All posts by Surur

Site Admin and Windows Phone enthusiast, he has been using Windows Mobile devices since before they were called PocketPC’s. He is currently sporting a Nokia Lumia 920.

Commercial Bank of Qatar release a Windows Phone app

The Commercial Bank of Qatar has released a banking app for their Windows Phone customers.

The app offers customers access to their bank accounts and credit cards to check balances, transfer funds, pay bills and even remit money locally and overseas.

It features:

  • Check your bank account balance
  • Check your credit card balance
  • View all your transactions
  • Pay your credit cards bills
  • Enquire & Pay your Ooredoo bills online
  • Purchase Ooredoo prepaid services (Hala Topups, Hala vouchers etc.)
  • Pay your Merchant bills (Schools / Clubs, Insurance and many more…)
  • Pay your Kaharama bills
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Send money locally or overseas
  • Order a cheque book
  • Cheque status inquiry
  • Credit/Debit card Pin-Reissue

Commercial Bank’s EGM of Retail and Consumer Banking, Dean Proctor, said, “With the continuous development of our Digital Banking services, even more customers can access and manage their money ‘on-the-go’. Digital Banking provides simple and convenient banking options through secure channels, allowing customers to manage their money in a way that suits them.”

Microsoft Qatar General Manager, Naim Yazbek, said, “We are proud to have partnered with Commercial Bank in launching their Windows 8 CBQ Mobile application and are very excited about the experiences users will have as they utilise the various easy-to-use and convenient mobile banking services offered by the application’s features.”

Commercial Bank rewards their customers for completing their everyday banking online, and now Windows Phone users can participate in Commercial Bank’s Digital Banking campaign, with an ultimate grand prize including a 65” Samsung Smart UHD TV and PlayStation 4 Console.

imageCustomers also stand the chance to win one of three top-of-the-line 64GB iPad airs in a monthly draw. Qualifying for entry is easy: customers simply need to download the Commercial Bank Mobile Banking app and then log in to cbq.qa/login to complete at least one transaction.

The free app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.

Via Gulfbase.com

How to downgrade from Windows Phone 8.1 to WP8.0 (video)

Windows Phone 8.1 is pretty great, but some issues such as poor battery life is real and can be a deal breaker to some.

While ideally no-one should be installing the Developer Preview on their main device, we know from our poll today nearly everyone who reads the site has done just that.

If you find that things have gone a bit haywire and you need to get back to old and reliable Windows Phone 8 there is a way.

Alin Gheaja has uploaded the above video showing the process of reflashing you phone back to Windows Phone 8.0 firmware.

Of note is that the process will hard reset your phone, and you will only be able to get back what is backed up.  Many things, such as Game Progress and data from apps which do not back up to the cloud will be lost.

The steps are otherwise simple.

  • Backup your data as best you can.
  • Download and install the Nokia Software Updater from Nokia here.
  • Connect your phone with the screen unlocked and NSU running.
  • The app will say there is an update available.
  • Follow the prompts to install the new firmware.

Once again, note that this process will be the same as hard resetting your handset.

Will any of the 80+% of our readers who already upgraded to WP8.1 be downgrading? Let us know why below.

Deal Alert: AT&T Nokia Lumia 520 only $49.99 commitment-free

image

The Nokia Lumia 520 is just getting cheaper and cheaper.  The latest deal is a $20 off offer by Bestbuy.com, who are selling the handset for only $49.99.

The deal includes free shipped, and does not include any contract, but the handset is most likely locked to AT&T, meaning you need to use it on the network for at least 6 months before you can ask AT&T to unlock it.

Visit Bestbuy here to take advantage of the great offer.

Poll: Have you installed the WP8.1 Developer Preview yet?


Its now been a week since the release of the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview, and unlike most major updates were we were at the mercy of carriers for the roll-out of the update users have been in complete control over if and when they install the update.

I suspect many hundreds of thousands of Windows Phone 8 users have taken advantage of this capability and upgraded the handsets, but I also believe a significant cautious percentage are waiting for the official roll-out starting in around 6 weeks.

Have you jumped in head first, or have you been cautious, waiting for others to find and Microsoft to work out the bugs? Let us know in the poll above and comments below.

Windows Phone Explorer adds more supported file types

QRCodeThe first WP8.1 file explorer, Windows Phone Explorer, has added support for more file types in their latest update.

The app, which now works a lot better but is still not showing the My Documents and Downloads folder in Internal Storage, now supports:

pdf
xap
zip
xml
mov
txt
wmv
mp4
mp3
doc
docx
ppt
pptx
xls
xlsx
one
onex
gif
png
jpg
jpeg

The app is now ad-supported and can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.

Nokia’s handset division to be renamed Microsoft Mobile Oy

image

With the conclusion of the Microsoft/Nokia deal nearing, Microsoft has been sending out communications to both customers and suppliers.

In an leaked email to suppliers Microsoft revealed that on the purchase of Nokia’s handset division the division will become a Finland-based wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft called Microsoft Mobile Oy. (Oy in Finland is the same as Ltd.)

Microsoft still expects the deal to close before the end of April, and are moving the official address of the business from Nokia HQ on Keilalahdentie in Espoo around 1 km to 7 Keilaranta in Espoo.

Microsoft confirmed to suppliers that current terms and conditions that they have with Nokia’s Devices and Services business will not change and that business should continue as usual.

See the letter after the break.

Continue reading

New WP8.1 FM Radio app lets you play your music out loud

wp_ss_20140419_0001 wp_ss_20140419_0001 (1)
WP8 WP8.1

We continue to find small, unheralded improvements in Windows Phone 8.1, and the latest, uncovered by wpxbox.com, will help our readers get their groove on better.

They have discovered that the FM Radio app in Windows Phone 8.1 will let you play your radio station out loud via the speakers, instead of just through the headphones. Headphones still need to be plugged in to act as an antenna, but by choosing “switch to speaker” in the menu users are now able to use their phone exactly like a small transistor radio, useful for listing to match commentary or a radio station while working.

The app also has other improvements, such as being able to pin a station to start, and some UI changes.

Does this app need any further improvements? Let us know below.

Microsoft planning a fix for 80188309 error which is stopping some users from upgrading to WP 8.1

error

Some Windows Phone users who are trying to install the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer preview are running into error 80188309, which complains:

The update was downloaded but couldn’t be opened.

Microsoft has acknowledged the issue on their support forums and have promised to push out a fix, but did not say when this would happen, with a moderator on their support forums saying:

Hello Everyone,
Here is the Friday update on how things are moving forward. Without further delay, here is the news for today:

  1. A little clarification on the update notification. The notification has stopped for all devices that have not yet taken the first update, however those that have taken the first update and are waiting for the second update to the current 8.1 build will continue to occur. At this point, I would recommend ignoring the update notification and wait for further updates from us.
  2. The update itself is not going to be available today, or likely early next week. We will continue to work on getting you this update but it will not be as fast as you would like. I know a lot of you would like a better timeline on when it will be available, and at this time I cannot commit to a date. I will however, commit to updating you next Thursday April 24th, 2014 with any additional news. If I have any news or details before then, I will of course update you at that time.

We appreciate you being eager to participate in the Windows Phone Developer Preview Program, and look

forward to getting it to you as soon as possible.

[Update:  This is for all devices experiencing the 80188309, not just the Huawei devices.]

Thank you,
Eli A.

Have any of our readers run into this issue? Let us know below.

EA Spring sale offers 60% off Windows Phone games

ead mobile sale

On the Windows Blog Microsoft announced the EA Mobile Spring Sale which is offering up to 60% off some great titles until the 24th April.

The titles include:

1. FIFA 14 - 50% off Jumbo Gold Pack via in-app purchase

Feel the passion. 34 leagues, 600+ licensed teams, and 16,000 players—from the English Premier League to La Liga and beyond. Real players, teams, and leagues. Download FIFA 14.

2. Plants vs. Zombies - On sale for $2.99 (regularly $4.99)

A mob of fun-loving zombies is headed to your front door, and the only defense is your arsenal of trusty plants! Battle 26 types of invaders including pole-vaulters, snorkelers and bucket-heads. Download Plants vs. Zombies.

3. The Sims 3 - On sale for $3.99 (regularly $6.99)

It’s time you experience the #1 best-selling PC franchise of all time! Bring your Sim to life. Make your Sim neurotic, funny, or shy. Help your Sim get a job, make some friends, or catch some fish… It’s completely up to you! Download The Sims 3.

4. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - On sale for $2.99 (regularly $4.99)

Make your escape or make the bust? Outrun the enforcers as a Racer in supercars like the Pagani Zonda Cinque, or lay down the law as a Cop behind the wheel of high-speed police interceptors like the Lamborghini Reventon. Download Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.

5. Trivial Pursuit - On sale for $1.99 (regularly $2.99)

Do you know… where Mt. Kilimanjaro is located? What the four Hs stand for in 4H? Then show off that brain with this mobile version of Trivial Pursuit for anytime fun. Anywhere you go, you can answer the tough stuff, track your stats, customize your profile, and create personalized difficulty levels. Download Trivial Pursuit.

6. The Game of Life - On sale for $1.99 (regularly $2.99)

Old school fun goes mobile with The Game of Life! Will you settle down and get married – or stay single and indulge in lavish luxuries and risky investments? Spin the wheel to earn big bucks and retire in style. Or expand that family and pay for college again and again. Download The Game of Life. Download The Game of Life.

7. iBomber Defense - On sale for $1.99 (regularly $2.99)

Keep enemies at bay all over the world and defend territory right from your Windows Phone in iBomber Defense. Using weapons and tactics, from rattling Machine guns, explosive cannons and awesome anti-aircraft artillery, you’ll battle across North Africa, Europe and Russia as both the Allied and Axis forces. Download iBomber Defense.

8. Flight Control Rocket - On sale for $1.99 (regularly $2.99)

Leave the terrestrial skies of Earth and venture into a whole new galaxy of adventure, action, and addictive path-drawing gameplay in FC Rocket! Motherships, bots, and multiple game modes ensure your trip through the vast unknown is stellar fun.Download Flight Control Rocket.

9. Blobster - On sale for $1.99 (regularly $2.99)

It’s up to you and Blobster—EA’s favorite gooey hero—to save all of Blobtopia from the nasty pollution being generated by Big and Powerful Corporation. Rocket through the sky, float like an angel, or transform into a giant to squash pesky enemies and collect amazing power-ups on your way to defeating Blobzilla and cleaning up the town! Download Blobster.

10. Jet Set Go - On sale for $1.99 (regularly $2.99)

Soak in some vacation time as you help April build her budding travel agency empire on the go. Fly customers around the world in this gorgeous game of planes and pools from Hong Kong to Hawaii. Nothing is off limits as you perfect your time management skills in exotic locales from the Mayan Riviera to Montreal. Download Jet Set Go.

11. RISK - On sale for $1.99 (regularly $2.99)

World domination is within reach with the original game of strategic conquest: RISK. Test your power against strong AI opponents, each with unique strategies and emotional responses. Escalate the action in two multiplayer modes—challenge up to five of your greatest rivals via WiFi, or battle ‘em with Pass ‘n Play. Download RISK.

12. TETRIS BLITZ - 50% more coins on all coin packs via in-app purchase

Behind-the-scenes changes make this the best Blitzing experience yet for your Windows Phone. With a new Power-up released every week, you’ll shatter high scores and supercharge your Tetris Blitz game with Power-ups, like Magnet, Laser, and Time Shift. 50% more coins in all Coin Packs purchased inside the game. Download Tetris Blitz.

The full collection can be seen at the EA Mobile Spring Sale Collection.

Now we have file managers on WP8.1, developers need to store data files in public storage

imageWhile Microsoft chose not to include a file manager in Windows Phone 8.1, they did give developers enough tools to build them on their own, resulting in a rush of these kind of apps arriving in the Windows Phone store.

If you have installed one however you may have noticed one small issue – much of the data you care about are not actually stored in public storage in your My Documents folder.

Those videos downloaded by Supertube are still in their own private isolated storage, and the favourites of your browser is still in its own directory.

With the ability to access shared storage we should not need to only rely on APIs to access sharable data.

Do our readers agree developers need to take advantage of this new development, or are you concerned about messy My Documents folders and data leakage? Let us know below.

Microsoft creates Xbox Music User Voice site, but seemingly nixes Swipe to change tracks suggestion

Responding to the pressure regarding the rather poor user experience of the Xbox Music app on Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft has created a User Voice site to take suggestions on how to improve the app.

Microsoft also created a forum at answers.microsoft.com where users can report bugs and issues with the app.

Interestingly Microsoft has already started responding to some suggestions on User Voice, with suggestions such as track scrubbing, improved performance and Wireless synch being marked as Under Review.

Unfortunately suggestions such as Gapless Playback and Swipe to switch tracks appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Add your vote for your favourite feature here.

Flipboard beta in the WP Store – grab it while you can!

flipboard1 flipboard2

Want to get an early look at Flipboard for Windows Phone?  A beta version of the app is now in the Windows Phone Store.

At this stage the app is still a beta with clear performance issues, but it also shows a great deal of depth and polish, which is what we will expect from the app.

imageI am sure once news get out it will not be long, so grab it quick from the Windows Phone Store here.

Update: It’s a fake app and it is not from Flipboard. Sorry for the inconvenience guys.

Thanks Joseph for the tip.

Microsoft reminds WP8.1 users there is a faster way to search than using Google

goodbye google

We have heard earlier that more than 50% of Windows Phone users use Bing to search, and it seems Microsoft is looking to increase that number even more.

On WP8.1, if you type www.google.com in the address bar of IE11 and press enter the OS will pop up the above screen, suggesting users either just type their search query in the address bar or use the search button, which in USA will activate Cortana.

Interestingly the pop-up will not show up when www.bing.com is entered…

Do our readers think Microsoft is fighting dirty or just fighting back? Let us know below.