Windows Phone 7 apps will run on Windows Phone 8

Just in case you where still putting any faith in that crazy Russian guy named Eldar…here’s another major blow to his latest FUD against Microsoft and Nokia:

Crazy Russian guy: WP8 os isnt compatible with wp7 on app level (u need to rewrite all apps). Thats another os core with metro ui…

Microsoft: Rewatch Mix11 keynote. We were pretty clear on this. Any app built today will run on next major Windows Phone version.

Windows Phone 7 apps will run on Windows Phone 8. Case closed.

Continue reading Windows Phone 7 apps will run on Windows Phone 8 →

Nokia issues new statement about Lumia 800 Battery life, Audio and Camera

As you all have noticed the Nokia Lumia 800 isn’t free of issues since it’s launch back in November. Following the recent patch release and subsequent users complains about it not fixing some of the battery related issues, Audio and Camera quality, the company has released another statement today to set the record straight about what is actually going on. The good news is that Audio and Camera related issues are going to be taken care off in an upcoming updates. From my own experience on the camera front the only thing that has still not been fixed is the Auto-White balance and Auto-Iso settings (Auto-Focus in video mode and Photo color temperature were fixed by the latest update).

On the Subject of the dreaded battery Nokia is telling use that all should be fine now unless you have the missing battery status defect and that your handset shows more than 1000mah of capacity. Based on what I have seen so far this is indeed true because the Diagnostics application does reports fluctuating max battery capacity even-though it doesn’t seems to affect the overall battery life. Nokia doesn’t recommend the use of the Diagnostic app and instead asks the users to check out the Battery Saver sub-menu in the OS’s settings (the remaining battery percentage can’t be trusted either from my own experience: reports are only good for the 2 first battery cycles after a hard reset and then it never goes above 20hrs). Your mileage may vary but I’m now finally having relatively good battery life after one last oddity a few days ago when I lost nearly 50% in standby mode during the night while I was sleeping (seems to have happened to many user on the exact same day so I’m not ruling out a Twitter/Live update service issue on that night that may have caused this). Anyway, if you are still experiencing issues (badly grounded screen…) or if your battery status is gone for good I highly recommend you get you phone repaired or exchanged for a brand new one. I’m having lunch with Nokia next week so I may have some more news for you on this subject.

UPDATE: As I’ve tweeted earlier this morning, the super fast battery drain issue happened again on my phone during the night while in standby (lost 30% in 5 hours after a full charge cycle). So it definitively looks like something is wrong with the device’s power management system. Things are fine for the first 3 full battery cycles then it goes bonkers on the 4th.

Full statement after the break:

Continue reading Nokia issues new statement about Lumia 800 Battery life, Audio and Camera →

Nokia sells over 1 Million Lumia handsets gets paid 250 Million by Microsoft

The headline above is a quick summary of Nokia’s Q4 2011 earnings reports released today and which is in line with what the markets where expecting: Revenue and profits are down Year on year but up from Q3 (normal given the holiday shopping season). The good news though is that over 1 Million Lumia handsets (800 and 710) have already been sold (to carriers and retailers not end-users) which is rather good for a windows Phone device out only in select regions/countries. How many of them where returned because of hardware defects and bugs is a whole other story though.

The report also notes that Nokia has received a $250 Million payment from Microsoft as part of the Windows Phone parternship this Quarter and that more payments are scheduled in the years to come.

Continue reading Nokia sells over 1 Million Lumia handsets gets paid 250 Million by Microsoft →

Nokia Lumia 900 launching March 18th for 99 alongside Titan II for 199

Looks like US residents on will still have to wait a few months before getting their hands on the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II. The latest inside info revealed today points at a March 18th launch date for both handsets on AT&T. The good news though is the Lumia 900 will be sold at the relatively low entry price of $99 on a 2 year contract while the Titan II will go for $199. This shouldn’t surprise anybody especially those of you who have watched Stephen Elop presentation earlier this month in Las Vegas. The man clearly stated that Nokia will be really aggressive in terms of pricing with the Lumia 900 once it’s introduced on the market later this year.

Rumors are also circulating about an other Lumia 900 SKU (Lumia 910 or Lumia 930) which is said to feature a 12Mp camera and be available on other operators in the US shortly after AT&T’s exclusivity deal ends (in May)and there’s also the European version which is said to come out shortly after. I’ll have lunch with Nokia next week to discuss the Lumia 800 and its issues but will obviously try (probably in vain..) to get some info about all of this.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 900 launching March 18th for 99 alongside Titan II for 199 →

Windows Phone 8 specifications rumor: Windows 8 kernel and more

My man OIAQ sent me a tweet yesterday about a post on 4PDA.RU which seems to contain inside information about the upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS release (Apollo). The info falls in line with what most of us have been expecting. I just got the chance to check it out and decided to post it just as a heads up (and so that some folks will not say that I’m now completely out of the loop..) so here’s the low down:

- “WOA platforms will require that all desktop binary images be signed with a trusted Microsoft certificate. Any unsigned code will fail to load … This … does not cover Metro Style applications for which there is a separately documented signing requirement and developer licensing”

- “Windows Phone “Apollo” brings together platform parity with Windows 8, experience parity with Windows Phone “Mango”, and a set of new features and functionality developed for Windows Phone “Apollo”.”

- “Platform parity means that the phone OS is now based on the Windows NT kernel instead of the Windows CE kernel. Windows Phone “Apollo” uses the Core System from Windows 8, which is a minimal Windows system that boots, manages its hardware and resources, authenticates and communicates on a network, and can be managed at a basic level.”

-”The final significant changes of note are the adoption of ESENT, also known as Jet, for the database engine, and the managed-code runtime. Rather than using the .NET Compact Framework from Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone ”Apollo” uses the Core CLR produced by the Developer Division at Microsoft.”

-”Only SDHC cards formatted as FAT or exFAT are supported. If the card is unformatted or contains an unsupported format, such as NTFS, the SD card will be formatted according to the SD specification if the user accepts the format prompt. This means that SDHC cards (cards less than or equal to 32GB) will be formatted as FAT”

- “The internal user store will not have this limitation since it is formatted as NTFS”.

-”Texus Shell (TShell) is a tool that allows you to interact with Windows Phone “Apollo” phones via a Windows PowerShell command prompt. You can copy files to the phone, execute processes, attach a debugger, run commands using the phone’s command interpreter, and run test content stored on WTT test servers”

-”The Windows Phone “Apollo” release ports the ambient light, proximity, magnetometer, compass, and gyroscope sensors from Windows Phone “Mango”. It also incorporates the accelerometer, which was a standalone implementation in the previous OS version”,

- “You can use Hyper-V to test x86 builds of the phone OS”

So there you have it folks. Seems highly accurate but treat this a a rumor until the official announcement later this year.

Continue reading Windows Phone 8 specifications rumor: Windows 8 kernel and more →

Nokia Lumia 900 hitting Europe in June

According to UK’s Carphonehouse the much anticipated Nokia Lumia 900 is expected to the old continent next June. What is not known is if this European version will retain its MDM9200 LTE modem (I guess it won’t and will only have a regular MSM8255 @ 1.4ghz) or if it will offer more on-board storage (16GB is not enough for such a “premium” device IMO). Anyway, will we surely know more about the device’s international launch later next month during MWC.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 900 hitting Europe in June →

Nokia Lumia 800 Diagnostic Tool hints at Multi-Core Windows Phones ?

Slow news day folks so here’s a little interesting thing (that may turn to be nothing…) that I just noticed in the latest version of the Nokia Lumia 800 Diagnostic Tools embedded in the 11501/11500 firmware. As you can see in the picture above there’s settings sub-menu that allows the user to enable/disable HSDPA, Auto Answer and USB Hub. None of the options work right now (HSDPA is obviously already enabled on all handsets) but there’s an interesting pop-up message when you attempt to enable the USB Hub functionality:

For use in multi-core devices only. When USB Hub is turned on USB charging will no longer function…

Multi-core devices? What’s that exactly? Could be bad wording (technically any modern smartphone has “multiple ARM cores” in the SoC: the CPU, the Radio etc) but it could also hint a future Dual/Quad core powered Windows Phone 8 handsets that are scheduled to be unveiled later this year. Remember that the same Diagnostics app also contains a Gyroscope test which is not functional on any Nokia devices yet (only the Lumia 900 has one) and also hidden LTE menus that hinted at the Lumia 900 prior to its unveiling. Anyway, grab some salt and run with it.

Nokia Lumia 800 11501 / 11500 update officially out

The much awaited second Nokia Lumia 800 update is now being rolled out to devices worldwide via Zune and surprise surprise it’s the 1600.2483.8107.11501 firmware that I’ve extensively talked about and detailed since last week. So if you want to know what’s in it and especially what isn’t fixed simply click here. We are already seeing people complaining that the Missing battery issue hasn’t been fixed (and will probably never be as it may very well be a hardware defect at this stage). Anyway, feel free to voice your opinion and experience in the comments below.

For all the people wondering what is the difference between 1600.2483.8107.11500 / 1600.2483.8106.11500 and 1600.2483.8107.11501. Well the are the same thing. 11500 is just the Zune/MS version while 11501 is the Nokia Care version. Helps Nokia to differentiate between the two.

Skype for Windows Phone 7 is still coming soon

You got to love delays. Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about them especially when the company decides to stay silent about a product. As you all already know, Skype for Windows Phone was announced back in April of last year and was supposedly set to launch alongside Mango last fall. Nothing happened, Nokia’s then flagship product, the Lumia 800 didn’t even feature a front facing camera so Microsoft may have decided to act as nothing was missing. That’s until this week CES where Skype’s VP of Products Rick Osterloh just let a “coming soon” slip in a interview with….Microsoft. Video after the break:

Continue reading Skype for Windows Phone 7 is still coming soon →

Microsoft signs Patent agreement with LG covering Android and Chrome OS devices

Another bites the dust. Microsoft has added LG Electronics to its long list of Android manufacturers who are now paying the Redmond software giant every time the build a Google powered device. Samsung, HTC, Acer, Viewsonic, Compal etc the list goes on and Microsoft is most probably making more money through Android than windows Phone right now. As usual terms of the agreement were not disclosed but Microsoft is happy to announce that “more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio”. Full press release after the break:
Continue reading Microsoft signs Patent agreement with LG covering Android and Chrome OS devices →

Microsoft releases Windows Phone Retail Insider app to help phone sales

Besides handing out money to retail sellers when they sell a Windows Phone device, Microsoft has also released a special application designed for them. It’s name Retail Insider and features the following:

Key Features:

- Multiple Live tiles you can pin to your Start Screen that show the latest content updates
- A device library with demo suggestions and selling tips
- A curated list of the best Windows Phone apps with links to Marketplace
- Easy sharing of app content via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail
- An aggregated stream of updates from Microsoft’s social media channels for retail sellers
- One-click access to customer demo videos that help you show your customers the best features of Windows Phone
- Built-in Windows Phone FAQ and quick links to step-by-step how-to’s

I’m not entirely sure that this would have any impact on Windows Phone’s retail sales in the short term but it’s a step in the right direction. Better late than never… THe app is surprisingly well laid out and packed with useful info like device hardware specifications, tips, FAQs and sale pitches. You can grab it here.

Nokia Transport and Nokia City Lens coming to Nokia Lumia Windows Phones

Nokia is currently putting the finishing touches to the Windows Phone version of Nokia Transport and Nokia City lens (known as Nokia Live View on Symbian and Meego) for their Lumia range of handsets. Both applications were briefly demoed at CES this week and seems to be of the same quality as the Nokia Maps application.
As its name indicates, Nokia Transport is a commute / Public transport navigation application that features the following functionalities:

- Choose from multiple routes and follow the list of directions for buses, trams, underground or trains.
- Smart navigation for walking helps you reach your destination door-to-door.
- Check the next departure times for any stop in your city and easily save your regular commutes to favourites.

Check it out in action below:

Continue reading Nokia Transport and Nokia City Lens coming to Nokia Lumia Windows Phones →

Nokia Lumia exclusive ESPN application released: Stick to the original

The Nokia Lumia exclusive ESPN app has just been released today but is unfortunately not really worth it. In it current iteration the app is nothing more than a front end for the ESPN mobile website. Tap on any news,scores etc and it will open IE Mobile (yup they didn’t even bother implementing a webbrowsercontrol..). The ESPN Scorecenter application that has been freely available to all Windows Phones is simply mile better in terms of usefulness and features. Thankfully Nokia has other quality apps already offered for free and more to come in the coming months.

Upcoming Nokia Lumia 800 firmware update doesn’t fix most issues

UPDATE February 5: Please click here for the latest on this situation.
I think that we all want to see Nokia succeed as a Windows Phone OEM but as for right now, the Nokia Lumia 800 is, to put it simply, a bug ridden mess. The company has already promised a relatively big software update that should fix the dreadful battery issues, poor camera quality in low light conditions and many other quirks that users have encountered since the devices launch in November. Unfortunately I’m sad to announce that the upcoming Firmware version 1600.2483.8107.11501 (1600.2483.8106.11500 and 1600.2483.8107.11500 via Zune) which is soon to be rolled out barely changes anything (It’s available on Nokia’s servers and can be flash on any handsets with some trickery in Nokia Care Suite 5). There are only three notable changes:

- The OS is updated to Build 7.10.8107.79
- The battery can finally be charged to its max 1490/1510Mah capacity.

UPDATE January 14: Full battery capacity is now steadily going down (~1300Mah) after several recharges. So we are back to square one..not good…but this may or may not have any effect on the overall battery life
UPDATE January 15: The OS isn’t getting a correct reading of the Battery and shuts down the phone when there’s supposedly over 20% of battery left (even though the battery is flat). Here’s a photographic proof from another user who sent it tome via Twitter (thanks @bAN01TgAZ). This happened with 11451 and just restarted to happen to me last night with 11501 (UPDATE Jan 20: Never happened again since then):

As you can see and contrary to what some people/fanboys may think, I’m not trashing Nokia for the fun of it. Fact is that the Lumia 800 has either a totally busted firmware or every device out there has a hardware defect related to the battery/power management circuit.

- The Capacitive hardware buttons no longer light up unless the screen is set to auto-brightness or low (why not do like everybody else and implement a simple 5secs timer in all modes? No big deal though.)

So what does it really mean to us? Well, the HORRIBLE missing battery status issue which is affecting one of my handsets and many more in the world is still not fixed. The camera software is unchanged and still defaults to Marco mode when first launched. It also still shoots crappy greenish shots in low light.
- The digitizer sensitivity is still too high (or it’s simply badly grounded which means that it’s a hardware defect that can’t totally be fixed but only worked around via a firmware update like HTC did on the HTC Incredible and EVO 4G in 2010 and both had the same ATMEL mXT224 controler).
- The sound quality out of the headphones still has a drastic lack of bass and exhibits static noise/ Clicking when jumping from one track to another and finally the weird screen corruption issue (whole screen is shifted to the left for a few seconds or less) is still here.
Remember that I have 2 Nokia Lumia 800 handsets build at different dates, from different countries and both exhibit the same issues (but only one has the missing battery status problem and one still has the badly grounded screen issue).

Small update: I flashed back to the original 11414 firmware on my second Lumia 800 and the battery status is back but is totally bogus: It never reports the same status and the Diagnostics application doesn’t even detect it at all. What this means is that the firmware 11451 has definitely messed something up on the phone because it wasn’t like that when I first got the handset. Everything went south when the first official update was installed. Can somebody from Nokia please contact me ASAP? UPDATE Jan 21: Nokia contacted today about these issues and I will let you know how things pan out next week.

UPDATE 2: In case people think that I’m constantly bitching… here’s some more: my second Lumia 800′s battery is functional/visible by the OS but all the other issues still remain and that’s really the whole point of this post: Nokia apparently only “fixed” one single major issue (max battery charge) alongside 2 camera tweaks in this much anticipated update and simply doesn’t want to acknowledge if some of the other problems are hardware or software related.

UPDATE January 15: Photos shot with firmware 11501 have warmer colors than with previous builds (white balance is still busted indoors though) and the continuous auto-focus no longer gets stuck in video mode.

Continue reading Upcoming Nokia Lumia 800 firmware update doesn’t fix most issues →

New Windows Phone Xbox Live games announced and 27 Exclusive EA Games for Nokia Lumia phones

Microsoft has announced the upcoming Xbox Live enabled games that a re set to be launched in February (even they don’t get mysteriously delayed as it has often been the case..). Among them are Need For Speed Hot Pursuit, Splinter Cell Conviction, Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp, BulletAsylum which was initially unveiled by its indie developers more than a year ago and finally Chickens Can’t Fly.

Nokia and EA Games have also outed their partnership for 27 timed exclusive games which are going to be made available to Nokia Lumia owners first. Among them are Real Racing, Mirrors Edge, Tiger Woods and more. Check out a short teaser video after the break:

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Nokia exclusive Univision application released

The Nokia exclusive (18months) Univision application for its Lumia line of Windows Phone which was announced just yesterday alongside the Nokia Lumia 900 has just been made available in the US Marketplace. If you are fluent in Spanish this one’s for you as it gives you access to most of Univision content on the go, Videos, TV Shows, News Weather, etc all presented in the familiar Metro UI. SOif you are a Nokia Lumia owner living in the US just search for the application in the Marketplace to grab it now.

The Nokia Lumia 900 doesn’t have a PenTile display

Ok, file this into the “not yet 100% confirmed” but based on a macro shot of the Nokia Lumia 900 screen shot by the boys at the Verge, the AMOLED panel on the handset doesn’t exhibit the RGBG Martix of a Pentile panel but instead seems to be a RGB martix so this means that Samsung is apparently providing Nokia with a Super AMOLED Plus equivalent screen. Check out how the S AMOLED + compares to a Pentile panel here (click on the images for full size).

Once again this isn’t 100% confirmation but if this turns out to be the case then I can safely say that my two Lumia 800 devicesfeel slightly less exciting tonight. Anyway,I hope to have more confirmation soon. More Nokia Lumia 900 tech specs here.

UPDATE: It’s been officially confirmed by Nokia that it is not a PenTile Matrix panel.

UPDATE: Two more close up picture after the break showing the what clearly looks like an RGB matrix:

Continue reading The Nokia Lumia 900 doesn’t have a PenTile display →

Nokia Lumia 900 announced: Specifications and Video

There you have it folks. The mighty Nokia Lumia 900 has just been unveiled by Stephen Elop in Las Vegas a today and it looks exactly like you might have expected it to be. It’s a slightly bigger Lumia 800 thanks to the 4.3″ AMOLED screen (I’m guessing that’s a unfortunately a PenTile Matrix panel..) and packs an Qualcomm MDM9200 LTE multi-modem alongside an APQ8055 Snapdragon like the HTC Titan II announced earlier today. The battery has a capacity of 1830mha (the Titan II is 1730mha) and it will come in two colors; Black and Cyan. It will be available exclusively on AT&T in the US. It features exactly the same 8Mpix F2.2/28mm camera on the back with Carl Zeiss optics but also has a 1.3Mpix F2.4 (!!) front facing camera.The Lumia 900 will also have the WiFi Host-spot internt sharing feature enabled out of the bow.

No word yet on if it will ever be available outside of the US or the presence of a Gyroscope unlike the Lumia 800 and 710. Stay tuned for more..

UPDATE: The Nokia Lumia 900 does feature a Gyroscope.

UPDATE: It apparently doesn’t have a PenTile Martix panel!

Short hands-on video and specifications after the break:

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 900 announced: Specifications and Video →

HTC Titan II LTE Windows Phone announced

I guess that this one came out of nowhere… HTC has just unveiled the HTC Titan II which is the first LTE Windows Phone to be officially announced today. Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop have also hinted a more LTE device announcement coming shortly (mainly the Lumia 900). So what is exactly the HTC Titan II and how does it compare to the regular Titan ? Well not much has changed besides the MDM9200 LTE multi-modem which sit next to the same APQ8055 clocked at 1.5Ghz. The 8MPix F2.2 camera has also been swapped with a 16Mpix F2.6. sensor (greatly exceeding the 12Mpix limitation of the MSM8255 so HTC alongside Qualcomm must have done so driver changes there. But it’s a downgrade in terms or Apreture) and a non-removable 1730Mha battery. The HTC Titan 2 is only headed to AT&T in the coming months. Check out the full press release after the break

Continue reading HTC Titan II LTE Windows Phone announced →