Articles

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HTC releases new car cradle for Titan

Titan dock

For those of you like us with an HTC Titan, you may want take a look at the new car cradle from HTC themselves. The device looks sturdy enough with a ball joint and horizontal mounting. You can even charge it via the built in power adapter:

"The HTC Titan Car Upgrade Kit lets you attach and mount your HTC Titan to your car windscreen for easy viewing whilst driving. Keep your device charged and ready to go. The built in power socket lets you connect a car charger whilst driving to keep your HTC Titan powered and ready for when you arrive at your destination. This advanced car cradle features the function of inserting the device auto launches the car panel and Bluetooth."

Not too shabby but what really intrigues us is how it "auto launches the car panel and Bluetooth". Launching Bluetooth is one thing and very useful but what's that "car panel"? Unless we're missing something, it could be a new OEM app from HTC for driving, featuring larger buttons similar to the "HTC Sense" days of Windows Mobile. Just a guess.

Pick it up at the HTC Accessory store for £49.99 which is a hefty $79 in US dollars. If you want cheaper and something that works with the Titan, we're rocking the Clingo now and liking it.

Thanks, William J., for the tip!

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Google

And after ripping on Google for the last two posts, we decided it would be fun and ironic to mention that Google is now allowing multiple calendars to sync to your Windows Phone:

"We launched a few new features on Google Sync for our Windows Phone (7.5+) users. Multiple Calendars is a feature that lets you select which of your Google Calendars are synced to your device. Just navigate to m.google.com/sync on your phone’s browser and configure the calendars you would like to see. From that page, you can also configure which addresses you send mail as if you have custom addresses in Gmail. We’ve also improved search to look beyond the conversations that are stored locally on your device so that you are able to find more of your conversations, faster."

We've playing around with it for the last half hour and despite numerous syncs, we have yet to see our newly created calendar pushed to our phone. File that under "how the hell do you navigate Google Calendar" and/or "it's still rolling out". Your choice.  Let us know in comments if you got it to work.

Either way, it's nice to see Google still paying attention to Windows Phone, even if they still call it Windows Mobile on occasion. Hey, even our "Search server" function seems to be working again!

Source: Gmail (Google+)

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WP Central
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Google is watching every step you take

With the recent news of Google "streamlining" their privacy policies (Translation: data collected from their various Google services will now be pooled together for better advertising), there has been a bit of a backlash. Scratch that, outside of the bubble that is AndroidCentral, many are calling it the "end of do no evil". Why, just check this Bing News search for "Google" and "Privacy" to see what we mean.

So with that as a background, hearing this song parody from Tampa Bay's Q105 radio made us certainly chuckle. Maybe now is a good time to switch from Google to Live Mail? Speaking of, anyone remember Microsoft's 'Gmail Man' satire?

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Switch from Gmail to Hotmail in three steps

WP Central

The Windows Live team have published an article on the official blog that'll help readers who are possibly considering to switch from Gmail to Hotmail for email and other cloud services. Should you be on the fence about leaving Google, and wish to take up Microsoft to host your e-life, there are only three simple steps you're required to take to achieve this goal.

1. Create a Hotmail account. A Hotmail/Live ID is required (name@hotmail.com/name@live.com) to use the web service, but there is no domain restriction. When signing up for an account (should you not already possess one) you are allowed to use your own personal domain for email.

2. Import your old messages from Gmail. Should you not wish to use an email client to do the job, a service such as TrueSwitch will work wonders moving across from Gmail.

3. Connect your Gmail account. You have now successfully set up your Hotmail account, but one more optional step is available. You can have Hotmail actively retrieve any future messages that you receive on your Gmail account by carrying out the following:

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Microsoft pubCenter expands to cover 7 new countries

Microsoft pubCenter

Microsoft has announced seven new countries that will be added to the 'supported' list for the pubCenter and Microsoft Advertising service, which will enable Windows Phone developers in said countries to begin earning revenue from in-app advertising. The software giant previously expanded pubCenter (from being restricted solely to the U.S.) to cover Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the UK.

The advertising service now also supports: Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Mexico, Sweden, and Switzerland. Be sure to check out other networks that can be used on the platform. Xeno Bits, developer behind Belote WorldTour, recently compared a handful of options taking into account support, payouts and ease-of-use.

Source: Microsoft Advertising, via: WPSauce

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Ffffound

We covered the app Ffffound by our own RogueCode a few weeks ago. The app pulls down user created pop-art from the site of the same name, Ffffound.com, but in a really svelte manner--great transitions, minimalist design and the ability to save to your device for use as wallpaper or sharing with others.

The app was recently updated to fix issues with saving and some device memory problems, letting it work fully as it should. It's a nifty little app that even has a Live Tile that shows the latest image, giving your Start screen a little pizzazz.

Ffffound

For $0.99 the app was a great deal, in our opinion, but now for the next week you can pick it up for free--no strings attached. That's a great offer for a very well deigned app, so might as well take advantage while you can.

Check out the video review after the break and grab the app here in the Marketplace.

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WP Central

Right at the top of the WPCentral forums is our Windows Phone 7 OS Discussion area. This Forum is our complete WP7 discussion forum where we help people with all types of Windows Phone issues. This forum is where we praise Windows Phone and we even complain about it a little. If you're looking for help with your Windows Phone you might find what you're looking for in this area. You can start by checking out the stickies at the top of the forum--we have topics like "WP7 -the NOT so Obvious" which was created by Se1fcr3ation, one of our hard working forum members. We also have a Windows Phone 7.5 frequently asked questions thread, filled with answers to all the questions we see being asked time and time again.

There are other great threads all about the Windows Phone such as this discussion about the design: Don't you think the WP UI overuses/underuses space too often? We need your input and that thread includes a poll, so be sure to place your vote.

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Nokia Lumia Windows Phone launch party in Korea [Video]

Nokia hasn't failed when it comes to hosting some awesome events and parties, neither has HTC for that matter. We looked at the Lumia launch event in Copenhagen, Denmark earlier today that was held at a football stadium, and now we have the Korean Lumia 710 launch party (December 30th), which looks pretty darn awesome.

There appears to be a lot of drink, food, live music performances and prizes - we wish we could have attended. Oh and if you're interested in the tune, it's "Believe" by Elite Force and Meat Katie.

Source: YouTube, thanks Ellis for the heads up!

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Fragger makes it to the Windows Phone Marketplace

Fragger for Windows Phone

Better late than never, right?

The new Windows Phone Xbox Live game Fragger has finally made it on to the Marketplace. The Angry Birds like game includes 310 levels that span ten different worlds. Instead of tossing birds at your enemies, you toss grenades.

You will need to figure out angle, throwing power and make some creative bounce shots with your grenade to take out your enemy targets. The fewer grenades, the higher the score.  We're downloading the game as we type and will get a review up shortly on this latest Xbox Live title.

Fragger will run you $2.99 with a free trial version available. Fragger can be found here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

QR: Fragger

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Nokia 4th Quarter 2011 Report

Nokia has released its fourth quarter financial report for 2011. While the good news is that the company is reporting the shipment of over 1 million Windows Phones, the bad news is that Nokia has experienced the third straight quarterly loss.

Nokia's revenue dropped 21% from last year and profit dropped from €884 million (about $1.1 billion U.S) to €954 (about $1.25 billion U.S.) loss. While Nokia is pleased as punch about shipping over a million Windows Phones, overall smartphone revenue dropped 38% and overall smartphone shipments dropped 8%.

On the positive, Nokia reported an infusion of €180 million ($250 million U.S.) from Microsoft in the form of platform support payments. The strategic agreement with Microsoft covers both platform support from Microsoft and minimum software royalty payments from Nokia to Microsoft. The life of this strategic agreement is expected to measure in billions of US Dollars.

Overall, Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop was pleased with the performance of their mobile phones business citing the release of the Windows Phone Lumia series (Lumia 710 and 800), introducing the series to consumers in Europe, Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

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Nokia has already proven to consumers that they've still got the magic to produce some incredible marketing efforts, like Deadmau5 in London, the Haunted House in Berlin, and flash mobs in India. Now we have Copenhagen in Denmark witnessing a football stadium (PARKEN) lay host to the Finnish manufacturer for a Lumia launch presentation.

As one can see in the video above, this wasn't just any presentation. Throw in fireworks, Master Chief (from the Halo video game series), a Ferrari, F.C. København, some music, and you have a spectacular event. The clip montage is only a few minutes long but we're sure it was more than mesmerising in person. Wonder if Nokia aims to continue to smash marketing expenditure records?

Source: YouTubethanks, Markus, for the tip!

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Windows Phone 30 to Launch challenge [Developers]

30tolaunch

Starting January 31, Microsoft's Windows Phone 30 to Launch challenge will see developers building creative and beautiful apps in just 30 days. Four winners of the competition will receive an awesome entertainment package prize sporting a 3D HDTV and Kinect.

Unfortunately, before you get all excited and prepare your best app ideas, this competition is open for U.S. residents only. The challenge will begin on January 31st when the official rules will be published. Head on over to the 30 to Launch website to sign up and be sure to check out app development events.

Source: 30 to Launch

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WP Central

Two new Windows Phones have appeared in the app WPBench, used for testing device speed and performance. The first is the Nokia Lumia 930, seemingly a variant of the Lumia 900 with perhaps updated specs or for different radio technology i.e. CDMA. This could also be similar to the Lumia "910" which some sites have reported as being a 900 but with a 12MP camera instead of 8MP.

Likewise, the other device is from LG, who we have not heard much from lately in the last six months. That device is the LG W930, which is certainly coincidental to the Lumia 930 designation. Not much is known about that device nor what it could be packing in terms of specifications.

WPBench collects data from those testing their phone's speed and performance. Data is encrypted on both the device and server side and in theory, should be resistant to tampering. Likewise, "I'm a WP7!" pulls user data from Windows.Phone.Info.DeviceExtendedProperties and is not easily manipulated (though certainly not impossible).

Still, until we can corroborate this information, file it under rumor. Pick up WPBench here in the Marketplace.

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Your App Here Advertising Campaign

We previously covered the Windows Phone team preparing to launch a new advertising campaign for developers on the platform, titled "Your App Here". The team has partnered with Nokia to bring a more effective offer. Developers can submit their apps and should they be selected the apps will be showcased in Windows Phone and Nokia advertisement campaigns. These include banner ads, placement in Windows Phone Marketplace, public relations press outreach events, social activities, and more.

There were three listed campaigns (up until February), but the submission dates have since past. Fear not as more dates have been published on the website (campaign:submission close date):

  • March Campaign: January 31
  • April Campaign: February 29
  • May Campaign: March 31
  • June Campaign: April 30

Head on over to the advertising campaign website to enter your apps for approval (U.S. AppHub accounts/apps only; You just need an AppHub account and an app for the US market). Selections are based on the following criteria:

  • Newly published Windows 7.5 apps developed for the US Market
  • Originality & Innovation
  • Consumer Friendliness
  • Implementation of Key Windows Phone Features such as Live Tiles, Fast Apps Switching or App Connect

Source: YourAppHere, thanks TheWeeBear for the heads up!

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Orange France Lumia 710 Windows Phone pricing revealed

Lumia 710 Orange FR

A reader over at Smartphone France has tipped them details of pricing for the Lumia 710, which is heading to Orange FR. As is the case with Rogers in Canada, which we covered earlier today, the 710 will be aggressively priced and will be fairly cheap to purchase SIM-free (for the quality of the handset).

  • €1: packages from €49/mo
  • €49: packages from €39/mo
  • €89: packages from €29/mo
  • €109: M6 or smart packages from €21/mo
  • €149: any package for less than €21/mo
  • €229: SIM-free

While the handset is still not yet available, the above photo is proof of it circling around. If you're looking for the Lumia 800, take note that Orange France is running a deal where the carrier pays for the first 5 apps purchased from the Marketplace.

Source: Smartphone France (translate)

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eBay Lumia 900

An unlocked Nokia Lumia 900 is now available for purchase on eBay from All_Electronic_Store, which is also selling the Lumia 800 (unlocked) in cyan and magenta varieties. The estimation for delivery is March 9-15th, which would tie in with the exclusivity closing up for AT&T.

The price tag is $895, but more than worth it should you be after a 4G Windows Phone sporting a front facing camera and quality hardware. You never know with listings such as this so proceed at your own risk.  You can check out the auction and make your purchase by following the source link to the item listing.

Source: eBay (available in black and cyan); thanks, djohns505, for the tip!

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Vodacom's Nokia Lumia 800 launch party in South Africa

      Branding      

Vodacom just held a really amazing launch party to welcome the Nokia Lumia 800 (and the 710 at a later stage) Windows Phone to South Africa. This particular event was the one we previously spoke about being held in Midrand.

Nokia South Africa recently announced that the Lumia 800 would be available from the 7th February. However yesterday we learned of a promotion starting tomorrow for the phone. The latter turns out to be correct and will most probably mark the start of the rollout to stores nationwide.

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TELUS 8107 update is now available

TELUS has announced that they now have the 8107 (7.10.8107) update available for the HTC 7 Surround and LG Optimus 7.  The update, as you may recall, fixes the "vanishing keyboard" bug, as well as some other issues.  Bell Mobility recently started addressing the issue, so it's good to see TELUS following suit.

Sweden's Tele2 has also reportedly been rolling 8107 out to their Optimus 7 users.

What's the word out there?  Anyone else getting 8107?

Source: TELUS; Via: WMPU; Thanks for the tip on Sweden, Lars-Erik!

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HTC Titan II coming to AT&T on March 18 for $200?

It looks like BGR isn't quite done with the leaks just yet.  After reporting that the Nokia Lumia 900 would be coming to AT&T on March 18 at a price of $99, the tech site now sharing that HTC's Titan II will also be arriving the same day.  However, don't expect the same alluring $99 price tag as the Lumia 900.  Rumor has it that the mammoth HTC handset will run you double that, $200, with a 2-year contract.  There's no mention of where this info came from, so as always, treat it as a rumor, and not set in stone.

The Titan II, which recently made an appearance in Entertainment Weekly, has the same 4.7" screen as its predecessor, but comes along with a whopping 16MP camera.  It also packs a 1.5GHz CPU, 16GB of storage, and of course 4G LTE.

Source: BGR

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Must Have Games 2012

Last year’s Must Have Games promotion kicked off in May, but this year it’s coming in February. Since Microsoft announced the February lineup at CES, we’ve been left wondering over the specific release date and price of each game. Wonder no more, Windows Phone gamers, as Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) spilled the remaining beans on his blog today.

  • Need For Speed Hot Pursuit – 02/01 - $4.99
  • Bullet Asylum – 02/8 - $2.99
  • Chickens Can't Fly – 02/15 - $2.99
  • Splinter Cell Conviction – 02/22 - $4.99
  • Toy Soldiers Boot Camp – 02/29 - $2.99

No real surprises there. The two more technically impressive games will cost $4.99, not unlike last year’s Hydro Thunder Go. I’m slightly saddened that my most-wanted game, Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp is coming last, but they all look like fine games. If you need a refresher on the portable Toy Soldiers entry, check out our interview with the game’s developers.

Which game(s) are you most looking forward to, dear readers?

Source: Major Nelson; Thanks for the tip, everybody!

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Roger's Nokia Lumia 710 to launch on Feb 6th for $255

Lumia 710 Rogers Pricing

Attention all Canadians who are still after a second generation Windows Phone. The Nokia Lumia 710, which is coming to Rogers, is set to launch on February 6th (or there about) - just two weeks away. So what's the pricing like for the contract and SIM-free options?

  • $49.99: 3-Year contract
  • $99.99: 2-Year contract
  • $149.99: 1-Year contract
  • $254:99: SIM-free

Not bad for a second generation handset with the listed specifications. Be sure to read up on our review as well.

Source: MobileSyrup

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2012 to be the "Year of Nokia" for Windows Phone

WP OEMs Chart Comparison

Marios Karagiannis, the developing superpower behind the title MonsterUp, has published an interesting article on his blog detailing how 2012 is going to be the "Year of Nokia" for Windows Phone. Looking at the above charts, on the left we have the total breakdown of Windows Phone OEMs since early 2011 and on the right we have the representation of the month of January 2012 only (data is extracted from devices playing his games).

There's a clear trend that is noticeable when comparing both charts. Nokia is on the rise (within the Windows Phone market anyway), helped by the quality of the handsets manufactured and the sheer scale of marketing. HTC is still the clear giant, but with the 900 uprising, as well as the probability of the monster Lumia handset being available on a global scale, we should see a further increase to the chunk Nokia owns.

While we have no exact figure for the amount of handsets Nokia has sold, apart from the 1 million shipped estimation by analysts, this is an indicator that the Lumia family is selling. Especially with the 11% jump in Windows Phone OEM shares in just under a month.

Source: Marios Karagiannis

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Nokia Lumia 900 set for March 18th and only $99 [Updated]

Nokia Lumia 900

We have heard rumors of a March 18th launch for the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 but now we are seeing rumors on pricing for Nokia's latest Windows Phone. BGR is reporting that they have received a portion of AT&T's 2012 roadmap which shows the Lumia 900 hitting the shelves on March 18th. The roadmap also indicates the Lumia 900 will cost a meager $99 after contractual discounts.

The March 18th date does fit with AT&T's previous releases that hit on either the first of third Sunday of the month.  The $99 price tag is a little surprising but a nice one if the rumor holds true.  Sporting a 4.3" AMOLED Clearblack touchscreen, 8mp Camera, 1mp front camera, 16gb of storage, and 4G LTE networking the Lumia 900 is an appealing Windows Phone in its own right. Add a $99 price tag to it and it may be too hard to resist with the Samsung Focus S and HTC Titan going for $199.

Update: Confirmed by Paul Thurrott "Yes, that $99 price is in fact correct for the Lumia 900 based on the docs I saw."

source: BGR

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Win a Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone

Lumia 710

Windows Phone UK is giving away four Lumia 710s to lucky winners.  The winners will be among the first to own the Windows Phone handset in the country. The Nokia Windows Phone is set to launch in February, with multiple sources pointing to the 1st

How can you get your paws on one? Simple, should you be familiar with "into by Windows Phone". All that's required is for you to earn 25 points to unlock access required to enter the draw and you're almost done. To earn points you have a number of options available, including social media. Once you have enough points, simply upload a photo of yourself wearing your brightest, most colourful clothes. This competition is open to the UK only.

Source: Windows Phone UK, Into by WP Facebook

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Free Xbox Live game Shuffle Party played a million times

Shuffle Party

Ever wonder how well the free Xbox Live games for Windows Phone do in the wild? Babaroga has provided us with some analytics for Shuffle Party, their shuffleboard/bowling game. Shuffle Party has been played over a million times so far, with an average of 20 minutes per play. Not too shabby!

Babaroga is actually responsible for three of the four free, ad-supported Xbox Live titles so far: Minesweeper, Sudoku, and Shuffle Party. The fourth such game, Breeze, came from Null City Software. All four games were produced by Kirby Leung at Microsoft. In similar territory, the most recent free Xbox Live title, Bug Village was ported by Babaroga for Glu Mobile. Rather than advertisements, it relies on PDLC for revenue.

Did you somehow miss out on Shuffle Party? Check out our review, and then grab the game here from the Marketplace.

QR: Shuffle Party

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