Friday, October 31, 2014

When Trading In Your Phone Makes Little Sense


There is the great rumor going around that the carrier stores are giving you top dollar for your phone trade in. Yes, that new iPhone 5s that you bought last year will net you $350 a T-Mobile right now. Don’t pay any attention to the fact that that same phone is selling for $500 in your local Craigslist pages. That Lumia 925 you bought last year for $550, yep, they’ll give you $75 for that puppy. It’s a sham.

Here’s the honest truth to upgrading your device, and it’s not a pretty one. Don’t do it. I mean it. You will get ripped off every single time you do it. Unless you own an iPhone. For example, if you bought a new Lumia 1020 when it was released at $500 or $550, then you decided it was time for a 1520, you might have gotten $300 for it. Right now, T-Mobile will give you $89 for it, and as they say, that’s the best trade-in value in right now!

image 1

Now, not being dumb, I took a quick look at Craigslist for the item in my area and found the cheapest one to be $200. It was one that an update was forced on and the camera started acting up. A simple roll back with the Nokia Software Utility and this would be back to being a mint phone with some minor cosmetic wear. So, my option if I have a 1020 is to let T-Mobile give me less than $100, or sell it online for $200-400 depending on condition.

The bottom line on this one is never ‘sell’ your device back to your carrier. Unless there is a termination fee of $300 or more being paid, you will come out on the bottom side of that deal. The other part to remember is that if you bring your device to a carrier that pays your term fee, you usually have to sign up for monthly payments on a new device, which takes your bill eerily close to where it was when you left your old plan.

Be careful and do the math before you jump in and buy something new. Check the going rate for your device prior to trading it in and most of all, make sure you have a spare phone. When disaster strikes, it’s always nice to have an old friend to fall back on.

Trade In Pricing effective: 10/30/14 per trade in page.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I’m With The Band, But Not Quite Yet


Yesterday evening, the news broke about the new Microsoft Band, the new life/fitness/health wearable from Microsoft. I don’t want to go heavily into the features on the Band yet as I haven’t had hands on experience with one yet, but, the idea is brilliant. That said, I won’t be one of the first to sport one of the Microsoft Bands for one reason – they priced it too high.

With great options out there, and better compatibility with more platforms, companies like FitBit, Jawbone and the various “watch” wareable makers are really head of the curve here. While the Microsoft Band does more, and honestly, probably does it better, the $200 street price for a product aimed at a target audience of 3% is pretty ballsy. Yes, I just said ballsy on that one.

So, what exactly does that $200 investment get you? It’s a health tracking, workout notifying, email reading monster that fits on your wrist and talks to your phone. It’s a Cortana activating, heart rate tracking, calendar displaying beast that can almost eliminate the need to remove your phone from your pocket. It seems that good. That said, how well does it really do everything that it is supposed to, and how long until the clones hit?

I’ll be honest here, the Microsoft Band is exactly what I have been looking for as I begin to start my weight loss plan. It is perfect for what I want as a Windows Phone user. Overall, I think I am their ideal client for the Microsoft Band. Unfortunately, the $200 price tag is just too aggressive for me, and my bet is many others. If this was a tested technology, a generation 4 item, that was proven, the $200 premium price might be an easier justification. For me, it just puts it about $100 more than a FitBit or something like that.

That said, the Microsoft Band is an amazing piece of technology. It really does do it all, and chances are, I’ll end up eventually getting one for my wrist. It just makes sense to me and if it works as well as it looks like it does, it will be the perfect add on to my Windows family.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

T-Mobile USA Rolls Out Update For Lumia 925

One of my favorite Lumia phones is getting some new software from T-Mobile today. Their Lumia 925 software is being bumped to version 3051.50009.1439.0017. The better news is that this update does not require moving off of the developer preview to install. The 529MB install file includes the update to Windows Phone 8.1 and Inflight Texting Support.

Other than that, I’m still waiting to see what other goodies are under the hood here, so I will post more on it tomorrow after the update finishes.

OneDrive For Windows Phone Gets An Update


Probably one of the best features of Windows Phone is OneDrive. Unfortunately, for months now, Android and iOS have had better interfaces for OneDrive than Windows Phone has. The good news, Microsoft has realized the error of their ways and is trying hard to fix it. The not so good news, there’s still a long way to go even after this latest update to the OneDrive App for Windows Phone.

2014-10-28 15.19.42

While the interfaces are quickly catching up to each other, it is far too apparent from the reviews in the Store that the OneDrive App for Windows Phone is just too far back. This compares to a 4.3 rating in the Google Play store in an ecosystem that isn’t even native to the feature. In fact, there are nearly 100,000 5 star reviews of the OneDrive App in the Play Store.

Overall, Microsoft is on the right track with the improvements made in version 4.4. A slightly improved design. Support for OneDrive business accounts is now there as well. There were also various bug fixes and performance improvements as well. As far as catching up to the user experiences on other platforms, there is still a ways to go, but they should get there soon enough.

Download or Manual Update Link: OneDrive

Friday, October 24, 2014

Windows Phone Is Dead…


Ok, did the headline get you? I sure hope it did, because that’s what I was going for. But yes, it is actually true. As Microsoft continues the take over of the the Lumia brand, they will be changing the old Windows Phone Facebook page over to the Microsoft Lumia page. Don’t think for a minute that means that other manufacturers are done with Windows though, because it is anything but the case.

In recent weeks, Blu Mobile has thrown out the Blu Win HD and the Blu Win JR. HTC of course ran their new HTC One (M8) for Windows about 2 months back and apparently there are more goodies in store for the fans of Windows. I hate the rumor mill more than I can express in these words, but it has been hinted at that HP may jump back in the phone game with a “small, tablet style” device that would have a cellular radio for making calls.

With the excitement of Windows 10 bringing the actual “Windows 7 Concept” to the forefront, anything is possible.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What Is The Best Windows Phone Deal?

There are a ton of them out there and all of them are pretty amazing, especially when you consider the price. In the end, there has to be one that is the best deal you can get, or at least close to it. Here’s my rundown on the best deals in Windows Phone’s for October 2014.
Sprint HTC 8XT – $169.99

Oh man, let the flaming begin… Now let me explain how this out-did the phones in front of it… First off, the Sprint HTC 8XT is a great device. It has a stellar 8MP camera, beautiful 4.3” display and the 8XT, unlike its counterparts found in the 8X, has an expandable memory slot. So, why does the Sprint HTC 8XT deserve a place in the list when it’s basically a walking dead device that won’t be updated?
Well, Microsoft has patched the developer update for it, so you can now access Windows Phone 8.1 via that route. Once that is in place, you can now continue to receive updates directly, not having to worry about Sprint. Now, here’s the kicker with the Sprint HTC 8XT, I wouldn’t activate it on Sprint.
For $34.99 a month, you can run the Sprint HTC 8XT on Red Pocket Mobile and get way more bang for you buck. That $35 will get you 300 minutes of talk, unlimited text and 2GB of LTE data. II f you need more talk time and less data, you can drop your bill down to the $29.99 plan and get unlimited talk and text with 500MB of 2G data.
AT&T Nokia Lumia 635 – $79.99
AT&T Nokia Lumia 635 - No Contract GoPhone
Coming in at #4 on the list is the AT&T version of the Lumia 635 for use on their GoPhone service. This $79.99 device rocks out with features like Nokia Music, Here Maps and Drive+ and Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. The 4.5” display is clean and clear, while the 5MP rear shooter takes a decent snap shot. Overall, it’s the monthly plan price that keeps the AT&T Nokia Lumia 635 from ranking higher on the list.
Of course, you can always take your AT&T Nokia Lumia 635 over to a third party AT&T MVNO like Red Pocket Mobile (GSMA), Straight Talk or Net10 to save a bit on that monthly rate. Still, the $20 difference between the T-Mobile and the AT&T Nokia Lumia 635 leaves me feeling a bit left out.
T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 635 – $99.87
AT&T Nokia Lumia 635 - No Contract GoPhone
With a Quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a decent enough 5MP shooter, the T-Mobile version of the Nokia Lumia 635 takes the number 3 spot in my rankings. The reason behind the ranking in-front of its AT&T counterpart is that the device can be unlocked by T-Mobile in just 40 days. This means the unlocked cost of the Lumia 635 is just $180, which frankly makes it a great deal. Once unlocked, you can pair this with any MVNO out there, or take it to AT&T.
Additionally, T-Mobile’s contract free pricing will give you an unlimited talk and text plan plus 2GB of data for $45 plus taxes. This works out to be about $55 a month worse case scenario. If you have a family, the savings can be even greater. Grabbing up four of the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 635 at $99 a piece will net you a $120 a month bill after taxes. That with four lines of unlimited talk, text and data. Not too shabby.
Blu Win HD – $179.00
Flying in at #2 on the list is the first of the “non-Nokia” handsets. The Blu Win HD features a gorgeous 5” display, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It also accommodates Micro SD cards of 32GB, and possibly larger, but I couldn’t verify that. The Blu Win HD ships unlocked and ready to roll on most North American carriers (sorry Sprint and Verizon users) that operate on GSM frequencies.
The Blu Win HD does not have an LTE radio in it, but it does feature the full speed HSPA+42 radio for T-Mobile and AT&T. The 8MP camera does a great job of taking good snapshots and video. Overall, you could do much worse for an unlocked Windows Phone, which is why I ranked the Blu Win HD 2nd on my list.

Cricket Wireless Nokia Lumia 630 – FREE
So, we’ve been through a few of the cheaper options, but nothing beats the deal you get with the Nokia Lumia 630 from Cricket Wireless. First off, the $100 phone becomes $50 as soon as you activate your service. Then you get a $50 rebate on top of that, which makes this puppy free! That gives you all the specs that were previously covered by the twin 635’s, except the LTE radio, which for the most part won’t be a major issue for many people.
When you combine the free device with the fact that a family of 4 can get coverage for $90 (unlimited talk, text and 1GB high speed data + unlimited 2G data) this becomes a stellar deal. This makes a 2 year cost of the Lumia 630 on Cricket an incredible $2160! That’s 33% off T-Mobile’s “best deal” and unmatched in the industry right now. My advice, grab it while the grabbing is good – especially if you have a family that needs new phones!
Honorable Mentions:
T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 530 – $69.99
AT&T Nokia Lumia 520 – GoPhone – $48.88
T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 521 – $64.50

Taking A Peek At The Garage


A somewhat well kept secret in the Microsoft community has been The Garage. This close knit bunch of interns, developers, employees and fan-boys have been hanging out together for quite a while and making some pretty amazing stuff. Whether it’s hacking, creating or just having fun, The Garage crew has some amazing stuff up their sleeves.


First and foremost, you have the featured projects. These range from some amazing Android Apps to some new things for your Windows 8 powered PCs. As you flip through them, pay attention to the downloadable links located at the bottom of the “learn more” popup from the App screen. If you are an Android-Wear user, and you have an Android device in your pocket as well, check out Torque. This brand new App will have you never uttering the words, “OK Google” again…


For us Windows Phone users, probably the highlight of The Garage is the Tetra Lockscreen App. This ‘Live’ style lock screen replacement lets you customize your lock screen with a few different options, including the new “Nokia SensorCore” technology. Swing in to the Workbench and check out the cool content for your devices by hitting the link below.

While there isn’t a ton of content yet, the fact that this has stayed under wraps as well as it has is somewhat amazing. So, go take a stroll around The Garage and see what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Visit The Garage:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

App Review: Hot Tiles! Makes Easy Work Of Custom Home Screens


If there is something that we all wish we had on our Windows Phones, it would be the ability to pin something to it and control the way it looks. For example, there is no Ello App yet, but I pin a link to that webpage to my start screen for easy access. Unfortunately, Windows Phone only saves an image of the webpage for that live tile and it leaves no room for customization.

The great news is that SYM has addressed said shortcomings and has come up with Hot Tiles! for our customizing enjoyment. Whether you want to create a custom App tile or one for a webpage, it only takes a few clicks to get the look and color you want on your tile.


I took a few seconds to create a WP Focus tile for my home screen and can tell you it is remarkably easy to use this powerful App. Sizes, styles, text location, just about anything you may want to do to your tile is available. Even better, the transparent option is there as well.

The 5MB size is minimal, so that shouldn’t be an issue for most users. Overall, if you like to pin things to your start screen, the $.99 asking price for Hot Tiles! is well worth it. If Hot Tiles! continues to be updated with the newest Apps, this should be Microsoft’s next purchase and be added to the next release of Windows Phone.

Download Link: Hot Tiles!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Getting To Know Your HTC Duo Cam For Windows



When the HTC One (M8) for Windows was released, one of the biggest compromises that users were willing to make was the loss of a PureView camera in order to get the aluminum body of the One. I was lucky enough to get to do a test of the original UltraPixel camera found in the HTC One M7 against the PureView Nokia Lumia 925 and tell you all about it. The two part series featured a look at the interfaces, then a look at the actual performance of the cameras. Overall, there were pluses and minuses to both camera, but overall, the image quality of the HTC One M7 held its own. In fact, in color reproduction and dynamic range, it actually out performed the Lumia 925. So, how much more does the M8 bring to the table, and can it replace your PureView powered Lumia?

First off, you have to understand how the Duo Cam on the M8 works. The sensor of the primary 4UP (that’s short for UltraPixel) camera contains larger pixels than a typical “megapixel” sized sensor. This allows the sensor to capture more light per pixel, thus resulting in better – smaller images. The f/2.0 aperture and 28mm focal length really bring out the ultimate in macro and close up portrait photography. Unfortunately, the smaller image size does make zooming nearly impossible. The secondary lens is reportedly a 1MP depth sensor. Basically, the secondary camera records how far away things are, how much light there is and what angle the image is shot at.

Once you understand that the image is still coming from the primary UltraPixel camera, you can start to see why the secondary camera comes in handy. By having all the ‘image data’ stored with the second camera, you can physically alter the image data by changing it based on the information that the second camera captures. This includes changing focus, the background, adding effects or even using the camera for different augmented reality purposes. Here’s the built in software package effects and what they can do right now for your M8 for Windows.

The original image:


The first image uses the UFocus Duo Effect. As you can see, the first image has the front chair, pillow and fireplace completely in focus. With UFocus, I was able to blur the background of the image easily. Now the fireplace and the chair in the background of the image are completely lost and the chair becomes the focal point.


I then reversed the effect and used UFocus is used to blur the chair and pillow, making the fireplace more of a focal point. This also reestablished the background of the image using the secondary camera’s depth information, which drastically changed the other Duo Cam effects to come.

IMAG00210_1 (2)

The next image we take the same start and use the Foregrounder effect to black out the chair and take the focus again, back to the fireplace. This can be very useful when shooting portraits of people in colorful outfits. It really adds a color pop to them.

IMAG00210_1 (3)

Next, I used the Dimension Plus effect to actually change the view of the image. You can see the pillow and chair are much closer now and the image looks like it was shot from slightly higher up.

IMAG00210_1 (4)

Overall, the Duo Cam features are quite handy and are very powerful – if you play with them enough to use them. If you just point and shoot a ton, the HTC One (M8) for Windows is still a great choice for you as well. It is a super-fast shooting camera, which makes capturing things like the kiddos, pets or even racecars a pretty neat thing.


The HTC One (M8) for Windows is available on Verizon Wireless and ships unlocked for use on other carriers if purchased at full retail. Unfortunately, there is no way to edit the MMS APN at the moment so you will give up that feature if you pack your M8 to another carrier, but it’s a small price to pay for such a great device. For more information on the HTC One (M8) for Windows you can visit the link below.

More information: HTC One (M8) for Windows

Monday, October 20, 2014

Game Review: Hypernaut Lives Up To The Hype


When I first found Hypernaut, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. As a matter of fact, even as I started playing it for the first time, I still had no clue what I was getting into. Hypernaut, by Jason Walters, had spent so much time in my review folder that I had pretty well forgotten what the whole thing was supposed to be about. Then I played it…


After tapping the screen to get going and seeing the simplistic instructions of “tap to go left, tap to go right” I was ready to roll in this gorgeous ‘polygon runner’ style game. I prefer the touch to the tilt controls, but both are there if you want the other. That said, what followed my quick lesson was a sheer blast of epic fun. The mountain you see in the distance quickly pulls up on you, the towers and blocks above do as well. Overall, you have to be ready for anything.


After a few seconds, more and more obstacles come on to the screen. After that stuff, like fireballs, start coming out of the sky. You have to be quick or your single life is over and it is back to the start with you. Make sure you learn during the easier parts of the game, as when the going gets tough, you don’t have time to think, you just have time to do.


Hypernaut is a gorgeous rendering. The 6MB download is amazingly small for how entertaining this game is. Overall, this is the kind of game that leads to that one friend we all have losing and throwing your phone – so beware of that one. Other than that, this will be a crowd favorite for showing off your Windows Phone (though it’s available for those fruity guys too) and entertaining them. You can grab the download at the link below.

Download: Hypernaut

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happy 300th Post From Focus On Windows Phone!

Wow! This seemed so much quicker than the 200th post it’s scary. In fact, the amount of foot traffic you have given this site in the last year is just flabbergasting. I can’t thank you all enough for reading what I have to say and for communicating with me via email and Twitter. I also want to keep encouraging you to do just that, send emails or find me on Twitter (@waazzupppp) and let me know you’re there. Especially if you are a developer and want your App featured.

That said, lets look back at the top 5 stories from this batch of 100! So in no particular order, here we go!


The review of the gorgeous game “Mind Your Step” ranked first in reads over the last 100 posts. This finger tapping game is not only a blast, but it also generated a ton of feedback – almost all good – about this rendering of the touch the tile game. If you haven’t read the review yet, read up on Mind Your Step and then grab it from the Store.


Next up, we have another game review. I think I’m seeing a pattern here, but we will wait and see. The game review for “Salvo” generated a ton of looks for this amazing game. Salvo is one of those arcade throwbacks that just make me happy to game on my HTC One (M8) for Windows. Simple controls and a ton of action make Salvo a joy to play. If you missed it the first time around, check out the review for Salvo and then hit the Store to snag it.

wp_ss_20140911_0002 DeviceShot130549627154938086

The review of Device Shot was the next big winner. Developers everywhere flocked to see what the buzz was about. Device Shot allows developers to place their screen shots “into” their Lumia or HTC devices and send it out on a blog or on their webpages. As you can see with the image above, Device Shot does a fantastic job rendering and makes a basic screen shot look a thousand times better. Read up on Device Shot here and then grab it from the Store. Even if you aren’t a developer, you can show a bit of love to your favorite brand this way too.

In an amazing show of support for me and Focus on Windows Phone, you guys powered my “Amazon Shop Story” into the top 5 out of the last 100 posts. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it is to know that you will help someone out like this. All you need to do is click THIS LINK when you want to shop at Amazon. If you bookmark that and use it as your primary way to get to Amazon, you will be helping to support this blog and fund giveaways, testing and maybe even some additional writers!

I would love to have this happen, and remember, you still get all the same deals that Amazon offers, you just shop through my link instead of just going straight to Amazon.

Finally, rounding out the top 5 posts of the last 100, we have the post on Setting Up Your Lumia For Red Pocket Mobile. This post goes back to almost the origins of the site, but more and more people are going the MVNO route as prices are lower and coverage is just as strong as the big boys. Setup instructions aren’t always easy to find, though, so I try and keep them updated with the latest and greatest Apps and settings. As a matter of fact, I had to update this post with the Nokia Access Point link in the Store since so many people were asking about it.

That’s the top 5 round up for this hundred posts. Thank you all again for the support and for following me on social media. I appreciate the fact that you continue to take time out of your day to read my ramblings and maybe even consider using the Apps and Games that these amazing Windows Phone developers continue to make for us. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you and I’ll do this again at 400!

Game Review: Breakout With Break That Wall!


Arcade classics are always one of my favorite ways to pass the time on my HTC (M8) for Windows. Break The Wall! by Federico Aliprandi is one of those games that instantly takes me back to the arcade days, or at least my BlackBerry Pearl, which is probably back far enough at this point.

This simplistic ‘block breaker” game brings an element of fun that I haven’t seen before by making some very creative block patterns to the top of the screen. In fact, even as early as the first few levels, the rainbow level had me impressed. Break The Wall! is simple to play, with the only real control being your finger sliding around the paddle. Other than that, it’s a simple job of catching the power-ups to make your ball do some fun stuff and keeping it from falling past your paddle.

Break The Wall! is available in the Windows Phone Store and comes along with a very small 17MB install size. Break The Wall! is a definite must download as the free price tag can’t be beat and the hours of fun that Federico Aliprandi will give you with Break The Wall! is easily worth it. Grab it right now at the link below.

Download link: Break The Wall!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Modern Combat 5 Gets A Red Stripe

If you're a fan of the Modern Combat series of games from Gameloft, you're in luck this weekend. For a tiny payment of $3.49, you can own the latest installment of the game. The graphics on this issue are even better than the last and the game play is fantastic on my HTC One M8.

There are a few bummers about MC5, like the fact that the install file is rather large, and that an internet connection is required to play, but for a universal App of this quality to hit the store at this price, it's worth a serious look for anyone out there. Grab a download from the link below!

Sent from my HTC One M8 for Windows
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grabbing A New Lumia 530 Today? Grab Some Accessories Too!

If you were lucky enough to sneak in to a T-Mobile store and snag one of the new Lumia 530’s today, you might want to swing by Amazon and check out some of the amazing protective systems, that’s a fancy word for cases, and other great accessories that they have available.

Nokia Lumia 530 - No Credit Check

The Nokia Lumia 530 comes equipped with a 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor, a 5MP rear facing camera, a 1430mAh battery with an estimated 11 hours of talk time, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of built in storage. The package is completed by a 4” FWVGA display, HSPA+21 network speeds and a Micro SD slot that will hold up to 128GB cards.

While the $79 T-Mobile device isn’t available on Amazon quite yet, a large variety of cases are already on site, Amazon is primed and ready to send you something to protect your new beauty right now. Visit Amazon by clicking the link to see all the options and accessories that are available for you new phone.

Device Purchase Link: T-Mobile

Cases Purchase Link: Amazon

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Windows Phones Take 4 Of Top 10 Spots In No Contract Phone Sales


A really decent indicator of how well devices are selling is the top 10 list on They have contract devices, which usually varies by which device just came out, and the non-contract sales, which usually are an indicator of longer term sales. Fortunately for Windows Phone owners, the Nokia Lumia line is cleaning up the non-contract department and blowing away the competition with their sub $100 offerings.

Currently, the Nokia Lumia 520 is featured in the #1 spot, as it has been for quite some time now. The $48.93 price tag is unheard of for such a quality device. The best part is, this is a no contract rate, which means you could take that AT&T GoPhone device and use it with a Red Pocket Mobile plan from It’s a double saver.

The rest of the top 5 is a smattering of Android handsets ranging from the gorgeous new HTC Desire 816 for Boost Mobile, the ultra low cost LG Optimus Dynamic for TracFone and the Virgin Mobile offerings of the LG Volt and Samsung Galaxy S III. Spots 6, 7 and 8 all belong to the Lumia’s again.

The Nokia Lumia 521 places 6th, with a $67.19 price tag. That’s followed by the AT&T version of the Nokia Lumia 635 and the T-Mobile version places 8th. The iPhone 4 16GB and LG Optimus Fuel finishes out the current Top 10 non-contract devices.

Visit the Top Non-Contract handset list today and see what you might want to grab for your next no-contract handset.

The Move From Nokia–What’s Missing?

2014-10-14 12.08.29

When the HTC One (M8) for Windows was release in late August, there was a severe party happening in my head. Finally, after almost 2 years away from my beloved Titan, I was coming back to HTC for a real Windows Phone. Don’t get me wrong, the HTC 8x was a good device, but compared to the powerhouse devices that Nokia was throwing out there, it just didn’t measure up very well. Fast forward a few months in to my journey with this new titan of a phone and I can tell you that there is something missing with the M8 that I just didn’t account for entirely.

First off, missing out on the Nokia suite of Apps didn’t seem all that bad at first. Yes, I miss Nokia Camera, MixRadio and Play To. They were huge reasons why I was able to avoid going back to Android for so long. Losing them was like losing my wallet, it sucked, but I was able to get everything to work again. With Apps like OnePlayer and the advanced HTC Camera features I didn’t miss them too much. But…

As I drifted into the device itself, there were many pieces missing from the functionality of Windows Phone that I just didn’t realize were Nokia-centric. Starting with the looks, the Nokia Display App features a way to edit the color profile of the device and set it up to save battery with the brightness control. That’s missing from the M8. Next we jump in a bit further with the Touch menu found on the Lumia series. This includes double tap, navigation feed back and the touch sensitivity settings. Again, missing on the M8.

Moving onward, glance is gone, though the Dot View case sure does a nice job of filling in for glance. Access Point is gone as well. There’s no adjusting both the data and MMS APN’s on the M8, just the data settings. Device hub is missing also. In fact, one of the best features of Windows Phone for me personally was the call+SMS filter App, which isn’t actually an App, but a part of Nokia’s firmware!

Overall, I don’t regret the move back to the gorgeous HTC handset that I have grown to cherish in the last month and a half. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, I love my HTC One (M8) for Windows more than any of my Windows Phone devices so far and can’t imagine having to carry anything else at this point.

Halo: Spartan Strike Due In December

Halo: Spartan Assault Review

In a follow up to the monstrously successful Halo: Spartan Assault, Microsoft is planning to release Halo: Spartan Strike to Windows and Windows Phone in December. The top down shooter should be similar to the first title, but has a few new features that should make everyone happy.

- It will be a universal App for Windows and Windows Phone

- Progress earned on one device will transfer to another

- Should run on smaller 512MB devices without any issues

Just those three little fixes going forward should help the franchise gain quite a bit of mobile ground. Look for Halo: Spartan Strike this December in the Windows and Windows Phone stores. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Using Bing Rewards For More Than A Gift Card


One of the more common questions I get asked is how do I use my Bing Rewards credits. My answer is simple, Bing Rewards pays for my TV service. Yes, my Bing Rewards actually covers my TV costs every month, and then some. By using my rewards to purchase a month of Hulu+ for 420 credits (with gold discount), I am able to shave almost $10 a month off my bills.

The even better part to this is that on a standard day, you can earn 15 credits for PC searches and 10 credits for searching from your Windows Phone. You also get credits for doing the daily activity. This means 25 credits can be had daily, or about 17 days of just doing that will get you gold status and a free month of Hulu+.

There’s nothing fancy about this one. It’s relatively simple. Signup for Bing Rewards, search with Bing daily and get free Hulu+ service. Does it get better than that? Remember, that Hulu+ subscription goes with you to your Windows Phone, Windows Computer (web also) and just about any other platform you might have. It’s a great deal for catching current run TV and old favorites.

Sign up for Bing Rewards and get the Windows Phone App

Sign up for Hulu+ and get the Windows Phone App

Grab An HTC Dot View Case For Under $15!

When 3rd party sellers get a stock of something nice and mark it down to an incredibly low price, I take note. Today is one of those lucky days for HTC One M8 for Windows users. The HTC One M8 Dot View Case can be yours for a measly $11.99-12.99 depending on color selection.

The case is available in Blue ($12.99), Gray ($11.99), Orange ($12.99) and I’m going to call this Raspberry, not purple for $12.97. The Dot View software for Windows Phone just got a major update that included call history display, Dot View backgrounds and a few other nice tweaks. The Dot View case is really a good addition to your M8 even with the so, so protection standards. The Dot View is more of a functionality cover rather than a protective one.

That said, the hard backing keeps your aluminum body safe from scratches, the offset protects the camera lens and the front cover provides a decent layer of protection to the screen when it is in your pocket or bag. With external Caller ID and no open answer, the Dot View is a great case.

Purchase Here: Amazon Link

Get Your Windows Phone On The Big Screen With Roku


Have you been wanting to get your Windows Phone on that big screen TV? What about working on your Surface’s Office Docs in a bit bigger view? Thanks to the good folks at Roku and their Roku 3 and Streaming Stick, you can.

First up, we have the Roku itself. If you haven’t heard of it, the Roku Player is a very simple set-top box that allows you to view channels like a TV mixed with a computer. There are channels for Netflix, Hulu+ and many more. The Roku 3 and Streaming Sticks even run off Wi-Fi so there are no pesky network cables to run, eliminating the mess of wires there. I’ve had my original Roku 1 for over 8 years now, so I know that they hold up just fine.

The Roku 3 and Streaming Stick both use the Miracast technology to stream content from your Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 device. It’s as simple as hooking up your Roku player (which you can install the Roku App from the Windows Store instead of using the remote) and mirroring your content. Not much else is needed.

You can grab a Roku 3 or Streaming Stick for under $100 and under $50 respectively by clicking the link below. Happy casting!

Purchase Links: Roku 3 or Streaming Stick

Monday, October 13, 2014

Got A Windows Phone? Get Perk TV And Get Free Stuff!


If there is one thing I like better than new phone accessories, it has to be getting new phone accessories with bonus points or rewards programs. Most of us are members of Bing Rewards, others are SwagBuckers, but not many have ever heard of and their great Perk TV App for Windows Phone.

Perk TV, is the App that you need to start racking up 400-500 Perk Points a day. At 5,000 points, you get a $5 gift card to places on their list of options. These options include Amazon, Staples, Target, Starbucks, Foot Locker and tons of other choices. I’ve found the best way to maximize my earnings is to simply start my Perk TV App while my old Lumia 925 is sitting on a Qi charger and let it go over Wi-Fi for the day. About every 3 hours, I need to check in on it and tell it I am still watching, but other than that, I just keep racking up rewards points.

So far, in just a few months, I have tallied up over $50 in Amazon cards (500 points a day for 10 days racks up a $5 card.) I also got a few bonuses for being a new user, sharing on Facebook and Twitter and even completing a few of the activities. So, if you are up for a bit of an adventure in earning some free stuff, check out at the link below and sign up. Then download Perk TV and start earning from your Windows Phone.

Sign Up Here:

More to click:

Have an old Android device and want to do something awesome with it? Hit this link to sign up for Swagbucks and earn even more rewards!

Visit Bing Rewards and sign up if you aren’t using it on your Windows Phone as well.