Disqus app released exclusively on Windows Phone


Is this the beginning of a new trend? Today saw the release of one of the first high profile exclusive application for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8. Disqus, the comments services / community used by the vast majority of the top blogs and websites on the web (yes even here on MobileTechWorld) now has a mobile application exclusively available only on Windows Phone.

The app still has a few tiny bugs that seem to be mostly cloud related but other than that the whole package is pretty much perfect from a UI and feature point of you. Here’s what’s included:

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New Nokia Lumia 920 firmware adds new Storage management feature to Windows Phone 8

Those of you following me on Twitter must be aware that a new Nokia Lumia 920 firmware 1232.5957.1308.0004 popped up on Nokia’s server last night. I quickly grabbed it and flashed my handset late last night so I didn’t have much time to take a deep dive in it to see if there was anything new in there.

My first target today was to check out the camera to see if Nokia made any improvements in this sector. I personally can’t see much difference here besides better noise-reduction and sharpening in some select cases (the camera is already awesome but the algorithms can still some tweaks).

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BBC iPlayer finally coming to Windows Phone. Sort of…

The BBC has just announced that iPlayer support will finally be coming to Windows Phone 7.X and Windows Phone 8 in the coming weeks. But there’s a catch: this isn’t going to be a full blown app but simply a link/shortcut (similar to the “official” Youtube one) to a modified website compatible with IE9/IE10Mobile.

We will be releasing a shortcut to BBC iPlayer in the near future which will be available in the Windows Phone Store, enabling the BBC iPlayer website to work on Windows Phone 7.5 and 8 via a live tile.

This shortcut will wrap the BBC iPlayer mobile website together with our media player. Hopefully these and other developments will help to expand our online reach further. Our latest figures show that over 650 different device types can access BBC iPlayer.

Better than nothing I guess….and obviously only applies to UK users.

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Photosynth for Windows Phone 8 finally released

At last! Photosynth for Windows Phone 8 has been released today after being delayed for several months. This new version now includes a couple of new handy features:

- Lens integration – Quickly capture and view panoramas by launching Photosynth directly from the camera.
-Ability to view shared panoramas—New sharing capabilities let other Windows Phone 8 users view your panoramas on their phone, and as always you can show off your panoramas by email, Facebook and Twitter.
-More camera controls – Adjust for various lighting conditions by using new exposure and white balance locking options.

You can downloaded now directly from the Windows Store by hitting the link here or searching for in using Bing (not the Store search) on your Windows Phone 8 handset.

Official Twitter app for Windows Phone updated: Finally worth it

The official Twitter application for Windows Phone 7/8 has finally been updated after nearly a year with a totally new UI and new features that make it worth it. Among the new goodies included are the lock screen support, pinning of any Twitter account to the start screen and most importantly a new beautifully snappy UI.

New navigation: Four new tabs – Home, Connect, Discover and Me – bring you closer to the things you care about.
•Home: View Tweets from the accounts you follow; tap a Tweet to expand it and see more content, such as photos, videos and website summaries
•Connect: Keep up with your mentions; see who has followed you or retweeted or favorited one of your Tweets
•Discover: See trends, and find new content on Twitter –– browse categories, find friends on Twitter and see suggestions for accounts to follow
•Me: Read and respond to your direct messages; see your lists, favorites and more; view and update your profile

Tweet and search icons: Compose a Tweet or search from anywhere in the app, using the new icon buttons in the Application Bar.

Live tiles: Pin Twitter accounts, lists and searches to your start screen, giving you quick access to some of your favorite Twitter content.

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Nokia Lumia 520 hardware specifications and price: the cheapest Windows Phone 8 to date

Nokia has just launched the cheapest Windows Phone 8 handset to date and probably also one of the most stylish one. The Nokia Lumia 520 the company’s lowest-end WP8 device but ironically one of it’s best looking one too. It looks a hell of lot like a smaller HTC 8X… So what’s inside this neat little piece of hardware? Well it’s pretty similar to what you will have in the Lumia 620 and the newly released Lumia 720 but it lacks any NFC feature and there’s no Front Facing camera but it does feature the same super-sensitive screen that was first introduced with the Lumia 920.Head over after the break for the hardware specs:

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Nokia Lumia 720 Specifications and Price announced

Nokia has officially introduced two new Lumia devices today at MWC. The first one is the Nokia Lumia 720 which will slot directly between the Lumia 820 and 620 in terms of hardware specifications and price. The Finnish company has decided to retain its signature colorful polycarbonate body design on of its line of Lumia handsets and the 720 is no exception. The handset definitely not groundbreaking in terms of hardware or design but does have new 6.7MP camera sensor with a F/1.9 aperture which is a world’s first. Jump after the break to check out the Nokia Lumia 720 hardware specifications:

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Nokia Maps, Drive +, Transit,City Lens updated and rebranded to HERE. No longer exclusive to Nokia Lumia handsets

Today’s a big day for all Windows Phone 8 users with the start of MWC in Barcelona and Nokia’s Keynote which just ended a few minutes ago. The big news besides the introduction of the Nokia Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 is the updated and rebrand of Nokia’s mapping services which will now all sport the HERE name. This means that Nokia Maps is now Here Maps, Nokia Drive + is Here Drive + etc.

But it get’s better: they are now available to ALL Windows Phone 8 users in US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain! That’s right folks, Nokia has decided to make a really bold move today to help the Windows Phone ecosystem. You no longer need to own a Nokia Lumia handset to have access to these awesome applications.

Continue reading Nokia Maps, Drive +, Transit,City Lens updated and rebranded to HERE. No longer exclusive to Nokia Lumia handsets →

Verizon’s Nokia Lumia 920 hits the FCC

Verizon should finally be getting it’s own variant of the Nokia Lumia 920 later this year although it’s not known if the handset’s overall design will be identical to its WCDMA/GSM cousin. Not much else is know besides its RM-860 product name which positively puts it in the CDMA part of the family given that the China Telecom version is the RM-867. The Label/ID shot you see above unfortunately hints at a more boxy hardware design compared to the original 920. More info of this particular handset alongside the Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 should be revealed next week during MWC.

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Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 to be announced at MWC next week

Nokia is going to unveil at least two new Windows Phone 8 handsets next week in Barcelona during MWC. Both devices are on the lower end- of the spectrum are far from the often rumored (and probably fake?) Nokia EOS. The first one will be the Nokia Lumia 520 pictured above which is meant to be the company’s cheapest WP8 device. Yes even cheaper than the currently universally acclaimed Lumia 620. The second one pictured below is the Nokia Lumia 720 which will slot between the Lumia 820 and Lumia 620.

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HTC ONE: An awesome but also confused smartphone ?

The new HTC ONE is here and for the most part looks like the most powerful, well build smartphone that will hit the market this year. Sure it’s an Android handset but us Windows Phone users should expect to see this same hardware later this year as long as Microsoft update’s its WP8.X chassis specs to add support for Qualcomm’s new line of Snapdragon S400 / S600 & S800 SoC and 1080P screen resolution support.

Don’t get caught by the insane PR that HTC’s been pushing because the HTC ONE is definitely not going to revolutionize anything. A closer look at the specifications and features will give you the distinct feeling the Taiwanese manufacturer has been taking a really close look at what the competition has been doing (especially Nokia) and simply implementing hardware and software scenarios already available elsewhere but with its own touch.

Much of the buzz has been about the new camera sensor packed in the HTC ONE which for better or worst has been named the “HTC UltraPixel Camera”, a branding reminiscent of Nokia’s own PureView cameras. Before taking a closer look at this fancy offering let’s just check the HTC ONE hardware specification below:

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HTC UltraPixels vs Nokia Pureview and more ramblings

Numerous leaks, rumors or simply outright totally made up story are now starting to fill up the tubes as we get closer to Mobile World Congress later this month.

Let’s start with HTC who’s been a relatively bad spot lately while bleeding money. Ok, they are not really in such a bad financial shape but their shipments / sales and margins have been down in the past 24months with no signs of uptake. To get things back in line HTC has decided to somewhat mimic Nokia’s strategy by increasing its focus on lower-end smartphones aimed at “emerging” markets like China and also differentiates it’s higher-end handsets with top-notch camera optics.

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Google Exchange ActiveSync support for Windows Phone extended until July 31st

Microsoft has announced that Google has decided to extend its support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) on Windows Phone until July 31 2013. As you already know Google was set to cut EAS support for it’s Gmail, Contacts and Calendar services on January 31st but Microsoft has apparently convinced the Mountain View company to give the Windows Phone developers some more time to add CardDAV and CalDAV support into Windows Phone 8.

Windows 8 and Windows RT users using the default mail application will unfortunately still be affected by the January 31st cut unless they have already setup the application to sync with their Gmail account prior to this deadline. The easiest way would be to migrate your Gmail account to Outlook.com if you don’t really use Gmail for anything else other than YouTube.

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Windows Phone 7.8 update rollout started for Nokia handsets but others can also update now manually

Nokia has just started its Windows Phone 7.8 update roll out today for the Lumia 900, Lumia 800, 710, 610 and 510. Other manufacturers have yet to announced any date but as it’s usually the case you can already update your trusty Samsung, HTC, LG E900 or even Dell Venue Pro right now if you aren’t afraid to do it all by yourself. To do so simply follow the instructions below and grab the correct packages after the break:

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Kindle app for Windows Phone 8 released

Amazon has just released the Windows Phone 8 version of its Kindle application today with support for realizable Live Tiles and most importantly improved performance when turning pages. As you can see above the new app also feature Kindle’s new logo which looks really nice on the start screen. Beware that you will have to uninstall your previous version of the application before installing the WP8 release if you want to get the software to load (a simple update won’t be enough).

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Nokia City Lens with SightLine for Windows Phone 8 released

Nokia has finally updated the Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone 8 with the SightLine building occlusion feature that was introduced back in December 1st 2012 in the Windows Phone 7 version of the application. Here are the new features introduced in the WP8 version:

  • See just what’s in front of you. Normally, City Lens shows you all the places nearby—even around the corner or a block away. In crowded areas, that can be a lot to take in. Our new Sightline features lets you switch your view to only what’s in your direct line of sight, making it easier to spot great places that are right in front of you.
  • Quick info– Get information while you look. Now you can quickly view a place’s address without leaving your camera view. Just tap to view the information overlaid on your display while you keep scanning. When you’re ready to learn more about the place, another tap pulls up its complete information.
  • Pause your view. When scanning your surroundings in camera view, you can now freeze your view and study your options without having to keep your phone pointed at the target.
  • Pin categories to start– Your most common searches with a tap. City Lens now lets you pin favorite categories to your home screen. Now wherever you are, you can find something you love nearby with just a tap.
  • Create Live Tiles– What you want at a glance. City Lens lets you search for your favorite things whether it’s books or sushi and lets you pin your favorite searches to your home screen.

You can grab it right now from the marketplace.


Nokia Drive + now available to all Windows Phone 8 devices for US UK and Canada users

As I previously hinted at in my Nokia Lumia 920 software video tour (and by Nokia a few months ago); Nokia and Microsoft have just announced that Nokia Drive + Beta is now available for free for all windows Phone 8 devices from HTC, Samsung in addition to Nokia’s handset. This is really a big plus for the platform given that Nokia Drive is in my opinion the best navigation software on any platform thanks to it’s offline maps and its price it’s totally free!

Head over here to grab it and check out my handset on video on the Nokia Lumia 920 after the break:

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LG working on Windows Phone 8 handsets

LG is apparently back in the mix after calling it quits 9 months ago. The Korean manufacturer who finally having some relative success with its latest line of Android Optimus handsets and the Nexus 4 is currently working on several Windows Phone 8 devices according to a senior executive from one of LG’s local partners. As you may recall the LG Fantasy E740 never saw the light of the day as a commercial device and LG essentially stopped to support its Windows Phone 7 handset just a few months after the OS’s launch in 2010 even-though the company was the premier OEM partner for Windows Phone 7 during OS’s development.

Having LG back on board can only be seen a a good thing for the platform but won’t fix the may problem which is Microsoft’s current attitude towards its on product.

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Living with Windows Phone 8 and the Nokia Lumia 920: the good and the ugly

It has been nearly two months since I’ve been using Windows Phone 8 with a Nokia Lumia 920 phone as my daily driver so I thought that now should be a good time to share my thoughts and experience about the platform and the hardware powering it. Is it good, is it bad, how does it compare to the competition? I’ll try to answer all of these questions and hopefully give you a good idea of Microsoft’s (and Nokia) uphill battle to get a nice share of the mobile industry. Follow me after the break.

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