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White 900

The thing about pre-orders is so long as the site doesn't charge you until the item ships, companies can say whatever they want. Why we mention all of this of course is Negri Electronics are offering to take your $649.50 for an unlocked Nokia Lumia 900 in white. A device that hasn't even been announced officially yet (though we think the it probably exists). We checked out the site via Reseller Ratings and they have a respectable 7.5 out of 10--so they're not a complete scam if that makes you feel any better.

White 900

As mentioned above, they won't charge your card until it ships but either they have some early info or they're aiming for some site hits for publicity. We're about 50/50 split on that one, so we're not exactly ready to endorse this as legit, but hey it's your money.

Source: Negri Electronics; Thanks, nokiawp7, for the heads up

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New YouTube Live app for Windows Phone gets the job done

YouTube Live

We'll be honest, we had no idea there is a live YouTube section on their site (http://www.youtube.com/live) but indeed there is, so it only makes sense that some of you would want to watch it on your phones. The app YouTube Live by wsoftvn (devs of the excellent easyTube, easyWallpaper and easyHeartRate) has just been released and it is currently free and ad-free to all. Last we checked, free is a good deal and there's not guarantees that it will last. In other words, you may want to grab it now.

Although the selection of "live" shows on YouTube is a little niche (lots of gaming and Arab channels) when you find something you want to watch, YouTube Live works extremely well. We just streamed a news conference over T-Mobile's "4G" HSPA+ pipes (admittedly a much better network than AT&Ts for raw speed) and it went without a hiccup--in fact it looked great.  Here are some of the live channels:

YouTube Live

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Free retro gaming Windows Phone wallpapers

WP Central

David Bandey, the brains behind the ZX Spectrum ringtones and owner of the Retro Video Game (RVG) music blog, has released a number of wallpapers that fit perfectly on your Windows Phone. Titles include Batman, Arkanoid: Revengoe of Doh and Firefly.

The retro wallpapers are available in three styles:

  • Style 1 – A simple enlargement with smoothing,
  • Style 2 – A classic style comic book ink shading applied,
  • Style 3 – Glowing Neon Edges.

Bandey is taking requests, should you wish to see another title be available as a wallpaper.

Source: Retro VGM Blog

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Nokia has been busy in Spain setting up "The Amazing Everyday" Windows Phone campaign promotions in a number of train stations, including Madrid's Estación de Ópera. In the video above we can see the team setting up an "Amazing Campus" at the Barcelona University station, and below we can see a setup at Passeig de Gràcia, an important avenue in the city containing many popular pieces of architecture.

Integrating advertising into the locations targeted is an impressive feat Nokia has been illustrating throughout Europe, especially with the deadmau5 performance in London last year. The University will allow Nokia to possibly attract the young souls they previously stated they'd be hunting down to rejuvenate the mobile brand.

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The Nokia Lumia line of Windows Phone definitely turns heads but did you know that Nokia is offering a matching Bluetooth headset? A headset that is sure to turn heads as well?  The Nokia Luna is a button sized Bluetooth headset that is paired with a base that doubles as a storage case and charger. And it's not only the looks that makes the Luna an impressive headset.

Nokia is rating the standby time of the Luna to be 60 days in the storage case (we're guessing the case holds a maintenance charge) with standby time out of the charger at 35 hours. The Luna is also NFC in that you can pair it by laying it flat against the back of a Lumia Windows Phone.

The Luna is available in five colors to match your Lumia handset and just looks cool. We've been told that the Luna is "coming soon" to the U.S. Market. No words on pricing but Euro versions are being imported for around $90 (when you can find them). Once we get our hands on the Luna, we'll get a more detailed review up. In the meantime, hit the break for another Luna video that also highlights the Lumia 800 color choices.

source: Nokia; Thanks, Ellis, for the tip!

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Facebook v2.3

We mentioned how this morning version 2.3 of the official Facebook app should be going live today and true to their word, it has.

The new version brings a complete redesign of the UI as can be seen above in some new screenshots. The panorama look makes the app more Metro friendly and more importantly, it adds much more functionality like the ability to see and add "likes" to posts. There's also a refined tool bar at the bottom with quick access to Check in, Add (post) or quickly add/take a new photo.

In addition, you now have access to pages, groups, feed filters, privacy information and banner images. Speed of the app seems on par with before and we're hoping for more reliable notifications (always a tricky issue that is more Facebook than Windows Phone).

So far it looks to be a solid and respectable update, something many of you have been wanting for months now--so are you satisfied? Hit us up in comments...

Pick up the official Facebook app version 2.3 here in the Marketplace (and watch our video tutorial on how to force the update).

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A romantic "The Amazing Everyday" in France

WP Central

Love is certainly in the air with a Nokia Twitter contest in the UK, but Nokia France is pushing the bar up higher by setting up a floral display of roses on the the Place du Palais Royal, in Paris. The public will be given roses for free, along with a box that contains a card with a "2 for 1" meal offer.

From February 9th to March 11th, 2012, Nokia will offer the "2 for 1" deal with every Nokia Lumia 710 or 800 purchased to mark the "Amazing Valentine's Day". Participating restaurants will be able to offer the lucky couples a deal on the menu. Check out the offer on Facebook for more information, and the rules of course.

Source: MonWindows Phone

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Nokia UK Valentine's Day Twitter Headphone giveaway

Nokia Lumia Twitter Comp

While we're all treating those we love (or are fond of) with expensive gifts, Nokia UK is giving away 5 pairs of their fuchsia Purity headphones in a Twitter contest. How does one enter? It's easy, simply tweet to @Nokia_UK with a film/song title that includes the word "love", replacing that word with "LUMIA". Be sure to include "#LoveforLumia" in the tweet.

Hurry up should you wish to enter as the competition ends at 5pm GMT (just 2 hours away). Check out the giveaway page for the T&Cs. This is open to those who reside in the UK.

Source: Nokia's Facebook Page

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Messaging Emoticons

If you're like us (read: human), you probably have a hard time remember how to trigger every single emoticon (or emoji in Japanese) on Windows Phone. Aside from marring your otherwise beautiful Nokia Lumia phone by taping our foldable guide onto the back, there is no good way to remember these things. Cue Messaging Emoticons.

Messaging Emoticons is a completely free app written by Windows Phone enthusiast Corey Blakeborough that offers handy access to the otherwise volumous selection of emotions on Windows Phone. It's simple to use too: You fire up the app, type out the text you wish to adorn, and tap on the emoticon(s) you wish to use. Or you can switch to the copy mode -- via the icons at the top of the app -- to reveal a scrolling list of all the emoticons available on Windows Phone. Then you can simply mash the emoticon you wish to use and it'll be magically transferred to the clipboard, ready for your use in another app.

Messaging Emoticons application

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Facebook

Good news for you Facebook users out there not yet content with the official app, today you should be receiving an update to version 2.3 which from the looks of it is quite significant. From the Facebook page:

"Test out your groups. Visit your pages. Look at who likes your posts. Change the banner image. Check out the improved news feed performance. Use the new filters. Explore the improved navigation."

  • News feed performance improvements
  • New panorama design
  • New profile design.
  • Banner Images
  • Improved navigation
  • Pages
  • Groups
  • View “likes”
  • Feed filters
  • Posting privacy
  • Bug fixing

We're not big Facebook users but even we recognize that a lot of those are things many of you have been asking to be added. And new panorama design? Yes, please!

We just did the Marketplace check and saw v2.2 was still listed, so you may want to go in and check on a regular basis. Remember, you can watch our video tutorial on how to "force the update" when it does become available instead of waiting for the notification.

Pick up the official Facebook app here in the Marketplace.

Source: Facebook; Thanks, Cyruss89, for the tip

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We detailed the Carbon v1.1 launch this past weekend and one thing is for sure, you folks really like this Twitter client. Here in the US, the app is now #2 under the Social category and it's rocking 4.5 stars which is pretty slamming for an initial release.

It was noted that in the coming days, v1.2 would be released bringing trial-support and numerous other enhancements. Now we're getting a taste of that as the developers have posted a new video showing off their new "quote gesture".

We always highlight "smart" things around here at WPCentral and this quote/reTweet gesture is quite brilliant. We have a feeling that Carbon will have a very successful future on this platform with these kinds of additions.

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Grooveshark HTML5 site now working on Windows Phone

Groove

A few weeks ago, Grooveshark.com announced an HTML5 version of their music-streaming site which made many of us excited--after all, IE9 on Windows Phone is all about HTML5. But alas, the first to complain that their browsers wouldn't play anything were Windows Phone users despite attention paid by the web developer for Grooveshark, James Hartig. In fact, he detailed his experience in a blog post laying blame on Microsoft: "Windows Phone Plagued by IE9's Flawed AJAX".

That didn't stop Microsoft's Ben Riga, Technical Evangelist on the Windows Phone team and Eric Lawrence, Program Manager on Internet Explorer, from trying to help out. And in a new blog post, the Grooveshark dev has now been able to figure out how to properly get Grooveshark running on HTLM5 for IE9.

We just loaded up the site (html5.grooveshark.com) and not only does it load quickly and look beautiful, but gosh darn it actually plays music (even under the lock-screen). In other words, all is good and while we'd still prefer a dedicated Grooveshark client, we'll take this mobile HTML5 site for now, thank you very much.

Kudos to Ben, Eric and James for working this out.

Source: Dev Jar; via @benriga

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White 800

While Phones4U can claim an exclusive for the white Lumia 800 on contract, Expansys UK is now taking pre-orders for the SIM-free version.

No price is set but don't worry--Expansys will verify with you before they charge your credit card and ship your phone. In addition, you can order this internationally meaning even those in the US can partake in the all-white Lumia experience (of course, you'll pay dearly).

Expansys

The 16GB glossy white Lumia should be shipping in the first week of March. Head here to Expansys to get your preorder on.

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Chickens Can't Fly rocket

As yesterday’s video preview proves, WPCentral’s Daniel Rubino is a big fan of Chickens Can’t Fly, this week’s Must Have Xbox Live game. The game is due out this Wednesday, and we’ve got some fresh details to tide you over till then.

Chickens Can’t Fly is the Xbox Live sequel to indie game Chickens Can Dream. Whereas a previous indie-to-Xbox Live sequel, IonBallEX, was basically just the original game with a new set of levels, Chickens Can’t Fly greatly expands on its predecessor. The entire Chickens Can Dream experience is still present in Can’t Fly, where it’s become Survival Mode. In Survival, players pilot a chicken through a randomly generated level until their lives run out, trying to pass as many checkpoints as possible along the way.

The bulk of Chickens Can’t Fly’s new content comes in the form of more than 50 individual levels, called Experiments. These short levels are ideal for playing on the go. Each one poses as an actual scientific experiment, with goals like seeing how many sausages the chicken can eat without dying, or whether it can survive eating bad corn. The variety of goals and challenges present in the Experiments is quite impressive. Depending on your score, you’ll earn a Bronze, Silver, or Gold rating for each level, too.

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Developers!

Today we've seen how big giant companies can have a sense of humor (Exhibit A: Nokia) and we'll continue that with Microsoft (who have never been above self deprication, see Rivera's famous example). What you see above is a LG GW910 Panther running Windows Phone 7.0. These were seeded out to developers even before Windows Phone went public (remember all of those early sightings?).

What's funny though of course is the lil' message Microsoft had emblazoned on the package for the device, adopting Ballmer's famous sweaty credo which, yes, we'll post after the break in full re-mix form.

Because it never gets old.

Update: Turns out, Mr. Brandon Watson was the culprit behind the idea. Brilliant!

Guilty

Source: ZanzibarMcFate (Reddit)

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Win a Windows Phone for Valentine's Day

V Day Windows Phone

Michael Stroh has published an article on the Windows Phone team blog about a competition they're running for those who are unhappy with their Android handset or who simply desire a Windows Phone. To enter, simply follow @windowsphone on Twitter, then tweet one of the following (US only):

  • Option 1: If #DroidRage is breaking your heart, tweet a "Dear Droid" breakup letter with the hashtag #DumpingMyDroid.
  • Option 2: If you already have a Windows Phone (or just want one), tweet why you love it with the hashtag #ILoveWindowsPhone.

Be sure to enter quickly as the competition will end midnight on Valentine's Day. Two winners will be announced once the closing date has passed, who will both receive a Windows Phone (might not be a Nokia Lumia pictured above), one annual Zune Pass, and one annual Xbox LIVE Gold membership. Check out the rules on the article, link below.

Source: Windows Phone Blog, image credit:@mbiebusch

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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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