from the forums

Yesterday was a fairly huge day in the world of Microsoft news  with the unveiling of Outlook.com, the successor of Hotmail. But what's so great about the new service and how does it affect Windows Phone users, if at all? The Windows Phone Central community forums have been bustling with discussions, with a thread covering today's announcement.

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The Windows Phone Central community forum is an important extension to the website, providing registered readers with a centralised location for discussion, debate, laughter, and possible tears. Covering all Windows Phones, as well as dedicated forum for developers, consumers and -of course- off-topic threads, the community forum really packs a punch when it comes to variety.

That being said, we've also added a section for Windows Phone 8, which has already accumulated a number of threads and posts. While commenting on actual articles we publish on the main page, it's good to be able to fully engage with other readers (and lurking members of staff) where it's easier to keep track of who's posting what. This forum will be the place to go once Apollo hits, so now's a good time to mingle and prepare yourselves.

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It's time for another 'From the Forums' where we bring you only the latest and greatest threads from the Windows Phone Central community forums. If you have been absent for the past few days, this round-up will provide you with everything you need to know.

Kicking us off is rsuter who poses the question "Will WP8 beat this?", where he asked the community if they thought the next Microsoft mobile upgrade could compete with Google and Apple when it comes to voice recognition and assistance. We've already got commands that can be performed by a Windows Phone when speech is detected, but how will it evolve?

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Continuing on our regular From the Forums feature, where we bring you the latest hot threads from our community, there have been a number of discussions that have caught our eye. One of the more debated topics were the Nokia Lumia US sales figures that were circling the web. It was originally believed that the manufacturer has only managed to push out 330,000 Windows Phones since it launched in the states. Head on past the break for the full run through of 'fluff'.

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It has been a busy few days on our Windows Phone forum (when isn't it busy?) and we're going to continue to bring you the latest and hottest threads our community is engaging in. Expect to see a steady stream of "From the Forums" update articles, which will aid you in joining heated debates, receive support and voice your much-sought-after opinion.

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In this week’s hot thread we are talking about  Microsoft giving away all our exclusive apps. Earlier in the week we received the news that Microsoft was releasing the XBOX companion app on Android and updating the IOs version to 1.5 bringing features that even Windows Phone doesn’t have. The question here is does it matter? Is Microsoft shooting itself in the foot giving away exclusive apps to other platforms?

In this thread “Well the scumbags did it....just go ahead and throw the ecosystem away” forum member inteller is saying just that. He thinks that by making this app and other Windows Phone exclusive apps available on other platforms Microsoft is killing Windows Phone:

“Stealth update for XBL on iOS adds all the Companion functionality we had exclusive. Let's just go ahead and release Office and remove any other reasons for people to come to Windows Phone. Bag of tools...is anyone running Microsoft?”

These are strong words indeed and tough for Windows Phone users to hear.

We would sit with our friends on a Saturday night and show off apps like this one to our iPhone toting companions. “Look what I can do with my Windows Phone” is what we would say. This app and others like it are how we could show our Windows Phone's superiority. If these apps lose their exclusivity, is this making Windows Phone less relevant?  

Countering this claim is mhans311 who notes that Xbox is the focus here not just Windows Phone:

“Well Microsoft is also trying to promote XBOX and this is a great way to entice a large number of people to use XBOX even more. Besides, it's not a feature that is going to make most people drop iOS for wp anyway.

Oh and they already released a one note application for Android that works pretty well. That combined with quickoffice is more than I need as far as Office apps go. One note was the only thing missing before.”

People on other platforms don't really need Windows Phone to have a good experience with Microsoft products. Why is Microsoft doing this? Shouldn’t they keep these Microsoft creations exclusive or at least make the experience better on Windows Phone?

Forum member Figure 8 Dash has a little different opinion.

“The companion app is fairly useless and will get replaced by SmartGlass this fall.”

We don’t have all the answers here but we do know that some of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 upgrades like SmartGlass will make some apps obsolete. If the apps Microsoft is releasing now won’t be used or necessary when we update at the end of this year does that change your thinking?

Is Microsoft their own worst enemy releasing these apps and making Windows Phone 7 less relevant? What do you think? Let us know in the comments then join us in the forum for the community opinion.

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With all the new games coming out at E3 we are getting a good look at the future of games on Windows Phone. That’s great for the future but what about now. Where can we go to learn about games available today? We have the answer to that question in our forum.

Many developers are making their game content available for us to enjoy, review and offer feedback on. It’s all happening right here in our Games Spotlight area. Our developers want us to help them create the best game possible. They are posting information on these games in this area hoping we will download them and do just that.

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E3 2012 Event Forum is now live

E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo is coming to the Los Angeles Convention Center tomorrow and Windows Phone Central will be there. The crew will be Daniel Rubino and Paul Acevedo. These guys will be giving up there week and some sleep in hopes of staying on top of all the breaking gaming news. Poor guys, we really feel sorry for them don’t we?

What is E3? Well E3 is the largest gaming event in the world and is open exclusively to members of the industry. The Windows Phone Central Crew qualifies so off we go. You can get all the information on E3 and what we expect to see and do when we get there in this article: Windows Phone Central comes to E3 2012

The WPCentral Forums is the place to go for all the in depth conversations. With that in mind we have opened up a new events forum just for E3. We positioned this new area right at the top of the forum. Every time we have an event like this WPCentral will open a new events area so we can discuss the affair. When the affair is over all the event exclusive content will be moved to our events sub forum.

Why do we do this? Because we love our community and we want to make sure our community members get all the latest information. 

Things will move quickly next week. We know you don’t want to miss anything. Catch the breaking news on our main page then jump in the WPCentral Forum to get in on the community opinion.

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Sometimes in the Windows Phone Central Forums we discuss serious issues which brings us to today’s hot thread. Today we are talking about the Lumia 900 and more specifically we are debating about the Lumia 900 "BP-6EW 1830mAh" standard Li-ion battery. Forum member ninjaap wants to know “Did your battery life get better?” as he has a Lumia 900 and he thinks his battery has become better over time.

“The first 2 weeks my battery life was terrible. It only lasted about 8hrs with normal use before wanting a charge. Then it consistently got better after every week, averaging about 12hrs. Now fast forward a few more weeks, about a month after purchase, I'm getting about a day and half on a single charge! I take it off at 8am every morning, and usually put it back on the charger at around midnight for overnight charging.”

The Lumia 900 runs on a BP-6EW 1830mAh standard Li-ion battery which is non-removable. Nokia states that this battery should provide you with 7 hours of  talk time and 300 hours of GSM standby (you can get more information at Nokia). What we want to know is how your battery is and more important has your battery become any better with time? Forum member Mayoo agrees with ninjaap:

“I noticed this as well... Battery is getting better and better”

Forum member jimski has a different opinion. He thinks that heavy use of our new phone alters our perception e.g. when we first get our new phone we use it more thereby wasting more battery. We guess it could be true but how do we really know if we're using our phones less?

“Just a guess, but it is probably related to honeymoon syndrome. The first week you had your L900, like me you couldn't put it down. A few weeks later and now you are into a more normal routine. Think that plays a big part in perceived battery performance.”

Continue reading...

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Here at WPCentral we appreciate developers as you folks are the future of Windows Phone--your hard work will define the future of the OS and we want you to succeed. With that in our thoughts, we are looking for ways to help so we are now offering a Developer User Group with added benefits.

We already have our Developer Spotlight area with Games Spotlight and Applications Spotlight forum. These areas are dedicated to putting the focus on Applications and Games submitted by developers.

We also have our Beta Test forum for developers to garner feedback from users about their upcoming title. Our army of testers love to take your apps to the brink of destruction in an attempt to help you make the best Windows Phone apps possible.

That’s not all that we have dedicated to developers. We also have our Software development and hacking areas which are open to the public for feedback and are a great place for those who are curious about application development to post questions.

We want to do more and we have a plan we hope will help. We are offering you an opportunity to join our Developer User Group. This group will have added benefits to help you develop, test, and promote your app. For instance we'll have a Developer's Hideout area hidden from other forum members just for you to have discussions with others in the group. Only developers with a published app will be allowed in this group. We will also be giving you your own group title with its own color so you will stand out in the Current Active Users list.

Are you excited yet? Want to know how to qualify? Just post in this thread, Developer User Group program, add a link to your published app and we will then add you to the group. We are also taking your suggestions, so if there is more we can do to help you let us know. If you have more questions or a comment, you can  just can send me (Dave Blake) a Private Message in our forums or hit me up on Twitter @Big_D5

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It’s time to talk developers and apps again. Over at the Windows Phone Central Forums, we have spotlight forums dedicated to developer discussions on their apps.This week our developers have been putting out the good stuff. Here's just a sampling of what all is being discussed.

TalkBox for Windows Phone is soon to be released and developer gilmanyu is bringing it to us in the forums. What is TalkBox? Check out our review: TalkBox gets teased for Windows Phone This is what gilmanyu has to say about this application.

“TalkBox Voice Messenger, one of the most popular multi-platform messenger apps, is now bringing its signature push to talk feature to Windows Phone.”

If TalkBox is the app for you, then you won’t have much longer to wait.

WayTwoGood is seriously way too good and if you like daily deals this is the app for you. Developer Alkasai made this Windows Phone app and it aggregates all your favorite daily deal websites. If you like deals give WayTwoGood a try.

Birthdays Diary developed by lemonez is a nice utility app with a rich feature set. If you’re like me and couldn’t remember your Mothers’ birthday if your life depended on it then you need this app. This is how lemonez describes his app.

“Birthdays Diary is a great free app for browsing and managing your friends' birthdays. You can easily see birthdays coming soon or find the birthday of a particular friend. Birthdays Diary features a nice, customizable live tile, allowing you to peek at coming birthdays from your home screen.”

Fun Conversions - Fun with unit conversions is a new twist on an old favorite. This app by rbrunner offers unit conversions in a fun new way. I’ll let rbrunner tell you all about this app.

“Have you ever wondered how many ants would be needed to equal your weight? Or how many times one would need to stack Mount Everest on top of each other to reach the moon? Or how many times faster you walk than a common snail can crawl? If yes, Fun Conversions is the app for you”

There are many more apps available in the WPCentral Applications Spotlight forum.  Feel free to stop by and get you some application goodness. If you see something you like, help support our developers by giving there apps a try and post feedback on what you think of their efforts. Like it, don’t like it, let them know what you think.

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It’s that time again WinPhans, that's right, it’s time for another Windows Phone Meetup. What is a Windows Phone Meetup? Well that’s where we get together for eats and drinks while we talk about Windows Phones. Our first ever Windows Phone Meetup was held in St. Louis and was hosted by WPCentral forum member speedtouch. It was a big success. You can get all the backward info in this thread. “After Action Report from the April 14 St. Louis Meetup”

 

It’s time for round two in St Louis and speedtouch is up to the challenge again. He is a master at these things, even trying to get some gear together for us. On that topic he has this to say:

“I might be getting some gear from Nokia to give away. No guarantees yet, but I am in contact with some marketing folks at Nokia.”

We are meeting at the Triumph Grill in St Louis. You can get the complete details including address and links to more information in our Meetup forum. Don't forget to sign up. Quick link to the official thread: [May 19] St. Louis Windows Phone Meetup

If you would like to host a meet up or if you have an idea for a meet up in your area let us know. Posting a thread in our meet up forum is a great way to get started.

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It’s time to talk games and our Games Spotlight Forum has them. We all want quality games for our devices and our developers are hard at work getting them ready for us. We are going to take a look at a few that are available in our Spotlight area this week as our developers need your helpful comments to make their games the best around.

Paint Stuff: WP7 Pictionary  - Available in the Marketplace for $1.99 with a trial version this is a nice turn based game where you are given a word to draw (sound familiar?). Then your opponent has to guess what you have drawn. There are quite a lot of drawing options including colors, line thickness and even offers screen capture. These and other advanced options are only available in the paid version which also removes the advertisements. This is how baflink describes his game:

“I have tried a few of the pictionary games and they are pretty buggy to say the least. My girlfriend was getting flustered with playing with me because of the bugs. She wanted a simple pictionary game that didn't make random lines in your drawing, that was fast, had colors, took screenshots, could undo/redo and didn't have a time limit. So I sought out to make such a game.”

Rocket Raid (Free) - If you have ever played Defender you will like this arcade style game. You choose how the world will be made then fly your ship trying to drop bombs and shoot rockets to destroy the targets. For a free game, this could be a fun way to burn some time. From the developer dominiauk:

“It's an arcade game where you fly over planets destroying their defenses. Like "Scramble" the arcade game. It has over 20 campaign missions along with an arcade mode. Anyway it's getting good ratings (which I'm glad of!) so please give it a go.”

Number Factory - This game reminds us of Tetris but with a twist: you are given a number and you have to pick the blocks that add up to that number as number blocks fall from above. You choose how to add the blocks and how many blocks you will use. It's a fun, fast paced, and challenging game as the developer spdr870 explains:

“Number Factory is a very addictive game. The goal of is simple: combine numbers to equal the number in the left bottom corner. Clear the playing field before the numbers reach the top of the factory.”

We have these and hundreds more games available for your review in the Games Spotlight forum.  What better way to contribute to the Windows Phone community than to play games and help developers at the same time?

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We are taking a look at some of this week’s new applications posted in our Applications Spotlight forum. What are these spotlight forums? They are our forums area we dedicated to developers. It’s a place for developers to pimp their new apps.

Gym PocketGuide - 70+ workouts all with HQ guides from Bodybuilding.com - This is what Dominic_W has to say about his app:

“Hey everyone, I recently found a passion for making WP7 apps so I thought why not combine it with my other interest, going to the gym. I wanted to make a quality app for fellow users so I contacted Bodybuilding.com to seek permission to use their high quality workout images (which I received).”

This is a nice app. It includes Programs for different body types, workouts for target areas and even includes stretches to help you get warmed up. You’re going to be listening to Zune music while you work out, right, so why not have an app on your phone to help you with your training?

AppVegas, a new marketplace browser/app finder! - Now this is a fun title. It puts the Windows Phone Marketplace on a slot machine that pays off every time. You shake your phone to start the fun. Then the app gives you a not so random app selection from the Marketplace where you can then tap on the selected app to get more information or shake again to get something else. This app is a fun way to search the Windows Phone Marketplace. This is what SelesGames has to say:

“We released a new app just a couple days ago, it's called "AppVegas" and it is a fun way to find apps and games for Windows Phone. The idea for the app was inspired by UrbanSpoon on the iPhone (for those who haven't used it, UrbanSpoon uses a slot machine interface to find local restaurants). We've *coughstolencough* that concept and used it for finding WP apps and games - a more noble cause if you ask us! Please try it out and let us know what you think!”

Right Size for WP7 - This app added to the Spotlight by Krestor costs $.99 in the Windows Phone Marketplace and it does have a trial version. This app has an easy to use interface as you just pick a flag for your country then the flag for the country you are buying clothes in (Odd, it seems that I am larger in every other country in the world) Krestor has this to say about their application:

“Right Size is a clothing size conversion tool supporting US, UK, European, Japanese and Russian standards. If you cannot take your body measurements right now, you can enter a size you know and the application will convert it into all global size standards. With Right Size, a trip abroad, online shopping or buying a surprise gift for your significant other will be so much easier!”

These are just some of the applications posted this week in our Applications Spotlight forum. There are hundreds more available for you to check out and even give the developer some direct feedback.

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This week's hottest thread really isn't just one hot thread but rather a collection of related threads covering one topic: Windows Phone and its shortcomings.

Some of these so-called deficiencies could be bigger than Windows Phone itself or at least that is what some think. In this thread "Why WP isn't as popular as it should be"  forum member baileystein, who sells Windows Phoneshas a unique perspective on all of this and shares it with us.

Curious as to what he and others have to say? Read on past the break to get their views.

 

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The Lumia 900 has been available for over a couple of weeks now. Reports are that it is selling well. What we want to know is what color Lumia 900 do you have? The numbers are going up and everyone has their favorite choice.

Forum member baseballbert has an opinion on the Cyan Lumia 900.

"Cyan, blue is the best color in the Crayola box. Already had a white iPhone and several black phones, it was time to go outside the lines with something new. Plus, its 1970's Batman Blue, I mean honestly, does it get better than that?"

Forum member NicholasCL has an idea. This is what he had to say.

"I like the white but the cyan is a little too close to powder blue for my taste...I'll stick with my matte black but why don't we have phones that change colors yet? In the 80's I had t-shirts and Hotwheels that changed color I want a phone that will change. Think about the Nokia Chameleon, the only phone that changes to match your mood or your outfit. I'd buy one."

Now that's a fun idea, but you won't find that in our poll. We only added the colors we already had and Magenta just in case. Forum member nokia4life had this to say about the White Lumia 900.

"You might have had a white iphone but it does not look better than the white lumia 900 by the way i also had the white iphone 4s this black screen floating on top of the white is awesome the phone looks like a piece of  untouched glacier it pops for real more the cyan"

The Black Lumia isn't getting much love in the thread comments even though it is holding it's own in our poll. Forum member Neibl likes his Black Lumia because of how the screen blends in and he thinks it looks more professional.

And what color Lumia 900 do you have? We want to know, so jump in the forums here and place your vote. Then tell us in the comments or in our forums thread why you got what you got.

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The Lumia 900 has been out for a little over a week now and as people start to get over the "new phone wow factor" they start to notice the little things. Some of those little things become more of a big thing if that is the feature you need or use most. That leads us to today's hottest thread in which we are discussing the Lumia 900's camera.

Nokia made the Lumia 900 without a BSI (backside-illuminated) sensor and this sensor (which is included in most high end smartphones) increases the amount of photons captured in low light situations. Without this sensor, the Lumia 900 camera struggles for greatness. But in well-lit situations the camera is on par with other comparably priced phones. You can get more information about the Lumia 900 camera in our review here.

"Anyone Keeping Lumia 900 past 30 days?" Is the title of today's hottest thread in the WPCentral Forums. Forum member nokia4life wants to know a few things including will you be keeping your Lumia 900 and what about the Lumia's camera:

Okay so i left iOS and Android to comeback to WP and I do love WP. Can i ask an honest question, will any of you be returning the Lumia 900 before the 30 days is up? I ask this because since our phone has been released (rushed to market) its been plagued by some issues.

I thank them for getting a software fix out asap to address the data issue however no one from Nokia or Microsoft has even addressed the camera which is a big selling point. You just don't throw Carl Zeiss around and make statements at CES and Mobile World Congress about how powerful this camera would be for it not to be true. I am going to try and tough it out until the next Nokia release but this is starting to upset me that they are not even addressing how bad this is. And for those folks that say this is a cell phone not a camera i agree however if they advertise it one way it should perform that way. what are your thoughts folks?

You can imagine that this thread has received a lot of replies some good and some bad.

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