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Nokia launches Lumia 800 in Ireland [Video]

Nokia has officially launched the Lumia 800 in Ireland, with the above video capturing the action at (and around) Grafton Street, Dublin. We can see the Nokia team handing out free hot beverages, invading carrier and retail stores to effectively showcase the Lumia 800. There was also a prize draw for a handset giveaway.

Are you planning to get your hands on the "sexy, elegant, beautiful, wonderful, functional" Lumia 800? The handset is available from Vodafone on contract at €30/mo or for €429 without a tied plan, as well as usual retailers.

Source: YouTube (Nokia IRL), thanks Ellis for the tip!

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Facebook App

The team behind the Facebook for Windows Phone app has announced an imminent update that will address an issue, which was introduced in the recent 2.3 update. A number of our readers noticed that you could no longer access the Events from the main menu (this now requires hitting the "..." menu and filtering our the news feed).

WP Central

Good news for those who utilise this feature often and miss the easy menu entry. We'll update you all when the fix has been approved and rolled out on the Marketplace.

Source: Facebook, via: Plaffo, thanks Antonino for the heads up!

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Nokia Lumia 710

The Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 Windows Phones became available for pre-order today (or was it yesterday?) through the Australian wireless carrier Optus. Plans range from $19 to $79 with varying features and if you're in the market for either Windows Phone, WPDownUnder has worked up a rather detailed analysis of each plan. Pre-orders placed by February 26th will ship on March 1st.

VirginMobile, who will be offering the Lumia 710, has yet to release plan pricing and details. It has also been confirmed that select Nokia partners in Australia will have an unlocked version of the Lumia 710 available in March that will be compatible with Telstra's and Vodafone's 3G networks.

March seems to be shaping up to be a big month in Australia for the Nokia Lumia line of Windows Phones.

Source: WPDownUnder; thanks, Sheeds, for the tip!

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800 Bundle

If you have $900 to spare and really want that AT&T compatible Lumia 800 bundle (which also includes the Purity HD headphones, Luna Bluetooth headset and Play 360°), you don't have to have to travel to a physical Microsoft Store as you can now order it online and direct from Microsoft (save some tax money too).

The package, though seemingly expensive at first glance, is actually not a bad deal considering what you are getting:

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AT&T's Global Smart Messaging Suite

Here's an interesting little gem: On February 1st, AT&T pushed out a new app to the Marketplace called "AT&T Secure Messaging". Part of their new service, the app looks to be an excellent addition for Windows Phone users on the all-powerful network. From the app's description:

"AT&T Secure Messaging enables the exchange of encrypted messages between businesses, enterprises and government agencies who are using AT&T's Global Smart Messaging Suite powered by Soprano. AT&T Secure Messaging ensures your sensitive personal data is protected -  for example, a one-time password from your bank/online payment broker or a healthcare appointment reminder. Your secure messages are encrypted, then sent to the AT&T Secure Messaging mobile application and decoded, ready for you to read."

Fascinating stuff, especially for Windows Phone users in those key industries. For perhaps obvious reasons, we have no experience with AT&T's Global Smart Messaging Suite, but a quick trip to their site gives a plethora of details on the service which even regular consumer can opt-into (for a hefty price):

"The AT&T Global Smart Messaging Suite is a powerful web-based application designed for large enterprise messaging and communication. The AT&T Global SMS service enables 2-way communication (via SMS or e-mail), and can reach employees and opted in consumer subscribers at most wireless carriers globally. AT&T can help organizations get started using domestic short codes for cross-carrier SMS messaging, and the AT&T platform can also be extended on a global scale for messaging to employees and consumers worldwide."

AT&T's Global Smart Messaging Suite

Think of it as an in-house messaging service akin to Exchange. This push by AT&T into secure message delivery seems to be relatively new. A quick glance on YouTube shows a recently uploaded video detailing how this service can benefit the healthcare industry like hospitals in protecting vital doctor-patient data. Of course in the demonstration Android and RIM are shown using the service but it's now clear that AT&T also intend for Windows Phone to be there too as the app and service are both ready to use. That's good news as this could be a big area for AT&T to be entering especially as institutions look to support the many different devices of their end users.

If you're on AT&T you can find the app here in the Marketplace. QR code and video demonstration of the service can be found after the break. Thanks, Ben H., for the find!

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Not a week goes by without Nokia getting some exposure via their "Amazing Everyday" campaign. This week we get two new videos, one from Madrid (Marquesinas Autobus) and Barcelona (Marquesinas Metro) with the latter being especially pertinent as we're on the cusp of Mobile World Congress 2012 which occurs in that very city starting in one week.

In these new videos we see a four-foot interactive Windows Phone that allows passerbys to take a few minutes to try the amazing UI. Come to think of it, this is a great idea as many of you will agree that the Metro UI is one of the key selling points of Windows Phone (and by extension Nokia). So allowing users to play with a giant phone while waiting for the subway or bus seems like a great way to get folks to experience the new design.

We've said it a million times already and we'll say it again, it's great to have Nokia out there pushing Windows Phone.

Source:  BensonSenoraProd (YouTube); Thanks, Ellis B., for the tip!

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Summary of the Week

It's that time of the week folks! This is when we fill you in on your Windows Phone news and where you can catch up with any stories you might have missed through the week. We had a special guest on episode 137 of the WPCentral podcast, Jeff Wilcox from Microsoft. Should you want to enter some exciting contests, we've got you covered with both the Reinstaller app competition and a T-Mobile Lumia 710 giveaway.

Mobile Nations, the umbrella of related mobile websites, is running a survey to calculate which tablet our readers (from all sites/platforms) desire the most. Don't forget we're still running through the month of fitness! We're still not done with the positive stuff here guys as the WPCentral Store is offering a whopping 15% off on all Windows Phone accessories with the President's Day Sale. This offer ends tomorrow (February 20th). Over on our busy forums, we've got the weekly update on what topics are hot. Now we've got everything WPCentral related out the way, head on past the break for the weekly summary.

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WP7 Root Tools 0.9 coming soon with new features

WP7 Root Tools 0.9

Well known Windows Phone hacker Heathcliff74 announced an upcoming revision to his homebrew suite of tools on Twitter today. He noted WP7 Root Tools 0.9 will bring additional device support and allow homebrew developers to mark their applications as "trusted", opening up unfettered access to the file system and Windows APIs.

He also noted that he'll release a mini SDK, allowing developers to use both Windows APIs and use model-specific functionality without infringing on the copyright of any major carriers, OEMs, or Microsoft [ed: like Julien Schapman's TouchXperience].

Keep your ear to the ground, we'll let you know the moment it's ready!

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WP Central

We've been covering the launch of Windows Phone in Indonesia via the Lumia 710 and 800 for a few weeks now. Officially being released over the weekend, the launch was proceeded by numerous events to spark interest and build momentum.

One of those events was a Nokia Developer Day day sponsored by Microsoft and it was attempting to break a record with at least 800 developers coding at once for new Windows Phone apps. Now, the Indonesian Record Museum (Museum Rekor Indonesia / MURI), which is similar to Guinness for world-record keeping, has officially certified the day as a record with more than 800 devs participating in the 24-hour event.

Entered as record number 5308 in the MURI archives, the award was accepted by Narenda Wicaksono, Development Operations Manager Nokia Indonesia and Microsoft's Risman Adnan, Developer Director of Microsoft Indonesia (image above).

Nokia Developer Day, Indonesia

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From the Forums...WP7 the NOT so Obvious

WP Central

Sometimes in our forums we come across a member who stands out. Someone who likes to give a little more of himself to help our community. Se1fcr3ation is one of those type of people. He has created a thread in our Windows Phone 7 OS Discussion this stickiest thread is a must read for anyone interested in Windows Phone. We like to think we know a thing or two about WP7 but Se1fcr3ation has taken this to a new level buy adding all the new and old Windows Phone information to his thread--we could all learn something from it. It's also a great tool for quick reference with links to a lot of Windows Phone information.

Basically I’m going to be breaking down a phew things related to WP in General that are not that OBVIOUS and hopefully help some of you out

First things first: If you have questions here at WPcentral we have a GREAT community (on most parts and MOST of us are willing to help and answer any question you may have.

So don’t be Shy

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WP Central

We previously took a look at 4Chan Reader when it entered into the Marketplace, which was surprising with the previous submission review trouble other apps of that nature encountered. The app, which would normally set you back just $0.99 (£0.79), has been made available for free until the end of February.

The reasoning behind the temporary change in price? The developer of 4Chan Reader has recently pushed out an update that contained not only bug fixes and improvements, but a massive UI overhaul. Please remember that this app is not safe for work, home, or anywhere in public. You can download 4Chan Reader from the Marketplace.

Thanks Axel for the tip!

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WP Central

Microsoft has been pouring resources into the SkyDrive service with a recent update that introduced a fresh batch of features and functionality. While 25GB is offered for absolutely nothing (and is more than enough for most users), the software giant is looking to introduce paid upgrade plans according to a report by the Brazilian site Gemind

The prices for storage upgrades that allow up to a cumulative total of 125GB (25GB standard + an extra 100GB) available cloud storage space, are set to look like the following:

  • +20GB for $11/yr
  • +50GB for $27/yr
  • +100GB for $54/yr

Not only that but there's evidence of native clients for both Windows and Mac (see below), which will please many for more convenient access to their stored files.

WP Central

The news of a Mac client will definitely impress users as iCloud upgrades can prove costly. In fact, Microsoft could really work wonders with SkyDrive on Apple's platform with the iOS app and now for the desktop OS. It's not known when this rollout will cover the rest of the world.

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WP Central

With the outlook on Zune (as a service) being fairly bleak, it's somewhat positive to hear rumours of Microsoft engaging with the record labels regarding a potential new music service - or an upgrade to the existing. While the Zune Pass service as a whole is pretty feature rich with download and offline playback functionality, it hasn't been actively adopted as the software giant had hoped, which is largely due to the company not pushing the service out hard enough and market competition.

Windows Phone, Windows and the Xbox console all sport Zune access to a certain extent, but with Windows 8 just around the corner, plans for better multi-platform integration and a more useful (yet user-friendly) service would please many. According to the report over at CNET, HTC and Nokia are in talks with the software giant to partner in the deal. It's not known what the new service would bring to the table, but one would suspect a move towards the likes of Spotify, and possibly place the new music service under the Xbox LIVE branding.

It would be interesting to see an iTunes Match-like feature introduced where subscribers could upload their entire music collection, then stream it over the air to a Live ID associated PC, Xbox and Windows Phone. Microsoft is looking to have the new music service up and running this coming summer. Would you like to see anything altered/introduced? Let us know in the comments.

Source: CNET

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Smoked by Windows Phone goes to Hong Kong

Smoked

Looks like the Smoked by Windows Phone phenom is spreading to the Far East. Starting yesterday and continuing through the weekend, over in Hong Kong the Windows Phone team is taking challenges to their OS--from iPhones to Android phones, all are fair game. From Simon at We Love Windows Phone:

"The “Smoked by Windows Phone” Hong Kong version (「挑戰」, a local Hong Kong slang meaning challenging each other) was organized by Microsoft HK starting from yesterday (Friday in Hong Kong) to Sunday. The event yesterday was held for 2 hours and for the remaining two days it would be held for 4 hours each day. Challengers using iOS, Android or Blackberry devices are all welcomed to join the challenge. There are more than 5 challenge tasks that people can randomly choose from to compete with Windows Phone (details of tasks would be shown after the series of event is finished by our site in order to increase the excitement for contestants)...If the challenger wins, they can get HK$1000 (~US$130) in cash as a reward; while if they lose, they get a specially designed Windows Phone tee!"

So far it's going well as yesterday that had 11 challenges and 0 losses, which ain't too shabby. For more photos and details, head to We Love Windows Phone!

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TELUS launching Nokia Lumia 800 in early March

WP Central

TELUS has been listing the Lumia 800 as "coming soon" since mid January so it only makes sense that we start hearing about it launching soon. Rogers already has the Lumia 710 which went on sale last week but Nokia's other Windows Phone needs to get into some hands and hopefully soon.

Mobile Syrup is reporting that launch events are now being scheduled (see above) and employees are being trained on Windows Phone--meaning a release is immenent. Some dates tossed around include March 9th or at least during that week.

That gives you folks just a few weeks to start saving for that phone, which hopefully won't be priced too high.

Source: Mobile Syrup; Thanks, Jesse B., for the heads up

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Bing Search updates for Windows Phone detailed

WP Central

The Bing UK team has published an interesting article on the official blog, detailing two new features coming to the search engine integration featured in Windows Phone. 

Bing Vision on Windows Phone already enables the user to detect product information scanning QR codes and Microsoft Tags with the camera, but now Bing Vision supports barcodes on CDs, DVDs and book covers. As well as picking up information on the product, the service will provide local availability and cost comparison for convenient shopping/price checking on the go. This feature goes live as of today (see above photo).

The second announcement covers the ability for users to take a photo of a newspaper (or magazine) article and Bing Vision will fetch the digital version, if available. Offering global access to users this feature, which is set to launch in March and will simply be added functionality to Bing Vision, will provide access to over 3,000 publications worldwide. Pretty neat, eh?

Source: Bing UK Blog

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Nokia is offering Hungarian Lumia Windows Phone owners a worthy freebie. Should you remember SurfCube 3D, the web browser with a virtual 3D cube transition effect, and reside in Hungary then you'll be able to snatch up a Nokia branded version of the app for nothing at all. 

Check out the video above for an Easter egg found within. Should you be eligible for the free version of the app (usually $1.99 or ad-supported), head on over to the Marketplace to download SurfCube 3D for Nokia (requires a Hungarian Live ID), which is available until April 15th. Updates will cease after this date has passed.

Via: wp7.huthanks, Tamás, for the heads up!

QR: SurfCube for Nokia Lumia

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WP Central

Gartner has released Q4 2011 data for worldwide smartphone sales to consumers, which shows some interesting signs for the Windows Phone platform. The dip in both number of units sold and marketshare is more-than-likely due to the drop of Windows Mobile. The push by Nokia has had some positive effect regarding the brand of both the manufacturer and the mobile platform, but numbers are still yet to reflect any solid progress.

As of Q4 2011 Microsoft was sat behind Samsung's Bada and the pesky 2%. With Nokia and Windows Phone "Tango" to target the emerging markets as a Symbian replacement, and upcoming "Apollo" to introduce a massive OS overhaul, by the end of 2012 Gartner predicts the platform to hit 8.6% marketshare. The analyst firm also believes these numbers to reflect Windows Phone sales only.

We may be in the second year of its life, but Microsoft's platform is still relatively young. The promotion and brand awareness campaigns that Nokia are running may require more time to take affect. The good news is the outlook for 2012 with the two OS updates (as well as new handsets). Bring on MWC.

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The New Zealand Herald releases Windows Phone app

NZ Herald

The NZ Herald, popular newspaper in New Zealand, has released an app for Windows Phone, providing frequent readers on the mobile platform with more convenient access to articles. Though it should be noted that to read full news stories IE is required. Some highlighted features:

  • View all your favourite sections of the Herald - National, World, Business, Sport, Technology, Video, Entertainment, Motoring, Lifestyle, Travel and Opinion.
  • Swipe between sections, tap on a headline to preview and read the full story if you want more.
  • Easily share stories with your social networks.
  • View the latest photo galleries and video in full screen.

Hopefully we'll see more integration, with support for full articles, offline reading, etc. in future updates. It's good to see more official support for Windows Phone nonetheless. You can download NZ Herald from the Marketplace for free. 

Source: NZ Herald

QR: NZ Herald

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Mobile Nations Fitness Month continues...

Mobile Nations Fitness Month Week 3

The Mobile Nations Fitness month continues!

If you're joining us while we're already in progress, it's never too late and you can go read all about Mobile Nations Fitness Month in our first WPCentral Forums installment. Here's where week two leaves off and week three begins. This is where we're setting reasonable, attainable goals. This is where we're starting our pattern for pure win. This is where we're engaging the awesome!

We've started another discussion group in the WPCentral Forums to start week 3 where you can find week three's goals as well as our latest weekly prize winner!.

Remember we will randomly select one reader who chimes in on their fitness adventure weekly to win a WPCentral Accessory Store gift card. At the end of the month, we'll draw one lucky winner to take home a Xbox 360 and Kinect!

There is a special edition of Zen and Tech that has plenty of tips to stay motivated with your fitness goals but if you need more inspiration, hit the break to see the iMore and Crackberry motivational videos. Please understand we are not responsible for the trauma that might result in viewing these videos. It may be advisable to remove children and small pets from the room before viewing.

Good luck with it and let us know in the forums how it's going.

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24

WPCentral Nokia Lumia 710 Giveaway

WPCentral's giving away a Lumia 710

We're giving away a T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710! All you need to do is snap a photo with your Windows Phone, post it in this WPCentral Forums discussion and we'll select the best photo out of the bunch to take home the Lumia 710.

Sounds easy right?

Here's the fine print. Only one entry per reader and the photo must be taken by a Windows Phone camera (we'll stretch it to any smartphone camera). The photo theme - Black and White.  You can submit a photo of people, places or things but it needs to be presented in black and white (grayscale to some). You can use apps such as Thumba or Fhotoroom to convert the picture to black and white or use desktop software (e.g. Photoshop) to take care of things. Image size? Keep it around 5x7 at 72 dpi.

You have until February 24, 2012 until 5:00pm CST to submit your photos. Give us a few days to judge everything and one lucky contestant will win the Lumia 710 and one runner up will walk away with a $75 gift certificate to the WPCentral Store.

Good luck everyone!

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President's Day

In celebration of President's Day you can shop all weekend and save 15% on all your Windows Phone accessories in the WPCentral Store. To get your 15% discount, be sure to use the coupon code pres12 during checkout.

This offer is not valid with any other coupon and expires at Midnight PST Monday 2/20/2012. Don't forget about our Fast Free Shipping on US orders of $50.00 and higher!

Enjoy the Presidential Savings! Start your Shopping Now!

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Indonesia

We mentioned that Indonesia was slated to receive the Lumia 710 and 800 sometime in February and it looks like that day is today February 17trh. We have some photos from one of the launch events, presumably Jakarta, and it looks to be quite a blast.

IndonesiaIndonesia

And in the image below is a shot of some of the 800 coders on hand for Nokia Developer Day which was run in conjunction with Microsoft. The goal: 800 devs for 800 new apps. Now that's a way to kick start development in Indonesia.

Coding day

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Palringo Beta

For those of you who go back to the Windows Mobile days, you'll remember an instant messaging service called Palringo (www.palringo.com). The program was its own IM service, which allowed things like voice-clips to be instantly sent along with photos and files. In addition, it was also a multi-client meaning it could support and connect (by proxy) to other IM services such as AIM, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, ICQ and more. Finally, it had support for custom Groups which were basically permanent chat rooms that one could create and invite people to, in addition to supporting iOS, Android, Symbian and Mac/PC desktops.

We reported a few months ago that Palringo was finally going to support Windows Phone, heck we even showed some early screenshots. Now, v0.5 Beta is live in the Marketplace free to use for all. Of course that beta tag means it is still in development, so all won't be perfect, but we've been using it for the last day and half with little to no issues.

Palringo

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