All posts by Lucas

Lucas is a Microsoft hardcore user. He is actually using a Nokia Lumia 920, but has been using Symbian devices before. From Smartphones over Windows to Xbox he is completely up to date and knows almost everything that is going on in the tech world right now.

Appy Weather review: Beautiful and eventually reliable

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I was looking for a good looking and reliable weather app, since Bing Weather continuously gave me wrong predictions for my location. By coincidence I have heard about appy weather on twitter (thanks Mark!) and I tested it. First I had the same issue with it as with Bing Weather, but then the developer got in touch with me and told me, the provider of the weather data knows about this issue and is working on fixing it. Since I liked the UI of the app, I thought I would give it a try.
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Gamescom 2014: Sunset Overdrive, Halo, and plenty of Windows Phones…

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Having an press ID and mobile gaming becoming more important I thought I might give the Gamescom in Cologne a visit as press this year. Note here: I am not a gamer; I own an Xbox One and enjoy playing a bit sometimes, but I really do not consider myself a gamer.
The only thing I wanted to see there was Microsoft and Xbox, because frankly, that is the only thing that interested me there (which does not mean I did not throw an eye on the other boots as well…). The queues were not too long and since I am really looking forward to Sunset Overdrive and the new Halo parts, I thought I might give them a try. They were not the only thing I played there, but possibly the most important.
Microsoft’s Xbox presentation on Gamescom was pretty great. They have shown us lots of new stuff and games to come.

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Windows Phone Store down: Error 805a01f7 :Update – Back up again.

wp_ss_20140818_0003At the moment the Windows Phone store appears to be down, at least in Europe. When trying to download an app the phone for some just shows an error message reading the store is unavailable and for others the store throws up error 805a01f7.

The issue may be related to the Microsoft Azure service interruption currently spreading around the world.

Error 805a01f7 means:

Problem This error occurs when there is a temporary service disruption.

Solution Wait a little while and then try again.

Any of our readers experiencing the same issue? Maybe some from the USA or other non-European states can report about their situation.

Update: The Store now once again available.

Nokia Lumia 1020 finally hits its stride as Nokia Germany claims it is a best seller

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The Nokia Lumia 1020 is an incredibly unique device, and a year after its release it is still unmatched.

It was never however a massive seller, and according to AdDuplex data is not even a top 10 Windows Phone.

With price reductions as the device aged however, and no obvious successor on the horizon, the handset may finally be hitting its stride.

On Nokia Germany’s homepage it now says the Lumia 1020 (and also the 820) is a best selling Windows Phone.

Considering all the mostly good PR the phone received and the 376 Euro price tag this does not seem that much of a surprise; not only that, Nokia also seems to have found a so far undiscovered market and may therefore have found a surprise hit.

Still, I personally think the 1020 is, just like the 1520 more a niche product compared to e.g. the 920 or 930. Also I’ve seen way more Lumia 920s in public than 1020s, but this probably also depends on the region (in my case the very west of Germany).

The Nokia Lumia 820 (277 Euro) is also being labelled a best seller which was somewhat surprising to read. I am not sure what to think about all that – but like the 1020 the device may just be hitting clearance prices and may be finally moving.

Are any of our readers planning to take advantage of these lower prices to snap up this unique handset? Let us know below.

Lumia 530 unboxed

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On the world wide web everything can be found, so now an unboying of the Nokia Lumia 530 appeared on YouTube.

The Lumia 530 is Nokia’s newest attempt to aggressively take over the low budged market and therefore it comes as no surprise there are not many accessories in the box; e.g. same as in the 630’s in the 530’s box is no USB cable but just a charger. Find the video after the break.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rRTHU9yiHo&w=640&h=360]

Thanks, Chris, for the tip; via themetro.de

Microsoft, don’t forget your own products

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A few weeks back we already reported about the app scaling issues on the Lumia 1520 with Windows Phone 8.1. Today, after the big update became officially available and the preview has been usable for a couple of months, more and more app developer optimized their apps for – let’s call it – phablet scaling. There are still many apps which are suffering from scaling issues, but the situation has become better.

However, one company really needs to keep up, in two cases, and it is Microsoft of course.

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Lumia Cyan rolling out to Lumia 1520 in Germany

Screenshot (37)Even though the info page does not say so yet, the Lumia Cyan update is now available for the Nokia Lumia 1520 in Germany, according to Dr. Windows Martin Geuss on Twitter and his website.
I am yet to verify this - since I am on the developer preview I need to downgrade my phone first – and will update this article when I know more. (EDIT: Downloading Cyan on my Lumia 1520 right now)

The Lumia Cyan update brings all the Windows Phone 8.1 features to the Lumia 1520 together with a new firmware . This means features like a start screen background, a notification center, improved UI rendering and an improved photo algorithm are finally coming to the biggest Windows Phone device to date and the update also includes support for Dolby Digital audio recording or Motion Sense.

Have any of our readers gotten an update notification, maybe even on other phones than the Lumia 1520 or in other regions? Let us know below.

Nokia Lumia 630 Review: The low-end phone that performs as if it was high-end

Nokia Lumia 630 Windows Phone UK

When Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8.1, Nokia also announced the first devices running the new operating system, the affordable Nokia Lumia 630/635 and the high end Nokia Lumia 930.

Contrary to what many people expected, Nokia decided to launch the Lumia 630 and 635, two low end devices, first. Basically both devices are the same, the only difference are the LTE and DualSim capabilities. Nokia was kind enough to send me a Lumia 630, the single-SIM device without LTE, for a test, and for how well the Lumia 630 did  you can read here after the break.

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Its time for Microsoft to dump Nokia Camera

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I admit, the headline is very provocative, and exaggerating. Nokia Lumia PureView smartphones take amazing pictures and especially their zooming capabilities are quite awesome. The same for their audio recording and video recording capabilities… But what is the point of all these cool features if you cannot use them all? Let me explain with this short article.

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Xing now available for Windows (Phone) as universal app

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While LinkedIn may be more known overall, Xing still is, especially in German speaking countries, an important and popular business social network. Until now the Germany based company did not have any official app in the Windows or Windows Phone store,  and in fact, for Windows Phone there was only one really usable app which even was kind of expensive. However, now Microsoft Germany announced in an email that both companies have worked together to bring Xing as an universal app to the Windows Platform.

Xing has been an app many (and I mean there really was a big amount of people) German users have been missing, and I know someone who even got himself an iPhone instead of a Windows Phone really only because of Xing. So basically Microsoft just hit two targets with this announcement: The first, of course, is that the app finally is there, and the second is that it is an universal app, which is showing the potential of universal Windows apps is eventually used.

Find the app here (Windows Phone) and here (Windows).

Why, for me, Windows Phone does not feel snappy anymore

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One thing fans used to love about Windows Phone is its snappiness. Even on a low end device the OS would run perfectly smoothly and quickly. With 8.1 and its new animations this mostly even has improved, but those of you who are following me on twitter know, I am really annoyed by one thing in Windows Phone 8.1, which has to do with Windows Phone’s speed.

I am of the opinion a core app (an app which is, or should be built into the OS, like the phone book for example) has to be there immediately when the user opens it. This is still true for most Windows Phone system apps like the people hub or the photo gallery, but for most of the newly overhauled system apps it is not.

The calendar, the music hub (and this one probably is the most annoying of all!), the video hub (which not even really is a video hub but still totally focused on Xbox Music), battery sense and the games hub all open up with a splash screen. Sure, on high end devices like the 1520 it is displayed not even for a second, but it is visible. Even weirder: These are the apps which will not close when the back button is pressed – they get frozen and can be launched from the multi tasking view. As long as they are still open, they open up without displaying any loading or splash screen, but when they become killed in the multi tasking view, the whole pain begins from new again.

This does not need to be the rule, as other apps prove.
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BBM coming to Windows Phone this July

bbmBlackBerry Messenger is an instant messaging service, popular especially in businesses. The lack of this app for Windows Phone has been criticized but this seems to come to an end now. It has been confirmed the app will come to Windows Phone this year some time ago already, but a specific release date was not given. Now, however, we at least know the month it will be released as BalckBerry’s CEO confirmed the app is meant to be released in July this year.

I say this very often and I just can repeat it: The app gate is becoming smaller and smaller and with this more and more irrelevant. Windows Phone established as the third ecosystem and the apps are coming when they are not there already.

Are our readers happy about the release of BBM? Let us know in the comments!

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Germany’s ZDFmediathek app updated to feature Live Streaming and Das Erste app available in Windows Phone store

0b03e725-cb76-4fb0-8325-c20baf29785cZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen = Second German TV Channel) is one of Germany’s biggest public TV channels. Therefore it is no surprise they have a bunch of apps available on several platforms, one of which is the ZDFmediathek, which has been available for Windows Phone for quite a long time already. With ZDFmediathek users get access to most of ZDF’s TV shows and news, so basically it is nothing other than a video-on-demand-service. Now this app, has been updated to support live streaming, so users can watch the channel live, anytime, everywhere.

Recently there has also been a Das Erste app published. Das Erste (which is named  such due to being the first German TV channel) also is a public TV channel and in the same network as ZDF. This app basically sports the same features as ZDFmediathek (only with Das Erste’s content, of course) and has had the live streaming feature from the very beginning. This free app can be found here. By the way, this is an universal app.

Das Erste can be found here and ZDF can be found here.