Instagram, Vine, Xbox Video and many more hitting Windows Phone 8 in the coming weeks

The time has finally come for Instagram to hit the Windows Phone store! In the coming weeks is the officially release date according to Microsoft and Nokia who have worked really hard to finally secure the app for the platform. The same applies to Vine which should hit the Windows Phone Store around the same time. But there are many more apps that have been announced today as seen in the list below:

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Nokia Lumia 1520 Announced: Specifications

The first Windows Phone 8 phablet has finally been made official today at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi in the form of the Nokia Lumia 1520 that we have already seen in the flesh in several leaks throughout the past months. First let’s get this out of the way: The Nokia Lumia 1520 looks gigantic. I obviously never had any hands on time with one yet but based on the videos and pictures released this 6″ screen monster is most definitely too big for most users out there.

Now let’s take a look at the 1520 hardware specifications:

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 1520 Announced: Specifications →

Microsoft launches Windows Phone 8 developer preview program and releases GDR3 Update today

Remember the promise made by Microsoft more than a year ago about an early access program that would enable anyone to install beta versions of upcoming Windows Phone updates ? Today is finally the day. After being totally silent on the subject for nearly 18 Months the boys in Redmond have finally announced the launch of the  Windows Phone developer preview program alongside the GDR3 update preview which will be rolled out to anybody who accepts to enter this preview program.

But there are a few caveats before being able to download and install the GDR3 Bits:

- You will first be required to have an active developer account at https://dev.windowsphone.com/

- Install the Preview For Developers app on your WP8 device from here

- Check for updates in the phone settings

- For more Dev info about the 8.0.10512 update hit this link

So what’s new in Windows Phone 8 ? Just check out the full press release after the break:

Continue reading Microsoft launches Windows Phone 8 developer preview program and releases GDR3 Update today →

Nokia Lumia 1520 shows up in real life with MicroSD Card slot, 2GB of Ram and Snapdragon S800 SoC

Here comes the first “hands on” images and first hand specification of the first Windows Phone phablet namely the Nokia Lumia 1520. As you can see in the pictures below the Lumia 1520 is a huge handset thanks to its gigantic 6″ 1080P screen (most probably IPS LCD) which makes the Sony Xperia Z1 aka aka Honami next to it look like a tiny phone. The 1520′s design is a mix between the Lumia 925 which has the same camera protuberating on the back and the 920/1020 albeit a lot thinner.
Continue reading Nokia Lumia 1520 shows up in real life with MicroSD Card slot, 2GB of Ram and Snapdragon S800 SoC →

Microsoft acquires Nokia’s Devices and services business for EUR 5.44 billion licenses Mapping and patents

Holly molly who saw this one coming ? Microsoft has just announced the acquisition of Nokia‘s Devices & Services business alongside licensing it’s mapping an patents portfolio for €5.4Billion in cash today. Many like me have guessed that this may have been the big plan all along since the day Stephen Elop was appointed CEO of the troubled phone maker exactly 3 years ago in one week. After the successful launch of several Nokia Windows Phone devices in the past couple of months and the continued growth of Windows Phone’s market share todays seems to be the right time for Microsoft to start a new chapter by acquiring the best Phone maker in the world and securing the biggest patent portfolio in smart device patents.

Here’s are the principal terms of today’s acquisition deal:

  • Microsoft is spending about EUR 3.79 billion to acquire Nokia’s core cellphone business. Of that EUR 1.65 billion is for Nokia’s devices business
  • Microsoft will pay $2.18 billion to license Nokia’s intellectual property
  • Nokia’s patent portfolio includes some 8,500 design patents ranging from mapping to network/cell technologies with approximately 30,000 utility patents and patent applications, ownership of the Lumia & Asha brands and a ten year license to you the Nokia brand on feature phones. (this means that Microsoft’s Windows Phones will only be branded Lumia and not Nokia..strange I know..)
  • About 32,000 Nokia employees are expected to transfer to Microsoft as part of the deal. Off those 18,300 are “directly involved in manufacturing”
  • 56,000 Nokia employees will remain at the company once the deal has closed
  • Microsoft acquires rights equivalent to ownership for the HERE Mapping apps
  • Nokia will continue to improve these apps for other platforms
  • 4 year- agreement for mapping data and services: Nokia will provide MS with mapping data and services in exchange of annual payments Microsoft will combine Nokia map data with other sources and also make it available to Windows AZURE users with an additional fee.?
  • Microsoft’s gross margin on sales of Nokia’s Windows Phone handsets before the deal: less than $10. Expected to grow to $40 after the deal.
  • Microsoft will build a $250M data center in Finland for consumer purposes (AZURE too?)
  • Finland will become a core base of Microsoft in Europe and also the center of it’s mobile hardware R&D and manufacturing.
  • Stephen Elop will step down and CEO of Nokia and head back to Microsoft as the EVP of Devices a job title that was just recently awarded to Julie Larsson Green which will now basically only handle the upcoming fall hardware launches (XBOX One, Surfaces) and report directly to Elop and Ballmer.
  • Stephen Elop just went from being and external to an internal candidate for the CEO job that Steve Ballmer will leave in the next 12 Months.
  • Nokia’s top designer Marko Ahtisaari will leave the company in November to “pursue entrepreneurial opportunities,”
  • Continue reading Microsoft acquires Nokia’s Devices and services business for EUR 5.44 billion licenses Mapping and patents →

    Nokia Pro Camera released for Lumia 920, 925 and 928

    As promised last month Nokia has just made the Nokia Pro Camera application available to all Nokia Lumia Pureview handsets; The Lumia 920, Lumia 925 and 928. The Nokia Lumia AMBER updated is required to make Pro Camera downloadable and functional but this should be a problem for Lumia 925 owners or even 920 and 928 users given that the global roll out of the software bits has just started earlier today.
    I’ve had some time with it on my Lumia 925 so here are my first impression given that I have unfortunately never handled a Lumia 1020 yet:

    Continue reading Nokia Pro Camera released for Lumia 920, 925 and 928 →

    Nokia Lumia AMBER update worldwide roll out has started

    Nokia has finally announced the start of the AMBER update roll out for the following Windows Phone 8 handsets and markets:

    The rollout starts now first for the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 in selected countries as well as the Lumia 521, Lumia 810, and Lumia 928 in the US. Exact delivery timings will vary by region, phone and operator, but we expect the update to reach your Lumia 520, Lumia 620, Lumia 720, Lumia 820 or Lumia 920 by the end of September.

    The Nokia Lumia Amber Update includes the Windows Phone 8 GDR2 update alongside a torrent of Nokia updtes like improved image processing, Glance Screen, support for Nokia Smart Cam, Nokia Pro Cam, Storage Check, Flip to silence etc… Make sure to check your device’s update menu several times a day to see if AMBER is currently being pushed out by your carrier.

    Continue reading Nokia Lumia AMBER update worldwide roll out has started →

    Nokia adds Call + SMS blocking feature to its Lumia Windows Phone 8 phones

    Nokia has just pushed out a new Calls + SMS filtering feature to its Lumia line of Windows Phone 8 devices in the latest version of Extras+Info setting application. Once the updated app is installed a new ssetting entry will show up in the Windows Phone 8 setting section. Tapping on it will open the Calls + SMS filtering app wchi will allow users to setup their handset to block incoming calls or text messages from any phone number added to the black list via the phone’s calling history.

    Continue reading Nokia adds Call + SMS blocking feature to its Lumia Windows Phone 8 phones →

    Microsoft finally releases its Bing Apps for Windows Phone 8: Bing Weather, News, Finance and Sports

    Microsoft’s Bing apps for Windows 8 have been highly praised since their release over a year ago and are favorites of mine especially the Bing Weather and Bing Finance app which are packed with useful information and features. The most logical thing would have  been for Microsoft to port them to Windows Phone 8 as soon as possible so user of Windows 8 and WP8 can have a consistent user experience at home and on the go. Unfortunately Microsoft isn’t known for doing things in a logical way but this time common sense prevailed (although nearly 12months too late) and those amazing apps have now finally landed on your beloved smartphone platform.

    Continue reading Microsoft finally releases its Bing Apps for Windows Phone 8: Bing Weather, News, Finance and Sports →

    Nokia Lumia 925 Review: The best Windows Phone to date

    Since the launch of the Nokia Lumia 920 in November 2012 the Finnish manufacturer has released no less than 4 other Windows Phone 8 devices encompassing the whole price range from the low end to the high end. The Nokia Lumia 620 and 520 have been best sellers thanks to great feature sets and most importantly low prices without a contract. Unfortunately people lusting for a high-end Windows Phone 8 device only had one choice; the Lumia 920.

    Nokia’s first handset featuring Optical Image Stabilization is a great phone but its sheer size and weight can be and has been a turn off for many potential adopters. I’m the first to admit that this phone isn’t for everyone. Sure, it’s top notch but the Lumia 920 is heavier than a more powerful, feature rich and bigger Samsung Galaxy Note II. Want a handset with OIS? Well your only Windows Phone choice would be the Lumia 920 (or 928 on Verizon) or the HTC One on Android (with a frankly subpar implementation of it).

    Continue reading Nokia Lumia 925 Review: The best Windows Phone to date →

    Nokia Lumia 625 specifications and upcoming announcement

    Nokia is soon going to announce (tomorrow) a new addition to the Lumia Windows Phone 8 family in hopes to sell more than the 7+Milion  smartphones that have been sold in the past quarter. The Nokia Lumia 625 is a refresh fo the best selling Nokia Lumia 620. Similar to the Lumia 925 the new 625 updates on it’s predecessor with slightly modified specifications. As a matter of the fact the Nokia Lumia 625 will sport the largest screen of the entire Lumia family with its 4.7″ diagonal. Unfortunately given that this is a low-end handset the screen will only be an IPS WVGA (800×480) panel.

    You can check out the rest of the Lumia 625 specifications in the sheet below (click on it):

    Continue reading Nokia Lumia 625 specifications and upcoming announcement →

    The Nokia Lumia 1020 includes a barometer


    The Nokia Lumia 1020 has one little feature that has surprisingly not been made public today: a barometer sensor. It is not listed in the hardware specifications list on the products official homepage but can be found on Nokia’s more details specs sheet locate on the company’s developers website (just noticed this a few minutes ago). Having a built-in barometer isn’t really anything ground breaking given that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus had one nearly 2 years ago and Samsung’s latest S4 has not only a barometer but also a thermostat, humidistat.

    In the case of Android handsets the barometer is mainly used to speed up GPS lock which isn’t really something that exciting to the end user but it would be interesting to know if this is what it is used for in the Lumia 1020 or if there are other hidden features that Nokia has yet to show off. BTW, I’m still trying to figure out how Nokia is getting the Qualcomm Sanpdragon S4 (MSM8960) to support the 41MP Sensor..if anybody has a clue please let me know.

    Continue reading The Nokia Lumia 1020 includes a barometer →

    Nokia Pro Camera coming to Lumia 920, 928 and 925 after AMBER update

    Just bought a Nokia Lumia 925, 928 or a 920 a few months ago and want that awesome Pro Cam application that the company has showcased today on the Lumia 1020? Nokia has your back and isn’t letting you down! The Finnish manufacturer has just announced that it will be available to all Nokia Lumia PureView smartphones handset later this summer once the Amber update is pushed out:

    Nokia Pro Camera will be available for Nokia Lumia 1020 at launch and it will also be coming to all Nokia Lumia PureView smartphones (Lumia 920, 925 and 928), but will require an upgrade to the latest Amber software.

    hit the break to see in action on the Lumia 1020:

    Continue reading Nokia Pro Camera coming to Lumia 920, 928 and 925 after AMBER update →

    Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera tech explained and sample shots

    The Nokia Lumia 1020 launch event just ended a few minutes ago with the company announcing that the handset will start shipping in the US on July 26th exclusively on AT&T for 299.9 with a 2/y contract. People from around the world will unfortunately have to wait a few weeks before getting their sweaty hands on this beast though. The Lumia 1020 will be launched in select Asian and Western Europe market in Q3 2013 for an undisclosed price. A camera grip featuring a 2 stage shutter button, universal tripod mount and built-in 1020mha battery will launch alongside it for $79. You can check out the full Lumia 1020 specs here.

    Continue reading Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera tech explained and sample shots →

    Nokia Lumia 1020 Specifications


    UPDATED with full specs:
    Can’t wait until tomorrow’s event ? Don’t worry because the Nokia Lumia 1020 specifications have apparently leaked just in time before you got to bed. From the looks of it this isn’t really the Lumia 920 successor that many of you have been waiting for. The Nokia Lumia 920 is basically another evolution of the 920 (same hardware specs besides having double the ram) with the gigantic 41MP camera. I’m still puzzled about how Nokia is apparently getting the Qualcomm SnapDragon S4 to support this sensor though. Hopefully tomorrow’s announcement will give us some answers on this front. Anyway checkout the specs below:

    Continue reading Nokia Lumia 1020 Specifications →

    Nokia Lumia 1020 promo videos and renders

    AT&T has apparently uploaded “by mistake” three promo videos of the Nokia Lumia 1020 confirming what we already know about the device’s specs. Nothing really spectacular indeed and this kind of confirm that the 1020 is “simply” another variant of the 92X handsets already on the market. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Nokia Pro Cam application which enables full manual control over the phone’s camera will be made available to current Lumia handsets similar to the Nokia Smart Cam. Check ou the videos after the break:

    Continue reading Nokia Lumia 1020 promo videos and renders →

    Windows Phone 8 Support Life Cycle increased from 18 Months to 36 Months. Business Feature Pack announced

    With Windows 8.1 hitting RTM next month everybody has been wondering if and when Windows Phone 8.1 / Blue is going to be announced or simply mentioned. Well, today is not the day. Microsoft has just announced that Windows Phone 8′s support lifecycle has been increased from 18 Months to 36 Month. The good news here is that if you have both a WP8 handset back in November 2012 you will get updates until November 2015.

    Microsoft has also announced the release of a Business feature pack slated to be released in the first half of 2014. The feature pack will be just one part of the update’s coming to Windows Phone in the coming months. Redmond is planning to constantly update the OS with bug fixes and new hardware support alongside the feature packs.

    Continue reading Windows Phone 8 Support Life Cycle increased from 18 Months to 36 Months. Business Feature Pack announced →

    Major Nokia Here Drive + and Here Transit updates coming to all Windows Phone 8 devices this week

    As I tweeted a last month Nokia is set to finally get the Here Drive + app out of Beta with the inclusion of Life Traffic support and the My Commute feature. The company has also officially announced today a major update to the Here Transit application with a modified /improved UI and the availability of Here Drive + to all Windows Phone 8 handsets (HTC, Samsung etc..).

    Continue reading Major Nokia Here Drive + and Here Transit updates coming to all Windows Phone 8 devices this week →

    First Nokia Lumia 1020 photos show promising quality

    Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore uploaded a few days ago on his Flickr account, two pictures taken with the soon to be unveiled Nokia Lumia 1020 during his recent trip to Finland. This may have been done or purpose to generate buzz (or not..) but the fact is that these are the very first sample pictures of Nokia’s next flagship Windows Phone 8 handset featuring the 41MP PureView camera sensor.

    Continue reading First Nokia Lumia 1020 photos show promising quality →