Category Archives: WP8

HTC Windows Phone 8

HTC 8X finally available on Flipkart, 8S nowhere to be found – HTC India’s disastrous WP8 launch

Windows Phone 8 launch in India has been, to be honest,  a disaster. Let’s do a recap: HTC announced Windows Phone 8 devices HTC 8X and 8S for Indian market with pricing  in November and followed up with availability info stating that devices will be available in “Early November“. Early November is long gone and HTC has done a horrible job with the launch of these devices. Before we dive into some of HTC’s mistakes, let’s talk about availability.

HTC 8X is available on Flipkart now, after weeks of “Pre order” -> Coming Soon -> Out of Stock fluctuations, for Rs 35,042 with delivery in 6-8 days. 8X is only in stock in black color and other colors (specifically blue) wont be in stock till 3rd week of December. Personally, if I  were planning on grabbing a 8X – I’d wait for a slightly more colorful 8X.

HTC 8X on Flipkart now available

HTC 8X on Flipkart now available

Saholic is also stocking black HTC 8X for 34,149 Rs and it’s the cheapest option available.

What’s the scene with offline stores? It’s a mess. HTC 8X is extremely hard to find. Some retailers are stocking 8X but do not have a working demo model for consumers. Even some of the HTC retail stores aren’t stocking 8X so you can imagine the scale of their disastrous launch. To top it all, their social media account disappeared for 20 odd days – so in this interval, every single query went unanswered. If there was a way to make their launch any worse, I think we could go back to 2011 when they silently launched HD7 and Mozart and I had to search tons of stores to find one device hidden in a cupboard. It’s pathetic. HTC is an email from HTC support could have fixed this but they prefer to be absolutely ignorant of this situation. making a fool out of itself and it’s consumers. We are stuck with HTC 8X in black (which doesn’t do justice to 8X) and 8S is absolutely nowhere to be found and there is no word on when it will be made available. A single tweet, Facebook post or even a mail from HTC support team could fix this mess but they prefer to remain absolutely silent on this. I wouldn’t call it silence, I’d call it pure ignorance.

 This couldn’t get worse for Windows Phone 8 as a platform. Just one WP8 device in market, which itself is hard to find, another announced but is NOT available anywhere after one month of supposed release date and most importantly, no Lumia WP8 in the market. HTC India is repeating the same mistake, they have great devices but they have NO marketing strategy in place. This is exactly what killed HD7 and Mozart in India and I have written about my HTC Mozart initial experience in brief  here.

I know it’s a bit aggressive but from what I have seen in the past month and from incredibly frustrated existing HTC consumers: HTC has poor support service, close to nonexistent social media presence and bare minimum interactivity, clueless PR folks and most importantly no marketing strategy for any WP8 device – so let me filter my entire rant in one line – Do not purchase HTC Windows Phone  8 devices until and unless HTC India clears up what the heck is going on – where are the devices? What’s causing the delay? We need answers. Better yet, let’s just not give our hard earned money to HTC, sounds fair, right?

This is bad for Windows Phone 8 in a country where Samsung has completely dominated the market. Microsoft should step up and guide HTC India and most importantly, Nokia should get their Lumia WP8 out in market. Lumia WP8 devices missed Diwali season and are probably going to miss out Christmas – New Year as well from the looks of it. As a Windows Phone 8 potential customer, I am disappointed to see such poor show from OEMs.

Yes, Multi tasking has been finally fixed in Windows Phone 8 with Fast Resume (Video)

Why did we not hear about this in the announcement yesterday? Anyways, looks like Microsoft has successfully implemented one of the two most requested WP8 feature – True mutli tasking (the other being Notification center which sadly is missing). Microsoft has come up with Fast Resuming – detailed here. Windows Phone 7 has Fast App Switching where you can save the state of your application and switch to and fro other applications however if you choose to open the application again from outside the multi tasking stack – it will open a new instance and you will lose your state. This was frustrating and Microsoft has fixed this in Windows Phone 8. What Fast resuming does is that it resumes the state of the running application instead of creating a new instance. Here’s a video of this in action, made by Dhruv Bhutani  

 

Developers must note that they need to implement this into their application – which also means that WP7 apps won’t have Fast Resume by default and I am assuming it’s going to take some time for developers to code it into their applications. Developers, please follow the steps noted here to make your app implement Fast Resume.

We’ll be posting about some more SDK bits since the new SDK is tasty and incredibly fun (NFC, Bluetooth, etc) – so we can’t wait to share some details with you. Stay tuned for more Windows Phone 8!

windows-phone-8-start

Following the tradition – The Windows Phone 8 Ship Party!

Windows Phone 8 hit RTM this month so according to the tradition – there should be a Ship Party and that’s exactly what Microsoft employees got. The party was held on Friday September 28th and it was documented on Twitter / Facebook as well.  If you remember from last year, Microsoft had a Mango ship party last year and probably the most memorable ship parade ever: the Windows Phone ship parade numero uno which had a parade going on (with RIP RIM and other bold stuff) and most importantly a “Thriller” flash mob (view the video here ).

So what happened at the Windows Phone 8 ship party? Well, we are guessing that they had  a lot of fun. We have a few pictures from the event for those who are interested :

Got more pictures to share? Hit the Tip button and send us your shots!

Now let’s get some Windows phone 8 consumer preview rolling in, Microsoft!

Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 Hands on – The new Lumia Experience and bonus pictures!

I have been waiting for this day for a long long time. I was invited by Nokia India to come to Delhi to watch the live cast with fellow amazing bloggers. So two things happened yesterday: The webcast and dinner. Oh, did I miss the part where I got to touch 820 and 920? Whoopsie daisies. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the device but long enough to feel both the devices – we are allowed to do limited stuff with the device (like no opening any application and browsing to settings, hah). For me it was a familiar experience because I have been able to use the leaked WP8 sdk on the emulator for quite some time now. However resizing the tiles on touch feels really neat.

So about Lumia 820. Lumia 820 is without a doubt a mid range device. It’s a successor to 800 and looks just as amazing as Lumia 800. It feels extremely nice in hands and 4.3 inches is perfect screen size in my opinion. 820 comes with 1.5 GHz dual core Snapdragon S4, 1 GB RAM, NFC, Qi Wireless charging, 8 GB with micro SD support upto 32 GB and wVGA resolution of 800 x 480 which is a tad disappointing. So yes, it does have a spec bump when compared to 800 so it’s not just a minor upgrade – it’s big and IMO, this device is what Nokia will go on to sell the most. Exchangeable covers is an excellent addon to this device. The screen is crisp. Yes this doesn’t have the PureMotion HD+ display you will find on 920 but you wouldn’t notice any difference from the fantastic display on 800. One thing i would have loved to check out on 820 was the speaker quality. Lumia 800 just had a godawful speaker and hopefully they fixed it on the 820. It has dual cameras as well – VGA on the front and 8 MP on the back. This device is a winner for me and if it’s priced like the current price of Lumia 800 or better yet below it – we’ll surely have a winner however keep in mind that Lumia 800 isn’t a mid range phone. So to be precise, Nokia has no mid range strategy as of now and will not have one this year unless they cut profits on 820 (which IMO, they should). I hope to spend more time with the device but i’d like you to imagine as Lumia 800 v2 with a big enough spec bump to make it worth your money.

 

Lumia 920. The big guy. The whole webcast was about this guy. It’s a beauty and the beast packed into one singular entity. It’s probably the most premium feeling phone I have ever held in my hand. It just feels so incredible just to hold it. It’s been designed to perfection. Lumia 920 is nokia’s premium offering competing with the Samsung GS3, upcoming iPhone 5, HTC One X, etc so it’s going to be really expensive (but that doesn’t stop people buying from phone these days so it’s a non issue). Right, so 920 has a 4.5 inch display which was incredible. I have never seen a Windows Phone screen look so good. Nokia introduced it’s new display technology PureMotion HD+ (somebody is taking cues from Droid manufacturers on weird nomenclatures..) and it works. 920 display was significantly better than what I have seen on any WP device. The resolution on this thing is 1280 x 768. Rest of the features are same as in Lumia 820. 920 has a 2000 mAh battery which, according to Nokia “gives an excellent battery life”. So i’ll take their word. There’s one thing I noticed but haven’t been able to verify is the dual speaker right at the bottom. The only one thing that disappointed me was the lack of micro SD card expansion support. Samsung did it with Ativ S, why didn’t you do it Nokia?  So yes the big one – Lumia 920 is actually Pureview! That’s exciting but nobody was allowed to take a picture of it so…bummer. I think we’ll wait for a review device to test the camera.

We got to see the wireless charging pad in action as well and I can tell you it’s a day one purchase. Also, the Dolby certified headphones are really very good, we got to try them out too.

I am going to reserve my comments about the webcast and the so called “Nokia FakeView” debacle for later. At this point – I’d like to congratulate Nokia for the amazing devices they have created for Windows Phone 8 and I can tell you, I have started to save my money for Lumia 920. I would like to thank Nokia India for inviting me and thank all the fellow bloggers for the good times. I did capture a few pictures from my HTC Mozart. Yes I would dumb enough to carry this 2010 Windows Phone 7 device to capture pictures of a 2012 Windows Phone 8 device but yeah..I did anyways. Feel free to go through em and let me know if you have any questions.

 

Lumia 820

Lumia 820

 

Lumia 820

Lumia 820

 

Fatboy wireless charging pad for Lumia 820 and Lumia 920

Fatboy wireless charging pad for Lumia 820 and Lumia 920

 

Dolby certified headsets for lumia 820 and lumia 920

Dolby certified headsets for lumia 820 and lumia 920

 

Lumia 920

Lumia 920

 

Lumia 920

Lumia 920

 

Lumia 820 and Lumia 920

Lumia 920 and Lumia 820

 

Lumia 820 and Lumia 920

Lumia 920 and lumia 820

 

Lumia 820 and Lumia 920

Lumia 820 and Lumia 920

 

 

Specs for Nokia 820  and Nokia Lumia 920 here and here

Regarding the OS: There is no noticeable change from the leaked SDK environment. No new multi tasking UI or notification center. I wasn’t able to go through settings so can’t tell you guys more.  We will have more on this when we get a review device. Stay tuned in for more Windows Phone 8!

WP8 SDK launch / landing page

Windows Phone 8 SDK coming mid September?

This is intersting. A friend of mine on Facebook forwarded me this link. It wasn’t anything interesting until I read the last part. Fellow developers, I think we know when you can expect WP8 SDK to be made officially available. A Spanish Microsoft Developer Evangelist posted on his blog, an entry regarding building a Windows 8 dev machine. Here’s the line that makes things interesting:

WP8SDK-September?

WP8 SDK coming in September?

 

It clearly states that Windows Phone 8 SDK will not be ready until middle of September.

There you have it. I won’t go into detail as to why WP8 SDK needs to come out as soon as possible, in case you are interested go here, so let’s just put a question mark in the title and wait for an actual release date. We are eagerly awaiting for an official date because I think developers deserve atleast a date of release at this point. Let’s hope for more official information on 5th of September when Microsoft and Nokia will co host Windows Phone 8 conference. Stay tuned for more details.

Windows-Phone-8-Summit

Windows Phone 8 SDK landing page should indicate WP8 SDK coming soon, right?

Windows Phone 8 was unveiled on July 26th. September 5  is the reveal  date of new Nokia devices running Windows Phone 8 and how many third party apps do they have to show off? Zero. Why? There is no darn SDK. From what we are hearing – It’s October launch for Windows Phone 8 devices which means less than month and a half for developers to actually do something about it. Oh and most importantly – there are still no devices for developers to test their application. There’s no denying that the emulator is good enough but how does one test NFC and Bluetooth via the emulator?

Robert Mclaws noticed the landing page for WP8 SDK. Take a look.

 

WP8 SDK launch / landing page

WP8 SDK launch / landing page

 

Nothing important here except the fact that there’s finally something about SDK on the dev center. Also take note that all the WP8 samples and docs are coming very soon so ignore the lack of redirection from app hub -> dev center for samples while the lack of redirection of msdn forums links is being worked upon.

It hasn’t been confirmed but looks like the final version of the SDK will be released directly. Yes, no beta. Which is quite strange to be honest. Anyways, any kind of launch is acceptable now. I know Microsoft doesn’t need us puny devs. on 5th of september. They already contacted some kickass wp7dev for wp8 apps and of course nokia makes great apps too – but the point is: let’s give developers a flexible time period to let them deliver applications at launch which is crucial.

p.s – Windows Phone 8 SDK was leaked sometime back. Pictures from emulator right here

HTC to announce its Windows Phone 8 offering in September 2012

September this year is an exciting month. We have been expecting next-gen Windows Phone devices to be unveiled on Nokia World at the very beginning of the month. But now according to WPDang’s sources, HTC will be announcing its Windows Phone 8 devices in the same month. The event will happen in the 3rd week of September, according to WPDang, in either London or New York City. There is no final word on the location so far. But NYC is the more likely choice, because the US market means a lot to HTC.

If earlier rumors still stand, HTC will be announcing three devices in the first wave:

  • Rio: 4″ WVGA screen, 5MP camera (capable of 720P video capture), 512MB of RAM, and Qualcomm MSM8227 processor.
  • Accord: 4.3″ 720P screen (Super LCD 2), 8MP camera (capable of 1080P video capture), 1GB of RAM, Qualcomm MSM8260A processor, plus NFC support.
  • Zenith: 4.7″ 720P screen (Super LCD 2), otherwise quite close to the Accord in specifications, except for being powered by a mysterious quadcore processor from Qualcomm.

WPDang speculates that Rio and Accord will be shipped to retailers in October, and Zenith will wait a bit until Q4 2012.

Source: WPDang

Localization: Windows Phone Marketplace finally supporting Chinese Yuan currency… soon

File this under rumors for the time being. According to words on Sina weibo, Chinese Windows Phone users will soon have the blessed privilege to pay for their apps and games in their home currency: Chinese Yuan (CNY).

Windows Phone 7.5 devices were first launched in China back in March, with half done localization: the user interface was fully translated, but the People Hub was stripped down to a simple contact book without much social function, Xbox Live completely axed, and users were billed in US dollars for stuff in the Marketplace.

The last bit has been a serious problem. Unlike western countries, credit cards are not so big in China. Instead, most people feel comfortable with a basic bank saving account plus online banking service. Payment in CNY will push the localization of Windows Phone in China forward by one great leap. Apple has done so ages ago for the App Store. Android is one giant mess with hundreds of third-party app stores fighting one another, but payment in local currency is generally not a problem. Microsoft has to play this card right to catch up with its competitors.

As of now, users are reporting the app prices in Chinese Marketplace are still shown in USD. Hopefully the CNY revolution will roll out sooner rather than later. Apparently developers who has products in the Chinese Marketplace won’t have to do a thing. The price conversion will be done automatically, without any impact on user experience.

MSN China is supposed to be in charge of the currency localization move. As noted by WPDang, MSN China (50%/50% joint venture between Microsoft and a Chinese partner) will take complete control over the Chinese facet of the Marketplace (or Windows Phone Store) in 2012 Q4. These guys will have the final say in pretty much everything related to China, including manipulating the top app list, and publishing apps under the MSN China brand.

For a side note, MSN China has an embarrassing track record in practically everything it runs so far:

  • Portal website: The primary business of MSN China, lagging far behind China’s “Four Big Portals” (Sina, Net Ease, QQ, Sohu).
  • Instant messaging: From 2005 to 2012, the market share of Live Messenger in China has successfully fallen from 10.58% (quite good for initial entry) to 4.95% (haha) under great leadership.
  • Search engine: While we don’t have exact figures, but the Chinese version of Bing is lagging lightyears behind its American sibling in terms of functions and features. If you try it out (cn.bing.com), you will find it calls up all sorts of memories dating all the way back to the days when Bing was first launched internationally. Yes, Bing (Chinese), the search engine for time travellers.
  • e-Commerce: MSN China started a shopping site in 2009, hoping to get a slice of cake in China’s prospering e-commerce sector. The site was finally shut down in November 2011 for lack of user interest.

Despite everything, we sincerely wish MSN China does the Marketplace job right. This will be utterly important, because the Chinese Windows Phone 8 launch is supposed to happen very soon after the switch of leadership.

Source: WPDang

Mysterious Nokia Windows Phone prototype caught in the wild

The sharp-eyed kids at WPDang caught this. Someone posted interesting pictures on Sina weibo (just consider that “China’s Twitter”) yesterday:

It looks like a bright yellow Lumia 800 or 900 hidden inside a black bumper case. Except for the fact that neither Lumia 800 or 900 has a publicly available yellow flavor… WPDang also noted that the device has a tiny line at the bottom saying “proto.nokia.com”. Clearly this is some sort of prototype device leaked out of Nokia.

And it’s not just some random prototype. Because the guy who posted the picture above made another post soon after:

 You do see the Local Scout tile and cute tiny tiles, right?

This is most likely some sort of Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 7.8 prototype. Considering the unit looks so much like Lumia 800/900, and the central Windows logo is not replaced by the next-gen Windows Phone 8 version yet, we’d it’s more likely loaded with Windows Phone 7.8. Because Microsoft has told us already that existing hardware (not to mention early prototypes) aren’t capable of running Windows Phone 8 properly.

It’s a shame the guy who posted these pictures didn’t say anything more about it. Just two pictures, and deleted by the poster soon after.

Leaks have a habit of following one another. Let’s expect to see more of Windows Phone 8 or 7.8 in the near future…

Source: WPDang

wp8

Windows Phone 8 : Screen shot Gallery

Windows Phone 8 Preview SDK was leaked 2 days back courtesy of some major legit leak from Microsoft’s China website which was then easily available for download all over the web. We got our hands on the SDK as well. We have covered a lot of Windows Phone 8 news here and all the features in the SDK (Running via emulator) isn’t really surprising since WP8 has been detailed already by Microsoft. However, the presence of screenshot is a nice addition, you can use Camera + Windows button to take a screen shot. We have nearly 45 images in our Windows Phone 8 preview gallery for starters, if you need any specific screenshot or details, let us know in the comments below. We will detail the WP8 SDK APIs soon as well. Stay tuned!