Though the past few days have looked fairly grim for Nokia, who posted a €590 loss for Q1, there is some positive news for the Finnish manufacturer. It appears that signs of strong sales of the Lumia 900 have proven true, especially for the cyan model, which has now sold out completely on Best Buy's website. We saw the same thing happen a few days ago over at AT&T, who initially sold out of both the black and cyan, but has since restocked their black models. The cyan, however, still remains "temporarily out of stock."
AboutOne (official website) is a Philadelphia-based, Microsoft BizSpark featured startup that helps families securely organise themselves online or with the upcoming Windows Phone app. AboutOne CEO Joanne Lang will speak at Philadelphia's Women in Tech Summit, showcasing the service and app.
The event will see the launch of the beta version, which incorporates a year's worth of customer feedback. Lang explains what the Windows Phone app will bring to the mobile platform:
"AboutOne turns Windows Phone into a remote control for everyday tasks by adding online filing and reporting to customers' existing calendar and contact tools to provide fast, easy access to family memories and household paperwork. AboutOne automatically combines and formats this information so it's instantly useful - anytime, anywhere."
The service uses patented technology that the company, which specialises in cloud-based computing, uses to:
Monster Island’s Xbox Live launch on Wednesday was odd for a couple of reasons. First, only people located in the US could buy it, even though past Miniclip games launched worldwide. Second, one of Monster Island’s Achievements, ‘Big Spender,’ is tied directly to purchasing $3 worth of PDLC. That raised my eyebrows pretty much off my head, and I know I’m not alone.
Only a couple of days after its US-only release, Monster Island no longer shows up while browsing or searching the Marketplace. For all intents and purposes it has been pulled, though you can still grab it from the link in our previous article. Why was it pulled? No official word on that yet, but we do know that Microsoft is actively investigating the Achievement issue, thanks in part to yours truly. The Big Spender Achievement breaking well-known Xbox Live rules and the seemingly erroneous US-only launch are the most likely reasons for the game’s removal.
The Smartphone Beta Test is the latest marketing campaign from Nokia that's to be continuously rolled out in the U.S. The videos highlight key features of the Lumia handsets, with the above commercial focusing on the Carl Zeiss optics. Nokia is set to release more firmware updates to introduce Internet sharing among other features missing from the Windows Phone experience.
It's interesting that the ad states the Lumia handsets sport better camera specifications for low-light photography, which we'd agree with. But we've said before that it would appear as though the hardware is a slight let down with regards to performance on the Lumia 900.
Source: Youtube; thanks Konstantin for the tip!
The Windows Phone UK team are giving away four Windows Phone mugs to those who send in the best photos representing Spring. With the constant weather alterations we're currently experiencing, now would be a perfect time to get snapping to win your own brew server. The winning photos will be selected based on originality and how eye catching they are compared to other submissions - check the above photo for inspiration.
To put forward your entry, simply follow the Windows Phone UK team on Twitter and tweet them your photo. Be sure to include what app you used (if any) to add effects. On the official announcement post the team have encouraged the use of photo editing apps for Windows Phone. There are a number available, some which we've recommended ourselves. Also, why not check out our Windows Phone camera tutorial to make sure you get the most out of your camera's performance?
You've got until April 26th (17:00) to get your submissions in and note that this competition is open to UK residents only. Check out the terms and conditions for more information.
Source: Windows Phone UK
WPCentral's list of the best weather apps for Windows Phone
Your Windows Phone is a great way to stay in touch with what is happening in the world and with things that impact your daily grind. The weather is one thing most of us will have a need to keep track of. There are plenty of weather apps to choose from over at the Windows Phone Marketplace but which one will work out best with your shiny new Nokia Lumia 900 or trusty old Samsung Focus.
We've tossed together a small collection of weather apps we like that offers a wide range of choices. What might be useful for your needs might not match someone else's. We have the basic weather app that shows you the current conditions and extended forecast and the weather apps that would make your local weatherman jealous.
So hit the break and see out selection of the best weather apps out there for your Windows Phone.
A few weeks ago we broke the news of Nokia launching the Lumia 710 and 800 in the Philippines -- an important region for the Finnish company and Windows Phone. The Lumia 710 was launching on Smart while the Lumia 800 was going to carrier Globe. Tonight that launch happened and globe-trotter Mark Guim who runs The Nokia Blog (and the always interesting Married 2 Travel site) was there to film it.
Besides DJs, a great light show and...is that the Blue Man Group?...Nokis seems to have thrown together a popular and successful launch. Kudos to Nokia and to the Philippines -- welcome to the Amazing Everyday.
Source: The Nokia Blog
If you're an extremely busy developer with little time available to submit your app(s) to emerging markets that are being added to the ecosystem, then Microsoft is ready to lend a hand. Developers (including our Jay Bennett) have or will be receiving an email from the software giant requesting permission to submit apps to the new markets with no effort required from the developer. From the email:
"We are reaching out to ask your permission to cross-submit each of your Windows Phone apps into the markets* identified below, which includes more than 25 new markets. We realize that the process to cross-submit takes time out of your busy schedule, so we are requesting your permission to submit all of your applications on your behalf to save you time and effort. This will provide an opportunity for your apps to get additional exposure in new markets which may lead to more downloads and more revenue for your app(s)."
Markets included in the cross-submission are Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela and will announce UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand, and Vietnam. For paid apps, Microsoft will convert the base USD pricing set to local currencies.
Developers who receive the email have until April 27th to respond. It's good to know the team is looking at ways to aid the app building community whenever possible.
Thanks Scott and Dave for the tip!
As we reported earlier this morning, Good Technologies was prepping to release their enterprise messaging app for Windows Phone, a big win for those who need security and a strong feature set for their device.
That app has now gone live in the Marketplace ready for download. We must emphasize: you need Good's back-end technology to run this as it is not standalone (think Exchange). From the app description:
"Good for Enterprise™ delivers secure mobile collaboration and device management for Windows Phone devices. With Good for Enterprise, employees securely access corporate email, contacts, and calendar. Good for Enterprise provides a unique, secure container that separates personal from business while respecting employees’ privacy – ideal for BYOD devices. Unlike other solutions, only Good for Enterprise prevents data loss by providing security at the application layer (in addition to device security)."
According to a thread over at a Chinese Windows Phone community wpxap, one member claims that the next version of the platform, code named "Apollo", is currently being tested by an employee on a retail Lumia 800. Take this with a grain of salt before we continue, we're not entirely convinced ourselves as to whether or not this is actual reality, but it's best to be informed nonetheless. (In addition, supposed "insider" MS_Nerd Tweeted early this morning that the Lumia 610 was also testing Apollo).
Should what this poster has written be true, this would continue the debate on generation 1 / 1.5 Windows Phones being able to receive the "Apollo" update. What is noted are some noticeable improvements including speed / touch responsiveness, folders, an Internet Explorer overhaul and gravity sensing. Insiders believes the last feature to be tilt mechanics, with an example provided for enlarging image thumbnails by lifting the device closer to the users' eyes.
The inclusion of folders is an interesting addition to the list. What else is active on the acclaimed test version of "Apollo" is VPN support, which is reported to be disabled on the final build. As well as these features that have been published by an unconfirmed source, we expect the next major update of Windows Phone to introduce higher screen resolutions and dual-core support.
Wouldn't it be useful if you were able to join a music-focused community on your Windows Phone, which would enable you to search, filter and attend music events? An app and service called Pepper aims to provide such functionality. Launching on Windows Phone (iOS, Blackberry and Android ports on the way), Pepper brings a new social network to the platform.
Finding live music events near your location has now been made a whole lot easier. Once an account has been created (takes two minutes through the app itself) users are able to follow venues and artists to find out where and when the next interesting event is. Any gigs or club nights that are to be attended can then be shared with friends to bring a number of people together for the evening. Best of all - it's free.
While Verizon Wireless does off the HTC Trophy as the company's one and only Windows Phone, customers have been wanting more selection out of the wireless provider for some time. Based on what Verizon's executive vice president and chief financial officer Fran Shammo said during a conference call, Verizon customers may finally see more Windows Phone becoming available.
Shammo said he was fully supportive of Microsoft and discussed the need for a third mobile ecosystem in the wireless industry. This is a bit of a change from late last year when Verizon had issues with the lack of LTE support coming from Microsoft. The feeling was that Verizon would continue to focus on Android devices as their center piece.
If Verizon was waiting for LTE support, the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II should prove that LTE support exists with Windows Phones. Another sign that Verizon may be coming around on Windows Phones is the recent announcement of the 8107 update for the HTC Trophy.
Based on Shammo's comments the chances of additional Windows Phones joining the Verizon line up seems promising. Could we see a Verizon Lumia 900? Or maybe a Verizon Titan II?
Nokia released its Q1 2012 interim financial and operating report today, highlighting a €590 million loss. The data is the result of the slow and painful transition from Symbian to Windows Phone, as well as more affordable competition from Android. Ironically the only region to illustrate positive results with regards to volume numbers is North America with a 20% increase (compared to Q4 2011).
Stephen Elop explained in the report the Lumia handset reception and how some markets, including the UK, are proving more difficult to penetrate.
"We have launched four Lumia devices ahead of schedule to encouraging awards and popular acclaim. The actual sales results have been mixed. We exceeded expectations in markets including the United States, but establishing momentum in certain markets including the UK has been more challenging."
According to Elop, the manufacturer exceeded expectations in terms of sales with the Lumia 900 launch in the U.S., though no figures were provided. The issue with markets such as the UK is how competitors have secured loyal support, whether it be RIM, Android or the iPhone.
Nokia has announced plans to begin rolling out the Windows Phone "Tango" Lumia 610 in Asian markets at the end of April. Coupled with the Lumia 900 heading to the UK as well as a number of other international markets, Nokia will start to have a comfortable level of coverage.
Source: Nokia (PDF)
And just like that what seemed to be borderline credible evidence that Windows Phone 7 users would get an update to Windows Phone 8 have vanished again.
"I recently participated in an interview with the Portuguese website Zwame, where I made some comments on the future of Windows Phone that created confusion. Rumors are swirling, so I feel the need to clarify my statements.
The point I was attempting to make was simply that existing Windows Phone applications will run on the next version of Windows Phone. This is the same guidance that Microsoft shared late last year.
I mistakenly confused app compatibility with phone updateability, which caused the rumors we saw yesterday. I did not intend to give the impression I was offering new guidance on any products under development or their upgradeability.
While we have given Windows Phone developers this preliminary guidance on app compatibility to help them with long term project planning, Microsoft does not have any further news to share on future products at this time. "
Want to make the most of your Windows Phone camera? Read our guide on how to get the best shots possible and look like a pro!
While the camera on your Windows Phone may not have been a key factor in the past, with the HTC Titan II sporting a 16mp camera and the Nokia Lumia 900 using a Carl Zeiss lens these little cameras are being seen in a new light. Where in the past many saw the camera as a nice accessory or even a novelty, as technology improves the Windows Phone camera's performance it's becoming a more influential feature.
Additionally, as our Windows Phone camera evolves so does the software that drives it. You have more control over the camera these days along with special settings to use effects, adjust exposure settings, and program settings. From your children at play to a stunning sunset to your new pet the camera on your Windows Phone is a great tool for capturing and sharing memories.
With all the advancements we've recently seen with our Windows Phone cameras (along with a few suggestions from our readers) it's time to offer our guide to understanding the basics of your Windows Phone camera and a few tips on taking pictures. After the break, we'll cover the principles of photography, the terminology involved, what some of your Windows Phone settings will do, and a few tips to take better pictures with your Window Phone.
We recently put the question to you whether Microsoft is doing enough to promote and market Windows Phone, and now we've just caught wind of a new campaign kicking off from the software giant in the UK. The Windows Phone team will be touring the country (10 cities - 11 weeks) and challenging participants who believe their smartphone is faster than a Windows Phone.
Much like the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign, should contestants win the "Dare to Live" challenge, they'll pocket £20 there and then. But should they lose, and this is the exciting part, they'll not have to hold a sign up and announce their loss, oh no. Microsoft is taking things to the next level with actual fear driven activities instead.
Throughout each week the team will hold the challenges, but on every Saturday they will hold adrenaline intensive activities that will push yourself beyond comfortable limits. From tightrope walking to the Big Air, you're destined to get a buzz for losing to Windows Phone. Think of it as Smoked by Windows Phone with a twist for losing participants.
As well as the challenge and campaign, Microsoft is teaming up with O2 and Phones4U to provide a number of deals on Windows Phones throughout the duration of the event. Phones4U is currently featured with an up-to £100 cash back on the Lumia 800 when trading in your old phone. Be sure to check out the Dare to Live Facebook page for more details about locations, dates and -of course- the special offers.
Elgiganten, a Swedish electronics retailer, currently has an intriguing offer for those who are looking to move to Windows Phone. Should you pick up your own first generation LG Optimus 7 for 2390kr (approx. $360), you'll also walk away with a brand new Xbox 360 console to make use of that Gold subscription while on the go as well as on the big screen.
The website states that there's over 100 in stock so it would be unwise not to take advantage should you still be on the fence of making a purchase.
Nokia has today announced that the manufacturer will be kicking off the Lumia 610 Windows Phone "Tango" smartphone launch in Asian markets at the end of April. Philippines will be the first country to see the 610, with the following weeks taking the Windows Phone to China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.
The more affordable Windows Phone sports the low 256MB RAM, 8GB storage, 3.7" LCD screen, and 5MP camera. Running "Tango" the Lumia 610 features the improvements and fixes included in the update, as well as introduced limitations due to restricted resources.
Check out the full press release after the break. Source: Nokia
We reported a few weeks ago that Good Technologies was planning on releasing their Secure Enterprise Messaging app for Windows Phone in a deal with Microsoft giving business users a new tool in their arsenal.
This morning Good is evidently alerting users that their app should be hitting the Marketplace in the next 24 hours:
"Good announce Good for WP Good for Enterprise™ Windows Phone® Available Tomorrow!
Good Technology is pleased to inform you that Good for Enterprise – Windows Phone will be available tomorrow for download from the Marketplace. This release will support Microsoft Exchange and will be available for Windows Phone with OS version 7.5. Most features require upgrading to the latest Good Mobile Control and Good Messaging servers for Exchange. To ensure that your users can take advantage of the new Good client features, we encourage you to upgrade your Good for Enterprise servers."
That's some good news (morning pun!).
As we previously mentioned, Windows Phone has not been the strongest contender for enterprise even with Exchange support. Giving companies the additional option of having Good Technology on board in combination with the extremely popular Nokia Lumia 900 seems like a win-win for Microsoft in getting their mobile OS the attention it deserves and a nod to enterprise.
The full feature set for the Good for Enterprise™ Windows Phone® app is listed after the break. We'll keep you posted when it goes live in the Marketplace.
Thanks, WPMan, for the heads up
Even though BandWidth doesn't advertise itself as a SpeedTest.net app nor uses their logo or name, it does use their servers for testing. Evidently the company decided to exercise their rights and they asked the developer Blake (aka 'microhaxo') to pull the app from the Marketplace. Blake has informed us that he'll do just that noting
"It was a great run, and I'm glad I was able to help so many people."
Indeed sir, it was a mighty fine app that we used regularly for our Windows Phone device reviews. The app was well designed, updated frequently, had no ads and was free -- what more could you ask from a developer? (We've of course grabbed a XAP from the Marketplace for safe-keeping).
We could almost forgive SpeedTest.net if they were ready to roll out a Windows Phone app but so far we don't hear anything official coming our way.
Despite all of us not knowing much about Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" we're sure discussing a lot about it this week.
Netbook News ran a story today about a supposed summit meeting between Microsoft and its partners happening in Reading, UK with the delicious details of the agenda. While no specifics were given, we can of course garner some information from the list itself, presented below:
- Apollo Review
- Windows Phone Schedules and release plans/processes
- Customization & Differentiation opportunities
- New Windows Phone 8 application development capabilities
- What’s new feature review of Apollo
- Connectivity and APN management
- Better together with Windows 8
Some sites have spun the part about "Customization & Differentiation opportunities" as Microsoft giving more leeway to carriers and OEMs. To that we say "perhaps" but that's certainly an assumption. For all we know, it could be the same Accent color changes and some un-installable carrier software as with Windows Phone 7. But it is very possible that Microsoft is now loosening the reigns a tad to garner more favorable cooperation with carriers and OEMs.
Just a quick reminder that Behind the Tiles with Windows Phone is heading to Best Buy. Well, twelve Best Buy locations to be more precise. The events will be held through mid-May in the following locations (and yes, Birmingham is left out again).
- Charlotte, NC
- Chicago, IL (Yorkshire Plaza)
- Dallas, TX (Farmer's Branch location)
- Houston, TX (Galleria Mall)
- Costa Mesa, CA
- Minneapolis, MN
- New York, NY (Union Square)
- Portland, OR
- Seattle, WA (Lynnwood location)
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Waltham, MA
What is Behind the Tiles with Windows Phone you ask? It's an opportunity to spend some quality time with Windows Phone and learn more about the system. There will be free food and drink along with training sessions such as,
- Hands-on deep dive with the Nokia Lumia 900
- Windows Phone for IT and Developers
- Metro UI and the Future with Windows Phone
Plus you'll have a chance to play with different Windows Phone devices. Rumor has it that there might even be a few Nokia Lumia 900s given away.
The events are invitation only with a limited number of open seats still available. You'll need to register here to be eligible for an invite and use mscust as the RSVP code.
For those hoping for a sequel to the Dell Venue Pro Windows Phone, the stars don't seem to be in your favor. In a recent interview with Forbes, Michael Dell re-affirmed his companies position discontinue smartphone sales and development.
But what would it take to get Dell back into the smartphone business? When asked, Dell's response was,
"If the market changes so that a vendor like Dell can compete with smartphones more successfully we’ll likely reenter but, until then, our focus is going to be on managing, securing, and keeping these devices fed."
While conditions may develop to see Dell re-enter the smartphone market, there's no telling what OS they would choose. On the plus side, Dell thinks Windows 8 is exciting and we can expect to see a lot of activity when Windows 8 becomes available.
Seeing that Dell is enthusiastic about Windows 8, could we eventually see a Windows Phone 8 device from Dell? Or should Dell concentrate on computers and tables, leaving the Windows Phones to others?
Source: Forbes; Thanks, Tryggr, for the tip!
While we've already seen signs that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 is doing well. The Windows Phone has reached the top of Amazon.com's Best Seller list and finding the Lumia 900 in-stock has been a bit of a challenge. Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was out shopping for the Lumia 900.
Even with the connectivity glitch, sales seem brisk and Nokia is scrambling to keep up with demand. Nokia spokesperson Karen Lachtanski states,
"We are producing more devices to satisfy demand as quickly as possible.”
To help Nokia keep pace with inventory demands, Nokia is seeing more customers opt to update their Lumia 900's to address the connectivity issues than exchanging them.
“The inventory situation is primarily a function of demand because we are seeing that most customers are opting to keep their units and simply update via Zune."
We are already seeing inventory of the black Lumia 900 being replenished and based on comments and AT&T retail store reps, the cyan model should be back in stock any day.
Speaking of Windows Phone updates and rumors, our friends over at Mi Movil Windows have confirmed with two sources that Windows Phone Tango (finalized as OS build 8773) will be released officially at the beginning of June. (We've been told who the sources are but have been asked to not name them).
Even though ROMs of Tango have been floating around for awhile (and we've seen some for the Lumia 710 as of late) Microsoft reportedly pushed the April time-frame for release back to June so that more operators could finish testing and Microsoft could target a more universal roll-out, much like Mango. This becomes self-evident when you realize that no Tango updates have happened yet, even though the ROM has been finalized.