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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Nokia Xpress cloud based browser for Lumia handsets released

Everybody knows by now that all of the current Windows Phone 7.X handsets on the market won’t be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8 and thus won’t have access to many of the new features packed in the OS. One of them is the Cloud/server based page compression that will be available as an option in IE10 to help users reduce their monthly data usage by compressing web content on Microsoft’s servers and pushing-it down to the handsets similar to what Opera introduced with Opera Mini many years ago and whet Microsoft developed for Windows Mobile 5.X as an R&D project named Deepfish back in 2007.

Today Nokia is releasing the beta version of a similar concept via an new application named Nokia Xpress for all Nokia Lumia handsets. Instead of enumerating of all the features I’ll leave with the promotional video embedded after the break and a shortlist of notable functionalities.

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Nokia to support current Lumia handsets with new features: Bluetooth file sharing and more

The Nokia Lumia 920 may be the best thing since sliced bread but there are already millions of Lumia 800, 900, 710, 610 handsets in the hands of users who won’t be able to get the full Windows Phone 8 experience. This is Nokia we are talking about here and so far they have shown some awesome end user support in terms of exclusive software and hardware fixes. The company has just announced that in addition to the Windows Phone 7.8 update which will bring the new WP8 UI to current WP7 handsets, all Nokia Lumia owners will also get the following additional features:

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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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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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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 m.maps.nokia.com 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 Time.com 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 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 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.

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

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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