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Ghostscape Ringtones

Back in January, WPCentral mentioned that Ghostscape would be receiving free ringtones in a future update. Just a couple of months later, that update has landed, and we’ve got the full details.

Ghostscape version 1.2 release notes:

  • Fast App Switching support
  • Framerate increased to 60 FPS (not that that makes much diff to a point and click puzzle game)
  • Resolution of room images has increased to show more detail
  • Live tiles added (one of five different images appears at random)
  • Five free ringtones added under ‘Help & Options’ menu (not available in Trial version)

That’s a fairly hefty batch of improvements. The ringtones are actually quite good and remind me of classic Amiga soundtracks. If you own Ghostscape, I highly recommend installing them. And if you haven’t picked the game up, perhaps these tones and tweaks will convince you to cross the threshold.

WP Central

Ghostscape's creepy new Live tile images

Ghostscape is a first-person horror-themed adventure game. It’s short and has delightfully easy Achievements – see our review for more details.

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Nokia handed Jed Cullen, professional skateboarder, a Lumia 900 to use around Barcelona in a marketing stunt. The above video follows on from Pip Andersen free running around the city, and shows Cullen using numerous features including Zune, Bing Search and Tango (video conferencing). 

Taking the Lumia 900 to the extreme, how far could you push wielding the Windows Phone?

Source: YouTube

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Play To

Nokia today just rolled out their Play To app for Windows Phone which enables the user to share photos and video via DLNA to your large screen TV or other DLNA-enabled devices. The addition of a DLNA app was speculated back in December as coming to Nokia.

Play To has been available for Nokia Symbian devices since early 2011, so it's finally great to be able to extend that feature to their Lumia Windows Phone line up. This software, similar to what LG, HTC and Samsung have offered for their devices brings Nokia Windows Phone closer to their competition in terms of feature support and should be a welcomed addition.

WP Central

The software is beta at this point, which simply means you need to head to the Nokia Labs page, sign up and they'll give you the Marketplace link to download the app. Much like Nokia Drive, we expect to be testing for a few weeks before it is finally released for all Nokia devices to download.

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Nokia Lumia 800c to launch early in China?

WP Central

Microsoft and Nokia are set to launch the Chinese Lumia 800 ("Lumia 800c") earlier than planned, according to an insider informed WPDang article. The Windows Phone platform itself officially launched yesterday with the goal of regaining markshare by releasing "Tango" and hardware from the likes of Nokia, HTC (Triumph) and ZTE (Orbit/Mimosa). 

The Lumia 800c is a CDMA variant of the Lumia handset (think Verizon and Sprint), is set to power Windows Phone Tango, and will be available in black, cyan and magenta on China Telecom. The original date of availability for the Lumia 800c in China was late March / early April. Unfortunately, the Lumia Momentum Map that Nokia has published (and relatively up-to-date) on their website does not display any information regarding the Chinese launch of Lumia Windows Phones.

As well as the 800c, Nokia is also believed to be launching the 710 and the WCDMA version of the Lumia 800 next month. Keep an eye out in the remaining weeks of March for more details surrounding the Lumia 800c.

Source: WPDang, via: WPSauce

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Microsoft's Smoked by Windows Phone marketing campaign is still going strong, which all stemmed from CES 2012 in Las Vegas where Ben Rudolph challenged event attendees. The campaign made the move to Microsoft Stores across California, Hong Kong, and is currently being expanded to cover TV advertising. The challenges involved are simple smartphone tasks - which ever phone completes the task first wins.

With $100 on the table there's never a shortage of interested smartphone owners who believe they can smoke a Windows Phone. We previously looked at the announcement made by Microsoft Singapore on their Facebook page, stating the marketing campaign would be brought to the country "very soon". 

The above montage of clips is from ITShow 2012 where the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge was held (March 9-10). End result from the event was: 38 wins, 3 draws and 3 loses.

Source: YouTube; thanks Greg for the tip!

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Apollo concept

Over at the site Reddit, tipster MS_Nerd did an AMA (Ask me anything) where he took questions from fellow Redditors. Specifically, he was talking about Windows Phone news and what's coming down the line.

We should point out that MS_Nerd has a spotty record on these things. First, he claimed that "Tango" would come with a 480x320 resolution which obviously it is not. He also noted that there was a "Tango 2" release that would come at MIX12, where also "Apollo" would be announced. Two things wrong with that one: there's no Tango 2 and MIX12 was canceled, so it'd be odd for the Windows Phone team to make a huge announcement there. Finally there was the "Zune Pass will slowly be merged with Xbox Live Gold" from May 2011, which surely hasn't happened yet either.

Point being, take this with a grain of salt as his accuracy is mixed at best. We'd hardly call him "reliable" as some sites have.

What MS_Nerd did reveal was that supposedly all Windows Phones will be eligible for Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo" but that the carriers, as usual, will be the biggest roadblock. He also emphasized Nokia's role in hardware development:

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Nokia challenges Apple's nano-SIM proposal

Nokia challenges Apple's nono-SIM proposal

Nokia issued a statement challenging Apple's proposal to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for a new SIM card standard, the 4FF, commonly called the nano-SIM.  The tiny nano-SIM, designed by Giesecke & Devrient, is Apple's attempt to define the future standard for SIM cards in Europe, and if the push succeeds, all other manufacturers will have to incorporate the design into their devices.  Nokia, Motorola and RIM have teamed up to submit an alternative proposal to ETSI and Nokia put out the statement to explain why Apple's just won't do.

Nokia's claim is that the Apple proposal fails to meet ETSI's prerequisite that the new design eliminate the possibility of getting stuck in a micro SIM slot, and thus avoiding damage to both the card and the device.  Because the nano-SIM is the same length and width of a micro SIM, that potential would still exist.  The other criticisms of the Giesecke & Devrient design are based on the fact that the card would require a tray that would slide into the device, much like Apple's current method of inserting SIM cards into their iPhone. 

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New Smoked by Windows Phone ads set to launch tomorrow

The web is about to get smoked by Windows Phone again.

Microsoft is scheduled to launch new ads on the web tomorrow that feature Ben Rudolph and his Smoked by Windows Phone Challenge.  The challenge has Ben betting owners $100 that Windows Phone is faster at your typical, everyday tasks than other smartphones.

What started as an attraction at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show has grown into a rather promising ad campaign for Windows Phone. We've seen Smoked By Windows Phone Challenge hit Hong Kong, tour California, tackle a zip line and spawn an unofficial screen saver.  We have already seen the first installment of web ads and these promise to continue Ben's winning streak.

We've lost track of Ben's official record but he has definitely smoked the competition more than he's shelled out the hundred dollar bills. 

Source: Windows Team Blog

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Transport

For those of you lucky enough to have a Nokia Lumia device and happen to live near an urban center around the world, you may want to take a peek at Nokia's latest software release, Nokia Transport (see our earlier hands on video)

Continuing with their geolocation focus for apps, Nokia Transport combines their location-finding abilities with Nokia Maps to deliver an app that helps you navigate around your city's public transit system. The app is simple enough: it detects your location, you enter your destination and it plans your route for you using trains, buses and walking. Those routes are then displayed in a time sequence for the next few hours, letting you better plan when you want to leave, how long your trip will be and when you will arrive.

With a strong, bold Metro look, the app is certainly very stylish and fast to use. Nokia Transport was demoed at Mobile World Congress last month and had been in beta since then with the final version being approved in the last few days for public release. While the app is nice, like other Nokia offerings e.g. Nokia Drive, it lacks contact-lookup which is really frustrating if you want to visit a friend or a saved establishment from your People Hub. In that regard, we still see some room for improvement.

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iStunt 2 snowboarding to Xbox Live next week

iStunt 2

You know what type of game we need on Xbox Live for Windows Phone? RPGs! Sigh. But another hole in the lineup is snowboarding games, which will soon be filled by iStunt 2 from Miniclip. It’s next week’s Xbox Live release.

iStunt 2 is a simple game in which players navigate a snowboarder around 2D courses, collecting stars and trying to earn high scores. The courses have crazy loops, buzzsaws, gravity portals, and stuff to make things interesting. Control should be a snap on Windows Phone. You just tilt to adjust the board rotation, and that’s it.

In addition to hunting down stars in the game’s 88 levels, players can unlock new boards and riders in the game’s shop. As this is a Miniclip game there will probably be optional PDLC to make things easier. The PDLC was sort of annoying in Gravity Guy but rather innocuous in Fragger, so it’ll likely be fine here.

iStunt 2 comes to Xbox Live on Wednesday, March 28 for $2.99. If you’d like to try it out before hand, the Flash version is free to play (and fun) on MiniClip’s website.

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Pre-order the Lumia 710 and 800 on Mexico's Movistar

WP Central

Although China seems to be grabbing all the headlines today for Windows Phone, the move into Latin America is also as important for the fledgling mobile OS.

We've mentioned in the past that Nokia would be bringing their Lumia series to Mexico this Spring and it looks like that schedule is being kept. Users can now pre-order the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 on Movistar.

WP Central

The Lumia 710, a budget-orientated smartphone with a 3.7" ClearBlack display and 5MP camera is perfect for those who are new to the smartphone game, while the Lumia 800 offers a more premium experience with its polycarbonate design, 8MP camera and AMOLED display. Both phones look to be competitively priced on Movistar with a $0 purchase for a 24 month contract (although the 800 has a higher-end contract to meet that requirement).

For more information, head to Movistar's page to sign up and learn more. Thanks, Victor H., for the heads up

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WP Central

Venture Beat has put out their list of "Top Mobile Movers for 2012" defined by them as "The kind of people who thrive in this world are disruptive individuals. Troublemakers. Shakers-up of the status quo" and perhaps not so surprisingly two folks from Microsoft and Nokia are named on the top-ten list.

First up is someone we haven't mentioned much around here, Mary T. McDowell, Vice President, Nokia. While Elop gets a lot of praise and the spotlight (he's does have great stage presence), McDowell is busy behind the scenes concentrating on the mobile phone business aka the Asha S40 line as opposed to the more attention-getting smartphone business. Although she plays little role within Windows Phone, Nokia's future strategy seems to eventually merge the mobile phone (aka "dumb phone") business with the smartphone one. After all, if an Asha phone can be cheap and run S40, why can't it run Windows Phone?

WP Central

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Vote for April's Deal of the Week

Microsoft has shaken things up a little for April's XBox Live Deal of the Week selections.  Rather than just putting it out there, they want to know what games users want to see discounted by creating a poll of four games.  The choices offered up for your consideration are: ZOMB1ES on teh ph0ne, Earthworm Jim, Doodle God, and Deer Hunter.  To vote, simply head to the source link and click on your choice, then click "Vote."  You can also find a link to the poll in your Windows Phone Games Hub.  Once you've made your decision, you will see what game leads the pack. 

There's no telling whether or not this will become the standard for Deal of the Week going forward, but it's pretty cool to see MS looking for users' input.

Source: Microsoft; Thanks for the tip, Natres!

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WP Central

If you're not aware of the positive news this week surrounding our Windows Phone app, we've been nominated for Nokia Conversations' March Madness contest. The WPCentral app is in the "news & entertainment" category, and you guys requested an update as to when you'll be able to vote. The time is now, fellow WPCentralites!

Be sure to head on over to the Nokia Conversations' article to vote for the WPCentral app, should you wish to do so, as we're up against All About Windows Phone. While we're flattered that our work has been considered for the contest, we do have a secret desire to win with flying colours. On a serious note - we thank our readers for continued support and wish every app the very best in this contest.

Source: Nokia Conversations

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WP Central

Wunderlist, the popular cross-platform task manager, is now available on the Windows Phone Marketplace. We previously covered the news of the app being developed for Microsoft's mobile platform with 6Wunderkinder (the team behind Wunderlist) publishing a tease capture of the app in action.

Your tasks are stored in the cloud of wonders with your free Wunderlist account, that can be accessed on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Tasks can contain notes for more detail to be added, and the user can also filter and prioritise (star) important tasks.

Some key features to take note of:

  • Email reminders to ensure your tasks never slip your mind
  • Send tasks to Wunderlist from your email inbox
  • Sort your tasks into lists and organise accordingly
  • Assign deadlines to your tasks
  • View a breakdown of your tasks with filtered views
  • Give your tasks further detail with detailed notes
  • Prioritise (star) important tasks
  • Personalise the app with included background wallpapers

Wunderlist is a pretty neat task manager and looks absolutely gorgeous on your Windows Phone. You can download Wunderlist from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Nokia Lumia 610 coming to Netherlands soon

WP Central

Those of you looking to pick up the Nokia Lumia 610 in the Netherlands, despite having some less functions than it's older 710, 800 and 900 siblings, will want to pay attention. That phone looks to be launching fairly soon as the site PDAShop.nl now has the phone with full specifications listed on the site.

The 610 with its 800MHz CPU, 3.7" TFT (non-ClearBlack) screen with GorillaGlass and 5MP camera runs Windows Phone 7.5.1 aka "Tango" and should be price aggressively. In this case, we hope that means cheaper than the Allegro which is fetching for € 269 currently.

WP Central

Representing an effort to win over the lower-end of the smartphone market for first time buyers, teenagers and the like, the Lumia 610 looks to a fairly solid phone even with its more limited-hardware. See our hands on with the Lumia 610 here.

Source: PDAShop.nl; Thanks, LivinginaBox, for the tip

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WP Central

As a follow up to Monday's story regarding Windows Phone Tango and the reported increase in the number of apps for fast-app switching, the story has proven to be false.

What was seen was a custom Tango ROM for an HD2 where the ROM-chef (HD2Owner) had increased the number of apps in the taskswitcher from five to eight -- but alas, in the official Tango ROM this is not the case and five, sadly is still the limit. From XDA:

"more tasks in taskswitcher is not a tango feature

it's just another useful tweak i implemented into my rom"

Certainly this explains why Microsoft did not convey this information earlier but at least on the bright side, it's one thing to be less excited about regarding Tango.

via: Windows Phone Daily

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We mentioned the other day that Australia was getting the Nokia "Amazing everyday" treatment with the impending launch of the Lumia 800. We then had a fan-made video of the event showing a dance-off using an Xbox Kinect and a giant screen and now Nokia has put up a proper video of the event, showing off exactly what they were doing on that sunny day.

With an augmented Angry Birds experience, dance off with Timomatic and something about helping a kangaroo finding its way home, Nokia sure did some creative marketing here. Looked fun at least and really, that's what it's all about for them.

Thanks, Johnny V., for the heads up

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China

Today is March 21st which means Microsoft took the big step in growing the Windows Phone ecosystem by releasing the mobile OS in mainland China.

Launching on numerous devices, including the HTC Triumph (aka TITAN), the Nokia Lumia 800c and offerings from ZTE (including the Orbit/Mimosa), Microsoft looks to regain some ground in the smartphone war by offering a variety of hardware running the refresh of Windows Phone 7.5 "Tango" (build 8773) in one of the largest emerging markets in the world.

WP Central

The press conference was held in Beijing in a makeshift warehouse with HTC, Nokia, ZTE, Qualcomm and Samsung all in attendance. In addition, Simon Leung Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region was also there to introduce the operating system to the audience. The press conference involved a demonstration of the OS, new hardware, Skydrive, Office as well as mention the more than 2,000 Chinese applications already in the Marketplace, including 50 top tier apps.

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Tentacles and Glow Artisan on sale

The new Deal of the Week is a repeat sale, but thankfully it's for a game that hasn't been on sale in a while: Glow Artisan. You can get it for just $1.99. If that's not savings enough, Tentacles has also received a permanent price drop to $2.99. What else do both games have in common? They're not easy!

Glow Artisan is a colorful puzzle game with an artistic bent. Players are tasked with recreating a pixelated picture by drawing colored lines and overlapping lines to make new colors. Achievement-wise it gets pretty tough due to some strict time limits, but if you’re just playing for fun, this title will give you a glowing smile. Check out our review for more info.

Tentacles is the story of Lemmy, a microscopic, artificially-created, tentacled creature. He journeys through 40 stages inside a mad scientist’s body, eating tons of eyes along the way. That’s the good part – the bad part is the countless unnecessary deaths due to poor design decisions like taking control away from the player when you’re getting hit and the occasional horrible currents that push Lemmy to his doom. For the full story, check out my review. But Tentacles has a lot of fans who don’t mind the whacked-out difficulty, so the sale price may be right up your alley. It also just received an 80 MS Point DLC expansion that adds 16 new levels but no extra Achievements.

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WP Central

Lock Screen Widgets, a concept by Windows Phone Hacker, has just been released as beta to the homebrew community. With this app, the user will be able to add app information in the form of small live tile widgets on the lock screen. Information displayed can range from weather reports to RSS feeds. We previously looked at the preview video of the concept last week, but now you're able to try it out for yourself.

To be able to use Lock Screen Widgets, you'll need a rooted Windows Phone. Remember that this is the beta version so issues are to be expected, and feedback is appreciated by the developer. Optimisation and further improvements are currently in development, so be sure to keep up-to-date with progress. Head on over to Windows Phone Hacker to download the beta.

Source: Windows Phone Hacker; Thanks, Jesus, for the tip!

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WP Central

We previously touched on PingMe making a move to Windows Phone, the cross-platform messenger that's already available for iOS, Android and Blackberry is now available on the Marketplace for free. Should the likes of Kik and WhatsApp not fulfil your needs enough, you'll be able to enjoy the following features with PingMe:

  • Cross-platform and will enable communication with iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Blackberry devices.
  • Record and send voice and video clips.
  • Receive real-time message receipts with typing indicators and sent / delivered / read notifications.
  • Engage in group chat with numerous contacts at any given time (ability to create circles / groups).
  • No registration is required. Your number is your ID.
  • Receive social updates from close friends to stay up-to-date.
  • Locate friends and contacts nearby with geo-location enabled messages.
  • Push notification will keep you alerted when a message is received.
  • Find friends or known acquaintances with the included friend finder functionality.

It's an appealing app with some interesting functionality that will be right up some Windows Phone owners' streets. You can download PingMe from the Marketplace for free.

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WP Central

Nokia Drive (our review) version 2.0 has been released and is available for download on the Marketplace. The Windows Phone turn-by-turn navigation app from Nokia now sports offline navigation to further cut the use of data. With this functionality not dependant on your connectivity (or data allowance), you'll be able to drive with peace of mind.

As well as the offline use, we've also got "Last Destinations" that can be selected for user convenience. The ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) of the selected destination is also displayed along with the speed you're currently travelling at (as well as on the route selection screen next to the distance). An audio speed limit alert can be set up in the settings, which will sound should the user exceed the road limit.

Should you really want to take an in-depth look at how Nokia Drive can help you on your way, be sure to check out the user guide (updated for version 2.0).

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Nokia patents tattoos that interact with your phone

Nokia is taking phone notifications to an extreme with a new patent, tattoos that react with your phone using haptics, the same vibratory interaction that you experience when typing on a touchscreen keyboard.  A recent submission to the United States Patent and Trade Office describes a haptic material that would react to magnetic signals sent out by your mobile device.  So you set your phone up to let you know when a call is coming in, the phone then emits a specific magnetic signal, and the material reacts by vibrating.  Different signals could be assigned for different functions.

Initially, the patent explains that users would wear the material on clothing, stick-on patches, etc.  However, it goes on to apply the functionality to magnetic inks, which can then be embedded into the skin in the form of tattoos.  That process gets a little more involved, first demagnetizing the ink, applying the tattoo, then magnetizing it once again.

It's a wacky, creepy kind of idea that one would expect from an old sci-fi comic, but it's also feasible enough to become a reality.  So if you're someone who really hates missing calls, this could be just the thing for you.  That is, until you decide to trade in your Nokia for the latest HTC device.

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