We are live, front and center, in one of the largest tents ever contructed getting ready for Microsoft to kick off Build 2012, it's annual developer conference. It's been a big week for Microsoft, what with the launch of Windows Phone 8, its Surface tablet, and of course, Windows 8. The last piece of the puzzle is making sure developers are on board with all the new stuff, and Build is where Microsoft will push that message. Things get kicked off in just a bit, so keep it locked here on Gear Live for live coverage of the Day One Keynote!
Parents--how many times have you handed your smartphone to your little one, only to find apps moved around, deleted emails, and text message gobbledygook sent to your boss? Windows Phone 8 is set to eliminate these fears with the introduction of Kid's Corner. From the lock screen, rather than swiping up, you swipe to the right to enter the Kid's Corner interface. This area only allows guest users to access the specific apps, games, music, and videos on your phone that you allow. Quite honestly, we are left scratching our heads wondering why something this smart has yet to appear on iOS or Android.
Microsoft is touting a bunch of the new apps that will be coming to Windows Phone 8, and one it's really excited about is Pandora. You're in for a little bit of a wait for the app, as it won't appear for Windows Phone 8 users until early 2013, but when it does, it will offer ad-free listening for the first year. That's basically free 12-month subscription to Pandora One from Microsoft for users of its new smartphones. Pretty nice.
Microsoft is introducing a new lock screen on Windows Phone 8 that can be customized thanks to the Live App infrastructure. What does this mean for you? Well, your lock screen just became a lot more useful, as you can have it display things like recent photos, sports scores, Facebook updates from close friends, and more. Not the most groundbreaking feature in the world, but it's another way that Windows Phone 8 allows you to customize your phone in a personal way, bringing real-time updates to the first screen you see when your turn on your phone.
T-Mobile has announced that it will be the exclusive United States carrier of the Nokia Lumia 810 smartphone. The Lumia 810 runs Windows Phone 8 and sports a 4.3-inch OLED WVGA Clear Black screen, 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss rear camera and 1.2 megapixel front camera (Skype HD-certified!) It sounds awfully close to the Lumia 820, although from the image we were given, doesn't look anywhere near as slick. As lame as it sounds, T-Mobile has not announced pricing or availability, other than to say that the Lumia 810 will be available "in the coming weeks."
Oh man--looks like the Nokia Lumia 920 is set to drop in November, and it's going to be an AT&T exclusive. That's unfortunate, since it's the new hotness from Nokia that Microsoft may just be hanging it's hat on as it pertains to Windows Phone 8, so it's a little odd that the 4G LTE smartphone won't be available on Verizon, the company that has the largest LTE network by far. The Lumia 820 should launch alongside the 920, but that is more of a mid-range phone rather than a top-of-the-line model, and that one should make an appearance on multiple carriers. That said, if you're interested in one of the colorful (yellow, black, cyan, red, white) 920 models, you're gonna have to go with AT&T come this November. No word yet on pricing.
Be sure to check out the top 5 features of Lumia 920.
Xbox Music has hit the Xbox 360 consoles of beta users, and now we are hearing that the fill service rollout is set for October 26th, just three weeks from now, and the same day that Windows 8 is released. Reportedly, the rollout will begin with the Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone, with iOS and Android Xbox Music apps coming soon after. Smart. The service will have a paid subscription, as well as a free, ad-supported option as well.
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Last week we received a tip from a fairly close source that Microsoft would likely be introducing its own first-party Windows Phone device. We decided not to report on this one, because it seemed to make no sense. Why would Microsoft release a first-party phone that will be in direct competition with the Windows Phone 8 devices that its partners will be selling later this month?
We're looking forward to getting our hands on the Nokia Lumia 920 later this year. The hardware looks to be as beautiful as it is powerful (that yellow is definitely striking!) and pack in a ton of nice features. Nokia is definitely proud of its upcoming flagship device, so much so that its put together a video showing off all the things that set it apart from the competition. Check it out after the break.
We're looking forward to the arrival of the Nokia Lumia 920, and one of the main reason is its wireless charging feature (and in case you missed it, we've listed the five reasons you should be excited about the Lumia 920.) The Lumia 920 packs in Qi charging technology, which means you don't have to deal with proprietary chargers. Our favorite, though, is the Fatboy Recharge Pillow. You simply place your Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia on the pillow, and you maintain a charge. No pricing has been announced just yet.
Is wireless charging a feature you're looking forward to in your next smartphone?
Read More | Nokia