Windows Phone News

Following on from the gradual increase in advertising, Nokia has now done something special in Chile to celebrate the launch of the Lumia Windows Phones - there really doesn't appear to be a limit on marketing / promotional expenditure for the manufacturer. Much like we saw in London late last year, a 3D show was put on for attendees in the boulevard of Parque Arauco in Santiago.

Be sure to check out the video, it really is something else. We'll look to see more information being made available about both the 710 and 800 in Chile in the near future.

Source: YouTube, via: WMPU

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"The Nokia Lumia has arrived!" reads the bold headline in this Australian newspaper TeleChoice flyer. Celebrating the launch of the Lumia handsets, as well as the "Lumia Live" events that are being held this month around the country, it's good to see such exposure.

The Lumia 710 was also advertised in the MX newspaper yesterday, but these are all device specific promotions so we're still looking at Microsoft (or other OEMs) to pick up some of the weight that's holding down the platform.

Thanks Michael for sending in the photo!

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Just a few weeks before it officially hits, Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh aka "Tango" (build 8773) has managed to be dumped onto XDA for the world to see (and use). Wasting no time, some chefs have already cooked up some custom ROMs for the HD2 (which will evidently live until the year 2031 with updates) and the Samsung Omnia7.

More ROMs will be expected to follow soon for first generation devices, notably HTC ones and the Samsung Focus. Since there are no custom ROMs for Gen 2 devices (due to a locked bootloader), we're not expecting this Tango ROM to help too much though perhaps some folks at XDA will find a way.

Tango is thought to a "refresh" of Windows Phone 7.5 with only minor, under the hood changes including support for lower-spec'd devices (256MB of RAM) as well as some MMS improvements and a fix for the SMS bug. Like all previous updates, this is expected to trickle out for current phones but only at the discretion of the carrier.

Source: HD2, Omnia 7; via XDA

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We previously took a look at Windows Phone Hacker's Lock Screen Widgets concept, where enough interest from the homebrew community would spark development to turn it into reality. It would appear as though enough interest was received as in the above video, we can see a working preview of said concept in an app form.

Work is still ongoing to apply UI enhancements and tidying up. Adding, re-arranging and removing widgets is fairly straightforward and selecting the Bing wallpaper is also possible. Suggestions are welcome for new widgets or on the app itself. We look set to see a beta version released next week (depending on continued progress), so stay tuned.

Source: WindowsPhoneHacker, YouTube

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Windows Phone UK has announced an exciting competition that celebrates the must-have Xbox Live games of 2012 that have arrived onto the Marketplace - Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, BulletAsylum, Chickens Can’t Fly, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction and Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp.

The team have decided to give away a shiny new Lumia 800 (see our review) Windows Phone as the prize for the best review. To enter the competition and have a chance of winning the Lumia 800, you'll need to:

  1. Review one of the five must-have games listed above. Be sure to include details such as why it's your favourite, what you liked / disliked, etc.
  2. Publish the review on a blog (can be Tumblr, WordPress hosted, Blogger, etc.)
  3. Enter said review by commenting on the Windows Phone UK competition announcement article only (link below).

We're helping to judge this contest, so we'll be selecting the winning review which displays the most originality, relevancy and humour. So head on over to Windows Phone UK to read up on the T&Cs and put forward your entry. Remember that this is for UK residents only and you have until 5pm (GMT) on March 22nd.

Source: Windows Phone UK

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From the Forums...Barter Forum is live

We have seen many requests for a area in the forums to buy and trade devices. We love to abide so with no further delay come join us in the Windows Phone Central Barter Forum.

Note: you must have 50 posts to sell your wares. For a complete list of rules please see this thread: Rules for posting in the Barter Forum

Remember, the forums are more fun when you register, so sign up today.

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With the launch of the 800, we've been anticipating Nokia's upcoming marketing strategy in Australia with what the manufacturer can do to maintain the standards of promotion we've witnessed in other countries (think back to London with Deadmau5). With the recent announcement that will see Nokia holding Lumia "Live events" in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney this month, we now have more details surrounding the first one on the calendar - Sydney.

As one can probably guess from the above photo, the live event in Sydney sports Nokia's largest augmented reality experience. The public can step up on the Nokia mat to witness an interactive experience powered by an Xbox and Kinect. The video from the console is displayed on a massive 12 metre screen for everyone to enjoy.

Should you choose the Nokia Music tile, you'll be able to compete with Australia’s Got Talent and now local recording star Timomatic in a dance-off. But if that's not your cup of tea, and you're feeling slightly adventurous, then the Nokia Drive tile will produce a random character next to you on-screen; be it an Angry Bird or kangaroo.

Timomatic said the following when asked about his experience working with Nokia on this stunt:

"I was pumped about working with Nokia on this project.  I loved the idea of combining cutting-edge technology like Augmented Reality with my passion for music and dance. The footage was filmed in a studio and we experimented with a range of dance moves, both free-style and choreographed.  It's pretty amazing to see it all come together like that on the big screen."

Are you interested in giving this event a looking? Be sure to head on down to Martin Place between 7am - 7pm (16th March). 

Source: WPDownUnder

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Windows Phone users have been yearning for an official Audible app for Windows Phone for quite some time now. Recently, our own Rafael Rivera showed how it's very possible to make an app for Windows Phone using some aspects of the ancient Windows Mobile app of yore. Around the same time, we heard rumblings of a limited beta for an Audible starting to circulate, which gave us hope.

Now, some images of said app have appeared on Reddit by a poster who is reportedly in the closed beta program. He notes that the beta program will be going open in a few weeks and that he won't post the XAP file, so no hope there.

While we can't verify that these images are legit, we have reason to believe that these are indeed real. Hopefully we'll be hearing more in a few weeks.

Update: Confirmed. Paul Thurrott has just posted more screenshots, moving this from rumor to news.

Source: Reddit; via 1800PocketPC, Go Windows Go

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There are those of us who believe 4.3" screens are too big, but it seems as though there are more who believe they're just the right size (or not big enough). According to a survey by Strategic Analytics, almost 90% of existing smartphone owners look at prototype / newer devices that sport larger screens, specifically 4.0" - 4.5" being the 'sweet spot'.

Kevin Nolan, Vice-President for the User Experience Practice at Strategy Analytics, added to the report:

"In order for smartphone owners to adopt larger devices, it is important for handset manufacturers to ensure that mobile devices are not too heavy and that the devices remain thin enough for purses and pockets."

Windows Phone has been keeping up with this new like for big things with the HTC TITAN and Samsung Focus S, as well as the Lumia 800 and 900 from Nokia. What size screen do you believe is the perfect size for a smartphone? Should we be hitting 5"?

Source: Strategic Analytics, via: BGR

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According to Marko Ahtisaari, Design Chief at Nokia, the company is looking at the possibility of introducing a tablet running Windows 8. Ahtisaari has said in an interview with Finnish magazine Kauppalehti Optio that he spends a third of his time at the company on tablet development and that they "are working on it". Though a spokesperson is less publicly optimistic (as usual):

"We continue to eye the tablet space with interest, but have made no specific announcements."

In other words: they have some ideas, but nothing to show the world just yet. For now we'll have plod along with the Lumia family of Windows Phones and keep hopes up that the Finnish manufacturer brings something to the table when Microsoft launches the next version of Windows.

What would you like to see from a Nokia Windows 8 tablet?

Via: Reuters

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Nice to see a non-Nokia commercial showing off the Lumia 800 for once, or rather a carrier actually having a little faith in the hit phone.

TELUS is having a sale till the end of the month (we mentioned it earlier) and the 800 is one of those qualifying for said discount. While the song is unforgivable we do rather like the commercial and find it effective.

The Canadian teleco started selling the phone March 2nd and so far the response seems to have been strong.

Thanks, BugZau, for the tip!

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Chris Finlay, web developer at PokerStars, has created something special for those Windows Phone users who are avid Facebook fans. The Timeline cover photo is a perfect way to show off some interesting photos, but why don't we take it a step further with a personalised "I love Windows Phone" graphic?

Finlay has provided the tools and means to do just that, should you have the right software for the job of course. We've got a .PSD template, which will enable anyone (regardless of photo editing skills) to create an images similar to the above. So how do you go about achieving the above result? 

  1. Download the .PSD template (we'll use Photoshop as the software of choice for this walkthrough).
  2. Edit the network placeholder text and add your own image for the "Pictures" tile, using the red rectangle as a guide for dimensions.
  3. Change / personalise other aspects of the template as you see fit.
  4. Hide the "Guides" group to remove Facebook template and disable the guide lines (View > Show > Guides). 
  5. Select "cover" from the Load Selection dialogue (Select > Load Selection).
  6. "Copy Merged" (Edit > Copy Merged) and then paste into a new document.
  7. Save and upload to Facebook.

Remember that this is just a template, only your imagination is the limit. Take the design and add your own touches. Do let us know in the comments should you take a few minutes to create your own cover photo to further promote Windows Phone. As for Chris Finlay, be sure to follow him on Twitter.

Thanks Chris for sending in the .PSD!

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We last took a look at the mysterious Samsung SGH i667 "Mandel" back in January where it passed BT certification, but not much was known about the handset. Fast forward three months later and FCC certification paperwork has been spotted by PocketNow, which shows the SGH i667 passing with LTE connectivity listed and confirmed.

The "Mandel" is set to be one of three new 4G handsets heading to AT&T, the other two being the Lumia 900 and HTC TITAN II. Unfortunately, this does not provide any further details specifications wise, but we'll continue to speculate that it's going to be a more advanced brother of the Focus S.

Via: PocketNow

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Amazon is now offering the Lumia 800 bundle that features not only the Windows Phone, but the Purity HD Headset by Monster, a Nokia Play 360 portable speaker, and a Nokia Luna Bluetooth headset (our review). Microsoft recently announced the bundle on the official store.

The bundle, which will set the buyer back by $899, is available in both black and magenta. The Lumia 800 included is unlocked and works on GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and HSPA 850/1900/2100 networks. While the price tag may put off some potential purchasers, the bundle does come packed with the right kit for those who are on the move and enjoy staying connected to both contacts and music.

Should you be interested in ordering the bundle from Amazon, be quick about it as there are only a few left in stock (re-stock for both colours on the way).

Source: Amazon - Black, Magenta

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There has been some interest shown for a Draw Something app to be made for Windows Phone. There are already apps available for both iOS and Android, allowing friends (and random people) to compete against one another by drawing illustrations and guessing correctly. A thread over at GetSatisfaction has over 800 people wanting the app brought to Microsoft's platform.

Joseph, an official representative from OMGPOP (developers of the title), has stated "if there's a high demand for it", then they'll definitely look to develop an app for Windows Phone.

Be sure to head on over to the thread at GetSatisfaction to show your interest should you desire Draw Something for Windows Phone. You can also get in touch with OMGPOP directly.

Source: GetSatisfaction; thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Castle Telecom, a popular Dutch online retailer, has the Lumia 800 in every colour (black, cyan, magenta, white) and for a very reasonable price. While Telenet in Belgium has the same device for just €1 (with contracts), Castle Telecom has gone one step further and is giving the 800 away for free, when purchased with a 1-year minimum plan.

Contracts available are slightly lighter on the pocket too, with the cheapest starting from just €17 /mo, all are with Vodafone.

Source: Castle Telecom; thanks Ronald-Jan for the heads up!

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Microsoft has been terribly quiet in Australia and we've had our readers continuously voicing their concerns / complaints in articles regarding the lack of advertising (or promotion) for Windows Phone. Cue Nokia. The manufacturer has been effectively pushing the platform and their Lumia range of handsets in Australia.

We have got the "Little Amazings" video series (much like "The Amazing Everyday") and Lumia Live launch events, carriers offering attractive special offers, giant Windows Phones being erected, and we've now also got newspaper advertisements. The MX newspaper, a popular free Melbourne print, has a full page advert featuring the Lumia 710 on Optus (see above).

Just why are things so slow (excluding the efforts by Nokia)? We're not too sure as demand has shown to be there with Optus recently selling out their entire black Lumia 800 stock. Plan for Microsoft: promote - you've certainly got the money, so please make Windows Phone sunny.  

Source: 1800PocketPC

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Microsoft China has been sending out invitations (see above) to the media for their upcoming Windows Phone "Tango" launch event. The launch event, set to be held in Beijing on March 21st, will mark the introduction of the emerging markets version of the mobile OS.

HTC has already launched the HTC Triumph (TITAN MK I), which reportedly runs the latest version of Tango. This also slots in nicely with Stephen Elop's announcement that the first batch of Nokia Windows Phones will be available in China on March 28th, not to mention the upcoming China Telecom CDMA "Lumia 800c" also uses a later version of Tango with newer firmware.

The Marketplace is still closed but developers can submit apps through AppHub. We expect it to be available to consumers soon after the official launch from Microsoft. What's next? The burning question as to when will "Mango" users receive all the improvements found in "Tango"?

Source: LiveSide

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Pip Andersen, a free runner / stunt performer from the U.K, has been featured in an impressive promotional video with the Lumia 900. Pulling off daunting stunts, wall climbing, and showing off some Windows Phone features (photo sharing and visual translation), Andersen really does take the Lumia 900 to the extreme.

How will you push the limits with your Windows Phone?

Source: YouTube; thanks Tony for the heads up!

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StarCraft II wallpapers for Windows Phone

1800PocketPC has compiled a number of StarCraft II wallpapers for Windows Phone owners to apply to their lock screens. Should you be a fan of the strategic title, you'll love the small collection of 800x480 images that are ready to go.

This pack joins the array of other wallpapers that have been made available in the past year. Head on over to 1800PocketPC to download them.

Source: 1800PocketPC

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