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iplayer-windows-phone-8.jpgIt's been a long old wait, but the BBC iPlayer catch-up TV app is now available on Windows Phone 8 devices.

Rather than a ground-up build of the service, the Windows Phone 8 version of the app is actually a shortcut to the mobile optimised version of the website, alongside a live tile and the included BBC Media Player app needed to power playback.

The app is free and is available form the Windows Phone app store now.

However, despite months of preparatory development work, the BBC have been unable to put together a version for users of Windows Phone 7.5 handsets.

"Following our previous blog post some of you will be wondering what about Windows Phone 7.5?," said Dave Price, Head of BBC iPlayer, Programmes and On Demand, BBC Future Media, in a BBC blog post.

"Over the last few months we have been working with Microsoft to launch iPlayer on both Windows Phone 8 and 7.5.

"Unfortunately, platform limitations with Windows Phone 7.5 have meant we've been unable to provide the same quality playback experience as on Windows Phone 8. This led to the joint decision not to make BBC iPlayer available on Windows Phone 7.5.

"Although this is disappointing, Windows Phone 8 currently make up the majority of all Windows Phones on the market and this number is expected to grow. I therefore hope more of you will get to enjoy BBC programmes on the go with iPlayer with Windows Phone 8 devices."

In March this year 30% of all BBC iPlayer streaming requests came from mobiles or tablets (with 81 million requests in total), showing that on-the-go TV viewing is on the rise.

Are you a Windows Phone 7.5 user? Feel a bit shortchanged by Microsoft's swift ditching of the OS and drop off in developer interest, or perfectly happy with the operating system and its app offerings? Fire off in the comments section below.

nokia-lumia-820-windows-phone-eight-now-official-1.jpgMicrosoft are claiming that Google are preventing YouTube from putting together a fully-fledged Windows Phone YouTube app.

Currently, users of Microsoft's Windows Phone OS have a limited YouTube app that is little better than the lowly mobile web service that YouTube already offer, while Android and iOS both have bespoke, feature-rich apps for accessing the wealth of video content hosted by YouTube.

Microsoft believe that the team at YouTube are willing to go all out and make a solid Windows Phone app, but are being held back by owners Google who will not allow the platform access to the full YouTube API.

"Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers," said Microsoft VP and deputy general counsel Dave Heiner.

"As you might expect, it appears that YouTube itself would like all customers - on Windows Phone as on any other device - to have a great YouTube experience. But just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones."

Heiner falls just short of calling the whole thing an anti-Microsoft conspiracy on Google's behalf. But that wouldn't explain why Google allowed a strong YouTube app to be available on the Xbox 360. The reality is probably that, while Google indeed don't want to bolster a platform that rivals their own Android operating system, Windows Phone has yet to reach a large enough audience to justify allocating the YouTube team's resources to in any significant way.

Though Heiner's public statement may speed up matters, there's still no word yet from YouTube as to when a revamped app for Windows Phone users will become available.

Via: AllThingsD

Thumbnail image for steve ballmer.jpgMicrosoft chief Steve Ballmer has laid into his competition in the mobile space, calling Apple's iPhone and iPad ecosystem "highly priced" and "highly controlled", while he considers Android to be "wild" and "uncontrolled".

Speaking to LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, a boisterous Ballmer called out Android's fragmented app strategy as being problematic. He said that from "an app compatibility perspective, maybe in a way that's not always in the consumers' best interests".

Apple's premium pricing strategy also came under fire:

"Maybe because we live in a country where every phone is subsidised you might forget it. But in Russia last week, you had to pay $1,000 for an iPhone. So in Russia, you're not going to sell many iPhones."

Ballmer also took time to highlight the merits of Microsoft's own Windows Phone 8 operating system, saying that it has "the quality" without being stuck "at the premium price", with a policed app ecosystem that is "controlled, but maybe not as controlled," as Apple's.

Ballmer praised Windows Phone 8 as being "the most personal smartphone", stating that "when you whip out your phone, you really see the things that matter to you. And just moving things back and forth among Windows devices will be appealing to a lot of people,"

Via: TechCrunch

windowsphone8-tiles.pngWindows Phone 8 is looking pretty tasty, and Nokia will be wanting to get in on the action nice and early following their late-but-impressive start with Windows Phone 7. Looking to get ahead of the curve in time for the lucrative holiday rush, it's now being rumoured that the fallen Finnish mobile giants are lining up an early September launch for their Windows Phone 8 offerings.

A Bloomberg report puts the launch on September 5th, with "a person with knowledge of the matter" revealing a new event set to hit the road in the same vein as the Nokia World conferences to showcase the devices. The same source also claims that the phones will hit shelves before 2013, "before the year-end holiday shopping season".

Both Windows Phone 7 and the Microsoft/Nokia partnership have been late bloomers on the smartphone scene. But consistently strong offerings in the last few months definitely make this one rumour to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Via: Bloomberg

samsung-omnia-w-windows-phone.jpgMicrosoft have looked to quash rumours that they are to begin manufacturing their own Windows Phone 8 smartphones, following the unveiling of their own-branded Surface tablet.

The company's senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, Greg Sullivan, told Information Week Microsoft did not want to bring its Surface business model to the phone market. "No, we do not," was his blunt reply to the publication's probing.

We have a strong ecosystem of partners that we are very satisfied with," he added, pointing to the likes of Nokia, HTC and Samsung.

With Microsoft setting the hardware precedent for Windows 8 with their Surface tablet, it's hard to believe they'll stay out of the mobile market for long however. For whether or not that's a good thing, read the related story below.

RELATED | Why the Microsoft Surface tablet could mean trouble for third-party hardware makers

snapdragon-top-red.jpgQualcomm look set to extend their partnership with Microsoft today, with their Snapdragon S4 Plus processors said to be the guts of next-gen Windows Phone 8 handsets.

Following the launch of tiers for the Snapdragon platform, the S4 Plus has been picked for its dual-core abilities, up to 1.7GHz processing speeds and Adreno 305 graphics. It's also both 3G and 4G enabled, with USB 2.0 and Bluetooth supported, making it a well rounded bit of kit.

Though only the Plus chips have been announced at this point, remember that Microsoft has stated that Windows 8 will support up to 64 cores. With Qualcomm's S4 Pro supporting up to four cores and an Adreno 320 GPU, we wouldn't be surprised if more advanced Windows 8 handsets opt for that processor a little further into the product cycle.

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Superhero geeks the world over rejoice! Not only is The Dark Knight Rises hitting cinemas in a matter of weeks, but remember the Batman Nokia Lumia 800 phone that we thought was only super limited edition back in December? Well, it looks like it's returning to the UK soon as a souped-up Lumia 900.

According to Pocket Lint, the Lumia 900 handset will be available from Phones4U in the UK and some other European countries over the next few weeks.

Early reports suggest the Batman phone will look exactly like the Lumia 800 spotted back in December, with a bat logo laser etched onto the back. It'll still be limited edition, so you're going to need to move quickly if you want one, but we're expecting there'll be more shipped than the mere forty that were released at the time of the The Dark Knight Rises prologue preview showings last year.

There's no official word about how much the handsets will cost you just yet, but we'll keep you posted.

Via: Pocket Lint / Shiny Shiny
Image via: @jonchoo

samsung-omnia-m-windows-phone.jpgShowing they're not just all about high0end Android phones, Samsung have today lifted the lid on their latest Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handset, the Omnia M.

Featuring a 4 inch Super AMOLED screen powered by a 1GHz processor, the 10.5 mm thick handset has a 5MP camera with auto-focus and flash on the back, with a front-facing VGA camera for video calling, as well as Wi-Fi and HSDPA connectivity. Just 4GB of storage space is onboard (with no sign of microSD expansion) and when paired with just 384MB RAM it's not looking an incredibly exciting handset in terms of hardware.

But it's the software side of things Samsung are hoping will catch the casual smartphone fans eye. As well as standard Windows Phone features like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Windows Live feed aggregation through the Windows Phone's People Hub and 25GB of cloud based SkyDrive storage, there are a handful of bespoke Samsung apps inside too.

The Samsung ChatON app lets users send instant messages freely to Windows, Android, iOS or BlackBerry users, and has the capacity for group chat too. Samsung AllShare lets users stream films, music and gaming apps to compatible TVs, while Family Story allows for the quick sharing of media files across multiple Samsung devices.

No firm pricing or release date info yet, but European smartphone buyers are confirmed to be the first to get a chance of grabbing the handset.

Steve-Wozniak--hips.jpgApple co-founder Steve Wozniak has professed his love for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 OS.

Stating that he believes apps for Windows Phones now look more beautiful than comparative ones for Android and iOS, Wozniak hailed Windows phone as the most aesthetically pleasing of all mobile operating systems.

"Just for looks and beauty, I definitely favor the Windows 7 phone over Android," Wozniak said in an interview with A New Domain.

"I'm kind of shocked on every screen -- much more beautiful than the same apps on Android and iPhone. So I think that what Microsoft or Nokia did is that they went to some of the key app makers and got them to deliberately make specialized beautiful ones or they put their own themes on."

However, Wozniak still has a soft spot for the iPhone, stating that his old buddy Steve Jobs must have risen from the grave to help out over at Microsoft.

"I did give my opinion that the Windows Phone 7 had superior visual appearance and operation cues that were also more attractive. In my opinion, it sets the mark for user interface. I would recommend it over my Android phones given that it doesn't yet have the breadth of apps," he added.

"I also surmised that Steve Jobs might have been reincarnated at MS due to a lot of what I see and feel with this phone making me think of a lot of great Apple things."

Via: PC Magazine

Nokia_Pureview_Windows_Phone_slide-580-75.jpgRemember the Nokia PureView cameraphone revealed at Mobile World Congress 2012 back in February? The one that was mad as much for its 41-megapixel camera as it was for making use of Symbian rather than Windows Phone as its OS? Well, a new set of leaked slides seem to have seen Nokia see sense, with the mega-cameraphone now packing Microsoft's OS in the images.

Nokia appear to have made good on their promise to introduce their high resolution sensor to their Windows phone range, with reports stating that the curved handset in the image above will also feature a 4.3 inch screen and 1.5GHz dual-core processor. There's also talk of 1080p recording making its way onboard too.

It's definitely an intriguing prospect, and the curved design is quite unique. It still feels a little fishy, and the screen looks a little slim for WP7, but we're staying optimistic that the phone will eventually see the light of day.

Via: Androsym / IT168

zte-logo-001.jpgZTE are planning to launch a whopping 8 smartphones at next week's MWC 2012 show. With three devices already revealed, the Chinese company has now also teased "a major new quad-core flagship handset".

While little is yet known about the quad-core device, details of the other three unveiled handsets look promising, each packing Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

First, the PF200. It has a 4.3-inch QHD capacitive touch screen, powered by a 1.5GHz chipset, with an 8-megapixel camera and a 1080p HD front facing camera for video calling.

Next the Mimosa X, with a 4.3 inch, 960x540 pixel resolution screen, a 5MP camera, Dolby sound and DLNA features. Under the hood of the Mimosa X also sits a Tegra 2 dual-core chipsetand an Icera 450 modem.

Lastly, the N910. This one's unlikely to hit our shores due to its use of the LTE FDD, CDMA and EVDO spectrum range, and features a WVGA (800x480) touchscreen and a 5MP camera.

"There is no doubt that this year's Mobile World Congress will again see some exciting device launches.The new devices from ZTE will demonstrate how ZTE is without doubt among an elite group of handset providers as next generation telecommunications networks roll out globally," said He Shiyou, EVP and head of the Terminals Division at ZTE.

"ZTE returns at least ten per cent of its revenues back into R&D to ensure that it sustains its position as a true market innovator - and we're counting down to being able to showcase this to the world's mobile industry next week."


Whether it ends up being called the LG Miracle or the LG Fantasy, or something altogether different, we don't yet know. What we do know however is that LG have a new Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handset on the way, and it's just been caught on camera.

Revealing the previously rumoured rubberised back and 5MP camera in the video, the Miracle is also said to have a 1GHz processor, a 4-inch WVGA NOVA display, 8GB of internal storage and a front-facing VGA camera.

There's also talk of NFC capabilities being inside the phone. A significant addition considering Near Field Communications tech isn't currently supported by Windows Phone 7; perhaps just one of many updates to be revealed by Microsoft at Mobile World Congress?

We'll have more news straight from the Barcelona mobile show when it kicks off on February 27th.

Via: Mobilissimo

LG Miracle Windows Phone 7 handset leaks online

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A new Windows Phone 7 handset from LG has been leaked ahead of MWC 2012. The LG Miracle (noted elsewhere as the LG Fantasy E740) is a mid-level Windows Phone 7 handset. It's looking set to be the first Windows Phone 7 device from LG since the LG Quantaum and Optimus 7 handsets were revealed at the operating system's launch.

Said to feature a 4-inch WVGA NOVA display capable of deep black levels, it's powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, has 8GB of built-in storage, a 5MP rear camera with 720p video shooting capabilities and a VGA front-facing webcam.

Connectivity specs include 14.4Mbps HSPA, 5.0GHz-capable 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0. Interestingly, the leak suggest NFC tech will be present too, despite the platform not currently supporting the data transfer standard.

So, not quite a match for the HTC Titan or Nokia's Lumia blowers, but it's still great to see the nifty Windows Phone platform expanding.

Via: Pocket Now

Nokia Lumia 800 now comes in white

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Just in time to meet the UK's snowfall, Nokia have just announced that their Lumia 800 handset will be hitting Blighty's shores in a new white shade.

"The story of the Nokia Lumia is one of reduction and purity," says Nokia's colour and material designer Tiina Aarrasshe.

"White is the ultimate colour of reduction. It's also perfect for emphasising the black polished screen. If you stand a white Lumia 800 on a table the body almost disappears, and the black screen seems to lift up and float."

Apart from the fresh lick of paint, it's business as usual for the Lumia 800. The Windows Phone 7 device still sports a 3.7-inch, WVGA 800x480 AMOLED display, an 8MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics, all powered by a 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor. 512MB of RAM and 16GB of storage (plus 25GB of SkyDrive storage) round off the specs.

To mark the arrival of the new smartphone shade, Nokia are also launching a new "White selection" on their Mix Radio music service, with tracks from the likes of the White Stripes and Barry White up for grabs.

Shipping in March, you can pre-order a white Nokia Lumia 800 from Phone 4U now, with contracts starting at £20.50 a month.

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Microsoft have lifted the lid on Windows Phone 8, the next major upgrade for their smartphone operating system.

Revealed to PocketNow via an internal Microsoft products video, Windows Phone 8 will be the official name of the update initially codenamed Apollo, which should follow the Tango update before the end of the year.

The OS will allow apps to work not only on your phone, but also with corresponding applications on the desktop version of Windows 8, also expected to land later this year.

Windows Phone 8 will also add NFC capabilities to handsets running Microsoft's OS, letting data be shared between two handsets just by touching them together, or for payments to be made at NFC checkout points.

The update will also introduce the DataSmart live tile, which helps a user manage how much mobile data they're using in order to keep their phone bills down. The app will also intelligently aim to connect to a Wi-Fi connection over a mobile data connection each time.

Looking a reasonably well-rounded update, we'll have more on Windows Phone 8 as it edges closer to launching.

Thumbnail image for Xbox360_RingofLight_kl.jpgFancy a bit of Xbox Live gaming on your Android or Apple iOS device? That's the possiblity being speculated upon today after a loose-lipped Microsoft executive teased the expansion of the platform.

Speaking to Forbes, an Xbox spokesperson stated that:

"While the Xbox Live experiences and games always work best on the Windows platform, we understand that some Xbox fans may be using other types of devices. To satisfy that need, we are working to extend a few of our Xbox experiences and titles to other platforms."

When it comes to mobile, only devices packing Microsoft's own Windows Phone OS have access to playable Xbox Live games. While the iOS App Store offers the Xbox Live status, stats and message tracking app My Xbox Live, as well as the standalone Kinectimals app, it doesn't yet offer gaming that's integrated into the same experience you'd find on Microsoft's home console. The same goes for Android devices.

While expansion to other platforms would be great news for consumers, Microsoft will have to weigh any eventual decision up very carefully. On the one hand, moving onto iOS and Android would greatly expand the Redmond company's mobile gaming dominance. But on the other, it will detract from the Xbox Live integration that is a key differentiator on their struggling Windows Phone 7 platform.

Nokia reveal £800 million operating loss

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nokia-lumia-900-cyan.jpgDespite the promising launch of Nokia's first set of Windows Phone 7 devices with their Lumia range, it's still tough times for the Finnish company. Revealing that their smartphone fightback is far from over, they've announced an operating loss of a massive €954 million, (roughly £800 million) for the last three months of 2011.

Net sales too dropped 21% compared to the previous year, down from €12.65 billion to a little above €10 billion.

The figures come in stark contrast to last year's €884 million profit. But the company continues to sell handsets in staggering figures. Let's not for forget that just yesterday the mobile giant's announced the sale of their 1.5 billionth Symbian Series 40 device.

93.9 million feature phones were sold alongside the 19.6 million shifted by their struggling smartphone division for a grand total of 113.5 million devices. This, however, was still a significant drop from 123.7 million units in the same period of 2010.

Even the average handset unit price has dropped, going from €69 down to €53, further cutting into Nokia's fortunes.

"In the war of ecosystems, clearly there are some strong contenders already on the field," said CEO Stephen Elop.

"And with Lumia, we have demonstrated that we belong on the field. Our specific intent has been to establish a beachhead in this war of ecosystems, and country by country that is what we are now accomplishing.

"And, while we progressed in the right direction in 2011, we still have a tremendous amount to accomplish in 2012, and thus, it is my assessment that we are in the heart of our transition.

"In summary, with a strong balance sheet, our performance in mobile phones and the new excitement around Lumia, we are confident that we are on the right track to build long-term value."

Elop may be confident, but it's still very much an uphill battle he and his company faces. With share prices dropping and job cuts hitting every level of the company, the Lumia range has to pick up years' worth of slack, something it may struggle to do.

COMPETITION: WIN A NOKIA LUMIA 800 SMARTPHONE

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WIN: A NOKIA LUMIA 800 SMARTPHONE

The Nokia Lumia 800 is the first Nokia phone to boast Windows Phone and comes with Mango as standard. Sporting a seamless 'polymer' design and a 3.7 inch touch screen - the Nokia Lumia 800 is the Windows Phone we've been waiting for.

Now with Three's all-you-can-eat data, you'll have all the internet you'll ever need. Tech Digest is offering one lucky reader the chance to get their hands on this cool new smartphone. It comes with a Pay As You Go SIM pre-loaded with all-you-can-eat data so you'll be free to stream, download, tweet and surf the web without ever worrying about the cost - there literally are no limits.

To be in with a chance of winning the handset, follow these two simple steps:

1) "Like" the Tech Digest Facebook page, which can be found by clicking here.

2) Leave us a message telling us why you think you deserve to win the Nokia Lumia 800, and what you''ll do with it, either via our Facebook page (with the message text starting with "TD NOKIA LUMIA 800") or by sending us an email explaining why you should win the smartphone to shinymediacomps@gmail.com, with the subject header "TD NOKIA LUMIA 800".

Good Luck!

Terms and Conditions

  1. Only one entry per person will be counted. Only entrants who are also Tech Digest Facebook page fans will be eligible to win.
  2. The competition closes at 5pm GMT on Monday 20th February 2012. No entries will be considered after then.
  3. This competition is open to residents of the UK and Ireland.
  4. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  5. The winner will be notified within seven days of the closing date.
  6. All prizes are non transferable and there are no cash alternatives.
  7. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Keep an eye on www.techdigest.tv/promotions and the Tech Digest Facebook page, for chances to win more prizes in the future!

Nokia-Lumia-800-web1.jpgNokia have announced that the second update for their Windows Phone 7 Lumia 800 handset has begun to roll out, with the battery-boosting fix hitting all handsets within two weeks.

The update fixes a big complaint from Lumia 800 owners who were noticing their smartphone's battery could never hold it maximum charging capacity, leading to just a few hours of usable time with the Lumia 800. Staying true to their word, Nokia have managed to push out a fix for the problem just a few weeks after it was brought to their attention.

The Nokia conversations blog states:

"The update will not be delivered to every Lumia 800 simultaneously, but rather will be staggered over the next two weeks through Microsoft's standard update process. This helps each owner get the update without any hitches. Around half of owners will get the update in the next seven days, with the remainder over the following seven days."

The update (software version number 1600.2483.8106.11500) is being rolled out nice and transparently by Nokia, which is sure to win them favour with the disgruntled Lumia 800 owners.

sony-mwc-2012-leak-1.jpgIt's raining Sony smartphone leaks on the net today, as a trio of handsets from the tech giant have broke cover ahead of their big MWC 2012 reveal.

The leak reveals that at least two Android phones and maybe even a Windows Phone 7 device from Sony will be hitting the show floor.

First, that Windows Phone device. Seemingly the first time Sony have paired up with Microsoft since 2008's Windows mobile 6.1 Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 handset, there are few blurry shots knocking around on Pocket Now showing the device. However, with Sony Ericsson branding still on it following the recent buyout, its credibility is being called into question. It may prove to be an old prototype model for a phone that failed to come to fruition.

Looking more valid are the two Android devices.
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We'll start with the larger of the two, codenamed the Xperia Nypon. It's said to have a 4-inch qHD Reality display, running off a NovaThor U8500-based chipset. Photo and video specs weigh in at 8MP and 1080p respectively.

The smaller Android device is the Xperia Kumquat, apparently using the same chipset, but with a 3.5-inch FWVGA Reality display, 5MP camera and 720p video recording.

A lot of specs there from just the most basic of spyshots. But with MWC 2012 just a few weeks away, we wont have long to wait to see if the rumours prove true.

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