Photosynth for Windows Phone finally released

After more than a year of silence Microsoft has finally released Photosynth for Windows Phone 7. As you probably already know the iOS version came out in April of last year with a Windows Phone version set to be released soon after alongside the Mango update which finally gave access to the handset’s sensors to software developers. Things didn’t seem to be on schedule though given that there was no WP7 version of the app on sight several months after Mango’s roll out. Today’s the day though so if you have a WP7 handset nearby (that has at least 512MBof RAM) just hit the link here or scan the QRcode after the break to download the app.

Don’t worry about the message that alerts you that the app requires a Gyroscope if your device doesn’t feature one because the compass + Accelerometer should be enough to shoot nice panoramas (the gyro will help you be more precise and also enable you to shoot upwards towards the sky to make a spherical panorama).

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Microsoft and Nokia add traffic and better geocoding to Bing Maps worldwide

Another milestone has been reached in the Microsoft / Nokia partnership today with the inclusion of Nokia’s Traffic and Geocoding backend to Bing Maps in 24 countries worldwide. It wasn’t long ago when Nokia and Microsoft had also decided to use a similar color them and layout for their Mapping data and starting today Windows Phone users you should finally be able to get the show traffic feature working if they are located in the following countries:

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Nokia Transport 2.0 beta for Windows Phone released

Nokia has just released the beta version of Nokia Transport 2.0 application (known as Nokia Transit in the US) for its Nokia Lumia handsets today via the Nokia Beta Labs website. This newest version includes the following changes:

-Find nearby stations, departure times and even types of transit lines available around your location.
Improved search:
- Remember your last search query
-Change your search without leaving the journey view
Improved performance
- Faster display of upcoming journeys
- Faster journey request

Want to try it out ? Simply scan the QRcode after the break with your Lumia phone and don’t forget to register to the Beta Labs service to post you impressions or report bugs.

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Nokia Lumia Camera Extension features unveiled

The much anticipated update to the Nokia Lumia 800 and 900 camera has finally been officially unveiled in a press event in Honk Kong two days ago. As you probably already know the latest Tango roms already include some new improvements including a video quality settings added to the video recording settings menu. The upcoming Camera Extension feature will added several shooting modes that have already been hinted at in the latest firmware bits but have yet to be fully exposed to the end users: Action Shot, Self Timer, Panorama and Smart Group Shot.The latest mode named smart group shot is the most interesting one given that it will be the first ever commercial implementation of a feature that has already been teased by RIM for the upcoming BB10 OS named Timeline Lens (which was developed by Scalado and originally named “Scalado Rewind”. In this SmartGroup shot mode the camera will be constantly shooting pictures at a high burst rate during a short period of time and then face detect the human beings in the pictures. This will then allow the user to manually tweak the final image by choosing the best possible face expression of the people taking the pose. You can check it out in action in the video after the break:

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First Adreno 320 Benchmark results

Here’s a little something that should brighten up your day and hopefully give some credence to the rumored Nokia Lumia PureView rumor that poped-up a little while ago. The unicorn device in question supposedly packs an Adreno 320 GPU which should only be available in two Sanpdragon S4 SoCs later this year: the Quad-Core APQ8064 (w/out the modem) and later the Dual-Core MSM8960 Pro. It now turns out that Qualcomm is right on track with its roadmap and is already sampling the APQ8064 for its OEMs which means that there’s a chances that we will see Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices powered by these SoCs in the coming months.

The LG-E970 Android 4.0 handset (known as the LG-LS970 on Sprint) is already in wild and has been cough running the GLBenchmark suite lately to test out it’s beastly Adreno 320 GPU. Unfortunately for us the results aren’t really that interesting given that they were ran with Vsync on (@ 1280×768). Check out the result in the screen shot after the break:

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Official LinkedIn app for Windows Phone finally released

LinkedIn alongside Facebook and Twitter were all neatly integrated into Windows Phone 7.5 with the Mango update late last year. Unfortunately contrary to the last two social platforms, LinkedIn still wasn’t present in the Windows Phone Marketplace with an official application. This is now a thing of the past thanks to the release of the official LinkedIn application today. The app features most of the features you can expect to find in a AAA piece of software and is described as follows:

Get on-the-go access to your professional network with LinkedIn for Windows Phone. Find and connect with more than 150M members worldwide, read the latest industry news, keep up-to-date with your groups, explore jobs you might be interested in, and share content with your network from anywhere.

You can download directly from here.

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Nokia branded Windows Phone Marketplace has always been in the works

In case you have missed it; Most of the latest Nokia Tango ROMs for the Nokia Lumia 610, Lumia 710, Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 have traded the regular Makretplace Tile with a new Nokia branded one. This may come as a surprise to most people but those of you who have been following me know that Nokia and Microsoft have been working on a Nokia Branded Marketplace ever since the partnership was put in place more than a year ago. I actually made a post about it when I found out some interesting words in the partnership press release and several job offerings which described the existence to two unified application stores.

The Icon change is probably only the begging so it remains to be seen if others items or section of the Marketplace will offer Nokia specific features exclusive to the Lumia handset. It should also be noted that the Nokia Collection section has strangely vanished from by Nokia Lumia 800 (running Mango) just yesterday so there must be something going on in the background right about now.

Nokia announces Exclusive applications and games for Lumia handsets and other Windows Phones: Angry Birds Space, EA Mobile games, Groupon, Paypal,

Nokia is all in with Windows Phone and today’s software partnership announcement is one more proof of this. The company has announced several partnership that will net Nokia Lumia owners with exclusive applications in the coming weeks and months plus the birth of a new development team at Rovio in Finland (makers of Angry Birds) to develop and port all of theirs games to Nokia Lumia handsets and even other Windows Phone devices. Nice isn’t it? Here’s a  list of what coming:

PGA TOUR – The PGA TOUR app will be available exclusively to Nokia Lumia owners from June 2012. Developed in partnership with Nokia, the app provides scores and player information and also interactive, augmented coverage of the action from the events on a hole-by-hole basis.

ESPN – The exclusive ESPN Sports Hub will receive a number of updates over current months, bringing greater personalisation options, such as panoramas dedicated to your favourite teams. A Windows Phone version of the ESPN Fantasy Football app will launch exclusively on Lumia this autumn.

EA Mobile: FIFA, Madden, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods, Mirror’s Edge and Yahtzee coming to the Windows Phone platform (not exclusive to Lumias apparently)

Rovio – The company is building a dedicated development team to create titles for Nokia Lumia and the wider Windows Phone ecosystem, with the goal of publishing all future Rovio titles – including Angry Birds Space – on the platform as quickly as possible.

“Nokia is one of our longest-standing partners, and Windows Phone and Lumia are of strategic importance to Rovio. We are very committed to bring our games to Lumia devices, and are looking forward to delighting our fans on the Windows Phone platform,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio.

Groupon – Groupon is working on an extensive upgrade of its Windows Phone app, bringing a new augmented reality deal-finder function. It will be exclusive to Lumia owners for six months following its launch in Summer 2012.

TripDots – This is a an app that helps motorists optimise their fuel efficiency, awarding achievements as well as cost-savings in a wider social game while maintaining people’s privacy.

PayPal – Nokia and PayPal are working together to create a Windows Phone app to allow secure, fast and easy payments through PayPal wherever you may be.

AOL Entertainment HubExclusive to Nokia Lumia owners for six months from launch, this AOL app brings the cream of AOL’s content to Nokia Lumia owners. That includes the ability to play any of its 55,000 SHOUTcast radio stations, streaming albums with Listening Party. movie trailers and more.

TIME – the world’s largest weekly circulation magazine comes to Windows Phone. The app will deliver content from to mobile making full use of the UI’s possibilities, such as alerts for breaking news, the ability to share news items with your contacts in the People Hub and Live Tiles.

NewsWeek – NewsWeek is creating a Windows Phone version of The Daily Beast, its digital content partner. Designed for consuming the latest news while you’re on the move, the app allows you to access the latest stories in seconds. It also includes access to The Cheat Sheet – a one-stop shop for leading stories across the globe.

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Nokia City Lens Augmented Reality browser released for Lumia phones

Nokia has just release the beta version of the Nokia City Lens Augmented Reality browser exclusively for the Lumia line of Windows Phones (the app is already available on the Symbian). If you don’t know what City Lens is then the simple answer would be to say that it’s Nokia’s own versions of Wikitude or Layar (or even ScanSeach on the LG Optimus 7 / Quantum Windows Phones). Nothing really groundbreaking here but the upside here is the software polish that we have come to expect from Nokia’s latest software and services. It simply works (even though it’s still in Beta) and nicely integrates with Nokia Maps to give you walking, driving or transport directions to the places you are looking at (similar to Nokia Transport / Transit). You can download directly to you Lumia handset by scanning the QR Code after the break and also checking out the video introduction of the app below:

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Nokia Lumia 800 1750.805.8773.12140 Tango update coming soon

Photo courtesy of MJ Foley

Quick word of advise to all the Nokia Lumia 800 users out there who are eagerly waiting for the Tango update to reach their handset and finally bring Internet Sharing and improved camera settings: please be patient. The Chinese variant 1750.805.8773.12140 firmware has finally reached Nokia Care’s servers a few ours ago but shouldn’t be of any use to most users outside of China given that it lacks Facebook and Twitter integration in the People Hub and includes several features and customization specifically aimed at the Asian market. This update does indeed enabled internet sharing and also include the new camera settings that have been missing from the previous updates (panorama, smart group shot etc video quality settings and improved still shot quality..) and a Nokia Branded Marketplace Icon/tile.

The international / European variant of the 1750.805.8773.12140 update shouldn’t be to far off so don’t rush waste our time flashing you perfectly functional handset right now ans simply wait a little for the real deal. If you are really bothered by the Audio Volume bug simply flash the 12072 FW for now.

Samsung launches the Samsung Focus 2 Windows Phone with LTE support. World still wonders why

Still trying to figure out if there’s any logic behind Microsoft’s Windows Phone endeavor? Well, today’s launch of the Samsung Focus 2 isn’t going to make things clearer to the masses. The Samsung Focus 2 Windows Phone handset is launching on AT&T’s network in the US later this month on May 20th for the relatively interesting price of $49.99 with the 2year contract. Nice, right? Unfortunately not very much given that the Focus 2 is nothing more than a Samsung Focus / Omnia 7 with 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8055 + MDM9200 LTE modem instead of the older QSD8250. That’s right folks…nothing interesting to see here especially when you take into account that the Nokia Lumia 900 with its better hardware is priced exactly the same on the same network and with double the amount of on-board storage (16Gb on Lumia 900 vs 8Gb on the Focus 2).

Once again this doesn’t make much sense at all in this day and age when Windows Phone 8 is getting close to release and may or probably may not be offered as an update to the current Windows Phone 7 handsets on the market. The only good thing to come out if this announcement is the fact that it squashes the ridiculous rumors that have been flying around about a the Samsung Focus 2 being the Windows Phone variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III. Nothing to see here folks….

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LG temporarily abandons Windows Phone

Quick! Everybody abandon ship! The Windows Phone ship is sinking…or maybe not. LG (Windows Phone’s premiere OEM partner..)has simply announced during its latest earnings conferences call that it has no immediate plans to manufacture or ship a new Windows Phone based smartphone. Nothing really shocking here given that the south Korean manufacturer was totally absent from the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango launch last year and hasn’t done anything meaningful to the Windows Phone ecosystem since the initial platform launch in 2010.

LG isn’t totally abandoning Windows Phone and will continue research and development efforts in hopes of a brighter future. The company’s mobile division has been in the crapper for a little while now even with the launch of several high-end Android smartphones plagued by atrocious firmware issues (everything isn’t to blame on Windows Phone..). The LG Fantasy E740 with it’s NFC chipset will remain a prototype for ever.

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