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Oh this is not something we want to post as this is just bad, bad bad. Evidently, on September 13th Microsoft is reducing the number of devices upon which you can sync with the Zune music service from 6 (3 computers and 3 devices) to just 4 (at least 1 computer and any combo of 3 PCs and devices). You'll also need to download at least one new song to each device to continue using the service.

We're none to pleased with these changes but have a feeling it has something to do with licensing from the music companies, reduction in costs to those licenses and perhaps trying to reduce "sharing" of Zune passes. Regadless, that's just lame. Users are reportedly being sent emails with the following information and you don't have a choice to the change outside of cancelling your subscription.

Update: LiveSide is reporting (via EnConnected) that this is only for Europe and not the US, where as of now, we will still be able to sync to 6 devices. This should ease over tensions between our Euro and US readers /sarcasm.

Thanks, Lee T., for the images and info!; see also My Microsoft Life

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Orientation screen lock for Windows Phone?

We're not sure if these are legit or not but it's not exactly something very far fetched. The idea of adding an orientation lock to phones is a pretty standard one, adding convenience when laying down in bed or if you just don't use your device that way. The method seems simple enough: bring down the volume bar, tap the icon to lock/unlock screen orienation.

These images come reportedly from someone's Facebook page and if real, would be from a newer build of the OS we haven't see yet. On the other hand, they could also be clever concepts, so take 'em with a grain of salt because we probably won't see this anytime soon.  Cool idea though.

Thanks, anonymous, for the tip!

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Microsoft has high hopes for WP7 marketshare

Microsoft has said that they are predicting Windows Phone to capture more than 20% of the smartphone market over the next few years through clever and effective marketing as well as support from manufacturers. Remember when Pyramid Research predicted the OS to reach top spot by 2013? Well the software giant is looking to smash that prediction.

Achim Berg, head of Windows Phone marketing, had this to say at IFA:

"HTC and other partners will run advertisement campaigns for the Titan and Radar phones, and the company has joined Microsoft in training hundreds of salesmen worldwide to better demonstrate the product. Microsoft plans to build on Windows Phone’s initial success with female consumers as well as with young and first-time users to win market share."

Berg also stated (and quite rightly so) that it took Apple and Google time for iOS and Android to catch on. Granted that Microsoft has arrived slightly late, but they still share the same obstacles when starting out. Apps wise, the Marketplace has shown positive signs of growth and developers are creating superb applications.

With regards to manufacturer support, if the HTC event in London was anything to go by, I'd say they're fairly confident in Mango and it shows in the beastly hardware that's going to hit shelves later this year. It's great to see in the above quote that Microsoft has been actively training salesmen with HTC to better demonstrate products, something carriers could also partner for.

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Pokemon Wallpapers for your Windows Phone

Sitting around trying to find a cool looking Pokemon wallpaper for your Windows Phone? Look no further.

pldh.net has compiled a rather impressive collection of Pokemon wallpapers that can easily be adapted for your Windows Phone. The collection includes the first 493 Pokemon and includes Pokemon from the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh regions.

The wallpapers can be downloaded as a complete set or by region. The images are sized at 1920x1080 so you'll need to crop them down a little to fit the 480x800 Windows Phone screen.  Then it is just an issue of transferring the image files to your Windows Phone through Zune or email them to Windows Phone.

The wallpapers look good and represent the Pokemon characters well. You can download the wallpaper sets here at pldh.net.

via: 1800pocketpc

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With Labor day now over and behind us, it means back to work and back to school for many users out there. To ease the transition of getting back into routine, we're holding a WPCentral Store sale! Whether you picked up a new device over the holidays or just want to get some new Back to Work/School clothes for your old device, all accessories in the WP Central Store this week.

Save 10% on All Accessories in the WPCentral Store: To save your 10%, simply use coupon code WP11 at checkout when completing your purchase here.

Buy Cases, Batteries, Chargers & More in the WPCentral Store!

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Fable Coin Golf was a pretty impressive Xbox Live Deal of the Week. It would be hard to match that level of quality two weeks in a row. But hey, this week’s sale game isn’t that bad. It’s Pocket God from Ngmoco (which is apparently a real company name). Pocket God is going on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Pocket God is that game where players get to mistreat a bunch of pygmies and participate in lots of little minigames too. It’s silly fun, as our review attests. The Windows Phone version, however, is kind of buggy, with at least one semi-glitched Achievement. This version also receives far fewer updates than the superior iPhone original, though the developer promised at least one more update a while back. But if you just want to beat up on some islanders (who can blame you? *wink*) and aren’t concerned with all the technical aspects and getting extra content every few weeks like iPhone users, you’ll still have a good time.

Pocket God’s sale price starts on Wednesday, September 7 and lasts for one week only. Grab it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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We all know what happened with webOS and HP and before that Nokia's Symbian, but what about RIM's BlackBerry? Like Palm, they too were on top of their game just a few years ago but with Android and the iPhone everywhere these days, RIM is taking a beating. Their stock has lost almost half their value this year and things are not looking that much better with their "next gen" QNX operating system.

Now Jaguar Financial Corp. is publicly calling on RIM to either sell itself off or its patents "to boost investor returns". While Jaguar's exact amount in investment in RIM is not known, they are considered to be a major player and can evidently gain headlines when they throw their weight around. Either way, it's never a good thing when your investors are calling on you to get out of the game.

Companies have been in the same position as RIM before--Microsoft just two years ago and Palm before that. While Microsoft's story is yet to be finished, they have certainly fared better than Palm, who was bought out by HP and then subsequently had their hardware killed off, leaving webOS without much of a future. Which route will RIM go? We can't help but notice that they don't have a large developer ecosystem, a desktop OS, a gaming platform or any other source of revenue--the exact opposite of Apple, Google and Microsoft. To that end, we don't see RIM holding on much longer as they won't be able to make a dent in the all important consumer market.

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One word: Nice! That's our reaction to Samsung's new "Mobile Print" app which can be downloaded now in the Marketplace. From the app description:

"Mobile Print is a free application which enables print photos and SNS contents directly from your smartphone. The application also enables scanning documents to your mobile device directly."

  • Automatic print searching on a local wireless network
  • Compatible with Samsung wireless and network printers only
  • Print photos, Facebook and Twitter
  • Scan document directly to your mobile device
  • Print on on supported printers shared on Windows and Mac

Sounds similar to the official Brother iPrint app released a few weeks ago. We're always glad to see Samsung put out cool apps like this, even if it's limited to only Samsung printers. Grab it here in the Samsung Marketplace (only Sammy phones!).

via: Windows Phone Metro; Thanks, Steve S., for the tip!

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Why are indie developers heading for WP7?

An insightful article has been published over at PCWorld that covers possible reasons as to why indie developers are bothering with Windows Phone at all. Even though Microsoft's platform may appear to be small fish when compared against iOS and Android, it's certainly catching the attention of a wider audience and increasing brand awareness dramatically.

The article goes into detail about the Microsoft Evangelists that get in touch with developers and students to lure them to the platform, as well as a few established developers who have built popular and well received apps. This includes Pieter Voloshyn, of Thumba (our review), and Calum McLellan, of Feed Me (our review). It's worth the read so we wont spoil it too much, head on through the link below.

Source: PCWorld

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So we just noticed we're getting a nasty little Marketplace error when trying to download any app today. We're running on Mango and noticed this on a few of our phones, but we sent out a request on Twitter to see if anyone else was experiencing the same.

Turns out it's mixed, but definitely a large portion of you are experiencing irregularities in the Marketplace today--regardless of Mango or NoDo. We've heard from Portugal, Norway, Switzerland,  US, Romania and Australia so far with parts of the U.S. Italy and UK doing okay.

We're not sure what's going as it could be just a temporary hiccup, but we'll keep you posted.

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Running Windows Phone apps on Windows 8?

In an interesting but highly speculative article at TechCrunch, the idea is put forth that we'll be able to run Windows Phone apps on Windows 8--why you would want to do that, we're not sure. The thrust of their argument revolves around "Jupiter", Microsoft's upcoming developer framework for Windows 8:

"Jupiter may end up being the “one framework” to rule them all. That means it might be possible to port the thousands of Windows Phone apps already written with Silverlight to Windows 8 simply by reusing existing code and making small tweaks. Or maybe even no tweaks. (That part is still unclear). If so, this would be a technical advantage for developers building for Windows Phone 8 (code-named “Apollo” by the way, the son of “Jupiter”) or Windows 8."

Of interest is to note the Roman mythology here: Jupiter is the father of Apollo, with the latter being the code-name for Windows Phone 8. We suppose this would be highly useful for developers for somewhat obvious reasons, though the benefit to consumers would not seem as strong. Windows 8 is expected to feature its own app store with programs designed for that user experience and even if WP7 apps could run on Windows 8, scalability issues will abound. Still, it's not hard to think that yes, in some form this could be accurate as we're expecting for Windows 9/Windows Phone 9 to merge into a single system--but that's still a ways off.

Source: TechCrunch

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Looking at Microsoft's mobile platform for your next project but don't have the knowledge or experience yet? These events are for you should you reside in the UK (or be able to attend). Microsoft is holding two developer training events, one in London (17th September) and the other in Manchester (24th September), both starting at 09:30 and ending at 18:30.

What's required to attend? Absolutely nothing at all. You don't even have to understand the basic functionality of the OS, it will all be covered on the day and will include the starter skills for app development. Some Mango features will be discussed as well including multi-tasking and advertising SDK. You are - however - required to bring your own laptop with the Windows Phone Developer Tools installed.

Did we mention that it's free? Also, attendees will each receive a Windows Phone Design Guide Sketch Pad of their own. Can't make it to these events? Don't fear, they've stated that this is merely the start of the series and more will open up across the UK. For more detail on future events, be sure to follow @UKMSDN on Twitter.

Register for the events below and be sure to check out the FAQ and details on the announcement post (link below):

London - Saturday 17th September

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In what is becoming almost routine (see INQ), another OEM has come out and said that the Google-Motorola deal works out better for Microsoft than Google's Android. This time it was Walter Deppeler, president of Acer's operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa. At the Berlin IFA consumer conference on Friday, he was quoted by Reuters as saying "It was a good gift to Microsoft", that Google "work against some of their clients" and finally that Acer would consider the implications of the deal before committing further to an OS.

Acer, who makes low to mid-range handsets, especially in important emerging markets, has recently started using Android in 2010 and is now actively developing Windows Phone devices (see the W4). While their phones won't compete in the U.S. or Europe, they are expected to be important players in Asian markets in the future. Either way, it's telling to hear OEMs publicly state what is becoming more obvious: this Google-Motorola deal and their continued legal quagmires are not helping to boost OEM confidence in Android.

Source: Yahoo Finance

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HTC is known to leak like a sieve and that hasn't changed in 2011 at all. Which is good if you have an unbranded, unlocked HTC Mozart as you can now flash the official HTC ROM with Mango on it. We must stress, if you have the Mozart on Orange or any other carrier to not do this flash and to remember that this is still taking a risk. The details are as follows:

  • OS Version: 7.10.7720.68
  • Firmware: 2250.21.40600.401
  • Radio Software: 5.69.09.05a_22.50.50.21U
  • Bootloader Version: 4.6.2250.0(129193)

Reportedly it runs pretty well, though GPS still may be flaky. A good tutorial on the process can be found at WindowsPhoneReview. Now if we can just get our hands on the Sprint Arrive official ROM, we'll be happy...

Source: XDA; via WMPU, WindowsPhoneReview

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This will fill up pretty quickly but Nash Bansal is looking for a few good beta testers for his new Cracked.com app. The app itself looks pretty great and the developer has previously made Meme Generator, Bash.org reader and Quote Reader.

The app is expected to be a pay app, so testers are expected to give feedback and to really give it a trial and error.  To participate, just contact the dev by leaving a comment on his blog, DM him on Twitter or email him directly.

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YouTube Mobile in HTML5, supports IE9 in Mango

While Microsoft's YouTube app leaves much to be desired (granted, it's not their fault), it seems light is at the end of the tunnel for fans of the video sharing website with HTML5. As IE9 in Mango will be making short work of HTML5 we were hoping that Google would make the mobile version of their media community portal open to Windows Phone Mango.

Alas, it seems as though we've conquered video playback via IE9 in Mango, thanks to Google. This is a massive improvement over what was available to WP7 users. A sleeker interface is present with playlist access, commenting and more. It's still not a full-featured app with account management and more, but hey it's something. Don't forget Lazyworm.

Source: Plaffo (Bing Translate)

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T-Mobile Samsung Omnia 7 I8700XXKH2 ROM

SamFirmware has released two unofficial ROMs for the Samsung Omnia 7, one for NoDo and the other for Mango. Check out the listed known features in this post for more info and remember that you flash your Windows Phone at your own risk.

  • Firmware: I8700XXKD1. (NoDo)
  • Filesize: 196+/- MB (.rar file)
  • XX = Europe
  • K = 2011
  • D = April
  • 1 = Version
  • Firmware: I8700XXKH2. (Mango)
  • Filesize: 355+/- MB (.rar file)
  • XX = Europe
  • K = 2011
  • H = August
  • 2 = Version

MobileTechWorld has since posted some features found in the ROM, found below:

  1. Updated camera driver: Touch-focus now works (instead of simply touch-to-capture), Bing Vision no longer looses focus and correctly adjusts the white balance in low light environments.
  2. Updated Motion Sensors driver: Digital Compass is now faster and more accurate. The accelerator is also faster when switching orientation in Internet Explorer.
  3. Updated Radio software: WiFi and Cellular data transfers appear to be faster.
  4. The hidden WiFi Network feature is now available.
  5. Bing Music is now faster and more accurate.

You can download the ROMs from SamFirmware, link found below.

    Source: SamFirmwareMobileTechWorld, thanks Brianna for the tip!

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    Shopping Assistant hits the Marketplace

    Shopping Assistant is a new shopping list app for your Windows Phone that is being billed to make your shopping fun and pain free. Shopping Assistant supports three languages (English, French and Spanish) and stores your shopping lists and created items on the Windows Phone to avoid the need for a data connection.

    Other features of Shopping Assistant include:

    • You can create clones or copies of existing shopping lists to cover recurrent needs instead of entering the same data all over again
    • You can share your shopping lists via email to inform other people of the progress made or to just spread the word
    • Specify your own currency symbol and formatting options independently from your phone’s settings
    • Fast search through all your shopping lists and items
    • Theme friendly user interface with subtle animations

    Shopping Assistant's interface looks nice and clean. Unfortunately, the only downside to things is that there isn't a trial version available for Shopping Assistant. There is an online user guide that can be downloaded to give you more insight into the app.

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    Nokia contest for next ring tone

    The above video will take some of us back to some childhood years. The famous Nokia tune has been around since 1994 and has evolved with technology. The phone company is now looking for the next version and will dish out a handsome $10,000 as payment to the winner. Five runner-ups will also have their ring tone available for download from Ovi store and be awarded with $1,000 each.

    The tune will be used in Nokia's 2012 portfolio of handsets and will be present on some 100 million devices. You can insert your entry here, while the rest of us can vote on our favourites. Entries must be in by October 2nd. 

    Source: Nokia Conversations, thanks Just Visiting for the heads up!

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    Pre-order HTC Radar & Titan on Clove

    Clove is offering the HTC Radar for £285 (ex. VAT) and the Titan for £498 (inc. VAT) with pre-orders for international shipping. It states that first stock is due early October, which confirms the 15th date set on Amazon. Among the feature icons found on the product page is DLNA, FF camera and more. Looking good!

    On a quick funny note, it seems as though one can pick up the Radar for £0.00 including VAT. So the taxation of the product is actually reimbursing the customer the price. We know it's a mere error but still caused a few giggles.

    Source: Clove, via: WPSauce

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    Microsoft denies they are watching us

    Last week a Federal Lawsuit was filed against Microsoft involving the Windows Phone camera. In a nutshell, the allegations claims that Microsoft is ignoring user requests to not be tracked and is collecting location data whenever the camera is used. While Microsoft has previously denied similar claims, the lawsuit alleges Microsoft was fibbing.

    So, to re-affirm their position on such issues Microsoft has issued a statement in response to the latest round of litigation to strike the smartphone industry. Commenting to the IBTimes, a Microsoft Spokesperson stated,

    "Because we do not store unique identifiers with any data transmitted to our location service database by the Windows Phone camera or any other application, the data captured and stored on our location database cannot be correlated to a specific device or user. Any transmission of location data by the Windows Phone camera would not enable Microsoft to identify an individual or 'track' his or her movements."

    Additionally, Microsoft is doing their due diligence to investigate the claims raised in the litigation. In our own, non-scientific tests we found that GPS data is not included in the image's EXIF file (file containing all the data for that particular image.) when you turn off the GPS in the camera's settings. 

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    Acer W4 Hands-on at IFA 2011 [Video]

    The gentlemen over at WMPU have published this pretty neat video of the Acer W4 at IFA 2011. Bare with us when watching the footage and try to refrain from shouting at your screen, especially when the two demo devices are thrown about at the start of the video, ouch.

    Although the Acer W4 only comes in 8GB flavouring, there is an LED notification light that a large majority of users desire. Also, much like the HTC Radar, it features DLNA and is going to be available in two colours - black and white. Lastly, the Acer W4 is to sport Acer FastCharge, which will enable the device to charge at a faster rate when connected to a Acer desktop or laptop.

    Reminder of the specification sheet we posted:

    • 3.6-inch WVGA Capacitive screen,
    • Screen Resolution: 480×800
    • 5mp Camera with auto-focus.
    • HSPA 850/1900 or 900/2100 /GSM quad band 850/900/ 1800/ 1900 MHz Support.
    • Qualcomm MSM 8255 running at 1GHz (same processor as in the Xperia Play)
    • Wifi, Bluetooth 2.1
    • DLNA Support
    • Windows Phone Mango
    • 8GB Storage

    While in previous photos we've all been slightly cautious about the Acer handset it does look much smarter in a real life video and is worth of running Mango. What do you make of it now we've seen more angles?

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    It's another weekend over so here's your Windows Phone summary. This week we've had the Mobile Nations Monday brief, Mobile Nations podcast, WPCentral Podcast episode 124 and a developer interview with Ronny Gydar of Trine's Hangman. Our Dave Blake has also compiled the top discussions happening over at our forum.

    We were at HTC event in London on Thursday, check out our summary, our hands on videos of the Radar and Titan, special episode 124.5 of the WPCentral Podcast and the official product pages. Check out the rest of the summary after the quick break.

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    HTC Radar appears on the radar

    We've seen ads for the HTC Titan and Radar over at Amazon.com's UK site and now we are seeing the HTC Radar make an appearance on the UK mobile phone site, IntoMobilePhones. While there isn't an out of contract price listed for the Radar, the monthly rental is running 26.88 Pounds (about $44 U.S.). The out of contract price, while not listed, has been reported to be $568 U.S on the Amazon.com listing.

    The interesting part of the advertisement is the availability date. The Radar is currently being offered as a pre-order with stock expected around September 20th.

    If true, the Radar will be available long before the "first of October" date we heard at the London unveiling. There is a double asterix after the date which likely means "give or take a few weeks" just in case supplies are delayed.

    source: intomobilephones  Thanks goes out to Ross for tipping us on this!

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