O2 is now offering the Nokia Lumia 925 for only £160 on their new O2 Refresh flexible contracts, which separates the cost of the phone and the contract.
This means if the handset is purchased at “full” price and the contract is cancelled one can walk away with a great deal.
The service is also offering the unmatched Nokia Lumia 1020 64 GB for only £240 and a variety of other Windows Phones, some at great prices.
See the deals at O2 here.
Windows Phone 8.1 has removed much of the social network integration of the OS, but has also provided new hooks for apps to integrate directly with the OS.
Now Microsoft has released a beta of a Twitter app for Windows Phone which takes advantage of these new features and restores much of the earlier twitter integration found in WP8.
It also integrates with Cortana, allowing users to say “new tweet” or Search, and also makes good use of the Action Centre.
The new app can be downloaded by Windows Phone 8.1 owners here.
Update: That was quick! The app is no longer available, and has been unpublished.
Microsoft’s Office Remote, which allows desk jockeys to control presentations on their desktop from their Windows Phone, has been updated to version 22.214.171.124.
Besides the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, the update brings a number of small but significant new features,
New in version 1.1.30. is the ability, in PowerPoint, to view the current slide and laser point on it without changing phone orientation. Users will also be able to see a preview of the next slide and Play and pause embedded audio and video files.
Note the app needs Office 2013 (not RT) and a PC with Bluetooth, and also needs the desktop add-in for Office Remote installed.
The app, which can also control Excel and Word, can be downloaded for free from the Windows Phone Store here.
Microsoft and Nokia have sent a letter to Nokia’s customers informing them of the impending transfer of their data from Nokia to Microsoft.
In the letter Microsoft says they expect the deal to close in April, and promise to only collect user data for the same reasons Nokia would, and also promises to be good stewards of the existing user data.
Interestingly Brendon Lynch Chief Privacy Officer at Microsoft also revealed that Nokia’s handset division will become part of a new subsidiary at Microsoft called Microsoft Mobile, a structure which suggests either this segment will expand in the future, or the potential for the subsidiary to eventually spin off.
Read the full letter after the break.
On their developer blog Microsoft has announced the start of trials of Developer Response to reviews left in the Windows Phone Store.
The ability will be built into the Dev Center, and will initially only be available to select developers, and to Windows Phone 8.1 users and Windows Phone 8 users in USA. When a developer responds to a review the user will receive an email from Microsoft with the comment.
To prevent abuse users will be able to report developers through the Report Concerns feature, and abusive developers will have their developer access revoked.
The service will initially be available as early as this week, and will roll out to more developers in May and beyond. Developers will be chosen based on the number of downloads their app receive. Developers do not need to otherwise apply.
Read more at the Windows Blog here.
Do any of our readers get the feeling Microsoft threw out many beloved babies with the Windows Phone 8 bathwater?
Bing Vision is a pretty useful app, not just being able to recognize barcodes and QRCodes, DVDs and books, and also scan and translate text.
Its replacement with Cortana in Windows Phone 8.1 is therefore less than ideal, but it is still possible to launch the app as a Camera Lens.
Now Dream Team Mobile has made that one step easier, with their QR for Cortana app, which will launch the Camera Lens selection with one tap, rather than the two which would be needed if one were to go via the camera interface, making the process to launch Bing vision the same 2 tap affair it has always been.
The free app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
HeroCraft has brought their racing sim Race Illegal: High Speed 3D to Windows Phone.
The game features 20 tracks to race, 9 cars to choose from and a whole host of customizations for the petrol-head to tinker and claims to offer the true street racing experience.
The game features:
- Amazing 3D graphics
- 130 tracks and 9 cars
- Car tuning and customization
- Engaging storyline
- Compete in online races
- Authentic street race atmosphere
- Personal stats and online records table
- Realistic driving physics.
The free game can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
See the game trailer after the break.
Nimbuzz on Windows Phone client has received a major update to version 126.96.36.199.
The update now allows users to add other SIP accounts to the app, allowing them to make affordable VoIP calls, and make great international long distance savings.
The update also offers:
- SIP VOIP ACCOUNTS – Connect to any SIP provider and enjoy extremely low cost VOIP calls.
- Allows you to Record and share Videos with friends.
- Copy/Forward/Delete functionality for chat messages.
- Improved File transfer.
- Quick scrolling in chat window.
- Bug Fix and Overall performance optimization.
In a statement Nimbuzz said:
“Nimbuzz has always been about connecting people and binding relationships together. Communication extends beyond messaging and calling. Users now want to share their priceless emotions and moments with pictures and videos. Taking a cue from this evolving communication need, Nimbuzz on Windows Phone 8 now allows users to not only transfer images but also shoot videos and share them with others on the platform.”
The updated app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
The terribly poor Xbox Music app on Windows Phone 8.1 has been the main source of complaints for new Windows Phone 8.1 users, but it seems an update is coming soon to address these issues.
According to a post on Microsoft Answer the coming update, on the 22nd April, which will be the first of many, will offer::
- Numerous stability fixes, including many of the reported black screens
- Cortana integration is complete and now supports playing playlists by name
- UI polish to improve animations and transitions between UI views
- Improved messaging for encountered errors, such as unplayable content in collections
- Background initial sync of local and cloud content
There will then follow a bi-weekly release schedule which will address:
- Continued focus on Stability and Performance
- Live Tile integration
- Quickplay improvements, including “recent” lists
- Kids Corner Support
- UX improvements (Search result grouping, creating new Radio Stations, improved Network status messages, Blue UI language alignment, now playing improvements and more)
Do our readers think the proposed changes will be enough to fix the app, which appears to need a full redesign? Let us know below.
It took the killing of the WP8 Music and Video app on Windows Phone 8.1 to make me really appreciate it, but luckily, if you have a writable NFC tag, it seems pretty easy to resurrect it.
Techrum.vn have posted a detailed tutorial on how to achieve this, using Nokia’s NFC Writer app, and also the above video showing the simple hack in action.
Are any of our readers on WP 8.1 going to be trying this trick? Let us know below.
Bonga Software has released the first File Manager for Windows Phone 8.1.
The app allows users to browse the shared libraries on Windows Phone, including the pictures and music folders.
The app is not unfortunately very good or useful yet, but does allow users to create folders, and copy, delete or rename files.
To get a taste of the potential, download the free app from the Windows Phone Store here.
It seems the VPN apps for Windows Phone 8.1 have come flooding in to the Windows Phone Store.
Apps for leading corporate VPN services Checkpoint, SonicWall and Junos Pulse are now in the store, just days after the preview release of Windows Phone 8.1.
The apps do not do anything by themselves, but add their protocols to the built-in Windows Phone 8.1 VPN app in settings.
Unfortunately no consumer-orientated services, which allows users to access content restricted in their locality, are yet available yet, but hopefully we will not have to wait too long for that.
Read more detail in the store at the links below.
The Samsung ATIV SE is a Verizon exclusive, and was never extremely anticipated, to the degree that its actual release over the last weekend was forgotten by just about everyone.
The handset is however now available, and WPCentral posted the above unboxing video of the device.
The review reveals one interesting feature – the handset has an infra-red remote control for televisions, a first for Windows Phone and something which provides an option for Windows Phone users who were envious of the feature on some Android handsets.
Besides this feature the handset is also pretty high end, with a 5 inch 1080P AMOLED screen, Snapdragon 800 processor, 13 megapixel camera and 2 GB RAM and 16 GB built-in storage with microSD expansion.
If the smartphone, which ships with WP8 and will be upgraded to 8.1 some time in the near future, tickles your fancy, it can be purchased today from Verizon for $199.