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WPCentral was lucky enough today to sit down with Nokia's senior vice president, Windows Phone program management Kevin Shields and Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone program management.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the focus was on Nokia, the Lumia 900, re-entering the US market and anything else would could think to ask. Having said that, sorry folks, no new feature announcements were revealed about the Windows Phone OS as both gentlemen outsmarted our attempts. (We're betting on Mobile World Congress next month for more info on "Tango").

The interview, all 25 minutes of it, can be seen above and we think it is quite interesting, especially as we ask about what are Microsoft's and Nokia's biggest challenges in the US, how did the Lumia 900 come to be (including the design process), what should we expect from the LTE experience and more.  Clearly Microsoft is expecting Windows 8 to add another "jolt" to Windows Phone in 2012 and we couldn't agree more.

In addition, we had some more hands-on time with the Lumia 900 and folks, we're really excited about this beauty as it is quite the Windows Phone. More on that later this week in our podcast.

A big thanks to Microsoft and Nokia for extending the opportunity for this interview and iMore's Rene Ritchie for assistance.

Edit: The last few minutes got cut off, so we have a new version coming up in a little bit.

Edit 2: New version uploaded with last 5 minutes.

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With the rise and fast fall of MetroTube in the Marketplace, SuperTube for many was and still is the best alternative. For those of you set on MetroTube though, you'll want to take a gander at the new overhauled SuperTube app called YouTube Pro, which is currently in beta. We'll be curious if that app name sticks but regardless, we're more interested in the way it looks and performs.

We've been using Beta 2 for a few days now and are quite pleased. Live Tiles for your subscriptions, push notifications, background downloading, video uploading, low quality (LQ)/high quality (HQ) and high definition (HD) playback--this app has it all.

No word on release or pricing but we don't think it'll be too much longer. So fret not, YouTube lovers, you have another alternative.

For now, you can try the current version of SuperTube which will run you a cool $1.29 in the Marketplace, or you can get the free ad-supported version here

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Following episode 5 of Nokia's "Little Amazing Show" advertising campaign, we now have episode 6 hitting the public. This episode takes us to India, and shows us the flash mobs and Nokia stalls set up at shopping centres in four different cities. We keep to the campaign message to the letter with examples on how everyone can improve their day. 

Check out the previous videos below if you haven't already done so:

Source: YouTube

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We're trying to wrap our heads around this one but aren't getting very far--so maybe our German friends can assist. Microsoft Germany put up a trailer video that you see above for "Windows Phone 7.5 Hotel" which was an event that took place in Berlin on December 15th.

The trailer is mostly CGI and has haunted-house like implications, what with that eerie lightning and all. There also seems to be a map and trying to find something, we're guessing. Next up is another video, evidently form the actual event from folks who traveled to the haunted hotel.

The good part in the video starts at around 2:25 where we start to get an idea of what this looks to be: a type of mass entertainment event where they have actors role-play specific parts and you, the bystander, become a participant in the charade--much like a murder-mystery cruise. This time there's something about the undead, people dressed in hazmat suits, reporters, etc. You can never go wrong with zombies, right?

Yeah, we're pretty baffled too but also intrigued as once again, we're seeing some real creative advertising here. Too bad we're just hearing of it now but hopefully we'll learn a bit more soon enough. Oh and that video is one of three, so maybe the other two parts will shed some light on the matter.

Update: Yup, WP7App.de confirmed with us what we suspected: "That windows phone hotel was a PR event where you had to chase ghosts (ghostbusters-style) with an app on a Lumia." Pretty cool idea.

Big thanks to Heiko R., for the tip!

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Should you be looking for some creative festive fun, then look no further. The above video, directed and produced by "WPMom", features 10 applications and a little girl performing "Jingle Bells". The apps used in the video can be found below (in order of appearance):

  • Xmas Tambourine
  • Sleigh
  • Sleigh Bells Ring
  • Toy Xylophone
  • Christmas Lyrics
  • Christmas Bells Free
  • Holiday Musicbox
  • Happy Xmas Game
  • Holidays Slurpy
  • Tiny Christmas Tree

Anything to get everyone in the Christmas spirit!

Source: YouTube (WindowsPhoneParent), via: WPSauce

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Sonic CD - the remake of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog adventure - comes to Xbox 360 this week, but not Windows Phone. The 14th, it seems, is just too packed full of Xbox Live releases. But Sega's latest will very likely land on Microsoft's mobile platform on December 21 or 28. We’ve already interviewed the remake’s brand manager, digging up some choice details about the new version. Now it’s time to learn more about how the original Sega CD/Mega CD platformer came to be, thanks to a new video from Sega.

The Developer Diary features Sonic Team Art Director Kazuyuki Hoshino, who reveals numerous pieces of never-before-seen concept art. Highlights include original drawings of Amy Rose and an explanation of Metal Sonic’s design process. You’ll also see several tantalizing unused enemy and boss concepts. Interspersed throughout the video is footage from the remake, giving a great impression of how the game looks and feels.

Sonic CD is scheduled to arrive on Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation network on December 14. The Windows Phone, PC, iPhone, and Android versions should emerge by the end of the year.

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Windows Phone App Review: Security Toolkit

While it has practical applications, Security Toolkit for your Windows Phone is just a neat app to play with. It turns your Windows Phone into a mobile security system with alarms and surveillance abilities.  To do so, Security Toolkit makes use of your Windows Phone camera, microphone and Wifi.

Security Toolkit does go beyond the coolness factor by offering you a discreet, mobile security system.  While I can see Security Toolkit being featured on Hawaii Five-O to help McGarrett solve the next big case it can easily be used in every day adventures.  The motion camera can be used to see who's been sneaking into the break room refrigerator or while traveling to help keep an eye on your hotel room. The remote camera can be used to monitor your children playing in another room or for use as a baby monitor.  The motion alarm can be used to keep your Windows Phone safe from curious hands.  

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There's a new Windows Phone advertisement out on Youtube that is highlighting the Samsung Omnia W that hit overseas markets late last month. The Omnia W succeeds the Omnia 7 and is basically the overseas version of the AT&T Samsung Focus Flash.

The minute long ad focuses on the Super AMOLED screen of the Omnia W and covers key features of the Windows Phone platform including the Peoples Hub, SkyDrive, Video Calling and gaming. It's a nice looking advertisement that not only shows you the capabilities of a Windows Phone but also the wide range of consumers the Omnia W can appeal to.

via: wmpoweruser

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Well look at that, we've finally got the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone and now follows an entertaining video showing the app off. Highlighting the features available to users, the Metro UI shines as the presentation flips between the phone and the Xbox system, painting the console as an entertainment hub. Best of all, all this Xbox Live integration is unique to the platform.

Source: YouTube

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As if to make a permanent tribute to Monday's Nokia-Deadmau5 event, a site has gone up with three videos: 'Performance', 'VNR' and 'Sizzle', all detailing the huge celebration of the Nokia Lumia 800. Besides that, you can download all three videos, with HD quality in PAL or NTSC. Heck, they even have an MP4 version available if you want to put it on a mobile device--you know, to show your friends on the go. In addition there are some super high res Getty images completely free and which really, really show detail of the party.

Finally, a recap of the event is provided with details on how it was pulled off:

"Millbank was plunged into darkness with the iconic Millbank Tower acting as the canvas for a never-before-seen spectacular. Each of the 120 metre high building’s 800 windows were covered with vinyl as 16 powerful projectors, stationed 300 metres away on the other side of the river, beamed 4D images onto the structure, making it seem like huge butterflies were flying across the London skyline and that the tower was spinning around. Billed as the “future of live events” the spectacular show was accompanied by music from super producer deadmau5, who created exclusive remixes for the performance – adding the 4th dimension, and the event was broadcast live online to http://www.Facebook.com/Nokia.uk"

Very cool stuff and certainly worth the time to peruse. See more at http://www.epklink.com/nokialumialive/

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It's been awhile since we've seen a contender for a browser-wrapper on Windows Phone. Here we mean an app that uses Internet Explorer 9 as the base but augments its functions. Metro Browser (no ties to the earlier Metro Browser) is a true full screen web browser with advanced video playback capabilities.:

"Metro Browser has custom made video decoders specifically build for Windows Phone with optimal performance for real-time streaming flash video. Due to the efficient design it is possible to even stream on 3G.

Metro Browser is optimized to handle large video files without the need for any free storage on the device, all streaming happens directly from the memory."

Indeed, as the photo above demonstrates, it is full screen and looks amazing on an HTC Titan. Video sites supported include MegaVideo, VideoZer, VideoBB and of course YouTube. Playback isn't perfect and the browser is a bit limited on version 1.0 but overall, it's a solid entry that we welcome with open arms.

The app fetches for $1.99 with a free trial, which translates into an ad-supported version here in the Marketplace. We think it's pretty cool, but it's crazy late here so we'll save the hands on for the morning Meanwhile, you give us your feedback in comments. Thanks, Binaer Jongleur, for the tip!

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SlingPlayer Mobile finally goes Mango on Windows Phone

It has been a long time since we talked about SlingPlayer (see our review)--mostly because we stopped using our Slingbox years ago and need to get a SOLO or PRO-HD model. But that hasn't stopped the Sling crew from doing updates for the mobile TV player. For those who are unfamiliar, Slingbox is a device that allows you to stream your TV/Cable, DVD or whatever video source to the internets, allowing you watch TV remotely at work, the hospital or wherever you can find a PC. You can also do it from your phone via the SlingPlayer software.

Version 1.7 finally adds Mango support (fast-app switching, a must for media) plus bug fixes (Grey screen issue and Remote latency). Since we don't use this fine piece of software, we can't give our thoughts on it, but we'll look in to fixing that (Translation: we're going to go by a new Slingbox). Pick up Slingplayer for the not-so-cheap price of $29.99 here in the Marketplace.

Thanks, Peter M., for the tip!

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Well, it's a day late, but Tango, the video-chat app for Windows Phone, is finally here. So for all of those folks with a Samsung Focus S, Flash, HTC Radar or Titan, you'll want to pick this little guy up and give it a go. From the app description:

Tango allows you to make free phone calls and free video calls over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi. Make calls to any other person who has Tango installed on their smartphone, tablet or PC. Start a Tango call with just voice, and easily move into a video call when you have something to share. It’s easy to use, it’s fun, and it works.

Tango Features:

  • Free calls between Windows Phone, Android and iOS phones and tablets, and PCs
  • Save money with free international calls to other Tango members
  • Start a phone call with Tango and switch to a video call when you have something to show by tapping the camera icon
  • We automatically find the friends that already have Tango
  • No log in and password - create an account in less than five seconds
  • Invite your friends by Text and Email
  • Simple and easy to use

Cute girls in image are not included with app, nor will they be calling you. Grab the app here in the Marketplace; Thanks, Ryan R/@volvoshine, for the link!

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It may be a bit too big to fit in your pocket, but it's not too big for Microsoft to make look awesome. The 55 foot tall Windows Phone on display at the Microsoft event in Herald Square today is more than just a hand-full: it's taking an entire team of engineers and crew members to manage the Live Tiles, rotate out those tiles for live performances, and keep the whole thing looking beautiful during the festivities and presentations going on. 

Paul Miller from The Verge was able to get a nice tour of the massive device, and in the video above we get a closer look at what goes into making a huge Windows Phone. It's unlikely that we'll actually see this type of Mango device arrive on store shelves in the future; but hey, anything can happen. If the close-up look of the structure isn't enough, be sure to check out this time-lapse video of its construction, too. It will be interesting to see if any of you try to put one up in your front yard to show off in front of the neighbors.

Source: The Verge

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We mentioned last night on Twitter we have a lot of new phones here at WPCentral. First up was the Radar 4G, next is the Lumia 800 and today we have the HTC Titan (look for some new Samsung stuff too).

The HTC Titan is expected to launch here in the US on AT&T in the coming weeks, so we figured we give the unlocked version a go. The device is quite massive with a 4.7" Super LCD screen, 1.5GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, 12.6GB of available storage, an 8MP rear camera with a 1.3MP front facing one and a solid, smooth case.

Here's the phone's strengths: beautifully designed, excellent cameras, gorgeous screen and it's fast. But is it too big? You'll see it compared to the HD7 in the video and yes, while it is large, it's not too noticeable. Then again, if you're on a subway or in a metro region, you will get some head turns and stares when you pull it out to check your email.

More coming up in the next few days. Throw our your questions and we'll try to answer 'em either in comments or in the review.

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Hang on to your pants WP fans, because an HTML 5 version of Bing Mobile is right around the corner, and it's bringing some neat new functionality along with it. While the Bing team is currently only making the update available to iOS and Android devices (WP7 is, strangely, waiting for a future update), the latest news coming from the Bing blog does show one more thing that we can look forward to in the future for Windows phones.

HTML 5 is not just a new bit of code to provide the same search engine to mobile devices. By going with the latest standards in mobile development, the Bing design team is working to create one universal Bing experience across all devices. This new version will allow Microsoft to make future updates automatically without asking the user to download new versions of the app, and will significantly enhance their experience as well. Rather than downloading separate Bing-powered applications developed with proprietary code for individual platforms, each device will provide users with a Bing that can hook into functions and features on the device just like a native application would (such as voice input or camera support).

Yes, it is true that the new app will only be released on Android and iOS devices first and not WP7 devices until later (doesn't make too much sense to us either), but it's good to see Microsoft deliver a unified experience for their products to all applicable devices, and not just their own. What's more is that this new app, coupled with HTML 5, won't be like a native application or a mobile website - it will be a hybrid of the two. And we all know that hybrids are better at everything.

Hit the break to watch a video explanation on what the Bing design team plans to do with their mobile service in the future.

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For business-people and travellers that are on the go, nothing says "Buy this smartphone" like 6 huge screens showing off major features of the latest ultra-portable computing device (a.k.a. a smartphone) from Nokia. The Handheld Blog has taken a nice video of the Nokia Lumia 800 ad while it was running near Departures at Terminal 5 of the Heathrow Airport in London, England.

It's done in a similar style to other ads and demo videos that we've seen pop up around the web, and focuses on the features that travellers would be most interested in; voice-guided car navigation, easy to use camera, managing office documents on-the-go. fast internet browsing, and of course the ability to connect with your friends no matter where you are through social networks. The ad is beautiful, fairly descriptive and will likely draw a lot of eyes - a great thing in a world filled with advertisements already.

With only two weeks left before the handset is made available, we'll likely see more than just a few airport ads released. If they are as eye-catching as this one, you won't hear many complaints from us. Check the video above to see the 1-minute long ad, and let us know if you've seen other ads around the country in the comments below.

Source: The Handheld Blog; Thanks, Mo for the tip!

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Looks like the Samsung Focus S, the expected follow up to the Focus, is making appearances at the Microsoft Inner Circle tour. The first one was held in LA last night in conjunction with GDGT and evidently a few of AT&Ts new phones were show off there as well.

The Focus S looks to a much bigger but thinner device, sporting a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen in addition to front and rear facing cameras. It's basically the Galaxy SII wrapped with Windows Phone, which is a pretty good thing.

Look for the phone to hit store shelves within a few days.

Source: Windows Phone Daily

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It's no secret that the Lumia 800 is a Nokia N9 with a different OS flashed on it, some capacitive buttons and a camera key--in fact we've seen both devices side by side here and they're the same device in every which way.

So it's kind of cool to see just how the N9's body is precision tooled in Nokia's factory in this above video. In it you see how some parts are drilled, honed and then put together by hand, reinforcing the notion that Nokia means quality.

via Steve Clayton

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Nokia World: Kinectimals demonstration video

One of the nice things about attending industry events is that we get to meet Microsoft representatives and have them demo Xbox Live games for us. Case in point: at Nokia World today, this nice lady was kind enough to show us the mobile version of Kinectimals. Watch the video to see her selecting a kitten, exporting the little fellow to the Xbox 360 game, and playing a jump rope minigame with it.

Speaking of which, the advanced jump rope Challenges get annoyingly tough, don’t they? The rope speeds up and slows down erratically, which often leads to my cat tripping over the rope when my concentration lapses. He sort of deserves it because he is a bad kitty, but that’s beside the point. Thankfully, you don’t have to beat every challenge to advance in Kinectimals – even the Achievements only require 25 gold medals, which isn’t that many.

Kinectimals will cost $2.99 when it officially launches on November 2. At that time you'll be able to pick up the kitty simulator here on the Marketplace. 

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