Universal Simlock Calculator – soon
Outraged behavior cellular that block phones, I decided to help all victims that area. The result of my work are calculators that generate a code used to unlock your phone from simlock. I encourage you to download and comment my work.
Hitting the road? Nokia’s HERE map and navigation apps have new features, work on more Windows Phone 8 models
With summer travel season in full swing, mapping and navigation apps are getting a big workout on many people’s smartphones. One bit of Windows Phone app news overshadowed by last week’s big Nokia Lumia 1020 unveil was that the company’s trio of free travel apps—HERE Drive, HERE Transit and HERE Maps—each received a nice update. More importantly, they’re also now available for all Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
On its blog, Nokia said last week that the apps got a face lift and, in several cases, some handy new features. The rundown:
HERE Drive now shows real-time traffic information around your area and adds a feature called My Commute, which provides the estimated travel time to the office right on the app’s Live Tile, so you know whether you have time to grab coffee or need to head out early. While you’re driving, My Commute continues to monitor traffic and lets you know if any unexpected hiccups have occurred or a better route is available. (Curious how real-time traffic works? The Nokia Conversations blog had an interesting behind-the-scenes post about it recently.)
HERE Drive+, the premium version of the app, also adds the ability to navigate in offline mode without a SIM card. HERE Drive+ is pre-loaded and available for free on select Nokia Lumias, and comes as a paid upgrade for other Windows Phone 8 models (more details here). HERE Drive+ is an especially good option for international travelers since the app has a global navigation license for all 95 supported countries.
HERE Maps adds transit station details and the ability to pause LiveSight augmented reality scenes for easier exploration.
HERE Transit combines schedules and route details for bus, train, subway, ferries and more in one handy place has been redesigned to make it easier to create and quickly access favorites.
Summer—not to mention Father’s Day and graduation season—is right around the corner, and this week’s Windows Phone highlights post features a bunch of stories and tips to help you make the most of it. What were your favorite reads this week?
Consumer Reports calls Lumia 900 a top gift buy
Looking for a great gift for your dad or favorite grad? Consumer Reports’ electronics experts this week recommended Nokia’s Lumia 900 in its summer tech gift guide. Read the article. Last month the magazine called Nokia’s flagship model “the best Windows Phone so far”.
10 tips for taking better photos
Speaking of the Lumia 900, one of its standout features is the built-in 8-megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss lens. But as Nokia’s official blog noted this week, even killer camera specs aren’t always enough to achieve Annie Leibovitz-like results. So the Nokia Conversations crew phoned up noted Dutch photographer, author, and critic Haje Jam Kamps for some advice on taking better shots. See his top 10 tips. While his advice is tailored specifically for Lumia owners, some tips apply no matter what Windows Phone you’re pocketing.
What’s the best Windows Phone flight sim?
The Windows Phone Marketplace stocks several great flight simulators and games—which begs the question: If you only have time for one, which should you get? Well, the intrepid writers behind the Nokia Conversations blog selflessly volunteered to spend the week soaring the virtual skies to answer this age-old question. See which sims topped their list
5 apps for getting in shape
It’s Memorial Day weekend in the U.S.—the unofficial kick-off for summer. If your body isn’t quite bathing suit ready yet (or you’re just looking to save on pricey personal trainer sessions), you might want to check out these great fitness apps in Marketplace. Reviewer Jeppe promises these 5 apps will ensure “you’re striding across that beach looking photoshopped.” See the list
And finally….Flo Rida and his Lu-mia
Our eagle-eyed friends at WMPowerUser this week spotted popular rapper Flo Rida snapping pics and texting his posse on a Nokia Lumia 900 in the new video for “Whistle.” If Flo Rida looks comfortable, it’s probably because it’s not his first time on a Lumia: The 710 showed up in the video for his tune “Wild Ones.” Watch the Whistle video
I know many of you have been eagerly anticipating the newest version of the official Facebook app, which we teased last month (on Facebook, natch.)
Well, the wait is over: The update—version 2.5, officially—just showed up in Marketplace and carries some tasty additions. Most of you probably already have this app in your arsenal. If not, what better time to grab it. Here’s some of what’s new or improved:
- Threaded messaging: Full Facebook threaded messaging, including group messaging.
- Better tagging: Now you can tag friends and locations in your posts in the “with” and “at” format.
- Wall cleanup: Use tap and hold to delete posts and comments from your Wall.
- Hot links: Links in posts are now tappable.
- More to “Like”: You can now Like comments,
Download Facebook 2.5
P.S. If you’re unable to download the new app or update the one on your phone, make sure your phone has Windows Phone 7.5 installed, See this post for more details or Update Central for installation instructions.
We think our Start screen is pretty sweet. But have you ever seen a cake shaped like a Windows Phone? Our fans have shared a few on Facebook, so we thought it’d be fun to throw a contest for the best Windows Phone inspired cake.
You can submit a cake and vote for your favorite on our Cake Contest Facebook page. So pre-heat your oven or call the bakery, because the top 3 cakes with the most likes will win a brand new Windows Phone.
Here’s how to enter:
- Create a Windows Phone-inspired cake.
- Submit a photo of your cake on our Cake Contest Facebook page. (You can also submit a photo of a cake you made in the past, as long as you’re the baker.)
Entries must be received by Wednesday, May 30. Voting ends June 6. Our lawyers pinned the contest’s official rules here on SkyDrive, if you want to check them out. (Click View Folder if you don’t see them immediately.)
We can’t wait to see your creations. Good luck!
Today’s the day. This afternoon we started requiring Windows Phone 7.5 on phones to download, buy, update, or review apps in Marketplace. As I’ve written previously, this change applies to both the phone and web Marketplace storefronts. (If you’re just tuning in, please read my earlier post for the full details on why we’re implementing this new requirement.)
Most phones are already running Windows Phone 7.5, which was released last fall, and so most of you won’t notice anything different about how the Marketplace works. However, if your phone has an earlier version of our software installed, you’ll soon start seeing an error message when you try to download a new app, or update one you already own. (I say “soon” because it will take a day or two for the changes we made today to take effect.)
If you do get the error, all you need to do is install the free Windows Phone 7.5 update. You’ll find all the information you need to do that, including an update checklist and easy step-by-step instructions, on Update Central. (Not sure if you have Windows Phone 7.5 installed? Here’s how to check.)
By the way, even if you don’t use Marketplace, there are still lots of great reasons to update. We made hundreds of improvements, big and small, in Windows Phone 7.5. Here’s just a sampling of what I mean. So I’d encourage you to set aside time to update your phone for that reason alone.
I got a chance to attend the ‘Handling the Surge in Signalling Traffic Focus day’ at the LTE World Summit. In fact I got this opportunity through Diametriq, who were the sponsors of this event and were kind enough to provide me a free pass :) As a result, they get a little plug below.
We got off to a flying start with an Introduction to the need of Signaling followed by a brilliant presentation by Martin Pineiro from Telecom Personal, Argentina.
This was the only presentation that looked at the Access Network Signalling. All other presentations focussed on Diameter signaling. Telecom Personal have 4 carriers, 1 is used for 3G and other 3 for GSM.
Above is their revenue share for different services. The data services really took off for them when they offered a flat rate if 1 peso per day for unlimited data.
Their average dongle data consumption is 2GB/month and average smartphone is 200MB/month.
Interesting to hear that they are 40 year old company with 300+ customers in 100+ countries.
There is a shift coming in the usage plans with multi access roaming. Some sessions will go over WiFi and some over the mobile network. Plans with OTT allowance are already here and will be more common. There may be opportunity for end users to earn allowance as part of loyalty scheme. The main thing for operator to think is how to get a revenue share from advertisement.
Diameter 2.0 is coming. The signalling storms, if not handled properly can cause disruption (congestion) internationally, if the interconnect is not handled properly.
Next up was Ben Volkow, F5 Traffix:
Today we use Diameter 1.0, tomorrow it would be Diameter 2.0. Diamater 2.0 us “nervous system” approach.
Diamater is much less predictable than SS7 but this could be because of Immaturity of Diameter.
Real networks like the one above is out in the field. An example of n/w is one with 140 point to point connections.
DRA (Diameter Routing Agent) is a new topology introduced by 3GPP and DEA (Diameter Edge Agent) was introduced by GSMA.
The network does not want to spend million of dollars in one go so they start by deploying individual components first and then depending on the use cases this scales up as they add more components.
Next up was the Panel Discussion:
- Diameter is first protocol that has dedicated vendors offering monetisation of protocol as well
- Early operators would have deployed Diameter 1.0 so they can evolve by putting DRA for one use case and so on.
- When operators want to monetise using diameter, the signalling problems may become worse
- Adding VoLTE may increase Diameter Signalling by 3 times
- What is meant by monetisation of Diamater is that in SS7, the focus was on reliability, etc. but in Diameter, the operators can leverage PCRF and as a result monetisation. A new use case can also be a OTT proxy that can leverage advertisement revenue.
- The forecast for Diameter is couple of 100 million for this year and growing. There are many components including Router, Roaming, Charging, Security, Interconnect capability, Aggregating relationships with small carriers and OTT service providers, etc.
Above shows the data usage increase after they rolled out all you can eat package. They were then forced to introduce fair usage policy.
Their upgrade paths include RAN, Core, Backhaul.
They think they have a big signalling challenge over S1-MME interface. One wrong configured user is sending 4 requests/second. 12,500 users can be enough to reach congestion (ZG: Maybe they should look at PDP Context Parking). Over the S1-U interface, Narrowband users can send 50 packets/sec. 40,000 users at 13.6kbps can saturate the network and the routers will be overloaded.
Next up was Ajay Joseph from iBasis:
Interesting to see that GRX is a service in IPX above.
I think the main point of above is that Diameter by itself is not enough and a mechanism like IPX is required for roaming scenario.
For LTE a new service called LTE Signalling exchange (LSX) can be created within IPX. iBasis has just launched Sandbox for testing Roaming, Charging, Interoperability, etc.
Will LSX bring the roaming costs down? Its operators call but it does provide a foundation and in the next 2-3 years, data roaming costs should come down dramatically.
It should be noted that GRX is an IP network without QoS. Its a service within IPX. Security is also a service within IPX and GSMA based compliance should be there for proper and secure interoperability.
Voice over IPX is not of much interest, especially because there is no return of investment and HD voice cant be send over IP.
Next up was Douglas Ranalli from NetNumber:
His slides are self explanatory
One question during Q&A was, why not put this functionality in the cloud and avoid complexity of having another physical box in the system. The answer was that CDRB is implemented to be compliant with cloud deployment but operators have not yet taken this step. The customers are deploying physical boxes but shared infrastructure would be much more efficient.
Next up was Doug Alston from Sprint:
Next up was Anjan Ghosal from Diametriq:
Everyone is talking about LTE-LTE roaming but there is a need for LTE-3G and LTE-2G so some translation may be required between Diameter and SS7.
Diametriq provides a single platform for signalling between any service (2G/3G/4G) and possibility to enhance.
Next up was another Panel Discussion:
One observation is made is that as compared to the ITM Optimisation event, where the operators were more worried about the OTT players eroding revenues, the focus here was that how Diameter can help monetise the OTT services,
Next up was Edward Gubbins from Current Analysis:
The Final presentation was from Julius Mueller from Fraunhofer FOKUS:
E&OE. In case if have misheard, misquoted, etc. please feel free to correct me via comments in this post.
For all the action from LTE World Summit for the next 2 days, please follow twitter #LTEWS.
Please let me know by using the voting buttons below if you found it useful or not.
You might have noticed that we had a promotion over the weekend – sign up for our newsletter, and get a free Xbox avatar prop:
We thought it was a cool little incentive. You guys did too, given the number of new signups we saw, and apparently others agreed – it showed up on a variety of sites.
Then, someone abused the system, and ended up reserving all of the remaining codes for themselves so that actual users were left in the dust and when some people tried to get their avatar gear, it was already taken. We even saw the codes show up on ebay.
We are flattered that our avatar prop is so popular, but frustrated that someone abused the system to reserve a bunch of codes for themselves and shut out legitimate users in the process. We’ve now ended the promotion for the skateboard. If you signed up for the newsletter (thanks, BTW!), got the invite for the gear and weren’t able to redeem your code, we will be making it right: we will send you a code in the next few days for a different prop (a Windows Phone foam finger):
Our fans have created some fantastic Windows Phone wallpapers over the years. Today we’re unveiling a new nature series from Windows Phone fan and London-based graphic designer Levi Freeman. What’s unique about these is that they’re the first to carry our design team’s official seal of approval. We also hope they’re the first of many collaboration efforts with artists to come.
Visit Levi’s site to grab the entire set of eight for your lock screen. You can see a few of my favorites below.
To use the ones Levi created, you’ll first need to save his photos to your phone. If you’re reading his post on your PC, use your phone to scan the QR code for the wallpaper you want, tap and hold the image, then tap Save Picture. If you’re reading his blog on your phone, just tap the QR code image, then tap and hold the wallpaper and save it to your phone. Finally, this how-to article shows you how to change wallpapers on your lock screen.
Turns out there’s also an interesting backstory to the wallpapers. Besides being a Windows Phone fan, Levi, 25, is a recent graduate of the University of Arts London, one of Europe’s largest art and design schools. Last year his work caught the eye of Albert Shum, who runs the Windows Phone design studio. The two arranged to meet briefly while Albert was in London for Nokia World last October.
I’ll let Levi pick up the story from here. Visit his site to read more about him and what happened next. On his blog you can find also out more about the inspiration and locations for each shot. Let us know what you think. Which one is your favorite?
Rarely has such a simple game made by an independent game developer caused so much angst, so quickly. So what exactly is behind the rise and fall of Flappy Bird?
For those living under a rock the past few weeks, Flappy Bird is a mobile game gone viral. You tap on the screen to keep the eponymous bird aloft, and guide it through a very simple Mario-esque landscape of green pipes. The game is laughably easy to learn, but ridiculously difficult to master. It took me 10 attempts to get past the first set of pipes. More than 50 tries later, I once managed a score of 16. Once.
There are no complex targets or objectives. Just the satisfaction of a little ding as you make it through the gap and the frustration of a crash when you fail. While you can compete against a global leaderboard, most people just try to beat their own high score for a little gold medal.
So what is the secret sauce that has everyone hooked? It seems that Flappy Birds is the perfect balance of difficulty and fun. The game almost universally inspires a love/hate emotion; each time you crash and tell yourself ‘One more time’, again and again and again.
This free app doesn’t feature any in-app things to buy. All revenue is solely through display advertising. At its peak, the app was bringing in over $50,000 a day for Dong Ngyuen. Ngyuen, an independent Vietnamese developer, created the game in just over 2 days.
Now for the twist in the tale. The game had over 50 million downloads across Apple and Android app stores. It first appeared on the App Store in May 2013 but hit big time in Jan 2014. As expected this meteoric rise attracted a lot of attention. People started to question Ngyuen’s marketing tactics, accusing him of using bots to write reviews (he didn’t). He received multiple death threats daily. Finally the indie developer decide to call it a day and take his viral mega hit off the market.
On Feb 9 he posted the following set of tweets:
I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
I also don’t sell ‘Flappy Bird’, please don’t ask.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
And I still make games.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
Flappy Bird is no longer available on the App Store or on Google Play though plenty of variants have sprung up to take it’s place. Dong’s other titles remain available for download via the App Store.
But none can match the meteoric rise and sudden crash of Flappy Bird.