Controversial Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin has tweeted that the Windows Phone 8.1 update will only be rolling out to Lumia devices in Russia at the end of June, while the new devices running the OS will be on sale from the start of May.
Of course this may have been troubling if a) this was not the way it has always been and even more importantly b) the Windows Phone Developer Preview will make sure those who really care will be able to get the update much, much earlier.
It seems to me Eldar may be the one that’s a bit out of touch at present…
The Nokia Lumia 630 Single and Dual-SIM handsets are now on pre-order in Russia’s official N-Store.
The Single SIM handset costs 7,990 rubles ($224) while the Dual-SIM device only costs a little more at 8,490 rubles ($238). This is close to the same price the Nokia Lumia 525 launched recently ($210), again showing the handset is likely to be a replacement for that range.
The handset will be the first Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone on the market, and features such innovations as virtual navigation buttons.
The order page does not reveal when the handset will ship.
See the full specs at the Russian N-Store here.
The Russian Department of Transport and the City of Moscow has brought their Parking in Moscow app to Windows Phone.
The app centrally manages Moscow Parking, allowing residents and visitors to use the phone app to find and pay for parking spaces directly from their phone.
The Windows Phone app features:
- Find different types of parking;
- obtain additional information about parking (name, address, cost, capacity, etc.);
- manage parking (start, renew and complete the parking session);
- pay for parking;
- replenish personal parking account;
- to pay fines for breaking the rules of paid parking.
To register to use the app users simply need a PIN, which can be obtained by sending an SMS saying PIN to 7757 or by creating an account at http://parking.mos.ru.
Find the app in the Windows Phone Store here.
Popular cross-platform GPS navigation app GeoNET, which is available for Windows Mobile, Windows CE, iOS, Symbian, Android and Java, has now come to Windows Phone 8.
The app is differentiated by its ability to use data from a wide number of providers including:
- OSM (OpenstreetMap) the project that creates and distributes free geographic data for the world. GeoNet maps based on OSM data have worldwide coverage and stable updates
- HERE is a paid maps collection from NOKIA
- CityGuide Maps with "traffic jams" and regular updates
- Maps of National map vendors
The maps come with different pricing, usage conditions and updates, and the GeoNET user can select necessary maps themselves. All maps have star rating, short descriptions, and a trial period.
Despite having a number of sources GeoNET is offline navigation system, which do not require permanent internet connection.
Other GeoNET features are:
- Smooth operation and high speed route calculation
- Daily maps updates
- Patented route calculation using traffic jam information
- Dynamic POI (Warning of road events)
- Speedcams and radars
- Service "Friends" and "Comments"
- Service «SOS»
The app costs $2.99 unfortunately without a free trial, and can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
Nokia’s mid-range phablet, the Nokia Lumia 1320, is now available for pre-order at Nokia’s official Russian store N-store.ru.
The 6 inch handset is on sale for 14,999 rubles ($427) which is considered a relatively good price there.
The handset sports a 720P screen, dual-core processor, 5 megapixel camera and 8 GB of expandable storage, and is designed for those who mainly want to enjoy their media on a very large screen without breaking the bank.
Find the handset at N-Store.ru here.
W7Phone.ru reports that the Nokia Lumia 525 will soon be available in Russia.
Nokia’s official N-Store is now offering the handset for pre-order.
It will be retailing for 7,490 Roubles (around $225) which is of course somewhat more expensive than elsewhere, but this unfortunately is normal for Russia.
Pre-order the device at N-Store.ru here.
The official anywayanyday.com application is now available in Windows Phone Store for download. It is a famous travel site in Russia offering you to book flight tickets within the app.
The Windows Phone AWAD app is a new free anywayanyday.com application to buy air tickets all over the world.
Choosing an air ticket with the Windows Phone AWAD app is quick and easy. Quick filters make the search especially convenient. You are free to choose between direct flights and transfer flights, sort by airports, departure time, arrival time, as well as by ticket price and flight duration. For your every request the system analyses more than 200 options per second from more than 800 airlines. Searching, choosing and buying a ticket through Windows Phone AWAD app takes about 3 minutes.
With Windows Phone AWAD app you can pay for air tickets with cash or a bank card. Having paid, you are to receive the text purchase notification and the e-mail with itinerary receipt. Besides, you can book the tickets and pay for them later.
With Windows Phone AWAD app all air tickets are in your pocket.
Download it here from Windows Phone Store for free.
We have repeatedly heard that carrier billing significant boosts sales in the Windows Phone Store, especially in less developed markets or markets where debit and credit cards are not popular.
The news that Russian carrier Beeline is now supporting carrier billing is therefore pretty good, and should mean developers will see earnings improve in what is a relatively strong market for Windows Phone.
The agreement to launch carrier billing dates all the way back to March this year, and was meant to launch in the summer, but it seems after much delays and no fanfare it is now available.
It is not known when the other big carriers in Russia will also bring support for this important feature.
Yandex has released their navigation app for Windows Phone 8 devices in Russia. This app offers offers turn-by-turn directions for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Turkey and supports features such as current traffic conditions, closures etc. Find the full list of Yandex.Navigator app features below.
— Automatically update the road map monthly;
— Access the always up-to-date online map on your device;
— Plan trips throughout Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Turkey;
— Get voice turn-by-turn directions;
— Use voice commands;
— Recalculate routes based on the latest traffic information;
— Search for locations by name or addresses, as well as businesses by name or category;
— Receive warnings about road works accidents etc. and speed cameras;
— Save addresses to your Favorites and plan routes to them quickly;
— Get additional information about road congestion levels en route;
— Check the indicator for traffic levels;
— Browse vector maps for Moscow, the Moscow Region, Saint Petersburg, Ukraine, Belarus and Turkey.
Download the app here from Windows Phone Store.
In some parts of the world Windows Phone’s market share is much higher than in USA, meaning vendors are much more likely to support the OS with new services and innovations.
The latest example of this is the LifePay cardswiping mobile retail system coming to Windows Phone in Russia, unlike the US-based Square card reader, which after many years is still to support Windows Phone.
The app lets small retailers and service providers such as taxis and coffee stands accept cards instead of just cash and supports MasterCard and Visa, and also signature capture, and allows dealers to confirm transactions via email or SMS.
The free app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
See a video demo of the app after the break.
On the Windows Blog Microsoft has announced that the Huawei Ascend W2 will be coming to Russia and Netherlands this month.
The handset will be available in black, blue, yellow, and red, and has a unique feature where the colour of the capacitive key backlight changes to match accent colour of the handset.
The smartphone otherwise features a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 WVGA IPS display, 1.4 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 512 MB RAM, 8GB of built-in storage and a micro SD expansion slot. It also has FM radio support and 5 MP camera that supports 720P video recording and playback. The screen also works with gloves, and the handset’s 1700 mAh battery claims up to 16 days standby time.
“We’re excited to build on our partnership with Huawei to launch another unique handset that will delight customers around the globe,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s recently-formed Operating Systems Group.
The low-cost handset will retail for around $280 in Russia and for around 200 Euro in the Netherlands.
The Huawei Ascend W2 is set to go on sale in Russia today. The handset will be available at Russian retailer Svyaznoy for 8 990 roubles ($282,6), according to W7Phone.ru.
The middle of the road handset features a 4.3 inch WVGA screen, 1.4 Ghz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 8 GB internal storage, a 5 megapixel rear camera and also a front-facing camera and a 1700 mAh battery.
It also supports microSD card storage, and there is has a special trick not seen in other Windows Phones.
The handset can be flashed by placing ROMs on the microSD card, a process that may be familiar to long time Windows Mobile hackers, but which has not been seen on Windows Phone ever.
The feat removes the dependency on having the right software on your PC, and therefore achieves more reliable results. As a rescue procedure it should probably be available on all Windows Phones with SD card access.
This does not mean the handset is hacked off course – ROMs are still signed, but WindowsMania.pl, who made the discovery, does have the first official ROM available for the handset, version 3039.0004.01000.00600.
Read more about the flashing procedure at their site here.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is designed for those who love taking pictures, but I think most people know it takes a lot more than a great camera to get great pictures – you also need quite a bit of skill and knowledge.
Nokia already makes a great camera phone, and for Russian Nokia Lumia 1020 owners they are also filling in the other bits of the equation by offering free online lessons worth 1,200 roubles (around $40) with leading Russian photography school Fotoshkola.net.
Buyers will receive video and written tutorials from Vladimir Kotov , a professional photographer of 13 years, homework assignments and have their photos reviewed by the team. Students will also be able to chat with their fellow classmates.
To take advantage of the offer Nokia Lumia 1020 owners have to install the Fotoshkola app in the Nokia collection, which will offer them a PIN which can be redeemed for the free lessons.
The offer is available until the 1st January 2014.
See a video showing the lecturer in action after the break.