Windows Phone News

In anticipation of T-Mobile's event tonight in NYC, Nokia has posted a press pamphlet for the T-Mobile-branded Lumia 710, which will be available on January 11.  The packet includes a full spec sheet as well as some press shots.  Nokia has also revealed that the Lumia 710 will sell for a downright steal of $49.99.  It will be available in black or white, with the option to swap out the backplate for something flashier.  There is also a wealth pre-loaded apps:

  • Nokia Drive
  • The Weather Channel
  • ESPN
  • Netflix
  • App Highlights
  • T-Mobile TV
  • My Account
  • Slacker Radio
  • TeleNav GPS

Despite the early spoiler from Nokia, we are looking forward to tonight's event and will be there in full force.  Check back here to get the latest tidbits from NYC and hit the jump to read the full presser from Nokia.

Source: Nokia

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Keeping up-to-date with health information, accessing medical records (for yourself and family members), and retrieving prescription history is now easier than ever while on the move. Microsoft has released HealthVault for Windows Phone, which ties into their HealthVault service. HealthVault account data is synchronized so users are able to track and manage chronic conditions, insert health information, and more while on the go.

You can download HealthVault from the Marketplace (US only).

Via: Mobility Digest

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The Nokia Lumia 800 (our review) is already available unlocked at Australia's MobiCity, but now Nokia have put up the AU Lumia 800 page on their website, which features a store finder for those who are interested in purchasing the handset. The Lumia 710 also has a page up and both devices are labeled "coming soon". The Lumia family of Windows Phones were stated to be hitting countries outside Europe this fall, and we could possibly see a push from Nokia in Australia to help combat carrier and retail store issues.

Source: Nokia AU

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While AT&T is busy with their Season of Gifting, WPCentral has a few gifts of our own to give away. We have a shiny new AT&T Samsung Focus S to give one lucky reader.

How do you enter to win the Windows Phone? Just go to this WPCentral Forums discussion and post your version of a WPCentral lockscreen wallpaper. It could be a wallpaper filled with tiles displaying our logo. It could be a 3D version of our logo that jumps off the screen. It could be our logo done in tie die. To help you out, we're attaching a copy of our logo in the discussion.

You have to submit a wallpaper to be eligible and while comments on the submissions are welcomed, they won't be eligible. We can't make getting a free Windows Phone too easy.

We'll let this run up until 5:00pm CST on December 22, 2011 and we'll pick the best wallpaper of the bunch. One contributor will win the Samsung Focus S and we'll even select two runners up for WPCentral Accessory Store Gift Certificates. We can't say you'll get the Samsung Focus S by Christmas but we'll get it to the lucky winner shortly thereafter.

We would like to thank AT&T and the WPCentral Store for sponsoring this giveaway. Now get going and create that WPCentral wallpaper!

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MonWindowsPhone has interviewed Olivier Lagréou, Product Marketing Manager at Nokia France, for some insightful answers into how the company is performing with their newly adopted platform - Windows Phone. Questions included why the Finnish manufacturer went with Microsoft's OS as opposed to the more established (and dominating) Android. Lagréou goes into explain that Android would have been almost suicidal for Nokia, who needs to push forward the brand and not be lost at sea in an ocean of OEMs and handsets. Windows Phone was the perfect match for the DNA of the manufacturer with simplicity among other strong features.

As well as talking about the company and its partnership with Microsoft, Lagréou also provided some details for when we can expect to see the magenta flavour of the Lumia 800. 

"We should be able to provide Lumia 800 in magenta (pink) for Christmas. The color is also expected soon from Orange, available online only. As for the color cyan (blue), you can already find at The Phone House."

Good news for those who are excited to match the pink handset with other valuables and accessories from your dress code. We might not be stuck with just three colours, though. The Nokia employee went on to explain that should demand and projected sale figures for more colours be strong, the company will look to produce more accents. He mentioned yellow, green, and white as examples (check the above image for more "potential" colours). Should any new colours be decided on, 2012 will be the year where the Lumia 800 gets a nice refresh.

The big question is, as always, how is the handset selling?

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Jeff Wilcox, developer of 4th&Mayor and who was behind the Metro design guide, has released a new slick looking Windows Phone emulator theme for developers to install (taking a new chassis mock-up without branding from the MSDN Windows Phone Marketing resources site). The modern look and feel of the theme better reflects what the software is emulating and looks more realistic than the default. We've also previously had a Nokia N9 theme made available, as well as a Samsung Focus skin by Wilcox. 

Source: Jeff Wilcox

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Microsoft working on a SMS Bug fix

The other day we mentioned an SMS Bug that your Windows Phone is vulnerable to. Basically someone sends you a certain text message and it reboots your Windows Phone and disables your Messaging Hub. Microsoft has confirmed that such exists and is diligently working on a solution.

Senior Product Manager for Windows Phone, Greg Sullivan states,

"We are aware of the issue and our engineering teams are examining it now. Once we have more details, we will take appropriate action to help ensure customers are protected."

Should you see your Windows Phone mysteriously re-boot and then loose the ability to launch the Messaging Hub, your only remedy is to perform a hard reset. We'll keep our fingers crossed that Microsoft finds and distributes a fix soon.

source: the verge

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Details are sketchy at this point but it looks like there is or will be or might be a limited edition Nokia Lumia 800 -- The Dark Knight Edition. We find it odd, only because that movie won't be out till July, 2012. Either way, there's only 40 of these babies, which means we probably won't be getting one. Doh!

Still, the all-black with Batman logo, subtly placed on the back is pretty amazing looking, as is the box. It even has special themed lock-screen wallpaper with Bane on board and Batman Start tiles. Very awesome and we're jealous.

Source: MyNokiaBlog; via OMGItsCJ

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Now here's some mainstream advertising that should catch people's attention--the Samsung Focus Flash, a great mid-range Windows Phone on AT&T, is being pushed hard on YouTube right now.

Heading to the main site and you are greeted with a banner ad and the popular commercial for the device. One thing is for certain, of all the new Windows Phones, AT&T and Samsung are sure pushing the Flash, even more so than the Focus S or HTC Titan which is a bit odd. But hey, we'll take any Windows Phone exposure we can get and the Focus Flash is a slick little device (see review).

Source: YouTube; Thanks, Asher B., for the tip!

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Tech website IGN has named the HTC Radar 4G Windows Phone one of the best smartphones of 2011. It joins the iPhone 4S, Motorola DROID Razr and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as the best smartphones for the year.

IGN doesn't get into why they choose the HTC Radar but we won't disagree with their choice. We have been impressed with each of the new Windows Phones that have hit the market over the past few months and the Radar is not an exception.

From the quality 3.8" screen to the uni-body design, many will find the HTC Radar appealing. It is a base or entry level Windows Phone so we can't knock it for having 8gb of storage but recognize that some may want a little more storage.

With the Samsung Focus S reaching CNET's Top Five list, the Nokia Lumia winning the What Mobile Award for Mobile of the Year, IGN's ranking of the HTC Radar and the Windows Phone OS taking the Know Your Mobile Operating System of the Year award it would appear Windows Phone is getting a healthy share of the spotlight. 

source: IGN  Thanks goes out to TYTY805 for the tip!

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Justin Angel, a well known character within the Windows Phone community and who was recently hired by Nokia, is giving away 5 Nokia Lumia 800s (our review) to homebrew developers over at the XDA Developers forum. Although this is no competition or sweepstake, as Angel will be selecting only those who need the device and will put it to good use by creating and developing apps for the community or for those who own Lumia handsets. Here are the goals that the homebrew developers who wish to apply need to have (set out by Angel):

  • Port existing homebrew apps/features/hacks to Nokia Lumia 800.
  • Create new Nokia Lumia specific homebrew apps/features/hacks.
  • Anything else that you can convince him makes sense.

So, how does one get hold of said free phones? It's pretty simple. You are to respond to Angel's forum post (source link below) with the following:

  • What will you use the Nokia Lumia 800 for? The more specific the better. (see the aforementioned list of goals)
  • Up to 3 links (+ explanation) showing that you have the previous experience required to meet your development goal.
  • Anything else you think will help you get one of the Lumia 800 phones.

When does this offer close? December 23rd, or later (depending on when submissions die down). Also, this is not limited to the U.S., should you live elsewhere you may still enter. See photo of the handsets above. Head on over to the developers forum to submit your entry and be sure to read through Angel's post to get the best idea on how to approach your application.

Source: XDA Developers Forum; via PC

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Resting amongst four Android phones and the iPhone 4S you will find the Samsung Focus S listed as one of the five best AT&T Smartphones. CNET gave the Windows Phone a 4/5 star ratings while the average user rating is half a star higher.

According to CNET, the bottom line on the Samsung Focus S is:

Bolstered by a brilliant display and strong hardware specs, the Samsung Focus S is arguably the best Windows Phone ever released.

While CNET recognizes the large screen (described as gorgeous), a good 8mp camera and HSPA+ speeds they feel the thin form factor lacks durability (can't say that we necessarily agree).  Regardless, it's nice to see another Windows Phone catching the spotlight.

source: CNET Thanks goes out to Jason for the tip!

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Just like they did with the Xbox Live and Halo ATLAS apps, Microsoft has brought over Kinectimals to iOS, where players can enjoy interacting with their cute, cuddly e-animals. The title was only released a few months ago on Windows Phone, but features Xbox Live achievements and connectivity with the Xbox 360 version. The question on many minds is -- of course -- why is Microsoft releasing these apps on other platforms?

For the Xbox Live app, Microsoft provided iPhone/iPad/iPod owners with limited functionality for the online gaming service. It still comes nowhere close to what Windows Phone provides with achievements and true integration. As well as this, the app gives iPad users an insight as to how a Windows 8 tablet app could look like, with the Metro UI being implemented. For ATLAS and Kinectimals, the former is again providing functionality to other platforms (so the software giant doesn't come across as creating a monopoly) at a fee while the WP version is free, while the latter is to not only earn revenue from the fairly large iOS market, but it could be that Microsoft is almost attempting to re-brand itself. The only downer is Kinectimals was supposed to be exclusive for us Windows Phone owners. What do Apple followers think of the big M? Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

Perhaps we are seeing the company attempting to change that perception? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Kinectimals can be downloaded from the AppStore for $2.99 for those with iDevices.

Thanks to everyone who sent in the tip!

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Responding to an inquiry via Twitter, Nokia Italy said that the Lumia 710 will be available in Italy in early 2012.  It is expected that the handset will go for around 350€ with VAT.  A recent advertising blitz in Milan coincides with the announcement, as the 710's joins its sibling, the Lumia 800, which is already available in Italy for 499€.

The Nokia Lumia 710, which has also just passed Anatel in Brazil, is a playful phone with interchangeable colored backplates.  It also sports:

  • 3.7-inch TFT LCD display at 800x480 resolution
  • Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
  • 8GB internal storage, 512MB RAM
  • Quad-band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900); quad-band 3G (850/900/1900/2100); 14.4Mbps
  • 1.4 GHz Qualcomm MSM 8255 processor
  • 1300 mAh battery
  • 5MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • Dimensions: 119 x 62.4 x 12.5 mm
  • Weight: 125.5 grams
  • WIfi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • aGPS

Source: Nokia italy; Via: Plaffo (Thanks for the tip, Antonino!)

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Looks like Nokia is doing a little sabre rattling with the folks at Pocket-lint. In an interview with Niels Munksgaard, director of Portfolio, Product Marketing & Sales at Nokia Entertainment Global, the company clearly wants to take on the big guys in mobile and are not pulling any punches:

“What we see is that youth are pretty much fed up with iPhones. Everyone has the iPhone," he said. "Also, many are not happy with the complexity of Android and the lack of security. So we do increasing see that the youth that wants to be on the cutting edge and try something new are turning to the Windows phone platform.”

Munksgaard also points out how difficult competition can be with multiple "black slab" phones greeting customers when the walk in to a mobile store. Indeed, that may be why we're seeing Cyan and Magenta 800s and 710s with back-plates--a nice change from the sea of black. Heck, even we want a Cyan Lumia 800.

Other notes of interest are his comments on Nokia Mix Radio--either coming to desktops or perhaps Windows Phones by other OEMs--part of their strategy to "broaden he coverage of where you can get Nokia Mix Radio”. In addition, it doesn't look like Nokia will be making docking stations anytime soon but will instead rely on 3rd parties to grow their accessories, perhaps much like Apple.

Its good though to see Nokia coming out fighting a bit. Clearly they have the spirit to take on this challenge, lets just hope it pays off.

Read the rest of the interview at Pocket-lint.

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We mentioned yesterday that we're opening a theme area on the site for those using the WP Hacker program to make custom Start screens/tiles. In turn, we're hoping to see some creations come out that would wow-us a bit and luckily someone took us up on it.

Forum member Saljen has posted up five themes so far, including the one you see above aka 'Glass'. The others are just as fancy, specifically Wood, Steel, Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2. Not bad, not bad at all! In fact, we're gonna try and load up Glass here in a few minutes.

Oh and Saljen gets bonus points for creating a custom WPCentral App tile. Anyways, feel free to add your creations for others right here.

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Robert Cringely at InfoWorld, a technology magazine, has published a superb article that shines Windows Phone in positive light - much like what we saw over at USA Today. Using the HTC Radar (our review) for a couple of weeks, Cringely has gained an insight into what Microsoft has up its sleeve to tackle Apple and Google. 

"Yes, it's true. For the last two weeks, I've been been playing around with an HTC Radar 4G running "Mango" (aka Windows Phone 7.5), and I have to say that -- despite every molecule of my being screaming in protest -- I am favorably impressed."

Of course, when talking about the Metro UI, live tiles are brought up and are the main focus on some platform praise with information being displayed at glance without loading apps.

"As for the software, the Metro interface is exceedingly nimble and easily customized; I love how it shows me how many new emails, calls, and messages I've gotten at a glance. I like how my calendar is on the home page and it shows me my next appointment automatically. I like how I can flip through the status updates and tweets from my peeps without having to load a separate, often buggy, application."

It's a really insightful read, especially should you be interested in purchasing a Windows Phone. Head on over to InfoWorld to read the article.

Source: InfoWorld

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Reports are scattered about the internet concerning a Windows Phone bug that is sent via text message that will reboot your Windows Phone and disable your Messaging Hub. The SMS bug is not device specific and the only solution that is available so far is a hard reset.

To make matters worse, if you've pinned a friend to your Start Screen and they get the message via Facebook, when the live tile updates to display the message, the reboot is initiated.

Nothing official from Microsoft on this kink in the system. We don't know the message sequence (and don't really want to know) but according to @ryanlowdermilk, host of Windows Phone Dev Podcast, it requires "A LOT of characters" and not something easily figured out.  Still the risk is there and we wanted to let you know and if you find your Messaging Hub crashing, this may be your problem.  As best we can tell, this bug doesn't expose what is on your Windows Phone but instead just makes life a little inconvenient with the hard reset.

Hopefully Microsoft can develop and distribute a software patch to fix this bug soon.

source: winrumors

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Microsoft is doing a good job when it comes to light promotion with Brandon Watson offering well known names a free Windows Phone to try out. Now Ben Rudolph is giving away 5 free Windows Phones to unhappy Android owners who can provide the best (or worst) experience story. Android has suffered from Malware and other issues, which Microsoft will not be allowing the platform to get off lightly without attempting to attract unhappy consumers.

Source: Twitter (@BenThePCGuy), via: MobilityDigest, thanks thenet for the tip!

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AT&T's Season of Gifting

'Tis the season for gift giving and AT&T is not about to be left out. Each day, from December 1st through December 20th, two lucky winner will win a featured gift. Today's featured gift, the Samsung Focus S with Accessory Kit.

Entering is easy. Go to the Season of Gifting website and enter your name and email for a chance at a random drawing. You can also enter by nominating someone and explain why they should get the gift. Get your friends to vote for the story and the story with the most votes wins as well.

Now not every day a Windows Phone will be given away but the other prizes aren't too shabby. AT&T has already given away an Acer Tablet, Samsung Focus Flash, and AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G. So if you're feeling head on over to AT&T and toss your name into the hat.

Oh... and speaking of giving a Windows Phone away, with the help of AT&T, WPCentral will be giving away a Samsung Focus S.  Look for the details sometime tomorrow.

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