Nokia Lumia 800 1600.2487.8107.12072 Firmware released, fixes volume bug: Install it now

The latest major Firmware update for the Nokia Lumia 800 may have fixed the most important issue; namely the buggy power management, but it unfortunately also introduced an annoying audio volume bug than made playing games in particular a real pain alongside other oddities like a super loud ringer volume the first second when a call arrives. Anyway, Nokia has finally put an end to all of this via a new Firmware update: 1600.2487.8107.12072 which has already started to roll out in some regions and that you can manually apply to your handset by following the instructions below (at your own risk):

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Skype for Windows Phone is out of beta and publicly available now

Skype for Windows Phone 7 is finally out of beta and publicly available in the Marketplace for everybody to download. This new V1.0 version now includes the ability to search and add contacts, call landlines, ,video calling in portrait mode, friend management capabilities including invite, accept invitations, block, unblock contacts and several other improvements on top of what was already possible in the beta. Only major downside is the fact that application still doesn’t support background notifications so user simply can’t receive a call unless the application is open (unlike all the other Skype version on other platforms or even Tango on Windows Phone) but Skype as already announced that “This is the first of many releases to come for Windows Phone, so stay tuned for even more capabilities in the future“. You can download the Skype app directly from the marketplace here or by simply scanning the tags after the break:

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Windows Phone 8 may or may not come to current handsets. Won’t stop them from working if it doesn’t

Windows Phone 8 will be available as an update to current Windows Phone 7 handsets….or not. Nobody, I repeat, nobody really knows the answer for certain. So everything you have been reading in the past few days, hours should be filed under the rumor tag. At the day of the day the question is: Does it really matter? Well, in terms of PR, Marketing and overall user trust, not releasing a Windows Phone 8 update (or a subset of it) for, at the very least, the second generation of Windows Phone 7 handsets (especially Nokia’s) would be one of the dumbest move Microsoft will have ever done. Remember, we are talking about the same company that launched the horrendous Kin handsets. Sadly, anything is possible with the boys and girls in Redmond so don’t get your hopes up.

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Windows Phone Translator receives major update: Real-time augmented reality and voice translation

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Translator application has just received a MAJOR update today with the introduction of the following new features:

- Point, Scan and Translate: This is a beefed up augmented reality version of the Bing vision translate feature already found in Windows Phone 7.5. Users can now use the device’s camera to translate text in real-time on the go. Works fairly good from what I have seen so far.

- Offline Translation: Users can download languages packs to use the app in offline mode.

- Type and Translate: Instant translation using keyboard input

- Speak and translate: Speak in any of the supported languages and the device will then speak back what you just said in the desired language.

There are also several other UI changes and tweaks (the ability to pin the aforementioned methods of translation directly on the start screen for speedy access). All in all this is a really amazing update so make sure to get it right now from here and check out the announcement video after the break:

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Windows 8 to come in only three editions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT

Pigs are flying in Redmond today following the announcement that Windows 8 will only have three SKUS: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT (known as Windows on ARM). That’s right, Microsoft has finally decided to streamline it’s previously stupid offering and go straight to the point after many years of complains from users, OEMs and various other actors in the tech industry.
Windows 8 will be the basic version will include most of the essential features that 90% of the users will need while Windows 8 Pro will include all the features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Surprisingly Windows Media Center will apparently only be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro.

Windows RT formerly known as Windows On ARM will only be come per-installed on devices/tablets equipped with ARM based SoC but will be the only Windows 8 SKU to have the Office suite included. This version will only be able to run applications build using the recently introduced WinRT runtime. Hit the break for the full list of features supported by each versions:

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Nokia Lumia 900 Firmware update roll out has begun: Change Log

Several Nokia Lumia 900 users have reported that the much awaited firmware update, which was said to start rolling gout on April 16th, is now being pushed out through the Zune desktop software. Update: The roll out is now official according to Nokia. According to early reports the update fixes the following issues :

- Improved touchscreen sensitivity
- Improved WiFi auto-connection
- Fixed Camera launch bug: The camera now starts every time when the shutter button is long press when the phone is of.
- Overall performance improvements and stability (battery too it seems)
- Fixed lost data connection bug

Fell free to post you experience and findings in the comments below.

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More than 3 Million Nokia Lumia phones sold since launch: Why the hate?

People simply love to hate on anything lately. Nokia decided to lower its Devices & Services Q1 2012 outlook today in the midst of its gigantic structural and economical transition following the arrival of Stephen Elop more than a year ago and the Microsoft partnership. Tucked inside the press release was this important piece of info:

In the first quarter 2012, Nokia sold more than 2 million Lumia devices at an average selling price of approximately EUR 220 (reported within the Smart Devices business unit). Furthermore, Nokia has seen sequential growth in Lumia device activations every month since starting sales of Lumia devices in November 2011.

Add this to the 1 Million Lumia devices already sold between November and December 2011 and we now have a grand total of 3 Million Nokia Lumia Windows Phones out there (the vast majority being Lumia 800s) and sold in less than 4 months. That’s huge in the small world of Windows Phone and further cement the fact that Nokia became the OS’s number one OEM nearly overnight. Although 3 Million obviously isn’t much when compared to other platforms (yes even Nokia’s own S40 and Symbian..as the company sold 10 Million non WP7 “smartphones” in the same quarter) this shouldn’t prevent Nokia from celebrating this small success. The vast majority of the web commentators simply chose to note that Nokia is lowering its forecast and that the company is going the way of the dodo. Sure..the number one mobile phone manufacturer in the orld with billions of $ in cash reserves is going to go bankrupt this year..okay. These people are probably the same ones who thought that Android was going to be a failure 3 years ago or thought that Nokia’s transition will be a matter of weeks instead of years.

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Nokia Lumia 610 NFC officially announced: Q3 2012 release

Nokia has officially announced the first NFC enabled Windows Phone handset today; the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC. This may sound surprising given that even the company’s high end Windows Phone model, the Lumia 900, which just launched a few days ago doesn’t have an NFC chip in there. Nokia has apparently added its own software stack on top of Windows Phone 7.5 Tango to get this whole NFC thing going. Remember that LG has apparently done something similar with, the yet to be announced, LG Fantasy handset. The Nokia Lumia 610 NFC will be available in Q3 2012 on Orange. Check out the full press release after the break and a video demo of the handset in action:

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Nokia Lumia 900 Data connection issue confirmed: Fix coming next monday with $100 AT&T credit

Still thinking that Nokia isn’t serious about it? Think again. The company has officially acknowledged that the recently launched Nokia Lumia 900 was suffering from a memory management issue that could, in some cases, lead to loss of data connectivity. The good news here is that fix has already been worked on and will be made available to current Lumia 900 owners next Monday, April 16th via and FW update through Zune. New devices shipping to AT&T stores also already have the fix per-installed so no need to worry anymore. Last but not least Nokia is also announcing that every person who has already purchased a Nokia Lumia 900, or who will purchase one between now and April 21st, will automatically receive a $100 credit to their AT&T bill! Sweet deal right? Well don’t forget that Amazon is still offering the device for only $49.00 so it will essentially be free on contract (well technically it would be -$50!) if you get it via the links below before April 21st!

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Nokia Lumia 900 still $49 on AT&T, HTC Titan II also launched while the Titan is free on contract

Everybody at AT&T, Nokia and Microsoft’s Windows Phone division is probably looking closely at the early sales numbers of the recently launched Nokia Lumia 900 and its brother from another mother the HTC Titan II (which doesn’t have any marketing push at all unfortunately). According to Amazon Wireless both variants of the Lumia 900 are currently the top selling handsets and tis isn’t really surprising given the buzz and $49.99 price (with a 2y contract). The HTC Titan II with it’s LTE modem (same MDM9200 as on the Lumia 00) and 16Mp camera (currently seems to take better overall shots than the Lumia’s thanks to a more mature camera stack and better white balance/noise algorithm) is currently selling for $149.99 (2y/contract) but the original HTC Titan is now back to being free ($0.01) with a 2 year AT&T contract! Hit the links below if you finally want to jump into the Windows Phone bandwagon.

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Alleged upcoming Nokia Windows Phone 8 handset specs and renders leaked: PureView and Adreno 320 GPU on board

As it’s usually the case with such things I’ll first advice you to take the following info with a pinch of salt and remain cautious. According to two supposedly leaked Nokia internal slides what you see here is the upcoming flagship Nokia Windows Phone 8 handset which will unsurprisingly sport the 41Mpx camera sensor introduced by the Nokia 808 alongside a Xenon flash, a 4.3″ curved HD Display (no AMOLED?), a dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro which includes the Adreno 320 GPU (surprising..was expecting it to be for tablets only at first…). The phone also has an enigmatic “Rich Recording” video recording technology. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if the device’s name was Nokia Lumia PureView

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The Nokia Lumia 900 isn’t going to save Windows Phone or Nokia

Time to put things back into perspective. I’m assuming that you all have already glanced over most of the Nokia Lumia 900 reviews today and noticed that the general consensus is that the device is great but definitely not earth shattering. Well, this was to be expected when you see it for what it really is: an over-sized Lumia 800 (with a Gyro, LTE modem and FF Cam) or more accurately a Samsung Focus S with an LTE Modem (and obviously better materials). Any sane person who isn’t a rabid Microsoft fanboy or hater would agree with this. Unfortunately not much more can be done with the current Windows Phone 7 chassis hardware specifications so Nokia and other OEMS are stuck releasing essentially the same phones until Windows Phone 8 Apollo is finally unleashed. Case in point: the Nokia Lumia 800 / 900 camera is undoubtedly held back by the Qualcomm MSM8x55 ISP. Nokia is known to use it’s own imaging silicon for its handsets but was unfortunately not allowed to do so in the Lumia line of devices (reason why the N9 with the exact same Sensor shoots better photos..). This will have to change soon if the Finnish company plans to pack its future flagship Windows Phone handset with the PureView 41MP camera. Fortunately we have learned that the Camera stack will be fully customizable by the OEMs in Windows Phone 8.

Speaking of WP8, there’s now the update issue looming over the Lumia 900 launch and gigantic marketing blitz. We are now getting close to HTC HD2 levels of insanity in terms of unknown when it comes to the upgrade path to Windows Phone 8 for the 1st Gen and 2nd Gen Windows phone 7 devices. In the case of the HTC HD2 we all knew that it for the most part conformed to the Chassis 1 specs but Microsoft decided that sacrifice its historical Windows Mobile fanbase and start from scratch with the WP7 launch in fall 2010. No big deal I guess as this allowed HTC to milk the same hardware platform with the HTC HD7 and HTC HD7S…meh. Unfortunately not allowing current 2nd Gen WP7 handsets to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 would be pure suicide on Microsoft’s part especially after all the hoopla that AT&T, Nokia are going to do this month. Imagine buying what is supposedly the carrier’s flagship handset and be notified a few weeks/months later that your device won’t be update to the latest OS iteration. This would be worse than the Android situation. The mystery here is that nobody outside of Microsoft and its OEM partners knows if the current handsets are powerful enough to cope with the new software unlike the HTC HD2 situation.

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Nokia Lumia 900 available for free on AT&T

Can’t wait to get your hands on the upcoming flagship Windows Phone from Nokia? Well, the Nokia Lumia 900 is currently available for free ($0.01 actually) with a 2 year contract AT&T is you are a new customer or want to add another line to your current plan (it’s $119 if you only want to re-new your AT&T contract). You can pre-order your Cyan or Black handset right now before it hits the streets in 7 days simply by hitting the links below.

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