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Fail Whale

If you're just picking up a new Windows Phone, re-installing your favorite Twitter app or trying out a new one today (and for the next few days), you may have some problems logging in.

As happens from time to time, Twitter has changed their OAuth decompression method sometime last night and numerous 3rd party Twitter clients are affected. We're told by Scott Peterson, developer of the Twitter app glƏƏk! that it affects "...any Silverlight Mobile Windows Phone client that uses the non-PIN authentication, and doesn’t not expect a GZip response"

As a result, those devs will need to quickly make a slight change in their apps and re-submit to the Marketplace. That means for at least the next 3-5 days there will be issues creating initial accounts (if you already have Twitter setup, the apps will continue to work just fine).

Peterson also believes that Twitter could change the OAuth for PIN-based/Silverlight mobile clients as well in the next few days, which makes sense. glƏƏk! has been updated and submitted but it won't be available until early next week in the Marketplace.

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WP Central

T-Mobile UK are rolling out the Lumia 800 12070 firmware update, according to customers who have received the notification. We received a few comments on our article covering the Three UK roll out last week that T-Mobile still haven't kick-started the process.

As mentioned before, depending on carriers who chose to release it, the 12070 firmware update will be rolled out to new countries on April 4th, 11th, and 18th until the update has been pushed out to every Lumia 800.

The firmware 12070 "battery fix" update will significantly improve available use between charges by optimisation to bring down the discharge rate. We noticed after updating a drop from 200mAh to <100mAh

Let us know in the comments should you also be receiving the update.

Thanks Scott for the tip!

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The cost of building a Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900 costs $217 to build

Ever wonder how much it cost to build a Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone? According to IHS iSuppli Research, the Lumia 900's bill of materials totals $209. This includes the cost of the memory ($27), touchscreen ($58), processor ($17), cameras ($18), and box contents ($5.50).  The screen is the top dollar item due to the ClearBlack technology and Gorilla Glass.

Lumia 900 parts cost

Toss in the $8 manufacturing cost and the cost to produce the Lumia 900 moves up to $217. Retail pricing is at $449.99 (without contractual discounts) giving Nokia $232.99 in profit to help cover salaries, research and development, licensing, marketing and other expenses. In comparison, the iPhone 4S has a materials cost of $188 and a retail price of $650. The Samsung SII Android Phone costs $235.50 in materials and is sold for $549.99.

Nokia has done a good job partnering with Microsoft and Qualcomm to keep the costs down while passing on the savings to its customers.

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Win free appvertising

Microsoft and Nokia are looking for new Windows Phone 7.5 apps to showcase in their next UK advertising campaign.  They have kicked off a new competition in which developers can submit their apps for consideration, and if chosen, get them displayed across the UK.  Those selected will appear in banner ads, the Windows Phone Marketplace, press materials, events and social media outlets.

MS and Nokia are looking for "innovative" apps geared toward UK consumers in the following categories: casual games, kids, family, health and fitness, shopping, social, travel, and utilities.  For the time being, there are two monthly campaigns for May and June.  Submissions for the May run should be submitted no later than April 20, while entries for the June competition will be accepted until May 15.  If you have a newly-developed Windows Phone 7.5 app that you want to show off, simply go the competition website and click on "Tell Us Today."

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Best free apps for Windows Phones

WPCentral's list of the best free apps for Windows Phone

Free Apps for your Windows Phone

We've taken a look at must have games and must have apps for your Windows Phone, now we turn our sights on the best free apps that might interest every Windows Phone owner. Everyone likes free stuff, right?

The Windows Phone Marketplace is full of free apps and games. Some good, some bad. Some with ads, some without.  We've compiled a short list of free Windows Phone games and apps the we found interesting and thought you would too.

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eBay

For those of you who use the excellent eBay app for Windows Phone, you'll want to get the latest update found now in the Marketplace. The past versions did an excellent job of allowing you to browse for new items to bid on, search for gifts, pin found items to your Start screen as a tile and even push notifications. But it lacked one big feature: the ability to create new auction listings right from your phone.

=Listings

Now with version 1.17, you can start a new listing, take a photo with your phone for submission, edit the description, choose payment method, pick shipping options and more. This ability has been found on eBay's apps for iOS and Android for sometime now, so it's excellent to see it finally come to Windows Phone. We're sure many of you will be using this tool on a regular basis (especially if you have a Titan II, ahem).

Pick up the official eBay app here in the Marketplace for free. Thanks, Tal F., for the heads up!

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Titan II

Earlier today, we compared and contrasted the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II on AT&T and each featuring 4G LTE.  Both phones have their strengths and weaknesses but if there is one thing we can absolutely agree on is the impressive rear camera on the Titan II (review).

Featuring a back-side illuminated (BSI) sensor for excellent low-light performance, 16MP for high resolution, f/2.6 lens with dual LED flash, the Titan II has arguably one of the best cameras on a phone today (well, definitely on a Windows Phone). In fact, HTC in general has been investing heavily in cameras as of late, including their new flag ship Android phone, the One X (review), which has an 8MP BSI sensor with a jaw-dropping f/2.0 22mm lens.

There's no debate about it: the Titan II's rear camera crushes the Lumia 900's (review) That doesn't make the Lumia 900 a bad phone at all, in fact we find that the camera performs quite well in well-lit conditions and we're throwing down $450 on April 22nd for a glossy-white one to back up our opinion. But if photos matter to you, then the Titan II deserves a serious look. And if you have 4G LTE in your area to send those massive pics, it will certainly helps for those uploads.

Besides the exceptional camera hardware, HTC have done some really great work with the Titan II's camera software too. For instance, it's the first Windows Phone that we know of that has smile detection in addition to face detection. There's also an impressive red-eye reduction built in, burst mode for rapid shots and the familiar anti-shake option (ramps up ISO for non-blurred shots).

settings

Those are very impressive and useful features but there's more. There's also 18 "scenes" including more obscure things like "Backlight portrait", "Night portrait", "Text", "Beach", "Foliage' and even a special setting for "Food". Yup, there's a pre-set mode for taking pictures of your latest meal. If you don't want to bother choosing your scene, just use the "Intelligent Auto" mode to automatically choose one for you (and yes, it's smart too). You even have some built in effects like "Vintage warm", "Vignette" and "Blue Tint" which can also be used for video. That's on top of what's built into the optional Photo Enhancer app by HTC.

But enough talk, lets see some photos. We walked around the streets of Manhattan snapping a couple of pics as well as some macro and regular shots for you to peruse and yes, we're linking to the full resolution pics for your pixel peepers out there. These photos have not been altered in any way except to remove some EXIF info like GPS from our home pictures. The dual LED flash was not used for any pictures.

Jump past the break to take a look...

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WP Central

Netflix, the popular movie streaming service, has updated their Windows Phone app to version 2.0. Using the app subscribers will be able to stream movies and TV programmes to the big screen and now their Windows Phone while on the go.

In this update UK and Ireland, as well as 47 countries in Latin America, are now supported, which is a huge plus for those who patiently awaited access on their handsets. Quick run through of what's new:

  • Support for additional international locations – UK & IRE, 47 countries in Latin America
  • New localised UI for all international locations
  • Support for subtitles, closed caption and alternate audio
  • Performance improvements and optimisations for a better browsing and viewing experience

You can download Netflix from the Marketplace for free (requires a subscription to use the service).

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this.

QR: Netflix

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Last year WPCentral asked our readers what mobile games they’d most like to see ported to Windows Phone. One highly-requested game was Cut the Rope from Chillingo. Well, we’re getting one step closer to seeing that happen. WPCentral is pleased to announce that Chillingo has officially begun to support Windows Phone. Their first game: Feed Me Oil, from developer Holy Water Games.

Feed Me Oil is a physics puzzle game that closely resembles Enigmo. The player’s job is to get a bunch of dropping oil into the mouths of gigantic creatures. You’ll use a variety of gadgets to do so, pushing, pulling, and otherwise directing the flow of oil. While the gameplay may be somewhat familiar to puzzle fans, Feed Me Oil’s creative art design is far more appealing than Enigmo’s sterile setting.

Feed Me Oil

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BBC Podcast Lounge now available on the Marketplace

WP Central

BBC Podcast Lounge has been released on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Developed by Igneous Software, who are responsible for the BBC Radio apps, the app enables users to browse and listen to an array of podcast programmes available from the BBC. From arts and drama to comedy and quizzes, the catalogue has enough content for everyone's taste.

WP Central

Some of the highlighted features:

  • Background audio playback
  • Familiar interface with panorama
  • Search by programme title
  • List by category or station
  • Ability to select favourites
  • Ability to pin programme to start
  • Full integration with music + video hub
  • Playback continues under lock screen

We mentioned in our quick look at BBC Podcast Lounge that there was no functionality present to pin programmes to the home screen for more convenient access, this has been added for the v1.0 release. Check out our quick run through of the app in the below video.

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WhatsApp for Windows Phone updated to version 1.9

WP Central

It has been little over a month since WhatsApp for Windows Phone received an update with 1.8 rolling out, but the popular IM app has been bumped to 1.9 as of today. As well as sporting video recording and sharing, WhatsApp now allows users to share contacts and browse downloaded media in a conversation.

As well as bug fixes and performance improvements, German and Russion localisations are included with improved support for Emoji. A quick run through of what's new in this update:

  • Improved support for Emoji
  • Group mute features
  • Share contacts
  • Browse downloaded media in a conversation
  • German and Russian localizations
  • The usual bug fixes and performance improvements 

It's great to see continued development from the team for the platform, which puts it up there with iOS, Android and Blackberry. You can download WhatsApp from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks everyone who tipped us on this!

WP Central

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Homemade Lego dock for the Lumia 900 Windows Phone

WP Central

Baris Eris has published an article on his blog detailing how he constructed a Lumia 900 compatible Windows Phone dock out of Lego. Yes, Lego. As one can see in the above photo, the device itself sits as one would expect in a dock and is plugged in via a cable which runs through the rear of the construction.

It's highly based on improvisation with the bricks available and should you wish to attempt to create your own Lego Windows Phone dock you'll need to invest in some packs of bricks to have the required variety.

WP Central

Head on over to Eris' blog for more information and photos of his project. Be sure to let us know should you create your own.

Source: Baris Eris; thanks Andy for the heads up!

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Pocket Meme

Pocket Meme, developed by our own RogueCode (the brains behind the Ffffound app), is now available on the Marketplace. Pocket Meme enables users to enjoy their daily dose of meme action (from QuickMeme.com) with most popular images being displayed upon launch. An entire list of memes is present with a filter for more convenient access.

Once selecting a single meme, the user is greeted by popular and upcoming images for that meme only. Selecting an image reveals the title and three tiles. The first is for a full size view, the second for saving the image to the Windows Phone, and third for sharing via SMS, email and integrated social networks. 

WP Central

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Nokia has announced the Lumia 610 today with NFC (Near Field Communication) support, which we covered earlier with the above video being uploaded to Nokia's Youtube account by accident. The Lumia 610 NFC was revealed at WIMA NFC 2012 in Monaco and is expected to be available early in the third quarter of 2012 with Orange listed as the first partner carrier.

But what's all the hype about NFC, and what can the technology do to make life easier for Windows Phone owners? An NFC enabled device will enable users to share photos and other media by just touching other handsets, make payments in stores with MasterCard PayPass, use the Windows Phone as a travel ticket (e.g.: Oyster on London public transport), just to name a few examples.

Check out the video for more information and quick demos from Nokia's Andrea Bacioccola of what NFC can achieve on Windows Phone and read more on the announcement at Nokia Conversations. Unfortunately the Lumia 710, 800 and 900 do not support NFC. 

Check out the press release after the break. Video Source: Youtube

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Photos of the China Telecom Lumia 800c launch

Lumia 800c Launch

With the confusion this week of some news blogs publishing alleged photos of a Lumia line waiting to purchase a Windows Phone at launch that later turned out to be an iPhone launch, we feel the need to relay some positive coverage of the Lumia launch in China. China Telecom released the Lumia 800c late last month, and announced along with Nokia that both companies have plans in place to market the handset.

According to the photos published on the Meizu discussion board, the Lumia 800c launch was well received by consumers with a healthy line being illustrated. It's a positive sign to see such interest shown for Windows Phone. Bravo, Nokia.

Check out more photos after the break.

Source: Meizu, via: @Jubbing

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Nokia profits still dipping despite strong Lumia sales

  Can Nokia ride the 900 to glory?

On April 19, Nokia is expected to release their Q1 results.  As a precursor, they put out some initial figures, showing that despite relatively strong sales, their profits continue to shrink.  Nokia totaled €4.2 billion in phone sales, the bulk of which consisted of 71 million feature phones, Nokia's one-time bread and butter, bringing in around €2.3 billion.  Smart devices earned them about €1.7 billion.  And even though these seem like pretty big numbers, they are not enough to cover the cost of moving over to the Windows Phone platform in an attempt to gain a foothold in the smartphone arena.  The expected result is a first quarter finish 3 percent below the break-even mark. 

But this doesn't mean all doom and gloom for Nokia.  Sales of Nokia's Lumia line of phones has been solid and continue to increase.  The Lumia 900 has gotten off to a quick start and doesn't show any signs of slowing yet.  And neither does Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop.  He says that he and his crew continue "to increase the clock speed of the company" and that "the change is tangible."  Considering that they scrapped their previous operating system in favor of Microsoft's just under a year ago, and that their first devices just hit the market last quarter, it's hard to call a 3 percent loss a failure.

Read the presser after the break.

Source: Nokia

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WP Central

Nokia has been aggressively marketing their Lumia family of Windows Phones on a massive global scale, with events sporting 4D projections, augmented reality experiences, and live music performances the manufacturer appears to have extraordinarily deep pockets for the marketing budget, something that Microsoft needs from an OEM with its new mobile platform. 

As well as Nokia we've seen Microsoft pushing hard with carriers and the famous Smoked by Windows Phone campaign. Following on from this successful array of stunts, Nokia has kicked off "Blown away by Lumia" in India, which hasn't gone down too well with Samsung, who is backing the Galaxy family of devices. The Finnish manufacturer also took to the streets in the UK with the "Lumia Challenge", sharing the same concept.

Back to the "Blown Away by Lumia" campaign in India, check out the following video, which is one of many adverts Nokia has where competitor handsets are literally 'blown away' by Lumia Windows Phones.

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Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II

So which Windows Phone is better? The Nokia Lumia 900 or the HTC Titan II?

The Lumia 900 definitely hit the AT&T store shelves with a bang while the Titan II kinda snuck in under the radar. I've used both over the past few days and I will say this without reservation. There's not a bad choice between the two.

Okay... so that may be fence straddling but the differences between these two phones boils down to individual needs and personal preferences. Do you need a "knock your socks off" camera? Go with the Titan II. Do you prefer a screen with richer colors and more contrast?  Go with the Lumia 900. Are you looking for a splash of color for your Windows Phone other than plain old gray or black? Choose the Lumia 900. Are you wanting more real estate in your screen? Obviously the Titan II would be your choice.

These two new Windows Phone are so closely matched the difference may come down to which fits the best in your hand (and that's no easy measure either). We'll try to break things down a little better after the break to give you a fighting chance at deciding which is best.

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Must-have games for your Nokia Lumia 900

WPCentral's list of the best games for the Lumia 900

Games!

You've read our Must-have apps for the Nokia Lumia 900, now it's time for the games...

One of Windows Phone’s most attractive features to gamers is its Xbox Live integration. All Xbox Live games feature Achievements and online friends leaderboards, making it easy to compare and show off your progress with your pals. Every Wednesday Microsoft releases a new Xbox Live title, which come in the following price ranges: free, $2.99, $4.99, and $6.99.

With over 100 Xbox Live titles released so far and many more on the way, new users like those who’ve just picked up the Nokia Lumia 900 (review) might have a tough time deciding which games to grab first. Factor in the abundance of indie games and there’s even more to choose from. Fear not, friends – I’ve played nearly every single Xbox Live game on Windows Phone, and reviewed most of them for this very site. If anyone can help, it’s WPCentral.

Read past the break to learn what I think are the best...

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WP Central

Wordament, the free (ad-supported) Windows Phone indie game from You vs. the Internet, is expected to be re-released as an Xbox Live title on the Marketplace. The multiplayer word game puts players against one another to find as many words as possible from the same grid of 16 letters. The announcement detailing this upgrade was published back in February.

The Xbox Live version -once released- will remain free and ad-supported, much like Minesweeper, Sudoku and Breeze. Before it has time to return with achievements and whatnot, it seems someone has got ahead of themselves at Windows Phone HQ. Should you filter the web Marketplace games catalogue to display Live enabled titles, you'll see an odd listing.

WP Central

We're not entirely sure why Wordament is present on the Xbox Live list of Windows Phone games, but this further confirms an imminent re-release of the word game. it's good to see such a popular title receive Live features, especially after someone proposed using the game concept. We'll update with more information as it's made available.

Thanks Illum1na for the heads up! 

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WP Central

Being actively social while on-the-go is Microsoft's main aim with Windows Phone, and both Messenger and Facebook Chat provide the means for owners to communicate with contacts via the social network and popular IM service. What's great about these features is that they are integrated into the operating system. Switching between text, Messenger, and Facebook can be achieved in the conversation itself with zero apps.

The only issue with such integration is actually setting it all up - it's not as simple as one would like to believe (there's no click-and-go here). Messenger is automatically connected and ready to fire up once you'd attached your Live ID in the Windows Phone setup walkthrough, but to activate Facebook Chat, you'll be required to login on your Live account and set up Facebook Connect via the web browser, as well as adding your Facebook account to your phone. Simply connecting your Facebook account to your Windows Phone only kick-starts the social integration for the People hub and Me tile. Too much, too fast?

Read on for our full tutorial on Facebook Chat and Messenger for Windows Phone....

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WP Central

A few weeks ago we spoke with AT&T about the lack of OS updates for current Windows Phones, specifically the 8107 update which fixes the disappearing keyboard and applies various security fixes.

During that conversation, AT&T informed us they were committed to updating current Windows Phones and were evaluating a post-8107 update aka "Tango" or Consumer Release 3 (CR3). You can read that whole situation here but the important take away was that AT&T users would get a significant OS bump in the coming months (no time frame was committed to).

Now in their help forums, AT&T has once again come out publicly to reiterate this position. From Community Manager Jamileh:

"Hey all - I know you're eagerly awaiting news about this. AT&T plans for a Windows Phone update that will contain the improvements in the 8107 update and more.

I will likely start a new thread as I get more information as this one is getting a bit tricky to find information in.

Stay tuned!"

Again, no time-frame was given. But at least AT&T have twice gone on record on the matter. Now, it's just a matter of waiting which for some of you will be too long no matter how quick AT&T pushes this out.

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Nokia set to announce Lumia 610 with NFC today

WP Central

While the previous line of Lumia devices including the 710, 800 and 900 don't have near-field communication (NFC) on board (we even asked recently about the 900), evidently a variation of the low-end Lumia 610 will.

A video from Nokia was erroneously made public on YouTube early this morning and then quickly pulled. In the video, the Lumia 610 is shown demonstrating various NFC tasks like payments (Mastercard Paypass), streaming music to NFC-enabled Bluetooth speakers and more.

Even though the video was pulled the site NokiaBuff was able to rip and post a much poorer quality version back on YouTube. (It's running at about 5 FPS but you get the idea.)

Orange UK is also reportedly going to be one of the first partner carriers to get the Lumia 610NFC though no time-frame was given. The Lumia 610NFC is expected to be revealed today at WIMA NFC 2012 in Monaco as Nokia is a chief sponsor of that convention.

Developing...

Source: YouTube (pulled); via NokiaBuff, WPSauce

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From the Forums: Windows Phone Meet Up (April 14)

WP Central

You heard that right, everyone. We are having our first ever Windows Phone Meet Up this Saturday April 14th in St Louis.

What is a Windows Phone Meet Up? The ideas is to pick a time and place, post it in our Windows Phone forums Meet Up area and then go hang out with other WinPhans in your area for drinks, food, conversation, and fun. This sounds like a great way to meet other WinPhans nearby and with your new Lumia 900 or Titan II you're sure to have a lot to share with others. 

Forum member speedtouch is famous for his WebOS Meet Ups and has insisted on hosting our first one ever for Windows Phone. What better way to show off your Windows Phone than to join speedtouch and other WinPhans at the Triumph Grill for drinks, eats and conversation?

The Triumph Grill is located 3419 Olive St. Saint Louis, MO 63103

WP Central

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Pirates

It’s time to put on your black caps and eyepatches, Windows Phone gamers. Sid Meier’s Pirates! from 2K Games is now available on the Marketplace.

In Pirates! gamers play as the son of a man whose family was unjustly imprisoned by a nobleman in the 1600s. The path to rescue them is fraught with peril, as he’s forced into the life of a pirate. From there, players must form alliances with some nations while warring on others, collecting treasure, upgrading their ship, and hiring new crewmen all the while. Pirates! is ostensibly a strategy title, but it packs a wide variety of gameplay, including ship battles, sword fighting, city bombardment, and even dancing. How else are you going to romance those ladies?

Sid Meier's Pirates!

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