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Wednesday, 31.07.13
SERVICE: Microsoft releases Office Mobile for Office 365 for Android
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:14 CET under 04 - Android News

Are you a happy Windows (8) user on your PC and using Office 365; but for your smartphone you trust in Android? Then, Microsoft has something new for you. Right today, Microsoft launched Office Mobile for Office 365 (for Android). What sounds like a typical Microsoft product name is indeed pretty powerful. Microsoft Office Mobile is the official Office companion optimized for Android phones. It allows to access, view and edit Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint documents from virtually anywhere. Documents look like the originals, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. When quick edits are done or comments were added to a document, the formatting and content remain intact.

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SERVICE: Lufthansa adds Samsung Wallet support to its Android App [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:17 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Following Samsung's earlier Mobile World Congress announcement to launch its own Wallet solution, where Samsung also announced partnerships, for instance with Lufthansa, today Lufthansa has updated its Android app and added support for Samsung Wallet. According to Samsung, its Wallet was announced to be a convenient mobile app which allows users to store and manage event tickets, boarding passes, membership cards and coupons all in one place. It's coming with time and location based push notification features and will alert with relevant and real-time updates on changes to boarding passes. According to the Google Play info, the Samsung Wallet feature is currently only available for flyers in the U.S.

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Monday, 29.07.13
PHOTOVIEW: HTC One mini Android 4.2.2 Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:07 CET under 08 - Reviews

The HTC One mini - the smaller sibling of the HTC One - is HTC's latest addition to the series of One devices. Powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8930) CPU and Adreno 305 GPU, the One mini will be right away released with Android 4.2.2 and HTC Sense 5. While the CPU sounds mini, other tech-specs aren't at all. The One mini also supporting quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE at 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS/HSPA+ at 900/1900/2100 MHz as well as triband LTE at 800/1800/2600 MHz. Other connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, WiFi a/b/g/n at 2.4 and 5 GHz as well as MHL, DLNA and screen sharing via HTC Media Link HD and Miracast.

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ACCESSORY: Is HTC TV coming to the HTC One mini with the help of the HTC Mini+ Remote Control?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:36 CET under 04 - Android News

Back in January, HTC launched the HTC Mini for its HTC Butterfly Android Smartphone. Never launched internationally, the HTC Mini is/was an in Asia-only available remote control gadget which connected to the Butterfly through NFC and Bluetooth. It allowed to make calls without actually having to take the smartphone out of the pocket and other features allowed to show received messages, calendar entries and call logs. Last but not least, the HTC Mini was also able to navigate through menus when the smartphone was plugged into a HDTV. Now, a software update appeared on a HTC One mini, which indicates that a "HTC Mini+" could be soon available for the HTC One mini, making it a remote control for TVs.

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PHOTO: Hipstamatic Oggl for Windows Phone released - yet the most official way to bring Photos to Instagram
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:49 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

When Nokia announced its new Windows Phone camera-hero, the Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia also announced that support for Instagram will hit Windows Phones soon and now it's available. Not from Instagram - or better Facebook - itself but from Hipstamatic which just released Hipstamatic Oggl: "A Community For Creative People To Capture & Curate Their Lives Through Photography". Oggl is described to be a "capture-first" shooting experience using Hipstamatic's beautiful lenses and films, which comes with 5 "Favorites" pre-loaded for situational shooting: Landscape, Food, Portrait, Nightlife and Sunset. Oggl edited photos can be either shared via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, but also shared to the Oggl profile to curate the users personal story. While Oggl is available free of charge, it will come with the 5 predefined filters - called lenses only.

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Thursday, 25.07.13
SOUND: Google selects HE-AAC Multichannel from Fraunhofer IIS for Google Play Movies in Surround
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:11 CET under 04 - Android News

While most VoD services offer HD videos today, one of the biggest complain of many offers is the poor sound quality of the rented movies; and Google Play Movies isn't anything better. So far, you only got stereo sound with your latest rented or purchased blockbuster; while watching it at 1080p HD. But now, help is coming from German Frauenhofer IIS, you remember, the guys which invented the MP3 standard and made the digital music as we know it today only possible. As just announced, Android users will soon be able to enjoy Google Play Movies in real cinema-quality surround sound at home or while on the go. Google and Fraunhofer IIS have started to deliver the first movies with a true 5.1 channel surround sound experience from Google Play.

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Wednesday, 24.07.13
MIRRORING: Google announces Google Chromecast - brings Smartphone and Tablet Entertainment to HDTV
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:41 CET under 01 - General News

During today's "Press Breakfast", Google introduced a new living room device called Google Chromecast. After Google TV and the Nexus Q failed so badly, Google is trying something new by introducing a small HDMI stick which works similar to HTC's Media Link HD or Miracast but isn't mirroring the PC or device screen at all but receives the content by its own via WiFi. With Chromecast, users can enjoy their favorite online entertainment on their HDTV; incl. movies, TV shows, music and more from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play and Chrome. Chromecast  is said to work with devices users already own, including Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones and iPads, Chrome for Mac as well as Chrome for Windows.

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WEARABLE: Kickstarter NFC Ring lets you Unlock Smartphones and Share Information
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:29 CET under 01 - General News

Just yesterday, I wrote about how my favorite Mallorcine hotel which is now using NFC for guest information and today I came across a Kickstarter project which slipped under my radar. It's about a NFC Ring project which is currently looking for backers, or better, which already found enough backers. Created by British John McLear, the NFC Ring is an actual ring which is designed to be worn on your finger - like any ring. However, it comes with two NFC chips which allow to use the ring to unlock doors or mobile phones as well as transfer information and link people. As mentioned, the clue are the two NFC inlays, one public and one private, which allow to keep personal information as private as ever you want.

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Tuesday, 23.07.13
REVIEW: Camera shoot-out between HTC One, Huawei Ascend P6, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Nokia Lumia 925
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:51 CET under 08 - Reviews

No question, doesn't matter if a smartphone has LTE, a 720p or 1080p HD touchscreen or Android, iOS or Windows Phone, one of the best - if not the best - features of is  the camera. The camera is always with you, the camera is virtually always ready to take a photo and it even allows to record - in most cases - HD videos. No wonder that the smartphone camera has mostly replaced the point and shoot cameras since the best camera is always the one which is with you. Now it comes to the question how good such a smartphone camera is and for a spontaneous shot, which is then shared via Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp, most smartphone cameras a good enough anyway. Nevertheless, manufacturer are often advertizing their high-end phones with special camera optics and features and the question stays: how good are these high-end smartphone cameras?

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SHOWCASE: First Hotel in Mallorca introduces NFC and QR-Codes for Guest Info
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:34 CET under 01 - General News

If you are a long time follower of me, you know that I have some, let's say, sympathies for Mallorca, Port de Sóller and a certain hotel in this little village. No, Port de Sóller isn't anything close to Palma, S'Arenal or the "Ballermann #6" but it's located next to the Serra de Tramuntana. There we found years ago a hotel where we are staying once or twice a year. All the years, the hotel had a great balance between style and comfort and the staff, which hasn't changed over the years, is always as helpful as it can be to answer questions. The patron always made the impression to me that he's a kind of tech savvy and according to today's hotel Facebook posting - he is! The hotel has just introduced a QR code and NFC info panel which is a great way for guests to utilize their smartphones!

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ENHANCED: Sonos Controller for Android allows to stream Files from Android
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:27 CET under 04 - Android News

This was really about time! A feature, so far only available for iOS, is now also available for Android. With its recent update of the Sonos Controller for Android, Sonos introduced today, the possibility to push on an Android devices stored media files and playlists to a Sonos system, similar to DLNA but not following the DLNA standard. This means users, which have files and playlists locally stored, can finally play them on their Sonos systems. This includes, for instance, Podcasts, other downloaded or synchronized media files and playlists. So far, the Sonos system had to be either connected to media files, stored on a PC or NAS in the same LAN, or streaming services like Spotify, Radio, Deezer or others.

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OFFICIAL: Nokia announces the Nokia Lumia 625 Windows Phone with 4.7 Inch Touchscreen and LTE
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:45 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Following yesterday's announcement to unveil "something big" today, Nokia has introduced the Nokia Lumia 625; a media-core smartphone with Windows Phone 8 and LTE. Powered by a Windows Phone typical 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, the 625 supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE, triband UMTS/HSPA+ and triband LTE. Furthermore onboard are Bluetooth 4.0+ LE, WiFi b/g/n and support for aGPS and GLONASS. The Lumia 625 comes with a 4.7" WVGA Corning Gorilla Glass 2 curved touchscreen which features high brightness mode, color boosting, a refresh rate of 60 Hz. It provides a wide viewing angle, sunlight readability enhancements and Super Sensitive Touch.

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OFFICIAL: HTC announces the HTC Desire 500 - in Taiwan
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:31 CET under 04 - Android News

Do you remember the HTC Desire 500, which was unveiled by a leaked O2 Germany document some time ago? Well, while HTC Europe/Germany has it yet to announce, it's now official - in Taiwan. As the name "Desire" suggests, the Desire 500 is a mid-range Android smartphone which is powered by a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core CPU. The Desire 500 comes with Android 4.2.2 and HTC Sense 5 and supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as dualband UMTS/HSDPA at 900/2100 MHz. HSUPA and LTE are left. Furthermore supported are Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, WiFi b/g/n with DLNA, NFC and packs 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of flash memory which can be expanded with microSD memory cards.

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Friday, 19.07.13
UPDATE: HTC announces Windows Phone 8 GDR2 availability for HTC 8X and HTC 8S
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:21 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

HTC has just announced on its German Facebook page, that the GDR2 (General Distribution Release 2) firmware upgrade for its HTC 8X and 8S is now distributed. This means that HTC Windows Phone 8 owners will now receive the latest and greatest firmware update anytime soon. To recap, Microsoft unveiled last week which obvious enhancements the GDR2 will contain. According to that info, the update includes improvements for Xbox Music, the FM radio and a new feature called Data Sense. VoIP apps like Lync and Skype will feature improved stability and performance like the Internet Explorer which is said to become better than ever with improved HTML 5 compatibility.

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Thursday, 18.07.13
QUICKVIEW: Joby GripTight Mount for Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:08 CET under 08 - Reviews

We all know these moments, when it would be convenient to have a tripod for a smartphone. For instance if you want to shot some group photos during your vacations, record a video of your kids in the park, or for creating a fancy Vine or Instagram video. The tripod isn't the biggest problem, the real problem is how to mount it to your smartphone? Well, I was looking for another smartphone mount and came across the Joby GripTight Mount. Joby, well know for its GorillaPod stands, is one of the companies I trust in since the GorillaPod was so innovative when it was introduced years ago; but the GripTight Mount was only released last fall.

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UPCOMING: InstaWeatherPro for Windows Phone hits Windows Phone Marketplace - yet not available for the Public
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:34 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

I already wrote last week about the expected release of InstaWeatherPro for Windows Phone and as it turned out now, the app is already available on Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace. InstaWeather, which was initially launched for iOS only but which got Android support earlier this year too, is one of these famous and successful photo apps which allows users to overlay photos with current weather information; giving users the possibility to add weather reports and forecasts. Overlaid photos can be then shared through Facebook, E-Mail, WhatApp or whatever allows to share images - pretty popular is sharing through Instagram which is still not available for Windows Phone.

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SECURITY: RegKey for Android patches Master Key Threat on Rooted Devices
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:20 CET under 04 - Android News

While Google has released a security fix for the recently discovered Android "Master Key" vulnerabilities, and the first devices have already been patched, there are millions of rooted Android devices out there which aren't patched and might never receive a patch from the respective OEM or carrier. However, Duo Security, a cloud-based two-factor authentication and mobile security company, and Northeastern University's System Security Lab (NEU SecLab) have joined forces and have developed RegKey. ReKey is a mobile application that fixes the above mentioned "Master Key" vulnerabilities  which allow attackers to take full control of a user's mobile device.

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QUICKVIEW: Hands-on with the new HTC One mini Android Smartphone with HTC Sense
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:51 CET under 08 - Reviews

Earlier this week I had the pleasure to have some quality-time with HTC's brand new HTC One mini, which was made official today. As you can read here, the One mini is powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8930) CPU with Adreno 305 GPU; which will be right away released with Android 4.2.2 and HTC Sense 5. While the CPU is only dual-core, compared to the One's quad-core CPU, WWAN connectivity is virtually the same and therefore is the One mini supporting also quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE at 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS/HSPA+ at 900/1900/2100 MHz as well as triband LTE at 800/1800/2600 MHz. All these bands will work perfect in Europe and Asia but not in North America.

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OFFICIAL: HTC announces the HTC One mini Android Smartphone with HTC Sense
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:51 CET under 04 - Android News

HTC today officially announced the upcoming launch of the HTC One mini - the smaller sibling of the HTC One - the one we have already heard and seen so much about. Powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8930) CPU and Adreno 305 GPU, the One mini will be right away released with Android 4.2.2 and HTC Sense 5. While the CPU sounds mini, other tech-specs aren't at all. The One mini also supporting quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE at 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS/HSPA+ at 900/1900/2100 MHz as well as triband LTE at 800/1800/2600 MHz. Other connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, WiFi a/b/g/n at 2.4 and 5 GHz as well as MHL, DLNA and screen sharing via HTC Media Link HD and Miracast.

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Wednesday, 17.07.13
EVENT: Google invites Media for a Press Breakfast with Sundar Pichai - Android 4.3 ahead?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:51 CET under 04 - Android News

As The Verge just repoted, it has received a press invitation from Google for a "breakfast with Sundar Pichai", Google's head of Android and Chrome OS, which is held on July 24. Other then unveiling the when and where, Google seems to be pretty shy; not spilling any beans about what the event could possibly be about. It's clear that it is mobile OS related - but this can be everything - from Android to Chrome OS. Nevertheless, The Verge speculates that the event might be about Android 4.3, which is long overdue to be announced, but as The Verge also wrote, little is known about Google's upcoming Android revision; which could include everything - from support for Bluetooth Smart to the updated camera app.

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APPROVAL: GCF approves the Nokia 909 - possibly a non-Lumia high-end Smartphone?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:04 CET under 01 - General News

Today appeared a Nokia phone in the Global Certification Forum list we have somehow heard about before - the Nokia 909.1. While it was initially rumored that last week's announced Lumia 1020 might be called Lumia 909, last week we have officially learned that this wasn't the device name at all. Nevertheless, the Nokia 909 name is back, now even certified, and it's definitely something high-end since it supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE, quadband UMTS/HSPA+ and quadband LTE! LTE isn't anything Nokia's range of Asha phones was supporting so far, so it's either a high-end S40 Asha feature phone or it might be indeed another Nokia Lumia Windows Phone (or maybe something totally different?).

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Friday, 12.07.13
PROJECT: MoDaCo.Switch allows to Dual-Boot an HTC One with either HTC Sense or Google Play Edition
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:41 CET under 04 - Android News

Paul O'Brien, well known and respected mobile device developer since the early Windows Mobile days, and owner of MoDaCo, has recently published first screenshots of a project called "MoDaCo.Switch". Following these screen shots, today he continued with a shot video demo which shows MoDaCo.Switch in action. As a matter of fact, the tool, which is designed at the moment for the HTC One, allows you to switch on the fly between an HTC Sense and Google Play Edition, without losing any data. If Switch becomes commercial reality, it means there's no more time consuming flashing or decisions with which kind of ROM you want to go since you could have both versions on one single device.

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UPDATE: Microsoft details Windows Phone 8 GDR2 Update enhancements
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:18 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

On its very own "Windows Phone 8 Update History" page, Microsoft has unveiled what the upcoming GDR2 (General Distribution Release 2) for Windows Phone 8 is expected to contain and the list isn't as long as some of us might have hoped but anyway, it's featuring some important improvements. According to the info, the update is either called 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78 (I expect this is country, device and carrier dependent) and includes improvements for Xbox Music. According to Microsoft the update makes it easier now to select, download and pin music. Plus, music fans will see more accurate metadata (such as song and album information) and many other performance improvements.

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Thursday, 11.07.13
EXPANSION: Nokia and Vine confirm upcoming support of Windows Phone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:49 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

At Stephan Elop's keynote of the new Lumia 1020 launch in New York today, Nokia's CEO also announced the upcoming launch for Vine for Windows Phone. While there's yet no official word from Vine, Twitter (which Vine belongs to) told The Verge "We can confirm that Vine will be coming to Windows Phone". That's indeed fantastic news for all 6 seconds video producers out there. If you haven't used Vine so far, it's a kind of social media network like Instagram but for videos, and belongs to Twitter. Initially launched for iOS, Android support was added early last month. Vine describes itself as "the best way to see and share life in motion by creating short, beautiful, looping videos in a simple and fun way".

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PHOTOVIEW: Huawei Ascend P6 Android Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:09 CET under 08 - Reviews

Announced last month at its dedicated press event in London, the Huawei Ascend P6 is Huawei's latest addition to its range of Android-powered Ascend smartphones. Being - at the moment - the world's slimmest smartphone, by being only 6.18 mm thick, the Ascend P6 runs on Android 4.2.2 and is powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core HiSilicon K3V2E CPU. It supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE at 850/900/1800/1900 MHz as well as pentaband UMTS/HSPA+ up to 42.2 Mbps down at 850/900/1700/1900/2100MHz. However, unlike other high-end smartphones in this category, the P6 lacks, at the moment, LTE. Other than that, the P6 comes with Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi b/g/n and GPS / GLONASS support as well as an FM radio.

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OFFICIAL: Nokia announces the Nokia Lumia 1020 41 Megapixel PureView Windows Phone 8
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:56 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

At it's "Zoom Reinvented" press event in New York, Nokia today announced the expected launch of the Lumia 1020, which was previously known as Nokia EOS as well as Nokia 909. It follows the Nokia 808 by bringing Nokia's unique 41 megapixel PureView technology to a Windows Phone. The Lumia 1020 runs on Windows Phone 8 and it is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm S4 CPU. The European version supports the Nokia Lumia typical quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE at 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, quadband UMTS/HSPA+ up to 42.2 Mbps down at 850/900/1900/2100 MHz as well as pentaband LTE up to 100 Mbps down at 800/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz bands and frequencies; the AT&T version might support slightly different bands.

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REVISED: Google brings back Offline Maps for Google Maps for Android
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:21 CET under 04 - Android News

Good to see that Google is (still) listening to its customers and users. In a Google+ posting, the Google Maps product team just announced that it brought back an easy way to cache offline maps for yesterday's all new Google Maps v7 for Android. Google wrote: "We've been happy to hear so many of you enjoying the interface and features of the new Google Maps app for Android, but we know some of you are missing an easy way to access maps offline. That's why our engineering team has been working around the clock to add a "Make this map area available offline" card below the search box for easier access." So offline caching isn't exactly there where you would expect it, in the map mode, but now it's part of the search results.

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Wednesday, 10.07.13
CONFERENCE: Microsoft says FY14 will be "Year of Innovation" - highlights upcoming Windows Phone Innovations
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:56 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

At today's Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft's COO B. Kevin Turner said that Microsoft's FY14 (Microsoft's fiscal year is from July 1st to June 30th) will be an even bigger year of launches for the company than 2013 was (and keep in mind - since July 1st Microsoft is in FC14). To give an example what he means, Turner even showed a Metro (aka Modern) styled slide which seems to highlight some of the important milestones for the fiscal year 2014 release calendar. A closer look on it (even if it's hard to read), shows 5 spots of Windows Phone, Microsoft plans to bring "big innovations" to. The tiles are named "Low Cost", "Killer Hardware", "Skype Experience", "Start Screen Innovation" and "Common App Platform with Windows".

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REVIEW: Nokia Lumia 925 Windows Phone 8
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:44 CET under 08 - Reviews

Announced back mid of May, I had the pleasure to use the Nokia Lumia 925 Windows Phone 8 as one of my main phones for over a week now. Nokia calls the Lumia 925 itself "a new interpretation of its award-winning Lumia 920" and indeed, it follows the design language but comes with slightly updated features and materials by introducing a metal design; which is the first of its kind for Nokia and Windows Phone in general. So far, Windows Phones were mainly made of plastic and some of them feel cheaper, others feel more valuable; but for sure metal – and in this case it's an aluminum frame – always adds this extra kind of luxury to a phone.

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UTILITY: Byss Mobile has InstaWeatherPro for Windows Phone in the Labor
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:44 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

If you are on Instagram, or on Twitter, or on Facebook, or follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I'm sure you know InstaWeather. An app which was initially available for iOS only but which was later released for Android as well. And if you are on Windows Phone, it looks like you don't have to wait too long anymore to get your hands on it as well, as Windows Blog Portugal just reported. According to an article, Byss Mobile has InstaWeatherPro for Windows Phone in the Beta works, which allows users to overlay photos with weather information. This allows to share weather reports and forecast from a place the user is at the moment. Overlaid photos can be then shared through Facebook, E-Mail, WhatApp or whatever allows to share images.

Related Links : [Read More]

UTILITY: Bluebox Security releases Bluebox Security Scanner for Android's Master Key Vulnerability
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:04 CET under 04 - Android News

Following last weeks news of the Android system "Master Key" vulnerability and yesterday's update that Google has released a patch which it already distributed to its OEMs, Bluebox Security, which discovered the master key vulnerability, has now released Bluebox Security Scanner; an app which allows users to directly check if an Android device has been patched. Furthermore, the utility also does a partial device integrity check by searching for malicious apps leveraging the "master key" vulnerability. If your device has not been patched, it will provide you with the information you need to ask your device manufacturer when a fix will be available.

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UPDATE: Google releases all new Google Maps for Android - trade in useful features for new [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:24 CET under 04 - Android News

Last night, Google has started to gradually rolling out its all new Google Maps for Android, which was unveiled earlier this year. While it was expected to be a milestone for Google, it comes with some weaknesses and even leaves some features you might might used to use or enjoy from the previous versions. First of all the all new Google Maps has a new menu which slides in from the left. That's already pretty much known from other Google services like Google+ and the recent YouTube updates. Other than that, the map look and feel looks slightly different and follows the overall new design for Android phones and tablets. Google also highlights the "enhanced navigation" including live traffic updates, incident reports and dynamic rerouting.

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Tuesday, 09.07.13
ENHANCED: Nokia to update HERE Drive, HERE Drive+ and HERE Transit for Windows Phone 8
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:07 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

As Nokia announced today on its "Conversations by Nokia" blog, by the end of this week, new versions of HERE Drive, HERE Drive+ and HERE Transit will be available for download for everyone with a Windows Phone 8. Both versions of HERE Drive, HERE Drive and Here Drive+ will receive an updated and more intuitive user interface as well as significant improvements under the hood. One of the major feature enhancements are the traffic overview conditions in and around your area and "My Commute", which shows you at a glance the estimated travel time among the roads you drive daily, letting you know if you need to head out early or have extra time before you leave.

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FIXED: Google releases Android Patch for Blue Security Security Hole
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:00 CET under 04 - Android News

Following last week's uncovered info that 99 % of all Android devices out there have a vulnerability in Android's security model, ZDNet has now received the confirmation that Google has fixed this security hole and that the patch has been released to its OEMs. While Gina Scigliano, Google's Android Communications Manager, said that Google didn't have a statement (for ZDNet or the rest of us), she could "confirm that a patch has been provided to our partners - some OEMs, like Samsung, are already shipping the fix to the Android devices". She also said that "We (Google) have not seen any evidence of exploitation in Google Play or other app stores via our security scanning tools".

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BROADENED: Nokia Chat powered by Yahoo! Beta for Lumia goes Worldwide!
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:04 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Today, Nokia Beta Labs announced the worldwide availability of Nokia Chat Beta for Nokia Lumia Windows Phones. Powered by Yahoo!, Nokia Chat allows to stay connected with friends who use Nokia Lumia, Asha, S40 and Symbian phones, and those using Yahoo! Messenger on other mobile devices and platforms. This cross-platform support lets users reach millions of people across a wide range of mobile devices and computers! The Nokia Chat for Windows Phone Beta is now available worldwide, in all countries where Nokia is currently offering the Nokia Chat service. According to the Nokia Beta Blog, Chat 1.1 Beta includes a number of bug fixes, some new features, and improvements to existing ones.

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ENHANCED: Twitter introduces Direct Message Sync, mobile search improvements and more
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:48 CET under 01 - General News

Yesterday evening, Twitter announced via its blog that it has now enabled the sync of direct messages (DM) across all supported devices and clients. Initially available for seven different apps, including Twitter for Android, iPhone, iPad and Mac as well as twitter.com, mobile.twitter.com and TweetDeck, the sync-feature marks DMs read in the browser, desktop apps, tablet or smartphone and vice versa. Furthermore, Twitter has introduced some further improvements to search results on Android, iPhone, iPad and mobile.twitter.com. Now when you search for people on Twitter, you may see an expanded user result that shows a full bio.

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Monday, 08.07.13
FINALIZED: Spotify for Windows Phone 8 goes out of Beta - available now [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:16 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

While it took Spotify "a little bit" longer to finally support Windows Phone 8 (it was only released back in early February as a public Beta), Joe Belfiore unveiled today on Twitter that the public Beta will goes final today and will bring a couple of new features which were missed so far. Not yet available from the Windows Phone Marketplace, the new version is expected to feature more languages, offline playlist improvements and track scrubbing! Other than that, Spotify for Windows Phone is sporting the typical service features like search, browse & play millions of tracks, explore & play your friends' playlists, top artists and tracks, stream over WiFi or 2.5/3G - all your existing playlists are available.

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Saturday, 06.07.13
UPGRADE: HTC started European Android 4.2.2 and Sense 5 roll-out for the HTC One [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:28 CET under 04 - Android News

Earlier this week, HTC has finally began to roll-out the long awaited Android 4.2.2 upgrade for its HTC One, which was initially shipped with Android 4.1.2 "only". Beside the operating system typical stability improvements as well as increased system speed (including faster Open GL), the upgrade also comes with a couple of bug fixes and enhancements, which contribute in most cases to HTC's Sense 5 user interface (which wasn't upgrade to Sense 5.1 as expected). However, the 4.2.2 upgrade also incorporates a bunch of Android enhancements, which were introduced by Google and HTC has only overtaken these features. This includes, for instance, MiraCast which was just introduced with Android 4.2.2.

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Friday, 05.07.13
SERVICE: Lufthansa releases Mobile App for Windows Phone 8 - closes gap to Android and iOS
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:13 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Following Germanwings earlier release of its Android and iOS apps, also Lufthansa has just released a new app but this time for Microsoft's Windows Phone, which wasn't supported so far. The new Lufthansa app for Windows Phone seems to be quite feature identical with the Android app and like the Android version, it's also mostly a wrapper for Lufthansa's mobile website. Nevertheless, it's everything in one app and user interface and allows booking, shows the timetable and flight status as well as it allows to check-in straight from the app. Furthermore it provides quick access to personal travel details and the Miles & More account.

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UNCOVERED: Nokia Lumia 1020 photo of the Back emerged - might be called Lumia 909 instead
Posted by Arne Hess - at 08:17 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Right after @evleaks put a front photo of the so call Nokia Lumia 1020 (code named Lumia EOS) on Twitter yesterday, he continued a little bit later with a photo of the backside and the phone is indeed looking as suggested on earlier leaks. It's featuring a massive PureView camera, which is expected to be 41 megapixel, and the flash seems to be a Xenon flash light, instead the typical LED flash lights. On the bottom of the back, the device seems to sport some pogo pins, like the Lumia 925, which suggests that Nokia will again make wireless charging covers available for the Lumia 1020. Talking about the name, in the same tweet, @evleaks suggested that Lumia 1020 might be called Lumia 909

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Thursday, 04.07.13
SERVICE: Lufthansa's German Low-Cost Carrier Germanwings releases Mobile Apps for Android and iOS [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:54 CET under 04 - Android News

If you used to frequently fly within Europe with Lufthansa, you might have noticed that Lufthansa might not fly the routes anymore it used to do. That's because Lufthansa's low-cost carrier "Germanwings" has overtaken on July 1st (or is soon overtaking) all routes which are not departure/arrive at Lufthansa's two hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Right in time for this massive change, Germanwings has finally released its own Android and iOS apps. The new Germanwings app offers overviews of your upcoming flights as well as it provides updates on changes to flight operations. It allows to check-in, shows boarding passes as well as allowing to book flights  straight out of the app.

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VULNERABLE: Bluebox Security uncovered Android Master Key Threat - makes 99 % of Devices vulnerable
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:27 CET under 04 - Android News

Bluebox Security yesterday posted an article on its blog, that its Bluebox Labs, recently discovered a vulnerability in Android's security model that allows a hacker to modify APK code without breaking an application's cryptographic signature and turning any legitimate application into a malicious Trojan, completely unnoticed by the app store, the phone, or the end user. According to Bluebox Security, the implications are huge since this vulnerability is around at least since the release of Android 1.6 / Donut and could therefore affect any Android phone released in the last 4 years or nearly 900 million devices.

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UNCONFIRMED: Nokia Lumia 1020 / EOS Photo emerged showing Nokia Pro Cam Tile
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:41 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Are we seeing here the first real photo of a working Nokia Lumia 1020 aka EOS? According to always well informed @evleaks, the photo bellow is the 2013 "Nokia Lumia 1020 for AT&T". While the light reflexes around the bezel seems to make it a real device photo, the screenshot looks rather photoshopped since there's a small white gap around the Windows Phone Start screen and the rest of the screen/bezel. Nevertheless, maybe the screenshot was taken from the same device and added later to make it better looking. But the most important part is the "Nokia Pro Cam" tile which is expected to be Nokia's own camera app which supports the Lumia 1020 41 megapixel PureView camera.

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Wednesday, 03.07.13
UNVEILED: Internal O2 Germany documents show HTC One Mini & HTC One Max as well as Nokia Eros & Nokia Mars
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:02 CET under 01 - General News

Following the earlier information that an HTC One Mini launch is imminent at O2 Germany, German mobiFlip has just received further O2 internal information which show the HTC One Mini in black and silver, but also show the - so called - "HTC One Max", which sounds like a phablet version of the HTC One. Furthermore, the list shows two yet unknown Nokia devices, named after some kind of code names: Nokia "Eros" and Nokia "Mars". It's obvious that these devices will be Windows Phones but no further information were given yet. mobiFlip speculates that the "Eros" might be just a typo and possibly means "Eos". On the other hand, Eros and Mars were both Greek Gods (of love and war).

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Tuesday, 02.07.13
OFFICIAL: HTC confirms no further Android 4.2 and HTC Sense 5 upgrades for HTC One S [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:28 CET under 04 - Android News

After the Russian head of HTC confirmed on Twitter that - due to technical issues - there are no further plans to release Android 4.2/Jelly Bean for the HTC One S, yesterday morning HTC France confirmed the same on its very own Facebook page. A user asked when he could expect Android 4.2.2 for his One S and HTC replied that (according to Google Translate) "the HTC One S no longer have access to updates for future versions of Android and HTC Sense". HTC is even aware that this is frustrating news for most of us and continued to explain that "our customers can be confident that we have designed for the One S that offers video and audio experience of the highest quality".

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RUMOR: Microsoft Windows Phone 8 to finally support Full HD 1080p anytime soon?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:22 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

There were rumors on the street that Nokia might release a full HD Windows Phone pretty soon, with it's expected announcement of the so called Lumia 1020 aka Lumia EOS at this month's Zoom event in NYC. However, for sure also Microsoft has to support such a screen resolution but the latest Windows Phone 8 Visual Studio 2013 emulator bits seem to confirm that Microsoft is indeed close to finally upgrade the Windows Phone screen resolution to full HD support. As found by Justin Angel, the latest Visual Studio 2013 Beta, which was announced during last week's Build conference is San Francisco, contains full HD 1080p emulator files, supporting a screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixel.

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RELEASED: iHeartRadio now also available for Windows Phone 8 - leaves rest of the World out of Focus
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:30 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Music and radio lovers know for sure TuneIn Radio, but there's an alternative which was so far not available for Windows Phone 8 but only the previous Windows Phone versions - iHeartRadio. iHeartRadio offers free music in an all-in-one, free internet radio service that lets you stream your favorite live radio stations. And now, after many requests, it's finally available for Windows Phone 8 as well. With the new Windows Phone radio app, users can also create commercial-free Custom Stations featuring songs from the artist you select and similar music. iHeartRadio allows to listen to more than 1,500 live radio stations from coast-to-coast including pop, country, hip-hop rock, talk, news, sports, and more.

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Monday, 01.07.13
OVERHAULED: Microsoft releases major Facebook Mobile Update for Windows Phone 8
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:52 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

And the next (and last?) major overhaul for today also comes from Microsoft and is designed for its Windows Phone 8 (only - sorry Windows Phone 7.8 owners). As just announced on the Windows Phone Blog, Microsoft has released Facebook 5.0 for Windows Phone 8. This major update brings a ton of new features and improvements that many of might have asked for, including a complete overhaul of the user interface, improved navigation, support for high-res pictures, post sharing, Facebook Timeline view, and more. All the improvements went through a Facebook Beta program, Microsoft established a few months ago. It's an opportunity for heavy-Facebook users and Windows Phone enthusiasts to help test out and shape future versions of Facebook.

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OVERHAULED: Microsoft releases OneNote Update for Android and iOS
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:30 CET under 04 - Android News

And another major overhaul. Beside Skype, also Microsoft gave some of its key-apps an overhaul and has released a new version of OneNote Mobile for Android, iPad and iPhone. Internally called version 2, the major enhancement of this update is that it's designed to show the same note under the same look - everywhere. With the new version, users will see notes the same across all clients on different platforms (Windows, Windows Phone, Android, iOS) and Microsoft finally added support to render ink on your Android devices as well. Because sometimes it is just easier to say what you are thinking than write it down on a mobile device, Microsoft finally also added the capability of adding audio notes.

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OVERHAULED: Skype passes 100M Android Downloads and Launches major Redesign for Android
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:56 CET under 04 - Android News

As Skype just announced, Skype for Android is now installed on over 100 million phones worldwide and therefore, Skype is proud to launch a modern design that puts conversations first, focuses on quality as well as performance and delivers a common set of experiences across multiple platforms and devices; which is all included in the all new Skype for Android 4.0. Skype for Android is a complete UI can code redesign to be faster and easier, especially when you're trying to fire off a quick message. Now, Skype promises that everything is at your fingertips. As soon as the app  is opened, users will notice the clean new look listing recent conversations – just tap on one to catch up and reply.

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PHOTOVIEW: Nokia Lumia 925 High-End Windows Phone 8
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:38 CET under 08 - Reviews

Announced back mid of May, the Nokia Lumia 925 is Nokia's latest high-end Windows Phone smartphone for Europe and other non-American countries. Nokia called the Lumia 925 "a new interpretation of its award-winning Lumia 920" and indeed, it follows the design language but comes with updated features and materials by introducing a metal design. The Lumia 925 runs on Windows Phone 8 and is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm S4 MSM8960+WTR CPU. It supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE at 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, quadband UMTS/HSPA+ up to 42.2 Mbps down at 850/900/1900/2100 MHz as well as pentaband LTE up to 100 Mbps down at 800/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz.

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