Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nokia Lumia 610 is now available also at Telus!


After the launch of the 610 at Koodo Mobile, Telus is also carrying this budget WP7 phone.  Only black is available so far and it can be yours for $29.99 over 3 years on any plan or $229.99 outright.

Still, if I am in the market for a budget WP7 phone, my choice is still the Nokia Lumia 710 for a mere $25 more outright from Rogers as it packs a way bettter processor, and more RAM.

Doubt that Koodo or Telus are getting any budget takers at these prices in comparison to Lumia 710 over at Rogers,Wind, Mobilicity.

Source: Telus

Friday, July 6, 2012

Nokia Lumia 610 is now available at.. Koodo!

Another day, another Nokia Lumia device unleashed on the Canadian market (whatever happened to HTC - guess they have the Radar, and Samsung??)

Anyhow, the Lumia device that is targeted at the low cost market is now available at KoodoMobile (probably soon to Telus as well)

Only black is available at this time but the white version is coming soon.

This has the 800Mhz processor and it is priced at $200 outright or $50 on tab.

Frankly, at $200, I'd get the Lumia 710 outright for $50 more.  It would be a decent deal at $150 but Telus continues to price Lumia phones at funny price points (i.e. 800 is more expensive that the 900???)

Note that due to the lower processor speed and lower RAM built in, there are some apps (games most likely) that you will not be able to install on the Lumia 610.

If you still insists on this phone, there's currently a $25 VISA gift card if you order online from koodomobile.ca

Source: koodo mobile

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cyan Lumia 900 is finally available @ Rogers!

Rogers has finally unleash the Lumia 900 in Cyan.

Some pricing as the black one:

3 yr: $29.99
mtm: $474.99

Interesting time to upgrade as most of you should know by now that the current generation hardware will not get the goodness of Windows Phone 8.  Current generation WP7 phones will only get upgrades to WP7.8 and at this time, we know WP7.8 is only getting the brand new start screen.

Will you get this nice looking phone given that you will not get WP8?

Source: Rogers

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tango is rolling out!

The latest WP7.5 update is currently being rolled out around the globe.  All Nokia Lumias are getting the update and there are news that some first gen WP7 devices are also feeling the love (LG Optimus 7 on Telus apparently is getting an update).

If you happen to be using a Nokia Lumia phone, you are in luck as Nokia provides the information as to the whereabouts your Tango update is.  (Check your Nokia Lumia Update status here)

For the rest of the WP crowd, it's time to plug it into Zune Desktop or the WP7 Connector on the Mac and see if you have an update waiting for you (or you can just wait for the you have update prompt on your phone)

Among the bug fixes, the biggest feature Tango will bring is enhanced MMS and the long awaited WiFi Tethering or hotspot.

As of this moment, my factory unlocked Nokia Lumia 800 still have not received any update notifications yet.

... Yes, more on Windows Phone 7.8 a bit later.



Monday, June 18, 2012

MS Surface(TM) Tablet Unveiled

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you probably know that Windows 8 is coming this fall sporting our favourite UI in the world - the Metro UI.

What weren't clear was that what kind of hardware (especially tablet side of things) we will be seeing from the Microsoft Partners.  All we know is that with the Android tablet platform struggling, the none-apple hardware manufacturer are definitely readying their horses to get onboard the Win8 tablet train.

What is surprising is that Microsoft has just announced their own brand of tablet hardware.  It will be using the name Microsoft Surface (TM) - for us bigger geek types, we know that MS Surface is a rarely known Microsoft Tablet top type interface you will find most often in Science/Technology exhibits where you (or your kids) interacts with a table top UI for learning amongst other things.

There will be 2 flavours of the MS Surface Tablets.



  • Windows RT -
    •  ARM processor 
    • 576g with a magnesium body
    • 10.6" ClearType Gorilla glass display screen
    • 9.3mm thick
    • microSD slot
    • USB 2.0 slots
    • 32GB or 64GB configurations
  • Windows 8 Pro
    • Intel i5 processor
    • 903g with a magnesium body
    • 10.6" ClearType Gorila glass display screen
    • 13.5mm thick
    • microSDXC slot
    • USB 3.0 slot
    • 64GB or 128GB configurations
Both tablets will come with VaporMg to protect the tablet from scratches

There will be covers that are available for your tablet as well.  At first glance it looks very similar to the Apple iPad's smart cover.  However, if you look closely, you will see keyboard layouts as well as a touch pad that is full functional with your Microsoft Surface Tablet.  

Both tablets will also be able to stand up a an angle (like the picture above) and can be connected to this very thin keyboard cover and used with the tablet when connected (not via bluetooth) but via connectors at the bottom of the tablet.

This is indeed exciting news.  Microsoft claims it will launch at the same time as Windows 8 this coming fall.  I hope that the Canadian retailers are getting some or else it will be a good visit down to the MS Stores this fall.

Check out more galleries and info here

Source: Microsoft

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cyan Lumia 900 + White Lumia 710 are coming to Rogers!

Looks like the long awaited launch of the Cyan Lumia 900 in Canada is about to be over.  Nokia Canada has announced that both the Cyan Lumia 900 and a white Lumia 710 about about to be launched over at Rogers.  

It will likely keep the same prices as their black counterparts.  

Currently, the Lumia 900 can be had over at Rogers for $29.99 on a 3 year contract (with data) and the Lumia 710 can be had for $0.01 on a 3 year contract (likely on any plan as the 710 is categorized as a smartphone lite)

No launch date just yet but probably sometime this summer.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Smoked By Windows Phone Coming to Toronto!

Over at WPCentral.com, they are reporting that the Windows Phone campaign known as Smoked By Windows is making its way to Canada.  It's landing in Toronto for the next 3 days


  • May 25: Yonge and Eglington - 12pm-8pm
  • May 26: The Danforth - 10am-6pm
  • May 27: Yonge and Dundas - 11am-5pm

Unfortunately, since I am not in Toronto or anywhere close to the Toronto area, but for the rest of you who are, make sure to check out the action (or bring your iPhone/Android friends down to the challenge so they can be humiliated, if not, hey, they get $100 for winning the challenge and given what the track record is, it can happen).

Finally some love for us Canadians!  Hopefully it will be coming to more cities in the future!

Thanks WPCentral!

Battle.Net Authenticator for WP7

By now, some of you D3 fans are probably in Inferno level collecting all the good drops and getting killed.

I am still in Act 2 of nightmare.

With the Auction House coming online next week where you can buy and bid for items with real money, it is probably a good idea to keep that battle.net account protected.  Besides have a good strong password, Blizzard have also release the Battle.Net Authenticator for WP7 so you can properly secure your Battle.Net account.

click this to start installation on your WP7 device and follow the instructions on the app once you start the app.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Better update that Gen1 handset to Mango soon...

Over at the Windows Team Blog, they are reminding that if you are using the gen 1 WP7 handsets, and you have to upgraded your handset to run the "Mango" firmware or Windows Phone 7.5, you'd better hurry because if you do not, you will likely lose access to install apps from the Marketplace (both the phone and the webfront).

Here the first generation handsets that were available in Canada in case you are puzzled:



From Rogers:
- Samsung Focus

From Bell:
- LG Optimus Quantum (the one with the slide out keyboard)
- HTC HD7

From Telus:
- LG Optimus 7
- HTC Surround (the one with the slide out speaker)

If you are anything other than these, you should be on Mango already.

How do you check your phone's firmware version?  It's easy

  1. Start the "Settings" app
  2. Scroll down to the bottom under "Systems" and click on "about"
  3. Click the more info button
  4. Check the OS version - if you have something like 7.1.*, your phone is already on Mango
  5. If not, and you use Windows
    • go to Zune.net and install the Zune Desktop
    • Plug in your WP7 phone and updates will start (depends on how old your firmware is and which update is available to your phone, it could like around 2 hours
  6. If you use Mac, 
    • open the Mac App Store (which means you either have to have OS/X 10.6.8 or 10.7.+), looking for the Windows Phone 7 Connector and install
    • plug in your WP7 device and click "Update" (or something like that) and let it install

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nokia Lumia 710 is now available at Mobilicity!

Finally, the Nokia Lumia 710 is available at Mobilicity.

It is selling at @$249.99 outright.  Link to Mobi here

Mobilicity is offering a 50% off all their regular rate plans start from May 17 to May 20, 2012.  So, if you happen to live in an area with decent to good Mobilicity coverage, you could get unlimited data and voice plan for a ridicules price of around $23 (before taxes) for the next 4 days.

Biggest problem is Mobilicity's coverage.   Check your coverage at Mobilicity or at CoverageMapper to see if your area has decent to good coverage or not


Source: Mobilicity

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

HTC has gone stupid, charges stupid $ for HTC Location Navigation

A few weeks back, the HTC OEM app Locations had a pretty good upgrade where it finally brought offline maps and navigation to the HTC WP7 masses for free at the time with the promise to starts charging for navigation within the month.  Well, I had thought that maybe they will have a change of heart since they probably need this app to do battle with the pretty darn awesome Nokia Drive app on the Nokia handsets.  Even if they didn't, I would imagine that they would charge a reasonable low amount.

I had the chance to try it out in a recent trip to Seattle.  There are some UI oddities that I didn't care for, some bugs but all-in-all, it worked pretty well (on the HTC Surround, it was a little bit slow when zooming in and out of the maps), GPS tracking was good, finding POI was good.

Well, apparently HTC has gone off the deep end and decided to charge, $9.99 for All of North America per month, $39.99 for 1 year, and $49.99 unlimited.

HTC has already admitted defeat in North America on the Android vs. iPhone front but this move, to our HTC owners, is just plain absurd.

The Zune crashing bug?  Doesn't happen on my Lumia 800, doesn't happen on my wife's Dell Venue Pro, doesn't happen on my friend's LG or Samsung Focus.  Only HTC Surround and likely the HD7 is affected.  HTC has a fix but refuses to release it to older hardware (not sure about the HTC Radar - if you have an HTC Radar and subscribes to Zune, feel free to drop a comment on whether or not this is affecting you)

Source: wpcentral



Exclusive apps coming to your Nokia handsets!

Well, looks like Nokia is really putting in the effort to try to push the WP7 platform which is great news.  I have recently upgraded to the Lumia 800 from my HTC Surround and so far, I am very impressed with Nokia's effort in comparison to HTC's subpar effort with their own OEM applications (only way - other then the hardware chassis, WP7 manufacturers can distinguish themselves from other WP7 manufacturers).

I'll post my review of the Lumia 800 in a little while (factory unlocked one btw so I get all the firmware first).

There are plenty of news from Nokia coming out from the CTIA conference being held this week.  Exclusive apps, games are coming very soon to you (and me now).  Not sure how many of them are Canada bound but I'll try to list out the exclusive apps that are coming soon if you are a Nokia Lumia owner.

Some are available now, the ones that are available now will have a link for your installation enjoyment

  • The Caddie + (no ads) - already available in the marketplace.  It's not in the Nokia Collection listings yet but just search for it on your phone.  or click here on your wp7 handset
  • The PGA Tour App
  • ESPN (I know there the ESPN Sports Centre app right now but this apparently is different) - still can't find it just yet
  • Rovio - Angry Birds Space (Guess they are both Finnish companies), plus they now have a dedicated team that will create more WP7 for the Lumia phones first
  • EA - FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR®, Mirror's Edge and Yahtzee.
  • Groupon - exclusive features for Nokia users for the first 6 months
  • Tripdots - Exclusive to Windows Phone customers for 3 months from launch
    Tripdots helps vehicle owners optimize their driving behaviors while connecting with other vehicle owners and sharing driving efficiency achievements via social networks. The app lets users monitor the operation of their vehicles to enable cost savings through better understanding fuel economy.  Everyone can participate in the MPG Leader Board game, and information is only sent to drivers after their trip is complete.
  • PayPal app for Windows PhonePayPal and Nokia will work together to bring PayPal's secure, fast and easy payments capabilities to the Windows Phone platform and Nokia Lumia smartphones, globally. PayPal will leverage the power of Windows Phone Live Tiles to create a compelling user experience that provides users with the flexibility to pay on-the-go.
  • AOL Entertainment Hub - exclusive to Nokia Lumia for 6 months
    Available exclusively to Nokia Lumia users at launch, AOL is set to introduce the AOL Entertainment Hub, bringing together the best of AOL's content to deliver an immersive and inter-connected experience on Windows Phone. Whether you want to listen to one of 55,000 radio stations via SHOUTcast, stream free music albums with AOL's Listening Party or view Trailers and Movie listings, the AOL Entertainment Hub delivers everything you need.
  • Time Magazine app for Windows Phone
    Bringing the world's largest weekly circulation to mobile, TIME.com announces the forthcoming availability of TIME for Windows Phone. Utilizing the stunning Windows Phone UI, the app will enable users to view TIME.com content, receive breaking news alerts, watch rich media content including video and share stories via the Windows Phone People Hub, while delivering the latest news and stories to users first via Live Tiles.
  • Newsweek - The Daily Beast app for Windows Phone
    For a smart, speedy take on the news from around the world, combined with the depth and investigative power of Newsweek magazine, we are pleased to announce the availability of Newsweek's digital partner The Daily Beast on Windows Phone. The Daily Beast app delivers the latest content through Live Tiles and combines the unique style of The Daily Beast with the Windows Phone UI to deliver a stunning experience. For users who only have minutes to digest the latest news, the app also delivers The Cheat Sheet - your one stop must have reads from across the world - uniquely designed for Windows Phone.
  • Box app for Windows PhoneThe new Windows Phone app from Box, the company focused on providing workers with simple, secure sharing from anywhere, will be available to Nokia Lumia consumers this Summer. With support for nine languages, Box for Windows Phone will enable users across the globe to browse, search and share files from their account. 
Honestly, I don't know what I would think if I still have an HTC/Samsung/LG handset.  Hopefully, this would put them on notice and put more effort into their OEM apps because at least Nokia is trying to make it work.  So far, after 1.5 week of Nokia Lumia 800 ownership, I am a bit glad I swtich to the Nokia camp.  Stay tuned for my review on the Lumia 800 but so far, all I can that with the exception of the  external speakers on my HTC Surround, I am glad I switched.


Source: Nokia

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nokia Lumia 710 now available at WIND and soon to Mobiliticy

The Nokia Lumia 710 is now available at WIND and soon at Mobilicity

The price at WIND is a very competitive $259.00

With WINDTab25 it's $99
and on WINDTab40 it is $0

Just some specs here in case you are interested:

CPU: 1.4 Ghz single core
Camera: (back only) 5mp
Storage: 8GB on board (not expandable)
Battery: 1300mAh
Screen Size: 3.7" Clearblack LCD

Check out more info at WIND here

Source: WIND

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Keep that 25GB on your Skydrive!

Microsoft has recently announced that the 25GB your skydrive is getting for free right now will no longer be that as most skydrive useres uses a lot less.

So what MS is doing is scaling back the Skydrive storage from 25GB to 7GB for all the users who currently have less than 7GB stored in their SkyDrive.

In case you want to keep that 25GB for all your WP7 SkyDrive auto pictures upload awesome, there is still a way for you to keep your 25GB.

Simply hit this link and it will take you to your Skydrive->Manage Storage webpage (Or sign on to SkyDrive website and on the left of the page, there is a "Manage Storage" link you can hit.  From there, select the free 25GB for Free!  and you are set.  Please note that this is for limited time only so head on over and keep that free cloud storage space!

On another note, the long overdue, skydrive desktop applications are now available for Windows 7 and Mac. On the Mac front, it appears you will need to be on 10.7.X of OS/X to install the skydrive app.

Enjoy!

*Update* - the offer is over, you can still click the link and see if you can still get the free upgrade :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Unlocked Dell Venue Pro for cheap at Newegg.ca

If you are looking for a cheap, portrait keyboard slider WP7, there was only one available.  It was never available in Canada but newegg.ca now got some in stock and on sale at a very good price for $229.99 with free shipping.

It will work on Fido/Rogers 2G network but not the 3G network.  It's a Tmobile USA version so the only 3G network it will support is WIND/Mobilicity and whatever local carrier that uses the 1700 Mhz 3G band.  It WILL NOT WORK on TELUS/BELL has TELUS/BELL do not support EDGE or GSM.

Please note that warranty details if you are interested in this phone.  Please also noticed that Mango is likely the last firmware you will get for this phone as Dell is no longer manufacturing this phone and their position in the smartphone market is bleak.

I just ordered one for my wife for use on the Fido network as she really doesn't care about the data plans.  She isn't a phone savvy type people so she's not going to care about whether or not it gets more firmware updates. (Mango is already pretty damn great).

If you are on WIND/Mobilicity (and you have coverage where you are), it's definitely a good consideration.

click here to head over to newegg.ca

*Update* - looks like the new price is now at $219.99 (*&(*!@#()!@#!%#@Q$).  Anyhow, newegg.ca does NOT offer price protection so double *(%&$@#$@$ for me


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

HTC Radar price drop at WIND

Back in February, WIND released the HTC Radar on their network for a off contract price of $399.

I was going through the WIND website today and noticed that the HTC Radar have received a price drop

$349.99 off contract
$49 on a $40/month plan
$149 on a $25/month plan

So that's a $50 price drop for a pretty good WP7 handset. This is likely in preparation to the imminent arrival of the Nokia Lumia 710 on WIND.

Source: WIND

WIND now listing the Nokia 710 as "Coming Soon"

Looks like WIND is about to launch a second WP7 device on their network.

The Nokia Lumia 710 is now listed as "Coming Soon"

No price information just yet but it would be interesting to see how they can price it since Rogers is selling it for $250 outright.

Stay tuned!

Source: WIND

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Excellent Word games for your WP7



If you are into spelling games like Scrabble, the first thing you would noticed that in the WP7 marketplace, popular titles on the iPhone/Android phones like Word with Friends are missing.  Personally I am just glad Zynga hasn't invade the WP7 spaces with virtual cows and imaginary chickens.  

There are 3 excellent spelling type games that you should definitely have on your WP7 handset.  Best of all, they are all FREE!

Spell It!

Spell It is one of the original scrabble type game to appear since the launch of WP7.  Large user base means that you don't have to wait forever after starting a game for your opponent to respond.  Support games up to 4 players.  Like all the non-scrabble word games, it has it's unique board layout. Supports fast app switching!  Click here to install

Words BY POST (FREE)

I had played word with friends but one of my biggest complaint (also my friends) is that it doesn't keep track of how you are doing against each other.  Words BY POST changes that by keeping records against your opponents so you know how badly you are beating your friends or how badly they are kicking your ass.

Your friends don't have WP7 devices? other than "convincing" them they should get with the program and get a spiffy new WP7 device, Words BY POST are also available on iPhones and Android handsets so you can challenge your friends on other mobile platforms.  You can invite your friends via facebook posting as well.

Words BY POST is an ad driven app but does have a paid version that is Ad free.  Get it here

Wordament

Wordament is an unique spelling where at any given moment, you are challenging all the other players on the Interwebs who are playing the same game at the same time.  2 mins to swipe and spell all the words you can find on a 4x4 tile board.

Fast face, addictive and fun.  Definitely worth a try.  Get Wordament here


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 page is now live at Rogers!

The long wait is finally over.  The Nokia Lumia 900 is now available for order at Rogers.

Only the black one is currently available


Prices are as follows:

$99.99 - 3 year contract
$424.99 - 2 year
$474.99 - 1 year
$524.99 - no term


There is also a "deal" where Rogers will give you a XBOX360 (4GB) with the Kinect Sensor valued at $299.99 if you activate 2 smartphones on any couples and family plans (*UPDATE* might want to check out the fine prints as  per Lotos' comments below.  Thanks Lotos!)


Free XBOX360
Nokia Lumia 900 @ Rogers

*UPDATE* - Nokia/Rogers is now going to give you $100 bill credit should you buy the Lumia 900 (on contract likely)  This is due to a radio bug that is affecting some initial Lumia 900 handsets (patch is rolling out Apr 16 at least in the US).  So if you get the Lumia 900 now (unsure when this offer ends), you can get it for free (likely on a 3 yr term).. now if they only release the Cyan version

Monday, April 9, 2012

So what does being a Featured App on the Canadian WP7 marketplace mean?

As a casual WP7 developer, I am always interested in seeing what happens when an app is "featured" in the Canadian WP7 marketplace.

I am also confused about how an app is "featured" but since my normal job keeps me pretty busy, I never had the chance to look.

That is until this morning when I woke up to check out the new applications and and the featured apps.  And man was I surprised to find that something I wrote was front and center on the featured apps list.

Canada Border Wait Times was listed in the featured app section and man was I surprised.  I released this app around the beginning of February and it constantly sits in the top 50 in the travel & navigation category within the marketplace.  Last I checked, it was again hovering between 40-45 spot within the category.

I will report back in a few days with the results of what happens to this app when it gets featured.  I have already seen an increase in the ads impressions report.

Before Being Featured:
                    impressions per day avg: 20
                    estimate revenue per day avg: 1.5 cents
                    downloads per day avg: 5
                    downloads per month: 64
                    spot in travel & navigation free category: 40-45

After Being Featured (also coincide with Easter Weekend so I am pretty sure it is skewed):
                    impressions per day avg: 150
                    estimate revenue per day (it's only been 2 days): 30 cents

I will report back in a few days' time once apphub updates with the figures

Few things you will noticed if you are using free ad-driven apps:
  • Ads are annoying but still don't get indie wp7 developers like myself anything close to being significant (considering subscription to appHub is $99 + tax a year)
  • Not every developer is Rovio (maker of Angry Birds) or OMGPOP (makers of Draw Something)
  • Clicking on apps increases the revenue but no one actually clicks on the ads (next time you use a free, ad driven app, click on the ads once in awhile.. That's why WP7 has a "back" button")
Other tidbits:
  • My wife does laugh at me for being so happy for making 30 cents a day these last couple of days - I do tell her it's 30 times better than before)
  • Microsoft pay threshold is $50 for ads.. before you say MS is evil and is all about $$$, Google's pay threshold is $100 for ads - this blog since the beginning 1.5 year ago has 15K visitors which yielded a grand total of $10.18 that I can't have 
  • 15K visitors to this blog also only yielded 10 ad clicks

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Looks like Bestbuy Canada is finally paying attention to Nokia Lumias

If you were looking for Lumia 710, Lumia 800 on the Bestbuy website, chances, you have to search for it and sometimes searching for Lumia 710 gets you no result.

Well, looks like that's changing.  The screen capture here is part of the welcome page at Bestbuy.ca and lo-and-behold, the awesomeness of the Nokia Lumia 900.

Nice to finally see the Lumia 900 finally getting some love from Bestbuy.ca

The product page at the time of this post contains no information on the release date but it appears to be very imminent (consider that the Lumia 710 is still no where to be found on Bestbuy.ca).  The Lumia is getting some search love but only the black one is available from Bestbuy.ca

Check out the product link here

Source: bestbuy.ca

Friday, April 6, 2012

How to Transfer stuffs to a new Windows Phone

With all the new and sexy Lumia phones coming out, some of us WP7 users are seriously thinking about upgrades and/or already have.  So if you have an existing WP7 devices, how do you move your contacts and your apps over to your new WP7 handset?

Fortunately, with the launch of the Lumia 900 in the US, the Windows Team Blog has a pretty good post for those of you upgrading from an old WP7 device to a shiny new one.

Head on over to the Windows Team Blog and check it out!

WP7 XBOX LIVE Games Easter Sale!

Over at wpcentral, they are reporting that several popular XBOX LIVE games for your WP7 are currently on sale for 99 cents.  This price is even lower than the normal deal of the week which are priced at $2.99

Popular titles like Angry Bird and Burn the Rope are included.

Check out the post at WPCentral for the list of games.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rogers Lumia 900 Pricing

Ok, looks like the Nokia Lumia 900 has a price and from what MobileSyrup tells us (and again, they are very accurate with their rumours):

$99.99 - 3 year contract
$424.99 - 2 year
$474.99 - 1 year
$524.99 - no term

This pretty much puts it at exactly the same price point as (except the 3 year contract price) as the Nokia Lumia 800 on sale right now at Telus

Will we see Telus dropping the price of the Lumia 800 as the 900 obviously is bigger at 4.3 inches, and it spots a front facing camera + LTE support.

MobileSyrup is also speculating that the release date at around April 10.

Source: MobileSyrup

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nokia Canada Website has WP7 Front and Centre! + Lumia 800 Updates


Not sure if some of you have been over at the Nokia Canada website recently but WP7 is front and centre with pretty much all the Lumia devices Nokia is offering (or about to offer in Canada).  It's good to see them finally ridding themselves of Symbian (at least in the welcome pages).

If you have a Lumia 800, Nokia is releasing a firmware update around the world that should the battery problem when idling (other sites have reported significant increase in battery life - mostly because the firmware has reduced the amount of current drawn while the phone is idle).

If you are a previous WP7 owner, you might remember the Microsoft website where they posts where abouts the firmware update is in terms of each country and each carrier.  What you also probably remember is that Microsoft also took this update site now recently (for the 7740 and 8107 updates) because the carriers are probably complaining that MS is making them look bad for still not releasing the firmware updates (see AT&T)

So what does Nokia do?  They created their own "where's my update" page.  It's in the Nokia Europe website (source: pocketnow.com) which is kinda of weird.  What's even weirder is that it does contain update information for the 800 for Canada (and the good ol' US of A).  So head on over if you want to check whether or not your Lumia 800 is receiving the updates soon.  

As March 31, there's no update for Canadians yet.

However, if you are lucky enough to have an unbranded Lumia 800, you should already be receiving this  new Nokia firmware.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Must have WP7s for you hardcore gamers!

Over the next several weeks, I'll be sharing some of the apps I have been using for the last little while.

It's almost 1.5 years since the launch of WP7 in Canada and over that time, I have installed/uninstalled quite a number of apps as they are released.

If you are new to WP7, then I hope my series of recommended apps (paid/unpaid) would help you find the apps that you are looking for.

I am a pretty big gamer (a hardcode gamer) as I do play a lot of console games when I have time, I own both an XBOX360 and a PS3.  Casual games are not really my thing but there are some good ones that are on the WP7 that are definitely worth mentioning.  There are quite a few of them so instead I'll get to those in the future.

First of all,  I am in no way associated with Microsoft or any of the WP7 app publishers.  Just that some of these apps are quite useful and a lot of them are pretty damn awesome and I'd thought I shared them with you guys.  Free feel to add what apps you like in the comments section.

If you are a hardcore gamer, the games can get pretty expensive.  Fortunately, there an app for that:

If you are familiar with the website tivs.ca, well, you are in luck as there's also a wp7 version of this.  This app gives you the last known trade in values for games for different console and handheld devices so you know where you will be getting the best trade in Canadian buck (FREE!)

Click here to install on your WP7   



If you own an XBOX360, you have to download this free app from Microsoft.  The XBOX LIVE Companion app allows you to turn your WP7 into a remote control for your XBOX360 console over WiFi (it actually works also over 3G!).  Also FREE!

Click here to install on your WP7

One of the recently BIG EPIC games on the XBOX360, PS3 and the PC has to be Mass Effect 3.  Fortunately, there is an app for your Mass Effect 3 adventure as this app contains walkthrus, powers, and a whole lot more about this awesome RPG/Adventure/Action game. Also FREE!

Click here to install on your WP7

More app posts on the way!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nokia Lumia 710 coming soon to WIND!

Over at MobileSyrup, they are reporting that the Nokia assault on Canada is continuing with the Nokia Lumia 710 making its way over to WIND.  So this will be WIND's second WP7 phone besides the HTC Radar (tried it, liked it, very solid build - I am still holding for a Lumia 800 or 900)

The release date it claims should be sometime in April.

Would be interesting to see how this will be priced since the outright price at Rogers is  $254.99.  Will this force Rogers to finally release this phone on Fido?

All I know is that WIND needs some high end WP7 phones.  How about some 800/900 love?

Competition is always good I guess.. now if they can just get some better phones... but it's a good start.

Source: MobileSyrup

Saturday, March 24, 2012

At least Canadian Carriers aren't AT&T

If you thought your Canadian Wireless Carriers hates you, you are not along, from the endless 3 yr contracts to the one of the highest mobile phone rates in the world, that crosses my mind everyday (especially if you have been to Hong Kong where $40 HKD - around $5.50 or so Cdn) gets you around 1000 minutes in airtime on a temporary SIM card you can buy from 7-Eleven on any network.

At least Robellus (and some say WIND) are not AT&T.

Besides the crappy coverage, AT&T just announced that they will not push out the Mango 8107 update to any of their current WP7 handsets (guess Lumia is pre-shipped with it) where it fixes the sometime disappear keyboard problem.  Yes the same firmware updates we Canadians have been enjoying the last month and a bit (if you haven't got it yet, remember to plug your phone into Zune or the Windows Phone Connector on your Mac)

Good thing Americans only have to sign their life away 2 years at a time.  Bring on the Lumia 900!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cross Border Gas app now available

Have you ever wonder how much $$ you are saving when filling up in the US?  No?  Well, I have..  Since Math is hard, I have decided to write an app that does this for me.

All you will need is the exchange rate (or you can acquire it from the bank of Canada directly inside the app), the per litre price (in Cdn$) from your area, the price per gallon in the US and the total amount you paid for filling up in the US and my app will tell you how much the Canadian Government and Gas companies are screwing you over.

Trial version and Paid versions are exactly the same (both ad driven) but if you like buy me a coffee for the awesomeness of it telling you how much you are getting screwed over by filling up in Canada, you can purchase it via the donate link within the app or just buy the app for a low low price of 99 cents (I swear I can't make it any cheaper!) plus appropriate taxes

Click here on your Windows Phone or use Bing Vision on this QR code







Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 pre-order available at Rogers

The 3rd Nokia movement known as the Lumia 900 is now available for pre-order over at Rogers.

Strangely, only the black one is available at the moment.

This is a 4.3" version of the beautiful Nokia 800 with a front facing camera plus support for LTE

New customers can pre-order one at $99.99 on a 3 yr term with a minimal ($45/month) plan - strangely lower than more smartphone subsidized plans as they are normally $50/month for the subsidies to kick in.

If you preorder, you are eligible to win a private pre-screening of Dark Knight Rises and other prizes.

No outright prices or official release date available yet but at least it is getting closer!

Check this out for more information!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 on sale at Telus + Good Reviews!

Wow, that was fast, less than a week after official release, the Lumia 800 can now be had at Telus for $24.99 (3 yr term or $50 per month or more plan)

It's part of a smartphone sale at Telus that will last until March 31

Looks like quite a few people have picked up the phone judging from the number of customer reviews in less than a week's time.  The average scores for the reviews so far is a excellent 4.7/5 stars from 22 reviews I saw this morning.  The "low" scores mostly come from the battery life but Nokia is in the middle of rolling out the battery fix which some websites have been significant battery life improvement due to the battery drain improvement while the phone is idle

So head on over to Telus and check out this sale and the reviews!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Developer Movement - Rewards are arriving?

It looks that the Canada only Developer Movement is for real and are finally doling out the rewards.  This program was start around last Christmas solely targeting Canadian developers

Just received an email yesterday alerting that my app publication from a month ago qualifies me for the first reward choice which is one of:

  • A Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360®
  • 10,000 Microsoft Points
  • Monster® BeatsHeadphones
  • A 1TB External HD

The current one I am working on should qualify myself for additional goodies upon marketplace publication (haven't even really started yet) is one of:

  • A Windows® Phone 7
  • A $500 Gift Voucher
  • 35,000 Microsoft Points
  • An Xbox 360® with
    Kinect Bundle

As I have said before, these rewards look pretty good.  The Windows Phone 7 device is interesting as there are no mentioned of what it actually is (just that it is around $499 retail value).  What could it possibly be? (I am only speculating but if one of you WP7 developers out there knows what is it, please share)

There's still time to sign up if you haven't already, Canada only for once :)

This runs until May 20, 2012 (guess it means you must have your app published in the marketplace before then)

what's your choice of reward?  

Development Movement (again, Canadian developers only)







Friday, March 2, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 - Rogers pricing coming into focus?

As previously posted, Rogers is getting ready to unleash the Lumia 900 sometime in April.

Over at WPCentral, they have a screenshot of the possible pricing for this.

Now sure how accurate it is as it could be just a price placeholder.  The posted "price" is at $499.99 (could be the outright price, no idea).

What's more interesting is that one of lines in the screen shoot reads "Class    4 Rogers/Fido" - I don't work in mobile phones retail stores so it might just read "Rogers/Fido" for all Rogers based phones but to me it looked interesting (especially since I am still on Fido)

So head on over to WPCentral if you are interested.

Given this information, are you going to wait?  Or are you picking up the Lumia 800?

Nokia Lumia 800 now available at Telus

The Nokia Lumia 800 is now available over at Telus.

From the telus specs, looks like this will not work on WIND/Mobilicity.

Pricing:

$529.99 - no term
$479.99 - 1 year
$429.99 - 2 years
$49.99 - 3 years (so called promotional pricing as you will need a min $50 monthly plan)

Black, Cyan, and Magenta are the available colours over at TELUS.  I would imagine that sometime in the future, the glossy white one could become available.

Enjoy!

Link

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Skype Beta is now available for WP7

Whoops, it was actually available couple days ago.

Note that Skype for WP7 is only in beta so expect bugs.  It does also work fine even if you don't have a front facing camera.

You will not be able to search for it in the Canadian Marketplace.

click this link on your WP7 device to get to the marketplace to install it or use bing vision against this QR code.  Happy skyping!







Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Going ons at the MWC 2012 @ Barcelona

As some of you might know, MWC happens every year around this time where pretty much all the big mobile phones vendors (except Apple) gets together in Barcelona and have a great nerd off.

This year, I was looking forward to it as I personally am looking to replace my HTC Surround (still like it a lot) with likely a Nokia Lumia 800 or 900.


Nokia
We already know when the 800 is launching in Canada.  We found out that Rogers is going to release the 900 sometime *soon* in CES 2012 in January but there was no date, nothing.

Well, looks like we can now narrow it down the a month.  April is the month and over at the Rogers website you can also sign up for launch information.



The promotional blurp also states "When you pre-order a Lumia 900, Nokia and Rogers have a surprise for you. Hint: there's a hero rising out of the darkness" Likely this thing (the video is a Video of the Lumia 800 but you get the idea).


It's either this or Christian Bale deliveries your phone to you personally and then follow by punching you in the face. (The second option does sound interesting for some reason)

So head on over to Rogers to sign up for launch information

Lumia 610
Also new and it is unlikely to see here in Canada is the Lumia 610

This is significant as this is the first "Tango" phone which runs on lower spec hardware which means that it is going to be unleash in emerging markets

The Tango spec supports 800Mhz CPU + 256MB RAM in case you are interested

Given the low low price of the 710 right now, I don't think we'll be seeing this phone in Canada anytime soon



HTC
- HTC has announced that the HTC Titan II will be expanding to markets outside the United States.  This LTE device will likely finally see the light in Canada sometime.  No timeframe is given
- HTC has also announced that they will make a bigger splash in the WP handset when Windows Phone "Apollo" is released (Windows Phone 8.0)

Samsung
- I personally think Samsung is gone off the bonkers lately with the releases of the Samsung Note (Android in case you are wondering) - 5.3 inches!!!!
- no news on Samsung WP75 coming to Canada.








Friday, February 24, 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 Launching on March 2nd - On Telus

Well, looks like we finally have a date for the Telus launch of the Nokia Lumia 800.

On the Telus website, it reads "Coming March 2nd".  Available colours are Cyan, Black and Magenta (PINK!)

The 800 not your cup of tea?  The Lumia 900 is set to be released on Rogers (no date yet)

No pricing just yet.

Source: Telus

*Update* - From MobileSyrup brings us the rumoured price for the Nokia Lumia 800

No Contract: $529.99
1 year: $479.99
2 year: $429.99
3 year: $249.99

Promotional (minimium $50/month on plan): $49.99

$49.99 with data plan looks to be a pretty great price considering the 3 year price for the original launch prices HTC Surround + LG Optimus 7 was $99.99 and $149.99

Rest of the prices are complete BS.

Probably will have official numbers from Telus this coming Friday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HTC Radar now available at WIND!

The long awaited wait for a WP7 Mango phone hitting a budget brand is finally over.

Over at WIND, the pricing is finally available:

$399 outright
$99 on WINDtab+ (basically means that your monthly fee must be >= $40 for you to get $300 off the outright price).
$249 on regular WINDTab ($150 off the regular price for other monthly plans)

Even at $249 it looks like a good price as you can unlimited talk&text + unlimited data for a very reasonable price of $35/month or just $25/month with unlimited talk&text.




Some specs:

  • 3G bands: UMTS 1700/1900/2100; 
  • GSM Bands: 850/900/1800/1900
  • 1Ghz Processor
  • Cameras - 5MP main camera, front facing camera VGA resolution (640x480)
  • Battery: 1520mAh (non removable)
  • Weight 137g
Source: WIND


*UPDATE* - Looks like Videotron is about to unleash the HTC Radar as well, no pricing just yet


*UPDATE 2* - If you are pondering going to WIND, MobileSyrup has obtain information on WIND monthly plan changes
Looks like there are some increases in WindTab and WindTab+ but rates are changing so you might want to weight your options.  This new pricing is launching on March 1

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Smoked by Windows Phone

By now, some of you might have heard of something called #smokedbywindowsphone.

For those of you who don't know what it is, it is a Microsoft Campaign that started small at this year's CES by @BenThePCGuy (who works for Microsoft of course).

The challenge is that his claim is that the Windows Phone can do things faster than your smartphone could on everyday tasks like tweeting, posting stuff on facebook, etc.  If he cannot beat you with his HTC Titan, he will give the challenger $100 US for winning.  The cost of losing to him?  Say on camera that your phone was smoked by a windows phone.

Of course the chances of him coming up to Canada for any Windows Phone launch is very remote, but it is very fun to see these videos.

In a recent trip to california Microsoft store, his record was a stunning 37-0 (I think he was like 30-3 at CES - narrowly losing to couple of iPhone 4s and a Galaxy S II or something like that).

Here are some videos from the windowsphone website

Also, Wpcentral has reported that this #SmokedbyWindowsPhone campaign has spread to Hong Kong where they are offering people $1000HKD (around $125 Cdn) should they beat WP7 and so far they have an 32-0 record.

Just for fun I took my HTC Surround up against my friend's Samsung Galaxy S and smoked it good with simply taking a picture and posting on facebook.

What was really surprising was that just for fun I tried opening a website (cached cleared of course) against the brand spanking new Galaxy Nexus.  And was I surprised to see that on opening 10 different websites (full sites, not the mobile site), even my HTC Surround took 7 out of 10 websites opening away from the Galaxy Nexus.

So there you have it, try using your year old WP7 (Mango updated of course) to have some fun with your friends!

Source: WPCentral, windowsphone.com


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chance to Win a White Nokia Lumia 800 @ Nokia Facebook page!

The Nokia Facebook page is giving away the White Nokia Lumia 800.

Click here (opens facebook)

Good luck!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

LG Miracle breaks cover

All is quiet on the LG front as far as Mango phones are concerned.  There were blurry prototype photos of a LG mango phone in the past few months where you cannot really tell whether or not it was for real.

The LG Optimus 7 was one of the best gen 1 WP7 there was and yesterday I was checking out my friend's LG Optimus Quantum, I was surprised how many more LG OEM apps they have than the HTC OEM apps and the Samsung OEM apps.  From first glance it seems like LG themselves have more OEM apps than HTC and Samsung OEM apps combined.  Disheartening for myself as I have an HTC but at the same time good for you LG WP7 users.

Just when we thought LG has given up on the WP7 platform, there seems to be a little miracle for you LG WP7 fans.  There is something called the LG Miracle on the horizon and Engadget (or gsmarena i guess because of the watermarks) has uncovered the first clearer pictures of this device.


The screen size is looks to be around 4.0" to 4.3"unless that finger belong to a massive person... front facing camera.. but not much else is known about this phone.  The lack of a flash is kind of weird however.

With Telus getting the Lumia 800 and Rogers rumoured to get the Lumia 900 (they already have the Lumia 710), will Bell finally get in on some WP7 Mango action?  

Source: engadget