's former 'hero' device, Apple's iPhone (in addition to possibly any other "beta" phones, which for us brings to mind Google's Android). It is certainly a risky move but if any company can do this, it would be Nokia.

The code shows all...

What's interesting is the site currently has the Nokia name crossed out and there is no mention of the Lumia 900 just yet, but we know it's them. For one, the colors of the site are very much a part of the Nokia "Amazing Everyday" campaign and the whole design screams Nokia. And while their domain lookup tells us little (it was registered by proxy, so no information), there is some solid proof it is them behind the site. By looking at the source code for the web page we can see a single Java script link-back to Nokia.com (see above image), which seals the deal for us.

We look forward to see what happens with the site in 5 days and the following Tweets (#BetaPhone) that go with it. Currently those hashtag tweets are done by just a few people, notably from Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners an ad agency which is probably behind this whole Nokia project.

Update: As noted in comments by wp7rocks, going to the site's images directory reveals AT&T and Nokia items. The most curious is this one, calling every other smartphone in "the last 5 year years" a "tester".

WP Central

Update 2: Reports have come in noting that a teaser ad of this has shown on TV during some NBA games today. You can watch it here.

Source: Smartphone Beta Test; Thanks, cmunic8r99, for the link

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WP Central

Techark Solutions, the company behind a number of Windows Phone apps including Mood Swing and RedMinder, is giving away Mood Swing branded t-shirts and mugs on Facebook. Mood Swing, which is available for both Windows Phone and iOS, features the following:

  • Easily track your moods using our beautiful expressions
  • Pick from a personalized list of mood images
  • Attach a photo with your mood entry (camera or pick from gallery)
  • Share your Mood Swing on both facebook & twitter in one easy step
  • Become aware of your own emotions and improve your life
  • Customize your specific mood situations and categories

Be sure to enter the giveaway, by providing your name, gender, email and desired shirt size, before the closing date of April 12th. Open to U.S. residents only (T&Cs). What mood are you in?

Source: Facebook (Techark Solutions)

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WP Central

Globe Telecom are celebrating the upcoming release of the Lumia 800 Windows Phone by giving one away for free on Twitter. Partnering up with Nokia, the carrier has a shiny new 800 to give away to a lucky Twitter user. So how does one enter this small contest?

Simply tweet @enjoyGlobe with your favourite Nokia handset and when you purchased it, followed by "I want a Nokia Lumia 800 from Globe! #GlobeLumia800". It's that simple, and you'll then have a good chance of pocketing your own 800 for absolutely nothing at all.

Be sure to get your tweets in now to be in with a chance of winning a free Lumia 800 as we're told it's only open for today. You can now also pre-order the Lumia 800 from Globe for just P1,499 /mo, which are expected to be available by April 16th.

Source: @enjoyGlobe; thanks Bon for the heads up!

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AT&T Nokia Lumia 900

There are reports being circulated on the web that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 has sold out of pre-orders. We've received several tips from readers indicating they've received notification that reads along the lines of,

The items in your order are currently out of stock and will be shipped when inventory becomes available. When the items in your order ship, we'll send you an email with the ship tracking number(s).

Before you panic and think that the AT&T warehouse has run out of Lumia 900's remember, the phone is backordered because it hasn't been released yet. As we understand things, because the Lumia 900 hasn't been released yet i.e. stocked on shelves, the system sees the phone as "backordered" or not in stock.  We still are expecting the Lumia 900s to ship within the next few days and for AT&T to have plenty on hand at the retail stores on April 9th (along with the HTC Titan II).

Of course there is always the slight chance that AT&T became so overwhelmed with pre-orders that the supply just isn't there--who knows what the response so far has been to Nokia's latest effort. It's possible, but unless Nokia had a very tight supply we don't really think that has happened yet. Still, we'll keep an eye on this for any further developments.

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WP Central

This week we've had the pleasure in being joined by Richard Castle of Igneous Software, the brains behind the BBC Radio apps and upcoming BBC Podcast Lounge. As well as a solution for BBC radio streaming, the Podcast Lounge offers Windows Phone users Metro-influenced access to the BBC catalogue of programs. Castle walks us through his background in software development and how he started up the covered projects. 

Head on past the break for the full interview.

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