Search This Blog


Tuesday, April 15

XBox Live messaging is now FREE! on Windows phone 8.1

In my opinion, I don't think Microsoft has done enough to take full advantage of its huge user base of xbox gamers.
As of February last year, xbox had no less than 76 million users, I don't see why Microsoft cannot make at least half of those to want a Windows Phone.
Little wonder many have called for an Xbox Phone. My point is Microsoft needs to do something  to bring more of its Xbox users to its Windows Phone platform.

One way Microsoft tried to integrate its Windows Phone and Xbox Live experience is through WP game hub and its Xbox live games... Achievements earned from both Phone and Console are added to your gamer profile, that's cool but its not enough.
Microsoft also introduced messaging from the Games Hub where you can instantly message your gamer buddies (using their gamertag) and they can receive your message either from their phone or on the Xbox console. Pretty neat right, there was one problem, you couldn't use it unless you were an Xbox Live Gold member. I guess they did that because they thought only Xbox live members would want to instant message other Xbox members, so it made sense, right? I didn't think so and I am glad someone at Microsoft shared my sentiment.
Because with Windows Phone 8.1 you can now instant message other Xbox members regardless if you are a Gold member or not.

Just hop on over to your Game hub, swipe to the Social pane and hit the Messaging mini tile and you can message anyone as long as you have their gamertag.

the only downside is you don't get notified of an incoming message in the action center, the only notification you will get is in the Notification section in the game hub and that can get easily lost in the stream of other game notifications.

Microsoft really needs to improve on its method of taking advantage of its 76million+ xbox users, look for ways to get at least half of them to get a windows phone and increase their market share. This free xbox messaging is a good step, but there is still more that can be done.

Monday, April 14

Non-US WP8.1 Users: How to get Cortana in 2- Easy Steps

If you just upgraded to Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for developers and it just so happens that your Live account is registered to a region other than the US? Or you are in non-US region. Then you will not have Cortana, simply put Cortana is not enabled for regions outside the US.
She knows this cos well your region and language are set to anywhere other than the US.

You can fix this in 2 easy steps...

1) Go to Settings->Region and change your Country/Region and also change your Regional format to English (United States).
2)Restart your Phone.
The Cortana tile should now be available and ready for interaction.

Windows Phone 8.1 Update now available, get it in 3-easy-steps

If you are like me and have been using Lumia since the first Lumia 800/900, then the wait is finally over.
The Windows Phone 8.1 major upgrade is finally available for download on any Lumia/Windows Phone 8 device and you can get it in these 3 easy steps...

1. Log in at

First, log into with the same Microsoft live account you use on your Lumia. After logging in, it should register your live account.

2. Download the Preview for Developers app:
Get the Preview for Developer app from the Microsoft Store. log into this app with your live account ID.

3. Install updates:
Finally, Go to Settings>Phone Updates>check for updates and download all the awesomeness!

Wednesday, April 2

Nokia announces the Lumia 930 (Hands-On Videos)

I had a chance to play with a Lumia Icon the other day at a Microsoft store and it was amazing, first thing I noticed is its 5-inch HD display, yes that's 1920x1080; 441dpi that's incredible. This masterpiece is only avialble on Verizon, bummer!
Well, that changed today, as Nokia announced the Lumia 930, an international version of Verizon's Lumia Icon. While, it wouldn't be available in the US, it will be available in other parts of the world.

It's 5-inch HD display isn't the only thing amazing about this phone. It features...

- A 20MP Carl Zeiss pureview Camera with Dual LED flash
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz QuadCore CPU
- 32GB internal storage (no SD card support)
- 2420mAh battery

The Lumia 930 looks very much like a bigger Lumia 928 though  it comes in Green, White, Orange, white and black, it still has the same form factor design as the Lumia 928, but don't let the lack of curves or boring shape fool you, once you look at that screen everything else around you becomes blurry.
I'll just say it "it's the best HD screen I have seen on any phone" I have used the Samsung S4 and HTC One, there is a difference.

And here area few hands on videos...

The Lumia 930 will be available from June, starting from the Europe, Asia, Middle East and Latin America regions before rolling out to other parts of the world.
It will not be available in the US for obvious reasons as it is an exclusive on Verizon.
The Nokia Lumia 930 will be priced at $599 before taxes.

Which color you getting?

Nokia announces Lumia 630 & 635: Dual SIM low end WP8.1 phones #MoreLumia (hands on videos)

Nokia was on stage at the Microsoft Build during Day1 Keynote address to launch a few Lumia devices.
S.Elop came on stage and announced the Lumia 630 & 635 low budget WP8.1 phones. Though you might think they are upgrades from the Lumia 620, make no mistake, the Lumia 620 is cooler than these pair.

Though the Lumia 630/635 can be touted as the fastest low end Lumia phone with its 1.2GHz quad-core qualcomm CPU, it still lacks some essential features, but I will get to that in a bit.

The Lumia 630 features a 4.5inch FWVGA screen, 1850mAh battery, 5MP camera (no flash and no front facing camera) 1.2GHz quad core qualcomm CPU with 512mb RAM, 8GB internal storage with  microSD card slot for SD cards up to 128GB.
The Lumia 630 comes in 2 versions, a single SIM and a Dual SIM version. These are 3G phones by the way.

Here are a few hands on videos...

The Lumia 635 is almost identical with the Lumia 630 with just one distinction: It is a 4G LTE phone.
And i bet Nokia had to make this variant for the American market as it will be released on At&t, T-Mobile and MetroPCS.

The best selling Windows Phone today is the Nokia Lumia 520, why? it's dirt cheap but still packs a punch. Nokia had to remove certain features to make it that cheap and they succeeded.
I don't know if Nokia was trying to emulate the 520, but if they were, it's a huge fail.
The major drawback to the Lumia 630/635 are 3 things...
- The price, according to Nokia, the Lumia 630 will be priced at about $169 for the Dual SIM Lumia 630 and $189 for the US bound LTE Lumia 635. That's just ridiculous. considering you can now get a Lumia 920 for free on At&t with a resale value of less than $200 today. Even the Lumia 820, you could get for way less than the $189 price tag. I bet the Lumia 520 will still outsell the Lumia 630/635 and I will tell you why next.
- The Lumia 630/635 does NOT have a front facing camera, this might not be a problem, well it depends on what demographic Nokia is targeting with this smartphone.
- No flash?  even the Lumia 620 has both flash and a front facing camera and I am sure they can be found at the same price point or even cheaper than the 630.

Lumia 630/635 vs. Lumia 620

I have no problem with these missing features, what I do NOT understand is how is this device still worth $189, when it almost matches the Lumia 520 in specs and the 520 could be bought for under $100.

Did Nokia make a strategic mistake here? Sure users would rather get a Nokia X than buy this expensive low budget Lumia.

Introducing Windows Phone 8.1. Videosssss

Mark your calendars, today is the day Microsoft's Windows Phone platform begins competing with Android and iOS.

Since the re-invention of Windows Mobile to Windows Phone 7 a few years ago, it has been nothing but a peck of dust compared to the sandy beach that is Android/iOS.
Windows Phone did upgrade to Windows Phone 7.5 and still it was awful. Until Nokia came into the fray did things begin to happen, after the launch of Windows Phone 8, users began to believe we were on to something here and right they were.

Today's keynote showcased for the first time (officially) the Windows Phone 8.1 update and all its many features.

Let's dive in...

This first video shows Head of Windows Phone Team at Microsoft, Joe Belfiore introduce the new WP8.1 and demo its features...

Another feature introduce is the syncing of data across all windows platform, it's about time...
See it.

here is a hands on 22-mins video from the guys at WPCentral ...

These videos do not cover all the new exciting features available on the update.

You can see the full list of features HERE

So are you satisfied with Windows Phone 8.1?

Video: Re- live the Windows Phone 8.1 + Nokia Lumia 630/635 & 930 reveal

It's been an exciting day, Microsoft and its Windows Phone team have finally revealed the Windows Phone 8.1 update, demoing its most prominent features...
Action Center,
New Lockscreen API,
Windows Phone Store UX
WiFi Sense and more...

Nokia also took to the stage to reveal 2 new additions to the Lumia family: The Nokia Lumia 630/635 and Lumia 930. The 930 is the international version of Verizon's Lumia Icon.
So if you missed it and have 3 Hours to spare, you can catch the whole thing, re-live the moments...

Watch it Here: Microsoft Build 2014 keynote

Watch Microsoft Build Live Stream: Windows Phone 8.1 announcement

The day is upon us, in less than 30mins, Microsoft will announce it's WP8.1
And you can watch it all unfold HERE

Tuesday, April 1

Leaked image: Nokia's SmartGlasses (codenamed: Vision 20:20

Nokia's mobile division was acquired by Microsoft late last year for $920M and the deal's set to be finalized later this month, but that hasn't slowed Nokia down one bit.

Nokia has been working on a few smart accessories, some we know about, while others are still being developed discreetly in their R&D lab.

I was fortunate to get a sneak peek at Nokia's upcoming rival to Google Glass, it's code-named Nokia Vision 20:20 and it features un-parallaxed virtual augmented reality view, giving you access to your surroundings like never before seen. it will also feature dual 41MP sensor lens, sweet!

It connects to your Lumia 1020 (and subsequent successors) via Bluetooth LEv4, and is voice activated, it also runs on WindowsRT powered by Intel's Baytrail processor. though this is just a prototype, so expect the final product specs to be different.

Though this is still a prototype, Nokia with help from Microsoft intends to released these glasses just in time for the holidays, 2014

What do you think? Should Nokia really be working on Smart glasses or do you prefer smart watches, which appear to be all the rave at the moment.

Friday, March 28

New video showing Lumia 630 running WP8.1 (including parallax effect for background image on start screen)

As we draw nearer to April 2nd, when Microsoft will unveil the WIndows Phone 8.1 and Nokia will also launch new WP8.1 running Lumia Phones, it only makes sense that we see more leaked images and videos.

Today's leak comes to us from the far east... Someone was nice enough to show us a video on the unannounced Lumia 630 running Windows Phone 8.1

The guys at WPCentral have verified that this is authentic

Here it is...

It's a quick 3-min video that shows...
- new Map
- new call dialer
- new windows phone store
- the action center

Second video shows the background image parallax effect... pretty cool...

No Cortana footage  but all will be revealed next week.

Oh and it looks like we will be having the option to use 3-column of tiles on the start screen...

See more screenshots HERE