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.

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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.

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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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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Sprint finally announces its first Windows Phone 8 phones from HTC and Samsung coming this summer

Sprint has finally jumped into the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon today with the announcement two unnamed Windows Phone 8 handsets (one from HTC and one from Samsung) coming the yellow carrier this summer. This may sound a bit vague given that summer is still 5+ months away but don’t be surprised if these two handsets are “updated” version of the 8X and ATIV S. Mobile Word Congress is probably when we are going to learn more of the hardware so I’ll just leave you with the press release in hopes that this whole endeavor fares better than the poor fate of the HTC Arrive..

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HTC and Nokia working on Windows RT tablets

News has just broke (or should I say “rumor”) that HTC is working on two Windows RT tablets that should launch in 2013. A 12inch and another 7inch device powered by a Qualcomm SoC which will probably be a SnapDragon S4 Pro (Quad-Core with Adreno 320). This story follows up recent rumors that Nokia is also hard at work on a similar device with the same Qualcomm chipset.

Talk about a Nokia Windows 8 tablet surfaced last summer (and here) but the Finnish company apparently decided not to take too much risk and wait for Microsoft Surface release to see if this whole endeavor is worth it. Unfortunately all of these rumors ,which should be taken with a pinch of salt, only make my decision to get a Surface RT even harder given that they will most probably be powered my a much faster SoC.

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Windows Phone 8 phones now available on all major carriers world wide: But are they selling?

For those of you who have been living under a rock or simply on vacation just like me here a small reminder: Windows Phone 8 has really launched and most of the major carriers in the world are selling WP8 handsets from HTC or Nokia. What I would like to know though is if any of you have seen TV ads, Street ads, magazine ads etc in your respective countries or if Microsoft is still failing to promote its mobile platform just like it has ever done?

Several TV ads are apparently currently being aired across the world since last week so did you actually see them (note that each region/country has its on version with its local celebrity)? Verizon has also started to sell the Nokia Lumia 822 and HTC Windows Phone 8X yesterday which is kind of a big news in the US. From what I have seen pricing and availability has been a bit spotty throughout the world especially on carriers which is really disappointing as this seems to always be the case with Windows Phone devices compared to the iPhone which is always available everywhere on the same day with enough stock or even flagship Android handsets like Samsung’s.

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Nokia Lumia 920 reviews, Windows Phone 8 and everything in-between

It’s been a year since I landed a full time job and stopped updating this site on a daily bases simply because I no longer have time to do so. Every once in a while I managed to sneak in a post when something really important pops-up (like the WP8 SDK leak here and here) but I must admit that the Windows Phone world wasn’t that exciting in the last year following the launch of Mango.

Fast-forward to this month and the launch of Windows 8, Surface and Windows Phone 8. Some may be wondering where is my Nokia Lumia 920, Windows Phone 8, Surface review etc.. Well, to put it simply: those things take time and I don’t have much of that lately. Others may not care but I sincerely want to do my best to give you a honest opinion about all those products especially after reading all the biased and link-bait drivel that is being posted on most major sites lately.

Let’s take for example the Nokia Lumia 920 review embargo that lifted today. Nothing’s more annoying than reading something passed as a review when it’s obviously nothing more that a piece written to generate quick hits. In case you didn’t know it; most reviewers didn’t have the Lumia 920 for more than 48h, which is a relatively short amount of time to form a final judgment on a product, some only got to handle it at the Microsoft Build conference in Seattle (see for example The Verge’s review where the camera samples where shot in the UK and the “review” mostly done in the US with a pre-production device using pre-production FW). Here, Nokia France only had three 920′s to hand out for reviews which is not a whole lot as you can image. But what’s even more laughable are some of the cons listed against the 920:

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HTC Windows Phone 8X hands on

The relatively good surprise of last night’s Windows Phone 8 launch event was my hands on experience with HTC’s new flagship handset the Windows Phone 8X. Contrary to what most people assumed the devices’ build quality is nearly perfect and on par with Nokia’s Lumias. But the most striking feature is in my opinion the handset’s weight (130g) and overall in hand feeling. Like I said earlier the Nokia Lumia 920 is heavy, especially when you compare it to the 8X and ATIV S.

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Gameloft announces 12 new games for Windows Phone 8: Modern Combat 4, Spider Man and more

Gameloft has just issued a press release announcing 12 new high end 3D games for Windows Phone 8. Among them are several big names that are already out on iOS and Android but also the new installment of the companies Call of Duty like franchise: Modern Combat 4. Here’s the full list of WP8 goodies coming out in the coming months:

- Ice Age Village
- N.O.V.A. 3: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
- Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour
- Shark Dash
- Asphalt 7: Heat
- The Dark Knight Rises
- UNO™ & Friends
- Order & Chaos Online
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- Fashion Icon
- Poker for Prizes
- Real Soccer 2013

Check out the full press release after the break and hope for more AAA game announcements in the weeks to come:

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AT&T to start taking pre-orders for the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X on October 21st

Only a few days left before US citizens can start pre-ordering Nokia’s latest and greatest Lumia 920 and HTC’s stylish Windows Phone 8X on AT&T’s network. That’s at least what the latest rumors are claiming. October21st is apparently the date. Just 8 days ahead of the official Windows Phone 8 launch so the carrier is expecting you to lay down your hard earned money on a device before even knowing all of the OS’s features. Sounds a bit ridiculous but Microsoft is the only one to blame here unfortunately. Don’t worry though; Amazon will probably have some pretty good deals on that day similar to the free Nokia Lumia 900 offer a few months ago.

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HTC Windows Phone 8X promotional video released

The wait for Windows Phone 8 is undoubtedly long for those of us who are eager to buy a new handset before the years end so anything is better than nothing I guess. Today HTC uploaded the first promotional video of the Windows Phone 8X. Ok, there’s  nothing out of the ordinary or exceptional right here but if you need you daily WP8 fix just head of to the break to watch the 1:30 minutes long teaser:

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HTC Windows Phone 8X and Window Phone 8S announced: Full Specifications

HTC has finally unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 handsets today the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S. Check out the full PR below as I will update this post with the hardware specifications of theses devices as soon as possible:

UPDATE: Full specs and video after the break!

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Don’t miss the HTC Windows Phone 8 event today

In case you missed the memo, HTC is going to publicly unveil its Windows Phone 8 devices today or tomorrow (depending on your timezone) in NYC around 11AM ET ( that’s 4PM GMT). There’s unfortunately no live stream that I’m aware off unlike Nokia’s September 5th event so the best way to follow the news will most probably the live-blogs of those who are going to be present there or simple refreshing HTC’s website which will be updated with all the specifications as soon as the handsets are announced.

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Windows Phone Tango roll out has started. Update your phone manually to build 7.10.8773.98

As promised last week by Nokia the Windows Phone 7 Tango (7.10.8773.98) worldwide update has started for the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710. What’s even better is that you owners of any other Windows Phone 7 device can also manually update their handset to the latest OS version thanks to the OS bits made available by Microsoft on Windows Phone update servers. So let me recap what is going on:

- If you are a Nokia Lumia 800 or 710 owner you can either wait for the update to show up in Zune or manually push the OS update to your phone followed by the OEM Firmware update (1750.0805.8773.12220).
- If you own a Nokia Lumia 900, HTC, Samsung, LG, ZTE handset your only option right now is to manually push the OS update to your handset and wait for the subsequent OEM Firmware to be pushed to your device via Zune later on.
Hit the break to get all the goodies.

–Updated with all Language Packs–

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HTC Windows Phone 8 devices specifications leaked

It didn’t take long for HTC’s upcoming Windows Phone 8 roadmap to leak just one day after the official unveiling of the new platform. According to the Verge’s sources the Taiwanese manufacturer is planning to launch 3 handsets before the end of the year: HTC Rio, HTC Accord and HTC Zenith. Each model will target a specific price point thanks to the new HW chassis flexibility provided to OEMs with WP8. Check out the specification after the break.

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Nokia Drive to be available on all Windows Phone 8 phones. No longer exclusive to Nokia’s

Here’s a surprising piece of news that flew under my radar yesterday: Nokia Drive will no longer be exclusive to Nokia Lumia handsets on Windows Phone 8 and be made available to all other platform partners (OEMs) which means that HTC, Samsung and Huawei handsets will feature it too. Some may see this news as one less reason to get a Nokia Lumia handset but if you look at the big picture here the point of this move is to push the whole ecosystem further as it was announced back when the Microsoft Nokia deal was signed. Remember that every Android smartphone has turn-by-turn driving navigation for free and with WP8 Microsoft will have a similar offering. Windows Phone 8 will also integrate Nokia Maps as the native mapping service in Windows Phone 8.

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Windows Phone 8 to launch this fall with only four OEMs: Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei all powered by Qualcomm

What I have been predicting for more than a year has finally been confirmed today when Microsoft announced that all the future Windows Phone 8 handsets launching this fall will be powered by Qualcomm‘s SnapDragon S4 Plus / MSM8930 or MSM8960 SoC with the Adreno 225 or Adreno 305 GPU, which seems to once again be the only certified chipset partner for the platform. What is more surprising though is that only four OEMs are on board this time around: Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei. The rest are ..well..nowhere to been seen and frankly we shouldn’t care given the total lack of creativity and effort that was demonstrated in the past. For more Windows Phone features info hit the link after the break.

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