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Mugen Power selling 3600mAh extended HTC Titan battery

Mugen Power Titan Battery

We know what you're thinking; "What?!". We were thinking the exact same thing. Mugen Power is selling an extended HTC Titan battery that has a whopping capacity of 3600mAh. To put this into perspective (as the above chart does so gracefully), the stock battery which comes with the handset is 1600mAh which has decent performance as is.  Should you require that extra juice, or spend extended periods of time finding a charger, this 3600mAh upgrade should interest you.

The only issue is that this will add some considerable weight and a slight increase in width with the included extended battery door/back cover. If you require a battery that lasts up to 2.25 times (according to Mugen) longer than stock, this disadvantage can be overlooked with over 50% increase in performance. Should you not be interested in adding size and weight to your Titan, the 1950mAh battery upgrade (also from Mugen) could be the right choice and will use your Titan's existing battery cover.

Note that this product is currently out of stock and if orders are put through now, delivery will be on February 3rd. The purchase will set you back $98.95.

Source: Mugen Powerthanks, maghedo, for the tip!

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Pantech and MS working on Android licensing deal

Pantech next in line to pay MS for Android

Microsoft has been busy lately hammering out Android licensing deals with manufacturers.  A few days after announcing an agreement with LG, word is that they are close to a similar one with Pantech, South Korea’s third largest handset manufacturer.  A Pantech spokesman told Yonhap News, "We are in talks with Microsoft over the patent use, but specific details have not yet been decided." 

While nothing is set in stone, it is expected that the deal will mirror others signed with Samsung and others, which require them to pay Microsoft five dollars for every device sold.  Not including this deal in the making, Microsoft claims to have secured licensing agreements with 70% of all Android device manufacturers. 

Source: Yonhap News; Via: SlashGear

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Windows Phone Dashboard Beta [Developers]

Dashboard

As a developer I value feedback very highly. Every morning I habitually check for new reviews on my apps to see if there are any suggestions or complaints. I have a big whiteboard with a list of to-do's for each of my apps, and I add their feedback onto that. If you have anything in the Windows Phone Marketplace, I suggest you do the same, or find something similar that works for you - because there is no better way to not make money than to ignore the very people that should be paying you.

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Wireframes to Prototypes [Developers]

Social Mints

The Fast Track to the Mobile App contest was recently held by Core77 allowing aspiring mobile app designers to create mockups of their ideas and submit them. In December of last year the winners were announced and told to go forth and develop! The winners and finalists were given the choice to either develop their own app or choose from a list of developer bio's provided by Core77.

The 5 winners were each given the following prizes to kick-start their development:

  • Free Windows Phones
  • XBox 360 (with Kinect)
  • 1-year App-Hub subscriptions
  • App Development Deal (with revenue sharing options) to bring your design to life

A month later and they have posted an update detailing the progress of two of the winners and the processes that they have gone through to get where they are.

Social Mints

It remains to be seen what the other 3 winners have been up to, but for now, Social Mints and Cash Hound look quite interesting.

Hit the source link to read the full article.

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4Chan Reader now available on the Marketplace

4Chan Reader

Well, colour us not-so-surprised. It seems a 4Chan reader has made its way on the Marketplace. Should you remember what happened previously when a developer attempted to get his 4Chan app approved to Marketplace (it was humorously refused), you'll be pleased to know that 4Chan Reader will cater for all your dark, mysterious needs. The app, which will set you back $.99 (79p) for the full version, is not a fully featured client, but will allow you to keep up-to-date with what's being posted on your favorite channels.

You can download 4Chan Reader from the Marketplace. How has this app been accepted? Users are required to manually add the channels that contain more questionable content, which is the case in the iOS 4Chan app. Note that this is not safe for work, home, or anywhere in public. Requirements include a dark room, and absolute companionless.

QR: 4chan

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TextTwist 2 iOS screenshots

We first caught wind of TextTwist 2 coming to Xbox Live back in August when GameHouse announced multiple Windows Phone projects. The publisher later decided to publish a few of those games as indie titles under their RealNetworks label, but TextTwist 2 has kept its Xbox Live status. And now it’s finally coming out this week.

TextTwist 2 is a word-finding game that plays a lot like Boggle. The game presents a random assortment of letters which players then use to create as many words as possible. Multiple game modes include Unlimited (no time limit), Standard (timed), Daily Word (try to find the longest word possible once daily), and Letter Mania (fill an anagram grid before time runs out).

Achievement hunters/OCD sufferers note that TextTwist 2 has a few Achievements that don’t end in a five or zero. Still, if they’re anything like Collapse!’s Achievements, it shouldn’t be too hard to get all 200 GamerScore in short order.

TextTwist 2 debuts this Wednesday, January 18. We don’t have a price yet, but we’ll update as soon as we know. As for the 100th Xbox Live game designation, I believe that count includes a few non-game apps and delisted games, but it’s still a nice thought.

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Deepshining ROM gets 8107 update + custom Marketplace

Deepshining Marketplace

Custom ROMs on Windows Phone, mostly isolated to Gen 1 devices like the HTC HD7 which applies here, usually focus on things like updating to the latest OS. In that case, the newest version of Deepshining by dotcompt is up to snuff as it now features 8107 of the OS. But Deepshining goes much further with version 7 released yesterday.

The biggest addition, besides the custom SMS backup tool and Skydrive would be the Deepshining Marketplace. That's right, this is the first custom Marketplace that features XAP files from XDA and Marketplace Aps and Games. The files are stored on the Deepshining servers, which means when they are updated at XDA, they will be uploaded and distributed through the ROM. There will be an update panel for users to check to see if they have the latest and greatest homebrew apps. (At the moment, we're unclear if this features any illegal apps or games, but we're giving the benefit of the doubt it does not).

Early reviews from users seem to be heaping praise on the ROM and no doubt having 8107 on an HD7 must feel pretty good. Of course you'll need to unlock the HD7 and take your time updating, but overall it seems to be worth it.

Head here to XDA to learn more and we'll see about flashing our HD7 to give all this a test drive.

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From the WPCentral Forums: CES 2012

WP Central

This week in the forums we were talking about, well everything. The beginning of the week was all CES 2012. We were so excited we even made a forum for the event.  Now that CES 2012 is over, all the threads from CES have been moved to our Events sub forum in the WP7 OS General forum area. All the great event discussions from CES 2012 and future events will be there, like my personal favorite thread from CES 2012: "Smoked by a Windows Phone". Come join us for all the CES stuff and discussions about upcoming events like Mobile World Congress in February.

"Nokia shows why it is a failing company" Forums member garment69 started this thread in which he says: "Their first entry into the US market is with a subpar opening price point phone that doesnt even match up against the Samsung Focus" I know you have an opinion on that. We need your help to get this all sorted out so come join the discussion.

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TITAN on 'roids?

In reflection of CES 2012 last week (and looking forward to our WPCentral recap-podcast tomorrow), we want to celebrate the TITAN II a little bit with this week's WPDoodle. While HTC did a pretty knock up job with the original TITAN, besides the massive 4.7" screen there wasn't really anything "huge" about it.

Now with that super fast 4G LTE on board and a whopping 16MP camera (the largest HTC has ever used, even besting Android) the TITAN II truly feels like it earned its name.

Sure, we can talk about how the 16MP camera is more gimmick than advantage, but for marketing purposes it will get Windows Phone noticed. We're okay with that as we needed something to differentiate ourselves from the competition, something to get consumers to pay attention. Will it pay off? We'll find out in a few weeks.

In the meantime, check our our TITAN II hands on, video test, 16MP camera samplesLTE information and more photos of the device.

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Windows Phone featured in Coronation Street

Coronation Street Lumia 800

In the second part of Coronation Street (a popular British TV soap) that aired this evening (8:30pm), we can clearly see a Nokia Lumia 800 being held by the actor with a beautiful camera shot to show off calendar functionality. At about 21:20 in, we see the product placement. You can check out the episode on ITV Player (link below), but be aware that ITV loves advertisements.

Source: ITV Player

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AT&T updating Focus S and Flash to OS 7739.25?

7739.25?

Another day, another odd OS update. This time we're getting word from reader Justin A. that the Focus S and Focus Flash were seen in an AT&T store sporting OS build 7739.25. We guess AT&T could not afford the 0.75 to get 7740? Oh, we jest.

No word on an OS changes or fixes here, though seeing as how close it is to 7740, we surmise that this could be a US version of that update which features the Exchange 2003 email fix. That's cold comfort though for all of us who have the "disappearing keyboard" bug which is addressed, along with other security fixes, in OS build 8107. That build of the OS, which features LTE support and will be found on the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC TITAN II, began rolling out last week. No word on any US carriers getting that update.

We just checked our Focus S to see if there was an update pending and alas, nothing. Hopefully we'll find out more soon.

Update: We should also note that the Firmware has a slight change (11.11.1), as does the Radio Hardware (0.0.0.6 versus our 0.0.0.0) and a slightly newer Bootloader (5.11.3 versus our 5.10.2.0) meaning this seems like a genuine pending OS update.

Thanks, Justin, for the pic!

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Nokia Lumia 800 Ireland

Nokia has announced on Facebook that the Lumia 800 will be available on Vodafone in Ireland on February 1st, which we touched on last week. What's more is that according to users who visited the Facebook page, they noticed the manufacturer stating that the Lumia 900 (the recently announced U.S. LTE Windows Phone) will be coming to Europe in Q2 2012. See the below quote:

"The Nokia Lumia 900 will launch across Europe including Ireland in Q.2 of 2012. We cannot confirm whether Vodafone will stock it or not at this point. Hope that answers your questions guys?!"

So that will at least give us hope of the high end handset coming to Europe.

Source: Nokia Ireland Facebook Page, thanks Mike for the tip!

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Nokia Lumia 710 features fast UI rotation [Video]

We've been using the Nokia Lumia 710 on T-Mobile (see our review) for a few days now and one thing we found is the device is fast. Now by fast we of course mean on T-Mobile "4G' HSPA+ network, which we're seeing quick downloads but also there's something else--the OS itself seems zippier. On WP Bench, we get around 88 for a score, which is high but far below the Titan and Focus S.

Upon closer inspection we noticed the screen rotation from portrait to landscape is very rapid. So rapid that while driving we saw it quickly toggle between the two modes when taking a sharp turn. That tells us that this is either a very sensitive accelerometer with perhaps a lower delay in the transition effect.

When compared to the Lumia 800, Samsung Focus S, etc. the Lumia 710 will always beat them in switching between landscape and portrait. We actually really like this as it makes the OS and device feel even faster (it's very useful for messaging apps where you need the keyboard). Anyways, we thought it was neat and we hope the Lumia 900 features the same type of OS modification too.

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T-Mobile Lumia 710 for a penny at Costco

Nokia Lumia 710 for a penny at Costco

A penny for your thoughts? How about for a T-Mobile Lumia 710? We've seen some nice deals on the latest Windows Phone to hit T-Mobile's shelves. Wal-Mart is offering the Lumia 710 for free on-line, T-Mobile is selling the 710 for $49.99 and now Costco is offering the 4G Windows Phone for a penny.  They are only listing the black model with no indication if the white model will become available at a later date.

Pricing is after the customary two year contractual discounts and a qualifying data plan.   Not too shabby of a price for a very nice, entry level Windows Phone.

Thanks, Anthony, for the tip!

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SE Prototype

We've seen an image or two of the old Sony Ericsson prototype Windows Phone that was canceled before. The device, code-named 'Julie',  was a qwerty-slider and looked quite tantalizing at the time. Since then, SE has jumped on the Android bandwagon while leaving the door open for Windows Phone. We thought for a moment that SE was teasing us with a new Windows Phone for CES, but alas it was more Android.

Now, two new images have leaked of a Sony Ericsson Windows Phone device. Clearly a prototype not much is known about this phone but we're taking a guess that it is just the same qwerty-slider that we've seen previously. If you look closely at the top photo, the thickness of the device and "break" midway suggests that this is a slider.

SE Prototype from 2010

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Nokia fish logo

Nokia has recently sold 450 patents to Sisvel, an italian Intellectual property manager. Of those, 350 patents spanning across 33 families encapsulate key wireless technologies like GSM, UMTS/WCDMA, and LTE. Although Nokia nor Sisvel are going into details of the deal, it's expected that Nokia will retain the rights to use these patents, and likely collect on some of the ongoing royalties, but Sisvel will likely get a cut of royalties in exchange for actively protecting the patents in the courtroom. 

It might seem natural that Nokia hold onto these patents with an iron fist and squeeze every penny-worth of royalties out of them, but legal costs can add up; by incentivizing an outside source to do the trolling while possibly still getting some of the royalties themselves, Nokia will be able to focus their resources (both legal and monetary) on Windows Phone. It will be interesting to see how aggressive Sisvel is in protecting the patents, and if they're able to lock down any big licensing deals that Nokia wasn't able to. The last big case Nokia won was against Apple, so I have a hard time imagining that Nokia has left any stone unturned. 

Source: IntoMobile

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Radio Controlled v2

We reported a few days ago that Pandora once again changed their undocumented APIs thereby breaking Radio Controlled and MetroRadio. Luckily the "fix" was easy and both apps are back, fully working again as far as we can tell. In addition, both have some other fixes and new features on board:

  • Radio Controlled - Hitting version 2.0, this app has received many new features and changes including being more Metro-themed, Last.FM login for "scrobbling" and Driving mode. Driving Mode is perhaps the most exciting as it gives a large, finger-friendly UI for when using the app on the road. It allows you to like/dislike a song, play/stop or to skip. We found this part truly ingenious and tremendously useful. In addition, the new "more Metro" look to the app, artists-as-background and other options make this an awesome update. You can grab Radio Controlled here for free in the Marketplace.
  • MetroRadio - Now on v3.3, this update is mostly bug fixes and to address the API change from Pandora. Those fixes include getting songs, Live Tiles and MetroMP3 search service. That app you can also pick up for free in the Marketplace right here.

It's great to know that so long as Pandora remains obstinate, we have independent developers willing to give us what we want. QR codes after the break...

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Metrogram Alpha

Okay folks, now that it's Monday morning afternoon, we have the skinny on Metrogram, the Instagram client for Windows Phone that we learnt about late last night. The app is being developed by Bil Simser and should be available in two or three weeks.

First the bad news. Indeed, as per Instagram's API requirements, the app is read-only. Still, it offers a lot in terms of functions e.g. browse tags, search for pictures, view details, profiles, leave comments, like pictures, etc.

Now the potential good news. Bil is in contact with Instagram and is trying to get a waiver on their read-only policy and to allow the app to post. If that permission is granted Bil tells us "...a full client will be about 3-4 weeks off (including photo effects similar to the iPhone client)".  However, if Instagram does not grant an exception, Bil may try other means by which to get photos up, perhaps something analogous to the MetroPandora SDK i.e. look for workarounds.

Instagram claim that they don't allow 3rd party access for uploads to  “fight spam & low quality photos” which at first makes sense until you realize no one is monitoring photo uploads to their service, making it a hollow promise. Surely safeguards could be put into place to prevent spam, such as limiting the amount of uploads over a given time-frame.

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Nokia's 6 "Amazing Days" in France [Video]

Nokia has been real busy creating videos with the official Lumia product introductions, the Little Amazing Show campaign, and now we have six videos from France. These "Amazing Days" follow the Nokia Lumia Amazing Calls video that we covered at the end of 2011. All six contain upbeat music to accompany prizes being obtained, which were awarded to the winners of a promotion ran by Nokia and Microsoft back in November. The six "Amazing Days" explained:

  • Amazing Day 1 : VIP pass for Joey Starr's Birthday (French rapper)
  • Amazing Day 2 : 5 minutes to take whatever you want for free in Fnac
  • (like U.S.' Best Buy)
  • Amazing Day 3 : VIP pass for a football match, Manchester United
  • Amazing Day 4 : a day surfing with Bixente Lizarazu (a well known French
  • football player)
  • Amazing Day 5 : private show of Metronomy
  • Amazing Day 6 : a free week in Paris, with a private driver and  luxury
  • cars.

Head on past the break to check out the remaining five videos and watch in awe....

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MSN Weather going Mango and getting a Live Tile

MSN Weather

MSN Weather, like all of those MSN app, are actually pretty cool little offerings--they're Metro, minimalist and do what they're suppose to do. In 2010, MSN Weather was for many their first weather app. Not much has happened though in terms of updates, which is a shame since Mango offers a lot e.g. Live Tiles.

Give us Mango!

That's why we became a little excited to see an image of an updated version that is coming down the road. In the above screenshot from Microsoft's Jeff Wilcox (of 4th & Mayor fame), we see that it finally now has that Live Tile with the current temperature, making this app very useful for many and a good free alternative. No other details are known currently but the app is being beta tested meaning release in probably only a few weeks away.

It's great to see Microsoft finally updating some of these apps though we think it would have looked better 4 months ago.

Update: Regarding Jeff's grey theme, there's no shenanigans there. That is simply one of the theme's on his unlocked Lumia 800 purchased through Expansys. While that's a great theme, he did lose out by not having the "Nokia Blue" accent color.

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T-Mobile

Since the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710 launched last week (see our review), we've seen the commercials on TV numerous times (which is odd since we barely watch TV) and now if you go to T-Mo's website, you'll see the Lumia 710 as a "featured" phone. That basically means it gets top billing on the device listings page so perhaps new customers may be swayed towards the little device that could.

On top of that, it's currently sitting at an astounding 4.9 stars (out of 5) from 28-reviews which have heaped praise on the device and the OS. We have to agree too as we've been using it all weekend and we'll be posting our thoughts later this week. Until then, we can take solace in Nokia seeming to gain traction here in the US.  Hopefully we'll see some sales figures soon to back that up.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, DigTheNoise, for the tip!

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Instagram client coming to Windows Phone? [Update]

Metrogram

Details are a bit fuzzy on this right now, but developer Bil Simser has been working on an Instagram client for Windows Phone called Metrogram. Instagram is an extremely popular photo client on iOS, analogous to BubbleGum for our phones, that allows users to apply somewhat kitsch filters to their photos and share them within the Instagram network (and Twitter/Facebook). File it under "arbitrary but must-have apps" for Windows Phone.

What's interesting is how quickly Simser coded the app, once again demonstrating how easy it is to write apps for Windows Phone. According to his Tweets, it did not take very long at all:

Metrogram

"58 minutes later an a new wp7 Instagram client is born. I think that's a record for me" "Writing the Instagram client for #wp7 has been so freaking easy. 2 hours and I have a fully functional client"

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Summary of the Week

It's that time of the week again, folks! This week has seen a good number of hardware stories come to light from CES 2012 (check the link for our Windows Phone coverage) and beyond. To help you sieve through the CES 2012 content, we've put together highlights of both day one and day two. Should that not excite you enough, WPCentral set up an interview with Joe Belfiore and Kevin Shields (of Nokia).

Because the HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900 were both unveiled in the past week, we've now got two brand spanking new hardware forums to cover both handsets. We previously have two forums dedicated to shining the spotlight on developers for both games and apps, but these sections were hidden away. Now the Applications Spotlight and Games Spotlight forums are on the index page to receive maximum exposure. Just to round off a good forum-based introduction to this week's summary, we now have photo gallery support for members. No more hotlinking images!

Head on past the break for the full Windows Phone summary.

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Windows Phone 7.5 - (Stalled) social media notifications screenshot

Update (6:48PM MST): Social media notifications appear to be working for most folks now.

Windows Phone users are reporting that Twitter social media notifications – such as those found on your Me tile, under Notifications – have been spotty or (in most cases) stopped flowing to Windows Phone since Thursday (UTC-7). A cursory dissection of the communication between the phone and Windows Live APIs, shows that API requests for notification activity succeed but no actual results are returned. (i.e., the phone is working just fine.) Maybe it's time to look at grabbing a real Twitter app? (We've reviewed quite a few.)

Microsoft was asleep and therefore unavailable for immediate comment. We'll keep an eye on this and let you know when things are moving again.

Updated: as of 8pm EST, notifications seem to be working again.

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