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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7 Million Lumia phones sold since launch and only 600 000 in the US. Call Windows Phone 8 to the rescue

Windows Phone 8 can’t come soon enough for Nokia given that the company has announced today in its Q2 2012 earnings financial earnings that only 4 Million Lumia handsets have been sold world in the last 3 months in addition to the 3 millions already sold since November. What’s more worrying though is that only 600 000 have been sold in the US despite the gigantic marketing campaign that helped launch the Lumia 900.

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Nokia Camera Extras and Nokia Play To released for Lumia handsets

As promised earlier this week Nokia has finally officially released the Nokia Camera Extras and Nokia Play To application for the Lumia 610, Lumia 710, Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 handsets. I’ve already covered the Camera Extras application in previous post so just head over after the break to see the features in action. Unfortunately there’s nothing really earth-shattering knowing that those extensions are basically implemented via an application and not part of the native camera app (OEMs can’t modified it in WP7.X). Because of this the new extensions are not available to the user if the camera is launched while the phone is locked. There are also performance issues which I guess are related to the rather “old”  SoC powering the phone and the panorama tech appears to be half broken on my Lumia 800′s (waiting for the Tango update on June 27th to see if it changes anything to the sensors accuracy).

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Nokia supporting Windows Phone 7 Lumia phones with new features and apps

Nokia is about to release a bunch of new (or not so new) application and updates in the coming days for its line of Lumia handsets as a way to appease current owners who may feel shafted by the fact that their handset won’t be upgradable to Windows Phone 8 but will instead get Windows Phone 7.8 which should include several unannounced features besides the new WP8 start screen.

Nokia Play To which was released as a beta a little while ago should hit the marketplace fairly soon while Nokia Drive 3.0 is set to be released this summer. The much anticipated Camera Extra features will be made available in June/July depending on your region.

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Nokia Maps 2.0 and Nokia Transport Beta 2.1 released

Nokia has released updated versions of Nokia Maps and Nokia Transport /transit yesterday for all you Lumia owners out there. Nokia Maps 2.0 now adds the ability to sync your favorite destinations and places across platforms (Nokia Lumia, Nokia Belle, Nokia N9) and with the mobile web version for iOS and Android. Users can now also add reviews and photos to POIs directly from their handset. Another new features is the ability to pin direction to a place directly on the phone’s start screen similar to what will be added in Nokia Drive 3.0 soon.
Last but not least, Nokia Transport Beta has been updated to version 2.1 and now includes several new features like detailed line view (taping on a transport line will give you a detailed view of all the stops until your have to commute or arrive), improved search, and multiple tile pinning allowing you to pin your favorite destinations so you can easily get the fastest route to it wherever you are.

You can grab Nokia Maps 2.0 directly from the Marketplace and Nokia Transport Beta 2.1 by scanning the QRcode after the break.

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The Dark Knight Rises official Windows Phone application released exclusively on Nokia Lumia handsets

If you are a Batman fan eagerly waiting for the theater release of Christopher Nolan’s final chapter of the Dark Knight trilogy then you better have a Nokia Lumia handset because the official application of Warner’s The Dark Knight Rises movie has been released on the Windows phone Marketplace exclusively for Nokia users. The app features”exclusive” content a location based, Foursquare powered challenge game and many more goodies related to the DC Comics super hero. Simply hit this link with your Nokia Windows phone or head over to the Nokia Collection section of the Marketplace to grab it.

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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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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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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 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 releases Creative Studio picture editing application for Lumia Windows Phones

Nokia has just released a new picture editing application for their range of Lumia Windows Phone handset named creative Studio and available right now in the marketplace. Besides edition pictures this app will also let you shoot panoramas with the use of the devices sensors (make sure to calibrate your compass before attempting to use this feature though).

Creative studio is somewhat reminiscent of Samsung’s FunShot Windows Phone application which was released last year. Both feature live effects in the viewfinder and other goodies (cropping, sharpening, exopsure etc..) but Nokia’s application is miles better in terms of overall usage and workflow though. Nokia Creative Studio is also fully integrated with the OS so you can simply browse your Picture Hub select an image and then open it in the app from there. Just hit the marketplace to try it out now and hit the break for more pictures.

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Nokia Transport Beta for Windows Phone 7 released: Hands on video

The beta version of Nokia Transport for the company’s Lumia line of Windows Phone has been released 2 days ago and is freely available to download as long as you have a compatible handset (Lumia 800, Lumia 900, Lumia 710 or Lumia 610). The first thing you will have to do is register to the Nokia Beta Labs program (link after the break) and then install the application on your handset by scan the QRCode below. So what’s Nokia Transport ? Well, it’s a pretty handy application that packs local public transport information for 460 cities in 46 countries enabling you to get transit and commute directions all in one place. It also features the following:

-Easily find public transport stations/stops, addresses, and points of interest.
-Choose from multiple routes and follow the list of directions for buses, trams, underground, or trains.
-View earlier and later departure times to make smarter travel choices.
-Save favorite routes from different locations as a tile on your phone homescreen for instant access from anywhere.

Nokia Transport also integrates Nokia Maps to help you find your way when you are on foot. Check out my short hands on video after the break:

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Nokia Lumia 610 low cost Windows Phone announced

The first truly low-cost Windows Phone 7 (Tango) handset has just been announced by Nokia today in the form of the Lumia 610. This new handset is the first Windows Phone device to be powered by a Qualcomm MSM7X30 SoC clocked at 800Mhz (with an Adreno 205 GPU) and only 256MB ram. The specification are in line with the Chassis specification announced last year at MIX11 and what we came to expect after hearing about the Tango leaks. The specs are the following:

- Networks: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100, GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
- Speed: HSDPA cat 7: 7.2Mbps,
- Display: 3.7” WVGA (800×480) TFT capacitive touch LCD display with pinch zoom
- Memory: 256MB RAM, 8GB storage
- Camera: 5 megapixels, auto-focus, LED flash.
- Size/Weight: 119.24mm x 62.18mm x 11.95mm / 131.5g
- Processor: 800 Mhz Single Core/Qualcomm Snapdragon S1
- Battery: 1300 mAh
- Talk time: GSM : 10.5 h, WCDMA : 9.5h. Standby time: GSM : 670 h, WCDMA :720 h

The Nokia Lumia 610 will launch in Q2 2012 with the price of 189€

Source: Nokia

Watch the Nokia MWC live event

If you aren’t afraid of waking up early (or not going to bed at all if you are in the US then just hit the source link after the break to watch Nokia’s Mobile World Congress live event starting 08:30 AM GMT today. We are obviously all expecting the Finnish company to announce the Global version of the Lumia 900 alongside a lower-end handset rumored to be the Lumia 610. Set up your alarms and don’t miss it out.

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