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The white version of the Lumia 800 is available for pre-order on Fnac.pt, unlocked for €549, and will be released on February 23rd. Nokia's latest colour features a glossy finish and packs a punch when it comes to resisting scratches/dents with a polycarbonate unibody that has been dyed all the way through.

While the pricing for the mid-level handset is pretty steep, it's a unique choice for anyone still waiting to upgrade from their current device.

Source: Fnac.ptthanks, Joao, for the tip!

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Collapse stacks up as the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

Collapse!

The Xbox Live Deal of the Week has been updating rather late these days. In fact, it’s only just turned up. Collapse! from GameHouse is now on sale.

 Collapse! is a simple puzzle game in which players slide blocks up and down to make colored matches. The sprawling Adventure mode offers plenty of twists on the standard gameplay, plus a simple character customization system. For better or worse, Collapse! also has the easiest Achievements of any Xbox Live game, mobile or otherwise. You can seriously get them all in 20 minutes or so. Check out our full review for more details.

Collapse! is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Pick it up here on the Marketplace.

QR: Collapse!

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WP Central

Nokia has announced plans to slash a further 4,000 jobs by closing down plants in Hungary, Mexico and homeland Finland. The cuts come to light as the handset manufacturer begins to shift production to Asia. As we mentioned with the previous 3,500 positions being hung up to dry, these plants have been under review since.

The cuts include 2,300 in Komarom, Hungary, 700 in Reynosa, Mexico, and 1,000 in Salo, Finland. The Finnish handset maker has had to take drastic measures to cut down costs and reach saving targets, and Salo (the oldest production facility - 1979) has not been spared from this round of job cuts.

Riku Aalto, chairman of the Finnish Metalworkers' Union, has stated that the company will look at possibly providing 12 months of training for new jobs to the fired workers, following its model of the Bochum closure in Germany, in 2008.

Source: Bloomberg

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Photon Cloud Network Engine

Yet another step in the right direction has been carried out for multiplayer gaming on Windows Phone. Already available on other platforms, Exit Games have released a free Windows Phone SDK that will use their socket-based network engine. While Microsoft was working on "Switchboard", a solution to mobile real-time multiplayer gaming, this solution will be welcomed by developers who wish to implement such functionality into their titles.

Some quick-glance features:

  • Develop in C# .NET 4.0
  • Easy UI creation and view-management via Silverlight/XAML
  • On device debugging
  • Demo containing sample code for easy integration in your Windows Phone Apps 

What's more is that this technology supports cross-platform connectivity. You can head over to the Exit Games website and check out the free SDK for yourself. For consumers, this could mean an MMO (or online FPS) title could be around the corner.

Source: Exit Games

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Win 1 of 4 Lumia 800s signed by Tinchy Stryder

Signed Tinchy Stryder 800

Attention all those who reside in the UK and wish to get their hands on a Lumia 800, Nokia UK is giving away four to lucky winners. What's unique about these Windows Phones compared to a generic 800 you can purchase in-store? It's signed by Tinchy Stryder, a popular British music artist.

To celebrate Nokia UK's Facebook page accumulating 200,000 likes, the handset maker will also award three lucky runner-ups who will receive Nokia Purity HD Headsets by Monster. All that's required to enter are some details and a signed 800 could be heading your way. The promotion ends February 17th. 

As well as the Facebook competition, the Nokia Lumia 800 is featured in his latest single "Bright Lights", featuring Pixie Lott.

Source: Facebook (Nokia UK), YouTube

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Wooter app finally gets Mango update and fixes

Wooter

If you're a big fan of Woot.com, the daily deal site with hilarious product descriptions, then you'll want to try out Wooter for Windows Phone. Wooter is one of the oldest apps on the Marketplace with version 1.0 landing in October 2010. That was the first and only update.

Now, version 1.2 has appeared (guess we're skipping v1.1) and thankfully the app is now "Mango" ready with fast app switching, performance enhancements, Home Woot and some general bug fixes. We still would have liked to see a nice Live Tile thrown in but we'll take what we can get with this rare update.

The app is free, ad free and well designed from a Metro perspective. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Have a better Woot.com app that you prefer? Sound off in comments and tell us why.

QR: Wooter

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Sam Moreau

Gizmodo has posted a nice interview with Sam Moreau, Director of User Experience for Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer (LinkedIn) at Microsoft. He's basically the guy tasked with the Windows 8 UI redesign which obviously has taken its cues from Windows Phone (which took its cues from Zune and goes back to Windows Media Center). The interview is quite fascinating as it entails discussions on challenges the team faced, decisions made and what they are expecting.

One interesting area that came up was Windows Phone, where Gizmodo asked about Microsoft's new found "strong sense of vision". Moreau responds and summarizes Android nicely:

"Yeah, because that was the thing that we get blamed for a lot. Or, I would say the thing that annoys me about Android is I don't think it has a point of view. I think it's trying to be this weird sci-fi version of an Apple design language, poorly executed. Some of it is starting to get there, you know, they got Matias (Duarte) there, and some things are starting to get a little better. They're starting to get that—some sense of soul, but I do think that a lot of their soul is derived from some other place."

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Windows Phone Marketplace nearing 50 native apps

Example native applications Tango and Navigon

As some of our readers may already know, Windows Phone allows for the execution of both managed and unmanaged code, with the latter requiring special sign off by Microsoft. (Or an unlocked phone.) It's always interesting, however, to keep track of who gets permission to publish apps onto the Marketplace with native code in place from both a security and enthusiast perspective.

Windows Phone blogger @tezawaly wrote us today, letting us know he ran a count of all the applications on the Marketplace containing a copy of the WMInteropManifest.xml file. (He did this, presumably, by downloading every single XAP and inspecting the contents of each.) This file is special in that, if present, acts as a flag to the operating system letting it know you're okay to use APIs on the phone that would otherwise be blocked. He counted 48 native applications ranging from carrier applications such as the HTC Hub to high visibility ISV applications such as NAVIGON USA.

You can check out the full app list on his blog.

Source: Nanapho.jp

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Bullet Asylum is safe on the Xbox Live Marketplace

Bullet Asylum

Following Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, the second Must Have Game of 2012 is now upon us. Bullet Asylum from UberGeekGames and Microsoft Studios has hit the Marketplace.

Bullet Asylum, which WPCentral previewed earlier this week, is a modern update to the classic Missile Defense formula. Aliens rain down from the sky and it’s up to your turrets to stop them. You can use a single finger to fire all your weapons at one area or two fingers to split the fire. Game modes include the extremely easy Arcade, an endless Survival mode that has no Achievements for some reason, and the frustratingly hard Architect mode. Seriously, what were they thinking with Architect?

Bullet Asylum

That one mode notwithstanding, Bullet Asylum is a mostly easy shooter to zone out to. Plus it has the flashy neon graphics that we all love and a fair upgrade unlocking system... Just wait till you see the Peace Mode modifier; it’s a trip.

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Nokia Lumia 710 now available in Canada on Rogers

Lumia 710 on Rogers

Looks like folks up North can breathe a little sigh of relief as a 2nd generation Windows Phone has launched on Rogers today. Yes, the Nokia Lumia 710 is now available for the low-low price of $49.99 on a crazy three-year contract.  We first reported this a few weeks ago and looks like Rogers stuck to the date.

If signing your smartphone future away for three long years is not your cup of joe, you can have it on a no-term deal for a fairly decent $254.99. That's not shabby when you consider the Samsung Focus is still listed as $499.99 no-term.

We gave the 710 pretty high marks in our review, so while the phone is not for you high-enders, it's a great starter device for many.

Source: Rogers; Thanks, Steve, for the heads up!

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WP Central

Though Nokia likes to deny that there's a Lumia 910, the rumored Euro version of the AT&T Lumia 900 with a 12MP camera, they evidently do have something to show off in a few weeks in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress.

Nokia will have a press conference on Monday, February 27 8:30-9:30am to announce a new device and as Forbes reports, it looks to have something unique to offer:

"While the partner did not specify whether the upcoming device was a Windows Phone handset, it did say it was a phone that would run an unusual software feature normally found only on high-end smartphones."

Well, that sounds interesting. Augmented Reality, possibly i.e. City Lens? That's certainly a contender, we think. NFC also comes to mind but that's more than software and is not expected until Apollo.

Either way, we'll be there that morning to cover it as usual. So mark the date and time down as we'll have the scoop. (And perhaps we'll also see that white Lumia 900 too.)

Source: Forbes; Thanks for everyone who sent this in

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No friends? Forever alone  -_-

Bad news if you're playing Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone right now or want to see your friends and what they're up to, you'll be having some problems with the system. Specifically, if you check your friend's list on the phone, you'll get the result in the above image. We've been following this in our forums today and now Microsoft has put out a service message:

Status

Users may experience difficulties with the following services:

  • Windows Phone 7 users will experience issues when attempting to post or read statistics to leaderboards, view or receiving messages, and viewing their friends.

We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience

These little outages happen on occasion so we're not too worried, but we figured we would keep you folks updated so you don't freak out too much. Hopefully it'll all be back up soon.

Thanks to our forum admin, Dave, for the heads up

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From the WPCentral Forums...

WP Central

We have been talking a lot about the future this week in the forums. There was some information leaked about Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo". This information lead to a lot of speculation about what the future holds for Windows Phone. We spent some time debating whether Windows Phone 7 devices will be updated to Windows Phone 8. What do you think? Will we see some version of "Apollo" on our Gen 1 and Gen 2 phones?

We covered issues with Sales reps earlier this week and that discussion continues in this thread by KarateDad: "Two AT&T Reps tried to talk me OUT of buying a WP".  If you're heading in to a store to look at a new Windows Phone this thread is a must read. It's better to be prepared than surprised.

Forums member bush715 needs your help. He is trying to decide what Windows Phone to get on which network. Jump in the discussion and let's get him headed down the right road. You can join the discussion in this thread: "Here's what happened"

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Test your reflexes with ReactTime for Windows Phone

WP Central

Do you believe you have quick reflexes and instant reaction? Prove it. Introducing ReactTime, by Sandak. This little game will test your reaction times by stopping cars as soon as they appear on screen before they crash into the vehicles on the right hand side. Your average reaction time will be displayed throughout with highscores being recorded.

While it's simple and doesn't have a thousand achievements to aim for, ReactTime will see you test your reactions and boast to your friends should you be faster.

You can download ReactTime from the Marketplace for absolutely nothing.

QR: ReactTime

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Greek Windows Phone App Contest

Students at the Department of Computer Science and Telecommunications of Larissa Institute of Technology (TEI) in Greece were invited to participate in a Windows Phone app development contest earlier this year. Sponsored by both Microsoft and Nokia, the event saw students compete against one another for the grand prize, which were two Nokia Lumia 800s.

The winners of the contest were as follows:

  • Escape From Heaven ($0.99/79p) is an interesting indie game that puts the player in control of a hedgehog that is attempting to escape from heaven.
  • Ο.Σ.Ε (free - Greek) aids those who desire to use the public transport networks in Greece with live maps of train stations, details and more.

The remaining apps are the work of the runner-ups, who all received a free Windows Phone (HTC or LG) each (note that some of these apps are in Greek).

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Nokia Lumia 800

Both Nokia and Microsoft revealed during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show that the Lumia 800 Windows Phone would become available through Microsoft retail stores early this year. No specifics were mentioned during CES but rumors have popped up on the radar showing the Lumia 800 will be available on February 14th. The price? $899.

Now before you go into sticker shock, the rumors have Microsoft offering the 800 bundled with the Nokia Play 360 Bluetooth Speaker, the Nokia Purity HD headphones, and a Bluetooth headset. The accessories tip the scales at about $400 so the overall price is in the ballpark and would price the Lumia at around $500ish.

No word if this is an "in store" only item or if the Lumia 800 bundle will be offered online through Microsoft. You also have the question whether or not Microsoft will be offering the Lumia 800 outside the bundle.  One would hope this bundle is targeted at the Valentine's Day shopper and we'll see the Lumia 800 offered all by its lonesome shortly after the initial release..

source: Verge; Thanks, darin25b, for the tip!

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LG Miracle Gen-2 Windows phone revealed

LG Miracle

PocketNow has obtained some info on a new Windows phone from LG, codenamed the Miracle.  You may know it as the LG Fantasy, which we heard about last July, and popped up 5 months later on XDA Developers.  The Miracle is said to be a mid-range phone equipped with a 4-inch WVGA NOVA screen, making it the first WP7 device of its kind.  It will also have a 1GHz processor, 8GB of storage, and 1.3MP/5MP cameras.  LG's Miracle is also thought to connect using 14.4Mbps HSPA radio, 5.0GHz-capable 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0.  Another interesting detail is that it will also have NFC tag-reading capabilities, though we're not quite sure how it will come to be used.

Word is that the Miracle will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress and subsequently released later this spring.  So far, there is no information on carrier, but according to its FCC passage in October, it appears to sport CDMA bands.  Could we finally be seeing a new offering from Sprint or Verizon?

Source: PocketNow

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HTC Radar apparently powering Android in Ireland

WP Central

We've previously covered the odd slip-up from retailers when they refer the platform as Windows Mobile or state that one of the Windows Phone handsets run a version of Android, but we believe it's wise to name and shame said retailers should an error pop up. It doesn't take much effort (or concentration) to slap a Windows logo on a HTC Radar product image, so is it pure negligence or lack of knowledge when it comes to what OS smartphones actually run (we're praying it's not the latter)?

The above image comes from Irish mobile phone retailer Meteor. Head on over to the website and check out the Android logo on the HTC Radar. You'll find the handset in the "Over €200" section. It's irritating when Windows Phones receive such treatment as anyone looking for an alternate to Android could potentially overlook devices due to being incorrectly labeled.

Source: Meteor, thanks senbi for the tip!

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Nokia accidentally showing off a white Lumia 900?

White 900?

Call it a simple error or sign of things to come, but on Nokia's Facebook page they have a new photo of the white Lumia 800 announced yesterday.

Problem is, it's looks very much like the Lumia 900 sans AT&T logo. For instance, there's the exposed microUSB port on top (the 800 has the famous flip door) and we can clearly also see the front-facing camera.

White 900

So are we looking at an international Lumia 900 in white? Quite possibly. There's no reason to think that the Lumia 900 won't go international and if the 800 can do white, why not the 900? So perhaps an intern grabbed a mislabeled stock photo and posted to Facebook.

All we know is Mobile World Congress is a few weeks away, so we'll be finding out more then.

Source: Nokia Facebook; via Pocketnow

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Calendar Search

Here's something that you can't do on Windows Phone: search your calendar for past, current or future events.

Seems an odd omission, yet we'll chalk it up to the "we're too busy to add it in" pile along with the ability to add new contacts from Bing search. Speaking of, the developer who made Add to Contacts (and who also makes "I'm a WP7!") has a new app out that fixes that whole inability to search your Calendar events and it's straightforwardly called Calendar Search:

Calendar Search

"Although your Windows Phone can connect and synchronize with all types of calendars, it’s impossible to search and take action on calendar meetings, appointments and events.

With Calendar Search, you can unlock the power of calendar searching, and search your meetings, event, and appointments, by date ranges, keywords, even specific accounts, and take action on this powerful information!"

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Sprint HTC Arrive to get update for tethering soon?

Sprint Arrive

File this under odd and speculation, but possible.

The Sprint HTC Arrive has received some love in the in the form of updates--both Mango and a previous security-fix. But as of late, Sprint has bee quite silent on the device and overall not too keen on Windows Phone.

In the Sprint Arrive help forums, a moderator/Sprint tech named Tom Deaver has posted in the past that the HTC Arrive does not support tethering aka phone-as-modem and therefore will not be getting that enabled anytime soon. Obviously, this was false but it was posted way back in November.

Sprint

Today, two curious things happened though:

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The above advert is something special and unique. While 80% of the commercial features a similar presentation of the Lumia 800, which recently launched in the country, the first few seconds is an interesting introduction. The start of the advert is integrated into a popular Swedish station's logo and kicks off at the start of commercial breaks. Sweden has also witnessed a more festive 800 advert being aired

Source: YouTube, thanks hasona for the tip!

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Weekly Summary

It's been a chilly week for the majority with temperatures dropping well below freezing, so sit back and enjoy your hot beverage while we run through what happened in the week for Windows Phone. We've been joined by keyboardP, developing power behind Air Pick Voice, for an insightful interview. Our community has been hard at work discussing sales representatives when purchasing Windows Phones.

If you're still attempting to shake the amount of food that was consumed over the festive period, you'll be pleased to learn that February is Mobile Nations Fitness Month! Head on past the break for the weekly recap.

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We've been talking about Sonic Jewels 7 for awhile now. The SEGA Master System and Game Gear emulator fetches for $1.29 in the Marketplace and features the ability to load ROMs via URL or Skydrive. The emulator itself is exceptionally well designed but it was lacking one major feature: sound.

Now with the latest upcoming update (version 1.2) the dev has completed the sound-emulation aspect (no easy task) and we've managed to get an early look.

So far it has performed very well for us and our HTC TITAN (1.5GHz CPU). We have been able to max out the frame rate with sound and have seen no degradation in performance. Older devices may have some issues though which is why they can "skip" frames via the settings to help smooth out the graphics during gameplay.

Overall, the sound emulation really completes this experience and we look forward to the updated version hitting the Marketplace soon. For now, you can use the no-sound version here with a trial.

[And to fend off criticism on our earlier editorial, we want make it clear we're not against emulators per se on WPCentral, just against people selling other people's software which is what Rivera was talking about here]

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Paradox Exit, the latest from Occasional Gamer

Paradox Exit for Windows Phone

Occasional Gamer has released its 15th Windows Phone game, Paradox Exit. The story line goes that you play the role of Toby who becomes a little too curious about that big red button marked "Do Not Press". Curiosity gets the best of Toby and when he presses the button he is transported to a maze of boxes drifting in space.

Within the series of boxes you will find warp gates that Toby hopes will eventually send him home. The game features over fifty monsters and flying creature to battle. As you defeat the monsters and destroy boxes, you can earn cash to purchase upgrades for your attributes and equipment.

Paradox Exit

Movement around the maze of boxes is done by tapping/holding the screen to pull up a virtual joystick. At the bottom of the game screen you have your vital statistics (health and cash), your weapons and a map of the current level of boxes. You have a jet pack that lets you move vertical but it has limited energy that requires a little down time to replenish.  Your progress within Paradox Exit is saved as you exit allowing you to pick things up where you left them.

In the short time I've spent playing Paradox Exit I found it to be a challenging, entertaining, somewhat addictive game. Elbert Perez, the developer behind Occasional Gamer, said this was his most ambitious game to date and his efforts have definitely paid off.

Paradox Exit is a free, ad supported game.  You can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace and after the break catch a video demo of the game.

QR: Paradox Exit

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